HVAC Philly Blog

Providing Comfort To The Greater Philadelphia Area For Over 20 Years

Top 5 Steps To Keep Your AC Unit Running Cool All Summer — June 26, 2017

Top 5 Steps To Keep Your AC Unit Running Cool All Summer

imagesImagine this….you are sitting at home, enjoying a lazy summer day with the family, everyone pleasantly cool. The kids are playing outside and running in periodically to cool off from the summer heat. The dog is content to lay in the sun indoors. Then, disaster strikes…you air conditioner breaks down! 

Now also imagine that your unit needs a full replacement and your AC is on your roof. It could take over two weeks to get a replacement put in.  It would be completely unbearable to live in a 100 degree home while waiting for the unit to be fixed. You would have to, in the meantime,  move the whole family, including the dog, and live with your in-laws for two weeks. That is if you are lucky enough to have family to turn to and that you get along well enough that you wouldn’t drive each other crazy during that time. Otherwise you are looking at either an extremely high electric bill from all of the fans and tricks you try to stay cool, or a costly hotel stay.

Basically it’s your everyday, run of the mill, nightmare. That is why it is incredibly important to  make sure your air conditioner is running well- before it’s too late. HVAC Philly, who serve the greater Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery County areas, provide some steps that you can take to prevent a situation like the one above. By keeping yourself aware of what to do, you can proactively prevent any major issues from occurring.

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Step 1. Replace your air filter when it’s dirty. Be sure to check your filter every single month to make sure it is not getting full of dust, lint, or pet hair. A clogged filter makes your HVAC unit work harder. Filters are readily available at your local store or online and they are a lot easier and whole lot less expensive to replace than an air conditioner! If your unit doesn’t look particularly dirty, be sure to change it at least every couple of months anyway to keep everything running smoothly.

Step 2. Pay attention to how your AC unit sounds. If your HVAC is making noises beyond a low humming, it’s time to call an expert. You should not be able to hear any clanging or banging.  If you do, be sure to call someone to diagnose the problem ASAP.

Step 3. Keep nature at bay. Whether your unit is on your roof, on the side of your house, or in the back, be sure that there aren’t any bushes, trees, or other things in the immediate space of your unit. Having your unit that close to any natural obstruction. can actually block the airflow.

Step 4. Clean the drain line. You should be pouring a solution of 1 cup bleach and 3 cups water down your condensate drain tube every three months. That will help it keep clear of algae and other debris. It’s best to call an HVAC tech to help with this, especially if your unit is hard to get to.

Step 5. Call in a professional at least once- but preferably twice- per year. Think of it as a doctor for your air conditioner- your unit may not be broken yet, but a check up could prevent something serious down the line.

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Prevent having to learn the hard way the trouble that it takes to go through replacing an HVAC system in the middle of the summer. Not only will it cost you time and your comfort, but it cost a lot of money as well. Fortunately, HVAC units typically work for 10-14 years if they’re treated right- which means regular checkups and maintenance as soon as a problem begins, not when the damage has been done.

If you haven’t had your HVAC unit checked out in awhile, it’s time to schedule your free estimate with HVAC Philly, today! Air conditioner repair involves complex mechanical systems, our Philadelphia AC repair service technicians are certified and well trained to handle any and all Air Conditioning Repair in Philadelphia – HVAC Philly Offers Same day AC Repair Philadelphia Trust

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

Why You Should Service Your Air Conditioner for Summer Comfort — June 19, 2017

Why You Should Service Your Air Conditioner for Summer Comfort

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It is common knowledge that we can make the choice to pay our auto mechanics a small fee now for a routine maintenance service, or eventually pay them a lot later for a major repair. It is the same concept that holds true for your air conditioner or heat pump. Unfortunately by not servicing your air conditioner or heat pump on a regular basis, you will certainly find yourself not only uncomfortable in the hot summer, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Berks County, PA nights, but also scrambling to pay for a whole new AC system.

In this article the term air conditioner will apply to a heat pump or a standard air conditioner. Both benefit equally from annual service tune-ups.

