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3 Benefits Of Ductless Mini Splits

If you’ve recently added some living space to your home by either remodeling or adding on, you’ll probably want to condition the air in order to use the space during the winter and summer. A ductless mini split heat pump is one of the easiest ways to add heat and cooling to a new space in your home, since these systems don’t use any air ducts to deliver air.

Although the technology has been used abroad for years, it’ relatively new to the U.S. These systems are just like heat pumps, but instead of requiring a central air handler, the systems use separate units that blow directly into particular rooms or zones.

Louisville furnaceThe major advantages of ductless mini splits include:

Ease of installation – Unlike standard heat pumps, these systems require just a conduit to provide the power, refrigerant and drain lines to feed up to four indoor air handlers. The installer drills a three-inch hole through the exterior wall to run the conduit. The smaller systems can run off 120 volts, simplifying the wiring.
Energy efficiency. Because no ducts are involved, no losses occur moving the air. Ducts can leak and lose heat or cold as the air travels through un-insulated ducts or spaces. Some mini split compressors can handle four separate air handlers for different spaces within your home, and each has a separate thermostat. When you’re not using a space, you can turn the handler off or set the temperature higher or lower, saving energy. Some of the mini split systems also use energy-efficient components, including variable-speed motors that use considerably less electricity to blow conditioned air than a single-speed motor.
Design flexibility.The air handlers can sit on the floor or hang from ceilings and walls. Since most systems have remote controls, it’s easy to change the settings with the touch of a button from a distance.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. 812-280-0510

What’s inside your furnace?

So that’s what is inside your furnace… It’s most likely a clam shell heat exchanger. This one happens to be cracked. The top center eyelet of each heat exchanger has a crack of above and below it. The others are nearing failure. However, one crack is all it takes to condemn.

Goodman Clam Shell Heat Exchanger
What’s wrong with a crack? In the modern furnace, the primary risks is a fire. Over time the crack will open and allow flames to hit the cabinet. The secondary risk is carbon monoxide poisoning. This scenario is less likely due to the pressure switches that monitor the negative pressure inside the heat exchanger. You’re more likely to get air from the blower inside the heat exchanger rather than flue gases escaping.

How do you prevent this type of failure? It all goes back to proper air flow. Your ducts should provide design air flow per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Often, we find that the duct system needs to be modified to achieve desired air flow.

Second, you must change your air filter regularly. Although some filters state ‘Three Months”, it’s important to check them monthly. You may find that your system draws more dust and animal hair than the filter can handle in three months.

Finally, regular furnace maintenance by a professional service company keeps your system operating properly. You should have your HVAC system serviced twice a year — once for heating and the other time for air conditioning.

Give us a call today for all of your heating and air conditioning needs in Southern Indiana or the Louisville area — VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. (812)280-0510.

Tips for hiring an HVAC-system contractor

Louisville HVAC companyWhen the time comes to service, repair or install HVAC equipment in your home, you will be faced with the task of hiring an HVAC-system contractor. As in any industry, you’ll likely have many to choose from, with varying degrees of skill and experience. Here are some tips to help make your choice an easy one:

Ask questions – How long have they been in the industry and the number of satisfied customers are two things you should inquire about before hiring an HVAC-system contractor. An established, experienced contractor has seen and done it all, and will have the references to back it up. Of course, a reference is only good if you follow through; be prepared, with a list of questions to ask each.

Perform a license check – In Louisville, Kentucky, you can easily see if a potential hire is currently licensed, by performing a search at the website of the Kentucky Registrar of Contractors.

Ask for References – Look up reviews on line.

Inquire about guarantees  – Find out sooner rather than later,what kind of guarantee the contractor places on his work. A business that takes pride in its work and cares about customer satisfaction will provide you a written guarantee to prove it.

Ask about permits – A reputable HVAC-system contractor will not only know which jobs require a permit, but will be responsible for obtaining them as well. Permits protect both parties, by ensuring that the work done is up to code standards.

Get it in writing – Once they have performed a thorough evaluation of your home, or existing equipment, your contractor should be willing to give you a detailed, written estimate of the work to be done.

If you are looking to hire an HVAC-system contractor that meets all of these requirements, please give us a call at 812-280-0510 VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Why Every Consumer Should Know S.E.E.R.

