Frequently Asked Air Conditioning Service Questions
As the temperature rises, so does the number of questions people have about their air conditioning units. We’ve all been there: sitting in a sweat-drenched room, fanning ourselves with whatever we can find, and desperately searching for answers to our AC woes. Fear not! We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked air conditioning questions to help you beat the heat and keep cool. From common AC problems to understanding the ins and outs of AC maintenance, this article has got you covered.
How Often Should You Have Your AC Serviced?
Air conditioner maintenance should not be put off for any reason. You should have your AC unit serviced at least once a year by an air conditioning professional. You should consider doing this more frequently if you live in a warm area like Texas and use your air conditioner for over half the year.
Timing is also important when it comes to air conditioning service. It is recommended that you have your AC serviced during the beginning of the warmer months. That way, you’ll know for certain that it’s functioning optimally.
You should also review the terms of your warranty. Many AC manufacturers have specific AC service requirements that must be performed at different times. If you fail to comply with these guidelines, your warranty may be voided. It’s a good idea to keep track of how often you have the AC serviced, just in case.
What are the Tasks Involved in Servicing an Air Conditioner?
These are the standard services that are performed during air conditioning service appointments:
Cleaning the Filters and Fins
During normal operation, an air filter will gather dust and grime. When AC filters get dirty, the unit stops cooling properly or freezes. Air conditioning service visits often include changing the air filter and cleaning the condenser fins to remove mildew and dust buildup.
Cleaning the Evaporator Coil and Condenser
Overheating is a major problem for your AC system, and the main cause of this is dust and debris. Air conditioning maintenance includes thoroughly cleaning the condenser coil, evaporator coil, and other important parts of the system to remove dust and debris. The condenser coils for a split AC are located in the outdoor unit.
Cleaning the Drain and Checking for Leaks
During maintenance, the air conditioning service technician will look for signs of a leak, such as pools of water. They’ll also ensure the air conditioner’s internal tubes and pipes aren’t leaking. The technician will clear the drain and clean the unit to prevent water leakage.
Inspecting Refrigerant Levels
The air conditioning technician will also check the refrigerant levels. This chemical is used in various systems because it helps to chill the air as it circulates. Unless there is a refrigerant leak, it shouldn’t need to be replaced. However, if there is a leak, the technician will locate the source of the leak and correct the issue during the service visit. Refrigerant can be extremely dangerous to your health, so call an air condition service provider immediately if you suspect a leak.
Checking Electrical Components
Your air conditioner service visit will likely involve visually inspecting the system’s wiring and connections. This includes checking all working components and wiring. The technician will check for any fraying, discoloration, or breaks. They will also remove and replace any damaged wiring, such as that caused by rodents or improper maintenance over the years. They will check the electrical components thoroughly to ensure your safety.
Checking the Thermostat
During an AC tune-up, the technician will check the thermostat and replace or update it if necessary. The process will involve testing it, checking to see if it works, and tweaking any settings to get the most out of it. Updating the thermostat’s programming, if possible, may result in greater system efficiency over time.
During the air conditioning service visit, the technician will inspect the system. That involves everything from evaluating the lines, checking the motor, and looking at any exposed ductwork. Also, many factories have age limits with strict regulations. There may come a time throughout the system’s lifetime when it has to be tuned up by replacing components like lines or wiring. The technician will also deal with the issue if that is the case. They’ll check every hose, wire, fitting, and seal for wear and tear.
How Can I Tell Whether I Need AC Repair?
Below are signs indicating you need to call an air conditioning repair company.
If you notice water pooling around or dripping from your AC unit, it may indicate a clogged or broken condensate drain line. It could also be a sign of a refrigerant leak. Since refrigerant is deadly in high concentrations, any leaks must be fixed immediately and meticulously. Call an AC service professional as soon as you notice a leak.
An unpleasant or odd stench from your AC indicates a larger problem. There are several potential causes for unpleasant odors, including clogged filters or burned-out wires slowly melting the plastic coating on the copper. You should call an AC repair expert to diagnose and fix the issue before it is too late.
