Is Hiring A Duct Cleaning Service Worth The Time And Money?

Is Hiring A Duct Cleaning Service Worth The Time And Money?

Annual HVAC maintenance is essential to ensure the unit functions correctly. HVAC techs recommend maintaining the furnace every year before the heating season begins and the air conditioner maintained before the heating season begins. You can also have them both maintained at the same time in the spring or fall when you don’t need heat or air conditioning. The tech will tune up the system, and they can detect issues early before they escalate to something more serious that will be more expensive to fix. Finally, routine maintenance will extend the system’s lifespan.

While most homeowners schedule routine HVAC maintenance appointments, many forget about the air ducts. The air ducts deliver the cold air from the unit to the vents throughout your home and play an essential role in keeping your house cool. Problems with the air ducts can affect your home’s temperature and could put your family at risk, so it’s best to hire a duct cleaning service every three to five years.

Some people neglect their air ducts intentionally because they don’t think it’s worth it. If you aren’t sure it’s worth the time and money to have the ducts cleaned by a professional, you should understand the benefits.

#1 Better Air Quality

You have to keep your windows closed when the HVAC system runs to keep the treated air in and the warm or cold air out. Since you can’t let any fresh air into the house when the HVAC system runs, the air will circulate repeatedly, so it’s essential that your air ducts are clean.

Dirt, dust, and debris from your home enter the air ducts, even if you keep a spotless house. Up to five pounds of debris can accumulate in just one year and will continue to accumulate year after year. When the HVAC system runs, the debris will circulate in the air, worsening your home’s air quality.

An HVAC tech will clean the debris from the ducts, ensuring the air quality will be safe for your family to breathe.

#2 Keep Your Family Healthy

As mentioned above, the debris in the air ducts will circulate in the air when the HVAC system runs, putting your family at risk for allergies. If someone in your home is dealing with a stuffy or runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and respiratory issues, the debris in the air ducts could be to blame.

A duct cleaning service can remove debris, which should eliminate allergy symptoms. It’s best to have the ducts cleaned professionally every three to five years to prevent the allergies from returning.

#3 Keep Your Energy Bills Down

When a significant amount of debris clogs the air ducts, it can restrict the airflow from vents. Without adequate airflow, it will be challenging for the HVAC system to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. The furnace or air conditioner will work harder and consume more energy, causing your energy bills to increase.

An HVAC tech can clean the debris from the vents, restoring the airflow, and your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard.

#4 Increase the Unit’s Lifespan

When your air conditioner or furnace works overtime to keep your home comfortable, the extra work will put significant strain on the system and can reduce its lifespan. Replacing the air conditioner or furnace requires a considerable investment, so it’s best to hire a duct cleaning service regularly.

When the ducts are clean and free of debris, the airflow won’t be restricted, extending the unit’s lifespan.

#5 Detect Signs of Damage

Air ducts are hidden behind the walls, under the floors, or above the ceiling, depending on your home’s layout. Because you can’t see the air ducts, you won’t know if there is a crack in the ducts or if the seal has failed.

Damaged air ducts will allow the treated air to escape before reaching the vents, resulting in limited airflow. The furnace or air conditioner must work harder, causing your energy bills to increase.

A duct cleaning service will send a tech to clean the ducts and look for signs of damage, allowing them to repair the damage and restore the airflow.

#6 Early Mold Detection

Your air ducts are dark and hidden, and the humidity in the house can cause condensation in the ducts, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold growth in the ducts is very serious because mold spores will circulate in the air your family breathes when the HVAC system runs.

Mold exposure is a health hazard and can cause health problems, such as allergies, chronic headaches, skin rashes, respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, and burning eyes, nose, and throat. If a member of your family suffers from a chronic lung or respiratory condition such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, or lung cancer, mold exposure can worsen their symptoms and disease.

Mold in the air ducts will often emit a moldy smell in your home, but this isn’t always the case. If you hire a duct cleaning service regularly, the tech will clean the debris and inspect the ducts for mold so that it can be detected early. The tech can eradicate the mold with an antimicrobial fogger, and the sooner the mold is detected, the less harm it can do to your family.

