1. Common HVAC FAQs

    There’s a lot to know about the entire HVAC system, so it’s understandable that you may have a lot of questions! But don’t worry, many of your fellow Chicago residents have the same questions. At Aircore, we want to provide you with not only superior service, but also to share our knowledge about the heating and cooling systems in your home or commercial building. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to care for your AC unit and furnace. So here are some of the most common questions our contractors get.

    Chicago HVACWhen Should I Replace the Air Filter?

    This will depend on your air filter, the system, and how often you run it. However, it’s a good idea to take a look at the filter at least once a month. If you regularly look at your car’s air filter, you’ll know what to look for — dark, clogged, or dusty. As you can imagine, an old filter will cause the system to run less efficiently, leading to an increase in utility bills.

    When Should I Have the HVAC System Serviced?

    Because you run different systems depending on the season, it’s a good idea to have your furnace checked each winter and your AC unit checked each spring or early summer. These regular checks can prevent minor issues from becoming bigger, and costly, repairs. If you have an older system, you may need to have them checked more often. The last thing you want is your AC unit to go out on the hottest day of the year.

    How Can I Lower My Utility Bills?

    Even though the nights are still fairly cool in Chicago, the days are getting hotter and hotter. During this time of year it can be hard to nail down the best temperature to set your thermostat at. This can mean higher bills.

    • Try using a smart thermostat that will help reduce unnecessary heating and cooling.
    • If you don’t already, install new HVAC systems that are energy-efficient.
    • Hire a technician to regularly maintenance the system.
    • Consider making changes to your home, such as installing energy-efficient windows and repairing any air leaks.

    What Size Heating and Cooling System Do I Need?

    This can depend on the size of the space you’re trying to heat or cool. It’s important to do some research to find a unit that isn’t too big or too small. When it’s too big, it will cool or heat your home too quickly and will shut off. Constantly turning on and off can increase costs and affect the lifespan of the unit. When it’s too small, it will always be on, having the same result. Take into consideration the height of the rooms and the square footage of the space. Get in touch with Aircore for a personalized quote.

    What is a SEER Rating?

    Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, SEER is meant to ensure that all new AC units meet the minimum requirements. Equipment that has been manufactured today needs to meet a rating of at least 13, but ratings can be as high as 21.

    Chicago HVACWhat Does AFUE Stand For?

    The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is similar to SEER, except for furnaces. If you have an older draft furnace or boiler, it could have a rating of around 80 percent. However, newer manufacturers have developed units that have around a 98 percent rating. If your furnace has a rating of 95 percent, it means that is how much energy is being used for heating your home.

    What Does HSPF Stand For?

    Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is also another method of rating air conditioning systems.

    Do Vents Need to be Covered in Winter?

    Even though Chicago winters can be harsh, it’s best to leave the cover on the vents. If the air was to be turned on, it can cause damage to the condenser and other internal components. These parts are designed to stand up to harsh weather.

    If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, get in touch with the team at Aircore. We serve the Chicago area with superior HVAC services. Whether you need a simple maintenance check or if you’re in need of a full heating or cooling installation, we can make it happen. Don’t go without a reliable furnace or AC unit living in Chicago. Call Aircore today!

  2. Benefits of a Well-Maintained HVAC System

    As with any mechanical system, to run efficiently, there needs to be consistent maintenance. Your HVAC system is the same way. Whether you want warm air in during the cold Chicago winters, or you want to cool off during the hot summers, any home or business owner wants and needs a reliable heating and cooling system. So, do you know how long it’s been since you’ve had your air conditioning system maintenanced? The experts at Aircore recommend that you have your HVAC units checked at least once a year. Before the days get too hot, this is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with us.


    If you’re the person in your home or office who is always going to the thermostat to adjust the temperature, you’ll appreciate this benefit of having a functioning system. Comfort! Being too hot or too cold can be distracting, affecting your work and performance. Instead of trying to dress for a stuffy, overly hot office, have your AC unit checked to make sure it’s running properly.

    Chicago HVACLower Bills

    Home or business owners in Chicago will always want to save money. Just like getting an oil change for your car can help you get better gas mileage, and saves you money, so can maintaining your HVAC system. If your system is working harder to pump out cool or warm air, it’s using more electricity. So when your next utility bill comes in and it’s lower than the month before, you’ll wish that you had the unit maintenanced sooner!

