Copper Theft – Tips for Protecting Your Property

Copper Pipes

According to NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau), copper is highly prized by thieves who are looking to make some easy money.  Over a two-year period, 25,000 claims were filed related to the theft of aluminum, brass, bronze, and copper.  Not surprisingly, 96% of these thefts were copper-related.

Retail facilities and construction sites are two of the hardest hit by copper theft.  Considering both of these are typically dark and deserted during the nighttime hours, they become easy targets for copper thieves.  Retail strip malls often offer easy access to AC units on the rooftop, as well as access from one retailer to the next without ever getting off of the building.  Copper coils, wiring, and piping are like “gold” to thieves, who may strip every copper component they can find from HVAC equipment on a construction site, waiting to be installed.

How can you deter copper theft at your retail location or construction site?  Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid letting copper materials and equipment sit out where they are vulnerable to theft by having them delivered on the day of installation
  • Make sure storage trailers and trucks are securely locked, and restrict access to keys
  • Be on alert when at the construction site for vehicles or activity that seems suspicious
  • Use storage containers, wire cages and/or secured buildings to store large quantities of equipment which contain copper components
  • Consider hiring a security service or local law enforcement to patrol and/or guard the work site during the hours no workers are present
  • Make sure your crew is trained on security procedures regarding materials and equipment; you may want to devise an inventory management system for tracking and identifying these materials as well

Preventive measures can also help deter copper theft at retail stores and shopping malls.  Some of the things you can do to prevent theft of copper components from AC units include installing exterior motion-sensor lighting, secure fencing, and video surveillance.  You may also want to consider locked steel cages around AC units, and monitoring during nighttime hours, weekends or other times which would be regarded as opportune for would-be thieves.

Get Schooled! It’s Air Conditioning Trivia Time

Apple on School Books

At Haley Mechanical, we provide outstanding A/C service to southeast Michigan homeowners, whether you are in need of a new air conditioning system or service/maintenance on your existing system.  We know how quickly things change in terms of technological advances in cooling and heating.  However, as a homeowner, you may not be so savvy when it comes to the history of heating/cooling your home.  Ready for a little trivia about A/C’s past and present?  Here we go!

1.  True or False:  Prior to the invention of air conditioning, industrial workers took a month off in August.

True!  August is when temperatures are at their hottest; workers were sluggish, production slowing or even coming to a complete halt.  For the same reason, government agencies shut down for a portion of the summer.

2.  Who is the inventor of air conditioning, and why was A/C invented?

A Brooklyn publishing company employee, Willis Carrier, invented air conditioning.  He invented it for the company because high temperatures and humidity would cause the paper the company printed on to expand or contract.  Air conditioning kept temperatures and humidity lower.

3.  True or False:  Nearly every aspect of the industry has been revolutionized due to the development of effective refrigeration and temperature control.

True.  Think of the world we live in today.  The manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, food production, delivery, and storage, even the manufacturing of chipsets, computers, and chemicals would not be possible without air conditioning.

4.  True or False.  Education across the nation has been affected by air conditioning.

False.  Summer vacation was not actually invented to give school kids a break – it was because of hot temperatures and the fact that not only was the heat intolerable, some were concerned about the spread of disease.  Schools in the U.S still let out for summer vacation, even though air conditioning would make it possible for a school to continue year-round.

5.  What role has air conditioning played in extending human life expectancy and the advancement in medicine?

Air conditioning helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, advance development in surgery, and has resulted in fewer infant deaths and the defeat of diseases such as malaria.

6.  Advancements in air conditioning have changed architecture, but how?

Older homes had high ceilings, breezeways, shrubs that were placed strategically, even porches designed for sleeping – all of this in an effort to make the home more comfortable.  Because today’s structures are often designed of glass, have lower ceilings and other design features that do not take into account heat and ventilation, having air conditioning is almost a must for modern homeowners and businesses.

7.  True or False:  Air conditioning makes us more intolerant of heat.

True.  Living in cool, air-conditioned homes and working in air-conditioned environments makes it harder to tolerate heat.  Scientific evidence supports the fact that too much time spent under the A/C erodes our natural tolerance to hotter temperatures.

8.  What percentage of U.S. homes were equipped with central air conditioning systems in 2009?

In 2009, 87% of homes in the U.S. were equipped with air conditioning, according to an American Housing Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau.  Of this 87%, 65% had central air conditioning, while 22% of homes had window or room units.

9.  Since 1960, what one factor assisted in 60% of the total U.S. economic growth?

Air conditioning!  Over the past 54 years, 60% of the total economic growth has occurred in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and other southern states where temperatures are hot in summer months.  Over the years, air conditioning has made factory work and apartment living possible in the South – and demographers contend that Las Vegas, Arizona, and other southern locales have experienced population explosions as a direct result of air conditioning.

10.  Who do you call when you need air conditioner installation or repair?

Haley Mechanical, or course!  Family owned and operated for more than 15 years, we are dedicated to quality products, outstanding service, and making life for southeast Michigan residents as comfortable as possible.  Contact us today!

Noises You Should Never Hear from Your Air Conditioner

Woman Bothered by Noise

Although air conditioners do make some “normal” noises during their operation caused by electronic and mechanical components, there are some noises you should never hear coming from your air conditioning system. As a southeast Michigan homeowner, you are probably used to certain ticks and sounds that aren’t problematic. However, there are certain sounds you should pay close attention to. Here is a list that may help you determine the possible problem before you call our skilled HVAC technicians.

Squealing Noise

A blower belt that is worn-out can cause a squealing noise at the indoor air handler or outdoor cabinet. If you schedule regular preventive maintenance, this problem can usually be avoided.

Screaming or Hissing

The compressor, located in the outdoor cabinet, is essentially the “heart” of your A/C system. When you notice a loud screaming or hissing noise coming from the compressor, it could potentially be a dangerous situation and may indicate a faulty high-pressure sensor. The compressor is responsible for extracting and releasing heat by pumping refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils. If you hear a screaming or hissing noise, call Haley Mechanical immediately.

Humming or Buzzing

A failed blower motor or capacitor can result in a humming or buzzing noise. If you hear this humming while your A/C system is running, it is likely a motor problem. If the system will not turn on, it is probably due to a failed capacitor. In either situation, give us a call.


A ticking or clicking noise may be noticed if there is an object lodged inside the fan assembly located in the outdoor cabinet. The blades of the fan may strike the object, causing the clicking noise. Make certain the air conditioner is turned off before you attempt to remove the object yourself. Pull out the disconnect plug, and shut the unit off at the thermostat.

Clamoring or Rattling of Vents

The air ducts deliver conditioned air into your home, and although the ducts are not an actual component of your air conditioning system, loose ducts can result in loss of conditioned air and increased energy costs. Rattling or clamoring noises coming from the vents typically indicate loose ducts; this can be remedied using metal tape.

Hearing other noises that don’t sound normal, or that you are not used to hearing? At Haley Mechanical, our job is to ensure SE Michigan homeowners enjoy a comfortable home and that your air conditioner is properly maintained so you can enjoy years of comfort and energy efficiency. Give us a call today!

Tips to Keep Your Cooling System Running this Summer

Hands Holding Popsicles in the Summer Heat

Tips for Southeast Michigan Homeowners to Keep Your Cooling System Running this Summer

Even in Ann Arbor and other areas of Southeast Michigan, summer temperatures can be anything but comfortable – that has been proven by the temperatures we have experienced recently! How can you make sure your air conditioner will run efficiently, and keep your family cool while keeping costs as low as possible? We have a few tips.

First, be sure to change the filter. We have said this repeatedly, but it is super important. Changing or cleaning the filter (depending on what type you have) every one or two months is critical to prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, allergens, and other contaminants that can not only shorten the lifespan of your cooling system and make it less efficient, but contribute to allergies, asthma, and other conditions. Enjoy healthier air AND improved comfort.

Have your A/C inspected every year. It is easy to forget about your HVAC system when everything seems to be running fine and dandy, but having your cooling/heating checked on at least an annual basis is critical to keep it running efficiently. When your SE Michigan HVAC technician can detect any small issues early on, it can prevent bigger, more costly issues down the road. You will also enjoy peace of mind knowing that no matter how high temperatures rise, your family will enjoy a comfortable home without the worry of a breakdown or malfunction.

Weatherize your home. Whether sealing leaks around windows or doors with weather stripping or caulk, adding extra insulation, or utilizing fans and closing windows/doors, do everything possible to keep the cooled air inside! The “conditioned” air you pay for will remain inside, while the hot summer air stays out.

Consider a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat makes it possible for you to program it for those times your family is sleeping or away from home, and forget about turning the temperature up or down. Set the schedule your family typically adheres to and put it out of your mind. Why cool an empty home when your family is away at work or school – or when you are away on vacation for a week or two? A programmable thermostat can save you a bundle on energy costs, but keep in mind it should be installed away from heat sources such as lamps or direct sunlight.

At Haley Mechanical, our goal is to help you enjoy a cool, comfortable home regardless of how high temperatures rise without spending a small fortune on energy costs. Keep these tips in mind, and contact our Southeast Michigan HVAC technicians should you need service, repair, or a new system installed.

Stop Summer Heat at the Front Door

Hands Holding Popsicles in the Summer Heat

Although southeast Michigan experiences extreme cold in winter, summer can have the opposite effect – extreme heat. With the first official day of summer just days away, it’s important to prepare your home so that even on the hottest of days, your family can enjoy a cool, comfortable home. At Haley Mechanical, we have a few tips for homeowners in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Brighton, Howell, and nearby cities.

Keep the cold air in and humidity out by filling the gaps

Caulking, additional insulation, and weather stripping can go a long way toward keeping your conditioned air inside, where it belongs. Any crack, gap, or hole is an opportunity for your cool environment to escape to the outdoors. This can mean not only an uncomfortable home but increased energy costs.

Clean the air filter

We’ve said this a million times, but it bears repeating: Clean or change your air filter often. Air can flow more freely, and your A/C system doesn’t have to work as hard, increasing its life span and again, saving on energy costs.

Shades for your home

Shades (or sunglasses) help keep bright sunlight out of your eyes – but what about the windows of your home? Sunlight streaming through windows heat up the rooms of your home. Consider solar-reflective film for windows receiving direct sunlight, or close blinds, shades, or curtains during daytime hours. This also helps lessen the load on your air conditioner.

Insulation works in both winter and summer seasons

Most people know proper attic insulation helps keep their homes warmer during cold winter months. However, adequate insulation in the attic also helps greatly reduce the amount of heat that can creep into your living spaces from the roof and attic. Improved comfort, energy savings.

Make the switch to LED or CFL light bulbs

Old time incandescent light bulbs emit a tremendous amount of heat, so what good does it do to shade your windows if you’re going to heat up your home with light bulbs? Sure, you need light when all the windows are darkened – but CFL and LED light bulbs are energy efficient and cooler, emitting far less heat than regular light bulbs.

Programmable thermostats and schedule management

Programmable thermostats are amazing and help homeowners save on energy costs by programming their systems to run less often when away from home. However, if your schedule changes constantly – for instance, you’re often traveling for two days at a time and turn your thermostat up by 20 degrees when you’re away – your cooling system will have to work overtime to cool your home upon your return. As Lennox dealers, we are happy to help you determine a schedule that will help you enjoy a comfortable, cool home while saving on energy costs.

Have your system ready to face the heat

An air conditioner that has been ‘tuned up’ by an HVAC professional is your best defense against a hot, humid, uncomfortable home and high energy bills. Our qualified air conditioning professionals will ensure your equipment has the proper refrigerant charge, and inspect your system for any necessary adjustments/repairs. You can enjoy a cool, comfortable home even on days when temperatures soar!

Stay comfortable this summer season by following the above tips, and ensuring your air conditioner operates at peak efficiency. For all of your home comfort needs count on Haley Mechanical, serving SE Michigan homeowners for more than 16 years.

Is Your Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air? Some Common Remedies

Lady trying to get cool in front of a fan

In southeast Michigan, the last thing you need is an A/C that’s blowing hot air during the hot summer months. If you have noticed your home does not feel comfortable only to discover hot air coming out of the vents, there are a few fixes you can try yourself. If they fail to work, it is time to call in one of our expert HVAC technicians to repair your central air conditioning.

Replace the air filter. If you have not changed the air filter in a while, it could be completely clogged with dirt, dust, pet dander, and other debris. This will severely restrict airflow, which could impact your system’s ability to cool properly. To ensure this does not happen again, be sure to change the air filter frequently. It is best to check the filter monthly.

Check the thermostat. We all make mistakes, and the thermostat could have been switched over to heating mode inadvertently. Additionally, this can occur if the thermostat has been switched to “on” instead of “auto,” which causes the fan to run continuously.

Could a refrigerant leak be the culprit? When the refrigerant in your air conditioning system drops below a certain level, it usually indicates a leak. Our HVAC technicians can diagnose the issue and repair the leak promptly if this is the case, as trying to repair it yourself could result in damage to your equipment.

