Posts Tagged ‘Apollo Beach’

HVAC Repairs That Will Save You Money: Some Advice from Seffner

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The best way to save money on operating your Seffner home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment – now and in the future – is to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency. The reasons are two-fold: an (HVAC) system will save you money on your utility bills and will save on the wear and tear of the equipment. That means extending the life of your equipment and putting off the need to replace it before its ‘shelf life’ runs out.

Let’s look at some ways your routine maintenance and common repairs impact the investment you have made in your HVAC equipment. Keep in mind that you can perform some maintenance but to get the best results, call your local licensed, qualified HVAC contractor. Better yet, call your contractor and ask about service agreements, which ensure annual or bi-annual cleaning and inspection of your furnace, air conditioner, or other components of your HVAC system.

Routine maintenance includes inspecting and cleaning/replacing filters in your HVAC system’s air handling unit. This unit contains the fan that blows heated or cooled air through your home’s ductwork. The filter can come in a variety of makes and sizes. Some electronic filters require regular cleaning with a hose or vaccum and others contain disposable filters which should be replaced on a regular basis, sometimes as often as every month. It is best for you to look at the recommended maintenance schedule which comes with the equipment owner’s manual or by talking to your HVAC contractor.

You can also do a visual inspection of your ductwork to check for any leaks or cracks along seams or joints. You may also be able to hear any air leakage in the ductwork. Repairing the leak can be as easy as using a sealing compound or applying duct tape or a suitable substitute over the leak.

Filter and ductwork maintenance guarantee a consistent air flow, which means that your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work any harder than normal – which equates to more efficiency and fewer possible repairs down the road.

Here are some other suggested maintenance tips:

  • Remove obstructions from vents.
  • Check for loose wires in electrical components.
  • Ensure that thermostat is in good working condition.

Most qualified HVAC contractors use a multiple-point checklist when installing or servicing HVAC equipment. The list ensures that service work or installation was carried out completely. These same lists are available online from manufacturers and contractors and are a useful tool for performing routine maintenance or repairs.

And when in doubt, keep an HVAC contractor’s phone number in your phone in case you may need any emergency repairs or to begin a regular maintenance schedule.

How Do I Reduce Dust in My Home? A Question From Apollo Beach

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Dust is everywhere. There is no way to stop it from occurring, so instead we turn to cleaning and filtration to keep the amount of dust circulating through the air to a minimum. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do, even without installing new equipment, to reduce dust levels in your Apollo Beach home.

Duct Cleaning

First on the list is regular duct cleaning. You dust your furniture and your floors, so why not clean out your ductwork? Properly cleaned ductwork is very important because of just how much stuff can build up in there over time. Imagine regular air flow in an enclosed space that never gets cleaned. How much dust and debris do you think could build up over the course of a year? Hint: it’s enough to keep a steady flow of dust in your indoor air.

Professional duct cleaning is important and should be done once every year or two depending on how often you use your home comfort system. However, you should also clean in and around the vents and ducts in your home where you can reach. This can be done weekly and will help immensely to reduce dust.

Filtration

Most air filters equipped with high quality HEPA filters work extremely well to remove dust from the air. Because HEPA filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, they won’t just remove dust, but pollen, pet dander and even mold. Mold especially is a problem that occurs in far greater frequency in homes without filtration.

Simple air filtration is an affordable solution to a lot of different contaminants, so it’s a good fit for any home. However, there are more powerful systems as well that will reduce both dust and pathogens like bacteria – these purifiers use ionization to draw particles from the air electronically.

Humidity

Humidity imbalance can cause dust problems as well. Low humidity leads to more dead skin and dust in the house, while high humidity causes the development of dust mites. Properly regulating your humidity to slightly less than 50% will create a perfect environment in which less dust is created and circulated in your home.

The best way to reduce dust is to take a three pronged approach to indoor air quality. Cleanliness is always first on the list, but after that don’t neglect the value of filtration and proper humidity control. When used properly, these three things will ensure dust never bothers you again.

