New Port Richey Furnace and Heating Repair: Heating and Cooling Tips You Can Use To Save Money and Lower Bills
Guess what, America?
FLORIDA RESIDENTS HEAT THEIR HOMES, TOO.
Sometimes, it feels like the rest of the country thinks that Florida and southern California exist in a state of perpetual summer. Florida might not get much (or anything, honestly) in the way of snow, but that doesn’t mean New Port Richey furnace repair contractors don’t get their fair share of work.
Because winter does come. It just looks a little different here. They’re comparatively mild, but you have to remember that we’re used to a certain kind of heat down here, so what feels like manageable temperatures to you can get pretty harsh for us!
So sure, we can’t sympathize with you guys in Maine or North Dakota and your blizzards, but we see plenty of action in the 50s and even 40s. That, you may recall, is too cold for a human to sleep in.
That’s where furnaces come in.
So, since we’re still stuck in the middle of a dry and unusually bitter winter, we thought we’d help our friends and neighbors. In this article, we’ll give you some tips you can use to save money on your heating bills, and we’ll throw in some cooling tips while we’re at it. Perhaps the memory of summer will keep you warm.
Furnace Repair New Port Richey: Tips, Tricks, and What You Need To Know
The occasional spa day will do wonders for your HVAC system. We are of course, talking about a tune-up. No, they’re not just for cars. Furnaces, heat pumps, and central air conditioners are all very large, very complicated machines. Moreover, they’re pretty expensive.
Think of it like an automobile. If you drop twenty or thirty thousand dollars on a set of wheels, dropping $150 or so a year on a tune-up starts to feel pretty reasonable.
By comparison, you’ll spend less in preventive maintenance each year on your HVAC equipment than you do on your car, by the way. An HVAC tune-up is like a car tune-up, a year’s worth of oil and lube changes, and more, rolled up.
That makes it one of the best ways you can drop a little money on furnace repair. Preventive maintenance solves small problems before they get a chance to compound and grow.
SO WHAT IS A FURNACE TUNE UP, ANYWAY?
Furnace Repair New Port Richey technicians will go over every measurable and viewable inch of your furnace. They’ll check ductwork, motors, wiring, and everything else in your system, with an eye to spotting problems.
It’s a serious process, and a great way to stop performance degradation in its tracks.
We frequently recommend a home energy audit to customers who feel their bills are too high. It’s another (different but valuable) way we can look for problems. In an audit, instead of looking for problems with the machinery, we look for problems with the home.
Specifically, we want to make sure your home’s thermal envelope is in good shape.
EXPLAINING THERMAL ENVELOPES
The barrier between temperature controlled portions of your home and the rest of it (and the outside world) is called the thermal envelope. Essentially, it’s a kind of measure of how good your house is at keeping heat in (or out, as desired) and preventing energy loss.
A lot of factors can affect this, from drafts to windows to insulation choices and beyond. Even light and noise can have an impact, believe it or not! The materials used in the construction and insulation of your home, as well as their integrity and age, are major variables.
So how good is your home at keeping the outside world at bay? Even shiny new homes develop leaks as they settle. It’s also possible that your builder wasn’t taking the thermal envelope into account when they chose materials – after all, builders are not HVAC technicians like we are.
Regardless of the reasons, or whether your home is old, new, small, large, or anything in between, if your bills are high, we can help you spot the cause.
In a home energy audit, we’ll point out what works, and recommend ways you can fix what doesn’t. That could mean:
None of the fixes we recommend in a home energy audit are required. We just want you to have all the information at hand. There are even fixes we might recommend that we won’t be able to actually perform for you. We’ve had customers preparing to add an addition or replace a roof reach out to us to find out if those things come with opportunities to make smarter HVAC choices.
The greatest and most efficient furnace in the world, and the best furnace repair companies in New Port Richey won’t be able to overcome a bad heating and cooling environment. You might be horrified when you find out how much money is sneaking out of your home through a weak thermal envelope.
These days, it’s not as common to run into someone with the old school mercury thermostat, but it happens.
Most of you, though, are working with varying degrees of “smart” thermostats.
Now, what is also true is that smart is a spectrum when it comes to thermostats, and they aren’t all created equal. A simple programmable thermostat that can raise and lower temperatures on a schedule is, technically, a “smart” ‘stat.
