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10 General Tips When Shopping for Appliances
Whether you’re purchasing a refrigerator or an air conditioner on Maui, you can’t make hasty decisions -- at least if you want to make the most out of your money and avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse. There are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting value for your hard-earned money. 1. Don’t buy on impulse. Keep your impulses in check! Otherwise, you will end up buying things you don’t need. This is becoming a problem for a growing number of people in this digital age, wherein shopping is at the tip of their fingers. It’s easy to click on an item and hit the buy button. Always ask yourself whether you need an item. It doesn’t matter if it’s a state-of-the-art television or a brand new watch -- if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Even if a coffee maker is on sale, if you don’t need it, you don’t have to buy it. 2. Read specifications. Manufacturers lure buyers with photos of their sleek products, and many buyers fall for the trick of buying seemingly cool stuff that proves to be troublesome in actual use. Read the product description to know how big the product is, how it is operated, and how it works. You don’t want a pretty toaster that breaks after a month. 3. Read reviews. Most popular e-commerce sites allow customers to leave reviews. If you’re looking at a model of an oven or ceiling fan, look it up on sites like eBay or Amazon, and look at reviews. People are quite critical online, and they won’t hesitate to air complaints when dissatisfied with their purchase. 4. Choose efficient appliances. When you’re planning to buy an appliance, don’t just look at its price. Think of the other price -- the one you have to pay as you use the appliance throughout its lifespan. Some people save on the first price but overspend on the second price without them knowing it. A cheap room air conditioner on Maui that sucks more electricity will drive your utility bill higher than a more expensive unit that doesn’t need as much power. Remember, you will be using that machine for at least 10 years. Energy efficiency specifications should tell you how much power a machine draws and how much running it will cost you in a year. The more efficient an air conditioner is, for instance, the less energy it requires to cool your home and the less you spend in air conditioning. Although an energy-efficient machine is generally costlier than a less efficient one, it’s less expensive to operate in the long run. So when examining a piece of equipment, look at the yellow and black EnergyGuide label, which indicates the annual power consumption and operating cost of the appliance. The federal government requires every appliance to bear this label. 5. Look for the Energy Star® label. This label means an appliance more than meets the minimum federal standards not just for efficiency but also for quality. That means a product with the Energy Star logo is reliable and durable and doesn’t give you a headache when the electric bill arrives. These are things that you have to look for when buying electrically powered devices or machines that you will use on a daily basis. Look for retailers that allow you to see Energy Star qualifications for appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners, which can be notorious energy hogs at home. 6. Choose smart appliances. Certain models of air conditioners, dishwashers, and refrigerators come as smart appliances, which may be hooked up to programmable systems that turn them up only during peak hours. Smart appliances help you curb energy consumption and lower your electric bill by reducing usage during off-peak hours. Smart air conditioners, for instance, can be programmed to lower temperature settings only when you arrive from work. 7. Take the appliance’s size seriously. A small air conditioning unit isn’t appropriate for a large household with pets. Many people buy a piece of equipment without thinking beforehand if they have a space large enough to accommodate the size of the appliance. Also, large appliances are difficult, if not utterly impossible, to be moved indoors through narrow doors. It’s easy to disregard the limited space in the kitchen when you’re too excited to take a new fridge home. If you’re planning to buy a piece of equipment, take measurements of the room you will place it in and take note of the size of the thing you’re about to buy. Make sure you have a dedicated space in that room where the new appliance won’t block windows, doors, or hallways. In addition, make sure that there are no obstructions around it. 8. Choose function over form. Yes, we get it. We’re visual creatures. We love things that look great. We’ll pick a neat cooking range whose color matches the theme of our kitchen despite its size and performance. At the end of the day, what matters is that you can cook great dishes with the new oven range without high utility bills and pesky issues early into its lifespan. 9. Listen. Have you ever had a ceiling fan that kept you awake all night? It’s frustrating, right? This is why we advise consumers to listen to how much noise an appliance generates. Noise levels are an important consideration for machines that are running for hours on end. Too much noise hinders concentration at work and relaxation at home. That rattling AC in your bedroom that keeps you well awake at night should be checked by a technician. 10. Ask about installation. Some appliances need professional installation to be properly set up. Air conditioners, for instance, work more efficiently when installed by licensed contractors. Before you go and buy a new AC or heater, please don’t just throw your old unit away. Help the environment by finding a recycling facility in your area. Some facilities make use of scrap metal from your retired appliance. Ask your retailers if they pick old equipment up for recycling or other purposes. At Pacific Air Conditioning, we help people find the best air conditioners on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161 if you need help in choosing the right unit.


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Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini Split System Air Conditioners on Maui
Are you wondering if you can cool different rooms in your house or building without installing a window AC in every room? Then central air conditioning is right for you. But what if you don’t have a space for ducts or you just don’t like ducts? Mini-split AC systems on Maui are becoming a popular choice. Commercial and residential ductless systems allow people to enjoy the cool air and evade the outdoor heat. These systems provide cool air to different parts of your house or establishment without the need for ductwork installation. In fact, ductless, mini-split systems (mini splits) are quite common in houses with already existing non-ducted heating systems. They are suitable not only for small apartments but also for houses with extensions or room additions because the installation of additional ducts isn’t practical in such cases. All conditioners have the same key components. The location of these components varies among different types of systems. Mini-splits are like central systems whose compressor and condenser are in the outdoor unit while the air handler is in the indoor unit. Both units are connected by a conduit, which encases the power cable, refrigerant tubing, condensate drain, among other things. But just like the other types of cooling systems, the ductless system comes with pros and cons that you need to know to guide you in making your choice.

What makes the mini-split system great?

Small size

Ask anyone who has chosen this type of air conditioning, and they will probably tell you that they chose this because of its small size. It doesn’t require a lot of space and doesn’t interfere with your daily life. You could almost forget it’s there.


It’s essentially a cross between a central air conditioner and a window type. Although it doesn’t give you the full benefits of centralized air conditioning, it allows you to have as many as four indoor air handlers, which you can place in four different rooms. All air handling units are connected to a single outdoor unit. Each air handler has its own thermostat, so you can make one room cooler or warmer without affecting the temperature in the other rooms. This is a great way to reduce cooling costs, especially if there’s no one in the other rooms or zones. Mini-splits also allow you to put the indoor air handlers anywhere. You can have one suspended from the ceiling or attached to the wall. There are models with floor-standing indoor units, too.

Easy installation

Ductless mini-split systems on Maui are easier to install than either window units or central air conditioners. You don’t need a window for the unit. For most mini-splits, the conduit between the outdoor and indoor units can pass through a three-inch hole through the wall. The conduit is an aspect of ductless systems that people find advantageous. Because conduits can be as long as 50 feet, you don’t need to install the indoor air handler and the outdoor unit close to each other. You can choose a better location outdoors for your compressor, for instance.


The absence of ducts makes the system more efficient. Ducts are an inevitable component of central air conditioning. On Maui, where daytime temperatures climb to the high 80s, ducts in unconditioned spaces absorb a lot of surrounding heat. Air traveling through these warm ducts loses some of its coolness. Heat transfer, in this case, accounts for the unfortunate loss of efficiency in your central air conditioning. In fact, heat absorption in ducts in unconditioned spaces may raise your air conditioning bill by as much as 30%. A ductless system doesn’t have this problem.


A window type AC is a potential entry point for burglars, who can gain access to your home by removing your unit. This isn’t a problem for a split system AC, considering you only have an inconspicuous hole in the wall.

