3 Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioner

May 4th, 2015

Is your home one of many without a working duct system built in? Have you recently added on a room to your home that needs air conditioning, or are you using an unconditioned space like a garage or shed as a workshop? If so, a ductless air conditioner may be just right for your home. Ductless air conditioning systems contain all of the same components of a conventional air conditioning system, including an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air handler. The difference is that indoor air handlers are fixed on the walls and blow air directly into that room. Here are just a few of the benefits of this system. Continue Reading

Is Your Home Prepared for the Warmer Weather Ahead?

April 27th, 2015

When the weather outside is still chilly, it’s difficult to think about the warmer weather ahead. But sooner than you know it, we will be dealing with the heat of summer once more, and you will need your air conditioning system to run smoothly if you want to stay comfortable. The people at ACI Northwest would like to offer a few pieces of advice to those who want to use the lull of springtime (as AC technicians are usually more readily available at this time) to prepare for their homes for the heat of summer. Continue Reading

How to Tell It’s Time for Air Conditioning Replacement

April 20th, 2015

Deciding to give up your older air conditioner and install a new one can be tough, but if you make sure to use professionals for your air conditioning replacement, you can find a new unit that uses little energy and saves you money each month. However, you definitely don’t want to spend money on replacement where repair is a better option. So how do you decide it’s time to replace? Continue Reading

5 Indoor Air Quality Systems and Services to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

April 13th, 2015

One of the most important things that you can do for your family members is to improve the condition of the air in your home. You run your air conditioning system to keep everyone in the home more comfortable, and you try to change the filter as often to filter out some of the harmful particles that move through the air. But are you really doing all you can to reduce allergens? Take a look at some of the products and services you can bring into your home to make your air a little bit healthier. Continue Reading

Don’t Wait Too Long: Now Is the Time for an Air Conditioning Maintenance Visit

April 6th, 2015

Air conditioning systems contain multiple complex electro-mechanical parts which can run into trouble at any time. But it’s far less likely that you’ll have to deal with the unexpected air conditioning problem this summer if you take preventive action now. Air conditioning maintenance helps to ensure that your AC system is in top shape for the cooling season, and you may not encounter any problems for the rest of the cooling season.

The Steps of a Maintenance Visit

An air conditioning maintenance visit involves several steps, which we’ll sort into three basic categories: cleaning, adjusting, and inspection.

  • Cleaning – Some of the parts will gather dirt and debris over time, especially the outside condenser unit since these components are exposed to the elements. And when these parts become too dirty, the air conditioner can no longer efficiently exchange heat. Cleaning essential components such as the condenser coil makes it so that heat can absorb from the air in your home and effectively release outside.
  • Adjusting – You probably ran your air conditioner quite a bit last summer, which means that parts may have become worn down, loose, bent, or otherwise damaged. Making a few adjustments can bring your unit back to peak condition. For example, the technician may use a special comb to straighten bent condenser coils, which can make heat exchange more efficient.
  • Inspection – A problem with an air conditioning system may not always make itself known, but a technician can use experience and training to determine whether there is a repair that needs to be completed sometime soon.

Why Now Is the Best Time

Once the air conditioning season begins, it will be difficult to go without a reliable AC system for too long. During a maintenance visit, the technician may discover some issues with your unit, but it’s better to schedule service now than to wait for a major breakdown. Scheduling service on your own time means that you will not have to worry about staying home on a busy day to schedule a lengthy repair. Besides, the upcoming energy savings alone is worth the call for maintenance.

Call the AC experts at ACI Northwest for air conditioning maintenance or AC repairs in Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Common Air Conditioning Repairs to Watch Out for

March 23rd, 2015

As we move into the spring season, it’s time to start thinking about the condition of your air conditioner. Though you may not use your air conditioner all that often during the spring, summer is not far off. You definitely don’t want your system to break down in the middle of a hot summer day. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your air conditioner. Read on for a list of the common air conditioning repair issues to watch out for.

