Have Mold in Your Mini Split?

How to Fix (and Prevent) a Dirty Ductless Problem

A ductless mini split is a great home comfort option for providing both the heating AND cooling you need. They are convenient modern systems that provide a great way to heat and cool spaces with temperature problems, such as a home addition, an office, or an apartment. But you need to be aware of how mold can grow in a mini split unit.

They are excellent HVAC units, especially when there is no existing ductwork and installing new ducts is not feasible.

Just as a traditional air conditioner needs regular maintenance, a ductless mini split requires maintenance. And when those necessary little maintenance tasks aren’t handled, problems can happen.

Tiger Heating & Air are ductless mini split systems installers here in the Corpus Christi area. We also provide repair and maintenance services for these units. While ductless mini split units do not require much maintenance, some cleaning and tune-ups are required.

One common problem is with mold growing inside a mini split. A dirty mini split, especially one with mold, can hurt the air quality inside your home.

Mold in mini split system

Do You Have Mold in Your Mini Split?

Finding that you have mold in your ductless mini split unit can be rather unpleasant. Unfortunately, this is a relatively common issue. Ductless mini split systems can be filled with dirt, debris, and mold if regular maintenance is ignored or not being operated properly.

When mold grows inside a mini-split unit, it can expand rather quickly. A mini split with mold growing inside means it is putting mold spores out into the air you breathe. As you can imagine, that creates problems for your home and your family’s health.

4 signs of a Mold Problem

While opening up your mini split may be the best way to identify whether or not it has mold, there are other signs you may notice in your home that could indicate you have this problem.

  1. You smell a foul odor, perhaps like a dirty sock or something cheesy
  2. There are black or odd-colored splotches on the mini-split unit (seen when you lift the cover on the air handler)
  3. You find standing water or a lot of moisture below your ductless unit
  4. You are suffering from increased respiratory problems or are having more allergy symptoms inside your home
4 signs you have mold in your mini split infographic

DIY: Cleaning Mold from Mini Split

Cleaning a mini split is pretty easy! It’s a relatively simple process that just about any homeowner can do themselves.

Mold in ductless mini split unit
  1. Turn your system off
  2. Flip up the top cover
  3. Remove the 2 filters that are right at the top by pulling them out
  4. Clean filters by rinsing them off with water
  5. Let filters completely dry (wait at least 20 minutes)
  6. Reinsert filters into mini split and put the cover back on

Special Note: Some mini-splits include an additional antimicrobial & anti-allergy filter. If you have this, remove it before washing the other filters. This special filter cannot be cleaned.

Following these basic steps, you can clean out dust, debris, and a small amount of mold. If your mini split has a significant mold problem, this simple cleaning may not be enough. If you have a great deal of mold in your mini split (or mold is in parts you cannot reach and remove), call for professional maintenance.

Call Tiger Heating & Air for professional maintenance service on your ductless system. Call us at (361) 852-4450, or you can contact us by requesting service online.

Preventing Mold from Growing in Your Mini Split

The best way to keep mold from developing and growing is simply by keeping it always turned on.

You do NOT want to be turning your mini-split unit on and off. It should remain on at all times, even when you don’t need it. Unlike a traditional air conditioning system, mini splits do not cycle on and off.

When they are not needed to cool the air, they will run in a low-power mode. It is important to keep a mini split turned on because it works to do more than just maintain the desired temperature. These units are also working to drain moisture. So, when you turn the unit off, that moisture can stay in the system and build up. And that’s where you can get a mold problem.

For ductless mini split system installment, repair, or maintenance in and around Corpus Christi, call the HVAC experts at Tiger Heating & Air at (361) 852-4450.

Best Plants to Hide AC Units

best plants to hid ac units and what to avoid

Ideas for Landscaping Around an Outdoor AC

Whether for security or beauty, using plants to hide AC units is a great solution. Here in Corpus Christi, where Tiger Heating & Air provides full home cooling service to homeowners and businesses, there are many great landscaping options for doing this.

AC Operation: Important Tips for Nearby Plants

When using plants to hide AC units, you want to keep plants at least 2 – 3 feet of spacing from the air conditioner.

An air conditioning unit needs some breathing room to do its job. If you put a plant too close to an outdoor unit, you obstruct proper airflow, which can cause problems.

  • Your energy efficiency could be negatively affected if plants grow too close to a unit.
  • It may not work as long as it was designed to and may be more prone to needing repairs.
  • It will not be easily accessible for regular tune-ups or if an AC repair is needed.

Consider getting a potted plant. That way, if the plant grows too large or too close to your unit, you can easily move it rather than having to dig it up and replant further away.

Potted plants still need to be put at least 2-3 feet away from an air conditioner unit.

Do not put a potted plant directly on top of the unit itself.

Good plants to hide AC units

Because you need a type of plant that will not cause problems for your nearby AC unit, you want to make sure you are getting the suitable variety.

Arborvitaes are good tall plants to hide ac unit
  • Plants that grow upright
    Find plants that grow up, not out. Broad plants can grow too close to your unit. Arborvitaes are a good example of plants that grow upright.
  • Plants that don’t grow too quickly
    Make sure your plant isn’t overtaking your air conditioner as it grows. That can cause airflow problems and keep your AC from operating well or efficiently.

    Some plants grow 2 feet each year. A fast-growing plant will quickly encroach upon your unit unless you keep it trimmed regularly.
  • Plants that are not prickly
    Avoid getting anything with thorns or sharp leaves, like roses or holly. Prickly plants will make it very difficult (or at least painful) for you or a repair technician to service the unit. So while the prickly pear may be a favorite native plant for Texans, keep it well away from your air conditioner.
  • Plants that don’t create debris
    You don’t want dirt and debris to get into your outdoor AC unit. That can cause many problems, including an air conditioner freezing up. For this reason, azaleas are a bad idea to plant near an AC unit.
Putting plants too close to your ac unit can cause the air conditioner to freeze up
Pollinating plants are bad to put close to an outdoor ac unit
By Ivar Leidus CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44719521
  • Avoid pollinators
    Did you know that AC units can become the home of a bee or wasp nest? You don’t want to encourage that with a pollinating plant that lures them closer to your unit. The mealy sage (aka salvia farinacea) is a Texas native plant that attracts bees, so a bad choice to plant near an AC unit.
  • Tall grasses are good options
    Whether it’s southwestern bristlegrass, Indiangrass, or big bluestem, you can find a lot of great tall grasses that grow well in Texas to plant near an AC unit. These can get as high as 5 or 6 feet tall.
  • Hostas
    If you are not concerned about getting tall plants to hide it but simply want to improve the landscaping around an AC, hostas are great ground plants that won’t threaten your air conditioner.

