- What is the Shelf Life of an Air Conditioning Unit?
- What is the Cost of New HVAC Systems?
- Does an Air Conditioning System Cover Every Need?
- Choosing the best AC unit for your home?
- Does an HVAC System Effect Indoor Air Quality?
- Is Air Conditioning Mini-Split Better Than Central Air?
- Choosing the Best Air Conditioner Service?
- How Can I Find Air Duct Cleaning Near Me?
- Tips on Emergency AC Repair?
HVAC systems can be complex and risky, especially when it comes to an air conditioner installation. You need to be careful about it. Although you may have hired a reputable HVAC company to perform the task for you, there might still be a few questions you are contemplating. Here are some important things that most people are curious to know, which may also be beneficial for you as well:
1. Do you need a permit for a mini-split air conditioner installation?
A ductless AC unit may seem simple to install, still, it requires a permit to install. Moreover, you might also need another permit for the electrical job if you need it rewired or such. Your local government needs to inspect the property to ensure that the existing condition is safe enough for the work.
2. Does each technician need to be licensed?
While different states may have different stipulations regarding their licensing laws, the main principle is the same. One must have a legitimate license to work in the field. This is to make sure that the technician has sufficient skills and knowledge about safety codes as regulated by the government. You can’t entrust your home to someone if you are not sure whether they are capable or not.
3. Is there anything I should do after the installation?
First, don’t sign the document of approval before you check your AC. You should at least let the system run for a few minutes to see if it brings the chill as expected. See if there is any water dripping or strange noises during the operation. If anything doesn’t work accordingly, make sure you find and make a warranty claim for it during the warranty period.
4. How do I know the quote proposed to me is not overpriced?
The cost of air conditioner installation may vary widely due to multiple factors. An HVAC company needs to inspect and calculate your house’s needs to determine the cost. Do not trust any quotes proposed if the company didn’t carefully inspect your house. To get an even fairer price, ask multiple candidates of HVAC technicians to give you their quotes so you can compare each one of them.
Hiring a technician is not a reason to be oblivious to the workings of your air conditioning system. Knowing the basics will help you to make the right decision about your air conditioner installation, which may significantly affect how much it will cost you. Do not hesitate to ask your technician any questions you have. If they are professional, they will gladly give you an honest answer. On the other hand, if your technician seems to be avoiding giving a clear explanation, you might want to reconsider hiring them. It might either be that they are not knowledgeable enough, or they are trying to scam you.
Shelf Life of an Air Conditioning Unit
All air conditioning units have a shelf life. There will come a time where the AC unit will stop working. Or perhaps, it will no longer function as efficiently as it did the first time. How long do AC units usually last?
On average, a well-preserved and regularly-serviced air conditioning unit runs for about 10 to 15 years. Both big and small units can last beyond the estimated years. This depends on the regularity of servicing and repairs. Some units last less than that time frame. What influences the shelf life of an air conditioning unit?
There are a number of factors that influence the shelf life of an air conditioning unit. These factors prove to be positive signs that the unit is aging:
The size of the air conditioning unit is important because it determines the limitation of its performance. If the unit is way smaller than its space, the unit may have a difficult time making the space cool. This creates a drawback on the performance of the unit because the owner will most likely have to adjust the temperature to make it cooler.
Poor installation is one of the contributing factors of the degeneration of the unit. It is important that the air conditioning unit be properly installed. Aside from early degeneration, a well-installed unit can give better performance and proper airflow.
3. Routine Maintenance
Every once in a while, an air conditioning unit needs to be serviced. It is like a plant that needs attention. If not done regularly, this can lead to a pile of problems. These problems can damage your home and your electric current flow.
4. Exposure to natural elements
The outdoor unit is prone to natural element exposure. Mist, snow, rain, and other airborne corrosives can damage the outdoor unit. Without regular maintenance, the outdoor unit may become be the reason the entire unit degenerates early.
5. Improper cleaning
Cleaning is one of the basic tasks that can keep a unit running. If done improperly even one time with inappropriate cleaning agents, this can damage the entire unit. It can also cost you hundreds of dollars for calling a servicing company to finish the failed cleaning service.
