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How often do you need to replace your air conditioner?

HVAC system outside during the spring

How do I know if my AC is broken?

Are you ready to buy an air conditioner replacement? Here in the southern part of the country, we have already had a few days of summer-like weather. Hot, humid, muggy, and sticky. Many homeowners in Georgia and surrounding southern states have already turned on their air conditioning, and some have already found they need to replace an air conditioner.

Yes, the first day it hit 90 degrees, some homeowners turned on their air conditioner only to be met by hot air blowing and/or a loud, obnoxious noise, or no noise. So, they are now shopping around for an air condition replacement, comparing air conditioner replacement cost estimates, and wishing they had been better equipped and informed.

One thing as a homeowner that you never want to experience is a broken air conditioner during the summer. You can take a cool shower, but it won’t help for long, sleeping is impossible, and all you can think about is an air condition replacement.

Were there any indications this was about to happen that you ignored? No two homes are the same when it comes to the air conditioning system. The ductwork and insulation are going to vary, which side of your house has the most sun exposure, the age of the current system, and how each homeowner uses theirs, and maintain it with air conditioner air filter replacement and more.. These are all things that can make a difference in the lifespan of your air conditioner.

With all of these things considered, here are some tell-tale signs that may have saved those folks from paying for an air conditioner replacement:

  • The digital thermostat display is blank or doesn’t have power
  • Loud and/or unusual noises coming from the air conditioning equipment
  • Water is leaking from the interior part of the unit or if an attic unit, the ceiling has water stains

Things you can do that may determine if your air conditioner is broke or simply needs a repair call:

Temperature Check

Is the house not cooling off, even though the thermostat is set on the air conditioner setting? You could have a problem if the house isn’t cooling off and an air conditioner replacement is in your near future.

How Does the Air Feel?          

If you’re still not sure, hold a hand in front of a vent and it the air isn’t cold, even with the thermostat sitting in the air conditioner mode, then you could have an air conditioner replacement coming soon. First though, turn the unit off and wait for the evaporator coils to thaw out and if still not cold air, call a technician.

How do you know if your AC fuse is blown?

Any electrical device, especially air conditioning, can only endure a certain level of heat until they are damaged. With air conditioners, blow fuses is the most common problem, and when the fuse blow, the air conditioner is done. You may still hear humming, but it isn’t the air conditioner trying to cut on, so yes, you may be looking at an air conditioner replacement or you may need to simply replace the fuse or an air conditioner replacement plug could fix the problem.

Purchase a voltmeter from your local home improvement store and following these steps, you’ll know if it the fuse, the electrical plug, or is you need to buy an air conditioner replacement:

  1. Disconnect the air conditioner at the exterior disconnect grey box that is mounted near the outdoor unit.
  2. Open the disconnect covers, inner and outer, so that the wire is exposed.  
  3. Set the voltmeter at zero, then in the disconnect panel, you’ll see two sets of wires. One is labeled “line” and one is labeled “load” that carries the incoming power, load the wires, then send it out.
  4. Connect the leads of the voltmeters to the lugs that connect the two wires. The voltmeter reading should be between 220 to 240 volts. This means power is getting to the fuses.
  5. Connect the voltmeters leads to the test the outgoing voltage to the load wire’s lugs. If the meter has a zero reading, the fuse is blown.

Should I replace my 15 year old air conditioner?

Air conditioning experts recommend using the 5,000 rule. Take the age of your unit and multiply it by the cost to repair it. If the cost is over $5,000, then the better option will be to replace the unit. This is why experts say that age is an important factor when determining to repair or replace a unit. Other factors to consider if air conditioner replacement or repair is the best decision:

  • Energy Efficiency: The technology in air conditioning has improved over the years. If your current unit is 10 years old or older, it is likely not as energy efficient as it could be.
  • Refrigerant: If a repair visit finds that your air conditioner unit requires refrigerant, there is probably a coolant leak, and while the recharge this time may fix it, it will likely need coolant again next summer. Repairing the unit is going to be costly, which makes air conditioner replacement more sensible.
  • High Electric Bills: If your electric bills are getting beyond reasonable, it may be time consider an air conditioner replacement.
New AC Wall Unit

Can I install my own AC unit?

