A Guide To HVAC Packaged Systems

The right heating and cooling system can make a major difference in the comfort level of your home as well as your monthly energy bill. Depending on your heating and cooling needs, a packaged system may work best for some spaces. Before you invest in a new system for your home or office, consider the merits of an HVAC packaged system from a well-known brand such as Carrier.

What Makes An HVAC Packaged System Different?

A packaged HVAC system is a form of centralized heating and air conditioning. Instead of a system featuring a distinct furnace and air conditioner, a packaged system combines both functions within a single unit. Like a traditional centralized air conditioning system, a packaged system features an outdoor unit with an indoor coil and may also include a heat pump used for heating and cooling. Common types of packaged systems include:

Packaged Heat Pumps

Featuring a heat pump and an air handler, this type of unit delivers heating and cooling needs in areas that rarely experience below-freezing temperatures.

Packaged Air Conditioners

These completely electric systems feature an air handler and an air conditioning unit and offer heating and cooling capabilities.

Packaged Gas And Electric Systems

If you want to take advantage of gas heating during the winter, this type of unit offers electric air conditioning and the functionality of a gas furnace. Consider this type of packaged system in areas with tight installation spaces.

Dual-Fuel Systems

For cooler climates, this type of system includes a heat pump and a gas furnace to deliver maximum efficiency year round.

Consider the packaged system as an intermediate step in-between a window or ductless air conditioning unit and a traditional centralized HVAC system. Depending on the size of your space, your budget, and your heating and cooling needs, a heating and air conditioning specialist can help you determine the right package for your needs.

Benefits Of Choosing An HVAC Packaged System

Every HVAC solution depends on individual needs, but many home and office building owners may want to consider switching to a packaged system too:

Enjoy Quieter Heating And Cooling

With an outdoor unit of any kind, you can enjoy a silent operational experience.

Experience A Greater Level Of Comfort

A packaged system delivers high-quality, reliable heating and cooling along with air purification and dehumidification benefits.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Most new systems feature excellent energy efficiency ratings. Look for high SEER, AFUE, and HSPF ratings for improved energy efficiency.

These space-saving and affordable systems often provide the best heating and cooling experience while saving owners more money each month. As an added bonus, many owners who choose packaged systems enjoy greater usability and an improved maintenance experience.

When To Transition To An HVAC Packaged System

Whether you’re remodeling your home, replacing an old system, or looking for energy-efficient alternatives, consider an HVAC packaged system for your space. You may want to consider transitioning to a new type of system if your monthly energy bills have started to rise or if your current system is failing. At Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer a full range of packaged systems designed to perform well and provide comfort throughout the year. We can offer professional advice on the best systems available for your space. Let us know how we can help you transform your heating and cooling experience.

History of Air Conditioning: Keeping Cool Through the Centuries

In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the first modern electrical air conditioner. However, previous generations had their own ways of fighting the heat and keeping themselves cool during the summer. Throughout human history, people have come up with ingenious ways to stay cool during the hottest times of the year.

Geothermal and Water Cooling: Everything Old Is New Again

In almost every way, human technology has advanced by light-years since the Stone Age. However, state-of-the-art geothermal cooling relies on the same principle that our cave-dwelling ancestors understood millennia ago: it’s cooler underground. The earliest humans dug burrows or settled in existing caves in order to escape the heat above ground.

Water cooling is another piece of technology that we associate with modern air conditioning, but this idea is as old as the Pyramids—literally. The ancient Egyptians used to hang wet reeds in their windows so that the water would cool the breezes sweeping in from the hot Nile River valley.

The Invention of the Fan

Moving air has a greater cooling effect on the skin than stationary air, which is why breezes feel so delightful on hot days. Centuries ago, people realized they could make their own breezes with the use of hand-held fans. The invention of the fan cannot be traced to a single person or place, but archeologists have found evidence of hand-held fans as far back as the 2nd century BCE in China and the 4th century BCE in Greece.

Almost all modern air conditioners still rely on fans, albeit mechanical ones. Fans in modern air conditioners help to cool the air, and are also used to moved cool or warm air from one place to another through systems of ducts.

Going With the (Air) Flow: Victorian Ingenuity

The Victorian corset may have made breathing difficult, but in other ways the Victorians were masters of air flow. High ceilings, large recessed windows and covered porches all helped to maximize cross-ventilation in Victorian homes in order to improve natural cooling. High ceilings allow warm air to move upward, away from the people trying to stay cool. Covered porches and recessed windows use shade to cool outside air before breezes move this cooler air inside.

The Accidental Invention: Willis Carrier Modernizes Air Conditioning

Human ingenuity has repeatedly tackled head-on the problem of staying cool, and yet the modernization of air conditioning happened almost by accident. Willis Carrier, inventor of the first electrical air conditioner, was actually trying to find a way to control humidity in a printing plant. He decided to reverse the process of steam heating by passing air through cold coils , thereby causing the air to cool and the water in it to condense. It was a great way to control humidity, and an even better way to air condition a building.

Please follow our blog to keep learning more about the past, present and future of heating and cooling!

Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a New AC or Furnace

The purchase of a new air conditioner or furnace is one of the larger expenses you can expect during your home’s lifetime. If the system you buy does its job properly, you’ll receive the benefits of reliable household heating and cooling. On the other hand, if your new heating or cooling system doesn’t work reliably and efficiently, you may end up paying the price for decades to come. Here are some of the key pitfalls to avoid when purchasing a new residential furnace or AC.

Buying a System That’s Too Big or Small

Each residential air conditioner and furnace on the market is designed to deliver cooling or heating to a home of a certain size and layout. Unfortunately, many consumers mistakenly purchase a system that’s too large or too small for their home. Potential consequences of this mistake include early furnace or AC failure, unnecessarily steep monthly utility costs and a perpetually uncomfortable building interior.

