Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning Repair’ Category

4 Tips to Keep Your Ductless Air Conditioner Running Smoothly

Monday, February 5th, 2024

Ductless AC systems, or mini splits as they are sometimes called, provide impressive comfort while lowering your utility bills. Once you know how well a system like this can work, you understand that you want to keep it working that well. It would be a shame and a waste to have this amazing system and not reap all the benefits. 

So how do you make sure you keep getting the best possible performance from your system? We’ll give you our four top tips for making sure your ductless air conditioner will run as smoothly as possible. 

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Why Schedule Necessary Air Conditioning Repairs Right Now?

Monday, August 17th, 2015

You may be thinking that your air conditioner, though struggling a bit, is fine to get you through to the end of the summer season. Maybe you are thinking that you can get away with delaying any necessary air conditioning repairs in Washington, DC until next summer. We are here to advise you against this type of attitude. Simply put, you cannot afford to let your air conditioner limp its way along throughout the rest of the current cooling season. No matter how minor you may believe a problem with your home cooling system to be, it is in your best interest, and in that of the system itself, to have necessary repairs completed ASAP. To do so, just call upon the AC repair professionals here at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.

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Why Schedule Prompt Air Conditioning Repairs?

Monday, June 1st, 2015

We understand that you are likely quite busy. Between work, keeping the house clean, feeding the family, and all of the other day to day responsibilities you have on your plate, it is perfectly reasonable to accept that some things are going to fall through the cracks or be put on the backburner. Just remember that, when it comes to air conditioning repair services in Washington, DC, you cannot afford to bide your time. The longer that you wait to schedule any necessary air conditioning repairs for your system, the worse off it, and your comfort, is likely to be. That is why you should contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. at the first sign of trouble with your home cooling system. 

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How Dirty Coils Lead to Air Conditioning Repair

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Many people are surprised to learn that an air conditioner does not actually create cool air. Rather, it moves the heat from the air in your home back to the outdoors. Your air conditioning system contains two coils that help this to happen—the evaporator coil and the condenser coil. As refrigerant moves to these components, it undergoes phase conversions that allow heat to absorb or dissipate. But these coils, and the rest of your AC system, require cleaning and maintenance to prevent the need for air conditioning repair later on.

Dirty coils are problematic because these parts are so important to the refrigeration cycle. Refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas at the indoor evaporator coil, absorbing heat as a fan blows the warm air from your home over the coil. The fan then distributes cool air through the ducts. Refrigerant becomes highly pressurized and heated at the compressor outdoors and then moves to the condenser coil, where it condenses into a liquid, giving off heat into the outside air. Refrigerant continues to cycle through both parts of the system, repeating the process over again.

The coils are especially susceptible to dust because fans suck in air to blow over both the indoor and outdoor coils. If a coil is dirty, it means the refrigeration process cannot occur as efficiently as it should. Dirty coils impair their ability to participate in heat exchange, which means that other parts will have to work harder to make up for the deficiency. And as other parts run for longer periods of time, they may begin to wear out, so you’ll have to call for air conditioning repair sooner than is usually necessary. You’ll probably notice reduced cooling capacity when you have dirty coils, or you may even feel warm air from the vents.

Maintenance technicians clean the coils during any maintenance visit as well as other pertinent tasks that help to restore efficiency and keep problems at bay.

Schedule maintenance to prevent the need for air conditioning repair in Washington, D.C. Call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. for maintenance or repairs today!

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Air Conditioning Repair Question: Is My Compressor Damaged?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The compressor is one of the most important components of your air conditioning system, but it’s also one of the parts that is most likely to fail when your air conditioner runs into problems. If you believe your compressor is faulty, you may hesitate to call an AC technician for fear of costly repairs. However, it is better to get the problem fixed with professional air conditioning repair soon than to risk irreparable damage.

The compressor is responsible for compressing, or adding pressure to, the refrigerant in its gaseous state. Refrigerant must continuously change from a gas to a liquid and back again in order to absorb and release heat from your home, so the compressor allows this process to begin before it changes to a liquid at the condenser.

