New Technologies

Air conditioning and heat pump manufacturers are constantly engineering innovative technologies to improve equipment. We compiled some information for you on the latest.

Go Green – Replace Your Air Conditioner
Now is the time to replace your air conditioning unit. Environmental regulations went into effect in 2010 that impact the chemicals used in air conditioning. Help the environment by replacing your air conditioner early. More

Whole-Home Air Purification – CirrusAir Technologies, Strata Plus
Chas Roberts is the exclusive distributor of a new product by Cirrus Air Technologies in the Phoenix metro area. Their patented technology combines over 100 years of air treatment innovation to deliver an unprecedented guarantee.
“We’ll make the air quality inside your home equal to a Class 100,000 Clean Room or your money back.”
No other air filtration, or proprietary air cleaning technology can offer a guarantee like this, or touch the effectiveness of the CirrusAir Strata Plus product. Call us today for your NO COST in-home air quality test! More about CirrusAir 

Air filtration – UV Light Treatment
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, have a smoker in the home or have a mold problem, you may want to consider having ultraviolet light treatment equipment installed in your heat pump or air conditioning system.

Air filtration – Mechanical Air Filters
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, have a smoker in the home or have a mold problem, you may also want to consider mechanical air filers.

Air filtration – TRANE’s CleanEffects™
Trane offers a new patented air cleaning technology called CleanEffects.

High Efficiency Systems
There are new technologies to improve efficiencies. Two of technologies that help keep energy bills down are the two-stage compressors and variable-speed motors.

Humidifiers for Central Air Systems
Air in your home that is too dry can be uncomfortable to breathe, can cause static build-up, dry itchy skin, parched throat, and can damage wood products like flooring, pianos, picture frames and cabinetry.

90% Furnace
Providing energy-efficiency, these units operate at over 90% efficiency, which means that 90% of the fuel you pay for is actually converted into heat for your home.

Variable Air Flow
Variable air volume (VAV) is a technique for controlling the capacity of a heating, ventilating, and/or air-conditioning (HVAC) system.

Ultra Quiet Systems
Most heating and cooling systems manufactured today are quieter than those produced in past years. But there are still significant differences in sound ratings among these products.

Extended Warranties
An extended warranty, sometimes called a service agreement, a service contract, or a maintenance agreement, is a prolonged warranty offered to consumers.

Thermostats
There are five basic types of automatic and programmable thermostats.

1. Electromechanical
2. Digital
3. Hybrid
4. Occupancy
5. Light Sensing

By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill – a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.

Ductless Systems (garages)
Unlike conventional air conditioning systems that use a system of ducts to deliver conditioned air throughout your home, ductless systems use a wall or ceiling-mounted blower to deliver cool air to a room.

Small Duct, High-Velocity Air Conditioning Systems
Small duct, high velocity (SDHV) air conditioning systems are similar to conventional split system air conditioners that consist of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor coil unit. These Systems help satisfy the needs for older homes.

Air Filtration – UV Light Treatment
For years, UV light treatment equipment has been used, and is sometimes mandatory, in health care facilities, commercial buildings, hotels, schools, daycare centers and food processing plants. Today it is becoming even more common in the home to sterilize and neutralize airborne bacteria, molds, dust mites and odors.

While independent research has not been done on the technology’s effectiveness to reduce airborne bacteria and allergens in the home, a 2003 study published in The Lancet medical journal found ultraviolet light purifiers used in three office buildings reduced overall worker sickness by about 20 percent, including a 40 percent drop in breathing problems. The ultraviolet lamps were aimed at the cooling coils and drip pans in the ventilation systems of the buildings. The lights were turned on for four weeks; then turned off for 12 weeks. The cycle was repeated three times for almost a year. The use of the lights resulted in a 99-percent reduction of the concentration of germs on irradiated surfaces within the ventilation systems.

How It Works
Installed in the main supply or return duct of an air-source heat pump or air conditioning system, UV lights disinfect the air stream as it passes through the HVAC system. The lights usually operate continuously 24 hours a day, but only require between 15 Watts to 85 Watts depending on the system.

UV lights do not typically disinfect the air flowing through your ducts in just one pass, but your home’s air re-circulates more than 50 times a day during normal operation of a heat pump or air conditioning system, and with every pass more and more contaminants are destroyed.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Mechanical Air Filters
Mechanical air filters (also called Media Air Filters) use filter media to remove particles from the air stream in HVAC systems. Filter media, at the microscopic level, consists of an interlocking network of fibers that appear quite porous. This porosity is necessary to allow air to pass through the unit with minimal pressure drop. The interlocking fibers of the material form a web that captures particles in the air stream. Mechanical air filters are typically found next to your furnace in your home.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Air filtration – TRANE’s CleanEffects™
TRANE CleanEffects utilizes patented, breakthrough air cleaning technology to remove up to an astounding 99.98% of airborne allergens from the air that passes through the filter, making it 8 times more effective than even the best HEPA room filters and up to 100 times more effective than a standard 1″ filter. TRANE CleanEffects has been performance-tested by LMS Technologies and Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), and the results verified by professors from the Harvard School of Public Health.

