Learning About HVAC Contractor Services

What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Stops Working Properly

Posted by on Jan 6th, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Stops Working Properly

You rely on your air conditioner to keep your home cool during the summer months, but what if your air conditioner suddenly stops blowing cold air? There are several reasons your AC unit may not be working properly. Before you call a HVAC repair technician, try to troubleshoot the problem yourself by following these tips.

Test Your Thermostat

It’s cheaper to replace a thermostat than it is to replace your air conditioner unit, so testing your thermostat to make sure it’s sending a signal should be one of the first things you do. If your thermostat is failing, your AC unit won’t kick on when the temperature in your house gets too hot. To test your thermostat, set the temperature down approximately five degrees. If your AC unit doesn’t kick on, the thermostat isn’t sending a signal. Most likely, you’ll need to call an HVAC technician to have the thermostat replaced. However, before you do, check to see if your thermostat is battery operated. If it is, try to change the batteries to see if it fixes the problem.

Clean the Condenser Coils

The condenser is the part of your air conditioner that sits outside your home — the actual unit itself. Over time, dirt and debris collect on the coils, and when it builds up, your air conditioner won’t blow cold air. To clean the coils:

  1. Shut off power to the unit. You can do this by turning off the main circuit breaker or shutting it off at the unit itself.
  2. Remove the top and side panels from the unit. In some AC units, the fan is attached to the one of the panels, so make sure you remove each panel carefully — you don’t want to accidentally damage the wiring.
  3. Use a soft-bristled handheld broom or brush to remove dirt and debris from the aluminum panels surrounding the coils as well as any loose debris in the bottom of the unit.
  4. Use a shop vac with a bristle attachment to vacuum out any dust, dirt, or debris.
  5. Cover the motor with a plastic garbage bag, and secure it with duct tape.
  6. Use a hose with a nozzle attachment to spray clean the condenser coils and the panels surrounding the coils. Remember, the panels are delicate. To keep them from bending, don’t use a high-pressure stream of water.
  7. Wait for the unit to dry completely. Then, uncover the motor and replace the panels.
  8. Turn the thermostat off. Then, reconnect the power running to the unit. After a few minutes, the unit should kick on and start blowing cold air.

If the thermostat isn’t the problem and cleaning the condenser coils doesn’t work, you should consider calling a professional HVAC technician to examine the unit and make repairs. It’s possible that your unit is low on coolant, and in that case, a HVAC technician will need to recharge the unit. For more information, contact local professionals like A Bailey Plumbing.

HVAC Tips Homeowners Should Consider

Posted by on Dec 15th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on HVAC Tips Homeowners Should Consider

A modern HVAC system can be the most important appliance for ensuring your home’s interior is comfortable. Yet, homeowners often take their heating and cooling systems for granted, but you can make sure that your HVAC system is performing as effectively as possible through the use of some simple tips.

Ensure The Exterior Unit Is Receiving Sufficient Airflow

Overlooking the exterior air conditioning unit is a routine mistake for both new and experienced homeowners to make. Failing to ensure that this unit is getting ample airflow can lead to your system being unable to effectively cool the house while increasing the energy costs and maintenance needs of the system.

To minimize these problems, you will want to make sure that there are no large objects or plants near the exterior unit as these items may restrict the amount of air that your system can intake. Furthermore, regularly cleaning the exterior unit’s vents will help to make sure that dust and dirt have not started to obstruct the system. When cleaning the exterior unit, use a sponge to gently scrub each vent, but avoid using soap. If you use soap, it can leave a sticky layer of residue on the vent, which may expedite the accumulation of these substances.

Understand The Benefits Of Adding A Humidifier And A Dehumidifier

Using your HVAC system can have profound impacts on the humidity levels inside your home. For example, your heater can strip moisture out of the cold winter air, but the air conditioning system can lead to condensation forming during the more humid summers. This can lead to skin irritations, moisture damage, and breathing issues for those inside the home. Correcting these issues will require making a couple of modifications to your heating and cooling systems. Luckily, most modern systems are designed to support humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

Have Your Ducting Inspected For Leaks

Many homeowners do not realize that their ductwork can be one of the largest sources of inefficiency in their entire HVAC system. If the original ducting was installed incorrectly, it may have gaps in it that allows the heated or cooled air to escape.