What may keep you from choosing the ductless, mini-split system?


It’s no secret that mini-splits are more expensive than central systems. If you compare the prices of a window unit, a central AC, and a mini-split of similar capacities, the mini-split costs about twice as much as the first one and about 30% more than the second. So if budget is a problem, you may have to think your decision through.

Lack of qualified installers

It’s not easy to find HVAC contractors on Maui who is experienced with installing and maintaining ductless air conditioning systems. The wrong installer may calculate your load incorrectly or choose the wrong unit size for your home. Mini-splits can’t be treated like window units or central air conditioning. We’ve seen air handlers in the wrong corners of houses or ductless systems that are too big for a house. These mistakes also occur with other types of air conditioning, but installing technicians seem to make these mistakes more commonly with mini-split systems.

Preference issues

I asked people who didn’t prefer the mini-split system why they don’t like it, and it’s surprising to hear them say they don’t like how the indoor part of the system looks like. It’s an odd reason, considering window units look bulkier and are more obtrusive than the indoor units of mini splits. But some customers say that the ductless system is more like a central system with a few drawbacks.

Are ductless mini-split systems right for you?

A ductless cooling appliance is good for you if:
  • Your home doesn’t have a central cooling system.
  • You don’t have ductwork or don’t want ducts installed.
  • You have an existing air conditioning system, but you did renovations or added another room or did house extension that needs cooling.
  • A part of your home needs cooling but isn’t connected to an existing air conditioning system.
  • You want to replace your aging air conditioners without having to worry about ducts.
  • You live in a place where seasonal temperatures don’t fluctuate dramatically.
  • You’re prone to allergies. Ductless cooling appliances have better air filtration capabilities.
Do you have questions regarding ductless mini-split air conditioners? At Pacific Air Conditioning, our contractors are ready to assist you and answer your questions regarding different types of air conditioning systems on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161.


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Guide to Room Air Conditioners on Maui
For many people on Maui, room air conditioners are the right option. While they can’t cool an entire building or house, they can deliver comfortable air temperatures where they are needed. More importantly, they are much cheaper and easier to install than central cooling systems. So while I may recommend a central air conditioner for people who need centralized cooling, I have to take into account personal preferences.

But how do you choose the right window AC?

It depends on how big your room is. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in British thermal units (Btu) per hour, and an AC can have a cooling capacity of as low as 5,500 Btu per hour to as high as 14,000 Btu per hour. This unit of measurement is important when calculating your room’s load. The general rule is, for every square foot of room space, your air conditioners needs 20 Btu per hour. However, this is a simplistic means of calculating your cooling needs. Other factors come into play. For instance, the height of your ceiling, the number of regular occupants in a room, and the location of the room all affect how big your air conditioner needs to be. Energy Star’s recommendations are as follows once you have made initial load calculation:
  • Reduce capacity by 10% if your room is surrounded by trees and is shaded.
  • Raise capacity by 10% if your room is under direct sunlight.
  • Add 600 Btu for every additional regular occupant of the room if more than two persons regularly stay in it.
  • Increase the capacity by 4,000 Btu if you’re installing a window unit in the kitchen.
How big your AC needs to depend on what room you’re installing it in. For a typical bedroom that’s around 100-300 square feet, you need an air conditioner with a capacity of 5,000 - 6,000 Btu. Larger and busier rooms around 350 - 650 square feet need a unit with 9,800 - 12,500 Btu.

What if the air conditioning unit is smaller than what my room requires?

If you buy a small air conditioner for a relatively big room, note that while you may have saved on the initial cost, you will be spending more on electric bills and repairs in the long run. Because a small unit struggles to cool a big room, it will run longer and work harder. A struggling air conditioner is energy-hungry. Worse, it will wear out faster.

Is a bigger Maui room air conditioner better?

We get it. It gets hot on Maui, especially during the warmest months, so it makes sense to buy a bigger window AC, right? No. A unit that’s too big for your room will cool it fast. Sure. And that’s the problem. What happens is, your AC will start and stop more frequently, causing the equipment to wear out faster than a unit of the right size. It also cools your room faster than it can strip off its moisture, leaving you with that stuffy feeling. If you think the failure of your AC to dehumidify your room isn’t serious, wait until you smell mold in your home.

Should you be worried about efficiency?

The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in SEER rating, which is basically the cooling capacity per unit of power input. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy the equipment requires to cool the same room to the same temperature. Should you be concerned about it? If you wish to lower your electric bill and carbon footprint, yes. There are relatively efficient systems that are reasonably priced. Look for models with the Energy Star label.

Power Requirements

Air conditioner installation in Maui entails a few things, one of the most important is checking your home’s electrical system to make sure it can handle the demands of the cooling equipment. Window type units run on either a 115-volt or 230-volt circuit. Check the AC’s voltage requirement. The average American home uses the 115-volt connection, so equipment rated at 230 volts needs a dedicated circuit.

Installation Considerations

  • Window air conditioners are heavy, and most people find it difficult, if not impossible, to install one on their own.
  • Location matters. You want to install the unit in a shaded part of the house, not under direct sunlight. In addition, you want to install it near a power outlet.
  • Check that the unit’s plug is compatible with your outlet.

Features to Look for

  • Facile control layout allows easy adjustments. Look for mechanical controls for fan speed and cooling level as well as electronic controls that allow you to set the AC to a specific temperature.
  • A programmable thermostat allows you to run your unit only during specific times of the day, such as when you’re at home. Thus, it helps you save on air conditioning costs.
  • An AC whose filter can be removed by sliding it out of the unit is preferable. That way, you will find it easy to remove the filter for cleaning and replacement.
  • Many models come with remote control, which makes adjustments convenient, and some remotes function as temperature sensors that turn the unit on only when the room temperature rises above the specified setting.

Tips for Operating Air Conditioners on Maui

  • Your window unit relies on good air circulation, so any obstruction near the unit hampers its ability to function at its best. Make sure that the surrounding of the outdoor part of the unit is free from obstructions and that the indoor unit is not near furniture.
  • Block as much sunlight as possible using curtains. Sunlight heats up your floor and counters and raises the indoor temperature, thereby promoting your AC to work harder.
  • Set your thermostat a bit higher. While 72 degrees feel great, 78 degrees isn’t so bad. You will still feel comfortable at a slightly higher temperature without the shock that a huge electric bill brings.
  • If you feel uncomfortable when you raise your temperature setting, it’s probably because of the humidity. Turn on the dehumidifier.
  • Turn on the fan. Another way to get away with setting the thermostat higher without feeling muggy is to let the air in your room circulate. A ceiling fan can make you feel a few degrees cooler.
  • Monitor your power consumption. A new appliance, unplugged devices, or an ailing air conditioning system can bump up your electric bill. It’s no secret that an AC is a notorious power sucker when not properly maintained.
  • Clean and replace your filter. Cleaning an AC filter is a task most people can do without technical assistance.
Do you have questions about room air conditioner installation on Maui? Call us at 808-244-0161.


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3 Common Causes Air Conditioner Problems and How to Fix Them
When you have been fixing broken air conditioners for so long, you will notice a pattern of similar problems over and over. At Pacific Air Conditioning, we diagnose and fix various Maui air conditioner problems.

