• Strange Noises Your AC Unit Makes and When You Should Be Concerned

    During the summer, you probably rely on your air conditioner to keep your home cool and comfortable. Most of the time, it hums along in the background, providing you with cool air without giving you much trouble. If it starts making unusual noises, however, it can be very off-putting. How do you know if a noise is normal, or if it’s something that requires professional attention?

    Air conditioners often make some strange sounds. The important thing is to make note of the type of sounds you’re hearing because different noises mean different issues. Do any of the following descriptors seem familiar?

    • Squealing: Typically, if your HVAC unit is making a high-pitched squealing noise, it’s either the belt connecting the motor to the blower or the bearings on the motor of your condenser fan. Newer units don’t usually have a belt, but if your unit is older and you’re hearing the sound both inside and outside your home, the belt is probably the problem. It may need to be replaced, or it may just need lubricant. Even if it’s as simple as a lubricant, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and replace it, because when the belt breaks, the air conditioner stops blowing. With a newer unit, squealing is probably caused by the condenser fan motor’s bearings. Direct-drive motors don’t use a belt, but bad bearings can cause squealing and grinding from the outdoor unit. When this happens, the motor probably needs to be replaced. Note: if your air conditioner always makes a squealing sound when it first starts up, but the sound stops after a little while, it’s probably not actually a problem.
    • Buzzing: Loud buzzing noises coming from the air conditioner are usually bad news. The issue may be loose parts, missing or broken isolation feet, leaking refrigerant, or a compressor that’s malfunctioning, but whatever it is, it indicates a need for repair. If one part goes bad, it can put stress on the rest of the system, so it’s important to have repairs made as soon as you know something is wrong. Buzzing may mean that the rubber feet at the base of your air conditioner have begun to disintegrate or crack, causing the compressor to become out of balance, which creates the buzzing sound. It may also mean that the refrigerant has begun to leak, which can cause your AC to actually freeze up and stop working. On the other hand, the buzzing may be the result of an electrical problem or a malfunctioning compressor. It could also be due to debris in the unit, either indoors or outdoors, loose parts, copper lines rubbing against something, an air filter in need of changing, or a condenser coil that needs cleaning.
    • Chattering: Whether or not this is serious can’t really be determined just by listening. It could mean that your HVAC is on the way out, and the parts are starting to loosen. On the other hand, it could just mean that twigs or leaves have clogged your system. The first thing to do if you hear a rattling, chattering sound is to check for loose screws in the casing of your unit, then clean the condenser coils and change the air filter.
    • Whacking: This sound is often more annoying than it is serious. It probably means that there’s debris lodged in your motor blades, and it’s time to clean it out before it leads to bigger issues.
    • Clicking: It’s normal to hear clicking at start-up or shutdown of your system, but if the clicking keeps going, it could be a sign of a defective control or a thermostat that’s about to go bad. As with any electrical issue, it’s important to deal with It as soon as possible.
    • Humming: When your air conditioner is humming, you should probably have your unit checked out by a professional. It may not be a serious problem, but it could indicate loose parts that can lead to a more serious issue, or it could indicate electrical problems.
      Clanking or Rattling: This probably means that a part inside your air conditioner is loose, out of balance, or misaligned. Do not ignore this kind of sound, because there’s a significant chance that these out-of-whack parts can lead to bigger problems.
    • Thumping or Banging: When the noise in your air conditioning unit moves beyond rattling and clanking and on to thumping or banging, it means that something serious is amiss. Most likely, a broken part has come loose and is being thrown around your unit. If that’s the case, it must be repaired quickly, before the loose part causes damage to the rest of your system. Thumping and banging can also mean your compressor needs to be replaced.
    • Screaming: If your air conditioner starts screaming, turn it off immediately and call in a professional. A screaming sound can mean a refrigerant leak, which may be harmful to your family’s health, or high pressure inside your compressor, which is an extremely dangerous situation. In fact, your compressor may turn off on its own as a safety measure.

    It’s important to know who to call for repair, and it’s also smart to have annual maintenance, to prevent these repairs from becoming necessary in the first place. If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.

  • Smells Your AC Unit Makes and When You Should Be Concerned

    Most of the time, your air conditioning unit blows air into your home that you probably don’t even notice. It just flows through your house unobtrusively, keeping you comfortable without being noticeable. Sometimes, though, you turn on your air conditioner and an unpleasant odor fills your home. It might smell like dirty gym socks, it might resemble exhaust fumes or the air in your home might suddenly smell like rotten eggs. Should you be concerned? If foul-smelling air comes out of your HVAC unit, is it dangerous?

