AirCo Air Conditioning Blog

Signs of Low Refrigerant

July 21st, 2014 by Chad Campbell

The lifeblood of your air conditioning system is the refrigerant (sometimes referred to by the trademarked name “Freon”). This chemical blend is able to transition easily between liquid and gaseous states, and as it circulates through the indoor and outdoor units, it absorbs heat through evaporation and then releases it through condensation. Without refrigerant, an AC would simply be a pair of fans blowing room temperature air.

During air conditioner operation, refrigerant does not get “used up.” The initial charge of refrigerant in an AC remains constant—as long as there are no leaks that will cause the refrigerant to escape. Should this happen, it will not only place your AC’s cooling ability at risk, it can potentially harm the components, particularly the compressor.

When you notice signs of low refrigerant, call for the fast and reliable air conditioning repair service in Dallas, TX from AirCo. We have 24-hour emergency service to make sure that your AC keeps working to cool your home down whenever you need it.

Watch for These Warnings of Low Refrigerant

  • Ice along the evaporator coil: Your AC should never have ice anywhere along it. If ice starts to develop along the indoor coil, it’s often a major warning that the system has lost refrigerant. But why would ice occur because of a loss of refrigerant? The idea may sound odd, but if the evaporator coil starts to lose its ability to absorb sufficient heat because of low refrigerant, the remaining refrigerant will stay too cold, and this will cause the moisture along the coil to freeze. Since this ice will further block heat absorption, the ice will continue to grow. Technicians will not only need to seal the refrigerant leaks and recharge the refrigerant level, but also defrost the coil.
  • Drop in cooling ability: Lukewarm air coming from the vents of your house when the AC is in cooling mode is a strong sign that something is wrong with your air conditioning, and low refrigerant is one of the common causes. Whatever the trouble, it requires professional repair work to fix it.
  • Hissing sounds from the cabinets: The sound of hissing like escaping gas might be just that: refrigerant at high pressure escaping from a leak along one of the lines. Technicians will use leak detection equipment to find where the refrigerant is escaping and seal it up.

You cannot let problems such as icing, hissing, or a drop in cooling power go without attention. Low refrigerant could eventually cause damage to the compressor, which is one of the most expensive components in an AC to repair or replace—often, the whole air conditioning system must be replaced when the compressor fails. Call for skilled air conditioning repair in Dallas, TX when you suspect the system has low refrigerant.

Since 1990, AirCo has come to aid of homeowners and businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex when they have trouble with their AC or their heating. You can depend on our experience and professionalism.

Add Insulation to Cut Down on Your Air Conditioning Bills

July 16th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

The word “insulation” can inspire sweating, particularly at this time of year. But the truth is, insulation helps with your air conditioning during summer as much as it does with heating during the winter. With daily temperatures topping out at 100 degrees, it may seem impossible to cut down the utility bills for your air conditioning in Fort Worth, but one great way to do so is by adding the right amount of insulation to your home.

How Does Insulation Work?

Insulation slows the transfer of heat between spaces, namely between the inside and outside of your home. In winter, it helps the heat stay inside; in summer, it helps block heat from transferring inside.

What Are R-Values?

If you’ve seen insulation inside packaging, you’ve probably seen the R value on the outside. The R value of insulation tells you how much thermal (heat) resistance it has; the higher the R value, the more effective the insulation. However, you shouldn’t purchase or install insulation based solely on R value; there are recommended R values for every region, so it’s best to work with an insulation expert to determine what R value you need for your home.

Benefits of Adding Insulation

There are several important benefits to adding insulation to your home:

  • Slows the transfer of heat – as we’ve been discussing, insulation not only slows the transfer of heat, it also helps retain the cool air
  • Better cooling efficiency – when areas like your attic are properly insulated, a barrier is formed by the insulation that stops the cool air from flowing into the warm air of the attic and vice versa. By containing the cool air, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.
  • Prevents moisture exchange – just as insulation forms a barrier that helps block cool air from escaping to places like your attic, it can also act as a barrier to moisture in the form of humidity. Humidity holds heat, which can make your home feel uncomfortable and force your air conditioner to work harder.

Could You Benefit from Added Insulation?

Added insulation can help you save money in utility bills and decrease the stress on your air conditioning system. Since 1990, AirCo has been helping people in the Fort Worth area with their air conditioning, and we can help you, too. Call us today and schedule a consultation to see if added insulation can help you cut down your monthly air conditioning bills

Causes of a Lack of Cool Air from your AC

July 8th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

During a blazing hot summer in Dallas, your air conditioner will put in heavy overtime to keep your home comfortable. If it starts to show signs that it is flagging at its job, you need to call in repair professionals to see what is causing the problem and fix it. Air conditioners cannot repair themselves, so don’t wait for the problem to somehow improve: you need AC experts.

