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Sizing the Air Conditioning for Your Home: An Interview with Jerry Krieg of Premier AC and Heating Co.

By Jerry Krieg

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Premier AC & Heating has been in business since 1990. We install, maintain, repair and service HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. We specialize in New Construction and Service work in both Residential and Commercial projects.

What is something that most homeowners don't know about their air conditioning system and energy use that they should know?

Changing your filters regularly is one of the easiest things a home owner can do to keep their HVAC system running efficiently. Dirty filters restrict airflow, causing the HVAC system to work harder to draw enough air through the return air opening to allow proper supply of air throughout the home. This can cause inefficiency, and over time could damage your HVAC system. Filters can become dirty and clogged quicker when you have pets in the home, smoke in your home or burn incense or candles in the home.

Clearing any obstructions or debris from the Condenser (outside unit) and Rinsing the Condenser coil are both easy maintenance items that any home owner can perform. Your Condenser needs room to breathe to operate effectively. Most manufactures suggest 24" of clearance from all side and 12" clearance from the house. During cooling mode, air is drawn in on all sides of the condenser, and hot air is discharged out the top of the condenser via a condenser fan. Make sure the Condenser is level and sitting above ground (typically on a concrete type slab).

Duct leakage and envelope tightness are both highly connected to the efficiency of your HVAC system(s). These can be measured by performing a Duct Blast Test (provides duct leakage) and a Blower Door Test (provides tightness of the envelope of the house). You can have a Home Rater perform these tests. The best way to increase efficiency is to have a Home Rater perform the test and pinpoint any and all areas that could be improved. Seal up all duct leakage areas and envelope infiltration areas and re-test to see the improvements.

What are the basic steps involved in sizing the air conditioning fit for one's home?

The only way to correctly size an HVAC system is to run a Manual J Load Calculation, and combine the results with the Manufacture's expanded ratings and a Manual S. Typically a full set of architecture plans, to scale, are required to run an accurate Manual J. The Manual J is a computer program in which the user enters the building's parameters (insulation values, window specs, siding, floor and roof types, ceiling heights, direction of house and exterior walls, and the measurements of rooms or blocks of the home), and the Manual J produces a report. This report, combined with the Manual S and the Manufacture's expanded ratings will allow for proper sizing of your HVAC system(s).

The biggest issue with running a Manual J Load Calculation for an existing home is knowing accurate building parameters to use, including: R-values of insulation, SHGC & U-Values of Windows, and any other items in which specifications are not available.

What are the advantages of having to call a professional to do your air conditioning repair?

One of the main advantages is you will have a professional working on your system that has been educated and trained properly. All of our service technicians are educated from all major HVAC manufactures, certified through year-round training, registered with the State of Texas, and operate under our Texas License. Any professional technician will operate under a State License and will carry insurance, two vital components of most legitimate construction businesses.

What are the challenges do you normally encounter when on the job?

In regards to repair: quantitatively comparing the cost of the repair versus the cost of replacement.

In regards to replacement: Ductwork (if not being replace) design can be an issue, depending on who designed the existing ductwork. Space constraints and local codes can also be a challenge. Each job is unique, and should be treated as such.

What advice would you give to people who want to make their AC unit more energy efficient?

  • Programmable T-stat so that your system is only cooling and/or heating when it is needed.
  • Regularly changing your filters to allow your system to have adequate airflow.
  • Regular maintenance check-ups for both heating and cooling. A cooling check-up because Houston, TX logs some of the most cooling hours in the nation, and a heating check-up because older furnaces can be dangerous in regards to emitting carbon monoxide.
  • Cleaning your Condenser Coil and / or Evaporator Coils when dirty.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

    Premier A/C & Heating Company:
  • 2109 Lou Ellen Ln, Houston, TX 77018
  • 713-682-0888 Ext. 309
  • PremierAC@sbcglobal.net

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About The Author

Jerry has been the General Manager for Premier AC and Heating Co. since 2007.

Phone: 713-682-0888

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