Fall is just a few weeks away and many people look forward to the beautiful colors of changing leaves, football season (Go Chiefs!), and sweater weather. We start counting the days until the stifling summer heat is over, as cooler temperatures are just around the corner. Here in the Midwest, we’re accustomed to drastic temperature swings that happen rapidly. It’s important to have your HVAC ready for the shift from hot to cold. To help you get ready for the Fall and Winter seasons, we here at Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling, have put together this HVAC fall preparation checklist for homeowners. These tips will help you understand and perform five simple steps to prepare your home’s HVAC system. In doing so, your system will be ready for the upcoming cold temperatures, so that you can stay comfortable all season long, while saving money on high energy bills.
Check Your Air Filters
If your air filters are due for a change, your heating and cooling systems have to work harder to move air through them. We recommend that in preparation for fall you check your air filters to see what kind of shape they’re in and if they need to be replaced. Your home’s heater will run more efficiently and be less likely to break down if you keep it clean. As a general rule, filters should be replaced approximately every three months, or when recommended by the filter manufacturer. Under certain conditions, though, they can become clogged after just a few weeks. If your filters are in bad shape, replace them as soon as possible. You may also want to consider purchasing an indoor air purifier, which will take some load off your HVAC system’s filters. It’s important that all of your equipment is clean and running smoothly so that they won’t cause unnecessary wear on any moving parts or make your air conditioner run inefficiently, having to work through dust and grime deposits.
Check For Leaky Air Ducts
Most homeowners are surprised to learn that air ducts are one of the biggest energy wasters in the home. Leaky air ducts, or duct joints that are loosely patched allow air to leak out, which means heating bills go up and homeowners waste money on energy costs that could be avoided with some simple air duct maintenance. Having properly patched and insulated air ducts can improve your HVAC system by nearly 20%! If you’re not sure how you can tell if your air ducts are leaking, we have compiled a list of some basic indicators that you can watch for, to determine if your air ducts need some attention.
- Rooms that are difficult to heat and cool
- Higher than normal utility bills
- Rooms that are stuffy and never seem to feel comfortable
- Tangled or kinked flexible ducts
- Ducts that are located in an attic, crawlspace, or the garage
If you find that any of the above trouble signs apply to your home, the likelihood is that your air ducts need to be sealed properly. If you are able to easily and SAFELY access any trouble areas in your ductwork and want to seal leaks yourself, it’s important to use the correct materials. We DO NOT recommend using duct tape for this job, as duct tape does not hold up well with hot and cold temperature fluctuations. We recommend mastic sealant or metal tape. First, check the ducts you can access directly. For example, attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements or garages, which are oftentimes the most vulnerable. Once this is done, you should check that the connections to all the vents and registers are well sealed.
If, after you have sealed up all of your home’s accessible air ducts and you still are having any of the issues listed above, it’s time to call in the pros. Schedule a visit from a trusted, professional HVAC company who can come out and get your ducts and HVAC system prepared for the cold months ahead.
Seal Up The Leaks
Heat can readily escape through cracks around windows and doors when it’s cold outside. When that happens, you might as well be throwing money away! Every air leak means that your furnace or heat pump has to work harder and longer, driving up your utility costs. Small leaks may not seem like a big deal, but if they’re occurring around doors and windows, they can account for 20 to 30 percent of your heating bill in winter. Check along walls, floors, attics, basements, and crawl spaces for areas where warm air is escaping. Air leaks can be resolved with a variety of products commonly sold at your local hardware store. Products such as weatherstripping, caulk, expanding foam sealant, and door sweeps, are relatively easy do-it-yourself projects that won’t break the bank. When you seal your home’s air leaks, you are potentially reducing your heating costs by as much as 30%!
