ABC Blog

5 Common AC Noises and What They Mean

How to tell when it’s time for a service call

When it’s working properly, your air conditioner makes a pleasant noise that’s easy to get used to. Unfortunately, even the best-made HVAC systems can and do experience serious problems that require attention, troubleshooting and potential repairs. These problems are often preceded or indicated by strange noises that interrupt the pleasant sounds you’ve become accustomed to. Here are five of the most common.

1. Banging Sounds in Your Compressor

If you hear a banging sound emanating from your air conditioner’s compressor, you could be dealing with a loose fan blade that’s repeatedly banging against something else inside the housing. This is especially likely if the noise occurs at regular intervals. Consequences of this problem may include worn-down fan blades that require frequent and increasingly expensive replacement.

2. Persistent Buzzing or Rattling

A vague, seemingly random buzzing or rattling sound probably isn’t being caused by a single … Read Full Post »

Moisture, Mites and Mold: What Factors Influence Indoor Air Quality?

Factors affecting home air quality and comfort

•    Temperature is a huge factor in home comfort. Drafts can result in creepy hot or cold spots that seem to come from nowhere. Temperature fluctuations can affect your sleep quality and cause headaches, sweating, shivering and bad moods. A poorly functioning air conditioner may not be able to keep up with the demands of hot Texas summers, so Austin residents are at significant risk of heat-related misery and higher-than-average energy bills.

•    Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Most people are comfortable with a relative humidity level of about 45%. When humidity is high, the air seems hotter and heavier. If it drops too low, symptoms like dry eyes and itchy skin appear. Extremely dry air results in high static electricity levels while excessive humidity encourages mold growth, which can lead to bad smells, structural damage and health problems.

•    Ventilation is … Read Full Post »

When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Count the cost, both present and future

An air conditioner is a sizable investment, and every home and business owner wants to get as much use out of that investment as possible. Still, if your air conditioner wastes energy or needs frequent repairs, you might end up spending more money to keep it running than you would to start fresh with a new unit. You’ll need to carefully consider several factors to make an informed decision about replacing your air conditioner.

First of all, remember that air conditioners are generally designed to last eight to 10 years. If you’ve had yours for the better part of a decade, it’s probably getting old enough that it needs to be replaced anyway. Certain other circumstances, though, might make it necessary to replace your unit even before you’ve had it that long.

If your air conditioner is more than a few years old when it suffers … Read Full Post »

What Is A Good SEER Rating For Your New AC?

what is a good seer rating

Are you in the process of buying a new AC unit? When looking for a new air conditioning system, you’ll probably be presented with a lot of different air conditioner types. Do you want a central AC system? Do you want a programmable thermostat? What brands do you prefer?

Another factor you might be asked to consider is the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. You’ll see that every AC system comes with a SEER rating. This is a term that is somewhat new for many customers and an aspect of the selection process we’d like to help others understand better.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is a gauge of the efficiency of a particular air conditioning unit. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Now, this doesn’t mean that a higher rated unit will be able to reach cooler temperatures than a unit with a lower SEER … Read Full Post »

Help! Why Is My Air Conditioner Making Clicking Noises?

top reasons your ac broke

Spoiler alert: That’s not supposed to happen

Even the quietest modern air conditioners make some noise as they cool your home, but there are some sounds your AC just shouldn’t be making. Clicking, banging, clanking and hissing sounds are signs of trouble, and if you hear them, you’ll need to take action to identify and resolve the problem. Here are some common indicators of AC maintenance issues.

First, listen for vibration noises. A humming sound generally isn’t an indicator of a serious issue, but it probably means that something inside your air conditioner is slightly out of order. Loose parts and too-tight refrigerant piping can cause vibration, and if left unchecked, lead to a more serious maintenance issue.

Buzzing or humming could also be a sign of an electrical problem with your air conditioner. Shut off the power and check around the wires for any signs of corrosion, rust or other damage. If … Read Full Post »

When the Seasons Change, Will Your HVAC System Be Ready?

