What is SEER, And Why Should I Care?

When researching new air conditioning systems, you may have noticed the phrase “SEER Rating” popping up here and there. SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it helps you see how energy efficient central air conditioners are. This rating is important to take a look at when you are researching new cooling systems because energy efficiency can impact your home comfort. Read on to find out more about what the SEER rating really means.

Why SEER Rating is Important

Curious about what SEER is? Use this quick guide below to better understand what the SEER rating means for new air conditioning units.

Why-you-should-care-about-SEER

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you may find it hard to navigate all of the HVAC terminology. That’s what we’re here for! The home comfort experts at Allison Air Conditioning will guide you through everything that you need to know about purchasing a new cooling system. We will review your options with you and help you find a system that meets your home comfort needs. We can also help you find financing and install your brand new system for you. Call us today for more information: (951) 356-4224.

4 Ways Our Ancestors Kept Cool without Air Conditioning

Modern air conditioning is a recent invention, but that doesn’t mean our ancestors just suffered through the heat of past centuries and millennia. They had some really creative ways to keep cool, many of which we still use today in various forms. From geothermal cooling to water-cooled air to circulation to fans, our ancestors stayed cool even when temperatures were high. Here are four innovative ways the managed it.

  • Underground Burrows

We can go all the way back to cavemen to see how our earliest ancestors beat the heat. We all know that people once lived in caves. They provided protection from the elements, but did you also know that caves were used to stay cool? Geothermal cooling is a modern trend in environmentally-friendly air conditioning, but people were already taking advantage of this phenomenon thousands of years ago. Noticing how much cooler it was underground, they lived in caves and also dug burrows and tunnels.

  • Window AC Units in Ancient Egypt

A few thousand years ago, civilization thrived along the Nile River, but it was hot. Ancient Egyptians made the first room-cooling units by hanging reed soaked in river water from open windows. As warm air came through the windows from the outside, the wet reeds cooled it down and made the room more comfortable.

  • The Greeks and Circulating Air

We know now how important it is to keep air moving to get a home to the right temperature. We circulate warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer using ductwork. Did you know that the ancient Greeks invented ducts? They pumped cold water through pipes throughout buildings to create an early version of central cooling.

  • Fans Are Always in Style

It may be a low-tech solution, but everyone knows how effectively a fan can cool you. Just sit in front of one on a sweltering summer day and you instantly feel better. It was in ancient China that the concept of moving air for cooling was first used, and where the fan was invented to do it. We still use fans today, from simple hand fans to large fans that can cool entire rooms.

Air conditioning has come a long way. Today all we need to do is turn the temperature down on the thermostat and wait for the cool air to be pumped through the ducts. We can thank our ancestors for our modern cooling because they invented so many creative ways to stay cool. These ideas inevitably led to the creation of AC units that we use now. If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, give us a call today.

How Will I Know When it’s Time to Replace My Air Conditioner?

They say all good things must come to an end, and that certainly applies to air conditioners.

But how, exactly, will you know when your air conditioner is ready to be removed and replaced? Here are four indicators that will let you know …

#1 Your air conditioner is nearing the end of its expected lifespan

Some HVAC technicians believe air conditioners should be replaced when they reach the age of 15. Others prefer to make their evaluations based on the so-called “5,000 rule.” According to this standard, when the price of a quoted repair multiplied by an AC’s age in years surpasses the number 5,000, it is time to get a new unit (for example, if $400 of repairs are needed on a 14-year old air conditioner, 400 X 14 = 5,600 so it’s time to say goodbye).

At Alison Air Conditioning we’re not sure you should decide when to get rid of your air conditioner based on age alone. But we can tell you this: if your air conditioner was installed more than 10 years ago, a modern, energy-efficient unit from Carrier (like those we are proud to sell and install) could reduce your annual heating and cooling bills by as much as 20 percent annually.

#2 Multiple repairs have been required to keep your air conditioner functioning

As a rule of thumb, the first time your air conditioner breaks down you should probably have it repaired, regardless of its age. But if it breaks down a second time, and you are forced to summon a technician to fix it again, you should start shopping for a replacement.

This is especially true if the cost of the second repair is higher than the first; this a sure sign that an air conditioner has begun its long march to the HVAC graveyard.

# 3 Refrigerant is leaking and needs to be replenished

If your AC runs but stops cooling it may have developed a refrigerant leak. You may be able to get it working again by having a technician replenish its supply of Freon (used in most units manufactured before 2010). But that is only a temporary—and costly—solution, since refrigerants can cost $100 per pound or more.

