Austin Air Companie Blog : Archive for the ‘Air Conditioner does not turn on’ Category

AC Cools But Doesn’t Cool Well All The Time

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

Hi welcome to the #1 Katy Texas Air Conditioning Blog. This topic can be quite confusing at times because your air conditioner works by science not by magic.

The terms I use here are going to be terms that anyone should be able to understand. I remove as much technical jargon as I can to convey this subject so more people can understand it. (It’s not about writing it so I understand it.)

Air Conditioning Removes Heat

So the reason behind this post is that when record breaking temps come to town most air conditioners are going to struggle. It is completely normal for your thermostat temperature to go up in the afternoon under a heavy heat load.

With that said, this AC activity can point to trouble as well. Many people when they see this they think the thermostat is bad, their AC unit isn’t big enough, I might need some Freon and a laundry list of other potential guesses.

Air Conditioning doesn’t produce cool. It removes heat and the absence of heat is a cooling effect. That is what I mean by science. There are limits just as much as anything else. Trying running 50 miles with no breaks, to understand the point. Try driving your car with no gas or no electric if an EV. Everything has limits. But when it comes to air conditioners people repeatedly think they can put that thermostat dial anywhere and get it to get there.

Freon from above means refrigerant. This substance is more or less a solvent that was specifically designed for your air conditioner to remove heat from the structure. It is important that your system has the right type of refrigerant as well as the proper level. Too much or too little and your AC system will not remove heat properly and in triple digit heat (outdoor ambient temperature) will be costly to operate not to mention may not provide the cooling effect you are looking for.

Air Conditioners Don’t Use Up Freon

An Air Conditioner is a completely sealed system. The Freon in your AC will last indefinitely, unless the system has a refrigerant leak. Improper maintenance or service procedures can introduce leaks as well as age of the system can create refrigerant leaks over time. The older the equipment is, the more likely that the equipment is to blame.

However, just because your AC unit isn’t that old doesn’t necessarily mean it is free of refrigerant leaks. Air Conditioners are machines, and machines break – old and new alike.

In or near Katy, Texas? Call The Old AC Pro: Ray Austin 832-475-6895

Freon Leak Sealers / Additives To Stop Freon Leaks

I’ve used a couple of these over the past few years, but I have found they simply do not work. My definition of working is that they fix the refrigerant leaks. If they don’t do that, what is the point?

My opinion is that adding a Freon leak sealer to a system is attempting to take a short cut rather than to fix something the right way because the right way costs more money.

But if the refrigerant leak is not fixed, it will cost you more money anyway because the costly refrigerant will continue to leak out. The other less thought of problem with leak sealers is that you are placing something into your AC refrigerant system that does not belong there. This could lead to other problems later.

Watch the embedded video below how to properly fix Freon Leaks and stay tuned to just how well a leak sealer worked in a test I performed.

Live in or Near Katy, Texas? Your own personal AC repair Easy Button:

Call Ray Austin 832-475-6895

Substances Not Condensing In An AC System

A refrigeration system is critical to be a clean environment free from things that contaminate the system. The AC system is a sealed system remember? So if contamination is introduced the system isn’t going to work properly.

This problem is more so magnified in a record breaking heat wave. Your AC system’s operation is dependant on having the proper refrigerant, the proper amount with every thing fluidly moving about. If too much refrigerant is placed in your AC system it won’t work just as much as if it has too little of refrigerant or the wrong type. Freon is merely a brand name. I know what type your AC system needs, but I don’t know the service history if you call me for the first time. If a refrigerant circuit in your AC is blocked up it’s not going to work properly in triple digit heat.

Air is a common ingredient that will not condense in a refrigeration system. This only gets inside your refrigeration system by someone not doing something they should have done. Putting a leak sealer in the system could do essentially the same thing. The common reason people do this is that the system is older and will at times say I have nothing to lose.

Then replace the system a few years later, reuse the line set that possibly has some of this contamination left behind. It can be quite difficult to replace line sets on some homes and that difficulty can add a good sum of money to do so.

Did you know that the refrigerant in your AC system goes thru phase changes in side your AC’s refrigeration circuits? This is necessary because the pump otherwise known as the compressor is a vapor pump. Trying to compress anything other than refrigerant vapor will damage the compressor. If that happens? YIKES, not good.

But your AC’s refrigerant system also contains refrigerant in liquid form. Without that it simply will not work. It’s not magic, remember?

Your Air Conditioner Is Doing All It Can

This could be true, just as much as it could be false. Just because you dial in 70F on your thermostat doesn’t mean your house will get that cool in triple digit heat (100F and up – we’ve been hitting 102 and hotter recently in the Katy, Texas area.)

