Archive for August, 2013

How Much Energy Does My Air Conditioning in Cape Canaveral, FL Use?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Even with the local sea breezes in its favor, most homes can’t go without air conditioning in Cape Canaveral, FL. A good AC unit provides strong relief from the heat and humidity of summer, and local residents likely treat it as a necessity rather than a luxury. But with that cool air comes an additional use of energy, which can translate to higher bills if you aren’t careful. In order to cut down on costs while still enjoying a cool, comfortable environment, you first need to determine how much energy your air conditioning unit uses.

The answer, of course, depends on the precise unit, and on the circumstances in your house. A 3-ton/36,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) air conditioner – suitable for cooling about 1500 square feet of space in a hot Florida environment – will use about 3,500 watts per hour with an additional 5,000 watts to start up. Larger units obviously use more energy than smaller ones (one of the reasons why you don’t want a unit that’s too large for your home, since it will waste energy), and household components such as insulation and the presence of large sunny windows can add to the energy needed to properly cool a home.

Then there’s the question of the air conditioner’s age. An older unit with worn parts must use more energy to cool the same area than a more efficient unit with newer, up-to-date components. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is a quick guide for determining how efficient a unit is. Most SEER ratings these days rank between 10 and 20 (the higher the number, he more efficient the ratio), though older models may rank as low as 6 or below. The EnergyStar rating – and its accompanying little blue sticker – go to air conditioning units with a SEER rating of 14 or above. That’s a good means of spotting an efficient AC unit.

If you’re concerned about your air conditioning unit’s energy use and want to make it more efficient, then give the Cape Canaveral, FL air conditioning experts at Steve Hoskins AC a call. We can discuss possible options with you, whether it be a maintenance call to clean dusty components, or the installation of a new air conditioning system. Our service area includes the whole of Cape Canaveral, FL, so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Air Conditioning Repair in Cocoa Beach, FL: What is a Multimeter?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

In Cocoa Beach, FL, air conditioning repair services are not something that people are willing to wait around for. Heat and humidity are the watchwords during the summer months, and even a few hours without air conditioning can feel like an eternity. A good service technician carries a variety of tools to handle any issue, both in terms of diagnosing the problem, and in terms of implementing a correct solution. A multimeter – a general tool used for electrical diagnosis and repairs – is one such tool.

A multimeter measures electrical current, voltage and resistance in an electronic device. It can also be used to determine if there are any breaks in the line. (Hence the name; the multiple functions differentiate a multimeter from a more specific measuring tool.) A red meter lead is connected to the positive port, and a black meter lead is connected to the negative port. The electrician then adjusts a dial to switch between various ranges and determine the most accurate reading (though some multimeters, called auto range multimeters, do this automatically).

When it comes to air conditioning repair, a multimeter can be used to pinpoint any problems with the electrical current. Most central air conditioning units require a 220-v or 240-v circuit, which is added as part of the installation process. If the voltage is too low, it could cause the unit to hard start (or stutter before starting up), while voltage that is too high can trip the circuit breakers and cut power to the unit. There could also be a problem with some componets in the AC unit itself, causing it to draw too much electricity and possibly tripping a circuit. A service technician can use the multimeter to gauge the voltage of the unit and make sure it’s within operational parameters. If it isn’t, it can help him pinpoint the cause of the issue and implement a proper solution.

If you are experiencing electrical problems with your air conditioning unit, contact the Cocoa Beach, FL air conditioning repair experts at Steve Hoskins AC to help. Our staff of trained professionals is standing by so give us a call today to schedule a service appointment.

How Your Air Conditioning in Rockledge, FL Lets You Know There’s a Problem

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Like the rest of the state, Rockledge, FL experiences warm temperatures and humidity year ‘round. That makes reliable air conditioning more than just a luxury, as cool, comfortable indoor temperatures can combat the heat and mugginess of the outdoors. When problems arise, you need to address them promptly: hiring a professional to examine the air conditioning system and correct the source of the issue, instead of just treating the symptoms.  Luckily, there are ways to determine if the air conditioning system has a problem. Here are some of the telltale signs:

  • Higher bills: If your monthly electric bills experience a sudden spike, but you’re not using any appliances more than you usually do, it could signal a problem with the air conditioning system. If the system has to work harder to cool the air – because of low refrigerant, a malfunctioning fan, a dirty filter, or one of any number of issues – then your bills are apt to go up.
  • Refusal to turn on: Obviously, if the air conditioning won’t turn on at all, there’s a problem. The issue could lie in the electrical system, with frayed or damaged wiring causing a short. It could also be an overloaded component inside the air conditioning unit itself. The condenser motor and other elements often come equipped with automatic shut-off switches, which turn the component off if it experiences damage or undue stress. The shut-off is intended to prevent more serious damage, as well as alerting you to the problem.
  • Low air flow or unduly warm air: If your air flow feels restricted when you turn it on, it could suggest a clog or obstruction in the system somewhere, or one ofthe blower fans may be damaged. Similarly, if the air flow is fine but the air is excessively warm, your refrigerant may be leaking or there may be a problem with the coils.
  • Strange noises: If your air conditioning unit starts making strange noises – humming, grinding, whistling or rattling – something is most likely wrong. It usually indicates an air leak or two parts rubbing against each other which should be dealt with promptly.

Regardless of the source of the trouble, a qualified expert can pinpoint it and correct it. When it comes to air conditioning in Rockledge, FL, the professionals at Steve Hoskins AC are ready and able to help. Contact us today to set up a service call.

Tips for More Effective Air Conditioning in Cape Canaveral, FL

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Air conditioning systems keep the summer heat at bay and help us combat those warm muggy days. But how can you keep your monthly costs down without giving up the comfort you’re used to? Beyond a few common sense tips like turning your AC unit off when leaving the house and sealing up air leaks, the secret lies in making your air conditioning in Cape Canaveral, FL more effective.

In some cases, that may mean installing a new system or making significant upgrades to your existing system. Adding zone control to your air conditioning system allows you to cool one or two areas in your house and leave the remainder as-is. That works well for larger homes, or for homes that see limited, focused activity during the day. Energy costs go down because you’re not cooling as much space, and you’ll see significant savings in the long-term. Along those lines, you might consider replacing an older air conditioning system with a newer, more efficient one. Look for systems which have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating higher than your current unit.

Beyond a large-scale switch in air conditioning systems, however, you can increase your unit’s effectiveness simply by scheduling regular maintenance and upkeep. A trained professional can check your system for any burgeoning problems, change the filters, clean dust from the coils, recharge your refrigerant and check for leaks, and identify worn components in need of replacing. Not only does this prevent larger issues from developing (and costing you hefty bills in the bargain), but it improves the functioning of your system and can even extend its life by a great deal.

Steve Hoskins AC provides reliable air conditioning services in Cape Canaveral FL and throughout the surrounding area. Call us today for a consulting appointment. One of our trained technicians can set up a maintenance schedule for you, or talk about your options for replacing an older or outdated air conditioning system.