Troubleshooting a noisy air conditioner

There can be many reasons for noise from an A/C unit. Noises shouldn’t be overlooked and are usually a sign something that has gone wrong or about to go wrong.

Ignoring it can allow the problem to worsen to the point where it can’t be fixed, or where it could be very costly. Sometimes an air conditioning unit is beyond repair by the time it starts being noisy. But most of the time the unit will need only minor work done in order to start working quietly again.

Below are some of the more common causes of noise in an air conditioner unit. 

First question……. where is the noise coming from?

Air Handler Noises: The air handler is the unit located on the inside of your house in your attic.

  • A buzzing noise can indicate the A/C system’s electrical components may be wearing out and need to be replaced.
  • Hissing noises can be caused by a refrigerant leak.
  • A clicking sound may be from by a bad thermostat which is causing the relays to trip off and on.
  • Clicking might also be caused by an blocked fan blade or debris near the fan blade.

Outdoor A/C Noises – The unit outside of your house is called the condenser.

  • Whistling or a bubbling sound could be from a refrigerant leak.
  • A buzzing noise coming from the motor can be a bad connection or a burned contractor.
  • An rough, loud noise that sounds like a bang when the unit turns on or off could mean the motor is not mounted properly and it allows the motor to move when it turns on or off.
  • Humming usually occurs when the motor is trying to come on, but won’t.
  • Screaming noises are often caused by internal pressure and can be extremely dangerous. If you hear anything like this, shut down the system and immediately have your system checked by a HVAC professional.

If you are hearing noises from your air conditioner and want us to take a look, give us a call to shedule an appointment today. (832) 752-4445 or visit www.ac-max.net for more information.

Why is my Air Conditioner not blowing cold air?

This is a common question we deal with in this Texas heat. “Why isn’t my A/C cooling my house?” We’ll give you some things to troubleshoot the problem.

Is there air coming out of the vents, it’s just not cold?

  1. Check the thermostat. Make sure the fan is set to “AUTO” not “ON”. The “ON” will cause your unit to run even when it’s not cooling.
  2. Check your air filter. If it is dirty, change it if necessary.
  3. Check the outside unit. Is it dirty? Clean it. Is there bushes smothering it? Trim them back.If the outside unit is not running you more than likely need an HVAC professional to take a look.
  4. If none of these tings helped, you may be low on refrigerant. If that’s the case there is probably a leak in your system somewhere. You’ll need to have an HVAC company to help find the leak and fix it.

Is your A/C not blowing any air at all?

  1. Check the temperature on your thermostat. Try setting the temperature at least 5 degrees below the room temperature.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to “COOL”. It may seem simple, but it may have accidentally been set to “OFF” or “HEAT”.
  3. Again – check the air filter. When an air filter gets dirty it will block airflow and can cause the unit to freeze up.
  4. Is there electricity going to your air conditioner? Check the service switches that are:
  • By the compressor at the outside unit
  • At the air handler inside the AC unit
  • Circuit breakers at the electrical panel

If any are switched to “OFF” then there may be a problem with your A/C system. You need to call your local HVAC company to some diagnose the problem.

If you’re still not cooling contact A/C Max for repair. We offer Free Quotes on AC and Heating Services. Give us a call today at 832-752-4445 for fast air conditioning & heating service. Our HVAC technicians work in your service area daily so our response time is faster than most! If you are looking for a local family owned air conditioning and heating service company, AC Max is the one to call.

Why is my air conditioner leaking water?

What you need to know to determine what water is normal and when it’s not. Leaking AC units can cause unnecessary and unexpected repairs.

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When not to worry

Depending on the temperature outside, what the thermostat is set to and the amount of water around the system, it could be normal.

  1. If there is a small amount of water  near the condensation drain pipe. This is a common when an air conditioner is working really hard on a especially hot/humid day. Keep an eye on the situation. If the quantity of water increases or persists for more than a few days, you may need to have an HVAC technician take a look at things.
  2. There is a small amount of water around the outdoor unit. This could easily be the result of the system’s normal recycling of water.

