Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Hidden Costs of Your Old Air Conditioner

I recently heard a homeowner bragging about their old air conditioner "it still runs." Unfortunately, he doesn't realize his electric bill is probably quite higher than necessary. An air conditioner is not an heirloom possession.

Better Efficiency

Over the past decade or so, efficiency has dramatically improved. This is because of public awareness of energy and the government enacting efficiency requirements. Your airconditioner efficiency is very low if it was installed before 2006. Today's air conditioners are more than twice as efficient as the pre-2006 units (based on government-defined efficiency ratings).

Imagine the cost of electricity for the major electricity consuming appliance in your home as half as much.

Over-sizing was the Rule

Rule-of-thumb was the method for sizing old air conditioning systems. That rule was to make sure it was big enough to cool the house. Unfortunately, in keeping to this rule, a rather generous safety margin emerged. Everyone knew it would use a good amount of energy, but electricity was cheap back then.

There are two problems with this sizing rule. The obvious one, electricity rates have increased tremendously over the decades. The other problem has to do with the cooling needed by the home. If you have done absolutely nothing to your home since installation of the air conditioner, then its capacity is probably about right. But, if you have replaced windows, added siding, or added insulation above your ceiling, then the cooling requirement for the home could be less. An over-sized air conditioner causes temperature swings in your home due to rapid on and off cycling.

Do Not Decide on Your Own

Even if it seems that you should replace your air conditioner, you will need assistance in selecting the best economical size and efficiency. The professionals at J. R. Perkins can provide this assistance and they can provide more insight than provided in this short article. After talking to J.R. Perkins, you can do the bragging. JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley and services Phoenix, specifically Scottsdale, AZ. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Properly Cleaning Out Your Air Conditioning Unit

If you use an air conditioner to cool down your home or apartment during warmer months, it is likely you do not wish to experience downtime due to improper maintenance. Yearly assessments of your air conditioner, in addition to regular cleaning sessions of the components within the unit, will aid in keeping your machine working at times you need it most. Here are some steps to follow when cleaning out a window unit.

Turn Off Power To Your Unit Before Doing A Cleaning Session
Before you clean out your air conditioner, make sure it is not plugged into an electrical outlet. Failing to unplug your air conditioning unit before doing a cleaning session can lead to the possibility of an electrical shock as you will be working with the interior portions of the unit with cleaners and water. While turning off the unit will aid in keeping it from running during your cleaning session, electricity will still be present if you do not unplug it.

Remove The Grill Cover And Clean Out The Coils To Remove Debris
The exterior side of your unit will have a cover present which you will be able to remove rather easily. Pry the cover away from the unit with a screwdriver if it does not come loose when you use your fingertips to pull it away from the main portion of the air conditioner. When this cover is taken off, coils underneath will be exposed. These coils should remain free of debris to ensure maximum efficiency in the cooling of the interior of your home or apartment. To remove surface dust, dip a piece of microfiber cloth in water and wring out the cloth to remove excess liquid. Use the cloth to gently wipe down each coil by hand.

Use A Vacuum Cleaner To Remove Excess Dust And Change The Filter
The grill portion of your air conditioner, in addition to the inside components, can be vacuumed to remove dirt. Use a soft brush attachment to do the job. When you vacuum the interior of the unit, do not rub the brush over any of the components as you remove dirt. Instead, keep the brush an inch or so away from components to aid in the avoidance of damage to them. Swap the brush attachment with a crevice tool to remove dirt from the fins that make up the grill portion of your unit. After dirt is removed, slide out the air filter and replace it with a new one. If your machine has a washable filter, remove it and soak it in a sink full of warm water for several minutes and allow to air dry before placing back in your unit.

It is best to have your air conditioning unit serviced yearly. This will ensure it is able to be used during the hottest temperatures without unnecessary downtime. If you require assistance in maintaining your air conditioning unit, do not hesitate to contact JR Perkins to schedule an appointment. JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley, serving Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Central vs. Ductless Air Conditioning

There are quite a few kinds of air conditioners, but not all are equally suited to residential usage. Here is a comparison of two popular residential air conditioning solutions: central and ductless mini-split systems.

