Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning Repair’ Category

The End is Near: When to Replace Your Heating/AC Unit

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Buying a new AC may not be at the top of your list of what you want to spend your hard-earned money on, but not replacing it when it’s time will often cost you more in the long run. It comes down to efficiency. Some of the signs to look out for are easy to see, such as:

  1. Is the unit over 10 years old?
  2. Does your home feel humid even when the unit is running?
  3. Is it unnecessarily noisy?
  4. Has your monthly bill increased?
  5. Is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number on your current unit 10 or under?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above, you are probably at a point where maintenance is required or, more likely, a new, more efficient unit should be considered.

Like anything mechanical, energy efficient and appropriately sized units are the key to optimum operating costs and peak functionality. Today’s air conditioners must have a minimum SEER rating of 13, and must use the more environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant. The most efficient models have SEER ratings up to 26. Still, even the most effective units work best when they operate in the ideal environment. Some questions to ask are:

Is your home well insulated to protect its interior from drafts/warm air?

  • Is the duct system that distributes the cool air properly sealed?
  • Do you have more than one return in your home?

If you suspect any issues exist, be sure to correct those before installing new units.

So if you believe it’s time to replace your AC unit, a tremendous selection is available at a wide range of price points. The right one, installed with an upgrade like a programmable thermostat, will provide an excellent return on your investment.

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3 Ways to Improve the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The air quality in your home is put to the test against environmental impurities every day. Like it or not, pollutants such as dust, mold, cigarette smoke, radon, and – especially in Tampa – pollen are going to make their way into your home in a variety of ways. Visitors, pets, or even a new mattress can track them in, or your outside unit can unintentionally draw them in.

Children, the elderly, and asthma sufferers may be more sensitive to poor air quality; however, breathing impure air is dangerous for anyone who is continuously exposed. The good news is you can help minimize the risk of serious health problems by being mindful of these steps to keep your home free of pollutants and toxins:

  1. Keep your floors free of dirt and dust. Regularly vacuuming or mopping your floors will reduce the risk of chemicals and allergens taking up permanent residence in your home. Routine cleaning of your entire home is the best way to ensure pollutants will not linger.
  1. Consistently change your home’s HVAC filters per the manufacturer or your HVAC professional’s instructions. At Bayonet, we always recommend writing the date you replace them on the cardboard edge so you will know for certain the last time you swapped them out. Most store-bought one-inch filters should be changed monthly. Whole-house units, installed at the air handler, can be changed twice a year.
  1. Periodically ventilate your home. Most home heating and cooling systems do not bring in clean outdoor air and should not be relied on to keep your home’s air purified. Periodically opening windows, doors, and vents will bring in outdoor air and help to push unclean air out.

Monitoring your home’s air isn’t always the easiest task to remember. But for the sake of your family’s safety and wellness, it needs to be done. Contact Bayonet today to find out how we can help!

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Don’t Get Blown Away This Hurricane Season

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Hurricane season is upon us here in Florida, and with it lots of rain, wind, and bouts of flooding. And while a disasters are always a possibility, keep in mind we don’t always have to get hit hard to feel the effects of the ‘canes.

One thing that is often overlooked during hurricane season is your A/C unit. While we tend to remember to board our windows, sandbag our doors, and put valuables in a fire/waterproof safe, we often forget that there is a large, expensive appliance just waiting to be destroyed by the gale force winds.

So how exactly do you protect your HVAC unit in times of wild weather?

  1. If you have a window unit, unplug it entirely. Bring the unit indoors and seal the opening.
  2. Turn off your A/C unit before the storm, including the circuit breaker, to avoid electrical shocks if flooding should occur.
  3. Cover your outdoor unit with a tarp, wood panels, or both to keep it as safe as possible from water, dirt, and debris. If high winds are predicted, consider investing in a pair of hurricane straps and batten down the hatches.

Once the storm has passed, portable A/C units can be placed back into their original locations. For the outdoor units, remove the protective covering, inspect the units, and check the base. Should flooding occur, call a professional like Bayonet to ensure that no damage has been done to the electrical portions of the unit.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for a safe and hurricane-free season, but better to be safe than sorry!

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An A/C Unit is Only as Good as the Duct System

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The coveted summer months have finally arrived and that means sunshine, hot temperatures, and fun in the sun. It also means that you are turning on your air conditioning units and will be running them regularly for the next few months. One of the most commonly overlooked areas of air conditioning units is the duct work that pumps all that ice cold air into your home – the ducts. Without a solid duct system in place your unit will not function at maximum performance, ultimately costing you money in added energy costs.

So, what are the most common problems with ducts?

