Air On Demand Blog: Posts Tagged ‘South Miami’

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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Air Conditioning Basics: What You Should Know about Refrigerant Types

Monday, February 24th, 2014

You probably don’t give your air conditioning in South Miami, FL more thought than necessary: as long as you schedule regular maintenance, change the air filter once a month during the warm months, and have professionals do prompt repairs when it malfunctions, your AC should continue to work for you for many years.

However, you can benefit from some extra knowledge about how an air conditioner operates, since it can help you understand why certain malfunctions occur. A key part of understanding AC operation is knowledge of the refrigerant inside it, the chemical blend that allows the system to move heat from inside your home to outside your home. Here’s what you should know about refrigerant types, courtesy of our AC specialists at Air on Demand.

The development of refrigerant

Willis Carrier invented the first electromechanical air conditioning unit in 1902, and it used water as refrigerant. However, water has too high a boiling point for energy efficient performance, so other chemical soon replaced it. The early air conditioners used ammonia, methyl chloride, or propane. All of these worked more efficiently at changing from liquid to gas and back again, but they had serious drawbacks: they were either flammable or toxic, and leaks could lead to dangerous accidents. This made ACs unsuitable for home use.

In 1928, the first non-flammable, non-toxic refrigerant blend was created, R-22.

The dominant blend across the globe is R-22 (the name refers to the molecular composition of the chemical), a hydrochlorofluorocarbon. However, R-22 is a greenhouse gas and contributes to ozone depletion, so in the United States it is being gradually phased out with the goal of 99.5% elimination by 2020. The main replacement blend—most likely the blend cycling through your air conditioner right now—is R-410A, also known as Puron and EcoFluor R410—is a mix of difluoromethane and pentafluoroethane. Because R-410A contains no fluorocarbons, it does not deplete the ozone layer.

Refrigerant leaks and recharging

Whatever refrigerant flows through your AC, it has a fixed level—called the refrigerant’s “charge”—that cycles in a closed loop through the system. The process of evaporation and condensation that provides you with cooling does not use up the refrigerant charge. However, leaks can occur: punctures in the coils, loose connections, breaks in the compressor. Leaking refrigerant will cause ice to develop along the indoor coils, and when this happens you need to call for professional repairs. Not only do you need an expert to seal the leaks, but the expert must use the proper refrigerant blend to replace the lost charge.

For all your repair needs for your air conditioning in South Miami, FL, trust to Air on Demand.

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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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Miami Air Conditioning Repair FAQ: How a Faulty Thermostat Affects Your Comfort

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

There are a lot of components which make up your air conditioning system. If even one of these components is not able to function properly it will have a seriously negative impact on your system as a whole. Make sure that your air conditioner is able to keep you comfortable as efficiently and effectively as possible by contacting a Miami air conditioning repair technician on our team at the first sign of trouble. We are happy to help you get the exceptional performance you need from your home cooling system.

One of the most important components of your air conditioner is also the one that you have the most direct interaction with: your thermostat. Of all the different devices and mechanical parts of your AC, none has such a direct impact on the way in which you use your system as the thermostat with which you control it. Because the thermostat on your wall function as the control panel for your entire air conditioning system, any problems with its operation can have serious implications for your comfort.

If, for instance, your thermostat cannot sense the temperature in your properly, your AC will fail to come on when you need it to. Faulty wiring can cause such a problem, but so too can simple issues like the placement of your thermostat. If it is located in an area that is not indicative of the true temperature in your home it can cause your AC to turn on and off at inappropriate times. That’s why it is so important that your thermostat installation is completed by a skilled, qualified professional.

Do not let a faulty thermostat in your home decrease your overall comfort. Contact Air on Demand today to learn more about how you can keep your home comfortable through the successful use of your thermostats. If you have any reason to believe that your thermostat is not functioning properly, call the Miami air conditioning repair technicians at Air On Demand right away.

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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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Miami Air Quality Guide: What Air Filtration Options are Right for You?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

There are a number of air filtration options currently on the market in Miami that provide substantial protection against high levels of pollutants, allergens and contaminants in your home’s air supply. From dust and pet dander to mold spores and bacteria, a good air filtration system can remove almost anything. Here are some options and how to ensure you get the right one for your home.

  • Standard MERV Rated Filters – MERV ratings are used to measure the efficiency of a filter at removing smaller particles from the air. Your air handler came with a stock MERV rated filter that could remove between 40% and 60% of the particles in your air – enough for most homes without high pollutant levels or those who suffer from asthma or allergies. There are higher MERV rated filters that capture many more allergens, however.
  • HEPA Filtration – HEPA filtration is the equivalent of an MERV rating of up to 20, meaning it can remove 99.9% of all contaminants 0.3 microns or larger, a perfect fit for homes with pets and plants and those who suffer from allergies to both or asthma.
  • Electronic Air Cleaners – Electronic air cleaners remove smaller particles from smoke or exhaust fumes and are highly efficient at ionizing and separating air from other gasses.
  • Comprehensive Air Purifiers – Air purifiers combine both mechanical filtration and electronic air cleaning to remove smaller particles from your air. They are also very efficient in other ways, often managing humidity levels and sometimes containing UV germicidal lights.

Depending on the scope of the air quality problem in your Miami home, there are quite a few possible solutions you can turn to. The key is to ensure that the solution you choose will be sufficient for the health of your family members. Call Air on Demand today to learn more about improving the air quality in your Miami home!

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