Action Cooling & Heating Explains the Different Ways an Air Filter Can Harm Your HVAC

We rely on the air filters in our HVAC units to perform a number of duties around the home. The primary function of the air filter is to remove harmful and irritable air pollutants such as bacteria, dust, and more from the air of your home or business. In addition to removing air pollutants from your breathing air, the air filter also prevents these same particles from affecting your HVAC system.

With a piece as small as the air filter, it’s kind of hard to believe that it can cause a world of problems. However, if not maintained properly, a clogged or unchanged air filter can cause actually be quite unproductive to the efficiency to your HVAC system. Similar to a car needing its oil changed every 2,000-3,000 miles, HVAC air filters need to be changed as well. At Action Cooling & Heating in Fort Meyers, many of the common problems that technicians face are HVAC issues that stem from unchanged air filters.

According to Action Cooling & Heating Fort Meyers, one way in which an unchanged air filter can become harmful to your home is through overworking. Think about the body of an NBA player. When well rested, an NBA player is at the top of his game. He has the endurance and strength necessary to perform as he is expected. But as the season carries on and the same athlete is forced to play consecutive games without rest, their performance starts to diminish. The athlete is being overworked and cannot perform as well as he would with rest. The same goes for your air filter. If your air filter is overworked without being changed out, it will start to overwork your machine and cause it to become less efficient.

Another way that an air filter can harm your HVAC unit is rather unusual and not often considered. Many home and business owners want an HVAC unit that is as efficient as possible. This means they tend to choose units that fall on the higher end of the MERV rating system. Depending on the air filter you choose and how it interacts with your HVAC unit, you may find yourself in a less efficient situation. Choosing a filter that is either under or over optimized for your HVAC unit can lead to an increase in energy bills and possibly damage your HVAC unit as a whole.

It’s important to take care of your HVAC unit and change your air filters often. For more information, be sure to check back with our blog.

Action Cooling & Heating Helps You Choose the Right Furnace Filter for Your Needs

action cooling and heating fort meyersYour furnace filter is a key component to the maintenance of your home and health. The filter is your first line of defense against allergens, bacteria, dust, and other air pollutants that can be found in your home’s air. It is the job of your furnace filter to essentially filter out all of the pollutants that can cause poor air quality and negatively affect your health.

At Action Cooling & Heating in Fort Meyers, Florida, we help perform routine air filter maintenance for your convenience. It is important that you replace your filter every 90 day. However, replacing the filter routinely is not enough. You also need to make sure you choose the right one. Action Cooling & Heating of Fort Meyers shows you what to consider when selecting your new air filter.

Size/ Thickness
Furnace filters come in a variety of sizes. This makes sense as there are a number of furnaces for different types of buildings and needs. The most common filter sizes are 14”x 25”, 16”x 20”, 16”x 25”, 20”x 25”, and 25”x 25; however it’s possible your furnace will filter will not fit into one of these sizes. It’s important you get the right filter size to prevent air from flowing around the edges and not through the filter as intended. You can locate your filter size by checking the filter cabinet door.

Additionally, the thickness, or depth, of your filter is also important. You want your filter to fit snugly in place and not loose fitting. The general thickness for filters is 1” to 5”.

Efficiency
One of the key components to choosing the right filter is the efficiency of the new filter. This can easily be determined by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) system. Every furnace filter has a MERV rating. This measures how efficiently the furnace filter captures particles through it as your furnace operates. The MERV rating system ranges from 1 (least efficient) to 16 (extremely efficient). Choosing a MERV rated 10 for your filter is good for the average household. However, the need changes as you factor in pets and residents with allergens.

You may not always find the filter you need. Some units have custom furnace filters that require special ordering from a manufacturer. For more information regarding routine air filter changes or other services from Action Cooling & Heating in Fort Meyers, be sure to visit the website.

Action Cooling & Heating Explains the Key Differences between Commercial and Residential HVACs

Action Cooling & Heating Are you one of those people who are constantly cold in the office? Or maybe you’re on the other side of the thermostat where you’re constantly hot. It seems that no matter what setting the office thermostat is on, there is always a losing side. While this may seem annoying, there are a few good reasons why your office’s HVAC unit may seem a little more forceful or inconsistent than your HVAC unit at home.

To the untrained professional, all HVACs are made alike. However, this is untrue. While there are similarities between residential and commercial HVAC units, it’s worth noting their key differences as well. Here, Action Cooling & Heating of Fort Meyers, Florida explains 3 key differences between the two HVAC systems.

Location
Have you ever seen your company’s HVAC unit? Chances are you probably haven’t. Where your home’s HVAC unit is typically located on the side of the house or in your backyard, commercial HVAC units are commonly placed in swamp coolers or on the roof of the building. HVAC units are placed in these areas for two main reasons. One of which is to limit the amount of noise pollution that occurs on the ground. The other is to make it easier to service the unit without disrupting the day-to-day operations of the business.

Size
When compared to residential HVAC units, commercial HVAC units are considerably larger. This is obviously due to the fact that commercial HVAC systems need to heat/cool larger areas. The larger size to heat a larger space means that the commercial unit draws a significant increase in power than that of its residential counterpart.

Difficulty
The structure of the HVAC unit also varies between residential and commercial needs. Even though both systems adapt to amount of people within a home, commercial systems have to achieve this on a much larger scale. Residences never drastically vary day to day on the amount of people inside of the home. On the other hand, in a commercial setting, you have to account for workers, customers, and if the company sells or manufacturers goods onsite.

Some other differences include maintenance costs, drainage, and the overall mechanics of the unit. Ultimately, HVAC units, both commercial and residential serve the same purpose. There are just a few key differences in their mechanics and installation that optimizes them for each location. For more information on HVAC maintenance and installation for homes and businesses, be sure to contact Action Cooling & Heating in Fort Meyers, Florida.

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.