Find The Right HVAC Contractor For Your Bucks County Home or Business

Deciding on an HVAC contractor in the Bucks County, PA area that matches your exact needs can be a little intimidating. Especially when it comes to installing a brand new HVAC system. You need to consider how much experience as well as what techniques and equipment your contractors use. As always, HVAC Philly recommends having a checklist before embarking on your search.

  • Check with friends or family. See who they recommend or have used themselves. The best references come from people you trust most. If they don’t have any local suggestions you can always check around the internet for recommendations and solid reviews.
  • Look for contractors that are certified by NATE (the North American Technician Excellence) as well as other top recommended certifications such as AFC First, PHCC (Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Contracts Association) and other local affiliated programs. The most reliable contractors will have these.
  • Never accept a quote over the phone. Generally, this is an attempt to get in the door and then mark up the price once they actually look over the work. A good contractor will come out and assess the HVAC system and any upgrades or replacements needed and then give a detailed quote to avoid any discrepancies or underbidding.
  • Up to date and knowledgeable HVAC technicians will be able to guide you through purchasing all the newer and more efficient models. Contractors that try to steer you away from technologically newer models are reflecting a lack of knowledge. Best to choose HVAC technicians who show they keep up with their training in an ever-increasing technological world.
  • Experienced estimators will do a survey of your HVAC system and calculate their estimate on a cooling-load calculation for air conditioning or a heat-load calculation for heating.
  • A reputable contractor is able to calculate annual heating and cooling cost for your house using their calculated cooling-load or heat-load values.
  • Qualified contractors should not base their estimates on currently installed HVAC systems. They should instead, perform a measuring of their own to calculate the size of the new unit.
  • Ensure your HVAC contractor puts in a written contract exactly what model and system are getting installed, overall costs, and time estimate before the work starts.
  • Just because the price is lower, it does not make it ultimately better. When it comes to getting a new HVAC system, the cost can most certainly come into play, however, it is quite an investment. Most contractors are willing to provide finance options of those that can not pay the whole cost up front. First figure out which contractor will provide the best service, then work on cost.
  • A great contractor will be knowledgeable, adaptable, reliable and most importantly available. Being able to reach your HVAC contractor easily with concerns or questions will not only ease your mind but also build trust. When it comes to such big investments you need to trust your contractor to perform the job professionally, and accurately.

Here at HVAC Philly, we take pride in being an HVAC Contractor you can trust. Certified by NATE and with a high reputation in greater Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA area – we offer reliable and experienced heating and cooling services with competitive prices.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

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When to Replace Your Air Conditioner

It’s springtime in Philadelphia. As we enter April, the warm spring days will slowly turn to hot summer ones, and our air conditioners will be working in full force.

Since the weather isn’t quite warm enough for air conditioning yet, now is the perfect time to make sure your A/C unit is ready for spring. In some cases though, it’s much more cost effective to replace your air conditioner instead of getting it repaired. Let’s explore when to replace your air conditioner.

How Old is Your A/C?

Age is one of the first indicators that it’s time to replace your air conditioner. Old air conditioners are much less efficient than new ones due to dated technology and years of wear and tear. Even the best-maintained air conditioners lose efficiency as they age.

replace your air conditionerIf your air conditioner needs a to be repaired, and you aren’t sure whether or not you should just replace it, you can use the “5000 test” to decide. Simply multiply the cost of the repair by the age of your air conditioner. If the outcome is more than $5000, then you should replace your air conditioner.

For example, say your air conditioner is 9 years old, and you get a quote for a $400 repair.  When you multiply (9 Years) x ($400), you get $3,600, so you’ll be fine with a repair for now.

Let’s look at another case. If you have an 12 year old air conditioner, and you need a $500 repair, you’ll get $6000 and should look into finding a replacement.

In general, an air conditioner is good for around 13-15 years. Any longer, and you’ll be seriously wasting money.  If you’re wondering how much you can save with a new air conditioner, give us a call today. We’ll help you figure out whether or not a new air conditioner is right for you.

