Posted by Sam Stein on
Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 11:14am, last updated at 11:14am
Cleaning your air conditioner on a regular basis can increase the efficiency of the unit and prolong its life as well. If you have not had the unit cleaned previously, then you should probably carve out a half a day in order to carefully work through the process. If that is not realistic for you, call a professional.
The first step is to turn off the power, then remove the grille and clean it. Unscrew the top grille and hold it open. The fan will usually come with it, so support it carefully to avoid stretching the electrical wires and stressing the connections. If the fan doesn't lift out, avoid hitting it with a direct spray of water when you clean the fins.
Vacuum the condenser fins with a soft-bristle brush attachment. The metal fins are very delicate, so take special care and avoid bending them. Clear away weeds, grass and other debris that block airflow through the coil. You often have to unscrew a protective metal case and lift it off to get at the condenser fins.
The fan inside the condenser coil brings in air through the fins, and that air contains dirt and debris such as dead grass, leaves, dust and more. Any of this debris that collects on the unitís fins will reduce airflow and hurt the air conditionerís efficiency. In particular, grass clippings and spores from cottonwood trees and dandelions can really affect your A/C system. During spring, you might need to clean the fins on a weekly or even daily basis.
This would also be a good time to make sure your fan motor is properly lubricated, if you can get to it. If you see lubrication ports, get some special oil that is used for electric motors (do NOT use penetrating or all-purpose oil) and apply five drops of that oil to the ports. There are several A/C models with fan motors that do not have oil ports and therefore cannot be lubricated. Make sure you check your ownerís manual if you are not sure.
Typically, the compressor and motor are sealed and wonít require maintenance. But if you have an older compressor that is belt-driven by a separate motor, you can lubricate that motor through its oil ports. Make sure you watch for dark drip marks on the bottom of the compressor case, because this could indicate an oil leak. In addition, the compressor or tubes could be leaking coolant. If you find this leak, please call a professional Ė NEVER try and tighten the joints or you could make the problem worse. Plus, only a professional with the right equipment can recharge your system with the correct level of coolant.
Posted by Sam Stein on
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 7:20am, last updated at 11:47am
Problems with your air conditionerís compressor can cause an incredible amount of stress. Homeowners who find themselves with an A/C that is non-functional have the need to be able to rely on an air conditioning professional that can help them quickly work on their air conditioning compressor repair.
What is a Compressor?
The air conditioning compressor motor is a steel-encased container that functions as a pump for your AC system. If the compressor fails then your entire air conditioning system will be unable to perform its duty to cool down your home. The pump draws in refrigerant gas that is laden with heat from the inside unit of your system and it compresses the refrigerant gas (which is a low pressure gas) to a higher temperature and a higher pressure. When this gas refrigerant enters the air conditioners condenser coil it is rapidly cooled into a liquid state. The heat from the gas is then transferred to the outside unit and is blown out into the air. The cooled refrigerant then returns to the indoor unit to continue to the interior of your home. When the systemís compressor fails, the refrigerant is not able to be pushed to where it is needed Ė and your air conditioner is essentially useless at that point.
Some of the signs that your ACís compressor might be to blame re as follows:
- Your ACís exterior fan is spinning but cool air is not blowing through the vents.
- The fan and the compressor are both not running.
- When the compressor powers on it trips your circuit breaker or blows a fuse.
- Nothing happens at all when you turn your air conditioner on.
- A major clue that you are headed for an air conditioning compressor repair is that the compressor hisses, hums, or makes a loud squealing noise when it is turned on.
Compressors will occasionally come off of their mounts. In a case like this, it is generally a quick and easy fix by just reattaching the compressor and testing it to make sure that everything is fully operational.
There are a few things that might cause your air conditionerís compressor to fail, including some of the following situations.
- The fuse or the circuit breaker might blow for any number of reasons, including a power surge caused by a severe weather storm.
- If your air conditioning system has low levels of refrigerant fluid it could quickly overheat the motor, causing it to burn out.
- If the insulation of the motor is corroded, the compressor will also burn out.
Posted by Sam Stein on
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 at 7:14am, last updated at 7:14am
With spring upon us and summer quickly approaching Chicago's northwest suburbs, you should take the time to make sure your air conditioner is ready to work efficiently. Besides providing cool air, you air conditioner will also play a key role in maintaining your homeís indoor air quality level.
The EPA recently ranked bad indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health and according to the National Safety Council, we spend 65 percent of our time inside of our own home. This means that the air in your home can put you at risk for developing health problems. By ensuring that the air you breathe indoors is clean and fresh, you will provide yourself and your family with a comfortable and healthy living environment.
The most important thing that you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to change your filters on a regular basis. Dirty air filters can accumulate dust, pollen and other allergens in your heating and cooling equipment. These dirty filters will lead to poor indoor air quality levels in your home and unhealthy conditions for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies. According to the governmentís Energy Star program, you should change the air filters in your heating and cooling system at least every three months.
The easiest way to choose an efficient air filter is to check its MERV rating. The filterís MERV rating shows how effective it is at removing airborne particles from the air. The scale ranges from 1-16. The higher the rating, the more productive the air filter. Generally speaking, a filter with a rating of 10 or higher is considered to be a good option.
Your homeís indoor air quality is a vital component to maintaining a comfortable living space. Make sure you're using an adequate filter and change it on a regular basis. For more information on the correct usage of air filters for your heating and cooling equipment, contact the professionals at All Temp Heating & Air Conditioning today. They are more than willing to assist you in all of your home comfort needs.
All Temp Heating & Air Conditioning services Lake, McHenry, and northern Cook County in Illinois.
Posted by Sam Stein on
Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 7:01am, last updated at 7:07am
For the 3rd year in a row, All Temp Heating & Air Conditioning has been awarded Angie's List's Super Service Award. This award is only achieved by the top 5 percent of all companies listed on Angie's List and it reflects our consistently high level of customer service.
We are proud of our achievements and look forward to serving both our current and future customers in 2011!