Although the summer season is winding to a close, outdoor temperatures are showing no signs of cooling down any time soon. To keep your home comfortable on a hot day, you will want to make sure that your air conditioning is running properly. With seasonal air conditioning services from a company that offers professional air conditioning fixes in Portland, you can rest assured that your HVAC system is ready to tackle the hottest days of the year. If you need to troubleshoot an issue with your AC system, take a look at these solutions to some common air conditioning problems.
Air conditioner fails to blow cold air.
When you turn on your air conditioner, you should expect to feel cool air coming from your ducts right away. If your air conditioning system is having trouble blowing cold air, the problem could lie in your refrigerant lines. Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to produce cold air for your home. In the event that your refrigerant levels are low, or your lines are leaking, your system may start to blow warm.
Air conditioner turns off and on throughout the day.
As soon as you turn down the temperature on your thermostat, you should immediately start to notice that your air conditioner has switched on. In order to keep your home at a consistently cool temperature, your air conditioner may need to run throughout the hottest hours of the day. In the event that your air conditioner turns off and on repeatedly in a single day, you may need to hire a technician to repair your condenser coils.
Air conditioner is consuming more energy than usual.
High energy bills are a common problem for many homeowners. When you start to find that your air conditioning is causing your household energy consumption to skyrocket, this may indicate that your system is in need of professional repairs. By cleaning out the lines and checking the functionality of the condensing unit, your HVAC repair technician can make sure that your air conditioner is operating with the best efficiency.
It seems like every summer is hotter than the one before it, which can put extra pressure on your air conditioning in Portland . The more energy it takes to power your unit, the more it will add to your carbon footprint. This will also be more taxing for your AC and can shorten its working life. If your energy bills seem to spike during the summer, you might need to focus more on air conditioning maintenance. Make sure you close your windows and doors when you run your AC, and call the pros if you think your unit might be broken. Continue reading to see why your summer energy bills are so high.
Failing to Maintain HVAC Appliances
You need to take care of your HVAC appliances if you want them to work properly. If you neglect them, they’ll start to dip in efficiency. This means they will demand more energy to keep your space at a comfortable temperature, increasing your energy bills in turn. All you need to do to prevent this from happening is keep up with your furnace and air conditioning maintenance. Change your air filters, give your units a test run before the busy season, and make sure your AC professional comes over to address any potential issues.
Leaving Windows and Doors Open
Even though powerful air conditioning units can cool your entire home, it’s important to keep your conditioned air inside. If you let cooled air escape, your air conditioner will have to keep generating more cold air. Trap your conditioned air inside by closing doors and windows to keep your efficiency high and your energy bills low.
If your air conditioner needs repair and you don’t get the job done, the unit is not going to do a good job of cooling your space. Make sure you talk to your HVAC expert as soon as you notice a problem so he or she can figure out a solution.
Appliances of all kinds have a tendency to make sounds when something is going wrong, and your air conditioning unit in Portland may very well do the same. You might not know exactly what’s causing the noises, but you’ll at least know to talk to your repair professional for help . Check out this video about the causes of loud AC noises.
It’s best to fix an air conditioner problem as soon as you can—the issue won’t get better on its own, and repairs will only become more expensive if you wait. If your AC is making loud noises, the problem could be minor or severe. Loose screws can contribute to a rattling sound, but all you need to do is tighten them. On the other hand, a grinding motor needs to be replaced before it breaks down entirely. If you’re unsure of what to do, your air conditioning experts can help to diagnose the problem.
Misinformation can be dangerous, even when it comes to something as simple as how to use your air conditioning unit in Portland. Even if you have a brand-new air conditioner, maintenance may be much more important than you think. Bigger units can be better in certain situations, but they’re not better across the board. Additionally, if you’re blaming your cold on the AC, you may be misinformed. Keep reading to see why you should give these myths about air conditioners the cold shoulder.
Myth: Air conditioner maintenance isn’t that important.
Maintaining your air conditioning can make a world of difference. When you forget to clean or change your air filters, your indoor air quality could suffer and your unit will need to work harder. This puts undue pressure on your AC, and this increase in demand can lead to a drop in efficiency as well as the life expectancy of your unit. Refrigerant leaks are also a common problem that maintenance can help you stay on top of, so talk to your professionals about a plan.
Myth: A bigger unit is always better.
Sure, bigger units are more powerful than smaller ones, but are they always better for your space? Unless you are moving to a bigger house or you’re unhappy with how your air conditioning unit has been handling your space, you might not actually need a bigger unit. Keep in mind that more power means more cost. If you have an older model and you’re looking for something more effective, you might need a new air conditioner of the same size, just with better efficiency.
