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8 Summer Maintenance Tips for a homeowners Air Conditioning System

Your home’s air conditioning is a vital system that homeowners do not think much about until it stops working, or when a high energy bill is received. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average household energy expense is about $2,600 per year, and nearly half that amount can be tied directly to costs associated with heating and/or cooling your home.

The costs associated with controlling the temperature in your home are significant, and if your Air Conditioning system isn’t running efficiently, then your costs only go up. Fortunately, ensuring your AC system is running at peak performance doesn’t always require an expensive repair bill. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure your AC system is up to the task with a little maintenance.

Be sure to do these eight things, and your air conditioning system will be more effective and kinder to your energy bill.

  1. Change the AC System filter. Why is this tip number one? Simple: It’s easy to do and can have the biggest impact on the health of your HVAC system. A clean filter can reduce your energy usage by 15 percent according to the Alliance to Save Energy. If your filter is temporary, replace it every month on a day you’ll remember — like the first of the month. And if it’s a permanent filter, take it out and rinse it off monthly. A thicker filter will last longer and can keep the indoor AC Coil cleaner!
  2. Drying out your dehumidifier. Depending on the time of year, a whole house dehumidifier can be invaluable. To be sure it’s working at maximum capacity, remove the outer casing and allow your system to dry. Once the system is dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris before putting it back together.
  3. Remove obstructions around your exterior system. Though the AC is located outside your home, you cannot afford to sacrifice your air conditioner to the elements. Inspect the unit at least twice a month and remove loose vegetation or debris. Standing vegetation surrounding your air conditioner should not be allowed to grow within two feet of the unit. This clear zone allows your air conditioner to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home.
  4. Clean the bathroom fans. Your bathroom fans work hard all year, and this is the perfect time to ensure the work they do is as efficient as possible. Vacuum the intake surface and/or remove the covers from your fans before washing them with soap and water. Once the covers are off, use a toothbrush to clean the fan blades before reapplying the cover. Just make sure the power is off before starting this task. Also, BE SURE you turn on your bathroom exhaust for 30 minutes during hot showers to help remove the excess humidity (heat load) added to the interior environment.
  5. Thermostat settings. Program the cooling temperature settings in your home to be warmer during periods when you’re away and more comfortable when you’re home. It is designed to maintain a 75’ indoor temperature during most of the year. Or 16’ to 20’ F less indoors than the outside temperature (in cooling mode) depending on indoor and outdoor humidity fluctuations.
  6. Flush the condensate drain regularly. Air conditioners have a condensation drain line to drain away water condensed out of the air during the process of cooling the indoor air. For your air conditioner to work effectively and to avoid any clogs or water overflow, this drain system must be kept clear. A homeowner can connect a wet vac to the outside drain to flush it periodically. While an air conditioning professional can “flush” a drain line during a maintenance. A drain line cleaning can be performed when needed, requiring at least 1 to 2 hours plus chemicals and possibly multiple visits). The homeowner is ultimately responsible for the years of buildup developing inside of a drain resulting from the temperature setting (running time) combined with the indoor environment living conditions and filter changes. To minimize the chance of a clog, a homeowner must add 1 cup of bleach to the drain line once a month, flush the drain as often as possible and keep the indoor living environment clean. Bleach is added by the homeowner at a PVC “T” called a “clean out” or “Openable Drain Switch” located on the drain line (with a removable top/cap) located close the indoor air handling unit.
  7. Install a Leaf Guard. Ask our office team about installing a leaf guard on your outside unit. Or you can install one yourself by using plastic chicken wire and wire ties. This will keep leaves from building up inside of your outdoor system which obstructs the air flow of the outside coil decreasing efficiency and cooling capacity. Not to mention the corrosive effect of leaves as they decompose at the bottom of a metal outside unit. Taking steps to keep the leaves out rather than cleaning them out periodically produces a far better result for your electric bill, indoor comfort and an extended system life!
  8. Schedule a tune-up. Once you’ve accomplished all the tasks above, it’s time to bring in the experts at Air McCall! We will be able to take a more detailed look at your system and identify problems you may have otherwise missed. Follow them around during their inspection and ask questions. You may just learn some insights that will be invaluable in your ongoing efforts to improve indoor comfort, reduce your energy usage and total bill.

