For over 40 years, our team has combined experience that can provide expert A/C services and AC Repair to residential and commercial property owners in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter. We are proud to say that we have more than 100 installations to our credit.
One of the signs you are ready for air conditioning replacement is that it no longer cools and dehumidifies. Cooling alone is simple – snow and ice have been used for cooling since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians and tribal peoples of the Mideast and on our continent had strategies for keeping dwellings relatively cool.
Early Mechanical Cooling
It was in 1851 (that’s right, before the Civil War) that a patent was issued to John Gorrie of New Orleans for an “Improved Process for the Artificial Production of Ice.” For decades, the ice produced by Gorrie’s process was used for industrial cooling and refrigeration. But a need arose that called for new innovation. A printer in Brooklyn, NY, was having a problem with humidity control in the printing process. Willis Carrier was called to work on the project.
A Device for Treating Air
In response to the printer’s problems Willis Carrier set out to invent a machine that would cool and clean the air, and control humidity. He began work in 1902 and in 1906 received patent No. 808897 for an “Apparatus for Treating Air.” This was the first modern air conditioner that was able to cool and dehumidify at the same time. Over the next half-century, the air conditioner evolved to what we know today – compact and affordable enough to provide comfort to homes worldwide.
What Does Humidity Have to do with Comfort?
Comfort is determined by a combination of many factors, such as activity, clothing, metabolism, radiant heat, and air movement to name a few. All of these are considered when designing a new air conditioner for your home. But the most important two are temperature and humidity. We must control and correctly balance these to provide effective comfort conditioning.
Consider How our Bodies are Designed
Our bodies are cooled through perspiration. Heat is carried away through the process of evaporation into the surrounding air. That is why we feel the humidity when we step outside on a steamy Jupiter, Florida, summer afternoon. When the humidity in the surrounding air is high, our body’s personal cooling system – perspiration – does not operate effectively.
It is the same inside our homes. Most people are comfortable at between 73 and 78 oF and between 50 and 55 % relative humidity. Because comfort preferences vary widely, those figures will also vary. However, there is no summer comfort when the air is not cool and dry enough to allow our bodies to lose excess heat.
What is Humidity Relative?
Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, thus the humidity percent is relative and depends on temperature. Think of the air like a sponge. A dry sponge contains 0 % of the water it can hold, while a totally soaked sponge is at 100 % capacity. Similarly, air at 50 % relative humidity has room to hold more moisture. Air at between 20 and 30 % relative humidity absorbs too well and causes dry and cracked skin. At relative humidity above 60 %, the air has lost much of its ability to absorb more moisture and people begin to feel uncomfortable.
Losing Humidity Control
Moisture will condense on a cold glass, but not a warm one. This same process is used to dehumidify your home as the cooling coil extracts water from the air, sending it to a drain outside. If your air conditioner has lost 10 % of its refrigerant charge (a fraction of a pound of refrigerant), it will not dehumidify as well. The air conditioner will cool, but you need to set it at a lower temperature to be comfortable. You get less comfort and spend more money on increased utility bills.
The best way to maintain proper dehumidification and overall operation of your air conditioner is by a Comfort Club membership. A trained professional will come to your home twice a year to check refrigerant and all the other many factors necessary for effective and efficient cooling.
The Ultra Smart Thermostat for Humidity Control
The most advanced home comfort systems can precisely control the balance of temperature and humidity. The Lennox iComfort Ultra Smart Thermostat in my home is programmed for a “feels like” temperature of 76 oF and will control the compressor and fan to maintain the comfort I personally desire.
Some people wonder why we emphasize filter changes as an important part of air conditioning maintenance and air conditioning service. Here are a few reasons:
Filter Changes Save Money
Year after year, studies demonstrate that filter changes reduce the cost of air conditioning maintenance and minimize the cost of air conditioning repair. Dust accumulation is a major cause of AC maintenance and repair issues. The right filter, with a scheduled AC maintenance program, will certainly extend the life of air conditioning equipment and prevent unnecessary breakdowns.
Filters Remove Some Serious Stuff
As children, we wondered at the tiny particles that danced in sunbeams. What a letdown to hear what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
“Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt meteorite particles, and many other materials which may be found in the local environment.”
I want none of these in my lungs or accumulated on my furniture surfaces. But, there are other things that truly enjoy dust.
