Air Conditioning FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions concerning heating & cooling.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

If you are wondering whether you should repair or replace your air conditioning system, the most important thing to consider before deciding is the age of your current unit.

If you’re considering having it repaired, take a moment and compare what it will cost to have it repaired versus the cost of installing a new AC system. If your AC is broken, a licensed technician from Air Conditioning Edmonton can diagnose your system to identify the problem and provide working solutions.

Looking to Lower Your Energy Bills?

In recent times, advances in air conditioning technology have significantly improved the efficiency of AC systems. With that being said, it is worth noting that there are several factors that will influence your decision of whether to repair or replace your AC unit. For instance, since it can be expensive to repair a refrigerant or AC compressor leak, it is vital that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each available option.

My AC Is Not Turning On! What Do I Do?

Many factors affect the performance of an AC system. However, there are some basic maintenance tips that, if followed, could help you avoid a tirade of issues that affect AC systems. Nonetheless, some issues tend to be more serious and need to be handled by a professional and licensed HVAC systems specialist.

If your AC won’t turn on, here is a list of things to check:
1. Look to see if the system’s fuses are blown or if its circuit breakers have tripped
2. Ensure your thermostat is set to cool and is at the right temperature
3. Check the air filter – if it is dirty, clean or replace it as needed
4. Ensure the system’s registers and vents aren’t blocked or closed as this may hamper airflow
5. Check for obstructions around the outer condenser as they may be blocking airflow. Remove any objects, weeds, grass, branches, or vines that might be covering up or leaning against the outside of the unit.

If you still don’t have cool air, consider calling a licensed HVAC technician and schedule a tune-up to have your unit inspected and cleaned. It is advisable that you have your AC regularly maintained to increase the system’s life and improve its efficiency.

Experiencing Uneven AC Cooling Issues? Here Is How to Solve Them

Is air temperature in your home different from floor to floor or room to room? While uneven cooling or heating in multi-story homes is quite common, there are several things that you can do to rectify this. In most cases, the problem is caused by dirty or clogged ductwork and filters. Here are some tips from our technicians on how to solve uneven cooling issues in your home.

Blocked registers and vents

Things like carpets and furniture blocking registers and vents can limit or stop airflow. Therefore, ensure that nothing is placed in front of your AC, so it becomes easier for cooled air to circulate around the house.

Pro Tip: AC vents should never be sealed on the first floor of a house as this could lead to a pressure build-up on the inside of the HVAC system, leading to problems like higher energy consumption and equipment failure.

Dirty Air Filters

When your AC’s air filter is dirty, airflow into and through rooms in your house becomes restricted. Ensure that you change or clean your filter as often as the unit’s manufacturer recommends.

Return Air Vents

Registers and vents need to be kept clutter-free and clean, so they don’t hamper airflow. Every couple of months, make time and clean them using a vacuum cleaner. Doing so will also help reduce dust and pollutants in the air that you breathe.

Check for Problems in the Ductwork

Blockages in your AC system’s ductwork could be the reason why you are experiencing uneven cooling in your home due to restricted airflow. Air leaks inside the system could also be the problem. If the ducts have holes in them, this could create leaks that end up providing some rooms with excess air while others get insufficient cooled air.

Attic Insulation

Your home’s insulation serves two main purposes all year round. During winter, it ensures the house stays warm and during summer it ensures you stay cool. If the insulation in your home is of inadequate quality or quantity, it can cause noticeable differences in the temperatures of your home’s upper and lower floors.

Pro Tip: If you’re experiencing uneven temperatures in your home, consider leaving your thermostat fan switch at ‘on’ instead of ‘auto.’ By leaving it at on, the system fan continues to circulate air through the house even after the system’s cooling cycle goes off, leveling the temperatures on all the floors of your home.

How Many Types of Air Conditioners are Available?

Packaged Air Conditioners

With packaged central air conditioning systems, the condenser, evaporator, and compressor are all packaged together in one cabinet. These types of conditioners are a great option if you have limited indoor space.

Packaged air conditioners use duct systems to distribute cool air around the house. In most cases, packaged ACs are installed on the roof and are the most used option by businesses with small commercial buildings. Some packaged ACs do have heating functionality, which means that a separate furnace isn’t necessary.

Split Systems

Split cooling systems are amongst the most used conditioning systems in Canada.

