Weather can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared for season changes before they arrive. Fall marks the dawn of the heating season, and your home requires special attention to maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment when you turn on your furnace. Your plumbing needs special preparation for cold weather, too. By preparing for fall early, it can save you time, trouble and money.
Your Air Conditioning Still Needs Attention
Fall doesn’t mean the end of hot weather – you may still need your air conditioning well into the season. If you haven’t had your cooling system tuned up this year, then it is smart to get it done before the season ends.
As the fall weeds grow and leaves fall, keep an eye on your outside air conditioner to keep the coil clean and unobstructed so it will be ready to go for next season. When you no longer need cooling, you may consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from yard and tree debris. Air conditioners do not require covers to protect them from winter precipitation however, and heat pumps should never be covered.
Did you know that fall is a great time to purchase a new air conditioner? Prices for cooling systems are lowest in the fall and spring when HVAC contractors are not as busy. Look for good deals on air conditioners, and on furnaces, too. Consider replacing these items in the slow fall and spring seasons to take advantage of lower prices.
Furnace Safety Checks are Critical for Health and Safety
Fire, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and indoor air pollution are potential hazards of heating your home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 170 Americans die every year from accidental CO poisoning alone. Furnace safety checks, CO detectors and smoke detectors are your main defense against heating system hazards.
Furnace safety checks should be done by highly-trained heating technicians like those at Anthony PHC. A partial list of tasks that should be performed during a safety inspection include:
- Examine the heat exchanger for cracks with state-of-the-art inspection cameras
- Test for any dangerous gas leaks such as CO
- Test and clean the ignition system for safe and proper operation
- Test the safety and control circuits
- Ensure the exhaust is venting properly
CO and smoke detectors only work if they are functioning correctly. Change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms at the start of every fall, and make sure there is at least one of each on every level of your home. Also consider installing the new WiFi smart alarm systems that will alert you to trouble via your phone when you are away from home.
Furnace Tune Ups Done Annually Save Energy and Satisfy Warranties
Safety comes first, but saving money and optimizing the life of your heating system is important, too. While your Anthony PHC technician is performing your furnace safety inspection, have them perform your annual furnace tune up. It is important to know that many air conditioning and heating components require annual maintenance to keep their warranties in effect. And before you turn on your furnace, check your filter and replace it if needed.
Humidifiers Need Annual Maintenance, Too
Heating system humidifiers require annual maintenance, too. Have your Anthony PHC technician clean and check your humidifier and replace the water panel. Before turning on your furnace, make sure your humidifier is turned on, then turn your humidistat to 35% relative humidity, or the #4 setting, for optimal humidity. Proper humidity levels can prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria and keep your nasal passages healthy.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions Could Save Your Life
Indoor air is up to 100% more polluted than outdoor air, which becomes a real concern as we close windows up for the winter. Luckily there are several solutions available to vastly improve the quality of your indoor air. Air scrubbers are a popular option. UV lamps placed in your heating system can cut down on mold and allergens significantly. Mechanical and electronic filters which replace your standard 1” filter are a great option, too. Polluted indoor air has been linked to lung, cardiovascular and allergy problems. Discuss the best solution for your family’s unique health needs with your Anthony PHC technician.
Don’t Forget the Fireplace
At some point you may decide to have a nice cozy fire in your fireplace. But before the weather gets too cold or inclement, have your fireplace, flue and chimney checked for fire and gas hazards.
Protect Against Frozen Pipes with a Plumbing Inspection
Avoid broken pipes due to frozen water caused by garden hoses left attached to outside faucets. Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and place them in storage. Or even better, replace your outside hose faucets with frost-free versions, and you will never have to worry about forgetting your hose, because they will not freeze even with the hose attached.
Before freezing temperatures settle in, take a good look at your plumbing to determine where frozen pipes might happen, and insulate them where possible. Any pipes in a wall adjacent to the outside or garage are at risk for freezing. Fall is an excellent time for a plumbing inspection and safety check. Your Anthony PHC plumber will be able to advise you on plumbing insulation tips while making sure your water heater is ready for the increased demand for hot water due to cold weather.
Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heaters Are a Great Winter Defense
One way to protect against frozen pipes is to install a natural gas infrared garage heater. Garage heaters that run on natural gas can heat your garage for pennies a day, and warm up adjacent rooms at the same time. Because they use no electricity, they are a great back up if your furnace stops working due to electricity outages caused by winter ice or windstorms.
