Your AC can produce gallons of water each summer day you have it running. Sometimes this water can back up, leaving homeowners with a big wet mess. Some may mistake this big puddle as a sewer problem.
When we think of air conditioners, we often picture them as devices solely responsible for keeping our homes cool during scorching summers. However, there’s an intriguing aspect of air conditioning that often goes unnoticed – the significant amount of water that ACs produce.
Watch this video to hear one of the owners of Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning explain this surprising amount of water that AC generate.
The AC Water Creation Process
Air conditioners are ingenious devices that not only cool the air but also regulate humidity levels inside our homes. This is made possible by a process called condensation. As warm air passes through the evaporator coils of an air conditioner, moisture in the air condenses into water droplets due to the difference in temperature. These water droplets collect on the coils, forming water.
Most air conditioners have a drainage system to manage the water created during the cooling process. This excess water is collected in a reservoir, commonly known as the condensate pan. From here, it’s directed through a drainpipe to the outside of the house, preventing the excess moisture from accumulating indoors.
The amount of water produced by home air conditioners can be surprisingly substantial. Depending on factors such as the size of the unit, outdoor temperature, and humidity levels, a typical air conditioner can generate about 30 gallons of water per day! This is a significant volume of water that would otherwise contribute to indoor humidity levels, making your living spaces feel muggy and uncomfortable.
Have an AC Leak? Call on Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
Have a problem with your air conditioner or seeing a leak around your HVAC system? Call on the team of expert plumbers and HVAC technicians to resolve whatever problem you are having. Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides professional services to Manhattan, KS and surrounding towns. Give us a call today at 785-776-5012.
Pros & Cons of Wrapping Up an Air Conditioner for Winter
Ask any air conditioner technician and they’ll tell you the key to having an air conditioner that lasts a LONG time is good maintenance. So, when you hear of different ways to protect your AC, like covering your outside AC unit over the winter, you may think it’s a good thing to do.
There are many important maintenance tasks homeowners should be sure to take care of. Changing the air filter on a regular schedule is probably the most important task you can do. But there are some AC maintenance tips you may hear that are not worth your time and effort. Sometimes these so-called great tips may cause you problems.
Covering up your air conditioner over the winter may be one of those tips you should probably ignore.
Why you should think twice about covering your air conditioner
It may seem like a good idea to buy one of the many available AC unit wraps made specifically to cover an outdoor air conditioner (aka the condenser) during the winter. For only 20 or 30 bucks, it may seem like a smart purchase for protecting your air conditioner.
If you do cover your AC correctly, it can be a good idea for your home. However, covering your air conditioner can cause problems.
Pros for Covering Your Air Conditioner
An AC wrap can protect your outside unit from dirt, debris, snow, and ice. Here in Kansas, we see a lot of problems with leaves and dirt getting stuck in air conditioners. You should clean your air conditioner and its coils when it gets covered in this muck. Having a cover on your AC all winter will make that spring cleaning task quick and easy.
However, there are some hazards most fabric AC wraps can’t protect our unit from. Ice falling on an AC can damage it. If your air conditioner sits under an area where icicles form, you may want to cover it, but not with a fabric wrap. Instead, put something hard over the top of the unit, such as a piece of plywood.
Cons for Covering Your Outdoor AC
While AC wraps can come in handy when it comes to keeping debris out, a wrapped air conditioner wrapped can attract animals. A wrap can be seen as a welcoming home to mice and other little creatures. These rodents may decide to make your AC their winter home. While they are huddled under the wrap staying warm, the small animals may nibble on the wires and damage your air conditioning unit. If you do choose to get an AC wrap, you will want to get one designed to keep small creatures out.
Another reason to not wrap an AC is that they are designed to be outdoors. The unit was built and tested to withstand the conditions. Covering an AC for part of the year may prevent some rust or damage, but it does not make up for the potential hazards that wrapping it can cause.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cover your air conditioner, make sure you uncover it BEFORE your AC needs to start working again.
You will likely have a lot of problems on your hands if you don’t uncover an air conditioner before it gets hot and the AC starts up again. You may even find that your air conditioning unit isn’t working at all!
If you find your AC isn’t working, give Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Manhattan a call for a quick repair at (785) 776-5012.
Give Your AC Plenty of Space
Your outdoor unit needs space around it to properly work.
When landscaping or decorating, be careful to avoid putting anything within 2-3 feet of an outdoor unit. If you are planting something, make sure that it will not grow too close to a unit over time. Keep any nearby plants from getting no closer than two or three feet from the air conditioner itself.
