Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Some Reasons to Schedule Duct Sealing Today

October 13th, 2014

One of the best ways to prepare for winter is to get your heating system ready to work – this also includes your ductwork. Ductwork has a long lifespan, typically 30 years or more, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need repair at some point. Faulty ductwork can cause several problems, and one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate these problems is to schedule duct sealing in Rehoboth Beach. With professional duct sealing, you can repair the holes and cracks in your system, bringing your ductwork back to optimal functioning. Call Atlantic Refrigeration today and schedule an appointment with one of our NATE-certified technicians.

What Is Duct Sealing?

When a technician seals your ducts, he/she uses a few tools to ensure that the seal lasts. Typical materials are mastic adhesive, professional-grade foil or fiberglass tape and metal bindings. When repairing holes and cracks, the technician will first cover the damaged area with mastic, which is a fibrous adhesive that hardens into a seal. Next, the technician will place a piece of professional-grade tape over the mastic to reinforce the seal. The mastic is allowed time to cure so that it can harden.

If a section of your ductwork has become disconnected from another, the technician will apply mastic to both ends, then join them and wrap them in a metal binding. The binding will be secured with sheet metal nails and the mastic will be allowed to cure.

Benefits of Duct Sealing

  • Improved indoor air quality – when you have cracks and holes in your ductwork, particles and contaminants can get into your air flow and are delivered directly into your living spaces. This can compromise the quality of your indoor air.
  • Improved energy efficiency – many homes with ducted heating and cooling systems experience a level of air loss, but faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of the total air loss. Your HVAC system will compensate for any amount of air loss, so the higher the air loss, the more energy your system will need to compensate for the loss. By repairing these issues, you can restore your energy efficiency levels.
  • Less stress on your system – not only does your system use more energy when there is significant air loss, it also runs harder. This puts stress on your system that can cause premature aging and wear and tear.

Professional duct sealing in Rehoboth Beach can help improve your indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

Get ahead of winter energy costs this year and schedule an appointment with an Atlantic Refrigeration certified specialist today.

Question from Ocean City: How Are Geothermal Systems Installed?

October 6th, 2014

Investing in a geothermal heating and cooling system is one of the best ways to save money every month. Geothermal systems rely on the steady temperature underneath the surface of the earth to reliably heat or cool your home. These systems often require few repairs, and may save homeowners hundreds on cooling and heating costs every year. In fact, the cost of installation may be offset very quickly through monthly savings and local incentives. But while cost is an important factor many homeowners take into consideration when choosing a new system, others are more worried about the installation process. Let’s take a look at how geothermal heating and cooling works, as well as how it is installed.

How It Works

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are also known as geothermal heat pumps. Many homeowners use air source heat pumps, which can also provide both heating and air conditioning. In the summer, air source heat pumps uses refrigerant to absorb heat from the air in your home and release it outdoors. In the summer, the process is reversed, as heat from the outdoor air is distributed into your home. A geothermal heat pump uses a similar process, except heat is absorbed from or released into the earth via a water and refrigerant solution. Because the temperature underground does not change, it’s a more reliable source of heating and cooling, particularly in areas with harsh winter climates.

How It Is Installed

Many homeowners are most concerned about the installation process. The two main components of a geothermal heating and cooling system are the heat pump and the loop field. The heat pump is the indoor component, while the loop field is a set of coiled tubes buried under the ground. The technician buries a set of coiled tubes in the earth, generally in one of two ways.

For many homes, vertical loop field installation is the norm because it requires less space. This requires drilling deep into the ground, so it may be a more costly process than the alternative, horizontal loop field installation. Horizontal loop fields require a lot of outdoor space for installation as long trenches are dug into your property. However, no drilling is required, which generally makes it less costly. In fact, geothermal installation offers some benefits; because these tubes are buried underground, they are not exposed to the elements, which may mean fewer repairs.

To schedule geothermal heating system installation in Ocean City, MD call the geothermal experts at Atlantic Refrigeration today!

Why Homeowners Choose Radiant Systems in Georgetown

September 29th, 2014

Radiant heating systems are comprised of cables or pipes situated between the subfloor and the floor surface. A central heating unit pumps hot water through the system, causing heat to radiate upwards through the floor and into the room. Panels can also be installed in the walls for the same purpose. Radiant heating systems have been around for a while, and are installed in homes all across the country. Why should you consider installing such a system, though? Read on to discover the benefits of radiant heating over traditional forced air.

