Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

When Capacitors in an AC Go Bad

September 17th, 2018

air-conditioning-maintenance-toolsYou might have read that headline and immediately had an image of a capacitor pulling a handkerchief over its face and trying to hold up a stagecoach with six-shooters. Or maybe you didn’t imagine that—because you have no idea what a capacitor in an air conditioner looks like!

That’s fine. Most homeowners aren’t aware of what a capacitor looks like or what it does in an air conditioner—although they’ll know they don’t want one to “go bad.” We’re going to delve a bit more into air conditioning capacitors and the problems your AC may face when they fail.

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Sizing an AC Doesn’t Mean Exactly What You Think

September 3rd, 2018

tools-on-ac-unitWe can list many reasons why new air conditioning system installation must be left to professionals. One of them is only experienced HVAC technicians can do the calculations necessary for proper new cooling unit sizing.

What does sizing mean? It sounds like the technicians are taking measuring tape to find out how large the AC can be so it will fit into the space available. Which does sound a touch silly. Of course, a new air conditioner must be the right size to fit in a house, but why hire professionals for a job anybody with measuring tape could do just as well?

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Short-Cycling: Why It’s Bad News for an Air Conditioner

August 20th, 2018

air-conditioning-condensers-near-plantsOne of the most common and harmful troubles an air conditioner can encounter is a condition called short-cycling. It’s both a symptom of a problem and a problem itself. Although sometimes a few simple adjustments may fix short-cycling, if the root cause is serious it requires a professional HVAC technician to do the repairs. Unless short-cycling is stopped, it will eventually lead to an early replacement for an air conditioner and waste enormous amounts of power until then.

The Brutal Facts of Short-Cycling

The phrase short-cycling is HVAC-speak for when an air conditioner (or heat pump) becomes caught in the start-up cycle and turns on and off repeatedly without completing the cooling cycle. Under normal conditions, an AC powers up the compressor and runs until the thermostat registers it has met the temperature request. The AC then powers down the compressor. A short-cycling AC will prematurely stop the compressor before the end of the cooling cycle, and then start up again a short time later. When the compressor is turning on and off multiple times an hour and the compressor runs for less than 15 minutes at a time, the AC is short-cycling.

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Should You Install a Ductless AC System?

August 6th, 2018

room-with-ductless-mini-splitIf you’ve ever been in an air-conditioned building and noticed a unit up on the wall that looked like streamlined version of a window AC without having to protrude through a window, then you’ve seen part of a ductless AC. A ductless mini split system (as it’s also called) combines the benefits of a standard central AC with a window unit: point cooling with the cooled air sent directly into the space, but able to cool multiple rooms.

As ductless mini splits grow in popularity, more homeowners are confronted with choosing between going with a conventional split system air conditioner that relies on ducts and a ductless system. If you’re struggling with the question, or you’ve only started to consider it, we recommend you call a trustworthy Raleigh, NC, HVAC contractor to help you. You’ll need professionals to eventually install either system, so have them on board early to assist you with making the best choice.

We can provide some help to get you started thinking about whether ductless will work for you.

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Condensate Drain Problems in an AC

July 23rd, 2018

water-dropletsThe humid summer weather in North Carolina places extra stress on a home air conditioning system. An AC has to run longer to overcome the additional discomfort that high humidity creates. (An air conditioner isn’t a dehumidifier, however. To deal with serious humidity issues in a home, we recommend you have a dedicated whole-house dehumidifier installed.)

One of the ways that all this extra moisture in the air affects an air conditioner is that it collects along the indoor evaporator coil as the AC is running. This moisture has to go somewhere, so an AC is designed with a condensate pan and drain to catch the dripping moisture and then pump it outside. The occasional sound of water running in the AC cabinet is this condensate system at work.

But like any component in an air conditioner, the condensate drain can run into problems—leading to even bigger problems for a home’s cooling.

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Tripping Circuit Breaker Madness! Why Is the AC Doing This?

July 9th, 2018

electrical-panel-repairsThe circuit breakers in your home’s electrical panel are designed to protect the electrical system from voltage overloads. If an appliance connected to the electrical system places too high a voltage demand on a circuit, often from a short, the breaker for that circuit trips to cut the connection.

One appliance in your house that may trip the breaker is the air conditioner. It’s one of the most powerful electrical devices in your household, so as soon as the motors in the AC begin to overheat or overwork, they’ll trip a breaker and shut down the cooling system. You might run into this now and then, and you’ll only need to reset the breaker to have your AC working once more. But if this is happening often, you may have a problem with your air conditioner that needs a technician’s attention.

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How to Tell You Have Leaky Ductwork

June 25th, 2018

interior-ac-ductsYou may not realize it, but the ducts in your home could be stealing money from you each day. You pay to cool the air with your AC system, but before that air reaches you, up to 30% of it can escape through leaks or breaches along the ducts. So for every hundred dollars you spend to cool your home’s air, you’re basically throwing away thirty dollars because of bad ducts.

The way to stop this thief hiding in the walls and ceilings of your home is to schedule professional duct sealing in Zebulon, NC with our experts. Using the best modern tools, we’ll seal up all the leaks so you have an airtight ventilation system again and an AC system restored to its best energy efficiency.

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Does the Type of Air Conditioning Refrigerant Make a Difference?

June 11th, 2018

air-conditioning-manometer-pressure-refrigerantThe simple answer to the question: “Yes.”

But that simple answer requires a longer explanation. Refrigerant—what it is and what it does—is something few people outside of the HVAC and refrigerant industry understand. We’re going to look closer at refrigerant to explain why ensuring your AC has the right type is vital and you should leave working with it to professionals.

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Is Your AC Already Having Trouble Keeping Up?

May 28th, 2018

flushed-man-in-front-of-fanAs the weather warms up, does it feel like your house isn’t keeping as cool as you’d like it? It’s not fun to discover your air conditioner is struggling to do its job, but at least you’ll find out about it early enough that you can have the problem corrected before more heat arrives.

You may need to schedule air conditioning repair in Raleigh, NC to boost your cooling system back up to where it used to be. In some situations, the best solution is to replace the air conditioner altogether. Below we’re going to look at some reasons you have an air conditioner that just isn’t making the grade this year and what can be done about them.

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Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Pays You Back

May 14th, 2018

Air-conditioner-repairman-maintenanceIt’s the second half of spring, and we’re enjoying steady warm weather here in the Triangle Area. Is your air conditioner already putting in a solid few hours of work each day? If it is, did you remember to arrange to have it inspected and tuned-up by an HVAC professional?

If your answer is “No, should I?” or “Oh, I forgot—is it okay to skip this year?” then our answers are “Yes,” and “No, we recommend AC maintenance every year” respectively.

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