When Is the Best Time for Pool Heater Installation?

February 25th, 2015

Is your swimming pool going to waste during the cooler days? Summer arrives early in Miami, and, most of the year, we get to enjoy the warm weather. A nice dip in the pool is welcome on a hot day, but when temperatures drop below 70 degrees, we hoist up the pool cover and wait for a sunny day. You put a lot of time and money into your swimming pool, but during colder months and chilly nights, you don’t get to take advantage of your investment.

At Air on Demand, we install pool heaters all year round so that you can enjoy your pool no matter what the temperature is outside. Call our friendly technicians today to discuss your options for pool heater installation in Miami.

Why Install a Pool Heater?

The first reason to install a pool heater is so that you can enjoy your pool throughout the year. When visitors come to Miami, they often don’t expect the temperatures to dip below 75 degrees. As we all know, we get our fair share of chilly days and nights. Swimming pools help to give us some much-needed daily exercise and stress relief, so letting that go to waste is a shame.

Furthermore, pool heaters are not very costly to maintain and run. Pool heaters keep your pool warm using heat pump technology to absorb heat from the air and use it to heat up the water. This means that they do no they have to generate heat, but only to move it from one place to another. And they only turn on when needed. This is an efficient mode of heating with a low environmental impact that is often used by homeowners looking to save money on home heating as well.

When Is It Time for Installation?

Don’t wait for another drop in temperatures before scheduling pool heater installation. A pool heater is useful at any time of year so that you can keep your pool at the most comfortable temperature possible. Call Air on Demand to speak with an expert about installation in Miami today so that your new pool heater is waiting for you as soon as the temperature outside is less than ideal.

Reasons Your AC Coils May Freeze

February 16th, 2015

They are small but incredibly important to the operation of your air conditioner. What are they? Your air conditioning coils, and there are two sets of them: the condenser coils in the outdoor unit and the evaporator coils in the indoor unit. When there is a problem that affects how these coils operate, your entire system can be affected. One of the telltale signs that there is a problem with your AC’s coils is when ice forms. Simply scraping off the ice does not repair the problem, as the ice is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. This is why air conditioning repair is necessary when your system freezes, and the people you can count on to repair the issue is Air on Demand.

Reason 1: Dirty Air Filter

It’s such a quick fix that is almost seems impossible that a dirty air filter can cause such problems with your air conditioner. But alas, it can, and the sooner you have your air filter changed, the better off you and your system will be. Why does a dirty air filter cause such problems? Your AC system needs an exact amount of air flow to operate; dirty air filters act as a restraint because the air can no longer pass through it. Once the air flow has been stunted for a period of time, the heat release/cooling process is affected, and one of the results can be ice formation on the coils.

Reason 2: Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner was manufactured to work with an exact level of refrigerant; when this level isn’t exactly where it should be, the entire system is imbalanced and the heat release and cooling process doesn’t work as it should. Why does ice form? Ice forms because with a refrigerant leak, the hot parts of the system stay too hot and the cool parts stay too cold. Condensation forms because of the disparity in temperatures, but then quickly freezes onto the coils.

These are just two reasons why you may see ice develop on your AC coils, but the bottom line is that ice formation indicates a problem, and as soon as you see ice, it’s time to schedule air conditioning repair for your Palmetto Bay property. The experts at Air on Demand bring over 3 decades of expertise to every job, so call us today!

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Air On Demand hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Air Filtration Recommendations in Pinecrest, FL

February 4th, 2015

If you aren’t worried about the air quality in your home, you should be. Unbeknownst to many homeowners, the air inside their homes is teeming with millions of microscopic pollutants and contaminants. Some of these tiny particles are harmless, but most are not. Dust, pollen, insect dander, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, and mold are just a few of the many kinds of air pollutants that can cause harm to the occupants of your home. So, what are you supposed to do about it? Well, the best way to address air quality problems is to use an air filter or purifier. Read on for a brief outline of the available air purification systems and their advantages.

