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Should You Repair or Replace Your AC Unit?

Should You Repair or Replace Your AC Unit?

You’re sitting in your home enjoying a bit of television after a long day at work when your ac starts to make the most peculiar sound. It sounds like it’s struggling to work which may be the case because your unit is about ten years old.

In this scenario, the age coupled with the fact that the unit is quite old is a pretty large indicator that you need to have your unit replaced. If it was a bit younger you may have been able to repair it.

There is a very fine line between being able to simply repair your ac unit and having to get a new one altogether. To help you make the distinction, here are a few tips that may help you decide which one you should do.

1. Benefits of Replacing

Before we get into how to tell if you should replace or repair your unit, we’re going to briefly go over the benefits of each. Here are a few good reasons why you should replace your ac unit even if you could possibly stretch out the life of your old one. 

Warranty

Chances are you’ve already blown through your warranty with your old unit. Getting a new one could be an easy way of sort of resetting your warranty because a new unit, means a new warranty. 

Going Green

In an effort to take a little stress off the ozone layer, newer AC models are created with a more eco-friendly refrigerant than the older ones. So, if you replace your old model you’ll be able to cool your home and save the environment too. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

More Convenience

When your old AC unit breaks down you may have to wait for weeks for parts to come in because well, it’s old. The older any machine gets the harder it is for manufacturers to find parts for it. 

You can cut down on this wait time by upgrading. If you have a newer model, you may have to wait a few days for a part to come in but it won’t be that long. 

2. Benefits of Repairing

While replacing probably sounds great to you right now, there are a few benefits to repairing your unit. The major reasons why you would want to repair instead of replacing is if you need to save a little bit of money or if you want to hold back from buying a new unit because you plan on moving one day. 

Saving Money

Unless you’re having to dish out several hundred dollars a month on repairs for your unit, you may be able to hold off on replacing it. The reason why you would want to hold off is that the upfront cost for a new unit will be expensive. 

If you don’t have that kind of money sitting around in your wallet, go with the repair for now and save cash. 

Are You Moving? 

If you’re planning on selling your home soon, you’re not going to want to pump hundreds of dollars into a new AC unit only to leave. While it may be hard to sell your current home with it having an old AC unit, you’ll probably still be able to find a buyer without having to make the replacement. 

3. When Should You Replace Your Unit

Even though you may be able to push back replacing your unit for a little while, there comes a time when you can’t save it anymore. The four key ways to tell you should go with a replacement are your current unit’s age, how often your current one breaks down, if the temperature in your home is uneven, and if there is a lot of noise coming from the unit. 

Age

It is recommended that you replace your AC unit once every ten years. While you can stretch it over the ten-year mark, the older it gets the less energy efficient it is. You’ll be able to shave a lot more off your energy bills if you replace it after it celebrates its big ten. 

Yours Breaks Down Frequently

If you’re not having to spend too much money replacing your unit every few months then you can repair it. If you feel like it’s being repaired more often then it’s cooling your home though, you need to go ahead and replace it. 

At that point, it’s costing you too much money to be efficient on your wallet anymore. So, even though a new one will be a lot of money, it would be worth it. 

Uneven temperatures

Do you often find that some rooms in your home are warmer than others? This is  because your unit is no longer cooling your home evenly. If this is the case then you may want to replace your unit before your whole home turns into a sauna. 

Noise 

If your current unit is making a ton of noise this means that it’s struggling to do its job. After a while, this struggle will show in your energy bill because it’s using a lot of power to cool your home. At this point, you could try and repair it but you’re better off putting it out of its misery. 

Replacing or Repairing Your AC Unit: You Decide

If your current AC unit is struggling to work it may be time to replace it. Sometimes a new system may be too much on your wallet though so you might able to repair it to save a little bit of money if the situation isn’t too bad. Use this guide on replacement and repairs to decide which option is best for you.

Live in the Santa Fe Springs, CA area and need indoor cooling assistance? Contact us and we’ll send one of our local team members your way. 

5 Signs You Need AC Repair in Santa Fe Springs

5 Signs You Need AC Repair in Santa Fe Springs

At 15.98 cents per kWh, Santa Fe Springs’ average residential electricity rate is over 4% more than that of the state. In fact, it’s almost 35% greater than the national average rate of 11.88 cents per kWh!

Granted, California’s residential energy usage is one of the lowest in the country. But that still means you’re paying more for each kilowatt you use.

And you know what? If you’re running a faulty air conditioner, then you’re paying even more.

Now the question is, how do you tell that you need AC repair in Santa Fe Springs?

That’s what we’re here to share with you today, so be sure to keep reading!

