Seven Ordinary Reasons Your Air Conditioner is Blowing Hot Air
Is your AC less powerful than it was last year? If it’s blowing hot air, then there’s a problem. Some situations you can take care of yourself, while others require an HVAC specialist, such as the team who comes out to perform the yearly maintenance and checkup service. Following are seven reason your air conditioner may be blowing hot air.
1.Thermostat not working
If the AC is blowing warm or hot air, check the thermostat. The controls may get bumped or adjusted by someone else. Set the fan to AUTO and the thermostat to COOL. Then compare the temperature you want with the current inside temperature to be sure the air conditioning should be running. It may already be cool enough in the room.
2.Power loss to the condensing unit
Does your AC system have a condensing unit outside and an evaporator/air handler unit inside? If the air handler works, the fan will blow air. A condenser unit that isn’t working as it should can’t provide the cooling needed, so the result is warm air blowing out of the events.
That scenario can happen when your condenser unit loses power, often due to a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. If you discover that your outdoor AC unit keeps tripping the circuit breaker, talk with your HVAC service business. It may be time to upgrade your circuit breaker of fuse box. Updating the box is something an HVAC professional or certified electrician is qualified to do. It’s safe for you to check the emergency shutoff switch to confirm it didn’t get shut off by accident. That cuts the power for the condenser unit and results in warm air being blown from the AC.
Broken and leaky ducts
There are several ways to discover if your ducts have problems. You may be able to see some of the duct work or you may know when it was installed. If you:
- see a piece hanging down because it has become disconnected
- notice holes or cracks
- know the ductwork is more than ten years old
it is likely time to replace the ducts. The above three items may result in an insufficient exchange of air to keep the ac working and cooled air escaping into the crawl space, attic, and between the walls of your home.
Dirty condenser coils
The ACs condenser unit releases heat outside of your home or building. The condenser coil is exposed to dirt, leaves, and grime. Bit by bit, the residue builds up until it affects the cooling ability of your unit, causing it to blow hot air.
Clogged air filter
Air conditioners require a flow of warm air over t he coils to work correctly. Reduced air flow affects your AC’s cooling ability. A dirty, dusty air filter blocks air from the system. The coils can’t remove heat and the fan ends up blowing heat back into the home. If it’s been awhile since the a/c’s last service, check the air filter and replace it, if needed. That often solves the problem!
A/C systems use refrigerant such as Freon to flow through a closed loop and bring about cooling power. A leak in the coils or refrigerant line causes cooling loss over time or suddenly. It’s usually detected when hot air starts blowing from the vent. Refrigerant should never be added until after the leak is fixed.
Blocked or closed return vents
Blocked air flow is another common reason an air conditioner blows hot air. Perhaps the vents were closed for the winter and the grilles have yet to be reopened for hot weather use. Sometimes pictures are hung over upper vents, while furniture is placed in front of the lower ones. Walk through the house to be certain returns and registers are clear from obstructions and open. When the air flows freely, it reduces hot air problems.
Call your air conditioning technicians for an appointment to evaluate the situation. They’ll let you know what’s needed to get your ac working as soon as possible.
Getting Your Home Ready for a Chilly Winter
The chilly wind, freezing rain, and slick roads will be here before you know it. Temperatures have already started to drop, and unfortunately it’s just going to get worse before it gets better. So what can you do to make sure that your home is adequately prepared for the winter? Check out our tips to learn about how you can make sure your heat is working as best as possible and as efficiently as possible.
- Have Your Chimney Checked Out: If you have a chimney, you’re going to want to make sure that it is clean and in working order before you start using it this winter. Also be sure that your vents are clean too.
- Turn off Outdoor Faucets and Detach Hoses: When water is not drained from pipes, it can freeze, causing the pipes to burst. Be sure that all hoses are disconnected from outside of your home.
- Check for air leaks around your home: A properly sealed home can mean a warmer home and a lower energy bill. Check for any kind of air leaks around the outside of your home (or hire an HVAC professional to come out and take a look).
- Add Some Attic Insulation: Properly insulating your attic can help in keeping your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. And often times it is not that expensive. Look around online to find someone who can help with insulating your attic.
Interested in finding more tips regarding getting your home ready for winter? Or have questions about HVAC in general? Contact Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating now to speak with an HVAC expert.
How to Winterize Your Home & HVAC Unit
Winter is coming and the temperatures are dropping. What can you do to make sure that your HVAC system is running efficiently, and your home is as energy efficient as possible? Making sure your system is running properly can help keep your energy bill low this season. Here’s a few tips from our HVAC experts:
- Clean up Around Your Outdoor AC Unit: With the leaves falling all around your home, they may be building up around your air conditioning unit as well. These leaves can result in decreased airflow, affecting efficiency. Keep your AC unit clear of debris.
