When Is It Time to Upgrade Your Air Conditioner?

So your air conditioner has served you well for many years now, but it’s beginning to show possible signs of wear and require more repairs. Is it taking longer to cool your house down? Trouble maintaining temperature? These are some signs that it might be time for you to consider upgrading your HVAC system.

When you decide to upgrade your air conditioner, there are a multitude of benefits to consider. Even if your current A/C seems to runs fine, investing in a newer, energy efficient model could save you a sizable amount on utility bills.

So how do you know when it’s time for an upgrade? Here are some signs that your old air conditioner may be due for replacement:

  1. It’s more than 10 years old.
  2. There’s a noticeable difference of temperatures between rooms.
  3. Your energy bills are continually increasing.
  4. It needs repairs more than once or twice a year.
  5. The cost of repairs are more than 50% of what it would cost to replace the system.

For help in making the decision if an upgrade is necessary for your house, contact A/C Max at (832) 752-4445.

Schedule your A/C tune up today

The hot hot summer heat is right around the corner. Have your AC system inspected and tuned up before the heat is here and you have an issue. Call us @ (832) 752-4445 to schedule a visit today!

hvac

Our HVAC technicians will thoroughly inspect your air conditioner unit to ensure safety and a well running system. During visit the technician will:

  • Test refrigerant levels
  • Check amperage draw on compressor and condenser fan motor
  • Check for correct microfarad (MFD) on the condenser fan motor and capacitor
  • Inspect contactor for pitting
  • Inspect condenser coil to ensure proper heat transfer
  • Tighten all electrical connections if necessary

A/C Max is a full service residential air conditioning & heating company proudly serving the northern Houston area including Montgomery, Tomball, Spring, Cypress, Magnolia, Waller, Hockley, Conroe, Lake Conroe, Pinehurst, Dobbin, Plantersville and The Woodlands Texas. We are a family owned and operated company with years of experience servicing and installing A/C and Heating systems. We offer a level of service that you just can’t find in corporate HVAC companies. We believe in hard work and honest service and having your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Repair needs taken care of promptly.

Prepare your air conditioner for summer

3ad5723b5e2d284fe818f9553e0bd6c9

You can get a head start on the summer heat by preparing your air conditioner this spring. Here’s a few items to check through to help reduce costs and prevent your a/c from breaking down.

  • Check your attic insulation

Having your home properly insulated can reduce your summer utility bills by helping keep your cold air in your home. Many homes have been built with inadequate insulation in your attic. You should have a insulation rating of R30 or R60, which is a minimum of 10-12 inches.

Similar to dirty air filters, obstructions around your outdoor unit can cause restriction of airflow, causing increased workload and a decrease in efficiency. Clean around the unit removing any weeds or grass and trimming shrubs or bushes nearby.

  • Check the drain line

When your air conditioner is functioning normally, it will create excess moisture that needs to be drained from your home. It’s always a good idea to check your drain line and make sure it isn’t clogged. When your a/c is running check for a small amount of water dripping from the line. It shouldn’t be very much water, but of you don’t see any water at all you may have a problem.

  • Get a tune up from your HVAC professional

We recommend an annual check-up on your air conditioning system. The spring time is the perfect time to have your unit checked before the heavy use during the summer heat. During a tune-up you can have your system checked for efficiency and finding any major issues before being used heavily in the summer season. Contact us today at (832) 752-4445 to schedule a visit. And check out our coupons before you call.

How much does a new furnace/heater cost? 4 things you should know first

If you are looking a purchasing a new furnace I’m sure the first thing you are wondering is how much it will cost. Due to each homeowner’s needs and home details it is impossible to give a “one size fits all” answer. Here are a few important things to consider to help you get a better idea of how much you will be spending and what questions to expect.

e5d0a2659fce87c2f6d89049c018bd11

  1. Your Energy Source

The first thing to consider if the type of energy source being used. Usually, electric furnaces are the least expensive, with gas then oil furnaces.

