ACI Northwest Blog : Archive for March, 2015

Common Air Conditioning Repairs to Watch Out for

Monday, 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 Coeur d’Alene, ID.

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How a Clogged Air Filter can Cause Furnace Problems

Friday, 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.

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What is Kettling, and why is it Dangerous?

Monday, 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.

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