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Welcome to Cooling Heating

 

If you have been looking to upgrade or install new Ductless Heating and Cooling in your home, office, or a newly finished addition, you have probably stumbled upon Mini Split; Minisplit Ductless Air Conditioning, and Mini Split Air Conditioner. You may have also read about Mini Split Heat Pump options such as Heat Pump System, or Ductless Mini Split, which come along with many Ductless Air Conditioners as they can be told to “work in reverse.” Split AC System which also work as Heating and Cooling Units can prove an efficient solution for colder environments and seasons. Split System has been a popular Split System Air Conditioning option in Asia and Europe for some time, and has begun to gain momentum here in the United States, as well. Best Air Conditioner Units can be found in many renovated American homes that were not equipped with duct work when they were built, and are also growing in popularity for climate control in individual spaces, providing Ductless Heating and Ductless Cooling alternatives to outdated, bulky, and inefficient ductless air options, such as window units.

Split ductless Cooling - Heating units require no ductwork because they are, literally, “split” into two parts. Central air conditioning relies on a large outdoor appliance to cool and dehumidify the air, which is then pumped into the house via a series of ducts.  Much like a central air conditioning system, there is an external compressor portion of a Cooling - Heating. However, the external compressor portion of a Cooling - Heating tends to be more compact, efficient, and less noisy than their outdated counter parts. This compact design cameto be during the rapid urbanization of Japan, to efficiently service high-capacity buildings without ductwork. The compressor portion of a Cooling - Heating is not much different than the compressor involved in central air, upgraded. However, when it comes to the delivery, the Cooling - Heating differs from central air significantly.  Rather than pumping cool air through the duct ways, the compressor of a Cooling - Heating delivers refrigerant to an indoor air handler, where the cool air is actually created on-site.

The delivery of the refrigerated air is where a Cooling and Heating really differs from a central air conditioning system, and has a lot to do with the increased efficiency of Cooling and Heating products. In a central air system, the refrigerated air produced at a central location is partitioned off and sent to the areas in need of cooling via ducts. The ducts, concealed in the walls, floor, and ceilings, deliver the cooled air to different locations within the building. This process not only requires extensive ductwork, but also the added energy required to force the air down the ducts. In fact, up to 30% of the energy consumed by acentral air conditioning system is actually lost in the ducts; not to mention what can happen if the appliance is malfunctioning, or if there are leaks or obstructions in the air conditioning ducts.

In contrast, the delivery system of a Cooling and Heating air system only requires a small conduit, like a larger-sized cord. Because, rather than pushing cool air down duct ways, Cooling and Heating deliver small amounts of refrigerant to the space where cooling is needed.  This makes only a small diameter of tubing necessary, connecting the refrigerant lines of the compressor to the evaporator, where the cool air will be created indoors. This attribute of Cooling and Heating also changes the amount of modification necessary to a preexisting home or office significantly; rather than the need for extensive ductwork retrofit up and down the walls, only a small (3” in diameter hole) is necessary. Through an exterior wall, the conduit can connect the outdoor Cooling and Heating compressor to its function indoors.  Again, this is why you might have seen a Cooling and Heating system in some older or historic buildings; they can be installed without having to open up all the walls in order to retrofit new ductwork, which can be a messy and costly endeavor. Installation of a Cooling and Heating takes only a few hours, and it is as permanent and long lasting as central air conditioning. Not to mention the appeal of a more efficient system that does not waste power pumping air through ductwork. Just a few of the reasons Cooling and Heating have been gaining popularity as a ductless air conditioning option!

This brings us to another major difference between a Cooling & Heating air system and the ducted central air option you might be more familiar with.  The air handler portion of Cooling & Heating also work differently than your central thermostat.  The conduit of a split system connects the outdoor compressor to one or more internal evaporator units, which each service an individual space. Each individual Cooling & Heating air handler has its own thermostat, and settings, for that particular space or “zone.” So, rather than the entire home being controlled by a central thermostat, you have control over the temperature and humidity settings in each individual room. 

