When to choose Replacement of Air Conditioner over Repair?

repair VS replacement of Air Conditioner

Purchasing HVAC appliances is not an easy decision especially the bigger ones like Furnace, Air Conditioner and Heat Pump. It takes bucks to spend and it is only after that, that you can bring a new unit home. With the thought to hefty investments, homeowners often wonder if they should rather repair the unit and not replace it. While this decision may be correct at some times, it is not so always. And the reason is; dragging a faulty unit that keeps on seeking frequent repairs only makes bad impacts on your budget. This is why some honest HVAC professionals sometimes endorse replacement over repair emphasizing the cost-saving that this offers in the long run. Below we discuss when replacement of your system is better than having it repaired but before that check out this formula.

Professionals say; in order to calculate whether to go for repair or not, make the multiplication this way; the age of Air Conditioner * First-time repair fee. If the sum exceeds $5000, try no more repairs on the same system and rather replace it. Otherwise, you are good to go to call a repair tech.

5 factors to decide for an Air Conditioner Replacement

How many years?

Sow what is the age of your unit? Units which are over ten years start to cause frequent repairs and also have lost significantly on efficiency. So if your system has crossed 10 years and a serious repair need has recently arisen, choose replacement!

Look out for noise and dust

Systems older than 10 years become noisier and dustier. With time, you must want to increase your comfort level and not decrease it. So instead of compromising with noise, debris and still very little comfort, make some good money out and get a quote for a quieter and comforting unit.

Check for consistency

An inconsistent unit means it is not doing enough to dehumidify the space and as a result causing the production of mold and mildew. If this is the case with you, and the Air Conditioner, in addition to being old, noisy and costly is also not doing enough to dehumidify, consider a replacement to an upgraded model.

Leaky Freon?

Getting a fix for a leaky Freon and its refilling costs at least $500 including labor cost and this may become more expensive depending on the cost of Freon. So with such a scenario, instead of having a refill and leak fix, after which, the system will still remain that old system, consider an in-time replacement.

Bloating Bills

HVAC systems as they get older, start to cause a rise in energy bills and the graph only raises with time. So if the system is old, noisy, inconsistent, leaky and after all that, causing hike in monthly energy bills, any wise would replace instead of repairing.

So what are your plan? Are you using a decade-old Air Conditioning system and are still confused between repair and replacement? Try out that calculation formula given above, consider the factors mentioned here and there you go; the best decision has been taken.


How to DIY thaw frozen Evaporator Coil

A sudden shutting off of an Air Conditioner in the middle of summer can lead to a whole lot of discomfort provided that summer is the season when an HVAC specialist is also not easily available and any serious issue means a long wait for quotes and visit from the technician. The frozen evaporator coil is one common issue that takes place in summers and most homeowners, even though they can solve it, don't know how to do it. Although we highly endorse seeking professional help but truth be told, professional help is not always needed and also there is time when you can't wait for professional help to come. So the best way is to learn some DIY techniques.

Here you go! If the evaporator coil is found covered with ice, here are the steps which you are supposed to perform.

1. First thing first, Turn Off!

The first thing to do is to shut the system off and that too completely. Turn the AC off from the Thermostat. Doing so is important for the next steps and it also ensures that further damage does not take place.

2. Thaw the ice with the system's fan

The next step to follow is to run the "fan-only" mode and let the fan run for some time. It will take air through the evaporator coil and the air will help thaw the ice build-up.

3. Check the blower for debris

The blower fails to push warm air towards the coil if it is filled with dust and debris. The third step, therefore, is to check if the blower is clean. Blowers are a little complex and need to be cleaned by professionals but as said earlier, you may fail to find urgent help so DIY would be the only option. In order to ensure no blunder is made, thoroughly watch some youtube tutorials on how to DIY clean the blower. Follow as directed and you are good to go. 

4. Check for dirty filters

The coil freezes are a result of insufficient airflow. And one of the factors that impact airflow is the dirty filters. Check the filters and clean or replace them to resume proper airflow.

5. Take a test drive

The system was turned off, the fan was run and the blower and filters were cleaned. Now is the time to try a test drive. Analyze if all the ice has melted away and the system is back to normal. Most probably, the problem would have been solved by now. Congratulations!

It was as easy a fix as this. However, please note that the freezing of the evaporator coil frequently is not normal. If the coil freezes every other day, it indicates the need to schedule a professional technician visit.

