Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Times are a Changing: Time to Update Your Air Conditioner

Big changes are coming to the world of air conditioning on Jan. 1, 2010. In an effort to comply with an international green treaty and slow down ozone deterioration, air conditioners across the country will be forced to comply with a new level of standards. Here are some key facts to help you stay ahead of the curve and save yourself from the heat, especially during crunch time.

These new standards in air conditioning can be attributed to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to help curb damage to the Ozone layer. It is designed to lead to some actual recovery of the Ozone layer by 2050. Initially established in 1987, it has since been amended seven times and is continually looking to eliminate substances that have defiantly been established as reasons for ozone depletion. Chlorine is one of those substances that has been clearly identified as doing significant damage and has been used since the 1970’s as a coolant in nearly all air conditioning units. This chemical is called R-22 and as of Jan. 1st 2010 will be eliminated.

R-22 will be replaced with a chlorine free coolant called R-410A that has zero ozone depletion. Begin thinking about switching your AC now as R-22 units will no longer be manufactured and that means parts and supplies will make repairs harder and more expensive. In fact, chances are the EPA will make it illegal to sell any R-22 units by the end of 2009.

Don’t be discouraged though. Energy costs have increased 50 percent in the last five years and with the economic climate the way it is, this is a great chance to save money on proper energy efficient air conditioning units. Updating your air conditioner with the proper requirements can save you up to 45 percent. Look at the SEER rating, (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating when purchasing a new unit. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the SEER rating the better the efficiency. Of course, this is entirely depending on your geographic location and many can make do with a low SEER rating where air conditioning is not as drastically needed.

Also be sure to look at rebates and tax incentives while replacing your air conditioning units. Chances are you can get a great deal and save money with a correct purchase. The recent stimulus bill has set aside money for actions like this so search the web or look at your local states Database of State and Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency for proper deals.

The last step to get the most out of your air conditioner is to make sure you obtain proper installation. A key part of upgrading your unit is to get the most out of it and improper and shoddy installation can quickly defeat this purpose. Keep it well maintained as well and you will see a significant reduction in your energy bills. Don’t wait until its 2010, start looking for new and more energy efficient cooling solutions today.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Tips For Saving Money on your Heating and Cooling Bills

During these times with extreme weather, there is a good chance that you are heavily relying on heaters and air conditioners to optimize your house temperatures. Here are some helpful tips to keep your energy bill low when using heating or cooling appliances.

Keep baseboard heaters, radiators and warm-air registers as clean as possible. Make sure they have open circulation and are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes. Constantly replace your filters for heaters and air conditioners as needed.

Use fans during the summer, in combination with your air conditioners to create a wind-chill effect. Also, try reversing the fans motor during the winter to help drive warm air back down towards the floor for improved circulation.

Install a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperature according to your schedule, especially when you are away from the house. Set the temperature as low as comfortable during the winter for a lower heating bill.

When using heaters, remember to keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day and closed at night to let the sunshine. For air conditioners, try placing them in a north-facing or shaded when as direct sunlight reduces efficiency.

Be sure to weatherize your home-caulk and weather strip any doors and windows that could be looking warm or cold air. Try placing heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators. Remember to turn off exhaust fans as needed. Seal any holes with caulk or spray foam where TV/cable wires, pipes and vents open your door.

Keep your system up to date, and add a supplementary source or replace your existing heater or cooling. Look for Energy Star products as they have been certified to reach the highest levels of energy efficiency. Replace your air conditioner if it is more the 10 years old as they are probably much less energy efficient then others.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Environmental Researchers Predict 2009 to Be One of the Warmest Years on Record

British climate scientists have released a new study predicting that 2009 is going to be among the top-five warmest years on record. They suspect that the average global temperature is going to be more then 0.4 degrees Celsius above the average. This is even factoring the continued cooling of huge areas located in and around the Pacific Ocean that is due to the La Nina weather pattern.

If this is true, this will be the hottest weather since 2005. They also feel that this warming trend will continue with 2010 outdoing 2009. Currently the warmest year on record is 1998 which saw an average of 14.52 Celsius. This beats out all other averages between 1961 and 1990 which were about 14 Celsius.

Usually, warm weather is influenced by the El Nino weather pattern which is an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical pacific. There is no real theory on what triggers El Nino or El Nina, yet scientist feel they are an x-factor and strongly influence global weather patterns. The verdict is still out on weather these patterns are attributed to global warming or not.

From 1991 to 2000 the average global temperature is 14.21 degrees Celsius. In 2001-2007 it was 14.44, that is a .21 increase. This would show that the planet is slowly warming, regardless of the theory of global warming. Either way people should be prepared for longer and greater changes in the weather and environment. One should look at purchasing an air conditioner, and if you are conscious about energy consumption one should look for one with an Energy Star symbol.

