Air Conditioning Repair in Gaithersburg, MD: My AC Freezes Up

April 8th, 2013

While the sight of frost during the Gaithersburg, MD summer may be welcome surprise to most homeowners, if your AC freezes up, it can significantly reduce energy efficiency and possibly shut down your system. Because of the use that your AC gets during the cooling season in this area, you need to ensure that your AC is ready to perform whenever you need it to. Taking care of minor problems along the way can go a long way towards preventing freeze-ups, but it may be only a question of time. In this post, we’d like to review this problem so that you can understand a little bit more about what it means when your AC freezes up. For air conditioning repair in Gaithersburg, MD, call Service Doctors today!

The reason for your AC freezing up is probably a combination of factors, but here are some common culprits:

  • Dirty or clogged air filter: Your air filter is designed and specifically placed in your air handler to prevent the passage of pollutants and contaminants into your living space. It also keeps your AC system clean. When it becomes dirty or clogged, however, it can begin to impede the passage of cool air. This cold air can buildup on your evaporator coil and cause it to freeze.
  • Blower motor malfunction: Your blower motor is responsible for sending the recently cooled air in your air handler throughout the ductwork. It is one of the important engines of your AC. Over time, it can become clogged with dust and debris and begin to malfunction. This can dramatically reduce the flow of cool air from your air handler to your ductwork and cause the cold air to build up on your evaporator coil.
  • Low refrigerant: Your air conditioning system requires a precise amount of refrigerant to operate properly. The entire heat transfer process depends on the refrigerant; it is the blood of your cooling system. If there is not enough refrigerant in circulating through the coils, it can cause all sorts of problems to arise, including ice on the indoor coils.

We hope this gives you some sense of how your AC freezes up. It’s important to act quickly. Call Service Doctors for air conditioning repair in Gaithersburg, MD today! 

Air Conditioning Repair in Alexandria, VA: My AC Won’t Start Up

April 1st, 2013

There are a number of different air conditioning problems that are fairly common. Probably the most frequent issue that leads homeowners to contact their air conditioning repair company is an AC that won’t start up. On a hot summer day this can be a pretty alarming situation. Like most air conditioning problems, though, there are a number of different possible causes. Not all of them are terribly serious. However, in most cases a problem with your air conditioner will get worse over time. When you need air conditioning repair in Alexandria, VA, call Service Doctors right away.

Before getting too worked up about an air conditioning system that will not power on, eliminate the best case scenario causes. Go outside and make sure that your outdoor unit has not become disconnected from its power source. Also, check your thermostat. It is possible that it has accidentally been switched over to the heating setting. It sounds obvious, but these things happen. Finally, check your circuit breaker. If a power surge has tripped the breaker then your air conditioning repair will be quite simple. Of course, sometimes the problem is a bit more complicated.

Because the thermostat is the control system of your air conditioner, a broken thermostat may be to be blame for your air conditioning troubles. If temperatures are not registered correctly your air conditioner simply will not know it should be running. There may also be a problem with the wiring in your air conditioning system, or your electrical contacts may be corrupted.

Your relay switch may also be to blame. If your air conditioning system is very old or not properly maintained, the motor may have died in your condenser unit. As you can see, this single problem may have any number of possible causes. Only a qualified air conditioning repair technician will be able to accurately diagnose and reliably resolve your AC problem.

For Alexandria, VA air conditioning repair, call the pros at Service Doctors. We know how important your air conditioning system is to your comfort. Your comfort is our top priority, so we will take every step necessary to have your air conditioner operating properly again as soon as possible.

Strange Noises from Your Air Conditioning in Washington

March 25th, 2013

Homeowners throughout the metropolitan Washington, DC area depend on their air conditioning systems all summer long to provide high quality cooling performance and energy efficiency. One of the most important aspects of having an AC system is taking care of any necessary repairs. Whether your AC is 5 or 15 years old, delaying repairs only exacerbates the problem, and make lead to major damages, if left alone to develop. If your air conditioning system makes strange noises, it’s best to get it looked at now than to wait for it break down in August. For comprehensive air conditioning repair in Washington, DC, call Service Doctors today!

