Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Category: Air Conditioning

frozen coils

Today, we want you to get acquainted with your air conditioning system. We want you to snuggle up to it and understand what’s happening when you have a frozen air conditioning coil. Your air conditioner goes through a lot throughout the year. The outside and the inside units put in a lot of work to ensure that you’re cool throughout the year. Because of this, frozen AC coils can occur.

If you discover that your air conditioner needs some considerable care, we’re here to help you with everything including air conditioning installation in Loveland, CO. We’re also there to lend a helping hand with maintenance, repair, and replacement as well. For now, let’s go through everything you should know about frozen ac coils.

Why Do AC Coils Freeze?

This is probably the first question that you’re wondering if your air conditioner coils froze in the first place—how in the world did they get like this?

Frozen air conditioning coils can actually be caused by a couple of things. A few of the causes may be:

  • Dirty air conditioning filters
  • Broken fans
  • Blocked condensate drains
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Malfunctioning thermostats

If you’d like to figure out the individual cause of your AC coils freezing, then it’s important to schedule an appointment with a professional. We’re the only ones who can precisely diagnose the problem you’re having.

“How Do I Know If I Have Frozen AC Coils?”

This is another great question that you’ll probably ask. Let’s face it, there aren’t many times that you’re peeking into your air conditioning unit itself. That means that the symptoms you experience will more than likely hip you to an air conditioning problem. These are the signs that you might have a frozen coil in your midst.

Warm Air

Your AC system does blow air, but it’s blowing warm air. You put your hand up to a vent and you’re confused. This is a sign that you should get professional care from one of our team members.

Inadequate Cooling

You’re not cool enough no matter what you do because your air conditioner can’t provide enough power.

Rising Energy Bills

If your energy bills are rising each month during the warm weather season, you’re going to need AC repair. It’s likely that a frozen coil is causing you this trouble.

Extra Moisture

Is there visible moisture on your AC unit itself? Do you notice condensation on your windows when you run it? This extra moisture is often the sign of a frozen coil somewhere in your home.

Old AC Filters

If you’re long overdue for an air conditioner filter switch, then you might have caused a frozen AC coil.

What You Should Do

If you’ve gotten through this blog and realized that you have an air conditioning problem, then you need to call a professional. That’s the only proper next step. Our team members will take it from there and make sure that you have the proper care in your home.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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air conditioner

The fact of the matter is that it’s really not always that difficult to notice that you’re having an issue in your home. The difficulty comes when you’re relating the source of the issue back to your air conditioner. This isn’t always so obvious. Our professionals are here to help you connect the dots when you need this.

The hottest months of the year are ahead of us. If you need AC repair in Windsor, CO, then it’s best in invest in this care now. You want to have all the hardest days behind you so that you don’t have to struggle at all this summer. AC care is important and we’re always willing to help you.

A Few Signs That Your AC Is In Bad Shape

Here are a few signs that your air conditioner could use some help.

1.      Warm Air

Are you noticing that you’re running your air conditioner in a way that’s foreign to you? Watch out for troubling signs like this:

  • Running your air conditioner for long periods of time.
  • Choosing thermostat temperatures that get progressively lower.
  • Noticing air that doesn’t feel as cool as it should be coming from your vents.

These are all signs that you have warm air coming from your vents. The best way to get to the bottom of this is by walking up to one of your vents and feeling it out yourself. Warm air is always going to be a detriment to your home efficiency.

2.      Insufficient Airflow

Are you having trouble with your home’s airflow? You’re having trouble if you turn on your air conditioner, wait a second, and then head back over to your thermostat to double-check if your AC is even on. Insufficient airflow is bad news and it’s going to make way for more troubles. We’re prepared to help you get what you need.

3.      Frequent Cycling

Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns on, runs for a little while, stops, and then starts up again.

Frequent cycling is a clear sign that your air conditioning efficiency is on a downswing. Make sure that you note the frequent cycling and get in touch with our team members for what you need. We’re going to help you get your home back on track.

4.      High Humidity

Your air conditioner can do a little bit of humidity control. If you feel like this isn’t applicable to your home, then you need to get your air conditioner back in shape. Your home shouldn’t feel like a swamp. It should always be comfortable.

5.      Odd Sounds

Odd sounds are any sounds that you hear that you’re not used to hearing from your AC. You don’t the sound of your home—the creak your sink makes when it first turns on, the squeak of that floorboard in the foyer, even the subtle sounds of your appliances turning on. When you notice that your air conditioner is starting to make noises that are new, loud, or alarming, you need to make an appointment with a professional.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’re the company you can trust.

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AC maintenance

Warm weather is well on its way to Loveland. Are you ready?

