Archive for the ‘Air Conditioner Preventative Maintenance’ Category

Know Your AC Warning Signs

As a homeowner in Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, Lantana or the surrounding areas, you are no doubt aware of the need for a dependable air conditioning system when it comes to the uncompromising temperatures of a Texas summer. Because our summer season can be intense, you need to know that your AC is going to be there for you when you need it most. If your system is compromised, it is mostly likely to break down while working its hardest.  Even seemingly minor problems can lead to very real damages if not addressed in a timely manner. Review these common AC WARNING SIGNS, and contact Southern Comfort Mechanical at the first sign of trouble with your AC system – you don’t want to be the one waiting for service during the busiest season of the year.

Reduced Cooling Output

AC WARNING SIGNS:  Your air conditioner previously cooled your home evenly but now is blowing warm air, only cooling sporadically, or only cooling certain areas effectively.  This decrease in cooling output should be taken very seriously. You may have a refrigerant leak, an air flow issue, or problems with mechanized components such as fans. Whatever the issue may be, it is best to have it resolved as soon as possible, both for the sake of your comfort and for the condition of your system.

 

Premature Shut-Down

AC WARNING SIGNS:  Your AC seems to be starting up fine, but running only briefly before shutting back down.  This system issue is known as short-cycling. Short cycling may occur for a few different reasons, such as very dirty air filter restricting airflow and overloading the motor, or a faulty thermostat registering temperatures incorrectly, causing the system to cycle off before your house is actually cool enough. Short cycling can also occur when the system experiences a refrigerant leak or a failing run capacitor that cannot maintain the appropriate electrical charge in the motor. Short-cycling puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your system that could result in increased damages or premature breakdown. Call our office as soon as you notice your system cycling in this manner.

Strange Sounds

AC WARNING SIGNS:  Popping, whining, grinding, whistling, clanging, hissing and other atypical sounds. One of the most obvious signs of a system in need of repair are odd sounds coming from any component of your system, and should prompt you to call Southern Comfort Mechanical to schedule a service appointment with our professional technicians right away. These sounds are warning signals from your unit, and continued use could potentially make the problem worse and far more expensive to repair.

Ice on the System

AC WARNING SIGNS:  Frost or ice on your system’s supply lines or coils.  It would be easy to mistake ice on the evaporator coils of your unit as a sign that your air conditioning system is working well. The reality, though, is that icing in an AC system could indicate refrigerant leaks, dirty coils or filters, restricted air flow or operational issues. Ice accumulation is a sign that your system is not able to absorb heat from its environment, which is your AC system’s primary role. If you notice ice on your coils or refrigerant lines, call Southern Comfort Mechanical right away for service.

Tripped Breakers
AC WARNING SIGNS:  An unresponsive system with a tripped or melted electrical breaker.  If you find your AC is tripping your circuit breaker frequently, do not ignore the issue. The breaker is a safeguard against power surges that can damage your electrical system and start electrical fires. There are a few reasons your AC unit could be tripping the breaker, including dirty coils, a shorted motor, an issue in the breaker box, or an issue in the compressor. Regardless of the cause for the tripped breaker, we strongly advise you to address the issue as soon as possible so no further damage is done to the system.

 

High Energy Costs

AC WARNING SIGNS:  Higher than average summer energy costs.  Any number of issues in your Lantana home can contribute to increased energy usage and electricity expenses. However, if you’re having a hard time identifying why your bill has increased, read over the other AC system distress signals above and see if any of them sound familiar. An air conditioner that is not routinely maintained, a system that is compromised in any way, or an improperly sized unit could all be contributors to system inefficiency.

Not properly maintaining your system or seeking repairs in a timely manner can compromise both your budget and your comfort in your home. Let the Southern Comfort Mechanical team diagnose and repair any problems with your AC as soon as you discover them. Call us today at (972) 420-1700.

Indoor Air Quality – Battling Allergens Indoors

Most of us think of Spring’s arrival as a breath of fresh air.  That is, until we realize that we live in one of the allergy capitals of the US.  That’s right – the Dallas area was ranked by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in the top 30 Spring Allergy Capitals for the last five years.   While there’s little that can be done to improve the air outdoors, there are ways to make the air we breathe indoors healthier for our families.  In honor of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, Southern Comfort Mechanical is bringing you indoor air quality tips for your Flower Mound air conditioning system.