Noisy AC Unit
A noisy air conditioner isn’t just an annoyance; it may be a clue that your current unit needs to be repaired or replaced. When an air conditioner starts making unusual noises, it’s time to call the experts for maintenance.
If you feel warm air coming from your home’s vents, it’s probably time to adjust the temperature settings. Ensure it’s in cooling mode and set it to a temperature lower than what’s currently in your home. If warm air is still coming out of your vents, the airflow may be blocked, or the compressor may have a problem, all of which need the attention of an AC service provider.
If your home’s air conditioner has reduced airflow, it could indicate that the unit isn’t working properly or that a clog in the ducts is stopping air from circulating. It could be due to a blocked air filter, a faulty motor, or something more serious.
The AC Unit Keeps Cycling On and Off
If your AC unit keeps cycling on and off, it is likely experiencing short cycling, a typical problem that affects most homes, particularly during the warmer months. Possible causes of short cycling include dirty air filters, leaking refrigerant, a broken compressor, faulty wiring, and faulty thermostats. Since short cycling can cause a significant increase in your electricity bill, it’s best to call an air conditioning service provider to find the source of the problem and fix it.
High Humidity Levels
Reducing humidity is one of an air conditioner’s primary functions. Your air conditioner may need repair if you feel humidity inside your home while it’s running.
Rising Electric Bills
An unexpected spike in your energy bill may also indicate that it’s time to replace or repair your air conditioner. Possible causes include a faulty thermostat switch, ducting leaks, or an air conditioner that is too old to function properly. No matter the cause, you’ll have to get your unit fixed.
What are the Benefits of AC Service Calls?
You should not underestimate the significance of regular AC maintenance. Here are some reasons to contact an AC service provider to service your AC.
Preventative Maintenance Can Help Prevent Repairs
Preventative maintenance is exactly what it sounds like, maintenance performed to avoid future problems. Repair costs during summer heat can be reduced significantly with regular AC maintenance. In fact, according to most HVAC technicians, 80% of the time, repairs on air conditioners might have been prevented if just routine maintenance had been performed.
If you invest in an air conditioner tune-up every spring and it prevents just one severe breakdown, it may be worth it.
Improved Energy Efficiency
An air conditioner will perform better if its parts are in good working order. Regular upkeep plays a significant role in this. Your air conditioning service expert can identify trouble spots and recommend repairs to prevent further issues from developing.
Increasing the efficiency of the air conditioner will reduce the energy required to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. That will reduce your monthly electrical costs.
Your air conditioner won’t perform as effectively as it should if you don’t service it regularly. If you have rooms in your house that seem like an icebox while others are like ovens, it may be time to schedule maintenance.
Your air conditioner loses cooling efficiency over time due to normal wear and tear on parts and dust accumulation inside the system. Ultimately, it will make your house less pleasant for you and your family.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Unit
While an AC tune-up may cost money, AC replacement costs even more. Your goal, as a homeowner, should be to extend the life of your air conditioner as long as possible before a replacement is necessary.
Cooling systems have a typical lifespan of 12-20 years. So why is there such a wide gap? Well, upkeep plays a role in some of that. Years of dirt and grime buildup force a system to work harder, increasing the amount of wear and tear it experiences.
In addition, if broken components aren’t replaced, the entire air conditioner could be harmed. An air conditioner tune-up won’t guarantee it will live forever (because, let’s be honest, nothing does), but it will significantly increase the lifespan of your AC unit.
Maintain Your AC’s Warranty
A manufacturer’s warranty usually covers a new AC unit. The compressor and other crucial parts of an air conditioner are typically covered by the warranty for many years after installation. However, the specifics may vary depending on the system. This safeguards the system against the possibility of a failed or malfunctioning component completely halting its operation.