Just because the temperatures increase outdoors, doesn’t mean that you need to be sweating in your home. There are more options for your home than ever before to get high-quality, low-cost heating. We’re going to help you find what’s right for your home.

Today, we’d like to focus on air conditioning maintenance. Air conditioning maintenance is your best bet if you want great air conditioning service this season. We specialize in air conditioning in Loveland, CO. We’re prepared to help you stay cool when it counts.

What Maintenance Does for You?

If you’re wondering what maintenance does for you then you’ve found the right place! We’re going to make things crystal clear today. Maintenance does the following:

Helps You Save Energy

Air conditioning maintenance is often referred to as “preventative maintenance.” This is because it’s a preventative measure. When you opt for maintenance, you’re ensuring that your air conditioner works at optimum capacity before the hardest part of the warm weather season.

Our professionals lubricate your moving parts, ensure that your air conditioner can run properly, and even check for potential repair issues down the line. If we spot something, we say something and get the ball rolling on a repair appointment.

Scheduling an appointment for maintenance now can be the difference between an easy summer and a summer full of upsets and sweltering days indoors.

Helps You Save Money

Saving energy means that you’re saving money too! When you cut out all the efficiency problems you might experience in your home, you’re cutting down on cost. The two go hand-in-hand. It’s why you’ll hear HVAC professionals constantly speak about the importance of efficient energy consumption in a home.

Maintenance appointments cost money, but we can guarantee that investing in routine maintenance will actually save you money in the long run. “In the long run” isn’t an abstract figure pointing too far into the future either, you can see your savings in as soon as this summer.

Protects Your AC

Air conditioners are expensive, and they do a lot of heavy lifting in your home. When summer arrives we know that you’re depending on this system. This is why you should take the time and care to protect this unit. You can prevent a host of trouble with air conditioning maintenance. Having our keen-eyed professionals take a look at your system will keep in in great shape.

Extends Your AC’s Lifespan

Keeping your air conditioner in great shape in the present day also helps your future. An air conditioner that’s well-maintained throughout its lifetime will last long into the future. When you purchase an air conditioner, you want your unit to last you its intended lifespan. This lifespan is about 10 to 15 years. If you want to make sure that you can be cool for the next decade, we’re here to help with whatever you need.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment with our team members.

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Inefficient Air Conditioning

The only thing worse than paying too much to cool your home is doing so without really cooling your home that well. Even if your AC is doing a great job of cooling your house, though, high energy bills are never welcome. So what’s a person to do? Just kick their AC to the curb and spend thousands to replace it with a new, more efficient model?

Well, sure, that’s one way to handle the problem. It’s not the only way, though. Chances are that there are a few much less drastic steps that you can take to boost overall energy efficiency when cooling your home. In fact, it may be as simple a matter as changing some of your own bad habits. And if you do choose some upgrades to your system, they don’t have to be as dramatic as a full system replacement.

 

1. Dirty Air Filters

This is the most frustrating answer for some people to hear. A, because it’s so simple, and B, because it’s no one’s fault but their own! Don’t do your air conditioner a disservice. Keep a fresh filter in place, and you’ll be keeping more cash in your pockets. Wondering how a dirty filter can negatively affect air conditioning in Loveland, CO?

Airflow resistance. When a filter gets too dirty, it creates more airflow resistance than it should. And when excessive airflow resistance is created, the system has to work harder than it should have to in order to force cooled air through the house. And that means you’re paying for more energy to cool your home as a result.

2. Outdated Controls

Take a look at your wall. What does your thermostat look like? An old round dial? A rectangle with sliders on it? If so, then you are seriously due for an upgrade. We’re not trying to sell you on anything that you don’t need. The fact of the matter is that improved controls mean more precise temperature settings. More precise temperature settings mean using energy in a smarter way.

Even a basic digital thermostat is going to get you better energy efficiency. And when you actually start using basic functionality like programmability, you really start to see the savings. Plus, you enjoy greater convenience, too. Set cooling programs, cater them around your schedule, and start living more comfortably without the hassle or the high bills. We have a number of options to consider, and we’ll ensure compatibility.

3. Poor Maintenance Practices

If you are serious about enjoying an efficient, effective, and reliable performance from your AC, then you absolutely need to schedule routine air conditioning maintenance. There is nothing better that you can do for your system.

When an air conditioner is tuned up annually by qualified technicians, it is kept in the best working condition possible. And, when your system is in the best working condition possible, you can expect the best energy efficiency that it has to offer. Take advantage of our Maintenance Program.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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AC Repairs

Has a contractor ever told you there’s a way to unlock 100% AC reliability? Because you definitely shouldn’t listen to that contractor. Modern air conditioners are very well designed and manufactured. They remain mechanical systems, though. And that means that problems will develop from time to time. So what’s a homeowner to do? Just kick back and wait for that to happen?

