At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for June, 2014

Common Problems with Your AC Compressor

Friday, June 27th, 2014

The compressor, located in the outside unit of your AC system, compresses refrigerant into a hot gas before making its way through the rest of the AC system. The refrigerant in your system must first become a high pressure gas before continuing to the condenser and evaporator coils to release and absorb heat. Without a working compressor array, your system will not be able to cool your home properly. If your compressor fails, the refrigerant cannot complete its task and the fans in your home will essentially circulate the warm air already in your home.

If you suspect any of these common problems with your compressor, call the Salt Lake City air conditioning technician at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air for immediate repair.

Hard Starting

If your AC system has trouble starting up and turns off before the refrigerant completes its cycle and your home reaches the proper temperature, it may be a sign of a problem with the compressor or the motor that operates it. A hard starting system is problematic not only because it can drive up your energy bills and provide inadequate cooling, but also because it can cause electrical problems, leading the circuit breaker to trip.

Grinding Noises

A grinding noise in your AC compressor is a common sign of a problem. The compressor is run by a motor which requires proper lubrication and fittings in order to run. A grinding noise likely indicates a lack of lubrication within the motor, or that dust and other debris have entered into the motor. Grinding may also mean the motor bearings have dried out.

AC Stops Cooling

One of the most common signs of a damaged AC compressor is an air conditioner that won’t cool. Since your compressor helps the refrigerant to complete its cycle, a broken compressor will prevent the heat absorption and release needed to keep your home cool. While the fans in your home may be running, they cannot provide cool air.

Problems with your AC compressor require immediate repair or parts replacement. If you’re located in Salt Lake City, let the air conditioning experts from At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air repair your air conditioning at the first sign of a problem.

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Advantages of Scheduling Air Conditioning Maintenance Now

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Facing tough conditions is all about preparation. If you have enough warning and time to prepare, it’s possible to weather almost anything. And the word “weather” is an appropriate one for this example, because we want to help you make it through a rough summer in Salt Lake City with some important preparations.

Scheduling air conditioning maintenance in Salt Lake City is the key to having a pleasant summer here in your own home. There are few preparations you’ll be more thankful you had taken care of than AC maintenance. And it’s easy to get started: just call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today and arrange for a maintenance visit at your earliest convenience.

Why You Should Have AC Maintenance Done Sooner Rather Than Later

  • Beat out the worst of the heat: We advise that homeowners had AC maintenance done in spring if possible so they can have the air conditioner all set for summer and take advantage of a slower season for HVAC technicians. However, if you didn’t have the work done in the spring, don’t wait another year for spring to come around again to schedule it! It’s never too late for maintenance, and if you have the job done now, before summer grows any hotter, you’ll have reassurances for the rest of the season and into the fall.
  • Stop wasting money: If you are running your air conditioner right now—and you probably are—and it hasn’t had maintenance in over a year, then you are almost certainly wasting money on inefficient performance. It only takes a year for an AC to lose 5% or more of its energy efficiency, and that’s money tossed down the drain. Maintenance will make sure that you won’t waste power and money during the summer. The longer you wait for maintenance, the more money you’ll spend unnecessarily on air conditioning.
  • Protect yourself from an AC breakdown: One of the best reasons to have air conditioning maintenance is to prevent the system from abruptly shutting down during one of the hottest days of the year when it has the most stress put on it. The more days you run your air conditioner without it receiving a tune-up and inspection, the more you risk major, unpleasant, and expensive shutdowns.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air has over 30 years of experience with handling the needs for air conditioning maintenance in Salt Lake City, UT, and our NATE-certified technicians will bring the best training possible to the job. Make us your choice for keeping your home’s cooling system healthy.

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Benefits of Installing a New Garbage Disposal

Monday, June 16th, 2014

If you current garbage disposal is breaking down frequently, making unpleasant grinding sounds you’ve never heard before, or causing sink clogs because it isn’t cutting up food waste efficiently enough, then you should consider a replacement unit. With all the work that a disposal does in a kitchen, it will eventually wear down. (And, if you don’t have a kitchen disposal at all, you should definitely have one installed as soon as possible.)

