- Air Conditioning
- Energy Audits
- Duct Systems
- Indoor Air Quality
- Other Services
Here are the questions and answers we get most often here at Ideal Energy from our Phoenix customers regarding heating and air conditioning! We hope this helps. If you have other questions regarding your home's comfort, energy efficiency or HVAC operation, feel free to give us a call - we'd be happy to help!
Why Is There No Air Coming Out of My AC Vents When My Ac Is On?
You can hear your AC running, but there’s no air coming out of the vents—what’s going on?
Airflow problems are often traced back to dirty air filters. When was the last time you changed your filter? It takes seconds to do, helps improve the efficiency of your system, and removes harmful indoor air pollutants from your air as well.
If your AC turns on, but no air is coming out of your vents, and you hear the AC shut down soon after, it’s possible that the safety switch has been triggered, and you have a bigger issue with the blower motor.
Why Do I Wake Up with a Stuffy Nose When My AC Is On in Arizona?
If you’ve ever woken up in the morning with a stuffy nose after the AC was running all night to keep you cool in the middle of an Arizona heat wave, you might be wondering why. One of two things are likely happening:
Air conditioning acts as a dehumidifier, removing moisture from the air. So, your body’s reaction to a long stretch of AC isn’t that much different than when your nose gets stuffy or runny after going outside in the cold.
The other possibility is that your AC’s air filters are dirty, and as a result, your HVAC system isn’t able to filter out pollen and other allergens from the air it’s circulating in your home. Your stuffy nose could actually be an allergic reaction.
Another possibility is that you have duct leaks in your duct system, specifically on the return side, so your AC system is pulling in dusty, dirty, attic air and pushing it throughout your duct system and into your home.
Whether you’re suffering from the effects of poor indoor air quality, or you just want to make sure that your AC is helping to keep you comfortable in your home, talk to the experts at Ideal Energy today.
Should I Install a Zoned AC System in My Arizona Home?
A zoned AC system allows you to set different temperature settings for different rooms or areas in your home. For example, zoned AC systems let you keep your bedroom at one temperature overnight while you sleep, and your kitchen at another, since you won't be in that room and the energy will mostly be wasted to keep it at the same temperature. Zoned AC systems can also allow families with different comfort preferences to keep their rooms at different settings.
The main thing to watch out for with zoned AC systems is they need to be installed properly without a dump zone or a bypass duct. In order to install zoned systems correctly, it's best if the AC or heat pump is a variable speed system so the AC unit can regulate its airflow with modulating dampers. If you have a single stage system that is zoned, it's very common for it to cause substantial high static pressure, leaks and other issues that will cause your bills to spike, frequent breakdowns and poor airflow due to the bypass duct or dump zone.
Zoned ACs offer greater flexibility, and options to create more customized comfort levels and ultimately more energy efficient home cooling operation. Ductless mini-splits or Trane variable capacity AC units like the Trane XV18 or XV20 are great options for Phoenix or Tempe homeowners looking for more control over their comfort, as each unit or zone can operate independently and set to different temperature preferences, are WiFi enabled and can be controlled by your smartphone.
Do I Need To Maintain My Air Conditioner Twice a Year?
Regular AC maintenance visits help extend the lifespan of your equipment, reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns, and keep your unit running at a higher rate of efficiency, which will lower your cooling costs. But how much maintenance is enough?
In more northern climates, you might hear that you only need to schedule a tune-up for your cooling system once a year. But homeowners in New England are running their ACs for far less time every year than we are down in Arizona! It’s not uncommon for homeowners to need air conditioning in their Phoenix, AZ homes for 8 or 9 months out of the year, which adds much wear and tear to your cooling system. Under these conditions, we recommend two cooling system tune-ups a year—it’s the best way to ensure your home stays comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
What Is Short Cycling for an Air Conditioning System?
