Common Causes For Air Conditioning Problems

If you’ve been having some problems with your air conditioning lately, then you might be getting frustrated. After all, some problems can be extremely hard to identify and fix, especially if you are trying to handle everything on your own. However, the right knowledge can often mean all the difference in the world, potentially allowing you to fix your air conditioning problems cheaply and quickly. Here are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner might not be operating as efficiently as possible:

Too Much Dirt

Firstly, you might just have a dirty air conditioner. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can build up in your air conditioner, which can collectively reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. These materials can absorb a lot of heat and inhibit airflow, both of which can lead to a lot of wasted effort on the part of your air conditioner. Since it will need to work overtime to overcome these obstacles, you will end up paying more in electricity and possibly even repair fees, since your AC will wear down at a faster rate.

In order to combat this problem, you need to make sure that you clean out your air conditioner every once in a while. During periods of intense usage, make sure to clean it out at least once a month, but you can slow down during the winter.

Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant plays a crucial role in your air conditioner, and if there isn’t enough refrigerant, then you won’t get the output that you want. If there is a leak in your air conditioner, then you might be losing refrigerant very quickly, which means that your AC is losing its potential to cool your home.

However, identifying and fixing a refrigerant leak isn’t quite as easy as you might expect. To handle such a problem, you really want to have an expert available, since refrigerant is both dangerous and expensive. If you suspect that you do have a refrigerant leak, then you should consult a professional at the earliest opportunity.

Broken Sensors

You might also be dealing with a broken sensor, which could prevent your AC from turning on in the first place. Air conditioners rely on a specific detection system for figuring out what the temperature is in your home, and if that system is giving incorrect readings, then the air conditioner might not even get a signal to turn on.

The sensor in the air conditioner can be damaged, but that damage should also be fairly obvious. If you notice any damage to the sensor, then you could consider getting a replacement or repairs.

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Why You Should Consider Heating Your Home With Natural Gas

When it comes to heating your home, there are a number of different types of energy to choose from. Electricity, natural gas, propane, and heating oil are all viable options, which can make it pretty hard to choose one. However, each type of energy is uniquely suited to a different purpose, which means that some options might be ideal for your current situation, while others might be more expensive or unwieldy than you might want. To help you make a decision on what type of energy to use, here is an overview of how natural gas can be used to heat your home, along with its advantages:

How can gas be used to heat your home?

In short, natural gas can be ignited, which produces a lot of heat. This heat is then added to some air, which is then distributed throughout your home. This may sound similar to gasoline, but natural gas is transported in gas form, rather than liquid form. This does lead to an interesting problem, since natural gas is much less energy-dense than gasoline or propane. Therefore, it’s not particularly viable to buy containers of natural gas.

Instead, natural gas is distributed in a complex and widespread system of pipes. This is similar to electricity in terms of size and scope, since many homes and buildings have access to both natural gas and electricity.

Can gas be used to heat individual rooms?

Natural gas can be used to heat your home in a variety of ways, such as being used in a central furnace that pushes the air into your ventilation.

While you might have used natural gas for your stove or central heater in the past, you might be surprised to learn that you can actually use natural gas for certain space heaters as well. Just like an electric space heater needs to be plugged into an outlet in order to function, a natural gas space heater will need to be hooked up to a gas outlet in order to function.

What is the biggest advantage of natural gas?

Natural gas is one of the most popular heating options available today, and for good reason. Natural gas distribution pipelines are everywhere, which means that there is a very good chance that your home has easy access to natural gas. This results in an easily accessible source of heat that ends up being extremely cheap.

With natural gas, you will probably end up paying less than half of what you would pay for a comparable amount of heat with propane or heating oil. Even when it comes to electricity, natural gas will likely end up being 20-30% cheaper in the long run.