A great example of this is the Sunpentown Energy Star WA-6591S window air conditioner. Designed to be easily mounted on your window, this window air conditioner has a cooling range of 64-99 degrees up to 250 square feet. The filter is reusable making maintenance easy. It has two fans and a space saving design to keep your floors clear. The remote control makes operation easy. It is economically priced and because it is an Energy Star product it is safe to the environment and will not do any damage to your electric bill.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Combat Your Allergies with your Portable Air-Conditioner? Who knew?

Reader's Digest recently had an article about the top twenty ways to combat those annoying summer allergies. As I skimmed through, I found most of the concepts I expected: Eat fruit with vitamin C, don't let your pets on your bed, and clean your furniture often.

What I didn't expect to see was number three: Turn on your AC.

Turn on your air conditioner to supplement anti-bacterial activities? If it would've said "air purifier," I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but an air conditioner? As I read on, though, it started to make more sense. Air conditioners have natural dehumidifying properties, meaning they remove moisture from the air, making it less humid. "So what?" I said, but what I didn't realize was that bacteria loves moist areas, and when the air itself is really moist, then your lungs can become the perfect breeding ground for microbes that make your throat itch, your eyes dry and red, and your nose run. Keeping a dry, more sterile environment makes things uncomfortable for bacteria breeding, on top of the fact that all portable air conditioners, wall air conditioners, and central air conditioners have some sort of air filter to block debris and bugs from being sucked in and pumped into your home. The air filter is also key to keeping the allergen levels low. Make sure to check it and clean it often.
Concurrently, you can go the extra mile and get a portable air conditioner with an actual air purifier within it. This saves you having to go out and buy two seperate appliances, and saves you space and energy costs in your home. A few portable air conditioners with this all-in-one feature set are the NewAir ACP1000E and ACP1000H, and the NewAir ACP1300E and 1300H. These four units are great for medium to large size rooms, the "H" models have a built-in heater as well, and they ALL have ionic air purifiers inside, so you can cool off, heat up, and keep your nose dry, your asthma risk low, and sinuses unclogged. They're all pretty reasonably priced, too, especially for how much you get out of one little box. Naturally, they dehumidify the air as well, keeping the moist, bacteria-friendly humidity to a minimum.

So while it might sound strange to think that a machine that sucks in outside air can actually make the air inside your home cleaner and free of allergens, the proof is in the purifier! So turn on those portable AC's this summer and keep your body cool and your lungs healthy.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Cleansing Power of the Sun in the NewAir ACP-1400E and ACP-1400H

Air purifiers and central heating and air systems have used UV (ultra violet) lamps to destroy unhealthy, airborne bacteria for some time now, but it's a relatively new trend in portable air conditioners. UV lamps are installed into HVAC systems, where they irradiate AC coils and kill bacteria in the stagnant waters of drip pans, on top of the main purpose of keeping the air pumped out cleaner and healthier.

But what about the millions of Americans that are apartment-bound or in other rental situations? Usually they're at the mercy of ancient room air conditioners that are only up to the air-quality standards of twenty years ago, and they're the lucky ones! Many have to spend the unbearable summer months at the mercy of electric fans stuck inside a window, which not only do a mediocre job of actually cooling a room, but have no sort of filtration system to purify the polluted air it's pulling in and pushing right down into their lungs.

The solution to this problem has been, in recent years, the portable air conditioner, and they've done a great job at incorporating some of the qualities of an air purifier into their standard operations. Most come with at least some sort of HEPA filter or carbon filter to keep the big microbes and dust particles from circulating back into the room, but what about going that one step further? As I stated earlier, the bigger HVAC systems and air purifiers have been using UV lamps to kill even more bacteria for some time now, so why have portable air conditioners (and heaters), on the whole, not followed suit?

Thankfully, one portable air conditioning company, NewAir, realizes that the future should not only be climate controlled for people in all living situations, but they should have every opportunity to breathe the cleanest air they can, and that means taking that extra step and bringing UV technology to the "central-air-impaired" masses.

One of the first of its kind, the NewAir ACP-1400E (portable air conditioner) and NewAir ACP-1400H (portable air conditioner and heater) do their utmost to give you the power to relax in the most comofortable and clean environment possible. This model not only uses germicidal UV lamp technology to kill bacteria, but has both a carbon filter, washable dust filter, and ionizer to keep the circulating air sterile. The ACP-1400H also has a built in heater, giving you clean, healthy comfort all year round. NewAir wants to be a company you can trust, and does not overrate their portable air conditioners' power ratings. The ACP-1400E and ACP1400H are rated at 14,000 BTU's, and actually have that cooling capacity in reality. Other comapanies inflate their ratings, on top of the fact that they aren't using the lastest purification technology, as NewAir does.

