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Exploring Your Central AC System
Posted: June 10, 2021 by Andy
Central AC systems have been popular in homes across America since the 1970s, offering comfort and convenience in every room via a single whole-house thermostat control. Central systems have several components that work together to produce cool, drier air for your family's comfort on hot days. Understanding how all of these parts work together and how to spot a problem can help you keep your central air conditioning system running at optimal performance year after year.
Central air conditioning systems feature two main components - an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor evaporator unit. The outside condenser is housed inside a metal cabinet with fins along each side to direct airflow. A condenser is typically located on a concrete or high-impact plastic pad near the home. The evaporator removes heat from your indoor air, where it's absorbed by a refrigerant and is then sent to your condenser, where the heat is radiated into the outside air. Once the refrigerant has released its absorbed heat, it is pumped back into your home to start the cooling process again.
To keep your condenser working properly, it's a good practice to clear the area around it of debris and keep shrubbery trimmed away from the unit a minimum of three feet in all directions. Periodically clean your condenser using a garden hose, or have our expert HVAC technicians perform this task during your annual air conditioning maintenance visit.
As we briefly touched on above, the air conditioner's evaporator unit draws your indoor air across the evaporator coil. This coil contains your system's refrigerant, which absorbs airborne heat to cool it. Once the air has been cooled, it's blown through your ducts by the air handler. Your air conditioner and furnace share the same air handler system. Like your condenser, your evaporator will be cleaned by our HVAC technicians during a maintenance visit. Additionally, changing the system's air filter regularly will help keep the system free of dirt and dust and ease the strain on the blower motor by enabling airflow.
Your central air conditioning system uses ductwork to distribute cooled air throughout your home. The air is blown into the main duct by your air handler, which then branches out into each living space in your home. Each branch ends in an air register, which contains an adjustable grille that can be opened or closed to allow or restrict airflow. You can keep your registers clean using your vacuum cleaner's hose attachment. Also, be sure not to block registers with furniture or other things. In addition, avoid closing too many registers simultaneously, as this can strain your air handler.
Think of the thermostat as the director of your home's central cooling system. Based on your temperature setting, your thermostat directs your air conditioner to run or stop running by comparing the target temperature with the actual temperature in your home. Ideally, the thermostat should be located in a shaded area, well out of range of any air registers that may skew its temperature reading. If your air conditioning system seems to run too often or not enough, it could be an issue with your thermostat.
Caring for your home's central air conditioning system means following smart cooling practices and scheduling regular professional tune-ups to maximize your AC system's efficiency. So book your annual air conditioning tune-up with our experts today by scheduling an appointment online - you'll gain peace of mind and enjoy a cool, comfortable summer!
AC Repairs - Least & Most Expensive
Posted: May 27, 2021 by Andy
On average, when you call an HVAC technician out to service your central air conditioning system, you can expect to pay between $200 and $600 in repair costs. Prices for AC repairs vary widely depending on the problem, the part(s) needed, and the complexity of the repair. Use the following guide to learn how much air conditioning repairs typically cost, from the cheapest overall to the most expensive.
A seasonal maintenance visit - usually referred to as a tune-up - will be around $80 to $100. Annual maintenance is essential for preventing major repairs to your system and saving you a lot of money over time. Also, regular service can help a home inspector certify that your system is in working order, should you decide to sell your home.
Troubleshooting an air conditioning issue can vary from $75 to $180 depending on where you live, the unit's size, and what time of year it is. HVAC professionals' time is at a premium in the sweltering summer months, so some companies charge a higher hourly labor rate. Neighborly Tip: We charge the same hourly rate year-round, even after hours and on weekends!
Replacing a fuse, breaker, or relay
Since these kinds of simple projects are relatively quick to complete, it generally only costs between $15 and $300 to replace an AC unit's fuses, circuit breakers, or relays.
You could pay between $115 and $250 to replace your thermostat. Repairing the unit is a little less expensive but isn't recommended. Upgrading to a smart thermostat will enhance your AC system's efficiency and save you money on your monthly energy bill.
You can expect to pay from $120 to $475 to replace an AC capacitor, and the repair should take less than an hour when done by a professional.
The cost to recharge a central AC system can vary greatly, depending on the size of your air conditioner, the type of refrigerant your unit uses, and the amount that you need. This could be as low as $100 for newer units, but you should be prepared to pay over $600 if your system is over ten years old. This is due to R-22 refrigerant being obsolete and much more expensive than modern R-410A.
Repairing an AC blower motor can cost as little as $150. However, if it can't be fixed, replacing the motor can cost on average $250-$800, or possibly even $2,000 for a high-end model. The more premium the model, the more its blower will cost.
Replacing an AC compressor
An AC compressor replacement is quite costly and can be upwards of $1,200 to install. If you notice that your air conditioner is blowing warm air, is overly noisy, or vibrates when starting, a failing or failed compressor could be the issue. Repairing a compressor isn't usually as cost-effective long-term as replacing it.
Freon leak repair
A professional visit for an AC Freon leak costs $225-$1,600 depending on the time to fix and the leak's severity. If the leak caused other damage, it could take more than eight hours to detect and fix.