Consider the Efficiencynew air conditioner philadelphia

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of how much energy your air conditioner needs to provide a unit of cooling.  The required SEER for air conditioners was 10 until 2006. Now, the requirement is 13, which means 30% less electricity consumed and paid for.

Now, it’s common to see models with a SEER of 16! That means 60% less energy consumption cost than a standard air conditioner from 2006. These units are more expensive, but again, we can help you determine exactly how much you’ll save and if you should buy a new air conditioner.

Don’t Forget the Ducts

When most people think of an A/C replacement, they’re thinking of the mechanical A/C unit that does the cooling, but it’s just as important to consider your ductwork.  Leaky ducts can lose up to 30% of cool air before it can do anything!  The best air conditioner in the world won’t make a significant difference if you’re losing all the cool air it outputs through your duct work.

The same goes for general insulation in your house. A leaky house puts necessary strain on your A/C system.  An HVAC technician can also examine your ductwork and general insulation to ensure there are no weak spots. Just make sure you pick the right one.

If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, give the experts at HVAC Philly a call today at 215-725-6111! We have over 20 years of experience and offer unparalleled service. Most importantly, we are HVAC technicians, NOT salesmen. We want the best for our customers and will never try to sell you unnecessary repairs or replacements.

Most Common Commercial HVAC Repairs

If you operate a commercial business, you know how important it is to maintain a comfortable climate in your building.  Not only does the climate of your business affect the well-being and productivity of your employees, but it’s a key part of the impression you make on your customers.  When the need for commercial HVAC repairs arises, you’ll want to find an experienced HVAC company that performs same day repair.

At HVAC Philly, we’ve been servicing the Greater Philadelphia area for over 20 years.  Our technicians work quickly and efficiently to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the climate of your business. When it comes to commercial HVAC repairs, we’ve seen it all. We’re going to share the most common commercial HVAC repairs with you, so you can be informed if you ever need commercial HVAC service.  The majority of commercial service calls we get are due to the following problems and can be avoided with preventative maintenance.

Dirty Air Filters

This is your HVAC system’s worst enemy and is one of the most common problems we encounter.  If an air filter gets clogged enough, it can end the life of a young, healthy HVAC system.  Regular service to your HVAC system is crucial in avoiding preventable headaches like a clogged air filter.  Replacing the filter is extremely simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do it.

Loose Blower Motor Belts

Another common issue and simple commercial HVAC repair we encounter is loose blower motor belts.  These belts, powered by an external motor, run the forced air blower that distributes air through the ducts and vents in your building.  Often, a loose blower motor belt can be identified by a squeaking sound.  These repairs aren’t usually expensive, but a loose belt will reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and cause more serious issues if left un-repaired.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are an integral part of any air-conditioning system.  They remove heat from air by absorbing it in refrigerant.  Dirty coils come from a lack of maintenance and can cause an unnecessary increase in your cooling budget.  If you don’t properly clean a coil and it accumulates dirt, it will reduce the efficiency of your air-conditioning system.  An air-conditioner with a dirty coil has to work harder to cool your building and will have a shorter life span.

Burned Capacitors and Clogged Drain Lines

Start and run capacitors are responsible for kicking your HVAC system’s fan motor into life and keeping it running smoothly.  For various reasons, these capacitors can burn up and affect the operation of the fan motor.  If the start capacitor burns up, your HVAC system’s fan motor simply won’t start, and if the run capacitor burns up, your fan motor is at risk of overheating.  Capacitors should only be handled by trained professionals since there’s a serious risk of electrocution involved when dealing with them.

A drain line removes condensation produced by your system’s condenser coil.  These drain lines can become easily clogged if they aren’t cleaned regularly.  When a condensate drain line becomes clogged, mold can grow inside it leading to uncomfortable humidity and foul smells.

