Press Releases from Air Conditioning

Why Air Conditioners Break Down

Clearly, this is too vast of a topic to list every single thing that can go wrong in such a complicated piece of machinery as an air conditioner. It would take too much time and result in an article that is too long and too tedious to read. However, we can clump these into four main ways and reasons an air conditioner can fail.

The Four Ways AC Breakdown

  • Lack of Maintenance: The vast majority of air conditioner break downs come from a lack of maintenance. This is very similar to the old age result, except it happens much sooner. Air conditioning parts will wear down and fail, but regular maintenance will identify and notice these potential breakdowns before they happen.
  • Improper Use: It is possible to misuse an air conditioner. It can be used too often and result in freezing, or it can be used when it is too cold outside and cause damage to internal components. If you use an over or undersized unit in your home it will break down far sooner than it should.
  • Physical Damage: Clogged with leaves or banged up with lawn mowers, air conditioners can be beaten up and broken like every other machine. By staying vigilant and making sure the system is protected will keep it operating for years to come.
  • Old Age: Air conditioners are machines, and like all machines have some degree of a life span. This lifespan can be increased through proper care or repairs, but ultimately, the machine cannot live forever because of economics. Air conditioners should live a good 15 to 25 years, but towards the end of that time, so many moving parts will be worn down that replacement will be cheaper than repair. Like a car, air conditioners can become “totaled” eventually.

The moral of the story is that air conditioners are fragile devices that must be cared for. If the ac owner schedules regular maintenance checks, uses the machine properly, and protects it from the dangers of the world, it will live a long healthy life, but ultimately it will reach its end and must be replaced. The first step to protecting your ac is to schedule a maintenance check and assess the status of your current system. Next, check back to these blogs every so often and learn the tips and tricks to owning a cooling system. When the time comes to replace your system with a new high efficiency air conditioner, then Four Seasons can supply and install the HVAC system. Give us a call!

Freon and Refrigerant Refills| Lisle, Countryside

A common question or request that our call center receives every season is whether or not their unit needs more freon or refrigerant. The idea being that freon will run out or be used up and must be replaced from time to time. Alternatively, customers will wonder why more freon wasn’t added during their maintenance check when more freon has never been added to their system. All in all, there is much confusion on the nature of freon and how it works within the cooling system.

How Freon Works

Air conditioners function on the principle of evaporative cooling. This principle states that when a liquid transforms into a gas, heat is absorbed and thus the air around it is cooled. So, within the cooling coils of your air conditioner where the freon is held, the refrigerant is constantly being changed from a liquid to a gas and then back again. Air is run over the coils while it turns to gas and thus the air is cooled. The heated air that is generated when the freon returns to its liquid state is then expelled from the machine to the outdoors.

Matter Neither Created Nor Destroyed

Throughout the process of changing from liquid to gas and back again, the freon is never used up. It doesn’t just go away. It is all contained within the coils. This means that your air conditioner should never need to replace the freon in its coils. However, should the coils spring a leak, there is the possibility of gas seeping out or a constant drip of the freon in liquid form. Freon only needs to be added to the system if there is a leak in the cooling coil.

When scheduling a maintenance check, the technician will test your freon levels. No extra freon is added usually because there isn’t a leak. If your unit isn’t cooling as effectively as it used to, if it is running for very long periods of time and simply not lowering the temperature of your home, it is possible that there is a leak in the coils and more freon needs to be added. Of course, there are a variety of problems that could result in poor cooling power.

Four Seasons is Here for You

By maintaining a regular maintenance schedule for your air conditioner and staying vigilant, and air conditioner can cool your home for many years to come. Should you suspect or discover a problem with your system our trained and certified professionals are ready and waiting to repair your system and return your ac to the desired level of efficiency. We’re sitting by the phones 24 hours a day 365 days a year, so no matter when trouble occurs we are ready to help.


Noise Pollution and Air Conditioning| Oak Brook, Burr Ridge

When people think of pollution certain images come to mind. Smog clouds, trash in the ocean, and acid rain are the classic examples of pollution. However, there is another kind of ignored form of pollution known as noise pollution. Granted, noise pollution won’t black out the skies, poison our water, or destroy the ozone, but it does wear on the psyche of our friends, families, and neighbors. One device that is a major contributor to the noise pollution of our society is the air conditioner. To put it bluntly, the darn things are loud!

