Posts Tagged ‘air conditioning’

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners – Applications

August 7, 2011

Good Morning Friends,

Today I would like to discuss the most popular application for ductless air conditioners.

Most of the requests we get for ductless air conditioners are for the 3rd floor lofts. Typically, there is a small landing at the top of the stairs with a bedroom on each side. My customers ask me to install a unit in the landing area that they hope will cool both bedrooms.

I want to point out an area of concern to avoid. I am often called on by major manufacturers of ductless air conditioners to fix problems with the installations of other contractors. Recently I was asked to replace a unit that had its compressor burn out 2 times in 2 years.

I found a large ductless unit installed in a tiny landing area that was short cycling because it was cooling the small area too quickly. This on and off cycling of the compressor is very harsh on the compressor and caused it to burn out.

When installing these units, contractors must be very careful not to oversize the units and try to cool the whole house because the unit will burn out.

As with any heating and cooling equipment, do not buy any unit before a complete heat loss/gain study is performed on your home to determine your exact heat gain or loss.

I would also recommend using an inverter unit which allows the unit to reduce its capacity rather than cycle on and off.

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Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

August 2, 2011

Good Morning Friends,

Today I would like to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ductless air conditioners. Ductless air conditioners were designed to provide cooling where there are no air ducts available to deliver adequate cooling. The following are examples of homes that could benefit from ductless air conditioners.

  1. Homes that are heated with a boiler and perimeter radiators or in-floor radiant heat.
  2. Homes that are heated with electric baseboard heat.
  3. Homes with rooms that are not getting enough cool air from the existing air conditioning system.
  4. Third floor rooms that are always too warm in the summer.
  5. Rooms with unusually high loads such as offices with computers, kitchens or sun rooms.

All of these rooms would benefit from the great cooling and dehumidification capabilities of a ductless air conditioner.

Ductless units have the following advantages:

  1. They cool exceptionally well where standard ducted systems cannot.
  2. They are great at removing the humidity making the home feel dry in addition to cool.
  3. They can also be a source of heat. This saves a lot of money when you are currently using electric baseboard heat.
  4. They allow for independent temperature control of the rooms that they service.

The disadvantages are:

  1. There is a visible unit mounted in the treated room. Please see the videos below that feature some very nice looking units that can blend in to any decor.
  2. They cannot be controlled by a conventional 7-Day programmable thermostat. They use a wireless remote.
  3. Many unprofessional contractors install these units, often incorrectly, causing much grief and equipment failure. Buyer BEWARE when selecting a contractor to install a ductless mini-split.

Technology has advanced and now ductless units are available with completely concealed units. They also make some very nice looking units. Please see the 2 videos below. You can leave a comment for me with any questions or applications and I will be happy to help you pick a unit that will work best for you.

Beware of Drive By Pricing

December 23, 2010

Hello Friends,
Whenever I am asked to provide pricing for a replacement furnace or air conditioner, we always perform a full analysis of the home including a heat loss/gain report to ensure that our customer gets the best system for their needs. This procedure requires a 2.5 hour visit to the customer’s home. Recently, a customer asked me, “Why do you need so much time? Another contractor gave me a price in 5 minutes! Don’t you know what you are doing?”

I would like to answer this question.

The replacement of your home heating and air conditioning system is a significant investment that will dictate your comfort, efficiency and safety for the next 10 – 20 years. Only with the proper research can you be confident that your system will meet your expectations and satisfy your needs.

Some of the many questions that need to be answered are as follows.

  1. Is your home warm enough?
  2. Does your current system maintain a uniform temperature throughout your home?
  3. Are there rooms that are always too cold or too warm?
  4. Is the air in your home fresh or do you find that your home air is stale and stuffy?
  5. Is your home too dry? Is your furniture and/or hardwood floors cracking?
  6. Is your home too humid? Do you have a mould or condensation problem?
  7. Will the new air system be compatible with the existing duct system and piping system in my home?
  8. Do you have enough hot water?
  9. How will this new system affect my air quality?
  10. How will this new system affect the pressure in your home?
  11. Is your home air clean? Does anyone in your household have breathing issues like asthma and allergies?
  12. Is your existing system oversized and operating inefficiently?
  13. How much heat do you actually need?
  14. How much cooling do you actually need?

As you can see, there are so many issues that must be dealt with in order to make the right equipment selection and to ensure that your selection will work well together with your existing infrastructure.