Central air conditioners are simple and effective. Central air conditioners extract heat from regular air and then distribute the resulting cool air throughout your home. Central air conditioning is often the best choice when you are looking to cool your entire home, but it does require a little extra maintenance. Not only do you need to keep the air conditioner in working order, but you also need to make sure that your ventilation isn't getting clogged up.

Ductless Mini-Split systems are similar in that they have a central cooling unit and outlets throughout your home. You can choose which rooms get cold air at any time. While a central system uses ventilation to move cold air, a ductless system has refrigeration lines that directly connect the refrigeration unit to the fan systems in each room. This cold air is then blown right into the room, somewhat like a cleaner swamp cooler.

So which option is better?

Central air conditioners require much less effort to install if you already have ventilation in place. They are also pretty good choices if you are planning on keeping all of your rooms equally cool.
Ductless systems are easier to install if you don't have ventilation already. They are efficient if you are only planning on cooling a few rooms since they allow you to save energy that would otherwise be spent on bringing down the temperature in the rest of your house.

Did you know that JR Perkins was the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley? Our service area includes Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding areas. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How Big Does My Central Air Conditioner Need To Be?

In past blog articles, we shared that having an oversized central air conditioner can cause you a number of problems. These issues can include your house becoming too humid, increasing the operating cost, and creating a risk of breakdowns. So, this likely has you wondering what size air conditioner you actually need. Today's article hopes to explain what goes into determining the best size.

First off, it is important to understand that size really does matter. A unit that is too small will continuously run, will not be able to keep up on hottest days, and will ultimately increase your energy consumption. On the other hand, in addition to what was stated above, an air conditioner that is too big will cost more to run, will cycle on and off frequently, and will not provide consistent cooling. You may be tempted to look at your existing unit to determine the right size, that is very often an unreliable method.

In order to figure out the correct size unit, an air conditioning installer must calculate your home's heat load, which is essentially how fast your house heats up. Factors to consider is the home's overall volume, the exterior area exposed to direct sun, and the number and condition of your windows. Also considered are the age and overall condition of the house, the type of insulation in the walls and attic, and any existing ductwork. Even the type of roof you have has an impact.

When you know your home's heat load, you then know exactly how much cooling power you need. Regardless, this is not something that can be done by the average homeowner or some online calculator. Only a qualified and professional air conditioning installer knows what to look for and has the software to make a precise calculation. Installing a new air conditioning unit is just one of those home repair projects that a person cannot do on their own.

JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley, located in Scottsdale AZ. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Common Air Conditioner Noises and What They Mean

On a hot day, the last thing you want when you turn on your air conditioner is for it to start making noises that remind you of a 747 heading down a runway or rocks being tossed around inside a steel drum. The following are a few of the most common air conditioner sounds that you might encounter and what they mean.

Screaming:
You turn on your AC and hear a high-pitched screaming or hissing sound similar to a tea kettle coming from the outside unit that stops within a few seconds. The air conditioner may also cycle on and off frequently. This is usually the result of high pressure building up in your system and causing the compressor to scream. You should immediately turn off your AC and call for service.

Knocking, Banging, or Clanging:


If you notice this sound when the outside unit is running but not when you set the thermostat to fan only, the most likely cause is an obstruction. The fan may be hitting a rock or stick or may have come loose from the mount causing it to wobble inside the cage. You should turn your air conditioner off and call for service.

Gurgling or Bubbling:


It may be hard to identify the source of the gurgling, but it is most likely the condensate drain line or a refrigerant leak. You probably will not make the problem worse by continuing to run your AC, but you should make sure that you have a proper trap for the condensate drain line. You should also call a professional to rule out a refrigerant leak.

Screeching:


A metal-on-metal screeching sound while the AC is running typically indicates that the fan motor bearings are worn and that the fan motor should be replaced. You should avoid running your AC if possible and call for service.

