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Alert to all HVAC Florida Rebate Qualifiers

I have just come back from vacation to find out that the HVAC Florida $1500.00 Rebate program has been put on hold.The explanation seems to be that the funds were not properly appropriated and has to be reassigned to the proper distributing fund.This has nothing to do with the Federal Tax Credit of $1500.00 which is going on till the end of the year.When they will have this resolved is anybody’s guess.But if I was to guess I would think that it would take place within a month because the money has been given to Florida from the Federal government to produce jobs,save energy and help people with the cost of the equipment.We will be contacting the Legislature to get this done quickly and recommend you do the same.

In the meantime, we are recommending that if you need a new HVAC system you move ahead with your purchase,get your paper work in order and mailed so when the program is started you are already in line to receive your rebate check of $1500.00.

This program has a limited amount of funds $15,000,000.00 and when its gone its gone or if the program is not instituted the funds go back to the Federal Government and I don’t know why the Florida Legislature would want that to happen.

So stay in touch we’ll keep you updated.

Lets talk Florida HVAC rebate $1500 and Federal Tax Credit $1500 for the Tampa Bay area

I just had to let you Know whats going on now to the end of the year.

Rebates!! Rebates!! Tax Credits!! Tax Credits!!

There’s not too many times that we could tell you that there’s all different entities trying to help you pay for a new high effeciency HVAC system. Here are links for two of them:

There are also factory rebates!

An example would be the Trane $1000 rebate for high efficiency systems.

Another is the Power Company rebates ranging from $125 to $350 depending on what equipment you need to replace.These also change depending on the Power Company in your area.

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to pay any of this money back.So has there ever been a better time to:

  • lower electric bills

  • get 10yr warrantys

  • reduce your carbon foot print

  • have someone help pay for your system

Hope this helps you out, but these offers don’t last long, so don’t wait or you might miss out!

Lets Talk Air Conditioning condensate lines [drain lines] in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz and Riverview

So why should I be concerned with the A/C condensate line? What do we need to know?

1.In Florida [a very high humidity state] after some time without a maintenance program algea will start to grow in the air handler’s condensate drain pan and if left too long, mold will start to grow. This growth begins to clog the drain pan, clogging the entrance to the drain line causing the drain pan to overflow. More often than not, this algea flows into the drain line and the drain line clogs up first and than the drain pan overflows. There are times you may notice water on the floor next to the air handler or worse dripping from the ceiling if your air handler is located in the attic and worse yet your ceiling caves in because of the water overflow.

2.To keep the growth of algea mold from growing algeaside tablets or packets are used for slow release in the drain pan when you have a maintenance performed on your A/C system. This condensate water in the drain pan which is now treated, will flow down the drain line and keep the drain line clear. Homeowners who are do-it-yourselfers can mix a pint of bleach with a gallon of water and poor it into the drain pan to help keep algea from growing. Other drain related problems that occur but are not as common are;

1. Absence of a p-trap. This p-trap is needed to prevent air from being drawn through the drain line and holding too much water in the drain pan causing pan overflow or the blower pulling condensate water from the drain pan and spraying it on the inside of the air handler causing the air handler to prematurely rust out and/or grow mold.

2. Double trap of the drain line. If you have a p-trap on the drain line and because the drain line is run wrong it can cause another trap in the line. Air could get caught between the traps and cause an air block at which time water stops flowing and the drain pan overflows. Sometimes the drain line is hung horizontally for some distance and over the years starts sagging causing a second p-trap. Sometimes these problems are difficult to diagnose but a good service company should find the problem.

NOTES: Mold spores sometimes cause eyes watering, asthma symptoms, allergies and headaches. When your drain line goes to the outside of your house it should be a minimum of 12” from the foundation per code. We hope these explanations help you out and keep you dry.

‘Till next time keep cool from your friends at Air Masters of Tampa Bay.

