Signature HVAC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning System Repairs’

Summer’s Over—Was It the Last Summer for Your AC?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

The end of summer doesn’t mean you automatically stop using your home’s central air conditioning system. The heat can linger deep into the fall. But the main period of work for the AC is behind it, and it’s a good time to think about whether you need new air conditioning in West Chester, PA before the next summer.

A central AC system can last, on average, between 10 to 15 years if it is regularly maintained. If your air conditioner is in this range, we recommend considering how well it performed during the summer to help you plan your future cooling. You may be able to keep the AC going effectively for a few more years, or it may be time to get ahead of bigger problems and have it replaced during cooler weather.

Below are factors to consider when thinking about whether your AC just had its last summer or not.

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Short-Cycling—A Common and Serious AC Malfunction

Monday, September 21st, 2020

You may never have heard the term ­short-cycling before, but it may be occurring in your house right now. It’s a problem that air conditioning systems as well as heat pumps often encounter. It’s not only a serious malfunction that creates threats to your comfort and wallet, it can indicate a range of underlying causes. To fix short cycling, you will probably need professional AC repair in West Chester, PA.

We’ll examine what short-cycling is, why it’s a problem, and what may cause it.

What Is It?

Short-cycling is when an AC or other refrigerant-based system fails to complete its full cooling cycle and shuts down early. It then turns back on a short time later, only to again shut off the cooling cycle prematurely. The cooling cycle for air conditioners is normally at least 15 minutes, often longer. Running less than 10 minutes is a sign the system is short-cycling.

Why Is It a Problem?

Air conditioners are designed to have longer cycles, and when they begin to start and stop repeatedly over short periods of time, it puts immense wear on their components that they weren’t built for. The start-up cycle for an air conditioner is when the system uses the most power as it overcomes resistance to start the compressor. When an AC is doing this repeatedly over a short time, it both drains huge amounts of power and increases the work strain put on the system. A short-cycling air conditioner is at a higher risk of a malfunction or full breakdown, and it will also lose years off its service life.

Short-cycling also affects comfort in a home. If an AC doesn’t stay on long enough, it won’t provide even cooling around the house, leaving hot spots in some rooms.

What Causes It?

Many different troubles in an air conditioning system may lead to short-cycling. It’s one of the most common warning signs of other repair issues in the AC, including:

  • Leaking refrigerant
  • A clogged air filter
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Dirty condenser coils
  • An oversized air conditioner
  • An air conditioner that’s too old

For most of these problems, you’ll need the assistance of an HVAC professional to repair the air conditioner. First check for the clogged filter and put in a new one. This may stop the short-cycling, but we still recommend calling technicians to inspect the system for possible damage from short-cycling.

In the case of an oversized air conditioner, this is a problem from the initial installation—a common mistake that amateur installers make. The only repair for this is to call on certified professionals to replace the air conditioner with one that is accurately sized for your home’s cooling requirements.

If you have an air conditioner that is more than 15 years old, short-cycling is a warning sign the compressor is coming to the end of its service life, as is the air conditioner. Since 15 years is usually the upper limit for estimated AC lifespans, we recommend replacing any system that’s older than this. And short-cycling means it is definitely time to call for a new installation.

Call the Signature Service You Can Trust! Signature HVAC offers service in hours, not days—we’re here for your AC repairs.

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Understanding What Refrigerant Does in Your Air Conditioner

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

There are several misunderstandings about air conditioning systems that have spread since the earliest days of residential AC, and which have only spread faster because of the internet. For example, people often think it’s okay to see ice on an air conditioner. (It’s not!) Or they believe turning the thermostat down lower provides more cooling faster. (It only makes the AC run longer.) One of the biggest misconceptions that can cause plenty of trouble for an AC is about refrigerant: what it does and how to deal with it.

This is your Refrigerant 101 class, where we cut through the fog and give you straight answers that can help you with your air conditioning service in West Chester, PA.

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What’s That Noise From the AC Mean?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

One day, we will have advanced air conditioners with complex AI technology that allows them to rapidly diagnose any malfunction (or even predict it) and notify homeowners they need to call for technicians. They’ll probably be able to automatically contact the technicians themselves. Since we’re not at that level of air conditioning technology (yet), we need to rely on interpreting other warning signs that an AC is on the fritz. One of the most common warnings are strange noises.

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Troubleshooting an AC That Won’t Work

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

If you have an air conditioning system that won’t cool down your house or won’t turn on at all, it’s important that you leave any repair work to licensed professionals. If you feel tempted to grab some tools and open up either cabinet of the air conditioner, please resist! You’ll likely make the situation worse, and you’ll probably void the warranty. Don’t let any fast-talking amateur who makes big promises for super-cheap prices convince you to let them do the work either. Let our West Chester, PA air conditioning repair experts see that the job gets done right the first time.

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Signs You May Need AC Repairs

Monday, May 11th, 2020

You want to trust that your home’s air conditioning system will get through the summer without running into any troubles. Who wants to have an interruption to their household cooling on blistering hot days? Although there is no way you can completely guarantee the AC won’t break down during the summer, there are two ways to help prevent it. The first we addressed last month: schedule a spring maintenance tune-up and inspection for the AC.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the other way you can stop an emergency shutdown for your AC, and that’s paying close attention to the early signs of a malfunction. Air conditioners rarely break without warning, and if you know what to look out for, you can alert our technicians and we can be out to fix the problem… before it’s a problem.

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Is This the Year You Get a New Central AC?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

This summer promises to be another hot one, and you’ll rely on your central air conditioning system to circulate cool temperatures to the rooms. But let’s talk about the word rely for a moment. Do you think you can rely on your current air conditioner for another summer? You may have concerns about its age, its performance, the cost to run it, and its overall … reliability.

Choosing to get a new air conditioning system is a major decision for homeowners. It requires weighing the pros and cons of continuing with repairs or going ahead with a replacement. In a few cases, the answer is obvious—such as when an air conditioning system fails so completely it can’t be repaired. But in most situations, the choice isn’t so clear.

But don’t worry. We can help.

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Time to Have Your Air Conditioner’s Spring Tune-Up

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020
Hand writing Service with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

The spring is usually the season when people have the least concern for the indoor comfort in their homes. Winter cold fades, summer heat hasn’t arrived yet. The heating system turns off, the air conditioner has yet to turn on.

But this is an important time for HVAC systems—because during the period when they’re aren’t needed as much is the ideal time to have them maintained. Just the way that amusement parks use the off-season to shut down favorite attractions for the regular maintenance required to keep the rides running well and safely.

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