Why Won’t My Air Conditioner Turn On?

Ah, summer. It’s the season where setting aside time to unwind is not only acceptable, but encouraged, and for many, this means basking in the AC while outside temperatures rise into the 90s and even higher. At least a handful of people will find their plans for relaxing in their cool, conditioned living rooms falling through this summer thanks to AC breakdown. It’s a veritable horror story, and if it occurs during a heatwave, the results can be dangerous.

Maybe you woke up this morning to find out that your air conditioner just won’t turn on— if not, maybe this fate looms right around the corner. Here are just a few reasons why an AC may be unresponsive, all of which point to the need for service.

Problem #1: Your Thermostat Needs Adjusting

This may seem like an obvious cause for the issue at hand, but it’s something that often goes overlooked. In combined systems, thermostats that are set to “heat” will never allow an AC to properly cool the home. Be sure that yours is set to “cool,” and if so, turn the temperature down 5-10 degrees to see if your unit will click on. If not, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Problem #2: Power Surge

It’s no secret that air conditioners can use up quite a bit of power on a monthly basis, and power surges are not unlikely to occur from time to time. This can cause the illusion that your AC just won’t turn on, which may not be the case. Be sure to check your main electrical panel for any tripped circuits—either a “fuse box” in an old home or a circuit panel in newer homes. Some air conditioners also come equipped with shutoff boxes, which can easily blow fuses and should be checked if your AC won’t turn on.

Problem #3: The Air Filter is Dirty

If you’re not sure when the last time you cleaned your AC’s air filter was, there’s a good chance that it’s in need of either cleaning or outright replacement. Look for the unit’s return vent filter where air gets pulled into the AC and check to see if it’s dirty. A simple change of the filter may be all that the doctor ordered to get your air conditioner back into shape.

Problem #4: The Condensate Line Requires Attention

Finally, you may want to take a closer look at your AC’s condensate line. Air conditioners create condensation as they operate normally, which exits the home from a drain line. If the line gets clogged, a safety switch can be tripped that shuts the AC down. A condensate drain pump or even a wet/dry vacuum may be able to clear the clog and get your AC back into working order.

Still can’t get your AC to turn on? The team at Anchor AC is here to help.

Contact us or call (770) 942-2873 today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

Managing Air Conditioning While Away

In our last blog, we learned that one of the benefits of a smart thermostat is the ability to control air conditioning settings remotely. For example if you are away on vacation, you can monitor the temperature and energy consumption of your home in real time and adjust accordingly all from the comfort of your hotel room. But what if you don’t have a smart thermostat? How do you manage and set your thermostat while you are away? Do you just turn it off? Consider the following factors collectively before your next trip:

Length of Trip – If you are only going to be away for a day or two, it’s better to keep the air conditioning on while setting the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than normal. For longer vacations such as a week or more, you will achieve higher energy and cost savings by turning the system off – even after compensating for the extra strain of returning a hot house to the correct temperature. But before you do that…

Weather – What will the weather be like while you are away? If the weather will be relatively mild, it is safe to leave your air conditioning off. But if it looks like it may be a scorcher, you should consider leaving it on at a higher temperature. If the indoor temperature becomes too high, your cooling appliances will have to run overtime and you may risk the effects of extra moisture in your home.

Efficiency – How is the overall energy efficiency of your home? If your home is well insulated and well sealed with energy efficient windows and doors, it will be able to retain cooler temperatures for a longer period of time. Factor this in when deciding how to leave your air conditioner.

Keep in mind that if you completely turn your air conditioning off you run the risk of higher humidity levels, strain on your cooling appliances and the extra strain on your a/c to return your house to the correct temperature when you return. Taking into consideration the length of your trip, the weather and the energy efficiency of your home should help you to make the right decision.

Call Anchor with any questions and for all your HVAC maintenance needs, 770-942-2873. We have you covered!

Do You Have a Constantly Running Air Conditioner? – Part 2

Has your air conditioner been working overtime lately? In Part 1 of this series we discussed some reasons this may be happening, such as the size of your unit, a faulty thermostat or a lack of proper insulation. We also listed some ways to tell how much is too much activity for current temperatures. Here are a few more items to check out if feel like your air conditioner is constantly running.

