Envirotech Air Quality Services Blog : Archive for April, 2012

Air Conditioning Question From West Palm Beach: What Are Thermostatic Expansion Valves?

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The thermostatic expansion valve, sometimes known as a TEX, TEV or TXV, is a critical piece to influence the efficiency of air conditioning and refrigeration units.  A tiny sensor controlling the evaporating phase of process, the valve can have a big effect.

Cool air is manufactured by a rapid movement of a refrigerant between liquid and gaseous states.  Compound chemicals that are able to do this at a low temperature are compressed and expanded, absorbing and releasing heat at different points along the way.  The TEV controls the flow of the refrigerant into the evaporator coils according to the temperatures of the various ingredients.

Cool Air 101

To condition air, the refrigerant, most often freon or another fast acting, low temp compound, evaporates into a gas that runs through a coil and absorbs heat.  Passing through a compressor, the freon condenses under pressure back into a liquid again and releases the heat, becoming cool enough to chill a party.

Too much freon in the evaporator tube and the pressure is not low enough to expand to gas and absorb heat, working inefficiently for no gain.  Too little freon and the conversion is also ineffective by not reaching the density needed to condense.

There are four types of valves with different benefits for different types of cooling environments.  With its ability to adjust minutely to changing conditions, the thermal expansion valve creates the perfect mixture of pressure and freon for more complicated systems.

At the Starting Gate

An interactive device, the valve senses the evaporator pressure and temperature and adjusts the flow of the refrigerant so as to maintain a given “superheat”, the differ­ence between the refrigerant vapor temperature and its sat­uration temperature.  By controlling superheat, the TEV keeps nearly the entire evaporator surface active while not permit­ting liquid refrigerant to return to the compressor.

Some valves operate on an electrical impulse from sensors that can measure the temperatures.  Others are open all the time.  The thermostatic expansion valve actually utilizes the pressure between the two sections to open or close itself, regulating flow based on the very same pressure it is designed to moderate.

Like the buildings they comfort, central air conditioning systems in West Palm Beach are varied and diverse.  There are nearly as many thermostatic expansion valves as there are units to receive them. For more information about how you air conditioner works and ways to maintain it, talk to Envirotech Air Quality Services!

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Is there an overflow safety switch on your AC system?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

AC Safety Switch | West Palm Beach | Envirotech AirDo you know what this is?

Many people don’t know what an overflow safety switch is, none the less how important they are. These switched keep the AC system from overflowing into your home or garage in the event the drain line gets clogged or backed up. Installing an overflow safety switch is mandatory for your system to be up to code, but many contractors and service companies neglect to install this element. The switch should be present either on the air handler, or on the auxiliary drain pan (if a unit is hung from a garage ceiling or is in an attic). The effects of an AC overflow is your drain line gets clogged can be extensive and can cause expensive damage to your home. Call Envirotech Air Quality Services today for a qualified service technician to come check your home comfort system, and ensure your overflow safety switch is operating properly. Check out our promotions page for discount and specials on AC maintenance services!

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Things to Check on Your Broken AC Before Calling a West Palm Beach Air Conditioning Professional

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

A broken air conditioner is a stressful situation, especially since you’re considering whether you need a West Palm Beach air conditioning professional to come out. No one likes spending money to have a professional take a look at their system, so before you call anyone, make sure to check these problems. You may be able to fix the problem on your own without spending a dime.


The thermostat is one of the most common problems you’ll have with an air conditioner.  Make sure the thermostat wasn’t knocked out of position and the sensors near your coils are in the right place. Often times, a bumped sensor or a slightly off thermostat can cause this kind of problem and as a result, you’ll be left without steady cooling.

 Check Your Filters

Another common problem that can cause issues with your air conditioner is filter clogging. While the system will continue to run with a clogged filter, there are a few issues that might pop up – it could smell funny or you might notice icing on the outside line (a major problem). If you allow the filter to get so clogged as to block the air flow from your system, you can expect a number of problems to crop up.