Once refrigerant starts to leak compressor failure may not be far behind, which is why many HVAC contractors believe air conditioners that spring refrigerant leaks are just about ready for the scrap heap.

#4 Gradual but steady decline in performance has been observed

Have you noticed your summertime energy costs rising over the past couple of years? Does your house feel warmer in July and August than it used to, even when you run your AC all the time?

If you answer either of these questions in the affirmative there is a good chance your air conditioner is wearing out and will not be long for this world. To make sure this diagnosis is correct, you should hire a skilled technician to check your cooling unit first just to be sure signs of systemic failure are imminent.

Alison Air Conditioning Will Keep You Cool

If you live in Corona or the surrounding region and have any questions about your air conditioner’s performance, contact Alison Air Conditioning immediately and we will send a technician to your home to assess your HVAC equipment and make a recommendation. Should you decide to purchase a new unit, we can set you up with a state-of-the-art, energy-saving unit from the fine folks at Carrier, the most respected name in the HVAC industry.

Follow us here as we answer all of your heating, cooling and indoor air quality management questions before you even ask them.

Controlling Dry Air in Your Home

When winter is in the air the outside air loses a good deal of its moisture. This inevitably affects the quality of your indoor air as well, leaving you high and dry both figuratively and literally.
You may not have thought about it much, or even noticed it. But dry air is no picnic in the park, for you, your family, your possessions or the physical environment you reside in.

If you can find a remedy for that dryness it is most certainly in your interest to do so, for reasons we are about to explain.

What is the Big Deal about Dry Air?

Excessively dry air can have a negative impact on your health. When the air that surrounds you is not adequately humidified it can:

  • Leave you more vulnerable to colds and the flu.
  • Cause respiratory infections that can set off or intensify asthma attacks (especially in children).
  • Make the skin on your fingers and feet dry out, crack and bleed.
  • Cause excessive eye, throat and nasal passage dryness, which can be annoying and painful.
  • Promote atmospheric imbalances that can give you static shocks (ouch!) when you touch something or someone.

In addition to these health effects de-humidified air can impact material objects as well. It can cause cracks to form in woodwork and hardwood floors, and those static shocks we just mentioned can actually damage your electronic devices.

Another problem with dry air is that it leave you feeling chilled, even at temperatures you would normally find comfortable. For every extra degree of heating you require you can expect your monthly heating bills to rise by about four percent, which is nothing to sneeze at in the wintertime when energy costs are already elevated.

What Can Be Done?

If you want to add more moisture to your home’s air you may want to consider ordering a whole-home humidifier. This appliance can be incorporated directly into your HVAC system, allowing the re-humidified air it produces to be distributed to every nook and cranny of the indoor spaces your family occupies. Digital thermostats and monitoring systems make it easy to control the activity of a whole-home humidifier, letting you customize indoor conditions for maximum comfort seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

With a whole-home humidifier all the troubles associated with excessively dry indoor can be eliminated, one-by-one and forever.

Say Goodbye to the Dry

During the wintertime, or all year-round if you live in an arid climate, dry air can be a menace. But while you cannot change the weather you can change the characteristics of your indoor environment, and if you are determined to banish the dryness from the air you breathe a practical and effective solution is available.

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Is It Necessary To Change My Air Filter Frequently?

Many homeowners wonder how often they need to change the air filter in their HVAC system. Part of the confusion lies in the fact that different filters have very different life spans. Knowing the type of filter you have as well as it’s expected life span can help homeowners determine when it’s time for a new filter.

The frequency in which you need to change an air filter will also depend on a number of factors, including environmental conditions, how often you run your HVAC system as well as the type of filter you use. Some filters, such as standard disposable pleated filters made for residential use will typically provide good quality filtration for 30 days; however, some pleated filters can continue filtering for up to 3 months. It’s a good idea to regularly check your HVAC filter and replace it when it gets dirt.

An important part of HVAC maintenance is changing the air filter. Not only will a clean air filter provide a healthier indoor environment, but it can also help to protect your heating and cooling equipment. When the air filter is functioning properly it can remove harmful substances from the air your family breathes. Additionally, because it removes airborne irritants, your HVAC system’s air filter can help your entire family breathe easier. This is especially important for anyone who suffers with allergies or who has respiratory problems.