Design temperature plays a role. In our climate in Katy, Texas design for this area is 75F inside with 95F outside. These are design parameters. Does this mean you will never get lower than 75F inside? No. The heat of the day or the hottest part of the day is typically 3pm-7pm or 3pm-8pm during unusually hot record breaking periods.

These events as well as the condition of your AC system, your home’s thermal envelope conditions, duct work, system design and how you operate the system can all have an effect (good or bad) as to how hot or cool your house is.

A Not So Cool Story

Part of the reason for this blog post. I recently ran an AC service call in which the home in question was a rental house. The tenant recently moved in and not accustomed to the Katy, Texas climate just yet… or so this is what was relayed to me. I only know what you tell me, the rest is nothing more than a series of guesses.

I have never been to this house before. So I have no service history to go off of. I am walking blind so to speak. The system had recently been repaired, part of the AC system was replaced by another HVAC company. (Single story home, one HVAC system)

I get there (to the rental house) and the thermostat is reading 72F with nearly 100F outside. So on face value you could say this air conditioner is doing all it can. Essentially that would be true. But that unfortunately doesn’t go far enough.

Because taking AC service readings into consideration points to a bigger problem that only gets bigger the further I dig. It didn’t take long because this job wasn’t mine I was only there to “check out the work” that was done by another company.

Why was that necessary?

Because the other company had been out there a couple of times already saying the AC system is doing all it can do. The home owner decided to do the right thing and investigate further at additional cost. Not doing so could eventually turn into a revolving door of tenants moving in and out. That is costly in the home rental business. I know because I also own a rental house. Experience is worth what these days?

The ramifications of what I found? Split temperature / Differential Temperature / Temperature Drop / Delta T. What ever you wish to call it… was 12F. This should be 15-20F degrees. Preferably the closer to 20 the better for our climate here in Katy, Texas. Because as our design parameters describe you should have closer to a 20 degree temperature drop across the coil. Although any thing above 15F would be considered a passing grade.

So just that test alone I expected the AC system to be low on refrigerant. But that is not what I found. Because I don’t have any past service history I am led to guess what may or may not have happened here. (Contaminated System / Improper methods / Some other issue not yet known)

This is also to suggest you can’t just go with what you think the problem might be. As adding refrigerant to this system would only make things worse. Removing refrigerant won’t help either. The difference from proper to improper. Living with it? I suppose you could live on the edge but additional failures on your dime? Remember Katy, Texas is a hot climate. We separate the men from the boys in this climate on a fairly consistent basis when hitting triple digit temps. Not to brag, but I know what works, I also know what won’t work. So because I am not the installing HVAC contractor I can only guess what they did do as well as what they didn’t do but should have.

Guessing is not only dangerous but also costly. This customer ( home owner of this rental) has used me for work before. This wasn’t a free call – my opinions are worth paying for I am not nor have I ever been a gimmick provider. Service history is what determines what costs may be for me having to go behind someone else.

There is no warranty for improperly installed equipment. Currently the home owner had decided to get this company to go back and fix this system. The excuse this other company has been using isn’t going to fly now. The tenant is by now relieved that they’re no longer considered ‘nuts’ or making stuff up.

The AC Is Doing All It Can

When you’ve been doing HVAC Repair & Service for as long as I have you get the opportunity to see it all. I don’t just work on rentals, but this story is yet another rental. These stories provide unique insight to this AC blog post topic.

I think the reason for these kinds of stories is that tenants will push HVAC systems quite hard. This particular system has two floors with one system and thermostat on the top floor.

So this story goes to places the other call could only dream of. I have service history of this address so I know the complaint is likely bogus before I even get there. But I still have to “check it” because if you don’t you’re guessing and guessing doesn’t work in HVAC. I have a reputation of telling it like it is. Not going to stop now even if I think you can’t handle it. At some point you’ll have to put on big boy or big girl pants just like I do every morning.

I get there I have a conversation with the tenant and they claim to have to blast the AC at night so the room on the lower level doesn’t get too hot. Also that in the after noon the temps rise on the thermostat on the second floor. Which is normal by the way in triple digit heat.

Upon checking the unit while I was discussing things with the tenant on first floor the AC cycled off. I began this check with room temp on top floor at 69F at the thermostat.

In order to check this AC system I dropped the temperature to 65F to force it to run so I could perform the check. The Delta T / Temp Drop across the coil was 22F. This particular AC was installed by me. I have been servicing this property for a number of years.

Notice the difference in Temp drop from the first one? 10F better.

