AC won't turn on

AC Repair for Friendswood, TX Homeowners: Why Won’t My AC Turn On?

As of 2020, almost 90% of homes in the US used air conditioning, and when you're in the hot summer sun of Texas, you want your air conditioning to be working the way it should be.

If your AC won't turn on, sometimes, it's a quick fix that you can handle at home, so you'll need to know what to check for. But other times, you'll come across a problem you can't fix on your own. In these cases, you'll need to know when you should call in a professional air conditioning service to help you.

To learn more, keep reading this guide to learn five reasons why your AC won't turn on and what you can do to fix the problem!

1. Clogged Air Filter

If you don't remember the last time you changed your air filter, you'll need to check this first. This is a common AC maintenance task that many people forget to complete.

Air filters can get clogged up with debris and dust, which blocks the airflow causing the coils in your AC to freeze and form ice. This causes your AC to stop cooling your home completely, and if your AC is frozen enough, it won't turn on at all.

Eventually, your AC will not be able to draw air, which causes it to heat up and melt the ice on the coils. In this case, you might also notice that your air conditioner is leaking.

You'll need to make sure to change your air filter every 90 days. In addition, you should change your air filter every 30 to 45 days if you have allergies or pets in your home to improve your indoor air quality.

2. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat is essentially the main communicator to your air conditioner, so if it's not working correctly, your AC won't sense when to switch on properly. 

You'll first need to look at your thermostat's screen. If it's off or no numbers are displaying, then try to switch it on. If it doesn't switch on, your next step will be to replace the batteries.

You may need a new thermostat if it still doesn't switch on after you replace the batteries. Your next step should be to call a professional technician to come and evaluate the problem. Professional AC companies will be able to determine if it's an electrical issue or something else and fix the problem immediately.

3. Clogged Condensate Line

Air is either cooled or heated through your HVAC system, and the humidity gets released. The humidity will eventually turn into condensation, which then drains through your condensate line.

The condensate line is also in an enclosed damp space, so it's susceptible to mold and mildew. If you don't flush your condensate regularly, it can become clogged, and eventually, your AC won't turn on.

To troubleshoot, you'll first need to turn your AC off from both the breaker panel and thermostat. Then, you'll need to go outside to find the PVC pipe that's closest to the outer part of your air conditioner. Remove the cap, pour a cup of distilled white vinegar into the pipe, and let it sit for an hour before flushing with water. You should repeat this process once a month.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you should Google "AC repair near me" and call in the professionals to ensure it's fixed properly.

4. Refrigerant Leak

If you know what to look for, you'll be able to detect a refrigerant leak before your AC won't turn on. You'll notice that while your AC is running, it's not cooling your home effectively. You'll also notice your AC bills going up for no reason, a hissing sound from your AC, or warm air coming from your vents. 

The freon in your AC is an odorless and tasteless gas that can cause reduce the oxygen levels in your lungs and can lead to refrigerant poisoning. Therefore, if you suspect a refrigerant leak, it's essential to take it seriously and take action immediately.

Due to the dangers, the Environmental Protection Agency only allows certified technicians to handle these types of refrigerant problems. So, you'll need to call a licensed HVAC professional to come and fix the issue.

5. Blown Fuse

Frequently, a blown fuse is the reason your AC won't turn on, so it's something you'll need to remember to check when you're troubleshooting. Your first step is to ensure you turn off your air conditioner and power supply to avoid electrocution. 

Next, locate the fuse box and pull out the fuses for your AC. You'll need to do what's known as a continuity test using a multimeter. A multimeter is a small handheld device that measures electrical voltage, and you can find them at most home retail stores.

If you find that a fuse isn't working, you can purchase a new one at your local hardware store. You'll need to ensure you get the model and make of the fuse or take a picture of it to have with you.

If you're not comfortable doing this, it's best to call an AC repair service to help you fix the problem.

Call a Professional AC and Heating Service When Your AC Won't Turn On

Now that you know the most common reasons why your AC won't turn on, you'll more easily be able to do some troubleshooting at home first.

If you don't feel comfortable working on AC equipment you're not familiar with, look up "heating and cooling near me" on Google until you come across P & M Air Conditioning and Heating.

We offer AC and heating services, heating and cooling maintenance, air quality checks, and installation services. We're a family-owned business with over 65 years of experience, and our service areas include Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood, TX.

We're available 24/7, so make sure you contact us today to schedule an appointment! 

air conditioning costs

How to Reduce Your AC Bill in Pearland, Texas This Summer

An estimated 90% of homes in the United States use air conditioning of some kind, and it's easy to see why. AC help keeps living spaces habitable, especially during the summer when the heat can prove oppressive. But while these units are a godsend against the heat, air conditioning costs can prove a challenge.

At the moment, air conditioning consumes roughly 6% of the total electricity produced in the US. The collective power bill to homeowners comes to a colossal $29 billion each year.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your AC bill under control this summer? In this post, we outline seven proven tips for a lower AC bill. Let’s delve right in.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

With this type of device, you can set temperatures for different times of the day and night. That means your AC doesn't have to work as hard (and use as much power) when you're not home.

