Air Conditioning Experts Blog : Archive for December, 2014

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.” This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Air Conditioning Experts, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

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Forced-Air vs. Radiant Heating: Which Is Best?

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Forced air and radiant heating systems have been competing with each other for decades. There are adherents of both sides, each insisting that their side is the best method for home heating. So, which one is telling the truth? As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to each side. Here, we’ll examine some of the benefits of each, as well as the disadvantages. In the end, it’ll be up to you to decide.

Forced Air

Forced air systems are likely what you think of when you think of home heating systems. They are comprised of a central heater, usually a furnace, and a network of ducts through which the heater can distribute warm air.

Forced air systems’ advantages lie in their versatility. They are by far the most common systems, and that means that most HVAC companies will be able to service them. They are relatively cheap, depending on the one you get, and the parts they use can often be easily replaced.

The con to using a forced air system inefficiency. The fact of the matter is that air isn’t really a great medium for transporting heat. When hot air is blown into a room, its tendency is to rise to the top of the room. That is hardly helpful to the people walking around on the floor of the room. It also creates uncomfortable hot and cold spots, due to the uneven nature of the air flow.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is a boiler-based system comprised of a network of water pipes connected to a central boiler. The pipes are installed in the subfloor of each room, and as hot water from the boiler runs through them, they distribute that heat through the floor.

The benefits of radiant heating are that it heats the room much more evenly than a forced air system. This is because it bypasses using air as a medium, instead transporting heat through solid objects.

The disadvantage to radiant heating is that it requires more of an investment to install, and has some stricter requirements for things like floor types in the home.

If you’d like to know more, contact Air Conditioning Experts. We provide heating installation throughout Lakeland, FL.

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The Best Time of Year for Ductless Cooling Maintenance

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

If you own a ductless cooling system, you want to make it last for years to come. Ductless systems are highly effective and efficient cooling and heating units, but a sudden replacement would be quite the unexpected expense. As a result, you may wonder what kinds of things can be done to keep the system in check and ward off any sudden repair needs. While a ductless system is designed to last for many years without much trouble, this is only possible if your system receives an adequate amount of maintenance. And professional maintenance by trained technicians is key to ensuring that you won’t run into too many costly issues over time.

Ductless cooling maintenance is recommended twice a year in Lithia as most homeowners use their ductless unit for both heating and cooling. A ductless heating and cooling system uses a refrigerant line to circulate refrigerant through the indoor and outdoor unit. A compressor and two coils are necessary for converting refrigerant as it moves through the system, as is a fixed level of refrigerant. In a majority of systems, a reversing valve is also included so that the refrigerant can flow in the opposite direction to bring heat into the home.

But any of these parts can suffer damage over time. Coils become dirty, which leads to inefficient cooling and overworked parts. Refrigerant levels can also drop if a hole develops in the line, which could cause reduced heating and cooling and potential compressor failure—a problem which usually requires replacing the outside unit.

Ductless systems require maintenance in both the heating and the cooling season. Generally, contractors advise that you schedule maintenance shortly before the heating season begins and sometime before the cooling season is in full swing. This is because components of your heating or cooling system may become worn down over time, allowing for premature failure or other sudden problems, plus reduced efficiency. But if you haven’t scheduled maintenance yet this year, now is the time.

With maintenance, a technician will clean and adjust some vital components that tend to wear down as the year goes on.

The experienced contractors at Air Conditioning Experts have the tools and expertise to detect any potential issues with your ductless cooling system. Contact us today. 

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The Benefits of Choosing Radiant Heating in Valrico

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Radiant heating is one of the most efficient, effective heating systems on the market. Though the technology has its roots in ancient Rome, however, a lot of homeowners in this day and age don’t really know what it is. Keep reading to discover what radiant heating does, why it’s effective, and why you may want to consider installing one.

What is Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating is a boiler-based system designed to heat a home through the distribution of hot water. It begins with the installation of water pipes in the subfloor or walls of each room that needs heat. This pipe network is then connected to the main boiler. The boiler heats and pumps water throughout this network when the heat is on. As the hot water flows through the pipes, it releases thermal energy through the walls or floor and out into the room.

Benefits of Radiant Heating

To understand the benefits of radiant heating, you must first understand how forced air heaters operate. When a forced air heater pumps warm air into a room, the air rises to the ceiling. This makes it pretty useless to those who actually in the room, unless they have some reason for spending all their time on ladders. As the warm air cools, it sinks to the floor of the room. This results in the formation of uncomfortable striations in each room, areas where it is warmer near the top of the room while still being quite cold near the floor.

Radiant heating solves this issue by heating from the bottom of the room upwards. Since it is not relying on air to transport heat, it doesn’t have the same cold spots caused by warm air rising to the ceiling. Instead, rooms heated by radiant heating remain warm in the spaces that people actually occupy.

Radiant systems are also a great deal more energy efficient than forced air systems. Duct leaks contribute to a heat loss of up to 30% in most forced air systems. Radiant systems avoid this problem by eschewing ducts of any kind.

If you’d like to know more, call Air Conditioning Experts. We install radiant heating throughout Valrico.

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Finding a Quality Company for Commercial Heating in Brandon

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

If you need commercial heating services in Brandon, you may not be certain where to look. It’s important for a business owner to work with a company they can trust, but it’s also tough to locate a quality company when you’re busy running a business of your own. At Air Conditioning Experts, we think it’s important for you to know the qualities of a solid commercial heating company. Take a look at some of the key features you should keep an eye out for.

  • Commercial Specialists: The most important thing to look for in an HVAC company is that the contractors are commercial HVAC specialists. Commercial specialists simply know the ins and outs of these larger systems better than someone who is only trained on residential heaters. They can be far more complicated and involve a complex zone control system which amateurs will not be familiar with.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: You might also consider finding a company that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the work they do. True craftsmanship means taking pride in your work, and a guarantee is a contractor’s way of telling you they plan to get the job done right the first time.
  • Maintenance Program Offered: Finally, look for a company that offers a maintenance program. Annual maintenance is vital to increase the lifespan of your commercial heating, improve efficiency, and keep your unit free of repairs for a while longer. A technician will clean and inspect your heating and air conditioning system twice a year and let you know if anything is in need of repair or replacement. Most maintenance programs also include package deals and discounts as well.

At Air Conditioning Experts, we stand by the work that we do. That’s why we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for any job. We also offer 24-hour emergency service, should a heating emergency threaten the operation of your business in the late hours of the night. Finally, you can purchase membership in our maintenance program for a twice annual heating and cooling tune up and valuable discounts on parts and services.

Call our experts today to get maintenance, repairs, and installation for your commercial heating in Brandon.

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