Hopefully, with the ACP-1400E and ACP-1400H, NewAir will be setting a new standard for the ideal portable air conditioner, so help them, and the health of everyone that comes into your home, by checking these units out, and let the other companies know that you and your family won't settle for anything less than the benchmark set by the NewAir ACP-1400E and NewAir-1400H, so that, in time, more and more people can beat the heat, and beat those microscopic menaces!

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Friday, June 06, 2008

NewAir AC-1600E Portable Air Conditioner Delivers Style and Exceptional Cooling Power

Rising temperatures mean more people will be turning to their trusty air conditioners in order to beat the heat. Generally speaking, air conditioners fall into four different categories: window air conditioners, through-the-wall air conditioners, central air conditioners, and lastly, portable air conditioners. Window air conditioners are installed into the window of a room and designed to cool that particular room. Through-the-wall air conditioners are mounted into a wall and provide a cooling effect by exchanging inside air with outside air, while central air conditioners cool entire homes and buildings. Portable air conditioners, on the other hand, do not require permanent installation such as reconfiguring a window or breaking into a wall and can be moved from one room to the next.

Because of their easy maneuverability, relatively small size, and portability, portable ACs are ideal for a variety of settings, including apartments, rooms, workplaces, computer server rooms, or anywhere else where installing a traditional AC may not be feasible. Although easy to maintain, portable air conditioners will need to be vented out a window, but this is easily accomplished by positioning a flexible hose out through the window opening. Nonetheless, portable air conditioners are still great for supplemental or spot cooling, and many of today's models such as also come with built-in heaters and/or air purifiers. Moreover, because portable room air conditioners utilize a refrigeration cycle to lower temperatures, humidity levels are reduced, therefore making them especially useful for humid climates.

However, when it comes to choosing a portable air conditioner, there seems to be a lack of reviews for such units. Thankfully, for the past few weeks, our product review team has been hard at work testing the most popular portable ACs on the market. For this week, NewAir sent us the sleek and stylish AC-1600E portable air conditioner, and we were especially impressed with its design and cooling ability. We tested the NewAir AC-1600E portable AC in our product editor’s 150 square foot office on a warm afternoon. Here were our findings:

Style and Convenient Features
Upon receiving the NewAir AC-1600E and after taking it out of its carton, we saw that the unit sported a sleek silver finish – something hadn’t seen with many other portable ACs we’ve tested. Although it weighed roughly 85 pounds or so, there were built-in, easy to roll casters that allowed us to move the unit from one office to the next with ease. The control panel provided bright contrast and clear visibility, while the included remote allowed us to conveniently control the unit from across the room. The included window kit and large diameter exhaust hose was also easy to install, and within just minutes, we were able to get the NewAir AC-1600E portable air conditioner up and running.

Cooling Power
When choosing a portable AC, one of the most common mistakes consumers make is incorrectly sizing their unit. Portable air conditioners are sized according to BTUs, which stands from British Thermal Units. A BTU is a unit of energy that is commonly used in the power, steam generation, and heating and air conditioning industries. A portable air conditioner’s BTU rating describes its power and cooling capacity. Naturally, the higher the BTUs, the stronger the portable AC. However, the one problem we’ve come across is incorrect and insufficient BTU ratings. Some portable air conditioner manufacturers have overstated the cooling capacity of their products, but prior to receiving the AC-1600E, we spoke to NewAir directly and they reassured us that this portable AC featured a verifiable 16,000 BTUs of power with a cooling capacity of up to 500 square feet in optimal conditions. We found this to be true and even at the lowest setting, the NewAir AC-1600E provided more than enough cooling for our needs.

Dehumidification Abilities
The NewAir AC-1600E utilized auto-evaporative technology and this dramatically decreased the amount of moisture that was accumulated. Also, this portable air conditioner worked as a dehumidifier with a capacity of 80 pints of moisture per day. Although our environment wasn’t very humid, we noted that this would be a great feature for those living in humid climates.

Improves Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality is a problem that can plague most homes, regardless of how immaculate. Furthermore, when using an air conditioner, air is constantly being recirculated, so if you have an air quality issue, turning on the AC won’t help. Thankfully, NewAir has addressed this with the AC-1600E portable air conditioner. This portable air conditioner utilized a three-step filtration system that included a 3M filtrate filter, washable air filter, and an activated carbon filter. All of these filters work together to provide you with cleaner air, which is especially helpful if you have pets in your home.

Overall, we really liked the fact that the NewAir AC-1600E was compact, stylish, and feature-rich. Furthermore, this portable air conditioner offered far more BTUs than many other portable air conditioners in its price range.


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Friday, May 30, 2008

New AC-1400H Portable AC by NewAir Offers Design and Value in One Package!

