We here at Howe To Fix, hear this question, Many times.
The lifespan of your air conditioner or furnace is highly dependent on installation quality and regular maintenance.
Unfortunately, there will come a time when even the most properly maintained furnace or air conditioner can go on no longer. According to a recent American Home Comfort Study, the lifespans of different equipment tend to hover around the same marks. A properly maintained and installed furnace can last 20 years while an air conditioner and heat pump can last around 16 years and 14 years, respectively (on average). As you can imagine, heating and cooling technology progresses immensely over such a long period of time. Here are some reasons why you should replace your old HVAC system if it is approaching the end of its lifespan:
A new HVAC system can be a huge leap in efficiency.
Even a new, minimum efficiency air conditioner or furnace can be a significant jump in efficiency. The old furnace in your basement may only be originally rated at 60% to 70% AFUE. In order to comply with national regulations, furnaces manufactured today have to be rated at a minimum of 80% AFUE. This is a 10% to 20% increase in efficiency, and we are not even taking into account that your old furnace may have even become less efficient over the years. The same goes for air conditioners. Old efficiency requirements were set at 10 SEER. Nowadays, air conditioners must be at least 13 SEER. That is a 30% increase in efficiency just by switching to a minimum efficiency system. Frigidaire offers units that reach high levels of HVAC system efficiency. Think of the energy savings you will see when you replace an old air conditioner or furnace with one of these high-efficiency units.
New systems contain features that reduce noise.
Old units may get, for lack of a better word, clunky as they age. All of those years of hard work and exposure to either outdoor elements or poorly insulated interior spaces (i.e. basements, attics and crawlspaces) can take their toll on even the highest-quality unit. While regular preventative maintenance might help stave off the effects of the elements on your unit, eventually it may start becoming loud while it operates. A new system will not have those problems because they are, of course, brand new and contain additional system features that can help reduce noise. Our iQ Drive air conditioners and heat pumps are some of the quietest systems in the industry – down to 59 decibels. Noise reduction features in new units include:
Old systems most likely use R-22, an ozone-depleting refrigerant that was recently named harmful for the environment. Manufacturers are slowly phasing-out the use of R-22 and creating units that are compatible with R-410A. Initially R-410A was more expensive than R-22 but that gap has closed. Switch to R-410A now and save later.
Get premium home comfort with a new HVAC system.Replacing your old unit with a new unit will result in greater home comfort throughout your home. It’s not that your old unit wasn’t originally a quality system at its time, but it is just that newer systems have surpassed the technology that was available when your old unit was produced. You can add indoor air quality features that can help you reduce allergens, volatile organic compounds and other indoor air contaminants so that you can breathe easier. This is all available, plus you can potentially save bundles of money on your monthly utility bills when compared to the costs of operating your old unit.
Drop that wrench!
Simple tips for taking care of some basic heating and air conditioning system problems.There is nothing worse than flipping your thermostat over to cooling or heating mode and nothing greets you – no heating, your air conditioner won’t cool, etc. Do you immediately feel panic? Do you break out in a cold sweat? Do visions of ice filled baths and high repair bills cross your mind? Well, although there are occasions where a maintenance call will need to be made, and yes, that service call can be expensive, there are a few simple things you can check before you hit the panic button.
When you do have a repair, it is always better to call a quality HVAC professional to get the job done right – as opposed to trying your hand at DIY heating and cooling. Instead of a heating or cooling system that needs a quick fix, you could wind up with one that needs to be completely replaced or with even more serious problems that could damage your and your family’s health and comfort. For bigger problems, don’t break out of the technical manual, pick up the phone and Call 214-437-6603!
How Can I Avoid These Problems?An emergency maintenance call isn’t fun – they can be both costly and inconvenient. However, there is a simple way to head-off emergency service calls – stay up to date on preventative maintenance appointments and regularly change your furnace filter. By scheduling Furnace or Heat Pump preventative maintenance (in the fall) you can make sure that your gas furnace is in prime condition to keep your home at a comfortable, warm temperature and at premium humidity/comfort levels throughout the winter. Similarly, schedule air conditioner preventative maintenance during the spring and make sure that your air conditioner or heat pump can tackle soaring summer temperatures with ease.
If your air conditioner, heat pump or furnace were to break down during the peak cooling or heating season, you could be waiting uncomfortably long for a contractor to come out and look at your unit. Wait times during the peak seasons will be longer because of so many emergency service calls.
