Frequently asked questions
If you have a question you would like to ask that you do not see mentioned here,
please contact Mike Bowman at DF-Mike@dunedinrefrigeration.com
We are committed to providing quality preventative maintenance. Our dedication to our customers includes 24-hour emergency service availability and custom preventive maintenance plans in an effort to prevent costly repairs and extend your product's life cycle. We will work hard to keep your equipment efficient, affordable and running at peak performance.
Motorized equipment such as heating and air conditioning systems, requires preventive maintenance to ensure proper operation and reliability. A properly designed, installed and maintained heating and air conditioning system will save you money, time and energy over the years to come. More importantly, after the installation of your HVAC system, we offer the best service possible to you with system and labor warranties.
Air purifiers provides homeowners with exceptional air filtration and germicidal efficiency.
▪ Ultra high filtration efficiency equivalent to MERV 15
▪ Captures and kills airborne viruses, bacteria, and mold spores
▪ Easy to replace media cartridge
▪ Cabinet supports up to 400 lb
▪ Simplified dealer installation
▪ State-of-the-art, exclusive technology
▪ Residential installations eligible for consumer financing through Retail Credit Program
How It Works
Air purifiers provides extremely high filtration performance while killing captured contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. Air purifiers treat the entire air-stream through a state of the art, three-stage process..
Stage 1: The particles are electrically charged by a precision-point ionizationarray as they enter.
Stage 2: The charged particles are electrically attracted to the air purification cartridge, which is located within an electric field.
Stage 3: Captured particles are killed by electrical current flow and ion bombardment.
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like its "mpg" counterpart in the automotive industry, the SEER gives an indication of the performance efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. And, the more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
By purchasing a system with a high SEER, you'll use less energy to cool your house, resulting in lower electric bills. In many cases, these savings are enough to partially or fully offset the cost of the new equipment within a few years.
For air conditioning, the rating is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This rating is based on general design criteria such as the compressor and outdoor coil. SEER ratings are for comparison purposes only, so that homeowners will know how they can compare different brands of products with similar efficiency ratings. The rating for the outdoor unit will reference a general efficiency range, such as 14 SEER. The actual efficiency rating for a specific system will depend on the combination of the outdoor unit and the indoor coil. These ratings are available from your dealer and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute's Energy Guide. A variable-speed indoor blower unit will increase the efficiency rating of the system, as well.
Heat pumps are rated by SEER for cooling efficiency and by HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heating efficiency. As with other ratings, the higher the HSPF, the less energy it will take to warm your home.
We do not recommend that you replace the outdoor unit without replacing the indoor coil or air handler. Both of these components are integral to the closed refrigerant loop and together determine the capacity and efficiency of your system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, there will be no test data available for the new combination to establish the expected capacity or efficiency of your system. Also, the indoor system may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and be another opportunity for contamination. You end up paying more. If your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
A two-stage outdoor air conditioning unit will operate at a low speed, removing more moisture and allowing greater comfort than a single-stage air conditioning unit. Our variable-speed indoor blower units also have Enhanced Mode that runs a very cold coil and enables the blower to slowly ramp up and down. This will wring-out extra moisture from the indoor air.
The big “buzzword” in the air conditioning industry lately is Home Performance. The major organizations in the HVAC field are all touting these procedures. It boils down to all the components of the Home, or Commercial Building, being a major part of the efficiency, and effectiveness, of cooling and heating and not just the air conditioning unit itself. The insulation values and the construction of the exterior walls, the insulation values of the ceiling or roof, how tightly the home is sealed, the type and grade of windows, the tightness of the duct system, etc. All these items play into the ability of the air conditioner to cool the structure efficiently. If the duct system has 20% leakage, which is a number stated by the Department of Energy as average for existing homes, then the air conditioning system is only getting 80% of the cooling it puts out into the home. Worse yet, if the leaks are in the return ducts, then the air conditioning unit may be trying to cool and dehumidify 120+ degree attic air and then blowing it into the home. This is a detriment to the efficiency of the system as well as an indoor air quality issue as unfiltered attic air may be fed into the home.
