Air Conditioning Tips for Vacation

vacation-AC

This time of year, many people head out of town on vacation. With the scorching heat that is coming the Boise area, vacationers need to prepare the AC before they leave. Deciding whether to leave it on or turn it off can depend on a few key factors, such as:

  1. Length of Vacation

For those who only plan to be gone for a couple days, it might be best to just leave the air conditioner on, but set at a higher temperature than normal. In the end, it will help save energy because residents won’t be coming home to a hot house and trying to cool it down rapidly.

For longer vacations, such as a week or more, turning the system completely off will save the most energy. However, if animals are being left in the home, it needs to remain at a comfortable temperature for them, so the AC might need to be left on at a slightly higher temperature.

  1. Weather

Checking what the local weather forecast can give homeowners an idea of what the temperature will be while away. This can help with setting the thermostat accordingly. Weather in Boise doesn’t always follow the suspected patterns, but the forecast can still be a helpful tool.

  1. Controlling Humidity

Air conditioners also help keep humidity down in the home. Turning off the air conditioner for long periods of time could lead to excess moisture building up in the home. This could cause moisture damage to the flooring, walls, and more.

Most of the time, setting the thermostat to a slightly higher temperature while away is the best bet to keeping the house cool and saving as much energy as possible. However, there are some instances when turning it off might save homeowners even more money. Just take the above factors into account when deciding.

Make sure the air conditioner is ready to go before another Boise heatwave with the help of the technicians at Diamond Heating and Cooling.

5 Benefits of Central AC

In an area where summers can get quite hot, having central air conditioning can make all the difference. When compared to other types of air conditioning systems, such as individual room conditioners, the benefits of central air are apparent.

Having this type of system in the home benefits homeowners in these five ways:

  1. Comfort

Central air cools the whole home at the same temperature with just one push of a button. It makes the house more comfortable than adjusting an air conditioner in each room. Although single room ACs have the advantage of cooling one room that is being used while the others aren’t, walking from that room into a blast of hot air can be quite a shock.

2. Quiet

Most central air conditioners run fairly quietly and don’t disturb everyday life. Other types of units are much louder, making a constant mechanical buzz, which could be distracting or annoying to some people.

3. Aesthetics

Single room air conditioners protrude from the window, blocking views and distracting from the design of the room. They are also noticeable from the outside of the home. Central air systems have a single unit outside, a thermostat, and discreet vents that don’t look out of place.

4. Control

A single thermostat makes controlling the temperature of the house much easier, especially one that is programmable. This helps conserve energy when nobody is home. Individual units have to be adjusted by hand and aren’t able to be set to keep the room at a more constant temperature.

5. Energy Usage

Having several units to cool down the home means increased energy consumption and high bills during the summer. Central air cools the whole house on one system, using less energy in the long run.

Talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling about installing an air conditioner, or replacing an old one. They’ll make sure the home is comfortable all summer long.

Causes of an Overflowing Drip Pan

An overflowing AC drip pan can lead to mold and mildew inside the home. While some amount of water in the drip pan is normal, it should not be overflowing. If this is happening, there are three issues that could be causing the overflow:

  1. Clogged Drain Line

Algae, calcium, or other minerals could begin to build up in the drain line. If the buildup becomes too large, it will begin to restrict water flow, causing the water to back up and overflow in the drip pan. To prevent this, schedule annual air conditioner maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling. During servicing, they check the condensate drain line and even clean the drip pan to get rid of any mold or mildew that has developed.

2. Broken Condensate Pump

When the HVAC system is functioning properly, the condensate pump automatically turns on when it comes into contact with water. The water in the drip pan rises, triggering the pump when it reaches a certain point. However, a broken condensate pump will allow water to continuously build up in the drip pan until it begins overflowing. A broken condensate pump is a fairly easy and inexpensive fix, especially for those with a Silver Club Membership.

3. Excessive Flow

If the water in the system is flowing at a rate that is more than the line can handle, over flow will happen. Excessive water is generally a byproduct of low refrigerant levels. They create ice on the evaporator coils, and when it begins to melt it creates more water than the system can handle.

An overflowing drip pan is an alarming problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible. Many homeowners don’t notice an overflowing drip pan until it has caused rot or mold. Check on the drip pan regularly to prevent this from happening. An annual AC maintenance check can also prevent the problem.

Air Conditioners Could Disrupt Sleep

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Air conditioners keep everyone comfortable during the warm weather months, but they might be disrupting restful sleep. A study conducted by Professor Kazuyo Tsuzuki at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has found that some settings on air conditioners could be affecting sleep quality.

The study was mainly focused on the timing of the airflow of the air conditioner and body movement. The settings found in the study could make people change positions while sleeping. They discovered that with greater airflow, there is an increase in body movement, heart rate, and a frequency in people waking.

During the study, they had two people sleep in two different rooms. The air conditioner was set to the same temperature in each room, but at different airflow velocities. One airflow was 0.4m/s and the other was 0.14 m/s, which is what the general AC is set at.

The person sleeping in the room with the general 0.14 m/s had greater body movements, increased heart rate and higher frequency of waking. They also discovered that the person rolled over or their sleep depth changed the moment the cool air blew out. The subjects used for the study were adult males, meaning cold airflow might have a greater impact on other people with a greater sensitivity to cold.

