A furnace is an appliance or device that is used to provide homes as well offices with the warmth and thermal comfort needed every time outdoor temperatures begin dropping during the fall or winter seasons.
Your furnaces would be an essential companion that will bring you joy and comfort amidst that cold weather. That is why it is very important to find the one that will keep you comfortable while not even costing you an arm or a leg to use.

When it comes to furnaces, there is no such thing as lack of options. Many industrial and residential big brands have varying and competitive products which make it hard for clients and customers to choose.
As such,the following topics would help you be equipped with the knowledge, terms and ideas that would essential to always have the right decisions for your home and business.
Understanding Furnace Energy Efficiency
In an overview, if one heating system operates efficiently and only would be needing just an annual tune up, one would not need to think of replacing the unit.
Every new gas furnace in the United States has an assigned Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)before it is made available to the product.
This is a whole number percentage format and refers to the amount of fuel in a heating system. For example, a heater with an AFUE rating of 85% percent uses that percentage on fuels and wastes 15% of it.
Based on market surveys, the most efficient heaters in the market is at AFUE ratings of 98%.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently requires a minimum energy efficiency rating of 78 percent for all heating systems except for those used in a mobile home.
The next question is, how do I determine if a furnace is highly efficient?
The Department of Energy or DOE mentions that there are several ways or techniques in determining the efficiency level of furnaces. The very first one is of course, via AFUE rating.
Ranges 56-70 percent in AFUE are considered low efficiency units whereas the most efficient ones range from 90-98. Mid efficiency units often settle at 80 to 83%.
Other than the rating, how would you set High Efficiency Units apart from the Mid efficiency furnace?
A. Mid Efficiency Furnace

AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating ranging from 80-83
Venting mechanism – Includes traditional metallic piping and/or chimney liner;
Utilize Venting on current remodel or upgrades
Fan Assisted draft and works and should be through roof
The Basic Operation Enhancements include electronic ignition, fan induced draft
It has a fan induced draft and also includes a small diameter flue.
Advantages of Mid efficiency are the retrofits that are simple, less expensive and late maintenance.
Disadvantages include Connection on and cannot be direct vent.

B. High Efficiency

AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating ranging from 90+ and above.
For the venting part, this must be vented according to the manufacturer’s instructions
This type often requires PVC
The venting can be direct vent or fan assisted draft and can be placed through walls
The Basic Operation enhancements include sealed combustion chamber, utilization of second heat exchanger to extract heat from the flue gas, lower temp flue gas, condensing and many fan pr burner controls
Advantages of High efficiency includes lower fuel consumption, produces less unwanted by products and easier installation.
Though it is more expensive compared with lower efficiencies, more maintenance is needed, the newer designs in the market are still not proven, more parts to break, condense disposal and more parts to break.

A mid efficiency furnace has an average fuel utilization efficiency running from 80% to 85%. This type of furnace works well on mid climate where it does not usually grow cold. It also will work from a cost perspective if one only plans to reside on a certain home or area of less than 5 years.
On a high efficiency rating for furnace on the other hand works with not so mild winters. High efficiency rated furnace has a rating of at least 90% or higher. In this field, the higher the efficiency rating, the more money you will save for energy costs.
As we proceed in distinguishing the different types of furnace, we highlight the different stages of each furnaces from single, to Two Stage and Modulating. As you view your furnace options in the market, it is best that you have a good idea on the distinguishing factors that sets one furnace with another apart from the manufacturer or brand.
This is common if you do not work in the HVAC industry or have not purchased a new furnace in the last 10 years. You would probably add these to the list of jargons that manufacturers use:

Single Stage
Two Stage
Modulating furnaces

Different Stages of Each Furnaces
A. What is a single stage furnace?
A single stage furnace has 2 stages or settings.
The thermostat in the house triggers the house to capture heat which eventually turns the furnace on and in maximum power. The furnace will continue to run until it reaches full capacity and the thermostat satisfied, then shuts off.
This is the cycle which somewhat gets uneven heat throughout the house. The furnace hits you with blasts of warm air that will deliver temporary thermal comfort, but unfortunately would not have the mechanism to maintain the heat which tags it as not very efficient.
B. Two stage furnace
The burner in a two stage furnace can run at two different levels. Different burners are programmed differently, at 60% and 100% for example.
Working with a two stage furnace is quieter and generates more even heat through the house. The longer and slower heating cycle gets rid of the abrupt heat flow which the single stage produces which can be quite uncomfortable as it provides better air filtration and air quality.
Two stage furnaces give buyers the best balance between cost and value. They are more expensive to purchase initially than a single stage, but run more quietly and efficiently.
C. Proceeding to the Modulating Furnace
Modulating furnaces run in very precise increments. Some models can run at 40% capacity and increase by .5% if the thermostat calls for it. Because they can manage temperature so precisely in your house, they usually run continuously at a very low setting.
The temperature in every room of the house remains consistent because of this continuous operation. The air isn’t blasting in then settling, then blasting. It’s constantly flowing.
Modulating furnaces can achieve up to 98% efficiency, meaning 98% of the fuel that goes into the system returns as heat.
A single stage furnace or 1-stage furnace means exactly what you think.  The furnace has only 1 setting (high) so whenever it’s operating, it’s running at full capacity-no matter how cold it is outside.  A single stage furnace is not as efficient as every time it turns on, it’s working at full blast to produce as much energy as possible.
With a variable speed furnace, the variable speed doesn’t refer to the furnace itself but to the furnace’s indoor blower motor.  Variable simply means that the blower motor operates at different speeds to more accurately control the flow of heated air to your home.  Its advanced technology is able to constantly monitor and adjust its blower settings to account for things in your home that restrict airflow, such as your ductwork, furnace location and even dirty filters.
With all the items and topics discussed about the furnaces, whether you need to replace a dead furnace or install an entirely new heating system, it will definitely entail a significant amount of investment.
Before even starting to shop for a shiny, high tech furnace, it is important to consult with a licensed HVAC technician or expert. The HVAC professionals would be able to identify the dimensions and specifications of the appropriate furnace for your house based on its size and configuration balance cost effectiveness and efficiency.
The first recommended question to throw to a HVAC technician would be the kind of fuel the furnace use which range from gas, electric or oil. Majority of the homeowners would stick to whatever they already had to minimize the labor and costs associated with extra installation of things such as duct work or running electric lines.
Other considerations include the location, size of the house and energy bills and will add to the factors on one’s decision of which furnace type, model and size is fitting to your house.
Average furnace prices
There are a lot of brands out there to choose from, and it’s important to do your research ahead of time before deciding which furnace brand you will go with. The one that works best for your house might not be the one that you recognize from radio or TV ads.
You will need to factor installation cost into your overall price if you plan on having it installed by a professional, which is recommended unless you have specific HVAC training.

Gas Furnaces – these are the most commonly used furnaces especially for areas with severe winter conditions. For an average house with average needs, which is an 80,000 BTU furnace with a 3 Ton blower that is installed in a first floor utility of a 2,000 square foot house. gas furnaces also has that option to be converted to a propane powered for a minimum fee. The average furnace cost for gas furnaces from brands like Bryant, York, Payne and Carrier runs from $650 to $1,200 while installation averages from $1,800 to $3,000.
Electric furnaces – these are the types of furnace that are predominant in areas that don’t endure harsh winters and are less in-demand versus that of gas furnaces. Electric furnaces themselves can operate at a high efficiency; however they are usually more expensive to operate since they use a lot of electricity to heat a home. For electric furnaces, brands really do make a big difference in pricing, and often the more well-known brands also attract better qualified HVAC professionals, so installation for top brands will be at a premium. Average furnace cost stands at $665 while the average installation costs is at $1,950.
Oil furnaces – Oil furnaces have been used longer than gas or electric furnaces, and they are commonly used in parts of the country that have a high availability of oil. Due to current oil prices, they are generally considered obsolete. As with gas and electric furnaces, installation costs are generally higher for the pricier furnaces since they are installed by HVAC professionals with more experience. Average oil furnace cost stands at $1,836 while the average installation costs is at $5,780.