An air conditioner is a very rugged piece of equipment. It is engineered and made to withstand any and all hard work and keep on running. This is fantastic in most ways, the only downfall is that it can lead to complacency about maintenance. Again, like a car, air conditioners need regular tune-ups to run properly.

Without proper and regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of it’s original efficiency for each year of operation. This means that the 12 SEER unit that you bought just a few years ago may be functioning like a 9 SEER unit today.  It’s not all bad news. You can recover most of that lost efficiency through regular maintenance. There have been studies show that with regular tune-ups a unit will maintain up to 95% of it’s original efficiency! This will mean that the cost of an annual tune-up is recovered rather quickly by earning savings on your monthly electric bill and reduced repair costs. A properly serviced air conditioner will also do a better job of dehumidifying your home.

The service check should include cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, oiling the fan motors, checking that belts are well adjusted, and checking the system operating pressures and temperatures against the manufacturers specifications. One of the most important items to check is the coolant level (previously known as Freon) in the air conditioner. A system that is only 10% low on coolant will cost about 20% more to operate! The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recommends that coolant levels be checked every year.

If your unit is low on coolant, and more must be added, there are new laws governing its use. Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that will damage the Earths protective ozone layer if released into the atmosphere. The laws governing CFC’s now do not allow your air conditioner contractor to add Freon to a leaky system. [Ed note: CFCs are no longer allowed and various alternative refrigerants are now common.] They are first required to find and fix the leak in the system. Don’t ask them to violate this law as they may lose their license if they are caught doing this.

There are some things in addition to yearly tune-ups that you can do to help ensure a high level of comfort and proper system operation:

  1. Buy good filters and change them regularly.
  2. Keep bushes and other materials away from the outside unit of your air conditioner.
  3. Avoid closing supply air outlets in your house. In almost all cases, closing supply outlets is harmful to the operation of the overall system.

All equipment, even the most reliable, needs routine maintenance. Complicated equipment like today’s air conditioners benefit in many ways from annual service. They recover much of their lost efficiency, they are less likely to suffer a major break down, they have a longer life span, they increase your comfort, and they operate for less money.

Check with HVAC Philly for specials offers and special prices at this time of the year. Some HVAC contractors even offer annual service programs that insure that you will be reminded of the need to service the unit at the beginning of the cooling and heating seasons.

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

How to Find the Right Air Conditioning Repair in Philadelphia — June 14, 2017

How to Find the Right Air Conditioning Repair in Philadelphia

Summer is in full swing in Philadelphia, which means it’s the busiest time of the year for air conditioning repair. When your air conditioner breaks down in the summer, you’ll need emergency air conditioning repair. With temperatures in the upper 90’s, going without air conditioning for an extended period can be dangerous and costly. When your AC breaks down there are two things you should do: Stay cool and call a professional. There are a lot of professional HVAC companies out there, so how do you find the best one? When you search air conditioning repair Philadelphia online, there’s an overwhelming amount of companies that appear. Don’t worry though, we’ll tell you exactly what to look for to find the best air conditioning repair in Philadelphia.

Start With Experience

When you first start your search for air conditioning repair Philadelphia, you’ll see a lot of companies. The first criteria you can use to narrow your search is experience. While this isn’t the end all be all of a good HVAC company, years of experience usually translate to better and faster service when you need it. Also, an air conditioning repair company that has been around will have word of mouth about their business one way or another, so you can avoid any bad eggs. At HVAC Philly, we have over 20 years of experience in AC and heating repair. We’ve seen it all, and we have it down to a science.

Ask for Reviews

Make sure you do your research on whichever Philadelphia AC repair company you choose. It’s easy for a company to fabricate a few positive reviews on their website. Be sure to check services like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google Business to get a better idea of how each company treats their clients. You should also ask a prospective AC repair Philadelphia company if they’ve had clients in your neighborhood for a trusted testimonial.

Get an Estimate and Compare

The sad truth is, some HVAC companies will try to rip you off. Getting an estimate to compare to another company’s is a great way to make sure you aren’t getting a bad deal. Of course, during the summer heat waves, you’ll want to get air conditioning repair as soon as possible, so you may have to settle for calling around to other companies or researching average prices for the estimate you were given.

