Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

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.

Indications That You Need Air Conditioning Replacement in Dover, DE

August 5th, 2014

The average lifespan for an air conditioning system is 10-12 years, so it is likely that you will need to replace yours at some point. Replacing your air conditioner offers you the opportunity to install a system that is more energy efficient, better for the environment and can better meet your cooling needs. Atlantic Refrigeration has helped many customers in Dover with air conditioning replacement, and, as such, we know the signs of a failing system. Here are some more common ones of which to be aware:

  • Your home isn’t comfortable – do you have a hard time keeping your home cool, or are there hot and cold spots throughout? This could be the sign of an aging or incorrectly-sized system. In either case, your comfort is compromised, which negates having an air conditioner at all.
  • Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old – according to EnergyStar.gov, today’s air conditioners can be as much as 60% more efficient than ones from just 10 years ago. Part of the reason for this is that in 2006, federal guidelines mandated that the minimum SEER number be raised from 10 to 13. Considering you can save up to 5% per SEER point in energy costs, upgrading your system can lead to substantial savings.
  • You’re facing expensive repairs – if you are facing a repair that financially would cover a large part of the cost of a new system, it may be time to consider full replacement. 
  • Constant repairs – is your air conditioner constantly breaking down? Are you calling for air conditioning repair frequently because another problem has developed with your system? Repair costs can add up, and it may not make sense to keep paying for them on an aging unit.
  • You air conditioner uses R-22 (Freon) – R-22 is being phased out by the federal government; for now, if your AC uses with Freon, you can recharge it if needed, but prices on it are rising rapidly. Additionally, if your air conditioner uses Freon, you’ll have to replace the system by 2020 because Freon will no longer be available. As such, if you’re having continued problems with your R-22 refrigerant, you are probably paying more money for the repairs simply because it’s R-22. Both problems may make it worthwhile to replace now.

When It’s Time to Replace, Call an Expert

Choosing, sizing and installing a new air conditioner take into account many important factors, which is why it’s important to work with a trained professional from start to finish.

If it’s time for air conditioning replacement in your Dover home, call the people you can trust: Atlantic Refrigeration.

Reasons to Look into Geothermal Cooling in Dover, DE

July 29th, 2014

During the summer, the largest share of electrical power in your home goes straight to the air conditioning system to keep the rooms cool. Over only a single season, the costs to remain comfortable in your home using the AC can run quite high.

There are many ways to cut down on your air conditioning bills. One of the best long-term solutions is to install a geothermal cooling system as a replacement for your current AC. This will lower your bills, but also offer numerous other advantages that make this an appealing change—even with the large amount of work required for the installation.

However, you don’t need to worry about the intensive labor involved, because Atlantic Refrigeration can handle that when it comes to geothermal cooling in Dover, DE. Here are some of the reasons we think you should contact us to learn more about geothermal power for your home:

Geothermal cooling is also geothermal heating

The first important thing to understand about a geothermal system is that it is actually a heat pump, and that means it can provide heating as well as cooling. Like all heat pumps, a geothermal (or “ground-source”) heat pump moves heat from one location and deposits it in another. A geothermal heat pump can remove heat from indoors and place it in the ground, cooling your home, or it can move the heat from the ground and bring it indoors for warmth.

Efficient, reliable operation

The secret to the lower costs of geothermal cooling is that the heat pump uses the stable temperature of the earth 6–10 feet under the frost line for its heat exchange. No matter how hot it grows outside, the heat pump always has a cool place to deposit heat from inside you home. A geothermal system works even more efficiently during cold weather, when standard heat pumps (“air-source” heat pumps) will suffer drops in efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that geothermal heat pumps work 3–6 times more efficiently than air-source models.

Longevity

There are few home comfort systems that will last as long once installed as a geothermal heat pump. The ground loops can endure more than 50 years, with only minimal repairs and easy regular maintenance. This means you will have many years to enjoy the savings from the geothermal heat pump past the initial payback period.

There is one caution with geothermal systems, which is that they will not work in every location and climate. For the loops to effectively draw and deposit heat, they must have sufficient space and depth, and small properties may not offer enough.

It is easy to find out if your house and property are suited to geothermal installation. Rely on us for the installation work for whatever cooling system you decide on.

