Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Air conditioner

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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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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Before & After

Every year, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning accepts nominations for local families in our community who need a new furnace. There were so many great entries this year, but one stood out above the rest.

The winner of the free furnace is a woman from Wellington who lives on a fixed income because she had broken her back and can’t work. Her daughter-in-law, Sarah P, nominated her. The following is taken from her official entry:

“I would like to nominate my mother-in-law Cecelia R. She is on a fixed income (SSDI) which makes it difficult to make necessary home improvements. Not only is she in need of a new furnace, but she has been living without a central air conditioning unit for at least two years. She watches our two girls for us 4 days a week and we’d love to help give back to her for all that she does for us.”

Free Furnace

We were very excited to be able to help provide Cecelia with comfort in her home. Before we installed the new furnace, she had to bang the old one just to get it going! However, When we heard about her situation, we not only gave her a new furnace, but a new air conditioner as well. It was emotional for all of us. From our family to yours, have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!

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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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Refrigerant Leaks

We’re the company that locals call when they need an HVAC company in Loveland, CO, that they know they can trust. We’ve seen and done it all when it comes to AC repairs over the years. There’s still one AC problem that can send chills down our spine—though it won’t do anything to help your AC chill your home! That problem is the refrigerant leak, and it is a very serious problem indeed.

Your air conditioner shouldn’t run out of refrigerant. It shouldn’t need a refrigerant top-off at any point. That refrigerant loop is supposed to be a closed system. Low levels typically mean that there is a leak present, and that is a job that only a trained, experienced technician can handle. We’ll find the leak, we’ll seal the leak, and we’ll make sure that your refrigerant charge is right back up to where it should be.

 

What Is the Function of Refrigerant?

Cooling your home. No, really. We’re not being snarky. Without refrigerant, your air conditioner doesn’t cool, period. And no, refrigerant isn’t some mystical fluid that remains cold at all times and allows your AC to maintain comfortable temperatures.

What refrigerant actually is is an incredibly effective heat transfer fluid. This is due in large part to the fact that it changes between liquid and gaseous states so easily. Refrigerant evaporates in your AC’s evaporator coil, which draws heat out of the air in your home. Then it is condensed in your condenser coil outdoors. That allows the heat to be released outside. The process just repeats until desired temperatures are met.

Low Charge? Big Issue

If you have a refrigerant leak, even a tiny one, your AC is going to suffer. The lower the refrigerant charge, and the more you run your system, the worse off your air conditioner is. That’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, too. Your AC won’t be as effective with a low refrigerant charge, so it is inherently going to run harder.

This leads to insufficient cooling. It drives up energy costs, as more electricity is used by your AC to achieve subpar results. Your air conditioner incurs unnecessary wear and tear, meaning that the risk of operational problems is greatly increased. It can also cause short cycling, icing on the coil that creates an insulating barrier, and a lot more.

Contact Us If You Run Into Trouble

You cannot afford to wait when it comes to resolving problems with refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning system. The longer that you do, the more likely it becomes that your system will be irrevocably damaged. An AC that is forced to run on a low refrigerant charge can suffer compressor failure, all but guaranteeing the need for replacement.

If your system isn’t cooling your home effectively, if operating costs skyrocket, or if you notice your system running in short bursts, dial our number right away. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem.

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

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Drive Down Your Cooling

If you’re looking for a blog post that will tell you how to keep your home cool and comfortable for free, you’re going to have to keep on looking. If you find a blog post telling you how to do that, then you shouldn’t take it too seriously. Why not? Because cooling your home isn’t free. You have to pay for your comfort in the summer. That being said, there is no reason why you should be overpaying to cool your home.

In today’s post,  we are going to be covering some ways in which you can help to cool your home in a more affordable manner. Don’t worry, we’re not just going to tell you that you have to invest in an expensive new system. We can handle your AC replacement if the time is right—or any air conditioning repair in Loveland, CO, for that matter. But for now, let’s just focus on getting those cooling costs under control. 

