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Air Conditioning Tips and Advice

Air Conditioning Tips and Advice (98)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 00:16

The Most Common Central Air Conditioner Problems

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If your air conditioner has stopped working, there are a few common causes to check.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

First, check any fuses or circuit breakers. If the central air conditioner's compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped; reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor's access panel.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was inadequately charged at installation or it has developed a leak. If it's leaking, simply adding refrigerant is not the solution. An AC technician should fix the leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. The performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is best when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer's specification, and is neither undercharged nor overcharged.

Lack of Maintenance

When air filters and AC coils to become excessively dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, resulting in poor cooling performance and a shortened lifespan of the compressor and other parts. Always change the air filter regularly and have the unit professionally maintained at least one a year.

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

Friday, 18 September 2015 23:57

The ABCs of Air Conditioning – SEER ratings

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The most common measure of air conditioner efficiency is called SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the number the more efficient the system.

A SEER rating indicates how much heat a central air conditioning system can remove from a home per hour relative to the power it consumes. An air conditioner with a high SEER number will require less energy to remove the same amount of heat as a unit with a lower SEER rating.

Calculating SEER Ratings

The SEER formula is SEER = BTUs (heat removed) per hour / Watts (power consumed)

If an air conditioner removes 36000 BTUs per hour while consuming 3600 Watts, you can calculate its SEER rating as follows: SEER = 36,000 BTUs per hour / 3,600 Watts = 10

When choosing an air conditioner a higher SEER ratings will reduce your annual energy costs, as shown in these examples:

   For SEER rating of 10, Annual Cost = 3.6 KW X 2,000 Hours X $0.10 = $720.00
   For SEER rating of 14, Annual Cost = 2.571 KW X 2,000 Hours X $0.10 = $514.20
   For SEER rating of 16, Annual Cost = 2.25 KW X 2,000 Hours X $0.10 = $450.00

Have questions about air conditioner efficiency? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
As the brains behind a home's cooling system continue to get smarter and smarter you'll find plenty of hi-tech features available with today's smart thermostats. Whether your a tech geek who wants complete control, or you just want to set it and forget it, there's a thermostat for every need.

Wi-Fi® Remote Access

With Wi-Fi enabled remote access and via the internet you can take control of home comfort from your Apple® and Android™ smartphone or tablet.

Advanced Comfort Management

The most advanced thermostats will tell you when you should replace your filter, provide system diagnostics so you can monitor airflow and humidity and display local weather 5-day forecast and system maintenance reminders.

Energy-Use Reporting

The old saying "what can't be measured can't be improved" is also true with home comfort systems. With real time energy-use tracking capability and system management you can find the right balance of comfort and energy savings.


Zoning

Zoning allow you to fine tune which areas of your home are receiving conditioned air at any given time. With up to 8-zone capability with custom naming, you can keep the occupied areas of the home comfortable while saving energy.

Time to upgrade your home's thermostat? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.

1. Efficiency

Look at the system's ENERGY STAR® rating to see how much energy you can expect to pay during a typical year. While more efficient systems often cost more initially, over time they are a good investment and will result in lower operating costs.

2. Reliability

A new air conditioner is a big investment, so it's important to choose a system that will provide years of reliable operation with the least amount of service related costs. Choose products from a reputable manufacturer with a long history in the industry.

3. Quiet Operation

While air conditioners are becoming quieter, they can still produce noise as high as 80 decibels. Look for features like variable speed operation, which can reduce noise significantly.

4. Humidity Control

To maintain proper humidity levels, choose a thermostat that controls both temperature and humidity. You might also consider a comfort system with a dehumidifier.

5. Healthy Indoor Air

If you have pets or someone in your household suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, adding a whole house air cleaner to your furnace or air handler will capture the small contaminants in every room of your home.

Need help choosing a new air conditioner? Give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call. We're here to help.


As the brains behind a home's cooling system continue to get smarter and smarter you'll find plenty of hi-tech features available with today's smart thermostats. So whether your a tech geek who wants complete control, or you just want to set it and forget it, there's a thermostat for every need.

Wi-Fi® Remote Access

With Wi-Fi enabled remote access and via the internet you can take control of home comfort from your Apple® and Android™ smartphone or tablet.

Advanced Comfort Management

The most advanced thermostats will tell you when you should replace your filter, provide system diagnostics so you can monitor airflow and humidity and display local weather 5-day forecast and system maintenance reminders.

Energy-Use Reporting

The old saying "what can't be measured can't be improved" is also true with home comfort systems. With real time energy-use tracking you can find the right balance of comfort and energy savings.

Zoning

Zoning allow you to fine tune which areas of your home are receiving cool air at any given time. With up to 8-zone capability with custom naming, you can keep the occupied areas of the home comfortable while saving energy.

Thursday, 06 August 2015 22:38

3 Indoor Air Quality Myths

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For many homeowners keeping the air inside the home clean and healthy is a top priority. Here are some misconceptions about indoor air quality.

