Considering how hot it gets in Florida, air conditioning is an absolute necessity. By now, you’ve either had your system tuned-up for the cooling season, or you’ve spent some time considering a replacement. If your air conditioner is a matching system, it’s important to consider it as a whole. For even though it has two units – one inside and one outside – they work together as a team.
In a split system, the indoor unit contains an evaporator coil that collects the heat in your home. Refrigerant absorbs that heat and carries it to the outdoor unit. The outdoor condensing unit works to remove the heat from the refrigerant, and releases it outside. Then the refrigerant is moved back to the indoor unit to start the process over again. This cycle continues until the set thermostat setting is reached.
There are negative consequences of not adequately matching your inside and outside units. Possible effects include:
- Loss of energy efficiency. The mismatched outdoor and indoor units won’t be able to work as a team.
- Poor cooling capabilities that affect home comfort. One side will always under-perform, reducing cooling capabilities.
- Increased cooling costs. One unit will always work harder than the other, using more electricity.
- Early failure of the new air conditioner. An increased workload can cause the system to malfunction.
If you need a new air conditioner because either the indoor or the outdoor unit has broken down or isn’t operating properly, the best course is to replace the entire system. Also, keep in mind that today’s air conditioners use a new, more environmentally benign refrigerant, which is incompatible with the R-22 refrigerant in older systems. .
Rely on a trusted professional to handle the installation and maintenance of your air conditioner. Please contact us at Cox Air Conditioning and Heating for expert advice on finding a matching system that’s ideally suited to your Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg area home. We’ll then provide top-notch installation and maintenance.
With Florida’s generally warm climate, a heat pump is an economical and practical way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you have recently purchased a heat pump, installing it correctly will help the pump function at its full potential. The following tips will help you avoid common inconveniences caused by improper heat pump installation:
- Make your home as energy efficient as possible. Replace your old drafty windows with energy-efficient units, seal air leaks where cables and wires come into your home and add insulation, paying special attention to your attic. These measures can make it possible to buy a smaller (and less expensive) heat pump.
- If possible, make sure your ductwork is located inside conditioned spaces. Ductwork that runs through an uninsulated crawlspace, attic or basement is subject to heat transfer.
- If your ductwork must run through an unconditioned space, insulate it to an R-value of eight.
- Locate your outdoor unit on the north side of your home. If that’s not possible, pick a spot that’s shady during the hottest part of the day. Keep a well-cleared area all around the unit.
- Let your contractor know that you want the calculated air leakage to be under 10 percent of the unit’s airflow.
- Try to have one return-air vent in each room.
- Avoid using any building cavity as an air duct. Building cavities are leaky, undermine comfort and often develop moisture problems.
- Once ductwork is installed, make sure it’s tight, especially at the seams.
If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Cox Air Conditioning & Heating. Our NATE-certified technicians can provide professional heat pump installation and expert advice on all your home comfort needs.
If you’re like most other energy-conscious homeowners in the St. Petersburg-Tampa area, you may already have a programmable thermostat, which automatically raises and lowers the temperature, based on your family’s activities and patterns. You’re well aware of the energy savings these devices can yield.
But did you know that you could boost your efficiency even more with a smart programmable thermostat? These nifty devices give you capabilities that were unheard of just a few years ago. They vary from one brand to another, but here are some of the features available on various models:
- WiFi capability: You can control your home-comfort systems from your laptop or smartphone when you’re away from home. If you’re returning from a vacation earlier than expected, you can tell your thermostat to raise or lower the temperature just before your new arrival time. You can also receive alerts if a problem has developed with one of your home-comfort systems. In addition, it will notify you when you need to change your air filter.
- Adaptivity: Some smart thermostats have the ability to learn your habits and adjust your energy usage accordingly. They measure ambient light, humidity and motion to fine-tune your comfort program. For example, if you’re at work on a Saturday when you’re usually home, it can detect that and override the preset temperature.
- Ability to communicate: If you have more than one smart thermostat in your home–for a zoning system, for example–they can communicate with each other to coordinate schedules in each area of your home.
- LCD touchscreen: Some even provide five-day weather forecasts.
As you would expect, these smart thermostats can be much more expensive than traditional programmable thermostats. The more precise energy control, however, makes them a smart investment for many homeowners.
Smart thermostats do have more sophisticated wiring requirements. An installation by an expert HVAC contractor is recommended.
For more information concerning smart programmable thermostats and other home comfort-related matters, contact Cox Air Conditioning & Heating. We have served homeowners in the St. Petersburg and Tampa area for more than 50 years.
Because your heating and cooling equipment is so valuable, it’s important to make sure the person working on it is an expert HVAC professional. But how can you be certain that you’re working with the best? The answer is insisting on a NATE-certified technician. Once you’ve done that, you can rest assured that the job will be done right.
What is NATE?
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) was founded in 1997 as a means of setting standards for HVAC technicians. To become NATE-certified, a technician must demonstrate his knowledge and abilities by passing rigorous exams in each area in which he works. Technicians can become certified in specializations including air conditioning, heat pumps, furnaces, air distribution and refrigeration.
What are the benefits of working with a NATE-certified technician?
Because NATE-certified technicians have worked hard to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, you can expect nothing less than the best. Working with these technicians will allow you to enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Savings: NATE-certified technicians understand the importance of proper installation and maintenance. With a NATE-certified technician on the job, you know that your heating and cooling systems will run at peak efficiency, meaning that your utility bills will be lower. Additionally, customers who work with NATE-certified technicians experience fewer problems and callbacks than customers who used technicians who aren’t certified.
- Fast service: Technicians who have earned NATE certification are able to do the job quickly and efficiently. Further, they are able to do the job right, so you don’t have to worry about problems down the line.
- Knowledge: NATE-certified technicians are able to offer advice and explain what they are doing as they work on your equipment.
To schedule an appointment with a NATE-certified technician, contact Cox Air Conditioning & Heating. We proudly serve residents of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Trinity, West Chase and surrounding areas.