Air Conditioning Experts Blog : Archive for March, 2014

What You Need To Know About AC Fans

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Here in Lakeland, FL, air conditioning systems need to function at peak capacity in order to keep the heat and humidity of summer at bay. The AC fan is a key part of that equation, and without it, your air conditioner simply won’t be able to do its job. If you detect a problem, you need to contact qualified technician right away to correct it. The more you understand about the component, the better you can spot the problems associated with it and the more rapidly you can correct the issue.

Here’s what you need to know about AC fans:

You have outside fans that blow over the condenser coils, and inside fans that blow over your evaporator coils to distribute cool air into your duct system. Both fans run like any other fans do, with a motor turning a fan belt that in turn rotates the fan. Your inside fan, because it needs to push the air throughout your house, must be extremely powerful in order to do its job.

Problems can arise when the motor suffers problems, such as an electrical overload or the failure of an internal component. A broken or loose fan belt will cause the fan to stop turning, while a bent or damaged set of fan blades will cause similar problems. The bad news is that it usually takes the efforts of a repair technician to correct. The good news is that the fan systems in most air conditioners are self-contained, and once you repair or replace the faulty component, the issue is usually solved.

In Lakeland, FL, air conditioning repairs can be conducted by Air Conditioning Experts. We’ll explain what you need to know about AC fans and point out the problem area before conducting repairs with professionalism and pride. We’re standing by to take your call so contact us today. You’ll be glad you did!

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How Heat Pumps Provide Both Heating and Cooling

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Often, when people hear that heat pumps can work as both air conditioners and heaters, they first assume that heat pumps are packaged units that contain a separate heating and cooling system, much the same way that furnaces and air conditioners are often placed into a single cabinet and then use the same blower motor for air distribution. However, heat pumps are single devices that use the same action to provide hot and cold air to a house. In this post, we’ll explain how this works.

If you are interested installation of a heat pump in Lakeland, FL, or if you need repairs or maintenance for your current heat pump, then Air Conditioning Experts has you covered. Our technicians are on-call 24 hours a day to make sure your heat pump keeps you comfortable, no matter the weather.

The best way to understand how a heat pump operates is to first think of it as an air conditioner, because it works in the same way. An air conditioner cycles a chemical blend called refrigerant through its indoor and outdoor units. When it passes through the indoor coil, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoors through evaporation, making the indoor air feel cooler. When the refrigerant then goes through the outdoor coil, it releases that heat through condensation. The compressor, which changes refrigerant into a high pressure, high temperature gas, is the engine that provides the energy to the refrigerant and moves it through the air conditioner.

In order to bring heat from outside to the inside, we would have to reverse the air conditioner. Instead of physically turning it around, we instead switch the direction the refrigerant moves through the unit. Now the outdoor coil absorbs heat through evaporation, and the indoor coil releases it through condensation.

This is what a heat pump does: it cycles refrigerant one way to act as an air conditioner; and then, through the action of a component called a reversing valve, it sends the refrigerant the opposite direction and acts as a heater.

“But how does the heat pump extract heat from the outdoors when it’s cold?” This is the most common question people ask about heat pumps once they hear how they work. The answer is that, as long as there is some molecular motion in the air, there is heat available no matter the temperature. However, heat pumps are less efficient at heating than cooling, and so they are better suited for climates with mild winters… like Florida’s.

At Air Conditioning Experts, we often recommend heat pumps to our customers. If you think a heat pump in Lakeland, FL might be your best comfort option, give us a call today.

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Air Conditioning Basics: Refrigerant Types

Friday, March 14th, 2014

The most vital part of your air conditioner is the refrigerant: a chemical mixture (called a blend) that easily changes from a liquid to a gas and back. Refrigerant is how your AC carries out heat exchange, moving heat from inside your home as the refrigerant absorbs it and then releasing it to the outside.

In the history of air conditioning, which begins in the early 20th century with inventor Haviland Carrier, many different refrigerant blends have coursed through the air conditioners of the world. Here is a list of the basic types of refrigerant blends that have—or still—help ACs do their important job.

For help with your air conditioning in Lakeland, FL, look to Air Conditioning Experts. We have 24-hour emergency service to make sure your AC and its refrigerant do their jobs.

The Common Refrigerant Blends

During the early years of air conditioners and heat pumps (which also use refrigerant) the most common chemicals used were sulfur dioxide, methyl chloride, and ammonia. Although these chemicals have an easy phase transition from liquid to gas and vice versa, effectively performing heat exchange, they all have hazardous side effects, including toxicity and combustibility. None of them were suitable for residential home air conditioning.

