Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Category: Air Conditioning

Replace My AC

We are obviously at the tail end of the cooling season at this point. Sure, running an air conditioner in early September is not too wild of a concept. The fact is, though, that most homeowners are starting to shift their thoughts away from their home cooling systems and toward their heaters. If your air conditioner has been exhibiting signs of distress, however, it may be a good idea to keep some of your focus on it before moving on to the next season.

We understand that many homeowners are going to question the merits of replacing their air conditioning systems this late in the season. In certain respects, it is completely reasonable to wait until the spring time to replace the AC. After all, you are not going to be using it much at all in the immediate future, right? Well, there are actually a number of reasons why you may want to schedule your air conditioning replacement in Loveland, CO today.

AC Technicians May Have More Availability Now

The peak of the summer season is not the ideal time of the year to be scheduling an air conditioning replacement. First of all, you don’t want to go without cooling in your home at that time. Second of all, AC technicians tend to be absolutely swamped during the hottest time of the year with repair and service calls.

However, we’re now in that middle ground where the heating season isn’t really upon us, but we’re also moving out of the cooling season. Why not take the opportunity to at least get in touch with an HVAC contractor and see what their schedules look like? You could even see about scheduling routine heating maintenance when you have your air conditioner replaced!

You Don’t Risk Putting It Off Until the Last Minute

Look, we all have good intentions when it comes to household projects, right? But can any of us really admit to being as proactive as we’d like to be? The fact is that some projects can slip through your fingers. This is even truer when you are literally giving yourself months to forget about something!

By the time spring is wrapping up, or if summer should strike early next year, you may find that it is already too late to schedule an AC replacement conveniently. Worse, you may convince yourself that, hey, that ailing old system can probably handle just one more season. Getting out ahead of the replacement helps you to avoid any such misguided hopes.

You May Also Still Need a Good Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is really showing signs of age, and you think that a breakdown is imminent, it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. Replacing it before it breaks down entirely is always in your best interest. We may get a few hot days that could prove to be the final nails in your system’s coffin. Replacing it now gives you a new lease on comfort, even this late in the season.

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

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We’ve dealt with this question before, but we hear it often enough that we want to address it now at the point of summer where it often comes up again. You do not need to add refrigerant to your air conditioning system before it “runs out.” This is a common misconception about air conditioner operation. Refrigerant is essential to how an air conditioner runs—it’s a chemical that allows the system to move heat from inside a home to outside—but it isn’t the energy source for the system and it isn’t depleted through normal use.

Fuel vs. Heat Transference Fluid

What is the fuel source for your AC? You know this already: electricity. This is what the AC consumes in order to run, and it’s what you pay for each month to continue to run the AC.

Refrigerant, on the other hand, is a chemical that’s designed to remain at the same level (charge) in the air conditioner for its entire lifetime. As the refrigerant moves through the system, going from the compressor to the outdoor coils and then the indoor coils, it goes through a process of condensation and evaporation. Its pressure rises and falls, it loses and gains heat, it goes from liquid to gas form and back again—and doesn’t dissipate at all during the process.

Adding Refrigerant Is an Occasional Repair Need—Requiring Professionals

The refrigerant charge of an air conditioner can drop, however, if the refrigerant lines develop leaks. Should this happen, you’ll notice signs such as a decline in cooling capacity, ice appearing along the evaporator coils, and a hissing noise from the cabinet. Arrange for air conditioning repairs with HVAC professionals right away. Not only does the proper amount of refrigerant need to be added (too much refrigerant is a bad as too little) the leaks must also be located and patched.

If you suspect your AC has lost refrigerant, turn to our technicians for air conditioning repairs in Loveland, CO.

Trust to Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning: “Big enough to serve, small enough to care!”

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Wouldn’t living in a perfect world just be, well, perfect? It’s a nice situation to daydream about, but the truth is we’re not living in a perfect world, and there is no such thing as a perfect air conditioner in this world, either. But there are plenty of great air conditioners out there with the potential to provide you with an efficient and reliable home cooling performance. The system will, however, need some help to realize this potential.

