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What Is That Pipe Coming Out Of My House? And Why Is It Leaking?

In general, when you find water leaking from a pipe anywhere on your home or property, your first instinct is probably to call a plumber. Before you reach for the phone, however, you should understand that in some cases, pipes leak water intentionally! If you’ve noticed a pipe leading to the outside of your home that drips water, there’s a good chance that this is actually just your AC condensate drain, which is supposed to carry water outside your home.

Still, this isn’t always the case, and some pipe leaks do need to be investigated. By having a better idea of what’s normal versus what may be problematic, you can more confidently decide when it’s time to call for help (and who to call for the best service).

AC Condensate Drains vs. Pressure Relief Valves

Most homes here in the Phoenix area have two separate pipes leading out to the side or back of the residence. One pipe is an air conditioning condensate drain, also commonly referred to as an AC drain line. These pipes are usually white in color and are made from PVC piping.

Another pipe you may find on the outside of your home is a water pressure relief valve, also known as a PRV drain line. These pipes tend to be made out of copper and are designed to prevent water heaters from building up dangerous amounts of pressure.

By knowing what each of these common pipes look like, you can better determine whether a leak is normal or something you need to have looked into further.

When is Leaking Normal?

In general, it is normal to see water leaking out of an AC drain line; therefore, if you see water leaking from a PVC pipe on the side or back of your home, you probably don’t need to be concerned. AC drain lines are meant to drain water away that is produced by your home’s air conditioning system. During times of higher humidity, it is likely that there will be additional condensation generated. As a result, you may notice greater amounts of water draining from the PVC pipe during this time.

Water draining from this pipe is actually a good thing, and indicates that you don’t have any clogs in your AC’s drain lines.

Keep in mind that some Arizona homes will have AC systems with two drain lines; one is the main drain line as explained above, and the other is an emergency drain pipe that may be located towards the top of the home. If you see any water draining from your emergency line, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible because it likely indicates a clog somewhere else in the system.

When is Leaking a Problem?

While water leaking from an AC condensate line is generally normal, water leaks from a water heater’s pressure relief valve is not normal and needs to be looked into as soon as possible. This means that if you’re noticing large amounts of water coming from the copper pipe on the side or rear of your home, this could be the sign of a larger underlying problem.

If water is simply dripping out of this pipe at a slow pace, you may be able to tighten the valve yourself to resolve the problem. However, it is generally best not to attempt any major DIY repairs on a pressure relief valve, as this is an important safety feature on your home’s water heater.

Who to Call About a Pipe Leak

If you’re dealing with a troublesome pipe leak at your home, you may be wondering who to call for the repair. In general, an emergency AC condensate drain leak should be addressed and repaired by an HVAC professional. On the other hand, water heater PRV repairs should be handled by a plumber.

Even if you don’t have a problematic leak in your AC condensate drain, it’s still a good idea to have these drain lines blown out at least once a year. This will help to prevent clogs from forming and keep these lines clear of any debris. This is something that an HVAC professional can do, often as part of an annual inspection and tune-up service.

One Stop Heating & Cooling is Here to Help!

At One Stop Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to offer HVAC maintenance and repair services to customers in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. If you’re dealing with a leak in your emergency AC condensate line or are simply looking to schedule an annual tune-up to avoid these kinds of problems down the road, we have you covered with a wide range of HVAC services.

Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team at One Stop Heating & Cooling today to schedule your appointment. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling our office at (623) 688-6556, We look forward to serving you!

How to Save Energy During an Arizona Summer

As the summer months draw ever closer, warm temperatures begin to make their presence known. Residents in Arizona know that the heat can be hard to beat, especially from June to August when high temperatures can exceed 105F with regularity! While we wouldn’t trade the sunshine and warm weather for the world, there are a few things that homeowners can do to prep their house for the summer.

Let’s take a moment to outline a bunch of fun ways that you can stay cool, beat the heat, and save on your utility bills along the way.

How to Add Shade to Your Building

While it is important to work on the interior of your home to prevent heat loss and cooling leaks, you can make your life easier by adding shade to the exterior of your building. There are plenty of great ways that we can diffuse sunlight and offset heat exposure by adding decorations, natural elements, and even a few neat decor items to our property.

