Frequently Asked Air Conditioning Questions
How long will my air conditioner last?
Good air conditioners can last as long as 15 years if they’re properly maintained, but average air conditioners are expected to develop problems after seven to ten years if they’re neglected. If you want to get the most out of your new system, check your filters monthly and replace them as needed, keep your outdoor unit clean and free of debris, and shade the unit during the hottest parts of the day. By performing a little easy maintenance, you can greatly extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it working at its best.
What’s the best temperature to set my thermostat?
The best temperature for your thermostat is the highest one at which you and your family still feel comfortable. For many people, this point is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit; for others it’s much lower. Try setting the thermostat higher when summer first creeps up, then turn it down until you find a suitable temperature.
How do I maximize my air conditioner’s energy efficiency?
There are several ways to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner, including leaving all air vents unblocked, installing a programmable thermostat, doing regular maintenance on your system, and using ceiling fans to help keep rooms feeling cooler so you can comfortably turn the thermostat up.
Should I have regular professional maintenance on my unit?
Yes. Professional maintenance goes beyond what a typical homeowner is equipped to deal with, including things like checking your refrigerant level and cleaning the evaporator coil. Having a professional examine your air conditioner once or twice a year will also help catch problems while they’re still small and manageable.
How often should I change my filter?
The number of people and pets living in your home and how frequently you run the air conditioning will affect how often you need to change your filter, but everyone should check their filters monthly. When the filters are discolored or plugged, they need to be replaced; this is typically 30 to 90 days after installation. During more frequent use (ie Summer) you may need to clean or replace filters every 2 weeks.
How do I take care of my outside air conditioning unit?
Regularly clean vegetation, leaves and debris out of your air conditioner and hose it down well with the unit turned off. By keeping the outdoor unit clean, you’ll maximize its ability to exhaust heat into the environment, making it run more efficiently.
What do I do if my outside air conditioner has bent fins?
If you notice your air conditioner has bent fins on the outside unit, purchase a fin comb designed for air conditioners and gently straighten them. Make sure the unit is off before you attempt this simple procedure.
What are some signs my air conditioner isn’t working right?
Air conditioners that suddenly start making new noises or produce new smells should be checked right away. Other signs that your unit is having problems include its running constantly despite temperatures under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or blowing warm air into the room, or utility bills that increase dramatically despite normal usage.
What should I check before calling for a repair?
Before you call us, check that the furnace filter isn’t clogged and that the air conditioner is on and set to a temperature that will cause it to cycle. Check if the thermostat is operational, it may be possible that the batteries are simply bad. If you know where the disconnects are located, check those as well, and note if anything smells, looks, or sounds unusual.
How cold should my air conditioner be blowing?
The temperature that your air conditioner blows at will depend on the temperature of the air entering the return. Typically, room air should blow out at a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees cooler than when it went in, but if there’s excess humidity in the air, this range may vary slightly. Allow your unit to run at least 15 minutes before you compare the return air temperature to the blowing air temperature.
When should I have my air conditioner charged?
Air conditioners are closed systems, meaning that refrigerant should never escape from the system. Therefore, regular charges are unnecessary. The only time you’ll need to charge your air conditioner is if there is a leak present. If you do have a leak, have a professional fix it right away.
Why is there water around my indoor air handler?
Indoor air handlers do double duty, removing heat and moisture from the air in one go. They are designed with a small pan to catch the moisture, but occasionally the drain line from the pan may become plugged. If you see water around your indoor air handler, remove the drain line and give it a good cleaning by running bleach or vinegar water through it to help clear out build-up.
What does it mean if my air conditioner freezes up?
Usually, an air conditioner that has frozen is suffering from restricted air flow. Turn the unit off as soon as you notice a problem and check the filter. If it’s pristine, you may have accidentally blocked the air return or have a refrigerant leak. Check your vents before you call a professional out to hunt down a leak.
How do I know it’s time for a new air conditioner?
Once your air conditioner has passed its seventh year, it’s likely that any major repair is going to be more expensive than replacing the unit. An older unit that’s showing signs of trouble and needs frequent visits from the repairman, that cools poorly, or suddenly creates much higher energy bills than in years past is probably ready to be replaced.
Can I replace my outdoor unit without replacing the indoor unit?
You can sometimes simply replace your outdoor unit and leave the indoor unit intact, but a mismatched system like this may cost you a lot more in energy use by reducing the efficiency of your new outdoor unit dramatically. Plus a new system may not run the same type of freon that your old system was using, thus not allowing you to keep one half of your system. You’re always better off replacing all the parts of your air conditioner at the same time for maximum efficiency and performance.
Will a new air conditioner save me money?
Absolutely. An air conditioner that’s just 10 years old may be as much as 60 percent less efficient than a brand new baseline unit. Today’s energy efficient models do a lot more cooling with a lot less electricity, keeping operating costs low.
Should I buy a bigger unit than the one I’m replacing?
No. Bigger isn’t always better. Don’t be tempted to up-size your unit unless your old unit was incorrectly sized to begin with. A too-large unit will run in frequent short cycles, preventing it from removing humidity properly from your home and shortening its lifespan.
Basic Air Conditioner Questions
Why is my drain making gurgling noise?
Is your drain making an annoying gurgling noise? Gurgling drains can be caused by a variety of factors, such as clogs, improper venting, or even sewer line issues.
To fix gurgling drains, use a plunger or a drain snake to remove any obstructions. If the issue persists, it's best to call a professional to assess the problem. Our expert plumbers can provide the necessary plumbing repair services to get rid of that bothersome gurgling once and for all.
Why is my drain clogged?
Drain clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems, often caused by the accumulation of hair, soap scum, food debris, or other foreign objects in the drain pipes.
To prevent clogged drains in the future, consider using drain screens to catch hair and debris before they find their way into your pipes. And remember, avoid pouring grease, oil, or coffee grounds down the drain, as they can solidify and create stubborn blockages.
How can I prevent future drain clogs?
Say goodbye to recurring drain clogs with some preventive know-how. Installing drain screens is a simple yet effective solution to catch hair and debris before they become problematic. Additionally, avoid pouring grease, oil, or coffee grounds down the drain. These substances can accumulate over time, leading to major blockages.
For extra peace of mind, make regular drain maintenance a part of your routine. Consider using natural drain cleaners or schedule professional drain cleaning services to keep your drains flowing smoothly year-round.
Can I use chemical drain cleaners to unclog my drain?
It's tempting to reach for a quick fix when facing a stubborn clog but beware of the risks of chemical drain cleaners. While they may provide temporary relief, they often contain harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes and the environment.
Instead, opt for natural alternatives or, better yet, call in the professionals. Our experienced plumbers have the knowledge and tools to safely and effectively unclog your drain, ensuring long-lasting results without compromising your pipes or the planet.
How can I fix a dripping faucet?
That persistent drip-drip-drip sound can be enough to drive anyone crazy. Fortunately, you can fix a dripping or leaky faucet on your own.
Start by turning off the water supply, disassembling the faucet, and inspecting the washer or cartridge. If you spot a worn-out washer or a faulty cartridge, simply replace it. Once everything is back together, your faucet should be drip-free.
If tinkering with faucets isn't your thing, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. Our skilled plumbers can swiftly diagnose the issue and provide a reliable solution, putting an end to that irritating drip for good.
When should I call a plumber for drain issues?
If you've tried DIY methods and the drain problem persists or keeps coming back, it's time to bring in the experts.
Persistent clogs, foul odors, slow drainage, or gurgling sounds can indicate underlying issues that require specialized tools and expertise. Our professional plumbers are ready to tackle even the trickiest drain problems, providing efficient and lasting solutions to your plumbing issues and restoring your peace of mind.
Why is my toilet constantly running?
The most common causes of a running toilet are a faulty flapper valve or a problem with the fill valve. It's important to address running toilets promptly to conserve water and prevent potential damage.
To fix a running toilet, follow these steps:
- Identify the problem: Check the flapper valve and fill valve in the toilet tank.
- Adjust the flapper valve: Ensure the chain connected to the flapper has the right amount of slack.
- Replace the flapper valve: If adjusting doesn't work, install a new one.
- Check the fill valve: Ensure the water level is set correctly in the tank.
- Clean or replace the fill valve: If needed, clean or replace the fill valve to fix any issues.
- Test and adjust: Turn on the water supply, observe the toilet, and make further adjustments if necessary.
How do you fix a clogged toilet?
Dealing with a clogged toilet is never pleasant. But you can tackle this issue yourself with a plunger. Apply firm, repetitive pressure to create suction and dislodge the blockage.
For those stubborn clogs that refuse to budge, use a toilet auger to break up the obstruction and restore proper flushing.
What should I do if my toilet is not flushing properly?
If your toilet is not flushing properly, you can take a few simple steps to troubleshoot the issue.
First, check the water level in the tank and adjust it if needed. A water level that's too low can result in weak flushing.
Next, inspect the chain connected to the flapper. Make sure it's properly connected and not too loose or too tight. Sometimes, a simple adjustment can make all the difference.
However, it's best to leave it to the professionals if you're facing more complex issues, such as a faulty flapper or fill valve. A qualified plumber has the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and address the problem effectively.
Why is my toilet flushing on its own?
Is your toilet seemingly flushing on its own, giving you a fright? This phenomenon, known as ghost flushing, can be caused by a faulty flapper valve or an issue with the fill valve.
Before calling in the experts, try adjusting or replacing the faulty components per the manufacturer's instructions. However, if the issue persists, it's time to seek the assistance of a professional plumber who can identify the underlying cause and provide a lasting solution.
What to do if my toilet is making weird noises?
The strange sounds coming from your toilet keep you up at night. Different types of toilet noise, such as water hammer, hissing, squealing, or gurgling, can indicate underlying issues.
Rather than playing a guessing game, it's best to consult a professional plumber. They have the expertise to diagnose the specific problem and implement the necessary repairs, restoring your toilet to its peaceful and quiet state.
When should I call a professional plumber for toilet issues?
Don't let toilet troubles become a never-ending saga. If you've tried basic troubleshooting steps and the problem persists or worsens, it's time to call in the professionals.
If you have a leak that won't go away, a toilet that keeps breaking down, or if you just don't know what's causing the problem, a plumber can help ensure your toilet operates smoothly and efficiently once again.
Contact Precision Air & Plumbing for reliable toilet repairs and expert plumbing assistance. Let us take care of your toilet woes so you can focus on the more important things in life.
Why are water leaks a concern?
Water leaks should never be taken lightly. They can lead to significant consequences if left untreated. From causing water damage to your property and promoting the growth of mold and mildew to skyrocketing utility bills due to water wastage, the effects of water leaks can be detrimental.
It's crucial to promptly prioritize leak detection and repair to prevent further damage, mitigate potential health risks, and safeguard your financial well-being.
What are the telltale signs of a leaking pipe?
Identifying the signs of a leaking pipe is essential for timely intervention. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Unexplained water stains on walls or ceilings
- The presence of dampness or pooling water in specific areas
- The musty odor of stagnant water
A simple leak detection test can help you determine if a pipe on your property is leaking. Shut off the water source in your home and see if the water meter is for activity. If there is movement even when no water is being used, that might point to a hidden leak.
How can you detect a hidden water leak?
Detecting hidden water leaks requires specialized techniques and equipment. Professionals often utilize leak detection devices that employ sound and thermal imaging cameras or conduct pressure tests to pinpoint the exact location of the leak.
At Precision Air & Plumbing, we specialize in advanced leak detection methods to accurately locate hidden leaks and minimize any damage that may occur during the repair process.
What should I do if I discover a leak in my plumbing?
Discovering a leak in your plumbing demands immediate action. While waiting for professional assistance, shut off the water supply to halt the water flow and prevent further damage and employ temporary do-it-yourself fixes such as using pipe clamps or epoxy putty to minimize the water flow. However, keep in mind that these are temporary solutions and seeking the expertise of a plumber is crucial for a lasting repair.
Can I repair a pipe leak myself?
Repairing a pipe leak yourself can be a complex and risky endeavor. It often requires specialized tools, in-depth knowledge of plumbing systems, and expertise to ensure a proper and lasting repair.
To guarantee your safety and the effectiveness of the repair, it is highly recommended to seek professional assistance from a licensed plumber. They possess the necessary skills to accurately diagnose the issue and provide safe and effective repairs.
How can I prevent pipe leaks in my home?
Taking proactive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of pipe leaks in your home. Consider insulating exposed pipes to protect them from extreme temperatures and fluctuations, and install a pressure regulator to avoid excessive water pressure.
Scheduling regular plumbing inspections allows professionals to detect and address potential issues before they escalate into major leaks. Additionally, utilizing leak detection devices or monitoring your water usage patterns can help identify hidden leaks early, allowing for timely intervention.
What is a slab leak, and why does it occur?
A slab leak refers to a water leak in the pipes beneath the concrete slab foundation of a building.
Slab leaks can occur for various reasons. Factors such as shifting soil exert pressure on the pipes, causing them to develop leaks. Additionally, corrosion or deterioration of pipes over time, as well as poor installation practices, can contribute to slab leaks.
What are the signs of a slab leak?
Identifying the signs of a slab leak is crucial for early detection and prompt action. Watch out for:
- Unexplained water puddles or dampness on the floor
- Sudden spikes in water bills
- Hot spots on the floor that may indicate a potential hot water line leak
Conducting a simple leak test can help detect a potential slab leak. Turn off all water fixtures and monitor the water meter for movement. If there is any, you may have a hidden or slab leak in your property. Contact a plumbing professional for more accurate detection tests.
How are slab leaks detected?
Detecting slab leaks requires the use of advanced techniques to accurately locate the source of the leak. Here are three commonly employed methods:
- Electronic Leak Detection: This method utilizes electronic equipment that can detect the presence of water and locate leaks within the concrete slab. The equipment consists of sensitive sensors that can detect changes in moisture levels or the sound of running water. By systematically scanning the slab's surface, professionals can pinpoint the exact location of the leak.
- Thermal Imaging: Thermal imaging cameras use infrared technology to detect temperature differences. Since leaking water can alter the temperature of the surrounding area, thermal imaging can help identify potential hot spots or areas of moisture beneath the slab. By capturing thermal images of the floor surface, professionals can identify anomalies that may indicate the presence of a slab leak.
- Pressure Tests: Pressure tests involve temporarily increasing the pressure within the plumbing system to identify any drops that indicate a leak. This method typically involves isolating a section of the plumbing system and pressurizing it with air or water. By monitoring the pressure gauge and observing any pressure drops, professionals can determine if there is a leak and narrow down its location.
At Precision Air & Plumbing, we possess expertise in employing these advanced methods to accurately locate slab leaks without unnecessary disruption to your property.
Can a slab leak cause structural damage?
If left untreated, slab leaks can potentially cause structural damage to a building. Continuous water flow beneath the concrete slab can lead to soil erosion, compromising the stability of the foundation.
Over time, this can result in foundation shifting, cracks in walls or floors, and other structural issues. Promptly addressing slab leaks is essential to prevent further damage to the structure and maintain the integrity of your property.
Can a slab leak cause mold?
Absolutely. Slab leaks create a conducive environment for mold growth. The persistent moisture from the leak promotes the growth of mold and mildew, posing health risks and causing additional damage to your property.
It is crucial to address slab leaks promptly to minimize the risk of mold formation. If necessary, appropriate measures for mold remediation should be taken.
How are slab leaks repaired?
When it comes to repairing slab leaks, there are different methods available depending on the severity and location of the leak. Here are some common methods:
- Direct Access: This method involves accessing the leak by breaking through the concrete slab. It allows for direct repair of the damaged section of the pipe. Once the repair is complete, the slab is patched and restored. This method is effective for larger and more complex leaks.
- Pipe Re-routing: In cases where the damaged pipe is difficult to access or repair, re-routing the pipes may be a viable option. This method involves bypassing the leaking pipe by creating a new path for the water flow. New pipes are installed above ground or rerouted through walls or ceilings, avoiding the need to dig into the slab.
- Epoxy Pipe Lining: This non-invasive method involves coating the interior of the damaged pipe with epoxy resin. The resin forms a new, durable lining that seals leaks and prevents further corrosion. Epoxy pipe lining is an effective solution for small to moderate leaks and can help extend the lifespan of the existing pipes.
- Pipe Bursting: This is a trenchless method used when the existing pipes are severely damaged or need complete replacement. It involves inserting a new pipe into the old one while simultaneously fracturing and displacing it. This method minimizes the need for extensive excavation and is commonly used for larger-diameter pipes.
It's essential to consult with a professional plumbing service to assess the situation and determine the most suitable repair method for your specific case.
At Precision Air & Plumbing, we specialize in minimally invasive repair techniques that aim to minimize disruption to your property while effectively resolving the slab leak issue. Our expert technicians will assess the situation, recommend the most suitable repair method, and ensure a durable and reliable fix to your plumbing problem.
What are the common causes of low water pressure?
Low water pressure can be attributed to various factors, including mineral buildup in pipes, plumbing system leaks, or issues with the municipal water supply.
Identifying the root cause is vital to effectively address the problem and restore adequate water pressure.
How do I know if I have low water pressure?
Signs of low water pressure include weak flow from faucets or showers, slow-filling toilets, or sputtering water.
To assess the water pressure in your home, you can conduct a simple water pressure test. There are two common methods you can use:
- Pressure Gauge: Start by attaching a pressure gauge to an outdoor faucet or an easily accessible water outlet inside your home. Turn on the water fully and observe the reading on the gauge. Typically, water pressure should be around 40 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). If the reading is significantly lower, it indicates low water pressure.
- Container Fill Time: Another method involves measuring the time it takes to fill a container with water. Choose a container with a known volume, such as a one-gallon jug or a five-gallon bucket. Completely empty the container, then turn on the water at full force and time how long it takes to fill the container. Calculate the flow rate by dividing the container's volume by the fill time. For example, if it takes 10 seconds to fill a one-gallon jug, the flow rate is 0.1 gallons per second. Compare the flow rate to standard values to determine whether or not the water pressure is adequate.
If the results indicate low water pressure, it may be necessary to investigate further or seek professional assistance to identify and address the underlying cause.
Can low water pressure be fixed without professional help?
Some low water pressure issues can be resolved with simple DIY solutions. For instance, cleaning faucet aerators or adjusting the pressure regulator can sometimes improve water pressure.
However, complex or persistent low water pressure problems may require professional assistance to accurately diagnose and address the underlying cause.
Can plumbing fixtures affect water pressure?
Yes, outdated or inefficient plumbing fixtures can contribute to low water pressure. Clogged aerators in shower heads or faucets can restrict water flow, reducing pressure.
Upgrading to water-efficient fixtures not only improves pressure but also conserves water.
How can I increase the water pressure in my home?
Enhancing water pressure depends on identifying and resolving the underlying cause. Solutions may involve cleaning or replacing clogged pipes, adjusting pressure regulators, or installing pressure booster systems.
At Precision Air & Plumbing, we have the expertise to diagnose and resolve low water pressure issues using professional solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Are there any potential risks associated with high water pressure?
Excessively high water pressure can pose risks to your plumbing, potentially leading to pipe leaks, bursting, or damage to appliances.
Maintaining a balanced water pressure within the recommended range is essential to prevent these potential risks and ensure the longevity of your plumbing system. Contact Precision Air & Plumbing for any pressure concerns and enjoy optimal water flow throughout your property.
What is PEX piping?
PEX piping is a flexible plastic plumbing system that has gained significant popularity in recent years.
It is renowned for its durability, resistance to freezing and bursting, and flexibility, making installation easier than traditional rigid pipes.
How long does PEX piping last?
PEX piping is designed to have a lifespan of up to 50 years or more. However, the longevity can vary based on factors such as installation quality, water quality, and usage patterns.
What are the benefits of repiping your home?
Repiping your home with PEX piping offers numerous advantages. PEX is highly resistant to corrosion and scale buildup, ensuring a longer plumbing lifespan and improved water flow.
Its flexibility allows for easier installation, reducing the need for joints and fittings, which minimizes the risk of leaks. Moreover, PEX piping demonstrates superior resistance to freezing and bursting compared to traditional rigid pipes.
If you're considering repiping your home, Precision Air & Plumbing is here to provide expert guidance and deliver high-quality PEX piping services.
For any further questions or assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
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