Archive for the ‘Heat Pumps’ Category

Signs You May Need to Replace Your Heat Pump

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Heat pumps are a great way to heat your home, circulating refrigerant gas through a series of coils that alternately absorb and release heat. It’s no different in essence from air conditioning systems, save that it can reverse the refrigerant cycle to warm your home as well as cool it. Heat pumps in Cape Canaveral are fairly common since they work well with our warm weather. But like any mechanical system, heat pumps can wear out, and eventually will need to be replaced. The exact timing varies by individual household, but here are a few signs you may need to replace your heat pump.

  • Costs are going up. As your heat pump ages, it needs to work harder and harder in order to do its job. You can curtail this by scheduling regular maintenance sessions, but wear and tear will take their toll. If your monthly bills are higher than you’d like even if you aren’t using the heat pump any more than normal, or you’re scheduling repairs more frequently than you’d like, it’s time to think about a replacement.
  • Comfort levels are dropping. A faulty heat pump may result in a home that is too hot or too cold for your comfort levels, no matter how many times you tweak the controls. If the heat pump is no longer responding as accurately or as reliably as you’d like, replacement is likely the best solution.
  • The heat pump is getting old. The manufacturer will have an expected lifespan for your heat pump, but is more of a guideline than a hard rule and with proper care, your heat pump may last longer than that. But if you have an old unit and it’s displaying some of the symptoms listed above, its age may be the deciding factor in whether to repair it or simply install a new one.

If you spot the signs you may need to replace your heat pump in Cape Canaveral, the next step is to contact Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning for a consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to provide sound advice and we’re dedicated to your 100% satisfaction!

Why Choose a Heat Pump

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

When it comes to heating your home, there are many different choices available to you. One of the most popular options for heating in Florida is the heat pump. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can switch the direction it moves heat. In standard air conditioning mode, a heat pump removes the heat from inside a home and moves it outside. When it switches over to heating mode, the change of direction of the flow of refrigerant makes the heat pump remove heat from outside and bring it inside.

Why are heat pumps popular? We’ll go over the reasons that they are excellent choices for home comfort and should be on everyone’s shopping list for new HVAC system installation. For more information and to schedule installation for a heat pump in Merritt Island, FL, contact Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning today.

Reasons a heat pump may be the best way to go:

  • Two comfort solutions in one: The biggest advantage of having a heat pump is that it will take care of both your needs for heating and cooling. Heat pumps often have difficulty in extremely low temperatures at providing sufficient warmth, but for the climate in Florida they are ideal.
  • Heating savings: When it comes to energy savings during colder weather, heat pumps are one of the best choices on the market. A U.S. government study discovered that a family of four could save on average 30% off their heating bill annually by switching from an electric furnace to a heat pump. The reason that heat pumps offer such energy-efficient performances is that they only need to use a small amount of electricity to run their mechanical components to move heat, as opposed to creating it.
  • Hook up to existing ductwork: A heat pump might be able to use the ducts already installed in your home for a previous furnace or air conditioning system. This makes installing them a simple job for professionals.
  • Go ductless: However, you don’t need ducts at all. Heat pumps come in ductless mini split models that bypass ductwork entirely and instead use a series of individual blower units installed throughout a home.

Even with all these great advantages, a heat pump may not be the best choice for your home’s specific heating needs. To find out if a heat pump will work for you, call up professionals from the beginning of the installation process. They will help find out if a heat pump is your best choice, and then they will pick the model and size that will do the job.

Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning offers excellent heat pump installation services to Merritt Island, FL and the surrounding area. You can put your trust in us when it comes to your home comfort.

What to Do When Your Heat Pump Won’t Start Up

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Here in Rockledge, heat pumps are a popular and efficient means of keeping your home warm. It uses the same principles as air conditioning to both heat your house in the winter and cool it in the summer, using less energy than other heating systems to do the same job. Heat pumps are particularly well-suited to Florida because their efficiency tends to drop during very cold temperatures, and while we have our share of chilly nights, our winters are very mild compared to cities further north.

If you have a heat pump and it won’t start, you probably need to call in a repair technician immediately. Before you do so, however, you can take a few steps to ensure that there actually is a problem with the unit.

