Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning’

How AC Technicians Detect Refrigerant Leaks

Monday, August 11th, 2014

One of the most serious repair problems that an air conditioner can encounter is a leak that allows the chemical refrigerant to escape from the system. During normal operation, an AC doesn’t consume refrigerant, and it will retain its refrigerant “charge” (level) indefinitely. The only way to lose the charge is from leaking occurring along the refrigerant lines or in the compressor. A loss of refrigerant charge will both lower the air conditioner’s cooling power and lead to crippling damage to components, such as a compressor that burns out from overheating.

If you feel a plunge in cooling from your AC, notice ice developing along the indoor coil, or detect a hissing noise coming from one the cabinets, you may have a refrigerant leak.

Call the Melbourne, FL air conditioning experts at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. right away. We’ll use the detection methods to locate the leak so we can keep your AC working its best.

The methods of refrigerant leak detection

Refrigerant leaks are usually small and difficult to see without proper training or equipment. It only requires a pinhole-size puncture to allow the high-pressure refrigerant to escape. Here are some of the ways that professionals locate these leaks:

  • Bubble solutions: This is the oldest leak detection technique, but is still effective for larger leaks. The repair technicians use squeeze bottles filled with soap solution to spray along the areas where a leak is suspected. The escaping refrigerant should cause the solution to bubble.
  • Electronic “sniffers”: This is one of the most common leak-technician methods. The “sniffers” are devices that create a high voltage spark which the technicians run across the refrigerant lines. The chemicals in refrigerant have an insulating effect on the spark that will cause it to drop, pointing out the leak location.
  • Halide torches: This is useful only for older refrigerants (R-22, once the most common refrigerant blend, but now in the process of being phased-out nationwide). Halide torches turn green in the presence of the chlorine within R-22.
  • Fluorescent detection: The technicians first insert a fluorescent-colored dye into the air conditioner’s system, and then scan UV lights over the lines. The escaping refrigerant containing the fluorescent dye will show up as green under these lights.
  • Ultrasonic detectors: The noticeable hissing noise that can lead a homeowner to suspect refrigerant leaks is also useful in pinpointing their location. Listening devices like ultrasonic detectors allow technicians to zero in on the exact location of the leak.

Experienced technicians will probably use a combination of the above methods to detect a leak in your air conditioner. Once they have found the spot, they will seal the leak. Afterwards, they will recharge the refrigerant in the system to its proper level and take care of any repair issues the loss of charge may have caused.

When you need precision repairs for your air conditioning in Melbourne, FL, call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. We have 24-hour emergency service to make sure the vital cooling for your home is restored quickly.

Air Conditioning in Palm Bay: The Capacitors

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Air conditioners are electrically powered systems, and many of their key components are responsible for the transfer of electricity to run their operation. One of the essential electrical parts of an AC is the capacitor. If one or more of the capacitors in an air conditioning malfunction or fail, it will impair the entire system and stop it from working correctly. Capacitor repair and replacement requires the work of professional technicians.

If you ever experience issues with the capacitors in your air conditioning system your not on your own. We offer 24/7 emergency service so capacitor problems won’t keep your precious cooling power in your house turned off for long.

When you experience capacitor issues in your air conditioning in Palm Bay, FL, contact the staff at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.

What is a capacitor?

A capacitor is a device that resembles a cylinder about the size of a soda can. The capacitor is something like a battery that maintains a short term charge: it transmits electrical voltage to motors to either start them running (start capacitor) or keep them running (run capacitor). The start capacitor gives the motor extra torque through double its normal voltage to start spinning the motor in the right direction. After that, the run capacitor helps the motor maintain its full power with varying voltage about one and a half times more powerful than the motor’s nominal voltage. All the motors in an air conditioning—the fan motors and the compressor motor—have capacitors connected to them.

What can go wrong with capacitors?

Capacitors can wear down and fail over time, or suffer because of improper voltage levels. They will often stop working before an air conditioner’s service life is up. When a capacitor begins to fail, it will cause hard starting in the air conditioning system, where the AC will stutter and struggle to come on and remain on. Capacitors start to make noticeable clicking sounds to warn they are approaching failure.

If a capacitor fails, the connected motor will either not start (failed start capacitors) or not remain running (failed run capacitors). If the motor is connected to the blower fan, cooling power and air pressure will drop. If the motor is connected to the compressor, the AC will not be able to provide cooling at all. Have the capacitors professionally replaced as soon as possible before the motors or the compressor sustain irreparable damage.

Air conditioning repair technicians will make sure that capacitors of the correct voltage are hooked up to the motors. They will also check on electrical relays and other wiring issues that might be linked to a bad capacitor. Regular maintenance will help alert you to potential capacitor failure before it threatens your cooling.

Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. takes pride in our work on air conditioning in Palm Bay, FL. We have the confidence to offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you sign up for our Priority Membership savings plan.

Air Conditioning Tips for the Coming Summer

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Summers in Florida are both beautiful and rough. The same weather that draws tourists from around the world also means damp and uncomfortable days. To make the summer pleasant instead of a chore, you need an air conditioner in your home working at the peak of its abilities.

Here are some tips from the AC experts at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. for receiving the highest quality from your air conditioning in Melbourne, FL. You’ll need a skilled AC repair and maintenance company to help keep your air conditioning system in the finest shape for the season so that you’ll stay cool without wasting money.

Look to the professional experience of Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. for skilled residential air conditioning service—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today. 

