Monday, July 16, 2012

Repair vs. Replace

If you have had a problem with your ac recently, you may have been told by the service technician that it is time to replace your system.  We are asked all the time, "how do I know when it is time to replace my system".  So, we thought we would take a minute to give you some tips on Repair vs. Replacement.

Top Reason TO Replace  -  FREON LEAKS!

The Clean Air Act does not allow any refrigerant to be vented into the atmosphere during installation, service, or retirement of equipment. Therefore, R-22 must be recovered and recycled, reclaimed, or destroyed. After 2020, the servicing of R-22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerants. Chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce, and companies will no longer be able to import, R-22 for use in new A/C equipment after 2010, but they can continue production and import of R-22 until 2020 for use in servicing existing equipment.

To add to the EPA mandated phase out, the industry has seen a major price increase of R-22.  The Charlotte Observer recently did a story discussing the increase that you can link to here.  This obviously means an major increase of pricing on R-22 to the customer. 

Bottom line - if your system has a leak, you should replace the AC and evaporator coil.  This will give you a much more efficient system with a warranty and the new refrigerant.

Repair or Replace...your system if it is over 13 years old and has a major problem - REPLACE!

The life expectancy of an air condition system is between 13-15 years.  That is if it is maintained regularly!  And we have seen units that have lasted upwards of 20 years when maintained every year.  However, once your unit is over 13 years old, the efficiency ratings have dramatically decreased.  It could be costing you 30% more to run your older system now than it did when it was new.  So, if you have a major repair arise on a system that is more than 13 years old, you should really consider replacement.

Repair or 9 year old system could use several hundred dollars in repairs - DISCUSS WITH YOUR SERVICE TECH!

This one can truly go either way.  Your air conditioner is a machine, and as we all know, machines break.  You will more than likely have to have parts repaired on your air conditioner throughout its lifespan.  In this situation, you need to weigh out your pros and cons with your service technician.  Yes, your system may be getting older, but it could have another 5-7 years left in it.  The technician should be able to show you test readings from other major components of the system.  If those items test good, why not fix it?!  A top quality technician will give you all the information you will need to help you MAKE a decision, NOT force or scare you into a decision.

Repair or system has the new refrigerant (R-410A) and is fairly new, but has a couple repairs that should be done - REPAIR.

If your system contains R-410A, then odds are repairs are worth it.  The age of a system normally isn't much of a deciding factor until after 10 years of operation.  Again, a good technician will give you all the information you will need to easily make the decision.

In today's economy, we all have to be smart with our money.  Our technicians will educate you, and give you all your options.  They will also provide you with consequences and scenerios that could result from the different options.  Carolina Heating & Air Design wants YOU to be able to make the decision of Repair vs. Replace confidently for yourself!

Call Us Today!  980-235-0055

FREE Second Opinion on Repairs and
FREE Estimates for Replacement

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

IT'S HOT!!!!! Are you cool?

Well, the extreme heat finally made it!  And boy are we HOT! 

We have had a lot of questions in the past couple days about the operation of AC systems.  I thought we could share with everyone some of these questions and our tips on how to deal with this heat.  Also, check out our blogs from last week to get tips on "Ways to Keep Your Home Cool Without Breaking the Bank"!

The Number One Concern:
My AC isn't getting down to the temperature I have my thermostat set on.  Is it working?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this.  The State of North Carolina requires contractors to design HVAC systems to maintain at least an 18 degree temperature difference between the outside temperature and the indoor temperature.  So with that criteria, on a 105 degree day if your AC is maintaining 85 - 87 degrees, then it is performing up to design standard.

Now, that isn't to say that something isn't wrong.  Most units that we install or have maintained and are running properly maintain 78 - 82 degrees.  If the system is low on refrigerant or certain parts are going bad, you may be receiving some cooling but not enough to keep your home within those guidelines.

Bottomline:  When in doubt, give us a call.  We will be glad to take a look at the system and give you options that will keep you as cool as possible.

Is it normal for the AC to overheat and shutoff?

No.  AC units are designed to run in extreme temperatures.  Give us a call ASAP!

Adding more refrigerant should make it colder, right?

Refrigerant should only be added IF the system is low on refrigerant.  AC systems are designed for a specific amount of refrigerant.  Adding additional amounts will not make it colder, but it WILL make the AC run less efficient meaning, a higher power bill. 

Now, if your AC is low on refrigerant then the system has a leak.  AC systems are sealed and should not leak refrigerant.  As the refrigerant leaks out you receive less cooling, and again the AC runs less efficient meaning, a higher power bill.  Give us a call, and we will give you options!

Will my unit running all the time make my power bill high?

As long as your system has been maintained and is performing as efficient as that unit can, NO it will not make your power bill increase dramatically. AC units are designed to run for extended lengths of time. The AC unit uses the most "power" or amperage on startup. Therefore, a system that runs for long periods will cost less to operate than units that are not maintained and are shuting off and coming back on (short cycling) lots of times a day. Of course you are going to see some increase in your power bill this time of year, and if you do see a dramatic increase, give us a call and we will be glad to make sure your system is running at it's maximum efficiency!

Is there anything I can check?

There are a couple things you can do.  Make sure your filters are clean and NOT stopped up.  Dirty filters cause the AC to not work properly or sometimes stop working completely.  Also, you can make sure you don't have a tripped breaker.  If you have a battery operated thermostat, be sure the batteries are good.  Otherwise, give us a call!


To make an appointment or get more information, give us a call!980-235-0055