Steps Involved in Ductwork Installation

July 21st, 2014

For many decades, most homes were built with a ventilation network of ducts to accommodate air conditioners and forced-air heaters. However, there are still houses that contain no ductwork at all because they rely on electric baseboard heaters, fans, or window ACs. If you have a ductless home that you want to convert over to a central air conditioner or forced-air heater that requires ducts, you’ll have a large job ahead of you to install ductwork…

…except that you shouldn’t be the one doing this job. For ductwork installation service in Wellington, FL, call up Astro Air Inc. or another ventilation specialist to handle this complex work. A ventilation system can make or break an AC or heater: poor work will lead to leaky ducts and inefficient airflow, which will reduce comfort, make utility bills skyrocket, and lead to numerous repairs. Leave this job in the hands of professionals, and it will be done quickly and correctly.

What Happens in Ductwork Installation

The installers will first inspect your home and formulate a plan for the ventilation system. They must decide how best to fit the new ducts within walls and floors that were not originally designed for them. Finding space is often a creative endeavor for the installers, since they must place the ducts where they will not be visually obtrusive. Sometimes, ducts must be placed along the ceiling or walls, but the installers will make them merge into the décor as much as possible.

The planning of ductwork also involves assessing insulation needs; the location where the ductwork must run can either be colder than the rest of the house or hotter, which can lead to heat gains and loss that will adversely affect HVAC performance and may damage the ducts.

The installers must decide on the best duct material to use: sheet metal, flexible plastic, ductboard. For new installation in a house without much ventilation shaft space, flexible ducts are usually the best.

Once the installers have a detailed plan and all the material (most ductwork is pre-fabricated), they will start laying in the main trunk line that connects to the air conditioner/heater’s cabinet. Placing any of these ducts within walls will involve removal of drywall. The branch supply ducts will attach to the trunk line, and the installers will attach them to vents excavated into the walls. The installers will also create return air vents to bring air from the home back into the air conditioner/heater. With all the ducts in place, the installers will then fit new drywall over the sections that were removed (if the job required drywall removed) and then paint over them.

The size of the job needed for your ductwork installation in Wellington, FL will vary depending on your home. Call Astro Air Inc. today for an appointment with our ventilation experts; they will be able to give you a good idea of the work involved for your project and how they can best fit your house with the ductwork system that will work effectively and efficiently.

Common Noises that Indicate a Need for Air Conditioning Repair

July 15th, 2014

You are used to the sounds of your commercial air conditioning unit in West Palm Beach, but when do noises indicate a need for repair?

Your commercial AC unit helps keep your residents, customers, or employees comfortable, so a sudden noise can be alarming. Because your commercial AC unit is a powerful, large-scale system, you should never attempt repairs on your own. This can cause further damage to your AC system that could cost more to fix later on. Instead, always call a professional for commercial air conditioning repair right away if you hear any of the following sounds from your AC:

Banging: A loud banging sound can often indicate a loose internal part within your outside unit. A problem with the compressor may be the source of the problem. If there is a loose or damaged part within the compressor, the entire part will likely need to be replaced. A banging noise can also indicate loose or damaged parts such as loose screws, a loose internal mount, or a damaged fan blade. It could also indicate that there is foreign debris somewhere within your system.

Hissing: A hissing noise is usually a sign of a leak somewhere along the AC refrigerant line. If this happens, refrigerant may leak onto your commercial property. You should call a commercial repair service right away because only a certified AC technician can properly dispose of and recharge refrigerant in your system and repair any leaks. Refrigerant leaks are also problematic because refrigerant cools your property by removing heat from the building and releasing it outside. Without the proper levels of refrigerant, your commercial property may not stay as cool as you’d like it to.

Buzzing and Clicking Noises: Buzzing or clicking noises can be a sign of a faulty compressor, but they can also often indicate an electrical problem such as loose connections or wiring to the fan motor in your outside unit. Electrical components should always be handled by a commercial air conditioning professional.

The experts at Astro Air Inc. are trained in commercial air conditioning repair. If you run into problems with your commercial system in West Palm Beach, call us today!

Drain Line and Condensate Pan Problems with Your Air Conditioner

July 10th, 2014

The air conditioning in your home does not run using water: the liquid that moves through the system to provide heat exchange (shifting heat from the inside of the house to the outside) is refrigerant, or “Freon,” a chemical blend that changes from liquid to gas and back again. However, water still plays a part in air conditioning: as the evaporator coil inside your home absorbs heat from the air, it also causes water moisture in the air to condense along it. Enough condensation appears that it will start to drip from the coil, and the excess water falls into a condensate pan (or “drip” pan) located below. From there, a drain attached to a pump and a line removes the water out into the plumbing system.

