The COVID-19 second wave surge is coinciding with a drop in temperatures and winter's approach. Many folks around the country have moved back to working and going to school from home. Even in Horry County where schools are open, students typically only attend 2 days a week, spending the remaining 5 at home in front of a computer. With more time spent indoors and dwindling daylight, you may begin to become more aware of your energy consumption, especially as South Carolina moves into "heating season."
Cooper Mechanical Services can help you rein in heating costs this winter with a home energy audit and weatherization recommendations. Weatherization, or weatherproofing, is the practice of protecting indoor environments from the outdoor elements like wind, rain, cold air, etc. Typically weatherization activities include finding and sealing gaps, holes, and poor insulation so your home can remain comfortable and efficient.
Sometimes, you can identify places to weatherize from your own senses and observations. You may see missing weather stripping from a door jamb or a gap in a window that needs to be fixed. But if you want a better picture of the energy and heat you are losing to these leaks, you'll want to conduct a full energy audit using the right tools and technology.
A couple of the most common energy audit tests are a blower test and a thermal imaging test. The blower door test measures the amount air leaking out of your doors. Similar tests can be conducted on windows. Thermal imaging helps technicians locate cold spots in your home and determine their causes, whether a lack of insulation or leaking ductwork. It's possible you are losing warm air through leaks in your attic and a thermal camera can help find the problem area quickly.
A comprehensive energy audit will address all areas of potential energy loss and calculate an estimate of energy and money lost to inefficiency.
A lot of weatherization tasks can be a DIY job with minimal tools and items easily found at a home improvement store. Weather stripper, caulk, and plastic are all materials to help you weatherize your home and keep warm air in.
For areas requiring duct repair and insulation, you'll most likely want to work with a professional. Cooper offers a variety of heating, cooling, ventilation, and mechanical and electrical services. To learn more about energy audits and weatherization, give us a call or send us a message via our website.
Do you have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home? If you don't have a CO detector, or if yours is more than seven years old, consider upgrading to a new carbon monoxide alarm today. Adding a detector to each floor and every bedroom is an easy way to protect you and your family from this odorless killer.
As an authorized Myrtle Beach Carrier dealer, Cooper Mechanical Services can help you save lives with Carrier's latest electronic carbon monoxide alarms.
While smoke detectors entered the residential market in the mid-20th century, CO detectors and alarms didn't become commonplace until the mid-1990s. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is the product of incompletely burned fossil fuels. Common causes of carbon monoxide in the home are natural gas leaks related to heating and cooking appliances. However, carbon monoxide can also enter the house from a car or portable generator running in a poorly ventilated garage.
When there is too much CO in the air, the red blood cells carrying oxygen in your body will be replaced with carbon monoxide. Symptoms include loss of breath, dizziness, weakness, and loss of consciousness. CO poisoning can be fatal, especially if people in the home have lost consciousness or are asleep.
CO alarms like those from Carrier use electronic sensors to monitor carbon monoxide levels. Like smoke detectors, CO detectors sound an alarm when dangerous levels are detected. Carrier CO alarms use lithium ion batteries for detection during power outages, and units are equipped with a diagnostic testing button so you are confident your alarm is working properly.
If you suspect you've been exposed to CO or feel symptoms of CO poisoning, go outside or seek fresh air and contact a medical professional immediately.
Will carbon monoxide detectors, you can feel confident that you and your family have taken a necessary step to protect you from carbon monoxide.
Variable refrigerant flow, or VRF, is a type of heating and cooling system for residential or commercial applications. In order to understand how VRF is unique, it’s helpful to understand the basics of common HVAC systems. Most heating and cooling systems fall within two broad categories: ducted split systems or ductless, mini-split systems (like the packaged terminal air conditioning found in many hotel rooms).
If you live in a residential home in the Myrtle Beach area, chances are you have a split system with a compressor unit outside and an evaporator in the garage or attic. These systems use refrigerant (older units used R-22, newer ones R-410A) and a water-based system to cool air. The coolant is used to change the temperature of the coils, which cycling air passes over.
Ductless systems like PTACs are similar, except they don’t use ducts. Instead they blow cold or warm air directly to the space they are housed in. For this reason, they are more popular in commercial applications like hotels or apartments where heating and cooling is focused on a smaller part of a larger structure. PTAC and ductless systems are also convenient for homeowners wishing to bring HVAC to a garage or add-on space without ducts and vents.
So what makes a VRF system unique?
Variable refrigerant flow systems operate a little differently than a split system.
The VRF system relies on refrigerant alone instead of a water-based cooling system. Without chillers or coils, a VRF system is quick, responsive, and adaptive to outdoor conditions.
VRF systems use inverter compressors. This allows the compressor motor to run at variable speeds to save energy. Like your car in “eco mode,” your HVAC system adjusts energy usage based on heating and cooling needs.
A VRF system allows for multiple air handlers within the same system. Since the VRF system doesn’t use ducts, different rooms or spaces are equipped with a wall or ceiling mounted indoor unit to distribute air. This lets users make more specific heating and cooling decisions based on the room or space.
Variable refrigerant flow systems are high-efficiency heating and cooling solutions for residential or commercial buildings. VRF is ideal for customers looking to trade a higher up-front cost for increased energy savings (up to 55%) and room-to-room HVAC customization.
If you’d like to learn more about heating and cooling options, call Cooper for reliable, expert advice.