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Big Home, Small Bills, Here’s How

August 24, 2016
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Sept 3   Are you looking for an efficient, low-cost solution to satisfy room temperature troubles? No matter what size space you’re trying to cool or heat, discover energy efficient savings and eco-friendly solutions, while keeping the temperature just right inside your home. Imagine the possibilities with a ductless temperature controlled system.

Where’s All the Money Going?

Central air and other similar ducted systems are catch-all heating solutions that lack the precision and control of their ductless counterparts. When a forced air system works to cool or heat your home, you have little control over where that air goes. This means that vacant rooms are getting the same amount of energy and service as your favorite spots in the house.

It’s wasteful, inefficient and expensive to cool or heat the basement storeroom the same way you cool or heat the kitchen or bedroom. But a ducted system doesn’t allow for that kind of precise control. So the cold or warm air flows throughout your home and you see the results of this inefficiency on your utility bill every month.

How can you target the specific rooms you use the most and divert some of the energy and costs from the ones you don’t?

Where Traditional HVAC Falls Short

There are several ways that traditional systems fall short:

  • Thermostat placement is rarely conducive to providing accurate comfort control in other areas. For example, thermostats can often be found in a home’s master bedroom. When the temperature in that room is adjusted, the children’s room across the hall may not be receiving the comfort that it needs.
  • Ductwork tends to run through uninsulated spaces, which leads to thermal heat loss. If there is a leak in the ductwork, or if flex-ducting is pinched due to improper installation, duct-loss will lead to wasted energy as the system has to compensate for the wasted energy.
  • Lastly, conventional systems use a standard single speed compressor that can only run at full speed. This means that the system works at full capacity until the desired temperature is achieved, then shuts off. As the temperature changes, this cycle repeats and can create uncomfortable drafts and expensive energy spikes.

The Targeted Solution

Would you like to get back in control in less than two days? An easy-to-install ductless system has proven technology that is far more energy efficient than traditional HVAC and up to 40 percent more efficient than window units.

Here’s a how a ducted system works inefficiently; it notices that the temperature is, for example, two degrees higher than what it ought to be. It turns on, works frantically to pump cool air throughout the home and when it senses the temperature has lowered, it shuts off. Gradually, the space warms again.

On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Electric ductless system uses an INVERTER-driven compressor to provide exact control 100 percent of the time. They constantly adjust to even the slightest temperature changes in the room so that it doesn’t fluctuate – and they don’t waste money or energy on the zones where you spend little time.

The ductless unit is installed to deliver room-by-room comfort in the spaces you choose. The majority of your cooling and heating energy (and money) goes where you need it, and not where you don’t. In this way, you get personalized comfort in the rooms you use most. This is known as “zone control”.

Even More Ways to Save

Most ductless systems have earned the ENERGY STAR, which means savings as they operate, as well as applicable ENERGY STAR rebates. Some units are eligible for state or federal tax credits, or local utility discounts. The biggest long-term savings comes from using a system that works efficiently. According to the ENERGY STAR website(link is external), “Replacing your system with an ENERGY STAR certified model could cut your heating and cooling costs by 30 percent.”

Big or small, no matter where you live, outdated technology costs more to operate. Ducted systems work round-the-clock sending cold or warm air to vacant rooms and they also use unnecessary energy as the temperature naturally fluctuates. INVERTER-driven compressors in ductless systems ensure the optimal efficiency of the energy they expend; you save even more by concentrating your temperature control efforts in only the rooms that matter.

   

Detox the air in your home with APCO Fresh-Aire UV

August 24, 2016
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Sept 2    

APCO - DETOX THE AIR

What APCO Does

  • Odor Control

    Let's face it, no one wants visiting friends or family to smell the cat box or last night's garlic sauce. You could use a spray or a candle but those things just perfume the air. APCO actually removes odors by transforming odor-causing VOC molecules into harmless water vapor and CO2. So keep the cat, and fry that fish!

