Should I Replace Or Repair My Equipment?

It can be difficult to decide whether it is best for you to repair or replace your equipment. There are many factors you have to consider before you make your decision. Below is a guide that will help you decide whether it is best to repair or replace your equipment:

The Age

The age of your equipment is one of the things you will need to think about when you are asking yourself, “Should I replace or repair my equipment? If your unit was built prior to 1992, replacement is most likely the better option. While replacing the unit is more expensive than having it repaired, you can actually save money by getting it replaced.

Newer air conditioners and furnaces are more energy-efficient than the ones in the past. In fact, you may be able to save 20 percent on your electric bill if you get a new unit.

The Cost

The cost is something else you will need to consider when you are deciding whether it is best to repair or replace the unit. Experts recommend that you have your equipment replaced if it is older than three-fourths of its life expectancy, and the cost of repairing it is more than one-third of the cost of replacing it.

For example, the average air conditioner lasts 10 to 15 years. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, and it will cost $1,000 to repair, you may want to have it replaced. Replacing your unit can not only help you save money, but it can also help keep you more comfortable in your home.

Deciding whether you should have your equipment repaired or replaced can be a difficult decision because each option has its pros and cons. The cost and the age of your equipment are two of the main factors you should consider when you are deciding whether to have your equipment repaired or replaced. It is also a good idea to have a qualified technician take a look at your equipment. Every situation is different, so it makes sense to call a professional. Call us for your home HVAC needs.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and How Can You Prevent It?

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that, when ingested in certain quantities, can result in illness and/or death. It’s extremely toxic and doubly dangerous because of its near-invisible nature, and is made from car and diesel engine exhaust, cooking fumes, charcoal, wood, and other combustible materials. When burned in enclosed spaces, the CO2 can build to toxic and even fatal levels. There are an average of 400 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning each year.

Some symptoms of CO2 poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, and in high concentrations of the gas, unconsciousness. Many people can be suffering from the effects of the gas without knowing it until it’s too late. While anyone can be at risk for CO2 poisoning, those with upper respiratory problems, asthma, and heart disease are particularly susceptible. Infants and young children as well as seniors over 65 are much more vulnerable.
How can You Prevent It?
You can guard against toxic CO2 contamination with methods such as:1. Venting – make sure your ventilation system is clean and free of obstruction, so that gas doesn’t build in the home while you are cooking. Be sure to check your fireplace, ducts, chimneys, and pipes.
2. Have your heating/AC and water system inspected and checked annually.

3. Install a carbon monoxide detection alarm system in your home

4. Don’t burn coal, wood , or gas in any enclosed spaces without proper ventilation.

5. Do not use your oven or gas range/stovetop for indoor heating. This can also result in the very quick buildup of carbon monoxide gases, particularly in a camper or RV.

5. Never run the engine on any vehicle in an enclosed space, such as a garage with the door shut. Always open the door and allow air to circulate within the space and diffuse the CO2 effects. 6. Have a mechanic check your car exhaust system regularly. One tiny leak in your cooling or exhaust systems could result in toxic gas buildup in the cab of the vehicle. For more information about prevention and carbon monoxide safety, call us for all your HVAC and household needs. We’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

What Are Some Signs My Furnace Isn’t Working Properly?

There are numerous furnace warning signs that homeowners should look out for to gauge whether they need to call a technician or get a replacement. It is important to watch out for the signs listed below to avoid more serious problems.

• Sudden and Unusual Noises
Most homeowners are used to the usual operating noises of their furnace switching on and air blowing through; however, sometimes a strange noise might develop that they have not heard before. A few causes of furnace noises include air leaks, unbalanced blower motor belts, cracks in the heat exchanger, blower motor bearings and more. Most furnace noises are a sign that something needs quick readjustment while others are a warning of a more serious problem. In any event, homeowners who hear strange noises coming from their furnaces should call a licensed HVAC technician immediately.

• Strange Odors
It is never a good sign when one’s furnace is giving off a strange smell. Homeowners who find themselves in such a situation should try to identify the smell to know how to proceed. A strange smell may be an indication of a system malfunction, or worse, a gas leak or oil leak. Depending on the type of smell, one should shut off the system, evacuate the house and call the HVAC contractor or 911 for help.

• Old Furnace
The question of when to replace an old furnace is a tough one to answer objectively for most homeowners. This is because they know how expensive it is to replace a furnace. On the other hand, they also understand that they need to let go at some point to avoid increased frequency and cost of repairs as well as increased electricity bills. Usually, furnaces that are more than ten years old are more vulnerable to breakdowns and eventual replacement.

• Thermostat Malfunction
When a homeowner notices that some rooms are too hot while others are too cold, or that he or she is frequently adjusting the thermostat to stay warm and comfortable, there may be a problem with the thermostat. A licensed HVAC technician can fix the problem quickly and effectively.