Make sure that you don’t put mulch too closely around your AC. The coils should never be covered or buried under mulch.

Native Texas Plants

There are many plants native to our area that would work wonderfully for backyard landscaping.

Lacey oak trees are also native to Texas and grow only about 2 or 3 feet tall. They can handle high heat and drought and create nice shade for an AC unit.

Turk’s cap is a beautiful option for landscaping in south Texas, but it grows quickly. While it can reach heights of 6 feet, it can also spread that wide. So be mindful of how close you plant one of these perennials to your AC unit.

Non-plant Landscaping Options

There are other aesthetic ways to conceal an AC unit in your backyard. If you don’t have a green thumb or simply don’t want plants in that location, consider getting a trellis or lattice box around your unit.

While these can be placed closer to an AC unit than plants, you need to make sure there is still access to the AC. Do not cover up the unit so much that you or an AC repair technician can’t get to it for needed maintenance and repair.

Benefits to hiding your outdoor air conditioning unit

Placing plants around your AC can help you hide it as well as make your backyard living space more beautiful. But there are other benefits to adding plants near your AC. Extra plants provide shading to your backyard and your AC unit. Proper placement of plants can provide needed relief from the sun’s heat, which can help your AC perform better.

Need more Air Conditioning Help or Advice?

Call Tiger Heating & Air for 24/7 AC repair in Corpus Christi, TX

Tiger Heating & Air has the team of AC repair experts here in Corpus Christi, TX. Our skilled HVAC technicians are trained to service any cooling system.

Give us a call if you need help with your air conditioning system. Contact Tiger Heating and Air online or by calling us at 361-852-4450.

Running an AC Without a Filter

can you be running AC without filter

What happens when you run an air conditioner when there is no air filter?

If you are wondering if it is okay to be running your air conditioner without an air filter, the answer is simple. No.

An air filter is an important part of your home’s entire cooling system. Just because it may seem like the least expensive component of your entire system, does not mean it is not important.

Will your AC work if you run it without a filter? Yes. And that is unfortunate, but as we will go over, you are putting your home’s system at risk of breaking down and creating a whole host of other problems.

Calling Tiger Heating & Air is the team of AC repair experts here in Corpus Christi. Our technicians are trained and experienced to work on any type of cooling system and to handle any needed repair. All too often we run across air conditioning problems that were avoidable. Sometimes a repair is needed simply because the homeowner didn’t have a clean air filter installed in their system.

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Potential Problems of Running AC Without a Filter

Condensation Drain Problems

outdoor unit, running ac without filter

The condensation drain allows moisture to leave your AC unit. Running AC without a filter, it can fail to function. This can cause condensation to accumulate which will likely lead to a leak and damage your entire system.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Your air filter filters out dust and debris, and also even very small particles of pollutants. It is quite amazing what all gets filtered out of your system before the cooled air gets pushed through your vents. But without a filter, there is nothing to stop the dust, dirt, and contaminated particles from getting into your home and into the air you breathe.

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, it will not likely take long for you to feel the negative effects of running an air conditioning system without a filter.

Problems in the Ducts

Dirt that does not get filtered out by a filter makes its way into your ductwork. While this leads to the previously mentioned issue of poor air quality, it causes yet another problem. This creates increased moisture in your ducts which promotes mold growth. Mold in your ducts can be a nuisance, or even worse, for your health.

Other AC Problems

In addition to those main issues that can happen from an air conditioner being run without a filter (or at least a clean enough one), other negative results are possible.

  • Higher energy bills
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Air not getting cooled sufficiently
  • Damaged compressor
Running AC without Filter like these can damage your home’s air conditioning system.

AC Break Downs are Likely

Running an AC without a filter can lead to big problems. Without anything to stop the dirt and debris from traveling through your home’s cooling system, the parts inside are going to be affected. They may get covered in dirt and grime and completely stop working altogether. You may need to have certain parts repaired or replaced. You may need to have your entire HVAC system replaced.

Either way, the cost of making sure you have a clean air filter in place is much, much cheaper than all the destruction not having one is likely to cause.

How to Change an AC Filter

Dirty filter, almost as bad as running AC without filter

The keys to changing your air filter are:

  1. Make sure you have the right size of filter and that you install it in the correct direction
  2. Know how often you need to replace your filter

Knowing what filter you need and which way it goes can be very easy. Simply look at the filter that is already in your AC without completely removing it. Note down the size of the filter. For example, it may say 10×20, 16×24, 18×30, or another set of numbers.

Also, filters vary in depth. While most common filters are 1 inch thick, some are as deep as 6 inches.

Then you need to check for which direction the arrow is pointing. When you replace this old filter with a new one, simply make sure the arrow on the new filter is pointed in the same direction.

How often you need to change your AC filter depends on a few factors. Many people find they need to replace their air filter every 6-8 weeks. You will want to replace it more often if any of these conditions apply to you:

  • Pets in the home
  • Many people in the home
  • People who suffer from allergies
  • People with respiratory illnesses

If you have a permanent AC filter, you need to remove it to wash it regularly. Be sure to note which direction the arrow is pointing on that filter before completely removing it. You can use a permanent marker to draw on your system the direction of the arrow so you will never be left wondering.

Clean it with a hose until all the dirt and debris are gone. Dry the filter before you reinstall it.

What if you NEED to run the AC and don’t have a filter?

