Refrigerant fluid lines are the lifeline of the air conditioning unit that keeps the function of the AC stable, allowing it to produce consistent temperatures throughout the home. The majority of the time they work perfectly, but sometimes there are issues that need to be addressed. This is especially common in older units that have served the home for a while. As the area’s experts in air conditioning repairs, we dedicated this blog post to refrigerant fluid lines. Here, we will discuss some of the most common issues you can expect when it comes to the refrigerant fluid lines in your AC unit. 


Refrigerant Fluid Leaks

Leaks are one of the most common issues you can expect with refrigerant fluid lines in an AC unit. These types of leaks can occur due to a variety of factors including poor installation, corrosion, or damage to the line. If a leak is detected, it is important to address it as soon as possible to prevent the refrigerant from escaping. 


Refrigerant fluid is very poisonous and if ingested, it can cause adverse health outcomes. The increased levels of dampness or moisture from the leaks can also contribute to mold growth. As a result, if you notice a leak coming from your AC unit, contact a Universal Air and Heat air conditioning tech to help fix the issue.




Refrigerant fluid lines can develop clogs. The problem can sometimes be explained by dirt and contamination in the lines, preventing the fluid from flowing freely and providing cooling to the air. However, if the refrigerant food lines are frozen, the accumulated ice will also prevent proper fluid flow. 


Using specific tools and chemicals, air conditioning technicians can clear out these types of clogs. We do not recommend trying to repair this issue yourself because you will need specialized training and tools to do so. Plus, most states require that refrigerant fluid is handled by a certified professional. 


Poor Insulation


Poor insulation of refrigerant fluid lines in an AC unit can cause a range of issues, including increased energy, consumption, reduced performance, and decreased efficiency. Insulation is important because it helps to maintain the temperature of the refrigerant, preventing it from escaping or condensing in the line. Poor insulation will need to be replaced or repaired to ensure that refrigerant fluid lines are properly protected.


Poor Fluid Levels


Refrigerant fluid levels must be set appropriately in order to ensure optimal comfort levels in your home. If there’s too much refrigerant fluid in the lines, your lines may end up freezing and preventing proper airflow, as we discussed above. Additionally, if there isn’t enough fluid in the refrigerant fluid lines, your air conditioning system will not have enough support to cool the home. As a result, you may end up feeling a little warmer during the summer months when you expect your AC to cool your house. If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact a Universal Air and Heat air conditioning repair tech today to have this issue investigated and resolved.


How To Prevent Issues With Refrigerant Lines


Thanks to modern technology and advancements in the HVAC industry, problems with refrigerant and fluid lines are few and far between. In fact, most of these issues can be avoided with a proper maintenance routine for your AC system. We strongly recommend a routine maintenance check at least once a year to ensure that your AC has the proper refrigerant fluid levels and that all the components are aligned appropriately to deliver the comfort levels in your home. 


Contact Universal Air and Heat Air Conditioning Repair Techs for Help!



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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

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22 Energy Saving Tips To Save You Money

Little changes that can add up to big savings on your annual cooling costs

cut your annual cooling costsWith energy prices on the rise, these energy saving tips can amount to big savings on your cooling and heating expense. Energy costs in South Florida are 40% higher than the national average, according to EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey. Your air conditioning system is responsible for up to 60% of your energy consumption in South Florida. With just a few simple changes to your lifestyle and your home, you could be saving hundreds of dollars on your annual energy bills.


  1. Use ceiling fans to cool off for less. Ceiling fans use no more electricity than a standard light
    bulb. However, be sure to turn fans off when you leave the room.
  2. Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction In the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
  3. Cool your home at 78 degrees or higher with the thermostat fan switched to auto. For additional savings, raise your thermostat to 82 degrees or higher when you’re away.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day.
  5. Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  6. Window tinting can help reduce room temperature in rooms that have a sunny exposure. Especially a south west exposure in late afternoon when the outside temperature is at its highest.
  7. Clean or replace the A/C filter at least once per month to help your unit run more efficiently and trim cooling costs.
  8. Consider purchasing an lifetime electrostatic air filter. It will do a better job of keeping your coil clean and trap allergens better than the thick hypoallergenic  disposable air filters that restrict air flow.
  9. If you have an older air conditioner with a SEER rating of under 16, consider upgrading to a higher efficiency model. Not only will your AC be more efficient, you could also be eligible for a utility company rebate and Energy Star Federal Tax Credit. The higher the SEER rating, the more your will save. Consider a two stage or multi-stage AC unit for even more saving.
  10. If you have a manual thermostat be sure the fan switch is set to “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly.
  11. Block the sun from overheating your home! Inside, use shades, blinds and drapes. Outside, use awnings, trees and shrubs..
  12. Get a AC tune-up. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills.
  13. Open interior doors so that cooled air flows freely throughout your home.
  14. Repair leaky ducts to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  15. Install attic insulation to reduce high home cooling costs up to 20%. You’ll save money each month and may qualify for a rebate.
  16. Check for household leaks to make sure air isn’t escaping through openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows. Make sure your weatherstripping is not allowing air to escape. If it is, replace it.
  17. Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and light-colored paint to reflect heat.
  18. Close unused air vents. If you have central AC you can close air vent and doors in rooms you’re not using so you’re not paying to cool them.
  19. Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home. Use large potted plants that can provide adequate shade (Ficus Trees) if you have a patio apartment.
  20. Install more ceiling fans. Because the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler, you can raise that thermostat and still stay comfortable.
  21. When you have your roof replaced, go with a lighter color. The more reflective the color the lower your attic temperature. One study showed a 20 degree temperature difference in the attic when the homeowner changed from dark grey roof tiles to white.
  22. Have your AC system evaporator coils cleaned, if needed. Restricted air flow will not only cause your air conditioning unit to freeze up, it will impact your cooling costs. An air conditioner with restricted air flow causes your air conditioner to work much harder and can potentially damage your air conditioner and reduce its lifespan.

