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Friday, July 31, 2015

You want your Air Conditioner to outlast your neighbor's?

Of course there are no guarantees; machines sometimes fail no matter what you may or may not do, but odds are in your favor if you implement a few basic steps.
The first step is the easiest and most important:

1.Change your filter! Get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis. The purpose of the filter is too keep airborne junk away from the inside of your air handler, where it can clog the coil and reduce air flow. Dust, dirt, pet fur, etc are all enemies of your A/C unit.

2.There are things you can do outside too. It is important that bushes and landscape plants near your outside condenser unit do not grow too close and and suffocate the unit. It needs lots of airflow to operate efficiently. Trim any bushes and plants so they are at least 18 inches away from the unit.

3.If you have a dog, of the male variety do whatever you can to discourage him from marking (urinating) on the A/C unit. This is very bad for the unit. You may need to put up a fence protecting your unit if your dog persists in peeing on the unit.

4.In Florida we most likely use our A/C units throughout the year, since our summers last forever, but it still good to check and make sure nothing is blocking your vents, such as curtains, furniture, artwork, etc. Remember, your A/C needs lots of airflow!

5.With our current rainy weather that Tampa is experiencing is it important that insects be controlled. Ants are notorious for sabotaging the electrical contacts of your outdoor unit. Poison them with an ant killer bait. Pest control companies often use perimeter granules.

6.Be nice to your A/C unit by providing regular maintenance by a professional technician. Despite your best efforts your coils could be dirty and need a good cleaning. Don't wait until it is broken. Call today and schedule a tune-up. Integrity Air Conditioning can be reached at (813) 932-2665

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Some ways other companies oversell new air conditioning systems.

1. Coil with normal rust

2. Coil with hole that allows air to blow through
The tech./ salesman shows it to you and asks “what do you think of that? “   Many customers respond with “that looks bad” or “is that bad”?
Truth is that it looks worse than it is.  The steel plate on the end of the coil...called a tube sheet is not critical... if it mostly rusted away it is not likely to be a problem because:  behind it is an aluminum fin that would keep air from bypassing the coil.
Their claim:  “The average life of air conditioners is 8 years”.     The truth:  ASHRAE... the engineering association of air conditioning collected info that says that the average life of heat pumps is 12 years and the average live of air conditioners with electric heat is 15 years.  Same for a gas furnace with an air conditioning coil on top... average 15 years.       My statement:  I see a wide range both sides of average.   When a system is near 10 years old or more  I would be reluctant to put much money in repairs.   And systems that have many repairs are not like new,  but rather, had a hard life.
The second photo shows a potentially problematic rust hole.  The rust hole at the bottom left of that coil might allow air to bypass the coil and splash water out of the drain pan causing a water leak.   For that customer the water leak problem went away when we cleared the drain pipe.
Jay Hoover,   Integrity Air