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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.

Why Should You Buy A New Air Conditioner If You Own an Old Home

Why Should You Buy A New Air Conditioner If You Own an Old Home

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average life expectancy of an HVAC unit is approximately 10 to 15 years. In this case, if your home is over 30 years old and you’ve never replaced your air conditioning system, then it is two times over its traditional “lifespan.” Even if your home is only in this 10-to-15-year window of time, you’re still more than likely due for a brand new unit. Not convinced or simply wondering why this is? Here are our top four most common and hazardous problems associated with old air conditioning units, ranging from bad to worst:

  1. Overall Cost:


    The older your air conditioning unit is, the more money will need to come out of your wallet in general. For one, maintenance will continue to cost more as your unit ages, not to mention the frequency with which it will need maintenance will increase over time. The more your unit ages, the more it will break down and the worse the break downs will be. Plus, your electric bill will likely increase as your old air conditioner demands more energy to function at the same level. Overall, a new air conditioner will likely cost less than extensive and repeated repairs.


  2. You’ll Suffer During the Summer (And Just About Any Other Month)


    Typical air conditioning aging involves one major nuisance: inefficiency. Any Floridian can tell you that the failure to keep air cool is entirely problematic during just about any and every month, and certainly nobody wants to find themselves sweating unexpectedly while indoors in the middle of August. Dirty filters, freezing coils, and low air flow will make it difficult for your unit to effectively cool down your home, and for your unit to fail you during summer could have adverse if not dangerous effects on your physical health.


  3. Refrigerant Leaks:


    Low refrigerant (otherwise known as Freon) is a general problem of outdated air conditioning units, and typically this will contribute to warmer airflow in your home. However, the older your unit is, the more likely it is that the refrigerant itself will actually start to leak. This type of leak may not be as dangerous to you as electrical issues, but it is harmful to the environment and can also cause permanent damage to your overall air conditioning unit if the leak is extensive enough.


  4. Old Wiring is a Danger to Your Home:


    According to the National Fire Protection Association, 14 percent of electrical house fires between 2007 and 2011 were caused by old wiring in HVAC units. Even when old wiring isn’t threatening to set your property on fire, it can still cause repeated electrical outages that are inconvenient at best and still dangerous at worst. Moreover, as this type of wiring is kept hidden within the unit, you won’t be able to see for yourself when there’s an internal problem. Replacing your unit isn’t just necessary for the sake of technological age, but for the sake of modern safety.


  5. Is your air conditioning unit in need of maintenance or replacement? Bold City Heating and Air is here to ensure that both you and your system are taken care of. Call us today to answer all of your questions, schedule an appointment, and experience the bold difference.

A Guide to deciding on a Replacement Thermostat

Are you looking for a new thermostat?

Regarding these 3 steps to finding a thermostat replacement:

  1. Choose the type of thermostat you want
  2. Be certain it works within your home and HVAC equipment
  3. Contact a professional to install it

Step #1: Choose the type of thermostat you want

There are 3 main types of thermostats

Manual thermostats

These are the most common type of thermostat and they are considered mechanical or non-programmable thermostats. You have manually to turn your HVAC on and off and control the temperature.

There are 2 types of manual thermostats for you to buy:

  • Digital, which use arrow buttons to control temperature
  • Analog, which have a dial to change temperature

Unfortunately, some models of manual thermostats cannot give you the exact temperature control. Some manual thermostats have about a +/- 3° differential, while other types of thermostats only have a +/- 1° differential.

Programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats are programmed to save you money on your energy bills. According to Energy.gov, programmable thermostats can save you up to $180 per year in lower energy bills.

For example, if your week consists of 5 work days for 8 hours, this means 40 hours every week you have the opportunity to dial back your AC or heating system to save you money. Yes you can turn your HVAC system off with a manual thermostat, but this means you’ll ultimately come home to bad temperatures.

A programmable thermostat can fix this problem by telling your HVAC system when to turn on/off and to what temperature. This way you don’t have to do it manually.

