Heating and AC - HVAC Repair
Air conditioning means a specific treatment of the condition of the air inside buildings to control the temperature, air motion, humidity, odor, and dust particle levels to generate human comfort. Heating and ac together with humidification and dehumidification can help control the physical properties of the air to keep people comfortable indoors.
HVAC is an acronym that stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and is used to refer to a complete comfort system within a home.
Such systems may be composed of different heating and cooling equipment like a gas furnace, central split units, heat pump or geothermal heat pump system. They also include circulation/distribution components like ductwork, the blower unit, the air filter, and the ventilation unit.
The difference between HVAC and AC is that while the first applies to the whole system for both cooling and heating. AC – despite the acronym which stands for Air Conditioning – is usually used to refer to any type of equipment that controls the cooling conditions of a home. The traditional split system or the heat pumps and the window unit are examples of AC.
Central air is not the same as air conditioning as central air (central AC) is the system that can be cooled from a unique location and distributed to all the rooms in a property by using one or more fans and ductwork. The central air has a compressor that makes this process possible by compressing the refrigerant gas to discharge heat out of the building creating cool air.
When deciding on the HVAC system in a home, many homeowners wonder if it is cheaper to buy a window unit or central air. You need to know that while window air conditioners work well for a room or two and are much cheaper than a central AC unit, they are not as effective in cooling the entire building.
Does Central Heating and AC Save Electricity?
The most efficient central AC systems deliver more cooling for each watt of electricity. Efficiency is expressed as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating): the higher the SEER, the more energy you can save. Today, the minimum SEER for a split-system central air unit allowed is 14.
If you are planning on living in a house for a long time, a central system is the best choice, particularly if the home is equipped with a forced air heating system. Central air is not cheaper than AC and the cost of installation is higher than a window unit, but it is more energy-efficient and it will cool the entire house.
What Type Of AC Is Best For Your Home?
If you are trying to decide which is better, split AC or central AC, it is important to know that they both have unique pros and cons. Regardless, there is no wrong or right decision. You must find the solution that best suits your needs.
- Window AC: They are cheap and easy to install. It is the right option for single small spaces in apartments and for people that seek to stay cool on a budget.
- Split AC: They are highly efficient to keep a zone cooled. It is a good option for homeowners looking for long term solutions for open concept homes with a few rooms.
- Central AC: They are appropriate for buildings with properly sized ductwork. If you wish to cool the whole house, it is the cheapest option.
How Long Does Central Heating and AC Last?
The life expectancy of an air conditioning unit is 10 to 15 years, while an average HVAC system lasts between 10 to 15 years. Heating and air systems have a longer life expectancy if they are properly maintained. This includes a routine cleaning of the filters and air ducts. However, an HVAC system cannot last 30 years.
The duration of the systems depends on factors such as the qualilty of the original installation and maintenance. If your air conditioner is 15 years old, you should consider replacing it.
The best brand for AC is American Standard because it has the highest quality and its systems are top-of-the-line. It is one of the most reliable brands on the market.
The most reliable air conditioner brand is Carrier. Installation requires certified professionals by the company to guarantee it is done properly. Its units are the quietest and they include 10-year warranties. This brand has been in business for 100 years and is considered the most reliable.
If you are looking for the best HVAC system for the money, a Goodman might be the cheapest option with prices starting at $1,350 for a 3-ton air conditioning model & 80% AFUE gas furnace systems. A Goodman HVAC can last 15 years. Another cost-effective brand is Bryant ($1710).
We recommend American Standard considering price, reliability, and how long they last.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Air Conditioning?
Air conditioning installation costs on average is $5,617. The price can range from $3,810 to $7,473 depending on the chosen unit and additional issues such as ductwork repair. For extensive projects or large properties with complicated ductwork, the cost can be up to $10,000. However, local HVAC contractors have different installation price plans so you should check their rates first.
Many homeowners ask: Can I install HVAC myself? HVAC installation is not always complicated. However, it is recommended that you hire an air conditioning contractor to ensure that it is done correctly.
Sometimes, permits are required, and you might need a license to handle refrigerant chemicals involved such as Freon. It is always better to look for HVAC companies that are nearby which will save on further costs or problems.
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Why Are Air Conditioners So Expensive?
Air conditioners are so expensive because they are composed of many electronic parts that help them work. They also need equipment such as Freon and copper tubing which have several government restrictions on them. Consider that standing air conditioners are more expensive than the window AC and smart technology of the new systems has increased their price too.
