Advice From the Pros

HVAC Contractor

Choosing The Right HVAC Contractor

HVAC Contractor

You come home to discover that your heating and air conditioning unit has given up. It won’t turn on. You’ve changed the filters. You put new batteries in the thermostat. Nothing changes. It’s time to call a professional. But how do you choose the right person for the job? This is a large investment and it is worth doing your research to avoid costly repairs, inflated electric bills, or having to replace the unit again in a few years.

When choosing a professional to replace your AC unit, most people use contractors that are referred by family and friends. The contractors have a working relationship with the person giving the reference, so you have a better understanding of the experience that you will get while working with the contractor. You should still do some research on the professional to be certain that they are going to be the right person for your particular situation.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

Research on an HVAC contractor usually begins with an internet search. The ACCA, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, have a website where you can narrow your search down by travel radius of your zip code, the types of work performed, and market specialties. This allows you to look for someone accredited, close to home, that focuses on units that are residential, versus commercial. The ACCA uses the American Standards National Institute (ASNI) as their basis for accreditation of their contractors. This means that every contractor that they suggest has been through rigorous training to ensure that they are installing your system according to national standards and regulations.

North American Technician Excellence

Another resource to help find an accredited professional is through the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) website. NATE also runs rigorous testing on their contractors to ensure quality and depth of knowledge. NATE certified technicians will carry cards and sometimes wear patches on their clothing to show that they have gone through the necessary training. The NATE website also has a place for you to locate companies that hire at least 25% of NATE certified technicians, and you may request one to come inspect your job.

Angies’ List

Last, but not least, is Angie’s List, a website that allows you to find and rate dozens of technicians in various professions. The secret to Angie’s list is to use their License Check feature. This allows you to check the licensing on a prospective contractor in your state. Once you search for your state and the services (HVAC) that you require, Angie’s List will provide you with a list of licenses that the contractor needs to have in order to be considered licensed to work in the state. Then Angie’s list will direct you to a search site, where you can enter the name of your prospective contractor and check their credentials. This allows you to check the contractors that your family and friends recommended, as well as any contractor that you stumbled upon in your Google search.

Searching for an HVAC professional does not have to be a chore. By using these resources, you can find a contractor that is both professional and efficient to meet your needs.

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What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up

What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up

What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up

It happens to the best of us. You notice your air conditioner unit not cooling too well, so you take a look outside and find that there’s ice built up on the freon lines of your outdoor AC unit. This is not the time to panic, because we are going to give you some tips to determine if it is something you can handle on your own or if you need to call an HVAC professional.

First things first!

On your thermostat, turn the “Heat/Cool/Off” button to “OFF” and the FAN “Auto/On” button to “ON”. This will get air moving over your frozen coil without the AC running and the ice will begin to melt. This is important because the system needs to be free of ice for us to make a thorough diagnosis.

Check your air filter. 

Air conditioning units require a certain volume of airflow to pass over the coil for proper operation. A dirty air fliter can restrict the air flow and the unit will freeze up as a result. If the filter is dirty, remove and replace it. Let the system thaw out and turn it back on. If it freezes again, check the next step

Check the outdoor coils.

Dirty outdoor coils can limit air flow needed to cool the refrigerant leaving the compressor. Disconnect the power to the unit and run a water hose over the coils to remove any dirt or debris. Run the water until it comes through the coil clear.

Check for fan outages.

If either fan (indoor or outdoor) isn’t running, the the system will freeze. Turn the cooling back on and look for the fan motor running outside. Also put your hand by the vents inside the house to check for airflow there. A motor diagnosis and repair is something best handled by an HVAC professional
So there are some tips to mitigate your air conditioner concerns in the event of a freeze up. If these tips don’t solve your issue, then it’s time to call your local air conditioning repair company to make a evaluation.

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Dirty Sock Syndrome

What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

As we’re beginning to enjoy the warmer temperatures and turning our air conditioners on for the first time in a few months. There’s a certain percentage of you who will experience something they’ve never thought was possible: dirty sock syndrome.
Unless you have this in your home, you have probably never heard of it. Dirty sock syndrome is a condition where your air Dirty Sock Syndromeconditioning system comes on and smells like… dirty gym socks. This stinky nuisance is the result of bacteria and dust collecting on your evaporator coil during the winter. Once the AC is turned on, moisture is introduced and mixes with the bacteria and dust to create the smell.
The good news is that dirty sock syndrome is generally not harmful to your health and the odor usually goes dormant within 1-3 weeks. The bad news is that can be very irritating and people have sensitive allergies can be affected. Anytime bacteria is introduced into the air, you run the risk of sneezes, itchy eyes, and allergic reactions.
Dirty sock syndrome can be very difficult to eliminate once it enters your AC system. Coil cleanings and odor neutralizers are some common tools to help quell the issue. The best treatment is never allowing the bacteria to enter your system in the first place. Electronic air cleaners are great products that have two layers of filtration followed by an energized coil to “zap” remaining micro particles. In combination you can use a UV filter to ionize the air as well.
Do you have dirty sock syndrome and want to do something about it? Give Gentry Air Conditioning a call today and we can check it out for you.

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