Posts Tagged ‘Largo’

Did You Change that Furnace Filter? A Guide from Locoochee

Monday, November 28th, 2011

No matter what type of furnace you have, it’s important to remember to change or clean the filter on a regular basis. This is a relatively straightforward process and doesn’t require a Locoochee contractor’s help. However, if you’re not sure how to go about doing it, you can always have your heating technician demonstrate the process for you on their next regular maintenance visit.

Indeed, changing or cleaning out the furnace filter is an important part of regular furnace maintenance. However, it often needs to be done more than once a year. The specific amount of time that you can go between filter changes depends on many things, but typically it’s good to check on it once every three months or so.

If you have a lot of pets or if anyone in your family has severe allergies, it may be worth it to check and change the filter even more often. Check with the manufacturer to see what their recommendations are as well. Some high performance furnace filters can last up to six months or even a year, but you should still check on the filter periodically to make sure that too much hasn’t built up on it in between replacements or cleanings.

You’ll need to make sure you have the right type of filter to install as a replacement as well. You can get this information from the owner’s manual of your furnace, from the manufacturer or by taking out and examining the current filter in your furnace. Some furnaces also have filters that are meant to be cleaned and then put back in and the cleaning instructions are usually located near the filter itself.

Of course, in order to change your filter you’ll first have to be able to find it. Most of the time, the filter will be located near the blower towards the bottom of the furnace. However, if you’re not having much luck finding it, your owner’s manual should be able to tell you quickly where it is and how to remove it. Before you go to open the chamber and take the filter out, however, be sure you’ve turned off the power to the furnace.

Changing your furnace filter can help improve the air quality in your home and it is also very important when it comes to keeping your furnace running efficiently and effectively. The filters are there to trap airborne particles that can get into the blower and clog it up. When that happens, the performance of your furnace will likely drop and you’ll need to have a professional come out and complete the necessary repairs.

What is Air Purification? A Question from Largo

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The air around us is getting more and more polluted these days in Largo, and people are trying to do more and more to combat it. Cars come with ratings like ‘ultra-low emission vehicle’ and windmills generate power from moving air rather than burning coal. No doubt, these efforts help, but if you want to take an active role in improving the quality of air in your own home, consider an air purification system.

Simply put, air purification is the process of removing contaminants and pollutants from the air. There are a number of devices on the market that can purify the air in your home. While anyone can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air, they are of particular utility for people which suffer from asthma or allergies, or who live in areas with higher concentrations of outdoor air pollution.

There are three main kinds of air purifiers, categorized by the kind of technology they use:

  1. HEPA filtration
  2. Negative ion generation
  3. Electrostatic precipitation

HEPA filtration purifiers simply filter the air that passes through them using a sieve-like filter or series of filters. Depending on the efficiency of the device and the filter, some of these purifiers can trap not only solid and like particles, but also gases and odors. One advantage of this type of purifier is that the HEPA filters can last for years before they need to be changed.

Negative ion generation and electrostatic precipitation models are more complicated and technical because of the technology they use. Consult with a professional to choose which kind of technology is best for your needs, depending on the air quality problem you are experiencing. Some air purifiers can trap bacteria, viruses, fungi or chemicals, so there is bound to be one that will suit your needs.

After deciding on which type of technology you need, you will also have to choose whether you want a portable air purifier unit or a central system that covers the whole house. Obviously the former works well if you are only concerned about the air in a room or two, while the latter is better if you have chronic asthma or a more widespread air quality problem.

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.

Turn that Thermostat Down a Degree and Save Money: A Tip From Gulfport

Monday, August 1st, 2011

There are literally dozens of things you can do to cut back on your heating (and cooling) costs, whether you live in Gulfport or Largo. These range from things like getting a high energy efficiency system to just making sure that you have adequate insulation in all parts of your house. But too many people overlook one of the simplest things that you can do to cut down on your monthly heating bill, and that is to turn the thermostat down.

Of course, you did not pay for that high tech home comfort system just so that you could walk around cold all winter long. You certainly want to keep your house at a temperature that is comfortable, but what does that really mean?

The normal default setting for a home heating system is usually somewhere between 72°F and 75°F. If you have your thermostat set somewhere in this range in the winter, you are probably quite comfortable indoors. In fact, you might not even need a sweater. But would you really notice if it was a degree or two cooler? Would it be incredibly inconvenient to put on a sweater or sweatshirt after all?

The truth is that most of us will be just as comfortable at 69°F as we are at 72°F, and the effect that small adjustment can have on your heating bill is actually pretty significant. In fact, you will save an average of 3% on your monthly bill for every degree you turn your thermostat down. Drop the temperature down by three or four degrees and that will give you up to a 10% monthly savings – hardly something to turn up your nose at.

And setting the regular temperature in your house a bit lower is not the only way your thermostat settings can save you money. You will also save quite a bit if you take the time to turn down the temperature when you leave the house and when you go to bed at night. There simply is no reason to pay to heat your house when you are not there and you will certainly be rewarded with a lower energy bill for your efforts.

