Q. I have been receiving calls from heating and air conditioning companies offering to tune up my unit for a special price. (telemarketers)
A. First, beware of telemarketers, it could cost much more by the time they leave your house. Our company doesn't solicit over the phone, but we do recommend regular check-ups on your heating and air conditioning equipment. Although regular checkups will not absolutely guarantee that a unit will work perfectly throughout the season. They will reveal most small problems that can lead to major, expensive problems if left unattended.
Like most anything you own, you will find that regular maintenance on your heating and air conditioning equipment sooner is far less costly than repairs or even replacement later.
Q. I have an older split system heating and air conditioning unit, can I replace just my condenser and keep my air handler coil?
A. Yes, but you may have problems with the unit freezing up. It will cost more to operate.
A 13 seer condenser Installed on a mismatched air handler will typically lower the seer rating to 9.2 a 30% loss of efficiency.
Q. Do I really need a new air conditioner?
So, you turn on your air conditioner to cool your home. The house does not get cool. So, you call what you think is the cheapest repairman. He shows up. Works your system. "I have bad news for you. Your compressor is dead," he says. "You need a new condensing unit.
You are suspicious. "Show me," you say. So he does. The panel is off the unit and you can see the compressor. He cycles it on. You hear and see the condenser fan running, but the compressor is sitting there and not running. You think to yourself " well it must be bad." So you sign the work order, and start figuring where you will cut back to pay for this expensive repair.
Compressors do go bad, but most of the time when compressors do not start, it is not the compressor that is at fault. Most of the time the cause is bad run capacitor, wiring, or faulty contractor. If your compressor will not start and they try to sell you a compressor or new air conditioner system you should always get a second opinion.
Q. Should you repair or place your current heating and air conditioning unit?
A. More than 100,000 homes in Arizona's desert climate have older heat pumps and air conditioners, averaging 11 to 15 years in age. That's the age when cooling units begin to break down. When faced with a major repair of an older unit, you may want to replace it than repair it.
Q. Can you trust your current heating and air conditioning system to continue to perform several months from now?
A. In the short run, it may seem less expensive to repair your old heating and air conditioning system rather than buy a new one, but it may cost you more in the long run. A properly installed high-efficiency heat pump or air conditioner will save you money on your electric bill each month, and the repair and maintenance costs on a new system will be less. Ask your contractor to give you a written estimate of the installation costs as well as the energy savings of a new unit. You may also qualify for utility rebates and/ or tax credits.
If you're like most consumers, you'll replace the older heating and air conditioning unit in the summer when your heat pump or air conditioning is working its hardest to keep you cool. The purchase can be complex and expensive.
Q. Why is the efficiency of your system important?
A. Before you replace your heating and air conditioning unit , you should consider these facts about why the efficiency of your air conditioning system is so important:
1. You'll save money
The most efficient new heating and air conditioning units are up to 40% more efficient than units installed 15 years ago. Replacing yours will result in immediate savings on your energy bill.
2. You'll save energyAn APS study shows that using cost-effective energy efficient measures could save as much as 60% on the energy used to cool your home.
3. You'll help protect the environment
Because today's heating and air conditioning units use less electricity, they help protect the environment and save valuable energy resources.
Making wise use of energy, no matter what your needs, will save you money and help protect the environment.
The Supply Vent Myth
A myth many people believe is that they can close off some of their supply registers and save money. This may be true if you only close off less than ten percent. The system installed in your home is designed for a certain amount of airflow. If this airflow is restricted in any way it causes the system to function improperly and could cause system failure. This myth most likely goes back to the early days when people would close off most of their large home in the winter to save on coal and wood usage. Today's modern systems are designed specifically for a certain amount of airflow and if you restrict that airflow, whether it be by a dirty air conditioner filter or closing off supply vents, problems will occur. Open those supply vents, closing too many off is the same as dirty or restricted filter.
Air Conditioning Refrigerant Myth
The myth that most people believe is that if you add more refrigerant to the heating and air conditioning unit unit it will cool better. This is only true if the evaporator coil is operating below freezing. The air conditioning unit must have a balanced charge and usually only an HVAC professional can charge your heating and air conditioning unit properly. Another misconception about refrigerant is that the air conditioning unit burns it up and it must be replaced from time to time. This is not true. The refrigerant loop is a closed system and barring any leaks the air conditioning system should never need any refrigerant.
Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant leaks should be repaired for the following reasons:
Low refrigerant charges hurt the efficiency of the heating and air conditioning unit
Low refrigerant charges take away from the life of the air conditioning compressor. The compressor is
cooled from the return refrigerant vapor. When there is a low charge there are fewer vapors to cool the compressor therefore it runs hotter. Any air conditioning compressor (or electric motor for that
matter) which runs above the recommended temperature range will have a shorter life span and cost
more to operate.
Typically refrigerant oil leaks out of the air conditioning system at the leak point. Eventually, the oil
level in your air conditioning system will drop below safe levels and the air conditioning compressor
will size up from lack of proper lubrication.
Correcting duct leakage & insulation can save 16% on cooling costs.
Over 50% of units tested have less than 50% of air flow.
Over 75% of tested units have been under/ over charged, reducing efficiency.
Over 50% of units are over sized causing higher electric bills.