  • Clean Coils

    The UV-C light in APCO works just as well at keeping AC coils clean as our non-PCO products. Moldy coils shorten the life of the air system and waste energy by reducing efficiency. UV-C light kills the mold and reduces the need for system maintenance.

  • Indoor Air Quality

    According to the EPA indoor air pollution is often five times worse than outdoor and represents a significant health risk. An APCO whole-house air purifier improves indoor air quality by destroying odor-causing and potentially toxic VOCs, while sterilizing mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens from the air stream.

How APCO Works

  • Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation

    APCO detoxes the air with a process called photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), a technology similar to the catalytic converter on your car’s exhaust. UV-C light reacts with titanium dioxide infused into the carbon which effectively disintegrates the captured contaminants, leaving only harmless water vapor and CO₂ which are released back into the air. This process leaves the carbon cells clean so they never fill up or need to be replaced. The result is clean, odor-free air throughout the home.

  • Germ-Killing Power of UV-C Light

    For over a century scientists have known about the germ-killing properties of UV-C light. Because this frequency of light is filtered out by the Earth's atmosphere microorganisms have no defense against it. It works by scrambling their DNA which prevents them from reproducing.

 

AC Tips from Priority Design an Armstrong Air Professional

July 27, 2016
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August 3    
Armstrong Air dealers have years of expertise in heating and cooling. Their knowledge can help you save money in many ways, from proper insulation to optimizing the performance of heating and cooling equipment.

Insulation

  • Proper home insulation is the most important part in conserving energy and keeping your utility bills lower. For average homes, use the below as a guide. Houses located in cold temperatures may need additional insulation to promote desired energy conservation.
    • Ceilings: R-30 (10″) Thermal resistance
    • Exterior walls, floors (over unheated areas): R-11 (3-1/2″) Thermal resistance
  • When using your heating or cooling system, keep all windows and doors closed.
  • Windows allow heat to enter the home in summer and escape the home in winter, but heat transfer can be cut significantly—up to 40% to 50%—by switching to double-glazed windows. These windows have a sealed air space between the two panes of glass.
  • Get metal-frame or wood-frame storm windows for your home. That extra layer of glass and air cuts heat transfer tremendously, even if your single-glazed windows are high quality.
  • All entrance doors and windows should have weather-stripping and caulking. Also, if your home has small areas where outside air can filter in, plug them with plastic, caulking or weather-stripping.
  • Fireplaces should have tight-fitting dampers that can be shut when not in use.

Energy Efficiency

  • Humidifiers can help conserve heating costs in wintertime because moist air feels warmer and you can set your thermostat at a lower temperature setting.
  • Take advantage of a programmable thermostat which allows you to adjust indoor temperatures to your schedule. While away from the house, the system (heating or cooling) can be set to run less frequently, saving energy and money.
  • When going away on a trip, always adjust the temperature so the heating/cooling system will run less often. You may not want to turn the system completely off because heat often leads to odors or unwanted humidity that can be hard on furniture or other household items. Likewise, allowing your house to get too cold could lead to burst water pipes from freezing conditions.

Heating System

  • Have your thermostat mounted on an internal wall, away from windows and doors.
  • If you’re expecting a large group of people, lower the thermostat just a couple of degrees. You’ll save on heating bills and have a more comfortable environment.
  • Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree over 68° can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  • Have your ductwork cleaned regularly by a professional.

Cooling System

  • Make sure your attic is well ventilated. Heat rises, and having larger vents can help relieve heat buildup.
  • If renovating a roof or building a new home, consider lighter-colored shingles to reflect the sun’s light and heat.
  • Don’t place heat-producing home devices such as televisions, computers or lamps near or under your thermostat.
  • Set your temperature as high as comfort will permit.
  • Consider installing awnings, shades or shutters over windows that are exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Keep kitchen and bath exhaust fan use to a minimum during summer months.
  • Draw blinds or drapes during peak daytime temperatures.
  • In moderate weather, consider opening windows instead of turning on the A/C.

