Air Conditioning Service Blog

October 2019

How to Improve Home Air Quality

2019-10-14T16:40:40+00:00

We may not always think about the quality of the air we breathe, especially when there are so many other things on our lists to think about. But when someone in your household has allergies, is consistently getting sick, or if you have pets in the home, it may be on your mind more often. While there’s not much an individual household can do to clean up the air outside, there are plenty of things, both big and small, that can help clean up the air inside, making life easier and healthier!

The AC technicians at Modern Services strive to be more than experts at air conditioning maintenance and repair, we strive to improve the quality of life for our customers, whether that’s through installing a new system or educating customers on how to improve the air quality in their home. The good thing is that with a freshly maintained or repaired system, the air quality often increases as well. If it’s been a year or two since your last maintenance checkup, get in touch with the team at Modern Services today. We provide AC maintenance and more throughout the Western Florida region and we’ll be happy to take a look at how your system can function more efficiently and how your air can be cleaner.

What is Polluting Your Air?

Before you can fully understand how to improve indoor air quality, it’s important to understand where pollutants are coming from. Here are a few of the biggest causes of indoor air pollution:

  • Dust
  • Household cleaning chemicals and paints
  • Fragrances, perfumes, and deodorizers
  • Dry cleaned clothes
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, and dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Candles with paraffin wax
  • Particles and gases from copier, printer, and craft materials
  • Radon gas from kitchen countertop, attic, and basement
  • Gases emitted from a wood-burning stove, water heater, and dryer.

As you can tell, pollutants come from a wide range of places, making it difficult to keep your air clean. But even doing a few things can work to improve air quality and make living in your home safer and healthier.

Keeping Your Indoor Air Clean With 9 Simple Tips

Keep the Floors Clean

Whether you have wood, vinyl, tile, carpet, or all of the above in your home, an important step in improving air quality is to keep the floors as clean as possible. The team at Modern Services understands that cleaning the floors isn’t always a priority, but it can be surprising just how much dust and other debris can accumulate on the floors and get into the air we breathe.

Test for Radon

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally emitted from the soil and is one the leading causes of cancer in the U.S. In older or drafty homes, or houses without a basement, radon can slowly seep up through the ground and into the house. Granite countertops have also been linked to radon gas, but the levels may not be high enough to cause cancer.

Keep the Indoors Smoke-Free

If anyone in your household smokes, or you have guests over, have them smoke outside. Tobacco smoke and particles can accumulate in furniture, clothing, drapery, and carpet, eventually reducing the air quality. Second-hand smoke can also be a significant risk of asthma, cancer, and other health risks.

Keep your Air Conditioning System Clean

Air conditioning maintenance is essential when you want to keep your home’s air clean. Because the system is constantly moving air in and out of the home, a lot of stress is put on the system’s air filter. The filter traps any particles that come in from the outside and prevents them from getting into your home. When the filter is clogged with dust, pet dander, pollen, and more, it reduces the efficiency of the unit and also increases the chance of those particles getting into your home’s air. An air conditioning filter should be changed at least every three months, but it also depends on the quality of the filter, how often the system is running, if you have pets, and other factors. If it’s time for an air conditioning maintenance appointment, get in touch with the team at Modern Services. We’ll make sure your entire system is clean and working efficiently.

Grow Indoor Plants

Not only are houseplants nice to look at, but they’re also a natural way of improving the air quality. Plants will help remove toxins as well as provide additional oxygen in the home. If you’re looking for some houseplants that are especially good at improving air quality, look for Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Red Edged Dracaena, Gerbera Daisy, and Warneckii Dracaena. These plants are fairly easy to maintain and add a beautiful aesthetic to any space.

Keep Furniture Clean

Just like the flooring in your home, your furniture is another place pollutants can hide. If you have upholstered sofas, loveseats, or chairs, be sure to have them professionally cleaned around once a year. In between professional cleanings, you can also give them a good vacuuming every month or so. Doing this will pick up dust, pet dander, and more and prevent the particles from being kicked up into the air. And while you’re at it, taking down any drapery and having them cleaned is also a good way of keeping the air clean.

Keep Dirty Shoes Contained

After a trip to the beach or after a hike in Babcock Ranch Preserve, there’s no doubt that your shoes have built up a collection of sand, dirt, and even pebbles. To prevent these pollutants from being tracked into your house, make it a habit for everyone in the house to take off their shoes in the entryway or mudroom, and for really dirty shoes, take them off outside until bigger chunks can be cleaned off. This is especially important when there is carpeting directly inside the home that will trap dust and debris.

Schedule an Air Duct Cleaning

Ductwork throughout your home is what carries cool air from the AC unit into your home. When the ducts are dirty, the pollutants will be picked up by the air and blown into your home. Over time, the duct system can accumulate dirt, grime, and more, decreasing the air quality in your house. At Modern Services, our team has over 50 years of experience and has the specialized equipment necessary to make sure that the job is done right.