    • Dirty sock syndrome is no laughing matter. It may sound like a funny thing to call an air conditioning issue, but it is actually a term used in the HVAC industry. What’s more, in some situations it can be dangerous. It happens when a foul, moldy smelling odor comes from your air conditioner, and it’s caused by mold, mildew, and bacteria on the evaporator coil. This is especially common in warm climates, where it’s not unusual for it to be hot enough to run the air conditioner during the day, and cool enough to run the heat at night. Heat mixes with dust and moisture inside the air conditioning unit, causing mold and mildew, which creates that dirty, musty smell. To combat this problem, make sure the drainage pans are empty, replace your air conditioning filter, clean your condenser coils, and clear any blocked drainage lines. If the smell persists, call in a professional. If mold continues to grow inside your HVAC unit, it can cause health risks to you and your family. You can often prevent dirty sock syndrome by using high-quality air conditioning filters and a UV air purifier.

    • Sometimes, your air conditioner may smell like exhaust fumes. Why would that happen, when your air conditioner is not powered by gas? The answer is simple: fluids in the engine and in other parts of your air conditioner can leak out and cause an odor that resembles exhaust fumes. The only thing to do in this situation is to call for professional assistance.
    • A gun powder smell is also something you might find mysterious. This usually indicates an electrical problem, like a fan motor or circuit board that’s shorted out. Keeping your HVAC unit in good repair can prevent this problem, but if you smell something that smells like gun powder, call an HVAC contractor.

    • Like the gun powder smell, a burning smell can mean electrical issues. It could be a mechanical problem with the fan or compressor, it might be a wiring issue, or it may be a failure of an electrical component, but whatever it is, it’s not healthy for you to breathe in burning odors. Sometimes, it may not be serious: if it only happens when you first start it up, it could just be dust burning off of your unit. If the smell persists, though, don’t try to repair it yourself. it’s best left to a professional because fixing a problem with the motor or wiring can lead to injury if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    • A skunk smell usually indicates a gas leak in the system. Methyl mercaptan is a gas that smells like a skunk’s spray, and when it gets into your ductwork it can cause this smell to enter your home. If this happens, evacuate your home immediately, and call your air conditioning repair company, because this is a dangerous gas and requires immediate attention.

    • Rotten egg smell may mean something has died. Often, birds or rodents get into air ducts in the winter, and if they die and begin to decompose it will lead to a horrible odor in your home. If your home smells like rotten eggs, your ducts need to be professionally cleaned. Another source of rotten egg smell is a natural gas leak. In either case, it’s smart to call in a professional HVAC contractor immediately.

    • Mold and mildew have their own distinctive smell. A moldy odor in your home usually means that mildew or fungus have started growing in or near the air conditioning unit. Because mold thrives in moist areas, it makes sense that it would grow in HVAC units that aren’t draining properly. What’s more, dirty filters often five off the scent of mildew. If you smell a moldy smell, change your filter. If the odor persists, call in a professionally trained HVAC technician.

    Of course, bad smells are not the only indication that something is amiss with your air conditioning unit. Various sounds can indicate a problem with your HVAC, as can excess water or other liquids leaking from the system. One way to get ahead of these issues is to have annual maintenance performed on your system, but if you find yourself with an air conditioning system that doesn’t smell, sound, or perform the way it should, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional.

    If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.

  • Why Your AC Blows Warm Air

    Your air conditioning unit has one job: to blow cold air. When it suddenly stops doing that, it’s not just uncomfortable, it’s downright annoying. What would cause an air conditioner to blow warm air? Is it something that’s easy to rectify, or do you need to call in a professional to fix it?


    The first thing to check is your thermostat. If your thermostat has accidentally been set to heat, it will definitely cause warm air to blow from the vents. On the other hand, even if your system is set to cool and not heat, if it’s turned to “on” instead of “auto”, it means that your system will be blowing air all the time, whether or not the air conditioner is actively cooling that air. It’s better to keep it on the “auto” setting so that the system will run more efficiently.