Myth: Too much AC exposure gives you a cold.
Being cold and having a cold are completely different things. The sickness we refer to as a cold doesn’t come from low temperatures, it comes from an actual virus. Consistent low temperatures can lead to problems of their own, but you don’t have to worry about getting sick just because you’ve been enjoying your new air conditioner.
The use of heating and air conditioning accounts for a significant portion of the average household’s annual energy usage. For this reason, it’s important to keep your furnace running well through the colder months. If you’re hunting for ways to save energy in Portland , then continue reading for tips on maximizing the efficiency of your furnace.
Schedule a seasonal tune-up.
Like many other parts of your home, your furnace can function optimally when it’s properly maintained. When the unit doesn’t have to work harder to heat your home, this can extend its lifespan and save you money on your monthly utility bill. To help ensure that your furnace remains energy efficient this season, schedule a tune-up for the unit. This step should be done at least once per year, and fall is an ideal time for this type of home maintenance. During the tune-up, the HVAC technician will ensure that the furnace’s parts are working well and are free of dust and buildup.
Close or repair holes.
A common cause of furnace inefficiency is leaks within the heating and cooling system. To help ensure that your warm air stays within the system and does not escape outside where it’s wasted, check your ductwork for any signs of holes or damage. If you’re unsure about the state of your ducts and you can’t see or access the entire system, then schedule a duct inspection.
Get a new thermostat.
Another step that you can take to save energy this season is to update the thermostat on your heating system. If your current thermostat is only able to turn your heater on and off to meet the set temperature, then this means that you could benefit from getting a better one. Today, you can find thermostats that are programmable, which allow you to schedule when you want your furnace to turn on and at what temperatures. This means that you can program your thermostat to switch to a lower temperature when your family is at work or sleeping and to warmer ones when people are home and awake.
If you’re looking for ways to save energy when it comes to using your air conditioning unit in Portland , then you could probably benefit from installing a programmable thermostat. These devices are a simple upgrade that can greatly increase the convenience of using your air conditioning, as well as cut down your energy costs.
While it may take a few days to get used to, using a programmable thermostat to regulate your air conditioning isn’t as tricky as it sounds. First, it’s essential to pick a thermostat that works well for your day to day life. For example, some units will have a 7-day programming setup, while others will have one that is 5 and 2.
Once you have the ideal thermostat for your lifestyle, it’s important to take a few minutes to read over the instructions and learn how to set it up. This will help you avoid making errors or becoming frustrated. Once it’s ready to go, you can enjoy the benefits of your air conditioning turning on and off automatically according to your family’s schedule.
Today, there are many effective options available for cooling everything from large office buildings to single bedrooms. If you’re considering your options for a new air conditioner near Portland, then a mini split unit might be right for your needs. Read on to learn about this popular air conditioning option:
Features of Mini Split Air Conditioners
Also known as ductless mini split systems, mini split air conditioning units are used in both commercial and residential locations. Most often, these appliances are installed in apartments or home and office add-ons to provide air conditioning to a space that is not connected to the rest of the building’s HVAC duct system. Like a central AC system, mini splits are composed of 2 units, with one positioned outside of the house, and the other inside.
Advantages of Mini Split Air Conditioners
The most obvious benefit of mini split air conditioning systems is their versatility. Because these units require no ductwork, they can be installed in a variety of locations throughout a home or building. This feature prevents the need for installing ductwork where it isn’t presently, and it also allows for easy installation. To install a mini split air conditioner, only a small hole about 3 inches wide needs to be made in an outer wall to connect the indoor and outdoor units. Also, the indoor half can often be positioned distant from the outdoor portion, meaning that you can place it in a convenient location that isn’t on an outer wall of the building. Finally, mini split AC units can be more energy-efficient than other options, as less energy is lost without the use of ductwork.
Disadvantages of Mini Split Air Conditioners
Mini split systems tend to be more expensive than other options when looking at cooling capacity. Additionally, it’s imperative that the unit is properly installed and positioned for it to work effectively and efficiently. Finally, some people dislike the appearance of the indoor or outdoor portion, which are both noticeable where they protrude from the wall.
Are you ready for the heat? Here are some tips from weather.gov on how you can be ready as things are heating up.
You can help yourself and others avoid experiencing the HEAT DISORDERS (above) by following these safety rules.
Thinking About Yourself
- Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Shopping malls offer relief if your home is not air-conditioned. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember, electric fans do not cool, they just blow hot air around.
- Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight and helps maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
- Drink FOR the Heat. Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Even under moderately strenuous outdoor activity, the rate your body can absorb fluids is less than the rate it loses water due to perspiration. However, if you have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
- Do not drink IN the Heat. Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and cola. Alcohol and caffeine constrict blood vessels near the skin reducing the amount of heat the body can release. Although beer and alcohol beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body dehydration.
- Eat for the Heat. Eat small meals more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein because they increase metabolic heat. Avoid using salt tablets, unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Living in the Heat. Slow down. Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities such as running, biking and lawn care work when it heats up. The best times for such activities are during early morning and late evening hours. Take cool baths or showers and use cool, wet towels.
- Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.
Thinking About Others
- Do not leave children in a closed vehicle , even for a few minutes. This is a “No-Brainer”. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140°F-190°F degrees within 30 minutes on a hot, sunny day. However, despite this common sense rule, deaths from heat occur almost every Summer when someone leaves their child in a closed vehicle.
- When outdoors, protect small children from the sun, their skin is sensitive.
- Help your pets keep their cool. It will “feel” as hot for them as it will for you. As with children, do not leave your pets in a closed vehicle. Be sure your animals have access to shade and a water bowl full of cold, clean water. Dogs don’t tolerate heat well because they don’t sweat. Their bodies get hot and stay hot. During summer heat, avoid outdoor games or jogging with your pet. If you would not walk across hot, sunbaked asphalt barefoot, don’t make your dog walk on it either. (Dogs can also get blisters on their paws from hot pavement.)
- Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.
Thinking About Your Environment
- Protect windows . Hang shades, draperies, awnings, or louvers on windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering the house by as much as 80%.
- Conserve electricity. During periods of extreme heat, people tend to use a lot more power for air conditioning which can lead to a power shortage or outage. Vacuum air conditioner filters weekly during periods of high use.
- Keep lights turned down or turned off.
- Avoid using the oven.
- Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.
If your current air conditioning unit is nearing the end of its lifespan or is consistently breaking down, then it’s time to look into new air conditioning installation in Portland. Use the following tips to make the best choice when selecting a new air conditioner:
Choose an AC size that suits your home.
The size of your air conditioner plays a crucial role in its ability to keep your home comfortable and efficiently cooled. The AC should be large enough to lower the temperature in your home but small enough that it won’t cycle on and off frequently. Air conditioners that are too small won’t be able to cool your house well enough, and AC units that are too big will use more energy than is needed and can make your home feel uncomfortably humid. Talk to a few HVAC specialists and request estimates for a recommended air conditioner size for your home’s needs.
Invest in an energy efficient AC.
If your current air conditioner is pretty old, then you can anticipate benefiting from better efficiency with a newer model. In particular, look for units that have been certified by EnergyStar, which means that they have met the Environmental Protection Agency’s strict guidelines for energy efficiency. Additionally, choose a new air conditioner that has a Season Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating between 14 and 22. 13 is the minimum SEER rating required by the government, and those with a higher rating are classified as energy efficient.
Find a new AC that’s ideal for your climate.
Different AC models can vary in their ability to remove moisture from your indoor air. When you air conditioner fails to maintain a healthy and comfortable level of humidity in your home, your family may find that the air feels clammy, even with the AC running at full blast. Talk with an HVAC expert about his recommendations for air conditioners that are suitable for your local climate.
The summer season is approaching quickly, and you will want to schedule air conditioning maintenance before the summer heat reaches its peak. With services from a company that specializes in heating repair and air conditioning maintenance in Portland , you can feel great knowing that your AC installation is ready to help you beat the heat this summer. To prevent your energy bills from spiking, you may also want to take all of the steps needed to boost the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. Let’s take a closer look at some smart and simple steps that you can do to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency.
Ensure proper installation.
The efficiency of your air conditioner is determined on the day that your unit is installed. In order to get the best overall efficiency from your air conditioner, you will want to make sure that your unit is installed by a team of licensed and trained professionals. By taking the time to install your air conditioning unit correctly, you can avoid efficiency issues down the road.
Change the air filters.
Before the summer season begins, it is also a great idea to change the air filters in your AC unit. Your AC system’s air filters are designed to eliminate dust, dirt, and other particles from your indoor air. When your air filters get clogged with debris, they can cause serious efficiency problems in your unit. Throughout the summer season, you can promote great efficiency in your HVAC system by changing your air filters on a monthly basis.
Schedule professional repairs.
Another way to promote great efficiency in your air conditioning system is to schedule professional repairs and maintenance procedures. By setting up annual maintenance services with your HVAC professionals, you can rest assured that your air conditioner is in peak operating condition for all of your home’s cooling needs. To get the best benefit from your annual services, you should be sure to schedule your repairs with a highly rated contractor in your local area.
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