Month: August 2019

Why Is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?

If your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home properly, one thing to look for is a buildup of ice. When the system is iced over, it can’t provide adequate airflow through your Ocala, Florida, home. There are three primary causes of ice on an AC system that you should know about so you’re prepared to respond quickly to this issue.

Clogged Air Filter

If your air filter is clogged, your air conditioner won’t have sufficient airflow. This causes the evaporator coil to become too cold and form a layer of ice. You should change your air filter at least once every three months to avoid this issue. Check the filter monthly for signs of visible dirt and swap it out for a new one sooner if needed. If you see ice on your AC system, the first thing you should do is turn it off and allow the ice to melt. Change the filter while it’s melting. If your filter is the issue, this will solve your problem.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil can get dirty over time. As air blows over it, dust, dander, pollen, and dirt can accumulate here. Regular AC maintenance will help you keep the coils clean. If you’re overdue for a tuneup, there’s a good chance that the ice is the result of dirty coils. This buildup makes it difficult for the coils to warm up as they should when air blows over them. Don’t attempt to clean the coils yourself. Turn off the air conditioner, and call one of our technicians for help.

Low Refrigerant Level

A low refrigerant level can cause your AC system to freeze. If there isn’t enough refrigerant cycling through the coils, they won’t warm and cool as they should. Your low refrigerant level could be the result of a leak somewhere in the system. You should never handle refrigerant yourself. Let our technicians take care of it.

You should always turn off your air conditioner as soon as you notice ice to prevent further damage. Call Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. at 866-881-5935 to schedule your AC repair.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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How To Save Money And Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Increase Home Energy Efficiency

If you are thinking about renovating your home or updating appliances, one of the most important things you should focus on is making energy-efficient home improvements to reduce your energy consumption. 

This is especially true if your home is more than a few decades old, as it is likely using up more electricity and power than it needs to. With new smart technology, energy-efficient design considerations, and a few new habits, it’s easy to have a more energy-efficient home.

In fact, there are a variety of cost-effective ways you can make your household a more energy-efficient space, from installing new windows to having curtains installed in each and every room. While all of your options might seem a little bit staggering, this guide provides a few helpful recommendations to make energy-efficient home improvements to any space!

5 Cheap And Easy Energy Efficient Home Improvements

One of the unexpected benefits that come with reducing your carbon footprint through energy-efficient home improvements is lowering your monthly utility bills. Also, you don’t need to break the bank in order to have an energy-efficient home.

Stop spending absurd amounts of money on wasted energy with a few simple changes you can handle yourself or with the help of a trained HVAC professional.

Here are a few tips for creating an energy-efficient home:

1.) Upgrade your light bulbs to LEDs and turn your lights off. While this might be a simplistic solution, it is one that will prove to be the most effective. Use natural light when possible, especially during the summer when the days are longer. Lighting accounts for approximately 12% of a typical residential utility bill, so a small change can save you some change each month.

2.) Install a programmable thermostat and use your ceiling fan. This tip requires a mix between a home upgrade and a minor shift in your habits. Consider a digital programmable thermostat that you adjust to automatically turn up or down the air when you’re not home. 

Turn your thermostat up as much as possible in the summer and as low as possible in the winter so your system doesn’t have to work overtime to regulate the temperature in your home. Utilize your ceiling fan too! Simply turning on your ceiling fan can make the room feel cooler by approximately four degrees Fahrenheit. During cooler months, make sure the fan is switched to the winter setting, which can make the room feel warmer.

3.) Turn down the temperature on your water heater. If you want to drastically cut down on the money you spend each month on utilities, start by taking a look at your home’s hot water system. The easiest way to do this is by turning down the temperature and keeping it around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the target temperature, as this will keep the water hot without wasting energy. Also, if you start washing your clothes in cold water you’ll definitely see a huge difference in your utility bill at the end of the month.

