It’s a do-it-yourself world now. That is largely due to YouTube. There are millions of how-to videos on YouTube that cover millions of subjects. There is DIY small bathroom remodeling, DIY rust repair, DIY kitchen floor tiling, DIY installation of astro turf, DIY privacy screens us...
It’s a do-it-yourself world now. That is largely due to YouTube. There are millions of how-to videos on YouTube that cover millions of subjects. There is DIY small bathroom remodeling, DIY rust repair, DIY kitchen floor tiling, DIY installation of astro turf, DIY privacy screens using PVC pipe, DIY school supply ideas, DIY Spiderman masks, and even DIY zombie apocalypse survival hacks. That is not to mention the videos that help you learn how to play guitar to videos that teach you how to get flatter abs.
Are All Projects DIY-Friendly?
Indeed, the drive to handle projects from changing your car’s oil to renovating your bathroom as a do-it-yourselfer is powerful. Doing something yourself comes with a sense of pride as a handyman, brings the independence of self-sufficiency, and often means a lighter blow to your wallet.
While the desire to do it yourself is laudable, there are simply some things that might be too hazardous, time-consuming, or complicated to do yourself. When it comes to the law and the idea of representing yourself in court, the old adage “the man who represents himself has a fool for a client,” definitely applies. In that vein, would you think it wise to try to change your own car’s transmission, or give yourself a filling for one of your teeth? Most likely not. (The sheer logistics of trying to give yourself dental work is a hurdle in and of itself).
Installing, removing, or repairing your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system falls into the category of things you do not want to do yourself. And that is okay, because there are professionals who receive training and get certified in HVAC work.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, all of our professionals are well-trained, certified, and ready to help you keep your HVAC system up and running efficiently. As a top local AC service provider in the Palm Beach area, we can handle any HVAC project. Give us a call so your AC system keeps humming along. Our number is 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
In this blog, we will talk about the reasons why air conditioning repairs are specifically not DIY-friendly projects. That being said, there are a few things that are in your control that you can do to help your air conditioning system run smoothly. We will talk about a few of those as well.
Why HVAC Repairs are Not DIY-Friendly
- Air Conditioning Repairs Can Be Dangerous
When it comes to working with machinery and electronics like those contained in an air conditioning system, what you do not know can actually hurt you. Air conditioning units, particularly central air conditioning units handle a large amount of electricity. If you do not know what you are doing with an AC system, then staying away from that amount of electricity is the better part of valor.
In addition, both heating and cooling units employ the use of chemicals, refrigerants, and other toxic liquids and materials. If you do not follow proper precautions, those chemicals could be life threatening. It is not something we normally think about, but when a person becomes certified in HVAC repair, they are trained on how to handle harmful chemicals, and what safety gear is required when dealing with them.
2. Fixing an Air Conditioning Unit Requires Special Tools
Those pieces of IKEA furniture are great because they allow you to use the screwdriver and hammer that have been sitting in your toolbox in the upper shelf in your closet for the last year. (Sometimes, of course, you also get to use the ubiquitous “allen wrench” that comes with the furniture set, to tighten up those chair legs and table joints).
With air conditioning repair, however, a screwdriver, hammer, or allen wrench won’t cut it. Specialized, professional tools are needed for specific air conditioner system components. Without those specialized tools, you may do more damage to the air conditioning unit than the reason for attempting a repair in the first place.
3. Seemingly Minor Issues Could Result in Bigger Problems
You may think that there is a small problem with your unit, and you may even try a quick fix. Perhaps you detect a slight rattle in your unit. You conclude that it is nothing that a little masking tape cannot fix. While the tape may stop the rattle, there may be bigger issues beneath the surface.
Oftentimes, a small problem is merely a symptom of a larger problem that could mean the demise of your air conditioning unit. So, when it comes to something like your central air conditioning unit, think “better safe than sorry,” and have an AC technician come out to take a look.
- Replacing Your Air Conditioner Can Be Tricky
Air conditioning units come in many sizes, at many price points, and certain units are built for homes of a certain square footage. If you do not know much about HVAC systems, then replacing your current air conditioning system can be particularly challenging. Without some experience, it is hard to know what your home needs in terms of size and capacity. It especially unfortunate if you choose to buy a unit that is expensive and far more than what your home needs.
