ACI Northwest Blog : Archive for June, 2014

Air Conditioning Upgrades to Consider

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Your air conditioning works hard to keep you feeling cool and comfortable all summer long in Coeur d’Alene. But did you know that you can get even more out of your AC system? Our air conditioning experts are ready to give your AC some new upgrades this summer for increased comfort and accuracy with your system. You may even be able to reduce your monthly energy bills.

Technicians at ACI Northwest are ready to talk about any air conditioning upgrades that interest you. Here are a couple of options you should consider.

Digital Thermostat

Are you still relying on a manual thermostat to sense the temperature in your home? Manual thermostats can be unreliable and difficult to read. If you notice your home is constantly cooler or warmer than you want it to be, it may be due to an inaccurate thermostat reading. The thermostat essentially tells your AC system when to turn on and off. If you’re constantly readjusting your thermostat, you may be paying more in energy bills than is necessary.

A digital thermostat can help you avoid these readings with a reliable digital display and advanced settings. You can set your AC to turn on and off at certain hours of the day when cooling your home is not needed. This can save you money and ensure the temperature is always set to your preference.

Zone Control

Another option that can be added to your system is zone control. A technician will install dampers in the ductwork of your home, allowing you to choose the temperature in different areas of your home with separate thermostats that sense the temperature in each room or zone. There may also be a master thermostat to control multiple rooms in the home. This can keep your family members more comfortable by allowing individuals to set their room temperatures according to their own unique preferences. This can also lower your energy bills; you can decide to adjust the temperature in rooms that are unoccupied in order to avoid cooling an empty space unnecessarily.

ACI Northwest has the expertise and experience to assist you in selecting the best upgrade for your home air conditioning system. Call now for professional air conditioning service in Coeur d’Alene.

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Electrician Tips: Repair Issues from Faulty Wiring

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

People often take for granted that the wiring in their home is sufficient for their power needs and has no major faults that could make it either ineffective or dangerous. Although it’s true that modern homes are built with durable electrical systems, faulty wiring is still something that can occur, and it needs repair work the moment it’s detected. Poor wiring can lead to needless energy drain, power loss, and fire hazards. It’s especially important to watch for wiring issues in older homes where full electrical upgrades may be necessary.

Here are some of the repair issues that faulty wiring can cause in a home. Make sure that you call for professional licensed electricians for any of your needs for electrical repair service in Coeur d’Alene. Contact the experts at ACI Northwest any time of the day or night for the quality work you need.

Some Problems Due To Faulty Wiring

  • Power surges: Power surges are one of the least understood of electrical problems. They don’t only come from catastrophic events like lightning strikes; they also occur because the wiring in a home is incapable of handling the demands placed on it by more powerful appliances. If you notice flickering lights in your house every time that the compressor in the refrigerator or air conditioner switches, then you may have bad wiring that is leading to a power surge. These surges will eventually cause serious damage to the system and anything plugged into it, and you need to have electricians track down and fix the problem.
  • Charred and failed outlets: Faulty wires inside outlets are a frequent issue that can afflict even newer homes. When bad wiring causes a spark or a fire, it will char or discolor the outlet. Should you notice this, it means you need to have electricians replace the outlet and find out what went wrong with the wiring behind it. Outlets that cease providing electrical current also call for repairs.
  • Constantly tripped circuit breakers: An occasional tripped breaker is usually nothing more serious than a momentary large demand from a malfunctioning appliance. However, if the problem persists, you may have a serious issue with a circuit somewhere, and it could become an electrical fire hazard if it is left unattended.

Schedule Service with Licensed Electricians Only!

Never attempt electrical repairs on your own: the risk of a high voltage shock is too great, and you might create further trouble from faulty wiring. You need to rely on electricians who are familiar with the local electrical code and who can handle the work fast and right.

For any wiring faults in your home that need electrical repair, the Coeur d’Alene specialists can take care of you. We have staff ready 24/7 to keep your home safely wired.

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How Dust and Dirt Contribute to Air Conditioning Problems

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Dust and dirt are a common problem in households, so it is no surprise they can cause problems with your air conditioner, too. Our beautiful Spokane alpine woods have enough dirt to keep us vacuuming for months.

Air conditioning manufacturers know that dirt and dust are common problems with air conditioners, so your air conditioner comes with a built-in air filter that helps to strain out much of the dirt and dust that get into your system – but it can’t get all of it. And, if left to build up, dirt and dust can create some potentially serious problems with your air conditioning.

Dirt and Dust: Not Your Air Conditioner’s Friends

ACI Northwest has been servicing customers in Spokane and the surrounding area for over 20 years, and in that time, we’ve seen what dirt and dust can do to a system when left to accumulate:

  • Dirty vents – the main job of your system’s built-in filter is to collect as much dirt and dust as possible, but it simply isn’t possible to get all of it – especially if your filter isn’t changed regularly. Dirty vents can obstruct air flow, increase air loss, and greatly decrease air quality in your home, something that could be bad for any allergy sufferers.
  • Clogged air filters – your AC’s air filters need to be changed regularly in order to avoid becoming clogged. When the air filters become clogged, a number of things can happen, including decreased air flow, decreased air quality and greater stress on the system.
  • Accumulation on coils – dirt and dust love to cling to your AC’s coils. Unfortunately, when left to accumulate, a layer of insulation can form, inhibiting the coils from doing their job of releasing heat. The heating and cooling process in your air conditioner’s coils is a delicate one, and once the balance is tipped, the entire cooling process can become irregular and possibly malfunction.

