EC Motors: What’s the Scoop?

By | Air Conditioning, Cooling, Furnace, Heating, HVAC, Residential

What is an ECM?

An ECM, which stands for “electronically-commutated motor“, is a motor that is very important in different HVAC equipment. While these motors sound like any other motor, they’re actually brushless! A brushless motor replaces the carbon variants found in brushed motors with magnets. This change within the system allows for the ECM to adjust to its specific task at hand, whether that be through its torque, power supply, or speed.

Why it’s Important:

Recently, there’s been a change in the requirements for ECMs: they are now mandatory for every piece of HVAC equipment. According to Richard Bardgett from Nidec Corp. (a motor-manufacturing company), the two main modes of operation for ECMs are: “constant airflow within the system or constant torque of the motor.” The main reasoning behind this shift is to increase the energy efficiency of HVAC equipment installed in residential buildings. There’s also another type of motor: a PSC, or a “permanent split capacitor”, is similar to an ECM. The main difference is that a PSC constantly uses energy, rather than adjusting to specific tasks. This means that, with a PSC, your HVAC equipment becomes less efficient both in energy and in overall system quality.

What does this mean for you?

These mandatory motors, while they’re generally more expensive than other motors, save homeowners more money due to its adaptable nature! Since they are so energy efficient, you can save more money on your monthly energy bills. The savings in your bills make up for the higher pricing of the ECM, and allows you have more pocket money at the same time. Another perk to the ECM is that it’s much quieter compared to other motors found in HVAC equipment. For this reason, Happy Harold suggests you call High Performance Heating to quickly change or replace your system to match ECM guidelines. The faster you switch, the more money you’ll save!

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Heat Exhaustion: What is it and how do you prevent it?

By | Air Conditioning, Cooling, Home, HVAC

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion, according to Mayo Clinic, is a condition caused by elevated body temperature which can lead to heatstroke, a dangerous medical condition that’s difficult to recover from. Heat exhaustion is more common during days when humidity is high. The situation becomes even more dangerous when people exposed to high heat stop drinking water throughout the day. While anyone can get heat exhaustion, those who are most at risk of heat exhaustion, and consequently, heatstroke, are the elderly and young children. Meaning, when your AC is temporarily unavailable on a hot and humid day, you can become heat exhausted! Read on to see Happy Harold’s tips on how to combat and prevent heat exhaustion.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include cold or clammy skin, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and fainting. The CDC recommends seeking medical attention if you are throwing up, if your symptoms worsen, or if they last longer than one hour. Similarly with heatstroke, make sure to keep an eye on your body temperature! Temperatures of 104° F or higher can be extremely dangerous because it can lead to the rapid dehydration of the body’s water and organ failure. Seek medical attention right away if you feel as though you, or someone you know, has heat stroke; it is a serious medical condition and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Here’s How to Prevent it:

When a heat wave hits, the last thing you want is your AC breaking down! After you contact Happy Harold, make sure to stay hydrated and sip (not gulp) plenty of water. The human body uses water to cool down by sweating, and when you stop sweating, you’re more likely to get heat exhaustion. This also means that you should avoid consuming beverages with caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks, since these lower the body’s amount of water. Put on loose and breathable clothing, allowing your skin to breathe easier. Lastly, avoid heat exhaustion by applying cool towels to the skin throughout the day. You may even want to take a nice, cool shower or bath! One of the best ways to avoid heat exhaustion is making sure your AC runs smoothly before Rochester’s heat hits.

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Benefits to having an AC

By | Air Conditioning, HVAC

Check out Happy Harold’s top five benefits to having AC in your home:

1) Intellectual activity

Have you noticed that you feel sluggish and fatigued more so during the summer months than other times of year? Studies suggest that this is due to your body’s reaction to an increased temperature. A study from the T. H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University shows that heat stress can influence your cognitive ability. The study involved students in dorm rooms of varying temperature, some in rooms where the temperature averaged 80° while others averaged 71°. The results showed that students in the dorms that didn’t have AC had slower reaction times and 13% lower performance on basic tests. So if you’re looking to stay on top of your game during this years heat wave, AC may be exactly what you need!

