Tag Archives: installation

Your HVAC Connection: Space Heaters

5 Feb


As the cold fronts blast in and out of Florida like an undecided whirl wind, most residents are finding themselves oscillating between hot and cold on a daily basis. Many will be toggling their air conditioner between cool and heat, often two or three times a day. As you can imagine, this might have an impact on your electric bill. In fact, it could send it skyrocketing, depending on what kind of system you have.

Just a few days ago, we heard from one of our valued customers… as you may be in the same boat, let’s take a look at Leon’s situation:

After the first month of truly cold weather, Leon noticed his bill increased dramatically, and he called in to find out what could be the cause. What it came down to was a fundamental misunderstanding of how different systems work.

I explained to Leon that while he once had a gas furnace, he now has what is called a Straight Cool System. This means that the only source of heat is located in the air handler inside the home. This source of heat is called a heat strip, made of coils that heat up, much like a toaster.

The alternative to this, the heat pump system, works differently. This system reverses the flow of refrigerant and warms the refrigerant that passes through the copper by extracting heat from the outside air (there are also types that extract heat from the ground and water).

Energy Insight: While this kind of heat is not always as warm coming through the vents, it is a more efficient way to heat a home. Heat strips use up to 3 times as much energy as heat pumps. Leon discovered this the hard way. His question then was whether or not he should use space heaters instead. Good question… if you asked me.

It comes down to this: If you live alone, in a small home or apartment, and you just want enough warmth to get by in one room at a time, then a space heater may be your best option. A space heater could get you through these chilly days and nights just fine. Especially considering the fact that the cold fronts come and go the way they do and flipping between Heat and A/C is best to avoid if at all possible.

Then again, perhaps you give the professionals a call to discuss your situation. After all, not all systems and homes are built the same… Who knows, maybe you could be saving money without risking your comfort. All in all, it’s worth the research.

If you have any questions about your specific heating arrangement, feel free to give us a call at 321.972.9935 or visit us at http://www.ACNotWorking.com and we’ll help you figure out what’sright for you.

From your professional HVAC team, keep warm, informed, and save money,

Rikki Payne
Your Licensed A/C and Heating Connection
Serving Greater Central Florida


Your HVAC Connection: What to look for before you call

23 Jan

Last Thursday, Ronald in Casselberry called us to come have a look at his system, which did not seem to be working. After a few questions, we figured out what was going on and were able to walk Ronald through a troubleshooting exercise to get his system back up and running. Not only was the air finally flowing again, but we were able to save Ron time and money.

It’s true that with air conditioning systems, a small issue can actually look like a very big one. Before panicking, understand that there are trivial things that, when ignored, can make your entire system shut down.

Protect yourself: If a little thing happens, make sure you know enough to not get ripped off.

If you are not using the professionals at Tropical Air of Central Florida, make sure that when you call your A/C company, they do not automatically assume you can’t resolve the problem yourself. Unfortunately, there are HVAC companies in the Central Florida region who take advantage of customers, creating expenses where none should be.

Questions are meant for your HVAC service personnel to understand the situation before making a decision that will involve time and money on everyone’s part… don’t be a victim!

Be Prepared: Keeping a few minor things in mind can empower you to work toward the best call of action with your service technician.

To aid in your preparation, here is a basic list of questions typically asked if you were to call Tropical Air of Central Florida. Keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive as your unique situation and our conversation may affect the line of questioning.

Is your system running at all?

This, obviously, is the most basic starting point. The truth is your air conditioner doesn’t have to be comatose to have problems. It’s best to establish, first and foremost, if your system is getting electricity and at least trying to do its job. Once established, more insight is required…                                                                                                                                                    

  • YES – We will then need to know if it is meeting temperature. You’ll need to note what you have set your thermostat to do versus what it is doing. We may ask you to feel the air coming out of the vents, as that alone can narrow the issue down.
  • NO – This may lead us to ask if you’ve tried to flip the breaker or noticed any other electrical problems. We will possibly guide you to the drain line by your air handler to see if it’s clogged.
  • ONE IS AND ONE ISN’T – Depending on which unit is working, we might steer our questions a bit toward the broader realm, because this could mean several different types of issues with either unit.

      When was your equipment serviced last?

  • Unless we are your go-to for HVAC, we’ll need to find out the history of the system. This can either rule out situations we were considering or it may bring up new ones we have not yet thought of.

      How often do you change your filters?

  • Of course, we have to ask this. As we’ve discussed in a blog or two before, changing your filters regularly is key to having a system that operates up to its potential. While there are other factors involved, and this may not be the current issue you’re dealing with, it is possible to have caused a more serious issue had the filters been neglected for some time.

By no means is any HVAC issue hopeless. Nothing is.

In Ronald’s case, we were able to work together to solve a problem over the phone, saving him valuable time (and of course, money). Where ever you go for your HVAC needs, just remember that your knowledge is your power. With a little preparation and awareness of some of the factors we’ve mentioned here, you can partner with your A/C company to meet your needs without unnecessary investments or the feeling that you were a victim.

In this regard, even if you choose another HVAC company for your needs, feel free to give us a call for a free second opinion… after all, a little more information may save you from spending thousands of dollars.

We’d love to hear from you!                                

Keep cool and informed,

Rikki Payne
Your Licensed A/C and Heating Connection
Serving Greater Central Florida

Your HVAC Connection: SEER Rating Savings

10 Jan

Over the holiday break, I received a call from Ted in Apopka asking how he can be sure that the unit we are installing for him will be more efficient than the one he has now. After a few minutes summarizing home dimensions, air flow, and his priorities, the topic of the SEER rating came up. Not surprisingly, Ted said he knew nothing about it.

We continued to speak about SEER ratings and, in no time at all, his complete confidence resurfaced as he knew he was in good hands and we would keep him cool.

Considering most of our guests are like Ted and unaware of what SEER ratings mean and its impact on your home (not to mention your wallet as well), read on to knowledge and savings! On a side note, even if you don’t go with Tropical Air of Central Florida for your cooling and heating needs, feel confident the information presented will empower you and guide you to the best option.

The standard measure of air conditioning efficiency during a “normal” annual cooling season is called SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This, as evidenced by its acronym, will tell you up-front how efficient your system is.

How does this information empower you? Glad you asked… When you are shopping for a system, remember: The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency. It’s that simple so don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. When you add up the savings, it’s difficult to ignore the difference a higher SEER rating can make to your comfort and wallet.

Added benefit: Higher SEER ratings have such an impact on the efficiency of your home that you may be in a position to earn tax credits and rebates from power companies, just for upgrading. All this is great news for Ted as he will be receiving a great system (ideal for his needs) at a great price AND a sizeable rebate from his power company for changing from a 12 SEER system to 15 SEER system.

To establish the many advantages to upgrade to a high SEER system, let’s take a look at a visual aid:


The savings chart makes it pretty clear that you can save up to 50% on your annual energy bills. Another way to look at it is to compare the life cycle A/C operating costs among different SEER ratings. Did you realize that the higher SEER rating, the less you will be paying out for operating costs (on average). The Life Cycle Air Conditioning Operating Cost displays the huge savings:


Certain Ted will be pleased with his new unit, his cost savings, and his rebates, I encourage you (and your friends) to consider an A/C upgrade of your own.

As always, we’re here to help you stay connected with information, enabling you to make decisions that will keep you comfortable while saving money. If you have any questions about the SEER rating on your system or other comfort questions, give us a call any time.

Keep warm, informed, and saving money,

Rikki Payne
Your Licensed A/C and Heating Connection
Serving Greater Central Florida