What to consider when choosing the best air conditioning contractor?
During summer, the adverse weather conditions are not as favorable. Fortunately, air conditioning systems help to ensure that the weather conditions indoors are favorable. If you need to install an air conditioning system, you should hire a professional contractor. You should not make such a decision rationally. There are factors that you should consider as you hire a contractor, and they include:
01. Does the Contractor Have Good References?
The contractor’s reputation matters; when a contractor offers their services to a client, they will be either satisfactory or not. A qualified contractor usually offers quality services, which means they will have numerous references that you can contact. Contact each of these references and ask them about the working experience they had with the contractor. Ask about the professionalism of the contractor and the after-service. If the information provided by the references gives a positive perception, you can go ahead and hire them.
You can also check out the reviews posted online on platforms such as Yelp and Better Business Bureau. Some local forums can also come in handy, mainly if they discuss home maintenance and improvement issues. Besides offering reviews, Better Business Bureau will also indicate whether a contractor is accredited or not.
02. Is the Contractor Licensed?
As you hire a contractor, you should first ascertain they are licensed, which means they are qualified to install and maintain the air conditioning unit. Ensure that the contractor has presented the necessary certifications. Also, they should be insured. Some contractors may also have a license that allows them to handle plumbing and electrical installation; however, the main focus is on AC installation.
03. Is the Contractor Experienced?
You don’t want to hire an amateur to handle the air conditioning installation process. If you hire an inexperienced individual, they may fail to install the system accordingly, and it won’t operate well. Hire a contractor who has enough experience and knowledge, and they can also assist in choosing the best air conditioning system for your home. You can ask the contractor about the number of years they have been installing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems; this information comes in handy since you can make an informed decision.
04. Fair Pricing
Fair pricing matters. You don’t want to be overcharged; however, you don’t want to get a poorly done job by finding a good contractor who offers their services for a low price. Compare at least four firms that offer Air conditioning installation services. You will make your final decision based on their experience and fairness when it comes to pricing.
05. Request a Quotes
A quotation matters. If you are purchasing a new air conditioning system, the contractor can recommend the best one for your home. They will then add the cost of installation in the quotation. Request the estimates from at least three contractors and hire the one who offers a fair price for the installation services.
06. Sign a Contract
A contract comes in handy, and it should be legally binding. The contract will ensure that each party heeds to their end of the agreement. For the contractor, the deadlines should be met. For the client, the payment should be remitted on time. Each party should peruse through the details of the contract to ascertain that all the essential details are present, including the completion date, the deposit amount offered, and other details.
Hiring an experienced and qualified contractor is a decision that you make after conducting some background research. You should focus on the qualities listed in this article, and you will get to find the right contractor for the job.
There are plenty of household chores that are essential in the successful running of your home. One of these chores that pay off the most is scheduling regular air conditioner maintenance.
When your air conditioner runs as efficiently as possible, it will use less energy to run, which means a decrease in your energy bills. Also, when your air conditioner is serviced every year, there is less risk of breakdowns, increasing the unit’s lifespan.
If you are looking at your air conditioner and aren’t sure if it is due for repair, inspect it. If you can spot issues early, it will prevent expensive repair costs later.
What You Should Know About Air Conditioning Maintenance
There are some air conditioner maintenance tasks that you can handle yourself; however, if there is a technical or if you believe you may need ac repair, it is best to leave the job to the professionals.
If you believe that you can handle specific jobs on your own, be sure to observe all safety warnings. You also want to make sure that the power is turned off in the electrical box before you begin working on your air conditioner.
We will give you some tips to help keep your air conditioning system running correctly and as inexpensively as possible.
Tip 1: Install a Smart Thermostat
If you are using an outdated thermostat, it could be costing you more money than you know. If you aren’t going to be at home all day, you can set the thermostat to raise the temperature in the house when you leave. You can also set it to turn down automatically when you are ready to head home. This will prevent you from wasting energy when there is nobody at home. This will ensure that the house is cold when you arrive home, but you won’t waste electricity by running the AC all day.
If you want to get the most out of your Smart thermostat, you should go with one that monitors and reports your energy use. This will let you see where and when you use the most energy so that you can make some changes.
Tip 2: Clean or Replace Your Air Filters
It is essential that replace your air filters when they get dirty. If you have a reusable air filter, make sure that you check it regularly. During high use seasons like summer and winter, you should check the air filter every month. During spring and fall, the low use seasons, you should check the air filter every other month. If you aren’t sure where your air filter is located, there are a few places that you can check.
*Behind the return air grille on a wall, in the ceiling, or in a house’s central room.
*Inside the blower compartment
*In a slot located at the bottom of the furnace, on the side or at the top.
If you don’t keep your air filter clean and fills up with dirt and dust particles, it can decrease the home’s airflow. This will require your system to work harder to reach the desired temperature in the house. Also, the air that does flow into the house will be loaded with dust and dirt, which results in poor air quality in your home. If a family member has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory illnesses, dirty air filters can trigger their symptoms.