  • Install Shade Trees – Start smart by installing shade trees in the areas surrounding your property. Phoenix does great with trees like the Palo Verde and the Velvet Mesquite. These trees look great, grow over 30 feet tall, and can live for 100+ years. Pay attention to potential allergens before selecting a tree to prevent future issues down the line.
  • Buy Shade Screens – Did you know that you could install shade screens on your window to cut down on energy expenses? It’s true! Shade screens are applied directly to your current windows where they act as diffusers, stripping away up to 25% of cooling expenses.
  • Add a Microclimate – Consider planting a cool microclimate around your property. Landscaping can have a huge impact on the temperature of your building, so consider adding desert-adapted trees as well as plants near windows and walls to lend their support.
  • Install Porch Awnings – Awnings over your porch and windows can go a long way toward keeping the heat away from your home. Awnings look great, add actionable coverage, and will leave you feeling cool.

Adding extra shade elements to your backyard can help keep your property comfortable, your home cool, and your guests entertained.

How to Keep Your Home Cool

Now that we are done working on the exterior of our home, let’s shift attention to the interior of the property. There are plenty of ways that we can approach keeping our homes cool this summer by making small, affordable adjustments. Let’s take a moment to highlight a few of our favorite simple cooling tricks.

  • Raise the Thermostat – Did you know that you can offset energy expenses by up to 3% when you raise your thermostat a single degree? Changing the thermostat from 78 to 80 when you are home will save a ton of money, so consider raising the temp even more if you know you will be out of the house for a while.
  • Check Your Filters – Air conditioning units thrive on efficiency to save you money. When was the last time that you changed or had your air filtration system cleaned? Regularly cleaning and changing your air filters will allow your AC to operate efficiently, cooling you quicker while saving money along the way.
  • Service Your A/C – When was the last time that you had your HVAC system properly serviced by a heating and cooling professional? Scheduling regular tune-ups to make sure your HVAC system is operating smoothly can save you time and money while also preventing potentially major repairs from manifesting.
  • Energy Efficient Upgrades – Homeowners looking to solve energy problems today and in the future can look to energy-efficient HVAC upgrades. EnergyStar-rated products ensure efficient cooling at minimum energy expenditure.

There are a ton of fantastic ways to explore cooling your home more efficiently and affordably. For a more thorough understanding of the ways that your home can be improved upon, consider contacting the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling for a free estimate and consultation.

Save on Utilities With One Stop Heating & Cooling

One Stop Heating & Cooling is a family-owned and operated business based out of the great state of Arizona. An advocate for the community, One Stop works diligently to supply honest, ethical, and affordable services to the good folks of Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Sun City, and the surrounding areas.

Clients who trust One Stop Heating & Cooling with their heating and AC services will enjoy a wide range of benefits.

  • 24/7 Emergency Services
  • Free Estimates & Consultations
  • Residential & Commercial Services
  • Air & Heating Repairs
  • Flexible Financing For Approved Clients

One Stop Heating & Cooling understands how important it is to treat your air and heating systems with respect and quality workmanship. Contact the team today at One Stop to schedule a free estimate at your convenience.

Beat the Heat: Simple Tips for Your A/C This Summer!

Brutal summer temperatures frequently leave Phoenix homeowners looking for HVAC support. Phoenix enjoys average highs surpassing the 100-degree mark from June through September and trust us, you don’t want your air conditioner to fail during this stretch. In order to stay cool and in control this summer, we have pulled together a list of fantastic yet simple tips for your air conditioning system.

Whether you have a small house or a massive warehouse, keep on reading to find the tips YOU need to stay cool this year!

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

If you have to rely on your ceiling fans to keep the heat at bay, make sure to set them correctly for the summer months. In order to do this, all you have to do is set your fan to blow downwards. This causes your room to feel cooler as hot air is replaced by the cooler air from above. This is a simple fix that you can implement today that won’t cause a single penny — and we like that!

Check Your A/C Filters

Did you know that you should be in the habit of regularly changing your air conditioning filters? It’s true! While it can be easy to forget that these filters need to be changed, avoiding doing so will lead to a reduction in efficiency throughout your household.

Dirty filters make it harder for air to pass through your system and this can cause your A/C to strain from the efforts. Not only will you feel less cool, but your home’s energy will also become less efficient — leading to increased energy bills throughout the summer.

