Sunday, 19 April 2015

Understanding SEER Ratings

If you are in the market for a new air-conditioner this season, you've either heard or will hear the term SEER rating. So what does that mean?
In short SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Basically the higher the SEER the cheaper it is to run, but is it worth it? The higher the rating the less electricity your unit will consume, but it will cost more to purchase.
Lets take a look at how much a 15 SEER unit will cost to operate VS a 13 SEER unit.
 To figure this out we will need a few things. The size of the unit in BTU's or tonnes, the cost of electricity per Kwh and an idea of how long it will run. Lets face it the most efficient air-conditioner is one that doesn't turn on.
So get your pencil and lets get started.
 First step is to take the size of the unit, i'll use a 3 tonne unit in this example. To convert tonnes to BTU's simply multiply the tonnes by 12,000. A 3 tonne unit would be 36,000 BTU's.
Next divide the BTU's by the SEER rating. This will tell you how many watts the unit will consume per hour. 36,000 divided by 15 SEER is 2400 watts.
Convert that to Kwh by dividing by 1000. So, a three tonne air-conditioner will consume 2.4 watts per hour or 2.4 Kwh.
 Next we need to determine the cost per Kwh this can be tricky due to on and off peak rates so to make the math easier we'll just use the peak rate.
 Lets assume that your air-conditioner will run on average for 7hrs a day for 30 days a month and for three months. That works out to 630 hours of runtime.
 Now simply multiply the cost/Kwh ($.14 as off Jan. 2015 in Ontario) by the runtime and thats what you will pay to use your A/C.
 Now compare the price of both units against the cost to run each unit and see which is worth it.
 36,000 (BTU's) / 15 (SEER) = 2400
 2400/1000 = 2.4 Kwh
630 (hours) X 2.4 (kwh) = 1512 (consumption/season)
1512 (kwh) x .14 = $211.00
 36,000 / 13 = 2769
2769 / 1000 = 2.77
 630 X 2.77 = 1745
1745 x .14 = $244.00
 Therefore, assuming your A/C lasts 15 years you will save $495.00 using a 15 SEER unit.
 Thanks for reading ;
Ian Stringer.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Which air filter is best

I'm often asked by my customers which type of air filter is the best. In my opinion the cheap throw away or washable type are great. As long as they are changed or cleaned regularly that is. If you are the forgetful type then your beat either way. On of the most common reasons for furnace and air conditioner failure is poor airflow and restrictive air filters do not help, especially if you forget to change them. Sure the cheaper throw away filters don't trap as much dirt or debris, but if your furnace is cleaned and checked properly and on a regular basis then you don't have anything to worry about.
Those expensive filters are supposed to trap allergens, and maybe they do. But if allergies are an issue there are better ways than an your furnace filter to combat that issue (HEPA).
On of the most common reasons for furnace and air conditioner failure is poor airflow and restrictive air filters do not help, especially if you forget to change them.
If you are the forgetful type there are thermostats on the market that can remind you to change your filter or you can try to time your filter schedule to correspond with another monthly event to help trigger your memory. Google

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Quick tips for air conditioner performance

By Advanced HVAC Systems

Quick air conditioner tips

Don't let your house get too hot.

While smart thermostats like the nest are great for saving energy, letting your house get to hot while you're away at work will only make your air conditioner have to work harder to cool you down. I recommend only setting it back a few degrees and not turning the cooling off during away times.

Also, keeping your curtains drawn or adding a reflective treatment to your windows is a big help.

Supply and Return.

Make sure your supply registers and return air registers aren't covered up. Your grills are usually placed near the outside walls of the home which makes it easy for them to get covered by furniture or long curtains. Ensuring these are not covered is critical to the airflow cycle. Return air registers are especially important. An air conditioner doesn't actually add cold air but it removes hot humid air. If you have a two storey home these registers should be installed up high to get rid of the heat.

Clean machine

A clean air filter is necessary. Too often, when on a "no cooling" service call I find that the air filter hasn't been cleaned or changed. Your air conditioners evaporator coil "indoor section"  needs airflow to do its thing. Regular filter maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and performance of your air conditioning system.
Your condenser or "outdoor section" must also be kept clean. Grass clippings, overgrown bushes and dust can clog up the fins or block the airflow needed for a good refrigerant cycle. A good spray with the garden hose should do the trick.

Scheduled maintenance

As with any piece of mechanical equipment a proper tune-up will keep things running smooth. I recommend my customers get this done in the spring to avoid any problems.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Why I like the Nest thermostat

By Advanced HVAC Systems There are a few "smart" thermostats on the market now, but one stands out above the crowd. Enter the second generation Nest thermostat.

Top features

  • Auto Away
Instead of having to turn down your thermostat when you leave the house (and back up when you return), Nest will automatically adjust to save energy by sensing that you are away.

  • Auto Schedule
Once installed Nest will default to a set temperature and hold those defaults until you change them. After a week Nest will have learned your basic schedule. You have taught Nest when you wake, leave, return and sleep.

  • Nest Leaf
When in energy saving mode a Nest Leaf will appear on the screen. Basically when you follow the leaf you save money. The leaf is visible straight away based on the default setting. After that Nest will personalize the leaf to your personal schedule.

  • Reminders
When set up Nest will remind you when to change your filters and have maintenance performed.

  • History
Nest will save up to 10 days of system usage, how often and for how long your system ran for. This will help you make smart choices about schedules and temperature set-points.

  • Looks
Nest looks good. The stainless steel ring will reflect wall colours and blend into your home. Because all adjustments are made by pressing the outer ring, no unsightly fingerprints or smudges are left behind.

By Advanced HVAC Systems