Upgrades for Your Air Conditioning in Palmer Ranch, FL

July 21st, 2014

One way to get increased performance and efficiency for your air conditioning this summer is with a brand new system. But what if your current system isn’t quite ready to retire? Thankfully, there are upgrades available for your air conditioning system in Palmer Ranch, FL, that don’t require purchasing a whole new setup. Upgrading to a new programmable thermostat can help you save energy, and adding zone control to your air conditioning system can make your family members feel more comfortable throughout the day.

Thermostat Upgrades

The thermostat is an important part of your AC system, but if you have a manual thermostat it may let you down. Manual thermostats are often inaccurate and it is sometimes difficult to set the dials and sliders exactly where you want them to be. Because of this, some homeowners may overcompensate, lowering the temperature and keeping the home cooler than you actually need it. Even one or two degrees’ difference can mean a lot of extra spending every month.

Digital, programmable thermostats have a clear display and can be set ahead of time, allowing you to save money by varying the temperature throughout the day. If your thermostat is not programmable, you may use energy using the AC when you’re away so your home is cool when you arrive. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature to come on thirty minutes before you arrive instead.

Zone Control

Another way you can save money every month is with a zone control system. If you have a large home and some areas tend to be unoccupied throughout the day, a zone control system allows you to raise the temperature or turn off the AC in those areas only.

During zone control installation, a technician installs dampers in the ductwork that open and close to adjust air distribution. Separate thermostats control each zone in the home, or you can use a master thermostat to control each zone, making family members more comfortable.

Ultimate Air Conditioning provides professional air conditioning services in Palmer Ranch, FL. If you’d like to save money every month on your bills and keep your family comfortable, give us a call today!

Sizing Your New Air Conditioner Properly

July 16th, 2014

Air conditioning during Sarasota summers isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Not only does your air conditioner remove the heat; it removes the humidity, which is a big part of our summertime days. Aging air conditioners can cause a plethora of problems, including lack of cooling, a decrease in indoor air quality and a need for constant repair work – all indicators that it may be time to consider the installation of a new air conditioning system to your Sarasota property. There are many factors that need to be considered when installing a new air conditioning system, and the very first one is determining what size AC you really need for your home.

What Happens With the Wrong-Sized Air Conditioner

While air conditioners come in multiple sizes, the bottom line is that an improperly sized air conditioner is either going to be too big or too small for your property. We’ll take a look at what happens in both scenarios.

Too Big

Many times, the thought with cooling is that ‘bigger is better.’ This simply isn’t true. Why? Your air conditioner removes both heat and humidity in order to cool your home. When you have an air conditioner that is too big and too powerful, for your property, it cools the indoors too fast. This leads to two problems: first, the humidity isn’t properly removed because your home is cooled too fast, leaving you with a cool but clammy feel to the indoor air; second, cooling too rapidly can lead to rapid cycling. Humidity holds heat; when the humidity isn’t removed, your indoor air heats up faster, queuing your AC to start cycling again. Over-cycling can lead to premature wear-and-tear on your system.

Too Small

Installing a system that is too small may seem like a hard thing to do, but it can happen when a full cooling load calculation is not completed. Installing a new air conditioning system based on square footage alone does not account for your home’s daytime heat gain, which can add 10-15 degrees to the interior temperature. As such, one of the main problems with installing an air conditioner that is too small is that it cannot achieve the level of cooling your home needs to be comfortable. To compensate for this, a too-small AC may run constantly, contributing to early aging and wear-and-tear on the system.

Sizing Properly

The main question that needs to be answered when determining what size air conditioner you need for your property is: how much cooling do you really need? To answer this, several factors need to be reviewed:

  • Levels of insulation throughout your home
  • Types of windows
  • Orientation of home
  • Floor plan
  • Number of occupants
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Square footage

Calculating these factors helps determine the cooling load for your home.