Dust is Food
Dust mites are real. They feast on the dust and debris that accumulate in your air conditioner and in your ductwork. Algae and other biologicals also feed on dust, and they grow to clog coils and drains. The combination of particulate dust, biological spores, and dust mite feces are carried into the home by the air stream. Odors, allergies, and illness are the result. A regular filter-change to remove dust that serves as a food for mites and biologicals can make a difference in your family’s health.
Dust Clogs Fans and Coils
The humidity inside your air conditioner blower unit approaches 100%. That is where the work is done to remove the moisture from the air. If dust is allowed to move past the filter into the blower unit, it turns into a sort of “mud” on the cooling coils. When it dries, the dust forms a crusty buildup that is not easily washed off. It quickly clogs the 2-millimeter gaps between coil fins. The embedded debris diminishes efficiency, restricts airflow, and causes water to drip in places that can damage floors and ceilings. All in all, you want your filter to remove the dust before it gets to the coil.
Once the damage is done, the only option is to remove the coil and clean it with a combination of strong chemicals and pressurized water. This process is not only costly, but arguably shortens the useful life of the air conditioning unit.
Dust Reduces AC Performance
I was called to a home where the owner could not get cooling to the back bedroom. This seemed natural, as it was farthest from the blower. The homeowner had already had another contractor change hundreds of dollars’ worth of ductwork to try to get air to move that distance. Opening the blower unit, I found the fan blades (which are supposed to be curved) nearly flat from the accumulation of dust. I cleaned the blower fan, and full airflow was restored to the entire house. All this could have been avoided with regular filter changes.
Your Comfort Specialist at Complete Comfort
At Complete Comfort, both our office staff and the technician who comes to your home are trained to assist you. We want you to enjoy your air conditioner and remain comfortable in the summer heat that is so typical of Jupiter, Florida. Our Comfort Club membership is specially designed to help you keep your air conditioner in top operating performance throughout its useful life. Call us today at 561-529-6262 or check out our website www.mycompletecomfort.com.
When I go to my local “big box” home-improvement store, I am strangely drawn to the aisle where they sell air conditioning filters. Sometimes I am educated (or amused) by the vast assortment of AC filters. And, I am often distressed as I see people leave the store with an inexpensive filter that will cost them hundreds of dollars in AC repairs in the future.
Let’s look at a few things that will help you make the right choice from the dozens available:
Begin with a Good Fit
Nearly every AC system is designed with a track for the filter. It may be in the blower unit, the ductwork or a grille. The right size filter fits easily but snugly in the track, without gaps where air can bypass the filter. Never settle for a filter that is ‘almost’ the right size. When in doubt, consult the owner’s manual or ask your service professional.
If your filter is in a grille, it can be frustrating to find that ‘grille filter’ sizes differ from standard sizes. A 20 x 20 filter will not fit a ‘20 x 20’ grille in the ceiling – close, but not quite. If you must force or bend the filter, it is the wrong size. Big-box stores rarely offer filters to not fit properly in your grille. The effort and modest expense to get a filter with a proper fit will pay off in the long run. At Complete Comfort, we will be glad to help you find the right size filter.
The Right Filter Material
One of my first lessons in filter selection came from a man who had sold custom filters for several decades. I asked, “why not use the ‘rug’ filter that you can cut to size?” He picked up an ashtray and a coarse blue filter, and invited me to step outside. He dumped the ashes on the filter and gave it one or two shakes – everything went through the filter but the large cigarette butts. “Air conditioning contractors make a lot of money from these filters,” he said. “Not from selling the one-dollar filter, but hundreds of dollars cleaning coils and blowers.” Lesson learned. I don’t carry an ashtray, but I do tell folks, “don’t buy a filter you can read through.”
Check the MERV
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a rating of filter effectiveness. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. The higher number indicates the filter will remove smaller particles.
Filters with a MERV from 12 to 16 are typically reserved for computer areas and clean rooms. Filters rated 1 to 4 MERV are of little benefit. The most effective for general household use are pleated filters in the 7 to 12 MERV range. You might think the higher MERV would be recommended in every case. But higher MERV can restrict airflow and damage the air conditioner blower fan. Cooling and water drainage problems can also arise.
