R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. At the beginning of 2010, HVAC manufacturers will be required to use a refrigerant other R-22 in their products. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and is seen by the industry as the most likely replacement for R-22.
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R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that the chlorine in HCFCs contribute to ozone depletion. For this reason, the United States Clean Air Act has set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC manufacturers must cease the manufacture of products that use R-22.
Humidity levels can be reduced by installing a variable-speed air handling system in your home. Variable-speed units run longer and at lower speeds, allowing air to constantly circulate against the cooling coil and remove more moisture. Variable-speed motors also use less electricity than regular motors, reducing your energy costs.
Professional service calls can be costly, but there are some things you can do before hiring a professional to inspect your system:
- Disconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
- Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
- Make sure your filters are clean.
- Open supply and return vents and make sure they are unobstructed.
- Double check both indoor and outdoor disconnect switches.
- Check the settings on your thermostat.
- Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
- Have the FAN switch on for a continuous vent
A heat pump is a device used for both the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs. A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32º Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump.
Maintenance and service play a key role in the lifecycle of a heating or air conditioning system. If all recommended maintenance and service actions are taken, it is believed that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years and a gas furnace should last from 20 to 25 years.
To install the most efficient HVAC system in your household, your installation contractor should first perform a detailed inspection. The inspection by your contractor should include, as a minimum, the inspection of your home’s ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.
Installing a new system is similar to installing an old system. Most of the items listed below in “What happens when I replace my old system?” will also be installed with a new system. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system is the ductwork.
Ductwork is composed of two parts, supply and return. Supply duct is attached to the outflow of the new system, delivering air to each zone in a home. The amount of air reaching each zone is determined by the size of supply ductwork connecting it to your system. Your dealer will help you determine the size of all the supply ductwork in your home. The second part of the ductwork, the return duct, attaches to the inlet of the new system and draws air out of the spaces to be heated or cooled. Attached to the return duct is the filter. The filter should be placed as near to the furnace or air handler as possible. Ductwork can be either fiberglass or metal and must be properly sized in order to evenly distribute the proper amount of air to each room.
Factors affecting the size of your new system include the climate in your region, humidity levels, the number of windows in your dwelling, total square footage of your home, the direction your home faces, the number of heat-producing appliances in your home, the type of insulation you have and the number of people that live in your residence. Making sure that you have an HVAC system that is the correct size for your home is very important. An Amana brand dealer can perform the proper calculations to determine the correct heating or cooling unit size for your home and lifestyle.
There are many heating and air conditioning systems to choose from today. By contacting an HVAC dealer who specializes in Amana brand products, you have access to a vast degree of heating and air conditioning knowledge and experience to help you decide on the system that best fits your specific needs. The size and age of your home, number of rooms in your home, climate, locale, regional utility costs, degree days and utility incentive rebate programs are all factors to be considered when selecting a new system. Amana brand dealers, utilizing the latest technology, will discuss all of these factors with you when assisting you in choosing the best system for your home.
Consumers seeking to replace an existing system often choose a new unit with equal or higher efficiency ratings as compared to their previous system. Replacing a unit that is greater than 10 to 15 years old may reduce natural gas or electricity costs from 30 to 50%.
Contacting an Amana brand dealer can help you to define your initial cost, warranty protection, service options, maintenance options and operating cost. Once you have chosen a system, it is important to remember that proper installation is a major factor in maximizing its operating efficiency and your comfort level.