While most people used to turn to their trusty window or central air conditioner to stay cool during the summer, gone are the days when cooling comfort meant unsightly and costly air conditioning systems. Instead, portable air conditioners are now becoming increasingly popular because they allow one to stay cool with just one energy-efficient machine situated in a specific room. Moreover, because portable air conditioners do not require any type of permanent installation and often include built-in casters, they provide convenient spot cooling where you need it and are also ideal for apartments, condominiums, computer server rooms, or any other type of setting that cannot accommodate a window or central air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners are therefore becoming increasingly popular and of course some models cool faster and more efficiently than others. In addition, many of the more advanced portable air conditioners also come with high-tech features such as auto-evaporative technology and even built-in air purifiers and space heaters. With summer almost here, our product team has been busy reviewing some of the newest portable ACs on the market, including the NewAir AC-1400H. We tested this unit in a 250 square foot bedroom on an 85 degree afternoon, and we were overall impressed with its performance.

Designed to fit most average-sized rooms including lounges, living rooms, and offices, the NewAir AC-1400H provided us with superb performance at an affordable price. One of the first things we noticed about the NewAir AC-1400H was the fact that the unit was sleek, modern-looking, and compact. It sported a shiny silver finish with black accents, and the unit also came with large casters for added maneuverability. The backlit LCD control panel was easy to read, and it had full thermostat control and even a remote.

In terms of performance, we found that the NewAir AC-1400H portable air conditioner was one of the most powerful portable air conditioners on the market based on wattage rating. It boasted a 14,000 BTU cooling capacity that was more than enough for our small bedroom, and when rolled out into the living room, it was also able to cool just as well.

Maintenance was also a breeze. Since the NewAir AC-1400E portable AC utilized a patented evaporative booster, we didn’t really have to bother with emptying the inner water tank. Furthermore, due to the fact that it cooled with a refrigerant, it also functioned as a dehumidifier and would be a perfect addition to any home in a humid environment. Also included was a three-layer air purification system with 3M filtrate filter, activated carbon filter, and washable air filter. For year-round use, the NewAir AC-1400H portable air conditioner also had a built-in space heater that boasted 14,000 BTUs of heating power.

Overall, in terms of design and included features, we felt that the NewAir AC-1400E portable was a great buy.


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Monday, May 19, 2008

NewAir AC-1600H: Most Powerful Portable Air Conditioner!

If you live in an apartment or condominium, you may have to rely on your building’s central cooling system to stay comfortable during the scorching summer heat. However, if this proves to be inefficient or if you’re concerned with rising energy costs, you may have to resort to less efficient cooling methods such as ceiling or portable electric fans in order to find respite from rising temperatures. Thankfully, portable air conditioners are the perfect portable cooling solution for areas that cannot accommodate traditional window units such as apartments or even computer server rooms.

Portable air conditioners work similar to traditional central or window air conditioners in that they utilize the refrigeration cycle and a coolant to cool a room or area. However, they are portable, mobile, and do not require any sort of permanent installation. Instead, they consist of a box-like frame that holds both the cold and hot side of the AC along with an exhaust hose to expel heat. Water is removed from the air, and this condensate is either collected in a tray or bucket located within the unit or in more advanced models, even self-evaporated.

When purchasing a portable air conditioner, one of the most common terms you’ll see advertised is a unit’s BTU rating. As an acronym for British Thermal Units, BTUs refer to a portable air conditioner’s cooling capacity, and this can range anywhere from 5,000 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU value, the stronger the air conditioner. To get a ballpark estimation of the amount of BTUs you’ll need for your room, simply find the square footage of the room and multiply this number by 35.

However, keep in mind that while BTUs are one of the most important factors to look for in an air conditioner, be aware that many portable AC manufacturers often overstate the BTU rating of their units as a way to market their products. Thankfully, in our quest to find the best portable air conditioners on the market, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be one of the most powerful portable ACs available.

First Impressions - Style, Size, and Display:
When we first removed the NewAir AC-1600H from its package, we were quite impressed with its design. Its sleek silver finished complemented our 400 square foot living room’s décor, and the unit itself weighed approximately 75 pounds. Rolling casters made maneuverability a snap, while the large, easy-to-read LCD display panel with remote control made operation simple and hassle-free.

BTUs and Cooling Capacity:
As mentioned above, BTU ratings are one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a portable AC. The NewAir AC-1600H provided 16,000 BTUs of cooling power – more than many of the units we tested. NewAir recommends this unit to be used in areas 400 square or smaller, but we found that it may have even had the capacity to cool areas slightly larger in ideal conditions (64° to 90° F).

Dehumidification and Auto-Evaporative Technology:
A portable air conditioner’s use of the refrigeration cycle also allows it to remove moisture from the air, making it especially great for humid areas. In addition to cooling, the NewAir AC-1600H portable air conditioner also had the ability to remove up to 80 pints of water per day. Moreover, because it utilized advanced auto-evaporative technology, this eliminated the need to empty any water tanks (assuming your climate isn’t too humid).

