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Air Conditioning Troubleshooting For Homeowners

Air Conditioning TroubleshootingA Homeowner’s Guide To Troubleshooting A/C Equipment Prior To Calling The Repairman

Sometimes even a reliable HVAC service contract through the very best HVAC maintenance firm fails to prevent the need for a bit of rushed homeowner-handled air conditioning troubleshooting. Facts are simple: A well-serviced home A/C system typically runs without a great deal of unexpected complications.

However… Simple accidents and minor process failures do occasionally demand attention.

When you call a quality well-staffed HVAC service center you expect a rapid and often same day response to your home heating or cooling problems. Yet quick service does not always ensure that you will not lose a few hours of work time, or vacation time, or perhaps miss a baseball game you promised to attend.

Thankfully, some of the basic functional problems associated with your typical ducted split-type home air conditioning system can be corrected in record time by you the homeowner. The following tips are not designed to replace scheduled routine HVAC maintenance and service processes. However, this guide will help you check for a quick solution in a tough home cooling or heating situation.

It’s not about trying to save the cost of calling in an A/C repairman. It’s just about avoiding loss time when the problem could be handled by a bit of basic air conditioning troubleshooting.  

** Note **

The following tips are not all-inclusive. Furthermore, we make no effort to evaluate your knack for performing A/C troubleshooting processes. If you do not understand the steps involved in a given process, call someone better qualified for the job.


5-Step Simple Air Conditioning Troubleshooting

1) HVAC System Not Cooling

  1. Confirm that the thermostat/controller temperature setting reflects your cooling expectations and that the unit is set to cooling rather than heating or off.
  2. Check and if necessary reset the main HVAC breaker in your home circuit breaker box. Also check the breaker that is typically located near to modern A/C condensing and heating units.
  3. Visually confirm that both the indoor air handler and the outdoor condensing units are physically running.
  4. Visually confirm that the outdoor condensing unit is not frozen over with ice.
  5. Disengage the main HVAC breaker at your home circuit breaker box. Wait at least one hour before restarting. This may force the system to reset itself.

2) Limited or Nonexistent System Airflow

  1. Ensure that all air filters used in any of your HVAC system components are clean. Replace if necessary. If your system is under an A/C maintenance contract, report the issue to the service provider. You may need to install a better grade of filter or isolate the cause for excess dust in your home.
  2. Visually examine any external or internal units for signs of water accumulation in, near or own the exterior or indoor coil enclosure. Ice accumulation on the external Air Conditioning condensing unit is easily to spot. On the inside unit, be it in the attic, basement or crawlspace, hand test for an excessively cold exterior surface.

3) Overflow From the Indoor Air Handler Drain Pan

  1. Remove any clogs blocking the exhaust pipe on the drain pan (See illustration). If there are not in the exhaustExhaust on Air Handler Drain Pan pipe, this homeowner-handled air conditioning troubleshooting secession should be promoted to the professionals. In the mean time, protect your floors and attic by turning the system off.

4) Compressor Fails But Fan Runs or Compressor Starts But Fan Fails

  1. If the compressor fails to start, there is not much the average homeowner can do. The problem can relate to a bad compressor or merely a system that is low on refrigerant. To fix, call your local HVAC service center.
  2. If the condenser fan fails to turn but the compressor starts, the problem may reside in the condenser fan motor. This repair is also beyond the scope of the average homeowner. Call in the pros.

5) Great AirFlow But Poor Cooling

  1. Measure the temperature difference between the air leaving the air handler and the air entering the air handler. Modern high efficiency air conditioning systems typically run with a near 15-degree drop. Older units may show as much as 18 to 20 degrees difference.
  2. Temperature drops that are below the norm indicate that your system is low on refrigerant. Call in a local HVAC service tech to correct the problem.
  3. Temperature drops that greatly exceed the door indicate that the system is suffering a problem with the airflow system. Clean or replace the air filter. If that does not resolve the problem, ensure that the evaporator coils are clean. It that too fails to resolve the problem, clean the blower wheel.
  4. Possible causes also include improper system design and/or installation, an incorrectly sized duct system, or simply a failure to perform routine HVAC maintenance.

Additional Help Via The ACH Study Guides Resource Links

The preceding air conditioning troubleshooting tips are geared toward homeowners who are seeking a quick fix for a simple and basic HVAC heating or cooling issue. Perhaps you need greater details and a move advanced air conditioning and heating tips guide. Have no fear. Check out the American Cooling and Heating consumer literature page. It’s under the Tips menu. There you can find ACH links to News, Certification study guides, and various other A/C related consumer literature.