• Yellow Furnace Flame
A furnace that is running at peak efficiency should produce a blue flame. A yellow flame is an indication of incomplete combustion due to an obstructed airflow. Incomplete combustion produces carbon monoxide, which is a very deadly gas. Homeowners who notice a yellow flame should call a licensed contractor immediately.

Regular furnace inspection and maintenance should keep your furnace running at peak efficiency for longer. Call your local HVAC Contractors for heating system and furnace service.

Complying With Efficiency Standards Requires A Substantial Investment

Each year the U.S Department of Energy, also called the DOE, works with professionals in the HVAC industry to reduce the amount of energy and fuel wasted during the operation of HVAC equipment. This endeavor is one that benefits the environment, and homeowners benefit with deep savings on energy costs. The DOE has created HVAC Efficiency Standards to ensure that manufacturers of HVAC equipment comply by creating more energy efficient equipment.

An AFUE rating is the rating that determines how efficient a furnace is. Condensing furnaces are the only furnaces with an AFUE rating of 90. These furnaces are considered to be extremely efficient because this rating means a furnace only wastes 10 percent of the fuel required to operate it. The DOE has segmented northern states and has created a rule that enforces homeowners in states like New York to heat their homes with furnaces that have an AFUE rating of 90. This rule overrides the current minimum AFUE rating of 78 for combustion furnaces and was supposed to be enforced in the year 2013.

Though most homeowners jump on the opportunity to save money and to preserve the environment and natural resources, complying with this new HVAC Efficiency rating is a financial burden for homeowners. Many homes currently have combustion furnaces and the switch to a condensing furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 means making major modifications. A condensing furnace requires a different type of vent system, and many homes lack the appropriate architectural design and space to accommodate this new system. Making the necessary modifications means homeowners have to invest far more than just purchasing new equipment.

For some homeowners this money is just not in the budget, which will make it hard for them to comply with new efficiency standards. Due to the financial burden that many homeowners are unprepared to take on, experts in the HVAC industry have the new efficiency standard currently held up in court until a feasible plan can be established. Since the enforcement of this new rating is inevitable, many homeowners have decided to have their homes compliant before the rating is enforced. To discover the latest news on the raising of efficiency standards or to learn more about efficiency compliant furnaces contact a local HVAC contractor today.

Is Your HVAC System Protected From Power Surges?

A power surge is a brief spike in electricity voltage passing through the line. Household electronics may survive one power surge; however, hard-wired electronics are the first to suffer when a power surge occurs. Heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, and air conditioning units represent a major investment; therefore, just because they may withstand one power surge does not mean they can handle multiple others. All electrical appliances are designed to handle a specific voltage. Homeowners should therefore take reasonable steps to protect their HVAC systems from power surges.

 

Many different things can cause a power surge, and no home is immune to power surges. Some of the most common causes of power surges include:

• Electrical or lighting storms

• Faulty wiring

• Power outages

• Downed electric power lines

• Power plant maintenance operations

• Faulty electrical components

 

Power surges are random, and there is no way that one can evade or predict them. However, homeowners can take a few simple steps to protect their comfort systems from expensive damage. One is by securing the whole house at the point at which power is connected. Secondly, one can use a surge protector directly connected to the household appliance in use. Surge protectors work by grounding the additional voltage, thereby protecting the sensitive electronic devices. An HVAC surge protector will shut off the system to protect its electrical components.

 

Shutting the system down is what saves it from succumbing to the damaging effects of a power surge. Once the system shuts down, it is important to follow the right steps to restart it properly. Each heating and cooling system varies in terms of the booting procedure after a forced shut down. Some systems are easy to handle, but some might need someone with a bit of technological knowledge. The best way to handle a system reboot is to call an experienced and certified service technician for high quality HVAC maintenance.

 

In summary,as a homeowner you should understand that all homes are subject to spikes and surges; therefore, if you want to protect your home utilities, you need to invest in a good home power surge protection system. Your heating and cooling system is an investment worth protecting.

NATE Certification Provides An Additional Level Of Expertise

It’s not unusual for people to ask — what does NATE certified mean? After all, unless you are in the heating and cooling industry, chances are this is not something that you have come across. Fortunately, a simple explanation can help homeowners discover why NATE certification is important to the quality of HVAC service they receive.

What is NATE certification?

NATE certification is an important indicator of a HVAC technician’s commitment to ensuring the highest quality services possible. NATE certification requires that a service technician pass two separate tests. The first test is an examination of their understanding of basic tools, safety procedures, principles of electrical components, heat transfer and a variety of skills. In addition to requiring a passing grade of 70% on the core exam, NATE certification requires the technician to choose an area of concentration or specialization and pass an exam on this chosen field. This specialization can range from air conditioning or air distribution to commercial refrigeration or gas heating. With a concentration on a specific area of expertise, the HVAC technician is better able to provide expert services.

