A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is a major purchase that should last for many years. Whether you are planning to replace an existing system or do a completely new heat pump installation, you will want to consider cost, energy efficiency and how well it meets your indoor comfort needs. Today, many homeowners are installing heat pumps instead of traditional HVAC systems.
Heat pumps provide the convenience of heating and cooling with one unit instead of maintaining a separate furnace and air conditioner. Heat pumps work by transferring heat between the inside and outside of a building. During the hot summer months, heat pumps remove heat from indoors. By reversing the flow of refrigerant, heat pumps capture heat energy from outside and route it indoors during winter months. They are energy-efficient, quiet and create a comfortable living space. Heat pumps also provide excellent humidity control.
There are several types of heat pump systems that save energy and increase comfort. The qualified staff at Frank’s Air Conditioning of St. Cloud, Florida, can help you evaluate which one best meets your needs.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps are available as both ducted and ductless systems. They extract heat from the air and transfer it between the inside and outside of a building. Both systems include an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor/condenser. Ducted systems work just like standard HVAC systems, blowing conditioned air through ducts into the living space.
Ductless systems connect an outdoor condenser to individual indoor air handlers mounted on a wall or ceiling. Instead of ducts, tubing routed through a small hole in the wall connects the condenser to blower cassettes. The conduit contains refrigerant, condensate lines and electrical wiring. Depending on the brand and model, one condenser can operate one or more blowers. A remote control operates individual cassettes that can be switched off when not in use, which saves energy.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the earth. Pipes containing refrigerant are buried several feet below ground surface where temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year. The refrigerant, routed to the outdoor condenser, undergoes the standard refrigeration process to heat and cool your home. Geothermal systems cost more to install. However, they last up to 50 years, are easy to maintain and work well in all climates. They can reduce energy usage by 25% to 50%. Geothermal systems are difficult to install on small lots and in some soils.
Heat Pump Efficiency
Heat pumps use less energy than standard HVAC systems. Cooling efficiencies are measured by seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of a cooling season by the amount of energy used during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the better the efficiency. A SEER ratio expresses maximum efficiency under controlled conditions. Actual performance may vary.
Heating efficiency is defined by a heat pump’s heating seasonal performance factor. The number expresses how much heat a unit will produce in relation to the energy used to generate it. Heat pumps with higher HSPF ratings use less energy. The minimum standard will rise from 8.2 to 8.8 in 2023.
The Department of Energy has issued minimum efficiency standards for air conditioning and heating equipment geared to climate zones in the U.S. For the Southeastern U.S., which includes Florida, the minimum is 14 SEER. Most major HVAC manufacturers exceed these standards, offering ratings as high as 21 SEER.
Variable Speed Technology
Today’s heat pumps offer better efficiency with variable speed fans and compressors. With variable speed technology, fan and compressor speeds power up to meet demand. When demand decreases, the system powers down, using less energy. Variable speed fans and blowers precisely control the amount of air flowing through ducts. The result is increased comfort, lower energy use and better humidity control.
Sizing and Installation
According to the Department of Energy, improper installation is a common reason for HVAC equipment failure. The service technicians at Frank’s Air Conditioning follow industry standards for new heat pump installations. As a Trane Comfort Specialist, our technicians undergo extensive training on leading-edge equipment. We evaluate your indoor comfort needs and do a load calculation to ensure we properly size and install your new system.
If you are considering a new heat pump installation, call the experts at Frank’s Air Conditioning. Our more than 30 years of experience in the area means we know how equipment performs in the humid, hot Florida climate.
Many people in Kissimmee, FL, spend most of their time indoors, whether at home or at the office. As such, indoor air quality is very important as it directly contributes to productivity and health at home and work. Below are some of the major IAQ threats to your home’s indoor air.
Fungi, bacteria, viruses, pet saliva, rodents and cockroaches are among the main biological pollutants found in homes. These pollutants come from several sources, including pets, people with airborne diseases, mites, pests, plants and others. According to the EPA, you can eliminate most of these biological contaminants by reducing relative humidity at home.
Ensure there is no stagnant water or wet surfaces, and keep the relative humidity between 30% and 50%. Areas with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, humidifiers, cooling coils and condensate pans, are more prone to the growth of biological contaminants.
Biological pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, including allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and can also exacerbate asthma. Diseases such as measles and influenza also spread through air.
These are minute particles of soot, dust, smoke and several other compounds. These particles come into your home on pet’s skin, clothes, through openings in any part of your home or on furniture.
Because these particles are only 10 micrometers in diameter, it’s possible to inhale them. Once inhaled, the particles can affect the lungs and the heart, and in some cases, they cause severe health effects. The very minute particles go deep into the lungs, and some even end up in the bloodstream.
