A common AC mistake committed by most homeowners is not scheduling their AC maintenance at the start of the summer season. They assume, since the air conditioner was working fine last summer, it will continue to do so. Seldom do they realize that the problem may have started brewing last season, and...
There is no shortage of products in the market today. Anything that you are looking for will have numerous options and variants. That being the root of all trouble because one tends to get confused and frustrated and lands up buying whatever looks good. Heating units are no different. With continuously evolving technology, so many options are now available that the choice becomes difficult. Nonetheless, for any homeowner, what is important is energy efficiency because, in the end, you have to pay the utility bills. A wrong choice will make your bills skyrocket.
Energy Efficiency First
If the truth be told, how well your home utilizes the output from the heating unit is more important than the unit itself. Let me take a moment to explain this fact. If the insulation inside the home is not proper, and gaps and cracks are imminent, it will be impossible to maintain a warm climate inside.
Prior to purchasing any heating system, seal your door, windows, floors, as well as the walls. You may need to make use of caulking and weather stripping in addition to insulation for a thorough job. In some cities, there are home energy auditors who can be of much help to you. These auditors are experts in identifying areas of your home, which is affected by air leakage or air drafts. These seemingly small steps go a long way in increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
Choosing The Best Heating Unit For Energy Efficiency
Here is a list of things to consider which will cut to the chase and make your job easy.
1. How’s The Climate – A large and highly efficient heating unit is needed if you stay in an extremely cold climate. On the other hand, in a temperate climate, you can even make do with a portable heater or a heating unit meant for a small area.
2. Area Of Home In Actual Use – If you have a big home, in which most of the rooms remain closed, you should choose a heating unit wherein open and close the heating vents as per choice. Essentially, what you need is an independent AC thermostat for each level of your home. It will allow you to switch on the heating only when needed.
3. Space Available For Installing Heating System – In a small home, space is limited, so installing a big furnace may not be possible. Similarly, in an apartment, the lack of a yard will give rise to the problem of installing the outdoor unit like a heat pump.
4. Availability And Cost Of Fuel – Electricity, natural gas, propane, wood, and heating oil are the common fule options. However, each has a separate price tag attached to it. Hence, you need to take into account the lifetime cost of running to make the correct decision.
5. Renewable Energy Heating Unit – Heating units that run on renewable energy may be highly-priced, but they have a lot many rebates and attached incentives. Your monthly utility bills will fall drastically, and the value of your home will increase dramatically.
The Best Heating Units For Energy Efficiency
1. Furnace & Boilers – With the newer models having an energy efficiency of 90% to 94%, these are supremely efficient. Furnaces and boilers are powered by some sort of fuel, and usually, that is natural gas, electricity, or fuel oil. A furnace will have its own duct system to blow warm air into your home, and the boiler will deliver hot water to your radiators and taps.
2. Heat Pumps – Today, heat pumps are one of the best options for heating homes as they don’t use any fossil fuel at all. These are of three types –
- Air Source – This type of heat pump draws out and captures the natural heat present in the air outside, concentrates it, and distributes it evenly inside the house through a network of ducts.
- Ground source – This type of heat pump works by drawing out the heat from the earth. It does so through pipes that are buried around 6 to 8 feet under the ground.
They trap the heat from the air or ground outside the home and distribute it inside. The heat pumps can give you cost savings of almost 50% in the form of reduced utility bills. In fact, they are known to dehumidify even better than the central air conditioners. The most commonly used type of heat pump is the air source. It is primarily because they are cheaper and easier to install than the ground source ones.
Solar Heating Systems – The most environment-friendly way to heat your home is using the sun’s abundant and free energy. The only requirement is that you should be living in a place that gets sunlight. So it’s not suitable for places with cold and cloudy winters. There are two types of solar heating systems –
- Solar Hot Air Heating – If you live in a temperate climate, this is the best secondary heat source that is not only effective but also energy efficient. Based on the certification that accompanies this system, you can get a federal rebate of up to 30%. With tremendous savings in monthly bills, it sure is an answer to all your prayers.
- Solar Thermal Heating – This system is not all that popular mainly because it is expensive and creates a lot of hot water, which, if not used, will get wasted. However, if you already have a forced-air and radiant floor baseboard system for hot water, it is the perfect way to upgrade.
Investing in a good heating unit is a must for every homeowner. Come winters, and you will realize precisely how important it is. Keeping your budget, home requirements, and fuel limitations in mind, you can make the best choice. All the information given above will not make you feel unknowledgeable anymore, and your dependency on others to make the decision for you will decrease. However, it is good to discuss your final choice with your HVAC partner and take their feedback on the same. If you have any queries, you can contact us anytime at Aztil AC.
Every home that has a central air conditioner or an HVAC has a thermostat. It is that small and sleek electronic device mounted on the wall from where you control the temperature inside your home. Being a device with wires and circuits, a thermostat can become faulty and malfunction. But when it does, how would you know? Well, that is the whole point of this post. A thermostat that has become faulty will not work as desired, and as a result, certain symptoms become noticeable. The symptoms of a bad thermostat are hard to ignore as they will interfere with your daily comfort level inside the house.
A thermostat is an electronic device for achieving the desired temperature inside the house. It allows homeowners to monitor the actual temperature by sensing it and regulates the heating and cooling AC equipment accordingly. A thermostat activates the air conditioner or a furnace when the indoor temperature reaches a fixed point. Once the desired temperature is reached, it circulates air until the connected equipment needs to kick in again.
Symptoms Of A Bad Home Thermostat
We spoke about the symptoms above; it’s time to see what they are. But before we do that, one small information that may come handy at some time. Usually, thermostats have a lifespan of around 10 years. If your home thermostat is nearing that time or has shot over it, you may want to think about replacing it. Coming back to the symptoms, here’s the list –
1. Thermostat Does Not Switch On – There is a display screen on every thermostat which shows the temperature setting. If the display screen is dead, it could indicate a fault. However, the screen may not be alive because the power supply to it has been cut or because its batteries are either too low or dead. Before assuming that the thermostat has malfunctioned, make sure that the power supply to it has not been switched off accidentally. While at it, you may want to check for loose connections inside the thermostat. Also, try changing the batteries. If neither trick works, you can assume the worst.
2. Air Conditioner Or Heater Does Not Start – There is a wire which connects the thermostat to the AC or the furnace. If this wire has come loose, the thermostat will not be able to regulate the temperature. Additionally, the sensors in the thermostat may be reading the temperature incorrectly. Due to this error, it does not send the required signal to the AC or the heater to cool or heat the room. In any case, the AC or the furnace will not kick in, and there will be no immediate respite. You cannot check out these problems on your own. Only a trained HVAC technician can do that for you.
3. AC Or Furnace Runs Constantly – An important job of the thermostat is to send the signal to the AC or the furnace when to switch off or cycle off. When the thermostat malfunctions, it is unable to send this signal. In the absence of the requisite trigger, the AC or the furnace works continuously and does not cycle off. The problem may arise because the wire that sends the signal is broken, or maybe the thermostat has not been calibrated correctly. Again, this is an issue that you cannot handle on your own and requires professional help.
4. Temperature Difference Throughout The Home – The thermostat maintains the same temperature throughout your home. When it develops a fault, you will notice that every room has a different temperature. Sometimes the variance may be subtle due to which you may not think about it. At other times the temperature may be glaringly different, making it hard to ignore. Now, such an occurrence does not always mean that your thermostat has gone bad. It may occur because the blower fan is sluggish, the air filters are dirty, or you may have unknowingly blocked the ducts with furniture or potted plants. To assume the worst in one go is foolhardy. First, ensure that the ducts are open and the air filters have been replaced. If it does not do the trick, call your local HVAC company to help you figure out the cause of the temperature difference.
Troubleshooting A Bad Thermostat
Here are a few things you can do on your own while troubleshooting a bad thermostat –
1. In winter, make sure that your thermostat is set on “Heat”, and in summers, it should be set on “Cool”.
2. If the AC or furnace is running continuously, it may be set on “ON”. Change the setting to “AUTO” so that the system blows air only when it is heating or Ac not cooling.
3. Turn the thermostat 5 degrees up in winters and 5 degrees down in summers. You should ideally hear a click followed by warm or cool air coming from the registers. If this does not happen, your thermostat has malfunctioned.
4. Replace the thermostat batteries often before they die out completely.
5. Take off the top cover of the thermostat and brush the inside lightly. Dust may have accumulated on the mechanical parts, making them unresponsive.
6. While the top cover is off, it would be a good time to check that all wires are intact and held in place. Tighten all loose cables.
A thermostat can go bad, but so can other components of your air conditioner and heater. Assuming that the root of the problem is the thermostat is not wise thinking. The problem may lie elsewhere. It is always better to get the opinion of your trusted HVAC technician. Since they are trained to handle all issues arising in your AC or furnace, they will look for all possibilities before passing judgment. On the other hand, due to your limited knowledge, you may overlook an important aspect. Technology does falter, and when it does, Aztil AC comes to your assistance. If you are a Florida homeowner, experiencing problems with your AC or heater, feel free to contact us anytime. Our team of elite professionals will get to your home and take care of everything.
When you have to speak louder in your home to be heard over the hum of your AC, your AC is making a lot of noise. Same way, if your sleep is disturbed by the noise emanating from the air conditioner, you have to do something to bring it down to tolerable levels. Arguably cooling your home should never be at the expense of peace and quiet. For a harmonious living, both are equally important. Thanks to modern technology, the newer models of air conditioners are quieter and more energy-efficient. But that does not mean you have to chuck your old AC and buy a new one. There is so much you can do to keep the noise levels down even with an older air conditioner model. Here are 5 ways in which you can reduce the AC noise and make it quieter.
5 Ways To Reduce AC Noise
Before starting, it is imperative to know that all ACs make some noise. It is usually a very low decibel sound, so low that most of the time, you won’t even notice it. Here, when we talk about making AC quieter, we are talking about sounds that are louder than that gentle hum, which the AC makes.
1. Maintenance Is The Key – Time, and again homeowners are reminded to take care of their AC through regular and periodic maintenance. Yet, most people think of it as a wasteful activity that serves no purpose and costs a pretty penny. The truth is that during the course of maintenance, most things that can produce extra noise are taken care of. You don’t even realize, and the problem is solved even before it becomes a full-fledged headache. Maintenance prevents most issues that could affect your AC. If you wait for the problem to rear its ugly head before addressing it, you may land up spending more than what you save avoiding maintenance. All in all, think of maintenance as a key to prevent problems from occurring. One of these problems could actually be a noisy AC.
2. Choose A Relatively Silent AC Model – Some of you already have air conditioners at home. So until you are planning to replace your older model, you can’t make an old but loud AC quiet. Your best option is to start on the right foot and purchase a new AC that makes the least possible sound during operation. When buying a new AC, pay special attention to its size. If you land up buying an oversized AC, it will frequently switch on and off, and every time it runs, it will do so on full speed. The difference in sound when it cycles on at full blast and switches off can become extremely distracting, especially when everything else is calm and quiet.