If your AC is short cycling, it usually means your AC is oversized and too big for your Chandler home! When an AC is too big for the space it's conditioning, it will turn on, and then turn off again shortly after, typically within less than 10 minutes of cooling, because it will reach the desired temperature level very quickly. What this creates are uneven temperatures in your home (because your AC isn't running long enough to push cool, conditioned air into every corner), and added wear and tear on your equipment because it will be turning on and off much more frequently than a properly sized and designed system would be.
The remedy to a short cycling AC is to replace it with a correctly sized system. At Ideal Energy, we take pride in doing precise load calculations for every AC installation project we work on to ensure that you get the highest AC service from our team and that your air conditioner will provide maximum value for years to come.
What Is Home Performance?
“Home performance” is an approach to improving your home that emphasizes:
Home performance means thinking about how all the elements in your home—from your HVAC system to your insulation, appliances, lighting, and more—work together. For example, the condition of your insulation and your ductwork can have just as much of an effect on your comfort and energy usage as the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.
As the Phoenix area’s home performance expert (we’ve been awarded the national ENERGY STAR Home Performance Contractor of the Year award in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021), we take a different approach than someone who is solely an HVAC or insulation contractor. We’re looking for the best overall solutions to solve the specific issues you’re experiencing in your home, from high energy bills to comfort and air quality problems.
The first step for any home performance work is to schedule an energy audit for your Phoenix-area home. Energy audits involve a thorough review and inspection of your home by a trained building science professional and help uncover the underlying causes of high energy bills, uncomfortable rooms in your home, indoor air quality issues, and more.
How Much Should a New AC System Cost?
The cost of AC installation for your Phoenix area home will depend on a few different factors, including:
The size of your home — HVAC systems need to be correctly sized for your home, as undersized or oversized systems will operate inefficiently, leading to comfort issues and added wear and tear that will shorten your equipment’s lifespan. Ideal Energy uses precise Manual J load calculations to properly size your new air conditioner.
The efficiency rating of your new system — The efficiency of a new AC is measured by its SEER rating (which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The higher your AC’s SEER rating, the more efficiently your system will operate, saving you money. But a higher SEER rated AC is also likely to be more expensive.
Any add ons — Unless you’re adamant about a “bare bones” system, additional features like smart thermostats, zoned HVAC system design, and mechanical indoor air quality solutions can improve your home’s energy efficiency and make your living spaces more comfortable and healthy—but you should make sure you’re factoring these add-ons into the total price.
All of the above variables make giving a blind AC installation estimate difficult without more details about your home and comfort preferences. In general, the cost to properly replace an AC system in Phoenix will range between $6700 - $16000, depending on efficiency rating (SEER), size, accessibility, etc. Keep in mind that in order to get the most air out of our AC system, it’s important your contractor does not cut corners by reusing existing or improperly sized duct plenums, elbows, returns and the ductwork is sealed properly. To find the actual costs of AC installation in your Phoenix, AZ home, reach out to Ideal Energy today and talk to our team of cooling system experts.
Why Do I Have Hot Rooms in My Arizona Home in the Summer?
A hot room in your Tempe, Chandler, or Scottsdale home usually means one of two things:
Too much heat is getting into the room
Your AC isn’t removing the heat the way it should
Insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors help prevent outside heat from making its way through the building envelope of your home and into your living spaces. If your home isn’t properly insulated, or it has older windows and doors, even the best AC system will struggle to keep you comfortable (and your energy bills will skyrocket along the way).
There are also a few different ways that your HVAC system might not be working correctly. Leaking, poorly designed, or uninsulated ductwork can allow most of the conditioned air your AC is pumping out from ever reaching the rooms in your home. Or, there could be something wrong with the unit itself—either it’s oversized, which can lead to uneven indoor temperatures, or it’s getting old and just isn’t able to perform well enough to keep your home comfortable anymore.
