Dampness in the walls or yellowing of the walls around the vents is a sign of leaking vents. For any homeowner, this is a problem that can have grave consequences. It can cause mold formation, algae growth, water puddles that destroy the floor, damage the furniture, and increase indoor humidity. To ...
Dampness in the walls or yellowing of the walls around the vents is a sign of leaking vents. For any homeowner, this is a problem that can have grave consequences. It can cause mold formation, algae growth, water puddles that destroy the floor, damage the furniture, and increase indoor humidity. To avoid costly repairs, one needs to take prompt action. But have you ever wondered why the leaks occur in AC vents?
Leak In AC Vents – Where Does The Water Come From?
To understand the reason for the leak, you need to first know where the water comes from. Once that mystery is solved, it will become easier to look for the cause and address it.
The air conditioner absorbs the heat or the warmth from the air along with moisture to make it cool. When this moisture comes in contact with the cold evaporator coils, condensation occurs, and it turns into water droplets. From the coil, the water drips into the drip pan, and from there, it drains outdoor through the drain line. When this water fails to drain out, it drips inside. So this is where the water that leaks via the vents comes from.
Leak In AC Vents – Probable Causes
Routine maintenance of the heating and cooling system should ideally address all the problems that could lead to a leak in AC vents. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, one may still have to face this issue. Here is a glimpse at the various reasons that could result in it:
1. Clogged Drainpipe – If the drainpipe has something stuck inside it that prevents the water from flowing out, it backs up, causing spillage. Usually, the vents start leaking water if the air conditioning unit is installed in the attic. It is because the overflow from the drip tray flows down into the air ducts or the air vents.
The Solution – To verify that you are dealing with a clogged drainpipe, you need to check the drip tray. If it is full, you indeed have a blocked drain pipe to deal with. Thankfully, it does not require any extensive work and is a fix you can deal with yourself. Armed with a vacuum cleaner, you can suck out the blockage. Once it is out, flush some water down the drain line to ensure that nothing else remains inside, and the problem is resolved.
2. Cracked Drip Tray – Corrosion can cause cracks to develop in the drip pan or the drip tray. Due to these cracks, the tray is unable to hold any water. Whatever condensate comes down from the evaporator coils, immediately flows out of the cracks. Again, when the AC unit is installed in the attic, the condensate flows down to the air vents.
The Solution – You have two options in this case. One is to seal all the cracks to prevent any leaks. But this is a viable solution only if the cracks are not wide. If they are wide, you have to go with the second option, which is to replace the drip tray with a new one. The homeowner can perform both these activities. Nonetheless, if doubtful, the best is to always call the HVAC contractor.
3. Air Filters Dirty – Dirty air filters cause the AC to freeze up. What it essentially means is that lack of air freezes the evaporator coil. If the filters are not replaced, the icing continues and spreads to other parts. When the AC is switched off, the ice starts to melt and sometimes drips down through the vents.
The Solution – The solution is rather simple. Replace the air filters with new ones periodically, and your AC will not freeze anymore. When the AC does not freeze anymore, water will not drip down from the vents.
4. Uninsulated ducts – In most homes, the attic is either not insulated or has inferior insulation. If the ducts in your home run mainly through the attic, the lack of proper insulation results in the buildup of condensation within the ducts. This condensate flows out from the vents in the form of water droplets.
The Solution – It is always a good idea to ask your HVAC technician to check the insulation in the attic. If there is no insulation or if its quality is poor, you need to upgrade it to better quality. Once the insulation is taken care of, there will be no condensate buildup anymore.
5. Air Leaking From The Vents – Ideally, no air should leak out of the vents. The air inside the vents should flow out from the grates directly into the rooms. If air leaks out, the mixing of hot and cold air causes the buildup of condensate, which drips down from the vents.
The Solution – You need to first identify all those places from where the air is leaking out. Now identifying these spots may not be an easy task. If need be, ask the HVAC technician for assistance. Once the spots have been identified correctly, seal them using caulk.
6. Faulty Sump Pump – Some air conditioners use a sump pump to drain the water collect in the drip pan. When the water in the pan reaches a certain level as determined by the float valve of the pump, it activates and drains out the excess water. Scum and limescale buildup can cause the float valve to get stuck due to which it does not trigger the pump action.
The Solution – Manually shift the float valve a couple of times to loosen the scum or limescale formation around it. If that does not solve the problem, call your local HVAC technician to check out the problem as the pump itself may have developed a fault. The worst-case scenario is that a new pump will have to be installed.
In The End
Not all air conditioning problems are always significant. Sometimes, the reason behind them is small and something that the homeowner can deal with himself. However, that is one call that they have to make themselves. We always preach calling the HVAC technician to avoid worsening the problem.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, the residents can call the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning for any HVAC related issues. We can be reached anytime at +1-888-729-8452.
Living in Florida without an air conditioner, especially during the hot summer months, is unthinkable. This is precisely why, when something seems to be a bit off, one needs to take quick and decisive action. In most cases, it means calling the HVAC technician. Thankfully, before developing any big problem, the AC tends to drop many hints in the form of uneven cooling, strange noises, pressure differences, and such. So you need to be on the lookout for these warning signs and address them quickly before the AC quits on you. One such scenario is an AC making a loud noise when starting or shutting off.
Reasons For AC Making A Loud Noise While Startin And Shutting Down
There are a couple of reasons that could result in your AC, making a loud noise at the time of starting and shutting off. The prominent ones are listed below:
1. Problem With The Blower Fan – The fan mounting inside the air handler unit sometimes becomes loose. It may happen due to corrosion, wear, and tear, or vibrations. Whatever be the reason the loose mounts make the fan unstable. So when the fan speeds up or slows down, which is the case during starting and shutting down of AC, it is thrown off-kilter. Due to the imbalance, the fan collides with other parts within the unit, causing the loud and strange noise.
The Solution – To fix this problem, you will have to call the HVAC technician as it is not a DIY activity. They can try and tighten the mounting. In case it is broken, the assembly will have to be changed.
2. Compressor Problems – Some compressors are built with spring to help reduce the vibrations caused by the pump. When one or more springs get damaged or broken, the pump vibrates in its casing and more so during the beginning and end of a cycle. This can be the source of the noise.
The Solution – The compressor is a single sealed part, so you cannot replace any component inside it. Our sincere advice is that if you don’t mind the noise, live with it until the compressor fails or its time to buy a new unit.
Another issue could be that the compressor itself is starting to fail. However, this will be felt with a marked decline in its cooling efficiency. To validate the prognosis, call your local HVAC contractor.
The Solution – In this case, the only solution is to replace the compressor. But that, in itself, is a costly option. If you have been thinking of upgrading to a better and more energy-efficient system, now is probably the time to think about it, instead of just replacing the compressor.
3. Damper Opening And Closing – Many air conditioner units have ‘dampers’ in order to control the flow of cool air to the various parts of the home. You will mostly find them in those homes that have different zones. Loud AC noise in the form of dampers opening and closing can be heard when the insulation in the ducts is poor.
The Solution – At the outset, let’s be clear on the fact that damper noise is not really a repair issue. You can choose to ignore it, but if you find it very annoying, the HVAC technician can help reduce its level by adding more lubrication to the dampers so that they can open and close more smoothly.
4. Ducts Expanding Or Contracting – Metals tend to expand when they are hot, and when they cool down, they contract. Some homes have ducts made of sheet metal. So, in reality, the loud noise that you hear are the ducts expanding and contracting due to temperature and pressure variations. Since the change is maximum during the starting and shutting down of the AC, you associate the sound with that.
The Solution – The sound of expanding and contracting ducts can be brought down by adding insulation to the ductwork. The local HVAC technician can carry out this job. All you need to do is call them and book an appointment.
5. Air Filter Problems – High MERV rating air filters reduce the contaminants in the air by trapping even the smallest particles. But, in hindsight, they also reduce the airflow, which has the same effect as that of dirty air filters. So, instead of allowing the air to move freely through it, the complete filter moves, and that is the source of the noise.
The Solution – The solution is simple: use a filter that has a lower MERV rating. It may not be as effective as the one with a higher rating, but you can always use an air purifier to supplement the lesser rating one.
The other problem with the air filter could be that it has not been secured properly. So, when the AC starts and stops the filter, it bangs against the grille or the frame holding it.
The Solution – Again, the solution is simple. So simple that you can do it yourself. Use tape to secure the filter firmly in place, and you are all set to enjoy the calm and tranquil environment of the home.
Towards The End
There could be yet other reasons for the noise, but the ones we have discussed above are the most common ones. At Aztil Air Conditioning, we always recommend to our customers never to ignore an AC making a loud noise. Even if it is nothing, getting it checked by a trained technician will give you the peace of mind. Alternately, if there is an issue, the technician will carry out the necessary repairs to get the AC working as before.
The residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can call the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning to get their air conditioners checked. We also do their maintenance, repair, and installation. Call us at 888-729-8452 to book an appointment. We are open 24/7, so you don’t have to wait for a more convenient time. Give us a call today.
UV rays happen to be one of the most effective disinfectants known to mankind. Today, artificial UV lights are being used in hospitals, salons, the hospitality industry, etc., to sterilize equipment and other materials. In a bid to make the air in homes and other indoor public spaces cleaner, UV light is now being used in conjunction with the indoor heating and cooling system. The aim is to improve the indoor air quality by eliminating the germs, bacteria, and viruses present in it.
What Are UV Lights?
UV lights or the ultraviolet lights are a form of electromagnetic radiation. It comes naturally from the Sun through the sunlight, and artificially through manmade UV lights. Artificial UV lights are used in tanning booths, germicidal lamps, curing lamps, etc.
More About UV Lights
UV lights have been successfully used in the treatment of TB or tuberculosis. In 1903, Niels Fensen even won the coveted Nobel Prize for this discovery. Since then, there is no looking back. In 1908, France used UV lights to sanitize the municipal water supply. Nowadays, it is even used in labs and meat processing plants for decontamination purposes.
Uses Of UV Lights
Due to its purifying qualities, UV lights are being used in various places. Its most common uses are:
1. Drying and curing of materials like inks and coatings.
2. Disinfection or decontamination for bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold, etc.
3. Sterilization and controlling the infection.
4. Inspections that require fluorescence.
5. Artificial tanning booths.
Advantage Of Using UV Lights
Most allergens, germs, and illness-causing micro-organisms are not visible to the naked eye. But that does not mean that they are not there. They are present in the air and on different surfaces. The prime advantage of using UV lights is that it sanitizes the surfaces and the air that comes in its path. Medical centers and hospitals have long been relying on this method to disinfect their equipment.
How UV Lights Enhance Indoor Air Quality?
UV lights can improve indoor air quality dramatically. They are usually placed in the form of a bulb directly inside the air handler, facing the evaporator coil (Coil Sanitizing Lights), or in the duct (Air Sanitizing Lights). Thankfully these can be installed in most modern HVAC units without any problem. When the bulb is on, the air that passes through its path gets disinfected. It is this treated and disinfected air that finally enters your home.
When the UV lights work cohesively with quality air filters, they ensure that pollutants or contaminants in any form do not enter your breathing space. This way, the indoor air quality improves, and your environment becomes cleaner and healthier.