Get in touch with Howe to Fix Today to schedule your Howe Nice! preventative maintenance now and avoid a costly emergency service call later. 214-437-6603
How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?Factors That Affect Air Conditioner CostPurchasing a new air conditioner can be a budget-bashing experience. Your HVAC equipment will be one of your most expensive home purchases. A new air conditioner can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on your installation and system requirements! This makes it tempting to skimp on installation or buy from an unknown source. What you may not know is skimping on costs upfront can often cost more down the road. And, you may be missing out on many of the great money-saving opportunities that your air conditioner upgrade can offer. Unfortunately, there is so much that goes into a new air conditioner purchase that prices can vary from one homeowner to the next. However, you can estimate which systems are generally more expensive by knowing what your Authorized Frigidaire contractor accounts for when calculating an air conditioning system quote for your home.
Factors That Affect Air Conditioner Cost
Your home will be paired with an air conditioner that is able to provide the right amount of cooling capacity. Capacity is measured in tons. Calculating tonnage involves several different factors including: size of the home, efficiency of building materials, amount of people living in the home and more.
The energy-efficiency rating of your air conditioner can oftentimes be associated with a higher initial price tag. However, this is the one area that there is the greatest potential for money-savings (see below.)
There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for air conditioning like other appliance purchases. Labor costs may vary from home to home because each home has a different situation that may need to be addressed. . An important thing for you to keep in mind is that although price doesn’t always correlate to installation quality, for the most part you get what you pay for. Get several quotes from different contractors in your area and do your research. Different contractors will have certain certifications for specific equipment. Make sure the contractor you hire is qualified and licensed to install the air conditioner you want.
What Else Do You Need?
Factors like the unit’s installation location, whether or not you have the correct duct work or whether you are replacing only the outdoor or indoor component of a split system air conditioner, can affect the price. The more your contractor has to do or install, the higher both part and labor costs will be.
The best way to avoid emergency service calls is to hire the right contractor at the get-go. You are less likely to have a malfunctioning air conditioner if you hire the right contractor for the installation job, which means you save money on costly repairs. Note: Usually a Handyman type is not a good choice. Today's machines require a professional contractor and service company! Make sure they are licensed and insured. Don't be afraid to ask for a license!
This is the big opportunity to save money. Although high-efficiency air conditioners cost more than standard-efficiency systems, they can make up the difference in utility bill savings each month. Not only that, but they can qualify for tax credits, rebates and incentives that will help lower the upfront cost. The cost to run an inefficient, old system can be taxing on the bank account. Even replacing your old air conditioner with one that meets minimum efficiency ratings can help.
Welcome to the Ghost in your machine!
It is cold weather time again! We would like to remind you that you need a checkup in Winter as well as late Spring. Check out this picture:
This is a picture of a bad heat exchanger with rusted out holes in it. It is 7 years old. The bad thing is the people being heated were also being poisoned with Carbon Monoxide (CO). They were complaining about being sleepy? CO is a quiet killer. according to the CDC, CO caused around 10% of the home-bound deaths reported in 2015.
We have 2 ways we Check for CO emissions from your gas furnace. We use a CO sniffer that tells us the amount of CO being emitted, if any. Secondly, we do a visual inspection. Call us today at 214-437-6603 and let's make sure you are not emitting CO from your gas furnace.
Also, remember you should have ALL gas furnaces checked, YES even new ones, each year before heating season. We want to keep you as a customer for a long Time!
As most of you are not aware of, the EPA has cracked down on most A/C Manufacturers that sell in the southern region of the US.
The Montreal Act of 1992 was put in place to stop desecration of our ozone layer and release of Chlorine into the atmosphere. Interesting fact here is one Chlorine atom will kill 100,000 ozone atoms. So since 1992, the US and other countries have been moving toward obsolescence of the chlorine filled Air Conditioners and Refrigeration equipment.
As part of the Act, production ended in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22 and production of the refrigerant itself was reduced by 75 percent. By 2015, there will be a 90 percent reduction in the production of R-22. By 2020, it will no longer be produced at all. Because production is limited, costs to charge existing units that are leaking R-22 refrigerant have gone up and are only expected to rise.
As of January 1, 2015, no more R-22 Equipment can be sold in the Southern region of the united states. All machines have to be R-410a refrigerant ready and qualify to be at least 14 SEER. The best R-22 does is 13 SEER. Note: we were allowed to dispense with the inventories of R-22 machines at our distributors.
