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UNICO in the News

“We are pleased to announce that we have once again renewed our partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the leading preservation organization in the United States, working every day to save important places, spark economic development, revitalize communities, encourage sustainable development and create American jobs. We have been a proud partner of the National Trust since 2002, and have provided our industry leading Unico System HVAC equipment for several of the organization’s projects, including the restoration of President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. We have worked on many important restorations of significant national landmarks including the Mark Twain House, Booker T. Washington House and the Harry S. Truman Little White House.” You can read the case studies by visiting our website at www.unicosystem.com/historicapps

“Unico’s expertise has been critical to the sensitive restoration and improved energy efficiency of historic homes and sites across the country,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust is grateful to Unico for its generous support and looks forward to continuing this long-standing partnership.”

“Unico is very proud of our partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation,” said Shawn Intagliata, President, Unico, Inc. “Our goals are the same—to help preserve the places where history is made, which in turn helps to revitalize neighborhoods and communities where we live and work.”

 

How does TRANE CleanEffects stack up against other air cleaners?

TRANE CleanEffects utilizes patented, breakthrough air cleaning technology to remove up to an astounding 99.98% of airborne allergens from the air that passes through the filter, making it 8 times more effective than even the best HEPA room filters and up to 100 times more effective than a standard 1? filter. What’s more, TRANE CleanEffects has been performance-tested by LMS Technologies and Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), and the results verified by professors from the Harvard School of Public Health, so you know you’re getting an air filtration system like no other.

TRANE CleanEffects specifics:

  • Removal of up to 99.98% of particles and allergens from your filtered indoor air.
  • An industry-leading clean air delivery rate of 1,200.
  • Low operating costs, with no replacement filters to buy.
  • Cleaning indicators easily visible on the outside of the unit.
  • Easy to clean filters-just vacuum or rinse once every 3 to 9 months (depending on usage).
  • Easy installation.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Minimal ozone generated, less than 5 PPB (parts per billion), well below the 50 PPB FDA voluntary emission limit for medical devices and significantly below some ionic-type room appliances that may reach hundreds of PPBs.
  • Low pressure drop.

 

Installing New Units

The transition away from ozone-depleting R-22 to systems that rely on replacement refrigerants like R-410A has required redesign of heat pump and air conditioning systems. New systems incorporate compressors and other components specifically designed for use with specific replacement refrigerants. For instance, if a new outdoor unit (typically called a “condensing unit,” containing the condenser and compressor) is installed, it is likely that a new indoor unit (typically called an “evaporator”) will also be required. With these significant product and production process changes, testing and training must also change. Consumers should be aware that dealers of systems that use substitute refrigerants should be schooled in installation and service techniques required for use of that substitute refrigerant.

 

Servicing Existing Units

Existing units using R-22 can continue to be serviced with R-22. There is no EPA requirement to change or convert R-22 units for use with a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant. Such changes, called “retrofits,” are allowed if the alternative has been found acceptable for that type of use. R-407C is allowed for retrofits but R-410A is not allowed in retrofits due to its higher working pressures. In addition, the new substitute refrigerants would not work well without making some changes to system components. As a result, service technicians who repair leaks to the system will most often continue to charge R-22 into the system as part of that repair.

 

Alternatives to R-22 in Residential Air Conditioning

As R-22 is gradually phased out, non-ozone-depleting alternative refrigerants are being introduced. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA reviews alternatives to ozone-depleting substances to evaluate their effects on human health and the environment. EPA has reviewed several alternatives to R-22 for household and light commercial air conditioning and has compiled a list of substitutes that EPA has determined are acceptable. One of these substitutes is R-410A, a blend of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that does not contribute to depletion of the ozone layer, but, like R-22, contributes to global warming. R-410A is manufactured and sold under various trade names, including GENETRON AZ-20®, SUVA 410A®, Forane® 410A, and Puron®. An additional refrigerant on the list of acceptable substitutes for R-22 in residential air conditioners and other products is R-407C. Residential air conditioners and heat pumps using R-407C are not available in the U.S., but are commonly found in Europe. EPA will continue to review new non-ozone-depleting refrigerants as they are developed.

 

What does the HCFC-22 Phaseout Mean for Consumers?

What Does the HCFC-22 Phaseout Mean for Consumers?
Availability of R-22
The Clean Air Act does not allow any refrigerant to be vented into the atmosphere during installation, service, or retirement of equipment. Therefore, R-22 must be recovered and recycled (for reuse in the same system), reclaimed (reprocessed to the same purity standard as new R-22), or destroyed. After 2020, the servicing of R-22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerants. It is expected that reclamation and recycling will ensure that existing supplies of R-22 will last longer and be available to service a greater number of systems. As noted above, chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce, and companies will no longer be able to import, R-22 for use in new A/C equipment after 2010, but they can continue production and import of R-22 until 2020 for use in servicing existing equipment. Given this schedule, which was established in 1993, the transition away from R-22 to the use of ozone-friendly refrigerants should be smooth. For the next 10 years or more, R-22 should continue to be available for all systems that require R-22 for servicing.

 

Energy Star Criteria Change for Water Heaters

The first planned increase in Energy Star water heater criteria went into effect on Sept. 1, 2010, increasing the minimum Energy Factor (EF) for gas storage water heaters from 0.62 to 0.67. The criteria for all other Energy Star water heaters remain unchanged.
Research shows that consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of high-efficiency appliances and the Energy Star label. Today, 77% of households recognized the Energy Star label, up from 41% 10 years ago, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s 2009 Energy Star Awareness Survey.
In order to meet the increased criteria, manufacturers have to utilize higher efficiency technologies. To achieve an EF of 0.67, many high-efficiency gas storage water heaters must use electricity, which means there will need to be an outlet handy. Some models can use existing atmospheric venting systems, which typically require no extra installation costs unless electricity is needed and no outlet is nearby. Other models can be power vented.
A significant benefit of higher minimum EF is that it allows Energy Star gas storage water heaters to help our customers save more — in some cases, almost twice as much — than they would have with a 0.62 EF model. The existing 0.62 models help homeowners save 7.3% more energy annually than a conventional gas model. Water heaters with a 0.67 EF offer even greater savings, providing up to 14% higher savings than a standard unit. This results in up to $51.00 in annual savings. Visit www.eswaterheaters.org for more information about local utility rebates or incentives.


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