3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it’s Way Out

Categories:
3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it's Way Out

On a hot summer day, an air conditioner can be a true lifesaver, as long as it’s working properly. The main way to ensure that your system will keep you cool all summer long, and save money in the long run, is to schedule a professional tune-up at the start of the season. In addition, however, you can avoid an unpleasant surprise by taking a moment to understand the warning signs that your air conditioner may be failing and the steps you can take to prevent a breakdown before it happens.

Here are five signs of a potential problem with your air conditioner:

1. Increased energy bills

An air conditioner that works harder to achieve the proper temperature uses more energy. If your energy bills are increasing and your home takes longer to cool, this could indicate that your system is failing.

2. The air coming from the vents isn’t cold

The air blowing through the vents should be consistently cool. If you notice that it is no longer as cold as when your system was new, or, of course, if it’s not cold at all, have your system checked out by a professional. The problem could be a simple fix, or something more serious.

3. Weak airflow from your vents

Limited airflow could indicate an issue with the compressor. It may also mean that your air ducts are dirty. Dust and debris can build up in the ducts and prevent air from flowing properly. Leaks in the ducts also prevent the conditioned air from reaching your home’s living spaces. (Ask us about Aeroseal, a patented process that thoroughly and economically seals holes and cracks in air ducts.)

4. Strange noises coming from the AC unit

Air conditioners are designed to run quietly. Squealing, grinding or grating sounds are a clear indication of a malfunction. Have a technician check out any unusual noises as soon as possible. Correcting the problem early can prevent a costly breakdown later on.

5. Leakage around the air conditioning unit

Any leaks should be addressed immediately. Water pooling around the unit may be caused by a clogged or broken drain tube. The presence of water or moisture can lead to mold growth. Water dripping inside the unit may come from ice melting. If the drip pan is full, or you hear chunks of ice falling, call your HVAC technician right away. Either of these can cause significant damage to your air conditioner. A refrigerant leak also requires immediate attention. Refrigerant leaks pose serious health risks and can also indicate a major problem with your system.

Any of these signs warrant a service call. For increased peace of mind, however, be sure to schedule an annual tune-up by a licensed HVAC technician. Doing so will greatly diminish the likelihood of emergency repairs and will also extend the life of your air conditioner and save money on energy costs.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner today for all your air conditioning needs. We proudly serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

Categories:
5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

When your HVAC system is running smoothly, scheduling maintenance appointments may be way down at the bottom of your to-do list. However, annual HVAC maintenance is the easiest and most economical way to ensure that your air conditioner and furnace work properly and safely all season long. Taking care of your equipment improves energy efficiency and prevents the inconvenience of breakdowns and costly emergency repairs. It also keeps your system from needing a replacement prematurely. Preventive maintenance is the best way to protect this significant investment in your home.

Here are the top five reasons you should invest in regular HVAC preventive maintenance:

1. Increases energy efficiency

An HVAC system that has to work harder to maintain the proper temperature uses more energy. Regular maintenance keeps your system running as efficiently as possible and that can translate into substantial energy cost savings over time.

2. Minimizes air conditioner and furnace repairs

A trained HVAC technician can catch small problems while they are easy and inexpensive to fix, and even prevent problems from arising in the first place. Maintenance appointments at the start of the season can be easily scheduled at your convenience. Regular maintenance prevents the need for emergency repairs, which are costly and inconvenient. During peak periods in winter and summer, any service call can be challenging to schedule as demand increases dramatically.

3. Lengthens the lifespan of your air conditioner and furnace

Normal wear-and-tear occurs over time as your furnace and air conditioner are used normally and can get worse as the equipment ages without proper care. Regular maintenance decreases that wear-and-tear, effectively prolonging the life of your system. This means more years of service before you need a replacement.

4. Improves indoor air quality

Indoor air pollution has become an increasing problem as our homes are sealed more tightly against the elements, trapping harmful or irritating substances such as dust, cigarette smoke and pet dander, inside. This is particularly troubling for people with allergies or respiratory illnesses. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your system clean and ensures that the air circulating throughout your home is clean and well-filtered.

5. Ensures the safety of your home

A poorly maintained HVAC system can result in a carbon monoxide leak.  Preventive maintenance typically includes a carbon monoxide test which can detect a potential hazard before it becomes deadly.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner to schedule your summer maintenance today! Rheem Pro Partner serves homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

Categories:
Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

If you notice your air conditioner turning on and off every few minutes, you should address it right away. This is known as short cycling. It wears out the compressor, one of the main components of the outside unit that is very expensive to repair or replace.

Short cycling can lead to other problems as well.

  • The repeated system start-ups use more energy and unnecessarily Increase energy costs.
  • The excessive wear-and-tear shortens the life-span of your air conditioner.
  • Over-worked equipment results in costly repairs.
  • High humidity or temperature swings mean decreased comfort.

What can cause an air conditioner to short cycle?

Dirty air filter

One common cause is a dirty air filter, which can inhibit airflow and cause a host of problems. Change the air filter every 30 to 60 days to keep your air conditioner equipment clean and running smoothly.