Cost Of UV Lights For HVAC Systems
There are two types of UV lights that can be used in HVAC systems, and each of them costs different. However, when you are trying to work out its cost-effectiveness, you should also take into account the lamp cost and its cost of installation. To give you a basic idea, here is a small break-up:
1. Coil Sanitizing Lights – The coil sanitizing lights can cost anywhere between $60 to over $300. The lamp would cost around $10 to $60, and the installation cost would hover around $100 to $225.
2. Air Sanitizing Lights – The air sanitizing lights range between $80 to over $400. Its lamp costs between $15 to $125. And finally, its cost of installation varies between $150 to $300.
The energy cost for each comes to around $15 to $30 per year. Residential HVAC systems usually use one lamp, while industrial systems may use two. The life of the UV lamp can be anywhere between 9 months to 14 months.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
Most UV lights have an estimated life of 9000 hours or just a little over a year. When the heating and cooling system is switched on, the UV light is switched on. It remains working until the HVAC unit is shut down. In most American homes, the central heating and cooling system work non-stop, so the UV light, too, works until it runs out and needs to be replaced.
When Is The Best Time To Replace UV Light?
The best time to replace the UV light is during the course of the annual maintenance of the HVAC unit. This way, you will never forget that it is time to replace it with a new one.
Is DIY Installation Of UV Lights Possible?
Some UV Lights are simple to install. They have a magnetic bracket that makes for easy and quick installation. These don’t need to be hardwired. If you have average DIY skills, you can install the UV lights that use magnetic brackets. The others that need hardwiring are a job best left to the trained HVAC technicians.
Are UV Lights Worth The Cost?
After reading all this, the burning question in your mind must be whether the UV lights are actually worth the expense? Well, all we can say is that if your health and that of your family is important to you, then yes, the UV lights are worth every penny spent.
The UV lights installed in the HVAC system can be thought of as air purifiers. They effectively kill the germs and other micro-organisms present in the air, including viruses and bacteria. They also help get rid of mold and mold spores. All in all, the UV lights for HVAC systems make for enhanced indoor air quality. The cleaner the air in your breathing space, the healthier you will be.
An HVAC specialist like Aztil Air Conditioning can help you with the maintenance, repair, and installation of your HVAC system. Our air experts can also guide you in matters relating to the improvement of the indoor air quality by using air purifiers and UV Lights. To book an appointment or further discuss matters, call us at +1-888-729-8452.
The annual AC tune-up is not a matter to be taken lightly. Your comfort and that of your family depend on it. In fact, it also determines the life expectancy of your air conditioner. Honestly, the problem is not in scheduling the maintenance, but getting the right skill set of people to do it. Every year the homeowners are bombarded with discount coupons, special offers, and attractive prices by different contractors aiming to get your business. Have you ever thought about how many of them are genuine, and how many scams? Sadly in this business, there are all sorts of characters, and you have to use your common sense and judgment to make the right choice. To help make your job easy today, we will discuss the 3 mistakes that you should not commit when scheduling an AC tune-up.
Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Scheduling An AC Tune-Up
More than mistakes, these are the three errors of judgment that the homeowners should try and not make. Committing even one of these blunders will lead you to an untrained and unprofessional HVAC contractor.
1. Engaging Companies That Offer No Guarantee – There is no use employing a company for maintenance of the air conditioner if they don’t turn up when your AC breaks down. Ideally, a reputable contractor will always offer prompt and preferential addressing of issues with the heating and cooling system if you are their existing customer. At the time of AC tune-up, the technician also inspects the unit for any budding problems. So, when the unit does malfunction, they who inspected it last, are the most suitable people to take care of it. That is why you must always hire a contractor who stands by his work and promises to address the issues as and when they arise. You should only hire a contractor who gives you some guarantee that they will take care of all the AC troubles in the near future.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we never leave our customers waiting or wanting more.
2. Hiring A Company With Bad Reviews – Yes, there is always a disgruntled customer behind every bad review. But don’t just discount their experience. A majority of them actually have a valid reason for being annoyed with the company. When a contractor repeatedly earns poor reviews, it is because they are unable to meet the needs of their customers satisfactorily. So before you finalize a contractor to service your air conditioner, look for their history online. You can even check for the reviews on the various review sites Angie’s List, Facebook reviews, Google reviews, etc. However, don’t just depend on what the people are saying online. It helps to ask your friends, acquaintances, and neighbors as well. Look up the physical location of their office to validate their existence. Mostly, companies or contractors with a bad reputation post a fake address for their office location. They try to outsmart their customers using the address of abandoned buildings or warehouses. Using Google Maps, you can now quickly check the authenticity of their claim.
3. Hiring A Contractor Who Gives The Lowest Price Quote – Cheap may sound good, but it may leave you completely unsatisfied in terms of service. Cutting corners, wherever possible, is not always a good practice. Usually, there is a pre-determined price range attached to the HVAC maintenance activity. The variations occur due to the type of unit, ease of access to the unit, and other such factors. Generally, the cheapest are those contractors who fail to do a thorough tune-up job. It may be so because of their half baked knowledge, limited equipment, lax attitude, or scheming nature. Unfortunately, this industry is flooded with people who are out to make a quick buck and still call themselves professionals. You should beware of them and not get caught in their clutches simply because they promise to do the AC maintenance for the lowest figure.
Tips To Choosing The Right Contractor
With a little research and due diligence, you can choose the most appropriate contractor to carry out the AC maintenance work. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right path:
1. Always look for an HVAC contractor who operates in your local area. If they have an office in your locality, it is even better.
2. The HVAC contractor that you hire should be licensed by the state. Every state has different licensing rules. So your HVAC company should ideally be licensed to operate in your state.
3. Your HVAC company should be insured. The insurance document protects both the company and the homeowners from any financial loss that may arise due to an HVAC issue. Having insurance also speaks volumes about the professional conduct of the company and their commitment to the customers.
4. If you must look for the cheapest options, never compromise on the reputation of the company. Always go with a reputable company for the maintenance of your air conditioner. If need be, take advantage of their off-season discounts to get the best deal.
In The End
We know that it’s tiring to look for a good contractor who is trustworthy and capable of taking care of your AC tune-up. To make things easy, always check for the contractor’s reviews, hire a company that stands behind its work, and never fall for the age-old con of the lowest price tag. Apart from that, check their license and insurance to ensure that a trusted government body accredits the said company.
The residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can breathe easy, for Aztil Air Conditioning meets all the requirements of a capable and trustworthy HVAC partner. Our air experts are well trained and experienced in handling all HVAC maintenance, repair, and installation work. To book an appointment, you can call us at any time at +1-888-729-8452.
A brand new air conditioning unit never comes cheap, so replacing the old one is always a big decision. It is a decision that involves quite a bit of money, lots of research, and financial planning. We get lots of calls from clients asking us how much would it cost to replace an air conditioner? There are a number of factors that determine the exact cost of replacement. We don’t really know the final figure until we inspect your home and its requirements.
Factors That Determine The Cost To Replace An Air Conditioner
Two similarly sized homes may get different quotes or estimates for replacement. It is not because the contractor is trying to fleece you. It is because though the homes may be of the same size, but one may or may not have ductwork, or there could be a lack of outdoor space for installing the compressor unit, etc.
1. Size Of The AC – The size of the AC depends on the size of the home. So some homes may require a smaller size AC while others a bigger one. Typically, a small size AC costs less than its next bigger version. For example, a 2 ton AC will be cheaper than a 4 ton AC.
2. Features In The AC – Rapid changes in technology have allowed the manufacturers to make smarter and more energy-efficient air conditioners and that, too, with a wide variety of features. The more the number of features, the costlier the unit.
3. Type Of AC – The heating and cooling system has evolved over the years to accommodate the needs of all homeowners. For old homes, where there are no ducts and making new ones is a task in itself, you have the ductless air conditioners. You also have the mini-split systems for those homes where each member of the family has different cooling requirements. Each of these systems has a different price tag attached to them.
4. Quality Of The AC – The quality of the material used in manufacturing the AC also has a significant bearing on its price. An AC built of poor quality material will come cheap while the one built of top-class raw materials will be costlier. However, in this case, the life of the AC will also depend on it. So, if you desire an AC that works for many years, you should not compromise on quality.
5. SEER Rating – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or the SEER rating also plays a definitive role in determining the cost of the AC. So if you buy an AC with higher SEER value, its price will increase in accordance. The lower the SEER, the cheaper the AC, and the higher the SEER, the costlier the AC.
6. Ease Of Installation – Most homeowners make the grave mistake of overlooking the cost of installation while budgeting for AC replacement. Installation of the AC does not come cheap and is there is some difficulty in installing it, the price increases even further.
7. Contractor Considerations – Licensed contractors, do not come cheap. If you employ a licensed contractor for the installation of your AC, you will have to pay more plus their hourly rate. Some people compromise on money and get their air conditioner installation work done by the so-called budget contractors. The truth is that there are no budget contractors in this field. Those who project themselves as one are neither trained nor licensed to perform the task. They are merely looking for ways to earn a quick buck. Such people can do more harm to your new unit. It is always better to pay more and get a good job done.
Cost To Replace An Air Conditioner
The cost of installing the central air conditioning, along with the unit, varies from approximately $3,000 to $7,000. The price tag fluctuates depending on the location of your house, the system to be installed, and the condition of the ducts. There is no one price rule that applies to all, and so each house will have a different cost to bear while replacing the air conditioner.
How Often Should You Replace An Air Conditioner?
If you take good care of your air conditioner, i.e., see to its annual maintenance, regularly change the air filters and keep the unit clean, you can expect it to run for anywhere between 10 to 15 years. Ideally, the time to replace an air conditioner will come only after the lapse of this period.
How Long Does It Take To Install A New Unit
The average time of installation of a new unit ranges from four to eight hours. This time also involves the time to remove the old unit. Typically, the removal of the old AC and being able to turn on the new one will be completed within a day.
Important Things To Remember While Replacing The AC
A few important things that you should always keep in mind are:
1. Always buy an appropriately sized AC.
2. Consult your local HVAC contractor to know which type of AC is best suited to meet the needs of your home.
3. The repair, maintenance, and installation of AC should always be done by a licensed contractor.
Replacing your old AC with a new one should not be done on a whim and without any proper research. It is a big financial investment that determines the comfort level in your home. Ask for recommendations in brands, research them, make a list of features that you want in AC, and finally, discuss your option with your local HVAC contractor.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning are eager to help you in any respect with your heating and cooling system. We are a one-stop-shop that caters to repairs, maintenance, and installation of HVAC systems. Call anytime at +1-888-729-8452 to book an appointment.
Electronic equipment tends to break down from time to time if one does not see to its upkeep and maintenance. Air conditioners are no different and require seasonal tune-ups to keep working efficiently. In the hot weather, living without the AC is unthinkable and unbearable. So to be aware of the most common AC issues is always better.
Most Common AC Issues
Knowing about the common AC issues helps you get a handle on the situation before it gets too late. At the same time, one also becomes aware of what to expect under these circumstances and so taking the appropriate action becomes easy.
