Posts Tagged ‘Seffner’

Madeira Beach HVAC Guide: Components of an Air Conditioner

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Ever wondered how that amazing machine that keeps you cool in your Madeira Beach home actually works? How exactly does it use electricity to create cool air and dehumidify your home? It’s actually an ingenious bit of technology developed over a century ago using four major components and a thermostat.

How these parts are implemented may change depending on the type of air conditioner you have and how much space it’s tasked with cooling, but the following components are standard in all AC units:

  • Evaporator – There are two sides to an air conditioner – the warm side and the cool side. The Evaporator is on the cool side and is paired with a fan that blows air over the coils. The air then chills and blows into your home to keep you cool.
  • Condenser – The condenser is the device responsible with transferring heat within the air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t actually make anything cool – it just removes heat from one environment and places it into another. By removing heat from one set of coils and transferring it to another, it creates the cooling effect that the evaporator then uses to cool your home
  • Expansion Valve – The expansion valve is responsible for regulating how much refrigerant passes into the evaporator coils. This refrigerant immediately expands when it reaches the evaporator coil due to the pressure drop.
  • Compressor – Once the refrigerant has depressurized and turned back into a gas, it is passed to the compressor which is then tasked with converting it back into a liquid and passing it into the warm part of your air conditioner.

And of course, this entire mechanism is monitored and regulated by a thermostat which tells the air conditioner when to turn on and what level of cooling is needed by your home. The system can also be setup in one of a couple different ways. Self-contained units, like window units, house the entire mechanism in a single box, while a central air conditioner separates the two units – the hot side with the compressor and condenser are placed outside the house.

Because there are so many parts and they work in harmony to create the cool environment you want, your air conditioner needs to be carefully maintained. Regular maintenance is a must for every component. To schedule your annual maintenance checkup for your air conditioner, give Air National a call today!

Elfers Indoor Air Quality Guide: How an Electronic Air Filter Works

Monday, February 13th, 2012

For a long time, the most frequently used kind of air filter in Elfers has been the mechanical variety. This is the kind you probably think of when you hear the terms air filter, air cleaner or air purifier. They use pleated fibrous filters in-line with an air handler to trap particles in the air before circulating it back out into the home.

Many models of these work very well and have for many years. They have the added benefit of being flexible because you can put in whatever filter you need depending on what size particles you need to trap.

However, these traditional devices are not the only option. A second kind of air filter exists for trapping particles in the air– one that does not use a fibrous filter that physically snags them out of the air on the way through.

These electrostatic — or electronic — air filters work in a different way to produce a similar result. The filtering component is still a fibrous sheet, but the difference is that the fibers are made of plastic, which becomes charged when air passes through it and causes friction.

(Think something like when you rub a balloon and stick it to the wall.)

These friction-charged fibers carry an electronic charge, which attracts the ions in the air around it. These ions — and the particles that they are a part of — get trapped in the fibers and stay out of your air supply.

Electronic air filters are generally very good at trapping particles that are 1 micron in size or higher, putting them about on par with a mechanical air filter that carries a MERV rating of 12. The electrostatic method works well for many common household air pollutants, such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander.

As with many ventilation-related decisions, the choice of what kind of indoor air quality system is right for you depends on your needs and those of your family. If you are having trouble deciding, then a consultation with Air National can be a good way to reach a decision.

Riverview Heat Pump Repair Guide: Common Performance Problems

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The heat pump in your Riverview home needs to work year round to provide heat and air conditioning. This is why you want to make sure it’s performing as efficiently as possible to save on energy costs and prevent break downs. You should schedule an annual maintenance check-up and inspection with a certified HVAC technician to test the efficiency levels.

However, there are a few common causes of performance issues to be aware of so that you can be sure your heat pump performs at optimal levels. Call Air National if you have questions about heat pump performance issues, or to make an appointment for an annual inspection and professional cleaning.

Airflow Issues

There should always be a certain amount of airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute) in your heat pump to maintain proper efficiency levels. If the airflow is less than 350 cfm per ton, it could increase your energy costs. You should make sure your HVAC contractor checks the airflow whenever your heat pump is inspected. Always keep the coils clean. Sometimes the ducts are not the right size, or the fan speed needs to be increased, but often cleaning the coils will help airflow, which is why it is important to clean and maintain the components of your heat pump. A certified technician will know what methods are best, so if you suspect an airflow problem with your heat pump, call a professional heating technician.

Air Leaks in the Duct System

Inefficient or poorly-designed duct systems may not distribute air properly throughout your home because of potential air leaks. There should always be a balance between the intake and return air in a forced air system, which helps maintain a neutral pressure within the house and increase efficiency. Some contractors argue over how tightly a house should be sealed for this reason, but if your heat pump is losing heat through leaks in the air ducts, this will greatly affect its efficiency.