Get Rid of Dust and Dirt with Regular Maintenance

During a routine maintenance appointment with ACI Northwest, your entire air conditioning system is inspected, cleaned and adjusted as needed. This means that vents are visually inspected for build-up and/or problems, air filters are changed and coils are cleaned.

Are you seeing dust and dirt build-up somewhere in your system? Then call ACI Northwest and schedule air conditioning maintenance in Spokane – your air conditioning system will thank you!

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Signs You Need Repairs for Your Outlets

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The outlets in your home are your conduit into the electrical system and are therefore one of the most important parts of your daily life. If an outlet stops working, you need to have it looked into and repaired as soon as possible.

However, an outlet failing to work is an obvious sign that something is wrong. There are other warnings your outlets can send to you that they require professional repairs or replacements that are not so obvious. We have a list of a few to look out for.

We need to emphasize professional repairs: do not tamper with any part of your electrical system on your own. You risk dangerous high voltage shocks, as well as causing further damage to the electrical system. Only allow licensed electricians to work on outlet repairs. Call ACI Northwest for any repairs or electrical installation in Coeur d’Alene that you need. Our experienced Electricians Are on Call 24 Hours a Day.

Warning Signs of Outlet Repair Needs:

  • Charring and discoloration: If you notice marks of charring on the front of an outlet, or if the outlet has developed a yellow or brown discoloration, it means an electrical fire has broken out inside the outlet due to bad wiring. This needs immediate repairs; the potential for the outlet to become a significant fire hazard is high.
  • Frequently tripped circuit breakers: If you notice that plugging an appliance into a particular outlet causes a circuit breaker to trip, the problem is either the appliance or the outlet itself. If different appliances of varying voltage demands are triggering the problem, then the outlet is probably in need of replacement. (Do not, however, start plugging in different appliances as a way to “test” if the outlet or the appliance is the problem. Call for an electrician.)
  • Sparking outlet: If the outlet sparks every time you put a plug into it, the outlet is wearing down and perhaps coming loose. This is often due to years of plugging and unplugging. In this case, the outlet will probably need to be replaced entirely and upgraded. Call an electrician right away.

In general, we advise that you have outlet replacement and rewiring done if your home still has old non-grounded (two-prong) outlets. You should also consider updating three-prong outlets to GCFI outlets to increase safety. At ACI Northwest, we offer fast and excellent electrical installation in Coeur d’Alene, WA for new outlets, as well as any necessary repair work.

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3 Air Conditioning Fan Components That Can Suffer Damage

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The air conditioning system in your home that keeps you cool during the summer operates using two fans. Inside your home in the evaporator cabinet is the blower fan, which draws in air from the rooms through the return vents and blows it across the evaporator coil (cooling it) and then into the ventilation shafts leading back into your house. Outside your home in the condenser cabinet is a fan that pulls in warm outside air across the condenser coil, releasing heat that then vents out the top of the cabinet.

This pair of fans is crucial for AV performance. If either malfunctions, it can mean a drop in cooling and airflow, resulting in inferior comfort. Here are 3 components of AC fans, each of which can sustain damage that will threaten your home’s cooling.

When you need air conditioning repairs in Spokane, WA, call on the 24-hour emergency services of ACI Northwest. We are committed to quality and your comfort.

1. The blades

The fan blades of the outdoor fan are susceptible to damage from any debris that enters the cabinet, such as rocks, sticks, gravel, even tree branches (yes, this can happen). If the blades of the fan become bent, they will start to strike the edges of the fan casing, leading to an alarming clanging noise. Turn off the system immediately when you hear this sort of noise and call for repairs; the fan will cause more internal damage to the system if it is allowed to continue running.

2. The motor

Older air conditioners used fan belts to connect the fan motor to the fan, and the fan belts could break. More recent fans use direct motors. Motors can wear down from overuse, layers of dirt, or loss of lubrication in their moving parts, and this extra stress will eventually cause the motor to overheat and fuse its wiring together. A motor that burns out will need to have a professional replace it in order to get the fan operating once more.

3. The thermostat wire

Technically, this isn’t inside the fan, but it’s essential to its operation and damage to it will cause the fan to either 1) run continuously, or 2) refuse to run at all. Five different wires originate from a thermostat: one operates the compressor, and the other four turn the two fans on and off. Should one of these wires break or sustain damage, it will affect the connected fan. It’s difficult to determine that a problem with the fan originates with the thermostat, so have technicians look into it. If it is a thermostat problem, it is thankfully an easy fix.

Whenever you hear noises from the fans or notice that one of them has stopped moving, it’s time to call on the professionals at ACI Northwest for professional air conditioning repair service in Spokane, WA. Our NATE-certified technicians are ready around the clock to serve you.

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