Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Indian River County’

Air Conditioning Guide: Cooling Coil or Evaporator Coil Diagnosis & Repair

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Inside the air handler of your Orlando air conditioning system is a cooling coil or evaporator coil. From a home cooling perspective, this is where the magic happens: where the actual cooling occurs. So, if there is a problem with the cooling or evaporator coil, you will notice a decrease in the performance of your AC system.

You may notice that the air flow has slowed significantly or even stopped, even though you can hear the air handler running. You may also notice that the air isn’t as cool as it used to be or should be. Aside from having a house that is not cool enough, this can also cause problems like high electricity bills or damage to other parts of the air conditioner. Use this quick guide to start diagnosing and repairing the problem.

Diagnosis

For starters, just try to get a good look at the cooling coil. Some problems are obvious enough upon visual inspection that no further diagnostics or major repair is necessary.

If you can see your cooling coil, look for things like:

  • Dirt and debris
  • Mold
  • Staining that indicates a refrigerant leak
  • Ice or frost
  • Damaged fins on the coil

Repair

Any of these could be the culprit that is degrading the performance of your AC system. For most repairs you will want to call in a licensed Orlando air conditioning technician. Especially if the problem is something potentially hazardous like mold growth or a refrigerant leak, you don’t want to take the risk. Let a Next Generation Air & Heat technicians who is trained in safely and effectively repairing the problem take care of it, so that your home can be comfortable again.

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Air Conditioning Tips: Cleaning Your AC Condenser in Three Easy Steps

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Keeping your Melbourne air conditioning unit clean can help to maintain efficiency levels and prevent repair needs. It can also help the system last longer and improve indoor air quality. Because the condenser is part of the outside unit, it’s constantly exposed to outside dust, dirt, and yard debris; therefore, it is very important that you take the time to thoroughly clean the condenser coil and fan. Remember, before you clean any part of your AC system, always turn off all the power to the unit.

If you aren’t sure how to locate the condenser, feel free to call Next Generation Air & Heat, and we can tell you where to find it and provide a few cleaning tips. In general, you can clean the air conditioning condenser unit in three, easy-to-follow steps, which are outlined below:

  1. Always start by ensuring that there’s nothing blocking the airflow to the unit. You may have to trim low braches or prune back bushes that are obstructing the airflow. Clear away any dead grass clippings, or weeds that have grown up around the unit.
  2. Once the unit is free of debris and dirt, clean the condenser with a professional coil cleaner, which should come with instructions on how much to use and where to apply the cleaner. Although some contractors recommend washing down the entire outside unit with a garden hose, you have to be very careful not to bend the fins. It’s best to use a specialized condenser cleaner and let it air dry.
  3. To clean the fins, you can use a dry, soft brush to remove dust and dirt. Remember to clean the fins carefully because they are bendable and damage easily. Straighten bent fins with a fin comb, which you can find at any HVAC supply store, or sometimes a hardware stores. Ask a professional if you aren’t sure how to use the fin comb.

When your AC is not in use, keep it covered with the condenser cover that came with your air conditioning system. If you don’t have a cover that fits properly, call one of our Melbourne air conditioning experts to help you find a replacement cover or one that will fit your particular model. Don’t use anything that could come off easily in inclement weather. Covering your AC unit in the winter will help prevent damage or corrosion.

If you do happen to notice physical damage while cleaning your outdoor condenser unit, call Next Generation Air & Heat so that we can send one of our HVAC technicians to assess the damage or make any necessary repairs.

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Things to Look for in a Your Orlando Central Air Conditioning System

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

When it comes time to buy a new Orlando air conditioner, there are a lot of factors to consider. Beyond the obvious issues like cost, you need to consider how that system will operate once installed. What factors are most important to you? Control? Comfort? Cost? Here are some things to consider when selecting your new air conditioner.

