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Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

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There are a number of signs that you can look for to determine whether or not you need to replace your furnace. It’s important to determine whether or not the system is actually broken, or you simply want more affordable and efficient heat. Our heating maintenance team can help you find any problems with the system and give you recommendations for more efficient heating options.

The surest sign of a problem is that you are not getting any heat when the thermostat is calling for it. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with the furnace itself, but it is something to be aware. This problem could simply be caused by a blown fuse or a malfunctioning thermostat. We suggest doing the simplest possible fixes first to save yourself time and money in the future. Once you’ve done these quick checks and you still don’t have heat, investigate the problem further by contacting our HVAC repair team.

As long as you aren’t brand new to the home, you should be pretty aware of all the sounds that your furnace makes. If your furnace is a new version, the sounds should be rather low. In fact, with some of our newer systems, it’s almost impossible to hear it function unless you really listen for it. Older furnaces may have more noises, but these should be consistent noises. When you begin to hear clanking or banging, you have a problem.

The repairs for these noises can be fast and easy, but these noises may also indicate a bigger problem. One of the biggest problems is a possible gas leak, so it’s imperative to have our team members guide you in the right direction as soon as possible. We can do a complete inspection to pinpoint the problem and give you an honest recommendation.

Another sign of a problem is increased home energy bills. You should always take the time to make certain that the readings are pretty consistent from month to month. Many problems can go unnoticed, but they could eventually cause a true emergency. The bills may be rising because the system is overworking itself to get the heat where it belongs. In some instances, the furnace can run almost constantly because of a minor leak in the system.

Our heating maintenance specialists will give you the best possible information to help you make the most informed decision regarding your home furnace. We can likely repair anything, but sometimes it is more cost-effective to simply remove the broken furnace and repair it. Our technicians will always look out for your best interest, and you can learn more about our services on our website. If you have a complete HVAC system installed, we may also suggest that you have our air conditioning maintenance team do some work while they are already there.

Protecting Your Pipes In The Winter

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Although many homeowners think they know and understand everything related to water, plumbing, and cold temperatures, most cannot foresee or handle the plumbing issues that can occur inside and outside their homes. Water, plumbing, and cold temperatures can wreak havoc when least expected. Cleaning up and restoring normalcy can be a costly affair, particularly as it will require the services of professional Austin plumber.

According to Austin plumbing service providers, the issue of frozen pipes is rather common and can result in several problems including:

Restricted water flow: Frozen pipes usually prevent water from flowing into houses, which will cause faucets, toilets, and showers to cease functioning. Without flowing water in the house, life can be unbearably uncomfortable.

Water damage: Apart from cracking, frozen pipes can also burst open. In addition to flooding your home and raising your bills due to wasted water, cracked or burst pipes can cause water damage to your property. Fortunately, Austin plumbing contractors such as Texas AC and Plumbing Specialists can provide the necessary assistance to ensure you avoid all of the problems mentioned above.

Why Plumbing Systems Freeze
Plumbing systems freeze when water lines are exposed to temperatures that are below 32 degrees, the freezing temperature of water. During cold weather, the water contained in pipes will exert extreme pressure due to expansion. Every type of piping will burst under immense pressure, even metal pipes. However, outdoor plumbing lines and basement pipes usually suffer the most because they are often exposed to the harsh elements.

How to protect your pipes in winter
According to a top Austin plumber, homeowners can reduce or even eliminate the risk of frozen pipes as well as any other cold-weather threat by taking preventive measures. Apart from keeping them from freezing, protecting your pipes in the winter ensures you avoid the costly damages and water wastage associated with burst pipes.

Compared to other pipes, some are more likely to freeze because of their location. The most susceptible pipes are:
• Pipes in exterior walls
• Outdoor plumbing
• Exposed lines located in unheated areas

Preventative Measures
Outdoor plumbing
Compared to a busted pipe, a frozen garden hose has the potential to cause more damage since it can actually burst an interior plumbing line. As the water in your garden hose freezes, it will expand and increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing system. You should, therefore, disconnect, drain, and store your garden hose before the first hard freeze. If you don’t have frost-proof taps, you should close the shut-off valve leading to that tap, and then install an insulator once you have opened and drained the faucet.

Exposed interior plumbing
Basement pipes rarely freeze because this part of the house is usually heated. However, plumbing lines in unheated areas like the garage, attic, and crawl space are likely to freeze. For moderately cold climates, foam pipe insulation is often enough while for severe climates, using thermostatically controlled heat tape that turns on at a specific minimum temperature to wrap the exposed interior pipes is recommended.

Under-insulated walls
Moisture build-up, mold, and water damage are signs that the pipes traveling in your exterior walls may have frozen in the past. Because improperly installed or inadequate insulation is usually the cause, opening up your wall and beefing up the insulation is advised. If this solution does not work, you may have to reroute the pipe.

If you won’t be home
If you intend to leave your home for an extended period during the winter, air conditioning maintenance and a few other measures are necessary to prevent frozen pipes.
• Shut off the main water supply before you open every faucet and flush all your toilets to drain your plumbing system.
• Conduct a basic heating maintenance exercise, which should include making sure your furnace is set to at least 55 degrees

Calling in plumbing and air conditioning maintenance experts such as Texas AC and Plumbing Specialists is recommended in extreme situations. As professionals, they will inspect your plumbing system, perform a thorough heating maintenance, and drain your water heater.

Weatherization and Its Effects on Your Home

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Weatherization is the process of protecting your home from the elements, including rain and the temperature extremes of the seasons. Consider the fact that no matter what you do, your house will lose heat during the winter and gain heat in the summer. This process is called heat transfer. One of the main goals of home weatherization is to slow down heat transfer.

Benefits of Weatherization

Reduced Energy Costs
The faster your home loses its heat or gains it, the more you will spend on energy. This is important since heating and cooling make up about 48% of the average homeowner’s energy spending. For example, working AC is important for comfort during the summer; however, your unit will waste energy and money if you do not take appropriate measures to weatherize your home. Note that heating and cooling represent the largest energy expense in most homes.

Reduced Maintenance Costs
A poorly weatherized home needs more heating and cooling. This means that the HVAC system will have to work harder to keep it at a comfortable temperature. Having your home weatherized by an Austin HVAC professional keeps your HVAC equipment from working too hard and breaking down as a result.

Reduced Environmental Footprint
Weatherizing your home reduces its energy demands, which means that you reduce the amount of pollution that results from energy consumption. In addition, you also lower your home’s carbon dioxide output considerably. Experts have cited carbon dioxide as a probable factor in global environmental problems.

How Weatherization Affects Your Home

With the help of an Austin HVAC professional, anyone can weatherize their home. Below is a look at various methods of weatherization along with how they affect your home.

Insulation
Insulation is easily the most important factor when it comes to home weatherization and improving your home’s energy efficiency. When you insulate your home, you start at the top. In other words, your attic should be the first place that you insulate. Proper insulation in the attic can improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent.

Insulation in your exterior walls is also important. Properly insulated walls can help to lower your energy costs by up to 20%.

You should also consider insulating your floors and your ducts. Properly insulated floors enable you to save roughly 8% of your energy costs while insufficiently insulated ductwork can result in you losing up to 30% of the energy used to heat your home.

When insulating your home, R-value is an important consideration. You use R-value to measure how well insulation resists heat transfer. The insulation in most homes should have an R-value of at least R-30. Older homes and homes in colder climate zones may need R-38 insulation.

Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is another important part of home weatherization. Up to 12 % of heat transfer can occur because of gaps around your windows and doors. To solve this problem, you will want to have weather stripping installed. There are different kinds of weather stripping including threshold weather stripping for your doors. There is also vinyl gasket weather stripping, which is useful for sealing up doors or windows. An Austin AC repair and weatherization specialist can install vinyl gasket weather stripping by either stapling or nailing it into place.

Caulking
You can use caulking to seal up the cracks and joints. Caulking can limit heat transfer and keep moisture from entering your home. Good places to install caulking include the areas around windows and doorframes. It is also a good idea to install caulking where your siding meets your foundation.

Ensuring that your home can stand up to the ravages of the seasons is difficult if you have no experience with weatherization. Our Austin AC repair and weatherization services can get your home ready for the worst that winter and summer can throw at it.

Energy-Saving Furnace Maintenance

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Benefits of getting regular furnace maintenance

The winter is getting colder, and everyone is looking to stay warm. Millions of homeowners across the country are relying on their furnaces to keep them warm. Unfortunately, most people haven’t run their furnace in six months and many problems have gone unnoticed. Now, is the perfect time to assess your furnace and get some energy-saving maintenance performed on your furnace. Getting maintenance performed on your furnace has several valuable benefits.

Better performance

Your furnace keeps your home and your family warm throughout the winter season but over time your furnace will stop working well. You may feel a slight chill in the air or notice cold spots within your house. You might even suspect that your home’s insulation is starting to fail, or you may blame it on an abnormally cold winter. Before you blame other factors, you should consider the possibility that your furnace simply needs some routine maintenance. Calling an HVAC repair company to have your furnace repaired, and schedule regular check-ups for your system. The right furnace repair company can ensure top performance, so your family never wakes up cold in the middle of the night. If you want better performance, then you should strongly consider getting your furnace repaired.

Lower costs

Get your furnace repaired can improve performance, but it will also increase efficiency. Running your furnace costs money and a broken furnace is horribly inefficient. Getting repairs done and scheduling regular maintenance check-ups will lower your utility bills. Regular maintenance includes tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, and thoroughly inspecting every aspect of your furnace. The technicians will look into the air flow, blower components, the gas pressure, and the coils, ensuring that every part of the heating system is working properly. By keeping the furnace working at full capacity, your furnace repairman ensures that your utility bills will be lower.

Increasing the lifespan of your furnace

All systems break down over time, and your furnace is no exception. Eventually, your furnace will break completely and need to be replaced. Replacing a furnace is a costly endeavor that can destroy your budget for years. Fortunately, there is a simple solution that will protect your furnace and your budget. Performing regular maintenance on your furnace will extend the lifespan of your furnace. During routine maintenance, people often notice small problems that over time can destroy your furnace. They then have the opportunity to quickly address these problems and save their furnace from future problems. Furnaces that do not receive regular maintenance will suffer from major problems way too early in their lifespan. If you want to avoid having a broken home heater, then call an HVAC repair expert today.

Keeping your home safe

Home safety and security is one of the biggest topics that homeowners worry about, but usually, they only think about it in terms of keeping intruders out. Unfortunately, there are many threats to your safety within your own home. A poorly maintained furnace is a major threat to any home. Your air can become unsafe to breathe, and the furnace may even become a fire hazard. You should strongly consider having a qualified repair person look at your furnace. They will look over all the safety features, and look for potential problems. This procedure includes cleaning the burner assembly, inspecting the heat exchanger, cleaning the ignition assembly, testing safety controls, and cleaning the air filters. Avoiding safety issues is easy if you invest in regular maintenance.

Proper maintenance is vital for a quality furnace. If you don’t schedule regular furnace maintenance, then your heating system will be less efficient and less safe. Eventually, your furnace will break, but if you call a furnace repair expert and schedule an appointment, then your furnace can stay in top shape for years to come. Hopefully, you can avoid having a broken home heater in the future.

Top 5 Fixes for Leaky Faucets

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A leaking faucet could mean hundreds of dollars down the drain if you don’t fix it immediately. It can be tough to know what’s wrong with the faucet before it’s removed and examined.

First, you’ll need to figure out the kind of faucet you have. A compression faucet is identifiable by the fact that it has a separate handle for hot and cold. The other types of faucets are called single lever.

After figuring out the type of faucet you have, you’ll need to get your materials and tools together. Turn off the water valve, so you don’t end up with water spraying everywhere. Stopper the sink and place a rag there to catch small parts that may fall out of the faucet.

Have a space nearby where you can lay out the pieces as you remove them to remember their order when you reassemble.

If you’re not comfortable with any of this as you’re performing the replacements, you might need to call an Austin plumber to help.

