Five Tips for Healthy Air Conditioner Maintenance
There are few routine household maintenance chores that pay off more than keeping a maintenance schedule for your air conditioning unit. Not only will you give yourself the best chance at staying cool all summer and avoiding emergency breakdowns, but you’ll also save money on your energy bills.
Importance of Air Conditioner Maintenance
It should be noted that there are some tasks that can be done by the average homeowner, but others should not be performed by anyone who doesn’t have the proper training and a license.
If at any time you are uncomfortable with performing maintenance tasks yourself, never hesitate to call on a professional to do it for you. Always observe safety precautions; and before you perform any work on your outdoor unit, ALWAYS shut down the power to the unit at your electrical box first.
AC Tip #1: Clean and/or Replace Air Filter on AC Unit
Replacing your air conditioner air filter (or cleaning it, if you have a reusable filter) is one of the most important regular AC maintenance chores. It should be done every month during high-use seasons (like summer and winter) and once during the fall and spring.
The air filter will be located either:
- Behind the return air grille on a wall or ceiling in a central room of the house.
- Inside the blower compartment of the air handler or furnace.
- In a slot on the side, bottom, or top of your furnace.
When the filter becomes full of dust, dirt and allergen particles, the air flow will decrease, making your system work harder than it should have to. The air flowing through your system may also become dirtier, dustier, and prone to triggering allergy and asthma symptoms for those residing in the home.
AC Tip #2: Check Wiring and AC Components
Before working on an air conditioner, ALWAYS start by turning off the power to the unit, which can be done at the service disconnect on your outdoor unit or at the main breaker panel of your home.
Next, remove the access panel on your condensing unit and see if you see any signs of overheating – melted insulation on wires, blackened or burned-looking wires, and the like.
You can also check any electrical connections to make sure they are tight. If you own an electrical test meter, you can check the capacitors in the unit.
Take a look at the contact switch, and replace it if you see excessive pitting.
If you see any of the above problems and do not feel comfortable replacing the parts yourself, always call an ACE heating and air conditioning expert to do the work for you.
AC Tip #3: Examine Thermostat
Check your thermostat to make sure it’s working properly and keeps your home at the right temperature. If you have an older, mechanical type thermostat, you may want to consider upgrading to a programmable model.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature higher when no one is home (do not turn the AC off, just up), and cool the house down about 30 minutes before people arrive home for the evening.
That way you’ll always have a comfortable home waiting for you, and you’ll save energy and money by not having your AC running all day when no one is at home.
AC Tip #4: Check Condenser Unit Fan
Turn the power off to your air conditioner unit, and check the fan mounted on the top of the outside condenser unit to make sure it’s still in good condition. Replace the fan blades if there are any cracks or chips visible in one or more of the blades.
If you have an older air conditioner unit, the fan motor bearings may need to be oiled regularly as well.
AC Tip #5: Clean Outside HVAC Units
Over time leaves, dirt, grass clippings and the like will build up on the outside of the air conditioner unit, decreasing system capacity and reducing air flow.
After shutting off the power to the unit, use a garden hose to gently wash out the debris, starting at the top with the hose at about a 45° angle. Do NOT use a power washer, and take care not to bend or damage the delicate fins on the coil.
You should also trim any shrubs or other plants back from around your air conditioner to keep from impeding air flow to and from the unit.
Call for Professional AC Maintenance
Call ACE to properly maintain your air conditioning unit. It will be of great benefit in terms of saving money, saving energy, and keeping you comfortable during the hottest days of the summer.
Your local heating and air conditioning company will always be more than happy to help you with any and all of your air conditioning needs.
ACE Heating and Cooling can also check your air conditioner and perform additional maintenance tasks on an annual basis that will ensure your AC unit performs as efficiently as possible for as many years as possible.
Wireless Programmable AC Thermostats 2017 — ACE Heating & Cooling Tampa – Top Picks
You’re on the hunt for a new thermostat, however if you’re expecting a lot of industry terms and less technical jargon, ACE Heating and Cooling (AC repair experts servicing Tampa, Brandon and Dade City, will not disappoint you.
Looking for Thermostat Information First?
Some of you may not be here because you need to buy a thermostat right away, and I can relate to that. After all, you need to have some knowledge of what you’re dealing with before you go ahead and make a purchase. So, just for you I’ve added the following information pages.
AC Thermostat Buying Guide
Our discoveries while looking for a new thermostat is that it’s not like buying a new appliance for your kitchen. There are all sorts of things to consider, like … what type of AC system you’re already running, how many features you need and much more. So, on this page we’ve done our very best to cover everything.