Nope, you cannot install your ownair conditioner replacement, no matter how good of a DIY homeowner you may be. The electrical components have high risk level and if not done correctly, you could damage the unit or even the wiring in the house. An expert HVAC technician will have the experience and knowledge to ensure the air conditioner replacement you get is the right size for your home.       

A popular question is “Can you replace air conditioner but not furnace?” This is a popular question, especially for a homeowner that was not expecting their air conditioner to quit. It is necessary to replace both components of your air conditioner at the same time, the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit. However, you can get away with replacing only the air conditioner if budget constraints are an issue. If the furnace is 15 years old, if possible, we recommend replacing both.

Need air conditioner replacement in Cumming, GA? Choose the experts at Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at 678-203-4784 today!

What maintenance does an air conditioner need?

HVAC system outside of home

Keeping your AC at its best

With summer fast approaching, are you one of those homeowners that are scrambling to make sure your air conditioner is in working order and ready to go? Do you have any routine air conditioner maintenance during the summer to keep it working the most efficiently?

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even check the filter in their air conditioner, much less have an air conditioner maintenance plan. To keep your air conditioner running efficiently all summer, it is important to have monthly air conditioning maintenance frequency. Twice a year, you should have professional air conditioning service and maintenance performed, typically once in the fall and once in the spring.  This routine will keep the air conditioning and heat both working properly when you need them.

Is it necessary to service AC every year?

There are many things that require our attention, like paying bills, buying food, putting gas in the car, getting the oil changed, and all those boring but important things. Those are all absolutely necessary things. Is air conditioner maintenance not an absolute necessity? 

If your air conditioner is running okay, does that mean it needs monthly air conditioner maintenance? Yes, but what if my AC system is running just fine? Well, we won’t say “absolutely” necessary, if you don’t mind it goes out on the hottest day of the year.

How often should you have your air conditioner serviced?

It is important to have air conditioning maintenance. How often is important too. Maybe more important is the air conditioning maintenance checklist which makes sure they check every aspect of your air conditioner. The following are suggested by professional air conditioning technicians:

  1. Getting a Head Start: Even though you haven’t used your air conditioner for a few months, you shouldn’t expect it to kick right up and perform at peak efficiency. A professional air conditioner maintenance service before summer arrives will make sure it is ready to go that first hot day. 
  2. Regular Maintenance is Cheaper Than a Repair or Replacement: No, maybe your air conditioner won’t break down because you skip one year’s air conditioner maintenance service, but why risk it? The cost of an air conditioner maintenance service call by a professional to perform a cleaning and tune up is a lot cheaper than if they are called to repair the unit. It is cheaper than a new unit. 
  3. A Voided Warranty: If your air conditioner was in place when you bought the house, it probably isn’t under warranty. If you have purchased a new unit, neglecting basic homeowner maintenance and an annual air conditioner maintenance service call could void your warranty. 
  4. Extended Lifespan: Regular air conditioner maintenance service calls will lead to fewer repairs, extend the air conditioner’s lifespan, and improves efficiency, which helps your utility bills. 
  5. Lower Your Cooling Costs: For each year you skip air conditioner maintenance service, you are shortening the efficiency of your air conditioner by five percent. How? Your air conditioner collects debris and dust on the evaporator coils which are located inside the house. The outside conditioner collects dust, grass, insects, leaves, and whatever blows up and the unit sucks in.  With both units, this blocks their airflow, the heat transfer, and your air conditioner is working harder but as much as 15% less efficient, which is costing you more money.          

How do I maintain my central air conditioner?

With a few behavioral changes in your household, you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Like, using the ceiling fan will cool a room as much as four degrees and pulling closing the blinds and pulling the curtains during the hottest part of the day will make less demand on the air conditioner. 

These are small steps that will add up, but you won’t notice those savings if your air conditioner isn’t performing at its peak efficiency. This checklist is recommended by professional air conditioning technicians as things you can do yourself in between professional air conditioner maintenance services:   

Step 1: Seasonal Checks

As spring blooms, keep the grass, shrubs, and tree branches stay two feet away from the outdoor unit. Each month, change or clean the filters and clean the grills.     

Step 2: Raise the Temperature

By raising the thermostat, by one-degree can lower your utilities as much as five percent. Purchase a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. The ROI won’t be immediately noticed, but you’ll benefit over the years.   

