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Why Is It Warm Upstairs?

Warm Upstairs

Why is it Warm Upstairs?

Have you ever noticed that it’s often hotter upstairs than it is downstairs? No, it’s not just your house, and it’s (probably) not your last contractor’s fault. It’s simple the result of stack effect, which is a fancy way of saying that hot air rises.

Why Not Adjust How Air Conditioning Units are Built?

So we know why stack effect makes the upstairs hotter—can’t we just design an air conditioner system that combats this by pumping more cold air upstairs and keeping it cooler? No. Here’s why: hot air rises not only in the summer, but also in the winter. If you’re running the heat, with hot air rising in addition to the extra hot air you’re pumping upstairs, can you imagine how miserably, blazing hot that would be? Not only that, it’s going to be too cold downstairs.

Is There an Actual, Plausible Solution?  

An A/C unit that pumps more air into the upstairs is out as a solution to a too warm upstairs in your house. There are other plausible solutions, but each lack practicality in their own way.

These solutions include:

  • Having two air conditioning units. That’s right, two A/C units in one house; one would serve only the upstairs, and one would only serve the downstairs. This is possible, but the downside is that you’re now looking at the cost of two AC units. This means the bill and expense of running both, along with the maintenance and upkeep that will continue to cost even after the investment of having it installed. For many, the cost keeps it from being a practical solution.
  • Installing a zoning system. A zoning system is a system that has what are essentially two different types of valves called dampers and actuators that can either shut off or turn on air to different spaces within a house. The problem here: zoning systems don’t work very well, with a few very expensive, high end options. When sectioning off air to certain areas, you can put too much air in too little space, which can cause system inefficiency and freezing. Like a separate AC unit, it’s a whole extra unit that needs maintenance and can cause problems—and it doesn’t work well enough to warrant it. They can also be very loud, meaning you’re trading heat for a headache.
  • Utilizing a ductless solution. Ductless systems are incredibly efficient, so this is my personal favorite in our solution list. As you can imagine, they don’t require any ductwork, so it’s just a matter of running a small line set outside, allowing you to repurpose air into other places. The only real downside here is that it can put stress on the existing system, and it can be expensive to install.

Find the Option That’s Best for You

It’s hard to beat physics, and it’s harder to beat stack effect. The answer to the question “why aren’t air conditioning units designed to solve this warm upstairs problem” is simple: there is no easy way to design them differently, at least not when it comes to addressing this particular problem. There’s a trade off no matter what you choose, and with many of the options requiring extra cost, maintenance, and upkeep, plenty of homeowners will settle for the upstairs being a little warm.

 

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Sunrooms in The Villages 2016 Update

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Sunrooms in the Villages, 2015

It was a tough year for homeowners with sunrooms in The Villages who you wanted to make them comfortable. Marion County initiated an action that brought into question a long held exemption to the Florida Energy code that allowed class three sunrooms to be conditioned under a dehumidifier exemption.

While Sumter County did not necessarily agree with this new interpretation they were forced to comply with the decision by the State licensing board that required all new A/C installations in sunrooms to be in class 4 or class 5 sunrooms. The result was a huge expense to homeowners in The Villages if they wanted to make their class three sunrooms livable.

Ductless A/C System Installations

In the last few weeks we got some excellent news from Sumter County. Mitsubishi ductless in conjunction with local contractors like Kalos Services have come up with a new way to meet the dehumidifier exemption. Mitsubishi is manufacturing a module that allows the system to be solely controlled by a dehumidistat mounted adjacent to the unit. This means that ductless A/C systems can now once again be installed in compliance with Sumter County requirements if this special module and the dehumidistat are properly installed.

At Kalos Services we have been Mitsubishi Diamond level contractors for over 7 years (longer than anyone else in the area). This means that we are qualified to look at your particular situation and advise you on the best solution for your particular lanai, porch or sunroom.

Give us a call at 352-243-7088 or fill out the form below so we can get you a solution with zero headaches or pressure.

Why Does My House Feel Muggy?

muggy

A muggy house is very uncomfortable, but especially here in Florida, it’s an occurrence we are often faced with. As someone who works in the air conditioning business, this is a common issue our customers are faced with, and we’re always asked the same question:

Why is my house so muggy, and how can I fix it?

