FAQ & RESOURCES
What Is Refrigerant and How Does It Work?

Introduction

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of HVAC systems. It is just as crucial in an HVAC system as a furnace or air conditioner is. Without refrigerant, the cooling process of an HVAC system would simply not exist. While it is easy to say that refrigerant is necessary for an HVAC system, it doesn’t explain why it is or how it works. It also doesn’t outline what the different types of refrigerants are or the common problems that happen with refrigerants as a whole. In this blog post, we will be covering all those questions and more. If you have any questions after reading this blog post, let us know and we will try our best to answer them in the comments below. Let’s dive in!

What Is It?

In previous blog posts, we briefly talked about what refrigerant is. In our “What Causes an AC Compressor to Stop Working,” blog post we defined refrigerant as “a set of chemicals that are vital to the cooling process.” While this is true for a broad definition of refrigerant, it can be a little bit more complex. 

Refrigerant has numerous definitions because it does several different things. For example, refrigerant is often defined as a substance that can rapidly change states effectively from a solid, liquid, and gas. This is because it has to be able to change states again and again without failure. Refrigerant is also something we are constantly applying pressure to to generate heat and then taking said pressure away to restart the cycle. Heat must be added to refrigerant and then taken away from it. No matter what definition of refrigerant a person decides to go with, the purpose of refrigerant will always be to cool a home.  

Refrigerant

How Does It Work?

While the short definitions of refrigerant give decent explanations of how it works, it does not explain the whole picture. The longer explanation of how refrigerant works inside of an HVAC system is a bit more complicated. To begin with, refrigerant is passed through the main components of the HVAC system which consist of the compressor, condenser, metering device, and evaporator. 

Refrigerant next to air conditioner

Refrigerant is constantly cycling through all of the components of the air conditioning unit. First, the refrigerant travels from the evaporator to the compressor through the suction line. Refrigerant leaves the evaporator as a saturated vapor at a low pressure and temperature. The suction line increases the pressure of the refrigerant by forcing it to occupy a small space. After going through the suction line, the refrigerant arrives at the compressor. 

Refrigerant enters the compressor as a superheated vapor at a high pressure and temperature. The compressor takes in the already pressurized refrigerant, pressurizes it even more, and increases its temperature. The refrigerant, by being pressurized, is actually compressed which is where the compressor gets its name from. 

HVAC technician

After going through the compressor, the now liquid refrigerant moves through the discharge line into the condenser. The refrigerant passes along tubes of the condenser and fans blow across the tubes. The condenser rejects the heat and thermal energy is removed from the refrigerant. During this process, the refrigerant must be at a higher temperature than the air surrounding it. The greater the temperature difference is, the easier the transfer will be. The refrigerant cools and becomes a condensed liquid before going through the liquid line. 

Through the liquid line, the refrigerant moves towards the metering device. The metering device usually consists of a valve or a piston. Pistons are commonly used in old air conditioners or low efficiency ones. Anyway, the metering device drops the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant. Throughout the metering device, the refrigerant begins to boil when its temperature is reduced. The refrigerant heads back into the evaporator to start the whole process again. Sometimes an HVAC system will have a line called expansion line in which case before heading into the evaporator, the refrigerant will go through that first. Expansion lines are mostly seen in ductless systems, however, and not in traditional ones. 

 The process of how refrigerant works can seem daunting, but half of the reason why it is so complex is so it can be incredibly efficient. The refrigerant circles through the air conditioner changing states over and over again. It has to do that in a relatively short amount of time. At the end of the day, the first definition of refrigeration still stands: refrigerant works absorbs heat through the air, travels through coils in the inside and outside of the air conditioner, and repeats the process all over again. No matter how complicated the refrigeration process is, it will always fulfill its purpose. 

HVAC technician checking refrigerant levels

Different Types of Refrigerant

There are many different types of refrigerants but some are more common than others. For example, Freon is often referenced when talking about refrigerant, but it is not the only one. Listed below are some refrigerants that are frequently used or referenced. While this doesn’t include all the refrigerants used in modern times, it does contain a few and gives a brief history over the history of refrigerant in the HVAC world. While refrigerants may vary, their purpose always stays the same. 

  • Water

While not commonly mentioned, water is the oldest refrigerant to date. It has several properties that make it desirable to use as refrigerant such as that it’s non-toxic, non-flammable, renewable, and inexpensive to use. To this day, it is still used as a refrigerant in evaporative coolers. Evaporative coolers are an alternative to traditional HVAC systems and don’t use electricity. They work by passing outdoor air over pads soaked in water, causing the water to evaporate into the air. 

Water

Water is easily available and inexpensive to use, however, its boiling and freezing points are too high for it to be used as a reliable refrigerant. Water boils at 212 fahrenheit and freezes at -32 fahrenheit. These temperatures are not only too high, but drastically different making water difficult to change states easily.  While water can work as a refrigerant, it is not the most efficient one out there on the market and that’s why it is not often used in modern cooling devices. 

  • Freon (R-22)

Freon is a specific brand of refrigerant that was created by Thomas Midgley Jr. and his team in 1928. As to date, Freon is the most commonly seen refrigerant in HVAC systems in both commercial and residential buildings. In 2020, the United States began to lead a global movement to phase out Freon (R-22) and replace it with Puron (R-410A). The United States no longer produces Freon due to the harmful effects it has on the environment. The boiling point of Freon is -41.44 Fahrenheit. While this number can vary, it generally stays in that range. Freon is slowly being phased out and will not likely be seen in HVAC systems in the future. 

Freon 22
  • Puron (R-410A)

Puron was invented in 1991 and has slowly, but surely replaced Freon. It runs at a higher pressure than most refrigerants and because of that, parts are designed specifically for its use. It’s boiling point is -55.3 Fahrenheit and it’s freezing point is -247 Fahrenheit. Of course, these numbers aren’t set, but Puron’s boiling and freezing point usually stays around those ranges. Unlike previous refrigerants, Puron does not deplete the ozone layer making it a more environmentally friendly choice, however, it still has a high global warming potential. Puron is also not 100% safe to handle. Even with all of Puron’s negatives, it has a lot of positives, and that’s why it is becoming more common in the United States. 

Some other worthy refrigerant mentions are Isobutane (R-600a) and propane. While Isobutane has a low chance of depleting the ozone layer and has a low global warming potential, it is flammable and can explode. Much like the same other reasons Isobutane is a risk, propane is a good refrigerant, but it is not often used because it is flammable. 

While a lot of refrigerants may differ in composition, boiling, and freezing points, they all serve the same purpose. Some of them are just safer than others and more environmentally friendly. As time goes on, the HVAC industry is constantly evolving and searching for the best refrigerant for HVAC systems. Refrigerants will continue to be phased in and out as the search continues for the most efficient and environmentally-friendly refrigerant possible. 

Common Problems

In previous blog posts, we have covered issues relating to refrigerant due to the fact that refrigerant is so important to an HVAC system. A lot of refrigerant problems can occur at the same time due to the fact one often leads to another. For example, leaking refrigerant can lead to low refrigerant which can lead to refrigerant freezing over. It’s a domino effect in some ways and in other ways, not. In this section, we will be talking about how these problems develop and what to do when they do. 

  • Leaking Refrigerant

The most common problem related to refrigerant is leaking refrigerant. Leaking refrigerant can lead to a variety of problems such as higher electric builds, odd noises coming from your air conditioner, increased humidity in your home, reduced efficiency of your AC unit, and freezing and low refrigerant as mentioned above. Leaking refrigerant can be caused by holes or cracks in the coils or an air conditioner’s old age. When refrigerant is leaking, the best thing that can be done is to isolate the problem and call an HVAC technician. In order to isolate the problem, examine the coils and look for any holes or cracks located in them. If there are visible holes or cracks, make a mental note of where they are. The more information about the problem the HVAC technician is given at the start, the easier it will be for them to get the air conditioner’s refrigerant levels back to normal and the HVAC system working better as a whole.  