Check Your Alarms And Detectors
As part of your HVAC Fall Preparation, we recommend checking your home’s smoke alarms and detectors. This is a good time to change the batteries in the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Sadly, hundreds of people lose their lives every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning and an estimated 50,000 people are sent to the emergency room because of this dangerous gas that can be lurking undetected in the home. Fall and winter months give rise to the number of carbon monoxide poisoning cases because furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, and generators are common sources of this deadly gas. Gas ranges, charcoal grills, and cars also produce carbon monoxide gas. Power outages, sometimes caused by bad ice and snowstorms, are especially dangerous because many people use portable generators inside to stay warm. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and almost impossible to detect, making it extremely dangerous. If you have a carbon monoxide detector that plugs into the wall, be aware that it must have fresh backup batteries to operate without electricity, in case of a power outtage. Always keep your home’s alarm and detector batteries up to date.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
In addition to the steps mentioned above, it is recommended that you schedule maintenance for your HVAC system at least twice a year. Having regular, professional system checks and tune-ups will keep your heating and cooling systems operating at peak efficiency, help reduce energy costs, help to avoid expensive repairs, and extend the lives of your furnace and air conditioner.
When it comes to service and maintenance of your home’s HVAC system, no one does it better than Lancaster Brothers. Our expert technicians can repair any brand of furnace or air conditioner. You can count on us to have your unit up and running quickly and affordably. We offer maintenance plans that provide discounts and convenience, so you can rest assured that your HVAC system is performing at its best. For additional information or to schedule maintenance, call us at (913) 851-3399. You can also reach out to us via our website. We have been providing heating and cooling services to residents and business owners in the greater Kansas City area since 2000. We look forward to helping you keep your HVAC system performing at its best.
The team at Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling wishes you and your family a very happy Fall season, full of cozy warmth in your homes, and happy fall memories with friends and loved ones. We hope that this HVAC Fall Preparation Checklist helps you enjoy the season a little more, and with the money you save on energy bills, you indulge in all of the pumpkin spice lattes your heart desires!
admin September 7th, 2022
Family pets can bring so much joy to our lives. While we know the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to our pets, the truth is they can definitely wreak havoc on a home’s heating and cooling systems. This article, presented by Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling provides some helpful and simple HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners who want to keep their systems running smoothly.
It’s not hard to guess that most of the heating and cooling system issues caused by our pets, especially dogs and cats, stem from their fur and dander. This must-do tip may seem like a no-brainer: Groom Your Pet Regularly! Routine bathing and brushing will greatly reduce the amount of fur floating in the air and settling in the air vents and ducts. A build up of fur in these spaces means the air flow can become minimized or obstructed and this puts unnecessary strain on your system. Keep in mind that your pets will shed more in the warm weather months, making the need for frequent grooming even greater. Weather permitting, take your pet outside daily and give him or her a good brushing. In addition to removing fur, routine bathing and brushing removes dirt and allergens from your pet and away from your HVAC system.
Focus on Filters
Having our furry friends in the house usually means that filters need to be changed more frequently. As a general rule, we recommend that you change your filters approximately every three months, or when recommended by the filter manufacturer. However, having a pet who sheds a lot can speed that schedule up significantly. Depending on how much your pet sheds, or having multiple pets, you may need to change your air filters as frequently as monthly or every 60 days.
Again, depending on your pet’s shed level, you might want to consider upgrading the quality of air filter you use. The efficiency of air filters is measured in MERV ratings. This stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Lower MERV ratings indicate less filtering while higher ratings indicate more. Filters rated 5-8 are standard for many homes. If yours are rated lower than this, we recommend that you upgrade to the 5-8 MERV rated filters to increase the amount of fur and other pet particles that will be trapped in the filter, and kept out of your HVAC system and indoor air.
Clean Floors And Carpets
Keeping your floors and carpets free of pet hair is another DIY maintenance tip that will greatly increase your HVAC system’s performance and lifespan. Make sure to pay close attention to the areas around your air vents. Picking up the fur with your vacuum or by sweeping means that much less fur and dander that is being sucked through the system and passing through the filter. This will mean your filters last longer and will help minimize the fur that may settle in the vents and ducts causing additional strain on your system. When your pets are shedding more, like the warm weather months, more frequent cleaning of the floors and carpets will be necessary. Additionally, don’t forget to clean your furniture, as pet fur can settle into it and then quickly go airborne again if it’s not removed.
