Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Orlando’

Is a Heat Pump Right for Me?

Monday, December 25th, 2017

hot-and-cold-homesIt is certainly a possibility! Here in Florida, heat pumps are very popular home comfort systems. While there are a lot of great heaters and air conditioners on the market today, the heat pump’s unique method of operation makes it an ideal solution for year-round comfort in this part of the country. If you are thinking about replacing a heater or an air conditioner, or if you’re in the process of building a new home and are reviewing your HVAC options, be sure to keep the heat pump in mind.

Also keep in mind the fact that even the best HVAC systems on the market, heat pumps included, are only going to function at peak performance and efficiency levels if they are properly sized, designed, installed, and serviced by trained professionals. Our team is here to help you to determine if a heat pump is the right option for your home, and we’re also happy to handle every heat pump service that you’ll need down the road. Contact us today if you’re interested in using a heat pump in Orlando.

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Orlando Air Conditioning Question: Why Are Clean Filters So Important to AC Efficiency?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Your Orlando air conditioner cost money to operate – even more when it doesn’t work at 100% efficiency. So, it is important to perform the various regular maintenance tasks that ensure the system uses as little electricity as possible. The first thing on your list (and the easiest) is cleaning those filters.

Keeping Filters Clean

The Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website states that you can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by as much as 15% simply by keeping the air filters clean. Why do they matter so much? Consider the nature of a filter.

The filter on your AC unit is designed to capture any dust, debris and sediment in the air supply. If that dust and sediment was allowed in, not only would it gum up the mechanical workings of the device, it would get into your ductwork and reduce the air quality of your home. So, filters are used to capture such things. However, when a filter gets clogged, the system must work harder to draw the air in. As it works harder, the motor turns faster and more electricity is used.

It takes very little to clog the filter of an AC unit, especially if it is running 24 hours a day for two or three months out of the year. So, it’s best to check your filters once every 30 days regardless of what type of filter you are using.

Which Filters to Check

The main filter on your Orlando AC unit should be checked along with any air handler filters and any air cleaner filters you have installed in your system. Another thing to consider is the condition of your home and the area around your outdoor condenser. If you have pets, lots of plants or your condenser is located in a dusty area, you may need to check and change those filters even more often.

Most filters are located along the return length of the ductwork – sometimes in ceiling ducts and walls, though they may also be located in your furnace’s air handler or inside the air conditioning unit.

Clean air filters are important for your health, your wallet and the longevity of your Orlando AC system. Stay on top of them and you will save money in more ways than you might expect. For any help changing your filter or to schedule a maintenance visit, give Next Generation Air & Heating a call!

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Save Energy!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Save Energy | Orlando | Next GenerationAn easy way to save energy this summer is to close your curtains. Sunlight can raise your indoor air temperature, which makes your air conditioner work harder to keep your home cool. If you close the curtains before you leave for work and open them when you come home, you will keep the sun from heating your rooms up during the hottest parts of the day. Combined with a programmable thermostat to turn up the temperature when you are not home, you can save a lot of energy!

Next Generation Air & Heat can help you with all of your heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, and duct cleaning services in Orlando and the Greater Brevard County area.

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Orlando Air Conditioning Tip: Keep Your Home Cool and Save Energy

Monday, April 30th, 2012

As the season of hot days and long evenings draws near, it is normal for questions to arise on how to keep your home cool and save energy.  There are some things which are easy to do and can help keep your house cool without overuse of your Orlando air conditioner.

Easy Fixes Which Cool the House from the Heat of the Sun

  • Provide effective shade for east and west facing windows, including planting shade trees around the exterior of the house
  • Delay heat-generating activities until evening
  • Keep the house closed tight during the day so that unwanted heat and humidity do not enter the home
  • Ventilate at night with open windows and fans
  • Use ceiling fans or room fans to increase comfort levels with higher air conditioning thermostat settings
  • Seal and insulate all air conditioning ducts, and seal leaky windows with caulk or weather stripping
  • Install window shades, blinds, awnings, sunscreens, or apply low-e films to windows to block most solar rays which cause heat gain
  • Close south and west-facing curtains during the day on windows which get direct sunlight, and invest in reflective solar curtains
  • Upgrade the insulation in the attic
  • Service the air conditioning unit annually, and place it in the shade with proper air flow to ensure it runs efficiently
  • Install a house fan to cool the entire home at once as well as cool the attic above