Of course, a clean air filter also puts less strain on your HVAC equipment. A dirty filter makes your heating and cooling systems work harder than should be necessary. As your equipment strains to draw air through the dirty filter, it puts other system components under stress. This can greatly reduce the life expectancy of your HVAC equipment. Additionally, when your HVAC system is working hard, it requires more energy. This increases energy usage and results in higher heating and cooling bills.

Routine HVAC maintenance, including changing the air filter on a regular basis is the best way to provide a healthy environment while also protecting your HVAC equipment.

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Debunking Common Air Conditioning Myths

Given our climate and our society’s need to stay comfortable, air conditioning is practically a necessity. Yet utility cost for air conditioning can be expensive even with today’s energy efficient systems if the units run frequently. Many homeowners suffer from misconceptions about how air conditioning operates, leading them to waste energy. Here are some common air conditioning myths that once debunked will help lead you to lesser energy costs.

Setting the thermostat really low will cool your house faster.

Your air conditioning ill deliver cool air at the same rate no matter how low you set it. The one exception involves room air conditions that have “low, medium and high” settings instead of a thermostat. Turning such units to high will initially cool the room faster, but remember to turn the setting down once comfort is achieved.

It’s more energy-efficient to leave air conditioning running when you’re not home than to cool down your house when you arrive home.
Leaving the air conditioning on is far less efficient and more expensive then turning up the thermostat and re-cooling upon arrival. Doing this simply forces your unit to work harder. Instead, use a programmable thermostat to turn down the temperature about 90 minutes before your arrival time.

Energy-efficient air conditioning units automatically reduce energy bills.

Purchasing energy-efficient central units is definitely in your favor, but sizing is also important. A system that is too big will not properly remove humidity. One that is too small will struggle keep your home cool. Improperly sized units also short cycle, meaning they turn on and turn off frequently, which also wastes energy.

Ceiling fans cool rooms even when no one is around. The fact is ceiling fans don’t cool rooms at all, but merely move around air, making you feel cooler. Turn them off when you leave a room.

Central air conditioners perform the same no matter where they are installed.

Installation, like size, also impacts efficiency. Try to install the outdoor heat exchanger on the north or east side as direct sunlight can directly affect its operation, but make sure you don’t block airflow around the unit with landscaping. Likewise, keep your thermostat away from televisions and other appliances as it can sense heat emitted from them.

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Debunking Indoor Air Quality Myths

There are many elements that work against indoor air quality and one of them is gas. Gas leaks and contamination has become a major concern and that’s why people are constantly looking for effective gas detectors solutions. However, there are those common IAQ myths surrounding gaseous contaminants which have often times worked for and against us. Here is an overview of some IAQ myths:

I Don’t Need To Replace the Sensors to My Detector

This is not true; sensors do have expiry dates and how long they last depends on the type of gas detector installed. A single sensor can last from one year to ten years depending on its quality. We suggest contacting the manufacturer of the specific sensor to better understand its lifespan.

Ozone Gas Cannot Harm Me

This is another big false IAQ myth. Ozone generators are effective in clearing bacteria, odors and chemicals to improve air quality. However, they can also emit other harmful elements into the air that can be inhaled. That’s why Ozone treatment for asthma is done under tight scrutiny in hospitals.

Gas Detectors Don’t Have a Huge Disparity

This is also false; gas detectors do differ according to models and they will have different features for operation. We recommend thorough research of the types available in the market to understand which is best for use.

I Can Use My Room Measurement to Determine What Gas Detector I Buy

We won’t advise anyone to use this as a guide to purchasing and installing gas detectors. The truth is gases behave differently and travel differently in air. There are gases that would cover a room fast and those that will take time. It is better using type of gas as a determinant of the best detector to buy.

It’s Hard to Improve My IAQ

Another false IAQ myth is that it is possible to improve indoor air quality. We only know that it’s going to be a bit costly installing the gas detectors at the initial stages. However, this investment will pay off in the long run, especially when operating costs reduce.

For more information visit our blog site at http://allisonhvac.com/blog/

Freon Leaks And Health Issues

With its multiple uses in industrial production,Freon’s widespread use raises concerns on its exposure and human health. This chemical substance contains several chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons, which means that it contains chlorine, fluorine, carbon and hydrogen. Generally, Freon is available as colorless and non-flammaable liquids and gases, mostly used in production of fluorocarbon resins and lubricants as well as in refrigeration. It’s also used in aerosol propellants as a solvent. Despite its many uses, Freon can cause some health risks to humans in certain conditions.