    If the thermostat isn’t the issue, something may need cleaning. Have you been changing your air filters as often as you should? Most filters should be changed monthly, and if you don’t keep up with that small maintenance step, the filter can become dirty and clogged. This will block the air circulation in your system, which could cause it to blow warm air. Another component that may require cleaning is the evaporator coils. You can clean these yourself, by turning off your AC, removing the outer panel, and cleaning the coils with compressed air, a brush, mild detergent, or a commercial cleaner. On the other hand, it may be easier to call in a professional to do the job.

    Don’t forget that part of your HVAC system is outside. If the outside condenser unit isn’t properly maintained, it may be causing the problem. Go look at it and see if something is blocking the condenser coil’s air flow, like dirt or debris. It’s important to maintain the outside unit, cleaning the condenser coils during the summer as often as necessary. Another problem that can occur with the outside unit is a loss of power. Even if the indoor part of the HVAC is working, if the outside unit has lost power, the air won’t be cold. Check to see if a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped, and call a professional immediately if this is the case. It could indicate a serious problem with your air conditioner.

    Electrical issues can be a problem. Running an air conditioning unit requires a lot of power. If any part of your unit isn’t receiving electricity, the whole unit can malfunction. If you suspect an electrical problem, call for a repair immediately.

    Your ducts may also be causing the problem. Sometimes, ductwork gets knocked out of place and becomes disconnected. When that happens, it’s no longer sealed, and it can let hot air into your house. Call a professional HVAC technician, to ascertain whether your ducts need to be repaired or replaced.

    Your system may need refrigerant/Freon. The way that your air conditioning system cools the air is by moving refrigerant, usually Freon. If there’s a leak that’s allowing this refrigerant to escape, the AC will stop blowing cold air and start blowing warm air. Other signs of leaking refrigerant include ice forming on your AC unit, and a buzzing or screaming sound. If you suspect you have a Freon leak, call for professional assistance immediately, as refrigerant can be harmful to your family’s health.

    Of course, the best way to ensure that none of these problems disrupt your summer air conditioning is to keep your system in good repair through regular maintenance. As already discussed, part of this is keeping your outside unit free of debris and changing your air filters regularly. Another big piece of the puzzle, though, is professional preventative maintenance. Each spring, before you crank up your system for the first time in the summer, have an HVAC professional come out to check your unit for problems and make sure everything is in good working order.

    During this maintenance visit, the HVAC technician will inspect the belts, thermostat, and refrigerants, and check for duct leakage. He or she will also perform services like blowing out the lines and checking the safety controls. The technician will tighten electrical connections, lubricate the moving parts, and check and inspect the condensate drain. In addition, the evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils will be cleaned to help the system work more effectively. Any adjustments that need to be made to your system to help it work efficiently will be done, and parts that are preventing it from working the way it should will be replaced. Your HVAC professional can also advise you on any other work that should be done, such as cleaning out the air ducts. If your system needs an upgrade, your technician can offer advice on that as well.

    If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.

  • How to Reduce Energy Consumption at Home

    Whether you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint or simply your utility bill, there are plenty of reasons to cut back on energy consumption. You might think you’ll have to drastically change your lifestyle or invest a lot of money in new appliances to make a difference in your power usage, but the truth is, saving energy may be easier than you imagine. It doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal, and in fact, there are some very simple ways to reduce your energy consumption at home.