When shopping for a new HVAC system, consumers are asked what SEER they are wanting to install. So what is SEER?

S.E.E.R. is the abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Every heating or cooling product has a S.E.E.R. rating. The higher the S.E.E.R. the greater the efficiency of the system. In layman’s terms your system will give you the same results and use less energy, and this will save you money. When you are researching what products may be right for you this is part of the cost benefit analysis you need to consider. It helps to see side by side comparisons of what kind of savings higher S.E.E.R. can deliver. Look at the chart below for some examples. If you spend $500 every summer on your cooling and you replace your old 8 SEER system with a 14 SEER system you can expect that bill to be reduced to $215. SEER ratings are in the 20s now but the cost of systems has to be considered.

Contact us at 812-280-0510 and ask what would be best for you and your family! Louisville heating and cooling

Fixing your Furnace to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Louisville furnaceDo you find yourself this time of year itching your eyes, feeling stuffy inside ,or sneezing each time your walk outside? In the Louisville area, this is a particularly difficult season for allergies including dust, pollen and mold. But did you realize that these particular allergens can also be a prominent problem inside your home?

If you find yourself more tired, itchy, and irritated, you can help to improve your overall allergy symptoms and your overall health with a few basic improvements.

  1. Dehumidifiers – Sometimes the air in our homes can be overly damp due to leaking pipes or wet concrete basement floors. Dampness can promote mold and dust mite population. Dehumidifiers help alleviate the extra humidity in the air.
  2. Humidifiers -Just as you do not want the air at home to be too humid, you also don’t want it to be too dry, which is the tendency this time of year. Overly dry air is irritating to the lungs and can spread dust particles and pet dander that don’t have humidity to weigh them down. Another simple step to help add humidity to the air is to leave out a clean bowl of water or a fresh vase of flowers.
  3. HEPA filters – These filters added to your furnace help re-circulate, clean and dehumidify the air all at once. They also help to trap smaller allergen particles before they hit the air we breathe. Also remember not to sleep with the windows open which brings in more unfiltered allergens from the outdoors.
  4. Use exhaust fans to reduce moisture levels that may come from cooking, showers or clothes dryers.

Other helpful ways to eliminate harmful allergens without spending a penny include: not smoking inside the house, remove all particle board furniture which is made with formaldehyde which is a toxic substance and eliminate any carpeting you can. Carpets collect dust and dander.

Tackle your allergies from the inside out and eliminate harmful items that put you at higher risk. By making a few minor adjustments in the equipment of your furnace, you can breathe a sigh of relief with cleaner air inside your home.

Call at 812-280-0510

Heating Tips: Make Sure your Carbon Monoxide Detector is in Place

Louisville heating and coolingAs colder weather begins to roll around, many preventative measures in our homes are important to protect us from the elements and common indoor hazards. One hazard that is more prevalent in the winter season is gas leaks. These leaks can come from a furnace or water heater and may produce carbon monoxide (CO) fumes that can be deadly.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by incomplete burning of fuels like coal, wood, charcoal, oil, propane or natural gas. If your furnace or water heater’s burners become dirty or are not working properly, you could be at risk.

Since carbon monoxide can’t be detected by the senses, you might not even know it’s there until you begin to experience symptoms. With low-level exposure you may begin to detect:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • dizziness

When exposure becomes ongoing, symptoms worsen and become more severe:

  • mental confusion
  • vomiting
  • loss of coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • death

Experiencing these symptoms inside your home is very serious and requires further investigation by a professional. Here are some common tips to avoid furthering carbon monoxide invasion.

  • Have electrical and burning appliances inspected and serviced regularly
  • Never use portable generators with gas engines in an enclosed space
  • Never leave the car running in the garage (even with the door up)
  • Don’t use appliances for warming the inside of your home
  • Never use portable fuel or burning camping equipment inside your home or garage

Most importantly, buy and install a carbon monoxide detector. Most detectors will sound before the CO reaches a dangerous level, which will allow preventative measures to be taken. Having a carbon monoxide detector can literally save your life.


Repair or Replace

When our Southern Indiana and Louisville clients have a major AC repair, we are often asked if they should replace the HVAC system or simply repair the air conditioner.

Two factors influence the decision the most: age of your HVAC system and cost of the repair.

