We are here to serve you and your family in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Be cautious when dealing with contractors during these difficult times and make sure you’re checking their licenses and reviews. Don’t be pressured. We offer free second opinions on A/C repairs and free estimates for new A/C systems. Give us a call or text us today at (941) 485-2222! We take our jingle seriously and we are working hard to fulfill it: “No matter what the weather, Tri County makes it better!”

Does Humidity Outside Affect My AC?

Does Humidity Outside Affect My AC?

High humidity inside and outside can have an impact on your air conditioner. Ideally, the humidity level should be below 60% in your home or business. An AC is designed to remove heat and moisture, but higher humidity outside can negatively affect its ability to cool.

A spike in humidity can make it hard for your HVAC system to cope. Increased moisture content makes it feel warmer than it actually is, and can cancel out the cooling effect of the system. Running the AC longer or at a lower temperature setting may not achieve the desired results. Nevertheless, you’ll end up paying more in cooling costs.

Effects of High Humidity

Even if you have every window and door closed, and it’s humid outside, your skin may feel clammy while indoors. Moisture may even cause your windows to fog up. And when there is persistent dampness, you may start to notice a musty odor.

But in addition to making it feel hotter, high humidity can damage your AC. If your air conditioner isn’t built with a dehumidifier, greater demand can strain it. That’s because as higher moisture content makes the air warmer, the system must work harder. Wear and tear can lead to mechanical and electrical issues and the need for AC repair. High humidity can also promote mold and algae growth within ducts, triggering allergic reactions and further reducing indoor air quality.

How Can My Air Conditioner Worsen the Problem?

You may think that a more powerful air conditioner can counter the effects of high humidity outside. But the opposite is true. If you have a higher capacity AC than is needed, it won’t run long enough to remove enough moisture. Indoor air will still be humid and outdoor conditions won’t help the matter. There are also other factors that affect how conditions outside affect your AC, including:

  • Air Conditioner Speed: A single-speed AC only runs at full blast. Once it cycles off it won’t turn on again until the temperature goes above the thermostat setting. Your home will be more humid, but a variable speed system is much more effective at removing humidity.
  • The Fan Runs Continuously: While fans produce a wind chill effect and make you feel cooler, they can blow moisture back into your rooms. Your AC may have previously removed it, but moisture must condensate in order to drain away; the fan may not give it a chance to do this.
  • Negative Air Pressure: Design issues with your ventilation system can cause too much air to be vented. Outside air is drawn in. So, if it’s muggy outside, things will get quite sticky in your home. The only resolution may be to redesign your ventilation system.

An older AC may cause trouble as well. Worn parts and a lack of maintenance can lead to inadequate cooling and inconsistent temperatures, which in turn affect humidity control. Regardless of the humidity outside, it may be time to consider repair vs. replacing the unit.

Can a Dehumidifier Improve My AC System?

Pairing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system allows it to adjust both temperature and humidity. This may seem like more for it to do. However, good humidity control allows an AC to do its job better. You’ll feel cooler and your energy bill may be lower.

Contact Tri County Air

At Tri County Air, we can address indoor humidity issues in Florida and provide all types of AC service. We’re committed to helping your air conditioner last longer and run more safely. Whether you need AC maintenance, repair, or replacement, our licensed technicians can provide the service you need, while ductwork, insulation, and air quality services are also available to clients in Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Charlotte County. To request an appointment, contact us online or call 941-841-3688.

Why Is AC Repair So Expensive?

Why Is AC Repair So Expensive?

Homeowners are often shocked when they see their AC repair bill. You may think your local HVAC company is charging too much, but many factors affect the cost of repairs. These range from inflation to system complexity, to the price of refrigerant. The next time you balk at the cost of getting your air conditioner fixed, here are a few reasons why AC repair is so expensive.