 Blower Belts

Check the system’s blower belt for damage like cracking, excess slack or general wear. A blower belt that isn’t properly installed or that needs to be replaced will reduce air flow which can result in ice buildup or poor air flow – it will make it harder for your system to maintain a steady temperature.

 Check the Outdoor Unit

Check to make sure nothing is blocking the outdoor unit. Clean the condenser coils and remove any debris that might have built up around the outdoor unit. Often, slowed air flow is caused by nothing more than leaves piled in front of your condenser.

If none of these problems is the culprit or if you fix them all and your system continues to struggle, it is time to call a West Palm Beach air conditioning professional like Envirotech Air Quality Services!

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Preventative Maintenance Reminder: Have You Scheduled Your AC Check?

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Now is the time to get your ac unit checked; before the hot humid summer arrives! Schedule before May 31st, 2012 and get a Preventative Maintenance visit for only $29.99. Simply visit our promotions page and print out our coupon!

Aside from cleaning around the condenser coil, our complete maintenance check includes checking the condenser coils, motor draw, air temp differential, wiring, compressor, contractor, and fan blades. We also check and calibrate your thermostat, inspect the evaporator coil, and check for microbial growth throughout the system.

Need a new installation? Purchase a new 16 SEER or higher system and receive a full year of free preventative maintenance. That’s 2 visits valued at $124.99. Maintenance Program members also receive 10% off on repair parts.

Palm Beach | Air Conditioning Maintenance | Envirotech Air Quality Systems

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AC Problems You Need An Air Conditioning Professional to Fix

Monday, April 16th, 2012

In a hot climate, it’s great to be cool. Air conditioning lets us sleep and helps us be our best through the hottest days.  It’s such a part of our lives that it’s easy to forget that our air conditioners must be regularly maintained.

Some things are easy for the homeowner.  Other repairs are complicated, technical and require a professionally certified HVAC company like Envirotech Air Quality Services to accomplish.

Doing the Basics

For window mounts or the big units on the side of the house, regular cleanings and a filter change should be a part of every season. It’s not hard to remove the cover and replace the panel of webbing that catches lint and other particles out of your conditioned air.

Some warm water and a good shot of compressed air gently on the exposed fins will help to increase the longevity of the unit.  Be careful not to put pressure on the fragile fins and coils or use hot water that could cause corrosion.

Make sure the drain is clear, always cover the unit or store it away when more naturally cool temperatures take over and you’ve got conditioned air and relative peace of mind in the years ahead.

Big Problems

Without the regular service, however, your  air conditioner begins to work much harder to produce the same amount (or less) of cool joy and parts begin to break down.  With total neglect, the unit itself may need replacement much sooner than was promised when you paid for it. These are repairs that could be avoided and require a professional to make.

The key ingredient to cooling is a chemical called a refrigerant that is capable of transforming rapidly from gas to liquid and back again at low temperatures. This runs through two intricate tubes, a compressor, and a critical expansion valve that controls the process.  It is a delicate and complicated process that calls for expertise and the right tools, especially since the refrigerant is considered hazardous and requires special handling.

When the air gets stuffy, it could be that the fan is the problem.  Belts could be worn, loose or broken.  The motor may be low on oil and is stained to the breaking point.

If mysterious signs of water or mold are showing up on the inside of the house near the unit, there could be a problem with the condensate that is released with the heat when air is cooled.  This could be a simple or complicated fix, but should be checked out professionally to ensure all is well.

We offer 24 hour service, so give Envirotech Air Quality Services a call anytime if you are having trouble with your air conditioner!

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West Palm Beach Air Conditioning Repair Question: Why is My Central Air Conditioner Making Noise?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

A good West Palm Beach air conditioner is a life saver in the midst of a hot and sticky summer, but just because the system makes you comfortable and makes the hottest months bearable doesn’t mean you want to hear it clanging and banging all summer. If you notice excess noise coming from your air conditioner, it might be a problem that can be fixed by your  West Palm Beach air conditioning technician. Here are some common causes of excess noise from an air conditioner and what you can do to fix them.

