Spring Duct Cleaning FAQ

April 14th, 2014

After a long cold winter, spring feels like a relief. It’s time to open up the windows, let in the sunshine, and get the house in top shape for the summer months. While many homeowners think to clean out their garage and basement, or paint the upstairs bedroom, they often forget one important factor for the cleanliness of the home, ducts. While often hidden behind walls and in ceilings, your ductwork is nevertheless responsible for distributing your heated and cooled air throughout your home. It is an essential component of your AC system, and therefore requires the same kind of professional service and attention. In this post, we’d like answer some frequently asked questions we often hear about duct cleaning. For duct cleaning in Melbourne, FL, call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. today!

  • Why should I have my ductwork cleaned? Cleaning your ductwork is one of the best way to improve the comfort of your home. Over time, dust, pollen, dander, and other debris can buildup in your ducts. As the cooled and heated air circulates through these channels, these contaminants become airborne and flow into your living spaces through the vents and registers. Cleaning your ducts can greatly improve the quality of your indoor air.
  • Is this a performance or air quality issue? Both. Not only do dirty ducts affect the quality of your indoor air, they also negatively impact your cooling performance. Even small amounts of foreign material in your ducts can significantly reduce the passage of cool air, and increase energy costs. Moreover, dirty ductwork can also increase the risk of damage to other system components.
  • Why now? Cleaning your ducts before the cooling season begins allows you to maximize your energy efficiency all summer long. Because our summer cooling costs are responsible for roughly 70% of our energy bill at peak usage, duct cleaning can lead to increased savings in the long term. It will also prevent any cooling downtime during the hottest days of the year.

Duct cleaning is a great way to maximize your energy efficiency and home comfort for this upcoming cooling season. For duct cleaning in Melbourne, FL, call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. today! 

Air Conditioning Tip: Why Your Thermostat Matters

April 7th, 2014

Anyone with a heating or air conditioning system is doubtless familiar with the thermostat. The device reads the temperature in your home and allows you to establish a specific setting by which the HVAC system will turn on and off. Older thermostats used mercury switches. Newer models use electronic components to facilitate all kinds of bells and whistles (such as smart technology that detects your energy use patterns and remote access that lets you turn the HVAC system on and off from a distance). Here in Palm Bay, FL, our air conditioning services can correct most any problems your thermostat can encounter. It’s as important as any other component in your system and often more so.

Here’s a quick air conditioning tip: why your thermostat matters.

In the briefest possible terms, it matters because it’s the control point for your heater and air conditioner. It’s what allows you to set a temperature that keeps your family comfortable, and what lets you accurately gauge the conditions in your home to make that decision. When the thermostat can’t do that, you’re going to encounter serious problems. If the thermostat’s controls are faulty, for example, it won’t turn the system on and off when you need it to. Your HVAC unit will either run longer than it should or will refuse to run for as long as you need it to. The same thing will happen if it can’t read the temperature correctly, either because some internal component is fault or because it’s placed in a spot in the home (such as near a draft) that doesn’t reflect the overall temperature.

Regardless of the causes, any problems of this nature will soon make it very clear why your thermostat matters. When problems arise, here’s another air conditioning tip: Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. is ready to help. We work in Palm Bay, air conditioning problems of all sorts are our specialty, and we can replace or replace a faulty thermostat, as well as moving it if it needs to be in a different spot in your home. Give us a call if you encounter any difficulties. You’ll be glad you did!

AC Guide: Causes of Bad Smells from Your Vents

March 31st, 2014

Whether your central heating or air conditioning system is running, when you detect any unpleasant smell coming from the air wafting through the vents, you need to have professionals investigate the cause right away. These odors—musty, mold, acrid, or anything else—usually mean something serious has gone wrong in the system.

In this post, we’ll look at a few of the reasons you might encounter these odors from your AC during the spring and summer. Call skilled technicians like those at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.—any time of the day or night—for the repairs you may need. We have the experience necessary for excellent air conditioning repair in Melbourne, FL.

Causes of odors from vents

  • Burned-out motors: If the smell from the vents is acrid and smoky, like something burning, it is probably because of a motor that has burnt out or is about to burn out inside the AC cabinet. Motors run the fans and the compressor, and without regular maintenance to keep them clean and lubricated, they can run down because of stress. If they’ve reached the point where you can detect the odors, then the motors will need to have professionals replace them.
  • Dirt- and dust-clogged vents: The cooled air from an AC must travel through ductwork to reach the vents, and these ducts can collect thick layers of dust and other contaminants along their walls over time (especially if the air filter isn’t regularly replaced). This dirty build-up will often create a dusty or musty smell. The solution to this is to call for professional duct cleaners to give your ventilation system a thorough cleaning. You should also have duct cleaners check to see if breaks along the ductwork have allowed air from closed-in parts of the house to enter.
  • Standing water in the condensate pan: This is often results in “dirty sock syndrome” because of the smell it creates. If the condensate line plugs up, the pan that collects the water moisture condensing along the evaporator coil will develop standing water, which will turn moldy and unpleasant-smelling. Technicians will need to remove the pan and unclog the drain, or possibly replace it with a new drain.

