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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What is a SEER Rating? How to Use it When Choosing the Right Heating Unit for Your Home

December 20, 2019

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER number is used to measure efficiency for air conditioners. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. Each state sets its own minimum standard SEER rating, and in Texas, that number is 14. You can use the SEER rating, along with other information, to make an informed choice about which equipment is right for you. Read on to learn more. How a SEER Rating Affects Your AC/Heating System Keep in mind that the SEER rating indicates the unit’s maximum potential. A unit might be rated at 21 SEER, but that doesn’t mean this level of performance can be achieved in all situations. The laws of thermodynamics apply, and various factors will reduce efficiency and performance. Factors that can impact how an AC system performs in the real world include outdoor temperatures, the size of and environment within the home to be cooled, thermostat settings and whether the system is properly maintained. In other words, a high SEER rating doesn’t automatically mean an AC unit will “pay for itself” compared to a less expensive model. When deciding which model to purchase, then, it’s important to consider other efficiency factors to help...

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HVAC Load Calculation Explained

October 21, 2019

Buying an AC/heating system sized on a hunch can end up costing a lot of money in wasted energy, repair bills and/or a sooner-than-expected need for replacement. Decisions regarding heating and cooling equipment size should be made based on the interior size of the area to be heated and cooled. Load calculation is the way to determine the size of the HVAC system necessary to properly heat and cool your living space with maximum efficiency. Understanding Heat Load The first variable in calculating and properly sizing an HVAC system is heat load. Heat load is the sum of all sources that cause a room or building to heat up. It is expressed in BTU (British Thermal Units) or kW (Kilowatts). In other words, it is the sum of all factors that contribute to the space heating up, which you will need to account for with your AC/heating system. These heat sources include, but are not limited to, sun exposure; kitchen appliances such as ovens and refrigerators; office appliances; other household machinery; lighting and heat that enters through windows; doors and air leaks. Heat load even includes the warmth produced by your body and those of all other occupants. How Does...

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Seven Tips to Save on Your Summer Cooling Bill

August 1, 2019

Summer is typically an energy-intensive season in South Central Texas. With all your cooling needs and indoor activities, your electricity bill may show a significant increase during hotter months. While we can’t control the weather, here are seven tips for helping save money on summertime electric bills. 1. Use Fans Instead of Your AC When Possible If you’ve got ceilings fans in your home and/or portable fans, you can use these to ease the load on your AC during hot, sticky weather. Fans don’t actually lower the room temperature, but evaporate the moisture on your skin, making you feel between four and six degrees cooler. This allows you to lower the temperature on your thermostat, requiring less energy to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature. Because fans don’t lower the temperature, though, be sure to turn them off when no one is in the room; otherwise, they become a waste of energy. 2. Use Blackout and Reflective Drapery to Block Sun Rays The sun hitting your house can contribute to raising the inside temperature. Try replacing your curtains or drapes with ones that reflect and block sunlight better. 3. Use LED Lighting LED lights produce much less heat...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

October 2, 2018

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s no getting around the fact that it costs money to heat and cool your home. The good news that you have more control over that equation than you might realize. Here are three tips that can help you enjoy greater levels of energy efficiency — and therefore lower energy bills — courtesy of our team at GVEC Air Conditioning & Heating in Southern Texas. 1. Assess Your HVAC System HVAC systems lose efficiency over time, especially if they’re not properly maintained. This forces you to run the system hotter or cooler than you normally would just to get the desired effects. The best way to make sure your HVAC system can do its job efficiently is by scheduling regular assessments from our team. We can check the condenser coil, burners, heat exchanger, valves, thermostat, refrigerant, and other variables that affect your system’s overall power and energy efficiency. 2. Look for the Energy Star Today’s generation of air conditioners can produce all the cool air you need while drawing less energy than an older system probably would. The gold standard for energy-efficient heating and cooling components is the Energy Star label. This “seal of...

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What is Super Cooling?

August 21, 2018

In the HVAC space, supercooling refers to cooling your home at a time of day known to retain low temperatures for the rest of the day. This helps minimize the workload for your air conditioning system. It cools air the easiest way possible and when it is least expensive to do so. The Super Cooling Advantage Supercooling allows you to manage your power usage and the resulting bills. It helps save money spent on energy bills. Supercooling helps cut your energy usage by 25% to 33% compared to other times. This is a significant percentage especially during summer when air conditioning costs are at their highest. How to Super Cool Your Home First, acquire your time-of-use plan from your utility. Explore the varying rate plans. The plan indicates cheaper rates for electricity during specific hours of the day and higher rates during other times. Once the plan is activated and running, set the temperature of your thermostat to as low as you can stand it between 68 to 74 degrees. This should be done throughout during off-peak hours with regards to your plan. It will get quite chilly so break out the sweaters and blankets. A programmable thermostat will ease...

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