#7 Detect a Rodent Infestation Early

When it gets cold outside, rodents start looking for a warm place to build a nest for the winter, and your air ducts are the perfect place. They are hidden so the rodents will feel safe, and they’ll be close to food and water sources in your house. You may hear the rodents scurrying through the air ducts, but you may not hear anything and won’t know there’s an infestation.

Rodents carry disease, and when the air conditioner or heater runs, the rodents’ waste will circulate in the air, putting your family at risk for many diseases, including Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. A rodent infestation is the primary cause of this disease, and it’s very serious. The condition starts with flu-like symptoms and escalates to respiratory illness, and if it isn’t treated, the disease can be deadly.

A duct cleaning service will send a tech to clean your ducts, and they can detect the signs of a rodent infestation, so you can call an exterminator before a rodent carrying the Hantavirus makes your family sick.

#8 You Have Pets

Do you have cats or dogs? If so, you know how cute they are and what good companions they are. You also know what happens when they shed. It’s normal to find pet hair on your furniture, bedding, and your clothes, and the fur will also accumulate in the air ducts. If you have a breed that doesn’t shed fur, they will still shed dander that will end up in the air ducts. When the heater or air conditioner runs, the fur and dander will circulate in the air, affecting your home’s air quality. It can also cause your family to develop allergy symptoms, so it’s best to hire a duct cleaning service regularly.

HVAC professionals recommend cleaning the ducts every three years rather than every five because the fur and dander will accumulate quickly and clog the ducts. When the ducts are clean, you won’t have to worry about anyone developing allergy symptoms, and you can enjoy your time with your pets.

#9 You’re Replacing Your Furnace

A well-maintained furnace can last 15 to 20 years, and when the unit reaches its maximum lifespan, it will stop functioning as efficiently as it once did and may require frequent repairs. When the unit comes to the end of its lifespan, it must be replaced, which can be a messy job. When the tech removes the old furnace, it will kick up a significant amount of soot that can quickly end up in the air ducts and will circulate in the air when you turn on the heat or air conditioning and can make a big mess in your house. Also, it isn’t safe for your family to breathe when there’s soot in the air.

When you schedule the appointment to replace the furnace, you should also ask if the tech can clean the air ducts when they finish installing the new furnace. They will eliminate the soot and any other debris from the ducts, ensuring the air quality in your house is safe, and your family remains healthy.

#10 You’re Renovating Your House

A home renovation is exciting because you can change the things you don’t like about your home, creating your dream house. The construction process will create sawdust and drywall dust that will end up in the air ducts. This is true whether you’re renovating just one room or the entire house. When you turn on the heat or air conditioning, the construction debris will circulate in the air, landing on the surfaces in your home and will affect the air quality, putting your family’s health at risk. When the contractors finish the job, they will clean the mess on the floors, but they won’t clean the air ducts, and you’ll need to hire a duct cleaning service. They will clean the construction debris from the ducts, ensuring your newly renovated home stays clean and your family remains healthy.

#11 There’s a Smoker in the House

If a member of your household smokes cigarettes or cigars, they should smoke outside to prevent the family from breathing in second-hand smoke. If they insist on smoking in the house, it’s essential to have the ducts cleaned regularly. Tobacco smoke won’t just affect the lungs but also the air ducts. The smoke will leave a sticky residue inside the ducts, and they won’t function as efficiently as they should. Also, when air is passed through the air ducts, it will pass over the residue and pick up nicotine particles and other harmful chemicals that will circulate in the air when the heat or air conditioner runs, which is hazardous to your family’s health.

A duct cleaning service will send a tech to clean the ducts to eliminate the contaminants and will then sterilize the ducts to kill any bacteria and lingering odors to ensure the ducts are clean and your family is safe.

One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth Can Help

If your ducts are due to be cleaned or have never been cleaned, the professionals at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth can help. We’re a full-service HVAC company, proudly serving customers in the area since 1988, and many of our customers have been working with us for over three decades. We have an excellent reputation in the community and have a 5-star rating on Google. Also, we’re an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

Our HVAC techs have undergone professional training and a four-year apprenticeship to become licensed. Their skill and knowledge have allowed them to tackle some of the most challenging jobs in the industry.

HVAC technology constantly evolves, and HVAC systems are designed with more features. We want to be sure our techs can install, maintain and repair the latest HVAC models, so they must receive ongoing training.

