Monthly Archives: July 2013

Common A/C Problems You May Need to Fix

Air conditioners are a common everyday household item that needs to be properly maintained. One of the most common problems with air conditioners is poor installation (leading to leaky ducts and low airflow), inadequate servicing and maintenance, low refrigerant charge, and misuse such as operating the conditioner with windows and doors open. Let’s take a look at some other common A/C problems.

  • Refrigerant leaks: A low refrigerant level could mean two things: either an undercharged installation, or a leak. If it’s the latter, a trained technician should be consulted who can then take action to repair the leak and test out any repairs, before charging the system so it has the correct refrigerant levels for its manufacturer specifications. When refrigerant levels are correct, your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency should be greatly improved. Refrigerant leaks should also be corrected immediately, as they can harm the environment.
  • Dirty filters: This comes under the common A/C problem of inadequate maintenance. If you don’t regularly change or clean your filters, and allow conditioning coils to become clogged with dirt, they won’t function as efficiently. This can cause the fans or the compressor to fail, sometimes greatly shortening the life of your unit.
  • Electric control failure: Even if your conditioner is properly maintained, the fan controls and compressor can still wear out, especially if you use your air conditioner frequently and it is oversized. Electrical connections and contacts should also always be checked for corrosion by a professional during an annual service visit.
  • Sensor problems: Thermostat sensors are generally located behind your air conditioner’s control panel, and measure the temperature of the air which enters the evaporative coil. The sensor can get knocked out of place, causing your conditioner to cycle constantly, or behave in an unusual manner. The sensor should not touch the coil, but be near to it.
  • Drainage Issues: Ensure that the condensate drain is working correctly, and has not become clogged.

For more information and advice on A/C problems in the Mobile and Baldwin County area, contact the experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. today.

How to Lower Your Energy Bill

If you believe that you can find fun in virtually any household task, then gather your family members, give them each a pad of paper and a pen and turn them loose. Their mission? To scour your home and find out how to lower your energy bill.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average American family spends about $2,000 a year on utilities. Your diligent efforts to conserve energy could trim that amount by as much as 25 percent. With that compelling incentive, here’s how to get started:

  • Seal air leaks: Wait for a breezy day and arm everyone with a long-stemmed lighter. Position them around those areas that are notorious for air leaks: doors, windows, electric switches and anywhere else where wires lead to an outside wall. Hold the lighter up against these spots and, if the flame flickers, you know you’ve got an air leak to seal with caulk, foam or weatherstripping.
  • Add insulation: Check the insulation in the attic, crawl space and basement. Consult a handy reference guide from the U.S. Department of Energy for the type and amount of insulation you need in these areas to conserve energy and lower your energy bill.
  • Set the thermostat: Clarify everybody’s summer schedules and then make a concerted effort to set the thermostat at a higher temperature by day and overnight. The U.S. Department of Energy says that you can save up to 15 percent a year by turning up your thermostat between 10 and 15 degrees for at least eight hours straight. (That works out to about 1 percent in savings for every degree.) Better still, install a programmable thermostat for long-term settings.
  • Change your energy habits: Get in the habit of turning off lights as you leave a room. You also can conserve energy by unplugging electronics when they’re not in use.

Once you’ve got a decent head start, save your notes and call Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. We would love to work with you and show you how to lower your energy bill. After all, we know a fun, family time when we see it, too. And this is one that truly pays off.