Austin Air Companie Blog : Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning Pro’ 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!

High Electric Bills In Katy Texas

Monday, August 24th, 2020

This time of the year for the Katy, Texas area it is not uncommon for electric bills to start inducing a bit of shock and awe into people. This blog post is for the Katy, Texas area primarily because we run and depend on our AC systems upwards of 10 months of the year most years. If you keep your dial set at 75F degrees that is around 2300 hours. That’s alot of run time. If you like it cooler than 75F in your home, your AC system is running much more than normal. If the AC operational cost is 65% of your homes utility cost and you are running the AC really hard? Well there’s good reason why your electric bills are high, but sometimes this is more complicated than you think.

UPDATE: June 10, 2021. New embedded video below updating my own personal experience & better describing what this new air conditioning technology is, how it works and why you’ll likely want one.

Complications of high light bills is that no two people pay the same electric rate any more. So part of your problem *may be* that you are paying a higher rate than you should. But fear not… I break this down like no one. Because I made some upgrades at my own home in late 2019. I saved some old light bills to show you comparisons of how my old 14 SEER single speed AC performed versus the new 18 SEER Inverter AC.

To find out if this new technology may be right for you? You must schedule an in house visit. There is a cost for this service. It is to determine if this is right for you or not. This can only be done in person & you must be the owner of the home in question. This is not for renters.  To get on my schedule call Ray Austin at 832-475-6895.

Whoa, Inverter AC? What’s that? It’s a recent new comer to this market. As with everything especially Air Conditioners there are pros and cons to this. However, I think the pros outweigh the cons and because this new machine has the ability to cut your light bill in half. That alone makes it worth the risk. (It pays for itself.)  Is it for everyone? Probably not. If you like it cool with less humidity in your home there isn’t anything that I know of that can beat it. Obviously the more AC systems you have at your home, the more it will cost. It involves equipment replacement to various degrees. But it is a smarter overall solution as there are no proprietary controls to worry about as well as a few other perks.

Even if your AC is less than 10 years old, this *might* still cut your electric bill in half. It’s not just a run of the mill new air conditioner. It’s an air conditioner that ramps up and down depending on the heat load on the home. Your current AC is probably either on or off. This air conditioner has many different speeds. This is how it saves you money off your electric bill. Then all you have to do is find a good electric rate and you’re set.

How much could you save every month? If your AC is really old like 15 years or more… you’ll wonder why you didn’t look into this sooner.

Air Conditioning Contractor Cuts His Electric Bill In Half With New Inverter Air Conditioner

Here’s some proof to back up what I am saying.  The reason I am comparing to 2018 is that I paid a higher rate in 2019, I am trying to be as fair as possible here. This isn’t a gimmick. (nor is it solar panels, the biggest caveat with solar is no room to put them + higher up front cost). These bills are for my home in Katy, Texas a single story home 1910 square foot, with 1 HVAC system configured as 4 Ton Inverter AC system. (over 50 speeds the compressor runs in.)

 

AC efficiency comparison

May 2020: The savings are ramping up!

High electric bills comparison

June 2020: The savings holding steady at 50% reduction. It’s been HOT!

June 2020 Electric bill comparison

July 2020: Man you thought it was hot in June? Really hot this month, the savings take a turn higher! Wow! Over $100 in savings, that’s awesome!

July 2020 Electric Bill Savings Ramp up

Comfort means different things to different people. Some will disregard what it costs to operate the machine, they are more worried about the upfront cost not realizing that buying a better machine will eventually pay for itself via a reduction in the cost to run it. Obviously if you don’t run the machine you have now because you like it hot in your home, then the machine you have now is good for you.

If you like it cool like 75F or lower, this new machine may be the one you’ve been looking for. Thank you for visiting with me today! As always I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning 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 26 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems as of August 2020. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs. I also own and operate a Rental Real Estate business. I know real estate! It’s unlikely to find another company truly like me. When I say ‘Service’: I actually mean it.

Austin Air Companie

832-475-6895

“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

A Ray Austin HVAC Service Company

The home of better AC service.

Welcome home!