If your environment, health, and comfort require a highly effective filter, I suggest you consider a deep-pleated filter. In our home, we have a dog and allergies. Surrounded by pine trees, palms, grass, and an unpaved road there are a lot of airborne particulates. Consequently, we use a MERV 16 carbon-pleated filter. But the 5-inch deep pleats provide nearly 60 square feet of filter surface in a 20 x 20 filter. The filter is very ‘dense’ but the air conditioner can breathe easily (and so can I) because of the huge filter area. What is more, I only need to change the filter once a year and the coils are still clean after 4 years.
In the previous blog, I mentioned performance as an optimum balance of cost, comfort, and convenience. These filters are a bit costly, but the comfort and convenience are amazing. In my home, the MERV 16 deep-pleated filter is the most effective.
Whatever your home comfort needs, Complete Comfort is here to help you. Part of our service is helping select the effective filter that will provide you the best balance of cost, comfort, and convenience. Call us today at 561-529-6262 or visit our website at www.mycompletecomfort.com.
When it comes to the operation of your home, AC unit efficiency is often at the top of the list of concerns. In South Florida, home AC is more a necessity than a luxury. Thus, it is important to strike a balance between personal comfort and burdensome utility bills.
More than 40 years after the Arab oil embargo and mile-long lines at the gas station, efficiency remains a buzzword of American life. New automobiles and air-conditioners are designed to much higher efficiency standards than they were several decades ago. We will chat about AC unit replacement in Jupiter in our next blog. Today, let’s focus on what can be done with your existing AC unit to keep the cost down this summer.
Think Performance vs. Efficiency
Because efficiency comes with the AC unit from the manufacturer, what remains for the homeowner to do? When we think about it, what most of us really want is to optimize cost, comfort, and convenience. When we think about these “Three C’s” there are many things that you and I can do to achieve a balance between the three – what we might call, “performance.”
While we cannot change the efficiency of our air conditioner, there are many things we can do to accomplish better performance. Let’s look at a few of these:
Proven Things You Can Do
Remember, 2/3 of our performance equation is cost and convenience. Here are some steps you, the homeowner, can do conveniently at minimal cost to attain peak performance from your home AC unit:
Scheduled Maintenance and Inspection
Though not glamorous, a professional inspection is the simplest and most effective way to attain and maintain peak performance. A leaky duct will easily raise your utility bill by 30%. Clogged filters, dirty coils, and improper Freon charge adversely affect cooling performance. Loose connections and worn parts contribute to avoidable but costly repairs. All these effects are subtle, but together they can cause utility bills to skyrocket and severely compromise comfort.
Each of these concerns will be addressed by the AC professional who inspects your home AC unit. As he or she considers the entire system, their objective is to optimize cost, comfort, and convenience. The Complete Comfort service professional can truly help get the best performance from your home air conditioner unit.
Change Your Filter
Your AC unit cannot work effectively or perform the way you want if it cannot breathe. It is a good habit to check your filter monthly. Even if it is not due for replacement, you might discover a drip, stain or noise that will head off a major problem. Soon, you will discover how often the filter in your AC unit should be changed – more frequently in the warmer summer months, and less in the cooler months. But always keep your filter clean: A clean filter helps ensure performance, guards your health, and protects your AC unit from costly damage that might lead to early AC unit replacement.
Use Free Cooling
As much as I love comfort conditioning, there are many days in South Florida when the AC unit can be turned off and the windows opened. I like to run the AC unit fan to circulate filtered air to all the rooms of the home. It is wise to take advantage of cooling and fresh air provided by nature – convenient, comfortable, and at no cost.
When our homes are kept closed tight, odors and indoor pollutants become concentrated. Use of free cooling from outdoors improves the performance equation as it flushes these from the home and provides a literal breath of fresh air.
Free cooling is the ultimate solution to the performance equation. But only for a few months of the year.
Programmable Thermostat: Set it and Forget it
With today’s digital thermostats, it is simple to maintain your home’s temperature within a fraction of a degree. Often, personal comfort requires different temperatures at different times of the day (morning, daytime, evening, and night time). A programmable thermostat is a great way to accomplish this. Thoughtful programming will prevent a home from being too warm or too cool for comfort. Every time you punch the button or turn the dial on the thermostat, it negatively affects system performance.
Most importantly, a programmable thermostat prevents leaving the air conditioner running while away at work, church or other scheduled activities. Programmable thermostats are an excellent investment because they improve comfort and pay for themselves through energy savings. And, the no-touch convenience makes them an important part of the AC unit performance.
