Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

The 4th of July will forever hold a very special place in the history of the United States of America. On this day in 1776, the second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.

Not only is Independence Day an important day in our nation’s history, but for many people it is a day that is filled with memories from celebrations of years past. Fireworks, barbeques, baseball games, fairs, carnivals, patriotic music and ceremonies are all scattered through our memories as we’ve participated in annual parties, get-togethers, picnics and family gatherings throughout the years. John Adams, our 2nd president, was right when he said that our Independence Day “…ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

The 4th of July is truly a day to enjoy but also to remember and respect the sacrifice that many brave men and women made over 200 years ago to give us the freedom that we cherish today. However you celebrate Independence Day, make sure that you take a moment to remember what this day is really about.

We wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!

If you are off and have time for preventive maintenance, feel free to call Oasis Cooling services or fill out a contact form to schedule a service!

 

Continue Reading

What Clicking Noises From Your AC May Mean

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

What-clicking-noises-from-your-ac-may-mean

Is your AC making noise? Generally speaking, any unusual sound coming from your air conditioning system is cause for concern.

Common Air Conditioner Noises

Here in Fairfax, VA, our air conditioning repair techs can handle your air conditioning problem. However, it does help if you, as the homeowner, have some idea of what specific sounds could indicate. When you can guess where the noises are coming from, you can point the repair professional in the right direction. Here are some of the most common air conditioning noises and what they may mean:

1. AC Clicking Noise

You may hear a clicking noise when you start your system up or even after it turns off. Sometimes, an AC clicking noise can stem from fan blades that have been bent or are misaligned which causes AC clicking on and off sounds. Alternately, a stick or piece of detritus could have gotten caught in the vent, causing the fan to click against it. In these cases, the cause is apparent, and the repair technician can either properly align the fan or replace it with a new model.

More subtle clicking noises can be a part of the air conditioner’s normal operation. For example, these sounds could come from a relay or a contact performing as expected. In those cases, the clicking should stop shortly. If they repeat, however, it could mean a problem with your thermostat or compressor turning the relays on and off repeatedly and increasing wear and tear in the bargain. If you hear repeated clicking from your AC, you should call for a repair. Possible electric problems should never be ignored when an AC clicks on and off.

Buzzing sounds from ac system, ticking noise in ductwork with air conditioner clicking

2. Buzzing

If your air conditioner is making a buzzing sound, it is likely an electrical malfunction caused by loose or broken parts, leaks or compressor issues. If you suspect an electrical problem, turn off your system and contact a professional.

Buzzing could also be an indicator that your air conditioner’s “isolation feet” — the rubber legs at the base of your machine that support it — are wearing out. Buzzing might also mean a condenser coil, air filter or blower inside your system needs to be changed or replaced.

Hearing a clanking or rattling in ac system, air conditioner making clicking noises

3. Clanking or Rattling

If your air conditioner is making a lot of loud clanking or rattling noises, it could mean a part has come loose and fallen into a different component of the machine. Before you call a maintenance specialist, make sure you check that all visible screws and bolts are tightly secured, so you can eliminate that as a possibility.

If your air conditioner gets too cold, ice and excess moisture can also build up inside and cause a loud grinding noise, accompanied by rattling movements. If you think your air conditioner has frozen, turn it off and allow it time to thaw.

Dealing With a Noisy Air Conditioner? Oasis Can Help

If you live near Burke or Alexandria, VA, and are experiencing air conditioner problems, Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration is here to help.

If you hear any noises that you aren’t accustomed to — even if they don’t seem to be affecting the performance of the air conditioner — turn the unit off and contact a qualified repair technician immediately instead of trying to fix the issue yourself. In addition to knowing what the noises from your air conditioner may mean, a good repair technician can also correct your machine safely and correctly.

Call Oasis today at 703-339-3877 to make an air conditioning repair appointment!

Contact our team in Northern Virginia to schedule your maintenance service.

