Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for October, 2014

Types of Air Cleaners

Friday, October 24th, 2014

You’ve probably heard of air cleaners, appliances designed to improve the air quality in your home through one method or another. You may have even heard terms like “ionization” thrown around in relation to these air cleaners. How much do you really know about them, though? We’ve assembled a list to help you make an informed decision when it comes time to select the right air cleaner for you.

HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air,” and applies to air filters with a particularly high rating for filtering out particulates. HEPA filters range in quality, from typical home use to hospitals and even nuclear power plants. A HEPA filter is a great way to improve the quality of the air in your forced air system. Just make sure that your system is designed to work with such a high quality filter.

Ionization Cleaners

Ionization cleaners are another popular option for home air cleaning. An ionization cleaner uses an electrical current to charge a metal plate within itself. As air passes through the cleaner, this plate will pass on a negative charge to particulates like dust and bacteria. The particulates then stick to the filter in the air cleaner, using a principle very similar to static electricity. Ionization cleaners are often used in areas that are extremely sensitive to particulate contaminants, like server rooms.

Ultraviolet Purifiers

Some microscopic living organisms are sterilized when exposed to UV light. This includes viruses, bacteria, and mold. Ultraviolet purifiers take advantage of this by bathing the air in UV light as it passes through them. This prevents harmful organisms from multiplying and causing sickness quite well. However, it doesn’t do much for non-living contaminants like dust. Obviously, this kind of thing is often found in areas that require a sterile environment, like hospitals.

These are just a few of the air filters available on the market. We hope that this list has helped to give you some idea about the way air filters work, and which may serve you best. If you’d like more information, call Downtown Air & Heat. We install air cleaners all over Orlando, FL.

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How Does Faulty Ductwork Affect Air Conditioning?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Just as a malfunctioning compressor can create system-wide problems for your air conditioning, so can faulty ductwork. However, because ductwork is mostly hidden behind your walls, it can take a while to detect existing problems. Faulty ductwork can negatively affect your system in a number of ways, which is why it’s important to hire a professional for ductwork repair as soon as you discover a problem. The NATE-certified technicians at Downtown Air & Heat are also air flow specialists, so call us today.

Problems Caused by Faulty Ductwork

Here are some problems that can develop due to faulty ductwork:

  • Decreased energy efficiency – when air escapes from holes, cracks and broken seals in your ductwork, your air conditioner has to compensate for this loss. To do so, it works harder, and when it works harder, it uses more energy.
  • Decrease in indoor air quality – cracks and holes allow outside particles, dust, dirt and fumes to enter the air flow. Once inside your ductwork, these items are delivered directly into your living spaces, and can compromise your indoor air quality.
  • Backdrafting – if you have any combustion appliances in your home, such as a water heater, dryer or furnace, the exhaust from these appliances can be sucked into your ductwork through the existing holes and cracks.
  • Increased stress on your system – faulty ductwork forces your system to work harder to achieve the set temperature. If your system operates for a long period of time with faulty ductwork, the extra strain can lead to potential breakdown, excess wear and tear and premature aging.

How Is Ductwork Fixed?

Ductwork can be:

  • Repaired
  • Sealed
  • Replaced (if needed)

Repair and sealing would be the first step to take with faulty ductwork. To repair cracks and holes, a technician will use a fibrous adhesive called mastic to cover the damaged area, and then reinforce the mastic with a piece of professional-grade tape. The mastic is left to harden, which creates the seal. If there are disconnected sections, mastic will be applied to both ends, and the ends will be wrapped with a metal binding that is secured with sheet metal nails. As with cracks and holes, the mastic will harden. Replacement is necessary if a section of ductwork is too damaged to be repaired.

Faulty ductwork can result in problems with air quality, energy efficiency and stress on your air conditioning system. Fall offers a great window of time to address issues with faulty ductwork, so call Downtown Air & Heat today and schedule air conditioning service in Orlando, FL with one of our air flow specialists.

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Signs That You Need a New Dehumidifier

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Excess humidity is as much a problem for your home and HVAC system as it is for you. Excess humidity can compromise indoor air quality and potentially damage your home, so it’s important to replace your whole-home dehumidifier if your current one is failing. We’ll go over the signs that indicate it may be time for a new dehumidifier, but as with any upgrade to your system, it’s important to always hire professionals for installation. The NATE-certified technicians at Downtown Air & Heat can install, maintain and repair any whole-home dehumidifier, so call us today.

Signs It’s Time to Install a New Dehumidifier

Here are some signs that it may be time to consider installing a new dehumidifier:

  • Aggravated allergy symptoms – mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, as do dust mites. Additionally, pollen likes to cling to the moisture in the air, so if the allergy sufferers in your home have been sneezing more, increased humidity may be why.
  • Musty smells – one of the telltale signs you have mold or mildew growth is the odor: mustiness. If you smell this odor in your home, particularly when your HVAC system runs, you may have mold or mildew contamination.
  • Visible condensation on inside windows – condensation on the inside of the windows is a solid indication that there is too much moisture in your indoor air. You may also see wet areas on your ceilings and/or walls, and on surfaces.
  • Stuffy feeling in the air – humidity holds heat, so even if the temperature is moderate, too much humidity can still make it feel close and stuffy inside.
  • Rotting wood – in areas where humidity has existed for a while, there can be damage to wood in your home. Excessive moisture can penetrate wood and cause it to rot.

If you have a dehumidifier, then you know the benefits a whole-home dehumidifier can offer. Don’t let your health or your home suffer with an aging and/or malfunctioning dehumidifier. Call Downtown Air & Heat today and schedule the installation of a new dehumidifier in Orlando with one of our installation experts.

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Three Common End-of-Season Air Conditioning Repairs

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Your air conditioning worked hard this summer, and as a result, may be in need of repair. There are some common problems that can develop at end of a busy cooling season, as we’ll outline below, but should you have any repair need, it’s important to always call for a trained technician. Our NATE-certified technicians are available 24/7 for air conditioning repairs, so call us today.

Common End-of-Season Repairs

Here are some of the more common end-of-season repairs our technicians see:

Electrical Issues

With normal use, it’s not unusual for wires to fray and corrode, terminals to become dirty or for disconnections to occur. No matter the problem, electrical issues can interrupt the operation of your system. Signs of electrical problems can be buzzing or popping sounds, or intermittent performance of a component. Electrical issues can be complex and difficult to find, so it’s important to use a professional for repair.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can develop in a number of locations in your system. When the refrigerant in your system runs low, certain problems can develop, including icing on the evaporator coils, warm air blowing and problems with your compressor. Refrigerant leaks do not improve on their own, and as such require repair. It is necessary to have the proper certification when handling refrigerant, so it’s important to not repair refrigerant problems on your own.

Motor Problems

There are 3 motors in your air conditioning system: 2 fan motors (the blower and condenser fans) and the compressor motor. The fan motors can develop problems with wiring, worn belts and loose or damaged components. The issues your compressor motor can develop include overheating, problems with pressurization and burnout. Sometimes a compressor motor can be repaired, but sometimes full replacement may be required.

End-of-season repairs are common in the fall, and it’s important to schedule repair as soon as you detect any kind of problem with your air conditioning. Call Downtown Air & Heat today and schedule your air conditioning repairs in Orlando, FL with one of our specialists.

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