We understand that HVAC issues can arise at the most inconvenient times, and your comfort is our number one priority, so we provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you have an HVAC problem that affects your home’s temperature or puts your home and family at risk, we’ll get an HVAC tech to your house as quickly as possible to resolve the problem.

Our tech can handle any HVAC problems and provide routine maintenance. We also specialize in design and air conditioner installation for newly constructed homes and indoor air quality solutions.

If you need your air ducts cleaned or an appointment for any other HVAC service, give One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth a call today.

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Installation Or Repair – How An AC Repair Company Can Help You Decide

Installation Or Repair – How An AC Repair Company Can Help You Decide

Your air conditioner is a major system in your home. That is especially true in areas of Texas where much of the year is very hot (and sometimes even quite humid). Yet, for most people, that system is not one they want to think about having to repair. After all, placing an air conditioner seems like it would be a very expensive task. Can you repair your existing system, or do you need to replace it? If you are unsure which is the best decision for you, turn to an AC repair company for more insight. The best companies are dedicated to helping you get the repairs you need without actually encouraging replacement if you really do not need it. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

How Old is Your System?

One of the first things to consider about your existing air conditioner is its age. The older it is, the less efficient it is. Newer models are 10 to 20 times more efficient than those from a few decades ago. That means that if your air conditioner is more than 15 to 20 years old, replacing it may not just be necessary, but it also could help to lower your home’s energy bills.

Keep in mind that some systems last only 10 to 15 years before they become less efficient. One of the most important conversations to have with your AC repair company is whether you should replace the system to save money on energy costs. In many homes, the heating and air conditioning costs account for as much as 40 to 45 percent of their total utility costs. By choosing a system that is more efficient, you can drastically lower what you are paying for cooling your home.

Let’s say your system is working just fine, and your costs have not jumped up recently. If that is the case, you may want to wait for the repairs until they become more of a requirement – like when there is a significant repair that is needed. However, if it is not operating as efficiently as it used to, replacing it with a more efficient model now makes sense.

It Has Failed

There are some situations where your AC repair company will be able to fix the air conditioner reliably to get it back to working at its proper level. That is the case in most situations. For example, if your air conditioner is not bringing air in, that could be a sign that you need to clean or repair the condenser. You may not have to replace the model just because it is not working.

However, over time, these systems wear down, and you could end up with an AC that simply is not possible to replace. Most often, this will happen if the system is much older or is an inferior model that has problems associated with it. Keep in mind that it is a good idea for you to work with your repair technician to try to alleviate any type of repairable problem first. Then, once the underlying concern is determined, you can make the decision to either fix the system or replace it.

You may want to replace it if it cannot be repaired in a cost-effective manner, too. Even the oldest air conditioners can be repaired in most cases, but that does not mean doing so is the best decision. Rather, it may be too hard to find the necessary parts, or you may not have a technician available to you who can do the repairs due to the age of it.

Moisture Buildup Occurring

Another time when you may wish to consider replacing your system occurs when there is a significant amount of moisture built up within the unit itself. Moisture, which often leads to leaks, can be problematic for air conditioners. This often means that there is something within it that is not working properly. It could be related to a clog in a line, which is an easy fix. It could be related to numerous failures in the lines or a more substantial problem with the condenser.

It is a good idea to talk to the repair technician about the leaks and the moisture as well as the significant risk of mold present. For example, if this leak has been occurring for some time, it may have allowed the development of bacteria and mold in the unit. That means that you could have a situation in which you are struggling to clean out the system properly to protect your home. In this case, it may be wise to work with the technician to determine if replacement of the unit is the most cost-effective option for you.

Is It Breaking Down Often?

While you may not mind having a professional out to make adjustments and repairs, it certainly gets expensive if you have to give them a call every few weeks because your air conditioner is not working well. For that reason, if you notice that your system is failing or needs to be serviced more than once or twice during the high-use season, it may be time to talk to the AC repair company about the value of replacing it.

This is often a big decision, but the technician can help you based on factors like:

  • How likely is it that the same problem is going to happen again?
  • Will it become necessary to replace more components over time?
  • Is this a repair that fixes the problem or just a short-term solution to get the system back up and running again?

Repeated calls for your AC technician can warrant consideration for switching out your air conditioner for a new model. However, it is always a good idea to ensure that the technicians have done everything possible to address the actual cause of the concerns. That is especially true if the system is younger, and therefore, it is likely to have more life left in it.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair?

