Simple Repairs for Your Air Conditioning

Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Heat Pumps

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps offer an alternative to traditional air conditioner units by utilizing heat shifting rather than cooling and heating generation. The pump transfers warmed air into and out of your home according to the interior temperature needs and the exterior air temperature in order to make your home comfortable. There are a few different types of heat pumps available that differ primarily in how the unit transfers that heat. Each type of heat pump has its own pros and cons that you need to consider before purchasing a unit. Not sure what type of unit seems right for your home? Contact an HVAC repair and installation company for assistance. Air-to-Air The most common type of heat pump transfers air-to-air using electricity as the fuel source. This means that the unit moves the air from inside or outside the home in the opposite direction. This type of heat pump comes in either the traditional ducted version that uses your home’s existing vent system or the ductless mini-split system that works well if you don’t have an existing vent system. An air-to-air heat pump can offer an energy savings of up to 50 percent compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. The unit also works well as a dehumidifier to ensure that the transferring air doesn’t come with added humidity. Geothermal Heat Pump Geothermal heat pumps can either utilize the temperature from the surrounding ground or from a nearby water source. A geothermal heat pump can reduce energy costs by up to 60 percent and can be used in a wider variety of climates than air-to-air models due to the relative consistency of ground and water temperatures compared to air. On the downside, geothermal units are often more costly upfront to install due to the complexity of the system. But the low maintenance nature of the unit and the higher savings costs can make the unit a better deal in the long run. Absorption Heat Pump Absorption heat pumps work similarly to air-to-air heat pumps but use a different fuel as the source. Instead of using electricity, the absorption heat pump uses natural gas or propane to fuel the system. The unit also includes an important watered down ammonia solution that essentially works as the heat pump’s refrigerant. The evaporation, or lack thereof, of the ammonia helps determines whether the unit performs heating or cooling functions. Absorption heat pumps can work in a wider range of temperatures than a traditional air-to-air heat pump. The use of fuel can save you or cost you on utility costs depending on the costs of the specific fuel in your area. For an HVAC contractor, contact a company such as One Hour Heating & Air...

read more

Air Conditioning: The Costly Effects Of Refrigerant Overcharge

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioning: The Costly Effects Of Refrigerant Overcharge

Since air conditioning systems are closed systems, an increase volume of refrigerant in a given system is bound to affect its overall pressure. Areas that are supposed to be low pressure areas will be converted into not-so-low pressure areas and high pressure areas will end up turning into abnormal high pressure areas. This, in addition to the fact that excess refrigerant can affect the change-of-state process, can end up costing you. Refrigerant overcharge and air conditioning efficiency Cooling usually takes place in the evaporator coil area when the refrigerant absorbs heat from the warm air passing over the coils. To maximize this process, manufacturers usually ensure that the evaporator coil area has the lowest pressure possible. This is important as it ensures that the liquid refrigerant changes into a gas at much lower temperatures. This usually allows the refrigerant to absorb more heat and thus making for an effective air conditioning process. However, when the system has a more-then-necessary amount of refrigerant, the resulting increase in pressure usually causes the refrigerant to change states at way higher temperatures. It won’t absorb as much heat as it should. This usually makes for an inefficient cooling process. Since refrigerant overcharge reduces the amount of heat absorbed from air, the air that eventually gets dumped into an air conditioned space won’t be as cold as it should be. To reach a given temperature, the air conditioning system will have to work for longer. This requires more energy and will thus lead to an increase in the energy bills that one has to shoulder. There is also the fact that working longer-than-normal hours to make your home comfortable will put a strain on your system, something that will then shorten its lifespan. Refrigerant overcharge and the damaging effects of liquid slugging Excess amounts of refrigerant in an air conditioning system will increase the risks of the refrigerant being in places where it is not supposed to be. The volume of the refrigerant that is available in the evaporating coil area at any given time is also bound to be more than necessary. As a result, the change-of-state process that is required to convert the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas is unlikely to be sufficient to convert all of the refrigerant in the evaporator coil. This will then have the effect of causing some of the refrigerant to arrive at the air conditioner’s compressor while still in liquid form. This is what is called liquid slugging. The arrival of the refrigerant while still in liquid form usually causes problems for the compressor. This is because the compressor’s parts aren’t strong enough to handle a liquid. Therefore, any attempt by the compressor’s motor to compress the liquid refrigerant usually leads to the damage of its piston, scroll spirals and any other moving parts. This usually calls for unnecessary repair costs that you will have to take care of. To learn more, contact an HVAC contractor in your...