Here’s how it’s done:

If you leave your house at 8 am you can program your thermostat to automatically raise or lower your home’s temperature by 10° right at 8 am. This will allow you to set it to automatically return to better temperatures at 5:30 pm, so that the house is good when you return home.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are programmable thermostats that you can control from your computer, tablet or phone. This can allow you to adjust your home’s temperature automatically. They are the most expensive, but they have the best comfort features and save you money every month on your utility bills.

Comfort features you can find on some programmable thermostats are:

  • Touch screen displays
  • Voice instructions and notifications
  • Dirty air filter alerts
  • Multiple programmable schedules (weekday, weekend, vacation, etc.)
  • Schedule “learning” capabilities (where the thermostat learns your daily schedule automatically instead of you having to program it)

Step #2: Be certain it works with your home and HVAC system

After you decide which thermostat you need you’ll need to pick a particular model that works with your HVAC system.

To be certain a thermostat works with your system note it can work with:

  1. Your system’s specific voltage
  2. The location on the wall
  3. The # of heating/cooling stages your system has

#1: Check your system’s voltage

By your HVAC system being a low voltage, a millivolt, or a high voltage system you’ll need a thermostat that works with your system’s voltage requirements.

Most thermostats work with low voltage systems. An easy way to tell is if you have wall or floor heaters or an electric baseboard heating system. If you do then you have a low voltage system. They are after all the most common.

How do you confirm your thermostat works with a low voltage system?

Look at the specs on the thermostat box or manufacturer label, but if you’re online, look for the words “low voltage”.

#2: Make sure the thermostat fits on your wall

Remember that your new thermostat will fit in the exact same spot as your previous one. This way you won’t have to worry about rewiring it. This also makes your home zoned, each zone has its own thermostat, therefore you will need to purchase multiple thermostats.

#3: Have a professional decide the number of heating and cooling stages your system has…

The “Stages” are how many speeds your AC or heating system can run.

Your HVAC system will fall into 1 of the following categories:

  • 1-stage = the system works like an ON/OFF switch
  • 2-stage = the system works at a LOW/HIGH speed
  • Variable speed = the system can ramp up or down its cooling/heating levels depending on what is needed at any given time.

In the all run you will need to know if your thermostats wiring works with the number of stages your HVAC system has.

It is best to have a professional handle this for you since this has you read your current thermostat wiring.

Step #3: You should have a HVAC expert to help you install it

An improperly installed thermostat (due to a DIY attempt) can result in:

  • HVAC system malfunctions
  • Lowered comfort (improper wiring can even leave you without cold/warm air)
  • Expensive repairs
  • Unnecessarily high monthly energy bills

By hiring a professional this ensures that your thermostat will work with your system, and that you won’t run into any problems.

Do you need thermostat advice or an installment?

Give us a call. We’d be able to answer any questions you have or help you schedule an appointment with one of our techs to install a new thermostat for your home.

Is a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner Worth the Cost?

Is a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner Worth the Cost?

If you can swing the high upfront cost, then yes, most FL homeowners will find that
variable-speed technology is “worth it” when compared to single-stage/single-
speed ACs.

Note: The term “variable-speed” can refer to two different components in your AC: the
compressor and/or the blower motor. If you’re looking at an AC that’s labeled “variable-
speed”, be sure to ask a licensed technician or manufacturer which component(s) has
“variable-speed technology”.

Variable-speed vs. single-stage/single-speed units: How do they work?

Note: To be more specific, the terms “single-stage” and “two-stage” refer to AC
compressors, while “single-speed” and “multi-speed” refer to blower motors.

Think of single-stage/single-speed units as operating like a basic light switch: they work
at one level—HIGH, which means when they’re on, they’re going full blast at 100%
capacity.

Variable-speed technology works more like a dimmer switch: they can adjust to any
operating capacity needed.
In fact, variable-speed units can operate anywhere
between 10% and 150% capacity, making them much more efficient at keeping homes
cool in the summer.