Once a homeowner is already decided to get the most appropriate and fitting furnace, looking for the best person to install the unit will be the next activity. Knowing who to trust can be difficult though. Most especially since these are dozens of heating contractors you can choose from.
So how do you choose the best heating contractor?
Below are the three tools and resources that will help you be guided in finding a quality contractor to install your furnace:

Make use of the ACCA’s contractor finder – ACCA or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America is a non profit association that helps contractors work together and promote professional contracting, energy efficiency and comfortable indoor environments. The ACCA contractor finder helps you find an ACCA contractor member for any purpose in your zip code area. For furnaces, you should click on heating and put in your zip code.
Know the qualities of a good HVAC contractor and furnace installators – ACCA has put together tips for choosing the right contractor. These tips include a quality contractor performing checks and explaining changes necessary in your duct system, presenting options to help make better decisions in replacing your old HVAC system. Ask the contractors about his or her license. Verify if they are NATE certified technicians and have proven their knowledge of modern HVACR systems.
Ask the right questions to ensure quality installations – Questions including estimates, timelines and overview of the process prior installation. Make sure to get at least three estimates. This will help you find a quality contractor that is also within your budget.

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The heating system in every homes is becoming if not has already become a priority for many families.
It starts by having high awareness on the important details and information about furnaces, identify the most appropriate furnace for your homes through its energy efficiency ratings and output coinciding with the dimensions and characteristics of the project area and constantly coordinating with a resource person or a HVAC expert for repair and installation.
Let us not leave behind the fact that as a homeowner, one has that essential responsibility of ensuring constant maintenance of the system for the furnace to operate and fulfill its role assigned.

How the HVAC System Works

HVAC which stands for Heating, Ventilating or Ventilation and Air Conditioning is the technology of indoor and also for vehicular scope has the goal to provide thermal comfort and indoor air quality.
It makes use of different principles ranging from mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics and has been an important and integral part of residential and commercial establishments where safe and healthy building or structure conditions are regulated in accordance to temperature and humidity using fresh and regulated air.
Different HVAC units do their role in integrating and utilizing the three central functions of the system which includes heating, ventilating and air conditioning. It also includes certain means of air delivery and removal from specific spaces and reduction of air infiltration and maintains pressure relationships between spaces.
Know that we already know that controlling the temperature of air as well as the humidity in homes and buildings plus maintaining high air quality are the basic functions of the HVAC system but how HVAC works?

Below are several types of systems we would look at to determine how exactly the HVAC system works:

Split Air conditioning system

Let’s identify as to why it is called a Split air conditioning system. Since the unit includes components located inside and outside of the home, it is literally split into two components. Some terms associate it with Central air conditioning.
An outdoor unit comprised of the condenser and compressor, and an indoor unit with a fan and an evaporator coil, typically, a split air conditioning functions to remove the warm air from inside a home or structure and cycling it back as cooler or lower temperature air through a system of supply and return ducts or passageways.
The compressor pumps powered by electricity pumps refrigerant through the system to collect heat and moisture from the inside space. The heat and moisture is then carried away from the inside and is blown over the cooled indoor coil which cools the air. The heat collected in the coil is then pumped and distributed outside of the home while the cooler air cycles back inside.
This is particular in warmer climates and is very effective in doing its role. Some units feature a lower indoor noise level compared to free standing air conditioning units. It also ensures quality air as the air returns drawn out of rooms and filtered through an air filtrating mechanism. This removes airborne particles and the output would be cleaner and filtered air distributed to homes.

