Category

Residential

Humidifiers

By | Indoor Air Quality, Residential

In the Miami Valley, it can get cold enough to turn your furnace on in October and keep it on until April. That’s 7 months of heated air. Cooler air holds less moisture than hotter air. That means when it’s cold outside the relative humidity is generally low as well. For the human body, dry air can cause increased allergy symptoms and other respiratory problems. For the house or office, dry air can draw moisture out of materials inside the house, such as wood floors, furniture, pianos, and walls. The most effective way to treat your building is to add a humidifier to the air furnace system if possible. Different installation types can be used depending on the location of your furnace to ensure the best performance from your whole house humidifier. Adding a whole house humidifier controls how much moisture is added so you feel comfortable, but ensures that the humidifier shuts off so that too much moisture isn’t added. With seasonal maintenance, whole house humidifiers need little attention. Humidifiers can also save on energy costs as warm, moist air feels more comfortable and the thermostat can be turned down a few degrees without a loss of comfort.

How it Works

There are different types of whole house humidifiers available for a home or business. Each whole house humidifier uses the same method to deliver humidity to the air though the duct work connected to the furnace. They require water to create humidity, a water collection medium such as a evaporator pad or cartridge, airflow through the medium to create evaporation, a water control valve, and a humidistat device to control the humidity level.

Types

  • Bypass, offered in a traditional flow through or water saving model, traditionally can be used in buildings up to 4,000 square feet. These models can be mounted on either the warm air supply or return air side of any forced air furnace. The traditional flow through model would need access to a floor drain, while the water saving model does not.
  • Powered, uses a built-in fan which pulls in heated air directly from the furnace through the humidifier and can be used in buildings up to 4,200 square feet. These models work better than bypass humidifiers in tight quarters and are more efficient at adding humidity to the heated air. Powered humidifiers also work better with multi stage furnaces.
  • Steam, the most efficient type of whole house humidifier at adding moisture to the building. There are several different types of steam models available. Some models require filtered water and some require a cartridge with electrodes that needs replaced after the heating season. Steam whole house humidifiers can cover up to 6,200 square feet. Since they use steam and do not require a bypass they can be installed in tight quarters as well. Steam whole house humidifiers work extremely well with multi stage and variable speed furnaces. Steam whole house humidifiers don’t need the furnace on to run, since they create their own heat, a properly installed unit is able to work by itself.

Comfort

Humid air feels warmer than drier air feels at the same temperature for most people, making them feel more comfortable when the air outside is cold. This allows the owner to adjust the thermostat down and saves money on utility bills without sacrificing how comfortable they feel. Keeping the air humidity level, the same during the heating season keeps the air you breathe healthier as well. Whole house humidifiers can help with dry skin, itchy eyes, chapped lips, snoring, dry throat, and can reduce sinus problems.

Efficiency

According to EnergyStar.gov, a steam whole house humidifier saves $47-49 per year on electricity over a traditional whole house bypass and fan powered humidifiers. Assuming you keep your building between 30% and 60% relative humidity, the thermostat can be reduced a couple of degrees without losing any comfort, which can save up to 5% on your total bill for your furnace utilities.

DIY

Properly maintaining your humidifier is a major key for its operational success. Make sure the water and power are off to the humidifier before servicing. Change the water panel at least once per season. Make sure the orifices are clear of debris. Make sure the supply and drain line are clog free. Make sure the humidistat or thermostat is operational and calling for humidity when the furnace is running. Ensure the solenoid valve is functioning properly. Visually inspect the water lines to make sure there are no leaks. For certain steam models, make sure to change the cartridge after the heating season. Ensure that at the end of the heating season the humidifier is properly shut down to prevent mold and algae build up. We offer these tasks from service and as part of our Platinum Home Comfort Protection Plan.

Service or Replace

Depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained, the lifespan of a whole house humidifier can be 15-20 years with proper maintenance and inspections. Most manufactures offer a 5- or 10-year warranty on parts and a one-year warranty on labor. After about 20 years, the parts can be hard to find and/or expensive. Newer models tend to be much more efficient at adding humidity to the building and more energy efficient, especially the whole house steam humidifiers.