Let’s review some of the most common noises with their corresponding causes:

  • Hissing. Depending on where it is, hissing often indicates a very small leak. In general, the sound of hissing requires pressure and two common places that may develop hissing leaks are your refrigerant coils and the ductwork. Your outdoor compressor unit pressurizes the refrigerant and circulates it through the expansion valve, evaporator coils, and condenser coils. The coils can often be intricate and, while often well protected, they are subject to the same wear and tear as other parts of the system. Ducts are often subject to physical damage, from other nearby construction projects, or by loose connections, which can lead to twisting and crimping.
  • Buzzing. Excessive buzzing is often the result of an electrical problem, perhaps from a circuit overload, or damaged wiring. If you think your outdoor or indoor unit is buzzing, this can be hazardous and dangerous.
  • Squealing. The air handler that blows cool air into your duct system relies on the operation of your blower motor, which has a fan belt. This belt connects to the fan blades, and when it becomes worn or damaged, it can begin to squeal, not unlike the fan belt that operates the radiator in your car.

Recognizing that there is something wrong with your air conditioning system is the first step to repair. The next step is calling your local technician. For comprehensive air conditioning repair in Washington, DC, call Service Doctors today! 

Why You Need Spring Heat Pump Maintenance in Arlington, VA

March 18th, 2013

Summer is just around the corner. Fairly soon, we’ll once again need to rely on our air conditioning systems daily to stave off the hot air and keep us cool indoors. While some homeowners rely on conventional central air systems, others enjoy the year-round comfort of heat pumps. While they use the same basic set-up and mechanism as air conditioners, heat pumps can also reverse the flow of refrigerant to allow for heating during the cold months. With energy costs on the rise, homeowners are always looking for efficient ways of heating and cooling. Like any other mechanical system, however, heat pumps require maintenance to ensure that they’re working effectively and efficiently. For heat pump maintenance in Arlington, VA this spring, call Service Doctors today!

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why heat pump maintenance in the spring is necessary:

  • Timing. Adding heat pump maintenance to your list of spring cleaning duties is a great way to ensure that system is ready for summer, the time when you really need systems to operate well. If you leave maintenance until the summer, you may be unprepared for any minor fixes your system needs, and you won’t be eligible to reduce your energy costs for the whole cooling season.
  • Preventive care. The importance of preventive maintenance is difficult to overestimate. A regularly checked and tuned system ensures that you’re not paying for wasted cool air. It can also extend the life of your system, thereby making sure that your investment is secure for the future. There’s no substitute for professional care!
  • Energy-efficiency. Routine maintenance leads to reduced repair needs and increased efficiency. When a professional air conditioning technician visits your home, he will make sure that your thermostat is communicating the right temperature to your heat pump, that your refrigerant levels are correct, and that your mechanical parts are freely moving and lubricated. Additionally, comprehensive cleaning of your system is the best way to ensure that you’re reducing energy loss.

Spring is an excellent time to make sure that your cooling system is ready for summer. For air conditioning and heat pump maintenance in Arlington, VA, call Service Doctors today! 

Schedule Duct Sealing Before Summer Arrives in Manassas, VA

March 11th, 2013

Your ductwork is responsible for the rapid and efficient circulation of cool air throughout your home all year round, and this becomes especially important in the summer months. Ensuring that your air ducts are clean and free of leaks is not only important to home comfort, but also to energy efficiency. Cracks and leaks in your ductwork may exacerbate the costs of energy consumption this cooling season. Professional duct sealing is a great way to ensure that your air ducts help your AC system perform well this summer and in the years to come. To schedule duct sealing before summer arrives in Manassas, VA, call Service Doctors today!

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of professional duct sealing:

  • Energy-efficiency. When cool air travels through your ductwork, cracks and leaks allow that air to enter areas that are not supposed to be cooled, such as in between the walls, or in the attic or basement. Because your system is matched to the living space, leaks make your system inefficient. Lack of efficiency can lead to a significant rise in cooling costs.
  • Increased wear and tear. When your cooling system has to work overtime to make up for the inadequate levels of cool air in your indoor space, it tends to increase the general wear and tear on the mechanical parts of your system. This can often lead to frequent repairs and service calls, and may eventually damage parts of your air conditioner.
  • Inadequate cooling. The entire purpose of an air conditioner is to provide cooling for your home on the hottest days of the year. Inefficient and faulty ductwork defeats this purpose, and you’ll actually be paying more money for less cooling.
  • Quality and durability. While duct tape may be a temporary solution, don’t be fooled by the name. It is not a lasting or high quality material for duct sealing. A professional ductwork technician will probably use mastic to seal your ducts, which ensures that it is done right the first time.

