Warning Signs of a Broken Thermostat

How to Know When to Replace the Thermostat

The thermostat is a very important element of a home HVAC system. The thermostat controls the temperature and tells the heating and cooling systems when to turn on and off. Without a functional thermostat, the HVAC system can run into various problems. This blog post discusses three warning signs that a thermostat could be broken. 

When troubleshooting HVAC problems, experts recommend that homeowners first try replacing the batteries in the thermostat. Dying thermostat batteries can lead to the thermostat not functioning properly, and switching them out is an easy fix. When changing the batteries does not resolve thermostat problems, it is time to call an HVAC technician for thermostat repair or replacement. Here are the signs of thermostat issues.

Utility Bills Are Too High 

bills Higher energy bills can be a result of a broken or malfunctioning thermostat. Upgrading to a new and more efficient thermostat can help homeowners significantly reduce energy bills. Smart thermostats are very effective at learning the home's climate and adjusting automatically for optimal energy efficiency. 

A broken thermostat can cause a sudden spike in utility bills because the HVAC system is overworking itself. A broken thermostat cannot read temperatures accurately, which causes it to turn the HVAC system on and off constantly, short cycle, and run for way longer cycles than it should. Fixing the thermostat with repairs or replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model can go a long way in cutting back on heating and cooling costs. 

Incorrect Temperature Readings

readingsIncorrect temperature readings are another broken thermostat symptom homeowners should watch out for. When the thermostat cannot read temperatures correctly, it can cause the HVAC system to overwork itself. Homeowners can verify if their thermostat is correct by placing an accurate thermometer on the wall next to it and comparing the readings. 

It may also be obvious that the thermostat is reading the wrong temperature based on the house's temperature. For example, if the homeowner is cold, but the thermostat says it’s 78 degrees, the thermostat is probably wrong. Incorrect temperature readings are one of the most common reasons people replace their old thermostats. 

AC Short Cycling

Short cycling is an HVAC term for when the heating or cooling shuts off prematurely. When the system short cycles, it fails to complete the full heating or cooling cycle. This means that the home’s HVAC system will struggle to reach the optimal temperature because it cuts off too early. This leads to an increase in utility bills. It is also bad for the environment to waste energy on inefficient cooling. 

Homeowners may notice short cycling when the AC constantly cuts on and off. An HVAC system that is working properly will start the cycle and continue to run until it reaches the temperature on the thermostat. It only shuts off when the desired temperature is achieved. When the system short cycles, it stops before the process completes and then starts back up again. 

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air 

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has over three decades of experience serving the residents of Port St. Lucie, FL, and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and personal attention. Call them today for thermostat replacement and repair in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Electrical Basics for Back to School: A Guide

The Essentials of Home Electricity

Having an electrical grid is part of what defines the US as a first-world country. These days, it is essential, especially as the demand for “work from home” increases. People cannot function without it, yet it is a mystery to most.

Everyone knows that the light comes on when they flip a switch, but they may not know why. Electricity is energy produced by charged particles. In a home, energy moves through wires, and switches and plugs are used to create a circuit or a continuously flowing circle of connection for the electricity.

Defining the Parts of the Electrical System

electric meterWhile most people can recognize a switch or an outlet, they may not be aware of some of the other parts of the electrical system in the home. Below is a breakdown of main major components of a residential electrical setup:

  • Electric Meter: The electric meter is the mechanism that measures the amount of electricity that goes through it. The electrical wires from the municipal power grid (underground or overhead) connect to the house through the electric meter.
  • Disconnect Switch: This switch cuts power to the entire home. This switch is usually part of the breaker panel but can be separate from it.
  • Breaker Panel: The home’s electrical panel is where the electricity from the supply lines is divided into various circuits throughout the house. Switches control each circuit and are often labeled by room or by the appliance they service.
  • Outlets: Also called receptacles, electrical outlets have hot and neutral wires. When something is plugged in, the electricity passes from the hot wire through the machine (for example, a hairdryer), turning it on. The electricity then flows through the plug’s second wire and back into the neutral wire of the outlet, thus creating a circuit.
  • Switches: Switches are used to interrupt a circuit from the breaker box to (usually) a light of some kind. Switches come in many different styles, including dimmers and knob switches.

Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

burning plastic smellIf a homeowner is concerned about the age of wiring or electrical problems in general, there are a few indicators to look for that demonstrate a problem with the electrical wiring. If wiring is older, it may not be up to code, as the rules for electrical repairs change as technology improves. Having a consultation with an electrician about these concerns is never a bad idea.