This is why it’s important to reach out to whole-home experts like the team at Ideal Energy. Since we don’t just provide one service, like HVAC or insulation, we’ll be able to help you find the real culprit creating an uncomfortable home and make your entire home more energy efficient and cooler in the summer.
How Often Should I Change the AC Return Filter in My Home?
The air filters in your HVAC system help reduce indoor air pollution, making the circulating air in your home healthier, and they also keep dust and other particulates out of your AC unit, which will reduce wear and tear and extend the lifespan of your equipment.
If you have a standard 1” pleated filter, it is recommended you change them once every month. If you have a 4” MERV 13 filter, you can get away with changing the air filter every 6 months. But it never hurts to take a peek at your filter every month or so. If it looks particularly dirty and clogged, it’s better to be on the safe side and swap it out with a clean new one.
Why Do My Doors Close When My AC Unit Turns On?
Ever been home alone and startled by doors closing all on their own? Have you noticed that it only seems to happen right when the AC first kicks on? It’s probably not ghosts—it’s likely an imbalance in air pressure that’s closing doors in your house!
Your home’s central ductwork system has two main lines, a supply line (conditioned air sent from your AC into the rooms of your house) and a return line (air returning to the AC unit to be reconditioned).
To maintain a pressure balance, equal amounts of air need to be added and removed when your HVAC system is running. But most Phoenix homes don’t have both supply and return vents in every room, and if the air pressure in the room is rising as supply air is being added at a faster rate than return air is being removed, it can be powerful enough to swing doors shut.
Keep in mind this is a likely indicator that you have room pressure imbalances in your home and could benefit from an energy audit from one of our experts to determine how to solve the problem!
Why Is My AC Not Cooling My Home Properly?
If something’s off with your air conditioning unit, one of the most obvious effects is diminished performance, and as a result, you’ll often notice something’s wrong because your home won’t be as comfortable as you’d like.
There are many different reasons why an HVAC system might not be cooling a home properly, so it’s best to give an AC technician a call to inspect your unit and find the problem with yours. Here are a few of the more common reasons why Arizona homeowners have trouble with their ACs:
Broken condenser fan motor
Dirty air filter
Frozen evaporator coil
Poorly designed and kinked ductwork
Clogged AC drain line
Improperly installed attic insulation
Missing attic insulation
Why Is My Arizona Home So Dusty?
When we think about leaky ductwork, we often think of energy waste—lots of cool conditioned air escaping into your attic before it can ever make it into your living spaces to keep you comfortable on a hot day.
But ductwork leaks aren’t exclusive to your supply ducts (the ductwork responsible for delivering air from the AC into the rooms of your house). When there are gaps or openings in your return ducts (where air is being pulled back into your AC unit to be reconditioned), instead of air being blown into your attic, air will be sucked out of your attic. And a normal Phoenix-area attic can be filled with dust, dirt, insulation and other air contaminants that you don’t want circulating throughout your home.
So, if it seems like you can never keep your home clean, it’s likely not the fault of your vacuum cleaner—you probably need duct sealing!
It could also be that you have pressure imbalances in your home that are being created when you shut certain bedroom doors, creating a negative pressure which brings in more dust through cracks in your home!
How Do I Know If I Have a Leak in My Air Conditioning Coil?
Your AC unit’s evaporator coils remove heat from your indoor air, transferring it via refrigerant outdoors. If your coil starts to leak refrigerant, however, your AC will break down. A few of the common signs of a refrigerant leak include:
Higher energy bills
Frozen evaporator coils (you’ll sometimes see a telltale puddle on the floor by your unit)
Hissing or gurgling sounds from your indoor unit
Reduced comfort levels and poor cooling in your home
Refrigerant leaks can pose serious health risks, so if you suspect your unit may have a leak, it’s best to call a cooling system professional to assess the situation.
Why Is My Return Filter Loud When My AC Is Running?
The air filter on your return ducts plays an important role in your HVAC system—it filters out dirt, dust, pollen, and other air contaminants that a) can cause health issues for the people living in your home, and b) can build up on your blower motor and fan, preventing them from operating efficiently.
