All posts tagged air conditioning

Few home repair jobs can be more frustrating than dealing with your air conditioner. A broken AC unit usually means sweating it out at home with technical problems that are often beyond the skills of even the handiest homeowner. Selecting the right company to fix your air conditioner can mean the difference between convenient comfort and infuriating difficulties.

Every company in Haverhill offers different options when it comes to repairs. Asking the right questions ahead of time can help you choose the perfect AC repair company for your needs. Here are a few important questions to ask when doing your research:

    • Is the company licensed, bonded and insured?
      Customers who ask this question are usually invested in the future of their homes and want the best service possible. Licensed companies are permitted to perform work in Haverhill, and bonded companies are financially backed by a bonding company in the event of a filed claim. Insured companies prevent homeowners from being held legally responsible if a worker is injured during a repair or check-up. Make sure all of these boxes are checked to find an AC repair company you can trust. The best companies often rise above their competitors by being licensed, insured and bonded—and should be more than happy to show you proof.
    • Can the company provide local references?
      We normally ask our friends and neighbors their opinions on everything from restaurants to babysitters. So why not reach out to them for heating and air conditioning repair recommendations as well? Other Haverhill locals have been in your shoes. Knowing what they think about the repair service they received is important. They can give you the reasons why they chose the company they did and offer you an honest, unbiased opinion on the services they received. Make sure to check out Climate Zone’s testimonials website for further opinions on our service.
    • Will you receive a detailed, written work estimate?
      There are good surprises and bad surprises. Paying more than you expected for your AC repair certainly falls into the latter category. So, it’s important to receive a detailed outline of what will be done during an AC repair and the costs associated with each part of the project. It can make a huge difference for your peace of mind. Written estimates not only protect you as a customer, but they also hold the repair company accountable for completing everything they said they’d do. While unexpected things can always come up during a repair, having a written record of what work is to be done can help make sure work stays on track.

These aren’t all the possible questions you could ask when choosing the right AC repair company, but it’s a good start. The pros at Climate Zone can provide answers to your questions, and help you consider some things you hadn’t before. Our goal is to thoroughly satisfy the AC repair needs of our customers. It’s how we’ve built our company into one known for trustworthy AC repair in the Haverhill area. Find out for yourself. Give us a call at (978) 912-7677.

It’s getting into the sweltering days of summer in Haverhill. When it gets this hot, you don’t want to work any harder than you need to. The same goes for your home AC system.

It’s important to remember that energy efficiency can have a major impact on both your home comfort and your budget. Having an inefficiently running air conditioner can make it harder to cool off your home. It can also lead to more expensive energy bills or, worse, a broken-down air conditioner.

Getting your air conditioner running at peak performance for the summer isn’t hard either. The U.S. Department of Energy offers some ideas on keeping you, and your HVAC system, from overheating this year.

1. Change the air filter

Summer or winter, the easiest maintenance for your HVAC system is changing the air filter. From helping with proper ventilation to improving air quality, changing your air filter regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get the most out of your air conditioner.

However, most people aren’t changing their filters frequently enough. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends changing your air filter once a month to keep your air conditioner running efficiently.

Finding where to look on your unit when replacing the air filter can be tricky. In central air systems, the filter is usually located behind a metal panel on the side of the system. Unscrew or pull off the metal panel, remove the old filter and install the new one. It’s as easy as that.

2. Pay attention to your thermostat

Programmable thermostats can automatically adjust your home’s temperature at different times during the day. That can translate into significant energy savings when your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard when it’s not needed.

For example, you can program your thermostat to keep your home at a higher temperature when you’re away and to cool it down before you return. This will not only save you money on energy costs, but also reduce the burden on your air conditioner that would otherwise be cooling an empty home.

3. Keep condensation lines clear

When your air conditioner unit runs, evaporator coils create moisture. This moisture is removed from the unit in a drainage area, either by gravity or a motorized pump. If the condensation pipes that carry this runoff away from your air conditioner become clogged, it can do more than make your air conditioner run inefficiently–it can damage your home. So it’s important to make sure that your condensation lines are flowing smoothly.