Luckily, an experienced HVAC service can inspect your ducting to determine whether it is needing to be sealed. When sealing the ductwork, a layer of specially designed tape will be applied over the joints and gaps in the ducting. This will prevent air from escaping, which can lead to an immediate improvement in the performance of your system and the comfort in your home.

How To Save Money On Air Conditioning

Posted by on Oct 19th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Save Money On Air Conditioning

When you read articles about how to keep your home cool in the summer, a lot of the suggestions tend to include not running the air conditioning. If you work from home, you’re going to need for it to be cool in order for you to concentrate. If you need to sleep well, you need to make sure that the temperature is not making you sweat even though you are lying still. Essentially, there are times when running the air conditioning is absolutely critical. Here are some tips on how to save money without giving up your air conditioning.

1. Close Your Vents

Many people’s heaters are in the basement of their house because warm air rises. The warm air rises up through vents to the other parts of your house. However, cool air sinks which means that if you do not close those vents, any cool air that your air conditioner spits out is going to sink right to the basement. This is a waste. Close all of the vents on your first floor in order to make sure that you are not directing air down to where it is not being enjoyed. Just make sure that you open them up again when it is time to use your heater.

2. Mind Your Windows

When the sun is high enough in the sky for it to shine through your windows, close them and cover them with heavy drapes to keep your house feeling cool. If your home is lit enough without turning on lamps or other light sources, keep them off during the daytime. This will allow you to make sure that you keep your house as free from extra light, and therefore extra heat, as possible.

When the sun goes down, consider opening up your upstairs windows to let cooler air in. Run your air conditioning unit at a less intense frequency, namely by upping the temperature that will trigger your air conditioner to turn on. Your upstairs will be cool because the windows are open and allowing air to circulate and your downstairs will be cool because the air conditioner is running and because cool air falls.

3. Use Fans

You can use fans to help circulate the cool air through your house. This will therefore reduce the amount of cool air that your air conditioner needs to produce, saving energy because most fans require less energy than the air conditioning system. 

For more information, talk to a company that specializes in air conditioning units. For more information, contact a business such as Universal Refrigeration.

3 Ways To Reduce Cooling Bills In The Summer

Posted by on Aug 17th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Reduce Cooling Bills In The Summer

As the temperatures rise, so do your energy bills. Increased usage of the air conditioner in your home can keep everyone cool but take a toll on your wallet. Here are some suggestions for cutting down on your energy bills while still keeping cool.

Get Your Air Conditioner Inspected

When your air conditioner is not in perfect working order, it will push itself to work harder to achieve the desired temperature in your home. Not only does this drive up your energy costs, but it also speeds up the wear and tear on your system. 

To ensure that your AC is operating efficiently, have it professionally inspected. During the inspection, the HVAC technician can diagnose and repair any issues. He or she can also change the filter and refill the refrigerant, if necessary. 

If it has been several years since you purchased the system, talk to your technician about whether or not it is time to update it. A newer system has built-in features that make it more energy efficient. You could possibly qualify for special rebates that can make buying the new unit worthwhile. 

Protect the Outside Unit

Air conditioner systems are exposed to various elements outside. Leaves, debris, and high grass can also get into the system and clog the condenser. As a result, the air conditioner will operate less efficiently. 

To protect your system, take the time to clear the area around it at least once a week. If you do notice any leaves or debris on the outside coils, use a water hose to clean it. Turn off the system before rinsing it and allow it to dry thoroughly before using it again. 

In addition to these measures, consider providing shade to your system. Shade improves the energy efficiency of your system, which means less electricity used. Trees are a good source of shade because they not only protect your unit, but they also help to lower the indoor temperature of your home. 

Install Fans Throughout Your Home

Ceiling fans in each room of your home can help circulate the cool air from your air conditioner system. The increased circulation means that your home cools faster, which results in the system staying off longer. 

Ceiling fans can also reduce the need for the air conditioner at night. Since it is cooler at night, you can open windows and rely on the fans to keep your family cool. 

Visit websites like http://www.cblucashvac.com for more information.

Is A Heat Pump Right For Your Home?

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is A Heat Pump Right For Your Home?

