Category Archives: air conditioning repair

Why Shouldn’t you repair your A/C System by yourself?

HEating Installation Picture

As a homeowner, you may take it upon yourself to fix your home the way you desire. There are many D.I.Y books, manuals, and videos out there to teach you how to be a master at house hold maintenance. Being a handy man/woman is beneficial and can save you tons of money but when it comes to repairing your air conditioning system, things aren’t always what they seem. In fact, you could wind up spending more money than you thought! Let’s look at some of the reasons why you shouldn’t repair your air conditioning system yourself.

When you purchase an Air Conditioning System, most, if not all, come with a warranty. These warranties are there for your benefit and cover very crucial parts. Some warranties will become VOID if a licensed technician does NOT work on your system when something goes wrong. You should never void a warranty on a purchase that costs thousands of dollars.

Like most appliances and hardware, Air Conditioners use electric from your home. Many A/Cs run on 220-240volts of electric current and at this level, can cause death. PLEASE DO NOT attempt to repair this yourself.

When repairing an A/C, we repairmen know exactly where everything is located. If you go to repair it yourself, how well do you know your way around an A/C system? How will you determine what is causing it not to work? There are literally hundreds of parts in the entire system. Once a problem is found, most likely, a technician will have the part on hand to get you up and running. If not, he/she will go to supplier and purchase it. Suppliers will not sell to the general public, only certified technicians.

Say you get as far as figuring out that you’re too low on refrigerant or you have a leak. You’ve somehow managed to buy some refrigerant. Did you know that it was illegal to purchase without certification? Also, if the refrigerant leaks while you’re trying to fix the AC, it considered an environmental hazard and you could be fined thousands of dollars. Refrigerant is so cold, that it can burn you. Yes, burn you. It is extremely harmful to your body and can blindness, frost bite and even in some cases, cancer.

You may feel like you will be saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars by completing a repair by yourself. Maybe even save some time instead of waiting for a technician to come out and service or repair your A/C system. If something goes wrong while trying to do it yourself, you could’ve compromised the entire system itself, making you spend thousands more. Although saving time and money sounds tempting, you can lose these and potentially your life. We cannot stress this enough. PLEASE DO NOT TRY AND REPAIR YOUR A/C SYSTEM YOURSELF!!

In need of maintenance or a repair? Call us today at: 610-761-4328

5 Easy Tips for Reducing Seasonal Allergies in your Home

indoor air quality

AH-CHOOOOOO!!! It’s that time of the year once again. Spring will soon be in full swing. Do you find yourself sneezing, coughing, and having an itchy, runny nose? Other than rushing to your nearest convenient store for temporary relief, you can follow these 5 easy tips for reducing those pesky seasonal allergies.

  1. Cleaning out your air ducts is one of the most important things that you can do as a home owner to reduce in home allegies and improve air quality. When the weather begin to get warmer, turning on you A/C system is the first thing  that comes to mind. Although, throughout the year, dust, dander and pollen can accumulate to high amounts! Schedule a duct cleaning before turning it on to avoid the spread of irritants in your home!
  2. After a successful duct cleaning, you can further improve air quality by replacing the filters located in your return air duct. We recommend you change your filter every 4 to 6 weeks to introduce clean air into the home as it cycles through the system.
  3. Pollen is the number 1 culprit when it comes to seasonal allergies. The crisp air may feel refreshing, but believe it or not, closing the doors and windows can dramatically reduce the amount of pollen in your home. Washing the curtains and dusting the blinds go hand and hand in this method. Doing this step will make sure no pollen is left behind!
  4. Did you know that humidity can play a major roll in the batltle against seasonal allergies? Proper humidity levels will allow the air to become dry enough to eliminate the spores that reside in damp conditions.
  5. If you find yourself still congested and sneezey by the end of those steps, there is one last step you can take to eliminate in-home pollen once and for all. Go and purchase an Air Purifier with a HEPA filter. These filters are made to reduce any air pollution left in the home.

If followed correctly, these steps will help you be able to achieve a clean, fresh and happy home without congestion and the added headaches. DO NOT forget to schedule an annual duct cleaning and Air Conditioning Maintenance BEFORE turning on your A/C System.

When Is the Best Time To Purchase A/C Equipment?

