ac unit
We all know how important it is to have an HVAC system in our homes. Not only does this appliance keep you comfortable year-round, but by keeping the temperature regulated and cutting down on energy costs – not only will your wallet thank us later; we will also be helping Mother Earth out! If pet owners were ever wondering if they should take extra precautions when caring for their animal’s health during cold winter months or sizzling summer days, then here are some tips that might help make sure both parties get what they need:

Pet-proof your AC unit

A lot of people already know how damaging it can be for pets to access the area surrounding their AC units. Strong paws can damage the outside condenser, causing big repairs, and they may even accidentally shut down the AC system! If you have a very curious dog or cat that likes to stick his nose where it does not belong, there are some simple ways to keep him out of danger. Cut off wire access with strong tape. Use electrical tape to block any openings around protective grills. If the AC unit is inside your house, make sure all doors are closed off. Pets can also burn their paws if they stand on a metal surface within reach, especially AC units on the ground or AC units under windows. It is important to make sure that AC vent grills and AC lines are not in contact with surfaces where your pets hang out.

Bathe your pets regularly

If you want to reduce the shedding of your pet, I recommend bathing them regularly. One good thing about this is that it also makes them feel better, look healthy, clean, and free of parasites. This also helps remove oils that can build up on air conditioning filters and coils, leading to decreased efficiency.

Optimizing Your System

AC Freon Levels
It’s important for all homeowners to keep their HVAC systems running at peak efficiency. Things like changing the air filter regularly, keeping the heating and cooling vents clear of obstructions, and scheduling routine tune-ups can all help your system run more efficiently. When you have pets, it is especially important that you take these precautions to maintain peak performance of your HVAC system. Pets shed thousands of minute hairs every year – some of which inevitably get caught in your heating or cooling vents or on damp coils. These hairballs not only restrict airflow but also collect dust and moisture, creating an environment where bacteria and mold can thrive. That means that by not properly maintaining your HVAC system, you are inviting all kinds of problems – including allergy flare-ups and respiratory issues.

So, pet owners should do everything possible to optimize their AC systems. Having clean AC filters and AC coils not only ensures that pets are living in a healthier environment but also aids in the running of your system more smoothly – saving you money on energy bills! If you’re looking for new AC filtration equipment (or if your current AC filter is worn out), contact an AC professional in your area today. They’ll be able to recommend the best AC air filters for both your home and your budget.

Regular Cleanings

Because so much pet hair can build up in your HVAC system, you should consider having it professionally cleaned every few years. If you have allergies or asthma, this is especially important because allergens can build up in ducts very quickly – even with regular upkeep. Pets also naturally produce oils that get deposited onto the filters in your air conditioning unit. When these filters are not replaced regularly, the oil builds up on the coils and starts to degrade their efficiency. That means that when your AC unit runs, instead of pushing cold air into your home, it’s just pushing hot air back into the room! To avoid these potential AC repair scenarios, have your AC unit inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.

Inspections and Repairs

In addition to making sure that your AC system is clean and well-maintained, it is also important that you schedule AC repairs as soon as they become necessary. The longer you wait to address AC problems, the more damage they can cause – not only to the AC itself but also to other components in your home. For example, a malfunctioning AC can pull moisture out of inside walls and ceilings, creating a home for mold and mildew. It can also make a property more susceptible to water damage from things like flooding or burst pipes. Even if AC repair doesn’t seem necessary right away, it is never a bad idea to have an AC professional take a quick look – you never know what kind of AC problems they might be able to spot before they become big AC repair issues.

We’re sure you have heard the old saying “a man’s home is his castle.” When it comes to your pet, that sentiment rings even more true. To keep both you and your furry friend safe from harmful allergens, we recommend controlling their environment by following these simple tips for a happy, healthy life together indoors. Anyone who lives in Florida knows how difficult it can be to deal with the sweltering heat of summer, especially when they have pets at their home who cannot shed heat as humans can. Thankfully, AC technicians in Tampa are here to help! Whether you need AC repair or AC replacement, Universal Air & Heat in Tampa FL is on call with a team of highly trained professionals that can help you with your AC service needs.

Give us a call today at 813-510-5667

uahac truck in service location

Is It Normal For Air Conditioners to Lose Freon Over Time?

Does Refrigerant Dissipate or Beak Down?

