Posts Tagged ‘Plant City’

Plant City Heat Pump Guide: Understanding the Defrost Cycle

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

If your Plant City home has a heat pump, you’ll want to understand the defrost cycle to help you maintain your heat pump and troubleshoot repairs. While this is a basic guide, you should call a qualified HVAC technician if you experience major issues with your heat pump.

During the winter when a heat pump is heating your home, the cooler outdoor air that’s pumped in and heated may have excess moisture. The outdoor coil evaporates this moisture, but under certain weather conditions, frost can accumulate on the coil and decrease the overall efficiency of the heat pump.  To help reduce the potential for damage from the frost, heat pumps are manufactured with a defrost cycle to melt the frost from the outdoor coil. The defrost cycle occurs often during heavy frost conditions, so check weather reports if your defrost cycle seems to be running often.

At the beginning of the defrost cycle, the heat pump switches to the cooling mode and temporarily warms up the outdoor coil until it reaches somewhere around 60° F to melt the frost from the coil. To increase the temperature of the coil, the outdoor fan is prevented from turning on until the outdoor coil reaches the desired temperature. Weather conditions and the timing device both affect the amount of time it takes for the heat pump to move through the entire defrost cycle.

In older homes, electric heating elements are sometimes installed to prevent cool air from being distributed throughout the home. This element will turn on with the defrost cycle and shut down the blower fan inside the house. If you have an older heat pump, you may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient model.

Call Air National Air Conditioning and Heating any time if you have questions about the defrost cycle for the heat pump in your Plant City home.

Is Your Durant Heat Pump Malfunctioning?

Monday, December 5th, 2011

In a perfect world, you would never have to worry about things like malfunctions or repairs in Durant. Everything would just work without ever needing to be maintained or fixed, and you could spend your time on energy on more enjoyable pursuits.

Unfortunately, no such perfect world exists. Things wear out and break down, often at the least opportune time. And of course, your heat pump is not immune. Despite being a great all around machine, a heat pump can malfunction, just like anything else.

But how can you know whether your heat pump is not working right? Here are some signs and symptoms that are often indicative of common heat pump problems:

  1. Too Much Noise – Whether emanating from your car or your usually quiet heat pump, noises are often the first sign that something is amiss. You should expect your heat pump to make some noise; the compressor and air handler are two culprits. However, if it starts making more noise than it did before, something may be up. Sometimes this is as simple as some loose fittings, but it’s still something that should be checked out.
  2. The House Is Too Cold – Obviously, if you get a heat pump to heat your house, you expect it to do just that. So, if your home is too chilly, you know something is amiss. If it’s way too cold, the heat pump may not be running at all, which can be the result of a serious malfunction. If it is only a few degrees below where you set it, it may be a different problem. It could be that something is malfunctioning in the heat pump, but it could also be that the outside air is too cold for the heat pump to keep the house warm. In that case, the best solution is supplemental heating.
  3. The Heat Pump Turns Off Too Soon – If your heat pump seems to be shutting off too quickly, it may be short cycling. That means that it is turning off before getting through its entire heating or cooling cycle. Frequently this is simply caused by dirt or debris around the outdoor coil, in the air handler or in the filter. Check these areas out and clean them. In general, you will want to keep the various components of your heat pump clean in order to ensure the best performance.

These are just some of the main symptoms of common problems. Other things can go wrong with your heat pump, although it is not very likely. As a general rule, if you notice your heat pump performing strangely or doing something it hasn’t done before, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional.

