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The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

A couple of months ago, the HVAC unit in my home started malfunctioning. The temperature inside my home soared to over eighty degrees Fahrenheit, even though my air conditioning system ran nonstop. After inspecting my air conditioning unit, my knowledgeable HVAC contractor recommended I purchase a new system. He discussed the pros and cons of installing different sizes of HVAC units with me. After considering my HVAC contractor’s advice, I decided to purchase a three and a half ton HVAC unit. Shortly after my HVAC contractor installed my new air conditioning unit, my house started feeling more comfortable. On this blog, I hope you will discover how an HVAC contractor can help you select the right air conditioning unit for your home. Enjoy!


The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

Two Signs That Your AC Unit Needs More Coolant

by Jamie Shaw

If you have a central air conditioner, then the device will utilize a refrigerant to help cool air. Older units contain a material called R-22 or Freon, while newer ones carry a more environmentally friendly material called R-410A. This coolant helps to remove heat from the air so that the cooled air can be blown into your house. Unfortunately, small leaks and holes in the lines of the compressor can cause the coolant to leak out. When this happens, your HVAC professional will need to recharge the air conditioner. This involves adding more coolant. If you notice some of the following air conditioner issues, then think about contacting your local air conditioning professional for a recharge.

You Notice Warm Air

If you turn your air conditioner on for the first time during the spring or summer and notice that the vents are releasing warm air, then the appliance may need more refrigerant. To make sure this is the case, try to reset the system first since the thermostat may not be sending the correct electronic cooling signals to the air conditioner. With your heating system off, turn the thermostat to a high temperature like 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Around 15 or 30 minutes later, readjust the thermostat so it is set to a low temperature like 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure that the thermostat is properly set to cool and wait for the air conditioner to turn on.

Place your hand against one of the vents for 10 minutes and notice whether the air turns from warm to cool. If it does not, then try to flip the breaker that controls power to the device off and then on again. If the air conditioner releases cool air, then the system has successfully reset itself. If it does not, then the system may be dirty and not allowing air to be pulled in through the air conditioning fins. Go outside and gently rinse the fins and the entire unit with water from a hose. Change the air filter as well and try to start the air conditioner again. If the device does not release cool air at this point, then it likely needs more coolant. 

You See Frost In The Compressor

Another sign that your air conditioner needs coolant is if you see frost or ice building within the compressor. Freon and other refrigerants are gaseous materials that are placed under pressure until they become fluid. The fluid refrigerant picks up heat when it is compressed and pumped into the home. As the refrigerant moves out of your house, it releases the heat and turns back into a gas. This gas is most likely to release from small holes and openings in the coolant lines. When this happens, the gas comes into contact with other elements within the air conditioner and freezes them. 

To find frost, remove the top cover from the air conditioner and look inside of it. Look around the hoses, the fan, fan motor, electrical components, and any other parts that sit near the coolant lines. You may also want to look for water around these components. Sometimes, frost will quickly melt and leave puddles of water as the air conditioner heats up while trying to work overtime to cool the home.

If you see frost or water, turn off the air conditioner immediately and stop investigating the issue. While Freon and other refrigerants are not likely to cause long term health issues, you may notice your heart palpitating when you initially breathe in the leaking refrigerant gas. This can cause some concern, especially if you have a history of heart problems.

If you are experiencing an air conditioning issue where warm air is blowing out of vents or an investigation reveals frost in the unit, then you should contact your local HVAC professional so that new coolant can be pumped into the system. Contact a company like Universal Refrigeration for more information.