Here’s what to do when your heat pump won’t start up:

First, check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker powering the heat pump has been tripped. If it has, reset it and turn the heat pump on again. In some cases, the breaker could be triggered by an outside factor, such as a lightning strike or a more general overload within the household.  In those cases, the problem isn’t with the heat pump and resetting the breaker should restore it to full capacity. On the other hand, if the breaker gets triggered again, then the problem likely lies somewhere within the heat pump and you should call in a technician to look at it.

Similarly, some heat pumps contain individual parts (such as the fan motor and compressor motor) that will automatically shut off power to the unit when problems are detected. For instance, an overloaded motor will turn off rather than burning out and causing damage to other nearby components. If you get it to start up and the component shuts down a second time, it’s time to call a repair service.

Thankfully in Rockledge, heat pump repair services can be provided by the experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning. We know what to do when your heat pump won’t start up, and we will perform all our repairs with courtesy and care. Call us today to make an appointment!

Reasons Your Heat Pump Is Inefficient

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Many homes in Florida have heat pumps, since January temperatures are mild and their unique capabilities fit our climate well. If you are looking for a new heating system for your Merritt Island home, heat pumps are an attractive option: they combine the features of a heating system and an air conditioner into one, and they tend to be more energy efficient than traditional furnaces.

If you already have a heat pump and that efficiency drops off, you want to correct the issue immediately – but what causes that drop? Here are a few reasons your heat pump is inefficient:

  • Very cold outside temperatures. Heat pumps work very well when temperatures stay above freezing, which isn’t normally a problem in areas like ours. When temperatures drop below 30 degrees, the heat pump labors to warm your home efficiently.  It doesn’t happen often here, but when it does, you’re likely to notice. Most heat pumps will have electric resistance coils that will turn on when the heat pumps stops heating efficiently, however, these use more energy and you might see an increase in your heating bills.
  • Refrigerant is leaking. Like air conditioning systems, heat pumps rely on refrigerant to do their job, and the refrigerant has to remain at certain levels. When leaks spring up, those levels drop and the heat pump labors to perform its job like it should. You can spot this most readily by thick ice forming on the evaporator coils or decreased heating from your unit.
  • General wear and tear. Like all piece of equipment, heat pumps rely on individual components functioning at peak efficiency. As time goes on, dirt and grime build up on their surface, and general wear and tear can lead to increased inefficiency. Regular maintenance visits from a trained technician can keep the interior of the heat pump clean and functioning as efficiently as it can.

If you spot some of the reasons your heat pump is inefficient, contact the experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning right away. We can handle all issues related to heating in Merritt Island, FL and we’re completely dedicated to your satisfaction. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

How Come My Heat Pump is Icing Up?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Heat pumps operate according to the same principles as air conditioners, and can be used to both warm your Merritt Island house in the winter and cool it in the summer. They work especially well here on the Florida coast, which features warm winters. If you have a heat pump, you may have noticed ice developing on the evaporator coils, which can be a big problem.

Ice can form when he refrigerant that is responsible for heating and cooling process is not at the proper levels or there is an issue with air flow. Normally, the refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coils, absorbing heat from the nearby air, and during the winter that heat is transferred to the air inside your home. If the refrigerant levels aren’t where they need to be, that pressure will be too low, and the air temperature around the coils will get very cold, causing frost to form.  This compounds the problem by further insulating the refrigerant in the coils from the air, and preventing them from absorbing heat. Low air flow can cause a similar issue, when the temperature around the coils is too low and ice forms.

Fixing the problem involves more than just scraping the ice off (which can damage the coils and won’t address the core of the issue either). You need to hunt down the source of the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels to their specified amount, or fix the air flow problem.

In short, it means calling in a trained technician who can handle heating repair in Merritt Island, and can fix the heart of the matter instead of just treating the symptoms. Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning has the know-how and experience to fix the problem right the first time, every time. If you’re asking “how come my heat pump is icing up?” give us a call to set up a service appointment today. You’ll be glad that you did!

