What You Can Expect During Air Conditioning Maintenance

October 15th, 2014

Air conditioning maintenance is one of the most important services you can receive from a trained technician—and one of the most underused. For a low price, a technician will visit your home and make adjustments that could increase the efficiency of your system and ward off any future repair needs, possibly for the entire cooling season. Some homeowners may shy away from this service because they are not quite sure what to expect. That’s why the friendly technicians at Astro Air Inc. have detailed the steps of maintenance in this helpful guide.

Cleaning Dirty Components

Most homeowners don’t realize that dirty parts greatly affect the efficiency of their air conditioner. One example is the condenser coil. This part is located in the outdoor portion of your air conditioner, which means it’s exposed to the elements and may be more likely to gather dust than other parts. As refrigerant runs through this coil, heat dissipates into the air. But if this part is clogged with dust, this cannot occur, which means that this heat moves right back into your home.

Making Minor Adjustments

Air conditioners are built to last for over ten years. In this period of time, parts are bound to become loose or bent out of shape, leading to higher energy costs and increasing the chances that parts will fail. With annual maintenance, a technician makes some adjustments, such as straightening out the fins of the condenser, tightening electrical connections, and screwing in loose parts.

Inspection

One of the most important parts of maintenance is what the technician reports back to you afterwards. Technicians may be unable to fix a broken part during a maintenance visit, but they will perform a full inspection. They will then alert you to any problems that need immediate attention so that you can schedule repairs as soon as possible, or they will let you know if your system seems to be in good condition.

Maintenance is a vital step in owning an air conditioning system, and should be completed before the cooling season begins again. For thorough AC maintenance in Lake Worth, FL, call the professionals at Astro Air Inc. today!

How Burning Odors Can Warn of Air Conditioning Repair

October 8th, 2014

Unusual odors coming from the vents or blowers of a forced-air heating or air conditioning system are always something to which you should pay attention; they tend to indicate a malfunction of some kind occurring in either the heater/AC or the ventilation system. When you detect an odor from the vents that you aren’t accustomed to, call for professional repair technicians right away.

A common warning odor from a malfunctioning air conditioner is an acrid, burning smell. This could mean a number of different things, but each of them require professionals to track down the cause and repair it. For quality air conditioning repair in Deerfield Beach, FL and the rest of Palm Beach and North Broward County, call Astro Air Inc. We have 24-hour emergency service, so we are ready whenever you need us to maintain your home’s comfort.

Reasons for those burning odors

The most likely reason for an air conditioner to give off burning odors from its vents is that the blower motor in the indoor cabinet is starting to burn out. Excess dust across the motor’s moving parts or a loss of lubrication will lead to high amounts of friction that will create burning scents. You need to move quickly when you detect this acrid smell, because if the motor burns out, the only repair that will fix it is to have the motor replaced.

The burning odor can also come from too much dust settling inside the cabinet or the ventilation system. This could happen due to leaks in the ductwork, or it might be a clogged air filter. You should change the filter at least once a month when the air conditioner runs on a regular basis. However, if you are already noticing burning smells, it is usually too late to halt the problem by changing the air filter: contamination has entered into the air conditioner cabinet and you will need technicians to clean it out.

The sharp, acrid smells can also stem from electrical trouble and bad wiring inside the cabinet. You should never attempt to diagnose electrical issues on your own; call for professionals to investigate and find the best way to apply repairs.

Don’t forget to schedule preventive maintenance

Many of the issues in an air conditioner that can lead to burning odors are avoidable through regular maintenance. Schedule a maintenance session once a year from professionals (spring is the best time, but it’s never too late to arrange it) who will handle the necessary cleanings and adjustments that will help prevent burnt-out motors and other problems from dust and dirt.

Whether you need air conditioning maintenance or air conditioning repair in Deerfield Beach, FL, contact the team with almost 30 years of experience helping people receive the best heating and cooling possible: Astro Air Inc.

Should I Invest in Air Conditioning Installation During the Fall?

October 1st, 2014

Florida has one of the most beautiful year-round climates in the United States, which is one of the reasons that it ranks among the top of major vacation spots in the nation. But the warm climate that persists throughout the year also means homeowners must depend on quality air conditioning more than people in cooler northern climates do. An AC is good working order is a necessity all 12 months of the year in Florida, where January temperatures can sometimes reach highs in the mid-70s.

