Air Conditioning Repair vs. Replacement

April 18th, 2014

One of the great questions about any home comfort system is: “repair or replace?” When an air conditioner begins to malfunction, a homeowner will often wonder if continued repairs are cost-effective, or if replacing the system with a newer, higher-efficiency model makes for a better choice. There is no simple answer; we’ll look at the possibilities to help you narrow down your choices.

For help on the questions of air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach, FL, look to the staff of Envirotech Air Quality Services. Since 1987 we have helped South Florida find the best solutions to cooling down homes.

Repair?

If you have an air conditioner that is still a few years below the manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, you should look into repairs first before replacement… as long as you have kept up with stringent preventive maintenance every year on the system. A well-maintained AC will usually make it past its estimated lifespan, although occasional repairs are always possible.

If you have an extended warranty for your air conditioner on top of the manufacturer’s limited warranty, the system may still be under warranty and you should make repairs a priority. This is a reason that we recommend customers opt for the extended warranty that covers many years beyond the system’s installation. You can also purchase extended warranties for already installed systems, depending on the manufacturer. For example, an extended warranty for Trane air conditioners is available for units up to 5 years after installation.

However, if you haven’t kept up with regular maintenance, the AC might not be capable of making it even halfway to its life-expectancy and you may need to replace it—even with warranty coverage. Make sure that your new system receives those regular inspections!

Replace?

When an AC is near to the upper end of its estimated lifespan, you should make replacement a priority, even with a system that seems to be operating fine. There are some major advantages in opting for replacement. First, you’ll avoid a decline in your system that will require numerous repairs to fix. Second, you can take advantage of a new high-efficiency air conditiones that will begin saving you money on your bills the moment you turn it on. Third, you can start off with an extended warranty so you’ll have peace of mind for many years.

You may also qualify for a Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) rebate when installing a new air conditioner. To qualify for the rebate, you must complete installation of a high-efficiency system with a minimum SEER of 14, and you must purchase the system through a Participating Independent Contractor. If you qualify, the rebate can be up to $1,930.

Call Envirotech Air Quality Services today to look into your current air conditioner to see if the time has come for a replacement. Our technicians will take into consideration your warranty and the FPL rebate; they will offer informed recommendations when they think a new system will benefit you.

Whether you need new air conditioning installation or air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach, FL, trust to the honesty, skill, and experience of our staff at Envirotech Air Quality Services.

How to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality During Allergy Season

April 10th, 2014

Spring brings blossoms and flowers. It also marks the start of allergy season, and if you have people in your home who suffer from allergies, this can become an unpleasant time of year. During spring it’s more important than ever to maintain your home’s indoor air quality.

One of the best ways to keep your indoor air quality high is to open up windows to the outside to bring in fresh air. However, this is not a viable solution when it comes to allergy season, since this will invite in many of the pollutants that cause allergies in the first place. How can you maintain air quality with a house that needs to remain sealed from the outside as much as possible?

Envirotech Air Quality Services specializes in helping homeowners maintain healthy air inside their houses with advanced technology that goes beyond expectations. With the help of air purifiers in your West Palm Beach, FL home, our experts at Envirotech Air Quality Services can make allergy season more pleasant for everyone in your home.

The air purifier advantage

There are a number of installations in your HVAC system that will prevent allergens from entering your home and circulating through the ductwork. An air purifier fits into your existing heating and cooling system to work with it to remove particles from your air, in particular the ones that will trigger allergies. These contaminants include dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and bacteria. The type of air purifier you should have installed will depend on the allergens most likely to affect your home.

Mechanical air filters can do an excellent job of trapping large particles. HEPA filters, one of the most effective filters available, can trap 99.97% of all contaminants in your air, down to 0.3 microns in size. This will prevent most allergens from getting through. Electronic air filters can go even further: their ionization action can stop particles down to 0.01 microns. Ask your air quality specialists which type of filter will do the job you need.