The Cost of Parts

AC parts are expensive and scarcity has driven up prices as well. Technicians don’t profit from parts; the components are also expensive to companies that install them. For example, a home AC compressor can cost $2,800 or more in 2022, according to HomeAdvisor. Reliability is another factor; air conditioner parts must be manufactured to strict standards. Some homeowners choose parts on their own, but mismatch them as far as size, compatibility, and buying off-brand products that are more susceptible to breakage, causing additional problems they must pay to fix.

High Efficiency Technologies

The higher efficiency equipment on today’s market is more complex than traditional systems. Technicians must be specialized in their trade. It’s more challenging to fix an air conditioner built with hi-tech parts, so the contractor must charge more for AC repairs. The good news is your system will consume less energy overall, so despite more costly repairs, your energy bills will be lower.

Interconnected Systems

Your HVAC system is more than just an air conditioning unit. It consists of various interrelated systems including ductwork, vents, refrigerant lines, thermostats, and electrical components and wiring. Smart thermostat technology is more sophisticated than analog and even some digital systems of the past. A licensed technician must be familiar with and be prepared to service all of these when they visit your home. With more experience and knowledge comes higher labor costs.

Licensing

Licensing/professional certification is costly to obtain. And an HVAC tech has no choice but to be licensed and certified if they want a successful career and to avoid fines and legal issues. Licensure also requires continuing education and training as technology is always changing. To cover these ongoing costs, companies often charge higher fees.

Warranty

Any reputable HVAC contractor will warranty their work. This means they’ll cover the cost of repairs they perform if something goes wrong within, for example, a year after service. Don’t work with a company that doesn’t include a service warranty. But also know they must budget for at least sometimes having to perform work they’re not paid to do.

Cost of Refrigerant

The phase-out of R-22 refrigerant (Freon) is also increasing AC repair costs. This compound is a chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, which destroys ozone in the atmosphere. Older systems that still use R-22 can still be operated, but Freon is become harder and more expensive to find over time. Homeowners are increasingly having to retrofit their ACs or replace them with systems that use R-410A, a hydrofluorocarbon that doesn’t react with ozone.

Also beware of HVAC techs that say you need to top off your system. It is sealed so refrigerant doesn’t decrease unless there’s a leak, and it doesn’t go bad. Topping off the system means using gauges that will remove some refrigerant unnecessarily, so this will cost you even more.

Schedule AC Repair with Tri County Air

At Tri County Air, we provide high-quality AC repair services in the Sarasota area. We always start with a consultation, inspection, and thorough explanation of the problem. Using the latest repair methods and tools and following all required safety measures, our technicians resolve any problem you have and then provide a detailed report of the work. Financing options are available to help you manage high repair costs and even spread them out over up to 10 years. To learn more or request service, call 941-485-2222

What Is a Quantum Coil?

What Is a Quantum Coil?


At Tri County Air, we’re proud to be a premier dealer of Lennox HVAC systems. Lennox is known for superior quality heating and cooling systems, variable speed compressors, and its Quantum Coil. That’s not to mention the manufacturer’s 10-year transferrable warranty. But our customers often ask, “What is a Quantum Coil?” when we discuss HVAC options from Lennox.

Made of an all-aluminum alloy, the Quantum Coil is designed to withstand the harshest of weather and most volatile of compounds. It is resistant to corrosion and will not rust. Air conditioner coils can cause the entire system to fail if they start to degrade. Homes and businesses in humid climates and near the ocean are most susceptible to these types of problems.

Corrosion Resistance Outside and Inside

There are many types of corrosion and your AC coil can be damaged by elements from outside and inside your home. Salt air is prevalent in coastal areas. It eventually causes aluminum fins to corrode, which reduces cooling capacity.

However, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from inside your home can damage your HVAC system too. New furniture, carpets, and fresh coats of paint can emit VOCs without you even knowing it. When combined with moisture, organic acids from these compounds create a corrosive environment that starts to degrade AC coils within just a few short years.

The Quantum Coil from Lennox is highly durable and resistant to the effects of corrosion. Your AC can therefore maintain its cooling capacity for longer. Maintenance, repair, and performance issues are therefore reduced. That’s because the aluminum alloy used resists oxidation and corrosive processes that occur with exposure to moisture and salt.

