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How Your Air Conditioning Unit Can Help improve Indoor Air Quality

In general, indoor air is four to five times more polluted than outdoor air. EPA studies show that even in the smoggiest cities, the air inside most modern homes is usually at least ten times more polluted than the air outside. Approximately 87% of American homeowners are unaware of indoor air pollution.

 

Rheem Prestige RA20 AC UnitHow can this be?

There are many reasons, some of which were discovered only recently. They include invisible assassins like radon and CO2, as well as gas-emitting chemicals like formaldehyde used in making modern carpeting, drapery, household cleaners, furniture and building materials. There are also common airborne pollutants such as pollen, viruses, dust and dust mites and damp areas where standing water can breed mold, mildew and other microbes.

Much of this problem is attributed to the way modern homes are built—for purposes of energy efficiency, and to be as air-tight as possible. The consequence is that stale air, laced with odors, chemicals, irritants – even minuscule insects – often becomes trapped in modern homes, where it circulates over and over. This can lead to eye irritation, sinus congestion, sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, colds, flu, headaches, dizziness, outbreaks of allergies and asthma, sore throats, and various other respiratory ailments.

So serious and prevalent is this issue that environmentalists have coined a new term for it-IAQ or Indoor Air Quality. Today’s homeowners need to become more aware of the importance of IAQ and what they can do about it.

 Get to Know Particulates

There’s more in the air than you can easily see—particles, dust and smoke, all of them potential triggers for asthma and allergy attacks. Particles like dust, smoke and bacteria are often .3 microns or less. At that size, allergens can get deep into your lungs because they aren’t filtered well by your nose and throat.

Reduce Particulates with an Air Cleaning System

An effective whole-house air cleaner, such as Trane CleanEffects™, can reduce the presence of potential asthma and allergy attackTR_CleanEffects_Air Cleaner triggers in your home. Get rid of the majority of particles like dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus, most tobacco smoke, cooking grease, and even bacteria.
Reduce Allergens

As published in BioMed Central Journal, an independent publishing house committed to providing access to peer-reviewed biomedical research, Trane CleanEffects™ has been shown to reduce triggers for allergies and asthma. It removes up to 99.98% and particles and allergens from the filtered air. Installing Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air Purifiers and Rheem Media filters can be an important part of your overall allergy and asthma management plan.
Expert Allergy Tips

Here are allergy experts’ tips for managing allergies and asthma in the home:

  • Control dust mites — Use anti-dust mite covers and wash sheets in hot water at least once a week; 130 degrees is recommended.
  • Eliminate mold sources – Fix leaky pipes and keep bathroom grout clean.
  • Stay smoke-free — Avoid non-ventilated, smoky rooms and second-hand smoke.
  •  Avoid pet dander — Keep pets off the furniture, out of the bedroom, and if necessary, consider taking the pet out of the home.
  • Close doors and windows — Keep windows and doors shut to keep outdoor pollens, molds and irritants outside.
  • Install a whole-house air cleaner — An air cleaning system, such as Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air purifiers and Rheem Media filters remove airborne particles and allergens too  tiny for your nose and mouth to filter naturally. In addition to taking steps to control allergens in the home, you should always see an allergist to determine the cause of your symptoms. An allergy specialist can run a series of simple blood or skin tests to determine if your asthma symptoms are allergy-related.

Say Goodbye to Dust

Have you ever felt that no matter how often you dust the dust seems to reappear the next day? You’re not alone. The average six-room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year. New studies show that the installation of Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air Purifiers or Rheem Media filters reduce dust accumulation in your home by more than 50%.

Did You Know?

  • According to a study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, indoor air contaminants are responsible for or aggravate half of all illnesses.
  • Poor indoor air quality negatively affects more than 15 million Americans who have asthma and the 28 million who suffer from hay fever and other allergies.
  • It is recommended we drink approximately two quarts of clean water each day. By comparison, we inhale approximately 15,000 quarts of air each day.
  • More than 15 million Americans are estimated to have asthma, including one in 13 school-age children.  Because they breathe faster than adults, children inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults and are especially sensitive to air quality problems.