When it comes to having control over the climate of an individual space (and your energy usages) a Cooling & Heating is kind of like having a window unit air conditioner, without many of the disadvantages.  For example, a window unit requires you to give up a window, rendering the window nonfunctional, ruining your view, and robbing you of natural light.  Window unit air conditioners can also become an easy entry point for impurities, pests, and even human intruders.  The evaporator of a Cooling & Heating can be mounted almost anywhere, as long as there is access to the conduit cord.  Low end window unit air conditioners are often loud, leaky, and inefficient; Cooling & Heating systems are not. Window units go bad frequently, needing tobe replaced, while ductless Cooling & Heating last a decade or more, once installed.

Mini Splits, “split air” systems, and split ductless Cooling / Heating all describe a smart way to go about adding some permanent climate control to one or multiple rooms without having to retrofit all of the spaces with ductwork. Cooling / Heating are definitely something worth considering if your space is not already equipped with ductwork.  They are also the superior option for zone cooling in additions, or other spaces which need supplementation, such as warm sunrooms and bonus rooms. However, Cooling / Heating also deserve some consideration for any home owner looking to upgrade into a more efficient system of heating, cooling, and dehumidification. They are efficient, unobtrusive, and allow you to control the climate inyour individual spaces at a level no other air conditioning option can provide.  

 

 

INSIDE A MINISPLIT:  HOW CAN SUCH A SMALL UNIT PACKSUCH A BIG PUNCH?

If you have recently installed a new, high efficiency, single zone Lennox Cooling / Heating or large capacity Mitsubishi Cooling / Heating system, the novelty of having such powerful climate control at your fingertips may have yet to wear off.  There is something about coming in from a hot summer day, where the outdoors can feel like a cloud of stagnant heat and humidity, to the cool fresh breeze of a Cooling / Heating that you can feel as soon as you step inside. The marvel of these Cooling / Heating is that many of their air handlers are so small and compact; it is truly amazing how you can feel the cool breeze from all the way across the room. It beats a ceiling fan, any day, which on hot days seems to simply blow the warm air around. If you don’t understand much about the science of air conditioning, it is hard to make sense of how that tiny, silent appliance can be doing so much!

To truly understand how your miracle working mini split Cooling and Heating Units provides you with such precise comfort in such a small package, you first must obtain some general knowledge of the chemistry behind air conditioning and space cooling, in general. It is actually fairly simple:  space and home cooling (much like other types of mechanical refrigeration) uses chemicals called “refrigerants.”  These chemicals have a “low boiling point”; in other words, they change from liquid form to gas (and back again) very easily…utilizing heat in the process.  In short, refrigerants are substances with qualities which tend to absorb, and there by can be used to transfer heat. Outdated air conditioners, swamp coolers, modern Cooling and Heating Units, mini fridges, refrigerators…even the large scale refrigeration devices used in transport and grocery outlets exploit one refrigerant or another in order to function. 

So, first, lets think (but not too hard!) about what is going on outdoors, within your Cooling and Heating Units compressor. Where the refrigerant is concerned, the compressor of the outdoor side of the split of your Cooling and Heating Units can be thought ofas a cleaning and preparation station. In simple terms, the compressor of the Cooling and Heating Units is compressing the refrigerant; it is kind of like wringing the heat out of the chemical and preparing it for re-use indoors. When the refrigerant is sent down the conduit line to your home, it is arriving as asome what unstable liquid, ready to “pop.”

And, in a way, that is what it does. As the liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator, in tiny droplets, the pressure on the refrigerant chemical is released. On the other end is your indoor space…and even if it feels cool and comfortable, the Cooling and Heating System has to keep working (perhaps on “economy mode”) in order to maintain your comfort wonderland.  Again, the refrigerant used in your Cooling and Heating System system would love to become a gas, and, if there is any ambient heat (even a level of heat that you yourself do not detect):  POP! The molecules of that tiny drop of refrigerant evaporate, becoming a gas again.  In this process, the triggering heat is absorbed, and the refrigerant is returned to the outdoors again as alow-pressure gas, to enter the cycle again.