Mini-Split/Ductless system

Unlike traditional split HVAC systems that a HVAC technician installs, the ductless system does not rely and utilize ducts to carry and route air throughout the home. It is designed to heat or cool a single room. Space, zone or an addition to your house that may lack or cannot accommodate any ductwork.
A mini-split/ductless system is powered by electricity and comprised of a relatively small outdoor condensing unit and a compact indoor evaporator unit, which hangs on the wall to control and direct airflow. The mini in this type of HVAC system’s name is a direct reference to the indoor unit’s diminutive size and inconspicuous appearance. The indoor and outdoor components are connected via copper refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring, requiring an opening just three inches or less in diameter.
As per HVAC trainings and studies, these types of system are recognized as energy efficient and extremely popular in the United States.


Misconceptions on furnace include the thinking that these are old technologies from the early 20th century which features a large gravity fed structure. However, in modern times, this presents a large contribution in indoor comfort all year round. Linking it with the mini split system as its counterpart, it does a great job in keeping the home or office warm during winter. The furnace fan or blower is also used to assist air conditioning system in circulating cooled air during warmer seasons.
From a gas furnace, heat is produced as an outcome of the combustion of natural gas in its burner. The heat is then distributed as the air passes from a heat exchanger blown and passes through certain ducts of the home.

Heat Pump or Air handler

A heat transporter which extracts warm air from your home during summer and then in turn reversing the operation to bring warm air during the winter.
HVAC explained through this system involves A heat pump is installed outside the home, similar to a central air conditioning unit the unit’s compressor circulating the refrigerant between it and the indoor air handler in turn absorbing or releasing heat en route, depending on the season. Unlike the furnace, it does not burn fuel to produce heat rather; it just uses electricity to move heat into or out of your home.


This technology ranges from the very basic and functional to the extremely sophisticated and feature rich ones.
In general terms, the thermostat controls the operation of the entire HVAC system and provides precise temperature regulation which has been an integral concept in HVAC training for contractors and service providers.
Newer digital, programmable thermostats such as ComfortNet™ Controlling Unit, feature both comfort- and efficiency-enhancing functionality. Programmable thermostats may be set to optimally regulate the temperature in any given spaces based on your preferred schedules and routine.

The central air conditioning system is a structure or system established wherein a centralized unit cools down or dehumidifies air before distributing this throughout a house or building.
The central air conditioning is different from the framework that relies on individual units in rooms or specified spaces of a given structure.
The system is often fused with a heating system as both systems get similar amounts of electricity and banks on duct works to dispersed cooled or heated air. With the scope of the system itself, this is commonly being used in large structures or in homes with extremely hot or humid climates.
With the system in place, the main unit is often situated in non-traffic or isolated areas or spaces outdoors which could either be an attic or a garage to isolate the amount of noise it generates upon refrigeration cycle which is the process that cools air and help in extracting humidity.
Fixing central air conditioner entails a certain degree of effort, skills and precision to ensure that the ultimate goal of the said system is met.
Let’s dig deeper on the question of how does a central air conditioning system work?
A central air conditioner has a primary part such as the air handler or furnace located in a separate area.
The unit then pumps cooled air throughout a given space such as a house or office set up through series of ducts and channels which is the same flow with that of the system utilized by forced air furnace during the heating season.
At this point, a thermostat comes into the picture.
How does central air thermostat work?
Generally speaking, a thermostat controls the operation of the central air conditioning unit and provides precised and accurate temperature regulation. It turns the cooling system on or off as the temperature rises or falls depending upon the preferred or set temperature by the owner and maintenance of the house or office.
A central AC regardless of the central air conditioner prices runs on electricity and removes heat from air through the principle of refrigeration. When the thermostat sends a signal to the main unit to lower the temperature, the cycle begins all over again. Refrigeration, obviously has a coolant or a refrigerant such as Freon that circulates in the copper tubing that runs between these components.
The refrigerant both receives and releases the heat as it does its work to lower or increase the temperature either switching liquid to gas or changing it back to liquid. The air handling unit draws indoor room air from various parts of the house through specialized return ducts.
This air is then pulled through a filter, where the air borne particles such as dust, dirt and lint are removed depending on how well the specialized filter has been built can also filter microscopic substances.
The quality filtered air then is routed to air supply tubes that carry it back to the receiving rooms or house.
The assigned air handler pushes warm air into the coil, the refrigerant then absorbs so much heat from the air that it turns into vapor. As a form of gas, it goes through to a compressor that pressurizes and presses it and moves it through the outdoor coil, which gets rid of the heat.
At this point, some units has pre-installed fans which also help to remove the heat. The refrigerant then passes through an expansion device that converts it to a low-pressure, low-temperature liquid, which returns to the indoor coil. And so the cycle goes.
Ductless air conditioning on the other hand can also be used to cool air in large scopes or areas, but instead of relying usually on duct work or specified channels, it uses individual wall units that remove moisture and hot air, and pump in cool air.
This form of air conditioning can be more environmentally friendly, as people can control the climate in individual rooms or groups of rooms, rather than using a single central unit to maintain a desired temperature.
Because temperatures can vary considerably across a structure, central air conditioning can use a lot of energy in its attempt to keep the air comfortable.
For large buildings, central air conditioning is critical, because the air can grow quite oppressive, especially in warm weather. Heat from the weather can make the building warm up, as can the heat from the bodies in the building, and moisture also accumulates as a result of respiration.
Using central air will keep a building comfortable for people to work in and make it more pleasant for visitors who may be entering the building, such as customers entering a department store.


