3 Reasons to Replace an Old Air Conditioner in the Fall

October 8th, 2014

The summer is over, but cooling season never truly concludes in Florida. You may expect to have your AC working less during the winter months, but there are still days when you will need to have it running to help cool down your home and take the edge off of the humidity.

Although you will start to think less about your air conditioning during the fall, this is an ideal time to replace an older, ailing unit with a new one. If your aging air conditioner experienced a rough recent summer, with multiple repair needs, inefficient performance, and reduced cooling, right now is a good time to call Ultimate Air Conditioning in Palmer Ranch, FL and arrange for new AC installation. We have experience you can trust—more than five decades worth!

Reasons to Arrange for Air Conditioner Replacement for the Fall

  • Scheduling convenience: The fall is one of the less crowded times on the calendar for HVAC technicians, with few emergency calls for heaters and air conditioners. If you want to arrange a convenient time to have a new air conditioning system installed in your home, the slower fall season is an excellent time to have it done.
  • Preparation: As you will know if you’ve lived in Florida for a year or more, the weather can take abrupt turns. If you leave a malfunctioning air conditioner without a replacement, you might end up stuck with a non-functioning air conditioner when a heat wave suddenly strikes. It’s a good idea to take care of a replacement as soon as you can, rather than let a complete AC breakdown tell you that it’s finally time to retire your older system.
  • Save money: Even if your old AC still seems capable of functioning without a full shutdown, it will cost you extra money to run the system because of the wear and tear on its components. Air conditioners will start to lose their efficiency during the last year of their service, and the longer you let the AC limp on, the more you can expect to pay for the times that you do run it. It is more cost-effective to have replacement done right away so you can start saving money with a new, high-efficiency air conditioning system.

If more than a decade has passed since you last had air conditioning installation, you may be surprised to discover how many new options you now have for cooling your home. To find the best unit for your needs, look to the experienced professionals at Ultimate Air Conditioning. We will help you select the best new air conditioner to replace your older one, and we will size and install the new unit so that it does the best job of keeping your home cool without wasting energy. For all your air conditioning service needs in Palmer Ranch, FL and the rest of the Sarasota area, give us a call today.

Tips to Tell if Your Ductwork Needs Repair

October 1st, 2014

Faulty ductwork can lead to multiple problems, but it can sometimes be hard to identify simply because ductwork is not very visible. To help you determine whether or not you may be experiencing problems with your ductwork, our Ultimate Air Conditioning technicians have put together a list of common signs that can indicate it may be time for ductwork repair in Lakewood Ranch, FL. Ductwork can be complex, so if you do need ductwork repair, be sure to call professionals you can trust: Ultimate Air Conditioning.

Signs Your Ductwork May Need Repair

Here are some common signs that your ductwork may be faulty and need repair:

  • Whistling noises – if you hear constant whistling noises coming from your vents every time your HVAC system runs, this can be an indication that air is escaping through the holes and cracks in your ductwork.
  • High energy bills – faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of total air loss in your home. When you lose this much air, your HVAC system will compensate for this loss, and does so by working harder. Any time your HVAC system has to work harder, it needs more energy.
  • Strange odors – the holes and cracks in faulty ductwork don’t just lose air, they also allow air and contaminants from the outside to come in, including fumes and odors. If you are smelling something strange, it may be an indication that outside air is getting into your ductwork.
  • Mold development – faulty ductwork can be the perfect place for mold to grow and thrive: it’s dark, it has contaminants and it has just the right amount of moisture. The biggest telltale sign of a mold problem is the stale smell, which will eventually come through your ductwork’s registers as the system cycles.
  • Uneven temperatures – uneven temperatures or hot and cold spots can be the result of certain ducts working and others not. As a result, the air for certain living spaces may not be getting delivered as needed.

If you are seeing the signs that it may be time to repair your ductwork in Lakewood Ranch, FL, call Ultimate Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Is Air Conditioning Repair Necessary In the Fall?

September 24th, 2014

No one enjoys having to schedule repair work for their air conditioner, but it is important to make repairs as soon as you become aware of a problem. Fall offers a great time to make needed repairs, as the weather is cooler and repairs can be made without interrupting your air conditioning. It is never a good idea to wait on making repairs to your air conditioning in Sarasota, as we’ll explain below. Ultimate Air Conditioning technicians are available 24/7 to help you with any air conditioning repair need you may have, so call us today.

