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.

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

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Avoid Heater Repair with Fall Heater Maintenance

It’s already mid September, and although the weather is still warm, crisp Fall days are right around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be running your heater nonstop to escape the winter weather. When’s the last time your heater had a check up? If you’re like most folks, chances are, it’s been a while. Getting heater maintenance before the long winter ahead will save you money in the long run by preventing breakdowns, avoiding the need for heater repair, and ensuring you’re comfortable all winter long.

Let’s check out some common heater issues that occur due to a lack of maintenance.

Inadequate Heat Flow

As a heater ages, integral parts of the machine lose efficiency due to rusting, normal wear and tear, and dirt accumulation. If you don’t properly maintain your heater, you may start to notice uneven heating in your home. Common signs include cold areas due to inadequate heat flow, rooms that get too hot, or weak air flow. If you experience this in your home, you’ll know that you’re long overdue for a tuneup. Regular maintenance will prevent these problems and stop them from becoming major issues that require expensive heater repair.

Rising Heating Bills

Another effect from an inefficient heater that hasn’t been maintained is the drain it puts on your wallet. Heaters that don’t receive regular maintenance have to work harder to keep the same temperature as a new heater. A harder working heater requires more energy to operate, and you’re going to pay for that extra energy. Over the course of a full winter, the cost really adds up. Think of it like a bicycle. If you let your chain get rusty, it’s going to be a lot harder to pedal than if you had kept your chain lubricated all along. A little maintenance really does go a long way in this case.

Loss of Warranty

Most heater warranties state that the warranty is void if your heater breaks down or is damaged due to improper maintenance. This could lead to big headaches if you haven’t had regular maintenance and need an expensive heater repair that would normally be covered by your warranty.

Avoidable Danger

Remember that your heater is a potential fire hazard. No one wants a worst case scenario. An unchecked heater could develop a deadly gas leak in its heat exchanger, become backed up due to air flow problems, or present a handful of other dangerous situations that could’ve been avoided and identified with regular maintenance.

Don’t put off heater maintenance this fall if you want to avoid costly heater repair. Your wallet will thank you, you will be comfortable all winter long, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your heater is operating safely and efficiently.

If you’re in Philadelphia, Bucks, or Montgomery County, give the experts at HVAC Philly a call at 215-725-6111. We have over 20 years of experience as trusted HVAC experts in the Greater Philadelphia Area and would be happy to make sure your heater is in top condition.

Stay warm, my friends.

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.

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.

Tips to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

If the past week’s cold weather has told us anything, it’s that fall is here and winter is near. Soon, it’ll be time to fire up those furnaces and start paying heating bills. What is the best way to cut down on your heating bills? By making sure your home is energy efficient!

Read on for HVAC Philly’s tips to make your home energy efficient during the upcoming winter season. There are several ways to make your home energy efficient, and many of them are simple and easy to do!

Don’t Make Your Furnace Work Too Hard

             First, start by turning down the thermostat when it’s cold; even setting the thermostat two degrees cooler will save you money and reduce emissions by about 6 percent. You might not even feel the difference, especially at night or when you’re out of the house (a programmable thermostat can help here). You’d be surprised at how many people waste money heating their house so they can walk around in a t-shirt. Throw on a sweater and lower that thermostat! Also, uncovering your windows on sunny days during the winter is a great way to get some free solar heating.

Get an Energy Efficient Thermostat

            Many people have older thermostats that simply turn on and off. You can save a lot of money by upgrading to a new, programmable model. These newer thermostats will save you money since they tell your heater to heat less if you aren’t around or if there is already sufficient heat in your house.

Reduce Heat Loss

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             Do you have old, poorly insulated windows? Consider buying heavier curtains you can draw at night to block the heat from escaping. You can also reduce heat loss from ducts by sealing leaks and insulating ducts where feasible. Next, check your doors. If you feel cold air coming in around the edges, or if your door feels significantly colder than the wall next to it, it might be a good idea to get a new door that keeps heat in better.

             The best step to take if you’re serious about having an energy-efficient home is to have a home energy audit. A professional auditor will come into your home and identify where most heat loss comes from. Often, you will be losing heat in places you never expected. A professional auditor can also help you establish remedies for the heat loss happening in your home.

Don’t Heat Empty Rooms

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  If you have rooms in your house that you don’t occupy often, make sure you aren’t wasting money heating them. Partially (not all the way) close the heating vents in these rooms; they’ll be colder than the rest of the house, but you can always adjust the vents to heat them up when you need them.

