Nothing beats a cool air blast when you get home from a busy hot day. However, unexpectedly high energy utility bills could make this joy end within seconds. Even worse, returning home to find the air conditioner broken could be nerve-wracking. So, is it all right to leave the AC running all day? Isn’t this prohibitively expensive? Contrary to a popular belief that turning off the air conditioner when leaving for an errand or even after your home has been cooled to your preferred temperatures saves electrical energy, it doesn’t. Instead, turning the AC off and on results in your unit using more energy during start-up. Rather than turn off the air conditioner, adjust the thermostat and leave it running. Better yet, have an air conditioning service provider install a smart thermostat that you can control remotely and use proximity sensors to turn the unit off.
How Long Should an AC Run During Normal Conditions?
The air conditioner should run cycles of 15-20 minutes under normal conditions. It should not take longer than 20 minutes for your indoor temperatures to reach your preferred temperature settings. An AC unit’s duration to cool your indoor space or a particular room is called an air conditioning cycle. After a cooling cycle is completed, the thermostat turns off the AC or switches it into fan mode. The AC unit will remain on standby until the indoor temperatures increase over the settings. When the air is hot again, the thermostat signals your AC to start another cooling cycle, and the process continues.
How Long Does a Compressor Run in a Day?
If you run an AC unit 24 hours every day, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be operating the entire time. Non-inverter air conditioners’ compressors cycle off and on after the unit reaches the thermostat set temperatures. A compressor runs for the duration of the air conditioner’s running time. It is worth noting that cooling will only occur when the compressor is operational. Hence, giving your unit air conditioning service could go a long way in enhancing its efficiency.
The compressor uses 90-95% of the total power in an air conditioning system. In moderate summers, the compressor might be running for 70-80% of the total time if the air conditioner capacity is appropriate for the size of your room. This is equal to about 16-19 hours per day, and it is true for both split and window air conditioners. When summer outdoor temperatures are high, the compressor runs for about 90-100% of the day.
Factors Which Increase the AC Compressor Run Time
Extremely Hot Weather
In the peak summer months, when outside temperatures are too high, the air conditioner has to put in extra effort to keep pace with the high demand for cooling. The compressor works continually to achieve desired indoor temperatures.
The Thermostat is Set to a Very Low Setting
If you set the AC thermostat to a very low setting, then desired temperatures in the indoor space will still be reached unless the AC has a problem. However, the air conditioning system will run longer to reach desired temperatures.
The AC is Too Small
Using an AC unit with a cooling capacity less than your indoor space needs means your unit is undersized. If the air conditioner is undersized, the compressor runs continuously most of the time without going off. It won’t be able to reach your preferred room temperature.
What if My Air Conditioner Won’t Stop Running?
If your air conditioner doesn’t appear to turn off, that doesn’t always mean it’s faulty. During the summer, when the temperatures are too high, your air conditioning unit runs more frequently to keep up. It is all right, and some quality air conditioning systems can run all day if need be. However, running the AC non-stop for the entire day without any breaks is a bad choice. Your energy bills will increase, and while the AC hasn’t malfunctioned now, overworking it will result in it getting broken down the line. Letting your system run continuously will result in parts wearing down faster, and no air conditioning service can help. This means that you’ll need replacements or repairs soon.
Should You Turn Off the AC When Going Out?
As mentioned above, coming home to a perfectly cool home in the hot months makes your day wholesome. But is it prudent to leave the AC unit running for over 8 hours when you’re out at work? Regarding energy consumption, it is prudent to turn the unit off. But that isn’t the entire tale. There are other factors to keep in mind.
Whether to Leave the AC on Depends on Where You’ll Be Out for Long
Think about moving a heavy shopping cart. Once it starts moving, keeping it moving doesn’t need much work. However, getting it started requires a lot of effort. The air conditioning can be compared to it. Dropping indoor temperatures by 10 degrees requires more electrical power and labor, resulting in more wear and tear than maintaining the 10 degrees lower at the same period. It might benefit your air conditioner and your finances to leave it on if you only leave for a short while.
