Is It Time to Replace Your Commercial Air Conditioning System?

September 11th, 2017

covered-commercial-hvac-fansWhen is the best time of the year to arrange to make significant changes to your commercial heating and cooling system?

If you need to make changes because your current system is failing or has failed, then the answer is “Any time!” Contact our experts right away to arrange for a fast solution to the problem—you can’t afford to wait when comfort and efficiency are at risk in your commercial building. Continue Reading

Planning for a New AC in the Fall? Some Things to Start Thinking About

August 28th, 2017

air-conditioning-unit-outdoorsAs the summer heat ebbs in fall and we enjoy some of the best weather of the year here in the Willamette Valley, it’s a good time to consider making changes to your home’s HVAC system. After all, you won’t need to use it much, and it’s easy to arrange for an appointment with one of our expert technicians during the slower fall season.

If you’re good with your home’s heating system, then maybe it’s a smart idea to spend the fall replacing the air conditioner. (There’s no bad time to have a new AC put in place—except those times when the AC abruptly fails on you during a hot summer day! That’s why we encourage you to take advantage of the off-season so you’re prepared.) When an air conditioning installation in Albany, OR is part of your autumn plans, here are a few things to consider. Continue Reading

It’s Late Summer: Time to Watch Out for AC Troubles!

August 14th, 2017
spinng-ac-fan-closeup

Spinning fan closeup.

Any time of the year when your air conditioning system is working to keep your home cool is a time to watch out for malfunctions. But the tail end of summer is a “Red Zone” for cooling systems. Why is that? Because the outdoor heat is still intense—often worse than in June and July—and an air conditioner has already put in a good deal of hard work that means extra levels of stress on it. Think of it as coming to the end of a lengthy road trip where the vehicle still has to manage a few more steep hills before reaching the last stop.

If you remember to schedule maintenance for your air conditioning in Albany, OR before summer started, you should have few worries about the AC making it through the final heat of the season. However, even the best regular HVAC maintenance isn’t a guarantee against all malfunctions and breakdowns. Here are some problems to watch for with your home’s air conditioner at this time of year. Contact our repair experts ASAP if you detect anything amiss with your cooling system. It’s better to catch repairs sooner than later: the quicker repairs are done, the less expensive they’ll be and the less opportunity for the AC to suffer a full breakdown. Continue Reading

Is Refrigerant Different in a Heat Pump Than in an Air Conditioner?

July 31st, 2017

tool-bag-on-air-conditionerHeat pumps are similar in most ways to air conditioning systems. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that’s capable of reversing the direction it operates so that instead of removing heat from inside a home and then releasing it outside, it absorbs heat from the outside and releases it inside. All it takes is an adjustment to the thermostat to shift the heat pump from one mode to the other. The thermostat signals to a component called the reversing valve in the heat pump, and it redirects the flow of refrigerant to change the direction the heat pump works.

So both air conditioners and heat pumps use refrigerant to work. But do heat pumps require a different type of refrigerant, or are there any other differences with how refrigerant works in the heat pump? Continue Reading

What the Tonnage of an AC Really Means

July 17th, 2017

question-mark-badgeWhen installing a new air conditioning system or replacing one that’s past the point where repairs will help, one of the important factors for HVAC experts to consider for the new system is its tonnage. You may have heard this term before but not been certain exactly what it meant. It’s a bit confusing, since it sounds like it’s how much the air conditioner weighs. But the weight of the system has nothing to do with it; it’s actually a measure of how much cooling power the unit has. We’ll take a look at what tonnage means and why it’s so important to ensure a new system has the right tonnage to match the house it’s cooling. Continue Reading

Don’t Run an Old AC Until It Fails… Replace It!

July 3rd, 2017

technicians-evaluate-air-conditioning-systemHomeowners don’t tend to treat their air conditioning systems the same way they treat their vehicles. On the surface, this makes sense: although an air conditioner is a vital part of daily life during a summer here in the Willamette Valley, an AC is mostly something you don’t actually see much. A car, on the other hand … well, people often develop something of bond with their cars. This is why they’re more likely to move fast when it comes to repairing their cars as opposed to repairing their air conditioners, and why they’re less likely to miss regular maintenance appointments for their cars than for their cooling systems.