Ask About Insurance

An air conditioning repair Philadelphia company is required to be bonded, licensed, and insured in order to operate in the state of Pennsylvania. Make sure you ask to see proof of insurance from whoever you have come to fix your air conditioner. Some people will try to take advantage of the summer heat and operate amateur HVAC businesses. If someone who isn’t properly insured is working in your house and gets injured, you could be held liable.

Ask About 24 Hr Emergency Air Conditioning Repair

When you need summertime air conditioning repair Philadelphia, find a company who offers 24 hour emergency air conditioning repair. Summer is the busiest time for AC repair, so if a company doesn’t offer emergency AC repair, it could take days until someone can come to see you.

If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, give us a call at 215-725-6111. With over 20 years of experience in Philadelphia AC repair, we offer unparalleled professionalism and quality service.

Stay cool my friends.

4 Reasons to Regularly Replace Your AC Filter — June 13, 2017

4 Reasons to Regularly Replace Your AC Filter

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The filter for your HVAC unit is one of the most important components of the machine that is often overlooked. With the help of filters they keep HVAC systems running as smoothly as possible with very little maintenance intervention. New filters can also help improve the air quality in your home.  HVAC Philly of the greater Philadelphia area, provide the top four reasons to change your AC filter — and the consequences of how it can affect your home if you don’t.

Improve Efficiency

Most people assume that air filters are just for the clarity of your home’s air, the filters also play a huge role in the efficiency of your HVAC system. Filters keep the dirt and bacteria that circulate through your air and clog your filter from reaching the rest of your system.

When your filter gets dirty, it can build up and increasingly block air flow, which then in turn increases your energy bills. Your air conditioning system has to then work harder which will consume more electricity or fuel to maintain the temperature at which you keep your thermostat.

Reduce Maintenance

If the filter in your HVAC unit is dirty, it can make the system work much harder to heat or cool the air and that increase in energy and strain on the A/C unit can end up wearing down components faster than usual, leading to the need for maintenance to create a well-functioning HVAC unit.

You may even have to replace your HVAC system sooner if you don’t change your air filter. There will come a point, that the cost of repairs and maintenance will far outweigh the value of the system. If you want your air conditioner and furnace to last as long as possible, replace your AC filter regularly.

Improve Air Quality

When you have a dirty air filter, your HVAC unit is forcing the air through the debris, which means that all the pollutants and allergens caught on the filter are re-entering the air supply of your home and your lungs. If you replace the air filter for your unit regularly, this isn’t something you’d have to worry about, but irregular replacements can lead to higher levels of allergens entering your home.

By regularly replacing your filter, the air quality of your home will increase markedly, since the air isn’t being forced through a dirty filter anymore. This can help the overall health of your family, especially during allergen-heavy seasons.

Save Money

If your system isn’t working as hard or breaking down due to overuse, you won’t spend nearly as much money on maintenance. Replacing the filter regularly can not only help you cut down on maintenance costs, but also on electricity bills. Your system will consume less energy, so you’ll benefit each month when your utility statement arrives.

Also, if you reduce your exposure to allergens in your home,  you will not have to put more money into buying medication and doctors visits. You will breathe easier without assistance from allergy medications, which means greater health and a bigger bank account.

The filter on your HVAC unit is an important component that often gets overlooked, but it can end up making all the difference in the efficiency and longevity of your unit, as well as affect the state of your health and budget.

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

 

Air Conditioner Not Working? Here’s How To Stay Cool — June 12, 2017

Air Conditioner Not Working? Here’s How To Stay Cool

The heat is here to stay in Philadelphia, and our air conditioners will be working full force during the upcoming summer months. Having your air conditioner not working due to a break down is an emergency during the summer. If you need your air conditioning repaired in the summer, you’ll want to find a company like HVAC Philly who offers 24 hour emergency HVAC service. Even so, Summer is the busiest season for HVAC repairs, so you’ll want to keep your house cool while you wait for a tech to arrive. Read on for our tips on how to stay cool in the Philadelphia heat if you have a case of your air conditioner not working.

Air Conditioner Not Working? Follow these steps:

Shut Out the Sun

The blazing summer sun will heat up your home if you let it. If your air conditioner breaks, the first thing you should do is make sure all windows and doors are shut and close the blinds. This will keep your house cooler as you block out the summer rays. Use lights sparingly; they can add heat to a room as well.