Tip — Some air conditioning filters can be cleaned at home. Check online with your filter’s manufacturer to see if yours can be scrubbed clean. Try to change your filter at least once every three months, changing based upon use.

Trap Cool Night Air

While Phoenix can feel like it is boiling during the day, nights in Arizona are actually rather comfortable. Before you go to bed at night make sure to turn off your air conditioning unit before opening all of your windows. Allow the cool night air to fill the home and then in the morning make sure to close the windows before the heat of the day arrives.

By closing the windows before it gets too hot, you can trap that cool air in your home. Shut the blinds to retain all of that precious cool air.

Install a High-Efficiency System

How long have you lived in your current home? When was the last time you oversaw the installation of a new HVAC system? The average air conditioning unit can operate effectively for between 10 and 15 years, often depending on the level of maintenance the system enjoys. As most homeowners tend to ignore their HVAC system until it breaks, the odds are good that your building is due for an upgrade.

Consider investing in a high-efficiency HVAC system by contacting a local HVAC contractor. Discuss SEER ratings and any potential green energy credits that are available with your purchase. An upgraded HVAC system can leave your home cooler for longer periods of time at a more affordable rate.

Install Blackout Curtains

Radiant heat leaking through your window can go a long way toward raising the temperature of your home. If you really want to hide from the heat, consider investing in blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are designed to completely remove the light from your room, and they are often used by people who work overnight shifts.

Blackout curtains can remove the light from your home while allowing the ambient temperature in the room to decrease. While blackout curtains aren’t exactly cheap, they are infinitely more affordable than some other options available.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat

As it turns out, micromanaging the thermostat in your home can save you money and sweat. Programmable thermostats make adjusting the dial more efficient than ever, giving you the chance to take absolute control over your cooling efforts. Some studies suggest that programmable thermostats can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every single year in energy costs.

With a programmable thermostat, set the A/C to stay cool when you are awake and to turn off when you are in bed or away from the home. Easy!

About One Stop Heating & Cooling

As temperatures begin to rise, Arizona residents need to know that their cooling solutions will work. The team at One Stop Heating & Cooling has dedicated themselves to providing top-tier sales, service, repair, and installation for all air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality products.

Driven by honest and reliable work, One Stop Heating & Cooling is proud to offer an array of winning benefits to its clients throughout the area.

  • Family-Owned, Family Operated
  • 24 Hour Emergency Hours
  • Free Estimates
  • Commercial and Residential Services
  • Flexible Financing Solutions (On Approval!)

For an appointment with the best residential and commercial HVAC team in Arizona, fill out our online contact form or pick up the phone and call for a quote at your convenience!

Things You Can Do To Prep Your AC for the Arizona Summer!

As summer approaches and temperatures rise throughout Arizona, homeowners find themselves relying more and more on their air conditioning systems to stay comfortable indoors. Before the most sweltering temperatures of the year hit, however, it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s air conditioning system receives a little TLC. After all, a well-maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently and be less prone to mechanical failures throughout the summer.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to preparing your AC for another sweltering Arizona summer? We’ve got you covered with some practical tips and recommendations.

Replace Dirty Air Filters

Start by asking yourself when you last changed your HVAC system’s air filter. If it’s been more than a few months, then there’s a good chance that your air filter is in dire need of replacement. With most furnace and AC air filters, the recommended amount of time in between changes is around 90 days.

Swapping out your air filter with a fresh one ensures that you’re not trying to run your air conditioning with a clogged filtration system. This, in turn, improves your indoor air quality and helps your unit run more efficiently. By preventing your air conditioning system from working harder than it needs to this summer, you’re also reducing the likelihood of needing costly and unexpected repairs.

Optimize Efficiency

Now is also a good time to take some proactive measures to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system, which in turn can keep it running more smoothly. There are plenty of steps you can take to optimize efficiency, such as checking around your home for drafty windows and doors. Taking the time to caulk around drafty areas of the home provides better insulation, thus protecting your air conditioning unit from being overworked.

If any of the ductwork in your home is exposed, you may also want to consider having it insulated. This will help to keep cold air traveling from your AC’s condenser unit as cool as possible as it makes it way to your vents. This improves energy efficiency, which can save you money on your electric bills while also helping your AC unit run more efficiently.