  • Low Refrigerant

Low refrigerant is another common problem associated with refrigerant issues. When refrigerant runs low, an air conditioner is not able to work to its full potential. Refrigerant can run low because of leaking or negligence. Negligence can happen when during a yearly checkup, an HVAC technician does not check the level of refrigerant or an HVAC system hasn’t been serviced in a long time. The best way to avoid refrigerant running low is to schedule yearly checkups and to go with a reliable HVAC company. Most homeowners aren’t able to check the level of refrigerant in their systems themselves, so going with a reliable HVAC company is the best bet to keep refrigerant from running low. 

  • Freezing Refrigerant

When refrigerant freezes, an air conditioner completely stops working. Refrigerant keeps the coils warm as it runs throughout the HVAC system and when it runs low, the refrigerant isn’t able to absorb as much heat. This causes the coils to slowly, but surely decrease in temperature until they freeze over. When coils freeze over, it can lead to total system failure. Usually the first part—that isn’t the coils—to fail is the compressor. If the compressor fails, it’s an expensive part to replace. The best way to avoid total system failure is to turn off the air conditioner and contact  an HVAC company right away when refrigerant freezes over. Turning off the air conditioner will minimize the damages to the unit as a whole which means a less expensive repair bill in the long run. Some other reasons why refrigerant may freeze over are low temperatures surrounding the air conditioning unit, clogged filters, and broken fans. Freezing refrigerant is a serious problem, but when dealt with correctly, the damages can be minimized. 

Frozen Thermometer

While refrigerant problems may pop up without warning, they can be fixed if caught in time. The best way to catch refrigerant problems early on is to have an HVAC system maintained yearly. We hope this section helped to increase your knowledge of common refrigeration problems and if you run into any, you’ll now know what to do. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed the importance of refrigerant, what it is, how it works, different types of refrigerants, and common problems with it. Refrigerant can be difficult to understand, but we hope that this blog post has helped to increase your knowledge of it. Do you live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas? Is your air conditioner experiencing problems? We can help! Give us a call at 636-475-9384. We look forward to helping you with all your HVAC needs.

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What is an Evaporator Coil and What Does It Do?

Introduction

Have you ever heard of an evaporator coil? Maybe you have but have no idea what it does or that it was even associated with an HVAC system in the first place. Are you now wondering what the heck an evaporator coil is and what it does? Don’t worry, and we can help. In this blog post, we will be talking about what an evaporator coil is and what it does, common problems with evaporator coils, and how to maintain them. We hope this blog post helps you out and answers all your questions about evaporator coils. If it doesn’t, let us know! 

What Is It?

An evaporator coil is an HVAC part located in the air handler or the very outside of the furnace. It is not only used in HVAC systems, but refrigeration systems too. The name “evaporator coil” was coined for the coil because the refrigerant inside of it reaches a high enough temperature that it boils and then evaporates. Contrary to popular belief, refrigerant boils at low temperatures and that is why both the evaporator coil and refrigerant are able to stay cool. Refrigerant also rapidly changes from a liquid to a vapor state inside of the evaporator coil. When transporting refrigerant, the refrigerant travels from the bottom of the evaporator coil to the top of it. 

Evaporator coils are made up of metals such as aluminum, copper, and steel. Copper evaporator coils are considered the best due to their high conductivity when compared to aluminum and steel evaporator coils. An evaporator coil also has fins that add more surface area to an evaporator coil so that the refrigerant has more time to absorb heat. 

Evaporator Coil

In order for an evaporator coil to work properly, the coil must be colder than what it is contained in. For an HVAC system, this can be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. In a refrigeration system, the temperature is wildly different: an evaporator coil in a refrigeration system can reach -20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

There are different rules for evaporator coils in HVAC systems. For example, unlike a refrigeration system, an evaporator coil can not reach below freezing or it is at risk for frost buildup. All in all, the temperature of an evaporator coil can range dramatically depending on the system’s needs. While the evaporator coil is only a small part of an HVAC system, it can be complex in its usage. 

What Does It Do?

Located inside of the air handler as mentioned above, the evaporator coils’ main purpose is to absorb heat from the air to change the temperature of refrigerant. Heat is attracted to the evaporator coil as air is flown over it. The evaporator coil then pulls in the heat to control the temperature of the refrigerant located inside the coil. There is a pressure drop right before the air enters the evaporator coil for the evaporator coil to work at a lower temperature. Pressure must be manipulated to change the temperature of the refrigerant. The more pressure present, the higher the temperature of the refrigerant. An evaporator coil must be able to control temperature and the flow of refrigerant. 

Two stages take place to make the refrigerant the right temperature. The first stage is the boiling phase where the refrigerant is boiled and changes state. After the refrigerant is fully vaporized the second stage, superheating, can occur. The superheating stage consists of using temperature and pressure to tell how far the liquid vapor is boiling. An example of telling how far the liquid vapor is boiling would be if it was 55% liquid refrigerant and 45% vapor. The goal would be to reach 0% liquid refrigerant and 100% vapor. Once there is 0% liquid refrigerant found, then the actual superheating can happen. Superheating takes place when the heat is added to the refrigerant above its boiling point. This allows the refrigerant to reach a higher temperature due to the evaporator coil. The heat added to the refrigerant is called sensible heat because of the nature of superheating. The evaporator coil’s purpose may seem simple, but without it, the temperature and state of refrigerant would be able to shift. 

HVAC Coil Icon

Common Problems with Evaporator Coils

When owning an HVAC system, there are several common problems an owner may run into with an evaporator coil. These problems can exist from lack of maintenance, negligence, or extreme weather. With that in mind, however, sometimes HVAC parts just go weary. Listed below are some common problems with evaporator coils that owners may have run into or may in the future:

  • Leaking Coils or Low Refrigerant

An evaporator coil may start to leak because of corrosion of the metal or damaged seams. When a coil becomes damaged, it starts leaking refrigerant. Low refrigerant can cause a variety of problems, not just for the evaporator coil but the HVAC system as a whole. If someone thinks that their coil is leaking or low on refrigerant, the best thing they can do is call an HVAC technician. The HVAC technician will be able to check the refrigerant level and rule out whether or not the person’s evaporator coil may be leaking. If it is, they may be encouraged to replace their evaporator coil by the HVAC technician. If it isn’t then they can rule out that the evaporator coil is leaking. This can save them time and money when trying to troubleshoot what is going on with their evaporator coil.

Checking the Evaporator Coil
  • Freezing Coils

Evaporator coils can freeze over due to plenty of reasons. The most common one mentioned is low outdoor temperatures, but coils can also freeze over due to low refrigerant as mentioned above, dirty AC filters, and clogged evaporator coils. Usually when an evaporator coil freezes the freezing is a symptom, not the direct cause of why the evaporator coil is not working. When the coils freeze over, the best thing that can be done is have an HVAC technician look at the system. 

  • Dirty Coils

Dirty coils can occur from a buildup of debris or dust and become clogged. Not only can evaporator coils in an HVAC system become clogged, but other coils such as condenser coils can too. When a coil becomes clogged, airflow is restricted and the coil is unable to work at its full capacity. Just like when an HVAC filter has an excessive buildup of debris and stops working correctly, dirty coils do too. The best way to prevent a buildup of debris in the coils is to have the HVAC system maintained at least once a year.