1. Dirty Air Filters – The purpose of the air filters is to trap the impurities suspended in the air. When air passes through the air filters, it traps the contaminants and makes the air cleaner and healthier. Failing to replace the air filters at periodic intervals leads to their clogging. As a result, the amount of air received and passed by the air conditioner diminishes. The effect of this is twosome. One, your home will not cool properly. Two, the system will start heating up due to constant strain. A small issue like blocked air filters can cause the early demise of the cooling unit.
2. Incorrect Thermostat Setting – Most homeowners don’t take time to understand the proper programming of the thermostat. They fiddle with it until satisfied. When they feel discomfort, they fiddle with the thermostat once again. But that is not how a thermostat should be handled. Every season has a specific range of temperature settings. It would be best if you programmed the thermostat accordingly. Also, see to it that the fan setting is always “ON” during the summers and not on “Auto”.
3. Refrigerant Leak – New air conditioners will usually not face the problem of a refrigerant leak, until and unless there is a blunt force trauma. However, the same cannot be said for the aged air conditioners. Due to corrosion and constant wear and tear, the evaporator coils develop cracks or holes. These gaps become the source of leaks. Whenever there is a coolant or refrigerant leak, the cooling efficiency of the AC drops. In such a case, your only option is to call your HVAC technician to plug the sources of leak and top up the refrigerant.
4. Blocked Vents And Registers – During the time of renovation, one may deliberately close the vents and registers so that additional dust and debris don’t enter circulation. It is important to remember to open them once the work is over. Alternately, there are times when by mistake, one puts obstructions in front of the vents and registers and closes them off. The realization of such occurrence dawns when the home does not cool properly, and pressure differences can be felt in the home. Removing the obstructions that were placed in front of the vents and registers will solve the problem.
5. Condensate Drainage Issues – The heat that the evaporator coils trap from the hot air to cool it down condensates into water droplets. These collect in the drip tray, and from there, the water is drained out through the drain line. When the drip tray develops cracks, or the drain line gets clogged, the water seeps indoors. It creates water puddles on the floor or dampness of walls. On its own, the problem is a nuisance, but if left unattended, it can lead to mold growth and algae development.
6. Faulty Capacitor – The compressor and the fans work with the aid of capacitors. To begin with, the start capacitor delivers a small charge to initiate the motor. Then the run capacitor sends a series of small shocks to keep the motor running. If either of these capacitors develops a fault or burn, the AC will not run efficiently.
7. Tripped Circuit Breaker – The circuit breaker is a safety mechanism. It is in place to prevent severe damage to the electronics and minimize the chances of fire due to short circuits. Whenever there is a power surge, the circuit breaker to the AC trips and cuts its power supply. The homeowner may, however, not come to know of it until they switch on the AC. So if your AC does not start when switched on, check the circuit breaker once. The chances of it being tripped are pretty high. Pushing it back into the correct position will once again get the air conditioner working.
8. Fuse Is Blown – If the fuse cannot handle the AC’s load, it tends to blow. This happens because the fuse is not of the right capacity. You need to replace the fuse with one that can accurately bear the load of the AC. The best person to advise you about this is your HVAC technician.
9. Dirty Coils – If either of the two coils, i.e., evaporator coils or the condenser coils, are dirty, your AC will not appropriately cool the house. Sometimes due to corrosion and at other times due to dust and debris, these coils get coated. As a result, the cooling efficiency of the AC drops.
10. Leaky Ducts – In old houses and new ones where there is critter or pest infestation, leaky ducts are a common AC issue. These pesky little animals damage the ducts trying to make homes and, at times, even gnaw through them. Consequently, the treated air from AC flows out of the leaks, and warm untreated air mixes with the remaining air in the ducts. Needless to say, the cold air does not remain as cold as before, and your home becomes warmer. You need to call your HVAC contractor to check the ducts and fix the leaks if necessary.
Towards The End
The above mentioned common AC issues usually don’t require expensive repairs. These can be fixed with minimal investment. The key is not to allow the problems to cultivate by ignoring them. A timely address of issues, along with regular AC maintenance, will always stand you in good stead.
Residents of West Palm Beach can contact the ac service experts at Aztil Air Conditioning for repair, maintenance, and installation of their HVAC. You can also call us if you have any queries about the heating and cooling system. Call anytime at +1-888-729-8452 for prompt service and quick resolution of problems.
The HVAC or the Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning system of the home is often compared to the respiratory system in the human body. It is primarily because the HVAC system helps your house breathe clean and hygienic air. In turn, this is the air that you too breathe when your are inside your home. Also, your house becomes more comfortable with the delivery of conditioned air to every part of it. However, there are times when switching on the AC adds to the discomfort. Instead of feeling good, you start feeling unwell and start developing allergic reactions. This is the sign of biological contamination in your AC.
It Is Not Always AC That Makes You Feel Sick
The air conditioner circulates air throughout the home. What it necessarily means is that it circulates the pollutants or the contaminants as well. So the problem may or may not reside in the unit itself. The problem could lie elsewhere. But because the air circulates when you switch on the AC, you associate the problem with it.
What Is Biological Contamination?
Biological contamination is the presence of living organisms or allergens derived by bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. These can cause mild to severe allergic reactions along with other illnesses and ailments.
How To Recognize Biological Contamination
Usually, if there is biological contamination in your home, you or any of your family members may not feel well. It begins by:
1. The feeling of dizziness, shortness of breath, or nausea.
2. It may also trigger sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes.
3. One may even experience digestive disorders and fever.
Signs Of Biological Contamination In Your AC System
If there is biological contamination in your AC system, here are some signs that you will notice:
1. Moldy And Stale Smell – The musty smell will usually start from near the AC. If you catch it at this time, it is the best because you can easily prevent the problem from spreading by taking timely action. However, the chances of that happening are very low until and unless the smell becomes too strong. This stale and unpleasant odor will slowly and steadily spread throughout the home. By the time you start smelling it in every room, the issue would have spread through most of the ductwork.
2. Black Or Green Substance Growing In And Around AC – Black mold-like or green algae-like substance growing in and around the air conditioner, too, is a sign of biological contamination. Though it is easy to wipe or scrape away, you must still refrain from doing so. Releasing the mold spores into the air will only lead to further discomfort. Moreover, you may not be aware of the type of mold that it is. A professional cleaner has more knowledge in this respect. They use proper equipment, don adequate clothing, and use safety measures to minimize contact and prevent further spread.
3. Breathing Troubles – If there are no visible signs of biological contamination, the chances are that you will come to know of it once you start feeling its ill effects. In the first stage, the ill effects manifest themselves in the form of breathing troubles. You or any family member may have more than the normal occurrence of respiratory problems without any obvious reasons. When this happens, it is because the biological contamination has escaped everyone’s notice.
What To Do When You Suspect Biological Contamination In Your AC System?
When you first become suspicious of biological contamination in your AC system here is what you should do:
1. First and foremost, turn the air conditioner off.
2. Use rags to get rid of all the visible growth without agitating it too much, or leave as is.
3. Call your local HVAC contractor for thorough cleaning of the HVAC to eliminate all the biological growth in and around it.
4. The ducts, too, should be given a complete once over to catch signs of any biological growth.
Types Of Biological Contaminants In The AC
Many biological contaminants or bio-contaminants can be found flourishing inside the HVAC system. These are usually categorized under two heads.
1. Primary Bio-contaminants – These include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
2. Secondary Bio-Contaminants – These include insects, mites, and nematodes.
Preventing Bio-Contamination In HVAC
There is a lot you can do to stop the biological contamination within and around the air conditioner. These include:
1. The best way to prevent biocontamination is by ensuring that the air filters are changed periodically within the recommended timeframe and more frequently if required.
2. Regular annual maintenance of the AC and furnace will also prevent any biological contamination within the unit.
3. The drain pan and the drain line, both, should be cleaned at least twice a year.
4. The ductwork, too, should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 5 years.
5. Always use good quality insulation in the air handling unit.
6. See to it that there are no leaks in the house so that dampness does not permeate.
7. If you have a humidification system, ensure that appropriate humidity levels are set for each season. Also, inspect the humidifier occasionally and see to its routine maintenance.
8. Consider installing UV germicidal lights in the HVAC unit to kill all the contaminants.
Don’t Rule Out The Effects Of Pollution
The occurrence of illness and allergies in the family could also be rampant environmental pollution. Since fresh air from outside enters your home from time to time, you cannot rule out the effects of pollution. However, to counter its ill effects, consider using an air purifier. All these measures together will go a long way in keeping your home and AC free of biological contaminants.
In The End
Biological contamination can occur inside anybody’s home or AC. However, this does not mean that your home is not fit to live in. By sanitizing your home and addressing all the causes of biocontamination, you can live without any fear in your home. These things do happen; important is to take care of them on time and not ignore the signs.
If you live in West Palm Beach and wish to schedule the repair, maintenance, or installation of your HVAC unit, contact the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. We can be reached anytime at +1-888-729-8452.
The air conditioner consists of various parts and components, each of which serves a specific purpose. Neglecting the upkeep of an important part can later become a headache for the homeowner. One such important part is the AC drain system. It usually consists of the drain pan and the drain line. Keeping the AC drain clean is a relatively easy task, one that can be taken care of by the homeowner.
Also known as the drip tray or the drip pan, the AC drain pan collects the condensate that drips down from the evaporator coils. The cold evaporator coils draw out the excess moisture and warmth of the air that passes over it. This moisture cools and forms water droplets that fall down into the drip pan. So the purpose of the drip pan is to collect all the moisture generated by the evaporator coils and prevent its dripping on the floors.
The condensate cannot keep on collecting in the drip tray. After some time, it will overflow and spill on to the floor. The purpose of the drain line or the drainpipe is to empty the water collected in the drip pan and dispel it outdoors. Failing to do so will create water puddles inside the home.
Why Keep The AC Drain Clean?
1. Cleaning the AC drain is necessary to ensure that no water or condensate spills indoor. Wet spots in the house indicate the increase in chances of mold growth. A clogged drain can also lead to the growth of mold and algae inside the air conditioner. In such a case, when you switch on the AC, the spores will be picked by the passing air. These are then circulated throughout your home, causing allergies and illness to the residents.
2. Secondly, at times when humidity is high, the blocked drain will add to the indoor humidity and make your living space uncomfortable and unhealthy. Most illness-causing germs and micro-organisms thrive in a sultry environment. So, your house will become their ripe breeding ground.
To keep your home healthy, you need to keep the AC drain clean.
Cleaning The AC Drain
Cleaning the AC drain is no rocket science. It’s as normal and as regular as cleaning any drain in your home. With the help of a few basic things, you can do it quite comfortably. All you need is a tub or a bucket to catch the run-off, some rags, and lastly, a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment.
1. Before you begin, cut the power supply to the AC.
2. Once that is done, take off its cover to expose the drip tray.
3. Place the bucket underneath it. Mop up the water collected in the drip pan with the help of the rags. The bucket will catch spills, so have no fear.
4. Now gently disconnect the drain line, which is a hose-like structure attached to the drip pan.
5. Connect your vacuum cleaner to the power source and stick the long hose inside the drain to suck out the blockage.
6. Run some water through the hose to ensure that no other obstructions are there inside the line.
7. Reconnect the drain line to the drip tray. Put back the cover or the access panel and reconnect the AC to the power source.
