Air On Demand Blog: Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps: We Compare the Two

Monday, February 5th, 2018

pen-paper-noteHeaters in our area don’t get a ton of usage. But there’s one system that combines a heater with the system you do use throughout much of the year: your central air conditioner. That system is a heat pump, and it uses electricity to pump refrigerant throughout the indoor and outdoor components of the split-system to move heat from place to place.

Furnaces in our area run on electricity, too. So why would you choose one over the other? We go over this and other questions about furnaces and heat pumps in today’s guide. For more information, contact our friendly team!

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Why Won’t My Heater Turn On?

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

cold-man-thermostat-handsWe often have to tell homeowners to get their heater serviced sooner than they think they need it. If you notice any strange sounds or drop in performance, it’s easy to ignore at first, but the issue can get much worse with time. There’s one problem, though, that will send any homeowner rushing to the phone book (or an online directory) to find the nearest, fastest service: a broken-down heater.

We may not use our furnaces very often in Florida, but if you own a home with central heating, you expect it to work when you do need it. There could be a simple solution, but, of course, you might need professional service. Read on to find out the reasons your heater won’t turn on, whether you can fix it yourself, and what kinds of problems require professional service.

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Components of an Air Handler

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The HVAC system in your home that provides you with cool air has a number of different parts that work together. One of the crucial parts is the air handler. This unit is responsible for moving conditioned air through the ductwork of your home and into the various rooms through vents. If an air handler malfunctions or breaks down, all the cooling power of your AC or heat pump will mean very little: you won’t receive the cool air that you need to stay comfortable in the Florida weather.

At Air on Demand, we recommend Trane air handlers for Miami, FL customers. Trane has been in business in 1913 and has a reputation for innovation and reliability. When you need a new Trane air handler installed in your home, call Air on Demand for proper unit selection and installation service.

Air Handler Components

What parts make up an air handler? We’ll look at them in a bit more detail so you can see the important job that these units perform. These are the components specifically found in the Hyperion™ line of Trane air handlers.

  • Blower/fan: The most basic component of an air handler is a large fan, also known as a blower. An electrical motor drives the fan. Hyperion™ air handlers have a variable speed motor that reduces noise and allows for a more even distribution of air. The Vortica™ blower found in Trane air handlers uses less energy than other blower models.
  • Evaporator coils: The important part of providing cool air for an air conditioner is the evaporator coil in the air handler. Refrigerant runs through these aluminum coils, and as air blows across the coils, evaporation occur that causes the coil to absorb heat. As heat is removed from the air, the air becomes cooler.
  • Air filtration: The filter in an air handler helps to filter dust from the air so it does not enter into your home. The Trane CleanEffect™ optional filter removes additional dust, pollen, dander, and other pollutants that standard filters do not affect.

Schedule Installation Today

We think that Trane air handlers  are a great choice for your Miami, FL home. You’ll need effective air conditioning all year round, so make sure that you have the best air handler possible to take care of keeping you cool. Call Air on Demand for air handler installation. We’ll find the right size and model for your air conditioning system.

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Signs of a Problem with Your Electric Heat Strips

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Because heating our homes isn’t often on our minds in Florida’s warm weather as much as cooling them, we might not have given a lot of thought on how to keep our homes warm during the occasional cold weather. This is a reason that electric heat strips are a great option, since they allow you to convert an AC into a part-time heater at a low-cost… there’s no need for a second system.

Call Air on Demand for reliable heating repair in Miami, FL. We offer straightforward pricing so you always know you are getting a fair price. Call us for both excellent heat strip installation and heat strip repair.

How to tell you have problems with your electric heat strips

An electric heat strip looks like a series of coils. It attaches to the air handler on an air conditioning system and then heats the air coming out of the blower (with the AC in “fan only” mode). Essentially, it converts the air handler into a small-scale electric furnace.

Like any electronic system, a heat strip can malfunction and stop working. If your air conditioner is only blowing room temperature air when you turn on the heat strip, it’s most likely broken and will either need repairs or replacement. Because of the danger of an electric shock, you should only entrust this work to a professional.

If you feel the heat you get from your air handler is insufficient, although still present, the issue may not be a malfunction, but improper sizing of the electric strips. These units come in many different sizes, ranging in capacity from 8,500 BTUs to 85,000 BTUs—if you have the wrong one for the size of your home, you won’t get sufficient heat. (Or it could go the opposite way and you will receive too much heat, and will also likely trip a circuit breaker.) Always make sure professionals install your electric strips to avoid these issues.

Air on Demand has NATE-certified technicians on staff to help you when you have trouble with the electric heat strips in your house. NATE certification means repair technicians with the best training possible to deliver you the heating repair in Miami, FL that will restore the comfort in your home.

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How Is a Swimming Pool Heater Sized?

