Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning

What Are Swamp Coolers?

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A swamp cooler is a type of cooling system that relies on water evaporation to cool the air. Also known as evaporative coolers, these devices cool incoming air by as much as 30 degrees F. They’re the most energy efficient way to cool, as long as the humidity is low.

The coolers pump water over absorbent pads. A fan inside the cooler pulls air through the pads. The air blows through the home to cool it. Some coolers use thermostats to turn on and off. How much they cool is completely dependent on the weather. They are most effective in arid regions like Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas.

Their Benefits

  • An evaporative cooler uses about four times less electricity than an air conditioner.

  • The coolers cost much less than central air conditioners.

  • Swamp coolers pull in a constant stream of fresh air and run quietly.

Ideal Applications

The easiest kind of home to cool with an evaporative cooler is a ranch-style single-story home. They can cool two-story homes, but the airflow needs to be balanced to assure adequate cooling for the upstairs. Larger homes require larger coolers. They’re also good for spot-cooling a garage or outbuilding.

Their Limitations

  • Evaporative coolers are extremely effective in arid climates when the dew point is below 55 degrees F. Swamp coolers are not nearly as effective as the humidity rises.

  • They also require venting. The air they pull in has to exit your home through windows, doors, or up ducts.

  • They raise the humidity levels indoors. As humidity increases, so does mold growth. Dust mites also thrive in humid conditions. Anyone sensitive to or allergic to either should consult his physician before installing a swamp cooler.

  • They require more maintenance than air conditioners even though they're mechanically much simpler than A/C units and heat pumps.

A swamp cooler can provide comfortable and efficient cooling during the spring and fall in the Broken Arrow region. If you’d like to learn more about these appliances, contact Air Assurance. We provide HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Air Conditioning

AC Dangers: What You Should Never Do

Your HVAC is a sturdy piece of machinery, and is designed to withstand a lot of heavy use over the years. But it also should be handled with care, as certain practices will result in damage and expensive breakdowns. Some malfunctions that can occur with your HVAC can also lead to damage to your home, or danger to its occupants. Read on and learn about A/C dangers.

1. Neglect changing the air filter.

A dirty air filter will slow down air flow so that your system cannot cool properly. You will use more energy, and you may eventually cause a breakdown. Further, a dirty filter will not effectively filter the air going into your system, so that parts may become dirty (thus, burning hotter and causing friction), and also so that air won't be properly cleaned.

2. Turn the thermostat down so the A/C runs continuously.

This practice will put a lot of stress on your system, so that parts break down and you will need to do more frequent repairs.

3. Close off dampers in rooms.

Some homeowners think this practice saves money on energy by not air conditioning rooms, when in fact it creates negative pressure and makes the air conditioner run inefficiently. It can also stress the equipment so that you have more frequent breakdowns.

4. Open windows while the A/C is running.

Central air conditioners are designed to run with all windows and doors closed, and the home should be air sealed for maximum efficiency. Otherwise, you'll be wasting energy and causing the A/C to work harder than it should.

5. Neglect frayed electric wiring.

Always have your HVAC tech check the wiring during preventative maintenance visits. If frayed or old, it should be replaced, as bad wires can result in fires.

6. Neglect a plugged condensate drain.

When these drains get clogged (and they always do eventually), flooding in the home can result.

For more on A/C dangers, or to schedule maintenance, repairs or equipment installations, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Air Conditioning

A Guide to Fixing Cold Spots in Your Home

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If you're like most of the households across the country, running your A/C will soon become a daily activity. Some of you are probably going to notice that certain areas are a lot colder then others, so we thought we'd give you a few simple tips on fixing cold spots right away.

Repair Any Damage to Ductwork

Since ductwork is absolutely essential for the proper cooling of your home, any damage that it experiences will affect airflow. Carefully examine all areas of the ductwork for issues like holes and tears, and don't hesitate to call a technician for additional assistance. Repairs to the ductwork will balance everything again, which will cut down on cold spots.

Install a Zoning System

Cold spots are often caused by the fact that certain rooms take a lot less time to cool off than others do, yet a traditional HVAC system will continue to run until the warmer rooms are cooled off. By upgrading to a zoning system, you can use a central control unit and multiple thermostats to focus your cooling needs on specific areas of your home that you designate.