You can program these devices to turn on half an hour or so before you arrive home in the evening, so your living space is already cool by the time you walk in the door. The same goes for when you leave for work in the morning — just set the device to a higher temperature so your AC doesn't have to kick in.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homeowners can save up to $180 every year by using a programmable thermostat appropriately.

Use Ceiling Fans

While ceiling fans don't actually lower the temperature in a room, they do make it feel cooler. That's because they circulate air and help evaporate the sweat on your skin.

In fact, when used together with an AC, ceiling fans can allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F without affecting your comfort. And since every degree you raise the AC saves you about 6 percent on your cooling costs, that's a significant saving.

Just remember to turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room — otherwise, you'll be wasting energy.

Educate Your Housemates About Energy-Saving Practices

Do you have kids or housemates who like to leave doors and windows open when the AC is on? If so, then it's time for a little education.

Explain to your loved ones that every time they open a door or window when the AC is running, cool air escapes and warm air enters. As a result, the AC has to work harder (and use more power) to maintain the desired temperature.

Encourage them to close doors and windows when the AC is on, and you should see a difference in your energy bills.

Consider Investing in a Whole-House Fan

A whole-house fan is a large fan that's installed in the attic and vented to the outside. These devices are used to expel hot air from your home and can be an excellent complement to your AC, especially if you live in a climate with mild summers.

In most cases, you can use a whole-house fan to keep your living space cool at night. Then, during the day, when the temperature outside rises, you can rely on your AC to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

This approach can help you save money since you won't have to use your AC as much.

Add Weather-Stripping or Caulking Around Doors and Windows

In many homes, a lot of cool air escapes through cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve.

Weather-stripping is a material that you can use to seal spaces around doors, and caulking is used for sealing cracks and gaps around windows. You can find both of these materials at your local hardware store.

Sealing up cracks and gaps will help prevent cool air from escaping, so your AC doesn't have to work as hard to keep you warm.

Install Reflective Window Film

If your home has a lot of windows, then heat gain through those windows can be a significant problem. Fortunately, there's an easy solution — reflective window film.

This type of film is applied to the glass surface and reflects sunlight away from your home. As a result, less heat enters your living space, and your AC doesn't have to work as hard to keep things cool.

Invest in Energy-Efficient AC

If your air conditioning unit is old, it might be time to invest in a new, energy-efficient model. Newer air conditioners use less energy and can save you money on your monthly electricity bill.

When shopping for a new air conditioner, look for models with the ENERGY STAR label. These models meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and can help you save money on your air conditioning costs.

Inspect Your Ductwork for Leaks

Ductwork is the system of air ducts that carries air from your air conditioner to the different rooms in your home.

If your ductwork has leaks, this can cause your AC unit to work harder than it needs to and drive up your energy costs. To prevent this, have your ductwork inspected for leaks and repaired by a professional if necessary.

Even better, consider investing in a ductless air conditioning system. These systems don't use ductwork, so they're much more efficient than traditional AC units.

Schedule an Annual Air Conditioning Tune-up

Regular heating and cooling maintenance are one of the best ways to keep your AC unit running efficiently and prevent costly repairs. In particular, you want to invest in an annual AC and heating tune-up.

During a tune-up, a professional will clean your AC unit, lubricate its moving parts, and inspect it for any potential problems. This can help extend the life of your AC unit and prevent small AC problems from becoming big ones.

Make sure to find AC companies that have experience and expertise in servicing your type of AC unit.

Keeping Air Conditioning Costs Low Shouldn’t Be a Challenge

Air conditioning costs can quickly add up during the summer months, but there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your air conditioning bill. By following the tips above, you beat the heat without blowing your budget.

Are you searching for AC repair near me in Pearland, Texas? Get in touch with us today for an AC repair-free estimate.

air conditioning tune-up

The Importance of An Air Conditioning Tune-Up in Houston, TX

Every year, people in America spend almost $120 billion on help from a professional heating and air conditioning contractors. That is one small indicator of just how much value modern heating and air conditioning systems provide. In a place like Texas, heating is less important, but proper air conditioning is an absolute essential!

Of course, people might not have to spend that much on the services of contractors if they appreciated the importance of a quality air conditioning tune-up. You have probably heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The right maintenance can save you a lot of money on repairs and other expenses.

So what exactly is so important about regular air conditioning tune-ups? Read on to learn all about the most important benefits that come with proper air conditioning maintenance!

An Air Conditioning Tune-up Can Prevent Repairs

One of the clearest ways that air conditioning tune-ups can save you money is by preventing costly repairs. Many people call for the help of air conditioning technicians when they notice a problem with their unit. Unfortunately, by the time you notice a problem, it has already been around for a while.

Of course, it is much better to call for help for a small repair than to wait it out. If you wait too long, a small problem can develop into a big one.

