Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for June, 2014

How Does Humidity Affect AC Performance?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The comfortable range for humidity is 30%-60%; the average humidity levels in Orlando between June and August range from 61%-92%. Clearly, our air conditioners are a necessity.

Not only do our air conditioners cool us, they help remove the humidity, which is a big part of our heat here. Even though your AC system is designed to remove humidity as part of regular operation, there are times when the moisture can be excessive for your air conditioning and potentially affect its performance. This is when you want to call Downtown Air & Heat.

How Does Humidity Affect My AC?

There are several ways in which humidity can adversely affect your air conditioner:

  • More stress on your system – when there is excess moisture in the air, not only does your air conditioner have more moisture to remove, it also has more heat to fight. More humidity means your air conditioner has to work harder to cool the same way as when there’s less humidity. This can put more stress on your system, particularly if it hasn’t been properly maintained.
  • More problems for allergy sufferers – not only does pollen like to cling to humidity, too much moisture is one of the reasons dust mites, mildew, and mold flourish. By properly dehumidifying the air, you can help prevent allergens from hanging in your indoor air and developing in your home.
  • Less comfort indoors – the point of having an air conditioner is to feel comfortable during the hot months of the year. When too much humidity is present, it can make the cool air in your house feel cold and clammy. This kind of discomfort can be as uncomfortable as experiencing the heat, something no one wants from their AC.

The Best Way to Handle Humidity

One of the best tools available for handling the extra humidity that comes with the Orlando heat is a whole-home dehumidifier. Whole-home dehumidifiers help remove the extra humidity in the air, giving your air conditioner the breathing room to operate optimally, even during long periods of excessive warmth. Let Downtown Air & Heat help you lift the weight of the humidity this summer with a whole-home dehumidifier for your air conditioning system. Call us today and schedule air conditioning service in Orlando with one of our experts.

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Avoiding the Need For Air Conditioning Repairs

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The last thing anyone wants to deal with during a hot summer in Orlando is an air conditioning repair. Over the years, our Downtown Air & Heating customers have asked our experts if there are ways to help prevent repair needs from developing, and the answer is yes, there are ways to help curb the need for air conditioning repair to your system. Some repairs are not avoidable, but by taking certain steps we’ll outline below, you can decrease both the need for repairs and the size of the repairs to your air conditioning system.

Don’t Ignore Signs of Problems

Strange sounds, unfamiliar smells and a subpar performance can all point to problems that developing with your air conditioner – don’t ignore them. While your air conditioner may still be running, it may not be running well, and there is a limited amount of time your AC can run under stressful conditions. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so if something seems even a little bit off, call your Downtown Air & Heat technician to take a look.

Change/Clean Filters Regularly

Your air filter can become clogged with dust and dirt. When the filter becomes too clogged it can restrict airflow, which can lead to multiple problems with your system. By changing the air filter every 1-3 months, you can avoid the problems that develop from a dirty air filter.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to stave off repairs and keep your air conditioner running optimally. With bi-annual maintenance, your system is thoroughly inspected for any issues, cleaned, and adjusted and/or repaired as needed. Scheduling bi-annual maintenance means the small things, like worn fan belts and loose screws, are taken care of before they can lead to bigger, and potentially more expensive, repairs.

Keep the Outdoor Unit Clear

While a specialist should clean the interior components of your outdoor unit, you can help with maintenance by cleaning up any yard debris from the area around the outdoor unit, and making sure there is no overgrowth from trees or shrubs encroaching on the space.

Think You May Have an Issue?

Even if you aren’t sure if something is going on, it’s better to get ahead of your repairs than to wait and see. Get ahead of any potential issues – give Downtown Air & Heating a call and schedule air conditioning repair in Orlando today.

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What Can I Expect When Installing a New Air Conditioner?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Modern air conditioners have long service lifespans. You probably haven’t needed to install a new air conditioning system in your home more than once before, if at all. So when you need to arrange to replace an older AC, you probably won’t be very familiar with the process or know what to expect. We’ll give you an idea of what the installation work involves.

To help smooth out the process and take away most of the headaches, contact Downtown Air & Heat to arrange for air conditioning installation in Orlando, FL. We have a NATE-certified team to make sure that the work is preformed professionally and accurately. At the conclusion you will have a system in your house that will last you for many more years… long enough that when you need to replace it, you once again will have to read over reminders about how the installation process goes!

What Happens During AC Installation

The first step in new air conditioning installation is to call for HVAC professionals: do not take this on as a “do-it-yourself” project or hand it off to amateurs.

The professional installers will come to your home to ascertain its cooling needs and power supply so they can find the right unit to go with it. Part of this selection process involves “sizing” the new system so that its cooling load matches your house: too large or too small will mean energy drain and a system with an abbreviated lifespan.