There is a variety of reasons that your air conditioning system can start to struggle providing the level of cool air that you need. Our technicians at AirCo are NATE-certified to identify these different causes of lowered cooling, so when you need AC repair in Dallas, TX, contact them right away. They are available 24 hours a day to service your cooling system.

Here Are a Few Reasons an AC Can Lose Cooling Power

  • Loss of refrigerant: The refrigerant that runs through your air conditioner is responsible for the heat exchange process that extracts heat from inside your home and releases it outside. Refrigerant doesn’t dissipate during regular operation, but leaks along the lines can cause the level to start to drop… and this will result in cooling levels dropping as well. Technicians will use special methods to locate where the leaks are occurring and seal them, and then recharge the refrigerant to its proper level.
  • Clogged air filter: This is one of the most easily avoidable of AC problems, and yet one of the most common. If the air filter that traps particles that attempt to enter the air conditioner’s indoor cabinet through the return vent becomes excessively clogged, it will cut down on airflow. The AC will have a harder time removing sufficient heat from this reduced airflow, and you cooling will drop. Make sure to change the filter once a month during the summer, and call for repairs if a clogged filter has caused the AC to suffer a loss in power.
  • Damaged outdoor fan: The outside fan in the condenser cabinet draws warm air across the condenser coil to release heat. If the fan suffers from damage and stops working (this can happen because outside debris had entered the cabinet), it will lower the release of heat to the outside. This will unbalance the entire cooling cycle and restrict the air conditioner’s cooling ability. Professionals will need to open up the outdoor cabinet and find what needs repairs to restore the fan.

AirCo is approaching its 25th year helping to keep the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex cooled down during the long summers. You can depend on our extensive experience when you need AC repair in Dallas, TX for a cooling system that is falling down on the job.

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014 by Chad Campbell

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at AirCo hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

Bad AC Sounds and What They Mean

June 26th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

Not all sounds coming from your air conditioner mean there is a problem, but there are a few sounds that more than likely indicate that a problem has developed. As the homeowner, being able to identify what is and isn’t a good air conditioning sound is important in order to keep your system healthy and running optimally. It will also help with your AC repairs to be able to identify the problem areas to your AirCo technician, if possible.

Sounds and Possible Meanings

There are certain sounds that can usually be associated with a specific type of problem, but it is always best to have a trained technician inspect your air conditioning system to determine what the real problem may be. Here are a few tips on what kinds of sounds are associated with specific repairs:

  • Buzzing – buzzing can indicate a problem with an electrical component, such as a faulty connection, malfunctioning run capacitor or issues with wiring. The electrical components within your system are quite complex, and the electrical power of your system is quite powerful. For these reasons, and others, it is highly recommended you use an air conditioning specialist when dealing with possible electrical issues involving your air conditioner.
  • Grinding – your air conditioner has a number of ball bearings within it to help certain parts move as needed. These ball bearings need to be properly lubricated in order to do their job. With normal use, the lubrication on the bearings can diminish, until there is no more left. Once this happens, the bearings can start to grind, hence the sound. The best way to avoid grinding bearings is to conduct regular maintenance so that your ball bearings stay lubricated.
  • Screeching – there are two possible causes for screeching: a fan belt has begun to wear out or the compressor has too much air pressure building up. A fan belt can be easily replaced, but if the screeching sound is coming from your compressor, you must shut down your air conditioner immediately. Having too much pressure in your compressor is a dangerous situation and needs to be repaired by a qualified specialist before turning the system back on; otherwise, you risk the compressor having a blowout.

Don’t Let That Bad Sound Become a Bad Repair

The best advice we can give about any “off” sound you may hear is to call an expert. Why? Bad sounds are one of the signs your AC will give that it’s time to fix something; ignoring it can mean a bigger, more costly repair down the road. Since 1990, we have been helping many customers with their AC repair in Dallas; let us figure out what that air conditioner sound is – call AirCo today!

Insulation Can Help You in Summer as Well: Here’s How

June 23rd, 2014 by Chad Campbell

In a city as warm as Dallas, the idea of “insulation” is something we connect with keeping warm during the few months when the temperatures start to dip low. Effective insulation in your home can prevent you from needing to turn on your heater except for a few days at a time.

However, insulation serves more purpose than keeping you warm. Insulation is as important during the summer as during the winter. So if your home lacks sufficient insulation because you only think you need it during the short winter days, you are losing energy and comfort during the summer months. We’ll look at how improved insulation in Dallas, TX will help you with comfort an energy savings during the summer as well.

To get the benefit of better insulation, look to AirCo. We offer insulation and air sealing services that will do the job of securing your home for summer and winter, whatever the weather outdoors.