There is, of course, a catch: to maintain coverage under these manufacturers’ warranties, you must have an annual professional tune-up performed. Skip a year, and you risk voiding the warranty.
From the perspective of the manufacturer, they are only interested in covering systems that are receiving regular professional maintenance from an air conditioning service provider. You should do what you can to keep your warranty active; doing so could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
We have already covered how accumulated dust inside your system can affect your comfort level and energy costs. However, your indoor air quality can also be affected. When dust, grime, and pollutants accumulate in your air filter and air ducts over time, it can cause spring allergies to last well into summer.
Paying attention to indoor air quality (“IAQ“) is essential. Many professionals agree that the air quality in the average American’s house is often far lower than that found outside. We spend more time indoors than outside, so it’s more noticeable when there’s an issue with the interior air quality.
A well-maintained air conditioner can help those who suffer from allergies or are sensitive to dust particles breathe easier.
Keeping up with routine maintenance is the best way to guarantee the continued security of your air conditioner. Removing garbage, fixing water damage, and replacing faulty electrical connections are all examples of maintenance tasks that lower fire and hazard risks. Water leaks can cause mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory problems, and electrical fires can spread rapidly. Aside from reducing air quality inside your home, a buildup of dust and debris in your ducts and vents poses a fire hazard.
Keep Your Cool: Contact Us for AC Repair Services
We hope we have provided valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your AC unit by addressing some of the most frequently asked air conditioning questions. Remember, regular AC maintenance and timely repairs can help you avoid costly breakdowns, save on energy bills, and extend the life of your system.
If you need a professional air conditioning service provider, look no further than Minuteman Heating & Air. Our experienced and licensed technicians provide top-quality HVAC services to residential and commercial clients. As a trusted local HVAC company, we are committed to delivering excellent customer service, competitive pricing, and lasting results. Call us today at (817) 284-2569 or visit our website to schedule an appointment and enjoy a comfortable, healthy indoor environment all year round.
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Effects Of Pests, Rodents, Birds, And Critters In Your AC System: Why You Need Inspections From A Reliable Air Conditioning Repair Company
In many ways, pests, rodents, and critters respond to extreme weather changes like humans do. When it is too cold or even too hot, the critters search for a place to hide to protect themselves from such harsh weather conditions. One of the places they like to hide is in your air conditioning system. Various openings in your AC system allow pests, rodents, and other insects and critters to crawl through to hide in these weather extremes. They might hide in your outdoor unit or even onto your air ducts. Regardless, this is a serious issue that will eventually blow out. Hence, it is recommended that you enlist a reliable air conditioning repair company for pest-, insect-, and rodent-proofing of your air conditioning system. Further, retain the professionals for routine inspection and regular maintenance services.
Common Pests You Might Find After an HVAC Inspection
There are several signs that rodents, pests, and other insects are inside your air conditioner. Have you been noticing strange odors lately? Are there nests in your outdoor unit? Have you suddenly started seeing blowflies? Then probably there’s something living in your air conditioning system. The common rodents and pests that seek shelter in an AC system include;
These pesky creatures usually crawl into small areas like ductwork, indoor AC units, and vents. Once inside, they start forming spider webs and cobwebs that reduce the IAQ and could impact airflow. You can effectively deal with spiders by keeping the above mentioned areas clean through regular maintenance.
Mice and Rats
You could be shocked that these rodents love crawling even into the tightest spaces, including your AC system. Further, they are destructive and could chew through wiring and refrigerant lines, resulting in a need to call an air conditioning repair company to fix the affected areas. Rats and mice nest in the air ducts. Thus, you should have professionals inspect the ducts and periodically clean them to eradicate these rodents from your home completely.
Did you know snakes can also crawl into your air conditioning system when it is too hot or cold outside? Although this might sound scary, it is something that happens. Because they can’t regulate their body temperatures, nesting in your air ducts provides warmth during the cold season and coolness in the warm season. Unfortunately, they also, at times, breed in your air ducts too. If a snake coils itself on the condenser fan blade and you turn on the AC, the snake dies. This might damage the blades and even result in a pungent smell if it stays unnoticed.
