Advice From the Pros

Why is my AC Unit Running Non-Stop?

 

Although air conditioning units are designed and sized to run the majority of the day during the summer, they should not be running 100% of the time. If your unit does this, there may be an issue. There can be many causes, here are the most common:

Issue #1 – Dirty air filter
Your air conditioning unit needs proper airflow in order to be able to cool the house. A dirty filter will block the air from traveling as designed, and can cause the unit to run and run, as it attempts to provide cool air. This is obviously bad news for your system, but luckily it can be a quick and easy fix if it is caught early enough.

Issue #2 – Low refrigerant
Air Conditioning units that are low on refrigerant are not running at full capacity. Although air flow may be adequate, the system needs chemical refrigerant to cool the air as it flows through. Without proper levels, the AC unit will have to run longer to bring the air temperature down and achieve the thermostat set point.

Issue #3 – Weak or failed electrical components
There are several electrical parts inside of an air conditioner such as capacitors and contactors. When these parts fail or begin to fail, it can cause the unit to run longer than needed or cause some motors to run non-stop or even not at all. In some cases, the compressor can stop running, but the fan motor will continue. This will make it appear that your unit is running non-stop, even though it is not cooling at all.

Issue #4 – The set temperature on the thermostat is too low
If you like your house to sit at 65 degrees, that is a lot to ask of your AC unit in the middle of July in Texas. Other times, we have encountered situations where someone in the house will dial the thermostat down as low as possible and simply forget to switch it back.

The good news is that over our many years of experience, we have seen all this and more. The friendly, professional HVAC experts as Gentry are here for you no matter what the issue is!

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Help! Where are my Filters Located?

Air filters are an important but often under-appreciated part of a central HVAC system. When your air filter is dirty, the blower fan in the HVAC system has to work harder to push air. When it’s working harder, it’s drawing more energy, leading to higher bills. It’s also more likely to wear out from the strain. The difficulty it causes in moving air means that your living areas may not get all the air they need. This means poor home comfort for you, and the temperature sensors which regulate when the HVAC system turns on and off might not ever register the temperature needed to signal the system to power down. That’s another source of expense, which puts more strain on the fan motor.

Many people overlook replacing their air filters until they have become very dirty and created an issue with the air conditioning. All it takes to avoid this is spending a few minutes every few months installing a fresh filter. So we all know that it is important, and changing an air filter is one of the basic HVAC maintenance tasks that does not require a professional’s help. Unfortunately, homes don’t come with manuals, and sometimes this easy task is easier said than done. If you don’t know where your air filter is located to even begin with maintenance, read on for some help from our pros:

Location one: Look up at the ceiling!
Look for the return vents (these are larger than normal, 14×14 and bigger). Once you locate these, shine a flashlight up into the vent and see if a filter is located here. If so, there will be two latches and a hinge to open the door and remove the filter. Make sure to check the whole house, because there can be multiple locations when the filter is installed here.

Location two: Hiding in a closet.
Some indoor units are installed in closets. If this is the case, look at the bottom of the unit for a hinged door or a handle that will give you access to the filter. A tip from the experts: turn the thermostat off to make removing the filter easier.

Location three: Check the attic.
Locate the attic that the indoor unit is installed in. This can be through a pull down staircase or through a closet upstairs. Once you find the unit, look at the left or right end of it. You should see a hinged door or handle indicating where the filter is located. Some units in the attic may have an electronic air cleaner, and those can have several different types of doors. You can tell if it is an electronic air cleaner because it will usually have illuminated lights on the door.

In rare instances, filters may be located within the unit behind the bolted-on doors or in a custom made housing that isn’t easy to identify. We recommend contacting your HVAC professional if you cannot locate your filter! We are happy to come out and help.

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5 Reasons to Consider Replacing Your HVAC Before Summer Hits

 

Replacing your AC system is inevitable from time to time. Whether the unit is extremely old, it has been damaged beyond repair, it is not cooling properly, or replacing is cheaper than repairing, it is imperative to replace your HVAC system with a new one and gain the peace of mind that your family is safe and comfortable.

However, replacing your HVAC system during the summer season could translate into a higher replacement cost, slower turnaround time and higher inconvenience. There is no doubt that the best time to replace HVAC systems is during the off-season.

Read on for five reasons to consider replacing your HVAC system before summer hits:

Constant repairs

Are parts failing on your HVAC system or are you adding refrigerant every year? The individual repairs may seem like a better deal than a new unit when they happen, but costs add up over time. More to consider is that parts rarely just immediately fail. It is usually a process that happens over time and this makes the unit less efficient and raises your electric bill. Not to mention the inconvenience of an AC unit going down in the middle of summer is something that you would rather not go through.

The house doesn’t cool well

You may find yourself asking, “it used to cool better, right?” Just like a car with 100k miles, your HVAC unit works hard and wears down over time. At some point, the unit won’t be able to keep up with the persistent demand and will start to lose capacity to cool your home. It’s worth having a professional AC company take a look to see if anything can be done, but sometimes the unit is too worn out and needs to be replaced.

Age and warranty

The average AC unit lasts 10-15 years. The standard part warranty on an AC unit is 10 years. That sounds like a lot of time, but it can go by in a flash. Once your unit reaches those higher ages and the warranty is out, repairs can get very expensive. Spending several hundreds or thousands of dollars on an aged unit may not be the best use of your money.

Your unit uses R22 refrigerant

If your AC unit was built before 2010, it very likely uses R22 refrigerant and many homes in our area have units this age or older. R22 refrigerant has been phased out of use in the United States. R22 refrigerant prices have risen, due to many factors, and have reached a point such that adding 1 or 2 pounds per year is no longer financially feasible.

Poor or unknown maintenance history

Many people are new to our area and we often get calls from people that just moved in and their AC is out. We often find neglected units that may have never been professionally serviced before. This lack of service is just like never getting a physical from the doctor and small problems grow into big problems over time. Sometimes it is best to start fresh instead of inheriting a unit that the previous owner did not properly maintain.

Get in touch with Gentry today, to discuss whether HVAC replacement is right for you this season. Our friendly, experienced professionals are here to walk you through the options that fit your unique needs.

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