So how does this affect you?
1. If you have an R-22 machine and the compressor goes out, you can replace the compressor, however, the cost to refill with R-22 is staggering. We used to install a dry charged machine from different suppliers, they are no longer sold here in the South.
2. If you have a leaking or bad evaporator coil in your house, The whole indoor machine has to be replaced. This is also the same for a gas furnace with an A/C coil. Hardly any R-22 air handlers and blower coils have a replacement coil. And if you do replace the R-22 coil, keep in mind the bill is still going to be stiff as we refill it with R-22. R-22 Costs the contractor 6-8 times more than 410a.
3. The second option is to install a legal 14 SEER system. Most have a 10 year warranty on them. Rental homes and commercial properties usually only qualify for 5 Year warranty. You are still ahead in the long run, as long as you maintain your A/C system.
As long as we are on maintenance. You change oil in your car and have the lights and brakes checked, at least I hope you do. You are usually ahead having your units looked at once or twice a year.
Another rule we use is the "5,000 rule” We look at the age of the equipment and multiply that by the repair cost. If you get a number more than $5,000, then you should make arrangements to make a replacement. For example, a 12-year-old unit with a $300 repair equals $3,600. It’s OK to repair.
If you have any questions, please call and we will gladly help you make a decision.
Charlie Howe - 214-437-6603
Spring has sprung. And that means our technicians are busy with annual clean and checks. Here is a topline list of areas to check when we tune up your air conditioner for summer operation.
Call your handyman and HVAC guy ,Today! You never know what is lurking in your house! In the DFW metroplex call - HoweToFix...
This is a picture of a cooling coil... Heat would not go through it either... These people never changed their filters.
Mold, Mildew and spores can really make a bad situation for those with slight respiratory or allergic conditions.
This is what we found under a dishwasher... two dead mice and a squirrel. Germs in the kitchen?? The dishwasher pulled air from underneath the dishwasher to dry the dishes. What kind of germs were present here...???
To the left in this picture is the indoor cooling coil. To the right is after we applied special anti-bacterial and deodorizing agent to the coil.
Don't Fall for it....
Being an educated consumer, it is likely you have spent some time online researching your HVAC equipment purchase. While doing your research, you may have even noticed some direct purchasing options from online retailers, wholesalers and auctioneers. As you review your purchase options, please take a moment to consider the following: - HVAC components should only be installed by qualified HVAC technicians. Even the most experienced “do-it-yourselfer” should not install their own HVAC components.
- Depending on the equipment type, it may be necessary to make gas, electrical and refrigerant connections. Typically this type of work is regulated by government agencies and federal, state and local codes. Proper training and certification is required.
- Proper sizing of equipment is critical to the system’s overall performance and optimum efficiency. A load calculation should always be performed by a professional who will then recommend a matched system based on your specific needs.
- Improperly installed HVAC components may create safety risks, including potential personal injury and property damage.
- Depending on local licensing rules and building codes, you could be liable for fines and other permitting and inspection penalties related to improper installation.
Your safety is our primary concern and we want to be sure you get superior equipment longevity and optimum efficiency from your HVAC system. That’s why we have partnered with some of the best local Equipment suppliers in your area. You can rely on an insured, licensed and trained Dealer's expertise in recommending and installing HVAC equipment in your home.
Equipment purchased through online retailers, wholesalers, auctioneers and the like, where the seller is not the installing contractor will void any warranty provided by many manufacturers.
Government tax credits for solar 30% of the cost of SunSource solar modules, including installation costs, may be offset by government tax credits under terms of the U.S. Emergency Stabilization Act of 2008.
You may also receive a tax credit of up to $300 for the solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner that’s at the heart of the SunSource system.
Consult a qualified tax professional for complete details. You can also learn more in the “Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency” section at www.energystar.gov.
Additional solar tax credits and incentives
The SunSource Home Energy System may also qualify for tax credits from your state and local governments. In many areas, local utility companies are also offering rebates and other incentives.
To learn about rebates and credits available in your area, check with your local utility company or visit dsireusa.org.
Look at how the savings add up.
Take advantage of savings from Lennox. Now through June 3, 2011 receive up to $1,200 when you purchase a qualifying Home Comfort System*. Plus receive a $200 rebate from Lennox when you purchase four solar modules.**
Call us today.. 214-437-6603
Charlie will help you find a solution to your temporary problems!