Comparing the Initial and Lifetime Costs When Buying an AC

trane-xl16iPurchasing new ACs is not a decision homeowners make oftentimes. This doesn’t mean that at time is not coming when you will have to make the decision anyway. A typical AC system lasts between 10 to 15 years and this means at some point you will have to consider replacement.

Many homeowners are turned off by the price tag on some of the high efficiency ACs without considering what they are likely to save in the long run on energy costs. Cooling technologies are rapidly changing and this requires that you learn quickly so that you can make sound purchase decisions.

One of the critical areas you will have to consider when investing in an AC irrespective of its features, brand or model is the cost structure.

Initial Costs

This is the first cost of the AC and is solely based on what is written on the price tag. Many homeowners tend to consider this as the only factor to influence their buying decision. However, such an approach is considered inaccurate because it obscures the other costs that you will have to incur when you finally own the cooling system.
One thing you will notice when shopping for ACs is that when their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio abbreviated as SEER goes up, the price tag also follows suit. This is because an AC with a high SEER comes with a host of technologies that help you as the homeowner to lower your energy bills.

Lifetime Costs

This is the second component of the cost structure. Lifetime costs refer to all those costs other than the first cost that you will have to incur in the life of the AC unit. The quality of the system and its efficiency are the two main factors you need to consider.
Beware when entertaining the thought of paying less as an upfront payment for the AC only to pay in multiples later on as lifetime costs.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

As you move from shop to shop in search of an AC unit, you must ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is the quality of the AC unit – High quality ACs have superior features such as two stage compressor which give you multiple benefits including lower energy consumption and longer service life.
  • How durable is the AC unit – Systems that have quality components tend to run for long without the need of much repairs hence lengthening their shelf life.
  • How much will I require in maintenance – High quality AC systems have superior components which use much less energy and run at relatively low speeds. This means the maintenance needed will not be as much.

In addition to the above questions, you should also consider the energy you will save. For instance, systems that run on R410A are much more energy efficient. Also look for AC units that have improved coil designs which facilitate optimal use of the refrigerant.

How to Save Energy in Your Home

Saving Energy

Expenditure on energy and utility bills are among the highest in a typical American household budget. Many families struggle to meet some of these basic costs because they tend to escalate with every season. While some of the homeowners have given up as far as energy savings are concerned, the good news is, it is possible to have huge energy savings especially if you carefully consider your household appliances.

These energy saving tips have also been recommended by the Department of Energy and as such they are reliable and can be implemented.

Water Heater Savings

On average, homeowners pay 18% for water heating. An easier way to make savings here is to invest in a high efficiency water heating system during replacement. Since most systems in the market are preset, you should adjust this and set your heater to 120 degrees. Insulate the first few feet of pipes that come in and go out of the water heater. This insulation will significantly reduce energy loss as the hot water flows through the pipe.

Water Conservation

By adopting a less is more mindset, you can save not only on water bills, but also on heating expenses. All you need to do is adjust your water usage pattern sin the house by instance taking shorter showers and installing aerators and low-flow showerheads in your home. These devices help in reducing the quantity of water that flows through them.

Monitoring Your Appliance Usage

Stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers are appliances people use regularly which can contribute to huge amount in energy bills. In order to fight this, consult the dishwasher manual and ensure it is set at its lowest possible temperature which is normally about 120 degrees. Before loading eth dishwasher, ensure young scrap off food remains from the dishes instead of just running them underwater. This will help you save on water and energy because you won’t have to run the dishwasher for a long time so as to remove the food buildup.

When it comes to the refrigerator, ensure that is always set to consume the lowest energy possible. Keep the freezer at zero degrees while the fridge should be set at ideal temperature of between 37 and 40 degrees. In the event your fridge doesn’t have a display for the temperature, you can use thermometer for accurate reading. Always keep an eye on the seal of the fridge door because leakage can influence energy consumption.

In the case of the stoves, ensure you use a properly sized pan on the stovetop and make use of a toaster when heating food because it uses lesser energy compared to the oven. Regular cleaning of the stovetop particularly the burners will help it to work more efficiently.

How to Spot HVAC Repair Problems

AC repairYour heating system, home furnace or AC requires regular repairs or even replacement because of the magnitude of the operations it undertakes to cool your home. If not addressed in good time, most of the repair problems graduate into much bigger issues which can ultimately lead to your system breaking down.

Whether you are heating your home during winter or preparing for the summer period, the secret to avoiding costly repair bills and keeping your system efficient is through preventable maintenance. You have to learn how to spot heating and cooling problems which will in the course of time save you a considerable amount of cash.

