Frequently Asked Questions
Air Conditioning and Heating Questions
If I want to circulate air is it better to turn on ceiling fans or turn the fan on the thermostat on?
You’re better off turning the ceiling fans on. Running a continuous central fan will bring moisture into the home from outside, especially in our humid climate.
Is it ok to close the air conditioning vents in rooms that are not used.
Not really. Your air conditioner needs to breath and, closing off vents can cause it to choke down.
What temperature should I set my air conditioning thermostat to?
In the summer, 75°-78° is a typical range. The lower you set it in the summer, the more it will raise your power bill, the same is true the higher you set it to in the winter. You could also buy a digital, programmable thermostat. This thermostat can be programmed for the time you go to bed, wake up, shower, and leave the house and when you return etc. Programming a thermostat like this to only run slightly before your return and, to cut off after you leave can save you a lot of on your energy bill.
I have an old R-22 air conditioner, is the refrigerant really being banned and becoming obsolete.
Yes, R-22 has been deemed hazardous to the ozone by the E.P.A. and they have already started restricting manufacturing of R-22. By the year 2020, it will become unavailable. As the supply has been cut down the prices have skyrocketed. If you have an R-22 system expect higher than normal ac repair costs, as the air conditioning repair companies are paying triple what they paid in 2011. As of 2010 manufacturers are no longer allowed to make any more R-22 AC units. If you’re getting a new air conditioner this year or any year before 2020 think about investing the extra money to get an R410A air conditioner. The new refrigerant is better in a lot of ways. It doesn’t hurt the ozone, it blows colder air in the summer and the system could save you 50% off the power bill.
What size air conditioner should I have installed?
Air conditioners are made in tons, no not the weight of the unit; it’s a ton of air. A ton of air is capable of cooling 400 sq ft in homes and 200 sq ft in businesses. So if you have a 2000 sq ft home that requires 5 tons of air, you need a 5 ton air conditioner. In a business with 4000 sq ft you would need 20 tons of air. Trying to save money by getting a smaller unit than is necessary for your application is always counter-productive. The correct size unit will work better, save on energy costs and, last longer.
How often should I change the air filters?
The general recommendation is to replace filters once a month. With that said, it is not always practical or necessary to replace a clean filter just because it has been a month. Every building is different from the next. A reasonable baseline test is to check your filters in the light. If you can clearly see light through the filter after 1 month, then it may be possible to wait and change air filters every 2 months. If in 2 months they are still clean then, check again after another month. However, we do recommend never leaving a filter in for more than 3 months.
Will adding Freon fix my AC?
Most often, not by itself. If your unit is low on Freon, odds are there is another issue that caused it to be low in the first place. Give us a call if you suspect your unit is low on Freon and we’ll inspect your unit and give advise on potential corrective actions. Do not attempt to add Freon without a professional.
What are AC Drain Lines
Like the drains on your kitchens and bathrooms, the AC condensate drain line can become clogged. This drain is responsible for removing condensation from the AC unit and is typically connected to a plumbing drain. In most cases, the AC unit has a pan under the unit and secondary drain line connected to the pan that directs water outside so that it empties harmlessly outside if the primary drain line becomes backed up. However, if the drain becomes clogged and the water will begin to back up and fill the pan. This is likely to result in water damage.
Why has my air conditioner stopped cooling?
The first thing you should check is to see if the air conditioning unit is dirty. It is very important to keep the outside coils clean so the heat pressure doesn't rise too high. This could cause the pipes holding the coolant to burst, compressor failure, electrical overload and other issues. Fortunately, just cleaning the coils is often enough. You'll need to be extra vigilant when contaminants are floating through the air. They can clog up an air conditioner's air intake very quickly.
The inside coils are also very important. When they become dirty, this is often the cause of a unit freezing over. This will stop air flow through the coils, effectively stopping the unit altogether while still potentially causing more damage. The ideal way to prevent problems with the inside coils is to change the air filters regularly, eventually vacuuming the coils out will be needed, which we recommend having done by a professional.
As is the case with most issues around the home or workplace, if there is a problem you are not 100% certain on how to fix, it’s best to call a professional.
How can I reduce the risk of my air conditioner breaking down?
Preventive maintenance is the best approach you can take. It’s recommended that you contact a professional to ensure both the outside coils and inside coils of your air conditioning system are clean and well maintained always.
Is it something to be concerned about if my AC is loud when starting up?
Most air conditioners are noisier when the air conditioning condenser unit first starts. This is because the compressor needs to build up pressure to operate. If the noise lasts more than 10 seconds, call a technician. HVAC techs will check for low refrigerant levels, compressor oil levels and numerous other issues that could be occurring.
How often does my plumbing need to be inspected?
Generally, a plumbing system should be inspected annually. If your plumbing has never been inspected or you do not know when the last inspection took place, it is a good idea to have it done as soon as possible. Depending on your particular circumstances and the overall state of your plumbing system, a professional plumber can make recommendations about how often the process should be repeated.
If you live on a property with a lot of trees, for instance, you may need to have your plumbing lines inspected more often because of the possibility that roots could begin to infiltrate the system (we use state of the art camera systems for this common concern). However, if there are no extenuating circumstances and your plumbing is otherwise in good shape, you could probably wait longer between inspections.
When do I need to consult a plumber for issues in my bathroom?
There is a high concentration of plumbing components in your bathroom, and it is important that each of these pieces is working properly to ensure that the entire system is efficient and effective. Running toilets, slow moving drains, leaking faucets and others may seem like meaningless issues, but these small, common problems reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of your plumbing system, and are complicating factors that will add up over time. When you notice any problems with your plumbing, big or small, call the professionals at ACA. Our team of licensed plumbers has the experience, equipment, and training to get your bathroom plumbing system operating the way it supposed to.