 

“Great timely service. Knowledgable and neat techs. Good value.”

“Would absolutely use their services again. Arrived on schedule.”

-Springfield, VA

Continue Reading

How Your Thermostat Affects Your Heating

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

You interact with your heating system through your thermostat, which lets you set a comfortable temperature for your home.  There are thermostats available these days with many advanced features, which let you pull off nifty little tricks like turning the heat down when you leave for work, and then back up again soon before you come home. When they malfunction, they can seriously disrupt your ability to heat your home adequately. You need to know precisely how your thermostat affects your heating in order to know when to call your local Fairfax VA heating repair technician.

Most thermostats use a strip composed of two different types of metal laminated together. These metals will expand and contract at different rates depending upon what the temperature is. They’re usually placed in a coil with the metal that tends to expand more on the inside of the coil.  When the temperature goes up, the metal on the inside of the coil expands at a different rate than the metal on the outside of the coil. This causes the coil to unwind, which tips the mercury switch and starts the heating process. When the temperature is hot enough, the metal on the coil contracts, which turns the mercury switch off and shuts of the heater. The precise setting depends on the controls at the center, allowing you determine the exact temperature when this process takes place.

Knowing how your thermostat affects your heating means understanding what happens when things go wrong. If it can’t accurately determine the temperature or trigger the switch, it won’t turn the heat on when you need it (or turn it off once your home is comfortable). If you need repairs on your thermostat, call OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. to help. We handle all types of heating repair, Fairfax VA homeowners can depend on us, and our trained staff will work overtime to find a solution that meets your budget. Give us a call today!

Continue Reading

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Every year on the final Monday of May, citizens of America come together to honor those who have served our country. Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day came to prominence after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen soldiers on either side. Although its origins are somewhat ambiguous, it has always been about bringing people together to recognize our country’s military personnel and history. We want to take this opportunity to thank all the men and women who have served our county.

Memorial Day also marks the beginning of summer. We hope that you have a wonderful day off, and that it is a great start to your summer! Stay safe and healthy!

Continue Reading

Here’s What Can Happen if You Aren’t Changing Your AC’s Air Filter Regularly

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

A part of air conditioning and heating maintenance that we stress often is changing an HVAC system’s air filter regularly. As we come to the last month of summer, any air conditioner that has a clogged filter because it hasn’t been swapped out for a fresh one can start to cause multiple problems. Below are a few of the issues your AC might face if it still has an old filter.

Continue Reading

Signs Your Home Has Poor Air Quality

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

In the 1970s, people noticed that their office buildings were making them sick. To control heating and air conditioning costs, many builders had constructed buildings that were virtually airtight with almost no airflow. Pollutants and contaminants hung in the air, and the result became known as Sick Building Syndrome. If you’ve ever been in a sick building, you know the signs: headaches, hoarseness, nausea, nosebleeds, chronic fatigue, mental fogginess, dry, itchy skin and watering eyes — to name a few.

Sick Building Syndrome, however, doesn’t just happen in office towers. It can also happen in your home. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health prefers the term “indoor air quality,” which is a term more familiar to homeowners. The air in your home can produce many of the same results seen in a sick office building if it’s low-quality and left untreated.

You can often determine the quality of air in your home by the health of the people who live there. You should watch for any of the following signs that appear in you or members of your family:

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Coughing
  • Headache
  • Mental fogginess

While it may be tempting to think the symptoms are the result of weather conditions, such as a change in the air pressure or the advent of snow or a thunderstorm, they’re often the signs of a problem with indoor air quality.

One way to determine the cause of these problems is to pay attention to when they start. For instance, if you display any of the symptoms above in the morning before you head to work, then they stop once you leave your home and start again once you return, it’s almost a sure sign that the problem exists inside your home.

