The Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps in Florida Homes

More and more often, the installation of heat pumps in Florida homes is becoming mainstream. This is because the unit can not only cool homes in the hot and humid Florida summers, but it can also heat homes here when the temperatures plummet.

How a Heat Pump Works

There is one basic principle upon which the concept of the first heat pump was designed: the sun’s warmth is always in the air, even when it is cold outside. The purpose of the pump is to collect this air and pass it across a condenser where heat is either added to warm the home or removed to cool the home. Then, once the air has been sufficiently heated or cooled, an electric blower system sends the air through the home through a series of ducts. The principle is actually quite simple to understand.

Best Climates for Heat Pumps

The best climates for heat pumps are mild climates, and this is likely why there are so many heat pumps in Florida homes today. While a heat pump can maintain itself in the hot Florida summers and keep residents cool, extreme temperature changes – plummeting temperatures, namely – are not a heat pump’s forte. Thus, a heat pump is a viable option for both cooling a home in the hot summer and heating it during a mild winter.

The Benefits

The primary benefit of heat pumps in Florida homes is that they are incredibly economical, and this is especially true for the short heating season. Another thing is that these units are naturally better at extracting humidity from the air and this is great news for Floridians who are used to steamy summers and extreme levels of humidity. Finally, because the heating and cooling features are included in the same system, it leaves a much smaller footprint than its more traditional counterparts.

The Drawbacks

There are some drawbacks to consider, too. First of all, the initial purchase and installation costs associated with heat pumps are higher than with their traditional furnace/central air counterparts. The main drawback, though, is that these units deliver the least amount of cooling during the hot summer months meaning that some may struggle to keep their homes as cool as they’d like. Finally, depending upon the model chosen and the location of the unit and the blower, they can be a bit noisy.

Making a Choice jimypic

Whether or not a heat pump is your best bet can be a difficult choice, especially in Florida where temperatures can certainly soar in the summer. Therefore, you should carefully consider not only the benefits associated with these systems, but also the drawbacks that could have a significant impact on your overall level of comfort. Some of this may have to do with whether or not your home is constantly shaded, your optimal comfort level, and more.
If you are interested in installing a heat pump in your Florida home, if you are having trouble with your existing heat pump, or even if you just have questions, A Superior Air Conditioning is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to give our friendly agents a call at your earliest convenience!

How to Minimize the Loss of Energy in Your Ducts

Whether you are heating or cooling your home, ensuring that your system is as efficient as possible is one of the most important things you can do to make sure that you are getting the most value for your energy dollars. There are some great tips to consider that will definitely help you save money.

Cleaning heater vent withVacuumConsider Installation in the Conditioned Space

If your home is in the process of being designed, you may want to consider having your ducts installed within the conditioned spaces in your home rather than under the floors. This is because even the most well-insulated and properly constructed ducts are going to leak some heated or cooled air and it is best to make use of this air in your home rather that under it. Oftentimes, ducts can be installed in drop ceilings and even in the corners of rooms. This minimizes the aesthetic effect while helping to reduce wasted energy dollars.

Make Sure Vents are Not Blocked or Clogged

The next thing that you can do to help improve your furnace or air conditioner’s efficiency is make sure that the vents themselves are not being blocked. Though this seems simple, having a large piece of furniture close to a vent blocks a significant portion of the air that you are paying to heat or cool. Move sofas, draperies and more out of the way of these vents to realize more savings. Similarly, it is important to vacuum your vents from time to time to remove debris. This is as simple as it sounds as long as your vacuum cleaner has a hose attachment.

Upgrade the Ductwork

Older homes and those which have the ductwork installed under the floors often suffer from trouble with heating or cooling one or two rooms. While this can certainly cause discomfort to the occupants of those rooms, the fix isn’t always difficult. In fact, simply installing a new return air grille or undercutting the door to allow for more airflow can fix these problems. Next, homeowners should take the time to ensure that their walls are properly insulated and that windows are sealed when shut to prevent heated and cooled air from escaping.

Insulate the Ducts

If the ducts in your home are located under the floor, it is always worthwhile to have them insulated. This way, you are not losing energy to the outdoor air as heated and cooled air passes through the ducts. Typical insulation will do the job, but if you aren’t up for the task then it can certainly be performed professionally. Many homeowners are shocked by the amount of money they can save when they invest in new insulation for their ductwork. jimypic

All in all, saving money is about keeping the air that you are paying to heat and cool inside your home where it belongs. When it loses energy as it travels through the ducts, it becomes inefficient and costly. For an evaluation of your ductwork, don’t hesitate to contact us here at A Superior Air Conditioning. Our friendly professionals will evaluate your situation and provide you with the answers you need.

Help your Montego Bay Friends!!!