If you have a professional maintenance agreement for your air conditioner, a technician will come to your home to check the quality of your lines, as well as other maintenance. In between visits, you can easily clean condensation lines between visits by sending a simple mix of bleach and warm water through the pipes to help prevent buildup.

4. Clean debris from coils

Over the course of the year, your central air conditioning unit can collect dirt and debris outside, especially if you don’t use a cover. That buildup can lead to a sluggishly performing AC unit. Nearby shrubs, trees or other plants can also impact your unit if overgrown branches push into the air conditioner coils. Make sure to clear any plants growing too closely to your air conditioner and make sure that the coils are clean.

5. Make adjustments around the house

Not every tip for increased efficiency means working with your HVAC unit. Consider taking simple steps around your house to further reduce the strain on your air conditioning unit this summer:

  • Turning off your cooling system and opening your windows while sleeping can help push out hot air. Shutting the windows and blinds in the morning helps capture the cool air.
  • Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting a few degrees with no reduction in comfort. But make sure to turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room since fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).

Keeping your home comfortable shouldn’t be a chore this summer. Following these tips can go a long way in maintaining a well-running air-conditioning system. But getting an inspection and ongoing maintenance from HVAC repair professionals like the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone will make sure that your air conditioner is running in tip-top shape. Call us today at (978) 872-1190 to find out how we can help keep you cool.

Summer is almost here in Haverhill, and finding out your air conditioner isn’t working when it starts to get hot is the worst.

It’s easy to tell if your air conditioner needs repairs, but many homeowners misinterpret the signs of an air conditioning problem for what they think are normal signs that their air conditioner is getting back up to speed after months of less use.

Understanding the signs of an air conditioner that needs repair will allow you to have your air conditioner repaired before things get worse. Most air conditioner repairs are quite simple, but homeowners frequently avoid calling a technician as they fear a large bill. Often the repairs needed cost much less than the bill would cost after a problem has compounded and needs a larger repair. If your AC unit is new, the repair may even be covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. Timely repairs will help your AC run at peak efficiency and save you money.

One of the most common air conditioning problems is improper operation. If your air conditioner is on, be sure to close your home’s windows and outside doors. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home.

But if your AC won’t run, there’s obviously a problem. Here are some common symptoms that your air conditioner needs repair to help you take action before your AC breaks down:

1. The Air Isn’t Cold

It might feel like your unit isn’t doing its job the way it should. Even at full blast, the air just doesn’t feel cold.

Low refrigerant (such as Freon) is a common reason for a lack of cold air from your air conditioner. A trained technician can check your refrigerant levels and test for any leaks in the system. Your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency are greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification (Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment).

If your refrigerant level is fine, the lack of cold air could be a sign of a bigger problem. It could mean your system’s compressor has failed. Replacing the compressor is a major repair and you may even have to replace your unit. Make sure a technician eliminates other possible problems before deciding to replace your AC.

2. The Airflow is Weak

Your air conditioning ducts are the paths by which air moves through your house. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside them. This can obstruct airflow and, even worse, create a health risk to you and your family. Regularly check and change your air filter and clean your ducts to keep airflow moving and ensure your AC is working well when you need it most. Note that if you find rooms in your home are getting cold air while others are not, you might need repairs to your ductwork beyond a cleaning

Weak airflow can also be a sign of a failing compressor, so be sure to call in a professional if you’re still having problems even with clean air filters and properly maintained ductwork.

3. Your Sensors and Thermostat Are Inaccurate

Even when your air conditioning unit and ductwork are in great condition, you many still have problems with the temperature in your home. In this case, the trouble might be with your thermostat. One sign of a thermostat problem is uneven temperatures throughout your home.

One place that can be the cause of the problem on a room air conditioner is the thermostat sensor. Located behind the control panel, the thermostat sensor measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is not functioning properly, or has been knocked out of place, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically.