A Spring Tip to Prevent an Air Conditioner Emergency
Much of the summer work we do in homes all across Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City and surrounding towns comes down to one thing: fixing an air conditioner. Over the hottest days, we are flooded with phone calls from homeowners who suddenly find out their AC system isn’t working.
It is quite common for a breakdown or problem to happen without the homeowner having any clue there was a looming problem. It can be quite a surprise to wake up sweating because suddenly your AC has started blowing hot air instead of cold. It doesn’t take long during some of our hot Manhattan summers for a home’s inside temperature to shoot up when there’s not a cooling system doing its job properly.
As we know, another hot Kansas summer will be here before we know it. Before it comes, we want homeowners to know the best thing they can do to avoid any sort of air conditioner emergency.
There is one simple thing you need to do.
The 1 Best Way to Avoid an AC Emergency
You need to turn your air conditioner on. Yes, that’s pretty much it. But there is a catch. It’s when you turn your AC that make this simple step be effective.
You need to test your AC unit in the spring. When it’s blustery and chilly outside, it may seem odd to be thinking about needing your AC. But that is precisely when you need to turn it on for a test run. This time of year Kansans are not relying on their AC, and also probably not needing their furnace as much as they did. At Standard and other HVAC companies across Manhattan, this our slow time. While we often schedule heating and cooling installation and maintenance checks during this time, we are not getting a lot of calls for repairs. We are more readily available to come to your home right away, often the same day.
Finding out your air conditioner isn’t putting out cold air in March or April means we’ll definitely get to fixing the problem before you need your home’s cooling system. However, if you wait until the first 80-degree day to find out your AC is broken, you’ll likely have to wait. You won’t just have to wait for work from us at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, but any reliable, professional HVAC technician will also be swamped with AC repairs at that time. You and your family will unfortunately be left sweating it out until a technician is available. Some will resort to using a less reputable repair person for the job.
A Manhattan Homeowner’s Spring Air Conditioner Test
To test if your AC is working, set your thermostat several degrees below current temperature. Also make sure that it is set to the COOL setting.
Do you hear your outside AC unit kick on? If you do, you’re not out of the woods yet. A running air conditioner doesn’t mean everything is in working order.
Check to see if you feel cold (not just cool) air coming from your vents. Your cooling system likely already has cool air inside it that you may immediately feel, but that is not air that’s actually been cooled by the system. Wait to ensure that the air you are feeling is cold, air-conditioned air. You may need to turn your thermostat down a few more degrees to help you make sure it is cold air created by your air conditioning system.
Beyond the Spring AC Test
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that an air conditioner you test in March or April will work just as well in June or July. A lot can happen over a couple months. Dirt and pollen could clog up your outside unit and cause problems. A rodent could take to nibbling on exposed wires to your AC unit. There are a variety of other issues that could happen that a homeowner may easily miss.
How can you be sure your AC is ready for the next Kansas summer? Contact us. Our team of experienced heating and air technicians can not only repair broken air conditioners, we can maintain and tune-up working systems to ensure they continue working throughout the next season and beyond.
With a Spring AC Check & Tune-Up, one of our experienced HVAC technicians will come out and do all necessary testing of your home’s air conditioning system. We will make sure that your AC is working properly and efficiently. An inefficient system can waste energy and possibly leave you with a larger than expected energy bill.
Standard’s Spring AC Check & Tune-Up Includes:
• Install new 1” filter (or clean re-usable one) • Check Freon levels • Clean condenser • Check condensate drain and clean if necessary • Check evaporator coil, electrical connections and compressor • Clean and check thermostat • Check and record all electrical readings • Check, adjust and align belts
Because a tune-up of your cooling system is the best way to ensure your home is ready for a hot Manhattan summer, we are offering a special deal. Contact Standard today to take advantage of our Spring AC Check and Tune-Up Special available through June 30, 2023.
It is our commitment to provide the heating and air service you need as quickly as possible. If you allow us to service your air conditioning system before the summer sets in, you can have peace of mind that your system was checked and maintained by experienced AC professionals.
Annual Heating & Cooling Maintenance to Make Sure Your AC is Ready for Summer
While this special can have you set for summer, Standard does provide a maintenance service all year round. With our VIP Maintenance program, you can receive maintenance checks, tune-ups, discounts on repairs and a variety of other great benefits all year long. There are great reasons to become a VIP member. Call us at (785) 776-5012 to see how Standard in Manhattan can take the worry and work of home maintenance off your hands.
Ductless mini splits are becoming much more popular options in America for providing comfort for living and work spaces. They are modern HVAC systems that provide heating and cooling for homes, offices, and other places. As the name suggests, they require no ductwork. So these ductless mini split systems are an excellent option for spaces where it is not possible or feasible to install ductwork. But they can face their own unique problems, including finding mold in the mini split.
