Frequently Asked Questions: Air Conditioning
My air conditioner is not cooling! What can I try before setting up a service call?
If your air conditioner is not cooling, there are a few things you can check before scheduling a service call.
- Be sure the thermostat is set to “cool” and that the set temperature is well below your existing room temperature.
- Make sure there aren’t any blown fuses or tripped breakers. If this is the problem, simply reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If it continues to be a problem, you should consider modifying your electrical.
- Make sure the power switch is turned on and that the outdoor condenser’s power switch (mounted on the outdoor unit) hasn’t been turned off. Also, be sure the 240-volt disconnect next to the compressor (usually in a metal box mounted on the house wall) hasn’t been shut off.
How can I even out the heating and cooling of my home?
Adjust the registers on the wall or floor in the room where too much heat/cooling is present so that the registers are partially closed. For example, to get more heat upstairs during the winter, partially or fully close the registers downstairs to force more airflow to the registers upstairs.
Another possible solution is a furnace equipped with a variable-speed blower motor. These furnaces are designed to overcome airflow problems in a home, thus keeping the airflow steady throughout the entire house. These types of furnaces can also save considerable amounts of money in operating costs.
How can I make sure that my HVAC system is safe to operate?
Always have your system checked annually to make sure that the unit is safe. In many cases, tiny cracks or perforations in the heat exchanger occur. If your furnace is burning inefficiently or incompletely, carbon monoxide can escape and fill the house causing serious health problems and/or death to that inside. Why not sign up for RHR’s Preventive Maintenance Program? You will not only save money over regular service calls, but you can have peace of mind knowing that your air conditioning unit is being properly maintained. We will even handle the yearly reminder for you. Learn more about our Preventative Maintenance Plan.
Should I cover my outdoor air conditioning unit during the winter?
You should at least cover the top of the condensing unit so no debris can get in (people usually do this with a piece of plywood and something to hold it down). This will also help to protect against damage from falling ice and rodents from entering your unit. Any cover, however, must be removed before the start of operations the following Spring.
Can I turn off the power to my central air conditioning system during the winter months?
Yes. There should be a disconnect in your panel box or at the outside unit. By turning it off over the winter, you will save energy. However, when you turn it on again in the spring or summer, do it at least 24 hours before turning on the cooling unit. Doing this will give the oil time to warm and lubricate the essential parts upon startup.
How does an air conditioning system actually work to cool the air in my home?
An air conditioning system consists of 2 parts: an outdoor unit (where liquid refrigerant is contained) and an indoor coil (where the refrigerant is pumped into). As the air moves across the air conditioning coil, the refrigerant removes the heat and moisture from the air by condensing it on the cold surface of the coil. Thus, an air conditioner not only cools but also dehumidifies the air.
Are there ways to cool a house that does not have air conditioning?
The best way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature is with a reliable air conditioning system. However, we understand that some older homes may not have an air conditioning system installed. Fortunately, there are ways to cool off your home without air conditioning, such as window treatments, fans, dehumidifiers and more!