Some AC unit owners make the mistake of turning the thermostat in a polar manner. Meaning, the thermostat is either set too high or too low. Setting the thermostat to its extremes also contributes to early degeneration of the unit.
Once the air conditioning unit reaches the 15-year mark, it is time to consider replacing the unit with a new one. The repetitive utility of an older unit can cost you more in the long run. This is because of constant repairs and servicing. Saying goodbye to an older unit is not painful at all, especially not for your pocket.
Cost of New HVAC Systems
Many factors affect the cost of a new HVAC system. However, it is inarguably a big expenditure. Before you call a contractor to execute the installation, it would be a wise idea to get a calculation first. Although the number may not be accurate, the estimation can help you to prepare financially.
Central Heating and Cooling
For households in the US, the average cost of a new HVAC is around $6,000 to $12,000, if you prefer a central AC system for cooling and a furnace for heating. Also known as a heating and cooling split system, this combination is the most popular HVAC system for residential properties . Here is the breakdown:
● Central AC: $3,000 to $6,000
● Gas Furnace: $3,750 to $5,700
● Oil Furnace: $4,000 to $7,000
● Electrical Furnace: $1,500 to $2,500
● Ductwork: $1,750 to $3,500.
Ductwork is necessary for this type of HVAC system to distribute the heated or cooled air. You can use the same ductwork for both if you are going to use them one at a time. However, if you need to run both of them at the same time, then you would need separate ductwork for each system.
The non-central HVAC systems cost less to install due to the fact that they are less complex compared to the comprehensive heating or cooling whole-house system.
For example, if you choose a heat pump system, the cost would be much lower because there is only one installation required. It is another popular HVAC option for households because you can use the system year-round. The conventional air-source heat pump will cost around $3,500 to $8,000 to install. For the geothermal-source model, you would need to spend approximately $10,000 to $25,000 to install one on your property.
You can also opt for a ductless mini-split system. The single-zone package will cost approximately $2,000 to $6,000 for the new unit and initial installation. For the multiple-zone system, the cost of this new HVAC system will depend on how many indoor units you want to connect to each outdoor unit. An additional indoor unit will cost you about $500 to $1,000 to buy and install.
Here are the costs of new installation for other HVAC systems:
● Air Handler: $2,400 to $3,500
● Boiler: $1,500 to $3,500
● Thermostat: $50 to $400
● Air Purifier: $500 to $2,500
● Humidifier: $300 to $800
● Dehumidifier: $1,500 to $2,500
What’s Included in the Cost
The cost of new HVAC systems is the combination of the unit itself and everything required to start operating it. Many variables contribute to the installation cost, such as the labor cost and permit. Sometimes, some additional work is necessary, such as new wire installation or wall renovation.
The cost of a new HVAC system is not cheap. Therefore, choose the right one to make the best use of the money you spend. If you are feeling uncertain about it, feel free to contact a trusted HVAC service company to give you some recommendations based on your unique situation.
Air Conditioning System for Every Need
When browsing for an air conditioner, you might get overwhelmed by the many choices available on the market. Meanwhile, each air conditioner system has different advantages and disadvantages, which means they will suit different kinds of needs. To understand which system is best for your house, let’s learn about each available system first.
1. Central AC
A central AC system covers the whole house. The unit connects to ductwork to distribute the air to each room in the entire building. The same ductwork can also be used for a central heating system, in turns with the cooling system.
● Consistent temperature around the clock
● Thorough and equal cooling, no warm spots
● Quiet operation, barely any noise
● Hidden units, no interfering with your house aesthetics
● Longer expected lifespan compared to any other system
● Initial and operational cost is highest amongst all air conditioner systems
● Takes up space for the ductwork, which makes the system unsuitable for small houses
2. Ductless Mini-Split System
With no ductwork, this system can only cover one room. It is a feasible choice if you don’t need to cool the entire property. The system consists of one outdoor unit and one, or several, indoor units.