HVAC systems installed in homes and offices create thermal comfort and provide the needed air quality for healthier living, greater productivity and happy living. Of course, all units and technologies in place require a certain deal of maintenance and check every so often to ensure continuity of doing its role and to ensure having a longer life span.
It is a good idea to immediately call a HVAC company or service provider understand what the HVAC maintenance meaning is and to do the work mainly to inspect and do maintenance on the system ideally every fall and spring. They will make sure to check all wirings and mechanisms of the unit, which will be a bit complicated and challenging for home and business owners.
Regular HVAC preventive maintenance is the best and most effective way to ensure trouble free operation and sustaining optimum HVAC unit performance. It can help avoid the system from experiencing any system failure especially during the seasons when you needed these the most. It can definitely save considerable amount of money instead of waiting for that unfortunate event to transpire.
One has to do his or her respective role in prolonging the life and increasing efficiency of the system through HVAC maintenance.
That can be achieve by simply following the HVAC maintenance tips below:

Purchasing a filter if you have not secured one

The new high efficiency pleated filter available in the market now contains an electro static charge that works like that of a magnet attracting dust, dirt and the tiniest particles even those bacteria carrying particles. Check any local hardware stores or online for more details on this.

It is best to replace filters every 90 days

Though it is also best to check this on a monthly basis, if the original filter already looks dark and clogged, be proactive in replacing this already. Having pets inside homes may also increase the chances of replacing the filters at least every month.

Ensure that there is at least two feet of clearance around the outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps to create better output and optimum performance.
Remove and take away any debris which includes dried and fallen leaves, pollen, twigs and branches weekly especially during spring, summer and fall from the top and sides of outdoor air conditioning units as well as heat pumps. When using the lawn mower, prevent grass cuttings and clippings from getting into the unit which would create blockages and clogs which will in turn affect its efficiency.
On a monthly basis, regularly inspect insulation and refrigerant lines leading into the houses and ducts. If there is a considerable change in terms of the circulated cold air, immediately turn off the unit and inspect the tubes and channels. Replace these if missing or already damaged.
On a yearly basis, pour a cup of bleached mixed with water into the air conditioning units and drain to help ooze out build up of mold and algae which can in turn clog the system.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Outdoor units

Inspect and do a routine maintenance on the base pan for restricted drain openings and remove clogs and debris
Check the fan motors and fan blades for any wear and tear damages. Ensure that you lubricate older models as needed
Inspect the control box, linked with the controls or accessories, wiring and connections. The controls include the following:

Contactors and relays
Circuit boards
Heat pumps

HVAC Maintenance Checklist for indoor unit inspections

On older units and models, lubricate the motor and check if the fan belt is already up fro replacement
Check the combustion blower housing for lint, clogs or debris and clean as necessary
Make sure to inspect and check for any gas leaks in gas furnaces which would definitely smell big trouble if taken for granted.
Inspect flue system—check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. Replace if necessary.
Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections
Monitor air conditioning and heat pump systems for correct refrigerant charge
Measure outdoor dry bulb temperature
Measure indoor dry and wet bulb temperature
Measure high and low side system pressures
Monitor gas furnace for correct line and manifold gas pressure—make adjustments as needed
Measure temperature rise and adjust airflow as needed
Check vent system for proper operation
Monitor system for correct line and load volts/amps


Contractors are a dime a dozen, but how do you know if yours is any good? If you didn’t do your homework, chances are you could wind up with an air conditioning contractor that just isn’t up to snuff.
Below, we list six signs that you picked the wrong air conditioning contractor. Do any of these apply to you?
1. Your contractor doesn’t take the time to accurately determine your air conditioner’s size.
Seems pretty basic, right? If your contractor doesn’t do this, he is definitely screwing up.
2. Your contractor doesn’t give you a written agreement.
You are entitled to know what’s going on with your air conditioning system. A good contractor will provide a written agreement detailing the desired outcomes of the job.
3. Your contractor doesn’t give you a service warranty.
This is a huge red flag. If your contractor doesn’t stand behind his work, your air conditioning system could very well start malfunctioning as soon as he gets his paycheck.
4. Your contractor isn’t NATE-certified.
The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an independent, non-profit national organization that ensures quality within the HVAC industry. If the technician servicing your air conditioning isn’t certified, he might not be using the most modern and safest techniques.
5. Your contractor doesn’t check out online.
You’re probably already great at Facebook stalking. Use those same skills to make sure your contractor isn’t going to make your air conditioning worse instead of better. Check their standing with the Better Business Bureau, as well as reading online reviews.
6. You called the cheapest contractor you could find.
You might get away with buying off-brand peanut butter at the supermarket, but don’t go calling the cheapest contractor you can find just because you’re trying to save a buck. Skimping on your air conditioning system may save you in the short term, but you’ll be wasting energy (read: money) in the long term – and, ultimately, you’ll probably need additional repairs sooner than if you had hired a good contractor in the first place.

It’s easy to install an air conditioning system and then forget about it. As long as the cool air keeps blowing, you’ve got nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong. When you only wait until the last possible moment to service you air conditioner, you’ll learn an important lesson: it’s much easier to deal with a few minor kinks in the system here and there than to have to worry about a major overhaul down the road.
Like any other piece of relatively complex mechanical equipment, an air conditioning system is only as good as the service that goes into maintaining it. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here, we list the crucial steps you need to take every six months to maintain the evaporator for your air-cooled condensing systems.
1. Check the electrical panel to make sure that all the connections are tight.
Just like a loose shoelace could put you at risk for tripping, electrical connections that aren’t tight can put your air conditioner at risk. Make sure to tighten spade connections if they’re loose, and also have a good look around for wear on terminals and the insulation of the wires.
2. Check the defrost heaters.
You can’t expect anything near ideal heat transfer when your heating system is out of whack. Make sure amp draw and voltage are at manufacturer-recommended levels and that the terminals are in good shape.
3. Examine the fan.
Put the “fan” in fantastic with proper maintainence. First things first: does the thing turn? If it doesn’t – or if it’s quite stiff – you’ll want to replace the motor. Wear and small cracks are also common problems. Replace the blades if this is the case. Even if everything is in tact physically, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning and lubricate the motor’s fittings.
4. Inspect your drain pain.
Drain pans should drain easily and smoothly. If they’re not, it’s probably because there’s something in the way that you need to remove, like gunk or debris. Get it out of there!
5. Wash your evaporator coil.
The surface of your evaporator coil needs the odd rinse, as dust and grime tend to get drawn in and collect over time. A cleaner, especially a foaming one, is great for this. Doesn’t need to be anything too fancy. A commercial-grade product will do.