If a homeowner notices any of these things, they should seek out a professional sooner rather than later:

Be Safe and Call an Electrician About Electrical Repairs

Electricity is a fantastic tool, but it can be very dangerous, especially to someone who is not trained. Electrical safety is paramount in preventing the worst, including fire and electric shock. A homeowner should not do electrical work because they don’t have the proper training. Hiring a professional electrician costs less than someone’s life.

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

After serving Port St. Lucie, FL, and the surrounding communities for more than 30 years, Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has been named best of HomeAdvisor in 2021 and is accredited by the BBB and NATE. They offer same-day service, courteous technicians, and straightforward pricing. Call them today for electrical services in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Signs That It's Time To Consider Air Duct Replacement

How To Know if the Air Ducts Need Repairs or Replacing 

If your home or office building has a heating and air conditioning system, keeping the air ducts in good condition is important. Not only do they help circulate air throughout the space, but they also play a role in maintaining a comfortable temperature. Over time, air ducts can become clogged with dust and debris, reducing their efficiency. Sometimes, it may be necessary to repair or replace the air ducts altogether. Here are some signs that it may be time for air duct repair or replacement:

Warning Signs 

smellOne should consult with an HVAC expert if they notice: 

  • Foul smells coming from their home’s AC vents: Most air ducts are made of materials that prevent the growth of mold and mildew. However, water damage can cause these substances to grow and produce musty, unpleasant smells. The smell could also come from a dead animal. If a rat (for example) dies inside the home’s air ducts, one should hire a professional to address the issue. Ignoring the problem could compromise the home’s indoor air quality. 
  • Poor airflow: Over time, some air ducts can suffer damage. For instance, changes in air pressure can cause the ducts to bend or wrap, affecting how air flows through the system. Other reasons for poor airflow may include obstructions inside the system. 
  • Rumbling sounds from the home’s air ducts: No loud rumbling sounds should come from the air ducts, only the sound of blowing air. However, if one hears rumbling, popping, or cracking sounds, this could mean that air pressure is warping the ducts themselves. 

If a homeowner suspects that their air ducts have problems, they should consult a professional to ensure the best course of action. These are not issues that homeowners should fix on their own, and DIY home improvement measures could only worsen matters. 

How Can New Ductwork Help the Home?

save While replacing the entire air duct system can seem like an unexpected expense, the benefits greatly outweigh the investment. For starters, with new air ducts in place, homeowners can expect improved airflow throughout the entire home, which means no more drafty or overly stuffy rooms.

Similarly, being overly dirty or damaged can force your AC to work harder. With new air ducts in place, homeowners can expect better circulation throughout the home and lower energy costs since less debris will get in the way. Finally, the overall system will be quieter without any damaged or leaky air ducts, allowing everyone to enjoy a cool, quiet, and comfortable home. 

Examples of Air Duct Repair Methods 

When a professional comes to repair an AC system, they will first look for any issues. Then, they may: 

  • Clean the ductwork. This may include vacuuming dust, removing mold growth, and cleaning the metal tunnels with non-corrosive fluid. 
  • Remove damaged sections. Unlike the human body, air ducts do not heal themselves. A professional can identify a damaged section of ductwork and replace the old section with a new one without having to replace the entire ductwork. 
  • Patch any leaks or holes in the ductwork. If an air duct system has any leaks or holes, it could allow cool air to leave the system. This can make it difficult to maintain the home’s indoor temperature. A professional may use caulk, a patch, or another substance to patch the hole. 

At first glance, these measures may seem like anyone can do them. However, as noted, one should consult a professional for help regarding their HVAC system. 

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air 

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has over 30 years of experience serving the residents of Port St. Lucie, FL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and on-time arrival. Call them today for air conditioning services in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Keep the Home Safe From Power Surges

Why Every Home Needs a Whole Home Surge Protector 

The electrical grid in the US is one of the most reliable in the world. Every day families and businesses take advantage of this utility since it powers pretty much everything around us. However, since the grid is as complex as it is, there are times when problems occur. One of the most common problems with the electrical grid is power surges. 

Power surges can happen for various reasons, but one of the most common is the weather. Storms that cause power outages and lightning can cause huge voltage peaks to flood into a home’s wiring and damage critical electronics. The only way to protect from these events is with surge protectors. 

Historically, surge protectors have been devices within power strips that protect sensitive devices like computers or televisions. However, with the proliferation of electronic devices, most homes would benefit from a surge protector that protects the whole house. Here is a quick guide to keeping the home safe from power surges by local electricians that know what their neighbors need.  