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How To Maintain An AC Fan

The fan on the condensing unit of an air conditioner is often the first thing that needs to be repaired. The fan is protected by a cage that is meant to keep out birds and rodents. However, the cage does not protect the fan from water, dirt and other debris that could ruin its functionality. After some time, your fan blades can get rusty. Also, the output vent leading to the fan compartment can get blocked. This article explains how to clean your fan blades and remove blockages from the vents. These repairs are more preventative. If you perform these regular maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your fan remains fully operational over the years.

Cleaning the Fan Blade

To access the fan compartment you need to remove the bird guard. This is very easy to do with a basic screwdriver. You might need a power drill to get the screws off though, especially if they are rusted. Use a powerful flashlight so you can have full visibility when working inside the compartment. If your fan blades show any signs of rusting, you will need to clean them with a rust remover. Then,  coat them with a metal rust protection solution. Both of these products are sold at home improvement stores. When you are cleaning your fan blades, inspect the main rod and bearings. Rusty bearings can cause your fan to spin incorrectly (and be noisy). Greasing the bearings is a great way to ensure that the blades spin as smoothly as possible.

Cleaning Vent Blockages

While the bird guard is removed from the unit, vacuum out the bottom of the compartment. Clean the floor of the compartment out so there is no debris. Then, from the outside of the unit, remove the hose coupling on the exterior side of the output. By loosening a hose clamp, you can easily remove the hose. This is where you are likely to find the most serious blockages. Shake the hose and listen for any debris inside it. Any debris that you remove will ultimately increase the productivity of your fan. By increasing the airflow into your home, you can usually adjust your thermostat by a couple of degrees.

Save a little bit of money and make sure that your AC is always fully functional by performing these basic maintenance tasks. Contact a local repair shop, like Tropic Air Conditioning INC, for more help.

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Conditions That May Cause Your Furnace To Smell Like It’s Burning

Your furnace is an essential part of your home and should provide you excellent comfort at all times. However, it also has ways of letting you something just is not right. You should take care of it as if it is a part of your family. In a way it is, because without it, how pleasurable would your time spent at home be if the weather is really cold?

Prepare it to Run Again

If the unit has been off all summer, you should check and be sure all of the vents are open. If the air is trapped, it can’t flow and may fill the air with a burning odor that can be very offensive.

A burning smell could be coming from a dirty furnace filter. These filters are essential for good air quality in your home. If one becomes dirty, the air cannot pass through the fibers. If this happens, a fire could be the result with the buildup of pollen, dust, and if you have a pet, pet dander. Your filter should be replaced every 30 to 60 days (depending on the type) to prevent these buildups from happening and possibly damaging your heating unit. It could also cause a fire, especially if you are not at home.

Dust in the combustion chamber may emit a burning smell if the furnace has not been operational for an extended amount of time. Dirt and dust may be caught in the combustion chamber, so when the unit is turned on the debris will flare up while producing a smoke odor. The blower unit will send the air through the duct work and deliver the nasty odor into your entire home. The smell should be eliminated quickly, but you could open a door or window to speed up the process.

Check the Blower and Electrical Components

A furnace blower is responsible for distribution of heat throughout your home. Another primary function is maintaining the furnace’s internal temperature, as with any fan unit. You should be sure it is operational.

Your furnace may have problems with its wiring or other similar electrical problems. This can be a huge risk and should not be ignored. An annual inspection is the best way to prevent a fire. A tune-up will include cleaning your burners and other components where dust and other substances may have gathered.

You should never ignore any smell the furnace produces. If it is a bad odor, it may be an indication something is seriously wrong with your unit. It is always a good idea to do yearly maintenance. It is better to be safe than sorry!

To learn more, contact a service like Winters Heating Cooling & Indoor Air Quality.

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Tips For Spotting A Heating Oil Tank Leak

If you want to make sure that you are not wasting any heating fuel, you need to keep an eye out for oil tank leaks. To help you do just that, you will want to take a few minutes to review the following tips. This way, you can have the problem corrected before too much money is wasted on heating oil that is not getting used to actually warm up your home.

