March 5th, 2014
Efficient Systems, Inc. – January 9, 2014

An air-source heat pump system provides efficient heating and cooling for your home, especially if you live in a warm climate. When properly installed, an air-source heat pump system in Southeast Texas can deliver three times more heat energy to a home than electric heat strips, for the same electrical wattage used.  “Air-source” is the typical heat pump system with an outside unit, not a water-source or geothermal heat pump system.  A heat pump system efficiently transfers heat in the cool mode just like a system with a cooling-only outside unit, by absorbing heat in the indoor coil, which cools the house, and then transferring that heat to the outside coil to be released outside.  However, a heat pump system (as opposed to electric heat strips or gas heating with a cooling-only outside unit) also works in the heat mode by reversing the flow of refrigerant in the winter, heating the house by absorbing heat from outside and efficiently transferring that heat inside.

Any air conditioning system consists of a compressor and two coils made of copper tubing (one indoor and one outside), which are surrounded by aluminum fins to aid heat transfer.  Each coil has a blower or fan to move air past the coil.  A heat pump outside unit has the same components as a cooling-only outside unit, but also has a refrigerant flow reversing valve and an extra expansion valve in the outside unit.


Air-source heat pump systems have electric heat strips installed in the inside unit to provide extra heat if the heat pump outdoor unit cannot maintain the indoor heating set point, due to cold weather or if the thermostat heating set point is manually turned up more than 1-1/2 to 2 degrees.  In Southeast Texas, heat pumps can typically heat your house with little need for the electric heat strips to turn on, which is why they are often called “auxiliary heat strips.”   When the heat pump outdoor unit needs to defrost its coils, the electric heat strips turn on to warm up the inside air coming out of the air grilles.  More on this defrost cycle below.

A typical heat pump system has one or two stages of cooling and two or three stages of heating.  The extra stage for heating is for operation of the electric heat strips.   If the heat pump compressor is a single stage compressor (full capacity only), there is one stage of cooling and two stages of heating: 1st – the heat pump; 2nd – the electric heat strips.  If the heat pump compressor is a two-stage compressor (second stage with full cooling or heat pump heating capacity, first stage around 67% of full cooling or heat pump heating capacity), there are two stages of cooling and three stages of heating: 1st – 67% of full heat pump heating capacity;  2nd – full heat pump heating capacity; 3rd – electric heat strips.

An AC & Heating system’s operation is automatically controlled by the thermostat, with each stage of cooling or heating normally around ½ to 1 degree apart from each other.   For example, if the heat pump system is a two-stage system and in the Heat or Auto Mode, the first stage of heating (67% of full heat capacity) will turn on when the indoor temperature at the thermostat is around ½ degree below the heating set point.  It will turn off when the indoor temperature is around ½ degree above the heating set point.  IF while the first stage of heating is operating, the indoor temperature falls to around 1 to 1-1/2 degrees below the heating set point, the second stage of heating (full heat capacity from the heat pump compressor) turns on. It turns off when the indoor temperature gets close to the heating set point.   IF while first and second stages of heating are operating, the indoor temperature falls to around 2 – 2-1/2 degrees below the heating set point, the third stage of heating, which is the electric heat strips, turns on.  Third stage electric heat strips operate until the indoor temperature rises to around 1 degree below the heating set point to allow the more efficient heat pump heat to continue to heat the house.  Therefore, the thermostat allows electric heat strip operation only when the heat pump itself cannot heat the house as desired.

A cooling-only outside unit with either gas heat or electric heat strips inside, will have four thermostat system modes on most digital thermostats – OFF, COOL, AUTO, HEAT.  AUTO mode allows separate heating and cooling set points so that the AC & heating system can automatically switch between cooling and heating.  A heat pump system will have a fifth thermostat system mode – EMERGENCY HEAT.   EMERGENCY HEAT mode is ONLY to be used when the heat pump system outside unit is broken or not performing well.  When the thermostat is in the EMERGENCY HEAT mode, the heat pump system outside unit will NOT operate, and ALL heating is by the electric heat strips until the outside unit can be repaired.