Operating Pressures? Outstanding. (These fluctuate so it’s pointless posting this information.)

Because of the nature of a tenant occupant I even recorded the temperature in the master bedroom suite on the lower floor. 65F — yet design is 75F. So you can see how these things can vary from one home to the next. No two homes are alike.

Everyone’s view of what comfort is can and will be different from other viewpoints. But design is the limit. This particular property has a control on the top floor with one HVAC system so it will always be warmer on the top floor. (Heat rises)

And the thermostat on the top floor does not now how hot or cool it is on the lower level. These design flaws can be fixed. But that costs money.

The HVAC Comfort Business

HVAC is a big box of comfort. Service is part of that, just as much as design and all these other factors. The HVAC product & design you choose has limitations. It doesn’t work by magic and your definition of work should mean more than “The unit turns on, The unit turns off”

Because there is more to it than just turning on or off. It must be doing so properly and efficiently. What is properly to someone who doesn’t know?

I thank you for visiting with me today. I hope this subject may help you garner more understanding in relation to how you view comfort the choices you make for those that provide it for you.

As always I hope your day is comfortable.

About the Author of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning Blog:

My name is Ray Austin owner/operator of Austin Air Companie a small HVAC service company that services the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas. I write my own blogs, I make my own videos, No investors, no intimidation to tell you like it is. My HVAC career is 28 years long, 14 of which running and operating my own HVAC service company.

If you call me, you will get me. There is no technician roulette wheel to spin here at Austin Air Companie.

If you are calling me I will inform you of all choices after inspecting your HVAC system(s) in person and even repairing your air conditioner if that option makes sense. I am skilled in working for you, not just recommending something that is only beneficial to me. It’s about providing you an air conditioning service that you can rely on. I will do my best to explain the risks of doing what you decide to do. That is what a skilled HVAC contractor can do for you.

Let me know what your concerns are. Comfort means different things to different people. We are all unique that way. A solution I like, might not be right for you and vice versa. System Design is a wide varying topic but is very important as to the comfort level that system will perform.

Serving Katy, Texas and some surrounding areas. Call Ray at Austin Air Companie Today! 832-475-6895.

The Home of Better AC Service. Welcome Home.

 

 

Air Conditioner Was Recently Installed By Other AC Company And It Is Noisy When It Starts Up

Friday, July 8th, 2022

Quote from Website contact form:

Hi there… I bought a Armstrong Air A/C about a year ago from a friend. From the get-go, when the unit starts up (upon engagement) there’s a loud boom.

I called him (the friend) about three months ago and he installed a hard start device on it. At first, it seemed to quiet the unit a bit but 95% of the time when it starts up it sounds like a shotgun going off.

I contacted Armstrong Air Corp office. All they said basically was to get an A/C guy out to examine it. I don’t see how this units life span will be long, plus it’s loud as heck. Any suggestions? Thank you XXXX.

End Quote.

So I called this guy (the home owner) and we had a lengthy discussion over the phone when it was convenient for me because of ‘time’ which is money in it’s most valuable form.  Service isn’t free, time isn’t free and my labor cost doesn’t come from a manufacturer warranty.

The round about way this conversation went from the start is that he (the home owner) needed to get his friend (the person who installed this machine) to fix the problem. That was my suggestion.

He (the home owner) tells me this guy is no longer his friend.

The home owner paid friend for a product / service he didn’t get. Either the friend does the job he was paid to do OR…….. read on.

HVAC Repair Service Katy Texas Choices

 

You have choices, but if it’s going to involve me it’s going to cost you money. You can ask for suggestions via my contact form but 9 times out of 10 you’re not going to like what I have to say. I may offer you more than one option, each with it’s own set of risks. I am a AC repair man first, if it breaks again? I can probably fix it again under the same set of conditions as before. HVAC repair is my business in Katy, Texas.

It is better for you if you haven’t conflicted yourself with another HVAC contractor. The HVAC industry is changing as it occasionally does and sometimes it changes in ways that are not beneficial to you when you’ve put your trust in a company that doesn’t stand behind the equipment they installed for you.

Call Ray Today at 832-475-6895. 28 years in HVAC as of 2022. 14 Years running my own HVAC Service Company. Learn what 100’s and 100’s of your neighbors already know. 

Noise is a complicated subject for a system that I have not inspected. This person was at the time I talked to him looking for a ‘simple’ fix. If this AC only needed a simple fix why didn’t his friend fix it? This circular logic isn’t to degrade anyone it is to offer clarity to the gravity of this particular situation. I warned him in advance that it didn’t sound to me like a simple fix is in his future.