You don’t want your house to smell moldy, acrid, or dusty, and you especially don’t want your air conditioner to fail you during the summer, so leap on these problems fast and have repair professionals look into it.

For in air conditioning repair in Melbourne, FL, call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. today.

Central Air Conditioning Sizing

March 24th, 2014

One of the crucial steps involved in new air conditioning installation takes place before the new unit arrives at your home: sizing the air conditioner. The efficiency of an AC—how well it converts electrical power into cooling power—is an important factor in deciding what type of air conditioner to install. But just as important is the size and power of the AC. If the installers place a unit that is too small or too large for your home’s cooling needs, the efficiency rating will not matter: the air conditioner will drain energy and break down early from excess strain.

To properly size your air conditioning system, the installers will perform a check on your house to see how it gains and traps heat. This way, they will know how powerful an AC is need to perform the job of combating the heat without short-cycling (cooling down too fast). Our Melbourne, FL AC technicians at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. will look at all the following to size properly your air conditioning:

  • Heat gain from lights, motors, and appliances: The outside weather and sun aren’t the only sources of heat you’ll deal with during the summer. Devices inside your home produce large levels of heat, particularly lights and appliances that remain on most of the day.
  • Rates of heat gain from occupants: Another source of heat in your home you may not have considered: the people who live there. The more warm bodies who inhabitant your home, the more the air conditioner must work.
  • Solar heat gain from windows: The windows of your home are the spots where radiant heat from the sun has the easiest time infiltrating to the inside. To size your AC, the installers must calculate how much heat enters your home from the windows, taking into account their compass facing and their interior shading.
  • Attic heat and insulation: The attic of a home serves as a major heat sink during the summer, often rising above 120°F on the hottest days. This heat will seep down into your house, and the better insulation you have in the attic, the less this extra heat will raise the home’s interior temperature.
  • General insulation: The installers need to know how well your house’s walls are insulated against heat entering through conduction and convection.
  • Basic climate conditions: What sort of temperatures will your house normally encounter during the summer? You may receive harsher or lighter heat depending on how your house is situated.

There’s even more that goes into sizing than this, but the above factors should give you an idea of how much work it takes to find the right sized AC. Make sure to call trained installers, like those at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc., to help you select the ideal air conditioning for a Melbourne, FL.

3 Ways You Might Pay Too Much for Air Conditioning This Summer

March 17th, 2014

With spring comes the end of heating season, and you may be naturally looking ahead to the summer. Air conditioning in Melbourne, FL is a serious consideration, as our Florida summers are long and the humidity is high. When the summer heat hits, you might end up paying more than you need to for cooling. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are 3 ways you might pay too much for air conditioning this summer, and a few tips on addressing the issue:

  • You haven’t performed routine maintenance on the unit. Air conditioners need periodic maintenance and upkeep just like any other mechanical system. The end of heating season is an ideal time to schedule a regular maintenance visit to clean off the dirt, check the refrigerant level, and perform other key steps to help your air conditioner run more efficiently. It can make a considerable difference in your monthly energy bills, as well as preventing unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Your refrigerant is leaking. As mentioned above, low refrigerant levels are a key cause of reduced air conditioning efficiency. When a leak develops, the system is thrown off and ice develops on the evaporator coils, further sapping your air conditioner’s ability to do its job. Sealing the leak and recharging refrigerant levels will restore your unit to its peak capacity and save you most with improved efficiency.
  • You haven’t changed the filters. Air conditioning systems need their filters changed every few months, or cleaned if the filters are permanent. A maintenance technician can take care of that, but you can usually replace the filters yourself with very few difficulties.

All of these are fairly easy steps to take, though they require the services of a professional to do so. For more information on how to save on air conditioning this summer, or for general issues regarding air conditioning in Melbourne, FL, call the experts at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. We can improve your efficiency and ensure that you don’t have to pay any more than necessary for the air conditioning service you deserve. Call us today and let us show you what we can do!

