• 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.

  • Should I Replace My Furnace at the Same Time as My Air Conditioner?

    Here in Tampa and other areas of central and south Florida, it largely will depend upon the type of heating and cooling system used in your home. Many homes have what is known as a “packaged system” or all-in-one air conditioner/heating solution.

    This type of system has most of the parts and components required to cool and heat your home contained in a single unit. They are beneficial because they eliminate the need to have a split system, where one part of the air conditioner (AC) is outdoors, the furnace is indoors, and they share the same blower and air handler indoors.

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    With a packaged system, you can use that extra space inside the home for a pantry, laundry room, or other purposes. Even if you have an existing split-system, and it is time to replace the furnace and AC together , you may want to consider a packaged system instead of separate units.

    If you have a packaged system and something goes wrong where the unit needs to be replaced, then, yes, you will need to replace your furnace and AC at the same time. However, if you have a split system, then, in certain cases, you may be able to replace the AC but not the furnace and vice versa (replace the furnace, but not the air conditioner).

    When Should You Replace Your AC and Furnace?

    Your AC and furnace will eventually need to be replaced with a new system. One telltale sign that it is time for a new furnace or AC unit is when heating and AC repair is becoming a monthly occurrence. This is a good indication the system has reached the end of its usefulness. Rather than continue to spend money on monthly repairs, it makes more sense to buy a new system.

    The average lifespan and usefulness of heating and AC systems vary, but a good general timeframe is:

    • 15 – 20 years on packaged systems
    • 20 – 30 years on furnaces (split systems)
    • 10 – 15 years on air conditioners (split systems)

    Most people will attempt to push their existing systems to the upper limits before replacing them. Part of this has to do with the costs associated with getting a new system.

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    However, in more recent years, as technological improvements have made home heating and cooling systems much more energy efficient, we are finding people are replacing their systems when they are between 10 and 15 years old. This allows them to take advantage of the newer efficiencies and increased energy savings.

    You should also consider replacing your AC and furnace if you notice your energy bills are increasing. This could indicate the system is no longer operating at peak efficiencies. A tune-up from one of our AC and heating repair technicians might help if your system is not that old.

    On the other hand, if it is getting up there in years, then a tune-up is only a short-term fix. Eventually, you will need to replace the system, as tune-ups will no longer help maintain the system’s efficiency.

    Benefits of Replacing Both at Once

    The most obvious benefit of replacing both your AC and furnace at the same time is you will have a “matched” split system. This means all of the parts and components used indoors and outdoors are designed to work together to provide maximum operating performance and energy efficiencies.

    With an “unmatched” system, where you replace only the AC or the furnace, the maximum efficiencies output by the new part of the system may not be able to be fully reached. This will largely depend on the age of the other part of the system you are not replacing.

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    Another benefit of replacing both units at the same time is you may qualify for a special rebate, incentives, and offers by the system manufacturer. Home heating and cooling unit manufacturers often run different promotions, much like car manufacturers, so you will want to inquire what current incentives are available.

    In addition, your home heating and cooling sales and installation company might provide a discount since you are purchasing both at the same time. For instance, the costs to replace just the furnace could run between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the model and features.

    However, if you were to get a new furnace when you had your AC replaced, the costs to add this on could range from $1,000 to $3,000. Please keep in mind, this is just an example to illustrate how you could save money by doing both at the same time, and your actual savings and costs can and will vary.

    Other Reasons to Replace Both at Once

    Aside from aged systems and potential cost savings, there are other times when it makes sense to replace both your AC and furnace at the same time, as follows:

    • The installation of the new system poses specific challenges that make the job difficult. If the furnace or the blower and air handler are in hard-to-access areas, you may want to do both at the same time.
    • You live in a remote rural area. If you are already having a technician come out to replace your AC or furnace, and you know the other one will need to be replaced in the near future, it is better to get both done at once.
    • You want to upgrade to an HE (High-Efficiency) AC model. If you are looking at new AC units with a 16 SEER rating or higher, then you will want to get a new furnace at the same time. This is because these HE units have to be matched to a compatible furnace model. These types of systems require variable speed motors and other modern technologies to operate correctly.

    You are getting ready to retire. Once you retire, if you are like most retirees, the last thing you want to worry about is having to buy a new AC or furnace on a fixed income. Replacing both now allows ensures you will not have to worry about this expense for the next 10, 15, or 20 years.

