Advice From the Pros

Air Conditioning Prices and Availability for 2022

 

It’s that time of year again: the calendar is down to one page, and we are making preparations to celebrate all the wonderful holidays that will celebrate the end of 2021. Before you know it, 2022 will be here. Aside from remembering to write out that new digit on your checks though, it may not feel much different than this year when we are talking about the world of HVAC.

Just like virtually all industries experienced, heating and air conditioning units were not immune to shortages and price increases during 2021. Unfortunately, we do expect that this trend will continue into 2022. Although the Trane equipment that we use is built here in the USA, many of the component parts come from all over the world. As we’ve all experienced, international manufacturing and sometimes also shipping delays have been a side effect of the pandemic. The effects on the global economy are evident in our industry as well.

Normally, we receive one or two price increases over the course of a year, typically totaling 5-7%. In 2021, however, we saw four price increases, which varied from 3-5% each, easily toppling previous expectations. Most manufacturers have announced an 8-12% price increase for 2022 already. Parts factories have experienced ongoing supply and labor issues that have simply made many of their products harder to come by.

Typically, the HVAC “special offers” you will often see in the Spring and Fall for great financing or instant rebate deals are backed and timed by the manufacturers. In 2021, the manufacturers did not offer any of these and the dealers (companies like us) had to foot the whole bill. The result? These special offers were much more scarce and smaller in scope than they were in the past. The bad news is that we don’t expect the special offers of old to come back during this coming year either.

The good news is that despite all this uncertainty, there is something that customers can do: Plan! The more lead time that we have on your order, the more likely it will be that we can get you the HVAC system that you want. Is your current unit on its last leg? This is not the year to wait around to find out when it will go completely out. Prepare to be flexible. If your unit does go out unexpectedly, you may have to buy a unit that is more or less efficient than what you wanted just to get some level of cooling or heating in your home.

Gentry is here for you with up to the minute information on the world of HVAC. Get in touch with us today, and we can help you be ready for whatever 2022 throws our way!

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The Pitfalls of Buying an HVAC System Online

 

If you’re like most of us these days, you don’t hesitate to buy clothes for the family, toys for the kids, and even furniture for your home online. We’ve grown accustomed to online shopping, and it has brought big benefits. Unfortunately, the same just isn’t true when it comes to shopping for HVAC units. Read on to find out why you should never buy an HVAC system online and why you should always rely on a team of professionals for HVAC purchases and installation:

Sizing is done by the homeowner

An HVAC professional is the only person qualified to size your unit. If you think HVAC systems are easy to size, think again. Determining a heating and cooling system’s size by either guessing or generating a rough estimate will only end in frustration and discomfort. Buying an air conditioner that’s too small means your home will never feel cool enough and your cooling system will be overloaded constantly. In contrast, purchasing an air conditioner that’s too big results in short-cycling, which can lead to indoor air quality problems and frequent system breakdowns.

That’s why our heating and cooling professionals use an industry standard tool known as a Manual J load calculation to determine your home’s cooling needs. Developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), a Manual J calculation takes a long list of factors into account.

In addition to your home’s square footage, this calculation factors in the number of stories it has, the direction it faces, the amount of shade and sun exposure it gets, the level of insulation it has, and the number of windows it has. When our team generates a calculation for your home, you can rest assured that you’ll end up with an HVAC unit that’s right for you.

Manufacturer warranties may be voided

Equipment that comes from a third party instead of from the manufacturer creates additional risk that you don’t want to introduce into your home. Depending on the site and how the equipment is purchased, buying and installing heating and cooling components from a third party often invalidates any manufacturer warranty.

Contractors are selected at random

The quality of your installation is the most important part of buying an HVAC unit. If you decide to go with one of these sites, you lose the ability to choose your contractor. You may end up with someone who does a great job, but you may not! Why risk it when you can go to a contractor you know and trust?

Accountability

We are your local and reliable HVAC company and we take pride in making sure that you can rely on your unit for the full life span. The companies installing online are only interested in getting the job done and getting out. We are here for you year after year, standing by our work and our technicians, as your neighbors.

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Common Mistakes That People Make That Shorten the Life of Their AC unit

During a great portion of the year here in North Texas, the days are hot, the nights are humid, and the weather can be a little unpredictable to say the least. There’s only one thing that can combat the nasty heat, and that is why we are so grateful for air conditioning! But be careful, as there are many seemingly harmless actions and oversights that can actually end up shortening the life of your air conditioner. And when that dog-day weather is in full swing, a broken and run-down AC is something none of us can afford. After, read up on the air conditioning mistakes you can’t afford to make. As temperatures rise, you’re going to want to keep your air conditioning cool without blowing a gasket (literally!).

Forgetting to change the filter

Forgetting or neglecting to change the filter in your AC unit was the mistake most quoted by HVAC experts. All the gunk and junk that gets built up inside makes your capacitor have to work harder. The harder the AC works, the faster it will burn out. You should be changing your filter every one to three months per the manufacturer’s instructions and sometimes even more often if living with pets or a smoker. Not only will regularly changing the filter help your AC live longer, but it will also make the air that blows out cooler and stronger.

Hiding your HVAC system

We’ve all seen it before (possibly even in our own side- or backyard): an outdoor system hidden behind some trees and other shrubbery so it doesn’t look like such an eyesore. While this may seem like a good landscaping solution, it actually ends up becoming a major HVAC problem. Surrounding the AC system with plants or shrubs could block proper ventilation and clog the system, which results in more wear and tear. Always make sure there’s plenty of open space. There should be at least 24 inches of space around your outdoor unit in every direction. So don’t be overbearing: Give your unit some space so you can come off as cool (literally).

Over-usage

Raise your hand if you’ve ever left your air conditioning on even though you’ve left the house (my hand is raised…and I think yours may be, too). While this may seem smart as you’ll be coming back to a cool house, it can actually end up causing a strain on your unit. Most air conditioners have a programmable thermostat now and homeowners can utilize it to turn on the air conditioner just before they return home. Some newer models even have remote access and can be switched on via WiFi using the mobile phone. There is simply no reason to leave the air conditioner on while you are away now.

Placing appliances near the thermostat

The AC is meant to cool down the naturally occurring hot temperatures of the summer. But what happens when the system picks up on unnatural heat? As you may already be able to guess, the answer involves higher prices and lower productivity rates. Make sure that no lamps, TVs, or other heat-emitting appliances are too close to the thermostat. Your thermostat can register the rise in temperature and respond accordingly, leading to higher bills in the summer and a colder home in the winter.

Overdue servicing and maintenance

We may hate to admit it, but we can’t do everything on our own. This sentiment clearly applies to maintaining our air conditioning. It’s important to get an expert to service your system occasionally to make sure everything is in good working order. There are a few small electronic parts (such as a capacitor) on an AC system that may need to be replaced as they begin to weaken to extend the lifespan of your unit. But if those parts are allowed to completely fail, they can cause more damage to other, more expensive parts of the unit. Having an AC serviced by a licensed technician once every few years can help prevent that from happening. We suggest scheduling an inspection and routine maintenance every six months for the spring and fall seasons. Give us a call here at Gentry! We will be happy to help you out.

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