This is all that it takes to clean the drain line. Isn’t that easy and completely doable by anyone?
What To Do If You Are Unable To Clear All The Blockage?
Ideally, when you run clear water through the drainpipe after sucking out the obstruction with the vacuum cleaner, it should flow away. If it backs up and comes spilling out at your end, it means that the blockage still exists. It is quite possible that the blockage may have hardened and become difficult to dislodge. In such a case, your best option is to call the HVAC technician. He can help you get rid of the blockage and salvage the drain line, or replace it with a new one.
Can Cleaning Agents Be Used To Clean AC Drain?
In the past, many homeowners have been using a solution of bleach and water or white vinegar and water to clear the blockages in the drain line. However, there has been a change in the materials that are now used for making the air handlers. As a result, some manufacturers do not recommend using either of these DIY solutions. According to them, the strong vapors released from these solutions can lead to premature corrosion or oxidation and deterioration of the materials. According to some studies, the vapors can also degrade aluminum and copper.
Before using any cleaning agent, it is best to check with your AC manufacturer guidelines in its respect. Conversely, you could also ask your local HVAC contractor for their recommendation.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we recommend using either plain water or hot water.
Exercise Caution While Cleaning AC Drain
While trying to clean the AC drain, one needs to be very careful. Handle all parts of the AC along with the drainpipe and equipment you use with gentle hands. Being rough with any of them can not only damage the drainpipe but the system as well.
If you are using bleach as a cleaning agent, you need to exercise extreme caution. Spilling it inside the AC can damage the unit, and if you spill it outside, it can ruin your floor or carpets.
In The End
Keeping the AC drain line clean ensures that the condensate that collects in the drip tray drains outside without causing any spillages inside. When there are no wet or damp spots indoors, there is minimal chance of mold and algae growth. Also, the humidity levels remain in check. Overall, you have a healthy and comfortable home to live in.
The air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning in West Palm Beach, Florida, are here to help. If you are facing any problems with your HVAC unit or want to schedule its maintenance, contact us at +1-888-729-8452.
The spring season is often associated with a radical increase in allergies. It is mainly because of allergens like pollen, dust, and dander present in the air. These cause increased sensitivity and adverse reactions in humans. Each year, almost 50 million Americans suffer from mild to severe allergic reactions due to the presence of one or more allergens in the air.
The indoor environment is no different. Unknown to most of us is the fact that many allergens are present indoors. Dust mites, dander, mold spores, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and smoke are just a few examples. To be honest, no home is ever completely free of allergens. Most of them reside in the ducts because they are rarely given a thorough cleaning. The air passing through the ducts picks them up and circulates them throughout the house. Breathing in such poor quality air triggers varying degrees of reactions amongst humans. It is precisely for this reason that air duct cleaning is a necessity. Clean air ducts reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reactions.
How Do Allergens Enter The Home?
Dust and dust mites find their way indoor through dirty shoes and open doors and windows. Mold grows in the wet and damp areas of the home like the washrooms, under the kitchen sink, and inside the crawl spaces. VOCs are released from spray cans, paints, and household cleaning agents. If you have pets, the source of dander is but obvious. Lastly, smoke from the kitchen or cigarettes can get trapped indoors if the ventilation is not proper.
Allergens In Your Ducts
As rightly claimed, the ducts are the lungs of your home. They take in and push out air to cool and warm the house, depending on the season. Over a period of time, the circulating air deposits dust, dirt, debris, and dander inside the ducts. Smoke and smells are also captured by the molecules present inside. Though air filters prevent the contamination of the ducts, yet when you fail to replace them, they stop performing this important function.
The other way in which allergens find their way inside the ducts is via the leaks and cracks. These develop due to improper insulation, critter infestation, or simple wear and tear of aged ducts.
Duct Cleaning Reduces Allergies
Ducts are a part of your home. Not cleaning them means leaving a part of your house dirty. The fact remains that your house is as clean as the dirtiest part of it. Therefore, duct cleaning is an important activity that every homeowner must undertake every few years.
Dust, mold, bacteria, and other illness-causing micro-organisms reside inside the air ducts. When air traverses through the ducts, it may pick up these contaminants and bring them back into circulation. Cleaning the ducts ensures that such pollutants don’t find their way into our breathing space and deteriorate the quality of indoor air. When they cannot enter circulation, the chances of severe allergic reactions decrease proportionately.
Since the ducts are not easily accessible, the buildups don’t happen overnight. Usually, they take years. Hence, regular cleaning of the ducts is not required. An appropriate time frame for duct cleaning is every 3 to 5 years.
Who Can Do Duct Cleaning?
Cleaning the ducts is a tricky business. If you desire a thorough cleaning, only the professional duct cleaners can do that. It is because regular household equipment like the vacuum cleaner cannot reach deep into the ducts. Whereas, the professional cleaners use industrial-grade equipment to reach every nook and cranny of the ducts. They have powerful truck-mounted vacuums that have long hoses to give the ducts a proper and in-depth cleansing. Hence, look for licensed and reputable duct cleaners to do the job.
Is Duct Cleaning Enough To Keep Allergies At Bay?
On its own, duct cleaning is not enough to keep all allergies at bay. It happens to be one of the many ways in which you can reduce the contaminants present in your home. The other things that you need to do are:
1. Clean and dust your entire house regularly.
2. Air out the carpets and mattresses in strong sunlight.
3. Let in fresh air from time to time by opening windows.
4. Ensure that the kitchen exhaust is in optimum working condition.
5. Refrain from smoking indoors.
6. Do not use strong disinfectants and other cleaning agents for sanitizing the house.
7. Always address leaks promptly so that there are no wet spots that could lead to mold growth.
8. Brush your pets regularly so that they don’t shed excessive amounts of hair and dead skin cells.
In Doubt About Duct Cleaning? – Ask Yourself These Questions
If ever you are in doubt, ask yourself these simple questions to figure out whether duct cleaning is called for or not.
1. In the last 5 years, did you ever get the ducts cleaned professionally?
2. Have you recently moved into a home that was earlier lived in?
3. Do you live in an area where there is a lot of dust in the environment?
4. When you switch on your heating and cooling system, do you suffer from bouts of sneezing, itchy skin, or headache?
5. Does anyone in your home suffer from breathing ailments that don’t subside even with proper medication?
If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, you should seriously think about getting your ducts professionally cleaned.
Beware Of Scammers
Unfortunately, many people claim to be professional duct cleaners, but they aren’t really so. Beware of such scammers as they can do more damage to the ducts leading to costly replacement. Look for licensed holders who have insurance and a good reputation. They might be a little pricey, but you can’t go wrong with them.
Food For Thought
Regular annual maintenance of the HVAC and periodic changing of the air filters ensure that the ducts don’t get dirty easily. You can further reduce the likelihood of allergens thriving in the ducts by maintaining healthy humidity levels. Remember, clean ducts will make your abode a happy and healthy home.
When something seems to be a little off with the air conditioner, there is no need to panic. Before calling the HVAC technician for repair, you can do a couple of checks on your own. These checks may prove to save you the hassle of going without the AC and also save your time and money. So today, we shall have a look at those five things that you should check before scheduling an AC repair.
5 Things To Check Before Scheduling AC Repair
1. Check The Air Filters – Most AC troubles occur because the homeowners forget to change the air filters periodically. The air filters are designed to capture the dust and debris in the air and remove them from circulation. Over time, if you fail to change the air filters, they become clogged. As a result, the air is no longer able to flow smoothly without hindrance. When this happens, the AC receives less air and also blows out the same quantity, which is not sufficient to cool the home. Consequently, the air conditioner has to work harder, and that puts it under a lot of strain. This combination of events often leads to overheating of the equipment due to which it may stop working. Changing the air filters with brand new ones will take care of the issue. The best part is that you can easily do it as a DIY activity. The only thing to remember is to get the same type of air filters as before.
2. Check Whether The Unit Is Receiving Power – Many times when there is a power surge, the circuit breaker trips. At face value, the tripping circuit breaker may seem like an inconvenience. However, the truth is that it saves the unit from getting fried. So, the next order of business should be to check whether the circuit breaker is tripped. If it is, push it back in position, and all should be well once again. The other thing that could be wrong is a blown fuse. When the fuse wire is weak and unable to support the AC’s power needs, it fries. This is often referred to as a blown fuse. In this case, you need to replace the fuse with one that is of the correct strength. You can contact your local HVAC technician to figure out the best capacity of fuse for your AC. Buy the same from your local hardware store and change the one that blew. Most importantly, while you make the switch, flip the circuit breaker to “OFF” so that you don’t get an electrical shock. Push it back to “ON” once the job is completed, and you should have a perfectly working unit without scheduling any AC repair.
3. Check Thermostat Batteries – There are times when the thermostat malfunctions, and that too for a very silly reason. You forgot to change its batteries. The older ones died and could no longer power the thermostat such that the air conditioner stopped working. So, all in all, there was nothing wrong with the air conditioner. Before scheduling an AC repair, it makes sense to check the charge on the thermostat batteries. This can be seen on its display screen. If the charge is very meager or the display is off, switch the batteries with a new set, and that should take care of the problem. While at it, you should also check the thermostat settings. For all, you may know, somebody may have by mistake altered the programmed settings, and that may be causing the trouble. Giving the thermostat a once over is a good idea before calling your air experts for AC repair.
4. Check The Vents And Registers – Vents and registers play an equally important role in ensuring the free flow of air to and from the air conditioner. Failing to clean them every few years can lead to buildups inside them. The drawback of these buildups is that they restrict the flow of air. Essentially, that leads to the same problem as dirty air filters. So while you are inspecting whether the air conditioner is receiving ample quantities or air, it would not harm to check the vents and registers as well.
5. Check The Outdoor Unit For Obstructions – The unit that is installed outside seldom gets any attention. It is mostly taken for granted and left to bear the adversaries of nature. Often bushes grow around it, or leaves and other debris pile up, cutting off the air supply to it. When that happens, the air is unable to pass through the grilles in ample quantity leading to overheating of the unit and its subsequent shutting down. Once you clear the obstructions around the condenser unit, your AC should start working normally. Another possibility is that the condenser coil is encrusted with dirt and debris. This leads to improper cooling as heat can no longer be released efficiently. Cleaning the condenser coils will address this problem, and you will once again have a cool and comfortable home.
Other Things To Check Before Scheduling AC Repair
These are a few other things that you can check with ease and cut the chances of calling the technician unnecessarily.
1. Make sure that all the vents and registers are open. Sometimes while giving the home a new look, we shift around the furniture and unknowingly block them.
2. The drip pan should be checked for leaks and the drain line for obstructions if there are water puddles on the floor or wet walls in the house. Changing the drip pan and sucking out the obstruction using a vacuum cleaner will take care of the dripping water.
If you invest routinely in the annual maintenance of your air conditioner, you should ideally not face any problems. During the annual AC tune-up, the technician will check your cooling unit for all the above-mentioned conditions. Barring the changing of air filters at least once every quarter and seeing to it that the outdoor unit is free of obstructions, you don’t have to do anything.
