Central Florida 407-275-0705 | Space Coast 321-600-9123 | SE Florida 772-453-2172

15264 East Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32826 | License No: CAC055565

The Rinaldi's Blog

by Scott Hudson, Vice-President

Tips to Babyproof Your HVAC Unit

The insatiable curiosity of the young, along with a few hazards associated with the HVAC system, are both good reasons to babyproof your HVAC system. The registers or air vents indoors and the outdoor condenser could be harmful to your child, and fortunately, they’re easy to childproof. Floor Registers A floor register or one that sits low on the wall is a significant danger. The child can pinch, cut, or wrench a finger inside the louvers. Plastic register covers don’t pose the same safety hazard, and they’re inexpensive at home improvement centers or online retailers. Few toddlers and babies can resist dropping things down the registers, and they won’t discriminate about what. You can line the bottom of the registers with fiberglass window screen to prevent the objects from falling far. Cut the fiberglass large enough so that the top of the register will hold the edges. As toddlers develop hand strength and coordination, they may be able to lift the registers, leading to falling or tripping hazards for the whole family. If your subfloors are wood, you can screw the registers down. If they’re wood or concrete, use sticky Velcro to attach them to the floor. Outdoors The condenser may not be an immediate hazard for the little ones, but it could be for any toys or objects he can throw inside it. Condensers have a large metal fan blade inside them to pull air through its coils to dissipate the heat from the refrigerant. An object that falls inside it could harm the fan blade or its other components. Consider putting a fence around the condenser to... read more

HVAC System Upgrades to Consider

If your air conditioner isn’t performing as it should, it may have you wondering if it’s time for HVAC system upgrades or to find and fix the root of the problem. In some situations, you might be able to improve your comfort by investing in energy efficient improvements or HVAC maintenance before turning to a full replacement. Take a load off Before suspecting your A/C has stopped cooling effectively, inspect your window and exterior door frames for cracks. Weatherstripping wears out, and the caulk that seals window frames dries out eventually. Insulation in the attic might be less effective because it’s wet, compressed, or moldy. Fixing these problems will lower the cooling load indoors and make it easier for your cooling system to maintain comfort. Time for attention A dirty air filter or an outdoor condenser will inhibit the cooling process. Replace a clogged filter and hose off the condenser coil outdoors. Rake away any accumulated vegetation, and make sure nothing blocks the condenser. Call in the pros If you haven’t had your HVAC system serviced this summer, it’s time. Besides improving its energy efficiency, a tune-up will turn up issues that could keep it from reaching its maximum performance. Too much or too little refrigerant interferes with system’s ability to cool your home. Ductwork leaks not only drive up energy costs, they also reduce cooling and degrade air quality. If tending to your HVAC system and addressing the home’s insulation levels and air leaks doesn’t solve your comfort issues, you may need HVAC system upgrades, especially if it: Is over 10 years old. Breaks down a lot. Doesn’t... read more

Top Preparations Before a New HVAC System Installation

There’s a lot more to getting a new HVAC installation in your home than selecting the system you want and sitting back while it gets installed. In order for the new cooling or heating system to work optimally in your Orlando area home, follow these steps: Schedule a comprehensive energy audit or evaluation of your home by a trusted HVAC contractor. Employing high-tech diagnostic equipment, the energy auditor will conduct tests to find out where energy is being wasted in your home, whether through air leaks in the outer envelope or poor or missing insulation. Once you have that information, you can take steps to seal air leaks, upgrade insulation and complete any other steps recommended in the energy audit. Your new HVAC system installation will perform more effectively and efficiently if your home has been properly weatherized. Make sure that your HVAC installer intends to take industry-recommended steps to correctly size your new furnace, A/C or heat pump. They’ll do this by conducting a heating or cooling load calculation (depending on the type of system you’re getting) that takes into account a myriad of characteristics unique to your home. This includes the home’s size and layout but also its energy efficiency, orientation on the lot, number, size and location of windows, and more. Only with a load calculation in hand can the contractor recommend the right size system for your particular home. An under- or over-sized HVAC system will cause a variety of problems, including energy waste, over-stressed equipment, and uneven cooling or heating. Either as part of the energy evaluation process or done separately, your air ducts... read more

Is Your HVAC Covered in Your Home Insurance?