What Happens During an A/C Maintenance Inspection of Your Air Conditioning System

When we talk about inspections it starts with the office. They call to confirm that the customer is home and the approximate arrival time of the technician.When the technician arrives he should be in uniform to identify himself and the company,He then should ask for the location of the equipment and if they are having any particular problem that they can look at during the inspection. Now for the inspection!

1. He sets the thermostat on cooling or heating depending on the mode of operation they want so they can check out system running conditions.

2. Check return air filter or filters, this is based on return air duct design and if they are clogged you can not not get the proper readings needed to diagnose the system.

3. Wash out outside condenser coil with garden hose.This is done because dirt and grass clippings accumulate on the coil causing blockage to airflow and shorting the life of your equipment.

4. While disassembling the outside unit, the technician is checking wiring,capacitors, contractors, connections for wear and tear and all around condition of unit,that is any rusting,oil spots that could identify a problem starting.

5. After he puts the unit back together, he checks the outside disconnect for burnt wiring and poor electrical connections.

6. The technician then goes to the inside unit and checks condition of evaporator coil and drain pan for a dirty coil that might have algae build up on it or mold.He also looks for those same conditions in the drain pan.The reasoning for this is that in Florida you have very high humidity and with the cold temperature of the the evaporator coil making moisture (condensate) it lends itself to producing mold.Which can cause allergies, eye irritation and possible asthma attacks.He than cleans out the drain line adds algaecide tablets in drain pan to reduce the chance of algae clogging up your drain line.

7. While unit is open he also checks wiring,capacitor, relays and contractors. Makes sure blower wheel is clean because if it is not clean it reduces air flow shorting the life of your equipment.He than looks for any rusting and oil spots that could identify a problem starting.

8. After he puts unit back together he checks the inside disconnect for burnt wiring and poor electrical connections.

9. Now that both sections are together and there isn’t anything that we know of restricting air flow we can check the operation of the air conditioning and heating system.

10. We then check amperages of the compressor and fan motors.The auxiliary heat strip of a Heat Pump,the heat strips of a Straight Cool with Electric Heat.With Gas Furnaces we check ignition,burner,flame,controls and safety controls.With Oil Fired Furnaces we check oil filter,oil pump ignition,flame,controls and safety controls.

11. Now unit has stabilized we check refrigerant pressures based on refrigerant charts that show what the pressures should be depending on the metering device.Expansion valves we use the sub cooling method and with flow control orifices we use the super heat method.

12. Now that the unit has been diagnosed a report is filled out with the items checked and any recommendation that would be needed to bring unit up to proper operating condition and provide the most energy efficiency.

I hope this helps you in under standing what goes on when you are having your Air Conditioning and Heating system serviced.Do have a reputable company service your unit there is a lot to check.Ask a friend or relative who has had good service or the BBB or Angie’s List these are good third party advocates.

Lets Talk A/C Maintenance Agreements in Riverview, Tampa, Brandon and Temple Terrace

Reasons you need a Maintenance Agreement

1.If your equipment is under warranty, the manufacturer has the right to refuse honoring the warranty. In their agreement it states that the equipment has to be serviced at least once a year by a Certified Air Conditioning Contractor in order to uphold the warranty.

2.It increases the life of your equipment. For example if you don’t change the oil or air filter in your car, the life of the car will be cut in half and could cause a pricey major break down. Your air conditioning equipment is no different. If you don’t change your air conditioning return air filter and keep your condenser coil clean [outside unit] it will increase the chance of a major break down and reduce the life of your equipment. I’ll talk about why in a later blog.

3.It keeps your unit running efficiently. I would say the energy saved by ensuring peak efficiency will pay for the cost of your maintenance agreement over the year.

4.If a part needs replacing, the mechanic can do the repair while they are there, saving you the cost of an emergency breakdown and the inconvenience of a second visit. Sometimes though, the part is a special order part that would need to be brought in, but that is the exception and not the norm.

