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Friday, December 12, 2014

Taking too long to heat your space?

Down here in South Florida, we rarely use the heating part of our air conditioning systems. Once in awhile, a cold snap will hit us during the wintertime. Many of us switch on the heat in an attempt to get comfortable. Often times, the heater will not work. But if it does turn on, it is common for folks to call in saying their heater must be damaged. They switch on the heat, and expect the airspace to heat up quickly. If in a few hours the home is not comfortably heated, they conclude that the heating system is not working properly. The truth is, there is another aspect to heating a home for the first time in awhile.

When the heating system is turned on in a home for the first time in awhile, a few things need to happen in order to bring the temperature inside the space up to the desired temperature. The first thing that happens is that the heating coils (elements) are energized and begin to get very hot. The air is then moved across the hot coils thus heating the air. So, in order to bring the temperature up in the home, all of the air in the home must circulate through the air conditioner enough times to reach the desired temperature. As the air is heated and circulates throughout the home, something else happens which is crucial to the equation.

Everything in the home must be heated as well, at least to the temperature set on the thermostat. This includes the walls of the home, furniture, appliances, decor, windows and doors, for example. Virtually every surface the airspace absorbs the heat from the air. This does heat everything inside, but leaves the air cooler than desired. So the air will continue to circulate through the HVAC system and transfer heat into the house and it's wares

When everything in the house has been warmed up sufficiently, the heating system will begin to cycle normally. Now the home should be heated to the temperature selected on the thermostat. This goes the same for commercial air conditioning systems as well. It can take 12-24 hours to bring the temperature under control. We recommend giving the heating system at least 24 hours to heat the property before calling a service out to diagnose any potential problems. If the heating system is still running constantly, and not sufficiently heating your home after 24 hours, you may then have an issue worth seeking professional help for.

There are many reasons why a heating system may not be working correctly. There are other factors aside from the heating system itself which could cause problems. One of there would be insufficient insulation in the home, leaking air ducts, and more. If you would like service or more information on this subject, please visit our website which has service and information for both Residential and Commercial:



Never try to fix the heating system yourself unless you are a trained professional Electrician and HVAC Technician.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Smell smoke from your heater?

Don't panic yet, there is probably a good harmless reason for this. Before I continue with this explanation, I do wish to make a blanket statement about this situation in the name of safety. If you smell smoke and are not sure if there is a real fire or not, we recommend to be on the safe side and seek help from local Fire Emergency Officials. If yourself or another person cannot verify that there is no fire in your property, call for help. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Heater Coils (Element)
With that being said, I will continue on with a common situation that happens when people turn on their electric heater for the first time in awhile. The air conditioning system has a few types of heating systems. One type is the Heat Pump which works like a traditional air conditioning system, but reverses the flow of the freon. Instead of cooling, heating is produced. Another type of heater is designed to use burning gas to create heat. The type of heating system I am referring to in this post is the Electric Heating System. This system uses electricity to heat metal bars (heating elements) which in turn heats the air as it passes by. This is a very safe and efficient system when operating normally. In some rare cases, fire may result from improper installation, manufacturers defects, and damage to the system etc.. Like I said before, if you are not sure if you have a fire happening than we recommend calling in your local Fire Emergency Officials.

When a person turns on the electric heater for the first time in awhile, it is actually common to smell a bit of a "smokey" smell from the air ducts. So, these metal heating elements sit 95% of the time in the off state. If you live in South Florida with us, than the heater is barely used. As they sit, the elements collect dust and dirt. More dust and dirt build up the longer the heater remains dormant. When the power is switched on, the elements get very hot in order to heat the air. The dirt and dust which has collected begin to "burn-off". We are not talking about an actual fire inside the heater, but rather the smoldering of a thin layer of dust and dirt. It is enough to fill the home with a smokey oder, which is usually a very worrying issue. 