Airflow Problems

This is one of the most common HVAC problems and it results from worn out belts, bearings, and fan motors. When your furnace starts overheating or its heating controls are improper, then you need to get in touch with a HVAC professional.

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters

Having dirty air filters or ones that are clogged can interrupt the flow of air. You need to change them on a regular basis at least once in three months. Ironically, filters are easy to fix and not so expensive to buy yet they are among the most ignored. HVAC systems with dirty filters are forced to work extra hard in order to cool your home and this wears them out quickly.

Pilot Control and Ignition Issues

When the pilot controls or ignition system malfunction, little or no heat is generated by the HVAC system. Hot surface ignition utilizes a resistance heating element which is more or less the same as a light bulb filament while the intermittent pilot works using high voltage spark to ignite the main banners.

Insufficient Heating

Your furnace or heat pump is expected to provide optimal heating for your home. However, this heating can at times be minimal or insufficient meaning a problem exists within the system. Among the causes of these problem could be faulty thermostats or clogged furnace filters. In some extreme cases, musty odors may start coming from the system.

Malfunctioning Thermostats

A thermostat basically controls and determines how much heat the system produces and when it is necessary for it to be produced. When the thermostat develops problems, it fails to execute these functions thereby leading to overheating or under heating, cases that can severely affect your comfort levels.

The lesson you are to learn from this as a homeowner is that you need to schedule preventive maintenance so that these and other problems can be addressed much earlier thereby giving your system longevity and efficiency.

Diagnosing HVAC Problems with Technological Advancements

hvac problemsFor you to have an efficient and functional HVAC system, you must have controls in place to know when the system requires professional checkup and a possible tune-up.


In the recent years, technological advances have created a number of monetary and diagnostic tools that helps in the detection and address of small HVAC system issues. This is very important because when they are left unattended, these small problems escalate into bigger and costly issues.

Technology Advances

The technology advancement in the area of HVAC systems involve enhanced communication among sub-systems and manufacturers components. This has in turn resulted in the ability to better monitor and diagnose pumps, chillers, air handlers, and variable air volume boxes. This substantially reduces costs. The advantage with technology is that it helps technicians analyze deviations and pinpoint root causes which make it easier to provide solutions.

New Opportunities

As the homeowner, you can evaluate the performance of your HVAC system overtime thereby detecting and isolating the cause as well as suggest corrective action. For instance, if the indoor temperature suddenly went out of control, with technology you can be able to troubleshoot the cause and locate the problem.
Automated diagnostics can be able to identify the problem in seconds and rectify it even without your intervention as a homeowner. For instance, the gadget may display on its computer screen the recommended corrective action. Depending on how complex your system is, it can temporarily correct the problem and leave behind a log of action for you to review.

Suppliers of HVAC systems are tailoring their technology to fit homeowners’ needs. Some of them are adding automated diagnostics to be able to interpret data and pinpoint corrective action so as to bring the system under control. This significantly reduces the response time from the receipt of the signal to the corrective action.
These technologies must be backed by energy audits in order to determine heating and cooling needs in your home. Energy audits can be done before the installation or even midway to document any changes in energy needs and determine the efficiency of the current system to meet these needs.

With time, technology advancements will take over most of the temporal repair jobs making HVAC systems to be self-repairing thus leaving only the major repair and maintenance jobs for the technicians. You should always report any anomaly to your HVAC professionals so that it can be analyzed further and corrected in good time before it worsens.

My AC Makes Lots of Noise – How Do I Fix It?

An AC system by design is meant to operate quietly so that it doesn’t disrupt the other activities within the home. If your children are studying or you have guests in the living room, a noisy AC can be annoying and to some extent embarrassing. If your AC is making noise and you are wondering what the problem could be, read along to get some insights on how this can be fixed.

The noise levels of AC units are dependent on the type and model; the older models usually make relatively higher noise compared to the modern models which are fitted with state-of-the-art components. Even with all these noises, there should be a clear distinction between the normal operational noise and the kind of noise that indicates a problem within the AC. By listening to the type of noise coming out of your system, you should be able to tell or at least an expert should tell what the problem is.

While some of the AC units may start giving strange noises at the onset of problems, some of them produce these noises when they are in advance stages of whatever issue they have. This post will discuss some of the common sources of noise and how they can be addressed.

Noisy Fans

Fans that produce a harsh humming or rattling noise may indicate a loose end or accumulation of dirt that requires cleaning. The best approach is to open the air conditioner cabinet to locate where the fan making the noise is. Remove any debris around the blades and see whether there will be any changes. If the blade is loose, you should immediately tighten the screw located at the hub with an Allen wrench or a screwdriver. Also confirm the straightness of the fan blades. Crooked or bent blades may touch the inside of the unit when rotating thereby giving a rattling noise.