Staying cool at night is important for sleeping, but the general setting on the air conditioner could be making that sleep more restless. Turning down the velocity of the airflow could be the key to solving this issue according to the study’s findings.

For those who notice they have trouble sleeping with the AC on this summer, consider turning the air conditioner off at night, opening the windows, and putting a fan in the bedroom. While the fan doesn’t blow cool air, it creates a steady airflow that makes whoever is in the room feel cooler.

Evaporator Coil Problems

The coils in an air conditioning unit are extremely important in the cooling process. To remove the heat inside the building, the air conditioner circulates a compressed refrigerant between two series of coils: the evaporator coils and the condensing coils.

If the evaporator coils encounter problems, then the air conditioner will not be able to properly cool the home or business. Here are some common issues that can impede the effectiveness of the coils:

  1. Dirt and Dust

The air that comes inside while the air conditioner is running must pass over the evaporator coils. This dirt and dust can stick to the evaporator coils making it more difficult for the coils to cool down the air. This is because the dirt and dust can insulate the coils too much.

  1. Moisture

Condensation can develop on the evaporator coils when hot air passes over them because of the cold refrigerant inside of the coils. This moisture helps to attract and trap dirt, dust and bacteria. This will lead to less effective cooling and possibly the development of mold.

  1. Freezing

Many things can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. It could be low refrigerant levels or insufficient air flow caused by a clogged filter or broken fan motor. Frozen coils put strain on the air conditioner, which could force it to breakdown.

One way to prevent these evaporator coil problems is with annual maintenance by the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. During their annual air conditioner servicing, they check the coils for cleanliness, mold-like debris, and check for sufficient refrigerant levels.

For those not part of the Silver Club Membership, annual maintenance is $79. For club members, they get this service twice a year for just $11.95 a month. That’s not all, however. Silver Club members also receive:

  • Guaranteed appointments within 24 hours
  • Free Safety Check
  • Free Fall Maintenance on Furnace
  • Free Spring Maintenance on A/C
  • 2 free 1” standard pleating filers per year
  • 20% discount on all parts and labor
  • $19.95 diagnostic fee
  • 20% discount on IAQ
  • Blower motor pulled at no charge once every 3 years of membership

Save money while keeping the air conditioner and furnace both running in top shape with Diamond Heating and Cooling’s Silver Club Membership. Visit the website to learn more.

Air Conditioner Smells

When the air conditioner has an abnormal odor coming from it, that smell usually indicates some sort of problem either with the AC itself or something else around the home. Here are some of the common smells that can come from the air conditioner and what they might mean:

Burning Smell

A burning smell radiating from the air conditioning unit usually means there is an electrical problem. The blower motor may have overheated or there could be a mechanical failure of some sort causing the plastic insulation on wires to melt and smell.  Another common cause for a burning smell is a dirty air filter. Check and change the filter first, and then call Diamond Heating and Cooling if that doesn’t resolve the issue.

Rotten Eggs Smell

This smell comes from a backed up sewage line that has split near a break in the air duct system. The methane gases are causing the smell as they begin to circulate through the air ducts. This presents a much bigger issue than dealing with a broken air conditioner component and will need the assistance of a plumber to repair the sewage line.

Musty Smell

A musty smell often indicates mold. If the air conditioner is giving off a musty odor there is a good chance mold has begun developing inside the air conditioner. It needs a good cleaning, and a new air filter. The whole air conditioning unit including the coils and condensation drain line should be cleaned, which is a job for the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling.

With regular maintenance, many of these problems can be prevented or detected in advance. Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about yearly HVAC maintenance for the air conditioner and furnace, or call them if one of these smells becomes evident in the home.

The Way Air Conditioning Shaped America

Dealing with the current heat wave without air conditioning would be a miserable experience. The world wouldn’t have a choice of cold air in their homes if it wasn’t for Willis Carrier and his invention, even though cooling homes wasn’t his original intention.

The first air conditioner Willis Carrier produced was created to keep moist air in a printing plant from wrinkling magazines. These days, air conditioners are considered a necessity in many countries experiencing record-breaking average temperatures.

For the first 20 years, air conditioning, was used almost entirely in an industrial capacity. Then, most people got their first taste of air conditioning in movie theaters, which helped generate the idea of the summer blockbuster with the theaters finally able to stay open year-round.

With air conditioners now available to the general public, architecture began to change for commercial buildings and residential homes as well. Less windows were needed for cross-breeze and because of this, office buildings didn’t need to be built in an L, T, or H-shape.

Homes could be built without low roofs, large windows could be sealed, and porches were no longer as necessary. They no longer had to think about strategically placing windows or building verandas for shade. Suburbs were created with cookie cutter houses, each with an air conditioner inside.

Air conditioning not only helped people to cool off while at the office, movies, grocery store and home, it helped shape modern America. Now, almost 90 percent of U.S. homes have air conditioning of some kind. For those who don’t get to experience the relief that air conditioning brings, talk to the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can install a high quality air conditioner and cooling system to help beat the summer heat now and for many summers to come.