For more Air Conditioning Information:

Katy, Tx AC blog, service and repair videos,

tips and everything air conditioning and heating

for your home you can always visit me on my main website @

https://www.austinairco.com

 

Better Service. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

 

 

New Air Conditioning Sales Truth

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Truth is a funny thing when it comes to sales. Sales of anything including air conditioning and heating equipment for that matter. We’ve all been duped by TV commercials that sell some new product with claims that more often then not turn out to be outright lies. They promise your money back, they promise if it’s ever broken they will give you a new one. A promise is made only to be broken. Tell me if I am wrong OK?

If you’re young and in your 20’s maybe early 30’s you may not know what I am about to share with you. Realize if you are in your 20’s I am twice your age. I know the sales game like the back of my hand. So take my hand and take a walk with me, as I share some of my own wisdom with you.

Our AC Product Is Better Than Sliced Bread

It’s not hard to make one product ‘look’ better than another if you make other similar products look worse. Often times it’s the ‘love’ of what one product claims. In most cases in the AC world of things it’s flashy words to put one’s HVAC product on a pedestal as being better than other competing HVAC products.

Lies masquerading as truth

For the most part a newly installed HVAC system can work flawlessly for quite some time because the longevity of a ‘completely’ new HVAC system can run for typically several years or more with little to no fuss other than changing air filters periodically. The funny part is brand doesn’t matter at all for the above to occur. Are you laughing yet?

Here’s a recent video I produced to describe this situation in clearer detail. Video embedded below from my youtube channel.

 

You see as a HVAC business owner and operator, my job is ultimately being able to fix your system when it breaks. All brands break. I’m well aware of all the flashy gimmicks that many times make you think other wise. They’re there to captivate you and in many cases deceive you to think some elusive better non breakable HVAC system exists, when your current HVAC system isn’t performing as it should.

With that said, there is nothing wrong with certain HVAC brands that proclaim to be better. However, there are those that proclaim to be better than they really are and they come at a premium cost wise. So when they do break you will pay more for parts. Remember most HVAC brands require manufacturer specific parts these days. Nearly all HVAC brands do this to some degree. If I have to drive further to obtain those parts and the manufacturing plants are further away from those distributors you could be in for a wait to get that system fixed. You see this is the ‘nitty gritty’ back ground thinking that I do for you. Time. What is ‘time’ worth to you in a 100 degree heat wave and a broken AC?

More and more HVAC manufacturer’s are using parts that are equipment specific so they can charge whatever they want for the part you need to repair your HVAC system. The cost of what ever the manufacturer charges me (or any other company) is passed down to you. Don’t kid yourself.

Reasons I Sell The HVAC Equipment I Sell

For 10 years I have been running my HVAC business. I have installed 8 different brands of equipment. Mostly to see if there is ‘really’ some brand out there that is truly better than other brands.

Realize I have been running HVAC service for 23 years total as of 2018. As I said above the last 10 years have been running my own HVAC company. I am a one man company. Today it is August 20, 2018. Feel like temps hit over 100 degrees yesterday. I am bored, waiting for the phone to ring.

If the HVAC brands I sold in the past, literally 100’s and 100’s of AC equipment pieces each with 10 year parts warranty. (I never sell anything with less than 10 year part warranty, unless customer requests it.)

If you truly think AC brand matters as much as some think, why or how is it that I have the time it takes to write this lengthy blog post in the middle of high heat summer? Why am I not working fixing the equipment I installed over the past 10 years because it was inferior? Truth is funny that way. Ok, how about now? Are you laughing now?

Manufacturing Lies

What is the reason this Copeland compressor is in this factory?

It’s none other than salesmanship. It’s like the TV ad trying to sell you (fool you) into buying the latest kitchen gadget or whatever it is they are selling this week. Remember the Proverb? A fool and his money are soon parted. I don’t play those kinds of games. The truth is a double edged sword. If you don’t like the truth, your only option is to deny it. How much fun is that going to be?

Advertising monikers that are ridiculous once things displayed in the embedded video below are realized.  The moniker I am referring to in this preface is Carrier’s slogan of ‘Turn To The Experts’. So now watch the video embedded below to fully realize who the expert is here. (A manufacturer that uses plastic for things that should be made of steel, is not an expert in my opinion.)


The real reason I sell what I sell is access to parts when the AC system does break. Remember they all break. The better you take care of it the less likely that is. Another reason is ease in which it is to obtain those parts. Time, what is it worth to you? I am older now, so time is pretty expensive to me.