  1. Efficiency

Much like computers, furnaces are much more efficient than the huge mammoths from back in the day. This means you have so many different options when looking for a new furnace. A furnace with higher AFUE ratings will run more efficiently, and so they will cost more to purchase upfront, but end up saving you money in the long run on your utility expenses.

While you search for a new furnace, remember that a jump from a standard efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000+ depending on the size and energy source.

  1. Size Does Make a Difference

Having the right sized furnace can save significant amounts in energy costs over time. It can also save money upfront.

As with most things, bigger = more expensive. Have your HVAC contractor determine the correct sized unit for YOUR home. Over sized furnaces can cost more upfront and cause higher energy costs over time.

  1. Installation

Installation costs have several factors. Time it takes to install the equipment, where it is being installed, difficulty of installation, and may include new duct work. I know you may be thinking your ducts are good to go, but sometimes if your new equipment is more efficient new duct work may be necessary for proper air flow and reach the maximum efficiency of your new furnace.

 

When is comes to HVAC work, it varies greatly on your home and the equipment you pick.

It can be a challenge process to find the right furnace when you consider all the factors. When you begin your search for for the perfect fit for your home and your pocketbook, use this info as a starting point to make an informed decision. If you need any help, feel free to contact the us at 832-752-4445, we’re glad to help you with your HVAC needs.

6 cheap ways to Stay Warm

With this super chilly weather you might be tempted to crank up the thermostat. While this may be the first thing you think of and the quickest way to warm up, here are several cheap ways to stay warm.

1. Reverse your ceiling fans.

Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the blades. Switch the direction of the blades and the fan will push air downwards. Since warm air rises the blades will push the warm air back down towards the ground.

2. Seal the windows

Go your your local home improvement store and buy some caulk. This is another cheap and great way to keep the warm air inside.

3. Program your thermostat.

Program your thermostat for a lower temp for when you aren’t home during the day or cover up with extra blankets at night. This is another easy way to save ion your heating costs.

4. Blankets

Get a basket and fill it with your favorite blankets. It looks cozy and is a great way to stay warm while you watch movies. Try snuggling with a blanket instead of cranking up the heat!

 

5. DYI draft blocker.

Take a tube sock and fill with rice. Twist or sew the open end closed. Put the draft blocker at the base of your doors where cold air can slip through the cracks.

6. Go shopping…

While this might seem like a strange suggestion it can really help keep you warm. Having comfy sweaters and sweat pants on hand can help keep you from turning up the thermostat when it’s chilly.

 

Obviously there are lots of ways to stay warm during the winter weather. These are easy and inexpensive things to help with your heating bill.

 

 

DYI HVAC Ideas

Here’s some cool ideas to decorate your thermostat, vents or unit. Check it out!

  • Make your thermostat more interesting. More info here!

Cute and creative idea to dress up your thermostat

  • Or this! Hide your air conditioner unit with a fence.

How to Hide an Air Conditioner Screen With a Fence

  • Here’s a creative way to change up your vents.

DSC_0036

AC Max is a full service residential air conditioning & heating company proudly serving the northern Houston area including Montgomery, Tomball, Spring, Cypress, Magnolia, Waller, Hockley, Conroe, Lake Conroe, Pinehurst, Dobbin, Plantersville and The Woodlands Texas. We are a family owned and operated company with years of experience servicing and installing AC and Heating systems. We offer a level of service that you just can’t find in corporate HVAC companies. We believe in hard work and honest service and having your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Repair needs taken care of promptly.

No heat?

Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide to go through if your heater is not working.

THERMOSTAT

  • Make sure the system is set to the HEAT setting.
  • If your thermostat is electronic, make sure the batteries do not need to be replaced.
  • If your system has a switch to control the fan, turn it to ON. Is the fan coming on? If you can’t hear the fan, check the air vents to check if you can feel any air blowing. If the fan is not running you may not have any power to the furnace.

If there are no issues with the thermostat, the next step will be see if there is power to the furnace.

