10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Astro Air Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

How a Clogged Filter Can Lead to Air Conditioning Repair

November 12th, 2014

One of the important components in a central air conditioner is the air filter. The air filter is located between the return vents and the interior of the indoor evaporator unit of the AC, where the filter catches dust and debris that can come in from the house. The air filter prevents this contamination from reaching the interior of the cabinet. It has some limited use for preventing dust and dirt from getting into your home’s air, although this is not its main purpose. (Proper air filtration for better indoor air quality requires specially designed and installed filters.)

The air filter on your AC should be changed once a month when the cooling system is in regular operation. If the air conditioner uses a permanent filter, the filter should be cleaned once a month using a garden hose put on low pressure. Without this regular changing/cleaning, the filter will soon develop clogging, and this can cause serious problems for your AC and may lead to repairs.

If you require air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach, FL because of issues from a clogged filter, call Astro Air Inc. We offer 24-hour emergency service for whenever you need us.

There are two major ways that air filter clogging will cause air conditioning repair needs:

  • Dust and dirt contamination inside the cabinet: The air filter will not be able to do its job effectively if it becomes heavily clogged. Eventually, debris will start to infiltrate the cabinet. This can cause damage to mechanical parts, particularly the blower motor, and also interfere with electrical connections. One of the main reasons for blower motor failure is excessive dust across the moving parts. In some extreme cases, excessive clogging can even cause the filter to collapse inward into the air conditioning cabinet, which can create serious damage.
  • Icing over the coil: Clogs in the air filter will restrict airflow into the cabinet and across the evaporator coil, which will make it harder for the coil to absorb heat. As its heat absorption power drops, the refrigerant inside the coil will remain cold, causing it to turn water moisture along the coil into ice. As ice develops, even less heat will make it to the coil, and the process will continue, eventually stopping heat exchange altogether. At the first indication of ice on the evaporator coil, you need to call for repairs.

Aside from these repair troubles, clogged air filters will also cause a rise in your air conditioning bills and will weaken airflow from the vents, leading to poor quality cooling. Make sure that you stay consistent with changing the air filter so you can avoid all these problems. Call Astro Air Inc. if you need assistance with air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach, FL.

Why Your House May Be Losing Too Much Heat

November 5th, 2014

Proper insulation is necessary for year-round energy efficiency and comfort. While many homeowners are very cognizant of installing the right amount of insulation in the main living spaces, attic space can be overlooked. A poorly insulated attic space can create ongoing issues, including problems with energy efficiency. If you suspect that your attic insulation in Deerfield Beach isn’t as good as it should be, call the people who can help: Astro Air, Inc.

Why Good Insulation Is Important

Heat moves in three ways:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

Heat will always seek out cooler air, which is why insulation is necessary: it slows heat transfer significantly. But when you have an open attic space that isn’t properly insulated, you will be battling heat transfer year-round.

How Much Insulation Should I Install?

For attics that have no insulation at all, the recommended R-value, which denotes the efficiency of insulation, is between R38 to R50. This can equal anywhere from 4 to 10 extra inches of insulation, depending on the type of insulation you use and how much extra insulation you need.

Benefits of Proper Attic Insulation

Here are some reasons you may want to consider installing or improving the insulation in your attic:

  • Better energy efficiency – the EPA estimates that having the correct amount of insulation in your home can decrease your energy usage as much as 20%. This is a significant savings you can see throughout the year.
  • Better comfort – with a properly insulated attic, you won’t have to worry about heat leaving your home and heading into your cold attic space during the winter months.
  • Good for the environment – having the right amount of insulation in your home from top to bottom means you’ll use less heating. This is good for the environment because less heating means using less fuel.

Don’t let poor attic insulation in Deerfield Beach compromise your comfort and decrease your energy efficiency. Call Astro Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor quality experts.

