Archive for May, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Your Tampa HVAC System

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

If you are working on cleaning your home for spring, don’t forget your HVAC system. If you are turning your furnace off, you should change the air filter so it is ready to go next heating season. It is also important to check your air conditioner’s filter, which needs to be clean to ensure efficient operation. A dirty AC filter can reduce air flow, which can not only waste energy but possibly cause ice to build up on your coils.

While you are checking over your AC equipment, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance visit with your Tampa HVAC contractor. One of the many things they will do is clean your AC, including the evaporator and condenser coils, which will help your unit maintain its energy efficiency. Since you are cleaning the rest of your home anyway, it’s a good idea to get your air conditioner in peak shape at the same time. If you don’t know how to change your AC’s air filter, ask your maintenance technician to show you. You should also determine how often you should change your air filter, which can depend on the amount of dust in your home, the number of pets you have, and the type of air filter you use.

Other important spring cleaning tasks include changing the filter in your vacuum, which can help maintain indoor air quality, and changing your water filter. Whether you have a whole house water filter or a Brita pitcher, the filters need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep them working effectively. If you have an air cleaning system, it’s probably a good idea to replace those filters as well, and check to make sure you don’t need UV germicidal light bulb replacement. While each of these steps seems simple, it they can add up to a healthier, more efficient house.

To schedule an HVAC maintenance visit, call Air National today!

Programmable Thermostats and Your Tampa Air Conditioning System

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Air conditioning makes our home comfortable during a hot summer day. However, air conditioners need electricity to run, and most of us are trying to reduce our home’s energy consumption. There are a number of ways you can make your Tampa air conditioning system more efficient, including upgrading to an ENERGY STAR rated unit and scheduling regular maintenance, but one of the easiest steps to implement is installing a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the temperature in your home depending on the time of day. You can save up to 10 percent a year by turning down your thermostat back ten degrees for eight hours a day! Most models allow you to store multiple daily settings, so you can turn you air conditioner down during the day when you are at work and while you are sleeping, and still have the temperature cooler when you need it. You can also still manually adjust the temperature without affecting the normal settings, giving you complete control and helping you save energy.

Programmable thermostats are not all made the same, and there are many different makes and models. Your Tampa HVAC contractor will go over the different features available to you so you can decide which best fits your needs. Different thermostats work better with different systems, for instance some heat pumps need thermostats that have multi-stage functions, so it is best to consult with a professional before deciding what to purchase.

Programmable thermostats allow you to save energy without sacrificing comfort, which is something that all of us are looking for. If you are looking for a simple, affordable way to improve your HVAC system, a programmable thermostat is a great choice. Most are easy to read and easy to use, call Air National name today to learn more about having a programmable thermostat installed in your home!

Tampa AC Tip: Outdoor Air Conditioning Components

Monday, May 14th, 2012

As long as all the parts are working well, air conditioning in Tampa is a modern convenience we can easily take for granted and overlook. Cool air makes our lives simply better, but is a complicated process based on an old theory and modern technology.

No matter the size, in every unit, the basic purpose is one of extracting heat from the conditioned space and moving it to the outside, leaving cool air in its place. This process easily divides into indoor and outdoor components.

Air Conditioning 101

Utilizing the basic principal of thermal energy that heat gravitates toward cooler temperatures, compounds known as refrigerants travel through a closed looped system, repeatedly transforming between liquid and gas forms. Chosen for their ability to rapidly change at low temperatures, they alternately absorb and release heat along the way.

Having expanded to a vacuous state with plenty of room between molecules to absorb heat, the refrigerant is compressed tightly, condenses back into liquid form and releases the heat to the outdoors.

In the Box Outside

Placed on a small slab on the ground alongside many homes or on the roof of large buildings, air conditioning units contain the compressor and condensing coils that enable the main (and noisiest) function of the process.

