Posts Tagged ‘Auburndale’

Troubleshooting Common Auburndale Furnace Problems

Friday, January 6th, 2012

If you are having issues with your Auburndale furnace, you can always call Air National to speak with one of our expert HVAC technicians. However, many heating problems are minor and can be resolved with a few troubleshooting guidelines. Here are some techniques for pinpointing and solving some of the more common furnace issues.

Furnace Not Turning On

This is one of the most common and easily resolved issues with all types of furnaces. If your furnace doesn’t seem to be providing heat, first check the power switch to make sure the furnace wasn’t accidentally turned off. If it’s on, check the master emergency switch and circuit breaker. Sometimes the master switch isn’t turned back on after a furnace has been serviced, or the electrical system may have been overloaded for some reason.

Check the filter if there isn’t a blown fuse, since a dirty filter can cause 90% of furnace problems, including overheating and shutting down. If you have recently changed a filter, make sure you hit the reset button and that the cover has been replaced properly. A furnace will not start if the door isn’t on correctly. If your furnace consistently trips the circuit breaker, call an Auburndale heating technician since there could be a safety hazard.

Furnace Not Providing Enough Heat

If your furnace isn’t providing enough heat, first check the thermostat to make sure it is on the proper setting. Then check the vents to make sure nothing is blocking the airflow and try raising the temperature at least 5 degrees. Wait a few minutes, and if the heat is still not being distributed evenly throughout your home, check to make sure all the heating registers are open. Always check the furnace filter when you have any heating problems. However, if none of these tips work, call a qualified HVAC contractor to check your fan blower and furnace settings.

Constantly Running Fan Blower

A blower that doesn’t turn off can be caused by the thermostat or the limit switch located on the furnace, which distributes the hot air to the ductwork. The limit switch will shut off the furnace if the air gets too hot, so check the fan switch on the thermostat. If it is turned on, turn it off or on auto, and if not, call a heating technician to adjust the limit switch for the furnace.

Most furnaces will last for years if properly maintained, so you should address any issues with your heat as soon as you notice them. Call Air National Heating & Air Conditioning for any of your furnace needs.

Tampa HVAC Contractor Tip: What Does a Furnace Fan Limit Switch Do?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

When researching your Tampa furnace and potential problems it might have, you’ve probably run across a few references to the fan limit switch. And while you know that it can break in a number of ways, do you know what the switch does and what you should look for when checking your furnace its air handler for problems?

What the Limit Switch Does

To put it very simply, the furnace fan limit switch is a control that tells your furnace’s fan when to turn on and off. So, when the furnace isn’t on, it tells the blower not to operate (and send cold air into your home) and when the furnace is on, it tells the blower to turn on and start circulating the warm air.

While the primary function of the limit switch is to turn the blower fan on and off, it also has a safety role. When the temperature in the air supply plenum gets too hot, the limit switch turns off the furnace boiler to keep there from being any damage from overheating. This is handy if there is a blockage in the air vents or the controls are messed up due to water damage or improper adjustments to the settings.

Looking for Problems

Most of the time, when there is an issue with your furnace turning off or on frequently, the limit switch is one of the first things you will check. Because the switch is electronic and is attached to a thermostat which measures temperature in the air supply plenum, a small problem can result in it not working properly. So, you can easily check it by temporarily bypassing the switch and seeing if your device turns on or off properly.

In many cases, if the limit switch is the problem, you will still need to call a professional for replacement, but you can avoid a lot of headaches related to tracking down the source of the problem. If you suspect a limit switch problem, make sure to call someone immediately, because it does provide an important safety function and because without it your furnace won’t cycle on and off properly.

Get Cleaner, Dust Free Air with Your Heat Pump: A Tip from an Auburndale Heating Contractor

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Dust is a common concern for Auburndale homeowners, especially if a child or family member has an allergy that is made worse by its constant presence. So, many people want to know if a new heat pump will help reduce the amount of dust in the house.

Technically, heat pumps don’t remove dust from the air. They are designed to provide heated or cooled air which is then circulated by an air handler through air ducts. In fact, if you don’t clean the air ducts properly and have your heat pump serviced regularly, your dust problem can actually get worse.

However, if you have the right heat pump and it is serviced on a regular basis, you can reduce the dust in your home by quite a bit.

