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The Importance of Keeping Cool

Today we’re going to go off the well beaten path of technology and venture into the much less intuitive fields of comfort and psychology. Just how valuable is air conditioning to the customers in your store? How valuable is it to your workers? And most importantly, how valuable is it to your bottom line?   Customer Impact A cool environment has a lot of impacts on your customers, especially in the choking heat of summer. On the most basic level, a comfortable customer is a happy customer. If they can walk through your store and not be dripping wet, they’re that much more likely to engage in impulse buys or accept upsells and cross-sells. This brings with it secondary bonuses: AC attracts customers AC can keep them in the store longer AC can cause more frequent visits A Controlled Environment prolongs the shelf life of your products This all stems from our desire to be comfortable. We rarely engage in activities that aren’t pleasant. No one skips to the IRS with joy to pay their taxes. Very few people are excited to see the dentist to have a tooth pulled or go to the hospital for a CAT Scan. You don’t want your store to be like that. The hotter and more humid your store is in the summer months, the fewer customers you’ll see. They’ll dread setting foot in the door.   Employee Impact If you think your customers […]

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Fresh Coat of Paint

Told you new stuff was coming! Today, we roll out the first of those changes: A new blog altogether! We’ve invested some money, sweat, tears, and tired fingers into switching to a dedicated blogging platform. We want you to have an easy, fast, simple, and straightforward experience. That’s everything from straight forward email subscriptions and notifications, a well organized site, and a nice design that’s easy on your eyes. Hopefully we’ve achieved those goals and more, but let us know. Is this the right track? Wrong track? Is there a feature we can offer that’ll make the blog better? We welcome feedback and topic suggestions! Keep an eye out. We’ve got a ton of new content coming, everything from Smart Thermostats to the inner-most workings of AC Systems.

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The Long and Storied History of Getting Cold

When you think of air conditioning, I bet you think of Willis Carrier inventing the Air Conditioner 115 years ago, don’t you? It turns out, like many things, people have been chilling since long before 1902. This raises the big question: “How do you get cool without a compressor, a heat exchanger, and a whole lotta watts?” People are clever and crafty about manipulating the world to do their bidding.   Ancient Egypt The Egyptians are believed to have been one of the first, if not the first, to use Evaporative Cooling. Paintings dating back to 2500 BC show royalty being fanned in front of jars of water. Commoners would have put wet reeds in their windows and let the wind do their cooling. Cold air would blow in the window and be slightly chilled by the cold water on the reeds. The whole concept here relies on water’s amazing thermal properties. We’ve mentioned some of them before. In this case, it is the Enthalpy of Vaporization. When water changes states, it takes a lot of energy with it. In a hot, dry desert environment, the lack of humid air makes it easy for water to make that phase change. Any open water source will readily change states into a vapor at its surface. With a cold breeze, whether natural or artificial, more air is exposed to the water. More cool air is exposed to the room’s occupants. More heat […]

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It’s been HOW many weeks?!

Hey everyone! Procure’s blog/research/tech guy here! So, those last few weeks just flew by, right? And not a peep from us on the blog… or the history of the air conditioner (it was invented 115 years ago this July!). We committed to make content and then things got a little crazy here. We started looking into some new technology, Google changed their algorithm, and while the days grew longer, so did our work. Caught up in bringing you’re a better experience and better pricing, we forgot about our educational series.   Today though, our blog is not forgotten! We’ll be getting back to making content again! Any topics on your collective minds out there? We’re going to get into talking about cooling tech and cooling season. Let us know in the comments below, by email, or a messenger pidgeon if you’ve got em’!

