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Beautiful table with thanksgiving food

Air Doctor is Thankful For You, Your Patronage and Your Support

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks. It has been our philosophy to measure our success not only in the work we’ve done for homeowners and businesses around the Tampa Bay area, but also by the friendships that we make along the way. And by that definition, we are blessed to have made countless new friends over the years.

This is the time of year to reflect and be grateful for all that we have. We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know you, our valued customers, colleagues, residents and business owners, who make this special community a place that we love to call ‘home’.

All of us at Air Doctor wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

ac-filters

Just A Reminder…

When was the last time you changed your AC filter?  If you haven’t done it recently (for example, within the past two months) or you can’t remember when you last changed it, it’s time to head out to your local box store & pick up a new filter.

Ideally, you should aim to change it monthly, but there are a couple of factors to to consider which can greatly determine how frequently you should change it:

  • Allergies: Are you an allergy sufferer? If so, you may need to change your AC filter more frequently, and you also may need to invest in some allergy friendly AC filters. Though more expensive, they will greatly reduce the level of allergens in your air, even if you have to change them with more frequency.
  • Pets: Pets mean hair and dander…and guess what gets caught in your AC filter? Multiple pet homes will need to be changed more frequently to maintain clean air quality and to keep your AC unit from working harder.
  • Frequency of usage: does your AC unit get heavy usage, or is the unit in a vacation or seasonal home? Keep in mind, the less you use your AC, the less frequently you’ll have to replace it. But for heavy usage homes, monthly to bimonthly replacement is necessary to keep your air quality high & your bill lower.

Remember these points, and if it’s been a while since you’ve last had a check up on your AC, call the MD for Your AC at Air Doctor to make a house call today!

 

thermostat

Should I change the temperature of my thermostat when I am not at home?

The short answer is yes, but be careful. What many people don’t realize is that your HVAC system isn’t just raising or lowering the temperature of the air in your house, but it is also affecting the temperature of your insulation. If you just turn your air conditioner or heater off every time you leave the house, then you can actually see an increase in your energy bill.

How is this possible? Simply put, it takes hours for your HVAC unit to penetrate the walls of your house – that’s the whole point of insulation! If you allow the outside temperature to infiltrate your insulation all day, then your air conditioner or heater will have to spend additional energy cooling or heating it back to your desired temperature. This can sometimes cost you more than if you had just set it a few degrees higher or lower before you left the house.

Here are a few tips to save money on energy:

  • In the summer, set your thermostat 5 degrees higher than your ideal temperature when you leave the house.
  • Only turn your system completely off if you are planning to be gone longer than 24-hours.
  • Buy an air conditioner with a high SEER rating, but realize that SEER isn’t everything.

Or instead of dealing with the hassle, get more efficient equipment or a Smart Thermostat.

In most US homes, over 40% of a household’s electricity bill is a result of air conditioning and heating, and in Santa Clarita, California and other arid climates it can be over 50%.

The ideal daytime temperature comfort range for most Americans is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  So setting your thermostat to the highest temperature in this range during the summer months is key to reducing energy costs.  Set your thermostat to 75 if you can handle it, or even higher if it is comfortable but don’t sacrifice your comfort.  At that point, why even bother having an air conditioner?

At night, the ideal temperature range for Americans drops to 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 87 degrees if you are my wife).  Don’t hesitate to lower your thermostat at night though, because your air conditioner actually works less at night than it does during the day due to lower outside temperatures and the fact that the sun is no longer hitting your house causing radiant heating.

Article: Source

ColorfulFireworks

Looking for Some Fourth Of July Fun?

We’ve Got You Covered, From Tampa to St. Pete!

Happy Birthday America!

Fourth of July celebrations in the Bay area seem to get a little bigger, louder and tastier each year. Here’s a sampling of some of the more popular events. However you plan to celebrate our country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776, be safe, have fun and leave the fireworks to the pros.

