Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Why Is There Ice In My AC System?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

It kind of makes sense: ice appearing in your air conditioning system. The system is supposed to make your home cold, after all. Why should we worry about a little ice or frost on the components? In point of fact, however, ice in the system is a sign of problems that require a professional technician to resolve. When it comes to AC repairs, San Antonio residents can’t take chances, and an icy system means you should contact a reliable service to deal with it before one of our patented Texas heat waves hits. “Why is there ice in my AC system?” you ask. The answers illuminate why it’s such a problem.

Air conditioning systems depend on refrigerant gas to cool the air. The refrigerant moves through a theoretically closed system in a specified amount; the key stage in the process occurs when it enters a series of evaporator coils. The act of transitioning from a liquid to a gaseous state within the coils cools the surrounding air, which is then blown into your home with a fan.

When fissures develop in the system, refrigerant leaks out, reducing its ability to cool the air. Something similar can happen when dust coats the evaporator coils, interfering with the exchange between the temperatures outside the coil and the cooling of the refrigerant inside the coil. Either way, the result is the same: ice develops on the coils. That’s a problem for two reasons. First, the ice interferes with the cooling process, forcing the air conditioner to work harder to do its job and raising your energy bills accordingly. Secondly, when the ice melts, it can cause other problems within the system, such as overflowing the condensate pan of even shorting out electrical components.

Cleaning the ice off won’t fix the problem. Instead, you need a technician to track down the source of the leak, seal it and recharge the refrigerant to its proper levels. (If dust and dirt are the cause, it will need to be cleaned off as part of a regular maintenance session.) If you need AC repair in San Antonio, you can find an expert to help at General Air Conditioning. We know why there’s ice in your AC system, and we can resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. Give us a call today!

Why Have a New Air Conditioner Installed Before Winter?

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The idea at first might seem a touch absurd: getting a new air conditioner installed in time for winter? It sounds like somebody has confused the seasons, or used “air conditioner” when they meant “heater.” But if you’re a Texas resident reading this, than you know the question isn’t that strange. In San Antonio, December has registered a record high of 90°, and February a record of 100°! Average highs for all the winter months are around the mid-60s. The winter is no season to go unprepared for the heat in Texas—so if it’s time for a new air conditioning installation in San Antonio, TX, you don’t want to wait until summer to start thinking about it.

We’ll list some specific reasons to get a new AC in your home before winter. General Air Conditioning has performed installations for many types of ACs since 1997, and we have experience you can trust when you need the job done right.

Reasons to get a new AC installation before winter starts:

Take advantage of the slow season: Installing any HVAC system in your home requires time to get it done properly. During the fall, most companies have less intense schedules because they answer fewer emergency calls. Even if you think you can get through the winter without an air conditioner (and you probably can’t), you won’t find an easier time to schedule the job than during the relaxed fall days.

Avoid unpleasant surprises from your old system: If you’re considering a new installation at all, then it means you suspect your current system is close to failing. After heavy use during the summer, that aging system will edge closer to shut down. Get the replacement work done now before an unexpected breakdown leaves you sweltering during one of those leftover summer heat waves.

Get all the kinks out of the new system: If you hire professionals with years of training to handle your installation, you shouldn’t experience many troubles with your new system over the winter. But it’s always better to have some buffer time to see that your AC is operating correctly before you really need it—and this is especially true if you’re switching to a new model of air conditioner like a ductless mini split.

In a way, it’s quite wonderful that we have to worry about air conditioning during a Texas winter; not many places in the U.S. are fortunate enough to have these kinds of balmy weather concerns. General Air Conditioning wants you to get the most out of the climate of San Antonio, TX with air conditioning installation that fits your needs and schedule. Contact us today for an appointment.

Common Air Conditioning Repairs in Late Summer

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Your air conditioning system gets a ton of use throughout the summer, keeping your home nice and cool. By the end of the summer, there are a number of issues that could have developed. General Air Conditioning offers a full range of AC repair in San Antonio and we wanted to share some of the problems that we often see towards the end of the summer.

Give us a call if you need any service for your AC.

These Things Could Be Causing Issues for Your AC System

As your air conditioning system operates it will naturally develop problems throughout its life. Here are a few of the ones that we typically see happen after lots of use in the summer.

