The Early History of Air Conditioning

willis air conditioning unit

Most of us live in air conditioned homes and don’t even think about it.  It’s a fact that 48% of all the energy consumption that happens in American homes is a direct result of either cooling or heating operation.  Similar to other modern technological conveniences, advancements were a result of talented inventors who challenged themselves to come up with creative solutions to everyday problems.

Early Ethics of Cooling Down

In the early 1840s, a physician and inventor by the name of Dr. John Gorrie came up with the idea of cooling down his state of Florida in order to relieve its residents of “the evils of high temperatures”.  He was convinced that high temperatures caused diseases like malaria, so he decided to ship large quantities of ice to Florida.  This ice was relocated from frozen lakes, streams, etc, from northern United States.

After deciding that there has to be a better method of cooling down, Gorrie started experimentation on a new form of artificial cooling.  In 1851, he patented a machine that created its own ice utilizing a compressor powered by a horse, water, wind-driven sails, or stream.  His attempts were ultimately unsuccessful due to the sudden death of his chief financial investor, but he opened the door to future development of air conditioning.

A Sudden Advancement

Several years later, in 1902, an engineer by the name of Willis Carrier took a job at the Buffalo Forge Company.  They had a problem in which the humidity would cause the magazine pages to wrinkle at their publishing company.  Willis Carrier was tasked for solving the problem and quickly got to work.  After many attempts, he was eventually able to design a system that could successfully control humidity using cooling coil.  This invention was able to both lower humidity and lower it.

It wasn’t long before Carrier began thinking about the large implications his invention could have on the world.  He ended up leaving his job at the Buffalo Forge Company and joined with six other engineers to begin to spread their new air conditioning development to other industries.

The Coolest Theater in Town

A rather big breakthrough in air conditioning came in the 1920s.  Americans were rushing to theaters to watch the newest Hollywood films, however, they were often incredibly hot and cramped.  In 1922, the Carrier Engineering Corporation looked to tackle the problem.  They designed the first proper cooling system for theaters at the Metropolitan Theater in LA, which pumped cool air through vents for even better humidity control and temperature throughout the theater.

Air Conditioning Finally Hits Home

Even though new air conditioning advancements were being made, they were so big that they were not practical for everyday homes.  That was until 1929, when Frigidaire debuted a new split-system room cooler that was small enough for home use.  It wasn’t long until General Electric made improvements to the system and more and more prototypes began to pop up.

By the late 1960s, almost all new homes had either a central air conditioning system, or window air conditioners.  Air conditioning was both affordable and dependable like never before.  Demand was incredibly high in states like Arizona and Florida, which led to more and more advancements in air conditioning.

 

 

Learn The Different Parts of Your Air Conditioning System

Home air-conditioning systems seem way too complicated to understand. Furnaces are much easier to understand for most of us – they heat up the air and filter it into your home through your ductwork. Your boilers create steam and hot water and then they relocate it around your house via pipes. But how in the world do air-conditioning systems create dehumidified, cool air when the outside temperature is high? In order to fully understand your air-conditioning system, you must go back to some basic principles your learned about in your school physics courses: the scientific law that as gas continues to cool, it slowly expands in volume.

What are the main components of an air-conditioning system?

There are 5 main components that go into any air-conditioning system and they must all work properly in order to have a fully-functioning air-conditioning unit.

The Refrigerant

We often refer to the refrigerant as the “blood” of the system, which is pumped through tubes within the air-conditioning unit. While it is moving through these specialized tubes, the refrigerant changes from a gas vapor to a liquid due to the heat it collects from your house, and then it ejects that heat outdoors. Refrigerant has a very low boiling point, which means that it changes from liquid to vapor at low temperatures. This refrigerant is moved around the air-conditioning system via a compressor.

The Compressor

Since we refer to the refrigerant as “blood”, we can therefore, think of the compressor as the “heart” of the system. It continuously pumps the refrigerant through a large copper loop. This allows the refrigerant to enter into the compressor (or heart) as a warm, low-pressure vapor, and leave as a hot, high-pressure vapor.

