Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Ways to Keep Your House Cool This Summer

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

When thinking of ways to keep your house cool this summer, the first answer is usually “turn on the air conditioner.” That’s the purpose of the unit, after all, and in hot towns like Merritt Island, air conditioning systems are as important as reliable plumbing and electrical wiring. But that’s not the only way to stay cool this summer. Besides a few obvious options, like dressing in lightweight clothes and keeping cool snacks like fruit and iced tea in the refrigerator, you can make a few improvements to your house that can help your air conditioner out.

How to Keep Your Home Cool

Start by checking the insulation in your home. Chances are, you have the space to add more if you can, particularly in the attic which usually has extra room. Insulation slows the leeching of cool temperatures from your home, the same way it slows the leeching of warm temperature in the winter. Adding more allows your home to retain cool temperatures more easily, giving your air conditioner a rest and saving you money on monthly bills.

Similarly, take a look at your doors and windows for any cracks or crevices around the edges. Cool air can slip out of a front door that has a little extra space around the edges or windows that don’t seal all the way when they’re closed. You can correct the issue very easily with stripping placed around the crack, and/or install vinyl-sided windows to help seal up leaks around the edges.

These steps may cost a little up front, but you can ultimately see a lot of savings over time as they cut down on your monthly cooling bills and ensure that your house stays cool. Here on Merritt Island, air conditioning systems need all the help they can get. We’re experienced not only with installing and repairing air conditioners, but in those extra little touches to help make your home as energy efficient as possible.

The experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning can help with new ways to keep your house cool this summer. Give us a call today and let us know what we can do for you!

When to Schedule Cocoa Beach, FL Air Conditioning Repair

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Air conditioning systems are complex. Because they have so many components that need to work together, it can be difficult to know when you need air conditioning repair. After all, you may hear a strange noise, or a bit of frost on the coil, and think that maybe it’ll hold out another cooling season without any professional attention. While we can sympathize, it’s always better to take care of any air conditioning problems as soon as you discover them. While some problems are obvious, others are subtle. For Cocoa Beach, FL air conditioning repair service, call Steve Hoskins AC today!

  • Inadequate cooling: If you find that your AC no longer cools as well it used to, or it does not meet your expectations, then there is probably a problem in need of repair. You may have a clogged air filter that is reducing the airflow, and may have caused the evaporator coil to freeze over. Alternatively, you may have a leak in your ductwork somewhere.
  • Hot spots: Does it feel as though there’s a certain section of your home that never gets cool? If you have hot spots throughout your home, then you probably have some kind of system imbalance. This could indicate a problem with your ductwork, or even a thermostat issue. It could also mean that your air handler is not supplying enough cool air into your system to reach all the areas of your home.
  • Buzzing noise: While you can expect a certain amount of noise from your AC unit, buzzing often indicates an electrical issue. There may be arcing in the system, or an electrical fault in the power supply. You may need to have your electrical box checked to make sure that it’s supplying enough power to your cooling system. Handling electricity is hazardous, and should only be performed by a trained professional.

These are just a few of the reasons to schedule Cocoa Beach, FL air conditioning repair. Call Steve Hoskins AC today for exceptional AC services! 

Humidity and Your Air Conditioning

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Here on Merritt Island, air conditioning systems form a bulwark against the hot and humid Florida weather. We tend to think of them as helping to reduce the temperature, and a good A/C unit can definitely perform that duty well. But air conditioners also help reduce the humidity in the air: no small concern here in muggy Florida. Indeed, in some cases lowering the humidity may be just as important as lowering the temperature. Here’s a quick primer on how humidity and your air conditioning system interact.

How Air Conditioners Can Help Reduce Humidity

The AC unit cools the air through refrigerant, which enters an evaporator coil in liquid form and under an extreme amount of pressure. As it expands, it pulls heat from the air, which in turn pulls moisture from the air as well. As the air cools, the moisture in it condenses until it forms condensate droplets, which the air conditioning system collects and diverts out of the main unit via a drain line. As the AC works, it thus reduces the humidity as well as the temperature, retaining a drier and more comfortable environment inside the home.