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

The air freshener that you spray on your furniture, bleach that you use to clean the kitchen and bathroom, floor cleaner, window cleaner, even your own personal perfumes can contain dangerous chemicals that are bad for air quality. Even though cleaning is an essential part of maintaining a healthy home with clean air, the products you use can add to the pollutants. When possible, use products that are chemical-free and won’t leave behind toxic particles. There are a variety of brands available at supermarkets, or make your own with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, your favorite essential oil, and water.

Modern Services has two locations in Fort Myers and Venice, but provides commercial and residential services throughout Western Florida. If you are struggling with allergies or are getting sick more frequently, it may have to do with the quality of air in your home. Schedule an air conditioning maintenance appointment and our technicians will thoroughly clean the system and replace the air filter. Contact us today!

How to Improve Home Air Quality2019-10-14T16:40:40+00:00

Essential Parts of Your AC Unit and What They Do

2019-09-27T21:47:34+00:00

For most homeowners, all they need to know is that their air conditioner is working and keeping their home cool. But when something isn’t working right and you come home to a warm house, understanding how the system works and what parts perform which function, diagnosing an issue and explaining what is happening to an air conditioning repair tech is much easier.

The team at Modern Services isn’t expecting you to diagnose every problem with your air conditioner, but the more information you can provide us, the faster we can find a solution and get your home back to a comfortable temperature.

Air conditioning units are made up of many mechanical and electrical parts that all work together to create cool air that is then blown throughout your home. Among the many parts, there are a few essential components that will help you understand the entire system. Here are the most important parts of your AC unit that, when they aren’t functioning properly, will mean that you may need air conditioning repair services.

Refrigerant

Also used in your car’s air conditioning, this is a fluid that plays a vital role in the cycle of heating and cooling air. Refrigerant is constantly changing from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid as it pulls warm air from inside the home and releases it outside. Refrigerant runs through a series of tubes and copper coils, interacting with both the compressor and condenser coil.

Compressor

Possibly the two most important parts in the air conditioning system are the compressor and the condenser coil. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and squeezes it together, which increases its temperature. The refrigerant needs to be hotter than the temperature outside (because heat moves from hot to cold), allowing it to flow outside and release the heat.

In the hot and humid Florida climate, the compressor, powered by a motor, works incredibly hard and as dust and grime build up, it can eventually become stuck. When the compressor stops working, the cooling cycle doesn’t occur. The compressor can also develop leaks, which causes refrigerant to leak, resulting in damage to the compressor.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil receives the hot refrigerant from the compressor and helps the heat transfer into the air. At this point, the refrigerant turns back into a liquid and flows to the expansion valve. This part of the system could also become dirty as the entire system operates, reducing the efficiency of the coils.

Expansion Valve

Before the refrigerant is ready to enter the evaporator coil, it needs to be cooled down, even after it has released heat into the air outside. The expansion valve depressurizes the refrigerant, also decreasing the temperature.

Evaporator Coil

This part can be a little confusing, but essentially there is a series of coils that help to cool the air before being blown through your home. The coils sit inside a metal covering so it’s rare that a homeowner will ever see them. To cool the air, liquid refrigerant moves through the coils. When warm air from the outside flows over the cold coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air, resulting in cool air that is pushed through your home.

There are several reasons why the evaporator coils may not be working as they should:

  • There is a refrigerant leak
  • Low airflow could cause the coils to freeze
  • The coils could be dirty, preventing the refrigerant from absorbing the heat.

Overall, the entire process involves moving the refrigerant through a system that picks up warm air inside the home and releases it outside. However, this process can become complicated when getting into the details of high-pressure gas, increasing and decreasing refrigerant temperatures, and all of the moving parts.

At Modern Services, our air conditioning technicians have been working in this industry for decades and we thoroughly understand the process and what could go wrong at each point along the line. We also have the knowledge, experience, and required tools to quickly and efficiently repair any problems. If you’re in need of air conditioning repair, get in touch with our team today. We provide service through the West Florida region and we’re happy to help make sure you have a comfortable home.

Essential Parts of Your AC Unit and What They Do2019-09-27T21:47:34+00:00

Factors to Consider Before Buying a New Air Conditioner

2019-09-27T20:10:50+00:00

After long summer months in the Florida heat, after enjoying the hottest days inside in comfort, your air conditioner has finally called it quits. After 15 or 20 years, an AC unit will begin to need more and more maintenance until it finally becomes more costly to repair it than it does for air conditioning replacement. So as you’re shopping for a new unit, what do you look for? Oftentimes, homeowners buy a house with an existing unit so first-time AC unit buyers have a hard time understanding what’s important and what is just an added feature that doesn’t provide any real value.

