Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for October, 2013

What Type of Heater Does Your Home Need?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Are you in the market for a new heater? Do you feel as though there is a daunting array of different system types and brands? It can be difficult to figure out what type of system works for your home as well as your heating preferences. What type of heater you need depends on various factors, including your budget, home size and layout, as well as your preference of duct or ductless options. In today’s post, we’d like to take a look at some of your options so that you can make an informed decision as to what’s best.

  • Furnace. A furnace is probably the most popular heating systems in America. It is widely recognized as a source of cost-effective and powerful heat, and it can make sure that your home is comfortable year-round. You can choose gas or LP gas as a fuel source or you can go with an all-electric model.
  • Heat pump. Another option is the heat pump, which is very similar to an air conditioner in that it uses refrigerant to transfer heat. It differs in one important regard, however, as it is equipped with a reversing valve that allows it to heat your home in the winter in addition to cooling it during the summer. It uses ducts to distribute your heated air, and remains highly cost-effective, especially due to Florida’s moderate winter temperature.
  • Ductless mini split. If you’re looking for an energy efficient alternative to duct-based systems, then look no further than a ductless mini split. This year-round solution provides excellent heating to your entire home. Each unit has several indoor air handlers so that you can heat distinct zones of your home separately. It’s essentially a heat pump but without the ductwork.

Make sure you not only find the right type of heater for your home, but also that it is appropriately sized. Call Downtown Air and Heat today for excellent heating installation service in Orlando, FL. We can guide you every step of the way.

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Common Heating Repairs

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

While Florida is not exactly known for its cold weather, residents of our service area know that a good working heater is a necessity during the winter months. But over time, you may find that your heater no longer works as it should, or that it makes a strange sound. It’s important to take care of any problems immediately so that they do not worsen or create further damage. At Downtown Air and Heat, we can take care of your heating repair needs, however major or minor they may be. Call us today.

Here are some common heating problems to keep an eye out for:

  • Heater won’t start. If you find that your heater won’t start, then you may want to consider a few things before calling for professional assistance. Firstly, take a look at your circuit breaker to make sure that your heater has not merely tripped the circuit; also, take a look at the thermostat to double-check that the system is calling for heating. If you own a furnace, your pilot light might be out; if you have a heat pump, then the capacitor may be faulty.
  • Inadequate heating. It’s important to make sure that your home has excellent heating at all times. Don’t settle for anything less. If you find that your heater no longer works properly or is otherwise underperforming, then you need to consider calling a professional. There are numerous reasons why your home could be suffering from inadequate heating so you need to make sure that your heater receives a professional diagnosis that can get to the root of the problem.
  • Can’t adjust temperature. If you find that your heater does not respond to your temperature adjustments, then you may have a problem with the thermostat itself. As your primary user interface, your thermostat has to be in good working condition at all times. You could also have a problem with the control board.

Call the professionals at Downtown Air and Heat for excellent heating repair service in Orlando, FL. We can diagnose any issue that you may have and recommend a cost-effective solution.

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What Is a Heat Pump?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Everyone knows that Air Conditioning units cool, but did you know they can also heat?

One of the most common configurations for an AC system includes an outside unit, called a condenser or condensing unit and a furnace or air handler located in your house (closet, attic, garage, etc).  The condensing unit provides cooling to the home by circulating refrigerant through the system which absorbs heat energy inside and gives it off outside.  Heat is produced in the air handler or furnace by consuming some type of fuel.  Fossil fuels are used in furnaces (ex. natural gas), and electricity is used in air handlers.

In our area, air handlers with electric heat are more common than furnaces.  While a reliable and effective source of heat, electric heat strips (the component that produces heat in the air handler) are very inefficient and expensive to operate.  In this process, electrical energy is being converted directly to heat energy.  To produce more heat, more electricity must be consumed.  Think of it as a 1 to 1 relationship, one unit of energy to make one unit of heat.

Gas furnaces are much more efficient than electric heat strips, but even the smallest furnaces are often 2 to 3 times more powerful than what is required to comfortably heat your home.  They are also more expensive to purchase.  If you already have natural gas service in your home, a gas furnace is a good way to go.  If you don’t, you’re better off getting a heat pump.

So what is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a condensing unit with a few added components, not an actual pump or individual part.  From the outside, it looks exactly like a condensing unit.  The added components allow the process or air conditioning to be reversed to heat the home.  When your thermostat calls for heat, the reversing valve redirects the flow of refrigerant; heat is absorbed outside and given off inside.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but there is still a lot of heat energy in the air at 40 degrees or even 20.  A heat pump cost more than a condensing unit, but can save you a lot of money on your winter utility bills, especially if it’s a cold year.   That’s because it is more efficient to move heat that convert it from electricity (3 to 4 times more efficient with conventional equipment).  The warmer the air outside, the more efficient heat pumps become.  This is why heat pumps are so popular in areas with mild climates, such as in Orlando.

If you have any questions about heat pumps or some of the new high-efficiency air conditioning systems out there, call us today at 407-408-7105 and let Downtown Air & Heat educate you on the benefits of these new systems.

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Reasons to Consider Air Conditioning Replacement

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Does your AC suffer from frequent repair needs? Does it no longer give you the performance and efficiency you need? There are plenty of good reasons to consider air conditioning replacement. The most important factor to keep in mind is your comfort. You need to ask yourself whether you’re comfortable with the existing arrangement, and then speak to a qualified Orlando, FL air conditioning replacement technician about what to do. When you deal with the air conditioning experts at Downtown Air and Heat in Orlando, FL we can provide you with an honest assessment of the state of your current AC and make sure that you find an excellent solution to your cooling problem. Call us today to learn more.

