Winter Is Coming: Proper HVAC Maintenance for the Season

Winter Is Coming: Proper HVAC Maintenance for the Season

Florida winters may not be quite as brutal as in other states, but especially here in Northeast Florida, we can’t disregard the season as irrelevant… especially as it pertains to our homes. In fact, your HVAC system should have routine maintenance performed before the coldest of the Florida weather sets in, and you should also check on certain aspects of your unit on your own whenever possible. So, what specifically are you looking at?

  1. Check on your air filter
    If your air filter is dirty or in need of replacing, your entire HVAC system is likely to function improperly. And on the cold days where all you want to do is curl up on your couch under blankets with hot soup in hand, you’re not going to feel so keen on taking care of your air conditioning. Before the cold snaps decide they’re here to stay, check on your air filter now and, if the time is near (but not quite here) to replace it, contemplate buying a backup filter to have on hand later down the road.
  2. Check on your thermostat
    The last thing you need is for your thermostat to be in dire need of batteries in the middle of a cold night. Be sure your system is charged and consider setting your thermostat to a slightly lower temperature than normal in order to save money on your energy bill. Bundle up at night in order to compensate for the temperature difference and prevent your heat from blowing constantly!
  3. Schedule a routine inspection
    Ideally, you would have had a heating inspection performed at the start of the fall season. But if not, it’s okay! Just be sure to schedule one now in order to ensure that your HVAC system is in working order and will be running efficiently for the coming cold months ahead.

Preparing for winter is nothing to sweat about, particularly if you contact Bold City Heating and Air. You can rest assured your HVAC system is being checked and repaired by locally trusted professionals! Call us today to have your annual winter inspection scheduled today!

How Your Air Filter Gets So Dirty, So Fast

How Your Air Filter Gets So Dirty, So Fast

Ever find yourself breezing through your air filters faster than anticipated? If it feels like there’s more and more dirt just about every time you look back and blink, then it may be time to reassess both your unit and your strategy for keeping the air in your home clean. In fact, here are three of the most common reasons you may be struggling to keep your air filter clean for a given length of time:

  1. You have leaky air ducts
    Your ductwork is one of your first lines of defense against dirt and dust. But, if it’s leaking, you’ll start to notice a steady and regular accumulation of grime on your filter. Why? Because defective ducts actually pull dirt in from areas that are unconditioned in your home, like an attic or crawlspace, making it difficult for your filter to stay clean or function optimally.
  2. Your thermostat fan is always left in the “ON” position
    It’s a common misconception that leaving your A/C fan switched to the “ON” position keeps your unit functioning efficiently. Of course, this is problematic because you’re not only burning more energy (thereby increasing your energy bill) by leaving it running, but you’re actually keeping a steady stream of air flowing over your filter… nonstop. Therefore, you’ll actually want to keep your system fixed to the “AUTO” setting, which will both save you money and ensure that your HVAC unit only runs when necessary. In effect, less grime will build up because your air filter won’t be catching contaminants constantly.
  3. You have continual visitors and continual dirt
    The more people that cross the threshold into your home, the more dirt is being dragged in right along with them. Especially if they’re visiting with their furry loved ones, you never know what dust, dirt, dander, or fur may be floating around in the air! Try asking guests to leave their shoes at the door or take the time to learn more about what you can do to maintain healthy indoor air quality.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new filter, have routine maintenance performed on your HVAC unit, or you just want a proper inspection from a local company you can trust, be sure to call Bold City Heating and Air today! With quality workmanship and guaranteed satisfaction, we promise you’ll experience the bold difference!

Choosing A New Thermostat: What You Need To Know

Choosing A New Thermostat: What You Need To Know

You may not often need to do a double take to reconsider whether or not you need a new thermostat. After all, in comparison to all of the other parts of your HVAC unit that may need more immediate replacing, the thermostat can be rendered all but an afterthought. However, it may be time to purchase a new one if you’re upgrading your HVAC system or if your current thermostat doesn’t offer all of the features you want.

Moreover, thermostats tend to malfunction on their own once they reach the ripe age of ten years old, as not even this type of technology is immune to the defects that come with the passage of time. That being said, what should you consider or keep in mind when choosing a new thermostat?

To start, your first step is going to be hunting for thermostats that are compatible with your current HVAC system, or new system if you’re upgrading. Not only will the console need to fit your wall space, but it needs to match your system’s voltage as well as include the appropriate heating and air capacity. If you’re not sure what this looks like, be sure to contact your local professionals, like Bold City Heating and Air!