If it’s greater than ten years old and you have a major repair (compressor, condenser fan motor, evaporator coil), you should seriously consider a new heating and cooling system. An HVAC system of that age is not nearly as efficient as today’s system. Plus, a new Air Conditioning system can have a 10-year parts warranty standard with 10-year labor warranties available.

If you’re on the fence regarding a new system, here are some things to consider.
1) Your old system is considerably less efficient than a new system. So, your energy consumption is higher the longer you wait.
2) Air Conditioners and Furnaces increase in price roughly 3% each year. You’ll pay more for that new system the longer that you wait.
Combine those two, and you can see why waiting to purchase a new HVAC system may not be the best choice.

If your HVAC system is under 10 years, then repairing it may be your better choice. We can show you ways to save money on future repairs through our preventative maintenance program

Give us a call today at (812) 280-0510

Trouble-shoot Your Own Furnace

Louisville FurnaceYou may think that large electrical box with lots of pipes and wires seems amazingly complicated without a degree or professional skill to operate it. But, believe it or not, some of the most common furnace issues can be resolved by the homeowner without a service call to the HVAC company. Here are a few of the most common furnace issues and how you can attempt to resolve them on your own.

What if I Smell Gas?

If you smell something that smells like rotten eggs coming from the area surrounding your furnace, there is only one step. Get out. Do not turn on/off any light switches or operate any of the switches on the furnace. After you have safely evacuated, call your HVAC company to check out the problem.

Furnace is Not Producing Much Heat

The major cause of a slower heating house is a dirty filter. The easiest way to maintain your furnace and save money is to change your filter every few months. A dirty filter can double or triple your home heating costs, causing your furnace to have to work harder.

Furnace Doesn’t Ignite

Today’s furnaces use hot surface ignitors, but if you have a really old furnace that still has a pilot light, then here’s what you can do. If the light inside the furnance has gone out completely, shut off the gas switch near the pilot light while pushing the reset button. Hold a lighter or match up to the gas where the flame should be and light the pilot again.

Changing your furnace filter is something everybody can do. It is one of the easiest home maintenance projects you can do. Simply pull the old filter out and replace it with a new one. The only trick here is making sure the up arrow on the filter actually faces up in the furnace slot. That’s it. Regularly reminding yourself to do this can save a lot of money on utility bills and risking damaging your unit.

Always schedule a regular maintenance check-up with your HVAC company to catch any further issues that may be more involved. Visit our website to learn more about the heating and cooling services we provide. Or give us and call and we will be glad to help with advice or assistance 812-280-0510

How to Choose a Furnace that Best Suits Your Needs

Louisville furnaceYou may be looking to replace a sluggish furnace in your existing home or you may be ready to install one in a new home for the first time. Either way, there are some important facts that can help you decide which furnace may be the best fit for your home. Let’s start by examining the two major types of furnaces.

The Two-Stage Furnace

Based on its name, the two-stage furnace is geared to operate the major elements of the furnace in two different ways. First, this type of furnace will change the burn rate of natural gas, or BTUs (British Thermal Units, a unit of energy) generated. Most of these systems will also change the speed at which the blower fan blows, lowering the speed during the first stage and raising it during the second stage.

The two-stage furnace actually runs on a lower amount of BTUs and runs longer in order to keep your home more comfortable by decreasing the temperature swings when the system shuts off and turns back on.

The advantage most people see in this system is in a more consistent temperature while the system is running. Energy savings is not a real advantage to this type of furnace.

Modulating Furnace

This type of High Efficiency furnace operates with more intensity and also reduces the temperature fluctuations, produces a more consistent indoor temperature, is quiet in operation, and utilizes annual fuel consumption up to 98%. Because fuel is used more efficiently, energy use is reduced and so is cost.

This type of gas furnace combines a modular gas valve with a variable speed blower and is able to adjust automatically, continuously regulating the amount of fuel burned based on the thermostat setting. These systems can maintain a temperature within a half-degree of the thermostat set point.  Standard systems can swing between 4-6 degrees.

Because of its variable speed blower, the temperature slowly ramps up and down providing quiet and efficient air distribution while reducing overall utility consumption.

Being informed can help you choose the furnace that can best accommodate your home’s needs and keep you toasty warm this winter season. Contact VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. with any questions you have about your furnace. We are here to help.

image courtesy of York