When there might be a problem

A large amount of water or water that persists for more than a day is a cause for concern. Only a certified heating and cooling service technician can determine the issue with your air conditioner. Here are some possible causes:

  1. Dirty air filter –  When your air filter is dirty, this restricts airflow to the evaporator coil. It can cause the coils to freeze and cause water to overflow from the drain pan.
  2. Crack in drain pan – A crack in the drain pan will allow water to leak out of the air conditioner.
  3. Clogged drain pipe – An obstruction in the drain pipe can force water to back up and out of the drain pan, getting all over the floor.

What to do

Try replacing the air filter and cleaning the condensate line. If neither of these fixes the leak, the problem may be something else or more extensive and requires the expertise of a professional. If there is a large amount of water, you should take immediate action to prevent a major problem.

Finding an AC that leaks water is not uncommon, but it can represent a problem for the operation and safety of the air conditioning system. At A/C Max we are here to answer your calls about leaking air conditioners and other HVAC issues. Give us a call at (832) 752-4445.

A/C Tune-up & Inspection

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Air conditioning can keep your body cool when you eat a spicy chip or fall in love with a model in a shampoo ad. Cool off with this Groupon.

The Deal

  • $35 for an A/C system tune-up and inspection ($65 value)

In a Nutshell

Seasoned techs ensure safety and optimize operation during inspection and tune-up

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires 90 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per visit. Limit 1 per household. Valid only for option purchased. Appointment required. Valid only for 1 unit. Valid only within 20 miles of zip code 77356. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Central Air Conditioning: A Quick-Change Act at Home

Take a peek at the principles of central air conditioning to understand just what your technician will be adjusting.

A refrigerant is a substance that transforms more easily than most from a gas to a liquid and back again. This shape-shifting is what makes modern air conditioning possible. Refrigerant cools the home by traveling through a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator—the last a part of the furnace system inside the house, while the other parts reside in an air-conditioning unit that usually sits outside staring longingly at the family it works for.

It might seem natural to think of air conditioning as a process of blowing cool air into the home, but it might be more easily understood as a matter of carrying off hot air. Fans suck air from the home into the system and draw it across the coils of the evaporator, which house liquid refrigerant. As the refrigerant relieves it of its heat, the furnace’s blower and ducts distribute the now-cooler air throughout the home. Meanwhile, under heat, the refrigerant becomes a vapor that flows into the compressor, which further pressurizes the gas and propels it into the condenser.

Now it’s time to get rid of all that heat. In the condenser, heat is radiated away, helped along by the venting and large surface area of the metal fins on the outside of the unit. This lets the refrigerant cool down and return to liquid form, leaving it ready to flow back inside and pick up another load of the home’s heat.

Since it hit the market in 1932, central air conditioning has not only made it possible to build houses in the hottest regions of the country—it’s actually changed the way those houses are built. High ceilings, eaves, awnings, attics, and front porches were once standard elements of home architecture that provided relief from the stifling summer heat and invited bats to come flap their wings to make breezes. Central air made it both possible and, given the cost of installation, desirable to create simpler one-story homes without these architectural flourishes, leading to a post–World War II boom in sprawling modern developments.

We offer Free Quotes on AC and Heating Services. Give us a call today at 832-752-4445 for fast air conditioning & heating service. Our HVAC technicians work in your service area daily so our response time is quick! If you are looking for a locally owned air conditioning and heating company give us a call.

Helpful Air Conditioner Tips

Air Conditioner Tips

1. Set your thermostat. Your thermostat should be set between 74°F and 76°F. Every 1° lower might increase running costs by up to 15%. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall A/C bill will be.

2. Pre-cool your house. In the middle of summer, pre-cool your house the night before. This is very effective if your house has a high thermal mass such as brick or rock. Pre-Cooling will allow your air conditioner to work at its peek during the cool evening, saving power and wear and tear on the unit. This also allows the air conditioner unit to keep on top of the heat load as the daytime temp warms up.

3. Change your air filter. One of the easiest things to do is change your air filter at least once per month. This ensures your family is breathing clean air and that your AC system is not being overworked. This also helps keep your cooling coils from getting clogged by dirt and dust which reduces the efficiency of your unit, saving money on operating and repair costs.