Let’s look at how a single-speed/single-stage unit would handle the extreme
temperature versus a variable-speed unit:

  • Single-speed/single-stage AC: It turns on at full-blast, cools down your home
    quickly, and then shuts off. These short ON/OFF cycles repeat continuously,
    resulting in hot/cold spots in your home and inconsistent indoor temperatures.
  • Variable-speed AC: It initially blasts at 150% to cool the home quickly, but then
    automatically ramps down to 30-40% capacity once the indoor temperature is
    close to the desired temperature. At 30-40% capacity, the AC provides a slow
    and steady stream of cool air.
    This results in even cooling throughout the entire
    home and indoor temperatures that precisely match the set temperature.

Benefits of a variable-speed AC:

  • More comfort. A variable-speed AC’s longer run times and lower speeds means
    cool air is steadily pushed throughout the whole house to provide even
    temperatures. Longer run times also allow for better dehumidification.
  • Lower electric bills. The ability to ramp down in speed means that your AC
    uses only the lowest amount of electricity needed, meaning lower energy bills
    throughout the year.
  • Quieter operation. Since variable-speed blowers can operate at any capacity
    (not 100% all the time), they have lower decibel levels than other AC units.

The downfall: Variable-speed costs more upfront

The cost to install a variable-speed AC unit is about $4,000–$8,000 more than other
units. The total cost of a variable-speed AC installation is usually around $12,000 to
$16,000.

Fortunately, variable-speed technology isn’t the only factor that can raise the upfront
cost. In fact, the overall cost of an AC installation varies depending on many factors,
including:

  • The size of your unit
  • The efficiency you choose (SEER rating)
  • Features you add (like noise reduction or air quality features)
  • The contractor your choose

Are you on a budget? Try a middle-of-the-road option

If you can’t swing the high upfront cost of a variable-speed AC, but you want more
comfort than a single-stage/single-speed unit. Try considering one of the mid-range unit
options below:

  • Two-stage: If an AC is a “two-stage” unit, it means that the compressor—the
    part in the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant through your system—has two
    operating capacities
    (high and low).
  • Multi-speed: If an AC is a “multi-speed” unit, it means that the blower—the part
    in your indoor unit that blows cool air throughout your home—has up to five
    preset speeds
    (like a ceiling fan).

Two-stage/multi-speed units keep your home closer to the set temperature than single-
stage/single-speed ones, but still don’t offer as precise temperatures as variable-speed
units

Variable-speed vs. single-stage/single-speed units: How do they work?

Note: To be clear, the terms “single-stage” and “two-stage” refer to AC compressors, while
“single-speed” and “multi-speed” refer to blower motors.

Think of single-stage/single-speed units as operating like a basic light switch: they work at one
level—HIGH, which means when they’re on, they’re going full blast at 100% capacity.
Variable-speed technology works more like a dimmer switch: they can adjust to any operating
capacity needed.
In fact, variable-speed units can operate anywhere between 10% and 150%
capacity
, making them much more efficient at keeping homes cool in the summer.

Benefits of a variable-speed AC:

  • More comfort. A variable-speed AC’s longer run times and lower speeds means cool air
    is steadily pushed throughout the whole house to provide even temperatures. Longer run
    times also allow for better dehumidification.
  • Lower electric bills. The ability to ramp down in speed means that your AC uses only
    the lowest amount of electricity needed, meaning lower energy bills throughout the year.
  • Quieter operation. Since variable-speed blowers can operate at any capacity (not
    100% all the time), they have lower decibel levels than other AC units.

How to Unfreeze Your AC Unit Fast

If you see ice on your indoor or outdoor unit, it is a clear sign that there is something wrong with your AC unit.

The worst part is if you keep running the AC, you risk damaging the compressor— $1,495+ AC repair (more on that later).

With that being said, follow these steps to unfreeze your AC unit quickly:

1- Turn the thermostat from COOL to OFF

2- Turn the fan setting to ON

3 -Check your filter and replace it if needed. If the filter isn’t dirty, call a professional before turning the AC back on.

Note: These instructions will simply help your AC to unthaw but won’t guarantee the prevention of further damage due to falling ice chunks, water on controls, water damage, etc.

In this article, we will explain the rationale behind each of the steps above. We will also provide help tips that will prevent expensive water damage, or a busted AC unit.