The Benefits of Scheduling Prompt Duct Repair in Wellington, FL

October 29th, 2014

It is often difficult to detect that the air ducts in your home have developed damage and are allowing air to escape. Even when you do start to notice a drop in air pressure coming from the vents, or noises from the ductwork indicating damage, you may feel tempted to ignore the problems. Because most of the ventilation system in your home remains hidden behinds walls and ceilings, it is easy to shrug off minor ductwork trouble.

However, the problem in this case is that there is no such thing as “minor” ductwork trouble. If you see signs of leaking ductwork that requires repair work, you need to have it taken care of immediately. And this doesn’t mean grabbing a roll of duct tape! You must have professionals take care of the duct repair in Wellington, FL that you need. For fast service from skilled indoor air quality experts, call Astro Air Inc. first. We’ve served Palm Beach and North Broward County with quality service for almost thirty years!

How You Benefit From Fast Duct Repair

  • Prevent massive spikes in cooling and heating bills: Even a small air leak inside the ventilation system of an air conditioner or heater will cause a significant increase in strain on the system. A forced-air heater or air conditioner can lose 30% of its efficiency because of air leaks, and that means you will start paying around a third more for your comfort than you should. The faster you have the leaks sealed, the sooner you’ll have your bills back to normal.
  • Avoid problems from mold and mildew: Bacterial growths inside homes due to high humidity are a common concern in Florida. Ductwork presents an ideal environment for mold and mildew to begin to develop, and damaged ductwork will let in the humid air that will allow it. You don’t want to worry about mold remediation in your ductwork, so have any repairs you need done taken care of right away.
  • Maintain indoor comfort: When air begins to escape from the ventilation system, it will cause a drop in airflow from the vents. This will lead to a plunge in heating and cooling in some rooms of the house, resulting in hot and cold spots. And the problem will only grow worse the longer you leave it without repairs.

Call the Indoor Air Quality Professionals

As we said above, you can’t rely on duct tape when it comes to ductwork repair. In fact, duct tape isn’t supposed to be used on ducts at all! (The name is actually from an old misunderstanding dating back many decades.) But you do have any easy solution: call Astro Air Inc. for professional duct repair service in Wellington, FL. We will locate all the air leaks and repair them to keep your comfort, bills, and health protected. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Why Does My AC Keep Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

October 22nd, 2014

Your air conditioning in Palm Beach uses enough electricity that it likely requires its own circuit in your electrical box. The breaker for your AC’s circuit can turn off, i.e., “trip”, for a number of reasons, and some of these reasons may be more serious than others. Whenever you need electrical repairs for your air conditioning in Palm Beach, be sure to call a trained technician for help. The NATE-certified technicians at Astro Air Inc., have the knowledge and expertise to help with any electrical issue you may have with your AC, so call us today.

Reasons Your AC Can Trip a Breaker

Here are a few reasons why the circuit breaker for your AC can trip:

  • Breaker isn’t big enough – sometimes an incorrectly-sized breaker can be installed with your air conditioning system, and the breaker can’t handle the electrical load, so it turns off for safety reasons. Once the right-sized breaker is installed by a specialist, the issue should be resolved.
  • Breaker is faulty or loose – a faulty or loose breaker won’t connect properly, and as such, will trip as a safety precaution.
  • System is drawing too much electricity – sometimes when your system has a problem with a component, it can start to work harder to compensate for the problem. Whenever a system has to work harder, it needs more electricity. If the draw becomes too heavy, the circuit breaker will trip.
  • Weather issues – storms with lightning or high winds can cause the power to shut off to your entire home, and possibly trip the breaker should the AC be operating at the time. Normally this doesn’t require repair, and you can just turn the breaker back to “on” when the power is restored.

Never Force a Breaker

Circuit breakers are safety devices, and if you encounter a lot of resistance when trying to turn the breaker back to the “on” position, this is a clear indication that something is wrong.  Don’t force it. Instead, call for assistance and let a specialist determine what is happening.

Electrical issues are complex and require expertise in order to properly and safely repair them. If you experience electrical issues with your air conditioning in Palm Beach, call the people you can count on: Astro Air Inc.

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.


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.