Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Strange Noises in Your Air Conditioning

Scientists have yet to invent self-repairing air conditioners, and the ACs found in homes do not come equipped with a computer that can analysis malfunctions and correctly report any problems to their owners. When it comes to detecting that your air conditioning system has a repair need so you know to call for a professional technician, you have to use other clues. One of the most important of these is sound.

Odd noises from either the indoor or the outdoor cabinet of your AC almost always means that something is wrong with the system. Don’t ignore these warnings: call for air conditioning repair in Palm Springs, CA from Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have more than 30 years of history taking care of the AC needs of the Desert Communities, and there isn’t a malfunction that we haven’t seen—or remedied.

What Those Noises Could Be Telling You

The odd sounds from your air conditioning could indicate problems large or small. However, small problem willbecome large problems if they are ignored, so you should call for repairs no matter what.

  • Hissing: This sound often warns that there is refrigerant escaping somewhere in the system. Low refrigerant will cause a drop in cooling, but worse, it can potentially cause damage to the compressor (leading to it overheating and burning out) and lead to ice developing across the indoor evaporator coil. Low refrigerant must be remedied as soon as possible.
  • Mechanical grinding, groaning, shrieking: These noises are often a warning of trouble with the motors, such as low lubrication or dirt on the bearings. The motors may burn-out if not attended to, which will lead to non-functioning fans or the compressor.
  • Striking and banging: This is often trouble in the blower or the outdoor fan due to damage that has bent the blades, leading to the fan striking the outer casing. If not repaired, this damage will spread to other components and lead to even large repairs.
  • Clicking at start-up: If you hear clicking noises as the air conditioner’s compressor comes on, it usually indicates that the capacitors that start the motors and keep them running are starting to fail. When capacitors fail, the motors will no longer be able to run.

Any unusual sound from an AC means that the system is wearing down someplace where it shouldn’t, and you can expect to start paying more on your electric bills until the air conditioner stops working entirely. The moment that you detect one of these noises, shut down the AC and call a skilled professional.

You can depend on the team at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning to handle any needs you have for air conditioning repairs in Palm Springs, CA. We have 24-hour emergency service available, so you don’t have to let that warning sound in your AC continue for one moment longer than necessary.

How Can I Lower My Air Conditioning Bills at the End of Summer?

We can expect to suffer from many more hot days in August through September, and even October here in the deserts of Southern California. That means plenty more work for our air conditioning systems. If you’re already tired of seeing high electrical bills this summer, there are some ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency with your AC and cut down on costs for the rest of the season. Below are some energy-saving methods for the rest of the summer.

  • Clean/change the air filter if you haven’t already: It’s easy to forget to regularly clean or change the air filter in the HVAC system. This filter must be either swapped out or cleaned every 1 to 4 months, or clogging will force the AC to strain and begin to waste power. If you haven’t yet cleaned/changed the filter this summer, it’s probably overdue for the service.
  • Know the best energy-saving thermostat settings: When the heat rises past 100°F, you’ll be tempted crank the thermostat to as low a temperature as possible. On most thermostats, the lowest setting is 60°F, but this will create a huge amount of energy waste in your house without really giving you better comfort. Your home doesn’t get cooler any faster when the thermostat is set low; it only commits the AC to working longer. A good energy-saving setting for the thermostat during the day is 78°F. You can often reduce your air conditioning’s electrical usage by 25% thanks to maintaining higher thermostat settings.
  • Raise the thermostat temperature at night: You need less cooling during the night because your body is at rest. Set the thermostat ahead by 8°–10°F when you’re asleep. (Having a programmable thermostat will make this much easier.)
  • Replace your aging AC with a high-efficiency unit: This is the most drastic change, but if one of the reasons for your high bills is that the air conditioner is 15 to 20 years old or more, than the best choice for saving money is to replace it. A high-efficiency AC will quickly start to pay for its installation, and you’ll have many years to enjoy the benefits.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Beaumont, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.

Some Late Summer Air Conditioning Tips

August is officially “Late Summer,” even though the season doesn’t official stop until the end of September and the heat in Southern California will continue for a bit after that. But as far as an air conditioner is concerned, it’s late in the season if it’s already built up quite a bit of wear and tear from a few months of steady work. In our desert climate, any home AC puts in a tremendous amount of labor starting in May, so by August the system might either face trouble with malfunctions or start to run inefficiently and raise electrical costs.