Not exactly.

Just because you can’t prevent every air conditioning problem doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to prevent as many as possible. How can you do that? Well, that’s the focus of today’s post! We’re not giving you DIY AC service tips, because that’s what our professional technicians are for. We do have some insights into how you can easily minimize AC repairs in Loveland, CO, though.

 

1. Change Your Air Filter

Okay, we said we weren’t giving DIY tips here. But changing your air filter is the single best way you can contribute to your air conditioner’s success on your own. The air filter in your air conditioner isn’t there to boost indoor air quality. It’s there to protect your air conditioning system itself. And, if you don’t change it regularly, you are directly contributing to its lack of success.

These filters usually need to be changed every 1-3 months. That’s much more frequently than annual maintenance (spoiler alert). If you don’t change your filter enough, it can get clogged. When it gets clogged, it creates a lot of airflow resistance. And when that happens, the strain on the system can and will lead to operational problems eventually.

2. Always, Always Hire Trained Professionals

Want to know how even a great AC can struggle to succeed? If that great AC is not installed and serviced by qualified professionals. It sounds obvious, but trust us. There are a lot of overly confident tinkerers and DIY-enthusiasts out there. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. A quality system from a great manufacturer, and in need of constant repairs.

This really starts right from the beginning. You need to know that your system is the right fit for your home. You need your duct system expertly designed to service that home. You need any repairs, when they are needed, to be done the right way. Cutting corners by working with amateurs is going to come back to bite you in the long run.

3. Maintenance. The End.

We cut right to the point on this one. If you don’t schedule yearly maintenance for your air conditioning system, you are going to run into problems at a much higher rate than you should. Your air conditioner puts in a lot of work for you. You need to show it the care that it needs to keep it functioning as reliably and efficiently as possible.

We actually offer a comprehensive maintenance plan for just this reason. Check out our video on energy savings here. To say that routine maintenance is an absolute necessity is still an understatement. It protects your comfort, it protects your system, and it protects your investment.

Schedule your AC maintenance with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Repairs

At the time of this writing, there is no air conditioner on the market that will start yelling out for help when trouble is brewing. That doesn’t mean that the average homeowner has no way of knowing that their AC is struggling, though. If you pay attention to what your system is telling you, and know how it’s communicating, then there are plenty of warning signs.

There is never a situation in which it will benefit you to put necessary air conditioning repairs on hold. The first sign of trouble should have you calling out to our air conditioning repair experts in Loveland.  But how do you know when this is necessary?

Today, we’ll cover 3 ways in which your air conditioner may sound the alarm that all is not well. Keep these warning signs in mind, and don’t hesitate to schedule service. A prompt, professional repair is your best bet against serious issues!

 

1. It’s Grinding Its Gears—and Yours!

We cannot stress this enough. Your air conditioner should not be developing new sounds as it gets older. If you start hearing a strange new sound coming from your AC, that means that it is time to have that sound investigated. Don’t write that new grinding, squealing, or clanking sound off as little more than a minor annoyance. That’s how it begins, but that’s not how it’ll stay.

Strange sounds could be the result of anything from loose components, to insufficient lubrication, to electrical issues. The bottom line is that a professional diagnosis is the only appropriate course of action. Don’t write something off, only to find out the hard way that it was more serious than you thought!

2. It’s Costing You an Arm and a Leg

When things really heat up and you’re running your air conditioner pretty much around the clock, it’s easy to write off high energy bills. After all, that cooling doesn’t come for free, right? Well,  that may be true—but don’t get comfortable overpaying for your comfort!

Keep an eye on how much you’re typically spending to cool your home, and definitely take note of any abnormal spikes. Again, there are a lot of different potential reasons why your system may see a drop in efficiency. You could be looking at anything from a dirty air filter (simple fix) to a refrigerant leak (the exact opposite of a simple fix). We’ll figure out precisely what’s going on.

3. It’s Just Not Getting the Job Done

Well, that’s pretty obvious. I’m not going to ignore my AC if it can’t even cool my house down. We know that this sounds obvious, but trust us—we’ve gone on a lot of calls where homeowners admit that their ACs have been underperforming for some time before calling it in.

The point is that you don’t want to wait for your air conditioner to break down entirely before you report the problem. You want to get out ahead of any problems, and that means that you want to contact us as soon as your AC starts to struggle.

