Furnace Repair Lakeland: Forced-Air Furnace Fuel Options, Pros & Cons, and Troubleshooting
Florida residents, take note: Whether you’ve got a forced-air system, an oil system, electric baseboard heating, a heat pump or something else, efficiency is the most important element for your comfort and for keeping your bills under control. Forced-air heating is the most common kind of heating system found, especially in modern homes. However, that doesn’t stop many other heating solutions from popping up all over the Lone Star State. We’ve seen a little bit of everything, and so we can be know-it-alls. But you get the benefit of that knowledge because we care about our neighbors. If you have a home and want it heated, this article is for you. If you’re considering a furnace repair or new installation, this article is for you. It’s a good time to have the most efficient system possible. Incentives and rebates and other financial assistance are available to homeowners going greener. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Ask us about it today. This article is going to talk you through a few of the different fuel sources available to the modern home, and what the pros and cons of those fuels are. We’d like to help you minimize those. This article will focus primarily on how forced-air furnaces work, what kinds of fuels are used, and a few simple things you should know if you own or may buy one. It is NOT a buying guide. We will post one of those in the very near future, though, so follow the Metro Energy Savers furnace repair Lakeland blog. What kind of fuel do you want to use? Depending on where you’re located, you’ll have different pros and cons related to fuel choices. The most common furnaces use natural gas, but not every home is hooked up to the gas company’s supply. For those of you who are a bit off the beaten path, you’ll be looking at propane, oil, electricity, or even wood. Each fuel source comes with different challenges. Here’s the shorthand, but again, we’ll do a deep dive on this in a future installation article. The Pros and Cons of Different Heating Fuels Most Florida HVAC companies will have a strong opinion on different fuel types and their benefits and disadvantages. Here is our take on the subject: Natural Gas Pros: Natural gas is supplied to your home through pipes. You never have to manually stock up on fuel, arrange delivery of fuel, or worry about running out at a bad time. It’s usually cheaper than oil and electricity and comes with savings. Even bitter winters can be defeated by a good gas furnace. Of course, in Florida, that’s slightly less of a concern than in other states, but there’s something really nice about letting the municipality do all the hard work for you, right? Cons: Your home has to be hooked up to a municipal supply. You’re dealing with a utility company, and are subject to their pricing – and their mistakes, if they make any. Natural gas heaters are sometimes going to require more repairs than others. They’re also the heater that comes with a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning (a minuscule risk with modern safety measures, but a risk all the same). While the risk is extremely small, when problems do arise with natural gas, the fallout can be considerable. Oil Pros: Oil is cheaper than electricity; though not as cheap as natural gas. It’s an off-the-grid option, making it great for rural homes and homes that don’t want to depend on outside sources. Fuel oil is not explosive, as it is quite viscous. Many HVAC technicians will tell you that oil heat can burn hotter than gas, as well, which does allow it to heat your home faster than other heating sources. After all, many famous places – West Point, Gettysburg, the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and even the Statue of Liberty – still use oil heat. Oil furnaces can also be less expensive than comparable gas systems, especially if you don’t already have a municipal gas line running to your home. Cons: Oil doesn’t burn quite as well as gas. It’s less efficient and requires more cleaning to avoid soot buildup. It isn’t as environmentally friendly as gas heat, and you have to remember to schedule regular delivery or risk running out. Oil furnaces are bulkier and also require a fuel storage tank. Oil prices are far more volatile than natural gas prices and tend to be hard to predict because much of it is imported. Propane Pros: Propane is cheaper than oil and electric, and on par with gas, depending on your area. It is among the more efficient fuel options and doesn’t produce significant CO2. Propane tanks can be buried and can have substantial capacities, making them more convenient to deliver than oil, and allowing buyers to stock up when prices are low. Propane furnaces are also very efficient, and often have flappers that close external vents when the ideal temperature is reached, which can reduce energy loss. Cons: Propane doesn’t produce as much heat like gas or oil, per gallon, and propane heaters can be more expensive. Propane is a highly combustible fuel, so precautions are required to operate it. Propane requires compatible pipes, which not every home has pre-installed. Older propane-equipped homes often have unsightly above-ground tanks which lower the home’s value. Wood Pros: Wood or wood pellet forced-air furnaces can utilize the same ductwork as