Category Archives: Service Tips

Help! My Air Conditioner is Leaking Water?

It pays to keep an eye on your air conditioner or HVAC system – if your air conditioner is leaking water, it can be a subtle indicator of a serious problem. Bruno Air offers the insight to help you narrow down the source. By doing this, you will be able to take the appropriate steps to ensure your system continues to run smoothly.

Determine Whether Your AC Has a Leak or Condensation

If your air conditioner is showing a little condensation or dripping water, it may just be part of the system doing its job. An AC unit uses heat exchange to cool your home through refrigerant. How does this work exactly? Outdoor coils condense the material which in turn causes it to get hot. As the refrigerant moves to the indoor expansion coil, it becomes extremely cold. From there, it absorbs the heat from the air which cools off the interior of your home.

Meanwhile, the moisture in the air condenses on the outside of the coils to drip into a condensate pan. If this is what you’re seeing, don’t panic! That’s simply how your system works. However, a leak and a drip are two different things.

Water is directed out of the system through a drain line. If you notice leaking water, it could mean your drain line is blocked which will cause your condensate pan to overflow.

How to Address a Water Leak

One of the best ways to fix a leak in your AC system is to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment. This tune-up service allows an HVAC professional to do a comprehensive inspection of your system by examining coils, condensate pans, drain lines, refrigerant lines and all the moving parts. During the inspection, the technician will make adjustments as needed.

Drain lines can be cleaned to restore the flow of water from the condensate pan. The cleaning of your coils and pan ensures the removal of mold and bacteria that can contaminate your airstream. It’s important to keep your coils clean so that they don’t freeze up. This can stress or permanently damage your compressor.

Your system can also be adversely affected by low refrigerant levels. A tune-up can deal with irritating problems like leaks while improving the performance and extending the life of your air conditioning or HVAC system. Scheduling service for your AC equipment in the spring and heating equipment in the fall ensures optimum home comfort and efficiency throughout the year.

Additional HVAC Equipment Issues to Look Out For

While a tune-up can help limit issues, it’s important to know when you should call your contractor for an HVAC repair or diagnosis. Below are a few other issues to look out for:

  • If you system won’t turn on, be sure that the settings haven’t been adjusted and that the power supply isn’t disrupted.
  • If your system operates but fails to cool your home, you could be dealing with refrigerant problems.
  • Poor airflow in part or all of your house may indicate issues with your ducts or your blower fan.

If you encounter any of these issues, you’ll want to pick up the phone and contact one of Bruno Air’s professionals right away to ensure a quick diagnosis and repair. Our team is always ready to assist our neighbors with all their HVAC concerns. Give us a call today to receive additional information or schedule an appointment.

5 Worst Myths About Air Conditioing

Myths are, in essence, a widely held but false belief or idea. Bruno Air is busting air conditioning myths wide open with the truth. Don’t be led by misinformation. Understand how your unit operates and maintain consistent performances, improved air quality, and high energy efficiency.

Closing vents in unused rooms will boost energy efficiency.

False! Closing your air vent will only cool the inside of your air vents, doing nothing to improve the energy efficiency in your home. If you would like to boost the efficiency in your home and improve your unit, Bruno Air suggests that you consider investing in an Energy Star certified unit. Maximize you air conditioner and save money and energy.

Turning off my air conditioner when I’m gone will save energy.

Not quite! Turning off your air conditioner while your away depends on how long you will be away. If it’s just for the day or the weekend, turn up your thermostat ten degrees to save energy without wasting it with the effort of restarting your AC every night when you come home. You can save even more energy by installing a smart, programmable thermostat. Control your temperature and set it to your schedule for incredible energy savings.

If I keep my windows and doors closed, no cool air can escape.

In a perfect world this would be a kind truth. However, there are plenty of nooks and crannies where cool air can escape. Ensure your air conditioner is performing to its maximum capacity by calling Bruno Air for an air duct sealing. We are proud to offer Florida Aeroseal, the most effective name in air duct sealing. Aeroseal fills the holes and cracks within your air duct from the inside out. Easy, affordable, and incredibly effective.