● Most efficient power consumption, especially those with a high SEER rating
● Low noise operation
● Cost-effective and reliable cooling
● Suitable for small houses due to no ductwork required
● May take effort to maintain
● Its appearance might interfere with the aesthetic of your interior design
3. Portable AC
Just like its name, a portable AC has wheels on the bottom so you can stroll it from one room to another in the house. The cooling system targets one specific room or area within a certain capacity. It is suitable for someone who lives alone in a spacious house.
● No installation required
● Easy to use and move around as needed
● No need for multiple units to cool other rooms
● Easy to store when not in use
● A rather noisy operation, especially for cheaper units
● Energy inefficiency
● Lack of humidity control
● Rather expensive
4. Window AC
Window AC is the single-unit system that you mount on the window to cool a room. This option is practical, especially for small houses with no air conditioning option, but needs a quick solution for thermal comfort.
● Lowest initial cost compared to any other system
● Easy and quick to install or remove
● Does not take up much space, just your window
● Energy-efficient for small rooms
● Safety issues as the unit can fall if not mounted properly
● You lose the benefits of your window, such as views and sunlight
● Noisy operation, not recommended for light sleepers
If choosing the right air conditioning system seems to be too difficult for you, feel free to discuss it with a professional HVAC company. Besides the system, you also need to consider other specifications such as efficiency ratings, capacities, additional features, and more. These are the necessary measures to make sure the air conditioner you install is worth the money you spent.
Choosing the best AC unit for your home
If you are planning to install an air conditioning unit for you home, you might want to consider the type of the unit you need. Not all air conditioning units are appropriate for every home. Having a basic knowledge of air conditioning unit types can help you save money, time, and electricity.
1. Central Air Conditioner
Suitable for larger homes, these air conditioning units can cool multiple rooms at once. Air is regulated through the separately installed duct system. This type of air conditioning unit is made up of an indoor unit, which houses the evaporator coils and air handler, and an outdoor unit, which houses the condenser and compressor. This type of AC unit will efficiently cool and reduce the humidity of your indoor air.
2. Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
This type of AC unit is suitable for only a portion of room. What’s good about this unit is it eliminates the burden of ducting, unlike a central AC unit. Also, this unit is mounted on the wall with air blowers installed. This unit is energy-efficient and can help you conserve energy.
3. Window Air Conditioner
Window AC units are the most common type of air conditioning unit. These units vary in size. If your room is spacious, then you may need a bigger one. A smaller unit can do the job for a small room. These units are easy to maintain and install, and they cost less to use and maintain.
Similar to window air conditioners, portable air conditioning units are enclosed. The difference is that portable units can be moved from room to room. All you need is a power outlet, and your room will be cool. Portable AC units are typically good for smaller rooms and do not require the hassle of installation.
5. Hybrid/Dual-Fuel Air Conditioner
This air conditioning unit combines both gas and electric power. This AC unit is cost-efficient because it automatically switches fuels based on the outside temperature. This type of air conditioning unit is programmable and can be manipulated manually.
6. Smart Air Conditioner
As the name suggests, this AC unit requires the aid of WiFi connectivity. Typically, a smart air conditioning unit is a mini split or window unit that is controlled through a smartphone. With this technology, you can program the unit to reach a certain temperature at a particular time of the day or week. Smart air conditioning units are known to be energy-efficient and convenient.
What to consider in choosing the right AC unit
Now that you have basic knowledge about the different AC unit types, you have to consider other factors.
Budget will always come first. Some units are affordable but require costly installation. Others are not as affordable right away but can help you save on your electricity bills.
Energy consumption is also a big deal.
Make sure that you purchase an energy-efficient unit. This is both to help you save money on your bill and to reduce your carbon footprint.
Room size is another factor to consider. Having a bigger unit for a small room or the other way around is not a good choice. Choose a unit that is right for your room size. You can enlist the help of professionals when choosing the right unit for your home.
The Impact of an HVAC System on Indoor Air Quality
The HVAC system you installed in your home will have a significant impact on your indoor air quality. It is crucial to understand the correlation so you can maintain it well. Here is a brief summary of what you should know about this matter.
The Effects of a Bad HVAC System
Your HVAC system requires regular maintenance for multiple reasons. One of those is to keep the machine clean. Dirt and dust can build up on the coils and air filters. If you don’t clean them, the fan inside the AC unit might blow the dust into your room.