That does not just mean fixing your air conditioner later rather than sooner. It often means paying much more to repair it.

In the worst cases, you might actually have to replace your unit because you waited too long to fix it. Fixing small problems is somewhat efficient, but it is even better to avoid them in the first place. Regular air conditioning tune-ups can allow you to catch problems before they develop to a noticeable stage.

Air Conditioning Tune-ups Extend the Lifespan of Your Unit

Avoiding proper air conditioning tune-ups doesn't just mean having to pay for more repairs. It also means having to replace your whole unit sooner rather than later.

The better care you take care of your air conditioning unit, the longer it is likely the last. A typical air conditioner unit will last between 12 and 15 years.

However, if you do not take care of it, it might die sooner than 12 years. On the other hand, excellent care can improve the chance that your unit lasts longer than 15 years.

Take a simple example like the air filter in your air conditioner. Your air conditioner funnels huge quantities of air from the outdoors into your home. However, the air outside often has contaminants in it. Your air conditioner performs double-duty, cooling your home and taking care of its air quality at the same time.

To do this, it has to filter the contaminants out of the air it gets from outside. Your air conditioner has an air filter to catch all of these contaminants so that they do not end up floating around the air of your home. Of course, that means that the air filter will slowly become full of these contaminants.

The more full of contaminants the air filter is, the more force is necessary to push air through it. That means that your air conditioner will have to work harder and harder to accomplish the same purpose.

That increases the stress that your air conditioner has to handle. The end result can be a shortened lifespan.

Air Conditioning Tune-up Costs Pay For Themselves

Of course, you don't have to wait until your unit dies to see that a tune-up can pay for itself. Giving your air conditioner the maintenance it needs will help it to run more efficiently.

In other words, an air conditioner that receives proper maintenance will get the job done while consuming less energy. This provides a number of benefits.

First of all, it benefits the owner. Lower energy consumption means lower energy bills.

Second, this is beneficial to society in general. The less energy that we consume unnecessarily, the longer our non-renewable sources of energy will last.

Lastly, this is of great benefit to the environment. Consuming less energy generally means decreasing your carbon footprint. Contributing less to the prevalence of greenhouse gases in the air can also decrease your contribution to the growing greenhouse effect on the planet.

An Air Conditioning Tune-up Service Can Make Your Home More Comfortable

The right tune-up for your air conditioner can provide energy efficiency, cost savings, a decreased need for repairs, and a longer life span. However, it can also help your air conditioner to do its job better.

When your air conditioner does not receive proper maintenance, it will have to work harder to cool down your home. If situations are difficult enough, the air conditioner may actually fail to cool down your home. No matter how low you set your thermostat, the air conditioner may simply lack the power to cool down your home faster than the ambient temperature outside heats it up.

This is especially likely to happen if there are also activities inside the home contributing to a higher temperature. This might include an oven or a piece of serious electronic equipment.

Even if your air conditioner can eventually manage to lower the temperature of your home, it will take it longer to do so if it does not receive proper maintenance. If you get home and decide to turn on the air conditioner, you might have to wait for hours before your home actually arrives at your desired temperature.

Understand the Importance of an Air Conditioning Tune-up 

We hope learning about what an air conditioning tune-up service can do for you has been helpful. Many people do not think it is worth the cost and time, and money to set up regular air conditioning maintenance. However, if you don't pay for maintenance, you will end up paying more in a variety of other ways.

To learn more about what proper air conditioning maintenance can do for your system or to schedule a tune-up, feel free to reach out to us at P&M and get in touch at any time!

Texas heat

6 Ways to Beat Texas Heat This Spring

If you live anywhere in Texas, you know a thing or two about Texas heat. In areas like Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood, the heat and humidity can become unbearable.

Fortunately, most of us work in air-conditioned offices and have cool homes to return to after a long day. Yet, this doesn't guarantee that we'll have an easy-breezy summer.

If you want to stay cool this summer, we can help. Keep reading for our top six tips on how to avoid over-heating under the southern sun.

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is a fundamental component to staying cool, especially when it comes to Texas heat. Remaining hydrated helps our bodies regulate temperature. When we're dehydrated, on the other hand, we don't sweat as easily and are at risk of overheating.

Early signs of dehydration include:

  • Dark and/or odorous urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and cool skin
  • Headaches
  • Infrequent urination

If you remain dehydrated for too long, these symptoms can escalate to things like fainting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and more.

To avoid getting dehydrated, carry around a water bottle and drink before you get thirsty. This is especially important if you're spending time outside under the southern sun.

If you have children who like to play outside, make sure they're coming in frequently to drink water. And remember, water and juice are not the same things. Nor will coffee or soda provide proper hydration.

2. Conduct Regular HVAC Maintenance

Most of us retreat indoors to combat the Texas heat and humidity. Of course, this plan is only effective if your AC unit and HVAC system are working properly.