Call a Professional

The best way to ensure you install the right-sized air conditioning system into your home is to contact a trained professional. Since 1959, Ultimate Air Conditioning has been helping Sarasota residents with their air conditioning installation.

Call Ultimate Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to help you handle your new AC installation in Sarasota.

Why Does the Size of My Air Conditioner Matter?

July 10th, 2014

People may call Goldilocks picky, but she understood what some people can miss when purchasing an air conditioner: size is intrinsic to your comfort. Some people are advised to go by the “bigger is better” rule while others may underestimate just how much heat their property gains during a hot summer day.  So how does air conditioner size affect a given space? It depends on whether the system is too big or too small, but one thing is certain about either size: you most likely won’t be comfortable.

What Happens When the AC Is Too Big?

An air conditioning system is considered too big when the amount of cooling it offers is beyond what you need for your home. While this can seem like a small problem, one important thing to remember about your air conditioner is that it doesn’t just cool – it also dehumidifies. In fact, that’s the way your air conditioner cools your house: it removes the heat and humidity. This process doesn’t happen instantaneously; it takes time to properly remove the excess moisture from your indoors while also cooling. This leads us to the main problem when dealing with an AC that is too big for your home: it is so big that it cools faster than it can remove the humidity. The result? A home that feels cold and clammy, because the humidity levels are too high.

What Happens When the AC Is Too Small?

The best indicator an air conditioner is too small for the space it’s cooling is that the cooling is inadequate. Typically, an AC that is too small will either not reach the set temperature, or indoor temperatures can vary between warm and cold as the system cycles up and down. An air conditioner that is too small will constantly struggle to achieve the set indoor temperature, resulting in possible rapid cycling, overheating of components, malfunctioning and potential total breakdown. It will also induce a high level of wear-and-tear which can lead to premature aging. The bottom line is that no matter how hard you “push” an air conditioner that is too small, it won’t be able to do the job you want because it simply doesn’t have the power to do so.

Need Help Sizing Properly? Call a Professional

There are a number of factors that need to be calculated in order to understand exactly how much cooling your property will need to be comfortable. These calculations require a specific level of expertise and consideration of items that may not be obvious to those who don’t do this kind of work regularly, so it’s always best to work with a professional when considering the replacement of your air conditioning in Siesta Key, FL. Call Ultimate Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Ultimate Air Conditioning hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

3 Problems Caused by Ductwork Breaches

June 27th, 2014

The integrity of the ventilation system in your home is more vital than you may realize. Because most of the ductwork remains hidden from your sight behind walls and in ceilings and closed-off spaces, it’s unlikely that you give much daily thought to these important air channels that circulate air from your home, through the HVAC system, and back into your living spaces. But should breaches occur along the ducts, they can lead to serious issues that affect home energy efficiency, comfort, and health.

When you have breaches along your ducts, you need to call for repairs as soon as possible from specialists. Ultimate Air Conditioning offers professional ductwork repair service in Lakewood Ranch, FL ready to handle the damage to your ventilation systems so you won’t encounter any of these issues:

1. A Drop in Indoor Air Quality

One of the prime causes of a lowering of the quality of the air inside a home is contamination gathering inside the ductwork. When gaps open up along the ducts, the dust and dirt found in the confined areas where the ventilation channels run will start to enter the breaches, leading to a large spike in airborne pollutants. Even more problematic is the possible development of mold and bacteria because of breaches the open into dusty and damps places of a home. Unless duct breaches are repaired, they can lead to an increase in illness in your home and serious problems for allergy and asthma sufferers.

2. Uneven Heating and Cooling

The airtight seal along a ventilation system is necessary to prevent a drop in air pressure. Gaps can cause a lowering of pressure of almost 30%, and this means less airflow from the vents. Rooms in the house connected to damaged ductwork will experience a loss of heating or cooling because of the decreased airflow. Uneven temperatures are frequently an early warning sign that you may have duct breaches—and this isn’t something you want to continue, so call for repairs right away.