Why Choose NATE Certified Technicians?

Homeowners often wonder if it is important to choose NATE certified technicians. It can be hard to understand the benefits of this extra training and accreditation, especially since all heating and cooling technicians are required to be licensed before they can perform HVAC services. The difference between a licensed HVAC technician and a NATE certified technician is that one has made the decision to further their understanding of issues pertaining to the HVAC industry. NATE certified technicians are certainly required to be licensed and carry the appropriate insurance, but they have also taken their training and willingness to learn as much as possible about their chosen field to the highest level.

In addition to choosing a NATE certified technician for general repairs and service, it is important to consider how they can provide exceptional AC maintenance. It is recommended that all air conditioners be serviced at least once each year. This preventative maintenance inspection is the ideal time to make any necessary adjustments and ensure your cooling system will be able to handle another summer. Schedule your maintenance service today and take comfort in a more reliable and energy efficient air conditioner this summer.

Lower The AC Or Turn On A Ceiling Fan: Which Is More Energy Efficient?

Have you been looking for an effective way to lower summer cooling bills? With the temperatures rising, many homeowners are anxious to find strategies to keep energy bills affordable; however, the thought of a summer spent in the sweltering heat with no relief is certainly not the answer. Fortunately, you do have options. A recent report by the New York Times outlines the cost of running an air conditioner versus simply using a ceiling fan. While a central air conditioning system, or even a window air conditioner, can provide a much cooler environment, a ceiling fan can help lower your cooling costs by working together with your air conditioner to keep temperatures comfortable while also saving you money.

The New York Times report stated that the cost of operating a typical ceiling fan for one hour was only 1 cent, while a central air conditioner would cost 36 cents per hour and a window air conditioner 14 cents. For most homeowners, the use of a ceiling fan alone might not be enough to provide a sufficiently comfortable indoor temperature but, using a ceiling fan in conjunction with an air conditioner can provide the same level of comfort as using an air conditioner by itself. The only difference would be in the amount of energy used as well as home energy costs. In fact, even a high efficiency air conditioning system can be used with a ceiling fan in order to lower energy consumption and monthly utility bills.

The report issued by the Times states that the use of a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the setting on your home’s air conditioner by up to 12 degrees, without any difference in indoor temperature from just running the air conditioner on its own. This certainly provides an opportunity to save a significant amount of money over the span of an entire cooling season.

An energy savings plan is an important part of reducing cooling costs this summer. Fortunately, a few simple strategies can make a big difference in your monthly energy bills. For example, when you want A/C money saving tips, it is clear that using a ceiling fan can help. Other strategies to add to your summer energy savings plan include making sure your weather stripping is in good condition, professional A/C maintenance, installing a programmable thermostat and minimizing sun exposure by planting trees or keeping blinds closed. If you want to save money this summer, now is the time to put together your energy savings plan.

Extend the Life of Your Heater by Changing The Air Filter

For many people, it is important to stay on top of maintaining their HVAC system in order to properly prepare for the winter. As soon as the snow begins to fall, the system will have to work harder in order to heat the home while maintaining high levels of air quality indoors. However, many people neglect one of the most important details of taking care of the HVAC system, and that is changing the air filter. Professionals recommend for the air filter to be changed every month, which is especially important during stressful times of the year, like during the winter. When you check your air filter’s condition and are prepared to make the necessary changes, you are helping your system in a number of beneficial ways.

By taking good care of the air filter, you will be able to extend the life of the HVAC unit itself. One of the most common reasons for the system breaking down or malfunctioning is because the air filter has not been replaced. Different types of filters may need to be removed at different times, but all must be eventually replaced in order to avoid causing numerous problems within in the system. If you do not replace the filter, then the clogged dirt can eventually enter the system, causing internal problems.

Additionally, a clogged air filter can result in the system having to work harder in order to produce the same quality of air circulation. When the system works harder, it needs more energy to help warm your home and keep your air circulating as it should. With such high levels of strain on the system, not only does the harder work wear on the internal structure, but it also causes your own bills to skyrocket. You will need to pay for the upkeep of the additional energy, and if the filter is not taken care of appropriately, then you may end up spending even more on costly repairs.

In addition to keeping the home setting better managed at a comfortable level, checking the filter can also help maintain a high level of healthy air quality. This is especially important if you or anyone that lives with you suffers from breathing problems, such as allergies or asthma. If the filter is left dirty for too long, then it can recirculate harmful particles and contaminants back into the air, worsening symptoms. Checking the filter and sometimes speaking to an HVAC professional can help keep the air healthy while providing all of the other benefits as well.