FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Central Air HVAC Contractors, Florida
What if my Florida central air contractor isn't licensed or insured?In Florida, hiring an unlicensed heating air conditioning company can result in denial of insurance claims for injury or property damage. An inspector can require demolition of unpermitted work. Verify your Florida air conditioning contractors license at Florida DBPR.
Municipalities and counties may have other license requirements. AC installations and replacements as well as new structural duct work requires permits.
Make sure to ask your insurance agent about insurance documentation that you need to require from your Florida Air Conditioning Contractor. You can find Workers Comp data at Department of Financial Services.
Your Central Air was working fine last summer but now that you've turned it on again, the HVAC doesn't Work. Ask yourself a question:
If the answer is yes, there's a good chance that the Central AC company reversed the wires when working on the heat. Have the Central AC contractor come back and repair their mistake.
- During the winter, did you have any work done on the heat in your central air system?
A Central AC's 3 big maintenance items.1. Clean the outdoor condensing units with a garden hose make sure that the AC is turned completely OFF when you do this. A clean condensing unit helps for good airflow.
2. Clean your filter monthly. A dirty filter not only impedes efficiency it can break your central air conditioner.
3. Check the batteries on your digital thermostat. If the thermostat is mercury based, make sure that it is mounted straight on the wall.
What about the air conditioning warranty?1. Get both the Manufacturers and the Contractors warranties on the equipment and installation in writing.
2. The Manufacturers warranty should state how long your unit is covered and which of the specific components are included in the warranty.
3. Are they only offering a warranty covering the cost of the parts?
4. What kind of warranty is the Contractor offering on labor? 10 year parts and 1 year labor warranties are the norm but additional labor warranties up to 10 years are usually available for additional fees.
Make sure that bids from competing air conditioning and heating contractors are using the same specifications. Check referrals.
EPA says that half of all central ac units are not installed properlyNearly half of all heating and cooling equipment in U.S. homes never performs to its advertised capacity and efficiency due to incorrect installation, which means homeowners pay higher operating costs over the life of the equipment.
EPA reports that poor installations can also cost energy efficiency. What 7 HVAC installation mistakes can cause extra energy cost in Florida?
1. An HVAC system is too big for the space will waste energy and cause more humidity. The bigger the system, the more it costs to start the engine and the engine has to start many times throughout a day. An oversized unit will also cool the area so quickly that will not have run long enough to properly decrease the humidity a major problem during Floridas long summers.
2. An undersized air conditioner will remove plenty of moisture but will overwork.
3. Ducts are the wrong size. Ducts that are the wrong size cause poor airflow and noisy registers and grills.
4. If the layout of ducts and registers is poor, you may find that some rooms are always warm and humid, other rooms are frigid and some of the rooms are perfectly cool. However, in a multi-story building, you should expect it to take longer for the upper floor to cool. Hot air rises and the hot Florida sun beats down on the roof. It sometimes makes sense to have a separate HVAC for the upstairs controlled by its own thermostat.
5. The ducts must be well sealed.
6. Refrigerant needs to be appropriate. The wrong amount of refrigerant causes inefficiency and diminishes he ability to dehumidify.
7. Airflow needs to be appropriate. Too much or too little airflow wastes energy and is not confortable.
After installation, make sure that all rooms are evenly cooling. Just because a permit was pulled and the code inspectors final inspection found no issues does not mean that the installation was 100%. The municipal or county inspector uses a checklist and tests mechanical issues. The inspector probably wont test the temperature in all the different rooms.
How do I qualify for the $300 tax credit available for high ENERGY STAR rated HVAC?The minimum requirements in order to qualify are currently:
For a Split System, the SEER needs to be minimum 16 or the EER needs to be minimum 13.
For package systems, the SEER needs to be minimum 14 or the EER needs to be minimum 12.
The above numbers are subject to change. Ask your central air contractor if the HVAC that you are buying is eligible. If it is, you need the Manufacturers Certification Statement.
The Manufacturers Certification Statement can either be provided by the contractor or you should be able to find it on the manufacturers website. It is a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit.
Have your Central Air Contractor check these 21 items1. Condenser Coil Hose off and check.
2. Check all contactor points.
3. Wash or change filter.
4. Flush drain lines and pan.
5. Test drainage.
6. Check for appropriate refrigerant level.
7. Check capacitors.
8. Clean electrical cabinet.
9. Lubricate all moving parts.
10. Check ampage of blowers.
11. Check fan and compressor.
12. Examine blower wheel.
13. Check all electrical connections.
14. Make sure that float switch is operating correctly.
15. Inspect evaporator coil.
16. Check heat strips and safeties.
17. Check crankcase heater.
18. Inspect ducts for leaks, tangles and kinks.
19. Check connections between ducts and registers and returns for leaks.
20. If excess vibration, find cause.
21. Check thermostat.
Five Things to Check before Calling a Contractor for Central Air Repair1. Is the air filter clean? Make sure its not coated with dust.
2. Check the two breakers - for the indoor air handler and for the outdoor condenser.
3. Is the digital thermostat showing a blank? You might just need a new battery.
4. Is the thermostat properly set? If you arent sure about how to set the thermostat, check the instructions. If you cant find the thermostat instruction booklet, you might be able to find the instructions on the manufacturers website.
5. Is the bottom of the air handler icy or wet? If it is, turn the AC off for a few hours. If the filter is dirty replace it. Wash some vinegar and water through the drain line. The AC needs to defrost.
Six Facts about Air Conditioning and Indoor Air Quality1. US Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental risks to public health.
2. Over 20 million Americans have allergies to air allergens, i.e. hay fever.
3. An estimated 15 million Americans have asthma.
4. Kids are in general much more vulnerable to indoor air contaminants than adults.
5. Dust mites cause many allergic reactions that are often mistaken as flu, virus or common cold.
6. Mold and spores grow in damp space. Improperly insulated ducts and dirty air handlers that cause water condensation can be health hazards.
Top HVAC Brand NamesLook for these brand names when buying commercial or residential HVAC.
YORK by Johnson Controls
How Should my HVAC contractor determine appropriate size air conditioner for my property?Manual J is a protocol for determining heating and cooling requirements for a building whether commercial or residential. Manual J has been used for many years and is a standard in the HVAC industry.
Manual J takes into account:
Upon completion of the calculation, your central AC contractor can select an appropriate size AC unit.
- Average indoor and outdoor temperatures in summer and winter.
- Types of walls and insulation throughout the building
- Types of windows and doors
- Types of floors throughout the building
- Infiltration quality
- Presence of fireplaces
- Number of people using the building
What does SEER exactly mean?SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The Department of Energy minimum requirement is now 13 SEER. A 13 SEER costs about 23% less to run than a 10 SEER - in other words, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the HVAC unit.
Is your central AC over 10 years old?If your central AC is over 10 years old, you should probably have it evaluated by a professional central air contractor. If it isnt working well, you might want to replace it with an ENERGY STAR rated unit. In Floridas hot climate, an ENERGY STAR rated unit can save a lot of money per year.
But remember no matter how state-of-the-art your HVAC unit, if your ducts are leaking, youre probably going to continue to have high bills. First things first seal your ducts. See 10 ways to seal air ducts.