Troubleshooting An Air Conditioner

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees outside, having a broken air conditioner in Austin, Texas can turn into a dangerous situation.  At A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions we like to make sure our customers are cooling just as quickly as they can. Over the last 40 years, we have found that some Austin AC repairs are simple fixes.

How to Repair Your AC in Austin When It Doesn’t Work at All

Our skilled HVAC service techs in Austin have been known to guide home owners over the phone with a few simple to do repairs.  Not only does it help our customers get cool quickly, but it also saves them the heat-induced discomfort of waiting for our Air Conditioning repairman to arrive.  If you’re ever in a situation where your AC has stopped cooling, consider checking the following to see if you can get it working on your own.

  • Check your thermostat
    If the thermostat display does not light up, change the batteries.  If there is a display, check to see if the temperature on the thermostat is set to the correct temperature.
  • See if the circuit breaker tripped
    Check your circuit break in the breaker box and make sure it has not tripped.  If the HVAC breaker has been tripped, reset the breaker by flipping the switch into the proper position.  If the breaker trips keeps tripping, there might be an electrical issue and your safety could be at risk.  Give A-Plus a call and either one of our AC Technicians in Austin, or our Home Solutions Department can help resolve the issue.
  • Check your switch at the indoor unit.  
    Many AC units have an on-off switch next to the indoor air handler for safety reasons.  It looks like a standard light switch.  There is a chance this switch might have been hit or toggled into the off position.  Flip the switch and see if your AC system turns back on.
  • Check the disconnect switch on the outdoor unit
    There should be a disconnect switch behind the outdoor unit on an exterior wall.  Make sure this switch is flipped on.  Once again, this could have been accidentally hit or toggled into the off position.
  • Look for water in the condensate drain line
    Check your indoor air hander for pooling water.  Most AC systems have a float switch that shuts off an AC unit if water begins to pool inside the drain pan.  This float switch helps prevent damage to the AC as your home.  Try to empty out the water and clear the drain pan with debris.
  • How to Repair and AC Unit that Runs but Doesn’t Cool
    Sometimes, your Air Conditioner runs but does not blow cool air.  Here is what you can do if you encounter this problem.
  • Check your air filter
    It is important that your air filters are changed on a regular basis.  If the filters are not changed regularly, the restriction of the air flow due to dust, dirt & debris can cause your AC unit to stop operating.  We recommend using the cheapest pleated filter you can buy.

 

If your AC Unit is not keeping you cool after these quick repairs, we have skilled HVAC techs in Austin who are ready to assist.  A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions offers fast after hours AC Repair Services, and Weekend Air Conditioning Repair Services in Austin.  We have experience serving all major brands including Lennox, Carrier, Trane, American Standard & Rheem.  With over 40 years of experience as a locally family owned business, we have earned the trust of our community.  Please give our office a call to schedule your AC Repair, Air Conditioning Check Up, or HVAC Replacement today!

 

Why is R-22 Refrigerant so Expensive for Austin Home Owners?

Why Does R-22 Really Cost So Much? R-22 is a hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and the most common refrigerant in AC systems

R-22 is a Back in the 1970’s the EPA determined that R-22 / Freon had a negative effect on the ozone layer of our atmosphere.  These effects includes:

  • Harmful UV radiation into our atmosphere,
  • Increased temperatures on earth,
  • Increased sun damage to humans
  • Links to skin cancer.

The plan to phase it out dates back to the late 1980’s, with a decrease amount of supplies allowed in the United States.  On January 1, 2020, R-22 will no longer allow to be imported or manufactured in the US.  However, one consequence of this phase-out means the cost to recharge your AC system in Austin and the rest of the country with more R-22 will continue to grow exponentially.

What Will Happen to Homeowners Without R-22?

If you find your AC blowing warm air, or ice on the refrigerant lines, do not fret as you have a few options.

  • tools for measuring AC System levels and pressureUpgrading Your AC System to a New Refrigerant, R-410A – Though this cost is more significate than an AC system repair, there are benefits to upgrading.  Systems designed for R-410A are more energy efficient and have been shown to have up to a 40% higher cooling capacity compared to R-22.  R-410A also uses synthetic oil, as compared to R-22 that uses mineral oil.  The synthetic oil allows the system to operate more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.  These new systems have longer warranties and can help lower your electric bills.

