Signs You Should Consider AC Replacement in Tampa

February 27th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

As we head out of winter toward spring, now is the ideal time to assess whether or not your current AC system in Tampa needs replacement. There are a number of factors to review when considering the replacement of your existing air conditioner, and of course, you can always (and should) seek the assistance of an Ierna’s Heating & Cooling expert to help you determine whether or not it’s time to install a new AC. What are some factors to consider? Here are a few examples:

  • Your current air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant (Freon) – as you may very well know, R-22 refrigerant, better known by its brand name Freon, is being permanently phased out. In fact, Freon will no longer be produced at all by 2020, even for repairs. As such, if your current AC uses Freon, you will have to replace your system in the imminent future anyway. Why wait until the last minute? Get ahead of the crowd and help lower your repair costs by scheduling replacement now.
  • Your AC is more than ten years old – there are two reasons why the decade mark is important for an air conditioner: first, the average lifespan of a traditional air conditioner is 10-12 years, and second, the federal laws regarding SEER ratings were updated in 2006, which can mean you are operating a system that is not very energy efficient. High age and low energy efficiency can have a negative impact on your overall AC costs, so it is worthwhile to see how a replacement system can help improve your AC costs.
  • You have dealt with, or are facing, multiple repairs – reliability is a need with any whole-home system. If your AC has become unreliable and as a result, has needed multiple repairs or needs multiple repairs to keep running, you money may be better spent on a reliable, new system.

Replacing an existing AC system is a big undertaking, and the air conditioning professionals of Ierna’s Heating & Cooling are here to help you with every step of the process. Call us today and schedule an appointment for AC system replacement for your Tampa home!

Common Problems That Can Develop with Motorized Dampers

February 21st, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Zone control systems are great for conserving energy and achieving customized comfort throughout your home, but occasionally the system can encounter problems. Should a problem develop with your zone control system, it’s best to call an expert for help as the mechanized damper system can be complex. The expert’s at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling have been installing and repairing zone control systems for over 10 years, and we bring this experience to every zone control system repair we have, including the New Port Richey area.

How a Zone Control System Works

Zone control systems are actually a series of dampers installed directly into your supply ducts. Once you and your technician have established the zones in your home, the technician will install the dampers according to the zone plan. The dampers are wired to a main control panel to which each zone’s thermostat is also wired. The main control panel can then maintain each zone’s set temperature by controlling the opening and closing of each damper.

Type of Problems

Here are some of the kinds of problems that can develop with a zone control system:

Problems with a zone thermostat – thermostats can malfunction due to dust and dirt on the instrumentation, incorrect calibration or dying batteries. Thermostats should always be the first place to look when encountering problems with your zone system as thermostats are the control centers for each zone.

Problems with the dampers – sometimes the dampers of the motorized damper component can become stuck, prohibiting the damper from opening and closing as needed. A technician will know how to get into your supply ductwork to determine and repair the problematic damper.

Problems with the main control panel – the main control panel in the system is responsible for taking the information from each zone’s thermostat and controlling the operation of the dampers so that the set temperatures can be maintained. Should there be issues with wiring, electricity or anything else that can interfere with the correct operation of the control panel, problems will likely develop with the system.

As you can see, there is a level of complication to a zone control system, which is why hiring an expert for your zone control system repair in New Port Richey is always the best option.

Having problems with your zone system? Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today!

 

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

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 Ierna Heating & Cooling hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

What Is Duct Testing and Why Is It Important?

February 5th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Before warm or cool air moves into your home from the heating or air conditioning system, it first traverses through a set of ducts that should provide a clear and efficient pathway through which air can travel—in theory. Unfortunately, these ducts aren’t always designed as well as they could be. Sometimes, installation flaws account for air leaks or allow heat to escape or enter the ducts undesirably. But a duct system may also develop leaks over time due to the pressure of the air it contains every day.

Now, don’t think that this is a rare occurrence that only happens in some households. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most duct systems have major or minor leaks and flaws that account for an estimated 30% heating and cooling loss in the typical home. Any duct system can run into trouble over time, and it’s actually likely that yours is causing some issues of which you are unaware. Thankfully, you can schedule duct testing with a trained professional who can determine whether there are weak points in your ducts, the exact location of leaks, and what should be done about it.

When ducts leak air, it affects multiple areas of your home and your daily life. For one, a leaky duct system keeps you less comfortable. There are likely to be hot and cold spots around the home and your HVAC system will take longer to get the entire home to the right temperature. You’re less likely to notice the difference if the leak has progressed slowly over time (or if it’s always been there), but you may be spending hundreds more on heating and air conditioning every year than you would without any leaks at all. Furthermore, your HVAC system is working way harder than it should have to, which could mean that parts of your HVAC system will fail too soon if your duct system doesn’t receive attention.

