About Air Duct Aseptics

Certified HVAC ductwork and air handler cleaning specialists, serving Florida since 1990. Visit us online at www.ADAflorida.com

7 Most Common Air Condition Problems

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Improper operation

One of the most common air conditioning problems is improper operation. If your air conditioner is on, be sure to close your home’s windows and outside doors. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home.

Faulty instalation

Another common problems with existing air conditioners result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) does not match the manufacturer’s specifications. If proper refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit is impaired. Unqualified service technicians often fail to find refrigerant charging problems or even worsen existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full.

Air conditioner manufacturers generally make rugged, high quality products. If your air conditioner fails, begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers. Let the unit cool down for about five minutes before resetting any breakers. If a central air conditioner’s compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped; reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor’s access panel.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification, and is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment.

Inadequate Maintenance

If you allow filters and air conditioning coils to become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.

Electric Control Failure

The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently, as is common when a system is oversized. Because corrosion of wire and terminals is also a problem in many systems, electrical connections and contacts should be checked during a professional service call.

Sensor Problems

Room air conditioners feature a thermostat sensor, located behind the control panel, which measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it; adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

Drainage Problems

When it’s humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it isn’t clogged and is draining properly. Room air conditioners may not drain properly if not mounted level.

Scheduled Preventative Maintenance

Once your A/C system has been properly cleaned and remediated, simple ongoing schedule maintenance inspections should be performed to ensure your continued clean and healthy air.

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3 Reasons to Change your Filters

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1- Air Quality

Air filtration is one of the least expensive ways to improve air quality. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests that filters should be cleaned or replaced not less than every 3 months.

2- Equipment efficiency

According to the US Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, air filters play a critical role in maintaining indoor air quality and protecting the downstream components of the cooling equipment (coils, blower, etc) from accumulating dirt that reduces equipment efficiency.

3- Contamination source

A dirty filter can become a contamination source if not cleaned or replaced. Dirty filters can also force air to go around and bypass filtration sections and the unfiltered bypass air deposits debris on the cooling/heating coils rather than on the filter.

Routinely change or replace filters based on either regular intervals or by visual inspection. Intervals can range from 1-6 months (some newer type and style filters indicate usage up to 6 months), depending on the dirt loading from both the indoor and outdoor air. Visual inspections of the leading edge side of the filters can help indicate frequency. In commercial facilities, measuring the pressure drop across the filter is the most reliable way to rate particulate loading on the filter.

6 Main Factors to Have Your Ducts Clean

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Every home and business is different. Many factors influence the hygiene levels of your HVAC duct system including the type and frequency and proper maintenance of filter maintenance, A/C component maintenance frequency (evaporator coils, blower motors, pan treatments, etc), duct leakage, humidity levels and structure location, to name a few.

How often should they be cleaned?

The frequency of cleaning depends on many factors within the building. These 6 main factors are among a few to consider:

 
1- Renovations/Remodeling
2- Flood or water contamination
3- Allergies
4- Pets
5- Smoking
6- Moving into a new home

For best preventive measures, minimally, your A/C system should be inspected yearly and ductwork inspected every 2 years.

8 Reasons To Schedule A Preventative Maintenance

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Once your A/C system has been properly cleaned and remediated, simple ongoing schedule maintenance inspections should be performed to ensure your continued clean and healthy air.

A clean and properly maintained system will help:

  1. Reduce musty odors associated with moldy systems
  2. Provide clean and healthy air flow
  3. Reduce the likelihood of equipment breakdowns
  4. Reduce AC electrical energy usage
  5. Increase or restore your A/C system capacity
  6. Reduced likelihood of condensate water flooding
  7. Extend your A/C equipment life
  8. Reduce the frequency of future duct cleaning

A dirty evaporator coil will reduce cooling capacity and degrade equipment, reducing energy efficiency. A clogged evaporator coil reduces air flow through the coil, causing the compressor motor to consume more energy.

Exposed to unfiltered outdoor air, condenser coils easily trap dust and debris, raising the condensing temperature and reducing the cooling capacity. According FEMP, a Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) study showed that a dirty condenser coil can increase compressor energy consumption by 30%.