These problems can be caused by anything from dust mites and toxic mold spores to cleaners and the off-gassing of newer pieces of furniture. In more extreme cases, the signs above can escalate to more severe symptoms, such as muscle pain, fever, chills, shortness of breath, rashes and chronic sickness.

Here are six additional signs that indicate possible problems with the indoor air quality of your home.

1. Dust Buildup on Surfaces and Around Vents

If your home seems extraordinarily dusty, or if you inspect the HVAC air vents in your home’s system and they’re covered in dust, in all likelihood, you have a problem. At the very least, this is a sign of a buildup of dust mites, pet dander and pollen that aggravates symptoms for anyone who has an allergy and makes breathing more difficult for anyone who has asthma.

2. Humidity Issues

You always want to keep the humidity level in your home between 35% and 50%. This range is an ideal level that will ensure a comfortable feeling in your home and also inhibit the growth of microorganisms.

If your home lacks humidity, the resulting dry air can lead to sore eyes, plugged sinuses, dry, itchy skin and upper respiratory illnesses. Too much humidity, and your home becomes a playground for mold, mildew and other forms of microbes. A humidifier for a too-dry home or a dehumidifier for a too-humid home is likely your best solution.

3. Growths or Odors in Your Home

One of the best indicators of your home’s indoor air quality is your nose. Have you ever walked into someone else’s home and immediately detected that the air was too stale or stuffy? You would never comment on it to your host, of course, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t notice it.

The truth is that sometimes “air pollution” can be worse inside your home than it is outside. Mold and mildew growths can produce that stale, earthy odor that lingers throughout a space. Meanwhile, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) release harmful chemicals into the air. VOCs can be produced by elements such as carpets, children’s craft supplies, paint, new furniture, cleaning products and even that freshly pressed jacket you picked up from the local dry cleaners.

One of the biggest contributors to VOCs inside your home is something that’s supposed to make the air smell better — air fresheners. Air fresheners contain many VOCs that are listed on the side of the can as “fragrance.” Air freshener manufacturers are not required to list the exact breakdown of the chemicals in a can of their product, and people with asthma or other breathing problems often find that air fresheners make their conditions worse.

Tests by the National Resources Defense Council found that some air fresheners contain phthalates, which have been linked to childhood development issues and hormonal problems.

Here are some smells and orders that indicate poor air quality:

  • A musty smell: That musty smell is almost always a sign of mold and mildew in the home, normally caused by high humidity levels and poor air circulation. Look for black or green mold spots on surfaces in your home — they’re normally around sinks, tubs and laundry areas, where exposure to moisture is high.
  • Other unpleasant odors: As we mentioned above, sometimes your home just doesn’t “smell right,” and it can be a sign of chemicals like VOCs in the air, pest infestation or the decomposition of dust or dirt in your home. We all become used to the smell of our homes, so if you want to find out whether you have a problem, step outside in the fresh air for 30 to 60 minutes, then walked back inside. If there’s a problem, your nose will notice it. Try more natural solutions to remove the odors first, such as sprigs of mint or rosemary. You can also open the windows in your home and let fresh air blow in. If that doesn’t help, it’s probably time to seek the assistance of a professional.

4. Condensation

Nobody likes “sweaty” windows in their home. They’re what you get, however, when you have a condensation problem. Condensation occurs when water vapor in the air condenses on cool surfaces, such as windows (one of the first places where condensation will appear), granite countertops, faucets and other surfaces. Any kind of metal frame can develop these issues. While condensation on the outside of that first glass of cold lemonade on a summer afternoon is something you probably look forward to, condensation on items inside your home shouldn’t be as welcome.

Condensation is an even more serious problem for anyone with allergies. Warm, humid environments — ones that contain lots of moisture — encourage the growth of the mold and mildew mentioned above.

