J & W Heating and Air Blog

Improve Your Insulation in Time for Winter

October 8th, 2014

Insulation is usually associated with colder weather, but the truth is, good insulation is necessary to keep your home energy efficient year-round. There are several types of insulation from which to choose, and many homeowners use a combination of types to achieve the best level of insulation possible. Improving your insulation has several important benefits, and fall offers a perfect window of opportunity to improve your insulation in Orange Park before the cooler weather of winter arrives. J & W Heating and Air has been helping customers with insulation issues for over four decades, so let our experienced and trained technicians improve your insulation.

Why It’s Important to Have Good Insulation

The main job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat; this is because heat will always move from warm areas to cold areas. There are 3 ways heat flows:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

Without good insulation, heat will enter your home during the warm months and exit your home during the cool months. Insulation creates a barrier that significantly reduces the movement of heat, allowing you to maintain your heating and cooling as needed.

Types of Insulation

There are 4 main types of insulation:

  • Batt insulation (roll insulation)
  • Foam board/rigid foam insulation
  • Loose-fill insulation (also known as blown-in)
  • Spray foam insulation

Batt insulation has been around for a long time and is what people usually picture when they think of insulation: pink layers. Foam board insulation can be used from top to bottom in a home, but because of its inflexibility, it is best used in walls, floors, ceilings and trusses. Loose-fill insulation is great for retro-fitting because it is blown directly into the walls of a home, and it fills crevices that can be hard to reach. Spray foam is relatively new, but has become very popular quickly. Spray foam is an adhesive that expands tremendously when it hits the air. Because it’s a foam, it covers all areas, especially hard to reach ones, and once it hardens, it becomes an airtight seal.

Benefits of Good Insulation

  • Better energy efficiency
  • Improved comfort
  • Reduced noise levels
  • Less wear on your heating and cooling systems

Having the proper level of insulation in Orange Park is good for you and your wallet. If you need help with your insulation, call the people with over 40 years’ experience: J & W Heating and Air. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Air Conditioning Repairs You May Need in the Fall

October 1st, 2014

The average high temperature in the Jacksonville area remains in the mid-70s through the fall, and even deep into winter it hovers in the mid-60s, with chances of jumping back up 10°F on hotter days. This means that even after summer is a memory, the air conditioning in your home can’t be: you must keep it running in good shape for those occasional hot and humid days that can strike all throughout the cooler months.

The fall is a period when you may find your AC encountering more repair needs than other times of the year; it has just finished an intense summer load of work, and the stress and strain on it can cause the components to wear down. Should any sign appear that the AC is malfunctioning, don’t let the cooler fall weather delay you from calling for professional air conditioning repair in St. Augustine, FL from J & W Heating and Air. We have 24-hour emergency service for whenever you need it.

Common AC Repairs in the Fall

  • Lubricating and cleaning motors: The summer work is especially stressful on the motors that run the fans and the compressor. During the months of steady labor, the motors can develop dirt across their moving parts, or start to lose lubrication, and this can eventually lead to them burning out from mechanical stress. When you hear screeching or groaning noises from the AC’s cabinets, it usually means the motors need repair work before they are beyond repair and must have replacements.
  • Cleaning the coils: The indoor and outdoor coils of an air conditioner are essential parts of the heat exchange cycle, and both need to remain clean to permit the easy absorption and release of heat. Both can collect dust and grime over the summer season, and restricting the heat exchange cycle. Excess dirt along the indoor coil can also trigger it to start to ice over, which is a serious impairment for the AC. Should icing occur, or the air conditioner start to lose cooling power due to a dirty outdoor coil, call for repairs to remove the coils and specially clean them. (Don’t try to clean the coils on your own, as this may damage them.)
  • Thermostat recalibration: If the thermostat doesn’t work right, the cooling system cannot work right. Even a minor miscalibration in the temperature sensors can throw off the AC and make it run at the wrong times, creating discomfort or wasting energy. Any number of malfunctions in an air conditioner can be due to thermostat miscalibration, so always call for skilled technicians to trace down the source of the problem and apply the right repair.

