At, The NEWS’ Extra Edition page is home to hundreds of online-exclusive service and maintenance, technical, and business-management articles. Here are some of the best.

The Economizer, in a Nutshell

The function of the economizer is, as its name implies, to “economize,” or save on cooling costs. Obviously, it costs money to operate the compressor. If the compressor can be shut down and the system still provides adequate cooling, energy savings can be realized. Whenever the HVAC system is calling for cooling and the temperature outside is cool enough, it is economical to shut off the compressor and bring in cool outside air to satisfy the cooling needs of the building. Such is the function of an air economizer system.

Btu Buddy 14: Fixing a Chronic Leaking Residential A/C Unit

The dispatcher has called Bob to do a spring checkup for a new customer. The dispatcher remarked that the customer wanted his annual refrigerant fill-up. Bob was on the way to the job, thinking about the call, when Btu Buddy asked, “What do you think about the customer calling it a spring checkup and annual refrigerant fill-up?” Bob said, “It sounds like there is a leak that has never been fixed, and his previous service company just charged it every year and never tried to find the leak.”

The Green Gold of Sustainable Construction

The exploding popularity of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program proves that today’s environmentally aware workforce can have its cake and eat it too. The workforce can have a building that minimizes the negative impacts of its construction and operation and can also have a work space that is confirmed healthy through the commissioning quality assurance process (a mandatory part of LEED).

Ammonia: It Smells Like a Safety Challenge

Almost everyone has experienced the sharp, pungent odor of ammonia. It is the active ingredient in common glass cleaning solutions and bathroom cleaners. For nearly two centuries, it also has been used as a refrigerant. Ammonia’s one drawback is that, in quantities much larger than a “sniff,” it is poisonous. With proper precautions, though, the benefits of ammonia are compelling, and so it continues to be the refrigerant of choice for large storage applications.

Publication date: 12/15/2014

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