A major step in transitioning ACs into homes came with the creation of non-toxic, non-acidic, and non-flammable refrigerant blends. The name “Freon,” which is a trademark of DuPont, is used to refer to these chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The earliest blend to carry the name Freon is Freon-12 or R-12. DuPont created a notation system for refrigerants that starts with “R” followed by a number that designates the molecular structure of the blend.

Many different chlorofluorocarbon blends followed. The blend known as R-22 (chlorodifluoromethane) became the standard for residential air conditioners for many years. If you have an older AC, R-22 is probably the one running through it right now. However, as a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, R-22 contributes to ozone depletion, and the U.S. in cooperation with the Montreal Protocols, has started a phaseout of the blend set to end in 2020.

The replacement blend for R-22 is called R-410A (a.k.a. “Puron”), which combines two earlier blends (difluoromethane and pentafluoroethane). R-410A does not cause ozone depletion and has become the main refrigerant used in residential air conditioners. If you own an AC installed within the last decade, it almost certainly contains R-410A.

Refrigerants are one of the reasons that air conditioners need the work of professionals when the time comes for repairs. If an AC begins to leak refrigerant, a repair technician will locate and seal the leak, and then recharge the refrigerant to the right level (too much or too little will create serious problems) using the correct blend.

At Air Conditioning Experts, we strive to live up to our name. Our skilled technicians can take care of the repairs for your air conditioning in Lakeland, FL whether you have refrigerant leaks or any other troubles.

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Why Use NATE-Certificated Technicians for Your Commercial HVAC Installation

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Your commercial HVAC system is a cornerstone of your business, providing a safe and comfortable environment for both your employees and for any customers who visit your site. Accordingly, you want your system to be installed by people who know what they’re doing. There are many different companies in Lakeland that can install your commercial HVAC equipment, but how do you know which ones are best qualified to do the job? NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is a good litmus test if you aren’t sure about the company in question.

NATE is a non-profit, third party organization designed to provide fair and objective standards for HVAC installation and repair services. Because of its status, it has earned a reputation for quality and impartiality that can be worth its weight in gold. NATE provides comprehensive tests to gauge how much a service technician know and how well they can perform their jobs. The tests are knowledge-based and emphasize practical skills in specialty areas. You can be NATE certified in gas heating, for instance, but not in heat pumps, which lets the consumer know just what areas the technician excels at. Furthermore, maintaining NATE certification means educating yourself about new developments in the field and keeping abreast of advancements in technology.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that NATE certification speaks to a level of quality you can depend on. Not only must the technician maintain a high level of knowledge, but he must dedicate himself to becoming NATE certified while still working at the same time. That means NATE certified technicians care about the job they do, and are interested in maintaining the highest levels of quality. That’s why you should use NATE-certified technicians for your commercial HVAC installation. And here at Air Conditioning Experts, NATE certification comes with the territory. Contact us today to learn more about our Lakeland, FL commercial HVAC services. You’ll be glad you did!

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How Professionals Clean Your Ducts

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Here in Lakeland, duct cleaning is a key part of maintaining your household and should be scheduled on a regular basis. Not only does it keep dust and debris from being scattered throughout your home, but it can help lower your heating bills by improving air flow through your system. A number of professional services can provide duct cleaning in the Lakeland area, but what are the precise steps involved? Or to be more direct, why should you hire a professional instead of just trying to clean the ducts yourself? If you know how professionals clean your ducts, you also know why it’s a task for trained and experienced technicians.

Duct cleaning begins as soon as the technician arrives. He or she lays down plastic coverings to make sure your home is kept safe and clean during the process. He or she should also wear protective footwear to keep from tracking dust or dirt in your home. From there, the technician attaches a large hose to both sides of the system (the furnace on one end and a central vent on the other) before sealing any other vents or openings. When turned on, the hose creates negative pressure that pulls the dust out of the whole system and into the waiting service truck.

Following that, the technician detaches the hose and opens up the vents again. He or she then applies extendable hand-power scrubbers to remove any tough deposits of dirt and debris, especially around the vent openings where they can do the most damage. The vents themselves are scrubbed and the furnace interior is cleaned of any dirt or debris as well. Finally, the technician restores the vent covers, removes the plastic wrap and tidies up.

All of that requires an understanding of how ducts work, as well as equipment that most layman are unfamiliar with. If you need duct cleaning in Lakeland, FL, call Air Conditioning Experts. Call us today to make an appointment!

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