Keeping it Cool: How Big Should an AC Unit Be?

Many homes have air-conditioning units that are too big or too small for them, which can lead to a loss of cooling and high energy bills. Use these tips to determine the proper sizing for an AC unit.

“A lot of people have the perception that a bigger unit is better for the heating and cooling system in their house,” Eric Nekibach, systems integration designer at Cool Heat Mechanical Systems, said. “And that’s really not the case. A properly sized piece ...

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Insulation and Air Quality: ERV

Valuable information about an energy recovery ventilator.

One of the main advantages of a well-insulated and well-sealed building envelope is that it takes less energy to heat and cool the home. An efficient building envelope keeps the conditioned air within the home that needs a smaller furnace and/or air-conditioner that is working less often — and this translates into real savings on the utility bills.

But when a home is well sealed a new problem arises — the home becomes a plastic ...

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Air-Conditioner Maintenance

Use these expert tips to keep your air conditioner in proper working condition. The best time to service an air conditioner is before it’s actually needed. Remember, regular maintenance and cleaning are extremely important.

Change the filter monthly. Other than the regular filter, there are additional ones that can be used, but check with an air-conditioning maintenance person first.

You can get a cap from a hardware store to put on the end of your air-conditioning drain. After capping it, ...

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How to Clean an Air Handler

Get rid of irritating smells with these step-by-step instructions on how to clean the coils, rebuild and replace an A/C air handler.

Step 1: Dismantle the Air Unit

Note: This project requires intermediate to advanced air-conditioning repair skills. Also, check with the manufacturer of the unit regarding detailed repair and warranty information.

Shut down the A/C unit outside and retract the coolant in the refrigerant line to avoid any spills. Only then can the refrigerant line be detached inside. Also disconnect the condensation ...

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Tips for Maintaining a Furnace

Maintaining a furnace is an important part of taking care of your home. These tips and web extras provide information on the types of filters available and the best ways to keep a furnace in check.

Maintaining a Furnace
Filter Information

Spun Fiberglass Filters are the least expensive, disposable filters. They don’t, however, adequately filter out finer particles.

Pleated Disposable Filters are more costly but will provide four to eight times the filtering capability of the spun fiberglass filters.

Washable Electrostatic Filters have a ...

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Tips on Using Space Heaters

Space heaters can be very effective, but they have a bad reputation as fire hazards. Here are some tips for using portable heaters as a safe alternative to heating the entire house.

At one time or another, most people wish they could heat up one area of the house, perhaps for a visiting grandparent or a new baby. Portable heaters have gotten a bad reputation as fire hazards. In most cases, though, the fires resulted from failure to follow instructions and ...

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Workshop Heating and Ventilation

There are many options for installing heating and ventilation in a home workshop. These two features are key to creating a comfortable environment in a workspace.

When planning a workshop, keep in mind that if the space is not comfortable it is unlikely that much work will be done in it. For that reason, it’s important to remember heating as part of the workshop design. In addition, adequate ventilation is important from the standpoint of safety as well as creating ...

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Radiant Floor Heating Basics

Alternative heating can include more than adding a fireplace or two or some space heaters. Radiant floor heating is an innovative heating method that works in an unusual way but is highly efficient.

Radiant floor heating is a wonderfully efficient heat-distribution system that takes advantage of the whole floor to heat the home, as apposed to forced air coming out of one small vent and trying to heat a huge space.

How does radiant floor heating work?

This innovation in home heating ...

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Air Conditioning: Home Tips

These maintenance tips will help homeowners keep their air conditioning units running efficiently.

Before each cooling season, it is recommended that central air conditioners get a professional tune-up. This is the biggest step to preventing major malfunctions in an AC unit.

Probably the most important step that can be done by a homeowner is to clean or replace the air filter every month. Electrostatic filters are the best. Do not run the unit with the filter removed. Check the owner’s manual ...

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Avoid Costly Heating Bills

A large portion of your energy costs will be devoted to heating your home. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your heating system runs as efficiently as possible.

Here are some good tips for saving energy and avoiding high heating bills:

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