Archive for April, 2014

Common Air Conditioning Problems in the Spring

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The mild spring weather in Portland, OR means that most homeowners won’t need to run their air conditioners often. Not until the summer arrives will ACs switch into regular operation to keep homes cool.

Air conditioners can still run into problems during spring operation. You need to pay special attention to your AC during the few days when you have it on. It’s important to discover malfunctions and have them repaired before summer arrives. The hot weather is the worst time to have a serious problem with your AC, and scheduling emergency repairs is more difficult because of the seasonal work crunch for HVAC technicians.

Here are a few common spring air conditioning troubles to watch for. Call Clean Air Act for air conditioning service that will make spring pleasant and summer free from worry. You can reach us 24 hours a day for emergency air conditioning service in Portland, OR.

Constantly Tripped Circuit Breakers

When you turn your AC on after a long winter hiatus, it might begin to trip circuit breakers. If this happens repeatedly, you need to call repair technicians to look into the behavior: it could mean loose or frayed wires, dying capacitors, or broken relays. Most of these are simple fixes for AC professionals, but make sure you have them repaired fast, because electrical trouble can eventually cause damage to the whole system.

Low Refrigerant Charge

The refrigerant in your air conditioner will not become “used up” during standard operation. But its charge (level) can drop if leaks occur along the refrigerant lines, the coils, or in the compressor. This could develop during the winter due to spots of corrosion along the lines, and the leaks are often difficult to notice at first. If you hear hissing from the air conditioner’s cabinets, notice frost on the indoor coil, or feel a significant plunge in cooling power, call for help right away. The leaks must be sealed and the refrigerant recharged before serious damage happens to the compressor.

Clogged Condensate Drain

Spring can bring with it unwanted algae growth, and this can pose a problem in your air conditioner where excess water drains out. The moisture from the evaporator coil drips down into a shallow condensate pan, and a pump then removes the water down a drain and into the wastewater system. Algal growth in the drain can block it, causing the pan to overflow and water damage to enter your home. Repairs will remove the pan, disconnect the drain, clean it, and then put the unit back together.

In addition to calling professionals for any necessary repairs this spring, make sure to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning. A regular inspection and tune-up will find any repairs you may have missed, and also keep future repairs from happening because of too much wear and tear. For maintenance or repairs on your air conditioning system in Portland, OR, get in touch with Clean Air Act.

What Are Some Common AC Repairs to Take Care of before Summer?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Summers are often pleasant and mild in Portland, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore our air conditioning systems. They need to work their best to keep back the heat of the occasional scorching days ahead.

Right now, during the slower spring season, take the time to schedule repairs for your air conditioning in Portland, OR, to fix problems that have spilled over from last summer. Going into the warm season with a malfunctioning AC is the quickest way to end up with a broken AC.

When you need repairs done right, done fast, and done as soon as possible, call Clean Air Act. We are dedicated to bringing our customers quality on every job we do.

Definitely Take Care of These Repairs before the summer:

  • Bent fan blades: The fans of the indoor and outdoor unit, especially the outdoor unit, can become bent from debris that enters the cabinet. This will lead to a striking, clanging noise as the warped blades hit the outer casing. Although you may have the tolerance to ignore this clamor, you absolutely shouldn’t. Bent fan blades will continue to cause damage to the cabinet, leading to more repairs, until the problem is fixed.
  • Refrigerant leaks: The refrigerant responsible for heat exchange does not get used up as it goes through evaporation and condensation stages. However, corrosion along the lines or loose connections can cause refrigerant to begin leaking, lowering the charge (the level) of the refrigerant and seriously hampering the AC’s ability to cool. If you notice ice along the indoor coils or feel lukewarm air from the vents, call for repairs to check for leaks. Technicians will seal the leaks and then recharge the refrigerant.
  • Dying capacitors: Capacitors are small metal cylinders that perform the crucial function of sending electric voltage to the motors to start them (start capacitors) or keep them running (run capacitors). They can malfunction or fail, causing the motors to have trouble starting up and continuing to run. If you hear clicking sounds from either cabinet, this is often a warning of capacitors on the verge of failing. Don’t wait for this to happen: have repairs replace the old capacitor for a new one.