During this hunt, be sure to also consider the specifics. Do you want a programmable thermostat? A traditional, manual thermostat? Or maybe even a smart thermostat? In all, the level of control you desire over your unit is going to help you narrow down your prospective systems, so research the current market thoroughly and have an idea of what the ideal thermostat looks like to you.

Finally, always be sure to call for professional help when it comes to installation. Not only will this serve the purpose of making the whole process easier, but it will also ensure the safety of all parties involved. Plus, if your new thermostat is not installed properly, a variety of new problems will begin to pop up over time: HVAC malfunctions, continual repairs, higher energy bills, less control over your home, and more.

If you’re not sure who to call when it comes to finding HVAC and thermostat advice or maintenance, just contact Bold City Heating and Air! We’re a locally owned and trusted company, so call us today to schedule an inspection and experience the bold difference!

How To Keep Your Energy Bill Low During the Fall

How To Keep Your Energy Bill Low During the Fall

As we roll into October and the ensuing chillier months, we all want to keep our homes on the warmer side and our financial stresses on the cooler side. Of course, as the summer heat begins to subside, we’re presented with more opportunities to lay off the thermostat and keep our energy bills low, meaning it’s actually easier to save money than you might think.

For instance, one easy to way to make sure you’re not spending too much money during the fall season is to simply keep it cooler in your home at night. Not only will this keep your heater from running at inopportune and costly times but, as Jacksonville itself cools down, you’ll gradually be able to let nature do the work for you once the sun goes down. This way, you don’t have to touch the thermostat at all—your energy bill can simply dip with the forecasted low for the day.

In this same train of thought, be sure to take advantage of nature’s strengths during the daytime, too. Rather than raising the temperature in your house and pushing your HVAC unit to work throughout the day, throw back your drapes and open your blinds. The streaming sunlight will warm your house on its own and, again, you didn’t have to lift a finger or drop a dime in order to make it happen.

What will take a little more effort and attention, however, is checking your home for leaky ducts and weak insulation. Add weatherstripping seals and caulk to the edges around windows to prevent unwanted chilly air from seeping in or the coveted warm air from leaking out. Also check in on your ducts, as an ineffective duct system will cripple your HVAC system’s ability to function properly and can lead it to overwork itself and use more energy. Additionally, other “air leaks” around your home, such as around pipes or chimneys, will likely lead to a colder home, a higher set temperature, and therefore a higher bill.

Last but not least, it’s vital to have any HVAC maintenance performed prior to the start of the season. Ensuring that your HVAC unit is in working order and functioning efficiently is one of the simplest and most important ways you can save money during the fall, and Bold City Heating and Air is here to help you keep your bill down. Don’t be left out in the cold—call us today to schedule an appointment and experience the bold difference!

Dispelling 3 Common Myths On Cooling

Dispelling 3 Common Myths On Cooling

Fall may be upon us, but any native Floridian knows that the Sunshine State will remain a sweltering environment for several months to come. That being said, your efforts to keep your home cool will stay firmly in place until the temperature finally starts to reflect the season. And while you may have some preconceived notions on how best to stave off bills that rocket with the daily projected highs, we’re here to bust some myths that may actually cost you more.

MYTH:“If I switch my system back and forth between “OFF” and “ON,” I’m just wasting my money.”

REALITY: On the contrary—by leaving your system running to keep your home cool while you’re out and about, you’re actually running the risk of increasing your energy bills. Contrary to popular opinion, your HVAC system will not work harder or spend extra energy to cool your home back down if it was left in the “OFF” position while you were gone. Particularly when you’re away for extended periods of time, turning your HVAC system off when you’re not home will actually save you money and take little to no extra effort to circulate cool air again.

MYTH:“My home will cool down faster if I set the thermostat lower.”

REALITY: Simply put, your unit will take the same amount of time to cool your home down, regardless what temperature you set your thermostat to. If anything, your unit will run for longer periods of time—rather than faster—meaning you could actually lose money by trying to push it to act quicker. Moreover, you might waste even more energy and more money if you forget to change your settings back to your usual preferred temperature.

MYTH: “I can save money by closing the vents in the rooms I don’t use often.”

REALITY: By doing this you’re actually suffocating your HVAC system (thereby damaging it) and burning through energy (thereby raising your bill). This myth, in particular, is one of the most commonly believed and, by attempting it, you’ll be increasing the amount of pressure placed on your ducts by impeding your unit’s ability to “breathe out.” Your indoor blower may end up with damage, which in itself costs money, but you’re also forcing your HVAC system to work in an inefficient manner, increasing the amount you’ll have to pay for your energy bill.

If you want to know more about how to get your HVAC system functioning at its optimal level, be sure to call Bold City Heating and Air today. Schedule an appointment with us to learn how to save money on your bill and experience the bold difference!

