Mini split heat pumps operate much like regular heating systems except for one major difference: there are no ducts. Consisting of an indoor unit that blows air over evaporator coils and an outdoor unit that powers the system, mini split heat pumps have many advantages to offer homeowners. To help homeowners better understand its ins and outs and determine if it is the air conditioning system for them, here’s a close look at its many distinct advantages.
When it comes to maintenance, prevention is indeed better than having to repair. The same holds especially true for heating and air conditioning systems. The more you know about them, the better you can care for them. Furthermore, by being well-versed about the common problems that can afflict them, you equip yourself with the knowledge to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Cardinal Heating and Air Conditioning is one of the top cooling and heating contractors in our area because of our commitment to excellence and our decades of experience. We do our best to build long-term relationships with our clients, unlike others who do the bare minimum just to get paid. As part of our commitment, we take every opportunity to educate our customers to help them make well-informed decisions about their HVAC projects and listen to their concerns. Read more
It has always been very difficult to tell when a piece of home equipment needs replacement. So, how can home owners be sure that it is time to replace air conditioner or have it it repaired? We’ve put together this resource to help you make these tough decisions. Here are the tell tale signs to help you answer the question: When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?
5 Ways to Know it’s Time to Replace Air Conditioner
1. When your energy bills soars
If your unit runs longer than normal to achieve same level of comfort, this could be a sign it needs replaced.
If you realize your energy bill is sky rocketing and it has not been particularly warmer than usual, your AC could be losing efficiency. This is worrisome, particularly if your HVAC gets routine maintenance from a trusted Kirkland professional; you change the filters frequently and ensure the equipment is kept clean.
2. Your nose tells you so
Even exterior AC units should not experience a strong, unfamiliar odor. In your regular inspection of your unit, don’t let any potent smells go unchecked by a professional. It could be a sign of a major leak or potentially, the system breaking down permanently.
3. The unit breaks down frequently
If the H VAC unit breaks down frequently, it’s time to compare the cost of constant repairs versus the cost of buying a new AC unit. Although tune-ups on the unit are not very expensive, frequent repairs add up and a new system will likely run more efficiently. A new system will also provide the peace of mind that your system won’t breakdown when you need it the most, especially in the summer months.
4. Your AC is more than 10-15 years old
An air conditioner that has been used for ten or so years should be replaced. Although it may be working just fine today, it’s days are likely numbered. You don’t want to have to find out that your system needs replace, especially in July. Moreover, it is quite common for modern equipment and manufacturing techniques to work twice as efficient as units made ten years ago. This may save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills each year.
5. It is Getting Noisy
If you can hear your exterior AC unit from inside your home, then it’s high time you acquire a new unit. The noise may be as a result of broken down components. It could also signal a problem with the indoor coil of the conditioner or the duct system may be undersized.
When should I replace my air conditioner?
The answer to this question is rarely a simple one. However, if you work with a professional, the transition from your old system to your new one doesn’t have to be uncomfortable financially or physically. Work with the professionals Cardinal Heating & A/C to replace air conditioner in Kirkland without compromising on home comfort or budget.
How often do you have your unit serviced? We recommend you do it at least once year, most manufacturers require you to have a service ticket twice a year to keep your warranty valid. Call us today to make sure your system is running at peak performance, and you can start saving now.
Did you know that people have been coming up with novel ways to keep cool for millennia? Your current whole-home air conditioner may be a modern convenience, but it is just the latest in a long line of cooling innovations. How did our ancestors stay cool in the summer and in hot climates? Take a quick tour of the brief history of air conditioning.
It All Started with Cavemen
Humans’ first homes were natural formations: caves. They not only provided protection from the elements and predators; they also provided a cool place to get out of the sun. These ancient ancestors not only understood that being underground was cooler; they took full advantage of it by living in caves and digging tunnels and burrows to beat the heat.
Egyptians Used Water to Get Cool
We know today that water can have a cooling effect, and some modern HVAC systems still use that principle. The Egyptians discovered this fact thousands of years ago and used it to cool their homes. They hung water-soaked reeds in windows to cool incoming breezes.