Thus, at the very least, when looking to replace your HVAC system, consult with an HVAC specialist – like the professionals at Aztil Air Conditioning.
When DIY Is Appropriate
While it is never fun always saying “no, you cannot do something,” we at Aztil are happy to give you some thoughts on small HVAC maintenance tasks that you can do.
General maintenance and cleaning are vital for an efficient HVAC system. So, in that spirit, two tasks that you can regularly do for your HVAC system are as follows:
- Cleaning. Regularly check and clean your filters. Change them when necessary. Keeping an eye on your filters will maximize the quality of the air in your home. Also, clear away branches and leaves from your unit outside.
- Battery Check. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector, go get one. If you have one, check the batteries. Having a working carbon monoxide detector ensures that you and your family are not exposed to harmful gases.
For more information, call us at Aztil Air Conditioning. We can be reached at 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
Being a homeowner is a milestone in life. It is a way of saying that “I have something that I will build equity in, as well as have memories and a home base for my family.” In short, there are plenty of benefits to homeownership. That being said, there are some costs. One big cost, of course, is keeping the home humming along.
If you think about it, your home is a place with a number of systems on which you constantly rely to make sure that you and your family can function. From having a stove that will give you a flame, a refrigerator that will keep things cool, and plumbing that will properly control water flow; to an electrical system that keeps the lights working, and a microwave that . . . you know . . . microwaves things.
Of course, a big system in which you put plenty of reliance, particularly in the summer months, is your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. When the summer gets hot and sticky here in southern Florida, your AC is the only thing keeping you sane. Of course, there are the odd days in winter that get a little cold. Making sure that the heat is ready to go on those rare occasions is also pretty important.
How do you get a little control over whether you HVAC system will be ready to go when you need it? Well, going through a checklist of inspections of course. Just like airline pilots go through a pre-flight checklist to make sure ‘all systems are go’ before a flight, you want to regularly inspect your HVAC system so all systems are go there too.
Unlike a plane flight, however, a daily HVAC inspection is entirely unnecessary. Once a year though? Well, that makes a little more sense.
Accordingly, this blog will give you a “7 and 7 Indoor/Outdoor HVAC Checklist” of things you should be sure to check in your HVAC system annually. Remember, a long time with no maintenance could result in expensive repairs or the need to completely replace your system. So, keeping up on HVAC maintenance ensures efficient operation, and avoids big problems from cropping up.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we are ready to help you keep your HVAC system up and running efficiently. As a top local AC service provider in the Palm Beach area, we are ready to give your home an air conditioning checkup. Give us a call to get more details about what we can do to keep your AC system rolling along. Our number is 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
The Checklist – Annual (or More Frequent) Inspections
This list is broken down into two parts – the indoor portion and the outdoor portion. Make sure you do all of these checks when the system is turned off – just to be on the safe side. Both parts of your HVAC system have a number of moving pieces, so you may want to keep this list handy for future use.
- Indoor Check
- Air filters. The easiest thing to keep an eye on is your air filter. To avoid having dirt pulled into your system, clean your filter once a month, and change it every three months for optimal efficiency.
- Blower & Burner Assembly. Keeping the blower wheel and blower motor, and their housing, clean is good for airflow. Moreover, you can use a brush or small vacuum attachment to clean the burner assembly, when necessary.
- System Shell. Minimize dust and dirt by wiping down the AC unit shell, and keep combustible material away from your indoor HVAC unit to avoid any fire hazards.
- Ductwork. It is possible that leaks might cause you to lose air to the outside. Look over your ductwork, in the attic and basement in particular, and seal and insulate any areas that you believe are leaking air.
- Electrical Parts. It is never a bad idea to look at the electrical disconnect box and the wire connections, and tighten any connections as needed.
- Evaporator Coil. Be sure to check the drain pan and keep an eye on whether the drain lines need to be flushed or cleaned. You would be wise to consult a professional regarding the coil.