Birds love nesting in your air conditioning system, especially the outdoor unit. Unfortunately, birds lay their eggs where the nest is, meaning they also breed inside your air conditioner. If their eggs rot, they can leave a pungent smell across your home, not forgetting the toll they’ll leave your AC unit with. During the maintenance visit, ensure that the professional checks the ducts and the outdoor unit for signs of bird infestation and have these components cleaned.
Uncovering the Effects of These Unwanted Guests on Your AC Through Inspections
As the rodents, pests, and critters move across your home, they leave waste and debris that might be blown into the air filters. With time, this can cause the air filters to become clogged, reducing the airflow. This leaves your AC unit working harder to cool or heat your home. Whenever your air conditioning system strains to cool your home, it uses more energy, resulting in high electricity bills. Further, indoor air quality takes a toll when the filters are clogged. The debris trapped in the air filters could enter your living space. This is among the reasons you should change the air filters regularly.
Chewing Through Refrigerant Lines, Insulation, and Wiring
Your air conditioning system also features wiring connecting different electrical parts. The other problem of rodent infestation is that they chew on the wiring, refrigerant lines, and insulation, leaving behind damages like refrigerant leaks and short-circuiting when the uninsulated parts of the wiring come into contact. Electrical shorts will result in system failure and probably other damages to components like capacitors and transformers. If the system has low refrigerant levels, that could damage the compressor resulting in a lower cooling capacity. Have you noticed a sweet chloroform-like smell? That is a sign that you could be having an AC refrigerant leak. If the rodents chew on the air duct insulation, that could result in energy losses when the warm, conditioned air gets cooled before it reaches your indoor space. Since issues like refrigerant leaks are hard to detect, your AC system must be inspected by professionals from a reliable air conditioning repair company. Stay ahead of such issues by giving your AC system routine maintenance.
Blocked Condenser Units
The other problem rodents and pests leave behind in your AC is blocked outdoor condenser units.
As mentioned above, the birds, rodents, and other critters will build their nests around the unit, blocking the airflow and, at the same time, reducing the efficiency of your system. This could make it work harder to cool your indoor space, resulting in high electrical bills and premature damage to your equipment.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Rodents, pests, and other critters also will leave behind their urine, droppings, and other wastes, which may create pungent odors, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Do you live with a person having respiratory issues such as asthma? This can prove problematic as it could exacerbate their symptoms. Fortunately, you could avoid all this by retaining an air conditioning repair company for regular inspection and maintenance of your AC system. This means they can clean the debris before they take a toll on your health.
Do you require AC inspection and maintenance services? Contact us at Minuteman Heating & Air for a professional air conditioning service.
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10 Questions To Ask A Duct Cleaning Service
If you’re considering hiring a duct cleaning service to eliminate all that unwanted gunk, you’re on the right track to breathing easy. But before you make the call, asking the right questions is essential to ensure you’re getting the best service for your money. With so many duct cleaning companies promising the moon and the stars, it can be tough to know where to start. This article will provide a list of questions to ask before hiring a duct cleaning company.
Do You Have Insurance?
Ensure the duct cleaning service is insured before letting them into your home. Business liability insurance protects you from legal action should a technician sustain an injury during duct cleaning. This policy will cover the costs if your home or valuables are damaged during cleaning. The chances that a claim lodged against a service provider would be processed and paid out are improved with this coverage. Hiring a reputable, insured business is the best way to ensure your peace of mind during in-home duct cleanings.
Are You Licensed?
When hiring a professional to clean your air ducts, this is one of the first things you should inquire about. Ensure that they have the proper state license. This indicates that they can maintain a particular standard of work and are familiar with the requirements imposed by the state. You can always look them up online to verify that they hold a valid license.
What Is Included in the Quoted Price?