Clear Vents And Ducts
In addition to removing pet fur from your floors, it’s a good idea to also clean your air vents and ducts since no matter how much you clean, some fur is bound to settle into them. If your pet sheds a lot or if you have multiple shedding pets, we recommend cleaning out your vents monthly. To do this, shut off your HVAC system and carefully remove the vent covers that you have safe access to. Using your vacuum hose, suction up any fur, dirt, and debris that is reachable with your vacuum’s hose, but keep in mind that other items can fall through the vents, which could cause damage to your vacuum. We recommend that you wear gloves, to protect your hands from any sharp objects and metal that might be under your vents. Remember that DIY duct cleaning is only going to resolve the fur and debris that you can reach, which is a very small part of your home’s ventilation pathways. Many air ducts are not accessible to safely clean yourself. It is best to call a professional air duct cleaning service, for a really thorough job.
Protect Your Outdoor Unit
Pets can be harmful to your outdoor unit in several ways. If your pet is able to get to the unit, fur is a problem, just as it is to the indoor components of your system. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for HVAC repair professionals to see cat claw marks on components, dog chew marks on cables, and pet urination on the unit’s exterior surfaces. If your unit doesn’t have a breathable barrier, such as landscaping, that keeps your pet from accessing it, you should consider installing one. If you decide to put up a barrier, you will need to leave at least a 3 foot clearance around the unit. Also make sure your barrier does not enclose the unit, as it must be able to ‘breathe’ with unobstructed air flow in and out. Be sure to properly hide and store any exposed wiring as well.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
All HVAC systems need regular professional maintenance to keep running at maximum efficiency. Having pets in your home makes that need even greater since they place additional stress on your system. We recommend twice annual maintenance so your system can be inspected for any issues, serviced appropriately, and your technician can let you know if there are any potential problem areas that you should be aware of so that you can help reduce the chances of additional repairs.
At Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling, we offer a maintenance plan that is ideal for pet owners. Our plan provides discounts, convenience, and can greatly extend the life of your HVAC system. For additional information or to schedule maintenance, call us at (913) 851-3399 or reach out via our website. We have been providing heating and cooling services to residents and business owners in the greater Kansas City area since 2000. We look forward to helping you keep your HVAC system performing at its best.
You and your furry family members deserve to be happy and healthy together. With these simple maintenance tips, a little extra care, and regular professional maintenance, you and your pets can enjoy comfortable temperatures all year round!
admin July 5th, 2022
Posted In: Maintenance
Springtime in the Midwest can conjure up thoughts of trees budding, flowers blooming, birds chirping, and temperatures rising. In reality it can still be pretty cold here and we can sometimes get snow in April! This makes it easy to imagine that you can put off air conditioner maintenance until later, or at least until the thermostats start posting some much higher temperatures. This article, presented by Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling, explains why springtime is the best time of year to get your air conditioner unit maintenance performed, to ensure optimal performance this summer.
Springtime is the perfect time to get your air conditioner maintenance in order. You can reduce energy costs by keeping your unit properly maintained, and you can also prevent costly repairs from occurring down the road. This is important for residential air conditioners as well as for commercial units that run continuously during springtime and summer months. As we come out of the freezing temperatures of winter, it’s important to have your AC system maintenance performed, as the harsh winter weather and precipitation can cause damage as well as put strains on your unit. If your unit is not functioning at peak efficiency, your energy bills can be impacted since it could take more energy to run a system that hasn’t had a springtime check up and tune up. The more efficient your AC system runs, the less you will pay in energy bills to cool your home.
Extend Your AC Unit’s Life & Efficiency
HVAC professionals estimate that getting your AC unit maintenance bi-annually could increase its lifespan by 30-50%! An average unit has a lifespan of about 15 years. With cost-effective maintenance plans, you’re looking at least an additional 5 years. Alternatively, if you neglect professional maintenance for years on end, you could experience a major repair or breakdown before the unit reaches its 10th year. Maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your system, but it also makes it more run more efficiently. Routine maintenance tune-ups can improve your system’s efficiency by up to 25%!