Choosing the Right Components

The key to reducing dust with your heat pump is to choose the right components for your device. Heat pumps have a filter built into the device to keep sediment and debris out of the unit and the air that is cycled through your home.

An additional filter is placed in the air handler to reduce recirculation of contaminants in the indoor air. However, you can really enhance the dust removal of your home’s heat pump by adding an electronic or highly rated mechanical filter, such as a HEPA filter. This will remove a tremendous amount of debris from the indoor air (up to 99% of debris as small as 0.3 microns) and it works directly with your heat pump.

Regular Maintenance

As with any other part of your home, regular cleaning and maintenance is a must to ensure dust doesn’t become a problem. Specifically, you should have someone clean your ductwork which is a common source of dust as it recirculates and builds up over time. Vacuuming you ductwork will remove a huge volume of dust from your home, and ensure the air flow is even and comfortable.

Additionally filters should be changed or cleaned on a regular basis – something you can do yourself between annual maintenance visits. Clogged filters can actually introduce more contaminants to your indoor air if not dealt with properly. In either case, well maintained equipment and properly installed indoor air quality supplements will keep that dust level to a minimum.

HVAC Maintenance the Whole Family Should Know: A Guide from Tarpon Springs

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

If you think the most important thing a heating and cooling (HVAC) system can do in your Tarpon Springs home is to provide indoor comfort, you are right. But there is another thing an HVAC system does that is very important and it affects your entire family. It provides a safe indoor environment, too.

Besides warmth in the winter, a finely-tuned HVAC system can clean and filter the air you breathe. That’s important to people who suffer from allergies and is especially important for minimizing the spread of germs that cause colds and the flu. The key phrase in this paragraph is finely-tuned. If your HVAC system is not working correctly, it can cost you a great deal in monthly utility bills and can be harmful to your health.

It is important for you and your family members to understand the basics of HVAC system maintenance so you can all understand the symptoms of improper maintenance and its consequences. For example, if anyone in your home is suffering from flu-like symptoms or are constantly drowsy or listless, they may be suffering from the a silent killer: poisonous carbon monoxide gas. This gas is formed during incomplete combustion of fossil oils like natural or propane gas. A malfunctioning furnace can emit carbon monoxide gases and you may never even realize it, until it is too late. Long-term exposure to the gas can cause brain damage and/or chronic sleepiness. It some cases, it can even cause death.

You may be able to diagnose the problem, but you aren’t qualified to test and repair a furnace that is creating deadly carbon monoxide gas. Your best bet is to call a qualified HVAC contractor who can diagnose the furnace and offer repair or replacement suggestions. But there are things you can do to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide gas.

Check all exhaust vents, like chimneys and flues for any blockages. A blocked or partially blocked vent can cause the build-up of carbon monoxide gas. And never, EVER, use a gas or propane powered heater in an unvented area of your home. These types of heaters create various levels of carbon monoxide gas that needs to be circulated out of each room and replaced with clean, fresh air. So, your family can actively ensure that there is no debris, bird’s nests, animals, leaves, or snow in the ventilation system.

You can also ‘help’ your HVAC system by keeping vents clean by vacuuming dirty vent grilles and, in general, keeping the home clean. The cleaner the home, the easier it is for your furnace to do its job and the easier it will be for you and your family will breathe. These are a few easy maintenance tips will keep you and your family warm – and safe – this fall and winter.

How Indoor Air Quality Controls Can Help People with Asthma: A Tip from Auburndale

Friday, November 4th, 2011

If you, your child or anyone else in your family suffers from asthma, you know that it can be brutal. The shortness of breath, the wheezing, and the chest tightness – it’s not just uncomfortable; it can be downright scary.

There is evidence to suggest that higher quality air can help keep asthma symptoms in check. While you can’t control air quality everywhere you go, you can be in charge of the quality of the air in your Auburndale home. Take a look at how controlling indoor air quality can help ease the suffering of asthma symptoms.

One study at Johns Hopkins found that indoor air pollution plays a large role in increasing asthma symptoms, especially among children. Without getting too technical, essentially the study explains that there are particles in the air we breathe, including indoors. Aside from the standard mixture of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, air contains these solid and liquid particles, which are essentially pollutants. Common household tasks like dusting and cooking can generate more of these particles.