Tips to receive the most from your air conditioner

  • Maintain steady, mid-range temperatures: Although most ACs will allow you to turn the temperature on the thermostat down to 60°F, you shouldn’t place this amount of pressure on the system too often. (Putting the temperature lower does not make the AC work harder, but it will make it stay on longer.) For most people, 72°F is a comfortable temperature, and the reduction in cost to operate the system when raising the temperature 12° from the lowest setting can be around 30%.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat: An unfortunate myth that travels around concerning air conditioners is that it’s better to leave them running all day, even when no one is home. This is wasteful and prematurely ages the system. Instead of doing this, use a programmable thermostat (upgrade if you don’t have one!) to turn the AC off when you are not home and activate it 15 minutes before you come home. You’ll have the comfort you need without wasting energy and wearing down the system.
  • Change the air filter regularly: During the summer, as well as any time when you must run the air conditioner regularly, change out the filter once a month. This filter protects the interior of the AC’s cabinet from contamination drawn in through the return vents. As the filter traps debris, it will become clogged and choke off the airflow into the cabinet, and the air conditioner will struggle and overwork. Aside from raising your bills, a clogged air filter will also lead to dirt collecting in the ducts.
  • Schedule your regular spring maintenance: An air conditioner must have a maintenance session from an HVAC professional every year to keep it in good shape and to catch potential repair problems. Spring is the usual time to schedule maintenance so the system will be prepped for the season. If you haven’t arranged maintenance yet, take care of it as soon as possible: this is the most important step you can take for a comfortable season with your air conditioning in Melbourne, FL.

You can start your maintenance with a call to Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to sign up for our Priority Savings Club. With membership, you’ll also receive a 100% money-back guarantee on our work. Get your summer off to the best start with our professional services.

Air Conditioning Tip: Why Your Thermostat Matters

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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!

When Is the Best Time to Schedule AC Maintenance?

Monday, 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.

Air Conditioning in Melbourne, FL: Why Won’t My AC Turn On?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

It’s the last thing you want to happen when you live in Florida: you switch on your air conditioner (or the programmable thermostat turns it on)… and nothing happens. There might be a few simple reasons for this, such as a tripped circuit breaker. But if the quick fixes don’t work, you will need to get an HVAC technician to diagnose the problem.

If you live in Melbourne, FL, the air conditioning experts at Next Generation are on call 24/7 if you need to get your system running again.

Getting help from a technician to find the source of the problem is vital because of the many different reasons an air conditioner might not turn on. Here are a few of them:

  • Failed start capacitor: A capacitor is responsible for transmitting voltage to the motors that run the fans and the compressor in your AC. The run capacitor keeps these machines working, while the start capacitor gives the initial electric charge to get them going. If the start capacitor burns out due to faulty wiring or excessive wear, your air conditioner will have no catalyst to get it started.
  • Motor problems: The capacitors keep the AC motors running, but if any of the motors breaks down, your AC will not work. As with any machine with moving parts, air conditioner motors can suffer damage over time. If your AC has gotten dirty, it can cause the motors to work harder than normal and burn out faster.
  • Thermostat trouble: The problem with your air conditioner might lie outside the unit itself and come from the thermostat. If the thermostat is incorrectly calibrated, it may not know that the AC needs to turn on. If there are other electrical issues with the thermostat, it could lose the ability to communicate with your air conditioner—and you’ll have no way to tell the AC to give you cool air.

An HVAC repair professional can figure out the trouble with your unit and find a way to fix it. When it comes to air conditioning, Melbourne, FL, relies on the expertise of Next Generation. We’ll get your air conditioner running again, and with Priority Membership you’ll receive a 100% money back guarantee that we do the work right.

Melbourne, FL Air Conditioning Service: Cleaning the Condensate Drain

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Your air conditioning is an essential part of your home, but there can be problems if it doesn’t receive regular maintenance. Something that people often overlook in their air conditioners is the condensate drain. When warm air meets the cool air on the evaporator coil of your air conditioner, the water in the air condenses and drips into a pan. A drain in the pan removes this water from your home. This prevents the excess water from seeping into your living space where it could damage floorboards and carpets. However, the condensate drain can become clogged with mold and other debris, causing the pan—which is usually only an inch deep—to overflow. This is especially a concern in our moist and humid climate, where mold growth is common.

Here’s some advice our expert technicians at Next Generation Air & Heat have about how to tell if you have a condensate drain blockage. If you need air conditioning service in Melbourne, FL, give our trained professionals a call.

You can check the drain blockage by pouring water down the AC’s pour spout. If the water doesn’t easily flow out on the other end, algae may be closing off the drain. Some older air conditioners do not have a pour spout or overflow switch. A professional can tell you if your model needs one of these and can install one for you, or recommend if you need a replacement system.

We know that many people have do-it-yourself hobbies. Trust us, this is a place where you want an trained expert to handle the cleaning. An HVAC technician can diagnose how extensive the blockage is and clean it out without causing damage to other parts of your air conditioner.

Because the development of mold inside the condensate drain often occurs during periods when the AC is inactive, it’s important to have regular maintenance done before the warmer season starts again. You don’t want to switch your air conditioner back on and find water leaks getting into your home. Schedule regular preventive maintenance to keep your air conditioner ready..

Next Generation Air & Heat provides priority maintenance plans and air conditioning service in Melbourne, FL. Call our experts for your next service!