Monday, 23 December 2013
Saving Energy, Improving Comfort with New HVAC Technology

You’ve heard us talk about the benefits of “mini-splits” before, so that’s nothing new. Panasonic has introduced a new Exterios mini-split with some new technology to deliver what they claim is the highest energy efficiency in the industry (almost double traditional units!).

Inverter Technology
The key is inverter technology, which is able to change the power supply frequency, and constantly adjust the compressor rotation speed to maintain the desired room temperature. This reduces electric consumption, and allows quicker cooling upon startup. It also reduces indoor noise while enabling more precise temperature control. Non-inverter air-conditioners run at a fixed speed and merely cycle power on and off, waiting for temperature limits or timing to kick off a new cycle. Consequently, the room gets too cold, then too warm, over and over. But inverter-controlled units provide constant but varying power, always keeping temperatures in a comfortable range.

Electronically Controlled Refrigerant Valve
Another energy saving feature in Exterios is an electronically controlled valve that controls the flow of refrigerant, varying it as needed (from 90 to 480 steps) while the unit is powered on.

Room Occupant Detection
We all have been in a room that feels fine, until it is packed with lots of people (like at a conference or a party), and then the temperature quickly becomes uncomfortable. The new Exterios can detect whether there are people in the room, and how active they are. It then adjusts the fan speed and temperature automatically and aims the air flow toward the occupants.


Exterios comes in two sizes: 9,000 BTU (SEER 28.5) and 12,000 BTU (SEER 25.5).


Posted on 12/23/2013 12:42 PM by Eddie Hutton
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Lance Waterbarger's Five Outside Unit Fall Maintenance Secrets

Nashville Interstate AC Service's technician, Lance Waterbarger, reveals five secrets as he performs a fall maintenance check on an 11-year-old York HVAC unit. It is comprised of a heat pump coupled to a gas furnace in the basement. In this video, Lance demonstrates the five checks (listed below) he performed on the outside unit. Another video shows the proper way to clean the coils in the outside unit.

  1. Check the voltage across the capacitor(s). This is a dual capacitor unit: It’s rated for 40 plus 5. The 40 microfarad (μF) capacitor is used to start the compressor. The 5 microfarad (μF) capacitor is used to start the fan motor. They share a common ground. Using a meter, I can see that the 40 and 5 are each reading very slightly low, but neither is weak enough to merit changing out.
  2. Make sure all the connections are tight. Squeeze them a little bit.
  3. Check the defrost control board. Make sure all the connections are tight and none of the little resistors are burnt out on the board. Then put it through the defrost test to be sure it is working properly.
  4. Check the contacts to the fan and the compressor and be sure they look good, and that the fan and compressor come on as they should.
  5. While the unit is running, check the pressures to be sure they look good.

In this instance, everything checked out OK, so the homeowner is good to go!

Posted on 12/10/2013 3:13 PM by Eddie Hutton