You can ensure your system is firing on all cylinders by conducting regular HVAC maintenance. This includes:

  • Replacing your HVAC filter
  • Ensuring your AC unit's condenser coils are clean
  • Maximizing airflow to your AC unit by cleaning the outdoor grating
  • Investing in air duct cleaning
  • And more

Failing to properly maintain your HVAC system will lead to major and minor air conditioning issues. There's nothing worse than expecting to come home to a cool house only to find out your air conditioning is pumping out warm air. There could be a number of reasons behind this, some simple, some complex.

If this happens to you, call AC repair services immediately.

3. Enjoy Some Water-Related Activities

Beating the southern sun doesn't necessarily mean running away from it. If you like to be outside, find some water-related activities you can enjoy to keep you cool.

For example, there are plenty of lakes, swimming pools, and water slides in Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood. Take your family out for a fun day of water and sun or meet up with some friends.

Just make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen lotion to prevent getting sunburned. Sunburns make it even more difficult to stay cool in the Texas heat.

4. Run Window and Ceiling Fans

One of the biggest complaints from people living in Texas is the cost of keeping their homes cool in the summer. Between the heat and humidity, their AC units are running on high all day and most of the night.

However, there are ways to reduce your HVAC energy consumption. For example, at night and in the morning while the temperature outside is cool, run window fans to bring in the cool air.

We also recommend running ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction to push air down and create a cooling breeze. Keep them running even after the AC turns on and the windows are closed. Ceiling fans will keep the air moving which will keep your home cooler and place less stress on your air conditioner.

5. Dress Appropriately

Whether you're going out into the southern sun or staying inside for most of the day, learn how to dress appropriately to beat the Texas heat. We recommend light-colored, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.

It's also a good idea to keep the sun off your face and head. Wear a hat and sunglasses if you're going to be under direct sunlight.

If you're going to be outside for a long time, having more skin exposed may not be a good idea. This will make you more vulnerable to getting sunburned.

We also recommend staying indoors during the hottest part of the day. There is plenty of fun to be had outside before and after these peak hours.

6. Learn How to Respond to Heat-Related Illnesses

Finally, understand that no matter what precautions you take, you may be exposed (directly or indirectly) to heat-related illnesses. It's not uncommon for people to develop heat exhaustion in the Texas heat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Cool, moist skin

If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is the most severe heat-related illness. At this point, the body fails to cool itself down. The victim then becomes vulnerable to seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, or even death.

To treat someone with heat exhaustion and prevent heatstroke, take immediate action. This means:

  • Get the person in the shade or inside
  • Have the victim lay down with feet slightly elevated
  • Remove any tight or binding clothing
  • Hydrate (nothing with caffeine or alcohol)
  • Use water to cool the person slowly (spraying, sponging, fanning)

Keep a close eye on the victim until all symptoms of heat exhaustion subside. If the situation seems to be getting worse, call 911 immediately.

Looking to Beat the Texas Heat This Summer?

Do you want to stay cool this summer? If so, follow the six tips listed above to beat the Texas heat. Most importantly, stay safe out there and avoid those heat-related illnesses.

And if your AC unit needs a checkup or repairs, we're here for you. P & M Air Conditioning and Heating has been in the industry for 75 years. We offer same-day air conditioning services because we know how intense and unbearable the Texas heat can become.

If you're in need of some relief from the southern sun, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We offer our HVAC services in Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood.

central AC system

6 Amazing Benefits of a Central AC System for Your Home

If you're a homeowner that's been making do with multiple window units for years, it might be time to make an upgrade. Not only is having a central AC system convenient, but it actually adds a lot of value to your home — immediately and over time.

The initial investment can seem a bit daunting, but the difference you'll feel in your space once it's done is immediate.

If you're still not convinced, read on to learn six benefits of having a central AC system in your home.

1. Conveniently Cool Multiple Rooms

Having a central AC system automatically means that every room in your house is going to be cooled at the same time. It also means you only have adjusted the temperature in your home once rather than having to walk from room to room to switch all the buttons.

One thing you do lose out on is being able to temperature control each room in your home, but it's easy enough to turn fans on and off, or close vents as it's needed.

Central systems do, however, do a better job at simply cooling your home a lot faster. They circulate air more efficiently than window units are capable of, meaning you won't have random cold and hot spots throughout your house.

2. Cleaner Air

Not only are you going to reduce the humidity levels in your home, but you're also going to be providing it with cleaner air in the long run. Whole-home AC powers exactly that — your whole home — by circulating air pulled from different rooms throughout the entire house.

As it gets pulled into the vents, that air also runs through a filter that removes airborne particles like dust, lint, and other allergens. These filters have to be replaced on a monthly basis to keep the air as clean as possible. This benefit is great for those with allergies or other respiratory problems.

A central AC system can also help with regulating the amount of humidity in the air. There's an evaporator coil that condenses and removes vapor from the air. similar to how liquid condenses on the outside of a cold glass.

3. Lower Energy Bill

As more energy-efficient ways of powering our homes pop up, the more the United States' average energy bill decreases. Part of that decrease comes when you switch from regular window units to a central AC system.