If your ventilation system suffers from mold and bacterial growth during allergy season, air quality experts can install UV germicidal lights to destroy the pollutants and prevent them from returning.

Professional inspection and installation

To have proper and effective installation of air purifiers in West Palm Beach, FL, you will require the expertise of air quality specialists. When you contact Envirotech Air Quality Services, our trained technicians will find out what allergens are affecting your air and recommend the purifiers that will combat them. You can rely on their skill to install the purifiers so they work effectively. Also remember to have your home’s air purifiers regularly maintained so they keep protecting your indoor air quality.

3 Things You Didn’t Know about Air Conditioning

April 3rd, 2014

Air conditioners have cooled down the majority of U.S. homes since the middle of the 20th century. They now form as basic a part of our lives as other inventions of the previous century such as television, radio, and the computer.

But how much do you really know about the air conditioning that cools down your house, or that provides for a pleasant work environment during each hot and humid day of the spring and summer? Electro-mechanical air conditioning has an unusual history, and the devices themselves contain some surprises that few people who use them know about.

Envirotech Air Quality Services offers excellent installation, repair, and maintenance for air conditioning in Wellington, FL. We’re steeped in the workings of these remarkable machines, and we’d like to share with you 3 interesting facts about ACs you probably didn’t know:

1. Air conditioning does not create cold air

“Yes it does, I can feel the cold air blowing from it!” you may answer. But what you feel isn’t cold air that was created; it’s air that has had heat removed from it. Unlike heating systems such as furnaces, boilers, and standard fireplaces, all of which create heat through burning fuel, an air conditioner simply moves heat from one place to another. An air conditioner removes heat from inside your home, relocating it to the outside, thus cooling the air in your home.

2. Air conditioners were once extremely hazardous

In the early days of electro-mechanical air conditioning, an AC was more dangerous than a gas-powered furnace or fireplace. This was because the refrigerant used to create heat exchange—the movement of heat from indoors to outdoors—was composed of chemicals that were either highly combustible, acidic, or toxic. These first air conditioners used ammonia, propane, or methyl chloride, and leaks could turn dangerous. This made air conditioners unsuitable for use in homes during their first two decades, and they remained restricted to industrial and commercial operation. In 1928, the invention of the first non-toxic, non-acidic, and non-flammable refrigerant, Freon, made ACs practical for homeowners. Today, air conditioners are one of the safest home comfort systems available.

3. Air conditioners helped post-war expansion in the western U.S.

Even after the end of the “Wild West” frontier period, large stretches of the Western U.S. stayed sparsely inhabited because the extreme heat made living there in the summer difficult. In 1945, Robert Sherman invented a portable window unit AC. This made cooling down homes more affordable, and during the post-war boom, it helped the rapid expansion of cities in the Southwestern U.S., such as Phoenix and Albuquerque.

Your central air conditioner will probably aid you every day this summer keeping you cool. Make sure you have an excellent repair and maintenance program ready to lend a hand: Envirotech Air Quality Services  offers excellent air conditioning service in Wellington, FL to make sure you have a pleasant summer.

AC Maintenance Steps

March 27th, 2014

It’s time to prepare for another long summer season in Lake Worth, FL with air conditioning maintenance. You should always have AC maintenance done once a year, and spring is the ideal time to schedule a visit from a technician to see that your cooling system can take on the summer heat. You probably already have your air conditioner running a few times during the week, and you shouldn’t let it start wearing down before the main part of its service year begins.

Envirotech Air Quality Services will provide you with a thorough inspection, cleaning, and tune-up of your air conditioning during a maintenance visit. Don’t forget about this crucial step; call us and set up an appointment while it’s still spring.

