Air Conditioner problems heating up your life?
Updated: Aug 5
Well, I'm here to help you with DIY steps I wish someone would have told us when we moved into our new house during the hottest month of the year in 2016. Our home inspector said everything checked out just fine...but it was moving day when my husband and I discovered the Air-Conditioner was literally blowing hot air!
That was then...what I know now is worth sharing if only to save someone else from heat overload!
See this picture below? Did you know this will cause your blower motor to burn up?
I have learned that a dirty or clogged air filter restricts air flow to your blower motor. When Alan comes home to tell me he had to replace a blower motor for a client, I'm now able to guess right away what caused the blower motor to burn up. Dirty Filter!
Also, did you know if you put a super-duper, heavy duty, 5-inch-thick air filter in your furnace where the blower motor is, that it can also burn up your blower motor? There are also other culprits, like anything above a MERV 8 filter, a MPR 600 filter, and a FPR 5 filter will also do the same thing. So why would the stores sell them is anybody's guess! A lot of the time we buy these filters thinking they are better if it is thicker or able to clean the air better. Of course, this may be true for marketing the air filters and selling them, but it isn't necessarily better for our HVAC system. One example comes to mind where the customer had put in a MERV 13 filter and the mfg./supply house would not honor the blower motor's warranty.
With all that said...the best way for me to help a person save money is to show you how to look for a few of the simple fixes when your air conditioner isn't keeping your house cool or it simply isn't running. Try this first...
#1 - Check your filter!
Is it dirty or clogged up with hair, lint or other material? You can replace it with a new one for around $12 and see if it doesn't make a world of difference in the cold air circulating from your vents. Filters should be replaced every month. I'm lucky my husband is an HVAC tech and does this for our family.
If that doesn't work, of course you can always call us...we are happy to help and answer any questions you may have. If the issue is a more serious one, requiring a diagnostic and/or a replacement blower motor, we are happy to give you a quote. Be prepared for a new blower motor to run around $900 installed (approx. cost as of Aug/2022)
#2 - It wasn't the Filter, now what?
Look for the next possible culprit, like frozen equipment. You are probably wondering how a system that's outside can freeze up in the middle of summer, right? It can be 98 degrees outside and things can still freeze!
That's when you find yourself thinking...hmmm...why is it getting warmer in the house? The last time you checked the thermostat it was set for the usual 68 degrees...you did that because the weather channel said it was going to be 100 degrees today, right! Well, it's not commonly known by the average person that the old HVAC systems as well as the new HVAC systems will automatically freeze up if set to anything below 70 degrees. "Hah", you say, "no one told me that when I bought my house."
Now you really are not going to like hearing this! The only way to thaw your system so it will start back up, is to turn it off. I know, I feel horrible having to tell you that, but it's true. Well, the air-conditioner isn't working anyway with a frozen line-set/system, so you just push the button off. This thawing process could take up to 4 hours...even in the summer! One bit of caution...getting back to filters, a dirty filter can also restrict air flow enough that it also causes freezing of the lines/equipment. That's why I started with checking the filter. Now you have time to run to the store to get a filter while your systems thaws. Oh, and check your thermostat to make sure it isn't set lower than 70 degrees.
Again, this is where you can call us if your system isn't turning back on after it's thawed out. You may also want to consider if your condenser isn't cooling your house, that the Tech will check your square footage and the size of your air-conditioner to evaluate whether you have a big enough system to handle cooling the entire house properly. Which could be one reason why you always felt you had to turn the thermostat way down in the morning to get it cool enough by evening when you go to bed.
#3 - What else am I possibly looking for?
My Air-Conditioner sits outside. I never think about it much of the time, just because it has always just kept right on working every day of summer for the last 17 years. Now that I think about it, does my condenser ever need cleaned? It seems to be working just fine, but it may be getting clogged up with ash from the wildfires we've had and the cotton blowing around from cottonwood trees.
Hah, I'm glad you asked. Yes, your condenser needs to be cleaned regularly...at least every year. If you don't feel comfortable taking the side panels off of the condenser to get to the spine fin (looks like a grate) underneath to clean them, we could schedule a system inspection for you, check for leaks/refrigerant charge and clean the spine fin at the same time. Another thing to consider is if you don't have your system inspected on a regular basis, it can void your warranty. It bears saying, pay close attention to the fine print on your warranty.
Richland Remodeling is a family-owned and operated small business. Since we have low overhead compared to some of the giant HVAC guys, we can pass the savings on to our customers/clients. In this post, you are able to see for yourself that I've tried to give you a possible way to save money and time by trying some of the steps yourself, before you need to reach out to us for HVAC troubleshooting and service.
Because of economic hardships we all face on this planet, I feel strongly that we need to look out for our neighbors and friends during these challenging times. If I didn't try to help folks in even the smallest of ways by creating this blog to give you tips on how to do for yourself what you can, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing I could have helped and didn't. If you have found any of these tips helpful and feel so inclined, we appreciate you sharing this page with your friends. We are here for you if you need either service, installation or both. Take care and let us know if we can help with any further HVAC needs.
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