Air-conditioning systems are one of those appliances you rarely think about until something goes wrong. And if you are caught without AC in the middle of summer when the HVAC technicians are at their busiest, you could face some miserable days of heat at home.
Fortunately, there are some telltale signs homeowners can usually identify before their AC system breaks down completely. If you are seeing any of the following, better get your air conditioner replaced sooner rather than later.
1. Your AC is More than 10 Years Old
Air conditioners wear out just like any other household appliance. A well-maintained AC system (one that has regular annual maintenance) will last 10 to 15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Yearly Tune-Ups Can Help AC Systems Last Longer
However, systems that have not been maintained over their lifespan will not last the full 10 years. Angie’s List recommends yearly AC tune-ups by a professional HVAC technician to keep your system in good working order. The technician can inspect the unit’s components, identify, and fix any issues and clean the indoor and outdoor coils. Also, did you know that annual professional maintenance is required by the manufacturer to ensure warranty compliance on air conditioners?
2. Your Electricity Bills are Rising
Before you blame global warming for your rising electricity costs, consider whether your high electricity bills could be the result of faulty, failing or an inefficient AC system. An air conditioner that is working inefficiently will run more frequently and use up more electricity while still not adequately cooling your house.
Many utility companies provide comparison charts of how your bill has changed month over month and year over year. They also often provide average daily temperatures for each month. Information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.
Newer cooling systems are more energy-efficient, cool better and run quieter than older systems. Investing in an energy-efficient AC system will lower your electricity bills and provide you with more comfort.
A New Furnace Can Further Increase Cooling Efficiency
You can lower your electricity bills even more by choosing to replace your furnace and AC system at the same time. The fan in your furnace is responsible for circulating the cooled air from your AC throughout your house. Older furnaces have permanent split capacitor (PSC) fan motors which are much less efficient than newer motors. On July 3, 2019, all residential furnaces sold were required to have electronically commutated motor (ECM) fan motors, which are a great deal more energy efficient.
3. Your System uses Ozone-Depleting Refrigerant (R22)
On January 1, 2020, manufacturing of ozone-depleting refrigerant, R22 was discontinued. Used as a coolant for air conditioners beginning with the first models produced in the 1950s, R22 has been found by researchers to be contributing to the thinning of the earth’s ozone.
Homeowners can have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. More recently produced models use ozone-friendly refrigerant, such as 410A. If an air conditioner was installed before 2010 it probably uses R22.
If your AC system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant and it needs repairs, the cost of adding repairs and/or adding refrigerant can be cost prohibitive.
4. Your System has Repeated Breakdowns
Whether your AC system has reached the end of its average lifespan or not, having multiple repair jobs in a row could indicate it is near wearing out. If you have already fixed one issue and more are popping up, it might be best to cut your losses and replace.
Older air conditioners will also have more aesthetic issues. Rust is a problem, along with being noisier than newer models.
What if I Cannot Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC unit is more affordable as fall approaches. End of season clearances, and attractive financing options make the fall an ideal time of the year for replacement. With a new system, comes the energy cost saving that you will receive when a new unit is doing the cooling. New AC units outperform old units significantly, no matter the Energy Star rating.
Can I Get Away with Purchasing a Lower Cost AC Unit?
The cost of AC units depends upon size and SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures how much cooling a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes. In theory, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficiently the air conditioner operates.
Size matters – if an HVAC company says you can get away with the same size unit as you currently have, be skeptical. If you just purchased your home, do not assume the AC unit installed was necessarily the best size for your home. New homeowners should consider having an inspection by a professional HVAC technician, as some builders will undersize systems to save money when the home is built. Also, size requirements can change when changes to your home are made such as additions or insulation changes. Changes in climate matter, too! The climate zone you live in informs the size of unit you need.
If you install an AC unit that is too small, it will run constantly which will cause you more money in energy and in repair costs. Alternately, if you install one that is too big, it will turn on and off constantly, never running a full cycle. It is most cost-effective to purchase a unit that is the correct size for your home.
Homeowners should use the assistance of well-trained experts like those at Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric to choose the most cost-effective AC system over the long run. For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y, 268-4669 (913) or (816).
Can air conditioners spread allergens?
The answer is yes, they can. If not cleaned and properly maintained, they can put allergens into the air which contribute to a myriad of health issues namely those dealing with respiration such as allergies and asthma.
A dirty air conditioner filter prevents cool air from flowing. It takes trapped dirt, dust, dander, and pollen and distributes it throughout a room. People who spend time in the space breathe in the air and develop allergies in the process. Investing in regular AC cleaning prevents that problem from occurring.
