1High Humidity: Dangers and Why AC Humidity Control May Fail
22 Apr, 2019

Too much humidity is bad for your house. Your air conditioner (AC) should help control humidity in the house, but that doesn't always happen. Find out why high humidity is a problem and what can cause it.

The Dangers of High Humidity

Excessive humidity can cause several problems for a house, including the following.

Hot Environment

You feel warm and uncomfortable if the humidity is high because any moisture on your skin doesn't evaporate fast enough. Moisture on your skin needs to evaporate and facilitate heat exchange from your body to the environment.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in moist, humid environments, and the growths may find their way into your ventilation system. Mold is a health risk that can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. Mold and mildew can also damage your walls and house furnishings.

Damage

Many materials are sensitive to moisture exposure. Paintings, decorations, and furniture are some of the things that moisture can damage. What is more, the damage may not be immediate, and you may only notice signs of damage when you can't do anything about it.

Musty Odor

Unusually high humidity can also cause a musty odor in your home. The odor arises due to the humidity-related damage as well as the mold and mildew growth.

High Utility Bills

Lastly, high humidity may also lead to high energy bills for your household. If your house is too humid, the AC will go into overdrive in an attempt to get rid of the excess moisture and keep the house comfortable. An overworked AC inevitably consumes more energy than it should normally consume, so your energy bill goes up.

Why the AC May Fail at Humidity Control

If you’re dealing with the consequences of high humidity, find out why your AC might be failing to control humidity effectively.

Oversized AC

To control humidity, the AC cools the air that blows over the evaporator coil. The moisture in the air condenses and flows through a drain and outside the home. The condensation takes time and requires the AC to run for some time.

A properly set AC cycles between periods of On and Off, and acting cooling takes place when the AC is On. The AC runs until the house temperature matches the temperature on the thermostat. If an AC is oversized, it only runs for a short time before it switches off. The short time isn't enough for proper condensation, and humidity levels remain high.

Negative Air Pressure

Negative air pressure means the pressure inside the house is higher than the pressure outside the house. The situation arises due to poor ventilation that draws too much air out of the home. Negative air pressure leads to high humidity because as soon as the AC removes moisture from your indoor air, more humid air from outside enters the house as the inside air leaves.

Wrong Setting

Humidity control only occurs when the AC fan runs. The AC fan only runs all the time when the thermostat fan setting is On. If you set the AC to Auto, then the fan will only run during the active cooling cycle of the AC.

Too Much Humidity

Although your AC controls humidity, its primary function is to lower your house's temperature. Thus, the AC alone can only manage effective humidity control if the humidity level is not extreme. You need further measures, such as the use of a dehumidifier, to help the AC control humidity in extreme cases.

Talk to Always Ready Repair if your AC struggles to control the humidity in your house. We will diagnose the issue and provide you with a professional solution. We can also help you with any other AC issue you have.

2Evaporator Coil Problems Affect AC Efficiency | Always Ready Repair
18 Mar, 2019

The evaporator plays a critical role in your air conditioner's operations. Problems that affect the evaporator coil affect the efficiency of the AC. Read on for an overview of such problems so that you understand why you should have a technician inspect and repair your evaporator coil.

Refrigerant Leaks

Your AC has a blower that blows inside (warm) air over the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil has tubes that contain cold refrigerant in its liquid state. As the warm air blows over the refrigerant coil, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and cools your home.

If your evaporator coil leaks a significant volume of refrigerant, the remaining refrigerant won't absorb an adequate amount of heat. As a result, your AC efficiency will drop, and your home won't cool properly. Reduced cooling efficiency causes the AC to overwork. The increased run time increases your AC's risk of damage, so expect to deal with frequent breakdowns.

Reduced cooling is not the only effect of a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant is a poisonous chemical that no one should breathe, but that is what will happen if the refrigerant leaks. Respiratory and skin problems may follow. The refrigerant is also harmful to the environment; it contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Here are some of the problems that can cause refrigerant leaks from the evaporator coil:

● Corrosion on the coils — the presence of acidic compounds in the air, such as household cleaners, increases the risk of corrosion.
● Wear and tear — an old coil is likely to suffer damage since everything eventually ages.
● Vibrations — the presence of vibrations in the vicinity of the coils, such as earth-moving equipment, increases the risk of damage to the coils.
● Accidental damage — a tree fall, for example, can damage the coils and trigger refrigerant leaks.
Guard against the above problems to reduce the risk of a refrigerant leak.

