Archive for October, 2013

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!

Which Type of Ductwork Is Best?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

At General Air Conditioning, we offer a special service: custom duct design. Most people think of their ductwork as something static: one type fits all. However, this isn’t the case. Every home needs ducts tailored to fit its unique design, and there isn’t a pre-fabricated ductwork system an installer can simply drop into your home and hook up to an air conditioner or a heater. Ductwork consists of sealed passages where air from an HVAC system flows to vents without losing pressure. Once, all ductwork was made of sheets of galvanized steel, but now there are different options available. We’ll go over the major ones.

Please remember that making a choice about ductwork installation requires input from professionals. The Helotes, TX ductwork experts at General Air Conditioning can steer you to the best choice.

Sheet metal ducts: The old standard, and what most people think of when they hear the word “ducts.” (That, and movie action heroes crawling around inside them.) Most sheet metal ducts consist of 30 gauge galvanized steel. This type of ductwork is extremely durable, but it’s also the most difficult to install in a new building.

Flexible ducts: These sometimes work in tandem with sheet metal, branching off from the main duct like octopus arms to reach the vents. They are usually made from a folding plastic material with insulation surrounding it. The obvious advantage they have is adaptability to most spaces. Their drawback is that they are susceptible to leaks because of improper installation.

Duct board: This is the simplest type of duct. Essentially, duct board is fiberglass insulation with an outer protective foil or fabric layer. Although duct board isn’t strong and can damage easily, it does offer high insulation levels, weighs very little, and is inexpensive. Because duct board has exposed insulation on the inside, it can collect dust rapidly.

You will need ductwork installation experts to examine your home and determine which type (or types) of duct will fit best with the space in your house. The kind of HVAC system you have or plan to have installed will also affect the decision. At General Air Conditioning, our experience with custom duct design makes us an ideal choice to handle all your ductwork issues in Helotes, TX. Call us today for an appointment.

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.