What Is the Purpose of Refrigerant in an Air Conditioning System?

April 13th, 2015

When an air conditioning system will not cool your home down properly, you may hear somebody tell you: “Maybe it just needs more refrigerant.” Refrigerant (often referred to by a brand name trademarked by Dupont—Freon) is a chemical blend used in the refrigeration process. This fluid has excellent thermodynamic properties which allow it to absorb heat with ease and go through phase transitions. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Improve the Performance of Your Air Conditioning System

April 6th, 2015

An air conditioning system is only as good as its parts, so it’s important to keep the parts in top condition if you want your unit to last for years to come. Follow the three tips in today’s guide if you want your air conditioner to run efficiently, perform better, and potentially live a little bit longer than the average unit.

Change the Air Filter Regularly

Many people associate the air filter primarily with indoor air quality control. While an air filter does help to eliminate pollutants from the air, it also filters out contaminants that could otherwise damage your air handler. And if you let the air filter become too clogged with dirt and debris, it can do more harm than good. A clogged filter blocks airflow to the air handler, which is designed to take in a certain amount of air. With an airflow shortage, the inside coil may freeze, so be sure to change this approximately every 2 months.

Add In Insulation

A common misconception about insulation is that it is most effective in cooler climates. Insulating materials slow the transfer of heat, so that heat cannot escape from the home easily in the wintertime. But here in Florida, we’re more concerned with how insulating materials help to keep heat out of the home. Adding insulation to your attic, in particular, can prevent unwanted attic heat from penetrating your living space, which means you can save money by running your air conditioner for shorter amounts of time.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

Professional maintenance includes a complete tune up of your system that can improve the quality of your air conditioning system. Adjusting and cleaning some of the most vital components improves your unit’s ability to transfer heat. This means it runs more efficiently, cooling your home faster and running into fewer problems over time. Most professionals recommend AC maintenance once every year.

Contact the friendly air conditioning technicians at Astro Air Inc. for air conditioning services in Boynton Beach, FL, including insulation, maintenance, and repairs.

3 Tips to Keep Your Air Conditioning System in Top Shape

April 2nd, 2015

An air conditioning system is a big investment, but it’s nearly a necessity here in West Palm Beach, FL. You want your investment to last as long as possible, while using up as little energy as it can, so that you can get the most bang for your buck. When your air conditioning system runs throughout the summer, however, it can run into a number of problems. The parts wear down and are more likely to need repair at some point. They also use up more energy, and you may notice your bills shoot upwards significantly in the summer.

An air conditioning breakdown is inevitable after several years of use, but you can prolong its lifespan, keep repairs at bay, and improve the efficiency of your unit by following a few simple air conditioning maintenance tips. When you do find that your air conditioner is not performing at its best, trust in the expertise of the technicians at Astro Air Inc.

  • Change Your Filter – The air filter in your air conditioning system helps to keep you from breathing in the harmful contaminants that may otherwise circulate through your ducts. When this becomes too clogged, the fan has to work harder to suck in air from your home, using more energy and leading to further repairs. Change or clean your filter every 1 to 3 months, depending on usage, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Find an Efficient Thermostat Setting – Raising the temperature of your thermostat just a couple of degrees can lower your bills by more than you might expect. But if you’re unwilling to compromise with the temperature, try programming the thermostat to raise to a higher temperature while you’re away and lower again shortly before you arrive home.
  • Schedule AC Maintenance – Schedule maintenance with a professional contractor at least once a year if you’d like your unit to run in top condition throughout the season. An air conditioning maintenance visit includes a thorough inspection and cleaning and adjusting some of the most important components.

Call the professionals at Astro Air Inc. for a complete air conditioning maintenance checkup in West Palm Beach, FL today.

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.