Whether you’re starting your air conditioner for the first time this year, or a unit isn’t running properly and you need to service an air conditioner, following a few simple steps can save you time and money. While some service jobs should be left to a professional, there are several do-it-yourself fixes you can do to keep your air conditioner cooling all summer long.
Free cooling systems can have very high efficiencies, and are sometimes combined with seasonal thermal energy storage so that the cold of winter can be used for summer air conditioning. Common storage mediums are deep aquifers or a natural underground rock mass accessed via a cluster of small-diameter, heat-exchanger-equipped boreholes. Some systems with small storages are hybrids, using free cooling early in the cooling season, and later employing a heat pump to chill the circulation coming from the storage. The heat pump is added-in because the storage acts as a heat sink when the system is in cooling (as opposed to charging) mode, causing the temperature to gradually increase during the cooling season.
The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary.
As for parts prices, we are a business and factor in profit and overhead into our pricing structure, and frequently research other companies to be sure we are competitive, which we are. Jody, you did not pay $400 for labor, you paid $489 for a flat rate repair which included, travel, labor, diagnostics, parts, tax, shipping, truck charge, fuel charge, overtime rate, profit and overhead. As for the time of the actual repair, if it had taken 2 or 3 hours the cost would have still been the same $489.
As one of the most trusted commercial HVAC service companies in the Midwest, not only will you receive prompt service, you won’t have to worry about our teams’ knowledge and corrective service capabilities. In the last 18 months, we’ve performed more than 3,790 mechanical preventive maintenance inspections. Whether you're in need of basic air conditioner maintenance or full commercial heating and air conditioning repair, we have yet to find a deficiency we can't fix.
Additionally, new technology and government requirements are pushing manufacturers to build more energy efficient HVAC equipment. January 2006 we observed the end of 10 SEER units with 13 SEER air conditioning units mandated by the government. This only makes sense; however, with the higher efficiency, there comes complexity in the technology engineered into the equipment. A problem can be difficult to troubleshoot and diagnose and may require more time than the lower efficiency, less complex units.
I needed a replacement for my heater. I called Bill Howe and they promptly fitted me into their schedule. The person who arrived, Laurence C. thoroughly tested my furnace and pointed out the problem. I decided to replace it. They arrived on the day to install it. The two men, Jose Gomez and Javier Diaz promptly went to work. They were clean, efficient and respectful of my home. I would gladly recommend Bill Howe for your heating and plumbing needs. They were great!!
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To clean your air conditioner drain, first shut off the power to your unit at both the thermostat and the breaker. Then remove the drain pan. If the pan is full of water, soak up the liquid with a few towels or rags or use a wet vacuum. You can use a solution of water and distilled vinegar, or substitute peroxide for the vinegar, to clean out the drain pipe. Let the pipe sit for a while in the solution and then put all the parts back in place. Once you start using your air conditioner on a regular basis, check it periodically to ensure condensation isn't building up.
Perhaps the most sensible way to cool your home is to use your home's heating apparatus. Heat pumps can work in exactly this fashion. This device exchanges warmer and cooler air particles between your home and the outside air, allowing you to create a comfortable environment inside your home without the need of generating your own source of heat and cold. The one major drawback of heat pumps is that they tend to be inadequate in extremely cold or hot temperatures, which Portland essentially never sees. The only reason many homeowners don't have heat pumps in their homes is that they already have a forced air heating system. Thus, the best time to install air conditioning for your home is when your heating system fails.
R22 (also known as HCFC-22) has a global warming potential about 1,800 times higher than CO2. It was phased out for use in new equipment by 2010, and is to be completely discontinued by 2020. Although these gasses can be recycled when air conditioning units are disposed of, uncontrolled dumping and leaking can release gas directly into the atmosphere.
Air-source heat pumps are more popular in milder winter climates where the temperature is frequently in the range of 4–13 °C (40–55 °F), because heat pumps become inefficient in more extreme cold. This is because ice forms on the outdoor unit's heat exchanger coil, which blocks air flow over the coil. To compensate for this, the heat pump system must temporarily switch back into the regular air conditioning mode to switch the outdoor evaporator coil back to being the condenser coil, so that it can heat up and defrost. A heat pump system will therefore have a form of electric resistance heating in the indoor air path that is activated only in this mode in order to compensate for the temporary indoor air cooling, which would otherwise be uncomfortable in the winter.
The most recognized standards for HVAC design are based on ASHRAE data. The most general of four volumes of the ASHRAE Handbook is Fundamentals; it includes heating and cooling calculations. Each volume of the ASHRAE Handbook is updated every four years. The design professional must consult ASHRAE data for the standards of design and care as the typical building codes provide little to no information on HVAC design practices; codes such as the UMC and IMC do include much detail on installation requirements, however. Other useful reference materials include items from SMACNA, ACGIH, and technical trade journals.
Air conditioners often use a fan to distribute the conditioned air to an occupied space such as a building or a car to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality. Electric refrigerant-based AC units range from small units that can cool a small bedroom, which can be carried by a single adult, to massive units installed on the roof of office towers that can cool an entire building. The cooling is typically achieved through a refrigeration cycle, but sometimes evaporation or free cooling is used. Air conditioning systems can also be made based on desiccants (chemicals which remove moisture from the air) and subterraneous pipes that can distribute the heated refrigerant to the ground for cooling.
If you can’t make up your mind about whether you should repair or replace your current unit and it’s over the age of 10, buying a new unit might very well be a better investment. AC units will no doubt need repairs every once in a while. However, if your system continuously requires repairs, these can eventually cost more than installing a new unit, making investing in a new unit the wiser choice.
Installation—Having your HVAC systems installed by a professional is extremely important to prevent any future problems or needless repairs. Our professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can also help you choose what size equipment is appropriate for your house. Selecting a system that is too large or small can impact efficiency and add to your energy bills.