 

  • Use of Reclaimed R-22. As of today, we are still able to recharge your AC system with R-22.  Refrigerant companies are reclaiming old R-22.  Reclaiming entails filtering, drying, distillation and is chemically processed that remove impurities.  The cost associated with the reclaiming process will unfortunately keep R-22 pricing on an upward trend.  However, in a pinch, having the option to recharge your system will allow you and your family a little relief in the summer heat and get you by until it leaks out again.

 

Do not Get Stuck in the Austin Heat without Refrigerant  

Family Talking to AC TechnicianThe cost of R-22 has been increasing over the last decade.  With the phase out quickly approaching, the cost will keep rising, as R-22 will become much scarcer.  The best thing to do if you have an is have an Austin, Texas licensed HVAC contractor like A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions perform a system check to make sure the system’s pressures are good, and that there are no leaks.  If your AC unit is low on Freon, it may be a good time to consider replacement it with a new 410A system.

If your AC is not blowing cool air, or if you want to be proactive before your unit gives out, give our office in Austin a call at 512-450-1980 to schedule an appointment.  We offer fast, 7 day a week service in the Austin area. We won’t leave you in the Texas heat.

What is Involved in an AC Check Up?

Fast A/C repair austin tx

Summer is here in Austin, Texas.  The last thing you need is your air conditioner failing, leaving your family to endure the extreme summer heat.  Enjoy a little peace of mind with a seasonal HVAC check up from A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions.

Regular maintenance for your Austin AC and Heating System is very important to help prevent unexpected breakdowns, operate safely, increase the lifespan of your system, help your unit run more efficiently, and reduce the operating expenses.  We recommend two checkups a year, one in the spring/summer for your air conditioning and the second for the fall/winter for your heating.

What Will Our AC Techs Check Out In Spring? Heating and AC repair

  • Check for Low Refrigerant Levels – Low refrigerant levels can indicate a freon leak that needs to be repaired.  A lack of refrigerant can burn out your compressor leading to expensive repairs or costly replacements.
  • Check the Electrical System – Our technicians make sure all components and controls are working properly to ensure no wasted energy or electrical shorts.
  • Check Evaporate and Condenser Coils – Dirty coils can reduce the energy efficiency and cooling ability of your AC unit. Our AC experts will check to make sure your coils are clean and working correctly.
  • Calibrate Your Thermostat – We check your thermostat to make sure your AC is not working harder than it should be.
  • Check for Leaks in the Supply Plenum – Leaks at the supply plenum will cause your AC system to run inefficiently and cool areas if your home that you may not want to be cooled, such as your attic.
  • Blow Out Your Drain Line – Our techs will even pour customer provided bleach into the drain to keep it clean and prevent mold, dust, pollen, or bacteria from blowing into your home!
  • Change your AC Filter – We will replace your AC filter with a new customer provided AC Filter to ensure that it is installed correctly and working properly.

Schedule Your Air Conditioning Check Up

A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions is currently offering great discounts on AC checkups and qualifying HVAC Equipment Upgrades.  We even offer Regular Preventative Maintenance Agreements that come with savings such as 15% off Daytime Repairs, Discounts on Diagnostic, No Overtime Rates, and Discounts on Handyman Service.  To learn more about our A/C Check Ups or to make an appointment, call 512-450-1980 today!

Is My Thermostat Temperature Set Too Low?

Energy Efficient Homes

The summer heat will soon be in full swing. Many of our wonderful A-Plus customers ask our AC Service Techs, “What is the BEST temperature to set my AC?” Though every situation and every homeowner is different, setting your AC to 78F degrees is a good recommended temperature for energy efficiency to help keep your electrical bills lower.