Year-Round Use:
The NewAir AC-1600H also came with a built-in space heater that offered 16,000 BTUs of heating power. Furthermore, the inclusion of a 3M Filtrete filter removed dust, pollen, bacteria, and animal dander from the air, while the activated carbon filter was able to adsorb odors such as smoke.

Overall, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be an excellent portable AC that included many advanced features. Best of all, it offers more BTUs than most portable ACs on the market, and its sleek, European design is sure to complement any type of décor in your home.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

NewAir AC-1400E Portable AC - NewAir's Newest Air Conditioner!

Scorching hot summer temperatures are no joke: a massive heat wave in 2006 killed over 200 Americans, and temperatures are still expected to rise this year as well. Interestingly enough, the hotter it gets, the more greenhouse gases are released from the very same power plants that pump out energy from our ACs. Studies have also shown that the average home spends half of its energy bill on home cooling, and for these reasons, many people may be trying to find new ways to beat the heat.

Electric fans may provide cool air, but they do little to actually decrease temperatures. On the other hand, swamp coolers are cost-effective, eco-friendly devices that can provide cooling comfort and temperature reductions, but these are only suitable for hot, arid climates. Therefore, how does one stay cool? The answer lies in a relatively new invention: a portable air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners work very much like traditional central or window ACs as they use the refrigeration cycle to cool. However, they are much simpler in design and have the added benefits of being compact, mobile, as well as not requiring any type of permanent installation. Instead, a hose is vented out a window, drop ceiling, or wall, and when the air conditioner needs to cool another area, it is simply rolled from one room to the next. In terms of energy efficiency, portable air conditioners are second to none. Because they are used for spot cooling certain rooms or personal spaces as opposed to entire homes, they can provide you with significant savings on your energy bill over an entire summer.

Our product team has spent the past few months conducting tests on some of the best portable air conditioners available on the market, and we’ve consistently had good experiences with NewAir’s line of portable air conditioners. As such, we’ve decided to review one of their newest portable ACs: the NewAir ACP-1400E.

At a Glance
When we unpacked the NewAir AC-1400E portable AC out of its carton, we were first impressed by its appearance. The unit weighed approximately 75 pounds but featured a slim, contemporary design with an elegant silver finish. We placed this portable air conditioner in the corner of a 200 square foot bedroom and found that it did not disturb the décor of the environment at all. The large, easy-to-read control panel with backlit LCD was a nice touch, as was the remote control that came with the unit. Rolling casters also made it easy for us to move the NewAir AC-1400E from the bedroom to the living room without hassle.

Cooling Capacity
NewAir stated that the NewAir AC-1400E boasted 14,000 BTUs of cooling power, and we found this to be correct. We were told that this portable air conditioner was suitable for areas up to 400 square feet (the size of our living room), and it provided more than enough cooling for us on a hot, muggy Southern California afternoon. Three speeds were available: 2 fans and 1 turbo.

Auto-Evaporative Technology
Like many better portable air conditioners out there, the NewAir AC-1400E utilized auto-evaporative technology (specifically its own patented Patented Evaporative Booster). In other words, unlike older units which had water buckets that needed to be emptied constantly, the NewAir AC-1400E uses the collected condensate to cool the motor, and the evaporation process then allows this moisture to be directed outdoors via the exhaust hose. However, if the unit is used in an area with especially high humidity levels, condensation will still be collected in an auxiliary tank and emptied later (though much less frequently than with units without auto-evaporative technology).

Air Filters
The NewAir AC-1400E had a washable air filter to collect large dust particles, as well as a 3M Filtrete filter. Moreover, an activated carbon filter was used to remove odors from the air.

Additional Features
Our product team found that the NewAir AC-1400E portable air conditioner had a number of outstanding features, but the ones we were impressed with the most was its 24-hour programmable timer; thermostat range of 64° F to 90° F; low noise level (49 dB); and its limited one year warranty with a five year warranty on the compressor.

Overall, we were impressed by the NewAir AC-1400E portable air conditioner. Stylish, yet full of features, this portable AC will be a great investment for anyone who wants to be able stay cool without having to resort to central or window ACs.


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Friday, May 02, 2008

Common Evaporative Cooler Problems

If you live in the American Southwest or any other hot, arid region in the world, you’ve probably either seen or at least heard of a swamp cooler. Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, produce effective cooling by combining the natural process of water evaporation with a simple air-moving system. Outside air is pushed through water-soaked pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated throughout a room or home by a large fan. When this occurs, the ambient temperature can be lowered by as much as 20° F.

