Archive for the ‘Heat Pump Systems’ Category

Keep Your Cooling Bills Down This Summer

Friday, April 26th, 2013

The thermometer is beginning to creep higher in the Tampa area. It calls to mind the end of school, the beginning of beaches and vacation season, but it also finds residents closing those windows at night and running the air conditioning all day–and all night.

The next unavoidable event is the onset of higher power bills. It’s inevitable: no other appliance uses as much electricity as your air conditioner. In fact, in many homes, it can be the cause of up to 60 percent of the bill.

Don’t fret, because Bayonet has some simple tips to help you save money this season!

  • Get a thorough system cleaning. That’s stating the obvious, isn’t it? Almost everyone knows that AC units require maintenance to be efficient. Do you know why? The air passes over a very cold cold in the air handler. As it is drawn across the coil, it cools off, providing the cool air to your home. Dirt and debris can also accumulate on those coils, which minimizes the surface area for the air to contact the coils. When left dirty, eventually it can become so clogged that it will “freeze” coil and put strain on your compressor. If slightly dirty, the system has to run longer to achieve your set temperature level, and the longer that unit runs the higher the power bills climb!
  • BE CAREFUL when you choose the maintenance package! Caveat emptor is an ancient maxim that is quite applicable today. If you see an advertisement for a “tune-up” that is less than about $80, be very cautious. Truly, your system needs to have all mechanical parts checked, all amp draws checked and verified to be within normal limits, a refrigerant system check, both the indoor and outdoor coil cleaned, and a drain line and pan flush. That’s the minimum. Rare is the company that can do all of that for less than $80 in this economy. It should take more than an hour. Be a smart consumer and be sure you get what you need. Many of the companies who offer a dirt cheap “tune up” will be looking for ways to upsell you when they arrive.
  • Set your system to 78 degrees or higher…According to Florida Power, your savings begin to kick in when the thermostat is 78 degrees or higher. You can save more than 3 percent per degree over 78, so while you’re away, turn it up to cash in on some easy savings. If you have pets, no higher than 82, please…
  • If you’re considering system replacement, consider two speed systems! Yes, SEER is where it’s at for savings, but in our wonderfully tropical climate, humidity removal is not to be overlooked. Two-speed systems, especially today’s communicating ones, are especially good at removing humidity. A home at 78 degrees and 50 percent humidity feels like 74 degrees! Now that’s saving money without sacrifice!

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask our experts or email us. We’re here when you need us, so don’t sweat, call Bayonet!

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Frigid Forecast for Florida

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The forecast for this weekend is in! No one in Tampa imagined that we would have to turn the heat on yet again this season! Yet here we are on the brink of yet another cold front.

If you’re like most Floridians, you can’t wait for the sun to start sending the mercury back into the 80 degree zone. Until these cold fronts finish up, there’s someone else getting stressed out by these wild temperature swings: Your heat pump! Maybe it is a good time to revisit this blog post from LAST January:

technician tuning up tampa ac system

Many customers call us, especially those not used to how heat pumps work, during sub-40 degree temperatures to discuss the operation issue they observe with their heat pump. The defrost cycle can sometimes get loud, it can sometimes get steamy, but it is very necessary to keeping your heat pump cycling.

With all of the switching from air conditioning functions to heating functions, parts can begin to wear quickly. Make sure you call or email to schedule your spring tuneup today! Mention this blog and book a tune up for the week of March 1st and pay only $65 dollars for the tuneup! That’s great savings! So remember, don’t sweat, Call Bayonet!

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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

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 is free to consumers.
  • Ask the does not require you to enter any personal information.
  • Ask the performs criminal and sex offender checks on not just the owner but also the employees who interact with your family.
  • Ask the 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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Choosing a new air conditioner….

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Take the Guesswork Out of Choosing an Air Conditioner

When you need to purchase a new air conditioner the choices can be overwhelming, but when armed with basic information, you can make the choice that best fits your needs and your budget. One of the first things you should do is schedule a consultation with a professional so that you have expert guidance.

Things you need to consider include:

  • What size do I need? This can be tricky; too small and your home won’t be cool enough, too large and you will be paying too much as well as losing efficiency. This is where your consultation with us comes in— we’ll help you find the optimal size for your needs.
  • How efficient should it be? An air conditioner’s initial cost rises proportionately with its efficiency, but a high-efficiency air conditioner will most likely save you money in the long run. Efficiency will be discussed in more detail below
  • Is the company going to be around to service it? Do I trust them implicitly to stand behind their work? If you don’t, your family’s comfort is at stake!

