AC & Heating Tips

AC & Heating Troubleshooting Tips For Texans

Before Calling For AC & Heating Repairs in Texas Try These Tips:

Here are a few tips that can save you money & time regarding your heating and air conditioning equipment. 

Check Air Filters: If your ac or heating system is down the first thing you would want to look at is the air filters. If you haven’t been getting regular ac & heating maintenance on your unit, then more than likely the air filters are clogged up with dirt & dust. Clogged air filters prevent the HVAC system from working optimally and in some cases even turning on. Dirty air filters can also become a fire hazard and also cause the HVAC system to breakdown. If your air filters are indeed clogged, you will need to get them cleaned if possible or replaced with the correct air filter model. *When working on your HVAC system, make sure it’s turned off.

Check The Thermostat: After verifying that your HVAC system’s air filter is clean and installed properly, the next step is to check the thermostat. Make sure it’s set to the correct mode “heat or cool” and you would want to set the temperature to a comfortable temperature. In some cases the thermostat may need to get the batteries replaced.  

Check The Breaker: If your HVAC system won’t turn on there is a possibility that your breaker could have been tripped. Breakers are in place to protect you and your home from electrical surges & fires. Sometimes, without your knowledge, your home could have experienced an electrical surge and because of that your HVAC breakers could have tripped. If this is the case you will need to find and locate your breaker box and switch the breaker back on. After switching the breaker back on, turn your HVAC unit on. If it turns on and works properly, then you are good, however, if the breaker trips again then there is another problem. You will need to call us in so one of our experienced HVAC techs can diagnose the root cause of the problem.  

Pets – If you have pets, be sure to change your filters even more often as the hair can clog your air conditioning filters really fast. Don’t put your pet’s beds in front of the air conditioning return grill. If you have dogs, take precautions so that they do not chew the low voltage thermostat wire. This is especially true if you have a puppy. If you have male dogs give them a few places to relieve themselves, so they won’t do that on the air conditioning condenser.

Shade – Having your outside air conditioning condenser in the shade will help it run more efficiently. Air conditioners move heat. They move heat from the inside of your home to the outside of your home. With the outside shaded, your AC equipment will not have to work as hard. Consider planting a tree to block the afternoon sun. You can also install lattice or something similar. If you do so, be sure it is far enough away from your equipment so you will not block airflow. This also includes planting bushes. Do not plant bushes close to your air conditioning equipment as they too will block the needed airflow.

AC Condenser – Just as it is important to change your air conditioning filter to keep your inside evaporator coil clean, you should also take measures to keep the outside condenser coil clean. During the summer months when the equipment is being used, the condenser coils should be washed once a month or so to keep the system running efficiently. Before you grab a hose and start washing you should let your air conditioning technician show you how the first time. Condensers have different types of fins to disperse the heat. They are easily damaged if they are not properly washed and the repair is extremely expensive.

Check Furnace Flame: Your furnace flame should be a healthy blue color, with perhaps a small yellowish tip. The blue flame indicates that your gas furnace is burning the fuel safely and efficiently. If the flame is red, yellow, purple, green, or any other color than blue, contact a professional right away. Never attempt to fix your furnace flame color on your own.

Pilot Light & Gas Valve: If you go to check the furnace flame and it is out, you will need to relight it. While you can relight the pilot on your own, be extra careful and consult your owner’s manual for proper instructions. Make sure to turn off the gas for around 10-15 minutes before attempting to relight the pilot. If you continue to smell any gas, do not continue! You may have a leak, in which case, you should evacuate the household immediately and call your gas company and the fire department at a safe distance. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Clogged-Up Primary Condensate Line: Here’s what to do if you have a stopped up primary condensate line. Technology is rapidly changing everything and HVAC is no different. If you have a new HVAC unit it might be equipped with sensors that will alert you in advance about condensate line clogs. This can be very helpful because you can fix the problem before any water damage happens. However, if you do not have the sensor on your HVAC unit you can simply check the drain pan. If the drain pan is full of water then most likely your drain line is clogged. 

Here’s how to fix the problem:

  1. Turn the power off to your HVAC unit (NOTE: Always turn the power off when cleaning)
  2. Find the drain line (Usually outside near the condenser)
  3. Use a thin, stiff brush and push it into the end of the drain line. This can clear any clogs near the end. For clogs further down the drain line, use a wet/dry vacuum. Attach your vacuum to the end of the line and seal it with duct tape. Turn your vacuum on to suck out any debris. This should hopefully clear the stuck line. 
  4. Next, head indoors and clean your drain pan (use soap). 
  5. Next, find the vent tee (pipe fitting that connects your AC drain line to the drainage tray). Remove the PVC cap from the top of the vent tee & poke the brush into it. That should clear it out. 
  6. Next, put on some gloves and pour a mixture of one cup bleach and one cup water into the top of the drain pine & wait 30 minutes. Now pour some water into the vent tee and see if it drains out the other end. If it has then you’ve done a super job. 

What To Do If Your AC Freezes Up? Weird but it’s true. Your AC can freeze up during the hottest months of summer. Three of the most common reasons for your AC to freeze up on you are:

  1. Air Flow Problems
  2. Problems With The AC unit’s Refrigeration
  3. Outdoor Temperature 
Here’s how you can fix this problem: AC freeze-ups should not be ignored. If you notice that your AC unit cooling is not what it should be, the first thing you should do is check your outside AC unit. If it is frozen, then immediately turn off your ac unit and let it defrost completely. Afterwards, check the filters and clean or replace them if needed. If there are any visible obstructions, remove them. In some cases this is all that is required. (Note: Continued ice accumulation can cause permanent damage to your unit). If cleaning or replacing your air filters does not solve the problem, it is a good time to call in the professionals to diagnose the root cause of the problem.
 
What To Do About Natural Wear & Tear? No amount of care will stop wear & tear of your HVAC unit. Even with regular maintenance you will notice that over time your HVAC unit is loosing performance. If you can diagnose this sort of problem early on, it may be possible for your HVAC technician to repair or replace certain components to return your unit back to its original glory. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars by not having to buy an entire new unit. You can also take advantage of our AC Check service and find out exactly what condition your unit is in and what needs to be done.
 
Uneven Cooling Or Heating? If you find that your HVAC unit has no problem cooling or heating certain areas of your home, while it has a hard time doing so for other areas, this does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your unit. Instead, it could mean that there are air flow leaks. You can try to locate the place where the hot or cold air is leaking out of and sealing it. If that does not seem to be the problem, then the next logical step is to call in an HVAC technician so they can find a leak within your ductwork. 
 

Warning: Make sure your hands and feet are completely dry before attempting to reset power. If there are any signs of electrical damage or moisture, or you don’t feel comfortable, don’t touch anything and contact a qualified electrician right away.

You’ve tried all the tips above, but still no luck. This is a good time to give us a call. Our friendly dispatchers will get the required information from you over the phone and then set you up with a service call. Our trained and certified HVAC technician will arrive to your location and diagnose the cause of the problem and have it fixed in no time. Our HVAC technicians come prepared with common parts that break down often, in their vans. So instead of waiting for hours or even days for the part to arrive, our HVAC technician will be able to get the job done quickly. If you’re in need of HVAC repairs in Dallas, TX or surrounding cities and would like a professional to take care of it, then give us a call. 

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