  • Clogged air filter – Your AC uses an air filter that removes large particles like dust, insect parts or dirt from getting into the moving parts of your system. Over the summer, all the use that your system gets can cause the filter to fill up and clog. If your air filter gets clogged, it can restrict the flow of air through the system and cause huge issues like insufficient cooling, reduced efficiency, increased repair and others.
  • Fan motor problems – When your air conditioner operates, it uses a fan to pull in warm air from your home, cool it and then push it through your home. All the use during the summer can cause the fan motors to start to break down. You may start to hear noises coming from your AC’s motor, you may notice that you aren’t getting enough cool air in your home or that your system won’t turn on.
  • Compressor issues – The compressor in your AC is one of the most critical components of the system. It works constantly when your AC is running and can often be the cause of serious problems. If you aren’t getting enough cooling in your home or if you hear hissing coming from your system, it could be the compressor.

If you need any air conditioning repairs in San Antonio, make sure that the company you call is General Air Conditioning.

How Do I Know If My Air Filters Are Clogged?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

One of the basic maintenance services you can perform on your air conditioner to keep it working is to regularly change its air filters. When your AC is doing its hardest work in hot Texas weather, you should change the filter once a month; during the winter you can lower the frequency to every three months. But make sure you keep to a schedule, because if your filter becomes overly clogged with debris, it can lead to malfunctions, a drop in energy efficiency, and poor indoor air quality.

Even with regular maintenance, a filter can still get clogged. We’ll go over some warning signs that this has happened. If a dirty filter creates serious problems, get in touch with General Air Conditioning for air conditioning repair in Hollywood Park, TX.

An early sign of a clogged filter is reduced airflow from the vents. The filter does the job of catching particles in the air that flows through the AC so they won’t damage the important interior components. A thick coating of grime across the filter will start to choke off the flow. You may still feel cool air, but it won’t blow out at the same level.

Impeded air flow will make your air conditioner work harder, and you will see this reflected in your electricity bill. If your energy costs take a sudden upward spike, your AC might be overworking. A clogged filter isn’t the only reason for this to happen, although it is one of the most common. In addition, if the filter becomes damaged from dirt build-up, it could lead to problems inside the AC cabinet, and that will also mean an inefficient performance and energy drain.

If dust starts to collect in your home despite your cleaning efforts, the air filter may be at fault. If the air filter gets jammed with dirt, dust will start to gather in the vents and get blown around the house. Pay special attention to allergy symptoms that people in your home may experience; if they worsen, then a clogged air filter may be causing a drop in air quality because of the excess dust.

Because air conditioners are complicated machines, other faults aside from a clogged filter might cause the above warning signs. If you suspect a filter problem, change the filter right away—and then call in an expert to diagnose what might have gone wrong and find a way to repair it. In Hollywood Park, TX, air conditioning repair services should be left to the expertise of General Air Conditioning. We have 15 years of experience to help give you top-quality repairs.

What Happens During an AC Maintenance Visit?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

To keep your air conditioner working—and working well—throughout a warm Texas year, you’ll need to schedule routine maintenance and tune-ups. A maintenance visit from an AC professional can help you prevent future repairs and keep your air conditioner running at its best, and that means long-term savings for you. General Air conditioning offers a superior 4-Star maintenance agreement that gives you two scheduled visits a year, and the second one is pre-paid.

The first visit you receive from a technician will be to check on your air conditioning. This is what you can expect from your San Antonio AC maintenance visit:

The technician will examine the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system, which is where the hot air absorbed from inside your home is expelled to the outside. The technician will check over all the components inside the unit to see that they are working and aren’t suffering from extra stress: the compressor, motors, fans, capacitor, and condensing coil. Then the technician will check on the refrigerant level (called its “charge”) to be certain none of it is lost to leaks. The visit will also include a cleaning of the condenser coil to make certain that no excess dirt or debris is preventing it from releasing heat into the air.

Hopefully, the technician will not find any serious faults inside your air conditioner, and will leave you with a finely tuned machine that will keep you cool for the months to come. However, part of maintenance is to detect small problems before they grow into large ones. If your technician discovers an issue, such as bent fan blades or overworked motors, you’ll receive advice on what repairs will fix the problem.

When you purchase a 4-Star maintenance agreement with General Air Conditioning, you’ll get all these services with each visit, which goes above and beyond what other contractors offer. (Many do not clean condenser coils.) We use postcards and phone calls to remind you when you’re due for regular maintenance, so you’ll never miss out on one.