any central HVAC system (though they also require a chimney or smokestack). Outdoor wood furnaces even allow large and inconvenient wood to be used, or even unseasoned wood. Wood-furnaces often have very attractive “wood stoves” that may be desirable for indoor heating sources. Essentially, they replace a fireplace, allowing you to watch the wood burn and enjoy the view. Wood furnaces continue to work, even during power outages. Cons: Wood produces more air pollution than other fuels. They require the owner to regularly “feed” the firebox to keep the heat on, and they are a fire hazard. They are somewhat less efficient than other fuel sources. Wood furnaces produce considerable smoke, which can be a nuisance to neighbors, especially on windy days, and may necessitate building a much higher chimney. Storing wood requires significant effort, including the allotment of space, and the purchase, transport, stacking, storing, and sometimes even chopping of wood. An indoor wood furnace may require you to add radiators and piping throughout your home to carry the heat to other rooms. Electric Pros: Any home can get electric heat. If you’ve got power, you can have an electric heater. They cost less upfront to install, they tend to have long lives, and they aren’t as large as their combustible-fuel counterparts. The reduced installation cost is very attractive, and many homeowners can DIY installation of some electric systems. There are no risks of carbon monoxide or carbon emissions, as the electric furnace does not burn fuel. From an energy-loss perspective, they are among the most efficient heaters on the market. Cons: Efficient does not always mean cheap, and electrical heating is always among the most expensive options for your home. It produces less BTUs of heat than comparable furnaces using different fuel sources. Electric heaters also cannot reach the same levels of heat, making them a poor choice for homes in cold-weather states. Electric furnaces are also quite different, which means that repair work can be more difficult or more expensive than gas, propane, oil, and wood furnaces. While they’re reasonable for Florida, the furnace repair Lakeland team would usually recommend seeking a different option. Lakeland Furnace Repair: The Right Fuel is (Mostly) Up for Debate Ask 10 Lakeland furnace repair technicians what fuel they recommend, and you’ll get 4-5 different answers. We’re willing to bet most of us would recommend natural gas first, though. Oil-to-gas conversions are becoming more and more common as homeowners leave behind their outdated heating technology and move into the modern age. Adding a gas line to a home can be troublesome, but it also opens doors into better hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, and more. Call Air Repair Lakeland today to ask us how our furnace repair technicians can help you make the most of your HVAC equipment. We have served Lakeland and the surrounding cities in Florida for many years. Ask us about our risk-free guarantee, or our free consultations! Ask us how we can help make your home energy bills less expensive, or reduce the cost of a new furnace or AC installation with tax incentives and manufacturer rebates. Above all, let us help you! Because (and this is true): After all of our years of service, our award-winning technicians, our industry accolades, we have learned one thing. The most important people in our lives are our customers. You are why we exist, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Drop us a line today!
Furnace Repair Lakeland: Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace
Everyone is worried about carbon monoxide at some point. And they should be. Carbon monoxide presents a serious danger to your home ... … if you aren’t educated on how to prevent it. That’s where we come in. Our job as HVAC furnace and heating repair technicians gives us a unique insight into the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the things that any homeowner can do to protect themselves and their household. Furnace and heating repair - So what do you really know about CO? Carbon monoxide is poisonous. It is also colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it one of the more insidious dangers in your home. Carbon monoxide is produced by gas dryers, water heaters, fireplaces, generators, fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves, kerosene lanterns, automobiles, and, of course, your furnace. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 430 people die annually in the US from accidental CO poisoning.50,000 ER visits every year are due to accidental CO poisoning. There are also these surprising statistics: More than a third of homeowners aren’t sure if they have a carbon monoxide detector.More than two-thirds of surveyed homeowners couldn’t list the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.Over one-third of carbon monoxide-related deaths occur in the winter. Furnaces (whether propane, natural gas or wood) heat your home through the combustion of a fuel source. That produces carbon monoxide. When your furnace is working properly, very little carbon monoxide is produced, and what little there might be is harmlessly vented out of your home. When a furnace is functioning improperly, it can suddenly begin producing greater amounts of CO and failing to vent it from your