If You Wait, It May Be Too Late!
The harsh winter weather can cause strains and issues to your unit and before the temperatures get really hot, it’s important to make sure your air conditioner is properly maintained and running smoothly, so it’s ready to go when you really need it in the hot summer months. Any winter weather issues can be addressed and any debris or build up that has accumulated can be cleared away, ensuring proper air flow and optimal performance when you need it most. Additionally, if any repairs or replacement parts are needed to get your unit in tip top shape, there could be slight time delays depending on repair person availability, shipping of replacements parts, etc…you don’t want to be stuck without AC in 100 degree heat!
Save Money On Repairs
As with most complex machinery, air conditioners need regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns that are costly and time-consuming, not to mention very inconvenient. Bi-annual maintenance by professional HVAC technicians is your best bet to avoid expensive repairs to your unit. Preventative maintenance is far less costly than having to repair or replace your unit so make sure to stick to your maintenance schedule. It is a common misconception that only older units need to regular maintenance. In reality, all air conditioning units, including new units, need regular maintenance to function properly and maximize efficiency.
Call Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling
If you haven’t scheduled your 2022 springtime air conditioner maintenance, call the experts at Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling, serving the Kansas City area for over 21 years. No one does heating & cooling better than we do! Ask about our Maintenance Club, which can save you money and takes the hassle out of scheduling regular maintenance. By sticking with a regular HVAC maintenance schedule you can virtually eliminate HVAC breakdowns and emergency repairs. give us a call at (913) 851-3399 or request a service visit on our website today!
Chris Lancaster April 6th, 2022
Are you aware of the benefits of yearly HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) maintenance? It keeps your heat and air conditioning running properly and efficiently, reducing the chance of system breakdowns and saving you money. Our company extremely encourages our customers to become maintenance customers. The advantages of such an agreement with Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling are listed below.
Savings: You save money in a lot of ways with a yearly maintenance contract. Regular maintenance keeps your HVAC system in good working order so that you avoid unexpected breakdowns and costly emergency repairs. You avoid paying after hour’s fees if your system breaks down in the middle of the night, and your energy costs are lower when your system is running more efficiently.
Convenience: It’s easy to forget about your furnace or air conditioner until something goes wrong. When you become maintenance customers with us, your maintenance happens automatically. Your chances of HVAC breakdowns are virtually eliminated. We will email you when the time for maintenance comes around for your units.
A longer lasting system: You’ll get more years of operation out of your furnace and air conditioner when they are well maintained throughout their lifetime. Dirt, wear and tear, lack of lubrication, and other problems cause your HVAC system to work harder or improperly, which eventually leads to early system failure.
Discounts: We provide all kinds of discounts and percentages off to our loyal customers. You will be getting a 10% discount on repairs We really take pride in giving you the best deals because of your consistent support of our company!
To summarize, we keep your system in tip-top shape, you get a 10% discount on repairs, and most importantly you’ll also get priority service.
Here at Lancaster Brothers, we recommend Lennox Systems for their quality and efficiency. We make taking care of your Air Conditioning needs as easy as possible. Schedule a replacement or service over the phone or by email for your convenience. If you would like to take advantage of all of the benefits, become a member of the club! Request a Service online or call us today at (913) 648-9442!
admin June 14th, 2020
Posted In: Maintenance
The best time to schedule A/C Maintenance is early or pre-spring. Any damage or stress caused by the dreadful Midwest winter can be treated or reversed with some proper care.
A/C maintenance includes a professional walk-through and cleaning by a trained technician. We highly recommend scheduling a tune-up with your trusty HVAC company as soon as possible!
Why schedule HVAC service in the spring?