On a hot day, it sure feels good to get out of the sun, whether that’s under a tree or in the shadow of a tall building. The air in the shade is cooler, and you’re more comfortable for it.
Your air conditioner isn’t any different. Like most people, air conditioners prefer the shade, as well – they work better when the air they’re cooling isn’t as hot to begin with.
For this reason, trees and awnings can make a big difference in the unit’s efficiency. But there’s one thing that’s even better than either a tree or an awning when it comes to cooling the air around your air conditioning system: a storage compartment. By making this one simple change, you can greatly increase your air conditioning system’s maximum cooling output.
What do you need? Plywood and common lumber, mostly. You’ll need it to construct a storage compartment with a sloped roof that (most likely) attaches to your house.
There’s two reasons behind this shape. One is purely aesthetic. The angle is likely similar to the angles of your home’s roof. The second reason accessibility – it’s easier to service the unit with the extra clearance.
Now, you can build this storage compartment as big or small as you please. The main consideration is that there be airflow. After all, what’s the point in shading the unit if it can’t draw in any air?
Naturally, a bigger storage compartment allows for more airflow. An added benefit of a large storage compartment is that It can also double as a place to keep gardening equipment such as tools and fertilizer. If you’re going to the trouble of building this kind of structure, you might as well make it more versatile while you’re at it.
So, are you all ready to start building your storage compartment? Don’t get to hammering away just yet. Even if you’re sure the unit will get enough airflow with the design you have in mind, you might be dead wrong. Consult with you air conditioning service provider to determine whether you’ll be providing sufficient clearance before kicking off the project.

When it comes to keeping cool in your home, you’ve got options – four, actually. Whatever you choose (or happen to already have in your home), all air conditioning systems share these five common traits: a refrigerant, compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator coil.
Below, we’ll discuss what defines each type of air conditioning system and how they work. Which type of air conditioning system do you have?
1. Window Air Conditioner
Window air conditioners are literally the total package. The unit contains all the air conditioning components, including the evaporator, cooling coil, compressor, condenser and expansion coil or valve. For a simple solution to your cooling problems, window air conditioners are it!
Window air conditioners have a pretty obvious drawback, and we’ll just go ahead and say it: they’re kind of ugly. But if anything is going to help you come to peace with the clunky aesthetics, it’s the cost-savings: because these units allow you to cool a single room – namely, the one you’re in at the time – you’ll spend less over the short and long term.
2. Split Air Conditioners
Divide and conquer. That’s the motto of the split air conditioner. The unit divvies up the work of cooling one or two rooms between its outdoor and indoor components. On the outdoor side of things, you’ve got the compressor, condenser and expansion valve, whereas indoors you’ll find the evaporator coil and cooling fan.
3. Packaged Air Conditioners
Say you’ve got a bigger cooling job than just a room or two, and a window air conditioner or split air conditioner just won’t do. In cases where you need to cool down multiple rooms or large, open spaces, a packaged air conditioner is definitely the better choice.
These units are arranged in one of two ways. First, a single box can contain the various components (a compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator). Once air is cooled down in the packaged air conditioner, it is then sent to each room through the ductwork.
In the second case, it’s individual units, each with their own expansion valve and cooling coil, that do the cooling. These are located in the rooms you want to cool. The compressor and condenser are contained in one unit.
4. Central Air Conditioners
As air conditioning systems go, this is “the big one”. It’ll cool your offices, your hotels, your larger buildings, your homes in their entirety. A giant compressor does most of the work. Cool air from the air conditioning unit gets pumped throughout the structure through ducts and out of registers (openings in walls, ceilings and floors, often covered by a metal gate).