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One of the most important ways to purchase new and expensive A/C systems is not necessarily where you purchase it or who you purchase it from, its WHEN. For example, The best time to buy that sporty new convertible, motorcycle or boat you’ve always wanted is in the winter time. Another prime example is golf clubs. Stores drop prices during the winter time because its an off season. “When is the best time to purchase A/C Equipment?” Believe it or not, Spring and Fall are two of the best times to purchase all of your A/C equipment needs. During these “out of season times,” these units aren’t being used. The demand for these units are low as a result. With a less demand, stores drop their prices which makes it better for you to save money. Then you’ll be prepared for the incoming Summer heat.

What Is Humidity and How Can It Affect You?

During the months of Summer, humidity is a major part of the weather. Did you know that it can affect your A/C system? What is humidity exactly? Let’s find out!

Humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere. There are 3 types of humidity but the common type of humidity in your home is known as relative humidity. This type of humidity can not only affect you, but also objects as well. In your home, have you ever walked into a room and noticed an unwanted musty smell? That very smell is caused by too much humidity in the air. Too much humidity can cause fungus and various types of mold to grow, even viruses and bacteria thrive in those environments. All of which can be problematic to you and your family’s health. Onhttp://www.gogreenwayhvac.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=305&action=edit the other side of the spectrum, dry humidity and air can affect floors, musical instruments, and even plants. Common symptoms include withered plants, cracked walls and flooring. You’ll notice a dry nose and throat which can aggitate your sinuses and cause respiratory problems. When you install a central air conditioner, it can help mediate humidity levels and lower temperature in the problem areas of the house. Dehumidifiers help in these areas as well.

When humidity levels are too excessive, your A/C Unit has to work a lot harder. An air conditioning system should be able to remove moisture from the air. When humidity levels raise, however, most systems can’t cope. Humidity affects air conditioning negatively because it cancels out the cooling effect. When the humidity is too high, your home will feel warmer than it actually is. You’ll have to keep your air conditioning system running but you wont benefit from using it. In other words, you’ll pay more to cool your home but won’t actually cool it that effectively. Therefore, having unnecessary higher bills.

Dehumidifiers

The single best way to battle with humidity when trying to cool a home is by having a dehumidifier installed on your HVAC system. Dehumidifiers will pull moisture from the air before it is forced through the ducts in your home. They can be paired with air conditioning systems, which allows you to adjust the temperature and humidity level of your home, all in one.

When humidity levels are kept in check inside a home during the summer, air conditioners are able to do their jobs much more effectively. You will notice that you feel cooler and more refreshed under these conditions. You should notice a drop in your energy bill as well. That’s because your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard, but it will still be able to cool your home properly. Issues like foggy windows, musty odors and moist, clammy air should be eliminated as well.

Air Conditioning Repair – Delaware County – Green Way Solutions

Hello All,

Let’s face it, it has been a very temperamental summer between the temperature changes from highs to lows, constant violent thunder storms, and unbearable humidity.  This means if you are like most, you are constantly adjusting your thermostat to find a comfortable temperature setting.

If  your air conditioning system is not working properly it can cause lots of potential problems.  You may be experience higher cost due to constantly turning your system off and on, you may not be able to cool your house fast enough, or worst case scenario your system may not be working at all.

Either way, Green Way Solutions can help.  Once you call us for an Air Conditioning Repair, we will set up an appointment for one of our trained technicians to come out and discover the problem.  We will run test to find out the exact issue to why your air conditioning system is not working properly.

Once we have identified the problem, we will let you know your options to figure out what is best for your situation.

It can be something very simple or a major air conditioning repair that is needed, but rest assured that we can help no matter what.  In the unfortunate event that your air conditioning system can not be repaired, we will present you with options for a new air condition installation.

Once your system is repaired or installed our trained technician will go over any functionality that you need to know as well as best practices to keep your air conditioning system running like new.

Call or email us today for a free estimate.

Is Your A/C Equipment Ready for the Summer?

Are you ready for season of Summer? You might be, but have you checked your A/C equipment? As a homeowner, it is extremely important to check and make sure that your equipment will run in tip top shape for those incoming summer heat waves. With a typical A/C Condenser, you can get 15 to 20 years of life out of your system, depending on who has installed it. Always call a professional to schedule an A/C Tune-Up before turning on your system.