Please note that thawing can take several hours. Sometimes a complete melting may take 24 hours. Therefore, avoid being hasty. Run the system's "fan-only" mode for some time and then let the ice melt on its own. Meanwhile, you can try some quick to make juices to keep your nerves cool.

Have questions related to HVAC? Need help with Air Conditioner issues?
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HVAC Warranties - Things you never knew about

When a common Toronto homeowner is asked what he knows about HVAC warranty, he usually mentions that it means the company is responsible to fix the appliance issues or offer a replacement unit in case an issue arises during the warranty time period. But this is not all. There are three different kinds of warranties and it is due to not knowing enough about them that the homeowners end up receiving claim rejections because not all warranties are associated with the manufacturing company. Also, as a result of not knowing and consequently not maintaining enough warranty cares that most people end up voiding their HVAC warranty. Having sufficient knowledge about the warranty is important because a warranty is a legal document. And it is in the warranty document that all the details of what it covers and what it does not cover are mentioned. So this blog is dedicated to explaining the types of HVAC warranties and what coverage each one of the discussed warranty offers. But first, let's explore what benefits can be reaped by protecting the appliance warranty.

Benefits of having a valid HVAC warranty

- A warranty (manufacturer's) saves you the cost on repairs when the appliance needs it

- The defective parts, during the time of warranty, are replaced for no extra charges by the company

- If there was a fault during assembling of the appliance parts; in the assembly line, and as a result the appliance caused problems, it will be replaced with a fresh unit

Types of Warranties

Manufacturer's Warranty

As the name suggests, this warranty is offered by the manufacturing company. In order to be able to receive the full benefits of the manufacturer's warranty, it has to be registered with the company or via the dealer. In the case the appliance gets registered, it comes under standard warranty, else the warranty becomes a "base warranty".

Installation Warranty

While not so many people know about this, there is also an installation warranty offered by the installation service who has to be a certified dealer. Usually a 12 month period warranty is offered and in that, any installation defects are fixed by the installer. Interestingly, manufacturing companies do not offer installation defect as part of the warranty. It is therefore that many homeowners have their claims rejected.

If the service you choose for installation offers a warranty, make sure to read the warranty document clearly, and reach out to the installer and not the manufacturer to get this issues fixed.

Extended Warranty

Extended warranties are warranties other than the standard manufacturer or installer warranties. These are offered usually by third parties and sometimes by the manufacturing company itself like Amana and Goodman. The extended warranty is also charged extra and prolongs the periods of the standard warranty.

So how much did you know about warranties before reading this? And, have you ever benefitted from warranties? Also, have you ever accidently voided your warranty? If yes, how.


Make your Humidifier most efficient this winter

Winter brings the phenomenon of low humidity and low level of relative humidity is synonymous with allergies, skin and eye irritation, static electricity, parching of wallpapers, damaging of wooden interior and other such issues. As a combat for low humidity, technology has offered us a solution in the form of Humidifiers. A Humidifier helps add moisture to the indoor by releasing water vapours into the air. It could be a portable or a whole home unit. In Canada, most people use the whole-home humidifier systems but unfortunately, only a handful of homeowners are successful in making the most efficient use of their humidifier systems. For many, the issues like;
- Too much humidity
- Too much usage yet low humidity
- High energy bills due to constant Humidifier use
- Frequent unit damage
keep lingering over head throughout the Winter. Realising this challenge, we have decided to dedicate this blog to understanding how a Humidifier can be used in ways so as to reap the best performance out of it and what "must not do's" should be followed to avoid humidity and Humidifier related concerns.

Suggestions to make the most of your Humidifier 

Don't over-work your unit

The ideal relative humidity is between 30%-50%. Which suggests, there is no need to run the Humidifier if this level is already achieved without any appliance. Please note that indoor activities like bathing, cooking etc also adds to the indoor moisture. Therefore, there are instances when the indoor humidity level is already ideal. In such cases, you can shut the unit off. In other cases, when the level is not ideal, running the Humidifier for a few hours can suffice well.
There are people who keep the system running. This is a wrong approach and only results in raising the level unnecessarily high putting you in a situation to turn on a Dehumidifier on. Also, by constantly working, the unit loses its potential to deliver efficient performance.

Avoid using tap water 

Tap water usually has minerals and other substances that either settle in the water pane or get stuck in the unit, resulting in affecting its performance. To remain of the safer side, consider using distilled water. The use of distilled water also helps in preventing the production of mould and mildew.