For installation of a new garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. We offer extensive plumbing services for kitchens that will keep your pipes and appliances healthy and efficient.

Advantages of a new garbage disposal installation

  • Reduced clogs and other damage to your pipes: The whole reason to have a garbage disposal in the first place is to prevent food particles from creating blockages in drains. If a garbage disposal isn’t doing a thorough job of slicing up food waste before sending it into the wastewater line, it will start to send large food deposits into the pipes. This will cause frequent clogging to occur in the plumbing system. It will also cause damage to the pipes by increasing water pressure. Unless you plan to unclog and clean your pipes once a month (and you don’t want to) you should have a new disposal put in.
  • Save energy: Disposals do not use much energy to run, which is one reason they are so useful in a home. But when a disposal starts to malfunction and wear down, it will begin to put a strain on the power and raise your bills—all to do a less effective job than it once did. (You will also waste water trying to wash down the food that keeps getting stuck inside a malfunctioning disposal.)
  • You can purchase a more efficient model: A newer garbage disposal will work better than your old one ever did. Purchasing and installing a new garbage disposal will take advantage of newer technology in waste disposal that will benefit your plumbing and make your kitchen more sanitary.

Installing a new garbage disposal is not a DIY task: the new system must fit perfectly to your sink so it does not leak and has the right flow of water and waste through it so it will not jam up the drainpipe. (Keep in mind that disposals can also be dangerous if mishandled.) For your new garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, UT, contact the professionals at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. We are also ready for disposal repairs 24 hours a day.

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Fan Damage and Air Conditioning Repair

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The “whrrrr” sound in your air conditioner is usually the fans, both of which are very important to your air conditioning system. The fans are responsible for the air flow in your air conditioner, and also for releasing heat and blowing the cooled air into your ductwork. Without the fans, your air conditioner won’t work.

A good amount of air conditioning repairs in Salt Lake City during the summer months involves the fans. What exactly can fan damage and malfunctioning do to your system? The experts at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air explain below.

Two Fans

Your system has two fans: one in the condenser unit, which sits outside your home, and a second in the indoor unit, which houses the evaporator. The condenser fan helps to remove the heat from your system by blowing it into the outdoor air; the blower, which is the indoor fan, blows cooled air from the evaporator coils into your home. When either of these fans or their components malfunctions, a number of problems can ensue with your air conditioning system.

Damage to Your Fans

Damage can happen to your fans through regular wear-and-tear. Common problems are:

  • Loose or bent fan blades
  • Worn wiring
  • Loose screws on the fan or motor
  • Motor overheating
  • Broken fan belts

Signs of Potential Fan Damage

There are a few signs that can indicate one of your fans is malfunctioning:

Sounds:

  • Banging or clunking sound – if a fan blade is loose or bent, it can hit other parts of your air conditioner as it turns, resulting in a banging or clunking noise.
  • Light screeching sound – a light screeching sound coming from your fan can indicate a worn fan belt

Problems with Air Conditioning:

  • No air – when the indoor blower stops turning, the air flow is stopped
  • Decreased air flow – the air coming into your home is cool, but it is blowing at a much lower volume than normal
  • Fan not turning – could be an issue with the fan’s motor or fan belt

Do Regular Maintenance to Help Maintain Your Fans

Part of a maintenance appointment involves inspecting and cleaning your fans and all their components. If a fan blade is loose or bent, or the wiring in the motor is frayed, maintenance provides the opportunity for things like this to get repaired before leading to other problems. Help prevent air conditioning repairs in Salt Lake City: call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air for a maintenance appointment today.

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Problems Caused by Low Refrigerant in Your Air Conditioner

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Your air conditioner was designed to hold a specific amount of refrigerant to enable the system to work properly. Unlike gasoline in a car, your air conditioner’s refrigerant doesn’t dissipate with use; rather, the level stays constant, so there is no refilling of your refrigerant – unless you develop a leak.