Instant Rebate on Armstrong Air®!

July 1, 2016
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Priority Design & Service

Services We Offer

June 20, 2016
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july2 Would you let your car go a year or more without checking it or changing oil? Maybe without checking the coolant levels or adjusting air pressure in your tires? Of course not. But many home owners let their air conditioners run for many season without the same simple preventative procedures. Many circumstances can rob your unit of precious BTUHs of cooling capacity and many simpler circumstances can cause premature electrical part failures resulting in system failure when you need it the most. Identifying and correcting problems before they become failures and keeping your system in as peek of an operating condition as possible are why you should have that unit checked out and tuned up every Spring and Fall. Our maintenance agreement is designed to do just that. You will receive two check-up’s per year, priority response status on all event calls, a 15% discount on all repairs, 2 years guarantee on all repairs with active service agreement, waived service call trip charges and the peace of mind that your system is running at it’s possible best.

Check out all the services we offer below:

We recommend a comprehensive precision tune up and professional cleaning 2 times per year. Our precision tune-ups include the following:

Cooling System Check-Up:

Check refrigerant charge and operating pressures. Check voltage and amperage to compressor and all motors. Check air temperature drops and rises across evaporator and condenser coils. Check and lubricate all moving parts. Adjust belt tensions where necessary. Check and test all pressure safety switches. Measure superheat and sub-cooling levels. Ohm compressor windings. Check compressor contractor points. Check all capacitors. Clean condenser coil if needed. Check evaporator coil. Brush and no-rinse cleaner application if needed Check filters. Clean condensate drain. Clean and adjust thermostat.

Heating System check includes:

Clean and Adjust Thermostat Check heat exchanger for cracks. Vacuum clean burner compartment and controls. Clean and adjust pilot assembly. Check for gas leaks. Check Flue Pipe. Check filter. Lubricate all moving parts. Inspect draft diverter and induced draft motor. Test electronic ignition. Test all limits. Measure temperature rise. Measure manifold pressure. Test for Carbon Monoxide

RESIDENTIAL SERVICE AGREEMENT

Our long time residential customers know the benefits of maintaining their investment. Routine check ups and regular maintenance can help keep your A/C and Heating system operating more efficiently and ultimately last longer. Our Agreements (RSA) are a cost effective and easy way to protect your investment and provide you with peace of mind and comfort year after year. Give us a call to find out more. You can even purchase your RSA and schedule your appointments on line. Benefits: Extended equipment life Minimize breakdowns and emergency repairs Lower utility bills Never an overtime charge 15% discount on any repairs We will call you to schedule Agreement is transferable Two year guarantee on all repairs with active RSA

