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Serving the Community since 1922!

Whether you realize it or not, your air conditioner is one of the most used appliances in your Portland, OR home, especially during the warmer months. Like any appliance, however, your air conditioner is going to need tune-ups and maintenance in order to keep working as it should. Chances are, they will also need repairs at some point as well. While the average homeowner isn’t excited about AC maintenance, it can save you a lot of time, stress, and repair costs in the future.

AC Ready for Summer Checklist

At Sunset Heating & Cooling, we are your reliable AC service company. With 100 years of experience in serving the Portland area, you can depend on us to resolve issues ranging from an air conditioner blowing hot air to a unit that simply won’t turn on. Contact us today to learn more about our AC repair service and ask about our Sunset Service Plan.

And in the worst-case scenario, we also offer convenient AC replacements, ensuring a long-term fix to your nagging cooling issues.

(503) 500-5866

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    Valid only on Repair charges, not valid on Service Plans, Trip charges or Diagnostic charges.



    Signs Your Home Needs AC Repairs

    Though annual maintenance is always recommended, you could still experience unexpected repairs. Typically, an AC will not just breakdown without giving some warning signs first. Being able to identify the warning signs can give you the time to call for professional assistance.

    • Warm Air – The first and most obvious sign that your AC needs repair is when the system is no longer pumping out cool air. This can be caused by many things, including a freon leak or a clogged air filter.
    • Excess Moisture – If you notice excess moisture in your home, most noticeably around the unit itself and windows, there is an issue. There are several causes of this, such as a clogged filter.
    • Unusual Noises – Any loud banging or unusual noises such as frequent cycling, is a signal that repairs are needed. Usually, this is due to a mechanical error.
    • Leaks – Any leaks coming from the unit, vents, or pipes are an issue that should be addressed immediately. While it could be a water leak, it’s also possible that it could be a freon leak.
    • Increased Energy Costs – If you notice a spike in your energy costs, it could be due to your AC working too hard to cool your home. You will also notice this when you have to turn your thermostat to a very low setting in order to cool the space.
    • Uneven Cooling – Lastly, if there are spaces that are cool, yet spaces that are warm, repairs are most likely needed.

    Because your central air conditioner is such an essential part of your comfort, it’s relatively easy to notice when there’s a change in performance. At the first sign of trouble, be sure to work with our AC contractors to find a convenient solution.

    How Can a Damaged Air Conditioner Affect You?

    The inconvenience of a non-working air conditioning system can affect you in more ways than you would think. Not only does it cause some uncomfortable days and nights during the hot summer months, but also things like your health, energy costs, and the integrity of your home’s structure can be affected.

    Many homeowners depend on their central AC to not only keep cool but to help with breathing issues such as allergies and asthma. When your AC is not working properly, these conditions have no filter to keep them at bay. These problems can make breathing issues worse as elements like mold and mildew build-up from excess moisture.

    Another issue caused by excess moisture, though rarer, is when the build-up gets to the point of weakening the integrity of the wood structures in your home. While this can affect support beams and other major construction, it can also cause damage to walls, window sills, and molding.

    An essential component of air conditioning maintenance is air cleaning and filtration. Not only does this help improve the performance of your system, but also it keeps you healthy too!

    Why is my AC Running but Not Cooling the House?

    Before assuming the worst about replacements or excessive repair costs, remember there are often some easily explainable reasons behind cooling shortfalls. Rather than stressing immediately, take a breath and walk through some of the most common causes first.

    • Clogged Air Filters. This is one of the biggest reasons for airflow and cooling issues. Air filters get gunked up with dust, pet hair, and other buildup over time. This clogs the system and restricts airflow, making your AC work harder while delivering less actual cold air. The solution is to replace filters regularly based on the manufacturer’s guidance.
    • Frozen Evaporator Coils. Another possible cause is frozen evaporator coils inside your AC unit. This buildup of ice acts as an insulator, preventing proper heat absorption and transfer. Potential causes include dirty coils, a faulty blower fan, or low refrigerant levels. The solution is to carefully defrost the unit and have a professional inspect and address the root issues.
    • Refrigerant Leaks. Your AC relies on an exact refrigerant charge to facilitate the heat transfer process. If levels are low due to leaks, there’s less “cooling power” available to bring temperatures down effectively. Signs can include ice buildup on copper lines, humidity issues, and higher energy bills. A certified HVAC technician can locate and repair leaks, then recharge the system.
    • Ductwork Concerns. Even with your AC unit operating perfectly, there could be obstacles in your ventilation shafts preventing that conditioned air from circulating properly. Issues like leaks, blockages, damaged sections, or poor installation can severely impact airflow. The solution is a thorough duct inspection and any needed sealing or replacement.
    • System Age & Sizing. As air conditioners approach the ends of their typical 15-20 year lifespans, cooling breakdowns become more common. Additionally, an undersized unit can struggle to keep up in extreme temperatures. If multiple costly repairs are required, upgrading to a properly sized new system may prove the wiser investment.

    The bottom line is your air conditioner is a complex integrated system. While basic troubleshooting and maintenance are DIY-friendly, any deeper cooling deficiencies demand the skilled eye of an experienced HVAC professional to properly diagnose and treat effectively. Don’t let further damage accrue from band-aid solutions – air conditioning woes require professional care!

    How Long Does an AC Unit Last?

    At some point, it becomes clear your air conditioning unit is on its last legs. But how can you really tell when replacement is unavoidable versus just needing some maintenance care?

    The truth is, the lifespan of an AC system depends on several key factors. With proper installation and routine maintenance, you can typically expect:

    • For central air conditioning: 15-20 years
    • For window/room units: 8-12 years

    However, those are just general estimates. The location, climate, cooling demands, and level of care can all cause lifespans to vary significantly.

    Units situated in regions that experience sweltering summers and oppressive humidity levels will inevitably run more frequently and for longer periods to combat that extreme heat. This increased operational time equates to greater strain and wear compared to air conditioners tasked with more moderate cooling duties.

    Similarly, failing to adhere to manufacturer recommendations for basic upkeep – such as routinely replacing air filters and cleaning coils – allows damage and deterioration to compound at an accelerated pace. What may seem like minor lapses in maintenance can significantly impact the longevity of the system over years of such neglect.

    Even with diligent upkeep though, parts will eventually reach the end of their serviceable lifespan through normal wear and tear. Once compressors, coils, or other core components start failing en masse, repair costs quickly become unsustainable. That’s usually the point where replacement makes more financial sense.

    Of course, new AC technology is always emerging too. After 15+ years, your aging unit may be hugely inefficient compared to modern SEER rated systems. The monthly savings on energy bills can help offset replacement costs.

    There’s no universal expiration date on ACs. But once repair needs accelerate rapidly and energy efficiency plummets, it’s wise to have an HVAC pro inspect the situation. With their expertise, you can plan accordingly for a seamless transition to new cooling equipment before the old system fails disastrously.

    Why Would My Air Conditioner Stop Working?

    There’s nothing worse than your AC unit going kaput in the middle of a scorching Portland summer. While inconvenient, there are a few common culprits that could be to blame. First up, check your thermostat settings and ensure it’s set to “cool” mode. A simple fix, but you’d be surprised how often we see this!

    Another likely issue is your air filter being too clogged up. Overdue for a filter change? That buildup can choke off proper airflow and cause your system to overheat and shut down. Outside, make sure your condenser unit isn’t blocked by any plants, bushes, or debris either.

    Still no luck? That’s a sign you may have a failed compressor, refrigerant leak, or electrical issue requiring professional diagnosis and repair. The certified HVAC techs at Sunset are experts at quickly pinpointing AC problems and getting you back to sweet relief!

    Why is My Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air?

    Is your air conditioner running but just not quite giving you that refreshing blast of cold air? Don’t immediately panic – this doesn’t necessarily mean a total system failure. A few basic troubleshooting steps are in order first.

    Start by swapping out that clogged air filter for a fresh one if you haven’t in a while. Buildup could be restricting airflow and causing warm air backdrafts. Next, check that your supply vents aren’t blocked by rugs, furniture, or other household items. You need clear airways!

    If that doesn’t reveal the culprit, your AC may be low on refrigerant due to a leak. This disrupts the cooling cycle’s pressure levels and prevents proper heat absorption. Or you could have a failed compressor unable to circulate refrigerant altogether.

    In any case, these are jobs for Sunset’s experienced AC repair techs. We’ll accurately diagnose the underlying cause and have your system back to peak icebox levels in no time!

    How Much Does it Cost to Fix My Air Conditioner?

    This is understandably one of the top questions on Portland homeowners’ minds when their cooling system needs repair. The honest answer is that costs can vary based on what’s causing the issue. But you can count on Sunset to provide an upfront, straightforward estimate.

    Minor problems like a clogged air filter, tripped circuit breaker, or thermostat setting might only require a basic service call to resolve. More significant troubles like a failed compressor, coil leak, or electrical fault could potentially be more involved repairs.

    That’s why the best first step is scheduling a diagnostic visit from one of our certified HVAC technicians. We’ll thoroughly inspect your system to pinpoint the root cause, explain all potential repair options, and provide a clear pricing estimate – no surprise fees or high-pressure sales tactics. Just honest advice backed by decades of experience.

    How Much Does Air Conditioning Repair Typically Cost?

    When it comes to typical AC repair costs in Portland, there’s no universal answer that fits every situation. Pricing can fluctuate depending on the specific components involved, the extent of damage, the age of the system, and other unique factors.

    What you can expect from Sunset Heating & Cooling is a comprehensive diagnostic first. Our technicians will evaluate your system, identify any issues, and explain all possible repair paths along with associated costs. We’ll make sure you fully understand the problem and pricing for a quality fix before any work proceeds.

    From basic service calls to larger repairs or full system replacements, our goal is to provide transparent, upfront estimates – no costly surprises on the final bill. As Portland’s trusted cooling experts for nearly a century, honest communication is simply how we operate. We’re here to promptly restore your comfort, not pressure you into unnecessary work.

    AC Repair Vs. Replacement

    When your air conditioning system starts acting up, you’re inevitably faced with a tough decision – Should I keep repairing this thing or finally bite the bullet on full replacement? There’s no universal right answer, but weighing in some key factors can help illuminate the wise choice.

    Age of the Unit:

    • If under 8-10 years old: Repairing is generally recommended
    • 10-15 years old: The calculus gets trickier, depends on circumstances
    • 15+ years old: Replacement is likely the more cost-effective route long-term

    As units approach and surpass that 15-year mark, the frequency and cost of repairs tend to ramp up considerably. At some point, paying for serial component replacements no longer makes financial sense versus investing in an entirely new system.

    Overall Repair Costs:

    • A commonly cited rule of thumb: If repairs exceed 50% of a new system’s cost, replacement is advisable
    • However, this doesn’t account for equipment age or projected lifespan after repairs
    • It may be wiser to replace an older unit even if repairs are 25% of a new system’s price

    So repair costs should be viewed through the lens of the equipment’s age and overall condition. Pouring money into a dilapidated, energy-guzzling dinosaur rarely pays off.

    Energy Efficiency Gains:

    • Technology upgrades rapidly, new systems achieve much higher SEER ratings
    • On average, a new AC unit is 60% more efficient than one from the 1990s
    • Greater efficiency = lower monthly utility costs to help offset replacement pricing

    Performing an energy audit can reveal the monthly savings a new high-efficiency setup would provide. Those recurring savings get balanced against the upfront replacement investment.

    Other Wise Replacement Factors:

    • Home renovation/addition plans that increase cooling needs
    • Integrating smart home zoning/humidity control capabilities
    • Incentives/rebates from utility providers for new efficient systems

    At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Many factors influence whether evolving repair needs warrant a full system replacement instead. Consulting an experienced HVAC professional provides invaluable guidance for determining the most cost-effective solution tailored to your unique situation.

    The Benefits of AC Maintenance

    Even if air conditioner repairs are caught before they can cause any damage, they are still an inconvenience to homeowners. A good way to help eliminate the possibility of unexpected repairs is by having annual maintenance performed by a professional. Besides fewer repairs, there are several other benefits to proper maintenance.

    • Better energy efficiency
    • Better air quality
    • Extends the lifespan of the unit
    • More efficient cooling
    • In some cases, it will keep your warranty intact

    Finding a trusted AC maintenance professional is also important to extend the life of your system. At Sunset Heating & Cooling, our experienced HVAC technicians are able to spot, diagnose, and fix problems before they become an inconvenience. Best of all, we make maintenance simple by creating a schedule that works for your home needs.

    When to Call for Air Conditioner Repairs in Portland?

    As any longtime Portland resident knows, our summers may be gorgeous but they’re no joke when it comes to handling the heat and humidity. When your home’s air conditioning starts faltering amidst those swampy dog days, procrastination is the enemy. Call Sunset Heating & Cooling when you notice any of these signs:

    • Unusual Noises: Grinding, squealing or knocking sounds emanating from your AC unit often indicate internal components are starting to malfunction or fail.
    • Weak Airflow: Noticeably diminished air circulation from vents can signal obstructed airflow due to dirty filters, ductwork issues or a failing blower fan.
    • Warm Air: If the air feels more like room temperature instead of cooling things down, it may point to refrigerant leaks, compressor problems or thermostat setting errors.
    • Frequent Cycles: An air conditioner cycling on and off rapidly rather than running full cooling cycles suggests an electrical malfunction is causing the system to overwork.
    • High Humidity: When humidity levels remain excessive indoors despite running the AC, it typically means the dehumidification process is compromised.
    • Water Leaks: Excessive condensation leaks or puddling around the unit often stem from clogged or broken condensate drain lines needing repairs.
    • Bad Odors: Strange odors like must, electrical burning or other harsh smells blowing through vents can indicate mold problems or component failures.
    • Energy Spikes: A sudden unexplained spike in utility costs despite similar usage is often attributed to an AC unit losing energy efficiency.

