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Air Conditioning Tips & Advice

Air Conditioning Tips & Advice (9)

AC Installation
Spring is a time many homeowners decide whether it's time to replace their old central air conditioner, or repair their existing AC and hope that it makes it through another summer. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to purchasing a new central heating and cooling system.

1. Reliability - A furnace and air conditioner are major investments. Do your research and go with a proven brand with a proven track record and you'll reduce the chances of having problems down the road.
2. Efficiency - By choosing an EnergyStar® rated system you can save you up to 30% on your annual heating and cooling costs. Check the unit's EnergyStar label, or check the manufacturer's website to find out detail how much the system will cost to operate annually.
3. Professional Installation - The most important day in the life of your central heating and cooling system is the day it's installed. Proper sizing and correct installation are very important. Choose a heating and cooling contractor with experience and one that stands behind their work, today and down the road.
4. Air Quality - To reduce indoor pollution consider having a whole house air cleaner installed with your furnace or air handler. You'll can have peace of mind knowing your new system is cleaning the air far better than a furnace filter alone. If low humidity is a problem during the winter months, consider a humidifier. Today's humidifiers work with thermostats to provide precise control over the moisture levels in the home.
 
Have questions about which heating or air conditioning system is right for your home? Call M/R Plumbing, we can help answer all your questions.

Fixing Uneven Room Temperatures During the Summer

Why Is One Room Hot While Another Is Cold?

Uneven Room Temperatures

Inconsistent heating or cooling in the home is one of the most common reasons homeowners contact us for service. Hot or cold zones around the home are not only an annoyance, they’re a sign that the air delivery system is not operating correctly. Many homeowners will simply close or open vents, or adjust the thermostat well above or below where it should be to maintain a comfortable setting. This wastes energy and can shorten the life of your HVAC system

Several factors can contribute to uneven heating or cooling, but, fortunately, they can all be fixed. Here are a few things that you can do to address uneven heating and cooling in your home.

Have Your Home's Ductwork Inspected

If airflow to certain parts of the home is imbalanced, you’ll experience uneven heating or cooling in those areas. An airflow imbalance also causes your system to work overtime in order to compensate, which in turn will shorten your system’s life and decrease its efficiency.

In order to create a balanced airflow M/R Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Heating will need to inspect and assess the adequacy of your home’s ductwork. If the ducts are not properly sized, it’s important to replace them with correctly sized ones.

Identifying leaks and blockages is also important, as leaks are a major contributor to inefficiency and uneven temperatures. If blockages are identified, they will be removed to restore airflow. Once the underlying causes of the imbalance have been identified, the appropriate repairs or replacement will be made to get your system functioning normally again.

Variable Speed Motors

Variable speed motors provide more even heating and cooling, and allow for more precise control of airflow throughout the home. By moving the air more slowly through the system, variable speed motors can help make a home’s air filtration and moisture control systems more effective. They adjust the system’s output based on the home’s heating or cooling needs. They can also be helpful in situations where uneven heating or cooling is actually desired.

If there are rooms in your home that are rarely used, you can save money by keeping them at a slightly higher or lower temperature than the other rooms in your home. This involves “zoning,” which means customizing temperature settings for different areas of the home. In general, variable speed motors are the only systems that allow for zoning within the home.

Ensure Your HVAC System Is The Correct Size

Just as you’re experiencing discomfort due to uneven temperatures, your system is constantly trying to compensate, which means high utility bills and the potential for costly repairs. When a heating and cooling system is installed, it's critical that it be properly sized for the air volume in your home. If the system is too large, it will cycle on and off to frequently. If it's undersized and not powerful enough, it will need to work longer and harder to heat or cool your home.

Have questions about your heating and cooling system? Give us a call, we can evaluate your needs and offer solutions to keep all the rooms in your home comfortable year round.

Should You Replace Your Old Air Conditioner Or Repair It?

Repair or Replace AC?

If your central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you may be considering whether it's best to keep repairing the unit, or invest in a new AC system. The old saying "if it ain't broken... don't fix it." makes sense for many appliances around the home, but for your home's heating and cooling system, delaying the purchase of a new system can cost you more in the long run both in higher utility bills and potentially expensive repairs.

The EPA recommends that homeowners consider replacing their air conditioner if it's older than 10 years old. This is because new air conditioners are far more efficient that system installed just a decade ago. How much can you expect to save on your energy bill with a new air conditioner? The most efficient systems you could save up to 56% on your cooling bill.

Here are a few reasons to consider replacing your old air conditioner.

1. The air conditioner is not operating reliably and is in need of frequent repairs
2. Your utility bill for cooling your home is rising as the unit has become older and less efficient.
3. It's LOUD! Today's air conditioners operate at variable-speeds to cool your home more quietly in most situations.
4. It's more than 10 years old. Newer, high efficiency AC systems can pay for themselves in just a few years in lower cooling costs.