How to Maintain an Evaporator Coil

There are some easy ways to maintain an evaporator coil. Some basic maintenance can go a long way in keeping an evaporator coil running for a very long time. It may seem overly simple, but it can be the difference between saving money and having to pay a large, unexpected HVAC bill.

  • Keep the Outside Unit Clean

An evaporator coil relies heavily on the outside AC unit to be working in proper order. The best way to keep an outside unit from experiencing any unexpected issues is to keep debris away from it. Keeping debris away from the unit can mean clearing away branches, making sure the grass isn’t too high around the unit, or just keeping outside decorations away from it. A good rule of thumb is to keep anything at least three feet away from an AC unit that is not HVAC-related. With the outside unit clean, it can be assured that the outside AC unit has access to proper air flow which will help the evaporator coil run better in the long run. 

  • Change HVAC Filters

The best thing a person can do to keep any HVAC part up and running is to change their HVAC filters. For an evaporator coil, this is especially crucial. When an HVAC filter is clogged, not enough air moves through the filter. This lowers the pressure of the evaporator coil and stops the evaporator coil from working properly. An evaporator coil requires good airflow in order to continue working. Changing the HVAC filters not only helps to maintain the evaporator coil, but the entire HVAC system as a whole. It is generally recommended to change an HVAC filter every six months or sooner based on a person’s household needs. 

  • Schedule Yearly Maintenance

While keeping an outside AC unit clear of debris and changing the HVAC filters as needed is critical for the function of an HVAC system, scheduling yearly maintenance is a must. Most homeowners are not able to check the level of refrigerant in their HVAC systems by themselves. The level of refrigerant must be at a stable level for the evaporator coil to continue working optimally. Scheduling yearly maintenance with a trusted HVAC company can help a person to not only ensure their evaporator coil is working, but that the rest of their HVAC system is too. Scheduling yearly maintenance is an investment in an evaporator coil that will save a homeowner money in the long run. 

HVAC Technician Checking Refrigerant

Conclusion

An evaporator coil may be only a small part of an HVAC system but it plays a large role. Without an evaporator coil refrigerant wouldn’t be able to change states and be able to be transferred properly through an HVAC system. In this blog post, we covered what an evaporator coil is, what it does, common problems with it, and how to maintain it. If you have any more questions about evaporator coils, leave a comment below. Do you need your evaporator coil looked at and live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas? Give us a call! Our phone number is 636-475-9384. We look forward to helping you out with all your HVAC needs. 

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Introduction

Do you think that your AC compressor has stopped working? Are you even sure what an AC compressor is? If you are not, that is okay. In this blog post, we will be discussing what an AC compressor is, common problems with AC compressors, how to fix an AC compressor, and what to do when you can not fix it. We hope this blog post answers any questions you may have. If not, feel free to leave a comment below. We will do our best to help you out and point you in the right direction.  

What is an AC Compressor?

An AC compressor is a vital piece of equipment in your air conditioner that circulates refrigerant through it. Refrigerant is a set of chemicals that are vital to the cooling process. If the AC compressor is the heart of your air conditioner (AC), then the refrigerant is the blood. During the cooling cycle, refrigerant transitions from a gas to a liquid and back several times. There are several different types of refrigerants depending on the types of air conditioners. The most common different types of refrigerants are Chlorofluorocarbons, known as CFCs which are now strictly regulated due to their negative impact on the environment, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons that replace CFS, and Hydrofluorocarbons that do not contain chlorine, unlike the others. Some refrigerants produce greenhouse gases which can be harmful to the environment, however, more air conditioner manufacturers are opting for safer options that are not only better for the environment, but provide better air quality too. 

While the refrigerant is an incredibly important part of an HVAC system, without the AC compressor it simply would not work. The AC compressor is the reason why the refrigerant can change states as it compresses the refrigerant. Just like refrigerants, there are several different types of AC compressors: reciprocating, scroll, screw, rotary, and centrifugal. According to Carrier Enterprise, the most common type of AC compressor is the reciprocating AC compressor. To put it simply, reciprocating AC compressors use pistons and cylinders to transport refrigerant. An AC compressor can be a complex part of your air conditioner, but that is because it is such an important part of your HVAC system. Without your AC compressor, your air conditioner would not be able to work. 

Air Conditioners

Common Problems with AC Compressors

AC compressors rarely break when properly maintained, but it still happens. When that happens, there are a few things that may be causing your AC compressor trouble:  

  • Too Much or Too Little Refrigerant

When there is too much or too little refrigerant in your air conditioner, your AC compressor is bound to run into issues. As mentioned in the “What is an AC Compressor” section, refrigerant is crucial to the cooling process. When there is too much refrigerant in an AC compressor, you will likely notice an increase in your utility bills, strange sounds coming from your AC, and your AC randomly shutting off. The reason why your air conditioner randomly shuts off is due to the excess refrigerant flooding the system. When excess refrigerant floods the system, your AC compressor runs into the issue of overheating, and in an effort to save itself, it shuts off. Excess refrigerant can only exist in the case where someone floods the system with refrigerant due to lack of experience with HVAC systems, or an HVAC technician is negligent. 

HVAC technician measuring refrigerant

On the other hand, an AC compressor with too little refrigerant is a more complex issue. Usually, when there is not enough refrigerant in an AC compressor, it is because the AC is leaking. The best thing you can do when an air conditioner is leaking is to turn it off if possible and call an HVAC technician. If you can, try to locate the leak and see if there is anything you can do about it. The information will be invaluable to the HVAC technician and may save you some money in the long run as you will stop losing refrigerant because of it. 

  • Issues with the Coils

When there is a buildup of debris in the coils, an AC compressor runs the risk of overheating. The AC compressor has to work harder to expel the same amount of air due to the blockage in the coils and will constantly run longer. Some ways to fix issues with coils are to clean the debris around the outside unit of your AC and clean the coils themselves. Once you have cleaned the coils, turn on your AC and see if it has helped. If it has, the problem was a buildup of debris in the coils. If it has not, then you can rule out dirty coils causing issues with your compressor. This can help you narrow down the issue and get you one step closer to getting your compressor back in working order. 

  • Electrical Issues

Electrical issues can cause problems with AC compressors. When there are electrical issues with AC compressors, usually it can be traced back to damaged electrical wires. Electrical wires in your air conditioner system are damaged when a buildup of acids takes place. An easy way to tell if an AC compressor is damaged due to electrical problems is if it randomly shuts off or not. The easiest way to prevent damage due to electrical problems and the majority of the problems with AC compressors is yearly maintenance. 

  • Clogged Filters

A clogged air conditioner filter can cause several problems including an AC compressor not working properly. When an air conditioner filter is clogged, airflow is restricted from the air conditioner. The efficiency of an air conditioner as a whole goes down and drives up utility bills when airflow is restricted from an air conditioner. A filter can easily be changed by a homeowner. Depending on the size of the filter and other external factors such as if you own pets or live in a dusty environment, you may have to change your filter more frequently. When in doubt, change your air conditioner’s filter to see if it helps your AC compressor problems.  

Changing AC filter

How to Fix an AC Compressor

There are several ways to fix an AC compressor. Some of these ways are simpler than others, but even the smallest amount of maintenance can help fix an issue. Before getting to work, you should always turn off your AC. Once you have turned it off, you can start troubleshooting. Below are a few easy ways to try and fix your AC compressor:

  • Flip the Breaker

Your AC compressor may have turned off due to your breaker. If you have noticed that your AC has turned off or that any lights in your house are not functioning, flip your breaker. Family Handyman offers a useful guide on how to flip a breaker. Before flipping your breaker, turn off the lights and unplug any electrical devices for safety reasons. If you find that flipping your breaker fixes your air conditioner, it may be worth considering if you have electrical issues or not. If you think you do, schedule an appointment with an electrician. 