If you care for your air conditioner and call for service when it requires it, it should take care of you throughout the year until the next maintenance appointment in spring. J & W Heating and Air offers excellent air conditioning repair in St. Augustine, FL and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Why You Need Professionals to Clean Your Air Ducts

September 24th, 2014

Regular air duct cleaning is an important household task that you should have done every other year, or whenever you notice heavy congestion in the vents around your house. (High heating and cooling bills are also another warning sign to look out for.) But this isn’t a task that you can arrange to do as just another part of spring cleaning: air duct cleaning is a job for professionals only, as we’ll explain.

Fortunately, it is simple to locate quality services for air duct cleaning in Jacksonville, FL and the surrounding communities. You only have to call up J & W Heating and Air and speak to one of our indoor air quality specialists. We handle many services to help maintain the ventilation system of homes. Along with air duct cleaning, we also perform duct testing and sealing. You can reach us 24 hours a day whenever you need emergency service.

The Importance of Professional Air Duct Cleaning

Try this: open up an air vent in your home, one that you can easily reach. Now try to put your hand into it. It may not fit. If it does, it won’t go far down into the air shaft. Even with a long broom or the flexible hose of a vacuum cleaner, you can’t access much of the extensive interior of the ventilation system on your own. You could only clean off the area around the vents. (We do advise cleaning the vent covers on a regular basis, however, as it helps with airflow.)

Furthermore, you can’t apply the level of cleaning necessary on your own. A broom or a commercial vacuum will only pick up superficial layers of dust and dirt. The contamination that gets into ductwork becomes deeply embedded in the walls, and it takes professional equipment to remove it so the ductwork contains as little air resistance as possible. There are some types of pollutants that require special remediation techniques.

What professionals do to clean air ducts is attach a large power vacuum onto the ventilation system and seal off all the other access points. The enormous vacuum alters the pressure throughout the ventilation system, which agitates contaminants from the walls of the air ducts. The vacuum can then easily draw in most of the dirt, dust, dander, pollen, and other particles to provide thoroughly cleaned ducts. Technicians will also use agitation equipment that can reach far down into the vents to help clean tougher areas.

Schedule Your Air Duct Cleaning Today

If you don’t remember how has passed since you arranged for professional air duct cleaning in Jacksonville, FL, then it probably has been too long. Call J & W Heating and Air today, and our friendly technicians will help you schedule your next cleaning visit.

Why Proper Sizing for Commercial HVAC Systems Is Important

September 17th, 2014

Having an uncomfortable business space impacts you, your business and your customers. Whether you are sizing an HVAC system for your own business or a commercial space with multiple businesses, it’s very important to install a correctly-sized HVAC system to achieve the comfort level you need in each space. Using just any company for your commercial HVAC services in Orange Park, FL can put you and your business at risk, so call the professionals you can count on: J&W Heating and Air.

What Happens with the Wrong-Sized HVAC System?

There are only two ways to go wrong when sizing an HVAC system: too big or too small. When an HVAC system is too small for your commercial space, it won’t heat or cool adequately. This can result in energy efficiency issues because the system will be running constantly to try and reach the set temperature(s), as well as potential premature aging.

A system that is too large presents a couple of different problems. First, operating an oversized HVAC system can cause a problem called short-cycling: the system turns on and off too frequently. The reason short-cycling occurs is that an oversized system will heat or cool the air too quickly; as such, the system achieves the set temperature too fast, so the system shuts off. The space will then cool down or warm up quickly, which triggers the cycle to re-start.

A second problem that can develop with a system that is too large is poor humidity control. When a space cools too fast, the HVAC system does not have a chance to properly remove the humidity in the air. This results in a cool, clammy feeling during the warm months.

Lastly, energy efficiency is decreased because the short-cycling over-uses energy due to constant start-up.

One of the best ways to ensure that you install a commercial HVAC system that fits your business space is by hiring trained commercial specialists: this is where J&W Heating and Air comes in. Since 1966, we have provided commercial HVAC services in Orange Park, FL and bring this knowledge and expertise to every job we do. If you are struggling with your commercial HVAC system, give us a call today.

When Ductless Is a Good Choice for Air Conditioning Installation

September 10th, 2014

If you don’t have any ductwork in your home or new room addition, you may be curious about your options for air conditioning installation. More and more homeowners are choosing to ditch their small room or window air conditioners and forgo ductwork installation for a new ductless system that can cool an entire home. But what’s wrong with window air conditioners? Is ductless air conditioning installation the right choice for your home? To answer these questions, we made a list of some of the major reasons you may decide to go ductless.

