IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

Top 4 Upgrades for Your HVAC System

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Your Tampa HVAC system is a trusted part of your home’s comfort system. Without it you would be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and breathing in contaminant laden air year round. So, it’s important that you install the best systems and subsystems available for your HVAC system. Here are some options to keep in mind when looking for ways to get the most from your heating and cooling.

  • Humidity Control – Don’t rely on your air conditioner to remove humidity in the summer. A dehumidifier is more energy efficient and reduces stress on your air conditioning system when the humidity gets high. In the winter, humidification allows your home to hold more heat, effectively increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Air Filtration – Every air conditioning system and furnace comes with some form of air filtration, but is it enough? Standard filters are effective, but they are not always comprehensive. A good HEPA quality filter for your air handler and duct system will severely reduce the number of contaminants in your air supply and ensure that you and your family feel much better year round.
  • Ductwork Upgrades – If your ductwork is old, battered or starting to show its years, an upgrade may be in order. If nothing else, having your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis removes excess mold, dusty, pollen, debris and other pollutants that can affect your health and the quality of the air you breathe. Schedule annual cleanings of your ductwork and a biannual inspection to check for cracks and leaks.
  • Air Quality Controls – Beyond air filtration, you can upgrade your air handler’s ability to remove pollutants with a dedicated air cleaner and UV lights. These systems are installed in your air handler and/or ductwork to remove advanced pollutants like bacteria and mold and remove smaller particles including smoke, gas, and exhaust. Which system you need will depend on the level of contaminants in your home, so make sure you check with a contractor before choosing anything.

These upgrades are a great way to get more out of your Tampa HVAC system – in terms of both comfort and safety. Discuss your options with Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today to learn more.

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Guide: What to Do About Cool Spots

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Sitting on your couch watching TV should be an enjoyable experience, especially after a long day at the office. But, if your Brandon air conditioner deposits an abnormally high volume of cold air directly onto your couch, making you shiver despite the 90 degree heat outside, you may have a cool spot.

Cool spots are an unfortunate side effect of modern air conditioning technology. They occur when HVAC systems are improperly sized or ductwork is improperly installed. Other factors like insulation, vent configuration or window placement can also contribute to the presence of a cool spot (and possibly some hot spots). So, what can you do about it? There are a few options, starting with a quick inspection of the space.

Checking for Common Problems

Your contractor will check a number of things. Most importantly, they’ll measure the size of your Brandon  HVAC system and compare it to the dimensions and particulars of your house. Usually, in the case of cool spots, the problem is directly related to an oversized system. When it turns on, even for a few minutes, it produces more cold air than is necessary, flooding your home with cooling. The thermostat recognizes this and the system shuts off soon after turning on. As a result, you’ll feel fluctuation between cold and warm as the system fails to properly condition the space.

Modern systems are sized for your house at 100% capacity. So, when the system turns on, it should stay on for a substantial period of time, keeping your home cool. Turning off and on frequently is bad for the system and wastes energy (plus it produces those pesky cool spots). Keep in mind that hot spots can also occur if the system isn’t powerful enough.

Your contractor will also look for vent placement and duct configuration. Improper placement of vents can lead to pooling of cool air that creates cool spots. By checking for potential problems in the layout of your HVAC system, a contractor can determine if new vents or ducts are needed to solve the problem.

Fixing the Cool Spots

For now, you may just want to move to another part of the house. Cool spots rarely affect the entire space – they tend to cluster around vents and outlets and can usually be fixed by resizing or adjusting your system. However, only your Brandon air conditioning contractor can tell you for sure what the best solution will be for your air conditioning issues so make sure to schedule an inspection with Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today!

Continue Reading

HVAC Question: What is a Heat Pump Reversing Valve?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Did you know that heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling in your Tampa home? The reversing valve is what makes this possible, read on to learn more!

In General

Functioning on the same principle as refrigerators, the heat pump uses a liquid to absorb heat as it turns into a gas and release heat as it returns to a liquid state. During the summer, the heat pump operates as a standard central air conditioner, removing heat from the house and venting it to the outside.