A Different Way to Zone Your Heating

Monday, July 25th, 2011

One of the most frustrating things about traditional heating is that you must pay for the entire home to be heated. You flip on the thermostat and you get the same temperature for every room. Vent covers can reduce how much heat gets to each room, but if you want one room to be cooler than another, how do you do it without installing an expensive zone control system?

Vent Levers for Adjustable Air Flow

The easiest way to control the flow of air in your heating system is to use a vent lever adjustable air flow system that allows you to actually control where the air goes. These systems are installed directly on your furnace’s air handler. Each vent lever can be attached to a specific thermostat in your house or the vent levers can be opened and closed manually from the basement. When one of the thermostats is turned off, a vent lever will close off air flow to that particular room and stop any heat from being distributed there.

The system itself is not as easy to use as a zone control system but because the technology is simple and it takes only a few seconds to the turn the vent levers, it’s a viable and effective method to control your heating if you cannot afford zone control. If you’re not sure whether this is a good solution for your particular furnace, an HVAC contractor can help.

How to Get Vent Levers Installed in Your Home

If this sounds like a good solution for you, take some time and contact your local HVAC service provider to learn more about what it takes to have vent levers installed. For some systems it is relatively easy to add them to an existing air handler. In older systems or in the case of a boiler, you may need to install more specific types of handlers to control the flow of heating to each room in your home. A professional can give you a better idea of what your home needs and how it can best be setup.

IAQ Systems: Can They Help Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Indoor air quality systems are designed to remove a lot of unwanted contaminants and allergens from your home. But, they can also help remove some unwanted pests. Dust mites, for example, can only survive in humidity of 50% or greater. But, what about bed bugs – a much larger problem for many homeowners? Can you get rid of them with your air quality system?

Bed Bug Facts

Bed bugs come into your home on clothing, luggage or other people. They don’t sprout out of any one particular condition, so no matter how clean your house is, you can be exposed to bed bugs at work, on the train, or when visiting friends. Once you’re exposed, it is very easy to bring them into your home where they quickly spread to the rest of the family.

Bed bugs don’t generally live far from people, so you won’t find them in dirty ducts or hiding in your air vents very often. That makes it even harder to get rid of them without a full blown fumigation of your home. However, there are some things your indoor air quality system can do that will make a difference.

Indoor Air Quality Actions to Take

Bed bugs don’t just thrive on your family, but on the conditions in which you live. They’ll get into the nooks and crannies of your furniture and your clothing and wait until night fall to come out and bite. So, one of the easiest things you can do is utilize a complete air filtration system to remove all the extra debris and dust that builds up in your home.

Humidity control will also make it easier to clean your mattress and the surrounding areas with a HEPA certified vacuum cleaner. If you have ductwork, make sure it is cleaned regularly. While bed bugs don’t hide in duct work very often, some will and every bed bug you can destroy is one less that will bite you.

Finally, avoid any pesticides while your family is in the house. Pesticide exposure is a common cause of illness in children and pets. It can be avoided with careful attention to indoor air quality and cleanliness. If you need to fumigate, call a licensed exterminator who can do so without putting anyone in your home at risk. They can help you layout a good fumigation plan and block future infestations.

How Do I Find the Right Size Unit for My Room?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

When buying an air conditioner, there are a lot of things you need to take into account. One of the most important is the size and power of the unit you choose. Air conditioners come in many different sizes, so if you really want to get the most out of your purchase, you need to do your research and pick one that fits your home like a glove.

Square Feet and BTUs

The best way to determine how large of an air conditioner you need is to match the number of BTUs the unit has to the square footage of the room you want to use it in. That means you need to know what room you’re buying it for before you make your purchase.

The number of BTUs needed goes up proportionately with the room size, so even if you don’t have exact measurements or if your room is oddly shaped, you can get a good idea of how large an air conditioner you need. For instance, a 400 to 550 square foot room is best served by an air conditioner with between 8,000 and 11,000 BTUs, while a room that’s only 250 square feet would probably be fine with a 6,000 BTU unit.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

One of the most common mistakes people make when buying an air conditioner is to assume that the bigger the unit the better it will work. The truth is that buying an air conditioner that’s too big for your room is just as much of a waste as buying one that’s too small.

