Reasons why air conditioner maintenance is essential

air conditioner

A modern central air conditioner provides significant benefits, including elevating whole-home comfort and air quality. Today’s cooling systems are typically quite reliable, quiet and energy efficient. While every unit is different, a good quality air conditioner should last between fifteen and twenty years. To get the most value and service life out of the equipment, proper maintenance is necessary. All makes, models, styles and ages of cooling systems require yearly tune-ups to provide reliable longevity. The cooling system is made up of a complexity of components all working together to provide the maximum amount of cool air. Any compromise in integrity of any of the separate parts diminishes capacity and efficiency. Mold, mildew and bacteria thrive in the hot, moist environment inside the air conditioner. These contaminants not only hinder performance but can become airborne and pollute indoor air quality. A dirty air conditioner contributes to a long list of serious health problems. Musty smells from the vents are an indication of microbial growth within the system.

There is also the potential of algae growing in the condensate drain, restricting drainage and leading to water damage. Dust is another problem. Whether the air conditioner is running or sitting idle, dust can work its way into the interior of the system and settle on the various components. Dust impedes the operation of the motor and can result in overheating and failure. Any issues that diminishes airflow is a concern. The air conditioner is then forced to operate more frequently, using more energy and experiencing greater wear and tear. The probability of malfunction and failure increases. The comfort and health of the home suffers. The air conditioner will make more noise, pollute the indoor air and provide inconsistent temperature from one room to another. A yearly tune-up solves these problems. Proactive measures, including cleaning, troubleshooting, testing, tightening and lubricating moving parts works to keep the system operating at its best. Not only will the system cost less to operate, but the professional service fulfills the manufacturer’s warranty requirements. 

If you live in an older home you may need a high velocity system

Not that long ago, anyone with an older home lacking conventional ductwork had very limited choices for temperature control. Other than tearing down walls and ceilings and taking on a huge, messy and expensive remodeling project, there were few options. Installing ductwork takes up a great deal of space and often compromises architectural integrity in historical homes. Those with walls and ceiling constructed of the original plaster and lath rarely found it feasible to incorporate a duct system. Homeowners struggled to get by with baseboard heaters, windows air conditioners and box fans. The homes were overheated throughout the summer and chilly during the summer. The equipment detracted from aesthetics and blocked views from windows.  Fortunately, modern engineering has led to a system designed specifically to retrofit into older homes without damage or disruption. High-velocity heating and cooling systems feature the innovation of mini-ducts that are only two inches in diameter. The narrow ducts are flexible enough to snake through existing walls around studs, plumbing pipes and electrical outlets. They link to circular-shaped vents that are six inches across and available in all different colors. The vents allow freedom of location and incorporate unobtrusively into nearly any decor. The actual heating/cooling unit is compact enough to fit into a closet or the attic. A high velocity system sends conditioned air into the room at an extremely high rate of speed, creating a gentle suction called aspiration. The old and new air mixes quickly to rapidly raise or lower temperature. The combination of shorter running times, smaller air ducts and insulated ducts achieves outstanding efficiency levels by minimizing energy waste. 

What is a VFR HVAC system?

Just like traditional HVAC systems, VRF HVAC systems are refrigerant based and air-cooled. These also use an outdoor condenser unit and indoor fan units like older systems.

But instead of one large unit supplying hot or cool air in your house, the VRF system has multiple small air handlers that can be controlled individually and can be piped back to one main system.

Variable Refrigerant Flow refers to this system’s ability to separately control the amount of refrigerant flow reaching each specific air handler.

The biggest advantage of VRF HVAC systems is that they can provide heating and cooling at the same time, in different areas of your house, as required.

Moreover, these systems are energy-efficient and noise-free as there is no single large unit that has to bear all the load. The variable speed compressor runs only at the required speed according to current temperature conditions.

Characteristics and advantages of a VRF HVAC system

  1. Energy efficiency

The VRF HVAC system is not just energy efficient because of the multiple smaller air handlers but also because the system provides only that amount of energy that is required for cooling under current conditions.

Plus, it is designed to redirect the heat absorbed in the cooling process to other parts of the house for heating purposes. So, it runs at a lower capacity and less frequently, helping you save a lot on energy and on your monthly bills.

  1. Gives simultaneous heating and cooling

The most convenient and important feature of this system is that it can provide heating in one area of the house while cooling another zone at the same time.

