Introducing the Airex Pro - a Positive Seal System for Outdoor HVAC Units
Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to be the flagship installer for the Airex line of air conditioner line set protectors. These innovative products are unique in the market and solve a number of issues related to air conditioning installation, including:
- Cracked and corroded line set insulation
- Holes and cracks in your home’s exterior that can let bugs in and air out
- Degradation of line sets until they become unsightly and inefficient, reducing the resale value of your home and costing you money
The Airex system is guaranteed to look and perform better than your existing air conditioner refrigerant line, and it will protect your A/C unit for years to come.
Best of all, the Airex system won’t cost you an arm and a leg. We’re including one with every new installation of an air conditioner we do in 2021 and beyond.
As the ONLY Airex installer in Ohio, Fire & Ice is dedicated to our customers. We researched and incorporated this product into our process not because we needed to, but because we saw a problem in Columbus, OH houses and wanted to fix it.
Be among the first to get yours today, and continue reading to learn all about this innovation in HVAC equipment!
The Problem - Air Conditioning Line Sets
There’s a problem in air conditioner installation: there’s no way to insulate a line set that will be protected and efficient for the entire life of your A/C unit.
What’s a line set, you might ask? Good question. Primarily, it’s the copper tubing that connects the condenser to the evaporator in your air conditioning system. More broadly, it’s the materials used to guide, protect and insulate an air conditioner’s refrigerant line. Often, there is electrical wiring included in the set as well, so all of this must be protected and managed.
Have you ever seen messy computer cables that are entangled? Or maybe the computer itself is in an enclosed space, so it can’t properly exhaust heat? This is sort of the same thing, except we’re trying to protect the refrigerant's temperature instead of allowing it to be exposed.
We’re also looking to make the line set as aesthetically pleasing as possible. No one wants a bunch of mismatched wires and tubes sticking out of their home.
How Air Conditioning Works
Contrary to common belief, air conditioning doesn’t inject cold air into your home. The condenser coil in your home actually absorbs heat, which is then transferred through the refrigerant line to your outdoor unit. Here, it’s exhausted into the air.
Refrigerants control this process and must be kept at precise pressures at various stages of the process. Otherwise, it won’t properly absorb heat from the home or be able to expel it outside.
So in terms of proper cooling, protecting the refrigerant line is key. This refrigerant has to run from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit over and over again. While it’s inside the refrigerant line but between the two air conditioners, it’s exposed to the elements unless it’s properly protected.
There are ways to protect the refrigerant line. The problem is that most of them aren’t any good.
Examples of Bad A/C Line Set Protection
Let’s take a look at some examples, shall we? This first one has a weird orange foam:
Beyond looking atrocious, this foam is going to settle over a number of months and years, and will become brittle and cracked. Eventually, the seal on the home is going to be compromised.
Here’s another example of exposed parts:
What does this expose the line to? Several things:
- Rain, snow, wind, sleet and ice, all of which can cause leaks
- Dogs, other small animals and critters, which can damage the line if they chew on it or get stuck around the line
- Lack of proper protection will reduce air conditioner efficiency even if the line doesn’t form a leak because it’s being exposed to extreme temperatures that can siphon cool or warm air from the refrigerant line.
- Weed eaters and other lawn care devices that can cause lasting harm to the line if you or a landscaper isn’t careful
Lastly, here are side-by-side pictures of cases where the line set was likely insulated at some point, but that insulation became compromised to the point where there is a hole in the house itself:
I don’t have to tell you this is a problem. But I will, because we’ve seen it here in Columbus. What new problems are you exposing yourself to here? A couple of big ones:
- Rodents and small animals, which can get into your home if you aren’t careful
- Bug infestations, especially as the weather outside turns cold and insects look for a warm area to protect themselves
These are the short-term problems. The long-term problems are potentially even worse, and are what we’ll cover in the next section.
The Complications - Utility Bills, Unsightly Holes, Less Beautiful Homes
I’m going to use some hypothetical examples here, but let me be clear: they’re not just hypothetical. Examples like those below are what caused us to invest in the Airex system in the first place.
The Home Inspection
You’re getting ready to sell your home, and the home inspector is looking for obvious concerns. Holes in the exterior of the house are one such concern.
So now you have to get it repaired before the home can be sold. So you call your friendly neighborhood HVAC company to handle it.
They’re able to do the repair, but it requires disconnecting the refrigerant line to do the necessary work. But then it gets worse, because to do that, the refrigerant has to be isolated and removed from the line, then recalibrated for proper pressures when it’s being reinstalled.
In all, the labor involved in fixing a small hole approaches the labor cost of a full A/C installation! Now you’re not so happy with your HVAC company.
People don’t always realize the steps involved in air conditioning installation, and how a poorly protected line set can end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road.
Utilities and A/C System Efficiency
Your air conditioner has an efficiency rating; this rating isn’t the efficiency it will always run at, but is the maximum potential efficiency of the system.
