iAir Services Blog: Archive for June, 2014

How Do Zone Control Systems Work?

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Would you want one light switch for all the lighting in your home? Obviously, this is an overstated example, but sometimes a single-set thermostat can start to feel this way. However, it brings up a great point: is there a way to achieve comfort for everyone with your air conditioning while continuing to be energy efficient? The answer is yes – with a zone control system.

What Is Zone Control?

A zone control system allows you to divide your home into different “zones” that are established using a system of motorized dampers that are installed into your home’s existing ductwork. Each damper is connected to its own thermostat, allowing for total control of that particular zone.

Benefits of a Zone Control System

Being able to control your cooling zone-by-zone has several benefits:

  • Reduction and/or elimination of hot/cold spots – if you’ve been experiencing hot and cold spots throughout your home, zone control can help alleviate this by giving you the ability to set different temperatures for areas that gain or lose heat during the day.
  • Better energy efficiency – zone control allows you to cool only the spaces you want cooled. If there are parts of your home that are unoccupied or empty most of the time, you can turn off the cooling to that area, saving energy.
  • Less wear-and-tear – most likely, you will be running your air conditioning less due to the ability to control your cooling. This means your AC will run less, helping to reduce normal wear-and-tear.
  • Works great with unique architecture – if you have vaulted ceilings or floor-to-ceiling windows, you know it can be challenging to keep these areas as cool as other parts of your home. With a zone control system, issues with specialized architecture can be eliminated.

Interested in a Zone System? Call an HVAC Professional

Installing a zone control system can be a complex endeavor; if you are considering the addition of a zone control system to your air conditioning, it should be handled by a professional. Call Intelligent Air Services today and schedule local Austin, TX air conditioning service with one of our professionals!

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How High Humidity Affects Your Air Conditioning

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Here in Austin TX, air conditioning systems have to deal with more than just high temperatures. Our humidity can be stifling at times, especially in the summer when the atmosphere can resemble a sweat box. The good news is that air conditioning systems can often deal with the issue. The bad news is that it can have an adverse impact on your system in many cases.

Here’s A Quick Breakdown on How High Humidity Affects Your Air Conditioning

In the first case, high humidity interferes with our ability to be comfortable, which means the air conditioner needs to work harder to do its job. Humidity is basically just moisture in the air, and when there’s too much of it – more than 50% relative humidity or so – it interferes with our body’s natural ability to cool off. When we sweat, the sweat evaporates off of our skin to lower our body temperature. But when humidity levels are high, the moisture has nowhere to go and it just stays on our bodies, leaving us hot and uncomfortable.

To a certain extent, the air conditioner can counteract that.  As it cools the air inside its system, the moisture condenses and forms beads of liquid on the coils (very similar to the way dew forms on the grass in the early morning). The beads drip into a condensate pan which then drains them out of the system, dehumidifying the air as well as cooling it. The trouble is that this process is largely incidental to the air conditioner’s real purpose of lowering the temperature. If the humidity is excessive, it could overload the drain pan and regardless it forces the air conditioner to spend more energy dehumidifying the air than lowering the temperature. As a result, monthly energy costs go up and the strain increases on individual components: raising the chances of a major breakdown in the future.

The solution is often to install a whole-house dehumidifier, which takes on the task of reducing the humidity and limiting the ways that high humidity affects your air conditioner. The Austin TX, air conditioner experts at Intelligent Air Services can help. Air conditioning professionals like ours can install humidifiers as well as air conditioners. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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Why Should I Consider Geothermal Air Conditioning?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Geothermal power consists of harnessing the heat generated from the Earth’s core that moves toward the surface. Only ten feet below the ground, the temperature of the earth stabilizes around 50°F, regardless of the temperature top-side. Finding ways to use this geo-warmth results in energy that is clean, renewable, inexpensive, and without the fluctuations that can result from solar energy.