Your comfort is our top priory.
Universal air and Heat is dedicated to providing the best air conditioning repair and installation service from South Florida to Tampa, Florida. We have become a leader in the air conditioning industry by consistently delivering outstanding customer service.

 We offer Free AC System Estimates and Free Service calls ($49 value) with repair.
Call Universal Air and Heat for all of your air conditioning and indoor air quality needs.


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Comparing R22 with 410a Refrigerant

My Air Conditioner Uses R22 Refrigerant, Can I Top It Off With R410a?

rheem_Split_AC_System-250The two refrigerants are completely incompatible. It would be the equivalent of topping a car off with synthetic oil when it uses regular motor oil. The two can not be mixed without causing severe damage to your air conditioner or heat pump.

All air conditioners use an oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation. R22 air conditioners use mineral oil and R410A systems use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is generally more soluble with R410A than mineral oil is with R22. This means the R-410A system operates more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.

In the past, having a Freon leak in your air conditioner wouldn’t be that expensive, but that was  before the prices of R22 Freon went through the roof.A pound of R22 and the average fill up being around 2-5 lbs, topping-off an air conditioner with a Freon leak is now a very expensive option.

Freon leaks only become worse over time and the cause of the leak needs to be addressed before it damages your air conditioner or heat pump. Refrigerant doesn’t dissipate or break down over time and heavy use. Air conditioners and heat pumps, like refrigerators, use a sealed system. If you are low on refrigerant, it is because you have a leak in your air conditioning or heat pump system.

Why is R22 Refrigerant So Expensive?

R22 is a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion. R22 is known as a global warming gas. U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of this material by imposing strict quotas on its production.

R22 Vs R410a Refrigerant; What You Need To Know:

R22 refrigerant:

As of 2010 is no longer allowed to be used in newly-manufactured air conditioners
Contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer
Is less capable of absorbing and releasing heat than R410a refrigerant, making it the less efficient refrigerant
Is becoming more and more expensive as its use is phased out

R410a refrigerant:

Is approved for use in all newly-manufactured air conditioners
Does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer
Is better at absorbing and releasing heat than R22 refrigerant, making it more efficient to use
Requires the use of tougher and more durable air conditioner parts, which reduces the risk of your system overheating and breaking down
Less expensive

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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Annual Air Conditioning Maintenance Contracts

Universal Air and Heat offers annual air conditioning maintenance contracts, which includes FREE service calls. Having an annual preventative maintenance contract is economical and will ensure your air conditioning unit is properly maintained throughout the year.

An air conditioning maintenance contract will give you peace of mind and save you money in the event your air conditioner requires costly repairs during the year.

We will come out twice per year and perform a 24 point check up and full AC Tune Up, which includes drain line flush and 15% off parts and labor in the event your air conditioning system is in need of repair.  It is the best way to maximize the lifespan of your new air conditioning system and minimize the costs of your older air conditioning unit.

Air Conditioner Sale Prices South FL


 Federal Energy Tax Credits and enjoy huge savings with our Rheem 14 SEER heat pump and 16 SEER air conditioner sale prices. Hurry, this is a limited time offer that ends soon. FPL customers can save even more with generous energy rebates in addition to lowering your annual cooling costs when you upgrade to a new high efficiency air conditioner. Universal Air and Heat is one of the largest air conditioning service companies in Florida with a service area that spans from the Tri County area of South Florida to Tampa, Florida. We sell and service all brands of air conditioners, heat pumps and HVAC systems. We won’t advertise a low ball price and then nickle and dime you to a complete air conditioning system. You will find our “all inclusive” prices on new central air conditioning systems and heat pumps to be very competitive. As a Rheem Pro Partner, and and Top Three Dealer in the nation, we get the lowest prices on Rheem air conditioners and heat pumps and pass the savings on to our customers. Schedule your free “no obligation”estimate today!