But it’s not as smart as what you should be using. Modern thermostats can do a lot more than remember a schedule. They can connect to your smartphone or a tablet device so you can control your system remotely even when you aren’t home. They can actively learn by when and how you adjust your furnace, and help you make behavioral improvements.
They can talk to whichever home assistant you prefer (Amazon Alexa, Apple, Google Assistant, and so on), and interface with other smart home tools to make your life easier. They can talk to satellite sensors and track temperature all around your home, which can help you find trouble spots.
Many of them even allow voice control!
Another feature many modern thermostats are using is “geofencing,” which is a rather brilliant innovation. It allows you to automatically control your thermostat, based on your location. When connected devices (like your phone) are away from home, they will lower the thermostat to conserve energy. When you get within a couple of miles of the home, they will restore the home to your desired temperature.
This innovation is particularly wonderful for people with no set schedule who don’t want the added hassle of trying to remember when they should and should not change the temperature in their home.
Furnace Repair New Port Richey: The QUICK TIPS LIST
Those are pretty detailed, but we have some simpler things you can try, as well, and we’ll go over them much faster.
For more furnace repair and maintenance tips from the New Port Richey AC furnace repair experts, check out the rest of our blog articles. You can also email us or call us anytime. Our team is at your disposal, 24/7/365, and we promise you the best customer service in the business.
We’re smack in the middle of (what passes for) winter in Florida so AC repair in New Port Richey is out of sight and out of mind.
Winters here are considered mild by most of the country, but they’re definitely cold enough to make Floridians shiver. They’re also cold enough to be dangerous, so when the humid summer draws to a close, we all start thinking about the furnace, and whether it’s ready for colder weather.
Of course, the rest of the year is hot, and so, to most residents of the Sunshine State, the air conditioner is far more important.
That overemphasis makes sense, but it’s important to remember that, as HBO tells us, “Winter is coming.”
It helps to be ready. You may not need to cool as often as you heat, but even in New Port Richey, you will need that furnace when the time comes.
Why do I need furnace or AC maintenance?
Even if your natural gas or propane furnace only needs to be run a few months a year, it needs attention. In fact, it sitting the rest of the year is exactly why!
Think of a car.
If you left a car garaged for nine months, would you take it on a road trip without refilling the tires, checking the battery, having the engine tuned up, and making sure it’s safe to drive?
(If you said “yes,” that’s the wrong answer.)
Here’s a few compelling arguments.
Do I really need an annual furnace and ac tuneup inspection?
All furnace manufacturers say yes. Literally, all of them. There is no holdout. This isn’t a “4 out of 5 dentists recommend” situation. 5 out of 5 manufacturers recommend annual maintenance by a certified furnace repair technician.
In fact, failure to do so often invalidates the warranty on your furnace, if it can be proved that the damage was due to lack of maintenance.
That does not mean that skipping a tune-up voids your warranty, but it does put you at risk. To that, we say:
Why even go there?
Tune-ups are inexpensive and arguably the greatest bang for the buck in our entire industry. Think of it as getting a physical – you’re just that much more likely to find problems before they get worse.
What actually happens during a furnace tune-up?
Every contractor and furnace repair company has their own version of a tune-up, with lots of overlap. AC Repair New Port Richey doesn’t boast a “32 point Check-Up” or anything in marketing-speak like that.
There is no industry standard because there are so many different furnaces. We take each one case by case. There are, however, what we call best practices, or things that happen on just about every tune-up visit.
That’s a lot of stuff, and usually there’s more! All of that for a measly few bucks. When you consider that the average person spends $2,000 a year on coffee, this is definitely a sound investment.
By the way, we aren’t knocking coffee drinkers. We are coffee drinkers.
Can you do this furnace maintenance yourself?
Some of it, sure, if you’re handy. All of it, if you’re very handy – but you’ll need special tools and equipment, and getting those will cost as much as a few years of inspections, anyway.
Plus – do you really want to risk something as dangerous as a furnace – a huge machine that literally burns combustible fuel and can create deadly fumes – to someone who isn’t trained?
A Professional furnace and AC tune-up is worth every penny.
How much does a furnace or AC tune-up cost?
This varies person to person, but beware of offers that seem too low. We see ads for $30 tune-ups, and frankly, that’s ludicrous. An HVAC technician is typically earning more than that for an hour’s labor. Between their time and the drive, $30 doesn’t cover their visit.
Typically, if the tune-up is way too cheap, you can bet they’ll “find” a fairly expensive problem that needs their attention.
You can also bet that if you refuse them, that problem will miraculously go away on its own.