  • SEER – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating measures the efficiency of your cooling system during a typical hour. To calculate this number, we divide the total BTUs of cooling produced by the watt/hours of electricity consumed during that hour. So, the higher your SEER rating, the less electricity is used to produce the same amount of cooling. Standard SEER ratings are between 11 and 15 these days, but some high end units have SEER ratings of up to 20.
  • Controls – How much control do you want of your system? Many air conditioners these days come with multiple speeds, allowing you to control the air flow as well as the amount of energy consumed by the device in cooling. Do you want it to constantly blow at 100% or would you like it to run at 50% to reduce consumption. Another option available in central air conditioners is zone control, allowing you to determine which rooms receive cooling with separate thermostat settings.
  • Dehumidification – Air conditioners are dehumidifiers by default, but not every system offers the same degree of humidity control. Some simply remove moisture as part of their regular operation. Others have more advanced controls to provide specific humidity control throughout the year.
  • Sound Dampening – Newer models have sound dampening features like insulation and vibration isolation to reduce sound. These are also great for weather protection and help to maintain your system for more years.

A good central air conditioner will keep your family cool and comfortable for years to come so make sure to do your research and choose a model that fits your needs in advance. If you’re not sure about any one feature, a Orlando air conditioning contractor can help you make your decision.

If you have any questions or would like to have a new air conditioning system installed in your home, please give Next Generation Air & Heat a call today!

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HVAC Tip: Your AC and Your Energy Recovery Ventilator

Monday, March 26th, 2012

As a Melbourne homeowner with an air conditioning system, you know that it costs plenty to keep your home cool and comfortable in the summer. It is an expense you are willing to pay for the comfort and overall health of your family, but if you are like most homeowners, you would do anything to lower your monthly electric bills where possible.

One way to make your air conditioning system a little more efficient is to install an energy recovery ventilator. Read on to learn what energy recovery ventilator is and how it works alongside your AC system to reduce energy loss and improve indoor comfort control.

 What is an energy recovery ventilator?

Not to be confused with a heat recovery ventilator, an energy recovery ventilator is a mechanical device that transfers heat and water vapor between the incoming (i.e. outside) air and outgoing air being moved by your ventilation system.

The main difference between an energy recovery ventilator and a heat recovery ventilator is that the former transfers both heat and moisture, while the latter transfers only heat.

 What does an energy recovery ventilator do?

What does that transfer mean for your air conditioning system? Well, in the hot summer months, your air conditioner pulls in warm air from the outside, cools it and then blasts it into your home, while exhausting warm air to the outside.

What an energy recovery ventilator does is make that process a little easier for the air conditioner to handle by transferring heat from the warm air coming in to the exhaust air that the AC is blowing out of the house. The incoming air therefore has to be cooled less, which means your AC doesn’t have to work as hard, which means less electricity is used.

Many users of energy recovery ventilator systems report that the moisture exchange also makes the air in their homes feel “fresher,” rather than the stale feel that air conditioning can sometimes produce.

So, if you would like to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of running your Melbourne AC system, consider an energy recovery ventilator as one possible solution. If you have any questions about how to improve the indoor air quality in your home, please give Next Generation Air & Heat a call!

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Air Conditioning Guide: What to Do Before Turning on AC for First Time

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

The weather is starting to heat up and you are eager to flip the switch on your Melbourne Village home’s air conditioning system for the first time. It’s been sitting there last summer, waiting to be used, but now you wonder if there are any tasks that should be completed before its first use. Depending on the type of system you had installed there are a few things you should keep in mind before you cool down your house. They include:

  • Outdoor Cleaning – First, make sure the outdoor unit (if you have a central AC system) is cleaned up nicely. Clear away any leaves, remove the cover and check the system for any growth or debris that might have gotten under the cover. Check the air supply registers to make sure they are open and either replace or clean your filters depending on whether they are permanent or disposable.
  • Check Your Thermostat – The thermostat should be checked before you start using the system. To do this, set the system to Auto-cool and then lower the thermostat setting to one degree lower than the actual temperature in the room. If the system turns on, the thermostat is working properly. Let it run for a few hours to make sure this stays consistent.
  • Clear Away Winter Dust – Now that your system is running, make sure you check the filters for any buildup of dust that was in the ductwork. Over the off season, your ducts might develop a layer of dust and debris, especially if your heating system doesn’t make use of them. The filters might clog quickly as a result.
  • Check for Water Leaks – Your condensate overflow drain should work properly as well – check for any potential leaks during the first 48 hours of operation. Even a small leak should be checked immediately to avoid potential problems as summer cooling season kicks in.

