Frequently asked questions:
Please Remember Safety First
Q. What causes the AC compressor to continue running and the freon to continue to circulate after the fan inside the house clicks off?
A. possibly a stuck contactor in the outdoor unit. or your indoor fan is overheating and shutting off.
Q. What could be wrong if your central air conditioner blows cool but not cold air and seems to be always running?
A. your condenser may be dirty and the evaporator coils should be cleaned there may be inadequate air flow around the condenser. if there is a leak, your unit may be out of refrigerant you might have a leak in your duct system
Q. Is the Freon used in your car's AC the same type that is used in your home's cooling system?
A. No. Home A/C units use 410-A older units R-22, and many, if not most, automobiles use R134a
Q. What would cause the outside part of your air conditioner to frost over?
A. Because of high humidity in the air, the evaporator gets cold enough to cause the extra moisture to freeze. This could happen if you are low on refrigerant or if your coils or filters are dirty. If you are low on freon, you most likely have a leak and should hire a professional to fix this.
Q. Is using ceiling fans and the air conditioner at the same time cost efficient or a waste of energy?
A. If you only use ceiling fans in the rooms that you are in, then it will save a bundle. Just remember to turn the fans off when you leave a room. You can also buy motion sensors that will turn lights or fans on automatically.
Q. What does the abbreviation 'HVAC' mean?
A. Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning
Q. What is a programmable thermostat?
A. It senses the room temperature and controls the HVAC system according to a schedule established by the homeowner. This type of thermostat allows different temperature settings to automatically regulate the HVAC system at different preset times. Modern programmable thermostats use a chip to provide smart memory to these thermostats. they can then be set up for optimized start of the system. this makes it a smart thermostat. combined with outdoor sensors, indoor sensors the system has the capability to pre-cool / heat a facility to a given temp based on internal and outdoor temperature. thus handling the heat load in a building / home before it becomes active or occupied.
Q. What is 'SEER'?
A. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) — A measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a central air conditioner or air conditioning heat pump. It takes into account the variations in temperature that can occur within a season and is the average number of Btu of cooling delivered for every watt-hour of electricity used by the heat pump over a cooling season.
Q. If you shut off the AC when you are gone from the house does it cost more to cool the house back to the right temperature when you return?
A. With air conditioning systems, the equipment runs at peak efficiency when it operates for long periods. Cooling your house back to the comfortable temperature will use less electricity than the unit would use cycling on and off for short periods to maintain the set temperature. If your house takes too long to get back to a comfortable temperature, you might investigate getting a programmable thermostat, and set it to start heating or cooling your house an hour or so before you return. You could also set the thermostat back, to a lower temperature for heating, or a higher one for cooling, while you are gone, rather than turning it off completely
Q. What exactly is a BTU?
A. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is the internationally agreed upon standard for measuring heat. The room size that correlates with each BTU size air conditioner is stated with each product listing. Keep in mind this is the recommended room size under average conditions. Warmer climates, houses with less insulation, cinderblock construction, kitchens, and vaulted ceilings all increase the needed BTUs.
Q. What is involved in replacing an old system?
A. Aside from the placement of the new equipment, Honest Guys Heating & Cooling will inspect several items and make a determination of whether or not these items need to be supplied or replaced. Some of the items include: ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.
Q. Why is my unit icing-up? Why am I getting so little air flow from my registers?
A. There are several things that can cause frost on your coil and/or reduced air flow.
Q. How Often Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?
A. Depending on the type of air filtration system your HVAC has, you should consider having your ducts cleaned, inspected and possibly re-sealed anywhere between five and eight years.
Q. Does My Home Need Surge Protection?
A. The simple answer is, yes. As with mostly all protective purchases, the benefits are circumstantial. You might install a surge protector and find you never have to use it – in that case, you should be grateful to have avoided tempestuous weather conditions or lightning storms. But, if we’re talking about the overall electrical power of your system, surge protection is a prefect precaution.
