Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for March, 2014

Now Is the Time to Install a New Air Conditioner

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Check the average temperatures for this week, and the expected ones for next week. It looks like a pleasant stretch in the 70s: a nice balmy springtime in Florida. Have you turned your AC on? Probably a few times, but nowhere near what you’ll have it doing when the actual summer heat hits. You could probably go for a day or so without it…

…and that’s why you should grab this chance to have new air conditioning installation done. If your air conditioner is over 15 years old, it’s definitely time to replace it. If it’s over 10 years old and showing signs of a decline in efficiency and performance, it’s also time to replace it. And the best time when it’s time is spring. You won’t need to worry about losing out on vital cooling during the short period the installers are setting up the new AC after they move out the old one. You also will have an easier job scheduling the work, since spring is a slower time for HVAC technicians: they have fewer emergency breakdown and repair calls to follow up on.

Downtown Air & Heat can help you make a smooth transition to new air conditioning system in Altamonte Springs, FL. Since you’ve probably spent a decade at the least with your current AC, you won’t be familiar with the process of picking and installing a new one. But with the assistance of professionals, you’ll find the new unit that will work for you, and have it sized ideally to fit your home: neither too big (which will cause short-cycling) or too small (which will cause discomfort and power drain).

Spring is actually a more ideal time for new installation than winter, which people often assume would be the best season for putting in an air conditioning unit. However, winter is an unpredictable period, both because of the holidays and weather conditions that will make schedules more squeezed for professional technicians. Spring offers a more relaxing time for everybody to make the switch over to a new comfort system.

Remember when you choose your new air conditioning for Altamonte Springs, FL to look for ways to upgrade from your older system. Technology for heating and cooling continues to advance each decade, and without spending a great deal more than you did for your last installation, you can have superior comfort, energy-efficiency, and new features that will improve your life during the sweltering summer months.

Call our friendly AC experts at Downtown Air & Heat today and arrange for an appointment to start your spring air conditioning installation.

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Repair That Heater, Don’t Replace It

Monday, March 31st, 2014

It’s always tempting to start over with a clean slate, and if you have an older heater that sometimes has trouble and requires repairs, you may think that—regardless of cost—you should simply replace it with a new system and start fresh.

And sometimes that is the best choice, especially if your heater has already exceeded its manufacturer’s expected service life. If your heater has raised your utility bills and racked up repair costs, then you should also give serious consideration to replacing it.

However, in this post we’ll look at the time when you should repair and not replace. Don’t get too hasty about scheduling new installation: you might have a few good years left with your current system if you have the right repairs done.

For a professional, informed opinion about your heating in Winter Park, FL, call Downtown Air & Heat today.

When repairs are the better option

First, check the manufacturer’s expected lifetime for your system (it should be on the cabinet). If your heater hasn’t reached that point yet, you should take into account the current costs of running the system and how much you spend on repairs to keep it running.

Look over your heating bills to see where you have experienced spikes in heating costs. A heater that needs replacement will usually show a gradual build in operating costs that expert heating repairs and maintenance do not alleviate. If you notice nothing more than the expected increase in costs because of fuel prices—along with an occasional jump because of a repair need—then your heater isn’t aging fast enough to warrant a replacement.

As for your repair bills: a good benchmark figure is $500. If you pay less than that per year to keep your heater running, you aren’t yet at the point-of-no-return. However, if the number hovers near $500, you should consider finding a more experienced heating technician who can make better long-term repairs. You may need to pay a bit more for the necessary fixes, but with the right contractor, these repairs should keep away many additional service calls.

One last factor to consider is maintenance: if you’ve kept up a strict yearly regimen of professional inspections and tune-ups for your heater, then repairs should be enough to keep it running past its expected lifespan.

Whether repair or replace, call for professionals

The best way to know for sure about the “repair or replace” debate is to have an experienced HVAC technician come to your home and inspect your heater. Arrange it during a maintenance visit. You’ll then have an informed opinion about what steps to take next.

Downtown Air & Heat has NATE-certified technicians who can help you make the best choice about your heating in Winter Park, FL.