If you think that you need new air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach, FL, there are some good reasons to arrange to have the work done during the fall. Call Astro Air Inc. and speak to our HVAC specialists to learn more about your options for new installation as well as to arrange an appointment. We have delivered the quality cooling needed to beat the heat in Palm Beach and North Broward County since 1986.

Why You Should Invest in Air Conditioning Installation for the Fall

  • To avoid surprise heat waves: If you think that your current AC unit is on the verge of failing, or if you have moved into a new house that does not currently have a cooling system, you do not want to be caught unprepared should the heat spike during the coming months. October weather can still hover in the high 70s and leap into the 80s. Sooner is much better when it comes to air conditioning installation in Florida.
  • To take advantage of the slow season: HVAC technicians have busy schedules during the summer taking care of emergency air conditioner repairs. During the fall, these technicians will have more open work calendars, so you can arrange for air conditioner installation that fits with your own schedule.
  • To start saving money with an energy-efficient system: You will need to use your air conditioner between now and the beginning of next spring. If your current system is starting to fail and work inefficiently, it will cost much more to run. If you invest in AC replacement for the fall, you’ll start saving money right away thanks to the new system’s more efficient performance. The longer you delay installation, the more money will go to waste on the old air conditioner.

We understand that choosing to install a new air conditioner is a large step, and after a hot summer you may not feel like dealing with it and instead look forward to the cooler weather. But the fall is often the right time to move on to a better, energy-saving system. Astro Air Inc. is ready to help you with the fast, professional work you need for air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach, FL.

How Rooftop Units Are Different from Other HVAC Systems

September 24th, 2014

If you need a new HVAC system for your home or business, it can be tough keep track of all of the different types of systems available today. Here at Astro Air Inc., we want to help you decide which unit is right for you by keeping you informed about your options. Many homes and businesses have unique space needs or large heating and cooling needs for which a rooftop unit may be the best choice. In this guide, we’ll look at a few of the key differences between rooftop units, which are typically used in commercial applications, and other types of HVAC systems so that you can decide whether this is the system for you.

Packaged System

Rooftop units are also known as packaged units because every component comes packaged together in a single cabinet. Standard residential air conditioners require both an indoor and outdoor unit to remove heat from the home. The furnace or alternate heating source is usually separate. However, packaged units combine every component into a single cabinet. It connects directly to the ducts to eliminate the need for indoor installation, which may be necessary for some homes. This is great for businesses because every part can be found in one location for any needed repairs, so that you can get back to work quickly.

Heating and Cooling

With the exception of heat pumps, which can both heat and cool a space, most HVAC units can only do one or the other. Rooftop units are unique in that the heating system and cooling system are often combined into one cabinet. This is ideal for large commercial buildings that can accommodate a multi-ton unit on the rooftop.

Modular Units

Finally, rooftop units tend to be modular, meaning a technician can add or take away modules to accommodate the changing needs of a business. With other HVAC units, if your needs change you may need to replace the entire system. But modular rooftop units are designed with businesses in mind. If your business expands, a technician can simply add another module to increase the cooling capacity of your unit.

If you are considering purchasing a commercial rooftop HVAC unit in Boca Raton for your home or business, trust the experts at Astro Air Inc. for installation, maintenance, and repairs. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Repair Problems that Can Occur in an Air Conditioner’s Condenser

September 17th, 2014

The large outdoor condenser unit is perhaps the most noticeable portion of your air conditioner, but it may sometimes get neglected. Large debris and vegetation located near this unit can cause components to struggle, so you should take care to clear any objects that may get in the way of your condenser. But while this may prevent some problems, others may develop over time and require the attention of an experienced professional. Be sure to call for air conditioning repair at the first sign of any of the following problems.