Common Causes of AC Problems

- improper operation - faulty installation - lack of maintenance

Improper Operation

It’s not surprising -- or maybe it is sometimes -- that not running your AC properly can lead to problems down the road. Its task is simply -- cool your home. But it’s still a complex machine with each part, big or small, working smoothly with the others. Most of us, however, don’t know we’re sabotaging our cooling systems.

How not to sabotage your AC

  1. Close the doors and windows. The moment you turn on your AC and you set your thermostat to your desired temperature, it’s time to close all the doors and windows. Your air conditioner isn’t designed to cool the entire neighborhood.
  2. Don’t leave your AC running if no one is around the house. You would be surprised to know how many people actually do this. Some people don’t turn off their thermostats when they leave for work because they don’t want to be bothered to turn it back on again when they arrive. Guess how much energy is being wasted cooling an empty house throughout the day.
  3. Set the thermostat properly. Most of us want to feel cool air right away after being outdoors for too long. So we should set the thermostat down to its lowest setting to speed up the cooling, right? No. Air conditioners don’t work faster by setting the thermostat lower than your intended temperature. If your comfortable temperature is 75 degrees, setting your thermostat to 68 won’t speed up the cooling. The air temperature will still go down to 75 degrees within the same amount of time whether you set your AC to 75 degrees or 68 degrees. Setting it lower is only a waste of energy.
  4. Set the thermostat a bit higher to save energy. Most people feel comfortable around 75-78 degrees, and many can tolerate slightly higher room temperatures. Try setting your thermostat at 79 or 80 degrees, and see how it feels. If that’s fine, thank you for saving on energy consumption. Every degree of change in your thermostat setting adds or reduces your AC’s power consumption by 7%.
  5. Use your ceiling fans. Your AC and ceiling fans can work in tandem. Ceiling fans make you feel 4 degrees cooler, hence allowing you to raise your thermostat settings a bit even on a hot day. Moreover, they circulate cool air evenly in the room.

Bad Installation

Faulty air conditioner installation is another reason for premature AC problems and higher than normal electric bills. This happens when an inexperienced guy installs your system. The following installation mistakes can lead to Maui air conditioner problems: 1. An undersized or oversized unit If your air conditioner is too small, it won’t cool your home effectively and will run longer than necessary. If it’s too big, it will cool your home too quickly, which has two awful effects: high humidity and more frequent cooling cycles that wear out your equipment sooner. Load calculation should be done before shopping around for air conditioning units, and it should be done again after a renovation. Don’t replace an old unit with a new one of the same size if you made changes in the design and layout of your home. 2. Unfavorable AC location I have seen outdoor units in tight spaces and dirty backyards where the sun bakes the condenser at midday. Where you put your unit determines how efficient it will run and how often you need to clean it. So install your unit in a shaded place away from obstructions. 3. Ductwork design flaws These are due to amateur work. These are why we recommend that you hire a professional AC technician on Maui when you want to have a central air conditioner installed. Common ductwork design mistakes are sharp bends, improper sealing, lack of return vents, substandard materials, and poor workmanship. If your newly installed HVAC systems suffer from leaky ducts, suspect bad installation. 4. Incorrect refrigerant charge Inexperienced technicians often make this mistake. The amount of refrigerant in the system needs to match the manufacturer’s specifications. Otherwise, your air conditioner, no matter how new it is, will not perform accordingly. Notice ice on your evaporator coil? It may be due to a low refrigerant charge. Only a professional can check the refrigerant charge of your unit. Don’t try to fix this problem on your own if you have absolutely no experience in handling refrigerants.

Lack of Maintenance

If your air conditioner has been running smoothly for a few months but has suddenly become problematic, you probably have been neglecting it for too long. An air conditioner needs to be checked every once in a while.

Signs your AC needs maintenance or repair

  1. Your unit fails. Suspect the fuses, circuit breakers, or compressor. Turn off the unit, and wait for at least 5 minutes. Check the fuses and circuit breakers. Also, check the compressor, which may stop working on a hot day. Reset the compressor by pushing the button in its access panel.
  2. You see ice on the evaporator coil. Frost on the coil is due to reduced heat absorption, which is due to low refrigerant charge or dust on the coil. A low refrigerant charge may be due to a leak, which needs to be fixed. Dust on the coil, on the other hand, can be addressed by cleaning.
  3. Your room feels warm. When any part of your air conditioner isn’t working properly, one of the usual symptoms is reduced cooling. Dirty filters, dirty coils, duct leaks, or blocked vents can cause this problem. If routine cleaning or filter replacement doesn’t solve the issue, it’s time to call a licensed AC technician on Maui.
  4. You notice moisture near your unit. This may be a serious issue that should be addressed right away to avoid damage to your unit and to your wall and floor. It may be due to a clogged drain line or a refrigerant leak.
  5. You hear bothersome noises. All air conditioners produce some noise, albeit tolerable. Weird noises like squeaking, clicking, or grinding noise should prompt you to call a technician.
  6. You smell something strange. HVAC systems aren’t manufactured to produce any smell. The smell may be due to several things. A musty odor could be due to mold, a product of high humidity or water leaks. But if you smell something like burnt plastic and you suspect it’s from your AC, turn it off and contact a technician.
  7. Your electric bill is huge! Air conditioning eats a huge part of your energy consumption, especially if you live in warm places like Maui. However, if you notice that your bills are much higher than usual, it’s time you have your unit checked. Dirty or damaged air conditioning systems work harder and require more energy.
The warmer months are around the corner, and it’s time for your AC maintenance and tuneup on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161 to learn more about keeping your unit in good condition.


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A Breakdown of Maui Air Conditioner Maintenance
An air conditioner cannot function at its best if at least one of its parts isn’t working properly, and lack of maintenance is a common reason your AC’s performance gradually declines. Before you call for professional Maui air conditioner maintenance, keep in mind that there are small tasks that you can do on your own to ensure your unit’s health. In order to do good maintenance, you have to be intimate with the different parts of your cooling system.


An AC filter blocks microscopic particles (e.g. dust and pollen) from entering the unit. After a month, a significant amount of dirt accumulates in the filter and blocks normal airflow in the air conditioner, thereby reducing its efficiency. Dirty filters cannot clean your air properly. As a result, more dust accumulates on the evaporator coil, further reducing the system’s efficiency. Dust on the coil acts as an insulator that keeps the coil from absorbing as much heat as when it’s dust-free. You have to clean your filters as often as needed, and at some point, you have to replace them. How often you need to clean and replace your air filters depends on the place where you live and whether or not you have pets. For an average home, cleaning or replacing the filter should be done once or twice a month. For big households with pets, cleaning may have to be done every two weeks. A clean filter lowers your AC energy consumption by up to 15%. The location of filters varies depending on the type of air conditioning system. A central AC typically has filters in the return duct, which could be in the wall or ceiling. Some central air conditioners house the filter in the unit itself. Window units have filters in the grill facing the room; hence, it’s easier to remove the filter of room air conditioners.
There are two types of filters: washable and disposable filters.
Washable air filters, which usually have MERV rating of 1-4, catch large particles (e.g. dust and soot). You need to clean them every month. Dry the filter before installing it back into the unit to avoid bacteria and fungi to infest your unit. Washable filters can last for several years, but they have drawbacks. They’re expensive, and they can’t block very small air pollutants, like pet dander and bacteria. That means they aren’t good for people with house pets. Disposable filters have MERV ratings as high as 16, which means they’re able to capture much smaller dust particles, pet dander, smoke, and microorganisms. There’s no maintenance job for this type of filter because you have to -- as the name implies -- throw them away when they’re dirty. How often you need to replace a disposable filter depends on what type you have. Cheap fiberglass filters should be replaced every month, but pleated polyester filters can last for 3-6 months.