What happens during maintenance

The steps a technician takes when he or she comes to your house for the annual check-up and tune-up will differ depending on the technician and your particular needs; however, these are the routine steps to expect:

  • Thermostat check: Technicians usually start with a thermostat inspection, since any miscalibration or wiring problem will throw off the entire cooling system. Thermostat wiring troubles and miscalibrations are usually simple fixes.
  • Checking and cleaning the coils: The indoor and outdoor coils of an AC must remain clean for the system to carry out heat exchange. The technician will remove the coils and clean off any excess dust or dirt that might have started to build up.
  • Changing the air filter: If the air filter shows signs of clogging, the technician will swap it out for a new one. (You should perform this job yourself once a month during the rest of the summer.)
  • Interior cabinet inspection: The technician opens up the cabinet of the outdoor unit of the AC to look over all the major components inside: capacitors, compressor, motors.
  • Electrical connection check and tightening: The technician inspects the electrical connections and tightens down anything that may be coming loose.
  • Refrigerant level check: The refrigerant charge in the AC must remain at its set level. If the level has dropped, the technician will recharge it, and also look to find out what caused the loss of charge in the first place.
  • Complete system check: The maintenance session will end with a final check to make sure that airflow and cooling capacity are all as they should be, and that the AC is not draining extra power.

Keep up regular maintenance for a long system life and lower bills

Annual maintenance pays off in many ways that outweigh the small cost of a check-up. You will have a more efficient AC, fewer repairs and breakdowns, and a system that will live up to and probably beyond its manufacturer’s expected lifespan. Call Envirotech Air Quality Services today and talk to our maintenance staff to schedule the yearly visit for your air conditioning in Lake Worth, FL.

How Your Thermostat Affects Your Air Conditioning

March 19th, 2014

Here in West Palm Beach, FL, air conditioning season starts early. Almost as soon as we’ve shut down our heaters at the end of winter, the temperatures rise and it’s time to turn on the AC again. A number of different factors can impact your air conditioner, including your thermostat, which lets you control when the AC turns on and off. Here’s how your thermostat affects you air conditioning in West Palm Beach.

Problems with the thermostat tend to result in one of three different outcomes. Either your air conditioner doesn’t turn on when you need it to, it shuts off before it has adequately cooled the air, or it refuses to shut off when it should. If the thermostat is to blame, it could be suffering from a number of possible issues. For example, it may be misreading the temperature, causing it to turn on and off when it shouldn’t. Or its trigger switch may be malfunctioning, meaning that it can’t activate the air conditioner when it should. Circuitry shorts can cause it to simply shut off, or to turn the air conditioner on and off at random times.

Those issues involve something wrong with the thermostat unit itself. In some cases, however, the unit itself may be functioning properly. It just hasn’t been placed in an area that accurately reflects the temperature. Drafts, cold spots and similar quirks in your home can wreak havoc with a misplaced thermostat and render your air conditioning system all but useless in the bargain.

An air conditioning expert can usually fix the problem for you. In the simplest cases, he or she can simply replace a malfunctioning thermostat, though it may be possible to repair an existing unit depending upon the circumstances. A service technician can also reposition your thermostat to a spot in the home that more accurately reflects the temperature.

If you need West Palm Beach, FL air conditioning repair services, call Envirotech Air Quality Services. We understand how your thermostat affects your air conditioning in West Palm Beach and we’re ready to implement whatever solutions you need. Give us a call today!

How to Get Your Heat Pump Ready for Summer

March 12th, 2014

Unlike other home comfort systems, the heat pump works for you around the year. Air conditioners hibernate during winter, and furnaces and boilers take a summer siesta. But the heat pump, acting as both an air conditioner and a forced-air heater, operates throughout the calendar, usually only getting some vacation time during brief temperate periods in spring and fall.

So with the winter weather gone, your heat pump is about to take on the hardest part of its job: the Florida summer. Here’s how you can help prepare your heat pump to run the gauntlet so it will make it through without problems—and help you make it through as well.

When you need assistance to bolster your system with maintenance or heat pump repair in Wellington, FL, call the 24-hour technicians at Envirotech Air Quality Services.

