Why Are Refrigerant Levels So Important to Air Conditioning?

June 29th, 2015

Refrigerant is what makes air conditioning possible. It’s a chemical compound (the exact type and amount depends on your air conditioner) which shifts from liquid to gas at a comparatively low temperature and which pulls heat out of the surrounding air as it does so.  Centralized air conditioners work by cycling their refrigerant through a series of valves and coils. The refrigerant is first shifted into a liquid state and placed under a great deal of pressure (bleeding heat into the air outside your home in the process), then enters an evaporator coil where it shifts back to a gas (pulling heat from the air outside the coil). With the air around the system cools, a fan then pushes it into your home. Continue Reading

3 Signs That You Need Duct Repair

June 22nd, 2015

Ducts are a vital component in your household air conditioning system – transporting cooled air to the various rooms in your household – and because they don’t have a lot of moving parts, they rarely require repairs with the frequency that the main system does. That doesn’t mean that repairs aren’t needed sometimes, unfortunately, or that – considering the damp weather in Portland, OR – you don’t have to deal with potential issues like mold growth in your ducts. A good technician can repair most issues with your ducts, but you still need to be able to notice that there’s a problem before picking up the phone. Here are 3 easy-to-spot signs that you need duct repair. Continue Reading

How Do UV Germicidal Lights Help My Home?

June 15th, 2015

Indoor air quality can be as important as heating or air conditioning when determining the comfort levels of your home. That’s of especial concern here in Portland, OR, where high humidity levels turn our houses into clammy nightmares, breeding germs and bacteria in hidden corners. A good air conditioner can fight some of that, but it’s not meant to specifically address your indoor air quality. A UV germicidal light can, however: improving the freshness in your air and eliminating sickness-causing bacteria to boot. They can be installed in your air conditioning system without a fuss by a trained professional, and can help your home in numerous ways. Continue Reading

Install a Dehumidifier to Maximize Home Comfort

June 8th, 2015

If you live in Portland, OR, you know that rain and high humidity levels are a way of life around here. It gets particularly bad in the summertime, when relative humidity combines with high heat to make things unbearable. Your air conditioner can provide some relief, but cool air can only deal with humidity levels so much. If you really want to address the problem, you should talk to a service professional and have him or her install a dehumidifier to maximize home comfort. Continue Reading

Keep or Replace? How to Decide if You Need a New Air Conditioner

June 1st, 2015

Summer is officially here in Portland, OR, and that means your air conditioning system needs to be ready to keep your home comfortable when the heat and humidity rise to sweltering levels. If your system is exhibiting signs of trouble, now may be the right time to get it replaced with a new model. But how can you tell if that time has come? You certainly don’t want to get rid of your old air conditioner if it’s still doing the job, and a replacement can be costly enough that hoping your system is still functional may trump the reality that it really does need to go. Here’s a few guidelines to help you decide whether to keep or replace your existing air conditioner: Continue Reading

3 Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioning System

May 26th, 2015

Most homeowners in Portland, OR are accustomed to centralized air conditioning: using a single unit to generate cool air which is then pushed into a series of ducts with a fan. But you may be surprised to learn that other types of air conditioners exist, most prominently ductless air conditioning systems, which use multiple units spaced throughout your home to heat each room or section individually. They can cost a little more to install, but you may find that a ductless system works better for your home than a centralized system, as well as carrying a number of other tangible advantages. Here are 3 benefits of a ductless air conditioning system that you should consider: Continue Reading

Why Is Short Cycling a Problem?

May 18th, 2015

Short cycling refers to the tendency of your air conditioner to shut down after a brief running time, then turn back on again a brief while later. It can be caused by a number of factors, including low refrigerant, and malfunctioning components. In some cases, it’s not even a problem with the system, but simply that it’s too powerful for the space it needs to cool (which is one of the reasons why you should always have a new air conditioner properly sized for your house before you install it). On the surface, that might not seem like such a big deal, but in truth it’s a serious problem, and with summer on its way, Portland, OR, residents need to address a short cycling problem before the heat and humidity get too bad. Continue Reading

How Does Air Conditioning Work?

May 11th, 2015

Air conditioning is one of the most important comforts of modern life, and here in Portland, OR, it’s essential to handling the high humidity and periodic heat waves that accompany our summers. But despite its prominence in our lives, comparatively few people know how air conditioners do their jobs. Specifics vary by make and model of air conditioner, but the essentials remain unchanged. The more you know about your system, the more readily you can respond when the time comes for maintenance or repair. How does air conditioning work? We’ve provided a quick primer below. Continue Reading

How Do Air Filters Capture Contaminants?

May 4th, 2015

As we head into allergy season, you may be wondering: how exactly does a mechanical air filter capture contaminants? Electronic air cleaners, such as ion generators and electronic precipitators use electricity to negatively charge and then capture allergens and other indoor particles, but when it comes to mechanical air filters, there a few things to consider, one of which is MERV ratings. The indoor air quality specialists at Clean Air Act can help you with all your air filtration needs, so if you are concerned about allergy season this spring, just pick up the phone and give us a call. Continue Reading

3 Factors to Consider with a New Air Conditioning Installation

April 27th, 2015

A good air conditioner is a staple of your home, and while routine maintenance can make yours last a long time, sooner or later every AC unit needs to be replaced. Here in Portland, OR, spring makes an excellent time to replace an older or faulty air conditioner before the summer months bring heat and humidity with them. Because it represents a significant investment in your home, however, the decision to replace your air conditioner should come only after careful planning and consideration. Here are 3 factors to consider with a new air conditioning installation. Continue Reading