Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: AC

air conditioner

When the heat of summer is at its peak, you are obviously going to want your air conditioner to be up to the challenge of cooling your home effectively and reliably. That being said, you should also realize that your air conditioner is not and should not be a freezer. If you see ice on the system, particularly on the evaporator coil in the indoor unit, your response should not be “wow, my system is really keeping things cool this year!”

The truth of the matter is that ice on your air conditioner suggests that there is a problem with your system. We’ll be discussing two such problems today. One is quite simple to resolve. It is actually one of those few air conditioning problems that you can resolve on your own. The other is much more serious, and puts your system at considerable risk. If this is the case, you’ll need air conditioning repair in Loveland, CO right away.

 

It Could Mean That You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first and foremost. If your evaporator coil is iced over, particularly if you also notice frost or ice on the refrigerant lines themselves, then you could definitely have a refrigerant leak in your system. Refrigerant plays a vital role in the air conditioning process, so this type of leak could really spell trouble for your system—potentially very expensive trouble.

Your air conditioner doesn’t consume fuel to generate coolness in the way that a heater may consume fuel to generate heat—and it doesn’t consume refrigerant at all, period! If you have a low refrigerant charge, it means that you have a leak. It could have been improperly charged at the factory or by a technician during a dry install, but that’s far less likely.

Refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, which allows heat to be drawn out of the air. If there isn’t enough refrigerant, then the coil can get too cold and condensation collected on it can freeze up. Having the leak sealed and the refrigerant charged to the proper level will resolve the issue.

You May Just Need a New Filter

Before you contact us with concerns about a refrigerant leak, you should check to make sure that your air filter is not just really dirty. It sounds strange, but this could actually be the cause of a frozen evaporator coil. How? Restricted airflow.

If airflow is sufficiently restricted, the coil will get too cold as too little heat is drawn out of the air. When that happens, you guessed it: condensation freezes on the coil. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important that you keep a fresh air filter in your air conditioning system. They’re cheap, they’re easy to swap out, and they really do make a difference! Don’t let a dirty filter cause problems for you.

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

Twitter

Air Conditioning

It really does not matter if you are purchasing your first AC system for installation in a newly constructed home, or if the time has come to replace your old air conditioner. Before you buy that new system, you need to explore your air conditioning options thoroughly. There is no reason why you have to stick with what you’ve always used in the past—although there is also nothing wrong with doing so. We just want to make sure that you find the ideal system for your needs.

Homeowners throughout the area know that they can turn to us for all things air conditioning in Loveland, CO, and guidance in selecting a new system is no exception. So review this quick rundown of your options, explore our site for more details, and be sure to contact us with any questions that you may have. With our help, you’ll be cooling your home effectively, efficiently, and reliably in no time.

 

Split Central Air Conditioners

The most popular type of whole-house cooling system these days is still the split central air conditioner. It is not difficult to understand why. Split central air conditioners, when properly sized and installed, are powerful cooling systems that get the job done more effectively and efficiently than window units.

These systems evaporate refrigerant in the indoor coil, allowing them to remove heat from the air in the house. They then condense the refrigerant in the outdoor unit, releasing its heat, before repeating the process until desired temperatures are met. The cooled air is redistributed throughout the house via air ducts.

Heat Pumps

The heat pump is another split central system that uses air ducts to distribute cooled air throughout the house. In fact, in its cooling mode, the heat pump is pretty much the exact same as a central air conditioning system. So why does this get its own description? Because the heat pump can actually reverse its refrigerant cycle and, as a result, its entire mode of operation.

In the winter, a component called a reversing valve allows the refrigerant in the system to flow the opposite direction. The function of the coils is swapped. Now, refrigerant evaporates in the outdoor coil, and is condensed indoors. In between, the refrigerant is compressed to further boost its thermal energy. This allows you to transfer heat from the air outside into your home for exceptionally efficient heating.

Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless mini splits are also heat pumps. They are capable of both effective cooling and highly efficient heating thanks to the heat transfer process outlined above. So why do they get their own section? Because they refine the system further by eliminating air ducts from the equation entirely!

Individual wall-mounted blowers are responsible for air distribution, heating and cooling those areas in which they are installed. They are perfect for installation in homes without existing ductwork, and they further boost efficiency by eliminating the risk of energy loss via duct leaks.

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

Twitter

 air conditioner is only going

When your air conditioner sounds like a pavement grinder as it’s running, or if it is not starting up at all, then you are probably going to recognize that there is a problem right away. That is beneficial, as it allows you to schedule AC repair in Loveland right away. But what about those problems that are not quite so obvious? What about an air conditioner that is short cycling? Are such problems any less deserving of prompt attention?

Absolutely not! Short cycling may not be as clear-cut a problem as the aforementioned issues, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require the same swift response. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, any problem with your air conditioner is only going to get worse over time, meaning that no problem is really “minor.” Additionally, what seems to be a minor “problem” may just be a minor symptom of what is actually a serious problem. That could be the case with short cycling.

Short Cycling? What’s That?

Your air conditioner is not supposed to run non-stop. Few of us have the funds to allow for that. However, it shouldn’t be running in short bursts either, and that is basically what short cycling is. The system will start up, run briefly, then cycle down before a full cooling cycle can be completed. This is problematic for a few different reasons:

  1. It wastes energy. Starting up any system is when that system uses the most energy. By constantly restarting over and over again, a short cycling air conditioner consumes more energy and drives up its operating costs.  You’ll see this reflected in your energy bills. Unfortunately, this is not the only way in which a short cycling AC can wind up negatively affecting your finances.
  2. It increases wear and tear. Again, a system is working harder to get itself going from a cold stop than it is to keep itself running. If your air conditioner has to start again and again, it is going to incur a lot of wear and tear. That results in an increased risk of system damages, and the associated repair costs can really add up.
  3. It affects your comfort. A short cycling air conditioner just isn’t going to provide you with the level of comfort you deserve in your home. It won’t dehumidify the air as well (although keep in mind this is not an AC’s primary function, and a designated dehumidifier should be used if this is a priority) and it won’t cool your home as effectively or consistently.

What Causes Short Cycling?

A number of problems could be the underlying cause of your system’s short cycling, and that’s the point. It could be relatively simple to resolve, or it could pose a serious threat to the system. A dirty air filter may simply need to be replaced to reduce airflow and prevent overheating. That’s a task that you can handle on your own.

You may need a faulty component replaced, however, like a capacitor or even the thermostat. Again, not terribly serious, but the system will continue to suffer until you alert us to the problem and let us service the system. A refrigerant leak could also be the source. In that event, you could destroy the system by doing serious compressor damage if you ignore the problem. So play it safe, and get us on the job ASAP!

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can handle all of your AC repair service needs. Big enough to serve, small enough to care .

Twitter

AC Problems

Okay, we will be the first to admit that today’s topic is a bit of a downer. After all, things are just starting to warm back up after another cold, lingering winter season. Why jump straight to AC problems? Well, we aren’t. And that’s the point. Today, we’re going to be talking about how you can help to avoid running into those problems. No, there are no guarantees that you’ll never need repairs—quite the opposite, actually, as eventual repairs are a certainty.

That does not mean that you just have to wait around and invite them into your life, though! So keep the following tips in mind, and we’ll help you to keep the need for AC repair in Loveland, CO at bay for as long as possible. An added benefit? These tips are not just going to minimize the risk of running into problems with your air conditioner. They’ll actually help you to enjoy a better cooling experience as well.

 

1. Change Your Air Filter

Seriously, that’s your advice? How does that prevent damage to my air conditioner? There is a common misconception regarding the standard air filters in HVAC systems that they are there to protect indoor air quality throughout the house. In truth, these filters are far too inefficient to do that. Their primary function is instead to protect your HVAC equipment itself.