  • Allen Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Plumber’s Grease

Potential Replacement Parts

  • Cap and collar
  • Washers
  • O-rings
  • Springs, valve seats and cam washers
  1. Replace the O-Ring
    This is normally a problem with a compression faucet with two handles for the hot and cold water. You’ll need to remove the tops of the handles. They’re usually decorative, and when you pry them off, there are screws under them.With a flathead screwdriver, remove the handle. This will leave the stem and packing nut. The nut needs to be removed too.Check everything for damage. The O-ring and washer are inside the valve and are most likely the reason for the leak. The washer and o-ring should be a tight fit. You can take them to the parts store to find the right size if you’re unsure. You could also call an Austin plumbing company to do the work if you’ve been stumped by the repair.
  2. New Faucet Cam
    If you have a ball faucet, you can buy a faucet cam assembly to replace the parts that are worn and old, which could be causing the leak. Many home improvement stores will have the kit available to make the repair easier. An Austin plumbing company has technicians who will fix the leaky faucet for you.

Lift the handle and unscrew it to remove it completely. With pliers remove the cap and collar of the faucet. The next part of the faucet is the cam, ball and washer. It’ll look like a ball and socket type joint.

In the replacement kit, you should have all the parts you need for the removal of the inlet seals and springs. While you have the faucet open, replace the O-rings and coat the new ones with grease before installing.

The parts you removed will have replacements in the kit. It should be a reversal of the process you just completed. Reattach the handle and you’re finished.

  1. Remove the Cartridges to Replace the O-Rings
    A cartridge faucet is another type of faucet that might need repair. First, you’ll have to remove the decorative cap. It might have to be unscrewed or pried off with a screwdriver. Tilt it backward for removal.

There’ll be a retaining clip that might have to be removed. It’s a circular piece that’s usually plastic. That will need to be pulled out with pliers. They’re often used to hold the cartridge in place. When the water is flowing through the faucet, the cartridge is standing straight, so you need to pull it straight. Remove the faucet’s spout and replace the O-rings. Coat the new ones with plumber’s grease before installing them. Reassemble the handle. If you have a problem with any of these steps, it might be best to call in an Austin plumber.

  1. Replace the Entire Faucet
    If you have replaced the O-rings on the faucet as well as the washers, inlet seals, and springs, you might need a new faucet. You’ll have to remove the entire assembly and purchase a new one. It’s often a reversal of the process to remove the faucet.

You might need a plumber for a replacement if you’re not familiar with replacing a faucet yourself.

  1. Call a Plumber
    When you’ve never attempted to replace an O-ring, washer or cartridge yourself, you might need a plumber. Replacing parts of a faucet can be tricky and an experienced professional will be able to do the job easily.

Whether you do the job yourself or call in a professional Austin plumbing company, it’s vital that you get the faucet repaired before you lose gallons of water and buckets of money down the drain.

 

 

 

Wintertime! Enjoy the Stuffing, not the Stuffy Air!

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While most of the country is enjoying fluffy, white snow and holiday cold weather this time of year, the city of Austin is familiar with warm sunshine and humidity. Christmas is no exception in this part of the country, there is always a radiant glow from the heat that seems here. If your air conditioning system is not working properly, you will really be able to tell when your house is full of relatives. There is no better time to have your HVAC system evaluated than during the holidays. No one wants to be stuffy while trying to enjoy their family. Here are some signs that your system needs to be evaluated.

The Breaker Keeps Kicking

One of the many calls an Austin HVAC contractor receives is regarding a breaker issue. When a unit is pulling too much current, the breaker will kick signaling a problem. The first thing we check is the compressor. If your compressor is continually kicking breakers, you need to have it checked. Don’t just keep kicking the breaker back on. You need to make sure that your unit is operating correctly before you reset it. In some cases, it can be a small electrical issue that is kicking the breaker also. Because these units have electricity, water, and are difficult to diagnose for the common man, you need a professional to handle the issue.