As many of you know, there was an unfortunate fire that occurred at Montego Bay Restaurant on Thomas Drive. Not only did we lose a great restaurant in our community, but several families lost a source of income just one short week away from Christmas. Let’s get together as a community and help these families out!! This Sunday (December 22nd) from 6-9pm, Willy’s Live will be hosting live music with Kevin Jacobs and Terry Brock, as well as serving up some heavy Hors d’oeuvres. All we ask for is a a $10 donation at the door for entrance. All money raised at the door, and a portion of the bar sales will be donated to the families that were impacted by the fire at Montego Bay.

How to Troubleshoot Your Gas Furnace

Florida is generally a warm state and temperatures of 70 degrees in winter are not uncommon. However, it does get cold here and many people have installed gas furnaces to keep them warm as the temperature plummets. If you have a gas furnace, then the following troubleshooting tips may help you stay warm in the event of a problem.

Gas Energy FlamesFigure Out the Problem

The first thing to do if your gas furnace starts acting up is to pinpoint the problem. Will the unit not turn on at all? Is the unit trying to run, but the burners won’t fire? Is the air coming from your ducts cool instead of warm? All of these things definitely indicate that there is some sort of problem, but the solution may be simpler than you think. A lot of troubleshooting starts at the thermostat and making sure that the unit is set to ‘heat’, that the temperature is set at least five degrees above room temperature, and that the fan is set to run automatically.

Trouble with the Thermostat Itself

Most newer thermostats are battery powered so if the battery is dead, the thermostat will stop working and the furnace will shut off. In a few cases, it could be that the thermostat itself has gone bad and needs to be replaced. Thermostats, depending upon the features you select, can be quite inexpensive and are not at all difficult to replace. Of course, you can always call us here at A Superior Air Conditioning to help you out.

Check for Power to the Furnace

If the unit isn’t coming on at all, you will need to check to make sure that there is power getting to the gas furnace. To do this, simply move the switch under the ‘Fan’ label on your thermostat, whether it is physical or digital, to the ‘on’ position and see if the fan comes on. If it does not, it could be that there is a blown fuse or breaker, that the wiring is bad, or even that there is an issue with the furnace’s internal circuit board.

Burners Not Igniting

If the fan runs but the burners themselves will not ignite, there could be any number of problems. Starting with the simplest, you should check to make sure that the pilot light for your furnace is lit. If you have an electric ignition system, you can carefully clean the igniters themselves (these are what generate the spark that lights the gas) with a lint-free cloth being careful not to get any oil from the skin on them as this may cause them to malfunction. If this doesn’t do the trick, it could be anything from the draft inducer motor to a problem with the burners themselves.

If these simple tricks do not help you get your gas furnace running again, you may be able to find a reset button on your unit or simply flip the breaker powering the unit off for two minutes before turning it back on. A Superior Air Conditioning is available 24 hours a day to help you get warm again, as well, so do not hesitate to call us if troubleshooting indicates a serious problem.

HOT DOG Join the parade!!!!!

Hot Dogs Hamburgers and great fun!!!
Hot Dogs Hamburgers and great fun!!!

Christmas Parade tonight at 7pm. Come out early to the association office for a prime seat and help us raise funds in support of our BCAR Haney Scholarship and enjoy a hotdog, burger, drinks and other delicious treats! Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to stop by too! See you there!!

I love love love that my precious Realtor Friends love giving back to their community by having events such as these. When you buy a hot dog or a hamburger today realize that you are part of giving back. How fun is that to have a dog and be able to help another!!! And to top it off enjoy the parade and be grateful that we live in such a sweet place.

Make sure you get there EARLY and get a PRIME spot!!!!

Location: 1123 Harrison Ave and the corner of 11th street

What is a SEER Rating for an Air Conditioner?

If you are looking into purchasing a new air conditioner at some point in the future, then you will likely come across a term known as ‘SEER rating’. This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating and it can give you a good idea of the amount of money you are likely to spend on energy should you purchase any given unit.

SEERHow the Rating is Calculated

The SEER rating for any air conditioner is calculated by measuring the amount of cooled air that it puts out for every unit of energy it consumes. Each matched system (meaning both the indoor and outdoor parts of the entire unit) is given an Energy Efficiency Rating for the consumer to consider in much the same way miles per gallon are considered when purchasing a new car. The higher the efficiency rating, the less it will cost to cool your home in the long run. Similarly, air conditioners with a high SEER are better for the environment because less energy is expended as your home is being cooled.

Ratings and Government Mandates

Since January of 2006, the federal government has required that all new air conditioners have a SEER of at least 13, but there are some units out there with ratings as high as SEER-18 and even SEER-23. Most professionals recommend that consumers purchase units that have at least a SEER-16 rating, but this is especially true in the Florida area because the units run more often here than in other parts of the country. Of course, the amount of difference that the rating makes for you depends upon the size of your home, the age of your air conditioner and more. The SEER number is only at its peak when the unit is properly maintained, too.