Join Comfort Club
Everything we have discussed here is available to our Comfort Club members. We can help you balance comfort, cost, and convenience. Scheduled twice-annual inspections ensure your home air conditioner unit will operate reliably and at peak performance year-round. On those occasions when an unforeseen loss of cooling occurs, Comfort Club members receive discounts on service, repair, accessories, and air conditioning unit replacement. For more information, check out our website or call us today at 561-529-6262.
An AC filter change is one of the most effective things you can do as part of your AC system maintenance. Most filters are readily accessible, and the process is homeowner-friendly. Simple, but a few tips will help you do it like a pro.
Locate the Filter Panel
Filters are in one of three places:
At a Wall or Ceiling Grille
Wall and ceiling grilles have screws or latches to release the louvered center allowing it to pivot open to reveal the filter.
If in the ceiling, be especially careful as parts can easily swing suddenly and cause injury. SAFETY FIRST – Always exercise ladder caution.
Behind a Panel on the Blower Unit
In the blower unit, there will typically be a panel with screws or latches. As you remove the filter access, note direction of fit and how it aligns with other panels. Check gaskets to be certain they are in good condition.
In the Duct
If in the duct, there will also typically be a panel with screws or latches, and the same applies as when it is located behind a panel on the blower unit.
Most filters are labeled with a direction arrow or other notation of which way the air is to flow through the filter. It may not be apparent to the naked eye, but there is a lot of technology in filters. Filters are designed to “load” with dirt, so they fill to capacity and not just become coated with dirt. When air enters from the wrong direction, dirt settles only on the surface. The filter will be far less effective and will need to be changed more frequently. Take a moment to note and check the direction of air flow indicated on the filter.
Replace the Filter
OK, why mention this? Because there are a few things to check at this point:
Record your filter change date as well as the size, type, and where you purchased the filter.
If there is a maintenance tag on the equipment, write this information on the tag while you are there.
With a marker, label the filter panel and direction of airflow.
All these are easy to do while you are doing the job and will save time and effort next month.
Close Up Tight
Filter fit, gaskets, and panel fit were already mentioned. Take the time to obtain a correct fit. It is not unusual for the filter to fit snugly, and you may need to use the panel screws to draw it closed the last 1/8” or so. This means the gaskets are doing their job and there will be no air leaks. If the filter panel was sealed with tape (not uncommon), be certain to apply new tape. If you moved insulation, gaskets or wiring to access the filter, these must be restored.
Remember, the filter you took out is loaded with stuff you don’t want to breathe. It’s not exactly hazardous waste, but I have had sneezing fits from a carelessly-handled filter. Put the old filter in a bag or discard it in the trash as soon as possible. For your own health, it’s not something you want to keep around.
Call Complete Comfort
Our personnel is trained to provide you with the right advice for changing your filters. The ideal time to learn about filter replacement in your home is while the technician is there as part of your Comfort Club membership. They will gladly note size, type, airflow, and help you find a source for the filters you need.
Both the Ghostbusters and air conditioner repair issues have us asking the question, “Who you gonna call?”. The Ghostbusters theme song was #1 on Billboard Hot 100 in August 1984. Over the years, very little has changed – people still want to know who to call.
Call Someone You Know for Air Conditioning Repair
The vast digital landscape overloads us with choices, but word of mouth has remained the most reliable source for finding a quality contractor. When someone whom you know and trust recommends someone they know and trust, the outcome will nearly always be favorable.
Reliable air conditioning repair service companies will develop a strong community among their users. At Complete Comfort, we have our own community of Comfort Club members. They experience preferred service status and know the benefits of using Complete Comfort for their AC repair service and maintenance needs.
Ask The AC company Questions
The air conditioning repair company you select should be familiar with your community, the brand of equipment you have, and skilled to address your concerns.
Some questions you might ask are:
Do you have other customers in my community/development?
What is your response time? Is there a technician in my area?
What is the experience of the technician you will send to my home or business?
Will the technician you send be the same one who does the repair?
Regardless of their advertising, a carpet cleaning company is not the one to address your indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. Though carpets may be a source of IAQ problems, the remedy might go far beyond their area of expertise. Be certain your AC service repair company is skilled to meet your needs.
A Multi-Disciplined Approach to AC repair
When it comes to AC repair in South Florida and Jupiter, the best contractors are trained to take a ‘holistic’ approach. They consider all the factors involved in the health, safety, and comfort of you and your family. In addition to AC repair, they will also have skills in:
Indoor Air Quality,
HVAC system design,
Cooling load calculations.