Garage heaters are a wonderful way to extend your usable living space during the winter when the outdoor areas become unusable. They help extend the life of your vehicles, too.
Your Fall Prep Checklist
In summary, to make your transition into fall easier, perform these fall preparation tasks as soon as possible in the season:
Cooling System Prep
- Check and clean your outside air conditioner coil
- Get a cooling system tune up
- Consider purchasing a new air conditioner (with ozone friendly refrigerant) or furnace during the fall
Heating System Prep
- Check your furnace filter
- Test your CO and smoke detectors and replace the batteries
- Get a furnace tune-up and safety inspection
- Turn duct system dampers to the winter position
- Schedule a fireplace, flue and chimney inspection
- Turn the bypass air humidifier damper to the on position and turn thermostat on
- Schedule to have the humidifier cleaned and checked
Indoor Air Purification
- Install an air purification system to protect against indoor pollutants and allergens
- Remove garden hoses and consider purchase of frost-free outdoor faucets
- Insulate pipes against freezing in suspect areas
- Consider purchasing a natural gas infrared garage heater to keep pipes from freezing
Call Us Today to Schedule a Fall Prep Visit
Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has highly trained technicians and plumbers available to come to your home and answer all your questions about preparing your home for the coming fall and winter seasons. Call us any time of the night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to schedule fall prep service.
When your central AC blows hot air, it often means you have a frozen coil. Frozen may sound like a good problem for an AC to have, but your system cannot cool your home if the coil is iced over.
It is important to know that AC technicians cannot fix your frozen coil problem until the coil thaws. So if your AC is not producing cold air, take these steps before you call your technician:
1. Check your filter
A dirty filter could be the only issue preventing your AC from cooling your air, and that is an easy fix. Turn off your furnace fan by turning your system to OFF on your thermostat. Locate your return vent, unscrew the cover (if any), and pull out your filter. If it’s dirty, simply replace it. Write down the size indicated on the edge of the filter, and purchase a new one at a home improvement store. With your system still OFF, pull out the dirty filter, paying attention to which way the air flow arrow points on the edge of the filter, and put the new filter in facing the same direction.
2. Thaw out your AC
If your filter is not dirty, try thawing out your AC coil. First, switch your thermostat to OFF and your fan to ON. This will start defrosting your coil, which is located inside the air handling unit next to your furnace. Call an expert technician from a reputable heating and cooling company and set up an appointment to have them come look at your AC unit after the coil thaws. Give your unit a few hours to fully defrost, and head to a movie theater or restaurant to stay cool.
To see if your coil is thawed, locate your air handler and the frozen coil. Check the condensate pan underneath the coil to make sure it is draining properly, and not leaking and causing damage to your floor.
3. Turn your AC back on
After a few hours, check your coil. It should be dry and free of frost or ice. Switch your thermostat back to “cool” to turn your AC back on. If the air comes out cooler than room temperature, you have fixed your AC problem! If not, it is now ready for your technician to make any necessary repairs. Even if your AC is working again, it is good to have your technician inspect the system, as a frozen coil usually a sign that something is wrong.
Don’t be stuck with a non-functioning AC system on a hot day when the demand for technicians is high, and the wait for service is long. Get your checked annually, before trouble starts. Call Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, (913-268-4669), or click here to schedule a service call.
Air-conditioning systems are one of those appliances you rarely think about until something goes wrong. And if you’re caught without AC in the middle of summer when 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 an AC system breaks down completely. Are you seeing any of the following? Better get your air conditioner replaced sooner 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 will last 10 to 15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
However, systems that have not been maintained over their lifespan will not last the full 10 years. Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends having a tune-up 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.
2. Your energy bills are rising
Before you blame global warming for your rising energy costs, consider whether your high energy bills could be the result of faulty, failing or inefficient machinery. An AC system that is working inefficiently will run more frequently, using up more electricity while 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 an average temperature for each day of the month, information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.
Newer cooling systems will also tend to be more energy-efficient than older models. Investing in an energy-efficient system could provide you dividends in the long run.
3. Your system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant (R22)
In 2020, the ozone-depleting refrigerant R22 will no longer be manufactured. 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.