We provide full service for ductless units including repair and maintenance work on any brand or type of ductless system. Our techs are experienced at handling whatever problem is happening. They have often been called out to handle a repair on a mini split unit that was completely preventable.
Just as traditional heating and cooling devices need regular maintenance, so does a mini-split unit. One of the most common problems we run into here at Standard is servicing a mini split unit that is dirty and moldy.
A dirty mini split can lead to several problems. Having mold inside a unit that is dispersing air throughout your living space can greatly decrease the quality of the air you breathe.
Finding Mold in Your Mini Split
Finding out that you have mold in your mini split unit can be quite alarming, not to mention disgusting. But unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think.
When not properly maintained, the inside of your ductless mini split could become a home for mold and mildew. A ductless unit with mold inside emits mold spores into the air you breathe. This damages your indoor air quality and can make create problems for your home and also be detrimental to you and your family’s health.
Whenever mold is found or suspected, a homeowner should not ignore it. Mold can cause a variety of problems, especially to the health of the people and pets living in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency lists the Ten Things You Should Know About Mold.
5 signs of a Mold Problem
While opening your mini split unit will likely reveal whether you have a mold problem, there are some other tell-tale signs that you may notice, including:
A bad odor that may smell like a dirty sock or something cheesy
Black or odd-colored splotches on the wall unit, visible when lifting the cover on the air handler
Finding a lot of moisture or standing water beneath your ductless unit
Having increased difficulty with respiratory problems
Experiencing more allergy-like symptoms inside your home
How to Clean Mold from Mini Split
So what can you do when you find disgusting black mold in your mini split? One option you have is to call for cleaning and maintenance from Standard Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning. Our mini split cleaning and tune-up services start at $79.99. We can quickly come out to get your system completely cleaned so you can quickly go back to having clean, fresh air again.
You could also try to clean the mold out of your ductless unit yourself. Opening and cleaning a mini split is typically not too difficult and does not require great technical skill. Cleaning mold from your mini split is something just about any homeowner can handle themselves.
Process to Clean Mold out of a Mini Split
Start by turning off your system.
Flip up the top cover in order to remove the filters.
Find the two filters right at the top and pull them up and out.
Take those filters to a sink and rinse them off.
Allow the filters to completely dry (wait at least 20 minutes)
Put the filters back in the mini split unit.
Put the cover back on. It should click in place.
It is important to note that some mini-split systems have an additional antimicrobial, anti-allergy filter. If your has that, remove it from the larger filter before washing as this special filter should not be cleaned. Reattach it back to the other filters once they are completely dry.
Following those steps you should be able to successfully remove any dust, debris, and mold. But if the mold in your ductless unit is a bigger problem or if mold is apparent on parts of your mini split system other than the filters, you may need professional service. Call us at Standard for a thorough mini split cleaning and tune-up by contacting us online or by calling (785) 776-5012.
The best way to prevent mold from developing in your mini split is by keeping the unit always turned on.
You can prevent future mold problems by simply not turning off your system, even when you don’t need it on. Unlike a furnace and AC system, mini splits do not cycle on and off again repeatedly. These units will instead continue operating in low-power mode.
When a mini split is on, the device is doing more than just working to provide the desired temperature. It is also draining moisture. When you turn the mini split off, it cannot work to remove the moisture. And so that moisture stays inside the unit causing mold to form.
Finding ice covering your air conditioner is an odd sight to see in the middle of a hot Kansas summer. But it is an unfortunate problem that can happen because of a few different issues. A relatively minor issue may have caused the ice, but there are potentially more extensive breakdowns that can also cause an AC to freeze up.
Either way, there are some steps homeowners can and should take to help get their cooling system working again. Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are your Manhattan area AC repair experts. We want to help you have the information you need so you do not have to face a hot home this summer.
What can you do when your air conditioner has frozen up?
You can start with a few DIY steps. A simple issue may be causing your air conditioner to freeze up, and it might be one you can repair quickly and cheaply!
The Most Common Causes to a Frozen AC
Keep reading to learn the most likely reasons why ice will develop on an air conditioner. Some of these causes are issues that many homeowners can try to tackle on their own. We will list the troubleshooting steps homeowners can handle to help resolve minor problems.
Other causes to a frozen AC will be best left to trained HVAC technicians who can accurately diagnose the problem and successfully resolve it.
THE FIRST TROUBLESHOOTING STEP
No matter why your air conditioner froze up, there is a basic – yet critical – step you must do first to get your AC starting to thaw out.
This step starts at your thermostat. Turn your thermostat OFF and then turn the fan ON.
