IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Sun City’

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!

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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.

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