If I leave the ceiling fan on, it will cool my empty room.

Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans and standing fans don’t actually lower the temperature in the room. The fan mixes the stagnant air in the room, cooling you down in the process.

Purchasing an energy efficient, Energy Star, air conditioning unit will save money on utility bills.

This is both true and false, depending on the most important aspect of Energy Star certified units. The unit most be appropriately sized to fit your home. Contact us to ensure that your home’s unit is appropriately sized so it can perform properly and cool your home while saving you energy.

Crane unloading a Louis Bruno Signature Series Air Conditioning Unit.

Businesses Save With Energy Efficient HVAC

The words “energy efficiency” get thrown around a lot in our largely green society. While we are not where we need to be, personally and professionally, we are all working towards creating a better environment for the future. On our path to sustainable responsibility, what’s forgotten is that sustainability, energy efficiency, and going green is cyclical. There’s a waterfall effect when you save in one area, no matter how small, you save in two or three others.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) report “Multiple Benefits of Business-Sector Energy Efficiency, summarizes how businesses can go green and save by implementing energy efficient units, such as Energy Star air conditioners, and save elsewhere in their business.

“Businesses that implement energy efficiency improvements often enjoy other benefits besides utility bill savings.” The report says, “…Still, evidence suggests that including non-energy impacts can reduce the payback time of some energy efficiency improvements by 50% or better.”

Installing commercial, Energy Star HVAC systems can make the difference in your businesses energy bill, utility bill, and will even save you time and money in various other places. When you consider what a correctly installed, properly working unit actually does and everything it affects, it becomes more and more apparent what areas it will affect.

Air conditioning is no longer a want but a need, especially in Florida. Our days are getting hotter as spring nears and summer follows. Florida is blessed to have year-long gorgeous weather but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its disadvantages. Simply put, it’s hot. It gets really hot. Businesses cannot function without air conditioning, your employees can’t work if they’re too focused on their shirts sticking to their backs.

Bruno Air Conditioning is offering businesses and institutions energy efficient commercial units that will last them for years. Our technicians are experts in their fields and have the tools to properly install and maintain large units. Take a sustainable stance in 2015 and lead the way in environmental responsibility.

5 Things you Should Do Before You Turn on Your AC

Summer will be here before we know it. Florida is known for its tropical temperatures and this year will be no exception. Summer means a few things; consistent sun, white, sandy beaches, and of course, refreshing air conditioning! But there are a few things to consider before turning on the AC. To prepare for the upcoming months of heat, make sure you check your HVAC unit to ensure that it is functioning properly. Before you turn on your AC, we recommend that you check a few key areas first.

  1. Make sure that your condensing unit, located outside, is not covered by obstructions and before to check your unit after removing any AC covers . Covering your condensing unit can protect the paint, keep rain and precipitation out of the unit, but it can also become a home for insects, can cause mold that can damage your unit, and can even lead to rust. Make sure that your unit is free from all possible discrepancies before turning on your AC.
  2. Change your filters regularly! Depending on the type of filter, pets, and allergies; your filter should be changed every 1-3 months. Your air filter is a vital component of your air quality. Make sure that all air filters are clean, especially if you have pets in the home.
  3. Clean the vents indoors and on the outdoor unit as well. Make sure that there is no debris within the small crevasses of your outdoor AC unit.
  4. Remove any fungus, sludge, or debris from your drainage pipe. A clogged drainage pipe can lead to leaks and various other damage in your home. Contact us today if you suspect that you may have a clogged drainage pipe.
  5. Use a timer. Timers are wonderful tools that can help you conserve energy and save money. Before you turn on your AC unit, make sure that your timer is set and ready to go.

Don’t wait until Summer to find out that your drainage pipe is clogged or that your filters are in dire need of a spring cleaning. Contact your local AC contractor today and solve your problems fast and easy. Enjoy the summer weather and have a nice, cool home to retreat to.