I have been to so many homes where the client is suffering because the contractor they hired to replace their furnace just offered a quick 5 minute Drive By Quote and failed to properly assess the home and their needs.

Any contractor who makes a proposal with a 5 minute visit will not be able to propose the best system for your budget, comfort, safety and efficiency.

The CMHC Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has published a FREE guide on how to buy a new furnace, boiler and/or air conditioner. You can click here to get to the order page and you can order the printed booklet or electronic copy.

For your interest, I have put a copy of the guide below.

View this document on Scribd

See this video about what can happen if your contractor does not properly assess your needs.

My Latest Ad Thornhill Liberal – October 21, 2010

October 25, 2010

At ClimateCare, we are your personal climate experts on all things air. This includes heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality and even Radon Testing.
What do think of this ad?

View this document on Scribd

Design and Application 3

August 28, 2010

In order to determine exactly which system to install in your home, the following things must be clarified.

  1. How much cooling does your house need?
  2. How much heat does your house need?
  3. Does your home get too dry in the winter? Does anyone experience nosebleeds? Is there static in the house?
  4. Does your home have proper air filtration? Are there people in your home with breathing issues? Allergies? Asthma?
  5. Do you have young children? Does your home have proper air sanitization? Are you concerned about bacteria, mould and other growing organisms in your air?
  6. Does your home have adequate ventilation? Is the air stale and stuffy at times?
  7. Does your home suffer from too much moisture? Do your windows drip in the winter?
  8. Is your home evenly heated and cooled or are there areas that are too cold or too warm?
  9. Is your home drafty?
  10. Does your current system use too much energy? Are your utility bills too high?
  11. Is your current equipment located in the most practical and appropriate spot?

These are some of the important issues that must be clarified and discussed before any comfort advisor can propose a home comfort system for you.

Make sure that you have a chance to discuss all these issue so that your investment in your home health and comfort will pay off.

Design and Application 2

August 27, 2010

We were discussing the total comfort survey and audit that every comfort advisor must perform before recommending any equipment. In this survey, there are many questions that must be answered. Many of these questions require input from you, the homeowner. If your comfort advisor doesn’t involve you in this survey, how can he or she possibly know what system to recommend for you. Be prepared to spend between 1 and 2 hours with your comfort advisor.

Tomorrow, I will outline the information that must be gathered in this audit.

Design and Application

August 25, 2010

There are so many products available today with so many features that it would be impossible to determine the best system for your home without a thorough audit of your home. This audit takes around 2 hours to complete. Remember, the investment of a home comfort system is between $10,000 and $20,000. You really want to make sure that you are buying the right system before making such a significant investment. If you call a company for a new furnace or Air Conditioner and he just looks at your old equipment and gives you a price, you are not getting the best system for your home. I will outline in my next posts, what type of audit should be conducted on your home before any system is suggested. Don’t worry about the cost of this audit as any company worth its name should conduct this audit for free as part of their offering to you. If they don’t, throw them out.

Solar Air Conditioning! Is this possible?

July 18, 2010

Would you believe that solar-powered air conditioning is in the works? Soon you will be able to crank up the air without a tinge of “eco guilt”. The technology to do this is called Absorption refrigeration. This technology is currently used in RV’s to keep the refrigerators working when the power is off. Believe it or not, it relies on heat from a propane flame to keep a chemical reaction going that actually cools. Now, some creative engineers decided to use solar heat to do the same thing, resulting in solar cooling.

Some day your home will be cooled by the power of the sun. The hotter the sun gets, the more your air conditioner will cool with no environmental penalty.

Soaring Temperatures – Soaring Hydro Bills?

July 6, 2010

With your air conditioner cranking to the max, are you prepared for the hydro bill that will soon arrive at your door with the new fresh HST and rate increase tacked on? You might want to consider a new efficient air conditioner. If your unit is more than ten years old, a new unit might only use half of the electricity of a new unit. With the Provincial Rebates still in force, you might want to take advantage of this opportunity. You don’t have to suffer in the heat, and you don’t have to pay such high electricity costs.

Temperautres Soaring to over 40 Degrees Celcius

July 5, 2010

If you ever wondered what it feels like to be a cake in the oven, today is the day. With temperatures in the high 30’s and the high humidity, it feels like it is over 40 degrees out there. Hopefully, you have all serviced your air conditioners and they are all working at peak. It’s days like these that push your equipment to the max. How is your air conditioner performing today?