ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning
CALL ANY TIME TO SCHEDULE SERVICE
 


CALL ANY TIME TO SCHEDULE SERVICE
Air Conditioning Tips and Advice

Air Conditioning Tips and Advice (73)

Many homeowners waste energy by taking steps they incorrectly believe are helping them save money on their cooling bill. Here are some common AC myths that could end up costing you more than you think.

1. Turning The AC Off When You're Away From Home For More Than a Couple of Hours Saves Money.

MYTH: While an air conditioner is obviously not using energy when it's turned off, turning the AC back on makes it run longer to remove the heat that has built up inside the home, which can use a lot of energy.

2. Ceiling Fans Should Be Run All the Time, Even When Rooms Are Unoccupied.

MYTH: Ceiling fans don't actually cool the air in your home, they simply move the conditioned air down into the living space and provide evaporative cooling on the skin, making you feel more comfortable. They provide little if any benefit in unoccupied rooms.

3. Turning the Thermostat Temperature Down Will Cool the House Faster

MYTH: Lowering the thermostat temperature will not affect how quickly your air conditioner cools down your home.

4. Air Conditioners Made Today are Hi Tech and More Reliable, So Annual Maintenance Is Less Important Than It Used To Be.

MYTH: Annual AC maintenance is just as important as ever. In fact, to fully benefit from the high efficiency features of your new air conditioner, it is essential that it be kept clean and well maintained.
There are several conditions that can cause a central air conditioner's evaporator coil to drop below freezing, causing the air conditioner to freeze up. When this happens the air conditioner will not only stop cooling properly, it can cause damage to the unit. Here's what to check if the AC unit is freezing.
  1. Lack of air flow. An air conditioner works by taking the heat from inside the home and blowing it over the evaporator coil located outside the home. This split-system enables the heat exchange performed by the refrigerant to take place. Without the exchange of warm air the temperature of the coil will continue dropping, increasing the likelihood of a freeze up.
  2. Low refrigerant levels. As the level of refrigerant drops, so does the pressure inside the system. When a smaller amount of refrigerant is forced to expand the same amount, it lowers the temperature.
  3. Low outside temperature. If an air conditioner is run when the outside air is too cool, the pressure inside the unit can drop, causing a freeze up. This can occur at temperatures of around 62 degrees.
  4. Malfunctioning mechanical systems. A damaged refrigerant line, broken fan, even a clogged up air filter, all can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up.
Have a freezing air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and air conditioning. We can help.
If you're looking to replace your old air conditioner this spring, you may be surprised by how far technology has improved in the last 15-20 years. Improvements to air conditioners include:

Quieter Operation - By optimizing the shape of fan blades manufacturers have been able to made AC operation with less noise. Newer refrigerants enable compressors to operate more quietly.

Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants - Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better.

Reduced Energy Consumption - Decades ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity every hour to cool a typical house. Today, that level has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, thanks to technology like variable speed fans and scroll compressors.

Have questions about central air conditioners? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help answer all your questions.
With central air conditioners running nearly year round in southwest Florida regular maintenance is critical to ensuring that your cooling system is running reliably and efficiently. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money in the form of more frequent repairs and a shortened lifespan of the unit, but every time it's running in the form of higher utility bills. Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” – EnergyStar.gov

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

In addition to keeping your air conditioner clean, an ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning A/C tune-up includes lubricating moving parts, checking coolant levels, inspecting the blower motor, belts, electrical systems and much more. So call us today to schedule your AC tune up and keep your cooling system is operating reliably and efficiently all year long.

If you're a DIY type who has the time and patience to learn a few home improvement techniques, there are several ways you can upgrade the look of your bathroom for under $1,000.
  1. Paint the walls and redo the floors. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in updating the look and freshness of your bath, while replacing old flooring with new vinyl or ceramic tile can create a dramatic new look. Many home improvement stores offer free classes in how to install new floors, saving on labor, usually the biggest cost of any remodeling job.
  2. Change the shower door. Because they make up such a large surface in the bathroom, changing the shower door can create a distinctive new look.
  3. Replace an old shower enclosure. Cracked, stained shower enclosures are an eyesore that can make any bathroom look old and tired. Replacing a tub with an enclosure and enjoy a more spacious, luxurious showering experience
  4. Replace plumbing fixtures. Newer, more contemporary faucets, shower fixtures and toilets are the finishing touch that make the bathroom more inviting and stylish.
  5. Lighting fixtures. Even the most carefully planned bathroom remodel will not live up to expectations if it's too dark and the light is not in the right location. Consider advanced LED lighting that can be adjusted for intensity and color temperature.
While its name may imply that duct tape is designed for taping gaps and joints in your home's ductwork, there are better options than the old jack-of-all-trades grey tape.
Research by the U.S. Department of Energy found that duct tape actually degrades in a relatively short period of time. Heat causes the adhesive on the tape to weaken, which can cause it to loosen, allowing air to escape.

