Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning Maintenance’

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!

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.

Tampa Air Conditioning Tip: Landscaping, Your AC, and Saving Money!

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Who knew that proper landscaping of your home could save you money?  It’s true!  During those hot, summer months all we want is respite from that heat, and maybe a cool drink to sip.  If placed in direct sunlight, our Tampa air conditioners will work harder and more frequently than we would ever want to in such direct heat.  This is the time to prepare for the inevitable by giving the AC a break while at the same time saving money on utility bills.

Inspect, prune, and pay attention!  Get out in that garden and have a look at that AC unit!

  • Cut back any overgrown bushes or plants nearby, and remove any weeds growing near or over the AC unit, in order to ensure proper air circulation is maintained in the space immediately surrounding the AC unit. It might even be prudent to place stepping stones or cement in the foot of space immediately surrounding the unit, to keep a good barrier between the unit and surrounding foliage.
  • Pull out that green thumb and plant some flowers or greenery surrounding but not too close to the AC unit, making it a part of the yard’s landscaping, rather than an eye-sore which stands out.
  • Get your air conditioner under the shade.  This can be done simply by adding trees or tall bushes near the AC unit, protecting it from the blazing sun.  AC units can also be moved to the North side of a house or other building, making sure they are under the shade during the heat of the day.  Ensuring an AC unit is in the shade can mean not only saving approximately 5% on cooling bills, but can also increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit by upwards of 10%.
  • Add trees or tall foliage all around a property to provide shade directly on the home or building, which can additionally contribute to overall cooling of the yard and buildings being cooled.

Proper landscape maintenance near, upkeep of, and airflow to an air conditioning unit ensures that there is reduced wear and tear on your Tampa air conditioner, helping it to run more efficiently for a much longer period of time.  Pay attention to your AC unit and it will provide a great service for many years. For more information about how to keep your air conditioner running efficiently, give Air National a call today!

Helpful Tips from Air National Tampa

Friday, April 13th, 2012

When to Schedule Your
Annual Maintenance Exam for your AC Unit

Regularly changing air filters and other maintenance tasks are very important during the cooling season, but what should you do for your air conditioner to get ready for the summer months? Spring is the perfect time to schedule your yearly tune-up. Having a professional HVAC contractor inspect your air conditioner and catch any problems before the season starts is one of the top benefits of the annual exam. Read more about the benefits of having your AC unit tuned up before summer arrives.

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Tampa | Spring Cleaning | Air National

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring is a great time to clean your home from top to bottom, which includes your HVAC system. While duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning should be handled by a professional contractor, there are some cleaning tasks you should do once a year to help improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Take advantage of the change in season and learn how to properly clean your HVAC system with these tips.

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Madeira Beach HVAC Guide: Components of an Air Conditioner

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Ever wondered how that amazing machine that keeps you cool in your Madeira Beach home actually works? How exactly does it use electricity to create cool air and dehumidify your home? It’s actually an ingenious bit of technology developed over a century ago using four major components and a thermostat.

How these parts are implemented may change depending on the type of air conditioner you have and how much space it’s tasked with cooling, but the following components are standard in all AC units:

  • Evaporator – There are two sides to an air conditioner – the warm side and the cool side. The Evaporator is on the cool side and is paired with a fan that blows air over the coils. The air then chills and blows into your home to keep you cool.
  • Condenser – The condenser is the device responsible with transferring heat within the air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t actually make anything cool – it just removes heat from one environment and places it into another. By removing heat from one set of coils and transferring it to another, it creates the cooling effect that the evaporator then uses to cool your home
  • Expansion Valve – The expansion valve is responsible for regulating how much refrigerant passes into the evaporator coils. This refrigerant immediately expands when it reaches the evaporator coil due to the pressure drop.
  • Compressor – Once the refrigerant has depressurized and turned back into a gas, it is passed to the compressor which is then tasked with converting it back into a liquid and passing it into the warm part of your air conditioner.

And of course, this entire mechanism is monitored and regulated by a thermostat which tells the air conditioner when to turn on and what level of cooling is needed by your home. The system can also be setup in one of a couple different ways. Self-contained units, like window units, house the entire mechanism in a single box, while a central air conditioner separates the two units – the hot side with the compressor and condenser are placed outside the house.

Because there are so many parts and they work in harmony to create the cool environment you want, your air conditioner needs to be carefully maintained. Regular maintenance is a must for every component. To schedule your annual maintenance checkup for your air conditioner, give Air National a call today!

Why Are Cleans Filters So Important to AC Efficiency? A Question From Bartow

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Air conditioners cost a lot of money to operate in Bartow – even more when they don’t work at 100% efficiency. So, it is important to perform the various regular maintenance tasks that ensure the system uses as little electricity as possible. The first thing on your list (and the easiest) is cleaning those filters.

Keeping Filters Clean

The Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website states that you can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by as much as 15% simply by keeping the air filters clean. Why do they matter so much? Consider the nature of a filter.

The filter on your AC unit is designed to capture any dust, debris and sediment in the air supply. If that dust and sediment was allowed in, not only would it gum up the mechanical workings of the device, it would get into your ductwork and reduce the air quality of your home. So, filters are used to capture such things. However, when a filter gets clogged, the system must work harder to draw the air in. As it works harder, the motor turns faster and more electricity is used.

It takes very little to clog the filter of an AC unit, especially if it is running 24 hours a day for two or three months out of the year. So, it’s best to check your filters once every 30 days regardless of what type of filter you are using.

