10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Air On Demand, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

What Might Go Wrong with Your Heat Pump Pool Heater

November 12th, 2014

When you first purchased a swimming pool, you intended to use it all year long in order to get the most out of your investment. Of course, you didn’t envision that the water could become so cool, even in the beautiful Florida weather. A cold pool can make it less enjoyable and can keep you from getting the most out of your investment, which is why many homeowners choose to add on a pool heater as well.

If you own a heat pump pool heater, annual maintenance is key to keeping it working as it should all year round. While these are some of the most efficient types of pool heaters available on the market, there are a few things that may go wrong over time. Let’s take a look.

  • Refrigerant Leaks: Heat pump pool heaters use refrigerant to absorb heat from the outdoor air, heat it up even further at the compressor, and transfer the heat to a heat exchanger through which water from the pool becomes heated. If refrigerant is low, you may notice insufficient heating or your system may fail to operate, and a technician will have to seal the leak(s).
  • Broken Fan Motor: A large fan draws in air from the outside so that refrigerant can absorb the heat. If the fan motor breaks due to electrical problems or debris blocking the motor, a technician may need to repair or replace the motor or the fan.
  • Heat Exchanger Problems: The heat exchanger is built to be fairly durable, but it could still fall victim to corrosion due to chemicals in the pool.
  • Faulty Compressor: The compressor is the unit that heats up refrigerant to an extreme temperature and raise the pressure so that it can heat the water and pump back through the unit. If this is impaired, it may require a brand new unit.
  • Improper Sizing: Unfortunately, a broken down pool heater, one that uses far too much energy, or a heater that doesn’t quite seem to do its job effectively may be the wrong size for your pool. Only let an experienced professional size your new water heater to prevent these sorts of problems from occurring.

Heat pump pool heaters are some of the most durable and efficient on the market, but they may need repairs at some point in time. Call Air on Demand for quality installation, maintenance or repair for pool heater in Kendall.

Should I Replace My AC Even If It Still Works Well?

November 5th, 2014

Properly maintaining your air conditioning system can help extend its life. However, an aging system does have some drawbacks that maintenance and repair can’t fix, and at some point you may need to consider an air conditioning replacement in South Miami. Installing a new air conditioning system is not a DIY kind of project, so call the people you can trust: Air on Demand.

Reasons to Consider a New AC

Age

Most air conditioners have a lifespan of 10-12 years; with excellent maintenance, the lifespan can stretch to 15 years. While your existing air conditioner may be working fine now, it is bound to start developing problems common to aging systems. These problems may include an inability to cool properly and a need for constant repairs. Air conditioners are durable, but they aren’t meant to last forever. If your system is more than 12 years old, you may want to see what a new system can do for you and your home.

Efficiency

Today’s air conditioners are much more energy efficient than ones produced just 10 years ago. Additionally, the federal law changed in 2006, mandating that all air conditioners have a minimum SEER of 13; before this law changed, the minimum SEER requirement was 10. If your system is 8 years old or older, you may be losing out on significant energy savings.

Refrigerant Type

One of the main problems with air conditioning has been the use of R-22 refrigerant, better known as Freon. There has been a steady phase-out of the use of R-22 since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2010 that air conditioners could no longer be produced with R-22. Since 2010, the production of Freon has decreased significantly, and it can only be used for repairs. By 2020, Freon will no longer be available anywhere. What does this mean for you? If your air conditioning system uses R-22 refrigerant, you are going to have to install a new system by 2020, because the new refrigerants on the market are not compatible with an R-22 system.

If you aren’t sure whether or not it’s time for a new air conditioning installation in South Miami, consult with a trained professional. The experts at Air on Demand bring over 3 decades of expertise to each customer – call us today!

Why Consider Installing Packaged Air Conditioning Units for Your Business

October 29th, 2014

If you own or manage a commercial property, it’s important to keep your business as comfortable as possible to ensure the comfort of your tenants, customers, clients, and/or employees. A comfortable work space means more productive employees and returning clients and customers. That’s why you want the best air conditioning system available for your business, and the best option for many business owners is a packaged air conditioning unit.

Packaged air conditioners contain every component in a single cabinet, usually installed on the rooftop although it may also be set on the ground. Professionals recommend large commercial packaged units for most businesses, for the following reasons.