We use the term “potential” because there are a lot of factors that can make your system less efficient:
- Improperly sized or leaking ductwork
- Poor filtration that clogs airways
- Sloppy installation that creates the need for repairs down the road
- Improperly insulated refrigerant lines
For our purposes, that last one is the most important. Refrigerant is cycling from inside your home to the outside hundreds of thousands of times per year. If even a small fraction of its charge is lost on each trip, you’re losing cooling efficiency.
This adds up. It’s why complex HVAC systems are set up in the first place that protect and insulate your air as it is conditioned during the cooling process.
So what are we talking, hundreds of dollars per year? Thousands? It’s hard to say, because it depends on how inefficiently your system is running. Over several years, though, you can bet that improper insulation will cost you at least hundreds of dollars, and it will make your air conditioner or heat pump work harder and more often, which means it will break down sooner.
The Solution - Airex FlexGuard Air Conditioner Line Set Protectors
We’ve seen the problems above thousands of times in local homes. The only reason HVAC companies don’t make a big deal out of it is because it takes time and effort to fix, and good solutions haven’t existed for the problem until recently.
That’s all changed. The Airex FlexGuard system fixes each of the problems mentioned above.
The product is easy to install, lightweight but durable, looks nicer than existing line set systems, and can be used on a variety of installations.
What products can benefit from the Airex system?
- Air conditioners
- Heat pumps
- Ductless mini-split air conditioners
The Benefits - Beauty, Efficiency, Longevity
Here at Fire & Ice, we’ve known about the benefits of protecting line sets for a while. We’re the only Columbus, OH contractor that includes a line set protector standard as part of any ductless mini-split installation. Here’s a picture of one of our installers setting up this line guard on a ductless mini-split unit:
In a regular mini-split installation, there can be an ugly, obvious, mismatched line running down the side of your home that can be seen a block away. The line guard not only helps it to blend in more naturally with a home’s siding, but it also protects the line from the elements. As a result, the system is more beautiful and efficient.
So it’s about time regular, central air equipment gets the same treatment.
What are the benefits of the Airex line guard? We’ve discussed most of them throughout this article, but let’s list them out all in one place:
- Efficiency: less heat loss, which can wreck an air conditioner’s efficiency.
- Longevity: you won’t have to have a line re-insulated or replaced as soon.
- Beauty: it simply looks better than a traditional line set when it’s protected with the Airex system.
- Protection: whether it’s pets, wild animals, bugs, rodents, icicles, plant debris, wind or other elements, you have an extra layer of protection from all of it.
Airex Materials & Product Summary
So what exactly is in the Airex system? We take a look at its components below, and how each contributes to the whole.
The Airex Pro-System Kit
The Airex Pro-System Kit combines an airtight seal with the line set outlet. Its UV-resistant material protects from all manner of weather-based wear and tear on your air conditioner.
The Titan Outlet prevents air leakage, and also controls vibrations (which keeps your line in good shape for longer). It helps make your home bug- and rodent-free, and allows for a tight seal against your home.
The E-Flex Guard is the insulation that wraps around the refrigerant piping, protecting it and maximizing its efficiency. It’s fully compliant with building codes that prevent the use of adhesive tapes, and can be easily removed for maintenance and repairs before being reapplied.
Everything in the Airex line is American Made, and compliant with safety and health codes for HVAC equipment.
You can check out Airex’s complete product line on their website!
The Cost of the Airex Flexguard Line Set Protector: Free
Here’s the best part: we aren’t charging for installation of the Airex system with any new installation.
You read that right. No charge. We’re not hiking our equipment pricing to compensate; we’re simply adding this product to our standard operating procedure for all new installations.
The reason for this is simple: we want to do the right thing for our customers. I said at the beginning that we partnered with Airex because we saw a need for Columbus, OH residents. We saw a problem, and this is the solution. But rather than hold it over your head with an additional cost, it will be installed automatically when you replace or install a compatible unit.
We’ve made our reputation trying to do what’s right for our customer, and we are excited to push the envelope one step further with the addition of the Airex system to our installation practices!
Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning: Ohio’s First and Only Airex Installer
We’ve spent a lot of time here talking to you about a product that, frankly, is only a small portion of your cooling system.
There’s a reason for that. And that’s because despite its small footprint, the Airex product fills a big need for homeowners. And we think our customers deserve it.
We believe that this will benefit homes here in Columbus, OH for years to come, and expect to see others identify and fix this problem as well. But until that happens, we’re proud to be not just the first partnered contractor in the state of Ohio, but the entire United States!
Airex is committed to developing innovative products for contractors, architects, engineers and designers to solve industry problems. With over a decade of business, they’ve proven themselves in their ability to design and test useful, reliable products for homeowners and businesses. These qualities mirror our commitment to our customers here at Fire & Ice, and it’s why we’re excited and proud to roll this out as a standard part of our service.
Are you ready to get your Airex device with a new installation of an air conditioner, heat pump, or ductless mini-split? We’re ready to help! Give us a call or fill out the zip code form below to start your journey to enjoying amazing, efficient cooling comfort in your home!