Tag Archives: HVAC

Pre-Charged Line Sets Are For Real, Right?

pre-charged line sets

Pre-charged line sets aren’t exactly a new innovation in the HVAC industry, but they’re not exactly widespread either. When we tell people our MRCOOL DIY line sets do not need to be vacuumed down, plenty of installers out there, professional or otherwise, just don’t believe it. But, hey, don’t take my word for it!

Pre-Charged Line Sets Are the Real Deal

A picture is worth a thousand words, so a YouTube video has to be worth like a novel or something. Anyway, check out the comments in our 2nd-generation DIY install video and you’ll find plenty of folks who don’t quite believe. If you don’t want to take the time, then I’ll sum up the highlights for you.

No vacuum? Are you kidding me?” – St2288

How is that possible?” – E Money

Don’t you have to use a vacuum pump or purge the lines?” – Juan Silva

Wait a sec, no purge of the line-set or vacuuming them down first?” – Butchtropic

Yeah, there are a few skeptics.

So, Are Pre-Charged Line Sets Real or What?

Yes! For the last time, yes!

We here at MRCOOL did not invent pre-charged line sets. They’ve been around for years, but were mainly confined to the modular and mobile home market. That might be one reason why so many people have not heard of them. Don’t worry! Pre-charged line set technology proved itself years ago.  Basically, all we’re doing is applying them in an innovative way.

Innovative How?

One or two manufacturers have used a version of pre-charged line sets on ductless mini-split units before, but we are proud to say that no one has taken it as far as we have. The MRCOOL DIY 2nd-generation Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump is truly cutting edge technology. Our unique approach makes line sets easy and safe to handle. Best of all, any smart homeowner can put one of our DIY units up in a few hours with no specialized tools.

It’s like they’re comfort made simple or something.

HVAC Vacation Preparation

HVAC vacation

HVAC vacation preparation is important and easy to do!

Oh, what’s that? You don’t do anything to your HVAC before you go away for two weeks? Well, let me tell you why you’re wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. And probably just a bad person too.

HVAC Vacation Prep is Essential

Everybody loves going on vacation. If they didn’t, we would call it going to work. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to properly prepare your home and your HVAC system before you head to Disney Island or whatever. You definitely need to do that, so make sure you follow these simple HVAC vacation preparation steps.

Adjust the Thermostat

You’re going to be out of town, so you turned your thermostat up right? No? Who are you trying to keep nice and cool while you’re away? I assure you the mice don’t care too much. Click your thermostat up to about 80 degrees or so. Yes, your house will be uncomfortable. No, you won’t be there to worry about. Yes, that will save money while you’re gone.

Change the Filter

One thing you don’t need to do before you leave is turn your air conditioner off. You want to keep it running every now and again to pull the humidity out of your home. Since it’s going to be running, make sure you check the air filter before you head out. It will be impossible to change it while you’re 1000 miles away on a beach drinking from a coconut.

Schedule Maintenance

If you’re the kind of people who leave town all summer, you need to go a little above and beyond in your HVAC vacation prep. Contact your HVAC technician a month or two before you’re going to be out of town. Arrange for them to give your home system a good once over before you leave, because if it breaks down when you’re away, who would know?

Security Precautions

It sounds ridiculous, but stealing air conditioners and heat pumps out of somebody’s backyard is becoming a more common crime. Your exterior condenser probably has a lot of copper in it. Thieves can make a quick buck selling that copper to a salvage yard.

If you’re worried about somebody absconding with your system, take reasonable precautions before you leave. This might be as simple as rigging a motion activated spotlight on your unit or going a little more extreme with something like razor-wire.

Or whatever. I don’t you.

I’m Back, Guys! I Know You Missed Me

I'm Back

Yep, I’m back!

Look folks, let’s just agree that mistakes were made this past winter. And by mistakes, I mean some incident may have occurred in a non-extradition treaty country which caused me to become a fugitive from international law. Only briefly, though, and that’s the main thing.

But Now I’m Back and Better Than Ever!

I know you’re happy I’m back. It means our fantastic blog can get going again! Who wouldn’t be excited about that? Those Interpol officers I evaded for months probably are none too pleased, but I’m not going to let that get me down!

We have got a lot of catching up to do. Despite my cat-and-mouse game with you-know-who, the company has a lot of new products rolling out this year. I’m, of course, excited about all of them.

MRCOOL PTAC

Looking for a packaged terminal air conditioner? Hey, wouldn’t you know it, we’ve got a brand new stock of MRCOOL PTAC units ready to ship to you on a moment’s notice! Convenient how that works out isn’t it?