These systems consist of an indoor unit (the evaporator) and an outdoor one (the condenser), which explains why they are called ‘split’ systems. There’s an evaporator coil on the inside of the furnace, which contains a blower motor whose work is to circulate cool air throughout the house using the system’s ductwork. If you do not have enough space in your house to accommodate the ductwork needed for you to have central air conditioning installed, a split ductless system is a great option.

Ductless or Mini-Split Air Conditioners

Do you live in a house without ducts? Are you trying to avoid having the ductwork needed for a central air system installed? Then a ductless or mini-split AC is something you should consider going for!

These AC systems are a great alternative to window AC and have similarities with central AC systems. They’re comprised of indoor units with blowers that are mounted on the wall, floor, or ceiling, and an outdoor condenser. System parts relate to tubing while circulating refrigerant. Also, an electric line and a drain run through a small hole located at the back of the indoor part of the unit. Most, if not all, of these units, can be controlled remotely.

What are Some of the Things to Consider When Choosing the Right-Sized Central Air Conditioning System for My Home?

Choosing the right-sized air conditioner is essential if you want to improve the comfort levels in your home. If the AC you get is too small for your home, it’ll have a very hard time trying to keep your home cool on hot days.

If it’s too big for your home, it’ll constantly cycle on and off, wasting a lot of energy in the process. At the same time, it will have a harder time dehumidifying your home, making it warmer and a bit uncomfortable.

Apart from considering the square footage of your home, HVAC technicians also consider other factors that play a crucial role in ensuring the system you have installed suits your cooling and heating needs. These factors include:
– Your family’s needs
– The climate around the region you live
– The orientation of your house – where does it face?
– The size and age of your windows
– The ventilation and duct system of your house
– The quality and quantity of the insulation in your house
– The age of your house

Contact us today for a no-obligation, free-of-charge, consultation with one of our in-house HVAC specialists.

Are There Ways I Can Save Money on AC Energy Bills?

If you’re looking for ways to considerably lower your heating and cooling energy costs, review these simple yet effective strategies.

Get a programmable or smart thermostat.

Programmable and smart thermostats are relatively inexpensive and could save you a ton of money. For instance, with a programmable thermostat, you can set your system to turn on at specific times like one hour before you get home. Smart thermostats allow you to dictate how and when the system operates, helping you avoid the expenses associated with keeping your home cool even no one is home. There are lots of different thermostats available on the market today that you can control using a simple mobile app – placing your system’s energy management in the palm of your hands.

Get Ceiling Fans Installed

While ceiling fans do not reduce temperature levels in a room, they do move the air around, making the room feel much cooler. After a while fanning the air around, you will probably have to turn your air conditioner down.

Use energy-saving rated light bulbs

Apart from using a lot of energy, incandescent bulbs also generate lots of heat. By switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, you ease the strain on your AC and wallet.

Close your curtains and blinds

Sun rays are strongest during summer days and can quickly raise the temperatures in a room. As such, consider drawing your curtains and blinds whenever possible, especially on hot, sunny days. If you are ambitious enough, consider planting a tree or a tall shrub right in front of those windows that receive lots of sunshine for that natural shade.

Avoid using the oven on hot days.

Instead of cooking or baking in your oven, which generates tons of heat, consider using your microwave or cooking on an outdoor grill.

Inspect your furnace’s filter

When a furnace filter is dirty, it restricts airflow, something that could make your AC work harder than normal. Follow your unit’s manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you change the system’s filters as per the recommended schedule or more often if you have pets or suffer from allergies.

Rebates: Take advantage of them

Depending on where you live (your province), you might receive rebates when you upgrade your AC or buy products designed to improve the energy efficiency of your AC like smart thermostats. For more on the rebates and offers available to you, visit your local utility company’s website.

Choose an Air Conditioner That’s Energy-Star Certified

Energy Star certified central ACs use less energy and have much higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings compared to newer, albeit basic, models. The HVAC technicians at Air Conditioning Edmonton can help you choose energy certified ACs that best suit your needs and requirements. Give us a call today for assistance and advice.

What Are Some of The Things to Consider When Shopping for A New AC?

Buying a new AC system is something you need to take time and plan on considering that it’s a major investment. You want to make sure that you pick a unit that’s ideal for your home and your comfort needs. Choosing the right system can be hard, especially when you do not have someone with experience on the matter like an HVAC specialist. If you are currently thinking of investing in a new AC system, reach out to us for help and advice. Our no-obligation consultation is free-of-charge, so feel free to contact us for answers to any questions or concerns you might be having.

