How Your Central Heating Works

Central heat and air conditioning comes with a furnace, or air handler, as it’s known in the industry. The indoor unit in your home here in Abilene, Texas comes in mostly 2 different types- gas furnace or heat pump system with electric emergency heat. They work quite differently, depending on which you have. First, we’ll take a look at the heat pump model.

The heat pump uses your outdoor air conditioning unit just like you use for cooling your home. The reason it gets warm inside instead of cooler when you have the heat on is because of a special valve on the outdoor condensing unit, call the reversing valve. The heated vapor from the compressor is diverted indoors, instead of outdoors. Thus your air handler inside blows warm air out of the supply registers in each room, warming your home. Then, the returning vapor that is still warm returns to the outdoor condenser where it’s heat exchanged to the cold outside air, and the cycle repeats. This process works well until the outside temp gets really cold. At lower outdoor temperatures, a heat pump is not very efficient at producing heat because it has to reduce pressure and temperature outside, where the temp is already really cold. At temps below 32 degrees F., the heat pump begins to lose efficiency, so your air handler inside is equipped with electric heat strips to assist heating your home on the coldest winter days.

The other most common type of central heating is the gas furnace. Many residents here in Abilene have this type of heating. In a gas furnace, the outdoor unit is not used. The furnace uses natural gas, an ignition system, and a gas valve to regulate the burner flow. The gas mixes with air and burns inside a metal heat exchanger that gets very hot while the indoor fan or blower moves air across the heat exchanger to warm your home. The main safety concern with natural gas heating is due to the fact that the combustion process inside the heat exchanger produces carbon monoxide as a residual from incomplete combustion. This is removed from the furnace by way of the flue, and vented to the outdoors, so long as the furnace is working properly and the heat exchanger has no cracks or breaks in it. That’s why we check for carbon monoxide presence during preventive maintenance or any time we work on a gas furnace.

Your home heating system is as important in winter as cooling is in summer. So keep your return air filters checked and replaced as needed, and don’t forget to schedule your preventive maintenance with the pros at Ab-Tex Appliance today so we can help keep your central heating and cooling in tip top shape! Our prices are super affordable- just $78 for a thorough one time maintenance, or sign up for our most recommended twice yearly maintenance for just $139 a year! Don’t put it off until something breaks and becomes a big expense. Call today- (325) 704-5475

Refrigerator Repair Questions- (Answered)

Ahh, the most used and important appliance in your home aside from the air conditioner- the FRIDGE! How they work these days is similar in some respects but very different in others from the older models of yesteryear. Refrigerators still cool and freeze using a sealed refrigeration system as always, but the way everything is controlled in the modern refrigerator is very different. Using printed circuit boards with microprocessors these days is commonplace. Troubleshooting the conditions that bring a repair person to your door can take some serious training in electronics. Even the compressors at the heart of the refrigeration system is sometimes an inverter compressor that runs using a digital signal and DC voltage. Sensors, rather than thermostats, send signals back to the microprocessor to turn something on or off or adjust speed. So with all the features you have at your disposal, you can also have some complications when it doesn’t perform properly.

At Ab-Tex Appliance & A/C, we rise to meet your needs with training in electronics, refrigeration and controls technology to keep your fridge doing what you love about it, keeping food fresh or frozen. And while the technology is changing, our commitment to educating ourselves on the brands you love is always the same. We care about making sure we can repair your refrigerator at an affordable price. In most cases, even the electronics parts aren’t too expensive to replace in a worst case scenario. The important thing to remember about purchasing a new refrigerator is the more you pay for it, the more expensive it will likely be to maintain. The cost of parts and the sheer amount of technology put into them can be more time consuming to troubleshoot because they are no longer a simple mechanical device. Yet with all they offer us in modern conveniences, we think they’re worth it! And we offer just what you need to keep them from breaking down- preventive maintenance for your fridge and other home or commercial appliances. We know what to look for that can cause issues, such as loose plugs or electrical connections, dirty condenser surfaces, water or ice formations around the coil, restricted drain lines, ice maker and water supply problems. Stopping these problems before they cause a breakdown in cooling is what we do on preventive maintenance visits. So call the experts and let us help!  (325) 704-5475



Repair & Prevention



Air conditioners work hard. The most valuable (and expensive) component at the heart of air conditioning systems is the compressor. It is the workhorse of the unit, compressing hi pressure vapor and discharging it across the condenser tubes to be cooled. It needs care to last for many years because like any mechanical device, it is subject to wear internally. When your freon charge isn’t right, the compressor does not get the motor cooling it needs to keep pumping properly, which can easily lead to overheating and compressor failure. If your condenser isn’t clean, it overheats makes the compressor work harder than normal and overheat due to higher system pressure. There’s a lot more the story of how all these components work together and other things that affect longevity of your A/C system components, but that’s why we push customers to call us for preventive maintenance before your system has an expensive problem.

Here you see an older air conditioning condensing unit (outdoor). We see problems that need to be resolved before they become expensive problems. Sure, you can just call us when something fails, or you lose some freon to a leak. We leak test and repair and replace components all the time, add freon, fan motors, compressors, replace relays, control boards, blower motors, capacitors, clean coils, all those things when we get calls for air conditioner repairs from frantic customers dying in the heat of summer. But did you know it’s actually cheaper to have preventive maintenance done so we can check all those things and make simple repairs where needed before they cause expensive failures at the worst possible time? At Ab-Tex Appliance & A/C, your heating and cooling is in good hands. We can save you money on expensive repair costs by keeping your system in good condition in both summer cooling and winter heating. For many homes equipped with heat pumps, where the home has no natural gas, the A/C outdoor unit works as hard in winter as in summer. But gas furnaces also need to be kept in excellent conditions for the sake of having heat when you need it as well as for your safety. No need to worry, though, because we know what to do. And all you have to do is call. We’re here for you and we have great prices for preventive maintenance and care for all your home air conditioning and heating needs. And if you have questions, we have answers and we’re happy to help! Save time, save money, and get your preventive maintenance done today. In the months to come when your neighbors have repairs being done because something broke down, you’ll be relaxed, cool and collected with Ab-Tex Appliance & A/C on your side! (325) 704-5475