Frozen Coil

The evaporator coil is what is responsible for evaporating refrigerant to absorb heat from the air in the home. If the coil is allowed to get too dirty, or if there is a leak in the refrigerant line, the coil can malfunction and freeze over. Once frozen, the coil is unable to draw heat from the air to cool the home. If you notice ice forming on the coil in your air conditioner, call a professional right away.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the liquid that makes it possible for your air conditioner to remove heat from your home. It is not consumed during the air conditioning process, but is instead endlessly cycled through the system. A refrigerant leak can slowly drain the system of refrigerant, destroying its ability to cool the home. If you notice liquid pooling or dripping around your air conditioner, you might have a refrigerant leak. Call a professional to have a look at your system.

Malfunctioning Compressor

The compressor is the part of your air conditioner that circulates refrigerant through the system. If the compressor malfunctions for whatever reason, it can cause irregular pressure throughout the refrigerant line. This can cause all sorts of problems, including short-cycling, which severely shortens the lifespan of the air conditioner. If your air conditioner is turning on and off rapidly, that means that it’s short-cycling. You may have to have your compressor replaced to restore the system to proper operation.

If you have any questions about air conditioning repair, call ACI Northwest. We provide air conditioning repair services throughout Spokane.

How a Clogged Air Filter can Cause Furnace Problems

March 13th, 2015

The air filter is a relatively small part of the overall structure of a furnace. It is basically just a woven mesh, stretched over a frame and installed in the air return duct. Despite its small and simple construction, however, the air filter plays a very important role. Let’s take a look at how the air filter works, and why neglecting yours could lead to problems with your furnace.

The Role of the Air Filter

There is a lot of dust and other debris that is frequently circulated through the ductwork of a home. If that debris is allowed to infiltrate the furnace, it can cause all sorts of havoc with the system. The air filter is there to prevent that from happening. As the air from the ducts flows into the furnace, any airborne debris is captured in the fibers of the filter. The air itself passes through the filter and into the furnace, now free of harmful debris.

There is one problem with these air filters, however: they have no way to rid themselves of the particles they capture. This means that if they are not cleaned or replaced every few months, they can become so clogged that they restrict the flow of air into the furnace. That’s where things start becoming problematic.

Furnace Issues

There’s one very big problem resulting from clogged air filters that you should be aware of: short-cycling. This is when your furnace keeps turning itself on and off over and over again throughout the day. When the air filter restricts airflow into the furnace, heat becomes trapped inside the unit. When that happens, the internal temperature of the furnace rises to dangerous levels. This activates the limit switch, a safety device that monitors the temperature of the furnace. The limit switch shuts down the system to prevent it from damaging itself by overheating.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the original problem. When the furnace cools off enough to start again, the clogged air filter causes it to overheat again and the short-cycling repeats indefinitely. This puts the entire system under a lot more strain than it is designed to handle, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown. If allowed to continue for a long enough period of time, short-cycling may damage the furnace beyond repair.

If you notice your furnace short-cycling, call ACI Northwest immediately. We provide furnace repair services throughout Sandpoint.

What is Kettling, and why is it Dangerous?

March 9th, 2015

The sound of a kettle boiling over has the potential to be quite comforting. When that same sound it coming from a large boiler, however, it is considerably less comforting.

In fact, it can be downright unsettling. If you’ve ever heard a deep rumbling sound coming your boiler, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Sometimes it can seem as though the boiler might explode! Well, don’t worry. It won’t do that (at least it shouldn’t). What actually causes that sound, though? We’ll, that’s going to take some in-depth explanation. Let’s take a look at what that sound actually is, and why it’s so dangerous to your boiler.

What is Kettling?

That sound you hear is called “kettling”, and it’s a very bad sign for the health of your boiler. Its cause can be traced back to hard water, which is water with a very high mineral content. As hard water flows through the boiler’s heat exchanger, it deposits small amounts of minerals on the inner walls of the pipe. Over time, this mineral buildup can get so severe that it restricts or blocks the flow of water through the heat exchanger. This causes the water in the heat exchanger to evaporate into steam, putting massive pressure on the pipe and causing the rumbling sound you’re hearing.

Why is it Dangerous?