3. Choose Location With Care – When installing your central air conditioner, choose its location only after due consideration. Ideally, you should install your AC away from the rooms that you frequently use, for example, bedroom and living room. This will limit the amount of noise getting through. The greater the distance, the lesser the noise. Secondly, ducts should not open into narrow corridors. It is because the sound that travels down the ducts will resonate in the small space and become louder. Similarly, do not install the unit in corners with multiple surfaces. These surfaces will reflect the sound and amplify it. Also, try to install it away from doors and windows. This small care will prevent your AC from cycling on and off frequently, thereby reducing noisy interruptions.
4. Use Noise Barriers – Have you ever felt that the noise level in an area full of plants and vegetation is relatively low as compared to one which is sparsely green? It is because plants act as a natural noise barrier. You can place beautiful ornamental and aesthetically pleasing plants inside your home for the same outcome. This doesn’t mean you have to make your home a green potted jungle. A few plants strategically placed will render the same service. Wood is also known to absorb sound. You can build a suitable tall wooden fence around the AC unit to reduce sound. There are two key elements in reducing the sound level. First, the sound barrier should be as tall as the AC unit. Second, it needs to be placed strategically placed. If care is not taken while placing the sound barrier, it may land up amplifying the sound.
5. Install A Sound Blanket – Also known as sound curtains, the sound blankets are used to absorb the sound or noise produced from a piece of outdoor machinery or AC equipment. Usually, it is made up of fiberglass with a vinyl facing. These blankets are wrapped around the machinery to keep the noise level low. A sound blanket can be installed around the air conditioner’s compressor. The good thing is that it leads to effective noise reduction without compromising the efficiency of the AC and that too at a suitable price.
Noise Troubleshooting In AC
The sound coming from AC should be a bearable hum. If until now your AC was relatively quiet but has now suddenly started being loud, it means there is something wrong. Anything louder is an indication of a problem in the machinery. At such times, the above ways to reduce AC noise will not be effective. Until and unless the issue is appropriately addressed, the noise is there to stay. It may even increase further. To prevent that from happening, call a qualified AC technician to have a look and rectify the occurrence. Once the problem is solved, you can apply the above methods for further noise reduction.
Modern air conditioners are made to operate almost silently. If you have an old AC, it would be better to replace it instead of applying noise reduction tactics. If your AC is new, it should not produce much sound until there is something wrong with the machinery, or it is installed incorrectly. Both of these things are not in your control. All you can do at your end is buy an AC of a trusted brand and get it installed by qualified technicians only. If you still face any problem, feel free to contact the elite professional team of Aztil AC.
Today’s air conditioners are intelligent and require minimum human intervention to perform efficiently. In a bid to automatically get rid of all the moisture that accumulates over the evaporator coils, a drip pan is provided. Usually, there are two drip pans in an air conditioner – primary and secondary or auxiliary. The primary pan is fixed in place and cannot be removed. Hence, replacing it is a bit tricky. On the other hand, the secondary pan is easily accessible and can be replaced with much trouble
How Can I Find The Drip Pan?
If you are a novice and don’t know much about ACs, this is the most logical question you would ask. You need to take off the front grille or the access panel of the AC to see the drip pan. Directly behind the front grille are the evaporator coils, and right underneath it is the drip pan. Ideally, it is a tray-like structure with a tube attached to it for draining the collected water.
When To Replace The Drip Pan
If your drip pan has developed leaks, it needs to be replaced. Holes and cracks appear in the pan due to aging and corrosion. Due to this, the moisture that accumulates in it does not drain effectively through the attached drain pipe. Instead, it drips down and causes water seepage in the walls and puddles on the floor. On its own, it may not look like a big issue, but continuous dampness will propagate mold growth and may also spoil your woodwork. After some time, even the air will start smelling musty instead of fresh and clean.
Things You Need While Replacing Drip Pan
Here are a few things you should keep handy while replacing a drip pan –
- The new replacement drip pan.
- Rags to mop up and spills.
How To Replace An Air Conditioner Drip Pan
As stated above, there are two drip pans in an AC – a primary and an auxiliary drip pan. Therefore, we shall learn how to replace them separately to avoid any confusion.
Replacing The Primary Drip Pan – The primary drip pan is fixed in place and so a little complicated to replace. With the right tools and adequate knowledge, you can do a decent job of replacing it correctly.
Step 1 – Cut the power supply to your air conditioner. Whenever carrying out any repairs on electricals, it is imperative that you begin by disconnecting the power supply to it. You will at least not have to worry about getting a shock due to a mistake or sheer carelessness.
Step 2 – Remove the hatch or the access panel to expose the coils and the drip pan.
Step 3 – Closely examine the drip pan to see how it is attached in place. It may be held in place by screws or clips. The good news is that if it is held by screws or clips, you can replace the pan. The bad news is, if it is welded in place, there’s nothing you can do about it. Your only option, in this case, is to call the HVAC technician and let them take care of it.
Step 4 – If the drip pan is attached with screws and clips, begin by disconnecting the drain line. You can use either pliers or a wrench to disconnect the drain line where it connects with the drip pan.
Step 5 – Unscrew or unclip the drip pan and slowly slide it out. There could be mold inside the drip pan, so refrain from touching inside. Even better is to wear gloves so that there is no way your skin comes in direct contact with the mold.
Step 6 – Gently slide in the new drip pan and screw it back in or clip it on as the case may be. Reattach the drain line, and you are almost done.
Step 7 – Replace the access panel and flip on the power supply.
Replacing The Secondary Drip Pan – Replacing the auxiliary drip pan is relatively easy as it is rarely screwed in place.
Step 1 – Repeat steps 1 & 2, as mentioned above. The power supply needs to be cut, and the access panel taken off.
Step 2 – The secondary pan can be found at the bottom of the AC unit. Disconnect the drain line attached to it.
Step 3 – This pan is usually not fastened in place, but it is always better to make sure as that may not be standard practice. If there are no screws or clips, slide it out. However, if it is fastened in place, unscrew or unclip it and gently slide out the pan.
Step 4 – Insert the new drip pan and attach the drainpipe to it.
Step 5 – Replace the access panel and reconnect the power supply.
You are all done now. Sit back and relax in the nice cool air of your air conditioning.
Tips While Replacing An Air Conditioner Drip Pan
Here are a few tips which will save the day when it comes to replacing drip pans.
1. Take a pic and measurement of your old drip pan. This information will come handy when you buy its replacement.
2. Take a pic of how the drip pan is inserted and held in place inside the AC. It will help you tremendously when you replace it with a new one.
3. Wear gloves and old clothes so that you are adequately covered and do not spoil your regular clothes.
4. When unscrewing, keep all the screws safely in a small bad or dish so that you don’t lose them.
Once you are done replacing your old cracked drip pan with a new one, you need to clean the mess you leave behind. Accidents happen because somebody slipped over a spill; you did not mop up or went sliding over a screw that came underfoot. With due care, you can replace your air conditioners drip pan without any help. At the end of the day, the satisfaction of a job well done will make you feel that you accomplished something worthwhile and also save you the technician’s fee.
Have you ever noticed how, during summers, condensate forms outside the glass holding a chilled drink? Something like this happens in your AC when warm and moist air passes over the cold evaporator coils. In the case of glass, you just wipe the water that accumulates on the surface where it is kept. However, in the case of your air conditioner, you cannot do that. Else, the whole day, every few minutes, you will switch off your AC open the panel and mop up the moisture. Just when you thought of relaxing in the cold air, you landed up creating more work for yourself. Nonetheless, it is not even feasible to do so. On top of it, modern technology is here to save us time and energy, and that is why all ACs come equipped with a drain pan.
The Drip Pan
The drip pan is usually located just under the evaporator coils. Due to gravity, all the moisture that condenses on the evaporator coil falls into the drip pan. The drain line attached to the drip pan pours all the water in the drip pan outdoors. So, your walls don’t become wet, and also there are no puddles of water inside the house.
Cracks In The Drip Pan
With the passage of time, even the drip pan wears out and develops cracks and holes. When that happens, the water does not stay contained anymore. Instead, it drips down the walls and causes puddles and dampness.
The Best Option
When the drip pan develops holes and cracks, your best option is to replace it. For some reason, if you cannot do that, your next best option is to repair the existing one. But do you know how to fix a cracked AC drip pan or how to repair an air conditioner drip pan? If not, here’s what you need to know about it.
Inspecting The Drain Pan
In order to detect the cracks, you need to first inspect the drain pan. To detect the cracks, you need a good flashlight and around a gallon of water. Begin by switching off the power supply to your AC. Then, take off the access panel. Locate the drip pan; it should be right under the evaporator coils or the air handler. Switch on your flashlight for clear visibility and pour a gallon of water at a steady pace into the pan and observe its flow. If the crack or cracks are small, the water will drip down drop by drop, and if the crack is big, it may flow down in a stream. In case there are no cracks, the water will drain freely through the PVC drain line.
Things You Need To Fix A Cracked AC Drip Pan
Here is a list of things you would need to repair an air conditioner drip pan –
1.Water-resistant sealant or glue.
2.Wet vacuum cleaner.
How To Repair An Air Conditioner Drip Pan
Now that you have detected where the cracks are, its time to fix them. To be on the safe side, while inspecting outline the cracks with a good marker. Now, let’s begin –
Step 1 – Turn The Power Off – Whenever working with electronic equipment, you need to first and foremost turn the power OFF. To do that, locate the circuit breaker for your AC and push it to the OFF position. If you cannot locate the correct circuit breaker, you can turn the main power source to OFF. In either case, the power supply to the AC will be cut, and you can start with the repair work.
Step 2 – Remove Access Panel & Expose Drip Pan – There are two drip pans in an AC. A primary one and a secondary one. The primary pan is under the evaporator coil and permanently fixed. If the crack is in this pan, you will have to work with it still attached to the AC. Mop up all the water inside the pan with a rag or with the help of a wet vacuum to get rid of excess moisture.
The secondary pan is at the bottom of the machine. If the cracks are in the secondary pan, remove it from its nesting place and drain all the water inside it.
Step 3 – Seal The Cracks – You had marked the cracks while inspecting the drip pan, its time to seal them. Use a good quality water-resistant sealant to patch up the cracks. Sand down the area around the crack with fine grain sandpaper. It will help the glue to adhere better. Apply the sealant on both sides with a steady hand and allow it to cure for at least two hours. After two hours, the sealant would have hardened adequately. Now would be the best time to sand down the excess sealant for a smooth finish.
Step 4 – Test The Repair – The best way to test the repair is the same manner in which you inspected for cracks in the first place. Repeat the process to test how well the sealant holds. You could also test the job by switching on the power supply to the AC and allowing it to run for a few hours. It is entirely your choice how you want to verify a patch-up job well done.
Step 5 – Replace The Access Panel & Switch On Power – If everything looks fine, close the access panel and switch ON the power supply to the AC. Now sit back and enjoy the labors of your hard work.
In The End
If you have read the above post diligently, you will realize that fixing a cracked drip pan is not a challenging job. It is something you can do yourself with minimum assistance. However, we would still like to stress that replacing a drip pan is better than repairing it. Also, in spite of knowing that you can easily fix the drip pan in your AC if you still want someone else to take care of the job, feel free to contact us anytime.