Change the air filter

During the height of both heating and cooling seasons, you might need to change the filter for the heat pump as often as once a month to make sure it receives proper airflow and no contamination enters the cabinet. During the spring, you use the heat pump less, so you probably haven’t changed the filter recently. Before the heat pump comes on for steady cooling, change the filter to start the season fresh. (And keep up with those regular changes.)

Any operating oddities? Get those repairs done now!

As the winter season closed out, did you notice any irregularities with your heat pump’s operation? This could include odd sounds from the cabinet, uneven heating and cold spots in the house, strange smells from the vents, periods of low airflow, or the appearance of ice on the outdoor coil. If so, call for repairs before the summer haul: your heat pump needs some work done, and ignoring this could lead to a major breakdown during a sweltering Florida summer day.

Schedule regular maintenance

Your heat pump requires two maintenance visits per year: a fall check-up to prepare for winter, and a spring check-up to prepare for summer. Maintenance will investigate to see if there are any repairs or replacements that need to be done, and adjust, clean, and prep the unit to make it through to fall. Don’t wait for the summer to get this done! HVAC technicians have tighter schedules during extreme hot weather, so use the transition time to find a convenient appointment.

Get started with taking care of your heat pump right now. Call Envirotech Air Quality Services to take care of the heat pump repair in Wellington, FL that you need. While on the phone with us, arrange for your regular maintenance. With all this taken care of, you and your heat pump will be ready for any heat wave.

How Duct Cleaning Will Make Your Heating and Cooling More Efficient

March 3rd, 2014

We recommend duct cleaning to help homeowners increase the quality of their indoor air. Because Americans spend an average of 85% of their time indoors, the quality of the air inside homes and businesses is crucial for better health. Keeping your home’s ventilation system clean of excess dust, dirt, dander, pollen, and biological contaminants is an important part of protecting your air quality.

However, there is another important reason to schedule duct cleaning in Lake Worth, FL: it will make your HVAC system more energy-efficient, leading to savings on your annual heating and cooling bills. We’ll go over the ways professional duct cleaning will improve your budget as well as your air. Contact Envirotech Air Quality Services today to ask about the duct cleaning services we can provide for your home.

What does duct cleaning do for AC and heater efficiency?

The ductwork that makes up the ventilation system for your forced-air heater and air conditioner is manufactured to form a seal to prevent a loss of air-pressure. As dust enters the ductwork through the return air vents, it will start to settle in this sealed environment. This layer can become thick if cleaning is neglected, and it will create resistance against the airflow from the heater and air conditioner. The more friction against the airflow, the harder the HVAC system will need to work, and the higher your power bills will rise.

Dirty ducts can also lead to contaminating the HVAC system itself. If the air filter grows too clogged from dust, it will allow debris to get through and into the heater or air conditioner’s cabinet. A dusty HVAC system will work inefficiently and may even cause a complete system breakdown. Even if the dust doesn’t get through the filter, a clogged filter will cut off the airflow and force the system to have to work harder.

A thorough duct cleaning from professionals equipped with power vacuums, agitators, and skill can clear away all these impediments to proper HVAC system function. You’ll have a cleaner heater/air conditioner with clear air channels so it can do the best job it can for you.

Duct cleaning will save money in other ways

Aside from keeping your HVAC system running efficiently, duct cleaning will prevent repair needs or breakdowns because of dust infiltration, and will help prevent corrosion that can lead to breaks along the ductwork.

You need to have professionals perform this cleaning: call Envirotech Air Quality Services for top-level duct cleaning in Lake Worth, FL from our NADCA-certified (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) technicians.

Why Mold Remediation Is Beneficial to Your Health

February 24th, 2014

Nobody likes to think about mold, mildew, or other biological growth developing inside the ventilation system of their home. Because the ductwork in a home remains mostly hidden from sight, it’s easy for homeowners to dismiss it as a possible problem. However, mold and other growths are a major issue in a climate as humid as Florida’s, and if they manage to get a hold inside of your ducts, it can lead to an unhealthy decline in your indoor air quality.