Did you know that most boilers are not actually designed to boil water? It may seem odd, but it’s true. When water boils, it evaporates into steam and expands many times over. This expansion puts the heat exchanger under an incredible amount of stress that it was not designed to handle. If the stress is not relieved, the heat exchanger may rupture and your boiler will break down. There are usually safeguards in place in the boiler to prevent this from happening, but it is a serious problem, nonetheless. If you notice your boiler kettling, shut it down immediately and call a professional.

If you find yourself in need of boiler repair, call ACI Northwest. We provide boiler repair services throughout Post Falls, ID.

Common Causes of Boiler Repair

February 27th, 2015

Many homeowners and business owners prefer the comforting heat of their hydronic heating system (heating systems that circulate hot water from a boiler through a home) to the kind of heat you feel from a forced-air heating system like a furnace. Furnaces only heat up the air, while boilers have the ability to heat up an entire room, evenly distributing heat to the objects and people nearby using convective heat transfer.

Besides the all-around comfort a boiler delivers to a home, there are a couple of other benefits as well. Boilers do not contain many mechanical parts, meaning they may be more efficient than many other heating systems, and they should not break down very easily. If you own a boiler, you may be surprised when it does encounter trouble. The folks at ACI Northwest can diagnose the trouble and provide boiler repair in Post Falls, and we’ve put together a brief list of some of the most common boiler trouble.

  • Faulty Circulator Pump – The circulator pumps help to bring water to the rooms in your home, either circulating it through an endpoint like a radiator or through a set of pipes underneath your floorboards. Your circulator pump may run into mechanical trouble over time, and you may notice you don’t get enough heat in one or more rooms.
  • Broken Aquastat – The aquastat keeps the boiler tank from overheating, so it should shut off the system as soon as temperatures rise too high. Your system may shut off too soon if something is causing it to overheat, the aquastat is damaged, or if the temperature limit is set too low.
  • Oversized Unit – Unfortunately, sometimes the trouble with your boiler is beyond fixing. If you never seem to get enough heat in the home, it may be that the boiler is too small. But if the boiler is too large, it will use too much fuel, and will likely fail long before the end of its expected lifespan. Professional installation is key to having a unit that continues to live up to its potential.

Our trained technicians replace or repair faulty boiler parts to the best of their ability, ensuring that your boiler is in the best shape possible. Call ACI Northwest today for quality boiler repair in Post Falls.

Common Home Electrical Problems

February 20th, 2015

Electrical problems have the potential to get really nasty no matter where they occur. They can be especially troubling, however, when they occur in your home. Not all electrical problems are equal, however. Some are fairly simple to fix, or not all that dangerous. Some, however, present a serious risk to your health and home. Let’s take a look at some of the more common electrical problems that homeowners deal with, and how to fix them.

Overlamping

This is a really common problem, which is also unique in that it is one of the only ones that is 100% user error. Overlamping is when a light socket has a bulb in it with a higher wattage than it can handle. Everyone has seen the warning signs on lightbulb sockets, stating what their maximum wattage is. Those warnings aren’t really guidelines so much as hard and fast safety rules. Overlamping can not only melt the socket, but the insulation in the wires leading to it. This is a huge fire risk, and not something you ever want to have to deal with. The solution for overlamping is simple: don’t use lightbulbs with higher wattage than the socket is rated for. If you don’t know what the socket is rated for, ask an electrician, just to be safe.

Flickering Lights

Another common problem, flickering lights indicates a short somewhere in the electrical circuit. Such short circuits are often caused by damaged insulation allowing wires arc electricity to each other, providing a different (and often dangerous) path for the current to travel down and interfering with the operation of the light. Just like overlamping, exposed wires that are allowed to arc to each other present a high risk of fire, and should be dealt with immediately by a professional electrician.

The most important thing to remember about your home electrical system is that electricity is inherently dangerous, especially in the amounts flowing through the walls of your house. A proper electrical system is designed to channel the current safely from place to place. However, any degradation in that system can drastically increase the risk of fire or electrocution. If you notice any issue that you suspect is related to your electrical system, call a professional immediately.

If your home is experiencing electrical issues, call ACI Northwest. We provide electrical repair services throughout the Coeur d’Alene area.