Cleanliness and Water Replacement is the key 

The longer the unchanged water remains in the pane, the more probable the production of bacteria and mould becomes. Therefore, replace the water daily. Also, thoroughly wiping the inside of the unit with some disinfectant ensures a safe and healthy usage. This is part of the maintenance required to keep the unit functioning for longer.

HVAC professionals suggest that people who suffer from serious allergies should avoid using Humidifiers since humidity promotes these two. The best approach is to install a Smart Thermostat or a Humidistat to monitor the indoor humidity level and take prompt action as suggested by the situation.

One way to identify there is excessive humidity in the indoor is to check the windows. If there's excessive interior window condensation; be quick, do something! 


Get your Furnace ready for Winter with these 7 to do's

It's night time and suddenly you feel cold. You rush to the Furnace and try to turn it on, only to figure out that it ain't turning on. This is a situation common to a number of homeowners who do not get their HVAC systems ready well before the season actually begins. Professionals endorse time and again that turning a system on randomly is such a bad practice. So if you really do not wish to end up in one such situation where you need the system but the system says no to support, consider these prerequisites.

Ready your Furnace for winters

1. Begin with the Thermostat

Summer as well as the moderate temperature after that is over. So begin by switching from cooling to heating settings. Set your Thermostat device a few degrees higher than the usual room temperature. You'd see the system making the changes. In case it does not happen, remove the plate to see the wire connections are fine. In the case the connections are fine but the system still does not turn on, check the Furnace and its fan blower. Beware to not mess with the components. If you don't have any HVAC know-how, avoid any DIYs.

2. Change the Filters 

We highly recommend changing of filters at the end of summer. If you had shut off your Air Conditioner without changing filters, this is the time to do it. Change or clean the filters so that the Furnace could easily blow air.

3. Clean the Heat Exchanger 

Heat exchanger is the component of the Furnace which is responsible for heating the air. Over time dust & debris builds up on it. In addition, the component may sometime get rusted. This could lead to serious consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning. So while preparing the system for winter, the heat exchanger needs to be properly brushed cleaned. It is highly recommended to get this done by a HVAC professional but if you've been watching enough of tutorials, a careful DIY would do. The unit must not be connected to the power when the cleaning is being performed.

4. Clean and lubricate the blower motor 

Here, please note a point; not all blower motors require lubrication. Lubricate the blower motor if the user manual suggests so, else just remove the covering after disconnecting power supply and brush clean the motor.

5. Test electronic igniter switch 

The days are gone when you had to light the pilot with a matchstick in hand. Now the igniters are electric and they ignite as the switch is turned on. Test the igniter to see if its working. If yes, congratulations! If not, give a look to the circuit breaker. Turn it off, then turn back on. No progress? Okay! You must run to an HVAC tech for help.

6. Give a look to the chimneys 

Animals and pests are always on a hunt to find a place to make home. They must have made your chimney their home. So check the chimney and clean if found clogged.

7. Check batteries of CO alarm 

This mistake is often made by homeowners. The CO alarms are not check for battery change needs. The system fails to alarm even when there's a CO leak. So right before the winters, make sure to change the batteries of the CO alarm. Even if they are working, consider changing them with new so that they could be relied on for an entire season.

This winter, be sure not to randomly turn your Furnace on. It's cruel, it's unethical, to wake someone up abruptly from deep sleep. Ain't it? ;)


Leaking Evaporator Coil - Why it happens and how to prevent it?

Air Conditioner can be called a complex appliance. And it becomes even more complex when it starts to have problems frequently. A leaking evaporator coil is an issue commonly faced by homeowners with only a handful of people knowing the reason of it and the fixes to it. Before the fixes or reasons are learned, it is imperative to explain what component of the AC is called evaporator coil and what function does it perform.

Evaporator coil - The What, The How?

An evaporator coil is a component located within the condenser unit of an Air Conditioner. It consists of a panel with several twists of tubes. These tubes fill in themselves the refrigerant and then circulate it within the tubes. Doing so lowers the temperature and the cooling of tubes cools the air. The function of the evaporator coil suggests that a leaking coil would definitely result in a AC system losing its cooling efficiency.

Causes leading to evaporator leak - The WHY?

Experts suggest that the manufacturing of the coils is such that they should last as long as the system is generally expected to last; 15-20 years. But for this to happen, routine maintenance and annual tune-up is a must. When that is not provided, the system's evaporator coil may leak or get damaged in a way that cannot be repaired.