The warm weather causes a major need for reliable air-conditioning. Late spring and summer are the peak times for blasting the A/C. It’s the busiest time of the year for HVAC Repair specialists too. Anything that can go wrong with an overused air conditioning unit usually does.
By scheduling a tune-up before we reach high temperatures in Kansas City, you’re guaranteed a convenient appointment time, and a sense of relief heading into the summer. You’ll know your unit is ready to perform reliably through the summer and any necessary post-winter repairs can be dealt with at a convenient time!
Don’t wait until your AC system breaks down on a hot humid day!
Benefits of Springtime A/C Maintenance
1. Reduce Energy Bills
A tune-up keeps your unit up-to-date and your bills under control. The smoother your unit is functioning, the more reliable the unit will be and it’ll be operating cost efficiently. The more build-up and neglect in your unit means more money and repairs.
Also, proper maintenance is proven to reduce your heating and cooling bill by up to 20%!
2. Avoid Another Repair
Maintenance by trained professionals is guaranteed to lessen the need for costly repairs. When maintenance is scheduled and followed through, we are able to save HVAC units from more frequent issues and wallets from unnecessary losses. Those extra repairs are almost always more expensive than any preventative tune-up would have been.
Tune-ups and maintenance are meant to catch any problems before they become extensive and expensive. We catch any issue early and at its origin, ensuring that small issue won’t become big emergency later.
3. Extend the Life & Efficiency of Your Unit
A bi-annual maintenance could increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit by 30-50%! An average unit has a lifespan of about 15 years. With cost-effective maintenance plans, you’re looking at least an additional 5 years. On the other hand, if you neglect professional maintenance for years on end, you could experience a major repair or breakdown before the unit hits its 10th year.
Maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your system, but it also makes it more efficient. Routine maintenance tune-ups can improve your system’s efficiency by up to 25%!
Here at Lancaster Brothers, we recommend Lennox Systems for their quality and efficiency. We make taking care of your Air Conditioning needs as easy as possible. Schedule tune-ups or service over the phone or by email for your convenience. If you would like to take advantage of all of the benefits, become a member of the club! Request a Service online or call us today at (913) 648-9442!
admin April 13th, 2020
It can be easy to forget about your furnace with everything going on in your house, but it can be costly too! The furnace of your house is a central component in keeping your bills and keeping your family healthy, so it might be time to give that old furnace a thought! Here are some signs that your furnace might be on its last legs:
YOUR HEATING BILLS HAVE GONE UP
A big sign that your furnace is going to go out soon is a rise in your heating bill. No, it’s not the kids playing with the thermostat, as the furnace has to work harder and harder to keep up the same amount of heat, it costs you more. Getting a new furnace can slash your bill down to size. It’s not just your heating bill either, furnace repair bills start to go up as the furnace breaks down. A general rule of thumb is that if it costs over 50% of the price to repair, you might want to upgrade before it breaks for good!
THE AGE OF YOUR FURNACE
Nothing good lasts forever. That applies to your furnace too! As your furnace ages it becomes harder and harder for it to do its job efficiently. This leads to all sorts of headaches, not the least of which might be a coooold winter. If the furnace in your house is nearing twenty years of age, it might be time for retirement!
WORSE AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME
Have you been getting sick more? It might not just be the season, it might be the air in your home! If your furnace is struggling, it can’t efficiently regulate air in your home, leading to all kinds of problems. Ask us how to improve the humidity and indoor air quality in your home with our Lennox Healthy Climate indoor air products.
IT SOUNDS BAD
If you can hear your furnace wheezing and banging, you don’t want to ignore it! As a furnace dies, it will start making erratic and spooky noises. No, it’s not a ghost, but you should still call the experts to come check it out!
TIME FOR A REPLACEMENT?