Dirty condenser coils

When the condenser unit and coils get dirty, they don’t work efficiently, making the whole system work harder and possibly overheat. This triggers the unit to shut off and restart repeatedly. Make sure the area around the unit is clear of debris such as leaves.

Improperly located thermostat

Locating a thermostat improperly can cause the thermostat to misread the actual temperature and turn on and off more than necessary. Make sure your thermostat is installed on an interior wall away from windows, doors to the outside, air vents and direct sunlight.

Frozen evaporator coil

Restricted airflow and low pressure throughout the system can result in ice or frost forming on the evaporator coil.

Oversized air conditioner

If short cycling has always been an issue, it is likely that your air conditioner is too big for your home. An oversized air conditioner will cool your home quickly but without properly dehumidifying the air. In addition to short cycling, this can lead to hot and cold spots, and the lack of efficiency will mean higher energy bills.

Low refrigerant / freon

Low levels of refrigerant may indicate that there is a leak. Any leak should be identified and repaired right away by your HVAC professional.

Because short cycling can be an indication of a serious problem, the sooner you address it the better in order to prevent or mitigate any potential damage.

Rheem Pro Partner is ready to help with all your air conditioning needs. Contact us today in Colorado and Wyoming with your concerns about short cycling, or any questions regarding your heating and cooling equipment.

Air Conditioner Not Cooling? Here are Some Common Causes

Categories:

During the summer, you count on your air conditioner to work without giving it much thought. Yet, when it doesn’t work properly, it becomes a huge inconvenience. Before you panic, however, there are some simple things you can check on your own that might just fix the problem quickly and easily. Knowing what you can do and when you will need a professional is important.

Before Calling a Professional:

  • Check the Thermostat
    The thermostat can accidentally get switched to the wrong setting. Make sure it is set to “auto” and not “heat” or “on.” If it is set to “on” the fan will blow air even when the air conditioner is not cooling.
  • Clean the Outside A/C Unit
    Make sure there is nothing clogging the coils. Clear away any leaves, dirt, or other debris. Keep shrubs and plants trimmed and at least two feet from the unit. Carefully clean the outside of the unit with a hose (low pressure), coil cleaner, and a coil brush.
  • Change Your Filter
    Dirty filters make your A/C work harder than necessary and compromise performance. Replace your filter every one to two months during cooling season.

Problems a Professional Will Need to Fix:

  • Restriction in the airflow
    This could be caused by a number of things, including a clogged filter or lack of regular maintenance. Restricted airflow can cause the compressor to freeze up.
  • No electricity getting to the outside unit
    This can happen if the circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown, and can indicate a major problem with the unit.
  • Dirty evaporator coil
    The evaporator coil, which is part of the inside A/C unit, can get dirty if the filter isn’t changed regularly and must be cleaned by a professional.
  • Outdoor condenser fan not operating
    The condenser fan can fail if the fan motor is bad.
  • Low on refrigerant
    This usually indicates a leak in the system that needs to be repaired, and can also be a sign that the compressor is about to fail.
  • Broken or disconnected return duct
    A damaged return duct will pull in unconditioned (warm) air from the outside or an attic space.

Have you determined you need a Professional? Don’t wait! If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, contact a Rheem Pro Partner to schedule an appointment today!

Is Now a Good Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Categories:

If your A/C has been malfunctioning, or is not working as efficiently or effectively as it should, you may be thinking about purchasing a new one. There are several factors to consider when contemplating this major investment.

  • Age of the Air Conditioner

    Age alone is not a reason to replace your air conditioner. If it works, and your utility bills are low, you’re probably fine not making a change. It is worth noting, however, that many improvements have been made to newer air conditioners. Improvements such as programmable thermostats and better overall design make them much more energy efficient. The savings on utility bills could be significant if you have an older unit, and those savings can greatly offset the cost of a new air conditioner. Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current A/C is 10 or more years old. Many HVAC technicians typically recommend replacing units if they are 15 years or older. Your HVAC professional can help you evaluate the savings you are likely to achieve with a new system and determine whether a replacement makes sense for you.

  • Frequency and Cost of Repairs

    If you’re constantly replacing parts or repeatedly having the same repair issues you should consider replacement. Even if this is your first significant repair, a good guideline is the $5,000 rule. Multiply the age of your air conditioner by the cost of the repair. If the number is greater than $5,000, replacing it makes sense.

  • Nature of Repairs

    If your A/C requires additional refrigerant (Freon) that can indicate there is leak. This type of repair can get pricey pretty quickly. The coolant itself costs $40-$175 per pound. While that may include the cost of the service call, repairing the leak plus topping off the coolant can run between $550 and $1,000. This type of leak can also signal that the compressor is about to fail. All together, replacing the compressor, repairing the leak, and adding coolant can cost as much as a new low-end unit.

  • Energy Efficiency

    The industry measures efficiency of new air conditioners with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the product. In January 2006, the standard for residential air conditioners was increased to a SEER of 13 or higher. Efficient A/C systems keep your utility bills low and also reduce your environmental impact.