Check the Condensate Line

Your air conditioning system also contains a part known as a “condensate drain,” which is responsible for carrying moisture away from the unit that is formed during the refrigeration cycle. Unfortunately, condensate drain lines can become clogged over time. When this happens, water can become backed up in the drain pan and eventually overflow, causing water damage that can affect other important parts of your air conditioning system.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to check your AC’s condensate line for clogs at least once a year—and to clear them out as necessary. This small step can protect you from much more costly damage and repairs down the road.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

If you’re not already enrolled in an HVAC service plan for your home, now is the time to consider signing up for an annual maintenance and tune-up plan for your air conditioning system. Having a yearly inspection done by an experienced and knowledgeable HVAC professional is a great way to stay on top of small repairs and other issues that need to be addressed before they turn into major and costly AC repairs or premature replacement.

Meanwhile, many HVAC service plans also include tune-up services, which can help to get your air conditioning system ready for summer. While the exact services included in a tune-up can vary greatly from one company to the next, many will include such services as cleaning parts, checking condensate lines, measuring refrigerant levels, and much more. An annual tune-up is a great way to keep your home’s AC system running as smoothly as possible.

Ideally, you should have an AC inspection and tune-up done in the early spring months; this gives you time to have any necessary repairs done and ensures that your AC system is ready to perform as the warmer months of the year approach. However, you can have an AC inspection done at any time.

One Stop Heating & Cooling is Here to Help

Looking for a local HVAC company you can trust with your home’s AC inspection and tune-up? One Stop Heating & Cooling has you covered. Our NATE-certified technicians can also handle any necessary repairs or even total AC replacement to suit your needs. Ultimately, our goal is to help you stay as comfortable as possible in your home this summer—no matter what Arizona’s harsh climate brings.

Schedule your AC tune-up and inspection with our friendly team at One Stop Heating & Cooling today by our contact form or calling us anytime at (623) 688-6556. We look forward to serving you! We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have about our residential services or schedule a quote for AC replacement, so feel free to reach out.

How to Prepare For Your Spring A/C Tune-Up!

As spring rolls into view once again and the temperatures begin to rise, air conditioning units throughout Arizona will be relied upon once again. Arizona’s spring season rolls into view starting in early March as temperatures climb from the steady 50°Fs into the 80°Fs with regularity. As temperatures continue to climb, cities like Phoenix can get hit with daily highs exceeding 100 °F!

To beat the heat and stay cool this year, make sure that you prepare your air conditioning system with a tune-up service. Let’s explore how air conditioning maintenance routines can benefit your home, your health, and your overall bottom line.

How to Prepare for Your AC Tune-Up 

As Arizona’s warmer months fully roll into view, our reliance on the air conditioning system within our home increases. With high temperatures in July, August, and September elevating past 107 °F, access to proper cooling solutions can impact your overall health and wellness.

Before ringing your favorite HVAC technicians at One Stop Heating & Cooling, there are a few ways that you can prepare for your AC tune-up service.

  1. Inspect Outdoor Unit — Properly preparing for a professional A/C tune-up should include assessing the outdoor unit attached to your home. Take this time to monitor for potential issues including broken panels or failing components. This is also a good time to make sure there are no animals or nests near your equipment.
  2. Change AC Filter — One of the easiest ways to vastly improve the operational efficiency and lifespan of your AC unit is by regularly changing the air filter. Air filters should be replaced between 30 and 90 days, pending the level of use that your household experiences. Not only are clean air filters vital to the efficiency of your air conditioning system, but they are also your first line of defense when it comes to maintaining the air quality of your household.
  3. Clear Debris From Near Outdoor Unit — From ants and bees to pack rats and birds, the pests and rodents of Arizona are always ready to make a nest or make a mess. While inspecting your HVAC unit outside, look for any twigs, debris, or potential nesting materials put in place by an animal.
  4. Schedule Regular Services Every Spring — Regular air conditioning tune-ups can go a long way toward improving the air quality of your home, the comfort of your household, and the size of your bank account. With a $49.95 maintenance special currently available, now is the best time to call on One Stop Heating & Cooling to book your annual maintenance services.

With these points of preparation out of the way, we can move forward by scheduling a maintenance appointment with the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling! One Stop Heating & Cooling specializes in upfront pricing for services offered by qualified experts!