Florida Aquarium July 4 Celebration
Monday, July 4
9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

It’s going to be a red, white and blue weekend at The Florida Aquarium with dazzling fireworks displays, family-friendly entertainment, and an all-American themed dinner menu! Fireworks will take place at 9 p.m. The Aquarium will close at the conclusion of the fireworks show. (Source)

Temple Terrace annual Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks

Monday, July 4
Family Recreation Complex, Temple Terrace

The annual Temple Terrace Independence Day Parade will take place on Monday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will start at the corner of Whiteway Drive and Gillette Avenue. Evening festivities will start at 6 p.m. on the first fairway of the Temple Terrace golf course. There will be a variety of food vendors, live music and other entertainment. Fireworks will light up the sky at 9:15 p.m. (Source)

Tampa Red, White and Blue Fest

Sunday, July 3 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cotanchobee Park, Tampa

Bring the entire family and wear your red, white and blue for an evening of pure entertainment by the Tampa Riverwalk in Channelside at Cotanchobee Park. There will be live music by the Riverwalk, an “Southern Hospitality” food court and exhibits from local artists, jewelers and craft designers.
Admission is free. (Source)

Fireworks Across the Bay, Monday, July 4th

Watch the fireworks from most of the waterfront parks in St. Pete, starting at 9pm. Don’t forget to check the weather conditions, which may change the start time. This event is free!
Spa Beach at the Pier approach, 615 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg; (727) 893-7441

Red, White & Zoo Holiday Weekend July 3-5th from 9:30 – 5pm

In honor of Independence Day, members of the military (active-duty, retirees and veterans) and up to three direct dependents are invited to visit the Zoo for free July 4. The military member will need to show a valid military photo ID at the Zoo’s ticket counter. Admission for additional dependents may be purchased at a special rate of $15. VIEW MORE INFO

Here’s a link to all of the patriotic celebrations in the area by county. Have a fun, safe & fantastic Fourth of July weekend!

Photo: Source

Using Your AC to Beat The Summer Mugginess?

Then It’s Time To Get  AN AC Check Up Before Your AC Checks Out!

After the rains of Tropical Storm Colin swung through the Tampa Bay area, it has been unbearably muggy outside. That, stacked with the hydrologic cycle kicking in for summer has lead to heavy air conditioning use for many homeowners and small businesses.

Heavy usage means your AC unit will be more taxed than normal. If you haven’t replaced your filters, done a check of your drainage lines or a general  inspection for wear & tear, you could very quickly be headed for higher than normal energy bills, but even worse, a more expensive repair bill or a system replacement.

Save money, sweat & headache by calling for your seasonal AC check up from the Air Doctor. Get our 24 Point Air Conditioning & Heating Tune-Up, which covers all your heating & cooling inspection needs to insure that you’re comfortable, breathing clean air and most of all, SAVING MONEY during those times of heavy usage.

Call us at 813.891.9444 in Hillsborough and 727.821.1961 in Pinellas Country, or submit the handy form below and we’ll get you scheduled for an appointment with the Air Doctor today!

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why-is-my-air-conditioning-leaking

Why Is Water Leaking From My Central Air Conditioner?

No doubt with the mugginess hitting us this week, the Tampa Bay area is in the full swing of Summer. With these 90 degree temps and the humidity high, your air conditioning must be working overtime in those daytime hours to keep your home or office comfortable.

If you haven’t had a checkup this year, pay attention to minor leaking around or water stains on walls and ceilings inside your home near your central ac unit. It could be the tell tale signs of a serious problem developing, which can lead to damage to your ac or, depending on where your central unit inside your home is positioned, flooding, dry wall damage, mold or a collapsed ceiling.

If you’re starting to see problems form, there could be a number of reasons why water is leaking from you AC unit:

Clogged condensate drain line or rusted condensate drain pan

If the drain line gets clogged by dirt, insects, mold, or anything else, the water has nowhere to go but back into the home. (Some home’s have a secondary drain line but that may also be become clogged.)

Use wet-dry vacuum to suck out the obstruction from the outdoor PVC condensate pipe.

Also the root of the problem may be a dirty evaporator coil. The dirt will mix with the water and fall down into the pan, clogging the drain. Have a professional clean this coil annually as part of an annual AC maintenance visit.