Monday, January 6th, 2014

*Air On Demand no longer offers pool heater services. Please visit our service page to learn more about our Florida air conditioning services.

A swimming pool doesn’t have to be a seasonal luxury, especially in Miami, with our wonderful year-round weather. With the proper pool heater keeping the water warm and inviting, you can enjoy your pool through cool and overcast days as if it were summer.

However, a pool heater is only worthwhile if it’s the right size to heat up the water in the pool. Proper sizing is an important part of pool heater installation, which is one of many reasons you should only hire professionals to handle the job. Air on Demand has provided heating services for more than two decades; put your trust in us to find the right type and size pool heater for South Miami, FL to keep you happy every month of the year.

Similar to how the power of air conditioners is measured, swimming pool heaters are rated by their output of BTUs (British Thermal Units). A BTU is the energy required to change the temperature of 1 pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. (To compare to another measurement of heating, 1 BTU = approx. 1055 joules.) To correctly size a pool heater, an installer must determine how many BTUs the heater must create to raise the pool’s temperature to a comfortable level.

This isn’t only a question of figuring out the volume of water in the pool. Surface area is crucial. The pool loses heat rapidly off the surface, and the pool heater must heat the water faster than this loss. Once the heater reaches an ideal temperature, it must then maintain only enough power to compensate for the surface area loss.

The next factor to consider is temperature rise, which is the desired water temperature minus the ambient air temperature.

The technician now takes the surface area and the temperature rise and uses a chart to determine the required heating output per hour, measured in BTUs.

It doesn’t end there, however. Pool heaters have an efficiency rating their manufacturers set that measures how well the heater transfers its energy to the water, expressed as a percentage. The technician will multiply the BTUs required per hour by this efficiency rating to find the heater that can provide the correct amount of heat.

Does this sound like too much number-crunching for you? You don’t have to worry—this is why you bring in experts like those at Air on Demand to install your pool heater in South Miami, FL. Contact us today, and we’ll find the right heater for you in no time at all, and you won’t even have to touch a calculator.

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Common Causes of Heating Problems

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

“Heating problems” in Miami usually means summers that are far too hot and humid. But we’re addressing a different kind of heating problem, one that many Miami residents don’t think about too much until it arrives: problems with your home heater. We may have mild winters in Florida, but that doesn’t mean we will escape cold weather—especially at night—entirely. If you don’t monitor your heating system and take good care of it, you can end up with a malfunctioning or even broken system right when you need it the most.

Call Air on Demand whenever you encounter problems with your heater. We handle heating repair in Miami that will get your house warmed up again in no time.

Here are a few common causes we often see behind the repairs we do:

  • Lack of maintenance: Your heater needs a regular check-up and tune-up, just like your teeth or your car. If you let regular maintenance slide for more than a year, the mechanisms of your heater will start to wear down, and the process will accelerate with each passing month. You can expect frequent malfunctions and eventual full breakdowns unless you enroll in a regular maintenance program that will provide your heater with an annual tune-up.
  • Duct breaks: If you use a forced-air heating system (such as a heat pump or a furnace), it sends its conditioned air through ductwork. If the ductwork develops cracks, breaks, or loose connections, the air pressure will drop. This will force your heater to work harder, leading to rapid wear and aging. It will also permit an influx of dirt and dust into the cabinet, which will damage the components.
  • Amateur installation: If either you or the previous tenant of your home relied on amateur work to install the house’s heater, then the heater will likely encounter an array of problems because of shoddy work. Although sometimes skilled technicians can counter this with repairs, often the whole heater must receive a professional replacement.

Attempting to do repairs yourself to a malfunctioning heater isn’t recommended, especially if you have a natural gas-powered system installed. We could’ve added “amateur repair attempts” to this list of causes of heating problems, because you are more likely to further damage your heater than fix it if you try the work on your own.

For work from NATE-certified technicians to give you the heating repair in Miami, FL to end those problems, contact Air on Demand.

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3 Steps to Ensure a Successful Heating Installation in Miami

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Are you preparing to have a new heater installed in your home for those occasional cold winter days and nights in Miami? Then you should make sure you follow these 3 steps to get the most successful installation possible.

Air on Demand has many years of experience with heating installation in Miami, FL, so when you’re ready to have a new heater, contact us by phone or through this website. Our Price First Pricing© policy will guarantee that you know exactly how much we will charge you before the work begins.

1. Proper sizing

Heating systems do not come in “one size fits all” models. The heater installed in your home must match its heating requirements. This involves more than the size of the space you need to heat: it must take into account factors such as insulation, the number of people living in the house, window placement, etc. A heater that is too large will cause as many problems as one that is too small, so you need to ensure that you get the right size heater. Have the same technicians who will install your heater perform a heat load calculation for your home to determine its needs for heating: this will allow them to choose the perfect sized heater for you.