I live less than a mile from my main parts distributor. That main distributor gets the parts from the factory that is located less than 20 miles away. The warranties I get from this manufacture for higher end equipment are second to none.

My work ethic is second to none. My prices are reasonable for what I do. Quality comes from legendary response times and the knowledge to know how to correct a mistake ‘before’ becoming a critical problem. I answer my own phone. I joke around a lot within my advertising, mainly because I get bored so frequently and comedy is something that some people can relate to.

The jokes end when your comfort is on the line. I take my job seriously, when I am on the job. There is a time and place for everything.

The HVAC Equipment Is Your Choice

I am merely an ‘experienced’ guide to help you make not only a wise choice, but also become your HVAC servicer. AC Equipment sales are here one minute gone the next. If a HVAC servicer can’t repair equipment, then where does that leave you?

I repair all brands. How could I have installed 8 different brands over the years and only know how to work on a few of them? The only reason I say these things is to help you (the reader) to better understand how this works and the risks involved. There is risk driving down the road. Right?

I merely present you options or choices if you will as to what you want (what features are important to you). Whether it’s repairing or replacing your system it’s your choice to do so.

If the choice you make doesn’t work as you think I am here to fix it again or replace it. I am skilled in both. I am a licensed HVAC contractor.

The HVAC Equipment Brand You Sell Has Bad Reviews

I have some news for you, it wasn’t me who installed it. Therein lies the difference. It’s very common for competing HVAC companies to show you bad recent reviews of equipment brands they do not sell. If you check third party review sites of the equipment brand they are ‘trying’ to sell to you then you will see the brand they are selling you is just as inferior as anything else. Back in the day, I believe this was called ‘The Shell’ game.

Remember, you’re not buying a toaster. It takes skill to install a new HVAC system. It takes even more skill to be able to fix one. All HVAC brands on third party review sites rank the same at about 1 to 1.5 stars.

Proper installation and skill are the main ingredients to a great HVAC Equipment Installation.

HVAC equipment manufacturer’s have all changed in the past 10 years (bought out by other companies). Nothing is the same as it once was. Snap out of it. There is only one ‘real’ reason you use a professional. That is ‘TRUST’.

Thank you for visiting with me today. As always, 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:

Happy Birthday

Austin Air Companie Celebrates 10 Years

Celebrating 10 years in 2018.

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.

Air Conditioning Repair

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

It’s really hot out there today. This is the time of the year in which many that have had problems with their AC it’s long been fixed. (Hopefully)

There are those that are likely in the process of getting theirs fixed or putting it off because the AC broke unexpectedly. There is a lot of bad information out there in the internet world… please do not make the situation worse by attempting to fix it yourself or worse yet hire someone that is not licensed to work on it.

I have a good track record of repairing older systems. If and when it comes time to replace your AC I have a good track record there as well.

My Katy, Texas AC Company Is Different

I run my own AC company. You get someone with greater knowledge. How I fix things works. I write my own blogs, make my own you tube videos. If something else breaks, I fix it. I don’t make excuses. I don’t offer gimmicks. I offer true HVAC service and repair each and everyday 362 days a year.

It's Shake & Bake

AC Stories Coming To You Tube

I have some really unique stories that I plan to share soon on my you tube channel. One call in particular was a company that called me for a quote to replace a compressor.

I didn’t just give them a quote for the compressor. I checked to see what was wrong with the one that was so called bad. Good thing I checked because there was nothing wrong with the compressor. It was a minor electrical problem that was causing the issue.

I saved this company over $2600.00 on something they didn’t need.

Folks, this is why you pay for service. This is why you hire knowledgeable licensed HVAC contractors. I harp on this a lot in various blog posts I’ve written here and other websites that I own and operate. Time goes by, but nothing changes really. It’s the same thing that has gone on in the past. The lure of cheap service contracts… subscribe to my you tube channel here, the video is coming soon.

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:

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

Better Service. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

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.

Air Conditioner Runs And Runs Does Not Shut Off

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

This is a very common air conditioning ‘symptom’ but the solution for this symptom isn’t always the same for every air conditioner that suffers from this kind of symptom or deficiency if you will. To understand this better you have to realize the function of what an air conditioner does.