3. Elevated Utility Bills

The combination of decreased airflow and increased air resistance from contamination inside ductwork will make a heater or air conditioner work harder to compensate. You can expect to see an increase in your energy bills with ductwork breaches making the HVAC systems strain. It can also lead to unnecessary repairs and even and early system breakdown.

Repairing problems with your home’s ventilation system is vital for different reasons. When you sense issues with aging ductwork or notice an increase in power bills, uneven temperatures, or issues with air contamination, call for ductwork repair in Lakewood Ranch, FL from the trained indoor air quality experts at Ultimate Air Conditioning. We’ve served homes with comfort and healthy air since 1959. Contact us today and schedule your next service appointment.

3 Factors to Consider with Air Conditioning Replacement

June 20th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning installation, Lakewood Ranch, FL residents have plenty of options. Preparation is key when making an investment as large as a new air conditioner, and the more you know about the parameters involved, the better you and your technician can select the right air conditioner for your home. Here are 3 factors to consider with air conditioner replacement:

  • Power levels. The “size” of the air conditioner – that is, the amount of energy it generates – plays a huge role in its ability to cool your home. If it can’t generate enough power to cool the space, it’s going to do an inadequate job. But if it generates too much power. It will cool your house too quickly and cycle on and off rapidly throughout the day. (Air conditioners use exponentially more energy when turning on and off than they do while running, so this is not a good thing.) You need to balance the power levels of your air conditioner to match the size and heating retention capacity of your home.
  • SEER rating. Connected to that issue is the air conditioner’s SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures the comparative efficiency of the unit: that is, how much of the power it consumes actually goes into cooling the air instead of being lost to less-than-perfect operation. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy it needs to use to cool your home. Look for units with the highest SEER rating you can afford to help cut down on monthly bills.
  • Bells and whistles. Replacement is a good time to think about adding some improvements to the system. For instance, look into a new “smart” thermostat which you can program remotely from your app. Or consider a zone control system, which lets you tailor the temperature in each home. If you have room in your budget, think about making such additions a part of your installation.

For more factors to consider with air conditioning replacement, or to set up an air conditioning installation, Lakewood Ranch FL residents can call upon Ultimate Air Conditioning. We can discuss your options with you and help you find a unit that works perfectly for your home. Give us a call today to make an appointment!

How Professionals Detect Refrigerant Leaks in Air Conditioners

June 13th, 2014

Leaky refrigerant is one of the most common repair needs with air conditioning systems, but being common doesn’t mean it’s easy to repair. Refrigerant leaks can cause a great deal of problems, from icing to warm air, and because it’s a chemical closely monitored by environmental laws, refrigerant can’t be handled by just anyone. Lastly, refrigerant leaks can be tough to find because there are a number of places in which they can occur. This is why it’s important to have your air conditioning repair in Sarasota, FL conducted by a professional from Ultimate Air Conditioning.

Ways to Detect a Refrigerant Leak

There are several ways to test for an air conditioning leak:

  • Fluorescent dye – one of the most common ways HVAC professionals find refrigerant leaks is to inject your system with a fluorescent dye. Fluorescent dyes do not negatively interact with refrigerant; when injected into the system, the dye will leak where the refrigerant is leaking. Your technician will then use a black tracer light to detect any areas where the dye has leaked, giving the exact location of any current refrigerant leaks that need to be repaired.
  • Soap spray – if there is a good indication of the whereabouts of a potential leak, such as a hissing noise, a simple yet effective way of determining whether or not it’s a leak is to spray a mixture of water and dish soap on the area. If there is a leak, the area will bubble.
  • Electronic “sniffing” device – widely used by HVAC professionals, an electronic leak detector, also known as a halogen leak detector, detects the presence of halogen gas. The reason for this is that two of the compounds in refrigerant are chlorine and fluorine, which are both halogen gases. If a leak exists, these gases will escape. Using an electronic probe designed to detect these gases, the electronic leak detector will provide both audible and visual signals if/when it detects leaking halogen gas.