The Problems with Power Surges

surgeThe term “power surge” is the perfect descriptor because it is exactly what happens during a power surge. Normally, a home receives voltage from the grid at 120 volts. That voltage can spike up to thousands of volts during a power surge. The resulting wave of voltage can burn out motors and sensitive electronics. 

Power surges can be the result of:

  • Lighting strikes
  • Storms knocking out power
  • Problems at power plants
  • Appliances turning off and on
  • Large production facilities in the area shutting down or starting up for the day

Reasons to Install a Whole House Surge Protector

protectorPower surges have been problems for as long as electricity has been available. However, the issue of power surges has only become more serious in recent years. In the decades leading up to the digital age, the only appliances susceptible to power surges were motored and weren’t often completely burned out by a power surge. 

With the advent of sensitive electronic devices like phones and computers, the problem of power surges became more detrimental. Since everything in a home is digital and susceptible to power surges, it makes sense to protect these expensive devices with whole house surge protectors

When to Replace an Old Surge Protector

Installing whole house surge protectors has become more and more common over the last few years. The problem is that most homeowners don’t know how to recognize the signs that their need to be replaced. Whole house surge protectors are constantly in service monitoring voltage, so they tend to wear out faster than people would expect. 

To tell if a whole home surge protector is wearing out, pay attention to signs like: 

  • Frequent tripping of the device
  • Dimming lights
  • Age of 3 to 5 years
  • Inconsistent power supply
  • Damaged electronics

When these problems start to manifest, it is best to replace the surge protector. Contact a reliable electrician for whole house surge protector replacement before the home loses protection. 

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has provided its neighbors in Port St. Lucie, FL, and the surrounding areas with trustworthy electrical and home service solutions since 1988. They offer personal attention, 24/7 emergency service, and upfront pricing. Call them today for surge protection in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Can I Install My Own A/C System?

It can be tempting to do it yourself when it comes to replacing your A/C system. However, it’s important to leave this job to the professionals. Our Elite team is ALWAYS here for you and any A/C issues you may encounter. Find out why you should ONLY let a licensed professional install your A/C system!

Permit and Codes

permits and codesInstalling an A/C system in Florida is considered a construction project by county governments. A permit is required for all construction projects in Florida. A licensed air conditioner contractor will need to register and receive a certificate from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Not only will your A/C installation require you to obtain a permit, but it also will make you abide by Florida Building Code requirements. These codes cover general requirements, materials, and building mechanical systems. A professional technician will also ensure that every part is installed correctly and that there are no leaks in your ductwork.

Warranty

warrantyNot only will choosing a licensed A/C professional to install your system ensure it is properly installed, but you will abide by the manufacturer’s warranty. Many system manufacturers require that a professional technician installs the unit to comply with the manufacturer’s warranty. It can be enticing to shop online for a better deal on your unit, but the savings will be short-lived. You don’t want to run into a complication or repair no longer covered by the manufacturer because you decided to DIY.

Safety

safetyThe main reason to choose professional installation is your safety. The codes and permits required to install your A/C system are in place, so you don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Installing an A/C system requires you to deal with electrical wiring and could lead to electric shock, not to mention the possibility of a gas leak from the refrigerant.

When it comes time to replace your A/C system, give our Elite team a call! Since 1988, our team has proudly serviced the Treasure Coast. We are always here to help keep you and your family safe and comfortable.

Searching for the Right AC Company? Follow These 3 Tips

Spring is the Best Time to Schedule Professional AC Service

It can certainly be stressful when a homeowner knows they need to call a professional but doesn’t know who to call. How does a person know who to trust? Could a homeowner do the work themselves? (Spoiler: the answer is no.) 

Professionals should do air conditioner repair and AC maintenance. These simple steps will make it painless to find a pro to care for a homeowner’s needs.  

Reasons To Call the Professionals

callA home air conditioning system is no longer as simple as a block of ice and a fan. The modern HVAC system is complex and difficult to navigate for someone with no experience. Calling a professional first is always better than calling them later with an even larger problem. 

Here are some other reasons for hiring a professional:

  • Warranties: Often, a warranty can be voided if a customer tries to work on the system themselves. A part that could have been fixed with minimal cost may suddenly cost much more.
  • Injuries: It is much more likely that a homeowner who tries DIY methods will injure themselves than a professional will.
  • Time: It will take less of a homeowner’s time to call the professional and have them handle the maintenance or repair.

