By now, you know all about changing your air filters in your house to keep dirt out of your indoor system and helping to keep it working efficiently, but what about that part of your system that sits outside? It important to keep your condenser coil clean as well, and there are a few steps you can follow to make this happen.
The first step is to clear any visible debris from the outside of the condenser. This would be debris such as grass clippings, tree trimmings, loose trash, or anything that can get stuck on the side of your condenser. Free flowing air through this coil is a very important part of the process of keeping your home cool.
At this point, you should be able to visually see your condenser coil. If it appears dirty beyond just debris on the outside cage of the condenser, your next step would be to purchase a biodegradable coil cleaner that can be purchased at your local hardware store. Spray this into the outdoor coil and wait 5-10 minutes before gently spraying the coil with water from your hose. That’s it!
If these steps still do not clean your condenser coil or you do not feel comfortable with the above steps, give us a call at Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating and we can take care of it for you.
Regular maintenance is always the best way to keep repair costs at a minimum. Part of our scheduled maintenance in the Sharp Air Maintenance Program is to make sure that your condenser coil is clean, and if not we clean it as part of the Maintenance Program. Give us a call to find out more about the benefits of the Sharp Air Maintenance Program!
Sometimes you can’t blame that smell on the other person in the room, it’s the AC! While musty air conditioners are much more common in more humid climates, at times it can happen even here in the dry Phoenix heat.
So why does my AC smell? That musty smell comes from mold and bacteria that can be formed when you condensate drain line gets clogged and water sits in the drain pan of your AC for an extended period of time. First thing to do is check to see if water is in fact collecting in your drain pan. If this is the case, we have a great tip that we posted in the blog about a trick that you can do yourself to clear your condensate drains. If you don’t feel comfortable with this method, give us a call and we will send one of our highly trained service techs to take care of the issue for you.
If there is no water sitting in the drain pan causing the smell, it is also possible that strong odors such as garbage, pesticides, or tobacco smoke has permeated your evaporator coil, and that smell sticks around when you turn the AC on blowing it all over your home. If you suspect this is the case, give us a call and we can assess whether or not the smell can be cleaned out of the system.
The time has come for you to upgrade, replace or just generally install a new air conditioning system. Great! Get ready for lower electricity bills in your future with a more efficient unit! A question that we regularly get pertaining installing a new system is “what size system should I get?” This is a very important question. If your new system is too small for your home, the system will continually run to keep up; resulting in high electric bills and may not be even able to cool your home at all. On the flipside, if you get a unit that is too large it will cool your home too quickly. AC systems are designed to run for periods of time, not in short bursts. Your AC system can short cycle and cause damage if it is too big for the home.
A few different factors can go into making this important decision. What is the square footage of your house? When was your house built? Do you own a single story or two-story home? How well is your home insulated? These are all important questions to have answered. At Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating, we can come out to your home and provide a free estimate for the right system for you. If you are thinking about replacing your air conditioning system, give us a call today!
Of all of the appliances in your home it’s a safe bet that when it’s working properly, your air conditioning system does not get too much attention. Besides the outdoor portion of your system, a big reason for this is because the air conditioning system is mostly hidden in your attic, walls, etc. A major component and often-overlooked portion of your air conditioning system is the ductwork that shuttles air around your home keeping you comfortable.
It is important to make sure your ductwork is in good condition. If your ductwork has started to deteriorate or crack and develop leaks, it can lead to efficiency issues. Some rooms of your home may get proper air flow while others do not, and your air conditioning system will work overtime to try to get areas cool when all it is doing is cooling down your attic and wasting your hard earned money. Leaky ductwork can also pull particles from the attic, creating excess dust in your home.
Getting up in your attic and inspecting the ductwork on your own, especially during the summer months, is not for everyone. As part of our Sharp Air Maintenance Program, we will inspect your ductwork during our two scheduled maintenance visits to ensure that your system is operating at its peak efficiency. So stay out of the attic, and let the professionals at Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating take care of your air conditioning needs today!
Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating recommends that you check your filter about once a month. It’s a very simple procedure and replacement filters are very reasonable. If you have any more questions please contact us and we’d be happy to send out one of our certified technicians to walk you through the process, as well as let you know about our Sharp Maintenance Program that provides you with a years supply of air filters as part of the program!
Clogged filters can result in the following:
Blower Motor Failure – If you have a clogged air filter, then your motor continues to work ever harder until it overheats or possibly fails. Your blower motor pushes your heated or cooled air through the ducts in your home. If the filter is clogged this becomes more challenging for your motor.
Compressor Failure – Clogged and dirty air filters greatly reduce airflow through your AC system. This reduction of airflow can cause ice to build up on your indoor coil and lead to compressor failure. Make sure you are changing your air filters to avoid one of the most costly repairs in the HVAC industry; compressor replacement.