Freon Leaks

Freon is responsible for cooling the air in your building on a hot summer day.  It’s in a gaseous state at room temperature but turns into a liquid when it’s cooled.  Freon leaks can happen in multiple areas, but the leaks are most commonly found in holes in the evaporator coil.  If your air-conditioner loses enough freon, it won’t be able to cool the air in your building.  An experienced HVAC technician should be able to identify and fix a Freon leak with ease.

Note that you can avoid most of the above commercial HVAC repairs with regularly scheduled maintenance.  The investment in regular maintenance is minimal, yet many businesses neglect it until there’s a major problem.  At HVAC Philly, preventative maintenance of your commercial HVAC system is our specialty.  We’ll work to ensure that your operating costs are as low as possible and that you never have to deal with a major avoidable headache.

For expert commercial HVAC service and unparalleled professionalism, give HVAC Philly a call at 215-725-6111

Stay comfortable my friends.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Heating Repair Company

professional heating repair company

When your heater breaks and you need heating repair, a few questions are going to cross your mind: Why me?, ‘How do I get my heater fixed ASAP?’, ‘How much is this going to cost me?’, & ‘Who is going to repair my heater?’

Unfortunately, everyone gets unlucky with a broken furnace from time to time. During the winter months, you’ll want same day heater repair. You might be worried that a heating repair company will take advantage of your situation and charge a high price. This is a valid concern, but don’t worry, we have tips on finding the right heating repair company in Philadelphia so you never pay inflated repair costs.

Now, you might be tempted to have a handy friend do the repair. You might even be tempted (we hope you aren’t) to find someone on Craigslist. It’s always a better idea to hire a professionally licensed heating repair company, and we’ll tell you why.

Let’s start with an botched heating repair horror story from one of our technicians:

“So we get a call from a new homeowner in Fishtown about the heater in her new house because it kept shutting off after running for a few hours. The house had been renovated, and everything in it looked new, but the leaky sink was causing the electric breakers in the bathroom to trip and stop her heater from working. The client was very angry and mentioned that she was going to file a law suit against the seller and his general contractor.

When we had our technician inspect the heater, he found it was grossly over-sized and had under-sized ducts. It was a nightmare. The improper installation was causing the heater to overheat and cycle on and off repeatedly.

He also noticed the high voltage wire gauge was wrong on several wire cap connections.  Even worse, the chimney didn’t have a cap or clean out, and an old mercury filled thermostat was mounted on the wall. The builder/contractor may have been instructed to cut corners in an effort to save pennies here and there. This unprofessional work was extremely dangerous to say the least, and the homeowner had to pay a small fortune to correct the issues.”

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Need any more convincing you should go with the pros for your heating repair? Here are a few more reasons…

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Heating Repair is Dangerous:

If you play with fire, you might get burned. If you play with carbon monoxide, you might put your life in danger. There are simple heater repairs you can perform yourself, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, heater repair can be extremely dangerous. Licensed heating repair companies like HVAC Philly have technicians with decades of experience.

A Professional Heating Repair Company is Insured:

Can the guy on craigslist say the same? Probably not. Even if your friend is a self taught HVAC repair wizard, having your heater repaired by someone who doesn’t have insurance is risky. In Philadelphia, heating repair companies are required to be licensed, bonded, and insured in order to operate. Let’s take the worst case scenario and say you hire someone on Craigslist to fix your furnace. If your Craigslist repairman explodes your furnace and gets injured while he’s working on it, you could be held liable!

Amateur Repairs Cost More in the Long Run:

Have you ever started a home improvement project and wondered how you went $300 over budget when you thought you’d only spend $50? It happens to the best of us. A professional heating repair company will provide you with a detailed estimate including thoroughly documented details about your repair. With the pros, you’ll know how much you should and will be paying. Don’t forget about our heating repair horror story from earlier either. A general contractor might promise to save you money, but if they aren’t heating specialists, there’s a good chance they’re going to do something wrong.