Researching: Word of Mouth and Reviews

read reviewsOne of the best ways to find a reliable service is to ask friends and neighbors about their work and who they would recommend for a similar service. People tend to share their opinions very freely about such matters. Searching for reviews online and checking the company’s website for pricing are also valuable tools. People tend to be very honest with their experiences online. Here are a few of the places to look for information about various local companies:

  • Google Reviews
  • Yelp Reviews
  • Facebook
  • Angi
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  • HVAC Association websites

Schedule AC Maintenance or Repair Right Away

When would an AC repair company be the busiest? When it is the hottest, of course. Summer is jam-packed for AC companies, so scheduling maintenance when the weather is pleasant increases the likelihood of availability when it fits a homeowner’s schedule. 

Air conditioner maintenance is a way to ensure that the AC is working properly and won’t break down in the middle of the heat of summer. A problem that has only begun to show itself can be corrected before it becomes a major issue. Professional cleaning and maintenance also help a unit operate at its most efficiently, so this will help keep energy bills lower. Scheduling service early can save a homeowner both time and money.

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has provided top-notch workmanship and dependability to their neighbors in Port St. Lucie, FL, for more than 30 years. They offer 24/7 emergency service, upfront pricing, and on-time arrival. Call them today for air conditioning services in Port St. Lucie, FL.

What Can You Expect In A Generator Installation?

What Can You Expect In A Generator Installation?

generator

Here is what homeowners can expect during a generator installation:

  1. Power Assessment: An Elite technician will determine the ideal level of backup power needed and select the best whole-home generator to fit your needs and budget.
  2. Location Selection: You and your technician will choose a stable spot, considering necessary clearances and any HOA or community requirements.
  3. Site Preparation: A sturdy base will be created from concrete.
  4. Connect Power: A transfer switch is installed, a fuel line run and both are connected to your whole-home generator.
  5. Testing: A power outage will be simulated to ensure that appliances can function correctly and that the power and generation meet the model’s standards.

 

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has provided its neighbors in Port St. Lucie and Jupiter, FL, with dependable solutions for their heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical needs for over 30 years. They offer upfront pricing, on-time arrival, 24/7 emergency service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They provide clients with personalized solutions by knowledgeable technicians and ensure everything gets done right the first time. Call them today for generator installation in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Are A/C Tune-Ups Worth It? Our Team Answers With These Three Points!

Top 3 Benefits of Regular AC Tune-Ups

Trying to figure out if the added expense of routinely servicing your A/C system is worth it can be difficult. However, outweighing the expense with the benefits will help you make your decision. Our team has listed out a few of the key factors an A/C tune-up can help you with. Continue reading to find out how you can benefit from routine maintenance!

Detect Problems

Person checking test AC unit

One of the most common reasons to schedule an A/C tune-up is to detect any underlining problems your system may be experiencing. Our technicians will ensure your system is working properly and efficiently, and clean out any debris in or around your system.

Lower Utility Bills

person using several calculators

Routine maintenance aids in keeping your system running at peak efficiency, which will result in lower utility bills. Although it is natural to see utility bills fluctuate throughout different months, they should be relatively the same throughout the years.

Warranties

Warranty label

The icing on the cake of scheduling routine maintenance is that it also maintains your manufacturer’s warranty. Many systems come with limited warranties that require annual maintenance to be performed by a technician to remain valid. If you do run into a costly repair, your annual tune-up cost may save you!

These are just a few of the reasons why A/C tune-ups are crucial to the vitality of your system.

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has been Port St. Lucie's trusted air conditioning contractor for more than 30 years. With 24/7 service and a satisfaction guarantee, they can be trusted to show up on time and perform the job right the first time. Give your home the ELITE treatment with a professional A/C tune-up before you run into a costly issue. Give our team a call at (772) 783-4480 to schedule an appointment for air conditioning maintenance in Port St. Lucie.

 

Get Lucky with These AC Repair Tips

Tips to Get the Most Out of the AC

Owning a home can feel like a hassle, so most homeowners will take all the luck they can get. Luckily, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and luck are abundant! A homeowner can stay ahead of problems by paying more attention to their air conditioning system. With good maintenance, an air conditioner will run longer, stay cooler and cost less than a neglected system. Here are tips from local air conditioner maintenance professionals to ensure the AC stays lucky. 

Make AC Filter Replacement a Priority

filter AC filter replacement is one of the cheapest and easiest AC maintenance tasks. Coincidentally, it is also one of the most important, and the homeowner can carry it out. Air conditioner manufacturers recommend replacing air filters at least quarterly, but it is more appropriate to change them more often in many cases. For example, if pets are present in the home, filters may need to be changed as often as monthly to keep the air clean. 

