DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. Blog : Archive for April, 2014

Why Choose a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

If the time has come to remove the old air conditioner in your house and prepare yourself for the summer with a new system, you may wish to consider the current technology of ductless mini splits. These systems have some tremendous advantages you should take into account, and they may end up as the ideal choice to solve the comfort issues in your home.

Ductless mini splits work through a series of individual blowers mounted throughout a home that send conditioned air directly into the rooms. Each of the blowers connects through refrigerant lines and power lines to the outdoor unit; there’s no need for a single indoor unit that uses ducts to distribute air.

To receive answers to all your questions about ductless mini splits, or for repairs and maintenance on your current air conditioning in Emerson, NJ—ductless or otherwise—call DB Heating & Cooling.

You should consider a ductless mini split system…

  • …because they are both air conditioners and heaters: Ductless systems are heat pumps; their full name is “ductless mini split heat pumps.” Like all heat pumps, they operate as air conditioners that can reverse the direction they move heat so they will also bring warm air from the outside to the inside. When you install a ductless mini split to solve your needs for air conditioning, you also have your needs for heating solved at the same time—and with no extra space needed for another heater.
  • …because you’ll have higher quality air: Air conditioning systems that use ductwork will encounter trouble with picking up contamination and pollutants inside the ducts and blowing them out into living spaces, lowering the air quality. Although regular duct cleanings can alleviate this issue, there will always be some amount of dust or dirt trapped inside ductwork. But ductless mini split heat pumps eliminate this problem—because they lack ducts! You can expect cleaner indoor air, and this is especially beneficial if you have people with allergies living in your home.
  • …because you’ll have zone control cooling: The separate blowers mounted in the rooms means you can reduce or shut off cooling in the rooms independent of each other. You no longer need to cool down the whole home each time you turn on the air conditioning, and this will lead to large savings off your energy bills. Individuals can also control the temperature at their location to meet their specific comfort needs.

Is ductless the way to go for your home?

Installing a ductless mini split heat pump is a fantastic option for new home construction, add-on rooms, or any house that lacks ducts. However, if your home already has a ventilation system installed, you may wish to opt for a standard heat pump that will hook up to the existing ductwork.

For an informed opinion about the right type of air conditioning in Emerson, NH to fit your home, contact DB Heating & Cooling and speak to our ductless installation specialists today.

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Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Why Change the Air Filter

Friday, April 18th, 2014

An air conditioner needs annual maintenance, consisting of an inspection and tune-up, for it to run efficiently and effectively during the year. It takes the knowledge of an HVAC professional to perform maintenance, so you should seek out a maintenance program from a trusted contractor to handle this task for you each year.

You can take a few maintenance steps on your own. One of the most important is to regularly change the air filter on your air conditioner; you might need to do it as often as once a month during the summer. We’ll explain why this is such a crucial step. (If you don’t know the location of the air filter for your system, ask a repair technician.) If you need air conditioning repair in Bergen County, NJ because of air filter troubles, call on DB Heating & Cooling—any time of the day or night!

Why replacing the air filter is necessary

  • To prevent debris contamination: The air filter is located where the return air vent brings in air from inside the house to circulate through the AC. Dust, lint, pollen, dander, hair, and larger particles like gravel can come with this air. If these pollutants get inside the air conditioner’s cabinet, they will cause damage leading to inefficient operation and eventually repair needs. Dust can cause motors to run down and evaporator coils to ice over, while large contaminants can bend fan blades. If the air filter becomes too clogged with the objects it traps, it can develop damage that will allow the debris to get inside.
  • To maintain airflow: As the filter catches more debris, it will start to slow down the airflow into the air conditioner. A thick clog can choke off the flow to almost nothing. Even minor clogging will restrict flow enough that the AC will need to work harder, and this will cause a drain on power. You will notice a spike on your energy bills as the filter becomes congested.

A bit more on filter change frequency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should change the filter every 1–3 months depending on the type of AC, where you live, the time of year, and how much you use the system. During the summer, when you run the air conditioner frequently, you should change the filter every month. During cooler seasons, you can lower the frequency, although make regular checks to see how fast the debris builds up.

Regular maintenance will help you with this task, since your technician will detect how quickly the filter clogs up. (Changing the filter is part of a maintenance visit.) To sign up for the maintenance plan at DB Heating & Cooling, or to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Bergen County, NJ, call one of our staff members today.