When the temperatures soar, and the heat is at its peak, your home becomes your haven. Stepping out into the sun becomes the last option, and your air conditioner becomes your best friend. If you don’t have an air conditioner, you must be thinking about buying a new one. If your AC is old, you must be thinking about replacing it. However, buying a new AC not as simple as going to the market and buying whatever the store owner recommends. Neither is it as easy as ordering the one that takes your fancy online. There are a few factors that need to be kept in mind when deciding which one to buy. So, we make your task easy and provide you with a few tips for buying a new air conditioning unit in Florida.
Why Are These Tips Important
Buying a new AC and getting it installed is a heavy expense. You would naturally want to get it right in the very first go. Paying attention to our tips will prevent you from making an expensive mistake. Since most of us are not technically oriented, these tips will enhance your knowledge and help you in making the most appropriate decision.
Tips For Buying A New Air Conditioning Unit In Florida
1.Get Your Home Sized To Know Your AC Capacity – The tonnage or the capacity of the AC depends on the size of your home. You cannot randomly pick one because it puts your chances of getting it right 50-50. If you get it right, no harm done. However, if you get it wrong, your house will either not cool effectively, or your electricity bills will increase dramatically. There are online calculators available online, which can help you calculate the size of your AC. As a professional AC company, we still recommend using the services of a professional instead of depending on the online calculator. The professional does this job day in and day out, so he is well versed in how to do it correctly. On the other hand, if you make even a small mistake in measuring your rooms, you could land up with either an over sized or an undersized AC unit.
2.Pay Attention To SEER Rating – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, that’s what SEER stands for. It tells you how efficient your AC is. The more efficient the AC, the lesser is the electricity bill. In short, the higher the SEER rating of your air conditioner, the more energy efficient it turns out to be. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has mandated that the minimum SEER rating has to be at least 13. Most modern home air conditioners have a SEER rating between 13 to 21. If you are purchasing a new AC, it is better to buy one with as high an energy efficiency as possible within your budget.
3.Ask About The Type Of Refrigerant Used – The refrigerant that flows inside the evaporator coils is very important. Due to the negative impact on the environment, some refrigerants are slowly and steadily being phased out. Make sure that your new AC does not use any of these banned refrigerants. Most importantly, it should not use R-22 or “Freon”. Belonging to the group of chlorofluorocarbons, it is extremely harmful to the ozone layer and hence, not being produced anymore. Only recycled R-22 is available in the market and that too at a very steep price.
4.Pay Attention To The Compressor – Compressor is what starts the cooling process. Without the compressor, there will be no cooling. Ideally, there is a choice between two types of compressors. These are – single-stage & two-stage. As is clear from the name itself, a single-stage compressor runs at one speed only, and that is full blast. If the room requires less air to cool, even then it will run with full speed, and that results in high electricity bills. Consequently, for your home, you should look for a two-stage compressor as it cycles from high to low as per the requirement. Typically it runs on low speed only and hence, keeps the electricity bill in check.
5.Consider Buying Direct – Yes, you can buy your new AC direct as well. AC manufacturers do not want the customers to try and install the air conditioner on their own. It is primarily because, as a DIY, it is a dangerous job, and you can land up hurting yourself. When you buy an AC from the HVAC retailer, you can take advantage of substantive cost-saving opportunities. Not only that, but they will also take care of the installation, so you need not worry about getting it delivered and set-up. While buying direct, pay special attention to the fact that you purchase only from a licensed distributor and get it installed by a licensed HVAC contractor only.
6.Ask About Warranty And What Renders It Void – When it comes to warranties, there are many pitfalls. Be sure to ask about all those situations which could render the warrant on your new air conditioner void. Knowing about them beforehand will help you avoid those common situations. Many times we forget to ask about all these concerns. As a customer, you have every right to ask as many questions as come to your mind until you are completely satisfied. In the long run, these questions give you a fair idea of what to expect from your AC and how to take care of its upkeep.
Food For Thought
In spite of all good intentions, we do tend to forget many things. When buying new AC, don’t make any decision within a day. First, speak to your HVAC technician and ask for recommendations. Next, explore all the options available at your disposal. Study the pros and cons of each against your requirements and budget. Finally, make your choice. If possible, discuss your final choice with the technician before actually purchasing your new AC. If you live in Florida and are thinking about buying a new AC, feel free to contact us anytime. We will be glad to help you make this important decision.
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. The AC takes care of the cooling while the furnace takes care of the heating. Sometimes it is also referred to as the boiler. A furnace is largely used during winters, and in summers, it works alongside the central air conditioner. Clearly, one cannot live without the furnace when it is used throughout the year. Consequently, today, we shall tell you more about the warning signs that indicate you need to replace your old furnace. Being prepared will make the purchase decision easier and also help you take action in time.
Top Warning Signs That You Need To Replace Your Old Furnace
Any, one sign on its own may not be enough to declare your old furnace on the verge of going belly up. On the other hand, if you see or experience two or more of these symptoms, you may not be wrong in assuming so.
1. Furnace More Than 15 to 20 Years Old – Logically, if the furnace is already 15 to 20 years old, it is towards the end of its productive life. At such a time, you should not think too much about writing off the old furnace. If not immediately, it will become obsolete in another year or two. Replace the furnace as a planned event instead of a moment of panic.
2 .Frequent Repairs – If you have noticed that your furnace has been demanding more repairs since the last year in spite of regular maintenance, it could be indicative of your furnace nearing its end. While the repairs themselves may not be costly, but with age, obtaining the replacement parts will become harder and more expensive. So, you need to keep an eye on how often the furnace breaks down and whether the frequency is more as compared to the previous year. If the frequency is increasing, add up the cost of repairs undertaken in the past two years and evaluate whether purchasing a new furnace makes more sense.
3. Increase In Electricity Bill – As the furnace becomes older, its efficiency decreases. It starts consuming more power for performing the same level of work. As a result, there will be a steep rise in your utility bills, namely, gas and electricity. When the furnace is on its last leg, the increase in the heating bill is sharp and steady. It usually happens because the internal parts wear out and are no longer capable of working to their full capacity.
4. Strange Noises Emanating From The Furnace – When machinery is new, it runs smoothly and works silently. As it ages, it starts making noises. At first, they are low intensity, but slowly and steadily, the intensity of these noises increases so much so that they become hard to ignore. With age and steady use, various parts inside the furnace suffer from wear and tear due to which it starts making rattling, popping, squealing, or banging sounds.
5. Thermostat Unable To Maintain Comfortable Temperature – After every few days, you feel that the temperature inside the home is not the same everywhere. Some rooms are cooler than the others, or the distribution of heat is not proper. In such a case, you are repeatedly forced to fiddle with the thermostat to heat your home adequately. This is an indication that the furnace has lost the ability to distribute warm air efficiently.
6. Burner Flame Turns Yellow – When the furnace burns the fuel cleanly, its flame is blue in color. However, when the color of the flame turns yellow, it means that your furnace is unable to do so anymore. In some cases, it is representative of carbon monoxide being produced, incomplete or partial combustion, and/or leaking gas. Since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless toxic gas, any exposure to it becomes a health hazard. The important question is, how would you come to know if your furnace is producing this deadly gas? If there are lines of soot around the furnace, no upward draft can be seen in the chimney, there is more than average moisture on the cold surfaces in the home, and signs of rust appear on the flue pipes; it indicates that your furnace may be producing carbon monoxide. If you suspect this, turn
7. Home Feels Stale And Unhealthy – When the furnace is old, and on the last leg of its journey, it is unable to clean the air in your home and keep it sufficiently moist. As a result, your home feels stale, stuffy, and excessively dry. In addition to that, you will notice more dust gets accumulated inside the house, an increase in the number of static shocks, and plants will not look fresh and vibrant anymore. The discomfort is not just limited to just these. An old furnace will have a negative impact on the health of the family as well. You will notice that the members of your family suffer from airborne allergies increasingly, they will regularly complain about dry nose and skin dryness. Also, their throats will feel scratchy and itchy more often.
When To Replace The Furnace
If your furnace is more than 15 years old, the wisest choice is to buy a new one. Other than that, if you notice a combination of two or three or more of the above symptoms, it is best to call a trusted HVAC technician to access the situation and give the accurate picture. Based on what the technician advises, you can take the next step. If in doubt, call for a second opinion before making a final decision.
An old and aging furnace becomes a nuisance as well as a health hazard. Though replacing it is a big financial decision, but in the long run, it may be the best solution. When you decide to buy a new furnace, purchase from a trusted brand, and buy the latest technology. If you get confused with the choices, you can ask for a recommendation from your AC service company.
There are times when you feel that each room in your home has a different temperature. Some places or corners in your home will be way cooler or warmer than others. These are the hot and cold spots we are talking about. Ideally, your entire home should have the same temperature, but that isn’t the case with yours. It is all about air balancing. Through this post, we shall tell you more about air balancing and 5 ways to avoid hot and cold spots.
Air balancing is all about proper air circulation. It is the process through which the air coming from the air conditioner is tested and adjusted to distribute the right amount of air in each and every room of your home. Usually, this is a task performed by the AC technician. They have special skills and the necessary tools to measure the air intake and output of your AC and adjust it as per the requirement.
Why Is Air Balancing Necessary
Air balancing is necessary to maintain the same temperature throughout your home. It ensures the comfort of the residents and also guarantees operational efficiency.
What Causes Hot And Cold Spots
Primarily there are two causes of hot and cold spots. These are –
1. The Manner In Which The House Is Built – This refers to the actual physical structure of the home. It includes –
The number and placement of doors and windows.
Quantity and quality of the insulation used in the house.
How much of the sun hits your home directly.
The floor plan
2. The Manner In Which The Ductwork Is Installed – If your ductwork is installed properly, it will ensure equal circulation of air everywhere inside your home. Any faults in the ductwork and you will experience hot and cold spots.
5 Ways To Avoid Hot And Cold Spots
Here are 5 cool ways in which you can easily get rid of hot and cold spots in your home. These hacks do not require any special skills and hence, can be done even by the homeowners without taking outside help.
1. Install Window Coverings Or Drapes – Around 75% of the sunlight that falls on the windows transforms into heat. If the windows are left uncovered, your home warms up much faster. In summers, it is best to cover the windows with blinds, shades, or heavy drapes. In winter, when you want a warm and cozy home, you can leave them open in the mornings and close them as the evening descends. Window coverings increase the energy efficiency of your air conditioner and cool the house a lot quicker.
2. Adjust The Speed Of The Ceiling Fan – In summers, switch on the ceiling fan at maximum speed. This will disperse all the warm air that rises to the top and allow cool air to take its place. The overall temperature inside will become cool and comfortable relatively faster. On the other hand, in winters, if needed, switch on the ceiling fan on the lowest speed setting. This will allow even distribution of warm air throughout the room.
3. Open Or Close Registers As Required – The registers usually have a damper blade that can be moved as per convenience. Any movement in the damper blade will impact the flow of air along with the direction of flow. An important thing to remember is that never close the vents completely at any time as it can as it could result in problems with your HVAC system. The best practice is to completely open the registers on the upper floor of your home and partially close the ones on the ground floor, during summers. In winters, just reverse the process for maximum comfort.