Air Filters

Air filters are passive devices that are mostly just a finely woven fiber mesh stretched over a frame. These can be portable, or installed in the ducts to service the entire house. As particles encounter the air filter, they become trapped in the mesh. Meanwhile, the air flows through the filter unimpeded. Filters are great all-around choices, and can improve the air quality in almost any home. They do need to be cleaned on a regular basis, however, so as not to become clogged and lose their efficiency.

Ionization Filters

Ionization filters are air filters that use electricity to catch particles instead of fiber. An ionization filter generates an electric field around itself during operation. As particles pass through this field, they gain a negative charge that causes them to be attracted to the closed positively charged surface. Most ionization filters include metal plates inside the unit, which capture the charged particles. Then, the metal plates simply need to be removed and wiped clean to get rid of the particles. Ionization filters can capture a great many particles with their unique method. However, poor quality ones can also release ozone into the air, which is toxic. So, be sure that the filter you pick is of a high quality.

UV Germicidal Lights

UV germicidal lights capitalize on the vulnerability of many germs and molds to ultraviolet radiation. These lights give off short-wave ultraviolet radiation, which is harmless to humans but destroys the cell functions that allow these germs to reproduce. In some cases the germs are outright destroyed, while in others they are simply sterilized. Regardless, once exposed to this radiation they become unable to infect and sicken people. UV germicidal lights can really improve your health by sterilizing the air. However, they don’t have any way of affecting non-biological contaminants.

If you aren’t sure which filter to choose, call Air on Demand to speak with one of our specialists today. We provide professional air filtration services in the Pinecrest area.

How Long Will Pool Heaters Last?

January 29th, 2015

All mechanical equipment has an expiration date, and as a consumer, it’s important to know when you can expect certain systems and appliances may need replacement. However, a lot of factors can affect when you may need to replace a product, including proper usage and maintenance. When it comes to pool heaters, there is a fairly wide range for lifespan expectation; on average, it is 6-12 years. What can affect the lifespan of your pool heater? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Chemistry of Your Pool Water

Pools balance a number of chemicals both organic and added that help keep the water clean to swim in. It’s recommended that you test your pool water weekly to make sure that it is in proper balance, especially where alkalinity and calcium are concerned. When the alkalinity isn’t balanced, the lack or excess of acid in the water can hasten corrosion, as can too little calcium. Additionally, too much calcium can lead to scale, which restricts water flow. The best way to ensure that your pool maintains healthy chemistry levels is to conduct a weekly water test.

Effect of Power Problems

Your pool heater needs power to operate and as such is connected to your main line of electricity. However, should you experience power outages or surges of power due to weather events or other reasons, so, too, does your pool heater. If your pool heater is the subject of many power ups-and-downs, these surges may cause premature aging and damage.

Maintenance

Your pool heater should be scheduled at least once a year for maintenance, and can benefit from bi-annual maintenance. During a maintenance appointment, your pool heater will be thoroughly inspected, components will be cleaned, lubricated and adjusted, and the unit will be tested for safety and performance.

With regular maintenance and attention to your pool’s water chemistry, you should be able to make your pool heater last for a number of years. Have questions? Call the trained experts at Air on Demand and schedule an appointment today for professional pool heater service in Homestead.

Why You Should Consider DustStopper Filter Installation

January 20th, 2015

Do you or your family members have severe allergies that need to be managed throughout the year? Indoor allergies can be a challenge, especially during the hottest and coldest times of the year when you can’t open your windows for extra ventilation. If you’ve considered adding an air filtration system to help reduce the allergens in your Miami home, you may want to look at the DustStopper.

What’s the DustStopper?

The specialized design of the DustStopper makes it a great choice for air filtration, particularly for allergy sufferers. There are two reasons for this: first, the DustStopper is made from synthetic fibers that can capture up to 99% of particles that are 10 microns or bigger in size. The synthetic fibers used in the DustStopper are designed to filter more air than other mechanical filters, enabling the DustStopper a larger volume of allergens and contaminants. The second reason the DustStopper is great for air filtration is that it doesn’t restrict the airflow in your HVAC system the way a HEPA filter can. The bottom line is that with a DustStopper, you’ll get the highest of air filtration ability without having to worry about airflow restriction in your system.