Failing to Check Your HVAC Contractor’s Background

No matter where you live in the U.S., you probably have access to a number of skilled and reputable heating and cooling contractors. Unfortunately, you also likely have access to disreputable contractors who do such things as install systems improperly or create unsafe working conditions. If you fail to check your contractor’s background through the Better Business Bureau or some other reliable resource, you might not know the difference until it’s too late.

Choosing the Cheapest HVAC Contractor

You might be tempted to automatically hire the cheapest available contractor to install a heating or cooling system, especially if you have a tight budget to consider. However, as with many other types of purchases, cheap often does not equal good. By spending a little more on your contractor today, you may avoid any number of serious AC- or furnace-related headaches in the future.

Not Consulting Multiple HVAC Contractors

Not all reputable heating and cooling contractors charge the same amount of money for their services. If you only consult one contractor, you may end up paying more than you need to for the installation services you receive. Consultation of multiple contractors will give you a much better understanding of the pricing options available in your area.

Ignoring Energy Efficiency

In today’s world, you can find plenty of air conditioners and furnaces with exceptional energy efficiency ratings. Since these high-efficiency options often cost more up front, you may decide to ignore them. However, the long-term utility savings provided by an efficient system can easily outweigh the short-term savings you receive when purchasing a cheaper system that wastes lots of energy.

Not Cementing the Terms of Your Contract

A reputable contractor should be willing to submit a detailed, written contract that clearly lays out the terms of your installation agreement. If you don’t receive this type of written agreement, you have no easy way of guaranteeing the work will get done.

As you can see, a little advance work can save you tons of hassles when it comes to buying new heating and cooling equipment. You can stay up-to-date with more helpful heating- and cooling-related tips by bookmarking this blog.

Can I Just Replace the Outdoor Unit on an Older Air Conditioning System to Save Money?

Air conditioning systems are very expensive to replace, and it’s tempting to try to save costs wherever possible. When one unit of your air conditioning system fails, replacing one unit while keeping the older, still-functioning unit sounds like a practical cost-saving measure. However, mismatched air conditioning components can have a negative effect on the efficiency, reliability and life-span of your system.

The indoor and outdoor units of a residential air conditioning system function together despite the fact that they are split into two units. As a result, the system suffers stress when the two units have dissimilar components that were designed to work at different levels of efficiency.

You Can’t Teach Old Coils New Tricks

When mismatched air conditioning components are forced to work together, it can put stress on the older unit and seriously compromise the function of the new unit.

Newer condenser coils are more efficient, have a larger, grooved surface area, and employ other enhanced features that improve their performance. Older coils do not have these features, and are often incompatible with new condenser coils.

New air conditioning units use thermal expansion valves with a hard shut-off to control their use of refrigerant. However, older units were not designed with a hard shut-off, and this feature can strain the components of older compressors.

Various technological improvements allow new air conditioning units to achieve much higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) than older systems. When new units are paired with older units, the SEER of the overall air conditioning system drops well below the potential SEER of the new unit.

Consequences for Your System

All of these mismatched components can have serious consequences for the lifespan and efficiency of your air conditioning system. Manufacturer tests have demonstrated that systems with mismatched components have less cooling ability, lower operational efficiency and a tendency to break down or fail altogether. These tests suggest that the odds of the compressor in a mismatched system failing within the first year are as high as 45 percent.

The incompatibility of mismatched components means that replacing only one unit of your air conditioning system is not the smart, cost-saving move that it appears to be. This moves comes with a variety of hidden costs, from the higher cost of running an inefficient system to the cost of replacing system components when they breakdown from undue stress. Although you will spend more money upfront to replace both air conditioning units, this option is actually more likely to save you money and headaches in the future.

Thank you for reading! Follow our blog for more expert information about cooling and heating your home.

How Do Air Conditioners Work?

Air conditioners and refrigerators have many similarities. In fact, the only difference between the two is that refrigerators only cool a small enclosed space while an AC cools a large open space. So, how do air conditioners work? Read on to find out.How do air conditioners work

Components of an AC

Like refrigerators, air conditioners have a compressor, refrigerant liquid, refrigerant piping, fans and a thermostat. Each of these components is used for a different purpose. For instance, the thermostat is responsible for switching the system on and off depending on the difference between the actual room temperature and the reference temperature. Refrigerator piping connects the two ends of the compressor and carries the refrigerant throughout the cooling system. The fans are responsible for driving air into the indoor wall-mounted unit for cooling as well as through the outdoor unit to cool the refrigerant and take away the heat. The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant into a liquid and keeping it under pressure. Lastly, the refrigerant is the working fluid. It absorbs heat from the surroundings and takes it to the compressor coils for cooling.

How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners are able to cool a room because of a physical law, which states that when a liquid transforms to gaseous form, it absorbs heat from the surroundings. This evaporative process takes place in the evaporator coil, which starts at the compressor and goes into the indoor evaporative unit. This is where all the cooling takes place. A fan draws warm air from the room and passes it over the evaporator coils. In the process, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air. As a result, cooler air comes out of the AC. A condensate is also produced as a byproduct. Once the refrigerant goes through the evaporator unit, it makes its way back towards the compressor through the condenser coil in the outdoor unit. This is where heat from the refrigerant is extracted and dumped in the environment by blowing cool air over the condenser coils. Next, the refrigerant goes back into the compressor, where its volume is reduced through compression and it converts back to liquid form.

If your air conditioner is not working properly, Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning has the right service for you!

Check out the AC Services we offer