4. Set Temperature At 2 Degree Offset – Most homes have a ground floor and the first floor. The first floor receives direct sunlight on the roof and is relatively warmer than the ground floor. Therefore, in summers set the temperature for the upper floor at 2 degrees cooler than the ground floor. In winters, set the temperature of the ground floor at 2 degrees warmer than the upper floor. This will ensure even cooling and heating of both the floor so that you don’t feel any difference in temperature.
5. Check For Drafts – If your home is centrally heated and cooled, it is necessary to ensure that no outside air can enter inside. It means that your home needs to be sealed properly. Ideally, the points of the draft would be the doors and windows. So you need to check these minutely for any gaps or cracks through which outside air is entering your home. Once you find them, you can either seal them yourself or get professional help to do so.
Bonus Tips To Get Rid Of Hot And Cold Spots
1. Change the thermostat fan setting from “Auto” to “On”.
2. Move all furniture, plants, and appliances that may be blocking the vents and registers.
3. Change the air filters regularly for unrestricted flow of air.
When To Call For Professional Help
Once you have exhausted your repertoire of DIY checks and yet the hot and cold spots remain constant, you have to call the experts. The problem could range from faulty ductwork to improper insulation. Sometimes it may be that the blower fan speed has to be adjusted or simply that your AC is not sized correctly. However, these are issues that you cannot judge on your own. Only an expert has the knowledge and skill to tackle them and provide the appropriate solutions.
In The End
If you have a sound HVAC system and have taken due care in its installation, your home should maintain the same temperature in every room and corner. If you still face any problems, you can try the air balancing tips mentioned above. They will go a long way in reducing the discomfort you might experience due to the hot and cold spots inside the home. When nothing works, call the experts at Aztil AC to take care of things and make your life easy.
A thermostat is critical to maintaining the desired temperature in your home because this sophisticated device manages the cooling and heating. Basically, it reads or senses the temperature inside your home and adjusts it as per your need. What would happen if the thermostat stops working? Your heating or cooling system will no more be able to read the physical temperature of the surroundings and adjust it as per your setting. In short, your home will reflect the same temperature as outdoors, and your hopes for a pleasant time will be dashed. If the thermostat is not working, it is not the end of the world. Until the problem is too serious, you can fix it yourself.
AC Thermostat Not Working
When the AC thermostat stops working mostly, it will not be accompanied by sparks, smoke, or fire. It will just be a subtle shutdown where the display screen goes blank. When the display goes blank, the thermostat is unable to signal the AC to cycle on. As a result, the compressor does not kick in, and there is no cooling or heating.
Signs Of AC Thermostat Not Working
The most common symptoms of thermostat not working are –
1. Your living space is warmer or cooler than the temperature you set.
2. The AC short cycles often.
3. The thermostat display unit is blank.
4. Your AC is not working.
How To Fix It Yourself
Before calling the HVAC technician, here are a few things that you can do –
1. Check For Tripped Breaker Or Blown Fuse – The first thing to check is whether the thermostat is receiving power or not. For this, you will have to check in the fuse box or the main electrical panel. If the circuit breaker is tripped, push it back in the proper position. If the fuse is blown, you will have to replace the fuse wire or the entire fuse. Both these jobs can be performed by you.
2. Low Or Dead Batteries – Some thermostats use batteries as the power source. If your thermostat uses batteries, it may be time to change them. With constant use, the battery charge may have dropped drastically, or it could be completely dead. Replace the old batteries with new ones of the same power.
3. Check For Buildup And Debris In The Thermostat – Once you are sure that the thermostat is receiving power, its time to inspect the inner components. Shut down the thermostat breaker and unscrew or take off its front panel. Check for any sort of buildup on the electrical and mechanical components. It could include dust, grime, soot, or dirt. Use a soft brush or canned compressed air to get rid of these unwanted particles.
4. Check For Loose Wires And Corrosion – Now that the front panel is open, you might as well check for any loose connections or signs of corrosion on the terminals. If there are any loose wires, tighten them. If a wire is hanging free, you can use the wiring schematic in the owner’s manual to fix it to the correct location. In case there is corrosion on terminals, use a terminal cleaner to clean them.
How An HVAC Technician Can Help Fix Faulty Thermostat
An AC technician is the most skilled and knowledgeable person who can help you with any type of AC problems, including west palm beach AC thermostat not working. In addition to performing all the above checks, they can also look for bigger problems like –
1. Poor Installation – Temperature discrepancies can arise if the thermostat is not installed properly. The thermostat should not be located in direct sunlight or any other sources of heat or draft. Similarly, it should be fixed and tightened suitable so that it does not hang at an angle or move with the slightest bump. A technician is the best judge for deciding the location of the thermostat. You can give them your preference but go with their wisdom. It will save you from such issues later.
2. Stuck Heat Anticipator – Heat anticipator is a small metal arm that rests on a circular dial. If this arm is stuck in one position, it will not allow the thermostat to work correctly. If your thermostat is a mechanical model, this might be the cause of the problem. A technician can fix this problem with ease as they know what the arm looks like and hence, leave no room for error.
3. Poorly Calibrated Anticipator – If the anticipator is poorly calibrated, it will result in short cycles or continuous running. This is an issue that can be best handled by the HVAC technician as it involves constant adjustments until you see the desired improvement.
4. Dead Thermostat – The thermostat could actually be dead and beyond repair. However, this is something that only a trained technician can confirm. You cannot simply assume it to be so. Once the technician confirms that the thermostat is dead, it will have to be replaced with a new one. Again, the new thermostat has to be installed properly with all the appropriate connections. You will find no better person to do this job than your local HVAC technician.
When To Call The Technician
When to call the HVAC technician is ultimately your call to make. If you are not comfortable with any aspect of the fixes mentioned above that can be performed by you, call the technician. However, if you can do some of the preliminary checks, do them before calling the technician. If there is an obvious problem, you can locate it yourself and save the technician’s fee. When in doubt, ask your trusted technician to come and have a look at things.
Thermostat problems can happen anytime and with anyone. Minor issues can be fixed without breaking a sweat by yourself. Panicking and assuming the worst may be to your detriment. If you are not comfortable handling the problem, you need not feel pressured to take care of things. Keep calm and call Aztil AC to ward off all your AC troubles. We take good care of your air conditioner so that you can enjoy your life in peace.
As the mercury rises, the coolness of your home beckons. Rushing through the heavy traffic, you reach home, hoping for some respite from the sweltering heat. Obviously, the first thing you do is dump your bag and switch on the AC. The lights blink on, and the AC hums in agreement, but no cool air blows out. That’s when you realize that your air conditioner is working but ac not cooling. Frustrated and angry, you may feel like beating some sense into it, but hold yourself back. Your AC equipment that needs a little attention now and then.
What To Do Before Calling The Technician
Every time this happens, you need not call the AC technician immediately. A few checks you can do on your own and save the technician fees.
1. Dirty Air Filters – Your AC draws in air, cools it, and then circulates it throughout the home. When the air filters become dirty, your AC is unable to draw in air in adequate quantity. As the airflow is restricted, the ac cooling capacity of the AC gets compromised. Frequently changing the air filters ensures that the airflow is smooth and without interruptions.
2. Blocked Vents – Cool air from the AC blows inside the home through the vents. Vents are strategically designed for maximum efficiency. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the vent is unnecessary and close it. This will impact the flow of cool air. You may also block the vents accidentally by placing furniture in front of it. So, check to make sure that the air vents are not closed or blocked.
3. Incorrect Thermostat Setting – By mistake, the thermostat setting may have been changed by somebody in the house. As a result, the AC would be reading your home as sufficiently cool while it is not really so. Check the thermostat and correct its setting if necessary.
4. Dirty Outdoor Unit – the cleanliness of the outdoor unit is equally important. If the outdoor unit is not clean, it will heat your AC and put it under extreme stress. In such a case, the ac cooling will be impacted. Keeping the outside AC unit will improve cooling inside the home as well.
5. Tripped Circuit Breaker – In a split AC, there are two units, the indoor and the outdoor unit. Each of these units has an independent circuit breaker. There is a big chance that one of these circuit breakers has tripped. If that be the case, all you need to do is correct the situation.
What To Do If The Problem Is Bigger
You have done all that you could at your end to improve the cooling in your home. But alas, nothing seems to work. The problem is bigger and out of your scope. You are left with no option so call an HVAC technician. The probable issues could be –
1. Refrigerant Leak – When the AC is low on refrigerant, it does not cool the home sufficiently. The only way that the refrigerant level can drop is when there is a leak in the AC. The technician will have to find the source of the leak, seal it and then top up the refrigerant.
2. Leaking Ducts – The ducts in your home, too, are susceptible to developing leaks. This usually happens due to wear and tear and sometimes due to pesky rodents. Whatever be the reason these leaks need to be fixed. It is because hot and humid air from the attic enters the ducts through these points of leak and increase the temperature of the cold air entering your home.
3. Faulty Compressor – The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant. If there is a problem with the compressor, it will not pump the refrigerant as it ideally should. Unfortunately, the compressor is hermetically sealed and, as such, cannot be opened and any fault it will have to be replaced completely.
4. Fan Problems – Possibly, the fan in your AC is not moving as freely as it should. This could be indicative of motor problems or some blockage restricting smooth movement. No matter the core of the reason, a trained and experienced technician should look at it to implement corrective action.
5. Undersized AC – When you purchased a new AC, you forgot the importance of size. In the end, you bought an AC which was too small for your home. An undersized AC will not cool your home as effectively as a correctly sized AC. When purchasing a new AC, always ask an HVAC professional to first measure your home and then advice about the appropriate size. Even when you make modifications to the existing structure of your home, you need to access the size of your AC. Your old AC may now be too small to cool your better and upgraded home.
Professional Help Is Always Better
Your air conditioner is working but ac not cooling. It could also be a combined effect of two or more problems listed above. If that is the case, only a professional HVAC technician can thoroughly check your system to eliminate all possibilities. Do not make the mistake of trying to save a few bucks because any problem left unattended can aggravate the situation. In the end, these few bucks could make a difference in the longevity of your air conditioner’s life or buying a new one. You do the math yourself about the better option.
If you have taken care to invest in the maintenance of your air conditioner, the chances are that any problem would be a relatively small one. Having said that, an AC is still a piece of sophisticated electrical equipment. Your knowledge about its working is limited. When you are limited by knowledge, it is in your best interest to take professional help. At least you will get a proper solution to the problem. When your air conditioner is working but not cooling, first check for dirty air filters, tripped circuit breaker, and such. If you find no issues at first glance, call the big guns.
When the humidity is high, you feel hot and sultry even in a cool environment. In such weather, you think that the best place to be is indoors where the climate is controlled. Did you know that the humidity or moisture in the air affects the performance of your HVAC? If not, there is no need to feel ashamed. The aim of this post is to help you understand a bit more about the effects of humidity on HVAC performance.
When the humidity inside the home is too high or too low, attaining the best possible comfort indoors is not easy. The good news is that most modern HVAC systems have an inbuilt dehumidification mechanism that keeps a check on the relative humidity. The relative humidity is the amount of moisture present in the air as compared to how much it can ideally hold at that specific temperature.