Squealing:


If there is an intermittent squealing coming from the inside unit, you may have a worn or misaligned fan belt. The sound may come and go as the belt expands and contracts with changes in heat and humidity. Your AC may continue to run for a while, but it is best to go ahead and call for service since the belt will eventually break and leave you sweltering in the heat.

Clicking:


If you hear a sound similar to a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle tire, there is probably a small obstruction in the fan of the outdoor unit. You should remove the obstruction before continuing to run your AC. If the outside unit tries to turn on but only clicks, you may have an electrical problem involving the compressor, thermostat, or capacitor.

Any type of strange noise coming from your AC should be evaluated by a trained HVAC professional. J.R. Perkins Heating and Cooling has been serving homeowners in Scottsdale and the surrounding area since 1960. Call (480) 422-4437 today or visit our website www.JRPerkins.com to have one of our licensed HVAC experts make sure that your AC is ready for the hot weather to come.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Is My Central Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?


Is your central air conditioner blowing warm or hot air? When a customer asks these questions, they are understandably frustrated and aggravated. However, if you are experiencing this problem, there is no reason to sweat. While you may ultimately need a professional technician to inspect your air conditioning unit, there are some things you can do before making that call.

The fact is, there are many different reasons why an AC could blow warm or hot air. Regardless, the most common causes are simple. Today's article will walk you through some easy, do-it-yourself troubleshooting.

Causes of a Central AC Blowing Warm Air
1. Check Your Thermostat - believe it or not, having the thermostat set to "heat" is likely the most common reason for this issue. Also, with the fan switched to "on" means it will blow continuously, even when the AC unit is not cooling. So, the fix is simple. Switch the thermostat setting to "cool" and the fan to "auto."

2. Clean the Outside Unit - Bad weather can cause debris to build up around the air conditioning unit's components. These components require unrestricted airflow in order to draw the warm air from your home. Try sweeping away any visible debris and trim nearby hedges and any tall grass that could be getting in the way.

3. Check the Power - Your air condition unit is actually two parts. It is possible for the outside unit to lose power, but your inside unit to push warm air throughout your home. First, check your circuit breaker box to see if the breaker tripped. Next, find your "emergency shut off" switch, likely located on the home’s exterior wall. It can sometimes get accidentally switched off.

Today's article discussed some common causes for a central air conditioner blowing warm or hot air, and the easy do-it-yourself fixes. Nevertheless, if you still have a problem, it is time to call a professional air conditioning repair technician. You may have a refrigerant leak, damaged duct work, or another condition. Only a professional can properly diagnose and repair these problems.

JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley serving Scottsdale, Phoenix, and surrounding cities. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What If I Need Air Conditioning Service Repair?

When your air conditioner goes out, it can be a disaster - especially in the summer in Scottsdale AZ. Getting your a/c back up and running again will become the number one priority. This does raise some very important questions:
  • Can I repair my air conditioner myself or do I need to hire someone?
  • If I do need to hire, should I hire a local contractor or a company professional?
  • Can our budget afford this? What kind of pricing will I be looking at?
  • How long will this take? Is it going to be anywhere between a day and a month?
  • Does the repair service come with a warranty? If it quits again in a month, will they come back out for free?
The answers to these questions can fluctuate, the main reason being the difference between having built-in heating and cooling for the home, or if your home is equipped with window unit air conditioners or portable ones. Typically, window units and portable air conditioners do not need to be repaired, simply replaced. The exception to this is if they are still under warranty and the manufacturer or business where they were purchased will repair them for free or a small fee.
With in-home cooling, whether you decide to hire locally or through a business, all of the above questions can be easily answered through their available website. If it does not list prices, area availability, time frames, warranty guarantees, and if there are any available promotions, there should at least be a contact number available to speak with someone in person about these questions. Any information you get through the website or through an individual, I would get a copy of in e-mail. This will ensure that if you end up speaking with someone else, you are still able to get the original terms you were quoted.
JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley. To learn more please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com or call (480) 422-4437.