IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for May, 2014

How do Zone Air Conditioning Systems Work?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Traditional air conditioning systems usually provide a single set temperature for the entire house. You set your thermostat to a given temperature, which will be the same in the bedroom as it is in the kitchen. But that doesn’t always work for every household. For instance, what if you’re working over a hot stove in the kitchen while your spouse wants to read or watch television in the (much cooler) bedroom? That’s where zone air conditioning comes it. It allows you to set different temperatures in different parts of the house, or even turn off the air conditioning in parts of the house you aren’t using. Zone air conditioning in Tampa makes a lot of sense, especially in larger houses, but how do zone air conditioning systems work?

Intro to Zone Air Conditioning Systems

If you have a centralized system, with a series of ducts extending from a single larger air conditioner, then the zone system entails a series of valves and shutters placed inside the ducts themselves. They divide your house into separate zones, usually separated by room, but sometimes by more generalized areas of the household. The valves are controlled by specific thermostats, allowing you to adjust the temperature in each section as you wish. These kinds of systems are usually applied as “upgrades” to existing centralized systems.

The other type of zone control system is also known as a ductless mini-split system. This occurs in homes without a centralized air conditioner. A series of individual air conditioning units is placed within each section, designed to carry a much smaller power load than a centralized system. They function the same way as the valves described above do, and are usually installed in homes which lack the capacity to support a system of ducts.

We handle zone air conditioning, Tampa is our base of operations and we won’t rest until you have all the answers you need. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

For more on how zone air conditioning systems work or to schedule an installation session, talk to the professionals at Ierna’s  Heating & Cooling.

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Proper Preparation Pays When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

With proper maintenance, your air conditioner should last a long time, but sooner or later you’re going to need to get it replaced. When you do, it doesn’t pay to go about it without planning it all in advance. Here in Tampa, air conditioning replacement services can provide you with solid advice on what’s best for your particular circumstances, and you should heed their advice whenever possible. Proper preparation pays when replacing your air conditioner. Here’s a brief overview on the reasons why.

Why Preparation is Key in Air Conditioning Replacement

In the first place, you want an air conditioner that is more efficient than your old one if at all possible. Air conditioning efficiency is rated by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. You can use a cheat sheet by purchasing a system with the EnergyStar sticker (denoting units with the highest possible rating), but improved efficiency is one of the biggest reasons to replace your air conditioner, so make sure you don’t ignore it.

Once that’s complete, focus on the cooling power of your air conditioner. This is trickier than it sounds. Obviously, if you have a unit that isn’t powerful enough for the size of your home, then it’s not going to cool your home efficiently. But if it’s too powerful, then it will engage in “rapid cycling,” or turning on and off too quickly. Air conditioners use much more power when they turn on and off than they do when they’re just running. A unit’s that’s too powerful for the space will end up costing more money in misspent energy than it saves in cooling power. Since the SEER rating can affect proper sizing, you should settle on a rating before you determine the right size.

Here in Tampa, air conditioning replacement is the purview of Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We can decide on the best system for you, and ensure that the installation itself proceeds without a hitch!

We have the experience to help you find the right AC system , and we know that proper preparation pays when replacing your air conditioner. Call us today for a consultation.

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How Does Heat Pump Installation Differ From a Central Air System?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

You may have heard the term heat pump used in conjunction with home heating and air conditioning, and you may have wondered what exactly it entails. A heat pump is no different from an air conditioner in most respects, save one. A normal central air conditioner generates hot air as well as cool air: that air is vented outside your home while the air conditioner is running. A heat pump uses that hot air to warm your home in the winter the same way it cools the home in the summer. Here in land O’ Lakes, heat pump installation can be performed by the same services that provide air conditioning repair. How does heat pump installation differ from a central air system? That depends.

In some cases, a heat pump can be installed in the same place your old central system was located. The technician simply fits the heat pump to the existing duct system and ensures that the various lines and vents are clear. In many ways, this is the ideal situation for installing a new heat pump, since it doesn’t involve any radical changes to your house. In other situations, you may need to retrofit your ducts and air handlers to handle the new system, which requires a little more work.

In cases where you don’t want to use a centralized systems, heat pumps can be installed as ductless mini split units. In these cases, your duct system is rendered inert and multiple individual heat pumps are placed in the various rooms throughout your house. This requires opening line connections between indoor and outdoor components, ensuring electrical connections are secure and similar installation steps. It may not be the right choice for your home, but if you lack the space for a centralized system it could be just what you need.

We work throughout Land ‘O Lakes, heat pump installation is part of our core service and we can discuss your options with you to determine the best choice for your home. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

If you know how heat pump installation differs from a central air system, the next step is to call upon the experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for help.

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Why Ice on Your Coils Indicates a Need for Air Conditioning Repair

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Ice and frost appearing along the evaporator coil of an air conditioner often confuses people. It seems like it shouldn’t happen… but the cool air coming the system makes it feel like it couldn’t be that much of a problem.

Yet ice on an air conditioner is a serious problem, and one that needs the immediate assistance of HVAC technicians. In Wesley Chapel, FL, air conditioning repair from the experienced staff of Ierna’s Heating & Cooling will remove frost from your AC and fix the trouble that started it.

Ice on the coils and why it needs repair

There are a number of causes for the development of ice and frost along the coils. These are the most common:

  • Clogged air filter
  • Dirty evaporator coil
  • Lowered refrigerant charge

In each case, the evaporator coil loses its ability to effectively absorb heat. This prevents the cold refrigerant moving through the coil from warming up, and subsequently the moisture that condenses along the coil will freeze.

Once ice begins to form along the coil, it further blocks heat absorption and initiates a downward cycle where even more ice forms. Without remedy, the entire coil will eventually have a block of ice covering it, completely halting heat exchange and preventing the air conditioner from providing any cooling. (The mass of ice can also permanently damage the coil.)

A clogged air filter is the most frequent cause of icing, but also one that is easily preventable. Make sure you change the filter once a month while the air conditioner runs regularly (i.e. most of the summer) and you shouldn’t encounter a problem from the evaporator coil receiving insufficient warm air. If ice starts to form, change the filter first, but still call for repairs to help defrost the coil and check that another malfunction isn’t creating the situation.

A grime-covered evaporator coil will also require professional repairs; in order to properly clean the coil, it must first be removed from the unit, and this calls for the work of a trained technician. Keep in mind that simply scraping off the ice will not solve the problem.

Loss of refrigerant charge is the most serious cause of icing. Not only will it start the ice development across the coil, it will change the pressure inside the system and damage other components. The compressor—the heart of the AC—is at particular risk, since the refrigerant will no longer cool it down adequately and the component may overheat and burn out. You must call for repairs if you suspect a refrigerant leak is lowering its charge (a hissing sound is one of the warning signs). Professionals will locate the leaks, seal them, check for compressor damage, and then recharge the refrigerant to its correct level.

Don’t freeze up when ice appears

If you dismiss the appearance of ice on your air conditioner, you will put the whole system in jeopardy. This is a case where an AC sends an obvious sign that it needs repair work, so schedule air conditioning repair in Wesley Chapel, FL.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has 24-hour emergency service, so we’re always prepared to de-ice and restore your air conditioner the moment you see the first sign of frost.

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Electrical Problems and Air Conditioning Repair

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Air conditioners run off electricity; some of the more common repair needs they can encounter are due to electrical failures. Some of these repairs are simple ones that will only take technicians a short time to fix. Others can lead to catastrophic troubles within the system. The good news is that the sooner you call for repairs, the less likely the electrical issue will become a major one.

Here are some of the more common electric problems in an air conditioner that can lead to repair needs. Keep a close watch for any signs of an AC malfunctioning so you can call right away for the necessary help you need from professional technicians.

For fast service and quality air conditioning repair in Trinity, FL, contact the NATE-certified technicians at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. You can reach us 24-hours a day to solve whatever trouble threatens your summer cooling.

Some common electrical troubles

  • Failing capacitors: Capacitors are cylindrical electrical components that send voltage to the motors to start them moving and then keep them running. Each motor will have a separate start and run capacitor. If the capacitors begin to wear down or suffer from excess voltage, they can fail and will need replacement. If you hear a clicking noise from the air conditioner cabinet, it usually means one of the capacitors is failing. Call for repairs before you lose the compressor or the fan.
  • Open or stuck relays: Relays transmit electrical power to the motors. If one of the relays becomes forced open (this can happen in outdoor units because of debris infiltration) it will prevent the motor from turning on. If a relay becomes sealed shut, then the motor will run constantly. Whenever an AC refuses to come on, or refuses to shut off, then an electrical relay issue is one of the likely causes.
  • Frequently tripped circuit breakers: If turning on your air conditioning causes circuit breakers to trip regularly, then for some reason the system is demanding too much power, which could come from faulty wiring or problems in the motors. The AC may not be properly matched to your home’s voltage. (The issue could be outside of the air conditioner, however, such as a fault with the circuit control board.) Have experts look into the system and find out the problem.

Do not troubleshoot electrical problems yourself

Although some electrical issues are not difficult for trained professionals to correct and will only take a short time to remedy, do not make the mistake of trying to get the work done on your own. You can run the risk of electrical shock, and may also cause additional damage. In the case of replacing components such as capacitors, it requires experts to match up the new units with the voltage requirements of the air conditioning system.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has a qualified staff to handle your electrical air conditioning repair in Trinity, FL. We service, repair, and maintain all makes and models.

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