home. That can be deadly if a furnace repair expert doesn’t get to it quickly. Let’s talk about your furnace heat exchanger. Your furnace is an extremely complex machine. While it’s not uncommon for the members of our furnace repair Lakeland team to throw around a little technical jargon, it’s important that we give you a basic understanding of your heat exchanger. Your heat exchanger is extremely aptly named. Its purpose is to efficiently exchange heat from one surface to another. In practice, it’s the part of your furnace that literally heats the air. It’s essentially a series of coils that get very hot, allowing your blower (the fan part of your HVAC system) to blow air across, heating it.It’s like blowing on hot coffee but in reverse. This critical component isn’t infallible; in short, your heat exchanger can crack or fail. As it heats and cools over and over again year-round due to its own functions and the changing weather, it can produce cracks. It can also rust due to moisture. In specific failure conditions, a cracked or failing heat exchanger can cause carbon monoxide to mix with the air in your home. That’s a definite safety concern. What happens if the furnace heat exchanger cracks? A cracked heat exchanger allows the exhaust (the gas produced by burning fuel) to escape into your home. It’s essentially pumping poison into your home. In order for this to happen at dangerous levels, your furnace must be producing high levels of exhaust, but if it happens, it could lead to serious illness. And yes, it can even be deadly. Are there early warning signs? Yes. The best line of defense against carbon monoxide poisoning is furnace repair Lakeland technicians, who can perform a visual inspection to identify cracks and make necessary repairs to your system. Additionally, though, there are signs you yourself can watch for: If your pilot flame is flickering, it could be a sign that circulated air from your furnace is reaching the portion of your system that burns fuel. An HVAC technician should be called in to confirm.If your pilot light is burning yellow, rather than blue, it could be a sign of developing problems with your furnace that could prove hazardous.If members of the household seem sick, lightheaded, or nauseous, it could be a symptom of CO poisoning.Check the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector! Those exist specifically to provide you with an emergency warning. How can I tell if my gas furnace heat exchanger is damaged or failing? Air Repair Lakeland employs NATE (North American Technician Excellence), certified technicians. Part of achieving that certification involves highly specialized training in furnace repair. That includes identifying a cracked heat exchanger. We use our eyes, but we also use specialized cameras. We’re able, when possible, to physically show you the crack in your heat exchanger. We will also bring in sensitive equipment to test your home and furnace for the presence of carbon monoxide. If your furnace is working properly, our equipment will confirm it and set your mind at east. If it is not, we will absolutely know, and we can advise you of the critical next steps to ensure your family’s safety. After diagnosing a damaged furnace heat exchanger, what do we do? The next steps we mentioned above only come after a confirmed diagnosis. No reputable HVAC or furnace repair company will ever give you the runaround on something this critical. Your first question will usually be: do I repair or replace? That’s an easy question. A cracked heat exchanger should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be replaced. Be very wary of any company offering to save you money by “repairing” or “remanufacturing” a cracked heat exchanger. The American Gas Association advises that any visible crack or hole in a heat exchanger is fair cause for immediate replacement. Sometimes, replacing the heat exchanger isn’t enough – but not always. Sometimes, when a customer’s heat exchanger fails, the HVAC contractor who has the job will get asked, “Do I have to replace everything?” And this may be an area where some companies fudge the truth in order to get a big job or because they aren’t sure. If may end up being the case that replacing the entire furnace rather than only the heat exchanger is the best option, but not always. The first thing to do is check with your manufacturer or manual to confirm the status of your warranty. They vary – some cover the heat exchanger for 10 years, others for 20, and a few for the entire life of the furnace. (Side note: when you purchase a furnace, it’s good to do so with the warranty in mind.) Our job is to dig into your warranty situation and tell you your best available options. If replacing the damaged part is the way to go, we’ll happily do that for you. If we have to give you the slightly more shocking news that you’ll need a new furnace, we’ll work with you to make it affordable. Air Repair Lakeland: Furnace Repair Expert Tips for Carbon Monoxide Safety The technicians at Air Repair Lakeland have done more than a few repairs and installations after a carbon monoxide incident. Because CO is so difficult to detect with your own senses, we advise taking serious precautions. You should replace your carbon monoxide detectors with a new model every five years or so. You should also test them monthly to ensure the alarm and