Taking the above into consideration, ask yourself this: Do you want wait for your car to breakdown on you suddenly before you decide to replace it? Or would you prefer to anticipate the breakdown and have it replaced earlier? Continue Reading

Why Are There Two Efficiency Ratings for a Heat Pump?

June 19th, 2017

fenced-off-condenser-unitsThe weather in June is always a bit odd and unpredictable in the Willamette Valley, swinging between the warmth of the new summer to the showers of the end of spring. It’s tough to think of a more useful time to have a heat pump for home comfort, since a heat pump can switch between working as a heater and an air conditioner with only a single adjustment to the thermostat. In general, heat pumps are a good match to our local weather.

You may now be getting ready to purchase a new heat pump in Albany, OR and have it professionally installed. (Don’t have it installed any other way!) If you look over the stats for a new heat pump system, you’ll notice there are two separate efficiency ratings. First there’s EER/SEER, which you’ve probably seen on air conditioners before. (Technically, these are two different ratings; the difference is how the test to determine the ratings is done.) Second, you’ll see something with the odd letters of HSPF—something you can’t pronounce the way you can SEER. Maybe “hisspuff?” No, you’ll have to stick to saying each letter in the name, sorry. Continue Reading

What Makes a Heat Pump Different from an Air Conditioner?

June 5th, 2017

sun-and-snowflake-badgeInstalling heat pumps is one of the most common jobs we do for our customers. Heat pumps are popular here in the Willamette Valley because they’re an ideal fit for our climate: cold, but not frigid winters, and warm summers. A heat pump works as a powerful air conditioner in hot weather, the equal in cooling power of a standard air conditioner of the same size, and an efficient heater in moderate cold weather. (In extremely cold climates, heat pumps can suffer from efficiency problems.)

If you’ve ever seen a heat pump, or if you already have one in your house, you’ll know that they resemble split air conditioning systems and operate in a similar way: they cycle refrigerant between two sets of coils to carry heat from one location and release it in another. A compressor in the outdoor unit places the refrigerant under pressure so it moves through the system, and the two coils perform the function of evaporating and condensing.

But if they are so similar, what’s different about a heat pump that allows it to work as both a cooling and heating system? Continue Reading

Problems You May Encounter with a Ductless Heat Pump

May 22nd, 2017

ductless-mini-split-air-handler-blowing-out-airWe’re big proponents of using ductless mini split heat pumps. Although this type of comfort system isn’t a perfect match for all homes, they’re flexible units that are excellent for new home construction, older houses without space for a conventional central AC and heating system, and for homes with people who suffer from asthma and allergies. If a ductless heat pump is properly installed by professionals it offers advantages of energy savings and zone control. If you are interested in having installation of a ductless mini split in Scio, OR, or elsewhere in the Willamette Valley, schedule an appointment with our technicians today.

If you already use a ductless heating and air conditioning system in your home, you may occasionally run into issues with it that require professional repairs. We’re going to take a look at a few repair issues you may encounter with your ductless heat pump. Continue Reading

Why You’re Only Getting Warm Air from Your AC

May 8th, 2017

woman-with-fanIn our last blog post, we looked into an issue that sometimes occurs with heat pumps: a system that won’t switch out of heating mode when warm weather arrives and only sends out heated air. This week, we’re going to look at the air conditioner’s equivalent of this problem, i.e. when a cooling system isn’t cooling. If you have an AC that’s only sending out room temperature air through the vents, that’s a problem.

There are different reasons why an air conditioner might fail to do its basic job and instead act like a large fan. Below are some of the common causes for this problem. A few are minor complications or errors that anybody can fix without having to call for repairs. Others are major complications that require technicians to remedy them. And others can put the whole air conditioner in danger of breaking down unless they’re repaired as soon as possible. Continue Reading