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HVAC Facts – ASM Air Conditioning and Heating

 Some Fun and Useful Facts About HVAC Units:

-First, what is HVAC?  HVAC stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.”

-The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was one of the first buildings to have air conditioning in it.

-The first record of the idea of air conditioning was attributed to British scientist Michael Faraday, who discovered in 1820 that by compressing and liquifying ammonia gas, one could chill an adjacent substance (such as air) when the ammonia was allowed to evaporate, paving the way for the modern air conditioner.

-Closing air conditioning registers (aka – air vents) in unused portions of the house to save money on electricity is an urban myth. It actually increases utility cost due to the decrease in HVAC system efficiency that it causes, and increases the likelihood of an AC breaking down due to increased pressure on the compressor.

-On the East Coast, summers can be brutal, but did you know that before the advent of air conditioning it was thought that summers were too hot for children to learn effectively, which is why we have “summer break” in our schools?

-The top three energy expenditures in the commercial industry are lighting, commercial heating and commercial air conditioning.

decrease HVAC costs - ASM air conditioning and heating

-SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the standard measure of efficiency for an air conditioning or heating unit. The higher the number, the more efficient that HVAC system is rated.  For more on SEER ratings, take a look at SEER vs EER.

-The Romans were the first civilization to use any kind of air heating system and they also had heated floors in the winter.

-The first modern air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier with the intent of keeping temperatures and humidity low for a publishing company in New York, making their paper a more consistent product.

-Ceiling fans are good at making your skin feel cooler, allowing the comfort temperature of a room to be kept higher, but do not aid the air conditioning system at all. As such, turn your fans off when not in a room to decrease your utility bill.

-The film industry releases it’s big pictures in the summer because when air conditioning was a new technology, movie theaters were some of the only places to have them.  It became a part of the American culture to go to the movies in the summer, and the summer blockbuster was born.

-A properly maintained air conditioning system will last 10 to 15 years, on average, depending on manufacturer and proper installation.

-ASM recommends per manufacturer guidelines that you incorporate an air conditioning filter change into your routine when they change color from white (new) to grey (signs of heavy use).  This will optimize the longevity of your AC system by increasing efficiency, which will decrease your utility costs. On average, this is every 2-3 months, but may be more often during the summer.

-A variable speed heat pump can decrease energy costs by as much as 40 percent in the average American home.

-You can decrease utility costs by increasing the efficiency of your home; if properly insulated, a home can increase it’s efficiency by over 30 percent.  How much insulation is ideal?  The answer depends on your area: What kind of insulation should I use in my attic and how much?

-Scientists have found that people who live in an air conditioned environment loose some of their natural tolerance for heat.

-It is estimated that the amount of energy used just on air conditioning and heating in the United States exceeds the total amount of energy used in the entire continent of Africa.

-ASM recommends that you use only pleated filters in your HVAC system. 3M and Honeywell make dependable, hypo-allergenic filters and are a good place to start.

-ASM recommends that you never use cheaper, low grade filters to save money (the type you could stick your finger through with minimal difficulty), as these decrease the longevity of your HVAC unit, can be detrimental to your health and are more expensive in the long run due to increased wear and tear on your AC unit.

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