Step 3: Schedule A Professional

Twice a year schedule a licensed professional to perform air conditioner maintenance and full inspection of your air conditioning units. They will do a thorough cleaning, flush tie condenser coils, drain the pan and drainage system, vacuum the blower and check the mechanical parts and the refrigerant. 

What does an AC tune up include?

The basic air conditioner maintenance and tune-up will include the following:

  • Condenser Coil Cleaning
  • Thermostat Calibration
  • Check and Recharge Refrigerant
  • Check for Leaks
  • Grease, Oil, tighten anything needs
  • Analyze the blower belt and motor 
Newly installed hvac system

What happens if AC is not serviced?

The first thing you need to about not having your air conditioner maintenance a minimum once a year, you can expect the lifespan to be shortened and your utility bills to increase. The components of your air conditioner include the air filter that should be cleaned or changed every thirty days. When the filters are stopped up with the dirt and dust, bacteria will start growing and blowing it back through the vents. The vents blow that bacteria air into your house for everyone to breathe.

An air conditioner is an expensive component that provides your home comfort. By taking care of the unit as we’ve discussed here, this unit should last you for many years. If you neglect the routine air conditioner maintenance and monthly checks yourself, you’ll be replacing it 10 years or sooner than you expect. Call 678-203-4784 today for your air conditioner maintenance in Cumming, GA.

Is an electric furnace better than gas?

the inside of an electric furnace

Is it cheaper to heat your house with gas or electric?

It can depend on where you live. If you live in a northern climate, with proper care and maintenance, gas heat is more comfortable. To operate gas heat, the cost is less, however, installation costs more.

Electric furnace installation is less expensive but more expensive to operate. In warm climates where gas isn’t readily available, electric heat is the perfect option for heating a home. An electric heat pump is another consideration where gas isn’t available for its energy efficiency and because it works with air conditioning in the summer is another benefit.

The following are pros and cons to consider when trying to decide between an electric furnace or gas furnace for your home:

Gas Heat Pros

  • Operation is less expensive: Natural gas is considerably less expensive than electric virtually everywhere in the country.
  • Heats faster: Because gas heat starts heating as soon as the burners ignite, it heats up quicker than electric heat.

Gas Heat Cons

  • Installation is more expensive: Installation of a gas furnace is more expensive than Electric furnace installation because of the venting required makes it more complicated.  
  • Lifespan is shorter: A gas furnace life expectancy is ten to twenty years.
  • Requires more maintenance: A gas furnace runs on a combustible fuel, making it yearly inspection and maintenance necessary to assure it is operating efficiently and safely.

Electric Heat Pros

  • Installation less expensive: Electric furnace installation is less expensive, making it the preferred choice for homeowners.
  • Installation causes minimal disruption: Electric furnace installation doesn’t require exterior venting, so installation is faster and causes minimal disruption.
  • Maintenance easy: An electric furnace should have annual inspection and maintenance, but there is less chance of malfunction dangers.

Electric Heat Cons

  • More expensive over a lifetime: Electric furnace can be 100-percent efficiency, but with the cost of electricity, it is more expensive to operate than gas heat.  
  • Heats slower: An electric furnace takes longer to heat up because it spends a lot of time powering up, thus, it takes longer to heat your home.

What size of the electric furnace do I need?

It is important to choose the right size electric furnace for homes. An Electric furnace installation with a unit that is too large or too small won’t be as efficient, thus costing you more money than necessary. The following information can assist you in calculating the right size for your home.

  • 1,200 square foot house choose an electric furnace size between 36,000 and 72,000 BTUs
  • 1,500 square foot house choose an electric furnace size between 45,000 and 90,000 BTUs
  • 1,800 square foot house choose an electric furnace size between 54,000 and 108,000 BTUs
  • 2,100 square foot house choose an electric furnace size between 63,000 and 126,000 BTUs
  • 2,400 square foot house choose an electric furnace size between 72,000 and 144,000 BTUs

Are new electric furnaces more efficient?

As we mentioned above, electric furnace installation is less expensive compared to gas furnace installation, but when it comes to efficiency, an electric furnace is more efficient than its gas counterpart. An electric furnace has a rating of 100% annual fuel-utilization-efficiency, whereas a gas furnace rating ranges between 55 percent to 97 percent.

burners on a furnace

How long will an electric furnace last?

