Why Isn’t my AC Working!?

It’s spring, mother nature is keeping you in the eighties or nighties already. Your office is unbearable. The intern has somehow duct taped ice bags to his back and ruined his office chair in the pursuit of not melting. It’s time to turn on the AC and nothing happens. Kronk throws the lever and the air blasting in is hotter than the pavement Dave the Intern cooked his lunch on. What happened?   The Little Problems There can be a million things wrong with your AC. Some issues are catastrophic and very expensive to repair as our lead sales guy Scott learned the hard way just a few weeks ago. Other issues are smaller, cheaper, and merely annoying. Did you Turn on the Power? Most central cooling systems have a dedicated circuit breaker to turn them on and shut them off for maintenance and long-term deactivation such as through the winter. Turning off this breaker in the fall ensures your air conditioner physically cannot be engaged in the winter and accidentally damage itself. Depending on your situation, you may not have known this switch exists or your building maintenance team just hasn’t turned it on yet. If you enable your air conditioner in your thermostat, crank down the temperature, and nothing happens, this is the first thing to check. If you know where the breaker for your AC is, check on it. If you don’t, contact your building maintenance team […]

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What is a Multi-Zone System?

Most residential and older HVAC Systems have one enormous flaw: They don’t provide a uniform or even well controlled environment. These simpler systems have one point of measuring temperature, and generally have to just hope that the single thermostat is a good representation of the temperature in the house. In practical terms, this means one room can be twenty degrees hotter than the rest of the building or a good draft from a single window can fool the thermostat into roasting everyone. This is the old way of doing things, from before we had cheap electronics and a mature industry to deliver on our comforts day and night. Take for example, my house. It was built probably in the late 1940s or early 1950s with hot water heat, two floors, and a single thermostat in the center of a house. This proves to be a challenge in the winter. The rooms first on the heating loops will become scorching hot. You open a window in those rooms and they become comfortable. The cold draft blows into the other rooms and they’re suddenly not comfortable. We might bake in the kitchen one night, whipping up a lovely ten to fifteen degrees of extra warmth, which happens to heat the thermostat. The kitchen eventually becomes comfortable, but the bed rooms freeze over.   Single Zone Systems This single-thermostat arrangement is called a Single-Zone system. There’s one data sample and one place all […]

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