At Modern Services, if you’re shopping for a new air conditioner, we’ll do our best to give you the necessary information so you can make an informed decision. Buying a new air conditioner is an investment in a product that you may use nearly every single day in Florida, so make sure you know what you’re buying. Here are a few factors to consider as you’re looking around.

The Type of Unit

While central air conditioners are the most common, there are several other types that may fit your needs depending on the size of your home and budget.

  • Window Air Conditioners: These are self-contained units that are most often installed in a window and work well for apartments or smaller single-family homes.
  • Air Source Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are energy efficient and low maintenance, but are more costly to install. Unlike many systems, heat pumps use electricity to concentrate the warm air inside a home and blows it outside.
  • Ductless Air Conditioners: A more permanent option than window AC units, but still beneficial for homes without a duct system, ductless AC units are also known as split or mini-split systems.
  • Portable Air Conditioners: Typically only a temporary solution, portable AC units can be moved around a home to provide a single space with cooling.
  • Central Air: Using a duct system to blow cool air throughout an entire home, central air conditioners are quiet systems and provide maximum comfort.

The Size of the Unit

In order for an air conditioner to be as efficient as possible for your home, it needs to be the right size. If it’s too small, it will waste energy trying to cool a space that it doesn’t have the capacity for. If it’s too big, it will cycle too frequently, also wasting energy and increasing your electric bill. To determine whether you’re getting the right air conditioning replacement, a technician can perform a load calculation. They will look at a variety of factors, including the square footage of your home, the climate in the area, the material of your roof, how tall your ceilings are, the type of windows, the ductwork, and other relevant information.

The size of an air conditioner is often referred to as how many BTUs or British Thermal Units, it has. The BTU number will tell you how powerful an air conditioner is. If you’re looking at a unit that has 46,000 BTUs, then it will produce 46,000 BTUs of energy over the course of an hour.

SEER Rating

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio was established by the U.S. Department of Energy and measures the efficiency of air conditioning units by determining how much energy it uses to cool a home. The greater SEER rating a unit has, the more efficient it is. SEER ratings range from 13 to 22, but typically the higher the SEER number, the more expensive the unit will be. However, the more efficient a unit is, the better it will be at saving energy, and therefore, saving money on your electric bill.

Easy to Clean Filters

Having a clean filter is essential when you want the unit to operate efficiently and your home to have clean air. As the unit is running, the filter will trap air pollutants such as allergens, dust, pollen, and other debris. If the filters are hard to reach, it’s less likely that they will be cleaned or replaced often, which will ultimately cause the unit to function inefficiently and the pollutants will eventually end up in your home.

Warranty

If you’re buying a new air conditioner, it’s a good idea to look at what kind of warranty is being offered. The details of the warranty will depend on where it’s purchased from and the type of unit it is. Warranties typically cover parts and sometimes a compressor replacement for any number of years, though five to 10 years is common.

Modern Services has been providing high-quality air conditioning replacements and more in western Florida since 1965. If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, you can expect to receive superior service and a team of knowledgeable technicians who can help you throughout the process. We understand that needing a new unit can sometimes come by surprise, so we offer AC replacement financing options as well as specials for new air conditioning systems. We’ll make sure that you can enjoy a comfortable home without any undue stress on your finances.

Get in touch with our technicians today if you have any questions.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a New Air Conditioner2019-09-27T20:10:50+00:00

September 2019

7 Signs You Need AC Repair

2019-09-27T17:31:40+00:00

Weather in Florida is pretty hot nearly all year round, so it’s important for your air conditioning system to be functioning properly and working efficiently. It’s easy to come to expect that cool air will start blowing when you turn it on, but what happens when hot air starts filling your home? Or what do you do when you come home to a hot house that you were expecting to be cool?

At Modern Services, our team of AC specialists knows exactly what to do. Instead of calling us for air conditioning repair after your system has already stopped working, it’s best to know the signs that it may need repair before it breaks — and you’re left dealing with a hot house and a frustrated family. Even though it may take an expert to actually repair the AC unit, the signs are fairly easy to recognize once you know what they are. If you have any questions or need to schedule an emergency AC repair, give us a call today! We provide service throughout western Florida and we’re always just a call away.

7 Top Signs Your Air Conditioning System Needs Repair

It’s Blowing Hot Air

This one may be fairly obvious, but if you put your hand over a vent and you feel warm air, it’s a very good indicator that you need to call a technician. First, take a look at your thermostat to make sure it’s set to the cooling mode. Then try lowering the setting to below the existing temperature in the home. If the air is still warm, there may be an issue with the compressor, or airflow may be restricted. Don’t wait too long to call for AC repair as this could have an impact on your electricity bills.

