From the Blog

How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner

How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner

Every summer we get calls from Birmingham homeowners who have accidentally killed their air conditioners.  Yes, it is true on How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner.

The cause of death? Suffocation.

Air conditioners, like people, can suffocate when you restrict the airflow in or out of them. So how do homeowners suffocate their air conditioners? Well, there are 3 common ways.

Covering your air conditioner’s outdoor unit

Decorative AC Cover

Photo Credit Menards.com

Why this is bad: The outside unit’s job is to dump heat from your home to the outside air. And to do this efficiently, it needs a lot of air. A decorative cover (like the one below) restricts airflow to the air conditioner and can kill your AC’s compressor.

The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. If it dies and isn’t covered by warranty, the repair will be very expensive. In many cases, you’ll be better off replacing the whole outdoor unit.

A decorative AC cover that will kill your compressor. Do NOT buy!

How to fix it: Remove anything blocking airflow to your outdoor air conditioner unit, including bushes, overhanging tree branches or decorative covers.

Not changing the air filter

dirty_air_filters

Photo Credit unitedfilter.com

Why this is bad: When your air filter gets too dirty, the dirt blocks airflow into the air conditioner. This makes your air conditioner work harder to distribute air. And that can cause problems like:

  • Overheated indoor fan motor overheating
  • Frozen air conditioner (literally)
  • Dead compressor
  • How to fix it: Change your air filter regularly. We recommend checking it every month and changing it whenever it looks dirty.

Notice how the filter on the right is looking dirty? Replace it now.

Closing air vents

Why this is bad: Closing vents in your home is bad for the same reason that a dirty filter is bad: it makes your air conditioner work much harder than it should. And it leads to the same problems:

  • Overheated indoor fan motor overheating
  • Frozen air conditioner (literally)
  • Dead compressor
  • Find out more about Why You Shouldn’t Close Your Air Conditioning Vents to Save Energy

How to fix it: Keep your air vents open. And make sure none of them are blocked by furniture or drapes.

Prevent summer AC deaths with a tune-up

So that’s how you can prevent accidentally killing your air conditioner. But there’s more you can do to prevent a breakdown. Have a professional take a look at your air conditioner and get it ready for summer. Schedule an AC tune-up with 3D Air Services.

3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between. Give us a call to schedule your appointment 664-3501

Struggling air conditioner?

It’s fixing to be hot here in Birmingham, real hot!

And if you’re finding out that your air conditioner can’t keep up, we’ve got you covered. Here are 2 steps to helping improve your AC’s cooling abilities.

Step 1: Keep the heat out

Your air conditioner removes heat from your home. So any time you let heat back in, you’re making it work harder than it needs to. Here are some tips to keep the hot air outside.

Keep windows and doors shut. When you’re leaving, quickly walk through the door and shut it behind you. And it should go without saying that your windows should be closed, also.
Block out the sun. A lot of heat makes its way into your home through your windows. Keep it out by using solar screens and heavy-duty curtains.
Seal air leaks. The areas in your home that are air conditioned should be as air-tight as possible. Take a look in your crawlspace, basement or attic for major air holes like these in the building envelope.
Try some no-cook meals. Your stove and oven create a lot of heat in your home. Try some no-cook meals and use your microwave instead of your oven.

Step 2: Make your air conditioner’s life easier

Next, you need to make sure your air conditioner is operating as efficiently as it can so that it can get you as much cool air as possible. That means:

Change the air filter. Too many homeowners leave their air filter in their AC way too long. This blocks air flow and basically suffocates your air conditioner.
Fix leaky and disconnected ducts. It’s possible that your ducts lose 30% of the air traveling through them because of leaks and other problems. So instead of cooling your home, that air is cooling your attic or other unconditioned space.
Clear the space around your outside unit. Tall weeds, shrubs, bushes and debris around your outside air conditioning unit decreases airflow, making it difficult for the unit to ‘dump’ the heat from your home.
Get the AC professionally cleaned. If the coils in your air conditioner get dirty, they can make it more difficult for your air conditioner to cool your home. It’s one of the reasons most manufacturers recommend an annual AC tune-up.
Open up ALL the vents. Don’t close vents in unused rooms. Closing vents to lower energy bills is dated advice that should be ignored.

3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera and everywhere on between. For questions call is at (205)664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

Benefits of a Furnace Tune up.

Although it doesn’t yet feel like it outside, the heating season has begun here at 3D Air Services. That’s because we have started performing furnace tune-ups for our clients in order to get their homes ready for the upcoming heating season. Scheduling an annual furnace tune-up is essential for every home, even if you didn’t encounter any problems with your system last year. Today we’re going to explain why annual professional maintenance is so important for your family and your home by talking about six benefits of getting a furnace tune-up from 3D Air Services!

6 benefits of getting a furnace tune-up from 3D Air Services.

