Can Insulation Keep Cool Air in?

March 25th, 2015

Despite what many have heard, insulation is not just for colder climates. It’s also perfect for our Florida weather! It is true that proper insulation keeps your home a lot warmer when it’s cold outside, especially in harsh winter climates. However, it also keeps you cooler in the summer and lets your air conditioner run more efficiently.

There are many misconceptions about how insulation keeps your home cool. We’d like to clear that up in today’s guide. When you decide it’s finally time to add in or install insulation in your home for improved efficiency and better cooling performance, speak with the Astro Air Inc. team for attic insulation in Deerfield Beach.

Insulation may be made from any number of insulating materials, all of which have varying degrees of efficiency. This includes synthetic fibers, like fiberglass, and natural fibers, like wool. What all insulating materials have in common is the ability to limit the transfer of heat. In the winter, then, heat has a harder time leaving the home.

There’s a bit of a misconception about how insulation works in warmer weather, though. Some people believe that insulation helps to trap in the cool air, just as it helps contain heat in the winter. But this is an inaccuracy. Again, insulation slows heat transfer. Instead of keeping cool air in, your insulation helps to keep warmth from penetrating the air in your home. And since the attic is often the hottest part of your home, this is the perfect place to install or add insulation.

When you have enough insulation in the home, you won’t have to run your air conditioner as frequently. Air conditioners transfer heat to the outdoors, and insulation keeps this heat from returning and overworking your AC. An air conditioning system can become worn down quickly if it has to run for too long, so prevent an early demise by calling the experts at Astro Air Inc. today. We install and evaluate attic insulation in Deerfield Beach in the surrounding area. We’re happy to talk to you about additional energy saving options as well; all you have to do is pick up the phone.

How to Tell You Need Immediate Air Conditioning Repair

March 18th, 2015

Different households run their air conditioning systems in different ways. In some homes, the air conditioner is on at most times, as people in the home prefer a chilly climate. But in other homes, families prefer to keep the thermostat at the most efficient temperature in order to save some money and reduce their environmental impact. They may even keep the AC off on most days because the air outside is cool enough to let in a soft breeze instead.

If this is the case in your home, it may be difficult to decide when an air conditioner needs repair. You turn on your air conditioner, and you may notice that performance is not at its peak. Does this mean that you need immediate air conditioning repair? Or should you wait until the temperatures become warmer and going without enough AC seems unbearable?

In general, any problem with your air conditioner that is noticeable necessitates attention. Let’s say you hear a strange hissing noise from your AC, for example. The noise continues every time you run your unit, but it’s not loud enough for you to be concerned. This noise, however, could mean that refrigerant is leaking from the system. As it continues to leak, heat exchange cannot properly take place. This means that one of the coils may freeze. This not only prevents cool air from reaching your home, it also could leak onto the unit itself, resulting in a lot of money in damages.

You can tell that your air conditioner is in need of repair by paying attention to the following signs and taking them seriously. No problem is too big or too small for a technician to visit your home and check out.

  • No Cooling
  • Limited Cooling
  • Uneven Cooling
  • Strange Noises
  • Water Leaks
  • Short Cycling (running frequently and shutting off before the cycle is complete)
  • Hard Starting (struggling to turn on)
  • AC Tripping the Circuit Breaker
  • Thermostat Inaccuracies

And many more. Any time you feel like your air conditioner could stand for an improvement, call Astro Air Inc. We offer air conditioning maintenance visits for preventive purposes as well as comprehensive air conditioning repair in Palm Beach.

Maintaining the Condenser Unit of Your Air Conditioning

March 11th, 2015

There are two main portions of your air conditioning system. The inside portion contains the evaporation coil, which helps to remove heat from the air in your home, and the blower fan, which sucks in the air from your home in order to cool it. The blower fan then pushes cool air into the home through the ductwork. After refrigerant absorbs heat from your air, it needs to release it somewhere. It moves outside to the condenser unit in order to accomplish this task.