But if enough thought isn’t put into how your air filters are installed, they can be noisy. If your return filter is making loud sounds when your HVAC system is running, there are a few different things that could be going on, including:
Your filter doesn’t have a snug fit when it’s installed, so the air pressure makes it rattle around when your blower fan is running.
Your filter isn’t sized correctly, so it has gaps around the edges. Air is being squeezed through these small areas as it tries to get around your filter, which can make a high-pitched whistling sound.
Your filter is dirty and needs to be replaced. Because of all the trapped particulates, air can’t pass through at the required rate, and the built-up pressure is creating a “wind-tunnel” sound.
How Can I Fix a Leak in My AC System’s Lineset?
The flexible copper pipes connecting the indoor and outdoor units of your AC are called the refrigerant lineset, and you can develop leaks in your lineset just like you can have refrigerant leaks in your evaporator coil.
There are a few different methods HVAC technicians use to find a refrigerant leak, like using an electronic leak detector, or isolating the lineset and performing a pressure test.
If the leak is in fact found to be in your lineset, it will likely need to be replaced. This can be easy or difficult, depending on if and how your line is run through the walls of your home, but no matter what, an experienced AC company in AZ like Ideal Energy can find the source of the leak and give you the best recommendation to address the situation and get your AC running properly again quickly.
Why Is My Garage in Arizona Not Insulated?
Many homes in colder climates like the Northeast have insulated garages, so shouldn’t it make sense to upgrade your Phoenix-area home’s garage?
Actually, in our experience, insulating your garage will neither save you money on energy bills or make your garage more comfortable—in fact, we’ve seen the opposite, where homeowners looking to cool their garage in Arizona added insulation and actually ended up trapping heat inside, making it more hot and uncomfortable than it was originally.
That said, if you’re thinking about adding a mini split to your garage so that you can use it as a workspace, then you’ll definitely want to look into adding insulation to avoid significant energy waste. And of course, any garage walls that are shared with conditioned living spaces in your home (either a side wall or ceiling) should be insulated as well.
What Is the Proper Lineset Size for My AC System?
The lineset for your AC system needs to be properly sized so that the refrigerant is able to move between the indoor and outdoor components of your system. Incorrectly sized linesets can reduce system efficiency and can even lead to issues that damage your compressor.
Lineset sizing is measured in two ways: by piping diameter, and by piping length. You also need to take into consideration the vertical location of the outdoor unit compared to the indoor unit. A qualified professional will use precise measurements to determine the correct length of lineset for your system, and will also check to see if additional refrigerant is needed.
Why Do the Rooms Over My Garage Get So Hot?
Whether your home has a built-in garage or you’ve converted the space above your garage into a living space, you want that area to be comfortable year-round. So in the middle of a Phoenix summer, it can be frustrating to have a room or area of your house that’s just too uncomfortable to spend time in.
The answer is almost always a lack of insulation, poor duct design or ductwork leaks. A garage by itself won’t benefit much from insulation, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to bother insulating any of the walls in your garage shared with rooms in your house. Basically the flooring of the upstairs bedroom that is hot needs to have properly installed insulation with no thermal gaps. Without proper insulation, heat from inside your garage will transfer through those building materials, making it uncomfortable and wasting energy.
Other times a hot room over a garage can have ductwork that is poorly designed, leaky or kinked in the attic space causing low air to flow into that bedroom. A proper evaluation done by our expert team will help determine the best way to solve your hot room problem.
Should Water Drain from the Top or the Bottom of an AC Condensate Drain Line?
It’s perfectly normal for water to be dripping from the bottom of your AC condensate drain line—it’s a natural byproduct of the AC process, and the moisture that your AC is removing from your indoor air has to go somewhere!
