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Do Air Filters Help With Allergies? 3 Questions About Air Filters Answered

Breathing in clean, filtered air is more important than ever. The global air filters market was valued at $12.10 billion in 2019. This value will grow to $20.63 billion by 2027.

Many industries are losing value due to the worldwide pandemic. But COVID-19 has made air filtration more important than ever. So what does this mean for your everyday life inside your home?

Do air filters help with allergies after all? Today we’re exploring 3 top questions about air filters and how to stay healthy and safe from inside your own home.

What Do Air Filters Actually Do?

You’ve heard about the health benefits of having an air filter or purification system in your home. But what do air filters actually do?

Air purifiers remove particles from the air, disallowing allergens and dirt to pass through physical barriers. Unfortunately, some air filters work by emitting ozone.

These ozone-emitting air filters produce ozone gas that destroys pollutants. However, many concentrations of this ozone emission are still too strong and can cause lung irritation.

The Environmental Protection Agency warns against using ozone generators that are labeled as air purifiers. Ozone gas can cause lung and throat irritation, inflammation of the lungs, and even asthma aggravation. 

Are you struggling with polluted air and odors indoors? Pursuing a professional air purification system installation could be worth the upfront cost. 

We recommend the Platinum ozone-free air purification system, which is installed inside the ductwork of your home’s central air conditioning system. 

Do Air Filters Help with Allergies?

Air filters can help you prevent dust and pollutants from littering the air in your home. But do air filters help with allergies? And if so, how much?

The fact is that yes, home air filters for allergies can stop you from sneezing repeatedly at home! However, it’s important to note that there are many different types of air filters.

Let’s consider HEPA filters, also known as high-efficiency particulate air filters. These are very effective at removing and filtering dust, dander, and pollen.

Does My Air Conditioning System Serve as an Air Filter?

So you have a general air conditioning system. Does it protect you from allergy-triggering particles? This is rarely the case! Air conditioning usually uses simple paper filters that only protect against dust.

HEPA filters, in comparison, filter for smaller particles as well. Using a HEPA filter system or device can provide additional relief to dust-preventing air conditioning. 

In addition to HEPA filters, there are UV, ion, and carbon-based filter options. Each has its own pros and cons and finding one best suited for your health and needs is key.

Be sure to thoroughly survey a company’s reviews before hiring them for air filter installation. Some companies try to prey on individuals by upselling unneeded filters or even potentially harmful ozone-producing units.

Home Air Filters for Allergies

Wearing a proper HEPA-filter mask outside of the home is important during a worldwide pandemic. However, so is ensuring that the air you breathe at home is safe.

So do air filters help with allergies? Implementing an appropriate air filter at home can help protect you from allergens, and potential health problems down the road. Contact us today to discuss an air filter option that best meets your home’s needs today.

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Start 2021 With Energy Savings! 5 Ways Your HVAC System Can Save You Money

As the average price of electricity continues to rise every year, people are looking for energy savings wherever they can find them.

Unfortunately, electricity bills can be difficult to understand in the context of your life. Why is your bill going up when your spending less time at home or unplugging your devices more often?

One guaranteed way to save energy (and money) is to make sure your HVAC system is working efficiently. Read on for five energy saving tips to help you get the most out of your HVAC system.

1. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, this is a great energy-saving device to add to your home. There is no need to waste energy heating or cooling your home when no one is there to experience it.

The Department of Energy recommends keeping temperatures cooler than 68° when you are asleep or away in the winter and warmer than 78º when you are asleep or away in the summer.

2. Keep up With Routine HVAC Maintenance

It may cost more up front, but in the long run, you will save energy and money by properly maintaining your HVAC system. You should have an HVAC technician check out your system and perform routine maintenance twice a year. You should also change your air filter every month, or as often as your instruction manual or HVAC technician recommends.

Regular maintenance will result in HVAC system energy saving as you can avoid costly repairs and make any small fixes that might help your system run more efficiently.

3. Set Your Thermostat to the Optimum Temperature

Did you know that most HVAC systems have an optimum temperature range? They can, of course, operate outside that range but will work more efficiently, saving energy and money, within their ideal range.