When these particles get into the respiratory system, they can irritate the lungs, which triggers asthma symptoms. Since children spend about 80% of their time indoors, this is a very big deal.

To help this problem, there are ways to control and improve the quality of air in your home. One simple way to do this is to have filters with high minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings in your heating and cooling system. MERV ratings describe how well filters catch particles of certain sizes and keeping them out of the air – and your lungs.

The particles identified in the Hopkins study were as small as 2.5 microns, which would require a filter with a MERV rating of about 12 to catch. Higher MERV ratings mean more efficient filtration, but they need to be replaced more often. If you or child has asthma, it’s worth it.

For severe asthma or allergies, consider even higher-rated filters, like HEPA filters, which sport a MERV of 17 or higher. These will catch nearly all allergens, irritants and other particles that can make you sick.

Choosing an Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant for Your Air Conditioner in Brandon

Friday, August 19th, 2011

For years, we heard about how bad air conditioners were for the environment. Specifically, the liquid used in them to remove heat from air in your Brandon home tended to eat holes in the Ozone layer. Today however, air conditioners (along with every other appliance or device that uses refrigerant) have been upgraded to work with newer, better chemicals.

R-22 Refrigerant

While R-22 refrigerant is still used in devices sold today, it is being gradually phased out. According to the Montreal Protocol, R-22 refrigerant will no longer be allowed in new devices as of January 1, 2020 in the United States (though it can be used to service existing devices via recycled or reused refrigerant). While the most environmentally damaging refrigerants such as HCFC-141b have been removed from the market, R-22 is still considered harmful to the environment if allowed to enter the atmosphere.

R-410A Refrigerant

So, if R-22 will soon not be permitted (and is not an environmentally friendly option), what is? Currently, the most common refrigerant used in new residential air conditioners is R-410A. After the Clean Air Act was passed, the EPA reviewed a number of refrigerants to determine which were the least damaging to the environment (and human health) and which could be used as alternatives to R-22. At the top of the list is R-410A, a blend of different HFCs that don’t deplete the ozone. Sometimes called Puron, Forane, or Genetron AZ-20, R-410A is a good choice if you’re having a new system installed.

Other Alternatives

Of course, because R-410A is a hydrofluorocarbon, it does contribute to global warming and therefore is a risk to the environment, albeit in a much smaller capacity than older refrigerants. Recently, the EPA approved the use of HFO-1234yf  - a chemical that pollutes 99.7% less than the current refrigerant used in car air conditioners. Whether it will be used in homes and commercial spaces remains to be seen, but the technology is advancing rapidly, allowing us to stay cool without sacrificing our planet’s health and future to do so.

Another alternative is to invest in an evaporative cooling system rather than a traditional air conditioner. These systems use no HFCs at all and therefore have zero impact on the ozone layer or global warming (other than the electricity they consume). They also use 80% less energy than traditional air conditioners. If you live in a dry, low humidity climate they are a great option.

What Information Should I Keep in My Home?

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

There are a lot of important documents you receive when you own a home. You have a deed, a title, tax information, service contracts, warranties, and other paperwork needed to maintain your home and protect it against damage or theft. If there is a fire or something breaks you need immediate access to your documents no matter the situation. So, they need to be close at hand.

Specific Documents to Have

Always have your warranty and insurance documents on hand. If something happens to an appliance or piece of equipment, you don’t want to spent time calling customer service to obtain your policy numbers. You want to take action now and that means you need that information on hand immediately. Keep paper copies of your insurance forms, warranties, service contracts and anything else you may need in the case of an emergency. Additionally, it’s good to have a call sheet with all important information and policy numbers typed up for quick access.

Sensitive Document Storage

For special documents you store at home like your deed, mortgage papers or insurance documents, a fire proof safe is a good investment. If something happens, you want that information to be safe and immediately available. Many homeowners create photocopies of these documents for easy reference and put the originals in a safe deposit box somewhere so they cannot be destroyed in case of an emergency.

Digital Copies

There is also a growing trend to scan and store digital copies of your information on a computer hard drive or in an email account. This ensures that no matter what happens you always have a copy of your most important documents. You can then keep your original signed copies in a safe deposit box and have all the pertinent information for your home available via a computer no matter where you are.