Does that mean whole house air filtration systems will eliminate the need for routine air duct cleaning?

No, routine air duct cleaning should still be performed by a professional air systems cleaning specialist every couple of years. Especially if you have smokers, pets, small children, elderly people, allergy and asthma sufferers residing in your home. However, it will it keep the air as fresh as possible between the air duct cleanings and may even extend the intervals between needing to have your air ducts cleaned.

Is Your Central Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

Steps to Take if Your AC Keeps Freezing Up

These are some of the most common reasons for your AC unit to freeze up.

AC unit freeze upThe most common cause for a central air conditioner to freeze up is lack of airflow to the AC unit. The first thing you should do when your air conditioning unit freezes up is to turn off the “cool” and “auto” settings on your thermostat so the fan will help your AC evaporator coil thaw out.

Here are several possible causes why your central air conditioning unit is freezing up:

When Was the Last Time You Checked or Changed Your Air Conditioner Filter?

A dirty air conditioner filter or an air filter that is too thick and dense severely restricts air flow to your AC unit. This is especially true with the newer more energy efficient air conditioners with higher SEER ratings. Remember to turn your air conditioning system off and set it to fan to allow it to thaw. Check the condition of your AC unit air filter. If the filter is is dirty, most likely that is causing your AC unit to freeze. Something as simple as a dirty filter can cause bigger problems that can require major AC repairs. Remember to check your air conditioning system air filter and replace with a clean one whenever you see it getting dirty. You should change you air conditioner air filter at regular intervals. Most air conditioning manufacturers suggest every four weeks or sooner if it gets dirty or clogged before then.

Dirty Air Conditioner Evaporator Coilcoil_dirt_clean

If you have been using an ill fitting air filter or a hogs hair type air filter that allows too much dirt and dust to get through to your air conditioner evaporator coil it will get dirty, become clogged and restrict air flow. If you attempt to do an “in place” coil cleaning yourself you must be extremely careful to not bend any of the fins on your coil. They bend VERY easy!!!! Replacing an evaporator coil is VERY COSTLY. It is generally best to call a professional air conditioning repair technician to clean your coils properly.

 Restricted Air Flow

Check the registers, the duct connectors and the ductwork. Is your ductwork leaking air? Is your ductwork extremely dirty, blocking airflow to your air conditioning system? Clean any blockages that are restricting airflow to the AC unit. If necessary, have a Fix Your AC Fast inspect your ductwork for damage and leaks. You may need to have your ductwork professionally cleaned to clear the blockage from the ducts.

After your air conditioning system has thawed, airflow is cleared and the filter is changed, turn on and monitor the AC unit. If your AC unit continues to freeze up, you need to have the issue diagnosed by a professional HVAC technician.

Freon Leak

Another reason for air conditioner freeze up is the lack of coolant. However, if your air conditioner is low on freon that is not a normal condition that occurs over time.  If the air conditioning unit has leaked coolant and the levels are low, the air conditioning system works harder than normal and can form ice on the coils and pipes.

It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired.  A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit.

Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well.

Freon Leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.

Your professional Fix Your AC Fast HVAC technician will perform a dye test to find out where your air conditioning system is leaking, fix the leak, recharge the system with coolant and prime the air conditioning unit.

Should I Buy The Cheapest Air Conditioning Unit or Heat Pump?

What about price?

Should you go for the cheapest air conditioning or heat pump system you can get? In most cases, the answer is no. Generally… you get what you pay for. Some contractors may offer to carrier ac repairinstall air conditioning or heat pump systems at a low price, but this can come back to bite you if the air conditioning or heat pump system is installed improperly, or it is the wrong kind of air conditioning or heat pump system for your home. In the long run, you may find yourself paying more — a lot more — in operating and maintenance costs, unnecessary repairs, increased utility bills and shortened lifespan of your central air conditioning or heat pump unit.