Here is a look at some of the things our experts consider when helping clients choose the most suitable and cost-efficient air conditioning unit for their needs:

Energy Efficiency. Generally speaking, new air conditioners are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than the minimum-efficiency ones from a decade ago. Modern Energy Star rated AC systems have, at the very least, a SEER rating of 14.5. The higher the rating, the more efficient the AC system and more energy savings it will provide you.

Size of the AC. Another thing our technicians consider is what size of AC you need. It is imperative that you get an AC that’s big enough to keep your home cool but is not so big that it ends up wasting energy. If an air conditioner is too big for a house, it consumes extra electricity, reducing your home’s overall energy efficiency. Air Conditioning Edmonton technicians determine the size of your home, the climate, the efficiency of your windows, and the quality and quantity of your insulation to determine which system is right for you.

Warranty. There are lots of reputable HVAC brands out there that provide users with a 10-year warranty. At the same time, some models come with lifetime coverages on compressors, which are the most expensive part of new AC systems.

Silent operation. If either you like quiet and peace, then how silent the system you are getting is should be one of the top factors to consider. Generally, central ACs operate silently inside the building. However, some can be very noisy on the outside. If you have people living close to you or neighbors that love sitting outside, then everyone will certainly appreciate a system that is quieter.

Local utility rebates. When considering your AC options, remember that there might be significant rebates being offered by your local utility if you buy a high-efficiency air conditioner. At Air Conditioning Edmonton, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners in Edmonton participate in rebate programs. As such, we can help you maximize your savings. For more on which rebates are available to you, visit your local utility’s site.

How to Choose a Reputable Air Conditioning Contractor?

It’s vital that you find an AC contractor you can rely on to install and maintain your equipment for it to continue operating optimally and for a long time. Here are some of the things to think about when hiring an air conditioning contractor:
– Does the air conditioning contractor have proof of bonding and insurance? Are they licensed?
– How’s the Company’s track record as a service provider? How many successful projects have they worked on over the years? What does the community say about the Company?
– Can the contractor provide you with several references as proof that they’ve installed air conditioners in a timely and professional manner?
– Does the contractor provide 24/7/365 support?
– Does the Company offer any guarantees?

What are Some Key Maintenance Tips?

You should always perform some preventative maintenance on your central AC. Regular cleaning and maintenance could save you a lot of money while lengthening your AC’s lifespan.

Here are some tips on how to ensure your AC system runs optimally:

Check to see whether the furnace filter is dirty or clogged. The purpose of the furnace blower motor is to circulate cooled air through a house. One of the easiest things to do to ensure your AC works optimally is regularly checking the system’s furnace filter. Clogged filters restrict airflow and reduce the unit’s ability to cool air effectively and efficiently. When changing the filter, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have pets or suffer from allergies, consider changing the filter more often.

Clear out debris from the condenser and evaporator. A build-up of debris in and around your AC’s condenser could lead to performance issues. It is, therefore, advised that you keep these two elements clear of debris at all times. Remove any weeds, bushes, leaves, vines, and branches that are close to the condenser and make sure the area around the AC is free of clutter or items that could restrict airflow.

Clean the AC’s fins. Your air conditioner maintenance regimen should include using a garden hose and sprayer to clean the system’s aluminum condenser fins. Always make sure you switch off the unit before spraying it with water. Turn off the breaker to ensure the AC doesn’t turn itself back on. If possible, spray the condenser from the inside, heading outside.

Pro Tips: Don’t use a pressure or power washer as it could damage the condenser’s internal components.

Clean the condensate drain. Air conditioners pull humidity out of the air while cooling it down. For it to do so, the system pulls humid, hot air in and cools it using cold evaporator coils that are located inside the unit. When that happens, condensation forms droplets of water on the evaporator coil, which then flows down the drain line.

After a while, the drain line will get clogged or partially clogged with mold, algae, or debris. When that happens, the performance of your air conditioner will become compromised, something that could lead to the system getting damaged.

Don’t have the time to clean your AC unit’s condensate drain? Consider having an air conditioner tune-up performed. The maintenance of an AC does take time and effort. An HVAC technician from Air Conditioning Edmonton can help you maintain your AC if you don’t have the time to handle things like clearing and cleaning things such as the condensate drains. At the same time, they will inspect all major components of your AC to ensure it is in tip-top shape. Such maintenance tasks can help extend the life of your system while preventing unexpected repairs.

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