Author: Air Design Tech

Tips to SAVE you money when it comes to heating costs.

 

In today’s times, we are all looking for ways to save money, without missing out. The following three tips are essential if you’re looking to limit your heating bills, repairs, and keep your system running smoothly this winter. While our team is always here to support you, this blog is a great starting point for Pensacola homeowners that are wanting to improve the efficiency of their homes’ HVAC system.

Pay Attention to Your Filters

Whether you have one, two, or even three intake spaces, you will want to change the filter in them every single month. Replacing your air filter seems basic but it’s an HVAC hack that not enough people know about. Many people set it and forget it until they have an issue.

Changing your air filter regularly ensures that you get clean air, sufficient airflow, and it keeps your heater’s interior coil clear of debris and functioning at its best. Obviously, changing your air filter every week is way too often, since these components are designed to catch particles over a monthly period. However, Pet owner’s may need to replace their filters even more often, especially if you have a heavy shedding dog whose fur can cover the filter entirely and block air flow.

Schedule Seasonal Maintenance

Heating maintenance may seem like an extra cost you don’t need to pay, but think of it like insurance or an oil change. Scheduling routine maintenance every year is the best way to ensure your system continues running efficiently. The average HVAC unit will last about 10-15 years but that is only if proper maintenance is completed. An unmaintained unit will be lucky to last half of that time.

Turn on Your Ceiling Fans, Even in the Colder Months

Ceiling fans are wonderful tools to help with your HVAC system. They work in the summer because they create a circular breeze that helps cool down the temperature by a few degrees. In the winter months, when you reverse them, they create a convection current and keep warm air down where you can feel it. Make sure you run your ceiling fan correctly so it can add to the warmth of your home at a fraction of the cost. In the summer you want your fan to spin counterclockwise and in the winter you want it to spin clockwise.

To schedule heating maintenance or to have your system looked at before the colder days hit, give us a call at 202-COOL!

What is Short Cycling and how it affects your HVAC System?

 

Short cycling is very important and any HVAC professional worth their salt should know what short cycling is and the different things that can cause it. The average homeowner won’t know these terms which is why we want to share that info with you. When your air conditioner quickly runs through cycles, turning off and on quickly, it damages the internal components of the unit. This is called short cycling.

How does Short Cycling happen?

Your HVAC system is designed to run in cycles. Every cooling cycle consists of the time it takes for refrigerant to absorb your home’s heat, travel to the outside condenser, send the heat away from your home, and recycle back to the inside unit. This cycle takes place repeatedly until your home’s temperature reaches the temp set on the thermostat. One cooling cycle should last about 15 minutes give or take, and your home should be comfortable in that time. If you notice your system runs for five or ten minutes and turns off, then it’s likely short cycling. Short cycling can cause extreme wear and tear on system components over time, and it will also cause your energy bills to spike since the highest energy use is drawn when the system kicks on.

Three Causes of Short Cycling

  • You could have a refrigerant leak. When your air conditioner leaks refrigerant, it needs to run in short cycles which will ultimately cause components to wear down or break completely. Eventually, your system might lose enough refrigerant that it will be unable to cool your home at all.
  • It could be a clogged air filter. Your AC requires consistent air flow in order to do its job efficiently. When the air filter gets clogged, it can overheat, leading to short cycles.
  • The system you have is too large for your home. When an air conditioner is oversized for a home, it will cool the home down too quickly causing short cycling. This can wear down a unit so much that it requires replacement.

If you feel that your HVAC system may be short cycling, give Air Design a call today. We can get it fixed for you before you end up needing to replace the entire unit.

What is the REME HALO® Air Scrubber?

 

Reme purifier
An air purifier can provide peace of mind when you’re struggling with allergies or wanting to reduce airborne microbes in your Pensacola home. We recommend the REME HALO® air purifier. It can reduce three major types of indoor pollutants; its exclusive technology follows the natural processes of hydrogen-peroxide molecules cleaning air like in a forest.

How does it work?