4. Solar Screens. Install Solar Screens on windows that get direct afternoon sunlight. This will reduce the amount of heat in your home letting your a/c rest more frequently.

5. Reduce the amount of usage by heat generating appliances during the daytime such as stoves, ovens, hair dryers, etc.

6. Clean the coils on your outside unit with a water hose regularly. This allows more air to flow across the coils therefore letting your unit operate more efficiently. This will save money on operating and repair costs.

7. Landscaping. Majority of the heat that accumulates inside your home comes directly from the sun shining on the roof or through the windows. Plant leafy trees or other landscaping around the outside of your home to help shade the area. This could boost your air conditioners efficiency by as much as 10% according to the US Department of Energy.

8. It is pretty common for an air conditioner to freeze up. The air conditioner drain line can also freeze, backup and cause a leak. If this happens, immediately turn off your AC by switching your thermostat to fan mode. As the ice begins to melt, make sure you have proper drainage and call a professional.

9. May need to be replaced. If your air conditioner system is old, consider buying an energy efficient model. Qualified air conditioners are about 15% more efficient than standard models.

Checklist for buying a new Air Conditioner for your Home

When purchasing a new HVAC system for your home, you want to be prepared and know exactly what you are getting. This is a major expense and you want to make sure you are getting the right thing. Below are great questions to ask your trusted HVAC professional before purchasing a new system.

A/C Buyer’s Checklist

  • Determine what type of system you need (i.e. split system, packaged system, mini-split system).
  • Compare the difference in costs between brands and types of systems.
  • Determine the size of the unit needed.
  • Determine the extent of home’s ductwork.
  • Determine the extent of home’s insulation.
  • Understand and select an advanced SEER rated system.
  • Know the warranty details.
  • Learn about air quality features available (i.e. air cleaners and humidifiers).
  • Understand the steps of replacement, haul away and installation.
  • Look for convenience features like quiet operation, zone controls and variable speeds.
  • Consider upgrades to compliment your system (i.e. digital or remote-operated thermostats, zoned-cooling options).

Review this checklist with your HVAC professional and make sure you understand what you are getting. We offer Free Quotes on AC and Heating Services. Give us a call today at 832-752-4445 for fast air conditioning & heating service. Our HVAC technicians work in your service area daily so our response time is quick! If you are looking for a locally owned air conditioning and heating company give us a call.

Air Conditioner Tips

1. Set your thermostat. Your thermostat should be set between 74°F and 76°F. Every 1° lower might increase running costs by up to 15%. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall A/C bill will be.

2. Pre-cool your house. In the middle of summer, pre-cool your house the night before. This is very effective if your house has a high thermal mass such as brick or rock. Pre-Cooling will allow your air conditioner to work at its peek during the cool evening, saving power and wear and tear on the unit. This also allows the air conditioner unit to keep on top of the heat load as the daytime temp warms up.

3. Change your air filter. One of the easiest things to do is change your air filter at least once per month. This ensures your family is breathing clean air and that your AC system is not being overworked. This also helps keep your cooling coils from getting clogged by dirt and dust which reduces the efficiency of your unit, saving money on operating and repair costs.

4. Solar Screens. Install Solar Screens on windows that get direct afternoon sunlight. This will reduce the amount of heat in your home letting your a/c rest more frequently.

5. Reduce the amount of usage by heat generating appliances during the daytime such as stoves, ovens, hair dryers, etc.

6. Clean the coils on your outside unit with a water hose regularly. This allows more air to flow across the coils therefore letting your unit operate more efficiently. This will save money on operating and repair costs.

7. Landscaping. Majority of the heat that accumulates inside your home comes directly from the sun shining on the roof or through the windows. Plant leafy trees or other landscaping around the outside of your home to help shade the area. This could boost your air conditioners efficiency by as much as 10% according to the US Department of Energy.

8. It is pretty common for an air conditioner to freeze up. The air conditioner drain line can also freeze, backup and cause a leak. If this happens, immediately turn off your AC by switching your thermostat to fan mode. As the ice begins to melt, make sure you have proper drainage and call a professional.