Un-Lubricated Parts

Your AC motor and any other running component within your AC system requires to be lubricated regularly. If this doesn’t happen, the motor may start emitting a grinding or humming noise. If your unit has unsealed motors, you should be able to directly apply the lubrication which is usually in the form of SAE 10 oil. Ensure you oil your motors at the beginning of every summer.

Loose Screws

When your AC starts working, it vibrates and this is enough to cause loosening of the screws with time. When screws in panels become loose, they can be a source of terrible noise coming from the AC. The mounting screws which usually hold the unit in place may also become loose as a result of the vibration. This often produces a rattling noise whenever the AC is putting out air. By tightening the screws or replacing those whose threads are grounded off, you can fix this problem once and for all.

Clogged Coil Fins

When your AC operates, air moves in and out to ensure the basic operation of cooling your house is met. This air may at times come with dirt which escapes your filters and its final destination may be your coil fins. Dirty and clogged fins can make the unit become noisy. The best way to handle this is first of all to confirm whether it is your coils that are dirty and if so use a brush attachment and a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris and dirt. You may also have to straighten the coil fins using a fin comb in case they are bent.

These simple steps can save you money, time and the inconvenience of living with a noisy AC unit. Should the problem persist, contact a HVAC professional.

Swimming Pool as a Home Investment

Swimming Pool

Apart from swimming pools adding to the value of your home and to its aesthetic appeal, they also increase the comfort of your home. Pools create an ideal atmosphere to relax with your friends and family especially over the weekends. It’s important to know the type of pool that will suit your specific needs best to make your investment worthwhile.

Types of Swimming Pool

A swimming pool in your background will provide you and your family with years of laughter, enjoyment and fun. It is an investment that will have a lasting wonderful effect in your life and home. However, in order to make the most out of this investment, it’s crucial you understand what various options are so that you can choose the type that best suits your specific needs.

Above Ground Swimming Pools

These types of pools are very affordable. They are less costly compared to any type of in-ground pools. On the flipside, above ground pools don’t last long and come with limited design and depth options. As a matter of fact, they are available in only three shapes; oval, circle and rectangle.

Vinyl-Lined Pools

These are in-ground pools, but are structurally similar to above the ground pools. Vinyl-lined pools are attractive to many homeowners because they are the least expensive in-ground swimming pools. They also give you numerous options when it comes to shape and size since you can make the pool as straight, curvy, deep and large as you would like. The downside with these types of pool is that they are less durable and their maintenance cost is relatively high.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass swimming pools are initially expensive, but the maintenance costs are very low compared to other types of pools. With their non-porous smooth surfaces; it is hard for algae to grow on these types of pools. They can be installed within a very short time; in as little as days you can have an operational fiberglass pool. Fiberglass swimming pools are also loaded with a wide spectrum of designs to perfectly suit your home architecture. This makes them the swimming pool of choice for most homeowners.

Concrete Pools

Also referred to as gunite pools, concrete pools can be customized and designed to fit any shape, depth or size of your choice. The aesthetic appeal of concrete pools is amazing because of the customizable features. The biggest drawback of these pools is the high maintenance needed to keep them pretty and clean.
With the knowledge of the available choices in the market, it will be easier to choose the pool type that is best suited for your home.

Pool Heating Installation and Repair Services

After investing in the pool of your choice, you should also consider installing a heating system to enable you and your loved ones enjoy your pool throughout the year including the chillier months of the year. During winter, it’s almost impossible to use your pool without have a heating system in place.

At Air Conditioning Doral, we provide excellent pool heating installation, repair and maintenance services in Doral FL and the environs. When you hire our services, you can rest assured that we will deliver high quality services in a timely and professional manner.

Get in touch with us today at (786) 224 – 4640 and we will be glad to serve you!!

Cost-Effective Ways to Cut Your HVAC Operational Costs

HVAC Repair and Maintenance

You can reduce the operational costs of your HVAC system through numerous small efforts that requires little to no capital investment to implement. You can claim up to 30% savings from these ways, making such actions worthwhile. The beauty with any investment you make towards cutting your HVAC operational costs is that it will pay itself within a year or less through avoided utility expenses. It is however worth noting that the savings made vary depending on the local climate, age and type of equipment as well as the energy management system in place.