Air Quality

A forced air system works by taking air from inside your home, heating it, and then circulating it. Unfortunately, this means that the system is easily affected by the air quality around your home. If you have allergies, they can be exacerbated by allergens that have been trapped in your forced air system. Radiant heating completely avoids this by relying on water or electricity to transport heat.

Even Heating

When a forced air system blows hot air into a room, the air rises to the top of the room and lowers as it cools down. This creates an unevenly heated environment, where the upper part of the room may be warm but the lower part is still quite cold. This can be very uncomfortable, especially when your upper body is warm but you still have to walk across cold floors. By comparison, a radiant system transmits heat from the floor to the objects on top of it. These objects, like couches and chairs, then transmit that heat to the surrounding area. This causes the air itself to remain at a fairly constant temperature, while keeping you warm as you move around and sit on furniture.

Efficiency

As much as 30% of the energy devoted to heating is lost in forced air heating systems. This is often due to leaks in the ducts. Radiant systems, on the other hand, deliver almost all of their heating energy to the rooms in the house. This makes it far more efficient than forced air systems, saving you money on your utility bill.

If you are thinking about installing a radiant system in your home, call Atlantic Refrigeration today. No matter where you are in Georgetown, our experts can help you!

Warning Signs That You May Need Heating Repair

September 22nd, 2014

The colder weather hasn’t yet arrived in Delaware, but it won’t be long before you will need to turn on your home’s heating system once again for the winter weather. Is your heater prepared for the job? Now is the best time to find out if the system needs to have any repair work done and have the job taken care of before the outdoor thermometer starts to drop.

To find out if your heater requires repairs, take it for a “test drive” during a warm fall day and turn it on for an hour. We’ll list some of the warning signs to watch for during this time that will indicate you should call professionals in Dover, DE for heating repair. You can reach Atlantic Refrigeration any time of the day or night when you need skilled technicians to fix your heater in time for the colder weather.

Watch for these warnings from your heater

  • Strange noises: This is the most common indication that something is malfunctioning inside a heating system. Mechanical grinding and groaning, clicking, hissing, and rumbling are all noises that you shouldn’t hear coming from your home’s heater. Anything that sounds out of the ordinary should prompt you to call for repairs.
  • Odd smells from the vents: If you use a forced-air heater, such as a furnace or heat pump, then musty or burning odors wafting from the vents could mean a number of problems are afflicting the heater. Don’t try to diagnose the source on your own: leave this to the professionals.
  • Water leaks: This is specific to boilers. Look to see that no water is dripping from the pipes or pooling in the area around the tank.
  • Low airflow: Check on the air coming from the vents in each room. If the airflow feels lower than it should from one or more of the vents, then you should contact repair technicians to see what the problem might be.

Another sign to watch for when your heater begins to run regularly is an increase in your heating bills above what you normally expect to pay. This kind of cost spike usually means the system is experiencing a malfunction that is cutting into its efficiency.

Even if everything seems fine during the test run for your heating system, you still need to schedule a pre-season inspection and tune-up for it from professionals. Atlantic Refrigeration offers a comprehensive maintenance program that will make sure there are no impending repair issues with your heater, and also see that it is working at its most efficient.

Contact the heating professionals at Atlantic Refrigeration today to schedule a maintenance session or for any heating repair in Dover, DE you may need.

Why Install a Commercial Dehumidifier for Your Business?

September 15th, 2014

It’s important that your business space is comfortable, and this entails more than just the temperature. If the quality of your indoor air is lacking, it can affect you, your customers and your business. One of the ways indoor air quality can be compromised is with excess humidity. One of the best ways to help your air conditioner, your business and your customers is to improve your commercial indoor air quality in Ocean City, MD with a commercial dehumidifier. As with any upgrade to your system, it’s important to hire trained professionals for the work, and Atlantic Refrigeration has the trained and certified commercial technicians who can help improve your indoor air.