If you don’t know your HVAC system’s optimum range, check the manual or consult a professional HVAC technician.

4. Find and Seal Any Leaky Ducts

One of the main ways an HVAC system becomes less energy efficient with time is when ducts begin to leak. If you notice uneven heating and cooling throughout your home, dust collecting around your vents, or unexplained rising energy bills, your ducts might be leaking.

An HVAC professional can conduct a blower door test to check how well your ducts are sealed and where any leaks are located. They can then help repair any leaks they find.

What makes this one of the top HVAC energy-saving tips is that proving your home is more energy efficient may earn you rebates from your electricity company.

5. Know When to Replace Your HVAC Unit

If your HVAC unit is too old and no longer working properly, getting a new, more energy efficient unit installed may save you energy and money in the long run. This is another reason regular maintenance is so important.

Ready for More Energy Savings?

Whether you need a new HVAC unit or just want to make sure your current one is working right, the most effective way to earn energy savings is to work with a professional HVAC technician. Contact us today for your lowest electricity bills yet.

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HVAC Tips

How Often Should You Get an HVAC Service?

Routine care can extend the lifespan of your HVAC system by 40%

It’s a fact that waiting until you have a problem getting HVAC maintenance will only cost you more money, time, and energy in the long-run. But, how much service is too much? How much do you really need? 

Here’s how to know when it’s the right time to get an HVAC service.

Why You Need an HVAC Service 

So why not just handle the maintenance yourself? The same reason you don’t perform annual check-ups on your dog instead of taking it to a veterinarian or do DIY dentistry services for your family. 

Yes, there are some things in your HVAC system you can check yourself. But, no amount of YouTube videos can replace actual experience and education. 

You might think an annual service is “extra.” However, what’s really “extra” is spending thousands of dollars trying to fix a problem that could have been avoided by having a professional tighten a bolt or screw. 

A professional will know the ins-and-outs of your system in a way you don’t. They’ll be able to navigate your warranty and see what types of free services you might be missing out on. 

99 Problems? Don’t Let Your HVAC Be One 

Not properly caring for your HVAC system can cause a lot of serious problems. Not to mention expensive ones. Expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars for any HVAC repair. 

Heat in the middle of winter and cool air during a heatwave is not optional. For example, heating your home uses the most energy out of any other system in your home. One small leak or problem can have expensive repercussions in the short term and over time. 

Dirt and cracks can also lead to dangerous circumstances like causing a fire or releasing carbon monoxide. But almost every problem you can run into with your heating and air system, whether it’s deadly or not, can be avoided with professional routine maintenance. 

What Will an HVAC Service Check? 

An HVAC professional will use an industry-standard checklist to go through your HVAC system. 

An HVAC service will check for debris in areas of your system, like the blower wheel, evaporator coil, and condenser. If there is dirt, they’ll clean it to unblock your system. 

A professional will also check for loose or underperforming parts. Worn out pieces of your system can invite problems. Over time parts of your system, like the seal on the doors of your blower, will become loose. 

They’ll check the drainage system and look for areas at risk of corrosion and rust. They’ll check your burners. Ultimately they’ll tune-up and fix underperforming and inefficient areas of your HVAC system.

How Often Should You Get HVAC Maintenance?

So, you’re convinced that getting routine HVAC service is the right move. But how often should you get it? 

Split HVAC systems should be checked at least once annually. If you live in a place with distinctive seasons, it’s best to get it checked twice every year, prior to the start of summer and winter. 

HVAC Preventative Maintenance

Finding a reputable and reliable HVAC service isn’t always easy. There are a lot of options but few ways to tell if a company performs the way they say they will. Luckily, your search is over. 

Have questions about your HVAC system, or are you ready to schedule your tune-up? Get in touch

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Tips & Tricks

How Ceiling Fans are a Winter Winner

If you’ve looked up energy-saving tips for winter, you’ve probably seen the suggestion to turn down your thermostat. 

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy suggests lowering yours to a cool 68 degrees — yes, even in winter — to boost home energy savings and protect the environment. 

If that sounds a bit too cold for you, there are other ways to stay warm in winter without lowering your thermostat and bundling up into spring, though. 

