Austin Air Companie Blog : Archive for the ‘reducing home humidity’ Category

A Better Air Conditioning & Heating System

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Typically when you think of discussions about what makes one AC system better than another, the subject often gets turned into discussions about particular brands or manufacturer’s of said air conditioning equipment. This discussion winds up being anything productive as it is rarely about what is important to you and the comfort you will obtain for your home. Getting on the this brand is better than this brand band wagon is not going to help you any in my opinion. So then what is the best air conditioning system when it comes to addressing real issues in regards to your comfort not to mention indoor air quality? I like to call this: ‘The Devil Is In The Details’!

Note: This article is to describe what is better from a whole HVAC system approach with functions and benefits of this kind of HVAC equipment. These HVAC systems are not piece meal type systems. The whole HVAC system replacement approach has additional benefits other than what is discussed here. Never underestimate the importance of a great HVAC installation as well as a HVAC company known for repairing such systems, regardless of whether you are replacing one piece or the whole HVAC system all at once. There is no substitute for great service.

Humidity Control & Dehumidification

In a humid location like Katy, Texas it’s amazing that more HVAC systems in this area aren’t geared for controlling humidity better than what they do. The problem is that single speed air conditioning systems ‘over cool’ the air and cycle off too quickly in cooler weather to combat this problem properly. The AC system is controlled by temperature and nothing else and due to single speed operation of the system most of the time the unit cycles too soon to really control humidity in the home much at all.

Better humidity control will make you feel much more comfortable at higher temperatures than you would without it. What makes this problem so difficult to address is that humidity is independent from temperature. In a humid climate like Katy, Texas it can be humid even when temperatures dip below typical cooling temperatures. If it’s 75 degrees outside and 80% or higher humidity that is not very comfortable. With a 75 degree outside temperature your indoor single speed AC system isn’t going to run long enough to make you feel as comfortable as you could be in high humidity. The humidity levels in your home can easily be greater than 65% RH (relative humidity).

Did you know that RH readings of 60% or more inside your home can cause mold growth under the right conditions? Mold growth can contribute to an assortment of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. Humidity is something that is very important to your health as well as your comfort. You can test this yourself by buying a humidity meter for your home. Realize this reading will fluctuate just as much as temperature does during the various seasons of the year.

Whole Home Dehumidification Systems

This type of dehumidification system is a separate system that works with your current HVAC system. It has a separate control and it’s only job is to dehumidify the air in your home. This ultimately would be the best way to control humidity in your home. The problem with this option is cost. Part of this cost is the system itself, maintenance of that system and operational costs. It is estimated that running this type of system in a humid climate can add an additional 30% to your monthly electric bill. If you have two HVAC systems in your home that can get pretty costly of a consideration.

The real advantage to a whole home dehumidification system is that you could add it to your existing HVAC system without replacing any of that equipment. Over time operational costs and maintenance costs may become prohibitive for many home owners to consider this option.

HVAC Systems With Dehumidification Control

Humidity control with these systems is probably not the proper term to use. As I said earlier in this blog post, humidity in the home is a complex problem to solve because humidity is independent from temperature. So in many respects humidity control via your HVAC system is derived via an assortment of varying degrees of options or choices.

Some single speed AC systems can offer a degree of dehumidification control depending upon the furnace that the AC system is matched with. However, in my opinion it is very little difference than what you would have via just a single speed air conditioner and basic thermostat control. Part of the issue with this is ‘over cooling’ already mentioned. Because a single speed air conditioner delivers full capacity every time it turns on. During cooler and humid periods humidity control with this system would prove futile in most situations.

Multi Speed HVAC Systems

You see your air conditioner is really a dehumidification device. It is dehumidifying the air every time it runs. However, it is mostly controlled by temperature alone. Over capacity will cause the unit to cycle more and not run long enough to dehumidify the air. By installing a multi stage HVAC system or multi speed HVAC system you get better humidity control just by the way these particular HVAC systems run most of the time as opposed to a single speed AC system.