Running an AC without a filter may be okay to do for only a matter of hours without serious problems occurring. If you feel like you need to run the air conditioner without a filter, then you should have time to run to the store for a replacement filter.

Need a Corpus Christi AC Technician to Help?

If you have any questions about your air filter or anything else about your home’s cooling system, call the Corpus Christi AC experts at Tiger Heating and Air at 361-852-4450.

We are happy to troubleshoot and fix any problem you are having with your AC.

AC technicians at Tiger Heating & Air with air conditioner in Corpus Christi HVAC shop

Tiger AC technicians can also provide professional maintenance service on your home’s entire cooling system. Having us come out to do a thorough check of your system can help us find and prevent any potential problems and breakdowns from occurring.

Tiger Heating & Air technicians are qualified to service any type of air conditioner or cooling system. We provide 24/7 service to the Corpus Christi area and deliver friendly, quality service at a fair price. Read reviews from people across Corpus Christi who recommend Tiger!

Call Tiger at (361) 852-4450 and let us how we can help you today!

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DIY Ductless Mini Split AC Installation

Is it Easy to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner Yourself?

Ductless Mini Split unit installed on a wall

Have you seen the fantastic do-it-yourself claims by companies selling DIY ductless mini split systems to homeowners? They say it is “so easy you can do it in 4 hours!”

Are these DIY systems really as easy to install as the companies claim? Or will you end up with problems that will cost you more money in the long run?

At Tiger Heating & Air, our team provides the heating and cooling needs for Corpus Christi. You can call on Tiger for any kind of AC installation, including a ductless air conditioning system. Hybrid heating and cooling systems have become popular in America in recent years, and for good reason. Ductless mini splits are excellent home comfort AC systems that provide the heating and cooling a space needs without invasive ductwork. They often are a perfect opportunity to get the comfort you need in an area that doesn’t have proper temperature control, like a renovated attic that can’t ever get cool enough during the hottest months of our Texas summers.

INSTALLING A DIY DUCTLESS MINI SPLIT SYSTEM IS NOT FOR A FIRST TIME DIY-ER

Common Problems Installing a DIY Mini Split

Installing a DIY ductless mini split air conditioner involves complicated tasks including electrical work. Some work may be challenging to do without another person or a HVAC technician or electrician to help.

How difficult of work this is depends on the skill and capabilities of the person installing the mini split system. People who have tried installing one themselves have had mixed reactions.

Some problems you might run into:

  • If you make a mistake in installing the refrigerant line, you will need a licensed HVAC technician to reset it
  • You may find required parts were missing in the kit you received
  • Getting an instruction manual that isn’t for the model you purchased
  • Untwisting the lineset was difficult for some people
  • The instructions on how to match the electrical wires are unclear
  • You may be surprised at the cost of additional items that aren’t provided in the kit, such as electrical wires.
if you make a mistake with the refrigerant line, you’ll need an hvac technician to fix it. DIY ductless mini split is not easy to install

Can I Install a DIY Ductless Mini Split Myself?

You may be quite handy but installing a ductless HVAC system is more complicated than many other DIY home projects.

Ask yourself these questions before purchasing a DIY kit:

  • Do you have experience doing electrical work?
  • Do you know how to pour a concrete pad?
  • Do you know how to find out precisely what size of a system is needed for your space? Do you know what SEER or BTU the area requires?

YouTube DIY Videos vs. Reality

If you Google for information on how easy it is to install a DIY ductless mini split system yourself, you will find videos from people who have installed these systems. You may see people putting these systems together and ending the day with a space now heated or cooled by their new system.

However, many of these people are not your average homeowner. Some are even professional techs. Many have helpers with their install, including professional HVAC technicians or electricians.

Also, you will find some of these online videos and blogs are sponsored by MRCOOL DIY.

AC installation will include electrical work and knowing how to calculate for correct BTU

DIY Mini Splits vs. Traditional Ductless Systems

When it comes to purchasing a ductless mini split to install yourself, there’s one first thing you need to know. Just because it’s a ductless system does not mean it’s a DIY one.

Components of a ductless mini split system

There are different kinds of DIY ductless mini split units available today, but not all are designed to be installed by a non-professional, not even a handy one.

For example, MrCool DIY Ductless is designed differently than the ductless systems Tiger (and most other professional HVAC companies) install. A DIY version comes with a pre-charged line set which should eliminate having to deal with refrigerant. Working with refrigerants is something a person who is not trained and licensed in HVAC systems and installation should never do themselves.

Traditional ductless system installation requires soldering work and specific tools. These systems have more complicated wiring and controls than refrigerators do. If you purchase a DIY mini split that was not sold as a DIY version, you will probably face work you are not capable of nor have the tools to handle.

Considerations Before a DIY Ductless Installation

You need to know the size of the system your space needs before purchasing a DIY mini split kit. This is not about determining the unit’s actual size but knowing the BTU amount necessary for the space you are trying to heat and cool.

Determining the correct size depends on factors including:

  • Climate range you live in
  • Square footage of the room or space
  • Amount of sun exposure to the area
  • Level of insulation

What is Not Included in DIY Ductless Mini Split Kits?

While most DIY systems come with the components you need for installation, there are some things you will need that are not included, including:

  • A dedicated 208/220 circuit in your electrical panel
  • Wiring to a junction box
  • An AC shut-off switch at the junction box

In addition, if electrical work is not something you are not able to handle yourself, you will have to pay for an electrician to help with some of the ductless installation.

The cost for professional electrical work needed likely ranges from about $500 – $1000. But prices vary from area to area and also can increase depending on what issues or complications they run into in the job.

Your DIY system may not be under warranty. Be aware that many DIY Ductless systems come with a warranty that is only good if a licensed HVAC technician installed it. That means if you installed it yourself, it would not be under warranty.

if you install it yourself, the system will probably not be under warranty

Cost for Installing a DIY Ductless Mini Split System

Costs of the system itself vary from brand to brand and from type to type. Depending on the size you get, including various specifics like SEER rating, you can find several options costing between $1,000.00 to $3,000.00.