1. Any HVAC service should only be performed by a licensed, fully trained, and competent
person and/or company.
2. The contents in this article reflect accumulated data from various sources. ACH cannot and
does not accept any legal responsibility to any person in respect of anything or the consequences
of any reader responses, actions or lack of actions associated with reliance upon the whole or any
part of this article and its content. All trademarks, logos, and associated content displayed are the
property of their respective owners.


HVAC Maintenance Agreements – For the Best in Heat Pump Performance

24 Hour AC Service In ArizonaHeat Pump HVAC Maintenance Agreements For Homes That Don’t Need A Furnace

In this region of unique heating and cooling requirements, Arizona homeowners have come to expect reliable air conditioning services accompanied by flexible HVAC maintenance agreements. The age of one-size-fits-all has pasted us by. Local climate makes heat pump heating ideal for winter use thus the need for additional furnace equipment gets a bit obsolete. It’s just not all that cold during the Phoenix winter.

Cost is also a driving factor behind system choices. For example: By installing a HP-only system, Phoenix regional homeowners gain three important price saving features: They,

  1. Avoid the installation cost of additional Natural Gas and/or HVAC plumbing
  2. Gain more flexible control over temperature management within the home
  3. Get better pricing on HVAC maintenance service contracts.

In this modern society, homeowners want protection with options. They also seek to establish relations with a trustworthy service center. Company performance during and after HVAC maintenance services help homeowners meet these goals. But there is yet much more to be gained. A well-maintained heat pump can provide effective energy-efficient heating and cooling with long-term cost savings that reach far into the homeowner’s future. Furthermore, a clean and functional heat pump helps the environment while also adding value to the home.

A/C Maintenance Checklist

According to the Energy Star home improvement A/C maintenance checklist, homeowners should expect the American Cooling And Heating Is Your Home Comfort Solution In Arizonafollowing services:

  • Examination of thermostat settings to confirm efficient usage of energy resources
  • General electrical check and tightening of all connections, including taking voltage measurements on said connections as well as on motors
  • Lubrication of moving HVAC system components
  • Examination of the system operation, cycling and safety controls
  • Cleaning of condenser a/c coils and evaporator coils
  • Check and adjust of central heat pump / ac refrigerant levels
  • Clean, examine and adjust blower components to ensure adequate and accurate system airflow
  • Examine gas/oil connections and associated functions such as burner combustion, gas pressure and the condition of the heat exchanger.

Note… Homeowners are typically responsible for cleaning and or changing filters.

Precision HVAC Tune-Ups or Professional HVAC Cleaning: What’s In It For The Homeowner?

Although there are several reasons why a Phoenix A/C service center may offer homeowners an HVAC M/A, “repeat business” stands as the primary factor behind this business choice. According to Decision Analyst, the company that holds a homeowner’s maintenance agreement usually gains the order when system replacement comes due. In short, providing an air conditioning maintenance agreement typically eliminates the competition.

But what’s in it for the homeowner?

Due to excess accumulation of dust and dry weather, the typical Arizona HVAC maintenance agreement should also include two inspections per year and a guarantee of priority service. Some contracts also include a special discount on repairs and parts. Another level of M/A services may include a waiver on diagnostic fees. So much depends on the local company, but homeowners should always make certain that their provider offers:

  • 24/7 A/C response time
  • Certified technicians
  • Evidence of HVAC licensing
  • Bonded securities
  • And reasonable A/C maintenance pricing.

Full-Service HVAC Maintenance Agreements

Ok. It’s really not reasonable to expect a full-service warranty agreement on an aged and obsolete heating and cooling system. However, when a homeowner is seeking a maintenance agreement for a system that is still under warranty, the service provider incurs no liability beyond labor. This means that replacement of parts can be priced into the maintenance agreement. It may result in a bit higher pricing, but it can be money well spent.

AND… of course, if the company holding the agreement is also responsible for the Arizona Heat Pump installation of the warranted unit, the options for better coverage become even more acceptable.    