How a Bad Compressor Can Cause Problems for Your Heat Pump

March 10th, 2014

The compressor is the “heart” of both air conditioners and heat pumps. This component resembles a piston engine in operation. It places the refrigerant in the system under high pressure by compressing it. This raises the temperature of the refrigerant and turns it into a high-pressure gas. The change in pressure moves the gas along to the condensing coil (which may be either the indoor or outdoor coil in a heat pump depending on whether it’s in heating or cooling mode) to start the heat exchange process.

When the compressor goes bad in a heat pump, it will threaten the whole operation of the system. Heat pumps with bad compressors will need professional repairs, usually to replace the compressor. Call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc., any time of the day or night, when you need repairs for your heat pump in Merritt Island, FL.

Troubles from a bad compressor

A motor runs the compressor, and should this motor fail, the compressor will not work at all: refrigerant won’t run through the coils and the heat pump will not provide heating or cooling. If you don’t hear your compressor coming on at all, a broken compressor motor is probably behind it. (Listen also for screeching or groaning noises, an early warning of a failing motor.)

If the compressor wears down, usually because poor maintenance has gotten it dirty, it can stop working because of bad compressor bearings or contacts. In the former case, the outdoor fan will still start, but the rest of the heat pump won’t work. In the latter case, the heat pump will probably not start at all, although you may hear a humming noise from the cabinet. The compressor can also become overloaded from a bad relay, which will also cause the heat pump to fail to turn on.

Another problem that a failing compressor can cause is leaking refrigerant. Loose or broken connections to the compressor are one of the main places where a heat pump can lose refrigerant, which leads to icing over of the coils and a drop in power. Sometimes a technician can repair this without having to replace the compressor, but the refrigerant will need to be recharged to its regular level.

Seek professional diagnosis

All of the above heat pump problems—failing to turn on, no heat or cooling, only the outdoor fan runs, leaking refrigerant—can stem from malfunctions other than a bad compressor. To find out what is causing the trouble, you’ll need a technician trained in heat pump repair. Don’t try to troubleshoot the problem on your own.

Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. has extensive experience with repairs for heat pumps, so for your heat pump in Merritt Island, FL, call us—any time of the day or night—for quality service.

Some Heating Concerns for the End of Winter

March 3rd, 2014

Heating in Melbourne, FL can be just as much of a concern at the end of winter as it is at the beginning. We may have passed through the worst that this year’s winter may have to offer, but that doesn’t mean you can just assume everything will be all right. Proper care and maintenance must be kept up at all times in order to help your heater function at its best. That doesn’t stop just because the temperatures are warming up. Here are some heating concerns for the end of winter that you may wish to keep in mind.

Heaters and furnaces don’t necessarily need to break down in order to need repair. Problems can arise that sap the energy from your unit, forcing it to work harder to perform the same functions and raising your monthly bills in the process. That can also increase the wear and tear on individual components in the system. The longer you go, the more risks you run of a serious breakdown: costing you far more later on that it will if you deal with the comparatively minor problem now.

That can be compounded by dust build up and general wear and tear that takes place during the normal course of functioning. Screws can become loose, fittings might not be as tight as they need to be, and dust build-up can increase friction on moving parts. Again, none of this will directly interfere with the functioning of your heater, but over time, it could lead to a more serious breakdown, costing you a great deal in repairs.

You can help prevent that by scheduling a routine maintenance session as soon as winter is done. A trained technician will clean off the dirt, tighten loose parts and carefully check for any problems in need of correcting. If serious repairs are required, you can then schedule them at leisure without needing to worry about another cold front moving in.

If you have heating concerns for the end of winter, call on Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to help. We handle all kinds of problems related to heating in Melbourne, FL, and we won’t rest until you are completely satisfied. Call us today to make an appointment!

Some Common Contaminants That Duct Cleaning Will Remove

February 24th, 2014

Your ducts carry heated air in the winter and cool air in the summer to help your HVAC system keep your home comfortable. Over time, dust and debris will build up inside the ducts, necessitating cleaning from a professional. When performed periodically, it will help improve the quality of your indoor air, as well as allowing your heating and cooling system to function as effectively as it can. But what exactly are they removing from your ducts? Here’s a list of some common contaminants that duct cleaning will remove.

  • Human skin cells. Most household dust consists of at least some shed human skin cells, which remain in the home and gradually build up over time.
  • Pet dander. If you have pets, particularly cats, then they shed dander all of the time, and your circulated air will likely move it through your HVAC system.
  • Carpet and furniture fibers. Every home has furnishings of some sort, and tiny fibers will often detach and become a part of your household dust.
  • Pollen. Thanks to our lush and humid atmosphere, we tend to get a lot of plant pollen in our homes. This and other biological contaminants can build up in your ductwork.
  • Dust mites. These microscopic creatures feed on organic components in the dust. Their waste and exoskeleton can contribute to dust and exacerbate allergies in particularly sensitive individuals.