As it turns out, using ceiling fans in winter can keep your home cozy and save you in utility costs. It sounds crazy, but it works — here’s how. 

Why Would I Turn On Ceiling Fans in Winter? 

Most people rely on ceiling fans to keep them cool in the summertime. Having a ceiling fan turned on can circulate air-conditioned air very effectively. You can turn up your thermostat by four degrees and maintain your ideal summer temperature, so long as you have ceiling fans overhead and pushing air downward.  

With this information in mind, you still may be wondering, how would cool air from a fan help me stay warm? 

In the summertime, your fans run counter-clockwise, pushing air down into the room and keeping things breezy. If you reverse that flow, though, you change the direction of air flow.

Clockwise Air Flow is the Key

Setting your fans to twist clockwise pulls air up toward the ceiling, rather than pushing it down. This is great news if you think about what happens to hot air — it rises, while cool air stays closer to the ground. 

So, as your ceiling fan moves in reverse, it pulls that cold air up and away from your living space. As that comes up, it pushes the lingering warm air out and down toward the edges of the room. 

In other words, a reverse-motion ceiling fan pushes warmer air down, which helps you stay cozy and comfortable throughout the winter season. 

Will This Provide Home Energy Savings? 

There are so many ways to cut costs on heating. Having your unit serviced or replaced with a more efficient model can make heating cheaper.

But switching on ceiling fans to work in conjunction with your heater can work wonders, too. It ensures you feel more of the warm air. You won’t have to crank the heating to get your space comfortable — you’ll get the airflow you need. 

As such, some people see their monthly savings increase by up to 15 percent when they start to use their ceiling fans alongside a heater. That’s a great discount, especially now, when we’re spending more time at home — and with our utilities on. 

Stay Warm in Winter

Using ceiling fans in winter is just one way to stay warm this season. At the core of this tactic, though, is having a well-functioning heater in your home. 

If yours needs repair or replacement, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn your options — then, get ready to get cozy this winter and beyond. 

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Your Ultimate Guide to Home Energy Savings

In the United States, we use a lot of energy. In fact, the U.S. uses approximately 23% of the world’s energy, yet it only holds about 5% of the world’s population. Because of the negative impact this type of energy use can have on the planet, you’ve probably heard about energy-saving initiatives over the last five or ten years. These are great for the environment, but they’re also great for your wallet. Conserving energy can help you save hundreds of dollars a year. But where to start? Don’t fret. We’ve created this guide outlining our top tips to help you with your home energy savings. Keep reading to learn more.

Lighting

Let’s start with lighting. Being more efficient with your home’s lighting can have a massive impact on your energy costs.

First and foremost, start with something simple. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. The simple act of leaving lights on can greatly increase your monthly bill.

If it’s tough for you to remember, consider investing in timed lights that turn off automatically at a certain time. This can help take care of that problem for you.

Another way to improve your lighting is to use energy-efficient lightbulbs. Today, these are very common, but many people still haven’t fully made the switch.

You could start today by simply replacing all the bulbs in your home with LED or energy-efficient options.

Doors and Windows

Next, let’s talk about windows and doors for home energy savings. Did you know that leaky doors or windows that let out air can have a huge impact on your electric and gas bills? It’s true.

To avoid this issue, there are two main options. The simpler option is to buy some seasonal window sealing for any windows that you notice, letting in a draft. You could also look into insulating window treatments.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, look at installing updated energy-efficient windows and doors. Often, your draft issue is simply a result of old equipment.

Heating/Cooling

Last but not least, think about heating and cooling. These are often responsible for the largest chunk of your energy bills.

Here are some tips.

In the winter, resist the urge to crank up the heat right away. Instead, put on some cozy socks and a warm sweatshirt. This can often solve your temperature issue.

If you’re going on a trip during the colder months, lower your heater to 55 degrees. This will save you big on your bills while making sure your pipes don’t freeze.

In the summer, open the windows whenever possible to invite a breeze inside. This is often best in the morning and evening when temperatures aren’t as high.

Home Energy Savings Ideas

With a few simple changes, you can start enjoying home energy savings today. Now it’s time to make a plan for your specific situation.

