J & W Heating and Air Blog

What R-value Means for Insulation and Why It’s Important

July 29th, 2014

Quality insulation is crucial for a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Insulation serves as a thermal barrier that slows down the movement of heat through convection and conduction and sometimes radiation. During hot weather, the layers of insulation in the walls and the attic prevent excess heat from seeping inside, making it easier to cool your house and lessen the burden on your AC. During cold weather, insulation keeps heat trapped inside, and your heating system won’t have to strain continually to replace the warmth escaping to the outdoors.

But simply having insulation in your home isn’t enough: it must be properly installed, and it must be the right type. One important piece of information to have about insulation is its “R-value,” which plays a huge role in whether the insulation is right for the job or not.

Trust professionals like those at J & W Heating and Air for your insulation in Orange Park, FL and you will always receive the correct R-value insulation, installed correctly.

So just what is R-value?

R-value is a measure of how much resistance a piece of insulation creates against the movement of heat through conduction: in rough terms, R-value is how “good” insulation is at creating a heat barrier.

The R-value of insulation is determined through laboratory tests, and run through the following formula: temperature difference x area x length of exposure divided by heat loss. The resulting integer is the R-value; the higher the number, the more effective the insulation at slowing the heat transfer. A typical R-value for fiberglass insulation is R-19.

It’s important to know that high R-value doesn’t necessarily mean that the insulation will do the best job for your home. For one thing, R-value does not measure how well the insulation blocks heat movement through convection or radiation, only conduction. Then there is the issue of installation, since the highest R-value available is no good if the installer placed it poorly and left areas where heat is still able to escape or enter. Insulation that is compressed or crushed also loses most of its R-value, and if the insulation isn’t the right type for the section of the house it is supposed to heat-shield, the R-value will again be of little use.

Professional insulation installers are skilled at balancing R-value with other factors to make sure that a home has the proper barrier against heat that will keep it cooled down in summer and warm in winter. Our insulation experts at J & W Heating and Air use a variety of types of insulation, such as bats and blown-in insulation (excellent for filling in oddly shaped spaces). They can survey your house and make sure that it receives the ideal insulation in Orange Park, FL for all seasons. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our insulation specialists.

Why Call a Professional for Air Conditioning Services

July 23rd, 2014

There are many reasons you may need air conditioning services in St. Augustine. Maybe you’re a new homeowner installing a brand new system, or maybe you’ve noticed reduced efficiency or other repair needs with your air conditioner. Whatever the reason, there’s no time to wait. Here are some of the reasons you should call for air conditioning services today.

Air Conditioning Repairs

If you need air conditioning repair, don’t wait to call a professional today. Loud noises coming from your air conditioner, high energy bills, reduced cooling capacity, or any other problems can all indicate a serious problem. Besides, summer is the worst time to be without AC if your small repair problem leads to a sudden breakdown. Call for air conditioning repair today to prevent your system from developing any further damage.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

One reason to call for air conditioning services even when everything seems to be running smoothly is air conditioning maintenance. During maintenance, a technician performs services such as cleaning the coils and adding lubricant, all of which are likely to improve the overall performance and efficiency of the system. We recommend scheduling maintenance once a year or signing up for a maintenance program to protect your system.

Air Conditioning Replacement

Your older air conditioner may not have much time left. After ten years, air conditioners tend to become a lot less efficient and are more likely to need repairs. Replacing a system that has broken down may actually be more costly than replacing your system now. Besides, air conditioning replacement allows you the opportunity to upgrade to a more efficient system.

Upgrades

You can also upgrade your air conditioner even if it does not yet need replacement. One common air conditioning upgrade is a programmable thermostat, which is more accurate and has more settings and features than a manual thermostat. Another common upgrade is a zone control system which allows you to adjust the temperature separately in different areas of your home for increased comfort and energy savings.

When you need any of these air conditioning services in St. Augustine, call J & W Heating and Air to talk to a professional technician.