- Additional Checks. Look out for your furnace’s flue system, any gas leaks, the heat exchanger and heating elements, as well as the ignition system and motor.
- Outdoor Check
- Cabinet & Coils. Remove leaves and any debris from the outside unit’s cabinet housing, as well as from the coils.
- Base Pan. Take a look to see that there are no blockages that would block things from draining into the base pan. Also, remove any debris as needed.
- Compressor. Check to see if there is any damage to the compressor or its tubing. See that the wire connections are properly in place.
- Control Box. The wiring connections to the control box should have no damage so that they operate at an optimum level. This includes all of the contactors, circuit boards, and other components in the box.
- Fan Motor and Fan Blades. Look over the fan blades for any wear or damage (again, remember that we are looking at the system while the system is turned off). Check the fan belt tension as well.
- Refrigerant. Too much refrigerant is a waste of refrigerant, and too little impacts the efficiency of your system. Check to see that the refrigerant level is at the right level and pressure.
- Area Around the Unit. Keep the area around the outdoor unit free of any lawn clutter – like leaves, twigs, dirt, toys, and lawn-care equipment.
So, there you have it. The “7 and 7 Indoor/Outdoor HVAC Checklist.” Now, you may see that a lot of the items on the checklist are things that you might feel a little uncomfortable or unqualified to inspect, let alone clean around. Do not be afraid. A lot of people feel the same way, and that is why you can get peace of mind by just calling a local AC service professional.
Aztil Air Conditioning is the company that can provide you the local AC service you need. We have been in business for decades, we employ only the best HVAC technicians, and can periodically check your HVAC system for you.
For more information, call us at Aztil Air Conditioning. We are the local AC service company that you have been looking for. We do the “7 and 7” checkup, and then some. We can be reached at 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
It is sometimes described as “cancer” for your home. It is something that grows behind walls and sometimes cannot be easily seen. It is none other than mold. As a homeowner, we care deeply about keeping our home intact, healthy, clean, and in shape to last for many, many decades. That why mold is always something to be concerned about.
In Florida, the humidity is often higher than in other parts of the country. That is why you should have a heightened concern about mold. Mold tends to thrive in moist, humid environments.
There is some good news so you do not need to be overly worried. There are some easy steps you can take to control mold in your home. One of those steps is to use air conditioning to keep humidity and mold at bay. Accordingly, this blog will discuss the basics of mold, its causes, how you can prevent mold growth, and why you should and shouldn’t worry about mold in your home.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we understand how air conditioning can help you put a stop to mold. We are one of the top air conditioning companies in the Palm Beach area, and we are ready to give your home an air conditioning checkup so you know that you can reduce the humidity in your home. Give us a call to learn more about what we can do to keep your AC system humming along. Our number is 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
What Is Mold?
There are different types of mold that can impact your home. In general, molds are types of fungi. Tiny mold particles are found everywhere in indoor and outdoor air. Molds actually serve a purpose by breaking down dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, and plants.
In addition, molds are very common in buildings and homes. So, if you do have some mold in your home, you should not be incredibly alarmed. Mold is common in dwellings.
To grow, mold needs moisture. In houses, mold will be found where humidity levels are high – like most places in Florida in the summertime! Basements and showers are, as you would expect, the places where mold can be most prevalent because of the large amount of moisture in those parts of the house.
Molds produce very tiny cells, called “spores,” that are spread easily through the air, but can also be spread by water and insects. Spores are seed-like, in that they form new mold colonies when they land in a location that has the right conditions for growth.
What Causes Mold to Grow?
Mold only requires a few things to be able to grow and multiply:
- Nutrients (food),
- Moisture, and
- A suitable place to grow.
With regard to food for mold, building materials are mold’s chosen main course. Wood, sheetrock and other materials are sufficient nutrients for mold. In fact, even dust can serve as a food source for mold.
