Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

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.

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.

Why Schedule Routine Commercial HVAC Maintenance in Dover, DE?

June 30th, 2014

Maintaining comfortable temperatures in your commercial property is every bit as important as doing so in your home. While you will disappoint your family and suffer the consequences of discomfort if your residential HVAC system is not up to par, a failing commercial HVAC system puts the comfort of your tenants, clients, and workforce at risk. This can make for a very bad impression, very quickly. Considering all that is riding on the successful performance of your air conditioning system, it only makes sense that you do everything in your power to keep that equipment in great working condition. Doing so is as simple as dialing our number.  When you schedule your commercial HVAC maintenance in Dover, DE with Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., you can count on a truly remarkable heating and cooling performance.

One of the greatest benefits of regular, professional commercial HVAC maintenance is the fact that it can help your system to operate with great efficiency. You see, commercial heating and cooling equipment is going to degrade over time. It gets a lot of use, and all of that use can lead to the loosening of components, shifting of moving parts, and other general wear and tear. All of this can cause your system to work harder than it ought to in order to heat and cool your property, meaning that more energy will be consumed than ought to be necessary. This will be reflected in higher heating and cooling costs, even as performance quality slips.

Of course, a more efficient performance is not the only way in which routine commercial HVAC maintenance can save you money. It can also help to ensure that your system does not suffer from serious operational problems, eventually requiring costly repair services. During a professional maintenance service, every component of your system is inspected and tuned up as needed. This is a very effective means by which to resolve any minor issues with the system. However, it is also a great opportunity for your technician to discover any more major problems, and to determine what your next step ought to be.

Routine maintenance for your HVAC system is a must. Make sure that yours is completed properly. Schedule service with the experts at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Why Use a Zone Control System When Cooling Your Home in Dover, DE?

June 23rd, 2014

Keeping your home cool during the long, hot summer season can be a real challenge. If you really want to ensure that your home is cool and comfortable all summer long, it is really in your best interest to schedule your air conditioning services with a skilled, trained professional. However, there are also multiple upgrades you may want to consider which will allow you to custom tailor your home cooling system to your individual needs. One of the most effective in doing so is the zone control system.

If you want to cool your home in a more efficient and effective manner, the Dover, DE air conditioning pros at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. are the experts to call.

A zone control system involves the installation of a set of dampers into your ductwork. When cooling your home – or heating it, for that matter – these dampers allow you to break up your home into different temperatures. What this means is that you no longer have to maintain consistent temperatures in every area of your house. When you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense to cool empty bedrooms upstairs to the same degree that you would occupy space in the lower levels of your home. With a zone control system, you no longer have to. This benefits you in a few ways.

Not only can you keep everyone happy, but you can actually use less energy in doing so. By cooling or heating only those areas you wish to, and only to the point that you want to, you can cut down on energy consumption considerably. Not only that, but anyone living with multiple people in the same house knows how different people are comfortable at different temperatures. This can be problematic, as someone inevitably winds up compromising their own comfort. A zone control system can help ensure that everyone in your home is getting the most from your air conditioning system.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve the performance of your air conditioning system, give Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. a call today. We are more than willing to install and service your zone control system with the skill and expertise you deserve. Let us help you enjoy the great comfort you deserve in your home.

Why Choose Ductless Mini Splits in Dover, DE?

June 16th, 2014

With all of the heating and air conditioning options on the market today, you may find yourself at a loss when it comes to choosing the right one for your home. While there is no single “best” HVAC system, there is definitely one best suited to your needs and usage habits. Working with the trained professionals at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. is a great way to ensure that you choose your new system wisely. One great heating and cooling option to consider is a ductless mini split. Ductless mini splits are able to both heat and cool your home with outstanding efficiency and reliability. Here is some information to consider which may help you decide if going ductless in Dover, DE is the right choice for you.

Why Consider Ductless Heating & Cooling?

One of the greatest benefits of a ductless heating and cooling system is the fact that no air ducts are used in their operation. There are a few reasons why this is such an enticing prospect. For starters, air ducts are notorious for wasting energy. While they are quite effective when kept in great working condition, many homeowners fail to realize that there are problems with their ductwork. This means that they wind up paying more money for a lesser performance from their HVAC system. By eliminating the need for air ducts all together, ductless mini splits allow you to avoid such issues. Plus, it is far less obtrusive to install a ductless system into an existing home than it is to install a ducted system.