Since the power that's heating your home is coming from one central source instead of multiple standalone sources, then it's easy to see why cheaper energy bills would be such a possibility.

Not only that, but newer AC systems are simply more efficient than older ones. If your window units are over eight to 10 years old, then it's time to replace them all anyway. A central AC system, however, can last up to 15 years with proper care and maintenance.

4. Less Maintenance

New AC systems actually require very little maintenance. Usually, all it takes is an annual inspection from a professional and routine service to keep things running smoothly.

Often, the company you hire to install your AC system will have a warranty that comes with a maintenance plan. It's smart to ask about this beforehand, but if you're already searching for a maintenance person, then be sure to ask what their annual maintenance plans are units.

The best time to have your AC inspected is right before the hot season starts so you're not stuck with problems later down the line. All that usually happens during these visits is component cleaning, lubrication, and inspection to ensure everything is working properly.

5. Higher Home Value

Lastly, and this one's big if you're looking to sell your home at some point, having a central air conditioning system is going to add a higher resale value to your home. It's also an investment that holds its value over a long period of time.

It adds luxury to any space it's present in and is sure to be a great addition to any home.

6. Their Design Is Much Sleeker

The last, and possibly biggest thing, is that central AC systems are much sleeker than individual window units. You'll have an improved view from all the windows in your home, and you'll also be able to have more natural light seep its way into your space.

You can purchase window treatments or drapes for all the windows that had AC units in them, and you don't have to worry about the space around them being clear any longer!

That also means you'll have more space to move around in your home with. You can place furniture or tables around and under the windows that you gain back, and you don't have to worry about any noise they create when they turn on and off.

Sure, central AC systems create some noise, but they are a lot quieter than outdated window AC units.

On the flip side, if your singular unit was built into the wall, that frees up space for you to hang art or other things in its place. No more staring at a large vent in the wall.

Add Comfort to Your Home With a Central AC System

It's no question that having a central AC system installed in your home is a great comfort to have. Not only does it add modernity to your space, but it makes living more comfortable in the long run, which makes everyone in your home happy.

If you're ready to have an AC unit installed in your home, contact us today to get started.

air conditioner tips

Should You Run Your Air Conditioner in the Winter?

AC units are crucial to keeping our homes cool during the summer. However, if your home gets stuffy or hot during the winter, you may still be tempted to run the AC and cool yourself off.

What exactly happens if you run your AC during the winter?

While it is possible to run your AC when the weather is cold, you should use it with caution. Here are some air conditioner tips to keep your AC unit from getting damaged during the winter months.

Can My AC Unit Get Damaged if I Run it During Winter?

In short, yes, your AC unit can suffer from damage if you run it during the winter. While AC units can work fine in warm weather, cold temperatures can do a number in the inner and outer workings of your air conditioner. 

While you can still run your air conditioner during the winter, there are some signs of damage that you should watch out for. For efficient use of air conditioners, you should pay attention to these signs before your AC unit takes on serious damage.

Overheating Compressor

During the summer, the compressor within your AC unit runs as it should. When the weather gets cold, your compressor will have to work twice as hard, which can lead to overheating. 

Using your air conditioner too often during the winter can cause irreversible damage to the compressor. If you do choose to run your AC in the winter, make sure to give it regular breaks to avoid overheating the compressor.

Loss of Lubrication

Lubricants are responsible for keeping the compressor running smoothly. During the winter, these lubricants can freeze up and become too thick to function well. This makes your AC unit's compressor more likely to break down.

These lubricants freeze up extremely quickly in cold weather. Once they become too thick, they are no longer effective at cooling down your compressor. 

Cooling Coils Becoming Frozen

Your air conditioner will naturally drip water from within the machine. This is the condensation that naturally builds up in the outside unit. This water can quickly freeze during cooler months, leading to severe damage to your outside AC unit. 

This water can gather around the cooling coils inside of the unit, which can easily become frozen. This can easily damage the coils over a short period of time. If the coils become frozen, the machine can overheat, as there is nothing inside of the machine working to cool it off.

If you happen to notice ice building up on your outdoor unit, you should shut off the AC right away. This will give the machine some time to thaw out. If the ice doesn't thaw, then you should avoid using the machine for a while to avoid further damage.

Temperature Sensor

Your AC unit has a built-in temperature sensor that tells it when it should stop running. In order to run your AC unit during the winter, this sensor has to be overridden. By overriding that sensor and running your AC unit during the winter, you can cause it to become ineffective in the future. 

The Dangers of a Damaged AC Unit

Naturally, any damage that is done to either the inner mechanisms or outside of the AC unit can lead to costly repairs. Pieces of your AC unit may need to be replaced, or in a worst-case scenario, you may have to replace the entire unit.

What to Do Instead of Running the AC

It's fine to have your AC unit cooling your home on occasion during the winter. However, there are better ways that you can cool down your home without risking damage to your air conditioner.