Burbridge recommends homeowners 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 their system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant and it needs any repairs, it doesn’t make sense to invest any money in it,” Burbridge said.
4. Repeat breakdowns
Whether your AC system has reached the end of its lifespan or not, having multiple serious repair jobs in a row could indicate it is near wearing out. Recall that systems last only as long as they’re maintained well, and some simply don’t last as long as others. If you’ve 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 major problem, along with being noisier than newer models,” Burbridge said. “People with air conditioners that are near windows or backyard patios could benefit from the newer and quieter AC units built today.”
For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in the Kansas City area today. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
After July 3, 2019, residential furnace manufacturers must include energy-efficient electronically commutated low-wattage motors (ECM’s) on their furnace fans, instead of the permanent split capacitor (PSC) induction blower motors normally used.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has updated their Furnace Efficiency Rating (FER) standards, mandating that these energy conserving motors be used starting July 3, 2019 in all new furnaces, with the expectation that these new standards will result in significant conservation of energy and reduction of carbon pollution.
For homeowners, this means the initial price of residential furnaces will be increasing due to the higher cost of the ECM motors. But though the initial cost for a new furnace will be going up, the DOE estimates these motors will save an average consumer about $340 to $500 over the lifetime of their furnace, even after accounting for the increased upfront cost, due to significant savings in energy costs.
ECM motors are expected to keep homeowners more comfortable, too. First, they provide more efficient airflow. Second, they reduce temperature swings in the home by allowing the fan to run for a longer time at a reduced speed. And homeowners will be more inclined to operate their furnace fans all the time, therefore cleaning the air consistently.
The net effect on the homeowner’s energy usage by the ECM motors may be reduced by as much as 46%, which depending on the home and the furnace model, could result in as much as $67.00 per year in energy savings.
Although the old furnaces with PSC induction motors may still be in stock for a short time after July 3, they will only be available while supplies last. Some homeowners may opt for repairing an old furnace, but it can be a costly decision when compared to the energy savings of replacing it with an energy efficient furnace. The question then is, “how expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth it?” Even for less expensive repairs, depending upon how old your furnace is, replacement may be a more cost-effective option.
To help you make the best choice possible, Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will help you assess when and if you should replace your furnace. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
The Clock is Ticking – What’s Your Plan?
If your AC uses the refrigerant known as R-22, it is time to plan your replacement strategy. If you have to add refrigerant to your AC unit, then your time may be up this year.
Because of Environmental Protection Agency concerns about R-22 effects on the ozone, it will not be produced after January 1, 2020, and the only way to acquire it will be through recycled or stockpiled supplies which will be prohibitively expensive to purchase. The price of R-22 has been increasing steadily over the last few years already, which has made R-22 AC systems too expensive to continue to run, making replacement the more affordable option.
The last AC units using R-22 were manufactured in 2010. So if your AC unit is one of these, it is already old enough to consider replacement. If your AC uses R-22 refrigerant and you’ve had to add refrigerant recently, then it is time to replace your AC system. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up – the only time you have to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. And if you have a leak, you will have to add more and more refrigerant each year.
Refrigerant leaks happen to all units eventually as they age. Refrigerant circulates under high pressure and therefore wears down and thins the inside of the tubing. Because AC units last only 10 – 15 years on average, it is time for your R-22 unit to be replaced, especially if it is leaking refrigerant.
How Do I Know if my AC Unit uses R-22?
Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Age of the system is one determinant – no R-22 units were manufactured after 2010. But R-410A units have been manufactured since 1996, so just because your unit is old it doesn’t mean that it uses R-22.
Can I Wait One More Year?
Making a choice to wait will also put you in the same boat as all of the others who are waiting until the last minute, and prices for new AC systems go up when demand is high. And even if you are lucky enough to get a reasonably-priced replacement unit, the wait for available technicians to install it might be long. And the last thing you want to do is be faced with weeks without air conditioning during the summer heat.
What if I Can’t Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC unit can cost thousands of dollars, more than many of us have saved up. This is where financing comes in. Fortunately, there is financing available for just about any credit score. Click here to review the many financing options available through Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling: https://www.anthonyphc.com/financing/.
Rebates from energy companies can also help financially. KCPL offers rebates when you purchase energy-efficient AC systems installed by authorized contractors like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. For more information on rebate programs, call our us at Anthony or click here: https://www.kcpl.com/save-energy-and-money/home/rebates/heating-and-cooling.
