Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air Blog : Archive for October, 2014

How to Tell if Your AC is Broken

Friday, October 31st, 2014

If you’re like most folks in our area, you use your air conditioner throughout the long summer months in order to keep your family cool and comfortable. But with all that use necessarily comes a bit of wear and tear, and this can eventually lead to certain issues with the operational effectiveness and energy efficiency of your system, not to mention breakdowns. But breakdowns are not hard to spot—if your AC stops working, then you know who to call. However, some air conditioning repair needs are a bit more subtle, but they need to be diagnosed and repaired just like any other problem.

That’s why it’s important to know the signs that your AC needs repair so that you can make certain you get in touch with an expert before the damage leads to a complete breakdown or even premature replacement.

Here are some signs to look out for.

  • A spike in your energy bill. One of the most common signs that you have a problem with your air conditioner is a rise in the cost of cooling without a corresponding increase in the amount of cooling. This is often an indication that your system is leaking your cool air along the way somewhere, that your evaporator coil is frozen, or that you have low refrigerant, among other potential issues. We’re sure you keep an eye on your energy bill as is, but make sure you do so that you can refer any extraordinary rises to the professionals.
  • Loud or disruptive noises. If you find that your AC makes a series of loud or strange noises when it starts up or as it continuously operates, then you likely have a problem. It could be any number of things, from a loose part inside the outdoor blower motor to a damaged fan blade. It’s important that you take care of such issues promptly to avoid further damage.

If you suspect that your AC is broken, then just let one of our HVAC technicians know. We can make sure that your repairs are completed carefully at all times. If you mind yourself in need of air conditioning service in Sacramento, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air today!

How Air Conditioning Works: A User’s Guide

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

For many of us, our domestic comfort during the summer comes by way of a large, complex central air unit, heat pump or ductless mini split, which afford us unprecedented control over the temperature inside our homes, no matter how hot and humid it is outside. But despite the fact that you know your way around a thermostat, you may find the concept of air conditioning to be a bit obscure, mysterious or otherwise unknown. Where does that cool air come from? Does it work just like a refrigerator? What do the various components do?

Like any system that comprises multiple components, materials and mechanisms, your air conditioning system is only as good as the sum of its parts. If one aspect of your system is faulty, then the rest will not work effectively, efficiently, or perhaps even at all. The basic principle of air conditioning is that changing the pressure of a substance also changes its temperature. Refrigerant, a chemical compound designed to undergo radical shifts in temperature under varying pressures, circulates through several stages of pressurization and depressurization in order to absorb thermal energy from one area and dissipate it to another.

The indoor unit of a standard central air conditioner contains the air handler, which pulls your indoor air supply through the ductwork, where it is cooled according to your temperature requirements by the cold liquid refrigerant passing through the evaporator coil. During this thermal exchange, the temperature of your indoor air causes the refrigerant to evaporate into a low pressure gas, at which point it travels outdoors to the compressor unit for another round.

The compressor creates a high pressure, high temperature gas that then must be brought down again rapidly by means of blowing outdoor air through the condenser coils. As its name suggests, the condenser coil allows your refrigerant to condense into a relatively hot liquid. Not yet ready to be used as cooling, your refrigerant must be depressurized by means of an expansion valve before it reaches the evaporator coil. This is a continuous circuit that operates when you call for cooling. For further information about our air conditioning services in Sacramento, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air today.