2) AC can Improve your Sleep

A hot room could be the reason you’re waking up frequently during the night. The Sleep Doctor says that higher temperatures could effect your REM sleep. REM sleep is critical to your body and brains ability to rejuvenate. During this critical time at night, your body’s cells heal and multiply, allowing for your muscles and bones to stay healthy and strong. In order to get to this stage in your schedule, your blood vessels expand, effectively releasing more heat. This works to lower your core body temperature. Without a cool, surrounding environment, your body physically cannot do its job to let you sleep like a baby, which causes a restless night and tomorrow’s weariness. The surrounding temperature of where you sleep is the most important factor that influences sleep. Keep refreshed during the night and rest easy with our AC Summer Special.

3) Overall Health

Many of us have most likely experienced dizziness and headaches when in the blazing sun for too long. The solution: stay hydrated and cool off indoors. But when your AC isn’t working, that can be quite difficult. During the summer months, the most common health problem that occurs is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion happens when the body loses a lot (most of the time too much) water and salt, which is secreted through sweating. Common symptoms of heat exhaustion are nausea, dizziness, weakness, headaches, irritability, and thirst. When left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke; the most serious heat related illness. Make sure you stay healthy and cool during Rochester’s hottest months with our 24/7 service!

4) Keep Pests Away with your AC

Insects have an optimal temperature where reproduction and growth is highest, which is usually between 75° and 80°. Since insects are cold blooded, they are especially attracted to heat. This means that they are more likely to go indoors and infest your home. One of the best ways to combat this common infestation is to put your AC on. We normally set our cooling system lower than 75 degrees, which immediately deters pests. AC also keeps the mosquitoes away from your body, lessening the chance of getting bitten. Mites and roaches have a tendency to stay in your ducts as a result of the built-up humidity, making it easier for them to multiply. If your ducts are checked and cleaned regularly, and if your AC is in good condition, bugs are more likely to stay away. If there are doubts about the condition of your AC or ducts, contact us and we’ll give you a free estimate!

5) Improved air quality

One of the best ways we can improve air quality within our home is to change the filter in our AC and Furnace on a routine basis. While your systems are running and cycling through air providing you with the perfect home temperature, they are filtering out some common air pollutants. To ensure that your system continues to filter out the bad stuff, check and change your filters accordingly.
Interested in getting an AC unit installed? Give us a call today for a free estimate and take advantage of our summer financing special!
585-3Harold

Heat Wave Safety

By | Air Conditioning

With temperatures spiking up into the 100’s over the next few days, Happy Harold and crew would like to post a few reminders to help keep you safe:

  1. Stay Hydrated. Do not wait until you are thirsty to take a drink.
  2. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning or are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  3. Wear loose-fitting lightweight light colored clothing.
  4. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise.
  5. Check on your pets frequently to ensure they are not suffering from the heat.

Local Help:

Rochester has cooling zones and spray parks open both Friday and Saturday with extended hours. For more information on open locations click here. If you do plan on visiting local splash parks, don’t forget your sunblock and sun protection. Hats and loose fitting clothing will help prevent sunburn. Another great local spot is the library, relaxing with a nice book or magazine in the AC for a bit may be all you need to feel rejuvenated!

AC Trouble?

In this heat we all rely heavily on our AC units. If you’re experiencing any issues with your unit during the heat wave, call Harold! We’re working around the clock to ensure you and your family remain comfortable and safe.

585-3Harold

 

Saving Energy and Staying Cool

By | Air Conditioning

Happy Harold’s tip of the week: Tips for saving energy and staying cool!

Happy Harold has a few tips to help you maintain a cooler home this summer. More than half of these tips are both free and efficient!

1) Keep the AC at a lower temperature at night

While asleep, you don’t require the same level of conscious cool. Try turning your AC down, so that it’s running less during the night.

2) Service your unit!

High Performance Heating and Cooling is offering AC maintenance at only $79! We know we say it a lot, but having your system cleaned and checked out annually is vital to keeping your system running as efficiently as possible.

3) Check your ducts

Double check that you have proper insulation surrounding the duct work running through your home. Having the right kind of insulation in places like your attic will help keep the air coming in as cool as can be!

4) Take a look!

Make sure that furniture and area rugs aren’t covering up your vents. Instead of cooling the whole room, you could be cooling the underside of your couch! Since that has never been anyone’s idea of efficient cooling, try rearranging your furniture and optimize your cooling potential.

5) Lights! Blinds! Heat!

Turning your lights off cant reduce the heat in your home, as well as reduce your energy bill. But have you given any thought to your window treatments? Closing your blinds when the sun is high can also help keep your rooms cooler, without cranking up the AC.

6) Filtering out the allergens

Its no secret that the pollen in our area is out of control this year. This is why its so important that you check your air filters once a month. All of the dust and allergens that are flying around outside could be clogging your system up! Having a clogged system means your systems is going to have to work even harder to circulate cold air.

7) Mind your thermostat!

Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat. The thermostat sense the heat, which will cause your AC to run longer than necessary.

 

 

Interested in more energy saving tips? Give us a call at 585-3Harold, or send us a web form by clicking here!

A balancing act

By | Air Conditioning, Best Air Conditioning Tune Up

Happy Harold’s tip of the week!

Since the weather is on a pretty consistent upswing, Happy Harold felt this weeks tip should discuss proper AC balancing. You may have noticed that some rooms of your home are warmer than others when your AC is running. The issue may be improper air balancing. Air balancing is the process of optimizing your HVAC system to ensure your AC provides your home with temperatures that are consistent and comfortable throughout the entire house.

Whats the point?

If you are experiencing a big change in temperate from one room to the next, air balancing aims to correct it by distributing the airflow more evenly throughout the home. The process requires testing and modifying your system in order to deliver the optimal flow of AC into every space. In addition to providing you with consistent comfort, balancing your AC may also help increase efficiency and decrease energy bills.

Advantages of air balancing:

Improved comfort levels

That’s the reason you called us, right? Our goal will always be to make sure you’re comfortable!

Longer lifespan for HVAC equipment

Proper airflow decreases the amount of dust, mold and other buildup that collects in your system over time. This, combined with the resulting increased efficiency means that your HVAC system should last for summers to come!

Increased Energy Efficiency

Your systems performance is directly related to proper airflow. Having an unbalanced airflow in your home will result in your system working harder. This is why it is important to fix any problems that may inhibit a balanced flow of air in your home. By doing so, you ensure that the energy your unit uses to cool your home isn’t wasted.

Whats the next best step?

If you’re experiencing inconsistent airflow throughout your home, give High Performance Heating a call. We would be happy to get you set up with an appointment and have you feeling cool and comfortable all summer long! Unable to pick up the phone? Send us a message here. 

585-3Harold

 

Summer Financing for your AC

By | Air Conditioning

Looking for a new AC?

We know that researching the right AC for your home can be overwhelming. There’s reviews to read, prices to compare, financing to consider, size to consider, and pretty soon you’re drowning in information. Let Happy Harold help. We have trained our technicians to be able to provide you with the knowledge and options you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Furthermore we install certified, warranty backed units, with a 100% satisfaction and performance guarantee.

 

Financing:

We currently offer 0% interest financing if paid in full within 60 months. That’s no interest for 5 years!

 

What to expect:

During your free estimate appointment, your technician will review with you all the components that go into picking the right AC for your home. Since we do not carry one specific brand of AC, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer you a variety of options and prices. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, your technician can pull up their payment estimator. This tool allows them to show you what your monthly rate will be when financing through us. We can even show you what your payments will look like whether you choose the 0% interest option, or one of our other great financing options.

585-3Harold

Call today, we’ll have you set up with a free estimate in no time!

Unable to pick up the phone? Send us a message here. Our office staff is happy to help!

 

Your AC is Going Green!

By | Air Conditioning, HVAC

The new year is only 6 months away, and with the new year comes some big changes to your HVAC system. Its time we take a look at your AC and its contents before its too late. Every AC contains some type of refrigerant which helps it cool your home. For many years the most common type used was R-22 or, Freon. In the 1970’s it was discovered that certain types of refrigerants, including Freon, were depleting the Earth’s ozone layer. As a result, the Montreal Protocol came about, and the reign of Freon will officially come to an end at the end of this year.

What is the Montreal Protocol?