Short-cycling – One very common problem related to a clogged air filter is called short-cycling. This basically means that your furnace/AC unit will turn off and on very frequently. When it can’t complete an entire heating or cooling cycle it causes your unit to work very inefficiently. Inefficient operation of course results in added costs and a shorter life span of your unit.
It’s a perfect time to check your air filters. Of course we think it’s important to check your filters regularly, but alas not everyone in the Phoenix area remembers to do so. Your filter stands between the dust and debris of the valley and the fragile components of your heating and air conditioning units. If your unit starts to get clogged up with dust you run the risk of poor heating, reduced efficiency and even premature failure. It’s not a particularly difficult task, but very important; take the time to change your filters.
The most important piece of maintenance that a homeowner can do for their air conditioning system is to regularly change your air filters. If you have been to your local hardware store, you have seen the large amount of very different air filters available for purchase. The question now becomes, which air filter is best for me?
The answer to that question is going to vary. Do you have a lot of pets in the home? Kids? Maybe you live in a construction area with lots of dust present in the air. There are many factors that go into choosing the right type of filter. We have a general guideline that we like to follow when choosing the right type of air filter.
Do not use reusable/washable filters. These types of filters are sold as a more convenient option to buying throwaway filters because “all it takes is to wash them”. In theory, this may be the case. In reality, the washable filters can cause more harm then good. To wash these filters correctly, you need to buy solutions that may contain harmful chemicals. Along with that, these filters need to be completely dry before being put back in the system, and if not completely dry these filters collect bacteria and fungus that is then released into your home. These filters also make it harder for air to pass through the system, creating more work for your system.
Do use a disposable air filter. These are the types that you can find at your local hardware store. You will want to look at the MERV rating for these filters and choose one that is between 8-11. Anything higher than this is more than likely overkill and not needed for residential use. If you have an older system, an air filter with a very high MERV rating can restrict the flow of air enough that it can overwork your older system. More importantly than the rating is to regularly replace these filters. If you decide to use a cheaper fiberglass filter, you should consider replacing the filter monthly if you have pets or children in the house.
We cannot state it enough, make sure you regularly change your air filters. Not only will this keep the air you breath cleaner and reduce allergens and dust in the air, it will keep dust and dirt from building up in your air conditioning system that can decrease efficiency and damage your system.
Looking for a way to save some money on air filters? Check out our Sharp Air Maintenance Program. Along with having regularly scheduled maintenance, we provide you with a full years supply of air filters. Give us a call to find out more!
Another common call we get here at Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating is someone calling in to say their air conditioner is blowing hot air. This would seem to be even worse than if it was simply not blowing any air at all, especially when its hot enough outside without a heater blowing inside too! Below are a few common reasons for this “hot problem” and what you might be able to do to fix it.
A clogged air filter – We will keep saying it over and over, but clogged air filters are the number one culprits for many HVAC issues. While a dirty filter might not be the sole reason your air conditioner is blowing hot, it can be a major factor in restricting airflow. Changing your filters can be one of the easiest maintenance issues that you preform on your home, it’s all about remembering to do so. With the dust storms that we get in Phoenix and the surrounding Arizona desert, changing dirty filters should be at the top of your maintenance list. Change those filters!
Check thermostat settings – Every now and then we get a call that we fix over the phone. Usually, the root of the problem is someone has unknowingly changed the settings on their thermostat. It can be as simple as forgetting to change over to “cool” in the spring, or the system may just have the fan on. Checking your thermostat settings before calling in an AC issue can save you time and hassle.
Refrigerant Issues – Sometimes your system can develop a leak in the refrigerant lines, and cause a very slow leak that can reduce the amount of refrigerant in your system. Your AC system needs to have a proper “charge”, or amount, of refrigerant in the system to operate correctly. A few tell tale signs of a refrigerant leak could be ice forming anywhere on your system, or you might even see an oily substance on your outside unit. If you see any of these signs, give Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating a call, and we will send a professional out. This can usually be an inexpensive repair if your system is simply low on refrigerant.
Condenser/Outdoor Unit – Another common issue that we get called out on is that it seems the inside fan is blowing but the outdoor unit, also known as a condenser, does not seem to be on. First thing to do, as a homeowner is to check to see that the unit has power, or that a breaker has not been tripped. Simply making sure the breaker is to the “ON” position can fix your issues. Another easy fix to look for is to clear debris from your condenser. If you can see dirt and leaves and other “stuff” stuck to the sides, this will restrict your system and it will have a hard time cooling. Again, with the Haboobs that we get here in Phoenix, Mesa, and the entire valley, dirt can build up very quickly, so a quick check can save you discomfort when you need the AC the most.