But if water is coming out of the top of your drain line or if you have a drain pan leak, it means that your primary drain is blocked or clogged, and you should call an HVAC professional for assistance clearing it. A clogged drain line can cause serious harm to your AC unit if left unchecked.
Should I Install Spray Foam Insulation?
You may see home contractors advertising or marketing spray foam insulation as a superior insulation solution for your Arizona home. While there are some benefits to spray foam (like its high R-value), we advise against spray foam for a few different reasons, including:
Higher price (and, in our opinion, less “value” for the homeowner)
Not very environmentally friendly (contains plastics and chemicals)
Hazardous to install (aerosols, vapors, and dust create serious health risks)
Difficult to remove or replace
Finally, installing spray foam insulation can be a headache for the many Arizona homeowners who have furnaces installed in their attics. Spray foam insulated attics are fully sealed off and not vented, unlike attics with other types of insulation like cellulose or fiberglass, so homeowners would either need to make special accommodations to properly and safely vent their furnaces, or upgrade their heating system to a heat pump or sealed combustion furnace.
Spray foam just isn’t worth it, in our opinion. The cellulose and fiberglass insulation options we use here at Ideal are better for the environment, cost-effective, and offer powerful thermal protection for your house.
What Size AC System Do I Need for My Home?
While it's unfortunately common that a number of AC companies out there will try to pressure you into installing the same size or a larger (and more expensive) AC unit, the reality is that larger is not always better when it comes to energy efficiency, system longevity, and home comfort! Oversized ACs are a common issue that we see in Chandler, Scottsdale, and Mesa homes, which is why at Ideal Energy, we take the time to conduct Manual J load calculations, following strict protocol from ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America), to ensure that your AC is sized perfectly to maximize your value and comfort.
What Should My AC Unit’s Temperature Split Be?
Your AC’s temperature split, sometimes called Delta T, is the difference in temperature between the supply air (the air being blown from your AC unit into your living spaces) and the return air (air being sent from your living spaces back into your AC unit to be cooled again).
If the difference in temperature is between 16°–22° F, your AC is working properly. If your temperature split is higher than 22° F, it usually indicates a low air flow problem caused by dirty air filters or undersized ductwork. A temperature split of less than 16° F, on the other hand, can be caused by low refrigerant levels, as well as return duct leaks.
How Many Inches Should My Insulation Be in My Phoenix Home?
When we talk about measuring insulation levels, there are a few things you need to consider. Insulation materials are rated by R-value per inch—the greater the R-value per inch, the less insulating material you’ll need to properly insulate your home.
According to the IECC the Phoenix metro area lies in Zone 2, where the code minimum insulation levels are R-38 and for the walls are R-19. But code minimum is not enough and soon the code will be increasing. We always recommend insulating your attic space to:
But this doesn’t mean that you need 49 inches of insulation in your attic! Depending on the R-value per inch of your insulation material (fiberglass batting is around 1.25, while blown fiberglass is 2.5, and blown cellulose is 3.4), you’ll need anywhere from 18 to 14 inches. And of course, the way your insulation is installed will really play the biggest role in how effective the R-value is.
What Type Of AC Unit Is Best for My Arizona Home?
Getting the most comfort and energy savings out of a new air conditioner is at the top of everyone's list, but the right AC for your Phoenix home is going to depend on your answers to a number of questions:
Do you want to cool your entire home, or just a specific room or area? Do you want your AC to connect to your central ductwork, or are you looking for a ductless cooling solution, like ductless mini splits? Are you looking for a combined heating and cooling system? If so, Ideal Energy offers a number of heat pump options for your home. Are you looking for a zoned AC system where you can set the thermostat temperature differently in every room? How important is energy efficiency to you? We can help explain how many cooling systems are rated, including SEER and EER.
The short answer is: if you're looking for the best system for your home, there are many factors to consider. Our biggest focus is the quality of the installation of your home's air conditioner, as you can have the most efficient AC unit but get half the efficiency out of it if it's not installed correctly. At Ideal, our expert HVAC technicians understand the unique needs to homes in our Arizona climate, and can sit down to learn more about your comfort needs and give you our best recommendations for AC and HVAC installation in your house.