Failing to maintain your AC unit may also lead to increased humidity, which allows mold to grow. Just like any other pollutant, mold can get blown away, float in the indoor air, and be inhaled by your family. The longer it has been since your last AC tune-up, the more mold may be present in your indoor air.
Poor indoor air quality may also create a vicious cycle with your HVAC system, which makes everything worse over time. Contaminants will get inside your HVAC system and eventually build up. The presence of more dirt in the machine will force the system to work extra hard. Hence, it will consume more energy. You may notice that the machine tends to overheat more easily and your electrical bill is higher than usual. If this continues, your HVAC system will eventually break down before the end of its expected lifespan.
Signs of a Problematic HVAC System
If your HVAC system doesn’t perform as well as it usually does, then it is time for a professional to inspect it. The same applies to when your electric bill mysteriously spikes. If your HVAC system is old, it might require replacement.
Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality
To know your indoor air quality, you need a professional to conduct a test on your house. But, some signs may indicate poor indoor air quality:
● Your AC filters get dirty in less than six months
● Your family suffers from allergic reactions or respiratory problems while at home
● Your indoor air feels stale
● You notice mold growth in your house
What Should You Do?
Taking care of your HVAC system and regulating your indoor air are equally important. Here is a breakdown of what you can do to help both of these causes:
● Perform regular maintenance on your AC to keep it running optimally
● Replace your AC filters every six months or sooner if they are dirty
● Allow natural air circulation by opening your windows every once in a while to let the stale indoor air out and the fresh outdoor air in
● Clean up the house regularly to remove air pollutants on surfaces
● Determine every possible source of pollutants and try to minimize each one
● Install a dehumidifier if your home is too humid so you can prevent mold growth
● Install an indoor air quality monitor and keep it running every day
● Install an air purifier with HEPA filters and UV light for best results
Negligence is a silent killer. Many people don’t even realize they are dealing with poor indoor air or failing to maintain their HVAC system properly. But once you start paying attention to your HVAC system, your indoor air quality will get better, and you will regret not doing it before.
Air Conditioning Mini-Split: Better Than Central Air?
Air conditioning is no longer a luxury, especially in hotter regions of the United States. When installing an air conditioner, homeowners these days have two popular options to choose from: central air conditioning through an HVAC system, or ductless mini-split air conditioning systems.
In this article, we will take a look at why homeowners buy air conditioning mini-split systems, and see how they compare to the traditional central air conditioning system.
What is an Air Conditioning Mini-split System?
A ductless air conditioning mini-split system has an external compressor outside of the home connected to the indoor units that contain a blower and evaporator. Every ductless AC is controlled individually from the other units in the home.
The ductless air conditioning mini-split system is designed to eliminate energy loss, which has become a problem in central air conditioning. In a ductless system, the outdoor and indoor units are connected via a conduit. The outdoor condenser receives heat from indoors, while the indoor unit pulls warm air from a room, and blows cold air back in.
Installation of an Air Conditioning Mini-split System
Without ductwork, there is less time required to install an air conditioning mini-split system. However, unlike central air conditioning, you will need to install an individual indoor unit for every room you wish to cool. The benefit of which, is being able to set temperatures for every room. You will also need space for the outdoor unit to make sure it is within a 50-foot radius of the indoor units.
To ensure a long lifespan, proper maintenance is necessary. While you need not inspect and clean any ductwork, you will need to clean and change the filters regularly. Moreover, the outside unit should be cleaned as well. Schedule a maintenance checkup with a qualified AC technician to make the most of your air conditioning mini-split system.
Air Conditioning Mini-split vs. Central Air
A major benefit of air conditioning mini-split systems, is that they mitigate energy loss by as much as 30 percent, compared to systems with ducts. Ductwork installation, replacement, and maintenance can be pricey. Here are some notable comparisons of the two air conditioning systems:
● Time and Cost – These are two of the most important considerations when buying big-ticket items, like an air conditioning system. As for installation, central air systems cost up to 30 percent less than ductless air conditioning. However, the long-term cost to operate is much less on a ductless air conditioning mini-split system. Repairs and maintenance are also expected to cost less.