The other cost is your time. These systems are advertised to take about 3-4 hours of work, not including the shopping time to purchase additional electrical components. And if you need help in installing it (like most do), will you have to pay someone for that?

It will not save you money if you cannot install it yourself. You are not going to save on the cost of an HVAC professional if you have to end up calling one out to finish the job.

If you cannot install it yourself, you will likely need to call on experienced HVAC technicians like those here at Tiger Heating & Air. We have been called to help a homeowner who has run into problems beyond their ability to install a ductless mini split.

MONEY SAVING TIP: Do NOT buy a DIY ductless system with the intention of hiring a professional company to install it. This will not save you money. You may even discover the HVAC company will not install a ductless system that you purchased.

it may cost you more money if you end up needing an hvac technician to install it

When is a Ductless Mini Split NOT the Best Choice?

Ductless Mini Splits are excellent heating and cooling systems. However, they are not always the right solution to a room’s temperature needs. There are a variety of other HVAC options that may solve the problem you are having.

There may be a cheaper solution than a ductless mini split. Trust an experienced HVAC company to help you find out precisely the right solution to your home’s comfort needs.

Trust Tiger to Solve your Heating & Cooling Needs

Tiger Heating & Air installs AC systems in Corpus Christi, TX

Please check with us or whatever HVAC company you plan to hire BEFORE purchasing any system. A good local company will give you a free estimate of the temperature solution your space needs. Contact Tiger today for a free installation quote.

Tiger Heating & Air has handled thousands of quality HVAC installations across the Corpus Christi area. We can provide your home with exactly the right cooling system your home needs at about or even below the cost you will pay for a DIY version.

Call Tiger Heating and Air Conditioning at 361-852-4450 in Corpus Christi, TX.

Get emergency air conditioning repair with Tiger HVAC in Corpus Christi

Lessons Learned from the 2021 Texas Winter Storm

Storm Preparations to Stay Safe (and Warm) This Winter

Lessons learned from the 2021 Texas Winter Storm

Last winter, Texans were faced with dangerous winter conditions of record cold temperatures. From February 13 – 17, 2021, we experienced a major winter and ice storm across most of Texas, including here in Corpus Christi. As we head into another winter season, many Texans are worried about being ready for another severe winter storm.

What lessons have we learned from last winter to make sure we keep our family safe?

What should homeowners across Texas, including here in Corpus Christi, do before the next round of freezing temperatures come?

Some of the worst situations that homeowners faced in 2021 during the winter storm in Texas include: power outages, power restoration delays, frozen water pipes, and other damage to property. Some people even lost loved ones during the winter. The death toll in Texas from that storm was around 200.

Looking Back at the 2021 Texas Winter Storm

The power grid, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, was unprepared for last winter’s harsh conditions. People across the state, including in Corpus Christi, experienced power outages. Some neighborhoods experienced power failures that lasted up to four days.

More than 4 million Texans were without power at one point during this past February’s winter storm.

With our winters being typically mild, many homeowners were caught unprepared for the extreme cold. Even with working electricity, many people across Corpus Christi simply do not have any sort of heating system in their home. While that is okay for a typical south Texas winter, homeowners need to be prepared if another extreme winter strikes.

What do Corpus Christi homeowners need to have in their homes to stay warm when the outside temperatures dip below freezing?

Power Outage Emergency Kit to prepare in advance of a Texas blizzard

Prepare a Power Outage Emergency Kit

It is best to have power outage kits ready with batteries, flashlights, candles, or even a generator. Along with having backups for light or heat, here is a list of other items you should have in an emergency kit in case of a power outage in the winter.

Ready-to-eat food: Stock up on some foods that can be eaten without the need for electricity. Gather up non-perishable items along with plenty of bottled water to include in your Power Outage Emergency Kit.

Water Supply: In addition to having water available for drinking, consider having several jugs or other large containers of water. A big weather emergency has the potential of putting our water supply at risk, so having plenty of water can help you get by until the city water supply is restored.

Box of warm clothes and blankets: Have an emergency supply of coats, sweaters, wool socks, and heavy blankets.

Phone Charging Device: Have an external phone charger fully charged so that you do not lose the ability to call for help or to reach loved ones when your phone battery dies. You may want to keep this additional charger and a car adapter in your car’s glove box so that it is always ready when you need it.

Safe candles: Losing electricity will put you in the dark. While having candles around for such an emergency can be helpful, you want to be sure that you are lighting candles safely. Keep the flame out of reach of children, pets, chemicals, and anything flammable. Using candles in containers can be a good, safe way to provide light in a dark home.

Water Heater Blankets: It is important to keep hot water flowing through pipes during extremely cold temperatures. Water heater blankets add enough insulation to your water heater tank to reduce heat loss by 25% to 45%.  

A List of Emergency Numbers Ready: Put emergency numbers in your phone now. If you run into problems with your heating system not working despite having electricity, you don’t want to waste time trying to track down help. Tiger Heating & Air provides emergency 24/7 heating repair service to the Corpus Christi area. Put our phone number – 361-852-4450 – in your contacts today.

 

24/7 emergency heater repair from Tiger Heating & Air in Corpus Christi, Texas

Other advice to be prepared for a big winter storm:

  • Make sure you are paying attention to our local news sources or the national weather service to get the information you need in advance of a winter storm.
  • Have your home’s heating system tuned up before a cold snap comes.

Even if your home has a reliable heating system, problems can occur, even while it’s sitting dormant over the long Texas summer. Regular inspection and cleaning of home heating systems are important tasks to ensure your home is prepared when temperatures drop below freezing.

Tiger Heating & Air provides professional heating system maintenance on any type of heating system. Call us to schedule a heater tune up at 316-852-4450.

Check in on your neighbors, especially any elderly ones. Older people are especially at risk when temperatures drop too low. If you are experiencing power outages, make sure that everyone knows where to go if they need shelter from the cold if necessary. This includes family members or friends who live nearby with power that can offer assistance.