This is why, likelier than not, your Cooling and Heating System evaporator unit is mounted high on an interior wall, and controlled by a remote control.  As heat rises, this is where the Cooling and Heating System evaporator will find its best work. Any additional ambient heat will move to wards the top, as the wall unit blasts the cooled and dehumidified air down to wards the space you sit and marvel at it in. 

So, the magic of your Cooling and Heating System air conditioning has happened, but the creation of that cool oasis in your living room isn’t over with the refrigerant action. The indoor portion of your magical Comfort-Aire or Mr. Slim Cooling and Heating System also contains a fan, blower and everything required for its “smart” features. So, on this particular hot day you might have set the Cooling and Heating System unit for “Typhoon Storm” or some other seemingly ridiculous request, and your Cooling and Heating System is ready to provide you with the comfort you have requested, due to the fact that the refrigerant system is working properly. Many modern Cooling and Heating System evaporators have multiple fan speeds, as well as a windiness feature for when you would really like toget that air circulating.  The control you have over your individual space, temperature and humidity wise, with a Cooling and Heating System, is nearly endless. However,without proper refrigerant function, you basically just have a super powerful fan!

In a way, the cool “punch” that a Cooling with Heating can pack is truly that, albeit on a molecular level.  However, it can also be thought of as a punch in reverse; rather than pumping bursts of cool into an otherwise warm room, the Cooling with Heating is actually removing ambient bursts of warmth, and pumping it out.  This is why Cooling with Heating equipped with ductless heat pumps (which work the same way, but by collecting warmth outdoors and bringing it indoors) can also provide an efficient solution for home comfort when things cool down in the winter. With their advanced use of refrigerant technology, Cooling with Heating provide powerful comfort management while using less energy than other air conditioning options.

 

 

COOL DOWN IN THE SUN:  THE SPLIT COOL DC18 MINI SPLIT BY SOLAR PANELS PLUS

One of the most exciting applications for Heating and Cooling and ductless heat pumps, for a sustainable homestead enthusiast like me, is their potential for use in off-grid living situations.  One of the modern conveniences those who dream of going off-the-grid might expect to come to terms with living without is modern home air conditioning.  This iseasier said than done if your dream home is located some where warm and sunny (and, for many of us, that’s exactly where we hope to head!) However, photo voltaic battery stores justdon’t have the juice to ramp the large compressors/condensers associated with traditional air conditioning systems on and off at will. However, that may all be changing with some of the new Heating and Cooling. In fact, the Split Cool DC18, designed by Solar Panels Plus, is designed specifically for use with a solar energy power system.

Solar Panels Plus, a Chesapeake, VA based company which designs solar panels and water heaters, released the world’s first DC-powered, high SEER air conditioning system in 2010. This Heating and Cooling air conditioner is specifically designed for off-grid purposes, where traditional power is unavailable or unreliable. This system does not require a generator, which would quickly exhaust its fuel attempting complete home cooling or heating.

One of the attributes that makes Split Cool DC18 stand out from other Heating and Cooling is that it does not utilize an AC-DC inverter. The inverter is often paramount to the efficiency of a standard Heating and Cooling;  it is the smart, energy saving part of the appliance which tells it the compressor turn on when needed, and off during periods that it is not needed.  Ideally, in a traditional power system, this may save some energy. 

However, this does not work well forsolar energy users. The process of AC-DC conversion is extremely detrimental to the power stores of a photo voltaic system, which is always native DC.  This is the drain that a photo voltaic energy system just can not handle, and the Split Cool Heating - Cooling is more efficient (in a solar system) than a higher-SEER Heating - Cooling that utilizes an inverter. The Split Cool DC18 will instead maintain avery slow compressor speed (usually whisper quiet and extremely efficient) atall times.  Although this may seemwasteful, it actually requires less energy than it takes to bring a compressor to speed from a dead stop or “off” position. With the Split Cool DC18 Heating - Cooling, it is not necessary for the compressor to run at full speed, draining the battery. The Heating - Cooling maintains a low maintenance speed, and only accelerates function gradually, as needed.