When an air filter is too dirty, however, it creates a lot of airflow resistance. As a result, your HVAC system is going to wind up using more energy than it normally would in order to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout your home. In ACs and heat pumps, a dirty air filter can restrict airflow enough to lead to icing on the evaporator coil. The result? You pay more for a lesser cooling experience, while the wear and tear can cause the system to overheat and suffer operational damages.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean

Again, you may doubt the veracity of this claim. How exactly does a clean outdoor AC unit help to protect the system’s overall condition? Well, think about this—those fins on that outdoor unit are there to help the system disperse heat into the air outside. If that ability is limited,  then the system is in trouble.

Issues like grass clippings and other yard waste adhering to the case of the unit, or even branches and leaves falling into the top of the unit, can definitely take a toll over time. Every now and then, particularly after a big storm or following up your yard work, do a quick visual check of this unit. It can really pay off in the long run.

3. Schedule Routine Maintenance

Okay, if you did not see this one coming then chances are that you’re not a regular reader of our blog. We’re always advocating for routine AC maintenance. Why? Because it truly is the most effective means to protect your air conditioning system. It allows our technicians to address any existing problems, discover developing ones, and make sure your system is in the excellent condition necessary to excel in its overall performance.

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

Twitter

Bigger HVAC System

No, absolutely not. It is a common misconception, though. There is an idea floating around out there that when you want a job done right, you turn to the biggest, most powerful solution you can find to get it done. Just like you wouldn’t drop a huge engine into a small car or outfit a large sailboat with a bath towel on the mast, however, you shouldn’t put an inappropriately sized heating or cooling system into your home. A system that is too small may seem more obviously problematic, but too large is really no better.

Today, we are going to go over some of the reasons why oversized HVAC systems are really no good. Even if you invest in the best system on the market from one of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry, it is only going to meet, let alone exceed, your expectations if it is appropriately sized for the property in question. That is why you should work with our team—we’re one of the most trusted HVAC contrhttps://fortcollinsheating.comactors in Masonville, CO and the surrounding areas.

 

You Are Immediately Wasting Money

As you might imagine, larger HVAC systems capable of handling higher heating and cooling loads are more expensive than similar, but smaller, systems. The bigger the air conditioner or heater, the bigger the price tag. And you know what? For every bit of extra power that you invest in despite not really needing it, the bigger the mistake that you are making. Why? Because you’re throwing money right down the drain.

To determine the appropriate size of an air conditioner or heater for your home, a heating or cooling load calculation must be completed. This will tell your technician what size of AC or heater is necessary for cooling your house. It’s not just a matter of looking at square footage, either, so don’t think you can figure it out on your own. By purchasing only as much heating and/or cooling power as you need, you are making a smart investment in both your comfort and finances.

You Are Putting Your System and Your Comfort in Jeopardy

“Well, at least with an oversized system I’ll know for certain that my house will be comfortable, right?” Wrong again! Yes, an oversized air conditioner will be able to cool your home, and an oversized heater will heat it, too. But it can do so too quickly. When that happens, the system is going to wind up short cycling. It will start up, adjust temperatures too fast, and cycle back down. Then repeat the process. Over and over.

With an AC, this interruption of the regular cooling cycle means the system won’t deal with humidity as effectively as it would when running in even, regular cycles. It also means your HVAC system is going to drain energy, as it takes more of it to start a system up than to keep it running. Plus, the added strain on the system caused by all that starting and stopping increases the risks of encountering operational problems. Trust us, it is always best to make sure that your system is the right fit for your home.

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

Twitter

3 Tips for a Successful AC Installation

Now that it is April, a lot of us are looking forward to the warmer weather that comes along with the summer season. It isn’t quite here yet, but you’ll be forgiven for letting your mind wander to it. After all, we did just make it through another long and cold stretch of winter. Even those of us who love the snow and winter weather the most are ready for a change of pace.