Important Indoor Air Quality Tips when Remodeling in Tampa

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Remodeling your Tampa home is a big step. As you plan the layout of your new bathroom or the size of the bedroom being added to the second floor, make sure you take into account the effects your changes will have on the indoor air quality of your home. Here are some specific things to keep in mind:

  • Water and Moisture: When you build on to or remodel your home, one of the most common problems is excess moisture. The grade may not be built to handle the extra space or you may find that moisture is harder to block from your home than expected. However, it’s vital that any additions are as water tight as the original construction. Mold and mildew, as well as dust mites and other humidity and moisture borne pollutants are major health concerns.
  • Ventilate Properly: Most people assume that the best thing they can do is close their home up tightly to block out pollutants. But, indoor air can be as much as 100 times more polluted than outside air if it isn’t properly ventilated. Stagnant, stale air filled with dust, pollen and dander among other things is not healthy, so extend your ventilation system to support your new addition.
  • Proper Flooring: The floor you choose when remodeling has a major impact on indoor air quality. You want to ensure any water that gets on the floor, especially in bathrooms can be removed without it penetrating to the wood underneath. Properly sealed tiles and fixtures are a must.
  • Unsafe Building Materials: Modern materials are generally safe, but if your home was built before 1978, consider the risk of flaking paint or old insulation before you start demolishing a room for remodeling. Lead paint in window frames and doors can be a major risk if it flakes and enters the air and asbestos can be found in insulation in walls, wiring and pipes.

Remodeling is a big step, and likely you have a lot of things on your mind, but don’t forget to include the air quality in your calculations, both during and after the construction. The EPA has a fantastic resource on indoor air quality in home remodels to help you determine what things you should watch for in each room of the house as you make changes.

Testimonial: Stanley and Sonia Sczurak

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

We  always try to give you the best service possible: it looks like we succeeded with Stanley and Sonia Sczurak from Plant City.  Here is what they wrote to us about their central heating and air conditioning system installation:

Juan and his team just completed a central air conditioning/heating installation in our home. We wanted to express our deep appreciation for an outstanding job. Having such a major project going on in your home can be quite disruptive, but because of this team and their professional manner it was a pleasure. Juan was not only knowledgeable, answering all our questions, but did so in a courteous and thoughtful manner. Because of the excellent service provided by Juan and his team, we will highly recommend your company to our family and friends. Hopefully your other teams are as great as this one.

- Stanley and Sonia Sczurak

Simple Filter Tips to Keep Your Ducts Clean in Saint Leo

Monday, August 15th, 2011

If there’s one thing you can count on with your Saint Leo home comfort system, it’s that there will be higher energy bills in the summer and an increase in dust and debris in your ductwork. But, luckily, the latter can be fixed with a few simple filtration upgrades in your home.

The Nature of a Forced Air System

When you flip the switch on your thermostat and your air conditioner or furnace turns on, it starts drawing air from inside your house, conditioning it to the right temperature, and then circulating it back into your rooms through an air handler and ductwork. Of course, a good system should have proper ventilation to circulate new air into the house, but let’s face it: no matter how much ventilation you have in your home, there will always be dust and debris from things like pets, plants and other common household items.

So, when the air gets circulated back through the ducts, all sorts of debris and sediment build up. That’s not to mention the possible presence of actual contaminants like bacteria or mold. Luckily, because of how your forced air system is built, these are not tough problems to deal with.

Installing the Right Filters

Filtration is incredibly important for adding the right level of protection to your home’s ductwork. Usually placed directly within your air handlers, whole house air filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns (if you purchase a high quality HEPA filter). That pretty much covers all dust, sediment, pollen, dander and other common allergens.

There are a number of other upgrades you can make to capture just about everything you house spits into those ducts – from bacteria and viruses to smoke and other air pollutants, but at the very least a good filter system will save your lungs, cut back on duct cleaning costs and make it much easier to maintain your home’s air quality throughout the year.

To learn more about HEPA filters and the specific ratings offered in various products, here is a link to the EPA’s guide to home air cleaners. It has a handy breakdown of different types of filtration and what each filter grade can capture.

Changes in Light Bulb Laws and Technology

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which promoted many forms of renewable energy and energy conservation. Its provisions include changes to the minimum standards for light bulb efficiency. Although the new standards haven’t officially gone into effect yet, you many already have seen changes in the kinds of light bulbs on sale in your local hardware store.

According to the law, starting in 2012, most standard general-purpose bulbs must be 30% more energy efficient than current incandescent bulbs. The new requirements will be phased in gradually, but the net result will be that by 2014, most of today’s incandescent bulbs will no longer be available for sale, and will be replaced by compact florescent light bulbs, or CFLs.