Consider Replacing or Repairing Your Heater

            If you aren’t performing regular maintenance to your furnace, you could be losing money due to inefficient operation. Read here for HVAC Philly’s furnace maintenance tips. New furnaces are extremely efficient and can save you an average of 40% on heating costs if you have a furnace that is over 15 years old. Talk to your HVAC technician to determine if you would be better off getting rid of your old inefficient furnace.

If you follow all of these tips, your house will be energy efficient in no time! If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, give us at HVAC Philly a call at 215-725-6111 for all of your heating needs. We also provide free estimates!

Most Common Furnace Problems

Most Common Furnace Problems

            When the weather is cold, the last thing you want to deal with is a broken heater or furnace. With proper maintenance, heating systems are usually reliable, but sometimes, these complex machines will stop working or operate inefficiently. At HVAC Philly, our technicians are experts in heater and furnace repair. With over 20 years of experience servicing Philadelphia and Bucks county, we can keep your furnace running smoothly so you don’t go a day in discomfort. Read on for our guide on identifying the most common heater problems.

Insufficient Maintenance

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Let’s start with the basics. You’d be surprised to know how many service calls we get that could have been avoided with basic maintenance. Furnaces that aren’t maintained are prone to break down and operate inefficiently. Keeping your furnace clean and replacing the filter are easy and effective ways to avoid these types of problems. Read our previous blog on steps you can take to keep your furnace running at the top of its game.

Furnace Isn’t Adequately Heating

If your furnace is turned on but is only providing some heat, there are several possible causes. The easiest to check is the filter. An old clogged filter that hasn’t been replaced will restrict airflow and put a strain on your system causing inefficient operation. Another possibility is that the gas burners could be in need of cleaning or adjustment. If this is the case, you should call your local HVAC technician to safely fix the problem. Sometimes your furnace will be running properly, and you’ll still have a problem of inadequate heat. It’s possible that you need to insulate or seal your ducts because you might find that they’re leaky. There’s also a possibility that your furnace simply isn’t the right size for your house.

Furnace Isn’t Heating at All

If your furnace has been heating without a problem and suddenly stops working, the first and most simple step is to check your thermostat. If you have a digital thermostat, check the batteries to make sure that they don’t need to be replaced. Thermostats do break from time to time, so you may need to replace yours altogether. If you determine that the thermostat isn’t the problem, move on to your circuit breaker. In most homes, your furnace will be on its own circuit, so you should check to make sure that a fuse didn’t blow and interrupt your home heating. If your thermostat is working and you didn’t blow a fuse, it’s time to explore the possibility that there’s a problem with the furnace’s ignition system.

Ignition/Pilot Light Not Working

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Most new furnaces use an electronic ignition system to operate, while older furnaces use a standing pilot light. If the pilot light won’t light at all, check to make sure the gas is turned on or that there is enough fuel supply if you have an oil furnace. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, then there’s a possibility that it’s clogged and needs to be cleared out. To fix this problem, make sure your furnace is off and insert a thin wire into the hole where the pilot light comes from and clear out any debris. If you are still having problems, check for a pilot light adjustment knob and turn it to ensure that there is a steady flame with no yellow showing.

If you have an electronic ignition system, your furnace either uses a spark of electricity or a heating element (think light bulb filament) to ignite the burners. Since these systems are more complex than the traditional pilot light driven furnace, there are a number of reasons why they may not be working. Ignitions switches last from three to five years, so it’s possible that your switch has reached the end of its life span. Luckily, these switches are cheap and easy to switch out.

Furnace Switches on and off Repeatedly

If you feel like your heating system is switching on and off far too often, you might have a problem with what is referred to as ‘short cycling’. Again, this could be a problem with a faulty thermostat, or your thermostat could be too close to a heat vent causing it to get inaccurate temperature readings. If your thermostat is in working order, check your air filter to make sure it’s clean and pointing in the right direction. There are a number of other problems that could cause your system to short cycle such as a faulty flame sensor, air duct blockage, and more. If you can’t figure out the cause yourself, it’s best to call a HVAC technician.

We hope these tips will come in handy if your furnace ever stops working. For quality furnace repair and all of your other HVAC needs, don’t hesitate to call our trusted HVAC Philly technicians at 215-725-6111 for a free estimate.