Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

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!

Astro Air Inc. Provides Top Quality AC Service in South Florida

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

At Astro Air Inc. we have been serving South Florida for over 25 years. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and quality service. 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!

“I have been using their services for about three years. They are a
great company and have been very good. Eric, one of the service
guys, has been very great to us. Hillary and Linda in the office are
also very nice and make it easy to schedule appointments. They are
very good and give you a fair price.”

-K. Baffer of Delray Beach, FL

Customer Service | Wellington | Astro Air Inc.

“My a/c went out abruptly in late in the afternoon on a Saturday. I
called Astro Air because they were offering a discount coupon and
their reviews were positive. I spoke to Daren who explained the
possible causes and he also offered a possible solution saying he
would call back in the morning to see if I still needed an
appointment. It did not work. He called early Sunday morning and
said he would be at my house in approximately 30 minutes. He was
and the problem was diagnosed and repaired in less than an hour.
Loosing your A/C in south Florida in the summertime is never a good
experience. However, the misery was greatly reduced by the quick
and competent service provided by Astro Air.”

-G. Dobson of Wellington, FL

South Palm Beach AC Tip: Icing Problems on Air Conditioner Cooling Coils

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Air conditioning cooling coil icing problems can arise for a couple of reasons: either the air filter has not been properly replaced, or there is a condensing coil leak.  It is best to check and test the easiest problem first and then move on from there.

It is important to replace air conditioning filters as often as is recommended by the manufacturer.  A common result of not replacing filters frequently enough is a buildup of dust and dirt on the filter, which causes reduced air flow throughout your South Palm Beach air conditioning unit.  With reduced air flow, the evaporator coil or cooling coil within the air handler can become blocked by ice or frost build-up.  Having cooling coil icing can significantly reduce or completely stop the amount of cool air being produced by an air conditioning unit.

Easy steps to diagnose and resolve air conditioning cooling coil icing problems:

  • Visually inspect the air conditioning cooling coils to check whether reduced air flow has been caused by cooling coil icing.  If ice or frost is found on the coils, thus blocking air-flow, proceed with the next step.
  • Turn off the air conditioning system completely to allow ice to evaporate, the unit will have to remain off until all ice is completely melted and drained away from the unit
  • Unclog the condensate drain to ensure proper drainage of melting ice
  • Replace all dirty filters on the air conditioning unit
  • Once the a/c unit is de-iced and has fresh filters, it is safe to turn the system back on, to test whether the icy build-up happens again

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on the cooling coils do not ice-up, the unit runs normally and cool air runs smoothly through the system, congratulations!  That do-it-yourself attitude paid off; the problem has been fixed!

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on cooling coil icing happens again, this could mean one of two things.  Either too little of the refrigerant is being released into the cooling coil due to a clogged capillary tube or a stuck thermostatic expansion valve.  Or the refrigerant charge is too low due to a refrigerant leak.  A refrigerant leak can happen at any point in the refrigerant piping system which would then need to be soldered and resealed, or it can happen in the cooling coil or condensing coil which could mean the entire coil needs to be replaced.  Fixing of refrigerant leaks should be handled by a HVAC professional.  Contact an experienced South Palm Beach AC technician at Astro Air Inc. that can identify the air conditioner cooling coil icing problem and execute the proper solution.

How to Use AC Most Efficiently in Palm Beach

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Air conditioning is definitely something most of us in Palm Beach wouldn’t want to try and get through the summer without. But just because you need to run your  AC unit all summer doesn’t mean you need to suffer under unnecessarily high cooling costs.

So if you’re interested in ways to save on cooling without sacrificing comfort, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Get a Programmable Thermostat – When you come home at the end of a long day, you want your home to be cool and comfortable. But if you only have a basic thermostat, you would have to leave your air conditioning on all day in order to make this possible. Paying to cool an empty house is probably the last thing you want to do. But what is the alternative? Programmable thermostats offer the best solution in a case like this. These devices can be easily integrated into just about any home air conditioning system and they allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. That means you can have your air conditioning off while you’re not home and set it to come on a half hour or so before you get there. This way, you get the pleasure of walking into a cool, comfortable house without paying extra to keep it that way when you’re not home.
  • Incorporate Passive Cooling – The design of your home and how you use it can also have an effect on how hard your air conditioning system needs to work. Taking steps as simple as closing the blinds to block out the afternoon sun, putting up awnings and making sure that the exterior of your home is painted a lighter color to reflect sunlight rather than a darker one that will absorb it are all excellent ways to reduce the load on your air conditioner.
  • Supplement Your System – You can also take a good chunk out of your cooling bills by using things like ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner. A ceiling fan can effectively lower the indoor temperature several degrees on its own, allowing you to set your thermostat a little higher.