Why It’s Important To Schedule Repair As Soon As Possible

Here are some reasons why it’s important to schedule repair as soon as you become aware of a problem with your air conditioner:

  • The problem will get worse – electro-mechanical problems do not repair themselves, and typically become worse when left unattended. This can result in a complex, more costly repair.
  • Decrease in energy efficiency – when there is a problem with your air conditioner, your system can’t operate at the level it was made to; instead, it has to work harder to achieve the cooling you need. Whenever your air conditioner has to work harder, it uses more energy.
  • Decrease in comfort – a malfunctioning air conditioner will have a hard time reaching your desired temperature because it isn’t able to work at full capacity; this can mean that your comfort will be compromised.
  • You may temporarily lose your cooling – some problems, left to go on, can lead to breakdown. No one wants to be without air conditioning when they need it.
  • Safety issues – depending on the particular problem, you could be putting yourself and your system at risk if you keep operating your system even though it has a problem.
  • Decrease in moisture control – your air conditioner removes both heat and humidity, but when your air conditioner can’t operate at the level it is supposed to due to needed repair, you may have to deal with excess humidity inside your home.

Making repairs to your air conditioning in Sarasota can help you stay energy efficient and comfortable, and even save you money in the long run. If you see signs of problems with your AC, call Ultimate Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained experts.

Can My AC Still Run with Low Refrigerant?

September 17th, 2014

We are nearing the end of our busy cooling season, and it’s not unusual for air conditioners to develop refrigerant leaks as part of the normal wear-and-tear of summer. While many ACs will continue to run with a refrigerant leak, it is not good for your air conditioning in Lakewood Ranch to operate with anything but the correct amount of refrigerant. Low refrigerant can cause several different problems, and many of these problems get worse over time and can result in serious malfunction or total breakdown. If you suspect your air conditioner may be running with low refrigerant, call the experts at Ultimate Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment.

How Does Refrigerant Run Low?

As we mentioned above, your air conditioner needs to run with the exact amount of refrigerant as outlined by the manufacturer; this amount is in the manufacturer’s handbook. Every air conditioning system operates this way, and the refrigerant levels vary depending on the make and model of the AC.

The two most common ways refrigerant can run low is a) a leak develops in the system or; b) the system was not charged with enough refrigerant when installed. Refrigerant leaks are the far more common of the two problems, and are actually some of the most common air conditioning repairs.

Problems Caused by Low Refrigerant

There are several problems that can develop from operating your air conditioner with low refrigerant:

  • Warm air blowing from vents – one of the most common signs of leaky refrigerant is when your system blows warm air. This occurs because the leak has caused an imbalance in the cooling process, and the refrigerant isn’t releasing its heat.
  • Ice formation on the evaporator coils – ice on the evaporator coils means that the parts of your system that stay warm are too hot and the parts that are cool are too cold. Again, this happens because the refrigerant leak has made the refrigerant cycle unbalanced. When the air between the hot and cold parts meets, it creates condensation that very quickly freezes on the cold parts.
  • Air conditioner won’t turn on – many of today’s air conditioners have a built-in safety switch that blocks operation of the system when the switch’s sensor detects that refrigerant levels are too low. If your AC has such a switch, do not try to force the system to turn on; instead, call your technician.

Refrigerant leaks can cause serious problems for your air conditioning in your Lakewood Ranch home. If you suspect you have developed a refrigerant leak, call Ultimate Air Conditioning today.

When to Consider Ductwork Replacement in Siesta Key, FL

September 10th, 2014

Ductwork has a fairly long lifespan – about 30 years – but even so, it will eventually wear out or become damaged. Sometimes ductwork can be repaired, but there may come a point where it is either too old or too damaged to benefit from repair, and will require replacement. Your ductwork is the delivery system for your air conditioning, and if it is improperly installed, you could have problems with air flow, air loss and efficiency. This is why it’s important to hire experts, like the ones at Ultimate Air Conditioning, for your ductwork replacement service in Siesta Key, FL.

