IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for April, 2012

AC Guide: Components of An Air Conditioning System

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Our Tampa air conditioning system is a modern convenience that we can easily take for granted as long as all the parts are working well.  In every unit, no matter the size, the basic process is one of extracting heat from the conditioned space and moving it to the outside, leaving cool air in its place.

This process easily divides into indoor and outdoor components.

Air Conditioning 101

Based on the principal of thermal energy which states that heat gravitates toward cooler temperatures, compounds known as refrigerants are moved through a closed loop system, repeatedly contracting and expanding between liquid and gas forms, alternately releasing and absorbing heat along the way.  The particular chemicals are selected for their abilities to transform from one state to the other at low temperatures.

While the refrigerant evaporates into a gaseous state within the looped system, it absorbs heat, removing the stale air from the space being conditioned and evacuating it to the outdoors. The warm air is pulled through ducts to meet with the cooling loop.

Ductwork

The cooled air is distributed through ducts or tubing and released into individual spaces.  Additional ductwork is required to remove the stale air and pull it back to be reconditioned as it passes over the loop containing the refrigerant.  The air is moved in both directions by a blower, usually electric and sized to handle the amount of air no matter the building.

Ductwork is also sized to handle appropriate volumes of air. To maintain efficiency, large trunks distribute along central lines to smaller ones reaching farther out. The return air is usually taken from common areas.

The grates are found in the walls, floors and often as part of the dropped ceiling. When combined with a forced air heating system, the total energy use is much more efficient.

Looped Coils

The refrigerant is enclosed in a loop where it can expand and contract to make its transformation from gas to liquid and back again.  To change into a heat-absorbing gas, it travels through the evaporating coils, an intricate series of delicate fins that meets with the ductwork to regenerate the conditioned air.

An exchange valve allows just the right amount of liquid refrigerant into the evaporator coils.  If there is too much, the tube is flooded too tightly to allow expansion of the molecules and room to attract the heat.  If too little, the process is inefficient.

AC Maintenance

When set up and maintained on a regular basis, the system functions with little attention and over sight.  To set up a maintenance appointment for your Tampa air conditioning system, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!

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AC Tip: Things You Should Never Do To Your Air Conditioner

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you have a central system air conditioning system, with proper care and maintenance, your Tampa air conditioner should last for a decade or two.  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 in the wall with a curtain.
  • Don’t think it will run forever without cleaning the fins, vents and changing the filter at least once a cooling 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–adding refrigerant should always be a task performed by a Tampa air conditioning professional.
  • Don’t remove the overload relay to force continuous running–VERY dangerous and a guarantee of damage.

Air conditioners are pretty low maintenance appliances, but a little attention goes a long way to ensure years of comfort. For any more information about how to keep your air conditioner in top working condition, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!

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Ierna’s Heating and Cooling Donates $3,500 Heating and Cooling System

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Ierna’s Heating and Cooling donated a new heating and cooling system to the family of Nelida Bagley of Land O Lakes, Florida. This is truly an example of the community working together to help each other. Part of the donation came from the proceeds of the 2012 “Bring the Heat” Chili Cook Off family event, and the rest was donated directly from Ierna’s to install the $3,500 home comfort system.

 

The donation was intended to benefit a local family in need of a heating and cooling system for their home. Nelida Bagley applied for the “Bring the Heat” donation in a particularly heart wrenching situation. Nelida and her daughter Elizabeth moved from their home in New Hampshire to care for her son, Jose, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq in March of 2004. The bomb that injured Jose left him 100% disabled.

Tampa | AC Donation | Ierna's Heating and Cooling

 

For the past three years Nelida has been renting a home and caring for her son full time. Her daughter has been earning an income to support the family. The family was finally able to purchase a home of their own this year, and Nelida wrote to Ierna’s with her wish to convert the garage into a gym for Jose’s rehabilitation therapies. The family needs a heating and cooling system so that the space can be an appropriate temperature for Jose and his therapists. Ierna’s Heating and Cooling is proud to be able to give back to the community, and happy to provide such a deserving family with the HVAC system they need. “Jose is a true American Hero. His story, experience, determination and his unbelievable will to survive has moved me. I am wholeheartedly honored to assist Jose and his family,” Says Charlene Ierna, Vice President of Ierna’s Heating and Cooling.  We wish Nelida, Elizabeth, and Jose the best of luck and hope their heating and cooling system will help bring them comfort and happiness in their new home for many years to come.

 

To learn more about Ierna’s Heating & Cooling go to: www.IernaAir.com, call (813)948-6355, or visit the company’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn pages.

Tampa | AC Donation | Ierna's Heating and Cooling

Tampa | AC Donation | Ierna's Heating and Cooling

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Air Conditioning Guide: Air Duct Components and Controls

Monday, April 16th, 2012

While the purpose of your Tampa air conditioning is to provide unobtrusive comfort, the components under the floor, behind the walls, alongside of the house or up on the roof are very real.

Basic Conditioning

Based on the principal that heat gravitates to cooler temperatures, most systems of air conditioning utilize a process of making a chemical rapidly transform from gas to liquid and back again to absorb and redistribute unwanted heat.  Known as refrigerants, these chemicals are chosen for their properties to expand and contract at low temperatures.  Pressure is added by a compressor or released in coils to accelerate the transformation.