The age and condition of an A/C unit can always affect the answer of the age old question “Should I replace my equipment or get it repaired?” There are a few signs that you can be aware of, as well as common symptoms that will lead you to think that replacing your system is a great idea. In some cases, you’ll need to get them repaired or immediately replaced to prevent further damage.

Weak Air Flow: When your system is in full functionality, simply walk over to a vent or register, and feel how well the air is flowing out. If you feel an inadequate amount of air, its a telltale sign that your coil could be frozen, a blockage in refrigeration, a bad blower motor or replacing an air filter.

Unusual Noises: When an A/C condenser is on, it can have two functions. When the fan motor is on, you’ll see the fan spinning at the top. When the compressor kicks on, you’ll have to keep an ear out to hear if it makes any noises that are uncommon. If its making squealing or screeching noises, a start capacitor may have failed or the fan motor may need to be replaced.

Differences in the Air: While inside your house, do you happen to feel as if the house isn’t getting any cooler or its humid after a long period of time? Chances are that the fan and the compressor have failed. Moisture can and will build up within your home and cause water damage and even mold. They’ll need to be replaced to prevent those unwanted damages.

Unexplained High Energy Bills: If your system is running inefficiently, you’ll see a major difference on your bills. If this seems to be happening to you, any kind of repair may not be worth it. A recommendation of a replacement will be given.

Your HVAC system is one of the biggest energy users in your home, the cost to operate the system is an important factor in determining when to replace it. For instance, if your car had 70,000 miles on it and the transmission fails, what do you do?  If you need to replace your fan motor which is typically around $600 dollars, then as time passes and you need a new condenser, you’ll be paying for both of the costs as apposed to replacing the condenser. You would save the $600 you spent on getting that fan motor replaced.

Air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio and capacity. SEER is a measurement of the amount of energy the unit uses to reach a particular amount of cooling. Expect air conditioners with higher SEER ratings to cost more than their average counterparts, but the higher price, comes with better efficiency. A higher efficiency unit will save you more money in the long run. Major HVAC components such as air conditioning systems have their pricing determined by output and energy efficiency. When buying this type of equipment, it’s always a good idea to have load calculations performed on your home by a trained HVAC technician. This can help to ensure you’re getting the right system for the right price and the best quality equipment that you can afford. Depending on your income, many options will be available to you.

 

 

Are A/C Tune-Ups Really Necessary?

 

central-air-conditioning

As we near the coming months of Summer, the overbearing heat comes along with it. Before you know it, it’ll be time to turn on those A/C condensing units that have been sitting outside of your home for months on end. As Mother Nature throws every element she can at your outside equipment, you’ll want to be sure that your outside equipment is working properly for when your family needs it the most. During this time, you may wonder, “It worked fine last year, why spend more money if I dont need to? Is it really necessary to get an A/C Tune-Up?” The answer is a “YES!, We strongly recommend it.” During the Winter months, there is no need for you to turn on your A/C Condensing Unit. While dormant, the cold could have taken its toll on your equipment that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on. Let’s take a look furthermore into the subject.

With the cold and dormancy that have stricken your equipment, you’ll come to find that dirt and debris have made its way onto the air conditioner’s coils. In order for your system to operate efficiently, all leaves, dirt, and dust must be cleared from the fins, shown above. Restricting that airflow will allow your system to freeze up and possibly be inoperable leaving your home feel like a sauna! Along with the cold, the refrigeration could also leak from your equipment. Your coils will freeze up without the proper amount of refrigerant in your system. Finding a leak and replacing the lost refrigerant can sometimes cost a pretty penny. Another major issue is frayed wiring. Frayed wiring along with the issue of dirty air conditioner coils can cause fires and the Summer heat should be the only heat you’ll have to battle.

