Posts Tagged ‘Snead Island’

Sarasota Springs HVAC Guide: Why Routine Maintenance Improves IAQ

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Furnaces and air conditioners in Sarasota Springs are by far the most common way to circulate air throughout homes, offices and institutions, heating in the winter months and cooling in the summer.  Adjust the thermostat and controlled air is delivered almost immediately.

If a system is not regularly and properly maintained, however, that air can be dirty, dusty and full of odor, having passed through the heat exchanger, filters and ductwork that have accumulated a build-up of residue over time.  IAQ or interior air quality quickly deteriorates.

The Basics

HVAC systems heat or cool air at a central point. The air passes through filters to sift out dust and unwanted particles, then travels through a system of ductwork to be delivered to the space.  Return air ducts bring it back to the central point.

Along the way, the air accumulates the dust, germs and debris of the places it inhabits.  Over time, the filters become clogged and eventually contribute more contamination to the processed air than they can clean.  The enclosed and hard to reach ducts are also deposits of dust and decorated with spider webs that are quickly another form of filter that gives back more than it receives.

The Costs

Without routine maintenance, the system runs poorly and distributes more dirt into the living space than it is able to filter and clean, reducing the quality of life for the inhabitants, homeowners.  Poor air quality can lead to serious health issues.

Not only does the quality of the air decrease, the strain on the system lowers efficiency.  Having to work harder consumes more energy, creating an immediate and noticeable rise in utility bills.  The stress also reduces the lifetime of your Sarasota Springs HVAC system and requires more rapid replacements of parts or the entire furnace, a huge financial cost.

Regular Maintenance is the Easy Solution

To maintain high levels of quality air, it is essential to schedule regular replacements of filters and a clean-out of the ducts.  The filters are accessible as part of the furnace and air conditioners and easily swapped out by the home owner once or (better) twice a year.

Ductwork, however, is enclosed and often out of site, just as easily out of mind and certainly harder to reach.  Scheduling duct cleaning along with an inspection and routine maintenance of the entire system with a licensed company such as Baker & Sons Air Conditioning, Inc. ensures longevity and efficiency along with peace of mind.

Snead Island Heat Pump FAQs

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Even if you installed a heat pump in your Snead Island home years ago, you may still have questions about the normal operation of your indoor and outdoor units. Here are answers to a few of the more common questions about heat pumps.

Do I need to schedule a heat pump maintenance visit before each season, or just once a year?

Scheduling a yearly maintenance visit is necessary to the proper upkeep and safe operation of your heat pump. This also extends the life of the system and helps it run more efficiently. However, scheduling a visit before the heating and cooling seasons isn’t necessary, unless you’ve had any concerns or issues with your heat pump.

Should I be concerned about the steam coming from my outdoor unit?

All heat pumps have a defrost cycle that melts the frost off of the outdoor coils in the winter. The steam rising from the outdoor unit results from the defrost cycle. If you notice that the defrost cycle lasts longer than ten to fifteen minutes, or if it cycles on and off frequently, you should call a service technician to look at your heat pump. There could be an issue with airflow that is affecting the compressor.

I just installed a heat pump. Why is my furnace running?

Many heat pump systems use the furnace fan blower to help distribute the heat throughout the house. Unless you’ve installed a geothermal heat pump, your furnace is most likely your backup heater, so it will kick on when the outside temperature drops below 20° F.

Is it really that important to clean my outdoor unit? It’s impossible to keep it clean all the time.

Yes, cleaning the outdoor unit is an especially important maintenance task. Not only does a routine cleaning of all the outdoor components maintain your heat pump’s efficiency and performance levels, it also prevents safety hazards. When you schedule a yearly maintenance visit with one of our technicians, cleaning the coils and outdoor unit is part of the service; however, if you want to clean the coils yourself, have one of our technicians show you how to do this before you attempt it on your own. You could suffer from electric shock if you are not familiar with the proper cleaning procedure. You can also help by making sure that the debris is cleared from around the outdoor unit.

If you have any questions about the heat pump in your Snead Island home, or if you’d like to schedule a maintenance appointment, give Baker & Sons Air Conditioning a call any time.

What to Look For When a Home is 10 Years Old: A Guide From Gibsonton

Monday, September 12th, 2011

A ten year old home in Gibsonton is likely to be in great condition, presuming the previous owner(s) treated it well. But, there are some things you should watch out for that can arise in newer constructions, even if they were treated well.

Poor Craftsmanship

While it is possible for a 100 year old home to have poorly crafted parts, it’s highly unlikely if the house is still intact and is being sold this long after it was built. Newer homes, however, wouldn’t show signs of cheap materials or shoddy work until a bit later in their life. That’s why it is important to pay for a thorough inspection of the property as soon as possible – definitely before it is purchased and possibly again afterwards to check for possible improvements.

Specific things you should check for include heating and cooling systems, the insulation and the drywall used. Especially in freshly renovated or built houses it’s impossible to be sure a home was built with the highest standards of modern craftsmanship.

Proper Maintenance

For a home that is only 10 years old, there is a good chance you can get the original records for the heating and cooling system, any appliances in the home and all maintenance performed on them since their installation. If not, don’t fret – a good technician will be able to easily check the status of a piece during an inspection.

Overall, if your new home is only 10 years old, you are likely in a very good place. The home will be in good condition, the parts will be new, and your heating and cooling system should be efficient. Original parts installed during construction may need to be replaced, but otherwise, if everything else checks out, you can count on having a comfortable, wonderful place to live for some years to come.