Also, the drain pan may be rusted through and is falling onto the floor and causing  damage to your home. So you’ll need to replace that.

Note: Your air conditioner may have a secondary drain pan to catch the water. This pan has a float switch that turns off your air conditioner to prevent water damage.

Installation issues

If you have a newer air conditioner, the problem may be installation related. An improperly designed condensate trap will stop the condensate from draining. So all that water builds up in the drain pan and overflows into your home, causing water damage.

You’ll need a professional to examine the condensate trap to see if it has been designed properly and fix it if necessary.

Frozen evaporator coil

Open the blower door of your inside AC unit. Is the evaporator coil covered in ice? When that frozen evaporator coil melts there may be so much water that it flows over the drain pan and then onto the floor.

There are 2 common causes of a frozen evaporator coil:

  • Dirty air filter—A dirty air filter blocks airflow over the evaporator coil, causing the temperature to drop below freezing and ice up. Check the air filter and change it if it’s dirty.
  • Low refrigerant— Low refrigerant causes the evaporator coil to become much colder than normal, causing it to freeze up.

To defrost the evaporator coil, turn the air conditioner off. Then turn the blower from “auto” to “on.” The fan should melt the ice slowly enough for the drain pan to handle all the water.

In the meantime, you should call a professional AC repairman to check your air conditioner to make sure it’s is working properly and ensure nothing was damaged.

There are a few major reasons why this happens, but primarily this can be prevented with regular maintenance. Before you get too deep into summer, let the Air Doctor make a house call to stop unnecessary and expensive damage to your home and your AC unit. Call us today, or use the handy form below to get in touch with the MD for your AC:

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s Happening in The Tampa Bay Area This Memorial Day?

Next week’s Memorial Day holiday will once again offer an abundance of good food and good times around the Tampa Bay area. But of course, we won’t overlook the real purpose of the holiday, which is to remember the sacrifices that our service men and women have made for us. In fact, the origins of Memorial Day go all the way back to the Civil War when it was originally called Decoration Day, established to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed this in 1868 but it wasn’t fully recognized by all northern states until 1890. Initially, the Southern states refused to acknowledge the day, preferring to pay respects to their dead on separate days. After World War I, the holiday expanded its scope beyond the Civil War and became a day to remember all Americans who fought in any war.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate next week, here is a sampling of events for you to try:

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival featuring Blues Traveler: Saturday, May 28th

The 4th Annual Tampa Bay Margarita Festival is back and saltier than ever in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Over “21-ers” can choose from an assortment of 40+ margarita flavors while listening to the festive sounds of the band Blues Traveler. Plenty of delicious food options to indulge in too! Visit www.tampamargaritafest.com for ticket and festival information. All the fun begins at 1pm. But of course, please drink responsibly.

Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium: Saturday, May 28th

Once again the Sunset Music Festival returns to Raymond James this Memorial Day weekend. To see the DJ line-up and get ticket info, visit www.smftampa.com . There’s even an app to follow the fun. Just like last year, this will be an epic two-day electronic dance party beginning Saturday May 28th; gates open at 2pm.

Cheer for Tampa Bay! Bring the family and cheer for your team. The Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees at home over the Memorial Day weekend with games on Friday, 5/27th, Saturday, 5/28th and Sunday, 5/29th. Support our Tampa Bay Lightning hockey champs as they get one step closer to the Stanley Cup!! Click here for tickets and scheduling.

american-standard-air-conditioners

What’s The Right Variable Speed Unit For Your Home?


Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about the benefits of switching over to a variable speed air conditioner over a standard AC unit. Now we’ll get into what we recommend for your home.

Remember SEER rating? Your SEER rating is your Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio which measures how efficiently your AC equipment runs year round. As we mentioned, the higher the SEER unit, the more efficient the unit, the more you save AND the less your waste. The government mandates that all AC equipment has a SEER rating of no less than 13 at bare minimum, but there’s real incentive both financially & environmentally to purchase ac units and equipment whose SEER rating is much higher.

Air Doctor recommends switching over to the AccuComfort line of variable speed air conditioners from American Standard for a number of reasons. Aside from the fact that we’re an authorized Amercian Standard dealer, we became one for the unparalleled level of quality that American Standard instills in every unit it builds.