Keep Your Body Cool

Even if your house warms up, you don’t have to! Stay cool with iced water, frozen treats, or a cool, wet cloth around your head or neck. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can even try going to bed with slightly damp sheets that will keep you cool until your body temperature drops while you catch some Z’s. Your body uses water to regulate temperature, so make sure you stay plenty hydrated as well.

Don’t Cook Inside

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Summertime is perfect for grilling! Cooking up chicken in the oven might be delicious, but using a stove or oven inside will add unnecessary heat to your house. So fire up the grill, order out, or eat a cold meal, and you’ll keep cool all day.

Be Smart With Your Fans

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Use small, portable fans to blow hot air out of the house. This can be especially useful on the second floor of your home where hot air frequently gets trapped. You should also adjust your ceiling fans so that they rotate counter-clockwise. Otherwise, they’ll just push hot air around the room.

Go to the Movies or a Museum

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What better way to stay cool than a dark, chilly movie theater? Kick back with a bucket of popcorn and watch your favorite movie while staying cool. You can also go to the Philadelphia art museum where the paintings require a strictly controlled, comfortable climate. You’ll enjoy culture, stay cool, and forget you have an air conditioner not working at home. It’s a win-win situation.

Sleep Alone (On Cotton Sheets)

As great as it is to cuddle in bed, you’ll stay cooler if you sleep by yourself at night. Don’t forget to put on some lightweight cotton sheets before you go to bed. They breathe better than other fabrics and will help keep you cool during your summer slumber. Also, don’t forget to open the windows at night to let trapped heat out. When the temperature finally drops, you’ll be happy you did.

Get Emergency HVAC Service

If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, call the pros at HVAC Philly at 215-725-6111 for 24 hour emergency air conditioning repair. We have over 20 years of experience and offer unparalleled professionalism.

Stay cool my friends.

Steps To Follow Before Turning On Your Air Conditioner — June 11, 2017

Steps To Follow Before Turning On Your Air Conditioner

Well, it is now here.  We were able to stretch out the spring, light air and cooler evenings, but the heat is here with a vengeance in the greater Philadelphia area, and HVAC Philly is ready and available to assist in all of your air conditioning needs from installation, to repair. We serve the whole Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and have expert technicians available to aide in emergency repairs. We at HVAC Philly are committed to providing excellent service and expert advice. Here are some steps you should be sure to follow before turning on your air conditioning unit this season.

heat wave in the city and hand showing thermometer for high temp

Some years in the Philadelphia area, it seems we have two seasons: winter and summer. We sometimes go from freezing cold temperatures and excessive use of our furnace or boiler system right to sweltering heat and regular use of our air conditioners.

While weather has been cooler and very spring like, we all know that a break in the weather means summer is coming — and coming fast!

Soon enough, you and many other homeowners will be looking for relief from the heat that only comes from your central air conditioning system. You will want your system to work not only the first time you need it, but every time you turn it on this summer.

Now is the time to check your system for any problems or needed maintenance. By checking your system now, you can do any simple repairs that may need to done or call for service from a professional, such as HVAC Philly,  before the weather gets warmer.

By waiting and hoping, when you go to turn on the system on our first hot day, you could cause days of discomfort while you wait for repairs., ,

Here are our recommended, simple steps, you can take to visually and physically inspect the different parts of your system to make sure your air conditioning will work when you need it.

 

Indoor Equipment Vital to Your Overall Well Being

Begin with your thermostat in the “off” position with the temperature turned to a high setting (around 80 degrees), then proceed to check the following:

1. Look at thermostat. Is it outdated? You could save money and energy by installing a newer, programmable thermostat.

2. Check any exposed duct work for wear, which could be a source of cooling loss or inefficiency in the home.

3. Look at air vents around the home. Remove any items that could block airflow, such as drapes, furniture or toys.

4. Check the drain line. There is a drain by the indoor cooling coil, typically mounted above the furnace in the basement.

If you flush one cup of chlorine bleach down your air conditioning drain and rinse it with a gallon of water, you can keep your drain clear through the summer. Air conditioner drain lines become clogged when there is a build up of dirt collected by the indoor coil.

5. Change your air filter. The filter should be changed every three months (or as recommended by the manufacturer) and definitely before the start of a new cooling or heating season.

6. Check circuits to be sure electrical connections are on.

7. Be sure the power is turned “on” at the furnace/air conditioning unit.

 

Outdoor Equipment Your System Won’t Run Without

8. Inspect the outdoor condenser unit. Make sure there is no blockage in or near the equipment and clean the area around the unit. Leaves, vines or debris can block the interior components and affect performance.

Also you want to check for any missing panels. The panels are designed to enclose the electrical connections. 

9. Visually check the refrigerant lines. The lines should be insulated. Proper insulation will improve the efficiency of the system. Repairs to the insulation or refrigerant lines should be done by a professional.

10. Check to make sure there is no wear on the outdoor electrical wiring. If you see damage or wear, call a professional for service before using your system.

11. Know when it’s time your air conditioner may have reached retirement age. Air conditioners have a life span. Even if your unit has been properly maintained, it will eventually wear out.

Time to Turn on Your A/C

After you have checked your indoor and outdoor equipment as described above, you can turn on the system to test it.

  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat to the desired level and turn the system “on” at the thermostat.
  • Go outside and listen to make sure that the fan in the condenser is running and that it doesn’t sound irregular. The air coming out of the top of the unit should feel warm, as warm air is being removed from your home by the system.
  • Let the system run for 10 – 15 minutes or more, until you can feel the indoor temperature cooling off in all parts of the home.

Troubleshooting and Energy Tips

It is a good idea to hire a good service technician at least once per year for regular maintenance to keep your system running efficiently in each season. If you ran into any problems or concerns during your air conditioning inspection, you should call a professional for service in advance of the summer season when you’ll want your system to be ready to cool your home.

To help keep your energy bills under control during the summer, you can lower costs by simply increasing the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees. Here’s a related blog post that can help you with additional tips on saving money and energy by using recommended temperature settings.

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

 

A Side By Side Comparison:How To Choose The Best Air Conditioner For Your Home. — June 7, 2017

A Side By Side Comparison:How To Choose The Best Air Conditioner For Your Home.

90465_1000x1000In the hot summer months it’s easy to see why air conditioning is a home comfort necessity, especially if you live in an area with high humidity. The question is which air conditioning unit will work best for you?

When it comes to efficiency levels, aesthetics and the ability to provide comfort, results can vary.  HVAC Philly takes a look at the pros and cons of each unit or system to help you decide which is the best option for your home.

Window air conditioners

Window units are a popular type of cooling equipment that are designed to fit in double- and single-hung windows. They are usually installed in older apartments buildings like those in historic cities and towns located in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties in PA., that lack central air conditioning, or they can give a cooling boost to single rooms in larger homes.

  • Some benefits of using a window air conditioner are:

    Window air conditioners are small,  portable and easy-to-install without a professional HVAC specialist’s help.

    When working with a tight budget a window unit is the least expensive equipment option for adding air conditioning to your home.

    Today’s models are up to 30 percent more efficient than those manufactured only a decade ago.

    They also come with warranties as long as five years to give you peace of mind when you make your purchase.

  • Some disadvantages of using a window air conditioner are:

    Window air conditioners are not intended to cool an entire house.

    You will need multiple units to keep every room comfortable.

    Every unit that is installed in your windows will limit your use and block views of the outside.

    You also have to deal with the noise of a compressor running right by your ear.

    If you decide you need a large unit, you may find it difficult to install and remove for winter storage.

    Factors that can impair window air conditioner efficiency include high ceilings, lots of windows and doors, high sun exposure, and cooling a room on the top floor.

Portable air conditioners

These units are very similar to window air conditioners, however they stand on the floor instead of going directly into the window. This type of unit draws in air, removes heat and moisture, and vents cool, dry air back into your home. Hot, humid air is vented through an exhaust hose going out the window. This is only a better option to window units if you have the wrong kind of windows, or you are unable to lift heavier window air conditioners.