Here’s the good news: by knowing what causes that muggy feeling (it’s called relative humidity) and how to eliminate or reduce that cause, we can help to increase your indoor air quality and keep you comfortable in your house.

What is Relative Humidity?

Relative humidity is the cause of a muggy feeling in the house. Relative humidity measures the humidity that is relative to the temperature. If, for example, you add a bunch of sugar to a glass of hot tea, once it cools down, sugar crystals can appear. In our case, the air is the tea and the moisture level would be those sugar crystals. Hotter air can hold more moisture than cold air, so once “hot muggy air” cools, it becomes even more humid and muggy.

Most homes will fluctuate between about 55 and 65% relative humidity in Florida. An air conditioning unit combats these lovely effects by not only cooling the air, but also dehumidifying it. Moisture is extracted from the air as it runs across the evaporator coil in the air handler, and is dispelled outside the home through a drain. The air conditioner is therefore cooling the air as well as removing moisture from the house.

So Why Does My House Feel Muggy?

We’ve established how an air conditioning unit can help combat humidity and that general unpleasant muggy feeling. So why does your home still sometimes feel muggy?

While air conditioning units are effective at cooling a house, there are a few ways we may accidentally be adding more moisture back into the house ourselves.

A few ways we introduce more moisture into the house and raise the humidity include:

  1. Lots of People. A large percentage of human being is made up of water. Humans perspire to keep ourselves cooled, and that in turn adds moisture to the air. If you’ve got a lot of people in one place, that’s a lot of extra moisture.
  2. When you cook, there’s a lot of open vessels that water is evaporating into the air from.
  3. Anytime you take a shower, bath, or anything like that, you’re exposing moisture (and often steam) into the air. Good ventilation can help with this, but it won’t eliminate the moisture completely.
  4. House Plants/Pets. Pets and plants, just like people, will increase the amount of moisture in the air.
  5. It’s just plain muggy outside. Hello, Florida afternoon summer thunderstorms. Those are the perfect recipe for sending relative humidity skyrocketing—it’s not blazing hot, but there’s a ton of moisture in the air. The more moisture there is outside, the more of it that will come in every time a door or window is open. Even if you shut yourself in, your house won’t be immune to increased moisture on a particularly muggy day; an exchange of air will still happen from outside to inside, just from your house being there.

How to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

Our homes can easily become muggy, so the important thing to know is how to combat it, reducing the moisture in the air. There’s a few ways to do this.

The first thing to note is that the best dehumidifying air conditioner is one that runs all the time. Plenty of people shudder at this because of the perceived expense, but if you get an appropriately sized ac unit for your home, you’ll see a big difference.  When you aren’t running your air conditioning all the time, it may still keep your house cool, but it won’t be an effective dehumidifier.

Let’s look at another example. Let’s say it’s raining like crazy outside. Your AC unit has probably turned off, because the rain on the house is cooling it down. That’s fine for the temperature, but it’s still raining outside, meaning there’s a ridiculous amount of moisture in the air. Your house is cool, but your air conditioner isn’t running, so it’s not being dehumidified. Before you know it, that horrible muggy feeling will set in.

Variable speed air conditioning units will help with these types of issues. You can also choose to purchase a separate dehumidifying systems, which we can install in your home for you. You can also buy small dehumidifiers that you manually drain, which can also be decently effective.

With lower amounts of moisture in the air, you’ll improve the indoor air quality, and you’ll be a lot more comfortable.

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Super Service Award Winner 4 Years Running

Kalos Services Earns Esteemed

Angie’s List Super Service Award For the 4th Consecutive Year

super service

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Kalos Services Inc. has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015. This makes it 4 consecutive years of winning this award.

“Service quality and customer satisfaction are the cornerstones Kalos Services is built on” stated Kalos Services Co-Founder Bryan Orr. “Being recognized by our own customers is truly humbling and once again makes us aware of how special our customers are”

Only about 5 percent of the service companies in the Orlando area have performed consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

Angie's list super service award 

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 Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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