Your AC is freezing up for a reason, and simply thawing out the unit won’t fix the root problem. If you want to solve the problem at the core, we can help. Just contact us.

Step 1: Turn the thermostat from COOL to OFF

With ice being on the AC unit this means the refrigerant, the liquid that cools your home’s air, is much colder than it should be. If that cold refrigerant is sent to the outdoor unit, it could kill your compressor. The compressor should only receive refrigerant in the form of a superheated gas – NOT a cold liquid!

Here’s the bottom line: Turning the thermostat from COOL to OFF stops your AC from continuously sending cold refrigerant to your outside unit (where your compressor is located).

During a healthy operation, your compressor should only receive refrigerant in the form of a superheated gas—NOT a cold liquid.

Do you want more in-depth information about why your AC is freezing up in the first place? Come check out our blog, “Why Is My Air Conditioner Refrigerant Line Covered in Ice?”.

Step 2: Turn the fan setting to ON

By turning the fan on it forces your AC’s indoor fan to blow warm air non-stop over your AC’s frozen coils. This will help the ice thaw faster.

Tip: Do not turn your fan setting to AUTO. This setting only runs the blower motor during a cooling cycle. Furthermore, you just turned the thermostat from COOLING to OFF, so your AC won’t be going through any cooling cycles.

Your AC blower motor pulls in warm air from inside your home, and blows it over the refrigerant coils that make up the evaporator.

How long will it take for your AC unit to thaw?

It can take up to an 1 hour or 24 hours to unfreeze your air conditioner. It all depends on the extent of the ice buildup.

As you’re waiting for the unit to thaw, you should keep an eye out for:

An overflowing drain pan. If you can access your indoor AC unit, you may want to put some towels on the floor surrounding the unit. This will help prevent water damage if the melting ice overflows the drain pan and leaks onto the floor.

A clogged condensate drain. As the ice on your evaporator coil thaws, the water will drip into a condensate drain pan, and then flow outside via a condensate drain line (a white PVC pipe). Sometimes dirt picked up along the way can form a clog in that drain line and cause water to backup and overflow. If you think you have a clog, please follow these steps in this blog to clear the condensate drain line.

Step 3: Check your air filter and replace it if needed

The most common culprit behind a frozen AC is a dirty or clogged air filter, so check your air filter as you wait for the unit to thaw out.

Pro tip: Check your filter as soon as you turn the thermostat to OFF. The longer you wait, the more likely the ice will melt onto your air filter and create a dirty puddle.

If your air filter looks identical to the filter below, then change it out for a new filter immediately.

Believe it or not a thin layer of dust or dirt on your air filter can cause major AC problems, so change it out even if the filter isn’t quite as clogged as the one above.

A dirty air filter suffocates your air conditioner. Also when your air conditioner doesn’t get enough warm air flowing over your evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside will colder and colder. Remember: very cold refrigerant coils + moisture in the air = ice.

Do you need help finding your air filter? If so check out our blog, “Where Is My Air Conditioner Filter?”.

You replaced your dirty filter, so now what?

Since you just replaced a dirty filter you will continue to wait until your AC has completely thawed out. Once your AC is unfrozen go ahead and turn the AC back on and run the air normally, but keep a close eye on the unit for the next couple of days.

More than likely, the dirty filter was the problem, but to be sure that there isn’t another issue watch for any ice returning on the AC lines. If you notice any ice forming or notice other AC problems, call a professional to inspect and diagnose your unit.

Step 4: Don’t have a dirty filter? Call a professional right away.

A dirty air filter isn’t the only problem that can cause a frozen AC, but it’s the only problem that you can solve on your own!

If you checked your air filter and it is completely clean, you have a more serious AC problem regarding:

-A refrigerant leak

-Dirt on the evaporator coil

-A weak or bad blower motor

-Stuck or closed expansion valve

-Collapsed duct

Any other number of AC problems you see ice on your indoor or outdoor unit, it’s a clear sign that something’s wrong with your AC unit.

Please do not ignore this problem, or you’ll continuously deal with a frozen AC and you will end up paying over $3,000 for a damaged compressor.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Blower Motor

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Blower Motor?