How Much Thermostats Can Save You
Money saving energy is something all manufacturers place some focus on. After all, they know how costs are rising in this respect and prospective customers are likely to purchase a thermostat that’s going to bring those air conditioning bills down!
Is My Thermostat Compatible with My HVAC System
I suspect a lot of you will be interested in reading this page. I would say there “appears” to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding how you work out if a thermostat is compatible with your current HVAC system. However, the fact is there IS a lot of confusion. Hopefully this page will answer any questions you have.
ACE’s Top Picks
There is a lot of hype about this thermostat, so you see why it is a top seller.
In case you find other wireless units are out of your price range, we recommend you take a look at the Honeywell 7 Day Programmable thermostat. Think this model combines simplicity with technology really well, plus it won’t break the bank!
Best Touchscreen Thermostat
Touch screen technology is just about everywhere these days, and thermostats haven’t been missed. Our favorite is the Honeywell RTH8500D 7 Programmable which, the name suggests, has the option for 7 day programming but it’s also packed with numerous other features.
Best Conventional Programmable Thermostat
ACE knows some of you are not interested in thermostats that have all the “bells and whistles” which is why we have included a review on the Honeywell Home/Bldg Center RTH6450D1009. This is a great option if you don’t need a unit that’s packed with features you might not use.
Best Non-Programmable Thermostat
Again, when we talk about the Honeywell Focuspro 5000 it reminds us of people who just want to be able to switch the heat or cool on/off in the home without the need to worry about a schedule. This model is from one of the most respected manufacturers in the world and it’s perfect for all “technophobes”!
Best Programmable Outlet Thermostat
The Lux WIN100 is designed to work with space heaters and portable air conditioning units, which is pretty amazing. At last, your portable heating and cooling (AC) appliances really don’t need much assistance from you!
R-22 Refrigerant (Ozone-Depleting Substances) Phase Out
Ok guys first thing’s first. If you haven’t switched your unit from R-22 and over to R-410A DO IT NOW! Your R-22 machine is at least seven to eight years old now and I’m betting that a lot of them are quite a bit older than that. On top of your machine being older it is also less inefficient than it’s HFC 410A counterpart. And finally, R-22 is extremely expensive due to the Montreal Protocol mandated phase out. Every year that passes less and less R-22 is allowed imported or produced in the United States and just like everything else the less supply there is the more demand there will be. According to the EPA’s website, which can be found by clicking here.
What is R-22? (source: Wikapedia)
Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It is commonly used as a propellant and refrigerant. These applications are being phased out in developed countries due to the compound’s ozone depletion potential (ODP) and high global warming potential (GWP), although global use of R-22 continues to increase because of high demand in developing countries. R-22 is a versatile intermediate in industrial organofluorine chemistry, e.g. as a precursor to tetrafluoroethylene. R-22 cylinders are colored light green.
R-22 is often used as an alternative to the highly ozone-depleting CFC-11 and CFC-12, because of its relatively low ozone depletion potential of 0.055, among the lowest for chlorine-containing haloalkanes. However, even this lower ozone depletion potential is no longer considered acceptable.
As an additional environmental concern, R-22 is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential equal to 1810 (which indicates 1810 times as powerful as carbon dioxide). Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are often substituted for R-22 because of their lower Ozone Depleting Potential, but these refrigerants also have high global warming potential. R-410A, for example, is often substituted, but has a Global Warming Potential of 1725. Another substitute is R404A with a Global Warming Potential of 3900. Other substitute refrigerants are available with low Global Warming Potential. Ammonia (R717), for example, has a Global Warming Potential of <1 and is a popular substitute on fishing vessels. Propane (R-290), is another example, and has a Global Warming Potential of 3, although it is rarely used in refrigeration systems because of its flammability and potential for explosion.
Phaseout in the United States
R-22 has been mostly phased out in new equipment in the United States under the Montreal Protocol, and has been replaced by other refrigerants with lower ozone depletion potential such as propane (R-290), pentafluoroethane, R-134a (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane), and blended mixtures of HFCs such as R-409A, R-410A, R-438A, and R-507A. See refrigerant for specific components of the R-400 and R-500 HFC blends used to replace R-22.
- Beginning January 1, 2004: The Montreal Protocol required the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 35% below the U.S. baseline cap. As of January 1, 2003, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned production and import of HCFC-141b, the most ozone-destructive HCFC. This action allowed the United States to meet its obligations under the Montreal Protocol. EPA was able to issue 100% of company baseline allowances for production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b.