Frozen Coils

A frozen evaporator coil interferes with your AC's ability to cool the house. The refrigerant within the coils needs to absorb heat from the air, but a film of ice over the coils insulates the refrigerant from the air. Thus, your AC will run just as usual, but the house will stay warm.

Anything that restricts airflow in the AC system can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. The AC needs proper airflow so it can get the heat it absorbs out of the house where heat exchange takes place. A low refrigerant may also lead to frozen coils because of impaired heat exchange. Ensure adequate refrigerant levels and efficient airflow to prevent frozen evaporator coils.

Dirt or Debris Accumulation

Dirt and debris accumulation over the evaporator coils are inevitable over the life of an air conditioner. A little dirt may not cause much damage, but too much dirt over the coils insulates them from the air. Insulated coils don't absorb heat, which impedes cooling and can also lead to AC malfunctions.

The good news is that regular cleaning of the AC system will prevent dust accumulation over the coils. Note that the evaporator coils are a bit delicate; handle them carefully to prevent damage that may negate your cleaning efforts.

Wrong Coil

Lastly, you may also have a problem with your AC's efficiency if you replace a damaged evaporator coil with a mismatched size. The evaporator coil must match the condenser coil if the two are to operate efficiently. Otherwise, your AC suffers inefficient energy consumption and cooling. Use a professional AC technician to replace your evaporator coil to avoid a mismatch.

Always Ready Repair has the skills and experience to diagnose and fix all AC problems, which include coil issues. Contact us about your evaporator coil problem as soon as possible so that you don't suffer uncomfortable temperatures in your house longer than necessary.

3Strange Sounds in Your Duct System | Always Ready Repair
27 Feb, 2019

Both your furnace and your air conditioner rely on your home's duct system. A special blower fan pushes conditioned air along the ducts into the rooms of your home. Ideally your duct system should accomplish this task with relatively few noises at all. Depending on your proximity to the blower motor, you may hear a muted hum — but hopefully nothing else.

Unfortunately, however, duct systems don't always behave so considerately. In many cases, ducts produce odd or unusual noises that can interrupt the flow of life in your home. If you would like to boost your ductwork diagnostic skills, keep reading. This article looks into three common culprits behind unusual duct noises.

1. Lack of Dampers

Most duct noises stem from the air handler — that is, the blower motor and fan used to distribute conditioned air. The air handler naturally produces vibrations as it runs. These vibrations often travel through the relatively thin and reverberant walls of your ducts, contributing to excess levels of noise inside of your home. Fortunately, you can effectively eliminate air handler vibrations through the installation of a vibration dampener. An HVAC technician installs this component, also sometimes referred to as a vibration isolator, between the air handler's supply plenum and the supply duct. There the rubberized fabric of the dampener effectively stifles any vibrations before they reach the ducts.

2. Filter Issues

No matter how well isolated your air handler's vibrations, your system may still produce unusual noises as the result of other factors. One frequent problem has to do with the air filters installed in your HVAC system. Incorrectly sized or excessively dirty filters can lead to a wide range of unusual noises, from clunking, to whistling, to whining.

Undersized filters often lead to strange sounds as unfiltered air whips around the edges of the filter. Homeowners often struggle to find an air filter that fits their system perfectly. A reputable HVAC contractor likely has the right size on hand. If not, the technician can often have a custom filter created just for your system.

To keep odd sounds at bay, you must be proactive about replacing old filters. As an air filter becomes progressively choked with dirt and debris, it begins to negatively affect airflow. Such restrictions throw off the pressure inside of your ducts, often leading to annoying noises.

In addition, such clogs will force your system to work harder than it should, thus driving up costs and putting more stress on your furnace.

3. Poor Sizing

Another common cause of noises involves incorrect duct system sizing. Undersized ducts, in particular, tend to produce audible problems. You may notice that your ducts seem to whistle every time the blower system comes on. Such whistling happens as excessive amounts of airflow move through your insufficiently large ducts, leading to increases in both pressure and velocity.

This issue most often crops up in the wake of a furnace upgrade. Many homeowners select new furnaces that simply have too much power for the existing duct system. Variable-speed furnaces tend to be especially problematic. Such furnaces, designed to operate at different speeds depending on heating demand, often increase their power to compensate for undersized ducts.

Unfortunately, this overcompensation only makes the whistling sounds worse. Moreover, your system simply won't provide efficient results. You'll end up spending far more than you should to heat your home, while also subjecting your furnace to unnecessary wear and tear. Consult an HVAC professional to determine the ideal duct size for your furnace.