Insulation: A Thermal Barrier

Insulation’s actual purpose is to create a barrier against the movement of heat. Heat moves through three methods: convection (movement through the air), conduction (movement through contact), and radiation (movement through electromagnetic wavelengths). Insulation serves to block convection and conduction, and it works both directions: preventing heat from escaping a house during the winter, and stopping heat from entering during the summer.

Any spot in your home where there is insufficient insulation will allow for the leaking of heat. During hot weather, heat will come in through these insulation gaps and raise the internal temperature. This will make it necessary for you to run your air conditioner more to combat the high temperatures. With improved insulation, you can expect to put less pressure on your AC over the summer.

Insulation for the summer is especially important in the attic, which can sometimes push up past 150°F on hot days because of the trapped heat from the beating sun. Without a strong barrier between the attic and the rest of the house, the excess heat will seep down into the lower parts of the house and raise its temperature by at least 10°F, enough to make you keep the air conditioning system running longer than it should.

Find the Insulation You Need

If you aren’t sure about how to best insulate your home, you don’t need to worry: it’s our job at AirCo to locate where you are gaining/losing heat and take care of the insulation services to secure your home during winter and summer. Call our air quality specialists today and find out about how we can use spray foam insulation and blown-in insulation in Dallas, TX to improve your comfort and air conditioning efficiency this summer.

Some Causes of Sink Clogs

June 16th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

The most common and irritating problem you can have with the plumbing in your home is the sink clog. Even with the best care, sinks will still have occasional clogs and slow drains. Many times, a basic sink plunger will clear out a stopped drain. But if a clog resists the efforts of the plunger, then you should call for a professional plumber to deal with the problem. (Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, which are highly toxic and will leave acidic residue in the pipes that cause long-term damage.)

Since 1990, AirCo has delivered excellent service for plumbing in Dallas, TX. We’ve seen just about every type of sink clog possible during our almost 25 years of work. Here are some of the more common causes of sink clogs that we deal with on regular basis:

Fat, oil, and grease

This is a huge problem for kitchen sinks. In liquid form, these three materials seem harmless enough. However, when they dry, they turn into waxy solids that will coat the inside of pipes and turn into a major cause of clogs. If at all possible, you should avoid pouring fat, oil, and grease down kitchen drains; instead move them to a trash receptacle. However, you can’t avoid all fat, oil, and grease from getting into the drains, and regular drain cleaning will help keep the deposits away and the clogs down to a minimum.

Hair

For bathroom sinks, hair is the prime cause of clogging. Hair gets caught down in the p-trap (the curved section of pipe under the drain) where it will continue to catch other hair and debris that enters the drainpipe. The tangle that develops will eventually cause a difficult to overcome blockage. You can reduce the chance of this occurring with a drain cover that will keep hair from getting down in the pipes in the first place.

Soap scum

An offender for both kitchen and bathroom sinks is residue from soap. The build-up of soap scum is not only a cause of clogs, it can also release acid into the pipes that will damage them. Although plumbers can break through soap scum clogs using drain snakes, you will need thorough drain cleaning in order to eliminate the layers along the inside of the pipes.

Professional plumbers will come with a variety of tools to clear out obstinate clogs in your sinks, such as motorized drain snakes and hydro-jetters. Don’t fall into the trap of using store-bought cleaners to attack sink clogs: put your trust in the Dallas, TX plumbing professionals at AirCo. Our plumbers are standing by 24 hours a day to assist you.

3 Ways to Reduce Air Conditioning Repair in Dallas

June 16th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

As we head into the summer season, making sure your air conditioner runs optimally is an AirCo priority. There are a few ways to help avoid air conditioning system repairs in Dallas this summer, and we’d like to share a few tips on this from our professionals:

Keep Your Outdoor Unit Free of Debris

Your outdoor unit is completely exposed to the elements each season. While it’s made to withstand this kind of exposure, problems with debris can still be an issue. Why? Too much debris around the outside of the unit can hamper its operation because grass, dirt and dust get inside. Once inside the outdoor cabinet, these things can attach to the fan and condenser coils, creating a layer that interferes with their operation.

It is also important to make sure there aren’t shrubs or trees close to the outdoor unit as branches, leaves and twigs can fall through the fan grate, leaving the potential for breakage.

Change the Air Filter Regularly

The air filter in your AC filters out the dirt and dust that get in from the outside. With regular use, this filter captures a great deal of dirt and dust and, as a result, can become clogged. When your air conditioner runs with a clogged air filter, the air flow and air quality are decreased, putting stress on your system and potentially dusty air into your property. Regularly changing the air filter every 1-3 months helps avoid these problems.

