10 Ideas to Get Your Home Fall-Ready »
These cooler-weather prepping tips should begin creeping into your consciousness as the dog days tick by.
These cooler-weather prepping tips should begin creeping into your consciousness as the dog days tick by.
By studying how and when to undertake HVAC duct cleaning, you can save money and improve your property's air quality. Learn the es…
It's important to conduct thorough research before hiring HVAC contractors for your home or business. Find out what you need to know before making a selection.
Finally-- a local company we can trust!! Called M&K yesterday to check on my AC outside unit (compressor) cause 1 of the unit's fan was not spinning. Linda who answered the call was extremely helpful--gave me an honest quote and a sort of diagnostics over the phone. Company sent George wh worked on the outside unit under the heat of the sun. Very prompt, knowledgeable, professional. Note that 1 of the AC units inside the house was just repaired (motor and blade) by a friend and we were still cheking the integrity of the unit. Want to mention that the day before, I called One Hour Air Conditioning who charged me $99 for a guy to tell me I need to replace the furnace!! Guess what, we fixed the furnace with $200. So I wanted the compressors to be working as well and was worried the outside units (compressors) were not working right. M&K/George checked the unit, changed the compresitor? cause it was weak and charged me less than what i thought it would be!! And he even took time to check the inside and outside units--the temperature, gauges, etc. He even explained what to do while waiting for the motor to be replaced. Alright--as soon as he left the other unit which was working just fine stopped working-- I thought maybe he tripped on some electrical stuff. Spent the whole nite worrying--did I make him work on the unit that was working?? So I called M&K and left a message. A Mike called me back and he listened to my concerns and confusions about the units and offered to send George back to check. Decided that I'll wait until the furnace and motor gets fixed. Got that done today-- both ACs are working!! The unit outside that stopped working--it;s spinning now. The one that George worked on I havent seen it spin but with the great ustomer service I got and the honesty with pricing, etc, I am comfortable to call M&K for another service check just to make sure. I have a 15 year old house---with the way things are-- I am just glad I dont have to replace the furnaces yet--like what I told the One Hour guy--look I have home warranty insurance and am not looking to buying a new one!! I guess this is the first thing you hear from other companies. With M&K-- they dont try to sell you stuff!! You call for repair and you get the service!! I can truly say I am very satisfied with M&K-- will use them again, and I am just glad there is a local company that can be trusted. BTW-- I usually dont have time to even write reviews but I think when a good service is done--it has to be recommended. Thanks M&K.
After ARS screwed up two appointments, I decided to do some research on which AC company to deal with. M and K by far had by far, the best customer ratings! Arrived early which I though was a major plus! Couldn't understand most of what he said, but that didn't truly bother me. Then he didn't know how to remove the largest ladder from his truck, even after trying to help him for about 15 minutes. First and second impressions were not good. After calling M and K about my concerns, I was told he was new to the company but had a ton of experience! Finally, he removed the ladder from the truck! I had to help him move the ladder from the truck to the side of my house, which I didn't mind doing! I also had to help him position the ladder to where it didn't hit one of my windows. Once the ladder was in place, he proceeded to climb the ladder and stayed up on my roof for about 30 to 45 minutes. I told him that my AC fan blades were making some noise, which he corrected. He told me that the fan blades were hitting the grate, which he spent time to correct the problem. Not once, besides fixing the fan blades hitting the grate, did he tell me what he did to make my AC more efficient! While writing my bill, he asked me if my filters were clean? The only time he came into my house was when the AC didn't turn on right away when he first arrived! While other AC companies were only charging $59 for the summer check up, I decided to go with M and K with their $107.50 minus the $25 coupon because of everything I read from other past customers ratings! All I want is to make my 15 year old AC to work at it's best to save me some money! On April 25, 2011, I received a full refund in the mail with a apology for sending out a new tech on his first day on the job! To me, this showed a lot of class for a business to admit they did something wrong!!! If I had a choice, I would have wanted them to send out another more experienced tech to thoroughly check out my 15 year old AC unit instead! After reading all the rave reviews on yp.com about M and K, my ultimate goal was to find a reputable and reliable AC repair company to sign a service contract and possibly buy a new a more efficient AC unit in the near future! Raised my star rating from two to three stars. Paul
As a consumer advocate and perfectionist, I did extensive checking of all the major a/c service companies in the greater Las Vegas valley. As you may know, prices are all over the place along with conflicting (sometimes totally wrong) information. I chose Air Supply to repair my 15 year old York a/c compressor for the following reasons: 1.Ben Yarkoni gave me an honest evaluation of the 2 parts I needed plus some Freon vs. other contractors who tried to convince me that I needed an entire new compressor costing $2400 to $3600. 2.Air Supply has the best overall online FREE review ratings (I do not trust Angie after being burned by one of her highly recommended contractors) 3.Prices quoted for parts and labor was very reasonable. 4.Air Supply uses American Made parts. 5.Ben even took the time to educate me about keeping the unit cleaner so it will run more efficiently. On 6/22/2015 Ben spent nearly 3 hours working under the 107 degree sun to repair one of my 2 compressors. He also inspected and tested my entire second system at no extra cost. The repaired unit now seems to be cooling even better than it did when it was new. Other contractors have been in business here much longer but I judge people and things on quality not quantity. I put more value on recent ratings vs. those from years ago or some reviews that may paid reviews or paid listings. Bottom Line: In my opinion, It doesn’t get any better than this.
