If your HVAC system isn’t performing the way it should be, odds are that you’re looking through all the options for air conditioner repair Laguna Hills boasts, wondering which one you should choose. An air conditioning system is a significant investment and choosing someone to work on yours can seem intimidating. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you narrow down your options.
The first thing to decide is exactly what you want your service technician to do for you. For example, you might have different criteria for the person you’re hiring just to perform a spring cleaning and service of your system, compared to the company you might want if you’re considering replacing your air conditioning unit altogether. It’s also useful to be certain of the issues you’re seeing. Is your air conditioner not cooling all of your house effectively? Is it running too much? Making strange noises? Not coming on at all? Having a clear idea of what you want fixed can be useful when you speak to your service technician.
While you can always just hop on the computer and do a quick internet search until you find the name and number of a nearby HVAC company, taking the time to do a little bit more research can save you money and time in the long run. Choose three or four companies that are near you, and then check out their online reviews. Finally, take the time to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if any complaints have been lodged against them. (Word of mouth is always great as well–it can pay to ask friends and family which companies they’ve had good experiences with in the past.)
Check On Experience
Nobody wants to be someone else’s “learning experience”. Your air conditioner repair technician ideally should have several years of training and on-the-job experience, and she or he should be happy to discuss this with you. Like any other skill, taking care of air conditioners is actually something that you get better at with time. (Not to brag, but we’ve been in business since 1997.)
Everyone wants to save money and help the environment, but don’t let your enthusiasm make you take tips from just anyone. Some of the “helpful” recommendations that you find online or in popular opinion can actually lead to damage and air conditioner repair bills. Here are some of our tips to lower your monthly bills without harming your HVAC system.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
Most people don’t use their homes in exactly the same way, 24/7, but many people heat and cool their houses as if they did. Utilizing a programmable thermostat is an easy way to make sure that you’re not paying for more cooling than you need. For example, you can program the thermostat to allow the house to be warmer during the day when you’re at work, and to cool it down again starting an hour or so before you arrive home. Then, while you’re home, you can enjoy a comfortable temperature without spending the extra money and energy it requires to cool your house during the hours you’re away.
Clean The Filters
Cleanliness is very important for your system’s efficiency, and can make the difference between a smoothly functioning air conditioner and one that uses too much energy, cools unreliably, and that ultimately ages more quickly than it needs to. Be sure to regularly check, clean, and replace (if necessary) all filters. Remember, if you have dusty hobbies, pets, or other lifestyle factors (like smoking) that can cause filters to clog more rapidly, you’ll need to replace them more frequently.
You want your HVAC systems to run smoothly in the background–ideally, you won’t have to think about them much. But if you’re dealing with multiple air conditioner repair calls, odds are your system is on your mind much more than you’d like. While many air conditioner problems can be satisfactorily repaired by qualified technicians, sometimes it makes more sense to consider replacing the unit. How can you tell whether you need a new unit? Here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Is Your System More Than 10 Years Old?
Aging systems can not only be unreliable, but environmentally unfriendly. Newer systems are not only more efficient, but they have been designed to not require freon, which is generally regarded as harmful to the environment. Finally, an older system can be difficult to acquire parts for. If your system is more than a decade old and working erratically, it’s time to replace it.
Are Repairs Getting Costly?
While we always try to give you the best price on service or air conditioning repair calls, sometimes older units are simply worn out and near the end of their life. At that point, repair calls will continue to become more frequent, often racking up months of charges. Rather than continuing to repair a failing unit, it can actually be less expensive to install a new, efficient air conditioner.
A quick glance through the online search results can lead you to think that air conditioning repair professionals are a dime a dozen, but how do you really know that the person you’re calling is a professional? Your HVAC system is the heart of your home, controlling not just the comfort of your family but also, in a very real sense, their health and safety. Since improperly installed or poorly functioning HVAC systems can lead to problems with everything from carbon monoxide to mold, it’s imperative that you know how to evaluate your service technician. Here are some things to look for:
How long has your HVAC professional been in the business? What kind of jobs have they done before? Here at Phoenix HVAC we are proud to say that we’ve been in business since 1997, and our technicians are highly trained and certified. We are happy to discuss with you what’s involved in certification at any time, and we don’t advise you to trust your system to anyone without proper training.