If you want the best air quality, you should install a high-quality air filter. If you buy an inexpensive fiberglass filter, it won’t capture tiny particles such as pollen, viruses, and bacteria.
If you go with a pleated filter, you should check the MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. If the MERV rating is high, it will be able to collect more airborne pollutants. In residential homes, the filters range from 1 MERV to 12 MERV. 1 is what you can expect from a window air conditioner, and 12 is considered superior. In some cases, you are better off installing a filtration system. If you like in a dusty region, if you have pets or if any member of your family has a respiratory illness, filtration systems would be better for you than a standard filtered system. American Standard’s AccuClean Whole-Home Air Filtration System is an excellent option. It can remove up to 99.98 percent of airborne pollutants from home, and it comes with a reusable filter.
Tip 3: Check the Outside Unit
Over time, grass clippings, leaves, dirt, and branches can build up outside the outdoor unit. When this happens, it decreases the unit’s capacity, and it will reduce the airflow. If there are just a few leaves or branches near the unit, you can just move them away. If anything is growing too close to the outdoor unit, you should consider having it removed. It will be a lot to keep up with if you are always going outside to trim the bush or shrub down. You might be better off removing it, which will give your condenser all of the room that it needs.
If you want to clean the entire area, there are a few things that you need to do. First, turn off the power to the unit. This can be done either by using the service disconnect button on the outdoor unit, or you can turn off the power to the home’s main breaker.
To clean the unit, use a garden hose to gently wash away the debris, starting at the top and working our way down. You should never use a powerwasher. This can cause damage to the unit. The force of the water can bend or damage the delicate coils and fins. Finally, check the aluminum cooling fans on the compressor. To be sure that they are working correctly, they need to be straight. If they aren’t, you might need to call a professional in ac repair.
If there are any bushes or shrubs around the outdoor unit, make sure that they are trimmed down and won’t affect the airflow.
Tip 4: Check the Wiring and Other Components
If your AC is going to work correctly, the internal connections need to be functioning correctly. If there is something wrong with the wiring or components, it could increase your energy bills. It is a good idea to check the wiring and components every year.
*Check the wiring inside the AC: After turning off the power to the condenser, open it up. This will allow you to see if there are any signs of overheating. If you see melted insulation on the wires or wires that are black or burned out, you have a problem. If you have an electrical test meter, it can help check the unit’s capacitor.
If you believe that there are wiring or component issues, you should call an HVAC tech to make the necessary repairs.
Tip 5: Check the Fan Inside the Condenser
If the condenser’s fan blades are in poor condition, it will make it challenging to keep your home cool. To check the condition of the fan blades, turn off the power to the unit. Next, check the fan that is mounted at the top of the unit’s condenser. If the blades have any chips or cracks, it is time to replace the fan. If you are handy, you might be able to find the fan on Amazon. If not, and HVAC tech can replace it for you.
Call a Professional
If you aren’t sure if you can handle your annual ac maintenance, you should call a professional. Professional ac maintenance can prevent a complete breakdown during the hottest days of the year. Before the cooling season begins, you should have your ac maintained. Before the heating season begins, you should have your furnace maintained.
During a professional maintenance visit, the HVAC tech will give your ac system a complete tuneup. They will check all of the internal parts, and they will replace any parts that are worn out. A professional HVAC tech will be able to stop issues that you may not even notice. While it is acceptable to do your own checks throughout the year, you also need to schedule annual maintenance checks with a professional.
If the tech discovers that your system has reached its maximum lifespan, it will be cheaper, in the long run, to have the system replaced. An air conditioner that has reached its maximum lifespan will cost you more money in energy bills because it won’t run as efficiently as it s
hould. By replacing the unit, you will notice a significant drop in your energy bill. The American Standard HVAC AccuComfort Variable Speed Air Conditioner is a great replacement option. This unit will provide maximum comfort and cooling while keeping your family comfortable at a reasonable operating cost. An HVAC tech can answer any questions that you have regarding this system or your existing system.
An Ultimate Guide To HVAC System
An AC unit is made up of a number of complex, interrelated components. Small issues can turn into major breakdowns if you don’t act quickly to solve a problem. There is much that needs to be understood when it comes to air conditioning units, from installation and maintenance to repairs and how they function.
Basically, this article is the ultimate HVAC guide that will assist you to have a better understanding of how heating and cooling machines operate, as well as how to:
- Adequately maintain the unit. Notice typical problems
- Know if it’s time to replace or repair the unit
- Have a better understanding of house automation and smart HVAC
- Choose the proper unit to buy
The best way to appreciate an HVAC unit is to look at the heating unit’s essential parts. The system comes with three main components: The distribution system, the control (thermostat), and the heat source.
- A heating unit is made up of:
- The source, like a heat pump or furnace.
- The distribution unit, like the radiator.
- The control, which controls heat distribution.
You can identify a furnace by the source of fuel; natural gas, oil, or propane. On the other hand, with a boiler, you mainly look at the size; if you live in a warm region, you will require at least 20 BTU for each square foot and more if you live in a colder area.
