Westland Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for June, 2014

3 Causes of Reduced Cooling Power in My Air Conditioner

Friday, June 27th, 2014

If you’re sitting in your home on a Saturday afternoon, listening to the whir and hum of your air conditioner as it vents air through the rooms, but you keep thinking to yourself that you’re far warmer than you should be… you may have trouble with your AC. Check on the thermostat to make sure that it’s set right. If the house still doesn’t feel as cool as it should, or if the stuffiness seems to increase, then you should call for air conditioning repair from Westlake, OH specialists as soon as possible.

At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, we have over 25 years of experience handling air conditioning systems that have started to lose their normal cooling power. Below are three of the most common reasons that your AC might start to malfunction and leave you with an unpleasantly warm house during the summer:

1. Loss of refrigerant charge

The lifeblood of an air conditioner is the refrigerant, a chemical blend that moves through the system and shifts heat from the indoors to the outdoors. Refrigerant remains at a set level, known as its “charge,” as long as the air conditioner is running normally: refrigerant does not become “used up” during the cooling cycle. However, leaks can occur that will lower the charge, and should this happen, an AC will begin to lose the ability to absorb heat from the indoor air. This is a serious problem, because if left without repairs lowered refrigerant will cause damage to the compressor, possibly leading to it overheating and burning out.

2. Clogged air filter

The air filter in an AC protects the interior of its evaporator cabinet from debris that comes in through the return vent. After a month, the filter will start to become clogged with the contaminants trapped inside it, and this will cut down on the airflow into the air conditioner. This will cause the AC to struggle to remove sufficient heat from the air, and will result in a drop in cooling ability. Make sure you change the filter once a month during the summer to prevent this from occurring. Should a clogged filter affect cooling ability, you should call for repairs to make sure the system has not suffered serious damage.

3. Failed outdoor fan

The fan draws warm outside air across the condenser coil, causing the hot refrigerant inside to release heat. Without a properly working fan, the refrigerant won’t cool down enough; when the refrigerant enters the indoor cabinet through the evaporator coil, it will not be able to draw enough heat from the air to provide the level of cooling you want. Fans can fail for a variety of reasons; technicians can replace the motor, capacitor, broken fan belt, or whatever has caused the fan to stop working.

Don’t attempt to troubleshoot AC repairs on your own; the work requires highly trained specialists. Our technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning have over 100 years of combined experience fixing malfunctioning cooling systems, so when you need air conditioning service in Westlake, OH, pick up your phone and give us a call today.

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Problems Solved by a Whole-House Humidifier

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Here in Bay Village, humidifier systems serve as an easy means to keep your moisture levels where they need to be. Generally speaking, relative humidity levels need to be between 30% and 50% for us to feel at ease. When they drop below that, trouble can arise. Dry air is a common problem in this part of the country, and while it tends to crop up more in the winter than the summer, it’s still a cause for concern. Now is an excellent time to consider a whole-house humidifier, which can generate moisture enough to make every room in your house feel comfortable. Here’s a quick list of some of the problems solved by a whole house humidifier.

  • Health. Dry air increases irritation in the nose and the throat, leading to coughing and other maladies. If someone in your family suffers from allergies, it can trigger an attack, and infants and elderly family members are often at particular risk. A whole-house humidifier solves that, helping your family live healthier lives as well as more comfortable ones.
  • Furnishings. Dry air can really take it out of your furnishings. Plants will dry up, glue on wallpaper and in wooden furniture can become loose, and paint or finish can peel away under the harsh exposure of dry air. A humidifier cuts that process off at the knees, helping your home furnishings look better and last longer.
  • Energy efficiency. This plays more of a role in the winter than the summer, but again, now is the right time to act: well before the temperatures start to drop. Warmer temperatures don’t feel as warm when the air is excessively dry, forcing you to turn the heater up higher than you might otherwise and increasing strain on the unit in the process. With a humidifier in place, you can help your heater to and save money in monthly energy costs in the process.

If you’re experiencing the sort of problems solved by a whole-house humidifier, then talk to the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. Utilizing humidifiers or other indoor air quality systems in Bay Village could be the perfect way to optimize your home’s comfort levels. Give us a call today to set up an installation. You’ll be glad you did!

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What Happens When Refrigerant Levels Get Low?

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Refrigerant constitutes the core of most types of air conditioning system. It cycles through a series of valves and coils that first shift it into a liquid form (heating the nearby air, which is then vented outside with a fan) then revert it to a gaseous form (cooling the air, which can then be blown through the ducts into your home). In order for the system to work, the refrigerant needs to be at a specified level, though the exact amount depends on the make and model of your air conditioner. When it gets low, problems can arise. The good news is that there are plenty of services that offer air conditioning repair in Rocky River, OH. But what happens when refrigerant levels get low? How does that affect your unit?

In the simplest terms, it disrupts the entire process. Without the right amount of refrigerant, the cooling process in the evaporator coils is thrown off-kilter. Instead of cooling down the surrounding air like it should, ice forms on the evaporator coils, while the air itself stays comparatively warm. That forces the air conditioner to work even harder to do its job, increasing strain and creating higher monthly energy bills in the process. Even worse, the ice now forms an insulating barrier between the rest of the refrigerant and the air, exacerbating the problem and increasing the chances of a larger breakdown in the future.  Furthermore, when the ice melts, it could overwhelm the system’s drain pan: the water will overflow and possibly damage nearby components in the bargain.

Unfortunately, simply scraping the ice off won’t solve the problem. The ice will soon reform and your efforts may damage the evaporator coils to boot. Instead, you need a trained technician to deal with the source of the problem: seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels to their current position. If you’re looking for an HVAC company that offers professional air conditioning services in Rocky River, OH, the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning are standing by. We know what happens when refrigerant levels get low and we have the expertise to fix it properly every time! Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

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Is a Heat Pump a Good Substitute for Air Conditioning Installation?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning installation in Avon, OH, residents can’t afford to take chances. Summer heat comes in a close second to summer humidity around here, and a good air conditioner will be your best friend when the mercury starts to rise. If you’re planning to install a new air conditioner, you may want to think about a heat pump as a viable alternative. These are units designed to both heat and cool your home, depending on the need and the season. Is a heat pump a good substitute for air conditioning installation? That depends on your circumstances, but in many cases it can be.

Both heat pumps and more traditional air conditioners rely on the same basic system. Refrigerant gas moves through a series of valves and coils that pressurize it, convert it to liquid state (releasing heat into the nearby air), and then evaporate the liquid (pulling heat from the air which can then be blown into your home via a fan) before starting the cycle again. The only difference is that traditional air conditioners simply vent the hot air outside of your home. Heat pumps are designed to use that hot air to warm your home in the winter, while still using the cool air to bring temperatures down in the summer.

Heat pumps cost a little more to install than traditional air conditioners and their efficiency tends to drop when temperatures get particularly cold. But that last issue can usually be solved by purchasing a hybrid unit. More importantly, because they don’t need natural gas or other fuel to produce their heat, the pump cost less to run from month to month than other forms of air conditioning. And because they combine heating and cooling into one unit, they make home comfort a lot simpler to achieve.

Only you can decide if a heat pump is a good substitute for air conditioning installation, but the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning can help. When it comes to air conditioning installation, Avon OH residents can rest easy in our hands, so pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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