Choosing a Quality Air Filter for Your HVAC System

March 25th, 2015

Picking up an air filter for your HVAC system is as easy as going to your local hardware store and grabbing the one that fits your unit—right? Not if you want quality filtration for your indoor air quality. As it turns out, air conditioning and heating filters were not originally designed to improve our health. In reality, a filter’s first function is to keep debris out of the HVAC system. Imagine if a large piece of debris jammed a motor. This would result in a costly repair, which is why a filter first and foremost protects the unit.

Over time, professionals found ways to filter smaller particles out of the air with more advanced air filtration systems. The HVAC filter you use currently does provide some level of filtration. But it may not filter some of the most common contaminants that stay in the air you breathe. A quality air filter will help to eliminate some of the most common pollutants found in homes in Miami, FL. So how do you choose the right one?

Look for the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating! The MERV is a number 1-12 which lets you know how effective that filter is. A filter with a MERV of 3 is effective enough to eliminate dust mites but not pollen in many cases. A MERV of 4 can get rid of pollen, while it takes a MERV of 8 to eliminate mold spores that pass through the filter.

Unfortunately, if you choose a filter that has a MERV that is too high, it can damage your system. Your air conditioner needs a certain amount of airflow in order to work properly, and a filter that is too thick will prevent air from flowing in, which could lead to frozen coils and overworked parts.

It’s best to work with a technician when choosing the best filter for your health, family, and HVAC unit. The indoor air quality experts at air on Demand offer air filtration service, and can even help you to find an electronic filter for advanced purification. Give us a call today to get our quality air filtration services in Miami, FL.

Can I Tune Up My Pool Heater on My Own?

March 18th, 2015

When people picture the Florida climate, they probably assume that any home pool could do well without the benefit of a pool heater. However, as you well know, your swimming pool is simply not as enjoyable without it. Your pool heater allows you to make use of your investment no matter what the weather is like outside. However, if the heater is not in the best shape possible, it may not perform as well as you’d like.

When one part of your pool heater is not in top shape it simply cannot run as it was designed to. When just a little bit of refrigerant leaks, for example, you won’t get nearly as much power from your heater, as heat exchange is severely inhibited. Debris in the outside motor can delay heating ability and lead to a sudden breakdown which you may not notice until you jump into the pool on a cool day.

A simple tune up could keep such problems from occurring, especially when performed once a year by a professional. But some people would like to save some money and attempt pool heater maintenance on their own. The problem is that these systems are a bit more complicated than the average homeowner may expect. You’ll need a number of professional grade tools to check pressure levels, temperature output and efficiency. And without a working knowledge of heat pumps, knowing what to look for while disassembling the unit is simply too difficult for the average person.

Furthermore, attempting to work with a pool heater on your own may raise some concerns about safety. The average homeowner is not licensed to handle the most important aspect of a heat pump pool heater: the refrigerant. One must be licensed by the EPA in order to gain access to and dispose of refrigerant legally. And attempting to service a gas pool heater could prove dangerous.

At Air on Demand, our experts perform an 8-point pool heater maintenance check. This includes checking refrigerant levels, compressor performance, contactors, motors, and anything that might affect the efficiency of the system. They’ll let you know if you need to schedule any additional services, or if a replacement is soon in order.

Call Air on demand and ask about our pool heater maintenance in Palmetto Bay today.

What Is the Process Involved with Ductless Installation?

March 11th, 2015

If you are on the hunt for a new ductless heat pump, you may have heard how efficient these units are. Ductless mini split air conditioners move heat from inside of your home to the outside. And in cooler weather, ductless heat pumps can also move heat into the home from the outdoors. Most ductless units are rated highly for efficiency, especially for heating, since less energy is required to move heat into a space than to produce it.

Furthermore, you get the benefits that come with a lack of ductwork. Ductwork can bring dust into a home, and most ducts actually contain cracks and holes that keep air from moving into the home efficiently. A ducted unit may consume additional energy simply because of the flaws commonly found in the ductwork. Prevent the hassle that goes along with duct installation by installing ductless mini split installation in Pinecrest with the experts at Air on Demand.

The Process of Installation

Many people who schedule duct installation are most concerned with avoiding home renovations. Adding ductwork is time-consuming, costly, and changes the structure of the home. With a ductless unit, however, the installation often takes only a day. In fact, you’ll only need to make one small renovation: a hole in the wall through which technicians feed the refrigerant line that connects the inside and outside units.

The outside unit is just like the outside portion of any air conditioning system. This contains an outside condenser coil, a large fan, and the compressor, among other electrical components. Each unit can usually fit up to 4 indoor air handlers, which go high up on the wall of the rooms of your home. You’ll want an air handler in each room or zone of the house in which you require heating and cooling.

While the setup seems fairly simple, there is a lot that goes into it, including careful calculations and sizing, secure mounting of the indoor air handlers, and a precise refrigerant charge. Only trust your ductless mini split air conditioner installation in Pinecrest to experienced technicians, like the friendly team at Air on Demand. Call us today for quality ductless services!

The Benefits of Sheet Metal Ducts

March 4th, 2015

Ducts are necessary for forced-air air conditioning and heating. The ducts in your home serve as a pathway, so that conditioned air can travel into every room in your home. Duct installation is a long and involved process that requires careful planning, precise measurements, and the right type of tools and level of expertise. And you’ll need to select the right type of duct for the job.

Sheet metal ductwork is the most common type of ductwork installed in homes, but it’s not the only type. Some technicians prefer fiberglass duct board, while others prefer flexible ducts. So why does sheet metal remain king? Let’s take a look in today’s guide to installing new sheet metal ductwork in Homestead.

Proven Effectiveness

The main reason to choose sheet metal ductwork is that it is proven to be effective. If you have a new home or an existing home that needs a good set of ducts, sheet metal ductwork is long-lasting and durable. When installed correctly and properly maintained, you may not need any repairs for a long period of time.

Sheet metal ducts have a couple of other benefits as well. Many technicians find that they’re easier to install. There are so many sizes and types of fittings available that sheet metal ductwork should be efficient in nearly any home. Sheet metal ducts can stay cleaner for longer and won’t collect dust as easily as fiberglass duct board.

The Importance of Professional Installation

What you should always keep in mind is that professional installation is key to ducts that run efficiently. Without the right technician for installation, you may notice many problems with your air conditioning and heating system. Most homes have a problem with leaky ducts, which can cause an air conditioner or heater to run up to 30% less efficiently. Often, this is due to amateur installation rather than the work of a skilled HVAC contractor specializing in sheet metal ducts.

Call the experts at Air on Demand for installation of new sheet metal ductwork in Homestead. We install, repair, and seal ducts so that your air conditioning and heating system runs in the most efficient manner possible.

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!