The large outside condenser unit contains a few main parts that help to keep refrigerant moving in the way that is necessary for the refrigeration process to take place. The compressor pumps refrigerant throughout the entire system, adding pressure and heat. In the condenser coil, heat dissipates from the refrigerant as it converts into a liquid, and a large fan aids in the process.

When the outside portion of your air conditioning system is in poor condition, your home comfort suffers. Dirty or bent condenser fins keep heat from dissipating as easily, which means it takes a lot longer to cool down your home. This also means that your energy bills can skyrocket, and that there’s extra strain on the unit. Parts can slowly fall into a state of disrepair as they become overworked.

You should do all that you can to keep your condenser unit from malfunctioning. Repairs can be rather costly when they become too serious, and compressor damage often means replacing the entire outside unit. Maintaining your air conditioner involves paying attention to the signs of a struggling unit, changing the air filter regularly, and calling a technician for regular maintenance.

A technician will do everything possible to keep your AC in top shape during a maintenance visit, including adjusting some crucial components, cleaning some of the major parts, and performing a full inspection in order to let you know of any serious problems. This can help to improve efficiency and performance, and it may even extend the lifespan of the system.

Call Astro Air Inc. today and schedule an appointment for our quality air conditioning services in Boca Raton, FL from professionals you can trust.

Should I Repair or Replace My Older AC?

March 4th, 2015

You may have noticed that your older AC has slowed down in performance over time. Air conditioning components will begin to wear out eventually from overuse. After a time, your air conditioner may begin to use up a little bit more energy, and it might take a bit longer for your home to get to the right temperatures.

Does this mean that a new air conditioning system is necessary? Not always. Sometimes, you can get your air conditioner back in good working order with a scheduled tune-up. A professional will visit your home to clean, adjust, and inspect your system, steps which may help to improve the overall condition of the AC.

But in some cases, repairs and adjustments won’t do the trick. When you decide it may be time for new air conditioning installation, call on the help of the friendly professionals at Astro Air Inc. Follow along with our guide for some tips on when new installation may be best.

  • Frequent Repairs – If you find yourself calling a technician for repairs more than once in a year, your air conditioner is in poor shape. And if you’re replacing major costly components, it’s probably a lot less expensive to replace the unit right now than it would be to replace each part individually.
  • Poor Efficiency – You may also choose to repair an air conditioning system if the unit does not run efficiently. High energy bills are common in the summer, but it’s frustrating when these bills seem so much higher than they were the years before. A new air conditioning system will likely run far more efficiently than one that’s over a decade old, especially if you choose one highly rated for efficiency.
  • Old Age – In some homes, a sudden air conditioning breakdown could be disastrous. For those in poor health, reliable air conditioning is necessary to keep people in good spirits. You should replace your air conditioner before it fails so that it’s less likely to breakdown during a heat wave or whenever you need it the most.

Call the knowledgeable people at Astro Air Inc. for more information about air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach.

What Type of Insulation Is Used in the Attic?

February 25th, 2015

Many people associate the term “insulation” with cooler weather. When it’s cold outside, you want there to be enough insulation in your home to lock in some heat so that your home stays warm. You can also purchase insulated blankets, jackets, and travel mugs, all of which are products manufactured to retain heat. However, insulation is just as important in the summertime as it is in the winter.

When you decide it’s time to take charge of your monthly bills and keep your home more comfortable in both the summer and the winter, call our team of skilled professionals. We can evaluate your existing insulation and help you to decide whether and where more insulation would help. Call Astro Air Inc. for attic insulation services in Wellington today.

Materials Used in Insulation

There are a number of different types of materials that may be used for attic insulation, but what they all have in common is their ability to slow the transfer of heat. In the colder months, your heating system works hard to generate heat, and for maximum efficiency, you should do everything in your power to keep this heat in the home. Insulation keeps heat from moving easily out through the walls, attic, or ducts. In the summer, insulation helps to keep heat from entering your home, making your air conditioner run more efficiently.

