Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Archive for April, 2014

3 Benefits to Air Conditioning Maintenance

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning, Alexandria VA residents can’t afford to take chances. Our summers get hot and muggy, and without a reliable A/C unit, your home could resemble a sauna when the temperatures start to climb. In addition to taking practical steps like keeping outside doors closed and wearing lightweight clothes to stay cool, you should schedule an air conditioning maintenance session before the summer starts in order to keep your system running as smoothly as possible. Air conditioning maintenance is a sort of tune-up session: cleaning up dirt and dust on interior components, recharging refrigerant, and checking for any little issues that may turn into big ones if they’re not addressed. What are the benefits? Here are 3 that you should consider before calling a service professional.

  • Increased efficiency. Low refrigerant levels result in reduced cooling capacity. Dirt and dust increased friction on moving parts. These and countless other issues all conspire to rob your air conditioner of efficiency, costing you additional money in higher monthly cooling bills. Regular maintenance sessions can take care of all of that, helping your A/C perform at its best.
  • Longer life. Regular maintenance sessions help reduce wear and tear on your air conditioner, which in turn will extend its lifetime well past its warranty. This works best when you schedule at least one or two sessions a year, instead of just one every now and again.
  • Reduced repair bills. A big part of a maintenance session is catching potential issues before they get too large. It may involve an additional repair session, but replacing one faulty component is infinitely preferable (and less expensive) than waiting for it to fail and damage several additional components in the process.

The benefits to air conditioner maintenance work best if you hire a high quality technician to perform it. And when it comes to air conditioner, Alexandria VA has a top-notch service in Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.

We handle air conditioning maintenance services with quality and care, and we think you’ll be very happy with the results. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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Problems with the Condensate Drain in an Air Conditioner

Monday, April 21st, 2014

If you listen to the indoor cabinet of your air conditioning system while it is operating this spring and summer, you will occasionally hear the sound of water dripping and then draining away. This happens because of the condensation of water vapor along the indoor coil during the evaporation stage. The moisture from the coil drips down into a shallow pan, and then a pump moves the water through a condensate drain and away from the air conditioner. This prevents the excess water moisture from overflowing out of the pan and entering your house where it can cause damage and raise humidity levels, or possibly harm the operation of other parts of your HVAC system. (If you have a furnace positioned below your AC, leaking can cause potentially harmful corrosion across the heater.) If you notice water leaking out of your air conditioner, or if you see water damage around the cabinet, call for repairs right away.

For fast and accurate work on air conditioning systems in Northern Virginia, contact the team at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.

What might go wrong with the condensate drain

The leading cause of leaking from the condensate pan is trouble that occurs with the drain or the drain line. There are two principle issues that can afflict the drain and lead to water leakage:

  • Organic clogging: Humid climates encourage the growth of a number of organisms that can clog or close off the condensate drain. These include mold, fungus, algae, and even small plants and weeds. (There’s also a small chance of non-organic debris, such as rocks and grit, entering the drain.) Even a slow drain will cause leaking to occur quickly because of how shallow the condensate pan is. To repair this, a technician will need to remove the pan from the unit, disconnect the drain, inspect it and the pipeline to find and remove the contamination using special wet/dry vacuum equipment.
  • Drain or drain line breaks: The drain might break off from the pan entirely, which will cause the water condensation to leak directly out of the pan. A break along the connection between the drain and the line will also start leaking. Usually, this problem will require a technician to completely replace the drain and/or line.

Water leaking from an AC is something you should stop as soon as you notice it—especially if you have a furnace beneath it. Although leaking will rarely harm the air conditioner itself, it will lead to damage to your house and discomfort from humidity. Don’t try to tamper with the drain line on your own. Call the Northern Virginia air conditioning specialists at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., and we’ll solve your troubles.

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Problems Air Conditioning Maintenance Addresses

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Here in Washington DC, air conditioning maintenance is more than just a luxury. Considering the amount of heat and humidity we get in an average summer, your A/C unit needs to function at peak capacity in order to keep your home comfortable. A regular maintenance session from a trained professional can be a key part of making that happen. Air conditioning maintenance addresses a lot of little issues such as dirty components and loose fittings, while checking for any potential problems that might pop up down the road.

  • High costs. Dirt and dust on the interior of your air conditioner will increase friction and clog air flow. That forces the air conditioner to work harder to do its job, which not only increases wear and tear but raises your monthly bills in the bargain. Air conditioning maintenance improves your system’s efficiency, helping you save money on cooling costs this summer.
  • Too little cooling. When refrigerant levels aren’t at a certain point, your air conditioner can’t do its job like it’s supposed to. Frost will form of the evaporator coils and the cooling capacity will be reduced. Not only will that force the air conditioner to work harder, but you won’t feel the cool air as much as you should: reducing overall comfort levels and making your home a less pleasant place to be.
  • Problems to come. Big problems usually start out as small issues, which can come in any one of a variety of forms. A maintenance visit is a chance for an expert to spot them when they’re still manageable and schedule a repair session to deal with them properly. This can save you a great deal of money as well as reducing the risk of a breakdown.

The experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., know all about the problems air conditioning maintenance addresses, and for customers in Washington DC, maintenance services don’t come any more thorough and professional than ours. Pick up the phone and give us a call today to schedule an appointment!

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What Happens During AC Maintenance?

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Here in Alexandria VA, air conditioning maintenance should take place at least once a year, after the snows of winter have left but before air conditioning season begins in earnest. This is an important step in keeping your air conditioner functioning and reducing the risk of a serious repair issue in the bargain. A tune-up lets the technician clean dirty components, recharge refrigerant levels and look for any potential issues that require a more in-depth repair session. On a more specific level, what happens during AC maintenance? We’ve outlined the basic steps below.

  • The technician arrives and shuts off power to the air conditioner, then opens it and examines the components.
  • The technician cleans the condenser coils and the evaporator coils, which are key to the air conditioner working as it should. (The condenser coils are on the outdoor part of the unit, so they tend to get a little dirtier.)
  • The technician checks the refrigerant levels, which needs to be at set amount determined by the precise nature of your air conditioner.
  • The technician checks the drain pans and lines to make sure they aren’t clogged or misaligned.
  • The technician checks all of the components, including the fan, fan motor, tubing, compressor and electronic components to see if any of them are damaged.
  • The technician adds oil to lubricate any moving parts that require it.
  • The technician turns on the air conditioner and lets it run, then looks for any unusual stains, odors, noises and leaks. He or she will also check the system pressure and the coolness of the air being generated, as well as examining the ducts for any leaks.
  • The technician shuts off the air conditioner and closes up the system. If any serious repairs are needed, he or she can then schedule it with you.

If you know what happens during AC maintenance, the next step is to contact a representative who can perform the operation with courtesy and care. In Alexandria VA, air conditioning maintenance can be performed by Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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