They will also have strong alliances with related professionals (engineering, carpentry, electrical, plumbing) who can ensure any large project will go smoothly.
Don’t Expect Pricing by Phone
Most reputable air conditioning service companies in South Florida and in Jupiter will quote a service call or diagnostic charge over the phone. It is tempting to ask the cost of a specific repair, but the variables are too many. For instance, a customer called about a thermostat that would not work. The reason behind the failed thermostat proved to be a short circuit that had damaged all the wiring in the AC unit, including the thermostat.
Correct pricing comes only by a thorough diagnosis of the problem. Get a quote for the diagnostic and understand what is included (there are limitations). Be patient in waiting for the right recommendations that will bring you the greatest value. Any contractor who will quote a price over the phone before diagnosis may not have your best interest at heart.
Owner or Manager Availability
Some of the best AC repair companies have grown quite large. And, on the other hand, some of the best AC repair companies remain relatively small. The key to your satisfaction is not the size of the company, but their ability to answer your questions and resolve your issues promptly. It is good to know up front whether you will have access to an owner or manager who will be able to make decisions in response to your needs. In most cases, the technician at your home is best qualified to help you work through things, but a responsive support system is necessary to resolve some issues.
Call Complete Comfort
Naturally, we believe we are the ones you should call for your air conditioning repair needs. You can check us out at mycompletecomfort.com, or call us at 561-529-6262. We provide quality AC repair service, replacement, and maintenance from West Palm Beach to Port St. Lucie.
Here are just a few of the reasons to call Complete Comfort:
Reputation in the community
Locally owned and operated
Active and respected by the Palm Beach Air Conditioning Contractors Association
Serve on Palm Beach County Building Code Advisory Board
Owners with more than 60 years of combined experience in the industry
Support staff immediately available to the technician
Technicians trained in diagnosis and repair
AC repairs are priced by the job, not by the hour – you are assured of good value
Office support staff trained and experienced
Multi disciplined for system design, indoor air quality, air distribution, and more
Affordable diagnostic rates for every call
Discounts for Comfort Club members
Service, repair, maintain, and install numerous brands
Home office in Jupiter; licensed in Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties
Studies have shown that air conditioner maintenance will extend equipment life. Air conditioner maintenance, when done properly, will keep equipment running efficiently and effective throughout its useful life.
There are some things you, the homeowner, can do. And, then there are other things that require a trained service professional. Both are important.
The Homeowner’s Role in A/C Maintenance
There are several things that you, as the homeowner, can do for yourself. Most important, remember that every air-conditioner unit has moving parts and high-voltage (240 V) electrical components that can be dangerous. Except for the panel specifically designated “filter access”, never remove any panels from your air conditioner equipment for any reason.
Change the Filter of Your Air Conditioner
The most important thing you can do to keep your air conditioner running efficiently and effectively, is to change the filter. Keep a supply of good quality filters of the correct size, and evaluate their condition monthly, changing them as needed. The monthly check is a good idea, because your air conditioner runs more at certain times of year than at others. During the height of the summer, monthly replacement might be necessary. In the cooler months, less frequently is usually the rule. But check monthly just to be certain.
Look and Listen to Your Air Conditioning System
This is an important part of air conditioner maintenance. You know better than anyone else the sights and sounds around your home. When you change your filters, take a moment to look at the grills (clean, no accumulation of dust), drains (flowing normally), and thermostat (properly set, no alerts or “low battery” signal). Note any unusual vibrations or noises and bring them to the attention of your service professional.
The weather in South Florida and in Jupiter can be extremely hot during the summer. The outdoor air conditioner unit has a big fan and moves a lot of air. So, to get some relief from the heat many pets (and other critters) will dig a cool resting place near the outdoor unit. There is little danger to the animal, but this should be discouraged as dirt and hair will get into the equipment.
Hedges should be trimmed back at least 12 inches from the outdoor unit. This allows the air conditioner to “breathe,” and prevents leaves and twigs from being drawn into the unit. Grass should not be allowed to grow up onto the concrete around the unit, and care should be taken when string-trimming that the air conditioner installation and wiring are not damaged. Fencing or hedges around the air conditioner should have an opening to allow for service and AC repair. There should be an area of concrete or gravel around the air conditioner so that lawn mowers and trimmers need not be brought near to it.
