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Introduction to Your New Air Conditioning Unit

December 19, 2012 11:01 pm

Your New Air Conditioning Unit

Your new air conditioning unit is made up of three main components: an evaporator, a compressor and a heat exchanger. Refrigerant circulates between these three main components. The refrigerant alternates between a liquid and a gas.

 

How Your New Air Conditioning Unit Works

The refrigerant starts in the condensing coil, where it is hottest. It passes through an expansion valve, converting it from a liquid to a gas. When refrigerant converts from a liquid to a gaseous state, it can absorb heat as latent heat. The refrigerant passes through an evaporator coil, generally located inside the building. A fan blows inside air over the evaporator coil, cooling it. The refrigerant also absorbs some of the heat. The refrigerant is pushed to the compressor where it is converted to a liquid. It travels to condensing coils in a condenser. The condenser is located outside. After passing through the condenser, the refrigerant is passed to the expansion valve to repeat the cycle.

 

 

Can My Air Conditioner Heat My Home?

If your air conditioner is a heat pump, it can provide heat as well as cooling capacity. In the case of heat pumps, the same equipment can heat your home when the flow of the refrigerant is reversed. Alternatively, if your air conditioner was reversed so that the evaporator cooler was outside, it would release heat inside instead of venting it outside, heating up the room.

Is an Air Conditioner a Dehumidifier?

Air conditioners are not dehumidifiers, but they will act as such in some circumstances and may have dehumidifiers installed alongside the AC. The evaporator coils are colder than the air inside. Moisture in the air passing over the evaporator coils may collect on them. If the moisture collects and stays inside of the AC, the moisture will corrode the electronics and the coils. This is why periodically checking the condenser coils, drying them or airing them out as necessary or installing a dehumidifier with the AC may be necessary. If the moisture that condenses on the evaporator coils drips down to the floor, it will eventually evaporate into the room. A humidifier placed near the air conditioning unit’s evaporator coils, this would reduce the harm humidity could cause. In wetter climates, humidifiers may be installed along with the air conditioner in the HVAC system to prevent the humidity in the house from fostering the growth of mold.

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How Air Leaks in Your Home Cost You Money and How to Fix Them

December 18, 2012 8:12 pm

 

When air leaks in your home, the electricity used to heat or cool that air is wasted as it leaks. Your HVAC system has to work harder and longer to maintain the same temperature. This drives up your electric bill if you use electricity to heat your home. It increases your natural gas bill or heating oil bill if that is what you use to heat your home.

 

Air leaks let pollen, dirt and pollution into your home. Air filters that clean the air in your home now purify additional, outside air. The solution may be replacing air filters more often, installing more air filters or using more expensive, higher grade filters to improve the air quality.

 

Where there is air, there is moisture. If your home has air leaks, humidity put into the air by your humidifier is lost while rain from the outside has the potential to leak in. The water may seep in and cause mildew and mold to grow in the insulation, seep in through seals and feed mold and mildew growing in the duct work or accelerate the decay of wood in your home.

 

How can a heating and cooling service company fix these costly leaks?

 

 

* A heating and cooling service company can check the hoses, ducts and air intake locations in your home for leaks. They can replace cracked hoses, replace ducts or seal gaps. They may replace insulation that has broken down or increase the insulation to prevent future leaks.

 

* Many HVAC contractors can seal leaks around windows, doors and pipes to reduce air leaks.

 

* Some HVAC contractors are qualified to perform weather-proofing services like installing weather strips under doors or place solar screens in windows.

 

* A heating and cooling service company typically has the tools to perform an energy audit. Part of this audit is touring the home with an infrared camera and a thermal sensor, identifying areas that are abnormally hot or cold. While the HVAC company may not be able to install insulation in the attic where it is unusually thin, this information helps the home owner take steps to improve the home’s energy efficiency.

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The Most Common Air Conditioning Problems and What To Do When They Occur

December 17, 2012 5:48 pm

Air Conditioning Problems
Air Conditioning Problems

What are some of the most common air conditioning problems that home owners encounter, and what should you do when they occur?