  • Save Space: Packaged air conditioning units help to save space. With residential air conditioners, there is generally an indoor unit and an outdoor unit, and an outdoor unit. All of the components of a residential unit are located in a single cabinet connected to the ductwork, which may be installed on the rooftop so it does interfere with your business.
  • Quick and Easy Service: If you need air conditioning maintenance, repairs, or replacement, the job may go more smoothly with a packaged rooftop unit. The technician stays out of the way during repairs or maintenance. And the job may move more quickly than it would with a split-system, as all of the components are in a single cabinet.
  • Modular Units: Packaged air conditioning units are modular, meaning technicians can easily change the cooling capacity of a system by simply adding or removing individual modules. As your business grows and changes, it’s important to be able to adapt your surroundings along with it. The size of your air conditioner generally depends on many factors, including how many people are in the building, so that it does not run into any problems. It’s convenient to be able to adjust the cooling capacity without replacing the entire unit.
  • Cooling and Heating in One: Finally, packaged air conditioning units can combine the components of both your heating and cooling system, so that you can save additional space.

When you need commercial HVAC services in Homestead, you need a technician who is experienced with large commercial units. Don’t trust just any technician; call the commercial cooling experts at Air on Demand today!

Why You Need Pool Heater Maintenance This Fall

October 22nd, 2014

If you own a pool, you probably already know how much work it is to keep it in good condition. Pools require a lot of vacuuming, filtering, and fishing out debris to ensure an optimal swimming environment. One thing that not a lot of homeowners think about, however, is pool heater maintenance. After all, pools tend to see the most use during the summer, where heating is hardly necessary. As winter approaches, however, it behooves you to make sure that your heater is in good condition. Here are some of the reasons to conduct pool heater maintenance this fall.

Timing

Just like furnaces, boilers, and other home heating systems, pool heaters are most susceptible to breakdowns during periods of heavy usage. This is obviously going to be during the winter months, as very few people are going to want to swim in sub-fifty degree water. Fall maintenance ensures that your pool heater is in top working order right before you’ll be using it the most, decreasing the chances of an inconvenient and costly breakdown.

Cost

If a problem is discovered with your pool heater during regular maintenance, it usually isn’t that difficult or expensive to fix. Problems that are left alone, however, tend to get progressively worse until they cause a breakdown or other more serious issues. As is the case with other home maintenance, the longer you ignore potential problems, the worse they will get.

This is especially true in winter, where a broken pool heater makes your pool more or less unusable until you get it fixed. Pool repairs of any kind are rarely cheap, so by ignoring fall maintenance you also face the risk of a costly repair procedure.

A pool is a great thing to have as a homeowner. They provide exercise, entertainment, and relaxation year round, as long as they are kept in good condition. Don’t let yours incur problems that could have been avoided. Get your pool heater checked this fall.

If you haven’t had your pool heater checked yet this year, call Air on Demand. We offer quality pool heater services in the Doral, FL area.

The Advantages of Professional Sheet Metal Ductwork Design

October 15th, 2014

Your ductwork is an integral part of your HVAC system. As such, it should be designed for maximum efficiency and longevity. One of the best ways to ensure you achieve this, and more, with your ductwork, is to have sheet metal ductwork fabricated for your home. Having ductwork tailored to your home and HVAC system has a number of benefits, but without professional help, you could encounter ongoing problems down the road. For over 13 years, Air on Demand has been fabricating sheet metal ductwork for customers in Homestead, FL and all over the Miami area, and we can make sure you have a ductwork system designed and fabricated to last for years to come.

Why Should I Consider Custom Ductwork?

Here are some reasons custom ductwork can be a good choice for homeowners:

  • Helps distribute air to all rooms evenly
  • Helps to create a system with neutral air pressure, which is optimal for the operation of your system and your comfort
  • Helps your system to achieve its highest level of energy efficiency
  • Reduces wear and tear on your system
  • Helps improve indoor air quality

It’s All About Correct Calculation

When you hire a professional to create custom ductwork, the following items should be taken into consideration in order to create a ductwork system perfectly suited for your HVAC system and your home:

  • Correct heating and cooling calculations – by doing load calculations, your fabricator can correctly size the ductwork to ensure that your home receives the proper air load.
  • Creation of ducts that have the straightest route from your air handler to a given room – ductwork that has many turns can make it harder for your system to deliver the necessary air flow to your living spaces.
  • Have a matching return duct for every supply register – having matching supply and return ducts helps keep the circulation in your home optimal.
  • Properly secure seals with metal binding and mastic – ductwork that is properly sealed has significantly less air loss, which helps increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality, and puts less stress on your system.

