Which Air Filtration System Is Right for Me?

July 17th, 2014

Indoor air quality is an important part of your overall comfort. While your air conditioning system comes with a standard air filter, this filter isn’t made to improve air quality; rather, it is used to keep dust and dirt from clogging your system. The best way to improve indoor air quality is with a whole-home air filtration system that can remove problem particles from the air in your Avon Lake home. As air quality specialists for over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has the air filtration products you need and the expertise to install them.

Types of Air Filtration Systems

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical filters come in a frame and insert directly into your air conditioning system, just as the standard air filter does. However, mechanical filters are made to remove different particles in the air to improve air quality while the standard air filter is not. The two most common types of mechanical air filters are:

  • Pleated
  • Extended surface (this includes HEPA filters)

Each of these filters strain out particles in the air stream before they can reach your indoors.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Electronic air cleaners trap particles using electrostatic charges. There are two types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electrostatic precipitators
  • Ion generators

Electrostatic precipitators use an external power source to draw your system’s air through an ionized area, then trap and collect the newly-charged particles onto oppositely-charged plates. These plates need to be cleaned approximately every 3 months to maximize performance.

An ion generator, also known as an ionizer, charges the air the same way as a precipitator, but does not have collection capability. Instead, the charged particles attached to oppositely-charged particles, and land on walls and other surfaces, where you can clean and remove them.

Which Air Filter Is Best For Me?

Choosing an air filtration system depends on your needs. Allergy sufferers will need an air filter strong enough to remove particles like pollen and some mold and mildew spores; asthma sufferers may need help with both allergens and certain types of indoor air pollution. The best way to determine which air filtration system is best for your Avon Lake home is to work with a trained specialist.

For over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has helped Avon Lake customers with better indoor air quality. Interested in improving yours? Call us today.

Advantages to Installing a Chiller

July 10th, 2014

If you have a business that needs cooling for a large space—especially one with industrial machinery that generates large outputs of heat—a commercial chiller is an excellent option. A chiller is a type of refrigeration equipment that uses water for cooling instead of the standard system of using chemical refrigerant to carry out heat exchange (this is how regular air conditioners work). A chiller removes heat from water that circulates through its coils, and this chilled water is what cools down the air—a process called evaporative cooling.

Whether you need to replace your current chiller or wish to install one for the first time, the people to call for the job are at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We offer numerous services for commercial HVAC needs, and when it comes to chillers in Westlake, OH, we have you covered for installation, maintenance, and repairs.

Reasons to Install a Chiller at Your Business

  • Protection for your equipment: The best reason to have chillers working in your business is that they protect your equipment. Losing one of your industrial machines to overheating can result in expensive replacements that can account for a huge chunk of your annual budget—one that you might not be able to afford. But with a chiller, you have a cost-effective way to cool down the vital machinery for your business.
  • Reduced costs: Chillers circulate water; they do not constantly draw outside water from a municipal source and then send it out into the sewer system. This means you will save money on utility bills for water and sewer. Water chillers are also more effective than water towers when it comes to summer operation, and will cost much less to run. And even though chillers produce heat exhaust during operation, there are special efficient units that recovery this energy to use as part of its cycle.
  • Enormous cooling output: A chiller can provide powerful cooling levels considering its reduced costs to run: depending on size, a chiller can provide between 180,000 to 18,000,000 BTUs of cooling per hour, making them ideal for large industrial spaces that standard air conditioners simply cannot handle.

If your company needs installation of chillers in Westlake, OH, contact our commercial specialists at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. You need commercial experts for this job who have extensive experience working with chillers. You can also count on our team for quality repair work for your company’s chillers, and we also handle many other commercial HVAC services.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

3 Causes of Reduced Cooling Power in My Air Conditioner

June 27th, 2014

If you’re sitting in your home on a Saturday afternoon, listening to the whir and hum of your air conditioner as it vents air through the rooms, but you keep thinking to yourself that you’re far warmer than you should be… you may have trouble with your AC. Check on the thermostat to make sure that it’s set right. If the house still doesn’t feel as cool as it should, or if the stuffiness seems to increase, then you should call for air conditioning repair from Westlake, OH specialists as soon as possible.