Only qualified professionals can work with this volatile gas called Freon. Window air conditioners can require more than one technician for home installation so AC companies can charge an extra fee.
If you are in a difficult economic situation, there are some free air conditioner programs powered by the US government for low-income families. You can apply to some of them based on your finances and you can also get help from a charity organization. Finally, assistance programs like the LIHEAP may pay for a free air conditioner or for the repair of an AC unit.
How Many Square Feet Will An AC Cool?
The AC’s cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units per hour (BTU/hr). The following cooling capacity chart might help you understand the capacity required to cool different rooms in your home. Image credit: Isley’s Home Service
Do I Need 2 Air Conditioners?
Sometimes, homeowners ask if it is better to have two AC units or one. For homes with 2-floor houses with a common area, two units is often the best and easiest option to keep a temperature balance because you can choose different temperatures for efficient cooling.
This also helps save energy costs because you keep the room where you are cooler than the rest of the house. A split system cannot cool an entire house. If you need to cool more than one space, it is recommended that you install additional units.
When Should HVAC Be Replaced?
If you are going through any of the following situations, you should replace your HVAC system instead of repairing it:
- The HVAC system is 10 to 15 years old.
- If you think the problem represents a safety hazard.
- If you are constantly repairing the heating and cooling system.
Replacing an HVAC system can cost between $5,000 to $10,000. This includes the new equipment, installation, removal, and disposal of the old unit. Ductwork that is more than 15 years old should soon be replaced. A maximum lifespan for ductwork is 20-25 years, so if you have had yours for 20 years, its age might reduce the efficiency of the HVAC. A replacement is the best option.
What Are The Reasons For Your AC Not Cooling?
Sometimes your AC blows out hot air. These are the most obvious reasons: The thermostat is not correctly set, the airflow has a restriction, or the outside unit has run out of power.
There are some ways to fix the AC if is not blowing cold air. The easiest solution is to reset the AC unit. To reset an AC unit, you must find the thermostat that might not be working properly causing it to not accurately detect the temperature.
To reset the thermostat, start by shutting down the AC, then find the circuit breaker box, reset the circuit breaker for your AC unit, wait 30 seconds and finally, turn the AC thermostat on again.
If you are wondering how to tell if your AC is broken, check the following warning signs:
- The AC unit is blowing warm air.
- The unit is running with insufficient airflow.
- The unit is not completing frequent cycles.
- You detect a high level of humidity in spring and summer.
- You can see water leaking from the unit.
- You detect bad odors.
- There are unusual noises.
How Do I Fix My HVAC?
Sometimes, you detect that something is not working with your HVAC, but you are worried about costs. If you feel confident when working around electricity, you may want to try your own AC repair. However, this is not recommended. You should call Stone Services Inc. at 919-933-1423 to be confident your HVAC system is being repaired correctly and safely.
If the AC is not cooling, you might need a furnace repair by setting the thermostat to AC mode and lowering the temperature setting. If the fan doesn’t run, you can reset the furnace circuit breaker. However, if it still doesn’t work, you might need help from a pro.
Another problem may be the compressor. In that case, you can follow different repair procedures to fix it. To test the compressor, disconnect power, remove the top of the outdoor condensing unit, unplug the 3-prong plug on the compressor, set your multimeter to OHMS and measure and record the resistance of each winding.
The compressor is the heart of the AC system because it receives energy to make the refrigerant circulate through the rest of the AC. So how do you know if your home AC compressor is working or not? This is important because you might need a new AC compressor. On average, replacing a compressor can cost $1,200.
A compressor failure can be detected with five signs:
- It doesn’t turn on.
- The system blows warm air.
- The system trips the circuit breaker.
- The outside unit starts shaking.
- The outside condensing unit makes strange noises.
How Often Should Your HVAC Be Serviced?
HVAC service is important to keep the HVAC system working properly. This can help you save money and time. Some experts recommend servicing your cooling systems and heating units once a year. Spring is the best time to call both the cooling and heating contractor to ensure the equipment works efficiently and are ready for hot and cold temperatures.
Besides the annual service, you should replace your air filter quite often: Replace filters every 20 days if you have more than one pet; every 60 days if you have a dog or a cat; every 90 days for common suburban houses without pets; and every 6 months to a year if you have a vacation house or have no pets.
If you have any questions concerning HVAC or you need service now, call Stone Services at 919-933-1423. We are happy to help in any way.