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3 Causes of Lower Heat Levels in Your Furnace

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Furnaces are among the most reliable and powerful of all heating systems. Natural gas-powered furnaces in particular can achieve high levels of heating that few other heaters can approach. With regular maintenance, a furnace should last for years without a loss of heating power.

But if you begin to notice cold spots in your house when your heater is working, or if the air coming from the vents no longer feels as warm as it should, something has probably gone wrong with the furnace and it will require repairs (or, in extreme cases, replacement). Call on professionals like the NATE-certified technicians at Downtown Air & Heat to help you with the heating repair service in Orlando, FL that will restore your furnace to its full power.

3 possible reasons for a drop in furnace heating power

  1. Duct breaks and leaks: This isn’t a problem in your furnace itself, but in the ventilation system that delivers air through your home. The ductwork that carries the hot air must remain in a sealed environment to avoid a loss of air pressure. If the ducts develop breaks because of corrosion or poor installation, it will allow hot air to escape to the cooler outside. You heating power will suffer for it. This requires ductwork specialists to locate the leaks and seal them with mastic sealing or metal tape.
  2. Broken heating elements: This applies to electric furnaces. To heat the air in an electric furnace, an array of heating elements containing electrical coils come on. The current through the coils heats up the air in the cabinet, which the air handler then sends into the ducts. But if one or more of the elements fail, it will result in a drop in heating power. Technicians will need to open the cabinet, remove the broken elements, and replace them.
  3. Bad thermostat: People often take the thermostat for granted, but it’s a key part of keeping your furnace running the way you want it to. If the thermostat becomes miscalibrated and begins to shut the furnace off early, it will result in lower warmth throughout your house. It takes heating professionals to track this to the source and figure out how to repair the thermostat, or perhaps replace it.

You should never attempt to perform diagnostics on your furnace or open the cabinet and tinker. It’s especially dangerous with gas furnaces, where you risk carbon monoxide exposure; but electrical furnaces also pose the risk of electrical shock. Don’t chance it: call skilled technicians to investigate and repair your furnace so you know it’s done right.

Whenever you need heating repair in Orlando, FL, no matter the time of day or night, you can call on Downtown Air & Heat to answer.

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Why Heat Pumps Make Sense in Orlando, FL

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

We often recommend that our customers looking for installation of a new air conditioner or heater in their home choose a heat pump. There are few places in the country better suited to take advantage of a heat pump than Florida. Whether you want quality cooling or energy-efficient heating in Orlando, FL, you should put a heat pump high on your list of choices for installation.

Downtown Air & Heat has handled numerous heat pump installations, and our NATE-certified Orlando, FL heating technicians can provide you with an excellent installation that will leave you with a heat pump working at its best for many years to come. Trust us for all your heating and cooling needs.

Heat pumps work great in Orlando—and here’s why:

Heat pumps perform the work of two different systems: heaters and air conditioners. But they aren’t separate systems housed together, like a cabinet that contains both a furnace and an air conditioner. A heat pump uses the same process to provide heating and cooling. Basically, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can switch the direction it moves heat. In cooling mode, it removes heat from inside a house and puts it outside. In heating mode, it moves heat from outdoors and puts it indoors.

Because Orlando experiences very mild winters, a heat pump experiences few problems providing sufficient warmth during cold weather. Extreme cold can hinder a heat pump, making it less efficient, but that usually only happens when the temperature goes below freezing… incredibly rare for Orlando. The heat pump in heating mode also uses less power to run than a furnace, which means you won’t waste money during those days when you need heating.

When it comes to air conditioning, which is much more on the minds of Florida residents, a heat pump is as powerful as any standard air conditioner of comparable size, and its moisture absorption helps combat the humidity.

Have professionals install your heat pump

Since a heat pump is useful at almost any season of the year, it’s never a bad time to have one installed. With the hot weather coming up fast, make sure you’re ready with a heat pump to keep you cool. And you’ll have the winter heating in Orlando, FL covered as well.

Downtown Air & Heat is ready to help you find the right heat pump for your home. We’ll size the unit and install it so you’re ready to enjoy many cool summers and warm winters.

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