Geothermal power for you house is available right now: you can have installation of geothermal air conditioning in Austin, TX through Intelligent Air Services. We offer services for geothermal heat pumps that will help you save money and save the environment at the same time.

Here are reasons why we think you should invest in geothermal air conditioning:

  • Reliable heating and cooling – Geothermal systems are not only for air conditioning. As heat pumps, they also work for heating your home as well. The ground loops the circulate water can both remove heat from your home to put in the ground (cooling mode), or remove heat from the ground and put it into your home (heating mode). The stability of temperature below the ground means that the heat pump will not lose efficiency no matter the weather, so you’ll have reliable comfort throughout the year.
  • Energy efficiency –The steady temperature of the Earth means that your heat pump will work more efficiently than other cooling and heating systems. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ground-source heat pumps can reach efficiencies of 300% to 600% on the coldest of winter nights, compared to 175% to 250% for air-source heat pumps. Although geothermal systems cost more to install than other heat pumps, the Department of Energy estimates that with the savings they supply, they will pay back their installation cost in 5–10 years… and they can last more than 50 years.
  • Better for the environment –Geothermal heat pumps create no dangerous emission such as ozone-depleting or greenhouse gases. They use renewable energy and reduce dependence on limited energy resources. Going geothermal is an investment in the health of the planet.

Will geothermal work for you?

Geothermal systems are not ideal for all homes: they have space requirements for the ground loops, and the soil must be the right type for the proper exchange of heat. You will need to consult with geothermal experts to find out if a ground-source heat pump is the best option for your home. Thanks to some flexible loop configurations, it is now easier to fit geothermal for many smaller properties.

Call Intelligent Air Services today to speak to our specialists in geothermal air conditioning in Austin, TX. They will arrange an appointment to see how best to set you up to harness the clean and efficient energy of the earth to cool and warm your home.

 

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What Those Odd Sounds from Your Air Conditioner May Mean

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

As we climb into the 90s for another hot summer season, you may start to hear something odd coming from your air conditioner. You know your air conditioner best, so you know what sounds normal and what doesn’t. When you start to hear something not normal, but your AC is still running ok, it can be tempting to ignore it. But in our experience, noises don’t usually go away on their own, and can often lead to a bigger problem. Your air conditioner in Austin isn’t a luxury at this time of year; it’s a necessity, so if you think you may be hearing something odd with your air conditioner, call the technicians you can trust: Intelligent Air Services.

Sounds That Can Indicate Problems

Not all sounds coming from your air conditioner mean something is wrong, but there are normal working sounds, and sounds that mean trouble is brewing. Here are some of the common noises your AC can make when something is off:

  • Clunking or Banging – clunking and/or banging can indicate that a fan blade has become bent or loose, and is banging into parts of your air conditioner as it spins. It’s important to repair a bent or loose fan blade because it can cause damage to other parts of the system.
  • Hissing Noise – a hissing noise can indicate the presence of a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant in your system is under pressure through much of the heating and cooling process, so if a leak has developed, you may hear a hissing noise and see bubbling around the area in which the leak has emanated.
  • Screeching Noise – a screeching noise can mean that the pressure in your compressor is too high. This can be a potentially dangerous situation, so if you hear screeching coming from your air conditioner, turn it off immediately and call an expert for help.
  • Whistling Sounds from Vents – while it’s normal to hear a “whoosh” sound from your vents, a whistling sound can indicate that the seals in your ductwork have begun to fail and that air is escaping. Faulty ductwork can be responsible for up to 30% of air loss in an air conditioning system, so if you are hearing a whistling sound, it is best to have your ductwork inspected.

Don’t Ignore That Sound

Odd sounds are one of the signs that something in your air conditioning system may be in need of repair, so it’s best not to ignore it. Your air conditioner has already started working for the busy summer season, and if it’s stressed, it could lead to problems. If you are hearing something that just doesn’t seem right, call Intelligent Air Services today and schedule service for your air conditioner in Austin, TX.