A new condenser averages about $1,750 to install, but this varies on the unit. Ask your AC tech if the condenser can be repaired instead of paying for an outright replacement to save some money.
Fan coil leak
Replacing your system's fan coil could run you $2,000. Though occasionally you might opt to repair a fan coil leak, it's usually best to replace it instead.
Replacing an air handler
Your HVAC system's air handler works to circulate hot and cool air throughout your home. As one of the main components of your AC system, the air handler is an expensive thing to replace. Installing a new air handler could be $2,200-$3,800.
For the installation of ductwork alone, you can expect to pay about $2,000 for replacement. If you need entirely new ductwork and an HVAC system, it could cost you from $9,200 to $12,300 since this project is very involved and can take up to several days to complete.
Don't get sticker shock!
Virtually every heating and cooling repair and upgrade is money well-spent toward your home's value and your family's comfort and safety. It's wise to keep a "rainy day" fund for unforeseen HVAC problems, but if a breakdown catches you unprepared, don't worry! We offer an array of payment and financing options to help you out of a jam.
If your air conditioning system quits working and you need help fast, call in the pros from Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling! We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure that your family is safe and cool. Plus, we can perform seasonal preventative maintenance to help prevent issues and breakdowns.
Air Conditioning's Top 10 Benefits
Posted: May 13, 2021 by Andy
We all love our comfort, don't we? Well, did you know there's more benefits to air conditioning than just being comfy? AC can also keep us safe and provide a better quality of life for our families.
1. Decreased asthma attacks
Did you know that AC can reduce the likelihood of suffering an asthma attack? According to the Mayo Clinic, running your air conditioning not only lowers the humidity level in your home, but can also reduce pollen, mildew, mold, and other airborne allergens that can lead to asthma symptoms. An air conditioning system can also lower your exposure to non-airborne allergens, like dust mites.
Pro Tip: Prevent asthma triggers further by regularly changing the air filter in your HVAC system.
Other recommended home remedies include replacing your carpet with hard surfaces, frequently cleaning your bathrooms and other humid areas, as these locations are more likely to accumulate mold spores. Also, avoid contact with pet dander, and wear a mask while you dust.
2. Better home security
Typically, when the AC is running, we keep our windows and doors closed - and usually locked. This means enhanced security, as it is much more difficult for someone to break into your home with your doors and windows shut than with them open to cool your home with the outside air.
3. Cooler exercising
The Mayo Clinic asserts that regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are two effective ways to prevent asthma attacks. Air conditioning can improve your exercise routine by providing a comfortable place for indoor exercise. When your home is cooler, you're much more likely to hit the treadmill or lift those free weights after work instead of chilling out. After all, nobody wants to work out in a hot house.
4. Fewer bugs and parasites
Did you know that air conditioning can keep fleas away from your pets with air conditioning? AC filters are effective at keeping bugs at bay. This not only protects you - and Fido and Mittens - but it keeps your house more sanitary as well!
5. Sleep more soundly
It's a fact. We sleep better in a pleasantly cool room, and air conditioning is the perfect way to create that environment. Experts say that sleeping in a room between 60-68 degrees allows your body to release more melatonin, the natural compound that enables restful sleep.
6. Prevent devices from overheating
While we all know when our bodies are getting too hot, electronic devices can't always tell us when they're cooking. Heat can do damage to electronics, causing issues such as a shortened lifespan and loss of data.
7. Improved work performance
Ever had one of those days when time seems to drag because it's hot and stuffy? AC can fix that! Air conditioning has been shown to improve employee performance via enhanced comfort - keeping the staff's minds clear and ready to tackle their daily tasks.
8. Reduced risk of dehydration
This is obvious, but - lower temps mean less sweating. Many people don't realize that we're losing a large percentage of our bodies' water when we sweat. It's essential to stay hydrated when in extreme conditions, but this can easily be avoided by remaining indoors where there's air conditioning.
9. Reduced risk of heatstroke
Heatstroke has claimed the lives of countless people. Be careful when working outside during the upcoming hot summer days, and take frequent indoor, AC-cooled breaks. The CDC states, "air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death." They're not wrong.
10. Lower noise levels
Benefit #2 above (better security) brings with it the ear-pleasing comfort of keeping the commotion of the outside world, well - outside. So, not only does air conditioning keep your home's indoor space cool and comfortable, but nice and peacefully quiet as well. (This helps benefit #5, too - you'll sleep better!)
Is your family looking to upgrade your existing air conditioning system? Or maybe you're looking to add one to your home? Our expert technicians are happy to handle either situation - contact us today!
Does My Water Heater Need Repaired Or Replaced?
Posted: April 29, 2021 by Andy
Conventional tank water heaters have a service life of 10-15 years, while modern tankless models can last 20 years or more before declining in performance. Over time, even the most well-maintained units will begin to lose efficiency and develop problems due to normal wear and tear. When you're having trouble with your water heater, it's worth exploring whether repair or replacement is the better option. While a service visit is often enough to restore your hot water supply, in some circumstances installing a new water heater makes better financial sense.