Are you in need of a blower motor replacement?

You’re probably wondering how much that will cost you, right? Well, the cost depends on a lot of factors, but we’ll give you a generic range to help you budget. The average cost to replace an AC blower motor on in Jacksonville ranges from $500 to $1800+.

We’ll discuss the 2 price factors that determine the cost of a blower motor replacement:

  1. Parts
  2. Labor

First, let’s take a look at what your central AC’s blower motor actually does.

What does a central AC blower do?

Your central AC blower, also known as the “indoor air handler fan”, is responsible for: pulling warm air into the AC system and pushing cool air through ductwork and back into your home. (So yes, it’s pretty important.)

Note: To be more specific, the AC blower is controlled by an electric motor which is housed inside the blower/fan. So when we say “blower motor”, we are referring to the two parts as one complex component.

The blower motor sits inside the “air handler”, also known as the indoor unit.

The important thing to remember is that your furnace and your AC share the blower motor. For instance, if you’ve been told that your blower motor is bad and needs to be replaced, this is technically an AC and a furnace repair in one, which helps put the overall blower motor replacement cost in perspective. Speaking of cost, let’s take a closer look at the 2 main factors that will affect the cost of your blower motor replacement.

Two blower motor replacement replacement cost factors

Two factors dictate how much you’ll pay to replace your indoor blower motor: parts and labor.

Cost Factor #1: Parts

Your AC blower motor is actually comprised of 3 main parts (listed below from least to most expensive):

  • The capacitor. The capacitor is a small cylindrical device attached to the side of the blower that helps the motor to run more efficiently.
  • The fan. Sometimes called the “squirrel cage”, this is the part that rotates to distribute air throughout the home.
  • The electric motor. This motor provides electrical power to the fan.

Sometimes, only one of these components needs replacement, other times all 3 need to be replaced. It just depends on the extent of the damage.

The size of your AC.

Your blower motor must be sized to be able to match the capacity of your overall AC system, so the larger your AC, the larger your replacement blower motor, and larger blower motors cost more.
AC are sized in “tonnage”, which refers to how much heat it can remove from your home in an hour. Residential ACs are typically anywhere from 1 to 5 tons. Are you not sure what size AC you have?

What kind of blower motor do you need?

There are 3 different kinds of blower motors (from most to least expensive): Single-speed, Multi-speed, and Variable-speed.

The important thing to understand is that if you’re only replacing the blower motor, you don’t have a choice in the type of blower motor you get. For example, if you currently have a multi-speed AC unit, you’re getting a multi-speed blower motor. What is the difference between these types of blower motors? It all comes down to how fast the motor rotates the fan. For example:

  • Single-speed blower motors can only work at 1 speed: HIGH (100%)
  • Multi-speed blower motors can work at up to 3 speeds: LOW (30%), MEDIUM (70%) and HIGH (100%)
  • Variable-speed blower motors can ramp up and down according to the level of cooling needed and can hit any speed between 0% to 100% Do you have a single-stage AC system but want to upgrade to a multi-speed or variable-speed blower motor?

Whether the parts are “OEM” vs “non-OEM” OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are typically more expensive than non-OEM parts.

Why? OEM parts come straight from the manufacturer and were actually designed to work with your specific AC system. These parts have also been tested for strength, safety, and durability. Keep in mind that using non-OEM parts for your AC repairs could void your AC warranty. So always ask your tech whether they provide OEM or non-OEM parts.

Cost Factor #2: Labor

How much you pay for labor depends on:

How many quotes you get

When you contact a professional to come out and inspect your blower motor for a quote, they will charge a “diagnostic fee”, sometimes called a “service charge” or “trip charge”. This fee can range from $50 to $150 and covers the cost for the professional to come out, inspect, and diagnose the problem. This charge does not cover the actual repair or replacement. The good news is that most professionals will waive this fee if you choose them to perform the repair or replacement. The bad news is that if you’re getting several quotes, you’ll have to pay a separate diagnostic charge for each quote.

The time of year

Here in Jacksonville, most HVAC companies will raise their labor prices during the hot summer months.That’s because techs are usually in high-demand during these times (ACs are more apt to break down when they’re overworked).