Mold remediation is an important part of eliminating these health risks. If you haven’t had a ductwork cleaning in over a year, schedule with our cleaning specialists at Envirotech Air Quality Services to find out if you need mold remediation in West Palm Beach, FL.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, here are some of the health risks you will alleviate with professional mold remediation:

  • Asthma: The presence of mold spores can trigger asthmatic episodes in people who suffer from asthma. If there are people living in your home with asthma, assessment for mold should be an important part of your annual routine.
  • Flu and cold-like symptoms: Exposure to mold can cause nasal congestion, eye irritation, skin irritation, and wheezing. These symptoms are worse for people who suffer from allergies, and can also include fever and breathing difficulties.
  • Other miscellaneous health issues: The EPA’s Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals lists other health conditions linked to molds: coughing, dyspnea, headache and dizziness, fatigue, nausea, fever, and chills.

Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to start toward reducing the mold in your home. You can first schedule a mold assessment with professionals that will find out what specific problems your home has. The experts will pinpoint where mold is growing, its type, and what steps can be taken to remediate it. If you notice an increase in the above symptoms in your home, notice musty smells from the vents, or your home has recently sustained water damage, call for professional mold assessment right away.

If the professionals find that you need mold remediation, they can use various methods to eliminate mold without causing harm to your ducts or reducing your indoor air quality. The time spent on mold remediation will be worth it, since it will keep you and your family healthier year round.

Please take the threat of mold seriously. Call Envirotech Air Quality Services for mold assessment and mold remediation in West Palm Beach, FL if you have any suspicion that these pollutants have entered your ventilation system.

How Ducts Become Dirty

February 17th, 2014

Having clean ductwork is important for maintaining your indoor air quality, as well as keeping your heating and cooling system working at its best without undue strain on its components. Scheduling regular duct cleaning in Lake Worth, FL will help you get the most from your HVAC system and improve you and your family’s health.

To start down the road toward cleaner ducts, call professional duct cleaners like those at Envirotech Air Quality Services and schedule an appointment.

Wait… my ducts are dirty? How did that happen?

People are often confused about how ductwork becomes dirty. If their home is kept clean, they imagine that the ductwork will remain clean as well. Ductwork also contains filters that trap dust and dirt, and this would seem sufficient to prevent whatever dust there is in the house from entering the ducts.

However, ducts will become dirty with normal use, regardless of the cleanliness of a house. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners’ Association (NADCA), up to 40 lbs. of dust is created each year in the average six-room home just from everyday living. Additional factors such as residue from remodeling projects and household pets will contribute to the airborne pollutants in a home. No filter can prevent all of these contaminants from entering the ductwork. Because the ducts are sealed along their length to prevent a loss of air pressure, there is nowhere else for the dust and other debris to escape to—except back out the vents into your air, or into the cabinet of your HVAC system.

Since you do not see the inside of your ducts on a daily basis, you may not know about this large build-up of dirt. To check whether your ducts need cleaning, remove a vent cover and then use a handheld mirror to allow yourself to see down into the first length of the duct. You can also use a digital camera to take a snapshot inside. If you see a layer of dust over the interior lining, you need to schedule duct cleaning as soon as you can.

Call the NADCA-member Duct Cleaning Experts at Envirotech Air Quality Services

Anyone with a vacuum can claim to be a duct cleaner. But thorough, effective duct cleaning requires technical knowledge and high-end professional equipment such as a power vacuum and various agitators. To find a trustworthy contractor for duct cleaning in Lake Worth, FL, look for one who is a member of the NADCA. A member must have at least one certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist on staff, and must clean your ducts in accordance with NADCA standards and guidelines.

Envirotech Air Quality Services has a team of NADCA-certified specialists, as well as the years of experience necessary to give you the cleanest ductwork possible for high-quality air and low-stress heating and cooling.

Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Poem?

February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;                                                             

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at Envirotech Air Quality Services hope you have a pleasant February 14th.