Archive for the ‘humidity’ Category

Install a Dehumidifier with My AC? Why?

Monday, May 4th, 2015

We are no strangers to heat and humidity in Asheville, NC, and one of the best ways for us to keep cool is with whole home air conditioning. But sometimes the humidity can become so heavy that your AC may struggle to keep up with demand. This is because air conditioners remove both heat and humidity, and when there’s an excess of moisture in the air, your air conditioner has to work that much harder to achieve the cooling you want. When you install and use a whole house dehumidifier, the excess moisture is removed from your home’s air, allowing your AC to do the work it needs to, unhindered. The specialists at Comfort Central, Inc., have seen firsthand how much whole house dehumidifiers can help homeowners, and we can install, repair, maintain and replace them for you. Just give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality experts. (more…)

Why Consider the Installation of a Whole Home Dehumidifier?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Heat and humidity are a part of North Carolina summers, but when you add a whole home dehumidifier to your existing air conditioner, you help both yourself and your AC. Spring is a great time of year to add upgrades to your AC system, and when you hire the trained specialists at Comfort Central, Inc., to perform any kind of work to your system, you can rest assured that the work will be done correctly and efficiently the first time around. Call us today and schedule an appointment for your home in Asheville, NC.

How Dehumidifiers Help

The EPA states that healthy levels of humidity range from 30-55%. Humidity levels below 30% are too dry and levels over 55% make things too moist. Humidity isn’t just wet, though – it holds heat. This is why a humid day of 70 degrees will feel hotter and more uncomfortable than a dry day at 70 degrees. Some of the problems that can develop in your home from excessive humidity are:

  • Mold, mildew and fungi development
  • Warping of wood products, including flooring
  • Rot
  • Increased allergy issues
  • Destruction of paper products, including photographs, and fabrics

Whole home dehumidifiers remove the excess moisture from the air before it can circulate within your AC system and through your home. As such, one of the most important ways a dehumidifier helps your AC is by taking the extra work load off your AC system. In turn, this allows your AC to operate at normal levels instead of stressed ones. A dehumidifier also helps reduce energy usage. Again, it takes work to remove humidity from your home, and if your AC has to remove it all, the AC will have to work harder, thereby using more energy. Problems with discomfort are always an issue when it comes to excess humidity, and achieving a better comfort level indoors is another benefit of whole home dehumidifier usage. Excess moisture combined with air conditioning can make your indoors feel cold and clammy instead of cool and dry; a dehumidifier helps you avoid this kind of discomfort.

If you’ve been looking for a way to beat the heat without breaking your budget, it may be time to consider installing a dehumidifier. Our professionals can help you with all your air conditioning needs, so call us today!

And Why Did You Buy ‘That’ Car?

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

What do you look for when you shop for a car? I admit it…my first car, was not much to look at or provide much in the way of performance. But…I had keys to the kingdom, and I was happy. As I got older and my finances allowed me to shop more based on features and benefits. I found my purchases were usually practical for my circumstances at the time.

Like when I lived in Maryland and commuted 50 miles each way 5 days a week, fuel economy and reliability topped my list. Or when I lived in Chicago, parking hard to come by, a compact won out. I still opted for budget model, mostly so I wouldn’t get upset about the scrapes and dents that showed up.

When I started to take road trips with my family, I actually did purchase a mini van—it was awesome…we even had the media center and the captain’s chairs were extremely comfortable for the long rides.

And eventually, I was able to purchase my “luxury” vehicle, in addition to my daily driver. Yeah, I admit it, I bought a Honda Shadow 750. I soon replaced it with my Harley Davidson Road King Custom.

Would you shop differently for that car, if every time you stepped on the gas pedal you had full throttle acceleration? Think about the implications. No more easing into parking spaces. Stop and Go traffic would be a white knuckle experience. The question of how many cup holders it has become less important hasn’t it?

So what does all this have to do with the Solution to Comfort Delivery Problem #3: The Wrong Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment was Installed?

Now days, in my heating and cooling world, we have many features bantered about that are available in some of the equipment options we may present you. These include Modulating Gas Valves, Variable Speed Motors, Variable Speed Compressors even. Technology is a great and wonderful thing. But the performance of these equipment choices are no substitute for proper sizing. In fact some of these systems, are so smart they will tell you they are failing and what is causing the failure.

Regardless of these new equipment features and benefits, they are all rated for their performance at “full acceleration.” So having the wrong sized equipment installed in your home is like having a car that goes full speed or is stopped.

