A World Without Air Conditioning

AirConditioning

Air conditioning has had a huge influence on many activities in the United States since its invention. There are many events and event cities that wouldn’t exist without the introduction of air conditioning. Here are some examples:

  1. Summer Blockbusters

Willis Carrier convinced Paramount Pictures Corporation to install air conditioning in New York City’s Rivoli Theater. As a result, people soon began heading to the movies to escape the heat during summer. Film makers quickly caught on, and began scheduling their biggest movies to come out during summer.

  1. Medical Advances

Air-conditioned hospitals helped defeat malaria, decrease infant mortality, inhibit bacteria, and advance developments in surgery. The introduction of air conditioning has therefore helped the American population to live longer and more comfortably.

  1. Industrial and Technological Progress

Having the ability to maintain a cool and safe temperature has helped with the development of computers, data centers, and more. These temperature-sensitive systems needed a way to stay cool to function properly, which air conditioning has provided.

  1. Country Growth

Many areas in the United States were unbearable to live year-round before air conditioning was introduced. The South has made huge economic jumps since AC became available. Populations exploded in cities like Las Vegas and the states of Arizona, Florida, and Texas have shown tremendous growth since the air conditioner was invented.

  1. The Demise of Summer Vacation

Before air conditioning made offices comfortable, many American workers took month-long August vacations. Even the government shut down sometimes due to the heat. Now, everyone can work in a comfortable environment throughout the year and vacations can be planned on different schedules.

Without air conditioning, the United States would be a much different place. Thankfully, most homes have central air or single-room air conditioning to keep residents cool during the warm summer months.

Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about updating the air conditioner, or any problems it may be having this summer. The phones lines are open 24/7 for emergencies, and we will come out to fix the issue as soon as possible with no after hour fees.

Reducing the Effects of Smoky Air

smoke

As the month of August begins, so does the air quality warning from fires surrounding the Boise area.. This time of year can be especially difficult on those with asthma, heart disease, and children, elderly residents, and pets. Here are some tips to reduce exposure to smoke-filled air as much as possible:

  • Seal the House

Shut all the doors and windows to seal up the house. Close any fresh air intakes from furnaces, fireplaces, or stoves. Set the air conditioner to recirculate as well. This will stop most of the outside air from coming in, lessening its effects.

  • Humidifiers

Using a humidifier can help remove the smoke from the air that might have already gotten inside. It also helps to keep the air moist, which is important during this time of year.

  • Limited Activity

Even those who don’t have breathing issues and health problems might find it hard to be outside for long periods of time. It’s best to limit psychical activity and stay as hydrated as possible while outdoors.

  • Car Windows

While driving, keep car windows rolled up. Make sure the air conditioner is on recirculate to limit the amount of smoky air coming into the car.

  • Air Cleaner

Consider investing in an air cleaner. Poor air quality due to smoke occurs almost every year in the Boise area, and being proactive is better than being reactive when it comes to indoor air quality. An air purifier is also beneficial year-round, especially in homes with family members who have asthma and allergies.

Talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling about how we can help improve indoor air quality, not just during fire season, but all year long. Visit the website to learn more about the air cleaner we offer and how homeowners can get a free air filter during maintenance trips when they become part of the Silver Club.

Landscaping for the Outdoor AC Unit

For the inside part of the air conditioner to work properly, the outside unit needs to be in good shape. The area around the outside unit can have a huge impact on how well it works. Here are some landscaping tips to help it run better:

  • Make Room

The outside unit needs at least two feet of space on each side. When planting bushes or other foliage, keep that in mind. If they grow too close, keep them trimmed back. This allows for optimal breathing room and enough space for technicians to easily work on the AC unit.

  • Cover the Ground

A layer of gravel in landscaped areas near the unit can help prevent debris from getting into the unit when there’s wind and rain. It keeps the dirt and sand from flying around.

  • Shade

Make life a little easier for the outside AC unit by proving some shade for it. This keeps the condenser cooler, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard. Add some surrounding plants that are tall enough to provide some shade coverage.

  • Shedding

Many plants shed their leaves, needles, berries, or nuts, which can pose a problem for the outside unit. Choose the plants in that area carefully, and clean up after them on a regular basis.

  • Storm Protection

When deciding where to place the outside air conditioning unit, look at where most of the wind comes from and if it can be shielded. If the house is no help being a windbreak, a short fence might be ideal to protect it from debris. That way there’s less of a chance of harmful dirt and debris getting lodged inside.

If the outside AC unit is experiencing an issue, give Diamond Heating and Cooling a call. 24/7 service with no afterhours fees means fast and friendly service for Boise and throughout the Treasure Valley.

Don’t Close Air Vents

In an effort to save more money by using less energy, many people close their air vents in rooms that get little or no use. However, instead of saving money, it could cause some serious issues. Read on to learn why closing vents does not have the desired effect on air distribution.

The blower in the HVAC system pulls air from the house through the return ducts, cools it, and pushes it back out through the supply ducts. The blower in high-efficiency HVAC systems is powered by an electronically commutated motor, also referred to as an ECM. This type of motor can adjust its speed. Those that are not high-efficiency are permanent split capacitor or PSC powered, which cannot adjust speeds.

Both systems are designed so that the blower pushes against some maximum pressure difference. If the filter is dirty or the supply ducts are restricted, the blower has to push against a higher pressure.

In the ECM system, this will make the motor increase in intensity to maintain proper air flow. As it works against the higher pressure, all efficiency is lost. A PSC motor will keep spinning, but its speed will decrease as the pressure increases.

