Archive for November, 2013

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.  

What’s in My Ducts and Why Can’t I Clean Them Myself?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Duct cleaning isn’t something that many people think about as part of their home maintenance, and its not something we want to spend money on. But that doesn’t mean that your ducts should be ignored.

Ducts help distribute heated air form your furnace and cool air from your air conditioner, allowing you to generate the air from one centralized localation then distribute it throughout your entire house. They snake through unobtrusive areas like your attic and the crawlspaces in your walls. As such, it’s very difficult to tell what may be building up in them and where that build-up might occur.

Most of the time, it’s dust and dirt, pulled in from the heater/AC and spread throughout your house via the ducts. You can stem the tide of dust by changing the filters in your HVAC system regularly, but it can still creep in, especially if the ducts develop a fissure or a leak. Here on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, mold can sometimes be an issue too. If any moisture gets into the ducts – via a leak, a clogged drain line or the like – it can stagnate  and cause indoor air quality issues. All of these can impact the health of your family, exacerbating allergies and leading to increased irritation in the nose and throat.

As for cleaning it yourself, ducts can be quite extensive and getting into every corner involves more than just running a wet-dry vac around the vents. You need specialized equipment and a fair amount of know-how to do the job properly. That’s why a company like Steve Hoskins AC can be so invaluable to your household. Pick up the phone and give us a call today to schedule duct cleaning service in Merritt Island and the surrounding areas.

Ductwork and Your AC Installation

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

In Florida, we have to concern ourselves with air conditioning throughout the year. Although we can expect our heating systems to come on during the winter, air conditioners have to be prepared around the year. Make sure that you have a professional company like Steve Hoskins AC ready to help you with any AC issues you might encounter during the year, from repair to installation.

Speaking of installation: if you are planning to have new air conditioning installation in Rockledge, FL, either as a replacement for an old system or for a new home, you will need to consider the issue of ductwork. Standard air conditioners use ducts as the channels to send cooled air throughout a house. If you’ve previously had a central AC in your home, or a forced-air heater like a furnace, then you will already have a network of ducts in place.

However, just because you already have ducts in your home does not mean that air conditioning installation only requires putting the system in place and plugging it in. Getting an AC properly hooked to an existing system of ducts requires the work of professionals. This is one of the reasons that we strongly recommend you do not attempt to install an air conditioner on your own or hire inexperienced people to handle the work. If an AC isn’t connected correctly to the ducts, the faults in the connections will impair the system’s ability to provide proper levels of cooling and force it to work harder. Gaps in the connections with the ducts may also cause an infiltration of dust into the ducts and the air conditioner cabinet. This will be problematic for your AC and your air quality.

There is always another option that bypasses the issue of ducts entirely: ductless mini splits. These AC systems work the same way as standard air conditioners, except that instead of sending air through ducts, they use individual blower units placed throughout your home to supply you with cooled air. This gives you zone control over the temperatures in the rooms, along with the benefit of not needing ducts. This might be the best option for you if you do not have ductwork already installed in your home.

Whether you choose to hook up your new air conditioner to your existing ductwork or opt for a ductless system, make sure that you contact experts for your air conditioning installation in Rockledge, FL. Steve Hoskins AC has provided thorough air conditioning installations in Brevard County since 1985: you can trust us to give your installation the attention it deserves so you will get the most out of your new air conditioner.

What Is Leaking and Does It Require Air Conditioning Repair?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

If you notice something leaking from your air conditioner, does it mean your AC requires repairs? Probably, although you should understand that water condensation is part of the regular operation of an air conditioner. However, if water starts dripping from your indoor AC unit onto your carpet, floorboards, or furniture, then you do have a problem that will need work from HVAC expert technicians to remedy.

For quality air conditioning repair in Cocoa Beach, FL, contact Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning. You can reach us any time of the day or night: we offer 24-hour emergency service.

As mentioned above, water condensation is part of an AC’s heat exchange cycle. Water moisture condenses along the evaporator coil when the air in your home is cooled. However, this excess moisture should drip down into a condensate pan, where a drain removes it. The pan is shallow, so should debris or mold (common in humid Florida) clog the drain, the water will rapidly slosh out of it and cause leaking. The drain line fitting can also come loose because of damage, corrosion, or improper installation, and this will cause the same water leak trouble.

The leak might not be water: another liquid in your AC performs a crucial function. It’s the refrigerant, a chemical mixture responsible for transporting heat for heat exchange. Should punctures develop in the refrigerant line, it will start to leak. Because there is a fixed charge of refrigerant in your AC, you will not only need the leak sealed, you will need the refrigerant recharged. Only a licensed professional can handle this job..

Don’t let leaks in your AC continue—they will threaten your home with water damage, increase the humidity, and encourage mildew and mold growth. It could also cause your air conditioning to fail. Contact professionals for your air conditioning repair in Cocoa Beach, FL. Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning is ready to help you with our NATE-certified staff of AC experts.