Noise Pollution Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency has regulations and limits to the amount of noise your home can produce. Most often these noise complaints come in the form of parties, but a noisy air conditioner could violate the enforced limits of noise. Don’t be a nuisance. When your air conditioner is running, take a listen. How loud is it really? You shouldn’t need to shout over the device when you are outside, but  if it is too loud, Four Seasons has the solution.

The Cause of the Noise

The noise can originate from a couple different sources. The first of which is lack of maintenance. Worn and rusted fan blades and loose rattling bearings can all increase the noise level of your unit. So, a regular maintenance check can help keep it quiet. On the flip side, units made ten or fifteen years ago were already loud to begin with. So, the best answer to quieting down your air conditioner is buying a quiet one! The quietest air conditioner Four Seasons has to offer has a sound rating of 62 decibels. To put that in perspective, 62 dB is only slightly louder than a normal conversation. If you are looking to keep your neighborhood quiet, then a brand new air conditioner combined with regular maintenance will give you a quiet air conditioner for many years to come. Give Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning a call, and we can get this worked out for you.


How Did Water Get in My Ducts? Part 2 | New Lenox, Evanston

Just because your home isn’t built on a concrete slab doesn’t mean that water can’t find its way into your duct work! Yesterday we talked about how home’s that have their duct work located within a concrete slab are vulnerable to water infiltration and the resulting rust, corrosion, and mold growth that can follow. However, every home that has a central cooling system needs to keep air conditioner water damage in mind during maintenance checks. The problem may not be as extensive as it is in homes built on a slab, but ignoring or missing the issue could lead to the same type of damage to the cooling system and air quality in the home.

Condensation Drain Line

Cooling the air in the home is only part of the air conditioner’s job. The other half is to remove excessive humidity. All of the moisture in the air is condensed back into water at the unit’s indoor evaporator coil and the water is then diverted to a drain. However, if the line running to the drain becomes clogged, water will begin to backup. (more…)

My Air Conditioner is Frozen!| Oak Park, Lyons

It is always a shocking sight to see a frozen air conditioner? How is that even possible, its a BILLION degrees outside! One might assume when seeing this phenomenon, “hey, the thing must be working great! it’s so cold it’s forming ice!” However, this is actually a problematic occurrence and is the result of one or multiple of the following factors.

  • Not Enough Air Flow: a dirty filter, collapsed ducts, a damaged motor blower, or dirt buildup on the evaporator coil will all restrict the air flow into and out of the unit. This will cause the evaporator coil to drop below freezing temperatures. The humidity in the air will then condense on the coil and freeze.
  • Refrigerant Leaks: or a lack of refrigerant can cause the temperature to drop. The ice will then develop from the air.
  • Too Cold Outside: Air conditioners are meant to function in hot temperatures. So, anytime the ac unit operates below 60 degrees, there is the chance the unit will freeze over. Generally this happens if the unit is left on overnight and the temperature drops.

What to Do

A frozen air conditioner is a clear sign that something is malfunctioning with your air conditioner. If you notice your system is not functioning as well as normal, the first thing you should look for is ice buildup. This situation must be dealt with immediately as a frozen air conditioner could cause permanent damage to the unit. This will not only leave you sweaty, but will be a hefty bill when you have to purchase a whole new unit.

The first thing to do is turn the system off and let it completely defrost. After it is defrosted check the filter or the cooling coil. Remove the dirt on the coil and change the filter. Most times this is all you will need to do. If this has not corrected the problem it is time to call in the calvary.

Call in Four Seasons!

Four Seasons Professionals are waiting to take you call. We have the skills and know-how to handle any HVAC issue. Our repair team offers around the clock service 365 days a year, so don’t hesitate to call. If the worst has occurred and a new system must be purchased, we can hook you up with a brand new energy star rated air conditioner!