In the winter, the heat pump reverses this process, extracting heat from the cold air outside and releasing it inside the house. The heat pump is very efficient when the outside temperature is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but it becomes less efficient as the temperature drops.

The Heart of the Matter

The reversing valve in the heat pump switches the process from absorbing heat from the inside to evacuate outdoors like an air conditioner to extracting heat from cold temperatures outside and redistributing it indoors.  The thermal energy at play is the natural force of heat to move toward cooler temperatures, releasing energy in the shift.  Heat pumps take care of both and the reversing valve controls the direction of the flow.

The reversing valve has two states of operation: relaxed and energized.  In the relaxed state, the heat pump can be programmed to introduce either heated or cooled temperatures into the conditioned space, depending on the direction of the flow of refrigerant through the closed loop.

By applying a 24 volt charge of AC current (a low voltage typically used in HVAC systems), the valve becomes energized and reverses the flow, producing the opposite conditioning.  The reversing valve may be driven by the heat pump through the use of a control board or directly by a thermostat.

Will a Heat Pump Work in My Home?

To determine if a heat pump is right for the heating and cooling of your Tampa home, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We will determine the needs of your home and which Tampa HVAC system will work best for you and your family!

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Tip: How to Fix Wrong Sized Air Filters on Heating or Air Conditioning Systems

Monday, July 16th, 2012

If you moved into a new home or had someone change the filters on your Tampa heating or air conditioning system for you, you may notice that whoever did the job put on the wrong size filter. This is not uncommon and is usually the result of an effort to save either time or money. However, in the long run it actually costs both. Here is how you can fix the problem of a wrong size filter.

 The WRONG Way

If you have a filter that is too big for your Tampa AC system, it may seem like an easy enough fix– just fold it over or trim it down, right? Not so fast. 

Folding the filter over makes for an imperfect seal. Air will leak through and around the bend, bypassing the filter entirely. This causes dirt and debris to build up on the fan, slows down air flow, degrades performance, decreases air quality and overall makes a big mess that you will have to pay to fix or clean up later.

Bending or cutting the filter also decreases its structural integrity. The whole filter can collapse while installed, creating not just a performance issue and a potentially costly repair, but also possibly creating unsafe conditions.

Furthermore, don’t give into the temptation to run your HVAC system without a filter for the time being. The debris will quickly build up in your AC system, as well as being blown into your home. Heating and cooling systems should always be operated with the proper filter installed.

The RIGHT Way

So, what do you do when you have an air filter that is the wrong size? The only solution is to find the right size. If you are having trouble finding the right air filter for your system, try these tips:

  • Refer to your owner’s manual for the filter model number.
  • Bring the make and model information of your heating/cooling system to the store and ask someone there for help.
  • Have a professional inspect your system and replace the filter. (You should have a professional inspection once a year, anyway.)
  • For HVAC systems that are large or have special dimensions, special order custom filters to fit.

Above all, never operate your Tampa AC system without a clean, correctly sized filter properly installed. For any help with your air filters, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning FAQs: How Do I Determine the Cooling Capacity of My Central AC or Heat Pump System?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

For any type of air conditioning system in Tampa, the cooling capacity is measured in BTU’s. This is important to know if the system doesn’t seem to be adequately cooking your home, and there are many different ways to check the cooling capacity of your AC system.

1. Air Conditioning System’s Age and Serial Numbers

An air conditioner’s age will usually give you a general idea for its cooling capacity, and if you aren’t sure, you can always check the serial number. Because serial number formats vary by the year the equipment was made, you can check to see how old an air conditioner is from looking at the serial number.

The first four digits of every serial number is the week and year the unit was manufactured.  For example, the serial# 1188E53294 on a compressor unit tells us that it was made between 1980 and 1990, and to be more exact, week 11 in 1988.