Sensible Heating And Cooling vs. Latent Heating And Cooling
There are two ways in which the HVAC systems cool the air –
1.By raising or lowering the actual temperature. This is known as sensible cooling or heating, as the case may be. It is most beneficial in a dry climate when no dehumidification is required.
2.By getting rid of the moisture in the air. This is known as latent cooling or heating. It is most beneficial when the humidity levels are high. However, you may need to adjust the actual temperature to regulate the “feels like” temperature.
How Humidity Affects HVAC Performance
Your central air conditioner removes not only heat but also moisture from the air inside the home. It works longer and harder when the humidity is high to maintain a comfortable temperature. If, however, the cooling capacity of the unit is not good, it will never cope well in excessive humidity. Similarly, it will be ineffective if it is a system of the wrong size or an old unit.
An important fact is that an oversized AC will not necessarily give the cooling that you desired. Not only that, but it will also increase your electricity bill and also add to the wear and tear of the machinery. An HVAC system can provide adequate humidity control only when it is properly sized for your home and that too by a professional.
Some signs of high humidity inside the house are –
1.Sultry and sweaty feeling even when inside the house,
2.A musty odor bordering on unpleasant in your home.
3.Fogging up of windows.
HVAC Humidity Control
We have spoken that the HVAC unit controls humidity. It’s time to learn how it does so.
The work of a compressor is to cool the air. As the air inside the home reaches the desired temperature, the compressor shuts down. During this time, the evaporator coil is still cold. It starts warming slowly on the shutting off of the compressor. As it warms, moisture or small water droplets form on the coil due to condensation. Now the main question is, what happens to this moisture or condensation? Let’s study the answer in two possible scenarios.
1.When The Weather Is Humid – In a humid climate, the fan should stop along with the compressor. This gives a chance for the condensation to drip down into the collector pan and drain away from the drain line. If the fan does not stop but instead keeps on running, it causes the moisture or condensate to re-evaporate and enters back into the house with the airflow. Essentially speaking, the humidity keeps circulating with no change.
2.When The Weather Is Dry – In dry weather, it is best to allow the fan to run a while longer even after the compressor has stopped. This helps to get rid of any water that may be sticking to the evaporator coil or just sitting and collecting in the pan. The evaporation of this moisture also cools the air. In this way, you not only save energy but also add to the comfort of your home.
Humidity And Heating Systems
Cold air is generally dry and does not hold moisture as well as the warm air. That is the reason why in cold winter months, your nasal passage dries out, skin becomes dry, sinuses become aggravated, and so on. Your heating system works long to provide warmth, but the house is still cold. The reason is that the humidity has fallen below the recommended level of 40% to 50%. In such a situation, you need to bring humidity within the recommended levels so that your abode can become warm and cozy and provide you respite from the chilling cold.
Humidification In Winters For Better HVAC Performance
In winters, HVAC humidity control means increasing the level of moisture in the air. This is possible only through humidification. You can install a humidifier on your HVAC system. The humidifier will add back moisture to the air prior to letting it flow through your entire home. When the air becomes moist, it will warm your house faster and give you relief from symptoms that arise due to air dryness.
Dehumidification In Summers For Better HVAC Performance
Moisture adds warmth to the air; therefore, in summers, you want to get rid of it so that the air becomes cool. The only way to achieve this is through dehumidification. Thankfully, setting your AC on the appropriate temperature will automatically do the job. However, if you set the temperature really low, the dehumidification operation gets compromised. Your choice is to correct the temperature setting or to install a dehumidifier in your home.
Final Thoughts On HVAC Humidity Control
Depending on the weather, the need for moisture in the air varies. In summers, you want to be free of the clammy feeling, and so dehumidification is needed. As against this, the air is so dry in winters that you want to add back humidity. Your HVAC can perform the desired function adequately for optimum comfort provided that your unit is not very old and properly sized. Sometimes adding a humidifier or dehumidifier will go a long way in making your home even more soothing and welcoming. In all this, take guidance from an AC service professional for the best results.
There are bound to be questions in your mind when you are considering repairs to your current HVAC unit or buying & installing a new one. The manufacturers may promise you Earth and sky, but your HVAC service provider will tell you the truth behind these tall claims. Many of us feel that the question may sound stupid or that we will not get a truthful answer, so we refrain from asking them. To answer the most pressing queries you may have, here is a list of 10 questions to ask HVAC service providers. We try our best to answer them truthfully and to your satisfaction.
10 Questions To Ask HVAC Service Providers
1. Is regular maintenance really worth it?
Speaking strictly from experience, people who invested in regular maintenance of their HVAC unit suffered a far lesser number of breakdowns as compared to those who didn’t. However, you need not necessarily take our word for it. Ask any of your friends or relatives or for those matter neighbors, who have a maintenance contract. They will tell you how well their HVAC unit is cared for and how they don’t have to worry about replacing worn-out parts, tuning, and cleaning of the unit.
All is covered for a price, and at the end of the day, they enjoy the fruits of a perfectly efficient unit. Compare their answers to those who decided that maintenance was a wastage of time and money. You will find that these people had to go back and forth to keep their unit functioning. Even then, there were no guarantees that it was functioning efficiently. So, our answer is a resounding Yes! Regular maintenance of the unit is definitely worth the money spent. Consider it as an investment that increases the life expectancy of your AC.
2. Can HVAC cleaning be done by the maintenance personnel?
The maintenance staff can do the regular duct cleaning of the HVAC unit. This includes getting rid of dust and debris from around the unit, cleaning the coils, etc. Nonetheless, keep in mind the fact that your system attracts bacteria, mold, pests, and rodents. Maintaining the hygiene of the HVAC system, therefore, becomes imperative. As such, you need to get it professionally cleaned at least twice a year. The professional cleaners use EPA approved chemicals to get rid of all the buildup. They also use chemicals to prevent the easy occurrence of the same problems in the future. Your regular maintenance crew is good for checking the unit for efficient functioning, but they will not bee able to clean and disinfect it thoroughly.
3. My unit breaks down quite often, should I get it repaired or buy a new one?
1. If your HVAC unit is more than a decade old, you should replace it with a new one.
2. If your unit uses “Freon” or R-22 as refrigerant, buy a new one because R-22 is not being produced anymore. Only recycled R-22 is available in the market, and that is very costly.
3. If the faults arise due to lack of maintenance, get it repaired and ensure that in future, you take care of its maintenance.
4. If the cost of repair is very high, or if the technician advices to change the outdoor or indoor part of the unit completely, think about buying a new one. If the repair cost is bearable, you can get the problem rectified.
4. How long will the repair last?
This is the main concern after a repair job is completed. Since it is your unit, you have every right to know the answer. The answer will also help you make the best possible choice if a similar problem arises in the future.
5. How long does a new AC truly last?
A regular AC lasts for about 10 to 15 years, but that is under ideal conditions. If your AC is exposed to salt air, smog, and corrosive chemicals, its life expectancy drops accordingly. Additionally, neglecting the maintenance will also cut a few years from its life. Failing to address the AC problems and letting them compound will also shorten its lifespan. Ultimately, you can’t do much about the natural elements, but other than that, how long your AC lasts is up to how well you care for it.
6. Is there any way to cut down the AC bill in summers?
If you improve the energy efficiency of your AC unit, you can cut down the bills. The first step is to by an AC that has good star-rating or good SEER rating. Secondly, invest in regular maintenance of your AC. Third, change the air filters regularly and keep the coils clean. These few things will bring down your electricity bill drastically.
7. Are there any special rewards or rebates you can claim?
Most customer-centric companies recognize and reward their loyal customers through special service or discount coupons or rebates. As a loyal customer, you should ask your HVAC service provider whether they offer any such options.
8. How should I pay for the work?
If the work is long drawn out, you may want an option where you can pay as each milestone is achieved. If the work is a simple repair, you can pay upfront. But if it is a complicated one, you may want to talk about paying part upfront and the remaining after a few days once you are convinced that the repair will hold.
9. Who will do the work?
For your own safety, you have every right to know beforehand who will be doing the housecall for the problem you have lodged a complaint.
10. How much experience does the person attending your complaint have?
Your HVAC unit needs proper handling by a technician with requisite knowledge and experience. You can, therefore, check the credentials of the technician beforehand and ask for an experienced replacement or buddy to accompany them.
It is the customer’s right to ask questions, and it is the duty of the service provider to answer them satisfactorily. Hopefully, we have managed to answer the most pressing ones, and the remaining can be answered by your HVAC service providers.
Have you ever opened the air ducts and peeked inside? If you haven’t, maybe you should now, especially if there is an unpleasant smell in your home. The chances are that you will see some cotton-like black, grey, or white substance spread inside the ducts. This is mold. Where there is constant moisture, there is bound to be mold. Mainly so, because mold likes warm and moist climate. In homes equipped with an HVAC unit, mold formation is nothing unusual. If there is mold in ducts in your home, you need to understand how it got there and then take steps to get rid of it.
Mold In Ducts – How It Got There
Mold needs 3 things to grow.
1. Warm climate
When the outside environment is humid and cold is passing through the ducts, it loses moisture and forms water vapor. The water vapor condenses and forms water droplets. These droplets of water collect within the ducts instead of evaporating. It creates a conducive environment for mold formation and growth. The sustenance for the mold comes from dust, dirt, dander, pollen, and dead skin cells that accumulate inside the ducts.
Fundamentally speaking, humid climate, together with inadequate ventilation, or anything that traps moisture in the walls of your home and leads condensation, can cause mold formation in the air ducts.
HVAC Problems That contribute To Mold Formation
1. Thermostat On Low-Temperature Setting – When you set the thermostat on a low-temperature setting, it results in the warm air of the room meeting very cold air from the vents. As a result, the moisture present in the air condenser coil in and around the ducts. If this moisture does not dry within a day, it leads to can cause mold to grow.
2. Leaking Ducts – There may be cracks in the duct through which warm air may be entering and coming in contact with the cold air. Essentially, it would again cause the moisture to condense and turn into droplets of water. Again creating the perfect environment for mold to proliferate.
3. Oversized AC Unit – Large HVAC units tend to cool small spaces faster. Due to this, it is unable to draw away moisture from the air effectively. Basically, the dehumidification function is compromised. There is moisture buildup inside the room, and its effect carries into the ducts as well, creating condensation and mold.
Mold In Ducts – How To Get Rid Of It?
Figure Out The Source Of Moisture – Getting rid of the mold is not a very complicated process. However, before you attack it, you need to figure out where the moisture is coming from. Once the root of the problem is tackled, it will not give you frequent trouble. In order to figure out the cause, you will have to ask your HVAC company to send a technician to have a look at your HVAC system. Based on their findings and recommendation, take steps to resolve the matter.
Cleaning The Mold – You know the cause and took steps to solve the issue. Now its time to take the bull by the horns and clean the mold. It’s a step by step procedure as follows –
1. Turn OFF both the heating and cooling vents.
2. Use an EPA approved mold growth inhibitor and spray it generously over and around the mold.
3. Using a brush and a rag scrub the area gently but thoroughly.
4. Repeat the process until the area is clean.
5. Don’t just throw the rags in the dustbin. Dispose them in trash bags that are airtight. A 6mm or thicker bag is perfect for the purpose.