Reasons to Install a Commercial Dehumidifier

As we mentioned above, installing a dehumidifier to your commercial AC can help improve the indoor air quality in your business space, but there are several other reasons to consider installing a commercial dehumidifier:

  • Better health – mold, mildew, fungus and dust mites thrive at relative humidity levels above 60 percent. These types of micro-organisms can contribute to asthma attacks, allergy problems and other respiratory conditions, as well as damage to your products. The recommended humidity level for indoors is between 30 percent and 50 percent, levels a commercial dehumidifier can easily achieve.
  • Improved comfort – sometimes the dehumidifying function of your air conditioning system can’t keep up with demand. A commercial dehumidifier removes the excess moisture from the air before it can become part of your indoor air taking the extra load off your AC and allowing it to cool your business space as needed.
  • Energy savings – with a commercial dehumidifier, you don’t have to run the air conditioner more than necessary to cool things off; this helps save energy.

Don’t let your business space become uncomfortable due to excess humidity.

Call the professionals at Atlantic Refrigeration today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts to improve your commercial indoor air quality in Ocean City, MD.

Why Install a Dehumidifier in Seaford, DE?

September 8th, 2014

Your air conditioner is designed to remove both heat and humidity, but during periods of excessive humidity, it can be challenging for your AC to keep up. Humidity holds heat, so any time there is excess humidity in the air, it forces your air conditioner to work harder in order to cool your home. A great way to help your air conditioner and increase the comfort in your home is by adding a whole-home dehumidifier to your Seaford, DE property. With professional installation from Atlantic Refrigeration, you can dehumidify your home easily.

Signs You Have Too Much Humidity

You can feel humidity most of the time, but sometimes it can be difficult to spot excess humidity when the AC is running. Here are some common signs:

  • Sticky feeling on the skin
  • Stickiness on surfaces – counter tops, tables, etc.
  • Condensation on walls
  • Fogging windows
  • Cold, clammy feeling in your home

How Does a Whole-Home Dehumidifier Help?

When you install a dehumidifier into your existing HVAC system, the air in your home is dehumidified before it becomes part of your system’s air flow. The dehumidifier is part of your system, so it operates with the cycles of your air conditioner as well as independently. The process is seamless and easy.

What are the Benefits of a Dehumidifier?

Installing a dehumidifier has several benefits worth considering:

  • Better comfort – removing the excess moisture from your indoor air leaves the air dry and cool, and as a result, more comfortable.
  • Better health – excess humidity can exacerbate chronic respiratory problems like asthma, and allergens like dust mites, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. Eliminating the excess moisture in your home can reduce or eliminate these problems.
  • Less stress on your system – as we mentioned above, when there is excess humidity, your air conditioner has to work harder. By reducing the amount of moisture in the air with a dehumidifier, you remove the extra stress on your AC.

A whole-home dehumidifier for your Seaford, DE home can help improve comfort, indoor air quality and the health of you, your family and your air conditioner.

If you are interested in what a dehumidifier can do for you and your home, call Atlantic Refrigeration today and schedule an appointment.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

The Benefits of Heat Pumps

August 27th, 2014

These days, homeowners have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing an air conditioning system for their home. In fact, there are so many choices, it can be difficult deciding which system will work best for you. Working with a trained professional, like the ones at Atlantic Refrigeration, can help with the decision-making. One of these choices is a heat pump, and we’ll explain below some of the unique benefits of installing one.

Benefits of a Heat Pump

There are several benefits to installing a heat pump:

  • Both heats and cools – heat pumps provide both heating and cooling because of the reversing valve. This valve allows the heat pump to switch between modes.
  • Excellent energy efficiency – heat pumps do not use fossil fuels because they don’t create heat. Instead, they transfer heat, so they only need a small amount of electricity to run.
  • Very “green” – because heat pumps do not need fossil fuels, they do not emit greenhouse gases.
  • Long lifespan – the average lifespan of a heat pump is 15-20 year with good maintenance.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are 5 main types of heat pumps: (NOTE: ask Atlantic Refrigeration about which ones we carry)

  • Central heat pump – this kind of heat pump works in conjunction with an air handler that delivers air through ductwork.
  • Ductless heat pump – this kind of heat pump delivers cooling (and heating) via ductless blowers.
  • Ground source/geothermal heat pump – this kind of heat pump is part of a geothermal system in which heat is extracted from the Earth’s natural, steady temperature below the frost line. When cooling, it pulls heat from your indoors and deposits it into the ground.
  • Air source heat pump – the most common kind of heat pump, these kinds of heat pumps transfer heat from one place to another.
  • Hybrid heat pump – this kind of system allows you to use a heat pump as the main source of heating, but will trigger the use of a furnace for the very coldest days, as heat pumps can struggle to provide adequate heat on their own below 32 degrees.