Make sure that your HVAC system keeps you comfortable all year long

As summer temperatures soar across San Antonio, you rely more than ever on your home’s HVAC system to keep you comfortably cool. Unfortunately, some homeowners face serious summertime woes when their units stop working or cease to provide the level of service that they expect. Taking time to tackle basic HVAC maintenance now is a great way to prevent such problems and extend the operating life of your air conditioner.

Essential HVAC Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure the dependability of your HVAC unit is to take care of basic maintenance. Preventive maintenance can help prevent system failure and extend the operating life of your HVAC equipment. Most heating and cooling experts recommend that you have maintenance performed on your HVAC equipment at least twice a year. Make sure to perform maintenance at least once before the cooling season … Read Full Post »

Are AC Units the Newest Target for Neighborhood Thieves?

Protect your HVAC system from unscrupulous folks

Some news items just make you want to shake your head. Something we heard the other day certainly fits this bill: Apparently, homeowners across Texas are waking up to find that thieves have stolen their HVAC systems in the night! It appears that a few homeowners have even caught these unscrupulous bandits in the act. Since cool air is a basic necessity during the long, hot Texas summer, you need to know how to protect your home from AC thieves.

They Steal WHAT?!

According to a recent news report, a family in the Houston suburb of Katy recently got an unpleasant surprise: They awoke to find that their entire air conditioning unit was missing. Although they were fortunate not to catch the potentially dangerous thieves in the act, they lamented the loss of an essential piece of residential equipment. Since AC units are heavy and have … Read Full Post »

The Best Thermostat Settings for Summertime Energy Savings

Dial up the temperature to dial down your costs

Everyone wants to keep cool all summer long, but there’s no need to pay extra for that privilege. There’s plenty you can do to cut the energy usage of your air conditioning system without compromising comfort, and probably the simplest way is to just adjust your thermostat.

The rule of thumb for summer thermostat settings is to set it as high as you can without becoming uncomfortable. For most people, that’s somewhere in the 76-79 degrees Fahrenheit range. Turning your thermostat up by one degree cuts your energy usage by about 8%, so it pays to make that adjustment even if it’s just from 72 to 73. Experiment with different settings and find your family’s sweet spot.

One way to make it easier to set your thermostat higher is to invest in ceiling fans. Fans make the air feel cooler by producing a breeze … Read Full Post »

Choosing a Thermostat? Don’t Make These Mistakes

Why a thermostat is one of the most important investments in your home

As summer days heat up throughout San Antonio, you rely more and more on your home’s HVAC system to keep you cool. A well-maintained air conditioner or heat pump can help you beat soaring temperatures and stay comfortable in your own home. You can make the most of your AC unit’s potential by choosing a thermostat that’s prepared to meet your comfort demands.

Thermostat Basics: More Than Temperature Control

Also known as comfort controls, thermostats allow you to monitor and control the operation of your HVAC system. A wide variety of thermostats are available to residential and commercial customers. Both central air and ductless cooling systems rely on comfort controls.

Many homeowners don’t put much thought into choosing a thermostat for their San Antonio AC unit. You might think that all thermostats are alike or that a thermostat can’t have a … Read Full Post »

How To Lower Humidity In A House During The Summer

How To Lower Humidity In House

If you live in Texas, you know the summers can be unbearably humid. You expect humidity when you go outside, but it’s a miserable experience to come home and have to deal with the humidity indoors, as well.

On top of just being uncomfortable, humidity negatively impacts several parts of your home. High humidity contributes to the growth of mold and mildew, damages the wood and paint on your home’s interior and even reduces the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. If you’re tired of your home feeling balmy and unpleasant, taking extra steps towards reducing the humidity in your home is worth it. It will save you money, too! Read on for tips on how to lower humidity in a house during the summer.

Use A Dehumidifier

Wondering how to control humidity? One popular method is by introducing a dehumidifier into your home. You can find portable dehumidifiers at most hardware or appliance … Read Full Post »