Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for September, 2014

The Cooling Benefits of Going Ductless

Friday, September 26th, 2014

If you need a new air conditioning system, but you don’t have any ductwork set up in your home, there is a fairly simple solution. Calling a technician for ductless air conditioning installation is one of the best ways to keep your entire home cool without paying too much every month. And there will be no changes to the construction by your home besides a small hole drilled into the wall. In order to help more homeowners understand the cooling benefits of going ductless, we’ve put together this quick guide to some of the biggest advantages.

No Ducts

Most home air conditioning systems rely on ducts, but deciding against adding ductwork can actually be advantageous. A large number of homeowners pay too much for air conditioning because a lot of energy is lost in the ducts due to leaks. Besides, ductwork installation is a hassle and creates disturbances to your daily home life.

Zone Control

One of the most exciting features of ductless cooling is zone control. A ductless mini split contains an outdoor compressor, like with central air conditioners, and multiple indoor air handlers. These air handlers are mounted in various areas of the house to provide even cooling. Additionally, each air handler comes with its own thermostat, and there is often a master thermostat that controls each unit. You can choose the temperature in each room or zone individually for increased comfort. You can also save some money by choosing to shut off the air to rooms that are unoccupied throughout the day.

Energy Savings

Ductless systems save money over traditional central air conditioners due to the lack of ductwork and the energy saving features of zone control. Furthermore, ductless air conditioning systems are often quite efficient. Ask your technician to help you find a unit with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for more savings.

Ductless cooling is not necessarily the right option for every home, so you should always speak with a technician before making a major decision about your new HVAC system. If you’re considering ductless air conditioning in Orlando, FL, call the cooling experts at Downtown Air & Heat today!

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Can I Keep Running My Air Conditioner with Low Refrigerant?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Without any refrigerant at all, your air conditioning system would be incapable of cooling your home. But if you have low levels, you may still be able to feel some cool air from your system. Air conditioners need refrigerant to remove heat from the air, but can you still run your unit with low refrigerant?

You should not attempt to continue running an air conditioner with low levels of refrigerant because many of the parts of your air conditioner require a set level of this chemical blend in order to work properly. When an air conditioner is installed, a technician is supposed to carefully measure out the correct levels of refrigerant. If these levels are not accurate, it may be because your unit was not set up properly in the first place. However, it’s also likely that this is the result of a leak.

Refrigerant may leak from your system due to loose connections or corrosion over time. If it continues to leak from your unit, you may not feel any cool air at all. But even slightly lower levels may cause problems with some key components like the compressor. The compressor is responsible for changing refrigerant into a pressurized gas so that it can pump through the entire system. This part is sized to handle a certain load of refrigerant based on the cooling capacity of your air conditioning unit. When this amount drops too low, your compressor will run into problems that may even lead to replacement.

In fact, many parts of your unit may suffer from wear and tear when refrigerant is low. And when the parts in your system have to work harder to cool your home, your unit will use a lot of energy to reach the desired temperature. This means you spend a lot more every month than you need to, and your air conditioner may already consume a large portion of your bills. To keep bills low, and to keep your unit from suddenly failing, schedule maintenance twice a year and make repairs as soon as you suspect a leak. For more about air conditioning in Orlando, FL, call the experienced technicians at Downtown Air & Heat.

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When Is It Time to Replace a Heat Pump?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Your heat pump is an important device: it supplies both cooling and heating to your home. While we may still be in the cooling season here in Florida, the time is quickly coming when the weather will cool and we’ll need your heater. If you have a heat pump, switching modes between heating and cooling is very easy due to the reversing valve: all that is involved is a simple switch from cooling to heating on your thermostat. It can be hard to distinguish the signs of a failing heat pump, so below are some of the common ones our Downtown Air & Heat technicians see fairly frequently:

Signs It May Be Time to Replace

  • Excessive noise – one of the benefits of heat pumps is they are quiet compared with other devices. If you start to hear loud noises every time your heat pump runs, this can be a possible indication of major mechanical problems.
  • Age – the average lifespan of a well-maintained heat pump can be pretty long – about 20-25 years. If you are coming up on the 20 year mark, and have had to make a number of repairs to your heat pump, you may be better off putting your money toward a new one.
  • Poor temperature control – heat pumps are known for their even heating and cooling because they cycle at a consistent, low rate. If you are experiencing temperatures that are too hot or cold, it may be a sign that your heat pump is ready to go.

Heat pumps are great 2-in-1 devices, but the flipside of this benefit is that a poorly-working heat pump will affect both your cooling and heating. Being without air conditioning in Orlando, FL is a challenge, and no one wants to be without heating on a cool winter day. And because heat pumps are complex, it’s important to hire a professional for installation. If it’s time for a heat pump replacement, let the NATE-certified technicians at Downtown Air & Heat help you with your air conditioning service in Orlando, FL – call us today!

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Why Consider Duct Sanitizing?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Bacteria, mold, mildew and other biological growths can thrive in ductwork due to its cool, dark, moist environment. While a professional duct cleaning can remove mold and mildew, it doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be another occurrence of growth, nor does it eradicate the biological contamination. To truly remove biological contamination, and to protect against further growth, you may want to consider duct sanitizing for your air conditioning system.

What Is Duct Sanitizing?

Duct sanitizing is a multi-step process in which an EPA-approved chemical sanitizer(s) is thoroughly applied to the inside of your ductwork to eliminate germs and biological growth, and prevent the development of new growth. Each vent is treated individually, and the application of the sanitizer usually needs 10-15 minutes to cure.

What Types of Sanitizers Are Used?

There are 3 main types of sanitizers that can be used on your ductwork:

  • EnviroCon – EnviroCon is used to eliminate odor-causing microorganisms and contaminants such as mold and mildew; it can also treat bacterial growth. EnviroCon eliminates odors via a chlorine dioxide release-process that destroys organisms at the cell level. EnviroCon has low toxicity and a good safety rating from the EPA.
  • Microban – Microban is used to eliminate most fungi, bacteria and viruses. Microban kills allergy and disease-causing germs, odors, and growth like mold and mildew. Microban is only available through professional cleaners and restorers. It is labeled as safe by the EPA.
  • F.P. sanitizers – F.P. sanitizers are concentrated liquid sanitizers used for sanitizing pre-cleaned surfaces in air ducts and air conditioning systems. They contain surfactants (compounds that act like detergents) that give them additional cleaning power. These types of sanitizers are labeled as safe by the EPA.

Benefits of Duct Sanitizing

  • Healthier air – your ductwork is the delivery system for all the air in your home; if it’s clean, you air will be, too.
  • Keeps ductwork clean – sanitizers have a lasting effect, so they help keep your ductwork free of contamination after application.
  • Reduction of allergens – allergy-inducing particles are eradicated during sanitizing, helping to reduce allergic reactions to the air in your home.

If healthy indoor air is a priority for your home, you might want to consider scheduling professional duct sanitizing for your air conditioning. Have questions? Call Downtown Heat & Air today and speak with one of our Orlando, FL air conditioning service professionals.

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