Heating and cooling your home may seem simple, but if you don’t have an adequate system, then you could find yourself in for some very warm summers and some very cold winters. To help you figure out which system is best for you, here is an introduction to heat pumps and several common variants:

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps are fairly simple in principle, moving heating in and out of your home at will. This allows you to heat or cool your home by using a single appliance. As you might expect, this can cut down the amount of maintenance that you will need to do, along with simplifying your shopping experience.

Though there are numerous types of heat pumps, two of the main options are air-source and geothermal. They primarily differ in where they get their energy from, but both do rely on a ventilation system to keep your home cool during summers and warm during winters.

What is an air-source heat pump?

The most common type of residential heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which operates a lot like an air conditioner that can be reversed. When in cooling mode, it works like an air conditioner, but when you switch it to heating mode, it can generate heat and blow that air into your home.

What is a geothermal heat pump?

To contrast, a geothermal unit does not use the air outside your home to actually heat and cool your home. Instead, it draws heat from the ground under your home. While this does make your heat pump a little more efficient in cold winters, it can also make installation a lot more complicated.

When is an air-source heat pump better?

If you aren’t interested in an expensive installation, then air-source might be the better option. Similarly, air-source can be much more useful if you live somewhere that doesn’t actually end up getting too cold in winter. If you live in a more temperate climate, than your temperature might never dip low enough for an air-source unit to dramatically lose efficiency.

When is a geothermal heat pump better?

On the other hand, if you do live somewhere that gets quite cold, then a geothermal heat pump can give you dramatically better efficiency. Though the initial cost of installation may be high, you can recoup those losses in a few winters if it gets below freezing outside. Contact a local HVAC installation company for more tips and info.

Get Ready For The Summer With A Little Air Conditioning Maintenance

Posted by on Apr 13th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Ready For The Summer With A Little Air Conditioning Maintenance

To get the most from your air conditioner, it must be running efficiently and not overheating when cooling your home. To help it do its job, there are two simple maintenance tasks that you can do. Here is how to change the air filter and clean the cooling fins on your air conditioner to have it ready for the warm weather and keep it running efficiently all summer.

Replacing the Air Filter

This doesn’t sound like a big task, and it isn’t. But if done wrong, or not often enough, you can prematurely wear out your air conditioner. Yes, an air filter that costs just a few dollars is that important.

The air filter removes contaminants such as dust, pollen and pet hair before they move through the system and back out into your home. The clean air is healthier for you to breathe, but it’s also important to your AC unit. Unfiltered air will allow dirt and other contaminants to collect on the motor. A dirty motor runs hotter, which causes it to be less efficient. A severe case of dirt build-up can cause a blower motor to overheat and burn out.

It’s recommended that you change the air filter every one to three months. Expensive HEPA filters are made to remove very small particles in the air. These filters clog up fast and need to be changed monthly. Inexpensive filters do an adequate job cleaning the air and you can get by changing them less often.

  1. Turn your thermostat up to a high temperature so the AC doesn’t come on.
  2. Remove the access panel on the side of the furnace or AC unit where the filter is located.
  3. Pull the filter out and notice the measurements on the side. If no measurements are listed, measure the two different sides of the filter with a tape measure.
  4. Go to the local hardware store and buy the same size filter.
  5. Place the filter back into the unit, noting the arrow printed on the filter that says “Side Toward Blower” so you position the filter correctly.
  6. Check along all edges of the air filter to make sure it’s seated in the frame with no gaps. Any gaps will allow dirty air to get past the filter and into the AC unit and your home.
  7. Replace the access cover and adjust the thermostat to where home will be comfortable.

Cleaning the Cooling Fins

The part of the AC system that sits outside of your home contains the condenser. This device compress the AC coolant to create the cool air that circulates through the house. Like the blower motor, the condenser becomes quite warm. A fan and special metal fins keep the condenser cool. If these become clogged, the condenser can overheat and shut down. Make it a habit to check on the fan and fins monthly during the hot summer months and remove any dirt and debris.