    Lasts Longer

    Air conditioners can typically last between 15 and 20 years, but that’s with regular maintenance, cleanings, and checkups. If you have noticed that the air isn’t as cool as it once was, or it takes longer to heat your home in the winter, this is probably because it’s been a while since a technician has serviced the unit. A well-maintained HVAC system will last longer and run more efficiently.

    Not as Many Repairs

    Many of the issues that occur with your furnace or AC unit could have been prevented if it had been found earlier and hadn’t caused a greater problem. If your filter is clogged or there are blocked vents and registers, these minor fixes can lead to major repairs if left untreated. We understand that no one looks forward to hiring an HVAC technician, but this scenario is all too common.


    Have you ever had to blast the volume on your TV when the furnace kicks in? Save your ears and hire an HVAC company! When the unit is running as it should, it should be a gentle hum in the background. And if you’ve been pushing your old system to the limits, new units are even quieter and more efficient. Give us a call today about heating and cooling installation.

    Summers and winters in Chicago can be uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable in your own home or office. With help from the experts at Aircore, you can finally be confident that you’re heating and cooling system is running cleanly. Get in touch with our Chicago office today and schedule a maintenance appointment.

  3. To Repair or Replace the Air Conditioner

    You’ve made it through another Chicago winter so you can finally put away your winter boots, snow shovel, and you can finally ease up on your furnace. But this also means that another hot Chicago summer is on the way. This means bringing out the swim suits, sunscreen, sandals, and making sure your air conditioner will make it through the sweltering months. But if you’ve noticed your AC unit making funny sounds, if it’s not blowing cool air anymore, or if you’ve noticed higher energy bills, these could be signs you need a new system. But with other bills and projects adding to your to-do list for the summer, you want to know if you could just repair it instead. But how can you tell when you can simply repair the unit or when you need a new one? Your air conditioning specialists at Aircore will break it down for you.

    Replace Your AC Unit If:

    It’s 15 Years or Older

    When you’ve been driving around your Honda Civic for 15 years, you’ll notice it takes more and more repairs in order to be reliable. The same goes for your air conditioner. The lifespan for an air conditioner is between 10 and 15 years, and when it reaches that age, it will begin to break down more frequently. So if you’re facing an expensive repair and that cost could be more than the unit is worth, it’s time to replace it.

    Chicago Air ConditionerEnergy Bills Keep Rising

    When it comes to your HVAC system, you’ll definitely want to take into consideration your energy bill. You may just notice that your budget is getting tighter and tighter as the months go by, especially if you do have an older unit, but there are some online tools that help you determine how much you’re spending each month.

    Isn’t Functioning Efficiently

    There can be various reasons for your air conditioner not functioning as efficiently as it could be, including poor insulation in your home, raising temperatures in general, or your AC might not be the right size for the job. So as time goes on, if your AC unit is having trouble keeping your home cool, and repairs are too costly, replace it.

    Repair Your AC Unit If:

    It’s Fewer Than 10 Years Old

    Typically, you should be able to repair the unit if it’s fewer than 10 years. One instance in which repairing might not be an option if it’s out of warranty and the repair costs a significant amount. In this case, feel free to get a couple opinions from HVAC companies in Chicago to make sure someone isn’t pulling your leg. At Aircore, our technicians will always provide an honest and professional opinion.

    R-22 Refrigerant

    If you have an older unit, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 refrigerant. Newer models use R-410a refrigerant and supposedly is more environmentally friendly. The older models are being phased out, making them more expensive to repair. This situation could go either way, so again, take into consideration the age of the unit.

    Other Considerations

    The Cost is Too High

    The previous reason to replace your AC unit touched on this, but we’ll go into more detail. First, keep in mind that an air conditioner replacement could range between $5,000 and $7,000. Now, take out a piece of paper and a pencil (or your smartphone). If you know how much your current repairs will cost, take that number and multiply it by how old your AC is. If that number is lower than the cost of a new unit, you can repair the unit. If that number is greater, it’s time to replace it.