Benefits of Regular AC Maintenance 

As the world seemingly comes to life around us with Spring’s full introduction, improving our air quality and ensuring proper access to our cooling system should become a priority. While the average air conditioning unit can last for up to 15 years, regular maintenance and competent check-ups are imperative. Let’s look at a few key advantages that come with regular AC tune-up services.

  • Extended System Lifespan — With an average lifespan between 10 and 15 years, homeowners can make sure they get the most out of their system by scheduling regular tune-up services. Regular maintenance calls are ideal for addressing issues before they come to their full realization.
  • Improve Operational Efficiency — An air conditioning system that does not experience frequent maintenance will begin to heavily showcase signs of wear-and-tear. As issues manifest throughout the system, operational efficiency can drop while causing your energy bill to skyrocket!
  • Save Money in the Long Run — An ounce of preparation is more affordable than a pound of repairs. By engaging in regular maintenance services, we are keeping an eye on one of the most important systems within our household. Pay for maintenance today to avoid exorbitant bills in the future!

According to the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling, it is imperative to schedule at least one AC tune-up per year to ensure your systems continued operational effectiveness.

Call One Stop Heating & Cooling For a Quote, Today!

One Stop Heating & Cooling is a family-owned and operated company that has been proudly serving residents of Arizona for years.  With a full team of sales, service, repair, and installation technicians at the ready, One Stop Heating & Cooling is proud to offer 24/7 services to keep you cool no matter the situation or time of day.

In addition to offering 24/7 emergency service hours, One Stop Heating & Cooling can be counted on for a variety of beneficial services.

  • Residential & Commercial Repairs
  • FREE Estimates on All Service Calls
  • Customer Satisfaction GUARANTEED
  • Frequent Specials & Financing Options

Don’t sweat out your next service call, let the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling help you, today!

The Differences Between Air Ventilation, Filtration, and Purification

Understanding Your Air Handling Options

Modern HVAC technology offers a variety of methods for maintaining the cleanliness and healthfulness of your air. Three primary approaches include air ventilation, purification, and filtration. Let’s take a look at the main features, limitations, and benefits of each.

Ventilation: Air Exchange and Circulation

Pushing air around your home doesn’t automatically make that air any cleaner. If you constantly breathe the same old stale indoor air, you might actually get better air quality by going outside. Air circulation only improves air quality when you have a means of replacing the old, stale air with new, fresh air. Properly-installed, well-designed mechanical ventilation systems can make this possible. A mechanical ventilation system uses fans and ducts to pull cleaned, filtered air into the home while also pushing “used” air out. Bear in mind, however, that this very basic level of air cleaning may not be sufficient for your needs; nor can it prevent the infiltration of germs.

Filtration: Pulling Particles Out of the Air

Filtration works by setting up a physical, permeable barrier to airborne particles. Particles smaller than a particular size may pass through the filter, while anything larger gets stopped by the filter material. This straining process can provide much cleaner air for anyone sensitive to dust, dander, mold, pollen, and other common irritants. Less dust in the air also means less dust on your air conditioning coils. (Coils that get clogged with dust simply can’t operate efficiently.)

Many standard HVAC air filters do little to block any but the largest particles, which may prove beneficial only to your air conditioning components. For filtration that also helps to preserve your health, look into MERV-16 or HEPA filters, which can block particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Purification: Killing Contaminants Before They Cause Trouble

Air purification focuses on killing any germs that may infiltrate a home’s HVAC system. This makes them a natural complement to filtration systems, which may stop the majority of germs but still permit the tiniest one to remain airborne. Air purifiers work their magic by implementing either of these two technologies:

  • Ultraviolet light – Some air purifiers expose incoming air to UVC radiation (the most toxic and destructive type of UV), killing viruses and bacteria.
  • Photocatalytic ionization – This air-scrubbing technology adds a chemical catalyst to the UVC component in an air purifier system. As the UVC kills the germs, the catalyst produces chemical changes that reduce them to CO2 and water.

An air purifier may offer more air cleaning power than your home and family actually need. Some models also produce UVC radiation at frequencies that result in the production of ozone (which you don’t want in your home). If you choose this solution, ask your HVAC installer about recommended makes and models.

Which Approach Makes the Most Sense for Your Needs?