What Is Included With AC Maintenance Service?

You want to make sure that the air conditioner in your Jacksonville home is running perfectly throughout the year, especially during those hot summer days. Having a malfunction to the AC unit is never fun, and the fact is that many of those malfunctions could have been prevented with proper AC maintenance. Even if your AC system seems to be running perfectly right now, you may still want to get in touch with a company that can provide you with the maintenance that you need.

However, you might also be wondering just what is included with AC maintenance service. While companies all operate differently, you will want to work with professionals who can provide you with all of the following.

Experienced and Professional Technicians

First, you need to make sure that the technicians who are providing the service know what they are doing. They should be fully insured, factory trained NATE certified technicians who have the experience and knowledge to take care of your maintenance needs. The maintenance service through a quality company will also ensure that the technicians are professional and that they have gone through a background check.

Check the Coils, Pumps, and More.

The technicians will check to make sure that the evaporator and condenser coils are working properly during the maintenance. If they aren’t, then it could end up causing some problems with the system. Even a small amount of dust on the coils can lower the efficiency of the system, and that is the last thing you want. Keeping them clean improves overall efficiency of the system.

Check the Filters and Vents

The techs can also check to make sure the filters are clean and replace them if needed. They can also make sure the vents are not causing growth of mold, bacteria, and allergens, and they can clean out the HVAC system to make sure it is in good working order.

Check for Any Potential Problems

When the specialists come out to perform AC maintenance, they will also be checking the equipment and system to make sure there are not any hidden problems that are lingering just under the surface. They can let you know about any potential issues before they become a larger problem.

It is important that you have proper AC maintenance for your system. Be sure to get in touch with the experts today and set up an appointment.

How Long Should AC Run at a Time?

A very common question that people have when it comes to their air conditioning unit is just how often is should be running, as well as how long it should run. In some cases, they might feel as if it seems like their unit is running constantly. Others might feel that the unit in their Jacksonville, FL home shuts off too quickly or does not run enough to keep the house cool. So, what is the right amount of time for the unit to run? The answer, as with so many things, is that it depends.

The AC may run differently, even when you have the same exact unit as another home, for a range of reasons. For example, the amount of insulation in the home can cause differences in when the air conditioning runs. In addition, the temperature outside of the home is going to play a large role. Whether the AC unit is the right size for the home will determine how long it is running, as well. A unit that is too large for the home will generally not run enough, whereas a unit that is too small will end up working overtime.

If the AC unit is not working properly, whether it needs maintenance or repair, can also cause the unit to run too much, too little, or not at all.

How Should the System Usually Work?

When everything is operating as it should, it becomes easier to determine how long the AC should run at a time. If you have a very hot Jacksonville, FL day, then the air conditioning should be running almost all of the time. this will help to keep the temperature in the house at what you have set on the thermostat.

When the weather outside is somewhat milder, the unit should not run all of the time. It will run in cycles. These cycles will typically last for about 15 minutes, and they will occur about two to three times per hour. Again, this will help to keep the temperature to what you’ve set on the thermostat. When it is even cooler out, it will need to run less, or not at all in some cases.

If you have found that your AC unit is not behaving properly, then you will want to get in touch with the professionals for air conditioning service and repair.

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Why Is My AC Not Blowing Cold Air?

The most common complaint that someone in need of AC repair has in Jacksonville is that their air conditioner isn’t blowing out any cold air. This can make a home unbearably hot, or even unsafe to be in, during the hottest months of the year. There are multiple reasons why an AC may not be cooling your home.

