Maintain Balanced Humidity in Your Clearwater Home
If your Florida home has felt too warm lately despite the air conditioning, it could be due to an unbalanced level of moisture in the air. High humidity levels in the home can not only cause discomfort by making the occupants feel warmer than need be, it can also contribute to home damage and unhealthful indoor air quality. To regain a more balanced humidity level in your home, there are a few simple steps to help get you started.
Locate Excess Moisture
Consider having a home energy audit conducted by a certified professional. This audit will access nearly every aspect of your home’s energy efficiency including humidity levels. High humidity levels in the home can often result in creating mold, especially in the bathroom, kitchen or plumbing system. Consider adding exhaust fans in these areas if you don’t have them. Also, purchase a hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity, which should be between 30 and 50 percent.
Seal Air Leaks
Condensation on the windows is a good indication that it’s time to seal air leaks. Apply fresh caulking to window and door frames or purchase new windows altogether. Door draft stoppers too, like air tight windows, will help keep cool air from escaping or allowing humid air to enter. Finally, consider having your attic inspected to make sure adequate and quality insulation is installed.
Purchase a Dehumidifier
Sometimes it can be difficult to remove moisture and regain balanced humidity in your home. If humidity continues to be an ongoing problem think about buying a dehumidifier, either a whole house model or a portable one to treat specific areas. Dehumidifiers are especially helpful in persistently hot climates like Florida.
When Clearwater homeowners struggle to find balanced humidity, Cox Air Conditioning & Heating is the name they turn to. Contact a friendly and experienced staff member over the phone at (727) 597-4456 to find out more about balancing humidity or other methods to improve the comfort of your home. Since 1958, Cox Air Conditioning & Heating has served satisfied customers throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough counties along with homeowners in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Your Air Filter Is Rated by MERV, But Why Should You Care?
As part of their effort to improve indoor air quality, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers designed a system for rating air filter efficiency. The system is called MERV, and stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. If you wish to improve air quality in your Clearwater home, understanding this rating is key.
Every air filter is capable of sifting out airborne particles within a specific size range. Some do the job better than others and are able to sift out finer particles, and therefore get a higher rating. Ratings run from 1-20. Filters that are MERV 15 or higher are usually only found in environments such as pharmaceutical and electronics cleanrooms, places that demand extreme filtering of particles such as viruses and carbon dust.
The following is a breakdown of MERV ranges and their filtration capability.
1 – 4: Any product with a rating in this range is capable of very basic filtration. From textile/carpet fibers and spray paint dust on the lower end, to pollen and dust mites on the higher end.
5 – 8: Filters on the higher end of this range are ideal for most households. As a filter approaches a rating of 7, it begins to handle particles the size of mold spores and hairspray fumes effectively. Most homeowners need not be concerned with particles smaller than these.
9 – 12: Auto emissions and milled flour contain similar sized particles, and so are best disposed of with a 10 MERV-rated filter or higher. These filters work well for hospital labs and auto mechanic shops. As you approach ratings of 11 and 12, you find filters that are suited to good commercial buildings and superior residential housing.
13 – 14: An air filter with a MERV rating of 14 can handle the spray from a sneeze as easily as most kinds of tobacco smoke. Household A/Cs rarely have this kind of filter, as most are incapable of handling the stress caused by reduced airflow.
For more information on air filters and quality, contact the pros at Cox Air Conditioning & Heating.
Are UV Lights Up to the Job of Improving Your Indoor Air Quality?
Scientists use ultraviolet light to read hidden text in ancient manuscripts and decode their secrets Indiana Jones style as well as to discern the authenticity of gemstones and rare collectibles. Ultraviolet light is also used as an effective viricide, bactericide and germicide and is commonly used to pasteurize juice and purify drinking water. You can also include this potent tool in your home to protect and purify your indoor air by having UV lights installed near your air conditioner coil.
Air conditioners are subject to the growth of mold and mildew due to the fact that they generate regular condensation. Condensation occurs when you have a cold object, such as the air conditioner evaporator coils, come in contact with the warm, humid air that is being cycled through your A/C.
