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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Pensacola homeowners shouldn’t wait until the dead of summer when the AC goes out to schedule a new AC installation. You should be getting your AC inspected regularly so that you can plan out the purchase of a new unit. This will make it less stressful for your family and your wallet. Even the best cared for AC unit still needs to be replaced at a certain point. With flexible payment options and quality installers, Air Design can make this process as easy as possible for you and your family.
Before the Installation
Before you choose to buy a new AC unit you should first choose a qualified company to inspect the unit and make sure it needs replacing. Ask for referrals from friends, families, and neighbors to ensure you hire a reputable company with a good track record. The company that you select will help you choose a new unit that is the proper size for your home and give you a transparent quote of the installation cost. Before the technician arrives be sure to remove any breakables or furniture that may be in the way of the workspace for the technicians. Finally, make sure your children and pets are confined to an area away from the installation area.
During Your Installation
During the installation of your new AC unit, your HVAC technician will cover your flooring with a drop cloth to protect it from dirt and scratches while removing the old unit. Many of the newer units come in multiple pieces so the tech will ensure all pieces are there and that they all fit into the crawl space. The HVAC tech will install the outside unit first as well as complete an installation checklist by ensuring that all air vents, registers, tubing, and wiring are fully secure. After all inspections the air conditioning system will be plugged into an outlet.
Once your AC unit is replaced, the HVAC technician will double-check that the system is cooling correctly and will clean up the installation area. Before he leaves, your tech will discuss the cleaning and maintenance instructions, recommend a maintenance plan, warranty of components, and all rebates and tax credits with you. This is the time when you’ll be able to ask questions and give feedback about your experience.
Once you have had all your questions answered it is important to know that a quality company will allow you to call with questions if they should arise after the tech has left. Most reputable HVAC companies offer maintenance plans to ensure your new unit stays in tip-top shape.
Not Sure if You Need a New AC
Give Air Design a call today and we can have one of our certified techs come out and give you the rundown on your current AC unit. It may only need repair and not replaced; we are an honest company that puts the needs of our customers first.
Water leaks in your home or office can cause damage to your flooring, molding, cabinets and in extreme cases even your home’s framework. In addition to ruining wood, water can also create mold growth with turns your home into an unhealthy place.
There are specific places throughout your home, on the inside and outside, that you can inspect to determine where the water leak is coming from and how bad the leak is:
Leaking is common for faucets, knobs, and all plumbing in the immediate area such as underneath the kitchen or bathroom sinks or in the cabinets beneath the fixtures. Your faucets get everyday use from multiple people in your home. Even the best, well-designed or installed faucets and fixtures may need regular maintenance like tightening or parts replaced regularly. Check around the inside of your cabinet for bubbling wood or wet spots to see if you are experiencing a leak.
Hot Water Tanks
Water heaters are typically located in areas that are not clearly visible, usually a closet, garage, or laundry room. So, when they start leaking you may not notice until the leak is pretty bad. The pressure relief valve can be inspected and will often tell you if there is a leak somewhere inside the tank. Another thing you can do is stand near your tank and listen for a hissing sound. This will indicate that a leak might be present. Lastly, investigate behind and around the tank for leaks present in the pipes and connections.
If you have noticed a major downturn in water pressure lately, that is a sign that your water meter line could be leaking. You should also look over the area around your main water line which is usually located out in the yard. If you notice that the ground is soaked with water when there hasn’t been any rain, that may mean you have a leak. In many homes, the main water line is protected by a lid that is barely above ground. Remove the lid. You’ll see the main cutoff valve. If you don’t have any experience with the water main, then it’s best to call a professional plumber right away to help you with leak detection as you could damage the mainline by digging around.
The most obvious leak is an overflowing toilet bowl. Pipes can be clogged by items such as thick paper, sanitary products, small toys but the problem could be deeper than the toilet itself. Roots could have grown into and penetrated the pipes causing major blockages. If you notice water leaking from the bottom of the toilet, that is a clear sign that the seal has been damaged or loosened from the bowl. This means that seal needs to be replaced. Leaks can also happen underneath the main tank, through-holes or loose connections. If your toilet is leaking, simply shut off the water line near the toilet, which will immediately cut off the water supply and then give a certified plumber like Air Design a call.
If you suspect you have a leak or have checked any of these places and found one, give us a call 24/7 at 202-COOL. We never charge for emergency after-hours services.
When it comes to the size of your home’s HVAC unit, most homeowners have been told that bigger is better, but surprisingly, that is not always true. An air conditioning unit that is too large can lead to moisture issues inside your home. The larger system won’t run a long enough cycle to pull the humidity out of the air. The larger unit will also use more energy than is necessarily needed for your home. However, a unit that is too small won’t cool or heat your home to an even proper level, leading to discomfort and elevated energy bills when your system struggles to cool your home properly.
How do you find the right size ac unit for your home? To help answer that question, our team of skilled experts at Air Design have taken the time to create a checklist for you.
Measure the area
The very first step in finding the correctly sized unit is to measure the area you want cooled, whether you are just looking to air condition certain rooms of your residence, or the entire thing. Measure the length and width of each room, hallway, or space in your home. You can also often look at your mortgage or deed paperwork which will have your homes square footage listed. When taking these measurements, there is no need to include closets or an attic.
Determine square footage
Unable find your mortgage documents? Don’t worry, we can walk you through calculating it yourself. You will want to do this equation for each room. (Length times Width = SQFT) Then add each room together to get the total square footage of your household.
Calculate cooling power
The measure of how fast an air conditioning unit is able to cool the air is measured in BTUs per hour. In a warm climate like Pensacola, you will want roughly 30-35 BTUs per hour for every square foot of your homes space.
Have a professional come out to assist
When in doubt, you can also give us a call at 202-COOL. We will do all the measuring for you and fit your home with the perfect size unit. Our professionals are very friendly and will walk you through exactly what you need and offer fair pricing, upfront for your new unit. We don’t try to oversell, and we do quality work the first time.