Control Your Outside Air More Effectively

Depending on the amount of air being re-circulated in your home and your local climate, conditioning outside may take a considerable portion of cooling load. Spaces that cannot recirculate air or hold many people at one time use a lot of energy to cool, heat, humidify or dehumidify the outside air before bringing it into the indoor space. In such cases, Variable Air Volume (VAV) control should be maximized. VAV control increases a building’s environment making it more comfortable while at the same time saving energy.

In cases where most air is re-circulated, using outside air judiciously can also help you to cut on your HVAC operation costs. Depending on the outdoor humidity, you can decide to use more outside air to get some ‘free’ cooling and when the temperature are low between 52 and 57 Fahrenheit, you can shut off your chiller to use the outside air to cool your home 100%. This may only need some adjustments to your Energy Management System programming or altering the outside damper linkage settings. Ensure that you close the outside air intakes at the end of the day and avoid over-conditioning the outside air.

Check Your Insulation

Insulation helps to reduce loss of heated or cooled air and this helps to lower the energy bills considerably. You can do the insulation on your own or employ the services of a HVAC contractor to do the job for you. However, working with a professional will give you the most benefits because they will ensure all areas are insulated properly for optimal efficiency. This will cost you some few dollars, but it is a worthwhile cause.

Conduct a Professional Energy Audit

Get a professional home energy auditor to conduct an audit in your home. The auditor will look at your home, the type of HVAC equipment you have, how your household runs and how these factors impact each other. Some of the answers he will be seeking are; is your HVAC unit big enough or too big, is the ductwork installed properly and does it have breaks or leaks, is your home well insulated and does it require weather stripping and caulking. Using these parameters, the auditor will advise you on the best action to take in order to increase efficiency in your home.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you would rather save your hard-earned dollars than spend it on skyrocketing energy bills, a programmable thermostat is your best option. A programmable thermostat can help you to significantly cut your AC costs. This smart device will enable you to fine tune the temperature of your home to meet your desired preferences for every hour of every day. You will enjoy optimal level of comfort during the day when you are active and the thermostat will save on energy consumption at night by automatically adjusting the temperatures.

Just like a car, your HVAC also needs regular maintenance to ensure it is operating at its peak efficiency. You can do this by scheduling HVAC maintenance with a reputable and reliable HVAC company. Call us at Air Conditioning Doral (786-224-4640) and we will provide you with first class HVAC maintenance and repair services! We’ll make sure your system always operate efficiently and effectively.

The Importance of Heat Pump Repair in Your Home

Heat Pump System

Heat Pump System

Do you have a heat pump in your home? Heat pump repair and servicing should be done on a regular basis so as to enhance the functionality as well as durability of your system. Get a professional HVAC company that has the capacity to do a thorough heat pump repair. This will ensure that your system is operating at peak efficiency all the times. Discussed below are the top benefits of having your heat pump professionally serviced and repaired.

Saves You Money

Timely and professionally done repairs on your heat pump can save you lots of money that could have otherwise been used to buy a brand new one. Delayed servicing can lead to breakdown of the system thus requiring a new one to replace it. However, when you contact a professional immediately you notice something amiss with your heat pump, it can save you the replacement costs.

Lowers Energy Bills

When thorough service and repairs are done on your system, it greatly improves its efficiency hence saving you hundreds of dollars on energy bills. If your heat pump is not working optimally, it tends to use a lot of energy. By having repairs done, it will boost the efficiency of the heat pump and as a result significantly lower the energy bills.

Increased Lifespan

Heat pumps have a lifespan of around 15 years but this depends on how you service and maintain the system. It is important that you follow the manufacturers’ recommended servicing and maintenance schedules. Having professional heat pump maintenance at least twice a year will go a long way to prolonging the lifespan of your unit.

Fewer Repairs

Considering that you will be using your heat pump throughout the entire year, it is important that regular repairs are done to ensure that it is always in top shape. Frequent use causes wear and tear and if this is not fixed in time, it will lead to further wear down to the point of exhaustion. This will mean that your heat pump will require frequent repairs to keep it running. Regular maintenance addresses this issue since the professional will be able to identify a problem as it develops and fixes before it deteriorates. This will save you money in the long run.

Peace of Mind

Working with a reliable and well established HVAC Company for you heat pump repairs will give you peace of mind knowing that your heating system is always on top gear. You don’t have to worry about sudden breakdown or costly premature replacement since everything is under control and if there is anything that need fixing, the professional will always notify you beforehand.

It is worth noting that in order to enjoy these heat pump repair benefits; you need to choose the best HVAC contractor. Get a contractor who is committed to meeting all your specific needs at competitive pricing. In addition, ensure that the serviceman you choose to work with is reliable and easily accessible.