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    Times When You Will Not Want to Replace Both

    There are a few times when you may not need to replace both the AC and furnace at the same time. These exceptions apply to split systems, not packaged systems.

    • The AC unit is less than 5 years old. Split system AC units will last between 10 to 15 years, on average. So, if you are replacing the furnace and not converting from a split system to a packaged system, then it can be better to wait.
    • The furnace is less than 10 years old. Furnaces on split systems last between 20 to 30 years, on average. Since furnaces have almost double the lifespan of AC units, it makes more sense to wait and replace both the next time the AC unit has to be replaced.
    • A salesperson told you to replace both. If you went shopping for a new AC unit or furnace at a showroom, the salesperson may have said you had to do both at the same time. The reason they said this is partially because they are working off a commission, so, if they can sell you both, they earn more.

    If you know you need either a new furnace or AC and are not sure if you should replace both, the best thing to do is to contact us and have one of our licensed, bonded, and insured HVAC technicians take a look at your system. Our technicians will let you know if you can wait on one or the other or if it would be better to replace both now.

    hvac technician in action

    For more information on whether to replace both your AC and furnace, HVAC system repairs, furnace or AC maintenance, installation , or for help selecting the right system for your home, please feel free to contact Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982 today!

  • How to Keep Your HVAC Running Efficiently

    Running your HVAC systems efficiently means that they are cooling or heating to the best of their ability while saving as much energy as possible. The best ways to run an efficient HVAC system is with regular heater and air conditioning maintenance in Tampa. This maintenance should include yearly cleanings, changing air filters, and professional inspections by a qualified HVAC company. Continue reading for a closer look at how to run your air conditioner and heater efficiently. regular - hvac - maintenance

    Schedule Routine Maintenance

    One of the easiest ways to run an efficient HVAC system is by scheduling routine maintenance. Both your heating and air conditioning units should be cleaned and inspected, at least once a year, by your qualified HVAC company. Every year that you do not have your entire HVAC system inspected, it can lose up to 5% of its efficiency. The longer that the system goes without inspection, then the harder it will work and your energy bills will steadily rise.

    Change Air Filters

    It is important to change the air filters for your air conditioner and your furnace. These filters prevent dust, dirt, and contaminants from invading your home, which keeps your air healthy and comfortable. Change your filters every three to four months at minimum; you may wish to change them every month during the summer and winter. During these seasons, you are likely using your heater and air conditioner more often, which will make the filters dirtier. By replacing filters regularly, you can reduce the strain on your HVAC units, which will help them to run more efficiently.

    Use a Smart Thermostat

    Smart thermostats are programmed to analyze your daily actions and change the temperature conditions as needed. For example, if you are gone every day during certain times of the day, then a smart thermostat will program the HVAC units to reflect a more efficient temperature. There is little point to cool your home when you are not at home, so a smart thermostat will raise the temperature a few degrees. This will reduce daily strain on your air conditioner, and it will lower your energy bills.

  • SEER Ratings Explained

    When you are shopping for a new air conditioner , you will want to learn about SEER ratings. In this video, you will receive a detailed explanation of SEER ratings and how they affect the performance of your air conditioner. To achieve the best efficiency from your ac installation in Tampa, you will want to purchase an air conditioning unit that has a SEER rating of 16 or higher. A higher SEER rating translates into improved efficiency from a heating and air conditioning system.

    For answers to your questions about SEER ratings, be sure to get in touch with an HVAC company that serves your local area. A team of air conditioning installation experts can explain how SEER ratings are calculated, and they can also tell you more about the advantages of upgrading your current air conditioner to a new, energy efficient model.

  • Understanding Mini Split AC Systems

    For homes or additions that lack ductwork, split AC systems offer an excellent solution. If you’re considering mini split air conditioning installation in Tampa, then watch this video to learn more about this type of air conditioner .

    A mini split air conditioner is a cooling appliance that does not require any ductwork. Many individuals choose this type of unit instead of a window air conditioner due to their small size, versatile installation options, and ability to run quietly.

    These air conditioners have one section that is mounted to a wall inside of the home, and a second portion, containing the compressor, that is outdoors. If your home does not already have ductwork installed, a mini split system can allow you to enjoy cool indoor temperatures without adding a lot of holes, ducts, and insulation to your home.