In weather less than 40 or so degrees, and especially during very humid or rainy conditions in weather less than 45 or so degrees, the outside coil of a heat pump will frost and often ice up, due to the outside unit’s coil temperatures being well below freezing.  The outside unit’s coil needs to be around 20 degrees colder than the outside temperature in order to absorb heat from outside, and transfer that heat to inside.  The heat pump automatically defrosts itself in order to remove excessive frost or ice and maintain the heat pump’s efficiency and capacity to heat.

Less efficient heat pumps have a defrost cycle set to operate on a timed basis, usually around every 90 minutes of heat pump operation, with the defrost cycle lasting no more than 10 minutes.   In more efficient heat pumps, the defrost cycle starts and terminates based on the actual need to defrost the outside coils, and defrosts just long enough to clear the outside coils of excessive frost and ice.  Water around the heat pump in the winter is normal and due to frost and ice being thawed off the outside coils during the defrost cycle.

When the defrost cycle begins, the switchover valve in the outside unit will switch positions, making a “swish” sound.   The outside unit fan will stop turning.  Now the heat pump is defrosting itself by operating in the cooling mode and taking heat from inside the house, transferring that heat to the outside coils, warming them up enough to thaw frost and ice.   During the defrost cycle, indoor air coming off the indoor coil will be around 20 degrees colder than the house temperature.  Therefore, the defrost controls turn on the electric heat strips and warm the cooler air back up to around house temperatures.   During this defrost cycle, only the compressor in the outside unit will run, since the outdoor fan has stopped.  Water vapor steam will rise out of the outside unit (is not smoke!) and thawing of ice may crackle, all of which is normal.

When the heat pump outside unit defrost control senses that the outside coils are thawed, the entire system returns to heating mode. The switchover valve will “swish” into heating mode, the outdoor unit’s fan will come on, water vapor steam will blow into the air, and the indoor electric heat strips will turn off.


The efficiency and performance of today’s air-source heat pumps is 1½ – 2 times greater than those available 30 years ago, as a result of technical advances such as:

  • Thermostatic expansion valves on more efficient heat pumps for more precise  control of the refrigerant flow to the indoor and outdoor coils.
  • Variable speed indoor blowers, which are more efficient and can compensate for some of the adverse effects of restricted ducts, dirty filters, and dirty coils.
  • Very high efficient heat pumps have variable speed outdoor blowers.
  • Improved coil design with copper tubing grooved inside, to increase surface area for more efficient heat transfer in both cooling and heating modes.
    Two-stage compressor and variable speed compressor designs increase efficiency and improve dehumidification in the cooling mode.
  • Demand-defrost control minimizes the defrost cycles and reduces the run time  of the defrost cycle and indoor auxiliary electric heat strips.

Heating efficiency for air-source heat pumps is indicated by the heating season performance factor (HSPF), which is the total heating required for the conditioned space during an average annual heating season (expressed in Btu), divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system during the same season (expressed in watt-hours.)  The HSPF rates both the efficiency of the whole heat pump system and the use of electric heat strips. The most efficient heat pumps have an HSPF of between 8 and 10.

Cooling efficiency is indicated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), which is the total heat removed from the conditioned space during an average annual cooling season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.   The SEER rates a heat pump’s cooling efficiency.  The most efficient heat pump systems have SEERs of between 16 and 24.   A heat pump with a SEER of 20 cools a house for 50% of the electrical costs of an older heat pump with a SEER of 10.

Two stage and variable speed heat pumps are actually more efficient than the rated SEER value.  The average heat pump or cooling-only two stage unit will operate in first stage mode for 90 plus percent of the time, since the majority of cooling hours in Southeast Texas are below 90 degrees, and systems in Southeast Texas should be designed for maximum cooling capacity at 95 degrees outdoors, per ACCA standards.   In first stage cooling operation on a two stage outside unit (67% of full capacity), the outside unit has increased outside coil surface area per ton of capacity which increases efficiency by 15 – 20% over second stage full capacity cooling operation.  The new variable speed heat pumps or variable speed cooling-only units are even more efficient, since their capacities range from 30% – 100%.


In Southeast Texas, a heat pump system should be sized based on the home’s cooling load, just as a cooling-only system would be sized.  Efficient Systems designs the airflow (cfm) per room based on the cooling airflow needed, since cooling is used almost four times as much as heating.  We perform an ACCA Manual J whole-house cooling load to determine exact cooling tonnage needed, and a room-by-room cooling load if installing new ductwork or balancing airflow per room.