I have installed numerous different air conditioning brands over the years and never once have I been faced with what is likely a compressor sounding like a shot gun blast every time it starts up.

I have no idea what was done when this unit was installed, let alone what was not done that should have been. So because of this it represents a ‘conflict of interest’ for me to become involved in it EXCEPT, that the home owner is willing to pay for whatever solution I offer to correct the issue. The manufacturer doesn’t pay for anything they merely provide a part with even more conditions in some situations.

I wasn’t the installing HVAC contractor to this unit, that is the job of the installing contractor to make this problem right on a AC unit that is about 1 year old as far as I know.

One such solution would be to replace the offending part of the system. The part that is making all the noise. But it’s a new 1 year old AC unit? If I were to replace this compressor under part warranty and the manufacturer determined later this part failure was due to something improper at installation, the manufacturer would have every right to deny the warranty of that compressor.

I then face the risk of being charged for this compressor when it wasn’t my job from the get go. So you understand why this is a conflict of interest. At least I hope you understand.

You have to realize I am here to do things right. It’s a trade mark within my logo. *Done Right*

If I installed the HVAC machine, some of it, part of it and it develops some problem like this I am going to stand behind it and correct it. I spell out what is covered on a warranty and what isn’t. In some unusual cases it *may* cost some money to repair the problem depending largely what is wrong with it and what is involved in fixing it / how long it took for the problem to occur.

There are limitations to every warranty. My job to fulfill a warranty is to ‘make you whole’ when I was the installing HVAC contractor. However, this doesn’t always mean it will be a free repair. Labor, Maintenance, power surges, rodents, refrigerants, equipment use to repair problems are not covered by any manufacturer warranty. Exception: labor is typically covered for 1 year by the installing contractor. Anything above that and you pay for it up front, but that will also come with additional requirements such as prepaid maintenance contracts to maintain the equipment. If those maintenance appointments are not performed, that extended labor warranty won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

What I spell out here is fact (truth). If you want a gimmick, you’re not going to find it here.

Refrigerants (Freon)

The refrigerant your system uses R410a has shot up in the realm of 325-340% since a year ago. (2022) Manufacturers do not cover refrigerant, even if I am replacing a compressor under a warranty for a unit that I am not responsible for. No I am not going to reuse the refrigerant in your current system because that refrigerant could be the cause of what is wrong with the system, or lead to that cause.

Does this mean I am not compassionate? No. I understand this home owner paid for a product and he didn’t get what he paid for.

If I have said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times that the installation of the AC unit is the most important part. It’s not just what you know, it’s also what you should know but don’t realize.

Sharing is caring. I share this subject freely to help you the home owner make wiser decisions. I give you choices. Currently this home owner has decided to do nothing, because he paid for a product & service he didn’t get from a different HVAC contractor.

If he decides to later use my services to correct this problem, I’m almost certainly likely to include this subject on an upcoming video on my YouTube Channel. 

I gave him (the home owner) a choice, pay more money to me to investigate with a full fledge warning in advance based on my experience of 28 years that likely what I recommend to him isn’t going to be something he will like monetarily.

If Austin Air Companie is going to do some work for you, that work is something I am going to stand behind. Does that mean there will never be any more additional cost? No. I am well aware of the gimmicks floating around out there.

If they aren’t gimmicks there wouldn’t have been any need for this home owner to contact me this way.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope at the very least this AC blog post has offered some clarity and the importance of who you choose to maintain, service, repair & replace your home HVAC system.

As always I hope your day is comfortable.

About the Author of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning Blog:

My name is Ray Austin owner/operator of Austin Air Companie a small HVAC service company that services the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas. I write my own blogs, I make my own videos, No investors, no intimidation to tell you like it is. My HVAC career is 28 years long, 14 of which running and operating my own HVAC service company.

If you call me, you will get me. There is no technician roulette wheel to spin here at Austin Air Companie. Call Ray Today! 832-475-6895

Did you know that HVAC is often times a game of cat and mouse? You see early on in my HVAC career I was forced to run calls for free. Because the managers / owners of the company I worked for were into games of tricking people. The advertisements were geared toward making the phone ring (promising free this or that). Then to make those advertisements pay off I was told to sell new HVAC systems. You have to do that to pay for those fancy advertisements from the TV. In 2022 advertising costs are even higher not to mention the cost of everything else.

If you are calling me I will inform you of all choices after inspecting your HVAC system(s) even repairing your air conditioner if that option makes sense. I am skilled in working for you, not just recommending something that is only beneficial to me. It’s about providing you an air conditioning service that you can rely on. I will do my best to explain the risks of doing what you decide to do. That is what a skilled HVAC contractor can do for you.