The REME Halo® Air Scrubber uses the same process nature does to purify the air. In our environment, lightning, which holds a negative charge, activates hydrogen peroxide molecules. Once activated, the molecules clean the air, leaving behind a fresh, natural smell. Since the REME HALO® harnesses this same power, some homeowners report a similar pleasant scent.
It is an in-duct air purifier by RGF that can be installed into the supply plenum of your air conditioning or heating system by one of our professionals. It uses Reflective Electro Magnetic Energy (REME) to produce Hydro-Peroxide plasma, creating the same effects as found in nature. The plasma travels through the air ducts and into conditioned spaces throughout the home. Instead of filtering out air as it’s drawn into your AC system, the plasma will spread throughout your entire home/space, actively removing allergens and germs.

Why do I need cleaner air?

Besides the obvious killing of viruses, if someone in your household has respiratory issues or bad allergies, spending more time indoors can be uncomfortable and activate sinus issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many air pollutants can be 2-5 times higher inside than they appear outside. Airborne irritants can worsen asthma in children and be very uncomfortable. The REME HALO® Air Scrubber can reduce all three categories of indoor air pollutants. With one small addition to your HVAC system, you can purify your house and keep your family safer.

How do I get one?

All of our techs are certified to install the REME HALO® Air Scrubber. We have been recommending them for a while now and have many happy customers currently using them. Give us a call today at 202-COOL and start breathing easier.

Reduce Humidity in Your Home

 

High humidity levels in your home in the summertime? You’re hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and all around miserable when it’s too humid in your home. Not to mention it starts to make your clothes and bedsheets and carpets stink. All you want is a way to relieve the discomfort and get your indoor air quality back on track. Air Design has got your back.

The magic range for ideal indoor humidity is 30-50%. Too much moisture in the air can have you feeling hot, and uncomfortable, and can have a damaging effect on your home. Too much humidity causes mold growth and can create condensation in your walls and on your ceiling. This leads to structural damage and wood rot. This is especially true in the south, where we live. Too much humidity is also bad for you and your lungs. It can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and more. At a humidity level of 30-50%, you find the balance between too much moisture and not enough, which keeps both you and your home comfortable.

How Can I Tell If My Home is Too Humid?

The easiest way to find out the humidity levels in your home is to purchase a hygrometer. They’re not expensive and you can find them at your local hardware store.

How Can I Reduce My Humidity Levels?

  1. Run Your Air Conditioner. Your air conditioner naturally helps reduce indoor humidity because it’s introducing cooler air while removing warm, humid air. Keep humidity under control by getting your air conditioner tuned up by a professional, and frequently change the filters. Anything that restricts airflow or causes your air conditioner to stop working is no friend to you.
  2. Use Your Vents. When you take a shower be sure to run your vents or open a window to let the hot steamy air flow back out of your home. When cooking on a stove top run your vents so the steam has somewhere to escape.
  3. Fix Any Leaking Pipes. Leaking pipes and faucets will add moisture to the air. Fix any leaks you have and wrap your exposed pipes in insulators to keep condensation from forming. Signs of leaks include stained drywall, wet spots, and irregular water bills.
  4. Dry Your Laundry Outside. Most of us have clothes we can’t put in the dryer. Some people hang these in the laundry room to air dry. In the summer, all those damp clothes will just help make your home more humid.
  5. Get a Dehumidifier. The most effective way to reduce indoor humidity is to get a dehumidifier. These can be small units in your problem rooms or installed as part of a whole home system. The best part is you will use your air conditioner a lot less, because it now has help keeping down the humidity. That means less cash spent on cooling bills.
  6. Move Your House Plants Outside. Plants are beautiful and provide oxygen, but they do release their fair share of moisture as well. If your home has a lot of indoor plants, this could be causing your humidity level to increase. Just place them outside when you can or move them to a more ventilated room.

We know summers in Florida are hard to keep your home humidity levels low, especially with all this rain we’ve been getting but try a few of these tips and see if your levels don’t even out more. If you’d rather have a professional assess your options give us a call at 202-COOL today.

 

AC Maintenance Tips for the Florida Summer

 

We all know Florida summers can be brutal, and the last thing you want is to be without AC. Keep your Pensacola home cool and avoid emergency calls over the summer by following these easy summer HVAC maintenance tips:

1. Replace your air filter. An unclogged air filter allows the air to flow evenly throughout your entire home. Checking the filter or filters, depending on how many intakes you have, is the first task on your list this summer. This is especially important now because your HVAC system is in high gear and gets a lot of use over these warmer months.

