Decision Time – Repair Your Air Conditioner or Replace It

Decision Time – Repair Your Air Conditioner or Replace It

March 22, 2013

Beating the summer heat in Longview TX means depending heavily on your air conditioning, and air conditioners that are used extensively suffer from plenty of wear and tear. Although good maintenance can help air conditioners last as long as possible, sooner or later you will have to decide whether to repair your existing unit or replace it with a new model. When the time comes to make that choice, be sure to consider both the short-term and long-term implications of each option.

The Immediate Cost

Choosing whether to repair or replace your air conditioner starts with a look at the up-front cost of each option. Of course, if the repairs cost more than a new unit, replacement is always in order. Most of the time, replacing your air conditioner will cost more than fixing it, but this cost difference has to be weighed against the age of your existing unit and its probable remaining lifespan.

Most air conditioners are designed to last about 10 years, give or take a few. If you have a unit that is nearing replacement age anyway, choosing whether to repair or replace your air conditioner is easy: Unless the repair is very minor, replacement is in order. Conversely, air conditioners that are less than two years old should almost always be replaced unless the repair is very expensive. The middle of the age range makes for the toughest decisions. As a rule, you should fix your air conditioner if the cost of repairs is less than half the cost of a new unit. Have it replaced otherwise.

In addition to its age, consider the repair history of your unit when deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner. If the machine has never needed repairs before, odds are good that it will continue to run issue-free for a while longer. On the other hand, an appliance that has had to be fixed multiple times already is more likely to require even more extensive repairs in the future. Replacement may be the better option.

The Long-Term Cost

Perhaps the greatest advantage of replacing your air conditioner is the improved energy efficiency of a new system. Over time, the energy savings from a more efficient air conditioner can do plenty to defray or even offset the cost difference between repairing your existing system and upgrading. For instance, if a new system that projects to save you an average of $40 per month will cost $400 more than just repairing your existing unit, it will pay for itself in just 10 months.

Because we understand how difficult the choice to repair or replace your air conditioner can be, we at JD’s A/C strive to provide you will all the information you need to make a great decision. If your air conditioner needs to be fixed or replace, give us a call to speak with one of our A/C experts today.

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How to Save Energy with Ceiling Fans Every Season

How to Save Energy with Ceiling Fans Every Season

March 15, 2013

Though most people think of them as just ways to stay cool, ceiling fans are actually some of the simplest and most powerful ways to save energy throughout the year. By circulating air and keeping the effective room temperature down, they lighten the load on air conditioners and heat pumps, passing those savings directly to the homeowner. Keeping a few simple tips in mind can help you make the most of your ceiling fans’ energy-saving potential.

How Ceiling Fans Work

A ceiling fan makes two major contributions to your home’s cooling efficiency. First, they take the hot air that tends to accumulate near the ceiling and circulate it throughout the room. While heat is concentrated near the ceiling, air conditioners and heat pumps have to work very hard to transfer it out of the home. Ceiling fans move the hot air closer to your cooling appliances, which not only reduces their energy consumption but also reduces the need for future repairs by eliminating wear and tear.

Second, a ceiling fan lowers the effective air temperature through an effect similar to outdoor wind chill. The fan’s blades create an artificial breeze in the room, which cools residents’ skin by evaporation. A good ceiling fan can make the indoor air feel up to six degrees cooler than its actual temperature. Taking advantage of this cooling is as simple as setting your thermostat six degrees higher and enjoying the energy savings without sacrificing comfort.

Ways to Save Energy With Ceiling Fans

In the heat of the Longview TX area, air conditioners often have to run more or less constantly, so any way of cutting their energy consumption is welcome. Make the most of your ceiling fans by upgrading to Energy Star rated units. These fans move air much more efficiently than non-Energy Star rated fans, and that efficient air movement takes even more strain off your air conditioner or heat pump.

If your ceiling fans include light fixtures, consider switching the old incandescent bulbs with efficient fluorescent ones. These lights not only consume less power but also produce less heat, which again takes some of the strain off your cooling equipment.

Although ceiling fans are usually associated with the cooling season, many can operate during the heating season as well. Reversible ceiling fans run counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter; when in their reverse mode, they move air in a manner that improves the efficiency of your heating equipment. Thus, getting and using a reversible fan is one of the most effective ways to save energy all year.

At JD’s A/C we are committed to helping our friends and neighbors in Longview TX stay cool without stretching their budgets, and that includes helping them save energy with ceiling fans. Give us a call today to discuss possible upgrades to improve your home’s energy efficiency throughout the year.

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Why Does My AC Freeze Up?

Why Does My AC Freeze Up?

March 1, 2013

One of the downsides of any cooling device is that it has some propensity to become overly cold and freeze up. Even the best home air conditioners may run into this issue if they are maintained improperly or used under certain conditions. Fortunately, issues that cause air conditioners to freeze up are usually easy to fix. If you are wondering why your AC freezes up, look for these common issues to identify and address the problem.

Restricted Air Flow

During a normal cooling cycle, an air conditioner expels cool air into the home and hot air outside. The air filter collects dust and debris from the air that enters the home to promote good indoor air quality. Over time, air filters can become clogged with that debris and restrict the flow of air into the home. Forced to build up inside the machine, that cool air lowers the air conditioner’s internal temperature and causes freezing. A dirty air filter is perhaps the most common reason why AC freezes up.

If air flow issues cause your air conditioner to freeze, replacing or cleaning the air filter is in order. Reusable air filters should be cleaned on a monthly basis; don’t forget to let the filter air dry thoroughly before putting it back in your air conditioner. Likewise, disposable air filters need to be replaced every month. Instead of getting replacements from your local hardware store, ask a factory authorized dealer for filters that are designed specifically for your air conditioner.

Cool Outdoor Air

Sometimes, the reason why AC freezes up has little to do with the air conditioner itself. Falling outdoor temperatures can cause the internal temperature of the machine to likewise fall and create conditions in which ice can form. Even in the hot climate of Longview, TX, this can happen during overnight usage.

Try shutting your air conditioner off when the temperature starts to drop in the evening and turning it on in the morning; if ice generally appears early in the day, this simple step may resolve the problem. Consider getting a programmable thermostat to do this automatically, saving energy and preventing your air conditioner from freezing up.

Low Refrigerant

Your air conditioner uses R-22 to transfer heat out of your home, but it does not actually consume the chemical while it operates. Refrigerant leaks are a common reason why A/C freezes up because air conditioners are designed to operate at a fixed R-22 level. If the level drops below that threshold, the internal mechanics of the air conditioner are disrupted, leading to ice formation.

Unlike the causes discussed above, refrigerant leaks absolutely require professional repair. We service all makes and models of air conditioners at JD’s AC LLC, and our technicians are fullt capable of repairing these and other issues quickly, safely and effectively. If your air conditioner is freezing up, don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up a repair appointment.

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