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How can you increase HVAC efficiency?

To gain efficiency in your furnace and air conditioner system is not an easy task. Being able to test the system is much easier than being able to improve the performance of the system. The steps we use are similar to how a doctor would improve your health based on the measurement that the doctor takes when he first sees you.

To explain better, the first measurement we take is the system’s temperature. Similar to the doctor’s office. We know that a healthy person’s temperature should be about 98.6 degrees. A furnace has a recommended temperature output based on the model and type of furnace it is so we want to get the delivering supply temperature as close to that number as possible.

How We Increase HVAC Efficiency

We do this by making sure the furnace is bringing cleanly and completely. This can involve cleaning gas burners or calibrating the amount of gas entering the furnace. Once we know this is correct we move to the next step. The next step we take is static pressure measurements — similar to blood pressure measurements. If you have high blood pressure, it is unhealthy the same way high static pressure is unhealthy for your furnace or central air conditioner.

To correct high static pressures we recommend cleaning the fan motor and fan blade that actually moves the air to reduce the amount of work it has to do. Often times, cleaning the evaporator coil of the air conditioner will allow the proper amount of CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow. If the static pressure is high, this may also require a duct modifications to the supply air plenum or the return airdrop of the furnace. Think of a blocked artery in a heart. It causes high blood pressure. Sometimes it is minor and can be fixed with diet changes and exercise. Sometimes we can improve a system’s performance by performing high-quality maintenance and cleaning procedures. A blocked artery may require a very in-depth surgery to correct as well, which could be compared to changing or modifying the ductwork to allow better flow.

With the air conditioner, we do not calibrate the gas pressures. We calibrate the refrigerant levels. This means getting the proper airflow inside first and then adjusting the refrigerant to properly remove the heat as the manufacturer designed it. This is done by measuring the amount of heat absorbed inside, which is called superheat. The measure of the amount of heat removed by the outside unit is called subcooling.

Each manufacturer has specific design standards and each system is calibrated using different numbers. No one system is the same, so the technicians doing the work must be well trained to make these adjustments. This is often a great challenge in our industry as technicians that are not trained properly will often overcharge or undercharge the system. Even just a couple of ounces of refrigerant either direction will significantly reduce the performance and efficiency of the air conditioner.

Service Legend’s Client Care Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 515-657-6634 to answer any questions and schedule any maintenance needed to keep your unit running efficiently.

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