We install supply air grilles that have adjustable louvers so that the airflow can be adjusted vertically for personal preference and comfort, regarding feeling the air blowing from the grilles.  The temperature of the air flowing out the supply grilles during a heat pump’s heating mode is around 90 to a max of 100 degrees, and 65 – 70 degrees during the defrost cycle, so best NOT to feel the air blowing out the grilles in the heating mode.  Compare this to a gas furnace producing air temperatures of 120 – 130 degrees.

Rain is not an issue for a cooling-only outside unit, but can create excessive ice build up on a heat pump outside unit when outside temperatures are below 40 – 45 degrees.   Therefore, if a heat pump is installed where rain flows off the roof onto the outside unit, guttering will keep excessive roof water off the outside unit, or the outside unit can be installed further away from the house.

Why the SEER Is Important When Choosing an Air Conditioner: A Tip From Beaumont

June 12th, 2013

There are many things to take into account when you are trying to pick out a new air conditioning system in Beaumont. You want one that will be powerful enough to cool the required space but not so big that it turns your home into a walk in freezer. With so many models and types on the market, it can be difficult to figure out what details you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore.

The seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) that each air conditioner comes with is not something you should ever disregard, however. This number is a reflection of the overall energy efficiency of the unit and it can have a huge impact on the amount you pay to keep running your air conditioner every month. The higher the SEER of a product, the more energy efficient it is and the lower your monthly bills will be.

Of course, air conditioners with a higher SEER also generally come with a higher price tag, so you will have to weigh the amount of your potential savings against the difference in price of units with different SEERs.

To calculate this, you will need to know exactly how much more energy efficient one model is compared to the others. For instance, when you know that an air conditioner with a SEER of 11 is 7% more efficient than one with a SEER of 10, you are in a better position to evaluate the potential savings.

You will still need to translate this into dollars, of course, because the amount you save with a 7% boost in efficiency will depend largely on how much you typically pay already. If you are only paying around $320 a year with a SEER 10 air conditioner, upgrading to a SEER 11 will only save you about $30. However, if your annual cooling bills are closer to $1000, you will easily save close to $150 with this small upgrade.

SEER numbers go much higher than 10 and 11 too. In fact, the highest you will probably get is a 19.5 SEER, but that will more than cut your cooling bills in half if you are starting with a SEER 10. Still, the actual amount that you will save depends on how much you were paying to begin with, but if your cooling bills are already very high, it may be worth it to invest in an expensive but very high efficiency system.

What Do Air Conditioning Efficiency Ratings Mean?

May 17th, 2013

If you’ve started the process of looking for a new air conditioning system then you’ve likely encountered several efficiency rating acronyms. These ratings can be confusing to understand but are important to understand as they will help inform you about which system is best for your home. The Beaumont, TX air conditioning experts at Efficiency Systems have years of experience installing all different types and brands of systems. We thought it would be helpful to put together a quick explanation of what the efficiency ratings mean.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

The SEER is probably the most common energy ratio that you see on most air conditioning systems. The SEER measures the cooling output of a system over a typical cooling season divided by the amount of energy consumed to do it. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system is. In order to receive an Energy Star rating, the AC unit must achieve a 14 SEER rating or higher. The Beaumont, TX air conditioning professionals at Efficient Systems can help you find a new unit that fits your needs and your budget.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

Another common efficiency rating is the EER. This system is very similar to the SEER. However, instead of measuring the efficiency of the system over a season, the EER measures the efficiency of an air conditioning system under a particular set of circumstances. The EER is calculated with an outside temperature of 95° F, an inside temperature of 80° F and an inside humidity level of 50%. Again, the higher the EER the more efficient the system is. As a rough estimate, a 13 SEER is about equal to an 11 EER rating.

No matter what kind of air conditioning system you’re interested in, the friendly specialists at Efficient Systems can work with you to find one that matches your home’s needs and your budget. Give us a call today if your AC isn’t able to keep you comfortable or if it has failed permanently.

Groves, TX Air Conditioning Repair: Why Is My AC System Blowing Warm Air?