Improper Refrigerant

Refrigerant leaks are another common cause of low performance levels in heat pumps. Most heat pumps already have refrigerant when they leave the factory and shouldn’t have any issues. Heat pumps that are charged with refrigerant when they are installed can sometimes have the wrong amount of refrigerant. Either too much or too little refrigerant will lower the heat pump’s efficiency and performance levels. Always check the recommended refrigerant amount or ask a Riverview HVAC technician before you add refrigerant yourself.

Troubleshooting Your Problematic Brandon Heat Pump

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

If your Brandon home’s heat pump isn’t working properly, there are a number of things that might be wrong. But, where do you start and how do you solve these problems quickly and inexpensively? Here are some tips for common heat pump problems.

Low Air Flow

Your heat pump is designed to provide steady air flow to the entire house. When it was originally installed, the technician sized it to do so. If it suddenly stops providing enough air flow to your entire house or if the air flow it provides isn’t as comfortable as you’re used to, something is probably wrong.

More specifically, there is likely an issue with the heat pump itself since the device will compensate for most external problems by running longer and harder. A quick inspection will often rule out serious problems, so you should have someone inspect your device as soon as you notice a problem.

Leaky Duct

If there is an external problem, such as leaky ductwork, it tends not to be as noticeable right away. Often, when ducts are leaking, air flow problems will occur only in certain rooms of your home. Even then, the heat pump might be able to maintain the right temperature in those rooms – you’ll just have a higher energy bill because of the energy loss in the ductwork.

The best way to determine what is happening and how best to tackle the problem is to have someone test your ductwork for leaks, a relatively quick process.

High Energy Bill

If your energy bill suddenly increases dramatically, it is usually due to energy loss somewhere in the transfer between the heat pump and the rooms of your home. Leaky ducts can be the culprit, but so too can the air handler or the heat pump itself. If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bill, look for other symptoms like uneven heating or cooling in certain parts of your home or noises coming from the ductwork or your air handler.

No matter what other symptoms accompany the increase, you probably need repairs. Your home may still be comfortable now, but the heat pump can only make up for the problem for so long and in the interim, it is being put under excessive stress that reduces its lifespan.

Plants & Indoor Air Quality: Some Pointers from Locoochee

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

In our Locoochee elementary school, we were taught that plants are the ‘lungs of the Earth.’ They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, which is great because it is the exact opposite of our respiratory process. They also clean the air in the process, like natural air pollution scrubbers, improving the quality of the air around them.

Given this, it’s not surprising that people have sought to harness the respiratory power of plants to improve air quality in their homes. One study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1980s even identified the best plants for improving indoor air quality.

This seems like great news for people who suffer from asthma or allergies, or who just want a natural way to purify the air in their homes. However, plants are not without their drawbacks. It is not a simple as to just bring a plant into the home. A plant is really an entire ecosystem, with many other organisms latched on for dear life. There are bacteria in the soil, for one, and there may be bugs or fungi in the soil or on the plant that you can’t even see.

Most of these are harmless, but not always. The fungus can be a problem, for example, if the spores get into the air. This can make allergies and asthma worse, not better.

That doesn’t mean you have to toss out that nice spider plant or Boston fern in the garbage, however. After all, it is probably doing a great job of filtering out some inorganic pollutants, it’s increasing the oxygen concentration of the room and it looks nice. Instead of getting rid of it, just give it a partner.

Adding an air cleaner like a fan with a filter can help purge the organic gunk that may be coming from the plant, while the plant is taking care of the other stuff. The result is cleaner, better air, which can be a relief to asthma and allergy sufferers.

HVAC Repairs That Will Save You Money: Some Advice from Seffner

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The best way to save money on operating your Seffner home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment – now and in the future – is to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency. The reasons are two-fold: an (HVAC) system will save you money on your utility bills and will save on the wear and tear of the equipment. That means extending the life of your equipment and putting off the need to replace it before its ‘shelf life’ runs out.

Let’s look at some ways your routine maintenance and common repairs impact the investment you have made in your HVAC equipment. Keep in mind that you can perform some maintenance but to get the best results, call your local licensed, qualified HVAC contractor. Better yet, call your contractor and ask about service agreements, which ensure annual or bi-annual cleaning and inspection of your furnace, air conditioner, or other components of your HVAC system.

Routine maintenance includes inspecting and cleaning/replacing filters in your HVAC system’s air handling unit. This unit contains the fan that blows heated or cooled air through your home’s ductwork. The filter can come in a variety of makes and sizes. Some electronic filters require regular cleaning with a hose or vaccum and others contain disposable filters which should be replaced on a regular basis, sometimes as often as every month. It is best for you to look at the recommended maintenance schedule which comes with the equipment owner’s manual or by talking to your HVAC contractor.

