Austin Air Companie Blog : Posts Tagged ‘AC not cool enough’

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.

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Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

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My Bedroom Does Not Get Cool Enough

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

This problem is more common than you think and this problem magnifies itself thru various times of the year. Shoulder seasons can typically be the more challenging times of the year to get comfortable in a bedroom at night.

AC shoulder seasons in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston can extend for several months before summer as well as several months after. This problem is directly related to the design of the air conditioning system. The air conditioner can not control temperature in a room that it was not designed to control. (The thermostat that controls the system is in a different room.)

The opposite of this ‘My bedroom does not get warm enough’ can be addressed at the same time. System control integrated with design defeats temperature problems when addressed properly.

Air Conditioning Design

If you have the above problem in which your bedroom rarely stays comfortable and it’s been determined it’s no fault of the air conditioner, then you likely have what is called a HVAC Design Problem. It is the invisible flaw until AC system performance is put thru heavy loads or heavy loads in one room with no system control.

Design of your HVAC system determines how well it will perform in various areas of the home given certain attributes (loads) and the temperature you are attempting to achieve. HVAC Design for the most part is an invisible attribute and more often than not rarely thought of until long after the problem is discovered. Most people, when replacing their AC system think of replacing a box with another box when the AC system breaks. Everyone is different when it comes to what they deem as comfortable or uncomfortable which is another attribute with which to contend with. The HVAC retrofit (service) market is inherently slanted toward ‘just replacing a box’ and because of this design of the AC system is rarely addressed.

Proper design for AC in regards to control of the system can get quite complicated as well as ratchet up installation costs. Much of this can be decided when it comes to how long you plan to stay in the home and how much you have budgeted to make your home a home by making it comfortable not only to sleep but also entertain guests. To grasp this a little easier is that control is temperature control in more than one area of the home. While this sounds simple, it is more complex for your HVAC system to do this properly because the area in which you are trying to cool or heat maybe much smaller of an area of the home such as a bedroom.

The more control you have of your HVAC system along with proper design and installation, the better your system will provide you the comfort you are searching for. If your air conditioner suffers from a design flaw, there is but one option to fix it and that is to redesign it. Home builders build. Rarely do you find HVAC design a top priority in the home builder real estate market. This is what separates the retrofit AC pros from the builders. A professional HVAC company is built around ‘quality’ AC system installations and not ‘quantity.’ Service for life and not a badge of how many HVAC systems that were installed. Different mindset, requires different thinking.

New Air Conditioning System Installation

The Installation and design of an HVAC system determine the performance, longevity and overall satisfaction of the AC system. Customer service after the sale is the final part. When I install a HVAC system, I install it with the intent of coming back and servicing that AC equipment when that need arises. In fact, I do the same thing if the home owner decides to only replace one piece of their HVAC system.

You see this isn’t only about what I want, it’s about what you want. However, there are limitations to everything. The consumer of today has more knowledge available to them than ever before, that is the other part of this blog is to inform you that you have more choices in regard to home comfort than you may be aware of. I am an HVAC Solution provider. I can give you options (choices) and recommendations based on your budget as well as what kind of comfort you are looking for to cool and heat your home. Communication is key for you to get the kind of comfort you are looking for your home.

I work 362 days a year. I know what you’re thinking… ‘that’s impossible’. I originally thought that myself. But because I install AC systems myself I have the ability to correct many installation problems upfront during the installation where as an installer may just view this as another ‘job’… if it doesn’t work the company will send someone else to fix it. (Hopefully) Air conditioning replacement is typically a once in 15 year thought when done right. Those reasons are what makes me able to work 362 days a year. It is extremely rare that I must go back to an installation, due to a problem and in many cases if I do they are typically only minor problems depending on how much of the HVAC system was replaced.

If you choose me (Austin Air Companie) I work for you, this isn’t just a job to me, this is my profession and my career. I don’t run a gimmick of the month service which is how I am able to give you the best service available. My AC service is worth what you pay for it. Technician roulette wheels with varying opinions among techs only goes so far. I say this from my own personal experience… yours may be different.

Air Conditioning done right is a 15 year appliance (national average). Certainly I can get busy, there are a good many of AC companies posing as professionals that are not. I have found that it’s easier to take a hands on approach rather than pass it off to someone that likely doesn’t have the experience and skills that I possess let alone the attitude to do the job as it should be done.

Air Conditioning Temperature Controls

The way air conditioning is designed for many homes is to put the control (thermostat) in main living areas. Temperature swings from one room to the next can be upwards of 5 to 10 degrees or more. Some of this depends on location of the room(s), how many people or other loads that are in the room. [Loads are considered heat loads as your air conditioner operates by removing heat.]

The cheapest way to resolve this problem is to live with what you have. So if you are here thinking there is some magical method to solve this problem I am here to tell you straight, there is not. The cheaper you try to fix this the more likely it is you will create additional problems up to an including the destruction of your HVAC system. I am here to do the job right, if you want snake oil you will have to look elsewhere.

Temperature controls also known as thermostats, are what is used to cycle your air conditioner on and off. These are merely elaborate switches that turn the HVAC system on or off. Most air conditioning systems are either on or off single speed air conditioners. If you live in a humid climate like Katy, Texas and your goal is comfort then you will probably be best advised to consider a 2 speed air conditioning and heating system with dehumidification functions.

HVAC Zoning: An Air Conditioning Dream

Putting cooling or heating where it is needed within your home. Comfort. You know that fuzzy feeling you feel on a brisk autumn day. Imagine that everyday all year long in the favorite room of your home.

Remember what I said earlier: ‘different mindset, requires different thinking’. Due to energy costs your budget may not include cooling the whole home as cool as you would like it in the bedroom, unless the home’s foot print is very small then you probably wouldn’t need zoning. HVAC Zoning for sure isn’t for everyone it is a choice and design enhancement to obtain more comfort and make your HVAC system performance the best it can be.

The thought behind zoning is to put ‘conditioned air’ where you are at in the structure. (In this example: your home.) The idea is that you can only be in one room at a time. Thirty three percent of your life will be spent in the bedroom. (eight hours divided by 24.) The lack of a good night’s sleep can effect your entire day.

By making your bedroom more comfortable via zoning can make other rooms perform better in heat waves by closing the zone to the bedroom when not in use. The capacity of the system under this scenario would then be provided to supplying comfort to other occupied areas of the home. Because people are creatures of habit and often go to bed the same time every night the thermostat for those zone(s) can be programmed easily to control temperature without much thought or fuss.

Another way to think about zoning is your home’s plumbing and electrical systems. You have more than one faucet in your home right? More than one light switch? These are other examples of zoning that reside in your home already, to help you understand what zoning is. Just realize that zoning an HVAC system ‘properly’ is a bit more complicated than electrical and plumbing systems.

Proper HVAC Installation

I emphasize the word ‘properly’ because there are many zone systems as well as basic AC systems that do not work the way they should. Design means everything and in some cases a zone system may not work for what you want to do. This is the definition of a true professional in which you are sold a solution to your problem and not just selling something to be selling something. If you catch my drift.

I hope this blog post eliminates some confusion with this very common problem as well as highlights your ability to go about correcting this problem to your satisfaction. Remember this is an advanced problem, there is nothing ‘basic’ about it. If you don’t go into it with the attitude of doing it right, it very well could be very costly with little to no help solving the actual problem.

Problem solving by definition should be to solve the problem ‘without’ creating additional problems. Otherwise you’re likely buying ‘snake oil’ to one degree or another.

About the author of this 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 over 20 years 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.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.