Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

A/C Repair & HVAC Services

A/C And Heating Services And Repairs

Regular A/C and heating service is essential in extending an HVAC’s system life, in both residential and commercial settings. Opinions vary on how long an HVAC system should last, but it’s clear that regular, preventative service extends the system’s life and reduces operating costs. Lack of maintenance is a primary contributor to early system failure, and the difference can be several years. Delaying replacement for that long makes the cost of preventative maintenance worth it.

System efficiency is also maintained with A/C and heating services, according to a study published by the New Buildings Institute. The study determined that with scheduled service, system efficiency could be improved by 10 to 20 percent. According to the same study, neglecting maintenance can be potentially damaging to the owner’s bottom line, as it can increase energy consumption by up to 60 percent. Responsive service and maintenance is critical, and developing a maintenance plan should be a priority for home and business owners.

We carry only top brand air conditioner units for your home or business.

More Reasons to Consider A/C Repair and HVAC Services

Energy efficiency and system life are compelling reasons for maintaining an HVAC system, but they aren’t the only ones. Other benefits of regular system maintenance include:

Better air quality and comfort – All of the air that passes through the system will be treated by the unit’s air filters, and regular filter replacement is critical to the building’s air quality. Air filters become dirty and wear out quickly, and an indication that a filter needs to be changed may be discomfort among the building’s occupants. Once air filters are heavily soiled, it’s more likely that contaminants will remain airborne inside the building. This can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory issues.

Regular maintenance ensures the air filters are always in excellent condition, improving the building’s air quality.

Better reliability – HVAC systems are bombarded by dust, microbes and other debris, and this debris will steadily reduce the system’s reliability. As contaminants accumulate, they will reduce the unit’s ability to cool or heat, and may cause the entire system to experience downtime.

Regular maintenance catches the kind of problems that could lead to extended system downtime and catches them before they develop into a serious issue.

The Importance of an HVAC Maintenance Plan

An HVAC maintenance plan makes sense for both residential and commercial HVAC system owners, as it removes any guesswork when it comes to maintenance and repair. A maintenance plan outlines how often preventative maintenance is to be performed, and what parts of the system are to be maintained. The goal is to extend the system’s life and efficiency with regular inspections and by switching out failing components before they cause a total failure.

An HVAC maintenance plan usually includes:

  • Condenser coil inspections
  • Refrigerant level and pressure inspections
  • Fan, disconnect box and electrical systems inspection
  • Bearing inspections
  • Contact inspections and testing
  • Service valve inspections and testing
  • Bearing lubrication
  • Refrigerant replacement
  • Thermostat calibration
  • Fan motor inspections
  • Compressor inspections and performance monitoring
  • Drain flushing and cleaning
  • Ductwork inspections and cleaning

That’s only a portion of what system owners can expect from a maintenance plan. Most importantly, plan maintenance is delivered preemptively, so system owners can rest easy knowing that their equipment is taken care of.

Prompt maintenance and repairs are necessary for preserving the system’s life and function, but if the unit is properly sized and selected, it will reduce the need for this maintenance.

Avoid A Costly Mistake When Choosing an HVAC System

One of the costliest mistakes a home or business owner can make with their HVAC system is choosing one that supplies too much cooling. That may sound odd, but an oversized system will struggle to maintain efficiency.

Attaining optimal comfort in a home or business relies on removing both heat and humidity from the air. It takes longer to cool the air than it does to remove moisture, so if an HVAC system is cooling the air too quickly, it won’t remove enough moisture to facilitate optimal comfort. Instead, it will feel clammy inside. When this is the case, it often equates to running the system longer, driving up energy costs and placing a great deal of wear on the system. For long-term efficiency, cost savings and system reliability, proper HVAC sizing is critical. How is this achieved? The process is called load calculation, and it involves some math and deep familiarity with the property. This is what will be included in the calculation:

  • Size of the building, in square footage.
  • What type of insulation is in the building, specifically, its “R” value.
  • The number of rooms in the building, including their placement and size.
  • The number, placement and size of the building’s windows and doors.
  • The number of floors in the building.
  • The type of materials used in the building’s construction.
  • How the building is oriented against the sun.
  • The area’s climate.

That’s a lot to consider in a single calculation, which is why many contractors provide a basic, general estimate of what the HVAC system’s size should be. It’s important to work with a contractor that will detail their estimate thoroughly and size the HVAC system accordingly. It’s also important to find a contractor willing to examine every component related to the system, including the vents. Leaking vents can be an enormous energy drain, costing up to an additional 50 percent on air conditioning and heating bills.

Choosing The Right Sized HVAC System

A properly sized HVAC system will go a long way in keeping energy and maintenance costs under control, but there’s more to HVAC technology than size. There are many price points with these systems, depending on efficiency. In general, the more efficient an HVAC system is, the more it is going to cost upfront. Over the system’s life, efficient technology will make up this greater initial cost, but not every home or business owner has the financial flexibility to prioritize elite efficiency.

Fortunately, there are a variety of HVAC products on the market, so owners can be particular about what their chosen system offers. Regarding efficiency, the three numbers to pay attention to include:

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

SEER is, by far, the most relevant number for people in the Houston area, and in any climate where heat and humidity are the defining features. SEER measures the efficiency of both air conditioners and heat pumps and is an industry standard number that all reputable HVAC manufacturers recognize and use. The higher the number, the more efficient the HVAC system is at converting inputted energy into cooling. Anything above a 14 rating comes with an Energy Star mark, and the most efficient systems will score close to 30, or even above it.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

HSPF only measures heat pump efficiency, so if there is a SEER number present, the HSPF may not be. Just like the SEER rating, HSPF is an industry standard metric that measures how well the HVAC system converts inputted energy into heat. The most efficient heat pumps score close to and above a 13, and anything with an 8.2 rating will receive the Energy Star mark.

Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

AFUE is used to measure the efficiency of oil-fired and gas furnaces. Instead of using a number that may not make sense without context, AFUE is simple to grasp. It is represented by a percentage, and this percentage refers to how much oil or gas is converted into heat for the home. The remaining fuel is vented out the flue. The recommendation here is a system that offers at least 78 percent efficiency, though some systems can achieve up to 98 or 99 percent efficiency.

Beyond these numbers, home and business owners will have to decide between single-stage and multi-stage heating and cooling. The difference here is easy to visualize. A single-stage HVAC system is either on or off. When switched on, it cools or heats at full speed until the desired temperature is achieved, then it shuts down. A multi-stage HVAC system can cool or heat at different rates, so it’s not all or nothing. This means that at lower settings, it may take a bit longer to get to the desired temperature, but energy efficiency will be much greater. There will be less wear on the system, as well.

The keys to a cost-effective HVAC system are proper system sizing and selection, along with expert preventative maintenance. Your HVAC contractor should assist with both and make the long-term operation of your climate control technology a priority.

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Memorial, Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Piney Point, Hunters Creek, Spring Branch, Tanglewood, River Oaks, Galleria, West University, Bellaire, Katy, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Spring, Cypress, Waller, Magnolia, Sugarland, Jersey Village, and the Greater Houston Area

Contact Us

5330 Griggs Rd., Houston, TX 77021
Phone: 281-355-9100
Fax: 936-931-5705
info@americanserv.com
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