Category Archives: Heating

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How Chilly Is It In YOUR Home Today?

We’ve hit the coldest patch of weather that we’ve had in the Tampa Bay area this winter. Sure, a high of 58 degrees isn’t the balmy 21 degree weather that Chicago is experiencing today, but it’s still enough to get your heating running pretty regularly.

And tomorrow will be the same-with even more chilly weather expected before the month ends. If you haven’t had your heating unit inspected in the past year, isn’t now a good time to make sure your heating unit is running well?

Now’s the perfect time to get a  24 Point Heating inspection today on your heating unit for those cold nights to come. For just $49.99, you can be assured that your heating unit is not only running efficiently but  prevent unnecessary breakdown today and insure that your AC unit is also ready for those heavy use months for the coming summer.

Air Doctor specializes in air conditioning and heating repair services for all brands in Tampa, Clearwater & Pinellas, and we offer a number of fantastic seasonal specials as well as financing for new systems! Give us a call today at 813.891.9444 and in Pinellas at 727.821.1961 today to schedule an appointment for a free estimate on your AC maintenance today!

 

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Get That Heating Tune Up Now…Before It’s Cool ;)

Who doesn’t like to be a trendsetter? Sure, the Tampa Bay temps now are starting to dip a bit & we’re into a little milder weather, but November is only a couple of days away which means chillier temperatures are around the corner.

Is you heating system ready? Aside from changing filters & cleaning dust from the vents, when was the last check up for your eating unit? It’s time to get ahead of the curve-if you haven’t had a check up in the past year, it’s time to call the Air Doctor for your 24 Point Heating Check Up, which will get your heating unit running cleanly & efficiently all through the winter months.

Don’t wait until it’s too late-get that Heating Check Up today…before it’s cool!

Call Air Doctor today to schedule your check up at 813.891.9444 or 727.821.1961

 

Why You Should Get a Fall Tune-Up

…Even If You’d Rather Not Think About It

Welcome to the Autumnal Equinox…or at least as close to fall as we get in September in the Tampa Bay area! Yes, it’s a high of 89 degrees here in Hillsborough country, but the temperatures look to be slowly trending down in the coming weeks. Thought it may not be enough to dip into chillier temperatures, the time is coming.

We found a great article this week that we thought we’d excerpt about Fall AC check ups & how important it is to check it out now as opposed to when the colder temperatures inevitably come.

Let’s be honest here. Unless you’re an HVAC contractor, you’re probably not particularly interested in your heating system. And that may lead you to skimp on routine maintenance.

But…if you really want to think about your heating system as little as possible, then routine maintenance is exactly what you need.

According to a study conducted by the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, 9 out of 10 HVAC system failures are caused by dirt and dust. That means that if you hire a professional to clean and service your furnace, and you change your furnace’s air filter once a month, you are 90% less likely to have a breakdown this year!

This, of course, is terrific news for your budget. Not only will you save by minimizing the possibility of a major repair, you’ll also increase your heater’s efficiency, which means lower energy bills this winter.

And that means more money for that new car, the kids’ college tuition, or (just maybe) your dream vacation.

But even better than that, routine maintenance leads to peace of mind. You’ll have less hassle, less worry, and a lot more time relaxing cozily in your house, doing whatever you want to do, while your heater minds its own business in your basement.

So, now that you’re persuaded…what routine maintenance do you need?

You should get an annual tune-up/inspection every year. A good furnace tune-up will include:

  • Checking the thermostat to ensure that the settings are comfortable and energy-efficient
  • Checking all electrical connections, motors, and controls
  • Lubricating the blower bearings and blower motor as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Cleaning dust from the blower compartment
  • Testing air flow
  • Checking vents, drafts, and flues
  • Inspecting the condensate drain (if the system includes central air)

Then, there are a few simple things you should do yourself.

  • Make sure nothing flammable has been stored next to the furnace over the summer (weed whackers, lawn movers, gas cans, etc).
  • Give the outside of your furnace a good dusting (also, dust the areas near it).
  • Test your heater for a few minutes while it’s still warm out (like in early September), to make sure that it’s working well on the first cold day. Also, you can comfortably open the windows to disperse that unpleasant “first time” smell.
  • Make sure that your thermostat is set in the heating mode when heating season starts. Just setting the dial above room temperature won’t activate the heat if the system is still in AC mode.
  • Change/clean your air filter regularly, especially during heavy use seasons (winter and summer). You should replace disposable fiberglass filters, and wash electrostatic or electronic filters, at least every three months, and more often if they look dirty. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool (a waste of energy). A clean filter will keep dirt and dust out of your system, increasing its longevity and reducing the need for expensive repairs.

Everything on the list above should take you about half an hour a year, in total. That’s a pretty minimal amount of time in exchange for months and months of worry-free operation!

PS. Everyone is suddenly interested in their heating system if it’s the first cold night and their furnace doesn’t work. This is not the time to schedule a tune-up. Do it now and beat the rush!

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Even Though Winter Feels Far Off…

Here are 5 things you should do now to prepare for the coming cold nights!

Even though we live in Florida we know that this winter’s cold fronts will bring some chilly nights. Although we don’t often get below freezing it can feel much colder. The following steps, taken now, can improve the chances that your heater won’t let you down this winter.

Step 1 – Try your heat before you need it. Switch your thermostat to the heat mode and set the temperature below the room temperature. Within a few minutes you should hear the blower come on and feel the heat. If you don’t, call an authorized service company before the first cold night hits.

