What Does the HVAC Tonnage Number Mean?

November 20, 2020

If it’s time to replace your AC/heating system, you’ll want to be sure that your unit is strong enough to keep your home in South Central Texas comfortable without being so powerful that it has to constantly turn off and on. While we at GVEC are happy to help with this calculation to ensure your system is properly sized for your home, it’s still good to understand some basic terms related to air conditioning. Although the SEER rating of a specific system is an important place to start, the tonnage of a particular system is also important to consider. It All Comes Down to BTUs Although the concept of air conditioning is fairly new, the idea of energy transfer is quite old. Since an air conditioning system is essentially just a sophisticated energy-transfer system, the terms related to energy transfer apply. That’s why BTUs play an important role in determining the tonnage of a given system. Essentially, the tonnage measurement of an HVAC unit is the amount of heat a system can remove from a space in an hour, which is based upon a predetermined formula derived from how much energy it takes to melt a literal ton of ice...

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What is a Mini Split AC System?

November 10, 2020

If you have a space in your Guadalupe Valley home and you want to control the temperature independently, a mini-split air conditioner may be just what you need. These unique systems provide efficient cooling and heating for small homes, specific areas in large homes, and anywhere you need a little extra cooling and heating capacity. As a trusted supplier of these units, we at GVEC are happy to provide you with some basic information to help you understand if one could help you. No Ducts The biggest difference between a mini-split AC system and a typical central air conditioning unit is that a mini-split system doesn’t use ducts. Instead, the unit itself is mounted on a wall in the room you want to keep cool. Then, as the unit creates cool air, it disperses it directly into the room through vents that are built into the unit. Similar, Just Smaller Similar to a central air conditioner, a mini-split system has two units: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit contains the condenser that begins the process of cooling the refrigerant after it’s been compressed. Then, the refrigerant is sent inside to further condense to the point that...

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Five Common HVAC Myths Debunked

October 26, 2020

A wealth of information is available online and in other places regarding repairs and maintenance to an HVAC system. However, the variety and high number of views and opinions available increase the importance of separating factual information from fiction. With this point in mind, we decided to debunk a few of the most common HVAC system myths. 1. Turning Off Your AC/Heating Unit Saves Money Many homeowners may find it tempting to shut down their AC/heating system completely when away from home, especially if leaving for a long trip such as a vacation. At GVEC, we recommend against this practice. Instead, we suggest setting your thermostat to a point just a bit beyond settings you’d use if anyone was home. This is especially important during the hottest and coldest months of the year. The reason is simple: Starting your HVAC system from a complete shutdown is similar to flooring a car’s accelerator from a dead stop. You’ll burn through much more energy by consistently running a machine this way while increasing overall wear-and-tear on the system. It’s better to let your AC/heating system work its way up or down from a less extreme starting point. 2. Bigger Means Better With...

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Thinking About Insulation as Wintertime Draws Near

October 16, 2020

Colder weather is on the way here in South Central Texas, so now’s the time to get your home ready. During colder months, a lack of insulation can allow warm air from your heating system to leak out and colder air from outdoors to get into your home. (In summer, insufficient insulation can lead to a reversal of this problem, with cold air leaking from the home and warm air seeping in.) With this blog, we aim to help homeowners better understand the types of insulation available for their homes in anticipation of coming winter weather. Blanket Insulation Blanket insulation—which is also called batt insulation or roll insulation—is usually made of fiberglass, plastic, mineral wool or natural fibers. This kind of insulation is used in unfinished spaces, such as attics. Blanket insulation is also a good choice for walls and foundations. Loose Fill or Blown-In Insulation Loose-fill insulation, also known as blown-in insulation, may be made of fiberglass, natural fibers or mineral wool. This insulation type is a good choice for hard-to-reach areas and for adding extra insulation to a space that needs additional protection against leaks of inside air and intrusion of outside air. Loose-fill insulation can be blown...

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Will I Save Money If I Close the AC/Heating Vent to a Room I Don’t Use Much?

September 18, 2020

While it seems logical that closing vents in unused rooms will save you money, it’s a bad idea. Doing this can cause serious problems and cost you money instead of saving it. Blocked Airflow The blower in your heating and cooling system is designed to push against a maximum pressure difference. If you close vents, the blower motor will work harder to maintain proper airflow. This causes a loss in efficiency in your system, which could increase your energy bills. Leaks in Ductwork Since closing vents increases air pressure in your heating and cooling system, duct leaks can result. If there are already holes in the ductwork, they may get wider. This results in conditioned air blowing into your attic or crawlspace. GVEC Home® is a heating and cooling company with offices in the Texas communities of Gonzales, Seguin, Schertz, Cuero, and La Vernia. We can make your heating and cooling system operate more efficiently by performing maintenance checks and tune-ups of your AC/heating system. Cracked Heat Exchanger Your HVAC system needs to work harder when vents are closed. This can result in your furnace’s heat exchanger cracking. This is expensive to fix and may even require you to buy...

