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Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside Your House?

Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty common problem many people face with their air conditioners during the warmer months. Read on to find out what’s going on!

Help! Water Is Leaking On My Furnace!

So the weather is hot outside, you happen to walk into your basement and see what seems to be water streaming onto your furnace from the top. What is going on? How can I stop it? Let’s begin with stopping the problem first:

  • Turn off your air conditioner at the thermostat immediately

It’s important to turn of your air conditioner as soon as possible to stop the flow of water onto your furnace.

The interior of your furnace holds several electronic parts that can become damaged by the intrusion of water. 

What Caused This To Happen?

Did you know that your air conditioner is essentially one big dehumidifier? When your air conditioner runs, it actually pulls humidity (water) from the air.

This humid air is pulled in via the return air vent and then blow over the evaporator coil to cool down the air.

This process causes condensation (water beads) to form on the evaporator coil, which then is supposed fall into a drain pan and then exit your house via the condensate lines into a drain in the floor.

However, it doesn’t always happen this way as you are finding out now first hand! This points to the fact that there is obviously an issue with one of those parts involved in the draining process.

Clogged Condensate Line | Rusted Condensate Drain Pan

Now that we know why your air conditioner is leaking water, lets look at the obvious culprits. The most obvious (and common) issue is a clogged condensate drain line.

These tubes generally look like small (width of a quarter or so) PVC pipes coming from the box that sits on top of your furnace. Over time as these drain water, it is common for mold and other crap to become clogged inside of them if they are not cleaned out regularly.

This kind of growth can also cause the air from your AC to smell bad. If you haven’t changed your furnace filter in forever, all of the dirt in the air can accumulate on your evaporator coil. Therefore, dirty evaporator coil = clogged drain line = waterfall in your home = not good. 

You can help keep these drain lines clear by dropping a couple of condensate line cleaning tablets in twice a year or so. These little babies dissolve and essentially eat away at anything clogging those lines.

The box that they come in will have all the directions needed to do this yourself. This process is also something that we do ourselves when you have us out for air conditioner maintenance, so you should check that out if you are looking for the full package air conditioner cleaning.

The second culprit of the leaking water could be a rusted (or cracked) condensate drain pan.

This is the pan that sits below your evaporator coil and collects the condensation that drips off of it. If your air conditioner is older than father time, your condensate pan may be beginning to crack and leak this water right onto your furnace.

This pan is something that can technically be replaced, but it is something a professional HVAC company would need to do for you and depending on the age of your unit, it may not make the most financial sense.

In some cases, your air conditioner may have a secondary drain pan which includes a float switch that will turn your AC off to prevent water damage.

Finally, the last and more uncommon cause of this issue could be improper installation. If your evaporator coil and drain pan were not leveled properly during installation, the water would not be able to drain correctly from the pan, causing it to overflow.

Again, this is something a professional HVAC company would have to determine for you.

Need Some Help With That Leak?

Is your air conditioner leaking water and you need some help figuring out a solution? Give us a call at 614-475-1800 or contact us today, we are here to help! 

The post Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water? appeared first on Sears Heating and Cooling - Columbus, Ohio.

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Air Conditioner Ice Build Up

Does your air conditioner have a build up of ice on the outside? Wondering what could be the cause or fix for this? Read on to find out!

Restricted Air Flow

The major cause of ice build up on an air conditioner is restricted air flow. Without the proper air flow being able to flow over the evaporator coil, the temperature will easily drop below freezing and ice will begin to accumulate both inside and outside.

Most people only notice their outside unit being frozen but chances are if you our outside unit is a block of ice then so is the evaporator coil that sits on top of your furnace out of view. R-22 works to cool your home by making your indoor coil extremely cold as warm air blows over it. The best way to prevent ice build up on your air conditioner is by regularly changing your filter and keeping it clean.