Also, have blankets, sleeping bags, pillows nearby so people will stay comfortable until help arrives or they’re able to walk outside safely for some time before returning indoors again. All of us need to help out our neighbors in need whenever we can. You may want to find out if you have any neighbors who do not have a heat source in their homes.

Forecast for Texas Winter 2022

For the upcoming winter season of 2021-2022, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting colder than typical temperatures. In late January or early February, Texans and other people in the Southern Great Plains should prepare for cold and snowy weather. However, there is no way to know if we will experience as extreme of winter storm conditions as we did last year. Fortunately, the prediction is that this winter will not be as bad.

As far as our power grid, we can’t be sure the disaster will not happen again. The power grid in Texas is going through a major overhaul as we speak. While some work is being done to improve Texas power reliability, some electric grid experts say it will not be enough.

Preparing for This Winter

Perhaps one of the best ways to stay prepared for extreme temperatures is by ensuring that your home is ready to keep you warm through the winter.

If you do not currently have a heating system in your home, contact a local professional heating and air company about installing a heat pump or other system.

Tiger Heating & Air is the HVAC team people across Corpus Christi has been relying upon for decades. In addition to professional installation of air conditioners and cooling systems, we are trained and experienced in installing heat pumps, furnaces, and other types of heating system your home could need.

Tiger Heating & Air, professional furnace and heater repair techs in Corpus Christi

Contact us today for a free quote on getting a heating system installed in your home.  Call us at 361-852-4450.

If you already have a furnace or other heating system in your home, you should get it checked out. Regular annual maintenance is key in ensuring any HVAC system works well and efficiently every time it’s needed. This is especially true if you have an older system. A furnace can last for as long as 20 years or more, but if it’s not maintained, a heating system might not even make it 10 years before breaking down and being beyond repair.

Our Tiger Heating & Air team of talented technicians are trained and experienced in repairing and servicing any type of heating system. Schedule a service visit with us today to make sure your system is tuned up and ready to handle the upcoming winter.

Does a 2 Story House Need a 2 ACs?

2 air conditioners installed

When to Install a Second Floor Air Conditioning Unit

Graphic image of house showing the 2nd floor is too hot

Do You Have a Hot Upstairs?

This is a common problem for a lot of multiple-level homes. The second floor never gets properly cool on hot days. You may have to crank up the AC to get it to acceptable levels, which can freeze out anyone on the first floor.

If you live in a 2-story house, you probably know this situation all too well. Here at Tiger Heating & Air, we have heard from many Corpus Christi homeowners suffering from a hot upstairs. And often homeowners wonder if they need a second floor air conditioning unit.

There are a lot of old homes in our area. Being the HVAC company that has serviced Corpus Christi homes for nearly 3 decades, we have run across every type of heating and cooling problem. Fortunately, there are more solutions to get true home comfort in all of your rooms today than there were a hundred years ago. So, even if we are dealing with a drafty old house, you have new options to make all the floors on your home cool and comfortable year-round.

Common Cooling Problems

  • Does your home have insufficient insulation? A home without the proper insulation can be so drafty that it’s virtually impossible to get consistent temperature control throughout the house.
  • Does your roof absorb heat? Not only can a poorly insulated roof cause a warm upstairs, a roof made from materials that absorb heat could also make the situation worse.
  • Did your home undergo an attic renovation? An attic remodel can affect your cooling problem. If proper adjustments were not made to your home’s heating & cooling system to accommodate a new living space, comfort levels in other parts of your home could be compromised. After all, a system made to only cool one floor will probably not give you a comfortable temperature when creating a 2nd level of living space.

Understanding Why a Second Story Gets Extra Hot

Hot air rises. Without utilizing any cooling system, your upstairs should always get hotter. But even with central air or another HVAC system, a second floor can still easily become warmer than the main level. After all, your single cooling system (with components usually located on the ground floor and basement) has to do more work to get that cool air to your second floor.

So, what are your options?

You may think your only choice is to get a larger, more energy-efficient air conditioner for your entire home. And until then, you’re left with just trying to avoid the hotter second floor whenever possible.

There are more solutions to fixing a hot upstairs!

When you have Tiger help you finally solve your hot 2nd floor problem, the first thing we do is determine the source of the problem.  Some of the issues we will look for include:

  • Could you have an issue with your ductwork?
  • Do you need better insulation?
  • Is your AC unit the proper size to handle your home’s square footage?
  • Is your cooling system in proper working order?

When to Consider a Second Floor Air Conditioning Unit

Photo of 2 AC units installed outside 2 story home with a hot upstairs

While upgrading your air conditioner to a newer, bigger AC unit may be a solution, some homes are better served with a 2nd AC. Instead of replacing what may be a working air conditioner with a larger one to accommodate your second floor, you can get an additional AC unit installed to address cooling the 2nd floor specifically.

There are a few things to consider when deciding if you need a second air conditioning system installed.

#1: AC INSTALLATION COST

An additional unit may cost less than what you think. After all, this AC is not going to cool the entire square footage of your home. A 2nd AC unit that works to only cool your 2nd floor would be smaller than any AC needed to cool your entire home.

Tiger Heating & Air, or any professional HVAC company, will calculate exactly what size AC unit your rooms upstairs need. The square footage of your 2nd floor will determine the proper unit size. Contact Tiger online or call (361) 852-4450 and we will come out to determine exactly what air conditioner would be best for your home.

#2: ENERGY WASTE & BILLS

New installation isn’t the other financial factor to consider. How much do you spend on your energy bill each month? It might sound surprising, but having two air conditioners to cool a 2-story home may save you money!

If you’ve been dealing with a single AC system that cannot cool all your living spaces, you are putting great demand on your system. It’s working to put out more cool air than it is designed to do. If you are making your downstairs cooler than comfortable with making it right upstairs, then you probably already have realized you are wasting energy (and money). An additional air conditioner focused on cooling just the upstairs will take the work away from the other unit.