There Is No Such Thing As Cold

Whoa, hold the phone! No such thing as cold, you’re kidding right? No. There is only heat and the absence of heat is cold, but the proper term would be less heat. There is heat to some degree in air down to -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. This is defined as Absolute Zero. The point in which there is no heat or if you prefer: the lowest temperature that is theoretically possible, at which the motion of particles that constitutes heat would be minimal.

Less heat - not cold

absolute zero definition

 

My AC Just Runs And Runs

How this relates to your air conditioner is that if there is too much heat your AC system will run and run and run, because the thermostat is what cycles your air conditioner off. You may get some cooling from your AC system, but the air coming from the vents may not seem that cool during the heat of the day. This could be due to mechanical means as much as dirt clogging things up or thermal breaks in your hot attic that are contributing to causing your air conditioner to struggle to removing the heat from your home.

In some cases your AC system may be at fault, while other times it may be something else. In our climate of Katy, Texas (a west Houston suburb) our residential HVAC system design parameters for air conditioning is 95 degree outdoor and 75 degree indoor. People move to this climate every year and are often accustomed to lower indoor temps, this can also influence a lot of these kinds of problems because just setting the dial to a number doesn’t necessarily mean your system will be able to achieve ‘the number’ under all HVAC load conditions. This is really best explained within the home after the AC system has been inspected for potential trouble spots.

AC Air Blockage Causes Problems

AC Not Cooling Enough (AC Low Cool)

You see, your AC system operates by removing heat (commonly referred to as a load or heating load) from inside your home and expelling this heat outside your home. If your AC is running normal, you should feel warm air coming from the top of the outdoor condenser unit that sits outside your home. That warm air is from your home. If your AC condenser is really hot, this is typically not a good condition and should be checked.

An AC system is only as good as its greatest weakness. I can only check to see what the weakness of your AC system might be in person. Typically if an AC is not cooling properly it is generally a capacity type issue of some kind. These issues vary and is yet only another reason why the HVAC system must be inspected in person.

Proper Air Conditioning Maintenance Service

There are a myriad of reasons an air conditioner displays these kinds of symptoms. Dirty filters, Improper filtration (restriction), thermal envelope breaks, lack of ‘proper’ maintenance, lack of ‘proper’ repairs, mechanical problems , dirty coils, improperly sized (duct work, equipment), improperly designed (using zoning improperly, duct system problems etc.), improper refrigerant charge (either low charge or too much) and the list goes on and on.

Thermal Envelope Break

If your HVAC system is exhibiting symptoms of what is being described in this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning Blog:

Then your AC system should be checked and diagnosed by a HVAC ‘licensed’ pro in person. Usually this can be accomplished by an AC systems check or as part of an annual maintenance visit. My company doesn’t use technicians. I am a Texas licensed HVAC contractor TACLB28416E with 23 years experience as of 2018. I will personally come to your home to diagnose your system.

By signing up on an annual maintenance contract you get on a program to have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system by a licensed Air Conditioning and Heating Professional, I will keep track of it and call you when it’s time to check your system(s). This service is only available to homeowner’s who sign up on an annual twice a year maintenance contract. (Residential)

The kinds of problems mentioned within this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning article can effect any AC system of any age or brand. This is why an annual HVAC maintenance plan is recommended by all HVAC manufacturers. Problems like these don’t always mean the system ‘has’ to be replaced to fix these kinds of problems. But this is rarely a one size fits all kind of problem. Sometimes the system can be repaired and in some cases it may require partial replacement and there are other cases in which it is better to replace the whole system because the condition of the equipment is such that it’s not worth the risk to repair only to have it break down again / or there is some AC system design problem that can’t be repaired any other way.

I often give multiple options to repair and or replace. On rare occasions it can be my opinion that only replacement is the best option. Realize this is 23 years of experience talking. My goal is always to fix the problem the best way possible and move on, sometime those options are extremely limited. It serves no purpose to repair your AC system only to have a slew of additional problems. I lean on my 23 years of experience in dealing with these kinds of issues. It’s completely up to you if you wish to trust that judgment or not.

R22 Freon Production Ban

If you haven’t heard of this R22 refrigerant ban by now you’re in for a treat. Well, not really. This little fact only complicates and confuses an otherwise already challenging Air Conditioning repair market. In some cases, AC systems that use R22 Freon as the refrigerant of the system in question may make repair options much more costly now and even more so in the future.

