Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Archive for June, 2014

How Does a Geothermal System Cool My Home?

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Geothermal systems are as effective at keeping a home cool as they are at keeping it warm: no matter the temperature outside your walls, using a geothermal system will bring you the comfort that you need.

Although people can easily understand why geothermal power provides warmth—the earth generates heat from its core that radiates outward where it can be harnessed—the idea of using that same power to provide cooling requires a bit of more explanation. It isn’t that much different than heating a home using geothermal power, however. We think you’ll see the immense advantages of choosing geothermal cooling in Arlington, VA so you’ll have the full benefits of heating in the winter as well.

Call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. if you have more questions about going geothermal. We can help you find the solution you need for year-round comfort for your family.

The operation of the geothermal heat pump

The reason that geothermal systems can heat and cool a home is that they are heat pumps. Like standard “air-source” heat pump, they move heat from one location and place it in another using the cycle of refrigerant. Unlike air-source heat pumps, which use the air as the medium for this heat exchange process, geothermal heat pumps use the ground as the medium for exchange, and the stability of underground temperatures (usually around 55°F regardless of surface weather conditions) makes them reliable and efficient.

When you turn a geothermal heat pump to cooling mode, the indoor coil acts as an evaporator: the cool refrigerant (water, in this case) extracts heat from the air and cools it down. Where does this heat go? The refrigerant removes it into a series of ground loops buried at least 6 feet in the ground. The cool 55°F assures that no matter how blisteringly hot the weather is, the heat pump will always have an easy time moving indoor heat to the ground.

When a geothermal system switches to heating mode, the process reverses, and heat come from the earth and into a home. Heat pumps are especially efficient in this mode, since no matter how ice-cold the weather gets above ground, the earth still has sufficient warmth to draw indoors.

We think that geothermal systems are a fantastic way to have the right level of comfort for your home without losing energy efficiency. But you will need to have expert installers check if geothermal cooling in Arlington, VA is a good match for your home—not every property is ideally suited to installation. Schedule an appointment with the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. to discover if your house is right for geothermal installation this summer.

Continue Reading

Are Germicidal Lights Right for Me?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

At the turn of the century, Icelandic physician and scientist Niels Ryberg Finsen experimented with ultraviolent radiation as a method of treating disease. Using UV lights, Finsen discovered he could destroy harmful bacteria inside the human body, and his development of a way to treat tuberculosis garnered him the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1903. This started a revolution in sterilization in health care that not only treated disease but helped to create healthier environments in hospitals and clinics.

Today, UV germicidal lights that eliminate bacteria have entered the home for use in cleaning the air that circulates through ductwork. Ducts, closed-in and sometimes damp, are an ideal breeding ground for mold and fungus that can send dangerous spores into household air which trigger a variety of health conditions. UV germicidal lights can safely destroy these biological contaminants and prevent them from returning. Specialists in Alexandria, VA in UV germicidal lights can install these in your HVAC system to stop the spread of illness.

But are these ultraviolet lamps right for you? The best way to learn is to call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. today and arrange for an appointment; our experts will determine the best way to clean your home’s air.

Why UV lights might be the right choice for you

Not every home will have troubles in its vents from biological pollutants. However, with the humid summer climates we can experience in Alexandria, this can be a distressingly common issue. You still shouldn’t arrange for UV germicidal light installation unless you have professionals look over your ductwork to see if the ultraviolet lamps are the best solution.

It’s important to keep in mind that health issues you can experience in your home from low indoor air quality don’t necessarily need to originate from bacteria growth in the vents. Dirt, dust, pollen, and dander will also cause troubles that can be hard to distinguish from problems due to toxic spores. UV lights do no good against standard dust and dirt issues, and in these cases you will need air cleaners and filters instead of UV germicidal lights. Indoor air quality experts can examine your home and ventilation system to determine what contaminants you have inside and how best to treat them.

If you do have bacterial troubles inside your vents from mold, fungus, etc., then UV germicidal lights are probably the best solution. Not only are they extremely effective (the Nobel Committee doesn’t hand out awards for nothing), but they also eliminate the need to use chemicals inside your ducts that will damage your air. As long as they are professionally installed, UV lights are completely safe and unobtrusive.

Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. offers excellent UV germicidal lights for Alexandria, VA homes. Call us today to get started solving your home’s indoor air quality woes.

Continue Reading

How UV Germicidal Lights Help Indoor Air Quality

Friday, June 13th, 2014

UV Germicidal lights are an upgrade to your heating and air conditioning system that helps keep your air clean. With one installed in your system, you can expect a significant upgrade in your indoor air quality, with all of the advantages that provides. In matters of indoor air quality, Alexandria has experts who can help install UV germicidal lights in your system. Here’s a quick breakdown of how UV germicidal lights help indoor air quality.

UV Germicidal Lights & Indoor Air Quality

As the title implies, the lights eliminate germs in the air rather than dirt. UV light lies beyond the range of human eyesight, but the particular wavelength proves lethal to bacteria and other kinds of germs. The wavelength damages the nucleic acid of those tiny organisms. As a result, bonds form in the organism’s DNA, which prevents the DNA from being “unzipped.” As a result, the bacteria can’t replicate and spread. In fact, when it tries to reproduce, it dies.

We don’t need to tell you how that can help your indoor air quality. No more bacteria means a severe reduction in the risk of colds, flus or other diseases. With it, you’ll find yourself becoming sick less often. Your air will be cleaner and your family will be healthier and safer as a result. This is especially true for people who are vulnerable to colds: those in delicate health and/or the elderly. If a baby is on the way or you have a newborn in your house, a UV germicidal light is a perfect way to keep him or her safe and free of colds or other sicknesses. Best of all, UV germicidal lights do all this without any toxic chemicals or compounds, making it an extremely safe way to eliminated germs.

UV germicidal lights help indoor air quality best when connected to a central air system: the perfect point to process the air that goes through your home.

If you want to use such a system to improve your indoor air quality, Alexandria has help with the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. We have the skills to install a UV light in your system with a minimum of fuss so give us a call today!

Continue Reading

Consider a Split Air Conditioning System When Replacing Your Old Unit

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Installing a new air conditioner can be a serious undertaking, and you should always consider all of the options before pulling the trigger on a replacement system. Here in Arlington, air conditioning replacement services can discuss all of your options with you, including the installation of an alternative system like a ductless mini-split system. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to seriously consider a split air conditioning system when replacing your old unit. Here’s a brief discussion of the advantages of such a move.

As suggested by their title, ductless mini-split systems don’t rely on ducts spreading out from a central unit. Instead, they involve the installation of numerous individual units inside your home. Each one is designed to cool off a specific area (usually a single room). That allows you to tailor the temperature in each room as you wish, and to turn off the air in parts of the home you aren’t using. This is far more efficient than a centralized system, and can potentially save you a great deal of money on monthly bills.

The question becomes whether that savings is enough to offset the cost of installing a ductless mini-split unit, and possibly abandoning your existing duct system in the process. That could actually be a benefit if your duct system has run into problems. Installing a new ductless system may be easier and more cost-efficient than trying to repair extensive damage to an existing system, and the flexibility afforded by a ductless system can further sweeten the pot. You might also consider a ductless system if you have a particularly large house, only part of which you use in the day. The ductless system can help you save a great deal on monthly expenses over the years… perhaps even enough to offset the cost of installation.

We’re based in Arlington, air conditioning replacement is our specialty, and we can provide a whole range of options based on your particular circumstances.

If you’re considering a split air conditioning system when replacing your old unit, talk to the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Pick up the phone today to make an appointment!

Continue Reading