We know, we know. You’re probably thinking that high-velocity air conditioning sounds kind of intense.
Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s nothing like sticking your head out the window while driving down the highway. Or a hurricane. Or a tornado.
It’s called high-velocity because of the size of the ducts: at a size of just two inches, they’re quite small! This increases the velocity of the airflow (think of it like water through a pinched hose). To cope with the extra noise this makes, the system uses materials to muffle the sound, so you can relax in perfect comfort.
Starting to sound pretty good? To know if it’s perfect for your home, check out our list of five things to consider before installing high-velocity air conditioning.
1. Do you own an older home?
You won’t be able to enjoy your cute, old home if you spend summers sweating because you’ve got no air conditioning. In homes like these, though, it can be difficult to install a bulky, standard air conditioning system – you might even have to remodel your home to accommodate it. With a high-velocity system, you can work around existing design quirks and tight spaces thanks to the system’s small ducts.
2. Do you hate waiting around for your room to cool?
We’ve all been there: you want your room cool now, but your dated air conditioning system is taking its sweet time. Not so with high-velocity air conditioning. Using only half the airflow, high-velocity air conditioning can take your room from sweating-sitting-down to couldn’t-be-more-comfortable faster than you can say, well, high-velocity air conditioning system.
3. Do you live in a humid environment?
You’ll appreciate your high-velocity air conditioning most on muggy days – it’s 30 percent more effective than a traditional system at removing moisture.
4. Do you hate it when parts of a room are hotter than others?
You know when you heat up food in the microwave and the outside is burning hot, but it’s still cold inside? Rooms can get that way, too. If you hate it when some parts of a room are hotter than others, high-velocity air conditioning could be right for you. The circulation system ensures even temperatures.
5. Do you mind a bit of a breeze?
As we discussed earlier, high-velocity air conditioning blows air faster than standard systems. That means when the air is blowing out of the register and into the room, you’ll definitely feel it. This does bother some people. A good contractor will keep this in mind and position the registers so as to be the least bothersome to the homeowner.

We’re going to put it plainly: air cleaners aren’t perfect. That is to say, an air cleaner could be performing at its very best and still not remove every last pollutant from the air.
Some might say you’re better of with an air cleaner than without one, but is that necessarily true? In the following article, we’ll talk about what you can expect from an air cleaner and what it is (and is not) protecting you against.
Like we said before, if you’re looking for an air cleaner that will remove all the gas and impurities from the air, you’re not going to find it. What an air cleaner is going to do is potentially lower the risks associated with some contaminants.
For example, let’s say you’re smoking indoors. This fills the air with smoke and particulates. Your air cleaner may be able to mitigate some of the particulates, but it’s going to have a lot harder time with all of that smoke.
The real kicker is that your air cleaner can actually undermine itself in a situation like this. How? Particulates from the smoke can get hung up in the cleaner. What happens next is a bit ironic: these contaminants can then be spat back out into the room.
That’s not fantastic, is it? Well, if you thought tobacco smoke was bad, you don’t want to know how your average air cleaner handles radon. Answer: it doesn’t, really. And with all the side effects associated with exposure to radon, you’d be smart not to put too much trust in your air cleaner.
Allergies affect a wide range of people. For some, it’s cats that set them off. For others, it’s mold. And for others, it’s pollen.
Whatever your trigger, an air cleaner won’t be much help. Studies have shown that it’s difficult to combat allergens with air cleaners, so keep that box of tissues close.
In fact, you’re almost better off with a properly functioning air-conditioning system alone, especially on muggy summer days. It’s biggest strengths lie in forcing out air from outdoors and reducing damp – two big causes of the sniffles.
For those sensitive to pollutants and allergens in the air (and anyone who cares about clean breathing), a logical first step is to make sure your air-conditioning system is running smoothly. Only if contaminants in the air pose a serious risk should you consider using an air cleaner.