Ultimately, you need to know how much it is going to cost you to get your air conditioner back up and running again. Here’s the bottom line. Sometimes, the cost to repair the system will be more than half of what it costs to install a new system. It could be much less, but it could also be much more. The AC repair company you work with is likely to be very honest and frank with you about this. Sometimes, when the cost of repair is high – such as due to the need to replace the entire outdoor condenser unit or the motor – it may be more affordable in the long term to replace the entire system.

How affordable this is to you is a big factor, of course. Talk to the technician about what is happening, though. For example, if they can repair it but the problem may continue to happen, it may be a better decision to simply replace it instead. If the repair is likely to buy you a few more years of use, then it may be worth it to you to expand on it. The cost of a new system is a consideration, though. If the repair is going to cost thousands of dollars, find out from the company how much it would cost to replace it. Getting both quotes can help you to determine which is the best way forward for your specific situation.

Refrigerant Concerns

Another factor to think about when it comes to replacing or repairing your air conditioner is how it works. That is, many systems that are over 10 years old will use a product called R-22 refrigerant. However, that is no longer found in today’s systems. In fact, as of 2020, it is no longer allowed for any company in the country to produce this product. That means that if you have a system that is reliant on it, you may find it is not just hard to find but also very expensive to pay for.

If your system is older and you are using this product as a refrigerant, seriously consider making a move to a new air conditioner. Even if you do not do so now and find the refrigerant you need, it will be much more costly to fix later on. It may just be better to move to a system that uses R-410A, which is widely available.

Keep in mind that making this switch is also a good one for the environment. Since these products are not safe to use, your AC repair company is likely to encourage you to move away from using these products for your needs. It just will not be worth the investment to you in the long term to keep replacing and repairing these systems.

Your Long-Term Goals

Talk to the AC repair company about your goals for your home, too. For example, if you plan to live in your home for years to come without any sign of moving, it makes sense to replace an old AC system that is no longer efficient or may even be costing you a lot of money. On the other hand, if you plan to move in the next year and your technician tells you the AC will likely need to be replaced within the coming few years, you may want to hold off.

Now, it is important to be open about this if you do sell your home (you have to disclose the actual condition of your property and all major systems to sellers). Yet, the cost of replacing the AC system may not be fully realized in your budget when you replace what you have with a new one. In other words, it may make sense to hold off if you plan to sell in the coming months.

How to Find Out What Your Next Step Is

Your AC repair company is a resource to you. If you have spent time comparing a few companies and now have a good idea about which one you wish to work with, you should trust them. You should be able to ask them to offer a fair opinion about what the best move is for you.

Making the decision to replace your AC unit instead of repairing it is one that you have to make with all of the information that is available to you. Here are some tips to help you with that process.

  • Know what the actual underlying cause of the problem is. That sounds simple, but that is not always what you find out. Often, what you think is the problem really is not, and you find yourself continuously adding on one more repair and service after the other.
  • Consider your budget. You may be able to find help with financing the purchase of a new system. And, if it reduces your energy costs over time, it could help to pay for itself over the next few years. That could make switching it out a good deal.
  • It is rarely beneficial to replace a working and nonproblematic system with a new one. Even if a new model would be more energy efficient, it is still going to cost you time and money to make the switch (and you’ll be adding to the landfill as well).

Your First Step is to Find Someone You Trust

If you need repairs or you are considering a replacement, make your first step a call to an AC repair company you know and trust. Spend your time verifying that this company can do what you need and want them to do. Then, ask for a quote. This gives you all of the information you need to determine if you need to make repairs or replace your system.

At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth, we will provide you with an honest determination of which is the best route for you to take.

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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Your Trusted AC Repair Professional’s Take On Reasons Your AC Lights Are Blinking

Your Trusted AC Repair Professional’s Take On Reasons Your AC Lights Are Blinking

Air conditioning systems are effective, reliable, and convenient electrical appliances that afford you the luxury of cooling your home to the ideal temperature. They make your home comfortable and a haven where you and your family can enjoy time together without excess heat. However, these great appliances are complex and can sometimes leave an extensive impact on your local environment. Usually, when an air conditioner light starts blinking, it indicates something is wrong with your system and the need for an AC repair expert. Many AC brands incorporate a blinking light in their systems for homeowners to have an easier time identifying when there is an underlying problem in the system that needs repair. Therefore, this article will highlight some of the reasons why your AC might be blinking.