2. Tidy up the outdoor unit. As you’re getting your yard ready for those summer barbecues, don’t forget to clean up around the outside unit of your HVAC system. Clear away high weeds growing up around it or through the cables. Wipe away any build-up on the top or leaves that have fallen on it. When weed eating around it be sure to watch out so you don’t nick the unit and damage it.

3. Seal up leaky spaces. Check your outside doors and windows to see if there are any places around the edges where that wonderful, cooled air is escaping. Withering insulation around doors, windows, or even around air ducts will make your unit work harder to cool down your space.

4. Upgrade your thermostat. Do you still have an old-school thermostat that only allows you to set the temperature in your home to one setting? Many people have upgraded to a scheduled thermostat or even WIFI-controlled ones you can change from your phone. Not only is it convenient to turn down the temp of your home before you get there but it also saves on energy by setting it to low temps while you are home and going back up when you’re not.

5. Schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment with the professionals. There are certainly many advantages to having one of our expert techs come out to service your HVAC system this summer, even if you’ve done all of the tips we listed and are still facing high energy bills or your home won’t cool off to your desired temperature. An Air Design Technician will be able to analyze and replace components within your unit or advise you what size unit you may need to get the proper temperatures in your home.

Need to schedule HVAC maintenance from the professionals this summer? The team at Air Design is ready to help! You can call us day or night at 202-COOL!

What to Do if Your Water is Discolored

brown faucet water

 

Many people have at one time or another complained of the sudden appearance of brown or yellow water coming out of their faucets. If this has ever happened to you, it is important to know that there could be a few possible causes for this. The water may be completely safe to drink, or it may be contaminated and pose a serious health risk. It’s good for you to know the difference or to know when to call the professionals at Air Design Systems to help.

Why is My Water Brown?

If your water is brown it could be because of sediment, minerals or rust that have built up in the pipes over time. Sediments like these can break loose and enter your home’s water supply, causing the water to appear brown or discolored.

Another cause could be because of nearby construction work or some other occurrence that has disturbed the area around your water main. When this happens, just wait a few hours and the water should clear up. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to call a professional plumber to diagnose the cause of the discoloration.

The most common cause of brown water coming out of your home’s plumbing system is a recent pipe replacement in the home or from broken water pipes. When rust breaks off the pipes and into your water supply, your water will turn brown. During plumbing repairs, there’s a change in water pressure which can dislodge some of the rust. The rusted or damaged pipes should be found before they cause a leak that could result in water waste or water damage.

Build-up of minerals in the water lines could also be a cause of brown or yellow water. This is more common in homes that have well water. These minerals can build up over time and cause the water to become discolored. You see this sometimes in sprinkler systems that deposit orange coloring on the sides of the house. If you use a water softener, your will want to clean it out on a regular basis to remove the deposits. If you don’t have a water softener, installing one could help with this issue. Alternatively, many people prefer to replace the well pump as they might have calcium deposits which can degrade the quality of water. Such people tend to hire firms that provide well pump installation in Redmond, WA or in their vicinity, who can replace the well system.

If you still have brown water:

If you have looked into these issues and still aren’t sure why your water is brown please give Air Design Systems a call at 202-COOL and let us help you. If your concerned that the brown water might be poisonous or undrinkable make sure you check with your local water utility to see if it is safe.

8 Tips to Avoid a Clogged Drain

women over clogged drain

 

Don’t Put Food Down the Kitchen Drain

Even with a garbage disposal, you should still avoid putting food down the kitchen sink. Garbage disposals are used for small amounts of food scraps. They shouldn’t be used to dispose of large amounts of food on a regular basis. Completely scrape food off plates and into the trash before washing the dishes.

Always Use a Sink Strainer

The top way to keep scraps of food out of your kitchen drain is to use a sink strainer all the time. It’s well worth it to invest in a high-quality mesh strainer. Choose one that fits easily into the drain without overlap. Make sure to always check that the strainer is firmly in place before washing the dishes.

