With costs of energy up and after last year’s shock of hefty heating prices, people are now paying more attention to how much they are paying in electricity bills and looking to cut any expenses wherever they can.
Now with the recession hitting hard, consumers looking to keep their homes cool this summer may be asking extra questions on how they can keep their bills low.
‘The public just finding some relief at the gas pump now finds itself hit even worse by the recession. The combination has really changed the way consumers view their energy consumption,” said Roy Kuczera, senior vice president of sales for Fujitsu General America, Inc.
However, the recession might have a silver lining for some, according to Kuczera.
‘The new stimulus package sharpens the focus on energy conservation by providing great incentives to improve home and business energy efficiency,” he said. ‘Homeowners can receive up to a $1,500 tax credit and business owners get up to $1.80/square foot for installation of high efficiency heating and cooling systems.”
That is definitely affecting the sales at Fujitsu. Kuczera said the company is seeing a shift away from 13-SEER minimum equipment to Tier-1 and Tier-2 Energy Star models. Clearly, offering models that have Energy Star ratings are important as well as efficient products.
‘When compared to a 13 SEER system, our products can save consumers as much as 50 percent off the cost of heating and cooling their home,” Kuczera said.
That energy savings comes from the technological advances of the HVAC products on the market today. Kuczera explained that a lot of forced air systems are single speed on-off systems that have to cool down or heat up an entire home without any capacity control.
‘These systems have high in-rush current causing large amp draws during start-up,” he said. ‘They are also inefficient and labor intensive because they required hundreds of feet of supply and return ductwork, which the Department of Energy states can cause 25-40 percent loss of capacity, also decreasing system efficiency.”
The result is a home that is either too hot or too cold in certain places. However, variable speed compressor ductless systems are changing all that.
‘Energy consumption is dramatically reduced by use of inverter technology, which converts AC to DC to operate a variable speed DC compressor that has a soft start, drawing low amps as it starts-up at low RPMs,” explained Kuczera. ‘The speed of the compressor is then automatically adjusted to provide just the right amount of BTUs to match the load of the home or business. Individual temperature control is achieved by having indoor units located in different living spaces.”
This causes the ideal temperature to be set in half the time and creates a more consistent comfort level, all the while reducing energy use and costs.
The following is a sampling of the latest air conditioning products available.
FUJITSU INTRODUCES 26 SEER HALCYON INVERTER MINI-SPLIT LINE
Fujitsu General America, Inc. has introduced 25 and 26 SEER ductless split systems to the North American market, now the most efficient mini-splits available today. The new 9,000 BTU model provides 26 SEER with an HSPF of 12. The 12,000 BTU system offers 25 SEER with 12 HSPF. Both of the inverter wall-mount systems are available as split system heat pumps, and offer super-quiet operation and nearly full heating capacity down to 5°F ambient and cooling operation down to 14°F. Refrigerant pipe lengths can reach 66 feet between the evaporator coil and the condensing unit. These units are available with these capabilities right off the shelf with no modifications needed for low ambient operation. There is no need to add a crank case heater, fan cycle control or larger suction accumulator to protect the compressor; these are already built-in. Fujitsu’s 2009 Halcyon lineup includes 21 single zone systems with capacity ranges of 9,000 to 42,000 BTUs. www.fujitsugeneral.com
WONDER GUARD FC
UTILITY is proud to announce the introduction of its WONDER GUARD FC FIN & COIL PROTECTANT. It provides a protective coating that helps prevent the accumulation of dirt, grime, dust and grease that reduces efficiency. It also guards against costly coil corrosion. The fast-drying, non-flammable formula requires no mixing, protects against the growth of mildew-producing bacterial odors, and will not inhibit heat transfer. WONDER GUARD FC is available in a 12 oz. aerosol can for easy application. It makes your coils virtually maintenance-free! www.UtilityChemicals.com
KVAR ENERGY CONTROLLER
About 25 percent of the billable electricity in homes and businesses is non-productive or unusable. Mainly, this is caused by motors operating at 80 percent efficiency when under a load and less efficient when not under a load. Because motors are fed more electricity than they need, they waste electricity and cause a shorter lifespan for HVAC equipment, appliances, fans, etc. KVAR has a patented apparatus and methodology used to bring motors into complete optimization and unity for maximum efficiency, adding up to three times the life on motors and surge protection. KVAR reclaims, stores, recycles and supplies power to all inductive loads. Payback to clients is rapid; residential applications usually get one simple panel-mounted system within inches of their electric panel that takes minutes to install. Larger commercial and industrial units may need a precisely sized unit for each motor to optimize our clients’ return on investment. Units have a five year warranty, life expectancy is 25 years.
THERMO PRIDE’S REDESIGNED AIR HANDLER
Thermo Pride offers its redesigned air handler line with ECM technology. The air handler uses an electronically commutated motor that provides infinite blower speeds to increase the air handler’s efficiency, as well as provide consistent airflow for a more comfortable home. Both models, the AH2 and AH4, include a high SEER evaporator coil that provides either 2 to 3 or 3 to 5 tons of cooling, depending on the model. The optional hydronic coil easily slides into the cabinet and provides up to 120,000 BTUs of heating. Both the air-conditioning coil and the hydronic coil are covered by a 10-year peace-of-mind warranty. Thermo Pride’s air handler can be positioned in either a horizontal or upflow position. www.thermopride.com
FIN & COIL CLEANER PROMISES EASE OF USE
UTILITY’s ‘First Aid for Air Conditioners” is CYCLONE FIN & COIL CLEANER. An economic alternative to sending units out for costly repair, this high-powered formulation immediately restores unit efficiency. With just the push of a button it blows away dirt and emulsifies grease. It’s ideal for use on window air conditioners and other hard-to-reach applications. CYCLONE is non-flammable, non-conductive, acid & residue’free. It requires no mixing, no soaking or dissembling of systems. Just apply and let dry. www.UtilityChemicals.com
RHEEM CONDENSERS OFFER REFRIGERANT OPTIONS
Rheem Manufacturing Company, Air Conditioning Division offers Rheem Classic Series and Ruud Achiever Series 13-SEER optimized condensing units. These high-efficiency models are available in both R-22 and R-410A refrigerants and combine all-steel, durable, low-profile cabinets with multiple contractor installation and service advantages. The Rheem Classic RAND and Ruud Achiever UAND feature R-22 refrigerant and can reach capacities up to 15 SEER when matched with an RCFA indoor coil. The RAND and UAND are also available with upgraded options to provide contractors with choices for their markets. The Rheem Classic Series RANL and Ruud Achiever Series UANL feature R-410A refrigerant and can reach capacities up to 16.2 SEER when matched with a RCFL indoor coil. The RANL and UANL are available with flexible options, including the standard model and a feature-loaded version complete with high- and low-pressure controls and easy-start assist components. The 13-SEER Rheem C1assic Series and Ruud Achiever Series are available in 1.5- through 5-ton capacities. All models feature a smooth-line, low-profile cabinet design that significantly decrease the amount of time needed to install or service. The durable, wrap-around, all-steel, fully louvered cabinet provides maximum coil protection from yard hazards and weather extremes. www.rheemac.com