Call Today!

Consider It Done!
PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

Air Conditioning Tips and Advice

Air Conditioning Tips and Advice (95)

Sarasota Air Conditioner Maintenance

Many of the problems we see that lead to unexpected air conditioner repairs are simply the result of poor maintenance, or ignoring the signs of a potential problems for too long. Annual maintenance is critical to ensuring your air conditioner operates reliably and efficiently. But there are also a few simple steps you can take yourself to ensure your central air conditioner is kept in good shape. Here are a few things you can do before you schedule your annual air conditioner maintenance.

Outside the House

The outside section of the air conditioner, called the condenser, should be clean and unobstructed. The unit draws air in from the sides to dissipate heat so ensure that there are no trees, shrubs or other objects near the unit that could be reducing the flow of air. The fins and condensing coils of the air conditioner should be clean, without excessive dirt or debris.
  • Vacuum away any dirt, leaves and debris outside the main cabinet. Never use a power washer to clean an air conditioner!
  • Inspect the base pan for blocked drain openings
  • Inspect the coil and cabinet for any holes and leaks
  • Inspect the fan blades for any damage
Inside the Home
  • Replace the air filter - A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, increasing the likelihood of early failure.
  • Ensure that air vents or registers are unobstructed in every room of your home.
  • Update your thermostat for the cooling season.
  • Check for any unusual odors when your system starts.
  • Listen for abnormal noises when your system starts.
If you experience any strange odors or sounds, or the air conditioner is not blowing cold air, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your home cooling needs.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 21:34

Controlling Humidity In the Home

Written by
In the humid Florida environment the air conditioner is the main defense against excess humidity. When the humidity is too high, moisture build-up can damage your home and cause health problems when mold and mildew take hold.

Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be in the 30-50 percent range. You can measure humidity with a device called a hygrometer, or using a weather station available at many hardware stores.

Proper Ventilation

Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are the primary sources of excess humidity in the home. It's important to ensure that these areas of the home are properly ventilated with exhaust fans as needed, and that the fans are vented out of the home and not just to the attic.

Excess Condensation

Condensation occurs when humid air comes in contact with cool surfaces like windows and doors. Having a barrier layer between the indoor and outdoor surfaces is the key to preventing moisture accumulation on cold surfaces. This can be accomplished by installing storm doors and ensuring windows are double glazed.

Leaving doors open to allow air to circulate and opening drapes and partially opening blinds on sunny days can also reduce the buildup of excess moisture in the home.

Have questions about controlling humidity in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
If your home's cooling system is getting on in years and it may be time to replace it with a new, more reliable system, here are a few things to consider when it comes to new systems.

1. Reliabilty - An air conditioner is a major investment. Do your research and go with a proven brand and you'll reduce the chances of having problems down the road.

2. Efficiency - By choosing an EnergyStar rated system you'll save you up to 30% on your annual cooling bill.

3. Professional Installation - The most important day in the life of your air conditioner is the day it's installed. Proper sizing and correct installation is critical. Choose a heating and cooling company with experience and one that stands behind their work, now and down the road.

4. Air Quality - To reduce indoor pollution consider attaching a whole house air cleaner to your furnace or air handler. You can have peace of mind knowing your new system is capturing small contaminants that can cause health problems.

Have questions about choosing a new air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Should You Repair Or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Should you repair or replace your AC?

If your old air conditioner is racking up the repair bills and still not performing well, it may be time to consider if replacement is a better option than yet another repair. Because a new air conditioner is a major investment, the following should be taken into consideration:

1. Repairing the AC unit may be the least expensive immediate option, but could cost more in the long run. For example if the evaporator coil has numerous leaks or is severely corroded, it’s time to replace the unit.
    
2. Depending on the age of your current air conditioner, installing a new, energy efficient system could pay for itself over time. By looking at the Energy Star Label on new air conditioners you can find out how efficient the unit is, as indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. High efficiency units have a rating of at least 12.0 SEER.

3. New Features - Some HVAC systems come with additional features that provide greater comfort. Two-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and small temperature swings.

At ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning our first priority is to keep your air conditioner running as reliably and efficiently for as long as possible. If you have questions about whether to repair or replace your current air conditioner our home comfort specialist can help.
Turn off AC when Away?

Central air conditioners are one of the most energy intensive appliances in the home. Using a programmable thermostat to automatically control the cooling schedule can avoid energy waste, increase comfort and save you money. So what about when you're going to be away from home on vacation for more than a few days? Should you turn the AC completely off, or just turn the temperature up so it runs less often?

One important factor to consider is humidity. If the forecast includes a chance that the temperature and humidity are going to reach tropical levels, mold and mildew could be a concern if the windows are closed. Remember, an air conditioner doesn't just cool the air, it removes moisture. Turning the thermostat up 10 degrees will enable the AC to turn on every occasionally and keep humidity levels in check.

Have a smart thermostat? Some include an app that will let you monitor temperature and humidity while you're away. If the temperature and humidity get too high, you can simply turn on the AC when your away.

If excess humidity is not a concern and you plan to turn off the air conditioner while you're away, it's a good idea to close the drapes or blinds on all windows that receive direct sunlight during the day.
Allergies

As the spring season arrives and trees and plants bloom, filling the air with pollen, many allergy sufferers retreat indoors with the AC turned on and windows closed. But is there more that can be done to keep the air on the home free of pollen and other allergens?

Changing the HVAC filter once a month is a good practice, but does buying a more expensive filter advertised to trap smaller particles really make a difference in how clean the air is in your home? It's important to remember that the main purpose of HVAC filters is to keep the equipment free of dirt that can damage the unit and cause it to wear out prematurely, or lower its performance. While the filter may do a good job of removing many of the larger particles from the air, removing pollen and other allergens are not what HVAC filters are design to do.

To effectively remove allergens from the air we recommend a whole home air cleaner. Depending on the design, these systems can not only remove the finest pollen, mold and bacteria particles from the air, but can even kill biological contaminants live viruses and remove harmful chemical vapors.

Have questions about improving the air quality in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.

Indoor Air Quality
According to the EPA, indoor air pollutants ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. Because we spend around 90% of our time indoors, where the air can be 2 to 5 times as polluted as outdoor air, it's important to take steps to reduce the harmful health effects of pollutants like dust mites, mold, chemicals, radon, pet dander and more.

Here are 10 steps you can take to create a healthier indoor environment.

1. Vacuum Carpets and Dust Your Home Every Week

Although they can't be seen with the naked eye, dust mites are common in most homes. Dust mites can aggravate allergies and asthma, leading to respiratory irritation. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is the best way to reduce the number of dust mites in the bedroom and throughout the home.

2. Change Your Furnace Filter Every Month

A dirty furnace air filter not only makes your central heating and cooling system operate less efficiently, it can cause dirt to build build up inside your air ducts, creating an ideal environment for dust mites, mold and mildew.

3. Wash Bedding Every Week In Hot Water

Using a washable dust cover on mattresses can also reduce reduce allergens like dust mites.

4. Ensure that Kitchen and Bathrooms are Well Ventilated

Proper ventilation of cooking fumes and stale, humid air is critical to reducing the growth of mold and mildew.

5. Maintain Humidity Levels Between 30–50%

When the air is too dry in the winter, it can lead to cracked, dry skin and respiratory irritation. If the air is too humid it can lead to harmful mold growth.

If the humidity levels are difficult to control in your home, consider installing a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier that works in conjunction with your home's central heating and cooling system to maintain healthy humidity levels.

6. Test For Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. Exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. Buy a radon test kit and if the radon levels are unhealthy, take steps to reduce the entry to your home by sealing cracks inside the walls and on floors.

8. Let Fresh Air Inside

Whenever possible, increase ventilation by opening windows to let fresh air inside the home.

9. Buy Air Cleaning Houseplants

Years ago NASA conducted study on the effectiveness of different houseplants in removing harmful chemicals from the air. They found many houseplants are effective at removing chemical pollution. By choosing house plants like Boston Fern and English Ivy, you can reduce chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia in the air.