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Furnace Automation and Safety by Design

We’ve previously mentioned that heating systems are significantly automated. Safety systems automatically avoid dangerous situations. Sensors and controls on furnaces provide a constant hot water supply. This is a simple fact of modern life, that you can own a facility, set a temperature, and forget there are entire rooms dedicated to providing comfort until it breaks. In this post, we’re going to look at the equipment that supplies water, and prevents boilers from becoming steam fueled rockets.   Before we begin, we need to address a little disclaimer: All Heating Solutions are Unique. Various pairings of hardware may leave your system configured differently than our example setup. We are going to talk about a heating system that detects the water level, supplies water, and detects when the water detector fails. Some configurations may be more or less complex. Getting Water In All boilers need to get water in a regulated manner. We can’t just run a cold water pipe straight into the heat exchanger and expect things to be safe or efficient. Cold water would constantly be flowing in, which would eventually chill the water in the storage tank. The furnace would always be running to keep the water inside it hot. If the external water supply were ever cut off, the furnace could burn its way clean through its casing. The simple solution, is a really bad one. McDonnell & Miller Residential Water Feeder To control the input flow […]

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Safe Over Pressure

In our last blog, we explored the circulator pump and its role in a hydronic heating system. One of the major concepts was building up a supply of hot water to gradually use throughout the day. What happens when you have too much water? This week we’re going to look at a key piece of safety hardware that keeps your home or facility in one piece when things go wrong.   Let’s start with the scary answer. If your heating system had no safety mechanisms, and continuously pumped water into the hot water tank, the tank would eventually explode. This all comes down to a fundamental property of water: it doesn’t compress. As water is crammed into the tank, it starts to exert force on the tank. In regular operation, this force might simply push water through the pipes. In a complete-failure scenario, too much force will cause something to break. A minor manufacturing defect may cause part of the tank to crack and spew out boiling hot water with enough force to cut steel or the whole thing could go up in a ball of metal shrapnel and steam. In more elaborate systems, the same problem can occur in the pipes. A closed off valve or a blockage connected to a source of high pressure will exert the same force against the pipe. At some point, the pipe, it’s joints, or hardware on the pipe will fail just like […]

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Introduction to Circulators

Last week we talked about the humble heat exchanger and its role in safely keeping you toasty through frigid winters. In water-based heating systems, the next major component for us to look at is a circulator pump. These come in all shapes and sizes, from a tiny piece of equipment on a residential furnace to a back breaking hundred-plus pound chunk of machinery in an office building. In order to understand the circulator, we also need to understand the structure and reasoning behind a hot water heating system.   First, let’s answer the big question: Why Water? Water is an incredibly dense liquid. It can absorb an enormous amount of heat and then readily transfer it into anything it touches. This is the reason we sweat: water moves the heat from us into the air more efficiently than just straight air contact. It’s the same reason cars have water cooling that is fed to a radiator. The water more readily absorbs and gives off the heat. Other materials either can’t match that performance or if they do, they’re toxic.   These properties provide for an incredibly efficient heating system. A furnace can fire, create a larger than necessary water supply, store it in an insulated tank, and spend the rest of the day shut down. This cuts down on the amount of fuel needed and can extend the hardware’s effective lifetime by needing it less of the time. Other systems […]

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What is a Heat Exchanger?

It’s heating season! And that means a heat exchanger somewhere is working hard to keep you warm and toasty inside. These are a fundamental part in both heating and cooling systems, used in boilers and hot air systems, in your mechanical room and possibly in your living room. If we didn’t have them, we’d all be freezing through the winters and roasting in the summer.   What thing could be so fundamental that it is in everything? Well, your heat exchanger does as the name implies: it moves heat from one thing to another. There’s one in  your air conditioner removing the heat from the air. There’s one in your furnace removing the heat from hot exhaust. Technically, your radiator is a heat exchanger, removing heat from itself and putting it out into the air. It is a pretty key concept.   If you burn fuel for heat, something like natural gas, oil, or propane, you need some way to get the heat of the flame into your house, without getting covered in soot or breathing in toxic fumes. This is where the heat exchanger comes in. It sits right over the flame, forcing the hot air and smoke to pass through it. All around the heat exchanger is fresh, clean air or water. The air would get really hot, the water would boil, and no matter what, your toxic exhaust goes out the chimney.     If your heat […]

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