Arizona Home Maintenance – Installing a Trane Air Conditioning System

Being an Arizona Home Maintenance Expert Doesn’t Make Me an Air Conditioning Technician

Arizona home maintenance is time consuming and sometimes difficult but it can also be rewarding and even therapeutic. However, taking on a home handyman job that is outside my comfort zone leaves me feeling frustrated and overworked. Success in such home ventures is about knowing when to act on your own versus when to hire a professional. Sometimes the line gets blurred and I end up tackling a home repair or home upgrade project that exceeds my desire for personal involvement. Installing HVAC equipment falls into the category of no can do and no want to do.

Perhaps you too are the do-it-yourself type. Or maybe you just know a great local handyman. You’re thinking pickup a great deal on a scratch-n-dent heat pump system from the local salvage yard and get it installed for near to nothing. The local Arizona home maintenance man even has experience installing an air handler – did it once for his brother-in-law. But more than likely he is also operating without insurance, adequate bonded funds, or even an Arizona HVAC service license.

Here’s the big scoop on handyman services and A/C installation: If your next home improvement project involves the installation of a Trane Air Conditioning system or any other type of heating and cooling equipment, think long and hard before you eliminate the value of hiring an Arizona HVAC professional installation team. Don’t risk a voided Trane AC warranty, sloppy work, or a future house fire.

Home Maintenance Is One Thing; Installing AC Is Another

Avoiding the trained air conditioning service dealers in Arizona is a bad decision. I’m no stranger to handyman work, plumbing installation, electrical projects or any other construction task. When working in areas in which I lack experience, I know how to do the homework that enables safe, reliable and efficient project management and project completion. I can install and wire a new in-wall oven, a security system, and even an outdoor whirlpool. I can add insulation to the walls, lay brick, and even remove, resize and replace windows and doors.

However, when it comes to heat pumps, furnace systems and air handlers, I am lost. If the work only involved the mechanics and the electronics of the task, installing a new Trane Air Conditioning system would be a project I can handle. But:

  • What about the problem of right sizing the unit to fit my home floor plan and square footage?
  • Where should I locate the registers and is the existing ductwork sufficient for use with new and improved air-conditioning components?
  • What if mold is already present? How do I work with it?
  • Can I mix and match old and new HVAC equipment or should I do a full upgrade?

And what about the model and brand choices? Even if I decide to go Trane on all equipment, which unit or combination of units will most efficiently and effectively fit the exact needs of my home? The options seem endless. For example: Do I go with a:

  1. Trane XR95 with a 95% energy efficient furnace rating at 60,000 btu and with a Trane cased aluminum indoor coil. And a Trane XR13 2.5 ton air conditioner
  2. Trane XV95 with a 97% efficiency 2-stage furnace and a variable speed blower that pumps out 60,000 / 40,000 btu. With a Trane XR15 2.5 ton 15-SEER air conditioner for cooling.
  3. Or does either of the above options even apply to my 2500 square foot, 2-story home?

Even if I had the equipment to perform the right load test and make certain I get the right A/C system for my Arizona home, I still have to consider what options need to be included. Looking at things such as added safety controls, advanced thermostat efficiency, and extended Trane Air Conditioning warranty options seems to make the demand for research endless. I want energy efficient heating and cooling equipment that is sufficient but not wasteful. As such, I buy Trane because of the Trane history for quality and service. But I also pay attention to support and warranty coverage.

If while handling my own home maintenance, I short-circuit the air handler, will the Trane warranty cover the A/C installation errors of a home handyman? No? I think installing a Trane Air Conditioning system is better if left in the hands of an insured, bonded and licensed Arizona HVAC professional.



Mesa Air Conditioning Buying – 5 Air Conditioning Buying Tips

Goodman Air Conditioning On Sale NowMesa Air Conditioning Buyer’s Guide – Getting The Best In A/C Installation As Well As Performance

You don’t have to live in Mesa Arizona to make use of this Mesa Air Conditioning buyer’s guide. However, as a special promotion to Mesa residents, from now until July 9th, 2014 American Cooling and Heating is giving a “10% Discount On HVAC Maintenance Services*” to Mesa, AZ homeowners. So make it happen. The ACH 24/7 HVAC service team is on-call, stocked for repairs, and ready to roll into your neighborhood.

Meantime, the following Air Conditioning and Heat Pump buyer-tips can help every homeowner get the right product for the right price and backed by the right A/C installation team.