batteries are functioning properly. Preventive Maintenance is key to a safe furnace or heating system. While it’s your job to make sure you change the batteries in your CO detectors, it isn’t your job to make sure your furnace is in good shape. It’s ours. Our service contracts include annual tune-ups, which are great for ensuring that your system is always operating in peak condition. If there’s an impending problem with your furnace, the tune-up is our best chance to catch it while it’s small enough to be easily handled. Call Air Repair Lakeland for air conditioning and furnace repair today or schedule an appointment on our website. Furnace and Heating Repair - Keep Your Home Safe: In Summary If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors, get some. Install them at least 15 feet away from heating and cooking appliances. Keep one outside of every area in your home in which someone sleeps.Test your detectors every month. Replace your batteries frequently. Replace your detectors ever 5-7 years.Get an annual furnace tune-up to make sure nothing sneaks up on you, and your home is safe and warm.Don’t warm up your car inside a garage.Don’t use any appliance other than your furnace to heat your home (this includes dryers and ovens).Do not burn charcoal inside your home or garage.If you use a fireplace, have your flues and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually. About Air Repair Lakeland Air Repair Lakeland has been providing Florida with heating and air conditioning repair for years. Our company was founded on a commitment to unmatched expertise and unbeatable customer service. We remain active in our neighborhoods and communities and provide the very best in HVAC products and services in the Sunshine State. For more information about the leading HVAC Company in the Lakeland and Tampa Bay area, drop us a line today. Our customer service team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Air Repair Lakeland: Hire the Right Furnace Repair Contractor in Lakeland
In case you live in a magical land where things are easier, you should know: Hiring HVAC and furnace repair contractors can be hard. You can’t put a price on peace of mind, right? Wrong. You totally can, and it’s usually neither the cheapest nor most expensive option you can choose. So for those of us in the real world, where money is tight and schedules are worse, how do you do about choosing the right guy for the job? Air Repair Lakeland is going to boil it down to the facts for you. In the decades that we’ve been in this industry, we’ve kept up with all the changes in technology and business, and we’ve done our best to be the best. That means the best advice, too. Even if you read this article and choose a different furnace repair contractor, we’re going to feel great. We’ll know that we helped you make a smart decision for your home. Choosing the right furnace repair contractor can make a job sail right by, and keep the dent to your wallet as small as possible. Choosing a bad contractor can leave you with a bigger mess to clean up, and a lot less money to work with. We hope, of course, that you’ll consider Air Repair Lakeland, but we’re not going to hard sell you. We’re going to tell you what matters and what doesn’t matter when choosing your furnace or AC repair service. We’ll give you a heads up on the kinds of red flags that should turn you away from a company, and the kinds of things that should put you at ease. So whether you’re throwing a dart at a phone book like it’s 1991 or scrolling through Yelp reviews on your phone, the following information should leave you feeling more confident. Plus, you can always call us at 863-777-5931 if you have more questions. The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Furnace Repair Companies DO choose a company that works with your budget and doesn’t shy away from financial discussions. Furnace repair contractors deal with budget concerns literally every day. That’s a huge part of our job, in fact. The financial burden can range from under $100 to over $10,000. That means that you can’t spare any time for a company who gets confused over your costs. Make sure your contractor is willing to help you negotiate financial pitfalls. Make sure they talk to you about payment plans, loans, tax incentives, and insurance. If they aren’t ready (and able) to have that conversation, find someone who is. DON’T choose a ac or furnace tune up company that gives you a quote, sight unseen. This one actually surprises a lot of people. What’s wrong with getting a quote over the phone? Well, actually, quite a lot. Unless the job is extraordinarily simple and common, a contractor shouldn’t be able to give an accurate assessment at all. And even then, they should make certain that you’re aware that any estimate without inspection is just a wild guess. There are thousands of parts in a furnace, and any furnace repair or furnace installation technician knows that a set of symptoms that could actually mean any of a dozen or more problems. That’s why Air Repair Lakeland (and any reputable company) offers FREE in-person quotes. We’ll send a technician to your house to find out what’s going on and give you an accurate quote. That’s the keyword: accurate. DO ask friends, family, and the Internet for help finding someone. Your biggest advantage as a consumer in the Digital Age is