  • Check Your Maintenance Record – When is the last time your unit was serviced by a professional technician? Ideally maintenance should happen twice a year, in the spring and in the fall before the two peak seasons. During routine maintenance, any worn parts will be replaced and you will be notified of any parts that are in questionable condition. Also, your system will be cleaned and your filter replaced to allow for efficient air flow and cycling. If it has been a while since your last maintenance session, you may have found your problem. Regular maintenance will not only help ensure that your unit is in good working order, it will also extend the life of your system.
  • Check the Lifespan – While proper maintenance and care can as much as double the lifespan of your unit, unfortunately your system will eventually wear out. If it is time for you to replace an older, worn out unit, consider the fact that this will save you money in the long run as newer units operate much more efficiently than older ones.

As we all know, the more often your air conditioner runs, the more energy it will consume and the higher your utility bills will be. If you air conditioner is running constantly for any of the reasons we have described, your best bet is to have a professional take a look.

If at anytime your air conditioner stops working, call Anchor at 770-942-2873. We have you covered with 24 hour emergency repair service, 365 days a year – even nights, weekends or holidays.

Do You Have a Constantly Running Air Conditioner? – Part 1

As the temperatures outside are heating up, you will definitely notice an increase in the amount of time your air conditioner is running. But how much is too much? When it’s hotter outside, it’s normal for a central air conditioner to run without cycling on and off as often. It becomes a problem if it literally never stops, it never reaches the desired temperature, or if your bills are much higher than normal for a similar time period.

If that’s you, here are few things that could be causing your air conditioner to run constantly.

  • Check Your Size – Air conditioners must be sized properly for each home – not too small, not too large – they have to be “just right”. An undersized system will constantly struggle to cool your home, which will increase the wear and tear on your unit and reduce its life. If your system is too large, it won’t effectively remove humidity from your home, resulting in an output of moist, clammy air. Don’t forget to check your ducts. If your ducts are the wrong size, they may not be able to handle the airflow or distribute cool air efficiently to all parts of the home.
  • Check Your Thermostat – If your system seems to never shut off, your thermostat may not be correctly registering the conditions in the home. You can verify your thermostat reading by placing another thermometer in the same location as the thermostat. If your system is still running when the additional thermometer reaches the desired temperature, you may have found your problem.
  • Check Your Insulation – If your home is not properly insulated while your air conditioner is in use, you may be losing your precious cool air through small holes or non-insulated walls or roof. Read more in our blog post about The Benefits of Proper Insulation.

Tune in next week for more reasons you may have a constantly running air conditioner. In the meantime, if you have concerns about your unit call the experts at Anchor Heating & Air – 770-942-2873.

Tips for Preventing Mold in Your Home – Part 1

Mold is not only a shower problem, it can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can’t see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls, around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles. Since mold can trigger serious health risks to you and your family, it’s important to keep it out.  So what can you do if you’re concerned about mold growing in your home? The best approach is preventing mold before it begins with the following key tips:

  • Dry Wet Areas: Mold can’t grow without moisture, so dry wet areas immediately. Dry all water accumulation such as seepage into the basement or crawl space after a heavy rainfall, water leakage from pipes, or carpet spills within 24 to 48 hours.  Don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry all areas after a shower. A shower squeegee is a quick, easy and painless way to rid moisture in the bathroom.
  • Proper Ventilation: Household activities such as cooking dinner, doing laundry or dishes and taking a shower can invite mold into your home if you do not have proper ventilation. The non-draftiness quality that you love about your energy efficient home may also be the reason moisture is being held inside. Open a window or run an exhaust fan when doing moisture producing activities. Appliances that produce moisture such as dryers and stoves should be vented to the outside and not the attic.
  • Monitor Indoor Humidity: The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. Some signs of excess humidity are visible such as condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.

Look for more key tips next week in Part 2. In the meantime, for more information regarding how Anchor Heating and Air Conditioning can help keep you, your family and your home healthy, give us a call at 770-942-2873.