HVAC Repair – All You Need To Know

HVAC Repair – All You Need To Know



HVAC systems are normally used during winter and summer seasons. Unfortunately, these systems can malfunction without any warning when needed the most. Therefore, it is recommended you implement measures to prevent costly HVAC repairs; the following tips might help you. 

The transition from air conditioning to heating puts a lot of strain on the HVAC system in your home. Even if your AC system runs smoothly throughout the warm season, the HVAC system switches to heating when the cold season arrives, and the entire system may not be performing optimally. The result will be exorbitant energy bills, or worse, the system can malfunction and burden you with high repair bills. 

It is incredibly costly to replace your HVAC system. Therefore, homeowners need to implement the following tips for preventing expensive HVAC repairs.

Article Summary:

– Why HVAC maintenance is crucial

– Replacement costs for HVAC systems

– 6 top tips to prevent costly heating and AC repairs

– The importance of HVAC maintenance

When people invest in costly HVAC systems, they often fail to maintain their heating system properly. HVAC systems are like cars – they need proper maintenance and care to function optimally. The ideal HVAC system can keep your home cool or warm for many years, so HVAC maintenance is crucial. 

Lower Energy Bills

One of the main reasons why you should maintain your HVAC equipment regularly is to reduce utility bills. A properly-serviced HVAC system that is also well-insulated operates efficiently so that you will incur lower energy bills. Besides saving money on energy bills, you can also save money on repair costs since maintenance can lower the frequency of breakdowns. 

Clean Healthy Air

A properly serviced and repaired HVAC system will not just keep your home comfortable all the time; it will also ensure the air in your home is clean and healthy. Cleaner coils and filters mean clean air at all times. If you fail to maintain your HVAC system, you can expect to have many airborne contaminants circulating in your home. 

Increased Lifespan of Your HVAC System

The longevity of your HVAC system is dependent on how well you service the unit. Since replacement costs are usually high, you can avoid costs by having your HVAC equipment serviced by a professional after every couple of months. 

When your unit is serviced regularly and fixed by a professional whenever it breaks down, you can expect it to function energy efficiently. Poorly maintained units are usually dirty and can consume 20% more energy to provide the same heating or cooling level as a perfectly maintained HVAC system. 

Fewer Emergency Repairs

Emergency repairs are usually more costly than scheduled HVAC repair (billing best). HVAC systems that are serviced regularly usually break down less often, which means they are much more reliable. By having your heater and air conditioner serviced by a competent HVAC contractor, you will have peace of mind knowing that your unit will serve you well whenever you need it. 

HVAC Replacement Costs in the USA

Households that fail to service their HVAC systems regularly can be assured of frequent breakdowns and a shorter lifespan. This means that they will need to replace their unit before the end of its expected life.

If this happens, homeowners will need to fork out up to $15,000, or even more, to replace their units. While the price may seem steep, the actual cost will depend on the following:

Size of the unit

The efficiency of the unit

Technology or features you choose

The contractor chose to do the installation.

Please note that air conditioners do not usually last as long as furnaces, so if you had the two systems installed simultaneously, you would need to replace your air conditioner first before you can have the furnace replaced. The difference can be 5 or more years. 

You can look at the furnace and air conditioner like conjoined twins; they each have their compartments, yet they share the same blower motor. 

If you spend money on upgrading your air conditioner but leave the blower and furnace, you will be wasting your money as half of the system will still be inefficient. 

The point here is that if you plan to upgrade your AC system to a unit with a SEER rating of at least 16, then it’s best also to upgrade the furnace simultaneously.

Good to know…

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It starts from 13 to 21 and measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner. The higher the score, the higher the unit’s efficiency when it comes to cooling your home and lowering your energy bills. 

AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a measure of a furnace’s efficiency and is given as a percentage ranging from 80% to 100%. The higher the percentage rating, the higher the furnace’s efficiency, so you can save on energy costs. 

6 Important Tips for preventing HVAC repairs

#1 Clean the Heat Pump or Condenser

The outdoor unit of an air conditioner, the condenser, and the heat pump can get visibly dirty over time, forcing the system to work hard to cool or warm up your home. 

By cleaning the condenser and heat pump, you can reduce the probability of damage to the HVAC equipment’s internal components. You must ensure no debris on top or sides of your HVAC system’s outdoor units. 