#3: PEACE OF MIND

Having two air conditioning units provides you with some unique assurance. You may feel more secure in knowing that your chance of a summer HVAC disaster is significantly reduced. If one of your air conditioners were to break down, you would have another unit still operating. While this sole unit won’t be sufficient to cool your entire home, you will at least have some level of cooling in your home until an AC repair technician comes out and fix the broken air conditioner.

#4: SECOND AC LOCATION

Finding where to put a 2nd AC system can be a challenge. This includes the inside unit (the evaporator) and the outside AC unit (the condenser). You may have limited space for installing a second air conditioner. In addition, a 2nd unit will need ductwork that is separate from existing ducts with your current unit. Our technicians can walk you through your options to ensure the best space is used for this installation. 

DIY: Little Fixes for a Hot Second Floor

If you’re not ready to upgrade your home system or are still not sure it is needed, you can try to remedy your problem with some smaller tactics.

2 air conditioners installed Here are some basic home maintenance tasks that can help solve some of the problems of overly hot spaces in a home:

  • Make sure your furnace filter is clean and is getting changed on a proper schedule
  • Make sure your vents are open and not blocked by furniture or anything else
  • Close your window blinds and curtains in 2nd floor rooms to keep the sun from heating up the space

If these little steps do not provide enough relief to the heat, give Tiger a call at (361) 852-4450. We will be happy to come out and see what sort of cooling system work can be done to even out the temperature throughout your home.

My Air Conditioner Froze Up

6 REASONS WHY AN AC UNIT IS COVERED IN ICE 

It’s a bizarre sight, but not uncommon. On a sweltering Corpus Christi Day when the sun is shining, you find that your outside air conditioner is covered in ICE! 

What should you do when you have a frozen air conditioner? 

Calling Tiger Heating & Air is to come out and fix your AC will get you back up and running, but there are a few DIY steps you can try yourself. There may be a relatively simple problem causing your air conditioner to freeze up, and one you might be able to repair quickly and cheaply! 

We will go over the most likely reasons why ice develops on an air conditioner. Some have troubleshooting steps that many homeowners can try to tackle on their own. Other causes are best left to trained HVAC repair technicians who can accurately diagnose the problem and successfully resolve it. 

FROZEN AC UNIT: THE FIRST STEP 

No matter how your air conditioner froze up, there is an basic – yet critical – step you must do first. You need to get your AC unit thawed. And that starts at your thermostat. 

It is turning the thermostat to OFF. And then turn the fan ON. This will start the defrosting process. 

dont remove ice by hand - My Air Conditioner Froze Up

If it’s a hot day, your AC could be fully thawed in just a couple of hours.  

If the conditioned air is cool and the unit doesn’t freeze up again, you are good to go. If it does freeze up again, turn the air conditioner back OFF and the fan set to ON. Then you will need to call an experienced AC repair technician, like our fabulous HVAC team at Tiger, as you’ve got a bigger problem on your hand.  

6 MAIN REASONS FOR A FROZEN AIR CONDITIONER   

1. Dirty Air Filter 

Very dirty air filter that caused an AC unit to freeze up with ice

The most likely cause of a frozen air conditioner coil is not enough air flowing over the evaporator coils. The air that flows over your coils loses its heat to the coils, but if not enough air is flowing, the refrigerant gets too cold and might cause the coils to freeze.  

The leading reading why the airflow could be hampered is that your air filter is dirty. A dirty filter can block or clog airflow and is a common cause for an air conditioning unit to freeze up. 

While the AC unit is thawing out, check the air filter on your furnace. If it’s dark and dirty, replace it even if it’s not on schedule to be replaced yet. Many homeowners do not change their filters as frequently as they should.  

Once your air filter is replaced and the AC unit is thawed out, you should try to turn the AC back on at the thermostat and see if it works now. 

2. Blocked (or closed) return ducts 

There is a common misconception that you should close any vents that you don’t need to save on energy use and cost. That is not the case. The ductwork in your home, including the vents, was designed to work as a system. Closing off too much of this system can cause it not to work correctly. It may be okay to have a few vents closed, but this can cause problems, including a frozen AC unit if you have too many. 

Are any vents in your home closed or obstructed? Check the vents in your home to make sure they are open and not blocked. Move aside any items, including furniture or curtains, covering or blocking the vents.  

3. Low Refrigerant Levels 

Being low on refrigerant (freon) is the main reason why air conditioners freeze up. Often that indicates there is a leak in your system. This is a potentially dangerous problem and should be resolved only by a trained AC technician. 

Call Tiger Heating & Air for 24/7 emergency repair in Corpus Christi, TX

4. Dirty evaporator coils 

Dirty evaporator coils are another problem that can cause an air conditioner to freeze.  

If there is any buildup on these coils, they won’t be able to absorb the heat it needs to produce cool air for your home. If the filter is clean, and you still have poor airflow, it is likely being caused by a dirty coil. 

Performing annual maintenance on your system should keep this problem from happening. Tiger Heating & Air provides professional AC maintenance and tune-up service. Call us at 361-852-4450 to get a technician scheduled. 

5. Mechanical Failures 

Various mechanical problems can cause an outdoor unit to freeze. An HVAC system involves a lot of components. Perhaps there is a kink in a refrigerant line, or the blower fan is not working. These sorts of mechanical failures can cause the pressure to change in your system and make your air conditioner freeze up. 

Another problem that can cause ice to form on your air conditioner is a broken or malfunctioning blower motor. This part inside your AC makes sure that the fan blows return air over the evaporator coils. If not enough air moves over the coils, your air conditioner will get too cold and freeze up. 

6. Temperature is Cold Outside 

Did you leave your thermostat on COOL during a cold snap? If you are running your AC when the outside temperature dips into the 50s or below, the pressure inside of your system will drop. That is enough to cause a freeze-up of your air conditioner. 

Tiger AC repair technician in Corpus Christi

IS THE AC COMPLETELY FIXED? 

If one of the above problems was something you can tackle and fixed your frozen AC, that’s great! However, you are not out of the woods yet. You want to make sure that your air conditioning system doesn’t refreeze. Give it time, and make sure your system remains ice-free. If it freezes up again, that means that whatever troubleshooting step you did was not enough to fix the problem completely. You will need to call for a professional AC repair.  

Tiger Heating & Air is trained and experienced to service any type or model of air conditioner or cooling system. We provide 24/7 service to the entire Corpus Christi area and can be trusted to provide you with friendly, quality service at a fair price. Call on us to fix any AC problem! You can read reviews from people across Corpus Christi on why they say you can’t go wrong with Tiger! 

Call Tiger at (361) 852-4450 and let us how we can help you today! 

How to Stay Cool During a Heat Wave

Important Tips to Be Safe & Comfortable in a Hot Corpus Christi Summer

heat wave

We know how a Corpus Christi summer can be a scorcher, and it’s difficult to keep cool throughout the hottest months. Here are some ways to stay cool during these hot days from the Corpus Christi cooling experts at Tiger Heating & Air.

This post is for homeowners who are looking for ways to stay cool during a heatwave. We’ll cover topics like how to keep your house cooler, what clothes you should wear and even suggestions on what to eat. 

8 Steps to Stay Cool

  1. Drink water: Dehydration can make you feel worse in the heat. So drink lots of water!
  2. Wear light clothing: Light colors will reflect heat away from your body and dark colors absorb it instead. Keep the fabrics thin or loose for maximum breathability as well.
  3. Stay out of direct sunlight, especially during the peak hours between 10am to 4pm. If you must be outside, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  4. Set your thermostat temperature to between 74 – 78 degrees when you’re home and awake. Then set it to be just up a couple degrees when you’re sleeping. Program the temperature to raise to about 86 during the hours no one is home.
  5. Keep your home as cool as possible with window shades and fans to circulate air. While it might seem like an energy-saving tool to shut vents to rooms not in great use, be careful not to shut too many. Your home’s entire cooling system was designed to work with the vents open and shutting too many could disrupt the airflow and even damage your home’s air conditioning units.
  6. Eat cold foods and drink cold drinks (especially water – see tip #1). Cold food and beverages can help cool down your body.
  7. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate you.
  8. Take a cool shower or bath. It’s become trendy to take cold showers, as people claim it helps your mental and physical health. A hot Texas summer may be the perfect time to try out cold showers yourself!

We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with some tips and tricks to stay cool during a heatwave. If your AC breaks down, don’t panic! You can call Tiger Heating & Air for emergency AC repair service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tiger Heating & Air has 24/7 emergency AC repair service in Corpus Christi, TX

Remember to schedule your annual AC maintenance checks early in the year before it turns hot. It will save both time and money by preventing a later AC repair emergency.

Broken AC? Call on Tiger for Repair

Owner of Tiger Heating & Air in Corpus CHristi driving hvac vehicle

Our experts are ready to provide the best customer service possible so give us a call today if you need help staying cool. Our team of experts will be happy to help fix the problem quickly.

And if you’re in the market for air conditioning installation services, we can help.

We know how important it is to keep you and your family safe and comfortable during a heatwave! When you need air conditioning repair, give Tiger a call at 361-852-4450.

What is the AC SEER Rating?

Tiger Heating & Air AC technicians at ac repair shop

Understanding SEER & Texas requirements for air conditioners

Tiger Heating & Air AC technicians studying SEER rating at Corpus Christi shop

Let’s discuss one of the most misunderstood terms about air conditioning – the SEER rating. SEER is one of the most essential factors in determining what AC to purchase, but it is a confusing matter for many homeowners.

At Tiger Heating & Air, we know a well-informed customer is a happy customer with a home that keeps them comfortable for many years to come. So we want to provide you with the most basic (yet important) pieces of information to understand the SEER rating. You will learn why it’s important to understand before making any change to your home’s cooling system.

Why do I need to understand the SEER rating?

The bottom line is that understanding what the SEER rating is can end up saving you money. A home cooling system is a significant investment for your home. You’re will spend thousands of dollars on getting it installed. And then you will continue to spend thousands more on your energy bills. But how much you spend each month depends a lot on the SEER rating of your AC unit. An air-conditioner with a good SEER rating can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy costs each year!

What is the SEER Rating?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a measurement of the amount of energy your AC will need to consume in order to operate. SEER is a ratio of how much cool air your system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes. It’s a complex math formula, but it’s all about “tons.” A ton of cooling equals about the energy needed to melt 1 ton of ice over a 24-hour period.

Do I Want a High or Low SEER Rating?

Generally speaking, an AC with a higher SEER rating is better. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient that air conditioner will be. But that doesn’t mean you should simply get the air conditioner with the highest SEER rating there is. You always need to make sure you are getting the perfect system for your home. How high of a SEER rating you should look for depends on a few factors, such as the size of your house and where you live.

Ready to throw your old AC to the curb? Call Tiger Heating & Air for new cooling installation

What SEER rating is Needed for Corpus Christi Homes?

The U.S. Department of Energy requires all new AC units to meet certain levels of energy efficiency. These levels are determined by the SEER rating.

In 1992, the government enacted the first-ever SEER efficiency standards. Back then, it was common for homeowners to have an AC with a SEER of just 8 or 9. The first SEER rating required all new AC units installed in homes to be at least SEER 10. Despite Texas and other southern states having greater cooling demands than the rest of the country, this SEER 10 minimum rating was for all states.

In 2006, the DOE increased the minimum standard to 13. But regulation changes were on the way, and different climate regions were treated separately.

In 2015, government regulators raised the SEER minimum to 14 for split system central air conditioners for Texas and other states in the country’s Southeastern region. And another SEER change is on its way. Starting in 2023, only ACs with a 15 SEER or higher can be installed.

Back when the first regulations started, some homes had AC units that were as low as 6 SEER. Today, it is not uncommon to see many in the 20s. Tiger Heating & Air are Corpus Christi’s certified Trane Comfort Specialists. We can install a new, efficient Trane air conditioner in your home that range from 14.5 SEER up to 22.