This will allow your air conditioner to start defrosting. How long will it take for your AC to thaw out? On a hot Kansas summer day, your AC might be fully thawed in just a few of hours.
Do not try to speed up the process. While it might be tempting to rush the ice melting, do not try to melt the ice with any additional tools or devices. Do not try to chip the ice away or apply heat sources to your AC.
5 REASONS AN AIR CONDITIONER FREEZES UP
1. Insufficient Air Flow
The most common reason an air conditioner coil freezes up is due to airflow. There is not enough air flowing over the evaporator coils. If there is not enough air flowing, the refrigerant gets too cold and might cause the coils to freeze.
The leading reading why the airflow could be hampered is that your air filter is dirty. A dirty filter can block or clog airflow and is a common cause for an air conditioner to freeze up.
While the AC is thawing out, check the air filter on your furnace. If it’s dark and dirty, replace it. It is possible you have not been changing out your filter as often as you should. Unfortunately, that is a mistake that a lot of homeowners make.
Once your air filter is replaced, and the air conditioner is fully thawed, try turning the thermostat back to COOL and see if your AC works now.
While you are at it, take a look at the vents throughout your home. Are they all open? While many people believe you should close any vents don’t need to save energy use, that is a misconception. The ducts in your home were laid out to work as a system. Closing off too many vents can cause a problem with the airflow.
You may be able to close a few vents without causing a problem, but it may lead to a frozen AC if you close too many.
Are any vents blocked or covered? Check the vents to make sure the air is not being obstructed. Move away any items (like furniture or curtains) that are blocking the vents.
2. Low Refrigerant Levels
Being low on refrigerant (freon) is another common reason why an air conditioner has frozen up. Low refrigerant often means that there is a leak. This could be a dangerous problem, and it needs to be safely handled by a trained AC technician.
Dirty evaporator coils are another problem that can cause an air conditioner to freeze.
A significant buildup of dirt or debris on a cooling system’s evaporator coils can prevent it from absorbing the heat it needs to produce cool air. If the air filter is clean and vents are not getting blocked yet you still have poor airflow, it is likely caused by a dirty coil.
Performing annual maintenance on your system should keep this problem from happening. Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides professional AC maintenance and tune-up service. Contact us to have the local pro’s handle your home comfort maintenance needs.
4. Mechanical Failures
A mechanical problem can cause an AC unit to freeze. There are many mechanical components to your home’s cooling system. And many different things could go wrong, such as a kink in a refrigerant line or a broken blower fan. These sorts of issues can change the pressure in your system, making your AC freeze up.
A malfunctioning blower motor is another mechanical problem that can freeze out an air conditioner. It is the part inside your unit that makes the fan blows return air over the evaporator coils. If an insufficient amount of air moves over the coils, your system will get too cold and could freeze up.
5. Inadequate AC or Ductwork for Size of your Home
There is such a thing as “too big” when it comes to air conditioners. You want the exact right size unit for the size of your home. A unit that is too big can cause problems, including a frozen AC system.
If you have a relatively new AC system or have had a reconfiguration of your ductwork, or you’ve had any remodeling done to your home, this situation may be more likely for you.
There is a formula for finding out precisely what type and size of AC is needed for each home. Schedule service with Standard, and we will come out and inspect your home to ensure you have the suitable unit you need. Of course, we’ll do that after we fix the frozen air conditioner and get cool air back and flowing through your home.
IS THE AC PROBLEM RESOLVED?
If one of the troubleshooting steps worked and cool air is flowing again, DO NOT STOP READING. You are not out of the woods yet.
You may have just fixed the problem temporarily. Let your cooling system continue working for a while, and then check to see if ice is forming again anywhere. If it has frozen up again, that means you have not resolved the core problem. And that means you need to have it checked by a professional AC repair technician.
Your Trusted Plumbers & Heating and Air Specialists in Manhattan, KS
With nearly 100 years of history providing homeowners and businesses in the Manhattan area the services they need, Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air is the local company you can trust. With dozens of 5-star reviews, we are proud in knowing customers continue to rely on us for professional and friendly service for their home’s plumbing, heating and air needs.
We set the Standard for only hiring top-notch, professional technicians who are trained to be on the cutting edge of home comfort technology. Customer satisfaction is the secret to our success. We also offer a VIP Preventative program to help homeowners have peace of mind in knowing that our skilled team will make sure their systems work exactly as they should all year round.
We serve Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City and the surrounding Kansas towns. We are conveniently located at 609 Pecan Circle in Manhattan, KS. From Fort Riley Blvd, turn heading south on Pecan Circle and we’re immediately on your left.