With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about cooling your home during the next few months – here in Florida especially. When it comes to air conditioning, the best thing you can do is plan in advance, so when the weather gets bad you know your system is up and running, and if anything goes wrong, you’ll be in the best possible position to address it fast. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure your AC system will be able to handle the heat, which will save you time and money when the hot weather moves in.
1. Get a duct cleaning
Clean ducts not only allow for better air quality, reducing allergens and dirt in your home, but also help your AC run more efficiently. A professional service can easily clean and sanitize your air ducts, and take out pounds of dirt and buildup from them. Ducts should especially be cleaned if you have had your home renovated (as paint and debris gets in the air and could have settled there), have animals with hair, or have had mold in the past. A professional Daytona Beach duct cleaning service can also help you sanitize your air ducts, to kill mold or germs still inside.
2. Change the air filter
A dirty air filter can drastically reduce the efficiency of your AC unit, costing you money. Air filters should typically be changed once a month, and the end of the winter is a great time to replace your old filter in preparation for the coming summer.
You can easily have a professional install a new air filter, especially if you already are having someone come to do a routine checkup on your AC system. When you purchase a filter, either on your own or from a servicer, it is best to choose a filter with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. Filters with a higher MERV rating will last longer, meaning you won’t have to change them as often, saving you time and money.
3. Clear the space around your outdoor unit and clean it
Good air flow will allow your outdoor unit to operate efficiently, and foliage, debris, and other objects around the outside unit can prevent good airflow. Be sure to clear the area around it of anything that could block the air flow, and cut down any plants near it to ensure they don’t grow and block it over the summer.
You can remove the panels from the compressor unit to clean out anything that may have fallen, as these things could clog up and damage the fan once you start your system again. Some parts of the compressor can also be cleaned well using a hose, though you have to be careful not to damage any of the electrical components of the compressor with this method. A professional service can help you make sure your outdoor unit is free from dirt and debris that you may have more difficulty getting to.
4. Check for leaks
Leaks can occur in many different parts of the AC system, from ducts to Schrader valves. Even a small leak could mean a large amount of lost air over the entire season, making your AC system less efficient and effective, while costing you money. Air conditioning repair isn’t something you want to deal with when it’s already hot outside, and services may not be available immediately. Check everything beforehand to avoid disaster.
5. Check your thermostat
The tools that measure performance of your AC unit are just as important as the unit itself. A professional service can test your thermostat, condenser capacitor, and condenser motor amperage reading to make sure everything is working and reading properly. This way, you’ll have an accurate read on everything within the system, and if anything goes wrong, you can easily pinpoint what needs fixing.
At All Volusia and Flagler Heating and Air, we offer a variety of Daytona AC services, which will help you be ready for summer and anything the weather throws at you. No matter what aspect of your AC preparation you need help with, we’re here. For all your Daytona Beach AC repair, maintenance, and installation needs, give us a call.
During the winter, the fire department receives lots of calls from people reporting that they have a burning smell in their house, but no fire. That burning smell might be coming from your heater, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to panic. Here are a few common reasons why your heater smells like it’s burning.
1. You haven’t used it in a while
When you turn your system to heat after it’s been off for several months, it’s relatively common for the heat strips to emit a burning smell. This happens because dust settles and builds up on the electrical heating strips while you are not using it. When you turn the heater on again, the dust begins to burn. This problem should correct itself relatively quickly. All the dust will burn away, and then the smell will be gone.
2. The filter is clogged
A clogged filter could result in a burning smell, because it allows dust to move through the air handler/furnace. The dust burns, causing that unpleasant smell. Be sure that you are replacing your filters regularly in order to avoid this problem. A filter one inch thick needs to be changed about every month, and a five inch thick Air Bear Filter needs to be changed about every six months. You can also use reusable filters which can be cleaned and then put back in the air handler. This option can save you money on replacements, but make sure you are cleaning just as regularly as you would be replacing, once every month.
What should I do if my heater smells like it’s burning
If you find that the typical smell does not subside after a few minutes, it’s time to call a professional to figure out what’s wrong. If you smell gas, call professional help right away; do not wait.
How can I prevent problems with my heater?
First and foremost, make sure to change your air filter on a consistent basis. An air handler/furnace that is not maintained regularly can be dangerous, and can also be inefficient, so you might be paying more for your heat unnecessarily. Regular inspections of your heating unit and AC system will keep you and your family safe, and ensure that you are paying the least amount of money possible to heat your home.
It’s that time of year again, when colder temperatures and dry heat cause dry, cracked skin and even nose bleeds! Low humidity levels are to blame, and over time, these symptoms can lead to serious health problems. Low humidity in winter can increase the risk of infections like the flu.
What is the ideal indoor humidity?
Winter is not the only season with humidity levels leading to health problems. In the hot, summer months, high humidity can cause mold, fungus and dust mites to thrive. People with allergies, who may need to escape the outdoor pollen, may become sicker indoors with these particles in the closed air.
Optimum humidity is often thought to be a personal preference, though it is important to maintain certain levels to avoid the health risks. Ideally indoor levels of water vapor, or humidity, should fall between 40 and 60%.
Beyond health issues, dry air can cause damage to non-living things in the house, including flooring, art, electronics, plaster and paint. Maintaining an optimum humidity level through a household humidifier can protect against cracks and damage to the contents of the home.
Should you use a humidifier?
A humidifier can help maintain the optimum humidity levels to prevent infections, and curb bacterial growth. Recent medical studies have shown that bacteria and viruses, like the common cold, cannot spread in humidity levels of over 45%. Researchers think this is due to the air being too thick – and it explains why people do not get as many illnesses during the summer months with higher humidity.
Some areas have naturally ideal humidity levels. Unfortunately in Florida, and much of the eastern United States, humidity levels can vary from over 90% in the height of summer to under 50% in the cold, winter months.
Many small, tabletop varieties of humidifiers are available from many big box stores or online. These products are ideal for occasional use such as during a sinus infection. They take a gallon or two of water, turn it into water vapor – hot or cold depending on the model – and mist it into a room. These products are adequate for a small area, but do not give much control on the humidity level.
To truly benefit from optimum humidity levels, consider an appliance that connects to the house’s HVAC system and monitors and regulates the humidity continuously. Household humidifiers work with existing heating and cooling units to regulate indoor humidity levels. The water vapor is pushed through the heating ducts, and the humidity levels are monitored and regulated at the thermostat. This systems allows an even and controlled level of moisture throughout the house whenever it is needed.
In the colder winter months, cranking up the temperature is not the best way to feel warmer. Air with extremely low humidity cannot “catch” the heat, and the energy costs will climb unless the humidity is optimized. Adding a household humidifier allows the air to feel warmer at a lower temperature, leading to direct savings on the heating and electrical bill.