  • Change the AC Filter

A quick way to troubleshoot your AC compressor is to change the filter as mentioned in the above “Clogged Filters” section. Changing your AC filter is a fairly simple process. If you have not changed your filter in six months or more it is worth doing so before contacting an HVAC technician. In our “How to Take Care of Your Air Conditioner” blog post, we go over how to change your AC filter and how the size of it plays a role in how often you have to change it. 

  • Clean Condenser Coils

The condenser coils in your HVAC system are located behind your AC fins. Your AC fins are pieces of metal that help push heat from the air conditioner. There are several ways to clean condenser coils. One way to clean condenser coils is to use a dedicated condenser brush. With the dedicated brush, gently clean between the fins and remove debris from the coils. Another way to clean condenser coils is to use a condenser coil cleaner. Condenser coil cleaner will usually be a spray that produces foam and can be gently washed away with a ho se. Most condenser coil cleaners are available at large retail stores. A third way to clean the condenser coils is to use detergent and warm water. When using detergent and warm water to clean your condenser coils, make sure that the detergent is first safe to use on them. Some detergents may not be suitable for the job. You can clean your condenser coils in a variety of ways, but always be careful and follow the directions listed on the equipment you are using. 

  • Call a Reliable HVAC Company

When all else fails, the best way to fix an AC compressor is to call an HVAC company. Choosing a reliable HVAC company to take a look into your HVAC problems can help significantly. In previous blog posts, we have mentioned how important it is to do your research when choosing an HVAC company. Look at reviews to get an idea of the HVAC company’s response time, accessibility, and quality of work. If the majority of the reviews hint that the HVAC company fails in these categories or others, go with a different HVAC company. Going with a reliable HVAC company can help fix your AC compressor and prevent problems down the road. 

HVAC technician repairing outside air conditioner unit

What to Do When You Can’t Fix an AC Compressor

Sometimes it is simply not possible to fix an AC compressor. AC compressors can reach the end of their lifespan or become damaged beyond repair. Usually, it’s more cost-effective to replace an entire air conditioner than just an AC compressor due to their high price tag. According to Home Advisor, the average AC compressor costs $1,200 to replace. Not only is it expensive to replace an AC compressor, but usually the AC compressor is not the only thing damaged in the air conditioner. When an AC compressor breaks, other parts tend to break along with it. This can be due to the AC compressor not working properly or simply the age of the air conditioner itself. Sometimes the best thing you can do is replace your air conditioner and start fresh. 

Conclusion

While an AC compressor can be difficult to understand, it is a vital part of your HVAC system. Without your AC compressor, your HVAC system would not be able to function. In this blog post, we covered what an AC compressor is and why it exists in your HVAC system, common problems with AC compressors and why they happen, different ways to fix an AC compressor, and what to do going forward if you can not fix your AC compressor. Still, confused and want to ask us a question? Leave a comment below. We hope this blog post helped you out. Do you live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas and need your AC compressor looked at? Give us a call at 636-475-9384. We would be happy to take a look at it, and we offer free estimates. 

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The Different Types of Furnaces

Introduction

There are five different kinds of furnaces: electric furnaces, natural gas furnaces, oil furnaces, propane furnaces, and geothermal furnaces. Electric and natural gas furnaces are the most common, however, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best. In this blog post, we will cover the five different types of furnaces and what they do, what makes them different, and their costs. We will also be discussing which one might be the best for you and your HVAC needs. 

Electric Furnaces

As the name suggests, electric furnaces are powered using electricity. Electric furnaces tend to be cheaper and safer than other furnaces and that is what makes them so popular. Electric furnaces, Like natural gas furnaces, are also available nearly everywhere. While they may be cheaper to install than natural gas furnaces, electric furnaces cost more in the long run. As stated by Modernize Home Services, it costs 63% more to heat a home using an electric furnace than to use a natural gas furnace. Nevertheless, electric furnaces have one huge pro: they have long lifespans. They can last up to thirty years while other furnaces usually last fifteen to twenty years. Electric furnaces also do not require a venting system for fuel unlike natural gas furnaces, oil furnaces, and propane furnaces.  

Electric

According to Home Advisor, the average electric furnace installation costs $4,059. The unit itself costs between $500 to $1,500, but the additional costs for installation come from labor, drywall repair, permits, and more. Electric furnace installation usually costs less to install than other furnaces. They also do end up costing more though as mentioned above. Electric furnaces have a cheap installation, but how much it costs to run them quickly overrides it.

Natural Gas Furnaces

Natural gas furnaces are the most popular furnaces. One reason why is because they are more affordable to run than electric furnaces. Another reason why is that as mentioned in the “Electric Furnace” section, it costs significantly less to run a natural gas furnace than an electric furnace. Gas furnaces cost more to install than electric furnaces, however. They also require a venting system so that they can transfer fuel. The venting system is an additional cost. Gas furnaces end up being cheaper than electric furnaces because they cost less to run. Gas is cheaper than electricity so you will find yourself paying less for fuel over the years than if you decided to go with an electric furnace. 

The price of gas furnaces and installations varies greatly. Some sources say that natural gas furnaces cost between $2,000 to $5,000. Other sources say it costs between $3,000 to $10,000. All in all, the cost depends on the HVAC company, the furnace brand, the efficiency of the furnace, and the venting system. Some venting systems require drainage and multiple heat exchanges. This is usually the case with high-efficiency furnaces. When shopping for a natural gas furnace it’s important to take into account how many factors influence how much you will be paying for it. Ask the HVAC company you choose what each part costs to make sure that you are getting the most out of your money. If an HVAC company refuses to answer, seek out a different HVAC company to install your natural gas furnace. 

Natural gas furnace

Oil Furnaces

Due to the regional availability of oil, oil furnaces are not accessible to some customers. Oil has to be stored in a tank and refilled regularly. The tank has to be checked frequently. Depending on the size of the oil tank will depend on how often it will have to be refilled. Expect to refill an oil tank at least twice during the winter. One major reason why customers choose not to go with oil furnaces is because they are less efficient than natural gas and electric furnaces. Not only are oil furnaces less efficient, but the oil in them can give off a distinct smell. The oil can also be dangerous because it is highly flammable. 

Oil Tank

Like natural gas furnaces, the price of oil furnaces varies significantly. Modernize has calculated that the average oil furnace costs $4,848. The cost includes the installation, the HVAC unit, and the energy efficiency rating of the unit. One of the biggest reasons why the price of oil furnaces varies is because of different brands. Some brands offer longer warranties, higher energy efficiency ratings, and lower costs associated with installation. Depending on your HVAC needs, these factors may or may not be worth the cost.

Propane Furnaces

Like oil furnaces, propane furnaces are largely only available to customers in certain regions. Most propane furnaces are used in rural areas. They are similar to natural gas furnaces, but they have a different opening and a different spring. Propane furnaces have a smaller opening. Their springs are a different spring tension than the ones in natural gas furnaces too. Like natural gas furnaces, propane furnaces require a venting system so they can transfer the fuel from the tank to the furnace itself. Propane furnaces, also like oil furnaces, require a tank. Depending on if you own the propane tank or not depends on how often you will have to refill it. If you don’t own it, then the company that does should refill it a couple of times a year. If you own it then you should take into account the size of it and check it frequently. 