At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, we have over 25 years of experience handling air conditioning systems that have started to lose their normal cooling power. Below are three of the most common reasons that your AC might start to malfunction and leave you with an unpleasantly warm house during the summer:

1. Loss of refrigerant charge

The lifeblood of an air conditioner is the refrigerant, a chemical blend that moves through the system and shifts heat from the indoors to the outdoors. Refrigerant remains at a set level, known as its “charge,” as long as the air conditioner is running normally: refrigerant does not become “used up” during the cooling cycle. However, leaks can occur that will lower the charge, and should this happen, an AC will begin to lose the ability to absorb heat from the indoor air. This is a serious problem, because if left without repairs lowered refrigerant will cause damage to the compressor, possibly leading to it overheating and burning out.

2. Clogged air filter

The air filter in an AC protects the interior of its evaporator cabinet from debris that comes in through the return vent. After a month, the filter will start to become clogged with the contaminants trapped inside it, and this will cut down on the airflow into the air conditioner. This will cause the AC to struggle to remove sufficient heat from the air, and will result in a drop in cooling ability. Make sure you change the filter once a month during the summer to prevent this from occurring. Should a clogged filter affect cooling ability, you should call for repairs to make sure the system has not suffered serious damage.

3. Failed outdoor fan

The fan draws warm outside air across the condenser coil, causing the hot refrigerant inside to release heat. Without a properly working fan, the refrigerant won’t cool down enough; when the refrigerant enters the indoor cabinet through the evaporator coil, it will not be able to draw enough heat from the air to provide the level of cooling you want. Fans can fail for a variety of reasons; technicians can replace the motor, capacitor, broken fan belt, or whatever has caused the fan to stop working.

Don’t attempt to troubleshoot AC repairs on your own; the work requires highly trained specialists. Our technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning have over 100 years of combined experience fixing malfunctioning cooling systems, so when you need air conditioning service in Westlake, OH, pick up your phone and give us a call today.

Problems Solved by a Whole-House Humidifier

June 20th, 2014

Here in Bay Village, humidifier systems serve as an easy means to keep your moisture levels where they need to be. Generally speaking, relative humidity levels need to be between 30% and 50% for us to feel at ease. When they drop below that, trouble can arise. Dry air is a common problem in this part of the country, and while it tends to crop up more in the winter than the summer, it’s still a cause for concern. Now is an excellent time to consider a whole-house humidifier, which can generate moisture enough to make every room in your house feel comfortable. Here’s a quick list of some of the problems solved by a whole house humidifier.

  • Health. Dry air increases irritation in the nose and the throat, leading to coughing and other maladies. If someone in your family suffers from allergies, it can trigger an attack, and infants and elderly family members are often at particular risk. A whole-house humidifier solves that, helping your family live healthier lives as well as more comfortable ones.
  • Furnishings. Dry air can really take it out of your furnishings. Plants will dry up, glue on wallpaper and in wooden furniture can become loose, and paint or finish can peel away under the harsh exposure of dry air. A humidifier cuts that process off at the knees, helping your home furnishings look better and last longer.
  • Energy efficiency. This plays more of a role in the winter than the summer, but again, now is the right time to act: well before the temperatures start to drop. Warmer temperatures don’t feel as warm when the air is excessively dry, forcing you to turn the heater up higher than you might otherwise and increasing strain on the unit in the process. With a humidifier in place, you can help your heater to and save money in monthly energy costs in the process.

If you’re experiencing the sort of problems solved by a whole-house humidifier, then talk to the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. Utilizing humidifiers or other indoor air quality systems in Bay Village could be the perfect way to optimize your home’s comfort levels. Give us a call today to set up an installation. You’ll be glad you did!

What Happens When Refrigerant Levels Get Low?