What You Need to Know About Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Heat pumps are an efficient form both heating and cooling the air in your home. They work especially well in areas with mild winters like here in Florida, where temperatures rarely drop below 40 degrees. A heat pump in Cape Canaveral makes a lot of sense, though it helps to understand how they work, and in particular how they work as part of a ductless system. Here’s what you need to know about ductless mini split heat pumps.

Heat pumps use the same basic system that an air conditioning system does. Refrigerant gas cycles between two sets of coils – one inside the house and one outside – which alternately warm the air and cool it. The system is designed so that the indoor coil cools the surrounding air in the summer and warms it in the winter. Since heat pumps don’t create heat, only transfer it from one location to another, they can be very energy efficient.

With ductless mini split systems, a series of individual indoor units (with the coil and air handler) are placed in different areas around your home, all connected to one outdoor unit. Since there is no one centralized indoor unit producing all the conditioned air, you don’t need ducts to distribute the air throughout your home (hence the name “ductless”). This reduces energy loss and it gives you the ability to easily zone your home comfort. Each indoor unit has its own set of controls, allowing you to tailor the individual temperatures in each part of your home. So someone working cover a hot stove in the kitchen could set a lower temperature than someone enjoying a book in the living room, improving your home’s comfort levels. More importantly, ductless mini split systems allow you to turn down the heat in parts of the home you aren’t using, saving energy and sparing you a great deal of money in monthly heating bills.

For more of what you need to know about ductless mini split heat pumps, or to discuss installation options, call the experts at Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning. We can plan and install a terrific system for your home, with your complete satisfaction in mind every step of the way. Contact us today to see what it can do for you!

Why Does Heat Pump Size Matter?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Here in Cocoa Beach, there are a variety of heating systems people use for those occasional cold winter nights. Heat pumps, in particular, make a lot of sense in our part of the world. They serve as an all-in-one heater and air conditioner, cooling your home in the summer time and providing heat in the wintertime. They work best when temperatures tend to remain above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as they usually are here on the balmy Florida Coast. Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient, which can save you money on monthly heating bills. When you install one, however, you need to make sure it’s the right size for your home.

With any kind of heating or air conditioning system, you need to follow what we call the Goldilocks Rule: as system that is neither too small nor too large but just right. “Size” in this case, is measured not by the physical size of the unit, but by the amount of energy it generates (measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units). If the unit is too small, it won’t be able to generate enough heat to adequately warm your living space. That’s usually self-evident. What most people don’t know is that a unit which is too large will cause many of the same problems. It will warm (or cool) the space too quickly, which means that it will cycle on and off rapidly throughout the day. Turning on and shutting down both use much more energy than simply running steadily, as well as placing more wear and tear on the unit itself. Neither option is acceptable if you want your unit to function effectively.

Knowing why heat pump size matters is half the battle. The rest comes with calling a quality service like Steve Hoskins AC. We handle Cocoa Beach heating issues of all varieties, and have years of experience installing heat pumps. We’ll measure the square footage of your home and factor in other specifics such as sunlight and the amount of insulation to find the perfect size for your heat pump. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

How a Professional Heat Pump Installation Can Save You Money

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Here in Florida, conditions are almost ideal for the use of heat pumps, which combine the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one single unit. They cool the home in the summer and warm it in the winter, using the same basic system that air conditioners do to perform both functions. They work best when temperatures remain fairly warm, and lose their efficiency when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that Merritt Island is an ideal location for a heat pump, since our summers are warm and our winters are mild. If you’re considering a heat pump for your home, you need to contact a Merritt Island heat pump professional to install it. Here’s how a professional heat pump installation can save you money.

Heat pump installation can be somewhat expensive, counterbalancing the money it will save you on monthly heating and cooling bills.  In order for the system to function, it needs both indoor and outdoor components, which must be placed in specific locations conducive to effective heating in your home. That means holes need to be drilled in your walls, lines run between the two sections of the unit, and electrical connections made in the most effective manner.  You need a professional to help determine where each unit should be placed, and to install them all in a manner conducive to maximum efficiency.