In addition, one little known fact is that the pipes going to and from the machine should be well-insulated to minimize heat loss. Also, if your hot water heater is more than 10 years old, you should consider investing in a new one to increase home energy efficiency.

4.) Choose energy-efficient windows and window treatments. These days, there are many different types of windows that can be installed in your home. Windows are designed to last at least a decade but over time their ability to effectively insulate your home decreases. 

Check to see what kind of windows your home has, especially if the windows are on the side of your home in direct sunlight during an extended period of time during the day. If you end up having single-pane windows, consider replacing them with energy-efficient windows.

Energy efficiency and stylish interior design don’t have to be mutually exclusive! After you make sure your windows are keeping your cool or warm air in your home, consider adding window treatments. Curtains, shades, or blinds can block the sun’s rays from beating directly into your home. It’s important to note that material and color are important factors in determining the energy efficiency of the window treatments, so do your research before making a purchase.

5.) Schedule an HVAC tune-up. Did you know that annual cooling and heating inspections can save you thousands of dollars throughout the duration of your HVAC’s lifespan? A certified HVAC technician will have trained eyes to catch issues in your system like worn components or clogged filters that cause your system to work harder than it’s designed to. 

Additionally, a yearly check-up on your system can maximize the lifespan of your HVAC system by ensuring parts get the proper tender love and care that they need. You can extend the lifespan of your system by several years if you contract a trusted local HVAC team that ensures parts are properly lubricated, coils are cleaned, AC drain lines are flushed, and connections are tightened in your system.

Trust John C. Flood To Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

If you are interested in remodeling or renovating your home to make energy-efficient home improvements, trust John C. Flood with the job! We offer a wide range of services that will make your household more environmentally-friendly and save you money.

We’ve been in business for over 100 years, so we’ve seen how far energy-efficient appliances have come over the years. Our promise is to only recommend products and energy-efficient home improvements that will improve the comfort of your home. Are you ready to start saving? Call John C. Flood at (703) 752-1266 or contact us online with any questions today!

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3 Signs Your Thermostat Isn’t Working Properly

Your thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system, commanding all the other elements. If it’s not functioning, your Crystal River, Florida, home may suffer from a variety of issues. Look for these common indicators that something is wrong so you can schedule a repair quickly.

Thermostat Screen Won’t Light Up

If the screen on your thermostat doesn’t respond when you make adjustments, this is a clear indicator that something is wrong with this part of your system. If your thermostat is battery-operated, change the batteries to see if this solves the issue. If it still doesn’t work, it’s probably time for a replacement.

Your Home’s Temperature Is Wrong

Does your thermostat report a different temperature compared to what you’re getting with another thermometer? If the two readings don’t match, it probably needs to be calibrated properly. It’s important to use your other thermometer in the same location. If your home is suffering from hot and cold spots in other parts of the home, the issue is likely with the placement of your thermostat rather than the product itself. Moving it to another part of the home can help you get even temperatures throughout your living space.

Your HVAC System Doesn’t Cycle Properly

When the thermostat is malfunctioning, you may notice that:

  • Your heater or AC system runs continuously.
  • Your heater or air conditioner cycles on and off frequently.
  • Your heating and cooling systems don’t turn on at all.

If your system isn’t cycling as it should, your thermostat may be sending it the wrong signals. These signs may also indicate other problems with your HVAC system, so it’s best to have our technicians diagnose the issue so you can get a quick, accurate repair.

If you suspect that something is wrong with your thermostat or HVAC system, contact Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. at 866-881-5935. We’ll help you diagnose the problem and come up with an appropriate repair plan so you can restore comfort in your home.

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Modern Industrial Boiler Cleaning-Safer and More Efficient

Armed with long rods and brushes, early boiler cleaners toiled for hours scraping off combustion debris from a boiler’s fireside and scooping out waterside sediment exposed to all sorts of deadly ash and contaminants. Fortunately, for modern day technicians the days of long sticks and brushes are gone and new inventions keep soot and debris out of their lungs and off their faces. However, the basic problems of boiler soot and scale haven’t gone away.

