Should You Have Your Ductwork Cleaned?

Should You Have Your Ductwork Cleaned?

Did you know that there are good reasons both for and against scheduling your HVAC system’s air ducts to be cleaned this summer in Rockledge, FL? Read on to learn what’s involved in professional ductwork cleaning, reasons to get your air ducts cleaned and reasons you may want to put off this task.

What’s Involved in Air Duct Cleaning

It takes professional equipment and HVAC system knowledge to fully clean the air ducts of an HVAC system. Your local, highly trained HVAC contractor will use specialized blowers, vacuums and brushes to get the job done. The technician should also clean the coils, housing, motors, fans, grilles, registers and air handler as part of the job.

The EPA is highly concerned with biological growth and with infestations of bugs and rodents. In fact, those are the only reasons that the EPA says ductwork should be cleaned. The EPA’s laser focus on biological growth and infestations means HVAC contractors are sure to check for humidity-related problems and for bug and rodent infestations.

The ductwork in your Rockledge, FL, home is more susceptible to bacterial growth than those in homes located in less humid areas of the nation. Additionally, bugs and rodents commonly seek shelter in the air ducts of homes if the air duct system provides easy access. You can expect the contractor to look for these problems in your ductwork.

Should you have a biological growth or infestation problem, the contractor will let you know and advise you to contact the appropriate specialist to take care of it. Once that issue has been resolved, the contractor will clean your ductwork plus the coils, housing and motors.

Reasons to Have Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Good reasons to have your HVAC system’s ductwork cleaned generally include better air quality and efficiency. While the EPA recommends cleaning when biological growth or infestation is present, there are many other reasons to have your ductwork cleaned.

A home’s occupants often contribute to poor air quality. Examples include:

  • A household member who smokes
  • A recently ill resident
  • Housepets
  • Recent home renovations

Your air ducts may be sufficiently clean for most people. However, some people are particularly susceptible to and negatively affected by poor air quality, such as those with allergies or asthma, young children and the elderly. Their health needs require the air quality that clean air ducts help to create.

Your air ducts could need cleaning for other reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Buildup of dirt that causes inefficient use of power
  • Water contamination
  • Damage to the home or its HVAC system

Reasons to Wait to Have Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned

In some cases, it’s not necessary to have air ducts professionally cleaned. Because this service costs a few hundred dollars, you want to conduct a miniature inspection of your air ducts and vents to be absolutely sure that the air ducts need cleaning.

Carefully look inside your most easily accessible vents to check for a buildup of dirt, bacterial growth or other debris. If you’re unsure, a technician can advise you when they perform maintenance on your HVAC system. You may not need duct cleaning if:

  • The air ducts are not dirty enough to affect the health of occupants.
  • They are not dirty enough to increase utility costs.
  • They do not contain bacteria overgrowth.

There comes a time when poor air quality or HVAC system inefficiency necessitates professional air duct cleaning. If you’ve determined that it is time to have your air ducts cleaned, contact us at Ellington Air Conditioning and Heating. If you’re unsure whether your ducts need cleaning, we can perform a quick inspection and offer our professional insights.

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Does Your AC System Need Repair or Replacement?

Does Your AC System Need Repair or Replacement?

Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a broken AC system on a hot Cape Canaveral, FL, summer day. The most effective way to avoid this situation is paying early attention to whether your HVAC system isn’t cooling as effectively as it used to. Learn the signs that indicate an air conditioner system that’s in need of repair or replacement.

Your Power Bill Suddenly Spikes

It’s normal to experience a higher electric bill during the summer as your AC system works to cool the house. However, has the bill gone higher than it typically does during these hotter months? If so, then it’s likely that you need to schedule an air conditioner tune-up and ask your technician to assess whether you need AC repair or full replacement.

Keep in mind that a professional diagnosis revealing the need for HVAC system replacement isn’t necessarily a negative. Older systems wear out and stop operating efficiently. A new system typically saves money long-term because it cuts down on your monthly power bills.

You Notice Odd Sounds

You’ve probably come to know intimately the normal operating sounds of your HVAC system. It’s time to get the system maintained the moment you hear unusual noises as the AC unit does its job.

