Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Programmable Thermostats and Your Tampa Air Conditioning System

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Air conditioning makes our home comfortable during a hot summer day. However, air conditioners need electricity to run, and most of us are trying to reduce our home’s energy consumption. There are a number of ways you can make your Tampa air conditioning system more efficient, including upgrading to an ENERGY STAR rated unit and scheduling regular maintenance, but one of the easiest steps to implement is installing a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the temperature in your home depending on the time of day. You can save up to 10 percent a year by turning down your thermostat back ten degrees for eight hours a day! Most models allow you to store multiple daily settings, so you can turn you air conditioner down during the day when you are at work and while you are sleeping, and still have the temperature cooler when you need it. You can also still manually adjust the temperature without affecting the normal settings, giving you complete control and helping you save energy.

Programmable thermostats are not all made the same, and there are many different makes and models. Your Tampa HVAC contractor will go over the different features available to you so you can decide which best fits your needs. Different thermostats work better with different systems, for instance some heat pumps need thermostats that have multi-stage functions, so it is best to consult with a professional before deciding what to purchase.

Programmable thermostats allow you to save energy without sacrificing comfort, which is something that all of us are looking for. If you are looking for a simple, affordable way to improve your HVAC system, a programmable thermostat is a great choice. Most are easy to read and easy to use, call Air National name today to learn more about having a programmable thermostat installed in your home!

Carollwood Air Conditioning Installation Guide: Pre-installation Checklist

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

A good central air conditioner is a huge upgrade for most Carollwood homeowners. If you’ve been using window units for the last few years or have an older central unit that simply doesn’t get the job done any longer, a brand new central unit will feel incredible. But, before you run out and hire someone to install your new central air conditioner, there are a few things to remember.

  • Space – Make sure you have enough space for both the outdoor unit and the indoor evaporator coils.  If space is limited, there are smaller units that will use less and still provide a decent amount of cooling.
  • Supply Registers – Make sure there are enough registers in your home, in the rooms where you need the cooled air. Insufficient depositing of cooled air won’t keep you cool and will run up your energy bill.
  • Ducting – Check the duct work and make sure it can support an air conditioning system. Seal up any ducts leading into spaces you don’t want cooled like the attic or the basement.
  • Condensing Unit – Clear away a space outside where your condensing unit will be placed. It should be clear of debris and be easy to maintain throughout the year, even in the winter when snow might block it in. It should also be easy to access for installation and annual maintenance.
  • Sizing – When you call a professional, they should properly size your home and match it to a central air conditioner that fits your needs. Something too small won’t provide the level of cooling you need and something too large will cycle on and off frequently, costing you more money and putting unnecessary stress on the machine.

If you’re ready for a central air conditioner and want to start the processor, call Air National to help you go through each of these issues and make sure your Carollwood home is ready for the new device. Once you’ve done that, you can select a model and have it installed.

Elfers Heat Pump Question: Do Heat Pumps Help with Humidity?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Humidity is a big problem for a lot of families in Elfers. When not properly controlled, excess humidity can lead to damage to your furniture, excess mold growth and dust mites. This is a big problem. Fortunately, if you have a new heat pump, you have a strong weapon against excess humidity.

Air conditioning has long been a natural dehumidifier. Because the process works through evaporation and condensation, water can be extracted from the air by the device whenever it is on.

However, for your heat pump to truly provide the dehumidification you need to remain comfortable, it must first have a dehumidification setting – often called the “dry” cycle. During this cycle, the device will dehumidify your home, pulling air from inside the house and extracting moisture from it through the indoor evaporator coils.

Dry cycling is effective because it doesn’t draw new air in from outside to heat or cool your Elfers home. It uses the same air already in your home and can therefore remove humidity over time. While new air is draw into your home through vents, the system is designed to continuously cycle the humidity out of the air and keep you from being uncomfortable.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump for Humidity Control

Not all heat pumps offer humidity control settings, so you should talk to a professional about your needs before selecting a new model for your home. Make sure it offers the dehumidification options you’re looking for and can cover the full area of your home.

Tampa Heat Pump Repair: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

If you are having trouble with your Tampa heat pump, you may be surprised to learn that it is probably not the heat pump that is to blame, especially if the trouble is that it simply won’t start up. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true: the heat pump can be in perfect working order but still not turn on.

The good news, then, is that your heat pump is fine and you won’t have to pay to fix or replace it. Still though, these types of problems can very frustrating to diagnose and correct. Here are four common culprits when a heat pump won’t start:

  1. No power to the heat pump. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker was tripped. If so, reset it and see if that fixes the problem. Another possibility is that your heat pump is wired to a wall switch, or that there is a switch on the unit itself. Make sure the switch is turned on.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper mode, such as “heat” mode if you desire more heat. It seems overly simple, but sometimes the trouble is as simple as that.
  3. A recently replaced thermostat. If you recently upgraded or replaced the thermostat in your home, it’s possible that something went wrong that is preventing your heat pump from starting. It may be the wrong kind of thermostat – heat pumps require a specific type – or it may have been improperly wired.
  4. Finally, the heat pump may have its own circuit breaker on the air handler cabinet. This is often the case with heat pumps that have supplemental electric elements. If that breaker is tripped, that could cause the problems you are experiencing.

If you exhaust these problems and the problem persists or recurs – for example, if the circuit breaker trips again – call a Tampa contractor to work on your heat pump. There may be something larger at work that is causing problems in the electrical system that controls your heat pump, and that requires some expertise to properly address.

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.

Allergies: Different Products that Can Help with Different Problems

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

One of the biggest problems related to indoor air quality is allergies. When not treated properly, excess dust, humidity, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants can cause a number of allergy problems, especially if anyone in your home has asthma and is particular sensitive to a contaminant.