Fouling affects every boiler of every size from small natural gas home boilers to giant coal-fired power plants. When a fuel like coal, oil, or wood are burned the soot and combustion products collect on the internal components of the fireside creating an insulating layer of ash preventing heat from getting to the water. A study on boiler fouling in power plants by the Queensland Australia College of Engineering and Built Environment stated that “[o]ne of the main effects of the formation of slagging and fouling deposits is that they reduce the heat transfer process between the fireside and the water-steam side and resulting in a sensible increase of the flue gas temperature, reducing the efficiency of the system and increasing corrosion problems in boilers.” The study goes on to note that fireside fouling is responsible for “increasing overall maintenance cost.”

Rods and backbreaking labor have been replaced with modern fire tube cleaning systems that require little effort from the technician and clean tubes and keep ash and debris from escaping into the mechanical room and onto the workers. Straight tube punching machines work by unwinding a tape and cleaning brush down the length of the tube scraping off debris as it travels. The operator then reverses the tape and it self-rewinds back into the cleaning machine. For fire tubes with tougher deposits, cleaning systems with a motorized flexible rotary shaft push back and forth down the length of the tube. A strong cleaning tool at the end of the shaft spins and removes even the most baked-on deposits from the tube’s inner surface. Both cleaning systems are connected to specialized soot vacuum cleaners that suck out loose debris keeping it contained within the cleaning machine.

Boilers constructed in such a way that water flows through the tubes instead of fire are called water tube boilers. The fouling in water tubes is an accumulation of sediment, biological contaminants, or scaling. These tubes can be cleaned similarly to fire tubes using rotary cleaners, but with softer brushes to remove the lighter deposits. Sometimes though, heavy scale forms which requires heavier duty scraping tools, or the use of descaling chemicals like Goodway’s ScaleBreak®. Water tubes may only be accessible by the technician climbing into the boiler mud drum so it’s important to select a smaller and portable cleaning machine that won’t get in the way of the work being performed.

On the other side of the fire is the waterside where water is heated or turned to steam. During the heating process, minerals in the water accumulate on the inside surfaces reducing heat transfer just as soot does on the fireside. In the past, hand scrapers were used to break away these deposits, but advances in chemical engineering have produced descaling chemicals that dissolve scale on contact eliminating the need for scraping. These recirculation cleaning systems continuously pump descaling chemicals through the boiler or heat exchanger dissolving solids as the chemical passes over the scale. The role of maintenance staff is limited only to monitoring the pH of the descaling solution as it returns back to the cleaning system. When descaling is complete the pH of the descaling solution will be neutral indicating that there is no more chemical reaction taking place between the scale and the chemicals. The result though is the complete removal of scale deposits, leaving pristine, cleaned tubes.

For boilers to operate efficiently and without frequent breakdowns, they need a regular schedule for maintenance and cleaning, as well as monitoring during operation. Monitoring stack temperature is a proactive method for identifying the presence of heavy boiler fouling. As discussed, when the inside of the boiler is coated with scale and soot, heat from combustion cannot transfer through the tube wall and into the water. The unused combustion heat is pushed out of the flue and dispersed to the atmosphere. By tracking the flue gas temperature, facility managers can check if flue gas temperature is increasing indicating it is time to clean the boiler. A consistent flue temperature is evidence of a clean boiler.

Boiler cleaning has come a long way from the era of scrub brushes and soot-filled rooms. Advancements in cleaning tools, descaling chemicals, and flue temperature monitoring mean boilers are easier to maintain and can remain efficient throughout their operational lives.

Next Steps

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Quick! Repair Your AC!

service-timeQuick! You’ve got to repair that air conditioner stat! Pick up the phone! Call an ambulance! Wait, no, don’t do that! Call in your local HVAC professionals!

