ac-and-dehumindifier

Why Doesn’t My AC Unit Come with a Dehumidifier?

Your air conditioner is cracking, but the air in your home still feels clammy. This shouldn’t be happening right? Well, this all-too-common problem tends to be the result of high levels of humidity in the air in your home.  

Here’s why this happens: Your AC acts as a natural dehumidifier. During the air cooling process, moisture is collected from the air, condensed on coils, and then drained away.

But in areas with high levels of relative humidity, the air conditioner doesn’t dehumidify the air fast enough, and the result is that wet, cold air. Fortunately, there are a variety of routes homeowners can take to dehumidify interior spaces.

Solutions for Dehumidifying the Home

You can remedy the problem by running your AC for longer periods of time, but this solution is costly. Your home’s heating and cooling costs will quickly increase.

A better option: Standalone dehumidifiers. Independent units are designed to focus only on dehumidification – and they’re much less costly to operate and much more efficient than air conditioners.

In particular, you have two options:

  • Whole-Home Dehumidifiers: Whole home dehumidifiers tie into your existing HVAC system. These units are designed to dehumidify every room in the home. Mostly, they collect air from vents within each room, and this air is sent to the dehumidifier. They’re very versatile, as you can dehumidify the home even if you’re not running the AC. Also, just like AC units, whole house dehumidifiers are available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Portable Dehumidifiers: Portable units, on the other hand, work similar to whole-home dehumidifiers. These are small, single room units that plug into the wall. Unlike whole home dehumidifiers, though, portable units collect the excess moisture in a pan in the bottom of the unit (whereas whole house units tie into drains). There are portable dehumidifiers for large rooms and spaces, as well as small units available for studio apartments and bathrooms.

A Key Benefit of Dehumidifiers. In addition to dehumidification, standalone units also act as air purifiers. As they remove moisture from the air, they filter out allergens, dust, and mites from the air. This is one reason many people install them in addition to a central air unit.

Does Your Home Need a Dehumidifier?

If you’re unsure if your home needs a dehumidifier, it’s best to contact an HVAC specialist. HVAC companies can help you determine the relative humidity of your home, and if it’s in the range of 50-60 percent, a dehumidifier might be necessary.

Plus, HVAC companies can also help you correctly size your AC unit. An oversized AC unit is a No. 1 cause of high humidity in the home. Because the unit is too large, it cools the home too quickly, before the AC can dehumidify the space. If this is the problem, right-sizing your unit might be the best option for your moisture problem.

Ultimately, a dehumidifier can save you from costly damage caused by high levels of humidity in the home. When the home’s relative humidity reaches about 55-60 percent, you might experience issues like:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Conditions for dust mites
  • Allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions can be exacerbated
  • Ruined furniture
  • Clammy and stuffy indoor air

 

Don’t settle for swamp-like air in the home. Install a whole house dehumidifier and zap the problem. Comfort Pro offers a range of solutions for home dehumidification. Contact us today to learn more about your options.

 

air-conditioner-leaking

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

You’ve reached the hottest days of summer, and your home AC unit is cranking. But when you go outside, you notice a cause for alarm. Water is pooling around your AC unit.

Is that normal, you think? My air conditioning shouldn’t be leaking water, right?

The truth is: An HVAC leak is a common issue. In fact, according to Popular Mechanics, about 90 percent of HVAC service calls are due to leaks. Fortunately, the majority of leaks can be remedied quickly and at a low cost.

But it’s important that the problem is fixed as soon as you notice it. Leaking water can seep into your home AC unit, causing extensive damage that may require the unit to be replaced. In other words, if you notice a leak, call an HVAC company.

What’s Creating the Water in My AC Unit?

Residential air conditioners all feature the same components. Outside, you have a condenser unit, which looks like a large boxed-in fan. Inside, there’s another unit that contains evaporator coils.

Refrigerant flows through the coil, and when warm air passes over these chilled coils, the air temperature drops significantly. This ultimately is the air that flows through your ductwork and cools your home.

But the evaporator coils also accumulates condensation, just like a glass of ice water on a hot day. It’s completely natural for the coils to “sweat,” and there’s a system in place to ensure this condensation drains from the system.

From the coils, the condensation drops into an overflow pan, and then flows into a condensate drain line. This either connects into your plumbing or drains out of the house. Some homes also require a pump to send water away from the system.

Most commonly, the cause of the leak has to do with this condensation not properly draining, or too much of it being produced.

Common Causes of Leaking AC Units

 

  1.   A Cracked or Clogged Drain Pan

Over time, your AC’s drain pan can become damaged.  For example, if your AC is reaching its limit of its service life, the drain pan may have become corroded and rusted through. As such, water drains freely through the pan, and begins to pool underneath. Replacing the drain pan can remedy the issue.

Additionally, algae, dust, and debris can also collect in the pan, effectively clogging the drain hole. In this case, cleaning the pan may resolve the issue.

  1.   A Damaged or Clogged Condensate Line

If the pan is clear, the condensate line itself may be clogged. Typically, condensate lines are built with PVC pipe, and when clogged, they can back up water. Water begins to collect within the pipe and drain pan, and ultimately the system can properly drain. Flushing the condensate pipe can resolve the clog. Additionally, a cracked pipe can also leak water, which may be the source of the issue.

  1.   A Faulty Condensate Drain Pump

Finally, if your home uses a drain pump, there’s a chance that it’s not working properly. This ultimately backs up the entire condensate draining system. In this case, the pump would need to be replaced.

  1.   A Dirty AC Filter

Dirty AC filters can cause a range of issues. That’s why it’s important to schedule yearly and seasonal maintenance for your home AC. Why does a dirty filter cause leaks? A dirty filter can freeze up the evaporator coils. When the coils thaw, they produce too much water for the drain pan to handle.

