Waiting To Replace Your HVAC System

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So, you are considering selling your Louisville home but your air conditioner is not working well. Do you live with it thinking you won’t be in the home in a couple of years or replace it with an energy efficient air conditioner and furnace?

Three reasons to replace that dinosaur system now.

1 – If it’s more than ten years old, it’s up to 30% less efficient than today’s minimum efficiencies. You’ll save on energy consumption with a new system.

2 – Utility rates increase every year. No matter how much we dislike it, LG&E gets their rated increase approved annually whether it’s electric or natural gas rates. Back to point number one, you’ll save money with a new system.

3 – Let’s say you you do put your house on the market. The buyers will use the age and condition of your heating and cooling system as a negotiating point. A new HVAC system eliminates that point. Plus a stack of lower utility bills is on your side of the negotiating table.

If you can afford to do it, purchasing that new system makes sense.

Contact us today at 812-280-0510 VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning to arrange an in-home consultation.

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3 Benefits Of Ductless Mini Splits

If you’ve recently added some living space to your home by either remodeling or adding on, you’ll probably want to condition the air in order to use the space during the winter and summer. A ductless mini split heat pump is one of the easiest ways to add heat and cooling to a new space in your home, since these systems don’t use any air ducts to deliver air.

Although the technology has been used abroad for years, it’ relatively new to the U.S. These systems are just like heat pumps, but instead of requiring a central air handler, the systems use separate units that blow directly into particular rooms or zones.

Louisville furnaceThe major advantages of ductless mini splits include:

Ease of installation – Unlike standard heat pumps, these systems require just a conduit to provide the power, refrigerant and drain lines to feed up to four indoor air handlers. The installer drills a three-inch hole through the exterior wall to run the conduit. The smaller systems can run off 120 volts, simplifying the wiring.
Energy efficiency. Because no ducts are involved, no losses occur moving the air. Ducts can leak and lose heat or cold as the air travels through un-insulated ducts or spaces. Some mini split compressors can handle four separate air handlers for different spaces within your home, and each has a separate thermostat. When you’re not using a space, you can turn the handler off or set the temperature higher or lower, saving energy. Some of the mini split systems also use energy-efficient components, including variable-speed motors that use considerably less electricity to blow conditioned air than a single-speed motor.
Design flexibility.The air handlers can sit on the floor or hang from ceilings and walls. Since most systems have remote controls, it’s easy to change the settings with the touch of a button from a distance.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. 812-280-0510

I need some Freon again.

Far too frequently, we receive the call from our  customers requesting more freon. Hmm. Not good. Air conditioning systems are sealed systems. They shouldn’t need a shot of ‘freon’ every year to keep it cooling.

“What’s the big deal? Just fill ‘er up.” Well, it is a big deal when you look at all the problems caused by leaking HVAC systems.

The first issues deal with detrimental effects on the system longevity.  Refrigerant (Freon, R-22, R-410a) circulates oil through the system. If you’re low on refrigerant, oil isn’t returned properly to the compressor.  Bearings don’t get lubricated. Compressor life is shortened. You pay more money.

Refrigerant is also the cooling medium for the compressor.  Say what? Yes, really. The refrigerant passes across the compressor windings to keep it cooled. Compressor runs hot. Windings fail. You pay more money for a replacement compressor or a new system.

The second issues deal with ineffective system performance. As the refrigerant leaks from your system, the indoor coil runs warmer and is unable to remove as much heat from the air. This makes the system have to run longer. Running longer results in higher utility bills. Eventually, the system won’t be able to remove enough heat to maintain set point, and you’ll be calling VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning again.

The other part of the performance issue is moisture removal. With a warmer coil, you are not sufficiently reducing the dew point of the air. With a higher dew point, more moisture remains in the air being returned to your rooms. Higher humidity levels in the home result in discomfort and you lowering the thermostat set point. The system runs even longer and you pay more money to the utility.

So, before you call for that ‘shot of freon’ consider the long term effects on your wallet and comfort. The wise investment is to let VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning find the leak and repair it.

