Serving Northeast Arkansas

Nightingale Mechanical, LLC
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Check out our informative FAQ

If you have questions about your heating and air conditioning systems, ask Nightingale Mechanical LLC. You can also take a look at our frequently asked questions below.

One of the simplest things that can be done to lower utility bills is to have the system serviced at least annually.

 

An air conditioner operating with an incorrect charge will run longer to produce the cooling needed and may not be removing the humidity from your home.

How can my heating and cooling expense be lowered?

Many systems have been installed without determining the actual requirements of the particular building.

 

Some installers and homeowners believe that bigger is better. A system that has a greater capacity than required may actually run for less time than is required to remove the moisture from the environment.

 

The resulting high humidity will cause you to feel the need to set the thermostat lower in order to be comfortable. A properly sized system will probably run nearly constant in the most extreme weather conditions.

Is the size of my equipment adequate for my home?

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The first consideration when experiencing temperature variations in different parts of your home or office is whether the system's ducts have been sized and installed correctly. Rooms with greater load, such as windows, appliances, or lighting, will require larger ducts.

 

In some cases, a system using automated dampers that thermostatically open and close for a particular zone can increase comfort levels and actually save money on heating and cooling bills. We also install ductless units that are efficient and quiet, which will provide independent control to a particular room or area of your building.

How can we have comfortable temperatures in all parts of our home or in the various offices in our business?

Seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) is a standardized rating of the efficiency of heating and air conditioning equipment that allows comparisons between different models and from brand to brand.

 

Currently, the federal government requires that air conditioners in this area have a minimum rating of 14 SEER. This represents a considerable operating cost savings over older 10 SEER units.

 

Today, we are installing many systems with SEER ratings of 16 to 20 SEER. The geothermal units that we install exceed even 20 SEER by a considerable margin.

What does the SEER rating actually mean?

A properly operating air conditioner will dehumidify. With the development of variable speed equipment, the ability of the unit to dehumidify is enhanced. Proper air flow of the system improves the overall performance of any system. A visual inspection of your home may be required to find sources of excess humidity.

What is the best way to reduce the humidity level in my home or office?

Programmable thermostats can be advantageous if you like lower temperatures for nighttime or if you leave the house daily for extended periods of time. Setting temperatures lower or higher for periods of 4 hours or more can save on your heating and cooling expense.

Is it beneficial to use a programmable or a setback thermostat?

Flex duct is easy to install, and therefore labor costs are lower. Airflow through flex duct is generally lower due to the restriction of extra bends in the duct. Obviously, the flex duct material will not have the long life of a metal duct wrapped with insulation. The quality, airflow, and durability of metal pipe make it advantageous.

What are the pros and cons of flex duct versus metal duct?

The payback of replacing 10 SEER equipment or older with newer, high-efficiency, midrange, 15 to 17 SEER equipment can be fairly rapid. A long-term look at rising energy costs and 20-year life of equipment can justify the expense of the extra high-efficiency units. Reduced noise levels and the higher level of comfort don’t have a dollar value but are a part of one’s considerations.

What is the payback of replacing my unit with a newer high-efficiency unit?

Geothermal heat pumps that utilize the constant temperature of the ground are known to be one of the most efficient and reliable methods of heating and cooling.

 

While solar energy is available, it is not commercially available to easily heat our homes and even less available to cool. Savings calculators show that money invested in a geothermal heat pump returns your investment in a reasonable amount of time. The current federal tax credit of 30% (through December 31, 2016) makes the decision even easier to make.

Is geothermal worth the extra money that it costs?

A typical geothermal system utilizes the same duct system that your home already has. The geo heat pump unit is often able to occupy the same space as your furnace or air handler.

 

In addition to these components, water pipes will need to be buried in the earth. This is accomplished either by boring holes in the earth or by burying the piping horizontally 5 to 6 feet below the surface. A pump circulates water through the underground piping and through the heat pump unit.

What does it take to install geothermal heating and cooling?

The geothermal heat pump uses compressed refrigerant to produce the heat or cooling needed in your home or business. The water circulating through the underground loops is used as a medium to transfer the unwanted heat (in the summer) to the earth.

 

In the same way, the unwanted cold is transferred to the earth in the winter. The high-pressure refrigerant is a hot gas that produces heat for your indoor comfort. The temperatures produced can be as high as 100 degrees or more.

 

In the cooling cycle, the high-pressure gas passing through a metering device provides cooling that exceeds the mild ground temperature. High-efficiency is obtained by using the mild temperatures of the earth and the use of the water heat transfer to the earth.

How can a geothermal heat pump produce air that is warmer or cooler than the ground?

A hybrid heating system combines a heat pump with a gas furnace as a secondary heat source. The advantage is that the heat pump is a very efficient heat source at milder temperatures.

 

At lower temperatures, the gas furnace provides heating more effectively than the normal backup resistance heat normally associated with heat pumps. So economy and comfort are the advantages while allowing flexibility in the event of shifting costs of electric and gas energy.

What is a hybrid heating system and what are the advantages?

The placement of the equipment may be a factor with noise problems. Also, poorly installed equipment can produce vibrations and rattles that are unpleasant. Newer and especially higher end equipment has design improvements that have greatly decreased noise levels.

What can be done about equipment that is noisy?

Systems that have been installed with improper supply or return duct sizes will be not only noisy but potentially inefficient. The duct design will need to be addressed. Sometimes somewhat minor changes can improve this problem. At times, changing the type of registers and grilles used will decrease noise levels.

What can be done about noise from the air flow in my system?

Insulation is an important part of the total package of economically conditioning your home. You will experience greater savings by having adequate insulation in the ceilings of your home.

 

The walls are important also, but there is more loss or gain through the ceiling. You do well to have at least R30 in the ceiling and R19 in the walls. The payback is relatively fast. More insulation will not compensate for other air leakage problems.

How much insulation do I need to put in my home? What is the payback?

Generally, fiberglass filters do a fair job or removing some dust and larger particles out of the air. Pleated filters are more efficient when it comes to filtering the air in your home, but are more restrictive and if not changed often actually hinder efficiency.

 

There are various electronic filters that may or may not be restrictive and are fairly efficient. Carrier’s Infinity air purifier is one of the best as far as removing mold and allergens from the air in your home.

Is there a filtering system that will really take the dust, pollen, mold, and allergens out of the air in my home?

We are seeing rapid increases in R22 gas prices. If your R22 equipment has leaks, now is the time for replacement.

With R22 being phased out, when is the best time to replace or discard the older equipment?

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Greater reductions in utility bills can be gained by doing a blower door test of your home to determine where ducts, doors, and windows may be leaking.

 

If your equipment is 10 years old or more, you may want to consider replacing it with much higher efficiency equipment. We can discuss different options available to suit your needs.

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Insulation is an important part of the total package of economically conditioning your home. You will experience greater savings by having adequate insulation in the ceilings of your home.

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