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Hot & Cold Spots

Hot & Cold Spots

You are not the only person to have noticed that sometimes there are hot and cold spots throughout your home. This issue is common throughout houses. It may seem like a larger concern, however it is typically an issue with an easy fix with the proper air conditioning service. The most common causes for hot and cold spots are: no zoning or improper zoning, ineffectively sized duct systems, and a inefficiently insulated air ducts.

 

With a zoning system, there are divided “zones” in your house which means you can set an air temperature in that specific spot. The design of the system allows the use of multiple thermostats within the ductwork that control the zones’ temperatures. Dampers open and close in the ducts to meet the thermostat settings, which may be the missing piece to keeping the room the temperature you need it at. AC zoning may even mean home energy savings up to 35 percent.

 

Homeowners may have hot and cold spots due to the fact that their duct system is not efficient or designed poorly. Typically this is normal for houses that were built before the technology and standards we have today. A bad duct system can actually increase the workload of a new unit or system, because the ducts bottleneck the equipment. This may even shorten the lifespan of the equipment in use.

Even if your duct system is designed and sized properly for your home, it could still be the source of your home’s hot and cold spots. Leaking air ducts are a common problem, which need to be sealed in order to avoid hot and cold spots. This can correlate to insufficient insulation within the ducts, which cause air of certain temperatures to leak out before arriving in it’s zone.

 

The solution to all of these problems is Benson’s expert knowledge and services. Schedule an indoor air quality check with us, and we will identify the problem and work to solve it. From air flow diagnosis to equipment inspection, we’re sure to solve your hot and cold spot problem!

The History of Air Conditioning

The History of Air Conditioning

Imagine being out in the summer’s sun all day, somewhere like Arizona or Florida. After being out all day, the only thing on your mind is to get home and cool off. But wait, as soon you get home, there air is just as hot as it was outside. The heat we can experience in places such as these provide risks for our health. Before the 1960’s, this was what life was like. Now, thanks to air conditioning, 87 percent of American households feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed.

In the 1840’s Dr. John Gorrie from Florida wanted to do something about the humidity and heat in buildings. He was an inventor and a physician, so his goal was to provide a comfortable environment for his patients to be in. He believed in “the evils of high temperatures”, and created the first ice maker by using a compressor that could be powered by a horse, water, or steam. His funder for the idea died, so the project was out the window. However, the foundation and idea for modern air conditioning was set into place.

In 1902 a man by the name of Willis Carrier, who worked at the Buffalo Forge Company, was assigned to solve an issue of humidity that occured at a textile factory. Carrier succeed and created a system that was able to humidify or dehumidify a room, which was followed by an automated system to control the air. In the 1920’s, Hollywood movies rolled out and theaters needed air conditioning. The idea of air conditioning worked, however the flow of air was inefficient. This is why most air vents are located higher on a wall or the ceiling, as cool air falls.

Even with the technology advancing, it was yet to be affordable for residential use. Equipment was either too big, or cost too much. In 1929, Frigidaire created smaller home scaled units, which helped expand the development of residential air conditioning. An engineer by the name of Henry Galson created a compact and inexpensive unit in 1947. He also produced and sold over 47,000 units. By the 1960’s most homes had air conditioning. Today, 47 percent of all household energy consumption is from air conditioning.

Even today, heating and air conditioning technology continues to improve. With smart thermostats and more efficient units, Benson’s provides customers the ever-improving luxury of HVAC.

Mini Split Vlog

 

Benson’s at The North Florida Home Show

Benson’s at The North Florida Home Show

Once again, Benson’s HVAC will be participating at the North Florida Home Show! This annual event will be showcasing the best in home services, including Benson’s award winning HVAC service. This will be a wonderful opportunity for businesses and homeowners to connect with, and learn about exciting industries.

New Homes, remodeling, lawn care, pools, appliances, floors, HVAC, and more will be on display. There will be new technologies on display, as well as new businesses to discover. Looking to replace or repair your HVAC system? Benson’s will be there to answer all of your questions and get to know you. If you’re looking to upgrade your home, make small improvements, or even if you just purchased a home the North Florida Home Show should be on your calendar.

The convention will be held at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on February 9th – 11th. As a thank you to all our loyal customers and potential new customers, Benson’s is offering a coupon for the event. You can print out the coupon found below for a reduced entry price to this exciting event.

Printing Directions: Right Click the image above and select “Open Image in new Tab”. In the new tab at the top of your browser select “File” then “Print”.

Carbon Monoxide Threats

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM CARBON MONOXIDE

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, coal and charcoal. It is caused by lack of oxygen or a disruption in the burning process.