The materials used in insulations are most commonly some type of fiber, either natural or synthetic. The most common type of blanket insulation is made of fiberglass, though some blanket insulation is made of mineral wool or natural wools. A technician can lay these batts and rolls in the attic, though blown-in insulation is sometimes preferable.

Blown-in or loose-fill insulation involves using a machine to blow fibers into the area. In the attic, this is often ideal, since loose fill insulation can reach little nooks and crannies, and because the R-value of these materials is generally quite high. The R-value is an indicator of how effective and insulation material is, and the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

You should always allow a professional to help you pick out your new insulation materials, as they have the right training to make such an involved decision. Call Astro Air Inc. for attic insulation services in Wellington today!

How Can I Tell I Need Duct Repair?

February 16th, 2015

If you’ve ever driven down a road full of potholes, you know how ineffective the travel can be; you may also incur expense due to a flat tire or other problem caused by the holes and cracks. The same happens with your faulty ductwork: the air flow becomes slow and contaminated, and can result in the need for repair. So how do you know when it’s time to schedule duct repair service for your Lake Worth home? Here are some tips from the trained experts at Astro Air, Inc.

High Energy Bills

Faulty ductwork can allow a significant amount of air to escape from your HVAC system; in fact, faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of your home’s total air loss. The reason you’ll see this reflected in your energy bills is because your HVAC system will compensate for this air loss by working harder, which means your system uses more energy.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Not only can a significant amount of air escape from faulty ductwork, lots of things can get inside the ductwork, too. Contaminants such as dirt and dust can become excessive, air pollutants and excess moisture have direct access to your living spaces thanks to the faults in your ductwork.

Uneven Temperatures

Your ductwork doesn’t corrode or break in a uniform way across your ductwork system; instead, there are usually sections that are more problematic than others. This uneven corrosion can result in uneven heating and cooling for your home, as the vents that are more affected by problems will have less ability to deliver the air you need.

Whistling Noises

Hearing air move through your ductwork is normal, but if you are hearing whistling noises through your vents with each cycle, the whistling can be an indication that there are holes and cracks through which air is escaping.

Duct repair is a long-term solution for some fairly serious problems; if you are seeing the signs of faulty ductwork in your home, call the experts at Astro Air, Inc. today!

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at [(site_name)] hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

How UV Germicidal Lights Improve Indoor Air Quality

February 4th, 2015

It is common knowledge that dust is a ubiquitous airborne pollutant in homes across the country. What is less common knowledge, however, is the incredible amount of other contaminants in your indoor air that you are exposed to every day. Pollen and dander from pets and insects are lung irritants, similar to dust. Many allergy sufferers find their symptoms severely worsened by exposure to these contaminants. Viruses, bacteria, and mold are also quite common, and contribute to the frequency of illnesses among homeowners. These biological contaminants are much more detrimental, and much harder to get rid of, than minor irritants like dust and pollen. So, how can homeowners fight against these microscopic pollutants? One of the best ways is with a UV germicidal light. Let’s examine what a UV germicidal light is, and how it benefits your home by sterilizing your air.

What is a UV Germicidal Light?

A UV germicidal light is a type of air purifier, which can be used either in a portable format or installed in such a way as to service the entire house. It is actually very simple in design, just one or two special light bulbs that give off short-wave ultraviolet light. This light is harmless to humans, but can be very effective at cleansing the air around it of biological contaminants.

How does a UV Germicidal Light Cleanse the Air?

Many biological contaminants are extremely phobic of certain kinds of ultraviolet light. Exposure to this light destroys parts of their cells that they need in order to keep multiplying, rendering them sterile or even killing them completely. This is why darkness is a necessity for most mold growth. The cells that make up the mold’s structure cannot survive in direct sunlight. The UV germicidal light takes advantage of this genetic weakness by subjecting the air around it to enough ultraviolet light to kill most biological pollutants. In this way, the light improves your air quality by killing any germs that might infect and sicken you.

