Ways to Save Money with Your AC This Summer

July 21st, 2014

Summer in Merced doesn’t have to cost you a bundle in order to cool down your home. You are probably already spending at least 10% more on cooling costs than you should, and perhaps much more. You don’t need to make major comfort sacrifices and sit around in sweltering temperatures in your home to save money with your air conditioner. There are some basic steps you can take and updates you can make to your AC that will lower those high cooling costs.

The best way to keep your costs in control each summer is to rely on professional AC repair service in Merced, CA from a reliable HVAC company like Ace Air Conditioning. We can keep your cooling system humming without it draining power and placing a burden on your bank account. Our 25 years of experience have shown us numerous ways to make air conditioners more energy-efficient, and we’re here to bring that knowledge to you.

Maintain steady, higher temperature settings on the thermostat

Homeowners often waste a good deal of money on air conditioning costs simply through careless settings on the thermostat. Dropping the setting down to the lowest temperature (50°F on many systems) will not cool you down any faster; it will instead keep your air conditioner running longer and wasting energy in order to reach the target temperature—which isn’t even a comfortable temperature! The U.S. Department of Energy advises that homeowners maintain their thermostats around a comfortable 72°F during the day, and then raise it during the evening.

Change the air filter regularly

Here’s another common mistake that AC owners make: leaving the same air filter in place for months at a time. The air filter that guards the interior of an air conditioner’s cabinet from dust and debris will develop extreme clogging after a month of hard summer work, and this will cut down on airflow. The air conditioner will need to strain to compensate, and this will cause your bills to jump. Make sure you change the filter once a month (or clean it monthly if you have a permanent filter).

Update the thermostat

An aging, out-of-date thermostat with either manual or non-programmable digital controls will cost you extra money every day. Manual thermostats are imprecise, and digital models that do not allow programming are robbing you of an opportunity to exercise more efficient control over the temperature, such as automatically shutting the cooling off when you are not home and turning it back on a half hour before you return.

Keep up with regular maintenance

This is the most important step toward lowering your air conditioning costs. Annual maintenance from an HVAC professional will see that your AC is running at its most efficient. During a maintenance session, the technician will provide cleanings, fine-tunings, and adjustments that will make sure the cooling system isn’t wasting money. Maintenance will also head-off expensive repairs and give your AC a longer life.

For maintenance or AC repair service in Merced, CA, call up Ace Air Conditioning today. We are committed to helping you receive the best and most economical performance from your air conditioner for this summer and the summers beyond.

How Does a Dehumidifier Help my Home?

July 16th, 2014

We have a relatively dry climate here in Turlock, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have humidity, or that your home can’t feel the effects of humidity. Pervasive humidity can be a problem for you, your family and your home, and room dehumidifiers may not do the job you need them to. A whole-home dehumidifier not only removes the excess humidity in your home, it can offer health benefits small dehumidifiers may not.

Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier in Turlock, CA

  • Less stress on your air conditioner – our summer daytime temperatures average about 100 degrees. Humidity holds heat, so even a low level of humidity in our climate can make our already-high temperatures that much harder to cool. Removing excess humidity means your AC isn’t working harder to achieve the cooling you need.
  • Helps prevent mold and mildew growth – mold and mildew thrive in moist, cool environments, and can damage personal items like books and photos, linens, furniture and clothes.
  • Helps with energy efficiency – excess humidity makes your air conditioner work harder than normal. When your AC has to work harder to achieve the cooling you need, it uses more energy to do so – something you’ll most likely see in your monthly utility bills.
  • Increased comfort – humidity in a cool climate can make the air feel cold and clammy. Removing the excess humidity gives you the cool, dry air you want from your AC.
  • Better for allergy sufferers – as previously mentioned, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. Unfortunately, so do dust mites, and pollen loves to cling to moisture molecules. Reducing your indoor humidity can help you reduce the level of allergens in your home.

Humidity can take a toll on you, your family and your air conditioning system; a whole-home dehumidifier may be the help you need in combatting excess humidity. For over 25 years, Ace Air conditioning has assisted customers in Turlock with their air conditioning needs. If you are interested in finding out what a dehumidifier can do for your property, call Ace Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

How AC Repair Technicians Detect Refrigerant Leaks

July 8th, 2014

Refrigerant, sometimes called “Freon” after a trademarked blend created by DuPont, is the chemical vital for the process of heat exchange that allows an air conditioner to cool down a space. The chemicals of refrigerant can easily transition between gas and liquid stages, and as they move between the indoor and outdoor coils of an AC, they change from one to the other, absorbing heat form the indoors and releasing it outdoors.

During this process, refrigerant does not dissipate; it remains at a set level known as its “charge.” The only way an AC can lose refrigerant charge is due to leaks along the refrigerant lines or at connectors. Should this happen, it will hamper the air conditioner’s cooling ability and can risk damaging components due to overheating and pressure changes.