The Thermostat Settings

The first problem could be the thermostat settings. If the fan setting is set to “on”, it will cause the AC to blow air round the clock, even when your auto programming isn’t set to cool the house. Set the fan to “auto” so that the AC only comes on when the house is too warm. Another option could be that your thermostat is broken and in need of repair. If the thermostat isn’t correctly telling the AC when to come on, or how cold to get, this is a big problem.

The Air Filter

A common issue we see with AC repair work is that the air filter is dirty. If the AC is blowing cool air, but only a tiny, weak stream of air is coming out, this is the likely culprit. The air filter catches particles in the air as the AC works, and if it gets very dirty and clogged, it could make it hard for air to pass through. An air filter should be changed at least every six months, if not sooner.

AC Repair Is Needed

Finally, the issue could be that your outside AC unit is in need of repair. First, check that the unit isn’t covered in debris like fallen leaves or grass trimmings. If there’s a big bush or something right by the AC, clear that away. It could be that the unit is having a hard time drawing in the air due to these problems. However, if you don’t see anything like that, it could be that the unit fan isn’t working, or it is low on refrigerant.

In Jacksonville, we help homeowners keep their space cool and comfortable with quality AC repair services. We can fix the unit fan, replace faulty thermostats, fix refrigerant leaks, clean ducts, and much more. We also offer emergency services so that you can get your home cooled to a safe temperature again as soon as possible. To schedule a repair service with AirMcCall, contact us by calling (904) 288-6110.

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How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?

Many homeowners never think to have their air conditioner checked out or maintained unless something is going wrong. As long as the system is blowing out cool air and keeping the home comfortable, they keep on living their busy lives. While we understand that remembering every little maintenance thing is a hassle, there are some very important reasons to have a regular air conditioning service performed in Jacksonville, such as:

  • It is less likely that you’ll have pricey repairs or replacements if you keep your AC well maintained.
  • Your AC will purify the air more effectively if it is routinely serviced.
  • Your AC will operate at peak performance when serviced, which means you could save more on your energy bills. When the AC is working more efficiently, it doesn’t need as much energy to keep your house cool.

With those reasons to service your air conditioner in mind, how often should you do this?

Annual Air Conditioner Service

Most experts agree that an annual servicing of your AC is adequate. This will allow the professional to inspect the unit for issues, clean out the filters and ducts, and make sure that the unit is working to the best of its ability to keep your energy bills lower. It’s also easier to remember and schedule an annual servicing than anything more frequent, which makes it easier for homeowners to check this task off their long to-do list.

When to Service an Air Conditioner

If you plan to have an annual AC service, the best time to do so would be right before the warm weather hits your area. This will get your AC in tip-top shape for the season when you’ll use it the most often and will help prevent big bills when you start turning it on for the year. In Jacksonville, early spring is a great time to schedule an AC maintenance service.

The Cost of Annual Air Conditioning Service

Every company charges something different for AC servicing, but this isn’t usually a huge expense. Having the system maintained and cleaned is a quick job that should help you save money, not something that should cost you an arm and a leg. To schedule your affordable maintenance service today, contact AirMcCall. We offer routine maintenance like duct cleaning at affordable rates. Call us at (904) 288-6110 to learn more.

Heating Installation: A Project Best Left to the Professionals

Even in warm Florida, a heating system is necessary, and many people look to do their own heating installation in Jacksonville rather than calling in a professional HVAC team. If you’re willing to venture on your own, we’ll tell you a little about that process. We’ll also help those who might be a bit less willing to go the DIY route.

A Step by Step Guide for DIY Heating Installation Near Jacksonville

The most important part of the heating installation is the location of the unit. Always check with local permit guidelines and ensure that your project is up to code. There will need to be an exhaust vent as well as a refrigeration line to the unit.

Many homeowners choose the attic or crawl space for their heating units in order to accommodate the venting needs. Remember to choose a location where the air filter box and ductwork will not be in the way. You will also need outdoor or plumbing line access for the condensate drain.