Poor Air Intake / Outflow

This problem is often caused by a clogged air filter. While we may change the air filters inside of the home, such as the small air filters in the corner of the living room or by the vents inside the house, we also need to change the air conditioner’s air filter on the air intake. If the condenser fins of a heater do not get enough air, the condenser will freeze up. Blocked outdoor grills will interfere with the air intake of the unit and can cause it to labor or shut down.

Warm Air Blowing

Refrigerant in an air conditioner is similar to the oil in your car. It can leak. It can deteriorate over time. It needs to be replaced or topped off periodically. If refrigerant has been added recently and the AC is blowing warm air, you probably have an electrical problem or parts that need to be replaced. The condenser is the likely culprit. Contact an HVAC contractor to have the issue troubleshot.

Unit Will Not Come On

This could occur if the power breaker has tripped due to high electrical demand. A wire could have burned out or an animal could have chewed through it. If the thermostat or transformer in the unit is malfunctioning, you need to call an HVAC contractor.

Condenser Is Not Running

If the evaporator inside of the house is running but the outside unit is not, the condenser is not running. If the condenser is not running, check for a blown out fuse in the fuse box. Make sure the circuit breaker has not been tripped. Another potential cause of this problem is the thermostat. Turn down the temperature a few degrees and see if the condenser kicks in. If it doesn’t, there is probably a mechanical problem that needs to be reviewed by a repair man.

On and Off

An air conditioner may turn on and off periodically throughout the day. This problem is often traced to the condenser when it needs to be cleaned. Clean off any debris and dirt. If the unit continues to turn on and off, contact a professional for assistance.

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Pool Heaters: Things to Be Aware Of

December 10, 2012 9:11 pm

Pool Heaters

All year round pool weather is just one of the perks of living in Florida, often though pool heaters make all the difference in adding a more days to the swim season down here. When your pool heater is on the fritz or not working as efficiently, the techs at Cool Air USA have seen it all and routinely handle all kinds of pool heating repair issues.

 

Other than standard pool heating service issues people in Florida experience, there are some pool heater installation and repair issues that need to be elaborated on. If you have recently had a pool heater installed you may need to check for the following issues: if you had an outdoor pool heating unit  placed at your home it is very important to be sure that the install followed manufacturer’s specifications for proper ventilation and spacing the pool heater away from doors and windows into your home.

 

Similarly, pool heating units installed in-doors need to have adequate ventilation. While some contractors who perform pool heater cleanings and services skip these safety precautions, it is vital to make sure there is sufficient venting and that the indoor pool heater  are receiving proper air circulation.  This necessity is related to pool heater efficiency but more importantly pool heating components that are not properly maintained and ventilated can lead to deadly build ups of carbon monoxide.

 

If you have any doubts about the condition of your pool heaters or if your installation was done to industry standards, it is highly recommended to consult a professional pool heating service company such as Cool Air USA  in Florida,  to make sure not only that your equipment is functioning properly but more importantly if your pool heater is operating at an acceptable safety standard!

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Top Reasons to Hire an HVAC Specialist

December 4, 2012 9:58 pm

“Tis’ the season to be jolly”, as the saying goes. However, you’ll be everything but jolly, if your house ends up catching on fire on Christmas day. HVAC maintenance can help extend the life of your appliances. Hiring an HVAC specialist can actually save you money in the long run, as well. Below are the top reasons why you should consider hiring an HVAC Specialist.

Maintenance

HVAC products require a certain degree of care and maintenance.  However, maintaining such products can be complicated if you are not a certified HVAC Specialist. Take the stress of your back and hire an HVAC Specialist or company.

 

Reliability

HVAC Specialists understand that emergency situations arise. This is one of the reasons companies like Cool Air USA are available around the clock. Dealing with HVAC issues can be frustrating without a service professional. Maintaining your HVAC components will also help minimize the chance of a system failure.

 

Convenient

Hiring an HVAC company or individual is also convenient, especially for people with busy schedules. Since emergencies can occur at anytime, having a reliable HVAC company in mind can save you the hassle if any problems arise in the future.

 

Cool Air USA

Cool Air USA is your premier choice for HVAC equipment and services in the South Florida area.  Our licensed and insured technicians understand the latest trends in the HVAC industry, but can also tackle issues with older units. With more than 20 years of experience in South Florida, Cool Air USA continues to provide top quality and affordable HVAC service. At Cool Air USA, we car about your air!