Reputable air conditioning contractors will not sell you the cheapest air conditioning or heat pump system on the market; but they will give you the best air conditioning or heat pump system value for your home’s heating and cooling needs and for the life of your air conditioning or heat pump system.

Choosing the right air conditioning or heat pump system is only part of the equation; proper installation is perhaps the most critical determinant of how air conditioning or heat pump systems perform. The energy efficiency of air conditioning or heat pump systems depend greatly on where and how they are installed. Our professional air conditioning and heat pump installation and repair technicians can maximize the performance of air conditioning or heat pump systems with proper placement, sizing, connection, configuration and calibration. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach; every air conditioning or heat pump system installation is different. We always perform a heat load calculation to ensure you are purchasing the correct size AC unit or heat pump for your home.

Our air conditioning or heat pump system specialists take the time to make sure that your air conditioning or heat pump system is installed correctly so that it operates at maximum efficiency today and years from now.  We always obtain a city building permit to ensure all air conditioning and heat pump installations are performed correctly and comply with city building codes. And our experienced Service Technicians are always on-hand to make sure your air conditioning or heat pump system keeps on working.

Air Conditioning and Heat Pump System Types

Split systems

A split system simply means air conditioner or heat pump consists of  2 separate parts. An indoor air handling unit and an outdoor condensing unit. In many cases, a split system consists of:

  • Furnace―provides heating and the fan used year round to circulate air
  • Evaporator coil―the indoor component of your outdoor cooling unit
  • Air conditioner or heat pump―works in tandem with the evaporator coil
  • Ducts―carry the conditioned air throughout your home
  • Control or thermostat―your interface for controlling your system
  • Optional air quality accessories―clean, humidify, and freshen air before it circulates throughout your home

Some split systems consist only of an outdoor unit―such as a heat pump or air conditioner―and an inside fan coil. If that’s the case, there’s usually another heat source in the home like baseboard heat or a boiler.

Carrier-infinity-air-conditionerHybrid Heat® split systems

It’s a smarter version of your standard split system, with an energy efficient twist: In addition to gas furnace heat, this system automatically figures out how to get the best efficiency by also using an electricity-fueled heat pump to provide warmth. Bonus―the heat pump functions in the place of an air conditioner too.

In the warmer, humid climates of the south you might consider a high performance heat pump with a lower efficiency and lower up front cost furnace so you can have the furnace as backup heating on really cold nights, while taking advantage of the high-efficiency heat pump most of the year. A heat pump with a variable-speed compressor matched to a furnace with a variable-speed blower motor can do an amazing job of pulling humidity out of the air in the summer to save money.

Meanwhile, in colder climates, it’s best to pair your heat pump with a high-efficiency furnace. Despite the cold, you might be surprised by just how much mileage―not to mention cost-saving efficiency―you’ll get from a heat pump in the spring, fall and, yes, even winter months.

A Hybrid Heat system includes:

  • Heat pump―provides summer cooling and dehumidification and warmth in cooler seasons
  • Evaporator coil―the indoor component of your outdoor heat pump
  • Furnace―provides heating and the fan used year round to circulate air
  • Ducts―carry the conditioned air throughout your home
  • Control or thermostat―your interface for controlling your system
  • Optional air quality accessories―clean, humidify, and freshen air before it circulates throughout your home

Ductless air conditionerDuctless split systems

As you may have guessed from its name, a ductless split system doesn’t rely on air ducts to spread treated air in your home. Instead, this specialty system is designed to heat or cool room additions or other places that may lack ductwork, such as home theaters, exercise rooms, garages or any other area where the existing system doesn’t quite cut it. Ductless split systems include:

  • Small outdoor air conditioner or heat pump unit
  • A compact indoor wall unit
  • Refrigerant tubing and wire connections―pass through a small hole from indoor to outdoor unit to connect the system.
  • On unit or remote control―your interface for controlling your system

Packaged systemscarrier-packe-unit-heat-pump_50ZPB-120px

Some homes just don’t have space inside for a furnace or the coil needed for cooling. That doesn’t mean they can’t be filled with the same comfort and improved air quality of a split system home.