If you need heating repair or service and live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, give the experts at HVAC Philly a call at 215-725-6111. We have over 20 years of HVAC experience offering competitive pricing, free estimates, and unparalleled professionalism.

Stay warm my friends.

Preparing Your Furnace For The Cold Winter Months

As we are bundling ourselves more and more in warm clothing we also need to make sure that we are prepping our furnaces for the cold weather ahead.

 As we are bundling ourselves more and more in warm clothing we also need to make sure that we are prepping our furnaces for the cold weather ahead.

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Prepping Your Furnace

  • Say goodbye to the programmable thermostat. The weather in the greater Philadelphia area has certainly been erratic the past few years. When you have no idea how the temperature is going to fluctuate each day, it’s best to turn off the programmable thermostat. If left on, it could end up unnecessarily cooling your house and wasting energy.
  • Make sure insulation is at its best. This is a great time of year to assess the insulation in your home. Check attics and walls. Updating your insulation increases energy conservation and leads to lower electric bills.
  • Invest in a heat pump. If you have a heat pump, you’re able to transfer energy from one part of your house to another. Use it to transfer heat into your home during the fall transition. For questions about installing a heat pump in your home contact HVAC Philly to learn about our service options.
  • Fill up your gas furnace now. Gas prices are on the rise again, so now is the time to filler up. Don’t wait. By planning ahead, you prepare yourself for any unexpected bursts of wintery weather.

 

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Show Your Furnace Some TLC

Once you have successfully acclimated your home and energy usage to the new season, you’re going to see lower energy costs and less strain on your HVAC unit. It is also important to continually maintain your HVAC system with a professional consultation from HVAC Philly and following these simple steps, you are guaranteed to increase the longevity of the unit and its efficiency.

  • Keep an eye on your furnace filters. Regularly changing them gives your unit a boost. Make sure to change them every one to three months. Monitoring them will make it easier to visibly recognize when it’s time for a replacement.
  • Make sure the area around your furnace is clean. Sweep often and remove all debris. This helps to keep the filter clean and prevent any chance of fire involving your furnace.
  • Air vents and ducts need to be regularly cleaned and maintained. Keeping airways open prevents the unit from overworking itself.
  • Utilize a programmable thermostat. You may have turned it off during the transition period, but once the temperatures are regularly cold, utilize it to heat the house according to your lifestyle habits.
  • Bleed your valves. If you have a hot-water radiator, it’s beneficial to open the valves slightly and close them again when water starts to appear. This keeps water from freezing in the pipes.

If you’re interested in professional assistance, contact us online or call: 215-725-6111

 

 

Finding the Right Heater Repair Company in Philadelphia

If your furnace dies suddenly, you’ll probably be tempted to hire the first company you find. Who can blame you? If it’s cold enough, you might have to leave your house until your furnace is up and running again.

Having a broken heater is inconvenient, but it’s worth your time to research different Heater Repair companies before you hire anyone. Read on for HVAC Philly’s tips to finding the right HVAC contractor for you!

Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

While your cousin’s friend may offer cheap self-taught repair work, having your heater repaired by someone who is uninsured is risky business. Most states and municipalities mandate that HVAC contractors be licensed to work in the heating and cooling industry. In order to hold and maintain that license, HVAC companies need a minimum level of insurance and bonding. Anyone that works in your home should carry liability insurance in case of accidental damage or injury. Check with your local building department or code office for more information.

References

A professional HVAC company should have a list of recent customers that you can see to verify that the company performed the work in a timely manner to the customer’s satisfaction. A written testimonial isn’t the same as a live reference. It’s important to actually call these references to get relevant details on the project. Often, you can find valuable information online where people leave reviews about recent HVAC service. If you look through enough reviews, you can probably even find someone who had the same furnace problem that you’re having.