Other Benefits of Aluminum vs. Copper Coils

Depending on the product, a Quantum Coil unit can weigh as much as 50 pounds less than a copper-based coil system. This not only makes installation easier. It also means emissions and fuel consumption during transport and delivery are reduced.

Rust in an AC coil and condenser unit can reduce performance. But it also has an impact on indoor air quality. If your condenser coil is rusting, refrigerant can start to leak, which is itself a health hazard. Rust particles and other compounds that get into the air can have short-term and long-term health effects as well.

The Quantum Coil eliminates these hazards and can enable your air conditioner to perform at peak efficiency and do so for longer. It is also leak-resistant and extremely durable.

Dealers benefit from easier transport and installation. In addition to being lighter, the system also reduces handling damage and is easier to clean. It takes less time to clean while no harsh chemicals are needed to maintain peak efficiency.

How Do I Take Advantage of a Quantum Coil?

Lennox has incorporated the Quantum Coil into many products. It has also made it easier for customers to recognize which models include it. The naming protocol is as follows. Units in the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection feature the letters “SL”. Elite® air conditioners and heat pumps are identified with the letters “EL”, while those in the Merit® collection are identified with the code “ML”. The CBA Series of air handlers as well as 35 Series coils also contain the Quantum Coil.

Contact Tri County Air for HVAC Installation

A residential and commercial HVAC company serving Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Charlotte County, Tri County Air specializes in the latest leading-brand air conditioning systems. These include products from Lennox with the Quantum Coil. Whether you need AC installation, repair, or maintenance, our licensed technicians can help. Choose a membership plan for maintenance and discounted repair services, or contact us to learn more about our products, financing, and specials.

To get started, request your appointment online or call/text 941-265-8294 today.

How to Protect Your System and Maintain Excellent Indoor Air Quality

How to Protect Your System and Maintain Excellent Indoor Air Quality

The condition of your HVAC system has a direct impact on indoor air quality. Poor drainage can reduce performance and allow for mold and mildew to grow. Clogged/dirty filters, air ducts, and A/C components can contribute to poor air quality as well. You can protect your system to avoid these problems, humidity issues, and concerns over viruses, bacteria, dust, particulates, and a host of pollutants.

Having clean air at home is extremely important. Pollution can affect your comfort, health, and well-being as well as strain your cooling and heating system. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to protect it that are very effective at improving air quality in your home. We will explain a few key areas where you can start.

Protect Your Drain Line

New drain line vs clogged drain line

If you find your system regularly shuts off or is dripping water at your air handler, you may be suffering from a clogged drain line. This issue is very common and also very easy to prevent on your own. The following steps will protect your drain line, keep your air conditioning system working efficiently, and may also reduce service calls:

  • Pour 1 cup of distilled white vinegar down your drain line each month and flush with hot water.
  • At your regular maintenance appointment, your technician may recommend treating your drain line with Drain Solve or another drain line deep cleaning agent. The frequency recommended will change based on your specific application, the age of your drain line, and how it was installed.

Install and Maintain UV Lights

UV Lights in Air Handler

UV Lights, installed on the return side of the evaporator coil and in the blower compartment of your air handler(s), prevent mold and mildew buildup inside your air conditioning system. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, damp environments like that found inside your air handler, especially in Florida.

Installing and maintaining UV lights keep mold and mildew at bay, which keeps your air conditioning system clean and working as efficiently as possible. Remember, a clean air conditioning system is one aspect of great indoor air quality.

Install Surge Protectors

HVAC Surge Protector

Surge protectors should be installed on both the air handler and condenser to prevent equipment failure due to power surges. In your HVAC equipment, there are various sensitive electronics, like motors, that are hyper-sensitive to power surges and lightning strikes. Often, equipment failure due to power surges are not covered under the manufacturer warranty and can be quite costly.