The drainage system for condensate doesn’t always work perfectly, however, and the high humidity in Florida can sometimes cause trouble in the pan, drain, line, and pump. When you experience condensate pan issues that are causing leaking and water damage, you need to call for HVAC professionals in Boca Raton, FL for air conditioning repair. Astro Air Inc. has 24-hour emergency service to make sure that you stay cool all summer with your AC.

Some Common Condensate Troubles

  • Blocked drain or line: The high humidity in Florida can cause the development of mold, bacteria, and algae inside a home, and the condensate drain and line is especially susceptible to algal growth. If the happens, it will slow down or block the drain entirely, and the shallow pan will quickly overflow and send water into your house. Repair technicians will need to detach the pan from the drain and clean out both (or, in extreme cases, replace the drain).
  • Loose pan or drain: If the drain or pan grows too old, it can become loose. This separation will cause water to fall right out of the bottom of the pan and into the house. Technicians will usually need to replace a worn down drain with a new one to be able to reattach it.
  • Broken condensate pump: The condensate pump that removes the water from the pan and safely places it into the wastewater system without spilling it in our outside a house. The pump can become jammed through kinks in the line of excess water. Motors can also burn out, although this is rare.

If you notice water dripping out of your air conditioner, it’s something that you need to stop as soon as possible. Please contact Astro Air Inc. right away and our Boca Raton, FL air conditioning specialists will get right out to you to fix the problem.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Astro Air Inc. hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

SEER Ratings and Sizing with New Air Conditioning Installation

June 27th, 2014

When you decide to install a new air conditioning system, it can be confusing to see all the options available to you and figure out which one is right for your home. The wrong system can cost you a lot in future repairs and can drastically affect your energy bill every month. How can you be sure you’ve made a good choice?

Two factors you ought to look into with your new air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach, FL are SEER ratings and proper sizing for your home. Saving money in the long run is a major factor in choosing your new air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach, and Astro Air Inc. can help you make this decision.

What Is a SEER Rating and Why Is It important?

A SEER rating is an AC system’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a numeric measurement of its efficiency that helps you to compare different systems. All air conditioning systems produced since 2006 have a minimum SEER rating of 13, but a higher number means your system will be more energy-efficient, saving you even more on your energy bill.

While a system with a higher SEER rating may cost more initially, the reduction in your monthly bill could potentially save you more in the long run. You should discuss your needs with a trained technician to decide which system would be best for your home and budget.

What Size of System Do I Need and Why Does This Matter?

When you’re looking for a new AC, you may think that a bigger system will be better. However, this might not be the case. If your system is too large, it may short cycle or break down. If your system is too small, on the other hand, it cannot sufficiently cool your entire home. While, generally speaking, a larger home will require a larger AC system, you should discuss your sizing concerns with your technician when considering new AC installation.

For quality West Palm Beach air conditioning installation, technicians at Astro Air Inc. are waiting to discuss your options for a new AC system. Give us a call today to schedule your next AC installation service with us.

Why Should I Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance in the Summer?

June 20th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning maintenance, Boca Raton, FL residents should usually schedule a session before the summer kicks in. Our summer season is warm indeed, and with the addition of patented Florida humidity, you need your air conditioning to function at its peak every day. But life has a way of settings its own priorities, and you can’t always get to an air conditioning maintenance session with the demands of work and family taking precedence. If that happens, you’re still better off scheduling a maintenance session as soon as possible, even if it means leaving you without an air conditioner for a few hours on a hot summer day. “Why should I schedule air conditioning maintenance in the summer?” you ask. We’ve provided a few answers below.

The purpose of air conditioning maintenance is twofold: to improve the unit’s overall efficiency and to spot signs of big problems when they’re still relatively small. For the first part, the technician cleans off dirt and dust, recharges refrigerant and performs other little tasks to reduce strain. For the second, he or she performs a thorough inspection and then runs the system for 15-20 minutes to look for potential problems. If any are detected, he or she can schedule a repair session to deal with them before they create further problems.

Both of these factors are time sensitive. The longer you wait, the longer the air conditioner remains comparatively inefficient, which uses unnecessary energy and will cost you more in higher bills each month. Along those lines, catching a repair issue early means saving money on getting it fixed, as well as avoiding a future breakdown and a much higher repair bill to fix it.