Documents are easy to misplace or accidentally destroy when you’re not careful, but those simple pieces of paper are more important than you can imagine. You may not even look at them for years to come, but when the time comes to do so, you want them to be available and in good condition. So, take proper steps to create photocopies and digital copies, and store the originals somewhere safe to protect from fire and other disasters.

Top 10 Mistakes People Make When They Buy HVAC Equipment

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Every year millions of homeowners buy a new HVAC system for their home. Whether for heating, cooling or air quality, they make a huge investment in a new system that will be with them for years to come. Unfortunately, many of those people make big mistakes when buying their next system, so to help you avoid doing so, here are some simple things you should not do.

  1. Ignoring Air Quality: Air quality is about more than comfort. It affects the health of everyone in your home equally. Consider it carefully when installing a new system.
  2. Avoiding Even Heating and Cooling: One room being cooler or warmer than another is not okay. It’s bad for your system and bad for your home’s comfort level. Have insulation and ductwork checked before installation of a new HVAC system.
  3. Not Upgrading Your AFUE or SEER:  New systems are highly efficient. Take advantage of that by buying one with a higher AFUE or SEER rating.
  4. Not Vetting Your Contractor:  Always spend time checking up on your contractor, reading reviews and asking other customers how their experience was.
  5. Skipping the Service Agreement:  Service agreements save money and help your system last longer. Don’t skip them.
  6. Buying the Cheapest Option Available: It may be tempting, but a cheap HVAC system is a bad idea if you want it to last and save you money in heating and cooling. Even a midrange system will save you money in only a few years with higher efficiency ratings.
  7. Picking the Same Model You Already Had: New models are stronger and more efficient. When possible, get an upgrade and your bills will reflect the difference.
  8. Waiting too Long to Buy: The longer you wait, the more you pay in heating and cooling bills for an old, worn down system. If you know you’re going to buy a new system, act fast to save the most possible money.
  9. Not Asking Questions: If you have a question, ask it. There is no such thing as a stupid question when looking for a new HVAC system.
  10. Ignoring Maintenance Recommendations: Maintenance recommendations are optional but almost always to your benefit. Research on your own before committing to anything, but don’t ignore the necessity either.

If you do things just right, your new HVAC system will last for years to come and provide steady, comfortable heating or cooling throughout that time. But, if you rush through things, make a hasty decision and neglect to do any research, you may have issues with your system in far less time than you’d like. Be smart and you’ll be rewarded.

How Do I Check for a Dirty Evaporator Coil?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The evaporator coil is an essential piece of your air conditioning system. It absorbs heat from air that passes over it, and that air then travels into your home to cool it. So if your coil is dirty or isn’t functioning properly, the cooling power of your air conditioning system is diminished. Fortunately, this problem is fixed easily by cleaning the evaporator coil. You can do this on your own or have a professional come in to take care of it.

Signs of a Dirty Evaporator Coil

The most obvious sign of a dirty evaporator coil is an overall drop in system pressure. As long as you know what constitutes a normal pressure for your system, you should be able to tell if the current pressure is below that level. If it is, a dirty evaporator coil is probably your culprit. You can also check the static pressure in your system to see if that is low, but this requires specialized equipment.

Even if you don’t notice any particular signs that your air conditioning system isn’t working properly, it’s a good idea to clean your evaporator coils once a year or so. This can help prevent any larger problems from developing in the future.

Finding Your Coil

Probably the hardest part of cleaning an evaporator coil is reaching it. Unlike your condenser coil, which is located in your outdoor condenser unit, the evaporator coil is found inside near the air handler or furnace. If you have the owner’s manual, there should be detailed instructions telling you where the coil is and how to safely access it.

Alternately, you can have an HVAC technician show you what to do the next time they come out to work on your system. Whatever you do, though, make sure that power to your AC unit is completely shut off before you start working on it. Once you’ve gained access to the coil, use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any debris or sediment you find there.

The Importance of Maintenance

Cleaning your evaporator coil is only one part of the regular maintenance required to keep your air conditioning system in good working order for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of things you can do on your own, but it pays to have a professional come out once a year or so to check out the entire system and make any necessary repairs.

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.