The only problem is that here in Florida, we have a lot of humidity to get rid of. And any energy your AC unit spends in getting rid of it won’t be spent in lowering the temperature. The more humidity that is inside your home, the less efficient your air conditioner is and the more it will cost you in monthly energy bills. In such cases, a trained technician can install a reliable dehumidifier in your system. They also offer comprehensive whole-house coverage, meaning that you can enjoy your conditioned air without worrying about the strain on your air conditioner or the increased risk of a breakdown.

We operate on Merritt Island, air conditioning systems and dehumidification systems are both in our wheelhouse, and we can discuss your options with you before performing an installation. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

For more information on humidity and your air conditioning, or to discuss the installation of a dehumidifier in your home, talk to the experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning.

Will Ductless Cooling Need Fewer Repairs Than a Forced Air AC?

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Generally speaking, whole home air conditioners come in one of two different types. Traditional forced air ACs rely on a central air conditioner that uses a system of ducts to spread cool air throughout your house. Ductless cooling systems, on the other hand, have individual air handling units for each area of your home, and all the indoor units are all connected to one outdoor unit. Both systems have their share of benefits and drawbacks, and here in Cocoa, FL, our air conditioning repair techs are skilled at treating both. Indeed, the question of repairs becomes key when asking what kind of system works best for your home. Will ductless cooling need fewer repairs than a forced-air AC? The answer is a little more complicated than it may first appear.

In most cases you’re looking at the same basic system for both centralized units and ductless units. The only difference is the size and output power (as well as the presence of ducts or lack thereof). Each unit has a particular load capacity, built to handle a certain amount of work over a given time. In light of that, there’s no real distinction between the two types as far as which one breaks down more often. As long as your system is sized appropriately for your space, and given the variables of individual brands and maintenance schedule, there’s nothing to say that one type will go for longer (or shorter) periods of time before requiring repairs.

The main difference lies in the size and the decentralized format of ductless air conditioner units. In simple terms, when a centralized unit needs repairs, it affects the entirety of the household, and often tends to be larger than a problem with a ductless unit. Furthermore, because of the nature of ductless systems, you can still use the air conditioner in other parts of the house even when one of your indoor units of your ductless system is experiencing trouble. That simply isn’t possible with a forced air AC.

That could spell the difference in what unit is best for you, though individual circumstances vary. Whether ductless cooling needs fewer repairs than a forced air AC probably depends on individual circumstances, which means you’ll need to decide for yourself which on works best for you. Give Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning a call today if you need air conditioning repair in Cocoa, FL, and let us give you the expert advice you need!

How Much Can I Save with a High Efficiency Air Conditioner?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

A high efficiency air conditioner is defined as an air conditioner with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating above a certain point. The rating is designed to measure the air conditioner’s efficiency over a single cooling season. For split system central air conditioning systems and heat pumps, it’s usually 14.5 or thereabouts. An easy cheat-sheet is to look for air conditioners with the EnergyStar rating, denoting these high efficiency standards. Here in Cocoa Beach, one of our air conditioning technicians can help find and install a high efficiency air conditioner for you. But what are the benefits to doing so?

“How much can I save with a high efficiency air conditioner?” you ask. The answer as always, depends on your circumstances.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners with the EnergyStar sticker can save you over 15% more than conventional models. Of course, that depends on what constitutes a conventional model. It’s more helpful to look at the differences between SEER ratings. For example, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 8 with cost you about $2,000 more over the course of its lifetime than a unit with a SEER rating of 10, assuming 3,000 cooling hours over 12-year lifespan and a steady cost of electricity. That ratio drops the higher the SEER rating goes; so a unit with a SEER rating of 13 would only save you a few hundred dollars over a unit with a SEER rating of 14, assuming the same conditions outlined above.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that you’ll save more if your old air conditioner has a lower SEER rating than you would with one with a higher SEER rating. Even so, the savings over the unit’s lifetime – as well as the decreased environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions – can be considerable.  Here in Cocoa Beach, you can call the air conditioning experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning to discuss the specifics with you, then schedule an installation of a new system.

When Should I Schedule Maintenance for My Air Conditioning

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Air conditioning  maintenance is an important service to schedule. An AC tune-up usually consists of cleaning the dust and dirt off of interior components, recharging refrigerant levels and generally “sprucing up” your AC to help it run its best. Air conditioning maintenance can help keep dust and debris from damaging your system. “But when should I schedule maintenance for my air conditioning?” you ask. Specifics vary depending upon your circumstances and how often you use the unit, but generally speaking, you should schedule it at least twice a year: at the beginning of cooling season and at the end of it.