Unblock Your Home’s Vents

When objects like furniture and boxes are placed in front of or on top of your vents, then this impeded airflow will often cause these rooms to be more difficult to cool off while others get too cold. The solution, luckily, is very simple. All you need to do is check each vent and make sure that there are no obstructions.

Seal Windows and Doors

The edges around your doors and windows are notorious for air leaks, which can quickly cause cold spots to develop. Depending on the size of the leak, you can seal these problem areas with either caulking, spray foam, or weatherstripping. But, don't forget to check for other areas in your home that may have leaks as well.

To learn more about fixing cold spots or other home comfort issues, please contact the HVAC professionals at Air Assurance. We’ve been servicing Broken Arrow and beyond for more than 30 years.

Air Conditioning

Is Air Conditioning Healthy?

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Air conditioning affects on health are overwhelmingly positive, particularly when you compare today’s living conditions to the past. While about 87% of American homes are air conditioned now, this wasn’t always the case. Up until the 1960s, residential air conditioning was rare and frequently not included even in newly constructed homes. As A/C has become a way of life, Americans have benefitted from more than just the comforting sensation of coolness on a hot day.

Here are some ways air conditioning affects on health have contributed to our higher standard of wellness.

Reduced heat hazards.

During summer heat waves in the past, uncontrolled indoor temperatures very commonly resulted in a high incidence of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke for individuals residing inside non-air conditioned homes. Extreme heat is especially dangerous for infants, small children and the elderly. The widespread emergence of home air conditioning has greatly reduced these health risks.

Healthy humidity control.

High indoor humidity is the source of potential health issues, including toxic mold growth that causes symptoms in susceptible individuals. Chronic moisture sources including high indoor humidity trigger dormant airborne mold spores into the active growth mode that causes illness in some residents exposed to it. The evaporator coil in your air conditioner continuously extracts water vapor from indoor air as part of the cooling process. This function inhibits indoor mold growth by keeping household humidity in the EPA-recommended range below 65%.

Cleaner indoor air quality.

Indoor airborne particulates—dust, lint, dirt and smoke particles—can be a source of irritation and allergic responses for many persons. As your air conditioner circulates cooling through the household ductwork, the air is also repeatedly cleaned by the system air filter. Particulate levels are kept lower and allergy-related symptoms are reduced. In a typical home air conditioning system, the entire air volume inside the house passes through the air filter multiple times eacg day. Remember to replace the air filter monthly throughout the cooling season to safeguard indoor air quality.

For more about air conditioning affects on health and maintaining optimum indoor comfort, contact the experts at Air Assurance.

Air Conditioning

How to Care for Your HVAC Condensor Fan Motor

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The condenser is located in the outdoor unit of the HVAC system, along with the compressor and condenser coils. This HVAC condenser fan motor is key to the proper operation of the entire HVAC system, keeping the air conditioner cool as the fan motor turns the blades, blowing air across the condenser coil where the refrigerant is cooled from hot gas into a liquid. During this process, warm air from the house is exhausted outdoors.

It's important to keep the condenser from overheating or working too hard. Regular maintenance includes lubricating the fan and other parts at least once a year, before you turn the air conditioner on for the season.

Condenser Problems

Some of the main things that can go wrong with the condenser are these:

  • Motor can go bad. If the motor is incorrectly sized in the unit, it is likely to malfunction.

  • If the fan blades are not installed correctly, airflow may be impeded and the motor may overheat.

  • An incorrect start run capacitor or incorrectly sized fan blade may cause a condition called overamping.

  • Poor air flow can also result from obstructions near the unit, such as weeds, leaves, grass, shrubs and garden furniture. Clear all vegetation and debris away from the condenser so it can properly exhaust warm air.

  • Dirty coils can prevent the unit from transferring warm air, which will result in inadequate cooling in the home. The coils should be cleaned annually.

  • Refrigerant leaks can develop in the condenser and the lines leading to it. Insufficient refrigerant can result in inadequate cooling, as well as strain on the compressor, leading to breakdown.

To tell if your condenser fan motor is overheating, place your hand on the unit. You can also check the temperature of the condenser fan motor with a regular thermometer, but it's best to hire an HVAC professional with proper equipment to do the job.

