IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for April, 2014

Common Compressor Problems in Your Air Conditioner

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The compressor is one of the vital components in an air conditioner: it works as the “heart” of the system, applying energy to the refrigerant and then propelling it through the coils to carry out heat exchange. Without a working compressor, an air conditioner will not produce any cooling at all.

When air conditioners begin to experience operating trouble, the compressor is one of the prime suspects that repair technicians investigate. Many common AC issues will stem from problems in the compressor or its motor. You cannot handle fixing compressor malfunctions unless you are a trained HVAC technician, so rely on expert assistance.

Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for air conditioning repair in Tampa, FL to fix or replace a bad compressor and ensure that your new compressor will be properly maintained. 

Compressor problems that can affect an AC

  • Bad pressurization: The compressor works through pump action—suction and discharge—to draw liquid refrigerant inside and then compress it into a high temperature gas. However, the suction pressure or the discharge pressure can become too high or too low because of improper mechanical motion. If this happens, the pressure throughout the unit will not be at its ideal level, and this will result in a drop in cooling power.
  • Failed compressor motor: A motor runs the mechanical action of the compressor, and if it fails, the compressor will not work. In most cases, a compressor motor that stops working has a failed start capacitor, a cylindrical component responsible for sending electrical voltage to the motor to begin operation. Repair technicians can replace the capacitor. If the motor itself has burned out, it will need replacement.
  • Overheated compressor: This could come from problems with wiring, or it may be a fault in the compressor motor. Whatever the cause, overheating will soon cause the compressor to stop working.
  • Locked compressor: A compressor that is too worn down from years of operation or lack of maintenance can become locked in place. Sometimes replacement of the compressor will fix this, but if the air conditioner is near or beyond its estimated service lifespan, a fixed compressor is often a sign that the whole air conditioner must be replaced.

Before calling for professionals for assistance with a misbehaving air conditioner, make sure to check that no circuit breakers have tripped and that you have set the thermostat correctly. Once you rule out these simple sources for the problem, call for professionals. Compressor problems must have repair work from experienced HVAC technicians.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling can come to your assistance with air conditioning repair in Tampa, FL any time of the day or night, seven days a week. We take pride in our work and give 100% to every job: it’s how we’ve earned the trust of so many customers.

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Air Conditioning FAQ: What Does the Compressor Do?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

The modern air conditioner runs through a precision balance of components that all contribute toward making a home feel cool and inviting during a humid Florida summer. Each part of an AC needs to remain in excellent operating conditioning, but a few of these components deserve special attention. One is the compressor, which is essentially the “heart” of an air conditioner. Without a working compressor, you won’t have cool air… period.

If you encounter problems with your AC’s compressor, or if it fails and you need to have it replaced, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling and speak to our experts in air conditioning in Wesley Chapel, FL. Don’t worry about the time of day: we have 24-hour emergency service so you won’t have to sweat it out too long with a busted AC.

The Basics of the Compressor

In a split air conditioning system—the standard central AC found in most homes—the compressor is located in the outdoor unit. Its job is to circulate the refrigerant necessary for heat exchange through the coils of the indoor and outdoor unit, and also to apply the energy to the refrigerant. When you think of the air conditioner requiring power to provide cooling, you’re thinking of the electricity sent to run the compressor. (Electricity also powers the fans, although they do not provide cooling on their own, and can operate in “fan only” mode.)

A motor powers the compressor, which is itself constructed like a motor, with a cylinder and piston.  The compressor compress the gaseous refrigerant, and this raises the refrigerant’s temperature so that changes it into a high pressure gas. The high pressure forces the refrigerant through a line that leads to the outdoor coil, where the refrigerant releases its heat and condenses into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant then continues its trip to the indoor unit, where the refrigerant evaporates into a gas again and absorbs the heat from inside your home. The refrigerant than returns to the compressor and cycle starts again.

Compressor Repairs

The compressor undergoes a great deal of stress during a cooling season in Florida, and it will wear down the same way a motor will. Grime and dust contamination will also affect it, leading to it becoming stuck. This will stop the cooling cycle, and usually the compressor must be replaced. A malfunction in the compressor’s motor will also stop cooling. Compressors can develop leaks at their connectors, causing a loss of refrigerant. Any drop in refrigerant charge can lead to damage to the compressor.