Q. Why Do I Have Poor Airflow?
A. Poor airflow is usually the result of a poorly designed duct system. When your system isn’t sealed tightly enough, or an air leak goes undetected, airflow passes through your system unevenly. You may need a professional to re-work your duct system, or, if you find air doesn’t flow to the opposite side of your house, a zone damper system might be a better solution.
Q. Should I Power Down My Unit When I’m Away?
A. You should never turn your system completely off when you leave for the day. Either raise or lower your thermostats three to five degrees from its normal set point. That way, your system is maintaining an ideal temperature all day, and you don’t have to power it on high when you get home.
Q. Why Do My Lights Flicker When My AC Unit Comes On?
A. When your outdoor unit affects your indoor lighting, it typically means your system is using too much electricity to start up. Avoid this simply by leaving your system on and under the control of programmable thermostats, or adding a start-assist to your HVAC unit.
Q. Where Is All This Dust Coming From?
A. If you notice an increase in the amount of dust circulating in your home, double check the type of air filtration you’re using. The wrong size filter, or a low-quality type of filter, is going to be inefficient. You also might want to consider adding an air purifier to your home’s ventilation process.
Q. Why Are My Electric Bills So High In The Summer?
A. A spike in electricity is usually caused by a system defect, an undetected air leak, or very simply an old system that doesn’t function as efficiently as it once did. In this case, you want to get the problem diagnosed as soon as possible so you’re not paying continuously high bills.
Q. THE EPA PHASEOUT OF R-22/ What is that?
A. R-22 is a refrigerant often used in air conditioners and heat pumps. Because R-22 depletes the ozone layer, production and import was significantly reduced in 2010. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced the production of R-22 refrigerant once again for 2013. This represents a 70% reduction from the approved R-22 production of 2010. Since 2015, there has been almost a complete ban on the production of R-22.
Q. Why am I going through an ignitor almost every year. I think it is because my furnace to cycle off and on too much. What could be the cause for my furnace cycling too much?
A. Furnace short cycling is very hard on the furnace and hard on your energy bill. Furnace short cycling can be caused by (1) the thermostat anticipator (if equipped) not set high enough, (2) gas valve gas pressure set too high (too much gas coming into the furnace causing furnace to over-heat) (3) blower speed set too low or weak blower motor capacitor (4) duct work too small to provide enough air flow for the furnace, (5) evaporator coil stopped up with dirt or lint or (6) a furnace that is sized too large for your home. I hope this helps you find out why your furnace is cycling too much.
Q. Why am I not getting 24 volts to the contactor on my air conditioner or heat pump? Where does the 24 volts come from?
A. The 24 volts comes from the transformer. We sell transformers on the following page: Please click here to see the transformers we sell. Most of the time the transformer is located inside the furnace, although sometimes (about 10%) it is located inside the outdoor AC unit. The transformer produces the 24 volts which goes up to your thermostat then out to your air conditioning unit when the thermostat calls for cooling. I would suggest that you try to turn the thermostat down so the air conditioner is supposed to come on. Pull your high voltage disconnect so there isn’t a chance of you getting shocked. Test with a volt meter set to “Volts AC” and see if you are getting 24 volts straight out of the thermostat wires that come into your outdoor AC unit. There should be two thermostat wires that go into your AC unit. If you are getting 24 volts then probably one of your safety controls on your air conditioner is not allowing the contactor to kick in. A lot of the time air conditioning units have both high and low pressure (low refrigerant) switches on them. If you do not have enough Freon (refrigerant) in the system it will not allow the unit to come on. If you aren’t getting 24 volts straight out of the thermostat wires, then you could have a thermostat, transformer or wiring problem. Best of luck in finding the problem!
Q. My Air conditioner’s contactor will not engage. I am not getting 24 volts to the contactor to make it engage? What could be the problem?