These PTACs are, obviously, pretty awesome units. They’re quiet, efficient, and reliable. If you need heating and cooling for an apartment or a new development project, you really need to take a look at these sweet systems. Each one comes standard with R-410A refrigerant, auxiliary heat kit, a 2-Year Limited Parts Warranty, and a 2-Year Limited Labor Warranty. Installation is simple, and maintenance is a breeze.

Plus, you can’t beat the price tag. These cool machines start out at $655.00. $655.00! Can you believe that? I honestly cannot believe it.

Seriously, I’m going to talk to accounting about that right now. With a price that low are we even making money on these? Probably not, and that’s just how good a deal this is.

HVAC Fire Prevention & You!

HVAC fire prevention

HVAC fire prevention is something you should pay attention to. Yes, modern heat pumps and air conditioners are safer than they’ve ever been, but they’re not the main culprit. There is a far more nefarious agent at play that can lead to a disaster like your house burning down. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

HVAC Fire Prevention

Do you know what heating and air system is most likely to burn your house down without a second thought? It’s the entirely too common space heater. Space heaters cause more fires than anything else. An air-source heat pump or conventional furnace is about a billion times safer than a space heater. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but they’re a lot safer.

In short, the number one thing you can do for HVAC fire prevention is to avoid using a space heater. Just don’t do it.

I do realize that answer might be a bit unsatisfying for some of you.

How to Safely Use a Space Heater if You Absolutely Must

First, make sure you keep plenty of open ‘space’ around the space heater. Three-feet or more is a good rule of thumb. Dropping flammable objects like books, newspapers (do people still read these?), magazines, or whatever within that three-foot safe zone is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea, because flammable things tend to catch on fire.

Second, never ever use a space heater with an extension cord. Yes, they can be convenient. Yes, they can allow you to stay warm even on the other side of a room. Yes, they may burst into flame without a moment’s notice. Trust me, extension cords and space heaters are a bad idea.

Third, do not put a space heater on any surface where it might tip over. A space heater that has fallen over is a space heater about to burst into home-consuming flames. You want flat, stable surfaces and ONLY flat, stable surfaces. Everything else is wrong and bad and explosive.

Fourth, shut off the space heater before you go to sleep. Are you worried you’ll get cold at night? That is why humanity invented blankets and dogs. Both of those things will keep you way safer and warmer than a space heater running while you sleep.

Remember, HVAC Fire Prevention is Space Heater Fire Prevention

Safety is not very hard folks. Keep the area clear, avoid extension cords, mount the space heater on a stable surface, and don’t run it while you sleep. If you do those four things, you will be an HVAC fire prevention master. Plus, you’ll keep your house from burning down.

Which is nice.

Winterize Your Air Conditioner

winterize your air conditioner

Right now, Winter Storm Ajax is blasting its way across the country. It’s dumping snow and ice and misery on homes, cars, and, though you might not have thought about it, air conditioner condensers. This storm isn’t special. Your outside air conditioner condenser has to put up with a lot of seasonal abuse. That’s why you need to make sure you properly winterize your air conditioner every year.

How To Easily Winterize Your Air Conditioner

Now, don’t panic, it’s not too hard to winterize your air conditioner. You can do it yourself without any special tools or training. However, if you are a moron, we take no responsibility for anyway you might injure yourself in this relatively straightforward and simple process.

Let us begin.

Your’re going to need some basic equipment to do this job. You’ll need, in no particular order, the following:

  • A simple garden hose.
  • A clean towel.
  • Some pipe insulation (maybe).
  • A dedicated outdoor air conditioner cover or a tarp and some bungee cords.

That’s about it.

Our 100% Easy Winterization Process

First, lots of weird stuff can get blown into the vents during summer – leaves, twigs, grass clippings, candy wrappers, etc. Remove it all and throw it away.

Second, with the big stuff gone, use your garden hose to clean out all the finer dirt and debris sticking to the fins.

Third, let the unit dry out completely.

Fourth, check the pipe insulation. Hopefully, your installing HVAC contractor placed insulation around the exterior pipes. If they did not, you need to attach that pipe insulation yourself. It’s really easy to do. Places the tees and elbows first, then cut the longer sections to fit. You can even buy pipe insulation that is self-adhesive. This stuff isn’t very expensive, so don’t freak out.

Fifth and finally, you’re ready to wrap the unit with some kind of waterproof material. You can go buy an air conditioner cover made for the job or you can easily jury-rig your own. A simple tarp held down with bungee cords will do the trick. All you’re trying to do is keep most of the snow and rain away from the system. It’s not rocket science.

And that’s pretty much it. Periodically check the unit to make sure snow isn’t piling up on the cover and your air conditioner will be in excellent shape come spring.