Okay, so you might be wondering why we sound so urgent, but trust us, when it comes to your air conditioner, you really don’t want to wait to schedule your repairs. Sure, we understand why you might be tempted to wait until the end of the summer to schedule your services, but waiting will not do you, or your wallet, any favors.

Below, we have listed some of the reasons why you should not wait to schedule your AC repair in Palmetto Bay, FL. Keep reading to find out more. 

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait

We understand why you might be tempted to hold off on your AC repairs, but here’s why we advise against doing so:

Bigger Problems!

Sure, it might seem small now, but any seemingly harmless problem with your air conditioner can quickly turn into quite a catastrophe if you don’t do anything about it. Even something as simple as a clogged air filter can lead to a full system breakdown if you aren’t careful. Therefore, we recommend calling for repairs at the first sign of a problem! Trust us, you don’t want to be stuck paying for costly repairs!

Sweat, Sweat, and More Sweat!

This is just another way of saying that without your air conditioner, you can expect to be quite uncomfortable, especially during some of the hottest day of the year. Your air conditioner is responsible for keeping you and your family cool and comfortable, no matter the temperature outside. So, when you’ve got a faulty system, you can almost count on a decline in cooling power, leaving you hot, sweaty, and sticky.

Expensive Bills!

An air conditioner in disrepair is certainly not going to be as efficient or as effective as you want it to be. And when your system is no longer efficient, you’ll likely see a rise in your monthly utility costs. Of course, you don’t want to pay more than you should have to for comfort, so it is in your best interest to have your AC repaired ASAP. Yes, it may have seemed like holding off on repairs was going to be the more cost-effective option, but in fact, holding off on repairs could end up costing you a lot more!

Call a Profesional

If you notice any signs of a problem with your air conditioner, be sure to hire a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible. Only a professional has the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to handle the complex needs of your system. Trust us, when it comes to your comfort, you don’t want to take any risks.

To schedule your air conditioning repairs, or to learn more about our services, contact the team at Air On Demand today! Trust Agent Green to Keep You Comfortable!

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Protecting Your HVAC System During a Renovation

Renovating your Sugarland, Texas, home is an exciting experience, although it can bring some stress. Part of your home is about to turn into a construction zone, and it may be a portion that you use frequently, like the kitchen or bathroom. It’s important to protect your home and its HVAC system during a renovation.

Cover the Vents

The first way to protect your system is to make sure all the vents in the construction area are properly covered. Large particles of dust can move into the system and cause damage to various components and impact the quality of the air you breathe. Use tarps or other airtight materials to prevent this debris from entering the system through the vents and registers.

Turn Off the System Completely

Although it may get warm or chilly in your home, it’s best to turn the air conditioner or heater off when the workers are doing demolition or installing new components. The process of a renovation can stir up a lot of dirt and debris, which can get trapped in your ducts if the air conditioner or heater is running while the work is being done. As a result, you may end up being exposed to harmful construction materials and debris every time your system runs in the future.

Keep It Clean

Throughout the renovation process, keep your home as clean as possible. When the work is done for the day, use a vacuum with a HEPA-rated filter to remove any dust or dirt that remains in the work zone. You may also want to keep the area completely zoned off by using plastic room dividers. It’s also smart to replace your HVAC filter more often during the renovation process, especially if it will take more than a few days to complete.

At Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, we can help you protect your HVAC system by providing solutions and options, so contact us before the renovation begins at 888-929-0049.

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What To Know When Upgrading Your HVAC System

One decision homeowners begrudgingly, yet inevitably, have to make is when to replace your HVAC system. Although upgrading your HVAC system might seem like an expensive process, the costs of continuing to repair and operate your older, inefficient HVAC unit far outweigh the upfront costs of installing a new unit.

If you’re trying to determine whether or not it’s time to replace your current HVAC system, there are a few important things to know before you upgrade your home’s heating and cooling system.

When Should You Replace Your HVAC System?