Routine air conditioning maintenance is, without a doubt, the best way to keep your air conditioner in the best working condition possible. At some point, however, you are still going to find yourself in need of professional air conditioning repairs in Masonville, CO. When you do, remember that it is always best to have those repairs completed as soon as possible. To do so, you are going to need to know how to recognize the presence of problems in the first place.

 

Look Out for Increases in Energy Costs

You are going to have to pay to cool your home. Even those air conditioners with the highest efficiency ratings still cost something to run. However, if you’ve used your air conditioner for at least a few years, you probably have a basic understanding of how much it costs to run. If you notice any major spikes in the amount you are paying in order to run your system, contact us.

Because your system is up and running does not necessarily mean it is up and running properly. Drop-offs in efficiency could mean that you are just running your air conditioner harder than usual. If you’ve made no real changes to your usage, though, and costs are still spiking, then repairs of some kind may be necessary.

Feel for a Drop in Cooling Output

Your air conditioner has just one job, and that is to keep you comfortable on even the hottest days and nights of the year. If you really want to recognize problems with your air conditioner, simply being aware of its overall cooling output may be enough to spot trouble. Is the air coming from the vents kind of warm? That’s definitely a problem.

Again, this is something that could have multiple causes. If the air coming from the furthest vents in the system has always been warmer, you could have an undersized system that is not capable of sufficiently cooling enough air for the whole house. Maybe there is a poorly insulated section of ductwork somewhere. If it is a recent development, though, damages such as refrigerant leaks could be present.

Listen for Strange Sounds

Another sense to rely upon for discovering the need for air conditioning repairs is that of hearing. Strange new sounds developing? Louder than usual operation? Yes, you may need professional repairs.

From loose components to hissing as refrigerant escapes to poorly lubricated moving parts, there are plenty of issues that may give auditory clues. Contact our team as soon as you hear them. Time is of the essence.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Have you made the surprising discovery of a pool of Leaking Waterwater surrounding your indoor AC unit? If so, you may be a bit confused. After all, the AC cannot be leaking water because it does not use water in its operation. Right? Well … sort of. No, that water is not the result of a “leak” in the terms that you are likely thinking of. However, this actually does not mean that your air conditioner is not the source of the water.

This water not only may be coming from your air conditioning system, but could also suggest that you are dealing with a very serious problem. Or it could be something very benign that you can resolve on your own. Like most air conditioning issues, there are various reasons why you may encounter this particular symptom. Getting to the source of the issue is the best way to protect your property and your air conditioner in Wellington, CO.

Dirty Filter

What could a dirty air filter possibly have to do with the water surrounding your air conditioning system? Well, a very dirty air filter could significantly restrict airflow through your home cooling system. When that happens, the evaporator coil will struggle to draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the air. This will cause the coil to get much colder than it should, which could cause the condensation on the coil to freeze up. When that happens, the ice melting off could overwhelm the drainage system and leave water all over the floor.

Refrigerant Leak

This is a much more serious issue than a dirty air filter, but can result in the same icing of the evaporator coil. The condensation that is removed from the air during the cooling process collects on the evaporator coil. If there is not enough refrigerant in your system due to leaks, that coil won’t effectively remove heat from the air. The remaining refrigerant stays too cold, ice develops, ice eventually melts, and you wind up with a puddle around your system. Your AC does not consume refrigerant, remember, so low levels suggest a leak. Continuing to run your system in this condition could prove fatal to your AC.

Drainage Issues

Your air conditioner’s primary function is, obviously, to cool your home. However, it does have a dehumidifying effect on the air that it cools. The moisture removed from the air condenses on the evaporator coil, drips off, and is drained out of your home via the condensate drain line and drain pan.

If the pan is corroded, or even if it is just misaligned, this water may leak out into your property. The drain line could also be backed up—an issue that you can resolve with a wet vac, some rags, and a homemade vinegar solution. If you have any questions about your condensate drain assembly, or if you think you need to replace the pan or the hose, just give us a call.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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You really do not have to be a professional air conditioning technician to understand that the sole function of an air conditioner is to cool things down. If you think this means that the development of ice on your air conditioner is normal, though, think again. Yes, your AC is responsible for cooling down hot air, but it is not a freezer. If you start to see ice develop anywhere on your system, you really should have a trained professional check in on it.