It prevents the spreading of pollutants throughout the home. It does not, however, eliminate them. In order to do that, you must first identify the source of the problem and do your part to get rid of it before it worsens. The next section addresses the top in-home allergens so you can determine if they’re what is causing you or a family member’s allergies to worsen.
The Top In-Home Allergens
To better understand what you’re up against, it’s important to know what causes allergens to build up inside the home. Among the biggest culprit is a dirty air conditioner filter which is easily taken care of with AC cleaning. Replacing the filter every few weeks is highly recommended with the frequency increasing in homes with pets.
Other allergens that cause concern include:
- Cigarette Smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause respiratory problems in children and adults. It can also be problematic for pets. Asking that all smokers take their cigarettes and vape pens outdoors to smoke keeps the nicotine out of the home and lungs of the residence’s occupants. Most people have no issue smoking or vaping outdoors especially if the person they are visiting requests that they do so.
- Dust Mites. The parasites live in linens and gather on clothing and toys that sit untouched for a while. The best way to deal with them is to clean and vacuum the home regularly. It’s impossible to get rid of them completely but you can reduce the problems caused by the dust mites significantly by dusting, vacuuming, and washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule for yourself helps you take care of all the potentially problematic areas inside the home.
- Mold. Using a dehumidifier inside the home helps reduce instances of mold. When it’s warm, dark, and damp in a room, spores appear. Hiring a professional to tackle a mold problem before it worsens is imperative. Mold is the type of problem that can get a home condemned if it gets bad enough.
- Pollen. Ensuring that your doors and windows have screens on them is one way to keep pollen out. Keeping your AC unit’s filter clean at all times does, too. Investing in the right size of filter for the make and model of air conditioner that you have makes it easier to trap pollutants and keep them from entering your home, nostrils, and mouth while you breathe.
- Pet Dander. Like dust mites, you can’t avoid a pet that sheds. If your dog or cat has long hair, make sure to brush them outdoors regularly. You’ll also want to sweep, dust, and vacuum on a routine basis. Cleaning the pet’s bedding also helps eliminate traces of hair and dander which cause a lot of people’s allergies to kick in.
- Toxic Chemical Cleaning Supplies. Switching to all-natural, organic cleaning products eliminates the level of toxicity inside the home. Individuals with chemical sensitivities notice a distinct difference in how they feel and breathe once commercial cleaners are banned from the residence. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are often used in many DIY cleaning recipes. They’re all-natural and not something that aggravates or creates allergies for people.
An indoor air quality test allows you to better understand what could be triggering you or your family member’s allergies. It makes it easier to eliminate the source of the problem by repairing a broken AC unit. AC repair makes the unit work more efficiently at eliminating the issue of indoor allergens.
Making sure that your air conditioner isn’t doing more harm than good is your responsibility. By learning what to do to keep your unit working optimally, you eliminate many of the problems caused by pollutants inside the home. You also protect your investment by keeping your AC in good working order so you can continue to use it for years without replacing it.
What You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running Well
There are things you can do to keep your AC in good working order. The first is to not put off AC repair. If you know that your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, it’s time to call in a professional. The fix could be as simple as air duct cleaning.
Staying on top of routine maintenance prevents your air conditioner from freezing up and running up your home energy bills. An AC can run non-stop, not put out cool air, cause an electric bill to skyrocket, and burn out its motor rendering the unit useless.
That’s why you should take a look at the unit routinely, remove anything blocking its air flow, switch out its filter, and have a technician service it before using it full-time in the hotter months of the year. You’re able to prolong the lifespan of the AC that way and keep yourself from paying exorbitant costs to the electric company.
What AC Maintenance Entails
If you’re unsure of what hiring a professional to perform maintenance on your air conditioning unit entails, don’t worry. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of working with an expert isn’t sure what to expect. A company such as Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling puts your mind to ease right away by remaining communicative throughout the maintenance process.
Before an air conditioner is turned on for the first time for the season, a technician comes out and takes a look at the unit. They remove the air filter and replace it with a new one. They check coolant levels to make sure they are adequate enough to cool your size of home for the duration of the summer.
The tech turns the air conditioner on to make sure that it gets to the desired temperature right away. They also note any strange sounds the AC makes or smells that come out of the unit. If a repair must be done to get the air conditioner back in good working order, the professional does it on the spot as long as they have the replacement part in stock.
Addressing common furnace problems is something else that we do in addition to repairing a broken AC unit and performing routine AC maintenance. Having a company you can trust to take care of your air conditioning and heating needs is essential as a homeowner. It ensures that your home remains a comfortable temperature year-round.