3 Reasons to Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance Now

July 15th, 2014

Have you scheduled air conditioning maintenance in Jacksonville, FL yet this summer? It’s not too late! Though many people only ever call for air conditioning services when they need repairs, air conditioning maintenance is an important service offered by many AC professionals. During a maintenance visit, a technician will inspect your AC system, clean the coils, check refrigerant levels, and perform any necessary adjustments. This is an important service if you want to save money and reduce the likelihood that your system will break down in the middle of summer. Here are three reasons to schedule air conditioning maintenance today:

  • Increased Performance: After professional AC maintenance, you may notice increased performance from your air conditioning unit. Often, small problems, such as dirt build-up on the evaporator or condenser coil, can cause your air conditioner to perform poorly. Similarly, a faulty thermostat or low refrigerant levels can reduce the cooling capacity of your AC, causing you and your family some discomfort. During maintenance, your AC technician will check for these problems and recommend services, helping your system perform at its best all summer long.
  • Lower energy bills: Air conditioning maintenance can actually help to lower your bills and keep them low all summer long. Over time, an air conditioning system eventually reduces in efficiency. However, air conditioning maintenance restores efficiency somewhat as parts are cleaned and adjusted. Lubricating motors and adjusting refrigerant levels, for example, helps everything run smoothly, which means your system won’t have to work harder and use excessive energy to keep you cool.
  • Fewer repair calls: If you’ve ever had to make a repair call in the middle of summer, you know it can be quite a hassle. An air conditioning maintenance visit ensures that problems are found earlier so that repairs can be scheduled right away, and your system is less likely to fail suddenly when you need it most. Furthermore, maintenance helps to prevent damage to your system so you won’t have to replace it sooner than is necessary.

Air conditioning maintenance is an important part of owning any AC system. If you live in the Jacksonville area, call J & W Heating and Air today to schedule a visit from a technician.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cool Air?

July 10th, 2014

While a warm breeze can feel nice every now and then, you don’t want to feel one from your air conditioning unit. If you turn on your air conditioner and you cannot feel cool air, it’s time for air conditioning repair. We’ve detailed some of the most common reasons your AC stops blowing cool air, but you should call a technician to properly diagnose and repair your system.

Low Refrigerant Levels

In order for your air conditioning to work properly, it needs a constant supply of refrigerant. Refrigerant continuously moves through your AC system, changing from a gas to a liquid to a gas so that it can absorb heat from your home and release it into the air outside. The only way for refrigerant to leave your system is through a leak in the refrigerant lines.

Compressor Problems

The compressor is one of the most important components in your AC. As refrigerant passes through the outside unit of your AC, the compressor then compresses it into a hot, high-pressure gas. This way, the refrigerant can move to the condenser to release heat into the air. The compressor is an intricate mechanical part run by a motor inside the condenser unit, and a number of things can cause it to malfunction, such as a faulty motor. Sometimes, you can attribute compressor problems to the natural wear your system goes through over the years.

Dirty Evaporator and Condenser Coils

The indoor evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser coil both assist with heat exchange. Over time, the coils can get dirty, and the proper absorption and release of heat cannot take place. This is why it’s important to schedule maintenance once a year so that a technician can clean both of the coils and inspect your system for any potential problems.

These are only a few of the things that may cause your air conditioner to blow warm air. Only a qualified technician can give you accurate information regarding the source of your issue and recommend repairs. If you can’t take the heat, contact our team at J & W Heating and Air today for air conditioning repair in Orange Park, FL.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at J & W Heating and Air hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

What Kinds of Air Conditioning Services Are Offered in St. Augustine?

June 27th, 2014

If you already have air conditioning installed or you need a new system with professional AC installation, you should be aware of what kinds of air conditioning services are offered in the area. Luckily, air conditioning experts can usually perform whatever service you may need. For professional air conditioning services in St. Augustine, look no further than J & W Heating and Air. We have technicians trained in all aspects of installation, repair, and maintenance.

Air Conditioning Installation and Replacement

If you need a new air conditioning system, local technicians are available to help you select the appropriate system for your home and provide professional AC installation and replacement services. A specialist can discuss the system features that are important to you, such as placement, size, affordability, and energy efficiency. The specialist can answer any questions you have about your new system and describe options you may not be aware of, such as ductless mini split systems. Finally, a technician will carefully and properly install your new system for less potential energy loss and better performance.