You Don’t Have Any Ductwork in Your Home

For many homes without any ductwork, ductless air conditioning installation is simply the most logical option. Window air conditioners are generally inefficient. While the U.S. government requires most AC units to have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 13 or higher, window units are exempt from this rule and are much less efficient at an average SEER of about 10. And installing ductwork may be a major disruption to your home, while installing a ductless AC means a technician only has to drill one small hole in the wall to connect the indoor units to the outdoor unit via a refrigerant line.

You Want to Be More Comfortable

Window air conditioners are sometimes ineffective at cooling large spaces, but with ductless air conditioning installation, a technician sizes your unit and strategically installs the indoor air handlers to ensure total comfort throughout the home. In fact, ductless AC keeps you even more comfortable with built-in zone control. You may need multiple indoor air handlers to cool an entire home, but each unit is connected to its own thermostat, so you can choose to vary the temperature in the house depending on your needs.

You Want to Reduce Energy Consumption

Ductless air conditioners are not only more efficient than window units; they often have a higher SEER than many central air conditioners as well. And they allow you to choose whether you want to save money by only cooling (or even heating) some parts of the home. If some rooms in your large home are unused throughout the day, you may decide to increase the temperature so that you are not cooling an unoccupied space.

For ductless air conditioning installation in St. Augustine, call J & W Heating and Air today!

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at J & W Heating and Air hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

August 27th, 2014

Air-tight properties can be great for energy efficiency, but not so great for good ventilation. However, there is a whole-home device that can be added to your existing HVAC system that helps with both energy efficiency and ventilation: an energy recovery ventilator, also known as an ERV. Your indoor air quality in Jacksonville is important for both comfort and health, and with an ERV, you can accomplish both healthy air and energy efficiency. J&W Heating and Air has been serving customers in the Jacksonville area since 1966, and we can help you with all of your indoor air quality needs.

How Does an ERV Work?

An ERV capitalizes on the second law of thermodynamics, which states that energy will spontaneously move from areas of high energy to areas of lower energy. The core of the ERV, known as the heat exchanger, transfers heat and moisture between incoming and outgoing streams. During winter, your warm, used indoor air is expelled. As it exits, it pre-heats the incoming cold air and also adds moisture to it. During the summer, your used conditioned air is expelled, and it pre-cools and dehumidifies the incoming warm air.

What Are the Benefits of an ERV?

There are several key benefits to installing an ERV:

  • Continuous clean, fresh air – an ERV brings in a constant, steady stream of air from the outside, which improves your ventilation and indoor air quality.
  • Better energy efficiency – pre-treating the air, whether during summer or winter, helps reduce the amount of work your HVAC system has to do. This can reduce the amount of energy it uses to operate.
  • Balanced humidity levels – an ERV manages moisture by either adding it or dehumidifying it according to the season, which helps maintain very balanced humidity levels in your home.
  • Less wear and tear on your system – an ERV reduces how much your AC has to work, which can reduce the rate of wear and tear.

An ERV can help your HVAC system be more efficient while also helping with indoor comfort and air quality. If you are interested in seeing what an ERV can do for your AC and indoor air quality in Jacksonville, call J&W Heating and Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

High Energy Bills: Should I Call for Air Conditioning Service?

August 20th, 2014

Are you seeing your energy bills rise but haven’t changed how you operate your air conditioner? It may be time to call for an Orange Park air conditioning service. Any time an air conditioner is strained, it uses more power to achieve the cooling performance you want. Many things can account for the strain, which is why it’s important to hire professionally-trained specialists, like the ones at J & W Heating and Air, for your repair needs.

What Can Cause Higher Energy Bills?

A lot of different problems can cause your air conditioner to use more energy. Here are a few examples:

  • Refrigerant leaks – leaks in refrigerant imbalance the refrigeration cycle in your air conditioning system. This imbalance can make components like the compressor work harder, which can increase energy usage.
  • Fan issues – there are two fans in your air conditioner: one in the condenser unit and a second in the evaporator unit (also known as the blower). Both fans play a large role in the air flow of your system. When a fan malfunctions, such as slowing down due to a worn fan belt, the air flow also decreases. This forces your system to work harder.
  • Dirty air filter – your air filter should be changed approximately every 3 months. The job of your air filter is to capture as many large particles of dust and dirt as it can, as well as to block pieces of debris from entering your air conditioning system. As such, the air filters can become very dirty and clogged, and this can restrict the air flow in your system.
  • Faulty ductwork – faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of the total air loss in your air conditioning system. Holes, cracks, broken seals and disconnections can siphon your cool air away from the duct, reducing the amount of air being delivered. Your AC has to accommodate for this loss, and does so by working harder.