The refrigerant is contained within a closed loop, entering the compressor as an expanded gas full of heat.  Under pressure, that heat is released when the molecules are squeezed so tightly together the refrigerant returns to its liquid state.

Then passing into the condensing coils, a series of delicate fins, the released heat is allowed to dissipate through the fins into the air where a small fan blows it away.  Water is also a by-product of the condensation and drains into a pan and eventually into the ground.

The condensing coil ends at the exchange valve where it is held to create just the right pressure for the evaporating coil indoors to operate at its maximum efficiency.

Refreshing Maintenance

When maintained on a regular basis, the system requires little attention and over sight beyond scheduled appointments with a Tampa air conditioning company like Air National.

Upgrade and Save!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

HVAC Upgrade | Tampa | Air National

Did you know that even if your central air conditioner is only ten years old, replacing it with a new model can save you 20-40 percent on your cooling energy costs? New air conditioners also use R-410A refrigerant, which is more environmentally friendly than the R-22 refrigerant used in older models. A new air conditioning system will also cool your home more effectively and need fewer repairs than your current system. Upgrading your equipment is good not only for your wallet, it is also good for the environment!

Save Energy and Save Money This Summer in Tampa

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Though we hate to admit it, we all do it without thinking: turn our Tampa AC higher instead of turning on a fan, or forget about the thermostat settings which are set to full-blast when we are not at home.  Oftentimes it is the simple things which can have the most impact, and with saving energy this is true as well.

Households throughout the US will spend somewhere between $1,200 and $2,200 per year on energy costs.  With the cost of living in many areas of life skyrocketing, it’s nice to know there are some easy ways to lower at least one household bill: the energy bill.  Of course, some of these fixes are free, and some cost a little time and energy, while others must be paid for as long-term investments.

Free, Do-It-Yourself Energy Solutions

These quick and easy, do-it-yourself, no cost solutions produce energy saving results almost immediately!

  • Adjust the air conditioning thermostat to higher numbers, such as 78 while at home and 85 or higher when away.  Supplement AC usage with a ceiling or room fan, as moving air feels cooler on the skin.
  • Eliminate wasted energy by turning off appliances, lights, and equipment when not in use, unplug electronic chargers when not in use, and get rid of spare appliances such as refrigerators which are plugged in but not in use.
  • Put those dishwashing gloves away and let the dishwasher do the dirty-work!  Dishwashers use less water than washing by hand.  In addition, let the dishes air-dry rather than running through the heat-cycle to save even more.
  • Do laundry more efficiently by washing and rinsing in only cold water, and line dry instead of using the dryer.
  • Use the microwave to cook and not only speed up the cooking process, but use two-thirds less energy than a stove or conventional oven.

Low-Cost, Economical Energy Solutions

Most of these energy saving options can be procured at the local hardware store, are fairly inexpensive, and can be easily done by any competent home-owner.

  • Replace HVAC filters regularly, according to manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Weather-proof your home by plugging air leaks on doors and windows with weather stripping, sealant, or caulk where applicable.
  • Purchase and install ENERGY STAR® certified products such as porch lights, floor and table lamps, pocket lights, and even programmable thermostats to ensure energy using items are using as little energy as possible.

Invest in Energy Solutions

If it is important to you to save energy and money long-term and on a larger scale, there are a number of durable energy-saving investments to consider.

  • Purchase new windows, a new air-conditioning unit, refrigerator, or other household appliances which use less energy than older units
  • Install window and house shading such as patio covers, or strategically plant trees to shade the home during peak times of heat
  • Install a whole house fan which can suck cool air into the home after sundown or in the early morning in order to cool the entire house thus reducing air conditioning usage
  • Seal and insulate all household ducts in crawl spaces and attics
  • Increase or upgrade attic insulation to higher than the standard grade to keep housing temperatures more constant

To save energy also means to save money, and by following any of the simple steps listed above the average consumer can save energy and save money almost immediately. For more information about how to save energy on with your Tampa air conditioning system, give Air National a call today!