Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Archive for May, 2014

Why Does Efficiency Matter When Replacing My Air Conditioner?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

If you are considering retiring your current air conditioning system and installing a new one for the summer heat, then the AC you now have is probably over 10 years old. (If you’ve taken care to provide it with annual professional maintenance, it might even be more than 15 years old. This is yet one more reason to schedule regular preventive maintenance.) During those years, advances in HVAC technology has created air conditioners with efficiency higher than your current system. When you switch over to a new AC, you’ll do better than return to the efficiency level of a new air conditioner… you’ll have better efficiency than you’ve ever had before!

Efficiency isn’t everything when it comes to air conditioning replacement in Atlanta, GA. You have to make sure that you have the ideal new system for your home that will save you money and keep you effectively cooled.

The best way to find the right air conditioner is with the assistance of professionals in HVAC technology like those at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Call for a free estimate.

How efficiency works with a new air conditioning system

There is a basic measure of efficiency that you can use to quickly ascertain the level of savings you may receive from a new system: SEER, which stands for “seasonal energy efficiency rating.” SEER won’t tell you if an AC will keep you sufficiently cool, but it will tell you how well it converts electrical power into cooling power. SEER is a ratio of the amount of cooling produced in BTUs to the amount of energy consumed in watt-hours. The higher the SEER, the less energy a unit needs to run.

So what is a good SEER number to look for? We can go to the U.S. government for that information. In order for an air conditioner to qualify for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR label for efficient and environmentally-friendly performance, it must have a minimum SEER of 14.5. If you’re interested in a particularly efficient system (which will cost more), then there are special ACs with SEER of 18 or higher.

Make sure that whatever system you decide to install that it has SEER at least the same as your last one—although we recommend you look for one that’s higher while also in your budget range. Work with your installer on this, since efficiency is only part of the equation of figuring out what air conditioning system will deliver the best results.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems specializes in air conditioning replacement in Atlanta, GA that matches homes with their ideal new AC. We’ll see that you have improves efficiency and overall superior performance from the air conditioning that we install for you.

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3 Key Aspects of Geothermal Cooling Systems

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Geothermal cooling systems make a safe and efficient alternative to traditional centralized air conditioners. Instead of relying on refrigerant gas to create cool air, the geothermal system uses the ambient temperature of the earth to provide cooling power. Geothermal cooling in Marietta and other nearby communities makes a lot of sense, though the up-front costs need to be carefully considered before you proceed with installation.

3 Key Aspects of Geothermal Systems

  • They rely on the unchanging temperature below the ground. Once you get down below five or six feet, the temperature inside the earth doesn’t change no matter what the weather is like above the ground. With that as a constant, the system can then facilitate a heat exchange: pulling the heat out of the air in your home and dispersing it safely and easily into the ground.
  • They pump a mixture through underground coils to make the heat exchange work. The main expense involve in installing a geothermal cooling system comes from the fact that it must bury a series of coils beneath the ground to work. That requires time and equipment, as well as a stretch of land big enough to hold all of the coils. Once that happens, the system pumps a mixture of water sand antifreeze through the coils, which can retain the heat pulled from your home and release it into the ground.
  • They are extremely energy efficient. The benefits to all of this come in the form of your monthly cooling bills. The heat exchange itself uses almost no energy, as well as being environmentally clean. You need only a bit of electricity to run the pumps and fans.

The key aspects of geothermal systems are what make it such an attractive option, provided your property is large enough to support it and you have the funds to handle the initial installation. Over time, the convenience and savings could easily pay for those initial factors.

For more information on geothermal cooling in Marietta, or to schedule an installation, call on the experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today!

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How to Select the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home

Friday, May 16th, 2014

There’s a reason Atlanta’s nickname is “Hotlanta” and it definitely has to do with the heat and humidity we all deal with every summer. For over 15 years, Premier Indoor Comfort Systems has been helping our customers achieve comfort in hot summer weather with air conditioning installations in the Atlanta area. If you are new to purchasing an air conditioning system, or are considering an upgrade to a new system, we’d like to offer some helpful tips from our experts.

Factors to Consider

There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing an air conditioning system for your property to ensure your system achieves the comfort levels and energy efficiency you need:

Correct Size – when determining what size system you need for your home, what you are really looking at is how much cooling your home needs throughout a day. As such, basing an air conditioner purchase solely on the square footage of your property may leave you purchasing an AC that is too big or too small. The factors to consider when calculating air conditioner size should include:

  • Square footage
  • Layout of your home
  • Orientation of your home
  • Level of insulation throughout the property
  • Construction material
  • Daytime heat gain
  • Number of windows, type of windows and directions they face

As you can see, there is “no rule of thumb” with these factors. The experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems conduct these types of calculations all the time, so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us.

Check the Energy Efficiency – new air conditioners need to have a minimum SEER number of 13. A SEER number (seasonal energy efficient rating) tells a purchaser how energy efficient the air conditioner is. For instance, an air conditioner with a SEER of 20 can cool your home the same as one with a SEER of 16, but will cost less. However, the more energy efficient an air conditioner is, the more it may cost. To find out what SEER number will work best for you financially, work with an expert.

Types of Air Conditioners – There may be options for you when choosing an air conditioner type for your property. The types of air conditioners Premier Indoor Comfort Systems installs are:

  • Split-system
  • Ductless (including High Velocity Ductless)
  • Geothermal

Each type has its positives and negatives, so it’s important to understand how each works and what each can bring to your home environment.