Don’t Ignore Possible Problems

Are you hearing strange noises coming from your air conditioner? Does the air seem to be blowing less than it should? As the property owner, you know best how your air conditioner sounds and works when it runs well, which is why, if you notice something that seems off, you shouldn’t ignore it. Small problems tend to become bigger problems when it comes to mechanical devices, and your air conditioner is not an exception. If you suspect something is wrong with your AC, it’s always better to call your AirCo expert than to wait for something to happen.

Regular AC Maintenance Is the Key

Bi-annual maintenance helps reduce repairs, increase longevity and can save you money long-term by catching the small things before they can become bigger problems; this is why maintenance is the key to avoiding air conditioning repair in Dallas.

Have we seen you yet this spring? If not, call AirCo today and schedule a maintenance appointment for your AC.

Why is Dust Removal So Important to Air Conditioning Maintenance?

June 16th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

Dust: it gets into everything, including your air conditioner and its components. And like other mechanical devices, too much dust can lead to problems. The best way to combat dust build-up in your system is with regular air conditioning maintenance in Dallas, so if you haven’t done yours yet, call AirCo today to set up your air conditioning maintenance appointment. Dust can cause some serious problems when left alone in your system, as we’ll explain below.

Problems with Dust in Your Air Conditioner

The reason it is so important to clean the dust in your air conditioner is because of the problems it can cause. Here are some common problems our AirCo experts have seen over the years from dust build-up:

Decrease in air flow – your air conditioner comes with a standard filter that helps to keep dust, dirt and debris out of your system’s air. With frequent use of your system, this filter can become dirty and clogged quite quickly – standard recommendations are to clean and/or replace this air filter every 1-3 months. When the air filter isn’t changed, it can slow down the air flow in your system. Low air flow can stress the system, causing secondary problems such as low cooling, problems with coils and overall discomfort. Changing/cleaning an air filter is something that can be done either by homeowners or your AirCo technician.

Decrease in air quality – one of the benefits of having an air conditioning system is that it helps improve your indoor air quality – but not if your system is carrying loads of dust. As we discussed above, the air filter to your system can become clogged fairly quickly, rendering it ineffectual when it comes to screening out dirt, dust and debris from the air in your system. Once the filter is no longer able to do its job, the dirt and dust will pass directly into your system’s air flow. This can be a troublesome situation for anyone who suffers from dust allergies in your home. Again, the best solution is to regularly change your air filter and schedule bi-annual maintenance.

Loss of cool air – another place dust loves to cling is the evaporator coils. These coils can get moist from condensation that naturally develops from the cooling process, capturing dust. If left to build up, this dust layer can act as insulation on the coil, impairing its ability to cool your home.

Regular maintenance not only entails a thorough inspection of your entire system, but also the cleaning of your coils, checking the air filter and inspection of your ductwork. Don’t let dust create possible repair needs with your air conditioner – call AirCo for your Dallas air conditioning maintenance appointment today.

 

Stages of Replacing Your Sink

June 9th, 2014 by Chad Campbell

Sink replacement is both a basic and difficult task. Plumbers are used to performing this job so that the new sink fits in perfectly with the space (whether the space is the same as before or has undergone remodeling) and connects to the drainpipe so there are no leaks or the potential for new leaks. Don’t try to handle sink replacement on your own; let skilled plumbers make sure there are no errors and the job gets done fast. Here are the stages that professionals will go through to replace your old sink with the new model.

For you needs for plumbing in Dallas, TX, call AirCo. We have helped the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with quality air conditioning, heating, and plumbing since 1990.

Sink Replacement Stages: The Professional Way

  • Removing the old sink: Plumbers first shut off the water, and then start loosening the connections to the plumbing. (This can be complicated for kitchen sinks that are hooked up to dishwashers or disposals.) The plumbers must also cut through caulking while avoiding causing damage to the countertop. They can then lift or lower out the old sink.
  • Test-fit: Before putting in the new sink, the plumbers do a test to see that all the connections will hook up correctly; this avoids wasting time later trying to shorten or lengthen drainpipes.
  • Installing the basket strainer: This goes onto the drainpipe with putty and Teflon tape.
  • Applying sealant: Using a caulking gun, the plumbers carefully apply sealant to the areas where the sink will connect around the lip of the countertop.
  • The sink is put into position: The plumbers now lower or raise the sink into position to attach to the sealant. They then use mounting clips on the underside to tighten the sink into place. The drainpipe now connects to the sink.
  • Water line connections: The plumbers hook up the incoming water lines, hot and cold, and then turn the water flow back on.
  • Testing: The final stage is to check the faucet and the drain to see that there are no leaks when water runs through the new sink.

Professional plumbers will not leave you with your new sink until they are 100% certain that the installation will hold and that the water flows in and out of the sink has no issues.

Have all your plumbing services in Dallas, TX done fast and accurately: call AirCo today. We pride ourselves on our speed, safety, and work quality, and we think you’ll be happy with the results.