Make Quick, Simple, Reliable HVAC Buying Decisions


1) Unit Sizing

Avoid HVAC contractors who size units according to floor area alone. It takes about an hour for an A/C technician to match a structure’s cooling needs to the guidelines established by Manual J of the ACCA (Air Conditioner Contractors of America). Measurements must include window space, wall space, and the total area of ceiling space, as well as floor area. All new A/C installation estimates performed by American Cooling and Heating also take into account:

  • Homeowner comments and suggestions
  • The efficiency and effectiveness of the existing attic, crawlspace and wall insulation
  • Number of occupants living in the home
  • Latent cooling load (humidity of the air)Mesa Air Conditioning At ACH
  • Sensible cooling load (best air temperature for your home)
  • The average daily indoor and outdoor temperatures, and shade areas
  • The color of the roof on the home
  • AND more.


2) Mesa Air Conditioning System Efficiency

Spend a few dollars more and up the efficiency of your system. New federal regulations demand that all new A/C systems rate 13-SEER or higher. However, the improved Return on Investment (ROI) in energy savings makes it well worth exceeding 13-SEER. Ask your American Cooling and Heating HVAC estimator to point you toward any current ACH “FREE” system upgrade plans. And be sure you stick with ENERGY STAR labeled systems. Saving a penny on a less efficient heat pump or A/C unit is not worth what you loose by stepping out from beneath the ENERGY STAR umbrella of performance commitment.


3) Hardcopy Quotes

Springing for the lowest bid can lead to missing paperwork and quoted cooling load calculations that don’t include all of the ACCA “Manual J” configurations. Get everything in writing and get it in advance of paying for the job. Sure some papers may have to wait until after the service is completed for the final signing, but that should not prevent your HVAC contractor from presenting you with up-front copies.


4) Moisture Management

Air Conditioning condensers and Heat Pumps are similar in cooling function, but the moisture handling efficiency varies between models. The American Cooling and Heating technical team will suggest an air conditioning system that best suits the regional climate for Mesa, or any other specific area of Arizona.


5) Avoid Over-Sizing

Although tonnage and SEER share some points in common, increasing the A/C SEER rating is not the same as increasing the system tonnage. Take care that your Mesa Air Conditioning installation does not include a system that is oversized for your home.

According to Home Energy Saver, better than 1/3 of the installed home air conditioning systems are oversized and less efficient than is to be expected (1). Contractors, they say, often tend to oversize units by as much as 1/2 ton or more. This causes the units to turn on and off more often than necessary, and perform poorly as a dehumidifier. For the homeowner, it means:

  • Higher electric bills
  • AND A reduced level of home comfort.


Mesa Air Conditioning From A Reliable Local Company

American Cooling and Heating provides valley-wide air conditioning and heating services for residential, commercial and industrial customers. The company has outlets and offices in various Phoenix metro regions, including outlets for Mesa Air Conditioning installation. ACH installs and services air handlers, furnaces, heat pumps, refrigeration, air conditioning condensing units and other HVAC equipment. Licensed, bonded and insured for HVAC installation and services, ACH carries a standing A+ rating with the Arizona BBB. Products sold, installed and serviced included Amana, Carrier, Goodman, Trane and more.

And remember: From now until July 9th, 2014 American Cooling and Heating is giving a “10% Discount On HVAC Maintenance Services*” to Mesa, AZ residents who own their home. Plus: All HVAC installation and service work performed by American Cooling and Heating is 100% Workmanship Guaranteed. For more information on Mesa Air Conditioning buyer options, click here.






  1. Maintenance must be performed by an authorized American Cooling and Heating HVAC technician.
  2. The contents in this article reflect accumulated data from various sources. ACH cannot and does not accept any legal responsibility to any person in respect of anything or the consequences of any reader responses, actions or lack of actions associated with reliance upon the whole or any part of this article and its content. All trademarks, logos, and associated content displayed are the property of their respective owners.







Rheem Air Conditioning – Offering Copeland® Compliant Scroll® Compressor Air Conditioning Solutions

rheem-air-conditioning-heat-pump-condensing-unitsRheem Air Conditioning Division and the 1994 Adoption of Copeland® Compliant Scroll® Compressor Technology

The Rheem Air Conditioning Division operates from three facilities in the United States, all ISO 9000 certified and all in the lower states of the nation. Shipping throughout North American and other world regions, the full line of commercial and residential Rheem heating and cooling products come out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Greenville, Alabama and Milledgeville, Georgia. The Rheem Manufacturing distribution network includes more than 15,000 locations throughout the world. Brand labels applied to Rheem heating and cooling products include: Rheem, Ruud and WeatherKing. The company currently employees approximately 3,500 direct workers.