Why does my drain get clogged?
Typically, drains become clogged due to objects being put in them that were not intended to be, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, like in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, shampoos and hair. Kids often attempt to flush or drain objects much larger than would be possible to and, this will certainly cause clogging eventually.
When you do encounter a clogged drain, it is recommended to contact a professional to ensure it will be fixed completely, correctly, and without potentially causing additional issues.
What causes my faucet to drip?
Usually when a faucet is dripping the problem has a relatively simple solution. The internal mechanisms need to be rebuilt or replaced. This is a simple and cost-effective solution when performed by a professional.
What happens if my water heater is leaking?
You should call ACA right away. Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tanks has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.
Is it a big deal if my toilet is running?
This is not only an annoyance but, also a preventable waste of water and money. Leaky toilets can add up to $100 per year on your water bills. If the toilet continues to run into the bowl after the toilet is flushed, it is most likely that some part of the appliance is out of order and needs to be replaced.
If you see water on the floor around the base of the toilet check the point where the tank and bowl meet each other to ensure the tank to bowl seals are not leaking. You may need a flash light to see this. If the tank to bowl seals are not the problem then the leak is coming from under the toilet and may require a new wax ring to seal under the base of the toilet.
Call us any time if you have any plumbing concerns.
How long should a water heater last?
How long a water heater lasts depends on how well it is maintained, the water quality in your area, proper installation, and amount of use. When you buy a water heater, review the information that comes with it. That way, you will know what to expect. If you install your new water heater properly and maintain it, you can expect great results. For example, if a water heater is guaranteed to last for five years, with proper maintenance; it potentially last for seven.
It's greatly advisable to buy the best water heater possible. We don’t notice how much we rely on water heaters, and how constantly we do, until they don’t work. That have to be functioning 100% of the time or, we’ll likely be having a bad day. The average family has a forty-gallon water tank and uses quite a bit of hot water, it's worth it to get the better water heater and have it professionally installed to ensure you will always have the hot water you need.
What can I do about low water pressure?
If you turn on a faucet and the pressure is low, first check to see if the pressure is low for both hot and cold water. If the pressure is low for both hot and cold water then unscrew the aerator and clean the sediment out and reinstall. If this does not fix the problem the water pressure is being obstructed somewhere in the valve or piping. At this point, it’s best to call a professional.
Does ACA offer financing for replacements and new installations?
We do. All financing is subject to credit approval. Call today or ask your technician or representative.
What are ACAs rates for Service
Our rates vary, depending on many factors such as distance, number of techs required etc. but, we are competitive with all in our area and better than most, especially when the skill and resources available are considered.
Our service techs' time begins when they leave our main office and ends when the job is complete and, we generally service a roughly 50 mile area surrounding Alexandria, LA. Though we can extend this distance for many reasons, when needed.
Rates are multiplied by 1.5 for after hours or on Saturday and by 2 on Sundays and observed holidays. For these calls there is a 2-hour minimum charge.
All payment is due at the time of service.
If I need service, how long before a tech arrives?
We pride ourselves on fast 24/7 service. We dispatch calls generally as they are received, with few exceptions. With that said, there are many factors involved, including how far away the call is, if someone will be able to be on-site when the tech arrives, how many calls are active etc.
We do our very best to ensure your issue gets resolved as quick as possible and, will let you know when a tech can be expected. Additionally, if there is an issue or, even if we know we can’t get to you in the time you need, we communicate this to you and work with you to get it done however possible.
Does someone have to be on-site for work to be completed?
Yes. A customer or someone designated by the customer will need to be present for work to be performed.
Does warranty cover labor costs on repaired or replaced items?
Sometimes. Some manufacturers offer programs to cover labor costs in the event their product needs to be repaired or replaced, some others only cover cost of materials, leaving the customer to pay the labor.
However, all new units installed by ACA have parts and labor covered at a minimum for 1 year after install, even longer in some cases. After this time, customers are responsible for labor if it is not covered under warranty. Service repairs or replacements done by ACA have a 90-day labor warranty, additionally parts are under warranty for at minimum one year.
See your representative for specific info relative to your needs.
What are ACAs business hours?
Although our service department operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our normal operating hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Service calls performed outside of these times are subject to different rates.
Our Sheet Metal Fabrication Division operates from 6:00 AM to 2:30 AM Monday through Friday to serve the early morning needs of those working in our industry.
Does ACA fabricate custom sheet metal for the public?
Yes. Call or come by with your idea and we will get to work on it for you. Our Sheet Metal Fabrication Division hours are 6:00AM to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday.
Does ACA have free quoting for replacements or new installations?
For residential and commercial AC or Heating units, yes. Because most plumbing repairs and installations are either performed as soon as we get involved- unless it is a major commercial project- we generally do not quote these services, though we can if asked.
Contact us and we will work with you to review each option available for your needs.
Is my project too small for ACA?
Most likely not. Although we are a fairly large company, we have many different units and teams that work on nearly every size project imaginable, ranging from minor repairs and the most basic installations to new construction on major projects like schools and hospitals. If you need assistance just give us a call and we will get you the help you need for your project or repair.
Is ACA involved in the community?
Yes. In many ways. ACA sponsors and participates in many community programs including school programs, multiple local church and mission groups, youth athletic programs and many charities such as United Way and others.
Being involved in our families and communities is a driving ideal in the way we operate at ACA and we believe we are all at our best when we work together for the greater benefit of our communities.
Can ACA install complete commercial cooking vent systems?
Yes. Give us a call today with your idea or need and we can work with you to get it done the right way.