Step 2 – Change your filter. Although most of us change our filter once per month if you haven’t now is the time to do it. A plugged filter is especially dangerous when the heater is on. It can block the flow of air and in extreme cases cause a fire.

Step 3 – Change the batteries in your thermostat. This should be done once per year and now is as good a time as any.

Step 4 – Make sure that the bushes and leaves are at least 12“ away from the outside unit (condensor). This unit needs to breath to be able to provide heating or cooling.

Step 5 – If possible on your AC pour some diluted vinegar in the drain line. Most installers leave a place to do this. Just pour a quart of water with a few ounces of vinegar into the PVC drain to get rid of the slimy algae that tends to clog up the drain and stop the unit from working.

We recommend that a qualified HVAC technician perform a seasonal maintenance. This should include visual inspection of the wiring and ductwork, check of the freon levels, overall performance checks and measurement of the amp draws for all electrical motors. This maintenance service is the best way to assure reliable, safe performance even in the coldest of weather. Call the Air Doctor at 813-891-9444, we offer a comprehensive seasonal maintenance for only $49.95.

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The Nose Knows When It’s Time!

With a few week’s worth of high temps in the 60’s & lows in the 40’s and 50’s in the Tampa Bay area, you may be running the heater a bit more than usual. Maybe you’ve been feeling a little fuzzy & sneezy with the heat on, which may be an indicator that you’ve got to change your filters.

It could also mean there’s some dust, dander and allergen build up in your  AC duct system.

No one thinks about the importance of duct sanitizing until it starts affecting you, but if you have had it done within the past 5 to 7 years as dictated by industry standards, then it may be time to consider getting it done.

Even more to the point, you may have signs around your home that are pointing towards the need for duct cleaning.  Here are a few points to look for:

  • Increase in energy bills – when excessive dust and dirt line the inside of your ductwork, they can restrict the air flow in your system. This restriction forces your heating system to work harder; as a result, it uses more energy.
  • Noticeable amounts of dust in your home – is your home getting dustier even though you regularly clean it? The excessive dust from your ductwork has a direct route into your living spaces and can accumulate on furnishings.
  • Increased allergies/cold symptoms – are you seeing a lot of extra sneezing and coughing in your home? The dust and contaminants from your dirty ductwork may be causing irritation for those in your home, particularly the allergy sufferers.
  • Strange odors – do you notice unpleasant smells coming through your vents when the heat comes on? There may be pollutants in your ducts, and unless it is removed and your ductwork cleaned, it will continue to flourish.

If you’re starting to see the signs, don’t hesitate to call Air Doctor at 813.891.9444 and 727.821-1961 to help determine the best steps for your Duct Cleaning needs.

Last Weeks for Our Winter Web Specials!

The New Year is fast approaching, which means Air Doctor’s Winter 2014 Web Specials are almost over! If you’re noticing the heater just isn’t keeping your home as warm as it used to, or you haven’t inspected your heating unit in some time, it’s time to give Air Doctor a call!

Call Air Doctor today & Mention the code “Warm14” to receive:

  • A FREE Service Call with Repair
  • FREE System Replacement Estimates
  • FREE Second Opinions

And with the chilly months fast approaching, now’s a great time to use our 24 Point Heating Tune Up Special, Only $49! Get a FREE SERVICE CALL with ANY Repair, and get A FREE DUCT SANITIZING with the purchase of a Year Long Maintenance Plan.

Call Air Doctor in Tampa 813.891.9444 and Pinellas at 727.821.1961, or Contact Us Here!

What’s that SMELL?

By Jim Lucker Owner, Air Doctor
By Jim Lucker
Owner, Air Doctor

After a hot, humid summer in Florida when we first turn on the heat many of us are greeted by a bad smell. Sometime this is a burning smell when other times it’s a humid moldy smell. While it is not wise to ignore these things, most of the time it is nothing. If you are experiencing this, and it lasts more than 15 minutes you should arrange to have a qualified Air Conditioning and Heating company check it out for you.

Over the summer the air handler is exposed to hot humid air which it cools off and sends back into the home. This air can carry mold spores or pollen which can end up colonizing on the heater or interior portions of the air handler. When you first turn on the heat this material starts to bake off producing a bad smell. Usually it will bake away by itself. In extreme cases it can cause a fire inside the air handler.

Sometimes a biocide treatment will be enough to get rid of the smell. This is a treatment that is fogged into the ductwork and air handler. This treatment destroys small colonies of bio growth and continues to make the interior of the system inhospitable to regrowth. This type of a treatment ranges from $150 – $200.

Usually in the worst cases, a qualified AC Service person can remove the interior components (coil, heater or blower) and clean them. They are then reinstalled and the machine will run and smell fine. This coupled with a biocide treatment will usually resolve the problem.

The best way to resolve this problem is enroll in a routine maintenance program. These programs include regular scheduled checkups where a technician will go through your system making sure that it is operating efficiently and cleanly. During these checkups problems can be averted and growth spotted when it is easy to get rid of.
In the worst case, the air handler must be replaced. Usually this is when it is old and beyond cleaning.

Remember, keeping your AC clean and operating efficiently is the most effective way to lower your electric bills and avoid premature replacement of the system. Find a trustworthy AC company to assist you in these efforts.

Air Doctor is a proven and trusted service provider in the East Lake area and has been replacing systems for more than 20 years. For more information or a free system replacement estimate, please call 727-821-1961.