Additional Factors

Some other things to consider include:

Is the repair covered by a warranty?

Are replacement parts available?

How long do you plan to stay in your home? Will you reap enough benefit from a new air condition, either through your own comfort or through the sale of your home?

What is the life expectancy of the unit? Is it serviceable for a few more years?

New refrigerants. R22 was the standard for many years and is now being phased out and the price is getting very expensive. Manufacturers are no longer allowed to make AC units with R22. All newly manufactured air conditioning units are now using R410A – an earth friendly refrigerant.

To gauge the condition of your existing air conditioner, schedule an inspection today with the most qualified HVAC technicians – a Rheem Pro Partner.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for the Summer Heat

Categories:

Your air conditioner has been unused for the past six months or so, and you may be thinking that it will just be ready to go when you need it. Over the winter, however, your system has been collecting leaves and debris that could impact its performance. Consider doing a bit of maintenance now to get your unit running properly. Taking care of your air conditioner early can save you headaches later on when busy service professionals are harder to schedule and top-of-the-season prices apply.

Why wait? Here are 5 things you can do yourself right now.

1. Check the Thermostat

Turn the unit on by lowering the temperature on your thermostat to the “cool” setting. Your AC should turn on within a few minutes and begin cooling.

2. Replace the Air Conditioner’s Filter

Chances are you haven’t replaced the filter since last season. Start the new season with a clean filter. Then, change the filter each month in order to ensure optimal performance, maximize the life of your air conditioner, maintain good air quality and eliminate allergens.

3. Clean and Clear Debris Away from the Unit

If your central air conditioner’s condenser unit (typically located outdoors) has been uncovered all winter, it will need to be cleared of leaves, dirt, and debris. Debris that has collected over the winter can clog the coils. Start by turning off the power to the unit. Clear any dirt and debris from around the unit, then move on to cleaning the coils.

4. Test the Unit

After cleaning the unit, allow it to dry thoroughly. Turn the thermostat in your home to OFF. Next, turn on the power at both the disconnect box and at the main panel. Last, switch the thermostat to COOL.

If the air conditioner doesn’t come on, or your home doesn’t reach an adequate cool temperature, call to schedule a service appointment right away.

5. Schedule a Tune-up

If cleaning and maintaining your air conditioner seems overwhelming, consider scheduling your certified service professional to do it for you twice a year. Regular maintenance prevents a host of costly problems and ensures your system is ready to go when you need it. Schedule an Air Conditioner tune-up with your Rheem Pro Partner for optimal efficiency and peace of mind.

Contact a Rheem Pro Partner to inspect and service your AC equipment today and breathe easy this summer.

7 Tips to Determine Whether You Should Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner

Categories:

By now, most of us are ready for a break from the cold and snow, but are you ready for those hot summer temperatures?  Now is the time to be thinking about your old air conditioner, before the heat catches you off guard.

You may be wondering if your air conditioner still has enough life to get you through another season, or if it’s time for a new one.  There are several things to consider when making that determination:

1.The age of the unit.

Energy Star recommends replacing an air conditioner that is 10 or more years old.  Many HVAC professionals recommend replacing units after 15 years. Newer models are much more energy efficient, which can result in substantially lower operating costs as well as improved performance.

2.The nature of the repair.

If your A/C requires additional coolant, it may have a leak.  Fixing the leak and replacing several pounds of coolant can cost $500 to $1000.  A coolant leak is also an indication that the compressor will soon go out.

3. Operating costs vs. performance

Are you repairing your A/C often, yet it still does not cool your home sufficiently? Are your energy bills rising?  Energy Star estimates that newer units can save 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.  In addition to being more energy efficient, new units often include programmable thermostats, which allow you to run your A/C only when someone is home.

4. How long you plan to stay in your home.

If you expect to own your home for a long time, and both your utility bills and the cost of a repair are high, it may make sense to purchase a new air conditioner.

5.Your cooling system is noisy or you have excessive dust.

A noisy A/C could indicate that your duct system is undersized or that there is a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment. Excessive dust can mean a leak in your ductwork.  An HVAC professional can determine if repair or replacement of your ductwork is warranted, either instead of replacing your A/C mechanicals, or in conjunction with installing a new system.

6. How well insulated is your home?

Poor insulation can make your cooling (and heating) system work harder and less efficiently.  Addressing leaks throughout your home may allow your current air conditioner to work adequately.

7. Size of your A/C.

If the current unit in your home is undersized, that could be the reason it is not cooling sufficiently.  Similarly, replacing an older unit with a new one that is too big will result in higher costs and inefficient operation due to more frequent on/off cycling.   Make sure your HVAC contractor includes a load calculation with a computer printout (not just a ballpark estimate) to be sure you are choosing a unit that is the correct size for your space.

Repair or replace? Your Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner can help you make the right choice.  Contact us today!

Advantages of HVAC Maintenance Performed by a Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner

Categories: Tags: