According to a 2015 government survey, 87% of the homes in the United States use air conditioning and 65% of those homes have central air conditioning. Most of the homes with central air conditioning have programmable thermostats, but approximately two-thirds of the homes with central air do not use this feature to make their homes more energy efficient.
5) Your air conditioner is short cycling. It is perfectly normal for your air conditioner to cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature throughout your home. However, if you notice that it is turning on and off more frequently than usual and the outside temperature is not particularly warmer than normal, it is possible that your unit is malfunctioning. Short cycling puts extra stress on your air conditioner, and can cause it to fail if not handled quickly.
Before calling to schedule your appointment, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the air conditioning equipment that you have. Make sure you know at least the brand name, the model and the approximate age of the system, as well as any warranties that may be in effect—and read through our AC FAQ to see if any of your symptoms sound familiar.
Central home air conditioner service systems consist of two major components: a condensing unit that sits outside your house, and the evaporator coil (often referred to as an A-coil) that sits in the plenum of your furnace or air handler. The refrigerant in the A-coil picks up the heat from your home and moves it to the outdoor condensing unit. The condensing unit fan blows outside air through the condensing coil to remove the heat. The condensing unit houses the three parts replaceable by a DIYer: the contactor, the start/run capacitor(s) and the condenser fan motor. The condensing unit also houses the compressor, but only a pro can replace that. The A-coil has no parts that can be serviced by a DIYer.
For residential homes, some countries set minimum requirements for energy efficiency. In the United States, the efficiency of air conditioners is often (but not always) rated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt hours (W·h) during the same period.
The blower assembly is located between your main furnace and the cold air return. The blower is responsible for pulling air from your home and then sending it through the furnace and the heat exchanger. The air gets circulated throughout the home via the duct work. The furnace’s air filter is contained within the blower compartment. Regular-style filters should be replaced or cleaned each month.
Since the 1980s, manufacturers of HVAC equipment have been making an effort to make the systems they manufacture more efficient. This was originally driven by rising energy costs, and has more recently been driven by increased awareness of environmental issues. Additionally, improvements to the HVAC system efficiency can also help increase occupant health and productivity. In the US, the EPA has imposed tighter restrictions over the years. There are several methods for making HVAC systems more efficient.
Turn off the gas supply valve, typically located by your gas meter on the gas inlet pipe. Turn off the gas by rotating the valve one quarter turn with an adjustable wrench. When the gas is off, the valve’s oblong stem points perpendicular to the inlet pipe. Then call your gas utility or the fire department from a remote location. Do not return to your home until you know it is safe.
Whether you have an electric or gas furnace, you shouldn’t have to suffer when your heater is not working. At Sears Home Services, our technicians fix many of the top furnace manufacturers. The issues you may face with your furnace can vary depending on the type of heating system. If you own an electric model and it isn’t working, some of the potential causes include:
Evaporative coolers tend to feel as if they are not working during times of high humidity, when there is not much dry air with which the coolers can work to make the air as cool as possible for dwelling occupants. Unlike other types of air conditioners, evaporative coolers rely on the outside air to be channeled through cooler pads that cool the air before it reaches the inside of a house through its air duct system; this cooled outside air must be allowed to push the warmer air within the house out through an exhaust opening such as an open door or window. These coolers cost less and are mechanically simple to understand and maintain.
A contactor is a $25 mechanical relay that uses low-voltage power from the thermostat to switch 220-volt high-amperage current to the compressor and condenser fan. AC contactors can wear out and are at the top of the list of common air conditioning service failures. Even if your contactor is working, it pays to replace it every five years or so. Unscrew the old contactor before removing the wires. Then move the wires to the new unit (photo 6).
If your home is not heated using forced air, chances are a boiler will make sure you stay warm during cold nights. A hot water system delivers hot water through a network of pipes that run to every room in your house. The heating effect gets maximized through radiators. The most common issues with hot water heating tend to be not be major, but small problems that add up over time. Mineral deposits within the water tank, a pilot light malfunction, or an issue with a radiator itself can require professional repair. On average, you will pay between $183 and $582 for these problems. The exact amount will depend on the exact problem, as described in our boiler repair cost guide.
Air flow meter Aquastat BACnet Blower door Building automation Carbon dioxide sensor Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) Gas sensor Home energy monitor Humidistat HVAC control system Intelligent buildings LonWorks Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) OpenTherm Programmable communicating thermostat Programmable thermostat Psychrometrics Room temperature Smart thermostat Thermostat Thermostatic radiator valve