Need heating or cooling help in the Tampa area? Contact us today. We’re here to help.

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AC Repair

4 Reasons Why Your AC Is Failing This Season

It always seems like your AC unit will breakdown on the hottest day of the year, exactly when you need it most. This is no coincidence. Your air conditioning unit will be most susceptible to failure when it is most used.

The trouble is we don’t often think about it until it has already broken down. Here are four common reasons your AC is failing this season.

1. The Thermostat Isn’t Working Properly

If your AC unit cannot detect the correct temperature it likely won’t turn on or off at the right comfort level. If your air conditioner is cycling on and off at seemingly odd times and temperatures it is a good sign your unit’s thermostat needs to be replaced. 

To resolve this try replacing the batteries on the thermostat. This is a simple step that can quickly solve this issue.

You should also try and clean it. Dust and dirt can build up quickly and impact your thermostat’s performance. Use a clean paintbrush or similar tool to gently brush the inside of the thermostat.

2. Check Your Circuit Breaker or Fuse 

If your air conditioning unit stops working, one of the first things you should check is the circuit breaker and fuse. There is an important trick to this though. Your AC unit will likely need 15 minutes to cool down after resetting the power. 

If the unit will not restart after a full 15 minutes you may have triggered a high limit switch and you will now need to call a technician.

3. Your Evaporator Coil is Frozen

A frozen evaporator coil is a common issue that may be causing your AC unit to fail. This is caused by built-up dust and dirt in your ductwork. This leads to airflow backups in your cooling unit. 

If your unit is dripping water this is an indication that the evaporator coil is frozen. Check for frost and ice around the coil. 

To remedy this make sure to keep your ducts and air filters clean. You will need to replace the ducts and filters if this problem persists.

4. You’re AC Unit is Low on Refrigerant

If your AC unit is not producing cold air or is not operating correctly you will need to check your unit’s refrigerant. The refrigerant is the cooling agent inside your AC unit. If your unit is low or leaking refrigerant it will not cool the air properly.

Refrigerant is harmful to the environment and needs to be handled with care. If you have a leak or another issue with your refrigerant you need to contact a licensed technician for immediate repairs. 

Maintaining Your AC Unit

If your AC unit fails just when you need it most, you are not alone and that is why we are here. You can follow our guide to finding the most common causes of failure. To ensure your AC unit functions at peak performance all year round do not neglect annual maintenance.

The majority of AC unit issues can be prevented with proper care. Contact us today to have your unit serviced.

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HVAC Tips

Allergies? How to Choose the Right Furnace Filter for Treating Allergy Symptoms

Do you have plant or pet-related allergies? If you do, join the crowd – according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 50 million people suffer from allergies in the U.S., and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic sickness.

Allergies are a common problem in the spring and fall, but for sensitive people, they can persist year-round. If your allergies are severe or you live with a beloved pet who causes allergy symptoms, using an allergy furnace filter can be a lifesaver.

If you suffer from allergies, one of your best defenses is something you may have never considered, switching your furnace filter for allergies.

It’s a simple decision that can make a huge difference, and it doesn’t take a great financial investment to be effective. Most quality allergy furnace filters cost around $10-$20 for a single filter and can be purchased in bulk at a small discount.

It’s very easy to change your furnace filter, but if you don’t have time you can always call a professional like AirZone to do it for you.

How A Good Filter Can Make A Difference

One good example of an allergy furnace filter is the version manufactured by Filtrete. There are also other brands, like Aerostar, Honeywell, and AllergyZone that produce quality filters.

For best results, pay attention to the MERV rating, or minimum efficiency reporting value, which you want to be as high as possible. You should also make sure the MPR rating, which stands for microparticle performance rating, is at least in the 1000-1200 range. Filtrete makes a version with a very high MERV rating of 12, so that may be the best allergy furnace filter currently on the market.

When you suffer from allergies, the best furnace air filter will always be the one that traps the most pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mite dirt. If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, try a medium-priced version and see how you feel. You can always upgrade until you find one that works.

Where to Buy a Furnace Filter for Allergies

Good allergy furnace filters are available on Amazon.com, as well as your local retailer or hardware store like Walmart, TrueValue, or Home Depot. You can also get them from HVAC servicers and manufacturer websites, but they may be slightly more pricey.

