Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning’

Easy Energy-Saving Tips to Help with This Summer’s Cooling

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Summer is well underway here in Orlando, FL, and by now you have probably gotten at least one utility bill reflecting your AC usage. Did you look at it and gasp? The good news is that the experts at Downtown Air & Heat have some helpful tips that are easy to implement and that can save you energy throughout the summer months.

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3 Signs That You Need Air Conditioning Repair

Monday, April 27th, 2015

We live in Orlando, FL, which means that a reliable air conditioner is vital to handling the heat and humidity of the summer. Those hot days are just around the corner, and the last thing you want is to have a malfunctioning air conditioner when the temperatures hit triple digits. If you need maintenance or repairs, now is the time to do it, but how can you tell that a repair is necessary? Beyond the obvious (like the air conditioner simply failing to turn on), here are 3 signs that you need air conditioning repair:

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How to Ensure a Successful Air Conditioning Installation

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Once the heat of summer is in full swing, you are going to be using your air conditioner extensively in an effort to keep your home cool and comfortable. If you hope to do so successfully, then it is absolutely necessary that you have the right air conditioning system for your needs in place, that that system is well-designed for your home, and that it is installed by a qualified, trained professional. To guarantee that this is the case, you need only work with the professional AC technicians at Downtown Air & Heat. We install quality air conditioning systems throughout the Orlando, FL area, and we are more than happy to help you to find the right system for your unique situation. Give us a call today to discuss available options.

The first step that you should take prior to your air conditioning installation is to familiarize yourself with the various makes and models on the market today. This may be more of an involved process then you’d expect. This is because modern technology has left homeowners today with more options to consider than ever before in terms of how they choose to heat their homes. There are always quality split central systems available for installation. Some homeowners may choose to use a heat pump, though, so that they can both heat and cool their homes with one convenient system. Ductless mini splits allow for this versatility as well, while eliminating the need for ductwork entirely. There are also high-efficiency systems to consider, which offer great dependability even in our hot weather, while also helping you to cool your home with reduced energy usage.

The next step to take is to hire a professional technician whom you can count on to get the installation itself completed properly. Our technicians are some of the finest in the business, and we have plenty of experience in installing air conditioners of all types. We will make sure that your system is of the right size to handle your cooling needs, and we will guarantee that every step of the installation process is completed with the utmost care.

Our summer seasons around here are just far too hot and far too long to take any chances with the quality of your air conditioner or its performance. Make sure that your air conditioning installation goes off without a hitch. Let Downtown Air & Heat ensure that you are able to cool your home all summer long in an effective, efficient, and reliable manner.

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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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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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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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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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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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How Does Humidity Affect AC Performance?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The comfortable range for humidity is 30%-60%; the average humidity levels in Orlando between June and August range from 61%-92%. Clearly, our air conditioners are a necessity.

Not only do our air conditioners cool us, they help remove the humidity, which is a big part of our heat here. Even though your AC system is designed to remove humidity as part of regular operation, there are times when the moisture can be excessive for your air conditioning and potentially affect its performance. This is when you want to call Downtown Air & Heat.

How Does Humidity Affect My AC?

There are several ways in which humidity can adversely affect your air conditioner:

  • More stress on your system – when there is excess moisture in the air, not only does your air conditioner have more moisture to remove, it also has more heat to fight. More humidity means your air conditioner has to work harder to cool the same way as when there’s less humidity. This can put more stress on your system, particularly if it hasn’t been properly maintained.
  • More problems for allergy sufferers – not only does pollen like to cling to humidity, too much moisture is one of the reasons dust mites, mildew, and mold flourish. By properly dehumidifying the air, you can help prevent allergens from hanging in your indoor air and developing in your home.
  • Less comfort indoors – the point of having an air conditioner is to feel comfortable during the hot months of the year. When too much humidity is present, it can make the cool air in your house feel cold and clammy. This kind of discomfort can be as uncomfortable as experiencing the heat, something no one wants from their AC.

The Best Way to Handle Humidity

One of the best tools available for handling the extra humidity that comes with the Orlando heat is a whole-home dehumidifier. Whole-home dehumidifiers help remove the extra humidity in the air, giving your air conditioner the breathing room to operate optimally, even during long periods of excessive warmth. Let Downtown Air & Heat help you lift the weight of the humidity this summer with a whole-home dehumidifier for your air conditioning system. Call us today and schedule air conditioning service in Orlando with one of our experts.

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