Have Your Home Septic System Regularly Inspected

If you have a septic system, you should have it inspected every few years. Issues with the septic system can lead to major issues such as clogs in the drains of your home. You can’t inspect your own septic system without the correct gear and equipment to do so, hiring a professional is the best way to go. It’s a small price to pay every few years to keep from any major back up issues. If there’s ever a back up or clog that has gone unnoticed, you may have to look for sewage clean up services located in Boise, Idaho. Or wherever you live. They can handle the problem before it spills over, literally.

Only Flush Appropriate Things Down the Toilet

Clogged sinks are no fun, but clogged toilets can be a nightmare. Watch what you flush down the toilet. Waste and toilet paper are the only things that should ever go down that drain. Although many feminine hygiene products state that they are safe to flush, it’s best to just throw them in the trash instead. Flushable toilet wipes have become a big deal lately but will still clog your toilet. If there are small children in the house, make it clear that nothing that doesn’t belong in the toilet goes in the toilet. Many plumbers have pulled toys our of drains and that can be very expensive.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

When you have a clog in your drain, your first thought may be to run out and get a really harsh drain cleaning product such as drano. Tv commercials make these products look really fast and effective, but what they don’t say are the risks that are involved. Most notably, chemical products can erode drains and pipes over time, especially, cast iron pipes. These products don’t usually clear away the entire clog. Because of that, you can end up in a cycle where you have to use these products over and over again. Instead, you could call for professional plumbing service that offer drain cleaning as well; in this way, you could also have some of your other pipes looked at to make sure everything’s in order.

Never Pour Paint or Paint Thinner Down the Drain

When working on a painting a project, you’re going to have leftover paint or paint thinner. The fastest solution may be to pour it down the drain, but that’s the opposite of what you should do. Chemicals in paint and thinning products can wreak havoc on your drains and pipes.

Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

Once a week, boil a large pot of water and pour it down the kitchen drain. Repeat the process for the other drains in your home. Boiling water works wonders when it comes to clearing away old grime and buildup that can contribute to clogs.

Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

Grease may seem soluble, but it should never be poured down any drain in your home. Things like sausage grease solidify when they cool down. Liquid grease becomes thick over time and can create a buildup that will eventually cause a clog. After cooking with grease, allow it to cool down all the way.
Pour it into a disposable container of some kind, and then throw the container in the trash. You can also soak it up with some paper towels and then throw in the trash.

If you follow these tips you will be less likely to suffer from a clogged drain but, it can happen to the best of us. That is why Air Design Systems is available night and day to help you in any emergency.

How to Save Energy with a Few Tips

 

In Florida, you can’t comfortably live without an AC system. With energy bills spiking and kilowatt prices increasing, saving money on your power bill has become a necessity. As a homeowner you may be wondering, what can I do to save energy. We have some tips to help with that.

 

HVAC Maintenance

The better your HVAC system runs, the lower your monthly energy bill will run you. Plus, when your AC system runs efficiently, it helps your household be more “green”. You can substantially reduce repair needs and strain, so you get the best performance, saving you money and stress. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Upgrade to programmable thermostats and controls
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Install plenty of insulation
  • Check, repair, and replace seals and caulking around windows and doors

If your AC is old, struggling and due for replacement soon – do your research on a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio) piece of equipment. Getting a more efficient unit can make a huge difference in your energy costs.

 

Windows

When you stand outside of your windows, can you feel the AC leaking from inside the home? Many older homes have aluminum framed single-paned windows. These types of windows can make your system strain trying to equalize the temperature in your home. Replacing the windows with double-paned newer Custom Window Blinds can decrease your power bill substantially.

 

Timing Your Usage

Running your dishwasher and doing laundry late at night can also decrease your energy costs. Many power companies offer options for a rated plan where you can plan your energy usage during the lower-rated times, saving you cash. Running your water heater on a timer that turns on an hour before bath time can also conserve energy.

 

Lighting

Replacing your old incandescent bulbs with Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, or LED bulbs can save energy and improve your lights’ longevity. The average home uses 40 bulbs meaning your savings can be multiplied.

 

Stay Unplugged

In a digital world, we have tablet chargers, iPhone chargers, and a multitude of other device chargers. Making sure they are not left plugged in when we are not using them can save energy. The charge still pulls slight amounts of power even when not charging a device. This also works for small appliances such as toasters and blenders.