Comfort at home largely depends on how efficiently the heating and cooling system works. When the season changes, you switch from heating to cooling and vice-versa. This continuous and non-stop use puts the unit through a lot of wear and tear due to which its performance starts declining. The comfort at home will drop because your HVAC finds it harder to maintain the desired temperature. To minimize the effect of wear and tear and bring the system efficiency back to par, seasonal AC maintenance is necessary.
On the hottest of days, if your AC breaks down or the furnace suffers a malfunction on the coldest day, imagine how rattled and aggrieved you would feel. Seasonal AC maintenance ensures that you can depend on your AC to work optimally without breaking down throughout the season.
Why Is Pre-Season AC Maintenance Necessary?
Pre-season maintenance is also called “Preventive Maintenance”. Preventive because it is carried out to ensure that no trouble is brewing in the AC. Catching problems well before they evolve into bigger issues keeps the repairs to a minimum and also the repair costs on the lower side. As against this, if the problem is allowed to propagate without taking any steps to curb it, expensive repairs are a given. But that is not the only concern. You will also have to live through hours or days of discomfort until the AC is back up and running. Therefore, to minimize any inconvenience and eliminate the chances of costly repairs, pre-season maintenance is necessary.
Spring The Best Time For AC Maintenance
Spring is usually the best time to carry out AC maintenance, as at this time, the temperatures are still pleasant. You don’t have to suffer when the AC is taken offline to carry out the maintenance and tune-up work. Spring tune-up prepares your AC to work relentlessly through the entire scorching summer, without any obvious signs of trouble.
Benefits Of Seasonal Maintenance
Many people laugh at the thought of getting the seasonal AC maintenance done. Here are a few reasons why you should not take it lightly:
1. Prevents Unexpected Failures – AC maintenance is like a full diagnostic service. It involves an inspection of all the moving parts, tightening of loose components, oiling or greasing of rubbing pieces to reduce friction and thorough cleaning of the complete unit. This full check-up of the unit brings to light the hidden and budding problems in the AC. By replacing worn parts and making the necessary adjustments to lose and moving parts, one can prevent the chances of unexpected breakdowns.
2. Maintains Product Warranty – Failing to see to the annual seasonal AC maintenance can render the product warranty on your new equipment void. An important aspect of keeping product warranty in force for the full duration is that the maintenance will be carried out as directed by the manufacturer. Losing out on the warranty is not advisable as it can help bring down the cost of repairs if the new cooling unit malfunctions.
3. Reclaims Lost Efficiency – When the air conditioner runs, its efficiency diminishes overtime. So it starts consuming more and more power resulting in bigger bills. However, the efficiency that is lost does not mean that it cannot be reclaimed. Surprisingly, with seasonal maintenance, you can recover 95% of the lost efficiency. Needless to say, if you give importance to the maintenance and tune-up, your monthly power bills will never escalate.
4. Reduces Cost Of Repairs – A reliable machine seldom breaks down, and if it does, the problems are rarely ever major. But reliability is a factor that is dependent on how religiously you follow the AC maintenance schedule. If you get it done regularly, year after year, you can depend on it to work even during the peak of the season without any trouble. Though, if seeing its maintenance is not your strong point, you should be ready to face the consequences. Your unit can malfunction any time, and there are no guarantees about how major the repair would be and its financial bearing on your pockets.
5. Makes Home More Comfortable – An efficiently running AC cools the home faster and better. Your home is not only comfortable during the height of the summer season, but all the year-round. To keep your comfort level indoors intact, seasonal AC maintenance plays a major role. Ensuring that all components are in top-notch condition and perfect working order guarantees effectual and equal cooling throughout the house.
When To Schedule AC Maintenance?
You don’t have to wait until such time that the AC starts showing signs of trouble for maintenance. In fact, the best practice is to maintain a fixed regularity in it. The best time for HVAC maintenance is just before the season reaches its peak. Ideally, the cooling system should be tuned during the spring and the furnace during the fall. The benefit of following this routine is that you can take advantage of off-season discounts and save even more on maintenance.
What Constitutes AC Maintenance?
The following checks are carried out during AC maintenance. This, however, is not an exhaustive list.
1. Tightening up the loose electrical connections.
2. Examining the system controls.
3. Cleaning the coils and their inspection.
4. Greasing and oiling of moving parts.
5. Replacing those parts that have worn out.
6. Replacing the filters
7. Inspecting the blower fan.
8. Checking the refrigerant level and pressure.
9. Checking the thermostat.
10. Validating the operating temperatures.
In the absence of regular maintenance, your HVAC system can suffer severe damage. It happens because though the problems start developing during the operational period, yet they peak during the dormant period. And you come to know about them when you switch on the air conditioner as the temperature starts rising. But by then the issue has amplified and digs a big hole in the pockets in the form of expensive repairs. Maintenance takes care of all these things and minimizes the chances of AC malfunction.
Aztil Air Conditioning provides seasonal HVAC maintenance services in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our technicians are trained in every aspect of HVAC. They are well equipped to handle all related issues to your complete satisfaction. To book an appointment, call us at +1-888-729-8452.
Power bills tend to skyrocket during the cold winter months trying to keep the house nice and warm. Every time the door opens, a part of the indoor heat escapes outside, and the cold air seeps in. There are times when it feels like a losing battle. And when someone tells you to lower the temperature to reduce the power bills, the first thought that strikes you is, “Are you crazy?”. Well, they are not wrong in advising that, for lowering the temperature will definitely bring down the energy consumption in your home. Consequently, the monthly power bill will also reduce. The key here is, however, that tweaking the temperature setting also is not the complete solution. There are some other things that you will have to do. So today, we will discuss five free or low-cost heating tips that can lower your monthly bills.
5 Heating Tips To Lower Bills
1. Invest In A Programmable Thermostat – A programmable thermostat gives the homeowner the freedom to set different temperature settings for different times of the day and days of the week. Essentially, when you are in the office or away from home, you can set a lower temperature for that duration. When it is time for you to come back home, the heat can be cranked up to the desired level through a programmable thermostat. The best thing is that once the program is set, there is no need for manual intervention. The thermostat will automatically take care of it all. Now coming to the cost factor. A programmable thermostat can cost anywhere between $20 to $150. Depending on your budget, you can buy one that is not very expensive and yet does the work admirably.
2. Wear A Sweater Or A Sweatshirt Indoors – Many people shy away from wearing an extra layer of clothing indoors. Seldom do they realize that this practice makes their heating system work longer and harder. There is no written rule that you should not wear warm clothes indoors. Neither is there a rule against taking a blanket while sleeping. Both practices will allow you to lower the temperature accordingly. You will still be comfortable with an extra layer of light woolen clothing, and the power consumption by the heating system will also come down. It’s a win-win situation where nobody suffers, and yet the utility bills come down.
3. Seal The Windows – Some of the warmth that your heating system helps build indoors is lost through windows that are not adequately sealed. If all sources of the leak are sealed, there will be minimal loss of heat. You have two choices – seal all the places causing a draft yourself, or call somebody to do it for you. With a whole horde of products available in the hardware stores, like a spool of sticky rubber insulation, etc., one can easily do it as a DIY activity. However, if you are not sure of doing a decent job, it is best to call in the professionals. Additionally, thick curtains covering the windows will also help reduce the draft.
4. Clean The Radiators And Vents – There are many homeowners who conveniently forget the importance of keeping the radiators and vents clean. Removing all obstructions in the form of furniture unknowingly placed in front of the vents and removal of dust and debris from the radiators will allow the air to flow unhindered. When the air is able to flow without any impediment, the unit performs optimally, keeping the power consumption on the lower side. If you see the annual maintenance of the furnace, these things will be taken care of during the ac tune-up.
5. Regularly Change The Air Filters – One important yet simple maintenance tip is to change the air filters. Ideally, these should be switched every month. However, if for some reason that is not possible, change them at least once every quarter. Essentially clean air filters mean that the system does not have to operate under stress as the airflow is smooth and unobstructed. Failing to change the air filters will make it difficult for your system to breathe. A system that is unable to breathe properly cannot work efficiently. It starts consuming more and more power, and consequently, there is a significant rise in the monthly bills.
Other Heating Tips To Lower Bills
Some other ways in which you can lower your utility bills in relation to heating are:
1. Ensure the annual maintenance of your furnace.
2. Use good insulation in the attic, basement, and garage.
3. Turn down the temperature of the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. All places where pipes pass through the walls, floor, or ceiling should be sealed.
5. Electrical outlets that are installed on the walls, too, could be the cause of energy loss due to improper insulation.
6. Invest in double pane glass for your windows.
7. Sometimes using a humidifier can also increase the warmth indoors without adding to the heating bills.
8. Refrain from opening the doors and windows unnecessarily as every time you do so, a part of the heat built inside is lost.
9. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan so that it pushes the warm air down.
It is not necessary to set a high temperature on the thermostat during the cold winter months to keep warm and comfortable. The fact remains, what is important to you, bringing down the monthly bills or being comfortable without doing anything? Sometimes doing a little bit can offer astounding savings. There is no harm in trying out the above-mentioned heating tips. You might just be pleasantly surprised and your pockets happy.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we take immense pride in helping you save on your heating bills. You can contact us at any time to discuss the options further. If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and your HVAC needs installation, repair, or maintenance, give us a call at +1-888-729-8452. Our air experts will promptly take care of your unit.
Discovering water inside your house where it does not belong is a nightmare as it can cause extensive damage. Rotten floorboards, peeling paint, mold on the walls, and a wet socks stench are just some of the ways in which it can give any homeowner a headache. But this is not the end of your troubles. You still need to figure out the source of the leak and fix it up. If the leak is springing from your air conditioner, you cannot ignore it as it can harm your AC leading to costly repair bills.
Air Conditioner Leaking Water – What To Do First?
Now that you know an air conditioner leaking water is a matter not to be taken lightly, your first step should be to turn off the unit and cut its power supply. It is necessary to do so to prevent any further water damage to the unit and also to avoid any short circuits.
The next step is to mop up all the water that has pooled on the floor or dripped over the furniture. If necessary, move that piece of furniture away until the source of the leak is identified and duly plugged.
6 Reasons Your AC Is Leaking Water
Here are six possible reasons that could be the cause of water leaks inside your cooling unit:
1. Rusted Drip Pan – The air conditioner cools the air is by extracting water vapor from it. This water vapor cools into water droplets, also known as the “condensate. This condensate collects over the evaporator coil and drips down into a drip pan from where it flows out through the drain line. If you have an old AC, it is normal for the drip pan to develop cracks due to rusting. If the crack is no too big, you can seal it. However, the best would be to replace the drip pan with a new one if the crack is wide or it has several cracks. This will take care of the leak.
2. Disconnected Drain Line – Sometimes, the drip pan is fine; instead, the problem lies in the drain line that carries the condensate outdoors. The drain line has to be connected to the drip pan to be able to do so. If the line is disconnected or detached, the drip pan overflows and spills water indoors. After checking the pan for leaks, the next course of action should be to check if the drainpipe has loosened and got disconnected. It can happen due to vibrations in the unit or because it was never secured properly in the first place after the last ac tune-up or repair. If it has, secure it back in position, and the overflowing problem is taken care of.