1. Air pollution is only an outdoor problem.

Not true. According to the EPA, indoor air can be 5 to 10 times more polluted than the air outside. The reason is that much of the air pollution inside the home comes from inside the home itself in the form of dust, smoke and household chemicals.

2. There is no real need to worry about IAQ.

False. We spend up to 90% of our time indoors so it's important that the air be as clean and safe as possible. Bacteria, fungi, mold spores, pollen, viruses, and chemicals in carpeting and furniture can have a negative effet on our health. In persons with respiratory ailments poor indoor air can aggravate symptoms.

3. If I spend more on a high quality air filter, I won't need to change it as often.

This is usually not the case. While higher quality furnace air filters can trap finer particles, they have the same surface area and become clogged in the time span as cheaper filters. The exception is larger HEPA air filters or electronic air filters which may be larger and have higher capacity than a furnace air filters.

Have questions about indoor air quality? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

When choosing a new air conditioner for your home there are many things to consider, here are some of the most important items.


1. Operating Efficiency

Check the unit's ENERGY STAR® rating to see how much energy you can expect to pay during the year. While more efficient systems often cost more initially, over time they are a good investment and will result in lower operating costs.


2. Brand Reliability

A new air conditioner is a major investment, so it's important to choose a brand that will provide years of reliable operation with the least amount of service related costs. Choose products from a reputable manufacturer with a long history in the industry.

3. Quiet Operation

While air conditioners are becoming quieter, they can still produce noise as high as 80 decibels. Look for features like variable speed operation, which can reduce noise significantly.

4. Humidity Control

To maintain proper humidity levels, choose a thermostat that controls both temperature and humidity. You might also consider a complete comfort system with a dehumidifier.

5. Healthy Indoor Air

If you have pets or someone in your household suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, adding a whole house air cleaner to your furnace or air handler will capture the small contaminants in every room of your home.

For all your air conditioning needs, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

In the typical Florida home, air conditioning uses far more electricity than any other appliance. During the summer, air conditioning can account for as much as 70-80% of your electric bill.

Of course, the most obvious way to lower your cooling bill is to run the air conditioner less often and turn the temperature up a couple of degrees. But there are several other little steps that can make a significant difference.

1. Clean your air conditioner coils. Dirty cooling coils will make your air conditioner work harder, reducing efficiency. Your air conditioning technician can perform this maintenance or you can do it yourself by removing the outer cover. 

2. Use ceiling fans. A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Remember to turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room.

3. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home. Schedule the temperature to be higher when you will be away from home for an extended period.

4. On hot days, avoid using heat generating appliances like your oven. Use a microwave oven, or grill outside. Instead of using your clothes dryer, hang clothing outside to dry. This will reduce heat as well as humidity inside the home.

5. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).

Have air conditioning questions? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.


In a typical Florida home it's not out of the ordinary to have temperature differences of several degrees from room to room. Attics, basements and additions often have the greatest air temperature differences. When one room is uncomfortably hot or cold there are several things to consider when trying to maintain even temperatures.

Inadequate Insulation

Even in a warm climate like Southwest Florida, proper insulation is essential. Insulation keeps the cool air inside and makes it easier for your air conditioner to maintain even temperatures without running constantly.

Air Leaks

Weather sealing around windows and doors will prevent cool air from escaping and reduce energy loss.

Check the Air Delivery System

One of the most common problems we see in cooling systems that are not cooling well are air ducts that are not properly sized. To check for potential problems ABC Southwest can perform an air delivery analysis to determine if air is reaching all areas of your home.

Air Duct Leaks

Sealing the gaps and joints in your air ducts will allow your furnace and air conditioner to work more efficiently and ensure all the air reaches all areas of your home

Have cooling questions? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.


Home Air Cleaners

Carrier's state-of-the-art air purification systems can trap and kill bacteria, viruses, mold spores, allergens and other pollutants. The Infinity® air purifiers clean indoor air up to 8 times an hour and can remove pollutants from the air that are up to 18,000 times smaller than the head of a pin.

Home Dehumidifiers

High humidity during the summer months can cause a host of problems including, mold, condensation, and damage to home and furnishings.
A whole house dehumidifier provides a high degree of humidity control by working in tandem with your air conditioner and operates quietly with low energy use to make your home more comfortable.

UV Lamps

A heating and cooling system can be an ideal place for mold and bacteria to grow. UV lamps protect the AC coil, killing mold and bacteria before they can enter the air inside your home.

Ventilators

Carrier's innovative ventilators are designed to remove stale air from your home, while keeping valuable energy from escaping. Ventilators work quietly and efficiently to bring fresh air into your home all year long, they pre-condition the incoming air to better match the inside air temperature.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless and dangerous gas. The Carrier® CO alarm uses sophisticated sensor technology to detect and record levels of CO. With a Carrier CO detector you can easily monitor the CO level in your home on a large digital display. When dangerous levels of CO are present, a loud, audible alarm alerts you and your family automatically.


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