A professional AC or furnace tune up should be somewhere between $60 and $100.
Ours includes everything above, and:
What are the risks if I don’t have regular furnace or AC maintenance?
We don’t like to be alarmist.
So, in this article, we won’t be. We’re just going to tell you the truth, without sugarcoating it. Unfortunately, the truth about furnace neglect is pretty alarming.
Have we made our case well? Are you giving serious thought to getting on a preventive maintenance schedule?
If you’ve got any additional questions or concerns that we didn’t answer in this article, don’t forget that our phones are always on.
AC Repair New Port Richey has been serving Florida homeowners and businesses for years. We know the value of maintaining your equipment, and the value of maintaining a strong relationship with our community. You can trust our HVAC and furnace repair technicians to provide the absolute best service for your equipment.
Give us a call today, and schedule a no-fee, risk-free assessment of your heating and cooling needs. Or, drop us a line and schedule a tune-up! No matter what you need, we’re here to take care of you.
New Port Richey - Here are 11 Scientifically Backed Ways To Extend the Life of Your Central A/C System
Did you know:
Central air conditioning systems are the single largest investment you are likely to make in your home?
Of course they are. It’s an investment that comes with a 5-digit price tag, and New Port Richey AC repair bills can be a serious burden. Of course you you want to make it last as long as you possibly can.
However, a poorly maintained air conditioner isn’t likely to last the 10-15 years (or more) that you’re hoping for – and it may run inefficiently, before it finally fails.
But don’t worry – you can do better.
With proper maintenance and a few relatively simple strategies, you can extend the life of your air conditioning system far beyond the warranty period.
Let’s dive in.
1. Change your filters regularly. The most common air conditioner issues can often be traced back to the air filters. When those are changed infrequently – or not at all – or when an inappropriate filter is utilized, your system suffers.
Worst of all – this all leads to HIGHER BILLS. And we can all agree that those are unacceptable.
2. Use an effective low-resistance filter. Air filters come with differing levels of resistance. The manufacturer of your system will have an opinion on proper filters, but you can choose an alternative with the help of your local air conditioning service.
Low resistance filters allow the air to circulate more freely, which lightens the load. Your system will last longer if it is putting in the minimum work for the maximum result.
3. Ask your HVAC repair service about TUNE-UPS.
This is something we should straighten out right now:
MAINTENANCE is absolutely critical to your air conditioner’s health.
Skimping on your regular maintenance is the fastest way we know to ensure that your AC repair bills will be astronomical. A tune-up is an important part of your system’s upkeep, and any HVAC repair company is going to be able to help you.
If you don’t have a maintenance agreement, it isn’t hard to find. No matter where you are, your trusty friends at Google will respond with highly rated local professionals if you search “AC repair near me” from your phone or any device with location services enabled.
For anyone in the New Port Richey area, feel free to reach out to us directly.
During a standard tune up, your air conditioning service professional will:
We are often asked how frequently you should have your system tuned up. The answer is at LEAST annually or biannually or if you have furry pets in the home. You should schedule these a few months in advance before you turn it on for the cooling season.
For more questions, contact us directly and we’ll answer any questions you have.
4. Clean the parts of your system you can – including SUPPLY VENTS and RETURN GRILLS.
You should not depend on an AC repair company, even a fantastic one, to do everything for you.
Owning a central air conditioner comes with a few simple responsibilities for you, and attending to them in a timely fashion will help you immeasurably over the years. Not only will it keep your system alive longer, it will keep your bills lower in the meantime.
Don’t want to do any complex cleaning? Don’t worry. It’s easy.
Cleaning your vent grills is far less complex and labor intensive than cleaning your oven, washing your car, or mowing your lawn. The grills will trap dust in the same way that your air filter does, except that they aren’t designed for it.
Also - just like air filters, those grills can cause reduced airflow. It’s important that you take care of this little chore.
Which is why we’re putting a step-by-step guide right here for you. Here’s what you do.
For a more elaborate clean:
5. Consider installing ceiling fans.
A great way to extend the life of your system that isn’t brought up often is ceiling fan installations. Think of them like assistants – they make your system’s job much easier. They move very large volumes of air, slowly and inexpensively.
Air blowing directly down across your skin makes the room feel several degrees cooler. Fans in the ceiling help to circulate the air, which can allow you to set your thermostat 3 or 4 degrees higher.