The AccuComfort variable speed line of units is a multi-stage system that consistently adjusts to find the most efficient speed to maintain your personal level of comfort based on your temperature. This speed efficiency leads to energy efficiency as well as annual savings on your electric bill.

The AccuComfort comes in both in a 21 and 18 SEER rating,  which means they’re super efficient, infact, some of the most efficient air conditioners on the market.

Nw only are they efficent, but now with American Standard’s 2016 rebates, you can save even more on both models! You can save $800 on 18 SEER and 1000 on 20 SEER rated AccuComfort. To take it a step further, you an get an additional  $100 for installing an Accuclean Whole Home Air Filtration System. Point blank, it’s the most effective whole-home air filtration system in the nation.

Cool air, lower electricity bills, energy efficiency, and rebates. In the heat of summer, when it’s muggy and hot, can you ask for anything more? Sure you can! Ask the Air Doctor for a home visit on the best model for your home. Contact us today for a consultation on the best variable speed unit for you and your family today:

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hot-temps

You Don’t Have To Sweat Over These Hot Temps!

Summer Temps are knocking on the door here in the Tampa Bay area. We had our first touches of warm summer temps over the past weekend, and you can feel the humidity start to build up, so it won’t be long before you start moving into higher usage months of hot summer time temps.

Our tip: now is the PERFECT time to get a check up. Why?

Heavy usage means your AC unit will be more taxed than normal. If you haven’t replaced your filters, done a check of your drainage lines or a general  inspection for wear & tear, you could very quickly be headed for higher than normal energy bills, but even worse, a more expensive repair bill of, even worse, a system replacement.

Save money, sweat & headache by calling for your seasonal AC check up from the Air Doctor. Get our 24 Point Air Conditioning & Heating Tune-Up, which covers all your heating & cooling inspection needs to insure that you’re comfortable, breathing clean air and most of all, SAVING MONEY during those times of heavy usage.

Call us at 813.891.9444 in Hillsborough and 727.821.1961 in Pinellas Country, or submit the handy form below and we’ll get you scheduled for an appointment with the Air Doctor today!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

American Standard Variable Speed

What Are The Real Benefits of a Variable AC?

Last week we touched on the benefits of switching over to a Variable Speed Air Conditioner Handler and why you may want to consider using it instead of a standard ac unit. On the surface, air quality, comfort and efficiency are buzzwords that are tossed around pretty casually when describing the benefits of many ac products, but in fact the details illuminate the true meaning of what a variable speed air handler can do for your monthly bills and home life. Angie’s List goes into great detail of what a variable speed unit means for you:

Peak efficiency: Remember that low-speed operation throughout the day? By some estimates, bypassing the full-speed operation of standard units equates to an approximate 80 percent savings in electricity, which you can confirm with a home energy audit. The air handler plays this unique role regardless of whether it’s winter or summer, which will help you lower your energy costs by reaching peak efficiency.

Lower noise levels: Standard handlers operating at full speed generate a lot of noise, but equipment with variable speed options doesn’t. This system is less noisy, and often cycles on so quietly you won’t even notice when it comes on.

Improved comfort: Near-continuous operation delivers more than just energy savings: Comfort levels get a boost, too. When an HVAC system starts and stops, the temperature variation in the average home can differ drastically when the system is running, compared to when it’s not. With a variable speed handler driving your HVAC system, the temperature in your home will hardly vary because it can keep a fairly consistent, uniform temperature throughout the home.

Better air quality: The more the air in your home passes through the HVAC system, and its air filter, the cleaner your air will be. You’ll have to keep an eye on the filter, and perhaps change it more often, but the net result is improved air quality inside your home.

Humidity control: In the summer, you rely on your air conditioner to dehumidify the air, a process that works more efficiently when the air conditioning system runs longer cycles. And that’s exactly what a variable speed handler does, creating a more comfortable home, with less humidity.

So what variable speed units do we recommend? Next week we’ll walk you through the  options we recommend when you’re considering purchasing upgrading your AC unit!

Photo: Source