How to Decide When You Should Repair or Replace Your HVAC Unit?
Your home HVAC system is a bit older and technologically less advanced, but it still works rather well. Determining if you should continue repairing your system every time you encounter a problem or simply upgrade to a newer and more efficient model is not always an easy task. There are several key factors you should take into account before deciding, especially if you have a unit older than ten years. Consider the following options when making an informed decision, and we at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling will take care of your home, whatever you decide.
Does your unit have minor issues like broken ductwork, electrical problems or drain lines that show signs of clogging?
You can try fixing the smaller problems yourself, but handle them with care or leave that to the professionals. If you’re having problems with the major parts of your unit, like the blower motor, the compressor or the condenser coils, opt for replacing your unit.
How many repairs has your unit required, so far?
If you repaired your unit less than two times in the last ten years and it’s still working properly, you should wait before a new purchase. If this is your third major repair, start shopping for a new unit.
For a more pleasant home, consider all the factors before deciding if you should upgrade or simply repair your old HVAC system.
How much would the repairs cost?
If your unit is still under warranty, or the repair costs add up to less than half of the cost of a new unit, proceed with the repairs. The costs of replacing important components like the condenser coils, the compressor or the blower motor might add up to more than 50 % of the cost of a new unit, meaning that it would be wiser to invest in a new system that would improve the efficiency of your entire HVAC system, and subsequently save you money.
Is your unit the right size?
If professionals installed an HVAC system that is in line with the size of your home, your unit should last longer and work more efficiently. An over-sized or an under-sized unit uses more energy because it needs to turn on and off more often, which leads to premature failure of the entire system. If you do not have the appropriate size unit, consult a professional and find a new option for your home.
Our team at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling will be glad to help, so contact us to request a consultation.
The days where you could just open a door or window to let in fresh air are gone, so it’s time to make sure you maintain good air quality. You’re going to be spending more time indoors and breathing in the recirculating air, so it’s even more important to make sure that the air you’re breathing is clean. Here are a few tips for coping with life indoors.
Registers and Vents
Your heater or furnace system will have registers and vents spread across your home. Over time, these build up with dust and allergens. Keep them clean by using a duster or the wand attachment on your vacuum.
Ceiling fans are in constant motion and start to pick up all of the dust that circulates in the house. Take time to clean the ceiling fan blades and remove the grime. This is also a good time to reverse the direction to clockwise so that it creates an updraft and circulates warm air. This could potentially allow you to lower your thermostat a little bit.
You may not even be able to see the culprit for poor air quality—the ducts. A technician can come to your home and clean the ducts using special vacuums and disinfectants.
Changing your filters is a year-round task, but as people and pets spend more time indoors, those filters can become clogged more quickly. Check and replace your filters more frequently in the winter.
Air Filtration System
If you’re serious about indoor air quality, a filtration system can be installed to complement your existing HVAC system.
If you have questions about maintaining good indoor air quality, contact us at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling. One of our experienced technicians can answer all of your questions, and you may be able to schedule a duct cleaning.
Whether you live in the sweltering heat or in a veritable icebox, maintaining your HVAC system is critical to staying comfortable. There are a lot of things you can take care of yourself with regards to maintenance, but there are some things you should leave to a professional. Here are some tips for when to DIY and when to give us a call.
Armed with the right knowledge, there are some basic tasks that you can complete to keep your HVAC system running at its peak.
- Changing air filters – Air filters need to be replaced periodically, usually every few months depending on use. This is easy to do yourself—locate the filter located at the return intake and measure. Depending on the size of your home, you may have multiple filters and they may be different sizes.
- Taking care of obstructions – Make sure all of your vents are clear of obstructions, including furniture and curtains. In addition, you can make sure the outside condenser unit is clear of dirt, debris, and vegetation—clear at least two feet around the unit.
- Insulation – Proper insulation maximizes your system’s efficiency—check for air leaks, particularly around windows.
Call a Professional
It’s time to call a professional when you have any system installation or you encounter a situation where you can void your warranty. This includes electrical work and physically opening the unit—check your warranty details.
Beyond standard maintenance, any major repairs should be done by an experienced technician. In addition, your HVAC system needs an annual tune-up, for which you should also contact a pro.
At Denver Total Comfort, we can send one of our experienced technicians to your home to make HVAC system repairs. Contact us, and we’ll take care of your maintenance issues right away. Let the professionals handle the things you can’t DIY.
Heating and cooling your home is a necessary expense to maintain comfort, so it’s important that the expense is not wasted. When the house is not sealed up properly, warm air can come in during the summer, and cold air will come in during the winter, causing your energy bills to skyrocket.
Fall is the perfect time to check for air leaks so that your home is comfortable and energy efficient by the time winter arrives.
A significant portion of leaks come from small cracks and holes in the home. An HVAC technician can conduct a home assessment and make recommendations for alleviating the problem areas, which usually include doors, windows, and attics.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has a unique solution for finding leaks in your home. Burn an incense stick and walk around the home, paying close attention to doors, windows, and outlets. If the smoke from the incense starts to drift sideways, you’ve likely found a leak.
Look for Cobwebs
It may sound strange, but looking for a cobweb is one way to spot potential leaks—spiders like to put webs nears points of airflow.
Depending on the nature of the leaks, weather stripping or caulking might work to limit airflow. Replacing windows or doors is another idea.
It’s possible that there is inadequate insulation in the attic, as it’s a prime location for warm air to escape to, forcing your heating system to work that much more to keep the household temperature stable.
Control Your Energy Costs
Don’t make your heating system work harder than it has to this winter—find and fix those air leaks. If you have any questions or need a home evaluation, contact us at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling. We can help you with all of your HVAC concerns.
Energy efficiency is the name of the game for modern HVAC systems. It’s one of the few excellent reasons why a homeowner would look to replace the system they already have in place completely. But, there many ways a conscientious home owner can make their older units perform better and keep their monthly bills down at the same time.
An Older Unit Can Operate More Efficiently
If you’ve noticed a spike in your gas or electric bill, there are a few things you can try before you replace the system entirely.
Change the Air Filter Regularly
Checking your air filter on a monthly basis, and replacing it if necessary is a good way to keep your costs down. The problem with dirty filters is that they slow the flow of air and force the system to work harder. That means more energy is being used and higher energy bills. Changing the filter once every three months, and checking monthly during the summer and winter, when the HVAC is working its hardest, is the best way to keep your costs down.
Yearly Tune Ups Will Pay for Themselves
A tune up for your car improves your gas mileage. A tune up for your HVAC system will enhance its energy efficiency. On top of that, an excellent HVAC service can catch minor problems before they turn into major ones. A yearly tune up will pay for itself.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re like most people, you work for a living and are generally out of the house while you’re working. That means there are large chunks of time during the day when you’re not home. Installing a programmable thermostat is an ideal way to cut your costs. It can save you around $180 yearly.
Seal Your Ducts
Forced air systems work most efficiently when there is a clear passage from the HVAC unit to the living space. If there is anything either obstructing or venting air anywhere, but in your living space, it’s forcing the system to work harder to cool or heat the room. That costs you more money, both in monthly utilities and in wear and tear on the unit.
Contact the Pros
If you’re looking to retrofit your old unit with Energy Star rated equipment in the Denver area, we would be delighted to help you. We believe in customer service and integrity, and can help you make the best choice for your needs. Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll see what we can do to help out!