#2 Check the Air Filter

One company that does HVAC in Bradley IL says, “One of the most common causes of furnace repairs is dirty air filters. By checking your filters regularly and having them changed after every couple of months, you can significantly improve your air conditioning system’s efficiency and reduce your furnace repair costs. You’ll also reduce the likelihood of molds.”

Ideally, filters should be changed monthly to prevent them from getting clogged by dirt. If you have pets, you may have to clean and replace your filters more frequently. 

#3 Regular Professional Check-Up

When your HVAC system is being checked, a team of HVAC professionals will open up the system and inspect the internal components. They will also make some adjustments to ensure your HVAC system functions optimally. Depending on the choice of contractor, the technicians may do the following:

confirm that the fan is working flawlessly

clean the coils

check the air filter and change it if necessary

clean drain lines

check the level of refrigerant

check for leaks

inspect the heat exchanger for leaks

A check-up should be done at least once every year. 

#4 Have the Ductwork Inspected

Many microbes, pathogens, dust, pet dander, and pests can be found in the air ducts. Therefore, you should consider having your air ducts inspected and cleaned annually. 

#5 Adjust the Thermostat Accordingly

To save energy, you need to turn the AC and heater up or down as required to lower energy consumption. For instance, if there is nobody at home, you don’t need the AC to be set that low or for the heater to be set that high. 

6. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Some smart thermostats and controllers can help you adjust your furnace and heater automatically. Not only are they convenient, but they can also help you cut down on energy bills.

Things To Consider When Installing A New HVAC System

There are many important things you need to know before installing a new HVAC system. This is regardless of whether you are a new homeowner or a seasoned one. It is always a good idea to hire an experienced, professional who also has a good reputation and reviews when choosing a new air conditioning system, heat pump, and/or furnace.

Apart from making modifications to the infrastructure you already have, your HVAC contractor will also be able to assist you with selecting the system that is perfect for your home by considering things such as the characteristics and size of your home, as well as your budget and comfort concerns.

Whether you are wondering if you should repair or replace or install a brand new HVAC system, read what we have here for you, and also speak with one of our specialists before making a decision.

Heating Size, Capacity, and Type

Before purchasing a new HVAC system, make sure you check its heating and cooling capacity. Ask an HVAC technician whether or not the unit is properly sized, meets the minimum requirements, and about its reviews.

The heating capacity of a heating system is measured by British Thermal Unit (BTU). This is the amount energy needed to increase the temperature of water by 1-degree F. The amount of gas burned is measured by the input capacity, while the amount of usable heat generated is measured by output capacity. Please note that losses due to combustion are not taken into account while measuring input capacity. Ask whether the BTU ratings of a system is based on input or output when looking for one to purchase and install. Newer HVAC systems have smaller input BTU rating and higher BTU output. This is because these units are more efficient at generating more heat. Generally, if a system has a higher BTU rating, then it has a greater capacity to generate heat.

Another essential thing that will help you choose the perfect HVAC system for your home is its CFM. CFM or cubic feet per minute is a measure of many cubic feet of air can pass by a certain point per minute.

Luckily, you will not have to do the hard thinking by yourself. Your contractor will choose the right type, capacity, and size of the HVAC system for you. Contractors use complicated measurements for proper sizing of a unit, one example being the ACCA’s Manual J requirements. If the unit is too small, it will be overworked without ever fully serving its purpose, and if it is too big, it will consume waste a lot of energy and money. This means that the HVAC system needs to be just the right size.

Make sure your contractor does not choose a cooling and heating unit for you based on square footage alone. This is wrong. Your contractor should fully inspect the home before recommending the size of unit you should have installed. Also, just because your existing system is of a certain size doesn’t mean that you should just replace it with a similar sized one. Let the technicians visit your home and do a thorough inspection to come up with the size that will meet your current and future heating and cooling needs.

Cooling Size, Capacity, and Type

For an air conditioner, check its capacity before purchasing it. This will help you buy an A/C that is perfect for your home. Unlike heating systems whose capacity is measured in BTU that for air conditioners is measured in Ton. A one ton AC is equal to a 12,000 BTUh (British Thermal Unit Per Hour) heating unit.

Same as with heating units, it is important to choose cooling capacity based on your home’s needs and size. A professional and experienced contractor will help you the right choice on an air conditioning system that will efficiently cool your whole house.

Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling systems consume a significant amount of power. Data from the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that heating and cooling consumes around half of our home’s energy use.

Therefore, before you purchase a new HVAC system, make sure you check its energy consumption. This will help you in reducing your home’s energy usage, and you will be able to save some money.