There are many factors that can affect the lifespan of an electric furnace, some of which are:

  • Electric furnace installation — Poor Electric furnace installation can reduce the years of the lifespan.
  • Electric Furnace Size — An electric furnace that is too small will work overtime and wear out faster. A furnace too large will cycle off/on too much.
  • Maintenance — Annual maintenance and tune-ups are important to the lifespan of an electric furnace.
  • Filter Change — Replacing or cleaning the filter is important to giving your furnace a long lifespan.

How do you know when it may be time for a service call? When the current electric furnace buzzing sounds and when your electric furnace is not blowing hot air. An experienced furnace technician can advise you if repairs are feasible and possible or if you need to start shopping for an electric furnace installation.

As you shop for a new furnace, take the information we’ve provided here and done your own research. It is always recommended to go with a professional contractor to install your furnace, as opposed to attempting to do the installation yourself.  Having a professional do the installation for safety reasons and warranty purposes.  A manufacturer may not honor their warranty if the furnace isn’t installed by a professional. Call 678-203-4784 today for your furnace installation in Cumming, GA.

Is Air Duct Cleaning Worthwhile?

Cleaning heater vent with vacuum

Learn More About Air Duct Cleaning

Your system of air ducts is essential in that they provide a streamlined path to where fresh air can supply cold or warmth throughout each room of the property. Yet there are many parts and connections of a particular air duct system beyond the snaking of boxes and cylinders that make up the system. As time passes or with remodels the path and parts of ductwork can become contaminated or dirtied. In such times, air duct cleaning is often employed to get rid of dust and debris. Yet at other times it may not be needed, if you’re curious to see if your air duct system requires cleaning contact a professional HVAC company to learn more. Until then, here is some general knowledge regarding air duct cleaning that may be of use to you.

Is Air Duct Cleaning worth it?

Air duct cleaning can be useful in providing cleaner conditions when remodeling is happening or when the system is dirty and needs maintenance in general. It can also solve such problems as uneven airflow in rooms and combatting dust and mold.

How does duct cleaning work?

Air duct cleaning will incorporate a variety of different equipment to clean different sections of ductwork. Technicians can use or change up between manual cleaning products or use power brushes to remove the debris inside duct walls. 

Does air duct cleaning make a mess?

Air duct cleaning can be messy and usually, it’s best to choose an HVAC company that will use drop clothes to keep debris off of furniture and floors. Plastic guards to protect the walls and trim should also be used for additional protection.

How long does it take to clean air ducts?

Air duct cleaning on average takes about two to four hours for a typical single-family home with at least a crew of two technicians. When there are pets or the duct system is older like with aged homes it may take additional time.

How often should you clean air ducts?

Air duct cleaning should be done every 3-5 years according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Depending on certain conditions 2-5 years is recommended as well.

 air duct cleaning, vents, registers

How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?

  • Air Filters Haven’t Been Changed in Months
  • You Detect Mold Around or In the HVAC System
  • There is Visible Dust on Vent Covers and Registers
  • Noises Can be Heard in the Ductwork
  • Airflow isn’t Consistent from Every Room

Does air duct cleaning remove mold?

If there is a problem with mold in your air ducts you may see visible growth or notice musty smells. Although air duct cleaning is essential it won’t help with the underlying problem of what is causing the mold. Mold formation begins due to too much moisture in the air or even in the ducts themselves so be sure to speak with a professional HVAC technician to see what needs to be done. Such solutions can be to install a dehumidifier which reduces moisture levels in the air.

Will air duct cleaning reduce dust?

Air duct cleaning will be helpful in reducing dust yet in order to avoid dust build-up it’s important to change air filters every 1-3 months. If there is smoke or pets present every month is more sufficient.

Can dirty air ducts make you sick?

Air ducts will gather contaminants and dirty up like all other areas of a property. In order for mold or dust not to form and aggravate senses air duct cleaning is often a good solution. When air ducts are dirty allergy-like symptoms may emerge like sneezing, coughing or a runny nose. With dust and mold, you can develop a sore through, experience dizziness or even get headaches.

How much does it cost to get air ducts cleaned?

Air duct cleaning on average will cost $300-$500 based on such factors like the number of ducts, the size of the home and how they are situated. You may also consider that the average cost per vent for air duct cleaning is around $35.

