Design Comfort Blog: Archive for June, 2014

How Does Zone Control Work for Centralized Air Conditioners?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to set different temperatures throughout your home to achieve the best comfort level? Or thought how great it would be to turn the AC off in rooms or parts of your home that don’t get used very much? Zone control systems can do these things and more for your air conditioning in Salt Lake City.

What Is a Zone Control System?

A zone control system is a system of motorized dampers placed into the air ducts of your property. Each damper is connected to a thermostat, which establishes the “zones” for your cooling. With these individual thermostats, you can control the cooling of each zone independently of one another instead of having your entire home controlled by a single-set thermostat.

What Are the Benefits of a Zone Control System?

There are several benefits to adding a zone control system to your air conditioner:

  • Increased efficiency – a zone control system allows you to cool only the spaces that need it; for spaces that are unoccupied, you can turn off the AC to that room entirely. This can help you save energy and money.
  • Better comfort – does the single-set thermostat in your home leave some people cold and others warm? With a zone control system, individual rooms can be set to the exact temperature you want without affecting the rest of your home. This helps increase comfort levels and eliminates uneven hot and cold spots that can be created by single-set thermostats.
  • Great for variable architecture – if you have vaulted ceilings or a wall of windows, your cooling load for that particular space is probably different from the rest of your home, possibly making it challenging to keep it the same temperature as the rest of your property. With a zone control system, this type of challenge is no longer a problem, as the space can be cooled separately from the rest of your property.

Is a Zone Control System Right for You?

There are great benefits to installing a zone control system to your air conditioning system, but the best way to assess if a zone control system will work for your air conditioner is to consult with a Design Comfort expert, so give us a call today and schedule air conditioning service in Salt Lake City!

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Air Conditioning Problems Caused by Low Refrigerant

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Refrigerant is the chemical in your air conditioning system that makes it possible to cool the indoor air. Refrigerant can do this because it can easily turn from a liquid to a gas and back again, all within the closed system of your air conditioner. The interesting thing is that the refrigerant in your air conditioner doesn’t deplete; it was designed to stay at a set amount for the life of the air conditioner. As such, the only ways refrigerant can run low in an air conditioning system are: a) the amount of refrigerant put into the system during installation was incorrect or; b) there is a leak. In either case, your air conditioning system needs the help of a trained professional, so call the ones to trust: Design Comfort.

AC Problems Caused by Refrigerant Leaks

Several problems can arise from a low refrigerant level and all can cause operational issues with your air conditioning system. Therefore, it is always advisable to repair a refrigerant leak as soon as possible. Here are some of the more common problems our experts at Design Comfort have encountered when dealing with low refrigerant:

  • Warm air – when your system is low on refrigerant, there isn’t enough of the chemical in the system to correctly execute the heat release and cooling process necessary for cooling the air. The result can be warm air blowing into your property.
  • Icing – low refrigerant causes an imbalance in the system. When your system forms ice, the parts that are supposed to be hot are too hot and not cooling off properly; conversely, the cool parts are too cold because they aren’t warming up as they should. These two very disparate air temperatures meet in the air conditioner and create condensation – but because the cool parts are too cold, the condensation quickly turns from water to ice.
  • Air conditioner won’t start – some systems have a built-in safety switch that turns on when the refrigerant goes too low. If your air conditioner is equipped with this kind of safety switch, don’t try and force your AC to turn on; call a technician to inspect your system.

Call an Expert for Refrigerant Repairs

Finding a refrigerant leak isn’t easy, and handling refrigerant requires training. The bottom line: fixing a refrigerant leak isn’t a DIY kind of job. If you are seeing signs your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant, call Design Comfort today and schedule an appointment for your air conditioning repair service in Salt Lake City.

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Should I Replace My Thermostat When Upgrading My Air Conditioner?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

When you have new installation for air conditioning in Bountiful, UT, you don’t necessarily have to change your current thermostat. The installers can connect the new AC system to the older control panel, and you can continue to control your cooling system the way you always have. But if your thermostat is the same age as the air conditioner that you’re replacing, then it is a smart idea to replace the thermostat during new installation with an upgraded model.

Our Design Comfort air conditioning installation team knows as much about thermostats as they do about fitting a new AC into your home. If you want to an up-to-date thermostat as part of the new air conditioning installation job, you can arrange they job with us.

Why a Thermostat Upgrade Is a Wise Choice with AC Installation

The advances in thermostat technology have mirrored those in HVAC technology. If your old thermostat is a manual model with sliders and dials, then you should definitely upgrade to a digital model. A digital thermostat can reach more precise temperature settings, and this will mean an improvement in comfort and energy savings. Digital models also have easy to read displays that will make it simpler for you to set and understand the temperature.

But there are even superior upgrades than going digital. Programmable thermostats allow you to control when the AC turns on and off even when you aren’t home. This is about more than convenience: a programmable thermostat will save power because you won’t need to keep an air conditioner running all day just so you can come home to a cool house. Instead, you can keep the AC turned off and saving power until the thermostat activates it a half hour before you come home.