The Unit is Blowing Hot Air

Austin AC repair services are often called for units that are blowing hot air. One of the biggest reasons a unit will blow hot air is it is low on refrigerant. Unit naturally looses a little bit of refrigerant due to the vibrations. However, if a simple refill doesn’t correct the problem, you need to have a leak check performed. A unit can develop holes in the lines that transfer the refrigerant. It is important to find the leak and resolve the issue immediately.

Another reason why the unit will blow hot air is that it has iced over on the outside. If you are turning your thermostat down to low your unit will run non-stop. A unit is only made to cool your home’s temperature to about 20 degrees below the outside temperature. Setting your unit at 68 degrees is unrealistic in this area. A unit that runs constantly will freeze up, which means it forms a heavy coating of ice on the outside. Also, if a unit is low on refrigerant, it will freeze over too. If you see ice on your unit, shut it off immediately and call for help. These are just a couple reasons for a unit blowing hot air. There are dozens of other reasons. Any issues of this nature warrant a professional evaluation.

The Unit Is Not Keeping Up With The House’s Cooling Demands

If your unit is blowing cold air and seems to be working well, but your home is still not comfortable, then you may need to replace your unit. Ac replacement should happen when a unit is not functioning as well as it once did, and it is 10 years of age or older. As a unit gets some age on it, the efficiency is reduced. A unit that once had no problem keeping up with the demands of the Austin weather may lag when it gets some age on it. If you are constantly replacing parts and your home is still not as comfortable as it once was, it may be time to consider replacing that unit.

Another thing to consider is that your unit is not sized properly for your home. If you have added another room or any addition to your home, it may need a larger unit to keep up with its demands. Stuffy air is no fun during the holidays or any time of year for that matter. If you were not the original owners of the home, it could have had a unit that was undersized installed. Some contractors will put a cheaper unit in based on the budget of the homeowner. A home’s HVAC load can be oversized or undersized and either scenario is not good.

Lastly, many homes requires an HVAC unit for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. Homes with two levels often feel the scorching temperatures of Texas regardless of what the thermostat is set on. Since hot air rises, it is imperative to keep that upper level as cool as the bottom one. Many times one unit just cannot handle the load efficiently, and another unit must be added to the home for comfort.

The Importance of Maintenance

Having your unit properly maintained will extend its lifespan. Austin AC repair services will be needed less when the unit is evaluated and tweaked two times per year. During these sessions, the filters are changed and diagnostic test performed. Anything that is a potential issue is evaluated and fixed. Fixing issues before they become service interruptions can save you money. Plus, going without AC in the heart of Texas is unbearable.

Get An Evaluation on Your System Today!

Call your friendly Austin HVAC company to get a quote for preventative maintenance, repairs, or a possible AC replacement. There is still time before the family piles in for the season. Don’t celebrate the season hot and stuffy, you can feel cool as a cucumber while enjoying your holiday dinner.

What Are Evaporator and Condenser Coils and How Do They Work?

We know that you may not spend much time contemplating the inner workings of your home air conditioning unit or even how it works, but if you’re a DIYer (or are looking to try your hand at it), it’s a good idea to know what the evaporator and condenser coils with your unit do.

The cool air that helps you deal with the Austin area heat does not come from a cold-air generating part inside your AC unit. Instead, both standalone AC and combination HVAC units remove heat from indoor air via the refrigerant that courses through the evaporator and condenser coils. The warm air is transferred outside, while the now-cool air is then circulated back through the unit and into your house.

Evaporating Coil

Most home air conditioning units utilize a closed-loop system, in which the frigid refrigerant vapor passes repeatedly between the evaporator (in) and condenser coils (out). It is in this gaseous state that the refrigerant reaches its highest rate of heat absorption.

A blower inside your AC unit pulls warm air from inside your house through the copper evaporator coil, which most likely is located in an air-handling unit. The drawn-in heat energy is absorbed by the now-vaporous refrigerant, resulting in cool air that is blown back through your system to all parts of your house. The evaporator coil also acts as dehumidifier, and this moisture is drained into a condensate pan at the evaporator base, at which point the remaining moisture drains out of a pipe.