It’s important to upgrade your HVAC system after approximately 10-12 years, especially if you live in a region with extreme seasonal weather. Heating and cooling systems require the attention that an annual maintenance plan offers in order to work efficiently. 

What Signs Should I look For To Replace My HVAC System?

Even systems that are well maintained usually have components that begin to wear out after a decade. There are several indicators of when to replace your HVAC system including:

  • Spikes in your utility bills
  • High indoor humidity
  • Insufficient cool air or heat despite the HVAC unit operating
  • Frequent breakdowns
  • Unit requires an expensive repair

5 Considerations For When Your Replace Your HVAC System

  1. Determine what HVAC upgrade your home needs. Are you in the market for an HVAC upgrade that combines heating and cooling? Do you simply need a new furnace or air conditioner? Do you have no idea? That’s fine! Your first step should be to educate yourself on the basics of heating and cooling 101 (the HVAC system is only part of the overall picture). Zoned HVAC systems can provide increased temperature control by selectively blocking the flow of air. Whereas, single-stage heating and cooling is popular in places with more extreme seasonal temperatures because it is milder the majority of the year. There are many HVAC acronyms and terms that indicate which way your heating or cooling system operates. Call in a professional who can help you determine the best HVAC upgrade for you with a heating and cooling inspection.
  2. Understand your unit’s SEER rating. If you’re planning on replacing your HVAC system, nearly every unit available will be more efficient than the unit you plan on replacing. Recently manufactured air conditioners have a SEER that ranges from 13 to 21. A SEER of 13 is the minimum standard for air conditioners. An HVAC inspection can help you better understand what this rating means for your home.
  3. Do the math, thinking about the long-term costs. You may feel uncomfortable spending an extra $2,000 or $3,000 more than you planned when you upgrade your HVAC system. That is a lot of money at face value! However, it’s important to remember that your HVAC system is an investment. The higher quality, more efficient HVAC units will save you thousands of dollars over the next decade.
  4. Install a smart thermostat. This device might be small but can create big savings. A digital Wifi thermostat allows you to control the climate in your home remotely. The digital thermostat is worth the investment when you’re upgrading your HVAC system. The long-term cost savings and peace of mind that comes with your ability to regulate your energy consumption from afar will be well worth the upfront cost of installation. Ask your HVAC professional for some recommendations.
  5. Consider the unit size. Bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to upgrading your HVAC system. To efficiently cool or heat your home, you need to calculate your home’s square footage before determining how many BTUs your unit needs. If the unit is too large, it will constantly be cycling on and off. If it is too small, the unit will be forced to continuously run to effectively control the temperature. A small unit running for an extended period operates more efficiently and is more effective at dehumidifying than a large unit that cycles on and off too frequently.

Call John C. Flood When You’re Ready To Upgrade Your HVAC System

Whether you determine you need to add, replace or simply maintain your heating and cooling system, the team at John C. Flood will take care of your home.  

Think about age. Unlike some of the finer things in life, HVAC systems generally do not get better after a decade or two. Energy Star recommends replacing your unit if the heat pump or air conditioner is over 10 years old or if your furnace or boiler is over 15 years old.

Odds are good you’ll have already noticed rising bills, weird noises, excessive dust, temperature changes from room to room and other tell-tale signs of a fading system. Sign up for John C. Flood’s Service Partner Program to receive regular HVAC service from the most experienced professionals in the area. Schedule service today and start saving!

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The Leaching World Below Our Garbage

In 1935 the Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill opened in California as a model of contemporary landfill design. Trash brought to the site was compacted and covered with dirt in stark contrast to other landfills of the time that did little more than dump the waste in a large pit at the edge of town. The Fresno landfill remained in use until 1989 when it was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List of sites contaminated by hazardous waste that pose a risk to human health or the environment. Over the years, the design and maintenance of landfills have advanced. Gone are the days of oozing, festering city dumps that poisoned drinking water and killed fish. Landfills today are feats of engineering that control decomposition, collect off-gassing, and protect the surrounding environment from contamination.