AC coils and fins

Our Maui air conditioner maintenance team reports that these parts are the most often neglected -- sometimes for years! That’s sad because the coils keep collecting dirt over the years. You can slow down the accumulation of dirt on them by cleaning and replacing your filters regularly, but they eventually still get dirty. Even a thin film of dirt is enough to reduce the ability of the coils to absorb or release heat, and as you may have surmised, if the coils can’t absorb or release enough heat, your AC can’t function at its optimal. You have to inspect the indoor unit and outdoor unit of your air conditioner at least once a year. The indoor unit is where you see the evaporator coil. That’s the coil that cools your air before releasing it back into your home. The outdoor unit has the compressor and condenser coil. The indoor unit’s usual problems with its coils are dirt and frost, the latter being most likely the result of the former. There are many ways to clean the evaporator coil. You can use a vacuum or compressed air or use a brush and a commercial cleaner. Whenever we see a dirty indoor unit, we can expect a much dirtier outdoor unit. I have seen condensers located in dirty corners of neglected backyards. Over the months, condensers suck in dirt, dead leaves, grass, and debris. All these unwanted things collect on the fins and choke the condenser. Remember the fins help to dissipate heat from the condenser coil, and all that dirt compromises the capability of the outdoor unit to disperse heat. Your first line of defense against dirt and debris buildup in the condenser is clean surroundings. Trim the plants around it. Inspect it after a storm. Remove obstructions around it. Cleaning the condenser, however, isn’t a difficult task. You can use a brush or a fin comb. You can use a garden nozzle to dislodge gunk on the condenser coil and fins.
Other Things to Do
1. Unclog your condensate drains. Drain channels accumulate sludge too. Clogged drains keep your unit from reducing humidity at home. Too much moisture in the air causes the growth of mold and pests. It also discolors your walls. 2. Inspect the seal between your window unit and its frame. This seal can get damaged and distorted over time and cause cooled air to exit. 3. Hire a professional Maui air conditioner technician. There are things that only professionals should do. a) Inspect the system thoroughly b) Do regular maintenance and tuneup c) Fix electrical issues d) Fix or replace a faulty compressor e) Charge the refrigerant f) Test for refrigerant leaks g) Capture and contain refrigerant without releasing it into the atmosphere h) Check the ductwork for leaks i)Seal duct leaks j) Assess airflow k) Check electric terminals l) Check electrical connections within the unit m) Assess the motors to wear n) Assess thermostat accuracy The list goes on. The rule is, if you don’t know how to do it, ask someone who does. Don’t dismantle an AC unit and fiddle with its parts if you don’t know what you’re doing and what you’re touching. Besides, your HVAC system needs to be seen by a licensed contractor every once in a while. Pacific Air Conditioning has been keeping air conditioners on Maui in its best working condition. Call us at 808-244-0161 if you need professional HVAC maintenance.


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5 FAQs about Air Conditioners
Three in every four American homes have air conditioning, and in places like Maui, air conditioners have been replacing natural ventilation especially in relatively new homes. Old architectural designs of houses have open windows that allow winds to ventilate homes. Young homeowners, however, veer from such home designs, thus opting for air conditioning, which is much more comfortable than open windows on a hot summer day. We like educating customers about air conditioning systems because that’s one way of empowering them. When you know how something works, you know how to keep it in good condition. Here are five frequently asked questions about air conditioners that everyone should know:

1. How an AC works?

Air conditioners work like refrigerators, relying on coolants or refrigerants to transfer heat. What’s basically happening when an AC is running is a transfer of heat. This cooling system has an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit typically has the compressor and condenser. The indoor unit houses the evaporator. These components have to work together to provide you cool air. When the refrigerant travels from the evaporator coil to the compressor, the compressor (as its name implies) compresses this gas. The gas liquefies as a result of extreme pressure, which also turns it hot as molecules are being compressed. The liquefied refrigerant moves out of the compressor as a hot fluid that travels to the condenser coil. Housed in the outdoor unit, the condenser coil dissipates the heat to the metal fins, and the condenser fan removes much of this heat out of the system. The refrigerant moves away from the condenser as a cooled fluid, but it’s still too hot. It has to be cooled down before entering the evaporator coil. Thus, it has to pass through the expansion valve, whose job is opposite that of the compressor. The expansion valve causes the fluid to expand into a gas. Note that when the same amount of gas expands, it cools down. As air moves into your AC’s indoor unit, it encounters the cold evaporator coil. Important heat exchange occurs here wherein air loses heat as the coil absorbs it. Cooled air is then blown out of the indoor unit and into your home. This is the cool air that you feel circulating in your rooms. As the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air passing over it, the refrigerant inside heats up. The heated refrigerant travels to the compressor, where it is again compressed. The cycle repeats. This is what’s happening inside your Maui air conditioner.

2. Do air conditioners still use CFCs?

Most of the air conditioners used before 2000 has chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs as their refrigerants. Scientists discovered, though, that these chemicals could destroy the ozone layer. Hence, the manufacture of these chemicals was stopped in 1995. Today the refrigerant commonly used is halogenated CFCs, which are also being discontinued. By 2020, the production of HCFCs will have mostly ceased. Home air conditioners use mainly HCFC-22 (sometimes called R-22), a chemical that companies have been phasing out since 2010 and will be phased out completely in 2020. Manufacturers are moving towards ozone-safe alternatives. That’s why hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will be the chief refrigerant for air conditioners. Ammonia is also being considered as a good alternative. If you’re using an older air conditioner running on CFCs, you can still help stop ozone depletion by reducing your AC usage, sealing and insulating your home, and maintaining your AC. Old units that have gone defective should be replaced with new and efficient models.

3. What are the types of air conditioners?

Central air conditioning is common on Maui. Most homeowners and business owners prefer this to window units because of efficiency. This type of air conditioning relies on ducts and registers to supply cool air to rooms in a house or building. However, installing central air conditioners is expensive and requires much planning. Room air conditioners are also popular, especially among small homes, shops, and offices. They come as window units or portable coolers. A window unit is compact and can be installed in a room, and because it’s limited to a single room, it can’t cool the rest of the house. You will have to install separate units in other rooms if you want to cool them as well. Perhaps that’s why the portable AC was made. It’s like the window unit because it cools a small space, but it’s not stuck in the wall. Instead, you can move it around the house. For some people, this is a perfect choice. On the other hand, there’s a bridge that fills the gap between central air conditioning and room units. It’s called the ductless air conditioner. Also called mini-split systems, ductless air conditioners are similar to central AC’s because their outdoor units house the compressor and condenser and their indoor units house the air handler. You can have as many as four indoor units; it’s like having separate room air conditioners all attached to one outdoor unit. Each indoor handling unit has its own thermostat, so you can control the temperature in one room without affecting the other.

4. What are the common problems with air conditioners?

We have been fixing broken air conditioners on Maui for more than 10 years, and we keep seeing the same problems over and over. One of the most common is the system being low on refrigerant. It could be because the unit was undercharged from the get-go or because of a leak. If the unit is undercharged, adding a refrigerant should solve the issue. But if it’s leaking, the leak should be fixed first before adding the right amount of coolant. Problems with the electrical components are also quite common. These issues usually affect the compressor and fans and are usually due to wear and tear as a result of the unit turning on and off too often. Hence, such problems are common in oversized units. Other problems that compel people to call air conditioner repair on Maui are broken thermostat sensors and drainage issues, which should be fixed as soon as they are discovered. However, perhaps there is no greater liability for a homeowner than failure to maintain their cooling (and heating) systems, which brings us to our next point.

