Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for May, 2014

Zone Air Conditioning: Ducted vs. Ductless

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Zone control is a method of receiving air conditioning (and heating as well) from a forced-air system. Instead of cooling down an entire home at once whenever the AC comes on, zone control allows a homeowner to decide which rooms (or “zones”) receive the conditioned air.

Installing zone control for a home has some obvious advantages: energy savings from reduced use (you don’t need to cool down unused guest rooms), temperature tailored to the needs of separate rooms (keep the kitchen cool, a baby’s bedroom warmer), and individual comfort for each resident (people can set the zone they are in to suit them).

However, not all zone control systems work the same way. There are two broad options: you can have zone control installed into the ventilation system of a pre-existing HVAC system, or you can have a ductless mini split heat pump installed, which by default work as zone control systems because it uses separate blower units throughout a house. Which is the best choice for zone control?

You can find out your best options for zone air conditioning in Arlington, VA with a call to OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. We specialized in installing ducted and ductless zone control in homes.

If you already have an HVAC system in your home that uses ducts and you don’t plan to do major renovations in the future, you should probably consider going with a zone control system retro-fit into the ductwork. This involves professionals placing dampers connected to zone thermostats into the ductwork, then hooking the individual thermostats into a central control panel.

However, people looking for an option that will save space, fit into an older home without vents, or as part of new home construction, should give the advantages of ductless mini splits serious consideration. Zone control is only one of the benefits of going ductless: you won’t lose efficiency through leaky ducts, nor will you need to worry about a drop in indoor air quality due to ductwork becoming dirty and dusty.

The choice will come down to your home and your own future plans. Ductless is a larger change, but sometimes the one that will pay off the most. Zone control in ducts is easier to install and requires less drastic changes. Which one is better is something you’ll need a professional installer help you decide.

You can trust to our more than 15 years of experience providing local homeowners with quality comfort.

Call OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. today and we’ll look into how best to provide you with zone air conditioning in Arlington, VA. 

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How Humidity Reduces Your Air Conditioner’s Effectiveness

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Air conditioning repair in Alexandria has to handle all kinds of issues, from leaky refrigerant to broken fan motors. Many customers are surprised to learn, however, that humidity plays a factor in how their air conditioning system functions, and thus is an important consideration during many types of repairs. Virginia residents certainly aren’t strangers to humidity – we get pretty muggy here in the summer – but you may not know just how humidity reduces your air conditioner’s effectiveness.

Humidity & Your Air Conditioner

In the first case, humidity plays a large role in our comfort levels. Human beings usually need relative humidity levels to be between 30% and 50% in order to stay comfortable. Why? Those levels allow sweat to evaporate off of our skin, which makes us feel cooler. When humidity levels are too high, there’s too much moisture in the air and your sweat won’t evaporate. That leaves you feeling sweaty and gross, as well as preventing your body from lowering its overall temperature.

Air conditioner help out with that as part of the normal cooling process. Cooling temperatures cause moisture in the air to move from a gaseous to a liquid state. (That’s why dew forms on plants and grass in the early hours of the morning, when temperature are lowest.) As the air conditioner cools the air, it pulls moisture from the air and sends it back into your home. As it runs, that reduces humidity levels and helps you feel more comfortable.

Unfortunately, if humidity levels are high, that means the air conditioner has to work much harder in order to help you feel comfortable. Yes, it can remove the moisture in the air, but doing so costs power and energy, lowering its effectiveness in the process. Depending on the situation, you may wish to invest in a more effective air conditioner, or have a professional install a dehumidifier in your home to help with the problem. For air conditioning repair in Alexandria, call upon the experts at Oasis Heating A/C & Refrigeration, Inc.

We understand how humidity reduces your air conditioner’s effectiveness and we can make informed recommendations that fit your particular needs! Call us today.

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