What Temperature Should You Leave Your Central Air Conditioning On When Nobody Is Home?

What Temperature Should You Leave Your Central Air Conditioning On When Nobody Is Home?

What serves as the “best temperature” for your home is naturally going to vary from person to person. But, while we can’t tell you what the perfect temperature for you is, what we can do is tell you how to best save money on your energy bill when nobody is home.

As tempting as it may be to leave your HVAC system running cool for the entirety of your absence, this practice is actually inefficient and will cost you more money than you may realize. We understand, though, if you don’t want to turn your system off completely. To find the middle ground, you’ll want to factor in the outdoor temperature, whether or not you have any furry family members being left in the house, and when you plan on returning.

To start, match your thermostat setting to the outside climate, you’ll essentially be maxing out the efficiency of your system. For example, if the temperature outside is 82 degrees and you set your thermostat to 82 degrees, your AC will not be actively blowing cool air, but it also will never get any warmer than about 82 degrees exactly. Regardless of how long you leave your system on, it will not be consuming additional energy or increasing your bill.

That being said, just because there are no people left inside doesn’t mean there is nobody left inside. If you have a cat, dog, or other pet who will be at home while you’re out, and the projected high for the day is dangerous, you don’t want to burn out your four-legged family member by meeting the outside temperature. Set your system to a warmer-than-normal-but-still-comfortable temperature to prevent your animal from suffering heat stroke. In this case, safety overrides financial efficiency.

Finally, if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time and your house will be completely and entirely empty, you’re better off switching your system to the “OFF” position altogether and pinching every penny you can. If you know you’ll be back relatively shortly, however, simply raising the internal temperature for awhile will afford you some comfort while still saving a little more money.

If you have any further questions on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your HVAC system, contact Bold City Heating and Air today. Call us to schedule an appointment, check your unit for optimal use, and experience the bold difference!

Quick! What do I do when my AC unit has frozen over?

Quick! What do I do when my AC unit has frozen over?

Sometimes, winter hits your HVAC unit before it actually hits the state of Florida. But don’t panic! While we might not all be acclimated to handling the cold here in the Sunshine State, dealing with the frigid problems your HVAC unit faces doesn’t have to be so intimidating. In fact, the steps to prevent any further damage are simple.

To start, switch your unit’s thermostat to the “OFF” position. If you keep you keep it in the “COOL” position or simply keep it on, you run the risk of making the problem worse or, specifically, damaging your compressor. As the ice may be a result of too-cold refrigerant in your system, this will be your first step because it will prompt your unit to stop sending refrigerant to the compressor itself.

From there, be sure to switch your fan setting to the “ON” position to help the system defrost. You’ll want to leave it in this position for a few hours, depending on just how much ice has developed and covered the unit. If you have trouble dealing with how hot your home gets while waiting for it to thaw, we suggest running to the movie theater or meeting up with your friends for a couple of hours so that you yourself don’t have to melt with the ice while you wait.

During the process, however, you will want to keep an eye on the drain pan and condensate drain. Be sure the water doesn’t clog or overflow, and think about laying down some towels in the event that there is a leak from the melted water.

In many cases, this buildup may be the result of an air filter in dire need of changing. Once you have the unit properly thawed and dried, your next step should be to check the filter, replace it, and continue watching your system for a couple days to make sure there’s no reappearance of ice.

If your unit begins to freeze over again or your filter showed clean the first time, you’ll want to call a professional to take a look at your HVAC unit, and Bold City Heating and Air is here to help you avoid the feeling of an icy panic. Call us today to schedule an appointment and get to the bottom of your unit’s premature winter. Experience the bold difference.

Why One Spot In Your House Is Hotter or Colder Than Normal

Why One Spot In Your House Is Hotter or Colder Than Normal

At one time or another, almost all of us have to ask ourselves the question of why one room is either hotter or colder than the temperature permeating the rest of the house. After all, padding into one room knowing you have to be adequately bundled or even underdressed can be both uncomfortable and inconvenient. But if you’re wondering why you’re suffering through a temperature imbalance, we’re here to help you figure what you can do about it.

  1. Check Your Vents

    Did you close your vents? Many actually do under the misguided belief that they’re saving energy. On the contrary, closing your vents can produce pressures that force your HVAC unit to work harder, thus increasing your energy bill. Moreover, it goes without saying that, if you close your air conditioning vents, air will not be able to reach that room. As a result, that particular room will be at the whim of the seasonal weather. Particularly if your walls are not insulated, heat from the now-warmer spot of the house will actually leak outward, creating other pockets of warm space in your home.