May 9th, 2013

As the summer heat and humidity fast approach your Groves, TX home, you’re probably ensuring that your AC operates well. Spring is a great time to do just that. If you haven’t already enrolling in a program of routine maintenance, then make sure you do so today. There’s no substitute for professional care. That said, even with pro installation and maintenance, problems do arise from time to time. One such problem occurs when your AC blows warm air out of the ducts. This can be very disconcerting. After you’ve double-checked that your thermostat is calling for cooling, then get in touch with one of our friendly technicians. Call Efficient Systems today for professional Groves, TX air conditioning repair!

  • Low refrigerant. A low level of refrigerant is a common cause of warm air. Your compressor pressurizes the refrigerant that flows through your coils. It accepts the low pressure gas from the evaporator coil and compresses it into a hot, high pressure gas, whose thermal energy is then dispersed by the condenser coils. After that, the cool liquid refrigerant is sent into the evaporator coil, where it cools the warm indoor air, and the cycle continues. But all of this depends on the right “charge,” or level of refrigerant.
  • Dirty coils. Over time, your indoor and outdoor coils can accumulate lots of dust and debris, and this can lead to significant thermal transfer problems. Put simply, when your coils cannot dissipate and absorb heat because of the layer of dust and other debris on their surfaces, then inadequate cooling inevitably results.
  • Duct leaks. Another common cause of warm air is due to a duct leak somewhere within your ductwork. A hole or even small crack in your duct can bring warm air from your attic or even from outside into your home. Combined with other airflow issues, this can lead to warm air coming through your ductwork. Your ducts need to be tightly sealed and clean at all times to work effectively and efficiently.

For comprehensive Groves, TX air conditioning repair services, call Efficient Systems today!

Why Does My Air Conditioning System Create Condensation?

April 30th, 2013

When the Texas summer starts to heat up you probably use your air conditioning system every single day. One of the benefits of running your air conditioning is that it naturally provides dehumidifying for your home. While this is an added bonus it can also cause problems. For any Orange, TX air conditioning repair or services that you might need call Efficiency Systems Heating and Air Conditioning. We thought it would be a good idea to put together a quick description of how air conditioning systems work and why they produce condensation.

How Air Conditioning Systems Work

Air conditioning systems work by absorbing heat out of your home’s air and exhausting it outside. It does this by pulling in warm air from your home and blowing it over a series of cool evaporator coils. The refrigerant in the evaporator coils absorbs the heat and carries it outside to the condensing unit where the heat is exhausted into the outdoor air.

If you’ve ever taken a cool glass of water outside on a hot day then you likely saw droplets of water form on the outside of the glass. This is because hot air is able to hold more moisture than cool air. As the air cools, it deposits its moisture on the outside of your glass. The same principle applies to the cool evaporator coils inside your air conditioning system. As the hot air passes over the coils it loses its moisture which creates condensation.

Problems With Condensation

All of the condensation that forms on your evaporator coils has to go somewhere. When it’s working normally, the condensation will drip into a pan and drain away through a series of drain tubes. But if the pan or drains get clogged it can overflow and cause water leaks.

If you need Orange, TX air conditioning repair make sure that you call the friendly experts at Efficient Systems.

New Home HVAC Construction Design in Beaumont, TX

April 23rd, 2013

Building a new home is an extremely exciting project. It can also be quite stressful and overwhelming at times. There are a lot of facets to a new home construction, and without proper planning it can be easy to let things slip through the cracks. Make sure that your new home will be a comfortable living environment prior to the big move-in. Contact Efficient Systems to schedule your Beaumont, TX new home HVAC construction design. Our skilled professionals will ensure that you new home has a high-quality heating and air conditioning system waiting for you. Contact us for more details.

It is impossible to put too much emphasis of the necessity of having your new HVAC system designed by a qualified professional. Without this integral service, there is no way that you can expect your new home HVAC system to operate as efficiently and reliably as possible. Take advantage of the many benefits that Beaumont, TX new home HVAC construction design has to offer.

Your HVAC system must be appropriately sized in order to keep you comfortable throughout the year. If your system is too small it will have trouble reaching target temperatures, and this unnecessary strain will cause it to work inefficiently. If your system is too large it will incur unnecessary wear and tear as it short cycles frequently. This greatly increases the risk of damage to your system. Our team uses the newest edition of the ACCA manual J for load calculation. This allows us to design a system for you that will be able to handle your heating and air conditioning needs perfectly.