  • Broken Condenser Fan/Fan Motor: The fan helps heat to dissipate from the refrigerant into the outside air. So if this part is damaged in any way, you may only feel warm air coming through the vents inside. If a fan blade is bent or loose, or if the motor is malfunctioning, this part needs immediate attention. The problem may be anything from a lack of lubrication to debris in the motor to an electrical problem.
  • Faulty Compressor: The compressor is one of the most important components of your air conditioner, and you want to keep this part in top working order to avoid repairs. But if any other part of your air conditioner is broken, your compressor may become overworked and break down, which means you’ll likely need to replace this part entirely. To prevent this, call for repairs at the first sign of damages anywhere in your system, including unusual sounds and limited cooling.
  • Dirty Coil: One of the most common problems that causes homeowners to call for repairs is when a coil is too dirty. The indoor coil helps refrigerant to absorb heat while the outdoor coil helps it to release into the air. If the outdoor coil is too dirty, which happens somewhat easily due to its location outdoors, heat cannot dissipate, and you may feel warm air from the vents. If you schedule regular AC maintenance, the technician will clean and adjust this coil to keep problems from occurring later on.

Do you need air conditioning repair in Palm Beach? The experts at Astro Air Inc. have been in business since 1986, so you can count on them for experienced, professional repair work. We offer 24-hour emergency service, so give us a call at the first sign of problems.

How to Tell That You Need Duct Sealing

September 10th, 2014

Problems with your ductwork can look like a lot of other things, and because your ductwork isn’t visible, it can be one of the last suspects on the list. However, there are some indications your ductwork gives when things aren’t going so well. One of the ways to reduce air loss and restore good operation to your ductwork is with duct sealing for your Wellington property. Shoddy workmanship and improper installation are two reasons that ductwork can become faulty, so be sure to hire trained, certified and trusted professionals for your duct sealing: call Astro Air, Inc.

Signs You May Need Duct Sealing

There are a few common signs that it may be time to seal your ducts:

  • Whistling/screaming noises coming through your vents – air leaks in your ductwork can cause a whistling or screaming sound as air escapes through holes and cracks.
  • Hot and cold spots – uneven cooling can indicate that cooling is not reaching certain rooms or areas in your home due to leaks or disconnections.
  • High energy bills – air loss due to faulty ductwork can be significant, and your air conditioner has to compensate for this loss. Recouping the lost air means your AC has to work harder, and when your AC works harder, it uses more energy to do so.
  • Poor indoor air quality – leaky ducts not only lose air, they pull in all kinds of particles and pollutants that can affect your indoor air quality. This can be a serious problem for allergy sufferers in your home.

How Are Ducts Sealed?

Your technician seals holes and cracks in your ductwork using a fibrous adhesive called mastic. Mastic is thick, and is applied with a paint brush. Once the mastic is applied, a piece of fiberglass or foil tape is placed on top of the mastic. The mastic is left to cure (dry) and when it does, it forms a hardseal.

Leaky ductwork can compromise your comfort and indoor air quality while costing you money in monthly energy. Scheduling a professional duct sealing for your Wellington home can help to reduce or even eliminate these problems. Call Astro Air, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Astro Air Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

How Attic Insulation Will Lower Your Cooling Bills

August 27th, 2014

Insulation is usually associated with the cold months of the year, but the truth is that good insulation is important to you and your home all year long. This is because insulation slows down the transfer of heat: in winter, insulation helps keep the warmth inside; in summer, it helps keep the heat from entering your home. However, there is one spot that can be overlooked when it comes to proper insulation, and that is your attic space. Good attic insulation in Lake Worth is important for ventilation, comfort and energy efficiency. Astro Air, Inc., specializes in attic insulation, and we can help your home become more energy efficient.

What Does Attic Insulation Do?

There are several ways in which attic insulation helps lower your cooling bills:

Slows Heat Transfer

As we mentioned above, the job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat. During the summer months, your attic can get very hot, with temperatures rising above 140 degrees. This is a tremendous amount of heat, and it will eventually start to transfer into your home if no insulation is present to stop it. Proper attic insulation allows your cool air to remain cooler for a much longer time than it does without it.

Helps Prevent Excess Moisture

Humidity is part of our daily summer weather in our part of the country, so your attic will gain moisture as it gains heat. Moisture, like heat, can travel into your home and increase the levels of humidity, making the air feel uncomfortable and creating more work for you air conditioner. Having good attic insulation blocks the flow of air that can carry humidity into your home.