5. How do I maintain my AC?

Many air conditioner maintenance tasks can be done by you. Cleaning the exterior component can be done by an average person with decent DIY skills. If you can remove the fan cage, you can remove the debris inside and clean the condenser coil and fins with a vacuum or garden nozzle. Other jobs that you may be able to do are cleaning the filters and cleaning or declogging the evaporator drain. Some people can clean their evaporator coil, but many people prefer having it professionally cleaned. Nonetheless, professional maintenance once a year keeps your unit in good shape. Professional maintenance includes tasks that only licensed air conditioning technicians should perform. Call Pacific Air Conditioner at 808-244-0161 for your Maui air conditioner concerns.


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The Best Central AC Models for Your Home on Maui
Many people, homeowners and business owners alike, prefer central air conditioners to window units even if the former is much more expensive and much more taxing to install. There are obvious reasons, such as efficiency and even temperatures. If your home has several rooms that need cooling, then you should consider the best central air conditioners on Maui. When we say the best, we mean the most energy-efficient unit with the right features.

Why should you take our advice seriously?

That’s a fair question. First, Pacific Air Conditioning has been around for more than 10 years. That means we’ve seen so many brands of air conditioners in so many homes and buildings, so we know the most reliable brands. We have compared the performance and efficiency among different models. Second, we also do our research. We’re affiliated with AHRI and NATE, and part of our recommendations is based on Energy Star and Energy Saver, two government agencies that tell us the energy efficiency of appliances, including air conditioners.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Central AC on Maui

  1. Efficiency rating
  2. Noise
  3. Unit size
  4. Unit cost
  5. Warranty
  6. Installation cost
  7. Thermostat

New models are more efficient.

Manufacturers are constantly making new models that are improvements to the past ones. One of the key improvements is efficiency. Generally, new air conditioners use less electricity to generate the same amount of cooling than their old counterparts. On the other hand, new models vary in efficiency, too, and the most efficient models are expected to be the most expensive. So, the less electricity an AC model consumes the higher its SEER rating. SEER means the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which is the ratio of the cooling output within a cooling season to the energy input in the same period. Your old air conditioner was probably rated 8 or 9 SEER. Today’s models have a rating of at least 13. But don’t buy the model with the highest SEER rating just yet. Shop around. Compare the price of the unit with the energy savings, in the long run, to see if it’s worth your money. The average SEER rating of today’s air conditioners is 16. We’ve seen nearly a hundred of models being sold in the market today, and about 2 in every 5 models have ratings below 16. And so far, Amana, American Standard, Lennox XC25, and Trane have models with at least 22 SEER, making them the brands with the highest SEER in the market. Regardless of how efficient your unit is, you still to do regular maintenance as Energy Star recommends. Maintenance tasks include replacing filters and tuning up your system to keep it working at its most efficient.

Cooling Cycles and Noise.

Some people are worried that a central cooling system is noisier than a split system or window AC. They were in the past. The noise that you would hear comes from the fans or the fan motor. Today’s models, however, have improved designs that reduce noise production. You can check the loudness of the noise generated by the outdoor unit. Any noise around 70 decibels should be tolerable. American Standard brand is the least noisy among the top brands, generating only 69.9 decibels of noise, while Frigidaire generates about 72.9 decibels of sound.

Bigger isn’t always better.

The best central air conditioners on Maui come in different sizes. I always tell clients to choose based on the size of their home. We can help you calculate your cooling needs to avoid ending up with anything too small or too big for your house. If your AC is too small, it will run longer than necessary and will fail to cool your home sufficiently on a blazing day. If it’s too big, it will cool your home faster than it can dehumidify it. This is bad both for your unit and your health. The faster cooling cycle means the system turns on and off more frequently throughout the day. This causes faster wear. Meaning, you may have to deal with repairs or replacement sooner. Also, when your cooling system can’t effectively dehumidify your house, your air feels stuffy, and mold growth is inevitable. If you need help with choosing the right unit, we have trained HVAC technicians on Maui who can help you calculate your cooling needs so that you can narrow down your choices to a few models of the ideal size.

Warranties, anyone?

Every air conditioner comes with a conditional warranty, so you should register your unit within the prescribed number of days to be eligible for the full term coverage. Unregistered units may still have warranties of around 5 years. Once you have registered your unit, you are entitled to a warranty of 10 years or more. Brands like Amana, Coleman, Goodman, and Trane offer warranties of at least 12 years.

Professional Installation

The challenge that comes right after the purchase is installation. Portable and window units are easy to set up, but a central AC requires you to have experience in wiring, plumbing, and refrigeration. Unless you’re a professional HVAC installer, you cannot do this on your own. A central cooling system is expensive, and you shouldn’t attempt to set it up if you have no experience. You can look up contractors in your area. Pay attention to what customers are saying about their service. Look for honest reviews, and don’t ignore what your friends and associates say about a certain contractor. The mistake is to choose the contractor with the lowest bid. Just because someone offers the cheapest service doesn’t mean you’re getting the right service from them. Cheap installation may indeed prove to be cheap once problems due to substandard work arise too soon in the future. Another mistake is to choose the contractor closest to where you live. Why not? The dude closest to you can’t flake on you because you live two cities away. Maybe not. But still, that doesn’t mean they’ll provide the best service.

What would I look for if I were looking for central AC installers on Maui?

I would look for a NATE-certified technician because I’m sure that person knows how to calculate your cooling and heating needs, knows how to install any type of air conditioner in any type of home or building, and knows how to do maintenance.

 Thermostats for Central Air Conditioners

Unlike room air conditioners, central air conditioning systems don’t come with built-in thermostats, so you have to choose one for your system upon installation of new equipment or replacement of an old one. We recommend programmable thermostats because they allow scheduled cooling, and some versions come with state-of-the-art features like smartphone control and automatic cooling cycles. Two of the most recommended brands are Nest and ecobee.

Let’s talk a bit about the cost.

The cost of having a central air conditioning system ranges from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the brand, the SEER rating, the size of your house, and the installation cost. The overall cost can climb up if you don’t have preexisting ductwork, if you want a multi-zone system, or if you need a new furnace. You may shop around Maui to get the best quotes.

Central vs Window Air Conditioner

This is a common question that people ask us. The quick answer is, it depends. Your budget and home layout will determine which one is good for you. The cost is the primary reason people don’t choose central air conditioning at first. Everyone wants an affordable alternative. A window AC typically costs somewhere around $200. That’s way cheaper than the cheapest central AC. Installation is also quicker and less expensive. Maintenance is, of course, much easier. However, if you want to cool your entire house, a central air conditioner is the better option. By better, we mean more convenient and more efficient. Keeping multiple window air conditioners for several rooms becomes cumbersome in the long run. Even cooling is an issue for the window AC because it doesn’t distribute cool air consistently within a room. You will notice that one corner is chillier than the rest. So while this type of cooling is good for small spaces like a single room or studio apartments, it can’t suffice a big house with several rooms. Moreover, central air conditioners distribute cool air evenly throughout the house. A central AC is also preferable in Maui, where it’s summer all year round and people tend to use air conditioning during the day. Some areas with milder or cooler climate can do with window units.