Use Some Cardboard

Find a large cardboard box that you can break apart along the seams so that it will lay flat. Wait until it is a nice day outside so that rain will not get in the way or ruin the cardboard. Then, lay the cardboard on the ground under the heating oil tank. Make sure that you are placing a few bricks or rocks in the corners of the cardboard so that it does not blow away in the wind. Allow it to sit there for the entire day. Check back later to see if you spot any heating oil on the cardboard. If you see any oil, you might need a new heating oil tank.

Keep An Eye On The Oil Level

Some leaks are super slow and may not appear on the cardboard over the course of a day or two. Therefore, you are going to have to be a little more aware of the oil level within the tank. You should know how long your tank of oil will last your home on average. Does it seem as though the level of oil is going down a lot faster than usual? (If you aren’t sure about how high your oil should be, contact a professional delivery service like Bay State Fuel Oil Inc to see if your levels are normal.) If so, is it possible that you have been cranking up the thermostat to a much higher temperature? If not, then it could be that your furnace is not actually using more, but rather that the oil is being wasted and it is soaking into the ground beneath the tank.

With those two tips in mind, you should be able to spot a heating oil tank leak within a short amount of time. Once you discover a leak, you will need to contact a contractor immediately. Allow him or her to evaluate the overall condition of the oil tank to determine if it is able to be repaired or if you simply need a brand new tank. The sooner you have all of this dealt with, the sooner you will be able to stop wasting money on heating fuel that is not actually getting used.

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How Central Air Works And The Importance Of Keeping The Filter Clean

You’ve more than likely heard that it’s crucial for you to make sure you keep the filter for your central air conditioning system clean. However, many people still continue to ignore this advice, causing them higher energy bills and possibly even problems with their cooling system. To understand the importance of your air conditioners filter, you first need to understand how your air conditioner works. This will help you understand why it’s so important. This article will explain your cooling system to you so you understand what the filter’s role is.

The components of your system

Your central air conditioning system will have an air handler, which is generally locate d on the roof or on the side of the house. The air handler is what draws air in, cools it off and sends it back into the house.

The system also includes air ducts which run through the house into the separate rooms. At the end of each duct is a register, and this is the part that comes out of the ceiling or wall that you can adjust to control how the cool air comes in the room.

There is also the thermostat, which regulates the temperature and allows you to change the temperature settings. The thermostat is also where you will turn the system on and off.

The filter is a removable filter that’s generally located in the ceiling of a hallway near the center area of your home. The filter is protected and kept in place by a slotted covering that allows air to come inside when the air handler calls for it.

How the system works

When the temperature in your home goes above the setting on the thermostat, it sends a message to the air handler which in turn will cause air from the room to be pulled through the filter and ducts to the handler itself, where the air will be moved through coils and the compressor where it will be cooled due to refrigerant in the system.

The cool air will then make its way back through the ducts where it will exit the system through the registers in each room.

Once the thermometer in the thermostat recognizes that the air in the room matches the temperature request on the thermostat, the system will temporarily shut off.

Cleaning your filter

When the air is pulled through the filter, any dust and hair in the air will come with it. The filter will catch this debris so it doesn’t make its way through the system. When the filter is dirty, the air won’t be able to pass through the filter as it should and this causes the system to need to work harder. This will raise your energy bills and put more wear and tear on your system.

Along with keeping your filter clean, you should also have an HVAC tech like Enright and Sons come out before the start of the warm season to make sure everything is working properly. This way, they can catch any small problems before they become large, expensive repairs.

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Four Tips for Repairing and Maintaining an Evaporative Cooling System

If you live in a dry climate, an evaporative cooler may be the affordable cooling solution for your home. These systems have many benefits such as energy efficiency, but they will also require regular maintenance and repairs. Some of the things you will need to do include annual maintenance and maintenance throughout the season. There may also be small repairs that need to be done occasionally. Here are some of the things that you may want to know about your maintenance and repair needs for your cooling.

