3 Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner

When the hot Texas summers arrive, your air conditioner is often in use throughout the day and night to keep your home cool. When the air conditioner breaks down, it can make it difficult to stay in your home. Fortunately, there are several signs to look for that can tell you when it may be time to replace your AC. Catching them early can help you to avoid going without one when you need it most. Here are a few top warning signs that it’s time for a new air conditioner: 1. Strange Smells HVAC systems that are faulty or are no longer working properly are prone to releasing unusual smells as they circulate air throughout each room of the building. You may begin to notice a smoky or burnt odor, which is a sign that the appliance requires immediate attention. Your air conditioner should be putting out clean, fresh air with a natural smell. If any other odors are present, it’s probably best to call an HVAC professional to inspect the cause. 2. High Energy Bills Older air conditioners are prone to using more energy to operate due to worn-out parts and a lack of proper airflow. You may...

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What Happens During an Air Conditioning Maintenance Call?

Let’s explore what an HVAC technician does during an air conditioning maintenance call. This is an explanation of a call for a split system, but the process is similar for package units and heat pumps. First, the technician will switch off the circuit breaker for your system and remove the service-disconnect for the condensing unit. This is not simply a safety measure. When a service-disconnect is removed while there is still electricity flowing, an arc occurs. Over time, this can lead to the condenser receiving only 110 volts, instead of the 220 volts it needs to operate, which can damage your unit. Next, the technician will remove leaves and other debris from the condensing unit, and wash the coils thoroughly. Clogged coils cause your unit to run less efficiently, and can shorten the service life of your compressor. The technician will also check the condition of your unit’s capacitors. This step can eliminate the need for a follow-up call. While the condensing unit is apart, the technician will also check the electric motor to ensure that the air vents are open, which allows the copper windings to cool properly. Next, the technician will turn to the evaporating unit. The evaporating...

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Do You Know How to Replace the Batteries in Your Thermostat?

There are many possible causes when your air conditioning system fails to function as it should. The problems is often determined by a process of elimination, and can range from a minor do-it-yourself fix, to a more technical problem for which you will need the help of a professional. One of the minor problems could be as simple as needing to replace the batteries in the thermostat. In order to ensure proper functionality at all times, it is important to know when and how to replace the batteries in your thermostat.

What a Noisy AC Means

A noisy air conditioner can indicate any number of problems. If you hear something that doesn’t sound right, act quickly. A professional technician can diagnose common problems and implement solutions before the system fails. Electrical or mechanical issues, improper coolant levels and flaws in the ductwork are the most frequent causes of strange noises. Other Common Causes of AC Noises Whistling and whining noises are usually caused by clogged filters or cracked ducts. Gurgling noises may occur when the refrigerant flows back after the cooling cycle, but they can also indicate improper refrigerant levels or a problem with the condensate drain. Rhythmic whacking sounds happen when something is impeding the fan or blower blades. It could be caused by debris or a bent blade. This can increase resistance and cause your blower motor to fail. Humming and grinding can indicate a problem with the motor or a motor bearing. Depending on the unit, oiling the motor or replacing a worn-out bearing usually fixes the problem. If the motor is humming and the fan blades aren’t turning, the motor might need to be replaced. Squealing may indicate a problem with the motor, a belt or a pulley. Belts can easily be tightened or replaced....

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Take the Stress Out of Air Conditioner Shopping

The latest AC systems are high tech marvels. Cleaner and more energy efficient, new air conditioners offer very effective cooling, a longer lifespan, and more trouble free service than older models. The life-cycle cost of AC replacement refers to the total cost of the AC system over its entire service life, including purchase, operation and maintenance costs. First Costs Everyone has experienced sticker shock. How you break up the upfront cost versus how you break out the payments will ease you out of shock and into a cool, efficient new AC system. Look for: Rebates or Incentives. Manufacturers and local, state and federal programs offer many options for Energy Star and energy efficient systems. Installation Costs. If you are looking at a direct replacement for your existing system, installation is generally uncomplicated. However, upgrading from a standard air conditioner to a high-efficiency model may involve new vents, and ductwork re-work. Lifetime Costs Because they represent expenses that recur over the long-term, lifetime costs are important considerations. For an AC replacement, lifetime costs are generally divided into the following areas: Quality – Leading manufacturers will more often than not, offer more favorable warranty terms, reducing the risk of expensive repair or early replacement. Dealer support...

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