    If you’re unsure whether or not you should replace or repair your air conditioner, give Aircore a call today. Our Chicago technicians will be there to inspect the unit and the entire system and will give you an honest and reliable opinion. Give us a call today.

  4. How to Know if It’s Time to Replace Your Old Gas Heater

    Homeowners always want to know when it’s time to replace a furnace. With an appliance such as a furnace they don’t want to be caught flatfooted in the dead of winter when their furnace breathes its last breath, and their home ices over. So, when is the time for a furnace replacement? Find out more from your Chicago HVAC professionals.

    How Old is Old?

    In general, the average life of a gas furnace is 15 years. If your furnace has passed 15 years of service, and maintenance needs to be done more frequently, the writing is on the wall. That is, residential furnace replacement needs to happen soon. A general sign it needs replacement is it is not running as efficiently, and consequently your power bills are making a significant dent in your budget. Another way to know if your old gas furnace needs replacing is if you’re paying more than 15% it would cost to purchase a new furnace.

    How long do gas furnaces last? The cited 15- to 20-year average service of a furnace is not set in cement. Dependable furnaces can endure 20 to 30 years. To eliminate the guesswork of when you can expect your old gas heater needs replacement is to find the suggested average life of a furnace in your owner’s manual. Or an alternative method is to contact the manufacturer, and give them the model number of the unit.

    Different Temperatures for Different Rooms

    If a higher-than-normal power bill hasn’t caught your attention, then perhaps noticing temperature changes between rooms will. When an old gas heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, its increasing inefficiency can cause rooms to feel either warmer or colder, instead of the heat being evenly distributed across all rooms. Uneven temperatures registering from room to room can come about when a furnace has entered old age, and its antiquated ductwork no longer possesses the ability to register even heating from one room to another. Then furnace replacement needs to be considered.

    A Sooty Environment

    An old gas furnace entering the final years of its life can start to belch dust, dirt, even rust particulate matter. This not only is an insult to a well-kept home, but also poses an environmental hazard to family members, pets, and plants.

    If you see soot or rust accumulating near the furnace or its registers, this indicates the furnace is producing an excess of CO2. An increase in CO2 can create extreme dryness, affecting the interior of your home as well as its inhabitants, with symptoms such as dry eyes and irritated throats. It’s time to contact an HVAC contractor to find out if you need to replace your furnace.

    Noise Pollution

    Furnaces will typically make some sounds when they start up and shut down. However, if you find your furnace making more noise than usual, this may be an indicator furnace replacement is in the near future. The kinds of sounds to look for are: any noise that doesn’t sound right or is unfamiliar to you.

    Odor Problems

    Odd odors emanating from your furnace can be an indicator your unit is not operating correctly. Those peculiar odors can spell trouble for your household. If you experience a burning odor it could be traced to faulty wiring, or the wire insulation is burning. Don’t ignore strange odors; call an HVAC contractor to check your unit. Only they can tell you if you’ll need furnace replacement service from them.

    Running in Short Cycles

    If your furnace is struggling to stay on and shutting off too quickly, you may need to replace your furnace. But other issues that can be resolved without replacing your furnace include a grimy air filter, a dead battery, incorrect thermostat setting, or the fan control is not functioning correctly. As far as thermostat settings go, if you need to constantly adjust your thermostat, your furnace is signaling it is not functioning normally, and you may need furnace replacement in the home.

    Yellow Pilot Light

    It is wise as your old gas furnace ages into its golden years to check the pilot light regularly. You should see a blue flame, which means all is well. If you see the flame is yellow a problem exists. A yellow flame is an indicator the furnace is not burning hot enough, due to the thermocouple’s inability to heat to the required temperature. The result is the gas supply will shut down. At this point you might want to start researching the cost to replace your furnace.

    More seriously, a yellow pilot light could mean a deficiency in oxygen. A yellow pilot light can also mean carbon monoxide is present, a danger to family members’ health. Leaking carbon monoxide in the home is no joke. It is important to call in an HVAC professional immediately for possible residential furnace replacement service.