As for a heat pump, it is utilized in central heating or cooling machines. The gadget makes use of outside air to heat up the interior of the house. The pump distributes heat energy all over the house. All you need is one ground source such as an air source to warm-up the whole house.
Air Conditioners work by getting rid of heat and providing cool air into your home. There is a set of refrigeration parts that extract the heat. Common types of air conditioners include:
Window or Room Units
These are installed close to the window, and they have a lifespan of up to 15 years.
These use the duct system to blow air evenly and consistently throughout the house, and their lifespan is 20 years.
The Split Unit: this works both as an inside and outside the system, and it can run on electricity or gas.
The Mini Split Unit: You don’t need ductwork with this kind. You can have it as a new installation or installed as an update of an already existing one. Its lifespan is about 15 years.
To get a better understanding of HVAC units, you need to know about the following components:
Air Filter: The filter blocks or traps pollutants such as mold spores, pollen, and dander, improving the quality of air indoors.
Blower: A motor powers it, and its function is to carry air via the AC unit.
Burner: Uses both air and gas to keep an ignition flame inside the heater.
Condenser: It is placed outside the house, and you link it to the evaporator coil. Its function is to cool the refrigerant gas and then change it into liquid form.
Ducts: These are pipe-like features that bring air into every room. They are typically made with fiberglass or sheet metal.
Evaporator Coil: It is made up of tubes that carry liquid refrigerant to absorb warm air by evaporation.
Gas Valve: This is a component of a furnace whose function is to regulate gas use.
Heat Exchanger: Absorbs and warms up cool air, which will be distributed around the house.
Igniter: Pilot light used in a gas-powered furnace. It supplies the gas, which will be utilized as fuel.
Thermostat: This interface enables you to regulate the temperature of the HVAC unit.
Vent: It is also referred to as a register, and its function is to channel air in a particular direction.
The Proper Maintenance And Upkeep Of An HVAC Unit
Taking good care of all your household appliances or machines is always important, and the same goes for your HVAC system. A skilled technician should be called in to service the unit at least two times a year. That way, the unit will work more efficiently, and you will have fewer bills.
Effective methods to maintain the HVAC unit include:
Replacing Air Filters: make sure that you replace the filters every one to three months. When to change them is normally determined by the kind of unit you have and where you live. Although it can be changed after three months, make certain that you check it every month to ensure it’s not dirty. If it is, clean it or change it.
Outdoor Contraptions Must Not Have Any Debris: The debris includes pollen, leaves, twigs, and branches.
Clogs: Any build-up in the unit must also be cleaned. You can do this by mixing bleach with water and pouring the mixture into the condenser drain. This can be done once per year, and it will get rid of algae and mold.
Check the Entire System: Frequently, but more importantly, just before winter kicks in, inspect the machine to see if there is any damage or any part that requires attention.
Examine the Refrigerant Lines: They transport refrigerant into the house, and they can leak or wear out, causing insufficient pressure and below standard performance.
The System Must Always Be Level: If it is tilted, the chances are that it will not function well. Check to see if the unit is level frequently; every 2 to 3 months.
Examine the Fan Blades: this should be done by a professional technician every time he comes to service the unit. But you can also check on them now and then.
You Must Not Close Over 20% of The Registers: For the system to work well, at least 80% of the registers should be working.
Watch Out For Noises and Strange Smells: If the unit is indoors and hears strange noises or strange smells, there might be a problem with the unit.
Advantages of a Service Plan
If you have a service plan you will be guaranteed routine maintenance. Servicing the unit also prevents future problems. Having the unit serviced has the following advantages:
Fewer Energy Bills: The fact of the matter is that if a heating or cooling system is not properly maintained, it will not function efficiently. This means that you will be using more energy. More energy results in more energy costs. So, regular maintenance is essential.
Better Indoor Air Quality: If the unit is well maintained, little to no pollutants will be released in the house. Enhanced air quality is necessary, especially for those people who suffer from respiratory diseases.
Lesser Repairs: If a problem is identified in its initial stages, such as during routine service, it can be attended to early. This helps to avoid future and more costly repairs.
Durability: Failure to maintain the unit recommended by the manufacturer can result in you having to replace it in less than five years. However, frequent maintenance will give you value for your money as it will last for a long period.
Typical HVAC Issues
Some of the typical issues include:
Irregular Heating or Cooling: Temperature should be distributed evenly in every room of the house. If that is not the case, there might be a duct that is blocked.
Noise: If you hear strange noise, the problem could be the motor.
Electrical Failure: Electrical wires can cause fans and compressors to stop functioning due to wear and tear over time. The wires should be replaced by a professional.
Dirt: Dirt can affect both outdoor and indoor systems. Therefore, clean the units regularly.
If you or someone in your family is having more allergic symptoms than usual, it could be a sign that there is dust, mold, or mildew in the unit’s ducts. The symptoms can be reduced by simply cleaning the ducts.
Article provided by On the Spot HVAC Plano TX