Are you looking for help on determining what new cooling system is right for you? Give Tiger a call at (361) 852-4450, or you can check out Trane’s HVAC Tips & Buying Guide.

AC technician & owner driving Tiger Heating & Air HVAC van in Corpus Christi
Upgrading SEER for annual savings on home energy chart from Trane

How Much Money Can a High SEER Rating Save Me?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an absolute answer. There are various factors that determine a home’s ongoing energy costs, such as the size and amount of insulation. However, increasing your home’s SEER rating by 10 can result in your air conditioner using half as much energy. How much will a higher SEER system save you? See what your current system’s rating is, and you can find out how much money you will save in energy costs with this online calculator.

How To Use the SEER Rating To Shop for a New AC

Knowing how SEER factors into how much energy you use each money makes you better able to compare different air conditioning systems. The SEER rating tells you which units will expend the least amount of energy and save you money on your utility bills.

As we’ve mentioned, SEER isn’t the only factor to consider when purchasing a new air conditioner. Our experienced Tiger Heating & Air AC technicians can help assess your home’s specific needs to help you determine which cooling system and unit is suitable for your home.

With several decades of experience installing air conditioning units in homes across Corpus Christi, you can trust Tiger Heating & Air to find the best home cooling options for you. Call us today at (361) 852-4450.

Best Air Conditioners to buy in 2021 blog post

AC Not Turning On? A Homeowner’s Checklist

6 Steps to Repair an Air Conditioner that Won’t Turn On

6 Steps to Repair an Air Conditioner that Won’t Turn On

Have you been waiting for the cool air to come but your air conditioner is not turning on? Your first reaction may be to call us or another Corpus Christi AC company to come get your broken air conditioner fixed right away. While you can definitely call us to get a technician out for a quick repair, you may want to take a moment to check a few things out for yourself.

Should You Call a Professional if your AC Doesn’t Turn On?

Photo of air conditioner unit in Corpus Christi

Not necessarily. There are several possible problems that could cause an air conditioner to not turn on. And while a trained HVAC technician should be able to handle whatever the problem may be, some AC issues are easy to spot and handle on your own!

While a lot of causes to a broken AC do require one of our skilled technicians to identify and fully fix, sometimes our technicians are called out for problems that end up being simple and easy enough for the homeowners to handle on their own.

While we are happy to come out and address whatever cooling problem you are having, we want you to be armed with the information about some of the simpler problems that don’t always require professional repair. If it’s something you can fix, handling a simple air conditioning repair on your own will save you time and money.

When you find your air conditioner won’t turn on, refer to this checklist of potential problems that you might be able to repair. Some of these items are simple and can be done by yourself in a matter of minutes.

The 6 Step Checklist to Repairing a Broken AC

STEP 1: Is Your Air Filter Dirty?

Check it. Even if you are sure that it’s not time to change your filter again yet, go pull it out and give it a look. A filter can become dirty faster than you realize. A dirty air filter impedes airflow. It could be clogged so much that it’s keeping your AC from turning on.

If you find that your air filter is dirty, you may need to reassess how often you are changing it and start changing it more frequently. Each home and homeowners’ needs are different. Changing the air filter once very few months may not be enough for you and your home, especially if you suffer with allergies or have pets.   

STEP 2: Is your Thermostat Set Correctly?

Check to make sure your thermostat is both set to COOL and to be at least 5 degrees below the current ambient temperature.

If the thermostat screen is blank, that may mean you need to replace the batteries. For many thermostats, there is a spot along the edge of your thermostat with the word PRESS. Simply press that area to remove the battery compartment. Some thermostats will require you pull the cover of the thermostat unit off to access the batteries.

STEP 3: Is Your Power On?

Infographic explaining basic steps to resetting a tripped circuit breakerSometimes we can be surprised to find the power is off, especially in the middle of the day when we are not reliant upon lighting. If it is off, a breaker may have gotten tripped.

While it may seem daunting to deal with any electrical problem, checking your breaker box and fixing a flipped circuit is something you can try to handle yourself.

RESETTING A CIRCUIT BREAKER:

    1. Look for the switch that is in the center position.
    2. Flip that switch to off, then to on.
    3. Wait a moment for the power to return. If it doesn’t or if the switch doesn’t stay on, call a professional electrician.

 

STEP 4: Has the AC Power Been Turned Off?

This is a different power issue than if your entire power is out. You will want to look for a switch on or near the inside HVAC unit and make sure it is turned to the ON position. It looks similar to a light switch and can be mistakenly turned off by someone who is not aware what that switch is. When turned off, the blower would be off and can cause the inside unit to freeze.

STEP 5: Is There Ice on Your Outside AC Unit?

If ice is covering your air conditioner, turn the AC off at the thermostat and turn the FAN setting to on. Give it plenty of time to defrost. Do not try to use any sort of heating device to speed up the thawing or try to scrape the ice off.  

If this was your problem and gets your air conditioning back up and running, you should still call an AC repair technician to come out to inspect the unit. A frozen AC could mean you have a refrigerant leak which can be dangerous for you and your family.

Open AC dirty with dirt and leaves and needing to be cleaned

 

STEP 6: Is Your AC Unit Dirty?

Even if you don’t see ice on your unit, you may find it’s covered in dirt, pollen or other debris or has debris inside the unit. Your air conditioner may be in need of a good cleaning.

To clean your AC unit, you will need to first turn it off at the outside service disconnect panel. Remove the top and any other outer caging and take out the fan. With a garden hose, spray from the inside out all around the inside of the unit. Then spray down the exterior of the unit.

When in Doubt, Call Tiger to Come Out!

Tiger Heating and Air has worked on thousands of air conditioners and other cooling systems across the Corpus Christi area. Our AC repair technicians have years of experience fixing broken cooling systems and have seen all types of AC problems. Schedule a call for our AC repair team to come check why your AC won’t turn on. Call Tiger Heating & Air – available 24/7 in Corpus Christi, TX – at 361-852-4450.

Tiger Heating & Air has 24/7 emergency AC repair service in Corpus Christi, TX
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