If I ran service calls for free now with gas prices where they are up over $4 a gallon currently (2022). That isn’t wise financially. I have to remain in business to serve the customers I have already. As I lay out things that are changing in the HVAC industry in this Katy Texas AC Blog post you need a skilled HVAC contractor more than ever. Unless of course you are naturally wealthy and can afford to replace your AC equipment over and over again.

The choice is yours to make. I lay it out for you then you choose what you think is best for you and your situation. If something else happens? Call me again. You will always need a good HVAC repair man, more so now than any other time before.

Anyone can say anything on the internet. I am well aware of that so I provide you some proof below that I can silence your air conditioning noise. The unit in the video below was much older. I was called out long after it had started making all kinds of racket. The unit shown in the below video made this racket for years, until it finally gave up the battle on a very hot summer day a few years ago….

Watch me fix the noisy Air Conditioner in the video below. I’ve been out to this house several times since this unit was fixed, repairing other parts of this HVAC system. The unit is still as quiet as it was the day I installed it.

You will always need a good HVAC repair man.

Austin Air Companie is the HOME of Better AC Service…. WELCOME HOME.

Call Ray Today at 832-475-6895

R22 Freon Ban AND R410a Puron Phase Down 2022

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

R22 Freon Ban

So I believe most everyone knows by now of this R22 Freon Ban a popular refrigerant that was used in air conditioners across the USA for the better part of the last 40 years or so. I still to this day find these machines and the result is often to replace this with air conditioners that use the newer refrigerant R410a Puron, that is often confused with the latter.

Up until about a few years ago it was sometimes feasible to just repair an R22 Freon machine, however this refrigerant has now become so costly it is almost always better to replace the equipment for a new air conditioner that uses R410a Puron. R22 Freon was banned because the chemicals in which it is made from contain chlorine and it was deemed unfriendly to the ozone layer in the atmosphere where it was cutting holes in that layer. (A layer in the stratosphere that protects the earth from UV rays of the sun)

 

R410a Puron Phase Down

R410a is set to be phased down for entirely different reasons than destruction of the ozone layer. There was an amendment to the Montreal Protocol in 2016 known as the Kigali Amendment. The reason why you may not have heard or know of this until now is that due to Trump being elected US President later in 2016 of that year the Trump adminstration ignored the Kigali Amendment thru out his adminstration.

What one adminstration can ignore, another can change course and expedite things under a Global Warming national emergency header. However, as I share this topic and delve deeper into where things are one thing will become abundantly clear. There is no perfect solution to this problem. It’s primarily a cat and mouse game at this point. (As of May 2022 things don’t look that great.) 

In an attempt to give you a clear understanding of this topic I made a video what / how / why and when this is due. This video below is only a starting point to show how we got to this point. Video embedded below. 

The cost of R22 Freon is primarily what is driving new replacements of air conditioners in my area of Katy, Texas which is a hot climate in which we run our air conditioners 9-10 months of the year most years. The con in all of this is you won’t live in Katy, Texas climate without air conditioning.

So essentially any AC you buy in 2022 will come with R410a. There’s no problem in that just on it’s own provided of course that new unit doesn’t spring a refrigerant leak. Oh well I have a warranty so you might think you’re ok until you dig out that warranty certificate to find out refrigerants are not covered by any manufacturer.

Refrigerant Wars

There are so many ways to slice and dice this… there are no easy answers I can assure you of that. So what can you do?

Educate yourself, I lay it out for you cut and dry this subject will be long. Don’t do your homework plan on an empty wallet no other way around that. If spending hours trying to educate yourself on such things is not your thing and you live in the Katy, Texas area? You could call me my name again is Ray Austin. Your own personal easy button. I will lay out your options for you considering your situation (whatever that may entail).
Call me at 832-475-6895

Here is the start of a multi part discussion of possible future refrigerants, each of which will require new air conditioning equipment. No free lunch here. I decided to call this Freon Wars and you’ll see why as I post additional parts to this blog post.

Here is the second part 2b to refrigerant (freon) wars saga.

Here is the third part 2c to refrigerant (freon) wars saga.

Stay tuned / book mark this post as I will update it as things move along. Should know more the closer we get to 2023. Thanks for watching and thank you for visiting with me today.

About the Author of this blog post:
My name is Ray Austin owner/operator of Austin Air Companie a small HVAC service company that services the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas. I write my own blogs, I make my own videos, No investors, no intimidation to tell you like it is. My HVAC career is 28 years long, 14 of which running and operating my own HVAC service company.

