Over time, air conditioning has evolved from just cooling of a space to the effective control of the entire environment. What started as a patent for the refrigerator expanded into a simple AC unit and split AC system before evolving into the complicated central units we enjoy today to create endless comfort all year long.
Understanding your HVAC unit is about more than adjusting the thermostat. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit also controls the moisture, filtration of air and containment of airborne particles, the supply of outside fresh air, and movement of air or draught. All of these factors work together to create a successful HVAC system.
When your HVAC system isn’t working right, it’s difficult to sleep, work, or play in your home. Heating and cooling emergencies can cause serious problems and even pose health risks to you or your family. When you need HVAC repair, knowing who to call and how to get the help you need can make the difference between an inconvenient day and a catastrophic situation. Already have a situation on your hands and need some help? Look no further. We can connect you with a contractor today.
Residential vs. Commercial HVAC
If you need HVAC repair services, the first step is to determine whether you’re in a commercial or residential setting. While an HVAC system in any location performs the same function, the mechanics are very different.
Residential HVAC serve a single home, while commercial HVAC systems are more common in schools, churches, retail space, and commercial office buildings. Additionally, there are a few key differences between the two systems and how they function.
- Location: Residential HVAC systems are generally placed on the ground either outside or in the basement of the home. Commercial HVAC systems typically live on the roof so they don’t take up valuable real estate inside.
- Drainage: While residential systems can typically use a single condensation pan that is small and usually drains outside, the drainage system for a commercial system is generally much more complex.
- Packaged Vs. Split: In residential areas, you may have your heater inside and your air conditioning outside. This is referred to as a split unit. Commercial heating and cooling systems are housed together in a single cabinet, which is known as a packaged unit.
Some of these differences may seem insignificant, but using the right certified HVAC contractor makes a huge difference. Technicians who are experienced in residential work may not have the qualifications, tools, or experience to solve problems stemming from a commercial unit.
Without experience working on your specific systems, some HVAC contractors may incorrectly repair or install components, fail to spot areas where maintenance or repairs are necessary or make other mistakes that could end up costing you time, efficiency and money.
Furnace and Air Conditioner Repair
Systems can break anytime and it’s never convenient to be stuck in the sweltering hot of summer, or the below freezing temperatures of winter. Most breakdowns occur during extreme hot or cold temperatures when aging systems are pushed to their breaking point. HVAC contractors work around the clock and throughout the year to provide you with the safety and comfort of a controlled environment.
Repair vs. Replacing Your System
If your system has broken down and is in need of repair, it’s time to contemplate your repair vs. replacement needs. Is it too soon for replacement? Is HVAC repair your best choice? Is something else going to break down next?
In order to get the most of both function and dependability, you should understand the basics of when a simple repair is all you need and when a replacement might be the better option.
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Even a brand-new fancy system is susceptible to breakdowns and occasional repairs, but that doesn’t mean the entire system is bad. Any system is comprised of many parts, and they all have to work together in the right way. These are some of the most common HVAC repairs that are simple to remedy without tossing the entire unit.
- Refrigerant Leaks
Most condensers require a liquid refrigerant, to create the cool air that flows into your home. If you notice your air conditioning is blowing out warm air, you might have leaking refrigerant. A certified HVAC contractor can repair leaking refrigerant according to manufacturer’s specifications and provide many more years of use from your current system.
- Controls and Sensors
There are several controls and sensors that can fail or break down with regular wear and tear. Some of the most common are the electrical controls or thermostat sensor. If you notice that your fan is constantly blowing, or your heating isn’t turning on, it might be a connection or sensor issue. Broken sensors might turn your HVAC system on and off too frequently, which will cause a lot of wear and tear.
- Dirty Filters
Sometimes the repair is as simple as replacing the filter. Too often, homeowners completely neglect their units and end up with filters that are clogged, which causes the motor to work overtime. Dirty filters can shorten the lifespan of your unit, burn more energy, and increase your energy bills.
- Condensation Pump
If you notice water around your air conditioner, it might be a condensation pump issue. When this component fails, the water pools instead of draining like normal. While it’s a fairly common HVAC repair, it is important to take care of quickly before it causes serious water damage.
Don’t let even small problems with your HVAC system go unnoticed. If neglected, simple repairs can turn into serious issues. Anytime your system needs a repair, it’s best to work with a qualified technician who can diagnose, repair, and prevent future problems by giving your system a thorough check-up.
Time to Replace
There are three situations where a replacement is imminent and necessary. If you’re experiencing any of the following, your decision is easy and a replacement is the next step.
- You have a standing pilot furnace or an air conditioner that is built before 1992.
Even if you don’t have an immediate need for repairs, your HVAC unit is costing your money and should be replaced. The amount you can save in utility costs will help pay for the cost of a new unit. If you don’t replace it now, it’s only a matter of time. Take the time to research your HVAC replacement rather than wait for an emergency situation
- You have a failed compressor or heat exchanger.
These two parts of any HVAC unit is the equivalent of a heart transplant. You’ll end up spending thousands of dollars to replace the heart of your system and a replacement will likely be more efficient. Chances are, if the compressor or exchanger needs to be replaced, you’ll be faced with other components breaking down within a few years or less. Take the opportunity to invest in new equipment rather than put more money into a sinking ship.
- Your repair estimate is 50% of the cost of a new system.
This is particularly important if your system is more than 10 years old. If you have repairs that are over $2000 and the cost of a new system is $4000, it’s worth it to spring for the replacement rather than the repair. Upgrading to a new system will be more efficient and actually save you money, so although it’s more expensive, the decision to replace is easy.
Why Hire a Local HVAC Professional?
You may be tempted to attempt an HVAC repair, or even a complete replacement on your own, but that’s not always a good idea. Doing this type of repair work yourself can be expensive and dangerous. It’s likely not going to save you any time or money, and here’s why:
- Professionals have the necessary training to do the job and do it right the first time. They can also make recommendations as to what needs to be repaired or replaced and what doesn’t. This saves you money by preventing unnecessary repairs.
- Because of the certifications and training involved, HVAC contractors know what to do and how to do it safely, preventing injury to you, your home, or your family.
- Some HVAC companies provide financing options to make it easier to afford a complete replacement.
- There are some specialized tools that may be necessary for making common repairs. If you don’t have these, you’ll have to buy them, which adds to the cost and now you have tools you’ll likely never use again.
- A local HVAC contractor is available in the future when something goes wrong again or if you have a question about your system. Having a partner who can address issues quickly and easily gives you peace of mind and confidence in knowing you’re taken care of.
Using a professional often saves you money in the future because of the warranty that comes with the work. You don’t get any type of guarantee when you’re doing the work yourself, so it’s a risk you take if your repair doesn’t hold up.
Whether it’s 120 degrees in Arizona or snowing in North Dakota, HVAC repairs can strike at any time. HVAC repairs are never convenient, but they don’t have to ruin your day. Our certified HVAC contractors get to the source of the problem to keep you safe and comfortable. We show up at every job ready to identify, isolate, and fix the problem on the spot.
The best technicians bring specific problem-solving skills, industry know-how, and the appropriate equipment to get your system working as it should as soon as possible. If you need either emergency or routine HVAC repair, find a contractor in your area and let them help you!