If your HVAC company says that it’s licensed or certified, you should ask: licensed or certified in what? Any company that isn’t willing to tell you should set off a red flag. Many states maintain websites where members of the public can look up licenses for professionals (such as certain HVAC professionals that might be also licensed as plumbers or to work with gas lines), and your HVAC company should be able to explain any certification that it holds, enabling you to look it up online later. That way, you know you’re getting excellent service, not just paying for fancy words in an advertising campaign.
With all the planning and activities surrounding the holidays, the last thing most homeowners have in mind is air conditioner repair and maintenance, but did you know that a bit of attention to your HVAC system this time of year can save you a lot of time–and money– in the summer? Don’t neglect your HVAC system, especially if you plan to turn your air conditioner off for part of the year. Here are some winterizing tips to consider.
Clear The Clutter
The outside portion of your air conditioner bears the brunt of any weather changes. Before the days get gloomy, take a few minutes to check on the following:
Debris: are there branches, dead leaves, or weeds around your outdoor unit? These should be removed, so that nothing is touching the unit, possibly causing damage that would have to be repaired in the spring.
Check for animals or insects: One reason for removing dead leaves or twigs from the area round your unit? Mice and other small animals like to make nests there, and you don’t want uninvited guests wintering in your air conditioner. Look for evidence of infestation like droppings or wasp nests. If you notice them, contact a qualified exterminator.
Electrical connections: Without touching them, inspect the electrical cords going to and from your outdoor units, if visible. If you notice any fraying or damage, contact your HVAC professional immediately.
Change The Indoor Settings
Many people switch their air conditioner to “off” and don’t give it another thought, but unless you’re using a heating system, you might notice that the air in your home isn’t as well-circulated as usual. Some HVAC units have the option to continue to filter and circulate air with fans even though they’re not cooling it. If you want to continue to take advantage of your system’s air filtration, then consider switching to “circulate” rather than simply turning the system off. If you’re planning to switch to heating, see our next tip.
Baby Is It Cold Outside?
Are you switching from cooling to heating? When was the last time you gave your furnace any love? Just as air conditioners perform more efficiently and are more reliable when they have proper maintenance, so are furnaces. Here are a few things to think about checking, before the first cold snap:
cleanliness of the vents
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your furnace filters, and if you’ve never optimized the thermostat settings, now is the time to do so. And dirty, dusty vents can cause lung and eye irritation and aggravate the feeling of “dry winter air” that many people find so uncomfortable.
Have you been noticing that your air conditioner isn’t performing like it used to? While calling anair conditioner repairprofessional can seem scary, putting it off can be more frightening, leading to damaged units and increased costs. Calling a professional can lead to fixing a problem while it’s small.
But how do you know when it’s time to call a pro? Read on for a list of things to look at to make sure that a service call is necessary. If, after you’ve run the following simple checks, you’re still having problems, don’t hesitate to call in the air conditioning repair pros.
Is The Unit Getting Power?
This might seem like a no-brainer, but one common reason for an air conditioner failing to function is that it’s simply not receiving electrical power. This may occur when the whole neighborhood is suffering an outage, or more commonly, when a fuse is tripped or blown. Check the fuse box, and if you have questions consult a qualified electrician.
Is The Filter Clean?
The filters in your air conditioner are very important and should be changed or cleaned regularly. If you’ve been ignoring your filter, take a moment to try cleaning or replacing it before calling a service technician. A dirty filter can block the airflow in your system and lead to a cascade of problems.
Is Your Thermostat Working?
How old is your thermostat? Does it run on batteries that might need to be replaced? If so, try replacing them. If you’ve ensured that the system is getting power, and your filters are clean, try lowering your thermostat setting by five degrees and see if that can coax the air conditioner to turn on. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace the thermostat. (One of our qualified service professionals can help.)
It might be always sunny where you live, but ignoring seasonal cleaning and maintenance for your HVAC system can lead to costly air conditioner repair bills. According to the Department of Energy, properly maintaining your air conditioner by taking steps such as changing filters can actually reduce your system’s energy consumption by 5%-15%. Finally, maintaining your system just makes sense: a quality HVAC system is a significant investment. Why not ensure that you’ll get as many years of service out of your system as possible?