A. If the contactor is not getting the 24 volts then it could be a bad or faulty time delay relay (if the unit is equipped), thermostat problem, transformer, safety control (low refrigerate) or wiring problem (broken or loose wires). The only way to make sure where the problem originates is to test using a volt meter. I would suggest turning off the power to your system and check all connections to make sure they are good and tight and not burnt. I would suggest turning the power back on and testing the controls with a volt meter to make sure 24 volts is coming out of every control. A good rule of thumb is: If the power is going into a control and not coming out then this is where the problem is… on the control where the power is not coming out. *Another note I would like to add for this problem would be that I know that many of the electric companies throughout the U.S. have installed energy conservation controls on many of the air conditioner and heat pump systems. If you have one of these controls on your AC or heat pump system (Please see pic below) then this allows your electric company to control when you unit operates. Under peak energy times your electric company can turn your system off. Also, I have found when I was doing service that once you turn the power off to the unit (pull the disconnect) this energy control will not allow the system to come back on for 8 to 10 minutes. This makes a service call very time consuming. When I was doing service, I would temporarily disconnect the energy control so I would not have to wait 10 minutes to test the system. If you have one of these energy controls then this could be the cause for your unit to not operate if your electric company has shut your unit down during peak energy times.
Q. Will a larger blower motor help my air conditioning? My air conditioner does not seem to be blowing very hard.
A. I would check your refrigerant charge first because if your system is low on charge it will cause the coil to freeze up and cause a restriction in the air flow. Rule of thumb is the blower should produce 440 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air per ton. On a two ton system 880 cfm. This usually calculates out to be about a 1/4 to 1/3 HP blower motor. If you get too much cfm it is hard on the air conditioner, because it robs the air conditioner of the cool gas going back to the compressor to keep the compressor running cool. Most of the time if you increase the blower size beyond designed specifications, you have to over-charge the AC or heat pump unit to get the cool gas going back to the compressor so that it doesn’t burn the compressor up. I usually need to add refrigerant to a system that has too large of a blower motor. You want to charge your system so that there is cool gas going back to the compressor and the suction line feels like a cold coke can right out of the refrigerator. The air conditioner should make a 15 to 20 degree difference in the ambient air. If you home is 75 degrees inside the air coming out of the registers should be between 55 to 60. I hope I have answered your question. I have oversized blowers before to get more airflow. I would not recommend going over 1/3 horsepower in your case. You would need to check the charge after you install the new motor to make sure you are getting the needed cool gas back to the compressor. I would check to make sure your blower wheel (squirrel cage) is clean and the bottom of your evaporator coil is clean before trying a larger motor.
Q. I purchased a flame sensor from you hoping this would solve my furnace lock-out problem. My furnace still locks out occasionally. I have to reset the power switch before it will start up again.
A. I am sorry to hear that you are still having furnace problems. I try to help people out by giving them the easiest and least expensive solutions to their problems that I have seen over the years in our HVAC business. Sometimes other components, parts can cause problems. Sounds like you have an occasional problem that is going to be hard to find because it only does it sometime. You almost have to be there when the problem occurs with a meter to test and find out what the problem is. Many times the furnace control board will give you a flash code telling what the problem might be. I would suggest if your furnace is equipped with a control board that has a flash code that you read the code the next time the problem occurs. This problem could be caused by a safety control problem (pressure switch, limit switch) a loose or bad wire connection, or a control board problem. Please make sure all your wire connections and plugs are good and tight. Please make sure you have a good ground on the furnace.
Q. My outside AC unit is humming but no fan or compressor action. Sounds like I have a capacitor problem. I’d like to buy replacement capacitors but they are round. Can I use oval caps with the same rating? Can I leave them loose since the brackets are for round caps?