Adjusting the sensor to its proper location (near the coil, but not touching it) can be done by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

4. Drainage Problems and Moisture

Moisture around your AC unit is a sign of two possible problems:

  • A refrigerant leak. This is a severe problem, as refrigerant chemicals can pose serious health risks to you and your family. A refrigerant leak needs to be repaired immediately.
  • Pooling water and humidity. Water pooling around your air conditioner may mean the condensation drain tube is blocked or broken, or that the air conditioner is not mounted level. This problem isn’t as serious as a refrigerant leak, but should be repaired quickly to avoid more problems like mold growth.

5. Something Sounds Wrong

Air conditioner compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently. If you hear a squealing, grating or grinding sound, it could mean these controls need immediate maintenance and are close to failure.

These sounds could also point to problems with electrical connections and contacts, as corroding wires and terminals cause problems in many systems

A squealing noise can indicate that a belt has slipped out of place or that a metal component in your air conditioner requires more lubrication. A grinding sound could mean your motor’s bearings are broken.

6. Something Smells Wrong

Just as an out-of-place sound can mean a problem with your air conditioner, a variety of different smells can also mean repairs are necessary. Here are some smells that indicate problems with your air conditioning unit:

  • A sweet or ether-like odor: This could mean a refrigerant leak. Most forms of Freon are colorless and odorless, but some forms of Freon and other refrigerants have a sweet, ether-like odor.
  • Ozone or electrical smell: This could mean a problem with the air conditioner’s motor or wiring, suggesting your conditioner’s wire insulation has burned out.
  • Musty smell: The most common smell found with air conditioners, this means that there is mold inside your unit or ductwork, which must be taken care of immediately.

If your air conditioner is showing any of these six signs, it’s not functioning as it should and may need professional service. Professional air conditioning diagnostic service, like the kind offered by the pros at Andrew DiPietro’s ClimateZone, should include the following:

  • Visual inspection of all A/C components
  • Full system performance test
  • State of charge and system control tests
  • Leak test, using an approved-leak detector
  • Dye detection test (if a slow leak is difficult to detect)

Scheduling an air conditioning repair to ensure your AC system is working at maximum efficiency is always a good idea when facing the hot final weeks of summer.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone team is here to make sure you are as comfortable as possible in your home. If you have any questions regarding air conditioning repair, installation, service plans or any number of other related items, pick up the phone and give us a call at 978-872-1190 or set up an appointment with us online.

If you have started researching your air conditioner replacement you’ve probably noticed that HVAC has its own jargon and it can get confusing. If you want to get the most out of your research, there are some common terms you should know. A lot of them pertain to efficiency, which will help save you money. So when you’re researching an air conditioner replacement the team at Climate Zone wants to help you go into your research with the knowledge you need to make the best decision.

EER

What is EER? EER is the energy-efficiency ratio and it measures how efficiently your system will work when the temperatures outdoors reach a certain level. The higher the rating, the higher the efficiency, the higher your savings.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

You’ve probably seen the ENERGY STAR logo on your appliances, but what does it actually mean? The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy created ENERGY STAR in 1992 as the international standard in energy-efficiency. ENERGY STAR products are good for the environment and your wallet. In order for an air conditioner to qualify as an ENERGY STAR product it goes through third party testing and must meet the requirements set up by the EPA. One of those requirements is that if a products costs more than a less efficient product, the consumer will recover that investment over time through savings on their energy bills. When the time comes for your air conditioner replacement, be on the lookout for the blue energy star logo.

SEER-Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and measures the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. The difference between a SEER and an EER rating is that a SEER rating takes into account the efficiency of your unit at different temperatures, or seasonally, as the name implies. It factors in the highs and lows of the temperature in your area. Again, just like the EER-rating, the higher the SEER-rating, the higher the energy efficiency.

We know there’s a lot of industry jargon you’ll run in to, and the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone will help you understand all the acronyms the industry throws your way. We want to help you get a home comfort system you’ll be happy with for many years to come. If you have any questions or want to talk over your options for an air conditioner replacement give our team a call at (978) 872-1190 or set up an appointment with us using our online scheduler.