To prevent mold and mildew and reduce airborne allergens you should have ultraviolet lights, covering each side of the air conditioner coil, installed by a professional technician. A professional installer will ensure that the UV lights provide even coverage of the entire surface of the coil. You may also opt to install unltraviolet lights in the return air duct, so that the air can be treated over and over as it recycles though the system. This will inhibit mold and mildew growth, as well as fungus and particulates such as viruses and bacteria.
Some new technology available for homeowners interested in UV lights: automated UV systems that apply only as much light as needed, rather than running full power 24/7. This can reduce costs of running equipment by as much as 60 to 80 percent.
By utilizing the cleaning and disinfecting power of UV lights you can breathe easier year after year and know that your air conditioning unit will stay cleaner and keep your entire household healthier.
To learn more about how UV lights can protect your air conditioner and your air quality, contact Cox Air Conditioning & Heating at (727) 597-4456. We’re here to help and are happy to answer any questions you may have about air conditioning and how to protect the quality of your indoor air.
Why Does My A/C Freeze at the Peak of Summer?
It may seem strange that your air conditioner is freezing up in the heat of a Florida summer; however, the problem is a common one. It can also be quite expensive as freezing can damage the compressor, which is expensive to repair.
Why Does My A/C Freeze?
Freezing can result from a variety of problems, including:
- Leaking refrigerant
- Undercharged refrigerant
- Airflow restriction
- A malfunctioning blower
- Problems with the thermostat or control board
How Humidity Can Result in Ice Buildup
Florida summers can be unbearably humid and your air conditioner’s job is to provide you with relief from the moist heat outside with the cool air that it blows into your home. When it is functioning properly, it will make your home more comfortable but it may not be able to do this if there is an issue with freezing. The moisture in the air can condense on the evaporator coils and result in ice building up. That ice can cause stress on your compressor and lead to your air conditioner shutting down.
If there is ice present, you will probably have to call a professional to take a look at your unit; however, there are a few steps you should take first:
- Turn the air conditioner off so that it can defrost.
- Check the filter.
- Replace the filter if it is dirty.
- Call a professional if the filter replacement does not solve the problem.
If your air conditioner is not functioning properly due to a refrigerant leak or a blower motor that is on its way out, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible. These problems are serious and can lead to worse issues. Whether you are having trouble with your evaporator coils freezing up or some other problem related to your air conditioning, our technicians have the know-how to get your system working again. Cox Air has been serving Clearwater and other communities in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties since 1958.
5 Potential Reasons Your A/C Leaks Water
Many issues can arise with an air conditioner (A/C); one of the most common is when your A/C leaks water. There are five common causes of water leakage, some of which are more serious than others.
1. Clogged Drain Hole
The first thing you should do is find the drain hole on your unit and give it a quick inspection. Check to see if any dirt or debris is clogging it and obstructing water flow through it, and if so clear it.
2. Poor Sealing
Seals on your air conditioner must be tight. If there is a leak at a seal, warm air can enter the cold interior and will condense and cause water pooling.
3. Broken Condenser Pump
The condenser pump helps get rid of the water in the condense
ate pan. If the pump is broken, water will collect and stay in the condensate pan. To test this simply pour water in the condensate pan and see if it can pump out the excess water. If it can’t you have found the source of your problem.
4. Cold Outside Air
When it’s cold outside, the rate of evaporation slows down dramatically and may result in water pooling. This typically isn’t a cause for alarm as long as it goes away once it becomes warmer again.
5. Faulty Installation
Finally, it’s possible that the unit was installed incorrectly. If the A/C unit is slanted or has too much internal pressure, it can cause water to accumulate. Also check for this issue by making sure that all air vents in the house are open. Closed vents throughout the house may contribute to increased pressure.
Most water leaks are easily fixable by an A/C professional. While it’s not the worst thing that can go wrong with your A/C, you should still fix it as soon as possible to ensure no significant damage is done. If your A/C leaks water or there is a problem with your A/C unit and you need professional help, please contact us at Cox Air Conditioning & Heating; we’ve been serving Tampa for more than 50 years.