For more on your HVAC condenser fan motor and other HVAC parts, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. Call us to schedule repairs, maintenance or new installations; we've served Broken Arrow since 1985.

Air Conditioning, Thermostats

Preparing Your Thermostat for Cooling Season

Preparing Your Thermostat for Cooling Season

With cooling season on the horizon, it's time to prepare your home and thermostat so they're optimized for comfort and energy efficiency. Here's how you can get ready for the coming change in weather and temperature.

Invest in New Thermostat Technology

If you rely on a basic digital control to regulate your home's HVAC system, you'll appreciate the convenience that a programmable thermostat provides. The Department of Energy (DOE) also advises that going programmable can save you up to 10 percent on your yearly HVAC energy consumption. When choosing a new thermostat, look for one that works with your type of HVAC equipment and also meshes with your usual weekly routine.

Prime Your HVAC for Summer Energy Savings

To reap the greatest savings, the DOE recommends programming your thermostat with different temperature adjustments for specific periods each day: lower when you're home and active, and higher when everyone is sleeping or away. These daily temperature adjustments can add up to sizable savings over time, because a one-degree change for eight hours brings a one-percent drop in annual energy consumption. You should also:

  • Set the temperature at 78°F when you're at home and active.

  • Increase it to 85°F at night and when the house isn't occupied.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment to see if you can save more energy with a higher temperature. Do so incrementally, one or two degrees at a time, to avoid causing discomfort or overtaxing your cooling equipment.

  • Never use the override function to make a big temperature adjustment in order to cool down the house faster. The cooling process won't speed up, but you can accidentally cool your home too much and end up wasting energy.

  • Run your ceiling fans in tandem with your air conditioner to boost the cooling effect, but only in occupied rooms. With the blades moving counter-clockwise, the fan's air movement cools the skin, which lets you raise the temperature setting by up to four degrees.

For expert help getting your Broken Arrow home ready for the cooling season, contact us at Air Assurance.

Air Conditioning

Should You Replace Indoor and Outdoor Air Conditioning Units at the Same Time?

Should You Replace Indoor and Outdoor Air Conditioning Units at the Same Time?

If one of your HVAC units breaks down and can't be repaired, you'll probably think about replacing just that single component. When it comes to replacing air conditioning units, an experienced HVAC professional will advise you to install new indoor and outdoor units at the same time. Here are some of the reasons why it's the wisest choice:

Energy Efficiency

Central split systems have efficiency ratings that factor in their matched components. If you put in one new unit with a higher rating, it can only operate at the efficiency level of your older unit. This means your new component won't reach its full energy-saving potential.

Long-Term Reliability

If you add a brand new unit to an existing system, it's bound to put added strain on the older component. This makes it more likely that this unit will break down or fail during the hottest summer weather. When you have matching new components, you can rest easy that your cooling system will work reliably when you need it the most.

Cost Savings

Upfront savings are the main reason why Broken Arrow homeowners might consider replacing only one air conditioner unit. Upgrading the entire system instead offers more potential for long-term energy savings, and cost savings on necessary repairs. Plus, if you keep one older unit in place, it will likely need replacement in the near future, so you'll still have to pay for a second new unit.

System Enhancements

Installing two units with matching SEER ratings ensures better energy efficiency, but it also gives you the opportunity to integrate system enhancements for more comfort and convenience. Options worth considering include variable-speed technology, ductless HVAC, system zoning, whole-home air purification and smart thermostats.

Warranty Coverage

To meet equipment manufacturer's warranty requirements, split system components have to be installed to certain specifications. This is impossible to do when a new unit is added to your existing system. If you want warranty protection against factory defects, indoor and outdoor units must be installed at the same time.

For more reasons why we recommend replacing air conditioning units together, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

What Are High-End Air Conditioners?

What Are High-End Air Conditioners?

