Can You Service Your AC Yourself?

In the heat of summer, a well-functioning AC system is critical for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. When it comes to servicing your air conditioner, is it possible to do it yourself? Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and no. While there are several tasks that you can perform yourself, some aspects of AC maintenance are best left to professionals. Here is an overview of which tasks you can tackle independently and when it’s best to call in the experts. Cleaning and Replacing Filters One of the most critical aspects of air conditioner maintenance is regularly cleaning or replacing the filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can significantly decrease the efficiency of your unit. Of course, you can and should perform this task regularly (every 30-90 days, generally speaking), but an HVAC technician will also do this during a routine maintenance visit. Cleaning the Condenser Coils Over time, plenty of dust and debris can accumulate on the outdoor condenser coils of your AC unit. All this dirt and debris can reduce the efficiency of your system. Cleaning the coils is a task you can handle yourself, but it requires caution. An HVAC professional can also perform this task to save...

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Is It Possible to Actually Cool a Home With a Swamp Cooler?

Whether you already have a swamp cooler in your San Antonio, TX home or you’re thinking about putting one in, it’s important to understand how they work. While air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless mini-splits dramatically lower indoor temperatures, swamp coolers only provide a limited amount of cooling. Read on to find out more about the drawbacks and limitations of these units. Humidity Is a Major Factor in a Swamp Cooler’s Cooling Abilities Also known as an evaporative cooler, a swamp cooler uses heat energy from the indoor air to evaporate water. Functioning much like the cooling system that your body uses when temperatures rise, swamp coolers offer a low-cost alternative to conventional air conditioning in moderate climates. When you sweat, heat energy from your skin causes your sweat to evaporate, thereby leaving you feeling a bit cooler. In a like manner, an evaporative cooler uses indoor heat to evaporate indoor moisture. Many swamp coolers work well in temperatures as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but they aren’t much use when the weather becomes significantly hotter. This is especially true during times of high humidity. If there’s already excess moisture in the air when you turn your swamp cooler on,...

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Why an Air Filtration System Is Well-Worth the Investment

Like many homeowners, you may think that regularly changing your HVAC air filter is enough to keep your indoor air quality (IAQ) consistently high. Unfortunately, this component is largely intended to protect the health of your heating and cooling equipment. If you want clean indoor air, better rest, fewer allergy symptoms, and superior sleep, you should install an air filtration system in your San Antonio, TX home. Read on to find out why whole-house air filtration is definitely worth the investment. Whole-House Air Filtration Picks up Particulates That HVAC Air Filters Do Not Standard HVAC air filters pick up dirt, dust, dander, and other large-sized particulates. These units are designed and installed by HVAC manufacturers to prevent this debris from coating the sensitive, interior components of their equipment. Although standard HVAC air filters provide limited health benefits, there are many allergens and other contaminants that can flow right through them, including: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Mold Bacteria Viruses While you can certainly upgrade the filters in your HVAC system, even filters that have significantly higher maximum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings can leave plenty of contaminants behind. Worse still, HVAC air filters with higher MERV ratings can compromise airflow and...

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Effective Ways to Purify the Air in Your Home

Many homeowners in the San Antonio, TX area aren’t aware of just how polluted the air is in their homes. If you don’t make an effort to purify your indoor air, it can become full of contaminants like bacteria, mold spores, dust mites, dander, pollen, and many others. When you breathe that pollution every day, you can start to experience discomfort, respiratory problems, and even cardiovascular issues. Plus, if you suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory condition, the effects can be even worse. Purchasing an air purifier is the most effective solution. They utilize HEPA filters, charcoal, negative ions, or UV light to cleanse your indoor atmosphere. In addition, there are several simple and effective things you can do to improve the quality of the air in your household. Adding Air Filters to Your Home Adding one or more air filters to your home is one effective way that you can purify your indoor air. Your household HVAC system is already equipped with air filters, and they play a major role in keeping contaminants out of your air. However, those filters typically aren’t enough on their own to keep the air consistently clean and healthy. There are several...

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What Can Cause a Furnace Pressure Switch to Fail?

The pressure switch in a gas furnace is an important safety mechanism that ensures the furnace is drafting correctly. If the furnace doesn’t draft properly, it leads to dangerous combustion fumes being trapped inside the combustion chamber and heat exchanger instead of being vented outside. This can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home. The fumes can also cause a delay before the furnace ignites, producing a small explosion or starving the flames of oxygen so that they escape or “roll out” of the combustion chamber. The pressure switch on your furnace can fail due to various issues. The pressure switch itself can sometimes wear out and fail to activate, but more commonly, it will stop working due to some other problem with the furnace. If the pressure switch ever fails, it will prevent the furnace from being able to start. Let’s now take a closer look at how the pressure switch works and what can cause it to fail. How a Furnace Pressure Switch Works A pressure switch is like any other switch; it makes a connection to allow electricity to flow across it. The pressure switch is activated or closed by the furnace’s inducer fan, which then...

