For general questions regarding cooling your home.

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14
votes
4answers
9k views

Why don't programmable thermostats automatically switch between “Cool” and “Heat”?

While I can set my house to be a particular temperature, I still have to manually switch it between "Heat" and "Cool" mode, and this seems to be true of every thermostat (programmable or not) that ...
13
votes
3answers
17k views

Should I cover my air conditioner for winter?

Should I cover my air conditioner for winter? It's difficult to find an appropriate cover, but finding a cover for an evaporation cooler is easy (and because they allow for air flow from the outdoors, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Does building insulation wear out and have to be replaced?

First, a little back-story. I've been having trouble with the air-conditioning system in my south-Texas apartment home for almost two months so far this summer. The apartment manager has been ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I calculate how large an airconditioner my house needs?

I know there are a lot of possible factors that go into determining the size of the air-conditioning system a house needs. Is there a standard way of calculating what is needed, or do A/C companies ...
10
votes
7answers
7k views

How do I reduce how much the sun heats up a front room of my house?

My office room is in the front of the house and facing south. It gets hot very fast during hot days (even in spring). It is a fairly small room and I have computers there attributing to heat. There's ...
9
votes
9answers
10k views

Do thermostat-controlled, auto-adjust HVAC vents exist?

The residential forced-air HVAC systems I have seen are controlled by a single thermostat in one room. One has to manually adjust the vents in order to adjust the temperature in other rooms. Is ...
8
votes
4answers
355 views

Is air conditioner installation a DIY project?

We got a bargain on a brand new 6.2kw Split System Inverter Air Conditioner. The quotes we've received for installation are almost as much as the unit cost itself. Is this something I should be ...
8
votes
2answers
68k views

What's the most common cause of A/C refrigerant lines freezing?

I noticed my house wasn't getting under 75°F this weekend when I had the thermostat set for 70°F. Since I'd done a lot of drywall sanding inside recently, my first idea was to replace the filthy air ...
8
votes
4answers
682 views

What type of regular maintenance should I be doing on my central air conditioning unit?

I have not done any maintenance on my central air conditioning system since I bought my house five years ago. Everything seems to be running fine but is there some sort of maintenance I should be ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I further diagnose my central air conditioning compressor fan motor and capacitor?

I have a 15 year old Bryant Central Air unit in my house. Yesterday it stopped working. Here is what I have checked. The breaker in the basement is not tripped. The furnace works fine from the ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

How much cooling can I expect from a central air conditioner?

Yesterday's high was 106.0F, low of 79.2F, full sun all day. AC set at 78F, indoor temperature reached about 85F. Today's high was 105.4F, low of 81.1F, full sun all day, now about 102 at 7pm. AC ...
7
votes
2answers
18k views

Can I power my air conditioning with solar energy?

In my house I have 3 small air conditioning systems running at 8000 BTU/hour each. I would like to power them with solar energy. I found that I would have to generate: 3.41 BTU/hr = 1 Watt 8000 ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I apply car wax to the outside of my air conditioning unit?

Through different conversations with family members and friends, I have been told that it is good to apply a coat of car wax to the outside of the air conditioning unit frame. I assume that this is to ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why aren't Geothermal heat pumps more common?

Air conditioning and heating are major energy consumers in American buildings - commercial, residential, and industrial. I have been curious for a while as to why it isn't more common to use the ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Can I vent a portable air conditioner inside?

I recently bought a portable air conditioner and was wondering if it is absolutely necessary to vent it to the outside. I plan on using it in a room that doesn't have a window as was wondering if I ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I determine why my A/C runs all day?

I have a Bryant AC/Furnace unit. My house is 10 years old. A heat wave hit this weekend & temps got up to 95°F outside. I had my thermostat set to 75°, and it ran all day. The ...
6
votes
5answers
11k views

Turning off Air Conditioning when out of the house for extended time

Most people that live in cold climates know that you should not turn your heat off when you go away for an extended period of time. Just turn it down so the pipes don't freeze. What about the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to leave window opened and air conditioner ON (cooling) at night?

At night temperature outside is usually lower than temperature set on AC. So looks like conditioned air should not leak outside (if it does, it is replaced with even colder air) and it is fine to ...
6
votes
1answer
823 views

Why do my lights dim, when my neighbor's central AC turns on?

I understand that the lights would dim with a dryer or large AC on my own circuit system, but is it normal for that to happen when my neighbor's central AC turns on? I validated the timing (hearing ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

What are the recommended settings for a dual-zone air conditioning unit?

What are the recommended settings for an air conditioning unit that is dual-zone? Meaning, if I have a house that is two stories I know that in Florida they recommend you keep it at 78 F in the summer ...
6
votes
1answer
24k views

Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?

Our air conditioner recently stopped blowing out cold air. When I went to check on it, I noticed that the outside unit wasn't coming on. We had had problems with ants in the contacter in the past, ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I stop my lights dimming when my Air Conditioning turns on?

I have no noticeable problems with my house's electricity, but when my Air Conditioner kicks in (and here in Central Texas, it kicks in year round) my lights dim for a second or so and then run ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

AC Coolant pipe has condensation and leaks inside wall

I've got an old AC unit (probably 13+ years old) that came with the house that I bought. This summer I noticed some water damage on the drywall in the basement, so I cut the damaged drywall away, and ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I install a portable air conditioning unit in a large sliding window?

I have a large sliding window that is 53 inches top to bottom and I want to install a portable air conditioning unit. The kind that don't sit in the windows but vent to the window. The window ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to keep my air conditioner from freezing when it is cool outside?

My bedroom is the hottest room in the house, and even with all the windows open and fans in them doesn't cool off as much as I would like when it's an acceptable temperature outside. And I prefer to ...
5
votes
2answers
991 views

How do outdoor mist-cooling A\C units fare in real-world usage?