Packaged units tend to all look alike but can do vastly different things:

  • Cool only as an air conditioner
  • Cool and heat as an electric heat pump
  • Cool and heat as a Hybrid Heat® dual fuel system of gas furnace with electric heat pump
  • Cool and heat as a gas furnace with electric air conditioner

As an all-in-one unit, the only other thing you need is a control or thermostat and, of course, ductwork to carry the conditioned air. Additionally you can add air quality accessories if you like. Packaged systems may be located on the exterior of your home, either on a flat rooftop or in the yard.

Geothermal Heat Pump Systemcarrier geothermal heat pump

Traditional heat pumps do the same thing as air conditioners but in winter, they do it in reverse, drawing their heat energy from the outside air. Geothermal heat pumps don’t have to rely on the potentially wide temperature swings of outdoor air. They tap into the relatively consistent and more moderate temperatures of the earth instead. Using your yard, pond or well water, this ingenious technology enables you to enjoy higher energy efficiency inside your home—no matter how extreme the weather gets outside.

There are geothermal systems that can serve homes with ductwork or homes with radiant heat. The radiant heat versions are referred to as hydronic systems and some of those can also provide you with all your hot water needs.

A geothermal system can be used to provide all of your heating and cooling needs or you can pair it with a furnace for a dual fuel heating solution.

Comfort is about much more than heating and cooling.

LET US HELP YOU FIND THE PERFECT PRODUCT.

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air conditioning or heat pump estimate

Are some air conditioners built better than others?

It’s always best to stick with the top name brands like Trane, Carrier and Rheem. All the better brand Air Conditioning trane air conditioning units copy
and Heat Pump manufacturers make high efficiency AC units up to 20 SEERS. 
The compressor is the heart of a condensing unit. On a hot day, it works long and hard. Rheem installs the highly advanced scroll compressor in every Rheem condensing unit we produce. Scroll Compressors are recognized by the industry as the leader in reliability, efficiency and quiet operation.

Other features to look for include louvered steel cabinets that protect the coils from damage and expensive repair bills.

Also, with some condensing units, the fan can be another source of bothersome noise. Rheem units have a grill design that minimizes air restriction for quieter fan operation.

Whether you are building a new home, or you are upgrading to a new, more efficient air conditioning system, we offer a wide variety of residential and commercial air conditioner, heatnest programmable ac system thermostat pump and HVAC brands that meet the capacity, efficiency rating, and price that you are looking for.  Fix Your AC Fast sells complete heating and cooling systems that include air conditioners, thermostats, heat pumps, filtersIndoor Air Quality products, accessories and AC repair services

Your air conditioning system consumes more power than any other appliance in your home or office. Today’s high efficiency systems cost much less to operate. In the past decade, the development of new technology has drastically improved the efficiency of heating and air conditioning equipment. Today’s high efficiency heating and cooling systems are so much more efficient that they can actually pay for themselves in energy savings. With Federal Tax Credits, Utility Company rebates and Air Conditioner Manufacturer Rebates it may practically pay for itself in the first year of ownership. Air Conditioning technology has improved so much that systems installed prior to 2006 could be highly inefficient by today’s standards.

 

 

AC Troubleshooting Tips

How to Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump and When To Call a Professional AC Repair Service

air conditioning repair tech checking condenserThere are times when your air conditioning and heating system really doesn’t require the service of an expert AC repair service. Here are some common troubleshooting tips to go over before you call for air conditioning or heat pump repair.

Air Conditioner Not Cooling or Blowing?

Check circuit breakers at fuse box. The outdoor air conditioner condenser unit and indoor air handler unit have their own breaker. Even if breakers appear to be in the correct position, they are often tripped. Flip circuit breaker off and back on

Indoor Air Conditioning Unit Leaking Water?