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Okay, we did just say that you don’t have to replace your air conditioning system to get a more affordable AC experience, and that’s true. We didn’t say, however, that you shouldn’t consider replacing your thermostat. Let’s be more specific: your old manual thermostat.

The thermostat is the control with which you regulate the operation of your AC. If you have a very bare-bones thermostat, like one without programmable features, then you are really doing yourself a disservice. Upgrading to a programmable or even a smart model will help you to cool your home more affordably.

Change Your Filter

The air filter in your air conditioning system is not really there to improve indoor air quality throughout your home. It is there to protect the AC itself. If this filter gets too clogged up, then it is going to generate excessive amounts of airflow resistance. When that happens, your system is going to have to work harder than it should in order to cool your home effectively, driving up cooling costs in the process.

Trap Cool Air In

Yes, summers are hot. Many summer nights and mornings are substantially cooler than the daytime is, though. So why not give the AC a rest, throw open the windows in the evening, and close them before things get too warm again?

You can get the AC back up and running before temperatures really spike so that it won’t have to play catch up. You can also prevent heat gain through sun exposure by closing heavy blinds during the brightest part of the day.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

There is no escaping this—not on our watch! The best step you can take to keep your cooling costs in check is to schedule routine air conditioning maintenance. There is no getting around this one. Let us inspect and tune-up your air conditioner so it operates both as efficiently and reliably as possible. You and your wallet will thank us!

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

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The short answer to this question is really that you want to schedule air conditioning repairs the moment you notice there are problems with your air conditioner.

There are a few problems with this answer, though. You may not have the background knowledge to notice problems right away, and you may not realize that certain problems are actually that serious even when you do notice them. Today, we want to help you better understand these situations so you can take prompt action.

Air conditioning problems are only going to get worse the longer that you choose to ignore them or the longer that it takes you to realize that these problems demand your attention. Early intervention is key, so be sure to schedule air conditioning repair in Windsor, CO, with our team at the first sign of trouble. We excel in AC repairs of all kinds, and we also have the training and expertise necessary to diagnose problems accurately the first time.

Track Cooling Costs

A fairly simple way to spot potential air conditioning problems is keeping track of how much you’re paying to cool your home. If you do this throughout the cooling season, year to year, then you can have data available to compare against even early in the current season.

The cost of cooling your home is a hugely helpful performance indicator because not all problems will cause your system to break down entirely. Not all problems will cause the AC to blow warm air. However, pretty much any problem with your air conditioner will reduce its overall energy efficiency.

Compare Different Areas in Your Home

When you invest in a whole-house cooling system, you’re investing in an air conditioner that you can use to cool your entire house. That’s kind of the entire point. So it only makes sense that certain rooms being warmer than others is a sign of trouble.

If you’re perfectly comfortable in your living room, but find yourself sweating throughout the night in your bedroom, then there is definitely a problem that needs to be dealt with. It could be something as serious as a refrigerant leak impeding the cooling process and output to a relatively minor duct leak in the single section of the system that needs sealing. Whatever the case, you’ll need professional technicians to do the job right.

Listen for Sounds of Trouble

You might think that everything is relatively fine with your air conditioner so long as it is pumping out cool air. However, this is not really the case. If you hear anything unusual, or if you hear normal operating sounds that seem to be at a much louder volume than usual, you should definitely be reaching for the phone.

Loud noises might mean grinding, screeching, or clanging sounds. It may be the result of a worn belt or a loose component. There are numerous reasons why your system may suffer like this. Whatever the case, our technicians will get to the bottom of it.

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

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Season AC Problems

Once the warm weather finally arrives around here, we’re all pretty ready for the change of pace. Winters in Colorado can be beautiful and there’s certainly no shortage of outdoor winter sports opportunity around here. But eventually, enough is enough. Before long, though, you’ll find the heat in your home is a bit much, and you’ll turn to your air conditioning system for comfort once more. The best piece of advice we can give you to help your system succeed is to schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with our team.

