IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for November, 2013

Why Will My Heat Pump Only Blow Cold Air?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

For comfort all through the year in Florida, a heat pump offers benefits that few other systems can match: effective air conditioning during the long summers, and the right amount of heating during the short and mild winters.

Since you expect a heat pump to act as both an AC and a heater, it’s a serious problem if it stops doing one or the other. If your heat pump is only blowing cold air, you need to look into it to see if it requires repairs from a professional company like Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. If you can’t get your heat pump to give you warmth when you need it, call on us for excellent heat pump repair in Trinity, FL.

What’s wrong with my heat pump?

Here’s something to keep in mind when dealing with any problem with your heat pump: it uses the same process—heat exchange through cycling of refrigerant—for both heating and cooling. To change from one to the other, the heat pump alters the direction of the refrigerant’s flow. If either the heating or cooling function fails, it may indicate a problem with the system’s ability to change the direction of the flow of refrigerant.

First, however, make sure you have the thermostat set correctly. See that you have it turned to heating and not cooling mode. Check over the programming: perhaps you have accidentally set it to turn on at too low an indoor temperature and it isn’t receiving the signal to switch over to heating. The thermostat may also have a miscalibration, which means it will sense incorrect temperatures and not switch to heating.

However, if the thermostat appears to be working accurately, then the likely reason the heat pump is stuck in cooling mode is that the reversing valve inside its cabinet is broken. The valve is what makes a heat pump different from a standalone air conditioner: it changes the flow of the refrigerant. The valve is either in a relaxed or excited state; an electric current changes it from one to the other. Whether the excited state turns the heat pump to heating mode or the relaxed state does depends on individual manufacturers. However, any failure of the valve will keep the heat pump locked in one mode.

It needs the training and tools of a professional in HVAC repairs to replace a broken reversing valve. If you think you need to have the reversing valve in your heat pump replaced, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We’ll send one of our NATE-certified technicians to give you the heat pump repair in Trinity, FL that will put your system back to the heating mode you want for the rest of the winter.

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Top 3 Reasons to Schedule Duct Cleaning in New Port Richey

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We’ll be honest: there are a lot more exciting things to spend your money on then duct cleaning. Yet here in New Port Richey, duct cleaning is a necessary part of maintaining your household. It takes a professional technician and a few hours to perform properly, but the results are invariably worth it: not only for you and your family, but for your house as well. Here are the top 3 reasons to schedule duct cleaning in New Port Richey.

  • It improves the quality of your indoor air. Ducts can build up a considerable amount of dust and dirt over time, which get distributed through your household whenever you run the heater or air conditioner. It can exacerbate allergies for sensitive people in your household, as well as irritating the nose and throat for everyone. A duct cleaning can prevent that kind of health issue, as well as cutting down on the amount of dusting you need to do.
  • It keeps your heater and air conditioner running as they should. Dirt and other build-up can interfere with the functioning of your HVAC system, reducing air flow and forcing the system to work harder to properly condition the air. Cleaning the ducts will restore air flow and ensure that your system is functioning as efficiently as it can.
  • It cuts down on mold. Here in Florida, humidity can breed mold and bacteria in hidden spaces like ducts. This can pose even more of a health hazard than dust, as well as interfering with the functioning of your HVAC system in some circumstances. A duct cleaning can help keep your home clear of these types of contaminants.

Here on the Gulf Coast, you can count on Ierna’s Heating & Cooling to provide outstanding duct cleaning services. We handle New Port Richey, FL duct cleaning service with courtesy and professionalism, and can provide more solid reasons to schedule duct cleaning a regular basis. Pick up the phone and call us to schedule a consultation. We’ll show you what we’re all about!

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What Is the Reversing Valve in a Heat Pump?

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Whenever we describe the operation of a heat pump to our curious customers at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling, we always start by emphasizing the similarity between a heat pump and a stand-alone air conditioner. Because a heat pump essentially is an air conditioner. Air conditioners cool homes by moving heat from inside and transferring it outside. This process is called heat exchange. A heat pump operates from the same principle and mostly the same mechanisms: it moves heat from one place and puts it in another. However, a heat pump can change the direction of heat exchange, so that during cold weather, it moves heat from the outdoors and puts in inside your home. This is why a heat pump in Lutz, FL is such a fantastic option for your home comfort: you get a heater and an air conditioner in a single unit.

However, we have to emphasize the “mostly” part when we say that a heat pump uses “mostly the same mechanisms” as an AC. A heat pump has a few extra parts that allow it to reverse the direction of heat exchange. It needs another expansion valve, and it needs a reversing valve.

The reversing valve

In a heat pump, a reversing valve controls the direction of the flow of refrigerant. Refrigerant is the chemical mixture that allows for the heat exchange to occur. If the refrigerant flows in a different direction, it causes a switch in the function of the indoor and outdoor coils, and this changes whether heat leaves or enters your house.

The reversing valve sits on the refrigerant line, and has two states: energized or relaxed. When a current is applied to the reversing valve in the relaxed state, it becomes energized and switches the flow of refrigerant. Whether the energized state produces heating or cooling is something the manufacturer sets and isn’t shouldn’t concern the consumer.

In fact, consumers shouldn’t concern themselves with the reversing valve at all: if it fails, only an expert technician can replace it. If your heat pump has lost the ability to do half of its job, then the problem may involve the reversing valve or another malfunctioning component—and you’ll need an HVAC specialist like those at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling to figure out which and make the proper repairs and adjustments.

Heat pumps are superb ways to get comfort in Florida weather. You don’t want your heat pump in Lutz, FL to fail at one of its tasks, whether it’s cooling or heating. Contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling when you detect trouble with your heat pump, and whether it’s a faulty reversing valve or another problem, we’ll fix it for you so you enjoy year-round comfort.

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Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Hissing Sounds

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Any abnormal sound coming from your home’s air conditioning system requires expert attention ASAP. But what counts as an “abnormal” sound? If you’ve lived with your particular air conditioner for more than a month, you should already have a good sense of the noise it generates during normal operation: a steady humming from the fans, with a regular increase in volume when the compressor starts up the cooling cycle. During start-up, minor clicking noises are normal as long as the air conditioner shows no signs of struggling (“hard starting”) to get to work.

Sounds that fall outside of this small circle can be considered abnormal. A common one is a hissing noise, which can signal a number of different issues that require professional attention. For expert, NATE-certified technicians to handle your air conditioning repair in Trinity, FL, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling.

Reasons for that hissing noise

The most serious problem that might create a hissing noise is an issue in the compressor. The compressor plays a major role in providing cooling: it compresses the refrigerant that cycles through your air conditioner and making the cooling cycle possible. Without the compressor, the refrigerant won’t be able to cool your home. The hissing noise could indicate a leak in the compressor, allowing the compressed refrigerant to escape. This requires immediate attention, and the compressor will likely need replacement.

Another possibility—if your air conditioner is a heat pump that also provides warmth in cold weather—is that the reversing valve has developed a fault. This valve is responsible for changing the direction of the flow of refrigerant for the switch from heating to cooling, but in any season it can start to leak and create a hissing noise. This also will require professional repair.

Call in professionals

The complexity of a modern air conditioner (or heat pump) means that you should not attempt to handle repairs on your own. If you hear hissing, it usually means that refrigerant is escaping somewhere. You’ll need a trained professional to find out the exact problem and recharge the refrigerant to its correct level using the proper refrigerant mix.

Help isn’t far away: when you need air conditioning repair in Trinity, FL, call on Ierna’s Heating & Cooling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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