How To Save Money On Air Conditioning

Keep your cool this summer by having your system checked by air conditioner experts at Phoenix Air Conditioning and Heating!

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Is It Time For A New System?

As the first sunny days of spring start to appear, your HVAC system might not be up to the challenge of keeping you comfortable.  Your first thought may turn to finding a great  air conditioning repair Mission Viejo professional.  Don’t worry–we are more than happy to fix your system!  But did you know that sometimes it’s actually more cost-effective to put in a new system, instead of continuing to repair the old one? Here are a few pros and cons to consider.

  1. Is Your System Keeping You Cool When It Is Working?

Some systems don’t work all that well even when they’re technically not broken.  If your system runs and moves air but just doesn’t cool your home adequately, it might be time to consider a replacement.  On the other hand, if your system does manage the temperature in your home well when it’s in good repair, then fixing your system might be the more cost-effective route.

  1. Can Your HVAC Company Easily Get Parts For Your System?

Most HVAC systems that are less than 10 years old are simple to service and acquire parts for.  If, however, you’re working with an air conditioner that’s more than 10 years old, parts get more difficult to find, making repairs both more costly and more lengthy to complete.  If your air conditioner is getting to the upper limit of its life (say, it’s 9 years old) and it’s starting to require more and more repairs, you might want to consider replacements.  A 2-year-old system, however, should be able to be maintained and repaired for many years to come.

  1. Try This Simple Equation

Are you the type who likes hard numbers?  A commonly used rule of thumb involves “the 5,000 rule”.  In short, consider the probable yearly cost of repairing your system over the next 10 years.  If you spend, for example, $200 per year over the next 10 years repairing your air conditioner, that’s $2000.  Since it’s less than $5000 (which is about the minimum cost of a new system), it’s cheaper to repair the system.

Preparing For The Turning Of The Seasons

Spring is in the air–the days get longer, the air gets warmer, and your thoughts might turn to your HVAC system.  If you’re worried that turning your system on might require a visit from and  air conditioner repair Laguna Hillsprofessional, you’ll want to check out our series of tips.  With a little “spring cleaning”, your HVAC system can work to keep you cool all summer long.

  1. Consider A Maintenance Call

While we’re going to give you a number of options for taking care of your HVAC system yourself, there’s no denying that the easiest way to make sure your system is running properly is to contact us and let us send one of our service professionals to give your system some TLC.  If the next few steps sound too complicated, don’t worry!  We are always here for you, and there’s no shame in calling for backup.

  1. Check Your Filters

Whether your system needs filters to be changed or simply cleaned, odds are that over the winter a lot of dust and dirt have accumulated.  Clogged or dirty filters can significantly increase the amount of work your system has to do in order to move air through your home, which can, in turn, significantly increase your cooling bills.  Take the time to check your filters, and if they’re dirty, either change or clean them.

  1. Check Your Vents

Dust accumulates inside your home, as well.  Pet dander, ash from fireplaces that are used during the winter, or simple accumulations of winter grit and grime can collect on the vents within your home.  When you’re doing your spring cleaning, take the time to use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and give the vents a good dusting.  This will prevent allergens from being forced into the air inside your home, and will also allow air to move more freely through your ducts, which reduces the amount of strain on your HVAC system.

Keep Your System In Good Repair

When it comes to  air conditioner repair Mission Viejo and its sunny weather can make fixing that broken HVAC system a high priority.  However, if you’ve just installed a new system or if you want to be a good steward of the system you have, did you know there’s actually quite a lot that you can do to keep your system healthy?  Here’s our picks for the top good choices you can make to extend the life of your air conditioner.

  1. Change Your Filters

Like “eat your peas” and “sit up straight”, most of us know that we should regularly clean or change filters anywhere they exist.  However, many people fail to change or clean their air conditioner filter regularly, either because they don’t realize the importance of this simple step or because they forget to do it.  Why change your filters?  Simple.  If your system has to pull air through a thick layer of dust, animal air, or other dirt, it has to work harder to move the same volume of air.  If it has to work harder, it will wear out sooner.

  1. Keep The Area Around Your Outdoor Unit Clear

Everything from twigs, to grass, to leaves and even insects can get into your outdoor air conditioner unit.  Much like a dirty filter indoors, an exterior unit filled with debris can force your system to work much harder.  Take the time in the spring and fall to trim foliage and tree branches away from your unit, and inspect to make sure no insects are building nests inside.  If you do notice insects (such as wasps) taking up residence in your unit, contact a qualified exterminator.

  1. Keep Your Vents Open

While it might seem more frugal to close the vents in your house, your system is designed to run with all the vents open.  Closing a few of them to “save” heating or cooling a room can cause damage to your system.  Keep your vents open to prevent your air conditioner’s premature aging.

Finding A Real Pro

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.

  1. Get Educated

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.

  1. Ask Around

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.)

  1. 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.)

Are You Trying To Go Green?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Tired Of Air Conditioner Repair Bills? Maybe It’s Time To Upgrade

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Finding A Qualified Air Conditioning Repair Professional

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:

HVAC Experience

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.

Checking Qualifications

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.