There may be a very simple solution to the problem, but it could also be quite serious. Whatever the case may be, diagnosing the problem properly to begin with is every bit as important as repairing it correctly. Work with our team, and you’ll have no doubt about the exceptional quality of your air conditioning repairs in Windsor, CO.

First Things First: What Is Freezing?

One facet of this issue that confuses homeowners is the question of what exactly is freezing to begin with. After all, it is not as though water is used in our central air conditioners. If there is ice on the system, though, that means that water is getting in from somewhere, right?

The ice that you may see develop on your evaporator coil is actually the result of frozen condensation. When refrigerant is evaporated in the evaporator coil in order to draw heat out of the air, some moisture is drawn out of the air as well. That moisture drips onto the coil, and then down into the condensate drain pan and out of your home through the drain line. In certain situations, though, the coil may be cold enough for the condensation to freeze up.

Causes of the Freezing Coil

First of all, resolving the issue of condensation freezing on your evaporator coil may be as simple as changing your air filter. If your air filter is extremely dirty, then it will restrict airflow through the system. That restricted airflow means that the evaporator coil may not be able to pull a sufficient amount of heat out of the air surrounding it. When that happens, the coil can get cold enough to freeze this condensation.

Additionally, and much more seriously, you could have a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant in your air conditioner is what allows the system to cool the air to begin with. Air conditioners are designed to work with a certain amount of refrigerant. If your refrigerant is low due to leaks in the system, then the heat transfer process is impeded and you may wind up with ice on your coil.

Continuing to run a system with ice on the coil puts it at risk of overheating, and the excess wear and tear on the system can result in serious damage over time. Make the right choice and contact us the moment that you see ice on your system–and remember to check that filter first!

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

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There are a number of issues that can lead Round-Thermostat-300x200to a subpar performance with an air conditioning system. Many of these issues are beyond the homeowner’s control, will arise unexpectedly, and will require professional intervention to resolve. In some cases, though, an outdated piece of equipment is simply holding the AC back from its full potential. This is the case if you are using a thermostat that is something of a relic from time past. You’ll need a professional to replace your thermostat in Loveland, CO, but it is a simple upgrade that can have very big benefits.

One word of caution–don’t just find the fanciest, most well-reviewed thermostat that you can online, order it, and then expect your technician to install it for you. You need to know for sure that your thermostat is the right fit for your system, and that your AC is capable of integrating with that control. If you really want to upgrade your thermostat to the newest technology and have an old AC in place, then a full air conditioning replacement may be a better option to consider.

Is My Thermostat Really That Big a Player?

Absolutely, yes. Don’t let this HVAC system component’s size fool you. Diminutive though it may be when compared to, say, your condenser unit, the thermostat that you use in your home is literally the conduit through which you are able to control the system at large. It’s importance is impossible to overstate, and any issues with your thermostat are going to have serious implications for the overall efficiency and performance quality with which your air conditioner operates.

Why Upgrade, Though? My Thermostat Is Working Fine

That may be true, but is “fine” all that you hope for when it comes to your AC system? During the most intense heat of summer, we think that our clients deserve more than “fine.” The first instance in which a thermostat upgrade should be considered is if you find yourself using an old dial or slide thermostat.

These thermostats, such as the round model pictured, are difficult to control accurately. You may not be setting the temperature as precisely as you’d like to, and that can lead to increased cooling costs. Upgrading to a digital thermostat is a small step toward much more accurate temperature settings.

While opting for even the most basic digital thermostat is a good starting point, we strongly urge you to at least consider a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to set cooling–and heating–programs based around your own personal schedule. In doing so, you can keep cooling costs in line without having to come home to an uncomfortably warm living space at the end of the work day.

More advanced models, such as smart thermostats, are definitely worth considering. However, it is vital you hire a professional to ensure your system is compatible with such a thermostat. If so, using a smart thermostat will allow you to control your system remotely, as well as to view energy reports that can help you to make the changes you need to in order to cut energy costs even further.