If your furnace has been exhibiting these signs, call Lancaster Brothers today! We specialize in heating and cooling of all kinds. You’re probably lucky, we have some great deals and rebates on new furnaces from Lennox, so give us a call to make your family (and your checkbook) happier!
admin February 20th, 2020
Our maintenance plan includes several different benefits to save you both time and money. We put together a list of all the extras you receive when you join our maintenance club, check them out here:
Our Maintenance Club includes:
Two Tune-Ups a Year – Regularly scheduled tune-ups will increase the longevity of your system and help it continue to run efficiently. When your system is clicking on all cylinders and running efficiently, it will save you money on utility bills and will be more reliable in extreme temperatures. These two seasonal tune-ups will be scheduled and executed in advance of the season so your home will be ready for the changing temperatures.
Ten Percent Discount on Repairs – If any problem is discovered during one of your two yearly tune-ups, this discount will help you save 10% off the total cost of the repair for all members of our maintenance club. This discount will apply throughout the entire year. It’s not a one-time use only deal.
No Overtime Charges – No matter the length of time our technicians are out on site fixing the problem, there will be no extra charge. They will continue to work until the problem is solved. Just like the rest of our customers, our Maintenance Club members will never experience a surprise on their bill because we offer upfront pricing on repairs.
Priority Service – Air conditioners and furnaces never break down at a convenient time. That is why we offer our maintenance club members priority service. They will receive priority over nonmembers and have their units up and running as quickly as possible.
Convenient Email Reminders and Scheduling – When you are in the maintenance club, we will send you reminders on when it’s time to schedule your tune-ups so you never forget. We even make it easy by letting you schedule your appointment through email!
You’ll love our repair technicians, but don’t take our word for it, see what our customers have to say about them:
“Mario was out today for our annual maintenance and just wanted to let you know that he did a great job. He did a comprehensive check and explained everything to us in terms that were easy for us to understand.”
-J.G Overland Park, KS
“Thank you for great service! Eric arrived promptly at my home and had our problem diagnosed in no time at all. Gave us an explanation of problem and repair.”
-M.W. Springhill, KS
New Systems Need Maintenance Too
Maintenance plans are not only for older systems. They are also important when you install a new system. Even new systems will run efficiently for much longer when given the right amount of attention. Lancaster Brothers typically has rebates and special financing when installing a qualifying Lennox system. Contact us for more details.
Here at Lancaster Brothers, we recommend Lennox Systems for their quality and efficiency. We like to make taking care of your furnace and AC as easy as possible. Schedule tune-ups or service over the phone or by email for your convenience. If you would like to take advantage of all of the benefits, become a member of the club! Request a Service online or call us today at (913) 648-9442!
Chris Lancaster December 13th, 2019
When experiencing a problem with your furnace or air conditioner, we know there are plenty of places to call for help. To simplify things, we put together a short list of the top three reasons to call Lancaster first:
The upfront price we give you is the amount you will pay. We won’t surprise you with hidden fees. The quote we give you at the beginning will stay true. Sometimes projects take longer than expected. With our upfront pricing, we will continue to work on your project regardless of the hours spent, but your upfront price will remain the same.
One Hour of Labor with All Service Calls
Each time you call Lancaster for AC or furnace repairs, you are always given an hour of labor. We aren’t trying to nickel and dime you to death for every minute we’re there. No matter the size of the problem, your call will come with an hour of labor costs included with your repair.
Trained, professional, and friendly, these are requirements for all of our technicians. We want to make sure your family is comfortable and the best way to do this is by making sure our technicians take care of you and your HVAC systems. Our experts can repair any brand of air conditioner or furnace because of the training they receive. This up-to-date training continues to change as technology advances. This way they can be prepared for whatever problem you may be experiencing. Regardless, our technicians will get the job done right.
And if the time comes when your repair is just too costly or your system is too old to repair, we will provide you with a free estimate on replacing your system. Lancaster Brothers proudly installs Lennox equipment, and there are typically rebates and financing available. Our comfort specialists will be happy to go over all the options.
Those are just three of the top reasons why you should call Lancaster over the other guys. Want to learn more about Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling? Visit our website! When you need AC or furnace assistance, give us a call at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online.