Your AC system is designed to remove the heat energy from your conditioned space.  The cool air blowing out of your register grills should have no less than an 18-degree differential from the air at the return.  If your system is blowing air less than that 18 degrees, call your favorite HVAC Company to get your unit checked out.  (SEE COUPON BELOW)

Here are some other tips to consider to help keep your energy bill low when running your AC unit in the summer heat:

  • Service your A/C unit – In Austin AC maintenance is crucial. Twice a year maintenance is recommended to make sure the unit is running efficiently and keeping your family cool during the hot Texas summer.
  • Shade your windows – Protecting your home from the direct sunlight is essential. Install Solar Screens or keep the blinds shut to prevent the room from heating up.Cute Frog BBQ Image
  • Make sure to keep all exterior doors closed – Keep an eye on small kiddos. They often forget to close doors behind them when heading outside to play.
  • Avoid cooking inside if possible– Use the outdoor grill whenever you can. The oven and stove are major sources of heat.  Plus, it’s summer time in Austin, Texas after all.  Everybody loves the backyard cookout!
  • Don’t use the clothes dryer – During the hottest part of the day. It will cause an extra draw on your energy bill and heat up your house during the day.
  • Done all these steps and still having high bills? Is your AC unit over 10 years old? Request Your FREE Energy Audit* to see what improvements can be made to you home!

Austin Energy provides rebates for energy improvement such as cooling & heating system replacements, solar screens, insulation, ductwork, and more.  As a founding member of the Powersaver program with Austin Energy 30+ years ago, we know the proper techniques to save on your energy bills. If you need AC Repairs in Austin, or you just need your annual AC maintenance, A-Plus is here for you!

 

Give our office a call at 512-450-1980 to schedule a time for your Free Austin Energy Audit*.

*Free Audits for Valid only for Austin Energy Customers who’s AC system is over 10 years of age.  Call for more details if you are interested in an Energy Audit.  There may be a small charge if your AC unit is under the age of 10, or if you are not an Austin Energy Customer.

 

A -Plus: Austin AC Repair and Installation

Austin AC Repair and Installation

Is your air conditioner malfunctioning? We can help! Whether it’s leaking water, not blowing cold air, costing you high energy bills, or simply not turning on, A-Plus Energy Management, Air Conditioning, & Home Solutions is here to handle all of your Austin AC repair needs.

We have been repairing air conditioning systems for commercial, residential and multifamily customers since 1977. Our licensed and insured technicians have experience servicing all major brands and models such as Lennox, Carrier, American Standard, Train, Ruud, Rheem, Goodman, and Honeywell. During your appointment, we’ll examine your system and diagnose the problem before any work is done. We’ll fix any issues as quickly as possible to get your air conditioning unit back on track – all at a price that can’t be beat.

WHY A-PLUS ENERGY MANAGEMENT, AIR CONDITIONING & HOME SOLUTIONS?

Longer Hours, Regular Rates

To provide you with better service, we’re open seven days a week, every day of the year (including all holidays). Plus, we stay open late and our rates remain the same. Call in by 2 p.m. and you’ll receive same-day service. All calls are serviced within 24 hours or your diagnostic is FREE. Our service hours:

Monday – Friday: 8 AM to 9 PM (no overtime charges before 6:30 PM)
Saturday: 8 AM to 7 PM (no overtime charges before 3:00 PM)
Sunday & Holidays: 9 AM to 6 PM

All Major Brands & Models

We service and repair all major brands of central air conditioning units, including Lennox, Carrier, American Standard, Train, Ruud, Rheem, Goodman, and Honeywell. What’s more, we are a certified NEST dealer.

Licensed and Insured Technicians

We have a team of experienced, licensed and insured HVAC contractors, so you can have a worry-free experience from start to finish.

Our Industry Ratings

Our Austin AC repair services consistently earn us high customer ratings and reviews. We have an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and have received Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2010, 2011 & 2012.

We fix it fast! Let the A-Plus Energy Management, Air Conditioning, & Home Solutions team take care of all your Austin AC repair needs by calling 512-450-1980.

AC Basics: Condenser and Evaporator

Condenser and evaporator HVACC basics

Air conditioning maintenance is a task that should get done on an annual basis. Keeping your air-conditioner maintained will not only save you money on your energy bill, but will also expand its lifespan, saving you money on a costly early replacement.