The Condenser

Now that the refrigerant is a hot, high-pressure vapor, via the compressor, it moves into the condenser, which is then cooled down. Condenser coils have small metal fins on them that draw heat from the coils. The condenser fan blows air on the fins, which helps the vapor cool down. Due to this cooling, the refrigerant is converted into a hot liquid, and then moves into the expansion valve.

The Expansion Valve

Now we get to the main way the refrigerant is cooled; the expansion valve. Now that the refrigerant is a hot liquid, it passes through the valve at very high pressure, and then comes out as a cool mist. This is able to happen due to the fact that, as the gas continues to expand, it naturally cools down.

The Evaporator Coil

The final part of the air-conditioning unit cycle happens in the evaporator coil. Low-pressure liquid is now led to the evaporator coil, which is located in your furnace. This is where the warmer air inside blows onto the evaporator coil and begins to heat it up. At the same time that this heating is occurring, the coil, which is carrying the cool gas, is blown across the evaporator. The refrigerant vapor moves back to the compressor and the outdoor condensing unit, and then expands. It cools one more time, and this continues the cooling cycle.

Debunking Summer Air Conditioning Myths

As we find ourselves in the dog days of summer, nobody would blame a homeowner for looking for energy efficient ways to keep their home cool and comfortable. As you search the internet for tips and tricks, here are some common myths that might seem reasonable at first, but will actually lead you in the wrong direction.

Leaving Your Ceiling Fan All Day Makes A Room Cooler

Ceiling fans are great at circulating cool air, that’s true. However, when it comes to making you feel cool, you can only really feel a difference if you’re directly underneath the fan.

All things considered, it’s best to not continuously run a ceiling fan in a room that you’re not currently occupying. It uses up valuable energy that could be going to your air conditioner, allowing it to do its job and cool down your entire home.

A Bigger System Will Cool Your Home Faster

The truth is that you need to right sized air conditioner for your home. It might be tempting to adapt a “bigger is better” attitude when shopping around for your home’s ac unit. A system too large for your home can result in several issues, such as humidity and uneven cooling.

When you are ready for a new ac system, always consult trusted HVAC professionals like BNG Heating and Cooling before you make a final decision.

Leaving Elections/Appliances On All Day Doesn’t Make Your Home Warmer

While most people might suspect larger appliances such as an over or dryer of giving off noticeable amounts of heat, even the smaller ones can make a difference. It’s always a good idea to turn off electronic appliances when you don’t need them, no matter how small.

Windows Are the Biggest Culprits of Energy Loss

Sure, faulty window and door seals certainly contribute a large amount when it comes to energy loss. But the real energy killers are the ones you can’t necessarily see with an untrained eye. If you suspect your home is leaking precious air conditioning, be sure to have it checked out by a local air conditioning professional. They have the knowledge to know exactly where to look, which often includes places you would never know to check!

Let BNG Heating and Cooling Help Keep Your Home Comfortable

BNG Heating and Cooling is here for all of your heating and cooling needs. As summer’s grip tightens on our community, be sure to contact us with any questions you have about keeping your family cool and comfortable.

Why Is Your Home’s A/C Blowing Warm Air?

As we approach peak summer temperatures, it is more important than ever that your home’s air conditioner works properly. The only thing that can make an unbearably hot day worse is retreating inside to find warm air blowing out of your AC vents.

Here are some issues that can cause your home’s air conditioner to underperform in the summer:

Important: NEVER attempt to work around your home’s outside air conditioning unit while it is operating. Make sure you turn off the power to the unit before working in close proximity to it.

AC Condenser Unit

One common cause of underperforming air conditioners is simply neglecting your condenser unit, also known as the outside unit. Step outside and check out your condenser unit to see if any debris is blocking the unit’s fan. Sticks, dirt, grass, and a number of other things could be impeding one of many moving parts on the unit, so make sure you remove anything that might be causing a problem.

Low Refrigerant

If your ac unit is on the older side, wear and tear on the unit could cause your refrigerant to leak. Any issues regarding refrigerant levels is best left in the hands of a local heating and cooling professional. Contact BNG Heating and Cooling for an inspection if you fear your ac unit is suffering from a refrigerant leak.

