San Antonio's
#1 HVAC Company
AC Service & AC Repair

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Air Conditioner

How do I know what type of refrigerant my air conditioner uses?

In many cases, the type of refrigerant inside the air conditioning system is stamped on the name plate.  If the information is not found, simply contact the office with the model number and we can find out the needed information. 

Why does it take so long to cool my house?

The most common reasons for slow cooling are dirty filters, dirty equipment, leaking air ducts, the system is low on refrigerant or the system is too small.

Why does my air conditioner keep breaking down?

Dirty, unmaintained, older, worn out and improperly installed air conditioners are prone to breaking down more frequently.

Air Filter

How often do I need to change my air filter?

The four variables which dictate how often to change the filters are: the type and efficiency of the filter, how dirty the air is, the run time for the system and the amount of traffic going in and out of the house. For normal conditions, a one-inch air filter should be changed out every 30-45 days and a thicker four-inch filter should last 5-7 months.

What air filter is best to use?

We find the MERV 10 air filter provides a high enough efficiency to clean the air really well without restricting the air flow. Beware that an air filter can be too efficient and affect the air flow, causing mechanical issues.

Why does my air filter make a strange noise or whistle?

If an air filter is dirty, too restrictive or improperly installed, the filter will many times create a whistling noise when air passes through it.

Contractors

How do I compare all the HVAC contractors?

When looking for a reliable contractor, you want to consider five main factors. 1. Has the company been in business for at least 5 years? 2. Is the website transparent and does it disclose who the owner is? 3. How large of a company do you want to work with? 4. Does the company work out of their personal home? 5. Who do your neighbor recommend and why?

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Do I get to choose which contractor I use with my home warranty?

Home warranty companies use individuals that are typically new start-ups, or all commissioned sub-contractors.  Unfortunately, the policies are rather limiting and typically do not allow you to choose who comes to your home.  It is recommended to ask for the company’s name and the person who will be working in your home.  Check google and BBB reviews.

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Comfort & Hot Spots

Why is my upstairs always hot?

Heat rises naturally.  For two story homes with only one air conditioning system, it is common for the upstairs to capture most of the heat and remain warmer than the lower levels.

Why are some of the rooms hotter than the others?

When ductwork falls apart or is improperly installed, it is not able to carry the correct amount of airflow to each of the rooms.  The lack of air flow creates hot spots.

Why does my air conditioner run so long to cool my house?

If the air ducts in the attic are too small or the main sections of the ducts are improperly designed, the air flow gets choked off and is not able to move through the ductwork.  When that situation occurs, the air conditioner will struggle and run longer to maintain the desired temperature.

Condensate Drain Line & Pump

What do I do when water is leaking on the floor or ceiling?

At the thermostat, turn the air conditioner to OFF.  With the unit off, no more water will be produced.  Notice: sheetrock that is saturated will continue to drip until the water is removed.

Why does my drain keep clogging up?

Over time, horizontal drain lines in the attic tend to sag and create air pockets and allow sediment to clog the pipe. The condensate drain will back up and create issues if the water flow is blocked. If multiple systems share a drain line, many times an improper design can be a culprit for repeat drain issues.

How do I clear out my drain line properly?

It is common to use vinegar, as it helps keep the drain line clear. For stubborn clogs, the drain line can be cleared with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, but many precautions need to be taken.

Why is my condensate drain pump so loud?

Mechanical condensate pumps are notoriously loud. Many times, replacement or a good cleaning is needed to help quiet the pumps a bit.

Ductwork, Air Registers & Air Ducts

How do I know if my air ducts need sealing?

The most common signs are dirt around the ceiling registers, uncomfortably higher humidity levels and typically the air filter needs to be changed more frequently.

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Why do my air registers make a whistling noise?

If the ceiling register is closed too far or the ducts are improperly sized, extra wind noise might be heard.

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How do I know if my ductwork is bad?

If the insulation around the air ducts is missing, the ductwork has been crushed in the attic by contractors or rodents have destroyed your duct board, those ducts would need to be replaced.

Equipment Replacement

How long does an air conditioner last?

In San Antonio, it is common for an air conditioner to last 12-15 years.

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What should I do when it’s time to replace my air conditioner?

When deciding to replace your air conditioner, consider if your current unit is out of warranty, what the cost of repair is, how efficient the current unit is, if it is still using the outdated R-22 refrigerant and how long you want to stay in the home. Keeping these factors in mind, compare to them to the technological improvements of air conditioning units now.

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Heater

Heater What should I expect out of a gas heater safety inspection?

To make sure the gas furnace is safe to turn on this Winter, the following items need to be inspected or cleaned – gas valve, igniter, flue pipe, burners, circuit board, combustion air, return air, filter, gas leaks, safety controls, carbon monoxide test and emergency cut off valve.

What can go wrong with my gas heater?

The three most common safety issues are gas leaks, improperly venting of the exhaust gases and having a dirty burner that can produce carbon monoxide.

 
Why does my heater keep making a noise?

The igniter (which sounds like a clicking noise) starts the entire heating process.  If the igniter malfunctions, it will continue to click even after the fire has been started.

Heat Pump

Why does my heat pump make a strange noise when it's cold outside?

On colder (and especially wetter) days, the heat pump will go into a defrost mode.  The outdoor unit will make some strange noises in an effort to thaw out the ice that might be building up around the unit.

Why does my heater have a strange smell when it comes on?

On days when you might need the heater at night but the air conditioner during the day, you might have a strange smell come from the indoor unit.  The smell is commonly known at dirty sock syndrome.  If it continues for more than a couple of weeks, contact Tiger Services for some cleaning options to help eliminate the odors.

Why did the builder put a heat pump system in my house?

Neighborhoods that do not have access to the main gas service line, use electricity to heat the house with heat pumps.

Humidity

How do I get rid of this humidity in my San Antonio home?

Make sure the air conditioner is clean and working properly.  The air ducts need to be inspected for air leaks. A separate whole-house dehumidifier may be needed in some cases.  Some foam insulated homes are requiring dehumidifiers.

Why doesn't my air conditioner remove more humidity?

A dirty evaporator coil, an improperly functioning air conditioner or leaking air ducts can cause indoor humidity levels to soar above 55% relative humidity.

Why does my house feel so humid?

An improperly sized, installed and engineered air conditioning system can cause a home to feel humid and uncomfortable.

Maintenance

Why should I have my air conditioner cleaned?

A clean indoor and outdoor coil helps the ac cool the house quicker and more efficiently. If ignored, the dirt that sticks to the coils and restricts the airflow can drop the efficiency by 50%.

What should my contractor discuss during the maintenance?

After cleaning the ac unit, the technician should share his findings of the condition of the drain lines, all the electrical components, the air ducts, the air filter and what the temperature split is across the indoor coil.  The technician should also ask if there are any concerns with hot spots, dust or high utility bills. After surveying everything, they should make recommendations for any possible solutions.

Do I really need my air conditioner maintained every year?

In San Antonio, we use our air conditioning system a lot.  The more we care for the system, the longer it will last and have fewer issues. CPS Energy also recommends annual maintenance. It lowers the utility bill and helps prevent drain lines from clogging up and flooding the house.

Awards

Tiger Direct 2018 Angie's List Winner
Tiger Direct 2016 Angie's List Winner

Tiger Services Air Conditioning & Heating

Office

111 E. Rhapsody Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78216

Contact

(210) 344-0060

Service Hours

8:00 AM - 8:00 PM | 7 Days A Week

Showroom Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Mon - Fri

Tiger Services is experienced at repairing HVAC and heat systems and have been
in the business of keeping San Antonio comfortable since 1978.

Call Tiger Services at (210) 344-0060 today if you need air conditioner or heating services and watch us earn our stripes!
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