Schedule your AC repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Refrigerant Leak

You are going to run into problems with your air conditioning system at some point. “Problems,” of course, is a very broad term. An air filter that is too dirty is a problem, but it is one that homeowners can pretty easily resolve on their own. A refrigerant leak, on the other hand, is a very serious problem. If you have any reason at all to suspect that you have a refrigerant leak, then you absolutely need to schedule professional repairs right away.

If you want the best air conditioning in Loveland, CO, then you need an air conditioner with the ideal amount of refrigerant in the system. It’s just that simple. Low refrigerant levels cause serious issues, potentially doing irreparable harm to systems. And refrigerant is not just something that you can top off,  like the gas in your car, when it runs low—because it should never run low. More on that below. Let us handle your AC service needs.

What Does Refrigerant Do?

It is not an exaggeration to say that the whole operation of your air conditioning system hinges upon the refrigerant cycle. Without refrigerant, your air conditioner simply cannot cool your house! Your air conditioner does not generate cooled air out of, well, thin air. No, it removes heat from the air that is already in your home, and then redistributes that air back throughout the house. And it does so through the evaporation and condensation of refrigerant.

As the refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, heat is drawn out of the air. That warmed refrigerant then travels outside, where it is condensed, releasing its heat into the air outdoors. This cycle continues until your desired temperatures are met throughout your home. It’s a relatively simple process in theory, but a refrigerant leak can bring everything grinding to a halt.

Your AC Does Not Consume Refrigerant

That refrigerant cycle that we discussed above does not involve the consumption of refrigerant. Instead, the cycle continues over and over again in a closed system. That means that a decreasing level of refrigerant indicates a leak. Why is that such a major problem?

  • Low refrigerant levels lead to higher energy costs, as the system must run longer and longer.
  • Eventually, the system can start to short-cycle as it overheats, running in short bursts. This further raises operating costs.
  • Additionally, the system is put under a lot of excessive strain. This increases the risk of operational problems.
  • You’re now paying more money for less cooling, while also covering repair costs that could have been avoided.
  • Eventually, the compressor can seize up. At that point, you’ll probably be looking at a whole system replacement.

If you notice that your AC keeps developing ice, that it is short cycling, or that its cooling output is decreased, then you need to contact us right away. Don’t allow a refrigerant leak to take a serious toll on your home cooling system.

Schedule your AC repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care. 

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AC Tune-Up

The last thing that any homeowner wants to encounter when the heat of summer is at its worst is an air conditioner that is either broken down completely or which cannot deliver the level of performance quality needed. Unfortunately, despite not wanting these problems, many homeowners put themselves at risk of their development. How? By failing to schedule professional air conditioning maintenance before actually needing their air conditioning systems for the season. Put simply, your AC desperately needs annual tune-ups.

We’ll get more into the reasons for this below, as well as the many benefits of professional AC maintenance. First, though, think of it this way. Your train hard to complete a big footrace one year, and you do so successfully. Then you relax throughout the remainder of the year, fail to train, and try to run that same race again the next year. How do you think your body would hold up? Probably not that well, we’re guessing.

 

Running “Good Enough” Is Not Good Enough!

The biggest mistake that homeowners make regarding air conditioning maintenance is believing that their air conditioner is working at optimal levels just because it’s working, period. Keep in mind that you could probably hobble across that race’s finish line after a year of no training, but you wouldn’t perform nearly as well as you otherwise would have. Your air conditioner may be cooling your home, but it may not be doing so as successfully as it could if it were tuned up properly.

What does this mean for you and your air conditioning system? It means that your air conditioner probably won’t do as good of a job as it should in cooling your home. You may notice uneven cooling throughout your house, or even that your system is starting up and shutting down too frequently. You may also notice that, even though you’re not all that comfortable, your energy bill is higher than it has been previously. That’s another risk of lax maintenance practices—high cooling costs with subpar cooling output! Don’t pay too much for too little comfort.

Take Advantage of Our Maintenance Program

A good air conditioning maintenance program in Fort Collins, CO, is a great investment. When you enroll in our maintenance program, you don’t just get better performance quality, energy efficiency, and an extended lifespan that comes with routine maintenance. You get all of those benefits along with others exclusive to members of our program! These include perks like waived overtime fees, front of the line service, discounted repairs, and much more!

And, just in case there are DIY enthusiasts among our readers, please keep in mind that no online instructional videos are going to prepare you for the complexities of routine air conditioning maintenance. Doing a deep clean of the system, testing all electrical components (like relays), making necessary adjustments, checking refrigerant levels—this all takes the tools and training that only professional AC technicians have at their disposal.