2. Air Conditioner’s Model Number

You should also look at the model number for your specific model because some manufacturers also vary how they assign each number in the serial number; however, they usually stand for tonnage or MBTUH. You can always call us if you aren’t sure how to read the serial number or model number.

3. AC Equipment’s RLA Numbers

RLA stands for “Rated Load Amps,” which means that it’s the manufacturer’s rate of the cooling capacity (also known as the draw) or load while it’s operating (minus the draw when you start the system). Most air conditioning compressor or condenser units will draw 5 to 6 RLA per ton of cooling capacity. You can check the data tag on the compressor for the RLA rating; however, this will need to be translated into BTUH for the total cooling capacity.

Feel free to call one of the Tampa air conditioning experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling if you have any questions how to calculate your AC system’s cooling capacity.

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Guide: What Professional AC Maintenance Includes

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Besides the cool air, what we like most about air conditioning in Tampa is that we don’t have to do anything to still live in a cool climate when it’s boiling outside.  With programmed thermostats adjusting the temperatures automatically, we don’t even have to turn it on.

Therefore, it is very inconvenient (not to mention uncomfortable) when our unit misbehaves and forces us to pay attention.  Our first inclination, suddenly over-heated,  may be to call for help, but often the repair can be accomplished easily or avoided completely by checking the drain line that may be clogged.

When it gets more complicated, it is important to consult a Tampa air conditioning professional.

Air Conditioning 101

Air conditioning is a process which involves the rapid evaporation and condensation of chemicals called refrigerants, compounds that have properties allowing them to change from liquid to gas and back again at low temperatures.

Simply stated: when the liquid evaporates and transforms into gas it absorbs heat.  Compressed tightly together again, the matter condenses back into liquid with a residue of unwanted moist heat that must be released to the outdoors.  Over the course of handling the air to cool it, air conditioners are able to filter dust and dehumidify the air as well.

Annual Service

Air conditioning units are designed to last for quite a while, so long as they are maintained regularly.  A service contract with a reputable company ensures reliable maintenance and establishes a relationship so that if anything should go wrong, your call for help will be at the top of the list with a mechanic who likely knows the details of your particular unit. Here are some of the maintenance tasks that will be performed during your visit:

  • a check for the correct amount of refrigerant in the system;
  • a pressurized system test for any leaks using an actual leak detector tool;
  • a controlled evacuation and disposal of any excess refrigerant instead of an illegal toss in the dumpster;
  • a check for and seal of any duct leakage within the in central systems;
  • a measure of air flow through the evaporator coil;
  • a verification of the correct electric control sequence, making sure the heating and cooling systems cannot operate simultaneously;
  • an inspection, cleaning and maintenance of the electric terminals and applying a non-conductive coating if necessary;
  • a check of all belts for tightness and wear;
  • a check for oil in the motors;
  • a check for the accuracy of the thermostat.

To schedule a maintenance visit, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

Summer Spa Series: The Vinoy The Spa at Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Summer Spa Series | St. Petersburg | Ierna's Heating & CoolingIerna’s Heating & Cooling is proud to sponsor the Summer Spa Series: The Vinoy The Spa at Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club

Beat the Summer Heat & Join Us for a Night of Pampering! Working Women of Tampa Bay is teaming up with Ierna’s Heating & Cooling to visit some “cool” destinations spas this Summer. Our first Summer Spa Party is at The Spa at Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club. Guests will enjoy mini spa treatments, organic spa appetizers, champagne and fun swag bags.

 Guests will choose 3 of the following spa services: Chair Massage, Reflexology, Mini Manicure, Brow/lip/chin Waxing, Hair & Makeup Consultation. Guests will have a chance to pre-book their samples services 72 hours before the event, so registering online is a must.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling offers professional heating, cooling, indoor air quality and duct cleaning services. Our service area covers St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk and Northern Pinellas Counties.

 

 

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Guide: Refrigerant Leaks

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Your St Petersburg air conditioner is filled with a chemical compound called refrigerant. This substance is what allows your air conditioner to remove heat from and dehumidify your home. It is a necessity, but it is also a dangerous chemical that, if released, can cause damage to the environment.