812-280-0510

Tips for hiring an HVAC-system contractor

Louisville HVAC companyWhen the time comes to service, repair or install HVAC equipment in your home, you will be faced with the task of hiring an HVAC-system contractor. As in any industry, you’ll likely have many to choose from, with varying degrees of skill and experience. Here are some tips to help make your choice an easy one:

Ask questions – How long have they been in the industry and the number of satisfied customers are two things you should inquire about before hiring an HVAC-system contractor. An established, experienced contractor has seen and done it all, and will have the references to back it up. Of course, a reference is only good if you follow through; be prepared, with a list of questions to ask each.

Perform a license check – In Louisville, Kentucky, you can easily see if a potential hire is currently licensed, by performing a search at the website of the Kentucky Registrar of Contractors.

Ask for References – Look up reviews on line.

Inquire about guarantees  – Find out sooner rather than later,what kind of guarantee the contractor places on his work. A business that takes pride in its work and cares about customer satisfaction will provide you a written guarantee to prove it.

Ask about permits – A reputable HVAC-system contractor will not only know which jobs require a permit, but will be responsible for obtaining them as well. Permits protect both parties, by ensuring that the work done is up to code standards.

Get it in writing – Once they have performed a thorough evaluation of your home, or existing equipment, your contractor should be willing to give you a detailed, written estimate of the work to be done.

If you are looking to hire an HVAC-system contractor that meets all of these requirements, please give us a call at 812-280-0510 VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Why Every Consumer Should Know S.E.E.R.

When shopping for a new HVAC system, consumers are asked what SEER they are wanting to install. So what is SEER?

S.E.E.R. is the abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Every heating or cooling product has a S.E.E.R. rating. The higher the S.E.E.R. the greater the efficiency of the system. In layman’s terms your system will give you the same results and use less energy, and this will save you money. When you are researching what products may be right for you this is part of the cost benefit analysis you need to consider. It helps to see side by side comparisons of what kind of savings higher S.E.E.R. can deliver. Look at the chart below for some examples. If you spend $500 every summer on your cooling and you replace your old 8 SEER system with a 14 SEER system you can expect that bill to be reduced to $215. SEER ratings are in the 20s now but the cost of systems has to be considered.

Contact us at 812-280-0510 and ask what would be best for you and your family! Louisville heating and cooling

R410A vs. R22: New Refrigerants in the Air Conditioning Industry

R410A vs. R22 RefrigerantsA new refrigerant has emerged in the air conditioning industry that might affect you as a consumer. R410A is the refrigerant that’s replacing R22. That might seem like mumbo-jumbo to you, so VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has broken down what it means and how it will affect consumers.

According to Comfort Incorporated, R410A refrigerant was invented in 1991 as an alternative to R22 refrigerant. In the United States, all newly-manufactured air conditioners use R410A refrigerant. R410A refrigerant works at a higher pressure than R22 refrigerant, so new air conditioner parts had to be developed in order to use the new refrigerant. As a result, R410A cannot be used in units that currently use R22 refrigerant. In order to use R410A refrigerant, you must install a new unit.

This chart illustrates how R22 will be phased out over the next few years.

So what do you as a consumer do? First, it’s important to educate yourself on the type of unit you currently have, how much of your energy bill results from keeping your house cool, and if it’s beneficial for you to install a new unit. Keep in mind that R22 refrigerant is less environmentally friendly than its counterpart, one of the main reasons for R22’s phase out. R410A also operates more efficiently than R22.

The best advice we can give consumers is to contact VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. with questions. We can evaluate your situation, help you understand the logistics, and decide a suitable solution for you.

Jeffersonville, Louisville and surrounding areas Heating News: A.F.U.E. vs. S.E.E.R.

Louisville heatingThere are two terminologies used  S.E.E.R.(seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and A.F.U.E.(annual fuel utilization efficiency)? Why are both important to understand and how do they complement each other?

