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"Brian works at the cutting edge of heating and cooling technology but he has all the virtues of an old-fashion master of the craft: he knows his trade inside out, he looks at the whole situation (and not just a small part of it), and he sees the job through all the way. We have nothing but praise for him and his team!"
Chris & Juliane W.
Air Conditioning

The term air conditioning means the mechanical process of treating air to control temperature, humidity (moisture) and air cleanliness that will provide comfort throughout the entire year. For our purposes we will use the term air conditioning to mean "Comfort Cooling" by a mechanical device or split system air conditioner.

If you have ductwork in place, Split System A/C is your best option. If you don't have existing ductwork, consider Ductless Air Conditioning.

We also sell and install Room Air Conditioning.

Split System Air Conditioning

Live in Air Conditioned Comfort - Custom Vac provides a full range of heating and air conditioning services, water tank sales, and 24 hour emergency service.Split System Air Conditioning or comfort cooling provides indoor occupant comfort by maintaining air temperature, air movement, humidity control, and air cleanliness. Any air conditioning system should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home or building while at the same time removing moisture. The system should also filter the air, removing particulate and odours from the air and distribute that air to the space.

Properly sized air conditioners reduce outdoor noise levels, increase security, maintain a cleaner indoor environment as windows and doors remain closed, and finally the high moisture levels will improve overall indoor air quality and prevent peeling paint from walls and ceilings, sagging wall paper, sticking drawers, etc.

SEER, EER, BTU, etc. can certainly be confusing!

Q: How many hours per year on average does an air conditioning system operate in southern Manitoba?

A: On average, 850 hours? It's true.

BTU - (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit?

One Ton - this is the cooling effect felt by the melting of one ton of ice in a 24-hour period. One Ton = 12,000 BTU

EER - (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is simply the power consumption of the air conditioner measured in watts divided into the BTUH capacity of the air conditioner.

EER = BTUH Cooling divided by Watts Input

SEER - (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) has really replaced the term EER because it represents the average efficiency over an entire year, a far more consumer accepted value. A SEER with a value of 13 (effective 2005) is now the base unit efficiency mandated by Government regulation. But as the cost of energy increases many homeowners are opting for the 15 - 21 SEER units. The appeal is enhanced moisture removal, whisper quiet operation, better warranties, and lower operating costs and higher end fit and finish.

SEER = 10,200 x Tons divided by EER (approx.)

R-22 vs. R-410A - R-22 has been around for decades providing comfort cooling for millions of homes. But R-22 is harmful to the environment due to its chemical make-up containing chlorine. How harmful you ask? Just one single chlorine molecule can destroy over 100 Ozone molecules. And even though R-22 is only 1/50th as harmful as the refrigerant that was used in your cars and fridges, it too must go. By the year 2010 HCFC's will no longer be installed in new equipment. When the alternative is here already and been in systems since 1999 and proven an excellent performer, why wait and be stuck with old technology that is harmful to the environment? Make the move to R-410A today, and leave future generations a better earth.

So, what is a split system air conditioner? Split system air conditioners or central air conditioning means that there are two major components. An indoor coil or evaporator is installed in the ductwork off the furnace and the condensing unit is located outdoors. Both of these components matched and then inter-connected with refrigerant lines. It is essential to have the evaporator, condensing unit and lines, sized and matched correctly. Failure to do this will result in an air conditioning system that achieves, just slightly better efficiency than the old one. Further, damage to the structure or occupants could result if an older R-22 system is charged with R-410A. R-410A is a high-efficiency, high-pressure refrigerant that cannot be installed in any system other than a new system designed and approved for R-410A. Only trained qualified technicians should work on air conditioning systems. Make a link from the word "matched correctly" to News Releases and this news release,

LET'S NOT BECOME A DUMPING GROUND FOR LOW EFFICIENCY AIR CONDITIONING AGAIN!

The evaporator located in the furnace ductwork poses a restriction to airflow and often, special sheet metal fittings need to be fabricated, motor speed increased or the motor replaced to a larger horsepower (Hp). In any event it is imperative that the evaporator be installed in a manner that allows for it's cleaning and that it in no way affects the performance and operation of the heating appliance. Some contractors take short cuts here simply, because, it's the one area that you as a homeowner cannot inspect.

The location of the outdoor unit (condensing unit) is one of great importance as well. The City of Winnipeg has a by-law in place regarding the placement of units on a property (ask to see a copy of that by-law to ensure that the unit will meet the regulations requirement). Another consideration though is noise. Now, while noise is not really a factor with most units today, locations beside entertainment and relaxation areas of the lot should still be avoided if for no other reason than aesthetics. The condensing unit should also be located on the cooler side of the home, preferably the North and East sides. All of this is not always possible and compromises might have to be made. However, when noise might be a factor, Custom Vac can conduct an actual sound level calculation using the "HRAI model by-law for residential air conditioning." This document offers real solutions such as screening and how to build an effective noise barrier.

Equipment

Sizing of air conditioning is critical and a properly completed heat gain calculation of the building should be performed. This will give the BTUH that is required to cool the home. A slightly undersized unit is more desirable as the unit will run longer on a hot humid day. The temperature in the home may not be able to lower the indoor temperature as quickly but it will reduce the moisture significantly, which is by far a more comfortable condition.