To learn more about how to use your AC efficiently or to schedule a service, give Astro Air Inc a call!

Top 4 Upgrades for Your Boca Raton HVAC System

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Your Boca Raton HVAC system is a trusted part of your home’s comfort system. Without it you would be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and breathing in contaminant laden air year round. So, it’s important that you install the best systems and subsystems available for your HVAC system. Here are some options to keep in mind when looking for ways to get the most from your heating and cooling.

  • Humidity Control – Don’t rely on your air conditioner to remove humidity in the summer. A dehumidifier is more energy efficient and reduces stress on your air conditioning system when the humidity gets high.
  • Air Filtration – Every air conditioning system and furnace comes with some form of air filtration, but is it enough? Standard filters are effective, but they are not always comprehensive. A good HEPA quality filter for your air handler and duct system will severely reduce the number of contaminants in your air supply and ensure that you and your family feel much better year round.
  • Ductwork Upgrades – If your ductwork is old, battered or starting to show its years, an upgrade may be in order. If nothing else, having your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis removes excess mold, dusty, pollen, debris and other pollutants that can affect your health and the quality of the air you breathe. Schedule annual cleanings of your ductwork and a biannual inspection to check for cracks and leaks.
  • Air Quality Controls – Beyond air filtration, you can upgrade your air handler’s ability to remove pollutants with a dedicated air cleaner and UV lights. These systems are installed in your air handler and/or ductwork to remove advanced pollutants like bacteria and mold and remove smaller particles including smoke, gas, and exhaust. Which system you need will depend on the level of contaminants in your home, so make sure you check with a contractor before choosing anything.

These upgrades are a great way to get more out of your Boca Raton HVAC system – in terms of both comfort and safety. Discuss your options with Astro Air Inc. today to learn more.

 

Your Boynton Beach HVAC System and Electricity

Monday, August 6th, 2012

While not every Boynton Beach HVAC system requires electricity, many of them do. Your air conditioner, water heater, and ventilation system all need access to the central power line. So what does that mean for your system and what problems should be you beware of?

How Your HVAC System Uses Electricity

How your HVAC system works depends largely on which components need electricity to operate. Here is a quick summary of how each system uses electricity:

  • Air Conditioning – Most air conditioners are electric and therefore use electricity based on the number of BTUs produced. For example, if your air conditioner produces 25,000 BTUs and has a SEER of 16, it can produce 16 BTUs for every watt of electricity consumed per hour. As a result, it consumes 1,562.5 watts per hour when the system is running at maximum capacity. If it runs at full capacity for 8 hours per day, 30 days a month in the summer, that’s 375 kilowatt hours – which is the measurement unit you’ll see on your electric bill.
  • Heating – If you have an electric furnace, that electric power is used to heat the filament in the furnace. Electricity also powers the blower fan motor which pushes air across the filament and into the air handler. An electric furnace sized to heat a 1500 square foot home can use up to 8,000 watts per hour to produce enough heat for your home. That converts to roughly 5,000 kilowatt hours per month. The current price of electricity will determine how much this actually costs, you but it can really add up quickly.
  • Ventilation – Your ventilation system is almost always going to use electricity to circulate and filter air. While mechanical filters rely on the movement of air to remove certain particles, ventilation systems have a variety of components including fans and possibly even condenser coils to conserve energy as air is exchanged between the inside and outside.

Electricity plays an important role in your Boynton Beach HVAC system no matter how your system works. To ensure yours continues to operate as intended, have your power system checked by Astro Air Inc. on a regular basis when the rest of your HVAC system is serviced.