Propane Tank

As propane furnaces are not as popular as other ones, there is less information about the average price of them. Propane furnaces’ price and installation also vary because of their demand. Just like in the “Oil Furnace” section the prices of units aren’t set in stone due to several factors. These factors are the same as oil furnaces in that energy efficiency ratings, longer warranties, and costs play a role in why the prices vary. The price of the propane tank is a factor too. If you are buying or renting your propane tank can influence how much you have to pay for fuel. Propane furnaces may be right for you if it is available in your area, but has several downsides.

Geothermal Furnaces

Geothermal furnaces heat homes by bringing heat up from the ground and transferring it. Unlike other furnaces, they don’t work through combustion as they simply take the head already available from the ground. Geothermal furnaces work through a series of hoops that can be different shapes and sizes. The hoops are usually vertical, horizontal, or open. The hoops are buried underground or under a water source. Geothermal furnaces help homeowners to save money as they do not require fuel. As mentioned before, they take what is already available to them. Geothermal furnaces are available everywhere as they can work in any climate. Geothermal furnaces also have the longest lifespan out of any furnaces currently on the market. A geothermal furnace that is taken care of can last more than fifty years, however, certain parts of the unit will have to be replaced during that time. 

Most geothermal furnaces aren’t like traditional furnaces; they are usually only one small part of a geothermal HVAC system. A geothermal system is capable of heating and cooling a home. It’s important to take that into account when looking at the price. EarthRiverGeothermal estimates that the cost for a geothermal system and the installation of it is $12,000 to $30,000. The factors that influence the cost of geothermal systems are the efficiency of the units, the type of loops used, and the brand of the units. Geothermal systems cost more than other systems due to their longevity and their fuel efficiency. 

Geothermal HVAC System

Which One is Best?

There is no best type of furnace for everyone. The best furnace depends on your price range, your needs, and what is available to you. For example, oil and propane furnaces would likely be more popular if they were available everywhere. Oil and propane furnaces both cost less to run than electric furnaces. Electric furnaces are the cheapest to install, but quickly surpass their low cost because of how much it costs to run them. In the end, each type of furnace has its pros and cons.

Conclusion

The five different types of furnaces may differ, but all share the same purpose in heating a home or building. While electric and gas furnaces are the most common they aren’t the only options. In this blog post, we talked about the five different types of furnaces and what they did, what made them unique, and what factors play into how much they cost. Do you live in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas and need to install a furnace or service your current one? We can help! Our phone number is 636-475-9384. We offer free estimates and same day service when viable. 

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The Basics of Portable Air Conditioners

Introduction

Have you ever wondered if a portable air conditioner is right for you? Do you think it would fit your HVAC needs but don’t feel like you know enough about it? We can help. In this blog post, we will cover the basics of portable air conditioners including what a portable air conditioner is, how to install a portable air conditioner, and the pros and cons of having a portable air conditioner. We hope to answer all your questions and help you decide if a portable air conditioner is right for you. 

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

portable air conditioner with hose

A portable air conditioner is a small, mobile cooling unit. It was designed with the idea of being able to cool a room without having to be permanently installed, unlike traditional air conditioners. Portable air conditioners work by taking in hot air and then cooling it. They have to be vented and because of that, they have an exhaust hose that can vary from 4 to 7 feet. In order to use a portable air conditioner as intended, you must have a window in the room you intend to cool. The reason why you have to have a window in the room is because the exhaust hose extends to the window and releases hot air. The AC has to have a place to expel air to work properly. A portable AC has similarities to a traditional air conditioner but differs greatly from one.

How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner

It is a fairly easy process to install a portable air conditioner. In five simple steps, you can have one up and running. Below are the steps to install most standard portable air conditioners: 

  1. Place Your Air Conditioner 

When placing your air conditioner in a room, put it by a window and an electrical outlet. If you can, keep it away from furniture or anything flammable. Make sure that nothing is put in front of your air conditioner as it might block the airflow. 

  1. Take Out the Window Kit 

The window kit will look like a long piece of plastic. Window kits are extendable and fit most windows. A good rule of thumb is to measure your window first and make sure that that window kit will fit. Your portable air conditioner should have the measurements of the window kit. If your window kit will fit, open your window and put the kit inside of it.  

  1. Check for the Window Exhaust Connector  

After taking out the window kit, check the back of your air conditioner to make sure the window exhaust connector is there. The connector will generally look like a curved small piece of plastic that has an opening for the exhaust hose. If your portable air conditioner doesn’t have a connector installed, make sure to find it and put it on. It should connect easily to the back of your AC.  

  1. Connect the Hose  

The next thing you need to do is connect the hose. Connect the hose into the window exhaust connector and the window kit. Try to not stretch the hose. Keep it as short and straight as possible. The reason why you want to do this is because the hose can get damaged if it isn’t connected correctly. 

  1. Plug-in Your Air Conditioner

When you are done connecting the hose and making sure all the parts are secure, plug your air conditioner into an electrical outlet. Your air conditioner should have an on button. Push it and see if your air conditioner powers on. If it doesn’t, you may have to push a button that says “reset” in order to use your air conditioner. Check your manual for exactly what the manufacturer intended.

You can find out more information about installing your portable air conditioner here. Cool and Portable provides a wonderful guide that helps to go more into depth about installing portable air conditioners. 

small portable air conditioner

What are the Pros?

There are several pros to owning a portable air conditioner:

  • They Are Less Expensive

Portable ACs are less expensive than traditional ones. The price of them varies but they usually cost between 50 to 500 dollars. The reason why the price of them greatly varies is because more expensive portable air conditioners can cool larger rooms. For example, a $100 portable air conditioner may only be able to cool a 200 square feet room while a $250 one might be able to cool a 400 square feet room. A more expensive portable AC might also have a longer warranty or be more durable. 

Green checkmark
  • They Are Transportable

Portable air conditioners are known for their transportability and do not fail in that regard. They do not have to be permanently installed unlike regular air conditioners. They can also be easily dismantled which helps when transporting them. While they are transportable, they are not lightweight. The average portable air conditioner weighs between 50 to 75 pounds. We recommend that you do not try to lift a portable air conditioner alone. When transporting a portable air conditioner, do not put it upside down or lay it on its side. Positioning a portable air conditioner incorrectly while transferring it can result in permanent damage. Be careful and follow the directions stated by the manufacturer when transporting it. 

  • They Are Easily Installed

Installing a portable AC can be done in five steps or less as shown in the How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner section. Being able to install your air conditioner saves you time and money. It also helps to reduce the amount of potential error in installing your AC.

What are the Cons?

While portable air conditioners have a lot of pros, they have a fair amount of cons too. The cons of owning one might outweigh the pros depending on your situation. The best thing you can do is decide if the cons are something that you can live with. 

  • Most HVAC Technicians Won’t Work on Them

Most HVAC technicians will not work on portable air conditioners. Some reasons why HVAC technicians refuse to work on portable air conditioners is because portable air conditioners are not designed to be worked on like regular air conditioners. Portable ACs are also not considered to be cost-efficient because it’s cheaper to replace them than to work on them. For example, even if a portable air conditioner is only worked on for an hour, you potentially have to pay for a part and you have to pay the HVAC technician for working on it. Given the price of a portable air conditioner and the likelihood of it breaking again, it’s not worth it for the customer or the HVAC technician. 

  • They Have Shorter Lifespans
Red X

The average portable air conditioner will not last as long as one that is permanently installed. Most portable air conditioners will last ten years at most if they are properly taken care of. There are some cases where portable air conditioners have lasted fifteen years, but those are rare. Portable air conditioners are less durable than the average air conditioner. This is because in prioritizing portability, they sacrifice durability. They are also less efficient. When an air conditioner is less efficient, its lifespan is decreased. Portable air conditioners are best as a temporary cooling system and not a year-round one. 