LMS Technologies is a technology consulting company that specializes in air flow measurement, filtration testing and particle analysis. Environmental Health & Engineering is an environmental consulting and engineering services company that is dedicated to ensuring safe and productive environments, and is co-founded by Dr. John D. Spengler, PhD of the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard.

And new research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with scientists at Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., (EH&E) shows that Trane CleanEffects™ removes more than 99 percent of the common flu, or influenza A virus, from the filtered air.

Source: TRANE
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High Efficiency Systems

High Efficiency -Two-stage compressor
Two-stage cooling means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80 percent of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and produces more even temperatures.

Longer cooling cycles also translate to quieter, more efficient operation and enhanced humidity control. Compared to a single-stage unit, a two-stage air conditioner or heat pump can remove twice as much moisture from the air. This is important because when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems.

High Efficiency – Variable speed motors
The indoor air handler (fan and motor) provides the energy to move air through the ductwork of a central air conditioning or heat pump system to the rooms of your house. In most standard central cooling and heating systems, the fan and motor runs at one speed, which means the system is either on or off.

A variable speed motor (VSM) uses control technology, meaning the VSM automatically changes speed based on your home’s heating and cooling requirements. It slowly increases up to maximum speed instead of coming on at full capacity all at once. This eliminates the sudden blast of air you feel with a one-speed system and results in the system running at a lower speed most of the time. This eliminates noisy start up, while reducing wear and tear on the fan and motor, resulting in a substantial reduction in operating costs due to major energy efficiency improvements.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Humidifiers for Central Air Systems
In the winter, it is especially important to add moisture to the air, since dry winter air can drive down the relative humidity level in your home to as low as 15 percent, which is drier than the air in most deserts. A whole house humidifier works with your central heating and cooling system to help keep the humidity in your home at the proper level. It even saves money on winter heating bills because properly humidified air feels warmer, allowing homeowners to turn their thermostats down a few degrees.

Unlike portable room humidifiers, which need constant adjustment and regular manual attention, whole-house humidifiers automatically respond to changes in outdoor temperature and indoor relative humidity to deliver whole-house humidity.

Some whole-house humidifiers are equipped with a built-in fan that circulates humidified air throughout your home through the furnace’s duct system. Other types use the air handler or furnace fan to direct humidified air to every room in your home.

The evaporative humidifier operates in conjunction with the furnace blower motor. When the humidistat, a device that measures the amount of water vapor in the air and turns a humidifier or dehumidifier on and off accordingly, calls for humidity and the blower motor is operating, water flows to the distribution pan located at the top of the unit. The water is uniformly distributed across the width of the pan and through a system of outlets. It flows by gravity over the evaporative media filter. Dry, hot air is moved through the moisture-laden evaporative media where evaporation takes place.

The now-humidified air carries moisture in vapor form throughout the home. The correct water flow is determined by an orifice in each unit. When the unit is operating, there will be a small, steady stream of water to drain, which flushes away most trouble-causing minerals contained in the water supply. Minerals and solid residue not trapped by the replaceable evaporative media are flushed down the drain. The drain also eliminates problems caused by stagnant water.

Whole house humidifiers are usually controlled by a manual humidistat installed either in the living area or in the cold air return. It is important to anticipate a drop in temperature and reduce the setting accordingly to avoid excessive condensation. For example, with an outside temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit the correct setting will be 35 percent relative humidity. If the temperature is expected to fall to 0 degrees Fahrenheit that evening, reduce the setting to 25 percent several hours prior to the temperature change. Observance of the recommended relative humidity level on your humidistat is an important safeguard.

Condensation in the form of fogging or frost on inside windows is usually an indication of excessive relative humidity. The same condensation can take place in other areas in your home with the possibility of resulting damage.

Be sure to keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use. They provide an excellent escape route for heat, as well as humidity.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Variable Air Flow
The simplest VAV system incorporates one supply duct that, when in cooling mode, distributes approximately 55 degree F supply air. Because the supply air temperature, in this simplest of VAV systems, is constant, the air flow rate must vary to meet the rising and falling heat gains or losses within the thermal zone served.

The air flow rate control is provided via two techniques; for single zone systems the blower’s flow rate is varied. For a single VAV air handler that serves multiple thermal zones, the flow rate to each zone must be varied as well.

A VAV terminal unit[1], often called a VAV box, is the zone-level flow control device. It is basically a quality, calibrated air damper with an automatic actuator. The VAV terminal unit is connected to either a local or a central control system.

Source: Wikipedia
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Ultra Quiet Systems
Consumers can look for sound-dampening features such as insulated compressor compartments, discharge mufflers and innovative fan designs that work to soften the sound of a hard-working, high-efficiency compressor. Top-panel orifices, compressor wrappers and indoor blowers are all designed to further promote smooth, quiet airflow.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Extended Warranties
The extended warranty may be offered by the warranty administrator, the retailer or the manufacturer. These warranties extend the period of the manufacturer’s standard warranty and are usually not “double coverage”.