Even after examining the various pros and cons of each home air handling solution, you may still wonder which of them to install in your home. The ideal scenario, of course, would involve installing all three of them. In reality, though, one or two of these options may be all you need to tackle a pressing air handling concern or challenge. Let’s examine some specific factors that might influence your decision.

Health Considerations

Do you or your family members suffer from a respiratory condition, poor immune system, or extreme sensitivity to allergens? If health concerns dominate your air handling questions, your primary goal is to keep those particles away from your loved ones. This means starting with air filtration and purification. This “one-two punch” can strain out all but the tiniest particles while also killing viruses and bacteria. Some products actually incorporate both of these functions into their design.

Home Considerations

Your size and style of home may affect what kind of air handling devices you require. For example, if you live in a particularly snug little home with little natural air circulation, your first goal may be to get that air moving better with the aid of mechanical ventilation. It’s also possible that you simply need a better ventilation system that your home currently employs. Faulty installation or poor design can actually cause a ventilation system to make air quality worse instead of better. If you’re seeing lots of dust, your current system is probably just pushing dirty air around.

Whether your home’s air needs ventilation, purification, filtration, or any combination of the above, ask One Stop Heating & Cooling for assistance. We can evaluate your current setup, note any particular complications you might want to address, and install the ideal components to keep you breathing freely.

 

My A/C Isn’t Cooling My Home, What’s Wrong?

Troubleshooting HVAC Cooling Issues

You might not think much about your air conditioning until something goes wrong with it. When this unsung hero of your home suddenly experiences a total failure, you know you need to get an A/C technician to come fix it immediately. Sometimes, however, an HVAC system can seem to function as it always does without producing anywhere near its normal cooling effects. What’s going on, and what can you do about it? Let’s look at some common symptoms, problems, and solutions.

Temperature Settings Make Your System Work Too Hard

When everyday temperatures get out of control, so can your electric bill. It only makes sense, then, to raise your thermostat a bit above comfortable levels when no one is at home, as a means of saving energy — right? Unfortunately, this practice may not be worth whatever money you might think you’re saving.

While you might come out ahead on this strategy when temperatures are warm but still manageable, hotter days and high thermostat settings can make your home feel like an oven by the time you get home. You then have to run the system extra-hard to get the ambient temperature back to a livable level. That extra work can cause premature wear and tear that reduces your system’s ability to do its job.

If you choose to raise your thermostat level while you’re out, turn it up only a couple of degrees higher than you’d find comfortable. You’ll still save some energy without also pushing your HVAC system to restore that comfort zone later.

Refrigerant Issues Keep Your Air From Cooling

Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This substance can change pressure rapidly, going from extremely hot to extremely cold as it goes through your system’s condenser and evaporator coils. Air moving over the chilled coils becomes cool and sheds moisture through condensation.

If your system is running low on refrigerant, it can’t perform this important cooling process satisfactorily, no matter how long it cycles. Modern refrigerants don’t wear out or “go bad,” but they leak through any holes or gaps that permit it to do so. If you can’t get cold air out of a hard-working air conditioner, ask your HVAC technician to check the refrigerant.

Dirty Coils Interfere With Essential Functions

Even with normal amounts of refrigerant running through them, your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils won’t operate at full efficiency if they’ve gotten dirty. These components depend on efficient heat transfer between their surfaces and the outside air. Dirt acts as a barrier that interferes with this heat transfer, resulting in incomplete cooling. Evaporator coils may even freeze up, making normal function impossible and allowing moisture to hang in your ambient air.

A Glitchy Thermostat Can’t Control Your Climate

Do the numbers on your thermostat tell the truth — and is your thermostat issuing the proper instructions to the rest of your HVAC system? Wiring problems, dust in the works, corrosion, loose terminals, screws, and other common problems can cause your thermostat to malfunction, which in turn may cause the HVAC system to short cycle (turning off too quickly after engaging to have much effect on temperature and humidity levels). Fortunately, your technician can replace faulty thermostat components relatively easily.

Air Leaks Deprive You of Your Air Conditioning

If all the components of your air conditioning system appear to be running normally, why does your home never seem to cool down? The answer may lie in unseen gaps or holes in your ductwork. If this closed system isn’t quite so closed as it was designed to be, all that cool air produced by your HVAC system may be flowing into your walls instead of your rooms. Have your ducts checked for any disconnection or damage that needs patching. Don’t forget to examine your home for any air leaks caused by defective weatherstripping or other gaps.