The Montreal Protocol was finalized in 1987, it is a global agreement that protects the stratospheric ozone layer. This means, we’re phasing out the production and consumption of substances that have been poking holes in our ozone. The United States ratified this protocol in 1988 and has been a leader within throughout its existence. The ozone is so important in that it filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation. Without it we are subject to an increased prevalence of skin cancer, cataracts, reduced agricultural productivity and the disruption of marine ecosystems. With this protocol going into full effect, we are taking one giant step towards bettering our planet.

Whats in your unit?

If your AC was manufactured before January 1, 2010, it probably uses R-22. If you’re unsure about when your unit was manufactured, you can take a look at the units nameplate. The nameplate is typically located on the outdoor condenser. If you’re still unsure, give us a call we’d be happy to help you.

Servicing:

Though you will not have to stop using your AC if it contains R-22, the availability of parts and refrigerant will be limited and costly. It is best to consider a new AC or begin preparation for this change before running into a problem. We have trained our technicians to check for any issue large or small that may occur in the future during routine maintenance appointments. We want you to have the time to prepare for potential issues. As well has have as much knowledge as possible about your unit in terms you understand.

Future repairs:

Due to the sale and distribution of R-22 becoming completely phased out at the end of this year, parts for units that contain it will become limited. This means that the cost for repair will jump. Ask your technician during your maintenance appointment about what phase out plan is right for you. Some things you may want to consider are: sticking with the unit you have until you are forced to make the change, consider R-22 replacement options, or replace your unit entirely.

How can we help you?

We understand that this may be all new information, because of this we are offering a number of specials on financing a new unit, as well as discounts. Talk with your technician, or give our office a call. We’re always here for you.

585-3Harold

 

Lake Ontario and your AC

By | Air Conditioning

Happy Harold’s tip of the week: Make sure your outdoor AC unit is clear of flooding hazards.

With the water level on Lake Ontario at a record high and rising, we wanted to shed light on flooding and the health of your HVAC systems. Your AC system is built to withstand the elements, however it’s not strong enough to endure a flood without repercussion. It takes only a foot of standing water around your AC unit to cause severe damage to the moving parts and electrical components. Because of this, we urge you to take a look at the tips below.

Here are some tips to help your AC survive the next few weeks:

  1. Prop sand bags all around your home, including the air conditioning unit
  2. Deactivate all electrical controls to your AC
  3. Do not cover your unit with a tarp

What if the water gets inside?

If the water gets inside the basement where your furnace and other HVAC equipment is located then you have a different problem. Your indoor systems are not built to withstand the moisture, like your AC is. In this event, immediately shut off power to the equipment. Then contact High Performance Heating and Cooling, your trusted HVAC company.

 

If you have experienced any flooding at all, call High Performance Heating and Air for an inspection as soon as possible. We promise to make your home and systems safety our top priority through this difficult time of year.

Call 585-3harold any time day or night!

What does BTU mean?

By | Air Conditioning, HVAC

If you’re in the market for a new AC or Furnace, then you’ve probably heard the acronym BTU. To clarify, it stands for British Thermal Unit, and is used to measure thermal energy. More specifically, it is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 lb of water 1°F. When it comes to AC, BTU ratings measure how much heat it can remove from a room. In other words, a higher number means more cooling power for a larger room. BTU’s are used to measure a number of things like Air conditioners, heaters, solar hot water heaters, and cooking devices, for example.

First rule of thumb: Bigger isn’t always better

Choosing the right size AC is key, for example when you use an AC that is too large for the area it is cooling, the compressor will need to turn on and off much more than it is designed to. Though the room will cool down very quickly, it will also turn the compressor off. As a result, once the temperature in that area rises above the set temperature your unit will turn back on. This frequent on-off cycle that can result in parts failing sooner than they should. However having an AC unit that is the proper size for the space you want to cool will result in higher efficiency and less break downs.

So what now?

Call High Performance Heating and Air for a free estimate on a new AC unit today. From now through the end of the month we’re running a spring financing special for payments as low as $97 a month for 37 months. We’ll send out a certified HVAC technician to provide you with a free estimate and answer any questions you may have.

585-3harold

 

General room size to BTU ratios

Room Size (Sq Ft) Recommended BTUs
0-150
150-200
250-300
300-350
350-400
400-450
450-500
500-600
600-700
700-800
800-900
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