Contact A Professional HVAC Company For Air Duct Cleaning

When you’re looking for a skilled air duct cleaning service be sure to get in touch with a qualified HVAC company. They’ll be able to conduct inspections, maintenance checkups or provide tunes ups so your HVAC system will perform well for years to come. When you require new systems they can also refer you to models, like Carrier installations, that will work well with your property. For other property updates like green roofing in Alpharetta, GA you can receive help from a roofer near you. Improve upon your property’s air quality and get air duct cleaning today. Get your questions answered with a knowledgeable representative today.

If you’re interested in air duct cleaning in Cumming, GA call 678-203-4784 with Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning!

Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth It?

completed tankless water heater installation

Making the Transition

Are you tired of losing hot water every time you shower? Is your water heater almost 10-years old? Do you find you are constantly scheduling repair calls for your water heater? If you notice that you are spending more money trying to make your water heater work, it may be time to consider a replacement. There are many options on the market, but one that every homeowner should consider is the tankless heating system. Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning can help you through the whole process. Call us at 678-203-4784 about a tankless water heater installation for your Cumming, GA today.

typical gallon heater before tankless water heater installation

What is a Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is a way to efficiently heat the water flowing into your home. Rather than wait for a traditional tank system to heat the water up, a tankless unit does it almost on-command. As soon as you turn a faucet on, water is directed through a heating system that warms it up to your desired temperature within seconds. So who would benefit from a tankless heater? Anyone! Any homeowner or property owner that wants a newer, better, more efficient way of heating the water in their house.

More often than not, homeowners choose a tankless unit because of how cost-effective it ultimately is. Yes, the initial costs for this type of water heater are expensive. When compared to a tank and gallon unit, you can feel like you are spending a fortune. However, there are proven savings that you can experience the longer you use a tankless water heater.

Just like typical gallon water heaters, a tankless unit can either be electric or gas-powered. Whatever your home is already set up for, your heater will be able to operate with. It’s important to note that, if you are wanting a gas heater, but your home is set up for electric, it will cost more to make that happen. No matter what though, you can rely on Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning to help. We are certified by the state to work on both electric and gas lines, so we can get you set up with a proper water heater.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater Installation

Believe it or not, but there are many benefits to a tankless water heater. Homeowners are often deterred by the upfront costs, but don’t let them scare you! Tankless units can be expensive, but they can be even more cost-saving. Your best bet is to talk with a licensed contractor, like anyone from Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning. They will be able to go over all the pros and cons with you, such as:

  • Energy Efficient: Unlike a traditional tank heater, the tankless water heater uses and produces less energy. That’s because it heats water essentially on demand. When you turn the faucet on, only then does it begin to heat the water, very quickly we might add. A 40-50 gallon tank heater has to keep all that water at a certain temperature all the time, wasting energy and money.
  • Continual Heat: You’ll find that a tankless unit provides more consistent and continual hot water. Most heaters have a window of opportunity, so to speak, of how long you can shower, bathe, do the dishes, etc., before hot water gives out. That won’t happen with a tankless unit. You can run multiple faucets and still have hot water.
  • Compact/Space Saving: As many are aware, typical hot water heaters are big and bulky. They take up a significant amount of space in your home. In comparison, a tankless unit is significantly smaller in size. That’s because there is no tank to account for. You’ll find a large area of your home open thanks to this unit.
  • Longevity: One of the best advantages of a tankless unit is longevity. Where a traditional unit may last about 12 years in total, a tankless unit will last up to 20 years! Additionally, there are warranties that can provide you with long-term protection and coverage.

Traditional gallon-sized water heaters are popular because of their low-cost and generally easy installation process. Many homeowners install their own water heaters, but that is not something they can do with a tankless heater. For that, you need to rely on expert knowledge. Anyone at Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with that. Contact us today to get started.

Are There Disadvantages?

Like any appliance on the market, there are disadvantages to a tankless heating unit. The main disadvantage is sizing. There are multiple sizes for a tankless system and each one fits specific household sizes, needs, and more. Quite often homeowners choose the wrong size and end up experiencing hot water loss. Another disadvantage is sometimes the price tag. Tankless units are, initially, expensive, there is no getting around that. The upfront costs to remove, replace, and install a tankless system are typically more expensive than a gallon water heater. While there are financing and rebate options, some homeowners may not be able to justify those costs.

mounted tankless water heater installation

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today for More!

Connect with Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning today about a tankless water heater installation in Cumming, GA. Our team is available now at 678-203-4784.