Squealing noises indicate that a blower belt is loose or about to break. Your technician might only need to replace it. A motor that needs lubricant is another cause of squealing, and you must have a technician use the correct type of lubricant to fix the issue.

Banging, clanking or rattling sounds indicate that the blower motor or assembly has a broken or loose part. You might hear popping periodically as the ductwork expands. However, if it appears abnormal, get it checked by your AC technician.

You might have a refrigerant leak or a compressor issue if you hear hissing sounds. Or, clanging can indicate a part is loose somewhere within the system. Get it checked out either way.

Turn off the entire system immediately if you hear high-pitched whistling sounds coming from the compressor. It’s possible that a high-pressure leak exists, and it’s time to have the system assessed professionally.

You Smell Strange Odors

An electrical smell might mean you have a situation with overheating. If your air filter is extremely dirty and clogged, then replace it to see if that opens up the airflow. Call in an HVAC technician if you’re still smelling the electrical odor after replacing the filter.

The AC System Is Blowing Warm Air

It’s possible that your AC unit needs replacing if it no longer blows out cold air. The compressor may have failed. Replacing a compressor is an expensive and complicated repair job. It could also be due to low refrigerant or a blocked condensate line which are easy to correct.

Your AC technician will know whether the problem of warm air is coming from compressor failure or not.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

The AC unit has a large impact on your indoor air quality. It’s quite possible that the unit needs replacing if you’re noticing more dust or dirt inside your home. High humidity levels or family members experiencing respiratory problems also indicate that your HVAC system needs repair or replacement.

Inconsistent Temperatures

Do you notice that sometimes the air conditioner gets the home too cold and at other times it’s too warm? These inconsistencies in temperature indicate that you might have:

  • Clogged filters
  • Low refrigerant levels
  • Leaking ducts

These situations also lead to higher energy bills. Get a tune-up performed so you can understand what the problem is and bring back a consistently comfortable environment into your home.

Are you noticing any of these air conditioner unit problems? Contact one of our friendly Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat representatives and we’ll guide you through our maintenance plans or schedule a service call for a repair.

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5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air pollution affects the health of your family directly. Unfortunately, many individuals pay more attention to outdoor pollution and take indoor air pollution for granted. Below is a compilation of ways that residents of Rockledge, FL, can improve indoor air quality in their homes.

Maintaining Healthy Humidity Levels

High moisture levels greatly favor biological growth. Humid areas are excellent incubators of biological growth and dust mites. These two are well known to worsen or even cause respiratory conditions like asthma.

A good way to ensure that your home is biological growth- and dust mite-free is to maintain the humidity in your rooms at around 30%-50%. Air conditioning systems or dehumidifiers work well in regulating the amount of humidity in your home by reducing the indoor air’s moisture.

HVAC systems are also known to reduce indoor allergens count, such as pollen, which is another plus for individuals who suffer from allergies. Other effective measures to reduce humidity include avoiding over-watering indoor plants and using exhaust fans.

Avoid Smoking in the House at All Costs

Cigarette smoke single-handedly accounts for almost 40% of the air pollution experienced in many homes. Cigarette smoke, according to health experts, is one of the most common air pollutants in homes. Unfortunately, the effects are not only felt by active smokers but everyone on the premises.

The research revealed that cigarette smoke harbors more than 4,000 chemicals that are harmful to our health. Pediatricians also indicate that passive smoking increases the chances of children developing respiratory infections like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and asthma.

Ensure Your Floors Are Clean and Fresh

You can get rid of accumulated allergens and chemical pollutants by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This kind of vacuum is especially useful in reducing lead concentrations and removing toxins and allergens like pollen in homes.

Another good strategy is mopping after you vacuum. This can help eliminate all dust that may have been missed by the vacuuming machine. Mopping with plain water is just as helpful, and you do not need to add the soaps or detergents.

Place a floor mat at every doorstep of your home. Feet track in vast amounts and types of chemical pollutants via dirty shoes into the rooms of your house. A large doormat can come in handy to reduce the amount of dust and other air pollutants that people bring into your house.

Test for Radon

Radon is a common problem found in new and old homes. Radon, an odorless gas, is known for its contribution to the number of lung cancer patients. Breathing in radon increases your likelihood of getting lung cancer and is, in fact, one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the U.S.

