Trane Explains: Why humidity puts stress on our AC, Variable Speed technology, & How purification systems work
How Does humidity Affect Your AC?
Most Arizona homeowners would assume that our AC's are working hard during the hottest part of the summer because of high temperatures. But high temperatures are only part of the reason our units are working at maximum capacity. Richard Rojo of Rosie on the House Certified Trane stresses, "humidity is the real culprit as it demands our units to not only cool but also remove the moisture from a much heavier air." No, we aren't suffering 85% humidity like in the deep south, but our 32% humidity, during monsoon, can certainly make a difference in our comfort level.
Roof Mounted Unit
"It is important to monitor your condensate line", says Rojo. "If you have a roof mounted unit, you should be able to see your condensate line protruding off the eave of your roof. The higher the humidity, the more there should be water draining from that spout. If you are not seeing water dripping or even pouring from that line, it is time to call your trusted AC contractor to service your unit." The condensate line is most likely plugged and may trigger your AC unit to shut off. It may also cause water to back up and cause damage to the roof or attic or interior living space.
Attic Mounted AC
"If you have an attic mounted unit", says Rojo, "typically you will see 2 PVC lines protruding from an exterior wall of your home. The lower of the 2 lines is for the primary drain pan. The line that is 10-20 feet above it is the drain for the secondary pan. If the secondary line is draining, it is an indication that the primary pan is clogged and needs service." Have the unit serviced to avoid your unit shutting off or possible water damage to your home.
AC companies tend to be very busy this time of year. If you think your AC is working harder and it is not cooling as well as you are used to, you may be right. Before you call for service try turning your AC down 2 to 3 degrees. This may be necessary to achieve the comfort you are used to when the air is drier.
Advances in Technology
Variable speed technology is the most efficient AC on the market at this time. TruComfort variable speed units have up to 750 speeds allowing the unit to draw just as much power as is needed to keep your unit purring along at maximum efficiency. Rojo says, "to understand variable speed, compare it to your vehicle AC. Once you get in and cool your car off, you can adjust the temp right where you like it, without turning off the AC. You stay comfortable and don't have to go through spikes in the temp waiting for the AC to kick on." Variable speed allows your unit to work like your car, maintaining a constant temperature without engaging the high speed of the compressor which is the biggest energy consumer of your unit.
Two stage units help you save on your energy bill as well. They are more efficient than a traditional unit and have 2 speeds. To continue with the vehicle analogy: they work similar to a 4WD vehicle. You have 2WD for normal driving and 4WD for more challenging terrain. In other words, 2-stage units have a high and low speed. Running the unit at the first stage draws less energy and saves on your bill.
The New Demand for Air Purifiers
Purifiers have been a popular item for a while. The increased time spent inside by many people as well as tighter more energy efficient homes have created a need for clean indoor air. The demand for air purifiers has skyrocketed with the ongoing pandemic. Homeowners are looking at new ways to keep their home safe and clean. You will find many types of air purifiers on the market, even ones that you wear around your neck.
A whole house purification system will give you the assurance that the air and surfaces in your home are clean for everyone. The air is cleaned by the purifier and kills germs on surfaces as it is circulated back into the home.
Purifiers are best added when a new unit is installed but, can certainly be added at any time and are placed in the duct work.
Trane Offers 2 Types Of Units:
- Clean Effects by Trane | This unit works in your return air by adding positive charges to particles that pass-through the air filter. Those particles are then drawn into a negatively charged collection cell, thus purifying the air. The collection cell is cleaned every 4-6 months. Note: As always, replace air filters once a month.
- Reme Halo Whole Home In Duct Air Purifier by RGF is Trane approved and works off of a different technology. This purifier cleans with a LED light that is installed into the air supply stream. The light zaps harmful dirt and dust, pollen, and viruses killing them on contact. (it has not been proven to kill COVID-19).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be suspicious of companies who claim that their purifier kills COVID-19. There is no research to verify that any purifiers can do that at this time.
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