  • One of the best ways to protect your investment in your HVAC system is to protect your HVAC system with a surge protector. Although not invincible, a surge protector is the best defense against power surges. It absorbs the surge and channels it to ground instead of having the surge hit your HVAC system.

Surge protectors are a common practice in protecting electronics. Many times, surge protectors are used to protect your TV, computer, and other household electronics. Why not have a surge protector that protects your comfort and indoor air quality?

Install Air Purifiers

An air purifier doesn’t only have to serve one small area. At Tri County Air, we offer more sophisticated air purification equipment for your air conditioning system that can work for your entire home. Here are some examples of our indoor air quality solutions:

REME HALO and REME HALO LED

REME HALO LED

The REME HALO and the REME HALO LED are in-duct whole-home air purification systems. They reduce both airborne and surface contaminants and pollutants through bi-polar ionization and REME technology in every cubic inch of air-conditioned space. The goal of REME products is to improve indoor air quality and eliminate sick building syndrome risks by neutralizing odors, particulates, air pollutants, VOCs, smoke, mold, viruses, and bacteria.

  • Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 by 99.9%, commonly known as the coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19
  • Kills 99+% of H1N1 Swine Flu on surfaces
  • 99% reduction of surface bacteria/viruses
  • Over 85% VOC reduction
  • 99% of microbes in human sneeze killed at 3 feet
  • 97% reduction of airborne bacteria
  • 99% reduction in Ecoli, Listeria, Strep, Tuberculosis, Bird Flu, etc.
  • 85% odor reduction
  • 97% airborne mold reduction
  • US Military approved for mold protection in field hospitals
  • Hospital approved for infectious diseases – US and International –Achieved 99% reduction of Staph (MRSA) in tests
  • Major US city schools have reported 20% reductions in absenteeism

Austin Air Purifier

Austin Air Purifier

The only clinically proven, medical-grade air purifier.

“There is no silver bullet for excellent indoor air quality, but the Austin Air HEPA filter works well and I highly recommend it. I’ve tested the majority of the air cleaners available on the market and this one is the best. I have personally been using the Austin Air Purifier in my home for nearly two decades!” -William Swanson, Owner of Tri County Air

Air Quality Solutions from Tri County Air

Our team is ready to help improve indoor air quality and protect the air conditioning system in your Florida home. Several options are available that can eliminate pollutants and improve the function and efficiency of HVAC equipment. We offer specials and financing options to help you afford to ensure your family’s health, safety, and comfort. Learn more about our air quality solutions, maintenance plans, and duct insulating/replacement services, or schedule service, by calling 941-485-2222 today!

When to Turn On Your Air Conditioner in the Spring?

When to Turn On Your Air Conditioner in the Spring?

As you may have noticed, it is starting to warm up here in Southwest Florida! While you might be tempted to pay the most attention to the temperature “highs” listed in your favorite weather app, we want to encourage you instead to watch the “lows” very closely. Over the past 44 years of serving Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties, we have learned when the low temperatures start to hover around 70° F and above is when most people start to become uncomfortable – especially when trying to sleep at night.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night sweaty and sticky? Chances are the low for that day was 70° F or above. This weekend, The Weather Channel app is forecasting lows of 70° F both Saturday and Sunday. In anticipation of this, it is a good idea to turn on (or turn down) your air conditioner now to make sure it is functioning properly before the weekend. Sleep is vitally important for your health and the health of your family, and we want to make sure you don’t lose any sleep this weekend due to a lack of comfort.

It is worth it to mention that rain isn’t as much of a determining factor as you might think. We know rain means 100% humidity, but that isn’t the most important aspect when talking about getting a good night’s sleep. Many of us could think of a time when it rained, but we were still comfortable because the low temperature was below 70° F. The most important thing to pay attention to is the low temperature. Once you see it hit 70° F or above, it is time to turn on or turn down that wonderful air conditioner so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Watch the video above for more information from our President and Owner, Bill Swanson. If you have any questions, contact us or give us a call/text at (941) 485-2222!

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