Which Filters to Check

The main filter on your AC unit should be checked along with any air handler filters and any air cleaner filters you have installed in your system. Another thing to consider is the condition of your home and the area around your outdoor condenser. If you have pets, lots of plants or your condenser is located in a dusty area, you may need to check and change those filters even more often.

Most filters are located along the return length of the ductwork – sometimes in ceiling ducts and walls, though they may also be located in your furnace’s air handler or inside the air conditioning unit. If you have window units or mini splits, the filters are frequently in the unit.

Clean air filters are important for your health, your wallet and the longevity of your AC system. Stay on top of them and you will save money in more ways than you might expect.

When Should You Check Your AC Filters: Some Recommendations From Palmetto

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

The filters on your air conditioning unit are vital for keeping out the dust and debris that make things like illness, allergies and air quality worse in your Palmetto home. And it’s important that you take personal responsibility for checking those filters. Sure, you have a professional visit your home once a year to check the air conditioning, but you should also check the system yourself on a semi-regular basis for possible filter degradation.

Monthly Checks

So, how often should you check? Think of it this way. There is no such thing as checking too much, but you can easily not check often enough. So, we recommend checking your filter at least once every 4 weeks. It may not always need to be changed during that four week checkup (sometimes it can last 6 weeks or longer), but it’s good to take a peek.

Why is this so important? Because filters that haven’t been checked and changed as needed have a habit of building up excess sediment and debris. Not a problem when it comes to actually working, but a huge problem when it comes to your energy bill. The harder a system has to work to keep you house cool, the more energy it draws and the more you pay to have cool air in your home. And it will break down much faster as a result of overwork and dirty filters.

Changing an AC Filter

If your filter is ready for a swap, here are some quick tips to get the job done:

  • Find Your Filters: If you don’t know where your filters are, ask your contractor on the next visit or look near the return grills by the thermostat.
  • Remove the Filters: Open the latches and pull the old filter out to check it. You should be able to see clearly through a permanent filter and a disposable one should still be white. If this isn’t the case, it’s time for a cleaning/replacement.
  • Clean the Area: Clear the grill and area of any debris and sediment that might make the filter worse after replacement.

Proper filter maintenance only takes five minutes and it will save you money every month you run your AC – not a bad deal for a few minutes’ work.

Key Components for Annual Maintenance of Your HVAC System: A Guide From Aripeka

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Annual service checkups are an important component of your Aripeka home HVAC system’s ongoing operation. Without these checkups, the system may not run properly when the hottest days of the summer are upon you. While there are some tasks you can perform yourself, most of the vital maintenance tasks need to be performed by a professional annually.

As you look for a contractor to perform your annual maintenance, make sure you find someone who will perform each of the most important tasks listed below for your system each year:

  • Electrical Connections: These should be tightened, tested and replaced as necessary.
  • Thermostat: A professional thermostat calibration ensures the system runs at the right temperature throughout the summer.
  • Control Panel: The control panel is checked for error codes and recalibrated to ensure it continues running as intended for another year.
  • Blower Parts: The fan and motor are checked and serviced as needed. Replacement parts are installed.
  • Condenser Coils and Evaporator: Both are cleaned and checked for signs of wear. Any bent coils are repaired.
  • Gas Connections: An inspection of your gas lines, if applicable, is made. Additionally, if you have electrical components, they will be checked for damage.
  • Exchanger and Combustion Components: If you have a packaged system, these are checked for the entire system.
  • Refrigerant Check: If you have a refrigerant filled air conditioning system, it will be checked to ensure levels are high enough for another summer.
  • Air Filters: While you can do this yourself each month, a professional will check permanent and replaceable filters for wear and tear.
  • Moving Parts: All moving parts are inspected, oiled, and checked for damage. If a part needs replacement it is done now to avoid future problems.

Good annual maintenance is necessary to keep your system running smoothly year round. While there are plenty of cleaning tasks you can perform each month, the most important tasks are those performed by your contractor.

If you are interested in learning more about how maintenance will be performed on your system, call your local contractor today.

Steps to Take When Your HVAC System Breaks Down: A Guide From Wimauma

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Imagine this: it’s a sweltering summer day in Wimauma. The humidity outside is obscene, hitting you like a wall when you open the door. So, the only place you want to be is on the couch with the cool air conditioned air being blown across your face. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Now, imagine what happens when your air conditioner stops working.

A breakdown in your HVAC system is the absolute last thing you want to experience on a day where the mercury dings 90+ but it can happen, and the only way to ensure things don’t get out of hand is to take the following steps.

  1. Check Common Problems: While the system itself could be broken, make sure there are no other issues involved. Frequently, the electricity supply can be interrupted by a power surge or a tripped breaker. In both cases, you can usually get the system back online by yourself. However, you should call an electrician to inspect it as soon as possible.
  2. Does it Turn On: If the air conditioning system turns on and simply doesn’t provide enough cooling for your home, it is likely a problem in the unit. In this case, check other common problems. Clogged filters can severely reduce efficiency and if the system freezes over, it may stop providing enough cooling.
  3. Still Not Working? : If the system refuses to turn on and there are not clear problems that you can fix yourself, it’s time to call a professional. A professional HVAC contractor should be available almost any day of the week for emergency calls like this. Of course, in the middle of a heat wave or cold snap, it’s very likely that they may be booked up for a couple days. To avoid this happening, have routine maintenance done as often as recommended to avoid the possibility of being without cooling or heating indefinitely.

A good HVAC system is the only thing standing between you and discomfort, or worse, danger to your health. Don’t let the system go into such disrepair that you can’t use it at all.