Advice From the Pros

Mini-Split System

Is a Mini-Split System Right for Your Home?

Mini-Split System

There are times in our lives when we have to make a decision we dread making. Replacing that air conditioning unit that you thought would last forever shouldn’t be a stress-inducing decision. A mini-split system uses heat pump technology and works well in homes that do not have a high heating and cooling load and good sealing and insulation. Choosing both cost-savings and optimum functionality is important for your home and should be an informed decision. Here is how to decide if this system is right for you.

A mini-split system is highly efficient and is the most effective cooling and heating system available. You can choose which areas of your home should receive the most air, unlike central heating and cooling. They come in different sizes and no gas is required. Mini-splits dispense air into a room straight from the heat pump coils so there are no ducts required. This means less leakage and no maintenance for duct work. Installation is more advanced than a window unit but much less complicated than a central AC system. Although advertised as a DIY job, this job is best left to professionals to ensure it is installed properly and the warranty is valid. If correctly installed, your mini-split system can last 12-18 years. Mini-split systems are customizable with timers and sleep functions allowing homeowners to take more control of when and how they heat or cool their homes.

Mini-Split AC Unit Limitations

For all of their advantages, Mini-split A/C units do have their limitations. If your home is large and poorly sealed, a mini-split system isn’t able to handle it. Despite the excellence of engineering, you cannot compensate for a lack of insulation or poor building composition. You must decide if this type of heating system is best for how many rooms you have and the capacity of those rooms. You will save money in energy efficiency but installation is a little more expensive and electricity costs more than gas. Aesthetics may be a problem for you if you do not want your heating and cooling on the wall. You do have a choice as to where the unit goes, but if you do not wish to have a vent in your living room, mini-split may not be for you.

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reducing your ac bill

5 Tips For Reducing Your AC Bill This Summer

reducing your ac bill
Summer is just around the corner and that means our electric bills are going to rise with the heat. Below are some tips for reducing your AC bill.
1. Draw the window shades
It’s a simple, but brilliant concept. Closing your shades will block a large amount of sunlight that would otherwise directly enter and heat up your home. If you prefer to have some natural light then turn the shades open just enough to not let the sunshine hit directly the floors or walls inside.
2. Use a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans do not work by cooling the air, but by moving the air around and making us think that it feels cooler. Oscillating fans box fans are even more effective in creating the feeling of cooler air.
3. Lighten up the bedding
If you like the AC cold when you are asleep, then don’t use the same bed comforter that you do in the winter. Try sleeping with a light blanket or just a bed sheet so that you aren’t surrounded by your own body heat
4. Use Your thermostat’s AC program
If you have a programmable thermostat, review the settings make sure your house isn’t trying to cool when no one is there. Opinions vary, but we say that 80 degrees is a good place to start when the house is vacant. At 80 degrees the house will still be able to cool down in a reasonable amount of time when you get home. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, be sure to change the settings before you leave the house.
5. Change the Air Filter
In the summer your air conditioner is running a maximum capacity. This means that more air than normal is passing through the air filter and bringing dirt and dust with it. As the filter collects more dust, your ac system performance goes down. Make sure to check your air filter at least monthly.
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AC Unit Leaking Water

Why Is Your AC Unit Leaking Water?

AC Unit Leaking Water
Do you ever see water running out of a pipe on the side of your home, or worse, water stains on the ceiling below your AC unit? This is not normal for your ac unit and needs attention right away. To help explain why you need it checked out we will cover some common causes of your AC unit leaking water.

My AC Unit Makes Water?

When cooling the air in your home, the humidity is also being removed. The result is water that has been condensed from vapor in the air. During normal operation this water removed from the AC unit by a pipe called a condensate drain. When you can see the water that means that something is abnormal and the water is not flowing throw the condensate drain properly. This is a simple issue to fix, but If left untreated the overflow of water can lead to further issues.

Blocked Condensate Drain

As mentioned above, the condensate pipe’s function is to remove normally occurring water from your AC unit. Over time, rust, dirt, and other debris can build up in the line. Eventually that build up will block the flow of water. On the tough clogs we use compressed nitrogen to force the blockage out.

Dirty Air Filter

That’s right, a dirty air filter can cause water to flow out of unwanted areas of your AC unit. A dirty air filter restricts the air flow across the evaporator coil and thus causes the coil to ice up. Once the ice thaws the amount of water is too much for the condensate drain to handle and it overflows.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels can cause your unit to ice up, as well. This will have the same effect as a dirty air filter.

Broken or Disconnected Drain Line

Over time, the materials on your condensate drain can weaken and even come unglued under the wrong conditions. If either happens, water will leak out of the unit.

Broken Condensate Pump

Some AC units need to have their water removed via a condensate pump. Like all machines, these pumps can fail. The pump should have an emergency switch that detects failure, but if it doesn’t work water will leak out where it shouldn’t.

Higher Than Normal Humidity Levels

Running a humidifier or leaving the front door open on a rainy day with the AC on? You can bet that this will cause excess condensation in your AC unit.
It is normal for AC units to make water and even to overflow in the emergency pan at times. If you notice prolonged drainage out of a pipe on the side of your home or a water stain on your ceiling below the unit, call an HVAC professional right away!
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