ACI Northwest Blog : Archive for July, 2013

How Do You Detect a Problem with Your Air Conditioning System

Monday, July 29th, 2013

During the heat and humidity of summer, you need to make certain that your air conditioning system in Spokane is working well at all times. But it can be difficult to figure out whether your AC is slow because it is getting old, or whether there is an actual problem with one of its components. Your AC is a complicated system of parts and mechanisms, of refrigerant and coils, and it needs to work well at all times if you want to stay comfortable. At ACI Northwest, we provide professional air conditioning services. Call us today to learn more about our services.

So, how do you detect a problem with your AC?

  • Keep an eye on your energy bills. Make sure you keep an eye out for any unexpected spikes in your energy consumption without a corresponding increase in cooling. You need to make certain that you’re getting exactly what you pay for when it comes to cooling, which is surely one of the major expenses of the summer season. If you notice anything unusual, it’s probably an indication that you need to hire a professional to investigate further.
  • Listen for any strange sounds. You should expect some noise from your AC. It’s an inevitable fact of a mechanical operation. But you should not neglect any strange or loud sounds. While your AC may get a little louder as the years go on, any hissing, banging, whistling, or grinding should be reported to your local HVAC technician. These could be evidence of a serious problem with your system that could lead to dire consequences for your future comfort.
  • Check your air filter. The air filter is designed to protect your system components from accumulating dust, dirt, grime, and other debris that can get in the way of the cooling process. But when the filter itself becomes clogged or excessively dirty, then it actually begins to impede air flow, which can cause all sorts of issues.

Call ACI Northwest today if you need professional air conditioning services in the Spokane, WA area.

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The Importance of Owning a Standby Generator

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Anyone in the Caribbean, the east coast of the United States, or the Ring of Fire will tell you just how vital a standby generator can be. Any number of events can cause power outages to your home or business, jeopardizing the safety and well-being of your loved ones, colleagues, and your possessions. In today’s day and age of torrential storms and widespread power outages, having a standby generator is more important than ever.

Power Outages on the Rise

Weather and earthquakes are the two most prevalent causes of major power outages in America. We’ve all heard about the destruction caused by the Oklahoma tornadoes, and major media networks have been adept at covering the growing number of major storms that have been sweeping the nation. Whether it is a tsunami, blizzard, hurricane or flood, we’ve had more than our fair share of natural disasters, and they aren’t likely to end anytime soon.

It has become mainstream knowledge that global weather patterns are shifting, causing damage to power supplies and buildings. This, coupled with the increased global population, is straining our energy infrastructures, leading to widespread power outages around the globe. Rather than find yourself without power when the time comes, purchase a standby generator so you and your family can continue to keep the lights on, even when Mother Nature does her worst.

Why Every Homeowner Needs a Standby Generator

In the event of a minor, short-term power outage, a standby generator can ensure that life can continue as normal until the power turns back on. If power were to be out for more than a few days, it would become difficult to feed and care for your family, especially if you have young children or elderly living with you who have certain temperature needs.

If you experience a major power outage caused by a serious natural disaster, the damage is typically severe and leaves people without power for days, if not weeks, on end. During a wet disaster, such as a tsunami or hurricane, flooding could pose a legitimate problem. If you owned a standby generator and your home was flooding, you could run your generator to power a sump pump which would remove the flood water from your home. With the generator aiding your sump pump, you could save yourself and your family thousands of dollars in repairs. In the event of dry disasters – tornadoes, earthquakes and the like – a standby generator is essential, as it can be used for cooking, cooling, your communication devices, or even power medical equipment.

The Importance of Standby Generators for Businesses

Businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy and are responsible for providing food and housing for millions of families. Needless to say, businesses need the added protection a standby generator offers. If a business suffers from frequent power outages, a standby generator could save thousands of dollars in wasted labor costs from salaried employees waiting for power to come back on. When your business loses power, the generator will immediately power on, allowing your business to operate as usual. If a natural disaster occurs and power is knocked out for a days, the generator can be used to protect your office equipment from a power surge, and can also be connected to sump pump to protect your office valuables from flooding.

All in all, having a standby generator is akin to insurance. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your generator, but it’s essential to have that security blanket in case you ever experience a prolonged power outage. When the well-being of your family and business are in jeopardy, don’t tempt fate. You simply cannot afford to be unprepared for the unexpected.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for DIYMother, where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.

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Common Summer Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Summers in Spokane can be surprisingly warm, with temperatures spiking into the triple digits during heat waves. A reliable air conditioning system is an absolute necessity in the summer months, and if it breaks down, you need a repair service able to do the job quickly and efficiently. It pays to know what kind of problems your air conditioning unit may experience in the summer time, and what kind of repair needs you may face when temperatures rise.

For example, you may notice that the air flow is weak if you turn it on. That can come from a clog or an excess of build-up in the system, or possibly ductwork that has sprung a leak. The AC blower may also be dirty from lack of use, which can result in low air flow.   If the air blows, but it’s not sufficiently cool, your system may have leaked refrigerant, or the condenser coils may not be working the way they should.