Problem: Dirt, Dust and Debris. Dirt and debris from outside can make their way into your home by getting pulled into the unit and then into the ducts. Likewise, the dust that naturally exists in your home can be pulled into the vents and circulated throughout the ducts.

Solution: Professional Duct Cleaning. Outsource this – attempting to clean your own duct work is dangerous and will likely cause more problems than it will solve.

Problem: Leaky Ducts. The ducts are not properly sealed. Various studies have concluded that anywhere from 10-30% of the cooled air is lost as a result of leaks. Improper sealing is generally the cause of leakage.

Solution:   Get them tested. Bayonet can come out and evaluate and test the quality of your duct work and, should there be issues, make recommendations on how best to address them.

Making sure that you have a fully functioning A/C unit and well maintained and constructed ducts will help lower energy costs, increase performance, and keep your home cool as a cucumber this summer!

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When You Call for AC Repair In Tampa: Choose Wisely!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Air conditioners break and need repair in Tampa and across Florida; it is a fact of life. Today AC isn’t a luxury—it is a necessity. But when an AC or Heat Pump breaks, who do you call? Hundreds of AC companies are licensed in Florida, but how do you choose? We have some tips for the savvy consumer!

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. AC Repair companies in Tampa often run advertisements that say “FREE” tune up or offer a low cost tune up. If you are searching for a great deal on a cheap repair, you should know that the motive of many of these companies is to find something wrong with your AC unit so they can write up a huge repair bill or sell you a new system.

Check References! Before you call an AC company to make a repair, check their reputation. Thanks to the Better Business Bureau and Google, checking in on customer experiences is easier than ever. Look for companies with many reviews and mostly favorable ones. In the AC repair industry, especially in Tampa, there will always be people who are hard to please. Look for companies who have a mixture of good and bad reviews but have responded to the bad ones in a personal and timely fashion. If every review is a glowing one, they might be fabricated to make the company look better than they are.

-Are they licensed and adequately insured?  Take a moment and look at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website and make sure that the company is licensed to do work. Using an unlicensed contractor is a dangerous game. Your homeowner’s policy could get hit with the claim if an unlicensed contractor is injured on your property! Just to repair an AC unit in Tampa, a state license is required! Bayonet’s AC license number is CAC058062 and the plumbing license number is CFC042998. Both licenses are held by the company’s owners. Make sure the license holder isn’t someone the company has hired to “rent” the license, leaving virtually no responsibility on the owners or technicians, as it isn’t their State license on the line if a complaint is filed.

Repair or Replace? Many AC companies want to push the AC replacement over the AC repair. If your system is using R410a refrigerant and is under ten years old, a company pushing to replace your system instead of suggesting an AC repair should warrant warning bells! R22, commonly known as Freon™, is being phased out across the country. Additionally, the Department of Energy has mandated that all AC systems sold in the US must meet a minimum seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 13. So if your AC system is in need of a repair in Tampa or anywhere in Florida, use this as qualifying criteria: 1.Is my AC system older than 10 years? 2. Does it use R22 refrigerant? 3. Was it less than 13 seer when I bought it? If you can answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you might be a candidate for a new system; but if you can answer “no,” you are a likely candidate for an AC repair instead.

-Who’s going to complete the AC Repair? The technician arrives at your home. Hopefully, he or she is driving a company vehicle with a logo and hopefully he or she is wearing a uniform. But who is it really? Use a company like Bayonet Plumbing and AC which is Ask the Seal Certified. What’s that mean? It means that every employee who enters your home or deals with sensitive information-like your credit card number-has been background checked by a third-party company.  AC repair is one of the most popular trades taught in penitentiaries. Where did you AC repair technician get his experience?

The bottom line is simple, Tampa: Don’t Sweat, Just Call Bayonet for AC repair you can trust.

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“My AC is Low on Gas”

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

It’s such a common problem when the weather heats up like it has this past week. We hear it all the time, “my system is low on gas,” or “my freon is low again.” If your system “uses” refrigerant, you have a larger problem!

Here’s what you need to know: air conditioning systems aren’t like a car; they don’t burn gas to operate. Your air conditioner is a closed loop, it cools the air by changing the refrigerant inside the copper coils from its liquid state to its gaseous state. In its liquid state, R410a and R22 are very cold. In the gaseous state, both chemical compounds are hot.

It’s your compressor’s job to compress the gas back into the liquid and pump the gas from the outdoor unit, where the heat is released into the air to help cool the gas back into liquid form, back through the copper lineset and into the air handling unit that is usually located inside your house. The air handler brings the warm air in through the returns and draws it across the cold coil to cool it, conditioning your home.

So, should your system need gas?