See, I told you it was easy to winterize your air conditioner!

Heat Pumps, Star Wars, & Death Star HVAC

Death Star HVAC

If Star Wars were real, the Death Star would have been an amazing engineering feat. It’s a man-made moon for crying out loud! However, from an HVAC perspective, properly heating and cooling the thing would have been a daunting prospect. Would our modern HVAC technology be up to that challenge. And, if so, what system(s) would work best? I’ve got my own ideas, so let’s talk Death Star HVAC.

For science.

Death Star HVAC – Definitely Mostly Made Up Science Speculation

How did we get here?

Star Wars movies are a big deal. A new one is coming out in December, and the Internet is all abuzz. Which got me thinking about Star Wars. You’ve got princesses and space ships and laser swords and, of course, the Death Star. Being an HVAC guy, I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone would manage air quality and comfort for something that dang big. Any installation would have to overcome a couple of major difficulties to say the very least.

Now, let’s start with a few caveats. The Empire must have the technology to create artificial atmosphere to make something like the Death Star work in the first place. They also generated their own gravity, since we don’t see people floating around like drunken cosmonauts. These are good things for us, since both mean a relatively mundane HVAC unit can operate on the Death Star without a lot of hassle.

That being the case, I am going to argue an energy efficient heat pump, MrCool brand or otherwise, would be the best way for the Empire to condition Death Star air.

Death Star HVAC for a Million of the Empire’s Finest

The Internet informs me that there were a few million Imperial servicemen on the Death Star. That’s a lot. While I’m sure the evil Emperor was not too worried about creature comforts, all those troopers have to stay at least sort of alive.

Why would heat pumps be exactly what the Empire was looking for when it came to comfort for those guys and gals?

An energy efficient heat pump can heat, cool, and dehumidify. The latter is just as important as the former two for Death Star HVAC, because a few million people breathe out a lot of water vapor every single day. Our own atmosphere deals with that easily, but the Death Star doesn’t have a natural atmospheric cycle. Artificial systems would be required to manage the problem. Heat pumps could dehumidify as they conditioned the air, and combining solutions like that is always a good way to simplify.

Size Matters and Causes Problems

The Death Star is a space station in the same way that a toy car is an automobile – only technically. It’s more accurate to say that the Death Star is an artificial planet. Unless you’re using space magic, the Death Star would not, could not, have had a centralized heat pump system. It would be impossible to build an HVAC system big enough to push conditioned air through a space roughly the size of our moon. The engineers wouldn’t even try.

Nor would they need to do so. Large portions of the Death Star must have been unmanned, mechanical spaces. Those you wouldn’t have to worry about so much. From a designer’s perspective, you really only need to heat and cool the places where all those aforementioned people are going to be living and working.

Which still ain’t easy.

Since you can’t build an HVAC system large enough for the entire station, your obvious solution is to use multiple, smaller-scale systems. We know from practical experience than energy efficient heat pumps work well in exactly those sorts of applications.

How Many Heat Pumps Would You Need?

Short answer: a lot.

Long answer: hundreds of thousands at a minimum. All the interior compartments necessary to house the crew, support staff, and troopers would sprawl over thousands of miles. Even if we ignore those mechanical spaces, we’re still left with city-sized areas requiring human-survivable, conditioned air. As I discussed above, you couldn’t use a single system. Instead, the Empire would install individual heat pumps in the necessary sections. This would mean Death Star HVAC would be a decentralized web as opposed to a single, communicating network.

The ease with which modern heat pumps can be installed would be a real boon to those harried Death Star HVAC technicians working to keep everyone from freezing to death in such a huge system.

But Could a Heat Pump Heat in Space?

A heat pump would not work if forced to interact with the void of space. A heat pump provides heat by drawing it out of the Earth’s atmosphere. Space doesn’t exactly have that, but heat pumps on the Death Star would have an alternate environment with which to work.

The Death Star would have to have an absolutely huge nuclear reactor, maybe a couple, providing power. Why nuclear? Nuclear provides a lot of energy, lasts a long time, and it means you don’t need gigantic fuel tanks which would be a pain to refill. Nuclear radiation also provides heat.

Dangerous, murderous heat, but whatever. It’s not like the Empire cares.

The heat pumps the Empire would use to keep individual compartments hot or cold could work in conjunction with the artificial interior atmosphere kept at a relatively stable temperature by the Death Star’s nuclear reactor heart. Sure, you would have to filter out the radiation in some way, a problem for us on Earth, but the Empire built a giant space station that can move faster than light. I’m fairly certain they can handle a little problem like stopping deadly radiation.