Luckily, there are quite a few products on the market designed to reduce the effect of indoor allergens and help you feel comfortable all year long.

Filters

HEPA air filters are designed to capture incredibly small bits of debris in your home. They remove things like dust, mold, debris, pollen, and pet dander before they can trigger an allergic reaction. The best filters are all HEPA certified and are available either for a single room or for your entire home. The size of your home and the amount of contaminants you have will ultimately determine which filter is best for you.

Purifiers

For those with allergens beyond dust and pollen, purifiers are a good next step. Air purification is done electronically, utilizing ionization technology to remove things like gas and smoke as well as bacteria and viruses that get into your indoor air. Anyone suffering from even a mild bout of seasonal allergies can be made very uncomfortable by these types of contaminants. Advanced purification systems also come with UV germicidal lights to kill bacteria and viruses.

Ventilation

While capturing the bad stuff in your air is important, so too is getting new air into your home. Allergies are triggered as much by stale air as by the allergens in it. So, a good ventilation system is important. Simple fan units work very well for many families, but if you want to avoid the loss of heated and cooled air during the most extreme weather in your area, an energy recovery ventilator is a good alternative to straight fan ventilation.

Humidity

Finally, humidity is a big issue for many families. Dryness in the winter can make colds and flus worse and excessive humidity in the summer is a haven for things like mold. A good humidifier removes humidity when it gets too high and adds moisture to the air during the winter when it gets too dry.

Always do your research before choosing an air quality system for your home. It’s important to choose components that will help you overcome whatever allergies you face, throughout the year.

LEED Accreditation ? What Is It, and How Can I Get It for my Home?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally-recognized green building rating system based on standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The LEED system is voluntary and offers homebuyers third-party verification that a home is sustainable, water efficient, and energy-saving; is designed to conserve construction materials and reduce pollution; and has clean indoor air.

Homes that are candidates for LEED accreditation are rated on a 100-point scale. The home must satisfy all minimum requirements and earn a minimum number of total points. Key areas of evaluation include:

  • Sustainability of Building Site. The home’s impact on ecosystems and waterways must be minimized, as must erosion, light pollution, and construction-related pollution.
  • Water Efficiency. The home must have water-efficient appliances and fixtures and regionally appropriate landscaping.
  • Energy and Atmosphere. The home must have energy-efficient design, appliances, systems, and lighting. More points are awarded for use of clean and renewable energy and other innovative strategies.
  • Materials and Resources. The home must use sustainable materials, and construction and operating waste must be minimized.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality. The home must have high indoor air quality, good indoor acoustics, and access to natural daylight and views.
  • Locations and Linkages. The LEED standard promotes building in previously-developed, ‘infill’, or ‘brownfield’ sites and away from undeveloped and/or environmentally-sensitive sites. Points are also awarded for building near existing retail and transit infrastructure and outdoor recreation areas.
  • Awareness and Education. Home builders are encouraged to teach new homeowners about the green features of their home so that they can be maximally utilized.
  • Innovation in Design. Points are awarded for home design that is innovative and goes ‘above and beyond’ existing LEED requirements, and for including a LEED certified professional on the design team.
  • Regional Priority. Bonus points are awarded for taking into account the regional environmental concerns that have been identified by USGBC’s regional councils.

LEED accreditation doesn’t just make sense from an environmental standpoint. It also makes good financial sense:

  • LEED accreditation offers great ROI for new construction – some studies have shown that an upfront investment of 2% in green building design can result in long term savings of 20% on total construction costs.
  • LEED-certified homes generally have lower operating costs.
  • LEED-certified homes are more attractive to buyers and renters (according to studies, commercial LEED-certified buildings have higher occupancy rates, higher rent-per-square foot, and higher per-square-foot sale prices than comparable non-LEED buildings).
  • LEED certification may provide some protection against indoor air quality lawsuits.

LEED accreditation can only be granted to new construction or major remodeling projects. To apply for LEED accreditation, contact a LEED for Homes Provider organization in your area. The LEED for Homes Provider organization will work with your builder to ensure that your home qualifies and will guide you through the accreditation process.

Ductless vs. Duct Air Conditioning Systems

Monday, April 11th, 2011

When it comes time to pick out a new air conditioning system for your home, you will have to make the choice between ductless and duct models. While both of these types of systems have their advantages, the specifics of your situation will go a long way to determining which one is right for you.

Ductless air conditioning systems are becoming more and more popular these days for a number of reasons. For one, they are generally considered more energy efficient than their ducted counterparts. Also, ductless systems are often cheaper and simpler to install, particularly in a house that does not already contain ductwork.

These types of air conditioners use refrigerant lines to connect the indoor unit or units to the outdoor compressor. The refrigerant lines take up much less space than ducts do and they also are much easier to install. Refrigerant lines can also reach into areas of your house that ducts may not be able to, making it possible for you to bring the benefits of air conditioning to places that did not have access to it before.

The indoor unit of a ductless air conditioning system can generally handle the cooling load of one or two rooms, but if you want to cool a larger space, it will be necessary to install multiple indoor units throughout the house. All of these units can connect to the same outdoor compressor and they can also be controlled individually. That means that you can set different temperatures in different parts of your house and you do not have to pay to cool the entire space if no one is occupying certain parts at the moment.

A duct air conditioning system also involves indoor and outdoor components. However, these elements are connected to each other by a system of ducts rather than by refrigerant lines. In a duct system, cooled air is brought inside from the compressor and then circulated through various ducts by the air handler.

The latest duct systems are quite energy efficient as well, and they can also be coupled with zone control systems to create different climate zones within your house. Particularly if you already have some ducts in place, a duct air conditioning system can be a great option for you.