When the summer heat is soaring, the last thing you want is to feel warm air blowing from your vents. There are a number of reasons your air conditioner could be blowing warm air. Here is a list of the most common issues to check for if your A/C seems to have lost it's cool:
1. Dirty Filter - A dirty air filter reduces airflow, makes your system work much harder and can also create enough disruption to result in warmer than usual air from your air conditioning system. If your air filter is dirty, replace it with a new one and give time for your system to bring your home to the right temperature. If you are still getting warm air, a different issue may be the cause.
2. Dirty Coils - Dirt and grime build up on the condenser coils of your cooling system over time. If you haven't had a professional maintenance and cleaning done in a while, this could be causing your air conditioning components to work inefficiently, which may impact the unit's ability to reach cool enough temperatures.
3. Thermostat Setting - Check your thermostat setting to make sure it's set to cooling and not heating. You'll also want to make sure the fan setting is on "auto" and not
"on". The "auto" setting only runs the fan when the whole system is running. The "on" setting runs continuously, even when the cooling component of the system is not running, which can result in warmer air blowing from the vents.
4. Frozen Compressor - Restricted airflow caused by blockages of the air intake or extremely hot days that don't allow the system to cycle off can cause the compressor to freeze up. Turn off the unit to allow it to thaw and call a professional to help determine and remedy the cause of the freeze-up.
5. Refrigerant Leak - If the refrigerant gets too low due to a leak, the system will malfunction or stop working altogether. Refrigerant leaks need to be addressed by a professional right away as some refrigerants have environmental impacts as well as causing your A/C to blow warm air.
6. Tripped Breaker - Most cooling systems have two units that work together - an outdoor unit that performs the cooling function and an indoor unit that blows the cool air through the ducts and throughout your home. Often, the outdoor unit is on a separate breaker or fuse than the indoor unit. If the breaker for the outdoor unit is blown, it won't provide the cooling needed, however, the indoor unit may still continue to kick on and run the fan - blowing warm air into the home.
These six top reasons for cooling systems to blow warm air is a good place to start for troubleshooting this issue. Some of these causes are easily remedied, such as changing the air filter or fixing the setting on the thermostat. Many others require professional assistance. When in doubt, call Carolina Comfort Systems to get you back in your cool comfort zone as quickly as possible.
When you have a scheduled maintenance service visit with Carolina Comfort Systems or need one of our expert Bryant technicians to come out for emergency service, it's helpful to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to prep before our service technician arrives.
Using the above checklist to prepare for your service with Carolina Comfort Systems will help you have everything you need at your fingertips. Making sure pets are secure and units are accessable helps our Carolina Comfort Systems technician perform your service as efficiently as possible.
Things are really heating up in South Carolina! Is your air conditioner ready for the hot, humid summer ahead? If not, now is the time to take care of this important task and get it checked off your list for the season!
DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance
There are a few basic maintenance steps everyone should take care of in between your professional maintenance appointments with Carolina Comfort Systems.
* Change out the filter - Regularly changing the filter for your home comfort system is important all year round. A dirty filter clogged with dust, pet dander and other grime reduces airflow, making your system work longer and harder to keep your home at a cool comfortable temperature. This increases wear and tear on system components and reduces energy efficiency by up to 15%.
* Clear out condensation drain - If your system has an accessible condensation drain, you will want to check it several times per year to make sure there is no cruddy build-up accumulating. In a humid subtropical climate like ours, cooling systems pull a lot of moisture out of the air, so keeping the condensation drain clear is important for your system to work most efficiently. Clean away built-up gunk with a wire brush to keep the drain clear.
* Check the outdoor condenser unit - Regularly check your outdoor condenser unit for leaves, twigs and debris that could hinder proper operation. Also keep plants and shrubs trimmed back several feet away from the unit on all sides.
Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance
There's more to air conditioner maintenance than the do-it-yourself list above. That's why you also need regular professional air conditioner maintenance. Your Carolina Comfort Systems maintenance pro will take care of the tough stuff like checking refrigerant levels, lubricate moving parts, check belts for wear, check airflow throughout the system, test and calibrate the thermostat, test electrical connections and inspect for any issues that could lead to a break-down.
For extra peace of mind, check out our Comfort Star Protection Plans. We have four plans to choose from depending on your needs and preferences. Each plan includes cleaning and inspection of your home comfort system twice per year and gives you *Priority Customer* status if you ever do have an emergency. Several of our plans also let you accrue money at the end of each service year toward a new replacement system. Our top-notch professional technicians are dedicated to providing the best service to keep your home comfortable all year long!
If you are in the market for a new cooling system for your home, it pays to be familiar with SEER. SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is used to measure the energy efficiency of the cooling unit in your home comfort system. To determine SEER rating, manufacturers measure the cooling a unit puts out over a typical summer season and divide it by the amount of energy the unit used during that time. The higher the SEER number, the more energy efficient a cooling system is. In South Carolina, the minimum SEER required by law is 14, however, there is a split system available with up to a 33 SEER rating at the time of this blog. From 14 to 33 is a big range and it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different options.
Cost vs. Savings: Is Spending More for Higher SEER Worth it?