Unfortunately, most homes are susceptible to being contaminated with Radon gas. This is because radon is a byproduct of natural decay of uranium in the soil. It seeps up into your rooms through cracks and crevices on the floor of your home.

Testing for the gas is quite inexpensive and does not take more than a few minutes. If radon is discovered after testing, several measures can be taken by the environmental protection agency to reduce or eliminate it.

Avoid Fragrances Where Possible

To smell nice, most products like cleaning agents and soaps have fragrances as a key ingredient. Most fragrances are synthesized from petroleum products. Fragrances are usually only tested for skin irritation and not respiratory irritation or side effects.

Some of the fragrances that have been tested for any significant harmful effects on respiratory systems have raised alarming concerns. Phthalates used in softening plastics are used in developing most fragrances and are known to have harmful side effects on animals.

As much as you pay attention to outdoor air pollution, it is important to pay close attention to your indoor air pollutants. It is equally crucial to reach out to the HVAC experts to assess and service your AC unit

At Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat, we offer AC repair and maintenance services that help keep pollutants at bay. Give us a call today to see how we can help you and to learn more about our indoor air products.

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Cost-Saving Benefits of Home Automation

Cost-Saving Benefits of Home Automation

Some of the things you can experience today with homes in terms of home automation were only a dream years ago. Who could imagine having the conveniences Rosie the Robot provided like in the 1960s TV show, the Jetsons? However, today many of those robot-like conveniences have become a reality due to home automation in Rockledge, FL.

Home automation lets you control almost every aspect of your home that is electrically powered. You can manage your appliances and your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system from wherever you are and whenever you need to. Not only do you have control, but you also have the added benefits of peace of mind, comfort, convenience, and savings.

The primary attraction to using various types of home automation is their energy efficiency, which leads to a cost-saving benefit. Let’s look at some examples of home automation and their cost-savings that we offer here at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat.

Home Automation Lighting

Smart interior and exterior lighting allow you to save money on the cost of providing light to your home. With smart lighting and your remote communication device, you can give the appearance of being at home when you may actually be on vacation. Controlling your lights can deter would-be criminals and save you the cost of having to replace stolen property or repair damage to your home.

Having lights that automatically come on inside the home or ones that adjust to the desired brightness when you enter an area will keep you from spending money on lighting areas when they are not in use. It’s both convenient and safe to have lights automatically come on when you get up to go into the kitchen or the bathroom in the middle of the night.

When installing smart lighting, there will be an initial expense with the purchase of the smart technology control device, lightbulbs, and switches. However, in the end, the cost-savings benefits are well worth it.

Automated Thermostats

The cost-saving benefit that stands out the most is the amount of money you can save on heating and cooling your home. You waste money by cooling a home or keeping it warm when no one is at home. Then, when you return home, you may have to use more energy adjusting the temperature to get the house comfortable.

By using a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature in the home to pre-set levels. Some programmable thermostats store up to six temperature settings a day. That way, you can be confident of not utilizing unnecessary energy while you are away from home and be able to return to a house set at a comfortable temperature.

You will save money for each degree you adjust the temperature in your home. For the average homeowner, that could be a substantial saving.

Zoned Heating and Cooling

In addition to controlling the temperature, you can also control where the air flows in your home. For some rooms, adjusting the thermostat is not enough. Some rooms may have a lot of windows, which could cause uneven heating, while other rooms may need very little air or heat because you don’t use them.

Using a zoning system can help keep the rooms in your home at a consistently comfortable temperature. With zoning, you can send more heated or cooled air to the places where you want it and less where it’s not needed. Also, your HVAC system will not run as often, which will increase its life cycle.

Other Types of Home Automation

Some of the other types of home automation control options include automatic door locks, curtains and blinds, and video surveillance systems. Different benefits are associated with each type of home automation. Ultimately, they all lead to cost savings.

To save money with automated lighting, HVAC, or other systems, contact Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat.

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Living Healthier – Air Purification Devices that Help

Living Healthier – Air Purification Devices that Help

Originally published in March 2017, updated in March 2020.

