ABC Blog

Common AC Noises and What They Mean

an air conditioning vent

Learning about normal AC noise versus AC noise that signals a problem is important. This knowledge comes in handy for anyone wanting to know what to do if their AC breaks. After all, there are several noises AC systems commonly make that are perfectly normal. Knowing what isn’t normal is key to keeping your AC in good working order and extending its life as long as possible.

There are a few normal sounds that any well-running AC might make. There’s the humming, starting-up sound the AC makes when it first kicks on, for example. There’s also the gentle whirring noise the outdoor condenser unit makes while it runs. The metal ductwork that connects your AC to the vents in your home might also make noises over time. These sounds come from normal expansion and contraction due to temperature changes through the seasons.

Other noises, on the other hand, can mean the AC … Read Full Post »

Furnace Turns On But No Heat

a living room with a fireplace

The low “whoosh” of a furnace kicking on brings a sigh of relief when the temperatures drop. But, it’s a shock when your furnace turns on but there’s no heat. If your furnace is not putting out the heat you need, there are a couple of things you can check.

Check the Switches

First, take a look at your thermostat. It might seem obvious, but sometimes, a homeowner has accidentally clicked “cool” rather than “heat.” Luckily, if that is the case, it is an easy fix to click the switch to the correct function.

Your thermostat has another toggle that can just as easily be the reason for the flow of cool air in the cold weather. The location might vary, but somewhere on the wall thermostat is a switch that says “Auto” and “On.” A switch on “Auto” will make the furnace click on only when a sensor signals that the temperature … Read Full Post »

When To Replace An Air Conditioner

a homeowner calculating if it's worth it to replace their air conditioner

The worst time to discover your air conditioner is failing is when the sun is blazing, there is no breeze and you need some cool air right away. In order to avoid sweating inside your home, waiting for the repair person to save everyone, you will want to know how to tell when your AC is failing so you can be proactive. If you notice any of the following, it’s best to call in a licensed professional to find out exactly what is going on.

  • Loud or increasing noise or vibrations.
  • You notice more dust on your furniture. Your vents could be clogging up.
  • You start to smell a moldy or burning odor from around the AC unit itself, if it is easily accessible. That could mean too much moisture or a problem with wiring.
  • Energy bills spike up suddenly, with no other electrical or gas issues.
  • Nothing happens when you flip on the unit, … Read Full Post »

The Signs and Causes of a Broken AC Unit

a white kitchen

It’s a big inconvenience when you have a broken AC unit. It could even be a dangerous situation if your AC breaks when it’s very hot or cold outside. That’s why it’s so important to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. Of course, that requires determining what the problem is, so that it can be properly addressed.

It’s important to note that sometimes, AC units have problems that don’t cause obvious symptoms. The main thing you might notice is a gradual increase in your monthly utility bills. This is because an AC with worn-out or broken components can’t run efficiently. It may keep limping along, using more and more electricity as it struggles to keep up with demands on the system until it finally breaks completely.

Some AC problems are simple enough to figure out and fix on your own. Others are more complex and need fixing by a professional. … Read Full Post »

What Is a HEPA Air Filter?

a homeowner changing out a hepa filter

Studies show that the air inside our homes is often much more polluted than the air outside. That is why many people have started turning to air purifiers to help make the air in their home healthier. However, not all air filtration systems are the same. Some offer a much higher level of protection.

HEPA air purifiers offer one of the highest levels of protection available to homeowners. HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air,” and it indicates the product uses a certain type of air filter. For a product to say it is a HEPA air purifier or HEPA air filter, it must meet the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This means that anything labeled as a HEPA filter must remove at least 99.97% of particles from the air that are just 0.3 microns in diameter. A micron is a unit of measurement used to determine the size … Read Full Post »

Is Your Furnace Making Noises?

a home where the furnace is making noises

There are certain sounds your furnace should never make—at least if it’s well-functioning and in good condition. So when you hear your furnace making noise, it’s smart to pay attention. This is especially true if it’s making a strange noise you haven’t heard before.

When furnaces make strange noises, it’s a sign that something within the heating and cooling system is wearing out or broken. These strange noises might include humming, clicking, banging or rattling sounds. Let’s learn more about what it means when your furnace is making noises.

1. Making Banging Noises

If your furnace starts making banging noises, it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist to determine what’s going on. Depending on when the noise happens and for how long, it might signal several different problems with your furnace.

If the banging noise happens when you turn on the heat, it could mean the furnace won’t ignite like it’s supposed … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioning Preventive Maintenance

an AC vent

Anyone living in central Texas knows the importance of having a good, working heating and cooling system. That goes for winter as well as summer. As blazingly hot as it can get outside in July and August, it can get just as bitterly cold during the winter months. But did you know that regular air conditioning preventative maintenance can keep your AC working efficiently for many years?

An efficient AC system uses less energy and fuel to run. That’s better for the environment, and also for your bank account. Regular checkups from an HVAC professional can save you money on your utility bills. Checkups also save you money over the long term by extending the life of your air conditioning system. If you have a home warranty, annual AC maintenance check-ups may even be a requirement for staying covered.

Furthermore, your family will be safer, healthier and more comfortable in your home … Read Full Post »

Ever Heard of Dirty Sock Syndrome?

a vent with an ac that has dirty sock syndrome

It’s never a good thing to catch a whiff of a foul smell coming from your home. It’s even worse when you can’t name it or find it. It seems familiar, like gym socks that fell behind the washing machine. But that isn’t quite it. A quick check of the laundry room finds everything in order.

You know when the cat’s litter box needs changing, or if the laundry has been sitting in the hamper too long. A fragrant trash bin is easily identified. Maybe the house just needs a good cleaning? No, even after the kitchen, bathroom and floors get a good scrubbing, the off-putting scent lingers.

Once you have run through the list of usual suspects and still haven’t discovered the source, you might want to zero in on your HVAC system. Your house might have caught a case of dirty sock syndrome!

Why Is the House So Smelly?

Your home’s heating … Read Full Post »

What Is a SEER Rating?

a living room

If you’re shopping for a new AC, you might feel confused by how many different units there are to choose from. One way to narrow down your choices is by looking for a unit with a higher SEER rating. But what is SEER rating? Think of it as an indicator of how efficient your heating and cooling system is—and the more efficient, the better.

If you’ve never heard of SEER ratings before, you aren’t alone. Lots of people aren’t familiar with the term. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s calculated by dividing an AC unit’s total BTUs of cooling output during a given period of time by its total watt-hours of energy input during the same time period.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do complicated math to understand that a higher SEER rating means better AC unit efficiency. The concept is pretty simple. When your heating and cooling system runs … Read Full Post »

My Heating Won’t Turn Off: What’s Going On?

a light gray room with a beige couch

It’s frustrating when you find that the heating won’t turn off and your furnace is running nonstop. Could it be something simple that you can fix yourself? It’s possible, and it’s always a good idea to check the simplest things first.

Thermostat Setting Is Too High

You might have accidentally set the thermostat to a temperature that’s too high. The heater then has to work overtime to make the house warmer than it needs to be.

Fan Set to On

Or maybe the fan setting on your thermostat was accidentally switched from “Auto” to “On,”. This causes the furnace blower to run constantly. Switching it back to Auto allows the furnace to cycle on and off again as needed to keep your house at the temperature that you set on the thermostat.

It’s important to note that your furnace itself isn’t actually running nonstop when you set the fan to On. Only the blower runs … Read Full Post »