Destructive Dirt and Debris

Your air conditioner has an enemy, a nemesis to rival dirty air filters. Dirt, Debris, and overgrown plants are the outdoor equivalent of dirty filters. It is essential that your condenser gets as much undisturbed airflow as possible. That means no dirt on the coils, no bushes blocking off its sides, and no leaves piling up around it.   Why Is This a Big Deal? Your air conditioner essentially collects heat from inside your building and then radiates it into the air outside the building. This has a few prerequisites: lots of air, lots of thermal-contact with the air, and ideally lots of airflow to replace the heated air with fresher, cooler air. The condenser was designed to provide all of these things. There is a fan to suck in more air. There are thousands of tiny metal plates weaved back and forth inside the coils. These coils are made extremely conductive metals that will help radiate heat into the atmosphere. Things go downhill fast when you start interfering with these features. Dirt is especially a vicious enemy here. The metal of the condenser coil is an amazing thermal conductor, readily blasting heat into the atmosphere. Dirt however, is not a good thermal conductor. Most dirt is going to act more like an insulator and reduce the amount of heat that flows from the condenser coil into the air around it. Less heat-flow means less capacity. Your 39,000 BTU system […]

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How Often Should a Furnace Run?

A furnace running too often is a problem. This is a condition known as Short Cycling. In order to avoid it, we need to actually know how long a system should be cycling. How do we know it’s been cycling too often? How often should a furnace actually run? Does it matter? The Big Variables The technical answer to this is always: “consult the manufacturer specifications.” The real answer is buried in a mess of factors we’ll need to weed out. The first big challenge in this problem is the variability of our environment. During the summer months, a furnace could be shutdown all day and that would be just fine. For those times, it’s just not needed. On the flip side of the coin however, during the peak of winter, the furnace needs to be able to keep up with the heating needs of the building without running itself into complete failure. In order to keep up with the demand for heat, a furnace needs to be the right size. Even then, we need to allow for times of extreme demand such as on the coldest day of the year. We can’t quite get away with saying “if it ever runs all day, that’s a problem.” We also need to account for just how hot the thermostat is set too. If someone from perhaps Mexico were to venture into the freezing environment of Toronto, Canada, they might well set […]

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When to Replace Your AC System

No one wants to replace an entire system, whether it’s your entire HVAC set up, just a furnace, or your AC. It’s expensive, time consuming, inconvenient, and an all around headache. Our whole industry is setup around maintaining these systems as they age and break down. There is however, a point where you can’t keep a dead horse limping along anymore.   Signs of an Impending Upgrade There are two big considerations to determine when you’re better off replacing an entire HVAC system, over trying to salvage the hardware you have on hand. We use the Rust and Wear of the existing system, against the gains in Efficiency, Performance, and Features of a newer system. If your central air was installed two years ago, you have little wear to consider and little incentive to upgrade. Even a twenty year old system might be worth keeping if it runs without incident. There are however, cases for systems that are perhaps five to ten years old, in particularly rough environments, that have become worn, failure prone, and a real pan to use. Those tired old systems are ready to retire. Procure Inc’s own head salesman himself, Scott, just used our two-factor thought process to look at his 16 year old central air system and decide it’s time to upgrade. He put in a preventative $400 in small repairs, but there’s easily $4000 of parts and labor needed to keep everything running in […]

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Weird But True: You can Air Condition a Computer

In this blog segment, we’re going to look at all the weird things you don’t expect to see in the HVAC Industry. Now, you might be expecting us to post something like a hand cranked air conditioner or maybe some weird sound-based chilling system. Well, not today! Today we’re going to talk about how you can air-condition a computer, because no one else in our circle of friends and competitors has!   WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? For computers, like many, many machines, cooling is essential. The little bits of silicon in your computer can run up to about 100 degrees Celsius before they start to lose performance. That’s about the redline on most CPUs. When it gets that hot, they start to throttle back and lose performance. You could go from blazing performance to a complete crawl until the system has cooled down. It’s just like if you got in your car, hit some infinitely straight road, had an infinite fuel supply, and floored it. At some point, the engine’s going to overheat because it wasn’t designed to run at max power for days on end. Your computer manages its own throttle, so at a point, it just says ‘no’. Most computers in your office and home aren’t going to see those temperatures and work loads. Like all things however, there are people who do hit that problem. There are people who scoff at the thought of a Mustang […]

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