  5. Why is My Central Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

    You may believe running your air conditioner faithfully during summer’s hottest days is enough to keep your home cool. This is not the whole truth: there are many factors that can compromise the air conditioning’s ability to keep your home at the most optimal comfort level. What you Chicago HVAC team is trying to say here is: your air conditioning system cannot alone do the job of keeping your home cool as a cumber.

    Your air conditioner unit needs assistance to help it run as efficiently as possible. You’ll be surprised to know how many things can cause your home to retain more heat than it should. In this blog, we will explain first how heat in your home happens; what problems with the air conditioning may be impeding its ability to do a sufficient job of cooling your living spaces; and some guidelines on how to support your air conditioner in doing its work.

    Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air Instead of Cold?

    The laws of physics dictate hot air (conduction) moves towards cool air (convection). Concerning your home, heat from outside is absorbed by your ceiling, windows, walls, and doors. The foundation of your house also absorbs heat. So, you could say the entire infrastructure of your home is under assault by heat waves. No wonder the A / C is not cooling enough. To continue, if your home absorbs heat at a higher rate than the air conditioning can eliminate it, the temperature goes up. This explanation answers the concern: my A / C is blowing but not cold.

    In the face of all these factors adding to the heat gain of your home, there are plenty of steps you can take to resolve the issue of your home A / C not blowing cold air, lessening the burden on your air conditioner unit to do all the grunt work of cooling. Assuming your air conditioning system has been completely inspected, and all components are in working order; the remedies for the home A / C blowing hot air, even in the midst of oven-like heat, follow.

    Why is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling the House?

    Sealing Cracks

    A common source of high heat gain, which interferes with the air conditioner’s ability to cool your home, are minute cracks found around the perimeters of doors and windows, which let in heat from the outside. An ingenious method to discovering where these cracks are is to light a stick of incense. When you are near doors and windows, observe if the incense smoke is streaming vertically or horizontally. If the incense has a horizontal tail, that tells you a crack is present which needs sealing.

    Besides sealing cracks around the window, you can also buy heavy-weight drapery and blinds, which will further lessen heat gain. In this way, you help your air conditioning unit to optimally perform its cooling operations.

    My A / C Isn’t Cold

    Roof Replacement

    When the time comes to have a new roof installed, it’s an opportunity to reduce heat gain in your house. Roofing shingles both absorb and radiate heat. Heat from the roof works its way into your home via the attic and is absorbed into the ceiling.

    One solution for your attic, where temperatures have been known to rise as high as 150 degrees and beyond, is to purchase an attic fan. Having a dedicated thermostat for just the fan will help to determine at what temperature the fan will turn on to keep the attic cool, holding heat gain at bay.

    Another facet of shingles, which also adds to the heat gain and affects the air conditioning’s cooling properties, is their color. If they are dark they absorb more heat. This helps in the cold weather months when your home is crying out for heat, but in hot weather it only creates more heat gain. The next time you’re ready to replace the shingles talk to your roofing contractor about what colors are best for both summer and winter months.

    My Central Air Conditioner is Blowing Warm Air: Other Reasons

    Preparing Meals

    When you turn on the stove or oven in summertime, you force your air conditioner to toil harder to address the high heat gain these appliances create. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is once the outdoor temperature soars over 90 degrees, cook outdoors on your patio or sundeck. And to put a fine point on it, your dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer also add to the heat-load demand. Wait until later in the evening when the temperature drops, ideally just before you retire, to turn on the dishwasher, or do a load of wash.


    Desktops and laptops as well as TVs produce heat, so shut them off when you’re not using them.


    Shower steam equals heat gain, so ensure everyone in your home uses the ventilation fan in the bathroom.

    Water Heater

    The water heater is yet another source of heat gain in your home during the summer. Use an insulating blanket to wrap the water heater in.As you can see now there are many reasons your air conditioner is blowing warm air in the house. Take the steps we’ve suggested to bring cooling comfort to your home.

  6. Air Conditioning Circuit Breakers and Why They Trip

    Air conditioner breaker trips can be either be readily resolved, or require professional attention from an Chicago air conditioning technician. In this blog, we will explore the possible causes of breaker trips. But before we launch into why your air conditioner trips the circuit breaker, we want to explain how an air conditioning split system differs from a single system, concerning breaker trips.