That allows your central air conditioner to reduce the duration of the active cycle, which reduces energy consumption. As an added bonus, they’re great for the environment, too.
What does that spell in terms of savings?
We thought you might ask. Ceiling fans pay for themselves very quickly. Here’s a mathematical breakdown you may find intriguing:
6. Consider adding a UV light to your system.
Now this sounds like science fiction, but:
You can have ULTRAVIOLET LIGHTS installed in your air conditioning system.
This isn’t the cheapest solution on our list – not by a longshot – but it has been scientifically PROVEN to help improve your system’s efficiency and performance. If performance is improved, so is system longevity.
How do these space-age accessories help my air conditioner?
Well, that’s a fair question. Let’s start with a question for you:
If any of those questions had you nodding your head, then your HVAC repair tech might suggest installing a UV light. They are very effective, depending on installation. They’re actually particularly effective in warm and humid climates – hello there, Florida!
UV lights target mold growth and bacteria. They don’t have any real impact on dust, pollen, or pet dander. However, installed near the coils, they prevent air passing through from carrying mold.
Prices have been dropping dramatically over the last decade with prices that now hover around the $300-$600 mark. Also, the bulbs must be replaced annually, at a cost of $80-$110.
How does this impact my systems lifespan?
The key thing to takeaway here is that you want your air conditioning service and accessories to support the main system. The less work that your system has to do, the more money you will save, and the longer it will last.
7. Get a proper ductwork evaluation.
An HVAC repair company should have technicians who are trained to evaluate whether your current ductwork is efficient and well designed for your home.
During the evaluation, a tech will look for airflow leaks and verify that the setup and layout of your ducts is appropriate and properly supports your air conditioning system.
Did you know?
The average home wastes 20-30% of their air through leaky or uninsulated ducts?
That’s a staggering amount of waste, and it’s costing you a fortune. Ask your New Port Richey air conditioning service professional to fix that, and you’ll find the efficiency and lifespan of your system gets a big boost.
8. Consider upgrading your thermostat.
Is your thermostat doing everything it can to improve your system’s efficiency? If not, it’s probably going to shorten your AC’s life. Older thermostats are lacking features that modern ones use to increase the performance of your air conditioner.
Also, if your thermostat is placed near a vent, or in a particularly sunny space, or near lamps or other heat-producing devices, it may be getting improper temperature information, which will negatively affect performance.
Part of upgrading is making sure that thermostat is placed in the optimal location within your home.
What makes a modern thermostat so special?
In short, everything. In detail:
Ask your service company today whether a thermostat upgrade is in your future.
9. Keep your condenser unit cleared of obstructions and dirt.
The outside portion of your system is called the condenser, and it has to deal with a lot more wear and tear than the air handler inside your home. A good cleaning is part of the tune-up process but there is a lot you can do to keep it clean in between those big annual cleanings.
If the pros are doing it, why should you?
Bottom line: Because the cleaner you keep it, the longer your AC lives, and the lower your bills are.
Once a year really isn’t enough if you want the MAXIMUM performance out of your system. Your condenser has a really big job – it dissipates the heat from inside your home. If the condenser coils and fins are clogged, that heat has trouble escaping.
Think of it like covering yourself up in a snowsuit during a heat wave. Heat couldn’t escape your body and you’d overheat, right?
This makes your air conditioner run poorly.
What does cleaning your condenser entail?
This isn’t too complicated, either. All you need to do is clear debris away and make sure there is plenty of clearance – a few feet, at least – around the unit housing. By debris, we mean dirt, bird feathers, grass clippings, trash, and anything else that gets trapped in there.
Then you, or your landscaper, should trim bushes, grasses, and anything else growing nearby away from the housing to keep it clear.
10. Shade your outdoor unit.
Going back to the “work smart, not hard” mentality that is a common them throughout this article, it has been proven that shading your outdoor unit can increase efficiency by up to 10%.
Shade can come in the form of trees, so long as you keep a vigilant eye to make sure leaves aren’t clogging the unit, or you can purchase and install a purpose-built shade.
11. Spot check often. Repairs are best caught early, before they cause a domino effect. Keeping an eye on simple things will help you catch repairs while they are simple and cheap. Here’s what to keep your senses out for:
If you still aren’t certain that you’ve done everything you can, contact us, and we’ll send a New Port Richey AC repair specialist to audit your home for efficiency. We can help you maximize your system’s lifespan.
If you have questions or to learn more, call us today at 727-270-9819.