If you call me, you will get me. There is no technician roulette wheel to spin here at Austin Air Companie.

Did you know that HVAC is often times a game of cat and mouse? You see early on in my HVAC career I was forced to run calls for free. Because the managers / owners of the company I worked for were into games of tricking people. The advertisements were geared toward making the phone ring (promising free this or that). Then to make those advertisements pay off I was told to sell new systems. You have to do that to pay for those fancy advertisements from the TV. In 2022 advertising costs are even higher not to mention the cost of everything.

If you are calling me I will inform you of all choices even repairing your air conditioner. I am skilled in working for you, not just recommending something that is only beneficial to me. It’s about providing you an air conditioning service that you can rely on. I will do my best to explain the risks of doing what you decide to do. That is what a skilled HVAC contractor can do for you.

If I ran service calls for free now with gas prices where they are up over $4 a gallon currently. That isn’t wise financially. I have to remain in business to serve the customers I have already. As I lay out things that are changing in the HVAC industry in this Katy Texas AC Blog post you need a skilled HVAC contractor more than ever. Unless of course you are naturally wealthy and can afford to replace your AC equipment over and over again.

The choice is yours to make. I lay it out for you then you choose what you think is best for you and your situation. If something else happens? Call me again. You will always need a good HVAC repair man, more so now than any other time before.

Air Conditioning & Heating Repair 2022 | HVAC Equipment Selection

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Before I get started with this subject realize that HVAC subjects of this nature are geared toward the climate I live in. I am a small HVAC service and repair company serving the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas.

I often choose these kinds of subjects based upon what I am currently witnessing in home AC repair solutions and those who may call some other company and are often times told they need to replace their whole HVAC system (heating and cooling) as opposed to just repairing it.

There are many reasons why it may make sense to replace your entire HVAC system just as much as it might be more beneficial to merely repair it. The reasons for doing it one way (repair system versus replace) may make more sense simply due to what is happening in the current HVAC market regarding new efficiency regulations that are about to take shape. However, in some situations it may not be worth repairing your system. I can only offer you ways forward from looking at your system in person. Much of this is a judgment call based on 28 years of doing HVAC for a living.

In this embedded video below I show several jobs I’ve performed over the past year or so. I also touch base on some other important info such as Freon Leak Sealers as well as gimmick providers that like to advertise on TV. You have to pay attention to get it.

DOE Energy Efficiency Requirements

 

DOE is an acronym for Department of Energy. Over the course of the past couple of decades changes have been made to require manufacturers to hit various efficiency thresholds. These requirements are getting ready to change again, the time in which they will is not just yet. They are coming. The picture currently isn’t quite clear. I expect this new equipment to start showing up later this year or early next year in my market. (Other markets may experience this sooner than mine, notably the California market.)

So if you replace a HVAC system now (this year 2022 in Texas) you will get the old efficiency requirement. R410a, the refrigerant used in all new AC & heat pump systems currently (2022) is in the midst of a phase out that is coming in California in 2023 and else where shortly thereafter (2024-2025).

New DOE efficiency requirement changes are due around the same time frame. The new refrigerant replacing R410a and the equipment supporting it are not yet available. It is expected to start showing up in my market (Katy, Texas area) sometime later this year and or early next year. There will likely be complications to these changes.

My opinion is that this probably won’t pay you to be an “early adopter” of the new technology that is due with in the next 2-3 years. (Early 2022 when this blog post was created.)

Eventually you won’t have a choice, or the choices you do have will have certain risks attached to them as in the cost of the refrigerant that is used to operate the AC system or Heat pump.

 

The Implementation of SEER2 for AC Efficiency

 

Currently Manufacturers use SEER. Which is an acronym of seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It is a ratio of efficiency that give you a round about way of knowing given certain climate conditions how much that selection of equipment will cost you to operate it. The higher the number the more efficient or “cheaper” it is to operate it by running it. The more you run it, the more you will save because it’s efficient.

This is similar to mpg in a car. If a car gets 30 miles to every gallon of gas, it is more efficient than a car that only gets 10 miles to every gallon of gas. The difference in a car that doesn’t make sense when applied to HVAC is that the car that gets only 10 miles the gallon is that it has higher performance, than that of a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon.

SEER2 is a new equation that does away with the old SEER equation. Because of this change, it is estimated by one equipment manufacturer that upwards of 70% of the equipment they make now (2022) will not meet the new SEER2 requirements. The benefit is that the Equipment made using the new SEER2 equation will be more efficient than the older SEER equation that it is replacing.