    Split systems feature two separate voltage circuits, each with a separate breaker. One breaker is connected to the air handler, the other to the condenser. Different issues will cause one or the other breaker to trip; however, it is seldom the case both breakers will trip simultaneously. Power outages, lightening, a faulty transformer, or brown-outs could possibly cause both breakers to trip at once.

    What Does It Mean When a Breaker Keeps Tripping?

    Maintenance of your central air conditioning system is a common reason for breaker trips. Condenser coils that have been allowed to build up grime force the air conditioning to use more power. Instead of cooling, the power-rise causes heat to increase. The outcome is the A / C circuit keeps tripping, due to an overloaded circuit. Air filters covered in dirt also cause breaker trips.

    Make a determined effort to check, clean (if necessary), and in the case of filters, replace them. Keeping your condenser coils and air filters well-maintained will help lower your power bills and decrease the likelihood your air conditioning circuit keeps tripping.


    Faulty or non-functioning capacitators are another source of air conditioning circuit breaker trips. Two types of capacitators are manufactured: run and start.

    A run capacitator is used in all air conditioner motors as well as the compressor. The start capacitator only operates the compressor. Capacitators can blow, causing breaker trips.

    Mechanical Issues

    Faulty bearings or a jammed part can interfere with the air conditioner motor’s operation. The motor will end up working overtime to counter the resistance, caused by malfunctioning bearings or stuck components. This will cause a surge in the electrical current, producing more heat. In time, the air conditioner breaker will trip.

    Electric Connections

    Loosened wires occurring in any component in the central air conditioner will lead to breaker trips. An example of how this can happen is with the air compressor. Wire corrosion of the compressor results in loosened wires, and the connection is weakened. This problem can be avoided with regular inspection and maintenance visits by an air conditioning professional.

    Short Cycling

    During short cycling, the air conditioning motor turns on and off frequently. What happens here is the motor starts from a complete standstill to operating at full capacity instantly. During this very quick startup the motor will set off a surge of electricity, going into overdrive. The increase in heat to counter the inertia the motor’s full stop has created will possibly cause a breaker trip.

    Wire Size

    If the wire size is not correct that also will lead to breaker trips of your air conditioner.


    If your central air conditioning system is not correctly installed, breaker trips may be in its future. All installations must be performed by a certified HVAC contractor. They understand the installation must conform to the safety codes embedded in the National Electrical Code and the Mechanical Code.

    After the air conditioner installation is completed, the air conditioning contractor must contact a municipal inspector, specified by law, to make sure all safety codes have been adhered to. Having this required inspection done will go a long way towards averting breaker trips of your air conditioner.

    Why Does the Air Conditioner Reset Button Keep Tripping?

    The A / C breaker tripped and won’t reset? The reason is when breaker trips don’t respond to being reset it indicates an underlying problem of a serious nature. Call an air conditioner professional to come out and find out why your A / C circuit breakers keep tripping.

    Caution: a final note here to not reset the air conditioning breaker after a few tries.

  7. Why is Your Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

    All gas, oil, and electric furnaces are sensitive and calibrated pieces of equipment. It only takes one or more components to be out-of-whack, or not tended to that creates problems. One of the more vexing and mysterious problems the Chicago HVAC specialists at Aircor see is when your furnace is blowing cold air when the heat is on. Or it could be the opposite: you feel cold air coming from vents when the heat is off.

    Whether you own a gas, electric, or oil furnace blowing cold air, troubleshooting why your furnace is blowing cold air instead of heat is where you should begin before resorting to calling in an HVAC contractor. Below we give some basic troubleshooting steps to help you figure out why your heater is blowing cold air in the house.

    Thermostat Setting

    At the top of the troubleshooting list is to first check your thermostat. If you notice the thermostat is set to ON, it is most certainly the problem. What’s occurring is your heater blower continues to operate, although your home has reached its maximum comfort level. The solution? Reset the thermostat to AUTO. Now the furnace will automatically shut off the blower once your home has been thoroughly warmed, and come back on when it needs to raise the temperature again.

    Overheated Furnace

    If your furnace is blowing cold air sometimes, it could be your central heater is overheating. What causes this to occur is the limit switch shut off the furnace blowers. It does this to stop the overheating, reducing the temperature to a non-dangerous level.