- Beginning January 1, 2010: The Montreal Protocol required the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 75% below the U.S. baseline. Allowance holders may only produce or import HCFC-22 to service existing equipment. Virgin R-22 may not be used in new equipment. As a result, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers may not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps containing R-22.
- Beginning January 1, 2015: The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 90% below the U.S. baseline.
- Beginning January 1, 2020: The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 99.5% below the U.S. baseline. Refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled/reclaimed will be allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.
R-22 substitute Refrigerants
R-407A is for use in for low- and medium-temp refrigeration. Uses a POE oil.
R-407C is for use in air conditioning. Uses a minimum of 20 percent POE oil.
R-407F is for use in medium- and low-temperature refrigeration applications (supermarkets, cold storage, and process refrigeration); direct expansion system design only. Uses a POE oil.
R-421A is for use in “air conditioning split systems, heat pumps, supermarket pak systems, dairy chillers, reach-in storage, bakery applications, refrigerated transport, self-contained display cabinets, and walk-in coolers.” Uses MO to POE.
R-422B is for use in low-, medium- and high-temperature applications. . It is not recommended for use in flooded applications.
R-422C is for use in medium- and low-temperature applications. The TXV power element will need to be changed to a 404A/507A element and critical seals (elastomers) may need to be replaced.
R-422D is for use in low-temp applications, and is mineral oil compatible.
R-424A is for use in air conditioning as well as medium-temp refrigeration temperature ranges of 20 to 50˚F. It works with MO, AB, and POE oils.
R-427A is for use in air conditioning and refrigeration applications. It does not require all the mineral oil to be removed. It works with MO, AB, and POE oils.
R-434A is for use in water cooled and process chillers for air conditioning and medium- and low-temperature applications. It works with MO, AB, and POE oils.
R-438A is for use in low-, medium-, and high-temperature applications. It is compatible with all lubricants. 
Letter to All ACE Heating & Cooling Customers:
Phase out of R-22 AC Refrigerant
I have been informed and understand that the refrigerant R-22 that operates my current cooling system is being phased out and will no longer be produced as of Dec of 2019 under section 608 of the Clean Air Act by order of Environmental Protection Agency. This law will dramatically decrease the production of R-22 until the phase out is complete.
I have also been informed that the decrease in production of R-22 will increase demands for this product while making it extremely difficult and costly to purchase.
At Ace Heating and cooling we feel it would be irresponsible for us to recommend costly repairs and updates to an aging system that will be obsolete in the immediate future without providing alternatives. While we understand not everyone is in the position to address this challenge immediately it is imperative to us to offer you affordable options so you can make an intelligent educated decision. This Document states that our representative has done just that with great care and concern. Further more you understand the ramifications of proceeding with the required repairs understanding the changes that will occur in the immediate future.
We at Ace Heating and cooling will continue to do everything we can to provide a level of responsible service others are unwilling or unable to deliver; we thank you for your business and look forward to serving you in the future.
Ace Heating and Cooling
- We carry most brands of Air Conditioning Systems and we will find the perfect match for your needs!
We take great pride in finding the perfect air conditioning unit and matching it to your family’s budget. In Tampa Bay, your ac unit is the hardest working machine in your house. We are with you every step of the way….from helping you choose which system is best, to installation and maintenance. We’ve got you covered.
- Great air conditioning choices from the leading brands
ACE Heating & Cooling has 20+ years of experience in the industry working on many different brands of air conditioning units — giving you the fullest and ultimate choice of new system.
- Live Green and Save Money on Energy Bills
Maximize the savings with a specialist installation designed to improve the efficiency of your new system – saving you both your pocket and the environment. A new energy efficient system with an expert installation can provide substantial energy savings.
- Total home comfort
An ACE Heating & Cooling-designed installation can provide your home with even-cooling throughout your rooms and total home comfort.
- Industry-leading warranties
We can provide you with industry-leading warranties, and advice on choosing the most reliable new system.
- Fully licensed and insured
ACE Heating & Cooling are fully licensed, insured and bonded.
- System upgrades and indoor air quality options
Choose from a variety of system upgrades and indoor air quality solutions including easy-to-read digital or NEST thermostats, all-of-home zoning so that different family members can set their own perfect comfort, ultraviolet lamps, and air filtration.
- FREE estimates
Call today for an absolutely FREE no obligation estimate for your new or replacement air conditioning system. We’ll even help you with a professional evaluation of your air conditioning needs, and you can experience the ACE Heating & Cooling service difference for yourself.