Air Filter

Air filters need to be changed regularly so that they can do their job as best as possible. A neglected air filter can cause serious issues with your ac unit.

We understand that it can be tough to remember to regularly check on the air filter, but it is a task worth completing. If the internal components of your ac unit become dirty, you could be looking at a very costly repair down the road.

Contact BNG for an Inspection

If you’ve noticed that your air conditioner is blowing out warm air, you can always give us a call for an inspection. We are prepared to remedy any problem we discover to keep your home as comfortable as possible.

3 Reasons to Upgrade Your HVAC Unit

When you’re a homeowner, you depend on having a well-functioning HVAC unit. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t pay much attention to until it malfunctions, leaving your home sweltering and your wallet hurting.

While we specialize in keeping our customers’ systems running properly—through our same-day visits and stellar maintenance plans—there are times when it becomes obvious that a customer needs to consider upgrading their unit. Here are three of those biggest tell-tale signs:

Constant Mechanical Issues

Does your system seem to break down every year? You may have the best mechanics in the world, but the cost of constantly repairing your unit will eventually add up to what you would have spent on a brand new unit if you’d made the upgrade years ago.

Increased Energy Efficiency

If you can hear your rusty old unit starting up from inside the house, then you’re probably spending way too much money on your energy bills. When you invest in a new, energy-efficient HVAC unit, you’ll be amazed to see how your energy bills get lower each month! While there may be some initial sticker shock—and there my not be! See our next point—we almost always find that our customers are pleased to see how much money they save once they make an upgrade.

Affordability

Between Bryant Rebate Season and our flexible financing options, we always have a cost-lowering solution for our customers. We really believe in the Bryant products that we sell, and if it seems like the best option for your home, we may recommend that you make an upgrade. But we won’t stop there. We’ll make every effort to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck! We’ll direct you towards the unit that should carry you through the next few decades.

If your unit is pointing you to any one of these reasons to upgrade, go ahead and give us a call. We’re ready to send one of our technicians to inspect your unit today!

The Surprising Lifespan of Your HVAC Unit

When you’re shopping for a new house, it’s exciting to imagine yourself working in your new kitchen, reading books for your kids’ bedtime in their sweet new rooms, or being more productive than ever in an office space that’s entirely your own. What people often forget to consider, though, is how many years they’ll have with their new home’s HVAC unit! Here are some tips for figuring out how long your unit will last.

The Average Life Expectancy

An HVAC unit that has been properly and regularly maintained should last between 10-25 years and a furnace should last you anywhere between 15-25 years. You may even get a few more years out of them if you’ve been sure to work with your HVAC technician on keeping them in tip-top condition!

If you’ve just bought your home and are wondering how much life is left in the existing HVAC unit, our best tip is to go ahead and get an expert to come do a diagnostic test on your unit. They should be able to tell you if there are any big issues or whether the wear and tear on your unit is out of the ordinary.

Be sure to pay attention to your unit’s performance before their visit so that you can tell them how comfortable your home has been. Does it take a long time for your unit to heat up or cool off a room? Does it make a lot of noise? Are your energy bills super high? These things can be indicators that your unit is working in overdrive to compensate for some broken or deteriorated parts.

The good news?

You may be surprised to learn that we at BNG Heating & Cooling are all about making your HVAC system last as long as possible! That’s why we offer maintenance plan packages—where we come by on a regular basis to analyze the health of your unit. We do this because we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Every day, we encounter issues on our maintenance visits that we can quickly resolve but that would have posed a serious problem (and expense) if they had gone unnoticed.

Another bit of good news? When the time does come for your system to be replaced, we’re offer deals on the best units in the business because we’re an Authorized Bryant Dealer. Our aim is to equip you with a unit that’s going to last you twice as long as your last one and energy-efficient enough to save you money in the long run. Oh, and we offer really flexible financing options, so that the unexpected expense of a new unit doesn’t hit you too hard.

If you’re ready to make your home comfort, energy efficiency, and air purification a priority, then it’s time to give us a call. We’re ready to send one of our technicians to your house today!