Home Protection & Monitoring

By | Home Monitoring, Residential

In the Miami Valley, most homes and businesses have both heating and cooling systems installed to keep the occupants comfortable year-round.  There are many risks out there that can threaten the safety of your family or business; fire, flooding, carbon monoxide, debris, animals, freezing temperatures, intruders, brownouts, and surges are just some of the risks of owning a home or business. There are many products out there that are designed to keep everyone protected and safe. There are other products that will keep the HVAC equipment safe, in better working order, and hopefully maximize the life of that equipment.  Products that offer monitoring, are designed to alert the owner of problems around the clock, even if you are not home, all through a common smart device like a tablet or cell phone. Smart security measures are vital to guarding your home or business and keeping all the occupants safe and comfortable.  Here are some of the products we offer and what they protect:

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Fact: About 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and about 17,500 are injured.

Fact: A fifty percent reduction in fire fatalities since the introduction of smoke alarms into the home

Offered as stand-alone units or combination units, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are critical equipment for any home or business.  Ohio guidelines for residential smoke detectors is that for new construction of homes every level of the house needs a smoke detector and all occupied sleep areas need one as well. Ohio guidelines for commercial smoke detectors is that for most systems in a commercial setting with a design capacity greater than 2,000 cfm return air, they are required to be installed. For commercial purposes, duct mounted smoke detectors are common.

Fact:  replace smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every 7-10 years.

Fact: In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Fact:  Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

Combination alarms save space, money, and time. You’ll only have to change the batteries once a year for one device and replace that device every 7-10 years, depending on manufacture guidelines. Some models of smart detectors have voice warnings that tell the owner where and what the problem is. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are available as well. They can even alert your smart device of a problem, protecting even while you are away.  There are other features that matter and help, some models test themselves, have night lights built in, can tell the difference between steam and smoke, and can be quieted by a smart device.

Water and Freeze Sensor

Leaks and frozen pipes can cause serious damage to your home or business. Water and freeze sensors can be used to get an early alert of an issue before it turns into a disaster. Placed around water sources inside the house, they will alert you to a problem as it occurs.  Smart water and freeze sensors can be connected to your smart device that monitor and inform you of problems even if you are not there. Multiple sensors can be installed to the network to pinpoint problems as well.

Surge Protector

Make sure your furnace, air handler, air conditioner, heat pump, boiler, and ductless mini split system are protected from damage due to surges. There are two main ways surges occur in your system, lightning and switching surges. Lightning surges are random events, but switching surges can occur every day from normal use of common appliance to normal operations of the power company. Both types of surges are able to be protected against. We recommend all appliances and electronics in your home or business be protected from surges. Your heating and cooling system can be protected by an additional add on surge protector. Some models offer connected equipment warranties as well to cover losses from surges.

Wi-Fi Thermostat

A thermostat’s basic function is to regulate the heating and cooling system by sensing the temperature and performing a heating or cooling action to maintain that set temperature. Wi-Fi connected thermostats offer additional features to monitor and protect your home or business. When properly set up, some smart wi-fi thermostats can monitor and inform the owner of issues such as indoor freezing temperatures, filter replacement needed, service reminders, and even equipment failure.

Additional Protection Accessories

Hauck Bros., Inc. offers other accessories that can be used in conjunction with your heating and cooling system to protect and monitor your home or business. Line set covers, air conditioner covers, air filtration systems, home automation products, wind baffles, hard start kits, and condensate pumps are a few of the accessories that can be added to protect your equipment. Need some more recommendations from our professionals?  Schedule a consultation today!

Air Conditioning Accessories – Part 2

By | Cooling, Residential

Last week, we talked about a few accessories to help keep your air conditioning unit running optimally during the summer months. Here are a few more!

Cover

How it works – Air conditioners are covered during the fall, winter, and spring to protect from the elements and the environment/ Harsh weather, ultraviolet rays, flying debris, ice, and snow.

Features – Protects unit from top to bottom, removes damaging condensation, anti cold cracking material, uv protected, fire retardant, mildew and fungus free, 10 warranty

Condensate pump

How it works –  In HVAC or refrigeration process, the water that condensate need to be channeled out from the building to proper drainage outside the building. The condensation process usually occurred when the air passes though the cold evaporator coil during the cooling process. As a result, the moisture that accumulate on the coil then drip down into the drain pan that is placed underneath the coils. Systems that are able to use the gravitational force to flow the water that accumulate on the drain pan does not require the use of the pump. However, there are many instances when the air conditioning systems require to use of this pump to get the water out to prevent the water from dripping into the space.

Hard start kit

How it works – Is an electrical component that is attached to the condensing unit of the air conditioner. This device allows the compressor to start up quickly and use less power during the process. It ultimately lets you save money on your energy bill. A hard start kit is a combination of a relay and a start capacitor. When the air conditioner starts up, the relay is on. This means that the energy being stored in the capacitor is being used to power the compressor. The relay then reads the electrical current from the compressor and upon arriving at a certain level or when the compressor is fully running, the relay is turned off or rendered out of the circuit. This action renders the start capacitor no longer needed to aid the compressor.

