Many people think that the purpose of insulating attics and walls is to keep their Satellite Beach home warm during cold weather. However, thermal barriers also keep buildings cool in hot weather. Adequate amounts of insulation reduce the load on heating and air conditioning equipment, increase comfort and improve energy efficiency.
The Department of Energy defines how much insulating material is needed to keep homes warm in winter and cool in summer according to climate zones in the U.S. Here are ways to evaluate whether you have enough to keep your Florida home cool.
Thermal material is rated by R-value, which describes how well a material resists the transfer of heat. Higher R-values have better thermal resistance, which reduces the amount of heat that leaves or enters your home. In Florida , seven southern counties, including Miami, Palm Beach and Broward, require a minimum of R-30 for the attic. For the rest of the state, a minimum of R-38 is recommended.
Check Attic R-Values
Insulating the attic is the best way to prevent heat exchange. Roofs are exposed to many hours of sunlight, which can raise roof temperatures to 180 degrees F. This heat radiates down through the ceiling into the living space. If the insulating material is below the joists in your attic, you probably need to add more. Experts recommend covering the joists with a thermal barrier.
Examine Utility Bills
High cooling bills often indicate too little attic insulating material. If levels are adequate, make sure the attic and other spaces in the building envelope are well sealed. Holes and gaps reduce energy efficiency and can increase the load on your air conditioner.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning experts at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat can evaluate the R-value of existing attic thermal material to see if you have enough. If you don’t, we install several types of attic insulating material designed to keep your house cool. We also look for leaks in ducts and the building shell.
For more information about installing insulation in your attic, saving energy and improving comfort, call the experts at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat in Brevard County at (321) 222-6718 or (305) 824-2265 at our Marathon office.
The ductwork in your Rockledge, Florida, home plays a key role in your comfort. Here’s how to keep them performing optimally:
Average Lifespan of a Ductwork System
Most duct systems are good for about 15 years. If your ducts are older, you may want an assessment or replacement before they cause trouble. Ailing ducts can create hot and cold spots and cause drafts. Older systems can even start to collapse in sections.
Impact of Dirty Ducts on Utility Bills
If your ducts are leaky, up to 30 percent of your heated and cooled air can be lost through holes, cracks and loose joints. These leaks can often be sealed. However, if the damage is extensive, duct replacement might be the only solution.
Ductwork and Indoor Air Quality
Ducts can harbor all manner of airborne contaminants. Unless your home is sufficiently ventilated, these toxic particles can pollute the air you breathe. You might experience nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and other flu-like symptoms whenever you come indoors.
Dirty Ducts Can Impede Airflow
Over time, ducts acquire a buildup of dust and dirt. Even a small coating of this buildup can restrict airflow and overwork your system. Overworking shortens the life of your HVAC and makes utility bills go up.
How to Keep Ducts in Good Condition
- Change HVAC air filters.
- Vacuum the vents and the area right behind the grille.
- Ensure that nothing is blocking the vents.
How Often Should I Schedule Duct Cleaning?
Most HVAC contractors suggest duct cleaning and sealing every three to five years. If you have pets, you might want to schedule duct cleaning more often.
The accomplished service technicians at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat will inspect, clean and seal your ducts using state-of-the-art tools and technology. Call us at (321) 222-6718 to learn more.
The 2019-2020 Florida influenza season is here, and there have already been close to 30 outbreaks of the virus. Residents in Brevard County, along with the Middle and Lower Keys, should strongly consider a proactive approach to help reduce their risk of getting the flu. Air purification has been proven to destroy cold and flu germs, and it also improves any home’s overall indoor air quality. Some Florida homeowners have already turned to a whole-home UV air purifier.
Air Purification Collects Dangerous Particles
Your indoor air quality can easily become compromised by a mixture of contaminants. Some of the most dangerous particles include dust, smoke, soot, allergens, viruses and bacteria. When these particles enter your lungs, they can cause health issues such as respiratory diseases, asthma and even an increased risk of lung cancer.
UV Light Treatments Kill Bacteria
Air purification is performed with the assistance of special ultra-violet lights. Bacteria, viruses, mildew and mold are all bad for your health, but these harmful particulates do a great job of hiding. In fact, most people are completely unaware that they’re inhaling a variety of impurities in their home.
Platinum PCO Air Purifiers Are The Gold Standard
UV lights on their own can do a significant amount to clean up your indoor air quality. But for the healthiest air quality possible, it’s wise to invest in an air purifier that offers UV light and Platinum PCO (photo catalytic oxidation) technology. With this combination, bacteria and viruses are completed transformed and destroyed.
Are you interested in making your indoor air healthy and minimizing the potential for illnesses in your family? Visit the air purification section of our website to learn how you can save $100 on a Platinum PCO UV air purifier. You can also reach us by phone at (321) 222-6718 in Brevard County or (305) 824-2265 in the Middle and Lower Keys.
