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AC Replacement

It’s official: your air conditioner has stopped working. If it’s the middle of summer, you probably need it replaced right away. Temperatures can reach the 30s or higher in a home that isn’t air conditioned. If you’re in a milder season, you might be able to wait it out a little longer. Nonetheless, you might notice the instant hit to the humidity levels in your home even in cooler temperatures. Living without an air conditioner for too long could cause moisture problems and mold growth.

When you’re replacing an existing unit, you usually won’t need to mess with the ducts. You may need ductwork if you’re upgrading to a larger unit, though. An older house may also benefit from having ductwork done. Newer ducts are better insulated and more efficient. You might find that your AC works better and your power bills go down when you replace your ducts.

You may need to upgrade your circuit breaker panel when you’re replacing your air conditioner. An older panel may not be able to handle the demand of the newer HVAC system.

What Size AC Unit Do You Need?

Some people believe that bigger is better. Realistically, a higher-capacity unit won’t necessarily cool your house more efficiently. A bigger unit may cool your house quickly, but then it will turn off. As soon as it does, the heat from outside starts to seep back in.

A unit that’s the right size will cycle fully, cooling your house more slowly but helping it maintain an even temperature. It’s more efficient to operate an air conditioner this way than having it provide rapid cooling. The rapid on/off cycle can also cause your air conditioner to wear out quickly.

Cooling capacity is rated in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. The size of an AC unit is measured in tons. This is not the same unit of measurement that’s used for weight. The tonnage of an air conditioner refers to its ability to cool a certain number of BTUs per hour. One ton can cool 12,000 BTUs in one hour.

There are a few ways to calculate what size HVAC unit is ideal for your home. These calculations will give you a ballpark range, but a professional AC technician will be able to give you a more accurate idea. To get an idea of the tonnage necessary for your home, multiply your house’s square feet by 30. Divide that total by 12,000. Subtract one from that number.

Using this calculation, a 1,200-square-foot-home would need a 2-ton unit. If you live in an extremely hot climate, leave out the final step. In that case, the same home would be better off with a 3-ton unit.

If one of your rooms is exposed to more sun than the others, you may think that you need a larger unit to cool it more effectively. An HVAC specialist can help you make that decision. In some cases, you might just need more ducts and vents in that room.

How To Decide Whether To Repair Or Replace

Compared to the cost of a new system, the price of air conditioning repair service may seem preferable to replacing your air conditioner. Paying just $500 once a year is better than shelling out $4,500 for a new unit, right?

Maybe not. If your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, you might be looking at a few $500 repairs per year. If you have a leak, you’ll also need to factor in the price of recharging the system when the coolant runs low. If you’re likely to spend 10 to 50 percent of the cost of a new unit on repairs in one year, you might as well replace the unit.

Before you decide to upgrade, you might want to make your home more energy efficient. Having a professional evaluate the air flow within your home and check your insulation can help you maximize your air conditioner’s effectiveness. Sealing air leaks can significantly reduce your cooling costs.

We know AC replacement can seem expensive, but it can save you money in the long run. New units usually have 10-year warranties. The peace of mind alone can make the decision worth it. You can often qualify for financing that allows you to pay off the unit slowly over time.

If you answer “yes” to the following questions, it might be time to replace your air conditioner:

  •     Have you had the same air conditioner for 10 years or more?
  •     Does your unit struggle to keep up with your comfort needs?
  •     Does your air conditioner seem to run around the clock?
  •     Have your energy bills increased over the past few years?

Furnace Repair

Cooler temperatures are slowly creeping across the country, and before you know it, it’s time to turn on your furnace. If you want your furnace to be in top condition once those freezing temperatures hit, this quick guide should give you the know-how to handle any issues that may come up.
It’s a good idea to make sure your furnace is in working order long before you turn it on for winter because you don’t want to be left without heat while you get it repaired or replaced. Your furnace works in overdrive during the winter, and that means any underlying problems will quickly pop up right when you least need them. Like right before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve with your house is full of party guests!

Gas On?

Make sure your gas is on.  You can check the valve at the meter and if that is working, check the shut-off valve on your furnace.

Is the Thermostat On?

It might seem like an obvious thing to check, but a lot of people don’t think to look at their thermostat.  Make sure it’s set to heat and not stuck.

Got Power?

Your furnace has an on-off switch, and there is a chance it might have gotten shut off.  Check to see that it’s in the on position.

Light That Pilot

The pilot light might have gone out and if that’s the case, just relight it.

Trip A Circuit?

Circuit breakers can easily trip during the holiday season with all the lights and decorations.  Check the circuit breaker and if the one labeled furnace tripped, turn it off and then turn it back on.

How About a Reset?

Try resetting your furnace to see if that helps.  Press the reset button and see if it turns on.  If it doesn’t, wait thirty minutes and then try again.  If it still doesn’t turn on, then you might need a professional.

Out With The Old and In With The New

Maybe you still have the original furnace in your 35-year old house, and no amount of repairs will get it running again.  It’s time to shop for a new furnace, and while there are a lot of options, there are a few things you should consider before you find the right unit for your home.

Check Efficiency

You want to get the most efficient unit you can afford.  An efficient furnace will save you money in the long run because it will adequately heat your house.  Furnaces are measured in the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).  The Department of Energy suggests finding a unit that runs about 90 percent AFUE.

Split Decision

You can get a system that is split or packaged.  Homeowners that have a lot of room might want a split unit that has an indoor unit and an outdoor condenser.  But if you don’t have a lot of room, consider a packaged unit that has everything in one outside spot.

Heat Your Zones

Many homes have uneven heating, and that can cause efficiency problems and cost you money.  Think about getting a furnace with zone heating.  This system divides your house into different zones and gives each zone its own thermostat.  Zone heating also comes with dampers in the ducts that can direct heat to the right spots.

All the Variables

You can choose from a variable speed and fixed speed furnace blower.  Variable speed blowers are ideal for homeowners that want to have a consistent temperature throughout their house.  You can change the speed to meet your needs unlike fixed which keeps the blower steady.

Size Matters

Once you hire a contractor to get a new furnace, they should do a Manual J load calculation to decide which system will work for your house.  This calculation is measured in BTUs or tons and will take your whole home into account to get you the right system.  Be wary of any contractor that gives you a quote without coming to your house.  They need to be on site to measure square footage and check window efficiency to provide you the most accurate estimate.

 

Dynamite Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd provides Edmonton and the surrounding areas with high quality, low cost furnace and air conditioning service.
Our Heating and Air Conditioning servicing area includes Edmonton, Ardrossan, Ryley, Holden, Camrose, Tofield, and Sherwood Park.

Financing for your heating and air conditioning services is now available!