Have questions about keeping your unit running smoothly? Give us a call to schedule a consultation!

Air Conditioning Accessories, Part 1

By | Cooling, Residential

Air conditioning units do a great job of keeping your home comfortable, but they need a little TLC too.  Below are some accessories to keep your unit running optimally all summer.

Pads

The air conditioning condenser vibrates with continual use on the same surface over a period of time, it can sink into the ground or cause damage to the unit. That is why everyone needs a good AC condenser pad to help support and contain the unit over time This expensive piece of equipment needs to be properly supported. To help the unit survive harsh winters or summers a quality waterproof pad is essential. Condensers also accumulate water as it does its job making them weigh even more. This can put significant strain on the lines and tubes that run underneath the unit. It is crucial that the unit stay dry as well as level to extend the equipment’s lifespan and functionality.

Types of Pad

Hauck Brothers offers concrete or composite pads. Units installed on concrete pads are solidly anchored on a waterproof base. Water drains easily through vents on the bottom of the unit. Early condensers were installed on several inches of concrete to support their large size. Cement is still a favorite pad for large-capacity units. Composite , As units decreased in size, new materials were developed using green materials. These pads are inexpensive enough that homeowners can purchase new bases when new units are installed. Newer pads, formed of recycled plastic formed into pads sized to fit standard bases, are UV stable, rendering them impervious to sunlight and rain that turn most plastics brittle. Engineered, ribbed surfaces, distribute weight and cushion against vibration.

Sound blanket

While air conditioners and heat pumps may be ideal for cleaning the air in our houses and cooling or heating it, some compressors are extremely noisy. If your compressor is waking you in the middle of the night when it comes on, there is a way to reduce that noise up to 40 percent or more. Installing a compressor sound blanket can be a quick solution for air conditioner and heat pump compressors that have an unacceptable noise level. These blankets do not diminish compressor effectiveness or harm them in any way.

High and Low Pressure Switches

The high-pressure switch will kill the compressor circuit if the pressure exceeds the rating on the pressure switch. The ratings will vary depending on the type of refrigerant the air conditioner or heat pump uses the system. The low-pressure switch is typically an automatic reset switch that will reset itself when the pressure on the low-pressure side of the refrigeration systems returns to normal or above the setting on the switch. When a refrigeration system operates at lower than normal pressures the system can freeze up with the freezing beginning at the evaporator coil and working its way back to the compressor via the suction line. Freezing of the refrigeration system is bad and lead to liquid refrigerant slugging in the compressor which can lead to compressor failure.

Want to be sure your air conditioner is running the best it can?  Schedule a consultation with our certified technicians today!

Lineset

By | Cooling, Residential

The lineset is made of copper piping that carries refrigerant from the condenser outside to the evaporator coil inside, then back again. It consists of a smaller liquid line for high-pressure liquid refrigerant, and a larger suction line for hot, low-pressure gaseous refrigerant.

How it works

The lineset for an HVAC system is closed to prevent refrigerant from entering or leaving the system at any point, unless there is a leak or the pressures are being adjusted by a qualified service technician.

Reuse old or replace?

  • Reuse – A lineset may be reused if all of the following items are verified:
    • Have a certified professional verify that it was not leaking.
    • The manufacturer of the new unit allows that size lineset per specifications and it doesn’t exceed their vertical distance.
    • It may run somewhere hard to access such as walls and slabs.
    • If the old lineset is to be used, it needs to be cleaned out by a professional.
  • Replace – If the old line had a leak, possibly if it used R-22, is kinked anywhere, and if the vertical limit exceeds the manufacturers specification, a new lineset is needed.

Protect

It is important to make sure that the lineset is insulated and secured in a fashion that will not allow it to be moved easily. For the exterior of the house, products can be used to cover the lineset that make it blend in to the house.

DIY

It is good to visually inspect the lineset insulation outside to make sure it is secure and well maintained throughout the course of the year. Cover up the lineset to protect from elements.

Have any questions about your air conditioning unit?  Contact us today!

Evaporator Coils

By | Cooling, Heat Pumps, Heating, Residential

An evaporator coil is the part of an air conditioner or heat pump that absorbs the heat from the air in your house. It is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace.