With an A/C Tune-Up, these are just a few of the many things that can and will be prevented. During a complete A/C Tune-Up, you should expect your technician to:

• Inspect refigerant levels and pressure
• Perform additional safety and efficiency checks, as needed
• Inspect and tighten wiring, contacts, capacitors and relay
• Ensure the evaporator coil is clean
• Ensure the condensate drain is clear
• Inspect and clean the condenser
• Inspect the outdoor disconnect
• Inspect the condenser fan motor and blades; lubricate if needed
• Check compressor amps at startup
• Calibrate thermostat(s) and check proper cycle and temperatures for your needs

A Tune-up now will be cheaper than a much bigger repair bill later. Besides preventing repairs on your equipment, the small up-front cost of an A/C Tune-Up can save you a significant amount of money in other areas as well. You’ll see your energy bills decrease in amount because your system will run at maximum efficiency, which will also improve the lifespan of your A/C. With your finely tuned A/C, you and your family will be able to enjoy a comfortable home and a peace of mind.

Depending on your system, Green Way Solutions will charge around $69 to $129.

 

What is the best brand of Heating and Air Conditioning equipment?

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What is the best brand of Heating and Air Conditioning equipment?

    The real question here is who is installing your heating and air conditioning equipment?  When you look inside a heater or air conditioner, there are very few parts that differ from one brand to another. What you should be looking for, are the people installing the equipment. Let’s dissect the difference between large companies (50+ people) and small companies (>=15 people).

When you have a large company, they are hiring guys with some experience and companies train them under the way they do things. Which makes sense, but it takes time. You are not a top notch technician over night. Do you want a guy training in your home?  No!  Also, large companies have large buildings and a lot of overhead to run the company. Do you want to pay for the overhead that is needed for all the extra people? No! With some large companies, their headquarters are in different states. Does it make sense to have a local contractor who is close to your home that can maintain and repair your system?

With smaller companies, they are usually guys who have mastered the trade and decided to go out on their own. They have seen every problem, fixed every problem and installed every piece of equipment under the sun.  They are usually local and you may have to interview a few before you find the right guy, because their marketing skills usually are not great. They grow their business by word of mouth. When they fix a system, or install a system, they are the guys coming out to service it. You can bet that it will be done right and done to perfection.

With large companies, they have 2 different divisions. Install, who does the installation of the heater or air conditioner and a Service department, who fixes all the problems. When an install is complete, you will never see those technicians again. They tend to leave loose ends because they know service can come out and fix it. That leaves the homeowner scheduling around many technicians coming to the house. Do you have the time for this?

To sum everything up, do your homework when searching for the right contractor. You will be spending thousands of dollars if you are replacing your system. Make sure you have the right crew on the Job!!

How much does a new heater cost? How much does an air conditioner cost?

How much does a new heater cost? How much does an air conditioner cost?

 

Being an expert in the heating and air conditioning industry, I hear this every day of my life. How much does a heater cost? How much does an air conditioner cost? Which helped me write this article. I’m going to explain what is entailed when installing a heating and air conditioning system along with a few examples based on how large a home is in square feet and how much you can expect to pay.

 

A day in the life a HVAC installation technician is a difficult job.  They are non-stop from the time they arrive at your home until clean up at the end. The day lasts between 8-12 hours. Their day goes something like this… Arrive at the home and identify where the equipment and electrical panel is located.  Start pumping down the old system to recycle the refrigerant. When that’s complete, they are tearing out the old heater and air conditioner. The heater is more difficult in some cases due to gas lines, electrical, venting, condensate lines and sheet metal fabrication. If you are converting from a chimney vented heater to a high efficiency heater, then the technicians are drilling holes in your home for the vent pipes. While drilling those holes, the technician makes the hole for the refrigerant tubing bigger so it’s easier to run the new tubing. After tear out is complete, they bring the new heater inside and start with the sheet metal. With the heater set in place, you can the hook up electrical, condensate, gas piping and finally the vent piping. The air conditioner is much easier. You remove the old air conditioner, level the dirt or put rocks down, hook up the electrical disconnect, braze the refrigerant lines and get it on the vacuum pump. The next step is to install the Thermostat and hook up the thermostat wire in the heater. The final and most important step in the process is completing a thorough start up. They weigh in the refrigerant, test gas pressure, set air flow and program the thermostat.

 

Below I will give a few examples based on the size of homes and what it will cost. The sizes of the homes and equipment sizes are pure speculation. You will need a load calculation performed on your home to get the correct size. My sizes will be pretty accurate for my service area which is Delaware and Chester county Pennsylvania.