Ducts Were Invented in Ancient Greece
Today all of our HVAC systems use ducts to move warm and cool air through a building to heat or cool it. The ancient Greeks were the first to discover that this would be a good way to control temperature. They used water piped in to buildings to change cool rooms. The Romans took that idea and improved on it with air ducts under floors to move warm and cool air through bath houses and other buildings.
Thank China for Fans
We still use fans today because these simple devices are effective at cooling you down in the heat. It was in ancient China that people first realized that moving air cools and the fan was invented. Today we use fans in place of air conditioning systems, but also within them to move air around rooms and buildings.
Our methods for getting cool have changed over the millennia, but not as much as you may have realized. We still use fans, ducts, and even geothermal cooling, first discovered by our cave-dwelling ancestors.
To learn more about your modern air conditioning options, check in with a Cardinal Heating and A/C professional today.
Sometimes heating and cooling systems break down at inconvenient times, and many homeowners haven’t been able to set aside enough money for such an expense. When you finance your heating and cooling system, you can get what you need right away, while being able to make comfortable payments toward your investment.
How Financing Your Heating and Cooling System Can Help You
Financing generally goes through a lending agency that works with the HVAC company. The lending agency handles the financial side of the transaction, while the HVAC company provides the service.
Ease of Mind
Financing can help individuals and families get needed repairs and replacements without having to worry about paying the entire amount up front. Having to make a large purchase can be traumatic and nerve-wracking, especially if the investment means that you’ll fall behind in other important areas. By financing your HVAC needs, you can continue to enjoy livable temperatures without having to break the bank.
If you buy an energy efficient system, you’ll be saving yourself money each month in utility costs. For instance, replacing an air conditioning unit with a 10 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) with one with an 18 SEER can save you up to 48 percent in your annual cooling utility costs.
How to Obtain Financing
You don’t need to have perfect credit to qualify for HVAC financing. Gather the following documents so the lending institution can make a fully informed decision:
- Credit report—A good credit score is an important factor in obtaining quality financing. The amount you’ll receive and the interest rate on the loan will be tied to your credit score.
- Pay stubs—Gather the last three months’ worth of pay stubs for income verification. If you’re self-employed, bring proof of income through either deposit receipts or your last tax return. If you have others listed on the loan application as well, they will also need to provide proof of income.
- Letters of reference—Some companies allow letters of reference, which helps them determine the outcome of the loan application. This is especially important if you have poor or minimal credit, as the letters can help show your reliability. If you’re able to provide reference letters from employers or utility companies, you can show that you’re consistent and financially responsible.
If you need to replace or repair your HVAC system and don’t have the funds to hire a contractor on your own, consider speaking with your HVAC company about financing options. Most companies understand their customers’ situations and offer finance applications as part of their regular service.
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In some instances one part of a split-system air conditioner will stop working even while the other half continues to function. This happens most frequently with the outside cabinet (the condenser unit), where the compressor and the condenser coils work together to dispatch waste heat removed from inside the home.
If this ever happens to you, and you can find an exact duplicate, you certainly can change outer cabinets without disturbing the interior section of your air conditioner. But if your air conditioner is old it might occur to you to look for a more modern condenser unit, which would be more energy-efficient than your old one and could save you money as a result (you assume). You may have heard this is possible and technically you’re correct, it is.
But if such a thought ever enters your mind you should send it into exile immediately. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, and that is definitely the case here.
Split-System Chaos and the End of Your Air Conditioner
HVAC technology is ever-evolving and always in the direction of faster operation and greater efficiency. In comparison to older models, for example, modern condenser units feature coils that have larger surface areas, more aerodynamically correct geometry, improved tubing and an overall performance profile that dwarfs anything manufactured 10 or 20 years ago.
This sounds great, but there is a fundamental disconnect between the past and the present that will cause trouble if you turn your old air conditioner into a half-modernized hybrid. With a system like this you’ll experience less efficient heat transfer and cooling, increased energy consumption, frequent breakdowns and finally catastrophic product failure.