Energy inefficiency can wreak havoc on your air conditioning system and your wallet. By scheduling air conditioning services in Orange Park now, you can reduce your loss of energy and get your system back on track. Call Comfort Central, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

The Benefits of Adding and Replacing Insulation

August 14th, 2014

Insulation is often associated with winter, and for good reason: it helps keep you warm. But insulation isn’t just good for keeping your heat in; it is also important for keeping heat out during the summer. If you have poor insulation, you could be spending a lot of extra money cooling your home that could be recouped by adding to or replacing your current insulation in St. Augustine. Insulation is your first line of defense against cool air loss, so if you suspect your home may not be properly insulated, call J&W Heating and Air for an appointment.

How Does Insulation Help Keep You Cool?

The main job of insulation is to stop heat transfer. One of the basic laws of thermodynamics is that warm air will always travel to cool air. So, if you are cooling your home, one of the challenges you have is keeping the warm outdoor air from infiltrating your cool indoor air. Insulation helps by blocking the outdoor heat from coming into your home through the walls, ceilings and roof.

Different Kinds of Heat

There are 3 different kinds of heat transfer that insulation blocks: conduction, which is heat that moves through solids or liquids; convection, which moves through gases; and radiation, which is thermal heat. The way insulation works in the summer is not by keeping the cool air in, but by keeping the 3 kinds of heat out. In winter, insulation works to keep the heat in. This is why it’s important to have good insulation in your home.

Benefits of Insulation

  • Slows the transfer of heat
  • Prevents moisture exchange
  • Increases energy efficiency
  • Increases comfort levels

Recommended Thickness

Florida insulation recommendations are between R30 to R60 when there is no insulation, and R25 to R38 if you are adding insulation.

Be Cooler and More Efficient With Insulation

When your home is poorly insulated, your comfort and energy efficiency may be suffering. If your insulation in St. Augustine, FL is inadequate, call the professionals who can help: J&W Heating and Air.

Why Call a Specialist for Commercial Air Conditioning Services in Jacksonville

August 7th, 2014

The summer season in Florida lasts long past what most of the rest of the nation considers “summer.” And that means you need to have the air conditioning system for your business capable of working additional months keep your work place cooled down for the comfort of employees, customers, and/or clients. Your company can’t afford to lose the circulation of cool air through the building when the temperatures outside are still hovering around the 90s.

When you require service for commercial air conditioning in Jacksonville, FL, whether it’s installation, repairs, or maintenance, you cannot turn to just any HVAC company. These jobs require commercial specialists, like the team at J & W Heating and Air. We can handle your light commercial (under 25 tons) air conditioning needs to keep your company cooled down through any late season heat wave.

Why Commercial Specialists Are Necessary

Commercial air conditioning is dissimilar to residential air conditioning, even though the basics of how the systems work are the same (electrical power used to circulate refrigerant that moves heat from the inside of a building to the outside). Commercial ACs are larger and more complex systems, and have a number of major design differences.

The most common type of commercial AC is a rooftop package unit, and this is a kind of air conditioning rarely seen for a home. A package unit combines all the important components of an AC into one cabinet, instead of splitting it across and indoor and outdoor cabinet, and they require specialized training to service them and install them.

Commercial ACs are designed as modular systems: you can increase the cooling load by adding more units, something not possible with residential cooling systems. This adds complications to installing systems, and makes repairs much more intricate.

Another important consideration for commercial air conditioning is keeping your building up to code. Commercial service technicians are familiar with the local electrical code, and when they service your AC they will make certain that it remains within code and doesn’t threaten your company with a temporary shutdown.

Contact Commercial Experts Today

For all your needs for light commercial air conditioning in Jacksonville, FL, you can rely on the talented staff at J & W Heating and Air. No matter if it’s new installation or a routine maintenance check, we will make sure that your business’ AC works effectively and efficiently for you. You can reach us 24 hours a day for emergency service. Contact us today to set up your next appointment for commercial AC installation.