read more

Is Your Electric Furnace Overheating? How To Prevent It From Happening

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Electric Furnace Overheating? How To Prevent It From Happening

If you have an old furnace that is powered by electricity instead of gas, you may have issues with the furnace overheating at some point. This not only can damage the furnace itself, but be a potential fire hazard. Sparks can be created that will burn wiring in the furnace, and the soft air filter can become flammable if a fire spreads. Here are some tips that will help prevent the overheating from happening. Why Cleaning The Electric Furnace’s Heating Element Is Important If your old furnace is maintained and cleaned every year, it can still function quite well despite its old age. What you need to be concerned about is if the furnace’s heating element starts to have a build up of debris on it. This will cause the electric furnace to not operate correctly. The parts that you need to watch out for is the coil inside that resembles the heating coil inside a toaster. Since this heating element can get extremely hot when it is in use, it is very important that it doesn’t have anything touching it that can potentially catch on fire. This includes small dust particles, dirt, or other debris. How To Clean An Electric Furnace’s Heating Element Start by turning off all power going to your furnace, which can be done at your home’s circuit breaker to be certain that the power is off. Locate the door that is covering the heating element on the furnace and remove it. Give the heating element a visual inspection. Do any of the coils look frayed, loose, warped, or dented? If so, you should have a professional furnace repair service come replace the coil for you. A coil that is damaged in this way is a fire hazard. If the coil is looking like it is free of damage, you can move on to cleaning it. Use a rag to wipe off the area around the heating coil inside the electric furnace, being careful not to shift the coil out of its position when doing so. This is because the coil can become loose from its connection point. Carefully remove dust and debris from the coil with a feather duster. The soft tips will not damage or snag the furnace’s very delicate heating element this way Put the access door back on, turn on the power, and everything should be good to go. Observe the furnace for a little bit to make sure it is not overheating. If it does, you could have a bigger problem at hand. You will need the help of an HVAC repair company to figure out what is wrong. Contact a business, such as Bill’s Heating & Air Conditioning, for more information....

read more

What Does It Mean When Your Air Conditioner Is Still Making Noise While Off?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Does It Mean When Your Air Conditioner Is Still Making Noise While Off?

If you have an air conditioning system with an outdoor compressor, you may have recently noticed that your fan keeps running even after the air conditioner itself is no longer running. Besides being noisy and distracting, a constantly running fan can damage your compressor, run up your electricity bills and indicate a serious problem within your system. Once you realize your fan is running when it shouldn’t be, walk through these four steps to begin diagnosing the issue.  Adjusting Your Settings Many air conditioning systems have separate settings for the primary fan. This is usually set to ‘automatic,’ meaning the fan kicks on or off whenever the air conditioner does. However, this setting may have accidentally been switched to ‘on,’ meaning it won’t turn off again until manually switched. If you are lucky, this is all you will need to do to put your fan and overall system back in working order.  Checking the Accuracy of Your Thermostat Another minor problem that can impact your fan is the thermostat, which communicates with your air conditioning system as the temperatures shift in your home. If your thermostat is sending or receiving faulty signals because of a shorted wire, your fan may never receive instructions to shut down. Try tuning your thermostat to its hottest setting; if the fan is still blowing after a few minutes, you likely need to replace the thermostat. Otherwise, you will need to start investigating problems with the system itself.  Replenishing Your Refrigerant In some cases, your whole system may be running because it is unable to cool your home adequately. This is typically caused by low refrigerant levels, impeding your system’s ability to chill air before pumping it into the house. Contact your local HVAC contractors or repairmen to top off the refrigerant in your system and make sure there are no leaks. Refrigerant is dangerous to handle, so don’t attempt to check or replace it on your own.  Examining the Contactor Switch After you have tried all of the above steps, your most likely culprit is the contactor switch that sits between your indoor and outdoor units. This switch is what translates signals from your thermostat and controls the flow of electricity to its various components. If one of the wires attached to the contactor shorts, your fan may be left spinning permanently. A mechanical failure that locks the contactor switch in place can also cause this issue. Whenever you suspect that your air conditioning system has a broken component, you may be better off relying on professional contractors to make the repairs for you. Not only will this guarantee your own safety, but it can also maintain the validity of your warranty and ensure that your system has no other underlying problems that will surface later.  If none of these solutions seem to help, contact a professional company like Advanced Heating & Cooling to diagnose the issue for...

