Quality Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning

Although we can service and install every brand, not every brand is worth installing.  Some brands we try to steer clear of.  These brands produce poor quality products and back it up with even worse quality warranties.  Our company guarantee our labor for up to one year on everything we do whether its a faucet install, or a new air conditioning system.  We have learned our lessons with products that just don’t hold up and we take it to heart when something does not live up to its expected standards.  We will always offer advice based on our long learned experience.  Our advise is based on product longevity, serviceability and availability of parts.  After all customer satisfaction and our reputation is of most importance to us.

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Air conditioning Refrigerant Freon leaks

In the last several posts we have been discussing different consequences of not changing air filters or not having them at all.  Some of the more severe consequences are frozen evaporator coils (inside/ air handler), which we have also discussed.  When ice expands so rapidly sometimes things move and or shift. That can create small cracks in the coil which eventually leads to bigger cracks.  Some systems have high and low pressure switches built into the condencers that would stop its operation if system is running outside of designed refrigerant parameters.  Some do not.  Those condensers tend to have burnt out compressors.  At that point that is a huge expense if wether parts are under warraty or not.  So again, please change your filters and make sure to do a diagnostic/ system check up at begining of each cooling season.  A skilled technician (ours) can spot issues before they occur and recommend best possible solution.

Air conditioning service

Leaking evaporaor coil. Not repairable

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Leak from ac system

What to do if there is a leak from attic air conditioning unit? First and foremost it is best to turn the system off at the thermostat. If possible, access the attic and confim that leak is actually coimng from ac system. There can be several reasons why the air handler (the attic unit) is leaking water.

One reason the ac can leak is a frozen system. You can see it by looking where the refrigeration line is going into the evaporator coil (the attic coil) it will have ice on it. Let the system thaw out and replace the air filter. Dirty air filter is the most common reason for a frozen system. After 24 hours of thawing, turn system on again and see if it still freezes. If it still does, there may be other underlying issues that may need to be addressed. If so, call for service (hopefully us 😀).
Other possibility could be a blockage or a break in the condensation drain line. In this situation call a professional to clear the blockage, or repair the leak.

Rockland ac system repIr

Dirty air filter can damage ac system

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Importance of changing air filters

There seems to be a lot question and misunderstanding as to how often to chance air filters in central air system (hot air furnace heat).  Hopefully reading this will clarify some questions. First, allow us to explain the basics of mechanics of forced air system.  Each system contains a motor (blower), which is designed to spin at a designated rpm, which must generate a certain amount of air movement. Besides the blower there is also an evaporator coil.  The coil  contains refrigerant that boils of at subfreezing temperatures and requires a certain amount of airflow to keep it warm.  A filter is designed to allow air to flow through it while catching dust and dirt that is suspended in air.  This is a benefit to breathing air as it is cleaner and protects the evaporator from dirt.  Filters come in different levels of filtration efficiency and the higher the efficiency the less airflow they allow through them from the start.  Additionally dirt and dust accumulation create a form a layer around the filter creating an airflow restriction.  Sometimes this airflow restriction creates a bottle-necking in airflow and puts significant strain on the motor as well as an insufficient heat for the coil, which may result in motor failure and or coil freezing (picture bellow). This must be avoided at all costs.

So as to original question of how often to change the answer is not so simple as there are many variables including efficiency of filter (the more efficient the more frequently it must be changed) and other dust factors.  Carpeting contains a lot of dust as well as heavy foot traffic and pets generate more dust.  So the more dust in house the more often a filter must be changed.   The solution is quite simple, install new filter and check after two weeks. When the system turns on and the filter gets sucked in and concave (a sure sign of air pressure change), or filter shows a layer of dust or discoloration then its time to change.  If not wait a week and check again. Keep doing so until you notice any signs of a blocked filter. Some houses can be on one filter for 3 months and some houses only 2-3 weeks. Its is up to the homeowner to determine how often. Please do not rely only on the serviceman to change your filters once a season as it is not enough for any household. Picture below shows a frozen coil, one of many we encounter throughout the summer season.

Air conditioning service

Frozen evaporator coil

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Phase out of FREON

In 1992 there was an international environmental agreement that required worldwide phase out of HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) due to their harmful impact on the ozone layer.  HCFC-22 (also known as R-22, also known as Freon) has been the go to refrigerant for residential air-conditioning systems for over four decades. Unfortunately, releases of R-22, as those from leaks, contribute to ozone depletion. In addition, R-22 is a greenhouse gas and the manufacture of R-22 contributes significantly to global warming. As the manufacture of R-22 is being phased out as per agreement to end production of HCFCs, manufacturers of AC systems are offering equipment that has ozone-friendly refrigerants.  Over the last several years the price of R-22 has increased exponentially while prices of the more popular and ozone friendly R-410a has dropped down.