When Should I Call an AC Repair Company?
If you schedule regular maintenance tune-ups for your AC, you get the benefit of knowing that when the technician leaves your home, your AC is working properly and as efficiently as it can.
But when something changes in your AC’s performance, it’s not a bad idea to call a qualified HVAC company to set up an appointment for AC repair in your Scottsdale or Chandler, AZ home. There are a few DIY things you can check on if your AC won’t turn on, and it’s easy for most homeowners to inspect their air filter to see if it needs to be replaced. But if you’ve noticed a change in how cool your home is while your AC is running, or you’re hearing strange noises from your unit, it’s a good idea to call for professional help to reduce the risk of causing serious (and expensive) damage to your system.
What Is the Best Type of Insulation for an Arizona Home?
Finding the best insulation for your home is a balance of cost, R-value (how well it insulates), and added benefits. At Ideal Energy, we prefer two different insulation materials: cellulose and fiberglass. When installed properly to the correct levels, both offer superior protection and thermal resistance, keeping heat inside your home in the colder months of the year and outside of your home when you’re trying to stay cool in the summer.
Cellulose is made largely from recycled materials, making it an environmentally friendly insulation option, and it’s treated with borate to be fire, insect, and mold resistant. Ideal Energy uses locally manufactured cellulose made right here in Arizona! One thing to keep in mind with cellulose is that because it will settle and compress, it needs to be carefully installed by a professional who will take that future settling into account.
Blown fiberglass is more expensive than cellulose, but it won’t naturally settle over time, and it's easy to install with little dust or mess. The downside to fiberglass is that if it’s compressed, it will never regain its original shape again (and you’ll lose R-value). It’s very similar to cotton candy in that aspect - you can’t really fluff up cotton candy once you compress it!
Both cellulose and fiberglass can be installed in a few ways—blown in as loose-fill to cover attic floors or dense-packed into walls. The common image homeowners have of insulation are rolled fiberglass batts, but we find batts to be difficult to install correctly, especially in awkward corners or hard to reach areas of your home, and unlike loose fill, we often recommend removing batts altogether during insulation upgrades in an existing home and starting fresh for the most effective results.
How Long Should My AC Run in Its Cycle?
If you've been noticing that your AC either seems to turn and then turn off again too quickly, or that it feels like it's running for long stretches of time, then it's likely you're experiencing an AC sizing problem. When an AC is too small for the area it's trying to cool, it will struggle to keep up, and run for a long time. If an AC is oversized, then your unit may be "short cycling"—turning on, then turning off again shortly after, over and over.
The average AC should run for at least 15 minutes during a normal cycle, preferably longer. Anything less than 10 minutes, and you could be short cycling. If the system is properly designed and sized, on the hottest day of the year, it is normal for your AC unit to run all day. This means that when it's cooler than the hottest day of the year, your AC system won't short cycle.
Why Is My AC Not Blowing Cool Air?
If your air conditioner is running, and there’s air coming out of your vents but it’s not cool air, there are few different reasons why, including:
Thermostat is set to ON, not AUTO
Outdoor condenser coils are dirty or covered by debris
Your ductwork is damaged
Broken condenser fan
Experienced Phoenix HVAC technicians, like the NATE-certified team at Ideal Energy, can find the underlying issue and get your Gilbert or Scottsdale air conditioning working properly.
Will Cellulose Insulation Catch on Fire in Arizona?
Since cellulose is largely made from recycled newspapers, isn’t it a fire hazard? We get this question a lot, but the answer is no! Cellulose is treated with borate (a fire retardant) and has a Class 1 fire safety rating (the highest), making it completely safe to use in your home. Plus, borate helps keep insects and other pests away and prevents mold growth, making cellulose a superior insulation option for your Mesa or Chandler home.