Install with a Professional

If you choose to install a DustStopper filter, you should also hire a professional to perform the installation. This is because the DustStopper filter needs to be the correct size for your HVAC blower in order to work correctly. Additionally, the DustStopper filter should be changed regularly to ensure proper functioning, which is something you can schedule with the technician.

Think a DustStopper air filtration system is a good fit for your home in Miami? Then call Air on Demand today and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality experts!

Is It Too Early to Plan for Air Conditioning Installation?

January 13th, 2015

You’ve decided that you’ll need a new air conditioning system for the new year. This is an important step towards improved efficiency and performance from your system for greater energy savings, as well as comfort and peace of mind that your new system will last for many years to come. It may seem a bit early in the year to think about it now, but here in Florida, weather is fairly unpredictable throughout the year, and most experts would say it’s better to replace an older AC now than later on.

When you need air conditioning installation in Homestead, FL, call the experts at Air on Demand for quality service from a name you can trust.

It may be the case that your air conditioning system still runs, just not quite as well as you’d hope. It’s certainly expected that an air conditioning system will struggle later in its life, offering noticeably decreased performance and taking longer to cool a home. And this means that you’re spending far more every month on your energy bills than you need to. An air conditioning system that takes longer to cool your home will use far too much energy to get the job done as the worn-down parts must fight to keep up with demands.

Besides, if you delay air conditioning installation for too long, you risk a broken down system. Installing a new air conditioner is not a process you’ll want to rush through, and it’s never ideal to be without air conditioning for any period of time when it’s warm and humid outside. A broken down system may even be more costly to replace, and it’s likely that you’ll end up paying more to replace a failed unit than you would have otherwise.

You should allow yourself plenty of time to plan for air conditioning installation, which generally means going through the process sooner rather than later. Give yourself some time to choose a quality contractor with years of experience and a variety of options to choose from. And remember that the install itself may take the entire day or more depending on the circumstances.

Call Air on Demand today to speak with contractors who will detail your options and provide quality service for air conditioning installation in Homestead, FL.

What Is the Best Type of Heater for a Swimming Pool

January 6th, 2015

When you bought a new pool or purchased a home with a pool in South Miami, you may never have expected you would need a pool heater. But as the months went by, you probably quickly discovered that using the pool in the summer months can be an unpleasant experience. Pool heaters can allow you extra months of enjoyment, exercise, and family fun, but there are actually a few different types of swimming pool heaters to choose from.

When you decide it’s time to heat up your pool for the winter, call the experts at Air on Demand for expert installation and advice on pool heaters in South Miami.

Gas swimming pool heaters used to be the norm, using the natural gas from the utility company to power the outside unit. Gas units operate using combustion to generate heat and a heat exchanger to transfer that heat to the water. Water continuously cycles through the unit and back to the pool. Gas swimming pool heaters are still widely used, but they’re generally considered best for heating a pool for only a short period of time. This is best for pools that are used infrequently and need a type of heater that will work quickly.

Heat Pump Pool Heaters

But there are other options for you to choose from, and it’s better to let a professional help you select the proper unit. One of the most popular types in use today is the heat pump pool heater. These are extremely efficient because they don’t actually have to generate heat. Instead, they use a refrigerant blend to absorb heat from the outside and move it to the condenser coil. As it condenses it gives off heat, which transfers to the water cycling through the unit and back to the pool repeatedly.

Heat pump pool heaters are one of the most efficient and effective units out there, but it’s important to let a professional help you to make a final decision. Any pool heater must be sized to meet the needs of your pool and the outdoor climate.

Call Air on Demand for quality professional installation by experts trained on pool heaters in South Miami.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Air On Demand hope you have a great start to the year and a, uhm, fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Air On Demand, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!