What Are Climate Neutral Refrigerants?

What Are Climate Neutral Refrigerants?

As AC systems become more of a necessity than a luxury, concerns about their impact on the planet are growing. Fortunately, the recent advent of climate neutral refrigerants can allay some of those worries. Additionally, the most harmful refrigerants are being phased out thanks to new global standards. Obviously, this is good for the planet and it turns out that it’s good for your wallet too. Learn more about the next generation of refrigerants and what they mean for your comfort.

A Shift in AC Refrigerants

The Earth’s ozone layer works like sunscreen. As such, it protects us from the harmful effects of UV radiation. However, refrigerants containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) emit chlorine atoms that deplete the ozone layer. For years, the HCFC refrigerant commonly known as Freon was used regularly used in cooling systems across the country. Today, Freon is only allowed for use in systems that already exist. Starting in 2020, it will no longer even be produced.

The Puron Alternative

Puron was introduced in the late 1990s. It’s the best known of a new class of refrigerants that don’t contain ozone-depleting chlorine. Puron works at a higher pressure than Freon. This has led to the development of new types of compressors, as well. Systems designed for the new AC refrigerants are more durable and efficient than older models. The resulting effect is lower operating costs and fewer repairs. Puron is an energy-efficient refrigerant that also lets you keep more money in your pocket over the life of the system.

Bryant Air Conditioning Systems

Bryant was one of the first HVAC manufacturers to use Puron refrigerant. Currently, they offer an array of eco-friendly cooling systems.We are a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer. That means we’re certified to install, repair, and service these innovative systems. Our AC units and heat pumps are some of the best in the business. They meet or exceed all standards for energy efficiency

At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we’re dedicated to keeping you comfortable in Lorton, VA, and the surrounding areas. We’re proud that the climate neutral refrigerants in our HVAC solutions help the planet too. For more information, explore our air conditioning services or call 703-436-8028.

SEER Ratings: What You Should Know

SEER Ratings: What You Should Know

HVAC terms can seem intimidating to someone new to the industry. For example, many companies brag about SEER ratings on their packaging and ads. They claim their units have the highest AC efficiency, but what exactly does “SEER” mean to you and your Alexandria, VA home?

What is exactly is SEER?

“SEER” stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is a value that represents the ratio of the cooling output of an AC unit over a season divided by the energy it consumed (which is displayed in watt-hours). Basically, the SEER rating is a number that shows just how efficient your air conditioner is over a period of time.

Why is SEER important?

Air conditioners with a higher SEER rating are more energy efficient. However, a unit’s SEER rating shows how efficient the unit can be at its peak, not how efficient it is all the time. The SEER rating advertised on a unit’s packaging will be its highest rating during the season, not what it will be throughout the entire year. In other words, think of SEER the way you think of your car’s fuel efficiency. It may get 40 miles per gallon sometimes, but it only gets a fraction of that if you’re in dense traffic.

What’s a typical SEER rating?

Air conditioners made in the 70s and 80s used to have SEER ratings of about eight or nine. Today, AC efficiency has greatly increased. Some states require HVAC companies to sell AC units with a minimum SEER rating of 14, while others don’t have any restrictions. A SEER rating in the low-20s is generally considered a good number. However, remember: the SEER rating only shows the maximum AC efficiency, so while your AC unit might be producing a SEER of 22 at night when it’s 70 degrees, the SEER will probably be lower during hot summer days when it can reach 90.

At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we offer a wide variety of Bryant air conditioning units with high SEER ratings, especially our ENERGY STAR® products. For more information about SEER ratings and AC efficiency, call us at 703-436-8028.

The Advantages of Ductless HVAC

The Advantages of Ductless HVAC

Ductless systems offer a high-efficiency heating and cooling alternative for Lorton, VA homeowners. Ductless AC has other advantages as well. Because these systems don’t require ductwork, they can provide a comfortable indoor environment in almost any situation.

Home Zoning Energy Savings

Cooling a whole house when you only need AC in one room is a waste of energy. Ductless systems feature multiple indoor units powered by a single outdoor unit. Each indoor unit has its own remote thermostat, so the room or zone it controls can be maintained at any temperature.

Fast and Painless Installation

Your installation technician will make three small openings in the wall through which to thread the tubing that supplies the indoor unit with heated or cooled air from the outdoor unit. Indoor air handlers are then mounted high on the wall where they’re not noticeable.

Conditioned Air Isn’t Lost Through Leaky Ductwork

According to Energy Star, heated and cooled air that’s lost through leaky ducts can total 30 percent. With ductless HVAC, those losses are eliminated. That saves considerably on utility bills and keeps your equipment from overworking to make up for lost air.

Cleaner Indoor Air

Conditioned air passing through ductwork can absorb pollution and circulate it throughout your home. With advanced, multi-stage filtration technology, ductless units clean the air before it enters your home. Because conditioned air is delivered exclusively to one room, there’s no cross-contamination with the air in other rooms.

Indoor Comfort and Quiet Operation

Because you can maintain temperatures in different rooms to exactly suit your preferences, everyone in the family can feel comfortable without affecting anyone else. Ductless heat pumps operate at low velocity, so they are virtually noise-free.