  1. Turn the thermostat up again to keep the AC from coming on.
  2. Remove the screws holding the top of the condenser unit in place.
  3. Pull the top off and set aside.
  4. With a vacuum cleaner, a long wand tool, and a soft brush, clean off the fan blades, fan motor, and the metal fins surrounding the condenser.
  5. If any of the fins have become bent, carefully straighten them out.
  6. If a large section of the fins have been pushed in or broken, have a heating and air conditioning company come out to do the repair. They have a special “comb” that they use to straighten out the fins.
  7. Replace the top of the unit and secure in place the screws.
  8. Adjust the thermostat back to a comfortable setting.

For more information about getting your AC ready for summer, contact a company like Getzschman Heating, LLC

4 Air Conditioner Problems That You May Want To Resolve On Your Own

Posted by on Feb 11th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Air Conditioner Problems That You May Want To Resolve On Your Own

With the summer heat on its way, you may want to start getting prepared now. This means that there may be some things that you want do to your AC. There may also be some surprises waiting when you turn your AC on for the first time this year, such as it not even coming on. If you want to be ready for the next heatwave, here are some AC repairs that you may need to do on your own:

1. Checking And Replacing The Filters Before You Do Anything Else

The most important maintenance for your AC is changing the filter regularly. There are several types of filters, which can be disposable or HEPA type filters. The disposable filters need to be changed every couple of months, or more often if you have a lot of dust or allergies. If you have the HEPA type filter, you will want to clean it just as often with a vacuum attachment and you probably want to change it yearly.

2. Cleaning The Outdoor Unit And Keeping Drains Free Of Debris  

The outdoor unit of your AC has many different components, which can become dirty with debris from trees and other causes. To be sure your unit does not have problems, keep it clean and free of debris. In addition, these units often have drain pans with a pipe coming out of it. Check these drain lines regularly to make sure they are free of debris and do not have any problems.

3. Repairing Bent Or Damaged Evaporative Fins For Improved AC Performance

On the outside of your AC unit are evaporator fins that look something like a car radiator. These are what displace heat to help cool your home. They can become dent or damaged by people pressing on them or because of debris. It is a good idea to straighten any bent fins on the unit to improve performance and prevent problems. This can be done using a flat putty knife of a special fin repair tool. When bending the fins back straight, be careful not to damage the tubing that they are attached to.

4. Cleaning The Evaporator Coil To Prevent Freezing And Damage To The Compressor

The evaporator coil of your AC is what provides that cooling from the compressor. When it becomes dirty, this can cause freezing of condensation that collects on the coil. The freezing can cause the compressor to freeze up and eventually damage it. To prevent these problems, clean the coil and the housing to prevent freezing problems with your AC.

For more information, contact Mountain Air Comfort Systems or a similar company.

Signs Of Central Air Conditioner Problems That Are Easy To Overlook

Posted by on Jan 5th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs Of Central Air Conditioner Problems That Are Easy To Overlook

When your central air conditioner won’t turn on or isn’t putting out cool air, it’s always an immediate and easily recognizable sign of a problem. However, there are a few air conditioner troubles that can go unnoticed for quite some time if you don’t know about the more subtle symptoms they can produce. Here are a few signs of air conditioner problems that are easy to overlook.

Your Home is Unevenly Cooled

A central air conditioner is designed to transfer air evenly through the entirety of your home. If you notice that some of your rooms are staying cooler than others, you shouldn’t ignore the possibility of a duct leak. Because your ducts are always out of sight behind your home’s walls, an uneven temperature distribution throughout the home is one of the first signs of a leak that you are likely to notice.

In many cases, uneven cooling indicates that there is a leak in the duct work that leads to the room that isn’t getting adequate cooling. However, the problem can sometimes be in the return duct that delivers air back to your HVAC system to be cooled and recycled.

Your Utility Bill is Steadily Increasing

Even for the most astute budget balancers, a long-term upward creep of a few cents per month can be easy to overlook. If your utility bill is steadily increasing without a significant change in how you cool your home, it is a clear indicator that your air conditioner is losing efficiency.

There are several possible causes for reduced efficiency of your air conditioner, one of which is simply the age of your system. All central air conditioners lose efficiency as they near the end of their life span, so you may want to interpret your rising energy bill as an advance warning that your system needs to be inspected and/or replaced soon.