You Can Turn Your AC Off at Night
Though it is obvious to turn your air conditioner off a little when you are going out, the best time to give your air conditioner a rest is at night. This is because the outside temperatures are cooler, and you produce less heat when asleep. Thus, you need less help to remain cool under the blankets when doing various chores in the daytime. Regardless, accord your unit an air conditioning service for more efficient functioning.
Contact Us to Learn More
Do you have any questions about the air conditioning system? Contact us at Just In Time to book an appointment for installation, repairs, or air conditioner maintenance.
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Furnace High Limit Switch Frequently Tripping? What Your Heating And AC Company May Diagnose As The Causes
The furnace has many parts that should function correctly to heat your home properly. The system could lose efficiency or even fail to operate whenever either of the components malfunction. This is the last thing you need on a freezing morning when preparing breakfast to head out to work. In extremely low-temperature seasons here in Illinois, your furnace is among the most important appliances in your home. Imagine the discomfort kids and seniors living with you would feel when the furnace malfunctions during the cold season. Unfortunately, the furnace might still experience issues even with maintenance, prompting you to enlist a heating and AC company for inspections and subsequent repairs. One common issue homeowners with furnaces may experience is that of a frequently tripping high-limit switch.
What is a High Limit Switch in a Furnace?
A high-limit switch is a component of your furnace system that safeguards the system and controls some operation elements. The high-limit switch is connected to the furnace blower motor and the gas valve. It comprises a probe mounted on a metal plate for detecting temperatures. This component has two primary functions in your furnace.
To begin with, it tells the blower fan when it should turn off or on. To do this, it senses the temperature of the air supply and sends a signal to the fan to turn on when the air has been heated. The blower then circulates the heated air across your home. The high-limit switch allows the furnace blower to run even when the furnace turns off the burners, ensuring that all heated air is distributed across your living space.
Second, this component of your furnace detects the air temperatures of the supplied air to identify overheating. If the air supplied is too hot, the interior of your furnace might overheat, causing damage to its components. When the temperatures become too hot, the furnace high limit switch trips. This shuts down your system and locks the furnace operation until it cools down.
Why Does the High Furnace Limit Switch Trip?
Have you noticed that your furnace turns off shortly after you turn it on? That could be because the furnace limit switch has tripped. This phenomenon is called short cycling and causes excessive energy use, wearing your furnace out faster. Whenever the high limit switch trips, that is a sign there are underlying issues within the unit that must be resolved to allow the limit switch to operate properly. Such issues include;
Dirty Flame Sensor
The furnace high limit switch features a flame sensor rod for detecting the air temperatures in your furnace’s plenum. If the flame sensor is dirty, it can’t detect the temperatures properly, making your furnace’s limit switch trip. This is where the importance of maintenance is evident. When technicians come for furnace maintenance, they’ll inspect the various components to ensure they are not dirty or faulty. If the professional notices the flame sensor is dirty, they will clean it.
The heating and AC company professional will remove your furnace’s access panel to reach the high-limit switch inside the plenum. They unscrew the switch from the plenum, clean it to remove any soot or materials stuck on the flame sensor, and connect it back. If cleaning the dirty flame sensor is impossible, the technician will replace it to ensure your furnace remains functional and safe.
Blocked Exhaust Vents
After the combustion, the gaseous byproducts should be vented outdoors. This is accomplished with the help of an exhaust vent or flue and shouldn’t be blocked. If blocked, the high-limit sensor might trip. Have the vents checked for blockages during furnace maintenance service. If there are blockages, the technician will clear them out to ensure the combustion byproducts can be safely outside.
“A” Coil Being Clogged with Debris
Many furnaces featuring a split system air conditioning unit for cooling your home during the hot summers feature an “A” coil. When the A-coil gets clogged up by debris, it might prevent the airflow from passing via the system. When this happens, the high-limit switch will trip, turning off the unit. If a technician from your reliable heating and AC company realizes that the A-coil is clogged when they visit your home for maintenance, they’ll clean it to remove any accumulation and allow a seamless airflow.