  • They Need Constant Maintenance

Portable air conditioners need more maintenance than the average AC. You will always have to check the hose and make sure that it’s properly working. If your portable air conditioner doesn’t have a hose then you will have to drain it daily. If you do not maintain your portable air conditioner every day then you run a risk of it growing mold or deteriorating in general. 

Portable air conditioner without hose

Conclusion

We hope that this blog post helped you to decide if a portable air conditioner is right for you. Portable air conditioners can be a great addition to your home as long as you are aware of their cons. At the end of the day, you should factor in your situation and budget for a cooling system before you decide to buy a portable air conditioner or not. Knowing the basics of them can be extremely helpful.

Do you have a traditional air conditioner and need it repaired? If you live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas, we would be happy to work on it. Our phone number is 636-475-9384. 

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How to Increase the Lifespan of Your HVAC System

Introduction

Are you wondering if you can increase the lifespan of your HVAC system and save money down the road? You can! The average lifespan of an HVAC system is not set in stone and relies on a variety of factors. For example, if you maintain your HVAC system you will find that it will last longer. Whether you are looking to buy an HVAC system or have already bought one, there are steps you can take to increase its lifespan. Increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system will undoubtedly save you time and money. 

The Average Lifespan of an HVAC System

The average HVAC lifespan depends on several factors such as maintenance, type, and efficiency. For example, if an HVAC system is properly maintained then its lifespan increases significantly. Maintenance can help homeowners to avoid costly repairs down the road or having to replace their HVAC systems entirely. The type of an HVAC system determines the average lifespan too. An example of this would be an HVAC system that is sturdier and more reliable is likely to last longer than one that isn’t. If you buy an HVAC system from HVAC manufacturers such as York, Lennox, Trane, and Goodman then you are more likely to have an HVAC system that lasts longer. 

Outside HVAC Unit

As a rule of thumb, the more efficient an HVAC system is in the beginning, the longer it will last. To put that in perspective, the difference between a 95% efficient HVAC system and an 80% efficient HVAC system is significant. An 80% efficient HVAC system is already less efficient than a 95% one. The decline of it will be more noticeable in the coming years.

Those factors aside, the average lifespan of an HVAC is fifteen to twenty years. However, specific parts of an HVAC system such as a furnace and air conditioner can vary. A furnace lasts fifteen to twenty years, but an air conditioner’s lifespan tends to be less.

Setting Your HVAC System up for Success

There are some easy ways that you can automatically set your HVAC system up for success. The easiest ways to set it up for success are when you are still shopping or have just installed it. However, increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system is an ongoing process.

  • Get a Good Warranty

It is crucial that you make sure that you have a good warranty when buying an HVAC system. Whether the warranty with your HVAC system lasts two years, five years, or longer, make sure that it covers a variety of situations. For example, if one of your HVAC system’s parts break, make sure that your HVAC manufacturer will pay for the costs of labor required to repair it. Try and get written paperwork that states what the HVAC manufacturer will cover and what they won’t. 

Another good idea is to read through your warranty completely and go through any questions you have about it before committing. Some situations will automatically have your warranty voided. These situations could range from not getting your HVAC system yearly inspected to using the wrong replacement parts when something goes wrong. If you have any questions, call your HVAC manufacturer. You can also talk to a trusted certified HVAC company.

  • Go with a Reliable Company

Not only should you go with a reliable HVAC manufacturer, but you should also go with a reliable HVAC company. Your HVAC manufacturer may be able to point you in the right direction, but it is a good idea to do some research. Some things you should research when deciding what HVAC company you want to install your HVAC system is accessibility, response time, and quality of service. 

HVAC Technician Looking at Thermostat

You should try and choose an HVAC company that is close to you and gives you easy accessibility. The farther away an HVAC company is, the more their response time is likely to be. Of course, there is always the possibility that the HVAC company you choose might only be five minutes away and still not respond for weeks. An easy way to avoid that is to look online at reviews and see if they mention the response time of the HVAC company. The more reviews an HVAC company has, the more accurate they likely are.

The quality of service of an HVAC company plays a huge role in the lifespan of an HVAC system. If an HVAC system is installed incorrectly, its lifespan decreases drastically. You will constantly have to be calling for repairs that cannot be easily fixed. The best thing you do is research an HVAC company before committing to anything. 

  • Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance

Maintenance is key in increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system. You should have your HVAC system regularly checked by an HVAC technician. You should also follow the instructions that go along with it. Some HVAC systems are specialized and require more maintenance. Be sure to check with your HVAC manufacturer what maintenance must be done by a certified HVAC technician and what maintenance you can do yourself. 

HVAC Technician

How to Maintain Your HVAC System

There are several ways you can maintain your HVAC system and increase its lifespan. Basic maintenance will go a long way. No matter the age of your HVAC system, these tips will help. 

  • Change the Filters

A lot of HVAC issues can be traced back to a clogged filter. A common question that HVAC companies ask customers when they first call them is when the last time they changed their filters. How often you need to change your filters depends on a variety of factors. A good rule of thumb though is to change your filters at least every six months. However, if you have pets, notice an excessive buildup of dust, or run into HVAC issues, check on your filters. If you notice a large amount of dust in them change them. 

  • Keep the Area Around Your Units Clean

If you can, keep the areas around your HVAC system clean. Make sure there is no debris or flammable objects around your units. If you have a gas furnace be extra careful. If you put flammable objects around a gas furnace you risk the chance that they may catch on fire. While unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

  • Have Your HVAC System Checked Yearly

The best way to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system is to catch problems early on. You can do this by having your HVAC system checked yearly by professional HVAC technicians. If you hear any strange noises coming from your HVAC system, notice it’s not working as well, or that a strange smell is coming from it, call an HVAC technician right away. They may be able to fix the problem before it gets worse. If they can then fixing it may add years to your HVAC system. 

Conclusion

While it may seem complicated at times, increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system is entirely possible. There are several factors that influence an HVAC system’s lifespan, but you can set your HVAC system up for success. If you maintain your HVAC system it will last longer. We hope this blog post helped and if you have any more questions, leave them below! We would be happy to answer them. Looking for a reliable HVAC company and live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas? Give us a call! Our number is 636-475-9384.

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Is a High Efficiency Furnace Worth It?

Introduction

When you are shopping for a furnace, it is important to decide what you want. For example, you might want a high efficiency furnace but aren’t sure if it is right for you. Luckily, we can help. In this blog post, we will be talking about what a high efficiency furnace is, what the cost of it is, what makes it different from regular furnaces, and if getting it is right for you. We hope this blog post helps and if you have any questions, leave a comment below! 

What Is a High Efficiency Furnace?

A high efficiency furnace is a furnace that is 90% efficient or more. It utilizes less energy and works more efficiently than the average furnace. The higher the efficiency of the furnace is, the less your electrical bill will likely be. A high efficiency furnace requires specialized ventilation and runs more often. Furnaces are most efficient when they are first brand new and high efficiency furnaces are no different. However, during their lifespan they will release less waste than the average furnace. They are also quieter than the average furnace. There is no such thing as a 100% high efficiency furnace, but there are 96% ones. A 96% high efficiency furnace will save you more money than an 80% high efficiency furnace in the long run. The higher the percentage of efficiency the furnace has, the more likely it is a high efficiency furnace. 

High Efficiency Furnace

What is the Cost of a High Efficiency Furnace?

As a rule of thumb, the higher the efficiency of a furnace, the more it will cost. 