The one bright side to incurring an extra monthly expense through financing is the reduction of energy costs that you will receive when a new unit is doing the cooling, which will help offset this expense. New AC units outperform old units significantly, no matter what their Energy Star rating is. And you will no longer have costly repair bills to pay either.
Have questions on R-22 refrigerant, AC system replacement? Call our knowledgeable experts night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, or submit this form to request an estimate: https://www.anthonyphc.com/schedule-estimate/.
Americans are aware of the dangers of heart disease and stroke and the all the messages encouraging us to eat right and exercise to reduce the risk of these deadly events. Research is now showing that air pollution is another cause of heart disease and stroke – and it is not something people can control as easily as their diet. But as the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, eliminating air pollution is a reachable goal.
We at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are proud to have earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2018. This is the 12th year in a row that Anthony PHC has earned this esteemed award.
The Angie’s List Super Service Award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List for the year, and reflects our consistently high level of customer service.
“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” says Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”
As an Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 winner, we have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.
Anthony PHC has been listed on Angie’s List since 2005, and we have won the Angie’s List Super Service award every year since 2007.
Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. We are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. At Anthony PHC Kansas City, we are honored to be considered a top-rated service professional by Angie’s List, and we extend our thanks to the thousands of homeowners who have rated us highly on Angie’s List. To visit us on Angie’s List, click here.
Garage Heater Auto-Ray Brings the Warmth of the Sun to Your Space
It’s easy with the installation of our Auto-Ray infrared garage heater. Add more comfortable living space to your home instantly! Our garage heater uses NO electricity. It runs on natural gas, using infrared technology, and can heat a 2-3 car garage for pennies a day.
Just think, no more frozen blocks of snow still on your wheel wells in the morning. No more warming up the car for 10 minutes before you leave. Our garage heater is also a great idea for an out-building or a detached work shed. It also helps those rooms above the garage stay warm. We invite you to visit our showroom to see the garage heater in action. Beat the cold!
Call us today to schedule a free estimate at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (286-4669) KS or MO. Or click here to schedule a visit.
- Efficient Infrared Heat – Directly heats people and objects which in turn heats surrounding air to desired temperature.
- Economical – No electricity required
- Instant Heat – Includes adjustable thermostat for individually controlled warmth
- Large Capacity – Heats 500-600 sq. ft. (2-3 car garage)
- Convenient – Easy to operate
- Quiet, Clean, Odor-Free Operation – natural gas or propane
- Maintenance Free – No moving parts to service
- CSA Certified
- Limited 1 Year Warranty – On gas control
- Limited 3 Year Warranty – On burner
WHY INFRARED HEAT?
Infrared heaters work just like the sun. Infrared rays heat the object directly, not the air around it. When the object becomes hot, it heats the surrounding air and any other objects. With infrared heat, people, machinery, objects and floors all become heat reservoirs — leading to greater fuel and cost efficiency.
Should I Repair or Replace my Air Conditioning System?
When deciding whether to repair or replace your AC system, there are really three things you need to consider:
1. Which is the most Cost-Effective route?
2. What is my family’s Comfort level?
3. What are my Convenience needs?
At some point in the life of an AC system, repair costs outweigh the long-term cost savings of replacement, and it depends upon the unique circumstances of each homeowner as to when that tipping point is designated.
But Cost, though a huge consideration, is not the only one; Comfort and Convenience can be the deciding factors if you are trying to avoid the time and headaches associated with routine repairs on older equipment, or if you have family members in your household who cannot tolerate stretches without comfortable conditioned air.
1. COST CONSIDERATIONS
At some point replacing your AC system will be more effective in the long run, and there are several factors to consider when pulling the trigger to replace. The experienced Comfort Advisors at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are best equipped to help homeowners through this decision-making process, and homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of the free consultations we provide.
There are two instance, however, when replacement is almost always recommended:
when your system uses R-22 refrigerant
when your system is 15 years or older
If Your AC System Uses R-22, Plan your Replacement Strategy Now
If your cooling system uses the refrigerant known as R-22 and you’ve had to add refrigerant recently, then it is time to replace. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up – the only time you have to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. And if you have a leak, you will have to add more and more refrigerant each year.
