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Being a homeowner is tough, but there are a lot of people there to help make our job a little easier. From the plumber to your local Fort Worth, TX heating and AC repair specialist there are a lot of people who work hard to make simple tasks a little easier for you. That said, there are still some things that you need to learn on your own to be a responsible homeowner, and one of those things is proper HVAC care. Your HVAC system is one of if not the most expensive appliances in your home, so you really need to make sure that you are doing everything right.
Getting hit with unexpected heating and AC repair is one thing, but no one wants to get hit with an unexpected replacement notice. If extensive damage occurs within your HVAC system that might be where you end up sitting. As a local Fort Worth, TX heating and AC repair service, we hate informing our clients that it is time to consider an upgrade. Very few take the news well, but it can only last so long as a fancy albeit an expensive piece of machinery.
If you are a new homeowner, you really might not know that much about your HVAC system, and that is okay because the learning curve is high. Suddenly you need to know a lot about all of the appliances and systems in your home and then handle weekly tasks as well. From mowing to trimming trees to checking your plumbing system to dealing with floor drain clogs and noisy HVAC machines, suddenly you have a lot of things to worry about. If you purchased an older home then the list might even be longer.
The good news is you don’t have to go after everything on your own. As a trusted Fort Worth, TX heating and AC repair service, we are happy to help our neighbors out with their heating issues. If there is something wrong with your HVAC system give us a call, or if you just have a general question we are here to help. In the meantime, we compiled a list of common questions we hear from clients to help you as you start to troubleshoot owning a new home. Hopefully, some of these answers help you, but if you notice anything alarming, make sure to call a heating and AC repair shop for more help.
How Often Do I Need to Change the Filters?
The very first action you will have to take care of as a new homeowner (at least when it comes to your HVAC system) is changing the filters in your HVAC system. Changing the filters is akin to changing the oil in your car. In the same way that you wouldn’t expect your car to continue to run if you continuously skipped oil changes, you cannot expect to avoid heating and AC repair if you are not keeping up with regular air filter changes.
In general, most homeowners need to change their air filters every three months, so it is actually practical and helpful to time your air filter changes with your oil changes. This way you can make sure that you are keeping up with them. Some homes will find they can go a little longer because they don’t have too much dust in them. Homes without children that are newer usually fall into this category.
On the other hand, homes with many children, dust, or someone who works in construction who constantly bring dust into the house might need to change their filters more often. There is no true and solid rule, so if you are pulling out your filters and they look absolutely cruddy, it may be time to change them more often. The problem is a dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder which increases the chances that you will need heating and AC repair. A clogged filter can actually cause your machine to break down altogether because the pressure on the compressor will get out of control. It is unbelievable that such a small thing can cause large problems, but we have seen enough clogged air filters to know. The bottom line is you need to make sure you are changing your filters regularly.
How Do I Get a Dead Animal Out of My Air Ducts?
This is one that no one wants to experience, but if you have an older home there is a good chance at some point you may be dealing with a dead animal behind your walls. Mice, rats, and other small rodents love to use ductwork to travel because it is the perfect hidden pathway out of a home, but the downside of this is that they can get trapped in areas with sudden drops that they cannot climb back out of. They also can get injured while falling and then eventually die at the bottom of a drop.
While it is disgusting enough to know that there are rodents and rodent droppings in your ductwork, a dead animal body takes it up another notch. It is unbelievable how much a small rodent can smell, and you will probably wish you were dealing with heating and AC repair versus a rodent by the end of the day. While this usually happens in older homes because some more cracks and holes allow them to get in, this can happen anywhere.
With that in mind, the best thing you can do is grab a flashlight and shine it down the great to see if you can see the animal carcass. If you can spy it and have a broom or something long enough to reach it you can try to get it on your own, but we usually recommend you call a heating and AC repair company even if you can reach it because this indicates that there is probably a lot of droppings and potentially more mice in your ducts. Where there is one mouse there are almost always more, and this is a good time to have your ducts cleaned out so that you are not breathing air that is passing by rodent droppings.