1. Weak Air Flow or Air isn’t Cool Enough

If there’s not enough cool air blowing out of your air conditioner’s vents, check the air filter first. You may only be dealing with a filthy air filter that either needs changing or washing. Clogged filters can block your AC’s air flow, so replace or wash them every three months.

If you recently changed your filter though, damaged fan blades may be to blame. These not only cause weak air flow, but can also lead to a faulty condenser. Condenser unit problems are some of the top causes of AC failure, so be sure to get that fan fixed ASAP!

If the problem is that your AC isn’t producing cool enough air, a bad compressor may be the culprit. The compressor is the part of your AC that turns the refrigerant into gas and then back into liquid. It needs to do this in a constant cycle so that you can keep enjoying cool air.

So, if the compressor is on its last legs, it may no longer be able to complete that cycle. Or, it may not even be transforming the refrigerant into gas anymore.

Either way, it’s best to call an HVAC repair pro in Santa Fe Springs to inspect your air conditioner. The experienced technician will determine the exact cause of the airflow issue.

2. Your AC Blows Out Warm Air Instead

A faulty compressor can also lead to your AC producing warm air instead of refreshing, cool air. But a more dangerous cause is a refrigerant leak. Especially if it’s running on the R22 refrigerant, or “Freon” as it’s more well-known for.

Air conditioners manufactured on or before 2015 use Freon, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). CFCs are chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, which is why this refrigerant is nearing a phase-out. Come January 01, 2020, production and supply of R22 will stop.

Refrigerant leaks also often produce hissing sounds, so if you hear those, call an AC repair pro. Better yet, consider replacing your air conditioner if it’s using Freon.

3. Skyrocketing Electricity Bills

12% of your electricity bill already goes towards AC use, so you wouldn’t want that to jump any higher. The thing is, a broken air conditioner part (like a failing motor) requires more energy to run. In most cases, it’s the unit’s attempt to compensate for its inefficient performance.

Let’s say your AC’s condenser motor is already dying. Since it’s failing, it’ll have a hard time removing heat from inside your home. So, it’ll make up for that inefficiency by running longer, thus consuming more energy.

The longer you put off having your AC repaired, the higher your electricity bills will be. Also, even if the unit is still working, it won’t be long until that motor completely dies. Wait until it does, and you’re looking at even more expensive repair expenses.

4. Powers On and Off

Your air conditioner’s thermostat is much like your system’s brain or command center. It controls the entire unit, telling it to generate cool air at the temperature you set it to. Once the room reaches that temperature, the thermostat will tell the unit to stop cooling.

As the room warms up again, the thermostat kicks back up so that the AC starts generating cooling air once more. So long as you have the air conditioner turned on, it’ll keep repeating this process.

If your thermostat malfunctions, it can’t read the room temperature right. This then leads to shorter cooling cycles, or “short-cycling”. If you run into this problem, you’ll notice your unit powers on or off by itself or it cycles on and off more quickly.

Either way, you’ll feel that the room doesn’t seem to be cool enough or that it warms up too fast. Call an AC repair expert to check your thermostat as it may already need replacement.

5. Foul Smells Coming from the Vents

Does your AC produce foul odors reminiscent to moldy bread or wet socks? This may be due to an overflowing or clogged condenser pan. That sitting water can lead to mold development, thus causing the mold-like smell.

This one’s often an easy fix, as you only need to drain and clean the condenser pan.

But if you smell something burning, turn off the AC right away and call an HVAC technician. That smell may be coming from burning wire insulation, which is a fire hazard. If the wire burns through all the way, you’ll end up with a completely broken AC.

Other Signs You Need AC Repair in Santa Fe Springs

Air conditioners, even the most “quiet” ones, still produce a gentle humming sound. But if you hear odd noises, such as squeals, scraping, and grinding sounds, that’s a different story.

A common culprit behind this is a loose or broken fan belt. The rubber may be rubbing or slapping against other internal parts of the AC. A grinding sound often indicates two metal parts rubbing against each other.

Whichever the cause of the sounds, contact an experienced AC repair technician ASAP. Delays in repairs can cause bigger damages to more sensitive internal parts of the unit.

Get Those AC Problems Fixed ASAP

As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, pick up that phone to request AC repair in Santa Fe Springs. Especially if you smell exhaust-like or burning odors. Not only are they telling signs of a broken AC, but they can also signal poisoning and fire hazards.

If you need immediate HVAC repair services, know that we can help. Don’t hesitate to connect with us now so we can get your AC or furnace back to excellent working order!

Finding The Right Furnace Size and Type in Hacienda Heights

Finding The Right Furnace Size and Type in Hacienda Heights

A furnace is an essential installation that keeps loved ones in your home warm and comfortable when it is chilly outside. Is yours operating at optimum?

