Tag Archives: central air conditioner

Is Your Central Air Conditioner Ready for Summer ’16?

Central air conditioning
It’s that time of year again, time for seasonal AC maintenance and repair.

Central air conditioner units tend to operate safely and problem free for many years, especially if they’re treated to regular preventive maintenance. But with summer 2016 coming up soon, you’ll want to find any potential problems and nip them in the bud.

Some problems are minor annoyances, and your HVAC technician can set them right again with relative ease. But some need quick action to prevent injury or further damage to the system. Here are 4 issues to watch out for that mean your system needs a little help.

Lower Airflow from Registers

If you can’t feel any air coming from the registers, or it seems to be rather weak, you might have a problem with the fan or an issue with your ductwork. Another possible problem might be your air filter. The filter is easy for you to check. If it’s dirty, replace it. That can restrict airflow. If you’ve recently replaced it with a high-filtration model, check with the unit manufacturer or your HVAC technician to find out whether it’s compatible. Some HEPA filters restrict airflow and aren’t recommended for certain units.

For everything else, you’ll probably want to make a service call. A broken or damaged fan, damaged ductwork and other possible issues that can restrict airflow need the diagnosis and repair of a professional.

Strange Noises Inside or Out

Every air conditioner makes noises that are normal for its operation. But some noises are never normal. Air will typically swoosh, at least a bit, from the registers. That’s normal. And Most units have a distinct hum, and you can probably hear the fan cycling sometimes. That’s normal, too. What’s not normal are sounds that bang, clank, and buzz.

Even if you can’t detect what’s wrong, it’s sometimes easy to know when a sound isn’t normal. Bangs and knocks, growls and buzzing could each indicate a serious problem with your air conditioner. Turn off the unit, and give your technician a call.

Cycling on and off Frequently

Some air conditioners seem to switch on, and then off, and then back on again within the span of a few minutes. That’s called short cycling, and it’s could have a few different causes. The unit might be the wrong size for your home, or it might be damaged. Or you might only have a defective thermostat.

Short cycling overworks your air conditioner, and it drives up your cooling bills. What’s worse is that your home doesn’t get as cool as it should, and humidity levels and to increase. If your AC is short cycling, do yourself a favor and make that call.

Central air conditioner
Electrical problems need attention right away.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

If you have a new AC unit that trips your circuit breakers, you probably need an electrician to examine the wiring and circuit breaker to be sure that they’re up to code. But if the air conditioner that you’ve had for a while suddenly starts tripping its breaker, you might have a more serious problem.

When an existing air conditioner that once operated just fine begins to trip its breaker, that means a new problem has emerged at the unit or in the wiring. More important, it indicates a safety hazard. Turn off the unit and call a technician as soon as possible.

With summer 2016 just around the corner, an air conditioner that operates smoothly and efficiently will soon be a top priority. But you can get the jump on the season with Rodenhiser and have any problems repaired before a failing system interferes with your family’s comfort.

Contact us today to discuss the issues you’re having and schedule a service call. With over 85 years serving Massachusetts homeowners, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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4 Facts to Know About Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning
It might not look fancy, but your air conditioning system is sophisticated.

Spring is here and summer is never far behind. Soon it will be time to switch on the air conditioning for the season. But is yours ready? And do you need a new one?

Many homeowners don’t think about their central air conditioning until there’s a problem. In the best situation, all that you have to do is adjust the thermostat and you’re all set. But if adjusting hasn’t worked well in a while and your home is less than the ideal temperature, it’s probably time to think about a new system.

Here are 4 facts that you need to know before taking the plunge.

#1: You’ve Got Different Options

Central air conditioning gives you choices. If your home has existing ductwork, the choices are simpler. If it doesn’t, it’s a bit more complicated. In this part of the country, most air conditioners are part of a central split system with an indoor and an outdoor unit. Indoors is the coil unit and outdoors is the compressor unit. For homes with existing ductwork, this is a likely choice. If there’s no ductwork, which is common in older homes, your air conditioning contractor will need to install it.

Alternatively, there’s the ductless mini-split system. As the name implies, they’re small. They’re also effective. Technically a high-efficiency heat pump, these systems do not require ductwork. The outdoor unit connects with the indoor unit using a small hose instead of large ducts. That means they’ll work in older homes without finding or creating the space to install traditional ducts.

#2: Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

If a 2-ton air conditioning system is good, then a 3-ton must be better, right? Not really. And in many cases, a too-large system is less effective. The tonnage doesn’t refer to the unit’s size or weight, but its cooling capacity. The capacity that you need is determined by many factors including the amount of insulation in your home, existing air leaks and even the number and condition of windows.

Technicians use different methods to determine what a home needs. One method is called the Manual J, and all evaluate many different factors to arrive a the right size. If you choose an air conditioner that’s undersized for the job, your home won’t be cool enough. But if you choose one that’s more than you need, you still won’t be cool enough and you’ll probably have a condensation problem.

Central air conditioning
A good technician can help find expensive leaks or avoid them altogether.

#3: Ductwork Needs Attention

Ductwork is almost never seen, but it’s one of the most important parts of any central system. It connects to the air conditioner and carries cool air throughout your home. When the ductwork is in good condition and protected against leaks, your system works more efficiently and you stay cooler. But if leaks exist, Consumer Reports says your air conditioning’s efficiency could be cut by 40 percent.

Ducts should be properly sealed and have adequate insulation. Sealing helps prevent conditioned air from leaking out before it reaches the different rooms in your home. Insulation helps prevent the warmer air in walls and ceilings from heating up the ducts and consequently warming the already conditioned air inside.

#4: The Right Contractor Matters

The difference between a good air conditioner and a terrible one is often in the hands of the contractor. A great system that’s the perfect size for your home won’t perform as well if it’s not professionally installed. There are so many different things that could go wrong.

But when you work with a pro, you know that everything from the size of the system and levelness of the installation down to the seals where the ductwork meets the unit is done correctly. And that means your unit will work at peak efficiency and you’ll stay more comfortable.

Air conditioning should be mainly worry free. But a system that you don’t have to think about, aside from regular maintenance, requires getting the installation right from the beginning. And that usually requires the help of a professional HVAC tech.

If your home isn’t as cool as it ought to be or you’re worried about the condition of your central air system contact us today. At Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, we help remove some of the mystery so that your home can stay comfortable all year long.

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Upgrading to a New Central Air Conditioner? Fall Is Prime Time for Installation

install new central air conditionerIf you’re considering upgrading to a new central air conditioner, fall is the ideal time for an installation. You’ll reap some major benefits when a knowledgeable, licensed HVAC contractor installs your new equipment in between the cooling and heating seasons. Read More Upgrading to a New Central Air Conditioner? Fall Is Prime Time for Installation >>

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