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What’s that sound when the air conditioning kicks on in the evening? Is there a more energy-efficient heating system to replace your current one? Are smart thermostats worth the initial investment? Unless you have a maintenance contract with a trusted emergency heating and AC repair service contractor in North Richland Hills, TX — more on that later! — chances are you aren’t asking the right professionals these pertinent questions. You could wait for an emergency to occur, or you could call your local emergency heating and AC repair service to diagnose the issue before it becomes a problem. Afterward, take your technician aside and fill them in on the concerns you have about your heating and cooling system. To get you started, here are seven questions to ask your HVAC specialist to avoid potential emergency heating and AC repair services needs.
1. Is my heating system energy-efficient?
The cold season in North Richland Hills, TX, is typical of the rest of Tarrant County and North Texas: relatively mild with the possibility of freezing temperatures in the dead of winter. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your heating system running smoothly and efficiently with proper maintenance and retrofits. You might not think that your furnace needs upgrading, but only a licensed professional from your local emergency heating and AC repair service can tell you for sure. They’ll thoroughly examine your heating system to determine its annual fuel efficiency rating or AFUE. This percentage measures the amount of energy the system consumes that goes toward heating your home versus going to waste. The emergency heating and AC repair service technician can also determine if your home runs on an electric or natural gas heating system — the latter being the more efficient option — and if you can make the conversion.
Heating your home can be especially expensive if your system is older than ten years and not updated to modern standards. A U.S. Department of Energy study found that heating costs amount to roughly 30 percent of your home’s utility budget — more than any other system in your home. Outfitting your home with a more modern, energy-efficient system will save you money over time and keep you and your family warm through the coldest parts of the season.
2. Does my air conditioner need professional service?
When your air conditioner is not doing the work you ask of it, you should check a couple of things before calling your emergency heating and AC repair service contractor. First, make sure your thermostat is on and has the proper temperature and schedule settings. If it’s been a while since you or a professional emergency heating and AC repair service technician changed your air filter, there’s a good chance that replacing it will significantly improve your air conditioner’s performance. Beyond these quick fixes, however, troubleshooting your AC unit is likely a job for professionals.
A licensed emergency heating and AC repair service contractor has the skills and tools necessary to diagnose mechanical problems and fix them as soon as possible. That’s a big deal in North Richland Hills, TX, and the rest of Tarrant County, where the summer heat can get downright unbearable. Avoid heatwave woes by calling your emergency heating and AC repair service contractor at the first sign of trouble. Warning signs that your cooling system needs maintenance include weakened or warm airflow, unpleasant odors, or unusual sounds that start when your system is running. A musty smell could mean there’s mold in the vents, and squealing noises could signal a damaged fan belt. Leaking or broken ducts could also affect your air conditioner’s performance. Regardless of how minuscule the issue may seem, a visit from your local HVAC repair service will prevent your air conditioner from breaking down when you need it the most and keep your system’s warranty intact.
3. How can I keep my home’s temperature comfortable all year long?
It sounds simple enough, but keeping your home at a cool 78 degrees during the dog days of summer is a challenge. To some, the temperature doesn’t provide enough relief from the heat. For others, high energy costs make keeping your air conditioner running all day impossible. It might be time to call your local emergency heating and AC repair service to check your air conditioner’s health and offer guidance on keeping your home comfortable. A qualified emergency heating and AC repair service technician will inspect your thermostat to ensure proper settings and help you create a temperature schedule for when you’re at home and away. They can also help set your ceiling fans to move a cool breeze through your home when your system isn’t running and ensure that your filter is clean.
During the winter months, a consultation with heating specialists can help you decide if your thermostat is in the right place in your home and how to program it. A thermostat set at 68 degrees is perfect for balancing comfort and energy efficiency during the winter, but only if your heater is in top shape. They might recommend a smart thermostat or replacing your system altogether, especially if it’s decades-old. While it isn’t your HVAC specialist’s job to fix your home’s insulation, they might also recommend an assessment of it if they can’t find another culprit for temperature anomalies. A qualified home energy assessor can check your home to determine if — and where —you need more insulation.
4. Should I be concerned about air quality?
As long as our air conditioning keeps us cool in the summer and our heating warm in the winter, it’s easy to forget about air quality in North Richland Hills, TX. Indoor air quality, or IAQ, measures the contaminants in the air circulating throughout your home. Whether they are outdoor pollutants, such as smog and pollen, or indoor offenders, like chemical cleaner fumes, your ventilation system works to remove them from your residence. Neglecting the air filter and regular maintenance on your HVAC system increases the chances of toxins and fumes negatively affecting your comfort and health.