In order to work as an HVAC technician, a person must graduate with an associate degree in the field or enter into an apprenticeship program.
Some contractors may also learn their craft while on the job. After they receive their education, whether it's through a school or training, the graduates must then complete an exam to receive a certification if they intend to work with refrigerators or air conditioners.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires this certification since appliances that use refrigerants can harm the ecosystem if they're not properly installed or maintained. While the EPA mandates this area of HVAC work, requiring a technician to get a license is up to the state to decide. With that said, not all states demand contractors to obtain one.
Your heating and air units are some of the most complex systems in your property, so complete your research before selecting a professional to do the work. Here's a checklist of questions to ask yourself and things to consider when making your choice:
What Kind of Work is Needed?
Do you need someone to install a completely new HVAC unit? Does your current system need repairs? Do you only require routine maintenance? Once you make a list of the necessary work, you can shop around to collect bids from heating and air companies in your community.
Can Your Family or Friends Recommend a Service?
Your loved ones will most likely give you the best advice regarding technicians that worked for them and which ones to avoid. Ask around when beginning your search. Friends and family could lead you to a reputable contractor. Even if you don't need HVAC help at the moment, you can save the recommended company's contact information for when you do.
Is the HVAC Contractor Licensed in Your State?
Considering the work that may need to be done on your unit, it's best to look for a licensed professional. Do a search or contact your state's heating, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors board to ensure a technician is licensed.
Also, make sure the contractor is registered with your state or city to do the kind or work you require.
Is the Company Insured?
You want the professional you hire to carry insurance. If they don't, you run the risk of paying out of pocket for any damage they might do to your home or commercial building. An HVAC technician not only needs liability coverage for work-related damage, but also coverage to handle any bodily injuries they sustain on the job.
Is the Technician Bonded?
Not all service providers may be bonded, but finding one that is can be crucial for property owners. Ensure the bond is large enough to cover any costs if the technician doesn't complete the project or walks off the job. You don't want to be left with a bill and unfinished work.
One service an HVAC contractor can provide is a diagnostic test of your heating and central air unit. A reputable technician will examine your unit and ask you questions about various aspects of the system. He or she will check your furnace as well as ductwork and discuss options with you. Beware of a contractor that takes a quick look through your home or place of business and immediately tells you replacing your HVAC system is necessary.
Expect the average air conditioning unit to last between eight and 12 years. If it's more than 12 years old, it could be expensive to repair if the system breaks down often. Also, parts for older air conditioners are harder to find since some manufacturers discontinue them.
Restoring or replacing an aging unit can get expensive. It could be time to invest in a new model if your utility bills are rising and you notice uneven air flow and temperatures throughout your property. If one room is cooler than another, consider a total replacement.
If your system makes a lot of noise when it powers on or if it turns off suddenly, it's time to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient model.
On the other hand, if the air conditioner is relatively new and still within its age range, it's more cost-effective to get a contractor to repair it.
The time it takes to install an AC unit and the associated cost depends on the square footage of your home. Many homeowners spend between $3,677 to $7,151 for a contractor to put in a new central air system.
A family with a 2,000-square-foot house that already has a forced-air heating unit can expect to pay $3,500 to $4,000 for a cooling system. If technicians don't need to make any changes to the ductwork, then the project should take them an average of two to three days.
If you're having trouble with your air conditioning, there are some problems you can address yourself. However, you should leave the big issues to a professional. Let's take a look at some common dilemmas and what you should do if they arise.