If you haven’t scheduled air conditioning maintenance yet this year, you should do so as soon as possible. And when it comes to air conditioning service in Boca Raton, FL, residents can count on the experts at Astro Air Inc. to help. We can perform a thorough inspection to ensure that your system is functioning at its peak, and we’ll help you keep your cooling costs to a minimum. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

Signs of a Broken Fan Motor in Your Air Conditioner

June 13th, 2014

It’s here: summer, in all its glory, including the humidity that is so much a part of the Florida hot season. Our dew points are already in the mid-70s, so the nights are becoming hot and sticky – not the best time for your air conditioner to break.

One of the more common repairs we see at Astro Air, Inc., has to do with the fan motors in your air conditioning system. There are two important fans in your air conditioner: the condenser fan and the indoor blower. When either of these fans’ motors starts to fail or break down, your air conditioner can have a complete breakdown, too. To help you better realize when you need air conditioning repair in Deerfield Beach, FL, we’ve put together a small list of possible signs of a broken fan motor in your air conditioner:

  • Decreased air volume/No air – when one of the fans’ motors slows or stops the fan’s rotation, the airflow in your system can either decrease or stop completely. As such, when your air conditioner starts to cycle, you may feel significantly less air coming through the supply vents, or none at all.
  • Warm air – the fans in your system have two major jobs: the first is to keep air flow moving, and the second is to help with the heating and cooling process. When one of the fan motors malfunctions, it affects the heat release process, which then affects the cooling of the air.
  • Leaking run capacitor – each fan motor has a component attached to it called a run capacitor. This component stores electricity when the motor needs an extra boost, such as at start-up. If the run capacitor is experiencing problems, it can leak oil, giving a clear indication that it needs repair.
  • Buzzing noise – sometimes, if the problem is electrical, you may hear a buzzing noise coming from the area of one of the fans. If you hear a buzzing noise coming from one of the fans, turn your system off and call a professional; the wiring in a fan motor is complicated and should only be repaired by someone trained to do so.

Experiencing AC Problems? Call Us

As summer goes into full swing, so, too, does your air conditioner. If you suspect even a little something is off with your air conditioner, it’s better to call a professional to take a look than to ignore a potential problem. Don’t let your air conditioning repair in Deerfield Beach turn into a major one: call Astro Air, Inc. and schedule an appointment today.

Beneficial Upgrades for Your Air Conditioning System

June 6th, 2014

If you have air conditioning in Lake Worth, FL that has served you well for a number of years, but isn’t ready to permanently retire yet, there are ways you can upgrade the system for superior comfort and/or energy savings that will benefit you without costing you the price of a new system. We’ve put together a list of a few AC upgrades to consider when you want to take your current cooling system to a new level of performance and efficiency.

For more suggestions for updates, as well as the installation work you’ll need to enjoy these upgrades, call Astro Air Inc. today. Since 1986, we’ve helped people not only keep cool in their homes, but save money as well.

Zone control

Each time you turn on your central air conditioner, it cools down every room in the house connected to the ventilation system. This can be wasteful if you have rooms that don’t often receive use. But you can compartmentalize the rooms of your home and exercise individual control over their temperatures with the installation of a zone control system. Installers place dampers in the ductwork and add thermostats to manipulate the temperature in separate rooms, and then link them all to a central panel. You’ll save money and have a house that can adapt to fit the specific needs of the rooms and the people in them.

Digital programmable thermostat

If you still have an older manual thermostat with dials and sliders, you’re missing out on precision temperature settings, and that will cost you in money and comfort. A digital model will give you pinpoint control, but it also permits you to set up the system to turn on and off when you aren’t home. You can have the AC or heater activate a half hour before you come back during the day so you’ll always arrive home to a comfortable house—but never need to waste energy keeping the system on all day.

Replacement high efficiency condenser

This is more drastic change, but if you want a higher efficiency air conditioning system without needing to replace the whole system, then you can replace only the outdoor condenser with a new unit. A high-efficiency compressor within the new condenser will help you save money on your energy bills since it will need less electrical power to produce the same level of cooling.

Consult with HVAC specialists regarding what upgrades are best for your home and which ones will bring you the most cost-effective benefits. Let our team at Astro Air Inc. examine your air conditioning in Lake Worth, FL to see what they can do to bring you better comfort and savings this summer. Give us a call today to schedule a service appointment.