 

These are all different ways you can cut back on your energy costs. If you are still unsure if your AC is in peak performance mode, give Air Design a call today for a check-up at 202-COOL.

Sounds Your Plumbing Makes and What They Mean

 

Many people push plumbing issues off for a later day until the issue becomes an emergency. Your plumbing system is designed to be relatively quiet but sometimes you might start hearing noises. Here are some suggestions on what they could mean.

 

Rumbling

Many plumbers associate rumbling sounds with a water heater issue. The water inside the tank may begin to boil and rumble if dirt and other sediments accumulate at the bottom. Our technicians fix this by draining some of the water in the bottom of the heater to clean it out.

 

Banging

Banging sounds come from loose piping or heavy water flow, pipes should always be secured in place. This banging sound could also be created by high water pressure. Water pressure in your home should stay around 50 PSI (pounds per square inch) and should not go over 80 PSI. We advise homeowners to let us repair issues with high water pressure immediately because prolonged high water pressure can damage your nice appliances.

 

Thunking, or Rattling

If your piping system begins to thunk or rattle, you may have what is called a water hammer, on your hands. Water hammers happen when the direction of water flow suddenly shifts after an appliance, like a dishwasher, is used. This sudden shift can cause pipes to collapse. Our plumbers will fix this water hammer by installing air chambers throughout your home’s plumbing system. This prohibits the water from changing direction when it approaches the wall of a pipe. We might also install a water hammer arrestor, which is a device that attaches to the pipe and contains a shock absorber that can reroute the flow of water when faucets are shut off.

 

Screeching and Whining

You may have built-up pressure inside your pipes that needs to be released. If you hear this coming from a water heater it could mean a few different things such as a crack in the tank, the valve is loose, or the TPR (Temperature Pressure Release) valve is just doing its job. The first two items may require a plumber to come out for a service call, but the latter means everything is just fine.

 

If you hear strange noises coming from your plumbing system, you might be tempted to just wait for the problem to go away, but your best bet is to find the root of the issue and repair it. Air Design has plumbers available 24/7 to help you with any of the above issues.

Tankless Water Heaters Are Great for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

 

You don’t often think about it but heating water in your home is an energy cost. With energy savings being a priority these days, tankless water heaters make a lot of sense when remodeling. Your water heater ends up working harder in the winter months because the water coming from outside piping is colder. Not to mention the tank must keep heating the water, even when you’re not using it. Heating a full tank of water all day every day can move the meter up quite a bit.

Tank water heaters are not your only option though. Tankless water heaters can easily be slipped under a counter in a kitchen or in a closet during your next bathroom remodel, which could be done with the help of firms like Easy Bathroom. Here’s why it can be a great choice when renovating these rooms.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Tankless water heaters essentially pass the cold water from the pipes in your home through a small unit that heats the water as it passes through and out the other side into your shower or faucet as hot water. People can sometimes refer to this as “on-demand” hot water. A full tank system works continually to heat the water in the reserve tank to be ready to use when needed. All the needed equipment can be easily installed underneath a bathroom or kitchen sink, this allows you access to an endless supply of hot water in your newly renovated space. They also make a tankless water heater for the entire home so that all your rooms can have this “on-demand” water.

Waiting for Hot Water

Sometimes when you live in a larger house the bathrooms that are farthest away from the water heater can take several minutes to get warm. This can even take up to 10 minutes in some cases simply because of the travel distance and sometimes people experience fluctuation in the temperature due to this distance. Installing a tankless water heater in those areas can eliminate this issue.

Basic reasons to go tankless in your next remodel:

  • Tankless water heaters only run when they are being used which significantly cuts down on the amount of energy it uses compared to a tank heater.
  • Since the tankless systems are much more compact, they can be installed in smaller spaces, giving you more options on where you’d like to enjoy hot water on demand like a laundry room.
  • Some can serve just one faucet while others serve the entire house.
  • Never wait for hot water or run out of hot water for that matter.
  • They last longer, since they don’t run constantly and there’s no tank to rust out.

So, whether you’re a parent who is tired of taking cold showers by the time all the kids have finished and gone to bed or you’re a single person who wants to sing in a scalding shower for more than an hour without the water running out, Air Design can install your next tankless water heater.