Archive for September, 2012

Is Your Thermostat Accurately Maintaining Indoor Temperatures?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Whenever a problem develops with your Wellington FL air conditioning system or heating system, the first thing you do is call for repairs, but more often than not, the problem is actually related to the thermostat. That simple device on your wall can make your HVAC system essentially inoperable if it does not accurately measure and maintain the temperature in your home. If you notice a drop in heating or cooling in your home, consider the following issues and whether they may be the root problem.

  • Settings – Is your thermostat set to the right temperature? You can check for calibration issues by simply turning up or down your thermostat to see if it has the desired effect. If your system won’t turn on, crank up your thermostat and if it still doesn’t turn on, either your system is broken or the thermostat needs to be replaced.
  • Mode – Many thermostats have different mode settings – check to make sure yours is in the right heating or cooling mode and that it will work properly to match the specific needs of your home’s heating and cooling systems.
  • Accuracy – Sometimes, a thermostat is simply inaccurate or doesn’t trigger when it should. This can be due to a thermostat issue at the HVAC system as well, so the best way to be sure is to have a professional visit and perform a thorough inspection of your entire system.

If you are having issues with your thermostat, consider having it upgraded and replaced with a new digital programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to set the temperature when you are not home and reduce how much cooling or heating you use on a daily basis. You might also consider having a zone control system installed that will separate your home into separate zones and reduce heating or cooling based on where people are during the day. Regular thermostat maintenance should also be performed to ensure yours continues to work accurately over time.

For air conditioning service in the Wellington FL area, give Astro Air Inc. a call!

Why Replace Your Indoor and Outdoor AC Components at the Same Time

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Do you need to replace one of the main components of your Wellington split AC system? If so, you are probably tempted to just replace whichever unit is failing in order to fix the problem quickly and cheaply. This is not always the best way to go, however. Here are six reasons why you should replace both the indoor and outdoor units at the same time.

 #1: Cost

Although replacing just the failing component – whether indoor or outdoor – will be less expensive up front, that choice often proves more costly overall. You will see just what that means in the rest of these reasons.

 #2: Advances in design

Heating and cooling technology is always advancing, so since you purchased your AC system, the products on the market have gotten quieter, more efficient and better overall. By replacing just the failing indoor component, you won’t reap all the benefits of this new technology, as the older outdoor component will still lag behind the times.

#3: Higher efficiency

When both units are replaced at the same time, and with models that have the same technology, they work together more efficiently. That means more savings on your bills and a more comfortable home.

 #4: Matched system

Split AC systems are designed such that the indoor units are engineered to work best with a matching outdoor unit. When the system is matched, you get optimum performance and efficiency. By replacing just one component, you lose the benefits of that matching, meaning degraded efficiency and performance.

 #5: Warranty considerations

A new system means new warranty coverage. Replacing both units at once means a whole new warranty that covers your whole cooling system, so you won’t have to worry about paying for any more replacements jobs for a long time.

 #6: Wear and tear

Finally, think about the wear and tear your air conditioning system has undergone since it was installed. Maybe only your outdoor unit needs to be replaced now, but since your indoor unit has tolerated the same number of hours of use, it may be on its way out sooner than later. It’s like when you buy new tires for your car– you don’t buy one or two, you buy a whole set of four so that the whole system starts fresh. That way you only do it once, and not again in six months or a year.

For all these reasons, replacing both components of a split system is often the best and least expensive route to choose when replacing your Wellington air conditioning system. Call Astro Air Inc. today if you are interesting installing a new air conditioning system!

How to Calculate Duct Size for an AC System

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Duct sizing is a complex process using one of three methodologies. The goal of duct sizing is to provide the perfect space through which heated and cooled air can travel around your home. Ducts should provide ample air flow to keep you comfortable without overworking your Boca Raton air conditioning system or costing you an arm and a leg on your energy bill.

Methods Used for Sizing

There are three methods used for most modern duct sizing. The first is the Velocity Method. The velocity method takes into account the speed at which air flows through the ducts based on their general size. A series of equations is used to determine this, including duct cross sectional area, air flow rate and air speed. A much more detailed breakdown is available on the EngineeringToolbox.com for those interested in the math behind the process.

In general though, the velocity method allows contractors to determine the appropriate size and layout of ducts based on their application (residential, commercial, industrial or high speed) and their position (main or branch ducts).