Household appliances such as your furnace, water heater, stove, space heaters, charcoal grill and gas dryer can be sources of carbon monoxide, especially if they are not in good working condition or have been installed improperly. Vehicle exhaust fumes from attached garages, as well as improperly operating fireplaces, also can become carbon monoxide hazards, particularly if your home is well-sealed for energy efficiency.

Carbon monoxide can be an invisible threat to your family’s health and safety. Though more commonly associated with fires and automobile emissions, carbon monoxide poisoning can accumulate in any home unless certain precautions are taken.

Home heating systems represent only 5% of potential carbon monoxide sources. Though the amount of carbon monoxide produced is not substantial, it is important to schedule annual maintenance visits by a qualified technician to make sure all combustion appliances are operating properly and all chimneys and vents are free from obstruction.

What can be done about detecting carbon monoxide in the home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in your home. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and sounds an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have one detector adjacent to every living area in your home.

Carbon monoxide detectors are most effective when used in combination with a Energy Savings Agreement  For more information on how to schedule regular maintenance for your furnace or about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, just give us a call or visit our website www.bensonshvac.com to place your next visit.

What are some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Unfortunately, the symptoms are easily overlooked because they are often flu-like. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure can cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure can lead to unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma and possibly death.

What can be done to protect our home from the dangers of carbon monoxide?

There are several measures you can take to reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Because vehicles are a major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, always back your car out of the garage to let it warm up. Never leave it running in the confined space of a garage, particularly if the garage is attached to the home. The same holds true for lawn mowers. Never use ovens or grills for heating devices.

Home heating systems represent only 5% of potential carbon monoxide sources. Though the amount of carbon monoxide produced is not substantial, it is important to schedule annual maintenance visits by your qualified Bensons technician to make sure all combustion appliances are operating properly and all chimneys and vents are free from obstruction.

Benson’s Energy Savings Agreement

Benson’s Energy Savings Agreement

While the installation of a new Heating and Air system can be pricey, Benson’s has created a simple way to mitigate that cost and enhance your service. Our Energy Savings Agreement offers big benefits for new and existing customers. It can save you money on your new unit and future service costs! Broken down into three tiers (Silver, Gold, and Diamond), Benson’s Energy Savings Agreement (ESA) makes sense at all levels.

Service

We understand in the dead of summer, the last thing you want is no AC. At our Silver and Gold levels we will provide service within 24 hours, with Diamond providing same day service! Along with timely service, all levels are treated to two tune-ups per year to make sure everything is running as it should. We like to prevent problems before they become problems.

Costs

If you are in need of a repair, all levels of the ESA offer discounts: 15% off for Silver, 20% for Gold, and a whopping 30% discount for Diamond level! There are no overtime charges, so you have one less thing to worry about. Diagnostic’s for Silver level are $34.95, while Gold and Diamond are free! Regardless of your plan, savings are sure to be had on service costs.

New Systems

One of the more attractive features of our ESA is the discount on new HVAC units! With savings as high as $485 on a new Benson’s unit, our service plan is perfect for new installations.   

For more details on our service plans, visit the page on our website. More benefits are included that we didn’t discuss here, so check it out and contact Benson’s today!

Fall Maintenance for your HVAC Unit

 

While not every issue can be solved without the help of a professional, there are some things you can do to prevent issues with your HVAC unit. Here’s a handy list of tips you can use to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

 

Clear Those Fall Leaves!

It’s important to keep your outdoor system free of debris, which is particularly important during the Fall. First, make sure your unit isn’t running! Then throw on some gloves and clear any sticks and leaves covering or blocking air flow. It’s important the fan isn’t being blocked by anything or you could have serious problems.

 

Keep Filters Clean

Replacing your air filter is the easiest and probably most important measure to maintaining a healthy system. Best practice is to replace your filter every month. Set a reminder on your calendar to do so, and if you can, purchase a few filters at a time so you don’t have to worry about going to the store every time you need a new one!

 

Hearing Strange Sounds?

Don’t ignore the creaking and clicking! The integrity of your HVAC system could be at risk. Try turning some bolts and tightening screws that may be loose. If you can’t seem to stop the noise give Benson’s a call for some professional assistance.

 

Open those Windows!

Living in the South we’re used to running our AC nearly 24/7 just to keep from sweating. During the cool Fall months, consider opening your windows and letting a breeze through instead! This will give your system a much needed break after working so hard over the summer, which will reduce the wear on it. You’ll also save on your power bill!

 

If you have any serious problems or just want to make sure everything is truly running smoothly, call Benson’s today. You can’t go wrong asking the experts!

What’s The Deal With Freon?