    • Make small shifts in your habits. Take shorter showers, for example, and turn off lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room. Get in the habit of running the dishwasher and washing machine at night or early in the morning, when it’s not a “peak” energy time of day. When doing laundry, use only as much water and detergent as necessary: there’s no need to waste water, and using excess detergent makes the machine work harder to rinse the clothes. Toss a dry towel into the dryer with your wet clothes, and they’ll dry more quickly. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full and you’ll save on energy and water. These little changes aren’t particularly disruptive to your lifestyle, but the can add up in terms of energy savings
    • Give the thermostat a nudge. Adjusting your thermostat by just a couple of degrees can equate to big savings on your energy bill. In fact, some experts say it can bring your bill down by one percent for every degree you shift the thermostat. In the winter, it’s smart to keep it around 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, and several degrees lower if the house is empty. In the winter, aim for 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and several degrees higher when you’re away from the house.
    • Switch out the thermostat entirely. Changing from a traditional thermostat to a programmable thermostat can increase your home’s energy efficiency and some even give you the convenience of adjusting your thermostat remotely. This allows you to keep your home at one temperature while you’re away, and change the temperature before you return home so that it will be comfortable when you arrive. Note: a programmable thermostat doesn’t automatically save you money and energy, just by being installed. You have to actually program it in energy saving ways to see any shifts in your usage.
    • Change your lightbulbs. Are you still using traditional incandescent light bulbs? Switch to halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and you’ll see a significant difference in your energy usage. These bulbs use anywhere from 25 up to 80 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last much longer. If you’ve delayed because they’re more expensive, it’s important to note that because they don’t need to be changed as frequently, they cost less in the long run.
    • Try out some old fashioned ways. Your great-grandparents may have had a less convenient lifestyle than you do, but they also used a lot less energy. Try some of the practices they used in their everyday lives, and you can save energy as well! Hang your clothes on a line instead of putting them in the dryer, open a window to let air circulate, use curtains to control the amount of light and heat that enter your home, and use a hot water bottle, a sweater, or some socks to stay warm instead of cranking up the heat.
    • Use your kitchen to your advantage. On hot days, eat cold meals or use small appliances like your slow cooker or microwave, rather than running the oven. Save your baking for cold days, when the radiant heat from the oven will help heat your home. Use cookware that fits over your burners, so that no heat escapes around the edges of the pot or pan. Defrost frozen foods in your refrigerator. Paying attention to how your kitchen affects your energy usage can mean big savings.
    • Fight vampires. The vampires in your home don’t require garlic and a stake- just a power strip should do the trick. Idle electronics, like your television, scanner, printer, and microwave all use power even when they’re not in use. Plug devices into a power strip and you can easily flip a switch to prevent them from using energy when you’re not using them.
    • Enhance your insulation. The insulation in your home can make a big difference in how much energy you’re using. Have a professional inspection to determine whether you need to bump up the level of insulation you have in your attic, basement, floors, walls, and crawlspace. If you live in a cold climate, you will need more insulation than someone who lives in a warmer area. It’s also smart to look for drafty areas in your home, sealing leaks with caulk to prevent the outside air from coming in and the inside air from escaping.
    • If you do need new appliances, do your homework. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances can make a big difference, so look for the ENERGY STAR label when you shop. Appliances typically account for about 13 percent of your household energy use, and depending on the appliance, ENERGY STAR certified models can cut down on energy usage at a rate that’s between 9 and 45 percent. If you’re replacing your water heater, consider a tankless option to save both money and energy.
    • Update your HVAC. If you’re ready to see big savings, look to your heating and cooling system. Heating alone can add up to 40 percent of home energy use, so upgrading your HVAC to a more efficient model can mean significant savings on your energy bill. Not quite ready to upgrade? Proper maintenance saves energy, too. Keeping your ducts clean and your HVAC in good working order will ensure that it runs more smoothly and efficiently.

    If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.

  • How to Reduce Indoor Pollution

    When you think of air pollution, you’re probably thinking about factories and cars, sending dangerous emissions up into the ozone layer. You may not immediately consider indoor air pollution, but if you think about it, it’s definitely a threat to your well-being. The contaminants inside our homes and offices put us at risk for allergic reactions and illnesses that include stroke, heart disease, COPD, and lung cancer. Fortunately, you can improve your indoor air quality by following a few simple guidelines.

    • Know the culprits. What are the causes of indoor air pollution? In developing countries, dangerous indoor air quality is the result of people cooking indoors, using inefficient stoves with fuel like kerosene, biomass, or coal. In the United States, though, the sources are more likely to be things like fragrances, cleaners, smoking, or pets. Taking a critical look at your home and work environments in order to determine what could potentially cause problems is the first step toward cleaner air.
    • Keep your smoke outside. Smoking cigarettes causes a wealth of health problems, both for the smoker and for those who breathe in the second-hand The best thing you can do for your health and your environment is to quit, but if you must smoke, do it outside. Other sources of smoke should be used with caution, too. Don’t overdo it with candles, and if you use a wood-burning stove, make sure it’s installed properly and well-ventilated.