When you want excellent AC maintenance in San Antonio, TX, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Benefits of Getting Professional AC Services

Monday, September 9th, 2013

In Texas, many of us take pride in doing our own repairs. When there’s trouble with the car, a clog in the sink, or a loose hinge on the door, we like to dash for our tool boxes and try to get to work on it ourselves. But when it comes to your air conditioning system, going DIY is often a recipe for further problems. You don’t want a personal fix-it job to turn into damage control that will cost you more money in the long run. You should summon trained HVAC experts to diagnose the problems, offer solutions, and then do the repairs.

For AC services in San Antonio, General Air Conditioning offers the benefits you should expect from professionals with 15 years of experience.

Here are a few of the reasons to seek professional AC Services:

Avoid further damages: The modern air conditioning system is a complex device that depends on multiple components to work in harmony with each other to cool your home. If one of these components starts to malfunction because of a faulty repair, the damage can rapidly spread to the other parts. For example, if your coolant begins to leak, it can lead to frost on the evaporator coils. A trained technician can provide pinpoint repairs to prevent any further damage and need for more repairs.

Keep efficiency high: HVAC professionals don’t just fix what’s wrong with your AC. They also keep your system working at peak efficiency levels. A technician can check the air flow of your air conditioner to see that it is performing at its best and not working harder than it should.

Expert diagnosis: Your AC is suddenly blowing warm air… what’s wrong? There could be any number of reasons, and unless you’re a trained expert, it can be difficult to determine correct cause. This is true for almost every malfunction your AC can experience, from strange noises or odors to the unit failing to turn on. Get professional help to diagnose the problem instead of guessing what’s wrong—and potentially getting it wrong!

When you are ready for professional AC services in San Antonio, whether you need to have repairs or you want to get preventive AC maintenance before problems arise, contact the experts at General Air Conditioning.

Why Does My AC Have A Strange Smell?

Friday, August 30th, 2013

There is no denying the luxury – or necessity – of a great performance from your air conditioning system during the hot summer months. The heat really lingers here throughout the cooling season, and an efficient, reliable air conditioner is a must. Unfortunately, there are numerous problems which your air conditioning system may experience which can hinder its operation and your enjoyment of its performance. Not all of these issues are as obviously serious as a complete breakdown of your system. Remember, though, that even “minor” problems with your air conditioner, such as strange odors during operation, can be indicative of serious problems.

Schedule service with the San Antonio AC repair technicians at General Air Conditioning to get to the root of your AC odor problem.

One of the reasons that your air conditioner may smell strange during operation is due to dirty air ducts. When pollutants such as microorganisms or waste from infestations build up within your air ducts, the air that is distributed throughout the ductwork can take on that odor. Not only can such materials have a negative impact on the odor of your home, but they can also aggravate allergies and other respiratory issues. Proper duct sealing or duct replacement can help keep such contaminants out of your system.

Another reason that your air conditioner might begin to give off an odd odor has to do with the air filter. If your air filter gets wet, it can take on a mildew odor. When this happens, the air circulating throughout your home can spread the odor to different areas. If condensation within your system drips onto your air filter, or if your system has iced over for any reason and the ice melts onto it, this problem can develop. By replacing your air filter and addressing the problem that led to the saturation, you can clear the air in your home.

For more information about why your air conditioner gives off an unpleasant odor, call the San Antonio AC pros at General Air Conditioning.

We can answer any questions you may have regarding problems with your AC. Contact us today to schedule service.

Why Won’t My Home Get Cool?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Few situations are as frustrating as flipping on your air conditioning system during the hottest time of the year, sitting back…and being met with warm, stubborn temperatures throughout your home. There are a lot of different reasons why your home may not get cool enough during the summer months, and all of them require the services of a skilled, professional air conditioning technician. If you have trouble adequately cooling your home, call the San Antonio air conditioning experts at General Air Conditioning. We can determine exactly what is wrong with your air conditioning system, or if it actually a problem with your AC at all.

One of the most common reasons that find customers’ homes won’t cool down is unfortunately a problem without an easy solution. In many cases, the air conditioning system itself was improperly sized prior to the installation. If this is the case, replacing the system with an appropriately sized air conditioner is necessary. When an AC is too small, it will struggle to reach target temperatures, putting unnecessary strain on the system and increasing the risk of damages, as well as high cooling costs.