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Keep It Cool And Save Energy

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Your heating and cooling system uses over 50 percent of your energy costs in your home.  While changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner working, a regular maintenance routine with an air conditioning professional will keep your unit from malfunctioning during the hottest days of the summer.

A typical tune-up on your air conditioner it’s probably going to cost around $70 to $150. But also keep in mind, many companies do offer maintenance plans that might offer it at a little lower price by signing up for a whole year.

Many experts agree that it needs to be tuned up once a year every year. Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up. Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened check the refrigerant level, the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should. It is true that you can lose up to 5 percent efficiency because if the system is not operating the way it’s supposed to such has dirty coil, over heated motors, lack of refrigerant effects how that system is efficient so as it goes through the year it can lose efficiency if it’s not tuned up properly.

 

Improve your Indoor Air Quality Today!

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As the weather continues to cool down and allergy season hits its peak, homeowners may find themselves spending more time indoors. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), this gives an added importance to making sure that HVAC systems are properly cleaned and ready for the change in season.

NADCA, the HVAC Inspection Maintenance and Restoration Association suggests homeowners and building managers pay close attention to their air handling units and take the necessary steps to determine if a proper cleaning is in order.

“A dirty or contaminated air conveyance system will restrict air flow at the coil and blower, and also within the duct system,” said Bill Benito, ASCS, CVI, president of NADCA. “Your HVAC system should be inspected yearly and a complete system cleaning should be performed every 4-5 years.”

The frequency of cleaning may vary depending on certain factors; NADCA urges homeowners to consider the following:

  • Are there pets living in the home? Pet dander and hair can add to the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates in an HVAC system, restricting air flow.
  • Do any of the occupants of the home suffer from asthma or allergies? A proper cleaning of the air handling unit can improve indoor air quality and efficiency of the unit.
  • Is smoking permitted inside the home? If so, full-system cleanings may be required more frequently.

“When looking to hire a company or a contractor, it’s important to pick a reputable business whose technicians have gone through the NADCA certification process,” added Benito.

Learn how to extend life of your air handler unit.

As your a/c equipment ages, it can become less efficient, detrimental to your indoor air quality and parts will wear to the point that you may be thinking of replacement.  As a tune-up will restore most of your cars’ performance, precision tune ups and remediation to the air handler components can restore lost performance, efficiency and improve IAQ. It’s important to consider an AC Scheduled Preventative Maintenance Plan.

Evaporator / Cooling Coils:
ADAflorida.comThe efficiency of the cooling coils can be directly attributed to the level of cleanliness and can be directly measured by the pressure drop over the coils.  NADCA, The National Air Duct Cleaners Association, recommends  yearly inspections of the air handling unit and “cleaning is highly recommended for heat exchange coils, cooling coils, air flow control devices, filtration devices and air handling equipment determined to have restrictions, blockages, or contamination deposits that may cause system performance inefficiencies, air flow degradation or that may significantly affect the design intent of the HVAC system” (ACR 2006, NADCA)


Condensate Pan / Drain:
ADAflorida.comMicrobial-like growth, dirt and debris can clog condensate pans if not properly maintained, causing overflow within the air handler.  This condition could cause microbial growth to occur within the air handler and ductwork.  The pitch of the drainage pan is also important in assisting the proper flow to the building exterior.

Blower Wheels:
ADAFlorida.comBlower wheels and fins can become heavily soiled and less efficient if not regularly maintained and cleaned.  A dirty condition can also result in poor air flow.  Care must be taken not to unbalance the blades when cleaning but efficiency can be substantially increased.

Insulation Liner:
ADAFlorida.comThe liner on the internal surfaces of the air handler unit provides insulation and sound dampening.  However, in this microbially vulnerable area of the HVAC system, the liner can fail much quicker than the other components.   If degraded and flaking, particles can enter the air stream and cross-contaminate into the occupied spaces.  Closed cell insulation can be installed to extend the equipment life and provide a non-porous insulation liner within the air handler.

Air Duct Aseptics provides fully certified HVAC systems cleaning and remediation services throughout Florida.  Servicing our clients since 1990, you can count on Air Duct Aseptics for professionalism and superior service.  Call toll free 888-707-7763.

Air Duct Aseptics (www.ADAflorida.com)