When it comes to where mold will grow, mold will be happy to grow virtually anywhere that there is sufficient moisture or high humidity. That is why the key to stopping indoor mold growth is to control moisture. As you likely know, there are many sources of moisture:
- Outside flooding, from storm water, or overflowing lakes;
- Indoor flooding, from sink or tub overflows, overflowing toilets, air conditioner drain pans, or sewerage systems;
- Condensation, when indoor humidity is too high or surfaces are too cold;
- Water leaks from outside the home, such as a roof leak;
- Indoor plumbing leaks or broken water pipes;
- Outdoor sprinkler spray hitting the house walls;
- Insufficient venting of humid areas like the kitchen or bathroom;
- Use of a humidifier;
- Hanging wet clothes in a non-ventilated area;
- Overwatering house plants;
How Can I Tell if There is Mold in My Home?
Indoor mold can typically be seen or smelled. If you can see mold growth, then you do not need to do a mold test. In fact, the Florida Department of Health does not recommend mold testing or sampling, which can be expensive.
Instead, here are some ways to check for mold:
- Look for visible mold growth. It often appears as a staining or fuzzy growth on furniture or building materials. Also, look for signs of moisture or water damage.
- Look around air handling units (air conditioners, furnaces) for standing water. Also, check evaporator coils, liner surfaces, drain pans, and drain lines.
- Look where you notice mold odors, which can be an earthy or musty smell.
How Can I Prevent Mold Growth?
Preventing or controlling moisture is the key. Without water, mold cannot start growing or spreading. Accordingly, keep your home clean and dry. Standing water left for even 24 hours could allow common molds to take hold. Overall, by keeping humidity levels below 60% and venting moisture from showers and the kitchen you can prevent mold. Other ways include:
- Clean and dry up spills within 24 hours;
- Dry out wet building materials and carpets within 24 hours;
- Most importantly, use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce the indoor humidity levels below 60%.
- Do not put wall to wall carpets in your bathroom or basement.
To clean mold once discovered, you can use detergent/soapy water or a commercial mold and mildew cleaner to remove it. Use gloves and goggles to be safe during cleaning. Be sure to thoroughly dry the area cleaned, and dispose of any sponges or rags used to clean the moldy area.
So, How Worried Should I Be About Mold in My Home?
You should be somewhat worried, but don’t go crazy. There will always be mold in your home in the form of spores or mold cells. Mold in the air is normal. That being said, you should not let mold grow or multiply. More mold means that building materials and furnishings can be damaged. So, use your central air conditioning system with a dehumidifier to keep mold controlled.
For more information, call us at Aztil Air Conditioning. We are one of the best air conditioning companies in the area, making sure your home stays dry. We can be reached at 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
We at Aztil Air Conditioning, the top Palm Beach air conditioning company serving southern Florida, do our very best to ensure that your central air conditioning system is working to its optimal level and that your air filters are clean. That is because we understand how important indoor air quality is to the comfort of your home.
In Florida, particularly in the summer months, we often keep our homes closed to the elements, and rely solely on the indoor air that is filtered through the central air system. Unfortunately, that can pose a challenge if we do not take steps to keep the indoor air clean.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun to discover that in many homes and office buildings the concentration of harmful pollutants is higher indoors than outdoors. Accordingly, we should all take a few steps to make sure that the air quality inside our homes is as clean and pollutant-free as possible.
That, of course, means that we should regularly change the air filter in our central air system. But we can do more. This blog will discuss 6 easy tips that will keep the indoor air as pollutant-free as possible. In addition, you will want to be sure that you periodically check your air conditioning system so that you can rely on it even on the hottest days of the year.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we are the Palm Beach air conditioning company that has your overall health and wellness in mind. After employing the tips in this blog, consider giving us a call so we can do a system checkup. Learn more today by calling us at 888-729-8452 or filling out our online contact form.
6 Great Ways to Keep Your Indoor Air Clear
#1 – “No Shoes” Policy
We all know those people who don’t allow visitors to come into their homes with shoes on. In fact, we are the ones who worry about having holes in our socks when you attend parties at their house.
Yes, the “take off your shoes at the door” people can present a challenge to our patience sometimes, but you might want to consider becoming one of them.