An important part of landfill operation is controlling the liquid produced from the constant decay of buried garbage and the rainwater that flows through the surrounding soil. This mix of liquids is called leachate, a hazardous combination of bacteria and any number of chemical contaminants that combine to form a dark and dangerous solution. If not contained, leachate can pollute ground or surface water leading to illness or death of wildlife and people.

Leachate collection systems (LCS) are mandated by federal regulations as part of landfill design. An LCS includes a liner placed on the ground before trash is brought to the site. The liner prevents leachate from soaking into the soil below the landfill. Once the landfill is active, leachate collects between the trash pile and the liner and drains into a series of perforated pipes just above the liner. Leachate flows through these pipes to a sump where the hazardous liquid is pumped to a secondary containment tank for disposal, treatment, or recirculation.

As leachate moves through the collection system and away from the landfill, the pipes, storage vessels, and pumping system are awash in leachate. Changes in temperature within the collection system as well the exposure to other chemicals and debris causes solids within the leachate to precipitate and coat the inside surface of pipes and equipment. After several years in operation, the leachate precipitation forms a thick scale restricting the flow of fluid through the LCS. A 2003 study on leachate collection clogs found “[t]he primary cause of clogging is calcium carbonate (CaCO3(s)) precipitation from leachate and its accumulation within the pore space of the leachate collection systems.” If not removed, this scale can cause a series of operational and maintenance problems for the LCS.

The encrusted scale restricts or completely blocks the perforations in the collection pipes preventing the natural flow of leachate from the bottom of the landfill into the collection pipes. Additionally, the reduction in the cross-sectional area of the pipes from scale buildup prevents the flow of leachate to the sump. If scale has coated other components including pumps, downstream pipes, or storage tanks, the entire LCS is in danger from the increased head pressure through the system. Leachate will continue to accumulate at the bottom of the landfill risking a break in the liner and contamination of the surrounding environment.

There are no federal requirements on how often LCS’s need to be cleaned or descaled, but most states require cleaning at 5 or 10-year intervals or when operating permits need to be renewed. As a result, LCS’s may go many years without proper maintenance or sufficient cleaning. Removal of LCS scale and sediment is accomplished through high-pressure jetting, milling machines, or chemical treatment.

Waste Advantage Magazine presented a study by engineering firm CDM Smith comparing the effectiveness of LCS cleaning methods at landfills across Florida. The study concluded that chemical cleaning “was successful at removing most of the precipitate formation, especially in the lower lengths of the LCS. Video inspections confirmed that this technology was successful at removing heavy buildup and restoring flow in areas that were clogged and/or appeared stagnant at the beginning of the cleaning demonstration.”

Because calcium carbonate scale is the primary source of LCS blockages, cleaning chemicals used for these systems must be effective against it. ScaleBreak® Liquid Descaler from Goodway Technologies dissolves calcium-based scale as well as rust, lime, and other leachate deposits. ScaleBreak® is safe for all of an LCS’s components including the plastic collection pipes, steel pumps, and the plastic landfill liner. Using a portable clean-in-place system like the GDS-100-BV scale removal system is an easy way for landfill maintenance staff to pump ScaleBreak® through the LCS. The powerful 1HP motor and 50-gallon capacity distribute the descaler through the most restricted pipes to dissolve scale buildup and return the leachate collection system to its original working condition. The GDS-100-BV is wheel-mounted making it easy to move across the landfill site to each cleaning point.

Leachate collection systems, an integral part of modern landfills, are designed to collect hazardous liquids and prevent those liquids from poisoning the surrounding environment. Over years of constant use, the LCS’s pipes, sumps, and containment systems can get clogged from heavy calcium carbonate scale. Chemical cleaning is the best way to bring LCS’s back to like-new condition and the products from Goodway Technologies are the key to clean, free-flowing leachate collection systems.

