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hvac split unit

What exactly is a Split Unit in HVAC?


If you’ve ever been looking for a new heating and air conditioning unit then you’ve probably come across the term “split unit”. There are various types of split units in the HVAC world and in this post I’m going to explain the basic understanding of what a split unit is.

The Basic Concept

A split unit is usually compared or contrasted with a packaged unit. There’s very good reason for this. A typical packaged unit will consist of the air conditioner and its components along with the heating system and it’s components all located in one unit outside. So the ac and the furnace, for example, along with its components, would all be in one accessible unit outside. If you’ve ever noticed a large rectangular unit on the rooftops of a business or outside of a home, then you’ve probably seen a packaged unit. These larger unit’s appear much bigger as far as what you can see because everything is located inside of that one unit. 

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cracked heat exchanger

Cracked Heat Exchanger: Symptoms and Causes


A cracked heat exchanger in a furnace can be a potentially dangerous situation. The main reason for this is due to the fact that furnaces are located inside the living area of the particular home or business. For this reason, I want to share with you some of the common symptoms and causes of a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace.

Symptoms of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

If there is a crack in the furnace’s heat exchanger, there will be some signs and symptoms that are normally evident concerning the furnace.

Evidence of Soot: If there is evidence of soot buildup inside of the furnace, then it’s very possible that there could be a crack in the heat exchanger. This is due to the combustion process being incomplete. Other problems could cause this symptom as well such as balance issues with the burners.

Carbon Monoxide Levels are HighIf there is a carbon monoxide detector/alarm in your home or business (preferably near the furnace), then it will notify you if carbon monoxide is invading your living space. Normally there will also be a strong strange odor as well. If this is the case, then it’s possible that the heat exchanger is the culprit.

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what are btu's

What are BTU’s for your AC and Furnace?


In this post the focus of BTU’s is going to be on heating and air units such as air conditioners and furnaces, but much of what is going to be shared is universal to other appliances as well. So what are BTU’s?

What are BTU’s?

Very simply, a BTU is an acronym for “British Thermal Unit”. A British Thermal Unit is the standard of measurement used for generating or increasing thermal energy. A single BTU is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of an environment of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit (per hour, normally). This standard of measurement is used for heating and air units, grills, stoves, and other common appliances.

What are BTU’s for a furnace?

When it comes to your furnace or any other heating system for your home or business, BTU’s are going to be what are used to determine the unit’s heating capacity.

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what size furnace

What Size Furnace Do I Need?


When it comes to replacing your furnace or installing a new furnace at a newly constructed location, it’s important to know what size furnace that you need for your particular situation. You don’t want to install a furnace that is too big or too small for the area that is being heated. This can cause issues with the furnace itself, which can lead to premature furnace repairs. The utility bill can also be affected if the furnace isn’t the correct size. So having a properly sized furnace is essential for efficient operation and the lowest utility bills.

But, how do you determine what size furnace that you need?

The Size of a Furnace is Categorized by BTU’s

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fall preventative maintenance

Fall Preventative Maintenance for Your HVAC Unit


West Tennessee is starting to experience cooler mornings. With Fall peaking from around the corner, it will soon be time to turn the thermostat from cool to heat. There are things that you as the homeowner can do around your home to make sure things run smooth, but you also need an experienced HVAC technician to regularly maintain your unit through the seasons as well. Cagle Service offers a Preventative Maintenance Program to keep your unit running at it’s best through all seasons.

As the homeowner, there are some things you can do around your home to help the life of your HVAC unit:

1) Filters: Homeowners are recommended to change the air filters in their home once a month, especially in high pollen areas. Not only does that help air flow but also keeps allergens and dust from getting into the air system. (Read more on the importance of changing your air filters)

2) Routine Cleaning/Dusting: With the cooler temps coming in, some people are tempted to raise the windows to let fresh air in and give the HVAC unit a break. Dust, mold, allergens, etc. can get inside and settle within the home. Without cleaning and dusting, all of the allergens, dust, and other particles will circulate inside, lowering the quality of air.

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Temperature, Humidity, and your HVAC System


When temperatures rise most will notice the HVAC unit not cooling as well as they would like it to. Sometimes this could be signs of an issue with the HVAC unit, but a lot of times its simply due to the outdoor temps and humidity.