Of course, higher-efficiency bulbs are good for the environment. Moving to more efficient lighting is one of the easiest, lowest-cost ways for the U.S. to reduce electricity use and carbon emissions. But the changes will also benefit consumers – some estimates suggest that the average household’s utility bill will be reduced by as much as 12%. Even though CFLs cost more to buy ($3 compared to 50 cents for an incandescent), they use about 75% less energy and last five years instead of a few months. Depending on the cost of electricity, a homeowner that invests $90 to change 30 bulbs to CFLs will save between $440 and $1500 over the five-year life of the bulbs.

CFLs do have their detractors. Many claim that they don’t last anywhere near as long as the five years claimed by manufacturers – and this can in fact be the case you turn the bulbs on and off frequently. Energy Star recommends that all CFLs be left on for at least 15 minutes at a time. (Also, if you are using the bulbs in a dimmer, make sure that you buy bulbs specifically marked ‘dimmable’.) If you buy Energy Star bulbs, they come with a two-year warranty, so save your receipts and contact the bulb’s manufacturer if it burns out prematurely.

Others dislike the white -sometimes called ‘harsh’- light of CFLs. This effect can be mitigated by buying cooler-burning CFLs. Bulbs with Kelvin temperatures in the range of 2,700 to 3,000 emit a warmer light than higher-temperature bulbs with Kelvin temperatures of 5,000 or higher, which tend to have a white or bluish light.

Still other critics point out that CFLs contain mercury. While this is true, incandescent bulbs are not mercury-free in practice either. The increased power used for incandescent likely comes from coal-powered plants that produce mercury and many other types of pollution.

If you do break a CFL in your home, consult the EPA’s website for instructions on how to clean it up safely.

Of course, manufacturers are preparing for 2012 by developing new kinds of light bulbs that meet the more stringent standards, including high-efficiency incandescent and LED bulbs, so look for these options to arrive in stores over the next year or so.

The good news? A much less-beloved light bulb has already been phased out. The T-12 fluorescent tube – those humming, flickering office lights that give everyone’s skin a miserable greenish cast – has been replaced by T-8 fluorescent tubes, which are quieter, more efficient, don’t flicker, and make colors look much more natural.

Saving Energy with Air Conditioners

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Air conditioners can definitely make it easier to get through a particularly hot and sticky summer. But they are also pretty expensive to run, especially if you live in an area with long, hot summers. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to help your air conditioner keep your home cool without running up those astronomical energy bills.

  • Think about Your Thermostat ? Most people set their thermostat at one temperature and leave it there. But does it really make sense to pay to keep your home cool all day long when no one?s home? Instead, try turning up the temperature when you leave the house and then again at night before you go to bed. It?s likely you won?t notice the difference and even an adjustment of a couple of degrees can make a big difference.
  • Multiple Climate Zones ? When you are home, of course, you want to set your thermostat to a temperature you’ll be comfortable with. But that probably still means you’ll be cooling a lot of empty space. Installing a multi-zone system allows you to set different temperatures for different parts of your home. You can keep the spaces you use regularly cool and comfortable without wasting money paying to cool the unoccupied parts of your home.
  • Ceiling Fans ? It might seem silly at first glance to use a ceiling fan at the same time as an air conditioner. But the truth is that using a ceiling fan to compliment your air conditioning system can actually save you a lot of money. Ceiling fans use next to no electricity to operate and they can make the house feel a few degrees cooler. With that added help, you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees without sacrificing indoor comfort and save yourself quite a bit of money ? more than enough to cover the cost of running the ceiling fan.
  • Keep Things Sealed ? Making sure your house is well sealed and insulated is another important way to keep your energy usage down during the summer. The more cool air that escapes, the harder your system has to work and the more energy it will use.
  • Proper Maintenance ? Keeping up with the recommended maintenance for your air conditioning system is the best way to make sure it maintains the highest possible level of energy efficiency. Over time, it will ensure your system stays efficient longer as well ? well beyond the initial lifespan estimates.