    Other Common Issues Needing AC Repair:

    • Refrigerant Leaks: If your unit is low on refrigerant due to leaks, it won’t be able to properly remove heat and humidity from your home.
    • Frozen Evaporator Coils: Ice buildup on the evaporator coils can restrict airflow and cause major cooling inefficiencies.
    • Dirty Condenser Coils: When outdoor condenser coils get clogged with dirt and debris, it obstructs airflow and causes strain on the system.
    • Faulty Thermostat: An improperly functioning thermostat can prevent your AC from cycling on and off at the right times.
    • Drainage Problems: Clogs or leaks in the condensate drain line can lead to water damage, mold growth, and system corrosion over time.
    • Worn Contactor: As the electrical contactor relay wears out, it may have difficulty starting the compressor consistently.
    • Capacitor Issues: A failing capacitor that gives the compressor an initial surge can prevent the AC from running altogether.
    • Tripped Breakers or Blown Fuses: These can occur due to electrical system overloads and require professional evaluation.
    • Non-Functional Fan: If the indoor blower fan or outdoor condenser fan stop working, it prevents proper airflow for cooling.
    • Aging AC Components: As critical parts like the compressor reach the end of their service life, frequent breakdowns become inevitable.

    The bottom line is, when it comes to air conditioning in Portland’s often oppressive summer conditions, an ounce of prevention is worth far more than scrambling in a sweltering home. At the first signs of malfunction, call Sunset Heating & Cooling at (503) 500-5866 to quickly diagnose and repair the root issues. Summers here are too short to spend any suffering through AC woes!


    Maintenance Plans

    Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your HVAC systems working efficiently and safely. When you sign up for our Sunset Service Plan, not only do you get an annual inspection and tune-up of your system, but you also have the added benefit of working with a team that knows your unit’s repair and maintenance history.

    • Visual Ductwork Inspection: ($79 Value)
    • Your Plan is transferable if you move to another home in the Portland area or given to buyer of home you are selling
    • 15% off any additional services or repairs
    • Peace of mind knowing that your HVAC system is in good hands.
    • Indoor Air Quality Evaluation: ($79 Value)
    • Plans start at as little as $16.50/ month for one unit.
    • Priority scheduling for any service
    • High Performance Tune-up.
    View Maintenance Plans

    Contact Our Portland Air Conditioning Technicians Today

    At Sunset Heating & Cooling, our Portland AC technicians have the expertise and experience to handle all your residential or commercial HVAC needs. From installation to maintenance, repair, and replacement services, our team of professionals will help ensure that your home or business is kept at a comfortable temperature all year round. We provide comprehensive solutions for any size of space and different residential housing types. With Sunset Heating & Cooling, you can trust that you’re getting reliable service from experienced technicians who are knowledgeable in the latest technologies and advancements in HVAC systems.

    Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Portland, OR air conditioning technicians! We look forward to helping keep your space comfortable and efficient.

    Sunset - Over 100 seal

    Portland’s Trusted Heating and Cooling Company

    Are you looking for quality heating and air cooling services in the Portland area? Sunset Heating & Cooling has been a trusted name in the HVAC industry for decades! If you’re looking for a reputable AC and heating company that provides professional work and exceptional customer service for a fair price, you’ll find it here!

    When you need heating and air conditioning services in Portland, OR, you can always count on Sunset Heating & Cooling

    What Our Clients Say

    Ryan from Sunset Heating & Cooling was friendly, efficient, helpful and so pleasant to have in our home. A great company and wonderful service.

    - Kathi P.

    Jeremy was prompt and friendly. He did a great job of servicing our ac and explaining what he did. Great customer service!

    - Jennifer M.

    Jeremy was knowledgeable, personable, and took the time to explain things. Highly recommend his service.

    - Scott B.

    Many thanks for a great job of diagnosing, explaining and fixing our problem. We are very appreciative and will be happy to tell others.

    - Greg G.

    The Sunset team who sold and installed a new furnace and AC unit in my condominium were wonderful. They were knowledgeable, professional, thorough, respectful and friendly. They went the extra mile to be sure other residents were not impacted and I was happy. They took special care to leave no trace of their being here, except for new and vastly improved heating and cooling system.

    - Kaki B.

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