Currently it is best to have these kinds of discussions in person with me, as not all situations are created equal, and time can and does change various things like costs and in some cases new emerging technology. I can come up with a plan to deal with this effectively to transition your home away from relying on R22 Freon (refrigerant) to cool your home. However, there isn’t some magical process that doesn’t include replacing equipment, so you have to be ‘realistic’. The R22 production ban takes effect Dec. 31, 2019.

While I expect to be able to still buy R22 refrigerant after this date the cost will most likely be much higher than it is today (2018). Because of the climate in which I do business. (Hot & Humid, up to 10 months of the year) I do not endorse or use alternative refrigerants that reduce capacity / increase utility costs / higher likelihood of compressor damage and so on for the High Temperature application for which R22 and R410a refrigerants were designed for. If your system was designed for R22, that is the type of refrigerant I use. I do not reuse old refrigerant, I reclaim it and return it to refrigerant reclaim center. All refrigerant placed in your AC system is the proper type of virgin quality refrigerant that your AC system needs.

Reused refrigerant could be contaminated by acids. These acids form naturally in an AC system that runs ‘hot’. If I pull refrigerant from someone else’s system that is contaminated place it in my reclaim tank, that tank is now contaminated. Refrigerant that is acidic will eat the windings of your poor old compressor. The repair (if any) will be short lived. In some cases the damage may already have been done to some extent before I even arrive on the scene.

Do you live in or near Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas? If you do you can call me personally at 832~475~6895 (My name is Ray Austin) and schedule your AC system check up and maybe set your systems up on a better preventive maintenance cycle and cover your systems on my twice a year maintenance contracts. That way I will remind you when it’s time to get your HVAC system(s) checked. I will help you stay on top of these AC maintenance issues that pop up from time to time to limit these kinds of problems from appearing in the first place.

Thank you for visiting with 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.

Copper Coils Versus Aluminum Coils

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

The residential HVAC industry has been going thru many changes over the past decade or so in terms of the metal materials they use to make certain pieces of HVAC equipment.

To give you some understanding first, there are two different separate type of coils that your HVAC system uses for your air conditioner or heat pump to work properly. The outdoor coil is the condenser coil, the indoor coil is the evaporator coil. This subject is primarily dealing with the indoor evaporator coil.

HVAC Refrigerant Leaks In All Aluminum Evaporator Coil

Come with me on a repair call in which I repair a Freon (refrigerant) Leak in an all aluminum evaporator coil. (Watch video embedded below) I also discuss the copper versus aluminum debate in the video.

This Katy, Texas AC blog subject for today is regarding the indoor coil or evaporator coil section of your residential HVAC system. Because usually, this part of the system starts to leak refrigerant more frequently than the outdoor or condenser coil. (Realize the AC refrigerant leak you may have could be in the outdoor coil just as much as it could be in the indoor coil: proper diagnosis must be performed, a guess is not a diagnosis. Just because an evaporator coil refrigerant leak is more common, doesn’t mean that this is where your refrigerant leak is.

As of 2018 nearly all, if not all manufactures of HVAC equipment make all aluminum evaporator coils. Copper tube and aluminum fin evaporator coils are at the beginning of the end as manufacturers continue to cut costs from their AC manufacturing processes.

Aluminum Coils Are Better Than Copper Coils

All Aluminum Evaporator coils are often called a new way of doing things. Truth be known, this isn’t the first time the HVAC industry used all aluminum evaporator coils. (indoor evaporator coil, don’t get this confused by the spiny fin aluminum condenser coil of Trane / American Standard brands, which was invented by GE in the early 1980’s.) With that said, about 30-40 years ago Carrier made their air handlers with all aluminum evaporator coils. The difference now is that the technology is much better this time around, but not infallible.

The problem with the technology back then was the connection point to the copper line set. They used a compression type connection to connect the line set to the evaporator coil. After some time this connection would leak. With no real way to repair this leak, the solution was to replace the coil with a copper tube and aluminum fin coil. You see when I say ‘copper coil’ I mean copper tube and aluminum fin. Manufactures to my knowledge have never made an all copper evaporator coil for residential air conditioning systems. That would be very costly, not to mention very heavy.