- Change Your HVAC Filter: When was the last time you changed your filter? It can be easy to forget to do it. But you want to make sure you’re changing your filter every 1 or 3 months (depending on what type of filter you buy).
- Get a Winter Tuneup: It always helps to get an HVAC expert to take a look at your system. They can diagnosis issues that you may not be able to see on your own, and recommend necessary updates.
Want to schedule a tuneup now? Contact us today!
How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Autumn
When the leaves start changing and the humidity of Summer finally breaks, you want to make sure that your HVAC system is ready for the Fall and Winter. But what steps can you take to make sure that your system is ready as cooler weather moves in? Shenandoah has got tips to help you get ready!
Set Your Smart Thermostat
Assuming you have a smart thermostat that allows you to program temperatures depending on what day or time of day, you may need to update your program for the new season. In addition to the temperature, you may also need to make adjustments based on your families schedule. For instance, are the kids back in school and the house will be empty for the mornings/afternoons? Adjust your thermostat accordingly.
Time to Change Your Filter
When was the last time you changed your filter? If you hesitated to answer the question, it’s been too long! Depending on the filter you purchased, you should change your filter every 30 days. Or in some cases, every 90 days.
Check Insulations in Your Attic
Your home could potentially benefit from additional insulation in your attic. You may want to consider adding more insulation, depending on the cost of doing so.
Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment
It’s never a bad thing to have an HVAC professional come out and take a look at your system. While everything may seem to be running efficiently, a professional HVAC technician is able to diagnosis any potential problems and provide routine maintenance on your system.
6 HVAC Tips to Save on Your Summer Electric Bill
When spring leads into the dog days of summer in West Virginia, you’ll want to stay cool without breaking the bank on your energy bills. Here’s six helpful steps you can take to save money on your electric bill without sacrificing comfort.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to control your HVAC units even when you’re not there. Match your thermostat to your schedule, use a timer for when you leave for work and when you come home, set it for particular rooms, and even set specific temperatures.
2.Change Your Air Filters
Air filters should be replaced monthly to promote a more efficient HVAC system performance. Clogged or dirty air filters can cause a disrupt in the airflow and even lead to health issues.
3. Keep Your Vents Clean & Open
Vents can be accidentally shut for cleaning purposes and never reopened. If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home, check the vent.
A clean vent also keeps debris from flowing through your home. Dirt and dust can easily collect and can be overlooked. Check the inside of your home as well as the outside, and ensure your vent and air filters are in good condition.
4. Replace Your Old AC unit with an Energy Efficient Model
If you have an older air conditioning unit that has not been properly maintained, invest in a new HVAC unit. The replacement costs may seem daunting, but in the long run, they are well worth it. Manufacturers like Trane are Energy Star rated and use up to 50 percent less energy than other manufacturers.
5. Shield Your HVAC Unit from Sun & Debris
An awning or tree can provide shade to your unit and cut energy consumption while helping your unit operate more smoothly. However, note that shrubbery or branches that can get into the system and can hinder the systems performance and may lead to permanent damage.
6. Encourage Air Circulation
Heat rises. During those hot summer months in Kearneysville, WV, the heat in your home will rise to the ceiling or the second floor of your home. To help that hot air on its way out of your home, fans can be a great tool.
Either ceiling fans or standing fans help move the air around the room, creating a cooler environment for your family. Good air circulation helps your home maintain an even temperature, giving your HVAC a chance to work less.
For more information, read about our HVAC Services in the Kearneysville, West Virginia area.
5 HVAC Mistakes Every Homeowner Should Avoid
If you treat your HVAC system right, heating and cooling in your Martinsburg, West Virginia home should work efficiently and effectively for a long time. But if you neglect maintenance and regular inspections, you could find yourself with a system that doesn’t work properly—or even at all.
Here are five of the worst mistakes homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC systems. By paying attention and properly maintaining your unit, you can save yourself a lot frustration and unnecessary repairs.
HVAC Mistake #1: Blocking Air Return Vents
Air return vents are in place for a reason. Even if you might not like the look of them, you shouldn’t hide them or cover them up. Doing so makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat and cool your home, ultimately leading to inefficiency.
HVAC Mistake #2: Failing to Schedule Routine Maintenance
Like any other appliance, your HVAC system works better if it is taken care of. Here are some AC maintenance tasks you can do on your own without the help of a professional technician:
- Ensure the AC unit outside is unobstructed; clear any sticks, leaves, and dirt to protect the fan. You can hose it down when dirt begins to accumulate and trim back foliage at least 18 inches from the unit.
- Clean on and around the indoor and outdoor units.
- Keep supply and return registers unblocked by drapes, curtains, rugs or furniture.