Preventing Mold Formation
Attacking the source of moisture and getting rid of the mold is not the end of the story. There is one more step involved, and that is prevention. Mold is not good for health so you should do everything to prevent it from flourishing. Here are a few preventive measures that can come to your aid –
1. Buy a good dehumidifier if necessary, and place it near the damp area of your home.
2. Lower the condensation in the ducts by suitably insulating them.
3. Clean the drip pans regularly so that the standing water does not encourage mold colonies.
4. Inspect the air ducts regularly and get them professionally cleaned.
5. Invest in preventive maintenance, which would take care of such issues.
Why Is It Necessary To Get Rid Of Mold In Ducts?
The HVAC system installed in your house circulates air within your home. When the air circulates, it passes through the ducts and picks up the spores of the flourishing mold. Mold spores are not good for health and can cause skin irritation and breathing problems in addition to other medical issues. The air passing through the ducts spreads these spores throughout the home. The quality of air gets compromised. Therefore, the key to maintaining a healthy environment inside depends on getting rid of the mold in the ducts.
Why Should You Get The Mold Professionally Cleaned?
Getting rid of the mold seems like an easy peasy job. But, it is subject to taking the proper precautions and doing a thorough job of removing it. A professional is best suited to perform the task because they have the appropriate clothing and other equipment to keep the mold from entering their body or coming in contact with their skin. Also, they have the best cleaners that assure prompt removal and long respite from the mold. As a homeowner, you may not check all the boxes in this regard.
Mold formation in ducts is normal and nothing to panic about. Getting rid of it is also simple thanks to the mold growth inhibitors available in the market. For lasting relief, you need to understand why it is forming. Once you gain this relevant piece of knowledge, you can take steps to curtail the environment that propagates its growth. You can also treat the ducts with sprays that prevent further proliferation of mold. Use only those products that have been approved by EPA as anything else can be dangerous to your health and well being.
As a homeowner, you should always demand proper and accurate servicing of your appliances and equipment. Since you are paying for it, it is your right. The problem arises when you cannot gauge whether the service rendered is good, sub-standard, or poor. This does happen and primarily because we cannot comprehend what the standard servicing protocols state. The HVAC unit installed at home is one machinery that requires servicing periodically. Hence, it is better to make a not of triggers that point towards signs of poor service by your HVAC contractor.
Choose A Responsible Contractor
To begin with, try and choose a contractor who is a thorough professional. In addition, before finalizing the deal, check their credentials, and gather reviews about their servicing. These little details will make the difference between getting good or bad servicing for your HVAC unit. The idea is to start on the right foot so that you don’t get stuck with scammers.
Signs Of Poor Service By Your HVAC Contractor
You choose the contractor well, does that guarantee thorough servicing? Not really because there are still people and companies, trying to earn a quick buck by cutting corners. Here are a few signs of poor service by your HVAC contractor –
1. Problem Not Identified – If the technician visiting your home often fails to identify the problem on hand, you need to be wary. Tricky faults do occur, but not always. So, if the technician cannot identify the root of the problem every time, it is a clear indication of a lack of knowledge. It may also be a sign of a careless and lax attitude of the technician. He just does not want to spend time looking for a problem. All he is interested in is a quick fix. For example, if you have filed a complaint about your AC losing its cooling power, the technician comes and tops up the refrigerant without bothering to check for leaks. Now, that is poor service.
2. Not Having The Necessary Tools – The technician came to solve your HVAC problem but did not bring all the tools he may need. In today’s day and age, a professional will always have his toolkit ready. If your technician tells you that he needs to go back to the workshop to pick up a part or tool, they are wasting your time. Commercial contractors would always carry whatever they may need while attending a house call.
3. Technician Constantly Calling Someone For Help – Usually, HVAC technicians gain experience on the job, but under the watchful eyes of a trained technician. A newbie with limited knowledge working alone should raise a red flag of concern. How will you know the person is new with limited exposure? Be direct and ask the technician for their experience. Mostly they will let you know without hiding anything. However, if one does try to hide it, you will constantly find them on a call with someone discussing the problem.
4. Can’t Address Your Queries Satisfactorily – As a customer, you are bound to have questions and concerns. A contractor who knows his job well and is professionally trained will answer them to your complete satisfaction. A contractor who, on the other hand, does not know the ins and outs of his job will flounder and give half-baked unsatisfactory answers. If the HVAC contractor cannot answer your concerns, he cannot even do a good job of addressing the problems that you are facing with the HVAC unit. To top it all, they will also fail to communicate to you what they did as a remedial measure and what remains to be done. What they will successfully do is leave you frustrated with a list of things that still need to be taken care of.
5. Leave A Mess Behind – One of the first things that professional is taught is to do is to keep their work area clean. If your HVAC contractor leaves tools, wires, and other things behind, their work ethics are really poor. They are lazy and careless because such things can cause equipment damage.
6. Disregarding Carbon Monoxide Levels – A professional technician is well aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. So, when they come for annual servicing or answering a carbon monoxide leakage complaint, they should spend some time looking for leaks and cracks in your unit. This inspection has to be thorough, so it will ideally take some time. Post the inspection, they should check for the presence of harmful gases and also measure the HVAC unit’s depressurization. Some contractors work on the assumption that the batteries in the CO alarm or Carbon Monoxide alarm are weak, and so it is ringing without any reason. They just change the battery and say all is well. The problem here is the lack of adequate training. The technician is either minimally trained or not trained at all. As such, they are not aware of back-drafting of combustion appliances. Since they don’t know about it, they don’t check for it. As a precautionary measure, always insist on your HVAC technician to test for the presence of harmful gases in your home.
7. Ignoring The Ventilation – When you complain about airflow problems, most often than not, the technician heads for the unit without giving a single thought to ventilation. When installing the ductwork, many contractors don’t pay attention to proper ventilation due to which airflow problems occur. A commercial and professional contractor should look into this aspect as well and not assume that the problem is in the unit. If the contractor is the same as who installed the HVAC unit, they should correct your ventilation problem free of cost, as they are the ones who made a mistake.
Food For Thought
When a technician or contractor visits your home on a service call, don’t leave them alone to complete the job. As humans, we try to cover up for our shortcomings and in the wake, start nervous chatter, become clumsy, try to divert attention, prevent you from asking questions, etc. If you are not around, you will not notice these telltale signs. So, be around to catch the signs of poor service by your HVAC contractor.
If you have an air conditioner that was installed before 2010, the chances are that it uses R22 refrigerant. Also known as “Freon”, it is a type of hydrochlorofluorocarbon or HCFC. This refrigerant or coolant was introduced sometime during the 1950s and very soon became a leading brand of refrigerant. But that was then when environmental issues were not a major concern. Now, however, things have drastically altered. The prime concern today is to protect the environment. R22 being an HCFC depletes the ozone layer, and hence, it is no more looked upon favorably.
Banning R22 – Montreal Protocol
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States of America, determined that R22 is harming the ozone layer over the Earth. When environmental concerns are at their peak, this was not good news. EPA then decided to join hands with other agencies and environmental groups all over the world to phase out products that were depleting the ozone layer. To this effect, an international agreement came into being known as the Montreal Protocol.
R22 Phase Out Progress
In 2003 the phase-out process started. To begin with, its production was cut down drastically, and imports stopped altogether. By 2010 the production and any import of R22 were strictly prohibited. Now, R22 can only be purchased by a certified technician. After 2020, only recycled R22 will be used to service air conditioners still using them.
When Considering R22 Replacement Refrigerants
R410 A is considered to be the best replacement for R22. But the process of replacement is not as straightforward as draining out R22 and filling in R410 A (Puron). Here is a list of things to be aware of when considering R22 replacement refrigerants –
1. Replacement Refrigerant To Mimic R22 Pressure & Temperature – The replacement refrigerant should be able to effectively mimic or copy the operating pressure and temperature of Freon. If the replacement refrigerant fails to do so, it may fry your AC unit.
2. POE Oil Or Mineral Oil – Most old AC units use mineral oil which is less viscous as compared to POE Oil (Polyolester Oil). The bad news is that R22 replacement refrigerants do not work well with mineral oil. If you recently changed your compressor, the chances are that your AC now has the synthetic POE oil. In that case, you can use a suitable alternative refrigerant.
3. Warranty Lapses With Replacement Refrigerant – If your AC is new and still under warranty, replacing R22 with a different refrigerant will make the warranty null and void. It is so because the manufacturer has not tested the unit for any other replacement refrigerant.
4. Completely Drain Out R22 – Under no circumstances, you should mix R22 with any other replacement refrigerant. First Freon should be drained out completely, and the coils should be sterilized so that not even a few clinging droplets remain. Only then a different refrigerant should be filled.
What To Do If My AC Has R22?
Things to be aware of when considering R22 replacement refrigerants do not end with the above list. If your AC has R22, you have three probable choices. These include –
1. Buy a new, upgraded, and more environment-friendly AC unit that uses a refrigerant that is safe and has no harmful effects.
2. Call a trained technician to replace all those parts of your air conditioner which are not compatible with the replacement refrigerant. However, this move is not highly recommended.
3. Keep on using recycled R22 irrespective of its through the roof cost.
Just to be clear, EPA has forced restriction on the use of R22 but has not forced you to abandon your old AC and buy a new one. If your AC uses Freon, it means that you have an old Ac because new ones don’t use it anymore. At some point in time, your old AC will go belly up, and that is when you should buy a new and better AC.
Facts About Replacement Refrigerants
If your AC runs on R22, the knowledge of these facts will help you make a wiser decision –
1. They nullify any and all warranties from the manufacturer.
2. They are suitable only for heat pumps and condensers for which the warranty has already lapsed.
3. They are safer as they do not deplete the ozone layer to the same extent.
4. They should never be mixed with R22 in any amount, large or small.
5. They are usually cheaper than R22.
If Your AC Was Built After 2010
If your AC was manufactured after 2010, you need not worry about it containing R22 refrigerant. As per the regulations, the newer models of air conditioners cannot have it anymore. Instead, only approved refrigerants can be used. However, if you are still in doubt, you can ask an HVAC technician to validate the information for you. You can also check out this little detail yourself by looking at the nameplate on the condenser unit or the outdoor unit of your AC. If for some reason the nameplate is missing or illegible you can check for it online or in the information booklet that came with your unit.
If you are environment conscious and wish to do your bit in keeping the Earth beautiful and green, you need to have a look at the refrigerant used by your air conditioning unit. The best choice is to upgrade to a better and more environment-friendly AC instead of ignoring the issue. For all of us, this may not seem to be a financially viable choice. However, remember R22 is already costly and as it becomes more difficult to procure the price will go up further. A little financial burden now will save you every hard-earned penny in the future.
Now that you know more about the things to be aware of when considering R22 replacement refrigerants buying a new AC would look like a cost-effective solution. It will save you from spending money on a new compressor, recycled R22, flushing costs, etc. If you need any more information on R22 or replacement refrigerants, feel free to contact us at Aztil AC.