June 13th, 2014

Refrigerant constitutes the core of most types of air conditioning system. It cycles through a series of valves and coils that first shift it into a liquid form (heating the nearby air, which is then vented outside with a fan) then revert it to a gaseous form (cooling the air, which can then be blown through the ducts into your home). In order for the system to work, the refrigerant needs to be at a specified level, though the exact amount depends on the make and model of your air conditioner. When it gets low, problems can arise. The good news is that there are plenty of services that offer air conditioning repair in Rocky River, OH. But what happens when refrigerant levels get low? How does that affect your unit?

In the simplest terms, it disrupts the entire process. Without the right amount of refrigerant, the cooling process in the evaporator coils is thrown off-kilter. Instead of cooling down the surrounding air like it should, ice forms on the evaporator coils, while the air itself stays comparatively warm. That forces the air conditioner to work even harder to do its job, increasing strain and creating higher monthly energy bills in the process. Even worse, the ice now forms an insulating barrier between the rest of the refrigerant and the air, exacerbating the problem and increasing the chances of a larger breakdown in the future.  Furthermore, when the ice melts, it could overwhelm the system’s drain pan: the water will overflow and possibly damage nearby components in the bargain.

Unfortunately, simply scraping the ice off won’t solve the problem. The ice will soon reform and your efforts may damage the evaporator coils to boot. Instead, you need a trained technician to deal with the source of the problem: seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels to their current position. If you’re looking for an HVAC company that offers professional air conditioning services in Rocky River, OH, the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning are standing by. We know what happens when refrigerant levels get low and we have the expertise to fix it properly every time! Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

Is a Heat Pump a Good Substitute for Air Conditioning Installation?

June 6th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning installation in Avon, OH, residents can’t afford to take chances. Summer heat comes in a close second to summer humidity around here, and a good air conditioner will be your best friend when the mercury starts to rise. If you’re planning to install a new air conditioner, you may want to think about a heat pump as a viable alternative. These are units designed to both heat and cool your home, depending on the need and the season. Is a heat pump a good substitute for air conditioning installation? That depends on your circumstances, but in many cases it can be.

Both heat pumps and more traditional air conditioners rely on the same basic system. Refrigerant gas moves through a series of valves and coils that pressurize it, convert it to liquid state (releasing heat into the nearby air), and then evaporate the liquid (pulling heat from the air which can then be blown into your home via a fan) before starting the cycle again. The only difference is that traditional air conditioners simply vent the hot air outside of your home. Heat pumps are designed to use that hot air to warm your home in the winter, while still using the cool air to bring temperatures down in the summer.

Heat pumps cost a little more to install than traditional air conditioners and their efficiency tends to drop when temperatures get particularly cold. But that last issue can usually be solved by purchasing a hybrid unit. More importantly, because they don’t need natural gas or other fuel to produce their heat, the pump cost less to run from month to month than other forms of air conditioning. And because they combine heating and cooling into one unit, they make home comfort a lot simpler to achieve.

Only you can decide if a heat pump is a good substitute for air conditioning installation, but the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning can help. When it comes to air conditioning installation, Avon OH residents can rest easy in our hands, so pick up the phone and give us a call today!

3 Reasons to Install a Whole House Filtration System

May 30th, 2014

Your air conditioner is fitted with filters designed to strain out dust, pet hair and other contaminants. It can thus help purify the air and prevent a lot of problems from developing in your house. On top of the basic filter, you can also install a whole house filtration system that can include multiple additional filters and even a UV germicidal light in some cases. Here in Avon Lake, filtration systems can be installed by a number of qualified companies. But what benefits does such a system give you? Here are three reasons to install a whole house filtration system.