Duct sealing is a great way to save energy and money on your utility bills this summer. It will also reduce wear and tear on the system and ensure that your AC cools your home on the hottest days of the year. For professional duct sealing in Manassas, VA, call Service Doctors today!

Washington, DC Heating Guide: Your Heating System in the Off-Season

March 4th, 2013

Many homeowners realize that getting their air conditioning system tuned up before the summer is a great idea. However, preparing your heating system for the off-season can be just as important. The off-season is a great time to clean, upgrade and even replace your heating system for next winter. When you need heating maintenance in Washington, DC get in touch with the expert team at Service Doctors. We provide comprehensive installation, repair and maintenance services for all of your heating needs. Here are a few of the benefits of getting heating maintenance before the off-season.

Benefits of Off-Season Heating Maintenance in Washington, DC

Here are a few tips from the pros about what you can do during the heating off-season to maximize the performance of your home heating system.

  • Enroll in a maintenance plan. There’s no better time than the off-season to enroll in a routine preventive maintenance program. Let a professional come in on an annual or biannual basis to inspect all aspects of your heating system. He’ll make sure it’s working properly and efficiently. It’s a great way to make a positive impact on your heating system.
  • Clean your air filters. Whether your heating and cooling systems are linked or not, cleaning air filters on a regular basis is important for the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Upgrade. The off-season is a great time to upgrade your system. Whether it’s replacing your old heater with a new high-efficiency model, or replacing components in your current system, upgrading is a great way to make sure you get good, efficient heating.
  • Replacement. Don’t wait until it’s freezing outside to consider a replacement. Heating companies are usually more available for installation projects in the off-season. Also, buying heating equipment in the off-season may actually cost less. Installing a new high-efficiency model is a great way to ensure that your home is at the right temperature throughout the year.

Maintaining your heating system in the off-season can help increase the efficiency of your system and potentially reduce the need for heating repairs in Washington, DC. Talk to the heating professionals at Service Doctors for all of your Washington, DC heating maintenance and repair needs.

Washington DC Heating Tips: Using Your Furnace Efficiently

February 25th, 2013

No matter how highly rated for energy efficiency your furnace may be, unless paired with an equally efficient heating system, including ductwork, it will not heat your home effectively. Using your Washington, DC furnace efficiently is where the Service Doctors come in. We help you to make the necessary repairs and routine service necessary to a comfortable and warm home. For more information about how you can use your furnace more efficiently, call us today.

Below are some heating tips to help you operate your furnace more efficiently and effectively.

  • Schedule a preventive maintenance plan. Your Washington DC furnace specialist offers a comprehensive, multi-point inspection and cleaning plan. It is the best way to prevent many major repairs as well as ensure the longevity of your heating system. Our technicians at Service Doctors will look over your entire furnace system, looking for any worn parts for replacement as well as cleaning and lubricating your equipment. Professional maintenance helps to cut heating costs.
  • Clean or replace your air filters. Cleaning or replacing your air filters is the easiest way to make sure your system airflow is optimized. While they are intended to block debris and particle from entering into your indoor air, filters that become clogged can be counter-productive.
  • Seal your ductwork. Your furnace works by blowing hot air throughout your home via extensive ductwork. If there are leaks along these passages, that can impact the level of heating effectiveness. It can also place increased pressure on other parts of your system to work harder. If you notice a drop in your heating temperature or a spike in your fuel bill, sealing your ductwork can go a long way to ensuring that your system is using energy efficiently.

Only a qualified furnace technician should perform repairs on your furnace. In Washington, DC, call Service Doctors. We offer comprehensive furnace repair and maintenance services to help you make sure your home heating system is working correctly.

Washington Heating Guide: Most Common Heating Repairs

February 18th, 2013

Whether your home heating system runs on gas, oil, or electricity, by heat pump, furnace or boiler, there comes a time when it requires professional repair. The only way to receive quality professional care is to contact your local professional technician. Service Doctors’ Washington heating repair experts are available to speak with you today. Please give us a call.