If you want some air conditioning tips to save energy and money, here are a few things you can do to cool down your home during the winter.

The easiest way to cool down certain rooms in your home is to crack open a window. This will allow the cool air outside to bring the room down to a normal temperature. 

If the stuffy room doesn't happen to have a window, fans can work to bring down a room's temperature. Leave the room's door open so that the warm air can escape the room while you run the fan to help get rid of the stuffy atmosphere.

For overly humid rooms, dehumidifiers can help. Simply place the unit in whatever room has gotten too humid and set it to run for a while.

When to Seek Out a Professional

Have you run your AC unit this winter and are worried it may be damaged? There are a few key signs that you should get a professional to inspect your unit.

Firstly, has a significant amount of ice built up around the outside of the machine? Look out for long icicles hanging from the machine, as these are a clear sign that your machine may start to overheat soon.

Has your AC unit been making strange noises or producing smoke? This may point to an overheating problem with the machine. In order to avoid significant damage, you should have it inspected right away.

Finally, has your AC unit stopped working altogether? If so, call a professional immediately to address the issue at hand. 

Air Conditioner Tips to Protect Your AC Unit

With these air conditioning tips for homeowners, you can feel safer while using your AC during the winter. Keep these air conditioner tips in mind the next time you play on cooling down your home. 

Is your air conditioner not running as it should be? Do you live in or near Houston, Texas?

We're here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about your AC unit and continue reading our blog for more helpful tips.

central air conditioner maintenance

Getting Ready for Summer: 7 Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

The dog days of summer will be upon us before we know it. It feels good to have sunshine and warmth in the air. It also feels good to go inside and cool off in your nice air-conditioned house.

So, there's nothing quite so frustrating as turning on the air on the first hot day only to find it won't turn on. Or it won't blow cold air.

Of course, then you're in line with others who want service right away to get their air working. Avoid the hassles by getting your central air conditioner maintenance taken care of before it's a problem.

Read on to learn about some things you can do or have done by a professional to make sure your air conditioner is ready for summer.

1. Air Conditioner Filters

One of the simplest tasks you can do, and you can do this yourself, is to clean or replace the air conditioner filters.

These filters are found inside the house. They can be found in the furnace or air handler cabinet of your furnace. Sometimes you will find them near the air inlet part of the furnace.

The purpose of these filters, like any filter, is to trap dirt and air particles. Yet, when these get too full of dust and dirt particles, the air can't move through them.

As a result, you don't get good airflow and your house doesn't cool down the way you want it to.

2. Check the Condenser Coils

Just the name condenser coils sound remarkably complicated. This isn't though.

First, you need to make sure, and this is important, that you have turned off the power to your air conditioner unit.

Then go to the outdoor metal box that is part of your air conditioning system. You will see the fan blades at the top of the unit.

These fan blades move air around the interior condenser coils when your unit is running. During the winter, debris can get inside the unit and clog up the condenser coils.

Remove the lid of your unit and the sides. This often can be done by loosening a few screws.

Then you can use a soft hand brush or vacuum brush to clean the coils. These coils look like fins and are surprisingly fragile. You want to be careful not to bend them while cleaning.

Removing the dirt and debris allows better airflow and a more efficient air conditioner hunt.

3. Debris Around the Condenser

Once you are finished cleaning the coils, you want to remove any debris found inside the condenser. Often leaves and dirt from winter gather inside there.

Use your hand or a vacuum to scoop out the debris. If there is a drain (many units have one) you want to clear out the drain at the bottom of the condenser.

Then you can use a rag to wipe down the fan blades. Check the bolts that hold the fan blades. You want to be sure nothing is loose that would throw off how the fan operates.

4. Remove Outdoor Obstructions

While many people want to do outdoor plantings around the outdoor part of their air conditioner, really this is not a good idea. You want there to be open space and good airflow around the outdoor part of your air conditioning unit.

You want to remove any leaves or weeds that might prevent good airflow around the exterior of the unit.

It's smart to keep anything growing several feet from your air conditioning unit.

5. Check the Coolant Lines

The coolant lines run from your outdoor part of the unit into your house. They run from the air handler inside to the condenser outside.

These coolant lines are typically wrapped in foam insulation. This prevents the coolant lines from losing unnecessary energy.

Sometimes outdoor critters will chew on the foam insulation and it gets frayed away. You want those lines protected for maximum efficiency.

You can replace this with new foam insulation by wrapping the coolant lines and taping them with the insulation tape. These are supplies you can pick up at your local home improvement store.

6. Check for Air Flow Leaks

If it appears your air conditioner is running fine and yet your house isn't cooling the right way, you might have a leak. Leaks in ductwork mean the cool air escapes before it arrives at the rooms in your house.

Check your visible ductwork for loose spots. You can even turn on your system and feel your ducts to see if you feel airflow.

A professional HVAC specialist can also do an inspection of your ductwork to check this.

7. Thermostat

This is a great time to upgrade your thermostat to a programmable thermostat. If your thermostat isn't working, it won't tell your air conditioner to turn on or turn off.

