As the seasons change, the temperature and climate are reaching new record highs. Over the next several years, summers are due to be increasingly hot and humid. What’s the best way to stay cool and comfortable while at the same time keeping energy costs down?
Many people try to go out to the malls and sit or walk around for hours. Bookstores and libraries are other options that are popular. While these ideas will provide some respite from both the heat and paying high energy costs to run the home air conditioning, they aren’t always practical. And then you have the following summers again and again with which to contend.
Although money is tight for the majority of Americans, it is still a good practice to have preventative maintenance done on your existing HVAC system. If the air conditioning or heat pump system is close to ten years old, the best thing to do is consult with an HVAC specialist. Most of the time, regarding HVAC systems, it is more cost effective to upgrade equipment to the newer current equipment available today. Depending on the age of your existing condenser, compressor, or air handler, upgrading just one component may not be an option.
HVAC components need to be sized and paired together in order to achieve maximum efficiency which translates to maximum savings. Often times, just the condenser can not be replaced without replacing the air handler at the same time. This is one reason that many homeowners are put off by what may seem like exorbitant prices. Sometimes with older HVAC components, the EPA regulations and federal law may limit or prevent replacing a component with the same type due to current environmental standards and concerns regarding the inefficiency of older equipment. Many of the older components are not being manufactured any more for this reason alone. In this case, the homeowner should expect a much higher estimate.
This doesn’t mean that the homeowner should settle for the first quote they receive. In fact, it would be foolish not to obtain more than 3 separate quotes. People are always told, “you get what you pay for.” Many times this is true, but in today’s economic climate, more and more service companies are fiercely competing due to the fact that they too have experienced dwindling profit margins. This gives the consumer a much better chance of receiving the same quality of service as before without as high a cost involved.
A company’s track record speaks volumes and should always be considered before selecting their services. Word of mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising. It is also the best form of getting recommendations for a company’s services. Ask around. If more than a third of the comments are negative about a particular company, chances are there’s something to the claims and probably best to avoid the company.
One thing is certain, however, waiting until the heat of the summer hits is not the best time to finally decide to service or upgrade the current HVAC equipment. Demand for service is always highest in the summer months and that means having to wait as much as 3 days or more for service. Three days or more of 90 degree temperatures with no relief is a miserable thing to experience and can prove dangerous to the young and elderly. Proactive and preventative service now will ensure future summers that are comfortable and care free.
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