How We Use Cold Plasma to Blast Germs in Your Home

You may know that air conditioners work to purify the air in your home—it’s one of the most important features of a comfortable, air conditioned home! What you may not know is that, however frequently you change your air filters and scrub the counters and floors, germs and allergens run rampant in your home.

That’s why we recommend to our customers that they consider installing a Global Plasma Solutions Air Purification System in their home. If it sounds fancy, that’s because it is! It’s highly advanced technology that comes at a surprisingly affordable price point. Read on to learn exactly how these units use cold plasma to zap germs, allergens, odors, and bacteria in your home.

It’s all about ions.

Ions are found naturally in Earth’s atmosphere. The GPS patented technology produces the same levels of ions that are usually found around waterfalls, the beach, or high in the mountains and releases them in order to recreate those levels of odor and bacteria control in your home! So, basically, life’s a beach!

The result of this ion release is better control of allergens, incredible odor elimination, and the destruction of pathogens. When we say pathogens, we mean virus, bacteria, and mold! When the ions combine on the surface of a pathogen, they rob the pathogen of the hydrogen necessary for them to survive. The result is an inactive pathogen—meaning a pathogen that cannot latch on to you, your kids, or your visitors!

Yes, it’s affordable.

While there is a cost up-front, the GPS technology is much more affordable than its competitors, mainly because it does not require that you regularly replace parts or pay for frequent maintenance. Not to mention the medical bills and allergy prescriptions that you’ll be saving money on!

It was important to our team at BNG Heating & Cooling that we find a product that would have incredible benefits to our customers while maintaining a low price point. With the GPS Air Purification System, we’ve done just that! Go ahead and give us a call so that we can bring a crew in to find out if your home is a good fit for one of these systems.

The Homeowner’s Resolution List

The minute you buy a home, your to-do list grows exponentially. You no longer have the luxury of calling the landlord when something breaks or malfunctions.

Nope—it’s YOUR responsibility now! The good news is that, for homeowners who plan ahead and take care of their home year-round, breakdowns and malfunctions can be kept to a minimum.

It’s easy to lose track of all the things you’re supposed to be doing to make sure you’re keeping everything in working order, so that’s why we made this list for you! Of the many, many home maintenance tasks that we encourage, these are the most important:

Schedule Maintenance Appointments for the Year

When we encounter a broken-down HVAC unit, it’s often quite obvious that the problem that broke the system down could have been avoided if the homeowner had had their system checked out regularly.

That’s why we offer maintenance plans!

People on our maintenance plans get regular home visits, so that we can troubleshoot any potential problems BEFORE they get serious.

Cut Energy Usage

This should be a real priority. Whether you’re in an older home or a newly-built house, there are always ways that you can be cutting down on the energy that your home burns. Start by investing in a smart thermostat. It will monitor your daily habits and adjust the temperature in your home automatically.

These genius devices are always looking for ways to cut down your energy consumption, so it’s okay if you forget to make that a priority.

Another easy, but often overlooked, way to cut down on energy consumption? Sealing your windows! We tell you exactly how in this popular blog post. And lastly, it may simply be time to upgrade to an energy-efficient system.

Change Filters

This often-forgotten but incredibly crucial task impacts not only your energy-efficiency, but the quality of air you’re pumping through your home!

De-Clutter

While we can help you with the other items on this list, de-cluttering is up to you!

But trust us when we say that starting a new year with a freshly cleaned and organized house will be good for not only your mental health, but also for the happiness of your family. This list of statistics regarding the importance of decluttering will amaze you!

Oh, and doing a deep clean every once in a while can really impact your energy savings!

Work With a Dealer You Can Trust

We at BNG Heating & Cooling are passionate about being your partners in achieving optimal home comfort.

We want to be your go-to! We’ve invested in relationships with some amazing vendors so that we can always offer our customers top-of-the-line equipment at affordable price points.

Ready to work with us? Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an assessment today.

What exactly happens on a maintenance visit?

We’re always reminding our customers that the best way to save money is to make sure you’re scheduling regular maintenance visits for your HVAC units. The idea seems counterintuitive to most: “Why would I pay money for a checkup if my system seems to be running fine?”