When air ducts are closed in some rooms, the system becomes more restrictive. A higher pressure in the system will either ramp up the ECM blower, or move less air with a PSC blower, while also creating duct leakage.

This can also have an impact on the coil or heat exchanger. Lower airflow means a lower rate of heat exchange will occur. This will cause less heat to flow over the coil, making it colder, and possibly freezing. The refrigerant may not properly evaporate either, meaning it would come back into the compressor,  possibly ruining it.

In summary, here are 5 problems that can come from closing air vents:

  • Duct Leakage
  • Lower Air Flow/Increased Energy Use
  • Comfort Issues
  • Frozen Coil
  • Dead Compressor

Don’t close vents to save money. Instead, use an adjustable thermostat and be mindful of the energy being used.

3 Common Allergens to Worry About

Allergens

People worry about the outside air they breathe, but actually their main focus should be the air inside their home. With indoor air carrying 2 to 5 times more pollutants than outdoor air, poor indoor air quality is a concerning problem that should be addressed.

There are many allergens floating around both inside and outside, but some can be more troubling than others. Here are three of the most common allergens found in homes, and how to get rid of them:

  1. Dust Mites

Dust mites feed on human skin flakes and thrive in rooms with 40% humidity and above, and temperatures around 70 degrees. While they are commonly found in the bedroom, they can thrive anywhere in the house if it matches these conditions.

To eliminate as many dust mites as possible, wash all sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and bed covers in hot water. The water should be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the dust mites. Use dust-proof covers on mattresses, box springs, and pillows to prevent their return.

  1. Mold

Mold loves wet, dark places in homes. The easiest way to keep mold spores from entering the air is to eliminate their chance of growing. Keep a fan on in the bathroom during and after showers, fix leaky appliances and faucets immediately, and use a dehumidifier when necessary.

If mold is found, call someone right away to get it looked at. Some mold can be toxic, causing even more serious health problems than an asthma attack or allergy flare-up.

  1. Pollen

While pollen has a huge impact outdoors, it can also have an impact indoors. Pollen can travel inside by clinging to clothing and shoes. Wiping down pets, keeping the windows closed, and using a media air cleaner can combat the issue of pollen inside the home.

Those with allergies or asthma shouldn’t have to suffer inside too. Take precautions to eliminate these three common indoor allergens and make breathing a little easier. Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about what they can do to help improve indoor air quality.

 

How Cottonwood Damages AC Units

treeThe cottonwood trees are starting to release their fluffy cotton-like seeds, which can wreak havoc on not only allergy sufferers, but air conditioning units as well. As they begin to float and drift everywhere, they can become lodged in the outdoor AC unit, often creating a problem.

When too many of these fluffy seeds get sucked into the air conditioner, it can become clogged and begin to malfunction. The airflow needed to sufficiently cool the house is drastically reduced, making the system work harder. This uses more energy and wears down the air conditioner, damaging the equipment inside.

Eventually the system can even shut down from overheating, leaving homeowners with no AC, and the air conditioning unit likely damaged and in need of repairs. The condenser is usually the piece of equipment that gets damaged in this case, and might need to be replaced.

To prevent this, the outdoor AC unit will need to be professionally cleaned if there are cottonwood trees nearby. Even if there is minimal cottonwood fuzz that can be seen on the outside, it could have been sucked inside, already beginning to clog and damage the system.

If homeowners notice cottonwood flying around the yard and getting stuck on the AC unit, call Diamond Heating and Cooling as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and get the seeds cleaned out so no more damage is done. Also remember to clear away grass clippings and other debris from the outdoor air conditioning unit. Bushes and other foliage need to be at least three feet away to give the air conditioner sufficient room to work properly.

If the AC unit has already sustained damage from cottonwood seeds or other debris, Diamond Heating and Cooling will get the parts repaired or replaced to get everything back in working order so everyone stays cool in the summer heat.

5 Reasons the AC Isn’t Producing Air

It’s been hot in Boise and throughout the Treasure Valley and everyone is turning to air conditioning for relief. For some, the AC might not be working properly, making it hard to stay cool. If the air conditioner isn’t moving much air, there are a few issues that could causing the problem:

  1. Dirty Air Filter

With the temperature staying steadily in the upper 90’s and low 100’s, the air conditioner is having to work even harder than usual. This can mean an excess of debris being caught in the air filter. Check the filter more often in extreme temperatures and change it out as needed.

  1. Dirty Evaporator Coil

If dirt and debris has found its way inside the air conditioning system, it can prevent the coil from removing the warm air from the house. No matter how much the air conditioner runs, the house won’t get cool. During annual AC maintenance checks Diamond Heating and Cooling checks for this issue to prevent blocked air flow later.

  1. Frozen Evaporator Coil

If the coil gets too cold, the condensation will freeze it, rendering it useless. Low airflow from a dirty filter or a refrigerant leak can cause the coil to freeze.

  1. Air Ducts

Air ducts carry the air throughout the house. If there’s an issue with them such as a leak, loose or disconnected ductwork, or kinks if it is flex ductwork, the air might not be flowing through them properly.

  1. Blower Issues

The blower forcefully moves the air into the ducts to be dispersed. If it isn’t working properly, it won’t be able to move the air into the home. The blower can be dirty, have a loose or worn fan belt, or be faulty.

If the air conditioner isn’t blowing cold air or any air, call Diamond Heating and Cooling right away. The team will get the system back up and running as soon as possible to make sure everyone stays cool this summer.