Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for August, 2013

Getting More Out of Your Air Conditioning in Arlington, VA

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

When it comes to air conditioning, Arlington, VA residents know the value of reliability. Our hot, muggy days  make cool comfortable air a necessity, and most of us prefer to get that air without breaking the bank in high monthly bills. You can do that by upgrading your older air conditioning to a new one, or you can do it by getting more out of your existing model. A trained expert can help you out.

Efficiency is the watchword in lowering your monthly energy bills without cutting down on the cool air you’re accustomed to. And efficiency starts with regular cleaning and maintenance. When dust and dirt build up on individual components, it affects their ability to function. Dust on the evaporator coils will impact its cooling ability, while build-up in the condensate drain can lead to water overflow in the pan. Wear and tear can take their toll as well, with old components struggling to perform their functions or flat-out breaking down in some cases. If you have a refrigerant leak, low refrigerant levels will cause issues with the cooling cycle. A regular maintenance plan can keep the unit clean and spot any potential problems before they become too large to handle without a serious service call.

You can help identify sources of trouble while they’re still small by noticing any changes in the performance of your air conditioning unit. If you sense that the air flow has dropped, if the air conditioner unit seems to stay on for longer periods of time, if the air isn’t as cool as it once was, or if you hear any unusual noises coming from the air conditioner, it may be time to call in a professional.

In particular, look for unusual spike in your monthly electric bill: as sure a sign as any that there could be an issue with your AC. If you live in Arlington, VA or any of the surrounding communities, call on the experts at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Inc. 

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Does Frayed Wiring Necessitate Air Conditioning Repair in Alexandria, VA?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Frayed wiring can be a concern no matter where it appears, and usually requires the services of a trained professional to address. Have no doubts: frayed wiring definitely necessitates air conditioning repair, usually sooner rather than later.

A frayed wire can result from many conditions, ranging from normal wear and tear to friction created by a faulty connection. In the most benign cases, it can interfere with power to one of more components in the HVAC unit. In more serious cases, the frayed wire can result in a complete short, cutting power to the air conditioner entirely. The breaker switches in your home may cut off electrical power automatically in such cases to prevent further damage (or an electrical fire). The components of many air conditioning units carry emergency shut-off switches, which do much the same thing in the event of a major short.

It can be difficult to diagnose this type of problem, but a technician can usually do it by testing the wiring systematically and/or checking the component involved to see that it’s functioning effectively. If frayed wiring is the cause, he should be able to replace it with new wiring, and secure that it in place so that it doesn’t cause any further issues. Only a professional service tech should attempt such repairs; electricity is nothing to play around with. And the longer a frayed wiring is left in place, the greater the chance of a short, or of additional damage being caused.

You can call upon a trained Alexandria, VA air conditioning specialist to handle the issue instead of a general electrician. HVAC technicians understand the specific components involved, and can insure that the problem is not a part of the unit itself instead of just the wire. A general electrician can only deal with the wire itself. The experts at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. can help you with any air conditioning repair in Alexandria, VA. Call us today and set up an appointment.

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Three Ways in Which Your Air Conditioning Installation in Arlington, VA Can Make it or Break it

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

In Arlington, VA, we need our air conditioning systems to hold back the heat and humidity of summer. A reliable air conditioning system can keep your home a comfortable temperature no mate how high the mercury rises outside. That begins with the air conditioning installation process. A professionally installed AC unit will provide reliable, efficient service from the get-go. One that is poorly installed, on the other hand, will develop problems sooner rather than later. What should you look for when the time comes to install a new air conditioning? Here are three ways in which the process can make it or break it.

  • Placement: Placement of all aspects of a new air conditioning unit plays a key role in how efficiently it functions. A good installation expert will make sure the unit is placed where it has sufficient space and where nothing will block the airflow. He’ll ensure that its noise doesn’t carry such that it distracts you or your neighbors, and that the unit it is easy to access for service. He’ll won’t place ductwork in unconditioned spaces unless it is necessary, and he will set up the thermostat in a place that accurately gauges the temperature (i.e. away from windows, warm spots or other sources of heat).
  • Materials: Proper air conditioning installation uses top-notch materials to secure and fit the unit. Ducts, for instance, will be well-insulated if they’re placed in the attic, and sealed with duct mastic.
  • The Right Contractor: This is the simplest and yet perhaps the most important aspect of air conditioning installation. Does the technician double-check his work? Does he make sure all the bolts are secure, the fittings are in place, and the seals tight and well-maintained? Does he verify the level of refrigerant and ensure that it’s right for your model? Does he turn the AC on when he’s done and verify the air flow rate? A good professional will ensure that his work is done right the first time. The wrong contractor who might be operating as quickly as possible is apt to ignore some of those steps, which will increase wear-and-tear on you unit and create problems later on.

For top-notch air conditioning installation in Arlington, VA, contact the experts at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. We do the job right the first time, every time, and pride ourselves on professional work. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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Alexandria, VA Air Conditioning FAQ: What is Refrigerant?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Refrigerant is a catch-all term referring to various types of chemicals used in air conditioning systems: necessary to cool the air in your home and generally make life more comfortable. In Alexandria, VA, air conditioning is vital during the heat and humidity of summer. How, exactly, does an AC use refrigerant? Let’s take a look.

For starters, we need to understand the sorts of properties refrigerant that makes the air conditioning process possible. Refrigerants need to be able to stay liquid when very cold (much below the freezing temperature of water, for example) in order to cool the air in your home. They also need to  have a boiling point below room temperature, so it is easy to have the refrigerant return to its gaseous form. In order to understand why these characteristics are important, you need to understand the refrigerant cycle.

In basic terms, the process works like this:

  • Gaseous refrigerant enters the AC unit’s compressor, which increases the pressure and raises the gas’s temperature.
  •  The refrigerant passes through condenser coils, dissipating the heat and returning the refrigerant to a liquid state (though keeping it under high pressure).
  • The refrigerant enters an expansion valve and passes through a set of evaporator coils. It evaporates back into gaseous form and cools the air around the coils in the process.
  • A fan blows across the coils, and the refrigerant absorb the heat from the air blowing over it, creating cool air which then passes through the duct system and into your house.
  • The refrigerant gas returns to the compressor and the process repeats itself.

Theoretically, this all takes place in a closed system, which retains the refrigerant indefinitely as it cycles through the process. In reality, however, leaks are possible. A loss of refrigerant impacts your system’s efficiency and the leak will need to be located and sealed by a licensed professional. For air conditioning service in Alexandria, VA, the technicians at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. are here to help. We can recharge your refrigerant, identify and seal and leaks, and otherwise keep your system performing at its peak. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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