What Is a Two Stage Air Conditioner?
A two stage air conditioner has a compressor with the ability to run at two different settings—high and low. A two stage air conditioner is more energy efficient—instead of running only at 100%, like a single stage, a two stage AC will run at 70% of its capacity when the full tonnage isn't needed (on cooler days). A two stage AC unit can tell when your Tempe or Mesa home doesn't need your AC to be going full blast to maintain your comfort settings, and will switch to the lower setting to save you energy (and money!).
Why Is My AC Unit Not Turning On?
There’s nothing more frustrating than when your AC won’t turn on at all. Before you call a professional for services, here are a few things to check first:
Has a circuit breaker tripped? See if resetting the breaker helps (but don’t keep trying if the breaker trips repeatedly).
Are your air filters dirty? If you’ve forgotten to change your filters, they could be clogged to the point where your blower motor overheats and shuts down.
Is your thermostat working correctly? Do the batteries need to be replaced? Is it set to “cool,” and not “heat” or “fan”?
If you’ve gone through those points, and your AC still won’t turn on, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit for air conditioning repair in your Chandler, AZ home. You could be dealing with a refrigerant leak, an electrical issue, a broken motor, dirty evaporator coils or condenser line, or something else.
Is Blown Cellulose or Blown Fiberglass Insulation Better in My Phoenix Home?
When it comes to picking out the right insulation for your home, there’s isn’t usually a one-size-fits-all answer. Different insulation types have different benefits, so depending on the specifics of your home, as well as your priorities, the recommended solution for your house could change.
Both insulation types, when installed correctly, can offer whole-home thermal protection, making your living spaces more comfortable and helping to lower your energy costs year-round. This is why, for existing homes where insulation will be upgraded, we’ll usually advise sticking with the same insulation material it already has (though we often recommend removing fiberglass batts entirely, as they are often installed incorrectly, leading to gaps in coverage and diminished performance).
For new homes, we usually recommend cellulose—not only is it more environmentally friendly and manufactured locally in Arizona , but it's less expensive than blown fiberglass and is just as effective an insulating material.
Need help choosing the right insulation for your home? Talk to the experts at Ideal Energy today to get started.
What Is the Difference Between R-22 And R-410A Refrigerants?
AC units use refrigerant to transfer heat out of your Chandler home and keep you cool. In the past, the most common kind of refrigerant found in air conditioners was R-22, but you may know it by another name: freon. Unfortunately, freon isn't great for the environment, and in 2004 the EPA began phasing out its use. R-410A, or pruon, is its replacement.
Starting in 2020, R-22 will no longer be manufactured or imported in the US. You can still buy it, but prices will be on the rise as supplies dwindle and it gets harder to find.
All new AC units are designed to work with R-401A, but unfortunately if you have an older system that uses R-22, you won't be able to use the new refrigerant in it. On the bright side, upgrading to a new AC will save you money on energy costs, is better for the environment, and will likely provide higher comfort levels as well!
Why Is My AC Unit Making Noise?
This is a tough question to answer without more information, as there are many different noises an air conditioner can make that signal something’s wrong. A banging sound could mean an unbalanced blower, while a buzzing sound might indicate an electrical issue. Rattling could just mean there’s a screw loose somewhere, but it could also be a compressor malfunction.
Whether your AC is screeching, thumping, squealing, clicking, or making any other kind of noise, our advice is the same: If it’s a new sound that your cooling system wasn’t making before, it’s a good idea to call for a technician to inspect your unit.
Why Are My Vents Noisy?
There are a few different reasons why you might be hearing noises coming from your AC vents:
A high-pitched whistle or whining sound is usually an indication that airflow is being restricted or there’s an issue with your air filters, so you’ll want to check to make sure all filters are clean and that the vents around your home aren’t accidentally blocked by furniture or laundry piles.