Upgrading a furnace from 56 percent to 90 percent efficiency can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons annually. You can contact your local, family-owned, furnace installation contractor today and enjoy reduced costs in fuel and maintenance.

Several other reasons necessitate the replacement of a furnace. For instance, a cracked exchanger may not look like a big deal, but it can be deadly. Carbon monoxide can leak into the house and result in dire consequences.

If your furnace is older than twenty years, it may be time to replace it. It can fail when you need it most even if you have been maintaining it regularly.

Get your furnace replaced by a trusted and professional HVAC company! Here are some vital considerations that they will make before purchasing your next unit.

Getting Your Furnace Size Right

No matter the performance of the furnace you are looking to buy, it should be sufficient for the heating requirements of your house. Having the system of the right size is crucial for the overall comfort at your home. Larger units are more costly than smaller ones, but your house will ultimately determine the correct unit.

Manual J Load Calculation

If you are going to get your furnace replaced there is a chance of rushing to the internet and choosing what you think is suitable for you. That approach wrong.

Your best choice to getting it done right the first time is to invite a qualified contractor to do a Manual J load calculation for your home. If a contractor gives a quote without assessing your home, be ready for anything after the installation.

An undersized or oversized system won’t heat your home accurately. It may even fail way before its expected lifespan.

Contractors do Manual J load calculations to determine the HVAC equipment that is suitable for a building. The math takes into account the square footage of your home and the efficiency of ventilation.

The contractor will measure the walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, partitions and so on. He will also consider the building materials and the direction that your home faces.

Apart from these measurements, there will be some other technical considerations to take into account.

The exercise can be daunting. Fortunately, there are software tools that simplify the task. The report gives the BTU or Ton rating for the system that suits your home.

Source of Fuel

You can find contractors to install electric, gas, and oil furnaces. The choice depends on your preference, price, and location. However, there are some essential things to note about each.

Electric furnaces generate heat from electrical current. Electric heating is quite expensive. If you rely on the electrical grid for your heat, the system can empty your wallet.

The fuel in gas furnaces is natural gas. It is easy on the pocket when temperatures are low. Southern California has an abundance of natural gas which makes it very typical here.

The third type of furnace uses propane or oil. The fuels are reliable, but they require a lot of storage space.

If tidiness is a concern for you, don’t install this furnace since oil can mess up your house. It can also be more costly than natural gas, though prices keep fluctuating. However, it may be the only realistic option for homes in areas without gas lines.

An economical solution for heating and cooling in homes is installing an electric heat pump. The system uses minimal energy to transfer heat from an air stream to another. When temperatures are high, it serves as an air conditioner.

Efficiency

Most modern central-heating systems use gas. The annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating of a furnace determines the efficacy of the system.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, furnace and boiler manufacturers must indicate AFUE on their products for the consumer’s information. You should not have a problem finding this information if you are too buy furnace online.

AFUE is a measure of the conversion of fuel by an appliance in one year. A 90-percent AFUE furnace supplies 90 percent of the energy in the fuel. Ten percent escapes, say through the chimney.

It’s vital to note that AFUE does not account for the heat wasted through the piping material or the duct system. The loss can be up to 35 percent of the system’s output depending on the quality of the ducts.

Zoning Systems

A building does not maintain the same temperature in different areas. It may be a consequence of design, location, or other factors. If you install a master thermostat at one place in your home, you will have irregular temperature patterns. Some rooms will be colder or hotter than expected, and you may end up consuming more energy than necessary.

To avoid such issues, find a contractor that can install a furnace with a zoning system. The system divides your house into sections and assigns an independent thermostat for each. Furthermore, dampers can shut or open the ducts for various zones to regulate the temperature as desired.

Costs: Buying and Installing

Pricing of furnace installations can be tricky, but it primarily depends on the features included. The more efficient varieties are more expensive than the ones with lower AFUE. The size and brand also matter.

When hiring a contractor, confirm whether the quote includes all the costs that are typical of HVAC installations, like permits and inspections.

If you are replacing an old furnace, you might not need to install new ducts. So, you will save a considerable amount. Your contractor can advise on any additional parts that you may need to buy.

Getting Your Furnace Replaced in Hacienda Heights – Bottom Line

You can find many models of furnaces from various manufacturers across the world. They come with different features that you may want to explore before making a decision.

Since a furnace is a long term investment, insist on value before price. Select a product that is reliable, energy efficient, and safe. We have explained how critical it is to involve an HVAC contractor to help with determining the right size.

Most of the information you would need is available online. You can take advantage of consultancy from the manufacturer or the dealer.

Are you looking for a furnace? Don’t get confused out there. Contact us for advice.