We try to anticipate questions you might have about our services and provide the answers here. If you need additional information email or call us 904-887-9444.
Why does it run all day in hot weather? Assuming this is not a new symptom... this is a common complaint and can be attributed to two possible things. The first is that your system may have been designed correctly to meet the latest energy codes to perform at the highest efficiency. The other possibility is that it was not designed at all or was not sized properly in the first place. During really hot weather, this can, unfortunately, be normal due to how air conditioning systems are designed. Air conditioning systems are designed basically an averaged ambient temperature in your particular area, many areas are designed for say about 90 Deg F outdoor temperature and at that point, they are generally at their maximum efficiency and should continue to cycle on and off with generally the runtime matching the off time. The air conditioners efficiency AND capacity drops when the temperature goes above this point and the system must run longer to meet the set point... common thought on this is that you will not see that many days at the higher temperature and it is worth the loss in comfort to have the maximum efficiency during the normal average outside air temperature as that temperature occurs more often. Increasing the efficiency (SEER) of the complete air conditioning system, while maintaining the size "provided the system is sized correctly" will usually overcome this problem and still maintain your system at maximum designed efficiency. If your system runs all day or for extended periods during normal average for your area then more than likely you either have a design issue such as incorrect duct sizing or the air conditioner was not sized properly in the first place.
Why does my make so much noise when starting? It is perfectly normal for many air conditioning condenser units to make noise above normal when starting this is due to factors similar to a car engine starting, the oil must travel before it starts to lubricate the moving parts. The other factor is that the compressor is not under pressure for the first few seconds of operating and this tends to make it louder in operation. This condition should only last for a few seconds and no more than say 10 seconds. If it is suddenly making more noise than usual or it lasts beyond a few seconds this is more than likely a symptom of an issue such as low refrigerant charge or it is in an over-charged condition.
Do I have to replace the indoor coil with a new AC Unit? Honestly no, but this depends on the age of the system. If you are considering replacing your unit more than likely it is an older generation with a lower SEER rating than those built today. Even with older air conditioning systems, you do not have to replace the indoor evaporator coil. But, you would be making a mistake and wasting your money if you choose to keep the old indoor evaporator coil. The two components, the outdoor air conditioning condensing unit, and the indoor evaporator coil should be a matched set as far as SEER rating are concerned in order to obtain the rated efficiency. When running a 13 SEER air conditioning condenser unit with a 10 SEER or lower indoor coil you will more than likely gain very little in efficiency above the rating of the indoor coil. It is also recommended that if you do use your old indoor coil that you have a thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) installed on the indoor coil to properly regulate the refrigerant flow. The other issue today is the change in refrigerants from R-22 to R-410a, this creates another issue in that the old oil used with R22 is not compatible with the new R410a refrigerant and both the line set (copper tubes) and the indoor coil must be internally cleaned or replaced prior to installing the new refrigerant in order to prevent damage to the new air conditioning condensing unit.
Why is there water dripping from the copper pipe on my air conditioner? Water dripping from the refrigerant lines (copper pipe) is an indication of an improperly charged air conditioning system or lack of insulation on the refrigerant lines. The refrigerant levels in your air conditioning system are critical to proper operation and efficiency, both too little and too much refrigerant will cause poor operation, lack of capacity and lower operating efficiency. A properly trimmed refrigerant charge will not cause water to form (condense) on the copper refrigerant line set and if you see this you should call Air-Masters to first determine if the charge is low or high and if it is low you should have them inspect for leaks, if it is high do not use the last HVAC company that added refrigerant in the first place.
Air Conditioning Unit
Why is there ice on my refrigerant pipe? You should never have ice forming anywhere on your air conditioning unit or it's refrigerant line set (copper pipe) as this is an indication of an improperly charged air conditioning system. This is usually a symptom of a low refrigerant charge but also can be attributed to a possible clog in the refrigerant line set itself or an air flow restriction. Either way this requires immediate attention and repair or severe damage to your system could be the result. Call Air-Masters to have this issue diagnosed and repaired.
Why does my outdoor have ice on it? Your heat pump will build up ice on the outdoor unit during the winter and this is normal. However, the ice should not build up and stay there, the system must automatically defrost the heat pump unit based on a time cycle and presence of ice. If your heat pump remains ice covered for more than a few hours, more than likely there is a problem with your defrost controls. Damage can occur if the heat pump is run under these types of conditions
Why does my heat pump blow cold air when it is really cold outside? The heat pump system loses efficiency as the temperatures gets colder outside, typically a heat pump will cross the threshold of efficiency at around 40 Deg F. and at that point, the efficiency and capacity of the system drops so your air temperature from your supply registers will get cold from that point on. The backup heat source can be set up in many different ways and the temperature that the outdoor unit switches off and allows just the backup heat source to work alone can also be changed. Call a qualified technician to make the adjustments to your system based on your comfort levels, having the backup heat start and run earlier will usually resolve the cold air issue as well as decrease the amount of time the system has to run.
When should I use the emergency heat with my heat pump? The emergency heat switch on your thermostat can be used at any time you wish to use the backup heat source. Generally, it is used when the heat pump has some sort of failure and is not operating properly. It can also be used during very cold weather under conditions when the system does not automatically switch to the backup heat source like it should and the system is not heating the home.
Why does my heat pump blow cold air when it starts? This occurs because the heat pump and the indoor blower fan start at the same time and the heat pump requires a few minutes to build up the required heat with the refrigerant. Newer heat pump thermostats and many new heat pumps have the option to start the heat pump a few seconds before the indoor blower is started and this helps to solve this issue.
What can I do if my heat pump defrost cycle is not working? The defrost cycle is simply running the heat pump in the cooling mode taking heat from the compressor and melting the ice on the outdoor unit. Typically the emergency heat is operating during these times so it may not be as noticeable as one might think. You will also notice that the outside fan turns off during this process this to create more heat and speed up the melting of the ice from the outside unit. In a pinch you could try and run the system for cooling for a few minutes and watch to see that the ice starts melting, the problem is that usually when you run into this issue the heat pump has a bunch of ice on it and it will take much more time than usual to melt off the ice but this is the only way to melt that ice off the unit properly and without causing potential damage.
What is that smell coming from my heat pump system? More than likely what you are smelling is the backup emergency heat or electric heating elements in your electric furnace. On many systems the back up heat only comes on when it gets really cold and in many cases this happens rarely so what is happening is that the electric heat elements are coated with dust over the time they are not used and when they first heat up they actually burn that dust off and that is the smell. The smell is hard to describe but normally if there are other issues with your indoor furnace or air handler you will smell an electrical burn smell which we are all pretty much familiar with as it has a very unique odor.