3 Factors Involved in Sizing Your New Air Conditioner

May 30th, 2014

When it comes to “sizing” an air conditioner—that is, determining how powerful a system you need to properly cool down your home—you cannot simply pick a system that “feels right” or go for a larger unit “just in case.” Correct sizing must take into account many factors so the system that is at last installed will effectively cool down your home without overworking or short-cycling. There is an ideal sized air conditioner for your home, and you need to make sure that it’s the one you have installed.

The complexity involved in sizing an air conditioning system requires skilled professionals, preferably NATE-certified ones. You’ll find the right team for your air conditioning installation in Palm Beach, FL at Astro Air Inc., where we bring the right qualifications and top-level training to each job we do. We maintain a proud tradition of quality since 1986.

3 factors professional installers use to size an AC

  1. Insulation: How well is your home shielded from the outside heat? The insulation in the walls and the attic are an important guard against the infiltration of summer heat into your house, and the amount that enters in will affect how large an AC you need to overcome it. Installers will survey where you home has heat leaks that could affect air conditioner performance.
  2. Heat-generating appliances: Light fixtures, refrigerators, washing machines, laundry machines, televisions, computers, and more will generate extra heat for an air conditioner to combat. Part of the heat load calculation that skilled installers perform is the assessment of the amount of heat generated inside the house from day-to-day appliance operation. The calculation will also take into account another source of heat in your home: the people who live there.
  3. Windows: A home’s windows are a major source of radiant heat from the sun. For proper sizing, installers will look over all the windows in a home, not just to determine their number, but also the direction they face. North- and south-facing windows bring in much less radiant heat, while east- and west-facing windows can allow in enormous amounts of extra heat. Shades and UV shielding will also form part of the installers’ calculations.

Once the professionals are finished with the heat load calculation, they will have a solid idea of the cooling (in tons) necessary to provide you with the best comfort and while creating the minimum amount of stress for the AC. They will then select the ideal air conditioner to do the job and handle putting it into your home quickly and effectively so it will work problem-free for many years.

Astro Air Inc. has the qualified team to handle your air conditioning installation in Palm Beach, FL so you will have the correctly sized AC and the ideal cooling for this summer and the summers to follow. Give us a call today!

3 Ways Dust and Dirt Affect Your Air Conditioner

May 23rd, 2014

One of the basic but important elements of your home’s heating and cooling system is the air filter. This traps dust, dirt, and other debris in the air that comes through the return vents from entering the cabinet of the AC and heater. Regularly changing the air filter when it becomes clogged is key to making sure your HAVC system maintains efficient performance.

What might happen if dust and dirt start to infiltrate an air conditioner’s cabinet? The consequences can be severe if left without professional repairs, so always call qualified technicians whenever you notice problems with your AC. You can also prevent issues from starting in the first place with annual inspections and tune-ups for your cooling system. Call Astro Air Inc. today to sign up for air conditioning maintenance in Boca Raton, FL that will help keep your AC clean. We can also deliver whatever repairs are necessary to keep your cooling system running its best.

3 Ways That Dust and Dirt Affect Your Air Conditioner

  1. Motor damage: To work efficiently and with minimal mechanical wear, motors must have clean moving parts. Even a thin layer of dust will create friction that will threaten the motor with extra stress, and enough dirt and dust will cause the motor to burn-out and need replacement. Whenever you hear grinding sounds from the AC’s cabinet, call for repairs right away.
  2. Icing on the coil: When dust enters the indoor cabinet of an air conditioner, it will begin to gather along the evaporator coil’s surface and block heat absorption. When heat absorption drops, the refrigerant in the coil will remain too cold and will start to freeze the water vapor along it. The ice will further block heat absorption, causing a downward spiral that will eventually halt cooling altogether. You cannot just scrape the ice off; you must have technicians handle the cleaning job and check for any other damage the coil may have sustained.
  3. Lowered indoor air quality: As more dust gets into an air conditioner, increasing amounts will also enter the ventilation system. As dust begins to build up along the ductwork, it will create an unhealthy drop in the quality of the indoor air, causing respiratory problems, flu- and cold-like symptoms, and triggering asthma.

You can help protect your AC from outside debris by changing the air filter regularly—once a month during cooling season is advisable. But you will also need the assistance of yearly professional maintenance. At Astro Air Inc., we offer an Energy Savings Maintenance Agreement to help you protect your AC from dust and more so that it works its best throughout the summer. Contact us today to start with air conditioning maintenance in Boca Raton, FL.