Particulates affect people with asthma, coronary artery disease, heart or lung disease and respiratory diseases more. They can also cause nose, eye and throat irritation, premature death for people with chronic heart or lung conditions and exacerbation of respiratory diseases.
Gases and Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases and odors from cleaning agents, perfumes, paints, pesticides and several other household agents. Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, respiratory irritation, nausea and several other problems, including cancer. Other gases that can pollute your indoor air include radon, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.
You can avoid the effects of these gases by ensuring your home has sufficient ventilation, using only the recommended amount of products with VOCs, choosing products with little or no VOCs and discarding used containers well.
Formaldehyde is an ingredient in several household products and building materials. It also tends to occur due to certain natural reactions. Exposure to formaldehyde causes irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and throat while prolonged exposure can cause cancer.
Composite wood products have the highest amount of formaldehyde. When shopping for these, consider those certified as compliant to ensure the safety of your family. You can also reduce the rate at which composite wood products release formaldehyde by keeping air conditioning on and controlling relative humidity at home.
Cigarette smoke is a common indoor air pollutant. If you or your partner smoke cigarettes, you expose the entire household to second-hand smoke, which is as lethal as first-hand smoke. If you have to smoke, do it outside in a breezy area so that nothing comes back to the house.
Both first-hand and second-hand smoke from cigarettes are Group A carcinogens according to the EPA. There is no risk-free level of smoking, and even a small volume of smoke inhaled can cause severe health issues. Secondhand smoke can lead to lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.
Although you can have a well-maintained indoor air quality system, the best way to avoid cigarette smoke is to prohibit smoking indoors. This way, you never overwork the air purifier and also avoid respiratory diseases.
A qualified HVAC technician can help you install, repair and maintain an indoor air quality system. Call Frank’s Air Conditioning in Kissimmee, FL, for HVAC installation and indoor air quality services.
Image provided by iStock
Smart home technology allows you to control various aspects of your home using the internet of things (IoT). It has many applications, including controlling appliances, home security, regulating energy use or even acting as a personal assistant. Here’s everything you need to know about smart home technology and its benefits in St. Cloud, FL.
Remote monitoring allows you to manage any devices connected through Wi-Fi from any place or at any time. You can have real-time check-ins on certain aspects of your home. Remote monitoring gives a degree of security and comfort as you can see your home is safe from any harm.
Home automation systems such as Nexia Home Intelligence allow you to manage your home from a distance and stay on top of what’s happening. It gives you remote access to home systems such as cameras, lights, locks and thermostats.
The remote control helps you to set schedules, such as turning lights on or allowing guests into your home. You also get alerts when unexpected things happen. Nexia gives you peace of mind and calms your anxiety since you can check your house to be sure.
Properly managing utilities such as cooling, lighting and heating can help you save money. Smart thermostats can help you schedule your heating schedule throughout the day, helping to improve your comfort and minimize energy waste. You can set specific temperatures for certain times of the day and lower the heat when you’re not at home, for example.
With Nexia, you can control your energy usage and increase the efficiency of your system. You can create heating zones and manage your thermostat in separate rooms in your home. Nexia allows you to adjust your heating or cooling temperatures before coming back home.
If there are any unexpected temperature changes throughout the day, Nexia alerts you through email. You can remotely turn off home electronic devices or lights to prevent energy wastage. You can use your smartphone to regulate temperature from anywhere through a smart thermostat.
Improves Safety and Security
Smart home technology can help you enhance your home security through real-time surveillance. Smart home cameras are convenient and have numerous safety possibilities. Security in your home extends beyond cameras to include locks, sensors, lights and so much more.
Nexia systems integrate various compatible devices that can help you manage your home security. Smart locks allow you to unlock doors in your home for any guest, even when you’re not at home. You can receive alerts on your phone if there are security breaches in your home.
Smart lights with sensors turn on each time you enter a room so you can see where you’re going. The Nexus security bundle also allows you to set scheduled lock codes for limited access to visitors.
Smart home technology has enormous customization capabilities. You can customize your smart appliances to match your specific needs and preferences. This improves your comfort and convenience at home.
You can set your smart thermostat to adjust your home temperature according to local weather conditions. This can improve your indoor comfort and avoid manually changing the settings whenever there are sudden temperature changes. You can also set smart sprinklers to activate after setting changes in the amount of sunlight.
Smart home technology can help to improve the efficiency of your appliances. Smart thermostats will help your HVAC system run more efficiently and will help lower utility bills. Smart lights will turn on only when necessary, while smart humidifiers will automatically turn on or off when they detect a change in humidity.