I live in Phoenix where summer outdoor temperatures regularly exceed 110°F and humidity around 15% or lower is not uncommon. In this environment a mist system can easily pull the temperature down ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

What to use to funnel floor air vent in cabinent for proper air flow

I ripped the "floor" of the kitchen cabinet out to reveal that all along, my vent was funneling air like this, an open hole. The circular opening is about 6 inches across both ways. I need to funnel ...
4
votes
3answers
829 views

Advice for replacement/repair of an HVAC with a cracked heat exchanger?

My townhouse has a downflow 1994 Rheem 2.5 ton HVAC unit on its roof (combines both A/C and heat). We have had two issues with the unit and have been in the townhouse for a little under two years. In ...
4
votes
5answers
10k views

How often should I run a bleach and water solution through condensate lines?

How often do you need to run a bleach and water solution through the condensate drain lines (of a heat pump) to keep the bacteria away? What are the recommended parts (e.g. 1 part bleach, 10 part ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I air-condition a garage without modifying it?

So my apartment has an attached garage and I love having it, but I also live in Las Vegas where, today, it was over 100F outside. I have been considering air conditioning the garage, or even just a ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Why is the upstairs a lot hotter in a 2 story duplex?

I've lived in my current duplex for about 5 years now and every summer, my upstairs portion of the duplex gets noticeably hotter than downstairs. I couldn't give an exact measurement but 10 degrees ...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

Should I insulate air conditioner coolant pipes?

I recently replaced some rotted insulation on the coolant pipe that runs out of my AC unit and into the evaporator in my house. When cleaning inside the actual AC unit itself I noticed that the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I plug an air conditioner and a chest freezer into the same outlet?

I have a Gibson/Frigidaire through the wall AC unit plugged into a dedicated 3-prong outlet in my a room of my apartment. I'd like to put a chest freezer in my office for homebrewed beer. Is it safe ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Do two 5k BTU air conditioners produce the same cooling power as one 10k BTU unit?

Could you interchange 10k BTU air conditioner with 2 5k BTU air conditioner and get the same result? Or is there a reason why buying one 10k BTU air conditioner is better than having 2 5k BTU air ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How long do evaporator coils last in a home AC system?

I was going through my blog roll this morning when I saw that someone had asked this elsewhere. I figured it would be a good question to ask. In general, how long do evaporator coils last in a home ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What should I do about a central air duct leaking above my ceiling?

My closet ceiling is leaking a brown liquid. Right above it is an air duct for my central air. I think the liquid is dirty or rusty water that has accumulated in the duct. I can hear it dripping ...
4
votes
1answer
584 views

A/C escaping down the staircase

I live on the second floor of a century-old house that doesn't have central air. We have a large window A/C unit in the main hall but our front door is at the bottom of the stairs rather than the top. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

AC in the attic affects downstairs but not upstairs

We have one AC unit (roughly 1 year old) connected to two zones: Zone 1 is upstairs and Zone 2 is downstairs. Yesterday, our AC seemed to completely stop working for the upstairs but continue to work ...
4
votes
1answer
707 views

two condensate drains?

we just had a new AC system installed in my florida house. the unit is in the garage, and the air handler is vertical with the evaporator on top. the unit he removed had 2 condensate lines: one that ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

How does low freon cause the compressor suction line to freeze up

There are many questions about air conditioner issues with the most common being that it isn't cooling properly. Among the typical answers are low Freon and the standard diagnosis for low Freon is ...
4
votes
3answers
661 views

How can I redirect the discharge of my forced air vent?

An AC/heating register on our kitchen ceiling blows air directly toward a gas cooktop causing the flames to flicker. Adjusting the register doesn't seem to make a difference. I've looked into air ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I prevent water from collecting near the blower fan blades of a portable air conditioner?

I have a GE portable Air Conditioner (APH10AA). It's about 10 years old (I guess; we got it used). It works good (blows cold air), but in the last year or two it's regularly been getting water ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What could be causing the delay in the start up of my air conditioner?

I have an air conditioner that is probably 15 years old now. The problem is when I turn it on after it has been off for a long period of time (several hours) it takes a long time for the outdoor unit ...
3
votes
3answers
12k views

How much less power does a three-phase A\C unit use as apposed to a 220v unit?

I'm planning to install a 5 ton central AC. I'm deciding between a condensing unit that runs on 220V and a costlier unit that runs on 207Y three-phase. My understanding is that three-phase motors use ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Why won't my AC system turn off after I flipped the breaker?

We've got a central cooling air conditioner that was installed in 1984 with a thermostat from that same year. We are replacing the thermostat with a new programmable one (which has a 100% ...
3
votes
3answers
895 views

What can cause the capacitor in an air conditioner to fail?

I just had the capacitor on my air conditioner fail. It was explained to me that the reason for this was the oil inside the capacitor got too hot, expanded, made the whole thing bulge, and no more ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Besides insulation and air conditioning unit, what else is there to check if my A/C isn't keeping me cool?

I live in an apartment home where the indoor temperature has risen to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit daily for the past two months. The outdoor temperature regularly reaches 100 degrees and the weather ...
3
votes
2answers
306 views

Are clogs in the AC condensate drain common in Florida?

I have a two year old central A/C unit. Every 2/3 months the unit shuts off. I called the rep/maintenance company and they have given me the following response: The cause of the issue is algae ...
3
votes
3answers
671 views

Apartment cooling with fans

I've just moved into an apartment without an air conditioner in Sunnyvale, California. The weather is not too hot, but there are going to be some pretty warm days in the summer, especially since I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Geothermal Resources

I am very interested in learning more about Geothermal solutions for my house. What are the best resources for learning about and planning a Geothermal systems for a residential house? Also, does ...