3. Blocked Condensate Drain Line – The drip pan is in good condition, and the drip line of the drainpipe is also attached, so where could be the problem? Well, the problem could be as simple as a blockage in the drain line due to which the condensate is backing up and not flowing out. Instead, it spills indoors through the AC. Sometimes dirt and debris flow from the drip pan into the drainpipe leading to a blockage. In this case, the stuck material needs to be extracted so that the condensate can flow out freely. You can do this yourself using a long hose wet and dry vacuum pump. It will suck out the unwanted material and unclog the drainpipe. Once this is done, there should not be any more dripping water inside your home from the AC.
4. Malfunctioning Of Condensate Pump – If the air handler of your AC is installed in the basement, the way in which the condensate flows out is a little different. In this case, the drain line will empty the condensate into the drip pan. A condensate pump will then pump out the collected water. If the pump itself develops a fault, the last action will not be complete due to which water will start pooling around on the floor of the basement. You will need to call your local HVAC technician to rectify the fault in the condensate pump.
5. Low On Refrigerant – Often, due to low refrigerant level, the evaporator coils tend to freeze. It happens because the refrigerant can no longer effectively draw out the heat from the air. As a result, ice starts forming over the evaporator coil. When this ice melts, the air conditioner starts leaking water indoors. Actually, in this case, the dripping water is a good sign as it makes you aware of a budding problem before it can fry the compressor. Fixing a fried compressor is very costly, and so is replacing the entire unit. If you notice any ice on the evaporator coil, call the experts to tackle the problem.
6. Dirty Air Filters – When the air filter is dirty, it blocks the flow of air over the evaporator coil. Consequently, the temperature of the evaporator coil drops to freezing levels leading to ice formation. When the ice melts, the pan cannot handle all the water, causing it to overflow and form water puddles indoors. Regularly changing the air filters at least once every quarter, if not every month will take care of the issue. There is no need to call the big guns to take care of this problem. You can do it yourself and, in the process, even save a few dollars.
Before We End
An air conditioner leaking water should not be overlooked at any cost due to the potential hazards. However, mostly the reason behind these leaks is a minor problem that can be taken care of easily. Otherwise also, if you seek professional help as soon as you notice the leak, fixing it should not be a problem. The key is to remember to call the technician immediately and not ignore the occurrence.
A heating and cooling system is essential to comfort whether at home or in office. At home, the decision about which type of air conditioner to buy lies with the homeowner. When its time to upgrade or replace the HVAC unit, consider all your options before making the final purchase. The two most popular choices in air conditioners for homes and residences are packaged units and split systems. These terms may sound Greek, but the purpose of this post is to make you aware of the differences between the two. This knowledge will allow you to seek the most suitable solution for your house.
Package HVAC Unit
In a packaged air conditioner, the entire unit is in one packet. It means that the condenser, compressor, and the evaporator coil all are placed in a single cabinet. This cabinet is mostly installed on the roof or a concrete block close to the foundation of the house.
Split System HVAC Unit
As the name suggests, in a split system, the three main components of the air conditioner are separate from each other. There is an outdoor unit that houses both the compressor and the condenser. Then there is an indoor unit that houses the evaporator coil. Finally, there is an air handler that sends cool air via the ductwork.
Difference Between Package Unit and Split System Air Conditioner
The main task of both types of air conditioners is to get rid of excess heat from the air and make it cool. Let us study in detail the key difference between Package Unit and Split System Air Conditioner.
1. System Installation
Packaged System – The packaged system is mostly put together at the manufacturing plant or the factory. This makes their installation speedier, simpler, and less costly. If your home has a flat roof, the packaged system can be installed directly. If your home has a pitched roof, you can install it by building a support platform.
Split System – The installation of a split system is a more complicated process. The compressor unit, which makes noise, is installed outdoors to make indoors quieter. The air handler is fitted indoors, and it drives the untreated hot air towards the evaporator coil. The refrigerant line connects these two parts for efficient operations. Its installation is somewhat more complicated, so it usually takes time and is a costlier affair.
2. System Maintenance
Packaged System – The packaged units are more readily accessible. Since all the components reside in one cabinet, their maintenance takes lesser time. But being readily accessible does not mean that they are easy to access. It all depends on where the unit is installed and how easy or difficult it is to reach. The other thing about the packaged units is that they are always fitted outdoors and so suffer from more wear and tear from inclement weather conditions.
Split System – Since the components of a split system reside in two separate units, their maintenance or tune-up takes time. The technician has to check out both the units diligently. However, in the case of split-systems, since one unit is fitted indoor, wear and tear are usually minimal.
3. Requirement Of Space
Packaged System – Packaged systems are idyllic for those homes that have little to no space both indoors and outdoors. With the space restriction, these can be mounted on the roof without any problem. You can also have several packaged systems installed in various locations (like roof or yard) so that your heater and air conditioner become less visible. These installations can be hidden in the backyard with fencing or artistic landscaping, or a trellis with climbers or vines.
Split System – A split system needs both indoor and outdoor space for installation. The compressor unit will be fitted outdoor, and the area around it needs to be clear of shrubs, bushes, or trees. The idea is to ensure that there are no restrictions on the airflow around it. The indoor unit that houses the air handler and the evaporator coil is also sizeable and so will require space again with no restrictions around it. Therefore, it is usually installed in the basement, garage, or attic.
Pros And Cons Of A Packaged Unit
Pros – The key things working in favor of package HVAC units are:
1. They are completely assembled in the factory, thereby minimizing the chances of any defect.
2. It is easy to install.
3. It requires no room inside the house as it is installed on the outside, giving you more space in the house.
4. Its maintenance is relatively easy, as all components are in one place.
Cons – There is just one disadvantage of the packaged units, and that is because they are installed outdoor they have to bear the brunt of nature. Not only that, but animals craving warmth during the winters can also cause damage. Being outdoors rusting is obvious, and sometimes the animals tend to chew through the wires. So packaged units don’t last as long as the split systems.
Pros And Cons Of A Split System
Pros – The advantages of owning a split system are:
1. Since a part of the unit is installed indoors, it does not suffer much from adverse weather conditions, so it stays in relatively good condition for longer.
2. The two units that make the split system are easy to access, so don’t pose any problems at the time of maintenance.
3. These are quieter in operation.
Cons – The main disadvantage of a split system is that its installation is a complicated process because of its split nature. The company installing the unit must have sufficient experience in this field. Otherwise, the quality of the installation will be poor, and the unit will not operate optimally.
Now that you know the difference between Package Unit and Split System Air Conditioner, it must be clear that both units are unique. There is no hands-down winner in this race. It’s more a case of what features your house offers and which unit suits under the circumstances.
The air conditioner unit on its own is just one aspect of your home’s cooling system. However, the cooling does not solely depend upon it. A very often underrated and overlooked aspect of the air conditioner performance is the ductwork. Most homeowners take the ductwork for granted since they are never in plain sight. Out of sight, out of mind rule applies to it perfectly.
Impact Of Ductwork On AC Performance
Those of us who thought that the ductwork didn’t really matter in cooling the house, must carefully read hereon.
1. Temperature Control – The cool air passes through the ducts before entering the different rooms. If the ducts are damaged or have leaks, cool air escapes from it. As a result, a lesser amount of treated air finds its way into the room to make it comfortable. Your AC will now have to work longer to achieve the desired temperature setting. Even then, it may not be able to deliver to your satisfaction.
2. Impacts Air Quality – Damage to the ductwork and its improper design, both, can cause pressure imbalances. On its own, the pressure imbalance may not seems to be a thing of consequence. But what you are not aware of is the fact that this imbalance may attract allergens and other contaminants from those areas of the home that are unconditioned, for example, garage, basement, and attic. Where the air filters had removed the impurities from the indoor air, the pressure imbalance pushes more in. So, all in all, the indoor air quality degrades instead of improving. Good air quality is a pre-requisite to good health. When people spend a large amount of time indoors, it is essential to pay attention to the air quality inside.
3. Increase In Power Consumption – Flaws in the ductwork force the cooling unit to work harder. When the air conditioner cycles run longer, it consumes more power. The more the power consumption, the bigger is your energy bill. So, faulty ductwork will negatively impact the energy efficiency of your cooling system. At first, glance, when you see a hefty bill, the natural inclination is to assume that something is wrong with the AC. But when nothing pans out, it would be good to have the ductwork of your home inspected for any defects or shortcomings.
4. Shortens The AC Life – When you buy any costly equipment, you want it to work to its full potential and that too for as long as possible, which is usually the expected lifespan. However, the weaknesses in the ductwork may throw a wrench in your plans by shortening the lifespan of your HVAC. What the flaws in the ductwork do is put the cooling unit under tremendous strain by making it work longer and harder. As a result, the unit overheats and in turn that damages the various moving components. So, all in all, there is more than the usual wear and tear that leads to the untimely demise of the equipment.
What Makes An Effective Ductwork?
The ductwork that is designed properly will only assist your AC in improving the comfort level indoors. Here are a few essentials of an adequately designed ductwork:
1. Balanced Air Flow – The duct system installed in your home should have the correct number of supply ducts and return air ducts. This ensures that there is an equal distribution of air. The uniform distribution of air, in turn, ensures that there are no pressure imbalances in your home.
2. Proper Size Ducts – The size of the ducts does not depend on the whims and fancies of anyone. There is a precise science behind it, which insists that the size of the ducts should match the capacity of the cooling equipment or the HVAC installed in the home.
3. Routing Of The Ducts – Special attention should be paid to the routing of the ducts. As far as possible, it should pass only through the conditioned areas of the home. If it does pass through those areas that are not conditioned, the ducts should be insulated and sealed so that there are no leaks.
The cleanliness of the air ducts is important. However, they don’t need to be cleaned every year. Cleaning them once in 3 to 5 years is more than sufficient. Even then, remember, cleaning the ducts is specialty work. It isn’t a “Do It Yourself” activity and cannot be entrusted to anyone. Hire a reputable and certified contractor for this job.
Unfortunately, there are many people running duct cleaning scam. You need to beware of them. The most significant give of these scammers is that they usually quote a price that is way lower than the industry norm. So refrain from approaching those that quote the lowest figure. In the long run, paying a little more will guarantee the safety of your equipment as well as give the satisfaction of a job well done.
An air conditioner, though the most important part of your cooling system, is not the only thing that demands care and attention. The ductwork of your home is that dark horse, which is essential to winning the race. Next time when you experience any cooling problems, do get the ductwork also inspected. Not all issues are courtesy the AC some can be attributed to the ductwork as we stated above.
The residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can contact Aztil Air Conditioning for inspection, care, and maintenance of their heating and cooling equipment. To book a consultation or schedule an appointment, call us at +1-888-729-8452. We are available 24/7 so that you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. Our team of technicians is fully trained and well experienced in handling all situations and problems.
Cleaning of the air ducts is still a matter of open debate. Some people consider it essential, and yet others are unconcerned. Often scare tactics like potential hazards hiding in the ducts are used to convince people to ask professionals to clean the air ducts in their home. Instead of using such unethical practice, we decided to educate you about the advantages and disadvantages of cleaning your air ducts. This knowledge will give you a chance to make a wise choice without any pressure.
But, before we begin, let us know a little bit more about the air ducts and their cleaning.
What Are Air Ducts?