All of that means that the heat pump system will work as it should, which will cut down on the monthly cost of heating and cooling, as well as lowering the possibility of an expensive repair somewhere down the line. A trained professional can not only conduct an installation properly, but offer some guarantees that the system will function as it should. For more on how a professional heat pump installation can save you money, talk to the experts at Steve Hoskins AC. We handle heat pump installation in Merritt Island, and we can provide sound advice on the best system for your home. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

Can a Heat Pump Installation Impact the Quality of its Performance?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Heat pumps are a good choice for homes in the Brevard County area.  The technology combines the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one single unit, and it keeps your home comfortable year round very efficiently. Heat pumps function well in areas with mild winters (like here on the Florida coast). But that efficiency won’t be evident if you don’t have the unit installed properly. Can a heat pump installation impact the quality of its performance? Absolutely yes.

“Performance” often boils down to efficiency: making the best use of the energy available to warm or cool your home as quickly and reliably as possible. That depends on all aspects of the heat pump operating in conjunction: fans working as they should, drain lines and electrical connections functioning unimpeded and the heating or cooling process uninterrupted by hiccups or problems. When little technical issues arise, it impacts that effectiveness. The heat pump will likely continue to work, but it must expend more energy to do the same job. That increases wear and tear on individual components, making it more likely that the unit will suffer a breakdown in the future.

You can see how a faulty heat pump installation can affect that. If the unit isn’t secured properly, it might rattle in its housings, increasing strain on individual components. If the lines and connects aren’t spot-on, the unit will function erratically. If refrigerant levels aren’t charged properly, then ice may develop on the coils – interfering with the ability to generate cool air. A quality installation will prevent many of these issues: making sure the connections are secure and everything is fitted into its precise location. A poor installation, on the other hand, invites serious repairs sooner rather than later, as well as decreasing the unit’s overall efficiency.

If you’re asking “can a heat pump installation impact the quality of its performance?” then don’t take chances. The experts at Steve Hoskins AC handle heat pump installation in Brevard County, and we’re never satisfied until you are. Pick up the phone and call us to schedule a consultation today. You’ll be glad that you did.

Merritt Island Heat Pump Question: How Can Heat Pumps Heat and Cool?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

If you’re accustomed to thinking of air conditioners and heaters as separate units that may share the same ductwork but nothing else, then the idea of a heat pump can seem a touch strange. A heat pump works as both an air conditioner and a heater, and as a unit doesn’t take up an appreciably larger space than most other HVAC systems. Heat pumps aren’t two different systems packaged together, but a single system capable of raising or lowering the temperature inside your home as you choose.

How does this work? Basically, the same way an air conditioner works. We’ll explain in a bit more detail—but it’s a surprisingly simple concept.

To understand how a heat pump operates, let’s begin with the air conditioner. An AC doesn’t “create” cold air in your home; it removes heat from your home, and transfers it outdoors (the heat can’t simply be destroyed, it has to go somewhere). This gives you the feeling of cold air. To do this, an air conditioner uses refrigerant, a chemical that requires only small amounts of energy to shift from liquid to gas and back again. The refrigerant moves from a compressor to an outdoor condensing coil, where it releases heat. It then moves to an indoor evaporating coil, where it absorbs heat. After this, it returns to the compressor to restart the cycle. This is known as “heat exchange.”

This is where the marvelous simplicity of the heat pump becomes obvious: if the heat taken from indoors is moved outdoors, all you have to do is reverse the direction and take heat from outdoors and move it indoors. Presto! A heater instead of an air conditioner.

To reverse this process, a heat pump has a second compressor and a reversing valve. This moves the refrigerant in the opposite direction, and the condensing coil and the evaporator coil swap functions.

There is one drawback heat pumps encounter: at extreme low temperatures, they have difficulty removing heat from the outside air. In places with winter temperatures that frequently drop below freezing, heat pumps lose some of their heating efficiency.

Thankfully, Florida resident have few worries about freezing winters, so heat pumps are great all-in-one devices for keeping yourself comfortable all through the year.

We hope we’ve cleared up the mystery of the heat pump for you. Steve Hoskins AC is always ready to offer you help with any issues you have with your heat pump in Merritt Island, FL—starting with installing it. Call us today for an appointment.