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Ways to Save Money on Your Cooling Bills This Summer

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The average length of time a central air conditioner runs over a summer is 6 hours per day, which can mean using approximately 900 kilowatt/hours (kWh) of energy per month. However, you can find a more specific answer for how much it takes to power your AC. If you look at the cabinet of your air conditioner, you’ll find the wattage of your system. Multiply this by the amount of hours you use your AC each day in summer, and you’ll have an idea how much power your system consumes daily. Now take a look at a recent utility bill to find out you’re paying for electricity per kWh. Using basic multiplication, you can determine the monthly estimate of what you’ll pay during the summer to cool down your house.

There are ways to shave money off these bills, however. Here are some tips to achieve a more energy-efficient performance from your AC this summer. DB Heating & Cooling can help you save money with repairs, installation, and air conditioning maintenance in Oradell, NJ.

Tips to lower AC costs this summer

  • Upgrade your thermostat: Thermostat technology continues to evolve, and each advance increases the efficiency of the systems they operate. With a wireless thermostat, you’ll have better control over your AC, capable of turning it on and off remotely, from any spot with Wi-Fi access. Newer thermostats also have more accurate temperature settings than older models: you’ll have increased comfort as well as a reduced need to keep the air conditioner running.
  • Raise the temperature a few degrees: People often set their air conditioning as low as possible, but consider that each degree you set you thermostat below 78°F will raise energy use by 3–4%. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 72°F as a comfortable temperature for most situations. Also try to avoid AC use during any outdoor temperature lower than 80°F.
  • Change the filter regularly: The air filter prevents debris from entering the AC cabinet and damaging internal components. But if it becomes too clogged, it will cut down on airflow, and this will force the air conditioner to drain more electricity. Replace the filter regularly during the summer.
  • Schedule a maintenance visit: It’s mandatory for an AC to receive an annual check-up and inspection from a professional. This ensures longevity and prevents unnecessary repairs. But it also cleans and adjusts the system so it runs at its most efficient. Even going for just one year without maintenance can mean a 20% increase in energy use in an air conditioner.

Let DB Heating & Cooling give your AC the best start possible for the summer: with a professional check-up and tune-up. Call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Oradell, NJ.

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Common Myths about Heat Pumps

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Heat pumps are newer to the HVAC world than air conditioners, boilers, and furnaces, although they have a history going back to the 1940s. Because they entered homes only after a longer period in commercial use, a number of basic misunderstandings still surround them. We’ll look at a few of these and try to clear them up. We hope this will give you a better idea of what a heat pump can do for your home comfort.

DB Heating & Cooling has extensive experience with heat pump repair in Emerson, NJ, as well as installation and maintenance services. Rely on us when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

“Heat pumps are a separate AC and heater packaged together.”

Unlike the units that contain an air conditioner and a furnace in one cabinet, only sharing the same blower, heat pumps are single machines that use the same action to provide both heating and cooling. The only difference in a heat pump between the its modes is the direction that the refrigerant moves. In heating mode, the refrigerant carries heat from outside and moves it inside; in cooling mode, the refrigerant carries heat from inside and moves it outside.

“Heat pumps are fine for air conditioning, but can’t handle cold weather.”

There is some truth in this… but not much. Heat pumps work as well at cooling as any standard AC of the same size. Their heating power is not as strong. However, a heat pump can certainly handle cold temperatures, and it only starts to lose efficiency in extreme cold weather. Most heat pumps are equipped with electric resistance coils that turn on when the outside temperature gets too cold, so your home will be comfortable no matter the outside temperature.

“Heat pumps are expensive to run.”

This confusion comes from thinking that having heating and cooling power in one unit means the system drains power faster. But as we noted above, heat pumps use the same process for both modes. A heat pump in cooling uses as much power as an air conditioner. A heat pump in heating mode is far more efficient than an electric furnace. Your heat pump only requires a small amount of fuel (electricity) to move heat instead of creating it. Studies have shown that a family switching from an electric furnace to a heat pump can save up to 30% off their heating bills over winter.

If you need service technicians who cut through the confusion around heat pumps and bring you the installation, maintenance, or heat pump repair in Emerson, NJ you need, call DB Heating & Cooling.

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