the easy access to reviews. Sure, some reviews are bogus, but sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau work hard to maintain fair, unbiased reviews of all companies listed on their websites. That’s why third-party reviews are great. We could post a hundred testimonials on our website from past customers, but you won’t believe them unless you see them on a site we don’t own, anyway! So do your research and read up. If you like their reviews online, then give them a call and get the ball rolling. You can also ask your own social circles. If you know someone who had a furnace replaced or repaired in the last few years, find out who did the job. Find out whether your friend or relative was happy with the price and quality of the job. Here in Lakeland, most of our customers come from referrals, in fact. We serve the entire Tampa Bay area, and our relationships tend to be long-term. We’re grateful for that, and we don’t take it for granted. DON’T let them skimp on the paperwork. Contractors can be a folksy bunch. Like we just pointed out above, a lot of our customers stay with us for years. Eventually, they start to feel like friends and family. That’s great, and we won’t ever say it isn’t. However: Ever heard that saying about lending friends money? You know, the one where you shouldn’t do it? The same principle applies here. It’s great to be on friendly terms with your contractor. We love our customers. We’re happy if you want to joke around and say hello and send us a Christmas card. That relationship is incredibly important to us. On the other hand, we’re never going to forget that our job is to serve you as best we can. That means we don’t do handshake deals, and we don’t skimp on the paperwork. Our industry is highly regulated. In Florida, licensed AC contractors have to report to the state and sit several exams before we are allowed to practice. We also have to apprentice to a more experienced contractor before we can work solo. Our technicians have an average of 15 years of experience on the job, and our team insists on continuing education. That means we know what we’re doing and we’re learning how to do more. We also maintain our licensing and insurance. (A side note on insurance: it isn’t just for us. Our insurance policies also cover liability in case something happens on the job that we didn’t see coming. Our policy will cover damage to your property, as well as ours!) Any AC or furnace contractor who doesn’t is a big waste of your time. DO make sure they’ve got a relationship with the community. Contractors are, by definition, local companies. That includes local franchises or branches of larger companies. No contractor based in Los Angeles is serving customers in Des Moines, Iowa. That just isn’t the nature of our industry. That’s why we are Air Repair Lakeland so that Lakeland knows they can count on us at all times. We know the Bay area, we know its climate, and we know what people living here need. Your background research on any company should reveal whether they’re active in your community. Do they communicate openly, and dialogue with customers and potential customers? Click a couple sites or make a phone call and you’ll find out. If they don’t, they’re not what you need. Florida has got plenty of HVAC firms. Maybe we’ve got less furnace repair specialists than Vermont, but customers here aren’t hurting for choices. You want to watch for the Fly-By-Night crews. That’s what we call guys who capitalize on your needs by throwing tools in a truck, making a Facebook page, and lowballing bids until they get work. They resell used equipment as if it were new, they do half-repairs or they cut corners. Do. Your. Homework. If you do, they’ll never get the chance to run their con game on you. DO strike a balance between innovation and experience. We’ve been in business for a long time, and that’s good … … but it’s not always good when a company says that. Sometimes, “We’ve been in business for decades” is their way of telling you “We learned this stuff a long time ago, and that’s still how we do it.” Listen: you want experience, but you also want education. Longevity will only take someone so far in an industry that changes and grows as quickly as ours does. How do you spot an out-of-touch technician? When you’re getting your quote for your furnace repair, watch for confusion around new technology. You can even ask questions about smart thermostats or other new innovations. Be concerned by comments like “Oh, I’ve always done X, don’t worry about it.” A ten-year-old furnace and a one-year-old furnace are related, but they aren’t the same. Any team providing furnace repair to Lakeland and the Bay Area should be adaptable and educated. Make sure your contractor knows what the latest tips and tricks are, so he or she can use them when repairing your home. DON’T Settle This is so important. Never settle. Always demand information, and be clear about your budget, your needs, and what you do and don’t know. If you’re feeling out of the loop or confused, ask for clarification. If you want to know something, ask. And if ever, at any point, a contractor can’t or won’t answer your question, get someone who will. To schedule a FREE, no-risk furnace or AC repair appointment, call Air Repair Lakeland today.
AC Repair Lakeland: How Humidity Affects Your HVAC System (and Your Health!)