Common Problem Areas for HVAC Systems in Bird Island

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

No one wants to have to call a contractor in to inspect their HVAC system in their Bird Island home. Problems in heating or air conditioning tend to be costly and time consuming to fix. But, the longer you wait, the bigger the problem is likely to get. So, it’s important to act quickly when you suspect a problem with any of the following common sources in an HVAC system:

  • Power Lines – Your HVAC system uses a lot of electricity so if it stops working, turns off suddenly or frequently shuts down, it may be a power issue. If the system stops working at any point, check your breaker box for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. You should also check the electrical line to your HVAC system. If you see any damage from animals, weather or otherwise, call a professional immediately.
  • Gas Lines – if you have gas furnaces and appliances, gas supply problems can be a major issue for your HVAC system. There are a number of safety measures in place in a gas line system. The gas valve connecting the gas line to your furnace has as safety shutoff switch. Your home has a carbon monoxide detector. A pressure drop in the system will also cause a shutoff. So, the most common problem you would face with a gas line is that is stops providing gas, usually because there is a problem in a component. If this happens, call the gas company immediately to check your system, and of course if you smell a leak, leave the house and call the emergency line for your gas company.
  • Drains – Air conditioners have drain pipes that release the condensed water that builds up inside as they run. However, over time, that drain can clog up if it’s not properly maintained. If you have a central air conditioning unit, check the drain pan once every week or so to make sure it is draining properly. Frequently, this drain pipe will be located higher in your home so that it can drain properly away from the property. Call a professional if it continues to clog or fails to drain at all.
  • Venting – Vent problems can result in more than just stuffy air. Clogged or dirty vents are fire hazards and they can decrease indoor air quality, making it both uncomfortable and unhealthy inside. Vents and ductwork should be cleaned annually to avoid the buildup of debris and sediment. Additionally, you should do a visual inspection once a month to check for debris and vacuum the space where possible.

Most of the problems commonly associated with your HVAC system need to be checked and repaired by a professional. However, by remaining vigilant and checking them regularly, you can avoid a much bigger problem and subsequent repairs.

Energy Recovery Ventilator – What Is It and When Do You Need It?

Monday, July 4th, 2011

It isn’t cheap to heat and cool the air you circulate through your home every day. In fact, heating and cooling can be the most expensive energy related systems you operate. So, the last thing you want is to open a window and pour all of that conditioned air into the great outdoors.

That’s why most modern homes are sealed up so tightly. The heated and cooled air you enjoy so much needs to be retained, both to save money and to reduce your energy use. It’s why the government offers credits for things like insulation upgrades and the purchase of more energy efficient comfort systems.

But, while sealing everything saves you money and reduces your energy use, it can negatively impact your indoor air quality. Without proper circulation and ventilation, the air in your home grows thick with indoor contaminants like pet dander, pollen, dust, and possibly even bacteria or gasses. Normally, these things would be circulated outside through traditional ventilation. But, because of your heating and cooling system, the age old method of cracking a window to let a little fresh air in just doesn’t work anymore.

An energy recovery ventilator solves this problem. Instead of just pouring heated or cooled air outside and replacing it with fresh air, an energy recovery ventilator passes the air through a series of chambers. Within those chambers the heat is transferred from the warmer air to the cooler air.

In the winter, this means the indoor air passes its energy to the incoming air, retaining the heat your furnace or boiler generated. In the summer, the air coming in from outside passes its heat energy to the cooled indoor air as it leaves and only cool air enters your home.

In effect, an energy recovery ventilator works to reduce the cost of both heating and cooling. It is true that most indoor air quality systems are designed to remove many of the contaminants you flush outside, but relying solely on your air purifier or filter puts undue stress on the equipment. Not only will you need to replace filters and cartridges more often, you may need to replace the entire system earlier than you would otherwise. If you’re tired of losing all that conditioned air just to get a fresh breath, look into these amazing machines for your indoor air system.

Most Commonly Asked Questions about Heat Pumps

Monday, February 28th, 2011

If you’re thinking about buying a new heat pump for your home, chances are you have some questions about these types of products and how they work. In fact, because these types of home comfort systems are relatively new to a lot of people, there are a quite a few misconceptions out there about how effective and efficient they can be.

Recently we’ve gotten some good questions from our readers, so we thought we’d like to pass along the answers so that others can benefit from the information as well.

If I Buy a Heat Pump, Do I Have to Buy an Air Conditioner Too?

That heat pumps are only able to heat your home is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about this type of equipment. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air in one place and transferring it to another. That means that in the winter, your heat pump is able to heat your home by taking heat from the outdoor air and moving it inside.

However, in the summer, the heat pump is able to do the same thing only in reverse. When you switch on your heat pump’s cooling function, it will be able to take the heat out of your indoor air and transfer it outside. In this way, the same heat pump system can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer without you needing to purchase an air conditioner or other supplemental comfort systems.

If I Choose a Heat Pump System, Will I Also Need to Install Supplemental Heat?

That depends on what the climate is like where you live and how warm you like to keep your home. In general, heat pumps can keep any home comfortable as long as the outdoor temperature is above 32°F or so. If the temperature outside drops below that, you may want to have some type of supplemental heating system just in case. However, a heat pump will still be able to provide some warmth at these lower temperatures and you may be able to keep yourself comfortable with a simple space heater or too.

Also, remember that these colder temperatures are most common at night when you would probably have turned your heat down anyway. As long as you live in a relatively moderate climate, heat pumps can do a great job of keeping your home comfortable all year long.