Tips and Suggestions for Improved Air Conditioning System Maintenance & Care

Air Conditioning System Maintenance & Care Tips and Suggestions

It is of course obvious that the key to having a properly working and efficient air conditioning system is to have preventative maintenance performed on a regular basis. It will help you save money over the long run by not having to have unnecessary repairs done in the future. To understand why this is important, you first need to learn the basics of your HVAC system and have a good understanding of all that is involved with preventative maintenance. That will help you with determining what maintenance chores you will be able to do on your own and which ones you should have a repair technician or professional contractor do for you.

air conditioning system

Understanding How Your HVAC System Works

All central air conditioning systems have two main components – the evaporator and condenser. Usually the A/C condenser unit is mounted outside on a slab close to the side or back of the house. The evaporator coil will be positioned at the duct junction right over the furnace. The air conditioning unit and forced-air distribution system are attached together. Basically, the motor, ductwork and blower used for cooling your house are used for heating it as well.

Concerns Regarding Basic Preventative Maintenance

We need to be realistic here. Normally wouldn’t look forward to having to deal with costs for replacing or repairing your air conditioning system. However, you will be forced to if you don’t have some of the basic preventative maintenance chores listed below done:

First of all, be kind to your air condition system whenever you can. Ensure that the conditions inside your house are optimal so that the system doesn’t need to work too hard to cool everything down. Search for places where cool air might be able to escape and get those fixed so that the A/C unit doesn’t run constantly.

Clean or change air filters as needed – this is one of the most basic preventative maintenance tasks you can perform. Cleaning or changing the air filters can add years to your HVAC system’s life and also help to prevent expensive repairs. Whenever filters get clogged with dust and dirt, it increases the odds that the fan will also. This will result in them getting weighted down so that they can’t run properly. This could result in a serious malfunction taking place inside your system along with some very expensive replacement or repair costs.

Clean air ducts – when air ducts are clogged it restricts air flow. This in turn makes your system have to worker hard than it should and increases your utility bills. In really serious cases, it could even result in the motor burning out. To prevent having expensive replacement or repair costs, your air ducts should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis. The same thing should be done for the fans inside the A/C system.

Advantages to a Preventative Maintenance Schedule

A majority of HVAC repair and installation companies offer preventative maintenance programs or schedules. Many people think it’s an unnecessary expense until a breakdown occurs and they have an expensive replacement or repair charge that they have to deal with. This could have been avoided quite easily if a preventative maintenance program was invested in where a technician visits your house to inspect and clean your air conditioning system.

Just remember that when an emergency service call is needed, it can cost twice as much as a regular service call. When you consider how much money you can save through having preventative maintenance performed, it is definitely a worthwhile investment.

What You Really Need to Know When Scheduling HVAC system Maintenance & Repairs

What Your Need to Know When Scheduling HVAC System Maintenance

HVAC systemPreventive maintenance and scheduled cleaning are two of the most important factors that will help increase the lifespan of your HVAC system as well as reduce the cost of expensive repairs in the long run. You ask 10 HVAC industry experts, and all of them will reiterate the importance of these two tasks. A professional HVAC contractor is the best person to clean and maintain your HVAC system throughout the year. This is why you need to hire a professional HVAC technician to care for and maintain your system on a regular basis.

The Need for Regularly Scheduled Preventative Maintenance –

If you AC is not operating efficiently, the summertime heat can become quite uncomfortable to bear. This is why you need to schedule the repair and maintenance of your HVAC system in a timely manner. A scheduled service will ensure that your system doesn’t break down prematurely and cost you a fortune to repair. An efficient HVAC system is also helpful to reduce your energy bills each month which will immensely help you offset the ever increasing energy costs.

When Should A/C Service Be Scheduled?

Your HVAC system will work tirelessly to keep you warm and comfortable during winter. Likewise, the system will have to work the same way to keep you cool with summer approaching us. This is why it is essential you have the HVAC system serviced properly before winter as well as summertime. The best time to do the maintenance is when the outside temperature is comfortable than they are in winter and much cooler than they are in summer. The springtime is the best to schedule your service before temperatures really warm up.

Most of the time, an HVAC technician will examine your system for:

. Cleaning or replacing the air filters.
. Removing all blockages in the grills or ductwork.
. Remove all the debris from inside the housing of the compressor.
. Tighten all screws that are loose.