What that radioactive heat means for my theory is you would then have a source for all those compartmentalized heat pumps to draw on. Which means those heat pumps would actually function. Which is important.

Energy Efficiency & Low-Temp Heating

There are reasons other than capability and installation-ease to choose heat pumps for the Death Star.

First, there’s energy efficiency.

Yes, the Death Star has a big reactor, but it’s also got to make sure there’s enough juice to fire the super laser at unruly planets. This means that the subsystems, like HVAC, are going to be optimized for efficiency. Hey, we don’t call them energy efficient heat pumps for nothing! These HVAC systems would cut down on overall power consumption even while they keep things comfortable in Darth Vader’s personal sauna.

Second, low-temp heating.

Air-source heat pumps used to be problematic when it came to providing heat when outside temperatures dropped too low. At first glance you might think this would be a black mark against heat pumps for use in a giant space station with, most likely, fluctuating interior temperature levels. Not so fast! The latest generation of heat pumps like our own MrCool Advantage can keep heating down to -10 degrees below zero. It’s safe to assume Imperial-brand heat pumps could do something similar.

Death Star HVAC Certified Heat Pumps

Are you a REAL Star Wars fan? If so, you owe it to yourself to invest in the only modern HVAC system that could fit the needs of a galaxy-roaming, planet-killing symbol of Imperial power. Heat pumps – they’re just that good.

Thermostat Installation and You!

thermostat installation

You’re a do-it-yourself kind of person. You’ve done your fair share of home improvements and appliance installation. You know your way around a crescent wrench. You don’t need any help when it comes to thermostat installation.

You’ve got this. You’ll be fine. Everything will be fine. No reason to panic.

Right?

Improper Thermostat Installation & How It Can Ruin Everything

Everything could go horribly wrong, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. While it’s possible to screw up the wiring that’s not the most common installation problem. The most common way people completely screw up thermostat installation is all about location, location, location.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Here are some thing you should keep in mind when you’re installing any programmable thermostat:

  • Do NOT install a thermostat on an exterior wall. If that wall is poorly insulated, your thermostat is going to think it’s either too hot or too cold. You’ll waste energy in summer and winter. Which is bad.
  • Do NOT install a thermostat where there is a steady draft. You don’t want your thermostat directly above or below a vent, since that is going to affect how it perceives interior temperature. Again, this is a recipe for wasting money.
  • Do NOT install a thermostat in direct sunlight. Ideally, you don’t want your thermostat exposed to sunlight at all. This isn’t always possible, so minimize exposure as much as possible.
  • Do NOT install a thermostat behind an obstruction like a door or bookshelf. Even though that spot might meet other thermostat installation guidelines, you’ll come to hate the inconvenience when you want to change the temp.
  • If you’re installing a smart thermostat, make sure it is in range of your home Wi-Fi network. There’s not much point in paying for smart tech if you can’t use it.

You Can Do It

Yes, it’s possible to screw up thermostat installation. However, if you follow the aforementioned guidelines, you should be just fine.

Energy Efficient Heating the Cool Way

energy efficient heating

Everybody’s making energy efficient cooling systems. Mostly, because the government is making them, but whatever. My point is that I’m confident you’ve heard about it. What you might not have noticed is the recent revolution in energy efficient heating.

What am I talking about? Let’s dig in.

Energy Efficient Heating from Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are awesome. Seriously, who doesn’t love them? Ductless or conventional, we here at MrCool Industries are huge fans; they heat, cool, and dehumidify.

But there’s a problem right? You can build a heat pump for energy efficient cooling, but not for heating. When there is not very much heat in the ambient air on very cold days, heat pumps lose efficiency until they stop working altogether.

At least, that’s how it used to be.

Introducing the MrCool Oasis Hyper Heat Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump

We’ve got a brand new ductless mini-split heat pump system coming that we’re quite proud of. It’s called the Oasis Hyper Heat.

Awesome name, right?

As you probably already gathered, the Oasis Hyper Heat is a ductless heat pump system, so it’s ideal for homes without conventional ductwork or where space is an issue. What you probably don’t know is just how good the Hyper Heat technology is going to be.

The energy efficient heating components inside the Oasis allow it to heat at 100% efficiency at more than -10 degrees. Yes, you read that correctly. If it is, literally, 10 degrees below zero, the Oasis Hyper Heat will still deliver energy efficient heating. This is a huge step forward for ductless systems, and we can’t wait to get these units on the market.

So, When Will That Be?

Manufacturing and distribution is a complicated business, so I can’t give you an exact date. However, our logistics guys are confident we will have new MrCool Oasis Hyper Heat ductless mini-split heat pumps ready by early December.

Hey, just in time for Christmas!