A refrigerant leak isn’t like a water leak: you most likely won’t see it, but there are specific problems that can develop with your air conditioning when the refrigerant runs low.

Warm Air

The refrigerant in your air conditioner helps remove the indoor heat. It does this by changing from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid. When the refrigerant level becomes lower than needed for your system, the refrigerant can no longer work properly, impairing the heating and cooling process. One result of this can be an inability for your air conditioner to cool the air effectively.

Compressor Problems

The compressor pressurizes the cool liquid refrigerant into a hot, high-pressure gas. When the refrigerant is low, the compressor has to work harder to achieve this. Overworking the compressor for a period of time can lead to overheating and a potential break down.

Icing

Low refrigerant can cause the coils to stay too hot in one place, too cold in another. When hot air meets cold air, condensation develops. Normally, this extra condensation drains from your system through the condensate tray and pipe; but if part of the coil is too cold, this condensation freezes on the coil instead of exiting the system.

AC Won’t Turn On

Some air conditioners have safety switches installed that send a signal to keep your air conditioner off if the refrigerant level goes too low. If your air conditioner won’t turn on and is equipped with this type of safety switch, call your HVAC technician to inspect the problem.

Get Help for a Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks do not go away and, left unrepaired, will most likely become worse. They are also not easy to find and require special training to diagnose and repair. As such, fixing the refrigerant on your air conditioner is not something you should do on your own.

Since 1980, we have been helping property owners with their air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City. Don’t let low refrigerant blossom into a much bigger problem – call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air and schedule an appointment today!

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3 Techniques Plumbers Use in Drain Cleaning

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Drain clogs are perhaps the most common, persistent, and annoying of all plumbing problems you can encounter. Sometimes you can clear out clogs with a sink plunger, but if this doesn’t work, you need to call in the professional plumbers to handle the job. (Never use chemical drain cleaners; they are too toxic and acidic.)

There’s a way you can cut down on the number of clogs and slow drains in your home: schedule a thorough drain cleaning in Salt Lake City, UT from the expert team at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. A professional drain cleaning will clear out the debris and contamination in your drains and allow the water to flow freely through them. A yearly cleaning job will do wonders to cut down on the number of plumbing issues you experience.

Here Are 3 Professional Techniques Used For Drain Cleaning

  • Motorized drain snakes: Drain snakes, also called drain augers, are basic tools that you can purchase at many stores. However, these models aren’t very efficient at clearing out tough clogs to provide a thorough cleaning. For this, you need a plumber armed with a motorized drain snake that can drill down into heavy clogs and blockages and remove them or effectively break them apart.
  • Hydro-jetting: Hydro-jetters are the preferred tools of plumbers who want to provide a full cleansing to a drain. Hydro-jetters are devices that place scalding hot water under tremendous pressure and then blast it out through a nozzle on a hose that reaches down inside drainpipes. The scouring action clears away clogs but also eliminates build-up along the pipe interior. This does an effective job of wiping away grease, fat, and other food particles that can coat the inside of pipes. Hydro-jetting needs the work of trained plumbers because of the potential danger from the high pressure water.
  • Video pipe inspection equipment: Drain cleaning doesn’t have to be about guesswork. With miniaturized cameras mounted on long fiber optic cables, plumbers can receive visual feeds onto monitors to see exactly what a pipe’s interior looks like. These are invaluable tools for determining how and where to apply cleaning. Video pipe inspection equipment is also helpful for locating leaks and damage in your pipes.

You don’t have to live with persistent clogs and slow drains bogging down your daily routines. If you think you’ve experience one slow drain too many, it’s probably time for drain cleaning in Salt Lake City, UT. Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today and talk to our experienced plumbers about delivering you quality drain cleaning through the best technology available. We also offer 24-hour emergency service for when bad clogs catch you unprepared.

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