How it works

Located inside the blower compartment or air handler, the evaporator coil holds the chilled refrigerant that the compressor moves into it.  As the air from the blower fan moves over the coil, the cold refrigerant removes the heat from your home’s air. The refrigerant becomes warmer and travels to the condenser coil outdoors.

With a heat pump, the process reverses in the winter and the evaporator coil expels heat from the refrigerant into your home, instead of absorbing it and taking it outdoors. Most heat pumps have auxiliary heating elements that are part of the evaporator coil components to supply heat when temperatures fall below a certain point.

Types

  • A-Coils – Shaped like an A, produce better airflow which allows for the most efficient airflow allowing for high efficiency ratings.
  • N-Coils – Shaped like an N, are more compact than A-coils and are better suited for tighter applications.
  • Slab Coil – When the coil has to be installed horizontally, these are preferred.

Features

  • ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND, ENERGY-EFFICIENT – Bryant® Preferred™ Series aluminum evaporator coils are designed for use with Puron® refrigerant to provide years of environmentally sound, trouble-free performance.
  • ENHANCED COMFORT – Our Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) ensures proper refrigerant flow during fluctuating pressures and conditions for top reliability and energy-efficient operation.
  • DURABILITY AND DRAINAGE – Our base pan is made of a corrosion-resistant composite material. Integrated sloped drainage helps reduce build-up of mold, bacteria and other airborne pollutants.
  • LASTING LOOKS AND PERFORMANCE – The sturdy cabinet on our cased models is painted to match your Bryant® furnace to provide years of scratch resistant good looks. (Models CAPVP, CAPMP, CNPVP, CNPHP, CSPHP)
  • LONGER LIFE – Bryant advancements in aluminum manufacturing technology result in higher product reliability.

What system is best for you and your family? Contact us for a consultation today or call 937-325-0636!

Dehumidifiers

By | Cooling, Residential

Dehumidifiers help remove moisture from the air much more quickly than your home’s air conditioning unit.  Together, the two work in concert to create the most comfortable environment for you and your family.  Following is important information for determining whether a dehumidifier would be appropriate for your home.

How does it work?

Dehumidifiers control the humidity level in your entire home. A powerful blower inside the dehumidifier draws air into the cabinet, filters the air and removes moisture, then discharges the dry air into the HVAC system or dedicated area of the home. Inside the cabinet, a sealed refrigeration system removes moisture by moving the air through a series of tubes and fins that are kept colder than the dew point of the incoming air. “Dew point” refers to the temperature at which moisture in the air will condense, much like what occurs on the outside of a cold glass on a hot summer day. The condensed moisture drips into the dehumidifier drain pan to a drain tube routed to the nearest floor drain or condensation pump.

Once the moisture is removed, the air moves through a second coil where it is reheated before being sent back into the home. The air leaving the dehumidifier will be warmer and drier than the air entering the dehumidifier.

Comfort

Excess humidity in your home can wreak havoc on your indoor air quality and your furnishings. By pulling moisture from the indoor air, the whole home dehumidifier not only enhances your comfort but protects your furnishings and enhances the quality of the air that you breathe every day. When first installed, our recommendation is to set it to 55% and then adjust from there to your optimal comfort level.

With a Quiet Comfort system, the precision-tuned fan and motor quietly and efficiently pull air into the dehumidifier with sound levels comparable to most furnaces and fan coils.

Features

Easy, Versatile Control – The on-board LCD control provides a user-friendly interface for setting your desired dehumidification levels. For even greater convenience, the whole-home dehumidifier can be controlled with a relative humidity thermostat or from an available remote control.

Maintenance and Cleaning – Because routine filter cleaning ensures top performance, the dehumidifier control features a built-in “clean filter” reminder. A convenient access door on two sides of the cabinet allows for quick and easy removal and cleaning of the Merv 8 filter.

Customized to your needs – Available in 70 or 95 pint sizes, this dehumidifier offers versatility to fit your comfort needs. It can be zoned to provide separate humidity control for two areas. It can also be installed in multiple configurations and locations.

Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of dehumidifiers is measured by its energy factor, in liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed or L/kWh. In general, a higher energy factor means a more efficient dehumidifier. Some dehumidifiers models qualify for the ENERGY STAR label, which they were first able to do in January of 2001. Dehumidifiers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are nearly 30% more efficient than non-certified models.

Tips For Best Performance

To keep your dehumidifier running optimally, be sure to change filter, check the drain for blockages, and apply cleaner to a clean, dry cloth to clean the cabinet.  Want to find out if a dehumidifier is right for your home? Give us a call today!

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