Schedule your AC tune-up with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Dirty Filter

There are certain air conditioning services in Windsor, CO, that you’re probably not going to overlook. If your AC breaks down completely, you’ll replace it. If it starts blowing hot air, you’ll repair it. Hopefully, you’ll remember to schedule routine, annual air conditioning maintenance, as well. However, even annual maintenance just isn’t enough, not in every regard. There is one step that you need to take on your own, and it’s as important as it is simple: changing your filter.

Now, you may not think that using a dirty air filter in your air conditioner is really that big of a deal. You may think that, because your air quality seems fine, there’s nothing to worry about. In both cases, you’re wrong. Keeping a fresh air filter in your AC is one of the best ways in which you can help it to function at peak performance levels. Keep the following information in mind, and let us know if you have any questions. 

Dirty Filters Drag Down Efficiency

If your air filter is too dirty, then it is going to force your air conditioning system to work harder than it should have to in order to cool your home. That is going to result in higher energy costs.  It’s a straightforward problem with a simple solution. You need to replace your air filter as needed, typically every 1-3 months, in order to maintain proper airflow throughout your system.

When a filter clogs up, it’s harder to get air through that filter. That strains the fan, and the added strain will result in added cost. If you want to cool your home as efficiently as possible, then make the very small investment in a fresh air filter on a regular basis.

They Also Reduce Overall Performance Quality

What’s worse than paying too much to cool your home? Paying too much to cool your home, and still not living comfortably! That’s a very likely outcome if you run your air conditioner with a dirty air filter in place, though.

From uneven cooling to short cycling caused by overheating, your AC just won’t be as effective as it would be with a fresh filter in place. It’s a very minor job to replace a filter,  even if you’re doing it every month, and it’s one that will help you to live more comfortably in your home.

And They Increase Repair Needs

Paying too much for too little from your AC system is bad enough. But what about the added cost of frequent repair service needs? Are you ready to take that financial hit? Or would you rather prevent problems by spending a few bucks on a filter every now and then?

The greater the strain on your air conditioning system, particularly when it gets to the point where short cycling or the icing of coils develops, the greater the risk of problems developing. Even a “minor” problem requiring professional repair is going to set you back a lot further than a basic air filter for your system would.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Replacing Your Air Conditioner

In our previous blog post, we filled you in about the R-22 phaseout that is looming on the very near horizon. Check that out here if you haven’t already (or if you’re just ready for a refresher before today’s post). This phaseout obviously has implications for homeowners thinking about repairing old air conditioners, whether it makes more sense to just replace now, etc. Our focus today is why you shouldn’t view a potential air conditioning replacement as a burden.

Giving your air conditioning in Loveland, CO, a fresh start is a great way to reap a number of different benefits. Of course, your overall satisfaction with your new air conditioning system is going to depend largely on the quality of the air conditioning replacement itself. Even a great air conditioner can come up short if it is not installed by skilled, trained professionals.  That is why you want to work with the technicians on our team, every step of the way.

Improve Your Overall Comfort

My air conditioner may be old, but hey—it’s still getting the job done. We hear this a lot, and we know that there are plenty of old ACs out there still doing their thing. The question is—how well are they doing it?

It’s something that we all fall into. My car still gets me from point A to point B. My computer still boots up. I have to brew a pot of coffee while I wait for it to finish, but it happens eventually. And my AC takes a little longer to cool the house down, but I’ve got the time. What many homeowners are surprised to discover once they have replaced their ACs is just how much better the new system performs. If the phaseout has you thinking about a replacement, it’s worth considering the better cooling experience you’re likely to enjoy.

Take Advantage of New Technology…

Inverter air conditioners. Heat pumps. Ductless cooling. Smart thermostats. I don’t need all the hokey gimmicks, you may be thinking, I just want to cool my home! We understand your hesitance, but we’re not talking about shelling out a thousand bucks for a new phone that has 1 megapixel more than your model from last year does. We’re talking about real advancements in technology that help today’s air conditioners to function at higher levels than ever before.

Does this mean that you can’t opt for a relatively bare-bones AC replacement? Of course not. It does mean that you can view your replacement as an opportunity to improve on what came before, though. You can customize your comfort with more versatile equipment without straying off into the realm of gimmickry when you take the time to explore your AC replacement options.

..and the Efficiency It Brings

If you want to pay less for more comfort, and we don’t know why you wouldn’t, then there is no getting around the fact that upgrading your old air conditioning system is the most effective way to go. Yes, it may be a pretty major expense upfront. When you consider the returns you’ll be getting on that investment for years to come, though, it’s clear to see that this boost in energy efficiency is well worth the initial price tag.

Schedule your AC replacement with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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