Home Sweet Home
We live approximately two-thirds our lives in and around our homes. A man‚Äôs home is his wife‚Äôs castle ‚Äď a simple truth I learned long ago. Our homes are safe havens from high-stress business and work environments, a center of entertainment – valuable asset. Some of us transform our ‚Äėcastles‚Äô from casual residences to art galleries and even into mini-museums. Irrespective to fun times away on vacation or travel abroad, ‚Äúthere is no place like home‚ÄĚ.
We want a healthy, comfortable indoor environment at the lowest possible cost. This is true whether your ‚Äėcastle‚Äô is a modest structure or a mansion on a country estate. Stable temperature, just-right relative humidity, fresh odor and dust-free ‚Äď these are the characteristics of the perfect indoor climate.
Prescription for Success
Key to a satisfactory air conditioning system is an alignment of numerous features:
- Adequate capacity ‚Äď not too small and not oversized. Undersized equipment cannot sustain comfort as outdoor conditions (temperature, solar exposure and humidity) approach design conditions (Read more‚Ä¶)
- Properly designed air distribution network ‚Äď ducting and registers must be correctly sized to deliver conditioned air to the various spaces (Read more‚Ä¶)
- Optimum Air filtration ‚Äď incorrect design can constrict air flow, installation in an inaccessible place discourages servicing (Read more‚Ä¶)
- Balanced Air Distribution ‚Äď adjustment of balancing dampers, duct-mounted or inside registers, assures accurate delivery of conditioned air to each room (Read more‚Ä¶)
- Sound & Noise ‚Äď incorrectly designed ducting can transmit voices and other sounds between conditioned spaces. Excess airflow creates ‚Äúgrill noise‚ÄĚ (Read more‚Ä¶)
- Indoor Air Quality ‚Äď indoor pollution can ruin your day (and your night) (read more‚Ä¶)
- Control System ‚Äď zoning may be appropriate, it usually is but seldom applied (read more‚Ä¶)
- Dehumidification ‚Äď excess relative humidity damages structural materials, picture frames and pianos while it promotes growth of bacteria and mold. (Read more…)
- Remote access ‚Äď internet access keeps you up to date while away from home and simple text message can place system in occupied or unoccupied remotely. (Read more‚Ä¶)
Good News/Bad News
Any home can have near-perfect to perfect air conditioning when essential factors line up. Knowledgeable design and installation by skilled craftsmen are requisites to have this finished product. This is the good news.
Unfortunately, too many poorly designed, poorly installed residential air conditioning systems get into homes. It‚Äôs almost impossible to go wrong with the ‚Äúrule of thumb‚ÄĚ method for small cottages, but all systems over 3 ¬Ĺ tons should be carefully designed. (Read more‚Ä¶)
Air-Cooled vs. Geothermal
Geothermal systems win ‚Äúhands down‚ÄĚ, when there is adequate terrain for geothermal wells or, better, an adequate pond or lake nearby. My geothermal system has nothing visible outside ‚Äď no condenser coils to clean, no noisy condensing unit, simply invisible underground piping. (Read more‚Ä¶)