Because these appliances are simple and primarily cool the air via evaporation, they are extremely energy efficient and usually cost only pennies a day to run. In fact, studies have shown that when compared to traditional air conditioning systems, swamp coolers can use up to 75 percent less electricity.

However, when compared to air conditioners, operating a swamp cooler may require a bit more work (though minimal). This usually involves refilling the water reservoir and making sure the cooling pads are clean and in good working order. When proper maintenance steps aren’t followed, problems can arise, but these can be fixed by performing a few simple repairs. Here are some common swamp cooler issues consumers may encounter:

Water drips from the unit.
This is often due to improper end-of-season storage. Be sure to always clean and drain your swamp cooler, as well as remove the pads before storing your unit for an extended period of time.

The evaporative cooler doesn’t provide enough cooling.
Always remember that swamp coolers are only suitable for dry climates because they add moisture to the air. Using a swamp cooler in a humid environment will only further increase humidity levels and also cause corrosion to components and/or damage to furnishings. Furthermore, be sure that you are allowing sufficient airflow by opening doors and windows, as well as checking the cooling pads for dry spots or clogs.

There’s an odor coming from the unit.
Odors can usually be attributed to stagnant water or moldy pads. Regularly drain and clean your swamp cooler’s reservoir and replace the cooling pads regularly.

The unit doesn’t start.
Check the fuse and breaker. If the fuse is broken or if the breaker is tripped, it’s time to consult a professional.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Portable Air Conditioners Vs. Evaporative Coolers - Which One to Choose?

Many consumers often have trouble choosing a portable cooling system for their home, as the terms "portable air conditioner" and "evaporative cooler" can be mistakenly interchanged. However, there are a few significant differences between these two appliances, and choosing the right one will greatly depend on certain factors, such as the area in which you live.

Portable Air Conditioners:
Portable ACs are small, mobile air conditioners which do not need to be mounted through a wall (unlike a standard window AC). Permanent installation is not required, and these units are often compact and lightweight – ideal for apartments where window units cannot be installed. Because portable air conditioners lower temperatures by using a refrigeration cycle, this results in reduced humidity of the air processed by the system, and lowered relative humidity levels – something to consider if you live in a dry climate.

- Versatile and can be moved from room to room
- Ideal for areas that are not covered by central air conditioning or those which cannot accommodate permanent AC installation
- Can be up to 50% more energy efficient than some central air conditioning systems, as only certain rooms are cooled, as opposed to an entire home

- Need to be vented
- Can be slightly more expensive than a central air conditioning or mini-split system with similar cooling capacity

Evaporative Coolers (or "Swamp" Coolers)
Evaporative coolers are devices which use simple evaporation of water in the air. These units consist of a box-like frame containing a fan that is walled in by moistened pads. In order to cool the air, the fan takes in hot air from the room, sends it through the moist pads, and cools it up to 20 degrees. Evaporative coolers are generally only suited for dry climates where the air is hot and the humidity is low (such as the Western/Mountain states), as they add moisture to the air.

- Compact and portable
- Estimated cost of operation is ¼ of refrigerated air
- Ideal for climates with a relatively humidity level below 50%

- High temperature and high humidity outside conditions decrease the cooling capability of the unit
- Only suitable for dry climates; high humidity in the air accelerates corrosion and causes condensation


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Product Recall: Carrier Air Conditioners

The Carrier Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and also a global leader in commercial refrigeration and food service equipment. Willis Carrier, the found of the company, invented the modern air conditioner in 1902, and he succeeded in marketing his home cooling products to consumers in the 1950s. This created a revolution in home cooling systems, as former sparsely populated areas such as the American Southwest now became actual suburbs. Today, Carrier is currently the largest producer of air conditioners in the world.

However, on November 7, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a voluntary recall on Carrier packaged terminal air conditioner and heat pumps manufactured between 2002 and 2005. These 185,000 air conditioners and heat pumps, manufactured in Mexico by Carrier Corp., were recalled because the electric heater in these units posed a fire hazard. At this time, although no injuries have been reported, Carrier has received five reports of electric heater failures which have resulted in fires contained to the unit.

The model numbers included in this recall involves the 53C and 52P models sold in HVAC dealers and factory direct sales, and the unbranded model 84 unit sold through the Bryant and FAST channels.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends consumers stop using the heating mode of the recalled units until they are inspected in accordance with Carrier’s inspection instructions, which can be found at the Carrier website. Consumers are also encouraged to contact Carrier directly to receive a free repair.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Alternative" Air Conditioners

Although the cooler months are upon us, in areas like Southern California where there have been a wave of brush fires, air conditioners used to ventilate homes from smoke and pollution may still be helpful. However, for those who don’t have conventional air conditioners installed in their homes, "alternative air conditioners" should be considered. Here are some suggestions and low cost options to help you keep cool, ventilate your home, and save money.

