Posts Tagged ‘Pompano Beach’

Common Heating Installation Questions

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Having a good heating system in Florida is necessary to stay comfortable during those cold nights in the winter. But what are some of the best systems to get installed in your home in Boynton Beach? Astro Air Inc. has put together some of the most common heating installation questions that we get.

What is The Best Heating System for Florida?

Nearly every home in Florida has an air conditioning system. Because of that, some of the most popular heating systems that we install can be installed as part of that system without having to do any kind of retrofitting. But the main idea is that you want to know that you have a good and efficient heating system that will work when you need. Here are some of the most common systems that we install here.

  • Furnace – Furnaces are one of the most popular heating options in the county. The most popular type of furnace in Florida is electric furnaces.
  • Heat Pump – Another popular option is a heat pump. Heat pumps are unique forced air systems in that they can both cool and heat your home. They tend to be popular for two reasons. Frist, because they are highly efficient. Second, you only need one system to both cool and heat your home.
  •  Electric Heating Strips – These strips are a popular choice because they require very little maintenance. They run off of the electricity that is already coming into your air conditioning system. They can be added right into your existing forced air system so the installation process is pretty simple.

What is the Most Energy Efficient Heating System for My Home?

This will obviously very drastically depending on exactly where your home is and how you use the heating equipment. But if you have an older heating system in your home, it is generally accepted that a newer heating system will be more efficient.

If you have any other questions about the heating system in your home in Boynton Beach, call Astro Air Inc.. We can help you pick out a good heating system for your home and install it quickly for you. We pride ourselves in our workmanship and in our customer service. Give us a call today to talk with one of our certified heating technicians.

What Does an Air Handler Do?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Your South Palm Beach air conditioning system is a complex system filled with vital components tasked with keeping you comfortable. One of the most important of those component is the air handler – the device responsible for circulating the heated or cooled air produced by your system through the vents in your home and into each of your rooms.

The air handler is a metal box, usually consisting of a blower and the heating or cooling elements. It might also include dampers and sound attenuators along with an air filtration and humidity control system. The simplest air handlers are designed only to transfer the heated or cooled air to the various parts of your home, while the most advanced devices are designed to perfectly condition and clean that air as it is circulated.

 Types of Air Handler

There are a few different types of air handler as well, depending on the size of your South Palm Beach HVAC system and the nature of the heating and/or cooling used. Most homes, for example, use terminal units which consist of just an air filter, blower and coil. This very simple system is all you really need to heat and transmit air through your ductwork.

However, for larger systems, there are also makeup air units which use outdoor air instead of recirculated indoor air. There are also packaged and rooftop units which are designed to be placed outside. These devices are most commonly used for commercial applications when space is limited.

How the Air Handler Works

An air handler’s most basic component is a blower fan. This device is run by an AC electric motor and can be either single speed or variable speed depending on the size and scope of your air handler. The dampers on the fan will control the flow rate of the air going through the blower fan. Most residential blowers are part of the air conditioning or furnace system, while commercial systems often have multiple blowers to maintain steady airflow for a larger space.

Because an air handler passes all of the air that will go through your vents, it is the best place to install high quality MERV or HEPA filters to remove pathogens and contaminants. It is also a good place to install humidity control devices to either raise or lower humidity depending on the time of the year.

Your air handler is an incredibly important component in your South Palm Beach home heating and cooling system. Without it, all that heated and cooled air you pay for each year wouldn’t reach you. So, make sure to keep your system in tip top condition by scheduling a maintenance visit with Astro Air Inc. today!

Things You Should Never Do To Your Air Conditioner

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Whether it’s a large central system on the side of the house or a small unit in the window, with proper care and maintenance, your West Palm Beach air conditioner should last for quite a while.  Sometimes, however, people can do simple things which, in retrospect, should have obviously been avoided.

Some examples:

  • Don’t block the air intake–air is vital to the process, so laying anything over the unit (a towel or clothes to dry) will significantly strain the motor.  Always make sure there is enough clearance.
  • Don’t block the vents–likewise in a home, it is easy to move a sofa or lay an area rug over a grate in the floor or cover an unsightly vent;
  • Don’t think it will run forever without cleaning the fins, vents and changing the filter at least once a heating season;
  • Don’t leave the units exposed in winter–always cover when not in use for long periods of time;
  • Don’t bury the condensate drain in the ground–in central units it is vital that the drain is left with a clear flow away from the house;
  • Don’t install the central unit on the ground–there are pre-made pads or mix up a little concrete and have the satisfaction of pouring a nice little pad yourself (and you can write your name in it too).
  • Don’t steam clean or use hot water to clean the fins–damage and corrosion can easily be caused by the heat; flush with warm water or spray.
  • Don’t overload the system with refrigerant–hire a West Palm Beach air conditioning professional to add refrigerant to your system.
  • Don’t remove the overload relay to force continuous running–VERY dangerous and a guarantee of damage.