Call today for special pricing on a new, high efficiency Rheem 14 SEER heat pump or 16 SEER air conditioner


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We Provide Same Day AC Repair in Tampa Florida

Air Conditioning Repair – Heat Pump Repair and Installation Service

rheem-ac-repair-south-flUniversal Air and Heat provides fast same day heat pump and AC Repair in Tampa Florida. We are a full service air conditioning company and provide a wide variety of AC repair and preventative maintenance services to keep your air conditioning and heating system running at peak performance. Our elite team of AC Repair and heat pump repair technicians are here to serve your cooling and heating needs day or night. We service all brands of residential – commercial  air conditioning in Tampa FL. When you call us you will always reach a live person to assist you with any cooling or heating issues your are experiencing. We provide fast, affordable emergency AC repair service 24/7 and can quickly dispatch one of our professional AC repair technicians to your home or business when you need us most. Universal Air and Heat has been a leader in the heating and cooling industry since 1997. Call the most trusted name in air conditioning and heat pump repair today 813-510-5667. You’ll be glad you did.

We are licensed, insured, BBB rated,  EPA Certified and NADCA certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialists and all of our air duct cleaning and indoor air quality services are performed in accordance with NADCA standards.


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15 % Off AC Repair For Military, Seniors, Expectant Mothers, Police and Firefighters

Universal Air and Heat Honers Those Who Serve Our Country, Community and Children With Big Savings on All Air Conditioning Services (Excludes New AC Units)


Two Stage Air Conditioning System Advantages

What is the advantage of a  two stage air conditioning system compared to a  a single stage air conditioning system?

Benefits of a Two Stage Air Conditioning System Verses a Single Stage AC Unit:

rheem-prestige-series-280A two stage air conditioning system has many more comfort features, one of the best features is the on-demand dehumidification feature. The on-demand dehumidification feature will allow you to feel more comfortable at a higher temperature set point with a lower percentage of humidity in the air. Comfort aside, when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems that could potentially lead to health issues.

How does it work?
The air handler fans speed ramps down into a lower speed utilizing a variable speed motor, when it ramps down to a lower speed it starts pulling more humidity out of the home.

Here is an Example
When you set your thermostat to 76° on the single stage system the air-conditioner will continue to run at 100% capacity in order to bring it down to 76°. However, on a 2 stage system with the humidity control feature you can set your thermostat to 78° and then set the humidity at 45%. Once the air-conditioner reaches 78° The two stage air conditioning unit will drop down into first stage and the fan speed will drop down as well, this allows the air conditioning unit to begin the dehumidification process and then starts to pull the humidity level down until it reaches Trane air conditioning system -cleaneffects - communicating thermostat45% humidity in the home. Once it reaches 45% humidity the AC unit will shut down and it will feel like 76° even though the temperature is actually 78° in the home. This is because the humidity is only at 45%. This will save you money on your electric bill because your air conditioner does not have to operate at 100% capacity all the time of time  in order to bring  your home temperature down 76°

A two stage air conditioning system works 2 stages on the compressor mode, it starts up at 66% drawing less amperage upon start up and this is where you consume most of your energy costs. If the heat load in the home calls for more cooling 15 seconds later the 2nd stage kicks in the 100% capacity mode. Example, if you have a 4 ton air-conditioner with a 2 stage system it will start up as if it were a 2.5 ton drawing the amperage of a 2.5 ton system and then 15 seconds later it will go to 100% (only if the heat load in the home calls for 100% capacity) which will be a full 4 ton capacity however on a single stage system it will always start up at 100% capacity and draw the amperage that a 4 ton compressor will need and that 100% capacity is what winds up costing you more money on your energy bill. Dual stage air conditioners also tend to last longer because they are not running at full capacity all the time.


Two stage cooling means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and produces more even temperatures.

Longer cooling cycles also translate to quieter, more efficient operation, enhanced humidity control, substantial savings on your annual energy costs and extended lifespan of your cooling and heating system. Compared to a single-stage unit, a dual stage air conditioner or heat pump can remove twice as much moisture from the air. This is important because when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems.

Purchasing  a new air conditioning system is one of the most costly home improvement investments you will make  so when it’s time to replace you air conditioning system or heat pump, call a name you can trust.  Universal Air and Heat sells top rated residential and commercial two stage air conditioning systems by Rheem, Carrier, Bryant, Trane and Goodman at low prices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach Jupiter and Tampa FL. Serving the Tri-County area of South FL and Tampa Fl with affordable AC repair and low cost air conditioning replacement since 1997.

Call for your free “no obligation” AC unit estimate today.

813-510-5667 (COOL)

You’ll be glad you did!

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