Once these preliminaries are completed, the actual physical installation requires less than a day (in most cases). The arduous part of the installing involves removing the current system and disposing of it. Once the old air conditioner is out of the way, the rest of the work will move forward rapidly. The installers will place and secure the outdoor unit, and then do the same for the indoor unit. They will cut and resize the ductwork that connects to the indoor cabinet so it fits perfectly, connect the ventilation system to the indoor unit, and then hook the system into the house’s power supply.

The last step that the installers will take is to look over the refrigerant lines, power lines, and connections to make sure that everything links up. They perform electrical and airflow tests to see that the system is working as it should. Quality professionals will not consider the job finished until they know you will be fully satisfied with the work and can start enjoying your new cooling right away.

We take pride in the work we perform at Downtown Air & Heat when it comes to air conditioning installation in Orlando, FL. Contact us when you are ready to have your first AC replacement in many years—we’ll make the process easy for you.

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Air Conditioning Repairs: How Often Is Too Often?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It’s a hard question to decide upon: when are you repairing your air conditioner too much? While there is no simple answer for this, there are a few factors to consider which can help you to decide if your air conditioning repair means it’s time for a replacement:

Have You Scheduled Bi-Annual Maintenance?

Bi-annual maintenance helps prolong the life of your air conditioner, increase efficiency and prevent repairs. Have you been conducting regular maintenance on your air conditioner and still find yourself needing serious repairs? If so, it may be time to sit down with a trained expert to see if it’s time to replace your current AC.

Are the Repairs Becoming Costly?

Small repairs, such as replacing worn fan belts or repairing frayed wiring, are not repairs that will hit your wallet hard. But big repairs, like a burned-out fan motor or finding a refrigerant leak, can really start to add up. Have you spent so much on repairs in the last 2-3 cooling seasons that you could have purchased a new air conditioner for the same amount of money? Reviewing your repair costs with a professional can help you determine if purchasing a new air conditioner could be better for your wallet.

Is Your Current Air Conditioner Cooling Adequately?

As air conditioners age, their ability to cool your home can become an issue. Some air conditioners can no longer keep up with the need to cool; others cool unevenly, producing various hot and cold spots throughout your indoor space. In either case, the people in your home will experience discomfort, which defeats the purpose of having an air conditioner in the first place.

Is Your Air Conditioner 8+ Years Old?

In 2006, federal laws changed to mandate that, moving forward, air conditioners needed to be manufactured at a higher SEER number, which is 13; before this change, the minimum SEER number was 10. This means that if you purchased your air conditioner before 2006, your system may not be as efficient as current models. In addition, your air conditioner is aging. Both of these factors can contribute to higher monthly utility bills.

Before Replacing Your AC, Speak to a Professional

Many facts and figures go into the purchase of a new air conditioner, which is why it’s important to consult with an expert before embarking on a new purchase. Repair bills can be a sign that it’s time to replace your air conditioner, but it’s just one of several. Schedule an appointment with your Downtown Air & Heat specialist today to discuss the impact of your air conditioning repair in Orlando.

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Home Improvements to Make Before Air Conditioning Installation

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

You’ve finally decided to replace your aging air conditioning system for a new one with increased performance and efficiency. This is a big decision, but if you have the right professional installers working with you, the process should go smoothly and leave you with an AC that works ideally and meets your comfort needs.

However, there are a few improvements around your home you should consider having completed before your new air conditioning installation in Orlando, FL. These improvements will help you get the most effective and efficient cooling from your new system, letting you take advantage of its superior features and performance. When you’re ready for installation, contact Downtown Air & Heat and well will help you receive the best possible work for your future comfort.

Ductwork repairs and sealing

One of the major troubles that air conditioners (as well as forced-air heaters) can face is from leaky ductwork. If you have an older ventilation system, it make have gaps and breaks along it that will negatively affect the performance of your new AC, causing it to lose air pressure and sending contaminating dust into your indoor air. Call on duct repair experts to examine the ductwork and perform the necessary sealing work to make sure that you have airtight ventilation shafts.

Window caulking and weather stripping around doors

Windows with space around them where hot air can enter your home will make the interior of your house far hotter than it should be, and that will make the air conditioner’s job much harder. Caulking the windows will keep a better heat seal. As for doors to the outside, place weather stripping around them to block additional external heat from finding ways inside.

Insulation improvements (especially in the attic!)

People often don’t realize that insulation serves to keep a home cool as well as warm. If your home has too many air leaks due to poor or deteriorating insulation, additional heat will infiltrate your home and overstress your new AC. The attic is the most important place to seal up, since during the summer the temperature in the attic can sometimes climb to 130°F! As this excess heat seeps down into your home, it could raise the indoor temperature more than 10°F, and you will need to run the AC much longer to overcome it. Make sure you have your insulation in good shape to defend against outdoor summer heat.

Call Downtown Air & Heat today to get started with the first task: duct repairs. We can seal and repair all types of ductwork so your new air conditioner will have healthy “breathing” passages. When you are ready for your full air conditioning installation in Orlando, FL, you can rely on our experienced technicians to perform an excellent job that will keep you cool for many Florida summers to come.

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