How a Professional Heat Pump Installation Can Save You Money

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?

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.

The History of Thanksgiving

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?

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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!

3 Great Benefits of Using a Heat Pump in Cocoa Beach

October 15th, 2013

In Cocoa Beach, heat pump technology makes an attractive alternative to more traditional air conditioning systems. Heat pumps combine the features of a heater and an air conditioning into a single unit: pulling the heat out of your home in the summer time and bringing it into your home in the winter. Heat pump systems tend to cost a little more during initial installation, but they make up for it in the advantages they provide, especially in warm weather towns like ours. Here are 3 great benefits of using a heat pump in Cocoa Beach:

  • Savings in monthly energy bills. Heat pumps tend to use less energy than traditional electric heaters, while still providing reliable service. That translates to lower electric bills every month, to the point where a well-maintained heat pump could off-set the cost of installation solely on the money saved with heating and cooling bills. Their effectiveness only increases in places with mild winters like we have here in Florida.
  • Convenience. By combining the features of a heater and an air conditioner, heat pumps bring considerable convenience to your household. You don’t need to wrangle with separate controls or individual units; you simply adjust the settings on the heat pump to match the conditions of the moment.
  • Earth-friendly. Electric heat pumps don’t consume fuel the way that traditional furnaces do. There’s no gas, no exhaust, and no excessive use of fossil fuels. That makes them environmentally friendly, as well as more cost effective in the long run.

For Cocoa Beach heat pump issues, whether it’s installation or upkeep, Steve Hoskins AC has the experience and know-how to help. We understand all the great benefits of using a heat pump in Cocoa Beach, and we don’t want maintenance or repair issues to get in the way of them. Call us today to discuss your options.

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

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.