Signs It’s Time for Replacement

It is not always apparent when it’s time to replace your ductwork, so here are some common signs it may be time to do so:

  • Uneven cooling – are there a lot of hot and cold spots in your home? Uneven cooling can be the result of faulty, damaged or disconnected sections of ductwork.
  • Poor energy efficiency – are you seeing high bills but haven’t changed the way you use your AC? This could be due to air loss in your ductwork.
  • Lots of “stuff” blowing in through your vents – faulty ductwork can pull all kinds of particles, fumes and pollutants into your air stream, and deliver them directly into your living spaces.
  • Twisted, broken sections – if you can visibly see that sections of your ductwork are damaged or broken, it’s best to call in an expert.
  • Strange odors – mold, mildew, fungi and algae can thrive in air ducts. While these kinds of biological contaminants can be removedwith metal ductwork, it is not the same with plastic ductwork. If you’ve experienced some kind of biological growth in your plastic vents, you may need to replace your ductwork for it to be clean and healthy again.
  • Excessive humidity – excess moisture can enter your system through holes, cracks and disconnections, increasing your indoor humidity levels.

Ductwork is complex and is an integral part of your air conditioning system, so if you are in need of duct replacement in Siesta Key, FL, call the professionals you can count on: Ultimate Air Conditioning.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Ultimate Air Conditioning hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

A Few End of Summer Repairs for Air Conditioners

August 27th, 2014

We may still be in the dog days of summer, but soon the temperatures will begin to cool. You may have noticed over the last couple of months that your air conditioner hasn’t been operating quite the same, which isn’t unusual given the amount of work it’s done over the last several months. It may be tempting to put off your air conditioning repairs in Lakewood Ranch until next spring, but repairs don’t get better with time, and in fact, usually get worse. Ultimate Air Conditioning has been repairing air conditioning in the Sarasota area since 1959, and we are here to help you with your end-of-summer repairs.

Typical End-of-Summer Repairs

Toward the end of the cooling season, we see certain repairs pretty consistently. Here are a few:

  • Refrigerant leaks – refrigerant leaks can occur in a multitude of spots in your system. It is important to have a refrigerant leak repaired because it causes an imbalance in the heat release/cooling process, which can affect your entire air conditioner. Additionally, refrigerant leaks get worse over time, so it’s best to call a professional for repair as soon as you become aware of a potential leak.
  • Fan issues – you have two fans in your air conditioner: the indoor blower and the outdoor condenser fan. Fans are fairly easy to repair, but leaving them unattended can cause problems with air flow and cooling. Typical fan issues are loose or bent fan blades, worn fan belts, motor issues and electrical issues.
  • Compressor problems – your compressor’s job is to pressurize the refrigerant, so it is a component that operates under high pressure. Common problems with a compressor are issues with the motor, problems with the capacitor and valve problems.

It can be tempting to ignore potential problems with your AC, particularly if the system is running okay. However, problems don’t usually go away, and will most likely get worse with time. If you suspect your air conditioning in Lakewood Ranch may be in need of repair, call the people with over 5 decades of experience: Ultimate Air Conditioning.

Air Conditioning FAQ: What Is the Condensate Pan?

August 20th, 2014

If you listen carefully to the noises that your air conditioning system makes when it is running, you will sometimes hear the dripping of water. An AC doesn’t use water to operate—the refrigerant that moves through it is a blend of chemical—but water moisture is a product of the heat exchange process. To make sure that this water doesn’t damage the rest of the AC or enter your home, the system has a component called a condensate pan.

Condensate pans occasionally need repair work. Should you notice water dripping out of your air conditioner’s indoor cabinet, or notice a rise in humidity around it or signs of water damage, call for repairs right away. For a trusted name in air conditioning service in Lido Key, FL, turn to Ultimate Air Conditioning. We’ve served the Sarasota area with heating and cooling since 1959.

What the Condensate Pan Does

The indoor evaporator coil is where your air conditioner absorbs heat from the air to cool it down. As the coil absorbs heat through evaporation, it also absorbs the moisture in the air which turns into condensation along the coil. The more humid the air, the more moisture. This water drips off the coil, and would fall out of the air conditioner if not for the condensate pan located below it.

The condensate pan is a wide and shallow container (about an inch deep) that collects the water condensation. A drain and a pump attached to the pan removes the condensation moisture into the standard wastewater system. Because the pan is shallow, it will overflow should the drain become clogged or the pump stop working. The drain can also become loose where it attaches to the pan, leading the water dripping directly out of it.

If anything goes wrong with the condensate pan, it will require professionals to fix it. Trying to detach and then reattach the pan on your own can lead to faulty connections and further leaking trouble. The water damage from condensate pan trouble can turn very expensive, and it can also lead to mold and mildew growth, so don’t take any chances: call experienced technicians when you think your air conditioner is leaking water.