If you’re interested in installing a germicidal light in your home, call Astro Air Inc. to schedule an appointment with us today. We provide indoor air quality services in the West Palm Beach area.

Why Air Conditioning Maintenance Is a Yearly Necessity

January 29th, 2015

Most people wouldn’t ignore an odd behavior coming from their air conditioner, because they wouldn’t want it to develop into a bigger issue. Despite the tendency to call a professional HVAC technician whenever they suspect a problem, just as many people neglect to schedule yearly preventive maintenance for their air conditioning system. This not only shortens the lifespan of their air conditioner, but increases the possibility of an expensive breakdown. Let’s examine why air conditioning maintenance is a yearly necessity.

Preemptive Repairs

A lot of people ignore scheduling maintenance unless they notice a problem because they believe the air conditioner is fine otherwise. Unfortunately, this assumes that every problem that an air conditioner can have will give ample warning with some sort of outward sign. Many problems in an air conditioner, including ones that are bad enough to cause a breakdown, are asymptomatic. That is, they give no visible or audible warning before having a negative effect on the air conditioner. The only way to detect these invisible issues before they strike is to have a professional HVAC technician inspect the system. This is the main purpose for scheduling yearly maintenance on your air conditioner.

An HVAC technician can identify and repair or replace parts that are starting to fail long before they can cause collateral damage to the rest of the system. An air conditioner relies on all of its parts to work properly for the whole system to do its job. If one part quietly fails without anyone noticing, it will begin to contribute to the damage and failure of other parts. Eventually, this can result in the need to replace the entire system.

Ultimately, yearly air conditioning maintenance comes down to saving money. If you conduct yearly air conditioning maintenance, your air conditioner will be healthier, last longer, and save you money on replacing part or all of the system. If you ignore yearly maintenance, your air conditioner will have more problems, die faster, and you’ll have to spend a lot more money.

If you haven’t scheduled maintenance in the past year, call Astro Air Inc. to schedule an appointment. We provide air conditioning maintenance throughout Palm Beach, FL.

Wood Rot: What It Is and How to Prevent It

January 20th, 2015

Rotting wood creates an unstable foundation for your home, which means structural beams, flooring, and ceilings may need some major renovations. Once wood rot begins, the structure of your home can quickly fall into decline, and it can be difficult to control the problem without taking drastic measures. That’s why most experts recommend focusing on prevention: worrying about how to stop wood rot before it happens. And what’s the key component leading to wood rot that we can control? Moisture.

Fungus and Wood Rot

Wood rot occurs when fungi breed on a wood surface, which can only happen if the wood is wet. Any type of fungus needs a few things to live: water, oxygen, and food. And the type of fungi that wear down wood get their food source from the carbohydrates therein. There are three basic types of wood rot—brown rot (or dryrot), white rot, and soft rot—and all three are caused by the presence of moisture, oxygen, and a food source. The only difference is in the appearance and the effect on the wood. Brown rot, for example, causes the wood to turn dark brown and eventually crumble. White rot leaves wood with a soft spongy feeling.

Installing a Dehumidifier

All wood contains the carbohydrates lignin and cellulose, so you cannot prevent wood rot by choosing different building materials. You can’t take away the oxygen either, which is why removing moisture from the air is the best mode of prevention. And a whole-home dehumidifier is the best way to reduce moisture levels in the home.

Dehumidifiers remove moisture much like central air conditioners do. The blower fan draws in the indoor air and moves it across a coil where moisture collects as condensation. The major difference is that it’s far more efficient to run a whole-house dehumidifier than to keep the AC on at all times. A dehumidifier can make the air in your home feel more comfortable and help people to cool down. It can also keep mold from developing, a fungus which does not directly cause wood rot but can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Allow the professionals at Astro Air Inc. to install your new dehumidifier in Wellington, and gain some control over your home comfort and stability. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.