Date: 15/09/2019
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Pushing the Envelope on Cooling

 audio, podcast, listenAs the summer heats up, our thoughts turn to cooler technologies.  In this post, we highlight some of the latest revolutionary and disruptive technologies when it comes to cooling.  Here is just a brief taste of what’s to come in the not-too-distant future:

Thermoelectric Cooling (TEC)

Thermoelectric cooling, TEC wine coolerThese devices use the Peltier effect and solid-state technology to create a thermoelectric heat pump that can power a refrigerator or similar cooling device (wine cooler, window air conditioner, etc.) with no moving parts, no compressors, no toxic refrigerants, and no noise.  Traditional cooling devices have up to about a 10% efficiency, while TEC devices have upwards of 30% efficiency, resulting in up to 75% energy savings.  Furthermore, a device such as this can be run in reverse to create heat.  This paves the way to have room-by-room radiant heating and cooling.  Advantages of these devices include: a very long life, invulnerability to leaks, no refrigerants, precise temperature control (within fractions of a degree), small size, and flexible shape.  To find out more, see Phononic, and their Evolve line of refrigeration products.

“Plastic Wrap” for Buildings

plastic wrap, radiant coolingBased on the principles of passive radiant cooling, engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have created a highly reflective film – polymethylpentene plastic with embedded silicon dioxide and silver coating – that can be used to “shrink-wrap” buildings.  This material emits infrared radiation while not absorbing solar radiation.  Even if only used on a typical roof, it can cool down a single-story home enough to keep it cool during the summer.  You can get a ton of cooling capacity (12,000 BTU per hour) with about 400 square feet of this film (sufficient for 1,000 square feet of floor space).  With zero energy consumption and costing only 50-cents per square yard, it is a promising technology.  But lots of questions remain, like how this might work in humid climates (like Middle TN), and how long the film will last.  Find out more at Energy Vanguard and here.

Thermal Air-Conditioning

Chromasun has created an air conditioner that uses solar power supplemented by natural gas, which totally eliminates the need for electrical power altogether, thus making it very cost-effective.  Plus, by incorporating Chromasun’s unique MCT solar panels (see also our post on Solar Air-Conditioning), the demand for natural gas is greatly reduced.  These systems work off-grid, have few moving parts (no compressors), are reliable and efficient. They are currently in use in Australia and have some projects starting in the U.S.

Magnetic Cooling Technologies

Researchers at GE are using magnetocaloric effects – changes in an external magnetic field that cause a change in temperature – to create the next crop of refrigeration devices. This technology uses no chemical refrigerants (water is the heat transfer medium), no compressors (replaced by magnets), is quieter, and is 20-30% more efficient than what is used today. GE expects to have magnetocaloric refrigerators on the market by 2020, so can a magnetocaloric-based HVAC system be far behind?

Sensor-Enhanced Systems

Honeywell Wi-Fi, Smart ThermostatCurrent HVAC technologies have been taken to new heights through the use of various sensors.  Here are just a few examples. Motion-sensors allow automatically turning off (or lowering) AC use when a room is unoccupied.  Smart thermostats allow auto-sensing, anticipation of demand, remote control and monitoring via a mobile phone app. Ecovent allows remote-control of vents in each room, opening and closing them as needed, to direct airflow where it’s needed. Fully-automated smart home systems now integrate a home’s HVAC system with its lighting, security, entertainment, and household appliances to increase comfort.  The best part of these sensor-enhanced systems is that they are readily available on the market today and can help save energy and money.

Whether you are looking to update your HVAC systems or get more life out of your existing HVAC system, know you can rely on Interstate AC Service for all your heating and cooling needs.  If you live in the Nashville or surrounding area, please call on us at 615-832-8500.  We’ll make sure you stay cool this summer.

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School