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

Air Conditioning Tips and Advice (103)

Electrostatic air filters are made of multiple layers of vented metal. As the air passes through the layers, the molecules become positively charged by the friction between the air and the filter. This positive charge causes dirt particles in the air to cling to the metal surfaces of the filter, preventing most dirt from passing through to the ventilation system.

The Advantages of Electrostatic Air Filters

The main advantage of electrostatic air filters is that they are reusable, and therefore can save money over time. When the filter becomes dirty, you simply vacuum or hose it off. While the up-front cost is more than most disposable media filters, they should last a long time.

The Disadvantages of Electrostatic Air Filters

There are several important disadvantages to electrostatic air filters. First, high quality disposable media filters are usually more effective at removing fine dirt particles. Second, because they charge the air, any dirt that makes it through the filter will cling to air conditioner coils and air ducts, causing dirt to accumulate, and potentially causing air quality issues. Finally, a standard media filter is simple to dispose of and replace, while electrostatic air filters require time to clean off.

Have questions about air filters? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.
Electrostatic air filters are made of multiple layers of vented metal. As the air passes through the layers, the molecules become positively charged by the friction between the air and the filter. This positive charge causes dirt particles in the air to cling to the metal surfaces of the filter, preventing most dirt from passing through to the ventilation system.

The Advantages of Electrostatic Air Filters

The main advantage of electrostatic air filters is that they are reusable, and therefore can save money over time. When the filter becomes dirty, you simply vacuum or hose it off. While the up-front cost is more than most disposable media filters, they should last a long time.

The Disadvantages of Electrostatic Air Filters

There are several important disadvantages to electrostatic air filters. First, high quality disposable media filters are usually more effective at removing fine dirt particles. Second, because they charge the air, any dirt that makes it through the filter will cling to air conditioner coils and air ducts, causing dirt to accumulate, and potentially causing air quality issues. Finally, a standard media filter is simple to dispose of and replace, while electrostatic air filters require time to clean off.

Have questions about air filters? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.
Finding the right location for your thermostat is important. An improperly placed thermostat will give you false readings, reducing comfort and wasting energy. To ensure your thermostat is in the right location, follow these simple rules:

  • Avoid walls that receive direct sunlight
  • Place the thermostat near the center of the home
  • Place the thermostat on an interior wall
  • Don't place the thermostat near heat registers or vents
  • Avoid areas near the kitchen, where cooking will generate heat
By following these simple steps you can ensure your heating and cooling system are affected by false thermostat readings.

Need help with your thermostat? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
Today's central air conditioners are designed to never leak coolant. In fact, the coolant in an air conditioner will often outlast the AC system itself. In rare cases, however, coolant may leak from a system and need a recharge – or more accurately, a refill. Leaks are often caused by some kind of damage to the unit, or a manufacturer defect. In some cases the manufacturer may cover repair of the leak under warranty.

Refrigerants are used to extract the heat from the air, without this heat transfer the system will fail to cool, so the most obvious sign of a leak is when the air coming out of your vents feels warmer than normal. Of course, this will also trick the thermostat into making the AC run longer than normal. This will happen gradually over time as the refrigerant slowly leaks out. Another sign of a refrigerant leak is a buildup of frost and ice on the surface of the AC unit. Once outside the coil, refrigerant is a gas that will freeze on any exposed surface.

If the system does need a coolant recharge the work should be performed by a qualified air conditioner technician who is certified by the EPA to perform the work. Annual AC maintenance is also important to find small leaks before they degrade system performance. If the system is 12 years or older and the leak is large, it may be more cost effective to replace the air conditioner with a newer, more efficient model rather than repair and refill unit.

Have questions about your air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
While it sounds like a simple question, setting your thermostat too high when you leave for vacation could actually end up costing you more. The reason is, if the house is allowed to get too hot the air conditioner will have to work overtime when you return to restore the temperature to a comfortable range, negating much of the energy savings.

Turning the temperature up too high can also cause problems with excess humidity, which can damage furnishings and cause mildew to grow.

What is the best temperature? We recommend setting the temperature 4-5 degrees higher than the normal setting to save energy and keep your house safe from excess heat and humidity. So if you normally set your temperature to 72, turn it up to a maximum of 77 degrees.

Have questions about your air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.

A zoning system is designed for the many ways you use your home. Maybe you've experienced the family "thermostat wars?" Or perhaps you have unused rooms that do not need conditioning? Zoning a heating and cooling allows you to divide your home into separate areas, giving you the comfort and control you desire.

The benefits of zoning include:

Comfort

Zoning meets the specific temperature and airflow requirements of one area, without affecting other areas.

Efficiency

A properly designed zoning system can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year.

Control

Zoning divides the home into different areas and comfort into different levels, giving you more choices and control than ever before.

Quiet Performance

When combined with a variable speed and/or two-stage HVAC systems, zoning allows your heating and cooling equipment to deliver peak performance and efficiency without continually operating at peak capacity. Lower speeds mean lower sound levels.