Appliances and Equipment
There are other home appliances and equipment that can do damage to the air conditioner. Or, they can interfere with its operation and reduce its efficiency. Areas around the air conditioner should be kept free of the effects of other equipment. For example:
Water treatment systems use salt and chlorine (corrosive).
Dryer vents expel fine particles of lint (will clog coils).
Sprinklers use well water containing iron, tannin, and sulfur (discoloring and corrosive).
Swimming pool equipment utilizes acids and chlorine (corrosive).
Get a Comfort Club Membership
You, as the homeowner, can provide a good environment for the air conditioner to operate in. The professional service technician then looks at the air conditioner in detail. Our Comfort Specialist has four things in mind:
He or she brings years of experience and training in order to provide for the top quality evaluation and maintenance of your air conditioning system.
Our Comfort Club members receive a twice-annual inspection. Immediate repair recommendations are addressed first. Then the full system air conditioning maintenance inspection can begin. This includes:
Inspect and test all electrical and mechanical components,
Check heat and cool mode operations,
Measure refrigerant pressure and temperatures,
Chemically clear and treat the primary condensate drain system,
Clean and sanitize the indoor unit,
Remove debris (accumulated leaves and dirt) from the outdoor unit,
Wash and wax the outdoor unit,
Check filtration and filters, and
Inspect system for safety hazards,
You, the homeowner, play an important role in the work of effective year-round air conditioner maintenance. Your attention is very important and can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over equipment lifetime. A little bit of housekeeping, care, and forethought on your part will preserve and extend the life of your air conditioner and will save you money.
For more information call Complete Comfort at 561-529-6262, or check our website at www.mycompletecomfort.com. Our goal is that you will experience many years of comfortable enjoyment with your home air conditioner system. Air conditioner maintenance is a vital part of that process.
As a company that provides annual air conditioner maintenance to a wide variety of clients, we know that there is a seemingly endless assortment of air purifiers and high-efficiency filters available on the market. Nearly every air conditioning repair service company is talking about indoor air quality (IAQ). But why is it such a concern? Isn’t it enough to have your air conditioner checked-up and maintained annually (we recommend twice a year in South Florida)?
Indoor Pollution Is A Fact
The Environmental Protection Agency says even in the most polluted cities, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoors. They particularly warn about the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and particulates, biologicals from pets and mildew, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Your home air conditioner is engineered to improve the temperature and humidity conditions in the home. Common filters will remove much of the dust. But, all the other items of concern must also be removed.
Your Home Must Breathe
Ventilation was never a problem in old Florida homes. Jalousie and awning windows allowed the air in the home to be replaced naturally several times per hour. Newer homes have been built tighter to conserve energy. The same construction methods designed to eliminate leaks also keep the home from ‘breathing’. New building codes requiring testing and mechanical ventilation fans, but many homes built over the past 30 years tend to collect more pollution than they remove.
Allergies And Illness
Chemicals, particulates, and biologicals that frequent our homes are concentrated in homes that have poor ventilation. They may be harmful to your health, and according to the EPA can mimic the signs of allergies. The effect of annual AC maintenance on such pollutants is only minimal. It is essential that you work with your air conditioning repair service company to establish an intentional plan for improved indoor air quality.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Formaldehyde, pesticides, solvents, and cleaning agents are of particular concern. They enter our homes in the form of furnishings and carpets. We bring them in to ward off pests and to clean our floors and countertops. Some (particularly formaldehyde) are known or suspected carcinogens. Others cause irritation of the sensitive membranes in the nose and throat, skin reactions, breathing difficulties, fatigue, and dizziness.
Even the best air conditioners and filters are not designed to remove VOCs. When they visit your home for air conditioning annual maintenance, the trained and experienced technicians from Complete Comfort Air Conditioning and Heating air conditioning repair service will make recommendations to reduce the levels of these most hazardous contaminants.
In South Florida, the weather report often includes an update on the humidity level. In addition to the very moist air, we must deal with the famous ‘liquid sunshine’ during the rainy season. Your air conditioner is designed to remove humidity. However, it is sometimes not enough because as we all know water moves from a wet place (outdoors) to a dry place (indoors). The constant intrusion of moisture through walls, ceilings, and openings can easily overwhelm your air conditioner.