Passive Cooling
Passive cooling uses nonmechanical methods to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. One of the most effective passive cooling methods involves keeping heat from building up in the first place. The primary source of heat gain can often be attributed to sunlight that is absorbed by your home through the walls, windows, and roof. Secondary sources can come in the form of heat-generating appliances and air leakages.

Prevent heat gain by reflecting sunlight away from your house, shading and blocking the heat, removing built-up heat, and by reducing heat-generating sources in your home.

Save Energy
Sometimes the above strategies may not provide enough cooling, and mechanical devices may have to be used as supplements. Ceiling fans and evaporative coolers can be energy efficient choices, as they cost less to install and run as standard air conditioners. Ceiling fans have the ability to lower the air temperature by about four degrees, and evaporative coolers use one fourth the energy of conventional air conditioners. However, keep in mind that evaporative coolers are only suitable for dry climates.

Contact your local utility companies and inquire about rebates and cost-incentive programs when you purchase or install energy-saving products such as lighting, appliances, and insulation.

Consider a Whole House Ventilation Fan
If you are looking for a lower-cost, natural alternative to an air conditioner, whole house ventilation may be the solution. Installing a whole house fan costs only a fraction of central of central or wall-mount air conditioning (around $300-$400 versus up to $2500), and operating costs may be as little as 10 percent of the cost of operating an air conditioner.

When the fan is activated, cooler air from the outside is drawn into the house via open windows and doors, and warmer air is pushed out of the house through ventilation spaces in the roof or gable end walls. This air movement cools your house by replacing hot air with cooler air; by flushing out hot air; and by creating a gentle breeze that cools occupants by an evaporation effect.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Save Money with Alternative Heating & Cooling Options

Unfortunately, when compared to the rest of the world, Americans use twice as much energy as necessary to heat and cool their homes, which accounts for a lot of wasted energy. In order to conserve energy, consumers can either replace non-renewable resources with renewable energy or try alternative heating and cooling sources. Listed below are a few examples of such alternative sources:

Swamp Coolers
A swamp cooler or “evaporative cooler” functions similarly to a conventional air conditioner, but at a fraction of the price. Swamp coolers operate on less than a quarter of the electricity of a regular air conditioning system and cool the air by blowing air through wet pads. Because these appliances blow slightly humidified air into the home, these are only suitable for climates that are relatively dry.

Wood has been used as a heating fuel since antiquity, and there are a variety of wood-burning fireplaces and stoves on the market today. Although wood can be used as a primary heat source, wood is best used as a supplement to existing central heating systems. If you have access to inexpensive or free wood, installing a wood-burning stove can dramatically reduce your energy bill.

Burning wood in an older fireplace is not practical, as the wood burns uncontrollably and inefficiently, with 90% of the heat energy produced going up the flue and producing copious amounts of smoke. In addition, heat that is generated through a fireplace leaks through windows and allows for drafts.

Standalone Wood Furnaces
The popularity of exterior wood furnaces continues to increase. These units consist of a small building that sits outside of a house that contains a wood-burning stove. This stove heats water that is then pumped into the house through underground pipes, with the pipes then traveling to a conventional air handler. These systems are advantageous because they use logs that do not require cutting or splitting, and they need to be fueled only once or twice a day.

Corn Stoves
Corn stoves are popular alternatives in areas where field corn is abundant and inexpensive. Corn stoves have a hopper on top or on the side into which bags or bushels of corn are deposited. An auger controlled by a thermostat then shuffles the corn into a firebox, where an intense fire combusts the corn and turns it into heat that is moved around the room by a small fan.

Masonry Heaters
Masonry heaters burn wood in an enclosed firebox and the combustion gases travel through a maze of masonry passages where they release their heat. While many of these heaters are ornate and can be considered works of art, these are often large and expensive, and a room or an entire area in a home is usually designed around a masonry heater.

While these cooling and heating methods require an initial investment, they can still help keep your energy costs down and provide comfort for you and your family.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Its Portable Air Conditioner Season right? Well spring is also Air Purifier Time

right now its portable air conditioner season, get your cooling products before the summer rush right? Get the new more efficient models right? Right. But its also spring, and that means its also air purifier time.

I will keep it simple. DONT buy just an ionizer. Honestly they are usually worthless for removing particulates (small things in the air that bother us). Now some HEPA air purifiers have option ionizers and thats fine but just make sure you get a HEPA filter. The Airsopure MS-980 is the best model that i know of as it uses a multilevel process.