It is common sense that the structure and especially the duct system are major factors that affect the efficiency of the air conditioning system as well as the comfort of the home. The State of Florida is set to adopt new Energy Codes (2012 edition) which detail the efficiency of the system but also regulate the amount of leakage in the duct system. The duct system leakage is determined by a different certification than the typical air conditioning contractor. I feel that all air conditioning contractors should undertake the training and get the certifications for this as duct leakage is a major deterrent as to the efficiency of the system. The national organizations that offer certifications in this are RESNET and BPI (Building Performance Institute). To acquire the certifications it takes several days of training and both written and performance tests. The equipment to measure the leakage, for both the home and the duct system, costs thousands of dollars and truly shows the commitment to the customer to perform the best job possible.
I am a certified HERS Rater through RESNET and a certified Building Analyst as well as certified at Infiltration/ Duct Leakage through BPI. These are major certifications that are necessary, in my opinion, to provide our customers with the peace of mind that we are doing the job effectively and will go the extra step for their comfort and safety.
It is always recommended that you check with the Better Business Bureau and perhaps Angie’s List to verify that the companies are listed and see what kind of feedback there is on the company. Secondly, check whether they are licensed Air Conditioning contractors and see if the license holder actually works at the company and is not just renting a license to them. Sadly, it is allowed in the State of Florida that a company can rent a license from an individual that is not working there daily and use that license to qualify the company as an Air Conditioning contractor.
An Air Conditioning license allows an individual to install, design, and service air conditioning and heating systems of different capacities based on what level their license is. This is only part of the job, what about the electrical that feeds the systems and allows them to operate? The air conditioning license does not allow them to do electrical work so they have to bring in a separate licensed electrician to do the electrical portion of the installation. A few years ago the State of Florida offered a rebate for a new high efficiency system but in order for the customer to get the rebate the duct system had to be tested and certified to only allow a certain amount of leakage. An Air Conditioning contractor’s license would not allow them to test or certify the duct system leakage, only a certified Energy Rater or a Mechanical Contractor could perform the test and verify the leakage. As you can see, the Air Conditioning license is a starting point but there are several steps that can be taken to make sure the company you deal with is able to handle all aspects of the project and not just limited to certain things.
Our company holds a Class A Air Conditioning Contractors License which allows us to install, design and service any size of air conditioning system in the State of Florida. We have a Master Electrical Contractors license which allows us to make all the electrical connections and confirm breaker sizes so we don’t have to bring in yet another company to do the things we are not certified at. We are RESNET and BPI certified, the two major nationwide energy rating organizations, so we are able to perform the duct testing that is required in the upcoming codes without having to bring in still another company to do the job correctly. And lastly, I hold all the licenses personally so the license holder is overseeing all the work and is readily available.
We are Certified
NAT. GAS# 5949
USGBC LEED AP
RESNET HERS RATER
BPI Building Analyst/IDL
TEST & BALANCE# 14-327-14
Air conditioning systems need to be properly sized based on the home or building they are installed in. Air conditioners are rated in BTUH (British Thermal Units per hour). A BTU is considered equivalent to the heat put off by one kitchen match. A 12,000 BTU unit will remove the heat equal to 12,000 kitchen matches per hour. A ton of air conditioning is equal to 12,000 BTU’s. Two tons is 24,000 BTU, 3 tons is 36,000 BTU, etc.
In order to have the correct size unit installed for the home a heat load (Manual J) needs to be performed. This can be done if a set of plans with all the dimensions are available or, if not, the building can be measured in the field. The windows, doors, orientation of the structure, insulation levels, type of construction, and many other aspects have to be taken into account. Each part of the exterior of the structure will allow in heat or cold based on how it is built and the insulation levels. Also taken into account is the usage of the building, if it is a home then some heat is produced inside the house also, but very little in comparison to a building that has 100 people with 100 computers running inside. All these variables must be considered in order to size the system properly. Many older homes may have had one size system in them when built but over the years the windows have been replaced with much more efficient ones and more insulation has been added to the attic which has reduced the size of system needed to properly cool and dehumidify the home. If the heat load is not performed and the same size system as was previously in the home is reinstalled, energy savings and comfort may be forfeited due to the oversized system. If the new system is too large, it may not run long enough to properly dehumidify the air so the house will feel cold but clammy.