The air inside your home can harbor a variety of pollutants that compromise its breathability, causing discomfort and often compounding asthma and allergy symptoms. And the more well-sealed your home, the higher the level of airborne pollutants can be since these particles — which include dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and smoke from cooking or cigarettes — are trapped inside your home, building up over time. Add to these particulates various microorganisms such as biologic particulates, bacteria and viruses, and you have a veritable petri dish of unhealthy substances that can invade your home.

Thanks to modern air purification technology, indoor air quality issues such as these can be easily corrected. The current crop of air quality solutions includes space age products that bring the technology of the future to your home today. By combining the right HVAC system components, you can create a multiple-step system that helps ensure that every type of indoor pollutant is addressed and handled in the appropriate manner: either by removal or destruction.

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Understanding a New Heat Pump Installation

Understanding a New Heat Pump Installation

Heat pumps are ideal for heating and cooling in Florida. Instead of having to maintain both an air conditioner and furnace, heat pumps provide both heating and cooling in one unit. They are extremely energy-efficient, reducing heating and cooling bills by up to 75% depending on the type of system you choose. Proper installation is crucial to getting the best performance from any new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Here are important facts about new heat pump installations.

Heat Pump Technology

There are several types of heat pump systems, including air-source, geothermal or ground-source and water-source. They operate on the same principles of refrigeration that air conditioners and refrigerators do. Refrigerant circulating through coils is compressed to create a high-temperature gas. It is routed through a condenser coil, causing it to lose heat and liquefy. It then passes through an expansion valve. Here, both temperature and pressure drop. As it flows through the evaporator coil, it picks up heat and boils. The hot liquid is passed to the compressor, and the cycle repeats.

Unlike standard HVAC units that require fuel to generate heat, these devices use energy to move heat from one place to another. Simply flipping a switch reverses the flow of refrigerant. Warm air is extracted from your home during the summer and transferred outdoors. During the winter, heat is extracted from either the outside air, earth or a water source and routed indoors.

A variable-speed inverter compressor increases efficiency. Unlike standard units that operate at 100% capacity, variable speed motors operate according to heating and cooling needs. During cooler times of day, they may operate at less than 50% capacity, which saves energy. When summer temperatures rise, the unit powers up to keep interiors cool. They are also better at controlling humidity, an important factor in the humid environment of Florida. The result is that you stay more comfortable using less energy.

Energy Efficiency

For every kilowatt of energy consumed, air-source systems generate approximately 3 KW of thermal energy. Energy efficiency for the heating cycle is described as the coefficient of performance. For cooling, units are rated by the Energy Efficiency Ratio, the ratio of heat removed compared to the amount of energy used to operate the system. These systems use energy to operate the compressor and motors. However, the energy used to condition the air comes from an existing heat source, such as the air, earth or water.

Proper Heat Pump Installation

Experts in the HVAC industry agree that proper installation is of utmost importance. A unit that is too small will not be able to heat and cool effectively. The system may run for longer periods of time, break down more often and have a shorter service life. An over sized unit may cycle off before it has removed humidity. Both undersized and over sized units use more fuel to operate. In both cases, indoor comfort is affected.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, improper installation can increase energy consumption by as much as 30%. Improper sizing, inadequate ductwork, improper refrigerant charge and poor airflow are significant factors that affect performance.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s standards for sizing and installation of residential and commercial HVAC systems are used by reliable contractors. Quality installation includes selection of proper equipment, correct system design, completion of a building load calculation for sizing and owner education about proper operation of the unit.

Sizing is not based only on square footage. It also examines other factors, including:

  • Building orientation.
  • Local climate.
  • Number of doors and windows.
  • Amount of insulation.
  • Number of occupants per room.
  • Landscaping.
  • Building construction materials.
  • Ventilation.

The Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat Advantage

At Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat, we pay close attention to customer satisfaction and comfort. Our NATE-certified technicians are factory-trained to bring you the most technologically advanced installations, repairs and maintenance. We use industry standards for new installations. Our years of serving customers in Brevard and Monroe counties means that we will be there for you if you need follow-up services. We offer annual maintenance plans and scheduled repairs to keep your equipment running at peak efficiency.

For more information about a new heat pump installation, call (321) 248-4838 in Brevard County and (305) 824-2265 for service in the Middle and Lower Keys.

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