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The 3 Fixes to Common Air Conditioning Problems

For some homeowners, air conditioning is not a luxury, but a necessity. During the hot sweltering months, the elderly and small children are especially vulnerable. Being too hot can lead to heat stroke, dehydration, fainting spells, fever, and worse. If your air conditioner is not working correctly (or at all), then it’s critical to correct the problem as soon as possible – that’s why we offer 24-hour AC repair services.

Man Fixing Air Conditioner - Entek HVACWhen an air conditioner suddenly stops working, it may be an easy fix, such as a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Or, it could be something more serious. The quickest way to find out is to have a qualified technician come out and do a diagnostic test. The advanced technology of energy efficient air conditioners and heat pumps makes it especially important to call a qualified HVAC service technician.

The Entek Corporation employs NATE certified technicians and conducts safety and training classes on a weekly basis. Our service department is available to help 24/7. And if a part needs to be replaced, Entek has one of the largest parts warehouse in Clark and Cowlitz County. Getting cool and comfortable air again can be done quickly and professionally.

But even if your air conditioning is working, sometimes homeowners notice their system doesn’t seem to be cooling as well as it used to, or maybe there is a room that is too hot or too cold. A trained HVAC professional can determine the cause and make the best recommendations to fix the problem. For instance, the air conditioning unit may be low on refrigerant; there could be a duct run that has come loose or been plugged with dirt, pet hair or a rodent; or leaky ductwork may be an issue.

In addition, a qualified HVAC technician can look for reasons why your unit isn’t working optimally – reasons you may not think of on your own. For example, the HVAC unit may not be the right size for the square footage of sun exposure in the home. Entek has highly trained HVAC professionals who can determine the problem, perform load calculations and provide free in home estimates. Everyone has budget constraints but Entek is dedicated to finding solutions that will make homeowners more comfortable without breaking their budget.  Our staff is always up to date on the latest rebates and utility incentives and Entek offers financing as well.

The good news is inadequate cooling may be remedied by a simple “tune up” by a certified technician. People don’t think twice about the importance of getting their oil and filters changed in their car on a regular basis. But too many homeowners ignore the bi-annual maintenance on their HVAC equipment.  Too often, this results in warranties being voided, reduced comfort and air quality, expensive repairs and shortened life spans of the equipment. And there is nothing worse than having the AC go out when it’s 100 degrees outside.

If it’s been a long time since your AC unit has had maintenance, a call to Entek’s service department will improve your livelihood quickly. Entek’s technicians can identify problems early and prolong the life of your equipment. Plus, in order to get your HVAC unit ready for extreme heat or cold, industry standards recommend a “tune-up” in the spring and fall. And Entek offers annual maintenance contracts to save you money and we even call ahead of time to schedule maintenance when it is due.

With that said, if your air conditioning suddenly stops working, here are the top three things to check:

 

1) The Air Conditioner Will Not Turn On

If your air conditioner is not turning on, and you have a heat pump or a ductless heat pump, check the thermostat to make sure the temperature is set to your liking and that it is in the “cooling” mode. It’s easy to forget to change your setting from heating to cooling mode and not realize it until that first hot day.

If the thermostat is set correctly, check to make sure the breaker to the unit is not tripped and in the “on” position. For window (or free standing) air conditioners, turn the thermostat down and check to make sure the unit is set to cooling. Also check to make sure there is power to the unit and the breaker is on.

If the air conditioner still refuses to function or the coil is frozen, the problem may be with the compressor or motor and the homeowner needs to get in touch with a HVAC professional to repair the air conditioner right away.
2) The Air Conditioner is Not Cooling

If your AC unit turns on and the thermostat is set properly, but the system is not cooling, it is important to check for things that may be affecting proper air flow.

Check the air filter to make sure it is clean. A majority of the time, the filter is simply dirty with dirt, debris and pet hair. This can cut off air flow to the unit and cause decreased airflow leading to added stress to parts that can over heat and fail.

Usually this happens if a person has pets or the air conditioner is always on. In those cases, the filter needs to be changed more frequently. Pet owners should change the filter every single month. If the air conditioner is still not producing cool air, there may be a problem with the compressor or refrigerant and a HVAC professional needs to be contacted.

If there is an outside unit that has ice on it, check to make sure the thermostat is in cooling mode, that the fan is running, and the filter is clean. If the filter is dirty, change it. If the fan isn’t running, turn the unit off and call for a professional HVAC service repair.

 

3) The Air Conditioner is Not Cooling Properly

 If an air conditioner is on and is cooling, but not to your specifications, then it could be a simple matter of pulling down the shades on the hot side of the house on extremely hot days. But if that doesn’t work, it could be a small refrigerant leak or a part that needs replaced. However, sometimes there are other issues that can negatively affect the air conditioning in the home. There could be a disconnected duct; ducts damaged by rodents; ducts blocked by dirt and debris; or leaks in the ductwork.

Occasionally the problem can be traced back to an improperly sized HVAC unit. Sizing air conditioning or heating equipment for a home involves specific calculations that consider the square footage of the home, the number of windows and the thermal exposure to the sun. And if the system involves duct work, air flow calculations and duct sizing are vital to make sure each room in the house will receive the proper air flow and maintain comfort needs. With an engineer on staff and over 70 years of design/build HVAC experience, Entek’s specialists have the knowledge and training to properly assess any home or business and determine the best system to meet their air conditioning needs.

Although even the best home system may not be able to keep a home 68 degrees when it’s 100 degrees outside, with the proper assessment, calculations, leak sealing, clean filters, regular maintenance, and window shades, a homeowner should experience fresh, cool air even on the warmest days.

Long before you decide to replace your AC unit, discuss the issues you’re having with a member of our team. Chances are the problem can be easily fixed or improved and that’s a major benefit of working with Entek. We offer 24-hour emergency service repair and can schedule bi-annual maintenance plans around your schedule. We also offer free in home estimates for new air conditioners and heat pumps as well as home leak testing, duct cleaning and sealing.  Our certified technicians always ensure their due diligence and make sure the repair is done correctly the first time and are committed to excellent customer service.