  2. Check For Areas Vulnerable to Outside Temperatures

    If your windows or doorways are not properly sealed, they’ll likely let the heat or cold of the outside seep in, creating a space of varying temperatures within a room. Be sure to seal these areas with caulk or place thick drapes that help prevent temperatures from essentially leaking through glass as a means of insulating your rooms. Additionally, check for outside factors that may also work against your thermostat setting. For example, having a window that is consistently facing the sun in the afternoon will drastically change the temperature in that room, even if it is sealed properly.

  3. Determine If Your Layout Works Against Your HVAC

    Sometimes a room will simply not get the circulating air from your HVAC system if it is physically farther away from the system itself. Particularly if your HVAC system is improperly sized for your home, not every room will be able to receive the same air, resulting in rooms that maintain varying temperatures.

If you’re looking to return your home to a temperate and equal climate, don’t wait to find out what’s wrong. Call Bold City Heating and Air today to schedule an appointment and experience the bold difference!

How Does the Florida Humidity Affect Your HVAC, and What Should You Do About It?

How Does the Florida Humidity Affect Your HVAC, and What Should You Do About It?

Any native Floridian will tell you that the humidity is one of the main reasons the Florida heat can feel so intense and suffocating the moment you walk out the door. Going back inside is sometimes the only way to find reprieve from the oppressive weather, especially as air conditioning units are specifically designed to cool your home by removing moisture from the air. But, particularly as hurricane season goes into full swing and moisture seeps back in, how does the humidity affect your HVAC’s ability to function properly?

Put simply, an increase in indoor humidity will negatively impact your HVAC unit. This is because the more moisture there is, the more energy has to be expended in order for your unit to effectively cool the air. Therefore, not only will your energy bill go up, but you will also run the risk of overextending your unit and its evaporator coils. When you force your HVAC unit to work beyond its own ability, it won’t be able to function and the air in your home will more than likely continue to feel warm and uncomfortable.

To prevent this, there are a few different things you can do. For one, you can install an actual dehumidifier onto your air conditioner. This way, your HVAC unit has to work less to remove moisture, and temperature control and humidity control are controlled all in the same place.

Additionally, you can keep the fan setting on your thermostat in the “AUTO” position, not the “ON” position. This way, your fan won’t be running constantly; rather, the fan will not continue working between cooling cycles and your evaporator coils will have time to drain. In other words, running your unit on “AUTO” allows your system to run more efficiently and reduce your energy usage.

Finally, you should try to change your air filter regularly. As dust and dirt builds up in your filter, your unit will basically become clogged and ineffective in its attempts to remove moisture from the air. You can usually adhere to changing your filter every couple of months, though the more intense the humidity becomes, the more often you’ll want to check it.

Want to make sure your air conditioning is in peak condition before a larger storm or hurricane heads your way? Call Bold City Heating and Air today to schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure you’re all set to keep humidity out, optimal comfort in, and experience the bold difference.

Five Easy DIY Window Projects to Save Money on Cooling Costs

Five Easy DIY Window Projects to Save Money on Cooling Costs

According to the Department of Energy, heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25 percent to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use. If this is something you struggle with, it’s important to know that there are a variety of solutions that are both cost-effective and require little time to implement. Before you reach for your thermostat, try these five easy fixes first:

  • Purchase Blackout Curtains:

    Blackout curtains can help you keep your energy bill down year-round in that they help insulate a room in the winter and block out the hot Florida sunlight during the summer. If you happen to have extra fabric laying around the house, tailoring the fabric to meet the dimensions of a window is about as easy as it gets. Otherwise, blackout curtains and coverings are easily purchased from the store at a low cost.

  • Install Awnings:

    If you’re looking to block light from the outside rather than the inside, awnings are simple and traditional. Shade will be cast over your window and, depending on the material you choose, rays from the sun may be directly absorbed, thus keeping your house cool without lowering the thermostat.

  • Seal Off Unwanted Airflow with Caulk:

    You may not even realize just how much warm air is either leaking into or out of your home from around the window edges. A quick fix to stopping this unintentional airflow is caulk: a waterproof filler. Not only is caulk super inexpensive (think around $3 a tube), but it’s also easy to apply. Just clean the edges of your window, fill the caulk in at the joints of where the window meets the wall, and let it dry to seal.

  • Reflect the Heat With Window Film:

    Window films are great in that they afford you more privacy and literally reflect the heat, all without obstructing your view. Plus, they work well for the cold months—just like blackout curtains, properly applied window films help to keep in the heat when the chill starts to get to you, allowing you to keep your energy bill down regardless of the season.

  • Still struggling to cool down your home? Don’t sweat it. Call Bold City Heating and Air today to schedule an appointment and have all of your air conditioning questions answered. Experience the bold difference.