See…had I simply opted to add Captain Chairs to my daily driver at the time (a Nissan Sentra) instead of investing in the minivan—well, it would have been silliness #1 and I am betting a lot more uncomfortable than the Nissan was as stock. None of the above mentioned features available in equipment today will forgive improperly sized equipment.

So what can you do about Comfort Delivery Problem #3: The Wrong Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment was installed?

First, we recommend you measure the whole house for air leakage. Utilizing a Blower Door, we can often uncover hidden air leaks causing you discomfort. A Blower Door is a tool that uses a large fan, temporarily installed in a doorway, to pressure test the whole house for air leaks. The air leakage rate is an important factor in determining the correct equipment size.

Second, the house’s insulation levels, windows, solar orientation and humidity control needs need to be carefully surveyed.

Third, with the above provided information, a thorough equipment sizing calculation is conducted. This ensures you will be provided the appropriately matched equipment for your house. Not based on features, benefits, or your neighbor’s home…but properly sized to provide the comfort you deserve.

What are the reasons why to buy “that” car? What ultimately motivated your final choice. For your comfort and safety, we just recommend you ask the professional to show you their homework. See, what good are features and benefits if they cannot be used as intended? Next blog, we will tackle Comfort Problem #4: The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly. Until then, please do not hesitate to contact us at customercare@comfort-central.com or call us at (828) 483-4040 with any questions. Again, our website also has some useful information: www.comfort-central.c om.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much of a Good Thing?

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

When I think of things that bring me comfort, I would have to say the answer would be no. I truly enjoy and get much comfort from my family, friends, my job. The list could go on. But then I think of those wonderful family dinners. You know like the Thanksgiving Feast, with all its comfort foods, and I can remember a time or two where I was not feeling too comfortable afterwards. But that discomfort is temporary and the memories for years later of being with my friends and family—not that discomfort—is what I think of.

Unfortunately, Comfort Delivery Problem #3 is not temporary. Well, it doesn’t last forever, but you will be forced to live with it daily for many years. You see, in the world of home or building comfort, Bigger is Usually Not Better. So lets kick off our discussion of Comfort Delivery Problem #3: The Wrong Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment was installed.

Heating and Cooling Equipment is only a portion of a well designed, well installed, well serviced comfort system. Hopefully the discussion about Comfort Delivery Problems #1 and #2 helped to expand how you look at your system. But some things you may not be aware of:

  • Many heating and cooling systems are installed without first determining the proper size unit needed for the house.
  • Some contractors use simple rules of thumb to size replacement equipment, or worse, they always recommend getting something a little bigger—just in case!
  • Some contractors may choose to install a larger system because you report your current system isn’t providing you with proper comfort.
  • Sometimes they choose to install the same size equipment that was already in the home, without taking into consideration changes to home since its original construction (and assuming the original installation contractor did their homework back when.)
  • Equipment sizing should be based on an evaluation of the home’s insulation levels, air leakage rate, windows, solar orientation and humidity control needs.

FACT: Oversized equipment causes problems

  • Oversized air conditioners and heat pumps do not run long enough to remove moisture from the air. Result: Your home feels damp and muggy.
  • A June 1998 Consumer Reports Magazine article cautions about being sold an oversized unit: While an oversized air conditioner may cool a space more rapidly…oversized machines might not reduce humidity very well.
  • Oversized units also tend to cycle on and off more frequently. This results in:
    • Large temperature swings
    • More wear on the equipment

Are you comfortable? This is simple. Proper sizing is the bottom line.

Unlike that family feast, if your system isn’t sized properly, there is a good chance it will not work properly for the life of the equipment. If you aren’t comfortable, you will think about it each and every time it runs. In cases where an existing system isn’t providing proper comfort, simply installing a bigger system without diagnosing the cause of the problem will often make matters worse. Fixing the cause of the comfort problem (poor insulation, duct leaks, restricted air flow or excessive house air leaks) is almost always a better solution than installing a bigger heating or cooling system. What’s better—these are a fix it once, little or no maintenance items, unlike that oversized equipment that will experience more frequent break downs (increasing your cost of ownership in both repairs and higher utility bills.)

Now…. I am starting to feel uncomfortable. In our next blog, I will address the Solution to Comfort Delivery Problem #3. Stay tuned. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (828) 483-4040, or via our website. We also have some articles on our website at www.comfort-central.com that can help.