Having a new air conditioner installed is not an inexpensive home improvement. However, when the time comes, it is critical to understand exactly what is covered in an air conditioning warranty to ensure you are making a quality purchase that will help keep the interior air of your home comfortable year-round.
When purchasing an A/C system manufactured by a reputable company, it most likely is installed with an extensive warranty. The manufacturers of most air-conditioning and heating units will provide coverage on the A/C compressor, and associated parts of the unit’s critical high-quality equipment, for 10 years with additional one years coverage on labor (Your licensed, A/C installer will sometimes offer an extended warranty on their labor) Asure Care Info: 10 year labor warranty.
It is always important to fully comprehend the warranty before ever purchasing a new central air conditioner. Offered warranties between manufacturers can vary greatly. Most likely, reputable manufacturers offer warranties that cover certain parts of the A/C unit for one specific timeframe, and other parts on a different length of time.
To keep your air conditioning system running efficiently, it should be maintained on a routine schedule. Having a service maintenance plan can help keep repair costs down. The routine maintenance plan will allow an HVAC Professional to perform scheduled inspections of your system annually or semi-annually. By assessing, inspecting and evaluating the operational functions of the unit, the professional can determine when a small problem arises, to perform a minimal repair instead of a costly one.
With the high cost of keeping a home cool, and the non-ending heat waves that continue to make their way across the United States, many families are finding ways to increase the energy efficiency of their air-conditioning unit. The following five tips can help reduce the sizable amount of electricity used to run an air conditioner throughout the heat of the seemingly-endless summer. They include:
Adjusting Your Thermostat – Typically, families can remain comfortable during hot summer days when the indoor temperature is at 78°F. However, at nighttime, or when no one is at home, the temperature can be set slightly warmer. This one simple adjustment can help generate a 15% savings on monthly utility bills while still allowing the family to remain cool while at home.
Cleaning and Changing the Air Filter – Whether you are keeping your home comfortable and cool using a room air conditioner, or central air, using a dirty filter inside the unit can quickly diminish its efficiency and cost substantially more to operate. Filters should be cleaned or change on a routine basis, and even more often for houses that experience high levels of dust, dirt and airborne debris, including pet hair. *Every month on filters.
Performing Routine Maintenance – The efficiency of the A/C unit requires ongoing routine HVAC maintenance. All components must be kept in good working order, condensation drains must be free-flowing, and the refrigerant level must be maintained.
Cool Specific Rooms – Energy costs can be controlled by managing the use of the air-conditioning unit. For homes that have central air systems, close off air flow registers to rooms that are never used. Attempt to create the smallest cooled environment to reduce the amount of air-conditioning required for the home.
Purchasing an Energy Star Unit – When it is time for a central air conditioning replacement, efficiency should be the number factor to consider. An efficient Energy Star central air system will save over 14% on utility bills every month. Some units are designed to operate on 25% less energy than the standard.
The heating and cooling unit is by far the biggest energy user in the home. Older systems have a lower SEER rating, making them far less efficient and requiring more energy to operate. The cost of running most heating and air-conditioning systems usually eat up nearly 45% of the entire utility bill every month. With an efficiently running A/C unit, and the above tips, you can lower the cost of keeping the home cool during the hot summer months.
On scalding hot days, the thought of anything being frozen is a nice idea, especially when thinking about ice cream, and freezing icy treats. However, when it is the air conditioner that is freezing up due to a malfunction from being overloaded, life inside the home can quickly become a miserable experience.
Usually, an overloaded, broken-down air conditioner will malfunction at the most critical time of the year. The breakdown is usually a result of the extreme change in temperature. To determine whether the air conditioner has overloaded, the homeowner simply needs to look at the A/C coils to see if their home’s unit has frozen up.
The frozen component is usually a result of the restriction of flowing air over the coil. It is this part of the process that allows the air to drop in temperature. However, when the airflow is restricted, the coil temperature can quickly drop below the freezing point (32°F). When this happens, the condensation and humidity freeze up. If the unit does not automatically stop on its own by tripping the breaker, it is critical that the homeowner shut off their air conditioning system immediately. Any prolonged amount of time that the unit continues to operate can cause significant damage to the A/C compressor.