Think You May Have a Refrigerant Leak? Call a Professional

Refrigerant leaks can be serious business, which is why it’s best to call an expert should you suspect you have one. Even with the right equipment, refrigerant leaks can be hard to detect, and once the leak is found, it needs to be repaired properly; in addition, your system may need a refrigerant recharge. None of this work is for the untrained, so call technicians you can trust to successfully conduct your air conditioning repair in Sarasota: call Ultimate Air Conditioning.

How Faulty Condenser Units Cause Problems for Your Air Conditioner

June 6th, 2014

The central air conditioners found in homes are called “split systems” because they consist of two separate units, one housed indoors and the other outdoors. The indoor unit is called the evaporator, since the action of evaporation that absorbs heat from the inside air occurs here. The outdoor unit is called the condenser since this is where the condensation that releases heat to the outside happens. (With ductless systems, there are multiple smaller indoor units, but still only one condenser outside. Commercial buildings tend to use package units that contain both the condenser and the evaporator, placed up on the roof.)

The condenser contains vital components for the operation of an AC: the evaporator coil, a fan, and the compressor, the latter of which is the “heart” of an AC. When the condenser develops faults, it will create trouble for the whole system and put your indoor cooling in danger. Should you experience condenser problems and require air conditioning repair in Siesta Key, FL, call up the people who have cooled down the Sarasota area since 1959: Ultimate Air Conditioning.

Condenser Problems

  • Damage from the exterior: Because the evaporator is located outside, it can suffer damage from the elements on occasion. Infiltration of dirt, dust, gravel and stones, leaves, sticks, and sometimes even whole tree branches, can bend fan blades and interfere with the motors. This damage will need repair technicians to fix. To help prevent these issues, make sure to keep the region 2 feet around the condenser clear of obstructions and debris.
  • Compressor malfunctions: All parts of the condenser are important, but the compressor is the most vital and the one that you least want to have suffer faults. The compressor is the core of how an AC operates, since it supplies the energy to the refrigerant that allows it to circulate through the system. If the compressor doesn’t work, the air conditioner will not cool. A compressor can fail due to motor problems or overheating due to excess stress. Should a compressor burn out, it often must be replaced—and usually that means replacing the whole air conditioning system.
  • Fan issues: The fan in the condenser does the job of pulling in the warm outdoor air across the high temperature refrigerant in the coil, allowing the refrigerant to release heat, which the fan vents out of the top of the condenser. If the fan begins to slow down because of dirt contamination or trouble with the motor, it will limit how effectively the system carries out heat exchange, and the air conditioner will begin to lose cooling power.

You cannot open up the cabinet of the condenser and troubleshoot the repair problems on your own; this job needs the work of trained repair technicians like those at Ultimate Air Conditioning. Call our specialists as soon as you sense your air conditioner is losing the power to keep you cool this summer.

Common Thermostat Repair Issues in Palmer Ranch

May 30th, 2014

Although the thermostat for a home’s air conditioning and heating system may seem like a minuscule component compared to the workings of the rest of the system, it plays such a crucial role that even a small error in the thermostat’s operation can mean trouble for the whole comfort system.

Fortunately, the majority of thermostat repairs are easy to perform for HVAC professionals, although there are some cases where the thermostat must be re-installed or relocated, as we’ll explain. When you experience trouble with your heating or cooling that might stem from the thermostat, don’t open up the unit and try to troubleshoot the problem on your own. Instead, call Ultimate Air Conditioning for the necessary repairs for your heating and air conditioning in Palmer Ranch, FL. Whether it’s the thermostat or another component, we’ll take care of the necessary work for you.