The technician will have a maintenance checklist when they come to perform maintenance. No matter what type of maintenance, service or repairs they do, all these will help your HVAC system to function properly during the hot and humid summertime.

In fact, your HVAC system has a lot of work to do concerning your health and comfort levels. The money you spend on preventive maintenance goes a long way in guaranteeing the comfort and health of you and your family. You will breathe cleaner air which will help prevent certain allergies and asthma. This is why it is essential that you hire the right HVAC technician to perform the job for you. They should be experienced and qualified to do the job in the first place.

You may have to do some research to make sure that you are hiring the right technician who is licensed, insured, and bonded. They should be an established company located in the same area where you live. This will ensure that you are not dealing with a fly-by-night AC technician. It will also help prolong the durability and efficiency of your HVAC system in the long run.

The aforementioned article provides a comprehensive overview of some of the most important things you need to consider when hiring the best heating, ventilation, and air conditioner (HVAC) contractor for cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system on a regular basis.

What a Contractor Should Avoid During an HVAC Troubleshooting

HVAC troubleshooting can still be a bit tricky even to professionals.

Heating contractors are only human. Thus, they make mistakes too, even during an HVAC troubleshooting. At times, these errors affect an HVAC system’s performance and efficiency. It can likewise hurt their clients as well as their business or reputation.

When it comes to HVAC troubleshooting, safety and efficiency are both important factors often overlooked by a sloppy contractor. Here are the seven most common mistakes they do time and again:

HVAC Troubleshooting

Failure to understand combustion safety

It often happens during a service call about a possible carbon monoxide leak. Most contractors inspect the furnace right away and search the heat exchanger for the presence of cracks. If all seems okay, they dismiss it and simply replace the CO alarm’s batteries. These contractors are clueless about a combustion appliance’s backdrafting. They fail to this nor test for flue gasses. This one is quite alarming since they might leave behind a home at high risk of CO poisoning.

Concentrating on the “box” and neglecting the air flow

In short, a ductopus, a common problem overlooked by inexperienced contractors. If these professionals understand something about air flow, after all, they would install bigger ductworks than the usual. When a homeowner decides to change their system, it is also a must to do a duct changeout to ensure that both are a match in terms of size.

Ignoring a home performance opportunity

Since HVAC contractors visit many homes every single day they work, they get to see the insulation quality of a home as well as its air sealing quality. Understanding that not only mechanical systems make up home comfort systems is a crucial aspect in achieving ultimate home comfort. Moreover, on the business side, checking every relevant nook and cranny is a business opportunity. So, it works both ways, and the homeowner and contractor can benefit from this one.

Omitting the V in HVAC

We all know about ventilation. Nowadays, most homes are tighter than before since stringent energy codes impose higher air sealing levels as well as conducting blower door tests to validate its airtightness. Mechanical ventilation is essential in any tight home. Contractors should be well-versed about the provision ASHRAE 62.2 and terms like positive, negative, and balanced pressure. A ventilation system’s air flow should likewise be measured.

Skipping the Math

This lapse of judgment is all about the rules of thumb most older contractors are guilty of doing. They depend on tested and proven strategies that worked well for them before. The problem is, the HVAC industry has changed a lot over the past 50 years. So are our homes. It is no longer safe to rely on the obsolete rule of thumbs since each home is unique. To get the correct system for a particular house, contractors should do cooling and heating calculations before doing any work.

Becoming the low bidder

It is actually a lose-lose situation. Those who lose in the bid obviously lose. The winner of the bid also loses because the money is not enough to cover the cost of labor and materials, so they end up doing a poor job. And the homeowner loses too since they definitely got what they paid for. Becoming the low bidder entails that the contractor keeps everything as cheap as they can. It applies to labor, materials and so on. It is not good for business. Your customers will not hire you again because of the poor quality of work you delivered, nor will you get their referrals.

Not thinking about the concept, “house as a system”

Overcoming the mistakes mentioned on number 1, 2 and 4 is your first step in achieving this mentality. That also includes #3. You’re not just a contractor now but a problem solver too. You listen to the needs of your customers, so they no longer suffer from frequent bouts of coughs, or they finally got rid of the annoying mildew in their bathroom. Smart contractors know this Building Science 101 by heart.

Avoid these mistakes when doing HVAC troubleshooting and enjoy loyal customers who stick with you over the years and refer you to family and friends. Your business grows and flourishes without compromising the health, safety and lives of your customers.

The Cost of a Gas Furnace Installation

Learn from these tips when considering a gas furnace installation.

Your furnace gives off telltale signs indicating that the end is looming. At times, you can still fix it and have it working once more However, frequent repairs and evident inefficiency will make you consider a new gas furnace installation. If that is the case for you, it is important to find out about the various cost consideration you should think of before buying a new equipment and signing a contract for a gas furnace installation.

Looking for the Right Furnace

First things first, look for the right furnace you are going to install in your home. And because furnaces often have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, it is highly likely that the choices available in the market nowadays weren’t there yet when you bought your first unit. Natural gas is the common fuel source among most furnaces and costs around $2,500 to $14,000 depending on the brand and model. The second most popular choice is an oil-fired furnace that is still used in several states. The drawback of this type of furnace is its relative inefficiency. You only have to spend anywhere in between $2,000 to $8,000 for this one, but if a duct installation is necessary, you’ll likely be spending more.

You may also go with electric heat, which originates from tiny registers around the corner of each room. Its installation is cheaper at $1,000 to $2,000 but is not an efficient heat source when it comes to heating bigger spaces. On top of that, they’re quite expensive to operate as well. Another alternative is a heat pump. It pulls in heat from the ground or the air through refrigerant coils. Spend $1,500 to $7,000 for an air-source heat pump and $7,000 to $25,000 for a ground-source heat pump. They function both ways, in home heating during summer and home cooling during summer, but some units don’t work well in frigid climates rendering them somehow inefficient.

gas furnace installation

Furnace Efficiency

There are various factors you need to consider when making choices that affect the furnace’s price.

  • Heat output – is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. Around 60,000 BTUs is necessary for heating an average home. But if you have a small home, it is not advised to go with furnaces that have high BTUs since it will consume more energy and lead to inconsistent comfort level because it shuts off right away after hitting the ideal temperature faster than normal.
  • Efficiency – older furnaces have an 80% efficiency level, implying that you lose 20% of the generated heat. Most new models now have a 90% efficiency, while others can reach an efficiency level as high as 94%-95%. You reduce your overall energy costs by choosing a more efficient furnace.

Moreover, think about a gas furnace’s efficiency in heating a home, which is mainly identified by its “staging.” An old furnace only has one stage, indicating it works at full power all the time. Meanwhile, new models have two stages, enabling it to run at 65% at first and go up to 95% when necessary. There are likewise more costly three-stage models commercially available that can operate at 33% up to 90% by increments of one.

Cost of Labor

Be prepared to pay for labor during a gas furnace installation. Cost is not fixed, so companies can charge you at $75/hour for the professional installer and an extra $50 for its helper. For an installation that lasts eight hours, it will cost you as much as $1,000 just on labor alone. Expect to may more if the installation requires extensive repair of the duct system or certain modifications must still be done.

You’ll be dealing with two warranties here, the manufacturer’s warranty and the contractor’s warranty. The first one comes with your furnace and protects you against furnace defects while the latter is valid for five to ten years and covers labor work. If you want an extended warranty, some heating contractors may charge you more.

Ensure that the warranty for both the unit and the gas furnace installation is in writing. It should also specify everything that is covered, the length of time it is valid, and so on. Research in advance so you don’t become a victim to different HVAC scams.

A gas furnace installation is costly, but it is a small price to pay for the safety and comfort of your family.

The Advantages of High-Efficiency Air Conditioners

Why use high-efficiency air conditioners

The demand for high-efficiency air conditioners keeps on growing, a testament to its value as equipment that puts less strain on the environment and your wallet too.

Around 56% of a home’s monthly energy cost is incurred by a heating and cooling equipment. With the changing of the seasons, it won’t be long when it is summer once more, and you start making preparations on how to beat the intense summer heat again. It’s is likewise the perfect time to assess your central AC to make sure it is in excellent shape and ready for its non-stop use all throughout summer. Convenience and comfort are not the only factors a homeowner should consider but energy efficiency as well. That’s where high-efficiency air conditioners take center stage. High-efficiency air conditioners ensure that your home stay cool and comfy all day long without breaking the bank or hurting the environment

The industry refers to the SEER rating when measuring the efficiency of air conditioners. It is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio used in making comparisons among the various central AC systems commercially available today to find out which of them is the most efficient through its SEER rating. A high SEER rating indicates its level of efficiency.

high-efficiency air conditioners

The Advantages of a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner

  • Lower energy cost – primarily, it is cheaper to operate a high-efficiency air conditioner since they eat up less energy. At times, replacing an old unit with a new one that has SEER ratings as high as 16 can significantly lower utility bills by as much as 50%.
  • Rebates – you can avail of a manufacturer or government-initiated rebates when you switch from an old unit to a high-efficiency air conditioner. It can lower your energy costs to offset the cost of your unit’s purchase and installation. You can save a lot of money over time if you include the reduction in your monthly energy bills in the equation.
  • Environment-friendly – a high-efficiency air conditioner utilizes less energy to create and deliver cool air. Thus, it leads to a lower carbon footprint that can minimize environmental damage.
  • Ultimate home comfort – these units are meant to maintain a constant cool temperature as well as get rid of the moisture in the air. Furthermore, it reduces the buildup of mold and mildew in the house so as not to compromise you and your family’s health and lives.

Air conditioners, in general, are a big investment. What more if it is a high efficiency and energy efficient model? Even of you have to pay more to own one and have it installed at home, the benefits you can get from a high-efficiency air conditioner makes up for such expenses.

You can feel the difference in a home’s overall comfort if you are using a central high-efficiency air conditioner at home. It is a worthy investment if it means you can efficiently cool your home at the most reasonable cost and leave fewer carbon footprint than conventional AC models. Enjoy all its benefits now by having one installed in your home. Call a professional and talk about your options.

Programmable HVAC Thermostat

Save energy and money conveniently with a programmable HVAC thermostat.

An excellent way to reduce heating and cooling bills and to likewise protect the environment is to install a programmable HVAC thermostat at home. A programmable HVAC thermostat has features that allow you to set your air conditioner or furnace to heat or cool at various times of the day or even night. For instance, if you work during the day, set your furnace to heat at a low temperature and then set it to a higher temperature ahead of time before you get home at the end of the day. You can do the same thing at night. Set a low temperature while you are asleep (you can also try wearing some warm pajamas and getting hold of a great blanket) and then set it to warm up in the morning. A programmable HVAC thermostat is more convenient and accurate as compared to a manual thermostat. If you’re unsure what brand or model to buy, ask for suggestions from your trusted local HVAC contractor.

Are you aware that an average home spends over $2,000 each year on energy costs alone? Almost half of that amount is attributed to home heating or cooling. It is a significant amount of energy and money used in every home in the country. But it is possible to save around $180 yearly by setting your programmable HVAC thermostat correctly and making sure those settings are maintained at all times. You may be initially surprised to find out that you can lower your monthly energy costs just by doing some easy and inexpensive procedures. Aside from saving energy, you can also program ventilation into the settings of your thermostat in providing fresh air to your home during critical hours.

programmable HVAC thermostat

Looking for a Programmable HVAC Thermostat

The market is full of programmable HVAC thermostats nowadays. You can enjoy huge money and energy savings when you choose a unit that bears the U.S. Dept. of Energy label. Having this certification signifies that this particular thermostat is an energy-efficient one. Check out the Energy Star website to learn more about this.

At the minimum, choose a programmable HVAC thermostat that has these features:

  • Touchpad screen
  • Digital and backlit display
  • Hold-vacation settings

There are also programmable HVAC thermostats that have additional features like:

  • Phone or voice programming
  • Air filter replacement indicator
  • Low battery warning
  • Smart/ adaptive recovery features: are control features that determine the amount of time needed to reach the succeeding set-point temperature as well as the desired temperature according to the set time
  • Energy monitor to keep track of the number of hours your home HVAC system has operated for a given period.

Popular Kinds of Programmable HVAC Thermostats

There are several kinds of thermostats out in the market nowadays.

  • 7-day model
  • 5+2 model
  • 5-1-1 model
  • The 7-day model is excellent for families that have schedules that change constantly. It lets you change and reprogram your settings according to your particular schedule for the day. It is the kind of thermostat that will let you implement the most changes as well as program settings.
  • The 5+2 model follows a single schedule during weekdays and a different one during the weekend.
  • The 5-1-1 model is excellent for people with fixed weekday schedules and different ones during Saturday and Sunday.

You can best decide whether which thermostat types best fits your home by assessing your family’s schedule including your cooling and heating preferences. You’ll likely be spending around $200 over many of the good programmable HVAC thermostats out there. The savings you enjoy over the next couple of years will help offset the money you spent for its purchase and installation.

Lastly, ask a professional to install one at your home to avoid any problems afterward. Here are more benefits of having your air conditioning and heating all in one unit