When you’re looking for a way to combat the summer heat without having high cooling costs, look for a high-end air conditioner. Its upgraded standard features increase its energy efficiency and your comfort.The U.S. Department of Energy requires all HVAC equipment to be evaluated for energy efficiency. They measure the efficiency of central air conditioners by testing them over a simulated cooling season and measure the amount of electricity they use.The minimum stands energy efficiency rating stands at 14 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) for air conditioners in Oklahoma. A high-end A/C will have a 15 SEER rating and higher. It may also carry the familiar Energy Star logo. High-end HVAC systems do cost more initially but make up for their high price in lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs.The features to look for in high-end air conditioners and heat pumps to look for that that increase the SEER include:

Dual-speed compressor.

Such a compressor can adjust its running speed from low to high, depending on how much cooling your home needs. The compressor uses the most electricity of any other air conditioner part. When it runs on low, it uses less power, which saves you money.

Variable-speed air handler.

A variable-speed motor in the air handler will blow the air throughout your home at different speeds based on its need for cooling. They also ramp up and slow down slowly. The longer running time distributes all the cooled air from the ductwork that would otherwise be wasted.

Zoning systems.

A zoning system lets you control the temperatures individually in each room of your home. They use dampers in the ductwork and individual thermostats so that each area of your home will be a comfortable temperature, instead of having a single thermostat setting for the entire home. Zoning eliminates hot and cold spots throughout the house.Because summers are hot and fairly long in this region, a high-end air conditioner will pay for itself in lower energy costs and greater comfort. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Best Heating and Cooling Options for Sunrooms

Best Heating and Cooling Options for Sunrooms

A sunroom or enclosed patio offers a great place to unwind, but this part of your home can get uncomfortably hot during the summer months. You don’t have to avoid using this area of your home when it’s hot out. Instead, learn more about sunroom HVAC solutions and other ways to keep this area cool.

Choose a Ductless Mini-Split HVAC System

A ductless mini-split HVAC system is one that is designed to be flexible, which makes them ideal for sunrooms and enclosed patios. With this type of HVAC system, you don’t need to have ductwork installed or pay to have your current HVAC system extended into this part of your home. With a ductless mini-split system, you can easily control the temperature in your sunroom, which helps you save on your cooling bills.

Install a Ceiling Fan

If your sunroom doesn’t have a ceiling fan, consider having one installed. Ceiling fans don’t generate cold air for sunrooms, but they do move air around. This movement can help your skin feel cooler when you’re sitting in your sunroom, even on a hot summer day. You can also use portable fans for additional air movement if needed.

Add or Improve Insulation

Having the right amount of insulation in the ceiling of your sunroom helps cut down on the amount of heat that passes through it. Have an HVAC technician check your insulation to determine if you need more added. This should help your sunroom stay at a cooler temperature during summer.

Install Blinds or Shades

If you don’t have any window treatments in your sunroom, this lets more sunlight into this area. Putting blinds or shades on your sunroom windows allows you to control how much sunlight gets into this part of your home. Keeping the blinds or shades closed when the sun is facing those windows can help your sunroom feel cooler.

If you need more information on sunroom HVAC solutions for your home in Broken Arrow, please contact Air Assurance today. We provide dependable service that will help your sunroom stay cool and comfortable.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Second-Story Homes: Fixing Uneven Cooling

Second-Story Homes: Fixing Uneven Cooling

In our Oklahoma climate with its hot summer weather, cooling your two-story home evenly can be frustrating and difficult. Dialing back the thermostat's temperature setting frequently to cool your uncomfortably warm second story can make the main floor rooms too chilly, and send your energy bills skyrocketing, too. Warm air's lower density is why it naturally rises, and this is a main reason for uneven cooling in a multi-story home.However, these other issues may be contributing to the problem as well:

Incorrect equipment sizing and advancing age.

Over- or under-sized equipment can short cycle or may not have enough capacity to provide sufficient cooling. If you have older equipment, its efficiency may be in decline.

Unchecked heat gains/losses.

Ductwork leaks, air losses through your home's conditioned envelope and inadequate insulation can make cooling less effective and/or reduce how much conditioned air gets delivered.

Flawed ductwork design.

Insufficient return airflow, inadequately-sized ducts or a lack of supply and return ducts can cause airflow imbalances that result in uneven cooling.

How to Achieve More Consistent Cooling

To enjoy greater comfort on all levels of your home, it's best to have a skilled contractor assess your HVAC system. You may be advised to:

Update your HVAC equipment.

It may be time to invest in a new air conditioner or heat pump if yours has a low SEER rating or is more than 10 years old.

