ACI Northwest Blog : Archive for July, 2014

Why Consider Ductless Air Conditioning?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Ductless air conditioning is a great cooling option that is often overlooked by homeowners. Many homes come equipped with ducts that join with an air conditioning system to provide cool air. But sometimes, homes don’t have any pre-existing ductwork, or a homeowner may choose to add a new room in which extending the ductwork may be cumbersome.

Ductless air conditioning systems provide homeowners another option for air conditioning in Coeur d’Alene. Instead of using ducts to distribute air, ductless systems use multiple indoor air handlers at various locations throughout the home. The indoor air handlers do the job of the indoor evaporator unit of conventional systems, but also distribute cool air into the rooms directly. While these systems may be more expensive than central air conditioning systems, the benefits may be worth the cost.

  • No Major Renovations Required: Ductwork installation creates an unwanted disturbance for many homeowners. Besides, many homes cannot accommodate ductwork due to the layout of the home. Ductless installation only requires a small hole be drilled into the wall for the refrigerant line.
  • Eliminate Duct Loss: Unfortunately, a lot of energy is often lost in many ducted systems due to leaks, holes, and poorly installed ducts with loose connections. This means that most homeowners lose money cooling an unoccupied area of the house like the attic, a problem you’ll never have when you go ductless.
  • Higher SEER: The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which you can find printed on the EnergyGuide label of all air conditioners, can help you determine how efficient your air conditioner is and how much money you’ll save every month. Ductless air conditioners have significantly higher SEERs than many other systems, meaning you’ll pay a lot less than homeowners with central air.
  • Zone Control: Another reason to consider ductless air conditioning is zone control. Each indoor air handler is controlled by its own thermostat, which allows you to vary the temperature throughout the house according to each person’s temperature needs. You can also save money by shutting off the AC in unoccupied areas of the home.

To hear from an expert about the benefits of ductless air conditioning in Coeur d’Alene, call ACI Northwest today!

Continue Reading

Upgrades That Can Make Your AC More Energy Efficient

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Many homeowners will do anything possible to lower their energy bills. But when you turn off your air conditioner or raise the temperature to save money, you give up your family’s comfort. Fortunately, there are other ways to save on cooling costs this summer without making your family feel the heat.

There are a few simple ways to make your AC more energy efficient, such as cleaning the air filters once a month and scheduling maintenance with an air conditioning technician. Dirty air filters can block airflow, causing your AC to run longer. An air conditioning maintenance technician can clean the components of your system for increased efficiency.

But another great way to increase the efficiency of your AC is by calling a technician to install money-saving upgrades for your system. A new programmable thermostat or zone control system may be the most enjoyable way for you to take advantage of the increased efficiency of your air conditioner this summer.

Thermostat Options

One upgrade you might consider is a digital, programmable thermostat. Manual thermostats are occasionally difficult to read which means your temperature reading is often inaccurate, raising your energy bills. If the temperature is even one or two degrees lower than you needed it to be, it can cause your bills to be significantly higher.

Digital, programmable thermostats have a clear display, so you’ll never set the temperature higher or lower than you want. Furthermore, you can program your digital thermostat to adjust the temperature throughout the day to save money when you are not home or during peak hours. For example, you can set the AC to switch on twenty minutes before you arrive home to avoid spending money on your AC bill when you’re not there.

Zone Control Systems

Another energy-saving upgrade is a zone control system. Zone control allows you the opportunity to choose the temperature in various areas of your home. If your family members rarely use every room at once, zone control is a great opportunity to save money by raising the temperature in unoccupied rooms while keeping others cool.

If you want air conditioning upgrades in Coeur d’Alene, call the professionals at ACI Northwest today!

Continue Reading

Signs That Your Home Needs Electrical Repair

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Electricity is so essential to daily life, but it is also something we seldom think about because we are accustomed to receiving it with a flick of a switch or a touch of a power button. Your home may have electrical malfunctions that require repair, but unless you watch out for the signs you may not realize there are issues—until you suffer a major power loss or an electrical fire breaks out.