While there could be many reasons behind a leaking coil (sometimes a neophyte tech who repaired your system lately) but one of the most common reasons is the presence of volatile organic compounds VOC's in the indoor. These are usually present in paints, air fresheners, cleaning products etc. As the air is sucked by the AC to cool, a chemical reaction takes place when the refrigerant reacts with these VOC's. Resultantly, acid is produced which creates holes in the refrigerant coil/pipe. Since the holes are usually very tiny, they cannot be observed with naked eyes. However, there are signs to figure out a refrigerant leak situation.

Signs of a leaking refrigerant coil 

Look out for 3 major signs to identify a leak in your coil.
- If your home takes too long to cool the indoor and this has happened suddenly with no significantly big change in the temperature outside, consider this sign
- If the airflow right in front on the registers feels very mild and very different from usual, mark this sign as well
- In addition to a mild airflow, a warm airflow is another indication of leaking refrigerant coil. The refrigerant is leaking and therefore, there is not enough refrigerant to cool the air

Fixes for Leaking Refrigerant Coil 

Leaking refrigerant coil also means insufficient refrigerant. Since exposure to the AC refrigerant could be very dangerous, is is highly recommended that a professional is called to repair the leaks and then refill the refrigerant. Homeowners can do little in this regard. The best thing homeowners can do in order to avoid refrigerant leaks is to follow preventive measures.

Preventive measures to avoid Refrigerant Leaks 

- In case you make use of VOC containing products too much; being a painter, artist etc, consider performing these activities in porch or garage to avoid accumulating VOC's in the indoor
- UV Lights and some specific Air Purifiers offer VOC's combat. Consider investing in those
- Ensure proper ventilation on a daily basis
- Keep the signs of leaks in mind and ask your maintenance, tune-up technicians to specifically check out for leaks
- Do not let animals and pests make your outdoor unit their home. Animal urine also leads to corrosion

Instead of spending bucks later on repair, consider spending some time to look out for these signs and some care to not produce the situation for leaks.


The Major Types OF HVAC System

When it comes to purchasing an HVAC system, homeowners often have been overwhelmed with the great number of choices. Every HVAC system is designed to provide maximum indoor comfort year round. Before setting the mind on any system, homeowners must be aware of all its ins and outs.

In case you want to buy the HVAC system for a new property or to replace a unit in the existing property – Our in-depth guide will help you out to make a better purchasing decision. Let’s have a glimpse at some of the significant types of the HVAC system. 

Major types of HVAC Systems

Three Different Types of HVAC systems:

Latest systems can provide you with more features like multiple fans and various stages for heating and cooling. However, making the right decision is contingent upon your need, budget, and other vital factors.

HVAC systems fall under the following categories:

Single spit system

A single split system is considered the best choice for small buildings, offices, shops, or where there is need to heat or cool an individual room. Single split systems are the most popular and affordable types of the HVAC system, and in case you have a large space, they work better together to comfort the entire place.

- As compared to central systems, installing a single split system is way cheaper. 
- The system is self-contained, meaning if one part breaks, the other remains functional.

Cons:- It takes up most of the space when you need more than one system, as each indoor unit requires one outdoor unit.

Multi Split System

The multi-split system is somehow similar to the wall mounted AC. The only distinction is the capability to connect more indoor units to the one outdoor. These systems work on inverter technology, meaning the compressor enables it to operate at various speed. With a high energy efficiency ratio, these systems cut down the energy expenses by detecting small changes in temperature and making minor adjustments when needed.

- As opposed to a single split system, the multi-split system preserves your outdoor space. 
- Each indoor unit can be controlled independently.

Cons:- The installation is time-consuming and costly.

VRF or VRV System

VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) and VRV ( Variable Refrigerant volume ) possess no distinction and are used interchangeably – just VRV is copyrighted by Daikin and when the same technology is employed by other brands say “Fujistu” then termed as VRV.

These are the perfect pick for the medium to large sized businesses. VRF and VRV are further divided into heat recovery and heat pump system.

A heat recovery system is designed to provide cooling and heating simultaneously and works great when the building has several small rooms. Whereas with the heat pump system; you get either cooling or heating to a building.

- They are reliable, efficient, and can meet the heating and cooling requirements of large buildings.
- The heat recovery system is flexible and has a quick installation.

Cons:- Both purchase and installation are expensive, and you have to make arrangements for the backup condenser unit in case outdoor unit fails.