Contact Us to Schedule AC Unit Cleaning Today
It is highly recommended to contact Anthony Heating and Cooling to set up a time for AC unit check and cleaning. Doing so helps you remove existing allergens from the home and prevent future problems from occurring. Contact us today at 913-268-4669.
Efficient air conditioners can seem like a luxury in the hot, scorching summers of Kansas City.
Keep enjoying a cool home and ensure your unit is well maintained by getting the necessary repairs before the hot weather hits. Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Kansas City, MO, provide reliable heating and cooling services to homeowners and businesses in KC.
Our licensed and certified technicians have years of expertise in AC repair or replacement using modern equipment and tools to get the job done to your satisfaction. More importantly, knowing how your air conditioning unit works helps you to determine when it needs maintenance, repair, or replacement.
What is an Air Conditioner?
An air conditioner is a system of equipment that converts warm air into cool air and distributes or circulates it throughout the rooms in your home or office; this is done using energy or electricity and the processes of refrigeration, evaporation and condensation. The amount of energy needed to do this depends on the brand or model of the unit.
Older units typically use more energy to cool the same square footage of space compared to the newer models. The high-efficiency units we install use far less energy to provide cool air, saving you a ton of money in the long run. You can get one installed if your current unit has been costing you too much money to repair or has stopped working.
Types of Air Conditioning Systems
There are generally two different types of AC systems. They are room air conditioners and central air conditioners. Then there is the ductless, mini-split unit which is a hybrid air conditioner. Central AC units can be a split system or packaged unit but they both work similarly and function efficiently to provide cool air.
Split-System Central Air Conditioner
The main parts of the split-system central air conditioner are the outdoor unit, the indoor unit, and the thermostat to control the temperature. The outdoor unit or cabinet contains the compressor, fan, condenser coil, and electrical parts. The indoor unit cabinet houses the evaporator and evaporator coil and may also contain a furnace. Otherwise, the coil is installed at the top of the gas furnace in the home.
The outdoor and indoor units are connected by pipes and the refrigeration lines that contain a gas called the refrigerant. When installing the AC system, ducts are placed throughout the home and function as air tunnels. Finally, a thermostat is installed, usually on the wall in one of the rooms. It is used to set the room temperature as desired.
Packaged Central Air Conditioner
With the packaged central air conditioner, the compressor, condenser, and evaporator are all housed in one unit. It also usually contains a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils. The cabinet may be placed on a concrete slab outside the home or business or on the roof. The ducts are placed through openings in the roof or exterior walls of the building and then connected to the unit. With the furnace or heating coils and the evaporator, this type of AC unit removes the need for an indoor furnace. It also saves on indoor living space.
How Air Conditioners Work to Provide Cool Air
Air conditioners are installed in three-quarters of all homes in the US, yet many people do not know how this important piece of cooling equipment works. The science behind how it works is generally the same but there may be unique differences depending on the type of unit installed.
The refrigeration lines built into the unit are largely responsible for the cycle of cool air that comes through the unit. But each component of the system provides a special function that helps cool the air.
The Cooling Cycle
The refrigerant flows through the refrigeration lines between the indoor and outdoor units of the central AC system. When the AC is turned on, the fan in the outdoor unit will spin and pull warm air from inside the home through the vent and into the ductwork.
The gas refrigerant is vaporized or compressed by the compressor and pumped onto the condenser coil in the outdoor unit, then released to the evaporator coil in the indoor cabinet.
The evaporator coil absorbs the heat in the air and cools it. The cool air flows through the connected ducts and escapes through the vents connected to the HVAC system. This refrigeration cycle continues over and over to lower the temperature and cool the room to match the setting on the thermostat.
Common Air Conditioner Problems
The last thing you want to happen during the hot summer days is for your window, room, or central AC unit to malfunction or stop blowing cool air. Some of the most common problems with these cooling units our technicians have seen and fixed are:
- Clogged filter
- Thermostat isn’t working
- Leaking refrigerant
- Burnt out capacitors
- Dirty condenser coils
- Compressor not working
- Refrigerant needs refilling
- Problems with the breakers or fuse
- Filthy or clogged condensate drain lines
- Worn out fins
When to Get Air Conditioner Repairs in Kansas City
Other times, the problems are an indication that the system needs maintenance or repairs. Your unit may need repairs if any of these problems are present:
- Leaking refrigerant
- The unit blows hot air
- Increase in humidity in the rooms
- Noisy unit, e.g., loud grinding, grating, or squealing sounds
- Pungent, musty, or burnt smell coming from the unit
Skip the DIY and Call the Air Conditioner Repair Experts
The heating and cooling system installed in your home or office are complex. If an AC problem occurs, you may be tempted to try and fix them yourself; however, to avoid causing any damage to the system, it is best to call in the air conditioner repair professionals at Anthonys PHC.