Clogged Air Filters

Clogged filters are the first cause of blinking lights in an air conditioning system. During regular operation, dust, dirt, and other airborne particles are caught by the air filter as it cleans your home’s air supply. Over time, these particles accumulate and eventually cause a clog if not cleaned. When your air conditioning system’s air filters are clogged or the air filter is dirty, the clog hinders the smooth operation of the evaporator unit. Consequently, this makes the systems work harder to provide your home with clean, conditioned air.

This, in turn, results in a blinking light indicating that your system is not running efficiently. If left unattended for a long time, your AC system continues working harder than needed, which causes more energy use. It can also result in a system breakdown. Therefore, you should contact a repair expert immediately when you notice a blinking light on your air conditioning system.

Substandard Air Circulation

Another major cause of blinking lights in most air conditioning systems is substandard air circulation in your home. When your air conditioning system does not supply your home with sufficient air, you will experience an issue of not being efficiently cooled. A substandard air supply to your home might be due to a problem with your system’s blower motor. Since the blower motor forces air-conditioned air throughout your home, the conditioned air will not cool your home when it breaks down or does not run efficiently. Therefore, the air conditioner will light a blinking light to indicate that the system is not operating efficiently.

Another major cause of substandard air supply by your air conditioning system is the wrong installation of your aircon system. When an AC system is wrongly installed, it does not cool the air, which causes the light to blink. Therefore, if you notice a blinking light check the error code your aircon displays and confirm what it means on the user manual. Notably, it is vital always to have a qualified AC repair technician install your AC system.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

The seamless operation of your air conditioning system depends on all its parts operating efficiently. Therefore, when the evaporator coil freezes, it dramatically impacts the system’s operation. In turn, the aircon lights a blinking light to indicate an overlying problem. One of the significant causes of your AC system coils freezing is dirty air filters. An accumulation of dirt and dust in your AC obstructs air from getting in and out of the system. They get too cold without proper air circulation in the evaporator coils, accumulating ice. Therefore, it is advisable to have your filters changed regularly to avoid this from happening. Additionally, if your AC has a broken fan, the evaporator coil does not receive enough airflow leading it to freeze and impact the system’s operation.

Another major cause of the frozen evaporator coil in your aircon system is a malfunctioning thermostat. For your AC to operate efficiently, your thermostat plays a vital role. It checks the temperature in your home and controls how hard the system needs to work to meet your temperature requirements. If your thermostat is broken, it senses the wrong temperature, thus misleading the AC to operate improperly. It could make the AC run too hard, which strains and wears out the system leading to frozen coils if left unchecked. Therefore, contact an AC repair company if your AC needs to be fixed.

Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant in an AC system plays an essential role in keeping the system running efficiently and optimally. It absorbs the heat in the air from your home, leaving it cool and ready to recirculate again. Notably, to efficiently take all the heat in your air, the refrigerant has to be of a stipulated quantity. Therefore, when your air conditioning system has a leaking refrigerant, the amount decreases, impacting air cooling. Condensation might occur in your air conditioning system without enough refrigerant, leading your condenser to freeze. This means your home’s air will not be cooled even if the system runs throughout. Eventually, this will result in condenser freezing.

On the other hand, a leaking refrigerant can also damage your compressor unit, indicated by a hissing sound. Consequently, your aircon light will start blinking to indicate a problem in the system. An AC repair technician will investigate the cause of the problem, seal the leaking part, and refill the refrigerant restoring your system’s efficient operation.

Substandard Maintenance

A lack of regular and professional maintenance for your aircon can lead the system to malfunction and even break down. Therefore, it is essential to have a regular maintenance service for your system. The technician will ensure that all the systems are operating efficiently. They will also clean the filters, vents, and air ducts, eliminating airborne particles. Therefore, if your system has a blinking light, it might indicate it needs servicing.

Have you been noticing a blinking sign from your air conditioning unit? This might indicate that your system needs maintenance or replacement of dirty filters. Therefore, contact us today at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth for AC maintenance services.

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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