10. Consider Installing a Whole House Air Filtration System

If someone in the household has allergies or asthma, consider installing a whole home air filtration system. With features like UV light and advanced, multistage filtration, advanced home air cleaners can remove almost any type of indoor pollution.

11. Have Your Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Over time, dust and dirt can build up inside air ducts, providing an ideal environment for dust mites, mold, bacteria and other harmful pollutants to thrive. Regular duct cleaning will ensure that the air blowing through your air ducts is not spreading pollution throughout your home.
Running a central air conditioner during the hot, humid summer months can take a big chunk our of the average household's energy bill. If you're noticing that energy use rises even more than normal while running your air conditioner, there are several steps you can take to lower your home cooling cost.

1. Fix Air Leaks - A minor air leak in one window may seem like no big deal, but many leaks around doors and windows can add up, causing your air conditioner to work harder. Use weather stripping or caulk around doors and windows to seal air leaks around the entire house.

2. Program Your Thermostat - Your thermostat is the brains of you cooling system. Be sure to program the temperature around your household schedule by turning the temperature up when your away from home. Learning, or Smart thermostats can help you save energy automatically by learning your household routine and automatically adjusting the temperature accordingly.

3. Perform Regular Maintenance - A sudden increase in your utility bill could be a sign that your air conditioner is in need of service. If you have skipped annual maintenance and your energy bill has suddenly increased, have an AC technician inspect the unit to make sure there are no problems.

4. Replace Old Equipment - If your air conditioner is more than 10-12 years old, it's time
start planning for a replacement. While a new air conditioner is a major investment, the good news is a newer unit is likely to cost significantly less to operate every month.

5. Replace Dirty Air Filters - One of the most common reasons an air conditioner will begin to run less efficiently is a dirty air filter. Replacing the filter monthly is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform.

Have question about your air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help.
Buying a new central air conditioner is a major investment. When repairing your old unit is no longer an option and it's time to purchase a new air conditioner, here are some things to consider.

Choosing an Air Conditioner

1. EFFICIENCY - Depending on the age of your old air conditioner, installing a new, energy efficient system could pay for itself over time. By looking at the Energy Star Label on new air conditioners you can find out how efficient the unit is, as indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. High efficiency units have a rating of at least 12.0 SEER.

2. MULTIPLE SPEED OPERATION - Multi-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and small temperature swings.

3. AIR QUALITY - If indoor air quality is a concern, you can effectively reduce indoor pollution by installing a whole house air cleaner to the AC units air handler. You'll breathe easier knowing that your new system is capturing the contaminants that can cause health problems.

Have questions about choosing the best air conditioner for your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We have decades of experience in air conditioning.
Exposure to mold in the home can cause health symptoms, including coughing, itchy eyes, and hives. In people with underlying health conditions such as respiratory impairments like allergies asthma, mold can lead to difficulty breathing.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Sarasota

Because air conditioners create moisture through condensation, standing water can potentially lead to mold growth. If mold is present on the air conditioner, the air handler can circulate this mold spores throughout the home.

If you notice a musty odor when the air conditioner is running, or see mold on the outside of the unit, have a professional inspect and clean the unit. The drain condensate lines should be cleared to ensure that moisture is draining away and collecting in the pan to allow mold to grow.

Take Steps To Preventing Mold Growth In Your HVAC System
  1. Replace air filters monthly, or at a minimum every three months. 
  2. Seal air ducts to reduce condensation.
  3. Keep air conditioner drip pans clean.
  4. If excess humidity is a problem in your home, consider installing a dehumidifier.
  5. Check your air ducts for excess dirt and have them professionally cleaned if needed.
Have concerns about mold in your air conditioner or air ducts? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help diagnose the cause and recommend solutions to remove existing mold and prevent future mold growth.
Page 1 of 7

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!
About You No Surprises

What Your Neighbors Are Saying About ABC Southwest

  • "ABC Plumbing& A/C is a company I would keep for all time. Had an emergency at night, and they came right away, very little wait time. 2 days later, Henry and Trenton did a very big job and explained in detail what they had to do. Very polite, knowledgeable, and they even cleaned up!!! Which they didn't have to do. Thank you for all your hard work!!" Read More
    – Henry C., Facebook Review
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4