Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for February, 2015

Why Consider a High Efficiency AC System?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Have you been looking for a way to significantly lessen the amount of energy you use annually for your home’s air conditioning? Are you in need of a new AC installation and have energy efficiency as a top priority? Then you may want to consider the installation of a high efficiency AC system in your Altamonte Springs home. What makes a high efficiency AC system different from other AC systems? The main difference is that high efficiency systems have SEER ratings of no less than 16 – a full 3 levels higher than the federally-mandated minimum SEER of 13. But proper installation, repair and maintenance is critical to enjoying the energy efficiency you can achieve with a high efficiency AC system, and this is where Downtown Air & Heat comes in. Our trained and certified AC specialists can help you with all of your air conditioning needs, so call us today!

Understanding SEER

Just as combustion heating systems are rated by AFUE, air conditioning systems are rated by SEER numbers. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it is a scale that tells you how energy efficient a given air conditioning system will operate. All air conditioners must be manufactured at a SEER rating of 13, as this has been the federal law since 2006. The SEER scale runs from 1 to 23, and for an AC system to qualify as high efficiency, it must have a SEER rating that is no less than 16. SEER is important because it tells you that a particular AC will cool your home the same as another, but the AC with the higher SEER rating will cool your home using less energy. However, high efficiency does typically come with a higher initial price tag. So where does the savings come in? With your monthly energy use. According to, every SEER point higher on the SEER scale can save you up to 10% on your annual cooling costs. This means that if you replace an existing AC system with a SEER of 11 with a high efficiency system with a SEER of 16, you can save up to 50% on your annual cooling costs.

Consult with a Professional

Is a high efficiency AC system in Altamonte Springs for you? The best way to assess how a high efficiency system can benefit you is to sit down with a Downtown Air & Heat expert and review the numbers. Call us today, and schedule an appointment with one of our AC experts!

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Why It’s Important to Consult with a Professional for an HVAC Installation

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Your HVAC system provides both heating and cooling to your home, and if it is poorly installed or incorrectly sized, your new home and your comfort can suffer. If you are building a new home, or doing a major remodel to an existing one, it is important to hire a professional design-build contractor for your Orlando home.

Size Matters

HVAC systems are not one-size-fits-all, and ductwork for an HVAC system also needs to be measured and installed correctly to ensure your home gets the air volume it needs to be comfortable. When it comes to the actual unit, your Downtown Air & Heat technician will do two calculations to help ensure that your HVAC unit will supply the right amount of heating and cooling for your home. The first calculation is the heat load and the second is the cooling load. Both calculations take into account the following factors:

  • Orientation of home
  • Floor plan
  • Number of stories
  • Number of rooms and occupants
  • Level of insulation
  • Types of windows and doors
  • Daytime heat gain

Ductwork Installation

Having a well-planned, properly-sized duct system is equally important for your HVAC to run properly and your comfort. First, the ductwork should be wide enough to accommodate the volume of air being delivered to your living spaces; if it is too small or too big, the delivery will be compromised. Second, planning a system with clean lines, i.e., little to no kinks, helps ensure that the air travels in as straight a line as possible for your home.

Assistance from Start to Finish

When you hire an expert to design and build your home’s HVAC system, you’ll have the help you need from start to finish. A design and build HVAC expert will handle all the heating and cooling calculations, review your HVAC options and then install the system.

If you plan to install an HVAC system in your new home or remodel, call the specialists at Downtown Air & Heat and schedule a consultation today!

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Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Downtown Air and Heat hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

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Signs of Low Refrigerant in Your Air Conditioner

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Refrigerant is vital to your AC because it continuously cycles through every single component. Refrigerant is a chemical blend that can easily convert from a gas to a liquid under pressure and back to a gas again. Heat dissipates from the refrigerant as it moves outside to the condenser unit, but the refrigerant itself is not meant to dissipate from the system. When refrigerant leaks from the air conditioner, it’s never a good sign, and it may result in some costly repairs if it’s not taken care of ASAP.

Learn to recognize the signs of low refrigerant, and call Downtown Air & Heat at the first sign of trouble. Our team of skilled technicians are trained to locate and seal refrigerant leaks or take care of any other home air conditioning repair in Central Florida.

Loss of Cooling

The main problem you’re most likely to notice from a loss of refrigerant is if there is not a lot of cool air entering the home. Refrigerant is vital to the heat exchange process, and as more and more begins to leak out, heat cannot absorb into the refrigerant effectively, and temperatures may remain high in the home, or it might just take your system longer to cool a space. Either way, immediate repairs are necessary as other parts may become overworked and break down as a result.

Frozen Coil

If you happen to get a peek at the inside air handler portion of your AC, you may notice a set of coils. The evaporator coil cools down as refrigerant runs through and converts into a gas, and the blower fan sends air over it to bring cool air into the home. The warm air blowing over the coil should keep it from freezing, but only if there is the right amount of refrigerant running through it. A frozen coil won’t actually keep you cooler, and your unit may shut down entirely.

Failing Compressor

This last symptom is one you’re a lot less likely to notice, but it’s certainly one of the most important reasons to consider maintenance every year. The compressor is designed to process a certain amount of refrigerant in every cycle. If there is not enough refrigerant the compressor will struggle, and it may fail, which usually results in replacing the entire outside unit.

Speak with the friendly professionals at Downtown Air & Heat for quality air conditioning repair in Central Florida at the first sign of trouble.

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