Why Refrigerant Is Dangerous

There are many types of refrigerant but most air conditioners use either R-22 or Freon coolant – depending on their age. Newer air conditioners may use R410-A refrigerant, an environmentally safer alternative.

All of these refrigerant types are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. These chemicals are controlled substances by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they must be properly removed and disposed of. Because your air conditioner does not consume any of coolant in operation, it should never need to be refilled unless there is a leak. Such a leak should be stopped immediately due to the immense damage CFCs can do to the environment. If you suspect a leak, you should call a St Petersburg air conditioning professional to inspect your air conditioner.

Damage to Your Air Conditioner

Beyond the environmental issues posed by a refrigerant leak, the biggest problem you will face is damage such leaks can cause to your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels put undue stress on your compressor and can lead to damage in almost every part of the device.

Not only that but the air conditioner won’t work as efficiently. A 10% loss in refrigerant volume can result in up to a 20% increase in electricity cost to run your air conditioner.

What to Do in the Event of a Refrigerant Leak

If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner, take action immediately. Call a certified St Petersburg air conditioning technician who can seal the leak fast. For any air conditioning repair you need, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Question: Does Humid Air Affect How AC Runs?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

You’ve probably heard a dozen times that humidity is removed by your Tampa air conditioning system. Unfortunately, the common assumption is that there is no inherent cost in allowing humidity to persist in their home. But, did you know it costs significantly more to remove humidity from the air with air conditioning than with a dehumidifier? Here’s why.

Water Vapor in Your Air Conditioner

Consider the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of water by one degree – one BTU. However, to change water from liquid to steam, another 10 BTUs are required. So, imagine how much energy it takes to condense water vapor from the air (in the form of humidity) into a liquid. This is what your air conditioner does whenever it processes humid air. It takes about 1,050 BTUs to condense one pound of moisture in the air into liquid.

The cost of running your air conditioner strictly for dehumidification can be huge, especially considering the fact that humidity is heaviest in the morning and evening when you probably don’t need your air conditioner every day (at least not early and late in the summer). Imagine, the cost difference if you used a dehumidifier to remove 150 or more pounds of moisture per week and an air conditioner when needed just to remove 15-20.

Negative Impact on How it Runs

Another thing to consider is that humidity can actually put an extra burden on your Tampa air conditioner. While the system is designed to remove that liquid from the air and get rid of it through the cooling coil and condensate drain, every extra minute the system is running is a bigger burden on it. Of course it will do its job for a few years, but the extra running time will add up, not only on your electricity bill but eventually on the machine itself.

The added pressure will result in eventual breakdown of the system and a need for early replacement. The easiest solution is to purchase a dehumidifier. These run at a fraction of the energy level of a full AC system and work extremely well to remove humidity from your home. In fact, most air conditioners will only remove humidity after 20-30 minutes of continuous operation. For short cooling cycles, you may not even dehumidify the house. So a dehumidifier ensures higher levels of comfort all at a lower cost.

For more information about how to keep your Tampa home cool this summer, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

Ierna’s Heating and Cooling- Change This Word Event Huge Success!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The Change This World Event held, Sunday June 10th at Wesley Chapel Toyota, was a huge success. Ierna’s is proud to have been part of this event!

The initial goal was to pack 40,000 packages of food, however, we far surpassed this goal and hit 50,000 packages! The packages of food will be shipped to Honduras. Each packet feeds a family of 6! This was a great event and there were tons of participants!

Change This World | Wesley Chapel | Ierna's Heating and Cooling

Change This World | Wesley Chapel | Ierna's Heating and Cooling

Ierna’s Heating and Cooling provides air conditioning, heating, duct cleaning, and indoor air quality services to Wesley Chapel, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, and Northern Pinellas Counties. For reliable, quality service call us for all of your HVAC needs.

Continue Reading