Increases Energy Efficiency

Attic insulation creates a barrier that stops your conditioned air from heading into the attic and your attic heat from heading into your home. This reduces the amount of work your air conditioner has to do in order to achieve the cooling you want. Less work on the part of your AC means using less energy.

Attic insulation can help you save energy, be more comfortable and reduce moisture levels in your home. If you think your attic may be short on insulation, call the indoor air quality experts in Lake Worth who can help: Astro Air, Inc.

How Do Professionals Handle Duct Sealing?

August 22nd, 2014

Ductwork is complex: it isn’t very visible, it can snake through walls and crawl spaces, and it can be difficult to access. It’s these factors, plus a true understanding of how to work on ducts, that makes it important you hire a professional for your duct sealing service in Lake Worth. Since 1986, Astro Air Inc. has been serving the Lake Worth and surrounding communities, and we have seen first-hand how duct sealing can help you and your air conditioning system.

Benefits of Duct Sealing

There are several ways in which duct sealing can help you and your air conditioner:

  • Better energy efficiency – over time, your ductwork can develop holes, cracks and broken seals, or disconnect from other sections. These types of gaps can cause air loss in your system, for which your air conditioner has to compensate. Any time your air conditioner needs to work harder, it uses more energy, which reduces its energy efficiency.
  • Better indoor air quality – openings in your ductwork can allow moisture, dust, dirt and other fumes and particles directly into your air stream. Sealing the ducts eliminates this, improving you the quality of your indoor air.
  • Better comfort – air loss in vents means less cooling is getting into your home, oftentimes leading to uneven cooling. When your air ducts are sealed, your air gets delivered in its entirety, leading to better comfort.

How Do Professionals Seal Ducts?

Here is a quick overview of how ducts are sealed by a trained technician:

  • Ends of the ducts are cleaned to help the sealant bond correctly.
  • The technician will brush mastic (a fibrous sealant) over the area to be repaired.
  • The technician will place fiberglass or foil tape over the mastic. Important note: never use duct tape to seal ducts. Duct tape, and any other tape, usually doesn’t stick and will degrade quickly.
  • A second coating of mastic will be added over the tape.
  • The mastic needs time to cure in order to harden properly, so it is left alone.
  • The technician will continue this process until all holes and cracks are repaired. To seal connections, he/she will use a metal binder and sheet metal nails to bind 2 sections together.

Typically, your technician will start at the indoor unit and work to the furthest register in your home. This is because there is higher pressure nearer to the indoor unit.

If you think you may be dealing with faulty ductwork, don’t take the risk of continuing to lose money through energy inefficiency. Call Astro Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our ductwork experts.

Why You Should Never Scrape Ice from the Evaporator Coil

August 13th, 2014

If you have a commercial air conditioning system, keeping the occupants of your building cool and comfortable is important. When you notice a repair need, you may be tempted to fix it yourself in an effort to save a little time and money. A frozen evaporator coil is a common repair need that you can often find if you know where to look. When you notice cooling problems, you may be able to locate instructions on how to access your packaged system and perform repairs on your own. If ice has formed along the evaporator coil, it may mean serious trouble for your AC. But scraping this ice off can be even worse. Instead, here are the reasons you should always call a professional for commercial air conditioning repair.

The main reason not to perform repairs on your own is that you put the comfort of your clients, customers, tenant, or employees at risk. Scraping ice off the evaporator coil can cause serious damage to your AC, leading to costly repairs that leave your property without any AC for even longer. The evaporator is a sensitive part and if it is damaged by a metal tool or blunt object, it may be unable to complete the heat exchange process.

Furthermore, scraping ice off the coil does not address the source of the problem. Ice on the evaporator coil is caused by low airflow. The coil helps to remove heat from your home as the warm indoor air blows over it. As refrigerant passes through the coil, it is very cool, so if warm air cannot cool it down, the water that forms outside of the coil may freeze. Low airflow may be caused by a dirty air filter, but it may also be due to a damaged fan or low refrigerant. These problems should only be fixed by a professional commercial air conditioning repair technician.

If your system is damaged by a frozen coil, the worst thing you can do is attempt to scrape it off on your own. The experts at Astro Air Inc. are far more qualified to handle this issue. Call us today for commercial air conditioning repair in Boca Raton.