Air On Demand Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

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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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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Congratulations to Trane for 100 years!

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Air on Demand congratulates Trane, the manufacturer of many systems we install and service, on 100 years of partnership. In 1885 James Trane opened his first plumbing business in La Crosse, Wisconsin and is widely viewed as one of the best area plumbers. Fast forward to 1913, James Trane, with the help of his son and daughter, produce their very first steam heating system. Soon after James’ son, Rueben Trane, starts a program that helps train recruits on service, selling and engineering Trane products to help increase the adoption of their products. Meanwhile he also invents a new “convector radiator” which is more efficient and lightweight, which quickly becomes the new standard for heat exchangers within the industry. With the success of the new “convector radiator” Rueben discovers that you can also cool air with the same system and shortly after the Trane Unit Cooler is invented.

While these were some of the first steps towards becoming an industry leader there have been many other steps along that way that have help Trane become an industry leader in HVAC systems. We at Air on Demand congratulate Trane on their 100 year anniversary and wish them well on the next 100 years as a partner and industry leader. If you live in the Miami area and need service, repair or would like to discuss installing one of their industry leading solutions call us today at Air on Demand to speak with one of our specialists.

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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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Why Should I Care About My Home’s Ductwork? A Miami Heating and Air Conditioning Guide

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Forced-air heating systems like furnaces or electric heat strips are extremely popular in Miami. They provide reliable and relatively cheap heating for your home. They also require little maintenance to keep them running well. However, there is one aspect of those systems that are rarely considered: the duct work. At Air On Demand, we do a lot of work on ducts in the Miami area. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the reasons why people should pay attention to their ducts.

Why Is Ductwork Important?

Well, the ducts are an essential part of your heating and air conditioning system. They deliver the heated and cooled air to each of your rooms. They have a critical job to do and without proper maintenance, your whole home can suffer.

Duct Leaks, Pinches and Cracks

Without proper maintenance and care, your ducts can start to cause a lot of problems for your home. Here just a few of them:

  • Wasted heat – You pay good money to heat the air in your home. In order to get from your furnace or AC system to your rooms, that air has to travel through your ducts. If your ducts have leaks or cracks in them, that heat could be escaping to the outside. This is obviously wasteful and undesirable.
  • Reduced efficiency – During a proper installation of ductwork, the heating contractor will try to make sure that the ducts take the shortest and straightest route from the air handler to each room. However, with a bad installation job, your ductwork might have unnecessary bends or even pinches in it. This makes it harder for the air handler to push the air and reduces efficiency.
  • Contaminants – While it is a good idea to let fresh air in from outside, you want to be able to control the quality of the air that comes in. If your ducts have cracks or are leaking, you might be letting in air that is filled with contaminants. This can lower the quality of your air and might increase the negative effects of allergens.

If you have any questions about the ducts in your home in Miami, contact the experts at Air On Demand. We have years of experience offering working with ducts throughout the Miami  area. Call us today!

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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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Get the Most Out of Your Panasonic Ductless Split in Miami

Monday, November 19th, 2012

What do you want from the heating and air conditioning system in your Miami home?  You want it to heat and cool your home; you want it to be durable; and you want it to be efficient. These are features that come standard with the Panasonic ductless mini split systems. We want our customers to be comfortable all year long. which is why we recommend Panasonic ductless mini split systems. Below we’ve outlined some of the benefits of ductless split systems and how you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your system.

How Ductless Mini Split Systems Work

With a ductless mini split system, each room has its own evaporator coil, there is no need for ducts. This unit circulates air inside the room and either heats or cools the air. This unit is connected to a condensing unit that is located outside your home.

Zone Control

One of the main advantages of the Panasonic ductless mini split system is that it offers complete zone control in your home. Because each room has its own unit, you can turn on the units that you need to use. For example, if you know that you’re only going to use the living room and kitchen for the whole day, you can turn off the units in the other rooms. This saves you the energy of having to heat or cool the rooms that you aren’t using.

Efficiency

Ductless mini split systems also offer a high degree of efficiency for your home. A furnace uses a fuel source, like natural gas, to generate heat. But with Panasonic’s ductless mini split system, it simply moves heat from one place to another. In cooling mode, the ductless mini split system moves heat from inside your home to the outside. In heating mode, it does just the opposite: it takes heat from the outside air and moves it into your home.

If you have any questions about Panasonic ductless mini split system in Miami, call the experts at Air On Demand. If you’re interested in capitalizing on the benefits of a ductless system for your home, we would love to talk with you about it.

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