Do you have enough hot water?
The sole purpose of a water heating system is to create hot water for use in your home. Depending on your daily hot water usage, a water heater that once provided enough hot water may struggle to keep up with your current demands, especially if your needs have changed. Discussing with one of our friendly Comfort Consultants, you can quickly evaluate your water heater's capacity and the volume of hot water your family requires now and may need in the future. If your water heater isn't meeting your needs, upgrading to a new water heater is probably the best choice.
Are your water and energy bills expensive?
The cost of hot water is a determining factor when deciding whether to repair or replace. If you've noticed that the cost of heating your home's water has been steadily increasing, your water heater is losing efficiency with age, and that most likely can't be corrected by a service call. The best water heating solution for you is the one that provides the amount of hot water your family needs at the lowest cost. As time passes, a water heater loses efficiency through regular use. A new water heater offers you all the benefits of a new unit and the efficiency and reliability advancements that have occurred since your current water heater was installed.
Are repair costs piling up?
The money you're spending on water heater repairs can help you determine whether it's smarter financially to opt for a new installation over repairing your existing unit. Talk to our Comfort Consultants about the cost of the needed repairs to get your current water heater's working again versus the cost of a new system. If the repair cost is more than half the cost of a new water heater, your home will benefit more from new water heater installation, rather than making extensive repairs to an older unit that may break down again before long.
Also, some types of damage can't be repaired and require system replacement, regardless of the age of your current water heater. If your water heater's tank is leaking, the only solution is to schedule a new water heater installation to replace the unit entirely, as the tank can't be patched.
We can help!
Are you considering upgrading to a new water heater? One of our expert Comfort Consultants can help evaluate your current water heating system's suitability for your family's everyday needs and provide the best option for your home and your budget. Schedule a visit today, and we'll have your shower and bath toasty warm and relaxing in no time!
Protect Your AC Condenser From Bad Weather
Posted: April 15, 2021 by Andy
With periodic hail, flooding, tornadoes, and other inclement weather types, Ohio homeowners can find it challenging to keep their living spaces safe and comfortable. Most of us rely on our HVAC systems to keep us cozy indoors as spring's wind and rain bring inconsistent temperatures and keep us fiddling with the thermostat.
Your family might be safe inside, your air conditioning system's condenser unit outside may not be. Hail wreaks havoc on your roof, windows, and that SUV sitting in your driveway. Your AC condenser is also at risk of being damaged as well. How can you protect your outdoor AC unit in bad weather? Here are five tips to keep your AC working through the harshest of storms.
Cover your condenser
The two biggest enemies of condensers are hail and flying debris. If heavy winds or hail are in the forecast, place a thick cover on your outdoor unit. This provides protection during the storm and allows you to rest easy, knowing that your AC is shielded from impacts.
If hail is common where you live, you might consider adding hail guards over the most vulnerable areas of your unit.
If you do use a cover, don't forget to turn off your system until the storm has passed and wait until after you've removed the cover once again to turn your AC back on.
Don't use your AC during a storm
When a thunderstorm threatens, it's wise to turn your air conditioning system off until the storm passes. Power surges caused by nearby lightning strikes might cause damage to your HVAC system's electronic components. You might even consider unplugging your unit to add an extra measure of damage prevention. Taking this extra precaution will also prevent any excess electrical current from entering your home if your unit gets hit by a surge.
In the case of a power outage, leave your system unplugged until power is restored. The sudden initial surge has the potential to cause considerable damage.
Elevate your AC
Along with spring's thunderstorms comes the danger of flooding. Placing your AC condenser in an elevated area reduces the likelihood of water damage. Consult your area's floodplain maps to learn where floodwaters are likely to rise around your home.
Have one of our HVAC experts out for a visit to discuss raising your AC unit above the flood line if you feel this might be an issue for your property.
Keep your property clean
Debris and branches can be blown into your AC unit and cause considerable damage. Ensure that any nearby trees and bushes are neatly trimmed, and that dead branches are removed to prevent costly repairs.
Lawn furniture can also pose a problem to both your AC and your house itself. Consider storing all objects inside that could be blown around or secure them to the ground before a storm arrives to avoid any problems.
Inspect your AC before turning it back on
Once a storm passes, you'll be tempted to use your AC right away. Don't do this. Instead, head outside to look over your unit and ensure that it's sustained no damage.
While you're at it, look around for any debris that has fallen nearby. Branches, leaves, and other potentially problematic items could have been blown onto - or into - your system and should be cleared away before using your air conditioning again.
Power lines could also be down near your unit. If you see a downed line, you should notify the electric company immediately. Absolutely do not approach the area until the line has been removed by a professional.
We can protect your investment
Was your AC unit damaged during a recent storm? Are you considering upgrading to a new AC unit? Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling has been helping homeowners with their HVAC systems for decades. Our expert, trained technicians can help with your air conditioner problem, conduct manufacturer-recommended maintenance and even install a new air conditioning system. Whatever the weather, Hey Neighbor can keep your family safe, comfortable and help protect your HVAC investment. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
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