    • Maintain proper ventilation and moisture levels. You can often improve air quality the old-fashioned way, just by opening a window. When you cook, use the fan above the stove, and when you shower, use the fan in the bathroom to reduce moisture in the air. You might also consider a dehumidifier or an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) air filters.
    • Cut down on chemicals. Every day, we use all kinds of chemicals without giving them much thought. From air fresheners and candles to household cleaners to personal care products, to paint and solvents, there are a host of pollutants in your home that you probably don’t even realize are a problem. Many of these products contain phthalates, which are used to make the fragrances bond to the product in which they’re being used. Unfortunately, phthalates have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. Does this mean that all fragrances are bad? No, but if you really love giving your house an extra boost of scent, you’re better off sticking to essential oils or simmering some spices on your stove.
    • Clean the house. How will you clean the house, while eliminating chemicals and fragrances? It’s easier than you might think. Look for all-natural, non-toxic cleaners, or make your own cleaners, using ingredients like borax, vinegar, and baking soda. Ditch the carpet, if possible, and clean your floors with a steam mop: steaming your floors requires only water. Dust frequently, and keep clutter to a minimum. Wash your bedding and any washable stuffed animals regularly, cleaning these items once a week in hot water, and vacuum your upholstered furniture when you clean your floors. Skip curtains and drapes, opting for window treatments that can be wiped clean.
    • Keep contaminants out. Make a rule in your home that people remove their shoes at the door. If you’re not comfortable doing this, at least have a sturdy doormat that can scrape most of the contaminants off before they’re tracked into your house. If you have pets, keep them well-groomed, and vacuum frequently to reduce pet dander in the house.
    • Be smart about safety. Have your home tested for radon, a colorless, odorless gas that can significantly raise the risk of lung cancer. Many items give off radon, including granite countertops, so it’s important to know that your home is safe. Radon is not the only dangerous chemical that may be in the air, though, so install a carbon monoxide detector, and keep your household appliances in good repair, so that they don’t leak any fumes into your atmosphere.
    • Bring in some greenery. Plants are great for improving indoor air quality, and studies have shown that they even reduce levels of formaldehyde in the home. The roots and the foliage work together to absorb chemicals released from synthetic materials in your home, while the plants themselves give off oxygen, improving our air quality.
    • Maintain your HVAC system. Change your filters regularly, and call in a professional when the seasons change, to give your system the maintenance it needs to keep it running efficiently.

    If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.

  • 11 HVAC Must-Dos Before You Leave on Vacation

    You’ve boarded the pets, asked the neighbors to get the mail, and turned off all your appliances and lights. You’ve taken care of everything, and now you can enjoy a few weeks of well-earned vacation away from the hassles and tasks at home.

    Not quite. Before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to do regarding your HVAC system to keep it in good shape and ready to resume service when you return. At the end of your vacation, the last thing you want to do is return to a hot, sweltering home and a big heating contractor bill because you failed to take a few simple precautions before leaving on your trip.

    vacationing on the beach

    Your HVAC unit is one of the most complex pieces of machinery in your home. It’s also one of the biggest consumers of energy, accounting for about 48 percent of energy use in the typical home in America, and likely even more in hot and humid areas like Tampa. Properly maintaining it when it’s in use and during periods of dormancy such as vacation travel will help preserve the longevity of your unit and help you keep your energy costs down.

    Vacation HVAC Checklist

    Before your next vacation, be sure to take care of these tasks to keep your unit in good repair and to lower energy costs while you’re gone:

    • Turn it down, don’t turn it off – Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t completely shut down your HVAC unit while you’re gone. HVAC units are designed for regular usage, and when they are inactive for long periods, important components can deteriorate and operate at diminished capacity when put back into regular use. Also, when your HVAC isn’t active for long periods of time, moisture can build up in your home, creating conditions where mold can flourish.
    • When preparing to leave your home for a vacation, turn your thermostat up by about five degrees. Your unit won’t run as often as it does when you’re there, and the need for a comfortable temperature is paramount, but it will run enough to prevent moisture buildup and to provide sufficient activity for the system. Experts say the ideal temperature to turn up your unit to in the Tampa area is around 80 degrees.

    • Change the air filters – Under normal conditions, you should change your air filters once a month to prevent them from becoming clogged. While you’re gone, your HVAC unit will be running less often, and dirt and dust will have less of an opportunity to build up on the filters.
    • You should still pop a fresh one in the unit before you leave to ensure the unit has the best possible protection from dirt and dust while you’re away. If you’re leaving for an extended vacation of several months, it may be worthwhile to have a neighbor or your regular ac maintenance technician change the filter a few times during your absence.