 

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, refers to the condition of the air inside your home and how it contributes to your comfort and wellness.  The EPA reports that people are spending up to 90% of their time indoors.  Spending more time indoors exposes your family to higher levels of airborne pollutants like viruses, bacteria and other organic compounds in the air.

Without proper ventilation in the home, indoor air pollutants become trapped and contribute to unhealthy indoor air quality levels.  To mitigate poor indoor air quality in Corinth homes, Southern Comfort Mechanical recommends:

Air Duct Cleaning

Over time, air ducts become contaminated with dust particles, pollen and other debris that aggravate allergies and cause other health issues.  High humidity levels increase the potential for mold and spores dispersal into your home via the air conditioning system.  Schedule your professional air duct cleaning in Flower Mound with Southern Comfort Mechanical to eliminate the risk for microbiological growth and other airborne contaminants.

Air Duct Sealing

Duct systems are supposed to distribute conditioned air from your central HVAC system to your living spaces.  Duct systems with leaks, holes or poor connections can result in a loss of efficiency of up to 20% according to EnergyStar.  Further, those leaky ducts allow insulation particles, dust and fumes to enter the system, aggravating asthma and allergies.  Sealing ducts save you money while reducing the risk of pollutants entering ducts and circulating through your home.

Air Filtration

Most modern homes are designed to be self-contained for energy efficiency.  This means very little outside air enters the home via your Lantana air conditioning system, making air filtration a key component of maintaining indoor air quality.  Your HVAC filter collects contaminants and particles before the air gets distributed into your living spaces. Air filters will inevitably get dirty, but should not be allowed to become clogged. A clogged filter is not only bad for your indoor air quality, it can also create serious airflow problems and may cause a system shutdown.  Your Corinth HVAC filter should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, depending on variables in your home environment, such as high-traffic, pet shedding or home repair projects. Check your filter monthly to determine if a change is needed.

If you want to improve your Flower Mound indoor air quality, contact the skilled technicians at Southern Comfort Mechanical. We’re here to help you improve the efficiency and air filtration of your system.  972-420-1700.

The Nose Knows – Dirty Sock Syndrome

 

Earlier this month, a school in Arlington with a number of indoor air quality issues received back an environmental analysis that had a peculiar-sounding HVAC ailment you may not have heard about before now – Dirty Sock Syndrome.  It may sound like a very made up name, but it’s actually a very real and common problem.  In the last few weeks alone, Southern Comfort Mechanical’s staff has fielded calls for HVAC service in Corinth, The Colony, Lantana, Flower Mound, Coppell, Lewisville and more, all reporting an unusual odor emanating from their heating and air conditioning systems.  They used colorful language to describe the smell – it’s like a “locker room,” or “dirty gym clothes,” or “stinky feet” – so it’s no wonder where Dirty Sock Syndrome got its name.

The district said it has already removed allergenic mold that was on the coils of heating and cooling units… http://bit.ly/2kPyxDy

Posted by FOX 4 News on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

But, just what is Dirty Sock Syndrome?  Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by a buildup of mold and bacteria within your unit.  The indoor evaporator coils and heat pump of your Corinth air conditioning system are a perfect environment for bacteria and fungi, especially as you quickly transition from warm to cold and back frequently.  In the so-called “shoulder seasons” of the year, when the daytime and nighttime temperatures fluctuate significantly, your system is doing exactly that.  As your unit cycles out of cooling in the afternoons, the coils begin to defrost, the ice evaporates and the warmer, moister dark and dusty environment inside your unit allows these microbes to flourish.  Eventually this breeding ground produces enough waste product and decay that it becomes noticeable to the human nose as the warm air of the system pushes the odor out into your home.

Is Dirty Sock Syndrome a health hazard?  Generally, no.  While mold and mildew and bacteria are all pretty scary words on their own, typically, unless you or someone in your family is immuno-compromised or incredibly sensitive to mold and allergens, Dirty Sock Syndrome is unlikely to cause any ill effects unless left untreated.  Delaying treatment will only increase the number of bacteria and mold spores that contribute to the smell and further deteriorate the indoor air quality produced by your Highland Village air conditioner system.

How can I prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome?  Like most illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for Dirty Sock Syndrome.   Mildew, bacteria and mold need dust and other debris to truly thrive, so preventing foreign particles from entering your system is of primary importance.  Choose a high-quality air conditioning filter that can stop Dirty Sock Syndrome before it starts.  Change filters regularly for both your family’s health and the health of your air conditioning system.   Periodically cleaning your evaporator coils with a non-acidic solution is also recommended as part of your routine heating and air conditioning maintenance.  Having your Lantana AC system regularly serviced, such as with Southern Comfort Mechanical’s Comfort Club Service Plan, is a further measure that helps ensure your heating and air conditioning system’s overall health.