Have questions about whether to repair or replace your central air conditioner? Give MR Plumbing Heating Air and Electrical a call. We can evaluate the condition of you air conditioner and make recommendations for repair or replacement.

Air Conditioner Noises
Most new air conditioners built within the last few years are designed to operate very quietly. When you hear an unusual sounds it's often a sign of inadequate maintenance, or a sign that a part has worn out and is about to fail. By being aware of the different types of AC noises you better determine if there's a problems and have a professional fix the small problems before they lead to an unexpected breakdown.

When an air conditioner is operating normally it will make some familiar sounds. These may include hissing and whirring sounds that are normal and are a result of the unit's blower and compressor operating.

The Sounds of a Malfunctioning Air Conditioner

Air conditioners have many parts; there are fans, hoses, belts, compressor motors, coils and other components that work together to move cool air throughout your home. As air conditioner units age, belts often become loose, leading to thumping sounds. A clogged air filter can reduce air flow and can cause the unit to whine loudly as it cycles on and off. Loose hardware on compressor parts can lead to rattling noises.

If you are hearing unusual sounds from you AC or furnace, it's best to have a qualified technician inspect the unit to ensure it's operating safely and reliably.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the best way to minimize the likelihood of air conditioner repairs. An AC tune-up includes the following steps that keep your air conditioner operating quietly and reliably:
  • Inspection and lubrication of all moving parts
  • Inspection and replacement of worn belts and hoses
  • Replacement of dirty air filters
  • Ensuring that the unit cycles on and off properly
  • Inspection of electrical connections
  • Inspection of refrigerant levels
Have questions about your air conditioner? MR Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric is here to help.

Tuesday, 07 May 2019 14:36

The 4 Most Common Air Conditioner Problems

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The 4 Most Common Central Air Conditioner Problems

Annual Maintenance is the Key To Staying Cool

Crestwood air conditioner maintenance

With the hot, humid weather right around the corner in the Crestwood area, now is a good time to have your central air conditioner maintained. Most of the air conditioner problems we see every day are the result of lack of maintenance and not having the AC unit regularly inspected.

1. AC Refrigerant Leaks

A central air conditioner should not lose coolant during normal operation. There are a couple of reasons an air conditioner may be low on refrigerant – either it was not sufficiently charged when it was installed, or it has developed a leak. Your HVAC technician will look for leaks in the system and refill the unit with refrigerant if needed. The amount of refrigerant added to the unit must match the manufacturer's recommended amount to ensure optimal cooling performance. If a leak is found it's best to find the cause of the leak and make repairs before adding more refrigerant.

2. Clogged Furnace Air Filters

An air filter should be replaced monthly, or as recommended by the filter manufacturer. When filters become dirty and clogged the AC unit must work harder, and parts such as the compressor or fans are likely to wear out prematurely.

3. Dirty AC Coils

Evan a small amount of dirt accumulating on coils can significantly reduce the cooling performance of your air conditioner. AC coils should be cleaned to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. Before performing any maintenance always be sure to shut off the power supply to the unit.  Gently vacuum the fins and coil to avoid bending the metal. Never use a power washer to clean an air conditioner. Keep the area around the air conditioner free of tree branches and bushes to keep debris from falling on the unit.

4. Air Conditioner Electrical Component Failure

Compressor and fan controls will wear out over time, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently. If your noticing that the AC is cycling on and off more frequently, or is running much longer than usual, give us a call to inspect the unit. Corrosion of wires and terminals is another common problem in many systems, so the electrical connections and contacts should be inspected annually during AC system maintenance.

By regularly maintaining your air conditioner you can keep your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible, while also saving money on unexpected breakdowns and repairs.
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 00:11

Central Air Conditioner Noises

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Central air conditioners have a lot of moving parts working to keep your home cool and comfortable. Over time, the parts will wear out and lead to a variety of sounds you may not have heard before. Some of these sounds can be easy to identify and fix, like a loose panel cover, or could be a sign of a bigger problem like a worn out condenser motor.

Air Conditioner Noises

Air Conditioner Rattling Sounds

Rattling sounds are a fairly common with air conditioners. Over time the various fasteners attaching components to the unit can become loose. If you hear a rattling sound, check the screws or bolts on the cover plates. If the rattling noises is still heard after tightening the panels, remove the cover and check inside the unit for the loose panels. After listening for rattles, always turn the power to the unit off at the breaker.

Central AC Whistling Sounds

Whistling sounds are usually a result of faulty seals. Check for cracks and gaps in the seams of ducts near the AC unit and in the duct work that carries the air throughout the home. Examine the seams around these areas for loose connections and re-tighten any loose screws or bolts. If tape was used to cover the seals, make sure the tape is  adhering well to the duct seams.

Screeching Sounds

Like a car, an air conditioner motor uses belts to turn a fan. Over time the belt can stretch and wear out. If there is periodic screeching that only occurs when the unit turns on to blow air or cool the air down, it is likely a worn-out belt that needs to be replaced. A qualified HVAC technician should check the belt and replace it if needed.