Once everything is in place and all cuts have been made, it is time to attach the refrigerant lines and connect the plenum duct and supply tubing. All of these steps must be done in the proper order, and it is vital to ensure that all plumbing lines that have been altered during the installation process are in working order at the completion of the project.

Is It Time to Call in the Professionals?

As you can tell from this step by step overview of heating installation, this DIY project is one that is complex and extends to many of the systems in your homes such as plumbing and refrigeration. It for this reason and more that even the most enthusiastic of do-it-yourselfers opt for professional heating installation. Professional HVAC teams are highly skilled and trained in heating installation, from obtaining the necessary permits to ensuring that all systems are in top working order at the conclusion of the project.

Although Florida sees temperatures below freezing on a rather infrequent basis, having a working heating system is a must. During the occasional frosts and dips below the 30-degree mark, proper heating is essential to prevent damage from frozen or cracked pipes, as well as maintaining a healthy environment for your family.

If conducting your own heating installation in Jacksonville is something that you are reluctant to attempt, there are many good reasons to leave this home improvement project to a professional HVAC company.

AirMcCall can help with professional installation of your heating system if this is one DIY project you’d rather not tackle. Give us a call today at (904) 288-6110 for an estimate of your heating installation around Jacksonville.

How Air Conditioning Repair Professionals Deal With Circuit Breaker Issues

While air conditioners are generally one of the most reliable appliances in a home, things can and do go wrong with them. One problem that could plague your household is negative interaction between your air conditioner and your circuit breaker. In some cases, leaving your air conditioner on for too long can cause your circuit breaker to shut itself off. Why does this happen, and is this something that can be fixed by an air conditioner repair professional? Keep reading to learn a few causes of this problem and how it can be addressed.

Not Enough Freon

You can think of freon as fuel for your air conditioner. If your air conditioner does not have enough freon to keep it stable, it will malfunction. A lack of freon can even result in your air conditioner overwhelming your circuit breaker. This is because an air conditioner can’t function as smoothly without enough freon, meaning it has to draw more energy to keep itself working. The only way this can be fixed is to hire a Jacksonville air conditioner repair expert to look at your unit.

Dirty Filters

Sometimes the real problem with an errant air conditioner is less complex. If you’re dealing with an air conditioning unit that’s constantly triggering your breaker, look at the AC’s filter. Many homeowners forget to clean out or replace their air conditioner’s filters as often as recommended. A filter that’s gotten too dirty results in an air conditioner that won’t cool properly. In turn, the unit becomes overwhelmed and overpowers your circuits. If you aren’t sure how to manage your filters, a Jacksonville air conditioner repair professional can help.

Call AirMcCall at (904) 288-6110 or visit their website to get in touch with a Jacksonville air conditioner repair expert ASAP!

Prevent an HVAC Emergency – 6 Signs You Need a Heat Pump Repair

Heat pumps provide heating and cooling power from a single unit any time of the year. Although heat pumps are efficient and reliable, they should be inspected by a professional at the first sign of a problem. Below is a list of issues that warrant a heat pump repair in Jacksonville.

Frozen Coils

Ice accumulation on a heat pump is a problem. Usually, a dirty air filter or refrigerant leak is the culprit behind iced-over coils. A technician can determine the source of the problem. If the heat pump’s refrigerant is low, he can seal the leak and refill the unit.

Increased Electric Costs

One of the first indicators of a malfunctioning heat pump is a high electric bill. If your energy bill has sharply risen without an apparent reason, your heat pump may not be operating at its optimum level of efficiency. There are many problems that can reduce a heat pump’s efficiency, such as a damaged coil or grounded wire.

Loud Noises

You should not expect your heat pump to be whisper quiet. However, the unit should never make loud noises. If you hear mechanical sounds like groaning, grinding or rattling, it is time for a heat pump repair. Jacksonville heat pump technicians can correctly identify and fix the problem.