Like all Heating & Cooling, the Split Cool DC18 has the advantages of eliminating the installation and material costs associated with a ducted system. Heating & Cooling systems can be easily installed intoan existing structure, and are not associated with energy wasting “ductloss.” It offers greater control and efficiency, with variable speeds and a compact design.  Heating & Cooling systems, in general, can be more efficient and far more environmentally friendly than many of their ducted counter parts.

The SplitCool DC 18 runs off a battery bank of power supplied by an array of photovoltaic panels.  The Heating & Cooling uses four or more 12 volt standard deep cycle batteries. This Heating & Cooling uses a brushless, permanent magnet DC motor with a digital frequency driver which allows the Heating & Cooling to pace itself dynamically with climate changes and user needs.  Unlike a traditional air conditioning system, which has a set capacity and is set to simply stop or go, the compressor of the SplitCool DC 18 Heating & Cooling works on variable speeds and variable refrigerant flow.  Therefore, depending on need the SplitCool can be a 4,000 BTU, 8,000 BTU, 12,000 BTU, or 18,000 BTU air conditioning units.  This saves a ton of power over time, as well, as you are truly using no more than the energy required.

Not only will the Heating / Cooling be functional in such systems, and save power over time, but will also save costly installation involved with competitive units which require more panels or alarger battery store. The lower battery requirement and lower number of solar panels necessary are some of the features that have the SplitCool DC18 standing out in the world of off-grid air conditioning.

The possibilities are endless for this versatile, off-the-grid Heating / Cooling, which can run efficiently using a renewable source of energy.  While the SplitCool may offer some the promise of home comfort, they are bound to find applications in some of the places they are needed most around the world, such as agricultural and medical settings.

 

 

MORE ABOUT THE SPLITCOOL DC 18 MINI SPLIT

The SplitCool DC18 Heating / Cooling is not only a great solution for the comfort of your off-grid abode, but also contributes to conscientious living and environmental responsibility.  This innovative Heating / Cooling was designed without the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which deplete the ozone layer.  And, of course, because it operates on battery stores renewed by solar panels, the energy consumed for operation is from a renewable and environmentally friendly source.  The SplitCool DC 18 Heating / Cooling is certified by the TUV, which is one of the world’s strictest quality agencies in approvingany products.

One of the major differences between the SplitCool DC 18 and other Heating Cooling Units is that this Heating Cooling Units is powered by direct current (DC) rather than alternating current (AC), as is the case with many Heating Cooling Units which utilize inverters. Since solar energy produces electrical currents in native DC, a Heating Cooling Units air conditioning system which utilizes AC for operation requires an extra inverter in the system in order to transform the current.  There is quite a bit of electrical cost during this conversion, and it renders the system inefficient. The SplitCool runs on DC current, alone. This attribute makes the SplitCool DC18 efficient enough to use in photovoltai systems.

There are additional benefits to the using DC, when compared to AC. Since the system is more efficient, less solar panels (costly to manufacture, as well as purchase) will be necessary to produce enough energy to run the system. This is environmentally positive, and also cost conscious in that less panels must be produced and purchased.  The lack of an inverter, excess photovoltaic panels, and fewer components in general lower the price of the SplitCool Heating Cooling Units product, in comparison to some of its Heating Cooling Units competitors.

If your home or commercial property is located in an area without access to the power grid, and you are running things in a solar voltaic system, the SplitCool DC18 may provide a great solution to keep things comfortable throughout the year.

The maximum cooling potential of this Heating Cooling System unit is 18,000 BTU per hour. The maximum heating for the Heating Cooling System heat pump is 20,500. The input voltage of the SplitCool is 48 VDC(46V to 56 V). The batteries which canbe used to power the Heating Cooling System are 12VDC or 6V DC.

The SplitCool DC18 Heating Cooling System weighs around 165 pounds. The indoor evaporation unit is quite compact at 12.1” in height, 34.25” wide, and a mere 9.2” deep.  The compressor of the Heating Cooling System is a brushless DC (BLDC rotary.)

The charge weight of the SplitCool Heating Cooling System is 45 oz (2.81 pounds).  It utilizes the newer refrigerant R-410a.