POWER TO THE FURNACE

  • Your system may be equipped with an emergency shut off switch. If so, make sure it is turned on. Typically the switch looks like a normal light switch and will be located on or close to your furnace. It’s common for this switch to be accidentally turned off. If the emergency shut off switch is on, but the fan still isn’t working, proceed to the next step.

POWER – PANEL BOX

  • The next step is to check that the main power is on to both the furnace and air conditioner. In your houses’s main electric panel check the breaker (or fuses) for the HVAC system. Are the breakers tripped or the fuses blown?
  • If the breaker has been tripped it will be in the position between off and on. Reset the breaker.
  • If your home has fuses, check to see if the fuse for the furnace is blown. If so, replace it with the same size and type of fuse.
  • WARNING: If a breaker continues tripping or a fuse keeps blowing, you should contact a qualified service technician to inspect your system to determine why you are having problems.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable during any of these steps, please stop. It may be time for you to contact a qualified HVAC technician to come help you.

Why is my gas furnace making noise?

If your heater makes a loud bang when it comes on there are a couple of reasons this may be happening.

Burners need to be cleaned

If your furnace only makes this noise when it comes on the furnace burners may be dirty and need cleaning. When the burners are dirty, it causes gas to accumulate before the gas ignites. The noise you are hearing is from the built up gas and is like a small explosion.  This is not something you should ignore. This could crack your furnace’s heat exchanger.

If this is the cause of your noise, have a professional HVAC technician take a look at your heater system.

Air ducts expanding & contracting

If the noise you hear is a little away from the furnace, then the problem is likely with the air ducts.  When the blower starts it is pulling air from your house and blowing it out of the supply ducts. This causes different parts of your ducts to pop in and pop out.

Minor expanding & contracting is normal, but a severe pop could be the sign of several things. Undersized ducts, closed vents, or clogged air filters. First try opening any closed vents and changing your filter to see if that corrects the noise.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact AC Max to take a look and assess the problem.

 

Is your heater blowing cold air? Top 5 reasons why

Your heater keeps you warm and cozy on a chilly winter night. The last thing you want to deal with is cold air blowing out of your vents! There are many reasons why your furnace is blowing cold air. While some can be fairly easy, others can require the help of an HVAC professional to help. Here’s some of the most common reasons:

1. You’re not waiting long enough. Just like it takes time for hot water when you turn on your sink, it’s the same concept for your furnace. It can take a few minutes before you feel warm air blowing out of your vents. This is completely normal.

2. You’ve turned your furnace switch off by mistake. Another common issue we find more often than you would think! Quite a few people like to hide Christmas gifts in the attic and accidentally turn the furnace switch off on the way out. Make sure you turn the light switch off, not the furnace switch.

3. The fan setting. Check to see if your fan setting on the thermostat is set to AUTO. If it is set to ON your fan will run continuously. When you switch to AUTO the fan will only come on when the furnace is running.

4. Pilot light is out. If you have a gas furnace, it could be your pilot light is out. Safely re-light it, following the manufacturers instructions if you feel comfortable doing so. If it doesn’t say lit, you may need to call your HVAC pro to come take a look at it.

5. A more technical issue. If your heater is still blowing cold air and you’ve gone over the common reasons listed above, it’s more than likely caused by a problem your HVAC technician can easily address.

If your heater is blowing cold air and you need help contact AC Max (832) 752-4445. We’d be glad to help you out!

Continued… Common repairs and how much it will cost you

The air conditioner contactor is basically a switch that is located in the outdoor part of the a/c unit. The “switch” consists of a control coil, a metal plunger, and one or more sets of electrical contacts. The switch turns the unit on and off as required to keep the home at the desired temperature.

The average price for to replace the contactor is between $225-$325 plus your service fee. This price may vary depending on your equipment.

We offer FREE second opinions! If you think your repair estimate from another HVAC company is too much, or you just want a second opinion on what’s wrong, call us and we will give you a free second opinion.

Remember if you have any questions about pricing, feel free to give A/C Max a call (832) 752-4445. Please keep in mind that repair costs can vary depending on your specific system and your individual needs.