1. Doing Annual Maintenance before Using Your AC

Just like with any other type of air conditioning, your system will need to do annual maintenance to your evaporative cooler. This maintenance consists of removing weatherization like covers, opening the valves,  and changing the filter medium to get it ready for the hot summer weather. You may also want to clean the reservoir and flush out debris inside the unit.

2. Checking Your Evaporative Cooler for Small Repair Needs

You may also eventually need to do small repairs to your evaporative cooler. There are some things that you may want help with, while other repairs you can do yourself. Things like replacing a float valve is something that you can easily do yourself by removing a few screws and installing a new float. Whenever you do any of these repairs, make sure that the power is off on the system before you begin.

3. Removing Hard Mineral Deposits from Moving Parts

In many areas, hard water and mineral deposits can be a problem on many home mechanical systems. This is especially true for evaporative cooling system. The minerals can build up on moving parts and cause your system to not perform properly. If you want to prevent these problems, removing the mineral deposits during regular maintenance can reduce wear on your system.

4. Checking and Changing Filter Mediums Regularly

The filter medium is one of the most essential parts of your evaporative cooler. Not only will it help to filter air, but also water runs through the filter and evaporates to provide the cooling effect. When the filter becomes dirty, it can reduce the performance of your system, which is why it is important to check and change the filters regularly.

These are some tips that can help you with the maintenance and repairs you need for your evaporative cooler. If you need to have major maintenance and repairs done to your cooling system, contact an air conditioning repair contractor to get your system cooling again.

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Boost Your AC Unit: Three Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

The better your home shelters you from the summer heat, the less you have to worry about summer cooling costs. In other words, the key to getting the most efficiency from your AC system is to understand how heat enters your home and then improve your home’s heat defenses. A good place to start heat proofing your home is by improving the heat resistance of your roof and windows. 

Roofing and AC Costs

The part of your home that is most exposed to the sun is your roof. The sun beats down on your roof for the greater part of the the day. Some roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, will absorb heat from the sun. In fact, shingles can get as hot as 150 degrees. Some of this heat transfers into your attic and from there into your home, which makes your AC unit’s job that much harder. The key to choosing energy-efficient roofing is to look for roofing that is both reflective and emissive. Reflective roofing will repel the sun’s heat, and emissive roofing will release what heat it does absorb back into the atmosphere. Metal roofing, for example, can decrease your cooling costs by up to 40%

Windows and AC Costs

Windows do not absorb heat like a roof will, but they can, nonetheless, contribute to high cooling costs. The problem with windows is that they allow the sun’s UV rays to streak right into your home. These UV rays will then heat up your walls, floors, and furniture. You could use blinds or curtains to block out the sun, but this deprives you of natural light and can cut off your view of the outside world. What you need is a way to filter out UV light while still allowing the sun to light up your home. A good low-e window film will reflect UV waves while still allowing you a view of the outside world. In this way window films can reduce your cooling bills by up to 23%

These two examples should be enough to demonstrate that if you take steps to seal heat out of your home, you can save on coolings costs. An AC unit can help to keep your home cool, but on a hot day, heat gain can exceed your AC unit’s capacity to keep your home cool, which means your home will continue to get warmer throughout the day even as your AC unit churns cool air into your home. Taking steps to reduce heat gain will make your AC unit’s job easier and save you money. Visit a contractor’s website, one like, for more information on air conditioning.

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Avoid Costly Heater Repairs In The Winter By Having Maintenance Done In The Summer

During the hot summer temperatures, the last thing on your mind is your heater. However, having maintenance done duing the summer is the best way to save money. In addition, you won’t have to wait for an available technician. You can usually call in the morning and have someone at your house in the afternoon, without having to pay for an emergency service call. While it would be impossible to predict every heating failure beforehand, if you want the best chance to avoid having your heater shut down in the middle of the night during the cold season, have the following routine maintenance performed before you have to turn the unit back on.