  • Blower – The blower is a motor and fan blade assembly. If the blade touches the housing or if the motor needs a tune up, it might start to make excess noise. Loose screws, foreign objects, or a need for oiling or new parts will all cause noise problems but they are all easy fixes.
  • Ductwork – If the sounds you’re hearing are in the ductwork or vents, it may be due to expansion and contraction in your ventilation system. This is normal and while it may be obnoxious, it tends not to persist during the hottest months as temperature won’t fluctuate as much.
  • Bubbling Sounds – If you hear a gurgly or bubbly noise coming from your indoor unit, it may be due to a blockage in the condensate line. The easiest solution is to clean the condensate line and check for any clogs or blockages in the system.
  • Clicking Sounds – If you hear a clicking sound, it is likely from the relay or contactor in the system. If this is the case, have a professional check it right away. Electrical problems are not to be taken lightly where your air conditioner is concerned.
  • Foreign Objects – Sometimes, the condenser fan will make a lot of loud noise because foreign objects get stuck in there. Sticks, leaves, toys, food from small animals – it can all get stuck in the fans and make a tremendous amount of noise. Keep the area around your condenser unit clear of debris and check it often if you hear loud noises.

Most noises from your central air conditioning unit are explainable and can be fixed relatively easily. If you cannot find the source of the noise, however, and it is only getting worse, call Envirotech Air Quality Services before the problem grows.

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Installation Before and After

Friday, April 6th, 2012

We had a customer call with a system that was not cooling. The existing system was 12 years old, and after inspection we estimated the repair would cost about $700.  We worked with the customer to discuss the cost of repair vs replacement (including a $780 FPL rebate on a new 4 ton system).

We gave the customer several price and brand options and she chose a new Trane XR-15 16SEER system. The installation was completed in about 36 hours after the initial service call.

If it is time to replace your home comfort system, or if you want to upgrade to a more efficient model, call Envirotech Air Quality Services. Before you start comparing prices, you’ll want to be informed about all of your options. Our expert HVAC technicians are happy to talk about the high-efficiency and ENERGY STAR air conditioning units that we install, and help you choose the model that best fits your needs. Our qualified technicians can also provide you with the latest information on the recent advances in HVAC technology.

West Palm Beach | Envirotech Air Quality Services | Air Conditioning Installation


West Palm Beach | Envirotech Air Quality Services | Air Conditioning Installation


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South Florida Air Conditioning Question: What is R410A?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

If you’ve recently started researching a new air conditioner for your South Florida home, you may have run across “R410A” – a newer form of refrigerant increasingly being used in high end air conditioning equipment. What is R410A and why is it different from the existing refrigerant most air conditioners have?

Chemical Composition

R-410A is a composite of diflouromethane and pentafluoromethane. This mixture of R-32 and R-125 creates a new compound designed to be used in commercial and residential air conditioning devices. Sometimes referred to as Puron, Genetron and EcoFluor, R-410A is a more environmentally friendly approach to cooling than the existing coolant most air conditioners use – R-22.

To date, R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for millions of devices. However, because R-22 will no longer be permitted in new devices starting in 2020, R-410A is growing in popularity rapidly and will soon become the standard refrigerant option in new devices.

Environmental Impact

Despite being very similar in chemical composition to other refrigerants like Freon and R-22, R-410A does not contribute to ozone depletion, a major step forward for air conditioning. However, it has as very similar global warming impact – producing nearly 1725% more damage than carbon dioxide. One of the factors that negates this high global warming risk is the fact that R-410A is being used in a more efficient manner than past refrigerants.

Choosing R-410A

You cannot simply replace the R-22 in your South Florida air conditioning system with R-410A. Because it requires higher pressure, the devices that run with R-410A must be built specifically for this refrigerant. As a result, many manufacturers are starting the transition to the new refrigerant now, in anticipation of the 2020 phase out date for R-22. If you are preparing to buy a new unit, keep this in mind.

If you have any questions about installing a new air conditioning system in South Florida, give Envirotech a call today!

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