Archive for July, 2014

Sounds That Can Indicate the Need for Repair for Your AC

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Just as people sneeze when suffering from allergies or a cold, your air conditioner will also display some common sounds when it doesn’t feel well. However, deciphering what is and isn’t a “bad” sound can be hard for the untrained ear, especially when it comes to identifying the need for air conditioning repairs.

To help you identify sounds that can indicate a developing problem, our Clean Air Act technicians have put together a list of some of the most common “problematic” sounds:


Hissing can indicate a couple of serious things: the first is a refrigerant leak, and the second is an issue with your compressor. Refrigerant leaks can hiss because at certain parts during the cooling cycle, the refrigerant is under high pressure (you may also hear a bubbling sound with the hissing sound). If the hissing sound is coming from the compressor, you may have a leaky valve or the compressor itself may be malfunctioning. Both of these types of problems require timely professional repair.


If your AC makes a sound or sounds akin to sneakers in a dryer, there is a very good chance something has come loose and is banging around your system. Typical components that do this are bent/loose fan blades and loose motor mounts. Having components bump around your system is never a good thing as they can cause damage, so once you hear that noise, call an expert.


This is a very serious sound; if you hear it coming from your air conditioner, turn it off immediately and call your technician. Screeching sounds can indicate that the pressure inside your compressor is too high; a compressor under too much pressure can blow. Repairing compressors is not a DIY kind of job, especially when one is screeching. Instead, call a professional right away.

Making strange sounds is just one of the ways your air conditioner can tell you when something is wrong, so don’t ignore them. Most air conditioning problems do not repair themselves on their own, and the longer you let them go, the worse the problems can get. If you are hearing abnormal sounds coming from your air conditioner, call Clean Air Act now and let our trained experts help you with your air conditioning repair in Portland.

3 Problems That Can Happen with Geothermal System

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

When it comes to reliable heating and cooling for a house, geothermal heat pumps offer one of the best options available today. Using the stable heat of the earth as a medium for exchange, a geothermal heat pump can provide heating and air conditioning that is far more efficient than that of an air-source heat pump. No matter the temperature outside, you can turn on your geothermal system and receive the comfort you need.

Although geothermal systems have remarkable durability (the ground loops can last for more than 50 years), they can still sometimes run into problems. When any of these problems occur, you need to contact professionals in geothermal air conditioning repair in Portland, OR to handle the work. Clean Air Act can handle the geothermal services you need to restore your system whenever you encounter any of the problems below.

  • Leaky ground loops: This is thankfully uncommon, because the plastic loops that circulate the water through the system (or circulate a solution of water and anti-freeze) are made from strong materials and will not corrode like metal pipes. But leaking can still occur, and if you notice a loss of heating or cooling, leaks along the loops may be the issue. Repair technicians can track leaks by placing a dye into the system and then locating where on the surface the water is escaping. The technicians can then excavate a small area to reach the damaged loop and seal it.
  • Scale build-up in the loops: If you use an open-loop system that circulates water from the municipal system, the loops can begin to pick of mineral scale from impurities in the water supply. This scale can eventually cause the loops to develop clogging and high water pressure. Technicians will use an acid-flush to clean out the loops.
  • Standard heat pump problems: Keep in mind that for all its advantages, a geothermal system is still a heat pump similar in many ways to an air-source heat pump and can suffer from the same types of repair problems. The interior cabinet components could suffer from breakdowns due to wear and tear, such as broken blower motors, electrical connection failures, and frost appearing over the coils. Most of the time, the repairs that you will need for your geothermal systems won’t have anything to do with the buried loops, and your technician will be able to take care of the necessary work above-ground.

If you detect a drop in the heating or cooling reliability of your ground-source heat pump, call for professional repair work right away. Installing a geothermal system is not a DIY job, and neither are repairs for one.

Clean Air Act is available 24 hours a day with emergency heating and air conditioning repair in Portland, OR. We specialize in geothermal repairs and replacements, so make us your first choice when you need help with your ground-source heat pump.

How Compressor Problems Affect Your Whole Air Conditioner

Friday, July 18th, 2014

The outside unit of your air conditioner houses some very important components of your system. Your air conditioner cools your home by absorbing the heat from inside and releasing it outside. The compressor and the condenser coil in the outside unit of your AC are vital for releasing the heat outdoors. If the compressor runs into problems it can seriously affect your entire AC system, and you may need air conditioning repair immediately.

The compressor is a vital component of your air conditioning system. During the evaporation stage of the refrigeration cycle, the refrigerant becomes a low pressure gas and absorbs heat from the air in your home. As the refrigerant moves to your outside unit, the compressor changes this low-pressure gas into a high pressure gas, so it can move into the condenser, release heat, and cycle back through the system again.

If your compressor isn’t working properly, your air conditioner may lose some cooling power or your system may have trouble starting up. If your compressor fails entirely, however, you will get no cooling power at all, and you may need major repairs or replacement.

There are many signs your compressor may be struggling. If you hear grinding noises in your outdoor unit, it may mean that something has interfered with the compressor or the compressor motor, such as a buildup of dirt, or that these parts need lubrication. However, grinding can also be a sign of wear and tear that indicates a need for replacement. Another sign that your compressor needs repair is hard starting.

You can prevent premature failure of your compressor with regular maintenance by an AC technician. Regular maintenance can help prevent compressor issues because a technician will lubricate the motor and clean parts that can cause your compressor to become worn. If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, for example, your compressor may become damaged as it is designed to handle a certain refrigerant charge.

Compressor problems can be serious, but an AC technician may be able to repair the problem if found early. For air conditioning repair service in Beavercreek, OR, call Clean Air Act today

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making a Buzzing Noise?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

You’re used to the hum of your air conditioning welcoming you home on a warm summer day. But what happens when this familiar sound becomes overshadowed by something else? One common noise you may hear from your AC system is a loud buzzing sound coming from your outdoor unit. Don’t let this sound ruin your familiar summer soundtrack. If you hear any strange noises coming from your AC, turn off the unit and call a professional technician for air conditioning repair.


Here Are Some of the Reasons You May Hear a Buzzing Noise in Your AC Unit

Loose Parts

A buzzing sound may indicate loose or damaged parts within your system. Loose bearings, for example, may occasionally rub against one another. While this may not seem like a huge problem at first, it may cause other components of your system to suffer premature wear and leave you with a system that breaks down when you need it most.

Motor Issues

Your AC unit relies on motors to operate the compressor and the fans. If anything interferes with this motor, such as a bent blade, or a lack of lubrication, a buzzing noise may occur. A defective motor can eventually cause your fans to stop working, or it can lead to a faulty compressor that won’t properly cool your home. It’s imperative that motor issues are checked as soon as possible to avoid a malfunctioning system later on.

Other Electrical Problem

Buzzing may often indicate any number of electrical issues, such as a loose contactor for the capacitor in your system, which requires the expertise of a professional to diagnose. Never attempt to fix electrical components on your own; a technician is far more qualified to keep your home and air conditioning system safe during repairs.

That mysterious buzzing is never a friendly sound. When you encounter strange noises from your air conditioning unit in Portland, trust the professionals to locate the source of the problem and give you back that familiar AC hum. For air conditioning repair in Portland, call Clean Air Act today!

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Clean Air Act hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!