The Wrong A/C Size Can Doom You to Discomfort

Have you never felt satisfied with your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home? Maybe you have the wrong size of A/C unit installed. An overly-small air conditioner will never be able to cool your square footage adequately. An overly-large air conditioner will short cycle constantly, failing to live up to its capabilities. Ask your HVAC technician for recommendations on whether you need to right-size your HVAC system to suit your residence.

If you need expert help for your HVAC cooling problem, contact One Stop Heating and Cooling. We can discover the reason for your discomfort and make the necessary fixes to give you the powerful, efficient air conditioning you need!

 

Air Conditioning and COVID-19: Does Your Air Conditioner Impact the Spread of Coronavirus?

When the Coronavirus pandemic first kicked off in the United States, misinformation and misunderstanding were the norms. Now, months later, our understanding of the novel coronavirus has been enhanced, though some key questions remain. The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified or understood. This new virus causes the COVID-19 infection that we have been tracking for so long, killing almost one million people around the world.

As a highly contagious respiratory condition, it stands to reason that questions would linger about the impact of air conditioning on the spread of the virus. Today, we want to delve into the question by using scientific research to back up our conclusions. As always, for a full understanding of any infectious disease please refer to the experts at the CDC for final thoughts.

Coronavirus vs. Air Conditioning: A Complicated Battle

Anytime that questions are surrounding an infectious respiratory illness, our thoughts go to the ways that we may interact with this virus. Let’s take a closer look at how COVID-19 is currently understood to spread to answer this question more completely.

COVID-19 is spread primarily from one person to the next through respiratory droplets that are produced when an individual coughs, talks, or sneezes. Infected droplets that are inhaled or consumed orally can lead to to infection, thus leading to the sustainable issues surrounding community spread, where one member of the community is gifted the disease from someone else within that same community.

As a respiratory illness that requires simply inhaling infected droplets, wearing a mask while practicing social distancing can help to seriously stem the tide of coronavirus infections. Yet, it is through understanding this process that we can see how air conditioning and COVID-19 intersect. To accomplish this task, let’s look at how air conditioning works at a basic level.

When your air conditioning unit runs, it transfers energy from one place to the next. Central A/C units operate by extracting heat from a conditioned space before relocating it outside of your home. The terminology here is important as your A/C unit is moving energy and not air. The same air in your home will be recirculated over and over again, less the installation of a proper ventilation system such as a Heat Recovery Ventilator.

What does this mean? It means that your air conditioning system can spread the coronavirus infection from one room to the next. This is particularly important when considering inviting outside members of the household to your home. Individuals who cohabitate should not worry about A/C as a viral vector until a third party is brought into the home from the outside.

Reclaiming Air Purity: Ozone Generator vs. Air Purifier

While the coronavirus has seemingly continued to spread throughout the world despite mitigation efforts, some methods are being explored to prevent the continued risk of exposure at home. With that being said, the novel coronavirus is still new and not thoroughly understood. Any product, good, or service claiming to offer a cure for COVID-19 should be met with significant skepticism. All final word when discussing COVID-19 should be focused on the medical professionals at the CDC and WHO.

Understanding that there is no tried-and-true cure does not mean that there aren’t any potential ways to protect yourself and your home.  Independent air quality tests in controlled environments have been shown to destroy pathogens with nearly 99.99% effectiveness through the use of ozone generators. While this is exciting and positive news, it should be underscored that the level of ozone required to neutralize COVID-19 was too high for human and animal safety.

Ozone generators operate by creating ozone through the breaking-apart of an oxygen molecule. These broken-down oxygen molecules attach to other molecules in the air to create ozone (O3). While ozone is marketed as ‘pure air’ or ‘activated oxygen’ the unfortunate truth is that ozone is a toxic gas and thus unfit for inhalation due to the inherent dangers it poses toward human health.

While ozone generators are not yet an actionable solution for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through our air conditioning unit, in-duct air purifiers may offer a rewarding opportunity. As air conditioners circulate air repeatedly throughout the home, the addition of an in-line duct purifier can help to purify the air that maneuvers through the entire home. Air purifiers like the REME HALO, Air Scrubber Plus, and the APCO Fresh Aire Air Purifier both offer value as stand-alone purifiers to kill airborne contaminants.