Air ducts are channels, tubes, passages, or pipes that are used in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) to deliver and remove air.
What Is Air Duct Cleaning?
The process of cleaning the conduits that transports air to and from the HVAC is called air duct cleaning. Usually, there are two ways in which this is done:
1. Rotary Vacuum Brushing – In vacuum brushing, a spinning or rotating brush is used to loosen the dust and debris accumulated in the air vents. Once that is done, a vacuum is used to trap all the dislodged impurities.
2. High-Pressure Air Washing – In high-pressure air washing, a truck-mounted vacuum is used to blow pressurized air through the ducts. During this process, all the air registers are covered so that the loosened impurities do not fly indoors. After blowing air through all the air ducts, another air wand is inserted to suck out all the released accumulations.
Advantages Of Cleaning Air Ducts
The key advantages of air duct cleaning are:
1. Improves Efficiency Of The Unit – The HVAC unit needs to be able to breathe easily to perform to the best of its capability. If there are any restrictions preventing the heating and cooling system from transporting air effortlessly, its efficiency is bound to suffer. Ducts that have blockages in the form of dust, debris, dander, or any other impurities force the unit to work harder to give the same amount of output. When the unit operates under strain, it consumes more power and is still unable to deliver to satisfaction. Cleaning out the accumulations inside the ducts will make the system deliver and remove air smoothly and effortlessly, eradicating the need to operate under pressure. So, clean air ducts make for improved efficiency of your HVAC unit.
2. Reduces The Risk Of Transmitting Diseases – Unknown to most homeowners, rodents, pests, and critters tend to make homes in the ducts. This is especially true when you live close to nature. These small animals are a threat to the ducts as well as your health. The critters may eat through the ducts to make passages, and from these tears, the air escapes. As a result, your home is unable to reach and maintain the desired temperature. But that is the least of the troubles, especially if the next concern is your health. Breathing in dust that carries the droppings or urine of the pests and rodents can cause many ailments. You can even fall gravely ill. To avoid both these situations, your best option is duct cleaning.
3. Reduces Allergies – Breathing in the air full of dust, dander, and other allergens are not suitable for the health of infants, elderly, and those who suffer from allergies. When the accumulations in the ducts loosen, they travel with the air and find their way indoors into our breathing space. People who suffer from respiratory illnesses find even small quantities of dust can trigger major allergic reactions. Duct cleaning is the only way to ensure that you have more control over the indoor air quality.
Disadvantages Of Cleaning Air Ducts
The known disadvantages of duct cleaning include:
1. The Need For Duct Replacement – If your ducts get wet and develop mold, cleaning may not be enough. You may have to replace sections of the duct for an effective solution. However, something like this happens only when homeowners don’t contact professional duct cleaners for the job. Duct cleaning is not a DIY project, refrain from making it one.
2. Damage To The Ducts – Long hoses are used for duct cleaning which, if not used correctly, can damage the ducts. Trained professionals are meticulous and take all precautions that such untoward incidents don’t happen. However, there are swindlers claiming to be professional duct cleaners, but aren’t really so, who are the root cause of the trouble. Since these con men lack proper training, they are more susceptible to damaging the ductwork. Beware while choosing the contractor for duct cleaning. Don’t fall for a low ball figure instead look for their certification, insurance, and reputation. You cannot go wrong when your contractor ranks highly on all three parameters.
3. Duct Cleaning Is Expensive – Duct cleaning requires industrial-grade specialized equipment. Also, it is a job that takes time and cannot be completed in a few minutes. The sensitive nature of the work involved also makes it slow going to prevent harm to the ducts. Due to these reasons, the cleaning of ducts is an expensive activity. Nonetheless, the good news is that you need to bear this expense once every couple of years, so it does not dig a hole in your pockets.
How Often Is Cleaning Air Ducts Recommended?
Usually, it takes three to five years for the ducts to become full of dust and grime. So if you stay in an area where a lot of dust blows, cleaning the ducts once in 3 years is a good enough solution. For others, cleaning air ducts every 5 years is advisable.
Now that you know the pros and cons of cleaning air ducts, it is up to you to decide whether you want to go for it or not. Ideally, there is no harm in getting them cleaned every 5 years. If nothing else, you will at least be able to get rid of any pest and rodent infestation inside it before they can do severe damage to the ducts.
Feeling dry and itchy during the winters is normal. It happens because, in the cold weather months, the air lacks sufficient moisture and becomes dry. The warm air circulating inside the home to keep it nice and cozy adds to the woes by making the indoor air even more parched. As homeowners, we generally don’t pay much attention to the humidity levels inside the home. Yet, once it starts affecting us, it becomes hard to ignore. The boon of modern technology is that we have a plethora of options available at our disposal to make our homes as comfortable as possible. To increase humidity, you can now install a whole-home humidifier.
The name itself is indicative that a whole-house humidifier humidifies the entire house. It is not like a portable humidifier that you plug and places in the center of the room to add moisture. A whole-home humidifier is mounted directly in the ductwork of your central heating system. The indoor air that the furnace is cycling and heating gets moistened so that you can enjoy its comforts not in just one room but anywhere in the house.
How Does The Whole Home Humidifier Work?
As we just mentioned above, the whole house humidifier unit is fitted in the ductwork close to the furnace. It can be located anywhere either at the return end or at the supply end and is connected to the water supply of your home. When the humidifier is switched on, water flows down continuously to the humidifier pad. From here, it is either picked up by a rotating drum or misted into the unit. However, this is dependent on the model that you own.
The air entering the humidifier via the ducts encounters the water inside the unit. It picks up the water vapor and exits on the other side, laden with moisture. This treated air enters your home and increases the humidity throughout.
Benefits Of Using Whole-Home Humidifier
We cannot force you to believe that your home needs a whole-home humidifier. The best we can do is tell you its benefits and let you decided for yourself.
1. Healthy Air Makes For Healthy Families – When the air is dry, it causes skin dryness, irritation in the eyes and nose, and the constant feeling to scratch yourself raw. A whole-home humidifier effectively moistens the air so that the nasal passage does not dry out. It also clears the sinuses and makes for easier breathing. Additionally, most viruses and bacteria are unable to thrive in the damp air. So, installing a whole-home humidifier will significantly reduce your chances of falling ill.
2. Improved Personal Comfort – Dry air results in the building of static charge. So you tend to get a jolt when you touch surfaces or people. This can be very disconcerting. Other than that, even the best products fail to keep your skin well hydrated resulting in white lines and scaly skin. These things spoil your comfort at home. If you wish to improve your family’s comfort, the whole-home humidifier is the perfect answer. No matter which room you occupy, you don’t have to worry about its humidity levels.
3. Save Money On Energy Bills – Yes, you read correctly. The whole-home humidifier can help you save money on the energy bills. When you add moisture to the indoor air, the home becomes warmer and cozier at a lesser temperature. There is no need to overburden the furnace with very high-temperature settings. In fact, it can rightly be inferred that moisture or humidity in the air adds to the efficiency of your heating system. It is because damp or moist air retains heat better and longer than dry air.
4. Preserves Your Furnishings – Dry air causes cracking of the hardwood floor, chipping of paint, and warping of the walls. Additionally, it can also spoil books, paintings, and plastics by making them too brittle. It is necessary to add just the right amount of moisture to the indoor air so that you can preserve the home furnishings. The thermostat allows you to control the level of humidity in your house using the whole-home humidifier. This way, you will get more life out of things that you have invested in while making your home structurally strong, attractive, and aesthetically appealing.
Maintenance Needed By Whole-Home Humidifiers
The maintenance demanded by the whole-home humidifiers is not too much. If you own a humidifier that uses the humidifier pad or filter, all you need to do is change the media once every year and that all there is to it. And if you happen to own a steam humidifier, all it needs is an annual cleaning. But all this should ideally happen at the same time as the maintenance or tune-up of the furnace or heating system. Doing so will give you the best results and maximize your savings.
Life Expectancy Of Whole-House Humidifiers
The average life expectancy of a whole-house humidifier is 10 years. So, it would help if you thought of replacing it only after the passage of that time.
Do Whole-House Humidifiers Cause Mold?
Whole-home humidifiers can cause mold, but only if your house is not well ventilated. If your ventilation system is good and allows air to pass through all corners of your home, you will not face any problems. The key lies in not allowing the humidity to build up in any portion of the house.
If you have a sound ventilation system in your home, you will definitely benefit from using a whole-home humidifier. It humidifies your complete home in one go and gets rid of the need to humidify one room at a time, as is the case with portable humidifiers. It helps get rid of irritating problems like itchy nose, throat, and skin and also protects your home furnishings. So that like a double whammy. In this case, you can make it a triple whammy as it also renders energy savings.
Knowing in advance that the time to upgrade your air conditioner is near is beneficial. It helps you plan your finances better to meet the expense and also enables you to deflect the inconvenience of suffering in the hot weather without an AC.
Before beginning, it’s important to know that to upgrade your air conditioner, you don’t have to wait until it is broken or completely stops working. Sometimes an upgrade may be in order even while it is still in working order. Hence, the need for this informative post.
6 Signs It’s Time To Upgrade Air Conditioner
Before you decide to upgrade the air conditioner used in your home, an assessment from a qualified HVAC contractor is always advisable. If nothing else, it will give the homeowner a true picture of the condition of the AC. It may even help you prevent making any wrong or untimely decisions. Here are the top 6 signs that strongly indicate that the time to upgrade the air conditioner is near:
1. AC Demands Frequent Repairs – If you follow the annual maintenance rule, the air conditioner should not give any major problems. However, in spite of that, if the AC still breaks down often enough and the cost of repairs is drilling a bigger hole in your pockets, you may want to think of an upgrade. But before you jump the gun, try changing your HVAC technician. Getting a second opinion may help you discover that the problem was not being diagnosed correctly and so the need for constant repairs. If that be the case, you need not buy a new AC. However, if the problem still persists, discuss the options with your HVAC technician to make the most informed choice.
2. Wrong Size AC – Most homeowners make the mistake of buying an AC without taking into account the size that will suit the needs of their house. As a result, many people land up purchasing either an over-sized or an under-sized unit. In both cases, your home will not cool properly. Had that been the only problem, maybe you could have compromised. Instead, you will also notice a drastic increase in the monthly energy bills, and also your unit will either short-cycle frequently or will start overheating. Such a combination of problems is not good for the life of the AC. Your AC is slowly and steadily running into the ground, eating into your pockets, and not doing much to improve comfort at home. So a wrong sized AC is a costly mistake.
3. Refrigerant Used Is Freon – If your AC uses “Freon” or “R-22” refrigerant, you may want to change your AC and upgrade to a better one. The main reason being that now there is a ban on its production due to its greenhouse effect. Freon is being phased out in stages. As of today, the prohibition extends to the import of the refrigerant as well. Only certified technicians can buy R-22, and even then, it is the reclaimed and recycled stock. Due to limited stocks, the price of the coolant has also increased tenfold. Therefore, topping up the coolant in your AC, which happens to be R-22, is way costlier than using another more environment-friendly refrigerant.