How to get rid of Dirty Sock Syndrome?  If your Flower Mound air conditioning system is emitting a certain gym locker smell, you may already have Dirty Sock Syndrome.  If you have performed preventive maintenance and changed your filters as scheduled, and you still have a pervasive odor, it’s time to call Southern Comfort Mechanical and request a professional coil cleaning for your affected Corinth AC system.  Our skilled technicians can help identify if there are any contributing factors to the odor you may not have considered and can clean and treat your coils with expert care.

 

 

 

Proper Care for your HVAC System as it Ages

In many of the communities we serve, the average age of homes exceeds ten years. While new construction continues in many areas such as Lantana, Argyle, Flower Mound and Highland Village, several homes in those areas are now at the point where they no longer are under a new home warranty, so maintenance becomes more and more about prevention and efficiency. This is particularly true for your HVAC system. Here are some tips and pointers for caring for your system as that time approaches for your home:

Perform basic maintenance. Periodically check and change your filters and dust your vents and registers. Keep your intakes clear of furniture or other blockages. Clear grass, leaves and debris away from exterior condensers and rinse the condensing unit with water from your garden hose as part of routine preventative maintenance.

Service your system professionally. Commit to having your air conditioning systems professionally serviced prior to the seasons that are most taxing to your A/C and heating equipment – summer and winter. Biannual service, whether as part of our Comfort Club membership or your regular home preventative maintenance plan, helps ensure that the HVAC components that keep your system operating at peak performance are properly tested, cared for and monitored for wear and tear.

Review your electrical consumption from year to year. If you check your gas and electrical bills and find your usage steadily increasing over a period of years, it is a good indicator that your that your A/C system is having to work harder to meet the demand placed on its components. This increase in energy consumption is a sign that the overall A/C system is aging and that standard maintenance may no longer be enough to keep your A/C system performing.

Make timely repairs. Short-cycling, uneven cooling, loud operation, unusual noises, etc., are all indicators that your A/C system is in need of repair. Delaying repair only prolongs the potential for additional damage to the compressor which will only shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system.

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Consider replacement. An air conditioning system in regular need of repair or rebalance will eventually become more cost prohibitive than installing a new system. Cost considerations include the rapidly rising costs of R-22* refrigerant used in older units, parts and labor, time, energy consumption, and a sacrifice in comfort and indoor air quality, just to name a few. Air conditioners have a manufacturers estimated lifespan; if your unit has reached that age or is showing signs of failure or inefficiency, it is time to have your A/C system evaluated for recommended repair or component replacement. Current models that make use of improved refrigerants and utilize the latest technology will deliver more efficiency and will be backed by a warranty that better protects your investment.

As always, we hope you will choose Southern Comfort Mechanical as your Lewisville area partner in the care of your HVAC system. We are here to keep your system functional and healthy for the full extent of its lifespan. Please contact us today if you are in need of preventive maintenance, repair or replacement or if you have questions about how to get the most efficiency out of your unit.

*A note on R-22: Many systems manufactured before 2010 still use a coolant known as R-22. The EPA began phasing out this refrigerant at that time and continues to step down the amount available for sale each year. This decrease in supply will mean that the cost of R-22 that is used in these older units continues to steadily rise in price. In the next three years, the supply available will fall to only .5% of what was available in 2010. That scarcity will make the cost of maintaining older units incredibly pricey.

What is Preventative Maintenance and Why do I Need It?

 

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We know that as a homeowner in the Flower Mound, Corinth, Lantana, or Lake Dallas area, you’ve invested a great deal in your HVAC system. Even if you’re not homeowner, there’s probably been some time or another when your air conditioning system has failed you. In the Texas heat, this is no joke and it’s definitely no fun. So what’s the vital key to keeping your home’s heating and air conditioning system healthy? It’s simple, really. Regular preventative maintenance. But what does preventative maintenance actually entail?

When you schedule a maintenance call, we’ll send one of our licensed and certified HVAC technicians to your home to do an overall comprehensive cleaning and analysis of your system which includes the air conditioner or heat pump, the furnace, the evaporator coil, etc. While they’re doing this, they’ll make sure that everything is operating and running properly while also making sure that nothing needs to be replaced or repaired. In most cases if something like an air filter needs to be replaced, this is the time to do it and your A/C service tech will take care of replacing items such as these.