    • Prepare for adverse weather – Tampa is prone to storms during the summer, and these storms can cause damage to an HVAC unit. The most likely cause of storm damage to an HVAC unit is that of downed trees and limbs. Before leaving on vacation, inspect the area around your unit to see if there are any limbs hanging over it. If there are, remove them. Also, clear the area of underbrush and other objects a storm could cause to collide with your unit.
    • Give your home a good vacuuming – Dust and other contaminants will accumulate while you’re gone and will circulate through your HVAC system. Reduce the amount of dust and allergens available to accumulate by giving your home a thorough vacuuming and cleaning before you leave for vacation.

    home vacuum cleaning

    • Ensure sufficient airflow to your outdoor unit – Good airflow is essential to the operation of your HVAC unit. When the outdoor unit’s air intake is clogged, it has to work harder to perform, consuming more energy and putting more wear and tear on the device. Before leaving on vacation, check the intake on your unit and clear any leaves, limbs, or grass clippings from it.
    • Make sure all windows are closed – Closing all the windows will reduce the amount of hot air entering your home, causing your unit to run less often. It’s also just good common sense from a security and safety standpoint.
    • Close all your blinds and curtains – Blocking sunlight from entering your home will reduce the temperature inside, thus reducing your unit’s workload. You’ll want to make sure that there’s no direct sun shining on your unit’s thermostat, as this can cause it to indicate the room is hotter than it actually is, resulting in increased usage of the unit.
    • Make sure the unit isn’t leaking – A leaking unit is the sign of a serious problem. If your unit is leaking, resolve the issue before you leave for vacation. An AC technician can quickly diagnose the problem and make a fix, averting the likelihood that the leak will result in the system failing. Replacing a system is much more expensive than fixing one, in most cases, so you’ll need to take care of this problem ASAP.

    vent check

    • Make sure all vents are open – Open all the vents in your home to ensure that air flows throughout the system and your house. HVAC systems are designed to operate with maximum airflow, so opening the vents will allow the system to operate in optimal conditions while you are away.

    condenser coils

    • Clean your system’s condenser coils – Your outdoor condenser coils are vital to the operation of your system. Condenser coils take heat collected from your home and release it into the outdoor air. When condenser coils are dirty, they won’t function at peak efficiency.
    • You can easily clean your condenser coils with water and coil cleaner but, if you’re not comfortable with doing this, you can get an firm to handle the job for you. If you clean the coils yourself, be sure to turn off the power to the unit before beginning work.

      Keeping your coils clean is one of the most helpful things you can do to reduce energy consumption. According to the Department of Energy, dirty coils can increase the amount of energy needed to run your unit by about 30 percent . Giving the coils a good cleaning before leaving for vacation helps ensure they don’t accumulate debris and dirt that can hinder their effectiveness.

    setting thermostat

    • Use a smart thermostat – If you haven’t invested in a smart thermostat yet, now may be an opportune time. Smart thermostats allow you to program your thermostat to run at certain times or maintain certain temperatures. Many can be managed remotely from your mobile device.
    • Smart thermostats are great for people who own multiple vacation properties, as they can adjust those properties’ thermostats remotely for reduced use when guests aren’t in residence. For vacationers, a smart thermostat can ensure that they don’t return to an uncomfortably hot home.

    By taking appropriate steps before they hit the road, vacationers can avoid expensive A/C repair bills when they return. Homeowners can also avoid expensive repair work by entering into service agreements with reputable ac repair and maintenance companies. These contracts provide regular service, such as inspections, coolant recharging, duct cleaning, and more and can help homeowners avoid having to replace their units too early.

    Air Rescue is a Tampa HVAC repair and maintenance firm offering a wide range of services, including ac repair, ac maintenance, duct repair and replacement, total system rejuvenation, and furnace repair and replacement. For comprehensive care from a firm with the experience and expertise to handle all problems, contact Air Rescue today.

  • Six Warning Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning or Replacement

    Most people give little thought to their HVAC system’s ductwork until something has gone horribly (and expensively) wrong with it. This is a huge mistake as a little preventative air duct maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your system running efficiently and preserving the indoor air quality of your home or business.

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    Let’s face it. Here in Tampa, air conditioning is something you just can’t live without. With average highs in the low-to-mid 90s in the summer and an average daily humidity of around 74 percent , life in Tampa becomes quickly unbearable without a properly functioning air conditioning unit.