GET A FREE ESTIMATE NOW!
Tax Credits Are Available For 2013 And Retroactive To January 1, 2012
Your Air Conditioning System Purchase Could Get You Up To $500 In Federal Tax Credits
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed in January 2013 retroactively extends tax credits for homeowners replacing heating and cooling equipment for their primary residence with qualifying, high-efficiency products. Tax credits, unlike deductions, are subtracted directly from your personal income tax liability. For example, if you complete your tax return and calculate that your tax liability is $2,000, a tax credit of $500 may reduce your tax liability to only $1,500. Be sure to check with your tax advisor to determine eligibility for and how to best take advantage of the tax credits.
Here’s How It Works
Product purchase must be for your principal residence and be “placed in service” between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. According to the IRS “placed in service” means when the original installation of the product is completed. Continue reading
Dear Customers of Ace Heating in Cooling,
It has recently come to our attention that a local competitor with a similar name has been a source of confusion for many of our established customers and prospective customers. At ACE Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on quality service with fair pricing. It is with that in mind, we ask our clients and friends to be sure that when you refer us to others, be sure to include our phone number or website as a reference.
Although our competitor has recently changed their name to help avoid confusion, older materials are still in the marketplace. We are happy to remain the name you trust in Greater Brandon & Tampa Air Conditioning Repair and maintenance and look forward to serving you in this community for years to come.
Chris Myers, President
BRANDON, FL – The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce has recently announced the semi-finalists for the 2012 Small Business of the Year Awards!
Annually, this awards gala recognizes and honors small businesses within the Greater Brandon area that have demonstrated leadership, positive growth and development, creativity, and integrity in operating a business, as well as a commitment to community services.
The 2012 event will feature an innovative theme and program including a video tribute to the 15 finalists and past winners, and the recognition of winners of the Small Business of the Year in five distinct categories. Award categories include: 1-5 Employees, 6-15 Employees, 16 Plus Employees, Home-Based Business and Minority or Women-Owned Business.
“We have worked hard to become Brandon’s preferred air conditioning contractor,” said Chris Myers, President of ACE Heating & Cooling. “We are certainly humbled to be part of such an amazing group of local businesses. ”
ACE Heating & Cooling is nominated in the 6-15 employees division.
About ACE Heating & Cooling
Founded in 2003, ACE Heating & Cooling is the preferred residential and commercial air conditioning and heating contractor in Greater Brandon, Florida. (www.brandonac.net).
About the Small Business of the Year Award
The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Small Business of the Year Award Gala is Title Sponsored by The Bank of Tampa. Additional sponsors include Hanna, Lemar & Morris, C.P.A.’s, P.A., Tampa Bay Times and Coventry Health Care of Florida.
The event will be held October 18 at the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel (10221 Princess Palm Avenue, Tampa).
Click here to view the complete list of semi-finalists.
Angie’s List offers a great video with basics as to why AC maintenance is important.
Your heating and cooling system uses over 50 percent of your energy costs in your home. While changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner working, a regular maintenance routine with an air conditioning professional will keep your unit from malfunctioning during the hottest days of the summer.
Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder: “For a typical tuneup on your air conditioner it’s probably going to cost around $70 to $100. But also keep in mind, many companies do offer maintenance plans that might offer it at a little lower price by signing up for a whole year.”
Darren Skaggs, Airtron Heating and Air Conditioning: “It needs to be tuned up once a year every year. Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up. Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened check the refrigerant level, the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should. It is true that you can lose up to 5% efficiency because if the system is not operating the way it’s supposed to such has dirty coil, over heated motors, lack of refrigerant effects how that system is efficient so as it goes through the year it can lose efficiency if it’s not tuned up properly.”
Angie’s List Tips:
A/C maintenance tips:
- Have your unit checked each year
- Costs can range from $70-$100
- Be wary of significantly lower prices
- Inspection checks coils, capacitors, compressor & refrigerant
- Up to 5% efficiency loss if unit is not maintained
When visiting a local store or calling for service, we all hope we are not getting taken to the cleaners. We would all hope that all local companies build their business on integrity and honesty. Unfortunately, in the competitive air conditioning industry, espeically here in Brandon, Florida, we sometimes find that ac companies are simply trying to make a quick buck on the backs of unsuspecting homeowners, many of which are elderly.
A recent Today Show report shows that this is not only a local problem. Either dishonesty or incompetence led several ac repairmen to quote high charges for a minor and easy fix.