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June 2017

Symptoms of Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leak

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Does My AC Have A Refrigerant Leak? An air conditioner that is leaking refrigerant can cause major problems in keeping your home cool. Here are some popular signs that your air conditioner may be suffering from a refrigerant leak. Be advised that if your unit is low on refrigerant, it means you have a leak in your system somewhere. Refrigerant does not get used up like gas in a car. Also, it's important to know that R-22 is being phased out and replaced with R410a. R-22 units cannot use R410a, so a new unit is required. As of the year 2020, R-22 will no longer be available for purchase. Warm Air Coming From Air Vents If you feel nothing but warm air coming from your air vents, it could be a sign that your air conditioner is low on or leaking refrigerant. Be sure to check your furnace filter to verify it is clean first. A dirty air filter can restrict air flow and prevent cool air from properly cooling your home.  Water Leaking By Furnace A water leak from your evaporator coil can be a signal of a possible refrigerant leak. Half of your air conditioner (your evaporator coil) sits on top of your furnace. This piece of equipment is cooled by refrigerant. As the warm air from your home flows over it, it is cooled down. If your unit is low on refrigerant, a large amount of condensation can form on this coil and start a water leak....
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Clogged AC Drain Line

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Clogged Condensate Line: What Do I Do? A clogged condensate line can lead to quite the watery mess in your basement. Learn what you can do to stop it! Why Is Water Leaking? A clogged condensate line is a common air conditioner problem that many people have during hot weather. As your air conditioner removes the hot humid air from your home, water condensates on your evaporator coil that sits on top of your furnace. This water is then meant to fall into a condensate pan and then drain into the ground via a condensate drain line. However, sometimes these pans and drain lines can become clogged and you will start to see a puddle of water around your furnace.  Unclogging Your Condensate Drain Line There are a couple different options when it comes to unclogging your AC drain line. The most popular method is using a 50/50 mixture of hot water an vinegar and pouring this down the drain line to clean it out. It make take several tries, but this method will generally clean out small clogs. If you have a larger clog, you may need to resort to other methods such as removing the line itself and removing the clog manually. This can sometimes be done by yourself, but if the drain line clog is in a hard to reach location, it's time to call a professional HVAC company to remove it for you.  Preventing AC Drain Line Clogs Over time, it is normal for drain lines...
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How Much Does It Cost To Run an Air Conditioner?

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How Much Will It Cost Me to Run My Air Conditioner? The weather is hot and you're almost to the point that you don't care how much it costs, but let's take a look! The Cost Equation Although costs can vary, you can generally predict the cost of running your air conditioner by doing a little math! Disclaimer: the following is based on costs for Ohio homes and average electricity costs. If you live in a different state you may need to research your individual costs. Let's assume that you live here in Columbus, Ohio and you want to predict what it will cost to run your air conditioner. Let's say that it's REALLY hot out and your air conditioner runs for 10 hours per day (during a 24 hour period). Right now, the average cost per kilowatt hour of electricity in Columbus, Ohio is about 11.5 cents. Sounds cheap right? Well we have some bigger numbers we are about to throw in the equation. Important Equipment Numbers Needed Air conditioners are powered based on a measure of total amperage. Here's a basic breakdown: 2 Ton AC = 15 amps 3 Ton AC = 18 amps 4 Ton AC = 21 amps Also, we need to note that the standard power plug for an air conditioner is a standard 240 volts. If yours is different, adjust accordingly. Now, we need to calculate the total wattage utilized based on these numbers. So, let's do some math! We will use a standard 3 ton...
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Do Heat Pumps Save Money?

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Will a Heat Pump Save Me Money? Heat pumps are a great option for someone looking for a unit to both heat and cool their home! What Is a Heat Pump Anyway? A heat pump is a pretty cool piece of equipment. It is capable of both cooling your home in the summer and heating your home in the winter. It looks pretty much identical to an air conditioner but utilizes an air handler to move air throughout your home. A heat pump is a type of forced air HVAC system.  Some customers have a gas furnace as well that they use for "emergency heat" in the winter as heat pumps are designed to heat a home as long as the temp is above 30 degrees outside. Heat pumps work by moving warm air from one place to another. In the summer it moves the warm air out of your home, and in the winter it moves warm air into your home. Even when it is cold outside, heat energy is still present! By moving heat instead of generating heat, it can be a cost effective alternative to heating.  Can a Heat Pump Save Me Money? This really depends. Although you can certainly save money on fuel consumption in the winter, a heat pump will use a bit more electricity than a standard furnace and air conditioner as it is both cooling and heating your home. Also, heat pumps are generally more expensive to install than a normal air conditioner as...
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What Does Forced Air HVAC Mean?