9 Ways To Cool Down Air Conditioning Cost!!!!

June 20, 2016
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july1   -Improve plantings around your house  “Most heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining onto the roof or through windows, and heating the house directly," says John Krigger, owner of Saturn Resource Management, which offers energy conservation training in Helena, Mont. Planting leafy trees around the building's exterior will stop the sun from reaching inside your home. "Even for the cost of going to the nursery and buying a 15- to 20-foot-tall tree, trees are still the best value," Krigger says. If the trees or shrubs shade your air conditioner, you could boost your AC's efficiency by up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. -Clothe your windows “Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it gets into the house, Krigger says. Window screens are particularly effective on east- and west-facing windows, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Window films are another option. They are transparent, metalized sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass.However, windows must be shut for window films to work, while solar screens do double-duty, keeping sun and insects out even with windows open.  -Flip a switch “Go ahead, get comfortable. Lower your air conditioner's thermostat setting to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home. But let that number rise to a warmer temperature at night or when you're away from home. You can save 5 percent to 15 percent on your air-conditioning bills by raising the temperature setting on your thermostat when you're away and don't need cooling, according to the Department of Energy. -Fan it “No need to invest in fancy fans. Krigger says the key is to circulate air inside the house. If possible, locate fans on your house's upper level and open windows on a lower level. If you live in a one-story house or apartment, you should close windows near the fan and open windows in rooms far from the fan, preferably on your home's windward side, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.Moving air also helps evaporate the sweat from your skin, says Paul Scheckel, an energy efficiency consultant in Montpelier, Vt., and author of "The Home Energy Diet."Evaporational cooling is an incredibly efficient process for removing heat, and our bodies do it all by themselves. A little help can increase the cooling effect," Scheckel says. -Chill in the basement “ Camp out in your basement, says Stan Cox, author of "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer)." In your eco-cooled basement, a television, couch or futon and a cold drink may be all you need.However, Scheckel says don't open basement windows when outdoor air is heavy with humidity. "Warm, moist air will cause condensation on cool surfaces such as basement walls, ultimately increasing the humidity in your home," he says. -Don’t bake or cook on the stove “Skip the stove-top boiling and oven baking, Cox says. Decrease indoor heat by making microwave nachos or eating a cool salad. If you must boil pasta for tomorrow's potluck, cook in the evening.After cooking, turn on the kitchen exhaust, and use the bathroom exhaust fan after a hot shower. "Remove heat and moisture at the source," Scheckel says. "Reducing humidity can help increase comfort. -Maintain or replace your AC “ "AC efficiency is mostly a function of the technology," Scheckel says. "Keep the filter clean to allow for good air movement and keep the unit level so the condensation drains properly."If you replace your older room air conditioner with a newer unit, you could cut your energy costs in half, according to the Department of Energy. Look for a high-energy-efficiency ratio, or EER, or an Energy Star-qualified unit. Higher EER ratings mean a more efficient air conditioner. Energy Star refers to a system adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to identify energy-efficient products. -Let humidity set your AC paceSet the AC fan speed on high, except on very humid days, says the U.S. Department of Energy. On humid days, set the speed on low. The slower air movement through the air-condition equipment removes more moisture from the air, improving comfort in your home. -Splash in the bath “Hop in the shower, spray yourself with a water bottle or use a cool cloth on the back of your neck. And if you don't chill out right away, don't give up, says Cox, the environmental writer and scientist. "Our comfort range depends on the temperatures we have experienced in recent days and weeks," he says. "The body and mind adjust to rising temperatures.”   Call Priority Design today to find out more ways to help reduce your air conditioning cost at (210)492-4426 or visit www.prioritydesign-hvac.com        

Pro Series by Armstrong Air® saves you money!

May 25, 2016
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june3

An HVAC system that delivers everything you want,just how you want it

Imagine what it would feel like to step through your front door and have your home feel just the way you want it to, every single day. That’s the power of the Pro Series™, which is offered exclusively by one of the most experienced, professional Armstrong Air dealer in the greater San Antonio area Priority Design & Service.

Maximum control in the palm of your hand

Every Pro Series system is created around the Comfort Sync™ thermostat, which allows you to control your home’s temperature from your smartphone or other mobile device. Comfort Sync zoning allows even more personalization by dividing your home into up to four different areas, or zones, each with its own temperature control.

Performance that saves energy

Pro Series systems with variable-capacity operation adjust their output in small increments, like a dimmer switch. This helps keep temperatures and humidity within an optimal range. It also keeps equipment running at peak efficiency by precisely matching heating and cooling with demand.

Healthier air for you and your family

The perfect home environment is about more than temperatures. It’s also about cleaner, fresher, healthier air. The Pro Series includes powerful air filtration products and precise humidity control, to optimize the air in your home in every way.

A system built around you

The Pro Series is about putting you in control. It’s about creating your environment, your way, every day. To make sure you get the exact system you need, the Pro Series includes a variety of equipment options that lets Priority Design & Service build the ideal solution for your home.

How Does Air Conditioning Work?

May 25, 2016
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june2

  Air conditioners and refrigerators work the same way. Instead of cooling just the small, insulated space inside of a refrigerator, an air conditioner cools a room, a whole house, or an entire business.