Ultimate Air Conditioning has a qualified staff who can handle any of your needs for air conditioning in Lido Key, FL, and we pride ourselves on the personal touch we bring to every job…it’s part of what has kept us in business for so many years. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

What Causes Damage to Ductwork?

August 13th, 2014

For your air conditioner and forced-air heater to properly deliver comfort around your home, the ductwork of the ventilation system must be airtight. If the ducts sustain damage so they start to leak air, the pressure inside the ventilation system will drop and airflow will decrease. This will cause a reduction in heating/cooling. Breaks in the ducts will also allow contamination to enter the ventilation shafts and get blown out into the air you breathe.

If you sense that you have damage to your ductwork because of a drop in airflow or a loss of heating or cooling power, you need to contact specialists for duct repairs. Ultimate Air Conditioning has helped homeowners with air conditioning and heating since 1959, and we can handle the ductwork repair in Siesta Key, FL that you need.

How Do Ducts Become Damaged in the First Place?

Because you cannot see most of the ventilation system, it can be difficult to visualize how ducts can become leaky or develop breaks. Here are some of the more common reasons that you will need ductwork repair:

  • Poor initial installation: If the previous owners of your home hired amateurs to install the ducts, or if they put in the ducts as a DIY project, the substandard quality could lead to the ducts starting to fall apart. Poor sealing and joining, or a duct slung unsupported over a long stretch, can lead to stretching and eventually breaks and gaps. In this situation, you will usually need extensive replacement ducts.
  • Mold and other biological contaminants: The development of mold and microbacteria inside ducts not only threatens your indoor air quality, but it will also chew through the ductwork and lead to holes. You will have to have the ducts fixed and UV germicidal lights installed to eliminate the bacterial infestation.
  • Corrosion: For sheet metal ducts, corrosion is one of the major enemies. Excess moisture and aging can lead to corrosion weakening the metal until it starts to fall apart. You will need to have the damaged ductwork sections replaced.
  • Construction mistakes: During remodeling work, it’s possible for ductwork to accidentally sustain damage without you noticing it at first.

It often isn’t easy to notice that your ducts need repairs, especially for smaller leaks. You should look for uneven heating and cooling in a home, which will warn that insufficient air is reaching one of the rooms. Strange smells from the vents due to mold or dust is another common warning sign. Your air conditioner and heater’s behavior can tip you off: increased working stress and higher bills will result from faulty ducts.

Do not try to manage repairs on your own. (No, duct tape won’t do the job!) Call for ductwork repair service in Siesta Key, FL at Ultimate Air Conditioning. Our team has many years of experience handling ductwork replacements and repair, so trust to their work.

Reasons Air Conditioning Installation is Not a DIY Job

August 6th, 2014

Installing a new air conditioner may seem stressful, but there are actually many exciting options available for homeowners today that make purchasing a new system more rewarding. Many systems built today are far more efficient than systems built even five or ten years ago. This means your new AC unit may save you hundreds every year, and you can help the environment by choosing a system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Additionally, there are many exciting upgrades like zone control that allow you to adjust the temperature to different settings throughout the home.

However, these benefits come with a price tag, so many homeowners may try to save money by purchasing the components and attempting to install their new AC system on their own. If you attempt to do this, you may find tutorials online, or you may try to use the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide. However, most people are unequipped for this kind of job, and air conditioners are complex systems; one misstep may cause your system to fail long before its expected lifespan.

There are many components to air conditioning installation that require a qualified technician’s expertise. First, the air conditioner must be sized appropriately. If the unit is too large, it may short cycle and wear down the components of your system. If the unit is too small, you simply will not have enough cooling power. There are many calculations that go into determining the correct size needed for your home, including the size of the home, number of inhabitants, locations of doors and windows, and type of insulation.

Furthermore, your air conditioner must have the proper amount of refrigerant, and AC technicians are trained and qualified to handle this chemical blend. If your air conditioner has too much or too little refrigerant, your home may never reach the proper temperature or your compressor may fail.

Any loose part, missing bolt, or wiring error may cause an air conditioner to fail suddenly. Most homeowners simply do not have the tools or the know-how to do the job. For professional air conditioning installation in Sarasota, call Ultimate Air Conditioning today!