If your furnace filter is clean, there is a chance that your evaporator coil may be clogged with dirt, hair ect. If you have never had this cleaned in the past, it may be time. Other items that can cause your air conditioner to freeze:

  • Blocked drain pipes
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Low temperature outdoors
  • Night time setting of your thermostat is too low
Signs Your Evaporator Coil Is Frozen

As previously stated above, if your outdoor unit is a bock of ice, chances are so is your evaporator coil. Signs that your evaporator coil is frozen include:

  • Condensation on the surface of your air handler indoors
  • Condensation on the surface of the condensate drain
  • Ice build up on your refrigerant line outdoors
  • Ice build up on your evaporator coil
What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Is Frozen
  • First things first, you need to turn your air conditioner off immediately to begin to let it thaw out.
  • Next, check to make sure you filter is clean and if it isn’t replace it with a new one.
  • Allow the ice on the unit to melt all the way. This could easily take 5 or more hours but it needs to completely thaw before it can be used again.
  • After your air conditioner has completely thawed out, and with a clean filter in it, turn it back on and see if it works properly.
  • If you are still having issues after this, contact a professional HVAC company for help.
Things Not To Do
  • If your air conditioner is frozen, it is important to not continue to operate the unit. By running your air conditioner while it is frozen, you run the high risk of damaging your compressor or burning up your motor. These parts are very expensive to replace and should be taken care of at all costs.
  • Don’t attempt to scrape or pick the ice off of your air conditioner or evaporator coil. The chances of damaging your unit are high and this will not speed up the process or solve the actual problem.
Conclusion

Finding your air conditioner covered in ice is never fun, but it is important to follow the correct steps to solve the problem. Taking short cuts will likely lead to you damaging your unit even further and costing you more money in the long run. Ice on your unit is indicative of a problem and it is important to find what that problem is to prevent ice from reforming. If you have followed all of the above steps and are still having issues, contact us and we will be glad to help you out. 

The post Why Does My Air Conditioner Have Ice Build Up? appeared first on Sears Heating and Cooling - Columbus, Ohio.

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How Does R-22 Work Exactly?

How does R-22 work exactly and how does it end up cooling the air in your home? Let’s find out!

The Low Down On R-22

How does R-22 work exactly? Some people think that R-22 is the stuff that is blown into your home to cool it down. Unfortunately, (and fortunately due to health reasons!) this is not how it works.

Your heating and cooling system is actually a “closed loop system” in that the R-22 in your system should never leak out or need refilled. If you are low on R-22, this means that you have a leak somewhere in your air conditioner and unless it is found and fixed, any new R-22 that you put into it will just leak right back out again. 

With this being said, let’s get into how R-22 actually works with your air conditioner to cool your home.

The R-22 Cycle

R-22 is a gas that is actually converted into a liquid when cooled or compressed. Your air conditioner compressor’s job is to compress the R-22, making it hot. As the R-22 moves through your air conditioner’s coils, it eventually cools down into a liquid form. 

Once converted into a liquid, the R-22 absorbs the heat from the warm air at your evaporator coil, and then pushes the cold air out via your blower motor in your furnace and your duct work.

Your air conditioner actually also works as a big dehumidifier by removing humidity (water) from your air as it runs. During really hot days, you may notice your air conditioner leaking water in your basement due to humidity removal process. 

R22 Phase Out

It should be noted that R-22 is actually being phased out by the Government. By the year 2020, R-22 will not be available for purchase anywhere. The United States is currently running on it’s final supplies as R22 is currently no longer being manufactured as of January 2015.

If you have an old air conditioner that is on its last legs, it is generally advised to replace it rather than put more R-22 in it. With R-22 being phased out, the cost of it has skyrocketed due to the limited supplies available.

The post How Does R-22 Work? appeared first on Sears Heating and Cooling - Columbus, Ohio.

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Indoor Allergy Relief | How Your HVAC System Can Help

Do you struggle with allergies? Are you looking for some indoor allergy relief? Believe it or not, your HVAC system can help as it is responsible for the quality of your air indoors. Read on to learn more!

Causes of Indoor Allergies

As a sufferer of allergies myself, I know how terrible it can be to have to deal with them on a daily basis.

Spring time is generally when most people start to have issues, but allergies can be a year round deal as well when it comes to indoor air.

Believe it or not, your HVAC system can help you in this regard through the use of advanced filters and UV lights.

Some of the most common causes of indoor allergies include:

Pet Dander

We all love our indoor animals, but for some of us they can cause quite the problem with our allergies as well as our HVAC system.

The dander from your pets fur can stay in the air for hours at a time, being blown all around your house and wreaking havoc on your allergies. 

Mold Spores

These babies aren’t only bad for your allergies, but are bad for your health in general.