If the AC unit is leaking water one of three possible things has occurredair conditioner leaking water water w 2 inch flood 11-19-12
1. Drain line is plugged. Check to see if your air conditioner’s drain line is draining properly. If it is not you can clear it by attaching a shop vac to the drain line opening in your home and /or outside drain line where it drains into the ground.
2. AC Evaporator coil is dirty. Dirt, mold, and algae are growing on your coil causing it to drip. Evaporator coil cleaning is something that should be done by an air conditioning repair professional. Air conditioner evaporator coils are very costly to replace and the fins are VERY easily bent.
3. Coil is frozen with ice. Air flow is restricted to your coil. Check your air conditioner filter to make sure it is not dirty. Change your air filter of it. In the meantime, turn off your air conditioning unit and let it run on fan only to let it defrost. It could also be caused by your air conditioner being low on freon. If that is the case you should call an air conditioning repair professional to perform a leak test. You will need to turn off the AC unit and call for AC repair service.

Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

When your air conditioner evaporator coils freeze up it is indicative of restricted air flow and/or your system is low on freon. Restricted air flow is caused by a dirty air conditioning filter or a  dirty evaporator coil.

If your system is low on freon it means you have a freon leak. Air conditioning systems do not get low on freon as a natural occurrence of time and use and can cause serious damage if not addressed.

It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired.

Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, can freeze the evaporator coil, and many other problems. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well. The laws on CFC’s do not allow an air conditioning contractor to add Freon to a leaky commercial system if the leak is within 30% of the units capacity. They are required to fix the leak in the system. Violation of this law may cause contractors to loose their license.

Freon leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.

Air Conditioner Fan Runs Continuously?

Make sure your  air conditioner thermostat is set to the “Auto” position.

AC Unit Runs But Does Not Cool Below 78 degrees

1. Your AC Unit is possibly low on freon
2. Your ductwork in the attic is leaking
3. Your air conditioner or heat pump is old and inefficient and can not keep up with the heat load
4. Your air conditioner is under sized for the heat load demand

nest air conditioner and heat pump thermostat Thermostat Not Registering Correct Temperature?

A temperature reading of within three (3) degrees up or down is considered normal. New digital thermostats are more accurate.

Are Some Rooms Warmer than Others?

In the warmer room, make sure the air conditioner vent is open or open it further. If this does not resolve the problem, the situation is the result of one of the following three conditions.
1. The ductwork was not sized properly
2. The air conditioning system needs to be balanced by adjusting the air flow dampers in the grills
3. The ductwork has come apart and is leaking cool air into the attic.
Call for Air Conditioning Repair Service.

Musty or Mildew Odor?

1. Your ductwork got wet and is giving off a musty odor or it’s possibly growing mold.microbial growth-bacterial-fungus-mold-on -ac-coil
2. No AC air filters were used and the ductwork is dirty and growing mold.
3. No filters or wrong filters were used and evaporator coil is plugged up with algae, microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria.
4. Drain pan is full of algae, fungus, mold and bacteria.
Schedule air conditioning repair service for an AC Tune up and Air Duct Cleaning and Duct Sanitizing. Our air conditioning professionals will suggest the best options for your situation.

When Do AC Filters Need Cleaning?

AC filters should be kept clean or replaced monthly. You should be using filters with a minimum MERV rating of 8 or higher. Please visit our section on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

coil_dirt_cleanDirty Coil?

As dirt, debris, pollen and spores accumulate on your air conditioner evaporator coil over time it will produce microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria. This build-up will restrict your air flow and cause you to have less cooling throughout your house and, at the same time, increase your electric bill. The bacteria and mold spores will circulate through your entire home and possibly affect your allergies and your health. The only way to fix this problem is to have the coil professionally cleaned.

Why Should I Choose a Programmable Thermostat?TR_ComfortLink II_Smart Control - Medium

Most programmable thermostats are capable of four different time and temperature settings. A programmable air conditioner thermostat will reduce your power bill by fluctuating temperature settings while you are at work, away or asleep. We highly recommend this product.

Is a yearly Tune-Up necessary?

All AC units should be maintained at least once per year.

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