There are 2 speed air conditioners, 2 stage air conditioners, 5 speed air conditioners as well as variable speed air conditioners. The 2 speed and 2 stage AC variety more or less operate in first speed or first stage before enabling second speed or second stage. While running in speed 1 or stage 1 the system is running at a reduced cooling capacity which causes the system to run longer. This reduced cooling capacity could vary from 50% to 60 or 70% of the overall capacity of the HVAC system. Because the AC runs in this first stage most of the time it will run longer and dehumidify the air better than that of a single speed AC. The more speeds or stages the AC has the better it will control variations of the load of the home, the longer the system will run which in turn reduces and controls humidity better.

Dehumidification of these multi stage HVAC systems is included in normal operation of the unit when it cycles as well as a band of control via the thermostat controller of the system in question.

Indoor Air Quality & Air Filtration

Another benefit with these dehumidification enabled HVAC systems is that you get the best comfort for your home as well as better indoor air quality. You could add better filtration to one of these systems and attack the indoor air quality on both fronts… moisture content of the air as well as dust particle filtration. This is the best and proper way to address indoor air quality concerns.

If you suffer from allergies, asthma or other air quality problems I have the solution for you. Not all indoor air quality solutions are created equal. Over the years many IAQ systems have come to market that produce ozone. It has since been determined that ozone in any amount is not good for you and over time can actually make your symptoms worse.

Many times within the HVAC industry, solutions are often given by treating a symptom rather than addressing the real problem. I often refer to these as gimmicks bent on selling you something without really do much for you or putting the interest of selling you something just for the sake of selling you something ahead of what your true goals are. You would probably get more mileage out of chasing your own tail.

I go to the extent I go, to show you the right way to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Stay in the loop and subscribe to my You Tube Channel here. The solutions I offer are solutions that work. Why would you want anything other than that?

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I helped you understand things more clearly in regards to finding comfort options for your home. As always, I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

2 Speed Air Conditioners

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

You likely found this air conditioning blog because you have questions or you may be facing a decision regarding replacing your home HVAC system. It’s not uncommon to get technical terms thrown at you during a HVAC maintenance visit with little to no clear understanding. I am a licensed HVAC contractor serving Katy Texas | Cypress Texas | Richmond Texas and some surrounding areas. I have over 20 years experience in HVAC systems for your home. This information was written by the finger tips of a licensed air conditioning contractor from a AC pro’s perspective.

You see I’m what is called a “working HVAC contractor”. Working means I do the work. From writing my own blogs, to you guessed it – repairing and replacing home HVAC systems. I’m describing this to you, because there are professional writers on the internet that only write. Many act as professionals, but are not. If you need visual representation of who I am you can visit my You Tube Channel and subscribe. I also include a playlist of clips embedded below for your convenience.

Two Speed AC Versus 2 Stage Air Conditioners

A 2 stage AC is often called a 2 speed AC, these aren’t one in the same. You see a 2 speed AC is an AC that has a 2 speed compressor and a two “stage” AC is really an air conditioner that has 2 physical compressors. Even I make the slip up from time to time, it’s easy to do.

Typically a 2 stage AC, the one with 2 compressors will run at 50% capacity during stage 1 as the 1 stage compressor is half the size (capacity) of the stage 2 compressor. The benefit is better humidity control from that of a single speed on or off regular air conditioner. These varieties typically cost more initially and can cost more to repair because there are more moving parts as well as controls. They are also normally louder during operation than a two speed air conditioner and in some cases even a single speed air conditioner (single speed meaning either on or off).

The best of both worlds collide when it comes to “some” 2 speed air conditioners. You get a more efficient system for less cost than a 2 stage option, less moving parts and much quieter as well. You see a 2 speed air conditioner with a 2 speed compressor will run at a slower speed when in speed 1. Typically the cooling provided is around 40-60% of the cooling capacity of the AC system. What this does for you is the HVAC system runs in this 1st speed upwards of 90% of the time. Because of this, the system runs longer and reduces humidity levels in your home making you and your family more comfortable for less cost than a traditional “on or off” single speed air conditioning system. Because it’s running in first stage more often the cost to operate it is much less than a system that is either on or off only.