Here Are Common Thermostat Problems That Need Expert Repairs

  • Miscalibration: The mercury sensor inside a thermostat measures the indoor temperature and adjusts the behavior of the AC accordingly. If the sensor develops a miscalibration, the same way a clock can start to run slow, it will have a negative effect on the HVAC system’s performance, leading to temperatures indoors that are either too hot or too cold. Professionals can make the adjustments to return the system to normal operation.
  • Wiring trouble: A thermostat is essentially a switch that runs on five wires hooked to the air conditioner and the heater. Each wire turns on and off a different function, such as the fan or the compressor. If any of these wires lose their connection, it will cause serious trouble for the system, and the problems are often mistaken for issues within the HVAC cabinet. Technicians will find the actual source of the trouble and make the necessary wiring repairs.
  • Poorly located unit: This is a trouble that comes from a bad initial installation. If a thermostat was placed where it receives excess direct sunlight, direct outdoor drafts, or is too distant from the center of the home, it will record “ghost readings” that do not reflect the actual indoor temperatures. A thermostat in such a position cannot work accurately, and repair technicians will need to relocate it to an ideal spot in a home.

Consider a Thermostat Upgrade

If you need thermostat repair, you should also consider upgrading the unit if it is an older manual or non-programmable digital model. Professional installers can assist you select a unit with increased precision and programmable features that will help your HVAC system perform better and save you money.

At Ultimate Air Conditioning, we have more than 50 years of experience with thermostats and how they can affect air conditioning in Palmer Ranch, FL. Make us your first call for repairs or to start the process of upgrading your home’s old thermostat. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

How Do Air Conditioners Lower the Temperature?

May 23rd, 2014

The way that furnaces raise the temperature of a home is something that most people understand easily enough: the furnace heats up the air through hot electrical coils or the gas jets from a burner, and then blower fans move the warm air through ductwork.

Air conditioners, however, are often confusing for non-HVAC specialists to understand. They blow out cool air from the vents, but how is this cold air created? Is it similar to the way that furnaces generate heat, only in reverse?

In this post, we’ll look into the operation of an AC and how the one in your home helps to keep you comfortable during hot weather. If you have concerns about the way that your air conditioning in Lido Key, FL is working, call Ultimate Air Conditioning and our experienced technicians will see that you receive the necessary repairs to protect your cooling.

The Secret of Air Conditioners: Heat Exchange

Air conditioning systems are unlike furnaces in almost every way except that both distribute higher/lower temperatures using blowers that send air through ductwork. Furnaces create heat, but air conditioners do not create cooling. Rather, they manipulate heat through a process called heat exchange, the moving of heat from one location to another. In the case of a home AC, heat exchange moves heat from inside a house to the outside.

The air conditioner carries out this process using a chemical refrigerant that can switch easily between liquid and gaseous state. The compressor in the outdoor unit of the AC squeezes the refrigerant to turn it into a high-pressure, hot gas. The gas enters the outdoor unit’s coil, where air drawn across the coil’s surface causes the release of heat to the outdoor. The cooled-down refrigerant then moves to the indoor unit, where the warm air from inside a house is drawn over the coil and the refrigerant absorbs heat. This air, which feels cooler after heat is removed from it, is what the air handler then sends through the vents to the rooms. The refrigerant, once again in liquid state, returns to the compressor to restart the process.

Because heat exchange depends on both absorbing and releasing heat, the indoor and outdoor cabinets need to remain in good repair. People often focus on the indoor components of an AC, but if the system loses the ability to properly release heat to the outside (due to broken fans, leaking refrigerant, or compressor issues) it will impair the cooling power of the air conditioner.

The complex nature of modern ACs makes them impossible to service and maintain without the proper training and tools. If you have repair needs for your air conditioning in Lido Key, FL, don’t open up either cabinet and attempt to fix it on your own, and don’t give the work to amateurs. Call up Ultimate Air Conditioning instead and rely on the many years of experience we bring to each job.