Another common cause of reduced efficiency is reduced air flow. Cleaning or replacing your furnace filter at least once a month and trimming weeds and shrubs away from the outdoor condenser are two easy ways to reduce how hard your system has to work to circulate air through your home. The easier it is for your air conditioner to circulate air, the less energy it will use to do so and the less you will pay per month.

Keep an eye out for these less noticeable signs of central air conditioner problems so you can avoid unnecessary energy usage and unexpected breakdowns. Visit this website for more information on HVAC issues.   

Sizing Your New Air Conditioning Unit

Posted by on Jan 4th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sizing Your New Air Conditioning Unit

Although it might be cool now, the reality is that the warmer temperatures are on their way. If your current air conditioning unit gave a lackluster performance last year and you considered the idea of a replacement, now is the time to start planning. If you’re anything like the average homeowner, you probably don’t know where to start. This is especially the case when it comes to sizing your unit. Here are some helpful points to help you plan better.

Understanding Sizing

Make sure you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to air conditioner units. In terms of cost and efficiency, having the proper sized unit is important. A unit that is too small won’t adequately cool your home, which will cause it to work harder and ultimately drive up your energy bills. The same is true for a unit that is too large; however, a unit that is too large can also lead to increased wear and tear, which generally means higher repair cost.

Air conditioner units are measured based on tonnage, but not the weighted tons you typically think of. In this case, tonnage refers to the amount of heat a unit is able to extract from a home within an hour. A one-ton unit can extract 12,000 British Thermal Units, or BTUs, a two-ton unit can extract 12,000 BTUs, for instance.

Making Sense Of BTUs

Now that you understand how air conditioner units are sized, the next question would be how many BTUs do I need for my home? The most conventional method for determining this is based on square footage. Using a simple formula, you would multiple the square footage of your home by 25 to establish your base BTUs. If you have high ceilings, multiple base BTUs by 25% and add this figure. Multiply the number of people who live in the home by 400, and also add this figure to the base BTUs. Divide the final base BTUs figure by 12,000.

The final answer will tell you how many tons you need. To put this in better perspective, take a family of four who lives in a 1,700 square foot home with high ceilings, for example. Using this formula, this home would probably do well with a 4-ton unit.

It’s important to understand that even with a formula, sizing a unit isn’t always black and white. There are a number of factors that can have an impact on sizing. It’s best to consult with a professional (like those at Uni-Serv Air Conditioning Co) before making a final decision on the size of your unit.

2 Common Air Conditioner Problems You Could Have

Posted by on Jan 1st, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Common Air Conditioner Problems You Could Have

If your air conditioner has all of a sudden decided to stop working, it could be due to many things. Some things are very easy to fix so you could have a quick solution. Below are two common things that may be wrong with it.

Not Coming On

If your air conditioner is not turning on, this could be a problem with the breaker itself or the breaker may not be turned on. Go to your breaker box and see if the breaker is turned off. If it is, it could have had a type of power surge that tripped it. Turn it back on, and then turn your air conditioner on. If it will still not come on, the breaker could be bad. If you are not sure how to tell if the breaker is bad, contact an electrician to help you.

You should also check your thermostat to make sure it is set properly. Lower it down a few degrees and see if that kicks your air conditioner on. If it will still not turn on, the problem is something much more serious, such as a faulty compressor or motor.

Noisy Air Conditioner

A noisy air conditioner could be due to many things. First, determine the type of noise that you are hearing, as it could tell you what is wrong. If you hear a screeching or squealing, this could be a motor bearing problem, or a bad belt on the air handler.  Belts are easy to replace if they break.  Your motor may simply need to be lubricated. Refer to your HVAC unit’s user’s manual to see what type you should use, and where you need to place it.

If your air conditioner is banging or rattling, this may be a problem with the motor or blower assembly. This means something has come loose inside the unit. A very loud banging sound means something has disconnected or broken loose completely. Turn off your AC unit before more damage is caused.

If you hear clicking sounds, this is normal when you first turn the unit on. If you continue to hear the clicking sounds, however, you may have a defective relay. There also may be an electrical problem causing the relay to fail or timeout.

If you continue having problems, contact an HVAC business, such as Daryl’s Heating & Air Inc, to come to your home to determine what is wrong with your unit.  While they are there, have them do maintenance on your system to ensure it continues to work well for you.