Florida winters are traditionally mild, however; when the mercury drops we count on our heating system as much as those in the northern states.
Heating systems operate very different than air conditioning systems and require special care when repairing. Heating repairs will vary wildly depending on the type of heating system installed. Bay Area Heating and Cooling, Inc. has the experience and trained technicians to expertly diagnose and perform your heating repair service in Largo, Clearwater, Tampa, St Pete, Seminole, Palm Harbor, and Dunedin.
Most central Florida homes utilize a heat pump system. Heat pumps operate using a reversing shuttle valve in the outdoor condenser. When “heat” is selected at the thermostat, the reversing valve will reverse the flow of refrigerant. When the refrigerant flow is reversed the function of the outdoor and indoor coils are reversed causing the air handler to produce warm air rather than cool air.
Heat pumps, when operating in the heating mode for long periods, will begin to form ice on the outdoor coil and reduce the amount of air which can freely flow through the coil. This is normal operating procedure for heat pumps. When this happens the machine will cycle to the defrost mode. The defrost mode will temporarily switch the system to the cooling mode in order to build heat in the outdoor coil to melt the ice. After the ice is melted, the reversing valve is activated and once again heat is produced. Most air handlers will have an electric heating element installed in order to offer heat while the machine is in the defrost mode and to provide supplemental heat when outdoor temperatures drop very low.
Most heating repairs on heat pumps will pertain to the refrigerant charge or a restriction within the refrigerant circuit.
Many homes in the Tampa Bay area have straight cool air conditioning systems. When a straight cool air conditioner is cycled to the heat mode, the outdoor condenser is switched off. An electric resistance heater installed within the air handler will become energized. The air handler blower motor will push air past the heater elements to produce warm air.
Straight cool air conditioners offer the most costly method to heat a home. The electric resistance heating elements draw an abundance of electricity and produce the least amount of heat. A typical home will require 10,000 watts of heat to maintain a comfortable temperature. The average toaster consumes 800 watts. It would take over twelve toasters running simultaneously to use the same amount of electricity. You can imagine how fast that would inflate your electric bill.
The vast majority of heating repairs on straight cool systems will be electrical in nature. Heat sequencers, limit switches and burnt elements are a few of the more common heating repairs on these types of machines.
While very popular across the country, gas and oil furnaces are rare in the Tampa Bay area. The availability of natural gas is limited to segmented areas of Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Propane and oil has increased in cost making them too expensive to be a viable heating fuel.
Furnaces offer the hottest heat of all types of heating systems. When these fossil burning furnaces are engaged, heat is immediately produced. Many people complain that natural gas, propane and oil burning furnaces dry out the air and create an uncomfortable environment requiring humidity to be added to the air.
Most often, when a furnace requires a heating repair, it is gas related. Pilot lights may fail to light, thermo coupler may fail to open the gas valve, or a restriction could be present in the heat exchanger.
For more information on heating repair services in Largo, Clearwater, Tampa, St Pete, Seminole, Palm Harbor, and Dunedin offered by Bay Area, please call (727) 565-4555.