Smart home technology connects all of your smart appliances in your home to improve productivity. It allows these devices to communicate with each other for better function. This will provide you with more ways to be comfortable and attain peace of mind.
Frank’s Air Conditioning provides installation of smart thermostats, quality air conditioning repair, installation and maintenance services. We offer 24/7 emergency services and guarantee 100% satisfaction. Contact us at Frank’s Air Conditioning today for all your air conditioning services.
Image provided by iStock
The decision to hire a contractor for HVAC maintenance is essential, and you should not take it lightly. Many considerations go into this process, but there are a few questions you can ask before choosing a company to work with in Kissimmee, FL.
1. What Is the Company’s History?
It’s essential to find out about the company’s history before choosing one. For instance:
- How long has the company been in business?
- How many people work for them?
- What are their qualifications?
- Do they have any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau or other organizations?
- What type of warranty do they offer on labor and parts?
It’s also worth checking reviews from verified customers who have used their services to see what feedback they may have. Even if you don’t plan on using this service now, it’s good to know where you can go when there’s an emergency.
2. Does the HVAC Company Have Any Certifications or Licenses?
You should check to see if the HVAC company you’re planning on hiring has any certifications or licensing before deciding whether to work with it. You can do this by researching the company’s website or by speaking directly to the employees. Not only will this help you know whether it has the right credentials, but it can also help you know what type of customer service to expect from the company.
3. What Type of Equipment Does the Company Recommend?
Technology in the HVAC industry has been improving at a rapid pace. This, in turn, is changing how HVAC systems function.
Selecting a company that is only familiar with old technology doesn’t ensure the best possible outcome because systems meet today’s needs. For example, geothermal systems are gaining popularity because of their ability to provide long-term efficiencies.
By investing time into researching the type of equipment a company offers and recommends, you will know if it has stayed up to date on the latest technology or not.
4. Is The Staff Qualified and Experienced in Handling HVAC Systems?
One of the most important things you should do when choosing an HVAC company is to ensure that the company has adequate qualifications and experience to handle your needs. The best way to find out if a company fits your needs is by reading its reviews online.
Reading reviews about the company will give you a much better idea about the quality of services the company offers. If there are many bad reviews, you may want to look elsewhere.
5. Does the HVAC Company Offer Warranties on Workmanship and Products after Installation?
When a company offers warranties, it’s an indication of how willing the company is to stand behind its workmanship. Warranties give you peace of mind that if something goes wrong, the company has your back.
It’s worth noting that most companies offer some warranty on their products, but it often expires in one year. If a warranty expires, be sure to ask what it includes and what restrictions apply.
6. How Often Will the Company Perform Preventive Maintenance Services?
If you’re unsure what kind of HVAC services to get or how often to perform, it’s always a good idea to ask your provider about this. HVAC services can include cleaning, installing, repairing and servicing your system. When doing this type of check, you should also inquire how often the company performs preventive maintenance services.
Above are some questions you should be asking before hiring an HVAC company in Kissimmee, FL. Contact us at Frank’s Air Conditioning for more information concerning our repair, installation and maintenance services.
Image provided by iStock
You don’t need to be an expert to know that good airflow is a cornerstone of staying healthy and cool, so when your air conditioner’s flow starts feeling lackluster, it can dampen your quality of life. The hot and humid air in Intercession, FL, can not only dehydrate you, but it’s also uncomfortable. Once you find out why your home’s airflow isn’t what it should be, there are a few solutions you can try to improve it.
The Simple Solutions
Sometimes the problem to your airflow issue might have a simple solution. Check for these issues first:
- Are all the air vents in each room open and not blocked? Large pieces of furniture can block air vents. Bookshelves, headboards and living room furniture occasionally block vents.
- Did you close a vent? Many people make the mistake of closing a vent in hopes of redirecting the air to another space, but this can actually put a strain on your HVAC system. It can also worsen the airflow in your home.
- Have you checked your filters? Generally, you should replace your unit’s air filters monthly for optimum performance. Make sure that you replace the filter with one that’s compatible with your unit, though; a filter that’s too thick can block airflow, and a filter that’s too small won’t be effective.
Do You Have a Leak?
You may think air duct leaks have to be large to be significant, but most often, they’re not. Leaks of any size in your ductwork can have a significant impact on the airflow in your home.
Air duct leaks are some of the most common culprits behind poor airflow, and they can cost you a lot of money if you don’t get them repaired. If the air is leaking out, there’s a reduction in the pressure your HVAC system creates, which slows down all airflow in your home.
Are Your Ducts Dirty?