How does a central air conditioner work?

A common misconception is that it moves air from outdoors to indoors. It doesn’t. Instead, it pulls indoor air into the evaporator. The evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the passing air and a fan blows cooled air back into your home. The heat absorbed by the coil heats up the refrigerant inside. The heated refrigerant travels to the outdoor pipes. In the outdoor unit, the condenser fan blows heat away from the coil. The refrigerant then loses heat as it travels back into the indoor unit, and the cycle repeats.

Best Brand Overall

There are several efficient central air conditioner models with the longest warranties, but one that stands out among the rest is Amana AVXC20. Its SEER rating is 24.5, taking it to the top tier in terms of efficiency. The only model that has a higher efficiency is Lennox’s top-end unit. Add Amana AVXC20’s lifetime warranty, and you can never go wrong with this model. Lifetime warranty saves you money down the road. For example, if after several years of use, its compressor fails, the warranty covers its replacement; meaning, you won’t have to spend for a new compressor, which is one of the most expensive parts of a central air conditioner. Not all Amana units come with a lifetime warranty. Only models with a SEER rating of at least 16 have a lifetime compressor coverage, for instance. Those with lower SEER ratings carry a 10-year warranty, which isn’t a bad thing.

Value for Your Money

If you’re looking for efficient models that aren’t the most expensive, you’re looking for Goodman. Its top-end units come with lifetime compressor warranties. Its GSX models only have a 10-year warranty, though, just like the low-end models of its competitors. You can avail of the lifetime warranty if you’re the owner of the unit and you still own the home where the unit is installed. Most parts are covered for 10 years, which is still better coverage than the coverage of other brands. What sets Goodman apart from its rivals is its onboard diagnostics, which notifies you if something is broken in the system. However, if efficiency is a deciding factor for you, then note that Goodman’s most efficient central air conditioner comes to a SEER rating of 18, much lower than Amana’s and Lennox’s most efficient units. But that lower efficiency comes with a lower price, too. So while you’re not getting the most efficient system, you’re getting the least expensive among the reliable brands in the market.

Top Efficiency

Lennox has the most efficient model with a SEER rating of 26, unrivaled by its competitors. Note that most efficient models have a rating of around 20 SEER. If you’re low on budget, you may check out Lennox models with ratings as low as 13 SEER. Nine out of eleven Lennox units have the Energy Star logo. What makes Lennox’s top-end models more energy efficient is their variable speed compressors, although Lennox also makes central air conditioners with two-stage compressors. Compressors that run at varying speeds are better at controlling the temperature in your home and are more energy-efficient. The company’s central AC models can also withstand harsh weather, making them more durable than their rivals. Moreover, Lennox makes the quietest air conditioners in the market, some making only 59 decibels of noise. The downside is the warranty. Unlike Amana, Lennox’s flagship models only have a 10-year warranty, which is significantly shorter. Its replacement parts are also more expensive than those of the other brands. Nevertheless, the best central air conditioner on Maui is the one that’s best suited to your needs.

Final Advice: Keeping cooled air in

The challenge for homeowners is to reduce air leaks at home. Cooled air leaking outdoors and warm air leaking indoors make your air conditioning system work harder and in return raise your cooling bill. Places like Maui where temperatures are well above the 80s in the daytime, sometimes reaching the 90s, it’s best to keep the windows and doors shut when the AC is on. It’s also a great idea to check that your home is well insulated and sealed. You don’t want to pay for cooled air leaking outdoors. There are a lot of things that we can talk about when it comes to central air conditioners. Call us at 808-244-0161 to schedule a free consultation. We will calculate your cooling needs and recommend the ideal AC models for you.


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10 Air Conditioner Maintenance Guide for Homeowners on Maui
Maintaining your air conditioner keeps it in good condition, thus reducing the possibility of failure. I’ve seen thousands of air conditioners over the years as an HVAC contractor, and I can tell you that most of the problems arise from lack of maintenance. Most breakdowns happen ironically in summer when people need cooling the most. If you don’t want an unexpected air conditioner trouble, follow these Maui air conditioner maintenance tips:

1. Turn off your AC.

One of the first things I will tell you when you tell us you’re having problems with your air conditioning is to turn your unit off. Before you do maintenance tasks, don’t forget to disconnect your unit from its power supply. Otherwise, you could get electrocuted if you attempt to dismantle your air conditioner and touch its internal parts. Don’t just switch it off. Shut the entire system off and switch off the breaker to make sure no electricity of any amount is coursing through the system.

2. Remove blockages.

Plants and objects near your condenser outdoors may obstruct airflow, especially when they are too close to your outdoor unit. When your condenser is choked, it’s unable to pull sufficient air into the unit to remove enough heat from the refrigerant to turn it into liquid. Remember that an air conditioner’s ability to cool your home depends largely on its refrigerant. Remove potted plants and objects and trim shrubs and weeds around your condensing unit.

3. Keep your outdoor unit clean.

The condensing unit outdoors is exposed to dust, dirt, dry leaves, and other things. When its fan is running, which is basically every time you turn your air conditioning on, it sucks in dirt and debris, which eventually builds up. Dirt and debris hamper heat transfer. As a result, the system loses efficiency. Fortunately, even an average person can clean the condenser using a garden nozzle or a vacuum. Turn off the power. Unscrew the grill. Then remove the fan cage. Remove any dead leaves stuck inside.

4. Clean the coil fins.

Dirt can build up on the fins as air moves into the unit, but that gunk can be removed using a garden hose. Be careful, however, when blasting water onto the unit that you don’t push the dirt into the internal parts of the condenser. Depending on the design of your outdoor unit, you may need to blast water from above, not from the side, to hit the fins from an angle. Sometimes you may need a fin cleaning spray for stubborn dirt. While cleaning your condenser, you may notice bent fins. Straighten them using a knife, but be careful not to poke any internal structure. Window units are more difficult to clean because they need to be dismantled and their thermostats and fan motors need to be taken out before you can clean them. There are a lot of parts to deal with, which makes the task quite cumbersome for the average guy. Well, if in any case, you don’t know how to clean your unit, don’t hesitate to call our Maui air conditioner maintenance technicians.

5. Check that the outdoor unit sits on an even surface.

It’s common for installers to locate the condenser on the ground, not on a leveled concrete, and that means you may find it sitting on a craggy surface. Even concrete can become uneven over the years because of the changes in the soil underneath. Adjust the position of the condenser to make sure it’s sitting perfectly upright.

6. Keep the evaporator coil clean.

Now, your indoor unit, which houses the evaporator coil (and furnace in the case of an HVAC system), needs just as much love as its outdoor counterpart. Basically, your air conditioning system as a whole needs seasonal upkeep. Again, turn off the power supply to your AC before opening the indoor unit. Dust the coil before spraying a no-rinse cleaner for cooling coils. You may need to take the indoor unit outdoors for better cleaning using a garden nozzle. Care should be taken so that you don’t damage any delicate part and inadvertently cause leaks. You can always call for professional Maui air conditioning maintenance if you reckon that cleaning the evaporator coil or condenser is a difficult task.

7. Replace the AC filter.

Most homeowners can clean their air conditioner filter, which can be taken out of the unit fairly easily. This should be done as regularly as needed, depending on how soon it gets dirty. The more members and pets you have at home, the more frequent you need to clean and replace your filters. Dirty filters cause your air conditioner to work harder, and we always say that a system that works harder than it should lose efficiency. An inefficient appliance requires more electricity to do the same task. More electricity used raises your energy bill. An average house needs AC filter replacement every six months. A busy house with pets, on the other hand, needs air filter replacement more often. Buy a new filter whose airflow rating is similar to the one your AC originally has.