The main reason for changing air filters is to keep the air conditioner working efficiently. A pleasant side effect of having clean air filters is clean air, but a clean filter is also essential to the healthy operation of an AC unit. A clean filter allows air to flow more freely through an AC’s blower, allowing the air to be cooled more effectively and distributed around the home. 

When filters start to clog with dust, the airflow is reduced, resulting in an increasing loss of efficiency as the filter gets dirtier. Replacing the filter keeps dirt out of the system's moving parts and restores lost efficiency immediately.  

Check the Thermostat’s Function

thermostat

Most homeowners have little experience troubleshooting AC problems. Apart from AC filter replacement, they may feel intimidated trying to figure out their AC problems. One of the troubleshooting tasks a homeowner should feel comfortable with is checking the thermostat. Since the thermostat is essential to good AC function, many problems originate here. Here is a quick guide for checking the thermostat: 

  • First, verify the power source. Some thermostats are battery-powered and need new batteries periodically. Others will lose power when power to the AC system is lost. 
  • Second, check the setting. Too often, homeowners will forget to switch from heating to cooling when the season changes. 
  • Third, look for dirt or dust buildup around the thermostat.
  • Finally, check the temperature on display for accuracy.

If these steps don’t fix the problem, it may be time to call for professional AC repair. 

Schedule Professional AC Maintenance

Professional AC maintenance is a service that most HVAC contractors offer. The purpose of AC maintenance is to:

  • Increase longevity
  • Ensure comfort
  • Reduce mechanical problems
  • Improve air quality
  • Decrease operating costs

Homeowners that schedule air conditioner maintenance semiannually will notice the benefits immediately. The best way to ensure this service doesn’t get neglected is to look for an HVAC maintenance contractor with a membership program. 

About Elite Electric & Air

Elite Electric & Air is the local choice for AC maintenance and repair. With emergency service for clients' peace of mind and a partnership plan, their skills are always available to the community. Call today for honest AC repairs in Port St. Lucie, FL.

The Black Inventors Who Revolutionized the Home Electricity Industry

These Black Inventors Changed the Way Our Modern Homes Function 

This year for Black History Month, we want to introduce the three black inventors who made electrical history when they revolutionized the modern home with their electrical inventions. These incredible men and women made all of our lives easier with their contributions to electrical engineering. 

Black inventors helped engineer the first-ever microphone, lightbulb, and the telephone. It is hard to imagine what life would have been like without their incredible advancements in the history of electricity. 

Lewis Latimer Invented the Carbon Light Bulb Filament in 1981

Without Lewis Latimer, Thomas Edison may have never invented the first light bulb. This innovative black inventor and engineer is an important figure in the history of electricity because he invented the carbon filament in 1881. 

He was the son of formerly enslaved people and was drafted to fight for the Union in the Civil War. When he returned home from war, he got a job working at a patent law office. This is where he was able to study the art of mechanical drafting. 

Not only did Lewis Latimer help Thomas Edison invent the light bulb, but he also helped Alexander Graham Bell invent the telephone. He is also notable for how he developed a way to improve the function of bathrooms in trains. 

james e west

 

James E. West Co-Invented the Electret Condenser Microphone in 1964 

Fans of music will love the next black inventor on our list! James E. West, born 1931, was a visionary inventor in the 1960s who created the first Electret Condenser Microphone with his colleagues at Bell Labs. 

He paired up with fellow inventor Gerhard Sessler to attempt to create the most compact and sensitive microphone the world has ever seen. Almost all microphones used today are an iteration of the microphone that James E. West invented in the 1960s. 

 

 

 

Mary Van Brittan Brown Co-Invented the Home Security System in 1966

maryMary Van Brittan was a black female inventor who started as a nurse. She was worried about being home alone while her husband was at work in her neighborhood in Queens, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

She connected a camera to four peepholes in the front door. Having the camera’s stream playing live on a monitor inside her home made her feel safer. In addition to the camera live stream of the front door, they also connected some buttons to control the system. 

If someone was outside, Mary Van Brittan Brown could call her husband or the police with the press of a button. There was also a microphone that she used to talk to people outside. She decided to take a patent out on her invention and was awarded it in 1969. Her invention was the first security camera and inspired many of the security systems we use today. 

About Elite Electric & Air

Elite Electric & Air is the go-to heating, cooling, and electric home service provider for Port St. Louis, Florida. Homeowners can rely on the friendly, trustworthy, and highly trained staff at Elite Electric & Air. Call them today to schedule an appointment with an experienced local electrician in Port St. Louis, FL!