Biological growth and mildew can even occur in the best-kept homes and in the best-maintained air conditioning systems. This is particularly true during the rainy season and after a major storm or hurricane, when your home is assaulted day after day by waves of humidity (see our blog post, The Second Storm – Indoor Air Quality). Left unattended, biological growth will impact health and do damage that is costly to repair. In severe cases, moisture can cause equipment to fail prematurely and the owner needs to contact the AC replacement company.
Here is where Complete Comfort Air Conditioning and Heating can help. Our AC repair service technician will find the source of the moisture intrusion. It is important to eliminate intrusion sites and be certain the air conditioner has been properly serviced for optimum moisture removal. Once the source has been addressed, an ultraviolet air purification system is the most likely solution.
Don’t Cover It Up
There is always the temptation to cover up odors, particularly if it is a musty odor from mildew or a chemical odor. The aerosols and strips used to cover up the odors are simply adding another chemical to further increase the indoor pollution level. Air fresheners are not even an effective short-term solution to indoor pollution. Unfortunately, even when the odor is covered, the underlying health effects remain.
Don’t trust an air conditioning repair service company that says they improved air quality by spraying something on the filter or into the blower unit. The cover-up will not last and will ultimately do more harm than good. Many air freshener sprays are sticky and will cause dust to stick and clog up the filter or stick to the cooling coil and blower. The result is a build-up of smelly dirt that needs to be cleaned at another time.
Call The Professionals
When our AC service and repair technicians arrive at your home, they will ask about your experiences with indoor air quality issues. The reason is many other companies do not ask these questions. But we understand indoor air quality is among the most vital issues to your family’s health and well-being.
We have many warm swimming months in South Florida. However, a pool heater is necessary to make the most of your investment. As pool heat pump repair specialists in the area, we know that for comfortable swimming and recreation, a swimming pool heat pump is a must.
There is never a good time for a pool heat pump repair. Nobody wants to disappoint family and guests when they are ready to enjoy some outdoor fun. It is disappointing to find the pool heat pump will not warm the pool or spa and in need of repair.
Get Your Pool Heat Pump Checked By A Professional
So, how can you keep your pool heat running smoothly? The most important thing you can do is to have your swimming pool checked regularly by a professional. Simply schedule it once or twice a year (depending on your service company’s recommendation) when you have your air conditioner and heating system checked. This will minimize the possibility of your pool heater not heating.
There are a few things you, as the homeowner, can do to ensure reliable operation and to avoid a swimming pool heat pump repair. For instance, you must never remove the service panels, and you must never use chemical cleaners on your pool heater. But there are also some simple steps you as the owner can take and be aware of to protect your pool heat pump. Here is what you can do before you call Complete Comfort Air Conditioning and Heating at (561) 529-6262 for pool heat pump repair or service:
Chlorine and acid are strong chemicals used to treat and stabilize the water in your pool. Water softener salt is also corrosive. They will damage the electric controls and wiring, or even cause a refrigerant leak. Chemicals should never be stored near the pool heater. Even slight exposure will cause fins and coils and cabinet parts to deteriorate prematurely. Corrosion shortens equipment life causing premature failure, and costs South Floridians millions of dollars every year in pool heater heat pump repair and replacement.
In the event of an accidental chemical spill, gently wash (do not splash) the area with fresh water from your hose. If you are unfamiliar with the chemicals (particularly acid and chlorine products) it is a good idea to call your swimming pool service for direction. Wear protection when cleaning up, as harsh chemicals that corrode metal will also burn skin and eyes.
Grass And Vegetation
The grass and other plants in South Florida infamously put out “runners” that rapidly creep from one place to another. Untrimmed grass or vines will easily become entangled in the cabinet and coil parts of the pool heater. When responding to a call for swimming pool heater repair, we often find the pool heater heat pump has rusted through in the areas where vegetation has accumulated.
Vegetative growth and plants can easily clog the coils of your pool heater heat pump. It is important that air circulates freely through the coils and around the unit so it can heat your pool efficiently. Hedges and plants must be trimmed a minimum of 12 inches clear of the pool heater. Hedges should have a gap not less than 30 inches wide to allow access for cleaning and pool heater heat pump repair and maintenance.
Pests And Pets
Equipment areas are attractive to pets and other animals. They offer shelter, and the moving air around the equipment provides some comfort on a warm day. There is no danger to the animal, but the fan can pull in hair that will clog the coil. This will decrease efficiency and will cause service problems if left unattended. Encourage your pets to find their happy place well away from your pool heater.