When you notice ice forming along the coils of your air conditioner, hear a strange hissing sound from the cabinet, or sense a drop in cooling power, call for technicians right away to locate the leaks, seal them, and recharge the refrigerant.

Ace Air Conditioning has 25 years of experience with heating and cooling: call us first for AC repair in Merced, CA.

How Leak Detection on Air Conditioners Works

It is difficult to find refrigerant leaks on your own: they are often small, but still large enough to permit high-pressure gas to escape. Professionals use special equipment and methods to locate these leaks. Here are a few of them:

  • Electronic detectors: Also known as “sniffers.” These devices create a high voltage spark that the technicians run along the refrigerant lines. If the current on the spark drops, it indicates that some kind of insulating gas is present, such as refrigerant. The more refrigerant is leaking, the more the current will drop.
  • Bubble solutions: This is an old method of detection, but it still works. The technicians apply a special soap solution using a squeeze bottle to places where they suspect leaks. The refrigerant will create bubbles from where it is escaping. This will not always work with smaller leaks.
  • Halide torches: This technique will only work for refrigerants that contain chlorine (such as R-22). Halide torches emit a flame that changes to a green hue when exposed to chlorine atoms.
  • Fluorescent detectors: To use these devices, the technicians must first place a fluorescent-colored dye into the AC’s system. UV lights than scan over the system, which will pick out escaping fluorescent dye as a green color.
  • Ultrasonic detectors: These are listening devices that can pick up the high-pitched noise from escaping refrigerant and pinpoint where it is coming from.

When technicians come to your home to detect refrigerant leaks, they will probably use a combination of methods so they are certain they have found all refrigerant loss points. They will then seal the leaks and use the proper blend of refrigerant to restore your air conditioner to normal operation once more.

Call Ace Air Conditioning as soon as you think you need refrigerant leak remedy. We are ready for any AC repair in Merced, CA that you may need.

 

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Ace Air Conditioning hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

Problems Caused by Blocked AC Vents

June 27th, 2014

If you live in Merced, a lack of airflow from your AC system can mean a very uncomfortable summer. Limited airflow could lead to serious AC repair later on. If you have problems with airflow from your AC system, it could be a result of blocked vents. A vent may become blocked if you leave one shut by accident or if a duct has collapsed. A qualified technician can inspect the ductwork of your home to let you know whether this is the case.

When a blocked AC vent is limiting the airflow in your home, you may be spending more than necessary on cooling costs. The ducts are sized according to your home and the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. Because the ducts are meant to accommodate a certain capacity, a blocked AC vent can interfere with the layout of the ductwork, thus forcing your system to work harder than needed. This can cost you extra on your monthly bills, and it can also affect performance due to the extra strain put on your system.

In fact, limited airflow could lead to some serious repair issues. Your air conditioner is designed to allow a certain amount of airflow across coils. When cool air becomes trapped along the evaporator coil, the coil may freeze. This diminishes the performance of your AC system and could also damage your compressor, which could eventually lead to a whole-system breakdown.

Don’t let blocked AC vents cause you discomfort this summer. Check your vents for any accidental closures. If this is not the issue, your system may be having ductwork issues which are causing limited airflow. Call a technician immediately for any airflow issues that require professional repair. If you do not have issues with your AC system, schedule maintenance once a year to check for any issues that could cause limited airflow or other serious problems in the future. A technician can inspect your ductwork for any leaks and recommend any further services your system may require.

If you experience problems with your AC system, call Ace Air Conditioning, experts on AC repair in Merced.

What Are Some Reasons to Install a Dehumidifier in the Turlock Area?

June 23rd, 2014

What’s worse than a blazing hot summer day? A blazing hot humid summer day. When the humidity level rises, comfort drops, and both people and homes can suffer other problems as well.

However, there is help available: you don’t have to tolerate humidity just because it happens. Thanks to the technology of a whole-house dehumidifier, you can keep humidity in check when it rises above 50% and enjoy benefits that include increased comfort, elevated health, and reduced costs for air conditioning.

To find out more about having installation of a dehumidifier in Turlock, CA, call the indoor air quality advice specialists at Ace Air Conditioning. We also offer installation of air filtration, air cleaners, and UV germicidal lights to bring you the healthiest air possible.

