Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for May, 2017

Zone Air Conditioning: Ducted vs. Ductless

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Zone control is a method of receiving air conditioning (and heating as well) from a forced-air system. Instead of cooling down an entire home at once whenever the AC comes on, zone control allows a homeowner to decide which rooms (or “zones”) receive the conditioned air.

Installing zone control for a home has some obvious advantages: energy savings from reduced use (you don’t need to cool down unused guest rooms), temperature tailored to the needs of separate rooms (keep the kitchen cool, a baby’s bedroom warmer), and individual comfort for each resident (people can set the zone they are in to suit them).

However, not all zone control systems work the same way. There are two broad options: you can have zone control installed into the ventilation system of a pre-existing HVAC system, or you can have a ductless mini split heat pump installed, which by default work as zone control systems because it uses separate blower units throughout a house. Which is the best choice for zone control?

You can find out your best options for zone air conditioning in Arlington, VA with a call to OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. We specialized in installing ducted and ductless zone control in homes.

If you already have an HVAC system in your home that uses ducts and you don’t plan to do major renovations in the future, you should probably consider going with a zone control system retro-fit into the ductwork. This involves professionals placing dampers connected to zone thermostats into the ductwork, then hooking the individual thermostats into a central control panel.

However, people looking for an option that will save space, fit into an older home without vents, or as part of new home construction, should give the advantages of ductless mini splits serious consideration. Zone control is only one of the benefits of going ductless: you won’t lose efficiency through leaky ducts, nor will you need to worry about a drop in indoor air quality due to ductwork becoming dirty and dusty.

The choice will come down to your home and your own future plans. Ductless is a larger change, but sometimes the one that will pay off the most. Zone control in ducts is easier to install and requires less drastic changes. Which one is better is something you’ll need a professional installer help you decide.

You can trust to our more than 15 years of experience providing local homeowners with quality comfort.

Call OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. today and we’ll look into how best to provide you with zone air conditioning in Arlington, VA. 

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Arlington, VA Air Conditioning Question: Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

The effectiveness and efficiency of your air conditioning system are of paramount importance during the summer months. With professional installation and routine maintenance, you can ensure that your AC works well for the years to come. But eventually due to general wear and tear and the strain and stress of the summer heat, your AC may need professional repair. One common problem that you may face during the service life of your AC occurs when your air conditioner blows warm air.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this could happen:

  • Low refrigerant: The refrigerant that circulates through your coils and components is chemically designed to produce radical fluctuations of temperature under different pressure conditions. This allows it to be an effective conductor of thermal energy, thus enabling it to efficiently remove the heat from your home as well as cool your home with conditioned air. However, if the level of refrigerant in your AC is low, then it cannot work efficiently or effectively. The most common cause for this is a leak, which should be repaired before your system can be recharged.
  • Dirty condenser coils: If your outdoor condenser coils are caked in dust and debris, then they cannot perform their essential function of dissipating heat into the outdoor air. Because of their location, they are subject to higher levels of debris than your indoor coils. Your AC should be professionally maintained on a regular basis to ensure that your condenser is safely cleaned.
  • Overheated compressor: Your compressor is the engine of the AC, and as such, it undergoes a lot of wear and tear, especially during the summer months. If there are airflow or low refrigerant issues, then your compressor may overheat, and not be able to work as effectively.

The cause of the warm air in your home needs to be diagnosed in person by a qualified technician. Call OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. today for comprehensive Arlington, VA air conditioning services. 

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Fairfax, VA Air Conditioing Guide: What to Do if Your Air Conditioning Makes Strange Sounds

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Do you hear a subtle hissing sound coming from your outdoor unit? Or perhaps a banging noise from your indoor air handler? If you’re unsure what do if your AC is making a strange sound, then you need only get in touch with your local Fairfax, VA air conditioning technician. AC’s are complicated machines, full of various electrical and mechanical systems and a wide variety of components. There are numerous things that can go wrong with your air conditioner, no matter what type or brand it is. In this post, we’d like to share with some explanation about what these sounds can indicate. While you should expect a certain amount of sound from your AC during operation, unusual or loud sounds that suddenly arise should be taken as an indication that something’s not right. Call OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. today for comprehensive air conditioning repair services.

  • Hissing: If you notice a hissing sound around your ductwork, then there’s probably an air leak in your ductwork somewhere. This will probably have to be professionally sealed in order to restore your lost energy efficiency and cooling performance. But if you hear hissing around your coils or compressor, then it could mean you have a refrigerant leak. This can cause serious problems with the operation of your AC, including compressor overheating.
  • Banging: If it sounds like there is a banging sound coming from your AC, there might be a loose part knocking around inside the system. Alternatively, there could be a damaged fan blade that is banging against another part of the system. This is probably causing significant damage to the interior of your AC unit, so you should get it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Grinding: This is a disturbing mechanical sound that may indicate a serious issue. Turn off your AC and call for professional repair. The bearings in your blower motor may have dried out, and further operation may cause serious damage.

We hope this gives you some idea about what sounds can mean for the operation of your air conditioner. Call OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. today for air conditioning repair services in Fairfax, VA.