What Is SEER?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

If you’ve been looking at air conditioners, you’ve probably noticed that they all seem to have a SEER rating. But what does this actually mean?

The SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of how energy efficient a particular air conditioning model is. So when you’re shopping around for the best deal on an air conditioner for your home, this is something you’ll absolutely want to pay attention to.

Interpreting SEER Ratings

The SEER rating system is relatively simple: the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the product. But because a higher price tag typically comes with a higher SEER rating, it’s important to know just how much more efficient a higher rated unit will be. It helps you decide whether paying significantly more for a higher rated unit is worth it in long term savings. Will it actually save you enough each month to make up for the difference in price?

Evaluating Your Energy Usage

A big factor here is how much you will use your air conditioner. If you live in a place with very hot and humid summers where the air conditioning runs constantly, you’re probably best off with the highest SEER you can find. When you consume that much energy to keep your home cool, you want to get as much as possible out of it, and that’s what a high SEER model can do for you.

On the other hand, if you live in an area that doesn’t have the harshest summers, you may be better off with a slightly less efficient (and therefore cheaper) model. Keep in mind, too, that the actual percentage increase in energy efficiency goes up by smaller and smaller increments the higher in SEER ratings you get. For instance, while a 10 SEER unit may be almost 20% more efficient than an 8 SEER model, a 12 SEER is only about 10% more efficient than that 10 SEER.

Finding the Right Balance

The best way to decide what SEER rating is best for you is to determine the annual cooling costs with your current unit and then calculate your savings in dollars based on the percentage each model would improve your efficiency. If you don’t currently have an air conditioner, this can be a bit tricky, but a professional contractor or air conditioning salesman can help you estimate your total monthly cooling costs with the various units.

Evaporative Coolers

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

If you?re looking for an effective alternative to a traditional air conditioning system for your home, an evaporative cooler is a great option to investigate. This is not new technology by any means, but evaporative coolers are rapidly gaining popularity these days for several reasons. While these aren’t the perfect solution for every home, they’re definitely worth taking a closer look at if you?re interested in cutting your cooling costs.

Here are some of the benefits of evaporative coolers:

  • Energy Efficiency ? Because they cool air through evaporation, evaporative coolers use much less energy than traditional air conditioners to achieve the same results. This will take a big chunk off your energy bills each month.
  • Competitive Pricing ? You can buy just about any size evaporative cooler for less than a comparably sized air conditioner. And just like air conditioners, evaporative coolers are available in a wide variety of sizes so you should have no trouble finding one to fit the space you need cooled.
  • Easy Installation ? Whether you opt for a smaller window unit or a larger centralized one, evaporative coolers are at least as easy to install as air conditioners if not more so. The smaller units are made to fit into windows just like a comparably sized air conditioner, and central evaporative coolers operate through the same air ducts as your central heating system. They’re easy to integrate into your home and often less labor intensive than a central air conditioner to install.
  • Complete Air Circulation ? With an air conditioner, you need to have your windows and doors sealed up tight to keep the cooled air from escaping. But because evaporative coolers work by cooling outdoor air as they bring it into your home, they require other doors and windows in the house to be open to function efficiently. As the evaporative cooler blows cooled air into the house, it pushes hotter air out, leaving you with a comfortable environment and a constant supply of fresh air.

Of course, evaporative coolers aren’t the right choice for every situation. They work extremely well in areas with hot, dry climates, but they have a harder time cooling your home when the air outside is hot and humid. They also require water to keep their cooling pads moist, and if you live in an area where drought conditions are common, it may be difficult to keep up with their water consumption.

Heat Pump Noise Considerations

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Whenever you’re looking into replacing your old home heating system or installing a new one, there are many different factors you’ll have to take into consideration. The amount of noise that the system you choose will make is certainly one of these. And in addition to the amount of noise that this system will make, you’ll also want to make a note of where the unit will be placed and so where the noise will be coming from.

While you may have had to worry a bit about the noise generated by heat pumps in the past, it’s not something you’ll have to take into consideration this time around. That’s because newer heat pumps are designed to be quieter than ever, providing the same heating and cooling power with only a fraction of the noise of some earlier models.

In fact, the only part of a heat pump that really makes any noise at all is the outdoor unit. Unless this needs to be located very close to your home or to a window of a room that you use often, chances are that you won’t even hear it at all.

However, if you live very close to your neighbors or don’t have a lot of outdoor space, you may have to put the outdoor unit close to the walls of your home. Even then, though, you’ll hardly notice the noise your heat pump makes. Years of research and redesigning have produced some of the quietest heat pumps yet and that’s what you’ll be buying if you’re in the market for one of these systems now.

Newer heat pumps have been tweaked and adjusted to minimize the amount of noise-generating vibrations they produce. In fact, you’ll probably find that most of these units make no more noise than your refrigerator. They’re efficient and quiet and can keep your home comfortable all year long.