    What’s behind an overheated central heater? Most likely, it is a grimy filter. An obstructed filter will limit airflow, motivating your gas, electric, or oil furnace to take more time to heat the living spaces, causing overheating as a result. You can replace the filter and find out if it resolves the issue. If you own an oil furnace, changing the filter is more difficult and a dirty job, so contacting an HVAC pro to do it for you is the better option.

    Since we’ve mentioned oil furnaces, another reason for your oil furnace blowing cold air is the oil tank may be empty. Without fuel to light the burners the oil furnace will be blowing cold air instead of heat.

    Pilot Light Issue

    If your central heater is not blowing hot air in the house an unlit pilot light may be the cause. There are three approaches to dealing with an unlit pilot light:

    1. Try relighting the pilot light. If the flame catches and remains burning, then problem solved!
    2. Pilot light won’t fire up? Check the gas valve switch to see if it is on. If it’s on, inspect the pilot light to see if debris has accumulated and clean it. Cleaning the pilot will permit gas to flow to it.
    3. If the pilot light ignites but goes out again, the thermocouple is at the heart of the matter. Adjustment or replacement needs to happen. You’re mechanically inclined? Go for it. Otherwise get in touch with a heating contractor.

    Condensate Drain Lines

    If you’ve purchased a high-efficiency furnace the condensate drain lines may be plugged up, keeping the burners from initiating.

    Burner Problems

    If your oil or gas furnace burners have built-up dirt it could also prohibit the burners from igniting and the furnace blowing cold air.

    Ductwork Problems

    The ducts of your central heater could be causing the problem of the blower not blowing hot air in the house. Causation might be holes and leaks in the ductwork has allowed warm air to escape and the furnace blowing cold air instead of heat.

  8. Why is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside Your House?

    The moment you discover water dripping from your air conditioning unit—which can result in water damage to your house—take the immediate step of shutting off your air conditioner. Because the water might be affecting the electrical components in a harmful way. The next step is to call in an air conditioning repair professional to take care of the problem.

    If you’re curious-minded about how the problem of the central air conditioner leaking water inside your home occurs, read on for a basic explanation about how water is created during the operation of your air conditioner, and why water from the air conditioning ends up on your floor.

    What Causes Condensation on Your Air Conditioning

    Among the many functions your air conditioner performs, one of them is the evaporation of humidity from the air inside your home. First the air conditioning blower draws hot and moist air through the return grille and sends it to the air conditioning evaporator coil for cooling. The evaporator coil forms condensation in the appearance of droplets much like you find on a cold beverage during hot weather.

    The water from the evaporator coil then spills into a slanted drain pan, and further into a condensate drain line, exiting either into your plumbing or outside your home. If the condensate drain line, drain pan, or evaporator coil is malfunctioning standing water is the result.

    There are 7 common reasons which often cause the A / C unit leaking water on the floor:

    • Condensate Drain Line

    A blocked drain line which is filled with debris such as dirt, mold, insects or other matter forces the water to back up into the house.

    • Evaporator Coil

    A grimy evaporator coil causes the mixture of dirt and water, which seeps into the drain pan, causing it to become plugged up. If the drain pan has become corroded with rust, enough to allow water leakage to occur, that also causes the A / C unit leaking water on the floor.

    A secondary problem with the evaporator coil is when it freezes over. As the frozen water melts, and there is a lot of it, it streams heavily above the drain pan, and water dripping from the air conditioning unit results. How does an evaporator coil become frozen? Most often either it’s a grimy air filter, or low refrigerant.

    • Air Filter

    An air filter, which has accumulated debris of one kind or another, becomes blocked and prevents airflow from traveling above the evaporator coil. This results in a temperature drop to below freezing, causing the evaporator coil to ice over.

    • Refrigerant

    If there is not enough refrigerant the evaporator coil will also freeze over.

    • Condensate Line

    A blocked condensate line is the number one reason for A / C leaking water inside the house.

    The condensate line receives condensation from the drain pan and sends it into a drainpipe or outside the home. A blocked line causes water backup, flooding the overflow pan.

