HVAC Problems & How Your HVAC Tells You

Imagine your HVAC unit breaking down all of a sudden during a hot summer day. This can bring great discomfort to the people you care about in your home. Luckily, you can avoid surprises with your HVAC unit by paying close attention these HVAC problems.

If you are experiencing HVAC problems, there are several warning signs that it usually gives off. It is important to pick up on these signs early so that you can implement measures for repairing or replacing your unit. This article will cover two main ways through which you can detect HVAC problems.

High Energy Bills

One of the main ways you can tell you are having HVAC problems is through abnormally high energy bills. There are several issues with your unit that can cause you to experience a spike in your utility bill. Clogged filters or problems with the air duct of the unit can cause it to blow hot air through the vents instead of cool air. The warm air, therefore, leads to inconsistent temperatures in your home. This inconsistency triggers the HVAC unit to stay on for extended periods of time in an attempt to regulate the temperature. Thus causing a spike in your utility bill.

Other HVAC problems can also cause your utility bill to be high. A damaged compressor causes your unit to operate inefficiently and is unable to provide warm or cold air when needed. Another reason for a high energy bill can be an old HVAC unit that is nearing its end of life. Older units are often less energy efficient and may cause you to experience high utility bills. In fact, it is recommended by the US Department of Energy to replace air conditioners every 15 years, and furnaces every 18 years.

If you notice your unit is staying on for extended periods of time or your energy bills are abnormally high, you could be experiencing HVAC problems.

Constant Noise

A noisy unit is a warning sign for future HVAC problems. Noises such as squealing, grinding and banging need to be addressed as soon as possible. You want to address this before your unit breaks down completely. Such noises indicate HVAC problems such as a broken belt, lubrication of internal parts, or a breakdown in the motor bearings of the unit.

A banging sound is an especially concerning sign. It usually indicates a loose or broken part inside the unit, which can cause the entire unit to stop operating if it is ignored. If parts fall loose inside the compressor, they can cause extensive damage to the entire unit over a short period of time.

The earlier you detect such issues, the more likely you are to catch the problem early. Consequently, you’ll avoid it getting worse or more costly to repair.

How we can help

It is important to pay attention to how your HVAC unit is operating. If you’re not sure if you’re having HVAC problems, call Forrest Anderson for an inspection.

Our expertise in the industry means you’ll have the job done right, the first time.

Our expert knowledge on HVAC problems means we’re always ready to help and provide an honest assessment of the situation.

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Package System vs Split System Air Conditioning

Knowing something about your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system will help you understand and manage your energy costs and comfort better. In Arizona, HVAC equipment is either a package system or a split system. Both provide cool air, but they do differ slightly.

What is a Split System?

You will very commonly find a split system in the southwest. They offer the highest levels of energy efficiency and convenience for the homeowner. In a split system, the two main components of all air conditioners and heat pumps are separate. The condenser sits outdoors, and the air handler (or furnace/coil) is inside the home, either in the attic, a closet, or in your garage.

The outdoor condenser contains the compressor, a large fan, and a condensing coil. The compressor changes the pressure of the refrigerant which makes it extremely hot. As it passes through the outdoor coil, it removes the heat, and the refrigerant begins to “rain“ within the coil. This continues until it exits the outdoor unit as a liquid.

When the refrigerant enters the air handler inside your home, it flows through a metering device which lowers the pressure of the now liquid refrigerant. As the air in the home blows across the evaporator coil, the refrigerant begins to evaporate and remove the heat from the air. This works just like water evaporating from your skin cools you off on these hot summer days. A properly working system should remove the heat (cool down) the air about 20 degrees. The gaseous refrigerant then flows back to the outside unit to be compressed all over again. The larger refrigerant line coming back is cool to the touch and normally has insulation. This cool refrigerant also acts as the coolant for the compressor. (Which is really a very powerful electric motor which connects to a pump.) This is one of the reasons that a proper refrigerant charge is so critical.

What is a Package System?

A package system works just like a split system, except that all the components that make the air conditioner or heat pump work are in one unit. These are typically on the roof, depending upon how your home design.

The Advantages of Each Kind of System

The most important advantage a split system offers is that it is more energy efficient options than are available in a package system.

A package system provides these benefits:

  • A package system doesn’t take up any room in your home since all the system’s parts are outside.
  • Installation is simpler because everything is in one box.

Identifying a Package System or Split System

Just look up, if the unit is on your roof, it is more than likely a package system. (There are exceptions to every rule.) If your system is on the ground outside your home and the only connection to the home is the refrigerant lines and the wiring, you absolutely have a split system. You’re more likely to find a package system in older homes around the valley, typically installed on the roof of the home. You’re likely to find a split system inside newer homes of all kinds.

If your split or package system needs seasonal service, please contact Forrest Anderson, providing trusted HVAC services for Arizona homeowners.

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