Huge Savings – Monetarily and Environmentally

As an example, consider a Florida homeowner who replaces an old, outdated, inefficient three-ton air conditioner with a new one that boasts a SEER-16 rating. The average operating life of a brand new air conditioner is about 12 years (though there are some that are guaranteed by the manufacturer for as many as 20) and the average cost of electricity per unit is $0.11 per kWh. Over the lifetime of the new unit, that homeowner will save more than $2,000 in operating costs and prevent more than 300,000 metric tons of harmful greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. That is the equivalent of taking three cars off the road or planting four acres of trees each and every year.

Choosing a Unit

With all of this information in mind, you should always check the SEER associated with an air conditioner that you are considering purchasing. Not only will this number tell you how much money you can expect to save, but it will also tell you how much good you will be doing for the environment. Every air conditioner brand in the industry must provide a SEER number to consumers and it can typically be found on a yellow tag like the one shown here.

For help with choosing a new air conditioner with the best SEER possible, please do not hesitate to contact us here at A Superior AC. We can help you choose the right size unit for your home, provide you with a professional installation, and make sure that your unit continues to operate at peak efficiency for years to come.

Gameday For Heroes

Today is Game Day, Auburn vs. Alabama, #1 vs. #4, the “Game of the Century”. I’d like to take a moment to put this into perspective. One team wins and one loses. There will be a lot of Facebook posting and smack-talking, 2nd guessing by the armchair quarterbacks while one fan base enjoys the victory and another feels the agony of defeat and thinks about what could have been.

However, not all of America will be watching this game. Yesterday, I called a Colonel with the 7th Special Forces Group stationed at Eglin AFB, to ask if he had someone under his command who would like tickets to this game. He told me he was in the Atlanta airport on his way to Texas to meet the family and attend the funeral, today on Game Day, of one of his soldiers that was recently killed by an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on his first deployment.

This really hits home and puts things into perspective. Win or lose the fans are so passionate that some will call in sick to work on Monday because they are so devastated. Over the years I have seen trees set on fire and poisoned, fights break out post-game and more, all over a simple game of football while our young men and women are putting their lives on the line, risking death and life-altering injury to fight against terrorism and keep our country safe.

Four years ago, my wife Jana and I started Gameday For Heroes as a community service project of our local Auburn Club. We raised funds and bought six season tickets that were designated for wounded heroes. Then our club members began donating tickets they weren’t using and these went to not only wounded, but active duty and veterans to experience the college Gameday atmosphere. We invited them to tailgate with us and quickly realized how great a way this is to give back.

We received great feedback from the military that participated. Some told us it provided a great bonding time with their families, especially after long deployments away. Others with PTSD have stated that being at a game helped them with the fear of crowds and loud noises. All are most appreciative for the donors that make it possible for them to attend a game. Many have never been to a college game before and experienced the pageantry and festivities that may only be seen on a college football campus.

Gameday For Heroes has since grown rapidly and has sent military to college games in over 30 colleges. Last year alone, over 2,900 tickets were donated for  military to attend  regular season games, and also four BCS bowl games.

Military can visit our website and request tickets to college sporting events – football, basketball, baseball and more… Unfortunately, we have many more requests than we do tickets but hopefully as the word about this program spreads more requests will be granted.

Having tickets donated to the big rivalry games is a rarity, although we are fortunate to be sending military to Auburn vs. Alabama, Texas A&M vs. Missouri and Michigan vs. Ohio State today

However, when fans of just about any schools have tickets they are not using and tell us via the website they would like to donate them, we have a database full of military that would love to use those tickets. We can provide the donor with a tax letter for the face value of the tickets donated.

Want to get involved? How can you help?

  • If you are a season ticket holder or know any college season ticket holders, spread the word about Gameday For Heroes. Consider hosting a Gameday For Heroes tailgate or other event.

 

  • Consider buying and donating season tickets for your favorite school. You will know that military are benefiting and attending the games and sitting in seats provided by you.

 

  • Consider making a monetary donation to help support the program. Gameday For Heroes is a 100% volunteer run organization without any paid staff.  However, there are expenses associated with operations such as website and database, shipping, marketing, etc… that must be covered. We are a 501-c-3 organization and donations are deductible for tax purposes.

 

  • Help sponsor a fundraising event in your city.

 

If you would like to get involved or learn more, visit us at www.gamedayforheroes.org or contact me at mike@gamedayforheroes.org.

 

Most importantly, say a prayer for the family in Texas that is burying  a son, and a brother today.  He lost his life defending us and our freedom so that we can do things like put 87,451 fans into a stadium and watch a game take place.  And the next time you see a service member, thank them for their service!!