They are available 24/7 to ensure you remain in cool comfort. Having years of expertise diagnosing problems in various types of AC systems, our experts can easily identify what’s causing the problem and recommend repairs if needed. Armed with state-of-the-art tools and equipment, they’ll get your unit working again in no time!
When to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit
There are times when the only economical thing to do is to replace your AC or cooling system. If any of the following applies you, it may be time to upgrade to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner installed by Anthonys PHC:
- The unit is old (10-15 years)
- It stops working efficiently
- Frequent and expensive repairs
- Energy bills keep rising
- It’s not the right size for your home
Call to make an appointment for AC repair or replacement in Kansas City
If you’re experiencing one or more of the common AC problems, call the AC repair professionals at Anthonys PHC in Kansas City, MO. We provide HVAC services to satisfy the heating and cooling needs of customers in KC. Our technicians are skilled in servicing and repairing various types of cooling units and will run a complete diagnosis to determine the problem.
We can also replace your unit if it’s broken, reached the end of its lifespan, or you simply want to upgrade to central air. We install all major brands of air conditioners capable of maintaining inside when it’s 100° outside. Plus we’re on call 24/7 and for emergency services. Call 913-353-8444 or 816-407-8444 today! Ask about the 2-year money-back guarantee policy on our air conditioners.
If this sounds familiar to you and you’re at your wit’s end and you’ve had enough of noisy AC parts keeping you up at night, then it is about time that you distinguish what type of noise you are hearing. In this article, Anthony PHC Kansas City experts will discuss the top five reasons why this may occur.
If you can’t figure out why your AC is making noise, you should never try and fix it yourself, otherwise, you could potentially disrupt your AC and cause damage to the unit and to yourself.
Always count on an Anthony PHC Kansas City specialist to educate and lead you to a properly working AC unit.
First, before you move forward, you need to determine the different sounds your AC is making and learn what they mean. Is the noise banging, buzzing, clicking, humming, or screeching? Perhaps it is so loud that you are only able to get a few hours of sleep per night? If this is the case, Anthony PHC experts are a simple phone call away.
1.) Bang, Bang AC
Banging sounds coming from your AC can represent the fact that something inside the unit is loose and may need tightening. It is not recommended that you open your unit by yourself, especially if you are not an expert in the HVAC craft.
2.) Buzzing AC
Buzzing sounds may indicate many issues that involve a loose part, or perhaps an air filter that needs to be changed. If the AC filter needs to be changed, this process can be completed by the building owner as long as new filters and directions are on hand.
3.) Clicking AC
This instance is not a usual occurrence. If you hear constant clicking, there could possibly be a malfunction inside of your unit, or perhaps the thermostat may be due to fail. This issue should not be handled alone, call Anthony PHC Kansas City and our general contractors will assure the noisy clicking sounds will be eradicated from your nightly and daily routine.
4.) Humming AC
Luckily, if your AC is humming and it does this every now and then, it usually isn’t a notorious issue, but if the sound is constant then it could potentially be an electrical issue, which will need to be looked at by an Anthony PHC Kansas City professional. You may need an expert to examine your AC motor and the wiring inside, as loose wires could also be contributing to the humming AC noise; the culprit keeping you up at night.
5.) Loud Pitched Screeching and Screaming
At this point, the best thing you can do to save your unit is to immediately turn off your AC and call an Anthony PHC Kansas City general contractor who can properly diagnose your problem. A loud pitched scream deriving from your AC can point to a refrigerant leak. You will need to act quickly, otherwise, your AC parts inside could become damaged and your families health will be compromised from breathing in the harsh chemicals that relate to the refrigerant leak.
AC replacements can be a costly experience, it is always a wise plan to address the problem before your unit needs to be fully replaced. Any noise that comes from your AC needs to be addressed and investigated sooner than later; if you want to avoid paying a lump sum and plan to preserve optimal health for you and your family. The Anthony PHC Kansas City specialists will be able to help you keep your AC in tip-top shape throughout the entire year. Click here to learn more about our AC replacement services today.
R-22 Refrigerant Is A Necessary Cost
Out with the Old in with the New!
According to the EPA, refrigerant is damaging to the environment. Because of this, the price of ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant, which is used in many older air conditioning systems, has risen as much as 500%—and we don’t know how high it might go. These are direct costs that we have to pay and we have no choice but to pass those costs along, which is why your refrigerant may cost more now than during previous service calls.