Advice From the Pros

Common Mistakes People Make that Shorten the Life of Their Air Conditioning Unit

We all want to be comfortable in the summer heat. You may be surprised to learn that mistakes you’re making with your home AC may be undercutting its efficiency and effectiveness. Here are seven of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to home AC, and some simple adjustments that can save you big time:

You Aren’t Changing or Cleaning Your AC Filters

At a minimum, you should be changing the filter on your central AC unit once every three months—and as often as once a month if your system is running all the time.
If you neglect this chore, a dirty filter can lead to poor airflow or even the freezing up of your unit’s evaporator coil. A dirty filter could add 5% to 15% to your AC bill and will shorten the lifespan of your whole system.

You’re Not Having Your System Serviced Annually

Bring in a professional to give your entire system an expert check once a year. This will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your unit and that it lasts you as long as possible – saving you time and money.

Your Thermostat and/or Vents Are Poorly Positioned

If the sun or a nearby lamp blasts your thermostat most of the day, that could throw off its readings and cause it to crank your AC even though most of your home is already cool. Also, blocking AC vents with furniture or curtains can also limit air circulation.

You Don’t Have Blinds or Curtains

Bright sunlight is an enemy of a cool, comfortable room. By closing blinds and sliding curtains to block the sun’s rays, you’ll also shield your space from the unwanted summer heat.

If you have any questions about how to get the most out of your home AC, and to schedule that annual service, give us a call at Gentry Air Conditioning and Heating today!  We are here for you.

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Commercial HVAC

Does Your Business Need a Commercial Maintenance Agreement?

Commercial HVAC

 

Commercial HVAC Maintenance is a critical part of the overall strategy of most big operations and large commercial building owners to protect one of their greatest investments: their building. However, many small to medium sized operations tend to wonder if they can get away with performing HVAC work in-house. It may just make sense to get yourself a commercial maintenance agreement instead. Here’s why:

Commercial HVAC service contracts give business owners and managers peace of mind. They know they are less likely to have a major equipment failure by having routine maintenance done on their HVAC system to ensure all equipment is running properly. HVAC experts are able to spot problems during routine maintenance that the untrained eye can’t see. Without regular maintenance, small problems can quickly multiply to become costly emergencies. If you have multiple locations with different types of HVAC equipment, you’re going to need multiple maintenance visits, and these can add up. A maintenance agreement can cover the number of visits that you require for one flat rate.

Businesses with commercial HVAC service contracts get the same technicians regularly. The technicians get to know them, their personnel, their building’s layout, and their equipment inside and out. Technicians who know your equipment can spot when something changes, even subtly, and take care of the issue before the equipment breaks down.

If you don’t have an agreement in place and an emergency arises, you’re stuck contacting a company that isn’t familiar with your system. You’ll also most likely pay more for the service call, repairs, and replacement equipment. If you do have an agreement in place, you will be afforded special considerations. Again, businesses with commercial HVAC service contracts tend to have fewer emergency repair needs, but when they do, they get priority service. Those without contracts get put on a waiting list, which can get long during summer months.

Even better, businesses that develop a long-term relationship with an HVAC company gain a business partner who can give them advice about equipment replacement. The expert guidance allows owners to plan and budget for new equipment.

Try it for a while, and you may ask yourself how you ever lived without a commercial HVAC maintenance agreement!

 

 

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AC Refrigerant

What You Need To Know About the R22 Refrigerant Phase Out

AC Refrigerant

Approximately 25 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated the phase out of R-22 in 2020 as the result of growing environmental concerns. Acting in accordance of The Clean Air Act, the phase out was enacted to protect the Earth’s ozone layer from an ozone-depleting compound found in R-22.

After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US. That means your old equipment can’t be repaired if the refrigerant is unavailable. R22 is being replaced by R-410A, a blend of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that does not contribute to depletion of the ozone layer.

So what does this change mean for you? If you have older equipment that uses R-22, you have a few options:

If a unit breaks after January 2020, chances are you’ll have to replace at that time. If it happens prior to 2020, you’ll need to decide if you want to replace or invest in a pricey repair. One thing to keep in mind: the closer we get to 2020, there will be lots of equipment owners in the same boat as you, all needing their systems replaced. You know what it’s like when you need a repair during an August heat wave? This situation is likely be worse. When your system finally breaks and you need an emergency replacement, and you could be without AC for some time while you wait for installation availability.

In some cases, you can invest in a retrofit or conversion that allows your older system to use certain newer refrigerants. That option won’t be possible for all systems, so you’ll need an inspection to determine if it might work for you.

The final option is to simply replace your older units. It can be expensive, especially if you’ve got multiple systems to replace before R22 is phased out. However, this can be the most cost-effective option in the long run. By replacing the units on your own schedule, you can take advantage of special pricing and financing offers that are available at different times of the year. When figuring out the cost of replacement, don’t forget that installing newer, more efficient systems can result in big reductions in energy expenses. Those savings can add up faster than you may think.

Gentry Heating and Air Conditioning can help you prepare for this transition. Give us a call today!

 

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