Here are a few reasons to consider air conditioning replacement:

  • Frequent repairs. The first and major sign that an air conditioning replacement may be imminent is if you’re paying to repair your AC constantly. Frequent repair needs are often a sign that you should consider replacing your system. It may make more financial sense to invest in a new system than an old one.
  • Energy inefficiency. If you want to make certain that your AC operates efficiently, then you need to make sure that it is routinely cleaned and adjusted. But there may come a time when your AC no longer works as efficiently as it once did. This is an important consideration because you could save substantial amounts of energy over the long term.
  • Old age. Your AC may be ready to retire. Nothing lasts forever, especially not mechanical systems like your air conditioner. Over time, its components develop problems and the debris that builds up can hamper operational efficiency and performance. Whether your AC is still technically working or not, it’s important to recognize that you have may have to replace your AC soon so that you can be prepared for when the time comes. You may want to upgrade to a high efficiency system or a ductless mini split.

Make sure you contact one of the Orlando, FL air conditioning replacement experts at Downtown Air and Heat today to discuss whether your system is ready for an overhaul.

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How an Air Conditioner Works

Monday, October 7th, 2013

We tend to use our air conditioning systems a lot in Central Florida to fend off the high temperatures and muggy summer air. It’s hardly surprising then that our ACs endure a significant amount of wear and tear during the cooling season. Your AC is a complex machine, comprised of various components and mechanisms all of which must work together in order to remove the heat from your indoor air and provide adequate cooling. Whether you have central AC, a heat pump, or a ductless mini split, your air conditioning abides by fundamental processes of thermal energy transfer. In today’s post, we’d like to offer a brief review of how a basic AC works. While various types and brands operate differently, this will give you a good idea of the basics. Call Downtown Air and Heat for all of your air conditioning needs.

Let’s begin with the compressor since it’s the engine of what’s known as the refrigerant cycle. The compressor functions like any other: it compresses the low-pressure, gaseous refrigerant arriving from the evaporator coil and turns it into a high-pressure and high-temperature gas. The temperature is much higher than that found outside on even the most brutal summer afternoon. In fact, the cycle relies on the ability of the condenser coil to cool the gas into a hot liquid (hence its name) by means of an exhaust fan.

However, the liquid refrigerant cannot yet be used to cool your indoor air. In order to drop the temperature further, the refrigerant needs to be depressurized. A thermal expansion valve does just that. By metering the flow of refrigerant, the temperature is thereby reduced and is now ready to provide cooling for your air. In the air handler, the evaporator coil circulates cool, liquid refrigerant that comes into contact with your warm indoor air. This thermal exchange evaporates the refrigerant while it cools the air. You now have cool air being redistributed through the ductwork, and the cycle continues.

Call Downtown Air and Heat today for professional air conditioning services in the Orlando, FL area.

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Why is it Important to Change Your Air Filter Regularly?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Every Air Conditioning and HVAC system has an air filter which is responsible for removing dirt, dust, debris and other contaminants from the air that is cycled into your home. If not changed regularly the air filter can become clogged and/or dirty which will pass poor quality air into your home and cause the unit to run less efficiently. Changing your air filter every month will not only improve the overall air quality in your home but it will also help protect your system by increasing longevity and efficiency.

If you have questions about where to get air filters, how to change them or would like a system inspection give us a call today at 407-408-7105. It’s important to maintain the life of your machine and ensure the best possible quality of air being cycled into your house. Downtown Air & Heat wants all of our Greater Orlando Area neighbors to be safe, clean and get the most out of their HVAC units!

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Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Whether you own a heat pump, ductless mini split, or central air conditioner, you rely on it to provide adequate performance on a daily basis during the long cooling season. You need to make sure that it is both effective and efficient so that you can remain comfortable without breaking the bank. While taking care of any repair needs as they arise is critical to the integrity of your AC, your system also needs to be routinely cleaned and adjusted so that it works well for years to come. At Downtown Air and Heat, we provide excellent air conditioning maintenance in Orlando, FL for our customers because we know how critical it is to have a reliable air conditioner. Call us today for all of your air conditioning needs in Orlando, FL.

The benefits of professional air conditioning maintenance are numerous, but here are the most prominent:

  • Improved system longevity. The integrity of your AC depends upon its cleanliness, and whether or not it has the correct voltage and refrigerant levels. Over time, your system will endure an incredible amount of wear and tear, and high-end and budget systems alike can be negatively affected by dirt, dust, and other debris. With pro maintenance services, however, you can make sure that you give your AC the best chance to perform as it should.
  • Better energy efficiency. Running an air conditioner all summer long is expensive. Even owners of high efficiency systems know that much. The best way to keep your bills as low as possible is by having your system cleaned. When your AC gets clogged with debris, then it cannot give you the performance you deserve.
  • Quality performance. It’s important to have your AC system routinely maintained if for no other reason than it will perform better. Your system will be less hampered by deficiencies and debris accumulation. In turn, it will be able to combat the high heat and humidity of a Florida summer.

Let Downtown Air and Heat handle your air conditioning maintenance needs. Our NATE-certified Orlando air conditioning technicians can make sure that your entire AC works well.

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