Air On Demand Blog: Archive for April, 2014

Common Air Conditioning Problems in the Spring

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Air conditioners come on earlier in Florida than in most parts of the country. Although summer will have even hotter temperatures and higher humidity, spring nonetheless can tax our ACs and create problems before the big heat arrives. Coming out of its winter’s rest can also pose difficulties for an air conditioning system. Here are some of the more common AC problems we encounter during the spring on our repair visits.

Make sure you call in South Miami, FL air conditioning specialists whenever you encounter a springtime slowdown in your AC, no matter what you think is wrong with it. We have NATE-certified technicians on staff who can deliver you top quality repair work.

Some Spring AC Problems

  • Leaking refrigerant: If you see ice along the indoor coils, notice a drop in cooling power, or hear a strange hissing sound coming from the air conditioner’s cabinet, then you may have a problem with refrigerant leaking from the system. This sometimes happens because of formicary corrosion that developed on the system during the winter and has created minute holes that allow refrigerant to escape. Call a repair technician to locate the leaks and seal them, and then recharge the refrigerant to its proper level.
  • Dust and dirt on the motors: If the air conditioner did not have its air filter changed at the beginning of spring (it should be changed every month during air conditioning season), then dirt and dust contamination may have entered the cabinet and affected the motors. This will make the motors work harder, and the strain can lead to them burning out and requiring replacement. Call for repairs the moment you hear screeching and grinding noises from inside the cabinet, or an acrid smell coming from the vents, as this can indicate a motor on the verge of failing.
  • “Hard starting”: If the air conditioner seems to struggle when it comes on, then it’s probably hard-starting and draining energy. Hard starting can occur because of a number of different issues, although the most common is a failing start capacitor, the device that transmits voltage to the compressor motor to start it up. If the capacitor fails entirely, the compressor motor won’t be able to come on. Repair technicians can swap out the old capacitor for a new one—but make sure you call for assistance as soon as you notice the hard starting.

Most AC repairs are not difficult for professionals and the work will not require long to complete…as long as you acted quickly to summon repairs. The longer you wait, the worse the repair will grow, and it will lead to other repair needs as well.

Call on Air on Demand for professional air conditioning service in South Miami, FL to help you take care of all the “spring fever” problems in your air conditioning. Give us a call today and schedule your next service appointment.

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AC Installation Tip: Efficiency Ratings

Friday, April 18th, 2014

When you start looking for a new central air conditioning system to replace your current one, you’ll encounter numerous statistics and a sometimes befuddling array of acronyms. This is one of many reasons you should have HVAC professionals assist you with installation from the start of the process. They can help you navigate through the maze of ratings and specifications toward the AC that will give your home the cooling matched ideally to a humid Florida summer.

There is one air conditioning rating we’d like to offer some additional information about, since it will help you understand how efficiently a system operates, and therefore how much you can expect to pay to run it each year. Professionals will help you determine the efficiency rating that will suit your needs.

Make sure you have a knowledgeable team working on your air conditioning installation in Miami, FL: contact Air on Demand and speak to our qualified AC specialists.

The Efficiency Rating: SEER

The rating used to list the efficiency of an air conditioning system is SEER, which stands for “seasonal energy efficiency rating.” SEER is a ratio of the amount of cooling power produced to the amount of energy consumed. This is measured over a whole season, which makes SEER different from EER, which measures only a single test.

The cooling power is measured in British Thermal Units, which is the amount of energy needed to change the temperature of a gallon of water one degree. For air conditioning, BTUs measure the amount of heat removed from air to cool it down. The units of electrical energy are in kilowatt hours (kWh). SEERis the ratio of BTUs/kWh. The higher the number, the more efficient the cooling system is at changing electrical power into the power to remove heat from the air.

In order for an air conditioner to qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR label for efficiency in Florida, it must have 14.5 SEER or greater. Most central ACs score in the 14–20 SEER range, with special high-efficiency models rating even higher.

Keep in mind that SEER rates efficiency, not the actual cooling capability of an air conditioner. Just because a unit has high SEER does not mean it will keep your home’s temperature at the level you need; SEER indicates instead how well the system uses electricity to cool. Don’t rely on SEER as your sole criteria when choosing a new system. Your installation expert will assist you with balancing out all the important factors.