An air conditioner’s efficiency rating lets you know how much of the energy it uses is turned into cool air for your home.  The higher, the better.

Air conditioners have varying levels of efficiency; look for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating to compare models.  Current laws set the minimum SEER of new air conditioners at 13 or higher. High-efficiency unitshave a SEER of between 14 and 20.

As stated above, the cost of a new air conditioner will rise proportionately with its efficiency, but don’t let this turn you away from high-efficiency models. Remember an air conditioner will last 10 years or more; if that unit is 20% more efficient than a cheaper model, the cost difference will be negated in the long term, and the more expensive model canactually save you money.

An air conditioner is a fairly expensive long-term commitment to your home’s comfort.  Make the best decision you can based on efficiency, size, and cost; call us to help. The single biggest factor that should influence your decision isn’t the unit or brand but the company you choose to install the unit. Do you trust their people? Are they sufficiently insured? Are their installation crews employees or subcontractors? Did they advise you of the permit process? Make sure you see the permit before allowing any work to begin or you could be fined!

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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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What’s the buzz on two-speed systems?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

They’re among the latest and greatest in heat pump technology, and they’re super efficient. The only higher rated systems are geothermal, rotary compressor, and solar systems. Many Lennox two-speed systems are solar ready.

So how do two-speed systems work? It’s a matter of a the compressor really. Two-speed systems typically have a two-stage or true-variable compressor in the outdoor unit. They’re best paired with a variable speed air handler and are great in zoned applications.

When the thermostat calls for cooling or heating and is within three degrees of the set point, the compressor ramps on in low speed. So a five-ton compressor acts like a 2.5 ton, drawing less amps and using less power. It will cool or heat the area more slowly but the byproduct of that is greater humidity control and more efficient operation. The only time the compressor is at full speed is during very high demand times, such as if the unit was shut off or if there is a larger number of people than normal in the room.

Typically, you can expect to see two-speed systems achieving 16 SEER and higher efficiency ratings. Many manufacturers add communicating features, fancy thermostats, and much of their own terminology to these two-speed systems. They’re a step above standard and typically come with a 10-year parts warranty directly from the manufacturer. If yours does not, make sure you double check this fact our and do your due diligence when selecting a contractor.

Two-speed systems are sophisticated and required adequate airflow for proper operation. If the static pressure in your duct system is too high or you don’t have multiple returns in your home, you may need to augment your duct system for proper system function.

When getting your home sized for a potential installation of a two-speed system, it is imperative that the contractor run a heat load of your home. Most two-speed systems come in whole sizes only. If you have a 3.5-ton unit right now, you will have to go up to a four-ton or down to a three-ton unit. How do you know which is best? For us, the best answer lies in education. You have to make an educated decision based on the btus your home requires to heat and cool it. This can only be determined by a trained professional performing a heat load calculation. It’s a free service we extend on all of our estimates, so don’t fret call Bayonet and we will help you. If you’re not local to the Tampa area, make sure you request that the contractor perform one during the estimate and confirm prior to making the appointment what the fees are–if any–for this service. Every system has a maximum btu output and your home may have had alterations to it over time, changing the required btus for the home as well. For example, many homeowners tint their windows, add insulation, install patios and upgrade the windows to double pane, low-e windows, which all have an effect on the btus required to heat and cool your home.

When selecting an AC unit, bigger isn’t always better! Don’t just assume that you want to go up in size, as super sizing can lead to super problems! Short cycling can increase the humidity levels in your home and mke if feel like a dank cave instead of a comfortable abode. If you choose to go bigger, know that your duct system will almost always need alterations too. Be very cautious of the contractor you’re using if they tell you otherwise. Most homes built before 2007 are running with undersized returns to begin with, so if you’re installing a larger system, count on duct improvements as well.

Besides bringing about a more comfortable home climate, two-speed systems are often much quieter than their single-speed counterparts. Most of that quietness is due to the low-speed operation and improved insulation and sound deadeners inside the cabinet. Inquire as to available rebates and incentives when inquiring as well, as these systems frequently have some immediate savings you can count on–even from your power company!

As always, don’t sweat, call Bayonet if you have further questions. From our homepage, you can always click the “Ask An Expert” graphic and one of our resident experts in their field will answer your question in 24 hours—or less!

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