You may also experience an air conditioning system that rapidly cycles between the on and off settings. In that case, it may mean that the condenser or evaporator is dirty, or that the condenser unit is blocked. In cases where an air conditioning fails to work entirely, it may have overloaded the power and tripped the circuit breakers, or triggered one of its own safety features, which shut the unit down when a significant problem arises.

Many problems such as these have simple causes, such as a build-up of dust or wear and tear on the system. They’re not uncommon during lengthy periods without use, and if you haven’t run your air conditioning during the winter and the spring, problems may have developed without your notice. In many cases, the issue can be fixed fairly rapidly, either by replacing a damaged part, cleaning the dust and dirt, recharging refrigerant, or tightening existing fittings. Whatever the cause, however, it pays to call upon a licensed air conditioning technician to do the job right. DIY repairs can compound the problem, and when the mercury rises, the last thing you need is unnecessary work or delay.

When you experience difficulties with your air conditioner, call the experts at ACI Northwest. We respond to common summer air conditioning repair needs throughout the greater Spokane area. With more than 85 years’ experience, we can provide the peace of mind that comes from doing the job right. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Ducts or No Ducts: How to Choose the Right Air Conditioning System

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

During the Spokane summer, you need to make sure that you have an air conditioning system that is both reliable and effective. It needs to be responsive to your temperature adjustments and to deliver a powerful cooling experience on those particularly hot days. But if you’re in the market for a new model, making the right decision can feel overwhelming. It can be difficult to figure out what type of system is right for you, whether you are building the home of your dreams from scratch or looking to replace your previous system. One of the major choices you’ll have to make is between ducts and no ducts. First and foremost, however, make sure you’re dealing with an HVAC technician who has the experience and knowledge to make your new AC installation a success. Call ACI Northwest today if you need air conditioning services.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of each system.

  • Ducts. Most homeowners in America have a forced-air distribution system. This means that an extensive network of air ducts is installed throughout the walls, floors, and ceilings of your home. These ducts extract the warm indoor air from your home, cool it, and then return it for circulation. They can be made out of sheet metal or flexible plastic coils. In some cases, they are insulated to reduce the chance of energy loss. The layout of a ducted system involves an outdoor unit comprising the condenser coils and compressor, and an indoor unit comprising the evaporator coils and air handler. The refrigerant circulates through the compressor, coils and an expansion valve to move thermal energy out of the house and provide cool air.
  • Ductless. Ductless mini split air conditioners have long been the standard in other areas of the world where they are prized for their energy-efficient operation and compact size. But they are gradually becoming a popular alternative to ducted systems such as central air. They operate on the same principle of cooling by refrigerant cycle, but they do not used ducts to circulate air throughout the home. Instead, the indoor units sit directly in the living space. By removing the intermediary, they tend to offer efficiency ratings far exceeding those possible with the use of air ducts.

For more information about ducts versus ductless air conditioning systems, call the Spokane air conditioning technicians at ACI Northwest.

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What You Should Know about Commercial Air Conditioning

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Is your business or commercial property heating up this summer? Is the indoor climate uncomfortable for your tenants and employees, not to mention your clients? You need to make sure that you have a cooling system that matches your needs so that your commercial property or business does not suffer unnecessarily during the hottest time of the year. Whether you’re in the market for a new system, a replacement for your old one, there are some things you should know about commercial air conditioning in Hayden, ID. As a leaking provider of cooling solutions in your service area, the team at ACI Northwest can help you with your commercial AC. Call us today to find out more about our services.

  • Size. Commercial AC units are built for durability and performance, and the most obvious way they are able to accommodate larger spaces is to increase the footprint of the machine itself. Bigger coils, bigger compressor, and more ductwork.
  • Packaged. When you own a commercial air conditioner, it’s the workhorse of your building or business. You need to ensure that it operates effectively at all times, but is also accessible for routine maintenance and periodic repair needs. A packaged system groups both parts of a split system together to cut down on service time.
  • Operation. Commercial air conditioners endure much more wear and tear than your average residential system. They are not only larger to accommodate a more intense schedule of cooling output, but they may also require professional attention on a more regular basis to keep them clean and well adjusted.
  • Repair. You need to make sure you have an excellent, reliable repair technician on call who can take care of your commercial AC problems, should they arise. Keep his number close to hand during the summer months.
  • Maintenance. Because of how much use and abuse they endure day-in and day-out, it’s no wonder that they may develop problems. However, with routine professional maintenance, you can significantly reduce any such issues.

ACI Northwest is the Hayden, ID air conditioning company to take care of all of your commercial HVAC needs. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for your commercial air conditioning.

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Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

There are few things more “American” than baseball, apple pie and Independence Day. On this day over 200 years ago the second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. The document, which was primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson, was a written explanation of why America wanted to be free from Great Britain. This bold move by the American colonies would start the Revolutionary War where many brave women and men would give their lives for the freedom that we now hold dear.

Over the years, our celebration of Independence Day has remained largely unchanged. John Adams, the 2nd president of the United States, said this about celebrating Independence Day: “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” We all remember going to family barbecues, watching fireworks, attending parades, picnics and fairs, building bonfires, and playing baseball.

However you celebrate this 4th of July, make sure that you take a moment to remember why we’re celebrating.

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