Chances are that if you haven’t been replacing your filters, then pollutants have been creeping into your ductwork. Your filters can only withhold so much dirt and dust before pollutants sneak their way into your HVAC system.
Dust, dirt and spores can coat your air ducts and slow down airflow dramatically. Not only that, but when your air ducts are dirty, then that dirty air gets into the air in your home, where you breathe it in. Dirty, polluted air is hard on those with allergies, asthma and immunodeficiencies.
When Did You Last Have Maintenance?
Just like it’s important to maintain your automobile, so must you maintain your air ducts and other HVAC equipment if you want them to function properly and last as long as they can. When you call us, we’ll perform a thorough HVAC maintenance inspection and tune-up on your system.
Regular use of your HVAC system leads to simple wear and tear that we address during a maintenance checkup. We’ll also look for any issues that could turn into bigger ones if left unaddressed. Catching problems like this early on and getting them fixed right away can extend the lifespan of your system.
How to Improve Your Airflow
Getting a zoned system is perhaps the best way to improve the airflow in your home. A zoned system allows you to have greater control over different areas of your home without compromising efficiency. With a zoned system, you can set a separate temperature for different spaces in your home.
You’ll need to have a professional install a zoned system in your home. We can evaluate your home and let you know whether this would be a feasible option for you.
If you think you’re not getting the airflow you should, contact us at Frank’s Air Conditioning, Inc., and we’ll come out and inspect your air ducts and clean them if necessary. We’ll find out what’s keeping your airflow from being all that it could be, and we’ll propose the best solution for improving it. We also offer a maintenance plan and same-day service for your convenience.
Image provided by iStock
A HVAC system is an important investment for any resident of Orlando, FL. Unfortunately, like many homeowners, you may not be enjoying your HVAC system as much as you should because of certain myths surrounding it. The good news is that this guide will help you live better with your heating and cooling system by busting some HVAC system myths, which include the following:
1. The Bigger the Unit, the Better for Your Home
If you’ve been thinking of replacing your current HVAC system with a bigger one, you should reconsider doing so. Having a unit that is too large for your home can increase your energy bills tremendously due to an endless on-and-off cycle.
In many cases, HVAC systems that are too powerful for a home overshoot the target indoor temperature within a short period. Besides high energy bills, this issue can lead to more breakdowns and a reduced lifespan since the unit’s parts wear out faster than normal. Your home will also be more humid as the system doesn’t stay on long enough to remove the moisture in the air.
2. Regular Checks Are a Waste of Money If Your HVAC System Seems Fine
Like many people, you may be waiting for your HVAC system to start presenting issues before you schedule checks and repairs. That’s not wise. Although your unit may be functioning properly today, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Always remember that the unit’s internal components will always accumulate wear as long as the system is running. For instance, the moving parts wear away slowly, and dust particles accumulate. That means that a mechanical problem can occur at any time or make it inefficient.
To avoid such surprises and the resulting high repair or replacement costs, you should always schedule regular maintenance checks with an HVAC professional. During an inspection, a qualified technician will confirm that all the HVAC parts are fine to make sure that the system remains efficient and reliable until the next inspection.
3. You Can Install the Thermostat Anywhere
Common HVAC problems, such as poor cooling, are not always caused by breakdowns or wear and tear on certain parts. The thermostat’s location also influences how well a HVAC system operates, which means that if yours is on the wrong wall, you may experience heating or cooling problems.
Generally, HVAC professionals follow certain guidelines when installing thermostats, and some of them involve the ideal location for the device. Installing the device on an exterior wall or in areas that often receive direct sunlight, for instance, can lead to a host of HVAC system problems because the thermostat will read the wrong temperature.
4. You Can Successfully Seal Your Air Duct Leaks With Duct Tape
Although you can use duct tape to solve many issues around the house, you should not rely on it to seal your leaking air ducts because it doesn’t stick properly to air duct surfaces. If you detect any air duct cracks, call a professional to fix them with the right product. Mastic sealant and aluminum foil tape are some of the products HVAC professionals use to fix duct leaks.
5. You Must Cover Your HVAC System in Winter
You may have seen people covering their HVAC’s outdoor components in winter to prevent damage from debris and other elements. The truth is, HVAC systems are generally designed to endure harsh weather and climatic conditions, which include heavy rainfall, high outdoor temperatures and debris.
If believing such myths has led to minor or major HVAC issues in your home, such as high energy bills and breakdowns, then you need a professional to help you out. Contact us at Frank’s Air Conditioning to repair, maintain or install your HVAC system in Orlando, FL. We also provide duct cleaning and attic insulation services.
Image provided by iStock