Duct testing includes a thorough examination of your ductwork. Testing may include high-tech viewing and recording equipment, air pressure tests, and possibly a look at your HVAC equipment to determine how your ductwork may contribute to irregularities. Experts will then recommend services to correct the problem areas, including duct sealing, repairs, or even a bit of design work.

Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today to learn more about the advantages of choosing a NATE-certified team for duct testing in Tampa.

Common Problems with AC Condenser Unit

January 29th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Your air conditioning system has many components, but there are three main ones that do the lion’s share of the work: the compressor, condenser and the evaporator. Today we’re going to focus on the condenser and its role in the air conditioning process.

What Is the Condenser?

The condenser is a component housed in your outdoor unit with the compressor. When the refrigerant has been compressed, it makes its way into the condenser, where a set of coils helps the refrigerant release its heat as it flows through them. There is also a condenser fan which helps to further cool the refrigerant by sucking up the heat from the refrigerant and blowing it into the outdoor air. Without the condenser, the refrigerant would not be able to cool properly.

What Can Go Wrong with a Condenser?

There are a few things that can malfunction with a condenser and cause operational issues with your air conditioner. First, the aluminum fins of the coils are very easily bent; if a number of them are bent the wrong way, the air that needs to pass through the fins can be restricted and as a result, inhibit the cooling process. A second common problem that can develop with the condenser is dirty coils. When a layer of dirt and dust forms on the coils, it can act as an insulator that traps in the heat instead of allowing the coils to release it. In turn, this can result in warm air blowing into your home, among other problems. Refrigerant leaks are another common type of problem that can develop with the condenser. A refrigerant leak in the condenser will lower the amount of refrigerant in the system, which creates an imbalance; as such, the leak has to be repaired by an expert. Lastly, the condenser fan can develop problems: electrical issues with wiring and the capacitor, fan motor problems and/or problems with bent or loose fan blades.

The condenser is a key component to the successful operation of your air conditioner and will require the help of an expert.

The specialists at Ierna’s Heating and Cooling can handle any type of air conditioning repair you may have in Land O’Lakes, so call us today!

What Makes a Single Zone System the Best Choice for a Small Home or Room Addition?

January 22nd, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Expanding your home is a big task, and one that requires serious HVAC work. But what if you could avoid installing ductwork into your home, and still have heating and cooling that matches the rest of your home? You can, with a Mitsubishi single zone ductless system in Wesley Chapel. With a single zone system, you can add the needed heating and cooling to a new addition without having to spend thousands on extending your home’s ductwork. Or, if you have a room in your home that is notoriously too hot during summer or too cold during winter, you can easily add supplemental warm air or cold air to that space with a single zone unit.

How Does It Work?

A single zone ductless system works the same as a multi-zone system, just on a smaller scale. With a single zone, you still have an outdoor unit and an indoor blower, but you also get a wireless remote thermostat to program the heating and cooling. The in- and outdoor units are connected by a conduit through which the refrigerant flows, and when the indoor unit turns on, the heating or cooling process begins.

Special Attributes of the Mitsubishi Single Zone System

Inverter Technology

One specialized detail of the Mitsubishi Single Zone System is that it comes equipped with Inverter technology. The technology allows the speed of the compressor to work on a varied basis in accordance with heating and cooling need of the room. The result is even cooling that is energy efficient.

Extra Filtration

Most indoor ductless units come with two filters; the Mitsubishi Single Zone System comes with three. Triple filters help capture a number of airborne contaminants including allergens, viruses and bacteria.

Quiet Operation

The Mitsubishi Single Zone System has been designed with quiet in mind. The blowers have compartmentalized components which helps reduce operation noise considerably.

A single zone ductless system may be just what you need for a new expansion or intemperate room in your home, so contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today!

Common Problems Found During Routine Furnace Maintenance

January 15th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Here in Florida, it’s not too often during the course of the year that we find ourselves switching on the furnace. But once you do, you may end up discovering that it doesn’t seem to run quite as well as it once did. Your furnace probably isn’t worn down because it’s been overworked over the years. More than likely, your furnace is simply suffering because dirt and debris has built up after a lack of use, or because some of the parts are simply not in the best shape they can be. And if you keep your unit running when it’s not in top condition, you may end up damaging some vital components.