Check to ensure the outdoor unit is receiving power. A tripped breaker in the main electrical panel can result in the indoor blower fan operating, while the outdoor unit does not receive power. Your system cannot pump cold air if the breaker is tripped. If this is the case, reset the breaker. This may solve the issue, however, if the breaker quickly trips again or repeatedly, call the professionals and leave the breaker off.

The outdoor condenser coil may need cleaning. When the condenser coil located outdoors accumulates dirt/debris or becomes obstructed by tall grass, it can cause your A/C system to lose cooling capacity. Hose off the coil gently, and remove any obstructions around the unit. If this does not work, have the condenser coil cleaned by professionals.

Home or business owners in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and other nearby cities in southeast Michigan can count on Haley Mechanical for all of your needs. If your A/C is blowing hot air and none of the above fixes work, give us a call today!

Why Is My Air Conditioner Frozen?

Haley Mechanical Offices in Dexter, Michigan

Even in an area with warm temperatures, it’s possible for an air conditioner to freeze. It’s essential to address a frozen air conditioner right away; otherwise, it can lead to your home becoming water damaged. What causes an air conditioner to freeze, and what should you do if it happens?

Low Refrigerant
Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil contains refrigerant. Without a sufficient amount of coolant, your A/C will not be able to remove enough heat from the air. Low refrigerant indicates a leak, which will need to be fixed by an air conditioning contractor.

Poor Airflow
The temperature of your air conditioner’s evaporator coil can dip below freezing if the airflow is diminished. Reduced airflow causes moisture in the air to condense on the coil, where it becomes frozen. If this occurs, have your air conditioner serviced by a repair technician.

Evaporator Coil is Dirty
It’s crucial for your evaporator coil to be kept clean; this will help prevent your air conditioning unit from freezing. Dirt buildup on the coil acts as a barrier between the refrigerant inside the coil and the warm air outside. It causes the evaporator coil to freeze because it’s too cold.

What to Do If Your A/C Is Frozen
Here are some steps you can take if your air conditioner is freezing up:

  • Turn the unit off. Do not just increase the temperature with the thermostat–turn the cooling system off entirely.
  • Try replacing your air filters. Clogged filters interfere with airflow.
  • If any supply vents in your home are closed, open them to let air flow through. Make sure to open vents in unused rooms, too.
  • Make sure that your return vents and your air ducts are kept clear and unblocked.

After you’ve done the above steps, contact a repair technician for help as soon as you can. An HVAC contractor will have your air conditioner up and running again in no time.

Is That Smelly Air Conditioner About to Knock Your Socks Off?

Woman Plugging Her Nose

Summers in Ann Arbor and throughout Southeast Michigan can get extremely warm and uncomfortable, but you can always count on your A/C to keep you cool and comfy – or can you? Sometimes an air conditioner will emit some very unpleasant odors, and you don’t know why or if it indicates a problem. If your cooling system stinks, here’s what you should look for.

What are some of the reasons an air conditioner may smell bad?

Rotten egg smell. This usually indicates an animal died after getting stuck in the air duct. Sad but true; these things happen. Call out an expert to take care of the problem so the odor will go away.

Exhaust-like smell. When you notice a scent that reminds you of car exhaust, there’s a problem somewhere. Gasoline doesn’t power air conditioners, and there could be a fluid leak. Give our SE Michigan HVAC professionals a call.

Stinky feet smell. What could be worse? While it may smell like someone’s dirty socks got caught up in your system, it’s probably a matter of water collecting in your unit. A musty odor is common when water builds up due to improper draining or a clog. Have it checked out by a professional.

Skunk smell. This is probably second in line to the horrible stinky feet smell; however, it could be a severe problem as a skunk smell is usually the result of a methyl mercaptan leak, a dangerous gas. Get your family out of your home and contact us immediately.

Mildew smell. This is a common complaint of homeowners and a scent that is usually caused by excess moisture such as condensation that doesn’t drain as it should. Mold and mildew are often the results, causing the unpleasant smell. Give our A/C professionals a call if you notice a mildew smell!

Gunpowder smell. When a circuit board or fan motor shorts out, you may notice an odor that smells like gunpowder. This is a relatively simple repair for our HVAC contractors.

The last thing you want is for your cooling system to go out during the hottest season of the year. When you notice any strange or stinky smells, give the Ann Arbor air conditioning experts at Haley Mechanical a call.

Air Conditioning Unit Won’t Turn On? Troubleshooting Tips

Frustrated Woman Sitting at Computer

Even in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas of SE Michigan summer brings hot weather. When your air conditioner does not turn on, you may be left wondering what the problem is – and if it is going to require a new system or repair, either of which can be costly. There are a few minor issues that can cause your A/C not to turn on, and a total breakdown that happens without warning is rare, thankfully. Consider the following when troubleshooting your cooling system.

Air filter clogged. While it is a simple thing, a dirty or clogged air filter may prevent the A/C from coming on, as the filter allows good airflow and even helps prevent possible damage to the components of your system. Replace the filter then try turning the air conditioner on.

Thermostat set too high or on the wrong setting. If you desire a temperature of 76 degrees and the thermostat is set on 80, it will not come on. It is also important to make sure the thermostat is switched to the “cool” setting. Lower the temperature or set to “cool” and your system should come on.

A circuit breaker that’s tripped. Circuit breakers trip occasionally and are usually related to a power surge. Locate the breaker for your A/C in the main circuit box and reset it; this will likely fix the problem. However, if this happens frequently, you will want to have an electrician take a look to determine what the problem may be.

Thermostat issues. Thermostats do not last forever, particularly programmable thermostats that rely on batteries. It could simply be a matter of putting new batteries in if the screen is blank, or replacing the thermostat if new batteries do not do the trick.

Leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant is a liquid air conditioners must have in order to provide cool air. It isn’t unusual for A/C systems to experience leaks, something a skilled HVAC professional can diagnose and take care of if this is the problem. Refrigerant loss can result in inadequate cooling or your A/C not turning on.

Haley Mechanical employs professional HVAC technicians who are highly skilled and experienced in air conditioning repair, installation, and maintenance. If you’re in the Southeast Michigan area and are having A/C issues, give our experts a call today! Call Haley Mechanical at 734-424-9170.

Air Conditioner on the Blink? Five Possibilities to Consider

Mini-Split installation in Ann Arbor, Michigan

As trusted southeast Michigan air conditioning experts, we know how frustrating it can be when the weather gets warm, you need the a/c, and it will not work.  It will not be long before you need to cool your indoor spaces, and there are very limited reasons why a system fails to work as expected when summer arrives.  Problems arise when either your air conditioner is not properly installed, it is not maintained as often as it should be or is poorly serviced.

According to the federal Department of Energy, there are five problems with air conditioning systems that seem to be fairly common; here’s how to troubleshoot them:

Inadequate maintenance.Taking care of something as simple as cleaning the air conditioning coils and changing the filter as necessary can make a huge difference.  When the system is dirty and clogged, it can result in a fan or compressor that fails prematurely because the system has to work too hard.

Refrigerant leaks.Manufacturers specify the recommended refrigerant charge for their air conditioners; when you can match your refrigerant charge to the manufacturer’s recommendation, it will operate effectively.  Leaks not only make your system work harder, but they also harm the environment.  You may think all you need to do is add more refrigerant, but this is not the way to handle the issue.  Call a trained SE Michigan air conditioning technician to repair the leak.  Your technician will test to ensure the leak is repaired, then use the specified amount of refrigerant to charge your system.

Drainage issues.Humidity can cause problems, so check to ensure the condensate drain is not clogged and is draining as it should.  It is also important that window conditioners are level for proper drainage.

Electric control failure.Terminals and wires that are corroded can cause your cooling system to fail, so set up a service call to have your technician check out the electrical contacts and connections. Also, a system that is too big for your home will cycle on and off more frequently than a properly sized system, which can wear out fan controls and even the compressor.

Sensor problems.Have a window air conditioner?  On this type of system, a thermostat sensor in located behind the control panel, and is responsible for keeping the room comfortable.  Your a/c may cycle on and off too often if the sensor becomes knocked out of position; it should be located near the evaporative coil, but not touching it.  You can adjust this yourself by carefully bending the wire that holds the sensor in place.

Recently, Consumer Reports conducted a survey of more than 40,000 readers who purchased a central air conditioning system. Those that required the most frequent air conditioner repairs included York, Amana, and Goodman.  As an authorized Lennox dealer, we know that the system you choose can make a substantial difference in the problems (and expense) you will face down the road!

Keep the tips above in mind if you face problems with your air conditioning system this summer – and give us a call should you encounter a problem you cannot handle yourself.  As reputable southeast Michigan air conditioning professionals, your comfort is our business.

Contact us today!

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