As we mentioned in our last Benson’s Newsletter, the industry standard refrigerant R-22, commonly known as Freon, is being phased out. This is in favor of a better and more environmentally friendly alternative called R-410A. The Environmental Protection Agency began the process of reducing the amount of R-22 in 2014, with an outright ban of it’s production or importation in the US in 2020. This ozone depleting chemical has long been known as a limited time solution, so any systems still using R-22 are probably due for an upgrade anyway.

 

The EPA has concluded that Freon is a fluorocarbon, which are partly responsible for the depletion of our planet’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is basically a buffer between the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and our skin. Essentially the less ozone we have in our atmosphere, the more cases of skin cancer and other health issues we will have. The reduction of R-22 is one of many steps we should be taking to protect our environment, as well as ourselves.

 

Going green isn’t the only benefit of this new refrigerant; holding onto your Freon powered AC unit is going to cost an arm and a leg. While a new R-410A system will be a big investment for some, the more energy efficient unit will save you from the exorbitant costs of maintaining your old R-22 unit. Purchasing a new unit can sometimes cost as much as just the repairs on an old one! In the end you’d be making a smart investment that will last you a long time. Even if you can repair your old system for half the cost of a new one, the cost will only get higher as 2020 approaches. It’s money best spent future-proofing your home, while saving money every month.

 

Be sure to check out the Benson’s Newsletter to read more about this very important subject, as well as other relevant topics!

The Best Heating/Cooling Options for Your Finished Basement

So, you finally got around to finishing your basement and now it is way too hot to enjoy. There are many options for heating/cooling your finished basement.

Buy a vented standalone system

This is a great option for those who want to save money and stay away from adding onto their existing HVAC unit in their home. These units require you to cut a hole in the wall so that they can be vented outdoors. While you may not want to cut a hole in your wall, this is a quick, financially efficient way to heat or cool your finished basement.

Buy a large room electric heater

If you want to refrain from cutting a whole in your wall, you can buy a large room electric heater. These simply plug into an outlet in the room and can heat large areas depending on the wattage of the heater you purchase. These have a built-in thermostat, and make absolutely no noise at all. Not only is this option a convenient way to heat up your finished basement, but you could take it into any other room of your house if you wanted to thanks to its mobility.

Add onto your existing HVAC system

This option involves expanding your existing HVAC system by adding and attaching new ductwork to the existing HVAC system in your home. You then can add one or two vents into your basement. Not only does this option give your house a complete, consistent temperature all with the use of the same thermostat, but you can control both heating and cooling al within the same system. Adding onto your existing HVAC system provides usage simplicity and also increases the value of your home.

WHAT HEATING AND COOLING OPTIONS DO I HAVE FOR A SUNROOM?

As a Florida resident, extremely hot summers and mildly cold winters come as no surprise. Many houses in Florida come equipped with a beautiful sunroom however, the unkindly weather keeps us from enjoying this unique feature. Depending on the size of your sunroom, the type of sunroom, the sunroom’s location in relation to the sun, your sunroom’s purpose, and your personal preference, there are many different options for implementing heating and cooling into your sunrooms to maximize your outdoor experience.

You can make your sunroom an equally used part of your home with a central heating and cooling system. If your home is already using a central heating and cooling system, adding a system to your sunroom can be as simple as adding a vent and connecting to the ductwork of your existing system. By connecting to your existing system, every room in your house will now be conveniently ran by one system. Turning the temperature of your entire home up or down will be as simple as pressing one button. Another option for implementing a central heating and cooling system into your sunroom would be to install a separate thermostat into the sunroom. This way you can control the temperature of the sunroom alone without affecting any other room in your home.

Keep in mind, your existing central heating and cooling system in your home may not be big enough to handle adding another room that needs cooling down or heating up. Instead of spending a large amount of money on a new, larger system altogether, a great option is a ductless mini split. Mini splits can be mounted on a wall or ceiling and can be as discreet or stylish as you’d like. You can even choose different finishes that will blend into the current color of your sunroom. There are even mini splits that are designed to look like a painting hanging on the wall.

A less permanent option for heating and cooling your sunroom is a portable heating and air conditioning unit. Unlike the common window unit you may have seen before, this portable unit only requires a small window that can vent the air along with an outlet nearby to plug in. This is more astatically pleasing because it does not protrude from the window. The disadvantage to using a portable unit is that it can be hard to get a precise temperature during the very hot times of the year.

If you’re not quite ready to add a heating and cooling system to your sunroom right now, overhead fans are always a terrific addition to any sunroom. This will help circulate air through your sunroom and once you do decide to add a heating and cooling system, having overhead fans as well will allow you to keep the temperature down in your sunroom without your system having to use as much energy.

As you can see, there are many options for heating and cooling your sunroom. Make the most out of every room in your home by adding a heating and cooling system to your sunroom today!