You can also do a visual inspection of your ductwork to check for any leaks or cracks along seams or joints. You may also be able to hear any air leakage in the ductwork. Repairing the leak can be as easy as using a sealing compound or applying duct tape or a suitable substitute over the leak.

Filter and ductwork maintenance guarantee a consistent air flow, which means that your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work any harder than normal – which equates to more efficiency and fewer possible repairs down the road.

Here are some other suggested maintenance tips:

  • Remove obstructions from vents.
  • Check for loose wires in electrical components.
  • Ensure that thermostat is in good working condition.

Most qualified HVAC contractors use a multiple-point checklist when installing or servicing HVAC equipment. The list ensures that service work or installation was carried out completely. These same lists are available online from manufacturers and contractors and are a useful tool for performing routine maintenance or repairs.

And when in doubt, keep an HVAC contractor’s phone number in your phone in case you may need any emergency repairs or to begin a regular maintenance schedule.

Your HVAC System’s Condensate Drain Line: Some Advice From Seffner

Friday, September 30th, 2011

There are a lot of components involved in your Seffner home’s properly working HVAC system. One component that many people overlook is the drain line for the air conditioning system. Your air conditioning system has condenser coils that sweat the water drawn from the air in your home as it is cooled by your AC unit. These coils produce a significant volume of water, especially when it humidity is high, so a condensate drain pan is installed to capture the moisture and keep it from damaging your home.

A drain line from the drain pain out of your home is required to transfer all that extra water, but it can easily become clogged by debris in the area or simply from heavy condensation. If this happens, the drain line might need to be cleared or even replaced.

Inspecting your Condensate Drain Line

Full inspection of your drain line involves checking quite a few components, so I will point you to Inspectapedia for a thorough rundown of what you should look for (and some pictures to show you what you don’t want to see). But, in short, you want to look for evidence that your condensate drain is overflowing or that the liquid in your drain pan is backing up into the air handler.

You may also notice that there is no liquid coming out of the condenser – a sign that there may be a major problem in the system that needs immediate inspection. If this happens, make sure you check for blockages and if nothing is present, call a contractor.

Cleaning Your Drain Line

Each year, it is recommended that you clean your drain line to make sure it is clear and ready for the summer’s heavy cooling and high humidity. The simplest way to do this is to disconnect the drain line and attach a hose to blow the line clear. This can get a little messy, so make sure you dress for the occasion. Another option if you have a wet/dry vac is to attach the hose to the end of the drain line and suck free any moisture still in there. Most wet/dry systems have attachments for drain line clearing or you can order one.

If your drain line is not clearing properly or you think there may be structural damage suffered during the winter, call a professional for a more thorough inspection. If you have regular maintenance done on your AC system each spring, this should be part of the process so make sure you write down any questions you have for when the contractor visits your home.

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.

Things You Should Have Inspected in Wimauma

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Life would be great  in Wimauma if we could just depend on things to work and last without requiring any sort maintenance or upkeep. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As good as modern manufacturing and engineering are, our devices, appliances and machines still need attention in order to stay in peak condition.

The Body Is a Machine

To illustrate this, think about the human body. We put a lot of wear and tear on ourselves, which can lead to minor illnesses, injuries and the like, especially when combined with the effects of aging. One way we attempt to stay ahead of the game is to get an annual physical. Once a year, we pay a visit to our doctor to make sure everything is in tip top shape. He checks everything out, lets us know what’s going on, helps us treat anything that may be acting up and then off we go, ready to go for another year.

And So Is Your Furnace!

Likewise, your furnace needs annual attention as well. Although newer electrical furnaces can go up to three years without regular maintenance, gas and oil models should be inspected every year, as should older systems. During an annual inspection, an HVAC professional will:

  • Clean out fuel lines, keeping every flowing freely and efficiently.
  • Check for parts that are wearing out or need to be replaced.
  • Clean and inspect the heating ductwork as well as the vents.

These simple and routine maintenance tasks can extend the life of your furnace by years, keeping your home warm and your heating costs low.

The Best Time for Inspection

The best time to get your furnace inspected is in the late summer to fall months. Although you may still be trying to squeeze every bit of enjoyment from those last warm days, the cold weather comes not far behind, and you will want your furnace ready when that happens. A fall inspection ensures that your furnace will be all set when those temperatures start to drop, so your family won’t have to tolerate any chilly nights.

Annual maintenance and inspections are important for health and longevity, both for you and your furnace. You can even schedule your physical and your furnace inspection around the same time so you don’t forget. Make an appointment for your car while you’re at it, too. That makes three things you won’t have to worry about during those cold winter months.