When the inside of the furnace gets too hot, the furnace limit switch will trip to protect the unit from overheating. If the tripping of the high-limit sensor is caused by overheating, then there’s an airflow problem that prevents good air movement within the system. Enlist the help of a professional to inspect the furnace air filters and replace them if dirty. Dirty filters are the main reason for airflow problems in a furnace. While the technician works in the filters, open all the registers and vents across your home for proper air movement via the ducts and system. If the blower motor is dirty, your furnace unit might also overheat. This is the reason why the high limit switch trips repeatedly.
Defective Limit Switch
Is your furnace limit switch tripping? Then it will, at some point, wear out. Eventually, this triggers a lockout mode, and the furnace won’t be able to operate until a professional from your heating and AC company resets or replaces the furnace’s high-limit switch. Therefore, immediately contact an HVAC professional when the high furnace limit switch is frequently tripping.
Faulty Inducer Motor
Your furnace features an inducer motor that helps vent out any toxic gases produced after the combustion in the furnace, such as carbon monoxide. If the inducer motor is malfunctioning or damaged, the furnace usually won’t start. However, an intermittent issue with the motor could be the reason for the limit switch to trip.
Let’s Handle Your Furnace Repairs
Is your furnace limit sensor frequently tripping? Contact us at Just In Time for a professional inspection and repair.
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Residential Air Conditioner Installation Services: Ductless Mini-Split Options For Your Home
Unlike ducted heat pumps and air conditioning units, mini-splits provide heating and cooling in homes without ductwork. The non-ducted systems efficiently provide thermal comfort during winter and summer. They include Hydronics, heating systems, heat pumps, and radiant panels.
The units, which are easy to install, run on different fuel options, including electricity, kerosene, propane, and gas. They are the best for homes with limited space due to their ductless nature, reducing energy costs by over 30 percent.
In addition, these heat pumps operate silently, making them ideal for people who fancy a quiet place. The ductless mini-splits enhance indoor air quality because their highly efficient HVAC filters filter out most contaminants. Below are numerous types of ductless mini-splits you can install in your home.
Single-zone Ductless Systems
To begin with, it is the single zone unit for cooling and heating one room. It can work with a central air conditioner for rooms needing more conditioned air. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, HVAC contractors can install the single-zone mini-split on ceilings, walls, or floors.
They connect an outdoor condenser to the indoor unit using a conduit. These units are small and maintain the beauty of your apartment or rooms. They are energy efficient as they use less power to supply conditioned air or heat throughout your home.
Using a single ductless unit in one room significantly reduces utility bills. Since it is one appliance to heat or cool one room, the air conditioner installation process is more straightforward and time-efficient because of fewer construction requirements.
- Easy to install for cooling and heating purposes
- They run silently
- The units improve the air conditioning or heating of specific rooms
- Energy efficient to reduce utility bills
- They are more expensive than traditional air conditioners.
- The single-zone heat pumps can only cool or heat one room.
- Some people can shy away from the system if they feel it compromises the beauty of their home if installed on the walls.
Multi-Zone Mini-Split Appliance
Unlike single-zone units, multi-zone equipment connects two indoor units to one outdoor condenser system. An HVAC contractor installs two indoor appliances in more than two rooms to meet the cooling and heating demands of people in those rooms.
The units are more energy efficient as they use less energy to cool and heat more rooms in your house. They are also versatile because they can improve indoor air quality and cool and heat your space during alternate seasons. The multi-zone mini split systems are similar to the single-zone appliance as they are all easy to install.
If installing a single-zone unit is expensive, mounting more than two in the rooms is extremely expensive, increasing your overall costs. Additionally, the multi-zone systems require accurate air conditioner installation to prevent issues that increase power consumption by overworking the system.
- The multi-zone ductless units are best for multiple spaces
- They save more space indoors
- The appliances are highly efficient in cooling and heating each room.
- Have higher maintenance costs than the single-zone mini-splits
- The installation requires more and longer conduits for the multiple rooms.
- Connecting many indoor mini-splits to one condensing unit reduces unit efficiency due to overworking.
- Systems are costly to buy because you need more than one unit.