If you’re interested in clearing this kind of material out with a thorough duct cleaning, Palm Bay FL has a company that can help. Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. knows the common contaminants that duct cleaning will remove, and has the experience necessary to perform the job right. If you want your HVAC system to function as smoothly as possible, pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad that you did!

When Is the Best Time to Schedule AC Maintenance?

February 17th, 2014

Warmer weather has already started to arrive here in Florida. We can expect a few more cool days ahead, but we are now in the build-up toward our warm spring and hot summer temperatures. That means air conditioners will start turning on across the state.

Is your AC ready for another long hot season? It’s vital for your air conditioner’s prolonged service lifetime to make sure it receives a maintenance visit before the summer arrives. Spring is the most common time for homeowners to schedule maintenance for their ACs. However, at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. we think the best time is… right now! We’ll explain why you should consider taking care of your air conditioning maintenance in Melbourne, FL sooner rather than later.

Reasons to schedule AC maintenance now

  • Avoid the later scheduling crunch: As the temperature starts becoming consistently warm, HVAC companies will begin receiving more repair and emergency service calls—not to mention requests for maintenance visits. If you get a jump on the spring with maintenance, you will have an easier time scheduling a convenient appointment.
  • Stop rising bills: Chances are good that you are already using your AC. But are you also already paying too much to run it? During the winter inactivity, your air conditioner may have developed dirt and small malfunctions that—although not immediately noticeable during operation—will reduce its efficiency and drain extra energy. Look at your power bills and ask yourself if you think you should be paying less. A maintenance visit will provide your AC with the necessary tune-ups and adjustments to get it back to peak operation that won’t place a strain on your bills.
  • Prevent later repairs: If your air conditioner needs repairs, it is a good idea to get them done before the most serious heat arrives. A period of AC inactivity during the summer weather for repairs can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient, but a maintenance technician can arrange to take care of any problems during the cooler weather before spring arrives.

If you are looking to sign up for air conditioning maintenance in Melbourne, FL, call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. today to discuss our Priority Savings Club. You’ll receive two annual precision tune-ups (one for your AC, one for your heater), plus 20% off all service repairs and a 5-year extended guarantee on all parts and service. Membership also comes with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Why Your Heat Pump Is Becoming Expensive to Run

February 10th, 2014

In Florida, we’re moving into the time of year when we’ll ease out of using our heaters and start to activate our air conditioners. If you have a heat pump installed in your home, this is a simple switch to make: you only need to change the heat pump from “heating” to “cooling” mode on your thermostat.

In these waning days of colder temperatures, you still need to keep up with heat pump repairs. Don’t let important heating repairs in Melbourne, FL go neglected, since the heat pump’s cooling mode operates on the same principle as the heating mode; trouble with one likely means trouble with the other.

One of the common warning signs is a heat pump that is costing more than you think it should while in heating mode. If you have inordinately high heating bills that you can’t explain, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. We offer 24/7 emergency service for your convenience.

Reasons for elevated heat pump operation costs

  • Dirt contamination inside the cabinet: Your heat pump needs smoothly working motors to perform at its best. These motors run the compressors and the fans, vital parts of the heat pump’s operation. If dust begins to enter the cabinet because of a clogged air filter, it will increase friction on the motors and make them harder to run. This will place an extra drain on your power.
  • Refrigerant leaks: The refrigerant that cycles through your heat pump stays at a fixed amount (called its “charge”) that does not dissipate during condensation and evaporation. However, the refrigerant charge will drop if leaks occur along the coils or in the compressor. During heating mode, this will lead to icing along the outdoor coil and a drop in the heat pump’s ability to absorb outside heat. Since both leaks and outdoor icing are difficult to notice, the first warning sign this is happening is often a spike in heating bills.
  • Lack of regular maintenance: The many components of a heat pump require routine checks, cleanings, and adjustments. You should have a yearly visit from a technician to examine your heat pump to check if any faults are developing that will cause it to work inefficiently. If you’ve neglected regular maintenance, your heat pump will begin to drain power as it runs down. It’s never too late to start with maintenance, however! Contact a reputable HVAC company and schedule a visit.

Whether you need maintenance or heating repair in Melbourne, FL, you can count on the services of Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to help you with a heat pump that’s costing extra money to run. Call today to ask about our Priority Savings Club and its maintenance plan.