Air on Demand handles air conditioning installation in Miami, FL with the highest quality equipment. With us backing you, rest assured that you’ll receive the air conditioning system that will keep you comfortable, and your power bills in check, for many years to come.

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How Humidity Can Affect the Quality of Air Conditioning

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

In Florida, humidity plays an important role in our comfort, especially during the summer. High levels of moisture make the summer heat feel much warmer because our bodies cool themselves with evaporation, and the more moisture in the air, the more slowly that evaporation happens.

Air conditioning systems remove some moisture from the air through the cooling process. However, humidity can affect a home’s AC when it reaches especially high levels, leading to reduced comfort and the possible need for repairs.

The muggy summer climate means you need to take special care of your air conditioning system to ensure it keeps working throughout the season. When you require air conditioning repair in Miami, FL to protect yourself from damp summer heat, call Air on Demand and speak to our staff of trained repair technicians.

Humidity and Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioning system will assist with drying the air in your home, but an AC isn’t designed specifically as a dehumidifier. The humidity can climb to levels where it will start to cancel out the cooling you feel from your system. This requires that you keep the AC running longer to combat the humidity, reducing the system’s efficiency. You’ll end up paying more to run the air conditioner while feeling less comfort. This also leads to stress on the unit, and this can trigger repair needs. (Installing a larger AC won’t fix this: the system will not run as long and remove even less moisture from the air.)

If you had your air conditioner professionally installed, you should have the right sized system to balance the humidity in most situations. If your air conditioner continues to have problems combating humidity, take steps to reduce the moisture levels in your home, such as placing fans in kitchens and on ceilings and installing dehumidifiers. Also make sure your air conditioner receives its regular inspection tune-up so it has the highest efficiency level possible.

It’s important to have repairs done on your AC if there is any indication that humidity is causing it damage. The excess condensation along the indoor coil because of high humidity can lead to issues in the condensate pan: any blockage in the drain will cause the pan to overflow and leak water inside your home.

Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for the Summer

There’s nothing you can do to stop Florida’s humid climate, but you can reduce its effect on your AC with regular maintenance and prompt repairs. Along with the other steps to lower indoor humidity, make sure that your air conditioning system works at its best.

Air on Demand is familiar with how humidity affects ACs. When you need a tune-up or air conditioning repair in Miami, FL to help you with a muggy summer, give our specialists a call.

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Common Fixes for a Loud Air Conditioner

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Air conditioners, when operating normally and without malfunctions or worn-down parts, generate a soothing white noise that comes from the spinning fans and the working of the compressor. We expect this sound as the backdrop for our summer days of air conditioning in Miami, FL.

When your AC becomes noisy, however, it not only disturbs your daily routine, it warns that something damaging has occurred inside the unit. In most cases, you’ll need to call repair specialists to look into the sound and repair whatever has gone … before you lose your cooled-down home.

  • Fixing the fans: The most common reason an AC can turn into a noise polluter is trouble with its fans. Repair technicians will need to investigate the blowers to discover what is causing the poor operation. Sometimes, technicians will need to clean the fans and their motors, or secure loose fans. Other times they will find that debris has bent the fan blades, leading to the blades striking the casing. Restoring fan blades is tricky, since technicians must make sure they do not bend them out of shape trying to straighten them.
  • Lubricating or replacing motors: The motors that operate the fans and the compressor can wear down and eventually burn out. Screeching and shrieking noises often indicate a motor at the edge of a burn-out. If this is detected early enough, a technician lubricating the motors can fix the trouble. Otherwise, the motor will need to have a complete replacement.
  • Cleaning dirty coil fins: The coil fins are the spot where the heat exchange in the indoor and outdoor units takes place. If dirt clogs either set of coils, it will not only cause noisy operation, it will reduce cooling power. You cannot simply take a rag or vacuum to fix this; a technician will need to remove the coils and properly clean them. Bent coil fins may also contribute to noisy operation, and it requires special tools to straighten them.

Ignoring loud sounds from your AC can lead to the unit breaking down, or at least needing more expensive repairs when your house starts to grow warmer as the system loses its effectiveness. You will also probably pay more on your utility bills because of the extra power loss. Call up a professional in air conditioning in Miami, FL right away and get your AC back to smooth running.

The NATE-certified technicians at Air on Demand are glad to help you with air conditioning repair so you have a great summer season.

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