Call the Dover, DE geothermal cooling experts at Atlantic Refrigeration, and we will send a professional to your house to survey the possibilities. 

Ways to Bring Down Your Business’ Air Conditioning Costs

July 22nd, 2014

When you are a business owner, air conditioning is not a luxury: it is a necessity. It is also a business cost, and one that can be a sizable part of your overall monthly budget. It may seem difficult to bring down the cost of your commercial air conditioning in Georgetown, but, just as you can take steps in your home to reduce energy usage, you can also do the same for your business. Here are some suggestions from Atlantic Refrigeration on ways you can bring down your business’ air conditioning costs:

  • Schedule regular maintenance – if you have your own air conditioning unit for your business space, keep your AC in optimal shape by scheduling bi-annual maintenance during the spring and fall each year. Maintenance keeps your air conditioner efficient, which saves you money.
  • Don’t ignore problems – hearing something strange, smelling something off, or feeling a decrease in air flow? Whether your business has its own air conditioner or   is part of a larger building system, don’t ignore signs of potential problems.
  • Use programmable thermostats – thermostats are the instruments that cue your system to cycle. Using a programmable thermostat can save you upwards of 15% per year on energy costs because you can tailor temperature settings to specific times of day. This can be especially helpful during non-business hours.
  • Check on the state of ductwork – most business space is rented or leased. If yours is, check with the building management about the ductwork. Examples of questions to ask are the age of the ductwork, when does it get cleaned, it is insulated, and how often is it inspected for problems. Faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of air loss in a system, a loss you’ll pay for in monthly energy bills.

Questions About Commercial Services? Call Us!

Atlantic Refrigeration has helped many businesses with commercial air conditioning needs.

Whether you need repair, replacement, installation or advice on a new system, call Atlantic Refrigeration for all your commercial air conditioning needs.

Problems Caused by Low Indoor Air Quality

July 14th, 2014

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), low indoor air quality is currently one of the major health threats in the country. Because modern buildings have heavy heat sealing on them to conserve energy, very little fresh air can circulate indoors and clear out the stale air. The air that continues to circulate through a building’s HVAC system begins to collect dust, dirt, pollen, dander, dust mites, and other contaminants that have no way to escape except to return to the air that people inside the building breathe.

Your home can suffer from this problem, but you have options available to increase your indoor air quality. To find out some of the methods that will protect the your family’s health, contact our Dover, DE indoor air quality professionals at Atlantic Refrigeration.

The problems of a reduction in indoor air quality

  • Health issues: This is the primary concern of contamination in a home’s air. The EPA links low indoor air quality to a number of health problems, such as bronchitis and increases in asthma and allergy-related symptoms. Insomnia, skin- and eye-irritation, coughing, wheezing, congestion, lethargy, and headaches are also connected to drops in indoor air quality. People who already suffer from asthma and allergies are particularly susceptible to poor air in a home.
  • HVAC system inefficiency and malfunctions: The dust and dirt that collects inside the ventilation system of a home (the main reservoir of pollution) will create resistance against airflow from the heater and air conditioner. This will lead to an increase in utility bills as the system struggles to reach its expected level of heating or cooling. The contamination in the ductwork can also cause damage to the interior components and clog the air filter, leading to poor performance and unnecessary repairs.
  • Dusty and dirty home: The average amount of dust that a six room house circulates through its HVAC system each year is 40 lbs.! It won’t stay in the ventilation system either: that dust and dirt will settle all over a home, making it difficult to keep furnishings and floors clean. A house that seems to never stay dust-free for long, no matter how often you dust, is warning you that the air quality is poor and something needs to be done.

What you can do to raise your air quality

There are many ways to combat poor indoor air quality, and professionals like those at Atlantic Refrigeration can help you. Air filtration systems and electronic air purifiers can prevent particles from entering the air and the ventilation system. Energy recover ventilators and heat recovery ventilators allow fresh outdoor air into your home without losing energy and jeopardizing comfort. Duct testing and sealing can prevent excess contamination from entering the ductwork and subsequently into your home.

If you want to breather easier call our Dover, DE indoor air quality specialists today and get started with cleaning the air in your home.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the singing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the July 4—although many years later.

Our family at Atlantic Refrigeration hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.