Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Air Conditioning Repair

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.

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 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 .

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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.

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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.

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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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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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When your air conditioner starts blowing warm air, or breaks down entirely in the middle of the cooling season, you know that you need to have it repaired pronto. However, any problems with your air conditioner should really be dealt with in the same manner. In truth, there is no such thing as a problem “minor” enough to ignore when it comes to your AC system. Even problems that seem relatively minor, after all, can do serious damage if given the time. That is why you ought to schedule professional air conditioning repairs in Fort Collins, CO as soon as you notice any signs of trouble, innocuous as they may be. Here are a few that you should never ignore; contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning if you spot them. 

Icing

Yes, your air conditioner is supposed to cool your home down. However, you should never see ice on your air conditioner as it attempts to do so. Icing can occur for a few reasons: clogged air filters, refrigerant leaks, and other operational problems. If your system ices up, it can have seriously detrimental effects on its performance, and eventually its condition, not to mention your budget.

Low Air Flow

You may notice that your air conditioner is blowing cool air, but that it doesn’t really seem to be blowing enough of it. This is a serious problem that you must never ignore. If your system is of the right size and previously blew sufficient cooled air throughout your home, it should not stop doing so. Make sure that your air filter is not clogged up, and schedule repairs with a member of our staff.

Odd Sounds

Even if your AC is cooling your home successfully, you cannot afford to ignore any odd sounds that it may be making. Whistling sounds may mean that you have an air leak, while a gurgling may indicate a refrigerant leak. You may also find that your system is grinding, which could be due to damaged fan components or other vital parts of the system. A trained professional should inspect and resolve any such problems as soon as possible.

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When you live in as hot a summer climate as we do, it is of the utmost importance that you air conditioner functions precisely as it is intended to. In order to ensure that this is the case, routine maintenance must be scheduled on a regular basis. Even when you take such measures, though, you must remember that you will encounter problems with your air conditioner at some point. When you do, it is all about reaction time. Schedule your air conditioning repairs in Fort Collins, CO with a member of our staff at the very first sign of trouble. Speak with a member of the Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning team to learn more.

When to Schedule Air Conditioner Repair Services

Because time is of the essence, it is of great benefit to understand some of the common signs that your air conditioner is in need of repairs. You really don’t want to wait for your system to break down entirely before scheduling service. Here area  few indicators to keep an eye – or ear – out for.

  1. Hot Spots: Your air conditioner doesn’t have to break down entirely in order to justify repair services. Just because it is running, after all, does not mean that it is running at peak performance levels. The development of hot spots throughout your home suggests that your system is compromised in some way, and must be repaired.
  2. Increased Cooling Costs: You should have a general sense of how much it costs to cool your home. That amount will fluctuate with temperatures and run time, of course. However, any major spike in your cooling costs may be the result of a problem causing your system to run inefficiently.
  3. Unfamiliar Sounds: A major indicator that your system is in trouble, unfamiliar and alarming sounds should be investigated immediately. Damaged components, slipped fan belts, and other issues could cause your AC to operate with increased noise levels. Minimize the risk of further damages by scheduling prompt AC repair services with trained professionals.
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The hail season in Northern Colorado has come down on us more intense than usual in Fort Collins this year. The hail storms, such as the major one that struck the city on June 24, have caused significant damage to roofs, skylights, cars, and businesses.

Not mentioned as often in reports about the effect of the hail is the damage inflicted on the outdoor condenser units of air conditioners. Although the cabinets of condensers are built sturdy to handle the Colorado weather, the level of hail that has struck the northern part of the state can cause damage that will require professional repairs. Even if the inner components of an air conditioner’s condenser do not receive any damage from a hail storm, there is damage to the cabinet that can affect both the air conditioner’s performance and efficiency.

If you have any doubts regarding your AC’s condenser because of hail damage, you should contact a dependable HVAC repair company to examine it. Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning has 80 years of experience with the weather conditions in Northern Colorado and how they can affect air conditioning systems, so make us your first call when you want your air conditioning system examine for problems due to hail. We’ll look over your condenser and see what repairs (if any) are needed.

The most common kind of issue that can affect an AC due to hail is flattening of the air fins on the outside of the unit, which will lead to a restriction of airflow across the condenser coil. If you see damage on the outside of the cabinet that looks like it has affected the air fins, you definitely need to have technicians look over it: running the AC in this condition will lead to inefficient performance, poor cooling levels, and a shortened lifespan for the system. Another common issue from hail is particles getting inside the cabinet and damaging the fan; technicians will examine the fan blades for possible bends.

For any hail damage, you should contact your insurance adjuster to examine the AC unit and see if you are covered for repairs. Be cautious of possible scams, such as contractors who visit door-to-door offering a good deal on repairs with leftover material.

Companies performing repairs for the damage done by hail in Fort Collins must be licensed, so call a trusted company like Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to handle the repair work.

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