  • Some benefits of using a portable air conditioner are:

    Portable air conditioners are even easier to set up than window units.

    The floor units roll around on casters so you can position them exactly where you need them.

    The hose leading out of the window will not obstruct the view, and it is easy to temporarily remove the hose so you can utilize the window when the weather is nice.

  • Some disadvantages of using a portable air conditioner are:

    Portable air conditioners tend to only deliver half the cooling capacity they claim, according to consumer reports, which can leave you feeling hot and sweaty even when the unit is working nonstop.

    They are also more expensive and less efficient than similarly sized window units. Noise is another factor, and most portable air conditioners have water reservoirs you must drain manually as the unit removes excess humidity from the air.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners

A ductless mini-split is a heat pump without duct work. It has two main components; the first is an outdoor compressor, similar to the ones found in central air conditioners; the second is an indoor evaporator coil and air handling unit that mounts to the wall or ceiling. A conduit traveling through a sealed hole in the wall links the two units together.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are designed for cooling older homes without duct work, and smaller homes  or add-ons where adding duct work isn’t feasible. Some of the newer ductless AC models achieve the highest efficiency ratings of any type of air conditioning system.

  • Some benefits of using a ductless mini-split air conditioner are:

    The main advantage of mini-splits is their ability to provide flexible cooling to separate parts of your house, at the same time maintaining a small size and energy efficient operation.

    It is as close as it gets to central air conditioning without having to install duct work.

    Since mini-splits are a type of heat pump, they can also provide home heating in the winter.

    Ductless mini-splits operate as quietly as an ordinary fan. The compressor is located outside which makes these units much quieter than a window or portable home air conditioner.

    There is no need to access the window during installation, mini-splits provide better home security, an unobstructed view of the outside, and the ability to operate the window whenever you want.

  • Some disadvantages of using a ductless mini-split air conditioner are:

    Ductless mini-splits are more expensive than window or portable units.

    You will need a professional HVAC contractor to perform the installation, which will include drilling a three-inch hole in the wall to link indoor and outdoor components.

    You will need to take interior design considerations into account since the unit mounts to the wall or ceiling of the room you want to heat or cool.

Central air conditioning system

The most comprehensive way to cool your home is using a central air conditioning system. It involves distributing cooled air through duct work with return and supply registers in each room. All air conditioning components are located outside, except for the air handler, which is usually shared with the furnace. If you’re looking for whole-house cooling, and you already have duct work in place, this is the option that makes most sense.

  • Some benefits of using a central AC system are:

    Central air conditioning is the most efficient way to keep your whole house cool.

    Lower energy bills as well as better indoor comfort, cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

    Air conditioning components located outside will keep your home cool with a virtually invisible, silent system.

    Installation is  easy and straightforward if you already have duct work, but you will still need to hire an HVAC professional for the job.

    It is an investment that adds value to your home.

  • Some disadvantages of using a central AC system are:

    Central air conditioning systems for homes require annual maintenance to remain in top working condition for years to come.

    Higher upfront costs as well, especially if you also need duct work. However, if you’re just replacing an existing central air conditioning unit, the cost is less expensive than putting in a new ductless mini-split.

The final thought while you are deciding on and comparing air conditioning systems is what size you need for your home. If you choose an undersized unit, it won’t keep up on the hottest days. If you install an over sized unit, it will short cycle, which wears out parts faster and doesn’t give the unit a chance to dehumidify the space.

When you choose a central home air conditioner or ductless mini-split, a licensed professional contractor sizes the unit for you so it precisely meets your cooling needs. It’s just one more reason to opt for a professionally installed home air conditioning unit.

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

Tips For Saving Money On Your Thermostat — June 2, 2017

Tips For Saving Money On Your Thermostat

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When the heat of the summer hits Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, your utility bill can be source of stress. Unfortunately the prices seem to be on the rise as the weather continues to get more extreme. The trick is to find tips that help you to ease some of the stress put on your air conditioning system. HVAC Philly provides some helpful tips for lowering your monthly costs.

Install New Windows

The first place you can start is with your windows. If you have old or drafty windows, it is definitely a good time to upgrade. Air conditioning escaping through the gaps in your windows is like money going down the drain. Find energy efficient windows that can help keep that precious climate controlled air on the inside where it belongs. The good news is that you can recoup the cost of new windows with savings on your energy bill.