Devices that turn on lights automatically or power down the air conditioning when you’re away from home used to be the stuff of Saturday morning cartoons (think The Jetsons). Today, these devices by Trane and Nexia are a reality, and smart thermostats play a vital role. Here are three ways that a smart thermostat makes your daily life easier.
A smart thermostat takes advantage of WiFi technology, allowing you to control the thermostat via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Having this control means that if you forget to turn down the AC when you leave on vacation, you can access your thermostat remotely and make the necessary adjustment.
Smart thermostats give you the flexibility to program schedules for each day of the week. You’ll be just as comfortable when you’re heading to the gym at 5 a.m. Tuesday as you are at 9 a.m. on Saturday when you’re sleeping late.
A smart thermostat reduces the worry associated with caring for your HVAC system. These thermostats will remind you when it’s time to change your air filter or schedule an HVAC tune-up. Many will alert you if there’s a malfunction in one of your HVAC components or a problem with your air ducts.
Home Automation with Nexia Home Intelligence
Home automation goes far beyond managing your HVAC comfort, however. Nexia Home Intelligence works seamlessly with Trane TruComfort™ systems and Trane smart thermostats. The Nexia app allows you to control a variety of your home’s functions:
- Remote management of locks
- Video surveillance cameras
- Window shades and garage doors
- Appliances, lighting and even irrigation
If you’re interested in learning more about smart thermostats and home automation, check out the home automation services we offer at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat. Or you can call (321) 222-6718 in Brevard County or (305) 824-2265 in the Middle and Lower Keys and talk with one of our comfort specialists.
Homeowners in Florida face added risks when it comes to lightning and hurricane damage throughout the year. The National Institute of Standards and Technology warns that failing to protect your home from electrical surges caused by storms or improper use of electrical equipment can cause costly damage to your HVAC system and home electronics. Read on to learn how surge protection can help prevent HVAC damage and keep your electronics running smoothly.
Damage Caused by Electrical Surges
The voltage delivered to electronics and appliances in your home is designed to fall into a specific range to ensure that these appliances can be safely powered. During a power surge, the voltage delivered to your electronics exceeds the safe range. Excess voltage leads to overheating in the circuit. The resulting heat may cause permanent damage to your electronics or appliances.
In addition to electrical damage caused by power surges, the heat associated with surges can also lead to electrical fires. Fire risk from power surges is highest when electrical wiring is not installed properly, so it is important to leave any installation to a professional.
Whole-Home Surge Protection Provides Comprehensive Coverage
If you are thinking about purchasing a plug-in surge protector, you should be aware that these outlet-specific units provide very limited protection. Single-outlet units are typically not able to provide protection against surges caused by lightning strikes. These units are not really surge protectors; outlet-specific units are just a type of circuit breaker designed to cut the power to the outlet when surges occur.
Whole-home surge protection is a more effective option. This type of protection is installed directly into your electrical box by a professional to ensure that all electronics throughout your home receive protection at all times.
For more information about keeping your HVAC system and electronics safe during surges, check out Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat’s proper installation solutions or call (321) 222-6718.
Living on the coast of Florida in Satellite Beach means dealing with high humidity throughout the year. During the hot summer months, humidity can make venturing outdoors feel unbearable. When indoor humidity starts to climb, many families find themselves feeling uncomfortable in their own homes. Read on to find out how humidity impacts personal comfort and how to reduce moisture in the air inside your home.
Humidity and Comfort
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explains that high moisture levels prevent sweat from evaporating. The result when sweat cannot evaporate from your skin is that sticky, uncomfortable feeling associated with hot, humid days. If your home tends to be humid, you may find it impossible to get comfortable indoors.
Discomfort is not the only issue associated with high moistures in the air. When your body cannot properly cool itself, health problems can occur. Failing to find relief from the moist air can lead to excessive sweating, dehydration, dizziness, and fatigue.
Solutions to High Indoor Moisture Levels
Fortunately, there are ways to improve your HVAC system to remove moisture from the air and bring indoor levels to a more comfortable and safe level. A whole-home dehumidifier is installed directly into your existing air conditioner to work in conjunction with the system. When air is pulled into the system, the dehumidifier draws water out of the air before it is circulated into your home. The dehumidifier is able to achieve ideal relative humidity according to the temperature setting on your thermostat to achieve maximum comfort.
As an added benefit, air that is less humid feels more comfortable at a higher temperature. This means that you can set your thermostat a bit higher during the summer months and save on cooling costs when you invest in a dehumidifier.
For more information about keeping your home more comfortable by reducing indoor humidity, check out Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat’s whole-home dehumidifier solutions or call (321) 222-6718.