5.In Florida the humidity is high and it is hot. Your air conditioner runs about 50% of the time if it’s sized correctly. It also produces a high amount of condensate water that needs to be drained from the unit. This line has to be cleaned out at least once a year if not twice a year to keep the line clear of algae buildup and prevent it from clogging up..

6.This may be the most important reason and the one most people may not agree with me. Actually only 10 to 15% of people with central air conditioning have a maintenance plan. However, that relationship provides you with a company that knows your equipment so they don’t need to be shown around all the time. The company will know the history of your system. At Air Masters of Tampa Bay we give priority to our maintenance customers over customers who don’t have agreements. We also offer you a discount on parts that customers without contracts do not get.

I’ll be talking about what the contractor should be doing on the inspection in my next blog.

Lets Talk About Mismatching Air Conditioning & Heating Units

When selecting the air conditioning and heating equipment needed to provide the comfort and energy savings that is listed on either the condensing unit [outside unit] or the airhandler [inside unit] the two pieces need to be matched per the manufactures recommendations.If not you will not get the performance you were told. That is SEER rating or BTU rating.

A study done by the Alabama Energy Commission concluded these results:

1. Up to 40% reduced capacity[BTU’s] in cooling meaning system may not be able to keep up with thermostat setting.

2. Up to 8% reduced capacity in heating resulting in strip heat coming on earlier.

3. Up to 40% reduced efficiency in cooling resulting in higher power bills.

4. Up to 60% reduced efficiency in heating resulting in higher power bills.

5. System charging becomes critical since the charge might seem correct for one condition but flood on another.

6. A thermostatic expansion valve will not solve the charge problem for all cases since the sensible heat and subcooling can change dramatically with conditions.

All off these situations will result in numerous service calls and most likely the only way to resolve it is to replace one of the units to match the new piece of equipment.

The reason this has become so critical now is the high efficiencies of the new piece of equipment that everyone has to install. So when you want or your contractor suggests changing out a single piece of equipment don’t do it! It does not match your old unit. So when you purchase the equipment make sure the model and serial number is on the contract so you can check it. And like we’ve said in our other reports, make sure the contractor pulls a permit for your own protection.

P.S. Remember! R22 refrigerant is no longer allowed in New Equipment. R410 is the new refrigerant – another reason to be concerned about replacing one piece in a system and winding up with a bad mismatch.

Lets Talk Residential HVAC Permiting for Brandon, Lutz, Tampa and the Hillsborough County Area

Why should the home owner have the Air Conditioning/Heating Contractor pull a permit?

First, it is County code that a permit be pulled when changing out Air Conditioning/Heating systems. If a permit is not pulled you are breaking the law.You are taking the chance that your contractor may not have a valid license and the system may not be installed correctly. So when a permit is pulled, what’s in it for you?

The contractor has to have a valid HVAC license. This also means he has liability insurance and workers comp insurance that protects you from being sued if the worker gets hurt on your job.

When the job is complete the city or county sends an inspector at a predetermined time window. The homeowner agrees that they will be home. When the inspector arrives he makes sure that the equipment the contractor said they were going to install is correct. That means the equipment is not mismatched and will meet minimal federal guide lines and deliver the efficiency the contractor said the equipment would deliver. Then he checks to see if the equipment is installed per code. At the air handler, which some people call the inside unit, they check to see that it is hung correctly. That means the air handler is level so the condensate will drain from the unit. Is the duct work attached to the air handler correctly? Is the auxiliary drain pan installed correctly with a cut off switch to shut the unit down if the condensate line backs up? Is the air handler accessible for a technician to service it? Is the condensate line run correctly and is it insulated across the attic per code? This prevents condensation from dripping on the ceiling and causing mold and spots to appear on your ceiling well after the installation. The inspector then goes to the condensing unit, which is also called the outside unit. They check to see if the condensing unit is installed correctly, that it is mounted on the proper slab and tied down with hurricane clips per code. Is it the proper distance from the property line and proper distance from a main electrical panel or gas tank? Is the condensate line run correctly outside? Is the disconnect properly mounted and has the correct wiring? They then go to the main electrical panel and check to see that the correct circuit breakers are installed. If every thing is installed per code he signs off on the job. If he finds a violation, he red tags the job and the homeowner is given a slip of paper as to the violation and the contractor is notified to correct the violation. When the violation is corrected, the inspector then comes back out to verify that the job is complete.