8. Install a programmable thermostat.

Before the hottest months arrive, inspect your cooling system to make sure every part is in good shape. The thermostat is not an exception to your routine AC inspection. See if it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing when you set it to cooling mode. More importantly, consider replacing an old thermostat with a programmable model. Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule cooling cycles so that your air conditioner will only cool your house substantially when you and your family are around. This way, you won’t waste so much electricity.

9. Monitor your air conditioning system.

After doing air conditioning maintenance, monitor your unit to make sure it’s working fine. See if it cools your home as effectively as before. If your DIY maintenance is successful, your AC should be able to cool your home to the temperature you set your thermostat to and you shouldn’t be hearing any weird noise.

10. Call an AC technician on Maui.

While some people are confident that they can perform the maintenance tasks enumerated above, others are anxious to even take the filters out of their air conditioners. No problem. That’s one of the reasons we are here. Pacific Air Conditioning addresses common consumer issues, including basic air conditioning maintenance on Maui. It’s our job to give you peace of mind. We’re here to provide quality and reliable HVAC maintenance and repair services. I teach clients how to clean their filters and program their thermostats properly, but there are procedures that are hard to teach. Air conditioners come in a variety of designs. That’s why I recommend that you call a professional when you’re not sure what to do. I’ve seen bad DIY work that led to expensive repairs. Better safe than sorry. If you need a licensed AC technician, call 808-244-0161. We are more than glad to attend to you.


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10 Air Conditioning Tips Every Owner Should Know
It’s warm all year round for much of Maui. That’s why air conditioners are quite common on the island. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Kihei or Wailuku. You will find that most homes and almost all establishments are air-conditioned, and there are a lot of things that we can talk about when it comes to AC systems. But one of the things that homeowners keep asking is air conditioning tips on Maui. Air conditioners keep us cool during a hot day. No longer considered luxuries, they are necessities. Comfort cannot be overemphasized as an everyday necessity. It keeps optimal workplace productivity and allows a good night's sleep. Nevertheless, there are a lot of things that I can tell you about air conditioning systems.

1. Choose the right air conditioning system.

Apparently, everyone has his or her individual needs. Some people are okay with window type air conditioners. You will see a lot of small offices and shops with this type of AC. Large establishments and big houses are better off having central air conditioning systems on Maui. People have different needs and preferences, though. We’ve seen big houses with AC's only in the bedrooms. We’ve seen portable coolers as well as split system AC. People just prefer one thing to another, but you can always get professional advice if you’re having one installed for the first time or upgrading your air conditioning system.

2. Choose central air conditioning systems.

Window AC units are okay, and in some cases, they are a good choice, but most homes and businesses in Maui are better off installing central air conditioning. A window AC only cools a room it’s installed in. However, all houses have multiple rooms, and it gets expensive to cool the entire house using several units. This is where a central cooling system’s advantage really shines. On top of that, central AC systems allow even cooling, so one corner of the room isn’t warmer than the rest. Moreover, these programmable systems provide more efficiency that their window type counterparts just can’t stop.

3. Watch out for dust.

One of the things that air conditioners do aside from cooling your house is cleaning your air. Dust gets trapped in the filters, and that’s why your house is less dusty when your AC is running. Of course, good housekeeping keeps dust at bay. However, dust may accumulate in your rooms despite regular house cleaning. Check your filters when too much dust builds up on your furniture and floors. If you’re using disposable filters, you’re going to get dusty indoor air because these filters can’t trap fine dust. Clean your filters once or twice a month, and replace them at least once every six months.

4. Inspect your ducts.

Another air conditioning tip on Maui is to check the ductwork once in a while. Leaks in the ducts can also cause dust to enter your home, and dust is just one of the problems that leaky ducts bring about. That’s why when we do inspections, one of the important things on our list is to check the integrity of your ductwork because about 20% of cooled air is lost through leaks, gaps, and holes. Obvious symptoms, aside from dust, are longer running time and warmer than the usual indoor temperature. Call an HVAC technician on Maui if you notice a loss of efficiency, dust accumulation, or anything out of the ordinary that’s been happening to your air conditioning unit. Don’t try to seal leaks or gaps in the ducts if you’re not skilled enough. Don’t try to seal the leaks using the wrong materials. I’ve seen leaks sealed with duct tape. There are recommended adhesive tapes for that purpose (e.g. HVAC mastic). Also, note that much of the ducting is inaccessible.

5. Don’t shy away from portable air conditioners.

As much as we want everyone to install a central AC system, we can’t make impositions. For some people, room air conditioners are better. There’s the window type discussed earlier, and there’s also the portable type, which is good when you want a cooling machine that can be brought to different rooms. It’s easy to set up. One person can do the job. A portable AC comes with wheels that allow easy transfer from one room to another, but many models are quite heavy and cumbersome, if not dangerous, to carry upstairs or downstairs.

6. Maintain your air conditioner.

No matter what type of unit you have, you need to keep it in good condition. If you want it to run without problems for several years, don’t miss doing the following:
  • Replace the air filter once a month to promote sufficient airflow.
  • Clean the compressor cabinet. Remove dirt and debris.
  • Inspect the coils and fins. Clean them when they are covered in dirt.
  • Keep the compressor shaded.
Lack of maintenance forces your AC to work harder and reduces its lifespan. It also leads to expensive repairs down the road, as poor maintenance makes your unit susceptible to damage. If you don’t know how to maintain and tune-up your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to seek professional air conditioner maintenance on Maui.

7. Install air filters.

Most of us think of factory smoke and exhaust gas when dirty air comes to mind, yet indoor air can be worse than the air on a busy street. The other bad news is that we spend most of our time indoors, all the while inhaling a nasty mix of dust mites, dander, mold spores, and pollen. The film of dust you see on your furniture is just a tiny fraction of all the soup of microscopic pollutants floating in the air that you breathe. Your air conditioner has a filter, but it’s not enough in many cases. If you’re particularly sensitive or any of you in the family has allergies, you should consider installing household air filters. These filters come as media filters and electronic filters, which can be built into your HVAC system or installed as stand-alone units.

8. Consider ductless air conditioning.

Also called a mini-split system, a ductless air conditioner is composed of an indoor unit attached to a wall and an outdoor unit. Both units are connected by a refrigerant line that delivers electricity and another line that takes condensation away. A ductless system is preferable if you have no existing ducts but don’t want the window unit. It’s more efficient and less noisy than a window AC. Some mini-split systems include heating and allow a network of multiple units in your house, making them a versatile alternative to otherwise cheaper room air conditioners. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about removing the unit once winter arrives, which is a tedious task for window AC owners.

9. Transfer your AC safely.

Whether you have a portable unit or a window unit, you may need to transport your air conditioner at some point. Even the smallest unit can be too bulky and heavy for the average person, and carrying all that weight around is troublesome and hazardous. Be better safe than sorry by using a hand truck. Secure the unit on the truck. Hold the hand truck firmly as you go upstairs or downstairs. If you don’t have a hand truck or cart, you may have to improvise a sled with a rope to move the AC unit downstairs or upstairs. Secure the unit firmly on the sled with cleats and straps. Make sure you’re strong enough to hold and move the rope attached to the sled with the bulky machine. Otherwise, this procedure can be dangerous both for you and the unit and should be carried out by a professional instead.