In all likelihood, there’s nothing wrong with your air conditioner at the end of the winter. However, dust, dirt and mold can accrue while it sits idle during the winter months. The dust and dirt can increase friction, further reducing your system’s efficiency and increasing the chances of a more serious repair down the road. A maintenance visit keeps all of that in check, lowering the unit’s energy expenditure and saving you money on your monthly bills.

At the end of air conditioning season, a maintenance session can serve as more of a check for potential problems that might develop in the future. Daily use may result in small problems that will only grow bigger if you leave it unchecked. The end of cooling season is the ideal time to address them because it allows you to schedule repairs at leisure without worrying about whether your unit will be out of commission during a heat wave.

For more answers to the question “when should I schedule maintenance for my air conditioning?” or to schedule a visit yourself, contact Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning. We work in Merritt Island, air conditioning maintenance is one of our core services, and we’re dedicated to making you happy every step of the way. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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.

Cocoa Beach, FL Air Conditioning FAQ: How Often Should I Change My Filter?

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Your air filter helps strain dust and detritus out of the air before it gets into your air conditioning system. Dust can build up on the inner workings over time, affecting your air conditioner’s ability to function and even spreading dust through your home – exacerbating allergies and reducing the quality of air. Our climate doesn’t readily forgive a breakdown in your AC unit, and if you need to call for repairs in a sweltering summer heat wave, you won’t be happy. Changing your air filters is a reliable way to help avoid those kinds of problems, especially when they’re accompanied by regular maintenance sessions from a trained professional.

How often to change or clean your air filter depends on the specifics of your home, in particular the issue of pets. Dogs and cats can generate a lot of fur and dander, which circulates through the air conditioning system and gets caught in the filter. That means the filter’s effectiveness will be reduced the more pets you have, which increases the amount of dander the filter needs to catch. Similarly, if you have a sensitive person in your household, you want to keep the air as clean as possible. Someone with allergies night not have pets, but he or she will still need to change the filters more rapidly in order to keep contaminants from moving through his or her home.

If you notice that the air in your home seems dusty or notice some dirt on your vents, you should check your air filter. If you notice that you are changing the air filter frequently but you still have a dust problem, you might need duct cleaning.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that a lot of factors are involved in figuring out how often you should change your filters. As a rule of thumb, a well-maintained home should probably change it about every three months. Drop that to two months if you have a dog or a cat, and one month if you suffer from allergies or have more than one pet. If you need air conditioning repair in  Cocoa Beach, FL, or any more information about maintaining your system, call Steve Hoskins AC!

Cocoa Beach, FL Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Why There’s Water Around Your System

Monday, October 7th, 2013

In Cocoa Beach, FL, air conditioning repair is as important as auto repair and electrical repair. Our hot weather makes reliable air conditioning systems an absolute necessity, and when the time comes to make repairs, they need to be made promptly before the next heat wave hits. You can help out that process by keeping an eye out for potential problems, then calling a service technician the minute you spot them. For example, it pays to know why there’s water around your system. The causes may vary, but if you spot a puddle, it’s probably a sign that something’s wrong. Possible causes include:

  • Frost forming on the evaporator coils. When refrigerant leaks out of the system, frost forms on the evaporator coils: retarding the cooling process and forcing the system to work harder to make your air comfortable. When the air conditioner turns off and the frost melts, it can form puddles. The problem is relatively common, though it takes a service technician to correct. He can seal the source of the leak and recharge refrigerant levels, ensuring that the unit keeps running without forming puddles.
  • There’s a problem with the condensate pan. The condensate pan catches condensation as it drips off of the AC unit, then removes it from the air conditioner via a drain line. If the line becomes clogged or the pan is set improperly, water will fill the pan and could eventually overflow. This is more than just a matter of cleaning up a puddle. The water could damage other parts of the air conditioning system, necessitating major repairs. A service technician can clear the line of any clogs, reset the pan or otherwise address the issue so that the condensation is quickly removed.

If you don’t know why there’s water around your system, don’t worry. You only need to know that it’s a problem, then call in the experts to help solve it. Steve Hoskins AC handles air conditioning repair issues in Cocoa Beach, FL , including problems with the evaporator coil and condensate pan. Contact us today to set up a service call.