Seal All Air Leaks

In older homes you may find noticeable hot spots in the summer indicating that it is not sealed the right way. A home that is properly sealed is another way you can eliminate wasting the cold air from your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. You simply need someone to go around with sealing caulk and plug up holes along windows, doors, and other drafty areas.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

Having a programmable thermostat is a fantastic and economical way to control your cooling costs when you are at home or even when you are away. This useful tool can be set so that air conditioning can be turned down or off when you are not home. If you pre-program a schedule for your house, you may end up using a lot less energy.

Add Insulation

Poorly insulated houses need more energy to keep cool in the summer. You may need to have a contractor come out and check your attic or exterior facing walls for sufficient insulation. Extra insulation can truly make a difference in your utility bill.

Ensure your HVAC System is Ideal

Another really great way to start saving money is to have an updated heating and air conditioning system. Older HVAC systems are literally throwing money out the door with the wastefulness and inefficiency. It’s also important to get your system checked periodically for service before the cold of winter or the heat of summer comes along.

Use Ceiling Fans

If you want to create a well-ventilated system where the cool air gets circulated in the summer, a ceiling fan is your best bet. Your HVAC system can only do so much, especially if you have high ceilings or larger rooms. Ceiling fans can help make the air flow much better in your house.

With a few smart tips, you can ensure that your home can feel comfortable in the height of summer. You don’t have to suffer in a sweltering house by lowering the thermostat by avoiding the air conditioning. Just make sure you optimize the home that you have.

HVAC Philly is available for emergency repair, maintenance, and installation of your AC Unit.  Contact us online or call today to set up consultation. 215725-6111

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

How to Avoid Common HVAC Scams — May 30, 2017

How to Avoid Common HVAC Scams

The hot weather is here to stay, and that means it’s air conditioning season in Philadelphia. If you have an air conditioner breakdown, you’ll need emergency HVAC service to get your house to a comfortable climate ASAP. It’ s important to hire the right HVAC company when you need quick service. While the majority of HVAC companies are honest, there will always be a few bad apples out there who will try to take advantage of your situation with a variety of common HVAC scams. At HVAC Philly, we want to provide you with tips to identify and avoid common HVAC scams, so you can protect your wallet and report predatory HVAC companies.

HVAC Scam #1: The Tune-Up

Have you ever seen an ad or been contacted about an air conditioner tune up for a price of around $59? The price seems too good to be true, and it is. If you fall for one of these tune-ups, you’re really just paying a contractor to come give you a sales pitch. 9 times out of 10, they’ll perform a “tune-up” and proceed to tell you about a serious problem they found that needs replacing. If you think about it, these tune-ups only benefit the HVAC company if they can sell you an expensive repair or new part. When contractors are paid an average of $35/hr, they’re losing money to send a technician to drive out to your house and perform a tune-up for only $59.

In general, you should be avoid these tune-ups. If you do have one, don’t be surprised if the technician finds a “problem” that needs repairing. Remember, you can always get a second opinion if you want to be sure that there’s no problem. You’re not obligated to the company who performed the “tune-up” to fix it.

HVAC Scam #2: The 12 Year Warranty

Popular manufactures of air conditioning and heating equipment such as Lennox, Bryant, Trane, and Goodman all provide free warranties on their parts that are attached to the serial number on your unit. Often, you can extend these warranties by 2 years for just a few dollars more. Some HVAC companies might try to sell you on an extended warranty for your newly installed air conditioning system. Again, if the warranty seems too good to be true, it probably is. Commonly, these companies will offer a 12 year parts and labor warranty for FREE. What’s the catch? Well, hidden in the contract you sign, there will be a preventative service agreement stating that you’ll agree to pay hundreds of dollars per year in preventative service to be eligible for the warranty.

If you see these kinds of warranties, be sure to ask about any preventive service agreements and carefully read anything before you sign it.

HVAC Scam #3: The Ever-changing Estimate

Whenever you agree to pay a HVAC company for services, make sure you have an agreed upon price in writing. If your HVAC technician tells you a repair will be “about $_____”, he might as well be waving a big red flag around. In other words, he’ll probably try to charge you a higher price when the repair is over.