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Common Problems To Look For When Your AC Unit Stops Working

It’s bound to happen eventually during a hot summer day. Every homeowner should know how to troubleshoot their AC unit because problems are more likely to arise during times of heavy use, like the scorching summer months.

If you have central air, you understand (and maybe even take for granted) the cool relief of entering your home to escape a hot and humid day. Everyone is looking for ways to keep their homes cool during the summertime. However, nearly every homeowner has also experienced the sweaty and sticky misery that ensues when this appliance stops working.

You might be tempted to immediately call a licensed HVAC technician for a quick fix, but there are DIY air conditioner troubleshooting tips that might save you some money. If you want to know what to check when the AC stops working, then read these problem-solving solutions.

Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

Thermostat Settings

The most obvious place to look when your home feels warmer is your thermostat. If your air conditioner is switched to the wrong setting, it could result in warm or hot air coming from the vents. Likewise, your HVAC system could be turned off completely, leaving your home’s air feeling stagnant and stale.

As soon as you sense that something might be wrong with your air conditioner, go to your thermostat and verify that it is set to “cool” and not “heat” or “off.” Although it might sound silly, this mistake happens more often than you’d think — especially during seasonal transitions.

Furnace Fan

The next thing you’ll want to check after your thermostat settings is your furnace fan. The furnace fan blows cold air into the duct system. Once you ensure your thermostat is set to the cooling mode and lower the temperature setting, check to see if the furnace fan starts up. If it doesn’t — even after resetting the breaker on the main electrical panel — then you’ve likely identified your problem. If it does, then you’ll have to look elsewhere for a solution.

HVAC Filters

If your furnace fan is operating normally, then the air conditioner might be functioning properly, but there is a blockage preventing circulation. Check your HVAC filters to ensure they are clean and not preventing air from freely flowing through. Ideally, you’ll want to change your filters every one to two months — especially during seasons of heavy use.

Test to see if your filters need to be changed by pulling them out and seeing if they are clogged with debris. Homeowners with horizontal HVAC units, with the return duct attached to the side of the air handler, should be able to find their filters in a slot on the intake side of the unit.

Condenser Capacitor And Contractor

Both the capacitor and contractor are located inside the condenser unit, which sits outside. The capacitor starts the condenser and the fan, so if the capacitor failed, then that is definitely the source of your air conditioner problems. 

First, listen for a clicking noise coming from your condenser unit followed by a hum or buzz. If you hear those strange sounds, then it probably means that the fan motor is attempting to start without the support of the capacitor.

Meanwhile, if the compressor clicks when your crank down the thermostat but doesn’t make a humming or buzzing noise, then the contractor (rather than the capacitor) needs to be replaced. 

Fan Motor

The last step will be to check your air conditioner troubleshooting is to check your fan motor. The purpose of the condenser fan motor is to keep the compressor from overheating. It cools down the refrigerant that moves through the condenser coils. If your AC unit’s fan motor is out of commission, it won’t be long before more parts also bite the dust without it performing its essential duties. 

If the motor that runs the condenser fan is burned out, then there isn’t much that can be done except to replace it. You can attempt this yourself as long as you take the proper precautions, but it’s best if you call in a professional HVAC technician.

Tried All The Troubleshooting Steps? Next Step Is To Contact The Best

Not everyone is an HVAC expert, so don’t feel discouraged if you walked through what to check when your AC stops working and couldn’t find a solution.

The knowledgeable team at John C. Flood services and repairs all HVAC systems in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region. We have the experience to answer all your questions  — and more importantly, the know-how to get your AC system back up and running. 

We also offer annual maintenance plans that include an annual cooling inspection. This annual check-up ensures that your system is operating at peak efficiency and that small issues are caught before they turn into big (and expensive) problems! 

If you’re confused about how to troubleshoot an AC unit, call (703) 752-1266 or contact our HVAC team online today!