Some signs that your IAQ needs improvement are obvious: the air inside is stale, or smells linger for a long while. You might detect odors like exhaust fumes coming in from the driveway or garage. You may not realize that poor IAQ can also cause some rooms to be consistently warmer or colder, and it can throw your home’s humidity levels off balance. An increase in headaches, fatigue, or respiratory distress are also symptoms of air pollutants remaining in the air. If you have family members with respiratory conditions or pets in your home, the need for proper air filtration becomes even more immediate. Your best bet in these situations is to call your local emergency heating and AC repair service to inspect your ventilation system. Thorough testing of your home’s IAQ can help identify any leaks or faulty equipment and determine the best type of air filter for your needs. By keeping your air filter clean and maintaining a functioning HVAC system, you’re two steps closer to keeping your family’s health and your home’s integrity intact.
5. What’s the big deal with my home’s relative humidity?
While we’re on the topic of IAQ, humidity plays a significant role in affecting your home’s environment. Relative humidity refers to how much water vapor is in the air; warm air retains more water vapor than cold air. A well-functioning HVAC system can maintain comfortable humidity year-round, and it won’t take long for you to feel the effects of unregulated humidity.
When your air conditioner fails to reduce humidity levels in your home, you’ll be able to tell by the faint scent of moisture and a clammy feeling on your skin. Condensation on the windows, walls, and ceilings is another telltale sign, which leads to mold and mildew. Mold spores could trigger allergies or asthma attacks, posing a threat to immunocompromised loved ones. If left unchecked, high humidity also invites pests and causes long-term structural damage to your house.
As the weather turns cold, your heater decreases the water vapor in the air to as low as 10 percent. By contrast, most people are comfortable with a relative humidity of between 30 and 50 percent. Lower humidity leads to dry skin and hair, chapping, and dries out your mucous membranes, leaving you susceptible to illness. Low moisture also takes a toll on wood floors, paneling, and furniture over time. Some people opt for quick fixes, like purchasing an expensive humidifier, but calling your local emergency heating and AC repair service is a much better investment. A professional emergency heating and AC repair service contractor takes your home’s size and existing HVAC system and then factors in your family’s health and comfort. They’ll provide the most informed recommendations for your family’s budget.
6. Do smart thermostats live up to the hype?
In one word: yes. Smart thermostats are quickly growing in popularity in North Richland Hills, TX, and beyond for many reasons. Even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person, you’ll reap the benefits of this modern technology in no time. But before you can appreciate the advantages of having a smart thermostat, you must understand how they work.
Programmable thermostats allow you to preset desired temperatures for specific parts of the day and days of the week. For example, you can leave the thermostat at 68 degrees overnight during winter, but schedule your heater to come on a half-hour before you wake up on the weekdays. Likewise, you can set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer while the house is empty, but schedule a cooling cycle to begin one hour before you get home. Once set, the thermostat automatically continues the heating or cooling cycle until you input schedule changes. Programmable thermostats are not the most affordable option, but they provide convenience and flexibility for busy schedules. A non-programmable thermostat is cheaper but lacks advanced features beyond a digital screen, and you manually change the temperature and settings.
A smart thermostat is programmable and connects to your Wi-Fi so you can control your settings from anywhere in your home and remotely from an app. Depending on the brand and model of your thermostat, you can also monitor your home’s temperature room-by-room and determine accurate energy usage. Some smart thermostats also learn your daily routine and monitor weather forecasts to predict which settings are most comfortable and energy-efficient. Over time, a smart thermostat can save you about 10 to 15 percent on your heating and cooling bills.
Before installing a new thermostat, consider scheduling an appointment with your local North Richland Hills, TX heating and AC repair service contractor. Thermostats tend to be a major offender in emergency heating and AC repair service calls. Only a licensed emergency heating and AC repair service technician will clean and inspect your thermostat and HVAC system and ensure that everything is properly functioning.
7. Is an HVAC maintenance contract worth the investment?
When it comes to owning and maintaining your home, your number one goal is preventing emergency heating and AC repair service calls. A surefire way to keep this goal is by signing a maintenance contract with your local North Richland Hills, TX HVAC contractor. Most heating and cooling plans include seasonal tune-ups and maintenance, replacement parts and services, and emergency assistance. A service contract ensures that your heating and air conditioning system receives the long-term care and service necessary to keep you comfortable year-round, year after year. A functioning system is more energy-efficient, provides better air quality, and saves you money on costly repairs and replacements.
Whether you’re looking for emergency heating and AC repair service on your HVAC unit or a trusted contractor to maintain your system and prevent emergencies altogether, call One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth. Our professional, NATE-certified HVAC contractors provide exceptional service with straightforward pricing and work to solve your heating and cooling needs while staying within your budget. Proudly serving North Richland Hills and the surrounding communities in Tarrant County, One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating also provides emergency heating and AC repair service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure your continued comfort through every season.