  • According to Home Advisor, the average high efficiency furnace can cost between $2,000 to $6,000. Be prepared to spend at least $5,000. The price of a high efficiency furnace depends on the size of it and the brand you decide to go with. This does not include the cost of labor.
Dollar Sign
  • To put the cost of a high efficiency furnace into perspective, the average gas furnace can cost between $2,614 to $6,311. This does not include the cost of labor and is only an estimate.

With a high efficiency furnace, you will end up spending more money at first to purchase it and have it installed. However, it lowers the cost of your utility bills. It will also likely pay for itself over the years and work better than an average furnace. How much money you save with it depends on your heating builds and the efficiency of your previous furnace. For example, if your furnace was 85% efficient and you buy a 90% efficient furnace, then you will only notice a 5% difference. The furnace will still be better but the chances of you noticing will be less. That is true with any furnace though and not just a high efficiency one.   

What Makes a High Efficiency Furnace Different? 

A high efficiency furnace, as mentioned in the “What is a High Efficiency Furnace” section, is more efficient than the average furnace. However, what exactly does that mean? We covered some reasons why it is different, but we didn’t cover those reasons in depth. We thought it might be important to revisit them one more time. 

  • It Runs More Often 

A high efficiency furnace runs more often than the average furnace. The reason why it runs more often is so it can make better use of energy. Even though it runs more often, it is quieter than your average furnace. You are less likely to notice it. 

  • It Uses Less Electricity 

A high efficiency furnace might run more often but it actually uses less electricity than your average furnace. It runs more often so it can work at an even speed and not be forced to speed up or slow down depending on your household’s needs. Instead, it can adapt to changes quickly and not waste energy doing so. 

  • It Focuses More on Efficiency Than Durability 

One downside to a high efficiency furnace is that in focusing more on efficiency, it sacrifices durability. However, if you take care of your furnace you are less likely to notice this. Change your filter as recommended and get yearly checkups on your HVAC system and your furnace should last 15 years or more. You can read more about how to take care of your furnace here.

  • It Is Environmentally Friendly

High efficiency furnaces are more environmentally friendly because they use less energy. It also lowers your carbon footprint. It releases less carbon dioxide into the air.

These are the main points that cover what makes a high efficiency furnace different from an average one. They are becoming more popular as time goes on due to the advantages owning one has. A high efficiency furnace is pricey, but it has more to offer than the average furnace.

Environmentally Friendly

Should You Get a High Efficiency Furnace? 

The million-dollar question: Should you get a high efficiency furnace? It depends on your situation. If you live in a climate where you don’t use your furnace often, then it is probably not the right choice for you. A high efficiency furnace will only save you money on your utility bills if you use your furnace frequently. If you don’t use your furnace often then the extra cost of it may not be worth it. However, if you live in a colder climate you might find that a high efficiency furnace is worth it. If you buy one you will notice a decrease in your utility bills. It may not be a large amount at first, but it will slowly but surely add up. At the end of the day, you should consider how much you use your furnace and if a high efficiency furnace is right for you given that fact. A high efficiency furnace has more pros than cons, but its price tag is not something to scoff at. 

Conclusion

We hope this helped to answer your questions about high efficiency furnaces. If you are interested in installing a high efficiency furnace and live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas, give us a call! We would be happy to help you with the process of choosing a high efficiency furnace and installing it. Our phone number is 636-475-9384. We won’t let you down. 

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Do You Need a New HVAC System?

Introduction

Even the best HVAC systems are bound to break. A furnace may sputter out because of old age, an air conditioner may no longer produce cold air, and air ducts may become clogged. Without proper care, the lifespan of an HVAC system is greatly reduced. Certain parts of an HVAC system have different lifespans than others. For example, a furnace’s average lifespan is between 15-20 years while an air conditioner’s lifespan can vary from 10-15 years to 15-20 years. While it is unlikely you will have to replace your HVAC system all at once, there are some signs to look out for. In this blog post, we will talk about how to determine if your HVAC system is properly working, what to do if your HVAC system is not working and if you should replace part of your HVAC system. If you like this blog post or have a question, leave a comment below. We would be happy to answer.

Is Your HVAC System Working?

Is your HVAC system working and if it is, is it working to its best ability? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your HVAC system is working and other times, not at all. For example, one day your furnace could stop producing heat and that’s how you know something is wrong with it. Other times it may be more of a gradual process such as you might notice that more dust is collecting in your home. 

The first thing you should do is change your filters in your air conditioner and furnace. If you haven’t changed them in six months it is usually a good rule of thumb to do. However, it depends on your filter. We recommend you look at the instructions manual that came with your filters.

HVAC Filter

A lot of HVAC issues can be traced back to a clogged filter in furnaces and air conditioners. For example, a dirt filter could be the reason an air conditioner might not be producing cold air. The same goes for a furnace not producing hot air. When in doubt, always replace your furnace or air conditioner’s filter. 

There are some other signs that your HVAC system is not working. Some signs are the temperature of your house does not seem to match the temperature your thermostat says, different rooms in your house vary drastically temperature-wise, your furnace and air conditioner won’t turn on, and abnormal sounds are coming from your HVAC system. If any of these signs sound like something your HVAC system is experiencing it’s worth investigating. 

What to Do if Your HVAC System is Not Working

If you have concluded that your HVAC system is not working there are some things you can do. The first thing you should do, after replacing the filters if needed, is try to figure out where the problem is coming from. Is it your air conditioner or furnace that has Is it something else entirely? After you figure out where the issue is coming from then you can start to properly troubleshoot. The next question you should consider is when the last time was that you had an HVAC technician inspect your HVAC system. If it has been over a year, you should go ahead and call an HVAC technician as your HVAC system needs to be looked over anyway. To prevent larger issues from coming about, your HVAC system should be maintained yearly by an HVAC technician. Proper maintenance of your HVAC system can help avoid costly bills in the future. 

Technician Tuning a Furnace

If you have had your HVAC system looked at in the last year and have narrowed down the problem, then you can proceed. As mentioned before, check to see if your furnace or air conditioner is clogged. A clogged furnace and air conditioner can stop working properly as the airflow is restricted. Consider the age of your HVAC system if your furnace and air conditioner are not clogged. If serviced properly, a good furnace and air conditioner should last at least fifteen years.

If your furnace and air conditioner are not fifteen years old, then the next thing you can do is narrow down the problem even further. Try and find the specific part that is acting up in your furnace or air conditioner. After that, you can try to fix it or if need be, replace it. Replacing a single part in your HVAC system is tremendously cheaper than replacing your whole HVAC system. However, sometimes your whole HVAC system does have to be replaced.

HVAC Technician Working on a HVAC System

Should You Replace Part of Your HVAC System?

If you tried everything above already to no avail then it might be time to replace part of your HVAC system. We don’t mean just a single part in your air conditioner or furnace units as suggested, but your air conditioner or furnace as a whole. Usually, your air conditioner or furnace will go out separately, but if they are around the same age then they might go out at the same time. If you believe that is the case, call an HVAC technician and have them come out before you rush to buy a new HVAC system. Replacing an HVAC system is a huge commitment both time and money-wise. It is best if you go into it knowing that your HVAC system is beyond repair and must be replaced. 

Air Conditioner Units Outside

After your HVAC system has been deemed beyond repair, research different HVAC systems that work best for you. You can also call a reputable HVAC company and ask them for their opinion. The higher your budget the more choices you will have. If you have had issues with your HVAC system’s lifespan before, it might be worth looking into newer HVAC systems. For example, you might want to look into an HVAC system that promise a longer life. Buying a new HVAC system is a huge ordeal, but you can reduce your stress. If you research HVAC companies and systems before buying one then you will save yourself stress and money.