A. Since your fan and compressor are not running I would like to suggest that you test the line voltage with a volt meter to see if you have 220 to 245 volts on L1 and L2 of your contactor. Please be careful when working with high voltage electricity. I would not want to see or hear of anyone getting hurt. Another question is: Are the contacts on your contactor closing when your air conditioner is calling for cooling? You should be getting 24 to 28 volts to your contactor’s coil when your thermostat is calling for cooling. If the contacts on your contactor are not closing then you might have a contactor problem or an AC safety control problem (high or low pressure safety control). If your refrigerant charge is low on some units the low pressure safety control will not allow the unit to come on until the refrigerant charge is at the right level. If your contactor is closing and you are getting voltage 220 to 245 volts through the contactor then this could be like you say a capacitor problem. If you understand the electrical wiring it would be the easiest to purchase a dual 40/5 MFD 440 volt dual capacitor. The exact replacement capacitor for what you now have. There are three connections on a dual capacitor. Com, Herm, & Fan. Common (COM) on the capacitor would come from your power source usually from the contactor. Herm connection would go to the start winding on your compressor, Fan would go to the fan, usually a brown wire. It is not recommended to replace a 40 MFD capacitor with a 45 MFD capacitor. Here is a link to our site if you want to purchase a capacitor: Please click here to see the capacitors we sell. You would need to secure the capacitors so the wire terminals do not touch anything metal or each other. I usually tape the connections on top of the capacitor with electrical tape and secure the capacitors to the frame with plumber’s pipe strap. Please make sure you do not drill through your condenser coil when drilling the holes for the pipe strap.
Q. I purchased a flame sensor from you for my Goodman furnace. The new flame sensor did not fix the problem. My furnace still lights for 7 to 10 seconds and then the gas goes out. What could be the problem?
A. Since your furnace is still having what sounds like flame sensing problems I would suggest making sure the flame sensor is positioned in the flame where it is getting a good blue flame to sense. I would suggest checking all connections to make sure they are tight (especially the ground connection on the transformer). Check your plug in connection that goes between the blower section and burner section of your furnace to make sure it is good and tight. Check wire and flame sensor connections to make sure they are tight. I would recommend checking all rollout switches, limit switch and pressure switch to make sure they are staying closed (current flowing through) them all the time. This could be a control board problem again, not sensing the flame.
Q. My furnace wobbles and shakes sometimes. What could be the problem?
A. Most of the time wobbling inside the furnace is caused by the blower wheel being out of balance. Most of the time a piece of something (filter, paper, furnace insulation, dirt) is sucked into the blower wheel (squirrel cage) and causes it to become off balance and wobble. I would recommend turning off the power to the furnace, taking the blower door off and inspecting the blower wheel with a flash light and a mirror. Sometimes the blower wheel balance weights can fall off and this will also cause so blower wheel wobble. Many times it is hard finding the weights and where they should be place if they have fallen off. It is almost better to replace the whole blower wheel if the weights have fallen off. The weights usually only one or two are little pieces of U shaped metal that friction fit on to the blower wheel fins. A motor with the bearings going out can also cause wobble, but most of the time it is the blower wheel out of balance that causes wobble.
Q. Gas on furnace is shutting off after 3 minutes of burn time.
A. You would need to test some controls to see what the problem is. Why is the gas shutting off after 3 minutes of burn time. I would start with testing the thermostat to make sure it is getting a constant 24 to 28 volts between the W and C (com) wires when calling for heat. If the thermostat isn’t getting 24 volts after the 3 minutes then you might try adjusting the anticipator if equipped. The new digital thermostats do not have an anticipator setting but have batteries. Please make sure the batteries in the thermostat are in good shape. I would suggest testing all the safety controls, ie limit, pressure switch, rollout switches to make sure they are all staying closed. Test the controls to make sure they are staying closed when the furnace shuts off after the 3 minutes. This sounds like the furnace might be overheating (going off on limit) and shutting down. This overheating could be caused by a dirty filter, dirty blower wheel, slow blower motor (could be a weak capacitor) gas pressure set to high on the gas valve, improper setting on the thermostat anticipator (if equipped), over-sized furnace (too big for your home or duct work) or a stopped up evaporator coil.