Mold is prone to grow in damp, dark places such as basements or closets.

Over time, the spores from any mold growth can become sucked into your HVAC system and blown all over your house. Gross.

Pollen

Even though most plants and trees live outside, the pollen from them can still make its way indoors on a daily basis by doors opening and closing as well as open windows.

For those with severe outdoor allergies, it is usually recommended to change your clothes when coming in from outdoors to prevent pollen from getting on any furniture ect.

Dust

Dust is a natural occurrence in any house and is largely impossible to prevent over time.

Vacuuming and dusting on a regular basis is a must.

However, your HVAC system should be able to cut down on dust in a large way with the use of quality HEPA filters.

How Your HVAC System Can Help

Here are a few of the great ways your HVAC system can help give you some indoor allergy relief.

HEPA Rated Filters

HEPA stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air”.

These types of filters can do some serious work when it comes to cutting down on dust and indoor allergy culprits.

HEPA filters work by trapping dust and allergens in a fine mesh. They are capable of trapping 99.7% of all particulates that are 0.3 microns (300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair!) in size or larger.

A great HEPA air filter is the Honeywell Electronic Air Cleaner.

It uses a 3-stage electronic filtration system and replacement filters are not needed as you just simply wash and replace the filter every 6 to 12 months.

APCO Ultra Violet Light Purifier

Who knew that ultra violet light could be so harmful to airborne particles?

Believe it or not, by having an APCO UV Light installed in your HVAC system, it will cut down on airborne particles that can bother your allergies and also other particulates that can cause sickness.

The UV light is installed in the duct work that is right above your evaporator coil on your furnace.

As the air is blown out into your home, it passes through the UV rays and instantly kills any harmful particles. 

Contact Us Today For 100% Indoor Allergy Relief!

Are you interested in tackling your indoor allergies once and for all? Give us a call and we will be there as soon as the same day to get you the relief you deserve! Call us at 614-475-1800 or contact us online here

The post Indoor Allergy Relief appeared first on Sears Heating and Cooling - Columbus, Ohio.

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Common Reasons For Furnace Breakdowns

It’s the middle of winter and our phone lines hum with calls from homeowners who are without heat or not enough heat and need a furnace repair. Our knowledgeable technicians will diagnose precisely what’s wrong with your furnace or heat pump. The first step in any diagnosis is to look for simple things first. Here are some of the most common problems we find when troubleshooting.

  • Dirty or clogged filters. The single most important thing you can do to ensure adequate heat in cold weather is to change filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow. This means your furnace must work harder to circulate warm air throughout your home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace and may result in a breakdown, along with excessive utility bills and diminished equipment life.  Change filters at least every three months, and even monthly is not excessive, especially if you have a pet that sheds. Filters are cheap. You can buy a year’s supply for less than the cost of a single service call.
  • Ignition problems. Today’s heating systems typically have one of two types of ignition systems: hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot. Hot surface ignition uses a heating element, kind of like a filament in a light bulb, which is controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. This element wears out over time. The intermittent pilot also is controlled electronically but uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the gas pilot and then the main burners. A pilot may burn out due to drafts or clogs in the heating equipment, as well as problems with the thermocouple.
  • Other mechanical issues. Modern heating systems are complicated machines with a variety of electro-mechanical moving parts, including belts, bearings, fans and motors. Over time all of these components are subject to normal wear and tear.
  • Thermostat malfunction. Your thermostat regulates when heat is to be produced and how much. So-called “smart” thermostats are really small computers that can be programmed to set different temperatures at different times, depending on whether residents are at home and their comfort preferences. Whether you have an automated or manual thermostat, problems can develop that lead to no heat or inadequate heat.  Many thermostats are powered by batteries, and one of the first things our troubleshooting technician will check is whether those batteries need replacing! Modern thermostats give a readout warning when batteries get low. It’s surprising how many homeowners don’t notice or don’t heed the flashing reminders to change thermostat batteries.

The best way to assure that your heating system functions during the coldest winter days is to have your unit serviced regularly – at least once a year. Give us a call to ask about our service club that include full system inspections and maintenance.  Regular maintenance is easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life. One of the great things about a service plan is that we will call to remind you when it’s time tune-up.

The post Reasons for Furnace Breakdown appeared first on Sears Heating and Cooling - Columbus, Ohio.

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