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The Difference That a Quality Air Conditioning Installation Makes

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

The only type of air conditioning system that you can install on your own is a simple window unit (although you may want a friend to help you balance it). If you live in a home that requires the power of a central AC, you cannot take on its installation as a DIY project. You must have qualified professionals to handle this service from the start—preferably technicians who have many years of experience.

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Air Conditioning Trouble: Is It the Thermostat?

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

There are different reasons for an air conditioner to malfunction during the period each spring and summer when it does the most work. Basic wear and tear is one common cause. Another is electrical troubles. Leaking refrigerant can trigger multiple serious problems that require fast repair before they grow worse.

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How Humidity Reduces Your Air Conditioner’s Effectiveness

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Air conditioning repair in Alexandria has to handle all kinds of issues, from leaky refrigerant to broken fan motors. Many customers are surprised to learn, however, that humidity plays a factor in how their air conditioning system functions, and thus is an important consideration during many types of repairs. Virginia residents certainly aren’t strangers to humidity – we get pretty muggy here in the summer – but you may not know just how humidity reduces your air conditioner’s effectiveness.

Humidity & Your Air Conditioner

In the first case, humidity plays a large role in our comfort levels. Human beings usually need relative humidity levels to be between 30% and 50% in order to stay comfortable. Why? Those levels allow sweat to evaporate off of our skin, which makes us feel cooler. When humidity levels are too high, there’s too much moisture in the air and your sweat won’t evaporate. That leaves you feeling sweaty and gross, as well as preventing your body from lowering its overall temperature.

Air conditioner help out with that as part of the normal cooling process. Cooling temperatures cause moisture in the air to move from a gaseous to a liquid state. (That’s why dew forms on plants and grass in the early hours of the morning, when temperature are lowest.) As the air conditioner cools the air, it pulls moisture from the air and sends it back into your home. As it runs, that reduces humidity levels and helps you feel more comfortable.

Unfortunately, if humidity levels are high, that means the air conditioner has to work much harder in order to help you feel comfortable. Yes, it can remove the moisture in the air, but doing so costs power and energy, lowering its effectiveness in the process. Depending on the situation, you may wish to invest in a more effective air conditioner, or have a professional install a dehumidifier in your home to help with the problem. For air conditioning repair in Alexandria, call upon the experts at Oasis Heating A/C & Refrigeration, Inc.

We understand how humidity reduces your air conditioner’s effectiveness and we can make informed recommendations that fit your particular needs! Call us today.

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Can I Do Air Conditioning Maintenance on My Own?

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The answer to this question is a little bit of “yes” and whole lot of “no.” Let’s start with the “no” part first.

No, You Must Leave Annual AC Maintenance to HVAC Professionals

We cannot exaggerate how important regular air conditioning maintenance is to the performance and longevity of a cooling system. For every year that an AC misses its spring maintenance tune-up and inspection, it will lose around 5% of its energy efficiency and it will also be at an increased risk of suffering from malfunctions or even a complete system breakdown. Regular maintenance will prevent around 85% of repair needs and help a system work for 15 to 20 years without a major loss in efficiency.

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Alexandria, VA Air Conditioning Tip: How Air Conditioning Maintenance Protects Your Comfort and Your AC

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

If you’re on the fence regarding the benefits of an air conditioning maintenance agreement, then we’d like to explain to you how it not only benefits you, but also protects your comfort and that of your AC. While a quality installation is critical to reliable cooling, your new AC will rapidly depreciate if it is not kept in solid working shape with routine maintenance. We’ve broken this down into the 3 major aspects of a professional maintenance visit: inspection, cleaning, and tune-up. Call OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. for Alexandria, VA air conditioning services !

  • Inspection: Your AC technician has been trained in the science of cooling: how it works, how it doesn’t work, and how the various components and processes cooperate to give you comfort in your home. Because of the system’s complexity, and how hard it works during the cooling season, various parts need to be professionally inspected. Electrical wiring and connections, condensate drain pump, compressor contactors, air filters, fan belts, coils, and refrigerant levels all need to be checked to make sure they’re working properly. This comprehensive system check-up is key to maintaining the effectiveness and efficiency of your AC.
  • Cleaning: The next step is of course ensuring that the parts of your system are clean. During the inspection process, your tech will have noted any parts that are in need of cleaning, especially the condenser and evaporator coils, the air filter, and the condensate drain pan. Without a clean system, your AC will simply not be able to keep up with the heat and humidity. Dirt, dust, and other debris accumulate within sensitive mechanical parts and this can also lead to premature failure.
  • Tune-up: The AC tech will check to make sure that all parts of the system are adequately tuned-up. The voltage and amp draw of the compressor need to be checked so that your AC has a steady power supply. Also, if your refrigerant level is low, then your AC may need to be recharged. Low refrigerant can cause energy inefficiency and inadequate cooling.

If you’re still unsure about the protection that a routine maintenance plan can offer your home comfort, then contact an Alexandria, VA air conditioning professional at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. to learn more. Call us today! 

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Does My Water Heater Need Regular Maintenance?

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

We like to place special emphasis on routine maintenance for your air conditioning and heating systems. Right now, for example, is the time when you should schedule AC maintenance so the system is prepared to handle the rigors of the coming summer. In fall, you’ll arrange for maintenance for the heating system.

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