Freon LeakThe short answer is, no. Air conditioners and heat pumps do not lose refrigerant due to hard use after a hot summer season or over the course of time. The Freon, or refrigerant, is only the medium used to transfer heat from the inside of the home to the outside.  Like refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps have a sealed refrigerant system. Freon does not dissipate or breakdown.

So where did it go?  If you are low on Freon, it is because you have a leak somewhere in your air conditioning system or heat pump.

Freon leaks are typically found at the schrader valve, valve cores, evaporator coil, copper lines, “U” connectors, weld joints, electrical connection to the compressor body, or the copper tubing. Most of the time, the leak will usually occur in the evaporator coil.

The coil is made up of straight tubes, fins, “U” connectors and various other refrigerant carrying pieces that are welded together at the factory and should remain leak proof for the life of the AC unit. However, that’s not always the case.

Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Freon?

The welds and parts are made up of different metals that expand and contract differently when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. These welds sometimes start to fail or crack resulting in a refrigerant leak.

There is also some long term deterioration that comes along with copper coils. Formic Acid, a byproduct of building materials, is released and is corrosive to copper. Over time it can etch away at the copper tubes and create microscopic leaks in the tubes themselves.

Newer homes are often notorious for developing Freon leaks quicker than older and more established homes because of the presence of more chemicals, such as Formaldehyde, in the building products.

Where Are Freon Leaks Typically Found?

Freon leaks are often found in the evaporator coil. The weakest areas are generally where the metal is stressed the most, the “U” joint, weld points and areas that are subject to the most vibration.

Other places include the schrader valve. The same type of valve you would find on your tire to fill it with air. Sometimes the rubber seals deteriorate or the schrader valve gets stuck and allows Freon or refrigerant to leak out of the air conditioning system.

If you have a heat pump, heat pumps have accumulators. Accumulators are necessary for the heat pump to provide heat in the winter are usually made from steel and after a few years they can begin to rust.

A capillary tube leak on the inside evaporator coil, or if you have a heat pump, on the outside heat pump condensing unit.

If the air conditioning or heat pump system has any flare connections leaks generally occur at these connection.Frean_leak_test

Filter dryers are installed in all refrigeration systems and are necessary for absorbing minute amounts of moisture in the system. They also filter out contaminants before they get into key components which would otherwise be damaged or plugged. These filter dryers have screens and desiccant inside them and the outer shell is made if steel. Over Time, Steel can rust.

The line set which carries refrigerant back forth from the condenser to the evaporator coil has been pierced or damaged. Damage can occur from a lawn mower or someone piercing the line set.

How Do You Find a Freon Leak?

There are several ways to test the lines in order to determine where the leak is.

The most precise method  for locating Freon leaks is for the technician to install a liquid tracer into the air conditioning or heat pump system, and allow it to circulate about two weeks. A small amount of fluorescent dye is added to an air conditioning system or heat pump and allowed to circulate. The dye escapes with the system’s refrigerant or fluid and remains at all leak sites. When the system is scanned with an ultraviolet inspection lamp, the dye fluoresces brilliantly to pinpoint the exact source of every leak. Proven to find multiple and intermittent leaks undetectable by any other method. Even leaks smaller than 1/8 ounce per year.

If your air conditioner or heat pump is  is losing Freon, it will require a professional air conditioning technician to accurately determine where the leak is occurring and recommend the most effective solution to repair the problem.

The following issues may indicate a refrigerant leak:

  • Your home takes a long time to cool
  • Warm air is coming out of your air registers
  • Your evaporator coils are frozen over
  • You hear a hissing sound

R22 Freon Is Expensive; Can I top It Off With R410a?

Unfortunately, R22 is incompatible with R40a. R22 Freon is mineral oil based and R410a refrigerant is synthetic based. Mixing them together will cause a great deal of damage to your air conditioner or heat pump. It would be like using synthetic oil to top off a car that uses regular oil.

R22 refrigerant the average fill up is 2-5 lbs, topping-off an R22 air conditioner can be very expensive.

The reason why R22 has become so expensive is because it is being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone depletion. U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of this material by imposing strict quotas on its production.