Your West Palm Beach air conditioner is pretty much a “plug and go” appliance, but a little attention goes a long way to ensure years of comfort. Call Astro Air Inc. today so schedule your annual maintenance visit!

Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Common Air Conditioner Problems

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Air conditioners are an important part of our lives in Palm Beach. They keep us comfortable despite overbearing heat and humidity outside all summer, but because they run constantly for months and because they are such complicated pieces of machinery, they are prone to a number of problems. Here are some of the most common problems you’re likely to run into with your Palm Beach home’s air conditioner and how to solve them:

 Leaks

A common problem that many people ignore or are unaware of is refrigerant leakage. It is possible that when the system was installed, it wasn’t properly charged, but most of the time if your system is low on refrigerant, it is because of a leak. You can’t just pour more refrigerant in and call it good, though.

The leak needs to be fixed, both for health and environmental reasons. If you notice that your system is low on refrigerant or you smell something off – often like acetone, call an air conditioning professional immediately for inspection and repair.

 Sensors

An air conditioner doesn’t do you any good if the sensors don’t work properly. Improperly working sensors will fail to properly read the temperature in the home or from your thermostat. So, it might be 80+ degrees in your home but if the thermostat reads it as 72, the system won’t turn on. The air conditioner itself probably still works fine, but unless it can successfully read the temperature, you won’t get the cooling you need to stay comfortable.

Check first to see if the sensor was moved or knocked toward the evaporator coil (which will keep the temperature reading low).

 Drainage problems

Your air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier as well, producing a liquid known as condensate. This liquid usually drains from the air conditioner into a designated area away from your home. However, if the condensate drain gets clogged or if the system wasn’t properly installed, that condensate can start to build up in your home. If you notice leakage around the coils, you may need a pump to remove the condensate properly.

Properly maintaining your air conditioner can usually be done with regular maintenance each year, but if one of these problems pops up, call Astro Air Inc and get them fixed right away.

Air Conditioning Tip: Different Types of Refrigerants Used in HVAC

Friday, March 30th, 2012

We have all heard the phrases like “save the planet” or “save the ozone layer.” Up until the 1960s there wasn’t a lot of attention paid to the disintegrating protective ozone layer around the Earth’s surface. Since then, ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) have been seen as the ozone-depleting culprit and new laws regulating the use of CFCs have had a direct impact on heating and cooling (HVAC) systems.

The “lifeblood” of any Boynton Beach air conditioning and heat pump system is its refrigerants – a chemical used in the refrigeration cycle. For several decades, the “refrigerant of choice” in HVAC systems has beenHCFC-22, also known as R-22. The problem is, HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are harmful to the ozone layer because they contain ozone-destroying chlorine.

Because of this, the use of R-22 is being slowly phased out from usage in HVAC systems. The Clean Air Act of 1970 has provisions in it to phase out HCFC refrigerants. As a result, chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce, and companies will no longer be able to import, R-22 for use in new air conditioning equipment (effective this year),  but they can continue production and import of R-22 until 2020 for use in servicing existing equipment. So, R-22 should continue to be available for all systems that require R-22 for servicing for many years to come.

But the “new kid on the block” replacing R-22 has been getting up a head of steam for several years now. Among the new alternative refrigerants recommended by the U.S. EPA is R-410A, a blend of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that does not contribute to depletion of the ozone layer, but, like R-22, contributes to global warming. R-410A is manufactured and sold under various trade names, including GENETRON AZ-20®,SUVA410A®, Forane® 410A, and Puron®.

There are several other substitute refrigerants going by the names of R-407C, HFC-134A, and R-422C. A complete list can be found at www.epa.gov.

According to the U.S. EPA, homeowners with existing units using R-22 can continue to use R-22 since there is “no requirement to change or convert R-22 units for use with a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant.” And it is important to note that R-407C is allowed for retrofits but R-410A is not, due to its higher working pressures. Substitute refrigerants would not work well with existing components unless a retrofit was made or in the case of using R-410A, a complete system changeout.

One of the leading causes for Boynton Beach air conditioner and heat pump failure are lower levels of refrigerant. If you are working on your own equipment, it is important to note that replacing refrigerants like R-22 and R-410A should only be done by certified HVAC professionals. You must show EPA certification to purchase these refrigerants.

If you are interested in “saving the planet” you might do well to give the boot to yourHCFC-consuming appliance. If you have any questions about your home’s air conditioner, please give Astro Air Inc. a call today!