It’s very common that return ducts and grilles are severely undersized in the Phoenix area. An undersized return will cause your AC system to whistle or you can hear the return slapping up every time your air conditioner or heating system turns on.
A whistling sound coming out of your supply vents can mean that your supply ductwork is too small or your AC system is oversized for the ductwork that is in your attic. This will cause too high of a velocity coming out of the register and could cause the supply registers to rattle, or sound like a windstorm!
If it’s a popping or pinging sound you’re hearing, and it only seems to be happening right when your AC or furnace starts up or turns off, it’s likely that the ducts are expanding or contracting slightly due to air pressure differences. However, it could also be because your ducts are undersized, or because the burners in your furnace are dirty and you’re experiencing a delayed ignition.
Often, louder noises from your vents need to be addressed as they can lead to costly HVAC system damage if left unchecked. It’s never a bad idea to reach out to the air duct specialists in Scottsdale to see if AC service or AC repair for your Phoenix area home can help address the problem.
What Is a Two Stage Furnace?
A two stage furnace has two different settings of operation, instead of just one. With a single stage furnace, your furnace is either on, and running at 100%, or off, and running at 0%. But a two stage furnace has a setting where it can be run at about 65%, so unless you need full power to get your Phoenix area home comfortable, your furnace will run at a lower setting for higher efficiency and energy savings.
Why Do My Lights Dim When My AC System Turns On?
If you’ve noticed that your lights dim or flicker when your AC first turns on, it’s possible you have too many appliances on the same breaker as your cooling system. It could also signal that your AC unit’s capacitor is aging and needs to be replaced, or that you have damaged or exposed wires that need attention from an electrician. Pay attention every time it happens—if the lights dim only for a second, there likely isn’t much to worry about, but you should always call for professional advice if you believe there’s an issue.
Why Is the Airflow in My Arizona Home Unbalanced?
To operate efficiently, the airflow in your home’s HVAC system is designed to be balanced—that is, your system is adjusted to ensure even airflow into all the different areas of your home, which helps create more consistent indoor temperatures and uniform comfort levels.
When your airflow is unbalanced, you’ll feel the difference throughout your home, with some rooms that are too hot or too cold compared to others. Unbalanced airflow is commonly caused by:
Poor ductwork design
An aging, underperforming AC or furnace
At Ideal Energy, we’ll work with you to test your system and get it working correctly with services like duct sealing, proper duct sizing and design, and HVAC repair, maintenance, and replacement.
What Is a Variable Speed AC System?
If a two stage air conditioner is more efficient than a single stage AC, a variable speed AC unit is even more efficient than all of them. Instead of just the two settings that a two stage AC can operate at, a variable speed system has much more flexibility, and makes small changes throughout operation to run at the most efficient speed without sacrificing your comfort. For example, a Trane XV18 variable heat pump system has 750 stages of cooling, whereas a Trane XV18 variable air conditioner has 700 stages of cooling. Alternatively, a packaged Bosch inverter variable speed system operates between 25%-110% capacity at 1% increments. You might pay more up front for a variable speed air conditioner, but you'll see the difference when you get your energy bill- plus the continuous comfort is like no other!
Why Is My Thermostat Blank?
Walked over to your thermostat only to see that it’s blank? Here are four potential reasons why:
The batteries are dead and need to be replaced.
The circuit breaker your thermostat is using tripped (maybe from an unrelated appliance on the same breaker).
Your AC’s safety switch tripped.
Your thermostat is broken and needs to be replaced.
Replacing your thermostat might actually be a blessing in disguise—today’s smart thermostats offer customized comfort settings, Wifi connectivity, and can often help reduce your energy bills and improve your AC’s efficiency.
What Our Customers Are Saying
April 14, 2021
Every spring there’s a spike in allergies related to pollen that affect the air quality here in Phoenix, AZ, and if you’re sensitive to them, grass and tree pollination can make you feel crummy every... Read more