- Visually inspect various components of your HVAC system—electrical connections, leaks in the condenser, blockage or algae buildup in drain line/tube.
- Test the thermostat by either raising or lowering the temperature. This will get the system to turn on and off in response to your temperature demands and will give you an idea of any potential trouble or malfunction.
HVAC Mistake #3: Not Changing Your AC’s Air Filters
Your HVAC system has an air filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced every so often. Depending on the type of unit and its amount of usage, you might need to change the filter as often as every three months or as little as once a year. Failing to change the filter will not only allow dirt and debris to build up, but will also reduce the efficiency of your overall system.
HVAC Mistake #4: Closing off Rooms or Air Vents
You’ve probably heard people say that you can save money on heating and cooling costs by closing off rooms you don’t use. That may have worked in the days of wall-mounted air conditioners and fireplace heating, but with modern central air and heat systems, it actually has the opposite effect. Closing off rooms makes your system work harder, which makes your heating and cooling costs rise.
HVAC Mistake #5: Not Having Your AC Unit Inspected
Even if you take good care of your HVAC system, it still needs professional attention. It’s a good idea to have your system inspected and serviced at least once a year, although professionals recommend having everything checked at least twice a year—once before cooling season and again before cooler winter months set in. And Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating makes it easy to schedule a service appointment for inspection in the Martinsburg area. We’re happy to provide our professional opinion for your piece of mind.
For more information, read about our HVAC Services in the Martinsburg, West Virginia area.
6 Money-Saving Tips for Commercial HVAC Sustainability
Any business in West Virginia will tell you that HVAC systems are one of the biggest energy drains on their electric bill. According to ENERGY STAR, air conditioning accounts for roughly 15% of electricity used in commercial buildings. And much of this HVAC-powering energy is lost to waste; roughly 30% is wasted in the average commercial building.
Peter Biermayer, the Senior Product Manager at PG&E for commercial HVAC and refrigeration out in California, shares some advice to help business owners and managers in the West Virginia region reduce wasted HVAC energy and reduce their overhead.
And all of these tips can be made even more effective by working with a qualified HVAC technician in the Kearneysville, WV area.
1. Reduce Wasted Energy by Regularly Changing HVAC Filters
Biermayer explains that dirty filters overwork HVAC systems by restricting air flow, cost far more to use, lead to poor indoor air quality, and result in far more commercial HVAC maintenance issues. Business managers should check HVAC filters and change them monthly. At the longest, HVAC filters should be switched out every quarter. Changing out dirty filters can reduce wasted energy costs by 5-10%.
2. Use Programmable Thermostats
In any office, the temperature setting can be a bone of contention among the staff. Biermayer recommends cutting that out of the equation entirely:
Installing programmable thermostats removes much of the burden of tailoring temperature settings to meet the desires of a diverse workforce and customer base by focusing on sustainability and reduced costs.
And the cost savings from programmable thermostats are substantial too. Building temperatures can be set to run at higher or lower temperatures (depending on the season) when indoor spaces are not in use, which can save hundreds of dollars a year.
Finding an HVAC technician in Kearneysville, WV with commercial experience can help business managers find the most effective programmable thermostats for their businesses.
3. Keep on Top of Commercial HVAC Maintenance
Biermayer believes that “commercial HVAC maintenance is like getting a tune-up for a car – both are necessary for top performance. Regular quality maintenance on all HVAC systems and equipment ensures that those systems and equipment are not wasting energy due to substandard, aging or faulty performance.”
Your friendly Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating technician can help you reduce your electricity costs by 40% by providing regular quality maintenance.
4. Properly Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts
Properly sealing heating and cooling ducts can boost HVAC efficiency by 20% or more. Ducts can be sealed using mastic, foil tape, or blown-in duct sealant. The sealing effect is further improved by wrapping the ducts in insulation. Focus first on areas that are unprotected, such as underneath the building or in storage spaces.
5. New HVAC Installation May Save You More Long-Term
Sometimes the best way to improve HVAC efficiency is by replacing old existing HVAC systems. Running HVAC equipment past is suggested lifespans can lead to exorbitant energy and maintenance costs. Biermayer explains further:
If a building’s air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old, replace it with ENERGY STAR-certified products. ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioners and heat pumps can improve sustainability and reduce energy costs by up to 20%. Furnaces or boilers that are more than 15 years old will also likely be due for upgrades or replacement, and ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces and boilers also offer significant cost and energy savings.
6. Work with a qualified local HVAC contractor in West Virginia
To get most out of any HVAC system, work with a qualified expert. Our own experienced HVAC contractors work with many local businesses in the Kearneysville, Martinsburg, and Hagerstown areas of West Virginia; and they dealt with all manner of commercial equipment.
Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating contractors can perform regular checkups and advise business owners on when and how to perform necessary maintenance.