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How Much Oil Does a Furnace Use?

How Much Heating Oil Will My Furnace Use This Winter? As a homeowner, it’s necessary that you prepare your budget for the added costs of winter heating. Before you can figure out an estimate of how much it’s going to cost you to supply your furnace with fuel, you first need to know how much oil your furnace will burn over the entire winter season. There’s No Short Answer There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How much oil your furnace uses will depend on a variety of factors related to you and your home. Two of the most weighed factors include the size of your home and how long you run your furnace. How Big Is Your Home? It’s not hard to understand that a one-bedroom home is going to take less oil to stay warm than a four-bedroom home. The larger your space is, the more oil your furnace is going to need to burn to stay warm. When determining how much oil you’ll need to buy, it can be helpful to look at the specific size of your oil tank. How Often Do You Run Your Furnace? How often your furnace stays running will play a big...

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Is Refrigerant Used in Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps are becoming more common in our area for a few reasons. First, they’re efficient, and second, they can be used as both air conditioners and heaters. If you get one installed at your place in San Antonio, you’ll be able to use it every month of the year, if necessary. Heat pumps can do such a great job at keeping homes comfortable because they rely on a substance called refrigerant. What Exactly Is Refrigerant? Refrigerant is a substance that can be found in various forms. In appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps, it can be either in a gas or a liquid form. As it transitions between those two states of matter, it can absorb or give off heat. Over a hundred years ago, scientists and engineers first figured out how to use refrigerant to cool areas. It took awhile for this idea to become a practical one, and obviously, the industry has come a long way since the early days. Now, we can use refrigerant safely and effectively. The Heating Process There are two basic types of heat pumps, and they are air-source pumps and ground-source pumps. Air-source heat pumps get their heat from...

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Signs Your AC Motor Needs Replacement

During summer, you need your AC unit in good condition to provide adequate cooling for a comfortable home environment. The AC motor is an essential component of your cooling system. When it isn’t working efficiently, it can significantly affect the whole system’s performance and warrant replacement. Here are a few signs of AC motor trouble to help you make a more informed decision about your next steps. Weak or No Airflow From the Vents Weak airflow is often the first indication that the motor is having a hard time pushing sufficient air through the ducts to reach the desired temperature conditions for your house. This can result from various factors such as dust and debris buildup on the motor or a problem with the electrical connection. If there isn’t any air coming from the vents, it’s likely caused by an AC motor that has failed completely. However, other issues can lead to airflow problems, so it’s important to reach out to a professional to inspect the system. Unusually High Energy Bills When your AC motor is struggling, it must work harder to do the same job. In addition to increasing wear and tear, this also results in higher energy bills....

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What’s a Good Schedule for Servicing Your Air Conditioner?

Although it’s easy to forget about your air conditioner when it’s working properly, the worst mistake you can make is to forget about your air conditioner when it’s working properly. Ignoring your air conditioner will lead to eventual breakdowns that will leave your San Antonio home feeling more like an oven. Fortunately, maintaining your air conditioner is neither hard nor time-consuming as long as you follow this guide from the pros at . Why Maintain Your Air Conditioner? Your air conditioner is not a static piece of equipment. In fact, because of the harsh conditions that it’s exposed to and the amount of work it does, your air conditioner is constantly undergoing minor changes. Over time, these minor changes can cause noticeable differences that can reduce your system’s performance. However, if you properly maintain your air conditioner with the help of , you’ll be able to limit the effects of these small changes so that your air conditioner continues to work well, year after year. Plus, good maintenance can help reduce your energy costs by ensuring that your air conditioner operates as efficiently as possible. Monthly Maintenance You’ll need to perform some maintenance on your air conditioner every month. Fortunately,...

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Why Does Your Home Feel Humid When Your AC Is Running?

The air conditioning system in your San Antonio home is intended for your comfort. It should not only cool your house but also reduce indoor humidity. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Your AC can cause many problems if you don’t know how to maintain it properly, and one of the most common issues is high humidity levels. You might wonder why your house is so humid despite the AC. There are a few reasons for this to happen, and it’s essential to understand them. At , we help determine home humidity levels and advise homeowners on what to do about them. What follows here are four reasons why your home might feel humid even though your AC is running. 1. Very High Outdoor Humidity Levels It becomes harder to keep the indoor humidity low when the humidity outside is very high. At times like that, an air conditioner struggles with cooling and dehumidification. You will likely realize that this was the cause of your problem after the outdoor temperature and humidity level go back down and the indoor humidity level returns to normal. Try to reduce the cooling load of your air conditioner by installing blinds or draperies...

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