Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for July, 2014

What Is a High Efficiency Air Conditioner?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Today’s air conditioners are very energy efficient. In fact, estimates put today’s air conditioners up to 60% more efficient than models produced just 10 years ago. Energy efficiency is important for you, your home, your family, your air conditioner and the environment. As technological advances continue to present more efficient cooling products, the greater the opportunity you have to purchase an AC that fits both your cooling and energy needs. If energy efficiency is at the top of your list of needs when it comes to purchasing a new air conditioning system in Orlando, you may want to look at what a high-efficiency system can offer you.

What Is a High Efficiency System?

A high-efficiency air conditioner is an AC with a SEER of 16 to 23. A high-efficiency air conditioner allows you to cool your home using less energy than an air conditioner with a SEER below 16.

Why Consider Using a High-Efficiency AC?

There are several reasons you may want to look at purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner for your home:

  • Significant energy efficiency – as mentioned above, one of the main attractions of purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner is how little energy it uses to cool your home.
  • Lower monthly energy bills – when you use less energy, you pay for less energy. It is estimated that each SEER point can mean up to a 10% savings on your energy bill, so the difference between a SEER of 13 and a SEER of 16 can mean a lot to your household budget.
  • More eco-friendly – obviously, using less energy is eco-friendly; additionally, high-efficiency systems are manufactured to use the more Earth-friendly coolant R-410A instead of R-22.

Is a High Efficiency System More Expensive to Purchase?

The answer: yes, it can be. A higher SEER number can often mean that the initial purchase price is higher than those air conditioners with a lower SEER. However, the amount of money you’ll save each month in energy costs can offset the price point.

A high-efficiency air conditioner can be a great choice for cooling your home, but the best way to assess this is to work with an installation expert. Call Downtown Air & Heating today and schedule an appointment with one of our professionals to see if a high-efficiency air conditioner is a good choice for your new air conditioning system in Orlando.

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Is a Ductless System the Right Choice for Me?

Friday, July 25th, 2014

There are two basic types of air conditioning systems that deliver air into your home: ductless or ducted. The majority of homes in the U.S. have pre-existing air ducts hidden in the walls to provide cool air. However, some older homes do not have any ducts installed, or a new room addition may require homeowners to find a ductless solution. Ductless air conditioners use indoor air handlers to provide cool air or heat to a home, and can help homeowners save money every month on their energy bills.

But is a ductless system the right choice for you?

Benefits of a Ductless System

  • No Ductwork Installation: The most obvious benefit of a ductless system is the lack of ducts. This is ideal for homes in which ductwork installation would be difficult or impossible due to the unique structure of the home.
  • Zone Control: With a ductless system, you get to choose the temperature in the different rooms or areas throughout your house. You will no longer have to listen to family members bicker over the thermostat; instead, each air handler usually has its own thermostat, or you can control every unit at once with a master thermostat.
  • Energy Savings: Ductless systems often have much higher SEERs (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios) than ducted systems. Plus, zone control allows you to save money by turning on the air conditioner only in areas of the home that are occupied throughout the day.
  • Cost of Ownership: The initial cost of a ductless system is often higher than the cost of central AC. However, the energy savings every month will likely make up for this over time.
  • The Appearance of Air Handlers in the Rooms: Some people may be put off by the air handlers, but they are generally placed out of the way, either suspended from the ceiling or mounted high on the wall.

Drawbacks of a Ductless System

Ductless air conditioning is not right for every home, and you should talk with a technician before coming to a decision. For specialized air conditioning services in Orlando, call Downtown Air & Heat today!

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Signs that You Need Air Conditioning Repair

Friday, July 18th, 2014

If you’re a busy homeowner in Orlando, it can be hard to find time to schedule air conditioning repair service. But in the middle of summer, a sudden breakdown would probably be much more of an inconvenience.

If you notice any of the following signs, make the time to call an air conditioning technician today to avoid problems later on.

  • Loud Noises: You expect to hear the whir of the outside fan, but if your air conditioner begins to make unexpected noises such as a banging, hissing, or grinding noise, you should shut off your AC and call an expert for repairs immediately to avoid any damage to your system.
  • Short Cycling: If your air conditioning system stops running before your home has reached the desired temperature, there may be any number of problems causing your air conditioner to short cycle. Short cycling can be caused by a refrigerant leak, ice on the coil, compressor damage, or an AC system that is oversized. Because of the large number of possibilities, you should always allow a professional to determine the correct source.
  • High Utility Bills: If your energy bills have been higher than usual recently, it may indicate a problem with your air conditioner. Over time, an air conditioner will lose some efficiency, but a dramatic increase should be cause for alarm. High energy bills can mean that a component of your air conditioner is dirty. You can try cleaning your air filters, but it may also indicate a dirty coil or leaky ductwork.
  • Loss of Cooling Capacity: If you notice that your air conditioner has lost some cooling power, it can be due to any number of issues. Your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant, you may have a dirty or frozen coil, or the thermostat may be faulty.

Anytime you notice something unusual with your AC system, contact Downtown Air & Heat for air conditioning repair in Orlando. Our experts are trained to identify the problem and help you determine the best course of action. If you need air conditioning repair, call us today!

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How to Help Your Air Conditioner Perform at its Best

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

All air conditioners experience some wear and tear over time that will eventually cause decreased performance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t slow down this process. These simple steps may improve the performance of your air conditioning system and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

Change or Replace air Filters

One way to help your air conditioner continue to perform at its best all summer long is changing or replacing air filters regularly. Clogged air filters obstruct airflow, which can cause a lot of further issues, such as a frozen evaporator coil. Debris buildup in your ducts caused by blocked filters may also cause decreased efficiency and performance. You should change or clean air filters about once a month, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Another way to keep your air conditioner in top shape is by scheduling regular maintenance. Even if your air conditioning system doesn’t seem to need repairs, you may want to have a technician look at your system during a routine maintenance visit. People who schedule maintenance once a year often have increased performance and decreased energy bills every month.

During maintenance, a technician will inspect your system, clean some of the parts, adjust refrigerant levels, and add lubricant to the motors, if necessary. A technician can let you know if any part of your AC is affecting performance and needs repair.

Upgrade to a Digital Thermostat

Another reason you may choose to call an air conditioning professional is if you are using an outdated thermostat. If you still set the temperature in your home with the dials of a manual thermostat, you may not quite get the cooling power you hope for. In this case, you can benefit from a digital, programmable thermostat with a clear display that allows you to set the AC to turn on and off at different times of the day. You may end up using your AC less often, resulting in less wear and, possibly, a longer lifespan for your system.

Downtown Air & Heat offers air conditioning services in Orlando including maintenance and thermostat upgrades. Call today!

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Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Downtown Air & Heat hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

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