Also, the price of R-22 is climbing every year. R-22 refrigerant contains chlorine, which eats away the ozone layer when leaked into the atmosphere. Because of this, R-22, also known as HCFC-22, will be illegal to produce starting in 2020, and the only way to acquire it will be through recycled or stockpiled supplies which will be prohibitively expensive to purchase.
The last AC systems using R-22 were manufactured in 2010. So if your AC system is one of these, it is already old enough to consider replacement. Refrigerant leaks likely happen to systems as they age. Refrigerant circulates under high pressure and therefore wears down the inside of the tubing. Because AC systems last only 10-15 years on average, it is time for your R-22 unit to be replaced, especially if it is leaking refrigerant.
How Do I Know if My AC System uses R-22?
Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Age of the system is one determinant – no R-22 units were manufactured after 2010. But systems using R-410A, the ozone-friendly refrigerant, have been manufactured since 1996, so just because your unit is old it doesn’t mean that it uses R-22.
It is occasionally possible to determine what type of refrigerant your system uses by locating its manufacturer’s data plate. These are labels found either on the side of the condenser (outside unit) or air handler (inside unit). Some manufacturers make it easier for you by putting a separate sticker on the condenser with the refrigerant spelled out in tall letters; R-410A also goes by the name Puron®, which is the name Carrier uses.
Can I Wait One More Year?
If you want to wait it out one more year and try to save money by pumping R-22 into your old unit until it is no longer available, you may end up spending a lot more next year than you save this year, as the cost of R-22 is increasing significantly every year until the 2020 phase out.
Waiting will also put you in the same boat as all of the others who are waiting until the last minute, and prices go up when demand is high. And even if you are lucky enough to get a reasonably priced replacement system, the wait for available technicians to install it might be long. And the last thing you want to do is be faced with weeks without air conditioning during the summer heat.
What if I Can’t Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC system can cost several thousands of dollars, more than many of us have saved up. This is where financing comes in. Fortunately, there is financing available for just about any credit score. The one bright side to incurring an extra monthly expense is the reduction in energy costs that you will receive when a new system is doing the cooling. New cooling systems outperform old ones significantly, no matter what their Energy Star rating is. Click here for financing options at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.
Can I Get Away with Purchasing a Lower Cost AC System?
The cost of AC systems depends upon cooling capacity 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 system operates. But paying for a higher SEER rating does not necessarily mean that you will incur enough reduction in energy costs to make up for the higher price.
Size matters – if an HVAC company says you can get away with the same size system as you currently have, be skeptical. If you just purchased your home, don’t assume the AC system installed is necessarily the best size for your home. Size requirements can change when changes to your home are made as well, such as additions, insulation changes, and asphalt roof shingles.
If your cooling system is too small it will run constantly and not lower the temperature to your desired set point. Alternatively, if you install one that is too big, it will turn on and off constantly, and not dehumidify the home. This makes the home feel like a cave – cool and damp. 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 in order to choose the most cost-effective AC system over the long run.
If Your AC System is More than 10 Years Old, Consider a More Efficient Model
Cooling systems wear out just like any other household appliance. A well-maintained AC system will last 10-15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If your system is older than 15 years, replacement is recommended. But even if it is only 10 years old, replacing can save you money and peace of mind over waiting for it to fail over the next 5 years.
It is important to know that even AC units younger than 10 years old can fail if they have not been maintained properly over their lifespan. Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends having your cooling system tuned-up by a professional HVAC technician annually 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. This will increase a system’s efficiency as well. If you have just purchased your home, try to obtain maintenance records, as they will inform you on the system’s potential either to fail soon, or last another several years.
Rising Energy Bills are a Red Flag that Your AC Could be Failing
Before you blame global warming for your rising energy costs, consider whether your high energy bills could be the result of a faulty, failing or inefficient AC system. An AC system that is working inefficiently will run more frequently, using up more electricity while not adequately cooling your home. Once an AC system reaches this point, its chance of failing completely increases rapidly.
Many utility companies provide comparison charts of how your bill has changed year over year. They also provide an average temperature for each day of the month, information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.
Repeat Breakdowns – Another Indicator to Cut Your Losses and Replace
Whether your AC system has reached the end of its lifespan or not, having multiple serious repair jobs in a row could indicate it is close. Recall that systems last only as long as they’re maintained well, and some simply don’t last as long as others. If you’ve already fixed one issue and more are popping up, it might be best to cut your losses and replace.