Conclusion

We hope this answered your questions. If it didn’t, feel free to leave a comment below. We will try to answer to our best ability. If you live in the Jefferson County area or surrounding counties and need to replace or repair your HVAC system, call us below! Our number is 636-475-9384. We would be happy to assist you with your HVAC needs. 

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What Makes Up an HVAC System

Introduction

The abbreviation “HVAC” stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It serves as a simple explanation for what an HVAC system does and what the parts are responsible for. In this blog post, we will be talking about what the main parts of an HVAC system are, what the secondary parts of an HVAC system are, and how they all go together. If you like this blog post, feel free to leave a comment below. Partney Heating and Cooling is always happy to answer any HVAC questions. 

Air Duct

What are the Main Parts of an HVAC System?

The main parts of an HVAC system consist of a furnace, an air conditioner, and air ducts. Of course, other parts are just as crucial such as thermostats, condenser units, blow motors, evaporator coils, and more. We will talk about those more in the next section. 

A furnace is used to heat a building. Air is heated up in the furnace and then distributed throughout the building using the air ducts. The air ducts connect to both the furnace and air conditioner. They are the main transportation used for air. 

Air Conditioner Outside

An air conditioner is the opposite of a furnace and yet its complement. An air conditioner cools a building and then, like a furnace, has its air delivered throughout the building by the air ducts. Both a furnace and air conditioner can be automatically or manually turned on. If a building’s temperature goes above or below than desired then an air conditioner or furnace will turn on. Air conditioners and furnaces are similar in the fact that they are both used to balance out the temperature of the air in a building. That’s their main purpose. 

The main parts of an HVAC system may not seem complex, but they are the foundation of an HVAC system. Without them, an HVAC system can not exist.

Furnace

What are the Secondary Parts of an HVAC System?

The secondary parts of an HVAC system, as mentioned above, are thermostats, condenser units, blow motors, and evaporator coils. Some of them are more simple than others. The easiest one to explain is thermostats. Thermostats are used to manually change the temperature of a building and set the bar for the desired temperature. They can also be used to automatically control the temperature. As long as a temperature has been set on a thermostat, the thermostat will do its best to make sure the entire building stays at it.  

HVAC System Repair

Condenser units, located outside, get rid of excess heat inside of a building. Condenser units cool down heated air by condensing it into a liquid. Condenser units then expel the heated air and circulate the cooled liquid as refrigerant. Blow motors help to force air from the furnace and air conditioner throughout the vents. Depending on the blow motor, the speed at which it blows out air can be adjusted. Evaporator coils absorb the heat from the refrigerant and reuse it. The secondary parts of an HVAC system may not be what first comes to a person’s mind when they hear about HVAC systems, but they are crucial. They help to make up the necessary components of an HVAC system.

Conclusion

An HVAC system is a complex system of parts, pieces, and components that all have their own roles to play. They all serve the purpose to heat and cool a building. We hope this blog post helped to answer the question: “What makes up an HVAC System?” for you. If it didn’t, please leave a comment below with any remaining questions you might have. We would be happy to answer them. If you are having trouble with your HVAC system and live in Jefferson County, give us a call! Our phone number is 636-475-9384.

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How to Fix a Furnace Ignitor

Introduction

Is your furnace ignitor not working? Do you even know what a furnace ignitor is? Luckily, we can help you. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how you can troubleshoot your furnace ignitor and what to do when you can not fix it. We will also be discussing what a furnace ignitor is, how it works, and what to do when your furnace ignitor isn’t the problem. We hope you find this informative and that it helps you navigate the murky waters of dealing with a broken furnace ignitor. If you have any additional questions, leave a comment below and we will try our best to answer them.  

Furnace Ignitor

How Does It Work?

A furnace ignitor, to put it simply, is used to heat the gas in a furnace and cause combustion. This allows a furnace to produce enough heat to properly warm a home. The average temperature a furnace ignitor operates around is 1,200 Fahrenheit or around 649 Celsius. If a furnace ignitor isn’t hot enough, then it won’t be able to start the chain reaction which is required to generate heat inside of a furnace. If your furnace ignitor isn’t working then you won’t be able to heat your home. 

Ways to Fix Your Furnace Ignitor

  • Make Sure It is Actually Your Furnace Ignitor Causing Problems

While you may believe your furnace ignitor is causing issues it’s important to check other things in your furnace first. For example, when was the last time you replaced your air filter? If it has been a while, replace it and see if that is the issue instead of your furnace ignitor. As mentioned in our article “How to Take Care of Your Furnace,” you need to replace your filter regularly. The thicker the filter is, the longer it is going to last. You should also check your thermostat and make sure it is working properly. 

Of course, there is an easy way to tell your furnace ignitor has gone out. If you open your furnace panel and see that your furnace ignitor is cracked, chipped, shattered, etc. it has gone bad. You can also test your furnace ignitor with a multimeter. A multimeter measures the voltage, current, and resistance. After measuring your furnace ignitor, if it stays on zero then it has gone bad. Remove your furnace ignitor before testing it and turn your furnace off. 

Filter
  • Check Your Breaker

Your furnace ignitor may not be working because of a tripped breaker. Your breaker might have been overloaded and caused your furnace to switch off. You should check to make sure that your breaker wasn’t tripped. There might be a red light next to the breaker if it was tripped. Flip the breaker completely off and then flip it on again. You can try this a few times and see if it helps. If it doesn’t, you can narrow the issue down even further and rule your breaker out. 

  • Reset your Furnace Ignitor

To reset your furnace ignitor, the first thing you should do is to make sure your furnace is on. After checking to make sure your furnace is on, turn it off along with its gas supply. You should wait at least ten minutes to make sure that it is no longer running. Once you have made sure that your furnace is no longer running and waited the appropriate amount of time, turn your furnace back on. You can do this by finding the ignition button on your furnace and pressing it. Wait a bit for your furnace to power back on and see if resetting your furnace ignitor solves your issue. 

What to Do When You Can’t Fix It

  • Replace It

The average lifespan of a furnace ignitor is four to seven years. If your furnace ignitor has reached its lifespan, replace it. If it hasn’t however, the average furnace ignitor costs around $30 to $50 if you replace it yourself. If you have an HVAC technician replace it, you’ll have to count labor in the cost. You can replace your furnace ignitor yourself easily, but first, make sure your furnace is turned off. We can not stress this enough. Always, always turn off your furnace before attempting to work on it. Another thing to keep in mind is that your furnace ignitor is fragile. Handle it carefully when replacing your old one. Replacing your furnace ignitor can sometimes be the only thing you can do. Thankfully, it’s not as expensive as replacing your whole furnace. 

  • Call an HVAC Technician

If replacing your furnace ignitor doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, we recommend you call an HVAC technician. An HVAC technician will not only replace your furnace ignitor but make sure that it’s the issue in the first place. As mentioned in the “Ways to Fix Your Furnace Ignitor” section, while a furnace ignitor might seem like the issue, it isn’t always. 

HVAC Technician

Conclusion

 We hope this blog post helped you. Fixing a furnace ignitor can be a simple task, but getting there can be complicated. It’s important to make sure that your furnace ignitor is the part that is causing issues in your furnace. If your furnace is still not working properly after troubleshooting it, contact us if you live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas! We would love to be able to help and we will give you a free quote. Our phone number is 636-475-9384. 

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636-475-9384

COMPANY INFORMATION

Phone: 636-475-9384

ADDRESS:

1359 McNutt St
Herculaneum, MO 63048, USA.

Servicing St. Louis,  Festus, Crystal City, Herculaneum, Pevely, Imperial, Barnhart, Arnold, Desoto, Hillsboro, Jefferson County, St.Geneveive, Bloomsdale, South County & surrounding areas.

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