Common Alpharetta Air Conditioner Problems

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Air conditioners are an important part of our lives in Alpharetta. They keep us comfortable despite overbearing heat and humidity outside, but because they run constantly for months and because they are such complicated pieces of machinery, they are prone to a number of problems. Here are some of the most common problems you’re likely to run into with your Alpharetta air conditioner and how to solve them:

 Leaks

A common problem that many people ignore or are unaware of is refrigerant leakage. It is possible that when the system was installed, it wasn’t properly charged, but most of the time if your system is low on refrigerant, it is because of a leak. You can’t just pour more refrigerant in and call it good, though.

The leak needs to be fixed, both for health and environmental reasons. If you notice that your system is low on refrigerant or you smell something off – often like acetone, call an Alpharetta air conditioning professional immediately for inspection and repair.

Alpharetta Air Conditioner Repair Sensors

An often overlooked part of your air conditioner is the sensors, but they are essential for its operation. If your sensors are broken, they will not correctly adjust to the temperature in your home – your air conditioner will fail to turn on when you need it. If it is 85 degrees outside but your air conditioner’s thermostat thinks it is only 72, it obviously will not cool your home to the temperature you want. This can happen even if the rest of your air conditioning system is working perfectly.

You should examine the sensor to make sure it was not moved or knocked toward the evaporator coil, which will cause it to read a falsely cool temperature. If a quick visual inspection doesn’t reveal the problem, it is best to call an Alpharetta air conditioning professional.

 Drainage problems

Your air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier as well, producing a liquid known as condensate. This liquid usually drains from the air conditioner into a designated area away from your home. However, if the condensate drain gets clogged or if the system wasn’t properly installed, that condensate can start to build up in your home. If you notice leakage around the coils, you may need a pump to remove the condensate properly.

Properly maintaining your air conditioner can usually be done with regular maintenance each year, but if one of these problems pops up, call Cool Air Mechanical and get them fixed right away.

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Atlanta Air Conditioning Installation Guide: Important Things to Remember

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

A good central air conditioner is a huge upgrade for most Atlanta homeowners. If you’ve been using window units for the last few years or have an older central unit that simply doesn’t get the job done any longer, a brand new central unit will feel incredible. But, before you run out and hire someone to install your new Atlanta central air conditioner, there are a few things to remember.

  • Space – Make sure you have enough space for both the outdoor unit and the indoor evaporator coils.  If space is limited, there are smaller units that will use less and still provide a decent amount of cooling.
  • Supply Registers – Make sure there are enough registers in your home, in the rooms where you need the cooled air. Insufficient depositing of cooled air won’t keep you cool and will run up your energy bill.
  • Ducting – Check the duct work and make sure it can support an air conditioning system. Seal up any ducts leading into spaces you don’t want cooled like the attic or the basement.
  • Condensing Unit – Clear away a space outside where your condensing unit will be placed. It should be clear of debris and be easy to maintain throughout the year, even in the winter when snow might block it in. It should also be easy to access for installation and annual maintenance.
  • Sizing – When you call an Atlanta HVAC professional, they should properly size your home and match it to a central air conditioner that fits your needs. Something too small won’t provide the level of cooling you need and something too large will cycle on and off frequently, costing you more money and putting unnecessary stress on the machine.

If you’re ready for a central air conditioner and want to start the processor, call Cool Air Mechanical who can help you go through each of these issues and make sure your home is ready for the new device. Once you’ve done that, you can select a model and have it installed.

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Atlanta Heat Pump Repair: Reasons Your Heat Pump Can’t Maintain the Right Temperature

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

When you set your thermostat for a certain temperature, you expect that your Atlanta heat pump will either heat or cool it to that temperature, right? When you want 72 degrees, you don’t expect to have the temperature stay stuck at 70 degrees while your heat pump struggles futilely.

Sometimes heat pumps have trouble maintaining the right temperature, especially in heating mode. It’s not uncommon, and it has a number of potential causes. Run through this checklist to see if it is something you can fix yourself:

  • The outdoor unit is iced up. Running a defrost cycle can usually fix this.
  • The outdoor unit is not running at all. Sometimes this is simple enough to fix on your own. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to troubleshoot the problem.
  • Too much cold air is getting in the house for the heat pump to keep up. Make sure your doors and windows are closed to keep that valuable heat inside.
  • Your vents are closed. It may seem obviou, but problems like this can sometimes be attributed to user error. Make sure your vents are open to allow heat in.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, and it covers just those causes that you could potentially fix yourself. There are many other possible culprits out there that could be more sinister and require professional service to be properly repaired.

Some of these include:

  • The compressor is not running.
  • A compressor valve or reversing valve is faulty.
  • The thermostat is malfunctioning or needs to be recalibrated.
  • The refrigerant level is low or there is a problem with the flow of the refrigerant.
  • The heat pump needs routine maintenance.

If your heat pump is not working properly for several days, especially after you have tried some of the DIY solutions above, call Cool Air Mechanical right away. Your heat pump may need repairs before a bigger problem develops.

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Stone Mountain Water Heater Guide: How a Storage Water Heater Works

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

For decades, millions of Americans have used storage water heaters to heat and store hot water for future use, including many people in Stone Mountain. These tanks are very simple and in many cases have become much more energy efficient, but you probably are wondering how they actually work.

The Basics

A storage water heater is exactly as it sounds. A large volume of water is funneled into a storage tank of between 20 and 80 gallons and heated for future use. When you turn on a hot water tap, water from the top of the tank is removed through the hot water outlet and cold water enters the tank through the cold water inlet – replacing the displaced volume and heated by the gas burner beneath the tank.

Water heaters can be electric, gas, propane or oil depending on what is available in your area. When the water temperature falls (as hot water is pulled from the tank), the thermostat opens and the gas burner ignites, heating the water until it reaches the preset temperature of the thermostat and it closes.

The Tank

When a tank is turned on, it is constantly heating the water supply. As a result, standby heat loss occurs. However, modern tanks are being built with exceptionally high insulation ratings (up to R-25) to minimize the loss of such heat. Additional heat loss occurs in gas and oil water heaters that must vent fumes and gasses through an internal flue. Fan assisted gas tanks and sealed combustion tanks reduce this type of energy loss in gas water heaters.

 Determining the Best Water Heater for You

If you want a new water heater for your home, make sure you do your research and learn what types of water heaters will minimize heat and energy loss without reducing your comfort level. Modern tank water heaters are surprisingly efficient, but only certain ones. Cool Air Mechanical can help you determine which option is best for you.

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