Inspect for signs of a possible ant infestation in the area of the pool heater heat pump. They are attracted to the electrical wiring and an ant nest can quickly fill the unit with sand. Ant nests lead to corrosion and shorten the life and efficiency of the pool heat pump. Here is an interesting air-conditioning blog on the subject.
Listen For Noises
Fans and compressors in your pool heater heat pump run at high speeds. When a bearing goes bad or a bushing wears out, it doesn’t take long for the damage to occur. If you hear an unusual sound, check it out. It may indicate a need for pool heat pump service. To read more on the types of sounds and what they might mean, check our blog “Five Sounds Your A/C Should Never Make”. We often find that twigs, leaves or ‘critters’ get into the fan. With the equipment turned off these can often be removed by the homeowner. Left unattended they can cause the fan motor to seize up and lead to a pool heat pump repair.
Like our televisions and other electronic devices, many pool heat pump units have remote controls that contain batteries. A good rule of thumb is to always check the battery in your remote before calling for a pool heat pump repair. To minimize the possibility of damage to the remote, always keep it indoors – unless it is in use. Remember to change the batteries twice a year, either when you call Complete Comfort Conditioning and Heating for maintenance on your air conditioner or when the time changes in spring and fall.
But the first and most important thing you can do is call Complete Comfort Air Conditioning and Heating at (561) 529-6262. Our technicians and support staff are ready to respond to your questions as well as your swimming pool heater repair or maintenance inquiries.
If you’ve made the investment to have a swimming pool and spa for your home, you probably want to use it for more than a few months of the year. In South Florida, heat pump pool heaters extend the outdoor pool season to nearly year-round, and at a reasonable cost. But, when it comes time for service, repair, or maintenance, there arises the familiar question, “Who you going to call?” There are some things you should know when you choose a pool heater repair company.
How a Pool Heater Works
Air conditioners and pool heaters have in common that they move heat from one place to another. A pool heater does exactly the opposite of an air conditioner as it harvests heat from outdoors (even in very cold weather) and puts it where you want it in your swimming pool. This so-called ‘heat pump’ approach is far more economical than fossil fuel units that ‘make’ heat.
Because they are similar, pool heaters and air conditioners contain many of the same components: refrigerant, fans, compressors, copper tubing, and fins. Even fossil-fuel units have much in common with home furnaces. From this, you might conclude the same person who services your air conditioner should also service your pool heat pump.
But you would be only partly correct. There are a few additional things to consider.
Diverse Control Strategies
We are used to seeing the thermostat on the wall in our homes. But where is the thermostat for the pool heater? It is typically located on the heater itself. To have it in the pool would lead to higher costs and safety considerations. But control location also relates to the function and thought process behind pool heating. Remote controls, control panels, key pads, timers, and other features not often found in home thermostats are quite common for pool heaters.
Even the thought process for a warm pool is far different from that needed to cool your home. That’s why you should call Complete Comfort – our technicians understand how your pool heater does its job.
Though they have much in common with air conditioners, there are many parts that are unique to a pool heater. Most HVAC service technicians are unfamiliar with the nature, function, and resources to obtain these parts. This can lead to inconvenient delays, and more expensive repairs. Complete Comfort has a broad resource data base to get the right part in the best time.
Each Trade is Unique
The vast majority of repairs to pool heaters are either electrical or mechanical. It only makes sense to first call the AC contractor equipped for that sort of work. Even so, they should be well-connected to their counterparts in the swimming pool trade. At Complete Comfort, we have a network we can call upon when the problem lies beyond the heater itself. This affords you the best opportunity for a fast and effective repair.
Experience is the best teacher, but no one wants a novice practicing on our expensive equipment. Even someone quite skilled at air conditioning can run into difficulty with pool heaters. The company who reliably services your air conditioner may not be the one to call when your pool gets too chilly.
Call the Right Person
At Complete Comfort, our technicians are trained to work on your pool heater equipment. The technician we send to your home is experienced and has received training specific to pool heater service and repair. Our support staff knows how and where to access parts necessary to make an efficient repair. Our managers have built solid relationships with several local pool companies or will gladly coordinate with the pool company of your choice. All this makes Complete Comfort the right choice for your pool heating needs. Call our pool heater repair company in South Florida at 561-529-6262.