Have questions about zoning your home cooling system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help.
For many homeowners, the outside part of the central air conditioner is not a feature of the home they want to show off. Thankfully, with a little planning and time you can landscape around your air conditioner to conceal it from view while also ensuring that it can operate safely without interference.

One easy way to conceal your air conditioner is to add wood fencing around the unit. The fence can be painted to match the trim of the house or an existing fence.  Planting evergreens such hedge rows is another great way to have year-round concealment. Avoid plants or trees that lose their leaves or drop seeds. This debris can get inside the air conditioner and make cleaning and maintenance a chore.

Whatever method you use to hide your air conditioner, ensure there is plenty of room around the unit for it to operate with enough ventilation. Plants and shrubs should be trimmed back as needed. Always ensure there are no obstructions directly above the unit.
In the hot, humid Southwest Florida climate mold growth in the home is always a concern. When an air conditioner is running, the condenser, located inside the home, creates condensation that accumulates into a pan before emptying down the condensation drain tube. If this tube becomes clogged, water can accumulate in the pan, allowing unhealthy mold and mildew to grow. By checking the drain pain occasionally and taking some basic maintenance steps you can prevent mold from growing.

Important: Before doing any work near the air conditioner always turn off the power first.

  1. First, if you notice water accumulating in the evaporator pan, check to see if the drain line is obstructed with debris.
  2. Clean out the evaporator pan with hot soapy water, a small amount of bleach, and a sponge.
  3. Pour bleach through the pan's condensate tube to kill mold and algae, which can clog the tube and cause the pan to overflow. Check the tube's outside end to make sure it's draining freely.
  4. To prevent future mold and algae growth, place a chlorine tablet, the kind used for swimming pools, in the evaporator pan.

Have questions about maintaining your air conditioner? Give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call, we're here to help.

When it comes to electricity use in the home, air conditioners are one of the most energy intensive. So to start saving electricity it makes sense to target the biggest energy consumers first by finding alternative methods of accomplishing the same task while using less electricity. Here are some tips to reduce energy use.

1. Use Portable Fans

A central heating cooling heats an entire home. If you're only using one or two rooms a fan can often be all you need.

2. Use ceiling fans

While a ceiling fan will not actually cool the air, it can make your air conditioner work more efficiently by moving the cool air down into your living space while also providing an evaporative cooling effect.

3. Turn off lights

Using timers and motion detection can ensure that lights are only on when a room is occupied. Lights don't just use electricity, they generate heat, making your cooling system work harder.

4. Air dry clothing instead of using a clothes dryer

Clothes dryers are one of the biggest energy consumers in the home. They also add heat and humidity to the air. Using an outdoor clothes line or rack to dry your clothes can add up to big savings over the course of a year.

5. Use the cold wash cycle

Many laundry detergent manufacturers make cold water detergents that provide effective cleaning without hot water.

6.Switch to LED lights

Replacing old incandescent bulbs with LEDs will not only save a lot of electricity, the long lasting bulbs will reduce the heat generated in the room and also reduce the inconvenience of having to replace the bulbs as frequently.

7. Upgrade to EnergyStar appliances

When it comes time to replace a furnace, air conditioner, refrigerator or other appliance, check the government's EnergyStar rating label to see how much energy the appliance will consumer on average over the year. While more efficient units will often cost more initially, they will pay for themselves over time by consuming less energy.

8. Use a Smart Thermostat

The thermostat has come a long way since the set-it-and-forget-it designs of the past. Today's thermostats save energy by learning your home's routines and adapting the temperature to heat and cool only the spaces that are occupied.

While your home's central air conditioner plays the most important role in maintaining cool comfortable air inside the home, there several types of fans that each plan an important role in keeping the air cool and healthy. The four main types of fans are:

Whole-House Fans

This type of fan is designed to circulate air throughout a home's ductwork. It is sometimes confused with an attic ventilator fan (see below), which exhausts hot air from the attic to the outside through an opening in the roof. In some cases, a whole house fan can take the place of a home's air conditioning system by circulating air during times of the year when it's not too hot, particularly when combined with ceiling fans.

Bathroom Exhaust Fans

A bathroom exhaust fan is designed to remove stale, humid air from bathrooms, laundry rooms and other enclosed spaces with high humidity. They improve air quality and reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth. When installing an exhaust fan it's important to ensure that the fan is ducted to the exterior of the house and not just into an attic.

Attic Fans

Also called an attic ventilator, attic fans regulate the heat level of a home's attic by exhausting hot air. They are usually controlled by a thermostat that automatically turns the fan off and on, or less frequently by a manual switch. An attic fan can be gable mounted or roof mounted.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a popular choice for improving airflow in rooms, as well as serving as lighting fixtures and enhancing room decor. While a ceiling fan doesn't actually lower the temperature, it circulates the conditioned air where it's needed most and provides evaporative cooling.

Have fan questions? Give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call. We're here to help.




Page 5 of 8

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