Archive for March, 2012

Town n Country Heat Pump Question: Do Heat Pumps Work for Air Conditioning?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s possible that in the course of your search for a new Town n Country air conditioning system, you read or were told about heat pumps. Doesn’t sound right, does it – heat pumps providing cooling for your home? Regardless of the seeming misnomer, heat pumps are actually much older and more reliable cooling technology than you know. And once you understand how these units work, the name makes much more sense.

What Is a Heat Pump?

Technically every refrigerant containing air conditioner is some form of heat pump. A heat pump is a device that removes heat from one area and transfers it to another. So, in the case of your air conditioner, warm air cycles into the condenser, the heat is removed, and the cooled air is circulated back through your home. The actual science behind this is slightly more complicated, but the gist is simple – cold air isn’t produced and then pumped into your home; warm air is removed.

Your refrigerator and freezer operate under the same principle. It works so well that it’s been a standard technology for nearly 100 years, albeit with quite a few upgrades and enhancements. So, if an air conditioner already is a heat pump, why are these devices called something different? Because heat pumps can do so much more.

Heat Producing Heat Pumps

A true heat pump can work in two directions. It can extract heat from your home or it can extract heat from outside and pump it into your home. A true heat pump offers year round climate control because it both heats and cools – not too shabby if you think about the cost of a furnace and central AC system.

So, back to the main question – should you purchase a heat pump for your Town n Country air conditioning needs? The short answer is “it depends”. For the most part, a heat pump is comparable to the same air conditioning model in terms of energy efficiency and capacity. The major difference is its ability to heat your home. So, if you are interested in ditching the furnace or boiler, it may be a great upgrade. If not, a standard air conditioner can get the job done equally well.

For more information about how a heat pump can work in your home, give Air National Heating & Air Conditioning a call today!

Wesley Chapel HVAC Question: What Do You Have to Learn to Be an HVAC Tech?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

No matter how the style, usage and materials change in buildings, there will always be the need in Wesley Chapel to heat the spaces comfortably in winter and cool them affordably in the hot days of summer.  The wide variety and complication of systems requires certain knowledge to maintain and install them.

If you’re looking for a dependable and lucrative career, being an HVAC technician makes good dollars and sense.  As either a self-employed Wesley Chapel contractor or as part of a larger company, the business of heating and air-conditioning homes, businesses and institutions is sure to be always available.

Areas of Focus

Depending on the interests of the individual, there are various ways to be involved with HVAC systems.  Some choose to participate only in the initial stages of designing, estimating and selling systems to the customer.  Others focus on the installation while still others are only involved with the regular maintenance and service of existing systems.

An independent sub-contractor may need to be expert in all areas of HVAC systems where a team of technicians can concentrate on their selected interests.

The Road to Certification

HVAC refers to many different kinds of systems powered by numerous different types of energy.  Improvements in the technology create an ever changing fast paced body of required knowledge.  Experience is the best teacher but cannot alone keep technicians up to date.

Most certification programs are based on three to four year apprenticeships combining on the job training with classroom lessons. In community colleges and vocational tech schools, a shorter period is required, only two years for an associate degree that teaches the basics of repair and maintenance as well as installation.

No matter which way you choose, final certification is given by either the North American Technician Excellence program or the Air Conditioning Excellence Coalition.  With an official certification in the HVAC field, prospects for better employment and higher wages are nearly guaranteed.

What to Learn

HVAC systems are very technical and full of details.  Installation and maintenance of the systems requires many skills, including working with different kinds of piping, motors, pumps, compressors, ductwork, screens and filters.  You learn the difference between boilers and furnaces, refrigerators, coolers and air-conditioners.

There is so much variety and detail to learn that many individuals choose to focus primarily one or several areas instead of trying to be fully expert about all parts.  No matter the focus, an HVAC tech has opened the door to a satisfying career and steady income.

To speak to fully qualified HVAC technician for help with your heating and air conditioning problems today, give Air National Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

Your Tampa AC and Your Energy Recovery Ventilator

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

As a Tampa homeowner with an air conditioning system, you know that it costs plenty to keep your home cool and comfortable in the summer. It is an expense you are willing to pay for the comfort and overall health of your family, but if you are like most homeowners, you would do anything to lower your monthly electric bills where possible.

One way to make your Tampa air conditioning system a little more efficient is to install an energy recovery ventilator. Read on to learn what energy recovery ventilator is and how it works alongside your AC system to reduce energy loss and improve indoor comfort control.

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

Not to be confused with a heat recovery ventilator, an energy recovery ventilator is a mechanical device that transfers heat and water vapor between the incoming (i.e. outside) air and outgoing air being moved by your ventilation system.

The main difference between an energy recovery ventilator and a heat recovery ventilator is that the former transfers both heat and moisture, while the latter transfers only heat.

What Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Do?

What does that transfer mean for your air conditioning system? Well, in the hot summer months, your air conditioner pulls in warm air from the outside, cools it and then blasts it into your home, while exhausting warm air to the outside.

What an energy recovery ventilator does is make that process a little easier for the air conditioner to handle by transferring heat from the warm air coming in to the exhaust air that the AC is blowing out of the house. The incoming air therefore has to be cooled less, which means your AC doesn’t have to work as hard, which means less electricity is used.

Many users of energy recovery ventilator systems report that the moisture exchange also makes the air in their homes feel “fresher,” rather than the stale feel that air conditioning can sometimes produce.

So, if you would like to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of running your Tampa AC system, consider an energy recovery ventilator as one possible solution. If you have any questions about how to save energy and improve the indoor air quality in your home, give Air National a call today!

Tampa Indoor Air Quality Guide: What Makes A Home Healthy?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

You may think of your Tampa home as safe from pollution, unfortunately, there are ways that contaminants can enter your home. By taking some simple precautions, however, you can maintain a healthy home environment for yourself and your family.

Breathe Easier

Air quality is an important factor in good health, and just because you close the door behind you when you come home does not mean potentially contaminated air can’t creep into the house. Here are some tips to help you breathe easier:

  • Inspect your home’s ventilation system every spring to ensure it is good repair. Change the filter annually and keep the vents clean.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially near appliances and fireplaces.
  • Do not smoke and do not allow others to smoke inside.
  • Have your ducts cleaned to get rid of dust and allergens

Hydrate Safely

Depending on where you live, your water supply may be at risk for a number of different contaminants. Being aware of the risks that exist in your local area is important, as is taking steps to keep the water you drink clean and healthy. Some examples include:

  • Test well water for bacteria and nitrates. E. coli for example can live in well water and cause infection, so have your well treated at the first sign.
  • If you have lead pipes in your home, have them replaced. Lead is a neurotoxin that can build up and poison you over time.
  • Use a purification system to cleanse your water of chlorine, heavy metals, nitrates, and other potential contaminants that may have run into the local water table.

Keep It Clean

Finally, the most basic way to ensure you have a healthy home is to practice good hygiene and cleaning habits:

  • Disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Vacuum regularly to prevent dust and allergen buildup.
  • Wash dishes and utensils after use, especially after contact with raw food.
  • Wash linens weekly in hot water to kill microbes and prevent the spread of disease.
  • As always, the most important of all: wash your hands, and encourage children to do the same.

Simple, careful practices like these will make a positive impact on your health and that of your family.

If you have any questions about how to improve the indoor air quality in your Tampa home, give Air National a call today!