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3 Causes of Reduced Cooling Power in Your AC

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Your air conditioner is one of the staples of your home, and as the summer gets underway it’s going to need to perform at its peak.  Here in Georgetown TX, air conditioning repair services can deal with most problems, but you need to spot the signs of an issue before you can call them. One of the easiest signs to notice is a sudden reduction in your AC’s cooling power: blowing warm air, or even cool air that isn’t quite as cool as it normally is.

There are several causes of reduced cooling power in your AC. We’ve listed three of them below:

  • Low refrigerant levels. When refrigerant leaks out of your system, it creates an imbalance in the air conditioning cycle. Ice forms on the evaporator coils, which creates an insulating barrier between the remaining refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool. Simply scraping the ice off won’t work. It will only reform and you may damage the coils in the process. An expert needs to seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels.
  • Breaches and filters. A breach in your ducts can cause problems of this nature either by pulling cool air out of your system or by sucking warm air in. Similarly, problems with your filters can result in warmer air circulating through your ducts. Either way, the filter needs to be changed or the breach needs to be repaired.
  • Faulty condenser array. The condenser valve and compression coils signal the start of the air conditioning cycle: shifting the refrigerant to liquid form (which heats the air) so that it can then revert back to gaseous form (which cools the air) at the appropriate point. When the condenser motor falters or the compressor itself suffers from problems, the refrigerant won’t liquefy properly and the system’s cooling power will suffer.

The causes of reduced cooling power in your AC are usually fairly simple to fix, though it requires proper training and experience to do so. (Refrigerant can be dangerous in the wrong hands and the individual AC components are quite delicate.) Air conditioning repair services in Georgetown, TX can be performed by the experts at Intelligent Air Services. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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Check Your Air Conditioning Vents

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It’s not often that people pay attention to the vents from an air conditioning system (which are probably also the same vents used for the heating system). However, making an occasional inspection can tell you a few important facts about your AC, and it can warn you that you either need to have repair work done, or that you need to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Austin, TX.

At Intelligent Air Services, we specialize in keeping air conditioners running effectively and efficiently. We offer repairs and maintenance to make sure that you receive the best from your cooling system. If you detect problems from your vents, give us a call right away… any time of the day or night.

What to look for in your vents

One of the problems you may immediately notice with vents is an unusual odor. If the smell is acrid, like burning, it could indicate that the motors in your AC are running down and close to burning out; or there could be excess dust along other mechanical parts. Moldy and musty smells are also a reason to worry, since this can mean that there is mold and mildew developing inside the vents. If this is the case, you will need to contact air quality specialists to perform mold remediation.

Here’s a test you can make when check the vent: remove the vent cover, and then reach inside with a digital camera. Take a snapshot of the interior. When you look at the image, if you see large clots of dust, dirt, and lint fibers, then you probably have a bad filtration system in your air conditioner and should consider having a better one installed.

If the air coming from the vents feels weaker than it should be, call for repairs right away. A reduction in airflow can indicate a number of problems with the system: breaks in the ductwork, failing fans, dying motors, clogged filters. None of these problems will simply go away, so make sure you have the experts come to look into the problem and fix it.

The importance of maintenance

You can avoid most of the troubles listed above with regular maintenance that will keep your air conditioner clean. It’s best to schedule a maintenance visit from a professional once a year right before summer, but it’s never too late to get started. Maintenance will keep away unnecessary repairs, reduce stress on the system leading to lower bills, and give your AC a longer lifespan.

Call Intelligent Air Services today to sign our excellent preventive maintenance agreement. This program for heating and air conditioning maintenance in Austin, TX will not only tune-up and adjust your system, it also provides you with a 10% discount on all repairs, premium scheduling, and no overtime or holiday rates. Start off the summer with a clean and efficient air conditioner with the help of Intelligent Air Services.

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