Likewise (and more obviously), heat is produced typically by a controlled flame and transferred to the air.  In both cases, at an exchange point, the air is conditioned and blowers circulate the air to and from the rooms through the ductwork.

Ductwork

Forced air heat in many older homes have ductwork that is in bad repair. They are commonly made of metal, take up a lot of space and are prone to rattle.  The one big advantage, it was discovered, was that they were all set in place to distribute cool air as well as heat.

Advances in technology have increased the insulation capacities and decreased the sizes of ductwork so that more and more space can be treated with better value and less structural impact.  This is due in large part to the highly efficient Tampa heating and cooling systems which are available today.

Enhancing Control

Although the movement of air is fairly simple, efficiency is increased by controls that monitor, increase and decrease the amount and temperature, isolate sections and filters and adjusts humidity.  What began as a simple manual turn of a lever, technology again now makes possible fully automatic control of everything from a remote location with a smart phone.

In between are thermostats, dampers, zone controls and relay switches to accommodate all of the many varieties we have found to take care of our most basic creature comfort.

If you have any questions about your air conditioner’s components or controls, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!

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“Bring the Heat” Chili Cook Off Winners Collect $750 in Prizes!

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Tampa | Chili Cook Off | Ierna's Heating and CoolingIerna’s Heating & Cooling hosted their first annual “Bring the Heat” Chili Cook Off for the surrounding Lutz area Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 11am-2pm. This family fun event featured live music by Ferengata, a bounce house, raffles and five chili competitions that were free to the public! The chili contest had 27 entries in the competition. The event had seven celebrity judges: Clerk and Comptroller of Pasco County Dr. Paula O’ Neil, Tampa Bay Lightning’s Dave Andreychuk, Kansas City Chief’s Anthony Becht, USF’s Professor of Human Sexuality Dr. Dae Sheridan, Candidate for Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley, Bay News 9 anchor Rick Elmhorst, and Chef Ken Bolduc. Seventy-five dollar prizes were awarded for each category: Ladies Choice won by Inspector’s Best: Affordable Home Inspections, Judge’s Choice won by Team Gates: Learning Gate Community School, “Feel the Heat” (hottest) won by Team Working Women of Tampa Bay: Norie Berndt , and the “Academy Award” for the most innovative was won by Teapot Hotties: Milk N’ Honey Tea Room. The grand prize was $500.00 for the People’s Choice, won by Team Wrecked: Angela Wetherington!

The successful event had over 450 people in attendance! It was held at the new Ierna’s Heating & Cooling headquarters: 18843 US Hwy 41 North in Lutz near the old brick school house. “We are so pleased with the response from the community for our first event! Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time and we hope to make next year’s event even better,” said Charlene Ierna, Vice President of Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. True to form, Ierna’s continues to give back to the local area; proceeds from this event benefited a local family in need of a heating and cooling system for their home. While the amount raised didn’t fully cover a new system for a family, Ierna’s donated the balance of the system to stand by their promise. The family chosen will be announced on the Ierna’s Heating & Cooling Blog and Facebook page on March 15, 2012.

To learn more about Ierna’s Heating & Cooling’s community involvement go to: www.IernaAir.com, call (813)948-6355, or visit the company’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn sites/pages.


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Tampa HVAC Checklist: Year Round Maintenance Tasks

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Taking care of your Tampa HVAC system is not just your responsibility as a homeowner, it is also the best way to protect your investment and save money on utility bills. A well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently and last longer than one that is neglected, meaning big savings to you.

So what should you do to maintain your HVAC system? It doesn’t take much, but it is a year round process.

First of all, have your system inspected every year by a Tampa air conditioning  and heating professional. This is best done in the spring, when you likely won’t be using your heating or air conditioning, allowing you to get ready for the summer cooling system. During an annual inspection, a professional technician will perform routine maintenance and repairs, such as replacing air filters, tightening loose fittings, inspecting ductwork and fixing any small problems before they grow larger.

Beyond this professional walkthrough, you should also do your part to keep the whole system clean. That means doing things like:

  • Cleaning vents monthly, with either a damp rag or a vacuum hose. This gets the dust and debris out of the way so your air handler can function efficiently and you don’t breathe in pollutants and allergens.
  • During the heating and cooling seasons, inspect your air filters monthly. Clean and/or replace them when they are visibly dirty, or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Once a season, take a few hours to clean your furnace room. Sweep out any debris that could get sucked into the intake, and check to see that fitting are clean and rust-free. Similarly, clean the area around an outside air handler if you have an outdoor air conditioning or heat pump system.
  • Program your thermostat to turn heating and cooling down during the hours that no one is home.
  • Keep your home clean and clear of dust and dirt. Vacuum carpets and dust hard surfaces often. Less dust in the home means less dust in the ventilation system.

Small tasks like these have a cumulative effect on keeping your whole HVAC system running smoothly for as long as possible, which saves you a bundle in the long run. For more information about HVAC system maintenance, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call today!

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