The Air Conditioner Won't Turn On
If your unit isn't turning on, check on it outside to make sure the condenser is still running. Ensure it's fully plugged in and that your thermostat is set. Lower the thermostat by a few more degrees than your typical setting. You should hear it power on after doing so. If that doesn't take care of the problem, check your fuse box. You could have a blown fuse or a tripped circuit that's causing the air conditioner to not turn on.
The System isn't Cooling the Air
Is the air conditioner on your thermostat set low, but you aren't feeling cool air? It could be that debris is blocking the condenser. Check on your system outside and remove any tree branches or leaves from around it. Debris can easily obstruct air flow, so make sure the area around your air conditioning unit is clean and trimmed back. Additionally, make sure your filter is clean. A buildup of dirt and dust can cause poor air circulation.
Refrigerant is Leaking
A refrigerant leak not only keeps your air conditioner from running efficiently, it's also harmful to the environment. There are many things that can cause your air conditioner to leak coolant, but the usual culprit is a problem with the evaporator coil or outdoor condenser coil. If you discover any freon coming out of your unit, contact a professional. It could be that you need to obtain a patch or a whole new part to resolve the problem.
The Air Conditioner is Making Noises
Is your unit running loud or making odd noises? To properly diagnose the problem, find out where the noises are coming from. A banging or clanking sound could be due to a loose part. If you hear a hissing sound, it's most likely because of a refrigerant leak and you should contact an HVAC technician as soon as possible.
There are Sensor or Drainage Issues
It's important to keep your air conditioning unit level, because if it's not, you could be faced with a host of problems. If you notice your system is acting inconsistently, the sensor is most likely out of place. Turn off the unit and reach behind its control panel while carefully bending the sensor back into place near the evaporative coil.
If you happen to live in a hot and humid area of the country, you're also bound to face drainage problems with your unit since moisture can trap itself inside the system. Routine maintenance can cut down on drainage issues by cleaning out any mold or algae from blocking the drain. If you notice moldy smells whenever you turn the thermostat down, it's best to check on your system.
To clean your air conditioner drain, first shut off the power to your unit at both the thermostat and the breaker. Then remove the drain pan. If the pan is full of water, soak up the liquid with a few towels or rags or use a wet vacuum. You can use a solution of water and distilled vinegar, or substitute peroxide for the vinegar, to clean out the drain pipe. Let the pipe sit for a while in the solution and then put all the parts back in place. Once you start using your air conditioner on a regular basis, check it periodically to ensure condensation isn't building up.
You can keep your air conditioner running efficiently with some preventative care measures. Here are various steps you can take that will prolong the life of your system and help you save on your energy bills each month. Remember to shut off the power to your AC before cleaning it or performing any of these tasks.
Clean Your Filter
It's always a good idea to clean the AC's filter at least twice a year. It gets dirty and clogged after a few months, it can increase your unit's energy consumption by as much as 15 percent.
Remove Leaves and Twigs
Since many air conditioners are located outside, they could get a lot of debris such as leaves, dirt or sticks in their cages or even in their interiors. After you turn off the power to the unit, use a screwdriver to detach the cage so you can clean the debris from the system.
Clean and Straighten the Fins
To get the best performance from your air system, clean the fins of the unit with either a garden hose or a special spray you can find at your local home improvement store. Use your hose to run a strong stream of water to remove any built-up dust or debris stuck in between the fins. Remember that air flows through these little fins, so if dirt gets caught in them or if a fin is bent, it will reduce the cooling efficiency. Use a butter knife or other knife with a dull end to carefully straighten out any smashed fins.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Not only is it good to rake up leaves to protect your lawn's grass, it's also beneficial for your air conditioner. Rake leaves, cut grass and trim back any tree branches around the unit as a preventative measure. All this yard debris could end up blocking the fins or other parts of the system and cause your AC to use more power to generate cool air in your home.
Cover it Up for Winter
Another precaution you can take to prolong the life of your central air unit is to cover it up during winter. Protect it from ice and snow by putting a sheet of plastic or wood on top of the unit. However, only cover the top and not the whole machine. You don't want to trap moisture that could cause it to rust and you don't want to provide a hiding spot for pests.
Make Sure it's Level
Ensure your system is on a level plane. Over the years, the soil and mat under the unit can shift. If it's not balanced, you run the risk of damaging the inner workings of the unit.