Eliminate Internal Heat Sources

  • Lessen stove and oven use during hot days and enjoy a backyard barbeque or cookout, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and in the great outdoors.  When cooking inside do so in the evening and employ use of the microwave, toaster-oven or counter-top grill which produces far less heat than the stove or oven.
  • Switch to newer, compact fluorescent lights which use less energy and produce far less heat than incandescent lights
  • Pass on the hot-drying cycle of the dishwasher and let dishes air dry, or dry them by hand
  • Line-dry clothes rather than using the dryer, or use the lowest heat setting on the dryer
  • Take shorter showers that are cooler, and turn on exhaust fans and open windows to properly ventilate the area, allowing excess heat to escape
  • Turn computers and other electronics off when not in use, and use electronic devices such as TV’s less often throughout the day

Combining the various home fixes while eliminating internal heat sources can turn out to be the best ways to keep your home cool and save energy during hot summer months.  Just try some and see how that energy bill decreases! For more information about how to take care of your Orlando air conditioner or to schedule your annual maintenance visit, give Next Generation Air and Heat a call today!

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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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Air Conditioning Tip: Why it Is Important to Examine Your Ducts Before Installation

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

For most Orlando homeowners the day a new air conditioner gets installed is a great one. It means you can look forward to plenty of days of cool comfort, sheltered from the blistering summer heat that would otherwise make you feel sticky and sluggish.

Before that installation can take place, however, there are many smaller tasks that must be performed. You have to do some research, shop around, consult with a contractor and finally decide on the best system for your home. Finally, you should have your ducts examined.

Your ducts are the pathway by which cooled air will be distributed through your home. Without regular maintenance, ducts are less efficient in transferring air and can cost you money, not only in electricity but in air quality control. Like any major component of your HVAC system, they need to be properly maintained to work properly.

So, you want your ducts to be in tip top shape for your new AC system. Having a professional inspect them thoroughly prior to installation will identify any damage, dirt, debris, leaks, corrosion or other trouble spots that could impede your air conditioning.

This gives you the opportunity to get any of those problems fixed before the new system is installed. Plus, a professional inspection is an important part of routine duct maintenance anyway. Having it done at this juncture is easier and ensures you know will have a smooth running air conditioner for some time to come.

Having duct work in good repair is vital to the operation of your HVAC system, including the new Orlando AC system you want to install. If you are contemplating having a new air conditioning system installed or even if you are not, now is the time to call Next Generation Air & Heat for full inspection of your ductwork. Especially if you have a forced air heating system and those ducts are used year round, you want to know for a fact that they will work properly in the future, no matter what is hooked up to them.

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Vero Beach Furnace Repair Question: What Causes Cracks in a Heat Exchanger?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Furnaces are designed so that the heat – and the combustion byproduct produced inside – doesn’t interact directly with the outside air. This design is to ensure you have a safer furnace in your Vero Beach home that won’t inadvertently affect your family’s health.

The metal piece that separates the furnace heat from the outside air stream is called the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger performs a very important function, and if it is broken or cracked, it can’t work properly.

A cracked heat exchanger is very common problem with heating systems, as well as one that should be repaired as soon as possible. But what causes a heat exchanger to crack? Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A long period of normal use. A furnace heat exchanger naturally expands and contracts with the heat of the furnace, over and over again as the furnace is turned off and on to heat the home. Over several years, this stress can crack the metal.
  • Poor air flow, often caused by dirty or obstructed vents, can result in poor air flow through the furnace. This overworks the furnace, which can crack the heat exchanger prematurely.
  • Poor, incomplete or improper combustion can also cause a heat exchanger to crack. When the combustion process is less efficient – which can also be a result of poor air flow — your furnace’s burners have to run hotter and longer to heat your home, which means extra stress on the heat exchanger.

Essentially, if a furnace is running at less than optimal efficiency for an extended period of time, the heat exchanger is put under additional stress beyond the usual and can crack prematurely. Therefore, the best way to prevent a cracked heat exchanger is proper maintenance, particularly keeping all vents clean and unobstructed and getting an annual maintenance inspection.

If your heat exchanger does crack, do not hesitate to call a professional and get it repaired. The crack can allow potentially dangerous combustion gases to seep into your home, which can have a negative impact on your family’s health.

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Orlando Heat Pump Repair Question: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

If you are having trouble with your Orlando home’s heat pump, you may be surprised to learn that it is probably not the heat pump that is to blame, especially if the trouble is that it simply won’t start up. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true: the heat pump can be in perfect working order but still not turn on.