Duct noises can cause a lot of frustration, but in most cases the problem has a relatively simple solution. For more information about how to keep your system whisper quiet, please contact the Chicagoland HVAC pros at Always Ready Repair.

43 Ways Opening Your Windows Sometimes Benefits Your HVAC System
06 Feb, 2019

After carefully tracking your heating needs and programming your thermostat, opening your windows might be the last thing on your mind, especially during a cold winter. Although this might seem counter-intuitive, letting fresh air into your home periodically can actually improve the functionality of your HVAC system, which is why many professionals recommend the practice.

Here are three ways that opening your windows occasionally can improve your home heating.

1. Removes Airborne Contaminants

As your family goes about their normal routine, they unintentionally release pollutants into your indoor air supply. Fumes from cooking, cleaning, and even spraying hairspray can collect in the air, which is why the EPA estimates that some pollutant levels are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than they are outside.

You can also find pollutants like skin cells, dust, pet dander, and even secondhand smoke indoors, increasing your risks of suffering with allergies or skin and eye irritation. Unfortunately, when your windows are all shut, these pollutants can go into your HVAC system, where they can coat ductwork, limit airflow, and make your system work harder than it needs to.

In addition to straining your heating, indoor air pollutants can also cause an issue called Sick Building Syndrome, or SBS. Commonly caused by issues like inadequate ventilation and indoor air pollution, SBS can cause health problems like coughing, chest tightness, fevers, muscle aches, and chills.

However, by periodically opening the windows, you can clear the air and prevent these types of issues. Opening windows allows for both fresh air exchanging and pollutants escaping outdoors where they can dissipate naturally — and the process is faster than most people think. In fact, experts explain that opening your windows for 15 to 20 minutes can be enough time to significantly improve your indoor air quality.

2. Gives Your System a Break

Because opening your windows during the winter can immediately impact your indoor air temperature, you should always switch off your heating as soon as you open windows. However, this temporary shutoff can actually be good for your HVAC system, since this gives your heating a break.

In addition to allowing moving components to cool down, opening windows and turning off your system also reduces the strain on your heating caused by moving air, removing humidity, and cycling on and off. Additionally, since cold winter air isn't capable of holding as much humidity, opening your windows also prevents problems like cloudy windows, mold growth, and bad smells.

3. Creates a Great Environment for Repairs

When your windows are open and your heating is temporarily off, you can more easily complete routine HVAC maintenance tasks, such as switching out air filters, checking your vents, and sealing joinery gaps and pinhole leaks. Since air won't blow through your vents, you can open air registers and vent chambers easily without dealing with air pressure problems.

Pinhole leaks and duct gaps are also easier to resolve when your heating is off since air won't blow aluminum tape out of place. After you have covered holes and gaps with tape and pressed the edges to ensure an adequate seal, you can close your windows and switch your system back on.

You may also do advanced repairs, such as replacing blower units, while the system is shut down, which is why opening your windows while professionals service your system is a great idea.

Whether you struggle with your indoor heating or cooling or you are concerned about your indoor air quality, our HVAC professionals can help. Here at Always Ready Repair, we are committed to providing comprehensive HVAC care, including installation, repair, and maintenance of furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, and even air quality equipment. Let us know how we can help today.

5Measures to Discourage HVAC Mold Growth
11 Jan, 2019

An HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system can either prevent or encourage mold growth in your house. Moisture, food (organic materials), and the right temperature is all mold needs to thrive. Get rid of these three ingredients in your house and HVAC system to prevent mold growth. Here are a few ways in which you can do this.

Clean Regularly

Keep your house clean to reduce the accumulation of organic debris that may provide mold with food. Besides cleanliness of the general house, here are a few specific areas to zero in:

Air Ducts

A little dust in the air ducts is normal, but too much dust can encourage mold growth within the ducts. Clean your air ducts if you haven't done so in a long time. Also, clean your air ducts after a renovation project since dust tends to accumulate within the ductwork during renovations.

HVAC Unit

Clean the HVAC unit regularly to rid it of dust or debris accumulation that can feed mold. The coils, aid handles, blower motor, and every inch of the unit should be clean.

Air Intake Environment

Lastly, ensure the environment where you have the air intakes doesn’t have debris or dirt that may get into the house and encourage mold growth. Don't have garbage cans, freshly disturbed earth, or dumpsters in these locations since they provide the organic materials that mold growth requires.