AC units have two key components that require specific inspection: the condenser (outside) and the evaporator (inside). Both of these are sealed, therefore, need a professional for proper maintenance. Keep your AC unit running at top efficiency by having your filters replaced and cleaned regularly. Clogged and dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce its effectiveness significantly. When airflow becomes obstructed, the air that bypasses the filter can carry dirt into the evaporator coil and impair its heat-absorbing capabilities. Replacing a dirty filter can reduce an AC unit’s energy consumption from 5% to 15%.

Central air conditioners should typically receive a professional inspection before the beginning of every cooling season. With summer on the way, it could save you from a costly visit on a hot day.

Our technicians will test for the proper amount of refrigerant, check for leaks using a leak detector (when advised), capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated, check any duct leakage at the air handler, verify the correct electric control sequence, inspect electrical terminals, oil motors, and verify the accuracy of the thermostat.

We don’t want you to minimize the need of having routine maintenance performed on your AC unit; it’s as necessary as changing the oil in your car. Sometimes it’s even required by AC manufacturers to keep warranties valid. Contact our professionals at A-Plus Energy Management, Air Conditioning & Home Solutions to take the time and care to make sure you’re AC is running smoothly.

Does Your AC Contain Freon?

Chlorodifluoromethane is better known as CFC22 or R22, or much more commonly, Freon. Freon is a common refrigerant being phased out because of it’s high potential to deplete the ozone. R22 is considered to be a global warming gas that is toxic to the air. All systems containing this refrigerant are now becoming obsolete, making the repair and maintenance of R22 air conditioning systems more difficult and more expensive.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2002, it is likely to use R22 refrigerant. New production of this refrigerant is being phased out and banned in new AC systems. There are options and routes available that include installing a more energy efficient, “earth friendly” AC unit that uses R410a, an environmentally safer refrigerant. Current supplies of virgin and recycled R22 are already in short supply and are becoming increasingly expensive. Modern replacement systems use environmentally responsible refrigerants that are also 60% more energy efficient.

If you think you have R22 in your air conditioning system, or you’re not sure, contact us and we can perform a system check up on your AC for you and let you know. We are professionals dedicated and committed to providing quality AC service. Call A-Plus Energy Management, Air Conditioning, and Home Solutions @ 512-450-1980 or click here for more information.

Poor Air Quality Within The Home

Dirty Air Filters cause poor air quality - A-Plus of Austin, TX

AC Repair, AC Service, ECAD Audit, Austin TX, Austin, Texas, Round Rock, APlusAC, A Plus, Air ConditionerAir quality is something that many people take notice of.  After all, air quality can affect our health and that of our families.  If smog is visible in the distance of any given city, chances are that the air quality in your home is equally unacceptable.  However, there are entities indoors that can also contribute to air pollution. 

 

How does one identify if the air quality in their home is less than ideal? 

 

Symptoms of poor indoor air quality can often vary.  At times, poor air quality can be commonly mistaken for allergies or a cold.  Depending on the contaminant at fault, true poor air quality systems can range anywhere from dizziness, fatigue, coughing, sneezing, or the watering of the eyes.  

 

How does one purify the air quality in the home?

 

Air purification can be done in different ways.  One way is to increase the ventilation.  However, doing something as simple as opening a window can leave the home air quality susceptible to airborne mold or fuel emissions.  Turning on the AC is another way to purify the air.  Most modern units dehumidify the air which can release air pollution and take it out the home.  Finally, installing a stand-alone HEPA air cleaner, or a HEPA filter in-line with your heating and cooling system  can lure pollutants out the home using disposable HEPA filters.

 

For a complete assessment of the air quality within your home, the professionals at APlus can give you expert advice on how to permanently lower pollutants for you and your loved ones.  

