Nothing will ruin your day faster than finding out your HVAC system has caused major water damage to your attic, ceiling, or other parts of your home. Luckily, understanding how this can happen makes prevention a simple task.
Water damage from your HVAC system is usually the culprit of a clogged condensate drain. To understand the purpose of this drain, picture a glass of iced tea on a hot day. As warm air hits the cold glass, it cools slightly. This causes drops of water, or condensation, to form on the side of the glass.
How Your Condensate Drain Works
The same thing happens as your A/C is cooling air. When warm air blows over the cold evaporator coils, the air cools and condensation forms. This water goes into a drip pan that opens into a pipe called a condensate drain. The drain allows the water to flow out of your house without doing any damage.
The problem occurs when the drain gets clogged. This typically happens for one of two reasons. First, the wet conditions inside the drain and trap are a great environment for mildew and mold. Over time, these growths can cause clogs.
No matter what temperature you set your home to, a traditional air conditioner has only two settings: on, and off. A wide range of cooling temperatures is achieved by the thermostat simply turning the A/C off once the temperature is reached, and turning it back on when the house warms up a little. While this works, it can produce intermittent noise and some temperature swings, and it’s not the most efficient way to handle matters. Two-stage cooling is an improvement.
With two-stage cooling, the air conditioner’s compressor has two speeds: high and low. During cooler days, the compressor can run at a lower speed, expending less energy to run while also running more consistently. Less on-and-off noise makes it through your vents, and the temperature remains more stable.
On those scorching Peachtree City days, though, the A/C can switch into high gear to meet the increased cooling load. That way, your air conditioner can always be ready to deliver the amount of cooling you need.
A two-stage cooling system also pairs well with a variable-speed fan, and many are sold combined. Like your compressor, a traditional central A/C fan can only be on or off, cycling air through your ductwork …
A central A/C is one the most expensive systems you’ll purchase for your home, and since it has a 10- to 15-year lifespan, replacing it represents a long-term commitment. When the time comes to upgrade your existing cooling equipment, it’s wise to thoroughly investigate air conditioner ratings for the models available that match your budget to make the best choice.
Why You Need to Consider A/C Ratings
In our Georgia climate, keeping a home comfortable during the cooling season uses a lot of energy so equipment efficiency has a direct impact on your monthly utility bills and yearly operating costs. This is why it’s essential to know how A/C efficiency is measured and compare different models. The first place to look is on the EnergyGuide label, which is designed to make equipment comparison shopping easier for consumers. The key piece of information found on the label is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating.
What is a SEER Rating and Why is It Important?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) assigns each new air conditioner model a numerical SEER rating that tells you its energy efficiency for a single operating season. In more technical terms, it describes the unit’s total …
When your air conditioner isn’t delivering the cooled air you count on, it’s a good idea to look it over before reaching for the phone. Although most A/C problems require a pro, you might get it running again quickly.
The condenser won’t turn on. Check the fuse for the unit and the circuit breaker. If the fuse appears to be bad, look for the exact replacement at a hardware or home improvement store. Reset the circuit breaker. On hot days the high-pressure switch inside the access panel for the condenser may need resetting. Check the thermostat. Try setting it five degrees cooler than its previous setting to see if the system kicks on. If it doesn’t, the thermostat could be dirty or malfunctioning. Take the cover plate off the thermostat and gently brush any dust off it. If it uses batteries, replace them. Before choosing a new thermostat, write down the brand and model number of your system to be certain the replacement will be compatible. When the system continuously turns on and off, look over the outdoor condenser and check the air filter for the air handler. Clear away anything that’s blocking the airflow for the condenser. Dirt on …
The idea of something freezing on a hot summer’s day seems ridiculous – at least, it does until you discover that you are the proud owner of a frozen air conditioner. Yes, as strange as it sounds, your air conditioner can actually freeze even on the hottest day of the year, leaving you to suffer in the heat.
What Causes a Frozen Air Conditioner?
The main reason why air conditioners freeze is due to lack of air flow. The hotter it is, the longer your A/C has to keep pushing cold air through the system to keep your home comfortable.
Under normal conditions, your air conditioner can handle even long periods of air output. However, there are two situations where a frozen air conditioner can occur:
Air flow through your evaporator coil is blocked. When air can’t pass freely through the evaporator coil, it basically sits too long in one spot and freezing occurs. Air flow restriction is often due to a dirty air filter. To fix the problem, shut your system off. Change the air filter or clean it if you have a reusable one. Turn the fan on and let it run for an hour or so, then …