Compressor problems may be caused by a number of different issues. In general, the best way to keep your compressor free of damage is by calling a maintenance technician at least once a year to inspect your system. But there are many reasons the compressor fails, and the effects may be sudden.

One of the reasons a compressor may become damaged is if there is a refrigerant leak. The components of your system are designed and sized to hold only a certain level of refrigerant. The compressor in particular suffers when refrigerant levels drop due to leaks or incorrect installation, and it may fail if not enough refrigerant can pass through.

Overheating is another common cause of compressor damage. Overheating may result from electrical damage. In general, however, if any component of your AC is damaged, your compressor has to run longer and work harder to compensate, which could cause it to wear out. Of course, a compressor will also become damaged over time, and may simply fail because it is too old to function.

So how can you tell if the air conditioning problem you’re having is compressor damage or not? This is something you should leave up to the experts. While banging noises, hard starting, and a system that won’t turn on are all good indicators of damage, these can point to other problems as well, and you may only need a small repair.

For air conditioning repair in Arlington, trust the trained and certified technicians at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. 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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Derecho Thunderstorm, No Phone Service, No Air Conditioning The Top 3 Reasons To Like Your A/C Company

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Why “like” or “follow” your air conditioning company on Facebook or Twitter?  To communicate and get help in an emergency.  We all learned the importance of social networks from the Derecho thunderstorms on June 29.  At Polar Bear Air Conditioning, although our phone lines were powered by generator and our crews were working, our phone company did not have power and therefore our customers could not reach us through our main number, even forwarded to our cell phones.  Over one million DC area residents also lost power in our homes, but many of us were able to travel to Wifi hot spots with power to recharge our devices and access the Internet.

For those customers who were able to access our website, we posted an emergency number on our homepage.  Wouldn’t it be great in a similar State of Emergency to receive a Tweet or Facebook post from your air conditioning and heating company, with an emergency number to reach us?  Polar Bear Air Conditioning will do this in all future emergencies that involve heating, air conditioning and communication issues for our customers.  But we need your help.  In the coming weeks, we will be contacting our customers and asking you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or you can do that now by choosing the links on our home page.  We will ask you if you only want to be contacted in emergencies, or would like to receive newsletters and special offers no more than 4 times a year.  You can also opt to be contacted by email.  We will never sell or share your information with 3rd parties, and you will not receive more than 4 promotional emails a year.

We hope to not experience another Derecho for several years.  However, our goal is to be ready to communicate with and help our customers through all States of Emergency in all four seasons.  Have a quiet and cool summer.

Your friends at Polar Bear Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.

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Important Air Conditioning Tips for Derecho and other Electrical Storms

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

On June 29, a devastating thunderstorm complex known as a derecho created a State of Emergency in the Washington DC area, producing widespread destruction and leaving more than one million people without power.  Although derechos do not frequently move through our area, severe thunderstorms are common in the summer.  Do you know how to protect your family, home and air conditioning unit?  Here are some simple tips that can save lives and thousands of dollars.

1. Turn off your air conditioning at the thermostat during a thunderstorm.

Electrical control panels in air conditioning systems can be easily knocked out by power surges caused by lightning strikes.  In other words, the lightning does not have to hit your unit directly to damage your unit.

This applies to other electrical equipment as well.  Televisions and computers are at risk if running during an electrical storm.

2.  Don’t take showers or baths during a thunderstorm.

 Electricity can travel through metal pipes into your bathroom.   It is also wise to avoid other sources of water with metal pipes, such as faucets and sinks, until the thunderstorm passes.

3.  Are cell phones safe in electrical storms?

 Electricity will travel through electrical cords and outlets, not radio waves.  So, cordless phones and cell phones are safe inside, as long as they are not plugged in to an electrical outlet.  There have been reports of lightning strikes to cell phone users and iPod users outdoors, not due to radio wave transmission, but because the users are holding a metal object, and that metal attracts and conducts electricity.  It’s best to put away your cell phone and iPod if you are caught outside in an electrical storm.

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