 

Example 1: Home is 2,000 sq.ft. (Chimney Vented 80% furnace Only)

A home this size will equate to a 70,000 btu/h furnace. Included with the furnace is return drop, supply plenum, gas piping, electrical and venting. Installed cost is $2,800.00.

 

Example 2: Home is 2,000 sq.ft. (Chimney Vented 80% furnace to a high efficiency 90% Furnace)

A home this size will equate to a 70,000 btu/h furnace. Included with the furnace is return drop, supply plenum, gas piping, electrical and venting. Installed cost is $3,900.00.

 

Example 3: Home is 2,000 sq.ft. (Chimney Vented 80% furnace and 13 SEER Air Conditioner)

A home this size will equate to a 70,000 btu/h furnace and 2.5 Ton Air Conditioner. Included with this system is return drop, supply plenum, gas piping, electrical and PVC venting. Installed cost is $5,000.00.

 

Example 4: Home is 2,000 sq.ft. (90% high efficiency furnace and 13 SEER Air Conditioner)

A home this size will equate to a 70,000 btu/h furnace and 2.5 Ton Air Conditioner. Included with this system is return drop, supply plenum, gas piping, electrical and PVC venting. Installed cost is $6,100.00.

 

Save Money on A/C

With a brutal heat wave spreading across the U.S., many people are turning on their air conditioners. The typical U.S. home spends 17% of its annual energy bill on cooling – about $375.

Summer is the time when electricity demand spikes, stressing the grid and pumping copious air pollution into the atmosphere. Emissions from coal-fired power plants, particularly, cooks in the summer sun to create smog and ozone pollution. (See 5 facts and myths about ozone pollution.)

These tips will help you reduce the amount of energy you pay for to run your air conditioner. How? You’ll use it less, and use electricity more efficiently.

Related: 8 Ways to Cool Off Without Using the Air Conditioner

5 Ways to Save Money and Energy on Air Conditioning

So you already have an air conditioner, or you’re planning to buy one… Save money and energy with the previous eight tips (after all, they’ll help you use your AC less) plus these five maintenance and buying tips:

1. Adjust the thermostat:

If you have central air controlled by a thermostat, use a programmable thermostat to save energy by increasing the heat significantly during the day when the house is empty. You can give up a couple degrees at night, too – especially on the hottest days. You may be surprised to find that the contrast between outdoor and indoor temperatures matters as much as the absolute temperature inside your home. When home, aim to set the temperature at 78 degrees to balance comfort with energy and cost savings. Together with winter energy savings, a programmable thermostat used properly can save the average home up to $150.

2. Clean the air filter:

Whether you have central air or a room air conditioner, a dirty filter will reduce its efficiency, making it use more energy and cost more money to do the same job. Check your HVAC system’s air filter monthly and expect to change the filter every three months.

3. Get an annual checkup:

If you have central air, consider an annual checkup – once should cover both the heating and the cooling season. A professional should be able to diagnose any inefficiencies before you’ve wasted money on monthly heating and cooling bills.

4. Think small:

Cooling one room with a window air conditioning unit requires much less energy (and investment) than a central air system. Ask yourself how you’ll use your new air conditioner, and choose the smallest option that works. The government’s Energy Star site has a handy guide to help you choose the right air conditioner for your space.

Related: How I Cut Air Conditioning Use in My Cape Cod-Style Home Using the Upstairs Windows

5. Buy Energy Star:

Whether you’re buying a central air conditioner (which could qualify for a tax credit) or a room unit, efficiency matters. An Energy Star central air system will use about 14% less energy than minimum government standards, and a room air conditioner will save at least 10%. Use the Energy Star Website before making a purchase, because while the vast majority of the 1,000-plus Energy Star window air conditioners barely meet the standards by using just 10% less energy than a standard model, some are clearly a better value. Compared to the typical, these nine models use at least 25% less energy:

Turbo Air – TAS-09EH
Turbo Air – TAS-12EH
Turbo Air – TAS-18EH
Unionaire – RAC20A6HR
Friedrich – YS09L10 ($1,179 at amazon.com
Unionaire – RAC24A6HR
Friedrich – YS10M10 ($1,189 at amazon.com)
Unionaire – RAC20A6CR
Unionaire – RAC20A6ER