If you notice any problems other than those listed above, you should call a service professional immediately. Ideally you will have your system inspected in early-mid spring to ensure it is ready for the summer, but even so problems can develop between inspection and first running. Electrical issues especially should be checked immediately. If you would like your system examined before you turn it on for the first time, give Next Generation Air & Heating a call!

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Grant Energy Saving Tip: Common Causes of Drafts in Your Home

Friday, February 24th, 2012

If you find your Grant home’s heating or cooling bill is routinely too high, there is a common reason. Most of the time it is due to air leaks and drafts in your home that allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter and vice versa. Here are some common causes of such leaks and what you can do about them.

Sources of Drafts in Your Home

There are obvious drafts and less obvious ones. Let’s start by looking at the drafts that are most obvious:

  • Outlets and Plates
  • Windows
  • Baseboards
  • Attic
  • Air Conditioners
  • Weather Stripping

You can probably do a quick inspection of your home by yourself to check for these potential air leaks and find whatever may be causing the problem. The easiest way to check for drafts is simply to hold your hand up to the space and check for a change in air flow. You can also get a portable thermometer and see if the air temperature is different in those areas than it is in the center of the room or by the thermostat.

Insulation Inspection

Insulation is probably already in your home, but with time it can thin, get leaks or tear. Look for gaps in insulation or drafts coming through. A professional can inspect your insulation as well and make sure that it is still holding as much heat in as it was originally rated for. If you know that your insulation values are too low or that the insulation is particularly old, it may be a good time to have it replaced.

Making Changes

If you notice easy to fix drafts in your home, fix them immediately and you’ll be shocked by how much energy you save. For larger leaks such as your insulation, loose windows or problems with your doors, consider calling someone who is an expert in closing up air drafts and keeping your home both comfortable and affordable to heat and cool.

To learn more ways to keep your home comfortable this year, give Next Generation a call today!

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Heat Pump Repair Guide: How to Handle Your Finicky Heat Pump

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

A heat pump is designed to keep your Cape Canaveral comfortable. Warm weather, cold weather – it doesn’t matter. It should turn on when you need it and turn off when you don’t. So, when the device starts turning on and off without reason or when you need it to stay on, what exactly is the problem and how can you fix that problem without losing the heating or cooling capacity of your device.

 Common Causes of the Problem

There are a number of reasons why your heat pump would turn off shortly after turning on, and most of the time this occurs in heating mode. If it occurs in cooling mode, you should have the device inspected immediately because there is likely something wrong with a core component like the compressor. For heating mode issues, here are some common problems:

  • Dirty Coils – If the coils are dirty, the device won’t be able to properly operate, especially if it has been some time since the last cleaning. Both sets of coils need to be cleaned at least once a year to avoid this becoming a problem.
  • Low Refrigerant Charge – If the refrigerant gets low, you’ll need to have it recharged because the pressure in the device will drop and it will therefore turn off after a few minutes of use.
  • Defrost Timer – If the defrost timer is forcing the device into a defrost cycle too often (usually it is set to 30, 60, or 90 minutes), the fan might turn off every few minutes after turning on. This is a common problem and is usually due to a thermostat or switch issue which can be fixed relatively easily.

Another thing to ask yourself when this problem occurs is whether the device is heating properly when on. Defrost timer issues don’t usually impinge on the heating ability of the device, while low refrigerant can. You want to make sure the device is working properly when on and not just cycling on and off without heating capacity.

Based on what you find, you’ll need a technician to take a closer look and ensure everything is working properly. Most repairs for this type of problem are relatively simple.

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Heat Pump Repair Tip: Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air in Winter

Monday, February 6th, 2012

One of the most impressive things about a heat pump is that it can both cool and heat your Cocoa Beach home. But, if something goes wrong and your heat pump is suddenly trying to cool your home in the middle of the winter, you have a problem. Here are some possible causes of the issue and what you can do about them.

 Defective Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is responsible for changing the flow of refrigerant between seasons so your heat pump can both heat and cool your home. So, if it breaks, you can imagine what happens next – you won’t switch into heating mode and your heat pump will try to air condition your home.