We have a few tips for helping your air conditioner during the dog days of summer. When you need the assistance of professionals for repairs or other air conditioning services in Cathedral City, CA, we are here 24 hours a day.

Keep up with air filter changes

Don’t get complacent about changing the air filter in your HVAC system on a regular basis simply because it’s the end of the summer. The air filter needs to be changed every 1 to 3 months (the stronger the filter, the less frequently it needs to be changed), and if you haven’t changed the filter yet this summer, it almost certainly needs to be done now. A clean filter means keeping bills under control and helping to prevent extra strain on motors that can lead to breakdowns and tripped circuit breakers.

Clean up the area around the exterior cabinet

Have you taken a look at the outside cabinet of the AC recently? If there are branches and leaves gathering around it, they can restrict the proper heat release from the unit, which will cause its efficiency to drop. Rocks and pebbles also create the potential for damage to components if they get inside the cabinet. Keep the area around the cabinet clear for at least a foot, and you may also want to wash down to the cabinet exterior.

Check on the thermostat

Proper thermostat control is a key part of controlling your air conditioning bills. (We recommend aiming for a setting of 78°F.) If the thermostat isn’t working properly, however, then it doesn’t matter how it’s set: the AC will operate at the wrong times and waste power. Make sure the thermostat has fresh batteries and check on the programming to see if the air conditioner is responding properly to it. If it isn’t, you may either need to repair/replace the thermostat or have the air conditioning system repaired. (It’s often difficult to tell when the thermostat or the AC is the source of a problem, so let HVAC technicians do the diagnosis.)

Never delay with repairs

Remember that the longer you wait to arrange to repair your AC when a problem crops up, the more expensive the eventual repair will be. You’ll also put the system at a higher risk of a major failure—usually when you need the air conditioner the most.

If you think your cooling costs are too high, we’ve also written up some tips for helping to lower them. Keep in mind that even though it’s late in the summer, you should never put off arranging for a complete air conditioning replacement if that’s the best way forward. After all, sudden heat waves can strike almost any time in the California deserts.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers air conditioning services throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.

3 Common Fan Problems

Fans aren’t the biggest components in your air conditioner, but they are important to the operation of your air conditioning. There are two fans in your system: the condenser fan in the outside unit, and the blower/air handler in the inside unit. Each of these fans helps with air flow and the heat release/cooling process in your system. Problems with fans can be fairly minor, but when one malfunctions or stops working, the effects can be seen system-wide. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact problem with a fan, so it’s important to call experts when needing repair, and Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help.

Common Fan Problems

There are a few fan issues our technicians see with relative frequency:

 Motor Issues

Each fan has a motor that operates the fan array (fan, belts, etc.). Motors can burn out, lose lubrication (especially the ball bearings), or experience damage. When the motor malfunctions, or breaks down, the fan may no longer turns as it needs to; this affects air flow and the refrigerant cycle. Some motors can be repaired, but there are times when a fan motor will need replacement.

Electrical Issues

There are a number of wires surrounding the fan and its components, including the motor. Wires can fray, corrode or disconnect, voltages can become uneven – there are a number of electrical problems that can ensue. When it comes to electrical problems with any part of your air conditioner, it’s best to hire a professional for repair as wiring can be complex.

Fan Blades

Fan blades can loosen and/or bend. While a fan can run with these issues, bent or loose fan blades can damage the parts surrounding them.

Fans aren’t the hardest components to repair, but because fan issues affect both air flow and the heat release/cooling process in your system, it’s important to have any problems repaired right away. You count on your air conditioning to keep you cool, but that won’t happen with a malfunctioning system. If you are experiencing fan problems or any other issues with your ACschedule air conditioning repairs in Palm Desert with the people you can trust: Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

Why Is My Ductless AC Wall Unit Sagging?

You may live in one of the many homes in Southern California that uses a ductless system for its air conditioning as well as its heating. These ductless mini splits are an excellent way to provide comfort without the need for space-eating ducts that collect dust and often lose air through leaks.

But ductless air conditioning systems can run into problems as well. If you notice that one of the indoor units—the air handlers—is sagging on the wall or looks like its crooked, you might imagine something’s wrong. And you’re probably correct.