Our comprehensive Beaumont, TX new home HVAC construction design services will ensure that you have the proper insulation to and attic ventilation to keep your home comfortable as efficiently as possible. With options such as zone control system installation, you can customize the design of your new HVAC system to suit your personal heating and cooling habits and needs. Call now to learn more.

When it comes to finding a  Beaumont, TX new home HVAC construction design company you can count on, just call Efficient Systems. We take great pride in the work we do, and we always put your comfort and satisfaction first. If you have any further questions about new home HVAC construction design, call us any time.

Orange TX Air Conditioning: Why Is My AC Making That Noise?

April 15th, 2013

You likely use your air conditioning system almost every single day when it gets hot. With all that use you could start to hear new noises coming from your AC system. This usually means that something has gone wrong. Call the Orange, TX air conditioning repair experts at Efficient Systems. For over 30 years we’ve been providing quality AC repair services for all different types and brands of systems. We thought it would be helpful to put together some of the most common cause of air conditioning noises.

Common Air Conditioning Noises

There are a few common noises that we get calls for from our customers.

  • Squealing – When you turn on your air conditioning system and it makes a squealing noise it likely is caused by a bad fan belt. The fan belt is connected to the fan motor which turns the blades. If you’re tired to heating your AC squeal call the Orange, TX air conditioning repair pros at Efficient Systems.
  • Hissing – If your air conditioning system is making a hissing noise it likely means that you have a refrigerant leak or leak from the compressor. This can be a huge problem that needs to be taken care of immediately. If your compressor is leaking then it means that your AC system is working inefficiently.
  • Gurgling – If your AC is gurgling it can indicate that you have low refrigerant. The gurgling you hear is the air in the refrigerant tubes moving around.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing sounds coming from your air conditioning system usually is just the reversing valve solenoid. It isn’t wasting any energy and is pretty normal.

For any Orange, TX air conditioning repair call the friendly specialists at Efficient Systems. No matter what kind of problem you’re having with your air conditioning system our experts can fix it and get the job done.

What Happens During Beaumont, TX Air Conditioning Maintenance

April 8th, 2013

You rely on your Beaumont, TX air conditioning system to work well for nearly half the year. While we love the heat in Texas, it can be unpleasant and uncomfortable if our AC systems do not work well. April is a great time to make sure that our cooling systems are ready for the summer. If you’ve never scheduled air conditioning maintenance before, or just curious about what it entails, we’ve devised the following guide to help you better understand the process. Professional routine maintenance is the best way to improve system life, increase energy efficiency, and improve performance. For more information, or to schedule Beaumont, TX air conditioning maintenance, call Efficient Systems today!

  • Inspection. Your AC professional knows exactly how to approach a comprehensive inspection of your cooling system. He will look at the various components of your indoor and outdoor units to check for proper refrigerant levels, adequate electrical supply, and the condensate drain, to name only a few. As a trained and experienced technician, a professional technician has the attention to detail and knowledge about how all these systems work together to inspect the system carefully. Thus, he can spot any problems before they become major and costly repairs.
  • Cleaning. All components of the AC system need to be free of dirt and debris in order to work properly. When your motors and coils become covered in dirt and debris, they can not only get clogged and damaged, but they will also make the other components of the system work harder to provide adequate cooling into your home. The whole system depends upon all of the parts cooperating together.
  • Adjustments. If your inspecting technician finds that your system needs adjustment during routine maintenance, he will make them then and there. For example, because of general wear and tear, your refrigerant levels may be low. This can lead to an overheated compressor and inefficient cooling. In addition to inspection and cleaning, adjusting the system is critical to your comfort.

For more information about how routine maintenance can positively impact your AC system, contact the Beaumont, TX air conditioning maintenance specialists at Efficient Systems today!

Guest Post: Proven Methods to Increase the Efficiency (COP) of a Heat Pump System

April 5th, 2013

Operating an efficient home heating system is an excellent way to save a great deal of money as well as to maximize the comfort and control that such systems provide. When referring to heat pump systems, the term coefficient of performance or COP is often synonymous with the efficacy of such devices. To understand the benefits that heat pumps provide, it is first important to realize that a COP is a measure of the ratio between the heating provided and the energy consumed. Let us take a brief look at some of the primary ways to maximize this ratio and therefore the efficiency of a heat pump system.