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Another important part of a maintenance check-up is a safety check. Your technician will check your system to look for any safety concerns such as cracks in your heat exchanger or gas leaks. This is an extremely crucial checkpoint as carbon monoxide leaks could be severely harmful to you and your family and in some cases, even fatal. If you have a CO detector, the tech will also check that to make sure that it works accordingly and that there aren’t hazardous levels of gasses in your home.

filters-before-and-after

Once all that has been checked, your technician will clean any parts or components of your HVAC system that you can’t do on your own. If any air conditioning repairs need to be made, your technician will either complete them during this visit or schedule a time at your convenience to come and fix any issues found during the maintenance check.
If you have any questions at all about your HVAC system or anything related to it, don’t hesitate to ask your technician. They are trained to help you and answer any question you might have in great detail and with helpful suggestions. You can also always call our office at 972-420-1700 if you have any questions about your heating and cooling system.
At the end of your maintenance check-up, you will receive a report written up that will review and summarize what the visit entailed and what the technician did if any repairs or replacements were made at that time.

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Through our Comfort Club maintenance program, you can get regular inspections on your air conditioning and heating units. And At Southern Comfort Mechanical, if you’re a Comfort Club member, we’ll always remind you of your bi-annual check-ups–one in the spring (before it gets too hot) and one in the fall (before it gets too cold). We save our customers money in the long run by doing maintenance work on your units and keeping your systems working efficiently. When you use our service plan, you also get discounted prices if you should require an air conditioning or heating repair anytime throughout the year. If you’re not a Comfort Club member, please call us before you get stuck in the heat this summer! Use this coupon if you’re a first time customer with us to receive $16 off of your precision tune up!

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Valentines Day and Early Spring Prediction

We all wanted to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day and a happy Groundhog Day from your friends at Southern Comfort Mechanical. Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog predicts an early spring this year, so get your warm clothes out and keep your eyes open for spring cleaning tips from us.

Here’s what you’ve missed in the last few months! We’ve been awarded Angie’s List Super Service Award for the second year in a row as well as the Best of Denton County’s Heating and Air Service Company for the second year in a row. Thank you to all of our amazing customers for your continuous support and fantastic reviews!ALBODC_Winner2015 (2)

 

In other news, our lovely co-owner, Laurie, made an appearance at SSgt. Johnnie Yellock’s special homecoming after the tight knit community of Lantana came together to help him after he suffered life-threatening injuries to both of his legs from an IED blast during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

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“The event was a lovely showmanship of all active sponsors, law enforcement and neighbors.  I walked away loving the community of Lantana even more than before!” said Laurie.  He received a Bronze star, Purple Heart and a Combat Action Medal for his service to our country. Being a part of the community is essential to Southern Comfort Mechanical’s core values and being a part of this ceremony was truly touching. The full article on SSgt. Johnnie Yellock’s story can be read here on Lantana Living’s website.

That being said, we’d like to wrap up by offering you a quick tip. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your HVAC system running well all year long. That means, changing your filters, having your wires inspected, and cleaning out your condenser coils to name a few preventative measures. This month, take advantage of our 13 point checkout precision tune up! See the coupon below and use the discounted price while it still lasts!

February 2016 Coupon

Last but not least, here is the link to our Valentines Day contest. Simply like the photo linked on our Facebook page and you will be entered to win $100 to go towards a lovely dinner for two <3 Encourage your friends and family to like our Facebook page to get in on this fun contest!

 

Commercial Repair & Maintenance

Here at Southern Comfort Mechanical, we take care of businesses from bakeries, to computer shops, to aquariums. All of which require year round specific temperatures. Temperatures matter and in order to keep and maintain that specific degree range, preventative maintenance and fast response time is crucial.

Most commercial properties need maintenance four times a year; spring, summer, winter and fall. Spring/Summer maintenance includes brushing condenser coils, cleaning out drain lines, changing filters, checking all electrical and Freon, and much more. Fall/Winter checkout includes inspection and adjustment of heat exchangers, burners, search for gas leaks and safety switch and again, much more.  Each checkout is very thorough and our technicians are highly trained to go through your system with a fine tooth comb. Should we find anything that needs repaired, we can repair that day as our trucks are fully stocked and we give discounts to those who have a contract with us.