read more

3 Guidelines For Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Guidelines For Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

If you have a commercial refrigeration system that is responsible for caring for your perishable items, it is critically important that you care for it. Caring for these commercial refrigeration systems will require a measure of care that you need to understand, in order to keep your business thriving and to prevent potential health hazards and setbacks. With this in the back of your head, consider some of these points in order to make the most of your commercial refrigeration.  #1: Invest In A Professional Maintenance Plan And Reap The Benefits There is a lot of work that you can do on your own when it comes to maintenance, but sometimes the best thing to do is leave the work to professionals who can help you out. When you do this, you will be able to take advantage of a number of benefits. Some of these benefits include higher efficiency out of your refrigeration systems, a decrease in the amount of spoiled materials, a reduction in your utility bills, more peace of mind and a lowered likelihood of health and safety hazards. These benefits are well worth the cost when you decide to reach out to a commercial refrigeration services contractor.  #2:  Keep The Condenser Coils As Clean As Possible Cleaning your condenser coils is a matter of repair and maintenance that you can handle on your own. When your coils become dirty and packed with dust and grime, the performance of your refrigerator will decrease and it will wear down before its time. You can invest in a quality coil cleaning material and check out the quality and condition of these coils periodically in order to make sure that you are doing your due diligence in keeping them clean over the course of several months.  #3: Make Sure That Your Seal Remains Air Tight When your refrigerator sealing material begins to strip away, you are leaving your food or other perishable items at risk. You should always be sure that this material is forming an airtight seal, in order to keep warm air from entering. This will prevent contamination and will also prevent your refrigerator from overworking. When your refrigerator does not overwork, you will also see a stark reduction in your electrical bills in the process.  Follow these three points to the best of your ability, so that you are able to always get the best performance out of your commercial refrigeration system. If you’re looking for a professional refrigeration service, visit Pro-Staff Mechanical...

read more

Defects In Your Ducts That Cause Inefficiency And Poor Air Quality

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Defects In Your Ducts That Cause Inefficiency And Poor Air Quality

If you notice that it is colder this winter than in the past, the problem might be with your air ducts. The quality of your air ducts affects the air quality of your home and how energy-efficient your home is. An efficient HVAC system is based on having a balanced air flow. An imbalanced airflow can create negative pressure that can pull heat and pollutants into your ducts. Dirty Air Ducts Your air quality inside your home will be significantly worse if you do not keep your air ducts clean. By keeping your ducts dirty, germs and dust will be circulated more throughout your home. Fortunately, there are companies specialized in cleaning air ducts. Poor Insulation If you notice that your energy bills are very high, your air ducts might not be properly insulated. Even if you did have adequate insulation, your insulation might have deteriorated and is no longer protecting your ducts from heat loss. If you have insulated flexible ducts, make sure that the insulation is not torn or that the ducts are not twisted or damaged. If the ducts are kinked, your home will have much less airflow. Leaks At the location where your register connects to the ducts, there must be a proper seal. Otherwise, there might be a leak and heat loss. You may also have a leak resulting from a crack or hole in the ducts. This opening can significantly reduce the efficiency of your ducts. Depending on the location of the leak, pollutants can bypass your filters and enter your home. Your energy bills can become much higher as well when hot air from your attic or cold air from your basement gets pulled into your ducts and circulated throughout the rest of your home. This problem can force your furnace to work harder and raise your energy costs. Improper Design Sometimes, your ducts were not designed properly in the first place. The ducts need to be sized correctly. They need to pass through conditioned spaces or the heater will not function as efficiently. If your ducts are not installed properly, your ducts might also have leaks. Also, if your ducts are not properly balanced, not enough air will be traveling to each room. The best solution is to contact a duct specialist that provides air duct cleaning and repair services. The specialist will be able to pump dirt and debris out of your home and will...