The good news, then, is that your heat pump is fine and you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to fix or replace it. Still though, these types of problems can very frustrating to diagnose and correct. Here are four common culprits when a heat pump won’t start:

  1. No power to the heat pump. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker was tripped. If so, reset it and see if that fixes the problem. Another possibility is that your heat pump is wired to a wall switch, or that there is a switch on the unit itself. Make sure the switch is turned on.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper mode, such as “heat” mode if you desire more heat. It seems overly simple, but sometimes the trouble is as simple as that.
  3. A recently replaced thermostat. If you recently upgraded or replaced the thermostat in your home, it’s possible that something went wrong that is preventing your heat pump from starting. It may be the wrong kind of thermostat – heat pumps require a specific type – or it may have been improperly wired.
  4. Finally, the heat pump may have its own circuit breaker on the air handler cabinet. This is often the case with heat pumps that have supplemental electric elements. If that breaker is tripped, that could cause the problems you are experiencing.

If you exhaust these problems and the problem persists or recurs – for example, if the circuit breaker trips again – call an Orlando contractor to work on your heat pump. There may be something larger at work that is causing problems in the electrical system that controls your heat pump, and that requires some expertise to properly address.

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Troubleshooting Your Problematic Orlando Heat Pump

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

If your Orlando heat pump isn’t working properly, there are a number of things that might be wrong. But, where do you start and how do you solve these problems quickly and inexpensively? Here are some tips for common heat pump problems.

Low Air Flow

Your heat pump is designed to provide steady air flow to the entire house. When it was originally installed, the technician sized it to do so. If it suddenly stops providing enough air flow to your entire house or if the air flow it provides isn’t as comfortable as you’re used to, something is probably wrong.

More specifically, there is likely an issue with the heat pump itself since the device will compensate for most external problems by running longer and harder. A quick inspection will often rule out serious problems, so you should have someone inspect your device as soon as you notice a problem.

Leaky Duct

If there is an external problem, such as leaky ductwork, it tends not to be as noticeable right away. Often, when ducts are leaking, air flow problems will occur only in certain rooms of your Orlando home. Even then, the heat pump might be able to maintain the right temperature in those rooms – you’ll just have a higher energy bill because of the energy loss in the ductwork.

The best way to determine what is happening and how best to tackle the problem is to have someone test your ductwork for leaks, a relatively quick process.

High Energy Bill

If your energy bill suddenly increases dramatically, it is usually due to energy loss somewhere in the transfer between the heat pump and the rooms of your home. Leaky ducts can be the culprit, but so too can the air handler or the heat pump itself. If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bill, look for other symptoms like uneven heating or cooling in certain parts of your home or noises coming from the ductwork or your air handler.

No matter what other symptoms accompany the increase, you probably need repairs. Your home may still be comfortable now, but the heat pump can only make up for the problem for so long and in the interim, it is being put under excessive stress that reduces its lifespan.

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HVAC Contractor Tip: Furnace Air Temperature

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

When your furnace turns on every day and warms your Orlando home, just how hot is the air being blown through your vents? It’s a common question and while it varies depending on the type of furnace you have and the length of your ductwork, normally, the air is about the same temperature in most homes.

The Heating Process

When you turn on your furnace, it ignites fuel (gas or oil) or heats elements (electricity). A blower fan blows air through the heat exchanger and then into ductwork that distributes the heated air to vents around your home. When the combustion occurs and air is first heated, the temperature is between 140 degrees F and 170 degrees F.

This is extremely warm and could be dangerous to anyone if they got too close to it or it was blown directly into your home. However, as the heated air is distributed into your home it starts to cool. In some cases, it loses a significant amount of its energy in the ductwork.

This is intended, of course, because the temperature would be much too high if it was distributed directly to your rooms. That’s why high velocity ductwork often requires regulation to avoid overheating of the air. Cooling like this is normal and results in a better, more evenly distributed airflow.

When Something’s Wrong

To know something is wrong with your heating system, you must first understand what temperature air normally is when distributed through the vents. This will vary depending on which room you are in and how big your home (and furnace) are. However, if you notice a sharp drop off in comfort level in your home, it takes longer to heat rooms when cold or if that heating is suddenly uneven, it may be time for someone to inspect your furnace and check for potential problems.

A technician will then check to see if the air is being heated to the target 140-170 degrees F or if heat is being lost in the air handler or ductwork. There are a number of issues that can contribute to lost heat in your heating system – the easiest way to be sure the problem is solved properly is to call an Orlando heating and air conditioning contractor when you notice the problem.

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