4. AC Less Than 13 SEER – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or the SEER rating is an important consideration while deciding to upgrade the air conditioner. In the United States of America, all air conditioner units manufactured after the year 2005 should have a minimum SEER rating of 13. The central air conditioners that are ENERGY STAR qualified should have a SEER rating of at least 14.5. The SEER rating of 16 is considered to be average. Due to advancements in compressor technologies, it is now possible to buy an AC with a SEER rating that goes as high as 20. In older air conditioners (more than a decade old), the SEER rating was very low, as low as 10 SEER. If you happen to be the owner of such a unit, you may want to think of upgrading.
5. Absence Of A Digital Thermostat – Technology has made life very easy, and there is no doubt about that. The digital and smart thermostats are a step further in the right direction. These allow the homeowners to program their thermostats to a different setting for different times of the day and different days of the week. So, in the mornings, when everybody is away from home, the thermostat will increase the temperature as per your setting. When its time for everyone to come back home, it will automatically lower the temperature to cool the house to a comfortable level. In the same manner on weekends, when everybody is at home, the thermostat program will guide the AC to work at a lower temperature throughout the day. There is no need to go and change the temperature settings on the thermostat continually. Instead, one program will take care of it all. If your AC is not compatible with a digital or smart thermostat, you may want to upgrade to a newer one.
6. AC More Than 10 Years Old – An AC that has already been running for the past 10 years is close to the end of its useful product life. Instead of waiting for it to shut down on you completely, be proactive, and think about replacing it. At least you will not have to suffer discomfort in the hot season when the AC goes belly up in the middle of it.
One can never pin-point the exact time when you will need to upgrade your air conditioner. Despite that, if your AC fulfills at least two of the above conditions, you have no choice but to buy a new one. And before doing that, always get the opinion of a trusted HVAC contractor.
The trained technicians at Aztil Air Conditioning can help the residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, tackle their heating and cooling problems. We can give your HVAC system a tune-up and also carry out repairs. To book an appointment, call +1-888-727-8452.
In the heat of summers, there’s nothing worse than an AC that does not cool properly. The work of an AC is to provide cooling, but if it is unable to do that satisfactorily, it means that there is something wrong. Finding out the possible reasons and rectifying them is the only solution that can give you comfort. Below is a list of reasons that could result in AC not cooling enough.
Top Reasons Behind AC Not Cooling Enough
It could either be one reason or a combination of two or more reasons that could be hampering the cooling efficiency of your AC. The best-case scenario is to call an HVAC technician to figure out all that is wrong. Without much ado here are the possible causes:
1. Overlooking Annual Maintenance – Most homeowners consider the annual maintenance of the `AC a wastage of time and money. What they don’t know is that AC maintenance can help recover some of the lost efficiency, and that includes the better cooling capability and not just savings in the energy bills. So if you are one of those who often or always forgo the annual AC maintenance, you do so at your own peril. Remember, without an ac tune-up, the air conditioner’s cooling ability will deteriorate with each passing year.
2. Dirty Air Filters – AC manufacturers and HVAC technicians always stress upon the need for periodically changing the air filters. Dirty or clogged air filters restrict the flow of air to and from the AC. As a result, cool air in sufficient quantity cannot enter your home. If you want your AC to cool optimally, you should ideally change the air filters every month. If that is not possible, try to do so at least once every 3 months.
3. Inadequate Refrigerant – The refrigerant is responsible for drawing out the heat from the air passing over the evaporator coils and cooling it. Sometimes due to corrosion, the coils become rusty and develop holes or cracks. The coolant or the refrigerant leaks out of these openings, and as a result, its level in the AC drops. When the refrigerant becomes insufficient, it hampers the performance of the AC. So the cooling that it renders is not enough. The HVAC technician can help you correct the issue by plugging all the sources of leaks and topping up the refrigerant to the requisite level.
4. Defect In Thermostat – AC not cooling enough does not always mean that something is wrong with the unit. Many times the problem could be a faulty thermostat. A thermostat consists of sensors that access the ambient temperature and instruct the compressor to begin or halt the cooling cycle. When the sensors get damaged, the thermostat is unable to judge the temperature correctly and, in turn, fails to send appropriate signals to the compressor. The consequence is that your AC cools the home erratically, and you get the feeling as if it is not cooling properly.
5. Fault In Compressor – The compressor is considered to be the heart of your AC. Without it, there will be no cooling. The work of the compressor is to compress the refrigerant and circulate it through the coils. When the compressor develops a fault, the cooling cycle does not initiate. In other words, the compressor does not start, and so the AC flops in providing adequate cooling. However, there could be other reasons preventing the compressor from starting like a tripped circuit breaker or some loose connection. Therefore, it is better to call an HVAC technician to figure out the real cause.
6. Undersized Air Conditioner – Some homeowners buy an AC without paying much attention to its size. Inadvertently, many commit the grave mistake of buying a small or undersized AC. It means that the AC you bought is too small to cool your home sufficiently. Consequently, when you switch it on, cooling leaves much to be desired. Prior to purchasing a new AC, ask your HVAC contractor to access your home and advice which size air conditioner will duly meet the cooling requirements of your home.
7. Air Conditioner Is Old – An old horse can only run so far. Your AC is aging, and so its performance is dropping. No amount of care and maintenance will make it perform like a brand new one. If your AC is around a decade old, you must seriously start thinking about replacing it. Be realistic for your AC is on the last leg of its journey. If you plan your finances carefully, you can buy a new one before the old one gives out completely. Insufficient cooling is just one way for your old AC to hint that its time for a replacement.
8. AC Not Installed Properly – The installation of AC is a tricky business. It has to be done just right so that it works optimally. In the long list of things to pay attention to the most critical ones are that it should be installed on level ground and preferably away from direct sunlight. Not meeting these conditions will have a negative impact on its cooling efficiency.
Other Reasons Behind AC Not Cooling Properly
Some other reasons for the AC not cooling properly are:
1. Incorrect thermostat settings.
2. Condenser unit blocked by bushes and shrubs.
3. Dirty coils are preventing the air from coming in contact with the cooling effects of the refrigerant.
4. Fault in the air conditioner remote.
5. AC fan setting may be on “Auto” instead of “On”.
Food For Thought
The summers are going to be scorching, and at such a time, you want your home to be nice and cool. You may be able to do your bit in making sure that the air conditioner cools your home to the best of its capability. But a technician you are not. So, if at any time you feel that there is something off about the cooling call in the experts.
Aztil Air Conditioning provides HVAC services in West Palm Beach, Florida. We have a team that consists of well-trained and experienced technicians. If you are facing any problems in connection with your heating and cooling system, call us at +1-888-729-8452. We are available 24/7 so that you don’t have to suffer any more than it takes for us to reach your home.
Let me begin by asking you a simple question – “Is getting the servicing of your car done worth it?”. If the answer to that question is “Yes”, you have your answer to the worth of AC tune-up fair and square. YES AC tune-up is worth every penny spent.
Myth Buster – AC Tune-Up Is NOT A MONEY MAKING GIMMICK
Many of us tend to think that HVAC contractors and technicians push for annual maintenance of the air conditioner as a money-making gimmick. They need business, and this is how they create it by scamming ignorant homeowners. First of all, not everybody wants to fleece you out of your hard-earned money. Yes, there are such people, but with a little vigilance on your part, you can easily discern them apart from the genuine ones.
Why Do AC Manufacturers And Technicians Lay Emphasis on AC Tune-Up?
Let’s go back to the old example of the car. After the servicing of your vehicle, you will notice that it gives better mileage, runs smoother, gives fewer troubles, and becomes more reliable. Well, the same is the case with the air conditioner. It runs non-stop over the summers to keep your home cool. This constant use results in definite wear and tear of internal components. It also reduces the energy-efficiency and drops the cooling capability as well. The next summer, if you switch on the AC without maintenance, it will start with the same load of troubles that began last summer and build on them until your unit breaks down.
If you want reliability, efficiency, and comfort, an annual AC tune-up is necessary. In fact, try to access its importance from the mere fact that most AC manufacturers consider the warranty on a new unit void if the homeowner fails to ensure its annual maintenance. That being said, all this stress on AC tune-up is because it helps bring to light all those little tells that can turn into major concerns if left unattended. Tightening the wires, lubricating the moving parts, cleaning out the units, checking the refrigerant levels, etc., are activities all aiming towards makings your air conditioner run longer and that too at optimum efficiency. Tune-up is one activity that ensures this and much more.
Consider These Benefits Of AC Tune-Up
The next time when somebody questions you about the worth of AC tune-up, tell them about these benefits.
1. Wear And Tear Issues Addressed – Moving parts suffer extensive wear and tear in the air conditioner due to continuous use. These parts need to be checked and lubricated so that friction does not cause more damage. Sometimes a little adjustment and tightening of loose parts may also be in order. As a part of AC tune-up, the technician will take care of all these small issues and make sure that the unit remains in top-notch condition.
2. Reduces Chances Of Breakdown – The comfort of your family is your prime concern, and in summers, that largely depends on how cool the home is. At the peak of the hot season, you want an AC that can be depended upon to give incessant cooling. AC maintenance ensures that there are minimal chances of any breakdown, and god forbid, but if one does happen, it is nothing major. The tune-up of your HVAC system will address all those aspects which can later develop into problems leading to major repairs or kill your machine entirely.
3. Reclaims Lost Energy Efficiency – Mile after mile when your vehicle runs, you will notice a definite drop in its mileage. To cover the same miles, the car or truck now needs more fuel. Exactly the same happens with the air conditioner. Constant use will drop its cooling efficiency, so much so that, after some time, it will need more power to perform the same amount of work. This results in bigger power bills, something that every homeowner wants to avoid. AC tune-up helps reclaim a large percentage of lost energy efficiency. Obviously, it cannot perform as brand new, but considering the age of your unit, it will give the best possible performance.
4. Increases The Life Of Your AC – It’s just like your body, the more you take care of it, the longer you will live. A well maintained AC will give far more years of service than one that suffers from neglect. An HVAC system is an expensive piece of equipment. So expensive that it is in your best interest to get maximum service from it. But if you don’t take care of it, the neglect will shorten its life expectancy. The end result is that you will have to buy a new AC system far quicker and even that will demand regular tune-up. So there is really no way out. The best you can do it take care of it by following all the instructions given in the manual and giving it every chance to work for as long as possible.
Disadvantages Of AC Tune-Up
Other than the money you shell out to pay for the maintenance, there is no disadvantage of AC tune-up. This is one activity that is bound to benefit you and your cooling unit alike.
Can AC Tune-Up Be A DIY Activity
Definitely NOT. This is one task that is best performed by trained, qualified, and experienced HVAC technicians. If you fit the bill only then, you can do it. Homeowners are usually not trained to handle such a job. They can do more harm to the unit than good. Therefore, you should refrain from tackling AC tune-up as a DIY activity.
Considering the cost of a new HVAC unit, the tune-up costs only a fraction. The benefits that the tune-up gives makes up for the money spent on it. You can easily recover the cost through the savings in the energy bills. So there is no valid reason for a homeowner to overlook the need for AC tune-up.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, you can contact the trained and experienced team of Aztil Air Conditioning to schedule the maintenance of your AC. You can also contact us 24/7 for any repairs that your AC might need. Call at +1-888-729-8452 and book your appointment today.