  • Why Routine AC Maintenance Is Essential

    Maintenance is an important part of being a homeowner. Just about everything in your home needs to be maintained at one time or another. Appliances are particularly important to your comfort and convenience, and none are more vital than your air conditioner. To make AC maintenance in Tampa more convenient, consider joining the AC Club from Air Rescue, which offers several perks related to AC repair and maintenance. ac - maintenance

    Boost Efficiency

    Your air conditioner accounts for a huge percentage of your home’s total energy use. As such, you want to make sure your system is as efficient as possible. Having an AC service professional maintain your AC unit twice a year is the best way to ensure that your system is operating optimally.

    Avoid AC Failure

    It’s very important to get your AC unit serviced before the cooling season begins in earnest. The last thing you want is your air conditioner to stop working in the heat of summer, when you need it the most. Fortunately, an experienced technician can identify small problems before they become larger problems that shut down your system.

    Enhance Safety

    Keeping your AC system functioning normally isn’t just important for your comfort, but for your safety. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can have a negative effect on your health , and certain AC issues, including a refrigerant leak, can put you at further risk. Having an AC professional visit twice a year is the best way to keep your system safe and functional.

    Extend AC Lifespan

    Purchasing a new air conditioner is a rather large expense that most homeowners would like to delay as long as possible. To keep your current AC system running for years to come, you should have a professional perform regular service on it. Regular inspections and tune ups can help ensure that all of your AC system’s vital components are intact and functioning normally.

  • Common Air Conditioner Problems

    Air conditioner problems can leave you trapped in the heat as you wait for your HVAC company to arrive. This video will show you some of the most common air conditioning repair problems that could affect your system. When you are having air conditioner problems, the capacitor may be to blame. The capacitor is responsible for storing and delivering energy to the rest of your air conditioning system. A company that offers air conditioner service and heating repair in Tampa can determine precisely what is wrong with your air conditioner system.

    By trusting your air conditioner repair to a team of professionals, you can rest assured that your system will remain up and running during the hottest months of the year. When your air conditioner suddenly stops working, you will need to call your HVAC specialists immediately to set up a repair appointment.

  • Deciding Between AC Repair and Replacement

    Your air conditioner is your household’s primary line of defense against the summer heat. If you have been relying on the same air conditioning unit for a decade or longer, you may have begun to notice that your system requires more frequent air conditioning repair. In order to cut back on your ac repair costs, you might want to look in to the benefits of brand new ac installations in Tampa. Whether you repair or replace your current system, you will want to schedule your service with a company that specializes in air conditioning services. Here are some factors to consider when you are deciding between HVAC repair and replacement. AC - repair

    Consider Age of Equipment

    An average air conditioner will have a lifespan of no more than 20 years, even with regular repair services. When your current air conditioning system is reaching the two decade mark, it is time to start thinking of scheduling a replacement.

    Calculate Cost of Repairs

    In order to determine when it is time to replace your ac system, you may also want to evaluate how much you have been spending on repairs. While certain types of air conditioning repairs can be performed quickly and inexpensively, other repairs may be a significant investment. Your ac technician can tell you whether you will get a better value by replacing or repairing your unit.

    Determine Energy Efficiency

    Energy efficiency also plays an important role when you think about replacing your air conditioner. When an air conditioner reaches the end of its useful lifespan, it may start to dramatically lose its energy efficiency. As a result, you may find that your monthly energy bills soar. Today’s air conditioning units offer fantastic efficiency for the homeowner. By calculating the optimal efficiency of your air conditioning system, you may save money in the long-run with an earlier replacement.

  • The Benefits of Aeroseal

    Have you been running your air conditioner, but there are distinct rooms and areas of your house that never seem to cool down? You may need to look at how well your air ducts are holding up. They could be leaking cool air, and you may not even know it unless your AC contractor serving Tampa comes out for air duct cleaning. Thankfully, there is a great new sealant known as Aeroseal that can solve your problem efficiently.

    Aeroseal is a type of mist that will seal any leaky air ducts from the inside. Once your air ducts are cleaned and sealed, you may notice a vast change in your air conditioning. Temperatures throughout the house should even out because air is not escaping elsewhere. You should also notice better savings when you get your energy bill, because you will not be losing cold air in your ductwork. Since your air conditioning unit should not have to work as hard anymore, your energy use will reduce, thus helping the environment and saving you money.

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