Air Conditioning Repair

When your air conditioning needs repair, you want a reliable technician who will direct you to the proper solution without selling you a product you don’t need. Quality technicians offer air conditioning repair services to locate the problem and provide repair services and recommendations. A technician will also check your system or any further issues that may need repair.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Air conditioning maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent future repair issues for your AC system. A technician should visit your home once a year to clean various components of your system, check refrigerant levels, lubricate the motors, and provide an inspection of the whole system. This can help your system run more efficiently for a longer period of time and help you avoid future breakdowns and repairs.

Air Conditioning Services in St. Augustine

Here at J & W Heating and Air, our technicians are trained in air conditioning installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance and can answer all of your questions about your AC system. For air conditioning services in St. Augustine, give us a call today!

How Low Refrigerant Impacts Air Conditioning Repair

June 20th, 2014

Refrigerant sits at the core of your air conditioning system. Without it, air conditioning simply wouldn’t exist. Your unit passes the refrigerant through a series of valves and coils, which first revert it to a liquid state (creating hot air which is vented outside) then allow it to evaporate back into a gas (pulling heat out of the air and then allowing the cooled air to be blow into our house with a fan). Refrigerant types vary widely from model to model, and refrigerant levels need to be at a set, specified amount in order to function as it should. When refrigerant is lost – likely from a leak in the system somewhere – it will adversely affect the state of the air conditioner. Services that offer air conditioning repair in Jacksonville, FL can usually seal the leak and recharge the refrigerant to its prescribed level. Why is that so important? Here’s a quick breakdown of how low refrigerant impacts air conditioning repair.

In the simplest terms, the imbalance in refrigerant means that the cooling process is thrown off when the refrigerant hits the expansion coils. Instead of cooling the air like it should, it creates ice on the surface of the coils. Not only does the ice represent lost cooling potential, but it actively blocks the cooling process for the surrounding air. As a result, the air conditioner has to work a lot harder in order to do its job: increasing strain on internal components and raising the risk of a breakdown accordingly. The ice itself can cause problems as well: when it melts, it can overflow the condensate pan, damaging nearby electrical components in the process.

Refrigerant is dangerous to handle without proper training, and if a leak is the cause, then simply scraping the ice off won’t solve the problem at all. If you understand how low refrigerant impacts air conditioning repair, then you know you need to contact a trained expert like the ones at J&W Heating and Air. We offer all manner of air conditioning repair in Jacksonville, FL and throughout the surrounding communities. Call us today and let us show you what we can do for you!

Here’s Why Air Duct Cleaning Is Important

June 13th, 2014

Over the years, your duct system can build up a healthy amount of dust and debris. In some cases, the dust may creep in from a breach or an opening in the ducts. In other cases, it’s just a natural development for a system used to blow air at all times. When it comes to air duct cleaning in Jacksonville, FL, there are plenty of professional HVAC comapnies ready to help. But you may not know why you need air duct cleaning in your home, especially with so many other important things demanding your attention and resources. Here’s why air duct cleaning is important.

In the first and most obvious sense, clean ducts mean higher indoor air quality. While a centralized HVAC system is a wonderful and convenient component of your home, it can also spread dust to every corner almost by default. As a result, you may suffer from increased irritation in the nose and throat, and family members with allergies could find the number of attacks increasingly. For infants or the elderly, the health effects could be even more drastic. Regular duct cleaning services help you keep a solid handle on that, as well as keeping your indoor air quality high.

Furthermore, the presence of dust in the ducts can interfere with your air conditioner’s ability to do its job. As dust blows through the system, it will settle on internal components, increasing friction and forcing your air conditioner to work harder in order to do its job. In the worst cases, the dust can clog lines and even form blockages in the air ducts themselves. That will slow the air flow to a minimum and severely increase the strain on your unit.

The experts at J&W Heating and Air know why duct cleaning is important, and our highly skilled staff has the experience they need to do the job right. We treat your home with the same care and courtesy as our own, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every turn. When it comes to air duct cleaning, Jacksonville residents can count on us to do the job right. Give us a call today!