AFUE measures how much heat is actually making it into your home verses how much fuel or energy is required to produce that heat. What you are left with is a percentage that represents your AFUE. For example if your AFUE  rating is 70%, that means 70% of the heat produced is making it into the home while 30% is escaping out the chimney or flew. The minimum in Indiana minimum is 90% while in Kentucky is 80%.  SEER reflects, much in the same way as AFUE, the amount of cooling delivered to the home verses cooling loss. The current minimum SEER rating is 14. There are products with SEER ratings in the 20s now.

When thinking about changing out your heating and cooling system, you want to consider both the SEER and AFUE ratings of new equipment. You may review our page that assists in helping to decide to  Repair or Replace that helps you determine what to do with your HVAC. This is a great tool to help you decide whether you should invest in repairs for your older HVAC system or should you replace it with higher efficiency products.

The more knowledge you have about the actual savings you will get from newer, high efficiency products, the better. The decision is made simple when you can calculate your savings verses up front costs. If you have your heating and cooling costs for the last year or two it will be a huge advantage in calculating and knowing exactly what your short-term expense and long-term savings will be. You want your SEER and AFUE to be as high as possible and at a price point that makes sense for you.

As October approaches there will be many furnaces needing repair. If you can arm yourself with good information now you will be prepared to make a wise decision this fall. Now you can tell your friends what AFUE and SEER mean and why they are important. It can save you money when you choose the right products.

Call us today for additional help 812-280-0510

Repair or Replace

When our Southern Indiana and Louisville clients have a major AC repair, we are often asked if they should replace the HVAC system or simply repair the air conditioner.

Two factors influence the decision the most: age of your HVAC system and cost of the repair.

If it’s greater than ten years old and you have a major repair (compressor, condenser fan motor, evaporator coil), you should seriously consider a new heating and cooling system. An HVAC system of that age is not nearly as efficient as today’s system. Plus, a new Air Conditioning system can have a 10-year parts warranty standard with 10-year labor warranties available.

If you’re on the fence regarding a new system, here are some things to consider.
1) Your old system is considerably less efficient than a new system. So, your energy consumption is higher the longer you wait.
2) Air Conditioners and Furnaces increase in price roughly 3% each year. You’ll pay more for that new system the longer that you wait.
Combine those two, and you can see why waiting to purchase a new HVAC system may not be the best choice.

If your HVAC system is under 10 years, then repairing it may be your better choice. We can show you ways to save money on future repairs through our preventative maintenance program

Give us a call today at (812) 280-0510

Why’s My Coil Freezing?

Well, it’s about to get hot in the beautiful Kentuckiana area. VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning can assist.

When it gets hot, some of you will experience a frozen coil. The big line between the indoor and outdoor units is covered with ice. If you remove the coil panel, you would see a big blog of ice there as well. Next step is a big puddle of water under the furnace when you stop the unit from running.

So, what causes a frozen coil? Two things primarily cause it: low load and low refrigerant (R-22, R-410a, Freon, Puron, etc.) charge.

Low load. What is that? Well, it’s usually a dirty filter. That is why it is important to change your filters once a month. You can regulate this by one of your monthly bills. For instance, when you pay your cell phone bill, change your filter in your HVAC system.

The other cause: low refrigerant charge. Now, you may be thinking “when the refrigerant charge is low, the house gets hot. How can this possibly freeze the coil?” Well, here’s the answer.

Low refrigerant charge reduces the pressures of the indoor coil. The lower pressure corresponds to a lower temperature of the refrigerant as it enters the coil. The freezing process starts there. As the system runs and runs and runs, the ice builds and builds. It does take some time to build this ice block.

So, what causes a low charge? Two choices again: a leak or improper charge. All systems come charged from the factory with enough refrigerant for a 15′ lineset (the copper pipes between the units). The installing contractor has to add a certain amount of refrigerant for each foot of copper. If not, you’ll get a frozen coil when the unit runs long and hard in the first heat wave. The second would be if you have a leak. Replacing the Freon without fixing the leak would be like putting gas in your car knowing you have a leak, driving around and wondering why you are using so much gas. We can inspect your system, fix the leak and replace the Freon all in one call.

Well, I hope that you now understand a little better about the causes of a frozen evaporator (indoor) coil. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Love to help you with questions 812-280-0510 – Werner VanKleef