  • Better health. A whole house filtration system provides a high level of air quality that can make a real difference in your family’s life. It can decrease irritation in the nose and throat and reduce the frequency of allergy attacks in vulnerable family members. This is especially important if you are expecting a baby in the home soon, or if you have elderly family members at home.
  • A cleaner home. Your duct system can spread dust and dirt to every corner of your home, affecting your furnishings no matter where they are. An air filtration system will cut down on all that dust, making cleaning easier and helping to preserve your furniture.
  • A more efficient air conditioner. Among its other uses, an air filtration system will help keep dirt off of your air conditioner’s inner workings, which will reduce friction and strain on moving parts. Not only does that help prevent repair, but it will improve the efficiency of your system, lowering those pesky monthly bills.

Filtration and other indoor air quality services in Avon Lake, OH are provided by the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. Our trained staff can discuss the reasons to install a whole house filtration system, then perform the operation with the professionalism and care you’ve come to expect. If you think such a system could be right for you, then pick up the phone and give us a call today. We won’t rest until you’re completely satisfied with our work and we’re eager to show you what we can do!

Why Excessive Humidity Is a Problem

May 23rd, 2014

Here in Westlake, dehumidifier technology is often as important as air conditioning technology in keeping your home comfortable. Relative humidity can be a killer in the summertime, and while your air conditioning unit can help, it can’t always do the job alone. Here’s a quick breakdown on why excessive humidity is a problem, and how air conditioners sometimes need a little help in dealing with it.

Humidity basically measures the amount of moisture in the air, which has a direct impact on our body’s ability to keep cool. When we heat up, we sweat, and the moisture on our skin evaporates into the air: making it feel cooler than it is. That helps keep the body’s temperature down and helps us feel comfortable. When the humidity is too high, however, the moisture produced by our sweat has nowhere to go. We don’t stay cool, the sweat stays on our skin and we end up feeling soaked and gross. Generally speaking, the relative humidity needs to be between 30% and 50% for us to feel comfortable. Otherwise, it gets a little muggy.

Air conditioners help with that as they cool the air in their system. The act of lowering the temperature causes the ambient moisture to solidify as beads of condensate in the system. The condensate drips into a pan, which can then be carried out of the system via a drain line. That helps lower the humidity and keep your home more pleasant. But the energy spent doing that detracts from the air conditioner’s ability to lower the temperature, and if it removes too much moisture, it could overflow the pan and short out electrical components in the AC.

That’s where a dehumidifier can help: taking the load off of the air conditioner and keeping your home dry and comfortable. Dehumidifier systems and other indoor air quality products in Westlake can be installed by the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll explain why excessive humidity is a problem, then work with you to find the right combination of components to make your home as cozy as it can be. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Detect Refrigerant Leaks

May 16th, 2014

Refrigerant leaks are a common problem with many air conditioners. The refrigerant needs to be at a specific level in order for the air conditioner to function. When a leak springs up in the system and refrigerant levels lower, it can cause serious problems: increasing wear-and-tear and reducing the unit’s ability to cool your home. Air conditioning repair services in Avon can seal the leak and recharge the refrigerant. But you need to know how to detect refrigerant leaks before you can summon a professional. Some telltale signs are discussed below.

The first and most obvious sign is lowered cooling levels from your air conditioner. If you suddenly realize that you’re not getting as much cool air as you usually do, or your monthly bills spike despite the fact that you’re not using your air conditioner more than normal, you want to see if you have a refrigerant leak.

A more obvious sign can be found by checking the evaporator coil to see if ice has formed on it. That’s a sure sign of low refrigerant levels. The ice represents lost cooling potential created by the imperfect levels of refrigerant. It also serves as insulation between the refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool which only makes the problem worse. Never try to scrape ice off of the coils. You may damage them in the process and it won’t solve the problem regardless.

Other signs of refrigerant leaks may include a soft hissing sound at the source of the leak, and you can also spot the leak by placing soapy water around the area where the leak may be and looking for bubbles forming in the liquid.

Once you have detected a refrigerant leak, call upon the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to help. We handle all kinds of air conditioning services in Avon and other surrounding communities. We’re no stranger to refrigerant leaks, and we have the tools to track down the source and seal it before recharging the refrigerant to its standard levels. Refrigerant requires training to handle safely. Give us a call today and let us take care of the problem the way a true professional can!