Why? Shoes carry a great deal of bacteria into your home, and bacteria into your home could mean infections. Without question, carpets and doormats do a fairly good job reducing the amount of dirt and other air pollutants from coming into the home, a “no shoes” policy takes it one step further.
So, the “no shoes” policy is much less about keeping dirt off of the new white carpet that was just installed, and more about keeping the air indoors as clean as possible.
#2 – Freeze Out the Dust Mites
Ok, this next statistic is not for the faint of heart, but it has been estimated that after two years, about one-third of the weight of your pillow is dead skin, dust mites (that eat dead skin), and dust mite droppings. In fact, about 10% of people, and 80% of those suffering from allergies, have an allergic reaction to dust mites.
That pillow statistic above is, admittedly, pretty gross, but it does put a fine point on the need to minimize dust mites as much as possible. How do you do that? You get rid of them using a waterproof laundry bag and your freezer.
Any stuffed toys and pillows that you use daily should be placed in the waterproof laundry bag. Then put that bag in the freezer. Leave them in there for a few hours.
As it turns out, low temperatures kill dust mites. Therefore, after a few hours, you can take out your bags of stuffed animals and pillows, and they will be dust mite free. Also, you could wash your pillows. That will also get rid of those pesky dust mites, and contribute to cleaner indoor air.
#3 – Clean Off Ceiling and Floor Fans
Fans, as you are likely aware, collect a lot of dust. Just look at a fan that you have had for a few years, and you will have a good example of the kind of particles that hang out in your air.
Rather than have those fans continuously circulate the dust that collects on the blades, clean off those blades. Dusty fans circulate dust. Clean blades, however, will circulate cleaner air.
#4 – Attention to Pet Grooming
Pets are a joy. They bring life, energy, and adorable cuteness into your home. In addition, they bring lots of fur, dander, and other things that can clog your air conditioning system’s filter relatively quickly.
In addition to regularly changing your air system’s filter, you should consider grooming your pet more frequently. By decreasing the amount of fur a pet can shed, you are also indirectly decreasing the amount of pet hair and dander that might go through the blower of your air conditioning system.
#5 – Eco-Friendly Paint
Yes, you read that correctly. Paint can actually vaporize and emit gasses, even long after it dries. Paint contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and only emits about half of its VOCs in the first year of application. The VOCs in paint can actually cause headaches and dizziness.
Fortunately, there is a such thing as low-VOC paint. To be a low-VOC paint, the EPA requires that flat or latex paint have no more than 250 grams per liter of VOCs, and requires oil-based paint to have no more than 380 grams per liter. To be VOC-free, the EPA requires paint to have no more than 5 grams per liter of VOCs.
#6 – Formaldehyde-Free Furniture
Many pieces of home furniture have adhesives that contain formaldehyde. In fact, formaldehyde can be found in furniture, walls, carpeting, flooring, and decorations.
A good way to tell if your furniture contains formaldehyde is to see whether your furniture is something other than natural wood. If it is plywood, fiberboard, chipboard, or particle board (like many of the put-together-at-home pieces of furniture), then it is likely that they rely on glue to hold them together, which can be high in formaldehyde.
Thus, with your next furniture purchase, look for items made from natural wood.
We hope this is a helpful list. And, if you are looking for a high-quality Palm Beach air conditioning company, consider calling Aztil Air Conditioning. We can be reached at 888-729-8452, or you can fill out our online contact form.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun to recognize that indoor air pollutants could be more concentrated, and therefore more harmful, than the air pollutants outside. There is nothing that should get you overly concerned about the EPA’s new focus, but the EPA’s emphasis on indoor air quality is something to keep in mind as you monitor the indoor air quality of your own home.
Moreover, when talking about indoor air quality, it is always a good idea to be aware of carbon monoxide. As you may know, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas. The fact that you cannot see, smell, or taste the toxic carbon monoxide fumes means that it can be very dangerous if you are not aware of how much is in your home.
The effects of carbon monoxide will vary based on your overall health, the concentration of the gas to which you are exposed, and the length of exposure. But, at high levels, exposure to carbon monoxide could be fatal. That is why carbon monoxide is something you need to take seriously.