If you have a system that is leaking you will definitely notice that it is getting increasingly more expensive to fill it up.  It is also very bad for the environment.  There are two choices that we see fit, either fix the leak or replace the equipment.  Do the environment and your wallet a favor and get to the core of the problem.  If your equipment has failed and you are considering replacing it ask for the new R-410 refrigerant.  If you have any questions please call Affordable A-Jay Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning.  We’ll be happy to hear from you.

disclaimer:  part of this article was copied and paraphrased directly from EPA website www.epa.gov

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Ductless Air Conditioning Rockland NY

Mitsubishi-Ductless-Air-Conditioning

Does your home not have air conditioning and/or have an area of the house where ac air does have access to?  You’re considering having ac put in but building ducts creates a project that is too costly and or too messy?  You may want to consider ductless air conditioning.  Ductless ac works the same as regular central air but more localized in a way like baseboards do in heating.  Each area is its own zone with a thermostat that will regulate that area only.  The units are hung on a wall and are super quiet.

For example Mitsubishi, they offer many Energy STAR models with efficiencies going up as high as SEER 26.  Their indoor units have a sleek modern look, are quiet and have multi-allergen filtration that also eliminates or reduces odors.  The outdoor units are able to handle several zones simultaneously and are so quiet you can’t tell if they’re on or not.

These units are eco friendly since they use less energy and use a refrigerant that has a significantly less impact on the environment.

If this is something that you are considering, please give us a call for a no obligation free estimate.

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Home emergency procedures

In case of emergency you and every one in your household must know basic response to water, sewage and gas leakage.  First off, locate and label main water and main gas shut off valves.  Test the valves for operation.  Just because the valves are there it doesn’t mean that they’re fully functional.  If found that they are not operational immediately call your local plumber to address the issue.  Next educate every one in the house on how to turn each off and on.

In case of water leak emergency, shut off main water and open faucet on the lowest floor to drain house.  Call a plumber to attend to the issue.

If you smell gas in an area and suspect a possible gas leak you should immediately call your utility provider’s emergency service line (in Rockland it’s Orange and Rockland 877-434-4100).  If you feel comfortable you can turn the gas main off to stop the leak until a professional arrives. They will provide a free test to check for leaks and are most likely be able to point out the exact location of the leak.  Next you must call a local plumber to fix the problem.

If you have a backup in the drain line, you should find out if it’s a small local drain blockage or it is a main drain issue.  If all drains are going down slow and the lowest drain in the house continuously overflows then it most likely a main drain issue.  In this case you must stop using any and all water until problem is addressed. If all drains work properly except one or two local drains i.e. bathroom, then it’s an isolated drain issue. In this case restrain from using just the affected fixtures.  Call a local plumber or sewer specialist.

By following these procedures you will be able to keep the house safer and save money by stopping the damage from going further than necessary.  Please feel free to call us with any questions and or concerns, we provide free estimates and have 24-7-365 emergency service.  We can address all these issues for you swiftly and affordably.

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Gas grill installation Rockland NY

If you are considering purchasing a new grill, consider getting one that can be connected to your main gas line.  For one you don’t have to replace those tanks, which have a tendency to go empty at the most inopportune moments.  A gas grill line connected to your house may be installed discretely and away from sight.  It would also come with a local easy access shutoff.  Most grills also come with a quick disconnect for mobility, cleaning and seasonal removal if necessary.

So take back the summer and never run out of gas on your grill.  Call us and we will give you a free estimate with your project.

Grill4-300x218

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Gas line for gas powered generator

No electricity? No problem!  Think gas powered generator.  Power outages don’t happen often but when they do occur you wish you had a generator.  If you have a high water table and depend on a sump pump to get rid of excess water to prevent flooding, a prolonged power outage could be catastrophic.  Considering that power outages occur mostly due to severe weather, a generator would allow your home to stay dry, be cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  To have TV and lights is something that wouldn’t hurt during an outage too.  Although generators are installed by electricians they do need a gas line to operate.  We hope you will consider Affordable A-Jay Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc when you are ready for installation.

 

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