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What Does It Mean To Have a Forced Air HVAC System? Forced Air HVAC System When shopping for a new air conditioner or furnace, you may have come across the term "forced air" and wondered what it may mean. Well, there are no tricks to this one. It means exactly what it sounds like. When you have a forced air heating and cooling system, you have a system that uses a motor and a fan to blow (force) the air throughout your home via duct work.  Different Types of Forced Air Systems Although forced air may mean only one thing, there are several different types of forced air hvac systems available today. Some of the most popular include: Gas Oil Electric Boiler All of these terms are in relation to your furnace as that is where your blower motor and fan reside. The blower motor and fan inside your furnace is also the same motor that works with your air conditioner to cool your home. Most of these systems are quite efficient at heating or cooling your home on an annual basis. Those with all electric equipment (including a heat pump) may experience higher electric bills than those with a gas furnace. Alternatives To Forced Air HVAC Forced air heating and cooling systems are by far the most popular option in today's homes but they are not the only option. If you live in a slab (single story) home, you may be utilizing baseboard heating in the winter. Baseboard heaters...
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What Is an AC Capacitor?

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What Is An Air Conditioner Capacitor? A blown capacitor is a common air conditioner breakdown, but what do they even do? Power Storage If you happen to know anything about electronic circuits, you'll know that an air conditioner capacitor is essentially one big battery. The capacitor stores an electric charge and then releases that charge as needed. The capacitor itself is made up of two metal plates and "dielectric material" in between them. When a voltage is created over the two metal plates, an electric field is created and stored inside. The energy stored is measured in "micro-farads". The capacitor also works with the air conditioner's contactor to supply power. Dual Run Capacitor Vs Start Run There are two popular types of capacitors available: dual run and start run. Below are some differences between them.     Dual Run Capacitor Uses charge stored within to boost the current (power) to the compressor and motors. Used to maintain a charge. Measure at approximately 7 to 9 micro farads. The capacitor must be matched to your air conditioner or it will not work properly. A dead capacitor can be the cause of an air conditioner not turning on.    Start Run Capacitor Contains a higher storage than a run capacitor. Usually measures between 70-120 micro farads Provides an extra push to get fan started. Why Do Capacitors Fail? Air conditioner capacitors can fail for a number of different electrical reasons but mostly it's just due to age. Most capacitors are capable of giving...
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Single Room Air Conditioner

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Can I Get an AC To Cool a Single Room? What are my options to cool a single room vs an entire house? Let's find out! If you recently added an addition to your home or have a room that you would like to cool or heat on a stand-alone basis, a single room air conditioner may be your best bet. Here are the most popular options. Ductless Mini-Split System These things are pretty cool! Not only can they keep a single room of your home cool in the summer, they can also provide it heat in the winter! It's basically a two-in-one unit. These units are not the cheapest things to have installed, but they can save you a boat load of money as opposed to having to have all new duct work ran to a new room of your home. The Mitsubishi Mini Split system is a great option for attics and recent room additions to a home such as a sun room or 4-season room. Standard Window Air Conditioner Window air conditioners are for the budget friendly consumer. They are generally cheap and can be self installed with not much effort or knowledge. Window air conditioners come in different sizes for different size rooms. Obviously, the higher the capacity, the more they cost. Most small units are built to cool a 100-300 sq ft room and the largest units can cool rooms as big as 1,000 sq ft. You can expect to spend anywhere from $150-$900 on...
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Variable Speed Blower Motors

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What Is a Variable Speed Blower Motor? These types of blower motors are designed for efficiency and savings. How Do They Work? If you are looking to lower your energy bills, a variable speed blower motor may be a good investment. Variable speed motors move at different speeds as opposed to normal motors that tend to run at only one speed. With standard motors only having an "on/off" mode, they tend to kick your furnace or air conditioner on many times during the day, wasting energy.  By having a variable speed blower motor that automatically controls the amount of air coming out of your vents, you are able to better heat or cool your home to a precise temperature. These motors will deliver just the right amount of air to keep your home comfortable.  Also, if you have a zoning system in your home, a variable speed motor is an excellent option as you are able to customize your comfort.  Save Money Variable speed blower motors can save you money on your energy bills as they do not consume as much electricity as standard motors. Cleaner Air & Less Noise Variable speed motors can help keep the air in your home cleaner. By having them run on lower speeds when not cooling or heating your home, you can have the air in your home recirculated through your filters on a continual basis. These types of motors are designed to run for extended periods of time so it does not hurt the...
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