Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for August, 2014

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at Downtown Air & Heat wishes your family a happy end of summer.

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How Does Duct Cleaning Help Air Conditioning?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Dirty vents don’t just adversely affect you; they can also adversely affect your air conditioner and its operation. Because ductwork is largely not visible, it can be easy to forget that, like other parts of your air conditioner, it needs cleaning and maintenance, too. Accessing ductwork and cleaning it properly can be tricky, which is why it’s important to use certified technicians, like the ones at Downtown Air & Heat, to conduct the duct cleaning for your property.

What Happens During a Duct Cleaning?

Here is a general overview of what happens during a routine duct cleaning appointment:

  • The technician will cover all nearby furniture and carpets with protective coverings
  • The technician will open your ductwork at access points and portals and thoroughly inspect your entire system
  • He/she will then employ the use of professional-grade, HEPA filtered vacuums to remove the dirt, dust and debris from your ductwork
  • He/she may then use a mechanical brush and vacuum to scrape off and remove any debris stuck in your ducts
  • Visual equipment, such as cameras and periscopes, may be used to inspect for any missed areas or lingering debris
  • Once the technician confirms all debris has been removed from the vents, he/she will close the system

How Does Duct Cleaning Help Your AC?

A professional duct cleaning can help your air conditioner in the following ways:

  • Better energy efficiency – large amounts of dust and dirt build-up in your system can constrict air flow, which can make your air conditioner struggle. Any time your AC operates under stress, it uses more power. By removing the excess dust and debris with a thorough duct cleaning, you can help your AC “breathe” better, and alleviate extra power usage.
  • Reveals other potential problems – it can be hard to see holes and cracks when the vent work is extremely dirty. Holes and cracks contribute to air loss, which can tax your system and drive up energy costs. By cleaning your ductwork, you’ll be able to see if there are any developing problems with your vents.
  • Less stress on your system – excessive dust and dirt can put undue stress on your system. Undue stress can prematurely age your systems and its components, making it more prone to malfunction and breakdown.

Ductwork should be cleaned about every 3-5 years – when was the last time yours was cleaned? If it’s been longer than 5 years, it may be time to schedule duct cleaning for your property. Call Downtown Air & Heat today and schedule duct cleaning in Altamonte Springs with one of our ductwork specialists.

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3 Benefits of Replacing an Air Conditioner

Friday, August 15th, 2014

If you have an older air conditioner, the decision to schedule air conditioning replacement may be tough. Of course, you don’t want to spend money replacing a system that may last another couple of years. On the other hand, there is always the risk that your older unit may break down, costing you more money to fix and inconveniencing your home. Older air conditioners are far more likely to break down suddenly than new systems. They may not perform as well as they once did and often are inefficient. If you’re currently deciding whether or not air conditioning replacement is a good idea, here are three reasons to call a technician today.

Prevent a Costly Breakdown

If you have an older system, the chances of a sudden breakdown occurring may be high. Throughout the years, your system gets a lot of use, so wear and tear on the system is to be expected over time. While repairs and parts replacement may help fix a problem from time to time, the only way to improve the working condition of your air conditioner entirely is by purchasing a new system. Replacing a system piece-by-piece is costly, and new air conditioners are a lot less likely to need repairs than those that are 10-15 years old.


One important reason to install a new air conditioner is the energy savings. Your air conditioner may remain efficient for many years with proper care and maintenance. However, the efficiency of your system will start to decrease eventually, and your bills will reflect this. Newer systems are far more efficient than older systems. In fact, due to government requirements for efficiency, a new AC may have a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) than your older system had, even when it was brand new.

Better Performance

Energy-efficient systems are not lacking in performance. High-efficiency air conditioners perform just as well, if not better, than other systems. Look for a system with the ENERGY STAR label. This label ensures that a system has met government requirements for both efficiency and performance.

You should always discuss your decision with an air conditioning technician before coming to a decision. Call the experts at Downtown Air & Heat today to schedule air conditioning replacement service in Orlando.


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What Can a Zone Control System Do for My Air Conditioning?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

An air conditioning system is a necessity for most homeowners in Orange County, FL. But if your air conditioner costs you too much to run every month, or if your family members often complain about the temperature in the home, you may not be getting the most enjoyment possible out of your AC system.

Installing a zone control system can help you take advantage of your air conditioning system by keeping family members more comfortable and saving you money. We’ll go over the benefits in more detail later on, but first we’ll look at how zone control works together with your air conditioning system to give you greater control.

How Does Zone Control Work?

Zone control systems involve the installation of dampers throughout the ductwork in a home. These dampers open and close to adjust the amount of airflow through the ducts. Dampers are installed in each area of the home for which you need more control. Each damper is wired to a particular thermostat that controls only that specific zone and to a master thermostat that controls every zone at once.

What are the Benefits of Zone Control Systems?

Zone control is the best way to increase the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner without installing a new AC system. The benefits of zone control systems include increased comfort and energy savings.

  • Comfort: Sometimes, family members disagree about what the temperature should be in a home. Also, many homes have cooler or warmer areas that need advanced temperature control for consistency throughout the home. With a zone control system, each area of the home is managed with its own thermostat. You can choose to use a master thermostat to keep the temperature consistent throughout the home, or each person can adjust the temperature to his or her own preference in separate areas of the home.
  • Savings: Zone control systems can also save you a lot of money every month. If nobody uses the upstairs rooms throughout the day, for example, you may choose to save money by keeping the air turned off or raising the temperature in the daytime.

For zone control and other upgrades your air conditioning in Orange County, FL, call Downtown Air & Heat today!

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