Condensing Coil

The now-hot refrigerant vapor passes into the condenser coil and immediately becomes liquid. This change of states releases and then disperses the heat into the outdoors by an exhaust fan. The refrigerant passes back into the evaporator coil, and the cycle begins once more.

It’s a Working Partnership

In almost any brand name home air conditioning on the market today, the two coils are a matching set, calibrated to meet the efficient needs of your AC unit’s BTU capacity. As such, you’ll have to know your home’s BTU requirements. If you’re not sure how to calculate that, give the pros at Texas AC Specialist a call. They’ll know how to make sure all your components are working together so you get the most comfort at the best efficiency.

Call the Texas AC Specialist for More Indoor Air Advice

If you want more information about selecting and maintaining evaporator and condenser coils, contact the Austin AC professionals at the Texas AC Specialist today. We want to help educate our customers about HVAC systems, energy issues, and home comfort topics.

Call us now at 512-736- 6839 and schedule an appointment or you can also email us at service@txacspecialist.com.

Are Indoor Pollutants Affecting You and Your Family?

It’s been another hot summer, and you’ve probably been running your home AC system daily to beat the heat. However, though you might be beating the heat, you might be doing something harmful, as well.

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that indoor air can be more polluted than even the outdoor air in a large, industrialized metropolis. And if you stay inside a lot, like so many people do during the hot, humid Texas summer, this can be a significant risk to you and your family. What’s worse, some indoor pollutants are more harmful than outdoor ones, causing you to suffer from a range of issues: allergy and/or asthma symptoms, breathing problems, or even several forms of cancer.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on indoors at your place.

Biological contaminants

Mold, mildew, dust, pollen, dust mites, and animal dander can trigger allergies and asthma attacks, especially if they are inside your home AC system and being circulated through your home when it’s on. Keep your floors, vents, walls, clothing, and linens clean to reduce your risks.

New plastic products

You may not be able to pronounce phthalates, but they are emitted by products with polyvinyl chloride and are linked to hormone and reproductive problems. Plastics also emit flame-retardant chemicals connected to behavioral issues. Proper ventilation helps limit these adverse effects.

Carbon monoxide

Stoves, heaters, and fireplaces produce carbon monoxide, which can cause dizziness, headaches, and fatigue if your ventilation is bad. Prolonged exposure at one time can lead to death. In addition to proper ventilation, have the Texas AC Specialist inspect your furnace or boiler to ensure that it’s working properly.

Household products

Air fresheners, pesticides, and cleaners give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause dizziness, headaches, or nausea. Paints and paint strippers also emit VOCs, even though latex paints are better than oil-based ones.Anytime you turn on your home AC system, you could be circulating invisible, harmful VOCs throughout your home. To mitigate any adverse effects, make sure your home has proper ventilation with open doors and windows as well as fans blowing air.

Home furnishings and building materials

Upholstered furniture, wall paneling, and building products made from particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard can contain the carcinogen formaldehyde, which can also cause rashes, wheezing, coughing, and inflammation of your eyes, nose, and throat.Good ventilation helps, as does replacing some of your furniture or wood products with formaldehyde-free ones.

Call the Texas AC Specialist for More Indoor Air Advice

If you want to know how we can help make the air in your home or business better, contact the Austin AC professionals at the Texas AC Specialist today. We have a wide range of products and services to protect you from your indoor pollution.

Call us now at 512-736- 6839 and schedule an appointment or you can also email us at service@txacspecialist.com.

Tips to Keep Your AC in Late Summer Shape

It’s still August here in central Texas, and every day, thousands of HVAC systems continue to keep Austin residents cool. But summer won’t be with us much longer, and as your thoughts turn to school and football, don’t ignore seemingly minor problems with your AC unit.

It’s always a bad idea to let anything go uninspected, such as an odd rattling sound, even toward the end of summer. After all, we live in Texas – heat waves can hit us at any time, even in winter. You’ll want your AC to be ready on demand when that happens.

Ignore It Now, Pay for It Later

Don’t let any issues go unattended because it’ll cost you much more down the road. To help prevent that,following are some other aspects to keep in mind before letting your system lie dormant for most of the winter.

