With the coming of spring comes an increased focus on your air conditioning system, and if yours has been in service for a while, the question becomes whether it can handle another Gastonia, NC summer without problems. With proper care, an older centralized system can last for many years beyond the expiration of its warranty, and even if it doesn’t, you may be confident that your system is ready to go. But if it isn’t, then now is the time to ascertain that and plan for a replacement session with a trained technician. Doing so ensures that you have the time to plan the operation at leisure and that the new unit will be ready to go when the hot weather begins in earnest.
Before that happens, however, you need to decide if your old cooling system is ready to handle another summer or not. That usually boils down to two basic components: age and cost. The first plays a large role in determining the second.
All air conditioners and similar cooling systems come with a warranty, which dictates how long the system’s components are covered. As long as the warranty is in effect, you should consider repairing a damaged cooling system rather than replacing it. If it has expired, however, and the costs entailed in keeping the system running are more than you think it’s worth, then replacement may be the best option for you.
Cost tends to mean one of two things. Either the system is costing more for your to run month to month than your budget is prepared to handle, or your system has suffered a breakdown that costs more than you’re willing to pay. That could mean one single repair job that you feel is too expensive, or it could mean multiple repair jobs (usually more than two) in a single twelve-month period.
With the coming of summer, we’re going to experience hot temperatures and muggy atmosphere, which can make your home feel like a sauna if you let it. A good air conditioner can be your best friend when the mercury rises, and it’s a fact of life that you usually have to pay more in month energy bills during the summer, since you’ll likely be running your air conditioner on a daily basis. But just because you have to pay more doesn’t mean you should pay more than is necessary. By taking concrete steps now, before the summer heat hits, you can improve your air conditioning efficiency: not only lowering those monthly bills, but reducing the risks of a more serious breakdown in the future. Here’s three possible ways you can do that.
But just because you have to pay more doesn’t mean you should pay more than is necessary. By taking concrete steps now, before the summer heat hits, you can improve your air conditioning efficiency: not only lowering those monthly bills, but reducing the risks of a more serious breakdown in the future. Here’s three possible ways you can do that.
A simple maintenance session is the easier way to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency during the summer months. The technician will give the system a thorough going-over and correct all of those little issues that don’t merit a repair call on their own, but which can add up if they aren’t dealt with. Loose bolts can increase the strain on individual components, for example, while dusty moving parts experience more friction than they should. By correcting these issues, the technician allows the system to function at maximum efficiency. It also helps reduce the risk of repairs, and when applied on a regular basis, can even help extend the life of your system.
Summer means high levels of humidity as well as high levels of heat, which can make your house feel like a sauna. When there’s too much ambient moisture in the air, the sweat won’t evaporate off of your skin, which is your body’s primary way of keeping cool. That makes the air feel hotter and forces your air conditioner to work harder to do its job. Air conditioners can also run into efficiency issues when the air is excessively humid, and in the worst cases the excess moisture can even . A dehumidifier can remove that burden from your system, as well as helping your house feel healthier and more comfortable!
Most of us think of insulation as solely a winter purveyance, since it helps keep warm air inside your home more readily and eases the strain on your heating system. But most people don’t realize that it works just as well in the summertime to keep hot air outside of your home as it does to keep warm air in. That helps your air conditioner immeasurably, often without the homeowner even being aware of it. And because our winters tend to be fairly mild, many home don’t have as much insulation as they might otherwise, since they don’t feel they need it. See if your home could use more insulation and arrange to have it installed before summer hits. You’ll be surprised at home much of a difference it can make.
For quality air conditioner service in Charlotte, NC, call the pros at FSM Heat & Air today!
At first glance, most homeowners don’t think much of the presence of ice or frost forming on the coils of their air conditioner. After all, aren’t they supposed to be cold? It’s point of fact, however, that frost signals a much deeper problem, and while your system may still function for the time being, eventually it’s going to cause some very serious issues. Understanding why stems from knowing the basics of how your air conditioner works.
REFRIGERANT IS THE KEY
Air conditioners rely on refrigerant circulating in an endless loop to cool the air. The refrigerant starts out in gaseous form before having the heat bled off of it – shifting it to liquid form – while being placed under a great deal of pressure. The heat is released in the outside portion of the air conditioning system, while the pressurized liquid refrigerant moves to the evaporator coils. A set amount is released into the coils, where it shifts back to gaseous form: pulling heat from the nearby air in the process. The cooled air can then be blown into your home through the ducts with a fan, while the gaseous refrigerant returns to the start of the cycle to repeat the process anew.
That relies both on a specific type of refrigerant and a specific amount. (The exact type and amount depend on the make and model of your system.) When that balance it thrown off – if a leak in the system develops, for instance – then ice will form on the coils. Frost and ice can also form if there’s excessive dirt on the coils, if your fan or fan motor are experiencing problems, or if the system is experiencing any one of a plethora of issues.
WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM?
Frost or ice on the coils constitutes an issue because it constitutes lost cooling potential, for starters. That means it will have to work harder to do its job: raising both your monthly bills and the strain on the remaining AC components in the process. More importantly, it forms an insulating barrier between the remaining refrigerant and the air it’s intended to cool. That can raise the bills even further as the air conditioner works even harder to overcome the deficit.
Worst of all, the process will only get worse as time goes on. More ice will form, the system’s cooling potential will drop further, and strain on the entire system will continue to increase. Eventually, that will result in a breakdown somewhere in the system, unless a trained technician isolates the cause of the frost on the coils and instigates proper repairs.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to scrape the ice off of the coils yourself. In the first case, it won’t solve the problem. The ice will quickly reform until the underlying cause of the issue is treated. More importantly, you will likely damage the coils in the process. While most issues creating ice on the coils can be resolved quickly and comparatively inexpensively, a damaged coil will cost a great deal more to get fixed. Instead, if you spot ice or frost in your system, turn it off and call a qualified repair service immediately.
Most homes in the Gastonia, NC area rely on centralized air conditioning systems to keep cool during the heat of summer. They cool the air in a single location (usually through the use of refrigerant), then blow the air into your home using a series of ducts. The system is inexpensive and does the job quite well, but it’s not right for every home.
Ductless air conditioning systems often make an attractive alternative to the traditional duct models, providing the same comprehensive cooling power for your home without having to rely on ducts to do it. How does it work, and what kind of homes benefit the most from it? Read on for the answers.
A DECENTRALIZED FORMAT
Ductless systems utilize a number of smaller units to cool your home instead of one big one. The units are spaced in different locations in the home, each one charged with cooling a single room or section. Each unit can be operated independently of the others, allowing you to raise or lower the temperature in different sections individually.
The obvious benefit of such an approach — beside removing the need for ducts — is the ability to tailor the temperature in each room to suit the tastes of different occupants. It also allows you to shut off the air conditioning in parts of the home that don’t see use during the day, while keeping it running in occupied parts of the home. That can save you a huge amount in monthly energy bills, as well as lowering wear and tear in the system.
WHICH HOMES BENEFIT?
Depending on your energy use, any home can benefit from ductless systems. More specifically, larger homes tend to do well with them, especially thought that struggle to cool the space adequately. They also work well for large families who tend to fight over the thermostat settings, and for hospices or boarding homes where individual residents require their own heating and cooling system.
Call FSM Heat & Air today to discuss your options!
We tend to see a lot of air conditioner installation and replacement calls this time of year, which only makes sense. A homeowner may feel that their existing air conditioner is too old to make it through another hot summer season without a serious breakdown. If you’ve decided to replace your old air conditioner with a new one, congratulations.
Doing so will allow you to save a lot of money in monthly bills on improved efficiency and ensure that your summer passes much more smoothly. And with a few weeks to go until summer, you have the time you need to make an informed choice before scheduling as timely installation.
The first and most important decision you should make regarding your new air conditioning system is its power levels: the amount of cooling power it puts out into your home. This is a far trickier equation than you might expect, and requires careful planning to get right. Why are power levels so important to a new air conditioner? Read on for the answers.
You can probably guess that an underpowered air conditioner won’t do the job you need it to. Imagine using a single window-box AC to cool an eight-room house. It will run all day and raise your monthly costs accordingly, all without approaching the ability to adequately cool the space.
Most people respond by looking for the most powerful air conditioner they can find to off-set this, which makes a certain amount of sense. After all, don’t you want your air conditioner to cool the whole home as quickly as possible? It’s an easy argument to accept and it feels logical. Unfortunately, going with an overpowered air conditioner can be almost as bad as going with an underpowered air conditioner.
Air conditioners use a great deal of power to start up and shut down, far more than they do simply running. For that reason, you want your air conditioner to run for at least 15 minutes at a clip is order to gain the maximum benefits. And oversized unit will engage in a process known as short cycling: running for a short amount of time and turning off, only to turn on again a brief time later as the heat of the day warms your home up. That increases the strain on the system and hastens the need for repair calls, as well as costing you a great deal in unnecessarily high cooling bills.
PROPER SIZING IS THE KEY
The best air conditioner for your home obeys what we like to call the Goldilocks Rule: neither too large nor too small, but just right. Getting the power levels right means addressing the specifics of your home. A good technician will perform a close inspection of your house before installing the new system. That includes obvious factors like square footage, but also things like sunlight exposure, double-sided windows and the presence of insulation. With those facts in mind, the technician can find the best power levels for your new system.