9. May need to be replaced. If your air conditioner system is old, consider buying an energy efficient model. Qualified air conditioners are about 15% more efficient than standard models.

Why is my air conditioner freezing up?

It’s the middle of July. The temps are hitting 3 digits. The last thing in the world you would expect to see is your air conditioning frozen solid!

This is a very common problem and something you might be able to troubleshoot yourself. If not you may need to have a HVAC professional come troubleshoot your system and make the necessary repairs. If you’re dealing with a frozen A/C unit, the first thing to do it turn it off.

  • Check and make sure your fan is working correctly. If the fan isn’t blowing out air like it should, that means that the cool air is confined within the unit and is the cause of the A/C unit freezing up. This is something you need to have your HVAC professional come repair.
  • Check the refrigerant levels in you’re A/C system. If there isn’t enough coolant, the coil will become too cold and cause the unit to freeze. This is another repair that you will need a HVAC technician to take care of.
  • Replace dirty air filters! There are many reasons to keep your air filters clean. Dirty filters can impede the air flow and again cause your coil to get too cold and freeze.
  • Check your thermostat. Don’t keep your air conditioner running all night when it’s cooler out. It can cause your unit to freeze up. In some cases your thermostat could be broken and cause your AC system to run all night.

At A/C Max we fix all types of HVAC issues, including AC freeze ups. We know that the summers in Southeast Texas can be extremely hot so we can respond quickly for repairs. Your indoor comfort and our customer service experience is very important to us. Please contact us for more information on HVAC products, repairs and new equipment installations.

Why does my air conditioner smell bad?

On a really hot day the first thing you do when you get home is crank the A/C down right? When you turn your air conditioner on does your house seem to smell? This can be a problem that you don’t want to ignore! If you find yourself asking “Why does my air conditioner smell?” check out the reasons and smells below to help troubleshoot what the problem is.

smelly

1. Check your air conditioning filter. If it is dirty and clogged it may not be filtering properly and contributing to the problem. Changing your air filter may not only solve the smelly issue, but it will also help your system run more efficiently.

2. Air Conditioner System is too large for your home. So we all know that an air conditioner cools your home down but many don’t realize that it also de-humidifies your home as well. If your A/C system is too large for your home it will go through the cool cycle too quick and won’t run long enough to pull any moisture from air.

3. Drain line is clogged. If your air conditioner’s drain line is clogged, water will build up in the drain pan and can be a breeding ground for mold & mildew.

4. Coils are dirty. Your A/C blows air directly over it’s coils to cool the air. If your coils are dirty the air can pick up the strange smells from the coils themselves.

5. Problems with your air filtration system. Your filtration system removes contaminates from the air in your home. If something is wrong with this system, contaminates will not be properly removed and your home’s air can begin to smell.

Mustiness – There are a few possibilities for the source of a musty smell. First there may be mold or mildew on the condenser coil inside the unit. There could also be mold or mildew growing in the duct work, if there is a leak. No matter the source, as air flows through the vents it spreads mold through your home.

Rotten eggs – If the air coming out of your vents smells a little like rotten eggs you may have a natural gas leak. A natural gas leak is very serious and would need to call a professional out to repair.

Smoke – If it smells like something is burning, there may be a mechanical problem with the Air Conditioners fan or compressor. Turn off the unit and contact an HVAC professional immediately.

Contact us today

If you noticed any of these odors and would like us to inspect your unit give A/C Max a call today at (832) 752-4445

 

3 Ways to Lower Humidity in Your Home

Here in south Texas, it’s humid as heck! Do you have foggy window? Your skin feel clammy? Usually simple steps can make a difference. Now how do you reduce the humidity level?

humid

  1. The first and easiest way is to ventilate your home. Most importantly the areas that create moisture. Like the bathrooms and kitchen. Remember to use your vent fans! If you don’t have any, consider having them installed.
  2. House plants increase the humidity levels in your home. Take them outside temporarily. Also try covering the exposed soil. The water evaporates if not covered.
  3. Make sure your HVAC system is inspected and maintained.It helps remove moisture from the air. An improperly functioning air conditioner will allow humidity into your house. Not to mention higher utility costs.