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Why Seasonal Maintenance Programs Are Beneficial for Your HVAC System

September 11, 2020

Central AC/heating systems are hardy, powerful home appliances, lasting two decades or longer when maintained properly. Without maintenance, however, they may not last as long or work as efficiently. Check out these benefits of necessary seasonal maintenance programs for HVAC systems. Stay True to Manufacturer Warranty Guidelines When purchased new, heating and cooling systems are almost always protected by a manufacturer’s warranty. Many modern HVAC warranties are quite expansive, covering a plethora of damages or failures. A central reason for these generous warranties is the fact that many homeowners inevitably — and often unknowingly — void them in some way. One of the most common ways they’re voided is by failing to maintain the HVAC system properly and keep records of seasonal maintenance. Prevent Untimely System Failures AC/heating systems have many working parts, most of which the average homeowner is entirely oblivious to. Being unable to tell the difference between a perfectly fine HVAC unit and one that’s about to blow up is critical. However, homeowners shouldn’t be left solely responsible with system maintenance. HVAC professionals can prevent untimely, costly system failures as part of affordable seasonal maintenance programs. Improve Allergy and Asthma Symptoms Seasonal allergies and chronic asthma symptoms...

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Four Important Benefits of HVAC UV Light Systems

August 20, 2020

Many homeowners in Gonzalez, TX, and other others throughout South Central Texas are shocked to discover the air in their homes could be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Furniture, plastics, dry-cleaned clothing, adhesives, paints, cooking and household chemicals all contribute to indoor air quality issues. You may also be concerned about airborne germs in your house. Here are four important benefits of AC/heating air filtration systems that use UV light in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. 1. AC/Heating UV Lights Help Inactivate Allergens Many people suffer from allergies. UV light air filtration systems installed in your heating and cooling system help inactivate a range of allergens, including dust mites, pollen, mold spores and more. You’ll breathe easier and have fewer allergy symptoms. 2. HVAC UV Lights Help Remove Odors Cooking and cleaning generate a lot of odors. Those smells may make you uncomfortable or even nauseous. HVAC UV lights help break down and destroy odor-causing chemicals. If your residence includes a pet, these lights also help eliminate stinky pet odors. Your visitors may not even realize you have a dog or cat after you have a system incorporating UV light installed in your heating...

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Five Common Reasons Why My AC Isn’t Working Properly

August 10, 2020

With high temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the Guadalupe Valley and South Central Texas this summer, you turn to your AC unit for relief. If the air conditioner isn’t working properly, your home could be sweltering hot and unbearably humid. Read on to learn about five common reasons why your cooling system isn’t working properly. 1. Dirty HVAC Filter Dirty air filters are a leading cause of AC and indoor comfort problems. The air filter is located in a small compartment within the indoor unit of your air conditioner. Slide it out and check it. If it’s dirty, replace it. At GVEC Home, we highly recommend checking the air filter monthly regardless of its rating. Admittedly, depending on filter type and the operating environment, some filters can continue working effectively between three and six months. 2. Clogged Condensate Line The humidity condensed from the outside air processed by your AC collects in the AC drain pan and leaves through the condensate line. The pipe can get clogged with algae and other assorted muck. Once every three months, we recommend that the air conditioner be turned off and a solution of vinegar and water poured down the drain to...

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A Profile of ecobee Smart Thermostats

July 20, 2020

Ecobee smart thermostats come in a range of models designed with features to give you control over your home comfort from anywhere and help to save money on your energy bills. These models include the ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control and ecobee3 lite. Both come with several features that make your life easier. Here’s what to know about ecobee smart thermostats and how to get the most out of them. Why Buy an ecobee? An ecobee thermostat can save you around 23% on your annual energy costs compared to keeping your house at a constant 72 degrees. It learns the patterns of your home comfort behaviors and doesn’t heat or cool it as much when nobody is around. You can control an Ecobee with an iOS or Android device, and it’s compatible with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. ecobee SmartSensor ecobee comes packaged with the company’s innovative SmartSensor, which senses both room temperature and occupancy levels. With SmartSensor, you can control your home’s thermostat based on a particular area. Or you can connect to multiple SmartSensors (sold separately)—one for each room if you like—and set an average temperature for your home, helping alleviate hot or...

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Why is it Always Hotter Upstairs in my Home?

July 10, 2020

A common problem for some two-story homes is the upstairs being hotter than the downstairs. You feel nice and comfortable downstairs, but when you go upstairs you feel noticeably warmer. Here are a few of the reasons this occurs. Warm Air Rises As you may remember learning in school, warm air rises while cool air sinks. Your home will naturally be warmer upstairs simply due to physics. Hot Roof Your roof collects a lot of heat in the summer as the sun beats down on it for hours every day. The heat moves into your attic and then into the top floor of your home. Insulation helps prevent this, but it can’t stop all heat from transferring. However, insulation can wear down after time, so sometimes replacing or adding more insulation is needed. This can help keep the upstairs cooler and help with energy efficiency as well. Your Air Conditioner Is Old Most AC units last about 15 to 20 years. Aging air condition systems may not cool as well as they used to. If your upstairs is significantly hotter than your downstairs, it’s entirely possible your old AC unit just can’t push enough cool air throughout your home. GVEC...

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