If you suspect any problem with the compressor in your AC (odd sounds when it starts up, icing on the coils, loss of cooling) call for repairs. Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has staff ready around the clock to repair your air conditioning in Wesley Chapel, FL.

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Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch to Cooling Mode?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

It’s that time of year when your heat pump begins to perform the other half of its job: providing you with steady cooling power. With just a simple change on the thermostat, the heating system that kept you warm during the rainy and overcast winter days will change over to a powerful cooling system.

But you might switch your heat pump to cooling mode only to discover that the air from your vents isn’t crisp and cool at all. It’s still heated or lukewarm. What’s wrong? And what can you do about it?

We’ll look at possible culprits for a heat pump that isn’t cooling. In most cases, you’ll need professional work to remedy the problem. For repairs on your heat pump in Wesley Chapel, FL, call the skilled team at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling.

Reasons a heat pump might not switch to cooling mode:

  • Broken reversing valve: The reversing valve is a component that changes the direction refrigerant flows through a heat pump after it exits the compressor: one direction for heating, one direction for cooling. This is the key difference between a heat pump and a standard air conditioner. If the reversing valve breaks, the heat pump will become fixed in one mode until you replace it with a new valve.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: The thermostat may indicate that it has turned on cooling mode, but if the thermostat has lost its connection to the unit because of loose or frayed wires, then nothing that you do with the setting will change the heat pump out of heating mode. A technician can restore the thermostat’s connection to the system. You may also consider replacing the thermostat unit with an upgraded model.
  • Loss of refrigerant: If the air coming from the vents feels lukewarm, as if the heat pump is struggling to provide cool air but failing, then the pump may actually have switched over to cooling mode but loss of refrigerant due to a leak is preventing it from effectively cooling the air. A technician can locate the leak, seal it, and recharge the lost refrigerant.

The worst thing you can do for a heat pump that won’t change to cooling mode is to “wait it out,” hoping the system will fix itself and the cool air will start flowing from the vents again. This rarely happens, and the problem will likely worsen: malfunctions can spread and cause additional repair needs. Call in the specialists to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling can help your heat pump in Wesley Chapel, FL no matter its troubles. Our trained staff is ready with 24-hour service.

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Repair These Air Conditioning Problems Before They Grow Worse

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

As we move into the cooling season, when our air conditioners will start to earn their keep, it’s important to keep careful watch for any problems that might develop inside the AC cabinet. Warning signs like uncanny noises, unusual odors from the vents, uneven heating, increases in utility bills, and plunges in cooling power can all point toward an air conditioner that needs to have professional repairs.

You must respond to air conditioning problems rapidly, because repair needs tend to grow worse due to the increased stress they create throughout the system. Before an air conditioner repair turns more expensive or shuts down the unit entirely, call for skilled help. Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has technicians ready to repair your air conditioning in Tampa, FL any time of the day or night. Bring us in to help whenever you run into these repair needs that will grow worse if ignored:

  • Clanging sounds from a broken fan: The fans that move air into your house and into the outside cabinet must remain balanced and undamaged or else they will begin to strike the outside housing. This will further damage the fan and other parts of the AC. Professionals can straighten the blades (don’t try it yourself, since you might bend them too much the other direction) and repair any issues they have already created.
  • Motors wearing down: If motors become dusty or do not receive regular lubrication during routine maintenance, they will start to wear down and create too much friction in their moving parts. Eventually, the motors will burn out. If you hear a shrieking or screeching noise from your AC cabinet, you must move fast to have technicians repair the problems before the motor requires replacement.
  • Leaking refrigerant: Have you noticed icing along the indoor coils and a drop in cooling power? You likely have refrigerant leaking from the system. If this continues, it will cause damage to the compressor and the refrigerant loss will generate more ice over the coils and the cooling power will eventually fail. Professionals will find the location of leak and seal it, and then place the proper amount of refrigerant back into the system (“recharging” it) so the AC will work at its regular cooling level once again.

You do not want to have an air conditioner fail during the height of the summer heat, which is when it is most likely to break down because of all the work you’ll need from it. Whenever you think you have an AC repair need, call for help from Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We also recommend you have yearly maintenance done on your air conditioning in Tampa, FL to head off as many problems as possible.

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