Lakeland and Florida residents are intimately familiar with humidity and how much trouble it can bring. It makes it harder to breathe. It makes everything sticky. You never feel entirely dry. It can be brutal – and it can follow us into our homes. Florida is driest in the spring, but even on reasonable days, humidity hovers around 70%, and it tops out well over 90% in August. Even in best case scenarios, the Sunshine State is more humid than most other regions in the US. So how does that impact your home? Perhaps you’re here because you’re wondering if the humidity in your home is having some kind of effect your bills. You may also wonder if there is some connection between humidity and how well your equipment works, and how comfortable your home is on hot days. Here’s a hint: it does, and there is. In fact, it could be doing even more harm than you think. Your Home’s Ideal Humidity Level Should Be … According to the EPA, the ideal balance between a “wet” feeling and a “dry” feeling, in terms of humidity, is about 45 percent. Anything between 30 and 50 percent is considered acceptable. How do I know what my home’s humidity level is? Totally fair question, and we’ve got you covered. If you want a specific number, there is a tool called a hygrometer that can tell you. Many modern thermostats are already equipped with one of these – if yours is, congratulations! If it isn’t, and you aren’t up to going out to buy one (they’re only a few dollars), there are still other ways you can get a handle on your home’s humidity. Signs of High Humidity There are a few signs your home may display to let you know that you’ve got a humidity issue. They include: Increased allergy symptoms among dwellers in the home.Mold and mildew growth in damp spaces, particularly kitchens and bathrooms.Wet stains or water dripping from walls or ceilings.Condensation on windows and mirrors.Some of those signs could also indicate water damage (we’ll cover that in another article), but let’s focus on the humidity issue and how it affects your home. Air Repair Lakeland: What Humidity Does To Your Home The first thing humidity does is make things smell a little funny. Let’s face it, that’s NOT a small thing. Your home is your castle, and no one likes a stinky castle. Furthermore, humidity can cause condensation. Think of your home as a coffee table. Got it? Now think of humidity as a house-sized glass of cold water, sweating over the rim of the coaster. Humidity can cause water staining, paint blistering or peeling, and warping of wooden surfaces. Over time, this could lead to far more serious issues – including structural ones. Let’s pile on a little more, too. High humidity is rough on your wallet. It eats up energy b y making your air conditioner work harder. How does humidity do that? Your HVAC equipment removes humidity from your home as a matter of course. The amount of dehumidification varies from system to system, but as air moves over the evaporator coil it is dehumidified. That’s why water drips into your condensate drain. High humidity makes your system work harder to pull moisture out of heavy, soggy air. It can, and will, reduce the efficiency of your system by a measurable amount, and you’ll see an equally measurable uptick in your monthly electric bill. Additionally, your system will undergo greater wear and tear. That will lead to more frequent and more expensive calls to your favorite Lakeland AC Repair company. Lakeland, Florida Air Conditioning: High Humidity and Your Health Alright, folks: Let’s get into the serious stuff. High humidity can adversely impact your health. We’re not doctors, and we don’t claim to be; nope, we fix machines, not people. With that said, we know enough and have studied enough to know what we’re talking about on this score. If you don’t believe us, ask your doctor about mold and mildew and how they relate to your respiratory health. The Environmental Protection Agency has done multiple studies which have found that high humidity in the home leads to rapid growth of mold and mildew. Those, in turn, provide a perfect habitat for a wide variety of bacteria to grow in your home. Combined, they reduce your indoor air quality over time, which can worsen or even cause respiratory illnesses. How High Humidity Can Really “BUG” You It isn’t just mold and mildew, either. It’s also dust mites. Dust mites are arachnids, like spiders, scorpions, and ticks. They’re basically too small to see with the human eye, and thank god, because you really don’t need to see that. Unfortunately, even though they’re only two-tenths of a millimeter long and have see-through bodies, they’re also rampant in moist environments. A female can live for 60-70 days and lay 100 eggs in your home. Each mite in your home – and where there is one, there are many – produces 2,000 fecal particles and even more dust particles during their life cycle. Bug poop. Seriously. (Yes, I know arachnids aren’t insects. But arthropod poop doesn’t have the same ring to it.) Would you like to guess where mites prefer to live? Yeah. Most of them prefer to sleep right in your bed with you. They feed on dead human skin cells, which makes your mattress a never-ending buffet. In high humidity environments, a dust mite population can number in the millions or tens of millions, eating, pooping, and shedding their allergenic skins all over yourformerly clean sheets. In addition to being completely gross, dust mites are allergenic, and can trigger severe allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. About 10 percent of us are allergic to them, a number that jumps to 45 percent among asthma sufferers. Itchy just thinking about it? Sorry. Air Repair Lakeland Has the High Humidity Fix You Need The solution for high humidity