So with that said you’re probably thinking “Ok, then what is the catch?”
The catch as it were is that you have to replace your entire HVAC system. These types of systems were designed as complete systems, not cookie cutter or piece meal and in many cases what is considered “retro fit” repairs.

So you fully understand this, piece meal means just replacing one part of your AC system, in most cases the part of your system that is not working right. The equipment of an HVAC system typically consists of a gas furnace, an evaporator coil and the out door air conditioning condenser as well as a thermostat to control it.

In order for a 2 speed or 2 stage AC to operate properly you must have the proper controller for it. Otherwise it will not operate properly and in some cases could damage the system. The 2 speed HVAC systems I sell and install are what is called a Communicating HVAC System.

Communicating HVAC System

This isn’t your dad’s air conditioner. The HVAC industry is evolving into more energy efficient, more comfort, quieter and smarter HVAC systems. Communicating means that the pieces of your HVAC system talk with one another. The thermostat “talks” with the furnace and the out door AC condenser and by doing this gives you a HVAC comfort system for your home that you could only dream about just a few years ago. Yes, it’s no joke thermostats actually do talk. Are you listening? If only you knew what they were telling me about you. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

A communicating HVAC system that can pay for itself over time and potentially last your lifetime and more importantly provide you the best comfort you are likely looking for right now.

Introducing the 5 Speed Air Conditioner

Maybe you are eyeing potentially what may be the next generation of extreme comfort, the 5 speed air conditioning system. Like the communicating system mentioned above this is a communicating based HVAC system. The air conditioner of this system can deliver a range of capacity from 25% of capacity up to 100% rated capacity of the system.

This is the beginner model for an inverter based ducted HVAC system. The next step up from this is a completely variable speed compressor. The 5 speed air conditioners on the market today typically use algorithmic programming to decide which speed to run in, there are varying ways of how these systems operate. The benefits of this system is even quieter operation when in these lower speed settings. Based on manufacturer printed decibel ratings of this equipment you probably would not even hear it running up to about speed 3 or 4.

Solutions For A Noisy Air Conditioner

Tired of getting woke up at night with that noisy single speed air conditioning system?

One of these communicating HVAC systems mentioned above might be exactly what you’ve been looking for to get a more comfortable and restful nights sleep. Then get that monthly electric bill and have a hard time to stop smiling. You know smiling is contagious don’t you?

SEER Rating Of AC Equipment Doesn’t Decide

Don’t get confused over a high SEER rating of equipment. Single speed air conditioning systems could be quoted as high as 17 SEER or higher in some cases, this doesn’t mean this type of system is 2 speed. If it doesn’t say 2 speed compressor, then it’s not a 2 speed air conditioner. In fact some AC models will claim 2 speed fan motor operation only. Realize a fan motor is not the compressor. I often say the devil is in the details of any HVAC system configuration for good reason.

Some unscrupulous salesmen and even some technicians sometimes say a 2 speed air conditioner will never keep up because it always runs in 1st stage. Sure, it will run in 1st stage a lot. This is a benefit because it will reduce humidity in the home much better than a single speed system. Realize a communicating system has the benefit of “knowing” what the out door temperature is, it knows which speed to run in to give you the best comfort, the right amount of comfort you and your family needs.

Reducing Humidity In Your Home

Did you know that your air conditioner is actually a dehumidifier? During normal operation when your AC starts up air is blown across your indoor evaporator coil. The humidity in the air condenses on the coil runs down into a condensate pan and down the drain. The problem is that a single speed air conditioner is either on or off and the only reason it turns on or off is due to temperature and not humidity.

Imagine it is 75 degrees in your home and the humidity is 70%. If you are a frog or a lizard this would probably be pretty comfortable. Now imagine if the temperature was 75 degrees in your home and the humidity is 50% or less. This is the difference that is very hard to explain in text alone, fortunately the out door weather does this for me annually. You wake up on a fall day, 75 degrees and the air is light and crisp. You know this feeling, now imagine it every day inside your home.

Remember a great HVAC system starts with proper installation. Choose a licensed HVAC pro, it’s the only way to go!

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

For service before and after the sale, count on:
Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Staging | Zoning
For more information:
videos, tips and everything air conditioning and heating
for your home you can always visit me on my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.