One of the most frequent questions customers have is, "If a higher SEER number means greater energy efficiency, should I buy the highest SEER I can for my home?" Surprisingly, the answer is no. As the SEER goes up, so does the cost of the unit - by a large margin. Higher SEER units are also more expensive to repair and feature newer technology that, in some cases, isn't as reliable as the older technology of units with SEER ratings below 20. Also keep in mind that the SEER rating represents the maximum possible energy efficiency in optimal conditions. Similar to when you buy the latest smart phone that has up to 8 hours of battery life. Most users won't get the full 8 hours without needing to recharge because the way each individual uses the device affects the battery life. The same is true of SEER ratings - so a SEER of 18 really means *up to 18*.
While higher SEER does translate to less energy consumption and lower utility bills, the amount of savings for most average sized homes does not balance out the increased cost of the highest SEER rated systems. If your home is close to the average of 2,000 sq ft and you use your cooling system an average of 5 months of the year (we are in South Carolina, after all), a cooling system with a SEER rating of 14 or 16 provides you a sturdy and reliable unit with a comfortable reduction on your electric bill. If you choose an option with a SEER over 20, with installation, that system can cost in the ballpark of double the amount of the lower SEER system while only providing a few dollars more energy savings - during the 5 months of the year when you are actually running your air conditioning. If your home is much larger than average or you live in an area where you will be using your cooling system for more than two-thirds of the year, systems with SEER ratings of 18-20 could be worth the higher cost of the system.
Choosing a new HVAC or heat pump system with the best SEER rating for your home and specific needs doesn't have to be an overwhelming process. Carolina Comfort Systems can help! Our experts can review your current system and explore how much you can expect to save on utilities for different SEER rated systems to help you find the best value for your home.
Summer is nearly here and with it, the heat and humidity! Keeping your home cool and comfortable doesn't have to leave you sweating over the rise in your utility bill. There are several ways you can save energy and money on cooling your home.
1. Ceiling Fans - Ceiling fans take far less energy to operate than your cooling system. Most people can set the thermostat between three to five degrees warmer while running ceiling fans and enjoy the same level of cool comfort. Those few degrees of difference, particularly on the hottest days, can result in big savings on your electric bill.
2. Nature - When nights and early mornings are cool, take advantage of nature's heat relief by opening a few windows and turning off your cooling system.
3. Programming - Use a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when you are not home, using less energy while away. Set the program to begin cooling your home down to your desired temperature about 30 minutes before you typically return. You will come home to comfortable coolness while saving energy and money.
4. Dodging Drafts - Drafts and air leaks let hot air in and make your cooling system work harder and longer. The harder and longer your system works to cool your home, the more energy and money it uses. Use weather-stripping, caulking or make necessary repairs to eliminate drafts and stop money from flowing right out the window.
5. Block the Sun - Windows don't have to be open to let the heat in. The sun's rays shining through the windows can increase the temperature inside your home. Use energy-efficient window coverings designed to reflect the sun's rays back out and keep them closed during the day. If the idea of closed curtains has you feeling closed in, there are also protective films that can be professionally applied directly to your windows to help block the sun's rays (and heat) while allowing you to enjoy natural light year round.
6. Regular Maintenance - Having your cooling system cleaned and professionally maintained by your home comfort service provider saves you money in more than one way. First, a well-maintained cooling system runs more efficiently and uses less energy to keep your home cool, which means lower utility costs. Second, regular maintenance helps find any potential issues before they become big problems. Something as minor as debris obstructing proper function of fans and coils can cause major damage over time, resulting in unplanned costly repairs during the hottest part of the year. And don't forget to change the filter in for your system every month during the spring and summer when your system is working more often and filters gunk up faster, putting stress on your cooling system.
Staying cool during the summer heat doesn't have to be as expensive as you might expect. A few simple changes can help you save energy and money without sacrificing comfort.
This July marked the 111th birthday of Modern Air Conditioning! Care to take a guess at who invented modern air conditioning? Well, his name is synonomous with one of the world's leaders in high-technology heating and air conditioning solutions.... Carrier. Dr. Willis H. Carrier is the man to thank for changing the world's comfort level in schools, hospitals, workplaces, and homes. What would ou do as a Conway resident or Myrtle Beach Resident without air conditioning? You would know if you have ever experienced a heat pump malfunction in the heat of summer! Just remember, to stay comfortable all year round, servicing Myrtle Beach to Conway to Florence, Carolina Comfort Systems is your leader for indoor air comfort solutions!
Some of you may have seen the TV program “Dateline NBC” recently where investigative reporter Chris Hansen did a story on unscrupulous repairmen. NBC placed hidden cameras throughout a home in which they had staged simple malfunctions on a variety of mechanical products (a hot water heater, a garage door opener, a swimming pool pump.) In all cases, the systems were brand new and the TV producers had reputable service representatives inspect the products prior to “setting the trap” to catch dishonest repairmen. And, as you can imagine, several of the con artists grossly overcharged for their services, in some instances recommending total replacement when a simple electrical fuse was all that was required!
At Carolina Comfort Systems, when you call us you can rest easy. We’ve been serving customers for over 25 years... and frankly, you don’t stay in business that long treating people dishonestly.
We’re proud of the A+ rating we’ve earned from the Better Business Bureau. And lastly, but just as important, we’re more than happy to provide you with a number of satisfied clients and other references to ensure you’ll have peace of mind when you call us. Our reputation is that important to us... your satisfaction is our guarantee!