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

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We hope that you have taken our frequent bit of Air_Conditioning_heat_wave_coming_business_man_holding_a_electric_fan_Heat_Wave_Heat_Temperature_Sweat_Summer_Electric_Fan-cu_e260x180advice to heart and been diligent in scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance in Wellington, CO. If not, you are putting your comfort, your budget, and even the overall operating condition of your cooling system at risk. While annual air conditioning maintenance is definitely the best way in which to keep your AC functioning at peak performance and efficiency levels, there is also one important step that you should be handling yourself: changing your air filter as needed.

It may not sound like much, but simply changing out your air filter as needed is one of the best things that you can do for your air conditioner. Of course, it is important that you use a filter that is the right for your air conditioning system. If you have any questions about how frequently you should be changing your filter, how to actually replace the filter, or what type of filter you should be using, do not hesitate to give our technicians a call. In fact, you just may find some more helpful tips right here in upcoming posts.

Increased Airflow Resistance

When you leave your air filter in your air conditioning system for too long, it is going to get very clogged up. Obviously, the whole point of your air filter is to create enough resistance to filter pollutants out, but to allow air to flow through that filter as well. If the filter is clogged, then the AC is going to start to struggle to pump air through that filter effectively. That will cause the system to work harder, driving up your energy costs.

Decreased Comfort Levels

Know what is even worse than paying too much to cool your home due to a dirty air filter? Paying too much to do so, even as your comfort plummets! This is a real risk if you let your air filter get too dirty. Not only will your system burn through more energy as it struggles to cool your home, it will also fail to deliver cooled air throughout the whole house effectively. You may notice that areas further from your air handler simply are not as comfortable as others.

Increased Risk of Damages

Perhaps the greatest reason for changing your air filter regularly–even more than protecting your comfort and your budget–is protecting the air conditioning system itself. If your AC is trying harder and harder to force air through a clogged filter, that wear and tear can result in serious damages to the system. The decreased airflow could also lead to ice on the system as the evaporator coil gets too cold, and this layer of insulation will only impede operation further.

Changing your air filter as recommended by the manufacturer and being careful to use only those filters designed for use with your specific system are some of the best ways in which to get the most out of your AC. Do so, and you’ll be able to keep your cool this summer.

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

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One of the greatest luxuries that we, as homeowners, have is the ability to keep our homes cool and comfortable during the hottest time of the year. If you use a central air conditioner to cool your home, you already know how effective, efficient, and reliable these systems can be.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 100% reliable mechanical system, and your air conditioner is not the exception to this rule. Any number of issues may develop with your AC, including problems with the system blowing warm air. There are a few reasons why you may encounter this phenomenon.

Is Your Thermostat Set Properly?

This sounds obvious, but sometimes in the heat of the moment concerned homeowners forget to check the “obvious” possibilities before calling for repairs. If your thermostat is set too high or is in a “fan-only” mode, then the air that the system is sending out into your home is not going to feel as cool as it should. You don’t need a professional technician to readjust your thermostat, of course.

Is the Breaker Tripped?

If your outdoor unit and indoor unit are on separate circuits, which is almost certainly the case, then you may have a tripped breaker to the compressor unit outside. If this is the case, then your indoor unit may still be working but is blowing unconditioned air throughout the house. A flip of the switch is all that is needed to get your system back up and running properly.

Is It More Serious?

Possibly. The quick fixes that we mentioned above are definitely your best case scenarios if and when your AC in Windsor, CO starts blowing warm air. If there is no obvious cause of the problem, you could be dealing with a refrigerant leak, damaged ductwork, or a number of other issues. Our technicians will get to the bottom of it in order to resolve the situation entirely.

Let Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning handle your air conditioning services. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Chances are that, yes, ductless air Badges_Elements_Icons_1009934_61187394_600x600-300x300conditioning can help to save you some money. It is important to keep in mind, of course, that not every air conditioner is right for every home or for homeowner. If you are one of those many homeowners interested in the benefits of ductless air conditioning, however, you can count on the professionals on our staff to ensure that your new system suits you and your home.

Following are a few of the ways using a ductless mini split can help to chip away at your energy costs. If you have any questions about this type of cooling system, please get in touch with us. Our goal is to guarantee your 100% satisfaction with your AC, as well as the way it performs. When you choose a ductless mini split in Loveland, CO, you’re already well on your way to reaching that goal.

