Ask the Pros of Action Cooling & Heating: Part I

Every day, the professionals at Action Cooling and Heating in Fort Myers receive calls for both emergency and non-emergency air conditioning repairs. Here, we take a look at some of the most common questions we encounter.

As with almost any HVAC service in Florida, one of the most common questions we hear is “why is my air conditioner leaking and causing water to get inside my house?” The most common culprits and how to correct them (although, we always suggest hiring a professional) include:

  • Clogged drain line: using a wet/dry vac on the condensate line to remove buildup, which could include dust/dirt, mold or even sludge.
  • Damaged, rusted, or no drain pan: Older air conditioners (10+ years) often start to see drain pans become rusted, which may cause other damage. The best solution here is to simply replace the drain pan.
  • Broken condensate pump: If your unit is located inside your home, the condensate pump is used to pump any water outside. If this pump breaks, the water has nowhere else to go and you will either need to repair or replace the pump.
  • Dirty air filter: Depending on the season, you should be changing the air filter every couple months to prevent airflow over evaporator coils. This causes the coil to get too cold and freeze. Once the temps warm up and the coil begins to melt, the excess water could cause the drain pan to overflow.
  • Low refrigerant: Having low refrigerant is similar to having a dirty air filter in which the evaporator coil will freeze up and eventually melt, causing excess water in the drain pan. Signs of low refrigerant include your air conditioning unit not cooling properly or you hear a hissing noise, which indicates a leak.

Other questions the technicians of Action Cooling and Heating in Fort Myers get asked is to break down and explain industry lingo. While it’s easy for the techs to explain everything, sometimes homeowners don’t always understand certain terms, and that’s okay. Our techs are more than happy to break it down even further. Here are some of the terms we often do into more detail on and what they mean:

  • SEER: Seasonal Energy-Efficiency ratio. This rates how many Btu a unit will remove for each watt of electricity consumed.
  • Btu: British thermal unit. This is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
  • Tonnage: An air condition unit ton equal to 12,000 Btu per hour.
  • AFUE: Annual fuel-utilization efficiency which estimates how much heat a unit can deliver for every dollar spent on fuel. If you want to lower your heating bill, you will want to have a higher AFUE.

Check back often for more Ask the Pros of Action Cooling and Heating.

 

 

Exploring the Relationship between Energy Efficiency and Air Quality

We spend 90% of our lives inside of a building. Whether we’re in school, at work, at home, or doing something fun with friends, a majority of these activities take place within the confines of four walls. We rely on these buildings to provide shelter, comfort, and healthy environments in which we can thrive. Since 2008 and the enactment of energy efficient codes, newer buildings and homes are better at cutting down on indoor air pollution and energy usage. For older buildings that are often less energy efficient, finding the right balance of quality air and energy efficiency can prove to be tricky.

According to the EPA, air pollution levels within a building can be anywhere from two to a hundred times worse than outside, depending on the purpose, actions, and energy efficiency of the building.  The over abundant presence of air pollutants within a home can make it extremely hard to breathe. This can lead to further respiratory issues as you continue to breathe in the polluted air. In addition to health problems, buildings that lack in energy efficient methods for air quality also see a spike in the cost of their energy bills.

So how do you remedy this issue? The HVAC experts from Action Cooling & Heating in Fort Myers have a few suggestions for energy efficient guidelines to optimize your home or office’s air quality.

  • Regularly change furnace filters: Clogged filters require your HVAC unit to work twice as hard as it should. This can result in poor air quality and high energy costs. Change your filters frequently to ensure your unit is working as efficiently as possible.
  • Keep a well maintained HVAC unit: In conjunction with the previous bullet point, a major source of indoor pollution can come from poorly maintained HVACs. A well maintained unit operating at optimal efficiency can do wonders for your health and wallet.
  • Properly ventilate your home: Volatile organic compounds and household chemicals are just two of the airborne pollutants that can cause respiratory problems in homes. Proper ventilation helps control the health impact of these irritants in the air.
  • Incorporate plant life into your décor: Plants have more benefits than just looking amazing. Plants are nature’s filters. Household plants do an excellent job filtering and purifying the air.

These are simple, but useful tactics in optimizing your home’s energy efficiency to increase the air quality. Follow these easy tips and you can make staying in doors that much more enjoyable. For more information on HVAC maintenance and air quality, be sure to check our site.