How Often to Change a Furnace Filter

Most manufacturers recommend a furnace filter replacement every 60 to 90 days, but you do not have to stick to that recommendation. If you have a severe problem with allergy symptoms, you can try changing the allergy filter every 30 days.

Once you’ve found the best furnace air filter for allergies, it’s helpful to keep an extra one on hand in case you can’t get out to the store due to inclement weather.

What We Can Do to Help

If you’ve been suffering from allergies, it’s time to stop sneezing! Why suffer if you don’t have to?

We do installations and furnace maintenance, so changing out the allergy filter for you would be a cinch. If you have any additional questions about how to find and select a good furnace filter for allergies, we can point you in the right direction.

Allergies are the worst! We get it, and we can help. Contact us today.

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AC Repair

What Stinks? 5 Reasons Your AC Smells Bad

Your air conditioner should keep your home feeling cool and fresh. But even if your house is very comfortable temperature-wise, if there’s an odd odor coming from your vents, your house isn’t going to feel very fresh. If your AC smells bad and you aren’t quite sure why — don’t panic.

We’re here to help you get to the bottom it and get your unit back up and running the way it’s supposed to.

Before you can get to fixing your smelly AC, you’re going to have to ask yourself one critical question, “what does it smell like?”

Does It Smell Like Something’s Burning?

It’s a bit like the saying goes, where there’s smoke — something’s burning.

If you smell smoke coming from your AC, that means something is burning, and you need to shut down your HVAC system ASAP and call in a professional.

Does It Smell Like Mold or Mildew?

Have your allergies been acting up a lot lately, and you can’t figure out why? A build-up of moisture in and around your AC system can lead to a lot of mold and mildew, which can spell big trouble for your health.

If the air coming out of your vents smells a bit moldy, you should start by changing out your filters. Then, call in an HVAC specialist who knows how to handle mold to clean everything up and prevent future issues.

Does It Smell Like Fireworks?

A gun powder or firework smell generally means something in your system, like the circuit board or fan motor, shorted out.

Unfortunately, it won’t take long for you to feel the effects of this issue as your unit will likely stop cooling or circulating air following a short.

So, if you smell fireworks where there are no fireworks, you should probably call a professional HVAC repair service.

Does It Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

A sulfur or rotten egg smell usually only means one thing: you’ve got a gas leak.

If you smell rotten eggs coming from your AC vents, you should immediately extinguish any flames and open as many doors and windows as you can. Then, you should evacuate the building and contact your gas company.

Does It Smell Like Death?

If the air coming out of your vents smells like something died, then, odds are, that’s what happened.

Small critters, like rodents and even some birds, can get into your system and get themselves stuck without you ever knowing about it. That is until they start to decompose, of course.

You may be able to locate and remove the dead animal yourself. That said, to get rid of the smell, you’re going to have to bring in a professional to clean your ducts.

Can’t Figure Out Why Your AC Smells Bad?

If you’re still having trouble figuring out why your AC smells bad, then you should consider calling in the professionals.

If your AC smells off or is not keeping its cool like it used to, don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Contact us for more information about our available services or to schedule an appointment today.

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5 Benefits of Installing UV Light in Your HVAC System

According to the EPA, indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. We also spend most of our time indoors. Inside air pollutants can lead to health problems over time. Children and older adults with underlying conditions are most at risk. So, what’s a concerned homeowner to do? A new trend is to install a UV light inside your HVAC system.

Read on to learn about the benefits of HVAC UV lights and decide if it’s right for your home. 

1. Can Prevent Sickness From Viruses and Bacteria

UV or ultraviolet light can damage the chemical makeup of viruses and bacteria. That’s why UV machines have been used to disinfect hospitals. You can even find products that use UV to clean tech devices like phones and laptops. 

The same technology is at play in air purification systems that use UV. While the light may not kill viruses and bacteria, it damages them enough so they can’t replicate. 

If you’re looking for another way to keep your family safe and healthy, you should consider adding UV technology to your HVAC system. 