Chris Lancaster November 18th, 2019
Posted In: Maintenance
The older your air conditioner gets, the more likely it is to break down. It’s just a fact of life. So if you’re limping along with an older AC hoping it will make it through one more season, the team at Lancaster Brothers has gathered some AC troubleshooting tips just for you.
AC Troubleshooting Tips
The two main problems people encounter with air conditioners are:
- It won’t turn on
- It runs, but won’t cool
The following troubleshooting tips can help you beat the heat and get back to enjoying cool air in your home.
Your AC Won’t Turn On
If your AC is not kicking on, you have several things to check:
Thermostat – check your thermostat to make sure that it isn’t set to the heat or off position. Also check to make sure that the batteries in your thermostat are not dead. (You’d be surprised how many service calls we answer and the problem is one of these two things.)
Tripped Breaker – check your electrical panel to make sure that the breaker connected to your AC hasn’t been tripped.
Power Switch – look to see if the power switch on the side of your furnace is turned on. (Yes, there’s a power switch on the side of your furnace.)
The AC Is On, but the Air Isn’t Cool
Dirty Air Filter – One of the biggest issues that will cause this problem is a dirty air filter. Check your filter to see how dirty it is and replace it if necessary. Remember, it is important to change your filter once a month to ensure proper airflow and cooling.
Ice Accumulation – Ice in the outdoor unit can also cause your AC to run sluggishly. If you see ice you should turn off the AC and allow it to thaw for a couple of hours.
Clogged Condensate Drain – If you are still having trouble, consider cleaning out the condensate drain. Algae tends to build up in these pipes and will cause your AC to fail.
Check Your Condenser Unit Outside
Don’t forget your air conditioner has another piece – outside. The condenser unit outside can sometimes be the problem. Look for these three problems:
A safety precaution first – The condenser is a 240-volt box and we don’t want anyone getting hurt, so turn off the power to it at the electrical panel before working on it. Also turn off the disconnect box located outside, near your unit. It will either be a lever, fuses, or a circuit breaker to shut off the condenser. Then, allow about 30 minutes for the electrical charge that’s stored in the condenser’s capacitor to dissipate. Okay, now it’s safe to check the unit. We recommend letting one of our qualified technicians look over these items.
Clear Debris – Make sure the unit is clean and clear of debris. Clear away dirt, leaves, etc. Check the fan to make sure it is clear of debris as well.
Clogged Drain – Check the drain and make sure it is clear.
Broken Coolant Lines – Check the coolant lines (pipes that connect the condenser unit outside to the evaporator on the inside unit). They can get bumped around being outside.
Turn the unit back on. First, turn the thermostat in your home to OFF. Then turn on the power at both the disconnect box and at the main panel. Last, switch the thermostat to COOL. Give it some time and see if you feel cool air blowing from the ducts. You can also check your outdoor unit to see if the air blowing out the top is warmer than the surrounding air.
A Formula to Know How Many AC Repairs Are Too Many
So you know your AC is on its last leg, but how do you know when it makes the most sense to replace it instead of throwing good money after bad? First, look for these four warning signs:
- Your unit is 10-12 years old
- You’ve paid for three or more repairs over the last two years
- Your energy bills seem excessive
- You are experiencing uneven cooling or certain rooms feel uncomfortable
NOTE: Sometimes hot spots can be due to poor ductwork. We can inspect your ducts and make adjustments if that is the case.
These are all clues that it is getting close to the time to replace your unit. Luckily, there’s a formula you can use to help you decide. We call it the $5,000 rule.
The $5,000 Rule
Multiply the age of your AC unit by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then replace the unit. If it’s less, go ahead and repair it.
Here is an example, if your unit is 10 years old and the repair will cost $350, multiply 10 x 350 to equal $3,500. It is less than $5,000, so it’s okay to have it repaired.