One of the ways to discover these repair needs early on is by calling a professional for heating maintenance every year. During maintenance, a technician inspects your entire system. Some adjustments can be made on the scene, while big jobs may need to be rescheduled for later. Here are some of the most common problems that the experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling.

  • Dirty Flame Sensor: The flame sensor is a safety component that detects when there is no flame present, which then sends out a signal to shut off the gas valve. If this part is too dirty, it may eventually fail to detect a flame, shutting off the gas valve so that you don’t have any heat even when there is no real threat to your safety.
  • Dirty Filter: Believe it or not, a dirty filter can contribute to a lot of problems with a furnace over the years. If the filter is too dirty, it can restrict airflow to the unit, potentially leading to an overheated chamber, or causing parts to become overworked and worn down. A technician will let you know if the filter is too dirty and may recommend beginning a schedule so that you remember to replace it every few months or so.
  • Damage to the Flue Pipe: The heating technician will do a thorough inspection of your entire unit, including the portion that helps to vent combustion gases outdoors safely. If there are any potential cracks or rust, or if the vent pipe is the wrong size, the technician may recommend replacing it.

The technicians at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling offer thorough heating maintenance in Tampa. Give us a call today!

Choosing a System for Your Light Commercial Heating Needs

January 8th, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

When running a business, no matter the size, your heating system has to be both effective and energy efficient; after all, it doesn’t serve you or your business well if most of your budget is going toward heating your commercial space. So what are your options when it comes to light commercial heating in Odessa? Here are some system choices to consider:

Packaged Unit

Packaged units come in a variety of combinations to allow you to both heat and cool your space with a single, packaged unit. The main 3 combinations include:

  • A hybrid heating system (heat pump combined with back-up gas furnace)
  • Gas furnace/whole-space air conditioner
  • Heat pump system

Working with a trained expert can help you decide what type of packaged unit will work best for your space, your employees and your business.

Split-System Heating: Two Choices

When it comes to having a split heating system, where part of the system is housed outdoors and the other is indoors, you have 2 main choices:

  • Heat pump
  • Hybrid system

With both a heat pump system and hybrid system, you have an outdoor unit that contains the condenser and compressor. The outdoor unit absorbs the available heat in the air, concentrates it, then blows the warm air into your business space. In the summer, it’s the opposite: the warm air inside is absorbed and transferred to the outdoors.

Hybrid systems take things a step further: with a hybrid system, you have a back-up gas furnace that turns on automatically when the air temperature outside reaches a certain degree, usually around the freezing mark. This is because heat pumps absorb heat from the air outdoors, and when the air becomes cold, there is less available heat to absorb. In a hybrid system, the outdoor unit is equipped with a sensor that reads the temperature, and when the outdoor air reaches the temperature you’ve pre-set, typically a few degrees above freezing, your dual-fuel thermostat automatically switches to the back-up gas furnace for heating. A second pre-set temperature setting switches the heating action back to the heat pump.

If you are having difficulty deciding what kind of light commercial heating system to install in Odessa, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Why Do I Need an Indoor and Outdoor Unit for Heat Pump Installation?

January 2nd, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

At first glance, the components involved in heat pump installation may seem a bit odd. The indoor heating unit fits right in, occupying much the same spot as any other central heating system. The outdoor unit, however, can be installed as far as 100 feet away from the house. It can be difficult to understand why that outdoor unit is necessary, as it certainly doesn’t seem to be helping to heat the home from that far away. Once you understand how a heat pump works, however, it all makes sense. Let’s examine the heat pump system, and why it needs both units.

Heat Pump Construction

As you may or may not know, a heat pump is not a combustion-based heating system. Unlike furnaces and boilers, which largely burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump merely moves heat from one place to another. This is part of what makes heat pumps so energy efficient. They only need electricity to operate, and consume no other fuel to work.

The way that a heat pump moves heat involves the indoor and outdoor units working together. Though they can be installed quite far apart, the two units are connected by a conduit that contains power and refrigerant lines. The refrigerant line is connected to a coil in each unit, which is vital to the operation of the entire system.

When the heat is turned on, the outdoor unit begins to evaporate the refrigerant in its coil. This turns the gaseous refrigerant into a heat sink, drawing thermal energy out of the air around the unit and into the coil. The refrigerant gas then carries that heat to the indoor unit, which converts the refrigerant back into a liquid. This process releases the heat, which is used to warm the air in the home.

So you see, the outdoor unit is the unit that actually provides the heat to your home. Without it, the heat pump would be a fan and not much else.

If you’d like to know more about your heat pump, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We provide heat pump installation all over Tampa.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015 by Charlene Ierna

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at IERNA’s Heating & Cooling hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.