Estimates

Get at least three written in-home estimates from three different companies in writing.  Your most important consideration is likely cost, and costs vary widely from one company to the next. While cost is key, it’s also very important to ensure that the project’s overall scope, details and completion dates are thoroughly documented. A written estimate protects you from traps like price hikes and inflated labor costs.

Brands & Training

Ask prospective companies which specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry. Unlike other home improvement contractors, HVAC companies often only carry a small selection of brands. If you’re doing your own price comparison research on new equipment, you may need to limit your options to companies that specialize in the equipment brand of your choice. Contractors should hold training certifications with the manufacturers of the equipment they carry.

Tax Credits or Rebates:

Depending on the type of home heating or cooling equipment you’re installing or upgrading, your project may qualify for federal or state tax credits or rebates. Be sure to ask if incentives are available for your project. If they are available, make sure the project is properly documented to meet incentive requirements.

Read the Fine Print

If you use a payment plan or apply for financing through a HVAC company’s line of credit, make sure you read all the fine print and know what you’ll be responsible for financially. Sometimes there are stiff penalties for missing a payment that will put you in a tough spot.

Ask About Guarantees

Never work with a contractor who doesn’t fully back the work performed.  Ideally, you should opt to hire a heating contractor that commits to 100% customer service and product guarantees as well as warranties. If a contractor isn’t willing to stand by the quality of their work, why should you risk hiring them?

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

While you can’t foresee an unexpected breakdown, you can take steps to keep your furnace running at the top of its game. Many homeowners put off repairing or tuning up their furnaces until a malfunction occurs. If you don’t perform regular maintenance and your furnace breaks down, critical (and usually the most expensive) components will often need replacing. In dire cases, an entirely new furnace will need to be purchased. In this case, you need to prepare for a furnace replacement. Research your options, especially if your furnace has been in your house longer than you have.

Regardless of what type of heating system you have, if you live in Philadelphia, Bucks or Montgomery County, the HVAC Philly team can provide an affordable solution. Contact us today at 215-725-6111 to learn about all of our options and solutions for your heater repair, maintenance, and installation service. We currently have a special on new furnace installations and offer free estimates. We look forward to working with you soon.

Average Heater Repair Cost

No one wants to have a broken heater, especially in the middle of winter. New furnaces are increasingly efficient and reliable, but even the best of heaters can break down. The best way to avoid having a broken heater is to make sure you’re performing regular maintenance on it. To keep your furnace running at its prime, read our expert heater repair and  maintenance tips here, and read on for information on average heater repair costs.

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Average Cost

            If you do find yourself with a broken heater, you may be wondering how much it’s going to cost you to repair it. In some cases, it might be worth it to get an entirely new furnace instead of going through with a costly heater repair.  Prices for heater repair vary depending on what went wrong and who you’re dealing with.

            The US average cost of a heater repair is around $280, and most repairs range from $100-$400. The cause of your heater breakdown is going to be the determinant of how much you have to pay. If you haven’t been maintaining your furnace and it breaks down due to being clogged and dirty, the repair cost should be more on the $100 side of the spectrum. Sometimes, you won’t even have to call a HVAC technician and can perform the heater repair yourself. Read here for HVAC Philly’s simple DIY heater repair tips.

            Electrical issues are probably going to be more expensive than issues caused by a lack of maintenance, but they should still be relatively inexpensive to fix. The most expensive repairs happen when a component of the heater breaks. This is because the repairs are more difficult to perform, and you have to pay for the cost of the component. Usually, these parts cost anywhere from $100 – $500 dollars to replace or repair. Usually parts like thermostats, carbon monoxide detectors, and circuit breakers are on the cheaper end to replace. More integral components such as blowers and heat exchangers are going to be much more expensive to replace or repair.

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Repair or Replace?

            If you have an old furnace, you should calculate the cost of replacing your old broken heater with a new energy efficient one, since new heaters can save you around 30% in heating costs per year.

If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, call HVAC Philly at 215-725-6111 for a free estimate! We can help you determine whether it’s more efficient to repair or replace your heater.