Welcome to autumn, when one day is cool and the next is warm, back, and forth. You want to be comfortable while also not turning your heat on too soon. Deciding when to turn on your heat is key. If you’re a new homeowner or just want to learn how to manage your heating system better, read on. [Read more…] about When Should You Turn Your Heat On?
As temperatures cool, and you start reaching for sweaters and hoodies, it’s time to schedule your fall HVAC maintenance, if you haven’t already. Yearly maintenance is essential for a good-working system and autumn is the best time to make sure your system is running effectively and efficiently. [Read more…] about 5 Reasons You Need a Fall Maintenance Checkup
With summer fading, you might be thinking about your central air conditioner (CAC), especially if your central air was less than perfect this season. If your central AC was making noise, didn’t feel as cool as usual, took longer than usual to make your house comfortable, or it’s just getting older, it might be time to start thinking about replacing your central air conditioner.
How Long Do AC Units Last?
On average, a central air conditioning unit lasts 12-17 years. The longevity of your central air system depends upon a few things like:
- Proper installation
- Regular maintenance
- Overall usage
- Unit location
- Sealing and insulation of ductwork
- Air filter replacement or cleaning
The Importance of Regular Central AC Maintenance
Obviously, regular maintenance is useful because it keeps your central air conditioning system running well. It also allows you to spot potential problems before they cause a unit breakdown.
The more often you run your central air system, the more wear and tear it undergoes. Fortunately, here on Long Island, our climate means that a central air conditioning system won’t have to run all year round, so it won’t run as hard as it might in other parts of the country with hotter climates. For more professional air conditioning maintenance tips, read through our article on 9 Ways to Avoid AC Breakdown.
Replace Your Air Filter Frequently
Replacing the air filter is a part of yearly maintenance, but for an efficient, effective system, it’s useful to clean or replace your filter even more frequently. A dirty filter forces you to run your central air longer and more often.
When to Replace Your Central AC
EnergyStar has a few guidelines for how to tell when it’s time to replace your central air conditioner.
- If you’ve had to make frequent repairs.
- If your energy bills are going up.
- If your CAC has become noisy.
- If your home has a humidity problem when the weather is warm.
- If your central air conditioning is more than 10 years old.
Except for the first item, any of these factors, on an individual basis, might not force a replacement. In combination, however, they’re definitely warning signs that it’s time to replace your central air conditioning unit – especially if combined with an uptick in repairs.
If it does look like you should replace your central air conditioning system, doing it before complete system failure is your smartest option. Not only do you save the discomfort of a summer breakdown but replacing your AC unit during the offseason means you can plan an installation at time that’s most convenient for you.
Can I Replace My Central Air Unit Myself?
Trying to install your own central air unit is a very bad idea. Central air conditioning systems are very complex. Even if you’re a competent DIYer, with the many electrical components involved, this increases the risk of an installation error. Even figuring out the right size unit takes experience and nuance. It’s also very likely that you’ll invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty by installing it yourself.
Do You Need a Permit for a New HVAC System?
Yes, permits are required to ensure your AC is installed properly. This is yet another reason why it’s a bad idea to try to install central air conditioning yourself. The permits usually require a licensed installer. Specifics vary according to the jurisdiction. The Town of North Hempstead is just one example, so you’ll need to check your local town requirements.
Tragar Can Upgrade Your Central Air Conditioning
Now is a great time to start planning for the installation of a new central air conditioning system or upgrading your current system. Tragar can work with you today to make sure it’s a seamless process. Reach out to us for more information and a free estimate.
Here on Long Island, many homes still have oil burners. For a time, it was cheaper to have oil come in through New York ports, but over time the price of other heating sources decreased. According to the US Energy Information Administration, heat using natural gas has seen significant savings over oil-based heating. [Read more…] about Can I Keep My Oil Burner If I Convert to Gas?