This isn’t speculative—using standards established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers, manufacturers have tested various combinations of technologically mismatched air conditioning components and proved conclusively that mixed systems don’t work well and are essentially disasters waiting to happen.
In addition to poor cooling performance and excess energy usage, incompatibility between old and new AC components leads to imbalances in performance between inside and outside that will ultimately lead to compressor failure.
The aforementioned tests showed compressors were 45 percent more likely to fail in the first year if the outdoor and indoor units were not technologically compatible in every aspect, and even if compressors managed to survive longer they were still doomed to die young.
This Just In: Short Cuts Will Cost You More
While energy-efficiency is always good, the best way to get it with an HVAC set-up is to install a fully-integrated contemporary system. It will cost more in the short-term but in the long-term it is bound to save you money.
And if one half of your split-system air conditioner has already failed it’s a fair bet the other half isn’t in the greatest shape and may be nearing a meltdown anyway.
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Many homes and businesses rely on air conditioning units when the warmer weather arrives. We may not know much about these appliances, but we know full well the comfort they can provide when the temperatures outside climb. Here are a few commonly believed air conditioning myths:
Myth #1: Having your air condition serviced is a waste of money
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. It is important to have your home or business air conditioning unit cleaned and serviced at least once or twice per year in order to keep it in good working condition. Not taking this step can lead to costly and unexpected breakdowns. Having this service done can catch small problems before they become big ones and lead to the temperatures rising inside. Save time and money by having your air conditioning unit cleaned and service on a regular basis by an experienced HVAC professional.
Myth #2: Setting your thermostat higher when you leave and turning it down when you come home will save energy and money.
This is also false. Although it may not make a lot of sense at first glance, your air conditioner actually has to work harder for longer when it fights higher temps. If your air conditioner runs throughout the day to keep your home at a constant temperature, as opposed to running constantly for several hours to get your home or business back to the comfortable temperature you desire, it actually wastes more energy, and therefore, money.
Myth #3: Getting the largest air conditioning unit you can buy will keep your home or business the coolest.
Again, this is false. Air conditioners actually dehumidify the air. It is important to purchase and install an air conditioning unit that is appropriately sized to your own home. Using the right sized machine will keep your energy cost to a minimum, as well as keep your home cool.
We all like our homes and businesses to be of comfortable temperatures. However, we don’t like the higher energy bills that come with the warmer months. Taking the right steps can give you the best of both worlds; keeping your home cool while paying less in energy bills.
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A lack of airflow coming from inside vents is one of the first signs of a frozen air conditioner. Many things, including improper maintenance, can lead to this condition, which causes ice crystals to form on the coils.
The evaporator coil removes heat and moisture from the air. If the climate is humid, much of the water vapor condenses inside the air conditioner and collects in a drip pan before flowing into a floor drain. When the drain is blocked, the water backs up and freezes around the coil.
A common problem that causes the coils to freeze is low refrigerant levels. If the unit was not charged properly when it was installed or the system has developed a leak, the evaporator coil becomes too cold. If this happens, you should call a HVAC technician to find the leak, repair it and recharge the system.
Some homeowners close the registers in empty rooms to save energy. This is effective to a point, but if too many registers are closed, the system is under stress and the coils could freeze.
Something as simple as a dirty air filter restricts airflow through the system. The coil requires adequate amounts of hot, humid air to work properly. This is completely preventable if you remember to clean or change the system’s air filters every month.
If you do have a frozen air conditioner, the first thing you should do is turn the unit off to prevent compressor damage. Check the condensate drain and clear away any debris that may be blocking it. Turning on the AC fan and using a blow dryer on the evaporator coil will help speed up the melting process. Do not turn the air conditioner on until all the ice has melted and you are sure the drain is clear.
Routine maintenance and annual inspections by a qualified HVAC specialist can prevent your air conditioner from freezing up and ensure that it keeps working at peak performance during the hottest days of the year when you need it most.
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