Fix ducting flaws.

Sealing and insulating or replacing a poorly-designed duct system may help even out temperature differences by curbing conditioned air losses and/or improving airflow to the second level.

Seal and insulate.

Air sealing around your home's exterior and attic may preserve more HVAC output, while boosting insulation levels on the attic floor may improve your home's overall efficiency.

Install zoned cooling.

Having duct dampers and individual thermostats installed to create multiple cooling zones can provide more precise temperature control and more consistent comfort on each of your home's levels.

If you're experiencing problems with uneven cooling in your multi-level or two-story Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance for expert help finding effective solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Signs You're Overworking Your System

Signs You’re Overworking Your System

An overworked HVAC system will cost you in higher energy costs and repair bills. These situations might help you discover if your system is working harder and costing you more than it should.

It runs in brief spurts.

Few things harm a central air conditioner more than short running cycles. The frequent starts stress all the parts, but the compressor and the motors bear most of the burden. When A/C equipment first starts up, it requires a lot of electricity to run.

The frequent bursts of electricity wear these parts out faster. They use more energy and will fail faster. To avoid equipment that runs in short cycles, insist on having a load calculation performed on your home before you install new HVAC equipment. Oversized systems are not better when it comes to cooling and heating equipment.

Filter changes are infrequent.

Running your system with a clogged air filter will overwork it. The airflow slows through the air handler and the ductwork. As a consequence, it takes longer to cool your home, which increases the wear and tear on all its parts.

Running it with low airflow often causes the coil inside the air handler to freeze. If your system continues to run, it could burn the compressor out, which is the A/C’s most expensive part.

Your electric bills are high.

Steadily rising energy consumption often indicates an overworked system. If you’ve eliminated obvious causes like ductwork leaks or a dirty air filter, your system may be showing the signs of an overworked HVAC system.

It requires frequent repairs.

If it seems like your system needs repairing often, it may be overworked. While oversized equipment is the primary cause of system problems, the opposite might contribute as well. If it’s too small for your home, it will have to run in cycles longer than the manufacturer intended, which will shorten its lifetime.

The experts at Air Assurance can help you discover if you have an overworked HVAC system to help you avoid excessive energy and repair costs. We provide trusted HVAC services for homeowners in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Refrigerant 101: What it is and Why it Matters

Refrigerant 101: What it is and Why it Matters

You don’t need a course in Refrigerant 101 to know whether your air conditioner’s keeping the house cool on a summer day. Without refrigerant circulating in the cooling system, we’d all be a lot less comfortable in hot weather. Here are more basics of Refrigerant 101 and how this remarkable substance handles the household cooling load.

The Cycle Of Coolness

In your central air conditioner, refrigerant passing through the indoor evaporator coil is a frigid vapor that efficiently absorbs household heat from the system airflow. After passing through an insulated line to your outdoor condenser unit, refrigerant is compressed into a hot liquid and rapidly releases absorbed heat into the air as it passes through the condenser coil. The refrigerant flow then circles back to the indoor evaporator, converting to a cold vapor again to extract still more heat from your home.

Low Refrigerant Means A Leak

Air conditioners don’t “use up” refrigerant. Theoretically, as long as the system is intact and functional, it should not require addition of extra refrigerant. If your A/C exhibits signs of a low refrigerant charge—such as poor cooling performance, ice formation on the indoor coil or rapid on/off cycling—there’s usually a leak somewhere in the system. Simply adding more refrigerant without resolving the leak isn't a solution that lasts. Call for professional HVAC service to pinpoint the problem, repair the leak, then restore the refrigerant to the proper level.

Old Refrigerant Is Going Away

R-22 refrigerant, the industry standard in air conditioners for decades, is being removed from the market due to environmental concerns. It will become completely unavailable in 2020. All new A/C units manufactured today utilize R-410A refrigerant, the environmentally-friendly replacement for R-22. As 2020 approaches, expect R-22 to become increasingly less available and more expensive. Ultimately, all R-22 units will have to be replaced with new R-410 units by 2020.