The use of individual, wall mounted blowers which both heat and cool different areas of your home also make for simple zone controlled heating and cooling. After all, there really is no reason why you should have to heat your kitchen to the same temperature as your bedrooms in the middle of the night. Cut back on energy consumption and boost comfort levels by breaking your home up into temperature zones.

To learn more about ductless mini splits in Dover, DE, just give Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. a call.

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have. We believe that it is very important for you to find the right HVAC system for your home. Call us today, you’ll be glad you did!

Signs of Trouble with Commercial Refrigeration Equipment in Dover, DE

June 9th, 2014

There is a lot of equipment that you depend upon when you own a convenience store, local grocery, diner, bar, or any other food and drink establishment. If your commercial refrigeration equipment in Dover, DE is not held up to the highest standards, there is simply no way in which you can count on it to provide you with the consistent, dependable performance that it ought to. That is why you should be aware of some common signs of trouble with commercial refrigeration equipment. When you keep your eyes peeled, and take such indicators seriously, you can handle any problems with your commercial coolers and freezers before serious issues develop. Call Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. at the first sign of trouble.

First of all, look out for any signs of leaks coming from your refrigeration equipment. If your coolers or freezers are leaking refrigerant, they will fail and put your product at risk of spoiling. Not all leaks are quite so serious, of course. If your door is misaligned or even if a gasket is cracked, condensation may build up and collect around the system. Even problems that do not seem very minor, though, can have serious consequences, so it is always best to contact a trained commercial HVAC technician immediately.

Any strange and unusual sounds should also be evaluated by a trained professional as soon as possible. There are many different issues which may lead your system to make odd noises, and they can vary in degrees of severity. No matter what, though, it is always in your best interest to act fast. Whether a fan blade is bent and is scratching against its casing, or if there is air in your refrigerant line, any damages to your system can serious put the operation of your commercial refrigeration equipment at risk. Don’t let what ought to be a quick fix lead to major issues down the road. Schedule service with us if you suspect a problem.

From nerve wracking noises to lukewarm temperatures within, any operational issues with your refrigeration equipment have the potential to seriously disrupt your day to day operations.

Don’t let this happen on your watch. Call Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. today if you suspect that you need any commercial refrigeration services in Dover, DE.

 

 

Maintaining Your Commercial Ice Machine in Dover, DE

June 2nd, 2014

We completely understand that you have a lot on your plate as a commercial kitchen owner, and that your staff is equally busy each and every night. However, there are certain routine services which must be completed if you want to keep everything running smoothly in your restaurant or bar. One of these tasks is to ensure that your commercial ice machine is properly maintained. The problem is that there are so many other issues to deal with, that you may not remember until it is too late and something goes wrong with your system. Preventive maintenance is always better than reactionary repairs, though, so here are a few tips from the pros at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. regarding the maintenance of your commercial ice machine in Dover, DE.

Ice Machine Maintenance Tips

The most basic task to complete is to change your water filters regularly. The water that feeds your commercial ice machine may not be the purest in the world, and these filters can help ensure that your system is making clean, pure ice even if the supply is not perfect. This should be done at least every 6 months, or according to manufacturers’ instructions. This will allow you to serve your customers drinks that taste just the way they should, without any unwanted contaminants to the flavor or presentation. It will also help to inhibit the buildup of scale within the system or your supply line, which can disrupt the ice making process.

You should also take the time to sanitize your commercial ice machine on a regular basis. Simply changing water filters is not enough to ensure the high quality of your ice machine. By emptying your system of ice and draining out the water therein, you can scrub it clean and sanitize it to ensure that there are no risks of contamination to your ice. For more details regarding how best to care for your commercial ice machine, just call the experts on our team.

When it comes to ice machines and other commercial refrigeration equipment and services in Dover, DE, Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. is the company to call.

We have the products and services you need to keep your business running smoothly. Let us know when you are ready to schedule service.