● Installation – It can be faster to install an air conditioning system sans the complex ductwork. In a home with no current air ducts, installing a central air system can take more time.
● Temperature control – Central units are designed to be controlled via a single thermostat so that the entire home is set to one temperature. With an air conditioning mini-split ductless system, you can set each room to a different temperature.
● Lifespan – The regular lifespan of central air conditioners is 12 to 15 years. Meanwhile, an air conditioning mini-split system has a lifespan of up to 20 years.
A ductless air conditioning mini-split system is an excellent choice for a home with no existing ductwork. You can customize and control the temperature of every room or zone. It is efficient and has a good return on investment for years to come.
Choosing the Best Air Conditioner Service
When trying to reduce the risk of early degeneration, having your air conditioner serviced is appropriate. Servicing your air conditioning unit helps save loads of money, as opposed to the expense of replacing it. Also, it keeps your unit more secure and in the best shape possible. You ask yourself, “How do I choose the best air conditioner service?”
Choosing the best air conditioner service is like answering a multiple choice type examination, with answers that are closely related to one another. However, only one is the right one. Here are some tips on how to choose the best air conditioner service:
Obviously, the cost is most likely undebatable. Most AC servicing companies are expensive. Service will always come with a price. But if there is one company that offers great service with a slightly cheaper rate, take that.
2. Credibility and Knowledge
Two of the things that can convince a customer to rely on the servicing company’s services are credibility and knowledge. Credibility is rooted in the experience that the company has – you want someone with experience in solving problems without sacrificing the unit. Knowledge, on the other hand, goes with the ability to leave the customer informed about what is happening to the unit. Also, the company walks the customer through the entire process from repair to after care.
Another part of credibility and knowledge are the outside recognitions. These include certificates, awards, and licenses that the company holds. Almost all companies have licensed and experienced service providers.
Golden rule: The closer, the better. Location is an important part of considering the best air conditioner service. The farther the location, the more expensive the cost will be. Also, closer locations can lessen the burden of waiting too long to get your unit fixed.
Rapport includes punctuality. In as much as customers want to enjoy their air conditioner, being late is not an option for service providers. Establishing a good rapport between customers and service providers can give service providers a chance to get more customers due to recommendations and good reviews.
5. Emergency repairs
Emergency repairs are significant for a customer to consider, especially if there is an issue that can seriously damage your unit, or the electricity because of the unit. It is important for companies to provide emergency repairs.
This criteria will help you decide which service provider to choose. Just because a company has been operating for a long time, does not mean they are efficient and effective. It is important for consumers to consider these guidelines, along with the business’s stability and effectiveness in solving the issues.
An appliance like the air conditioner needs care as it gives care for customers too. It’s like a plant that needs attention. One of the best ways customers can show care for their air conditioning unit is by providing the best service possible. Nothing beats the feeling of having a great air conditioning service.
How Can I Find Air Duct Cleaning Near Me?
When looking for an air duct cleaning company near your area, you might notice there are some companies that say you need service regularly. They may even offer cheap prices for that. However, you should not fall for those kinds of marketing scams.
When Do You Need Air Duct Cleaning?
Air ducts don’t need regular cleaning like an AC unit does. Although there might be dirt inside your air ducts, that dirt will generally stay there rather than getting flung out. However, if you notice any of these signs from your HVAC system, then it might be the time to look for air duct cleaning services in your area.
1. A Suspicious Spike on Your Electrical Bill
Dirt in your air ducts may restrict airflow, which forces the system to work extra hard to deliver cooled air. Not only will this cause the system to overheat, but it will also force the system to consume more energy than usual.
2. Inconsistent Airflow
A central HVAC system should deliver air evenly to all rooms in a property. If you notice different airflow in different rooms or areas, there might be some dirt built up in your ducts.
3. Noisy Ductwork
Strange noises in your ductwork might be a sign of insect infestation. Insects can multiply pretty quickly. They can also cause health issues if their husks or shells get carried along by the indoor air.
4. Mold Growth
Mold is a serious problem if it grows inside your ductwork. First, it will cause a small leak and a foul smell. But if you don’t resolve it right away, the problems will get more severe and complicated. It could reduce the efficiency and performance of your HVAC system, or even cause damage.