Effects of Freon exposure on the human body

Freon isn’t completely harmless to the human body (it may affect your heart) so it’s important for you to have frequent checkups every year in you’re exposed to the chemical at your workplace. In most cases, however, exposure to the chemical is negligible, for instance, in case of refrigerator or air conditioner leaks. However, those who have a heart condition need to be careful with the chemical because it may cause cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Exposure to high levels of Freon gas can lead to asphyxia, dizziness, and loss of concentration and coordination. It may lead to irritation, especially on sensitive skin, but thankfully it doesn’t have long-term effects on your health. The chemical is not a carcinogen, teratogen or mutagen and it doesn’t affect the liver.

Effects of Freon on children and pets

Remember, Freon is three or four times heavier than air, so it’s found near the earth’s surface. Children and pets (especially dogs) are more likely to inhale Freon, so they’re much more exposed to its effects.

If there’s a Freon leakage in your home, make sure that you open all doors and windows immediately and even turn on the fans. Take your kids and pets outside and find a technician to fix the leaking appliance.

Effects of Freon on the environment

As Freon moves through the air, it may deplete the ozone layer, which increases ultraviolet radiation effects on the earth, leading to serious effects on human health.

These are just three of the health risks associated with Freon exposure. To get more information on Freon and Health, follow our blog for more great HVAC information.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners are one of the modern home appliances that we simply cannot do without, especially during the hot and sweltering summer months! While most of the people use ACs, not many are aware of how air conditioners work. The principle on which air conditioners work is exactly the same as the principle on which refrigerators work, the only difference is that the AC is made to cover a larger area, i.e. a room, a hall or the entire house.

An air conditioner is composed of three primary components namely the evaporator, the condenser and the compressor. While the first component, i.e. the evaporator, is located inside the house, the other two components are located on the outer portion of the device. The device is primarily concerned with converting a liquid to gas and back again.

At first, the working fluid flows into the compressor in the form of a low-pressure and cool gas. Here, the fluid is squeezed in order to make it denser and to bring the molecules closer to one another so that the energy and temperature becomes hotter. Thus, the working fluid then exits the machine’s compressor as a hot gas with a high pressure, which then finds its way into the condenser. The metal fins inside the condenser helps to make the hot pressured gas cool in a very short span of time. Thus, by the time the fluid leaves the condenser, it is once again a cool liquid.

This liquid then flows into the AC’s evaporator through a narrow and tiny hole wherein its pressure drops and it turns into gas. During this process of liquid to gas conversion, the heat present in the air is extracted. This heat is useful for separating the molecules present in the fluid, from liquid to gas. Also, the evaporator consists of metal fins which do a great job at exchanging the thermal energy with the air in the surrounding areas. There is a fan present in the evaporator that helps circulate the cool air inside the house. The entire complex process is repeated multiple times until the temperature of the room is desirable for the occupants.

For all your heating and air conditioning needs, we are here to help you out. Reach out to us and give us a call to allow us to serve your HVAC needs.

Will An Air Conditioner With Higher BTU Cool My Room Faster?

 

Some people say that big air conditioners are better than small ones because they can cool air faster. On the other hand, there are some who believe that small air coolers are better because they consume lesser power than big ones. To know how big or small your air conditioner should be, it is vital that you get a unit with the right BTU range for your room size. Below are some pieces of information that can help you understand BTU and why you need to check it.

High BTU: Do I really need it?

If you are hearing people recommending air conditioners with high BTU, they can be correct at some point. Units with high BTUs or British Thermal Units can cool more amount of heat in any room. Then again, you might be throwing your money away if you are getting a unit with very high BTU in a very small room. You need to get your exact room size and get an air conditioner within the recommended BTU range. Keep in mind that if you get a unit that has a very large BTU, the air in your room can be too humid, which can be harmful to your health.

I have a small air conditioner how many BTU does it have and can it work for my big room?

Your machine may have a hard time cooling the air in your big room if it doesn’t fall into the right BTU range. If you are unsure about the apt BTU range for your room size, you can look for BTU charts online. From there, you can automatically compute the approximate number of BTUs that you need.

What if I can’t figure out the right BTUs and other air conditioning settings in my room?

If you are unable to determine the right air conditioner for your room, it is recommended to get in touch with experts who can figure it out for you. HVAC professionals can walk through you about, SEER ratings, BTU and room size properly. For more HVAC information, you can call us to learn more about air conditioner sizes and efficiency.