If the coils of your air conditioner continue to freeze, it might be due to dirty air filters. Often times, when an air filter is too dirty, it can quickly restrict the airflow across the unit’s evaporator coils. In time, the reduced amount of airflow will allow the evaporator coils to become very cold causing the condensation and humidity to freeze up. Other issues that could be causing the problem include a refrigerant leak, or sealed system leak. These types of repairs are usually very expensive. To determine if any of these potential causes are affecting the air-conditioning system, it is important to have a qualified licensed HVAC technician check out the unit.
There are various reasons that the air conditioning unit can freeze up, including a lack of maintenance, broken parts, or overuse. The easiest way to avoid having an A/C overload is to evaluate and inspect the system on a routine basis. Performing scheduled HVAC maintenance on the entire system can help it run efficiently and at full capacity. When the compressor, the metering device, expansion valve, blower, and evaporator coil work in proper unison, overloading will not happen.
To keep your AC unit running optimally, it is important to have scheduled routine maintenance performed by a licensed contractor. They can help determine if any issues require a repair or replacement of your AC unit, and can help you maintain its efficiency.
Operating and maintaining a heating and cooling unit can extend its life for many years. A well-maintained AC unit will significantly reduce the amount of energy it takes to produce comfortable air throughout the year. By taking a proactive approach, and performing a scheduled maintenance routine on your unit once or twice every year, will keep it operating smoothly year round.
The top five most common AC questions can help you manage and operate your air conditioning unit to generate premium performance. The questions include:
It is important to always select an air-conditioning company contractor that is fully licensed, and insured in your community. They will need to have comprehensive knowledge of AC units with the skills and tools to fully assess the AC unit’s electrical, venting, and duct work systems.
A competent, licensed HVAC contractor can help you determine the best products, sizes, and brand of unit for your home. They will perform a heat loss calculation to determine exactly how large a unit will be required for the size and condition of your home.
You might be able to simply repair your unit if it is less than 12 years old and has been properly maintained every year. Additionally, if repairs are less than $400, or if it has a compressor or heat exchanger that is in optimal operating condition, it might be more beneficial to simply repair the unit. However, if your home’s utility costs are high, or the air quality is bad, it might be time to replace the unit. If the air exchanger or compressor is deteriorating, repair costs are over $400, or no maintenance has ever been performed on the unit, it is likely time to replace the air conditioner. Additionally, models older than 12 years have usually outlived their life expectancy.
Performing routine maintenance annually on your unit can improve its efficiency.
Air filters in a typical home usually need to be cleaned or changed every 3 to 4 weeks.
A scheduled routine maintenance program will find problems with your AC unit before they turn into major issues. Cleaning air filters on a regular basis can minimize air pollutants while increasing the efficiency of the unit.
Old, inefficient air-conditioner/heating units cost significantly more every month to operate. Oftentimes, the inefficient AC units allow harmful air to remain in the house.
It may be time to consider replacing your older air-conditioning and heating system if it is inefficient, old, or in need of significant repair. With new technology, today’s air-conditioning systems can operate at 60% more efficiency than AC units that were manufactured just a decade ago. In addition, if your unit was not properly maintained through the years and suffers significant wear and tear, it can actually reduce the realized efficiency of your unit, costing you a lot more to operate.
If you been concerned your monthly utility bills have been on the rise, or that your AC unit requires expensive repairs, it might be much less expensive to endure the cost of replacing the unit instead of operating it through another season. Even if financing your AC purchase is the only way you can afford it, the monthly savings on your electric bill might actually save money over wasting electricity operating your inefficient system.
While it is true that an AC unit is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make for your home, it is essential to have an efficient unit that operates smoothly. Not only will it provide comfortable air year-round, it will produce better air quality while reducing your energy bills.
Now that it is time to purchase a new AC unit, there are a few tips you can follow and they include:
Select a Trusted Contractor – Contractors that specialize in the HVAC field can fully comprehend all the ins and outs of air-conditioning and heating. Choose an HVAC contractor that is licensed, and insured. Ask for references.
Listen to the Contractor’s Advice – Choose an installer that you trust. They should provide air-conditioning units that offer the best warranty.
Purchase the AC Unit That Fits Your Home – There is no need to purchase an AC unit that is too large for the size of your home, or too small for that matter. The best model of air conditioner for your home should be determined by the climate you live in, and the placement of your air ducts.
Once you do the math on how much money you spend every month heating and cooling the air in your home, it might become quite obvious why you need to replace the unit. Replacing old equipment with new can improve the integrity of your air conditioning system, provide cleaner air and reduce your utility bills every month.