It is also possible that your air ducts are damaged if you use a forced air distribution system. The ductwork in your home is responsible for distributing all of your conditioned air throughout. If your ducts are torn or if your system was poorly designed, it may not be able to do so as effectively as possible. This will result in a subpar performance from your air conditioning system, as well as an inefficient one.

Finally, you may have a refrigerant leak somewhere in your air conditioning system. Refrigerant is a necessary component if you hope to cool your home effectively, and a refrigerant leak can lead to a number of different problems, including an underwhelming cooling performance. Call a professional to have the leak repaired and your refrigerant recharged.

To learn more about why your air conditioning in San Antonio is struggling, call the professional AC technicians at General Air Conditioning. We have the answers you need to get a better performance from your AC. Schedule service today.

Why Is My Home So Humid?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Have you noticed condensation on the inside of your walls? Is your home feeling stuffy and muggy? These are all signs that you have a humidity problem in your home. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening so call the San Antonio air conditioning repair experts at General Air Conditioning today. Here’s a quick explanation of a few of the things that could be causing humidity problems in your home.

San Antonio Air Conditioning Repair: Humidity Problems

Humidity is just moisture in the air. If you’ve ever taken a cold glass outside on a hot day then you’ve likely noticed how moisture will collect on the glass—this is condensation. It happens because as the warm air cools against the glass it releases its moisture. But if you notice that your home is humid, it could be a sign that your air conditioning system isn’t working that well.

Your air conditioning system cools your home my blowing the warm, moist air from your home over a series of very cold coils. As the air cools, condensation forms on the coils and then drains away. If you’re having humidity problems, it could be that your AC doesn’t have enough refrigerant which means that the coils aren’t getting cold enough. It may also be that your compressor is broken or it’s motor isn’t working well so that the refrigerant isn’t being compressed or circulated properly.

If you have a dehumidifier in your home and you start to have humidity issues you likely need to call San Antonio air conditioning repair. Your dehumidifier removes moisture from the air in the exact same way as your AC system does. The moisture it removes is supposed to drain away in a condensate drain. However, if that drain gets clogged it could prevent the dehumidifier from removing moisture—it could also cause a water leak that might damage your home.

When you need any kind of San Antonio air conditioning repair, installation or maintenance just call the experts at General Air Conditioning.

What Types of Ductwork Are There?

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Ductwork refers to the system in your home that transports cool air from you air conditioning system to the various parts of your home. (It also makes a cool way for movie heroes to sneak around without getting caught by the bad guys, though if you’ve ever seen your average length of ductwork, you’ll know that this has no basis in reality.) In San Antonio, air conditioning systems help us fight the heat and humidity of summer, and those systems need quality ductwork if they’re going to function as they should. What types of ductwork are there, and what advantages and disadvantages do they provide? We’ve listed some of the more common types below:

  • Rigid metal ducts. The most common type of duct consists of sheet metal such as galvanized steel or aluminum.  Metal is inexpensive, moisture and outside contaminants usually can’t get in, and its non-porous surface makes it comparatively easy to keep clean.
  • Flexible ducts. Flexible ducts are often composed of a mixture of metal and plastic, and as their name suggests, they possess much more flexibility than rigid metal ducts: making it easier to bend them around corners. They’re also lightweight and fairly strong. They tend to work best as short lengths, since they’re not as impermeable as rigid metal ducts and suffer stress if they’re twisted in too many directions.
  • Fiberglass-lined ducts. These ducts are metal, but retain a fiberglass lining to help insulate the line. That helps keep the cool air cool, while repelling moisture and other external conditions.
  • Fiberboard ducts. Fiberboard use concentrated resin as material, with a metal foil wrapping to help repel moisture and airborne contaminants.

The exact type of duct used depends on the specific household, as well as issues like the availability of crawlspace and the amount of ambient humidity in the air. As you may have guessed, some houses use multiple types of ductwork in their system. If you’re looking to install a new air conditioning system or if you just need some maintenance on your existing one, call the experts at General Air Conditioning. Our trained service professionals can handle ductwork issues throughout the greater San Antonio area. Schedule a consultation with us; we’ll inspect your existing system and let you know what your best options are, then embark upon the maintenance or installation service with an eye toward your complete satisfaction.