10. Leave it to the pros.

One of the crucial air conditioning tips on Maui is to know when to drop your tools and call a professional technician. You should call a licensed HVAC contractor in the following situations:
  • When you’re not sure what type of air conditioner to choose
  • When you don’t know how to install a new AC
  • When there’s a problem with your unit that you can’t identify or fix
  • When your air conditioning system loses efficiency despite maintenance
  • When your system sustains damage after a storm or an earthquake
Pacific Air Conditioning has been providing HVAC installations, tune-ups, and maintenance on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161 to schedule a free consultation.


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DIY Air Conditioning Repair on Maui
Some people can fix their air conditioners. You probably can if you have decent DIY skills, but don’t hesitate to call professional air conditioning repair on Maui if you’re unsure. Air conditioners, like any machine, fail at some point. Your initial plan when that happens is probably to call a repair guy. The problem is when an AC emergency occurs in summer. Because most technicians are preoccupied with broken cooling systems in summer, your request for repairs is stacked with several others sitting in a queue. The other problem is money. Some people just don’t like spending two hundred dollars or so to have their air conditioner fixed. Can you work with electrical components? Do you know your way into an AC? Can you spend a few tens of dollars on parts? If so, then roll up your sleeves. Keep replacement parts handy! Contractors and capacitors are the usual culprits when air conditioners fail, but they’re cheap. If you’re running a unit that’s been around for more than 5 years, the contactors or capacitors can fail. However, it’s also possible that the condenser fan motor is broken. Typically, condenser fans cost around $150, so only buy a replacement when you’re sure it has indeed gone defective. You can buy these parts at an appliance or hardware store. Keep the model and a serial number of your AC at hand when buying specific parts. Understand the anatomy of your central air conditioner on Maui. Like we’ve said before, these machines that spew cool air into your home have three main components: a condensing unit, a compressor, and an evaporator coil. Inside these parts is the refrigerant, which expands and contracts, and such changes in the pressure of the refrigerant is what makes your AC work. When you turn on your air conditioner, indoor air is sucked into the AC and passes over the evaporator coils. The coils absorb the heat. Or rather the refrigerant in the coil absorbs the heat. Your indoor air then loses heat and cools. This cooled air is blown by a fan back into your room. Then the refrigerant moves into the condensing unit, where another fan blows heat off of the hot condensing coil. The condenser has three parts that you as a DIYer need to know. As you have probably noticed, the three parts have been mentioned: the contractor, start/run capacitors, and fan motor. The compressor is also found in the condensing unit, but you don’t need to worry about the compressor and the evaporator coil. If they fail, only a licensed HVAC technician on Maui can fix them. All right, so you turned on your AC, but your room isn’t cooling. Meaning, your cooling machine isn’t working. Your job as a DIYer begins! First, you need to have the right tools: adjustable wrench, cordless drill, insulated screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, nut driver, socket set, voltage tester, and a multimeter. Again, keep the replacement capacitor and contactor handy. You also need some compressed air and a couple of fuses. Important Tip: Turn off the power before you dismantle your AC. Test the contractor with a voltage tester to make sure that no power is running within the system.

Clean the condenser coil.  

Clogged condenser coils tax the compressor, which can overheat and stop functioning. You then experience inadequate cooling or no cooling at all. You probably have cleaned the condenser recently, but check it again after a storm or gusty weather. Turn off your AC before you take the outdoor unit apart. Cleaning the condenser coils don’t entail special training and equipment. A garden nozzle is usually enough to wash off muck around the coil and fins. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you need to check a few things. Make sure none of the registers in the house are blocked. Check if the furnace filter is fine. Blocked registers and clogged filters reduce airflow and reduced airflow causes frost buildup on the evaporator coil. Your home stops cooling sufficiently as a result.

Deice your evaporator coil. 

If the registers and filters are fine, but your house is still uncomfortably warm, check the evaporator coil. If it’s covered in ice, you can deice the coil by turning the thermostat off and switching on the fan for at least half an hour. Keep the fan blowing until you notice a steady airflow through the registers. Turn your air conditioner back on and see if it’s working fine for the next 24 hours.

Check the fuses. 

If cleaning the condenser coils, deicing the evaporator coils, and unblocking the vents don’t work, your next task is to test the fuses. Any air conditioning system will shut down when its fuse blows. Sometimes you may hear a noise from the outdoor component when the fuse blows. But any noise from the outdoor unit may signal a problem in the condenser. To be sure it’s actually a blown fuse that’s causing the problem, you will need to check it using a multimeter. The fuses may be found in the disconnect blocks. Look for those gray boxes on the exterior wall near the outdoor unit of your AC system. When you open the covers, you will see the wires inside. Keep in mind that these are live wires, so proceed with extreme caution. Set your multimeter to zero. Direct the red and black leads to the ends of the fuse. A blown fuse gives a zero, negative, or infinity reading; otherwise, the fuse is good. If you find two cartridge fuses in the disconnect blocks, test them both. Blown fuses should be replaced, but if the new fuses burn out again, call a professional air conditioning repair technician on Maui.

Replace the capacitors. 

Start and run capacitors are devices that store energy, which your air conditioner needs when you start it up. Your unit requires most energy at startup, and the start capacitor provides an extra boost. On the other hand, the run capacitor keeps the system running consistently. Like most parts of any appliance, the capacitors deteriorate over time. Slow deterioration is hard to notice. If your air conditioner has been around for about 5 years, its capacitors probably need replacement. The good news is that capacitors are really inexpensive. When replacing a capacitor, familiarize the attachments of the wires before taking things apart. If you can’t rely on your memory, take a photo of the wires. The stored energy in the old capacitor must be discharged before disconnecting the wires. Pull the wires from the old capacitor and attach them to their designated tabs on the new capacitor. Ensure that the crimp connectors are fastened firmly on the tabs by wiggling them.

Change the contactor.

An AC contactor is a switch-like device that starts and stops the unit to stabilize the temperature inside your house. The thermostat communicates with this switch using a low-voltage power. Once activated, it lets electricity power the compressor and condenser fan. The same job causes these switches to wear out over time, and such wear is one of the common problems of air conditioners that have been in use for five years. Contactors are cheap, and you can replace them if you have decent DIY skills. Unscrew the old contactor. Disconnect the wires. Reconnect the wires to the corresponding points of the new contactor.

Change the fan motor.

The fan motor is another component that can fail at some point. You don’t have to be a qualified technician to replace this part. Again, it’s important to turn off the power before dismantling anything. The outdoor unit could be covered in dirt and debris, which you should remove first before you remove the grill. Vacuum the fins once you have removed the grill. Then remove dirt from the fins. In fact, you probably need to clean the outdoor unit with a garden nozzle. Now, right under the fins is the air conditioner’s fan motor. Be careful when removing the fins; make sure you’re not pulling the wires with it. So once you’ve taken the fins out, you’ll find it easy to remove the fan motor. Slowly disconnect the wiring. Remove the fan and power wires. Remove the mounting bolts as well. Reverse the procedure upon installation of the new fan motor. Attach the wires snugly, and fix the switches in place. Once you’re done with any of these tasks, check your AC. If it’s working fine, monitor it for the next 24 hours. If nothing weird happens, you’re good. But if none of these solutions restore the functionality of your air conditioning system, call professional air conditioning repair on Maui. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at 808-244-0161.


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