    How to Unclog an A / C Drain Line

    If you own a current-model air conditioner it may feature a water-overflow shutoff lever. When your air conditioning unit senses a blocked condensate line, it will move to automatically shut off the air conditioner, to aid in preventing water damage. Check the condensate line and clean it if it is dirty.  An

    a / c drain line cleaning tool such as a wet / dry vacuum can be used to clear the blockage.

    But it’s better to be proactive, and avoid a blocked condensate line altogether. You’ll avert water damage and save on costly service calls. Make it a habit to unclog the air conditioner drain line with bleach. After clearing the blockage, use chlorine bleach by pouring it into the line. Do this two to three times a year.

    • Installation

    If you own a modern air conditioner, the installation of it may be at fault. This could mean a poorly-designed condensate trap has stopped the condensate from draining. The drain pan fills with water and floods your home, causing the air conditioner to drip water inside the house.

    Another installation issue is a disconnected drain line. This occurs when an air conditioning technician hasn’t had enough experience installing air conditioners and doesn’t attach the drain line correctly. A loosened drain line can result in a water leak.

    • Insulation

    Insulated coils perform the function of allowing built-up condensation to flow down the coil. If the insulation develops fissures or holes, water will drip rather than flow, causing the A / C unit leaking water on the floor, with the potential of water damage if you don’t discover the problem soon enough.

  9. What’s the Difference Between High-Efficiency Furnaces and Low-Efficiency Heaters?

    High-efficiency gas furnaces versus regular gas heaters: just what is the difference? Trust the Chicago HVAC team at Aircor—it all comes down to a furnace’s AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). A standard or low-efficiency gas furnace has an AFUE rating of between 80%–85%. In a high-efficiency furnace, the AFUE rating, according to the model ranges between 90%–95%.

    But AFUE ratings don’t paint the whole picture. Because if you buy an 80%-efficiency furnace that doesn’t mean you won’t get a well-engineered and reliable furnace. You will. And it can give good service for 10 to 20 years. Modern technology has made it possible for low-efficiency furnaces to conserve energy better than the outdated gravity furnaces of the past.

    To talk about today’s high-efficiency gas furnaces you need to know they have changed greatly over the past 10 years. High-efficiency gas heaters can support AFUE ratings as high as 95%. And these programmable models come with many extra features to help conserve energy output.

    To explain further the differences between a low-efficiency gas furnace versus a high-efficiency gas furnace let’s consider four components of both.

    1. Condensing Process. Furnace vent condensation concerns come with regular gas furnaces. These gas furnaces (with an AFUE rating of 80%) exhaust 20% of its heating energy up the furnace’s vent.

    High-efficiency furnaces rated at 90% AFUE or better are known as condensing furnaces. A condensing furnace possesses an integrated extra heat exchanger, whose job is to replenish the 20% lost in a low-efficiency heater. This is accomplished when combustion gases are redirected, condensed, and converted to water, releasing heat, and the heat removed by the extra heat exchanger. The result is the AFUE percentage bumps up, reducing the cost of operation.

    1. Adaptable-Speed ECM Blower. 80%-efficiency furnaces possess common one-speed, on-and-off blowers. When turned on the blowers run at 100% of capacity and eat approximately 500 watts of electrical power. Because of the frequent on-and-off cycles, temperatures fluctuate conspicuously from room to room. The drawback of a one-speed blower is once a home is completely heated, a blower operating at full capacity is not necessary to maintain the comfort level of a home. In other words, electricity is being wasted.

    In contrast, the adaptable ECM (electrical commutated motors) blowers on 90%-efficiency heaters operate almost all of the time, stopping the on-and-off cycling, which produces temperature fluctuations. Because they run at a lower heat volume, they only use approximately 80 watts, a considerable savings in energy.

    1. Multi-Stage Burners. With an 80%-efficiency furnace the burners operate at 100% of capacity. In temperate weather conditions, this high-capacity burner is only useful for the cold season, otherwise it uses up energy needlessly.

    A 90%-efficiency furnace contains multi-stage burners that intuit what temperatures are necessary to maintain the comfort level of a home. As heating requirements lessen, the multi-stage burner automatically switches to a lower, energy-savings level. The benefits include reduced power bills, energy conservation, and cleaner emissions.