Older AC systems will also have more aesthetic issues. “Rust is a major problem, along with being noisier than newer models,” says Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. “People with AC units that are near windows or backyard patios could benefit from the newer and quieter AC units built today.”
Climbing R-410A Refrigerant Costs – Bad News for Those with Leaking AC Systems
If you thought R-22 was the only refrigerant with a rapidly increasing price, think again. The price of R410-A has doubled in the last year, and price is expected to keep increasing. If your system has a refrigerant leak, your needle has just moved toward the replacement side of the decision making equation.
As stated above, leaks don’t go away, they get worse over time. And since the cost of refrigerant is ever-climbing, keep in mind that you will be paying a lost more next year than you paid this year to keep your system cooling. Not only will the refrigerant price be higher, but the amount you need will be greater due the leak getting bigger.
There are a few reasons for the rapidly increasing refrigerant prices. One is a tariff on Chinese imports imposed in 2017; most refrigerant is manufactured in China. Another reason is a worldwide shortage of R-125 that occurred in 2017, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of R-410A and other refrigerants. And prices for refrigerant naturally raise in hotter weather due to increased demand, so homeowners that needed refrigerant added to their systems during the summer of 2018 were shocked to find the price increased significantly.
Although it doesn’t look like R-410A AC systems will be discontinuing anytime soon, it does look like the cost of R-410A will continue to increase, making replacement a more affordable option in comparison.
2. COMFORT CONSIDERATIONS
For some families, no amount of cost savings is worth putting their family at risk of being without adequate air conditioning. For homeowners with pets, children, or adults who are elderly, pregnant or have health issues, it doesn’t make sense to save a few bucks and hope your AC system will last another year with no major repair downtime.
Heat Can Harm Kids, Pets, Pregnant Women and Elderly
The temperature inside your home rises at an alarming rate when your cooling system stops working. It is no secret how miserable it is to be inside a 90-degree home, but to some it can be dangerous.
Pregnant women are understandably susceptible to overheating during pregnancy, but it is worth noting that the unborn child is at a higher risk of experiencing low weight and birth defects when subjected to extreme heat. Individuals with breathing problems and heart conditions experience a great deal of distress when subjected to heated air, especially when coupled with humidity.
The younger the child and the older the adult, the more susceptible they are to heat stroke and heat exhaustion and dehydration. These populations, like pets, cannot always discern or verbalize their discomfort until it is too late.
3. CONVENIENCE CONSIDERATIONS
Rather than take time off work and move all of your pets and family members to a hotel while your AC is down, or worry about them being home alone while you are away at work during an AC system failure, replacing your cooling system will do more than save money, it will save worry as well.
Even if you are a healthy adult who can easily “take the heat,” chances are you live a busy life and cannot afford to take a day off work to deal with a “hot house.” Nor are you willing to return from a long, tiring vacation ready to jump back into a busy work week and come home to an unpleasant sauna.
AC Systems Only Break Down in the Heat
As obvious as this sounds, this is worth remembering, because it is easy to forget how critical air conditioning is to your life during the cooler months. Whether your cooling system quits working because a simple repair is needed or because it has reached the end of its lifespan, NO time is a good time to be without air conditioning during a heat wave.
It is important to remember that HVAC technicians are their busiest during heat waves as well, so you might be facing more than the usual 24-48 hours without cooling if you have to wait for technicians to become available during the busy season.
Plan Your Replacement in Advance
By scheduling your AC replacement well in advance, you can plan your installation for a time when it is convenient for you. Some replacements can even be completed over the weekend if planned well enough ahead.
It is often best to purchase a new cooling system during the off season, when demand is less and installation technicians have more time. Look for AC clearance sales and have financing paperwork completed for when the perfect deal arises. Don’t make a heatwave-related AC emergency dictate the cost and timing of your AC replacement. Also, a complete system includes a furnace or air handler that moves the cooled air, so furnace replacement should be considered anytime cooling systems are replaced.
4. One More “C”… CALL if you Have Questions!
For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in the Kansas City metro area. We have Comfort Advisors willing to share their wealth of experience and expertise with you for free. We will make the Repair vs. Replace decision-making process a breeze, and make the AC replacement process a happy one – GUARANTEED. Call us 24/7 at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.