The terms Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) are used to measure the energy efficiency of HVAC systems. AFUE is used to measure the heating efficiency of a furnace. For an air conditioner, its energy efficiency is measured using SEER and HSPF measures a heat pump’s heating efficiency. In all HVAC systems, the higher the rating, the more energy efficient it is.

Check Noise Levels

You do not want an HVAC system that is too noisy installed in your home. Choose a system that has noise levels of under 60 db.

Maintenance and Indoor Air Quality

Regular maintenance will ensure that your heating and cooling system works properly and serves you for a long time. Schedule regular maintenance with a certified and experienced HVAC contractor and remember to change your system’s air filter every 30-60 days.

On top of that, inquire about effective ways to improve the air quality if you are experiencing indoor door air quality problems in your home. Some of the solutions to this problem are installing humidification control systems, air purification systems, air filters, and ventilation products.

How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?

Contact a good HVAC company to find out how much a new system will cost. A technician will be sent to your home and provide you with an estimate. The best thing to do is to compare estimates from several companies and inquire about certifications, insurance, warranties, installation guidelines, and more.

There is so much work that will need to be done before your new HVAC unit is installed. For instance, the controls, ventilation, wiring, and ductwork used by the existing unit will need to be worked. Ensure that the HVAC company you choose is experienced to make sure the existing components work in sync with the new HVAC system.

Selecting A Reliable HVAC System

Although we take an HVAC system as granted, it remains a significant investment for our home, offices, or other commercial and residential buildings. Therefore we need to be careful in selecting an HVAC unit and make sure that we repair and maintain the system regularly so that we get uninterrupted heating and cooling from our systems. Here are some things you should take into account before selecting the HVAC unit for your house:

Step 1: Inspect your Ductwork

Buying the best equipment is not the only requirement in choosing an HVAC arrangement for your home. You should hire a professional contractor to check the installation of the duct in your hose to make sure the canal are in good condition before you start to look for HVAC options.

Step 2: Searching for a Furnace

Due to the significance of having a suitable heating arrangement, you should contemplate replacing your old heating arrangement with the latest energy-efficient unit, an approach that can help you make a significant energy saving with your energy costs going down by 20%. Old and used furnaces have a low Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 56% while brand-new energy-saving boilers have high-efficiency ratings, up to 98.5%. There are three basic options for air handler models when determining your system:

• Single-state Air Handlers

These were installation standard in older furnaces. They come in a single speed setting, i.e., high. The motors in these air handlers operate at most top speed despite the indoor heating specifications. This feature results in the waste of energy when keeping the house warm at the highest temperature.

• Two-stage Air Handlers

These have motors that operate on two configurations, i.e., at low speed and high speed. This feature helps in saving energy as you can control the room temperature, and have ideal indoor room temperature. High-speed configurations are only required when large volumes of warm air are instantly needed.

• Variable Speed Air Handlers

These have engines that can operate at different speeds. This feature allows for excellent energy performance because you can decide the optimal rate required to keep the indoor heat. It is vital to assure that you get the proper size machine for your house to secure higher performance. Request a contractor to estimate the size of the heating arrangement that your home requires to ensure optimal and cost-effective processes.

Step 3: Getting an Air Conditioner

A practical and high-performance air conditioner is necessary for keeping your home temperature fresh as well as supporting indoor air quality. Efficiency ratings for air conditioners can be learned based on their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). A more significant number means higher energy performance. Updating to an air conditioner with a prominent SEER can assist you to decrease your energy bills by 40%. Take an air conditioner with a SEER that is above 16. Buy only air conditioners with shifting speed scroll compressors. These models generate less sound than past models with reciprocating compressors. Also, assure that you keep an air conditioner supporting an all-aluminum evaporator coil. These are less sensitive to leaks and corrosion as opposed to the copper and steel evaporator coils of traditional systems.

Step 4: Think about Installing a Heat Pump Instead

If you fancy an all-in-one heating and cooling operation, contemplate purchasing a heat pump. Heat pumps operate similar to air conditioners — when in cooling mode, it utilizes a refrigerant to extract heat from the inside of your house. However, you can apply the reverse valve to adjust the course in which the coolant flows, thereby enabling the heat pump to warm your house by pulling heat from the outside and drawing it inside the home. These are the most suitable electrical heating arrangements currently obtainable from the market. You can comfortably knock off more than 35% from your heating invoice. Talk to a licensed contractor for more details on determining the suitable system for your house.