Designed to ensure customer satisfaction, Rheem air conditioning products are designed to meet or exceed industry standards. And Rheem, as a company, is always seeking to grow and improve their product lines. For years, the Rheem Manufacturing Company A/C division has been making bold headlines in the realm of air conditioning technology. In December of 1998, the company released a press release declaring installation of over three million Copeland® Compliant Scroll® Compressors. Today, Rheem includes the Copeland as a standard component of every Rheem-crafted residential condensing unit.

Identified among the quietest, most durable condensing compressors on the market, Scroll compressors enhance home comfort for millions of Americans and residents throughout the world. According to William Lux, Rheem Vice President Marketing, “Compliant Scroll Compressors use an advanced orbiting technology that eliminates the need for pistons and valves found in old-fashioned reciprocating compressors,” (1). Mr Lux addresses the Copland Scroll as the “…most efficient compressor technology ever invented.” And we all know that efficient performance reduces the demand for HVAC maintenance calls.

It was in 1987 when Copeland first introduced the Compliant Scroll Compressors. By 1988, the Rheem air conditioning division accepted the performance tests and began installing the advanced Copeland compressors into residential heating and cooling equipment. The product was extremely successful, and in 1994 Rheem Manufacturing adopted an “all-scroll” initiative. The “Scroll Inside™” label is now a registered trademark of Rheem Manufacturing Company.Copeland Scroll Compressor

Simplicity is the core of the product’s success. Scroll technology incorporates two scroll-shaped elements that work to compress refrigerant gas in a reliable and continuous fashion. Gas entering from the outside of the scroll is regulated in a series of sealed crescent-shaped pockets that are form when the orbiting element contacts the stationary scroll. The process continues and the pockets grow progressively smaller as they near the center of the compressing cycle. The gas is continuously compressed right up to the moment of discharge.

According to the Copleland Director of Air Conditioning Marketing, Brandy Powell, the patented Copeland compliance process functions on a concept wherein two scroll components interact to consecutively achieve radial and axial compliance for best efficiency and durability. The advantages are as follows:

  • Minimized Gas Leakage – Applied centrifugal force enables the technology to achieve continuous flank contact, which assures maximum effective performance with minimum gas leakage.
  • Improved Reliability – Applied radial compliance between components enables the process to effectively, reliably and durably separate the presence of debris and/or liquid refrigerant.
  • Elimination of Tip Seals – By enabling the scroll to maintain continuous contact during all normal processes, applied axial compliance reduces leakage without need for tip seals.
  • Wear In Performance – Both the axial and the radial elements of the compliance process enable the scroll components to “wear in” as opposed to wearing out.


Rheem Air Conditioning Technology Always On The Move

Just because it was way back in 1994 when Rheem first adopted the all-inclusive Copeland® Compliant Scroll® Compressor Technology program, don’t think the company isn’t daily state-of-the-art. Here are just a few simple headlines to help you keep perspective (2):

* July 31, 2013 – Under the Rheem and the Ruud brands, the Rheem Air Conditioning division debuts a new gas furnace line capable of delivering efficiencies that exceed 98 percent AFUE.

* December 4, 2013 – Rheem expands heating, cooling and pool/spa product options and services by acquiring Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG) and the associated refrigeration equipment technological opportunities.

* February 26, 2014 – U.S. Senator Shelby visits local Rheem water Heating Manufacturing Facility. Finding ways to enhance the community job market and the environment remains a priority with the Rheem air conditioning division.


Maintenance Services: 10-Percent Discount On All ACH Maintenance Services

Even the best HVAC equipment in the world requires maintenance. As your Rheem air conditioning system ages, components fail and efficiency tumbles. American Cooling and Heating is here to offer you 24/7 A/C installation, services, repairs and maintenance. If you haven’t yet taken care of your equipment, now is the time to take advantage of our

10-Percent Discount On All American Cooling and Heating Maintenance Services.

Offer good from now to June 13, 2014.

We also provide:

  • Installation on all major brands of heating and cooling equipment
  • Support based on your individual needs
  • Custom ductwork
  • Oil to gas conversions
  • Free estimates
  • AND more.

For more information on Rheem air conditioning, click here.


Disclaimer: This article and its content do not constitute legal, financial, technical, or medical advice. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that this document is correct at the time of publication, the company and its employees and agents disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of anything or the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of this article and its content. All trademarks, logos, and associated content displayed are the property of their respective owners. 





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