But there is no such thing as a 100% reliable air conditioner. You can count on the need for air conditioning repair in Loveland, CO, at some point. When that time comes, you want to act fast. The longer you wait to schedule repairs with our team, the worse off your air conditioning system is likely to be. In today’s post, we’ll cover some issues you’ll want to address even if it’s the beginning of the season.

 

Short Cycling

Well, it’s just been lying dormant all winter. Give it some time, it’ll get back up to running speed soon. 

Do not give your short cycling air conditioner this benefit of the doubt! If you had your air conditioning system tuned up before you started using it again, then the most likely contributors to short cycling should have been addressed. Your refrigerant charge should have been checked, your air filter should have been changed, etc. If your system is still short cycling after routine maintenance, you could have an electrical issue or something else that either snuck by during your tune-up or which developed in the interim. Either way, you don’t want to go into the cooling season with an air conditioner that won’t run consistently.

Warm Air

This is something that you’ll notice as soon as you start using your air conditioner, and it’s definitely something that you want to address right away. If there is warm air coming from your vents and you just had your system tuned up, then there is a likely suspect that you don’t want to wait on repairing: leaky ducts!

If your air ducts are leaking, then they need to be professionally sealed or, depending upon the extent of the issue, replaced. Your ducts are not going to be inspected as part of a regular tune-up. If they’re pulling warm air into the system through leaks, though, you’re going to be paying more money for less comfort in your home!

Strange Sounds

Eh, the system’s cooling my house down. I can live with the weird noise. It’s barely noticeable in most of the house.

Well, if that’s your attitude, trust us, we’ll be seeing you soon! It’s definitely better to get out ahead of this particular problem. Depending upon the type of noise—screeching, whining, banging—you could be looking at anything from a worn-out belt to a loose motor mount. These problems won’t cause an immediate disruption in cooling, but they can eventually—while also doing more damage to the system.

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

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A quick look at the calendar will tell you we AC Replacement are well on our way toward the coldest time of the year. Right now is the perfect time to schedule your heating maintenance and—if you think your heater may not have another winter’s worth of reliable service left in it after all—your heating replacement. Does this mean you should forget all about your air conditioner until next spring, though?

Absolutely not.

If your air conditioner was struggling at the end of this past cooling system, or if you were unhappy with it or its performance for any reason, then now is a great time to schedule your air conditioning replacement, as well. And, as always, you want a trained professional on the job. While an air conditioning installation in Loveland, CO, at this point in time may seem counter-intuitive, there are plenty of reasons to have it done sooner rather than later.

There’s a Lot to Be Said for “Just Getting It Out of the Way”

If you contact us just before summer is gearing up again to replace your air conditioning system, then we are of course going to replace that air conditioning system. We’ll do it the right way, every step of the way, just as we would at any other time of the year. That being said, it may not be on as expedited a schedule as you’d like, particularly if it is in the midst of AC tune-up season.

Simply put, this is an extremely busy time for air conditioning technicians everywhere, not just those on our team. Because of this, you may have to wait longer than is ideal to have your new system put into place. Summer can come in fast and it can come in hot around here. By replacing your air conditioner now, even if you are not going to need it for a while, you can avoid the potential wait time you may face when spring is winding down.

How Great Is Your Memory?

Okay, so investing in a new air conditioning system may not be the type of thing that you’re as likely to forget about as, say, picking up milk or eggs at the market. However, you may not be quite as on top of it as you’d hope when the summer season is drawing near once more. It doesn’t matter if you forget about the AC replacement until you’re ready to fire it up for the first time, or if you just cut it a little closer to the heat than you intended due to a brief memory lapse.

When the weather does heat up, you don’t want to be scrambling to get as big of a job as a full AC replacement done in time. You want to fire up your system (after having it tuned-up,  of course) and enjoy its best performance possible. That’s what you’ll get when you schedule your AC replacement and other services with our team.

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

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