So for someone looking for a completely new HVAC system, now (2022) is not the best time to do so. If your HVAC system is older like 20 years or more this is going to bring you to a complex decision. If you live in or close by the Katy, Texas area I have helped hundreds and hundreds of your neighbors over the course of the last 14 years since I started my HVAC company in the latter part of 2008. There is a cost to come out, but that initial cost can be credited to any work you want me to do for you. You can call me at 832-475-6895.

 

The reason why older systems bring a harder decision that that a good number of them use R22 Freon. Usually these AC systems are leaking refrigerant, the only real way forward for most of these kinds of AC systems will most likely be replacement. Your choices will be few right now. If you can repair it, that repair will be costly and then you still have an old system that may not last. This comment is mostly to do with a hot climate in which I serve. If you lived in a more mild climate, I might have a different opinion. Just so you understand the context for what I am talking about.

In Katy, Texas we use our AC’s for upwards of 9 to 10 months of the year most years. That’s a lot of wear and tear. So you the reader understand why climate concerns play and important role as to the information you use to make a decision.

 

Freon Refrigerant Leaks, Home Ownership & HVAC

 

I recently visited a home in which the Evaporator coil was leaking Freon. R410a to be exact, but people still refer to this refrigerant as Freon.

The system in question was roughly 8 years old. The home owner had gotten a quote from another company and that company was pressuring him to replace everything. New furnace, new E-coil and new AC condenser. While it’s always an option to replace everything to fix a problem with your existing system, the more you replace the more it costs. If what you are replacing it with will be obsolete in a short amount of time, that’s not a *real* solution in my book. Certainly in some cases if your current system is older then a completely new HVAC system may be what you need.

I was at another home recently on an AC system that I personally replaced about 8 years ago. Different brand than the customer that I mentioned prior. Ironically the same failure. This is partly another reason I bring up this point is that brands don’t matter as much as you think they do. (Some people already realize this game for what it is, if you don’t yet — you will by the time you reach my age.)  I am considered a straight shooter, tell it like it is kind of guy.

If you’re looking to higher efficiency, saving money on running your AC you have to go to a more major brand of HVAC. Generic brands, often called the value brands only make entry level efficient systems. Which essentially means the lowest efficiency they can make allowable by law. (DOE & EPA more or less determine what HVAC manufacturers can and can’t do.)

So that previous customer of mine has an older furnace. Because 8 years ago we didn’t replace that furnace. But upon inspecting it, still operational at this point and no real reason to replace it now as the DOE changes coming up it is better to wait. Our heating season in Katy, Texas is very short. So gas furnaces here get more of a work out in AC mode than they do in heating mode.

 

Different Climates, Different Concerns (location)

 

If you found this blog and live in a different climate, your concerns will likely be very different than the concerns in my climate in Katy, Texas. Comfort means different things to different people, no two of us are exactly alike. The other point in this part of the blog post about home ownership is how long do you plan to live in the home? If that estimation is short, any efficiency improvements may not fully pay for themselves.

The higher efficient systems cost more. Typically the difference in cost from a regular AC will be made up in a short amount of time. But the full cost of the improvement is likely to be in the 12 to 15 year range. Having a more efficient system will probably help you sell the house, but in current real estate markets homes are snapped up regardless because of scarcity, not what kind of HVAC system the house has.

If you need a new AC system anyway and you don’t plan to move or sell your home a choice to boost efficiency can recoup the difference from the run of the mill replacement AC to the more efficient AC. Air conditioners have come a long way. If the difference from one option is a few thousand dollars, that difference can be recouped rather quickly via the reduction of up to 50% in your electric usage. Then in only a few short years, you got the better AC system for essentially the cost of the entry level AC. (Note: not all AC’s can make this leap, this isn’t a gimmick.)

I’ve been repairing and fixing air conditioners longer than some of you have been alive. Like cool stories with good endings? Here’s some more for ya… I know the internet is a tricky place. Anyone can say anything. I’m not just anyone. I am Ray Austin. 😉


About the author of this air conditioning blog post:

My name is Ray Austin. Thank you for visiting with me today. I write all my own blogs, tell all my own stories in terms of various HVAC repairs made for others. Over the past few years the challenges have been extraordinary, from getting parts to finding equipment. I come well versed in these things even in these extraordinary times we find ourselves in.

Due to the nature of these pending efficiency standard changes the brand name won’t make any real difference. Once refrigerant changes / efficiency standards are changed the HVAC market will head that way. Certain HVAC equipment will become obsolete more or less over night. That situation will only effect you if & when your HVAC system breaks. This could be as short as a few short years for Katy, Texas area.