Ceiling Cassette Mini Split HVAC Units
Another mini-split option to opt for is the cassette mini-split. It is among the most modern ductless systems installed on ceilings. You can choose between recessed ceiling cassettes, conventional joists, and suspended cassette mini-splits. The systems are also sleek and slim, making them the preferred choice for most homeowners upgrading their HVAC systems. They have concealed appliances with an uncluttered appearance that can blend perfectly with interior decor.
These HVAC units can cool and heat large spaces. With proper air conditioner installation, they evenly distribute conditioned air or warmth in all the corners of your rooms. You can also use a remote control to regulate temperatures indoors for thermal comfort.
- Ceiling cassette mini-splits are highly energy efficient with higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio ratings (SEER).
- They require low maintenance.
- The units are best for homes with limited space because they are mounted on the ceiling.
- Airflow from the vents flows in different directions for sufficient cooling and heating.
- They enhance the beauty of homes
- Eliminates air drafts, that is, cold and hot spots in the room.
- The installation on the ceilings makes it more complex than single and multi-zone mini splits.
- They are too costly to purchase and install.
Floor-Mounted Mini-Split System
A technician can recommend these units in apartments or houses without room for wall or ceiling-mounted mini-split options. The professional install the unit on the floor and ensures the air vents face upwards for sufficient airflow for cooling and heating.
- They operate efficiently
- The systems have excellent heating and cooling capacities that quickly warm or cool your room.
- They provide even temperatures in rooms.
- The floor-mounted units are energy efficient as they use less energy for heating and cooling.
- Similar to other mini-split options, floor-mounted types are expensive to purchase.
- It takes up a lot of space on the floor because its surrounding area has to be clear for adequate airflow.
- The units require periodic maintenance because they are exposed to dirt on the floor.
We are Here for Your Cooling and Heating Needs!
You can rely on Just In Time for exceptional HVAC services. We are a full-service company that strives to provide quality heater and air conditioner installation, repairs, and replacement services.
Our skilled and experienced technicians provide you with a thorough cost-benefit analysis as a guide to getting the best system. You can count on Just In Time for reliable cooling and heating services.
In a Nutshell
People who wish to reduce their energy costs can go for mini-split systems, which are more efficient. They can choose from diverse types; single or multi-zone, floor or wall-mounted, concealed, and ceiling cassette mini-splits.
The HVAC appliances are perfect heaters and coolers by adequately controlling indoor temperatures that guarantee comfort. Learning the pros and cons of each option empowers you to make the right purchase decision.
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Plumbing Problems? Tips To Follow To Choose The Right Plumber
Plumbing problems can happen at any time, and in some cases, they occur at the most inconvenient times. When something goes wrong with your plumbing system, you want it fixed as quickly as possible. Many plumbing problems can affect your ability to perform daily tasks, so they must be addressed immediately.
If you’re considering a DIY repair, you may want to think twice. Without the necessary training, you can make a mistake that could cause further damage. It’s best to hire a plumber to fix the problem, and you want to hire someone you can trust and can fix the problem without charging you a fortune.
If you follow the tips below, you’ll find a highly-qualified plumbing tech.
#1 Are They Licensed and Insured?
Before you hire a plumbing tech, you should ask if they have a license because a license ensures the tech is professionally trained. In Illinois, techs must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and they must have completed a plumbing course through a trade school, college, or university. They must also work as an apprentice plumber for at least four years. By asking if they’re licensed, you can be sure they have the knowledge and skill to fix the problem.
You also want to hire a plumbing tech who is insured. Their insurance will cover any damage caused during the repair, and you won’t be liable if an accident occurs on your property.
#2 Do They Have Experience?
It’s best to hire a tech with years of experience in the plumbing industry. The longer they’ve been in the business, the more skill and expertise they will have gained. Techs have undergone at least four years of apprenticeship, which gives them plenty of plumbing experience, but you should hire someone with at least two years of experience working as a licensed plumbing tech.
#3 What Will They Charge?