Having the right ductwork for your home makes all the difference between being comfortable and energy efficient, and not. Call Air on Demand and schedule an appointment with one of our fabrication experts to see how custom sheet metal ductwork in Homestead, FL can help your home.

Warning Signs It Is Time for Commercial HVAC Replacement

October 8th, 2014

A professionally selected and installed HVAC system for your commercial building should last for many years with only minimal performance problems…provided that it receives routine maintenance and targeted repairs as necessary. However, any complex mechanical appliance will eventually reach a point where stress wears it down so much that continued repairs will only keep it running for short periods of time. The repair expenses plus the higher energy cost of running the HVAC system will make it imperative to have the old system replaced.

This is a big decision to make, and you will not want to make it lightly. To help you determine when it is time for a new installation of a comfort system for your company, call on the commercial experts at Air on Demand. We will take care of your heating and cooling in Doral, FL with commercial HVAC services of the highest quality.

Here are a few warning signs to watch for that will tell you it’s time to contact us for an HVAC system evaluation:

Hot or Cold Spots in the Work Place

One of the clearest signs that a heating and cooling system is starting to fail is when you or your employees notice spots in the office that are hotter or colder than they should be. Sometimes this indicates trouble in the thermostat; but if thermostat adjustments and repairs do not solve the problem, then you may have an HVAC system that is on its last legs and struggling to provide you with the level of conditioned air that it once did.

Escalating Utility Bills

You keep a close watch on all the bills for your company, so you will have a good idea what to expect to pay each season to heat and cool it. When these bills start to rise—and continue to rise—for no easily discernible reason, you should have professionals look into the issue to discover if the HVAC system has developed irreparable damage.

Numerous Repairs

Most HVAC systems will require the majority of repairs during the last two years of their service lives. When you find yourself calling for repairs a few times a year just to keep the system up and running, then you’re probably throwing away money on a heater or AC that will never again work at peak performance level. If any single repair for the system would cost half of the price of a replacement, it is more economical to opt for the replacement.

Our team at Air on Demand will see if your company will benefit from repairs or if you should arrange for a new installation. We can help with all the commercial HVAC services in Doral, FL necessary to keep your employees and customers comfortable and content.

The Compressor and Air Conditioning Repair

October 1st, 2014

It is never good news when one of the components in your home’s air conditioning system starts to fail or malfunction: no matter what is wrong with the AC, you need to have swift and skilled repair work done to fix it, or else the cooling system could suffer a full breakdown—or at the very least start costing more to run.

However, some components are more worrisome than others should they begin to show signs they need repairs. Perhaps the most vital mechanism in your air conditioner is the compressor; this component is at the center of the heat exchange process that allows the AC to cool down your home, and should it fail it can sometimes mean needing to replace the entire system. Keep a close watch for the signs below that could indicate the compressor is in trouble.

When you need air conditioning repair in Palmetto Bay, FL or the surrounding areas, contact Air on Demand. All of our technicians are NATE-certified to deliver you the highest quality repairs.

Signs of a Compressor That is Going Bad

  • Hard starting: When the compressor in the outdoor unit comes on, does it stutter and make the cabinet shake? That means the compressor is encountering difficulty starting, a condition known as “hard starting.” There are different possible causes for hard starting, but it often means that the compressor has become “tight” and its mechanical motion restricted. This may eventually lead to the compressor freezing in place, which will bring about an end to your air conditioner’s cooling ability. Always call for repairs right away when hard starting becomes noticeable.
  • Short cycling: The term “short cycling” refers to times when the compressor’s cooling cycle is cut off early and the compressor shuts down before it should…only to come back on a short time later and start the process over. Whatever is causing the short cycling (poorly-sized AC, frost along the coils, miscalibrated thermostat, etc.) it needs to be fixed soon because it will put immense strain on the compressor and possibly cause it to overheat.
  • Loss of cooling: Because the compressor is responsible for powering the heat exchange cycle that allows the AC to provide cooling, a drop in the air conditioner’s performance often warns that something has gone wrong with the compressor. Since any drop in cooling is a bad sign (and will make your home uncomfortable), you should call right away for technicians to investigate and see what might be the matter.

