Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Advantages of Replacing Your Old HVAC System

People in San Jose often have come across this question - do I repair my HVAC equipment or get a new one? 

Well, if your system has become old, you may definitely need to consider this question.  You may also face this question if your energy bills are high and increasing by the month. If you system is noisy, it probably means that there is some part inside that is wearing and tearing and a major expense may be round the corner.  

Considering the fact that new technology keeps coming and there is constant upgrading where equipment is concerned, it is definitely better to consider replacing your old system with a new one. 

Here are some advantages to replacing your system over repairing it.  

1. Energy Savings: As HVAC systems grow old, their efficiency reduces and their energy consumption increases. Studies say that a 10-year-old air conditioner can consume about 50% more electricity in comparison with a new one. The air conditioning and heating systems that have recently come into the market are definitely more efficient. You can save a lot of money by way of energy bills. 

2. No Repair Costs: An aging HVAC systems is a definitely costly as it attracts constant repairs. You can calculate the amount you have spent on repairs yourself by taking a look at your last two years’ bills. If you have replaced any major components like the compressor, evaporator or condenser coils, you are likely to spend on them soon too. A new system will give you relief from repairs for a few years.  
3. Competitive Rebates, Incentives, and Loans Rates: As new technology replaces the old one, new HVAC systems come into the market. Competition in the market increases as there is an increased variety available for customers to choose from. Competition paves way for rebates. The government offers tax credits for systems based on green technology. There are also special financing offers available from dealers and manufacturers. You can take advantage of these and consider purchasing a new air conditioning and heating system. Repairs do not have any rebates. 

4. Less Noise, Quiet operation: New systems boast of noise-free operation. Reports say that both the external components and internal air handlers have become much quieter than their yesteryear counterparts. New technology claims that you will not even hear your HVAC system working. It is that quiet. Replacing your old system with a new one enables you to enjoy the quieter new equipment with zero noise pollution. 

5. Environmentally-friendly: There may be a point where you may feel that from a financial point of view, your payback period is longer than you expected. You can consider that you are helping the environment by saving fossil fuels and slowing down CO2 emissions. Though it may be difficult to calculate the saving in terms of actual dollar, it makes sense to add this benefit to the environment. 

6. Greater Reliability: With a new system, you are assured that there are zero chances of an event of breakdown when you least expect it.  Studies say that older equipment break when they are needed the most, usually in summer when the usage is the heaviest. If your system is old and the summer is coming up, you could make a smart buying decision and bring home a new HVAC. 

7. Better comfort: If your home has hot spots in summer and cold spots in winter, there may be a problem with the size of your air conditioner or heating system. It is often seen that over-sized air conditioners turn on and off quickly, but the air in the room has a damp feeling. New systems deliver more comfort and better air circulation.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Importance of Compressor Health in Air Conditioning Maintenance

The compressor is the most important part of the air conditioning system. This vital part is also known as the heart of the system. Just as the human heart needs to be in good condition, so is the compressor. And the compressor needs looking after to keep good health. The compressor, like the heart, depends on many other parts that are connected with it. There are circuits that pass electric current and the flow of air, these are vital to the compressor just like veins in the body that run blood to the heart. 

If the compressor is overworked, it will eventually wear out and stop functioning. To run efficiently, keep the compressor in tip-top condition and your air conditioning system will run smoothly and efficiently.
Here are some troubleshooting tips that will help you keep your compressor in good health.

1. Clean the coil

Make sure that the coils of the air conditioner’s compressor are clean. Dirt on the coils creates higher than normal head pressures. When this happens, heat is created, which results in warm saturated suction temperatures. Such a situation can lead to compressor failure.

2. Proper refrigerant charge

Ensure that the refrigerant charge is well maintained. There needs to be proper electrical current flowing into the compressor.

3. Prevent Oil Contamination

Remember, an oil leak can get trapped in the suction line. Oil contamination can cause oil pump failure. This is one of the ways that the compressor can fail.

4. Avoid voltage fluctuations

Electrical problems are the main cause for compressor failure and the most common is electrical failure. Ensure that there are no voltage fluctuations in the electricity system in your house. Imbalances in electrical supply result in improper voltage. This overheats the compressor, leading to its failure.

5. Avoid overheating

Overheating occurs when there is not enough suction cooling or there is lack of condenser cooling It can also occur if there is air inside the air conditioning system. This may give rise to both the pressure and temperature, resulting in incorrect compressor performance.

6. Periodic maintenance

Regular checks and cleaning is the key component that will keep your compressor in good health. You can hire the services of a professional technician for periodic maintenance checks. This will also help in identifying any major repairs that the system is heading towards, well in advance. Periodic maintenance plays an important part in preserving the life of the compressor.
In addition to the tips mentioned above, it will do you a world of good to have some basic tools handy at home. 

Have a megohmmeter handy as you can measure the integrity of the compressor winding insulation. Contractors suggest that this is a great diagnostic tool that alerts the HVAC owners of the potential failures that are likely in the near future. 

Most of the causes for compressor failure can be easily avoided with a little care and maintenance.  All you need to do is conduct regular checks, adopt preventative maintenance measures and replace old parts with new ones as soon as they show signs of wearing. Regular maintenance ensures long compressor life and a healthy and efficient air conditioning unit. 

While DIY top-up kits are also available, it would be advisable to employ a professional HVAC technician for the periodic checks and maintenance. An air conditioning specialist will also pressure-check the system to ensure that there are no environmentally toxic nitrogen gas emitted from the air conditioner. When the system is recharged with refrigerant, the required level of oil is needed to lubricate the compressor. The contractor will know how much oil is required for lubrication.