Insufficient Airflow

Without proper airflow, the entire system won’t be able to function properly. This could be due to a blockage in the ductwork, or there may be a clogged filter, a broken motor, and even something more serious. If this issue frequently occurs, you may want to consider installing an energy-recovery ventilator, which will inject fresh air into the system every time the system cycles.

Frequent Cycles

An air conditioner should turn on and off as your home is cooled, the temperature slowly increases, and cools again. However, when this cycle occurs too frequently, or the AC is only on for 30-second intervals, it could be a sign that there is a clogged filter, the system is low on refrigerant, or the air conditioner is too big for the space. Replacing the filter can be done yourself, but if that doesn’t fix it, a professional air conditioning repair technician should take a look to determine the source of the problem.

Humidity

There’s no doubt that Florida is a humid state, but your home shouldn’t feel humid when the AC unit is working properly. An air conditioning system should automatically regulate humidity levels, so if your home feels especially muggy, the unit could be the wrong size, the thermostat is set to the wrong setting, or you may simply have an older unit that can’t keep up with the workload. An AC unit can last between 15 and 20 years, so if yours is getting up there in age, contact a technician for a professional opinion on what to do next.

Water Leaks

Air conditioners produce condensation when it converts warm air to cool, but the water should never leak into your home. If you notice pools of water around the unit, there may be a leak in the system, which can lead to the unit not working properly, not to mention serious structural issues in your home. Schedule an appointment for AC repair as soon as you can.

Bad Smells

No one wants to put up with a foul smell in their home, and your air conditioning unit can produce a few odors.

  • Moldy or Mildew: If there is excess moisture in the system, it can lead to mold or mildew growth that can eventually emit an odor.
  • Cigarette Smoke: If anyone in the house has smoked, the smell could accumulate in the filter and evaporator coils.
  • Stinky Feet: When the evaporator coils are dirty, condensate drain pans are clogged, or there is stagnant water.
  • Burning: A motor may be overheating or wiring could be burned. Mechanical and electrical issues should be taken care of as quickly as possible.
  • Sulfur: This could be a sign of a gas leak.
  • Dirty Trash: Small critters can get caught in your duct system, producing a dirty trash smell.

Unusual Noise

You’re probably familiar with the normal start-up noises from your air conditioner, but when you start hearing a rattling, buzzing, whistling, or grinding sound, there’s something wrong. The seriousness of the problem will depend on the noise, so give an air conditioning repair company a call to thoroughly inspect the system.

Now that you’re aware of the signs that your air conditioning system needs repair, you can keep an eye and ear open for problems in the future. If you do notice any of these signs or symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Modern Services. We have years of experience and can quickly and efficiently make any necessary repairs. Above all, we want you to feel comfortable in your home all year round. Count on us for reliable repairs and maintenance. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to prevent larger issues from developing.

7 Signs You Need AC Repair2019-09-27T17:31:40+00:00

June 2018

Carrier VRF solved this church’s HVAC challenges

2018-06-18T14:11:37+00:00

From CE News

The Unitarian Universalist Church is a community staple in Ft. Myers, Florida. Equipped with a vast eco-preserve, nature trail, and more, the 12.5-acre property provides members of the church with a serene location to relax and reflect. However, the church was still relying on the DX systems that were installed when the church was initially built, and they were having a challenging time maintaining the temperature and humidity levels in the main gathering hall known as the sanctuary.   (more…)

Carrier VRF solved this church’s HVAC challenges2018-06-18T14:11:37+00:00

February 2018

Protect your home from germs and other pathogens!

2018-09-21T18:49:55+00:00

UV lights can be installed in your HVAC systems to protect your home against airborne pathogens.  As the air passes through the UV light, it is sanitized and disinfected, providing increased indoor environmental quality.  In addition to the germ fighting properties, UV lights also increase efficiency and boost the performance of your equipment by keeping your coils cleaner and prevent buildup of organic material.

UV light has been proven effective for increased air quality, which is why we include one on every new air-conditioning system we install.  They can be retrofitted into an existing system as well.

Contact Modern Services today at 800.572.0852 to find out how you can further protect your home!

Protect your home from germs and other pathogens!2018-09-21T18:49:55+00:00

Only allow licensed contractors to perform work on your home

2018-06-12T16:51:42+00:00

Rooftop install on hurricane straps.

When we perform service on a new customer we are sometimes blown away by what we see. Apparently someone got creative with bungee cords to secure this system against hurricane damage. This would never pass a permit inspection so it must have been done by an unlicensed contractor. Be safe – make sure you only allow licensed contractors to perform work on your home’s mechanical systems.

Only allow licensed contractors to perform work on your home2018-06-12T16:51:42+00:00

Contact Modern Services Today