Clunking Sounds

Clunking sounds can mean a part has come loose inside the AC unit. A loose fan blade on a motor will often make sounds as it turns. It may also be that a plastic component or cover plate is coming into contact with the fan. A qualified HVAC technician should inspect the unit to ensure it is operating safely.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 15:59

4 Reasons To Replace Your Old Air Conditioner

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4 Reasons To Replace Your Old Air Conditioner

4 Reasons To Replace Your Old Air Conditioner

Is your central air conditioner getting on in years? If the unit is more than 10-15 years old and you are considering replacing it with a newer model, you can expect to enjoy many improvements, including: 
  1. Quieter Operation - By optimizing the shape of fan blades and redesigning how compressors work, manufacturers have been able to made air conditioners operation much quieter. 
  2. Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants - Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better. 
  3. Reduced Energy Consumption - Years ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity each hour to cool a typical home. Today, that energy consumption has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, a result of new technologies such as variable speed fans and scroll compressors. 
  4. Increased Comfort - In the past central heating and cooling systems had two fan settings – on and off – not the most efficient and comfortable way to heat and cool a home. Today, variable speed fans allow air conditioners to deliver conditioned air far more precisely. The result is less energy use, lower noise and greater comfort.
Ready to replace your old, inefficient air conditioner?  Call MR Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical. 
 
 

Identifying Air Conditioner Problems Before They Become Major Repairs

Your home's central air conditioner is a power-hungry and complex machine that can fail at any time without warning. However, there are a few simple ways you can identify air conditioner problems that could tip you off to a potential problems before the unit fails completely.   

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Some of the early warning signs of potential air conditioner problems are:

Excessive Noise

One of the most common complaints we hear is that the air conditioner is making a wailing noise. Left unchecked, the minor annoyance can quickly grow deafening when the unit is operating at full capacity. Loud noises such as these are generally caused by a fan belt becoming dislodged over time. Your technician will check the bearings in the motor, as they may require lubrication or replacement.

Frozen AC Coils

Another issue that often arises is frozen coils. Frozen coils and ice can impede the operation of the unit, creating blockage in the circulation of Freon and air. Heat pumps often contain heating elements to reduce this problem, but sometimes the unit doesn’t cycle quickly enough. Recalibrating the unit can eliminate this problem.

Precipitation

An air conditioner that is leaking water inside your home can cause significant water damage as well as mold and mildew. If your AC unit no longer drains away condensation effectively, it could be the result of a rusted out condensation pan or blockage in the drain itself. Check the pan and drain lines for signs of leaks.

Clogged Ventilation Grills

One of the most common causes of air conditioner failure is blocked grills. Annual maintenance to clean the unit's fins, fan, motor and other parts of dirt and debris will allow the unit to operate at peak efficiency during the hottest weather.

Other AC Problems

If the air conditioner simply isn’t cooling, more advanced diagnostic tools may need to be applied. Is the fan or compressor running without the other? Does the unit work only part of the time? Does it over cool or not cool enough? Questions such as these can help you give your technician a head start in quickly zeroing in on the source of the problem, so be sure to take a second to observe operation before you turn of power to the unit and call for service.

Generally most problems can be identified from the details above. If, for instance, the unit shuts off before the room is a comfortable temperature, it may not be cycling enough air through the thermostat to take a measurement. This could be due to poor calibration or a blocked sensor.

A Freon leak can render the machine weak or ineffective, especially if recharging the gas supply doesn’t solve the problem. The thermostat could be broken as well, which usually means it has to be replaced.

Finally, the A/C unit may be short-circuited to the ground, causing circuit breakers to fail every time the machine turns on. Be sure to provide a description of the problem to your technician to help him solve your problem as quickly as possible.

Central Air Conditioner

With the hot, sticky weather just around the corner many homeowners with older air conditioners are weighing the benefits of buying a new air conditioner versus repair their existing unit. The old saying "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." isn't always so clear cut when it comes to central cooling systems. While that old ac unit may be running just fine, it may be using a lot more energy than new units. The reason is many new air conditioners are variable speed, meaning that instead of just cycling on and off, they can operate at low or high speed depending on demand.

The EPA suggest that homeowners replace their older air conditioner if it's past 10 years old. The reason is new air conditioners are far more efficient that system available a decade ago. How much can you expect to save on your energy bill? With a newer, high efficiency system you could save up to 56% on your cooling costs.
 
Ultimately, for most homeowners the decision to replace their air conditioner happens when the unit breaks down during a heat wave. By planning ahead and making the decision to install a new air conditioner before the old unit is beyond repair you can avoid the inconvenience and expense of an unexpected repairs while enjoy the cost savings of today's high efficiency air conditioners.
 
Have questions about air conditioners? Call MR Plumbing, we're here to help.


 

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