How Do I Know Which HVAC System to Purchase?
A lot of people have a basic idea of when it is time to upgrade their HVAC system. While people don’t relish hearing for sure that it is time to upgrade their HVAC system from a heating and AC repair technician, it rarely comes as a surprise because there are usually a lot of signs beforehand. If you own an older system, you are likely just biding time until the replacement time comes up. In fact, if your HVAC system is over 12-15 years old you should start budgeting and planning for a new system now.
It simply is not worth it to keep paying for expensive heating and AC repair when you know that eventually, you will need to upgrade anyhow. It is similar to tossing money at an old used car that keeps breaking down. At some point, you just need to buy a new vehicle. With that in mind, you may be pouring over websites attempting to figure out which HVAC system to purchase.
While DIY culture makes most homeowners feel like they need to pick out their own HVAC systems and any other appliance that goes into their home, this is really a better job for a trained heating and AC repair HVAC technician. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a new HVAC system which include the size of your home, square footage, where you live, the type of home you live in, your current ductwork, and whether or not you need to replace both the furnace and AC system. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are a lot more mathematical equations that come into play. Choosing the right size system will play a large role in your comfort and energy costs, and given the high price of this major appliance, it is best to get input from a heating and AC repair company.
What Happens If My HVAC System Breaks Down Over the Weekend?
One thing you will notice about owning a home is that if there is a bad time for something to happen, it will. For some reason, things only go wrong at inopportune times. Your AC will work just fine up until the hottest day in August and suddenly it will break down and you will need heating and AC repair in Fort Worth, TX. You will go away on vacation and your hot water tank will choose that time to burst. It’s Christmas Eve and the furnace decides to quit working. For some reason, that is just how things always seem to work.
Very rarely will your HVAC system break down in the middle of the day, but the middle of the night seems to be a favorite. So what do you do if your HVAC system breaks down on the weekend, in the middle of the night, or over the weekend? The same thing you would do any other time, call a heating and AC repair company to help you. You will just need to make sure that you call a heating and AC repair service that offers emergency services. Things happen, which is why most large and reputable HVAC companies offer emergency service.
How Long Do HVAC Warranties Last?
In general, most HVAC warranties last about ten years, but it varies by the manufacturer so you need to make sure that you check your paperwork or ask the heating and AC repair technician that installs it upfront so you are aware. It is usually in your best interest to go with a model that offers extended warranty options because, with the high cost of an HVAC unit, it’s not a bad idea to have some extra coverage. With that in mind, you should also be aware that annual servicing is a requirement to keep the warranty valid on most units. So if you are concerned about your warranty, you need to keep a good service record of all annual servicing and repairs conducted by your heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX.
How Can I Lower My Energy Bills?
Owning your own home is expensive, which is why a lot of people try to trim costs by lowering their energy bills. Luckily, that is an area where you have some control. You can install a smart thermostat that allows you to control the temperature of your home while you are out so that you aren’t wasting energy cooling or warming an empty home. You can also replace your traditional light bulbs with LED lights. While this may have a slight upfront cost, long term it will save you a great deal of money between energy consumption and just replacement bulbs.
In terms of heating and cooling costs, one of the best things that we can recommend as an HVAC repair company are ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can circulate the air and help provide an indoor breeze that helps you feel cooler so that you can turn up your AC a few degrees without losing the comfort you are after. You may also want to investigate your doors and windows to ensure they are sealed properly since this is the most common area of heat loss.
There Are So Many Heating and AC Repair Companies, How Do I Choose the Right one?
It can be hard to choose a heating and AC company to take care of your HVAC system when it seems like there are dozens of choices. In the end, you need to choose a company that employs technicians that are both state-licensed and certified for the best results. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth meets these standards and offers many more perks to our clients, which is why we are one of the best in the region. If you need help with heating and AC issues in Fort Worth, TX, give us a call today.