Air conditioners use chemicals that easily convert from a gas to a liquid and back again. This chemical is used to transfer heat from the air inside of a home to the outside air.

The machine has three main parts. They are a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The compressor and condenser are usually located on the outside air portion of the air conditioner. The evaporator is located on the inside the house, sometimes as part of a furnace. That's the part that heats your house.

The working fluid arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the fluid. This packs the molecule of the fluid closer together. The closer the molecules are together, the higher its energy and its temperature.

The working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser. If you looked at the air conditioner part outside a house, look for the part that has metal fins all around. The fins act just like a radiator in a car and helps the heat go away, or dissipate, more quickly.

When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. The liquid goes into the evaporator through a very tiny, narrow hole. On the other side, the liquid's pressure drops. When it does it begins to evaporate into a gas.

As the liquid changes to gas and evaporates, it extracts heat from the air around it. The heat in the air is needed to separate the molecules of the fluid from a liquid to a gas.

The evaporator also has metal fins to help in exchange the thermal energy with the surrounding air.

By the time the working fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to begin its trip all over again.

Connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air inside the house to blow across the evaporator fins. Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the hot air in the room rises to the top of a room.

There is a vent there where air is sucked into the air conditioner and goes down ducts. The hot air is used to cool the gas in the evaporator. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled. It is then blown into the house through other ducts usually at the floor level.

This continues over and over and over until the room reaches the temperature you want the room cooled to. The thermostat senses that the temperature has reached the right setting and turns off the air conditioner. As the room warms up, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the room reaches the temperature.

6 HVAC Tips To Save Money On Your Summer Energy Bill

May 25, 2016
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  june1

When the cold winter air gives way to the climbing temperatures of spring and summer, you’ll want to be able to stay cool without having to empty your wallet for energy bills. We have put together a list of six key steps you can take to save money on your utility bill without sacrificing comfort.

1. Replace old air conditioning units with newer, efficient models. If you have an older unit that has not been properly maintained, invest in a new model. The replacement costs may seem daunting, but in the long run, they are well worth it. Most Armstrong Air® systems are labeled with Energy Star ratings. Energy star products us up to 50 percent less energy than other manufacturers.

2. Invest in a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to control your HVAC units even when you’re not there. Match your thermostat to your schedule, use a timer for when you leave for work and when you come home, set it for particular rooms, and even set specific temperatures.

3. Don’t forget about your air filters. Air filters should be replaced monthly to promote a more efficient system performance. Clogged or dirty air filters can cause a disrupt in the airflow and even lead to health concerns.

4. Protect your HVAC unit from sun and debris. An awning or tree can provide shade to your unit and cut energy consumption while helping your unit operate more smoothly. However, note that shrubbery or branches that can get into the system and can hinder the systems performance and may lead to permanent damage.

5. Make sure that your vents are clean and open. It may be obvious but it is truly remarkable what you may not notice about your own home. Vents can be accidentally shut for cleaning purposes and never reopened. If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home, don’t forget to check the vent. A clean vent also keeps debris from flowing through your home. Dirt and dust can easily collect and can be overlooked; be sure to focus on the inside of your home as well as the outside and ensure your vent and air filters are in good condition.

6. Think gravity. Heat rises. During those hot summer months, the heat in your home will rise to the ceiling or the second floor of your home. To help that hot air on its way out of your home, fans can be a great tool. Either ceiling fans or standing fans help move the air around the room, creating a cooler environment for your family. Good air circulation helps your home maintain an even temperature, giving your HVAC a chance to work less.

Dirty Filters are gross

May 2, 2016
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May3     Dirty filters kill your AC's efficiency, so install a new one every month during the cooling season for central and window units (or clean them if you've got the washable type). Look for the filter's minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, which ranges from 1 to 12 for home AC units; the higher the number, the better filtration it provides (and the more energy needed to pull air through it, so balance air-quality concerns with energy costs). For more info call Priority Design and Service at 210-492-4426