To learn more about the basics of Refrigerant 101, contact the cooling experts at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Why Your A/C Freezes in the Summer

Why Your A/C Freezes in the Summer

While ice on a hot summer day is usually a welcome sight, an A/C freeze isn’t. Ice formation on the indoor evaporator coil of your central air conditioner can eventually turn into a solid block, obstructing all airflow through the system. This can seriously damage expensive components such as the compressor. Since the evaporator coil is sealed inside the indoor air handler, you're usually unaware that ice is accumulating. The only noticeable signs may be warm air blowing from the A/C vents, automatic system shutdowns for no apparent reason, or water pooling on the floor around the air handler when the ice melts.Here are some common causes of an A/C freeze and what may be required to resolve them:

Dirty Air Filter

As the air filter clogs, system airflow is strangled. Low airflow through the evaporator coil reduces heat extraction and causes the coil temperature to drop from normal approximately 40 degrees to below freezing. Condensation on the coil then freezes and ice accumulation begins. To prevent low airflow, replace the filter monthly during the cooling season.

Insufficient Refrigerant

When refrigerant pressure in the system drops too low, the refrigerant vapor expands excessively and actually becomes colder. This, in turn, causes the evaporator coil temperature to drop below freezing and ice to form. Low refrigerant charge is usually traceable to a leak in the system that must be pinpointed and repaired by a qualified HVAC service tech. When the refrigerant charge is returned to specs, coil temperature should stay above freezing.

Dirty Coil

Dust and dirt particulates in the system airflow gradually accumulate on the coil. This inhibits heat extraction, allowing the coil temperature to fall below 32 degrees and ice formation to begin. Since the coil is mounted inside the air handler, it’s not accessible for DIY cleaning. Coil cleaning should be performed by a qualified professional. It’s also a standard part of regular annual preventive maintenance offered by your HVAC contractor.

Don't suffer due to an A/C freeze on a hot summer's day. Contact Air Assurance for fast professional service.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Benefits of a Portable A/C 

Benefits of a Portable A/C

Although it’s hard to match the convenience and comfort of a central air conditioner, sometimes it makes sense to use a portable A/C in junction with it or independently. Over the last few years, portable air conditioners have become more energy efficient and versatile and they may be just what you need in certain situations.

Supplemental Cooling

If you need supplemental cooling in one particular room or area of your home because it’s consistently hotter than the rest, a portable air conditioner might be the best solution. You can use the A/C as a supplemental cooling unit only when you plan to use the areas that are overly warm.You might have a home office or a hobby room that isn’t consistently used. When the air conditioner isn’t in use, you can disconnect the venting hose and tuck the unit into a closet or roll it into a corner.You may also use the cooling unit to make a guest or family member more comfortable. What’s comfortable for one person may not be for another and rather than cooling the whole house down to accommodate their preferred sleeping temperatures, it makes sense to use a portable unit to cool just their bedroom instead.

Dehumidification

One of the newest features a portable A/C may have is a dehumidify-only switch. Being able to remove the humidity without having to cool the room. Humidity increases the "feels like” temperature and by lowering it, you will feel cooler. You can also use this feature in the winter to dry out a damp, clammy basement.

Appearances

Unlike window or wall air conditioners, portable units have small venting requirements that aren’t necessarily visible from the street. When the unit isn’t in use, simply remove the vent and store the A/C. Wall and window A/C units, on the other hand, have an unsightly appearance both indoors and out.

A portable A/C might help you solve some of your cooling and humidity challenges. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Turning on Your Air Conditioner: Steps to Take First

Turning on Your Air Conditioner: Steps to Take First

With temperatures getting warmer, it will soon be time for turning on your air conditioner. Before you do so, though, there are certain steps you should take to make sure that it’s ready. Use the following steps to prepare your air conditioner for the summer months, so that your Broken Arrow home can stay as cool as possible.

Replace the Air Filter

The air filter inside your HVAC system has a direct impact on the quality of your indoor air. It also affects how efficiently your HVAC system works. If your system has a dirty filter, it will have to run for longer periods of time and work much harder to cool your home, which increases the risk of repairs. Take time to change the air filter in your HVAC system before turning on your air conditioner for the season. Having a clean air filter helps your cooling system work as efficiently as possible.