Why this is may be happening

One possibility is a poor installation job. Did you try to install the system yourself, or allow an amateur to do it? If so, the air handler was probably mounted incorrectly so it wasn’t secured to the wall. We recommend calling in a professional to look over the whole system and see if there are other troubles because of the bad original installation. We may need to replace some of the air handlers or even the outdoor unit if it was incorrectly sized.

If the ductless mini split system received a good installation from pros, the likely cause for a sagging wall unit is that there’s a leak in the condensate line. The condensate moisture from the unit has to drain outside through a line, and the line passes through a 3” hole drilled behind the unit. A leak will cause water to build up between the unit and the wall, eventually leading to the wall weakening. If this isn’t fixed, the unit will eventually rip away from the wall—and take part of the drywall with it!

To schedule effective air conditioning repair in Cathedral City, CA or the surrounding areas, contact us. We offer great customer service and we’re open 24 hours.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. We have a reputation for honesty and fairness!

3 Causes of Higher Air Conditioning Costs

Here in San Bernardino, CA, air conditioning repair services are as important as your auto mechanic. Temperatures often reach triple digits here in the Inland Empire, and without a reliable air conditioner, you’re liable to melt right onto the floor! People are used to paying a lot in monthly bills for good air conditioner service, but that sometimes mean paying more than is necessary.

Here Are 3 Causes of Higher Air Conditioning Costs That You Should Keep an Eye Out For

  • Lack of Maintenance. Dirt and dust build up on your air conditioner over time, and various components can become loose or worn as they operate. As a result, your air conditioner will work harder to do the same job and cost you more money. Dust is a particular concern here in the Inland Empire, where the desert sands have a way of getting into everything. You should schedule a maintenance session at least once a year, and maybe more often, to deal with such wear and tear: helping your AC unit perform more efficiently in the process.
  • Lower Refrigerant Levels. Refrigerant needs to be at a specific amount, dependent upon the particular make and model of your air conditioner. When those levels drop – usually because of a leak in the system somewhere – the unit’s cooling power is severely diminished. You can spot signs of this by looking for ice or frost on the surface of the evaporator coils. A trained technician can seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels.
  • A Slow Fan Motor. The fan motor turns the fan, which is how the cooled air gets into your home. If it suffers from damage or an interrupted power flow, the fan blades may turn more slowly: lowering the air flow and leading to higher monthly costs.

The causes of higher air conditioning costs are often easily correctable, though it takes a professional technician to do the job right. Reliable air conditioning repairs in San Bernardino are provided by the HVAC experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have the skills and knowledge to fix the problem right the first time, every time, so give us a call today!

Common Air Conditioning Repairs in Palm Springs, CA

Here in Palm Springs, CA we run our air conditioning systems a lot throughout the year. All that use can cause your air conditioning system to develop a number of common issues. If you’re having any problems with your AC system just call the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have years of experience working on all different kinds of air conditioners. We wanted to share with you some of the most common repairs that we get called for so that you can recognize them.

Palm Springs, CA Air Conditioning Repair Services

If you’re like most homeowners here in the desert then you likely run your air conditioning system almost every single day to stay comfortable. All this use can really take a toll on your equipment. For all your Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair services make sure that you call the professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

  • Not enough cooling – One of the most common issues that we get called for is not enough cooling. If your AC is blowing warm air or if it just isn’t able to keep your home cool, it likely means that you need Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair. This could be caused by broken thermostats, a bad fan motor or a faulty compressor motor.
  • Unusual noises – If you start to hear your air conditioning system making a new noise it likely means that something has gone wrong with it. Squealing is usually caused by an old fan belt that needs to be changed. If you hear a hissing noise it likely means that you have a refrigerant leak somewhere. Gurgling is normally caused by low refrigerant.

If you’re having any problems with your air conditioning system just call the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll be able to get your system back up and working again quickly.

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Repair Your Air Conditioning System on Your Own

If you like to take care of various repairs and home improvements around your home as DIY projects, you should certainly be commended. However, you need to know that there are some jobs that you should never undertake on your own. One of these is repairing your central air conditioning system.

But what’s wrong with a little DIY on an AC?