The newest innovation in thermostats is the “smart” thermostat. These units permit homeowners to control them wirelessly from mobile devices or computers anywhere they have an Internet or satellite connection. Smart thermostats also learn a homeowner’s air conditioning comfort control patterns, and develop their own pattern to provide a house with cooling that best matches the owner’s needs while also saving energy.

Choosing the New Thermostat

In general, replacing a thermostat as part of AC installation is an excellent idea. You can upgrade to better technology, and you will have a system that is specially fit to your new air conditioner. To decide which new thermostat you should have installed, call professionals who can provide a range of options for thermostat replacement.

Our technicians at Design Comfort handle thermostat installation, repair, and maintenance services. Call us for installing air conditioning systems in Bountiful, UT and also for installation of a new top-of-the-line thermostat.

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3 Advantages of a New Air Conditioning System

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Many people have a difficult time deciding whether or not to replace an aging air conditioning system, particularly if it’s still working. It’s an understandable conundrum: replacing an air conditioner is a big decision that affects your household long-term. One of the best ways to help determine whether or not your air conditioning system needs replacement is to see what kinds of advantages you stand to see with a new air conditioning system.

Here Are 3 Advantages Our Technicians Have Seen Our Customers Gain as a Result of Replacing Their Air Conditioners:

  • Greater comfort – aging air conditioners struggle to reach your desired comfort level. At some point, they may not reach it at all, or you may experience varying temperature spots around your home. A new air conditioner, on the other hand, will be able to fully handle the cooling load of your property, keeping you and your family comfortable during the hot summer months.
  • Less repair work – have you had to do a lot of repair work to your current AC? Air conditioning repair bills can add up quickly, and at some point, you can spend as much on repairs as you would have to replace your system. With a new air conditioner, repair work becomes minimal, and with regular bi-annual maintenance, you can help prevent large repairs from occurring.
  • Greater energy efficiency – today’s air conditioners are up to 60% more efficient than ones from just 10 years ago. Not only are today’s air conditioners more technologically advanced, they need to have a minimum SEER number of 13; 8 years ago, that number was 10. In addition, today’s air conditioners can have upgrades like programmable thermostats, zone control systems and dehumidifiers, all of which help make your overall air conditioning system more effective and efficient.

Thinking About an AC Replacement? Call a Professional for Help

Choosing a new air conditioner for your property requires calculation and decision-making that is best accomplished with the help of a trained professional. Many factors go into determining how much cooling your home needs to feel comfortable; in addition, there are several types of whole-home air conditioners from which to choose. To ensure you purchase an air conditioning replacement in Draper that best fits your home, call Design Comfort today and schedule a consultation with one of our trained experts.

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How Do Air Conditioners Get the ENERGY STAR Sticker?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

This is a question that air conditioning repair and installation specialists often hear: “What is that sticker with ENERGY STAR on it mean?”

No, it’s not a brand name, nor is it similar to the stickers you often see on computers that indicate a type of proprietary technology or component inside. (In fact, it can mean just the opposite, as we’ll get into below.) What the ENERGY STAR label indicates is that the particular air conditioning system has met the requirements of a voluntary government program that oversees energy-efficient performance and pollution control among appliances for both homes and businesses.

At Design Comfort, we encourage our customers to look into ENERGY STAR-approved products when they are starting out with air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City, UT. This way, they can receive savings as well as quality cooling power. However, it’s still important to rely on the assistance of professionals when selecting a system—and our staff will always be here and ready to help you.

How ACs qualify for the ENERGY STAR label

The ENERGY STAR program started in 1992 when the U.S. EPA initiated a voluntary set of guidelines to help homes and businesses reduce energy use and the emission of greenhouse gases without sacrificing productivity or comfort. Each type of appliance has its own set of requirements that an individual model must meet in order to receive the approval sticker from the program.

For central air conditioners to receive ENERGY STAR certification, they must have a minimum SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) of 14.5 and an EER (energy efficiency rating) of 12. In addition to this, the technology required to achieve the high efficiency must be non-proprietary and available to all manufacturers. (The idea is that saving energy must belong to everyone, not just a few companies.) The units must also have basic features that the program has determined consumers want.

The ENERGY STAR requirements are a good baseline for homeowners who are shopping for a new AC to install. With the ENERGY STAR label, you can feel assured that the system will save you money over one that lacks certification, and that you are doing your part to better the environment.

However, energy efficiency isn’t your only concern when it comes to air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City, UT. You will need the work of trained installers to make sure you have the proper sized unit to provide you with sufficient cooling, and to see that it is installed correctly. Call up Design Comfort when you are getting ready for a new AC for your home. We will guide you to the right ENERGY STAR system for you, so you will have savings and comfort for many years to come.

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