The Importance Of Professional AC Maintenance

The Importance of AC Maintenance - A-Plus HVACC of Austin, TX

AC Repair, AC Service, ECAD Audit, Austin TX, Austin, Texas, Round Rock, APlusAC, A Plus, Air ConditionerAir conditioning and heating are probably one of mankind’s biggest overlooked luxuries. When we have it, we don’t notice very much. In fact, we pretty much take it for granted. However, it is not until we do not have it that we can figuratively and literally feel the heat of going without it. It is safe to say in Texas that during the month of June, it is extremely important to have your AC running a maximum efficiency. Aside from cooling the home or business, at a time where the weather outside can reach unbearable temperatures, efficient central air can reduce and clean pollution and overall air quality. Despite the benefits of keeping your air conditioning unit in top form, there are still people who unfortunately wait until it is too late to service their system. This could result from the system running hours, or even days without proper servicing. In fact, you would have no cooling if the system goes out and there is a problem. They are the ones that call the most often with broken air conditioners.

Cleaning and maintaining your central air unit is extremely important for it to run at peak efficiency and to extend the life of the system. It is important to check the coolant levels power draw of the system’s compressor and entire outdoor unit, the condenser. Needless-to-say conducting routine checks and maintenance on your home’s or business, central air unit is worth the effort and helps reduce electric bills. It is usually a good idea to hire professionals like A-Plus Energy Management and Air Conditioning to handle all your maintenance needs. Professionals like A Plus can not only maintain the unit professionally and properly, but they can also give you a warning if any aspect of the unit is beginning to show signs of trouble. The technician can possibly make recommendations to be proactive and repair or replace the system, as needed. An ounce of prevention can surely reduce the possibility of not having air conditioning on a 100+ degree day in July.

To sum up, it is important to NOT wait until it is too late to address the cleaning and maintenancing your central air unit. Keeping tabs and acting on the health issues of your unit(s) can prolong the life of the overall system. Act now and don’t wait to get your cooling system checked out.

What Are The Benefits Of Installing A Smart Thermostat?

Smart Thermostat by A-plus of Austin, TX

AC Repair, AC Service, ECAD Audit, Austin TX, Austin, Texas, Round Rock, APlusAC, A Plus, Air ConditionerWe live in an age where we are beginning to see the birth of smart homes. Having said that, it brings up the question of what exactly is a smart home and what does one need to do in order to classify your home as one? A Smart Home is a dwelling that has one or more devices connected to the Internet that can be remotely interacted with. There are plenty of smart home devices on the market such as smart door locks, smart window blinds, light bulbs, plugs, security cameras, plus more. Once a person installs at least one of these types of devices, you officially have a smart home.

One of the most popular smart home devices in 2016 are smart thermostats. Which isn’t very surprising to hear since heating and cooling contribute to almost half of a homes energy bill. So what exactly are some of the benefits to homeowners who would have to dish out between $200 – $400 to replace something in their home that already works fine the way it is?

ENERGY AND MONEY SAVINGS
A smart thermostat is an effective way to slash cost on your energy bill. If you fancy your home to stay around a specific temperature while you are home, there is no reason why you should have to continue to heat/cool the home to stay at the same temperature while you are away. This is easily the biggest inefficiency when it comes to homes that do not have a smart thermostat. By being able to adjust the temperature to use less energy when the home is empty, this can save money on the monthly energy bill. Another incentive would be rebates from most major electric companies. As a way to encourage customers to install such devices in their home or office, many electric companies promise additional savings every month. This is in addition to the savings you already save by having a more efficient thermostat.

REMOTE ACCESS:AC Repair, AC Service, ECAD Audit, Austin TX, Austin, Texas, Round Rock, APlusAC, A Plus, Air Conditioner
Having remote access to your thermostat certainly helps when you are away. Imagine getting off work when it is hot outside, you could adjust the temperature to your liking so the house will feel the way you like it once you arrive home. Or maybe turning off your system entirely for a few days while you are out of town. While these are good examples of how remote access would be beneficial, they aren’t the only ones. The access could be used even while you are inside the home. If your phone is closer to you than getting up to physically turn the temperature up or down is a perfect example. That becomes especially in handy late at night when you are in bed trying to fall asleep.

These are just a few examples as to why having a smart thermostat can be beneficial. In the grand scheme of things, in the long run the savings kind of pay for the device itself. If you would like to know more or have any questions, we are always available to assist you. Give us a call at 512-450-1980 or visit our website at www.APlusAC.com and we will take care of you.