It will ensure your furnace will operate safely. This benefit alone is reason enough to schedule a tune-up every year. Your furnace burns natural gas to produce heat, which means your home can be a safety hazard if your system is malfunctioning. During a tune-up, we’ll perform a full safety inspection and fix problems that might lead to safety issues down the line, such as carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards.
It will keep your system’s warranty intact. Most furnace warranties require you to have an annual tune-up performed on your system in order for the warranty to remain valid. That’s because furnace manufacturers understand how important annual tune-ups are to the performance and longevity of your system.
It will save money on your heating bills. Many of the tasks that we perform during your furnace tune-up will increase the efficiency of your system. This means that your heating bills this winter will be much lower than they would have been if you skipped out on a tune-up.
It will dramatically reduce the chance of your heat going out. If the heat goes out in your home in the middle of winter, your house will be extremely cold and it could put some of your family members in danger. Furnace tune-ups are as much about preventing future problems as they are about fixing existing problems, which is why a tune-up will make it unlikely that your home will be left without heat at any point this winter.
It will avoid the need for repairs that could have been prevented. Furnaces that don’t have annual tune-ups are much more likely to experience performance problems or completely break down during winter. Not only would this be an inconvenience for you, but it would also force you to spend money on repairs that likely could have been prevented during a tune-up. The small amount of money you spend on a tune-up will greatly reduce the likelihood that you’ll have to spend money on repairs down the road.
It will prevent long-term damage to your system. Scheduling annual tune-ups is one of the best ways to extend the life of your furnace. That’s because we perform tasks like cleaning your system, lubricating moving parts and checking connections that will keep all of your system’s parts in good working condition.

For any other questions call us at    664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Furnace Efficiency

If you want to heat your home without breaking the bank, it takes morimagee than just a high efficiency furnace. Although having an efficient furnace is a great start, there are a number of other factors that influence the efficiency of your home. Below are five factors that can decrease the efficiency of your furnace and what you can do to avoid them.

5 factors that affect furnace efficiency
Lack of maintenance. If you don’t have annual maintenance performed on your furnace, it can become inefficient, unreliable and a safety hazard to your home. Homeowners who skip out on their annual tune-ups often experience increasingly high energy bills as the years go on. With annual maintenance, your furnace will be brought back up to its peak efficiency and consume less energy all winter long.
Dirty filters. When dirt and other airborne particles build up on your filter, it makes it much harder for your furnace to push air through your system. To make up for the blockage in airflow, your furnace works harder and consumes more energy. Make sure to change your filters regularly, especially this time of year when our fur naces are running consistently and particles build up on our filters quickly.
High thermostat settings. It is common knowledge that the higher you set your thermostat temperature, the more energy your furnace will consume. As we wrote previously in this blog, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to save energy with your thermostat. Simply find the lowest settings you’re comfortable with and stick to an energy-saving schedule for your home temperatures throughout the week.
Not enough insulation. Insulation acts as a protective barrier between your home’s conditioned and unconditioned spaces. Without enough insulation, your home will have a hard time containing heat and your furnace will have to consume more energy to make up for it. Make sure your home is insulated to the proper R-value to avoid losing energy.
Air leaks. Warm air naturally travels toward colder temperatures. If you have air leaks in your home during winter, the warm air that your furnace produces will escape outside. Again, this will force your furnace to work harder and lead to a spike in your energy bills. Check for air leaks in your home and seal up any problem areas that you find.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Effects of a dirty air conditioner?

What are the Effects of a Dirty Air Conditioner?
Dirt can be a nuisance anywhere in your home, but one place that it poses some of the biggest problems is mostly hidden from view: inside your air conditioner. Dirt buildup on your air conditioner can cause huge performance and efficiency problems, which is why you should take steps to keep your system clean. Today we’re going to help you do that by talking about the effects of a dirty air conditioner and what you can do to prevent dirt from building up on your system!

How does an air conditioner get dirty?

When your air conditioner is operating, it pulls in air from your rooms in order to be cooled. As this happens, any dirt that has built up in your rooms can get caught up in your system’s airflow. That dirt travels through your return ducts until it encounters your air filter. If you have a good and clean air filter, the dirt should get trapped by the filter and only clean air should move on past it. If your filter is dirty or inefficient, dirt can bypass your filter and build up on your air conditioner’s components.

Dirt can also build up on your air conditioner’s outdoor unit over time simply due to the fact that it operates outside where dirt and debris are constantly blown around.

What are the effects of a dirty air conditioner?

Airflow can get blocked. If your air filter is completely covered in dirt, your system’s airflow will be severely impaired. That’s because your air handler will have to work extremely hard to try to push air past the clogged filter. This will greatly increase your system’s energy consumption and can also damage your air handler.
Your air handler can slow down. When dirt builds up on your air handler’s fan’s blades, the blades will not be able to spin as fast. As a result, your fan might not be able to operate powerfully enough to meet your home’s airflow demands. Your fan will also consume more energy while attempting to make up for the lack of performance.
Your cooling coils can lose effectiveness. Inside your home, your air conditioner blows warm air over evaporator coils and the coils remove heat from that air. Meanwhile outside, your condensing unit blows air over condenser coils, transferring heat from your home to the air outside. If either sets of these coils have a layer of dirt on them, the transfer of heat will be much more difficult. This can impair the ability of your air conditioner to adequately cool your home and often leads to frozen evaporator coils.
Your thermostat can get improper readings. If your air conditioner is cycling a lot of dirt in your home’s air, that dirt can build up on your thermostat. This can cause your thermostat to give false temperature readings, which can make it nearly impossible to keep your home comfortable.
How can you prevent your air conditioner from getting dirty?

Get annual tune-ups for your air conditioner. During a tune-up, we’ll perform a full system cleaning on your air conditioner in order to remove any dirt that might have built up since your last maintenance appointment.
Change your air filter every month. Your air filter is responsible for protecting your air conditioner from dirt buildup. In order to ensure it can do its job properly, change your filter every month.
Regularly clean your home. By controlling dirt at its source, you can limit the amount of it that gets caught up in your home’s airflow. Sweeping, vacuuming and wiping your home’s surfaces will all help remove dirt from your home and limit the amount or dirt that your air conditioner is exposed to.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.