Quite often we receive complaints about the AC not removing humidity effectively from inside the home. The stuffy and uncomfortable environment becomes unbearable. The constant muggy feeling leaves you annoyed and irritated. If you are worried about the high humidity inside your home, this article is just for you.
How Does AC Get Rid Of Humidity?
To understand the cause of high humidity in your home, you need to first understand how an air conditioner removes moisture from the air. Your AC not only cools the air but at the same time, it also acts as a dehumidifier. Inside the AC is the evaporator coil. When running, the temperature of this coil is below the dew point due to the cold refrigerant inside it. Dew point is the temperature at which moisture leaves the air and condenses. When warm and moisture-laden air comes in contact with the cold evaporator coils, it cools down and also loses moisture to a large extent. So, as the AC functions, it brings down the temperature in your home and also gets rid of the humidity. However, to do so effectively, your AC needs a longer run time.
Causes Of High Humidity
Why is my home so humid with the AC on? We are frequently asked this question. There could be several causes of high humidity, even when the AC is on.
1. Frozen Evaporator Coils – If there is frost on the evaporator coils, it acts as a barrier. Since the air cannot come in direct contact with the cold coils, the cooling and dehumidification of air are compromised. As a result, your home does not cool down sufficiently, and on top of that, it feels humid.
2. Dust & Debris – There is an air filter close to the air handler preventing dust & debris from entering and accumulating on sensitive parts. Nonetheless, some particles still find their way inside. The AC condenser coil in the outdoor unit is particularly susceptible to becoming impaired – the primary reason for this being constant exposure to the elements of nature. When the condenser coil is dirty, it is unable to dissipate heat effectively. In turn, the unit works harder to keep up and disrupts the refrigerant cycle. The overall effect is that your air conditioner heats up, raising the temperature inside the home and fails in drawing out moisture.
3. Oversized AC – You thought bigger the better and landed up purchasing an AC that was too big for your home. Your basic assumption was that it would cool your home faster and so your electricity bill would be low. But your thinking was far off the mark. Yes, an oversized AC will cool your home faster, but it will not remove humidity effectively. An oversized AC has shorter cycles due to which the air retains most of the moisture. To remove humidity, the cycles have to be longer so that more moisture can be drawn out from the air. An oversized AC is a costly mistake, be wry of making it. You can always approach an HVAC company to calculate the size or load of AC that will suitably meet the requirements of your home.
4. Negative Air Pressure – Do you feel a sudden gust of air when a door opens and closes. This is due to negative air pressure inside the home. If the weather outside is very humid, the gust of air that blows inside will bring with it additional moisture and make the room muggier. This problem usually arises due to faulty ductwork. It may also occur because you forgot to upgrade the ductwork when you made changes in your home.
5. Old System – Your HVAC system or AC unit has become old and is unable to remove humidity effectively. There is not much you can do here. Since your unit is old, it would be best to replace it in order to avoid constant repairs.
Other Causes Of Humidity
Above we discussed the most common causes of humidity in the house even when the AC is on. But these are not the only reasons. There could be others as well like –
1. The gutters are blocked, so water is seeping into the walls and causing dampness.
2. There is a broken pipe through which water is leaking into the home, increasing the muggy feeling.
3. Cooking is adding to the moisture levels in the home.
4. Moisture and steam from the shower also find its way into the air.
Though this too is not an exhaustive list, what we are trying to convey is that it is not necessary that the problem is in the AC. It could very well lie elsewhere.
As we saw above, there could be multiple reasons for your house being humid even with the AC on. The solution lies in figuring out the cause of it. Most AC problems, along with that of controlling humidity, can be addressed through seasonal maintenance. This maintenance should be performed by a trained technician only. They have a complete list of jobs to perform and also know the triggers that are indicative of future AC troubles. Overlooking maintenance may save you a few dollars in the present. However, the truth is that it is creating expensive repair problems for the future. You may feel confident that your AC does not need any fiddling, but the fact is that it is a machinery that may need a little tweak to keep it working efficiently.
Food For Thought
You asked, “Why is my house so humid with the AC on”? We gave you a list of possibilities causing that. The real test is in identifying the problem correctly and addressing it immediately. So if your AC is on and yet you feel muggy inside, it’s time to call your local HVAC company. They are the experts who will look at each aspect that could be adding to the humidity. The chances are that there could be more than one. They will look at them all and solve them to your complete satisfaction.
An efficient air conditioner should give you relief from humidity while cooling your home. If you feel muggy and clammy inside, it means that the AC is not working properly. In part, you can blame the high-efficiency ACs for adding to the problem. This is because to get the SEER rating up; the AC manufacturers sometimes resort to practices which increase the rating but at the cost of its dehumidification capabilities. Since that part is not in our hands, we shall tell you more about the causes of air conditioner humidity problems that can be addressed by you or a trained technician.
Humidity Inside House With Air Conditioning
Before we learn more about the air conditioner humidity problems, let us first find out how much should be the humidity inside the house when AC is on. Humidity factors to a very large extent in keeping your home comfortable. During summers the humidity level should be below 60% while in winters it should be around 30% to 40%.
Top 5 Air Conditioner Humidity Problems
1. Oversized AC Unit – What it simply means is that your air conditioner is too large for your home. It’s not the physical size of the AC which is big but its cooling capacity. As a homeowner, you would be thinking how’s the size a problem? The bigger the better because the house will get cooler faster. Well, this is where you need to change your thinking because yes your house will get cooler faster, but that will be at the cost of humidity control. When the compressor is powerful, it switches on and off frequently. As a result, the system is unable to run long enough to draw out humidity from the air. When buying a new AC always resort to load calculation so that you can get an accurately sized AC for your home. Keep in mind that if the builder installed the AC in your home, it was not properly sized. It happens because their primary job is the building and not the AC. Speak to your builder before installing the HVAC system. Ask them to get it sized through a reputed HVAC company. You can also calculate the size of AC with the help of an online AC load calculator or AC size calculator. But it would be in your best interest to let the HVAC company calculate it as they will do a precise job.
2. Single Speed AC – Single-speed AC means that there is no option to change the fan speed. It happens to have only “ON” and “OFF” option. Usually, this was the case with older models of the HVAC unit. Invariably single-speed air conditioners suffer from the same problem as an oversized unit. A unit running at one speed tends to run at full blast only until the desired temperature is reached. It then turns off until such time, the temperature increases beyond the set value. What it essentially means is that again the unit does not run long enough to trap humidity present in the air. The best solution in such cases is to upgrade to a modulating HVAC system or a variable speed HVAC system.
3. Negative Air Pressure Inside The Home – Negative air pressure builds inside the home when its ventilation system is not properly designed. What essentially happens in these cases is that the air automatically tries to stabilize itself by drawing in more air from outside any way it can. For example, when a door or window opens, you will feel a sudden gust of air. Similarly, outside air penetrates inside through any gaps, holes, or crevices in the structure. If the humidity outside is high, it enters the building with the air. When the situation is bad, the dehumidification capability of your AC is compromised.
4. Incorrect Thermostat Setting – More often than not, once we set the temperature on the thermostat, we conveniently forget about it. Simply running the fan continuously will not remove humidity from the air. If you want to get rid of maximum humidity, set fan on the lowest setting along with the temperature you want to maintain inside the house. To do this, you have to intermittently monitor your thermostat setting. Continuously running the fan may blow the moisture back into your home so, beware of this mistake. It’s absolutely alright for the fan to switch off when the temperature equals to what you have set.
5. Old Unit Unable To Handle The Load – Aging is an issue that not only living beings suffer form, but also non-living things, including electrical systems. Changing technology and wear and tear through continuous usage tends to deteriorate the components of the HVAC system. Slowly, it manifests in the form of poor cooling, high humidity, increased electricity bills, etc. Usually, a unit that is a decade or more old will show one or more of these symptoms. At such a time you will have to make a repair or replace decision. Our advice is that repair may seem like a cheap option, but replace is the most sensible one. However, in the end, it is your call to make.
How To Enhance Humidity Control?
Now that you know about the top 5 air conditioner humidity problems let’s see how you can enhance humidity control.
1. Invest in regular maintenance of your AC through a trained technician.
2. Adjust the thermostat settings as per need.
3. Clean the coils and replace the air filters regularly.
4. If necessary, purchase a dehumidifier.
High humidity inside the house is not good for anyone. It can not only result in health problems but will also cause other issues like mold formation, constant bad smell, corrosion, etc. Therefore, it is essential that you take steps to ensure your AC is able to maintain healthy humidity levels inside the home at all times. If there is a problem in humidity control, try to get to the root cause of it instead of taking temporary measures. For any help in HVAC matters, feel free to contact us anytime.
Your air conditioners pipe outside is covered in ice, and you are wondering why? In the middle of summers, such an occurrence may seem surreal. When everything is wilting, drooping, and melting due to excessive heat, frozen air conditioner pipes give you a pause. You are right to be confused as it is something you don’t see every day. Ice on the air conditioner pipe outside is actually an indication of problems within your AC.
Ice On Air Conditioner Pipe Outside – What Causes It?
Usually, there are two reasons that could lead to ice formation on the pipes.
1. Limited airflow over the evaporator coil.
2. Low levels of refrigerant or the coolant.
Regrettably, no matter what the reason ice formation anywhere on your AC is something to be concerned about. It is a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately to ensure the efficient operations of your HVAC unit.
Limited Airflow Over The Evaporator Coil
Think of your AC as a machine that breathes in hot air from outside and expels cool air inside your home. In order to perform this operation, the flow of air has to be free of restrictions. Now, remember, there is cold refrigerant flowing inside the evaporator coils. When warm air passes over these coils, it loses its warmth & humidity and becomes sufficiently dry & cool. In turn, this process does not allow the temperature of the refrigerant to fall to freezing.
When warm air and cold coils come in contact with each other, condensation occurs. Small water droplets are formed on the evaporator coils. Ideally, this condensate collects in the drip pan, and from there it passes on to the drain line.
However, when the flow of air over the evaporator coils is insufficient, the temperature of the refrigerant falls to freezing. This happens because sufficient warm air is unable to pass over the coils to maintain its desired temperatures. When the refrigerant becomes excessively cold, the condensation over the coils freezes. If the obstriction causing low airflow is not removed, the condensation will keep on freezing and accumulating until even the pipe outside is iced over.
Causes Of Limited Airflow – A variety of reasons can result in the restricted flow of air. Most prominent of these are –
1. Clogged or dirty air filters.
2. Warped or bent sir ducts.
3. Problems with the blower fan.
4. Dirty evaporator coils.
5. Blocked or closed vents.
What’s The Solution – First check the air filter. If it is dirty, replace it immediately. If the culprit is not a clogged air filter, call your local AC technician. In the meantime, switch “OFF” the thermostat. Turn the thermostat’s fan setting to “ON”. Let your AC run like this for a couple of hours. Typically, if the ice formation is not much, it would melt within 3 to 4 hours. But if the accumulation is large, the defrosting may take longer.