Reasons to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

  • Better summer time comfort: Humidity makes heat feel hotter. The reason for this is that the increased amount of moisture in the air makes it harder for the human body to perspire. Sweat does not evaporate as fast in humid weather, and this ends up trapping more heat inside the body, and the temperature feels hotter than it is. A dehumidifier can make your home feel 10°F cooler during hot summer days.
  • Savings on air conditioner costs: A dehumidifier won’t just make you feel more comfortable; it will also save energy. With the temperature feeling less stuffy and closed-in, you will need to run your air conditioner much less to keep comfortable. Dropping humidity down to 50% or lower during the summer often translates into running the AC more than a third less often, and that can mean tremendous savings off your energy bills.
  • Improved health: High humidity can lead to a variety of health problems, such as congestion and the easy transmission of flus and colds. Worse, it encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus inside your home that will put toxic spores into the air. A dehumidifier takes away one of the main sources of bacterial growth in a home.
  • Protect your furnishings: All that excess moisture in the air will lead to water damage inside your home that will wreck wood surfaces and peel paint and wallpaper. Wood rot is one of the most common problems, but the presence of mildew can eat right through drywall as well. A dehumidifier removes the moisture that can lead to large bills to repair water damage.

You need to have professionals select and install a whole-house dehumidifier; picking the wrong unit and installing it incorrectly can lead to a further imbalance in humidity that might make the situation worse.

Call Ace Air Conditioning today, and let us handle your needs for a dehumidifier in Turlock, CA. We’ve helped protect people’s indoor air quality since 1991.

How the Condenser Array Works in Your Air Conditioner

June 20th, 2014

Your air conditioner has 3 main parts to it: the compressor, the evaporator and the condenser. Each part plays an important role in conditioning the air for your home. The compressor and condenser are the components housed in the outdoor unit, surrounded by a metal cabinet that protects it from the elements. Your air conditioning counts on all three parts to work well in order to supply your property with cool air, so we’re going to take a look at the condenser’s role in the air conditioning process.

The Cycle

Your air conditioner starts up when triggered by your thermostat. When the system clicks on, the mechanics begin to operate and the refrigerant in your system starts a new cycle by entering the compressor. Refrigerant is used because its physical properties allow it to transform from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid, all within the closed system of your air conditioner.

When the refrigerant enters the compressor, it is a cool, low pressure gas. The compressor then compresses this gas, turning it into a hot, high-pressure gas, where it flows into the condenser coils.

The Condenser

The condenser’s main job is to remove heat, so when the hot, high-pressure gas begins to flow through the condenser’s coils, the heat releases into the outdoors, cooling the refrigerant as it does so. The condenser fan blows air onto the coils, further cooling the refrigerant gas. By the time the refrigerant leaves the condenser coils and enters the expansion valve, it is a high-temp, high-pressure liquid.

What Problems Can Occur with the Condenser?

There are several common problems we see over and over again at Ace Air Conditioning:

  • Dirty condenser coils – the condenser coils can become covered with dust and dirt. If the dust and dirt aren’t removed in a timely fashion, they can create a layer that will act as insulation on the coil, hampering the heat release process. Once there is an imbalance in the heat release process, your whole system can operate poorly.
  • Problems with condenser fan – the condenser fan not only helps with the removal of the heat in your air conditioning system, it helps with the air conditioner’s air flow. The types of problems that can occur with the condenser fan are bent, loose or broken fan blades, fan motor issues, wiring issues, and worn or broken fan belts.
  • Bent fins – there are delicate metal fins on the outside of the condenser coils that can be easily bent. When this happens, the air flow in your system can become constricted.

Maintenance Is the Key

The best way to help prevent the above problems from occurring with your air conditioning is with bi-annual maintenance. During a maintenance appointment, your entire outdoor unit is inspected, including the individual components, and the coils are cleaned.

Think you may have a problem with your air conditioning? Call Ace Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment for air conditioning service in Turlock, CA with one of our trained technicians.

Problems with Drainage in Your Air Conditioner

June 16th, 2014

An important part of the operating cycle of an air conditioner is the drainage of excess moisture out of the system. This occurs inside the evaporator cabinet located in your home. As the cold evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air—cooling down the inside of your home—it also condenses moisture out of the air. This water drips down from the coil and into a condensate pan below. When enough water has pooled in the pan, a pump activates and draws the water down a drain and safely away from the system.

Sometimes, an AC will encounter drainage problems and need the help of repair professionals to fix it. Should you notice water pooling around your air conditioner’s indoor cabinet, or notice mold and mildew in the basement, call for a skilled technician to investigate. Ace Air Conditioning is ready to bring you our 25 years of experience to help with whatever ails your air conditioning in Los Banos, CA.

Condensate Problems You Might Encounter with Your AC

  • Blocked drain: The condensate drain can become slow or clogged, and this will rapidly lead to the shallow drip pan overflowing. The most common reason for a blocked drain is algal growth. To fix this, technicians will detach the pan from the drain and clean out the drain. Sometimes, if the drain has developed serious corrosion, the whole drain will need replacement.
  • Broken pump: Located farther down the condensate line is the pump that moves the water from the condensate pan. The pump can break down, take on too much water, or become clogged, in which case it will either need expert repairs or replacement.
  • Disconnected pan and drain: The drain can come loose from the pan, and if this happens, water will drip right through the bottom of the pan and into your house. Repair technicians can see if this is due to a worn-down drain, and then provide the necessary repairs or replacements.