Should you notice any of the signs below, don’t ignore them and don’t attempt to fix the problem on your own. Call up professional electricians to handle the necessary electrical repairs. You can reach ACI Northwest any time of the day or night for emergency service from highly-trained professionals who will keep the electricity flowing safely through your home.

Watch for These Warning Signs of Electrical Repair

  • Flickering lights: If you spot lights in your home that occasionally flicker like candle flames, don’t dismiss the occurrences—especially if it occurs to a few lights at the same time. This indicates a power surge running through the electrical system, likely because a large appliance (the refrigerator, the air conditioner) has put excessive demand on the system. Small power surges like this will cause cumulative damage to appliances in your home, and could warn of bad circuits.
  • Warm or sparking outlets: Increased heat coming from outlets, or outlets that cause sparking whenever you plug an appliance into them, are suffering from bad wiring that can risk an electrical fire. Do not unscrew the outlet to look into it yourself; call for repairs.
  • Repeatedly tripped circuit breakers: The circuit breaker panel that has an occasionally tripped breaker is not usually a sign of a serious problem. But if you have tripped breakers occurring on a regular basis when appliances come on, then you may have repair issues within the panel itself (it may need a full upgrade) or trouble with the wiring. Call for an electrician to investigate the trouble and find a solution.

Remember, should you encounter any of these signs, turn off any of the affected appliances and unplug them. Do not attempt to use the suspect parts of the electrical system until after you have had an electrician examine and repair them.

Trust to Professional Electricians

Qualified electricians are a must for repairs: only trained electricians will know how to keep your home safe and up to local electrical code. Whatever your needs for electrical repair service in Coeur d’Alene, WA, you can put your trust in ACI Northwest. We provide comprehensive service for home electricity.

Continue Reading

Common Problems with Air Conditioning Condenser Arrays

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Air conditioners for homes are known as “split systems,” or simply “splits,” because they consist of two sets of cabinets, one housed inside and the other outside.

The outside cabinet contains the condenser array, the components necessary for condensation to take place in the heat exchange cycle. These components are the compressor (which heats and places refrigerant under pressure), the condenser coil (where the heat of the refrigerant is released), and the fan (which forces cooler air across the condenser coil and then vents the heat outside).

The cabinet that protects the condenser array is sturdy, but no condenser is 100% damage-proof, and other types of repair needs can affect it as well. Here are a few of the more common troubles you can encounter with the condenser that will require you call ACI Northwest for skilled air conditioning repair in Coeur d’Alene, WA. Our NATE-certified technicians will get the job done right the first time.

Condenser Problems You May Encounter

  • Dirty condenser coil: Because the condenser is outside, it can pick up dust and dirt that will infiltrate the cabinet. (Make sure to have regular maintenance to prevent the system form becoming too dirty.) Dirt along the evaporator coil will make it harder for the coil to release heat, and the refrigerant will not cool down sufficiently for the second half of the heat exchange. You will need technicians to remove the coil and clean it if the grime is restricting proper operation.
  • Damaged or broken fan: The fan draws in the outdoor air across the hot coil to cause the condensation that releases heat. If the fan develops damages or it stops working because the motor fails or a fan belt breaks, the heat exchange cycle will become less efficient. Damage to the fan blades from debris can also cause the fan to start striking the casing and injure other components. Loud noises from the condenser cabinet are a reason to call for repairs.
  • Compressor issues: The last part of an air conditioner that you want to stop working is the compressor, which is the “engine” of the whole system and also the most expensive part to replace. (Often, you need to have the whole system replaced in the case of compressor failure.) If the compressor becomes dirty it will start overworking, and possibly overheat. Motor problems and capacitor failures will also affect the compressor’s performance. Any suspicion of malfunctions in the compressor requires immediate action from repair technicians.

When you need to move fast for condenser array repairs for your air conditioning system, call ACI Northwest. We are ready 24/7 to assist you with any AC troubles you have this summer.

Continue Reading

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, 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 ACI Northwest hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

Continue Reading