is so obvious. It’s dehumidification. Once you know you need to dehumidify, though, you have to figure out how to do it right. Portable dehumidifiers are an option, as are whole-house models that tie directly into your ductwork. They work by drawing humid air over a freezing coil, and collecting the resultant moisture either in a tub (portables) or a condensate drain (house systems) and blowing the dry air back through the home. The Portable vs. the Whole-House Dehumidifier: Which Do You Need? Portable dehumidifiers are cheap and easy. You can plug them in and turn them on, place them in the dampest spaces, and in just a few hours you can grab that tub of water that’s been pulled from your air and use it to water house plants. On the other hand, they’re noisy and unattractive, particularly in comparison to integrated systems, which are out of sight and silent. They also require more attention, since you have to empty a bucket once or twice a day. Whole-house dehumidifiers are more energy efficient, and will do a better job for less money, and they don’t require any regular attention. They can be cleaned and serviced during your regular annual AC tune-up, often at no additional cost. Of course, whole-house system is a larger up-front investment, but they’re significantly more effective, and they can ease the burden on your HVAC system and reduce your bills. Over time, they can pay for themselves in savings. If you aren’t sure which dehumidifier you need, the experts at Lakeland AC Repair are at your service. Give us a call, and we’ll help you navigate your humidity problem. Ready To Go? Why Wait? Dehumidification will increase your comfort and your savings. If you’ve got a moisture problem in your home, why wait on solving it? Our unmatched experts can work within any budget, whether it’s installing a whole-house system or simply helping you purchase and place portable dehumidifiers. We are certified in the installation and maintenance of any kind of HVAC systems, from heat pumps to split systems to whole-house dehumidifiers. We can help you select the equipment that will get it done, at the price you need and the speed you deserve. The Air Repair Lakeland Way We offer 24-hour access by telephone or email, and we never charge for a consultation. Our technicians will get out to you to provide answers right away, and you won’t pay a dime until you’re ready. We also back up all of our work with a Worry-Free Guarantee – if you aren’t happy, we’ll make it right, with no additional charges. Air Repair Lakeland has served Swan City for years, and we are also available for the rest of Polk County and the Tampa Bay Area, including Polk City, Haines City, Mulberry, Bartow, Fort Meade, Crystal Springs, and more. Give us a call today, and find out why our reviews consistently rate us the #1 HVAC repair and installation service in the area.
Air Repair Lakeland: Tips on Staying Cool Without Overspending
Lakeland is known for a few things – outrageously amazing turn-of-the-century architecture, the best antiquing for miles in any direction, and being hot, hot, HOT! Like anywhere else in Florida, whether you’re in the Bay Area or not, summer brings high temperatures, high humidity, and alligators in all sorts of unexpected places. We may not be able to help you deal with scaly, many-toothed reptile issues, but we can certainly chip in with the rest. At Air Repair Lakeland, we’ve learned a thing or two about what matters to our customers. We’ve learned how to keep your home cool. We’ve learned how to keep your bills under control. We’ve learned how to keep your equipment running better, longer, and more efficiently. Best of all? We’ve learned how to do it smiling. So if you want award-winning service that suits your budget, we urge you to give us a call. In the meantime, we’re going to give you some actionable tips you can use to get those crazy air conditioning bills under control. Summer can overwork your A/C and lead to costly repairs and higher energy bills. Yep. No doubt about it, the sun feels a little closer in Florida than most places in the USA. Don’t worry, though. We’ve got solutions, and they have everybody’s favorite price tag on them: FREE. Here’s what you do: Keep your HVAC Equipment clean and well-maintained. Now, without a doubt, we’re going to do a deep dive into this one in future articles, because AC repair, Lakeland, is a pretty big topic, and maintenance takes up the lion’s share of our time. Typically, we’ll only recommend a fresh AC installation when your old system is more trouble than it’s worth. But on the topic of clean and well-maintained systems, we can definitely give you the bullet points. Clean your air filters often. Most of the time, manufacturer’s guidelines will give you advice on this, but if you’re not sure, the professionals at Air Repair Lakeland have got your back. Typically, you should be doing this once a month or so. You might even want to consider cleaning or changing them every 2-3 weeks if you’ve got furry pets or an old, dusty home. This will help prevent maintenance issues related to overwork or poor airflow. It will also keep your system from working at below-peak efficiency levels and costing you extra money every month Fix crushed or bent fins.The fins on your AC unit aren’t for show, they’re doing a very important job. If yours are misaligned, you can gently straighten them with a tool called a fin comb, or, in a pinch, a butter knife. Be sure not to go further than ¼”-1/2” in. Keep your eyes out for leaks and clogs.Clogged condensate drain tubes, leaks in your system, and other similar issues can really damage your system’s ability to cool your home and lead to costly AC repair. You can watch for these by noting puddling or pooling