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Tips from HAC for Better Efficiency

  1. Set thermostat at one temperature. Constant adjusting can cause higher utility costs. If using your thermostat as a setback type, limit the setbacks to twice a day such as when you are at work and when you are sleeping. Only setback the thermostat 6% of desired temperature.
  2. In the cooling mode, try not to set the thermostat below 18 degrees. Besides higher utility costs, this can cause the indoor coil to freeze and cause condensation in the house.
  3. Don’t stack things on top of the unit. If the fan is on the top of the unit, the air-flow cannot be restricted. Do not put your rolled-up garden hose or landscaping products on the unit. We see this all the time!
  4. Keep the outdoor condenser coils clean. If they get dirty you can use a heavy duty degreaser and hose them down. Just turn the unit off first.
  5. When mowing the lawn, direct the mower away from the unit. A coil blocked with grass clippings and debris drastically reduces the efficiency.
  6. When using a weed whacker be careful near the unit. Debris can damage the coil, flatten the aluminum fins, and cut the thermostat wires; shorting out the transformer. We see this all the time, and it is an expensive repair.

FAQ Questions:  

Listed below, are a few commonly reported Air Conditioning problems.

In most cases a service call will be needed to fix these problems, but some of them can be fixed without having to call a technician out. If you are experiencing a problem which requires attention, call us to schedule an appointment. Existing customers can use our online form…

My Air Conditioner is Iced Up.  What should I do?  It is never normal to see ice during the summer anywhere on the inside or outside of a heat pump or a central air conditioner. This includes the indoor unit, outdoor unit and interconnecting line-set. It is possible to ice-up the indoor coil however, if the air conditioner is running in very cold weather or if the thermostat is turned down extremely low.  We recommend never turning the thermostat below 18 degrees when running your air conditioning. This could potentially cause your indoor coil to frost or even freeze up, and/or possibly cause your ductwork to sweat, which could lead to water or mold damage in your walls or ceilings.

If you see ice anywhere on a heat pump or air conditioner during the summer, then there is most likely a problem and you should turn it off immediately.

Below is a list of possible causes. Items in red usually require a service call. Items in blue however can be addressed, some even fixed by the homeowner.

Red = Professional fix | Blue = Homeowner fix

  • Bad indoor fan motor- not running/running slow
  • Loose, worn, or broken fan belt
  • Bad indoor fan relay
  • Extremely dirty blower wheel
  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Restriction
  • Blocked capillary tube
  • Blocked orifice
  • Faulty expansion valve
  • Stuck compressor contactor
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Extremely dirty or damaged indoor coil
  • Clogged or blocked air filter
  • Supply and/or Return vents blocked or closed
  • Running air conditioner with windows open
  • Setting thermostat too low

My Outdoor unit won’t come on. My Outdoor unit is not running.  What should I do?

This is a very common problem, whether it’s an air conditioner or a heat pump. And there are many things that can prevent the outdoor unit from starting, some of which can be quite serious.

Unfortunately, many times a service technician is dispatched only to find a simple problem that could have been addressed, even fixed by the homeowner.

Below is a list of possible causes. Items in red usually require a service call. Items in blue however can be addressed, some even fixed by the homeowner.

HELP!

Red = Professional fix | Blue = Homeowner fix

  • Faulty thermostat
  • Faulty contactor or capacitor
  • Faulty time-delay relay
  • Faulty thermostat cable or burnt wires
  • Unit off due to an open safety device (low pressure, low temp, high pressure, high temp…)
  • Faulty control module
  • Thermostat not set properly
  • Emergency or shut-off switch turned off
  • Blown fuse in panel box
  • Circuit breaker tripped or off
  • Outdoor disconnect off
  • Condensate pump unplugged and/or safety switch open
  • Outdoor reset button tripped
  • Unit “locked-out”

  I doubt there would be room for this next question.

How does Air Conditioning actually work?

An air conditioner can change the temperature, humidity, even the general quality of the air in your home. More specifically, an air conditioner makes your home cooler, by absorbing heat energy from the house and transferring that heat outside, then replacing the air inside your home with cooler air.

The air conditioner in a central heating and cooling system provides cool air through ductwork inside your home, by providing a process that draws out the warm air inside, removing its heat. In a split system, the compressor condenses and circulates the refrigerant through the outdoor unit, changing it from a gas to a liquid. The liquid is then forced through the indoor evaporator coil or cooling compartment. The indoor unit’s fan circulates the inside air to pass across the evaporator fins. The evaporator’s metal fins exchange the thermal energy with the air around it. There, the refrigerant turns from liquid into vapor, removing any heat from the surrounding air. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled and blown back into the house.

From that point, the condenser or outdoor unit then turns the refrigerant vapor back into a liquid, removing any heat. By the time the fluid leaves the evaporator again, it is a cool, low-pressure gas, eventually returning to the condenser to begin its trip all over again. This process continues again and again until your home reaches the cooling temperature you want, as programmed and sensed by your thermostat setting.

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