Accessibility of the blower motor

The location of your air handler affects how much you’ll pay in labor costs for your blower motor replacement. For example, if your blower motor is located in a hard-to-access place like in the attic or in a basement, you’ll pay more for labor. If the air handler is in an easy-to- reach location, such as in an interior closet, you’ll pay less for labor.

The professional you choose

Typically, higher-quality companies/techs charge slightly higher prices for repairs or replacements. What you’re basically paying for is more experience, higher skill and a job that’s done correctly the first time. With that being said, when vetting higher-priced HVAC techs/companies, make sure that they:

  • Have plenty of experience in blower motor replacements
  • Can offer 2–3 referrals from past customers
  • Offers upfront estimates in writing

Do you need a quote for your AC blower motor replacement?

Our fully-stocked trucks are located in neighborhoods all over the Phoenix metro area AND we offer free service calls with repairs.

Your AC Is Wasting $$$ Because of This Hard-to-Spot Issue

Your AC Is Wasting $$$ Because of This Hard-to-Spot Issue

The next time you’re tending to your backyard lawn, take a close look at your AC condenser (the outside unit).

Check out the tiny aluminum “fins” that cover the outside of your outdoor unit. Are most of those fins heavily bent or damaged?

If so, your AC’s efficiency may be taking a hit, which means: Higher energy bills and less comfort. To be fair, a few bent fins here and there is completely fine and they won’t impact your AC’s performance. We usually don’t see problems unless roughly 30% to 50% of the fins are bent or/damaged.

Do you think you have too many bent fins? We’ll gladly show you how you can straighten those bent fins. First, let’s take a quick look at why bent fins are so costly in the first place.

Why bent condenser fins = wasted money

Your AC condenser fins’ job is to help release heat that your AC worked hard to absorb from inside your home.

Your air conditioner doesn’t actually “create” cool air. Instead, it works like a sponge— it uses a special substance called refrigerant to absorb heat from inside your home and dump that heat outside.

Your condenser fins are there to speed up that “heat dumping” process. The fins soak up all of the heat that was collected from your home. Then, a large fan blows cool air over the hot fins to push the heat into the outdoor air.

However, if a bunch of those fins are bent, they will prevent heat from being pushed out of the condenser. This makes your AC work harder and longer to cool off your home..

Translation? A LOT of bent condenser fins mean you spend more money and get less comfort.

How do you fix bent condenser fins?

Unfortunately, condenser fins are very delicate. In other words, a lot of things can bend and harm condenser fins, including:

  • Weed whacking
  • Pressure washing
  • Surrounding foliage
  • Gardeners/landscapers
  • Twigs, hail, dirt, etc. picked up during summer storms
  • Dog urine


Fortunately, bent fins are relatively easy (and cheap) to fix—just buy a condenser fin “comb” or, you can ask your AC technician to comb them out for you.

You must remember this: a fin comb can fix bent fins but not damaged fins. If your fins are badly damaged, then you will want to ask a professional for a more suitable solution.

To prevent damaging your condenser fins, consider:

1. Building a protective gate/fence around the outdoor unit.

This prevents pets, debris, and gardening activities from damaging the fins. Though remember, the main job of your outside unit is to dump heat outside. With that being said, make sure the fence is 3–5 feet from the outside unit to give it proper “breathing room” to disperse heat.

2. Getting your AC maintained…every year!

During one of Bold City Heating and Air’s maintenance visits, our techs will inspect your condenser fins for any problems.

When inspecting the outdoor unit, if our techs see bent fins, they straighten them out right then and there.

If they notice the potential for future damage (i.e. surrounding foliage that’s growing too close to the unit), they’ll bring the issue up and advise you on how to prevent fin damage.

To prevent dirt build-up on the fins, our techs clean the outside unit to increase the AC’s efficiency

An AC maintenance visit doesn’t just prevent/fix bent fins, either. Our techs follow a thorough maintenance checklist to keep your AC efficient, your energy bills low, and your AC warranty valid.

Do you want to save even more $ every month?