A service plan is a separate policy from the manufacturer’s warranty. While the typical service plan does require preventative and routine maintenance to be taken in accordance with the manufacturer’s warranty, it does not actually require a product to fail or malfunction under the same conditions. Service plans are also active from the date of purchase, unlike extended warranties, which become active when the manufacturer’s warranty expires, meaning products can be purchased with service plans that end before or at the same time as the manufacturer’s warranty.

The key distinction is that a warranty strictly covers defects in workmanship and materials, while service plans cover product failure in general with a list of exclusions.

Source: Wikipedia
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Thermostats
Electromechanical (EM) thermostats, usually the easiest devices to operate, typically have manual controls such as movable tabs to set a rotary timer and sliding levers for night and day temperature settings. These thermostats work with most conventional heating and cooling systems, except heat pumps. EM controls have limited flexibility and can store only the same settings for each day, although at least one manufacturer has a model with separate settings for each day of the week. EM thermostats are best suited for people with regular schedules.

Digital thermostats are identified by their LED or LCD digital readout and data entry pads or buttons. They offer the widest range of features and flexibility, and digital thermostats can be used with most heating and cooling systems. They provide precise temperature control, and they permit custom scheduling. Programming some models can be fairly complicated; make sure you are comfortable with the functions and operation of the thermostat you choose. Remember– you won’t save energy if you don’t set the controls or you set them incorrectly.

Hybrid systems combine the technology of digital controls with manual slides and knobs to simplify use and maintain flexibility. Hybrid models are available for most systems, including heat pumps.

Occupancy thermostats maintain the setback temperature until someone presses a button to call for heating or cooling. They do not rely on the time of day. The ensuing preset “comfort period” lasts from 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on how you’ve set the thermostat. Then, the temperature returns to the setback level. These units offer the ultimate in simplicity, but lack flexibility. Occupancy thermostats are best suited for spaces that remain unoccupied for long periods of time.

Light Sensing heat thermostats rely on the lighting level preset by the owner to activate heating systems. When lighting is reduced, a photocell inside the thermostat senses unoccupied conditions and allows space temperatures to fall 10? below the occupied temperature setting. When lighting levels increase to normal, temperatures automatically adjust to comfort conditions. These units do not require batteries or programming and reset themselves after power failures. Light sensing thermostats are designed primarily for stores and offices where occupancy determines lighting requirements, and therefore heating requirements.

Source: Federal Citizen Information Center
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Ductless Systems (garages)
Ductless systems are easy and quick to install. They can be operational within hours. All a contractor needs to do is set up the outdoor condenser coil and compressor, drill a small hole for the copper tubing, hang the indoor fan coil units, connect the tubing and electrical power lines, install the wall controller, and the job is done. Manufacturers ensure that units are charged and tested at the factory so connections can be made quickly, and condensers are designed to be easily serviced.

System Controls
Wall-mounted thermostat or infrared remote control systems allow the user to select the required functions such as temperature and fan speed simply by pushing buttons. The user can even select a delayed start and stop time for unit operation, which makes it possible to have a unit switched on automatically before the homeowner arrives home from work.

Design
The indoor unit of a ductless system is lightweight and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit any design scheme. Outdoor units are designed to be efficient and durable, and they are smaller than conventional units, which makes them easier to disguise behind existing landscaping.

How it Works
To cool your home, refrigerant is pumped from the outdoor condenser coil and compressor through the copper tubing to the indoor unit or units. Inside, the refrigerant is drawn across the evaporator coil and humidity is removed and the air is cooled. A fan in the indoor unit then pushes the cooled air into the room. The amount of cold air entering the room can be controlled by a thermostat or it can be regulated by an infra-red remote controller, similar to a television remote controller.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
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Small Duct, High-Velocity Air Conditioning Systems

A unique feature of the SDHV systems is the air distribution system. The air distribution system, together with the blower-coil unit, is usually installed in attic spaces of older homes that were not designed for forced-air circulation heating or cooling. Thus, installation of a SDHV system helps satisfy the air conditioning needs for older homes, replacing less-efficient window air conditioners. The outdoor condensing units used in SDHV systems are identical to those used in conventional split systems.

Another advantage of using of SDHV systems is the use of small, 2-inch insulated, flexible tubing to supply cooled air throughout your home. The ductwork weaves in between spaces in the walls, ceilings, or floors similar to a central vacuuming system. In fact, high velocity systems use small supply vents with cover plates the size and shape of CD-ROMs (or smaller). This makes the system popular in older homes where conventional ductwork would require much more demolition to the existing space.

A SDHV heat pump system is comprised of a conventional outdoor heat pump unit and an indoor blower-coil unit and duct system similar to the system used for cooling, except that the blower-coil unit is equipped with a larger coil for refrigerant management and a back-up heat source, such as a resistance heating element or hot water coil, is added.

Source: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute