Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?
This is possibly the most common question we are asked, and there are several factors that can persuade the decision either way. Some of the things to consider are the age of the equipment, the repair history of the system, the reliability of the manufacturer and what refrigerant your system uses.
Answers: As your system approaches that 12 year mark be cautious on repairs especially if it has to do with adding refrigerant or leaks. If your system has been well maintained and does not have a history of adding refrigerant by all means consider repairs less than $750. Some manufacturers have better track records than others, there are certain brands that make me roll my eyes when I walk up on them because I know the outcome. The big one, if your system uses R-22 the old refrigerant and its leaking I won’t repair it, it is a liability to you and me. Current cost for a 30lb cylinder of R-22 is $700, don’t do it.
Why is refrigerant so expensive?
When we talk about refrigerant we are typically referring to R-22, up and until January 2010 it was the refrigerant that came in all equipment, it had been around for 50 years and even though it was supposed to go through a phase out (chlorine properties, ozone stripping) builders and manufacturers installed it right up to the last date. At NASCAIR we invest and plan long term, we started installing R-410 systems in 2005, it was more expensive, supposedly temperamental, not forgiving and installation practices had to be sterile. We nailed it, we have very few of our customers beholden to R-22 therefore if they need a little refrigerant its negligible cost. As of Jan 2015 there is no more production of R-22 allowed under multinational environmental agreements, Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto agreement.
What should I look for in a home comfort system?
There are only about 8 mainstream manufactures left, there may be thirty brand names but those are just decals, I have had experience with every one of them, 22 years of repairing, getting tech support, filing warranties, dealing with defects, holding manufacturers accountable and holding home owners accountable.
Here is what you should look for: A very good, well trained responsive HVAC company, remember what I said there are only 8 manufacturers, yes equipment is important, I love both my AMANA brand and TRANE brands, but they each fill different needs for me and the consumer, Trane has a long history of dependable, innovative equipment and it has a reputation and a name that people want to pay for.
Amana has been our mainstay for the past 4 years, it has been rock solid, best warranty available, in three years maybe 3 compressor failures out of the hundreds installed every year, and quiet. It is very competent equipment that is now owned by Daikin, in my opinion, the manufacturer that will make the most dramatic changes to our industry.
Bottom line, there is only one or two brands that I consider unacceptable, the key is the installation and the duct work.
Will you remove my old equipment and dispose of it?
Yes we remove of your old equipment and dispose of it properly.
Will my new system have to be inspected by the city or county officials after the installation?
Yes it will have to be inspected.
What Size Heating and Air Conditioning System Do I Need?
A system that is too large will cool or heat your house quickly, but you may not feel comfortable. That’s because it will satisfy the thermostat before it can adequately remove sufficient moisture from the air during the cooling mode, leaving you feeling sticky and humid. This could even lead to moisture and mold problems. And, the stress of short-cycling (too many starts and stops) will shorten the life of your equipment and increase your heating and cooling bills.
On the other hand, a system that is too small just cannot get the job done, especially in extreme weather conditions. The air conditioner will run constantly in the summer and the furnace will do the same in winter. But a correctly sized system isn’t just based on the size of the structure.
Many factors go into determining the size of the system. Including type of house and walls, type and size of windows, insulation, basement and attic conditions, house orientation, and so on. A comfort consultant must visit the house and take detailed measurements. With these measurements the comfort consultant can perform a performance load calculation in order to assure proper system size.
What type of filter should I use in my home?
A whole house air cleaner offers more air filtration than standard air filters. We can install an electronic whole house air cleaner to help eliminate airborne pollutants. Filters should be changed every 30 days.
Do you suggest UV lights?
Absolutely, besides changing your filters every 30 days it is the most bang for the buck.
What does HVAC stand for?
Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning
What is SEER, and what does it mean for the consumer?
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is how air conditioners and heat pumps are rated for their efficiency. The minimum standard now is 13 SEER, but some manufacturers have achieved over 19 SEER with several of their flagship products. Remember the higher the SEER the less energy the unit will use, saving you the consumer money!
What is IAQ?
Indoor Air Quality
What is EER?
Energy Efficiency Ratio, the efficiency rating for room air conditioners. The ratio measures the overall energy usage of your system year round.
What is AFUE?
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, measures how efficiently a gas appliance can convert fuel to energy. The higher the AFUE rating, the more energy efficient your appliance is.
What is HSPF?
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, the efficiency rating of a heat pump system. HSPF measures the level of heat output to electricity use over the average heating season. The higher the HSPF ratio, the more energy efficient the heat pump.
Should I purchase an extended warranty for my new HVAC system?
Components can fail on newer equipment, so for peace of mind and overall satisfaction we always recommend this option.
How can I save money on a heating or air conditioning system?
Look for the most efficient unit that meets your comfort expectations. Also, let us service your unit semi-annually.
How expensive are air conditioning and heat pump systems?
Many factors affect the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, the type and condition of the ductwork installed and accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner.
What system is best for my home and my budget?
To determine which home heating and air conditioning system is best for you, take into consideration factors such as: your budget, your comfort expectations, physical factors (such as your current system) and other unique features of your home. Because your geographical region is also an integral factor in choosing a home heating system or home central air conditioning unit, that should be taken into consideration as well.
Besides changing my filters, what maintenance should I do on my HVAC?
Most maintenance should be performed only by a qualified service technician, however, there are a few things you can do to ensure optimal performance. Keep ground mounted outdoor units clear of debris, clutter and weeds; this can reduce the airflow of the unit. Use caution with weed trimmers around the unit to prevent damaging control wiring. And lastly, keep pets away from the unit; pet urine can cause expensive damage.
What are some signs that might indicate I have a problem with my HVAC system?
While not always, you may notice an abnormal noise coming from the system, your heating or cooling system running non-stop, or warm air/cool air?coming from the vents during the opposite season. Abnormally high utility bills are also a common indicator.
Can I benefit from having a humidifier installed on my HVAC system to raise the humidity level in my house during the winter?
Yes you can with a bypass humidifier. You will have a limited run-time based on the operation of the furnace. With a steam humidifier a more consistent humidity level can be reached without constant running of furnace.
How often should I have maintenance on my HVAC system?
You should have your heating system serviced twice a year for a seasonal check-up in the fall and in the spring.