Posts Tagged ‘Port Richey’

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 Guide: AC Problems You Need A Professional to Fix

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

In a hot climate, it’s great to be cool. Our Tampa air conditioning lets us sleep and helps us be our best through the hottest days.  It’s such a part of our lives that it’s easy to forget that our air conditioners must be regularly maintained.

Some things are easy for the homeowner.  Other repairs are complicated, technical and require a professionally certified HVAC company like Air National to accomplish.

Doing the Basics

For window mounts or the big units on the side of the house, regular cleanings and a filter change should be a part of every season. It’s not hard to remove the cover and replace the panel of webbing that catches lint and other particles out of your conditioned air.

Some warm water and a good shot of compressed air gently on the exposed fins will help to increase the longevity of the unit.  Be careful not to put pressure on the fragile fins and coils or use hot water that could cause corrosion.

Make sure the drain is clear, always cover the unit or store it away when more naturally cool temperatures take over and you’ve got conditioned air and relative peace of mind in the years ahead.

Big Problems

Without the regular service, however, an air conditioner begins to work much harder to produce the same amount (or less) of cool joy and parts begin to break down.  With total neglect, the unit itself may need replacement much sooner than was promised when you paid for it. These are repairs that could be avoided and require a Tampa air conditioning professional to make.

The key ingredient to cooling is a chemical called a refrigerant (most often Freon) that is capable of transforming rapidly from gas to liquid and back again at low temperatures. This runs through two intricate tubes, a compressor, and a critical expansion valve that controls the process.  It is a delicate and complicated process that calls for expertise and the right tools, especially since the refrigerant is considered hazardous and requires special handling.

When the air gets stuffy, it could be that the fan is the problem.  Belts could be worn, loose or broken.  The motor may be low on oil and is stained to the breaking point.

If mysterious signs of water or mold are showing up on the inside of the house near the unit, there could be a problem with the condensate that is released with the heat when air is cooled.  This could be a simple or complicated fix, but should be checked out professionally to ensure all is well.

If you have having any problems with your Tampa air conditioning system, give Air National a call!

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.

What is Ductwork and How Do You Maintain It? A Question From Trilby

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Most first time homeowners in Trilby are aware of the importance of their heating and cooling systems. They keep you comfortable throughout the year, pumping heated and cooled air into every nook and cranny of your home. However, there is another system in your home that actually makes it possible for those other two systems to work. And while they are incredibly simple, your ducts must be carefully maintained year after year to avoid heat and cooling loss.

How Ducting Works

Ducts are installed throughout your home to deliver conditioned air from your air handler. The air is pumped into the ducts and directed by your thermostat system to where it is currently needed. Vents are opened or closed to release that heat or cooling and the house is properly tempered. Ductwork is usually made of sheet metal, though some flexible ducting is made with a combination of plastic, thinner metals and fiberglass.

Ideally, ductwork is crafted in such a way that it is air tight and able to deliver large volumes of air to any room of your home for decades to come. However, whether because of improper installation or extreme conditions, sometimes those ducts can come loose or gaps will form. When this happens, maintenance and repair are needed.

How to Maintain Your Ducts

To maintain ductwork, you must first have it cleaned once a year. Sometimes, this may be necessary more frequently depending on how often you use your home comfort system and how big your home is. Effective duct cleaning will remove any excess debris and dust and kill mold that has started to grow. High humidity can be controlled with a dehumidifier in your air handler and is highly recommended for all ductwork systems.

Additionally, you should have your ducts checked for leaks and gaps periodically. This will reduce the chance that your ductwork starts to leak anything out of the house or between rooms. Such leaks cost you money and put undue stress on your HVAC system. Overall, a good ductwork system is one that you never have to think about. Regular maintenance makes that possible.

What Does the EPA Do for Indoor Air Quality: Some Info From Carollwood

Monday, September 12th, 2011

There are a number of agencies in the United States dedicated to protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens. What does that mean for you in Carollwood? It means many of the rules and regulations related to indoor air quality are directly overseen by the EPA and the US government. For a better idea of how this impacts your currently lifestyle, here’s a quick look at what the EPA does.

Formation

The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 by Richard Nixon and the US Congress to oversee the regulation and oversight of air, water, land and hazardous waste. In short, the EPA works to keep our environment clean and safe.

The EPA and Homeowners

While much of what the EPA does relates to corporate pollution, regulations for manufacturing and consumer products, and development of safe methods of production for things like oil, food and water, the EPA has a big hand in ensuring your home stays safe.

Specifically, the EPA started and oversees the Energy Star program to help consumers purchase appliances and HVAC systems that use the least possible energy. Additionally, the EPA oversees the measurements and minimum requirements for home insulation and ventilation. This has as direct impact on indoor air quality.

Current EPA regulations are based on the ASHRAE Standards for low rise buildings and has been revised in the last two decades to ensure proper ventilation and insulation to reduce energy waste and maintain clean, fresh air.

The clean air act has a big impact on how homes are ventilated and maintained and the EPA does a lot of public service work to educate the public on ways to stay safe, including a recent campaign to get your home tested for radon – a potentially life threatening gas that can exist in any home, regardless of age.

Getting to Know the EPA

If you have an indoor air quality or suspect there may be issues in your home, one of the best resources on the Internet is the EPA’s indoor air quality website. It contains laws and regulations that impact your home (if you plan on remodeling or adding on to your home) and dozens of resources for testing and understanding the levels of pollutants in your home.

Sick Building Syndrome? Could Your Port Richey House Have It?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

When you buy a Port Richey house, you assume that it’s safe to live in. You assume that the construction is sound and the air quality is good so that you never need to worry about things like excessive illness due to contamination. However, the World Health Organization estimates that nearly 30% of homes built in the 1980s subjected homeowners to Sick Building Syndrome – a situation where indoor air quality causes symptoms and feelings of illness without a clear cause.

That number has dropped in the last 25 years as many homes have been remodeled and retrofitted to stay comfortable year round, but without proper air quality control, a home with poor ventilation and filtration may still be unsafe.

How Do I Know We Have Sick Building Syndrome?

There are quite a few potential symptoms of poor air quality and SBS in your home. Chest tightness and coughing is a primary factor and can lead to fevers and chills. Often, recovery from the illness has nothing to do with your health, but with the conditions of your home – you may not feel better until repairs are completed or you leave the house.

Other symptoms of sick building syndrome include headache, eye and nose irritation, dry skin, nausea and dizziness, fatigue and trouble concentrating. And throughout it all, your doctor likely won’t be able to determine the cause of your discomfort.

What Causes This

The most common reason for sick building syndrome is poor ventilation. In the 1970s, the ventilation requirements for new homes were reduced by 66% to help save energy. However, air quality measures were not included to ensure people stayed healthy. That has since changed as ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers raised the recommendations back to the pre-1973 levels and even increased them in some cases.

There are other things as well you should look out for including indoor chemical exposure to carbon monoxide from exhaust fans, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde. Outdoor sources can make you ill as well. Smoke, exhaust, and various gases from outside your home can enter your indoor air and cause illness to your family if they aren’t properly filtered out.

Finally, there are things like mold, bacteria and pollen which are always issues for indoor air. Proper purification and filtration will help with each of these problems, but only if you monitor and test for them regularly.