The referenced manual for performing residential heat loads is the Manual J 8th edition. Make sure that the company you are dealing with performs the heat load necessary and also make sure that they have been trained on the Manual J and are proficient with it. It is a major expense to replace an air conditioning system so you want to confirm that it is the proper one for your home. I have been through the training, received the certifications, and have performed hundreds of heat loads, both for my company as well as being hired to do heat loads for several of my competitors.
There are basically two ratings that you need to pay attention to when purchasing a new system for your home. The tonnage is the capacity of the system. This is dictated based on the heat load (Manual J) performed on your home that tells the contractor, and the homeowner, what capacity is required in order to properly cool and dehumidify your home. The second rating is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). This rating tells you the efficiency rating of the system, similar to miles per gallon. The higher the SEER rating the less electricity the system uses while still putting out the same capacity. SEER ratings range from 14 to 20+. The higher the number, the cheaper electrically it is to run, the higher the number the higher the price tag.
Many things need to be considered when choosing the system, the indoor temperature you would like to maintain during the summertime, the activity in the house such as many bodies go in and out and constantly opening doors to the outside. Systems in the 14 and 15 SEER range usually incorporate single speed compressors which mean that when they cycle on they are running at full capacity regardless of whether it is 95 degrees outside or 82 degrees outside. Once systems hit the 16 SEER ranges they mostly use 2 speed compressors which mean that they can run at full capacity when required but on cooler days they can run at a lower capacity greatly improving the efficiency of the system. You may need a 3 ton unit at 95 degrees but you don’t when it is 82 degrees outside. This type of unit will lower its capacity, normally to 70% on the lower load days. Finally, the very high SEER systems will incorporate a variable speed compressor which can run at much lower capacities and tries to “track” the load on the home so it only uses as much power as necessary to provide the amount of cooling required at any time. These are the most efficient systems but have the highest price tags. There is a lot more to understanding these systems than detailed here, a comfort advisor would need to meet with you and fill in all the details. This was just a quick overview of what is available.
Make sure whichever company you use is adequately trained by the manufacturer of the units they are presenting to you as they all have individual control systems and procedures required to make them work properly. They need to be installed and the detailed start‐up procedures followed, to the letter, in order for them to perform as they are designed. If you have any questions please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with much more detailed information.
A properly sized air conditioning system puts out the correct amount of cooling, or heating, to condition the house. It is the job of the duct system to make sure the proper amounts of air are going to the rooms as required to properly cool or heat that room. As in another discussion about the proper sizing of an air conditioning system, the contractor needs to also design the duct system for the proper air flow. An additional manual, Manual D, is used to determine the proper sizing for the duct system. In the State of Florida Energy Codes it is required that any room that can be shut off from the rest of the home with a door, and has a supply duct in it, must also have a return duct in it. The exceptions are bathrooms, kitchens and closets. This allows the air in the room to be recirculated back to the system instead of just blowing air into a room that is shut off from the rest of the home and basically creating a large balloon since there is no route for the air in the room to recirculate. After a short time of blowing air into the room, without it being able to circulate, the room has become overly pressurized and will not cool properly. This is a common problem in older homes where one central return duct was installed to handle the entire house.
The contractor must make sure that with the new system the airflow is correct and the house is going to be able to cool properly. It is a major expense to replace the system and in order for it to work efficiently it needs a duct system that is designed and installed properly. If the contractor you are talking to is not familiar with heat loads and duct sizing, it may be a sign that the new system is not going to produce the amount of cooling, or the efficiency, that it is rated at. Duct sizing is critical to the ability of the system to cool and dehumidify the home properly and efficiently.
I have designed and installed hundreds of duct systems as well as being regularly hired by architects and engineers to provide the duct system design that they use to specify the way the system will be installed. This assures them that any company bidding on the project will have to perform the installation properly which will allow the system to work efficiently. On our installations we always perform the proper start up procedures, as recommended by the manufacturers, and confirm that the system is working the way it was designed when the installation is completed. We are certified at Test and Balance which means we have been through the training and passed the certifications that prove we are well versed at properly sizing and balancing duct systems. Make sure the company you deal with has this ability as it is necessary in order for your system to heat and cool properly and evenly throughout your home. If the duct system is not designed, installed and balanced properly, the highest end systems available still will not cool effectively or efficiently.