The Lane Company Monthly
By: Fran Page
Letter to the Readers
Dear Loyal Readers and Customers,
You may be getting ready to send the kids back to school, or you might be returning from a vacation, but things are not cooling down yet. August is usually the hottest month in the typical Midwestern summer. With this in mind, the Lane Company would like to offer you a few tips on how to stay cool this summer without the hassle of calling a technician. There are some common air conditioning problems that you may be able to identify and fix yourself, so do not pick up the phone until you can rule these things out. We wish you all a wonderful remainder of the summer season.
The Lane Company Family
Common Air Conditioning Problems
Most air conditioner problems are caused by the following issues: improper operation, poor maintenance, improper installation, or poor service procedures. Many people are too quick to call for services without understanding what is causing their air conditioner to act up, so here is some information to help you avoid making that mistake.
Clean Your Condensers and Evaporators: If you are having issues with no cooling or not enough cooling after lowering your thermostat by five degrees, you may want to see if dirt is blocking your condenser or evaporator. Blockages caused by debris can result in ineffective cooling and even cause your unit to continually shut off. Cleaning out the blockages usually solves the problem, but if it doesn’t, call a servicer. In those cases, you may have the following problems: a faulty motor or compressor, an improperly sized AC unit, or not enough refrigerant in the unit. At that point, you will need a professional to effectively diagnose and remedy the problem. In the meantime, check your power and thermostat in addition to keeping coils, evaporators, and condensers clean.
Refrigerant Leaks: It is imperative that your AC unit has the proper amount of refrigerant. If you suspect a leak due to undercharging, do NOT add refrigerant, as it will not solve the problem and the repairs need to be made by a technician. A professional knows how much refrigeration the manufacturer requires for the unit, and it has to be a precise job. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful, so be sure to check for any problems.
Sensor Issues: If your AC is acting “funny,” you may want to check your sensor, which is located behind the control panel. It is common for the sensor to get knocked out of place, so if you’re in this situation, carefully bend the wire so the sensor is next to the coil. It should not touch the coil at all.
Drainage: Excess humidity can result in the condensate drain clogging. Room air conditioners will not drain properly if they are clogged. Other problems can occur with drainage because of insects nesting inside of the drain line. While unclogging the drain line might require professional help, pouring half bleach and half water in the pipe is an excellent way to get rid of mold and mildew.
Frozen Unit: If you notice that your AC unit is frozen, inspect your air filter to eliminate any debris. If this is not the problem, your blower fan or control relay may be malfunctioning. If the control relay is not working, you might notice that the outside unit is working while the inside unit is not. If any electric components need to be replaced, call a professional.
Maintenace: If you are unsure about the possible problems your AC might have, call a professional to do a routine checkup. Most common problems can be prevented if your unit is properly cleaned and has correct, functioning parts.
Always Providing Comfort: Keeping Your Pet Cool, Healthy, and Hydrated
Many of us at the Lane Company are the proud owners of dogs or cats and we work to keep all members of your family happy and comfortable. Bella, a friendly Havanese dog adopted by Lane Company owners Rob and Barb Page, would love to share her nuggets of wisdom.
1. Give Your Dog Room Temperature Water: Barb and Bella learned on a recent trip to the vet that lukewarm water gives dogs hydration quicker than ice water. Ice water can also cause cramping and bloating because while it may be refreshing to a human, it is unpleasantly freezing to a dog.
2. Clean the Bowls Daily: Many people mistakenly believe that their pets have stronger digestive systems and can handle germs better than their human counterparts. However, bacteria buildup in your pet’s bowls may cause them to be sick and their water (understandably) will not taste good.
3. Rub your cat or dog with a cool, damp towel if they are overheated. It will help their body temperature return to normal and prevent dehydration.
Summer Seafood Recipe*
The easiest way to get the family together for a meal is with a delicious, homemade dish with tasty ingredients, such as protein-packed shrimp.
There are many scrumptious reasons for including shrimp into your family's diet. In fact, the American Heart Association and other experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, and the FDA just announced this year that pregnant women should consume between 8-12 ounces of seafood a week. It's easy to work towards this dietary goal by introducing Gulf shrimp into your diet. This versatile protein is easy to prepare; has a wonderfully salty and fresh flavor from the nutrient-rich environment in which it is caught; and is also widely available fresh and frozen at your local grocery.
Flavorful Gulf shrimp contains high-quality protein and a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B-6 and B-12. Plus, it's a natural source of vitamin D, low in saturated fat and offers healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Add flair and flavor to your family's meal routine (and keep the kids happy) with these easy meal ideas that incorporate Gulf shrimp:
Breakfast: Dice it up and add to omelets with fresh vegetables, such as sauteed spinach and tomatoes.
Lunch: Perk up your midday meal by adding it to salads and tortilla soups.
Appetizer or snack: Serve with simple cocktail sauce for a no-fuss crowd pleaser, or a light stick-with-you snack.
Dinner: Mix it into spaghetti sauce and serve on a bed of whole wheat pasta.
*Recipe provided by Family Features at http://editors.familyfeatures.com/pub/Default.aspx.