Keep your Coils Clean!| Markham, Mokena

If you are looking to keep your AC running smoothly in this last leg of summer and for years to come, maintenance is an important thing to get in the habit of. At Four Seasons, we get homeowners calling in everyday with humidity issues, low cooling power, and other troubles with their air conditioner. More often than not, these problems are the result of dirty cooling coils.

Why Coils Matter

Cooling coils are the heart of your air conditioner system. They house the refrigerant that cools the air as it glides over the coils. However, for various reasons, these coils can become caked with dust, dirt, and mud. This debris creates a barrier between the coils and the air reducing the surface area the air can come in contact with. Thus, the coils cannot cool or remove humidity from the air  as effectively. (more…)

Cleaning and Caring for Your AC Coil | Mokena, Markham, Palos Hills

The coil is the heart of your air conditioner. As hot air from around the home passes over the coils, the heat and humidity is removed and cool air is pushed out into the home. This is obviously a very important component of the system, but if you haven’t taken proper care of your air conditioner, the coil may be suffering the consequences of this mistake. Every year Four Seasons cleans countless coils, and due to neglect, some cannot be saved.

Worst Case Scenario

Some homeowners find out the hard way that is it too late for their coil. The air conditioner stops working, they call us for help, and upon inspection, we find a coil covered in years worth of dirt, dust, and other debris. When the coil is this bad, it is usually also corroded and rusted. The corrosion leads to holes that allow refrigerant to leak out and replacement becomes the only option. You may be able to repair a leak but you cannot repair corrosion. How did the coil get this way? A lack of yearly maintenance is usually the source of the problem. (more…)

How Much Life is Left in My Air Conditioner? | Bloomingdale, Phoenix

“How long will my air conditioner last?” At Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, we hear this question a lot, and although it is hard to predict exactly how long your air conditioner will last, the typical central air conditioning system will run from 15 to 20 years before needing to be replaced. This average lifespan applies to systems that are well cared for, and depending on the current condition of your air conditioner, your system may call it quits sooner rather than later.

Make Your Air Conditioner Last Longer

Taking care of the air conditioner is the key to its longevity. As an emergency HVAC repair specialist, Four Seasons is often called in to repair poorly cared for air conditioners and it is already too late. They are beyond repair. We hate delivering the news to the homeowners that their air conditioner needs to be replaced after only 10 or 11 years of use. A little maintenance can go a long way towards preventing this from happening to your air conditioner. These are the top two maintenance steps you must take to not only prevent early failure but also to increase comfort and save money: (more…)

Replace Your Filter: When and Why? | Elmwood Park, Glenwood

If you have a central air conditioner in your home, odds are it has been running nonstop around the clock. Air in the home is constantly passing through the ducts, through a filter, and over the coils in the air conditioner. If that filter isn’t changed on a regular basis, odds are it is packed with dust and other particulates from all the extra cycles the air conditioner has been put through during this extra hot summer season. Changing your filter regularly is important. It could mean the difference between an air conditioner that runs reliably and efficiently and an air conditioner that experiences a breakdown.

The Importance of Changing Your Filter

Knowing what type of filter your central HVAC system uses and how often it has to be changed is crucial to proper HVAC function. It is hard to pin down a definite amount of time between filter changes because every filter is different. Fancy filters, or filters with high MERV ratings, collect more dust and particles than the basic fiberglass filter. If you use one of these filters, the air quality in your home is probably better than someone using a filter that allows more particles through. They are usually thicker as well, and as a result, they can become clogged easily if they are not changed on time. But no matter what type of filter you have in your home, you need to remember to change it! (more…)

Capacitor Problems: Affordable but Preventable | Elmhurst, Addison

The intensity of this summer season has left many air conditioners on their last leg. Thousands of homeowners across the Chicagoland area have contacted Four Seasons for emergency repair services, and many of their air conditioners shared the same problem. Luckily, their problem didn’t spell the end for their air conditioner, but it did require professional help to get the unit working properly once more. The first sign of trouble comes when the air conditioner won’t start up as the temperature rising in the home. When you go outside to check on the condenser, many will find that the unit is making a humming noise but nothing is spinning. The problem is the capacitor, but if you trust Four Seasons with your air conditioner repairs, the system can be repaired simply and affordably. (more…)