water, checking the drain pan, or keeping your nose out for slimy or mildew smells which could indicate moisture issues. Don’t wait on repairs. Keeping a maintenance contract with a professional ac installation and ac repair service is highly advisable. It’s our job to respond to small issues and correct them before they cause bigger problems. Don’t push your system too hard – and invest in a great thermostat. When it comes to air conditioning, the little things matter. A difference of even one degree in the setting on your thermostat could mean a 3-6% discrepancy in energy costs. Contrary to popular belief, setting your thermostat to 60 degrees when you want it to be 68 degrees in your home won’t cool things down any faster. In fact, the typical effect is to cool at precisely the same rate, but to cost you more money doing so because the system is working overtime. The moral here is set the thermostat to the temperature at which you will actually be comfortable. And on the topic of programmable thermostats – if you live in an older home with a mercury stat or an older programmable stat without modern features like wi-fi access and learning capabilities, you’re missing out on a big money saver. Modern thermostats are incredibly sophisticated, with a host of features designed to maximize efficiency. Some features are for convenience, but most are designed to use as little energy as possible. Take, for instance, the current generation of Nest Thermostats. Here are just a few things these impressive air conditioning “brains” can do: Light up when you enter the room to show you time, temperature, weather, and other useful information.Learn your schedule and your home’s thermal “quirks,” enabling it to make recommendations to your heating and cooling programs.Connect to your phone or computer so you can control it from anywhere.Alert you immediately if it detects an issue with any of your equipment.Intelligent control of fans, enabling you to cut cooling costs even further by improving circulation of cooled air and reducing energy loss. There’s no reason not to invest in something like this – costs top out at just a couple hundred dollars for even very advanced models, and they can pay for themselves in as little as a year of drastic energy savings. 3)Got ceiling fans? Use ‘em. If you’re thrifty but hate sweating, ceiling fans are your friend. This is especially true in older homes with draft problems. They can’t do the job all by their lonesome, but they can sure help. It surprises our customers when we tell them this, but ceiling fans can save you some real money. How, when they don’t actually do any cooling? Ceiling fans cool your skin. They make the room feel cooler than it is. Remember above, where we said each degree of your thermostat can impact costs? A ceiling fan allows you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher.Best case scenario? That could spell a savings of anywhere from 3-15 percent annually. However, if you’re planning to use ceiling fans as an assist, don’t forget to raise your thermostat, otherwise you’re not getting the job done. Also (and this is important), ceiling fans aren’t miraculous money savers in every case. If your house doesn’t have fans already, the amount of money it would cost to install them in every room in your home would offset any savings. At that point, we’d say look to the other tips in this article. But if you’re lucky enough to have some already, get the dust off of the blades and put them to work! Keep things closed. If you keep forgetting to close your doors and windows, you’re basically paying to cool the neighborhood, because all of your money is floating right out the window. LITERALLY. Keep things sealed up nice and tight when your AC is running, and consider energy-efficient curtains and blinds. They can do a lot to facilitate easy cooling, particularly “black-out” or “UV” curtains that block or reflect the rays of the sun. Solar shades and energy efficient curtain panels don’t have to block all of your natural light, either. It’s the best of both worlds. Have the right HVAC equipment. Okay, so not every tip in this article is free to act upon, depending on what’s cooling off your home right now. That doesn’t mean that this tip has to cost you money, though. It’s more about having all of the information at hand. As they say, knowledge is power! Our professionally certified technicians can do lots of complex math problems that will tell them whether your system is right for your home. If it isn’t, we can tell you (with great precision) how much money we can save you each month, and how long it will take a new AC installation to pay you back for its installation costs. Check the Energy Star rating of your gear. Check how old it is, as well. If it’s 2009 or earlier, you might want to consider an upgrade. The technology behind heating and air conditioning is always evolving, and modern units are leaps and bounds ahead of the older stuff when it comes to efficiency. Air Repair Lakeland: Call us today for a FREE consultation. No one at Air Repair Lakeland is going to try to hard-sell you. That isn’t the way we work. On the other hand, if your equipment is outdated, we’d love to help you. All of these simple things can have a measurable impact on how much money it costs you to keep the heat outside where it belongs. Taking precautions to extend the life and value of your air conditioner is always a good thing. Eventually, even the best designed units will malfunction and need a great AC repair team. Fortunately for Lakeland, Polk County, and the rest of the Tampa area, Lakeland Air Repair has what it takes to keep your house comfortable for years to come. If you’d like a free consultation on your AC equipment, call us today at