Many times if you are in a lease agreement, there is a stipulation where you have to have a maintenance contract with licensed professionals. Southern Comfort Mechanical, a local Lewisville company, can customize an agreement to fit your businesses HVAC needs and make air conditioning repairs faster and more cost effective than other competitors. Whether you only want filter and belt changes or you need a whole system checkout we are here to help. Call us today at 972-420-1700 to speak with someone about setting up a maintenance plan to help fit your needs.

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Flower Mound – Capacitor Troubles?

As many of you know, there are easy ways to maintain your air conditioning system. Changing your filters regularly, keeping your condenser clear of pollen and bugs, and scheduling regular maintenance are ways to get the full life expectancy of your system. However, it’s inevitable that something could possibly go wrong. The consecutive 100 degree days are about to be upon us, the most common air conditioning part that fails is a condenser fan motor capacitor. That brings us to today’s topic, your capacitor. Where is it?  What does it do? What is it?

A capacitor, which is located in your condenser, regulates the voltage running to your motor. In its simplest form it consists of two conducting surfaces separated by a dielectric. There are many reasons your capacitor can go out – High temperatures and pressures, age of part, leaking has occurred, insulator deteriorated, or a power surge. With proper preventative maintenance, a failure may be avoided saving you money and frustration. Typical life expectancy of a capacitor is approximately 5 years.

Southern Comfort Mechanical, serving Flower Mound, Highland Village and surrounding areas, has technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no over time charges. With fully stocked trucks and knowledgeable technicians, we can get your system running in no time! Call us today at 972-420-1700.

Left - Blown Capacitor Right - New Capacitor

Left – Blown Capacitor. Right – New Capacitor

Is Your AC System Frozen Up? Helpful DIY Tips

After a long, hard day at work, the last thing you want to come home to is a hot house. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, check to see if your system is “frozen up.”  Go to your evaporator coil, which is typically located in the attic or hall closet. If you see ice, here are a few tips to help pin point the problem and to know what to financially expect.

First, you need to thaw it out. Turn your air conditioner off and your fan on. Be sure to have a bucket or pan to catch the water from it thawing out.

While the coil is thawing out, check your air filter. If it’s dirty and 100% clogged, you may have identified the problem. Remove the filter and go get a new one. Be sure to get the correct size. Once home, put the filter in. Do not turn on the system until it is completely thawed.  Once it is, turn it back on. If the air conditioner comes on and cool air is coming out, you’ve saved yourself a service call. If starts, but freezes up again it’s in all likelihood that you have low refrigerant. If you never heard the indoor fan motor come on at all, then it is your motor.

In order to avoid any of these common problems, preventative maintenance is key. Give Southern Comfort Mechanical a call at 972-420-1700 and schedule your check up today!

 

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Advantages of Joining the Comfort Club Maintenance Program

Comfort Club MaintenanceKeeping your air conditioning and heating systems in working condition is important to your health and comfort level. To keep from sweating or freezing in your home or office because of a major heating or cooling problem, your air conditioner and furnace need regularly maintenance. Having professionals come in to regularly inspect and make minor repairs to your systems can help to ensure that you won’t have a major issue during the middle of the summer or winter. If you are looking for a Coppell air conditioning and heating company that offers an affordable maintenance plan, consider Southern Comfort Mechanical. Our Lewisville company is committed to providing quality maintenance, repair, and installation services to customers in different parts of northern Texas.

Through our Comfort Club maintenance program, you can get regular inspections on your air conditioning and heating units. Our masterful technicians look at and replace different parts, change your filters, and clean out drains or coils to keep your heating and air conditioning systems in working order. We save our customers money over the long run by doing maintenance work to your units early and keeping your systems working efficiently. When you use our service plan, you can also get discounted prices on filters and parts.

Along with servicing your heating and air conditioning units, we also can do any repair or installation needed. If you need an emergency air conditioning repair or a late night fix to your furnace, you can count on Southern Comfort Mechanical to be there for you. Whatever make or model you have, our tidy and insightful technicians are trained to make repairs to your furnace or air conditioner. If you need a new unit, our licensed professionals will work with you to find a more energy-efficient heating or cooling system that will save you money on your energy bills.

If you live in Coppell, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Carrollton, Southlake, Corinth, or a surrounding area, we can help you to find an air conditioning or heating solution. We will send someone out as soon as possible to inspect your unit and provide you with a free estimate. Call Southern Comfort Mechanical anytime at 972-420-1700.

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**The Wells Fargo Home Projects credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank, an Equal Housing Lender. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 01/06/2016 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 12/31/2017.