The operational noise created by the SplitCool DC18 Heating Cooling System is minimal. The outdoor compressor unit maxes out at 60 decibels, while the indoor unit only reaches 52 decibels at its highest setting.

 

HVAC AND MINI SPLIT JARGON MADE SIMPLE

 

So, perhaps you know nothing about your air conditioning system or Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning, just that it keeps you cool in the summer time and warm during the winter. You might not think about it much, until you have a problem and the HVAC technician shows up.  He (or she) may start ranting off a bunch of information meant to help you understand what the problem with your system actually is…but lost you between compressor, and how much the repairs are going to cost you to get your Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning working again.  Or, maybe you have decided to do a little maintenance or some of the install of a new Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning yourself.  Either way, it helps to know a little about what everything is, and what all of these terms actually mean. Below is a small glossary of some of the most common HVAC terminology, broken down so you do not have to be an HVAC tech to understand.

ACCA– The Air Conditioning Contractors of America. This is the trade association for the air conditioning trade industry.  This is where you can turn to (they have a consumer resources webpage available) if you are looking to find a solid and certified HVAC contractor.

AirFlow – This term may be used to describe exactly what it sounds like: how much air your Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning air conditioning system is moving. This is generally a number of cubic feet per minute. For an air conditioning system with is performing properly, this number should be around 400/per ton of capacity. It is normal for it to be higher in dryer climates and lower in those which are more humid.

AirHandler – This is the part of your Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning that contains the indoor components. This usually includes the evaporator coil, and the blower which circulates the conditioned air. This is the part of the Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning that you interact with; change the settings on, etc.

Boot- The boot is the sheet metal transition piece, which connects the duct on one side and has a grille or register on the other, in ducted central air conditioning systems.

Checking the Charge – The HVAC tech is going to check how much refrigerant is in the system. He/she will use a gauge in order to measure the pressure of the refrigerant, to make sure that the correct amount is available in your Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning system.

Compressor – The compresser/condensor is the portion of your “split” which is housed outside.  It is the noisier part of your Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning, responsible for raising the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant, to be sent to the air handler for re-use
.

Delta T- Difference in temperature after the air passes through the cooling stage of the refrigeration cycle. In a Heating - Cooling Air Conditioning system that is running efficiently, the delta T should be around 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ductless Mini-Split - Another term forthe “split” form of air conditioning which requires no ductwork.  The air handler is mounted on a wall or ceiling, and is connected via small tubing to the compressor outdoors. The Heating + Cooling is one of the most popular forms of air conditioning in the rest of the world. Also known as split air conditioners, ductless splits, mini splits, etc.

EER - the Energy Efficiency Rating provided by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, used to provide efficiency information about window unit air conditioners and ground source (geothermal) heat pumps.  The EER of a specific unit is the BTU/hour of cooling capacity divided by the electricity input in watts.

Geothermal Heat Pump – (or “GroundSource Heat Pump) This is a heat pump which works by pulling heat from the ground or a body of water, and pumping it into the space.  It can also work in the opposite direction, removing heat from the space and dumping it back into the body of water or ground.

Grille – (also called the “register” in central air conditioning.) Then on-operable cover of return vents in ducted air conditioning systems.

Heat Pump – Essential, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can work in reverse. Heating + Cooling equipped with heat pumps can gather heat from the outside air, much like its function indoors in the summer, and pump it back into the indoors, efficiently heating the space.

HVAC – Heating, ventilating, and airconditioning. Sometimes also referred to as “H-Vac”, this is an all encompassing term involving those in the field of servicing your climate control equipment.

Latent Heat – The heat that must be removed from the air to remove the moisture. 

Line Set – The line set consists of the two refrigerant lines which connect the condensing unit to the evaporator coil.  One will be a hotter, smaller, un-insulated copper tube which is the liquid line (bringing the refrigerant in.) The other is larger, cooler, and insulated; this is the suction line (transporting the refrigerant back out.)