No, it shouldn’t, not unless there’s been a leak or a technician adjusted your charge. Refrigerant is costly. An improper charge makes your system work harder than it has to, increasing run time AND your power bills.

Getting really low on refrigerant can cause your system to freeze up. That can cause many different problems. First of all, it will stress the compressor as it tries to pump and can’t. Then, the system will shut down, then the ice will melt–rapidly. When that happens, the water can’t be contained by the drain lines as they can’t handle so much water. This leads to water in your home, on your ceiling, or on your floors, which is never good!

So, if you think your system isn’t cooling well, maybe it’s time for a tune up. If you’re told that you need to add refrigerant, be careful! Many companies will offer a tune up for a ultra low price just to find things wrong with your system and get a repair. Our precision tune up specials are located in the promotions section of our website and are very thorough and competitive. Preventative maintenance is the best way to prevent leaks in the system. Thorough cleanings are the only way to keep the corrosion in the environment from wearing away the metal and allowing your coils to spring leaks. Besides, the unit will be more efficient when clean!

A Word on Freon or R22

Recently, the EPA decided to uphold the limits on how much Freon can be made and sold. It contains chemicals that have been proven to be harmful to the ozone layer. So, when that leaks into the environment, it can cause damage to it. Because of the production limits, the price of R22, also known as Freon, has skyrocketed. So, be prepared to pay more for that recharge, should your system require it.

It’s our policy to only charge a system with a leak check. We will identify the leak for you and offer a repair or replacement of the leaking part. Some copper coils can be welded and fixed, but many coils are made of aluminum and can’t be welded. They simply have to be replaced. Sometimes, replacing the unit makes more sense, but we can help with providing the information that you need to make an informed decision.

When you need us, we’re here. So Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

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Indoor Air Quality: Why Testing Targets the Best Solutions

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

We’ve all read it before: indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. There are three principles to live by when it comes to indoor air quality: remove the source of the problem, filter out what is in the air, and dilute the contaminants with fresh, clean air. It’s not really rocket science. However, when you consider that our homes are built tighter than ever to be as energy smart as possible, the dilution part of the equation becomes a challenge. We’re just not introducing fresh air as much as we should.

Family members who have allergies, asthma, COPD, or compromised immune systems require indoor air quality that is as close to perfect as possible. There are myriad products and techonologies today to get the air in your home squeaky clean. Here’s the hard part: what is right for your home? What do you need? What will you have to spend to achieve perfect air for your family?

Don’t Sweat: Call Bayonet

We are one of the few companies who can actually TEST your indoor air and THEN propose a solution that addresses the problems that are in your air ! So many companies will just sell you the highest price item in their arsenal when you bring up the indoor air quality topic. But great indoor air is much more than a UV Bulb or Filter.

VOCs: the unknown culprit

VOCs are volatile organic compounds that are present in the air and can be harmful to lungs. Lennox’ s PureAir filter can cleanse the air thanks to the photocatalytic oxidation that the filter boasts. It’s a leader in the industry and a great innovation that will completely rid your home of all airborne odors and smells.

Particulant Problems

Many of us know that particulants are always present. These are the  mold spores, tiny particles, and pollen that float through the air stream. If you don’t have a filter doing the work for you, your body will have no choice but filter them out for you. That’s where allergies come in. Some people’s bodies react to these tiny particles as if they require combat. Instead of saying: “oh, that’s a harmless thing” some bodies say “yikes, attack!” and Boom! You have an allergic reaction. Adequate filtration removes these particles from your home’s air so your body won’t have to be a filter.

It’s the Humidity!

The third part of indoor air solutions that many companies never address is the humidity level. In Florida, we have major humidity swings. For most of the summer months, it is quite high. According to the American Lung Association, the ideal humidity level for human life is 55 percent. Why? Easy: that humidity level is not condusive to the development of molds, dust mites can not thrive or procreate, and irritating airborne gases don’t seem to aggravate us so easily. For many homeowners, the AC system isn’t sized properly or has inadequate returns, leading to humidity levels that range high most of the time. Thanks to innovations in air conditioning technology, we have many ways to cure the humidity problem from dual-speed systems to stand alone dehumidifcation systems (that run on only 6 amps of power) that can hit your target humidity all year long.

So What’s Wrong with YOUR Air?

Well, from this side of the computer, I don’t know. And a techinican standing in your living room or even one who has looked at your system truly doesn’t know either. BUT we can test it! Thanks to our system, we can install a device that will measure your home’s particulant levels, VOC levels, humidity, temperature and even carbon monoxide levels. It downloads the data to a computer in Oregon which then provides us with a report. Then, we can offer you a truly customized solution to give you the best indoor air quality you can get in your home, without breaking the bank.

