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.

What’s Inside the Condenser Unit of Your Air Conditioning System?

August 6th, 2014

While you certainly notice the large outdoor unit of your air conditioner every time you pass by, you may not think much about how exactly it helps cool your home. But the outdoor condenser unit contains the most important components of your AC unit, and you should take extra care to ensure that nothing keeps it from running smoothly and efficiently all summer long.

The outdoor condenser unit contains several key components of your air conditioner. In this post, we’re going to look at two of the most important features of the refrigeration process: the compressor and the condenser. Refrigerant cycles throughout your indoor and outdoor units, absorbing heat from your home and releasing it outdoors. The compressor and condenser are part of the heat release process and, if they are not in excellent working condition, you may feel no cool air in your home at all.

Compressor

Before refrigerant reaches the compressor, it absorbs heat from your home at the evaporator, leaving the indoor unit as a low-pressure gas. At the compressor, the molecules of the gas are compressed, and the increased pressure allows it to flow into the condenser coil to continue the refrigeration cycle.

For an air conditioner to cool your home, refrigerant must be able to change easily from a gas to a liquid, and, without a working compressor, this cannot occur. If a component of your air conditioner is not working properly, your compressor may become overworked, and compressor damage can lead to very costly repairs or replacement.

Condenser

At the condenser, heat releases into the air so that the thermodynamic process can continue. The condenser is a set of coils through which refrigerant travels, changing from a gas to a liquid and giving up heat in the process. In order for this process to occur, a condenser fan blows the outdoor air over the coil, and the heat released during condensation moves outside.

All parts of your air conditioner require regular maintenance to continue to work correctly and run efficiently. When you need air conditioning services in Palm Beach, FL trust the experts at Astro Air Inc. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

Hissing Noises Coming From Your AC in Boynton Beach

July 30th, 2014

As your air conditioner turns on, the humming sound you hear both indoors and out is often comforting. Soon, the heat in your home will be replaced with cool air, and you can relax knowing your air conditioner is working exactly as it should. But when you hear strange noises at the outside or inside unit of your AC, you should call a technician immediately to prevent further problems.

One of the most common noises homeowners hear in their air conditioning is a hissing noise. This may only be a minor disruption, and you may continue to receive some cool air, but it indicates damages that could cause your entire unit to fail.

Hissing noises are most often a sign of a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is meant to stay at a constant level at all times. If this level ever changes, you may only hear a hissing noise or feel limited cooling, but the problem can worsen. The compressor is sized to handle a certain load of refrigerant, and this component may fail if the “charge,” or level, of refrigerant becomes too low.

Refrigerant will never dissipate on its own. If the hissing sound is indoors, outdoors, or anywhere along the refrigerant line, you most likely have a leak due to corrosion or a loose connection. If you have a heat pump, an extremely efficient source of air conditioning in Boynton Beach, you may have a leak in the reversing valve. This valve allows you to choose between heating and cooling with the same system, reversing the flow of refrigerant. A refrigerant leak in this component may be a source of hissing.

However, don’t attempt to diagnose or repair problems such as this on your own. Only qualified air conditioning technicians are trained to handle refrigerant. Furthermore, this noise may also indicate a leak in the ductwork or a compressor leak. The technicians at Astro Air Inc. are trained to recognize low refrigerant and other problems with your air conditioner, even before you begin to hear strange noises. For air conditioning repair in Boynton Beach, call us now!

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!