Regardless of HVAC brand, they all break. Look who you’re talking to? While there may be some opinions that the R410a refrigerant phase out will look something like R22 Freon phase out, I remain skeptical primarily because it is much harder to produce R410a AND Europe is mostly using R32 right now. (There is little reason to keep producing it.)

 

If your HVAC system can be repaired now, you may skip the costly replacement that may be short lived. The climate of Katy, Texas forces you to make a decision. Going without AC in this market? In my opinion that is not an option.

You will always need a good HVAC contractor in the Katy, Texas area. Ray Austin is a 28 year veteran of the HVAC business. I have 14 years of experience running and operating my own HVAC company. I have an AOS degree in HVAC, Universally certified in handling any refrigerant, Texas HVAC licensed TACLB28416E and insured.

Got an AC problem at your home in or near Katy Texas? Call Ray at 832-475-6895

Avoid the salesman mantra, call an HVAC contractor – call Ray Today!

Air Conditioner Does Not Turn On

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

If your air conditioner doesn’t turn on it’s typically a frightening thing, because often times the thought is that the AC has died. Death of anything is never a pleasant thought.

Just because your AC does not come on, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to buy a new one. Sometimes that is the case, but many times this situation is due to various electrical communications that determine whether the air conditioner will turn on or not. If there is a break in the electrical communication your AC needs to operate, often times it will simply shut off because it’s either a control problem or power problem in which power is interrupted for some reason.

Is my AC a goner

Heat Kills Air Conditioners

Air Conditioning Electrical Systems

Air Conditioning requires electricity to run or operate. So the reason the AC is not operating (turning on) has to be inspected to determine the cause. Because there are varying voltages from 24 volts to 115 volts up to 240 volts and multiple circuits for your HVAC system to operate it’s much more complicated than most people realize.

Differing Electrical Voltages Do Not Mix

HVAC Electrical Systems Require Maintenance

We all take electricity for granted, until the day in which the power goes out. We all know the electrical grid that supplies our homes require maintenance such as the replacement of transformers and tree trimming. These services are provided to us by the power company that maintains the electrical grid that provides electrical power to our homes. We pay for these kinds of services indirectly when we pay our electric bills. A portion of your electric bill pays for the maintenance service of the electrical grid.

However, these exterior electrical maintenance services do not extend to inside your home. When your electrical grid in your home breaks down and various things in your home quit working properly it’s either the device itself or the outlet or power connection to the device in question. We’ve all gone to turn on a light switch and the light bulb blows and burns out the minute the switch is turned on. Your HVAC system is similar to this kind of wear and tear, just on a larger scale.

Electrical Power For Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is unique in that the AC system nearly always has multiple circuits and as many as 3 different voltages at most residential homes. Commercial HVAC equipment can be considerably different so realize for the purpose of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning Blog Topic I am mostly referring to the residential HVAC market. Due to the complexity of these multiple and varying voltages required for your HVAC system to operate properly it is in your best interest to seek a LICENSED HVAC Professional to correct and repair electrical problems with your HVAC system.

Safety First

Each Electrical Circuit Is Important

Electricity & Personal Safety

You can’t mix voltages. For your safety it is in your interest to seek a ‘Licensed’ HVAC professional to work on and service your HVAC system. Without proper repairs, you are risking your own safety, damage to your HVAC system up to and including major system damage. In addition to those risks you also risk the possibility of creating an unsafe condition that could cause a fire. Your home is the single largest investment that you will make in your lifetime. You do not want the experience of a house fire on your life resume.

I speak from experience: It’s not uncommon for me to go to various calls through out the year in which a home owner has attempted to repair their HVAC system and more often than not they have only made the situation worse. Please do not risk your own safety. Hire a Licensed HVAC pro, it’s the best way to go. (TACLB28416E)

Resetting Your Air Conditioning Breaker

It’s not uncommon that a situation may occur in which your AC breaker trips due to a electrical storm that blows though the area in which you live. I provide you with a video below that provides basic (safe) instructions on how to perform this task to reset your AC breaker. If your system is elaborate or different than the norm it is my recommendation that you hire a licensed HVAC professional to perform this task for you and give the AC system a thorough check.


You can subscribe to my You Tube Channel here.

If your AC breaker continually trips the breaker or does not reset, your system is telling you there is a bigger problem that should be investigated thoroughly. Seek the wisdom of a Licensed HVAC Contractor in these situations.

Thank you for visiting me today. I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with 23 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems (TACLB28416E). I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

About Austin Air Companie: Celebrating 10 years in 2018.

Happy Birthday

Austin Air Companie Celebrates 10 Years

Austin Air Companie
832~475~6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website at:

www.austinairco.com

Better Service. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.