Check Air Filter

All over Austin, HVAC systems have probably run their AC filters into the ground with everyday use. Yours has probably been through a similar ringer, so it’s time to change it. If your AC unit is independent of your heater, you’ll want to change or clean the filter to be ready for spring (or that January heat wave). However, even if you have a combo AC/furnace system, you’ll still want to change or clean the filter because you don’t want a dirty filter when you turn on the heater for the first time.

Flush AC Drain Line

This one is commonly forgotten, but you’re too smart for that. Letting the line stand for months without being cleaned usually means mold and bacteria will make themselves at home and clog up your drain and/or cause water damage.

Test CO (Carbon Monoxide)Detector

Cold weather will be here before you know it, so regardless which of the HVAC systems on the market you own, you’ll be using a water heater, stove, furnace, and/or boiler for your heating needs, so test your CO detector to make sure it’s working. Or buy one if you don’t have one.

Clean Condenser

Check your outdoor heat pump or condenser. Wipe away any dust, dirt, leaves, sticks, grass, and more. If necessary, clear away debris or prune nearby plants so the unit has enough space.

Make a Thermostat Change

You can try one of two options. Change the batteries in your regular thermostat so you’ll always have power. Or upgrade your thermostat completely with a smart thermostat. This latter move will lower your power bills and simplify your life.

Call the Texas AC Specialist with Late Summer HVAC Systems Maintenance Questions

AC systems should be regularly maintained, even before or during the “offseason”. There may not be much summer left, and you may not use your AC after another several weeks, but you don’t want to let any seemingly harmless issues go uninspected. Your bank account will not appreciate it. If you’re not sure about DIY HVAC maintenance, or if you think the issue is too serious for you to repair, contact the Austin AC professionals at the Texas AC Specialist today.

Call us now at 512-736- 6839 and schedule an appointment or you can also email us at service@txacspecialist.com.

House Not Cooling Off? Your Refrigerant May Be Leaking

It’s been another hot summer here in central Texas, and you’ve given your air conditioner a full workout thus far. However, we both know there’s a lot of summer left and you’ll need your AC to continue being at its best if you want to keep beating the heat without having to call the Texas AC Specialist.

The last thing you want is low refrigerant due to a leak because it acts like a sponge in that it absorbs warm indoor air and transfers it outside. You get the benefits of this in the form of recirculated cool air. If you suspect any such issues, you’ll want to do some DIY HVAC maintenance.

So how can you know whether or not your AC is running low on refrigerant? Read on to find out the 6 most common signs.

Higher Electric Bills

If your home or office AC unit is low on refrigerant, it will need to use more energy to recirculate cool air than normal. This inefficiency leads to higher energy bills.

A Strange Hissing Noise

Refrigerant is not like the juice in a battery – it cannot be “used up”. The only way your unit is low on refrigerant is because the air conditioner is losing it due to a leak. Anything more than a minor leak will produce a hissing sound as the refrigerant seeps out, which could signify more than just simple HVAC maintenance to fix the issue.

Not Cooling Down Quickly

If your house or business is not cooling down quickly despite being on a low-temperature setting, it’s a good bet your refrigerant levels are low.

Your Vents Are Blowing Warm Air

Another obvious sign that you are low on refrigerant, the mystery of why your office or home is not cooling off very well is now solved.

Icy Refrigerant Line

If the refrigerant line is frozen, this most likely means your unit is low on refrigerant. However, this is a major problem that could cause major damage to the compressor in the outside unit, which would require more than just basic HVAC maintenance; it could result in your having to replace the whole unit.

Water Accumulation near the Main Unit

Due to condensation inside the main unit, a leak could start and cause water to accrue on the floor around the unit.

Got More Questions about HVAC Maintenance? Call the Texas AC Specialist

If after reading this, you suspect that your AC unit is running low on refrigerant, contact the Austin Texas AC Specialist today for a maintenance check. You can add refrigerant as a temporary stop-gap measure to keep you and your family or co-workers cool in the heat, but it won’t solve your problem. You’ll need professional repair, so make that call today.