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Going Green: Best Practices In The HVAC Industry

November 30, 2012 9:45 pm

Going Green Cool Air USA
Going Green Cool Air USA

Preserving the earth for our children and ensuring that they can enjoy nature the way we have and our parents did before us, has thankfully become a more important issue in almost every industry. The HVAC industry is no exception to this ecological awareness and concern for the environment.

In heating and cooling there are many opportunities to conserve and recycle, and we are going to discuss some of the ways that you can get the best from your heating and cooling systems and at the same time do your part to protect mother earth.

So before you even put a new unit in your home, one of the ways to conserve is to discuss with a home builder or your HVAC contractor, the installation of your unit to optimize the space used so as to cut down on installation costs and labor. Similarly if you properly size the unit to meet your home’s actual needs, you can save money and be heating and cooling your home much more efficiently. This would include calculating your needs based on room sizes, location of windows and doors, as well as any locations that could contain air leak zones.

When possible it is best to purchase high efficiency heating and cooling systems, that are more energy efficient and best able to help you cut down your electric bill. Take some time to find out which manufacturers sell high efficiency units, that best suit your needs. Often you will find that Energy Star heating units and air conditioning units rated with a 14 SEER and higher are best for this purpose.

Further steps that can be taken include making sure that any fixtures, outlets, walls, or ceilings that could lead to air leaks are properly sealed and do not contribute to higher energy costs.  Making sure that all ductwork is sealed with mastic or properly coated to ensure that there is no massive loss of air as it circulates throughout your home.

All of these steps are sure to help preserve this world, and will also help you save money on a daily basis. If you have any questions about how you can “go green” with your home’s heating and cooling system, give your local qualified HVAC professionals a call. Future generations will be grateful, and so will your wallet.

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Things to Know When Buying A New Unit

November 26, 2012 6:22 pm

New AC Unit
New AC Unit

So for whatever reason, it is time to say goodbye to your old HVAC unit, whether it’s a central air conditioning or a heating furnace. Let’s discuss some things that are important to be aware of when purchasing any new HVAC equipment. When you purchase a new unit, chances are the technology that is available now may be a slightly more expensive in terms of intial costs than your old unit, but rest assured with the advances in technology, this cost will be offset by saving offered by the new technologies increased operating efficiency.  Also some companies will offer rebates based on certain “Green” technologies that are much better for the environment. Advances in heating and cooling manufacturing process have made air conditioning units, not only more efficient but also more powerful while not necessarily having to be as bulky and large as older models.

It is extremely vital that you pick a unit that fits your heating and cooling needs, as some unit may not be the most efficient method of controlling your home’s temperature. Some units may be better suited for your family based on allergies or other health needs, as some HVAC equipment is manufactured with air quality in mind. If improving indoor air quality is indeed a priority that is something you should make your HVAC contractor aware of. Similarly if operating costs and efficiency are your main priority there are many different units and technologies that get you the best return on your investment.

After picking out the unit that is right for your needs, it is essential to make sure that you have your HVAX system installed by a qualified contractor, that is going to follow all regulations, building codes, and ensure a safe and quality install. At the end of the day, quality air conditioning equipment is going to ensure that you are able to maintain a comfortable and healthy home environment, so hopefully this article will help you to do just that.

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The Inside Scoop On Insulation

November 23, 2012 8:35 pm

Scoop On HVAC Insulation
Scoop On HVAC Insulation

Everyone knows the importance of purchasing efficient quality heating and cooling equipment, and spends a lot of time and effort making sure they have the top of line equipment that is regularly maintained. Some people tend to overlook however the importance of a little talked about HVAC tool in the industry’s toolbox and that handy piece of equipment is insulation.

There are many different types and varieties of insulation, but all share ultimately the same purpose which is to protect and keep air temperatures consistent. Some types of insulation are better suited to trapping heated air, and keeping cold air out in  parts of the country where winter and outdoor temperatures require it, as well keeping heating costs down by allowing heating systems to work more efficiently. Similarly insulation used with air conditioning systems, keeps hot outside air from seeping into a cooled air system, and allows cooling costs to be manageable.

