My AC Is Getting Old… Is It About to Run Out of Refrigerant?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThe question above has a number of answers, because it touches on a number of different topics when it comes to how air conditioners operate and how best to handle an air conditioner that’s been around for a couple of blistering summers out here in the Southern California deserts. There are three topics to address:

  • How old an AC need to be before it’s considered “too old.”
  • How refrigerant works.
  • Air conditioning system replacement.

Let’s take them one at a time to give you a full answer to the question in the title. If you want further assistance from specialists in air conditioning in Palm Desert, CA, you only have to give us a call.

Air Conditioning System Age

Okay, so you think your air conditioner is getting old.… Read more

Failed Capacitor: An AC Problem on Super Hot Days

Russell's Heating and Air Conditioning	Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThe serious summer scorcher days are the baseline of what we expect here in the deserts of Southern California. Our air conditioners run steadily through most days, and sometimes into the nights. That amount of labor places immense strain on any air conditioning unit, which can lead to parts breaking down.

But the heat itself can have an effect on an air conditioner as well–aside from the amount of work the AC system does. One problem that our AC repair technicians encounter when the temperatures soar above 100°F is failed capacitors.

The Capacitor vs. The Heat

Capacitors are electrical components that send electrical voltage to the motors. Start capacitors get motors running, and run capacitors keep them running.

Capacitors are sensitive to high temperatures: if exposed to too much heat, a capacitor will start to lose its ability to hold an electrical charge (in other words, its capacity to hold a charge), and this leads to capacitor failure.… Read more

Be Prepared with Your AC for More Hot Weather

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThe early fall is still a hot time of the year in Southern California, and although we’ll have short cool spells, we will also experience periods of extreme heat. This is why you have to be vigilant about your air conditioning system at this time of year. With all the work the AC has already done over a hot summer, the stress on it places it in danger of a possible breakdown when further heat waves strike. Ensuring your air conditioner can still take on this late-year heat is important.

What You Can Do to Help

First, give your air conditioning as much of a break as possible during cool stretches. It’s common for people to keep their air conditioner running when they come out of summer, even during mild warm days.… Read more

5 Things We Wish Everyone Knew About Air Conditioning

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningLiving in Southern California makes air conditioners a part of daily life during the summers—as well as other parts of the year. But how much do you really know about the AC system that keeps your home cool? Below are five facts about air conditioning systems that we wish everybody knew, since they make it easier to understand when an air conditioner needs repairs or a full replacement.

ONE: ACs don’t “create” cooling

This is a basic fact about how any refrigeration system works that few people know. This is because they immediately think of cooling systems as being the opposite of something like, say, a stove or furnace, where heat is created. But cooling is the absence of heat. What an air conditioner does is remove the heat from the air inside a house, making it cooler.… Read more

Watch Out for a Leaking Air Conditioner at the End of Summer!

Leaking is something you might expect from a damaged water heater or corroded piping. But an AC that leaks water? Is that something that happens?

Yes, it is. As your air conditioner works to cool down the air in your house, it absorbs water moisture out of the air. The collected moisture drips from the evaporator coil and down into a shallow condensate pan. A pump then removes this water down the drain line and out of the house.

But problems with the pan, drain line, and pump can lead to water leaking out of the air conditioning system… and that’s not something you want to happen.

How Do These Leaks Start?

The most common cause for a leaking air conditioner is a clogged drain.… Read more

As the Summer Scorcher Arrives, Watch for Warning Signs from Your AC

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningTemperatures here in the deserts and inland areas of Southern California are already rising above 100°F during the day—and it isn’t even officially summer yet! We hope you’ve already arranged for maintenance for your air conditioning system, but don’t panic if you haven’t: it’s not too late to contact our technicians to schedule this vital service.

But even the best maintenance job can’t stop all air conditioning problems, and the intense heat we experience puts immense strain on household cooling systems that can lead to malfunctions. During these first days of scorching hot weather, pay close attention to your AC system when it’s running. If you detect signs of anything that’s out of the ordinary, you’ll be able to arrange for air conditioning repair in Indio, CA or the surrounding areas in time to prevent more expensive repairs or even a complete system breakdown during one of those sizzling 100°+ days.… Read more

Should I Be Worried if My AC Is Short-Cycling?

Yes!

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningShort-cycling is a condition that’s easy to notice in an air conditioner, although people may not always know exactly what it is or why it’s a problem. To put it as simply as possible, short-cycling is when an air conditioner’s compressor turns on and off multiple times over an hour, with each cooling cycle lasting less than fifteen minutes. This shouldn’t be happening if the air conditioner is running properly. Short-cycling places enormous pressure on the components of an air conditioner, which creates high bills and a system that will wear down fast—to the point where it will need to be replaced years ahead of time. Short-cycling is often a sign of a specific malfunction that needs to be repaired.… Read more