Spend smart, breathe great air, and don’t fret: CALL BAYONET.

Mention this blog and get the smart IAQ test for $50…and we will take the amount of the testing off  of your IAQ solution! Through 9/1/2012.

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Bayonet is Ask The Seal Certified!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

When you invite strangers into your home for the first time, how do you know you can trust them in your sanctuary, around your children, and around what’s nearest and dearest to your heart. Unless you have a long-standing relationship with the company, you don’t really know who they’re sending to your home. In fact, they might not even really know they’re employees! There is a way to have a little peace of mind. It’s free and called AskTheSeal.com

At Bayonet, we’re very proud to distinguish our company in this manner. Here is a little about Ask the Seal, straight from their website:

Why Ask The Seal?

  • Many companies who claim to be licensed, insured and bonded are not.
  • Many companies who claim to perform criminal background checks on their employees do not.
  • If you hire an unlicensed company and an employee hurts themselves on your property or your property is damaged, your insurance company may deny the claim leaving you holding the bag.
  • You can be fined up to $5,000 for hiring an unlicensed contractor whether you knew it or not.
  • Many criminals use their employment to find their next victim.
  • Every day companies large and small introduce dangerous felons into unsuspecting consumers lives.
  • Many consumers think they are safe if someone is home with them when the service person is there. In fact, many crimes are committed up to six months after the service call.

How is the Seal Different?

  • Ask the Seal.com is free to consumers.
  • Ask the Seal.com does not require you to enter any personal information.
  • Ask the Seal.com performs criminal and sex offender checks on not just the owner but also the employees who interact with your family.
  • Ask the Seal.com actually performs the background checks rather than just taking someone’s word for it.
  • Companies with the Seal of Approval can email you an employee photo and proof of background check(SEAL-MAIL) so you know who you are opening your door for.
  • Employees are issued photo IDs confirming their background check

How does the Seal of Approval help protect me?

So now, you don’t just have our promise, you have the Seal’s approval. So don’t sweat, don’t fret, call Bayonet…and you’ll have no regrets!

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What happened to heating season??

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

We Floridians have enjoyed our non-winter thoroughly this year! It has been true “Chamber of Commerce” weather. We haven’t experienced the few weeks of chilly weather we usually get, and the 80s haven’t been uncommon over the holidays and throughout the typically chillier months.

What does all of that mean to your AC unit? Well, the heating features likely didn’t get used much this winter! So the run time on those parts is down some from normal, but the air conditioning parts might need a little love. Air conditioners are like cars: they need regular maintenance to keep running efficiently. So if you haven’t had your system fully maintained recently, you might want to give it some serious thought, before it decides to throw in the towel on the hottest day of the year.

Be careful: if you try to find the least expensive price, you might not get a thorough maintenance, just an “inspection” during which the company might tell you that you need a maintenance or parts replaced at an additional fee. Consider instead one of our pre-planned maintenance agreements. We call them MVPs because contracting for one entitles the homeowner to many additional benefits that they wouldn’t have with simply a standard maintenance.

During our maintenance visits, we inspect all the parts that can break and test the ones we can test to ensure you that you’re given an opportunity to repair the ones that are near failure before they fail and cause you a loss of comfort. We also thoroughly clean your outdoor AND indoor coil (in place) to make sure dirt and other debris aren’t robbing you of efficiency, increasing your unit’s run time, and increasing your power bill. Just a tiny layer of dirt on the coil increases your power bill, according to an LSU study.

So, don’t keep neglecting your poor, overworked AC unit. Find out about our unique MVP agreements today or schedule a maintenance.

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Spring Cleaning? Don’t forget the AC unit…

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The cold snap is over and Easter’s not far away. For many, that is a signal to let the spring cleaning begin! Did you know that as little as 0.042 inches of dirt accumulated on condensing unit coil and reduce your system’s efficiency by 21 percent! It’s a fact, proven by an LSU study.

When you’re thinking about cleaning, think about your AC unit. If you haven’t had it cleaned recently, call 877-BAYONET and let one of our technicians give it the spring cleaning it deserves so it doesn’t run longer than it has to when it beats the summer heat and keeps your home and family cool.

Be careful when calling for a tune up. Some companies advertise a very low cost “inspection” but they don’t actually “do” anything; they simply inspect. That’s not going to help. On the promotions page of our website, we’re running a $57 tune up special, and it’s a great value. We clean the outdoor coil and the indoor (in place, removing the coil is an extra charge) among the over twenty other tasks performed while we’re there.

Reduce your summer cooling bills before they start! Kick off your spring cleaning with a Bayonet tune up. Don’t Forget to Call Bayonet!

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