As it stands right now, there are no perfect solutions to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our understanding of the respiratory illness is always evolving as new science dictates. What we do understand is that COVID-19 CAN SPREAD through air conditioning and that in-line purifiers have been shown to decrease the risk of airborne pathogens circulating in a household.

 

The Importance Of Your AC Filter

Your AC Filter Matters — and Here’s Why

When you think of the critical components that make up your air conditioning system, heat pump, or furnace, you probably envision the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and other major parts. However, you shouldn’t neglect a much less impressive yet equally important piece of the puzzle: the air filter. HVAC air filters contribute to your system’s energy efficiency, help to prevent breakdowns, and can even safeguard your health and the health of your loved ones. Let’s examine this unsung hero of the HVAC system to see exactly why and how it makes such an enormous difference.

The Role of the AC Filter

You can think of your AC filter as the “gatekeeper” between your living space and your air conditioning or heating system. This ordinary-looking rectangular frame filled with cloth, paper, or spun fiberglass sits just inside the vent grille that leads to your ductwork. Air that has already gone through the system’s healing and cooling processes proceeds down the duct and through the permeable material of the filter on its way into your room.

The AC filter’s job is to catch any tiny particles of unwanted airborne substances in its fibers. This filtering action effectively cleanses the incoming air to make it safer and more pleasant to breathe. It also helps to keep your floors and other surfaces free of dirt and dust.

When (and How) Good AC Filters Go Bad

Since the particles trapped by AC filters remain embedded in the filter material, these filters get dirtier and dirtier over a period of weeks or months. The more debris the filter collects, the less efficiently it can push air from the HVAC duct into the living space. Any air that does make it through may still contain particles that the dirty filter can’t catch or hold onto.

An AC filter must fit into its enclosure precisely to do its job. A poorly-fitted air filter may leave areas of the duct opening unguarded, allowing dirty air to pass directly into your home.

AC Filter Problems Can Promote Health Problems

A dirty or otherwise malfunctioning AC filter doesn’t just leave you with dusty floors and furniture — it can also pose a threat to your health and wellness. Household air naturally collects a variety of allergens, including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, metallic particles, lint fibers, and cigarette ash. Without an efficient means of filtering out these contaminants, you could experience chronic allergy symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, and headaches. You may also run a greater risk of respiratory infections or asthma.

AC Filter Problems Affect HVAC Performance

If your AC filter can’t function properly, neither can the rest of your HVAC system, or at least not very long. The dust and debris that doesn’t get trapped by the filter may float back into other components of the system. This can contribute to mechanical breakdowns or loss of mechanical efficiency over time.

If your HVAC doesn’t quit altogether, you may end up paying higher utility bills than you should to achieve the desired temperature in your home. A clogged air filter will obstruct the flow ofc cooled or heated air, forcing you to run the system harder than normal to enjoy a comfortable home.

How to Help Your AC Filter (and Your HVAC System) Do Its Job

Fortunately, a malfunctioning AC filter is the simplest and most cost-effective HVAC problem to correct. Get into the habit of changing your air filter periodically. How often you change an AC filter will depend on what kind of filter you have. A run-of-the-mill cardboard-framed AC air filter can usually go 30 days before it needs replacing, while some high-end filters may continue to function for up to six months before they get too clogged to continue. Ask your AC service technician for advice on changing your particular type of filter.

Measure the dimensions of the space that accommodates your air filter. You want to purchase a size that will sit flush within the space, with no gaps to permit unfiltered air passage.

If you have known allergy, asthma, or other respiratory problems, you may want to purchase a HEPA air filter instead of a standard AC filter. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air.” These specialized filters are rated to remove up to 99.7 percent of airborne contaminants over 0.3 microns in size.

Last but not least, don’t forget to schedule periodic AC system inspections. If your air filter is contributing to a problem, you want to spot and fix that problem sooner rather than later.

Whether you need to fix a problem produced by a neglected air filter or you just need advice on the right kind of air filter for your system’s needs, we can help. Contact us today so we can discuss your situation and schedule a time to look at your HVAC system.