A written estimate protects you from paying predatory prices and allows you to protect yourself if the repair isn’t completed. You can also use a written estimate to get a second opinion and make sure you aren’t paying too much for a simple repair.

HVAC Scam #4: The “Professional” Contractor

Out of all the HVAC scams we’ve covered so far, this one will cost you the most money. Have you ever had an amateur repair job? They usually cost you more money than you should have to pay. Beware of amateur contractors who try to pass themselves off as licensed HVAC technicians. Do your research before hiring a HVAC company; read their reviews, and check their rates online. It’s perfectly okay to ask for a HVAC technician’s license when they come to your house. If a company has too many bad reviews or gives you excuses as to why they can’t show you their license, look for another company.

Hopefully you never have to deal with any of these HVAC scams, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you live in Philadelphia, Bucks, or Montgomery County, call HVAC Philly at 215-725-6111 for trustworthy and professional air conditioning repair.

Stay cool my friends.

Investing Wisely In Your HVAC System By Using Preventive Maintenance: Part 2 —

Investing Wisely In Your HVAC System By Using Preventive Maintenance: Part 2

Part 2 of this blog post series picks up where Part  1 left off. Catch up here and learn how preventative maintenance can save you time and money in the future.

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Focus Areas
Some facets of a maintenance plan are straight forward – change the oil, change the belts, change the filters (just like your car). However, to keep a system running at peak efficiency, you’ll need to expend more elbow grease beyond the basics from time to time. Air-handler coils need to be cleaned regularly to keep heat transfer at maximum amounts. Boilers need to be cleaned once a year; even 1/16-inch of soot and ash on heat-exchange surfaces in an oil-firing boiler can reduce efficiency by 10 percent.

Also, do not forget fire testing. Fire testing and flame adjustment should be performed every 3 years. Measurement is important, you can not just eye the flame in a boiler.

Predictive maintenance is important as well. Tracking different system indicators such as oil temperature, RPM speeds, and other factors,  will allow you to pick up on many rising problems before they reach a crisis situation.  Many different diagnostics can point to issues where service isn’t being performed in the repetitive, regular nature that it is supposed to be.

Erecting automation systems can be an invaluable in maintenance diagnostic by greatly improving response time to maintenance issues via troubleshooting. Building automation systems can also be linked to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs) to further enhance your operations.

Keeping Tabs on Work
Once you have your plan ironed out, take the list of HVAC tasks that need to be done monthly, quarterly, annually, etc., and input them into your maintenance management system, as well as any of the documentation that goes with it, no matter if it is a paper-based system or a computerized one. Be sure it is easily retrievable for anyone who works on the system. A steady program should provide a an easily understood history of maintenance conducted on every piece of equipment, also the corrective costs incurred.

It’s important to have a clear record of service being performed and when it was performed, and to keep a paper trail. By doing that, you will be able to see trends and better predict what should be done.

Another way to keep maintenance professionals advised of the work that as been done on HVAC systems is by placing stickers on your equipment. A simple decal attached to the equipment that lists the last time the equipment was serviced, what was done, and who serviced it is invaluable. If you have a record of the last time someone was in this piece of [HVAC] equipment and what they did to it, all it will take is a quick visual check.

Repair vs. Replace
In any system’s life-cycle, there will come a point where you need to decide whether it is fiscally and practically feasible to continue maintaining and repairing an aging, degrading piece of equipment. It is important to do a life-cycle cost analysis when deciding if you should repair or replace an aging HVAC system component.

For example if you have a 30-year-old chiller and have spent more money than expected on maintenance; and, new chillers have twice the efficiency of the old chiller. The decision to replace is an easy one, if you run a life-cycle cost analysis.

Ideally, the ratio of spending for HVAC systems should be 70-percent preventive maintenance and 30-percent corrective maintenance. While every piece of equipment will need to be replaced eventually, following a strict, comprehensive maintenance schedule will prolong your building’s HVAC system and maintain not only a healthy bottom line, a comfortable home.

Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter,or LinkedIn to learn more. HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.