Do you want to save even more $ every month?

We’ve got bad news! The average homeowner wastes a ton of money monthly due to leaky doors and windows. You are most likely no exception.

Leaky windows and doors let Jacksonville’s hot outdoor air leak right into your home, which then forces you to spend extra on air conditioning bills to counteract the heat.

Don’t worry! We have got a DIY trick that can stop hot air from entering your home—on the cheap side!

The $2 DIY fix? You will need a little bit of caulk.

We will explain how to check for leaky doors and windows, and then show you how to seal air leaks using this inexpensive DIY method.

How can you tell if you have leaky doors and windows?

The easiest way to tell that you’re losing cool air to leaky doors and windows is to see if you can see actual daylight around the door or window frame.

Heads up: If you don’t see any daylight you might still have leaky doors and windows. Sometimes the leak is too small to see light through the crack, but that doesn’t mean conditioned air isn’t leaking outside or that hot outside air is leaking indoors. Therefore, if you don’t see daylight around a door or window try the “incense test” below.

Steps to test for leaks using an incense stick:
  • Light an incense stick.
  • Hold the stick up against the door/window frame.
  • Watch the smoke. If the smoke goes anywhere other than straight up, you have a leak.

Do you have leaky doors and windows? Use some caulk to save $ every month.

If you’re not a “DIYer”, you can handle this task—promise!

First, you need a tube of caulk. They typically cost $2 for an average-sized tube of door and window caulk. You can find caulk at any local home improvement store. You should get a water-based foam sealant caulk. Once you have your tube of caulk ready, follow the steps below.

Steps to seal air leaks with caulk:
  1. Clean the window or door frame. Be sure the surface is clean and dry before you apply caulk.
  2. Cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45° to 60° angle. The “steeper” the angle, the easier the caulk will shoot into the crevices you want to fill.
  3. Squeeze the tube until a steady line of caulk comes out and slide the tip of the tube along all joints in the window frame (seen below), including the joint between the frame and the wall.
  4. Use an ice cube, or your finger, to smooth the surface of the caulk. The ice cube will melt to fit the indentation of the joint, so it will push the caulk into the right position.
  5. Let the caulk sit undisturbed for 24 hours to dry.
Do you want to save even more $ every month?

Don’t forget to have your air conditioner maintained every year! Getting your unit maintained regularly makes it more efficient, which means it saves you money in energy bills.

If you haven’t had your unit maintained yet, do so! Do not wait! We’ve already hit 90°+ weather, which means your unit will be running much longer throughout the day. Without regular maintenance your unit might not be able to handle the extra work, and end up needing expensive repairs.

Also, getting your AC maintained prevents a voided warranty. Some manufacturers will void your AC warranty if you don’t have it maintained once a year by a licensed professional.

Selling your home? Get your AC market ready

Selling your home?

Taking preventative steps will save you time and money.

Air Conditioning in Jacksonville

Preparing your home’s heating and air conditioning system is an important step to ensure a smoother transaction & minimize home inspection hick-ups.

 

 

Here are 10 tips to help you get your HVAC system market ready:

 

  1. Catch up on maintenance and cleaning your equipment

Check your maintenance records to see if your system is due for maintenance and cleanings. In Northeast Florida, air conditioners work relentlessly 10 months out of the year. To preserve the system’s major components, routine system maintenance is required twice a year to avoid breakdowns and expensive repairs.  Showing recent maintenance records will give potential buyers a piece of mind. After all, the HVAC system is the second most expensive repair after the roof.

  1. Check the thermostat for accuracy and functionality

Ensure your thermostat settings are working properly by cycling your system through all phases = cool, heat and auto while changing the fan setting to and from auto/on.

Also, check to see if the temperature reading is accurate. Often times, when thermostats are replaced, the opening behind it is not properly sealed and allows unconditioned air (from attic or outside) to corrupt the temp sensor resulting in inaccurate temperature readings.

  1. Code and safety compliance: breakers

Check to see if the amperage ratings on your equipment are matching the ratings on the dedicated breaker in your electrical panel.

