What makes an ENERGY STAR system?
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What makes an ENERGY STAR system?
To qualify for ENERGY STAR, heating and cooling units must meet or exceed minimum efficiency ratings. All Trane split system air conditioner and heat pump matched systems with a SEER of 14.5 or above, 12 EER, or HSPF of 8.2 or above and all Trane gas furnaces with an AFUE of 90% or above meet or exceed the minimum efficiency required by the EPA for ENERGY STAR recognition. Remember that the higher the efficiency rating, the greater the energy savings.
With a proper load calculation for the right-sized system, you'll get improved comfort with excellent efficiency. When an air conditioner or heat pump system is not the correct size for a home, an array of problems can result. Temperatures might be uneven across the house, units might not run long enough to properly control humidity, and you may have more maintenance problems over time. A vital step to getting a more efficient Trane matched system for your home is to have your independent Trane dealer conduct a load calculation.
Have your local Trane dealer perform preventative maintenance before the summer cooling and winter heating seasons begin. Asking a professional to check your system will increase the life of the system, improve energy efficiency and reduce pollutants. Your local Trane Comfort Specialist can help you make sure you get the most from your system.
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Take this time to consider your home situation to make sure you get the right system. Buying a heating and air conditioning system is a big decision. Assess your personal comfort needs and determine what's good for your local climate.
Recent innovations in heating and cooling technology make this a great time to upgrade your current system. Check out the latest heating and air conditioning technology. Also research information about the current system you have.
You want to make sure the investment you're making now will last for years to come. Make sure you're finding trusted technicians, like Trane technicians to install your new system.
by Jude Clemente 06.28.2017Read More
by Jude Clemente 06.28.2017
The link between crude oil and natural gas prices is critical for end-users: these two sources are increasingly being produced by the same companies and together supplied 70% of U.S. energy demand in 2016. To set the context, Figure 1 demonstrates oil and gas prices since 1997.The Revolution of Oil and Gas Prices
Oil and gas production in the U.S. has been revolutionized by the widespread deployment of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies to release hydrocarbons from tight shale formations. In turn, for the past two decades, there have really been two different eras for U.S. oil and gas: the “pre-shale era” (1997-2008) and “shale era” (2009-present).
Oil and gas prices have clearly become de-linked in the “shale era”. This is because natural gas is a regionalized product, so surging domestic production has really helped lower U.S. prices more so than surging domestic oil production has, because oil is a global commodity. Some other key points that we can gather from these two different eras for oil and gas prices:
The oil and gas price disconnect is measurable. The correlation coefficient between oil and gas prices in the pre-shale era was 0.90, compared to 0.54 in the shale era. Although not a cause-and-effect indicator, this coefficient does help indicate how much similarity (rise/fall together) exists between the price patterns of oil and gas. In the pre-shale era, oil prices averaged about 8 times higher than natural gas, but in the shale era, oil has averaged 22 times higher.
Demand wise, one reason for the previously strong connection between oil and gas prices was that they have been close substitutes for each other through the years, particularly in electricity generation and industrial uses. This would suggest that higher oil prices would increase gas demand and price, and vice versa. Although this fuel substitution should continue in industrial and some transportation uses (e.g., heavy diesel trucks switching to natural gas), it is no longer a major trend because oil’s role in power generation today is insignificant, whereas electricity generation is now natural gas’ main demand sector – at about 35% of all usage.
As for production, higher oil prices can actually help lower gas prices. That’s because higher oil prices usually mean more field activity and more associated gas production (gas produced as a byproduct of oil). For example, now producing 8.5 Bcf/d, the Permian Basin in West Texas is our second largest gas field (after Pennsylvania’s Marcellus), despite the fact that it has no gas-directed drilling rigs. In the reverse of course, lower oil prices can therefore help increase gas prices by lowering gas production.
Given the “global-ness” of oil versus the “regional-ness” of gas, oil has a higher tendency to affect gas prices rather than the vice versa. Oil markets are more established, have larger traded volumes, and are internationally linked due to the ease of transporting oil. Nearly 70% of all oil consumed is traded among nations, versus around 30% for gas. Natural gas is generally sold along three markets where prices can vary greatly; Asia, the Americas, and Europe. In contrast, there is effectively just one market for petroleum.
Yet, increasing exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) will continue to gradually change our oil and gas price relationship. The LNG trade is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years, which will make gas more of a global commodity like petroleum. And as the U.S. becomes more involved in selling LNG, geopolitical influences could have more of an influence on domestic gas prices, just like they do for oil. In short, consumers should know that the days of U.S. natural gas market isolation are slowly fading.
In most homes, central air conditioners work together with an existing forced-air system to cool and circulate air. The air is cooled when it passes through the central air conditioner's evaporator coil, which is the main component of the system located inside the house. The cooled air then travels through the ducts into the home while room-temperature air is pulled into the furnace's return air duct, beginning the cycle again.
The condenser unit, which is located outside the home, is the other main component of the central air conditioning system. Both the evaporator coil and condenser are sealed systems and require servicing by a professional technician. However, homeowners can perform some basic air conditioner maintenance that can keep the system's components clean and function properly.Evaporator cleaning
The evaporator is usually located above the furnace in the plenum. If foil-wrapped insulation covers the front of the plenum, you should be able to clean the evaporator - but if you're not comfortable cleaning the evaporator yourself, a professional technician can do this as part of your A/C system's annual maintenance.
Carefully remove the insulation from the front of the plenum, which may be taped in place. Ac access plate should be located behind the insulation - remove the screws securing it to the plenum to gain access to the evaporator.