Clean Around the Outdoor Unit

If weeds or other debris and vegetation are around your outdoor unit, they can block air from flowing out of it. This leads to excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system, which shortens its lifespan. Make sure that your outdoor unit has a clear space of about a couple of feet around it on all sides.

Check Your Thermostat

Before you use your air conditioner for the season, check the settings on your thermostat. It should be set to “auto” rather than “on,” and you should adjust the temperature as needed. Having the fan turned to “on” means that your system will run constantly. Having it on “auto” means that it will run when it needs to in order to cool your home.

Set Up Routine Maintenance

Schedule preventative maintenance for your HVAC system before you cool your home. This maintenance helps ensure that your air conditioner is in good working condition for the season.If you need maintenance for your air conditioner before you use it, please contact Air Assurance for help. We offer dependable HVAC services for homeowners in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

What is Short Cycling? And How to Avoid It

What is Short Cycling? And How to Avoid It

If your air conditioner’s not delivering optimum performance and/or operating costs seem high, the system could be short cycling. In order for the cooling process to reach 100 percent effectiveness and efficiency, a central air conditioner needs to run for a certain minimum time before it cycles off again.In most cases, you should hear the A/C cycle on and then run for at least 10 minutes before shutting down. In addition to inadequate cooling, short cycling is hard on critical system components, especially the compressor, which may incur excess wear and tear from extended periods of rapid on/off cycling.Here are three scenarios that may result in air conditioner short cycling:

BTU capacity is too large.

A professional HVAC installation always includes a cooling load calculation to determine the cooling requirements of the house and match an A/C unit with the appropriate BTU capacity. If the cooling load was not accurately determined, the air conditioner may have excessive capacity and produce too much cooling too rapidly, resulting in short cycling. An HVAC contractor can perform a cooling load calculation to determine if the air conditioner is oversized.

Airflow is insufficient.

Typically the result of a clogged air filter, failing blower or other malfunction, airflow that falls below specifications may cause the evaporator coil to ice up and obstruct all airflow. From that point, every time the system cycles on it will quickly cycle back off again. Resolving airflow issues and coil ice formation is usually a straightforward procedure for a qualified service technician.

Leaking refrigerant.

Small leaks in the coils or refrigerant lines may cause the refrigerant charge to drop too low. A sensor detects the low charge level and automatically shuts the system down—usually only after a few minutes of operation—to avoid costly damage to the compressor. Using leak detection technology, an HVAC tech can pinpoint the leak, repair it and then restore refrigerant charge to the proper level.

If you suspect short cycling, restore cooling performance and efficiency and prevent damage to critical components by contacting the professionals at Air Assurance for a complete evaluation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

How Often Should You Clean Your A/C's Condensate Drain Line?

How Often Should You Clean Your A/C's Condensate Drain Line?

Your air conditioner’s condensate drain line is a critical component on Oklahoma summer days. In addition to cooling the air inside your home, the central A/C also extracts water vapor from the air. Lots of it. On a humid day, the evaporator coil sealed inside the indoor air handler can produce many gallons of liquid condensate.If everything’s functioning correctly, condensate collected in the drip pan underneath the air handler flows into the drain line and is safely conveyed away. If a clog develops in the condensate drain line, however, the drip pan will rapidly overflow, potentially spilling gallons of water every time the air conditioner cycles on. Before the problem is even noticed, severe indoor water damage may result.

What Causes Clogs?

The typical culprit in condensate drain line clogs is algae in the drip pan. The warm, wet, dark environment inside the pan provides ideal conditions for growth of algae. Eventually, the sticky, gooey substance invades the drain line and causes a clog. Overflow quickly follows.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Clogs?

DIY prevention can help stop clogs by inhibiting algae growth. Once a month, prepare a mixture of one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Pour it into the wide, shallow drip pan underneath the air handler. Take the opportunity to also check out the status of the drip pan. If it’s wet, that’s normal. However, if you notice standing water, that indicates a clogged or sluggish drain line. Turn off the A/C and call a qualified HVAC service contractor.

Professional service to clear a condensate clog includes blowing out the drain line with air pressure, then cleaning and sterilizing the drip pan and drain line to eliminate residual algae. For long-term protection, time-release biocide tablets can also be placed in the drip pan to prevent recurrence of algae growth.

For professional service to resolve condensate drain line problems, contact Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.