Your indoor unit should be labeled as HEAT/Furnace and outdoor unit as AC/Compressor. Each must have a dedicated breaker with matching amp rating indicated on the equipment.

Example: If you have a 5KW heat element in your indoor units, it will call for a 30-amp breaker.

  1. Drain overflow device

Moisture sensors, or float switches, ensure that your home does not flood if the condensation drain line clogs up. It shuts off your system when your drain line backs up, preventing overflowing. Float switch has to be installed between the indoor unit and main drain line. If you have one, test it and make sure it work by opening the panel and lifting the float device.

Indoor units located on the ground level are required to have 1 sensor, however, units located in the attic or above first level are required to have 2 sensors: one at unit and one at the drain pan.

  1. Proper insulation (armaflex) on refrigerant lines

It is the black insulation tubing that covers your copper refrigerant lines. It protects the integrity of the copper and help the system retain the temperature of the refrigerant while it travels through the copper. Exposure to high temperatures, the insulation often hardens and loses its integrity. Check the insulation for rips, hardness and ensure that lines ar properly covered.

  1. Odor, dust, poor air flow

Check your vents for sufficient airflow, it needs to be even throughout the your home. Make sure your vents are fully opened and are not damped. The amount of air coming out of your vents should be even throughout your home. If you experience weak airflow out of a particular vent, notice dust or odor, it could be an indication of a damaged duct. Getting a video inspection of your duct system is generally inexpensive and highly recommended in this case.

  1. Check for mold and microbial growth

Our high levels humidity cause excessive condensation and sweating of refrigerant lines, coils and ductwork, exposing your home and system to potentially harmful growths such as mold and mildew. Inspect to see if there are any discolorations, marks or microbial growth on your indoor equipment and ductwork (including vents).

Signs of wet vents (condensation) is an indication of an air leak or excessive condensation due to improper insulation. However, most of the time it is an inexpensive fix.

  1. Filtration

Check your air filters, make sure they are clean and the correct size. A clogged filter will restrict air flow to your blower motor and puts extra stress on your compressor.

  1. Clear area around outdoor unit

The outdoor unit has a fan motor that keeps your compressor cool and prevents it from overheating when it’s working at full capacity. Often times, to make our yard prettier, we plant bushes or build partition walls to conceal the ugly air conditioner but this can a costly mistake that may lead to major breakdowns.

Allow your compressor to get proper air circulation by clearing all debris, plants and objects within 15 inches all around. Also, make sure that there are no leafs, debris, dirt or branches stick inside or around the fan blades.

  1. Move objects from air intakes

Allow your system to breath by ensuring that all (if you have multiple) return air registers are clear of any objects.

 

 

 

Bold City Heating and Air offers a wide range of services and products to help you get your air conditioning system up to date on maintenance and market ready. Feel free to give us a call at (904) 379-1648 if we can be at any help.

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Money Saving Tips To Keep You Cool

Here are some money saving tips for your air conditioning system. If your A/C quits working, check these items before you call an ac repair company:

Breaker:

Check your breaker panel to see if your breakers are on. Ensure that no breaker tripped

Filter:

Is it clean? If not, replace immediately. If wet, call an AC company.

  1. Proper filtration
    • Removes particles, dust and debris from your home
    • Protects evaporator coil, blower wheel/motor and air distribution system
    • Allows system to work at peak efficiency
    • Most common causes of breakdowns in summer:
      • Wrong filter size
      • No filter
      • Dirty filter
  2. Improper filtration leads to:
  • High electric bill
  • Extra wear on tear on the system(shortens lifespan)
  • Forces compressor to work in overload leading to burn-out and overheating
  • Iced coils – flood/water damage to drywall and flooring
  • High humidity (sticky feeling indoors)
  • Major component break-downs

Thermostat:

If your thermostat is blank, your drain line is clogged and triggered a safety float switch to shut your unit off.

Check your settings:

Your fan should ALWAYS be set to AUTO. Due to the high humidity in Florida, it is not recommended to have it on the “ON” position

Refrigerant lines:

Look for frost or ice on your copper lines. If you see any, shut your unit off immediately and call us at 904-379-1648.