    1. Sealed Combustion. A low-efficiency furnace uses the air from inside the home to initiate the burner flame. As a consequence, this lowers the humidity in living spaces and increases winter-air symptoms of itchy skin, irritated throat, and static electricity.

    A more serious issue is the possibility of carbon monoxide being released into the home due to backdrafts. This means combustion gases don’t go up the exhaust vent like they should, but are diverted into living spaces.

    A high-efficiency furnace contains a sealed-off combustion unit that protects the home from fumes. Two pipes work in conjunction to one, route the combusted air outside the home, and two, exhaust the gases. As a result, the home’s humidity level is protected.

  10. Tips for HVAC Spring Cleaning


    The Chicago winter has been brutal so far, with nose-hair freezing temperatures and a heaping helping of that powdery white stuff. No wonder you’ve been sitting around your house in front of the furnace and the TV, keeping your toes warm while you watch the Chicago Bears dominate opponents on their way to the Super Bowl. (Sorry, is it too soon to joke about that? It’s too soon. There’s always next year, right?)

    Fortunately, the spring season (and a new football season) are right around the proverbial “corner”—and with the warmer weather comes some excellent opportunities to give your home and your HVAC system a tune-up.

    In this blog, the Chicago HVAC team at Aircor will give you a step by step checklist for improving your HVAC system, your indoor air quality, and the health and wellness of your family. The earlier to get moving on the these tips, the better air quality you’ll have and the more money you’ll save on your energy bill!

    Dust and mop all over your home.

    Dust is essentially a Heinz ‘57 of all of the pet dander, chemical residue, fireplace ash, dead skin flakes (that’s right, your dead skin flakes), clothing lint, dirt, and a bunch of other substances found within your home and the outside world. When all that stuff comes together and becomes a part of your home, it can cause allergies and respiratory problems—but it can make your HVAC unit sick, too.

    Dust buildup in your filters, ducts, and HVAC unit can clog things up and make your HVAC system work harder than ever before to produce clean and perfectly warm or cool air—and that can raise your energy bill by up to 15 percent per year, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Plus, all that dust gets recirculated throughout your system and your home, which can lead to frequent sneezing at best and serious allergic reactions at worst.

    You’ll obviously need to get your HVAC unit inspected and cleaned (more on that later) but it’s also important for you to scrub, dust, and mop throughout your home to keep dust at a minimum. The more time you spend in your home during the winter, the more dust that will build up—so give things a thorough cleaning at least once per season, and call your HVAC professionals once per season as well.

    Change your filters.

    Your filters are meant to trap dust throughout your home, but they can only last so long and do so much to keep dust at bay, especially if you haven’t replaced them in months or *gasp* years. At the least, you need to change your filters in your system every three months, but that’s pushing it for most folks, especially those with allergies. Filters are fairly inexpensive, so we’d recommend changing them once a month or every two months to ensure your air is as clean as possible.

    Not sure how to change your filters or what kind of filters to buy? That’s alright—you can always call the HVAC maintenance professionals to change out your filters and perform an air duct cleaning you so can breathe easy.

    Clear out the clutter in your home.

    Dust, dust, dust—we can’t stop talking about dust today, can we? Ultimately, it’s because dust is the supervillian when it comes to poor indoor air quality and poor health. Dust can be hiding anywhere—but more often than not, it’s hiding behind your knick knacks, Star Wars collectibles, fratty top-of-the-kitchen-cabinet booze bottles, and other items that take up physical space. Dust loves to cling to clutter—so if you’re going to get rid of dust, you’ll need to get rid of some of the clutter as well.

    Once you’ve paired things down, give your remaining clutter a wipe-down to stop dust in its tracks, and be sure to wipe things down again and again every few months so keep your home virtually dust-free.

    Trust the professionals.

    Every season is HVAC season—that’s why you need an experienced HVAC maintenance and repair team to ensure that your system is working well regardless of the temperature or the weather. Fortunately, that’s where Aircor can help. As Chicago’s premier HVAC team, we can make sure your HVAC system is ready for the warm months ahead. Don’t wait—schedule an appointment with us today!