One of the best ways to avoid compressor troubles is with regular preventive maintenance that will see that the component isn’t suffering from increased stress or repair needs. Air on Demand offers an excellent maintenance plan that includes a 20% discount on all repairs and 5% on new equipment (on certain plans). Contact us today to find out more about how you can reduce your need for air conditioning repair in Palmetto Bay, FL.

Consider Going Ductless for Your New Air Conditioning Installation

September 24th, 2014

Is it time to replace your air conditioner, but you aren’t sure what system to choose? With so many choices available, it can be difficult to know which system is best for you. One option you may want to consider is ductless air conditioning. Ductless systems offer some benefits others don’t, including the ability to both heat and cool. The best way to know which system is best for your air conditioning installation in Miami is to work with an expert. Air on Demand has been helping customers with air conditioning installation, repair and replacement for years, and we can help you choose and install an AC system that is right for you and your home.

How Does a Ductless System Work?

As the name implies, ductless systems do not deliver cooling (or heating) via ductwork; instead, individual indoor blowers are used. The blowers are about 35” long and contain a small fan, evaporator coils and an air filter. The blowers are supported by an outdoor unit that is very similar to that of a traditional split-system AC. The outdoor unit contains a compressor and condenser, and can support up to 4 indoor blowers. The indoor blowers and outdoor unit are connected by a small conduit placed in an exterior wall that contains the refrigerant line, power cord and condensate pipe. Each blower operates individually, and when one is turned on, the air conditioning cycle begins.

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless System?

There are a few benefits of a ductless system worth considering when planning to install a new air conditioner:

  • Can offer both heating and cooling – a ductless system can use heat pump technology to provide both heating and cooling for your home.
  • Customized comfort – each blower operates independently, allowing you to customize your cooling as needed.
  • Energy efficiency – because you only use the amount of cooling you need, ductless systems can help improve energy efficiency. Also, ductless systems eliminate all energy efficiency problems that can originate from faulty ductwork.
  • Easy installation – indoor blowers can be mounted flush against walls or hung from ceilings, so installation is quite quick and easy.
  • No need for ductwork – as the name implies, you can have whole-home cooling without the cost and hassle of having to install ductwork.

With so many different types of ACs to choose from, it can be difficult to know what type of air conditioning is best for your installation in Miami. Call Air on Demand today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

Make Sure You Schedule Maintenance for Your Pool Heater

September 17th, 2014

With summer now over, you’re probably thankful that you have a pool heater installed to keep your swimming pool warm during the cooler weather. A properly installed pool heater will ensure that you receive the most use possible from your pool during the year, even through the winter.

Your pool heater, however, may not be ready for the work it will need to do. During the fall is an excellent time to schedule that important regular maintenance so the heater not only keeps the pool comfortable, but also won’t drain extra energy. Our team at Air on Demand offers quality maintenance service for pool heaters in Coral Gables, FL and the surrounding areas, so contact us today to arrange for your annual inspection and tune-up visit.

Why You Need Pool Heater Maintenance

A pool heater has maintenance needs similar to any home heating system: like furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers, a pool heater must have an annual check-up and inspection to see that it will work throughout the cooler months. Maintenance is also necessary to see that the pool heater lives up to its estimated lifespan.

Most pool heaters work through technology similar to that of a heat pump or air conditioner, and they need yearly service to see that their most crucial component—the compressor—is not in danger of burning out. Should a compressor burn out, the entire pool heater will usually need to be replaced. Electrical components in pool heaters will also start to wear down without maintenance, and will sometimes require replacements. Technicians take special care to investigate electrical components in a pool heater.

What Happens During Pool Heater Maintenance

When you contact us for a regular maintenance session for a pool heater, one of our skilled technicians will run through an 8-point checklist to see that the system works its best and does not require any repairs. The specific types of checks done with depend on the type of pool heater you have.

A technician will check on the refrigerant pressure, check and clean contacts, capacitors, the condenser coil, fan motors, and see that the compressor is working without extra strain. The technician will finish the session with a system efficiency test and a check on the temperature input and outflow. If anything appears amiss, the technician will advise you on repairs and parts replacement, and then help arrange for the work necessary.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Maintenance

If you haven’t had a tune-up and inspection for your pool heater in a few years, it is never too late to get started. Call Air on Demand today and ask about our maintenance services for pool heaters in Coral Gables, FL.