    Your air ducts are important infrastructure for your HVAC system. Your ducts provide a conduit for the cool or heated air produced by your HVAC system to flow into the various rooms of your home to achieve your desired temperature. When ducts are obstructed or have leaks, it can cause your system to lose efficiency, running up your energy bill and increasing wear and tear on your HVAC unit.

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    Air conditioning repair experts recommend duct cleaning every few years to dislodge dirt and other debris in the ducts. If your ducts haven’t been cleaned in a while, here are a few signs that cleaning is needed immediately.

    Warning Signs Your Ducts Need Cleaning

    • Unexplained spikes in your energy bills – If your bills are climbing and there’s no good explanation for the hike, such as increased usage or mechanical problems with your unit, you may have clogs or leaks in your ducts that are reducing the system’s efficiency. Air conditioning repair services can inspect your ducts to see if this is the problem and take steps to clean and seal your ducts as needed.
    • Signs of rodent or insect infestation – If you see or smell evidence that rodents or insects may be living in your ducts, it’s definitely time to have your ducts cleaned. Debris from these infestations can cause damage to your HVAC system, reducing its efficiency. Over time, the smell from droppings and other debris can also become highly unpleasant. Also, having contaminants from rodent or insect droppings and shells and husks from insects circulating through the air that you and your guests breathe can cause sickness. A rodent or insect infestation in your ducts represents a big health threat, and one you should deal with immediately.
    • Dirt and debris around your vents – If you’re noticing dirt and debris around your vents, there’s a very good chance that your ducts have developed blockages or have a high amount of contaminants circulating through the system. High levels of dirt and debris circulating through your system can exacerbate allergies and other respiratory problems, so it’s well worth your while to have your ducts cleaned.
    • Unexplained respiratory problems – If you or members of your family are having unexplained allergy, sinus, asthma, or other respiratory problems, excessive dirt and debris circulating through your ducts may be the problem. Air cycles through your home about seven times a day, and if your ducts have high levels of dirt and debris, it can have a big impact on indoor air quality. If sneezing and wheezing have become a problem in your home, and if it’s been years since your last duct cleaning, you may want to call an air conditioning maintenance company out to inspect your ducts and clean them.
    • Visible mold growth – Because of Tampa’s humid climate, mold growth is a huge problem here. Mold exposure in homes has been linked to many health issues , some of them very serious. Mold can often cause respiratory issues, eye irritation, throat irritation, and even skin irritation. People with compromised immune systems or chronic lung illnesses may develop serious infections if exposed to mold.

    If you see mold growing around your vents or inside your ducts, do not hesitate to call an air conditioning repair company to perform an inspection and cleaning of your ducts. Mold is more prevalent in Florida than most parts of the country, so homeowners must be constantly vigilant against this serious health threat. Catching mold infestations early before they can spread throughout the home and become difficult to eradicate can help reduce the cost of remedying this problem.

    • Dusty air filters or air return grilles – If your recently installed air filter is covered in dust, chances are that your ducts are clogged and need cleaning. Return air grilles with thick, fuzzy coatings of dust are also indicators of a duct problem.

    How Ducts Are Cleaned

    Professional duct cleaning services can provide a thorough cleaning far beyond what the average homeowner can do on his or her own. Air conditioner maintenance service technicians have specialized tools and training that allow them to remove nearly all dust and contaminants from duct work, even in the most hard-to-reach places.

    When duct cleaning services visit your home, they’ll often inspect the unit and ducts. Technicians will use small cameras to check the more inaccessible areas of the ducts. After inspection, technicians will use specialized brushes and tools to loosen debris within your ducts.

    Next, they will use a vacuum to remove dirt and debris from the ducts. They will also likely clean the cooling coils and the blower unit. Your technician may also decontaminate your ducts with germ and odor-killing compounds. In addition to cleaning the ducts and other parts of your unit, your technician will also clean grilles and vents.

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    If your technicians detect leaks in your ducts, they may offer to seal these leaks. It’s well worth your while to have leaks sealed, as the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through your home is lost through leaks in your duct work. A properly sealed duct system can reduce air loss, thus reducing the amount of work your HVAC system must do to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home.

    Taking care of your ducts can reduce your power bills and increase the longevity of your HVAC system by reducing its workload. As new HVAC systems can cost thousands of dollars to install, keeping your system running efficiently for as long as possible can save you lots of money. Regular cleaning of your HVAC ducts can also greatly benefit the indoor air quality in your home or place of business.

