Need house A/C advice

telleutelleme

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Obviously it has been hot here in Texas and today my downstairs zone starts heating up. Running but getting warmer. Heat of the day. I have been keeping it warmer lately, about 78.

I've turned it to fan only figuring it has frozen up. I went into the attic opened the shut off and could see water flowing. I poured some bleach in and well see how it is in the morning. At has been keeping it nice at 78 with outside temps in the mid to high 90's.

Probably call the A/C guy tomorrow to check things out.

Anything else I should do in the interim besides sweat or move to the other part of the house?
 

bobio

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If it isn't doing anything on Fan Only, might as well turn it off for a while to let it thaw.
When you turn it back on, crank it up to 85 and inch the thermostat down 1 degree at a time.
Be careful you don't go down too fast or it will just freeze up again.
I would let it sit at each new setting to see if it will hold it, the second it goes back up, you know you went too far.

Our upstairs unit has been struggling here, but turning on the ceiling fans and keeping all the doors open has helped.
The problem with our upstairs unit is that our attic is not well insulated and the air handler and duct work live up there :(
This winter I am going to put some baffles and bat insulation between the rafters and possibly blow in some more insulation over the joists.
 

telleutelleme

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It is creeping up. I turned the fan off. House is well insulated, especially upstairs. Lots of ceiling fans. Will see what happens in morning when I turn it on. Starting at 85 seems a good idea and gradually decreasing it.
 

E5RSY

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I have stopped turning it up on days like this. All that happens is the house warms up to wherever it is set and then the system turns on and runs constantly, as a result, anyway. ON is ON, so why be hot.

I try to cool the house down overnight as much as possible, preferably around 68, then put it to 72/73 when we wake up. At least, that way you're somewhat comfortable. Plus, the system gets a bit of a break in the morning when you turn it up.

p.s. Keep all your blinds closed/shades drawn during the day, as well.
 

bgmacaw

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I fought with my up and downstairs systems that were doing this for about 5 years. I bought big fans to circulate air. I had a a HVAC tech who was working "under the table" patch what he could on the systems a few times. It was cheaper to pay him a few hundred than a $1000+ service call. Finally, I bit the bullet and had both units replaced this summer.

Time to buy the HVAC company owner that Gibson Murphy Labs LP he's been eyeing...

donaldduckmoney400.gif
 

RetiredUnit1

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Usually very dry air here in SoCal, so I use a swamp cooler. I know in some parts of the country they don't work. But on a REALLY dry day, with low dew point it can be over 100 outside and in the high 60's inside. No thermostat, so I have to manually turn it on and off.

I actually HAVE a thermostat, but I have to cut a hole in the wall, install a new gang box and outlet, and yadda yadda yadda

it's on the to do list. ANYWAY if you're in a dry part of Texas you might wanna look into a swamp cooler. They're very inexpensive to run compared to A/C. When I do use the A/C the bill goes up $300 a month......
 

E5RSY

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Also, make sure your condenser fan on the outside unit is running and pulling heat off the system. Mine quit earlier this summer and I had to replace it. Similar symptoms as yours.

Is the air coming out of the vents cooled to any degree, at all?
 

telleutelleme

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Also, make sure your condenser fan on the outside unit is running and pulling heat off the system. Mine quit earlier this summer and I had to replace it. Similar symptoms as yours.

Is the air coming out of the vents cooled to any degree, at all?
When I shut it off and just ran the fan it blew cold air for an hour. Then it was warm. I shut the whole thing off and figure tomorrow I will see if it was the coils frozen and will try cycling it up. The condenser was running.
 

BigDaddyLH

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My A/C wasn't working when I turned it on at the start of hot weather -- I thought "oh, no, here comes a big bill..."

Turned out, it was just a blown capacitor in the outdoor unit -- a capacitor nearly the size of a beer can! Still, pretty cheap for a service call.

Even when it gets over a 100F here during the day, it cools off at night, so we open all the windows and it's cool indoors by morning.
 

Telekarster

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My A/C wasn't working when I turned it on at the start of hot weather -- I thought "oh, no, here comes a big bill..."

Turned out, it was just a blown capacitor in the outdoor unit -- a capacitor nearly the size of a beer can! Still, pretty cheap for a service call.

Even when it gets over a 100F here during the day, it cools off at night, so we open all the windows and it's cool indoors by morning.

Man I had this same thing happen at the beginning of the season. As you say, the capacitor is like small can of soda in size, but it was cheap enough to fix and I'm very grateful that's all it was.
 

Milspec

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I am so glad I didn't have any issues this year with my A/C. We have had more days over 100 degrees than any Summer I can recall. Coming home on Saturday with a 111 degree heat index to find a cool house is such a blessing.

The biggest piece of advice I have when it comes to A/C units are just 2 simple things: Keep the filters and outside fins clean; and never push them too hard. I clean the fins weekly, replace the filter every 2 months, and set the t-stat at 78 degrees.

My neighbor is an hvac guy and he tells me every year that the failures are mainly with units set at really low temps (68 degrees or even lower). He almost never gets a service call when units are set above 77 degrees. On days where the heat index is well above 100 degrees, that 78 degree setting feels damn nice.
 

telleutelleme

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Positive news I think. Cranked up fine this morning. Blowing nice and cold. Will run it warmer today (80) and see if its freezes again. If yes then I will wave money out the door and flag down an A/C guy. They are around like ice cream trucks this summer.🙂
 

4wotitswurth

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Not your case since you were able to run in fan only mode. My compressor froze up at the start of the season, turned out the inside air handler fan had detached from the motor! It’s a carrier system and the fan cage is spot welded to the motor housing, three of the spokes had come adrift. Had to replace the blower motor and mounting bracket… might also be, low coolant level? in Houston too, watching plants and grass wither away…….
 

Jim_in_PA

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Positive news I think. Cranked up fine this morning. Blowing nice and cold. Will run it warmer today (80) and see if its freezes again. If yes then I will wave money out the door and flag down an A/C guy. They are around like ice cream trucks this summer.🙂
Honestly, if you have not had your system serviced for some time, you may be doing a good thing to make an appointment with an HVAC contractor anyway. Like most trades, they are running hard, so better to have a "regular" appointment to have things checked over than to have to do the "emergency call" dance.
 

Preacher

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Don't really know first hand if it works but the last house I owned the guy put a partial fence up as the unit sits on the West side of the house and directly in the sun. The fence shades that area plus the end of the patio. I will have to ask him if it helped out the cooling bill.
 




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