A larger air conditioner will cost more, and it will probably make the room too cold. It will also cycle on and off more frequently than a properly sized unit and it won’t be able to properly control the humidity level, leaving you with a cold, damp environment. That’s not very comfortable.

Other Factors

The square footage is definitely the most important piece of data you’ll need before buying a new air conditioner for any room in your house. But don’t forget to take some other factors into account as well. For instance, if the room has particularly high ceilings or receives a lot of direct sunlight, you’ll probably need a slightly more powerful unit than the straight square footage would indicate.

If you’re not sure how certain features of your home will impact your buying decision, call a professional who can help you get a more exact idea of what it will take to stay cool.

The Advantages of an Air Conditioning System

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Just about everyone knows that air conditioning systems keep your indoor environment cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. While this may be enough of a benefit for you, there are also some other benefits to having a central air conditioning system installed in your house as well.

For instance, if you have someone in your household who is more susceptible to extreme temperatures than most people, an air conditioning system can actually help improve their overall health. Babies certainly fall into this category, as they have more difficulty than older children or adults do controlling their body temperature.

Also, many elderly people or people suffering from certain medical conditions, particularly heart conditions, are especially sensitive to the heat. If they are unable to stay cool, it can be very dangerous and damaging to their health, and an air conditioning system helps to guarantee that they will be able to stay cool and comfortable even on the hottest days of the year.

Aside from direct health concerns, air conditioning systems can also help to alleviate the symptoms of colds and allergies. They do this by controlling the level of humidity inside your home. If the air in your house is too moist or too dry, it can exacerbate cold and allergy symptoms, as well as dry out skin and make the indoor environment generally uncomfortable.

Proper humidity control is also important because it helps to ensure that any air filtration or purification system you have in place is able to operate at peak efficiency. Many of these units have a hard time extracting particulate contaminants from the indoor air that circulates through them if that air is too humid or too dry. With a state of the art air conditioning system in place, however, you will not have to worry about whether or not the humidity level in your home is out of balance.

It is also worth noting that a central air conditioning system can be preferable to a window mounted unit because it provides for a more even distribution of cool air throughout the house. Also, when you have a central air conditioning system, the condenser which is the source of most of the noise and vibrations that air conditioners make will be located outside and out of earshot. With window mounted units, on the other hand, there is really no way to block out or diminish the noise.

Tips for Upgrading Your Central Air Conditioner

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

When the time comes to upgrade your central air conditioner, you will have a lot of things to take into account. If you were generally satisfied with the performance of your old system, it can be very tempting to stick with a similar model. But if you do not examine all of the options out there right now, you may very well be missing out on a great deal.

If you already have a central air conditioner in place, chances are that you also have ductwork throughout your house. In that case, you will probably be better off with a packaged air conditioner as opposed to a split system. If it is a split system you are replacing, however, you should probably keep your search limited to other split systems. Installing a packaged air conditioner when you do not already have ducts in place can dramatically increase the overall cost of the project.

You will also want to make sure that the system you choose is compatible with the heating system and air handler that you already have in place. Most central air conditioning systems can be integrated easily with all types of heating systems, but you should still check to make sure this will not be a problem, particularly if you have an older heating system.

In terms of picking out the right new system for your home, energy efficiency is probably the main factor to consider. While just about every air conditioner on the market right now will be much more efficient than the unit you are replacing, you want to make sure you get a model that will provide you with the optimal savings in the long run.

This does not necessarily mean that you should go out and buy the most energy efficient air conditioner out there. In fact, because the more energy efficient units are also typically more expensive, you may not actually save money by going that route. But you will do well to choose a unit that will save you enough monthly to offset the installation costs and for most people, that means that you will want an air conditioner that is either a SEER 14 or SEER 16.

Of course, the actual amount of money you will save as you move up through the SEER rankings depends on how much you use your air conditioner to begin with. If you live somewhere with very hot weather and you use your unit for a large chunk of the year, it may very well be worth it for you to opt for a very high efficiency model.