Low Refrigerant Or Coolant Levels
The refrigerant inside the evaporator coils is responsible for cooling the air. When the level of the refrigerant drops, it causes ice formation. You must be wondering why this happens? The answer is relatively simple. The pressure inside the evaporator coil reduces when the AC is low on refrigerant. As the pressure drops, so does the temperature of the refrigerant. In due course, the low temperatures result in ice formation. As more and more condensation freezes, you will notice that there is ice on the air conditioner pipe outside as well.
Signs Of Leaking Refrigerant – When you see a combination of two or more of the below-mentioned scenarios, it is indicative of a refrigerant leak.
1. A strange bubbling or hissing sound coming from the AC, especially along the refrigerant lines.
2. AC is blowing relatively warm air for the same temperature setting.
3. A drastic increase in your electricity bills.
Why Does Refrigerant Leak – Below are a few reasons that could cause the refrigerant to leak. The list is not exhaustive, but these are the ones that top the charts –
1. With age, the metal coils wear out and develop cracks and holes, causing the refrigerant to leak.
2. A refrigerant leak may happen when there is impact damage to the evaporator coils. It may happen by accident or when a natural calamity strikes.
3. A factory defect or manufacturing defect in the AC.
4. Faulty installation.
What’s The Solution – The solution is the same as mentioned above. You need to turn “OFF” the thermostat and switch it to the “FAN ONLY” setting. This will, however, just take care of the immediate problem but not give a permanent solution. Since the refrigerant is a sensitive chemical, you will need to call HVAC experts to take care of this issue. You need to beware of contractors who replenish the refrigerant levels but fail to address the cause of the leak. Failing to fix the leak, will cause the refrigerant to spill again. So, what you have on your hands is a vicious circle with no permanent solution. A good technician will first fix the leak and only then top up the refrigerant level.
Seasonal maintenance of your air conditioner takes care of most problems. It also brings to light the beginnings of any problems. Although maintenance is not a “cure-all” solution. Yet it is necessary if you want to maintain the warranty of your AC. In spite of your best intentions, your AC may still give you trouble at times. Ice on air conditioner pipes outside is one such situation. Mostly it will be due to a dirty air filter. If not, a trained AC technician can come to your rescue. Meanwhile, you can perform the steps mentioned above to get rid of ice that has formed on the AC. You can also speed up its melting by blowing warm air over the coils with a hairdryer. When you do so ensure that it is on the lowest setting. Hopefully, you will now be able to tackle your frozen air conditioner problems yourself.
Your air conditioner may be one of the most important electrical equipment in your home. To work efficiently, it demands proper attention in the form of seasonal maintenance. In spite of everything you do, there may be times when it still acts up. Sometimes it may start making weird noises, and at times it may just freeze up. It may sound dire, but these are only small issues that can be dealt with easily. Many times we are asked by our clients, “How to fix a frozen AC unit?”. Today, we shall not only answer that but also tell you other things that can speed up the defrosting process.
What It Means To Have A Frozen AC
When you hear the term frozen AC unit, it implies that the outdoor unit of the AC has ice formation and is unable to thaw.
In winters, this happens periodically. When in heat mode, the heat pump tends to freeze occasionally. Every AC unit usually comes equipped with a built-in “defrost mode” which operates in cycles of 30, 60- or 90-minutes intervals. For all intents and purposes, the defrost mode is the “Cool mode”. When in this mode the AC will blow hot air outside and cool air within the home. Essentially speaking, the cool air that is blowing in the system runs electrical heat strips to offset the cool air.
In summers, a frozen AC means that the evaporator coils have frozen. The condensation accumulated on the AC freezes due to the substantially low temperature of the coolant or the refrigerant.
What To Expect When The AC Freezes
When the AC freezes, it is a sure-shot sign that something is wrong with your air conditioner. Had everything been working fine, there would be no reason for such a thing to happen. The causes could be varied right from low refrigerant levels to problems with the blower fan, or it could be indicative of a faulty defrost control system or dirty air filters. No matter how you look at it, but the fact remains that something is broke and that is why your AC is frozen.
Reasons Why Heat Pump Could Freeze
Mostly all heat pumps have programmed controls. These automatic settings permit the AC unit to self-maintain. In winters, the instinctive controls trigger the machine to defrost itself and thereby prevent ice buildup. Care must, however, be taken to ensure that the airflow is not confined to just around the unit as that will lead to a faster buildup of ice. Make sure that the air filters are clean and that there is no accumulation of dust and debris in the ductwork. Externally, see to it that snow and leaves have not stockpiled around the unit as it could diminish the flow of air.
Reasons Why The Evaporator Coil Freezes
There are various reasons which would cause the evaporator coils to freeze. It is important is to know that the coils freeze mostly when there is restricted airflow. Getting back to the reasons, these are the most probable ones –
1. Dirty air filters.
2. A problem in the blower fan or its motor.
3. Low refrigerant levels.
How To Fix A Frozen AC Unit?
Now that your AC is frozen, what would you do? Obviously, unfreeze it or thaw it. To do so, switch the thermostat “OFF” and turn on the fan. This would melt all the ice that has formed on it. Do not expect any instant results. Defrosting your AC may take anywhere from a couple of hours to a day, depending on how much ice has formed on it.
Can I Pour Hot Water On Frozen Air Conditioner?
Many people ask us, “Can I pour hot water on frozen air conditioner”? The answer is “Yes”. Pouring hot water will melt the ice faster and in turn, thaw your AC faster. In fact, the water need not be extremely hot, even warm water or running water will do the job beautifully. What you need to pay attention to is to mop up all the water that has spilled around the unit.
Tips While Pouring Hot Water On Frozen Air conditioner
You can’t just pour hot water on your AC. An air conditioner is a piece of electrical equipment that might short circuit if you pour water without a care. In adverse cases, it may even cause an electrical fire. That is something you can very well do without. So here are a few tips that will come handy when you try hot water therapy on your AC –
1. Disconnect the AC from the main power source.
2. Pour hot water only on the coils.
3. Do not splash or throw water; instead, try to pour it in a steady stream.
4. Make sure all the water drains outside and does not spill inside the home.
Can A Hair Dryer Defrost An AC?
A hairdryer too would hasten the process of melting the ice. Ensure that you run it on the lowest possible setting as high heat can cause further damage to the AC unit.
What Shouldn’t I Do?
Now that you know what you can do, its time to direct attention to what you should never do. You should never try and break the ice formed on your AC with a sharp object. If you do so, you may land up breaking or causing severe damage to some part of the air conditioning unit. This may prove to be a costly mistake.
It is not an unheard-of scenario when your AC freezes. It happens even to the most conscientious homeowners. There are ways and means in which you can defrost your AC. These methods are time tested and guaranteed. You can further speed up the process by either blowing warm air through a hairdryer or by pouring hot water over the evaporator coils. However, defrosting the AC is just a temporary corrective measure. If you want permanent relief from the problem, try to understand its cause and address the root of the problem. Else, your AC will keep on freezing. In the end, when nothing else works, your local HVAC company is the answer to all your AC problems. Book an appointment and let the professionals work their magic.
Some of you may have heard about a duct booster fan or the booster fan, and for others, it may be something new. A duct booster fan helps in fine-tuning your home’s heating and cooling system. With its help, you can bring in either more warmth or cool air, according to the season, in a room. The purpose of this post is to give you some relevant facts about the duct booster fan and also to tell you how to wire a duct booster fan to the blower.
What Is A Duct Booster Fan?
It is a fan-like device that can be attached inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. In practice, a duct booster fan increases the flow of air to rooms of your home that are at a distance from heating and cooling systems. The popular thinking is that a booster fan will help push in more air to the said room. In fact, this is the very reason why they are installed along those stretches of the duct, which are long.
Installing A Duct Booster Fan To Blower?
A booster fan that fits inside a regular duct register is the easiest to install. All you need to do is unscrew and remove the louvered or shuttered cover and screw the booster fan in its place. The fan will have its own slatted register grille. Pull out the fans wire through the grille and plug it in the power source. Replace the cover and your job is done.
All booster fans are not easy to install. The process becomes more difficult when the duct boot in your home is not of standard size. Instead, it is so small that a fan won’t fit inside it. Usually, you will find these in the floor ducts. Your only option now is to replace your small duct boot with a bigger one. This is how to wire a duct booster fan to blower –
Step 1 – Remove the floor covering by pulling it back to expose a 2feet x 2 feet section of the subfloor.
Step 2 – Cut out a portion of the subfloor to expose the boot and duct connection. You will need a circular saw to do this. The best practice is to cut and remove the entire portion that spreads from one joist to another. Removing the complete section makes t easy to reattach once the job is completed. Keep the cutout part safely.
Step 3 – Using a screwdriver unbolt the sheet metal. While doing so, hold the boot to the duct. Once unscrewed, take out the old boot.
Step 4 -Make the register hole bigger. You may use a small saw for this.
Step 5 – Attach the new boot to the duct, tighten the screws, and turn a few rounds of foil tape around the joint. This will seal the connection and make it more secure.
Step 6 – Now you need that portion of the subfloor that you had kept safely. Replace it and tighten the screws.
Step 7 -Put the floor covering back in place.
Step 8 – Now that the new and bigger boot is in place, you can install the booster fan inside it as already mentioned above.
Installing An In-Line Duct Booster Fan
If your home has a tiled floor or a hardwood floor, you will need to change your plans. This is because a drop-in kind of model will not work with such flooring. What you need now is an in-line duct booster fan
Step 1 – Use a felt tip marker and mark a rectangular outline on the duct. To identify the exact area, read the dimension specifications mentioned on the product.
Step 2 – With the help of a jigsaw, equipped with a blade used for cutting metals, make a clean cut along the marked outline and remove the cutout. When using a jigsaw, you will need a pilot hole for the angle grinder or the blade. This hole can be made with the help of a power drill fitted with a half-inch drill bit.
Step 3 – Place the fan inside the cutout, making sure that the blades of the fan do not touch the walls of the duct. The other thing of importance is the fan direction. Make sure that the fan blows air towards the opening of the duct.
Step 4 – Hold the fan steady with one hand and screw it to the duct wall. The screws will be provided with the fan.
Step 5 – Secure the edges of the fan with foil tape.
Step 6 – Connect the fan to a power source either by plugging or by hardwiring to an already existing circuit.
Is A Duct Booster Fan An Ideal Solution
Ideally, your HVAC duct system should be designed in such a manner that there is no requirement of a booster fan. However, many homeowners land up making the basic mistake of choosing an undersized furnace. When that is the case, the flow of air gets impacted. In such a case, the booster fan is just a temporary measure. This is because an undersized HVAC unit works under tremendous pressure to cool your relatively big home. The worst-case scenario is that constant pressure can seize your AC. A booster fan may give you temporary respite but does nothing to take care of the core problem. So, a duct booster fan is thought of as a cop-out when you don’t want to deal with the real problem.
When faced with weak airflow problems, ask an HVAC technician to identify its cause. Addressing the root of the problem is more important than applying temporary measures. The professional will inspect your entire system and identify the problem area. A duct booster fan isn’t the real solution if the weak airflow occurs because the duct seams aren’t sealed properly or because there exist disconnects in the ductwork. On the other hand, the deficiency could be somewhere in the insulation. The whole point is that a duct booster fn is not a sure shot solution.