Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The History Of Air Conditioning

Being a Florida resident – it’s hard to imagine living through a summer without AC, but it wasn’t that long ago that residents of warmer climates had no means to artificially control the temperature in their homes and businesses.

You may not be familiar with the name Dr. John Gorrie, but he is the father of Air Conditioning. Back in 1851 Dr. Gorrie was granted the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration.

Dr. Gorrie served as mayor of Apalachicola Florida in 1837, and that is where he developed his machine. It’s purpose was to ease the suffering of yellow fever and malaria patients. It basically blew air over a bucket of ice and helped cool down hospital rooms full of patients.

However it wasn’t until 1902 that Willis Carrier came up with his idea "Apparatus for Treating Air" which was built for a Publishing company in New York. Chilled coils were used to cool air and lower humidity. Within the next few years air conditioners were installed in some hospitals, but mainly industrial buildings such as printing plants and textile mills.

The first Air conditioner units were very large, very expensive, and dangerous since ammonia was used as coolant.

Almost twenty years later a different coolant was used, and a central compressor was developed that greatly reduced the size of the air conditioning unit. By 1927 air conditioners were being installed in office buildings and department stores. A couple years later the white house was furnished with AC. Soon after world war II, smaller less expensive window units became available to the public.

So it wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that air conditioning was widely used in residential homes.

A lot has changed in the last 60 years – and most of the important changes have happened relatively recently. Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. stays on the leading edge of new air conditioning technology. With high efficiency units and alternative coolants, we help you save money in cooling costs, and we all help protect the environment.

If you are considering upgrading or replacing your current AC System, we would like the opportunity to work with you and help you find the best system for your needs.

If you have already talked to another company and are confused, or unsure if you have all of the information – we are happy to provide you with an expert second opinion.

2011 Federal Tax Credits for qualifying residential systems

Qualifying, high efficiency HVAC equipment may still be eligible for federal tax credits. These tax credits have been modified and extended through December 31, 2011 by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

This program is different from the previous program (effective in 2009-2010) in the following ways:

The maximum amount an eligible homeowner may receive in tax credits for purchasing qualifying products (upgraded insulation, windows, HVAC equipment or other eligible improvements) has been reduced from $1,500 to $500.

There is a $500 cap on these credits, but that cap is reduced by the total amount of residential energy property credits a homeowner has already claimed for purchases between 2006 and 2010.

If you have already claimed credits of $500 or more from improvements made prior to 2011, you will be unable to claim new credits for improvements made during 2011.

All furnaces and boilers, whether natural gas, propane or oil, must have an AFUE of 95 or above to be eligible for the credit.

The credit is no longer 30% of qualified residential energy property costs (including labor), but is now equal to an amount not to exceed:

Any advanced main air circulating fan: Max Credit $50.00
Natural gas, propane, oil furnace or boiler: Max Credit $150.00
Split system air conditioner : Max Credit $300.00
Split system heat pump: Max Credit $300.00
Package air conditioner: Max Credit $300.00
Package heat pump: Max Credit $300.00
Package gas / electric: Max Credit $300.00

In addition, these systems need to meet certain energy requirements.
Geothermal system tax credits are unaffected by these changes and remain in place as is through 12/31/2016.

If you have any questions, or you are thinking about upgrading or replacing your AC System, please call us – Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning and Heating – at 941-921-7208. Learn how Sean McCutcheon’s can keep you cool!

If you are interested in seeing if you qualify for any of the tax credits, please see your tax advisor to determine how these credits would apply in your circumstance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Environmentally Safe Refrigerants

Until recently, R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for residential air-conditioning systems. The manufacture of R-22 results in a dangerous by-product that adversely affects the environment. Older Air Conditioning systems can develop leaks that are slowly depleting the ozone. R-22 is considered a greenhouse gas.

R-22 is being phased out and manufacturers of residential and commercial air conditioning systems are now offering equipment that uses ozone-friendly refrigerants. Many homeowners have been misinformed about how much longer R-22 will be available to service their central A/C systems.

Sean McCutcheon’s Air conditioning and Heating has been recommending Environmentally Safe refrigerants such as Puron since 2004. Unfortunately not all air conditioning companies have been informing their customers of the phase out of R-22, and as a result customers will see sky rocketing maintenance costs. R-22 has already increased in price over 400% and is now over $31.00 per lb.

Consumers need to take the phase out of R-22 into consideration when purchasing a new A/C system, or when having an existing system repaired.

As of January 1, 2010 the U.S. was required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 75%. R-22 may not be used in new equipment. As a result HVAC system manufacturers cannot produce new air conditioners and heat pumps that use R-22.

By January 1, 2020 the U.S. will reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 99.5%. Refrigerant that has been recovered, recycled and reclaimed will be allowed to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners.

The Clean Air Act does not allow any refrigerant to be vented into the atmosphere during installation, service, or retirement of equipment. Therefore, R-22 must be recovered and recycled (for reuse in the same system), reclaimed (reprocessed to the same purity standard as new R-22), or destroyed. Sean McCutcheon’s Air conditioning and Heating takes great care to properly dispose of R-22 when removing old units.

We recover the R-22 refrigerant and turn it into reclamation and recycling depots for proper disposal or reuse.

What is the Best Air Conditioning System?

Over the years, Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. has built a superior reputation when it comes to sales and service of quality Air Conditioning and Heating products for both homeowners and businesses in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Many factors go into choosing the right system for a home or business and Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. takes pride in working closely with clients and educating them so they can make the best decision and choose the system that is most efficient for their needs.

Although we can service and repair all makes and models of Air conditioning and heating equipment – we have certain brands we recommend for a number of reasons. Among the things we look for in a good AC System are:

How energy efficient is it?

Is it the best value for the money?

Is it a well built and reliable system that will last and require the least amount of maintenance?

Will the company stand behind their product and do they offer a great warranty?

Based on our extensive experience working with many different types of Air Conditioning systems, we have certain brands that we highly recommend. The brand we most often advocate would be Bryant. In fact Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. is the largest Bryant dealer in Southwest Florida, and the second largest in the West coast of Florida.

Of course an Air conditioning system is only as good as the contractor who installs it. It can be a great system – but it also relies on the quality of the duct work, and performance depends on the size and condition of your home, the climate where you live and other factors.

This is why we take all of these factors into consideration and spend the time to discuss the different alternatives with you. Our goal is to make sure we give you all of the information you need to choose the right system for your home and your budget.

Whether it is a new installation or routine service, our technicians provide the expertise your comfort depends on.

With regular training, which includes renewal of certifications and licenses, our technicians are some of the best.