2. Improves Allergy Symptoms

Allergens like pet dander and pollen can lead to a runny nose, coughing, and asthma symptoms. Changing your HVAC filter regularly can help, but allergens can still slip through. 

A UV light can help with air purification to make your home an allergy-free zone. Even when the pollen count outdoors is high, you can breathe easier indoors. 

3. Can Prevent Mold Growth

UV light can neutralize mold growth, which is common in dark and damp places.

Since your ductwork is already dark, any sort of moisture can turn it into a potential place for mold to grow. Mold isn’t just smelly, it’s dangerous to your health.  

UV light keeps mold from regenerating, which will protect your home and ductwork. 

4. Helps HVAC System Run More Efficiently

Dust and other debris can buildup inside your duct work and HVAC system. That extra buildup makes your system work harder. Eventually, you might need a technician to do a duct cleaning. 

A UV light will keep your system cleaner so you won’t have to worry about your system efficiency. 

5. Cuts Down on Maintenance and Energy Costs

The harder your HVAC system has to work, the higher your energy costs will be. Plus, you’ll need to have your system serviced more regularly. Parts may wear out faster when they have to work harder.

This extra maintenance and energy costs can eat into your budget. Installing a UV light can actually help you save money in the long run. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your system is running smoothly. 

Consider Installing an HVAC System UV Light

If you’re looking for a way to improve your indoor air quality and protect your HVAC system, consider installing a UV light. It’s a safe and proven way to cut down on indoor pollutants. 

If you’d like to start breathing cleaner air today, we can help. Contact us today to book an appointment or learn more about our services. 

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AC Mistakes

5 Common AC Mistakes to Avoid for New Homeowners

Becoming a homeowner is exciting, but it can also be intimidating with all of the new responsibilities. Taking care of your AC is one of those tasks.

Common AC mistakes can make your system use more energy. The average household spends 12% of total energy use on air conditioning operation. Taking care of your unit can lower that percentage for you.

Avoiding mistakes can also reduce damage to your AC and make the unit last longer.

Check out these five common mistakes to take care of your unit.

1. Not Changing the Filter

If you haven’t checked the AC filter since you moved into your new house, now’s the time. Clean filters are necessary for the AC unit to run efficiently. When the filter is clogged, the AC has to work harder to push the air through, which increases wear and tear.

Most filters need to be changed every three months or more often. Look at the filter every month to see if it’s dirty and needs to be changed. 

2. Not Having a Professional Tuneup

You can do some regular AC maintenance yourself, but failing to have a pro do a tuneup at least once per year can lead to problems. Professionals check indoor and outdoor units to ensure all of the connections and parts are working correctly. This can help identify problems early, which can keep the system running more efficiently.

3. Forgetting to Clean the Outdoor Unit

Your central air conditioning has an outdoor unit that also needs attention. Because it’s outdoors, it can become clogged with dirt, leaves, and debris. Overgrown vegetation can also block the unit and make it work less efficiently.

To clean the unit, turn off the power first. Trim back the shrubs, weeds, and other plants that are growing near the unit, especially if they’re touching the unit. The goal is to let the air flow seamlessly.

Pull off leaves and other large pieces of debris. Spraying the unit with your garden hose washes away the rest of the dirt and debris.

4. Not Using the Thermostat Well

Adjusting your thermostat based on your activities can save on energy. Increase the temperature when you’re not at home. A programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature based on your regular schedule, or a smart thermostat means you can adjust the temperature remotely with an app.

Putting heat-generating items near your thermostat can make your AC work harder. It can make the system think it’s hotter in the home so the air conditioner gets overworked.

5. Ignoring Signs of a Problem

Calling an HVAC professional at the first signs of an AC problem can prevent additional problems. The signs might include strange noises, inability to cool, or hot and cold spots in your home.

A tech can often fix the issue easily when it’s still in the early stages. If you ignore the issues, something more severe might happen, requiring more extensive repairs.

Avoid Common AC Mistakes

Being aware of common AC mistakes helps you optimize your unit in your new home. With proper use and maintenance, your AC runs more efficiently and lasts longer.

If you haven’t had the AC in your new home inspected, call us to schedule AC maintenance.