Depending upon the fuel source, ductwork (or lack thereof), and distribution system, your heating system may suffer damage or general wear and tear in various ways. There are, however, some common heating repairs worth noting here.

Inspecting for a potential heating repair requires that the technician look closely at:

  • The fuel source line, where the gas or oil enters from its source into the furnace or boiler
  • The shut off valve, which controls the fuel supply
  • The pilot light or electric ignition
  • The burner
  • The heat exchanger
  • The blower and fans
  • The air filters
  • The ducts
  • The flue

A common problem that homeowners see is that the furnace shuts off before ignition, which can be caused by your thermocouple detecting a fault in the system, and may need professional replacement or repair. Dealing with your heating system is no small task and must be left to the pros. If your heating system is not operating efficiently or effectively, or if you notice that it heats unevenly, or if your fuel bill increases dramatically from one month to the next, you may need to call a heating repair technician.

Heating repair begins with preventive maintenance. Scheduling a routine service plan gives you confidence in your Washington heating system and can help to avoid major system faults. Don’t place your heating system at risk this winter. By calling a Service Doctors technician today, you can prevent substantial repair costs later.

Arlington, VA Heating Guide: How Heater Installation Affects Performance

February 11th, 2013

We all want to enjoy a nice, warm comfortable home during the winter. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are a great way to improve the efficiency of your heating system. But another good thing to do for your heating system is to get it installed by a professional heating contractor. Using a professional contractor has huge advantages. At Service Doctors, we provide complete heating installation in Arlington, VA. We wanted to help bring attention to the benefits of getting professional heating installation so we put together a quick list.

Gas Lines and Rust

Gas lines are pretty durable and long lasting components of your gas-fired heating system. Gas doesn’t wear out pipes as fast as water does because it’s, well, a gas. However, if your heating system wasn’t installed properly, your gas lines could suffer damage because they were installed near your water lines. If the water lines leak onto the gas lines it can cause them to start rusting and corroding. Not only is this wasteful but it can present a potential health and fire risk to your home in Arlington, VA.

Proper Sizing

One of the most common problems that we see with heating systems is that they are too big or too small for their homes. The size of your furnace, boiler or heat pump is determined by how much heating it provides—the larger the heat output, the larger the heating system.

If your heating system is too big for your Arlington, VA home,  it can cause huge problems. First, it can cause short cycling which is when your heating system turns on, heats up your home quickly and then shuts off again. This causes huge inefficiencies and also causes more wear and tear on your system. Second, oversized heating systems can cause hot and cold spots in your home. Finally, it can also cause over heating which could result in a cracked heat exchanger.

If you’re interested in getting heating installation in Arlington, VA, call the experts at Service Doctors.

Washington DC Heating Question: What is an Air Handler?

February 4th, 2013

A great number of homeowners nowadays have taken advantage of the efficiency and convenience with which a central heating and air conditioning system allows them to keep their homes comfortable. Far fewer homeowners really understand the way in which this central heating and air conditioning system does so, though. If you are curious about the operation of your central heating system in Washington DC, read through this information from Service Doctors. The air handler in your central heating system is an important component that helps to keep your home comfortable on even the coldest nights of the heating season.

An air handler is in many ways very similar to a furnace. Both handle the circulation and distribution of heated air throughout the entirety of your home. Furnaces and air handlers both depend on an effective system of air ducts in order to distribute this conditioned air.

The main difference between a furnace and an air handler is that a furnace actively creates the heat that it distributes throughout a building. The burner in a furnace, along with a heat exchanger, heat air within and then the blower mechanism in the furnace forces this air into the duct distribution system. An air handler is only responsible for the circulation and distribution of the heated air, not for the heating of the air itself.

The compressor and condenser of you split central heating system are located outdoors, and the air handler is stored inside. The indoor and outdoor components are connected and must work with one another to heat your home. Once air has been heated by the outdoor unit it is fed into the air handler, which then handles the task of distributing that air throughout your home.

For more information about the air handler that your split central heating system uses to evenly, effectively heat your Washington DC home, just call the heating professionals at Service Doctors. We are extensively trained and fully certified to handle any home heating installation, maintenance and repair services that you may need. We also have the answers to any questions that you may still have about the operation of your air handler or other home heating components. Contact us today to schedule service.