Posts Tagged ‘Merritt Island’

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!

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.

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!

Reasons for a Drop in Airflow from Your Heating System

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Many homes in Merritt Island, FL have some sort of forced air system to heat their homes. You heat pump or furnace generates warm air, which is then blown into your house via a fan. The system works extremely well, and most people are familiar with at least the basics. That’s why a drop in your system’s air flow is a cause for concern. Without proper air flow, the heat can’t get into your home. Your energy bills will go up and your heater won’t work the way it’s supposed to. There are several possible reasons for a drop in air flow from your heating system.

In most cases, a drop results from a clog in the system or a build-up in the air ducts themselves. This can come from a lack of maintenance, damage to the ducts, an unchanged air filter or similar issues. In addition to lowering the air flow, such problems can also spread dust and contaminants through your home, lowering the air quality and exacerbating allergies in the process.

In cases where the drop in airflow doesn’t stem from a clog or build-up, you’re likely looking at a problem with the fan. This can stem from a faulty motor, a frayed or loose fan belt, or the fan itself. There may be something blocking the fan blades, or the blades may be bent and rubbing up against other nearby components. It might also be that the heater has completely lost power, in which case the fan won’t turn no matter what state it’s in.

Whatever the reasons for a drop in airflow from your heating system, you need a professional technician to deduce the exact source of the issue before implementing a solution. If you need heating service in Merritt Island, FL, call Steve Hoskins Air Conditioning. If you notice a drop in the efficiency of your heating system, pick up the phone and give us a call today to make an appointment. We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction every step of the way!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.