This can be a real drain on your energy bills.

Imagine how nice it will be to come home from work and have your smart thermostat working to have your house cooled off and ready for you.  Some programmable thermostats even allow users to control them from an app on their phone.

Get Your Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Done Today

There's nothing worse than that first hot day, to click on your air conditioner only to find it not working well. Avoid the hassles by taking care of your central air conditioner maintenance today.

Want help making sure your unit is ready for those hot Texas summer days? Give us a call and we can come out and make sure your unit is ready to go for those first hot days of summer.

troubleshooting HVAC problems

Great Tricks From The Experts For Troubleshooting HVAC Problems

You may be surprised to know that about three-quarters of homes in the United States have air conditioning. This figure makes sense because very few people are willing to sweat the summer away.

Calling HVACs lifesavers is an understatement. Thanks to these beauties, folks can enjoy cool summers and keep the draught away during winter. Also, we can use air conditioners to improve air quality because ACs filter excess dust and bacteria from the air to only circulate clean air.

In as much as air conditioners are lifesavers, troubleshooting HVAC problems can become a real headache. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a technological expert to troubleshoot the most common problems with HVACs.

This piece will highlight some incredible tips from leading HVAC experts on how to troubleshoot the most common issues with HVACs. That way, you’ll at least have an idea on how to go about it the next time your HVAC makes those weird noises.

The Working Principle of an HVAC

Before getting to the troubleshooting part, it might be helpful to know the underlying working mechanism of a typical air conditioning system. Don’t get your Physics course books yet; we’ll try to keep this explanation as concise and simple as possible.

Your HVAC system applies the same principle as your refrigerator in its operation. Now your HVAC probably has two units, one inside and the other outside the house. Although we typically have many types of HVAC systems.

The outside parts are as follows:

Vents- You’ll mostly find the vents near the ceiling. They distribute cooled or heated air to various rooms across the home. This air comes from the duct system, and these vents generally face downward and should never block.

Refrigerant lines- These are small duct lines that carry the refrigerant in gaseous form. This gas transforms into liquid then moves back to the evaporator coil to become gas again. Heat is lost and gained in this process.

The parts inside your home consist of the following:-

Thermostat- The thermostat is responsible for temperature regulation. It is the part you’ll interact with most as an HVAC owner.

Condensing unit- It is the unit that houses the refrigerant gas. This refrigerant is cooled to liquid then moved to the evaporating coil, where it transforms to gas again.

Evaporator coil- This unit cools down air when you set the thermostat to a lower temperature.

Furnace- The furnace is what brings the whole HVAC system together. The furnace heats the air, which the ducts then distribute to various rooms in your home.

The basic operation of an HVAC involves these processes.

First, air comes from the outside through the vents and ducts. Depending on the thermostat settings, the device will either cool or heat the air to a particular temperature.

This air is then distributed through the duct system to the various rooms. When air pushes into the coils for heating, air displaces from the room to the outside, then back to the system, and the cycle continues.

Troubleshooting HVAC Problems Like the Experts Do

It can be very frustrating when your HVAC doesn’t work as it should. No one likes a stuffy and uncomfortable room. It can be an especially embarrassing situation when you have guests over.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be an HVAC expert to troubleshoot some of the most common problems with your HVAC. All you need is the right tips form the seasoned experts, and you’re good to go.

Here are a couple of resourceful tips for troubleshooting HVAC problems you could try out next time your HVAC is giving you problems.

1. Uneven Cooling

Uneven cooling is a problem most homes face with their HVAC units. You may find that your HVAC cools parts of your home very well but doesn’t do a good job in some parts.

Sometimes it’s not an issue with the unit itself but your home’s sealing. Some regions may not have proper sealing, which allows for cold air to escape.

Turn your AC ON and find a room that remains stuffy even with the AC working. Try sealing the room off to create even more efficient airflow.

2. Filters are Dirty

Dirty filters could affect how your HVAC system works quite significantly. Clean filters allow for better air circulation, which makes for quicker cooling.

To prevent dirty filters, you need to exercise proper HVAC maintenance practices consistently. That way, you’ll never have to worry about your filters getting dirty.

3. Coil Issues

Issues with the coils are pretty common among many HVAC units. Now depending on the severity of these coil issues, you may need to call in the experts.

Hissing noises from the outdoor unit could indicate a leak with the coil. You may also realize an unpleasant smell whenever you turn on the system. If your system also takes a while to kick in, it could also indicate an issue with the evaporating coil.

4. Ignition Problems

There are many causes of ignition problems. The most common is a dirty pilot flame or burners that can cause a pilot outage.

There could also be an issue with the gas supply. Whatever the problem is, it is typically challenging to repair ignition problems by yourself. You’re better off calling an expert to help you fix the issue.

5. Tripped Breakers

Tripped breakers go hand in hand with blown fuses. Your HVAC is an electrical machine with electronic components. Your fuse will most likely trip if the blower overworks.