Here are some ways that you can combat excessive moisture and condensation in your home:

  • Use a dehumidifier: A good dehumidifier can take as much as a gallon of water out of the air in your home every day. These tools are particularly useful in areas like damp basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms with a shower.
  • Limit plants and aquariums: Aquariums can often add a lovely touch to your home, but they also add a lot of moisture. Don’t group two or three of them together. If you have a lot of plants, try to group them together in a sunny room, and don’t overwater them.
  • Pay attention to indoor heaters: Indoor heaters can help a room feel cozy, but they can also add a lot of moisture to your home. Sometimes they also emit toxic gases. Don’t ever use an unventilated heater indoors if it relies on fossil fuels, like a kerosene heater.
  • Dry your clothes outdoors: Drying your clothes outdoors, of course, is not possible the entire year, especially if you live in a cold climate. Spring and summer, however, are great times for this change, which can reduce the level of moisture in your home and lower your electricity bill too.

5. Dust in the Air

Amid all the other things that you can find in your home if it has poor air quality — such as mold and mildew, VOCs and moisture — is dust. Dust can be composed of dead human cells, dirt from outside, pet dander, pollen, hair, paper fibers and even cosmic particles. A single dust particle can remain suspended in the air for up to five days.

Where there is dust, there are dust mites. Microscopic dust mites are insect-like pests that create some of the most common allergens that trigger allergic reactions or asthma. Hundreds of thousands of them can live in your home. They don’t sting or bite or do anything nasty, but they create allergens from their fecal matter and body fragments.

Dust mites are a big problem for people with allergies or asthma. Ongoing exposure to dust mites in the home can create an immune system response known as allergic rhinitis. These responses can range from mild to severe. Occasional sneezing, watery eyes or a runny nose are mild conditions. In more severe situations, persistent sneezing and coughing and severe asthma attacks are common.

These dust mites are found in almost every home in America. Since dust mites don’t actually drink water but absorb it through their bodies via moisture in the air, a home with high humidity and moisture is more than likely to have a lot of dust mites. That’s why areas of low humidity, such as desert communities in states like Arizona and New Mexico, have far fewer problems with dust mites than states like Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

If you want to know how to improve your indoor air quality, here are a few ways you can reduce the number of dust mites in your home and help anyone who has allergies or asthma:

  • Vacuum often: Use a vacuum with strong suction and a HEPA filter. In areas of high traffic, vacuum more than once. If you do have carpets, make sure you get around the edges — that’s a great place for dust and dust mites to gather. Vacuum at least twice a week for the best results, and make sure you clean your filter regularly.
  • Reduce humidity: If you keep your home at the 35% to 50% humidity level, you’ll have fewer problems with dust mites.
  • Wash bedding at least once a week: You’re more frequently exposed to the allergens created by dust mites when you’re sleeping or when the dust is disturbed while you’re making your bed or even moving around at night. Washing your bed linens at least once a week is important particularly if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
  • Remove all carpeting, drapes and curtains: If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, remove all materials where dust and dust mites are known to congregate. Carpets are very bad for people with allergies or asthma. Drapes and curtains are not quite as bad as carpets, but if possible, they should be removed and replaced with blinds.
  • Mop it up: After you vacuum your home, remember that mopping removes the dust that vacuuming leaves behind. You don’t need to use soaps and cleaners — you use those when you want to clean your floors. If you want to remove leftover allergens and dust, plain water works just fine. Try a new microfiber mop or dust cloth, which can pick up more dust and dirt than traditional fibers.

6. Air Without the Enough Moisture

As you’ve seen above, too much moisture in the air is one of the main causes of inferior indoor air quality. If you’re worried about too much moisture in the air, some of the suggestions above — such as not over watering your plants, not having too many aquariums in the same room, drying your clothes outdoors when you can and buying a good dehumidifier — will help.