  1. Noiseless

The condensing unit is installed outdoors and there are multiple small air handlers indoors as compared to one big unit like in split air conditioning systems. So, this system is not loud.

  1. Fewer breakdowns

The VRF HVAC system runs only as and when required and uses only that much refrigerant that is needed to cool the different areas of the house. Compared to traditional systems, this does not have to overwork and hence there is less wear and tear of parts, leading to fewer breakdowns which is good because no one should take those Bay Area summers or winters for granted.

It may not be Alaska or Arizona but no one wants to live in a 40 or 95 degree home.

  1. Takes less space

This system does not require ducts and the air handlers are small. Hence you can save a lot of space.

  1. Has modern control options

Residential VRF HVAC systems have mobile device control options. So, you can easily regulate the temperatures in different areas of your home from your phone.

There’s a lot of new technology in the HVAC industry

Although the initial set up cost is higher than purchasing a more conventional style of heating and cooling option, a dual fuel system actually pays for itself. The system works to conserve energy and trim operational costs all year round. Because I live in an area with summer and winter weather extremes, finding a powerful yet efficient solution is a priority. I needed a system that could handle temperatures that vary between negative twenty and ninety degrees. Humidity is also a big problem. I looked into all the different makes, models and styles of units on the current market. A lot of research led me to something called hybrid heating or a dual fuel system. It is the combination of a natural gas furnace and an electric heat pump. It saves money because the heat pump achieves higher efficiency ratings than the furnace or a conventional air conditioner. It works a lot like an air conditioner in that it transfers heat from one location to another. However, the heat pump provides the added bonus of a heating mode.

Modern features include adaptable speed technology that allows the equipment to automatically adjust and operate at lower capacity for longer cycles. This achieves greater dehumidification and air filtration. In heating mode, the system doesn’t negatively impact humidity. Plus, heat pumps are wonderfully environmentally friendly, safe and clean. There’s no combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide. When the outside temperature plummets, the heat pump starts to struggle to keep up. That’s when the furnace automatically takes over and handles comfort. We couldn’t be happier with the benefits of the dual fuel system. 

Picking out the perfect smart thermostat

After moving into my house, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people telling me that I needed to get a smart thermostat installed. I’d always heard of smart thermostats before because they were the most efficient thermostat and once they were introduced to the market, they flew off the shelves! However, I had no idea so many of my friends and family had smart thermostats installed in their own homes. Whenever I visited I never paid attention to their HVAC equipment or thermostat preferences. I did some light research in order to scope out the variety of smart thermostats available, but I was disappointed to see how expensive they were.

They could do a lot like, program the temperature, send warnings, and run your heat and air more efficiently. I just wasn’t sure if that was enough for me to spend hundreds of dollars on. In my research, I stumbled upon an article that compared the best smart thermostats and what made each one different. I found this really helpful because it broke all the details down so I could understand the difference between each one. After spending what felt like forever doing this, I narrowed down my smart thermostat selection to the one that was the best value and the one that was best overall. From there, I was able to dig even deeper into the reviews and pick the smart thermostat that was best for me and my heat and air needs. I ended up selecting the one that was best overall because it felt like the safe choice.

It’s allergy season, so make sure you are changing those air filters!

When pollen starts shedding and floating through the air, everyone in our household suffers from severe allergies. We purchase giant packs of allergy medicine from the store and we are adamant about taking one pill every 24 hours. During really horrible pollen seasons, we have to visit the doctor for allergy shots that are much stronger. This year, the pollen season was mild and we were able to get away with the allergy pills. Once all the pollen was gone from the air though, I was shocked to see everyone still experiencing allergy symptoms. My son still had a runny nose and watery eyes and my daughter was coughing constantly. I thought about going to the doctor, but before scheduling an appointment, something occurred to me. I stopped and considered the air quality inside the house and I started realizing that it wasn’t very good. There was dog hair all over the furniture and I could see tiny particles floating around the air when I concentrated on an area near the light. I knew I could dust and vacuum, but that would only be a temporary fix. Instead, I decided to replace the air filter in our HVAC system. When I pulled out the old air filter, I was appalled at how much dust and debris was caught in the filter. It was so congested that a lot of the debris fell off the air filter as I was taking it out. I replaced the air filter with a clean one immediately, then began cleaning the rest of the house. The next day, I noticed that everybody’s allergies had gone away!

How to get a great deal on your next HVAC system

I recently had to update my heating and cooling system in my house. I had worried for a while about how much it was going to cost me because I didn’t have a ton of money set aside for replacing the HVAC system. When you’re a homeowner, there’s always something going wrong in some part of your house. Whether you need to replace part of the roof, get a new appliance, or have a section of carpeting replaced, there is always something! I’ve learned that over the past few years and the most recent problem that I ended up having was with my heating and cooling system. I noticed that the temperature on my thermostat just wasn’t being maintained at an even level and then I noticed that the furnace wasn’t working too great on cooler mornings. When I switched over to the air conditioning when the weather started heating up, the house didn’t cool off at all. That’s when I had the terrible realization that my HVAC system probably needed to be replaced. I knew that it was an older system when I moved in, but I was really hoping that it would last a couple more years than it actually did! Anyway, somehow I got lucky because when I called my local heating and cooling company, they were running an amazing deal on high efficiency HVAC systems. I ended up with a great unit that keeps my home at just the right temperature, year round. I even got a great warranty with it, so next time it tears up, I won’t have to worry! 

Noticing a faulty HVAC system

I dread the winter season. Having to go to work and drive through the snow is tiring. I hate to see kids struggling to keep up with the cold. The cold winter weather causes hurting muscles and mercilessly attack our exposed hands and face. No matter how much I invest in warm clothes, I never seem to adapt to it.

However, having a proper air conditioning system has helped my family and me to keep warm. Heater repair is necessary before or during winter if it keeps troubling you. I also realized that regular checkup on the air conditioner is advisable early enough when you can still get cooling repair parts for air conditioning repair. Here are the benefits of regularly servicing your heating system.

You Get Quality Air

Regular air conditioning service gives your home fresh air quality. An air conditioner with a dirty filter can spread dirt and other harmful pollutants. Getting a good HVAC technician will clean up the dirty surfaces and save you on new heater installation costs.

You Get to Save Energy

Using an air conditioner that has problems can increase the electricity bill. Make sure that your HVAC system has a maximum flow of air. Regularly change the air filter when it gets clogged. Make sure you get a reliable HVAC provider if you need to replace the air filter. This goes for the furnace also in case it needs furnace service.

You Can Detect Problem Areas

A sound HVAC system keeps off bad smells if at all, there are any. In case you find some rooms too warm or too cold due to irregular heating, your HVAC must be faulty.

Don’t even think about it – hire out your AC installation if you don’t have time to read an owner’s manual

When installing a cooling system it is best to call a licensed HVAC contractor to handle the job. There are complicated factors involved in the installation process. First, ductwork should be considered if you have it. The last thing you want to do is put a hole in your ductwork and have higher energy bills. 

Refrigerant in a system makes things tricky too. Adding improper amounts of refrigerant damage the system. You need someone who knows what they are doing. Also, handling refrigerant requires a license. Do you really want to study and be certified in that?

Another element of AC installation is the after care with it. After the AC is set up, it needs to be maintained over time. DIY AC installation always follows with big AC repairs quickly coming around. The last thing a homeowner wants to deal with is an immediate AC repair. Most HVAC businesses will put the system under a warranty and the repairs will be free! I say it is worth doing that!

Getting the expert’s opinion

When my husband and I bought our new home, we knew AC installation was the next step. After research online proved to be less than helpful, we choose to simply call our local AC business. The receptionist was amazing and knowledgeable. However, I proved to need even more help and scheduled a free consultation with the HVAC technician on staff. 

The HVAC contractor that came to our home was amazing. He went over what business practices his company stands by. He told us all about their 24 hour emergency service, maintenance plans and warranty coverage. He then took a lap around the house checking out what we could do AC wise. Since there were already existing ducts in the home, the technician campaigned for us to hook up a central air conditioning system to it. He said the installation would be easier, faster and less money because we had such a good starting frame. 

The guy then took measurements of our house to decide the right sizing on the AC unit. The guy explained that some companies pad up the numbers and sell people larger AC units. The technician makes more money but it is actually a detriment to the home. Larger AC systems power on and off rapidly due to how easy it is to achieve whole home temperature control. The powering on and off costs more than just keeping AC on at a steady stream. The house doesn’t feel as cold either. I was so relieved to hear this and know that we picked an honest company and a trustworthy HVAC expert to work with us!