Cleaned System

It is just as important to have the duct work all cleaned as it is to have the combustion chamber cleaned. Dirt, soot and debris anywhere in the system will reduce air flow and cause your unit to work harder. This will cost you money as the unit comes on more frequently to keep your home at the set temperature. It also will cost you money to have the system repaired or replaced because the moving pieces cannot move freely when coated with soot.

Change the Filters

You may change the filters in the house vents monthly, but the oil filter on the furnace still needs to be changed to keep any impurities from getting into the oil. Even small pieces of dirt can clog the fuel jets and keep the system from running efficiently.

Patch Leaks

While your system will still operate properly if there are a few leaks in the system, it can cost you money or be a health concern. You do not want heated air escaping the house through the ducts, causing you to turn up the thermostat when the house is not warm enough.

System Check

Even though it is hot outside, you are going to have to allow the technician to turn on the heater for a moment to watch it run. He or she can then see if there is a part that is about to break or if something else is slightly off. Having the repair done now means you won’t have to do it when you need the heat.

In addition to saving money on costly winter repairs, when you have the service done in the summer the company often offers a large discount. Many people have their servicing done in the fall, right before it starts to get cold. This means that companies like Bristol Heating & Air Conditioning are busy again and do not have to look for work; it comes to them. To bring in more business in the summer, they will offer larger discounts. However you add it up, having routine maintenance on your heating system in the summer is going to save you money.

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Identifying And Fixing Common Air Conditioner Issues

The worst thing in the summer months is having a faulty air conditioning unit when you need it the most. With a few proper care techniques and general maintenance, you can better ensure that your AC unit will stay cool throughout the summer. Here are four ways to avoid common air conditioning problems.

1. An Overheated Air Conditioner

If your AC unit seems to overheat when you need it the most, maybe you are over using it when you don’t really need it. Make sure that in cooler evenings you switch to fans and give your air conditioning unit a chance to rest. If your AC is on full tilt morning noon and night, it will overheat and break down, needing repairs.

2. Air Conditioning Unit Making Noise

If your AC unit revs up with a grumble every time it is trying to cool down your home, this can get annoying. The solution to this problem can be a simple as wiping dirt and grime off of the compressor blades. Make sure to consult your AC unit’s owner’s manual and don’t clean down fan blades unless the unit is off. If you are unsure if you can find the problem area, call in an AC repair professional for a quick fix.

3. AC Running, But No Cold Air

If your AC unit sounds like it is working hard, but cool air is not coming out, several things could be the cause. Your unit might just need a cleaning, or there might be a problem with your refrigerant levels. Ask your repair specialist to check these two things first. You might be in need of a new compressor, but don’t let your repairman jump to big repairs until the first two minor possibilities are checked over.

4. Energy Bills on The Rise in the Summer

The older your AC unit is, the less efficient it will be, and it can run up your energy bills. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, you might be due for a replacement. If your AC repair professional recommends a new air conditioning unit, make sure to take this advice seriously. New AC units are more energy efficient and come with warranties that can save you money in the long run.

Having an air conditioning unit that you can rely on is important, especially if you are in the middle of summer. You need to take care of your AC unit in order for it to be in good working condition for your cooling needs. Make sure the keep your air conditioner serviced so it will be in good working order when you need it the most. For more information, contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.

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About Me

So many of us make the mistake of assuming the air conditioning system is up and ready to go without having to do anything after a long winter. Unfortunately, oftentimes, this isn't the case. You know how I know that air conditioning systems need pre-summer maintenance? Well, I know because I broke my air conditioning unit trying to use it without even looking at it before starring it up for the first time. It was that moment that I learned a very valuable lesson the hard way. My blog will walk you through getting your air conditioner ready for summer without the expensive lesson that I had to learn.


May 2016
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