  1.   Low Refrigerant

An AC without enough refrigerant can cause a number of issues. Most noticeably, the system won’t cool as effectively. But like the dirty filter, the low refrigerant can also cause the coils to freeze, which will overflow the pan after it thaws.

  1.   Low Outside Temperatures

Late in the summer, and in early fall, temperatures tend to fluctuate more dramatically. Running your AC in cool weather –  low 60s and cooler – the coil block can freeze. Again, after it thaws, your drain may overflow.

Solving a Home AC Leak

As you can see, the cause of your leaking air conditioning might not be as serious as you think. Replacing a drain pan, line or pump, or the AC’s air filter doesn’t require a significant investment, and it can ensure your AC keeps running in tip-top shape.

The key though is catching these issues early. During cooling season, regularly inspect your home’s AC unit. A small amount of water is normal, but if you notice a lot of water pooling up underneath, you might have a problem. In this case, it’s best to call an HVAC company to have a look.

 

 

ComfortPro Home Insulation

The Best Time for Pennsylvania Residents to Replace Their Home Insulation

Proper home insulation is critical for comfort and even room temperatures during Pennsylvania’s long, cold winters. Yet, a more comfortable home isn’t the only benefit of high-performance insulation. New insulation can save you money. According to ENERGY STAR estimates, updating aging insulation can reduce a home’s heating/cooling needs by 20 percent.

Is your home in need of new insulation? Properly installed insulation can last a lifetime, but there are instances when it needs to be replaced. They include:  

  • Water or mildew damage
  • Under insulation
  • Uneven room temperatures
  • Old, decayed insulation
  • Pest infestation

So what’s the best time to replace insulation in Pennsylvania? In our state, home insulation replacement can be accomplished year-round. Yet, late summer and early fall tend to offer ideal installation conditions and faster scheduling.

Why Late Summer Is Best for PA Home Insulation Replacement?  

Pennsylvania’s moderate summer and early fall temperatures create an ideal environment for updating your home’s insulation. Yet, this is just one of many reasons. During this time of year, you’ll also benefit from:

  • Faster Scheduling: In mid-to-late fall and winter, there’s a rush for home insulation replacement in Pennsylvania. Updating your home’s insulation in summer can help you avoid potential bottlenecks in scheduling that may arise.
  • Ideal Weather: During the replacement process, homeowners may experience draftiness in the home. Homeowners may have to turn up the thermostat to offset this issue and keep the home evenly heated in winter and fall.
  • Your Home Will Be Winter-Ready: By improving the insulation in summer or early fall, your home will be winterized when the heating season arrives. This ensures all potential energy savings are realized by the homeowner.

Energy Audits: Learn Potential Benefits of Insulation Replacement

Want to learn about the potential energy savings of updating your home’s insulation? An energy audit performed by a licensed HVAC specialist is the best solution.

During an energy audit, an HVAC professional determine areas of the home that are potential energy drains, i.e. an under-insulated attic. Additionally, potential insulation issues like old or decaying material or water damage can be determined. Energy audits can be done during any time of year. If you suspect your home’s insulation is under-performing, you should schedule an energy audit or insulation inspection today.

 

HVAC technician working on an air conditioning unit to provide AC unit maintenance tips.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

As your air conditioner gets up there in life, you should probably start preparing for the inevitable. Home and business owners that get 10-15, or even 20 years or more from their HVAC system should consider themselves extremely lucky, especially when many are only rated or warrantied for 8-12 years. Of course, as Ernest Hemingway said, “you make your own luck” and in the A/C world that comes from regular system maintenance. An air-conditioner is far from a ‘plug and play’ unit that can be turned on in the spring and put away in the fall.

Your best bet to extend the life of you’re A/C is to perform regular maintenance on the unit; these maintenance tips must be followed semi-regularly.

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Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Compressor Unit in Backyard that has common problems.

Common AC Problems

Throughout the years, we’ve seen and repaired a lot of AC problems. The more complex the system, the higher the potential for problems. Knowing the symptoms and what the problems are can potentially add a few years to the life of your system as you may be saving other parts in the process. Here is a list of the most common AC problems and their symptoms.

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Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

AC Fan

Home AC units have dozens of parts that must function properly in order to efficiently cool your home. When one part goes out, the whole unit could malfunction. One common problem many residents notice is that their air conditioner blows warm air. This warm air is likely the result of a bad part or a refrigerant leak and will require an AC repairman to look at it. Here is the FULL list of problems which may cause an AC to blow warm air: Read More

An old and rusted heating and air conditioning unit implying the need for replacement.

When You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner

Many people put off getting a new AC longer than they should. It’s no wonder- like dental work, air conditioner replacement can be expensive and uncomfortable. But to use the dental analogy again, it’s a terrible idea to delay when all the warnings are there. It’s common knowledge that machines will always go belly up at the most inconvenient times – say a busy Fourth of July weekend or during a record-breaking high. So don’t let your old AC get the better of you. Keep an eye out for these signs – your air conditioner may be telling you it has had enough.

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Geothermal heating diagram of home illustrating how geothermal heating works.

How Does Geothermal Heating Work?

During the day, the Sun naturally heats up the Earth. The surface and underneath becomes heated directly from the solar heat. A geothermal system can harness the Earth’s temperature and distribute heat and air conditioning throughout your home. Geothermal heating systems have their pros and cons, but in the end becomes one of the most ideal heating systems of the lot. So how does geothermal heating work? Read More

How to Keep Your House Cool in the Summer

thermostatSpring is officially here and when the heat hits, it hits hard! In order to keep your house cool this summer, there are some steps you can take to minimize energy costs and increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Some of them are unit related, but there are also steps to keep your house cool using common household items. Here are 4 ways to keep your house cool in the summer: Read More