ACI Northwest Blog: Archive for August, 2012

Generator Tip: Common Problems

Monday, August 27th, 2012

When it comes to having a generator in your Spokane home for those unexpected power outages, it is important to be aware of some common problems that might come up.

Back Feed into Grid

Backfeeding into the power grid is dangerous and should never be attempted.  Most power grids are designed on the basis that power will flow in a single direction, out of the power grid.  If your generator is not set up properly it can accidentally back-feed into the grid, causing safety concerns.  That is why it is important to have a professional generator technician install your whole house generator.

Overpowered Generator

An overpowered generator that takes up too much propane or gas to run it can be pricey to run. It will give you power to most of your home, but that is often unnecessary, and most of the time what is needed during a power outage is only enough electricity to keep essential devices running.

Not Properly Ventilated

Emergency generators are designed to be in places where proper venting can occur, and many times this means installing it outside.  When a gasoline, diesel or propane generator is not properly ventilated it can cause build-up of dangerous gases.  Having professional installation of your generator will ensure that it is well-ventilated and will not cause problems in your building.

Improper Generator Maintenance

Like any other appliance or piece of wired hardware, generators must be properly maintained.  This includes periodic oil changes and filter changes so that when the generator is needed, it doesn’t seize up instead of properly powering a building.  With proper generator maintenance, you can expect your generator to provide worry-free back-up electrical power during a power outage for years to come.

ACI Northwest can help you with all of your generator needs in Spokane and the surrounding area. Contact us today!

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Air Conditioning Tip: Save Money with AC Maintenance

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Regular air conditioner maintenance can help save you money and keep your AC system working effectively.  Over time, the mechanical parts in your air conditioner can wear out or break.  When one piece has a problem it can easily begin to affect the other components, so it’s important that any issues be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your air conditioner. During a professional AC maintenance inspection, any air conditioning problems that are present will be found and fixed before they can get worse.

Air conditioning maintenance will keep your home cooling system working efficiently and operating at its highest performance levels.  This will result in monthly savings with lower energy bills.  You can help your air conditioning maintain its energy efficiency with regular, professional maintenance.

Regular air conditioner maintenance will keep the vital parts working as they were designed to, and they will not wear out as quickly as they would if they were forced to operate when damaged or in any way compromised.  When the internal parts of your air conditioning system are all operating together properly you will enjoy longer life expectancy from the AC, putting off the costs of an eventual replacement for longer.

AC maintenance in Coeur d’Alene from the air conditioning technicians at ACI Northwest consists of a full inspection of the air conditioning system: the coils and fins are cleaned, bearings get lubricated, filters are replaced, mechanical systems are checked, and electrical wiring is inspected and tightened.  Each system will be checked independently as well as a final check to ensure the air conditioner works as it was designed to.  Contact ACI Northwest for your professional AC maintenance today and ensure efficient, reliable operation of your home air conditioning system.

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Generator Tip: Whole House Generator FAQs

Monday, August 13th, 2012

If you are thinking about buying a new whole house generator in Spokane, you probably have a few questions about how to select and install the right model. Here are a few common questions and their answers on this topic:

 What Sizes Are Available for Whole House Generators?

Whole house generators generally come in sizes between 22 and 48 kilowatts. The number of kilowatts you want in a generator depends on the number of amps your home consumes. We know the maximum because no home consumes more than 200 amps due to limits in the electrical grid. A 22 kilowatt generator, for example, would replace 92 amps in your home, more than enough for most days – though probably not enough to keep your air conditioner running through the night.

How Long Does a Generator Last?

A quality whole house generator is often rated for up to 20 years of operation in standby conditions. That means that it will last for 20 years while actively installed on your property. That does not mean it can be operated continuously for 20 years, and operational lifespan will vary by model.

How Much Space Does a Generator Need?

You should allow for at least 3-5 feet on all sides of the generator for ventilation and to ensure nothing can get caught up in the system. It should be in a clear space away from entrances to your home but close enough to be easily wired into your electrical system during installation.

What Maintenance is Required?

The actual maintenance needed will depend largely on how often the system is actively used. Either way, it is recommended that you change the oil and all filters once per year. A full inspection is recommended if the system is used for more than 24 hours consecutively in that time period.

If you have any questions about installing a generator in your Spokane home, give ACI Northwest a call today!

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Air Conditioning Guide: Common AC Electrical Problems

Monday, August 6th, 2012

There are a number of quite common AC electrical problems which can occur at any time immediately after an AC installation or after years of air conditioner.  ACI Northwest is an air conditioning company in Coeur d’ Alene that understand the electrical systems of air conditioners and can help to determine which AC electrical problem you are encountering..

Common Air Conditioning Electrical Problems

A loss of power could mean electrical controls have failed after years of use and electrical wiring could need to be replaced.

Unusual odors such as a burning smell could indicate faulty wiring where the insulation has come off internal wires, leaving them exposed and unsafe.  Exposed wiring can result in short circuits or even the potential for an electrical fire.

Thermostat sensors can be knocked out of place and can malfunction, causing the AC to cycle constantly or turn on and off in an unpredictable manner.

The AC compressor must have the proper amount of electricity running to it in order to function adequately.  If improper electricity amounts continue to flow to the compressor it can eventually seize up and stop working.  Restoring this balance is essential.

Tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses can also be the reason for an air conditioning to stop running.  However, the root cause of this type of electrical problem should also be addressed so that the breakers are not tripped on any sort of regular basis.

Each of these air conditioner electrical problems is something that the skilled Coeur d’ Alene air conditioning technicians at ACI Northwest can diagnose and resolve.  Contact ACI Northwest today and have the electrical system in your air conditioner running properly once again.

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