Defective reversing valves are hard to diagnose because the symptoms are largely the same as those of a defective compressor or condenser valve. However, because of how they are installed and where they are located, you will need a professional to inspect this problem no matter what.

 Low on Refrigerant

Your heat pump should never run low on refrigerant because it shouldn’t leak, but if it does and the refrigerant gets low or if your device is simply very old, this may be a problem. Low refrigerant means that the device cannot transfer enough heat between the outdoor air and the inside air and the air that gets blown through your ducts by the air handler isn’t heated as much as is necessary to warm your house.

The problem is relatively easy to fix, though you should also have your repairman check for leaks and a possible cause of the refrigerant being low in the first place.

 Not Running at All

The final problem is one you should be able to notice quite easily. If the heat pump isn’t working at all but the air handler and blower are working fine, then the device will simply blow cold air from outside or possibly even just recycled cold air from inside. In either case, the heat pump isn’t running to heat the air and therefore, you’re getting whatever temperature it is outside.

This can be caused by a number of problems so it’s important to call Next Generation Air and Heat to inspect it immediately.

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Heating Guide: How a Ceiling Fan Can Help Heat Your Home

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Most people who have ceiling fans in Apopka never turn them on in the winter. They assume that the fan is designed solely to cool the house – after all, blowing air feels pretty nice doesn’t it? But, a ceiling fan can actually help to move heat around your home and lower your heating bill if used properly. Here are some tips to do just that.

Rotating Warm Air

Warm air naturally rises. So, when you turn on your furnace and the blower fan pushes warm air through your ductwork into the various rooms of your home, the warm air immediately rises to the ceiling. So, for the room to feel as comfortable as you want it, you must wait for enough heat to circulate into the room to displace the cold air that was already there.

However, instead of waiting for warm air to fill the room, you can circulate the warm air as it arrives with a ceiling fan. By turning on your ceiling fan and changing the direction so it blows down (which most people already have it set to), the warm air will be pushed toward the floor, mixing it smoothly into the room and keeping you more comfortable without having the furnace on constantly.

This does two things. First, it keeps the room comfortable regardless of when the furnace cycles on or off. Second, it keeps the thermostat reading stable so the furnace doesn’t cycle on and off so quickly. If the warm air regularly rises up and the lower levels begin to cool, your furnace will frequently turn on and off as it tries to maintain the same temperature.

A Low Cost Addition to Your Home

Ceiling fans are inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. They move air throughout the room, keep warmth low where you need it and can help reduce your energy bill in multiple ways. If you’re not sure whether a ceiling fan is right for you, talk to a technician about just how much money one of these simple devices can save you. I bet you’ll be convinced.

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Heat Pump Maintenance Guide: How to Maintain High Efficiency Filters

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The filter on your heat pump is an integral part of your Melbourne Village home’s comfort system. Without that filter, the device will quickly be subjected to an influx of debris and contaminants that can get into the machinery and the air being filtered into your home. As a result, you need to make sure you properly maintain the filters to reduce stress on your heat pump.

Change Your Filters

High efficiency filters are designed to remove as much of the airborne contaminants in the air as possible. This is fantastic for keeping your indoor air clean. But if you don’t properly maintain the filter, air quality can worsen and your heat pump is put under unnecessary stress. Specifically, the extremely tight knit filter, designed to stop nearly anything from getting through, gets clogged.

Now your heat pump is forced to work much harder to draw the air it needs from outside and heat or cool your home. On top of that, the filter is filled with contaminants that can start to leak back into the air supply, actually making your indoor air quality worse than it would be otherwise. That’s why it is so important to clean your filters on a regular basis (for permanent filters) and replace them if they are one time use.

Recommended Filters

You have options as to which types of filters you use for your heat pump. Filters come in multiple options, from super high MERV rated filters that trap up to 99% of all contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.

Electrostatic filters are especially efficient because they extract contaminants of all types – from dust and mold to smoke and gas fumes. A good filtration system should effectively remove anything from the air without needing replacement too often.

Permanent filters tend to offer the best protection against airborne contaminants and generally need to be cleaned once a month. HEPA filters are often permanent and while each filter is different, these are often extremely effective at minimizing contaminants in the air without putting stress on your Melbourne Village home’s heat pump.

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