Here in north Georgia, the summer has been hot and humid to say the least. And while this spring was somewhat cool, if history is our guide, you better believe that the heat and humidity will continue through August – and with a vengeance. In fact, Atlanta has averaged 90-degree highs in July alone over the last 10 years, posting an average of 13 days at or above that sweltering number.
And when the heat does arrive you can also believe something else: your air conditioner will be tested to its utmost. And, if it is on its last legs, or is not up to the task of cooling your home efficiently and fully, you will find out the hard way.
Air conditioning units typically last 10-15 years, so, at this point, it is well worth asking yourself when yours was installed. If it is reaching, or already past, the end of a decade of service, especially if you have experienced previous issues, then perhaps it is worth considering going ahead and pricing a replacement HVAC system. Because there is one place you do not want to be, come July (or June or August for that matter), and that is waiting on an air conditioning repairman or salesman. Summer months are always the busiest times for HVAC professionals, as they help clients to maintain comfort while their air conditioning units wage war against the heat.
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With that in mind, spring is certainly a better time to contemplate/undertake air conditioner upgrades. And if you do, it’s certainly worth looking at the most reliable brands on the market, including Carrier, whose Infinity® 26 air conditioner with Greenspeed® intelligence line provides the next step in home comfort, while also providing ultimate efficiency (and thus lower utility bills).
Otherwise, you could find yourself saddled with these common HVAC failures during those sweat-dripping summer days:
The refrigerant is the material that allows your air conditioner to remove the heat and humidity from the air in your home. Leaks can develop in the refrigerant line and leave your AC unable to remove the heat and humidity. Any leaks/faulty lines must be replaced, and the refrigerant replaced in the HVAC system. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, even for a professional air conditioner repairman, especially if there are multiple leaks.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
An air conditioner’s evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant and is responsible for absorbing the heat from the air like a sponge. Strangely enough, those coils actually need warm air circulating around them in order to work properly. When something goes wrong with the airflow and the evaporator coil gets too cold, a layer of ice can build up. When that happens, you’ll only feel warm air – or perhaps even none at all – from your HVAC vents.
Dirty Condensor Coils
Condenser coils, part of the outdoor AC unit, safely expels the heat removed by the refrigerant. However, a layer of dirt and grime could keep your condenser coils from functioning. If that occurs, your air conditioner has to work harder to do its job, leading to increased stress on the parts and even system failure.
There is a fan that blows air over your unit’s evaporator coils and another that blows air over your condenser (located outdoors) in order to expel heat. A lack of lubrication, worn belts and/or too much dirt and debris could all lead to fan failure and thus poor airflow. A bad fan could even result in compressor failure, which could destroy the entire air conditioning unit.
If there are holes or breaks in the air ducts in your home – which can be caused by pests or other factors – then that cooled air (and plenty of dollars) are being wasted in parts of your home where they are doing no good. This only means your unit has to work harder; meanwhile, you are paying higher utility bills as a result.
Not knowing proper use of your thermostat can often lead to problems with your system, which may actually be in fine working order. If you do not set your thermostat correctly, it does not matter what you do with your system, as it will only do what the thermostat tells it. Therefore, you need to make sure you know how to properly program and utilize your thermostat. Many thermostats also require batteries, so those must be replaced occasionally.
An air conditioner must deposit the moisture it removes from the air somewhere. So, it does this through a drain line, into a pan and then down a drain. If that line or drain gets clogged or the pan gets full, the water may back up and damage the unit. Water leaks may also damage walls, ceilings, and furnishings and lead to mold growth.
While some of the above issues require a full and working knowledge of complex HVAC systems, here are some things you can do to ensure a longer life for your air conditioner:
- Replace old and dirty air filters (at least every 90 days, more often if you have family pets) – air flow problems that lead to coils freezing are often caused by clogged air filters.
- Clear brush and debris from around your outdoor unit – when the condenser and outdoor fan unit get clogged with leaves, trash and dirt, the unit can’t expel heat as effectively.
There is a good chance, however, you will need a professional to lend a hand and fully fix your problems. And if you know or suspect that your system has struggled with one or more of these issues in the past, then perhaps now is the time to start looking for an upgrade.
In order to determine the best HVAC contractor, you need to go over a number of factors:
- What is their reputation in the community in which you live? Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers what they think of the company and their honest opinions.
- What is their commitment to customer service? You can help determine this by a quick phone call to the company and by talking with them. Ask them this very question. And what kind of warranties and service contracts they offer.
- What kind of quality products do they offer? If they carry top brands and names in the HVAC industry such as Carrier, you can rest assured that what you choose, and what they will install will both effectively and efficiently cool your home throughout those dog days of summer after summer.
With that in mind, Zone has begun to carry the ultimate in air conditioning technology with Carrier’s Infinity 26 air conditioner. This sophisticated piece of machinery seamlessly combines variable-speed operation with the Infinity® System Control in order to provide the quickest and most efficient cooling available.
The Infinity 26 can meet any challenge, with options available to cool any size home. It also meets high-efficiency local utility rebate levels where eligible and features both quiet operation (as low as 51 dBA) and durability (it is constructed with WeatherArmorTM Ultra protection in order to shield it from the elements).
It is also offers full Bluetooth connectivity and downloads updates on its own via over-the-air connection. This feature also allows HVAC technicians to troubleshoot, service and even “push” updates to the outdoor unit with fewer, if any, trips inside. In some service instances, the homeowner doesn’t even need to be home for successful completion.
And its performance is based around a Variable-Speed Compressor – which achieves a 25-100 percent capacity range in order to combine greater temperature control, enhanced summer dehumidification, and energy savings.
The Infinity 26 also comes with a 10-year parts limited warranty and a 10-year unit replacement warranty (compressor failure only) — each upon timely registration.
Contact Zone today at 770-904-5432. Our hometown approach to your home comfort will put you at ease, and our expertise and top-of-the-line products will keep you cool and relaxed through the hottest of summers.