Add More Insulation and Save on Cooling Bills

June 6th, 2014

Insulation in Green Cove Springs is usually thought of as a winter thing, used to help keep your home toasty and warm when winter temperatures drop. But the same principles that keep warm air inside in January can keep hot air outside in July, which means that adding insulation now makes a lot of sense. A good technician can advise you on the amount of insulation to add and where, but one thing is certain: add more insulation to your home to improve indoor air quality and save on cooling bills.

Insulation follows three principle physical principles:

  • Conduction: the process by which heat moves through solid materials.
  • Convection: the process by which heat moves through liquid or gas.
  • Radiation: the process by which heat moves through a vacuum.

Insulation is designed from materials that slow all three of those processes down. Heat moves out of your house very slowly through the insulation, retaining warm temperatures longer and ensuring that your heating system can do its job more efficiently.

But as we said above, these principles aren’t simply one-way streets. The hot air outside your home has just as difficult a time getting in through the insulation as the warm air inside your home has getting out. And if you’re filling your home with cool air instead of warm air, the insulation helps it stay cool for a good long time. The more insulation you have, the better your house can retain cool air and the less work your air conditioning system has to do to keep your home comfortable. That means lower monthly bills as well as reduced strain and a lower risk of repairs.

The best part is that the demand for adding new insulation is fairly low in the summer, which means you can perform the operation more quickly and efficiently than you might closer to the winter. To add more insulation in Green Cove Springs, call upon the experts at J&W Heating & Air for help. We know how to do the job right the first time, every time, and we’re dedicated to saving you money. Give us a call today to set up a consultation, and let us show you what we can do!

Air Conditioning Services You May Need This Summer

May 30th, 2014

The heat is coming and some of the humidity is already here. In our almost 50 years of providing air conditioning services in Orange Park, FL and the surrounding areas, we have seen the different types of repairs each season can bring. As you start to run your air conditioner for this summer, there are a few types of repairs you may want to keep an eye out for:

  • Clogged condensate drain pipe – the condensate pipe in your air conditioning system takes the excess water that has accumulated in the condensate tray and removes it from your property. Clogs from debris and growth – mildew, mold, algae – can block the pipe so that the water no longer drains properly, possibly creating puddles or water leaks. In order to fix this, the drain pipe should be thoroughly cleaned out by a technician.
  • Dirty coils – there are two components in your air conditioner in which there are coils: the evaporator and the condenser. Both components’ coils can get covered in dirt and dust, which can affect how the coils work. Cleaning the coils thoroughly will eliminate this problem.
  • Refrigerant leaks – refrigerant leaks can lead to other problems, such as lack of cooling, stress on the compressor and icing on the evaporator coils. They can also be tough to find and require specialized training to handle them. If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, call your J & W Heating and Air specialist.
  • Tripping breaker – your air conditioner has its own circuit in your property’s electrical box that is designated by a specific breaker. The breaker is a safety device designed to turn off by itself should the power draw be too strong on the property’s electrical system; if it trips, there is a reason. Sometimes the breaker itself can be faulty, but more than likely there is an electrical problem in the system. NOTE: if you try to push the breaker back to the “on” position and encounter strong resistance, leave it alone. Forcing a breaker into place can cause serious problems. Electrical problems with your air conditioner are not a DIY repair, so it’s best to call an expert to review what’s happening.
  • Dirty air filter – a dirty air filter is an easy fix, but left unchanged, it can cause multiple problems with your air conditioning system. Why? A dirty air filter obstructs the air flow in your system, essentially depriving it of the air it needs to operate properly. Homeowners can change the air filter, or your J & W Heating and Air specialist can do it for you.

Regular Maintenance Helps Avoid Summer Repairs

All of the above points are inspected and adjusted in bi-annual maintenance, so doing regular maintenance can help you avoid these kinds of seasonal problems. Part of our air conditioning services in Orange Park, FL include maintenance programs, so if your AC hasn’t been used in a while, give J & W Heating and Air a call today to schedule an appointment.