If you’re worried that your home doesn’t have enough moisture in the air, a humidifier can solve the problem. If you’re concerned about finding the right kind of dehumidifier or humidifier for your home, you should contact the experts at OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. in Northern Virginia — we can help you find the right whole home humidifier and dehumidifier solutions.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have an Air Quality Issue

It can often be difficult to determine the real cause of air quality issues. Is the issue mold or mildew? Do you have too much moisture in the air? Do you have a problem with dust and dust mites? Do you need a humidifier or a dehumidifier? Could your current HVAC system be contributing to your air quality problems in your home?

If you’re not sure about the answers, it’s likely time to consult an expert like OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. We’re a family owned and operated business located in Lorton, Virginia, and we’ve been servicing the Fairfax, Springfield and Northern Virginia areas since 1998. Our main goal at Oasis is quality — quality service, quality repairs and quality installations. Our dedicated staff will work with you to make sure your experience with Oasis is exactly what you need and more.

If you have any concerns about the air quality in your home and want a professional evaluation to help you determine the best solutions, call us at 703-339-3877 or contact us online so that you can tell us about your indoor air quality concerns. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Continue Reading

Why an Oversized Air Conditioner Is a Serious Problem

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Oversized Air Conditioner Problems

Are you in the market for a new air conditioning system, either as a replacement for an older, ailing AC unit or as part of your new home? It’s important to have HVAC professionals involved in the process from the very beginning, not just for the actual few hours of work required to put the system in place and hook it up. You’ll want them to take the proper measurements, so you can be sure you have the correct size of unit for your home. If the air conditioner is too small, it will not provide the cooling your home needs. If it is too large, it causes its own set of problems.

Continue Reading

How to Prepare Your AC for the Winter

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

When you look at the headline of this post, you might wonder if we’ve gone a touch crazy. Temperatures are dropping and it’s already December! Why would you need to worry about preparing the air conditioning system for this kind of weather?

Continue Reading

Fall Is Here… Is It Time to Replace That Old Air Conditioner?

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Now that we are moving into fall, we can expect to experience some relief from the very hot summer weather. The cold of winter still lies some distance away, and our air conditioners may need to do some more work until then, but it’s a good time to start thinking about whether your AC is in good enough shape to keep working for another few years… or if now is the ideal time to take advantage of the slower fall season and have it replaced.

Continue Reading

Tripped Breakers and Air Conditioning Repair in Arlington, VA

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

You expect your air conditioning to work hard for you in Virginia, where the warm and muggy weather can make it extremely uncomfortable inside your home without cooled air circulating through it. When your air conditioner stops working, it can be as serious a problem as having your electricity go out. Indeed, electrical issues and air conditioning problems are closely linked: a malfunctioning AC can cause blown fuses. If turning on your air conditioner causes a tripped circuit breaker, your unit probably needs immediate professional check-up and repair.

One possible cause of a tripped circuit breaker is the compressor in your AC. The compressor requires the most energy to run of any part of your air conditioning system. If your compressor is a “hard starter,” it may overload circuits and trip a breaker. To fix the problem requires fixing the wiring in the compressor or even getting a replacement. An expert can come to your home to diagnose the electrical trouble with the compressor and provide the necessary repairs to get your air conditioning working again without causing a blown fuse.

Another reason for your AC tripping a circuit breaker is problems in the capacitor. This cylindrical device does the job of transmitting voltage to the condenser to keep it operating. Broken wiring can cause the capacitor to malfunction and send a power surge that causes the tripper breaker. A professional can perform electrical tests on the capacitor to determine what steps to take to get it running properly again.

Don’t delay calling in an expert when problems like tripped circuit breakers start occurring each time you switch on your AC. Simply trying to “wait out” the trouble won’t fix anything—an air conditioner is not a self-repairing device, and it needs attention from a highly-trained HVAC professional. For Arlington, VA air conditioning repair, OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. is an excellent and dependable resource. Our NATE-certified technicians can determine the repairs you require and provide the necessary work. With 24-hour emergency service in Arlington, we can help you fight the Virginia heat without breaking a sweat. Contact us today!

Continue Reading