The experienced technicians at Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, LLC, are fully qualified to install, repair, and service Lorton, VA ductless heating and cooling systems. Visit us online, or call us for more information.

EnergyStar

Sign Up Today If You don’t Already Have an Air Conditioning Maintenance Plan

Sign Up Today If You don’t Already Have an Air Conditioning Maintenance Plan

With summer just around the bend, it can be easy to focus on all the fun things you plan to do and less on the more boring tasks at home. One thing a lot of folks overlook during warmer weather is home maintenance, and more specifically, keeping their air conditioners running smoothly.

Air conditioners, like any appliance, can break down over time. But an air conditioning maintenance plan can help ensure your unit stays on the job no matter how hot it gets outside. And a maintenance plan can benefit you in a few other ways, too.

Worry-Free Maintenance

Purchasing a maintenance plan for your air conditioner means you’ll always have scheduled maintenance visits on the books. If you’re the forgetful type, knowing that your repair specialist is already set up to come by can let you focus on the more important things in life. And regular AC checkups can help identify issues with your unit before they become something worse — and something far more expensive.

Lower Energy Bills

Who doesn’t want to save money? If your air conditioner has a problem, it could drive up your energy costs for months without you ever knowing. Regular visits through a maintenance plan can diagnose issues and correct them before your electric bill gets too out of hand. When your air conditioner is at peak performance, it can cool the air in your home more efficiently, and as a result, use less energy. And less energy is MUCH more friendly to your wallet..

Longer Lifespan for Your AC

What’s more expensive than repairing your air conditioner? Replacing it all together. Keeping your AC well maintained can extend its lifespan significantly, enabling you to spend money on other things around the house, or perhaps a nice vacation for you and your family.

Visit Commonwealth Heating & Cooling to learn more about our air conditioning maintenance plans or call (703) 436-8028.

Air Purifiers Can Add Another Level of Protecion Against Airbourne Pollutants

Air Purifiers Can Add Another Level of Protecion Against Airbourne Pollutants

The indoor air quality experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cite particulate matter as one of the most harmful types of air pollution in most homes and businesses. Modern air purifiers can remove particles from your indoor air to provide you with a healthier environment and to protect the health of your family members and employees. Here are some of the most important functions of air purifiers in the Alexandria, Virginia, area.

Reducing Particulate Pollution

Your indoor air can contain a large number of particles that can affect your health. These particles include dust, soot, pollen, dust mites and mold. Installing an air purification system can often eliminate these pollutants to provide a cleaner, safer indoor environment. Reducing the number of particles in the air can be beneficial for people with allergies or respiratory conditions and can reduce physical stress on older people, children and babies.

Battling Bacteria and Viruses

Modern air purification systems can also eliminate bacteria and viruses that could otherwise spread through your home or office spaces. These systems work hand-in-hand with your air conditioner and use advanced germicidal technologies to clean your indoor air in the most effective way possible.

Eliminating Odors

Your air purification system can also eliminate odors by cleaning your air effectively and trapping these pollutants in filters or destroying them outright. This can help you enjoy the freshest and most wholesome indoor air in your Virginia home or business enterprise.

The friendly and knowledgeable experts at Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, can provide you with professional guidance on the right solutions for improving indoor air quality. We are proud to be a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and to offer a wide range of solutions designed to suit your needs and your budget. To learn more about our air purifiers or any of our other indoor air quality solutions, call us today at 703-436-8028 to schedule an appointment with us. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

Prevent Heat Loss By Replacing Old Windows and Doors

Prevent Heat Loss By Replacing Old Windows and Doors

Rather than using words, your property uses other means to indicate when something is wrong. Heat loss is an evident problem when your energy bill is too high during the winter. Air leakage can happen through several means, but your doors and windows are two primary channels. While these structures can last for 20 years or longer, weather and other factors can make them age faster. Replacing the old and worn ones can reduce heat loss and lower your energy bill.

Installing New Windows

The way that modern, energy-efficient windows are made allows you to recoup the cost of replacing your old windows. When you select the right ones for your home or business, they can reduce your cooling, heating and even lighting costs.

Passive solar design strategies use solar energy to generate cooling, heating and lighting for buildings. The regional climate and location determine the best design strategy for your area. However, the goal is to maximize solar heat gain in the winter while minimizing it in the summer.

In addition, energy performance ratings continue to improve for windows. Glass and glazing technologies have advanced to the point where designers can specify certain types of windows based on building design, climate and orientation. How the windows operate can also prevent heat loss.

Getting New Doors

Old exterior doors can contribute to air leakage more than windows, especially when they aren’t properly sealed, installed and insulated. Although weatherstripping can reduce heat loss, sometimes it’s more cost efficient to replace the doors.

Modern exterior doors have better insulation and often fit better. One of the most common types has a polyurethane foam insulation, which is surrounded with a steel skin. The weatherstripping is usually a magnetic strip similar to that on a refrigerator.

Doors with glass in them lose more heat than other exterior doors, but sliding glass doors are the worst. It’s a good investment to replace them with doors that have multiple glass layers or that have low-conductivity gases or low-emissivity coatings between the layers.

Prevent Heat Loss in Other Ways

Do you want more ways to reduce heat loss in your home or business? You can find more on Commonwealth Cooling & Heating’s page about sealing air leaks, or call (703) 436-8028.