Load Calculation – this is a calculations which determines how much heat a house gains or loses through the building envelope, from duct losses (in ducted air conditioning systems) and by internal gains (people, appliances, etc). The load calculation one important part of the HVAC design process.

Media Air Cleaner – These are bigger and better filters that can be used to catch the small particles in the return air of your central, ducted air conditioning system.

MERV – The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, used as a rating for filters used in conditioned return air.  The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles it catches, and the cleaner the return air will be using that filter.

Plenum – The insulated sheet metal or duct board box that the ducts (in central ducted air conditioning systems) are all attached to. The plenum attaches to either side of the air handler which then attaches it to the other ducts in ducted central air conditioning systems.  On the return side, there maybe a filter between the air handler and the plenum; on the supply side, on the supply side, the evaporator coil may be housed separately from the blower.

PTAC – Package Terminal Air Conditioner. This is that “through the wall” air conditioning unit you have probably seen in a hotel room, in which all components of the air conditioner live in one giant box.  (It is almost like the hybrid of a window unit and a Heating + Cooling air conditioner, but not really with the better features of either.)

Refrigerant – The working fluid within any mechanical refrigeration system (refrigerators, central air conditioners, Heating + Cooling) which has a low boiling point (changes readily from aliquid to gas when small amounts of heat are present) and can there by be used to transfer heat.

Refrigeration Cycle – The thermodynamic cycle is what allows your Heating + Cooling air conditioner to gather heat from the inside and pump it to the outside.

Register – In central airconditioning systems, the register is the cover you see on the supply vents, which can be adjusted for air flow.  They are usually rectangular, and often located along the floor.

Return – The air that is being returned to the air conditioning system (in ducted systems, via the return duct) to be conditioned again.

Reversing Valve – The reversing valveis responsible for alternating between cool air conditioning and heat pump function of your Heating + Cooling.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficienct Rating. This rating, developed by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, is the standard for ranking the efficiency of individual central air conditioners and Ductless Heating - Cooling .  It is measured in BTU/hour of cooling divided by the wattage of energy consumed over an entire cooling season.  Some of the highest efficiency Ductless Heating - Cooling carry a SEER score of 25 and higher, while many window units rank about a 13.  13 is the lowest SEER allowed for air conditioning appliances sold in the United States.

Sensible Heat – The heat that must be removed from the air in order to lower the ambient temperature.

SHR – Sensible Heat Ratio.  This is the ratio of the sensible cooling load or capacity to the total cooling load or capacity.  The total cooling load of the capacity is the sensible heat plus the latent heat.  

Split System – The air conditioners which are split into two parts, an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler, and connected by a small conduit containing the refrigerant lines. Also called ductless mini splits, mini splits, and ductless air conditioners, split systems continue to be the air conditioning solution of choice in Asia and Europe.

Static Pressure – The pressure which is inside your ducted air conditioning system, which, when too high, can disrupt proper air flow. Static Pressure often goes unchecked, but can have a profound effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of your air conditioning system. So, something you might want to remind your HVAC tech not to forget!

Supply – The side of a ducted air conditioning system which pushes the conditioned air down the duct ways, to wards the supply vents of the house. The supply vents will have cool air flow from them when the air conditioner is on. In Ductless Heating - Cooling , the supply is coming directly from the air handler, and pumped into the space via the blowers.

Tons of Air Conditioning – Tons are a measure of the capacity of your air conditioner or Ductless Heating - Cooling .  Each “ton” of air conditioning capacity is equal to 12,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) per hour. In other words, a 2 ton Ductless Heating - Cooling air conditioner can remove approximately 24,000 BTUs from your home over the course of an hour, if the Ductless Heating - Cooling is efficiently living up to its capacity for cooling. The actual capacity is not a fixed quantity, however, and many factors such as humidity and external environment can affect how much your air conditioning can actually achieve.  For Ductless Heating - Cooling installation, it is very important to be sure you select a Ductless Heating - Cooling system which is the appropriate capacity for the room or rooms it is intended to service.

Trunk – The trunk is a large duct, in central ducted air conditioning systems, which attaches directly to the plenum. From the trunk, the branches of ducts go out to the vents.
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