The modern air conditioner is an extremely complicated refrigeration device, similar to an actual refrigerator. Just as you won’t be able to repair a refrigerator unless you have training, you can’t repair a malfunctioning air conditioner without the proper skills and professional equipment.

There are many things about air conditioners that make them difficult-to-impossible for amateurs to repair. But there’s one specific aspect of AC repair that we would like to focus on, which is diagnosis.

One of the hardest jobs for an AC technician during a repair call is actually finding the source of the problem. For every given symptom of air conditioning malfunction (a drop in cooling power, odd sounds from the cabinet, elevated electrical bills) there are multiple possible causes. Without years of training and experience, it would be extraordinarily difficult to find what is actually wrong. An amateur repair attempt is likely to apply the wrong type of repair—and that is often worse than no repairs at all. A mistaken repair can result in larger problems and an inefficient air conditioning system. The air conditioner will enter into a downward spiral of more and more repairs until it fails entirely.

If you should run into any problems with your air conditioner this summer, don’t tamper on your own. There are speedy and effective professionals only a phone call away.

For professional air conditioning repair in Beaumont, CA, look to Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning. For exceptional customer service, give our office a call.

Common End-of-Summer Repairs

End-of-summer repairs are common, and you shouldn’t wait to make them. Problems with your AC rarely get better on their own, and they usually become worse over time. If it’s time for air conditioning repair in Palm Desert, call the people you can count on: Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

End-of-Summer Repairs

There are a lot of ways your air conditioner can malfunction, but there are a few problems we see a lot after a busy cooling season:

  • Refrigerant leaks – the refrigerant in your system helps facilitate the transfer of heat. Your air conditioner requires an exact amount of refrigerant in order to work properly. When there’s a leak, it causes an imbalance in the heat release/cooling process. Refrigerant leaks require immediate repair and can be hard to find, so it’s important to call a professional.
  • Compressor issues – the compressor is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant in your system. There are several problems that can arise with compressors: issues with the motor, wiring issues and problems with the capacitors. The compressor is a complex component, and requires expert knowledge for proper repair.
  • Fan issues – there are two fans in your air conditioning system: the evaporator fan, also known as the blower, and the condenser fan. These fans help with air flow, and when problems arise with either one, system-wide issues can develop. Common fan issues are bent or loose fan blades, worn fan belts, electrical issues and motor issues.

Many of these issues can be addressed with bi-annual maintenance, so if you haven’t scheduled your fall maintenance yet, you may want to consider doing it soon.

The official end to summer is the fall equinox at the end of September. While we are still enjoying summer temperatures, the weather will be changing soon. If you’ve been seeing signs of problems with your AC, don’t hesitate to call us for air conditioning repairs in Palm Desert. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can assist you with all your AC needs.

Why Is My Air Conditioning Struggling to Keep the House Cool?

During the blistering hot summers in the desert towns of Southern California, there’s nothing worse than an air conditioning system that simply cannot deal with the heat. It takes a powerful and well-maintained AC to beat back intense summer temperatures that often rise above 100°F, and if your home’s air conditioner starts to fall down on the job, you’ll probably need to call on HVAC professionals to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Some Reasons Your AC May Be Struggling with the Heat

  • Excess age: If an air conditioning system receives annual maintenance (usually in the spring) it should be able to last 10 to 15 years, sometimes more. But it will eventually start to wear down, no matter how much attention it receives, and start to lose its cooling ability. If you have an AC that’s more than 15 years old, a drop in cooling power is a strong signal that it’s time to replace it.
  • Loss of refrigerant due to leaks: An AC is designed to handle a specific amount of refrigerant, known as its charge, and that charge will remain the same for the system’s lifetime… unless there are leaks. Loss of refrigerant puts the entire air conditioner in jeopardy, but loss of cooling power is an early warning that it’s happening. Call for professionals to seal the leaks and recharge the refrigerant.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: The issue may lie in the thermostat that controls the HVAC system. A simple miscalibration so the unit reads false temperatures will cause the air conditioner to behave in strange ways, turning off prematurely and leaving the house too warm.
  • Damaged ductwork: If the ventilation system has gaps and holes in it, it will allow the cooled air to escape before it even enters your living spaces. Technicians will need to seal these leaks to restore the system.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Beaumont, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.