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Friday, June 29, 2012

Record Heat Wave

I know I've touched on this in a previous blog, but with the triple digit temperatures today and for the rest of the weekend I feel this needs to be reiterated. If you are on a maintenance plan then you are already a step ahead and good for you. If not, then cross your fingers your a/c doesn't go out! Here are just a few things you can do around the house to make sure you get the most from your a/c this summer:
  • change your air filter(s) every 30 to 90 days. Depending on how quickly your filter(s) get dirty
  • keep shades, blinds, windows closed to keep out sunlight as much as possible during the day when you aren't home
  • have a Preventative Maintenance Plan with a licensed, fully certified hvac company like Environmental
  • keep all bushes, grass, and other debris clear from around your a/c unit outside.  a 2 foot minimum clearance is best
  • take a quick look at your ductwork.  if it looks old and/or appears to be falling apart, have a professional take a look at it.  you would be AMAZED how much efficiency is lost because of loose and/or deteriorated ductwork
These are some of the major points that you at home can take care of in just a short amount of time. If taken care of, these things can help ensure you stay cool in the hottest of weather and achieve the longest life possible from your a/c and heating system without getting HUGE electric bills.  If you have any questions at all or would like to sign up for Environmental's Preventative Maintenance Plan, just give us a call at the number below or visit our website, thanks for reading and stay cool folks!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Some Words About Alternate Refrigerants

If you've done any research on refrigerants and/or new air conditioning units you have probably heard about a new-ish 'alternate' refrigerant by Dupont called ISCEON M099.  Now, this refrigerant is advertised as being very similar to R-22, which will be completely phased out by 2020.  Companies have found a way around this R-22 phase out by producing new units that come pre-charged with Nitrogen instead of R-22 called 'dry units'.  When a dry unit is installed, it then needs to be charged with refrigerant.

There are some perks to getting M099 refrigerant, such as cheaper cost and easy retrofitting.  M099 is much more similar to R-22 than R-410A when it comes to system pressure temperatures.  However, issues have arisen dealing with the mineral oil used as lubrication in all dry charged units.  I have come across a lot of websites that claim M099 is fine to use with the mineral oil lubricants, but Lennox has issued official warnings about using M099 in dry charged units.  They have stated that:
  •  "Just as oil and water are not compatible, neither are alternate refrigerants and mineral oil.  Use of alternate refrigerants with mineral oil can have detrimental effects on the unit.  The use of an alternate refrigerant in systems containing mineral oil as their lubricant voids the manufacturer and compressor warranties."
So to play it safe, Environmental does NOT recommend using M099 or any other alternate refrigerant in any dry charged units.  We still recommend R-22 as the best and safest refrigerant to use when purchasing dry charged units.  It's always worth your while to research this stuff before making any big purchases.  We hope this gives you some heads up before you make the decision to buy a dry charged unit and/or use any of the alternate refrigerants.