A HEPA air puifier can usually only clean smaller areas like the bedroom but at least it will clean that area compared to the promises of ionizers cleaning your whole house

So save a few $ on your portable air conditioner purchase so you have enough to get a good HEPA air purifier also, it will last you for years and energy use is usually pretty limited

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dont Worry - Venting A Portable Air Conditioner Is Not A Big Deal

How many times have you considered ordering a portable air conditioner only yo see that it has to be vented. You say, how is it portable when you have to vent it? Trust me, all portable air conditioners, and for that matter, all air conditioners need to be vented. Its just a fact that they create heat and that heat has to go somewhere.

ITs really easy, here are the basic steps

--- Select the location for the vent.
--- Slide the exhaust connector over the discharge opening on the back of the portable air conditioner.
--- Connect the exhaust hose to the exhaust connector.
--- Fit the opening by adjusting the length of the window kit.
--- Connect the venting window kit adapter to the window kit.
--- Set the window venting kit into the window and connect the exhaust hose to the window kit adapter.
--- Shut the window.

Trust me, its not that hard to do. To read more you can take a look here Portable Air Conditioner Venting


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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Portable Air Conditioner Talk

Well, its been awhile since my last post. Hey, im busy - had a lot to do this winter but as winter ends and it warms up - the cooling season is here.

Message to consumer - order your cooling products early!

Remember last season? It was smoking hot and everyone was out of the best cooling products. dont make the same mistake this season. This is not a threat, its advice and if you remember last year, its good advice. Well for today, ill get into an important idea - EER. Nope, its not an error signal

Is the Higher EER Rating Worth the Extra Cost and what does EER Mean?

Each portable air conditioner has an energy-efficiency rating that lists how many BTUs per hour are used for each watt of power it draws. When discussing portable air conditioners, this rating is the Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. But, if you are talking about central air conditioners, it is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. These ratings are important and are are posted on an Energy Guide Label, which must be attached on all new air conditioners. The higher the EER rating the more efficient the portable air conditioner is - that means you save on energy costs!

Calculating EER The EER of an air conditioner is its British thermal units (BTU) rating over its wattage. This is just an example, if a 10,000-BTU air conditioner consumes 900 watts, its EER is 11 (10,000 BTU/900 watts). A higher EER means that the air conditioning unit is more efficient. However, normally a higher EER is accompanied by a higher price.

Hope this helps you out, asking your sales REP about EER is a good way to get started before your purchase


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Friday, May 12, 2006

Portable Air Conditioner Questions -- Answered !

How is a portable air conditioner different than a window AC?
A portable AC is a small mobile air conditioner unlike a window AC which must be mounted through-the-wall. Furthermore, portable air conditioners do not require permanent installation. All our portable air conditioners are between 29" and 34" tall and weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. Portable air conditioners also work great in apartment situations where a window unit is unacceptable.

Is a portable air cooler and a portable air conditioner the same thing?
No they are not the same. Air coolers use water and evaporation to cool much the same way a swamp cooler cools. Only the direct air stream is cooled (10-15 degrees) and generally air coolers cannot cool the ambient air in a room. Portable Air conditioners use a compressor/Freon to cool and are much more effective in cooling rooms and at keeping the humidity low.

Could you explain why and how portable AC's are vented?
Portable air conditioners extract hot air that must be vented. If the hot air is not vented, the portable air conditioner will not be able to cool a room effectively. Window and venting kits are always included with our portable air conditioners at no extra cost. You may also vent the portable AC through a wall vent, into the attic or drop ceiling, or even around a door! You are only limited by your creativity. *** For venting these Portable AC systems through casement windows (windows that crank out), Plexiglas can be used. Simply cut the Plexiglas to the size of the window, cut out a 5" hole to vent the hose, and place this over the open window. not only is the Portable AC vented, but Plexiglas will allow the same amount of light to pass through the window as before.

How long is the exhaust hose ?
The exhaust hoses are generally between 5 and 7 feet long and are made of high quality 5" flex hose.
How does the window kit work?
The foam window kit simply is cut to fit most any slider or up-down window in your home up to 4 feet. The window is then closed against the foam to seal the air from the outside, the exhaust hose then is fit through a small cutout in the foam. Installation takes about 5 minutes and this allows for easy portability from window to window. For windows larger than 4 feet, simply purchase extra foam at the local hardware store. As mentioned earlier, for unique window situations ( casement (crank-out) windows), a little creativity is all that is needed.


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How to Vent an Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners extract hot air that must be vented. If the hot air is not vented, the portable air conditioner will not be able to cool a room effectively. Window and venting kits are always included with portable air conditioners. You may also vent the portable AC through a wall vent, into the attic or drop ceiling, or even around a door! You are only limited by your creativity. *** For venting Portable AC systems through casement windows (windows that crank out), Plexiglas can be used. Simply cut the Plexiglas to the size of the window, cut out a 5" hole to vent the hose, and place this over the open window. not only is the Portable AC vented, but Plexiglas will allow the same amount of light to pass through the window as before.


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