Alternatives to Duct Tape

A better alternative to duct tape for sealing metal and flexible ductwork is duct mastic. Mastic is a soft, non-hardening material similar to caulking. Because it doesn't dry out and harden, it stays pliable as the metal expands and contracts. Applying mastic is not as convenient as duct tape, it's messy and larger gaps should be filled with fiberglass mesh before applying the mastic. Importantly, mastic is not a mechanical fastener, ducts will need to be secured together with sheet-metal screws. Also, high quality duct tape should still be used to seal holes in a furnace or air handler.

Creating a tighter, more reliable seal with mastic will pay off in the long run in less air loss. Have questions about your home's ducts or ventilation system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.



Your home's air conditioner or heat pump uses one of two kinds of refrigerants: R-22 (also known as Freon) or HCFC-22. If your air conditioner was manufactured in 2010 or later, it uses HCFC-22.

R-22, or Freon, is being phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. The most common replacement for R-22 in central air conditioners is R410A, also known as Puron. If your central air conditioner is still using R-22, it will not be compatible with R410A.

When you upgrade to a R-410A central cooling system, a new line set and new evaporator coil will be installed to replace the older R-22 equipment. R-410A cooling systems have proven to be dependable, efficient and quieter.

Have questions about your central air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are gases emitted by solids or liquids inside the home. The sources of VOCs in the home are numerous and include:
  • Household cleaning products
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Wood preservatives
  • Wax that contain organic solvents
  • Disinfectants
  • Cosmetics
  • Hobby products
All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and to a lesser degree when they are stored.The possible health effects of exposure to VOCs include:
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination and nausea
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Some VOCs are also suspected carcinogens
The extent of the health effects depend on many factors such as the level and length of exposure. According to the EPA, concentrations of VOCs (https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality) indoors are up to 10 times higher than outdoors.

So what can you do to limit your family's exposure to potentially harmful VOCs? The EPA recommends taking the following steps:
  • Use good ventilation when using products that emit VOCs
  • Read and follow product instructions and warnings carefully
  • Store opened containers of unused products in a safe location and ensure they are tightly sealed and not leaking.
  • If a product is leaking, discard of the container as directed. Do not transfer the contents to another container.
  • Plywood furniture and flooring should be sealed to reduce potential exposure to formaldehyde.
For years professionals have used advanced thermal imaging cameras to identify problems with pipes, ductwork, insulation and other systems in the home. Thermal imaging works by converting infrared light into an visible image on a video screen called a thermogram. Temperature differences are easily seen as a range of warm and cool colors. Aim a thermal imager at a window and cold air leaks become easily visible. By performing a thermal inspection of your entire home you can locate leaking air ducts, drafty doors and attics with insufficient insulation.

The advantages of thermal imaging are not limited to home heating and cooling. Problems with plumbing and electrical systems can also be identified. Water leaks inside walls and ceilings, and clogs inside pipes can be detected through thermal imaging. Overheating electrical systems can also be quickly located and diagnosed.

Inexpensive Thermal Imaging for Homeowners

Until recently the high cost of thermal imaging systems meant they were used almost exclusively by professional contractors. Today, inexpensive thermal imaging cameras are in reach of the average homeowner. One example is the Seek CompactXR®, a portable thermal imaging camera that plugs directly into your smartphone. It works by translating thermal energy (infrared light) into a visible image right on your phone. So the next time you're weather sealing your your home tracking down water leaks, or checking for overheating electrical systems, you can take the guesswork out of the equation by using a thermal imaging device to pinpoint the source of the problem.
Many homes have rooms that go unoccupied for long periods of time. Guest rooms, bedrooms and basements make up a large percentage of the air volume in the average home. So it seems like a simple question: if the room is unused, why not close the air registers to save energy? The reality is that closing vents can actually waste energy, harm your furnace and AC while also making occupied rooms less comfortable.

When your central heating and cooling system was installed your HVAC technician carefully measured the volume of air in your entire home, then matched the size of your furnace and air conditioner to provide the best performance. Reducing the air volume by closing vents will not make your AC cool less or the heating system heat less, it will simply send the same amount of air to the open air ducts and vents throughout your home. In addition, during normal operation a home's ductwork will lose 20-30% of the air though leaks. Closing vents will simply cause more conditioned air to leak, wasting energy.

Closing air vents also increases the pressure inside the ductwork, which in turn will make the blower fan work harder to push the air through. The result is an increased risk of the AC evaporator coil freezing or the furnace's heat exchanger overheating.

Of course, closing one or two air vents is not going to cause major issues, but for each vent that is closed the performance of your central heating and cooling system will be diminished.
Page 1 of 6

Know Your ABCs
More than a promise, our level of service is guaranteed

  • Live operators - no answering machines
  • Appointments made around your schedule
  • Friendly, uniformed technicians
  • On time arrival
  • We wear shoe covers and use work mats
  • We explain all options in non-technical language
  • Follow up to make sure you're 100% satisfied
  • We stand by everything we do - NO EXCEPTIONS!


For Service In Minutes . . . Not Hours

About You No Surprises
We will contact you shortly to confirm your appointment.

Powered by ChronoForms - ChronoEngine.com