Insulating your ceilings, walls, and floors will help to significantly lower the cost to keep your home heated or cooled, depending on the season and temperature. There are several different classes of insulations and types used to maintain comfortable homes.

Some types used most commonly are fiberglass, cellulose, and low density foams. Almost all of these insulating materials are relatively inexpensive and the savings they offer when properly installed by well train HVAC technicians are incredible. Within a few hours a heating and cooling professional should be able to properly insulate your home depending on size of your property and what exactly is required to ensure you are saving money on energy bills. It is estimated by the United States Department of energy that a massive portion of energy used is by homeowners to either heat or cool their homes. Insulation can and does make a rather large difference in cutting down your energy needs, and ultimately makes it far cheaper to heat or cool your home. If you believe your energy bills are much too high, and think you may wish to cut those costs, be sure to contact your local HVAC professional to get an estimate on energy saving insulation.

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Air Leaks: Slowly Draining Your Cash

November 21, 2012 4:24 pm

Air Leaks Slowly Draining Your Cash
Air Leaks Slowly Draining Your Cash

We all know how frustrating it is when the kids don’t close doors behind them, leave windows open, or even worse crank thermostat all the way down. It is more than just a headache because we feel the effects of not maintaining closed doors and windows, directly in our wallets at the end of the month when we have to pay our electric bills.

What if you were making sure all doors and windows were closed as best as possible, and yet you were still leaking air left and right?  That scenario is not as farfetched as it sounds, because there are many ways and places where your home could be leaking air without you even realizing it.

Other than the obvious doors and windows, air can be leaking from recessed light fixtures set in the ceiling that haven’t been properly sealed. Attic hatches, Plumbing vent stacks that lead out or above homes are usually sealed from the perspective of a plumber whose concern is to keep water out-and not air in, and another major culprit is duct registers that have been improperly sealed. All of these places and even more spots in your home may be leaking air, especially if your home is an older model.

Most of these leaks are relatively easy fixes, but may require a knowledgeable HVAC tech who has an eye for dangerous spots or home fixtures that could be causing leaks . Most air conditioning and heating specialists are very adept at fixing these leaks, and while it should be done by a pro the fix is usually something relatively simple and nowhere near as expensive as you might think. Not fixing common air leaks, significantly drives up the cost of heating or cooling your home and ultimately could be stressing your HVAC units far more than necessary. Check with you local qualified HVAC company and see if they are able to help you today.

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Estimates: What you should ask every HVAC technician

November 20, 2012 7:03 pm

HVAC technician
HVAC technician

So you got a flyer in the mail, or someone hung a hand bill on your car and they were advertising “Free Estimate!!!”.So you decided to have a qualified Air Conditioning Tech come to your home but other than changing out a filter or knowing the word “freon” you aren’t exactly sure what you need or want from the estimate. So we are going to give you a guide as to what ask during these estimates and give you a basic explanation of what you should know about Air Conditioning and Heating.

So before you have a company send their technician or representative over to your home, you want to make sure that they are licensed and insured to do business in your state. It may also be a good idea to use the internet to do some quick research on what other customers say about their business.  Generally HVAC companies that do quality work will make sure that their customers are satisfied and should have mostly favorable reviews on either local business review websites or even from just a general web search. Do not discount a company though if they have one or two unhappy customers because no matter how excellent a company may be there are always those people who just love to complain.

If a company checks out from that initial review, let them send a representative over to your home or business, and schedule a time that you can be there to go over the options available as well as get important details and information from the rep.

The person who comes to give you the estimate should usually ask to take a look at the current Air Conditioning or Heating system you currently have in your home, so he or she can get a sense of what your HVAC needs may be. If your system is relatively new and well maintained than perhaps only routine maintenance, tune-up, or light repair is necessary, but if your unit is dated or damaged you can expect to spend more time with the rep going over options for new cooling and heating systems.

Another excellent thing to ask on an estimate is about rebates from State and Municipal power companies when buying or upgrading HVAC systems, as many power companies and states incentives newer technologies which are more power efficient and environmentally friendly. Keep checking in with us, as we continue to explore this topic and give you more Do’s and Don’ts of estimates.

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