Consider the Rising Cost of Freon
With the rising cost of Freon (coolant used in most older systems), if your repair involves adding Freon because of a leak, you have something else to consider. If you have a Freon leak, you will have to add more every year and the price of Freon is rising each year. The reason is because about 25 years ago, the EPA ordered the phasing out of Freon as part of an international treaty focused on protecting the ozone layer. Production ended in 2010 for new air conditioning units. Production has also been reduced in subsequent years. By 2020, production of Freon will end, so the price will only continue to rise.
Let Lancaster Help with Repairs or Replacement
If your AC has several of the symptoms we listed, we will be happy to take a look and either repair or replace the unit so you and your family stay cool and comfortable. Lancaster Brothers is proud to install Lennox air conditioners, so if your air conditioner is on its last leg we will be happy to provide a free estimate. There are also rebates and financing available for qualifying systems, and our comfort specialist will tell you about all of the available specials.
Call us today at (913) 851-3399 with any questions, repair or replacement needs, or just to get a free quote on a new Lennox system.
Chris Lancaster July 8th, 2019
If you own a home, you pay for heating and cooling, too. If you aren’t careful, the cost of utilities can become expensive over time. Single family homes, on average, pay $2,060 a year in utilities according to the US Department of Energy, 29% of which is allocated specifically to heating. How, then, can you reduce the cost? By identifying the nooks and crannies most likely to leak heat, you can weatherproof your house, keep your family warm, and lower your heating costs this winter. Read on for the seven surprising places in your home you probably didn’t know were leaking heat.
Attics are one of the biggest places homes lose heat. Besides the fact that most homes don’t have enough insulation, there are other areas to be aware of. Even attics that are well insulated many times are lacking insulation above the access hatch. Additionally, holes for pipes and vents can lead to a significant amount of heat loss over time. Be sure all holes are sealed and all attic openings are properly insulated and weatherproof.
2. Windows and Doors
A major source of heat loss in homes results from gaps in windows and doors. In fact, leakage from doors and windows results in about 20-25% of total heat loss alone in a house. Reduce drafts and the cost of heating by sealing leaks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk. Don’t forget to add a weather strip to the bottom of the doors.
3. Pipes and Wiring & Vents
Gaps created by lights and other fixtures installed through walls and ceilings can cause heat loss. In order to prevent heat loss, exposed gaps should be filled with expanding foam to seal these leaks. Fans, vents, and holes for structures such as laundry ducts can account for large portions of heat loss in your home as well. Ensure exposed gaps are sealed or reduced in size to prevent heat leakage.
4. Electrical Outlets
While only contributing to a minor portion of total loss, electrical outlets are another lesser-known source of heat leakage. Take countermeasures to block exposed sockets and stop cold air from slipping through. You can find socket sealers at most home improvement stores and they are simple to install.
5. Fireplace Dampers
Fireplaces get a lot of attention during the colder winter months, but they can be a major source of heat loss, too. Make sure your damper is closed and remember to close it after using the fireplace. Otherwise, it’s a straight shot for heat to go up the chimney and outside.
6. Air Ducts
Check your air ducts for leaks and gaps. Seal any areas that are leaking with aluminum tape. Duct tape, contrary to its name, is not the best material for this job. It will eventually loosen and allow leaking. Pay special attention to ducts that run through unheated areas like basements and crawl spaces.
7. Air Conditioning Units
If your home has window units left untouched during the winter, they can jeopardize your efforts to keep your house warm. Remove the units entirely or seal the surrounding area to prevent heat loss and block cold air from sneaking in.
A little extra vigilance can make the difference between a comfortable home and a cold one. Keep the winter weather outside by making sure your home is insulated and weatherproof.
Keep In the Heat with a Lennox Home Comfort System
If you think your current heating system is too old and you are worried about staying warm because of leaks, you’ll need a new furnace. We recommend a Lennox Home Comfort System for its high quality and energy efficiency. Interested? Call us and we’ll fill you in on the great deals going on with Lennox.
Need help with heating or cooling? For friendly service, you can count on Lancaster Brothers. Give us a call at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online. If you need a new furnace, we recommend a Lennox furnace. Check out the savings here.
Chris Lancaster December 12th, 2018
Tags: heating facts