If the outside temperature reaches 95 or higher, the unit is running at maximum efficiency. This will normally put the indoor air at a temperature somewhere between 76-80 degrees. This is not usually a comfortable temperature for inside the home, and first reaction is to try and lower the temperature on the thermostat to try and cool the home quicker. This will not help. It will make your unit continuously run without seeing a temperature change. Running it continuously will dramatically increase your energy bill.

Some people are under the impression  “BIGGER IS BETTER“. This is not the case when it comes to HVAC units.  While yes, a bigger unit will cool the area down faster, but not efficiently. Buying a bigger unit means it will cool the area too fast leaving moisture in the air. Check out another one of our blogs discussing all the disadvantages of buying a wrong sized unit:

All air conditioners are designed to remove the moisture from the air, but when humidity levels spike, most systems cannot keep up. This will make your home feel warmer than you would like and also take more money out of your pocket. Warm summer air holds more moisture so the humidity is naturally higher. Here are a few signs you may have a high indoor humidity problem:

  1. The air feels wet. You make even have a clammy feel to your skin.
  2. An “old house” smell. The excessive humidity causes dampness and can eventually lead to an “old”, stale air, or musty smell.
  3. Foggy windows will occur when the humidity becomes trapped in the home.
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refrigerant leak

Refrigerant Leaks: When to repair or replace?


So, What if the HVAC unit has a refrigerant leak?

Most people would be tempted to have their refrigerant or Freon*, as most people call it, refilled, as to try and avoid costly repairs or replacing the unit. This tends to only exacerbate the problem and could end up being more costly in the long run. Many people believe that, over time, an air conditioner uses up the refrigerant. Most believe when the warm air starts blowing, they just need a recharge like in their automobiles.  In reality, an air conditioner or heat pump has a sealed refrigerant system that should never “use up” or run out of refrigerant.

*Freon is a name brand, not the actual name of refrigerant.

Signs I may have a refrigerant leak?

If your A/C is running at a specific temperature but not blowing cool air, or if you notice your areas are taking longer to cool, you may have a leak. Sometimes a person may notice an accumulation of water near the furnace due to condensation from the build up of ice on the copper lines that extend from the HVAC unit to it’s outside coils. Another sign may be your utility bill. Basically the unit will have to work harder than it should to keep the area cool, in turn raising your electric bill. A unit with only a 10% leak can double the electric usage which cause the spike in the bill.

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fun facts about hvac

20 Fun Facts about HVAC

Category:General Tags : 

20 Fun Facts about HVAC

5. The Romans were the first to use any kind of air heating system. They also had heated floors in the winter.

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

7. Ceiling fans are good for cooling your skin and keeping a higher temperature room comfortable, but they dont actually help the unit. Turn your fans off in the unoccupied rooms to decrease the utility bill.

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heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Understanding HVAC Terms

Category:General,Tips Tags : 

Your HVAC unit has quit working! As you call to find someone to check it out, all of these HVAC terms are being said and it can be quite confusing. We’re going to define a few for you to help you concerning your future Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning questions:

What Does HVAC Mean?

Short answer: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

HVAC Unit:
This is the machine that heats and cools your home or work space.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

A mechanical device in the HVAC unit that compresses gas used by the air conditioner to compress freon.

Evaporator Coils:
The part of the HVAC unit where liquid refrigerant that the compressor moves into it turns to gas. As the air that blows from the blower fan moves over the coils the cold refrigerant removes the heat from the space’s air.

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air conditioning problems

Top 10 Causes of Air Conditioning Problems


The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit system is 10-15 years. Once a unit hits 10 years of age and begins to have air conditioning problems, it is time to see if AC repair costs will outweigh replacing the unit. New units will improve the indoor air quality and also help the resale value of the home.

Noticing white dust in the home? That happens to the duct work as it gets older. The combustion exhaust in a furnace is acidic. If this makes contact with galvanized steel, the acid will react with the zinc in the galvanizing, and this can produce a white powdery residue, as is commonly seen on the terminals of a car battery. If this substance is getting into the circulating air system, there could be a crack or hole in the heat exchanger, and that would be hazardous.

Excess noise shows the possibility of the duct work not being large enough for the square footage or a problem with the unit’s indoor coil.

Are you experiencing a rise in the energy bill but no change in how the unit is being used? That is always a big indicator the system is not running as efficient as it once was. In this post we are going to share with you some common air conditioning problems that hinder air flow.

Top 10 Air Conditioning Problems That Hinder Air Flow

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