Since you are thinking about the onset of summer anyway, we figured that this is a great time to bring your attention back to your air conditioning system. You’ll be needing it soon enough. Are you thinking about scheduling an air conditioning installation in Loveland, CO this year? If so, then you want to do everything possible to ensure the installation of this system is a resounding success. Here are some tips for doing just that. Read on, and contact us with any questions you may have.

 

Work Out Your Budget Ahead of Time

For most homeowners, purchasing and installing a new whole-house cooling system represents a pretty major investment. You want to get the most for your money when investing in a new AC, but you also want to keep your expenses manageable. That is where developing a budget ahead of time really benefits you.

The more features it has and the higher its efficiency, the more expensive any air conditioning system is going to be. Now, you don’t want to go out and purchase the cheapest air conditioner that you can just because it’s cheap. By creating a budget to work within, though, you’re helping our team ensure that your money is going toward the right places for your particular goals and preferences.

Review All Available Options

Okay, so you’ve always used a central air conditioner in the past. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to continue using a traditional split central AC. There are a lot of different systems out there, and you may find one that better suits your needs.

We install air-source heat pumps as well, for instance. We also install ductless mini split systems, which are a great way to retrofit a whole-house system into an existing property that doesn’t already have ductwork installed. We also have the expertise necessary to help you navigate this terrain in order to guarantee your 100% satisfaction with the system that you wind up with.

Schedule Your Installation with Qualified Professionals

We hope that this goes without saying, but even some “professional” outfits do not do the most professional job when it comes to installing a whole-house cooling system. This is a common project, but that doesn’t mean it is simple or minor.

Working with us means that working with experienced and professional technicians backed by a company with a well-deserved reputation for excellence. We’ll size and design your system to fit perfectly in your home, and we’ll integrate it into your property properly every step of the way. Let us know when you are ready to take your cooling experience to the next level.

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

Twitter

Saving Money

With all of the modern cooling systems and technologies that we have at our disposal in this day and age, it is easier than ever to cool our homes with greater energy efficiency. That being said, cooling your home does still come at a cost. If you have an older AC that you are not quite ready to part with, or if you are just looking to maximize your energy savings throughout this and future cooling seasons, then this post is for you. Today, we want to cover some simple ways in which you can help you unburden your AC a bit in order to scale back on your cooling costs.

These are not magical steps that are suddenly going to make your cooling bills disappear entirely, of course, and the fact of the matter is that an older or lower SEER system is still going to cost more to run than a newer, higher efficiency system. With that in mind, we invite you to put the following tips into action and to enjoy the energy savings that you deserve. Remember to give us a call if and when you require any further cooling services in Loveland, CO this summer season.

Simple Money Saving Tips

Don’t have the money, time, or desire for a brand new air conditioning system? No problem! With our help and a bit of background knowledge, you can squeeze some extra efficiency out of your current cooling system to keep more money in the account each billing cycle.

  • Use window shades or blinds to minimize direct sunlight. This will help to cut down on unwanted heat gain.
  • Keep filters and AC coils clean. Dirty filters and coils force your system to work harder than it should have to cool your home.
  • Have your system tuned and checked each year. Routine maintenance is the best way in which to protect overall energy efficiency.
  • For cooling, set your thermostat to maintain consistent temperatures (never fluctuating more than 3° to 4°). Do not turn it off when not home during the day thinking that this will save you money. It will actually cost more to bring the temperature down after getting home than if you simply maintain a set temperature.
  • When investing in new equipment, choose a contractor that will properly size your system and install it correctly. You don’t want a system that is too small and will struggle to cool your home, but an oversized system is actually no better!
  • Avoid the utility curtailment devices commonly marketed as “saver switches” or “smart thermostats” incentivized by the utility companies. These devices only help with their supply problem and will not save you money.

We hope that you found some of these tips useful and that you’ll start to see some energy savings following the implementation of these steps. If you do decide to go all out and have a brand new, highly efficient system installed, remember to schedule the service withFort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

Twitter

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.

Twitter

Air Conditioning

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.

Twitter

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.

Twitter

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Search

Archive

Archive

Categories

Categories

Tags