Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. Blog : Archive for July, 2014

Are There Any Air Conditioning Repair Jobs I Can Do on My Own?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Tom Vatter

Our current culture has an obsession with “do-it-yourself” jobs. Much of this is due to the rise of the Internet and the easy spread of information regarding how to perform tasks that were once mysterious to non-professionals.

Although DIY work can make for an interesting hobby, it is inappropriate for many jobs that require more than just a checklist printed up from an amateur webpage. One of these jobs that needs a trained professional is air conditioning repair. The complexity of current ACs is far too much for most people to handle fixing malfunctions without training.

If you are experiencing issues with your cooling system thus summer, call for air conditioning repair in Pensacola Beach, FL from Kool Breeze. We have the experience, training, and equipment to handle the necessary repairs fast and right.

But Can I Do Anything About the AC on My Own?

With regards to opening up either the indoor or outdoor air conditioner cabinet and attempting to fix anything… no, you can’t take care of an AC repairs. The operation of the system is too intricate, and repairs often require having the right type of replacement part.

However, there are a few things you can do when your AC shows signs of failure that may help, or perhaps identify a simple cause for the problem.

  • First, check the air filter. This filter need to be changed (or cleaned, if it is a permanent filter) once a month during seasons when your AC runs regularly. If it becomes clogged, it can result in a drop in airflow that will create extra strain on the system. Sometimes changing a clogged filter is all you need to do to get back system operation.
  • You can also look into the thermostat. Make sure that the thermostat is set correctly; a simple error in programming a digital thermostat can result in the system behaving erratically. The thermostat could also be malfunctioning, and this will require professional repairs.
  • Find all the vents in your home and check to see that they aren’t blocked or partially obstructed. Sometimes this can account for uneven heating for an AC working too hard. Also look around the outside cabinet to see if any large object has blocked it.

If you cannot find a basic solution to the AC’s problems from the above inspections, then it’s time to call for the professionals to track down what is causing the air conditioner to act up and then fix it.

It’s easy to find quality air conditioning repair in Pensacola Beach, FL. You only have to call Kool Breeze and talk to our expert technicians. Our staff is on call 24 hours a day for emergency service.

Air Conditioning Basics: Refrigerant and Why It Is Important

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Tom Vatter

In order for an air conditioners to cool, they rely on the process of heat exchange, moving heat from the inside of a home to the outside. Refrigerant, the chemical that allows for heat transfer, is the perfect chemical blend for this process because it is non-combustible and easily converts from liquid to gas form and back again.

Your air conditioning system is made up of two major parts, the condenser unit and the evaporator unit. In split systems, the evaporator is located indoors, while the condenser is outside, but packaged systems store every part in one single cabinet. All air conditioning systems have the same components, however, and the four most important components through which refrigerant passes as it moves through the system are the compressor, condenser coil, expansion valve, and evaporator.

Each of these parts is responsible for changing refrigerant so that it can carry out heat exchange. The compressor changes refrigerant from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure gas so that it can give off heat at the condenser. Here it changes into a liquid under high pressure and moves to the expansion valve, where it changes into a low-pressure liquid. At the evaporator, it changes back into a gas, absorbing the heat in your home in the process. It then moves to the compressor to begin the cycle again.

It’s important that the refrigerant level remains constant in order to continue cooling your home effectively. Low levels of refrigerant obstruct the exchange of heat, so that your AC has less cooling power. Additionally, the parts of your system are sized to handle a specific level, and when this changes it can cause the evaporator to freeze or damage the compressor, leading to a costly repair.

Refrigerant will never dissipate on its own. If you have low levels of refrigerant, it may be a result of improper measurements during installation, but it often means there is a leak somewhere along the refrigerant line due to loose connections or corrosion.

The technicians at Kool Breeze can assist you when you notice problems like these for your air conditioning system in Fort Walton Beach, FL. For repairs, maintenance, installation, and more, give us a call today!