Making the Right Choice

There are a lot of variables to consider when purchasing an air conditioner for your property.

This is why it’s important to consult an expert for your air conditioning installation in Atlanta. Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems and schedule your free estimate today!

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Problems with Your Fan Motor

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Most central air conditioners contain two major fans: the indoor blower fan and the outdoor condenser fan. These fans play crucial roles in the AC’s operation. The indoor fan distributes air throughout the rooms of a house, and both are necessary to move air across the refrigerant coils and execute the heat exchange that makes air conditioning cool down a home.

Motors operate these fans. In older air conditioners, belts attach the motors to the fans. Newer systems have direct motors. Electrical or mechanical issues with the motors will affect fan operation and threaten to lower or stop the AC’s ability to cool. It is good to keep in mind that regularly scheduled maintenance will help in preventing many of the issues highlighted below.

Fixing or replacing fan motors is one of the more common repair jobs the technicians at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems perform. If you need air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA for a malfunctioning fan motor, call us right away.

Problems that lead to fan motor repair or replacement

  • Relays stuck open or closed: The relay controls the flow of electrical current to the motor. When it is open, the current stops; when it is closed, the current moves and so does the motor. Relays can be damaged so they become stuck either in the open or closed position, which means the motor will either refuse to turn on or refuse to stop running. Electricians can sometimes clean relays to repair them, but most of the time they will have to replace them.
  • Failing capacitor: The capacitor is a cylindrical component that serves as a short-term battery for the motor. It transmits electrical voltage to start the motor running and keep it running. Each motor has two capacitors: the start capacitor sends the catalyzing voltage, and the run capacitor sends voltage at intervals to maintain motor operation. Capacitors can eventually fail, although they will begin to experience trouble before failure and you may notice the motor stuttering as it turns on, struggling with weak voltage (“hard starting”). Repair technicians will need to replace the aging capacitors.
  • Motor burn-out: If a motor experiences too much stress, either from loss of oil or extra friction from dirt and dust, it will eventually burn-out: the wiring inside the motor casing will fuse and become useless, and the motor will no longer work. Replacement is the only option when a motor burns out.

Motors often send warning signs of impending failure: grinding, groaning, and screeching indicate motors close to burning out, while clicking points toward capacitor trouble. If a motor will not start at all or will not stop running, it might be relays—although there are other possible culprits. For the analysis and targeted repairs to solve these problems, contact professionals experienced in air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems aims to deliver 100% satisfaction on each job we handle. Join our family of satisfied customers the next time you need quality repair work.

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Guide to Air Conditioner Refrigerant Blends

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

The secret elixir that allows for the miracle of modern air conditioning is refrigerant. You sometimes hear it referred to as “Freon,” although that word can describe a variety of different types of refrigerant. Whatever its composition, refrigerant handles a vital task in air conditioner operation: it absorbs and releases heat through the process of phase shifting between liquid and gas. The chemicals used in refrigerant (referred to as “blends”) are designed to make these phase shifts with the least amount of energy input possible, and since the invention of the first electro-mechanical AC, many different chemicals have taken on the job, becoming safer and more efficient over time.

There are too many refrigerant blends to list here, but we’ve assembled the most common from the past and present. If your AC begins to lose refrigerant, call for professional air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA from Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We’ll solve the problem with the correct refrigerant blend and make sure you have your proper cooling once more.

Refrigerant types

  • Sulfur dioxide, methyl chloride, ammonia: These chemicals flowed through the earliest air conditioners and performed the necessary job. Unfortunately, they also posed numerous safety hazards from flammability, toxicity, and acidity. These potential dangers made early air conditioners unsuited for residential use. When safer options emerged, all these chemicals were discontinued in ACs.
  • Freon: The word “Freon,” which is a trademark of DuPont, generally refers to any of the non-toxic and non-combustible chemical blends that replaced the early dangerous chemicals. The original Freon blends were chlorofluorocarbons such as R-12. The “R” found in many refrigerant blend names comes from DuPont’s method of identifying “refrigerant class numbers” base on molecular composition.
  • R-22: This hydrochlorofluorocarbon was the dominant blend found in residential air conditioners for many years. If your current AC is more than 10 years old, it may have R-22 as its refrigerant. Because of R-22’s ozone-depletion properties, it began to fall out of use in the 1990s around the globe. The U.S. EPA announced a national phase-out program starting in 2004, with a target date of 2020 for complete elimination of R-22 in air conditioners.
  • R-410A: Sometimes called “Puron,” this blend combines two other blends, difluoromethane and pentafluoroethane, and contains no chlorofluorocarbons to endanger the ozone layer. R-410A is the principle blend replacing R-22 during the phaseout, and most new residential air conditioners manufactured today have R-410A inside them. If you check the cabinet of your AC, you’ll probably find that you also have R-410A working to keep you cool.

Refrigerant leaks and professional repairs

For the most part, you won’t need to concern yourself with the refrigerant blend inside your air conditioner; it’s non-toxic and poses no health threat to you. But if you notice a drop in cooling power, hear a hissing noise from the AC cabinet, or notice frost on the indoor coils, call for repairs right away: you may have leaking refrigerant, and that is a major concern. It will not only restrict the system’s cooling power, it could lead to irrevocable damage to the compressor.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems at the first indication you need air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA. We can handle your refrigerant leak with the right replacement blend.

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