ACI Northwest Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Coeur d’ Alene’

Combat Dry Air and Illness This Winter

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Sick woman blowing her noseWhen the coldest of winter temperatures hit, it makes sense that you are most concerned with how warm it is in your home. A lack of sufficient heat can be not only uncomfortable, but hazardous to your family’s health. A perfectly functioning furnace or boiler is only half the equation, though, when it comes to home comfort during the winter.

Dry air can be equally damaging and uncomfortable during the colder months, and most heating systems—at least, those that are forced air systems—only exacerbate this issue. A Coeur d’Alene, ID humidifier installation may be an excellent choice for you and your home, eliminating the problem of dry air before it even has a chance to affect your living space. Now is as great a time as any to have one put in.

But you may be wondering, “Do I really need one?”

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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.

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Heating FAQ: How Are Furnace BTUs Measured?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

One question that we get from customers on a regular basis is how to size a furnace and how BTUs are measured to help determine the right size. Your furnace’s heating capacity is measured by a unit called a “British Thermal Unit” (BTU). A BTU unit is essentially a measurement determined by the amount of heat it would take to heat one pound of water by one degree; therefore, the BTU capacity for a furnace can help determine fuel costs by converting it into cost per 1000 BTUs.

When you are comparing furnace models, you should see a BTU number provided in the general information section. You’ll also see AC capacity measured in BTUs, but there are variations in the calculations according to whether you are purchasing a heating or cooling system.

The type of fuel will have an effect as well. For instance, natural gas is usually metered in CCF (hundreds of cubic feet) of energy consumption, so about one thousand BTUs of natural gas is provided by 1 cubic foot, so when you divide the cost of the fuel by 1000 BTUs of propane heat you can determine how cost-effective it will be to run a furnace on natural gas. Propane would require the same type of formula. Only combustible fuels are measured in BTUs. Determining the cost of an electric furnace will involve other factors.

Here are some additional factors to consider when sizing according to BTU output for a particular furnace model:

  • Location, size, and layout of the home.
  • How well the home is insulated and sealed.
  • The amount of natural light the home gets in the winter.
  • How many rooms require heating.
  • Ventilation and moisture levels.
  • Condition of all other heating components and equipment in the home.

For new home constructions, you’ll need to work with your builder to help determine square footage and the other factors mentioned above before choosing a furnace. Having the right furnace size is vital to maintaining high performance and efficiency levels.

Don’t hesitate to call the Spokane furnace experts at ACI NORTHWEST if you have any questions about selecting the right furnace for your home.

Call ACI Northwest for all your Spokane heating questions and services. Whether you want to know more about sizing a new heating system, or you would like to discuss your options for replacing your furnace, one of our friendly staff members will be glad to help you out.

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FAQ: Why Get a New Heating System in the Fall?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

At ACI Northwest, we know that saving money on heating costs in the winter is important to our Coeur d’ Alene customers. That’s why there’s no better time to think about upgrading to a new high-efficiency furnace, heat pump, boiler, or geothermal heat pump system.

Just like having a routine tune-up in the fall, installing a new system helps ensure that you will have an efficient and high performing heating system throughout the entire winter. A new heating system is also less likely to break down on you in the middle of the heating season. Depending on the type of heater you are interested in, fall is a good time to have a heating professional install it due to the weather changes.

For instance, installing a geothermal heating system will require drilling or digging trenches to install the loop fields. If you want a new system before the winter arrives, and you haven’t scheduled an appointment, set up a consultation soon. Doing so will increase the chances that we can install the underground pipes before the ground freezes. In addition, a geothermal heat pump can both heat and cool your home; therefore, in the fall, you won’t necessarily be using either your heat or AC, which means it will not affect your comfort during the installation.

By the same token, installing any type of heat pump system in the fall is a good idea due to less need for heating or air conditioning when the weather is temperate. For furnaces and boilers, you will want to ensure that they are working before you need to turn on your heating system. In addition, you may decide that it’s time to replace your heating system during the annual check-up in the fall. Our technicians will test the efficiency of your current system, and provide a full inspection to help you decide whether or not a replacement is the most cost-effective choice.

Call ACI Northwest if you are considering a new heating system. We can help you with all your Coeur d’ Alene heating needs.

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