There is no standard method that all air duct cleaning businesses use to set their prices. Some businesses may give you an all-inclusive price, while others may merely give you an estimate. During your appointment, inquire about what your quote includes to avoid unpleasant surprises. To ensure everything goes smoothly and neither party is caught off guard, it’s a good idea to go through the cleaning costs before the work begins.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
The amount of time a company has been in operation is indicative of several factors, including the depth of its expertise and reliability. If you need your air ducts cleaned, pick a company that has been in business for a while, employs qualified workers, and follows all applicable local, state, and NADCA/EPA regulations. As a bonus, it’s comforting to know that the organization has a history of making its consumers happy.
Are You NADCA-Certified?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) is a trade group that advocates for those working in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) business by establishing guidelines, promoting training, and issuing credentials to those who meet those guidelines.
NADCA mandates high standards of excellence for its members. If you use a company whose technicians are members of the trade organization, you can rest assured that they are well-trained and adhere to the HVAC business’s highest quality and ethical standards.
Do You Have References?
When selecting contractors to work on your home, it is essential to request references. They will have no problem providing many references if they are a respectable business. To find out what customers say about their experiences working with the company, look at the air duct company’s website and online reviews. Check for indications that the technicians are polite, reliable, and neat.
Will You Clean the Entire Duct System?
You can avoid choosing an incompetent or dishonest air duct cleaning service by making sure you know exactly what portion of your ducts they will clean before you hire them. When you pay for expert duct cleaning, you expect the whole system to be thoroughly cleaned.
As explained by the EPA, If you choose to have your HVAC system cleaned, you should hire a service that is willing and able to clean all of the system’s parts. Any potential advantages could be lost if a polluted system’s components are not thoroughly cleaned because that could cause the entire system to become recontaminated.
If the duct cleaning company doesn’t do a thorough job or can’t promise to clean the entire system, you might want to keep looking.
Do My Ducts Need to Be Cleaned?
Scammers will say anything to get your money; their subpar tools will cause more harm than good. A reputable firm will prioritize your health and that of your family over how much money you spend. Therefore, it is wise to inquire what indicators your air duct cleaners use to determine if cleaning is necessary. In addition to removing the buildup from your air ducts, a reputable business will also explain the duct cleaning process and the tools they will use.
Do You Offer Guarantees?
A reputable HVAC business or expert would gladly provide you with a warranty for their services. If something goes wrong with your air ducts, they will be more than willing to return to your home at their own expense and fix the problem. Ask about the service’s guarantees before agreeing to get your air ducts cleaned. Most experts provide a one-month warranty. Some HVAC businesses and experts may feel confident enough to offer even lengthier guarantees on their services.
How Will You Protect My House from Dust and Dirt?
Duct cleaning can be messy. Particles of dirt, dust, and anything else that may have been hidden in the ducts will be exposed. All it takes is a breeze for all that grime and dust to blow out of your ducts and settle everywhere. Always inquire with HVAC companies and professionals about the precautions they take to safeguard your property from dust and grime to ensure you don’t have to spend much time cleaning up afterward.
A reputable firm will take the time to protect your furniture and floors from dust and other airborne debris by covering them with plastic or covers. They will cover their shoes before entering the house to prevent tracking in dirt and dust, and they will brush and vacuum the areas where the ducts have soiled. No one wants to come home to a sloppy-looking house; a reliable business will ensure that doesn’t happen.
Clear the Air Today: Hire a Duct Cleaning Company that Checks All the Boxes!
By asking the right questions before hiring a duct cleaning company, you can ensure you receive high-quality service that meets your needs and budget. If you’re looking for a duct cleaning service that you can trust, look no further than Minuteman Heating & Air. With years of experience in the industry, our team of professionals is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to provide you with top-notch service that will leave your air ducts squeaky clean.
So don’t let poor indoor air quality hold you back any longer. Contact Minuteman Heating & Air today and take the first step towards cleaner, healthier air for you and your family. Your lungs (and your allergies) will thank you!
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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