read more

3 Tips For Preparing Your Air Conditioning Unit For Winter

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Preparing Your Air Conditioning Unit For Winter

Your air conditioning serves you well during the long summer months, but what do you need to do when it gets colder outside and you don’t need it anymore? It’s quite simple, actually, there are a few steps you can take now before putting your air conditioner to sleep for the winter that will keep it in optimal condition to tackle next summer when it is needed again. Here’s what you should do… Replace All Filters Filters can do a lot to make the air in your home nice and fresh, yet once filters become old and dingy, they can actually hinder the overall function of your air conditioning system. So, before laying your system to rest for the winter season, go ahead and replace all the filters in your system. Otherwise, when you start up they might be so caked that your unit doesn’t feel like it is running very well. So, before you forget, get on it now and replace the filters while you’re still somewhat using it.  Get Some Routine Maintenance No matter how hard you try, eventually every piece of machinery breaks down. The only way to avoid this eventuality is getting routine checks from licensed maintenance technicians. A surprisingly good time to do this is during the winter months, since this is often when a lull occurs in most HVAC repair service’s schedule. This way, you won’t be fighting a tight booking and you can get your unit fixed up from any problems it might have before it goes to sleep for the winter.  Clean Up Around Your Blower Unit Protecting your blower unit during the winter months is a crucial part of preventative maintenance as well. This part is quite simple in of itself, as you will merely need to go to your outdoor blower unit and give it a nice hose down as well as removing any debris from the fans. Just remember to power down your blower unit via the circuit breaker before cleaning and allow it to dry properly before turning it back on again. After you’ve got the unit squeaky clean, then it is just a matter of covering the top portion of it sealed somehow so animals or other debris can get inside the unit during the winter months.  So, if you follow the few handy tips above, your air conditioning unit should survive the winter months in perfect working order and awaken happily when it comes time to use it...

read more

Commercial HVAC Maintenance Is About More Than Temperature Control

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Commercial HVAC Maintenance Is About More Than Temperature Control

While a dirty home air conditioner may cause illness in several people, a poorly maintained commercial HVAC unit can potentially cause hundreds of people to become ill, and may even cause death. At the very least, it can cause customer and tenant dissatisfaction and complaints about things such as uncomfortable temperatures and foul odors. Proper regular professional HVAC maintenance can prevent a number of potentially dangerous problems. Airborne Illnesses When you mention air conditioning and illness in the same sentence, you can’t help but think of the outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease that have occurred over the years. The bacterium that causes this disease, Legionella, was first discovered in 1976 when an outbreak in a Philadelphia Legionnaire’s convention killed 34 people. These bacteria breed in water such as that found in evaporative condensers of modern air conditioning cooling towers. To prevent the growth of Legionella, commercial water towers should be disinfected, not simply cleaned, on a regular schedule.  Inconsistent Airflow In commercial buildings, there may be limited access to ductwork, especially between floors. This can make detecting leaks difficult and lead to hot and cold spots within the building. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that a standard ductwork system may lose up to 40% of its air from leaks. A commercial HVAC professional can locate and fix leaks before they become a serious problem for you, your customers or your tenants. Efficiency Loss An inefficient HVAC system can run up a substantial electric bill. Simply having a professional clean your condenser and evaporator coils twice a year can improve your efficiency up to 16%. Improperly operating dampers are another problem that can cost you money and affect indoor air quality. They need to be cleaned and well lubricated a few times a year to ensure optimal operation. Poor Indoor Air Quality and Odors Something as simple as a dirty air filter can drastically affect indoor air quality. Odors can be caused by stagnant condensed water, overheating, or melted debris on the heat exchanger. Indoor air pollution from dust and mold can contribute to respiratory illnesses such as asthma and emphysema, causing lost workdays and decreased productivity.  As you can see, a poorly maintained commercial HVAC unit can be costly in the long run. Most of the problems can easily be avoided by having regularly scheduled professional HVAC maintenance. Call a local HVAC specialist like Soco Air Conditioning to have your system thoroughly...