Hot heating coil elements
It is normal to smell this smokey odor after turning on the heater for the first time in a year or more. NOTE: You should certainly never see visible smoke coming out of your air ducts or attic area in general. If you do, call your Local Fire Emergency Officials immediately. So, safety is always first. Typically, opening the windows and doors for an hour or so will get the smokey smell out of your house. This tip was just something to consider if this situation arises. We always recommend safety first, but knowing what we just discussed will help you make the determination if you are safe or not. Feel free to contact AirCool Mechanical Systems Inc if you have any concerns or questions about this topic. Be safe America, and stay warm this winter.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

All about the TXV Valve.

The TXV Valve (also known as the Thermal Expansion Valve) is a vital component to higher efficiency air conditioning systems. The TXV valve is typically associated with higher efficiency air conditioning systems because of it's ability to regulate the amount of freon that enters the coil. It changes the amount of freon flow based on the conditions of the cooling needs and environmental variables. It's cousin the Accurator is not as efficient as the TXV because it relies on system pressure dynamics to regulate freon flow. 
Standard TXV Valve

There are always pros and cons to every situation. In this case, the pros seem to outweigh the cons when it comes to energy saving over time. One of the downsides of the TXV could be that it has moving parts, and is a mechanical device. With any component that has moving parts, the possibility for mechanical failure exists. So, many people in the know recommend the standard Accurator system for it's reliability. One must then weigh the risk of mechanical failure repair cost with the savings of having a more efficient system overall. Also consider that both the TXV and the Accurator have small orifices or holes for the freon to pass through which could get clogged or restricted.

The main benefit of the TXV is how it adjusts the freon flow according to the cooling load needed. If perhaps it is very hot outside today, the TXV will open wider to let more freon flow through the evaporator coil. This will increase the cooling capacity of the unit, keeping it in the target efficiency range for the unit. If tomorrow is cooler outside, the TXV will close off more. This will restrict the flow of freon to match the efficiency needed.
Sensing Bulb

This function does more than save you money on power bills, but it also has life preserving effects on other parts of the air conditioning system. For instance, the compressor which pumps the freon through the system is made to specifically pump freon in the gaseous state. Freon, depending on it's temperature and pressure changes from a liquid to a gas in the ac system. It changes back and forth from liquid to gas and back over and over as it cycles through the system. That is actually normal for it's operation. As the freon passes by the evaporator, it is supposed to take in enough heat to turn completely into a gas before returning to the compressor. If the TXV is not regulating correctly or there is no TXV present in the system, there is the possibly of improper or insufficient heat exchange happening in the evaporator coil. This could cause the freon to remain in the liquid state and eventually return to the compressor as a liquid. This will certainly damage the valves inside the compressor. It may take days, months or years for this to occur, but I can assure you that damage is being done to the compressor valves. So, having a properly operating metering device in the ac unit, can protect other components from damage.

Having a TXV installed in your system can also help the technician diagnose problems with the system with greater accuracy. Having a TXV regulating superheat in the system can allow the technicians more accuracy when reading pressures while diagnosing problems. It can be vital to charging the air conditioning system with the correct amount of freon. I have heard that around 70% of all residential ac systems may not be charged correctly. Now there could be many many reasons for this, but having a TXV enables a technician to rule out the metering device as the culprit of an issue such as this.
Another View - TXV Valve

If you are in the market for a high efficiency ac system, you probably will get a unit which already comes with a TXV as part of the system. However, keep in mind that a TXV can be installed in most systems even if they were not originally manufactured with one. The decision must be made by the owner if retrofitting a TXV into their system is worth the cost of the installation.

Most systems sold today will have a TXV already installed, due to changes in efficiency regulation which occurred in January 2006. The minimum requirement is 13 SEER, which would need a TXV to maintain that efficiency in most cooling conditions. While there are many aspects of the air conditioning system which contribute to its operating efficiency, the TXV is one of the significant ones to mention. I hope this helps you understand more about the air conditioning system in general. We want you to be informed in order to make better decisions. Feel free to contact us on our website's Contact Page. Stay tuned for more posts about the world of Air Conditioning.
13 SEER in January 2006
13 SEER in January 2006
13 SEER in January 2006
13 SEER in January 2006
13 SEER in January 2006