Comprehensive heat pump maintenance and repair services are one of the surest ways of ensuring that your pump is always operating in its peak efficiency. Reach our experts at Air Conditioning Doral (786-224-4640) today for exceptional heat pump repair services!

What Should I Look at When Buying a Multifunction Portable Air Conditioner?

portable ac

One of the important pieces of equipment in hot and humid days is an air conditioning unit. The problem with the conventional AC units is they are big and require much space which may not be available or may involve lots of comfort sacrifice. This is where a multifunction portable cooling unit comes in handy. It is a compact solution that fulfills every function of an air conditioning unit and even more. Most portable AC units have secondary functions and others are 4 in 1 models. They can cool your home, dehumidify your air, heat your environment and fan-cool it as well.

Because of their size, they are convenient and can be used in several spaces including living room, bedroom, garage, and at any place where you have a plug-in and an accessible window. They require no installation and as such cheap to operate.

Things to Look at When Considering a Multifunction Portable AC

As you contemplate getting a multifunction portable AC, there are lots of factors that you need to bear in mind. Of course the benefits of these systems including space economy and convenience makes them the go-to AC systems.

  • Energy Efficiency – The BTU and energy ratings of the AC unit will inform its capacity and appropriateness for your home.
  • Independent Functions – Look for a portable AC whose functions are independent because in this way, its efficiency is enhanced. For instance, the dehumidifying function should be independent of the cooler so that your home can be cooled without having to dehumidify it.
  • The Exhaust Mechanism – This is the component that is to be inserted in a window. You must inspect it and look at its size to ensure it fits where you want it to.
  • The Room Area – Different homes have different room sizes. When selecting a multifunction portable AC, you need to take measurements of the targeted rooms and check the capacity of the AC model. Usually, the bigger the room size, the greater the capacity of the AC required.
  • Remote Control Features – Some of the multifunction portable AC units are integrated with remote control features which enable you to adjust the comfort levels without being necessarily in the space being cooled. This gives you flexibility.
  • Parts Replacement and Availability – One of the AC components which may need regular replacement (within every three months) are the filters. You should confirm whether the filters are disposable or washable. The availability of the other components is also important so that you do not have to worry where to get some parts when your portable AC breaks down.

Apart from the above considerations, you should also look at the durability of the model and its quite operation features especially when bought for the bedroom.

Why you shouldn’t Neglect Regular AC Maintenance

An expert servicing an AC unitAir conditioner breakdowns are very common especially during summer and winter. This is due to the fact that most air conditioning units are never inspected well enough after going through the extreme weather conditions of summer and winter. AC malfunctions are not only inconveniencing but also pose a threat to you and your family depending on the time of day or night they happen, the speed of professional attention and the nature of the problem.

What you must understand is that the AC is just but a piece of machinery which requires regular maintenance and inspection if it is to serve you well for longer time durations. Most AC systems come with warranties, but these warranties have conditions too. If you do not fulfill your part of the bargain by undertaking maintenance and repairs, your warranty may as well be voided. Below are some of the problems that you may face thanks to lack of inspection and repair.

Dirty Filters

Your AC filters prevent dirt, dust and other debris from clogging your system. However, with time the filters also get dirty and depending on whether they are disposable or washable, you may have to allow professionals to inspect them and recommend necessary measures. Dirty filters will certainly pollute your indoor space, clog the system coils, restrict air flow and cause your AC to work double as hard in order to deliver good service. In the long run, this makes the AC to break down or become overly inefficient.
Mold, dander and spores also contaminate the indoor air causing allergies and asthma which can have negative health effects.

Broken Electric Connections

Operating your AC with broken connections is both dangerous to your indoor safety and damaging to the entire system. Take an example of a damaged electric system. Chances of it causing an explosion and fire are very high hence unsafe for you and your family. Professionals understand how to handle such damaged components and will help clear the mess before it snowballs into something much bigger.

Dangerous Gas Leaks

Gas leakages are commonly associated with damaged AC systems. Some of the gases that are let out during these leakages pose a threat to human health. Carbon monoxide which is one of the gases that is emitted during AC leakages is poisonous because it combines with hemoglobin in the blood system resulting into a compound that limits the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. This can cause death either to you or to someone you love.

Faster Wear and Tear

AC units are built to last an average of 10 to 15 years. However, not every unit lives to attain this lifespan. One of the key reasons why they don’t is poor maintenance and inspection. Wear and tear is a normal course that all equipment takes but with proper care, the rate of wear and tear can be reduced significantly. Replacement of some of the units such as compressors can be quite expensive and hence the need to take good care of them.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure your AC system is up and running and without defects. This will reduce your utility bills, ensure excellent performance and above all guarantee you and your family quality indoor environment.