IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Port Richey’

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!

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AC Repair Tip: Icing Problems on Air Conditioner Cooling Coils

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Air conditioning cooling coil icing problems can arise for a couple of reasons: either the air filter has not been properly replaced, or there is a condensing coil leak.  It is best to check and test the easiest problem first and then move on from there.

It is important to replace air conditioning filters as often as is recommended by the manufacturer.  A common result of not replacing filters frequently enough is a buildup of dust and dirt on the filter, which causes reduced air flow throughout the air conditioning unit.  With reduced air flow, the evaporator coil or cooling coil within the air handler can become blocked by ice or frost build-up.  Having cooling coil icing can significantly reduce or completely stop the amount of cool air being produced by an air conditioning unit.

Easy steps to diagnose and resolve air conditioning cooling coil icing problems:

  • Visually inspect the air conditioning cooling coils to check whether reduced air flow has been caused by cooling coil icing.  If ice or frost is found on the coils, thus blocking air-flow, proceed with the next step.
  • Turn off the air conditioning system completely to allow ice to evaporate, the unit will have to remain off until all ice is completely melted and drained away from the unit
  • Unclog the condensate drain to ensure proper drainage of melting ice
  • Replace all dirty filters on the air conditioning unit
  • Once the a/c unit is de-iced and has fresh filters, it is safe to turn the system back on, to test whether the icy build-up happens again

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on the cooling coils do not ice-up, the unit runs normally and cool air runs smoothly through the system, congratulations!  That do-it-yourself attitude paid off; the problem has been fixed!

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on cooling coil icing happens again, this could mean one of two things.  Either too little of the refrigerant is being released into the cooling coil due to a clogged capillary tube or a stuck thermostatic expansion valve.  Or the refrigerant charge is too low due to a refrigerant leak.  A refrigerant leak can happen at any point in the refrigerant piping system which would then need to be soldered and resealed, or it can happen in the cooling coil or condensing coil which could mean the entire coil needs to be replaced.  Fixing of refrigerant leaks should be handled by a Tampa HVAC professional.  Contact  Ierna’s Heating & Cooling so we can identify the air conditioner cooling coil icing problem and execute the proper solution.

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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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