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Why Safety Training Can Positively Impact Profitability

In 1970, the year Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), nearly 14,000 workers were killed on the job in the United States. Over the next ten years the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established regulations for workplace safety, inspection procedures, and limits on harmful materials in the workplace. OSHA’s policies were developed and implemented throughout the 1970s and by the 1980s, the positive effects of the agencies work were apparent. By 1989, the number of workplace fatalities averaged 6,359 per year down more than 50% from 1970. In 2017 fatalities had dropped even further to 5,147. In states where written injury and illness prevention programs (IIPP) are mandated by state law, research indicates those states had workplace fatality rates as much as 32 percent below the national average. The establishment and enforcement of safety regulations have saved tens of thousands of lives.

OSHA made a considerable impact in some very specific industries. Since the strengthening of OSHA’s trenching rule in 1990, trenching fatalities on construction sites have declined by 35 percent. The agency’s 1978 cotton dust standard is credited for reducing the number of people that suffer from brown lung disease from 12,000 in 1978 to approximately 700 in 2000. Charles Jeffress, the OSHA Administrator in 2000, stated that OSHA not only “helped save lives and reduce illness, but is also cost-effective for industry.”

As important as federal safety regulations are, the most effective accident prevention happens at the company level. Each company, especially those in high-risk businesses, should create their own written safety plan to show management’s commitment to safety. Accident prevention policies are most effective when they become part of the corporate culture and are not simply rules to follow. A 2014 study on worker engagement explained that management should “be concerned about winning over the minds and hearts of their workers through human performance-based safety management systems designed to promote and enhance worker engagement.”

Despite what some may suggest, implementing a strong safety program is not a burdensome cost and should not be neglected or eliminated to help the company’s bottom line. In fact, safety programs are the price of doing business and, over time, may increase a company’s profitability through lower insurance costs, improved employee morale, and fewer missed work days.

Government data shows that companies implementing injury and illness prevention programs will “reduce injuries by 15 percent to 35 percent [compared to] employers who do not now have safety and health programs. At the 15 percent program effectiveness level, this saves $9 billion per year in workers’ compensation costs; at the 35 percent effectiveness level the savings are $23 billion per year.”

Insurance companies assign an experience modification rate (EMR) number to measure the risk they are taking by having a company as a client. If a company’s EMR is lower than 1.0, the insurance company considers it less of a risk than the average company and workers’ comp insurance will be less. Higher than 1.0 means the company is riskier and the premiums will be higher.

Business’ therefore have a financial incentive to reduce their perceived risk to insurance companies to get a lower EMR. Implementing an active safety program shows insurance agents that your company is serious about accident prevention. Safety consultant Rick Dalrymple during an interview with iReportSource explained how one company paying $249,000 for their workers’ comp renewal got a substantial discount by implementing new safety policies. “When the underwriters received verification of new policies and procedures that they put in place to mitigate future risk, the underwriter felt more comfortable and revised their renewal quote down to $200,000, giving them an immediate $49,000 in savings for their insurance premiums.”

The US Department of Labor has an online calculator to estimate the direct and indirect cost to a business when an employee has an accident. The $afety Pays calculator also approximates the amount of additional sales needed to recoup the costs of the accident.

For example, a “fracture” or a broken bone has a direct cost of $53,458 (hospital bills, doctors’ fees, medicines) and indirect costs of $58,803 (lost wages, household production losses, fees for administering workers’ compensation) for a total of $112,261. The company needs to produce more than $3.7 million in sales to recoup the costs associated with a broken bone. The point of the calculator is to emphasize how much even small accidents cost a company and, more importantly, how much can be saved with each accident that is prevented.

Statistics are clear that companies with robust safety programs, especially companies where safety is part of the corporate values, have fewer accidents than companies that do not prioritize safety. Following government safety regulations and building a team based on being safe saves money, solidifies team spirit, and leads to a happier and more profitable business.

Next Steps:

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