    Poor indoor air quality is being increasingly linked to a variety of illnesses , and modern home design has made maintaining good indoor air quality difficult because new homes are so tightly sealed for energy efficiency purposes. Cleaning your ducts can help keep mold and contaminants from constantly recirculating through your home and giving rise to respiratory and other illnesses.

    When hiring a company to perform air duct cleaning services, make sure you hire a professional company with the tools, training, and experience to do the job correctly. Check online reviews and ask your friends and neighbors who they use for air conditioner service. Talk to prospective service providers about their professional credentials and experience. Also, don’t be afraid to ask prospective providers for references.

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    Air Rescue is a Tampa-based air conditioning repair and maintenance company. In business since 1946, Air Rescue has experienced staff and a well-earned reputation for excellence. Air Rescue also is committed to staying abreast of the latest changes to the HVAC industry—the company’s technicians regularly train with the newest HVAC technologies. The company has several affordable maintenance options available to customers, including a club membership program that provides discounts on important repair and maintenance services.

  • Giving Fresh Life to Your HVAC with Total System Rejuvenation

    If your current HVAC system is failing to perform to your standards, but you are not ready to invest in new heating and cooling units, you may want to talk to your technician about the benefits of total system rejuvenation . During your total system rejuvenation appointment from a company that offers HVAC repair in Tampa, a certified technician will perform a series of comprehensive repair procedures. This two hour service includes a complete inspection of all major parts, sanitization of your heating and cooling units, and a six month guarantee against repair problems.

    To get a head start on your total system rejuvenation, be sure to contact your local heating and air conditioning professionals. With the winter season on its way, now is an excellent time to make sure that your heating and cooling system is fully prepared to help you stay warm and toasty when you are at home.

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  • Air Rescue AC Club Membership Levels

    Your air conditioner provides reliable cool air on the hottest days of the year—or at least it should. Unfortunately, there are times when air conditioners perform less than optimally. When one of those times come, you want to make sure you have top-quality AC repair in Tampa . The best way to get your air conditioner back on line quickly is to sign up for the Air Rescue AC Club.

    There are three AC Club membership levels—the higher you go, the more perks you get. First is the silver membership, which includes two tune-ups or filers a year, plus a 20% discount on repairs, $49 diagnostic service, and guaranteed 48-hour response time. The next level up is the gold membership, which comes with a 75% discount on repairs, free diagnostic service, and a guaranteed 24-hour response time. The highest membership level is platinum, which comes with the same perks as the gold membership, plus guaranteed same-day response time. Signing up for any one of the above membership levels can help you save money on AC repair in the long run and ensure that your AC system stays operational.

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  • How Does a Split Air Conditioner Work?

    The summer season is in full force, and your air conditioning is your best line of defense against the hottest days of the year. Whether you are finding yourself spending a considerable amount of air conditioning repair, or you simply feel that it is time to replace your air conditioning unit, you may want to consider a split air conditioner for your next installation. A company offering heating and cooling services and ac installation in Tampa can answer all of your questions about which type of unit will perform best in your household. To help you shop for your next ac unit, here is a look at how split air conditioners work. split - air - conditioner

    Thermostat Detects Warm Air

    When a split air conditioner is in operation, its thermostat will continually be detecting the current air temperature. If the thermostat reads an air temperature that is warmer than desired, the split air conditioner will automatically turn on. Typically, the thermostat in a split air conditioner is located on the inside of the unit.

    Compressor Circulates Refrigerant

    Once the thermostat has told the split air conditioner that it is time to start cooling the space, a component called a compressor will start circulating refrigerant. Refrigerant is a liquid substance that turns into gas as it cools. When refrigerant is sent through the coils inside the unit, it will naturally start to cool down the surrounding air. Low refrigerant in a system can lead to an overall loss of performance and efficiency.

    Evaporator Fan Collects Air

    As the refrigerant is being circulated through the system, a component called an evaporator will start collecting warm air from the room. The warm air will be sent through a chilling chamber once it has been captured by the fan. After being chilled, the air will be recalculated into the indoor space, resulting in lower overall temperatures. The compact nature of the evaporator and compressor systems allow the split air conditioner to be an efficient addition to any HVAC system.