If an HVAC system needs repair or replacement, can the homeowner rely on home insurance to compensate for the expense? The heating and cooling components installed in your home are one of the biggest investments you’ve made. Sooner or later, normal wear and tear requires repairs and/or an older air conditioner or furnace exceeds its normal service life and a new system is needed. For these common scenarios, however, home insurance typically doesn’t offer compensation. Homeowner’s insurance policies are limited to cover only “damage”. That’s a specific term that does not include repairs for routine wear and tear nor replacement of an old unit that’s simply worn out. In this usage, damage refers only to particular scenarios such as fire, lightning, or hail damage that might affect or destroy an HVAC unit. Any other losses that may arise due to your air conditioner or furnace are generally not compensated by a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Are there other ways to help prevent or reduce losses due to HVAC problems? Here are two potential options: Service Agreements Many reputable HVAC contractors offer a service agreement program that provides routine preventive maintenance as a regularly scheduled event. This attention by a qualified professional technician reduces wear and tear that causes costly repairs and shortens the service life of HVAC components, leading to early replacement. Other benefits of service agreements include: Fewer malfunctions and breakdowns Priority service if an emergency occurs Discounts on parts, labor and accessories Lower operating costs and improved indoor comfort Home Warranties Usually marketed by realtors to home buyers, these plans provide discounts on service and replacement of... read more

Fall is Here: Change Your Air Filters

The transition of seasons is always a good time to think about changing the air filter that plays such an important role in your home’s cooling and heating system. With Florida’s lengthy cooling season, air has circulated through your home’s forced-air HVAC system thousands of times, and an effective air filter eventually will get clogged with dust and debris. A dirty air filter will block smooth airflow in your home’s HVAC system, forcing the A/C or furnace to work harder to move air through the equipment and ductwork. This wastes energy and stresses the equipment. Similarly, with a clogged filter, dust will be more likely to collect on sensitive HVAC components, creating friction, impeding smooth operation and leading to more frequent breakdowns. An air filter working the way it’s intended not only prevents these situations but also helps improve indoor air quality. Get in the habit of inspecting the air filter monthly during the high-use summer season and during the winter if your heating system is often in operation. If you live in a particularly dusty area, or perhaps construction is occurring near or inside your home, you’ll probably want to inspect the air filter even more often. Determining whether you need to replace an air filter is easy. If it’s covered with dust and debris, or if you hold it up to a light and can’t easily see through it, you’ll want to change the air filter. When you decide to change air filters, don’t make the mistake of selecting the cheapest available replacement – a flimsy, flat-panel filter that cost a couple bucks at the grocery or... read more

Top 5 HVAC Brands

Buying a new HVAC system can be a difficult task. There are any number of different options to choose from. What do you need? What will deliver the best performance while saving you the most money? To top it all off, even once you’ve chosen your specifications, there’s a myriad of different HVAC brands out there. Which are the best ones to buy? Here are the top 5 to consider: Lennox Beginning with the introduction of the world’s first riveted-steel furnace in 1895, Lennox has focused on delivering on the values of trust, innovation and quality. These values make Lennox products and dealers among the best brands for your home. Carrier and Day and Night Another set of two brands under the same company, these have a bit more difference between them. Carrier is better known and respected, but it costs more. Day and Night generally offers the same systems for cheaper, but certain higher efficiency models are only available through Carrier. Both have a reputation for producing some of the highest quality HVAC systems in the industry. Trane A little more on the expensive side, Trane also offers one of the best warranties in the industry: 10 years of full parts and labor. You’ll pay more for the system, but it will also last you longer, so you’ll get your money’s worth. York On the other side of the coin is York. They have lower prices, but their products aren’t quite as efficient as some of the other more high end brands. However, their HVAC systems are good quality and reliable, and they offer a variety of different... read more