It is up to you to figure out why the blower is overworking. The most common reason could be dirty air filters. Also remember, the more your blower overworks the more you pay for your power.

It’s best to get to the root of the problem soonest so you can save on your power bills.

Call the Experts When Needed

Undoubtedly you’re now a pro at troubleshooting HVAC problems. Remember to carry out the best maintenance practices and you won’t need to troubleshoot any of these problems.

Not everyone is an HVAC expert, so though you can troubleshoot the problem, you can’t always fix them. Don’t be afraid to call the experts whenever needed. That way, you can get everything fixed up the professional way.

If you need professional HVAC installation, maintenance and repair, contact us today for quick and expedient service.

Houston air conditioning maintenance

Houston Air Conditioning Maintenance: 6 Tips You Need to Know

As the average Houston homeowner spends more than a quarter of its energy budget on air conditioning alone, it's vital to find ways to save. One of the best ways to save money is to keep your unit working properly with regular maintenance. For homeowners in Houston, air conditioning maintenance is a way to keep a unit running smoothly and at maximum efficiency.

Here are six tips that you need to know.

1. Clean Your Air Filters

One of the easiest things to do as a homeowner is to clean the air filters on your air conditioner. The filters are responsible for blocking out all the harmful dust and dirt that's sucked into the machine as it runs. It also keeps bacteria and microorganisms out.

One of the best impacts it has on your home is to keep out insects and pests. However, if you don't clean out your filters, you make it harder for your machine to run. The holes on the air filter will get clogged and when your machine tries to run, it's going to have to work harder to do less.

Air filters are usually easy for you to access. Lift up the front panel of your unit or if you have vents for airflow, there's probably a filter there. Larger HVAC units need to have their filters replaced a few times a year.

2. Remove Exterior Dirt

The dirt on the outside of your air conditioning unit could be making things harder for you. When the outdoor compressor is cluttered and clogged with debris, it's not going to run efficiently.

Your compressor needs to be outside so that it can bring in lots of fresh air. However, animal waste, dust, dirt, and leaves can easily get into the machine. These impurities not only end up in your air but also get in the way of the function of the machine.

When a machine is working harder, it's going to break down sooner. Outdoor compressors aren't designed to handle extra weight or obstructions. Cleaning up your impurities on a monthly basis ensures that you're not hindered by foliage.

If you can put it above-ground foliage, you can save yourself a lot of hassle with just a two-foot lift beneath the unit.

3. Consider Covering it When Not in Use

If you're not using your AC unit for the next few months, leaving it dormant could lead it to degrade. During the winter, it's a hassle to remove an AC unit. However, you should still consider ways to keep it carefully wrapped.

If you're going on a month-long vacation, that's another reason to wrap it up. Wrapping your air conditioner with packaging, a box, or cloth can ensure that you keep dust particles out of the components. This extra layer of protection ensures it maintains its efficiency.

If you have a larger HVAC system, you can turn it off and disconnect it before you cover it to ensure you don't run into issues. Make sure to leave a note over the switch or panel to remind you months later to clear the covering before you get it started again.

4. Deal With Refrigerant Leaks

Leaks of your refrigerant are not only dangerous but also can be costly. Leaks can be caused just by the vibration of the mechanism over time. It can also be a problem because of a joint in the coil that's not properly fitted.

If you need to refill your unit with refrigerant, it's going to be costly. The cost of the material has become increasingly expensive over time. Regular checks for leaks in your air conditioner is vital to ensure that you don't run into problems.

Many of the best units out there have detection and diagnosis built into the machine. They'll let you know if there's a refrigerant leakage problem as soon as it begins. However, if your unit is a little bit older, it might not have this mechanism.

Having a unit that can decrease compressor friction and vibration helps to prevent leakage. If you maintain your refrigerant gas, your unit will last much longer.

5. Watch For Corrosion

It's very common for condenser coils to become corroded. As they're exposed to dust and salt along with moisture, they're susceptible to deterioration.

Even just a small layer of dust can reduce the heat exchange capacity of the unit. Watch out for this issue on older units.

Indoor units have evaporator coils that can also collect dust. This unintended insulation keeps your unit from cooling as fast as it should.

6. Clean Out Your Drain Pipe

Just like the dust and debris that build up in your filter, you can also build up sludge in your drain pipe. While the pipe removes the extensive moisture from the room that allows you to get a nice breeze, it also takes some impurities with it. This can even cause clogs.

Take a wire and move it through the drainpipe to ensure that you keep it clear. Any blockage could keep your unit from working properly as the water can't move quickly enough. When you lose moisture control, mildew can grow and bad smells can fill the air.

Houston Air Conditioning Maintenance Professionals Can Help

If you're in Houston, air conditioning maintenance professionals are the best way to ensure your system works to maximum efficiency. Rather than replacing your whole system, doing a little bit of maintenance can prevent major issues down the road.

Summer's not quite over yet! If you need your AC serviced before it really starts to cool down, contact us to make an appointment!