Posted by & filed under ac, air conditioner .

If you’re like most folks, your home is your most valuable financial asset. The systems that run your home represent a sizeable part of your investment, of course. So you’ll only want reputable, qualified and competent contractors to take care of them for you.

When you need service done, many of you ask family, friends and neighbors for names of companies, and that’s a great way to check for a sound reputation. You can also take a close look at the testimonials from satisfied customers. Get a sense of how the company presents itself on the Web and in other advertising.

Your trust should grow the more you know. But when there’s something in the back of your mind that says you’re not sure about what you’re hearing, stop and reassess. For example, the Federal Trade Commission says tip-offs to rip-offs from a less-than-reputable contractor could include any of the following: solicits door-to-door; only accepts cash payments; does not list a business number in the local telephone directory; pressures you for an immediate decision; and asks you to pay for the entire job up front.

If you’re tired of people touting services that are too good to be true, you’re not alone.
Robin Aire offers 24 hour service. We also drug test and background screen all of our technicians. If you want your air conditioning to stay reliable all summer long, doesn’t it make sense to call a reliable company for your tune-up?

We’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

Posted by & filed under ac, ac system, air conditioner, air conditioning system .

When there are high levels of relative humidity outdoors, most people recognize this fact by sensing a thick moisture in the air and a sticky feeling on the skin. Inside, the presence of high levels of humidity can produce a different response: itching, sneezing and coughing. That’s because organisms that thrive in humidity can cause allergic reactions, and high levels of humidity, so common in summer, can create a breeding ground for mold, dust mites and fungus.

Humidity – more accurately called “relative humidity” – is a measure of water vapor content in the air. According to industry experts, the best humidity level for your indoor environment in summer is between 30% and 50%. But what if your level veers from that standard?

According to Weather.com, humidity that is too dry (<30%) can cause:

  • Damage to wood floors, furniture, musical instruments
  • Static electricity; electronic equipment damage
  • Increased dust
  • Respiratory, throat and skin irritations

Humidity that is too wet (>50%) can lead to:

  • Termites, cockroaches and other insects
  • Condensation and stains on walls, ceilings, windows
  • Flaking paint and peeling wallpaper
  • Mold, mildew, dust mite growth; allergic reactions

The use of central air conditioning helps in the control of humidity. The Environmental Protection Agency says, “When air conditioners are frequently running in the summer, people tend to think something must be wrong, that the unit is inefficient and not working properly.” But frequent cycling by your air conditioner is a good thing! This is how an air conditioner removes humidity – by the frequent runs – so it is something to welcome, not lament.

“In fact, it is standard practice for central air conditioning units to be installed that are 30-100% oversized on the assumption that a large unit will blast cool air throughout the house. However, the opposite is true. Oversized air conditioners cycle less frequently, remove less moisture and waste energy. After shooting that big blast of cool air, the excess ‘idle time’ is when indoor humidity levels rise and that’s what makes you uncomfortable.”

We’d be happy to talk with you more about important issues of comfort and health. Schedule an appointment or learn more about Robin Aire Heating and Cooling here.

Posted by & filed under humidity, moisture .

It’s All Relative

Proper humidity levels keep you healthier and more comfortable.

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can do more than heat and cool your home. It can also keep the humidity at a comfortable level in winter and summer. It’s a delicate balance: if it’s too low, you’ll feel the effects of colds, respiratory infections, and asthma more, and some of the furnishings in your home will literally dry out. If it’s too high, you’ll be uncomfortable but mold and mildew will flourish. They love moisture!

Residential HVAC systems balance temperature and humidity. The best person to design a system appropriate for your climate and your comfort needs is a professional ACCA member contractor. He or she understands the science of your home and applies the principles contained in the ACCA design and technical manuals to the design, selection, and installation of an HVAC system that’s right for you.

ACCA manuals are the industry standard, often incorporated into local building codes and endorsed or recommended by the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and equipment manufacturers.

Relatively Speaking…

Relative humidity (RH) is the percent of moisture actually in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at that temperature. Cold air can hold less moisture than warm air. At 70°F, air can hold as much as 12 times the amount of moisture as 10°F air. That’s why it’s usually more humid in the hot summer months.

Winter Humidification

Most heating systems just heat the air, changing the temperature, not the humidity. Cold air is dry, and forced-air systems and heat pumps pull outside air for heating. When 10°F outside air is heated to 70°F, the humidity level in your home will be the same as the outside air’s, around 7%. That’s one reason your skin feels dryer, perhaps even chapped, in the winter. So in dry cold climates, you will probably want to add a humidifier to your heating system.

The effects of bacteria, viruses, fungi, respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma, and ozone production during the winter can be minimized by higher humidity levels. Studies have shown that wintertime levels of 68°F/60% RH are just as comfortable as 72°F/30% RH; so by increasing the RH and lowering the temperature, you will minimize negative effects while lowering your utility bills.

Because the outside air temperature and RH can change in a short time, even a few hours, a computer-controlled humidifier is probably your best choice. It will automatically adjust for these fluctuations to provide enough moisture for a healthy, comfortable home and minimize or prevent window and cold surface condensation.

Summer Dehumidification

Air conditioners pull moisture from the air (HVAC professionals call that “latent heat,” as opposed to “sensible heat,” the temperature) as they cool it, which is one reason you feel better in an air conditioned home. If they didn’t, you’d feel cold and clammy instead of cool and comfortable. In particularly hot and humid climates, however, you may need to augment the dehumidifying capacity of your system.

Very high moisture levels give you that “sticky” feeling and may lead to health problems resulting from the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi, dust mites, and mold. Air at 78°F/30% RH provides the same level of comfort as does 74°F/70% RH air. In the summer, turning the thermostat up lowers your utility bills, so dehumidifying can save you money as well as add to your comfort.

Although your air conditioning system or stand-alone dehumidifier is designed to remove moisture and decrease the RH levels in your home, in very humid areas of the country, it may not be capable of lowering the levels below 60% RH. In such cases, your ACCA quality contractor may suggest alternative or additional equipment and control strategies.

It’s Your Choice!

The choice is yours: a comfort and health indoor air system, or a furnace/boiler and an air conditioner. Since more than a third of your time is spent in your home, it is important to make the right choice.

© Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc., www.acca.org. Reprinted with permission

Posted by & filed under air conditioner, hvac, replace system, tips .

Sometimes it seems like our homes are a moving target. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that’s going to show up – invited or not – on our “home maintenance” to-do list.

Now, when “air conditioning system replacement” comes up on that list, that’s quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it’s never something to take lightly. But when it’s time, three things should be on your evaluation list:

System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.

Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what’s called “operational” costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.

Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you’re not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems? This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.

Posted by & filed under ac, air conditioning, hvac .

We’re used to the weather folks giving us a heads-up about what’s going to happen during the day – you know, something along the lines of, “Most parts of Southeast Michigan will see a few showers this morning, but sunshine returns in the afternoon as highs head toward the 90s.”

But if you’re holding your breath that your air conditioning system will hold out for another summer, you’d probably do well with a report along these lines: “The morning will start off calm but strange noises coming from your air conditioning system will indicate that you’re going to have some real problems staying cool in the afternoon as highs head toward the 90s.”

Obviously, our service technicians don’t make predictions like that, but even so, we do know a lot about how air conditioning systems work and how the effects of time impact their performance and leave them vulnerable to poorly timed repairs.

If you’d like to know how well your air conditioning system is going to perform this summer, contact us today!