No Heat or Air Conditioning

Every heat pump has a reversing valve that changes the direction that the refrigerant flows to allow the unit to heat or cool your home, according to how you set the thermostat. If your heat pump does not heat or cool your home, the reversing valve may be stuck, which is a common reason for a heat pump repair in Jacksonville.

Short Cycling

If you notice that your heat pump frequently turns on and off, this means the unit is short cycling. Rapid cycling may be caused by a malfunctioning compressor or short-circuiting thermostat. Although the heat pump may cool and heat your home as expected, the longer you forgo the repair, the more likely you will have to prematurely replace the heat pump.

Repairing Your Heat Pump

If you experience any of these problems, you should not put off a heat pump repair. Jacksonville has over 200 sunny days per year, so life without a working heat pump can be unbearable. However, a timely repair will keep your heat pump in top condition for years to come.

How to Prepare Your Home for a New HVAC Unit

Keeping the inside of your home at a comfortable temperature should be one of your main concerns. The only way to ensure you maintain the right temperature in your home is by keeping your HVAC unit functional. The older a unit gets, the more problems you will have with it. Replacing a worn out HVAC unit may be a bit expensive, but it is well worth the money invested. Properly preparing for air conditioning installations is easy when following these tips.

Ensuring the Right Unit Has Been Purchased

Before the air conditioning installations process can begin, choose the right replacement unit. While this may sound easy, it is anything but. The best way to get the guidance needed to make this decision is by working with HVAC professionals in the Jacksonville area.

These professionals will be able to take into consideration the size of your home and your budget before offering suggestions. Without this assistance, you run the risk of getting a unit that is too small to accommodate your home. This will lead to high energy bills and an endless array of repair issues.

Getting Your Old Ductwork Cleaned

Before the air conditioning installations process begins, it’s important to get your ductwork cleaned. Over time, the ductwork in your home will begin to collect a lot of dust. If this part of an HVAC system is not cleaned, it could lead to a variety of efficiency issues. By letting professionals clean the ductwork before installing a new unit, you can rest assured there will be no problems. The professionals will have the experience and tools needed to get this type of cleaning done in a hurry.

The team at Air McCall can help you get your new HVAC unit installed the right way. Be sure to contact us to find out more about the work we do.

What Is the Most Energy Efficient Heating System?

Home heating is essential, no matter what kind of temperatures your location typically experiences in winter. The expense of heating a home can be a huge part of a household budget, which also means that finding a system that is energy efficient is an excellent goal for those looking to curb spending. The good news is that there are many options for efficient heating that won’t break the bank.

Heat Pumps

If you want the most efficient system, a heat pump system is what fits the bill. They are also a reasonable choice anywhere a moderate climate is the norm. These systems grab heat and move it as needed. In winter, heat is brought inside to be warmed, while in summer air is removed from the home to cool the house. In addition to that, heat pumps are also very friendly on the environment. No fossil fuels are being burned, and the efficiency of their operation means less energy is used.

Residential Furnaces

Another option for heating installation in Jacksonville is the furnace. These are the most common way of heating a home, with more than half of American households using them. Older models of furnaces are not known for being efficient, but things are changing with modern models. The three most common furnace types include:

  • Gas – These systems use natural gas for heat. It may have less heating efficiency than a heat pump but costs less to operate. The reason for this is because natural gas has been becoming more affordable recently.
  • Oil – These are furnaces that use fuel oil to make heat. You typically need a supplier nearby to deliver the oil to you. This also means that monitoring the supply is essential. This option is often more expensive than others.
  • Electricity – These units use electricity which powers heating coils to make warmth. They do not offer any gases or carbon monoxide which may be present in other furnaces, but they may cost more to operate than alternatives would.

Getting the Right Heating System Installed

If you need a contractor to provide heating installation in Jacksonville, you should get in touch with Air McCall. We offer many heating and air conditioning solutions for those in the area. You can send us a message on our website or give us a call at 904-288-6110. We would love to be a part of your heating and air solution.