This blog will discuss the “need to know” information about carbon monoxide, but if you need more detailed information, we invite you to speak to the air conditioning specialists at Aztil Air Conditioning. We provide 24 hour air conditioning service at great prices in and around West Palm Beach, FL. Call us today at 888-729-8452.
What are the Sources of Carbon Monoxide?
Knowing the source of carbon monoxide gas is the most important step to being aware of how to control it. Stripped to its essence, carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of gas or other types of fossil fuels.
Here is a list of the most probable sources of carbon monoxide in your home:
- Kerosene and gas space heaters that are unvented
- Chimneys and furnaces that are leaking
- Tobacco smoke
- Gas stoves
- Furnace, gas water heater, wood stove, and fireplace back drafts
- Exhaust from cars in an attached garage, or even exhaust from nearby roads or parking areas
- Gas ranges that are unvented
- Boilers or furnaces that are worn or have improperly sized, blocked, or disconnected flues
What are the Effects from Exposure to Carbon Monoxide?
As noted above, the effects from exposure to carbon monoxide can vary based upon the level of your exposure. At low concentrations, some of the effects could be fatigue, or even chest pain (particularly in people with heart disease).
At moderate concentrations carbon monoxide may result in tightness in the chest, impaired vision, and possibly reduced brain function. Finally, at higher concentrations, the effects could be more pronounced. Those effects at high concentrations could include:
- Flu-like symptoms that seem to go away upon leaving the home
In extreme cases of very high concentrations, carbon monoxide can be fatal.
The reason why carbon monoxide has that impact is because the gas forms carboxyhemoglobin in the blood, which inhibits oxygen intake.
What is the Average Level of Carbon Monoxide in Homes?
The level of carbon monoxide is measured in parts per million (ppm). In homes that do not have gas stoves, the carbon monoxide will vary between .5 to 5 ppm. In a home that has a properly adjusted gas stove, the carbon monoxide level could be 5 to 15 ppm. Finally, in homes that have poorly adjusted or poorly vented gas stoves, the concentration of carbon monoxide could be 30 ppm or higher.
The World Health Organization recommends that the amount of carbon monoxide be at an average of 9 ppm for any eight-hour period, and an average of 25 ppm for any one-hour period.
What Can You Do to Reduce Exposure to Carbon Monoxide?
The most important thing to do to reduce carbon monoxide exposure is to keep your combustion equipment properly maintained and adjusted. That is why it is a good idea to consider having a 24 hour air conditioning repair service on hand in order to make sure that your equipment is in safe working order. Aztil Air Conditioning offers an annual checkup of your air conditioning systems, so you can monitor your indoor air quality.
The things you can do right now to reduce your carbon monoxide exposure are as follows:
- Properly adjust your gas appliances
- Choose a vented space heater to replace your unvented one
- Make sure you have an exhaust fan to vent your gas stove
- Open the flues to your fireplace when in use
- For any wood stoves, be sure they are certified to meet EPA’s emission standards, and that all doors on the stoves fit tightly
- Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune up your central air systems.
Additionally, try to find ways to minimize the exhaust from cars that is close to your home. For example, if you have an indoor garage, be sure to shut the car off before closing the garage door, and do not idle your car inside a closed garage.
What is the Best Defense Against Carbon Monoxide?
As might already suspect, you want to make sure that you have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home. That is, hands down, the best defense against carbon monoxide.
To install a carbon monoxide alarm, follow these steps:
- Find a location away from children and pets, and near a heating source like a gas furnace.
- Measure the distance between the alarm’s mounting holes, and mark that distance on the wall.
- Drill small holes on the marked spots and attach the mounting bracket of the alarm to the wall with screws.
- Mount the rest of the detector.
You should routinely test your alarms, and change the batteries twice a year. Maybe use daylight savings time as a way to remind you when to change batteries – when you fall back and spring ahead.
At Aztil Air Conditioning at 888-729-8452, we are the 24 hours air conditioning service provider you need to make sure that the air quality inside your home is clean and safe. We are available to answer any questions you have. You can learn more about our 24 hour air conditioning service today by calling or filling out our online contact form.