August is National Water Quality Month and that covers a broad spectrum of water concerns from rivers to national parks. The part that the most concerns our customers is the water that comes out of their faucet so let’s examine what you need to know about water quality on Long Island. [Read more…] about August Is National Water Quality Month
Along with summer heat comes thunderstorms and lightning. Worse, hurricane risk increases as ocean water warms over the course of the summer. Traditionally, hurricane season lasts until November 1, but this year experts warn that due to an elevated ocean temperature at the start of the season, it could last a bit longer than usual. That means hurricane prep is even more important in 2020. [Read more…] about 2020 Guide to Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane
When it’s summer on Long Island, it’s hot and often humid, which means your air conditioning is working overtime. It also means keeping cool without hurting your wallet is a priority. The following tips and answers will help you stay comfortable this summer without spending a lot of money. [Read more…] about 9 Tips for Lowering Your Cooling Costs
Indoor air quality is a common homeowner concern, though they usually think about it more in the fall and winter than when the weather’s warm, and they can open windows. This year, due to COVID-19, interest in air purifiers has grown significantly. [Read more…] about What Does an HVAC Air Purifier Do?
As the weather gets warmer, you want your air conditioning ready and working whenever you need it. A little beginning of the season preventative care and maintenance goes a long way to keep your AC running well.
In this installment of our new homeowner series, we’re going to tackle a common question – a leaking air conditioner.
Why Is Water Leaking From My Air Conditioner?
If the “leak” is outside, the first thing to check is if the air conditioner or HVAC unit really is leaking. Condensation is a normal byproduct of using an air conditioner, but not everyone – especially new homeowners – realizes that. More than one new homeowner has used their AC, turned it off to leave the house, and then, when they found a wet spot on the sidewalk or path below their air conditioner, assumed it was a problem.
Common Reasons Why Your AC is Leaking:
- Disconnected Drain Line
If you installed your air conditioner yourself or if your AC or HVAC was incorrectly installed, the drain line might not be connected. Another issue could be that it was connected but not tightly so vibrations from using the air conditioner jiggled it loose.
- Cracked Condenser Drain Pan
The drip pan goes under the evaporator coils, collecting the moisture from the coils. A cracked pan can be the source of a leak because the water isn’t diverting properly.
- Clogged Drain Line
A clogged line is probably the most common reason for air conditioner leaks, Dirt, debris, rust, algae, etc. can all cause clogs.
- Clogged Air Filter
Frozen coils can be a byproduct of a clogged air filter. When they thaw, it creates a leak.
- Condenser Pump Problems
If the condenser pump becomes dirty or fails, that can cause water leaks.
- Low Refrigerant
Insufficient refrigerant can lead to frost build-up on the condenser coils which then causes a leak.
- Outside Is Too Cold
Running your air conditioner when it’s too cool outside can cause ice to build-up on the coils and leak later.
Should I Turn Off My Leaking AC?
Yes, if your air conditioner is leaking, turn it off before investigating the cause of the problem. If you keep letting it run, the compressor can fail, which is an expensive repair or replacement. Also, depending upon where the leak is exactly, water could run into an electrical socket, causing an electrical short or fire.
Is an AC Leaking Water Dangerous?
A leaking air conditioner can be dangerous, yes. If the leak is ignored or goes unnoticed, the water can cause structural damage. Leaking water can cause even more dangerous problems if it runs toward electrical outlets or devices.
If the leak involves refrigerant, it can be quite different. While far less likely, a refrigerant leak can become quite dangerous very quickly if it evaporates and turns into a gas.
Tragar Keeps You Cool
Let Tragar help you stay cool this summer by keeping your cooling system well maintained. An ounce of prevention saves headaches and higher repair costs later. Tragar’s HVAC experts will take care of it. Contact us today.
No one likes a home that is too cold or too hot, yet even when it becomes obvious that you need to install a new boiler, HVAC system, air conditioner, etc., people often hesitate because the upgrade process is intimidating. Solving that dilemma is just one of the many reasons we created our Comfort Advisor program. [Read more…] about Why You Want a Tragar Comfort Advisor Appointment