You don’t want to hire the first tech or plumbing company in a Google search because you won’t know if they charge too much. It’s best to get at least three quotes from three companies to ensure you aren’t overcharged. If one tech or company gives you a quote much lower than the others, it’s a red flag. Companies with poor reputations will often charge less to get customers, and these are the companies you want to avoid.
It’s best to hire a company with the lowest quote close to the other two.
#4 Do They Have Good Reviews?
There are plenty of review websites online, like Google and Yelp!, and there are even more home improvements websites, like Angie’s List and Home Advisor. Before hiring a plumbing tech or company, it’s best to check these websites to read their reviews. If many people are happy with their service, there’s a good chance they’ll also do an excellent job for you.
#5 Do They Seem Professional?
Professionalization is a must when hiring a plumbing company or a plumbing tech. First, check out their website. Reputable techs will have a professional website that provides information regarding who they are, what they do, and how long they’ve been in the plumbing industry. You should also consider how long it takes for them to respond. If you call for an appointment but don’t get an answer, it’s best to avoid techs and companies that take longer than 24 hours to respond. Finally, you shouldn’t hire someone who asks for some money upfront. Reputable plumbers and companies will never expect you to pay anything until the job is complete.
#6 Do They Provide Emergency Service?
When most people hire a plumbing tech the first time, and they do a good job, they use the same person for every plumbing problem. Are you looking for a long-term professional relationship with a company or tech? Ensure they provide emergency service.
When your plumbing system acts up at night, during the weekend, or on holiday, you’ll want it fixed quickly. Hiring a tech or company that doesn’t provide emergency service, it could be days before the problem is resolved. If you hire someone for the initial plumbing problem and they provide emergency service, any future issues will be fixed immediately.
#7 Ask for Recommendations
Asking your family members, friends, and co-workers for recommendations is a great way to hire a reputable plumbing tech. You can also create a post on social media asking for recommendations, and this will save you the trouble of vetting multiple plumbers, and you can be sure you’re hiring the right person.
#8 Are They Located Nearby?
It’s best to hire a plumbing tech located close to your house. If something happens to your plumbing system that must be addressed immediately, like frozen pipes, a toilet clog, or a lack of water, you want the problem to be fixed quickly. If the tech is located far away, the issue won’t be resolved quickly because it will take time for them to get to your home.
Call Just In Time
If you’re looking for a reputable plumbing company, look no further than Just In Time. We provide plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, and remodeling services and have an excellent reputation.
Our plumbing techs are professionally trained, licensed, insured, and have years of experience. Also, their knowledge and skill have allowed them to successfully complete some of the most challenging jobs in the plumbing industry.
When you call for plumbing service, the tech will arrive in a fully-stocked truck, allowing them to make most plumbing repairs on the same day. This eliminates the need for a second service call and will be more convenient for you.
If you have a plumbing problem that must be addressed immediately, we’re here for you. We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will send a tech to your home to resolve the problem quickly.
If you need an appointment for plumbing repair or emergency service, give Just In Time a call today.
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Common Causes Of Insufficient Hot Water And When To Call A Water Heater Repair Expert
In our daily lives, few things are more frustrating than stepping into a shower only to find cold water. Hot water is essential to modern comfort, whether starting your day right or enjoying a relaxing evening soak. However, when the warm stream becomes inadequate or runs out, it’s crucial to understand the common causes and know when to seek professional assistance. So, what are the common culprits that may leave you shivering under a lukewarm shower spray? Let’s explore a few prevalent issues that can plague your water heater system and diminish its performance.
Too many fixtures and appliances tapping into the water heater’s hot water supply can cause it to run out too quickly. As hot water needs rise, the available supply becomes inadequate. If this is your first time encountering the issue, below are possible causes.
- You have recently upgraded to a more energy-intensive showerhead with several spray nozzles or a high flow rate, perhaps a rainfall showerhead.
- There are more people in your home
- The water heater is struggling to keep up with the increased demand caused by your new, larger bathtub.
- A new dishwasher or washing machine you recently purchased has increased your household’s need for hot water.
- You may have increased your home’s need for hot water due to recent renovations, such as an enlarged kitchen or a new bathroom.