2. Let professionals handle the installation

We hope that before you get to the actual job of installing the heater, you have already brought in professionals to help you select a unit and size it. Now leave the job of the installation to these trained technicians. You won’t save money in the long run when your heater fails to operate correctly because of a shoddy installation. Professionals will get the job done fast and properly, leaving you with minimal worries.

3. Make sure the right professionals handle the job

Not all “professional” contractors are equal. You should rely on an installation company with the experience and the credentials to back up their work. Look for a contractor with many years in the business, and who has NATE-certified technicians on staff. (NATE stands for “North American Technical Excellence” and is the only certification for training recognized throughout the HVAC industry.)

We want you to have a great heating installation in Miami, FL to help you through the rough spots of the approaching winter. Turn to us to take care of the job: we have more than 10 years serving Miami, and all of our technicians are NATE-certified to give you top-of-the-line service. Contact us today to start the installation process right.

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Understanding the Importance of Ductwork in Your Home

Monday, February 11th, 2013

*Air On Demand no longer offers duct sealing or repair services. Please visit our ductwork service page to learn more about our ductwork options.

Dcut Sealing | Miami | Air On DemandMost home owners hardly ever think about the ducts in their home unless there is an issue. However, leaky ducts themselves are a huge problem in many homes and many homeowners are not aware of the potential danger and financial loss caused by this. John Lippert, a specialist in energy efficiency and renewable energy, wrote this great article about the threat of leaky ducts for the U.S. Department of Energy website.

  • Leaky or damaged ductwork will leak conditioned air into the attic or crawlspace, costing you money and decreasing efficiency
  • Backdrafting can draw carbon monoxide down your chimney, which can be very dangerous to you and your family
  • Warm moist air can be pulled from outside due to leaky ducts, leading to mold and mildew in your home
  • Duct tape IS NOT the solution for leaky ducts, leave duct sealing to the professionals

Air On Demand offers ductwork installation, maintenance, repair and sealing services in the Miami area. Let us help diagnose your energy efficiency issues and make sure no hazardous backdrafts or mold growth is occurring in your home. Call Air On Demand today!

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Miami Heating Tip: How Zone Control Can Benefit Your Heating System

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Are you thinking of upgrading your heating system with a zone control system in your Miami? The heating experts at Air On Demand can help you out with this get more out of your forced air heating system and get better overall home efficiency with zone control. Call us any time to set up a consultation.

How does it work?

Zone control systems can be integrated into your forced air heating system. First, dampers are installed inside your ductwork, and these can be open or closed by a control board. When they are open, that area or “zone” will get more heat, but when they are closed, less heat is sent to that room. This is more effective than simply closing off vents or closing doors because it adjusts the air pressure inside the air ducts. When you simply shut off a room, there isn’t enough airflow, which can cause other problems.

Energy Savings

Depending on how many zones you want, you can save a lot of energy by not heating your entire home at once. If you aren’t sure, call Air On Demand for advice. When you hire one of our qualified technicians, the technician will test efficiency levels and fully assess your current system. Once we make our recommendations and install the zone control, we will make sure you know how to use the zone control system and the various thermostats to get the most energy savings.

Call the Miami heating experts at Air On Demand for Zone Control Installation and Service!

In addition to installation, we can also repair or maintain your zone control for lasting results. Whether you want to retrofit your current forced air heating system, or you need a new heating system for a home you are building, call Air On Demand for all your Miami zone control needs.

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Special Heating Considerations in Miami

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Miami is not a place where you would expect many people to be concerned about their heating system. With so much hot weather, it’s something that we can easily forget…until we need it. At Air On Demand, we specialize in making our customers comfortable—even on those few nights when we need to turn on our heaters in Miami. We put together some of the unique considerations that go into heating your home here in Miami.

Which Heating System is Best?

This is probably the main consideration for homes in Miami. Because we don’t need heating that often, it’s hard to figure out which heating system would be best suited for that kind of application. Here are some of the common heating systems that we see people using in the Miami area.

  • Electric Heating Strips – Electric heat strips consist of a series of coils that produce heat almost exactly like your toaster does. They can be plugged into the air handler of your air conditioner. When needed, the fan for your AC is turned on and the coils heat up and heat the air as it passes over them. There are two main advantages of this system: first, it doesn’t require any new equipment and second, it is a pretty simple and reliable system.
  • Heat Pumps – Heat pumps are a great option for Miami because they can both cool and heat your home. You don’t need to do anything else. You just switch the system to Heat.
  • Furnaces – Obviously, furnaces are a stand-alone system. They are durable and reliable heating systems that provide consistent heating to your home.

If you have any questions about your heating system in Miami, talk to the heating experts at Air On Demand. We have years of experience working with heating systems in Miami. We can help you work out any kinks that are in your heating system and make sure that you stay comfortable all year long.

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