Aside from the expensive water damage that an overflowing drip pan can cause, the rising water level can also set off a limit switch, which will prevent your air conditioning system from operating at all. The moment you suspect you have any sort of drainage issue, get on the phone to a professional AC repair company.

Whatever trouble threatens your comfort, the next time you call for repairs for air conditioning system in Los Banos, CA, “Go with the Best – Go with an Ace!”… Ace Air Conditioning.

Reasons for a Lack of Cool Air From Your Air Conditioner

June 16th, 2014

We average about 90 degrees at this time of year in Turlock, and the temperatures are only going to go higher for the next few months. When it starts to get this warm outside, the last thing you want to feel is warm air blowing inside from your air conditioner. We’ll explain a few reasons for an air conditioner to blow warm air, but any time you need air conditioning repair in Turlock, CA, make sure to call your Ace Air Conditioning expert.

Here are some reasons why your AC can blow warm:

Low Refrigerant

Low refrigerant is one of the first things to look for when experiencing warm air coming from your air conditioner. Refrigerant helps to remove the heat and bring the cool back into your property. If it is low, the heat release and cooling process can be compromised, causing a lack of cool air. Most instances of low refrigerant are caused by a leak; the other cause is that an improper amount of refrigerant was added to your system. In either case, refrigerant repairs should be handled by a trained professional.

Dirty Coils

There are two sets of coils in your air conditioner: one in the condenser, the other in the evaporator. Refrigerant runs through the coils, releasing heat and creating the cool air that gets blown back into your home. Dirt and dust can accumulate on the coils during normal operation, but the coils need to be clean in order to work properly. If a layer forms on them, it acts as an insulator, and the heat transfer process can be impaired. The best way to avoid problems caused by dirty coils is to have bi-annual maintenance conducted on your air conditioning system.

Compressor Issues

The compressor in your air conditioner is responsible for changing the cool liquid refrigerant that enters it into a high-pressure gas. Without this process, the heat cannot get released from your system. Typical compressor problems can include issues with the motor, faulty wiring and aging. The bottom line is that if the compressor isn’t working properly, the refrigerant isn’t being pressurized as needed for your system. The compressor is a complex mechanical device and any problems with it should be handled by your Ace Air Conditioning expert.

Feeling the Heat? Call Ace Air Conditioning

We’ve been doing air conditioning repair in Turlock for over 25 years – if you are feeling warm air from your air conditioner, it’s time to give Ace Air Conditioning a call.

 

What Does the ENERGY STAR Sticker Mean for Air Conditioning Installation?

June 5th, 2014

When you start your search for a new air conditioning system, you will quickly notice a sticker on many of the AC cabinets: a white star on a blue background with the capital letters ENERGY STAR. You might at first think this is a brand, or refers to trademarked piece of technology inside. It’s neither, however. The ENERGY STAR label is providing you with important information you should know for selecting a new air conditioning system.

We will give you some background on ENERGY STAR, as well as offer you a few pointers for air conditioner selection. You should make sure you have the assistance of professional installers before making any serious decisions, however. Call Ace Air Conditioning today and speak to one of our cooling experts. We will help you navigate the installation maze.

The ENERGY STAR program

The ENERGY STAR label means that an air conditioner has met the requirements of a special program that the U.S. EPA set up in 1992 to help consumers and businesses find ways to achieve better energy efficiency and reduce air pollution. The program is voluntary: any manufacturer can choose to submit appliances for approval under the ENERGY STAR guidelines. If a product meets the requirements for efficient performance and low production of greenhouse gas emissions, it receives the ENERGY STAR label to inform potential buyers.

Each type of appliance has different requirements. For air conditioning systems, a system must have a minimum of 14.5 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) and 12 EER (energy efficiency rating). In addition to this level of energy savings, an air conditioner must contain no proprietary technology that allows it to achieve its efficient performance, and it must contain standard features that consumers expect from ACs.

We encourage our customers to rely on the ENERGY STAR requirements as a baseline for the air conditioner they plan to have installed. An ENERGY STAR-approved AC does not have to be out of your price range; there is a great variety of systems that have received approval.

Keep in mind that the ENERGY STAR label is not a guarantee that a system will provide the level of cooling that your home needs. It only measures energy savings, emissions, and the technology that allows the system to work efficiently. The actual effectiveness of the system is something you will need to find out through the help of trained HVAC technicians.

Ace Air Conditioning has been around since before the ENERGY STAR program started. We’re familiar with the many products that have met the requirements, and we are ready to help you get the best possible air conditioning installation in Turlock, CA.