Tips for Choosing an Air Duct Cleaning Service
When browsing air duct cleaning services in your area, you will notice that the prices vary widely from one company to another. How do you know which one is the most worth hiring? Here are some tips to live by:
1. License and Skill
Only hire technicians with the proper skills and legal license to perform air duct cleaning in your area. Ask specifically how they are going to clean your air ducts. The right HVAC service will not use harsh rubbing and chemicals to clean your air ducts.
2. Review and Reputation
Always check the credibility of the company to avoid wasting your money on scam services. You can ask people in your neighborhood or find online reviews to learn about the company’s reputation.
3. Examine the Quote
Never hire a technician who gives you a quote before examining your ductwork. There are many kinds of dirt that can be inside your air ducts. Your service should be specific to the kind of dirt that is blocking your HVAC’s airflow. If a technician offers you a service without even knowing what they need to do, chances are they won’t do it properly.
Improper air duct cleaning will do more harm than good. That’s why you need a reliable technician to execute such a task for you. Hence, make sure to not hire the wrong company to get an air duct cleaning in your area.
Emergency AC Repair
When it is already the summer season, and a heat spell occurs, having an air conditioning system malfunction at odd hours can cause great discomfort and inconvenience. Plus, a licensed technician might take a few hours or days to show up, and a few simple repairs may cost you hundreds of dollars.
In some cases, the air conditioner issues you face can be fixed with some simple troubleshooting. It may not be a guaranteed solution for every problem that your air conditioner faces, but it may be able to save you from the cost of an emergency call and repair.
Check the Power
If the air conditioner suddenly stops working or experiences a loss of power, the first thing you should do is to check the circuit breaker. Before checking anything else, make sure that the air conditioner unit is properly plugged. A loose socket or a faulty outlet might interfere with the electricity flow and might cause bigger problems such as a short circuit.
Next, check the circuit breaker. Ensure all the fuses are in good shape and that all the wires supplying the power are not ripped. It is important to know that even if the circuit breaker is in good shape, it may become a little bit faulty during hot and humid days.
Check the Air Filter
Out of all the parts of an air conditioner, the air filter experiences the most wear and tear if the unit is constantly being turned on and off. Dust and other contaminants gather and restrict airflow, which prevents cool air from coming into your home.
A dirty filter can be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions; however, a filter that is already more than a year old should be replaced with a new one, or else it will cause greater damage to the unit.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat is the one that controls the temperature of the AC unit’s output. It should be set to “cooling mode,” and the set temperature should be a few degrees lower than room temperature.
It is also important to keep the air conditioner’s thermostat away from direct sunlight. Since an air conditioner’s thermostat is temperature-sensitive, being exposed to heat may cause the sensor to go haywire and display the wrong temperature.
So the next time you feel cold, yet the thermostat is displaying a high temperature, check whether it is exposed to direct sunlight or heat.
If the steps above do not work, shutting your AC system down is the best option. Continuing to run your air conditioning system will damage it further. Thus, it is best to consult and have a licensed technician check the cooling system.
Although anyone can do troubleshooting, if you are not an expert regarding electricity and appliances, it is best to leave the repair in the hands of the experts. To save money and do the repair yourself, a simple issue may turn into a major problem.
Technicians are trained to assess and diagnose an appliance problem properly. Paying a little bit extra to save your cooling system is a better choice than completely replacing it with a new one.
Have Air Conditioner Installation Questions? Get in Touch!
ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re having issues with your HVAC system, we’re on-call and ready to assist you with your air conditioning needs. So if you’re in need of an HVAC Contractor, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an air conditioning service call diagnostic! Our HVAC experts will diagnose any issues that may be occurring with your HVAC system and help to repair your AC issue on the spot.
Best of all, because ECM is the largest HVAC company in South Florida our local warehouse facility that is 69,000 SQFT houses over $1 million in inventory and fully stocks our 127 vehicles on the road, making us one of the very few AC service companies capable of repairing most issues right on the spot. That means no waiting and no downtime without air conditioning for you & your family in the blistering Florida heat!
Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC team online.