All Aluminum Evaporator Coils Are Probably Here To Stay

The drive away from copper tube evaporator coils is in my opinion due mostly to cost of the metal and because it’s been determined that formicary corrosion is leading to increased failures of this type of evaporator coil this increases the home owners cost as well as the manufacturer of the coil, because as the coils have become larger due to equipment efficiency requirements, the walls of the copper tube to these evaporator coils have become ‘paper’ thin or very close to it, which gives little to no protection against formicary corrosion.

To find out more about what formicary corrosion is and what it looks like watch the video embedded above. There are examples of formicary corrosion within the video. This type of corrosion effects all brands of copper tube and aluminum fin evaporator coils. The formicary corrosion attacks the copper part of the coil which causes it to leak refrigerant.

High efficiency air conditioning has driven up material cost in recent years because requirements to increase efficiency have made coil sizes increase as well. More material = higher cost. It’s only common sense that by using cheaper materials a manufacturer (all manufacturers) can cut these material costs.

So because aluminum is not effected by formicary corrosion, aluminum is the better coil material? Aluminum is a very reliable material. However, this does not mean an all aluminum coil will not fail ‘at some point’ due to refrigerant leaks.

Remember we’ve been here before with all aluminum coils (30-40 years ago). While the technology now is considerably different and in my opinion much better than before, aluminum coils can fail (spring refrigerant leaks) just as much as a copper tube aluminum fin can. Watch the video embedded above if you think an all aluminum coil can’t leak refrigerant.

I have installed many, many all aluminum coils over the course of my illustrious HVAC career (23 total years as of 2018). It is my opinion that all aluminum coils are a good replacement option in light of the formicary corrosion problem that is well noted and documented by the HVAC industry as a whole.

However, all aluminum coils used as evaporator coils in your AC system are not without their own set of problems or short comings. While all aluminum evaporator coils are currently better than the copper tube and aluminum fin coils they are replacing and quite reliable this doesn’t mean they will not fail at some point. If a salesman is trying to sell you on a shiny all aluminum coil, realize nearly all manufacturers make an all aluminum evaporator coil. This feature is nothing special as of 2018.

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leaks To Remain A Challenge

Refrigerant leaks have always been a challenge to one degree or another in relation to an AC system. The difficulty now is that your AC system must be refrigerant leak free due to the rise in cost of all refrigerants. The method of recharging systems without leaks being repaired is a method of the past. It is no longer cost effective to do these practices any more.

If you watched the embedded video above demonstrating where this particular all aluminum coil failed, my personal opinion is that this coil most likely failed by some sort of corrosion because the coil sits in condensate waste water from air pulled from the home. It is unlikely this leak was cause by any other means.

Because I install all my own equipment, is the reason I can say such things without a shadow of a doubt. Certainly there could be other reasons not yet known. If anything, this example in the video shows the complexity of this subject.

There is no such thing as an air conditioning system that doesn’t fail, for one reason or another. You will always need a good reliable HVAC repair man. Maybe it’s me?

So what can you do? Build up a service history with me. (CHECK MY SERVICE AREAS HERE) I keep track of things of this nature via your service invoice, if a particular coil is failing often I will attempt resolution by offering other solutions. Some manufactures are better at different things and or different configurations of HVAC equipment. Just realize this isn’t a gimmick as I know that all brands of equipment fail at some point, the idea is to limit or reduce the failures as much as possible.

This is another reason why I sell more than one HVAC brand and these decisions are constantly being evaluated. I don’t just blindly keep replacing the same brand coil over and over again as it is my opinion this would result in insanity. Obviously this is ultimately your decision how to proceed, but I will at least attempt to offer another option that may give a better result due to my own personal experience in equipment choices I have sold in the past to other customers.

Currently my failure rates of all aluminum coils (any brand) that I originally installed is less than 2%. Some AC brands I’ve installed the failure rate on the coils is currently 0% (it’s likely not a brand you know). While all aluminum evaporator coil failures do happen it’s not as often as you may think. Some equipment configurations are more susceptible than others.

Thank you for visiting with 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 ‘hands on’ experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs. I specialize in Residential HVAC systems.
About Austin Air Companie:
Happy Birthday! Turning 10 years old in 2018. Has it really been this long?

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 visit me on my main website at

www.austinairco.com

Better Service. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.