Call Universal Air and Heat to diagnose and repair the leak as quickly as possible. Refrigerant leaks can cause serious damage and significantly decrease the lifespan of your air conditioner or heat pump. One of our elite team of professional air conditioning and heat pump professionals will efficiently diagnose and detect any refrigerant leaks in your system and recommend the best and most cost effective solution.


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We Repair Your AC Unit Right The First Time

Universal Air & Heat: ‘Doing it right the first time’

Palm Beach Post  2:48 p.m. Friday, July 27, 2012

By Keith Merritt

There is certainly no shortage of competition when it comes to addressing your heating and cooling needs — especially here in South Florida — but the key is finding a company that truly meets (and exceeds) your needs in every possible way. If your search ends with Universal Air & Heat, you’ll be in good hands.

Mike Thompson, 35, started the company in 1997. In just 15 years, he has transformed the business from a one-truck operation to a 22-truck fleet, and now services all areas from the Florida Keys to Port St. Lucie, as well as Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties on the west coast of Florida.

Universal Air & Heat is an ASCS (Air Systems Cleaning Specialist) and NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) certified company, and is a state-licensed air-conditioning contractor. They are also members of the Better Business Bureau, where they maintain an A+ rating.


It would be extremely difficult to find a more professional operation than the one Thompson and his team run at Universal Air & Heat.

For starters, all technicians are company employees and are EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) licensed and NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified. The company fully insures all of its techs and carries the highest limits of insurance coverage on all jobs — including property, worker’s compensation and general liability.

EPA Logo

All techs wear uniforms, and their trucks are adorned with the Universal Air & Heat logo. A company badge and credentials are also visible, and they treat each home they enter as if it were their own: using shoe covers, drop-cloths and other items to preserve the property’s cleanliness.

It’s important to note that when you hire Universal Air & Heat, the service will be provided by a company employee, as Universal does not use subcontractors.


“An employee typically values their relationship with customers more than a subcontractor does, and subcontractors oftentimes carry only the minimum requirements of insurance liability,” Thompson explained.

When installing a new A/C unit, Thompson points out that Universal Air & Heat always pulls a permit.

“It is very important that a permit is pulled on every job, to ensure that equipment is installed correctly and safely for the customer. We adhere to all local and state codes that are required for proper installation, and they are approved by the appropriate inspector,” Thompson noted. “If a contractor tells you he can do a job without a permit, chances are that you will incur a problem — not to mention fines and other penalties.”


Universal Air & Heat sells only the highest-quality level of products by companies such as Rheem, Trane, Carrier and Bryant, and the staff recommends super-high-efficiency units.

NADCA-approved services
are available on request.

Call for pricing and details.


“When you consider the savings on electric bills, the air conditioners we suggest to our customers actually pay for themselves within four or five years,” said Thompson. “And we make them available at the best possible price.”

In addition to selling and installing new air-conditioning units, the list of services provided by Universal Air & Heat is far too long to list. But it includes air-duct cleaning and dryer-vent cleaning.

Duct-cleaning services

Two types of duct-cleaning services are offered. There

Air Conditioner Tune Up Specials – How to Stay Cool in Florida During the Summer Heat



AC Repair Broward and Palm Beach County FLIt’s that time of year again…  Summer in South Florida where the average daily temperature is 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity. That’s a lot of wear and tear on your Air Conditioner, the most essential and expensive piece of equipment in your home.  Can you imagine surviving the hottest time of year without your AC Unit? Like all machinery your air conditioner requires routine maintenance in order to cool at peak efficiency and help prevent costly breakdowns. The best way ensure your air conditioning system will cool reliably and keep your energy bills in check is to call the professionals at Universal Air and Heat. Our air conditioner Tune Up includes a 24 point check up in addition to checking for microbial growth inside you air conditioning unit. Schedule your appointment online and enjoy additional savings. That’s right, take 10% off any AC Repair, air conditioner tune up or duct cleaning service when you schedule your appointment online. Our certified air conditioning technicians will keep your A/C system working properly to keep you cool during the hottest summer days in South Florida. All of our professional air conditioning service technicians are employees of Universal Air and Heat. This ensures the highest quality AC repair service every time you call. Our  friendly and knowledgeable customer service staff are always here to assist you.


Call Today


Universal Air and Heat is gearing up with amazing air conditioner Tune-Up specials for Summer…

Beat the heat at unbelievable savings!