The answer is that your system almost always seems to be running fine—until it suddenly breaks down. Most people also think their system is working well, only to crunch the numbers and realize that their energy bills have been steadily on the rise for years.

When we come to your house for a maintenance visit, you’ll find out that those “sudden” breakdowns aren’t so sudden after all. We can pinpoint potential problem areas and even run an efficiency test to make sure that your system is running as smoothly as possible, so that you’re not spending way too much money on your energy bills.

So, what does the visit look like exactly? Here’s how it goes:

Meet and Greet Your Technician

At BNG, it’s important to us that our customers have a relationship with the technician assigned to their home. We are the gatekeepers to your home comfort, and the better you know us, the more you feel free to call on us with any questions or concerns—just as you would with a beloved family doctor! We trust that each and every one of our technicians will provide friendly, professional, and expert service. We hope that you’ll take advantage of their expertise!

Survey the System

Just like a checkup at the doctor’s office, our technicians will run through the basics of HVAC health. We connect gauges to the outdoor unit to make sure it’s running with the right pressure and temperature. We also check to make sure oil is added to motor oil ports, that all electrical components are protected from erosion, that all wires are in-tact, and that all moving parts are functioning properly.

For an indoor unit inspection, we’ll make sure that mold hasn’t made its way into your home, we’ll change your air filters, and we’ll make sure that your thermostat is properly calibrated.

Clean the System

While some homeowners are able to clear most leaves and debris from their outdoor unit, it’s advised that you allow your professional technician to really clean the unit during a maintenance visit. We can make sure that the condenser fins are completely clean and that no leaves have gotten into the mechanics of your unit. This is especially important to do at the change of every season!

The checklists that we run through are absolutely vital to preventing expensive HVAC breakdowns. We do know, however, that some (usually newer) systems require a little less maintenance than others. That’s why we offer three tiers of maintenance plans! Choose from this list to see what plan works best for your home. Trust us—the investment you make in preventative maintenance for your HVAC unit can save you thousands in the long-run!

Needing a maintenance visit right now? Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an assessment today.

Holiday Hosting: How to Keep Your Home Comfortable

The holidays are the best time of year, but let’s be honest. Hosting is HARD. From cleaning house to organizing a memorable menu, hosting can be a really big burden.

Your HVAC unit should be the last thing on our mind.

That’s why we compiled these tips—so that you don’t have to worry about making sure your company is comfortable when the day comes!

Strategize your cooking.

Did you know that the heat from a hardworking oven and stove can actually impact the temperature of your kitchen? You don’t have to use restaurant-level equipment to work up a sweat!

The heat from cooking, combined with the extra people you’ll likely have in your kitchen and dining areas will contribute to a stuffy (pun intended!) indoor temperature.

Check out this popular blog post to learn exactly how to set your thermometer when you’re expecting a crowd, and consider spreading out your cooking—either by delegating more menu items to other cooks or by making some dishes ahead of time—so that you’re not forced to use all stove burners and ovens at the same time.

Change your air filters.

Being consistent with changing air filters not only helps you save on energy bills, but it also ensures that the air quality in your home is comfortable. This is especially important if you have pets, smoke, or live in an area with high pollen concentrations.

People that you invite into your home during the holidays may be allergic to these elements, and you’d hate to be the cause of one of their reactions.

Get your fire alarms tested.

If this suggestion sounds a little over-the-top for you, consider the fact that kitchen fires spike during the holiday season.

Without properly-performing fire alarms, your home could become a part of that statistic. We offer this service because we know how crucial it is to the safety of your home.

Don’t sleep on this one.

Plan ahead.

While it’s not too late to implement some of these tips for this year’s festivities, you should make it a new year’s resolution to be more vigilant year-round about the health of your HVAC unit. When you have a maintenance plan with BNG Heating & Cooling, our technicians make regular appointments to inspect and maintain your HVAC unit.

That way, you can feel confident about your home comfort lasting through even the most crowded holidays!

Ready to get your home comfort back on track?

Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an in-home assessment today.