The following are some of the fixes that water heater repair experts recommend:
- Install a bigger water heater. One or two individuals can probably get by with a 30-gallon tank, and a 40-gallon tank is adequate for a family of three or four. However, a group of five or more individuals will need a tank of 50 gallons or more.
- Install a tankless water heater. Water can be heated as needed. You will never run out of hot water unless every appliance and fixture runs simultaneously. Both whole-house and single-appliance tankless water heaters are available to meet your requirements. The second option is convenient because it can be placed underneath any sink.
- Create a routine for your use of hot water. If you have a large family, it is best to stagger shower times and do laundry or run the dishwasher late at night.
Your water heater has a thermostat instructing it when to turn on and begin heating water. It can think the water is already hot, hence not activating the water heater. To address this issue, you might need to replace the thermostat.
If your water heater’s thermostat is functioning, turning it up can help the water get hotter, but don’t exceed 140 degrees. This could result in extremely hot water. Not all thermostats have a numerical scale; some only have “warm,” “hot,” and “very hot” options. If you want to know exactly how hot the water coming out of your hot water tap is, you should use a thermometer.
Installing a thermostatic mixing valve, a tempering or anti-scald valve is one potential remedy. This allows you to increase the temperature of your water heater without putting yourself or your family in danger of being scalded by the hot water since cold water is mixed in as it comes out of the tank.
Pressure is Low
When cold water flows into appliances and pipes, it pushes out the hot water. If the cold water supply pressure drops, the hot water’s pressure will also drop. Consequently, the supply of hot water will look like it’s declining.
There are several potential causes of water pressure issues in a water heater, making diagnosis difficult. For instance, the pipes in your plumbing could be old and damaged and need replacing. The water pressure regulator must be adjusted or replaced if it is not functioning properly. You may want a water heater repair expert in this situation.
Rust or Sediment
Mineral deposits from the water, especially in areas with hard water, can accumulate over time and block the water heater’s burner. This silt can obstruct heat flow from the burner to the water, reducing the system’s effectiveness and making it more difficult to get hot water.
A water softening system may slow this process, but draining your tank once a year should solve the issue permanently. If you hire a professional to service your water heater, they will drain it for you.
Water heater replacement may be necessary if rust is present.
Faulty Heating Element
There are two elements in electric water heaters. They are often located in the back and experience frequent failure. It’s not hard to tell if the heating element is at fault. Water that is always lukewarm indicates a problem with the upper heating element. Similarly, if the water is briefly hot, it is likely due to a problem with the lower heating element. Have a professional come and replace the broken element in the water heater.
The Heater is Far from Appliances and Fixtures
Hot water can take longer to reach appliances and fixtures like the dishwasher and washing machine if the water heater is too far away. The supply of hot water could also run out too rapidly because the hot water loses a lot of its heat as it travels through the pipes in your home.
Water heater experts recommend the following:
- Install a point-of-use water heater close to the fixture or appliance. You could, for instance, install one in the storage space beneath the kitchen sink.
- Install an instant hot water pump to keep the hot water’s temperature stable while it circulates.
- To avoid heat loss, insulate the pipes connecting the water heater to the fixture or appliance.
Worn Out Heater
The average lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years. Even with constant cleaning, sediment will accumulate over time. Because of this, the water heater’s performance declines, and less hot water is available. If your water heater is older than ten years, it’s time to have a professional replace it.
Don’t Settle for Cold Showers – Take Action Today!
Insufficient hot water can be frustrating, but armed with knowledge about the common causes, you can take proactive steps to address the problem. By understanding the importance of regular maintenance, identifying warning signs, and knowing when to call a water heater repair expert, you can ensure a consistent and comfortable hot water supply in your home.
If you’re experiencing insufficient hot water or suspect a problem with your water heater, don’t wait for the situation to worsen. Contact Just In Time, your trusted water heater repair experts, today. Our team of skilled technicians will diagnose the issue, provide efficient repairs, and ensure your hot water system operates at its best. Don’t settle for cold showers when a reliable solution is just a call away. Take action now and enjoy abundant hot water in your home.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.