Control Moisture

Once you have dealt with organic dust, turn your attention to the moisture levels in your house. Below are some measures that can help.

Minimize Indoor Moisture Production

Limit indoor activities that produce moisture; for example, you should:

● Limit the number of indoor plants

● Hang wet laundry outside

● Fix plumbing leaks

In short, limit activities and prevent damages that introduce moisture into your indoor air.

Maintain the HVAC

An HVAC system removes some moisture from your indoor air to control humidity. However, the HVAC can only control humidity if you maintain it, so clean the HVAC, tighten loose parts, and replace any damaged parts to ensure the unit runs optimally all the time.

Use a Dehumidifier

Humidity control is a secondary service for the HVAC so your system may fail to control your home's humidity perfectly. Therefore, if your home is too humid, install a dehumidifier to help with the humidity control.

Use the Right Filters

Even if your house is clean and you have controlled humidity, you may still struggle with mold growth if you don't use the right filters. Filters trap debris in the air so that the debris doesn't clog your system or contaminate your indoor air.

If you use a filter with big holes, it will let in considerable dust that will clog the unit and encourage mold growth. Opt for fine-pleated filters that will block most of the debris. Remember that fine filters need more frequent replacement because they clog up fast.

Install UV Light

Lastly, install UV (ultraviolet) light to discourage mold growth and kill any mold that is already in the HVAC system. A technician will install the UV light in the middle of the evaporator coil since this is where condensation — which mold thrives on — tends to take place the most.

Note that UV lights alone don't guarantee 100 percent protection against mold, but the lights will go a long way with prevention. Talk to your HVAC technician for advice on whether UV lights can help in your circumstances.

Always Ready Repair can help you execute the above measures and any other practical measures to control mold growth. Talk to us if you already have mold in your HVAC and you want to remove it, or if you are more interested in mold prevention.

6Why Ductless Air Conditioning May Be Right for You
28 Nov, 2018

If you're looking for a home air conditioning system for your home, but your home can't handle a large ductwork system, you want to consider a ductless mini-split air conditioning system. This type of system can also be a good choice if you are looking for something different that can improve the air quality inside your home.

You can learn more about the ductless air conditioning systems here, as well as become educated on some of the benefits and features this type of system offers.

How It Works

A ductless air conditioning system will have two main elements to it. These elements are the components that make up the outdoor system and the indoor system. Both systems work in unison to provide you with an economical AC that will keep your home comfortable.

The outdoor system is comprised of the compressor, the condensing coil, and the fan. The indoor system includes an evaporative coil and a fan which are housed in single units. These units will offer a point of use at their installation points. Various types of housing are available, so you can choose one that works with your décor so that the unit doesn't stand out.

How It's Different

A central air conditioner has an outside compressor and indoor ductwork that carries air back and forth from the compressor to the registers. Central air conditioners also have a single indoor handler that circulates the air throughout the entire house. You set the thermostat to one temperature, and when the temperature gets hotter than the setting, the central air kicks on to cool all areas equally.

A ductless air conditioning system has more than one air handler located throughout the home. No ductwork is required for these systems. Instead, you adjust the system to meet your cooling needs for the part of the home you are trying to cool.

How It Helps You

With ductless air conditioning systems, no ductwork means you won't have to worry about maintenance issues, such as cleaning the ductwork or having leaks repaired. You also don't have to worry about having rodents get in the ductwork where they can die and cause a foul odor, which happens more than you may realize.

Ductless air conditioning systems allow you to strategically use the system to cool one room or an entire home. This eliminates the problem of cooling an entire home when you only really need to cool the part of the home you are in, which unnecessarily raises energy bills and puts extra wear on the system.

Ductless air conditioning systems eliminate arguments over what temperature the house should be kept at for everyone to be comfortable. These systems are also quieter, allowing everyone in the house to be comfortable without sacrificing their full relaxation and serenity.

Also, with ductless air conditioners, you won't have to deal with the pollutants that central air conditioning systems can push back out of the ducts into your home's air. This better air quality means you can reduce allergy flare-ups and asthma attacks for those who reside in the household.

How to Get One

Turn to are liable air conditioning service to learn more about getting a ductless air conditioning system for your home.

At Always Ready Repair, we are here to help answer any of your questions and discuss your air conditioning needs with you. Whether you are interested in ductless air conditioning or another type, contact us now. We can help you solidify your decision and take care of your air conditioning needs for you. We also offer 24/7 year-round emergency service so you can always get help right away.

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