Contractors may also use the Constant Pressure Loss and Static Pressure Recovery methods to design ductwork for your HVAC system. The constant pressure loss method tends to result in more components but provides a more accurate reading of the actual pressure loss in the system based on the materials used and the layout of your ductwork.

Static pressure recovery focuses on ensuring the same pressure level is achieved at all vents and inlets for the system. It is probably the most complicated sizing method, however, so it is rarely used for residential installations.

Simplifying the Process

Were we to break down the process into its core components, this is what a contractor would do when sizing your duct work:

  • Determine CFM for Each Room – using the Manual J for load calculations, they would determine the CFM. This is based on the (Room Load/House Load) x Equipment CFM. The entire house must be measured and load calculations completed before this can be done.
  • Friction Loss Rate – Friction loss rate is the (Available Static Pressure x100 / Effective Length).
  • Duct Sizing – Finally, the contractor will use a chart or software to select ductwork based on the friction loss and CFM calculated in the first two steps.

The goal of all of this math is to ensure that the system installed is exactly as large as is necessary to distribute heated or cooled air to the entire house. Incorrect measurements result in improper delivery of that air and a system that doesn’t quite get the job done. For more tips on ductwork or air conditioning installation in Boca Raton, give Astro Air Inc. a call!

Air Conditioning Service Reviews

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

AC Repair Reviews | Boynton Beach | Astro Air Inc.“They did maintenance on our AC. They did a good job. I was very happy with the work they, so we will be using them again this summer.”
-D. Lader of Boynton Beach, FL

“Steve Castillo was very helpful in educating me about A/C units. Thanks to him, I think I got just what I needed. The installation took place when they said it would, took as long as they said it would, and was no trouble for me in any way. The unit is working in the way I expected, it is much quieter, and maintains the set temperature without a lot of on and off and runs very quietly. I expect also for the quality of air in my domicile to improve, but it is too soon to tell about that.”
-T. Dunn of Boynton Beach, FL

 

Astro Air Inc. has been a trusted provider of air conditioning services in South Florida for over 25 years. We specialize in air conditioning, air filtration, and heating systems. If you are looking for residential or commercial air conditioning services in the Palm Beach and North Broward County area give Astro Air Inc. as call today!

Call today for these services and more:

  • Boynton Beach AC Repair
  • West Palm Beach AC Installation
  • Wellington Air Filtration
  • Coral Springs Furnace and Heating Services

Things to Look for in a New Central Air Conditioning System

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

When it comes time to buy a new air conditioner in Coral Springs, there are a lot of factors to consider. Beyond the obvious issues like cost, you need to consider how that system will operate once installed. What factors are most important to you? Control? Comfort? Cost? Here are some things to consider when selecting your new air conditioner.

  • SEER – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating measures the efficiency of your cooling system during a typical hour. To calculate this number, we divide the total BTUs of cooling produced by the watt/hours of electricity consumed during that hour. So, the higher your SEER rating, the less electricity is used to produce the same amount of cooling. Standard SEER ratings are between 11 and 15 these days, but some high end units have SEER ratings of up to 20.
  • Controls – How much control do you want of your system? Many air conditioners these days come with multiple speeds, allowing you to control the air flow as well as the amount of energy consumed by the device in cooling. Do you want it to constantly blow at 100% or would you like it to run at 50% to reduce consumption. Another option available in central air conditioners is zone control, allowing you to determine which rooms receive cooling with separate thermostat settings.
  • Dehumidification – Air conditioners are dehumidifiers by default, but not every system offers the same degree of humidity control. Some simply remove moisture as part of their regular operation. Others have more advanced controls to provide specific humidity control throughout the year.
  • Sound Dampening – Newer models have sound dampening features like insulation and vibration isolation to reduce sound. These are also great for weather protection and help to maintain your system for more years.
  • Refrigerants – Most new air conditioners now use the R410-A refrigerant which will be required in all new units starting in 2020, but there are some lower cost units still using R-22. Check to make sure you have the environmentally friendly coolant offered by newer models.

A good central air conditioner will keep your family cool and comfortable for years to come so make sure to do your research and choose a model that fits your needs in advance. If you’re not sure about any one feature, a Coral Springs air conditioning company can help you make your decision.  Call Astro Air Inc. today to learn more!