 

3 Ways to Detect a Refrigerant Leak

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Tom Vatter

One of the more common problems that an air conditioning system can encounter is a leak along the refrigerant lines. As refrigerant leaks out, it drops the set “charge” in the system, which must remain at this level for the AC to work correctly. A loss of refrigerant will mean a loss in cooling ability for the system, and it will also cause problems such as a frozen coil and even serious, irreparable damage to the compressor when it starts to overheat. When leaks begin, they need immediate repair from specialists, followed by a recharging of the system to the correct refrigerant level.

You cannot fix this problem on your own: although signs of leaks are often obvious (loss of cooling, iced evaporator coil, hissing sounds), locating the often tiny leaks themselves can be tricky. Here are three way that our Pensacola Beach, FL air conditioning repair specialists at Kool Breeze handle finding refrigerant leaks.

  1. Electronic detectors: In the HVAC world, these are usually called “sniffers,” and are the most common device used to pinpoint refrigerant leaks. Sniffers generate a high voltage spark that will drop in voltage when it encounters an insulating gas—such as R-410A, the refrigerant blend used in most modern air conditioners. The technicians run the sniffer along the refrigerant line until registering a large drop in voltage.
  2. Fluorescent detection: Fluorescent lights are helpful in picking out the otherwise hard to see escaping refrigerant gas. The technicians first add a fluorescent dye into the air conditioner’s system, and then scan UV lights over the AC. The leaking gas will appear as green.
  3. Bubble solution: This is an old technique that was around long before using UV lights and high voltage detectors. It doesn’t work for very small leaks, but technicians may use it if they suspect a large leak. Using squeeze bottles, the technicians apply a soapy solution along the area of the refrigerant lines where they think leaks may be. The escaping gas should create bubbles from the soap.

Although you could potentially try a crude version of the third method on your own, you still wouldn’t be able to fix the problem. Once the air conditioning experts have located the leaks, they will seal them up. Afterwards, they will recharge the system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant to replace what was lost. It’s important that they use both the right type of refrigerant and do not under- or overfill the system.

At the first suspicion of refrigerant leaks, call our team at Kool Breeze for air conditioning repair service in Pensacola Beach, FL. We are ready to assist you…24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give a us a call today.

How High Humidity Affects Your Air Conditioning System

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Tom Vatter

“Sticky.” “Heavy.” “Like a sauna.” These are just some of the words and phrases we’ve heard describe the days of heavy humidity here in Fort Walton Beach, and why it’s so important to have your air conditioning running optimally, especially during periods of excessive humidity. While your air conditioner removes humidity as part of the cooling process, excess humidity can adversely affect it, particularly during long periods of heavy humidity. One of the ways to help alleviate the stress and problems high humidity can cause your AC is to retrofit your air conditioning in Fort Walton Beach with a dehumidifier.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

A whole-home dehumidifier attaches to your existing air conditioning system. It pulls in the warm, humid air and passes it over cold metal coils to create condensation. This condensation drops into a collection tank and exits your home through piping. The air is then released into your air conditioning system, minus the excess moisture from the humidity.

Effects of High Humidity on Your AC

There are several ways excessive humidity can negatively affect your air conditioning system:

  • Stress on your system – your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home during times of excessive humidity. Humidity holds heat, so while the temperature may not have risen, the humidity in the air has made it feel as if it has. In addition, your air conditioner has to remove a larger amount of moisture from the air. Therefore, longer periods of humidity can put a lot of stress on your system.
  • Less energy efficiency – the more your air conditioner has to work, the more energy it needs. As your AC works harder to combat extra humidity, it uses more energy, making it less energy efficient.
  • More opportunity for particles to cling – humidity can cause certain parts of your air conditioning system to become wet with condensation. Water attracts particles, especially dust and dirt; with excessive humidity, a layer of dust and dirt can develop, making your air conditioner very dirty and prone to possible malfunction.
  • Excessive drainage – it is normal for your air conditioning system to collect more water during times of high humidity, but if there is any kind of issue with your condensate tray or drain, you may experience leaks.

Dry Out the Air with a Dehumidifier

A whole-home dehumidifier can help improve comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency. To determine if a dehumidifier is right for your air conditioning in Fort Walton Beach, contact Kool Breeze today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

Friday, July 4th, 2014 by Tom Vatter

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Kool Breeze hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.