With all the things the inspector checks for it’s certainly in the homeowners best interest and the contractors for piece of mind and legalities that a permit be pulled.

A couple of things to look out for:

  1. Is the contractor subing out any of the work? Why should that matter? If they are not employees of the contractor they may not be licensed, which means they would not have insurance, which means you would be responsible if they got hurt or did any damage to your home.
  2. What kind of rating does the contractor have with the Better Buisness Bureau? If there are many complaints or they do not resolve their complaints, they get a poor rating like a C or below.

Lets talk heating with Heat Pumps and the defrost cycle

What happens when a Heat Pump goes into defrost and why!

A Heat Pump may go into defrost when you turn on your heat. Instead of the refrigerant cooling your house down the refrigerant heats up your house. In the cooling cycle heat is absorbed from your house by the refrigerant and discharged to the outside by your outside unit. In the heating cycle heat is absorbed from the outside air and discharged into your house by the inside unit. In the heating cycle as the temperture decreases outside your unit works harder and harder to absorb heat from the outside air and at around 40 degrees your outside unit starts to form ice on the outside coil. At a predetermined time your outside unit senses that there is too much ice on the outside coil and the unit goes into defrost cycle. At this time this is what happens. The refrigerant cycle reverses and goes into the cooling mode. The outside unit shuts the outside fan motor off and the outside coil starts to defrost at the same time the auxiliary heat strip comes on to temper the cool air coming out of the grills. As the outside coil is defrosting you may see steam coming off the outside unit. Some people think this is smoke and their unit is on fire,not so! The defrost cycle lasts 30 to 45 minutes and when the unit sensors sense the ice has melted the unit then reverses into the heat mode, the condenser fan motor starts and the auxiliary heat goes off. Now if the unit in the heat mode can not keep the house warm as the temperature drops outside the auxiliary heat comes on to help the heat pump maintain inside house temperature. If after a period of time the unit does not hold temperature in the house you may need to get more heat capacity for your house. This is the time you call for a heat load specialist to come to your house and do a heat load calculation to determine how much more heat is needed to make your house comfortable.

Florida Air Conditioning Company Receives Contract to Complete the First LEED Platinum Certified Portable Classroom

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) April 8, 2008 — Air Masters of Tampa Bay, Inc. has begun a new project in the bay area. They are working in conjunction with Hillsborough County Charter Schools and Charles Girard Construction to install the first 100% Outdoor air unit for a portable classroom. This charter school has received large amounts of attention in the past due to it’s unique mission.

“We chose the AHU-70-Ton customized air conditioning unit from Munters Moisture Control Services (MCS) because it provides humidity and temperature control with 100% outside air. Helping the children of Learning Gate breathe easier and reducing the number of sick days was of the utmost importance to us” states Beverly Bosley, President of Air Masters of Tampa Bay, Inc. Studies have proven that indoor air quality leads to improved concentration and a safe environment for learning.

“This is another one of the new initiatives that we have launched as the market veers away from new construction” said Philip Gonsalves, Vice President of Operations for Air Masters. “Several of our new programs cater to health conscious companies that want to take their commitment to the next level.” Air Masters was a featured vendor at the Health and Fitness expo at the Tampa Convention Center and is launching numerous programs designed to promote the importance of individuals and public entities to “Go Green”.

Air Masters of Tampa Bay, a twenty five year old company with decades of success is located in Historic Seminole Heights. President Beverly Bosley is one of Seven Female licensed Mechanical Contractors in the United States. For more information, contact Air Masters at 813-234-2419 or visit www.AirMasters.net.