Heat pumps in Middletown can be a great choice for your home.

If you think a heat pump may be right for you, Call Atlantic Refrigeration today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

 

What Are Energy Recovery Ventilators?

August 20th, 2014

Having an energy efficient home is important for you, your family and your wallet. However, some homes can be too airtight, which can cause problems with proper ventilation. No one wants to throw open a window in the middle of summer or winter to allow fresh air into the home, and with an energy recovery ventilator in Dover, you don’t have to. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) from Atlantic Refrigeration can help you properly ventilate your home while also reducing your energy usage.

How Does an ERV Work?

An ERV is a component that attaches directly to your HVAC system, and is used year-round. ERVs capitalize on a law of thermodynamics that states energy will spontaneously move from areas of high energy to low energy. As such, when two different temperatures meet, the heat, which is energy, transfers from the higher temperature to the lower one. Additionally, ERVs transfer moisture in a very similar way to heat. Inside every ERV is a heat exchanger that allows moisture to transfer between incoming and outgoing air. As with heat, high levels of moisture move to lower levels of moisture.

How Does It Differ Seasonally?

Here is how an ERV works during summer and winter:

Winter – upon expulsion from your home, the warm, humidified indoor air transfers moisture and heat to the cold, dry incoming air, preheating it and adding needed moisture as it enters your HVAC system.

Summer – the cool, dehumidified air is expelled, and as the fresh, more humid air enters, the expelled indoor air absorbs the excess heat and moisture from the incoming air before leaving the system. This pre-cools and dehumidifies the incoming air before it enters your system.

Benefits of an ERV

  • Greater energy efficiency – the pre-treating of incoming air reduces the amount of work your HVAC system has to do, which helps reduce the amount of energy it uses
  • Better indoor air quality – the constant stream of fresh air increases your indoor air quality
  • Better moisture control – the transfer of moisture helps maintain balanced humidity levels in your home year-round

Installing an energy recovery ventilator to your Dover home is an easy way to increase your energy efficiency and comfort.

For more information on this technology, call Atlantic Refrigeration today and speak to one of our experts to see what an ERV can do for you.

MERV: What It Stands for and Why It’s Important

August 13th, 2014

Indoor air quality is a big part of your comfort, but it’s also a big part of your overall health. The average time a person spends inside his/her house is over 85%, and, if that air isn’t healthy, neither are you. One way to help improve your indoor air is to add an air filtration system from Atlantic Refrigeration to your Berlin, MD property. However, there are a variety of filtration systems from which to choose, and each has its own capability for capturing particles. The best way to understand how effective a given filtration system will be is to look at its MERV rating.

What Does MERV Stand For?

MERV is an acronym for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it is a scale designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that rates the effectiveness of an air filter.

What Is the MERV Scale?

The scale runs from 1 to 20, with 1 being the least effective and 20 being the most effective. Residential filters typically land in the 5-12 range. Different particles are captured at different ratings:

  • 1-4: pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers
  • 5-8: mold, spores, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids
  • 9-12: legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, auto emission particulates, nebulizer droplets
  • 13-16: bacteria, droplet nuclei (from sneezing), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, most paint pigments
  • 17-20: virus, carbon dust, sea salt, smoke

Why Is MERV Important?

MERV is important in understanding the capability of a given filter. For example, if you have allergy sufferers and want to reduce the amount of allergens in your home, the MERV rating you’d need would be at least a 5. One item to note about MERV: if you are looking to install a filter with a MERV over 12, consult with a professional first. Filters with very high MERV ratings can restrict air flow, which is not good for your air conditioning system.

If you are concerned about your indoor air quality and are interested in possibly installing an air filtration system to your Berlin, MD air conditioner, make sure you work with experts to ensure you purchase a system that fits with your needs. Call Atlantic Refrigeration today and schedule an appointment.