No Ducts, No Leaky Ducts

One of the major points of energy inefficiency in modern AC systems is the leaky air duct. Ducts are largely hidden from view, installed between floors and behind walls in residential properties. This makes sense, as you really don’t want to be staring at exposed ductwork in your home. It also makes it rather difficult to visually inspect your ductwork, however, which is why so many homeowners wind up using compromised air ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout their homes.

When you wind up doing this, you are wasting energy. No, not all of it goes to waste. After all, that cooled air is winding up somewhere in your home. However, it’s not necessarily making it to its intended destination. That means your system may wind up working overtime in order to evenly cool your home, burning through energy in the process.

Better Cooling Control

When you use a forced-air comfort system, you may choose integrate a zone control system into the AC. When you use a ductless mini split to cool your home, however, this is just standard operating procedure. No extra equipment is needed for zone control, since you simply operate the individual blowers with their own independently operated thermostats.

Being able to cool those areas of your home that you wish to, only as much as you wish to, is a great way to cut down on energy costs. In fact, you may wind up paying less for more comfort. That sounds like a good deal to us.

Did We Mention Efficient Heating?

If not, it’s only because we’ve saved the best for last! Ductless air conditioners, though they do come in cooling-only models, are most commonly configured as heat pumps. This means they can be used to both heat and cool your home. It also means their method of heating is extremely efficient.

You see, heat pumps don’t generate new heat from scratch. Instead, they use existing heat in the air outside in order to heat the interior of homes. This means that you can enjoy great comfort all year long from one system, along with outstanding energy efficiency.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, the company you can trust…

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The only “good” time for an air conditioner thermometer-going-red-300x300to break down is during those cool months of the years when you are not using it anyway. Obviously, if you are not using your system, it is not going to have a chance to break down. The fact of the matter is that your AC is always going to give out on you when you actually need it, and that can leave you dealing with uncomfortable conditions until the problem can be resolved completely.

For precisely this reason, you’ll hopefully never allow problems to develop to the point that a complete breakdown occurs. To avoid this undesirable fate, you need to learn to spot the signs that your system is in need of repairs, and you need to remember that you are always best served by scheduling prompt AC repairs in Fort Collins, CO.

 

So When Do I Call for Air Conditioning Repairs?

Ideally, you will contact a member of our team to schedule air conditioning repairs the moment that you have reason to suspect that there is something wrong with your system. We advise our customers there is really no problem too “minor” to warrant professional attention.

Now, there are some situations in which alarm bells may ring, but there is an obvious and simple solution to the problem. For instance, you don’t need us to come out and adjust a thermostat that you accidentally set improperly. If there is no clear cause of the situation, however, you should get us on the phone ASAP.

  1. Is your air conditioner costing too much to run? If you’ve spent a few summers in your home already, then you probably know what to expect as far as costs associated with running your AC. If you notice inexplicable spikes in your energy costs when you are using your air conditioner, problems affecting its efficiency could be to blame.
  2. Is your air conditioner making strange or unusually loud sounds? If so, let us know right away. There are a lot of different issues that could be in play. Hissing sounds could indicate refrigerant leaks, while screeching sounds could mean you have worn belts or lack sufficient lubrication on the moving parts.
  3. Is your air conditioner blowing warm air? Don’t ignore the issue or convince yourself that cranking up the AC is the way to go! While you may just have a thermostat set incorrectly, or perhaps the breaker servicing your outdoor unit has tripped so the air isn’t being cooled before being distributed, it could be much more serious. Refrigerant leaks, damaged ductwork, and other problems could be to blame.
  4. Is there ice on your air conditioner? You may just have a dirty air filter, which is restricting airflow and causing the problem. However, again, the dreaded refrigerant leak could be to blame. Of course, you may just need your evaporator coil cleaned, as well.

Diagnosing a problem accurately is just as important as resolving it correctly. You need trained professionals to guarantee that your air conditioner is in prime working condition and that all is well.

Schedule your air conditioning repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, the company you can trust. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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