Spring is also the best time to schedule the yearly inspection and tune-up for your air conditioner. The inspection will spot any repair needs that you haven’t noticed yet, often before the repair becomes larger and more expensive. An annual visit will also restore your AC to its best energy efficiency, so you’ll have a less expensive summer when it comes to electricity bills.

Clean Air Act has 24-hour emergency repair service for your air conditioning in Portland, OR—so don’t hesitate to call now to get those troubles fixed in time for summer.

How to Estimate Size for a Replacement Gas Furnace

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Gas furnaces are designed to be long-lasting and reliable, but sooner or later, they need to be replaced just like any other appliance. Furnace specialists can replace your old furnace with a new one, but before that happens, you need to determine the size and type of furnace for your home. The easy solution is to simply ask for a furnace the same size as your old one, but that may not be the best option.

Here’s how to estimate size for a replacement gas furnace in Oregon City:

Sizing matters because an improperly sized furnace can cost you a great deal. If it’s not powerful enough to heat your home… well… it won’t heat your home! If it’s too powerful, on the other hand, it will cycle on and off throughout the day, costing you a great deal of money in unnecessary wear and tear. Proper sizing is critical for maximum furnace efficiency.

Estimating that size is trickier than it seems. In the first place, you have to take the furnaces AFUE (annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating into account. The higher the rating, the more efficiently it will heat your home, and the smaller it will need to be. In most cases, your new furnace will have a higher AFUE rating than your old one, so you might not need to spend as much as you thought.

Other factors involved in calculation include your home’s exposure to sunlight (which can naturally warm you home if you have a lot of it) and the amount of insulation it has (which will help it better retain the heat generated by the furnace). And of course, you need to estimate the square footage of your home, which remains the primary factor in determining the proper size.

As you might imagine, the calculations to estimate size for a replacement gas furnace can get very complicated with all of those variables to consider. That’s why you need trained professionals like the ones at Clean Air Act to help. We handle furnace services in Oregon City and we can properly size your new furnace to ensure you get the most value for your money. Give us a call today to set up an appointment!

Furnace Repair Issues to Take Care of at the End of Heating Season

Friday, April 4th, 2014

With winter fading, your home’s furnace will see less use, and soon the air conditioner will start up to keep you cool for the middle of the year. However, in Oregon we can expect our heating systems to come back on a few days during the summer, so it’s wise to make sure that your furnace has all its necessary repair needs taken care of after the hard labor over winter.

The stress of heating season will take a toll on any furnace, no matter its age; if you notice anything about your furnace that seems amiss during the spring, call up professional technicians to look into the issue and see what they can do about it. For high quality furnace repair service in Portland, OR, rely on Clean Air Act and our around-the-clock, around-the-calendar services.

Here are some common problems that furnaces can encounter at the end of winter that need prompt repairs:

  • Dirty burner: The burner is where the natural gas coming from the municipal line is burned to change it into the high temperature combustion gas that heats the air. The burner can develop a layer of dirt and grime across it during the winter, and this will restrict the oxygen necessary for the burners to ignite. If the burner in your furnace struggles to come on, sometimes goes out, or you hear a booming noise from inside the cabinet when the burner tries to come on, you will need to call for service to remove the burner and clean it. (Do not attempt to remove it on your own; you should not tamper with anything connected to a natural gas line.)
  • Failed electronic igniter: Electronic igniters have started to replace standing pilot lights as the method to start burning the gas coming from the burner. These igniters work similar to light bulbs, with current running through them creating a hot surface. Igniters will not last as long as a furnace, and they can burn out during the winter because of repeated use. A repair technician can easily replace a failed igniter.
  • Bent fan blades: The blower in the air handler can suffer damage due to debris getting into the cabinet (something that can happen during winter), and this usually results in bent fan blades. Misaligned blades will strike against the air handler casing, causing further damage unless fixed. Technicians will use special tools to straighten the blades without accidentally bending them too far the other way.

As mentioned above, you do not want to tamper with any appliance connected to a gas line: that includes your whole gas-powered furnace. The potential for injury from carbon monoxide exposure or explosion is too great to risk. If you think your furnace need attention, call up trained professionals right away and do not take any more steps yourself.

Clean Air Act can solve the problems in your furnace quickly and with minimum disruption to your heating. Trust us for all your need for furnace repair in Portland, OR.