The Benefits of a Ground Source Heat Pump System

Ground source heat pumps can provide a greater amount of heating as opposed to their air source counterparts. This COP value is generally much higher due to the fact that the ground is an excellent conductor of heat. This can help lower one’s fuel bills and decrease the home’s carbon footprint. Also, these systems are relatively easy to maintain, thus saving on labor costs.

An effective way to further increase the heat generated by these pumps is by increasing the emission and collection points of the unit. This can be otherwise known as widening the “footprint” of the system and is accomplished by maximizing the amount of pipe work used for ground collection as well as increasing the surface areas that will heat a house. Some examples can be installing underfloor heating pipes or purchasing energy efficient radiators that offer a larger surface area. Simply stated, a greater surface area in both locations is directly responsible for more efficient heating and a higher COP.

It is important to briefly address underfloor heating, as an increasing number of households are employing this technology. While these floors are known to be an excellent means of heat transfer, the homeowner should opt for solid floors such as concrete when possible as opposed to wood or laminate floors, as these have a much lower COP and heat transference capability.

Additional Methods to Increase Efficiency

Water is excellent at storing thermal energy, thus a ground source collection area that is moist or saturated can increase COP values. The greater storage capacity and transmission of heat in a moist ground can raise the COP value by 0.2 in some cases.

The physical characteristics of a home also play an obviously important role in these systems. An excellent means to increase efficiency is to make certain the home is properly insulated. This may entail upgrading existing insulation or checking to ascertain as to whether any heat is escaping through window frames or door jambs. Also, low-temperature piping should be installed when feasible, as less heat will be lost in the transfer between the heat pump to the radiators.

Finally, it must be remembered that the COP ratio is also determined by the demand placed upon the pump itself. Devices that require a substantial amount of heat to function can cause a decrease in the heating capacity of the pump and may profoundly affect the temperature of a home. Systems that require a large amount of energy such as a jacuzzi or a heated swimming pool should be allocated to a separate dedicated heating system. They can be turned on and off when needed, therefore lessening the energy required from the heat pump.

Lewis MacNulty is a Electrical Engineer, Green Entrepreneur and author of numerous articles on green technology. He is one of the leading engineers at WDS Green Energy, a leading heat pump supplier in the UK.

Beaumont, TX Insulation: Why Your Attic’s Insulation Is So Important This Summer

April 1st, 2013

We don’t often think about our home insulation during the hottest months of the year. After all, doesn’t insulation keep hot air inside, and wouldn’t that be counterproductive when we’re trying to cool our home? In fact, the insulation of your home is incredibly important during the cooling season, especially in your attic. Professionally installed attic insulation can dramatically improve your energy efficiency, which is always a point of contention during the searing heat in southeast Texas. For Beaumont, TX attic insulation, call Efficient Systems Heating and Air Conditioning today!

Insulation controls the heat transfer inside and outside of your home. It not only keeps hot air inside during cold months, but also keeps cold air inside during the hot months. It acts as a thermal barrier at all of the exterior walls and rooftop. Without it, your cold and hot air would merely be wasted. The insulation of your attic is particularly important because the sun tends to heat up the roof the most during the summer. The sun’s radiant heat can quickly become a problem for homeowners trying to keep themselves cool. Attic insulation reduces this radiant heat from entering your home. It therefore increases energy-efficiency by reducing the temperature of your home, and it also improves the lifespan of your home cooling system by eliminating the need for your system to overwork itself.

Attic insulation only becomes an important factor in home cooling if it is installed professionally. Not only does it need to be comprehensively attached at all points to function as a consistent thermal barrier, but it also needs to be the proper R-value. R-value is the measure of thermal resistance. It measures the rate of heat flow through an insulating material against the temperature fluctuation on either side of that material. It is the popular index for determining the application of a particular material in home insulation. The higher the number, the more effective the insulation.

Still unconvinced? Talk to your local insulation professional about your concerns about energy efficiency this summer. For insulation in Beaumont, TX, call Efficient Systems Heating & Air Conditioning today!