New Installation of Cooling and Heating Units
When buying a new air conditioning or heating unit to replace your old one, or if you are installing a completely new system in a new home, it’s important to know how big or how small the unit should be. To know exactly how big (or small) it should be in new homes, Excalibur needs to calculate how much cooling and heating capacity it must have to keep you comfortable. This capacity is called the load of a home.
Excalibur Knows the Nuances of Heating and Cooling Installation in Desert Climates
As local Greater Phoenix and Peoria residents and business owners, we know the nuances of our special desert climate. Although we have a wide variety of heating and cooling options, some truly are better than others. Everything depends on your home or building size as well as your comfort needs.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, “The load of the home is partly dependent upon the home’s square footage. However, a true load calculation goes beyond that. An accurate load determination includes building construction; orientation to the sun; “R” value of the insulation; number, size, and placement of rooms; number, size, and placement of windows and doors; types of windows and doors (thermal efficiency); number and arrangement of floors; and the climate. Residential load calculations make use of mathematical formulas that take all these variables into consideration. They have been computerized, so they’re not as time-consuming as they were in the past.
There are some installers that use outdated “rules of thumb” to determine unit size, but many times they are inaccurate. This can result in installing a unit that is far too large for the home or office. That translates to higher utility bills and energy waste. At Excalibur, we can do the calculations that give us the best information to determine what size heating and cooling units you need.
So Many Options – So What’s Best for Your Home or Commercial Property in Phoenix?
Technology has come a very long way in creating comfortable indoor environments, but which option is right for you? With over 19 years of experience, Excalibur has learned so much about heating and cooling options for any home or commercial property type. Our number one priority is your comfort – the comfort that comes from entering a cool home on a sweltering day as well as the comfort you see when your utility bill is within your budget. The peace of mind that comes with installing the right unit in your home can’t be underestimated. Here are some of the common heating and A/C unit options we install regularly in Phoenix, AZ properties.
Heat pumps are a very energy efficient heating and cooling option. They are great for apartments, homes and places where duct don’t exist or can’t be installed. According to the department of energy, “Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.” Heat pumps can just move air, utilize a water source or tap into geothermal energy to cool and heat your home. Often in the Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona areas, air-to-air will be the most common option.
Air conditioners work by moving heat away from a space, thereby cooling the space while removing humidity. It runs on the same premise as most cooling units – evaporative cooling. It’s great at working quickly to achieve comfortable interior temperatures. It can also be used to de-humidify rooms in commercial spaces where computers and servers are stored. Ductless systems are often housed in a window or premade space in a wall. Those are options for people in condos, apartments that do not have a duct system or are not allowed to install one.
Gas furnaces uses natural gas (instead of propane). For some, natural gas furnaces are what’s already installed in the home. They can be a little less common in warmer climates because they are very effective at making spaces warm, but that means you always need a natural gas connection. If you don’t plan to use a gas furnace often, it might not be the best option. Then again, if you have a large commercial property where heating such a large space can be difficult, it might be the best option. If the environment is important to you, then it should be noted that when natural gas is burnt and expelled into the air, it’s considered a greenhouse gas. Propane is not.
Propane furnaces work much the same as a natural gas furnace except that the fuel itself is different. So, it’s easy to talk about propane in relation to natural gas furnaces. First, propane is not considered a greenhouse gas, as we stated before. Propane may, however, may not be accessible to you. When Excalibur comes to your home or business, we’ll be able to assess if propane is an option for you. Also, when looking at BTU (British Thermal Unit) ratings in natural gas versus propane, we see that it takes far less propane to heat a space. It is nearly twice as efficient at burning than natural gas making it very cost effective.
Electric heaters can heat a small space in a brief period of time. It really works well for something called zone heating. Zone controls work well when large areas of the home aren’t being used. For instance, if you are comfortable wearing a sweater around your home, but in the cold months, you’d prefer your bedroom to be warm, an electric heater may be a good option to just heat that one smalls space. For electric baseboard heating, a heater in each room would get its own thermostat, and it allows you to heat one room at a time, as needed.
The Department of Energy says, “In low-humidity areas, evaporating water into the air provides a natural and energy-efficient means of cooling. Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, rely on this principle, cooling outdoor air by passing it over water-saturated pads, causing the water to evaporate into it. The 15°- to 40°F-cooler air is then directed into the home, and pushes warmer air out through windows.” Evaporative coolers cost about half as less to install compared to traditional air conditioners. They do, however require much more hands-on maintenance from the homeowner to keep them in good working order.
Whatever duct system you choose, Excalibur can install whatever you need. If you have a new home, we can work with other contractors and architects to make sure ducts are installed per their specifications, and in ways that will optimize your home’s comfort level best. For homes that require replacement ductwork, we can repair and replace any problem areas. Duct systems must be maintained regularly to ensure there are no leaks or dust build up. If neglected, it can cost you money and severely lower the air quality in your home.
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Committing to a Unit
There are a few questions to ask yourself before committing to a heating or cooling unit. By considering these, you be less likely to regret your purchase.
- How much maintenance am I comfortable doing? Evaporative coolers require more hands-on maintenance by the homeowner as opposed to a traditional air conditioner which may only require a Spring tune-up. Additionally, a ductless heater or cooler might be a good option if you’re comfortable checking pads but not spending money on getting your ducts cleaned periodically. It’s up to you.
- How green do we want to be? In Phoenix, not having an air conditioner is not an option. So, you must ask yourself how much energy do you want to save. There is a major, immediate benefit to getting energy-saving units, however: cost savings. Also, these days, there are very few reasons not to go energy efficient as many manufacturers are creating units that are just as functional but with more energy and cost savings for the environment and you.
- Should I buy a no-name brand? Well, that’s up to you. At Excalibur, we prefer to work with warrantied equipment by manufacturers with a reputation for creating quality units and parts.
Are you ready to get started on a new or replacement unit installation? Contact us today for a quote either by filling out our online form or calling us at (602) 510-3431.