 

Hiring A Professional

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hiring a professional service technician is a must. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.

The technician should:

  • Check for correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat.

Installation and Location of Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is installed correctly, or if major installation problems are found and fixed, it will perform efficiently for years with only minor routine maintenance. However, many air conditioners are not installed correctly. As an unfortunate result, modern energy-efficient air conditioners can perform almost as poorly as older inefficient models. Do you know what you should be looking for when thinking about the installation and location of air conditioner systems?

When installing a new central air conditioning system, be sure that your contractor:

  • Allows adequate indoor space for the installation, maintenance, and repair of the new system, and installs an access door in the furnace or duct to provide a way to clean the evaporator coil
  • Uses a duct-sizing methodology such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D
  • Ensures there are enough supply registers to deliver cool air and enough return air registers to carry warm house air back to the air conditioner
  • Installs duct work within the conditioned space, not in the attic, wherever possible
  • Seals all ducts with duct mastic and heavily insulates attic ducts
  • Locates the condensing unit where its noise will not keep you or your neighbors awake at night, if possible
  • Locates the condensing unit where no nearby objects will block airflow to it
  • Verifies that the newly installed air conditioner has the exact refrigerant charge and airflow rate specified by the manufacturer
  • Locates the thermostat away from heat sources, such as windows or supply registers.

If you are replacing an older or failed split system, be sure that the evaporator coil is replaced with a new one that exactly matches the condenser coil in the new condensing unit. (The air conditioner’s efficiency will likely not improve if the existing evaporator coil is left in place; in fact, the old coil could cause the new compressor to fail prematurely.)

Air Conditioning filters

Air Conditioner Filters

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner, is to routinely replace or clean your air conditioner filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.

Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

Cleaning rooftop Air Conditioning screens

Common Air Conditioning Problems

One of the most common air conditioning problems is improper operation. If your air conditioner is on, be sure to close your home’s windows and outside doors. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home.

Other common problems with existing air conditioners result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) does not match the manufacturer’s specifications. If proper refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit is impaired. Unqualified service technicians often fail to find refrigerant charging problems or even worsen existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full. Learn what to ask for when hiring a technician to maintain your air conditioner.

Air conditioner manufacturers generally make rugged, high quality products. If your air conditioner fails, begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers. Let the unit cool down for about five minutes before resetting any breakers. If a central air conditioner’s compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped; reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor’s access panel.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification, and is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment.

Inadequate Maintenance

If you allow filters and air conditioning coils to become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.

Electric Control Failure

The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently, as is common when a system is oversized. Because corrosion of wire and terminals is also a problem in many systems, electrical connections and contacts should be checked during a professional service call.

Sensor Problems

Room air conditioners feature a thermostat sensor, located behind the control panel, which measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it; adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

Drainage Problems

When it’s humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it isn’t clogged and is draining properly. Room air conditioners may not drain properly if not mounted level.

Bruno Air technician sealing leaks

Energy Efficiency – Adjusting the temperature Sealing Leaks

Adjust the Temperature

  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable for energy efficiency.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
    Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings. Also see ENERGY STAR’s June 5, 2008, podcast for video instructions on operating your programmable thermostat.

Find and Seal Leaks

Air Conditioning Growth Industry

According to a recent article in The Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration News that focused on the Air Conditioning Growth Industry, the research firm of Companies & Markets has released a study that estimates the global air conditioning market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.5% through 2015. Although there was a temporary disruption in the growth due to the recent economic recession, the key factors contributing to this expected growth within the industry include the increased need for energy efficient air conditioners and the development of inverter-based air conditioners.

Another major factor in the increase is the rapidly growing replacement need, especially in mature markets such as the U.S. and Europe. This is due to the growing focus on energy conservation and the demand for replacing old air conditioning systems with new energy-efficient models. This growth has increased the competition among air conditioning vendors and has lead to a decrease in the overall price of air conditioners, which is good news for the consumer.