read more

Why Your Air-Conditioner Is Losing Its Efficiency, And What You Can Do About It

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Your Air-Conditioner Is Losing Its Efficiency, And What You Can Do About It

Has your air conditioner lost its efficiency? If your AC is not cooling or heating your house as well as it used to do soon after installation, but it is still running, then there is something interfering with its operations. Here are three common culprits of reduced AC efficiency, and how to combat them: The Evaporator Coils Are Dirty The air conditioner keeps your house cool by drawing heat from the air that blows over the evaporator coils. Different debris, such as dirt and pollen, may accumulate over the evaporator coils. Accumulated debris reduces the AC’s efficiency since it interferes with the airflow over the coils. Not only that, but the dirt may also make the air conditioner run hotter than normal, which reduces its useful life. Thus, regular cleaning of the evaporator coils is essential to maintain efficiency.   Leaking Ducts Air ducts are responsible for conditioning your house (heated or cooled) air around the home. Therefore, a leak in any part of the duct reduces the amount of conditioned air flowing around the house, which affects the efficiency of the AC unit. Since air can flow out of the smallest cracks or holes, and these ducts are usually hidden from view, you may be dealing with leaking air without knowing for a long time. Here are some of the symptoms that may point to leaking ducts: Some rooms are significantly cooler than others Some rooms are stuffy You can see tangled flexible ducts (for example in the crawlspace) Consult a technician to locate and plug the leaks. Low Refrigerant Levels The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air passing over the evaporator coils; this is how it cools the air. The continuous flow of the refrigerant is necessary to control your room temperature. This will not happen if the refrigerant level is inadequate. Apart from inefficient cooling, low refrigerant levels may also lead to compressor motor damage. This happens when the motor becomes overheated since the refrigerant supposed to cool it is inadequate. Have your air conditioner technician check your refrigerant levels, and any possible leakage, that may reduce your unit’s efficiency. This check is especially necessary with old ACs whose systems have degraded over the years. Most of these are problems that a maintenance technician will detect during routine servicing. Therefore, regular servicing and cleaning is necessary to maintain your air conditioner’s efficiency. Ask the air conditioning technician for other tips for maintaining your unit’s...

read more

3 Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace In Top Shape

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace In Top Shape

When the temperatures dip and it starts to get chilly outside, you want to make sure that the interior of your home is welcoming and cozy. Taking care of your furnace is a key part of this. Becoming aware of its regular noises is a good way to orient yourself to how well your heater is performing. You should also note temperature differences throughout your home when you run your furnace, as this can provide important clues about its performance. While professional repairs are sometimes necessary, there are things that you can do at home in order to keep your furnace in good running condition. Here are three tips to help keep your furnace in top shape.  Use a straw to keep dust away from the pilot light. Your pilot light provides clues about your furnace’s performance. Under good conditions, the pilot light should be a steady, small yellow tongue of flame with a wreath of blue. If there is an uneven mixture of chemicals or an obstruction, then the pilot light appears to be a wavering, sickly yellow flame. You can help keep dust and grime from clogging your pilot light by using a drinking straw to blow dust away from it. Be careful to blow the dust gently away from the flame, and do not blow in its direction, or else you may blow it out. Change or wash the air filter every few weeks. The air filter helps to keep your heater’s ducts clean, therefore sparing your home from dust and grime that travels through the vents. The air filter needs to be replaced or washed every few weeks, especially when you are running your furnace frequently. Pleated paper air filters should be replaced by ones of the same size and ideally the same brand. Permanent filters should be washed with mild soap in warm water and left to dry flat. They may also be washed in the dishwasher as long as the heating cycle is off. Have a maintenance service call once a year. You should have an HVAC specialist (such as one from Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp) out to service your heater once a year, ideally before temperatures start to dip in the autumn. This yearly service call allows the specialist to identify any underlying issues with your furnace that you might not have been able to identify otherwise. While it may seem strange to have a specialist out when you do not know of any overt problems with your heater, having a yearly visit will save you money in the event a very large, costly repair comes to the...

read more