Air Conditioning Unit - Custom Vac provides a full range of heating and air conditioning services, water tank sales, and 24 hour emergency service.

There are "rule of thumb" and "quick sizing guides" published for your convenience which will help you sort out the facts as they are presented to you. We know that once you have done your homework that you will agree that Custom Vac has the knowledge and experience to perform the work while at the same time maintaining your home or building with year-round comfort conditions.

Efficiencies, features and price are all factors, but in the end you want quality equipment you can rely on. That's why Custom Vac offers three tiers of products. You can think of them as Good, Better and Best!

The Best - (21 SEER) - Want to beat the heat and high utility bills, without sacrificing comfort? The 21-SEER with enhanced and innovative features is for you. Providing ultrahigh-efficiency cooling with two-stages of cooling the air conditioner runs at low-stage 80% of the time reducing energy costs and sound levels.

In fact the sound levels are approximately 13-times quieter than a standard air conditioner. Utilizing R-410A the new Ozone Friendly refrigerant and Copeland Scroll Ultra Tech compressor means less moving parts and higher reliability, while meeting Government standards for ozone and environmental safety.

Some 21-SEER units feature a System Operations Monitor. Similar to the diagnostics system used in automobiles, this monitor continually measures system performance, helping technicians solve problems faster and more accurately. It can even communicate with select thermostats to provide you with a "Check System" type indicator when service is needed for added piece of mind.

I've heard that higher efficient air conditioning systems could increase dehumidification needs. Is this true?

It is possible is the coil selection and equipment is not properly sized and matched as a system. Something, that happens when using poorly trained technicians who do not understand. Higher SEER systems save energy by reaching desired temperatures more quickly. An installer must be cautious when selecting indoor coils and look at both sensible and latent load values. Some improperly selected coils are tall and thin. These coil designs can drop a home's temperature faster causing air-conditioning systems to run less frequently and remove less latent heat. Latent heat creates the feeling of being damp.

In addition, air conditioning is sized based in peak load - a condition reached only 2% - 3% of the year. The other 97% of the time, the air conditioning system is operating in a part load condition, resulting in less run time, and further reducing the moisture removal capabilities of the system. This situation is especially apparent in spring and fall, when the HVAC system seldom operates. Therefore, a significant need for moisture removal remains. This is where the two-stage air conditioners in 21-SEER shine, by accomplishing both excellent moisture removal and energy savings resulting in improved comfort.

Many homeowners try creating optimum humidity conditions by running their air conditioning system longer. They are probably creating a comfort issue by doing so, with their home temperatures consistently dropping below desired comfort levels. Again, Two-stage and properly sized and matched units will avoid.

As always when you want comfort without compromise, the top of the line models are the way to go. They have the highest efficiencies, most innovative designs and cutting edge technology combined to create exceptional comfort cooling and comfort. Don't chance your comfort and peace of mind dealing with anyone else, when you can be assured of the excellence associated with Custom Vac.

Better (15-SEER) - Higher efficiency at a lower cost. Some units like the 21-SEER units feature the System Operations Monitor. These single-stage air conditioners offer good energy-savings and warranties without all the bells and whistles. Utilizing the Copeland Scroll compressor and insulated compressor compartment, one of the first things you'll notice about this mid-range air conditioner, is what you don't notice: a lot of noise.

Access doors on hinges provide easy cleaning of the heat transfer surfaces. Grilles protect the coils from damaging hail, hockey sticks and the odd bicycle. Chlorine-free Ozone Friendly refrigerant meets Government standards for ozone and environmental safety.

In order for air conditioners to achieve higher SEER levels, evaporator coils must use Thermostatic Expansion (TXV) Valves. These valves increase the efficiency of the coil by maximizing the use of the refrigerant and heat transfer surfaces. Better-improved drain pans reduce IAQ problems. Built with primary and secondary drains and sloped to ensure full and proper water removal from the pan, reduces the potential for mould and slime.

Good (13-SEER) - Quality R-410A air conditioning at an affordable price is what you get with baseline equipment. Crafted with the same quality as higher end units they are basically, no frill air conditioners.

The baseline products can provide increased comfort and reliability at a price you can afford. They use rugged compressors warranted for 10-years and 5-years on parts.

If your old air conditioner is more that 16-years old, it's likely 5 to 8-SEER. That means that your air conditioner is 60-70% less efficient than a new baseline 13-SEER unit. Why would anyone fall prey top being convinced to install an outdoor or indoor coil only, and not achieve the energy savings or equipment warranty from some installers who chop, pop and run. Because they didn't know, they we never given options or told the facts. Don't let anyone chop out your old unit, pop in a new coil and run with your hard earned money. You deserve better, call Custom Vac and their technicians will guide you through the process of selecting a system that is right for you.

The "Good", "Better" and "Best" equipment that we have described all use R-410A Ozone Friendly refrigerants. If you are not concerned with the environment the 13-SEER "Good" unit is available in R-22 for now. But the higher SEER "Better and Best" units are only available in R-410A. This should give you cause to think twice before going with the old R-22 refrigerant models.

Available NOW RS-44 (ASHRAE R424A) a drop in replacement for R-22 that is environmentally friendly

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Custom VAC Ltd.
1567 Logan Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 1S5
T. 204-775-7744
T. 204-772-5799
F. 204-774-8557

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