5 Common Problems with Older Air Conditioning Systems

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Air conditioning has become a necessity more than a luxury. It keeps you comfortable in extreme temperatures and also keeps you healthy by maintaining your indoor air quality. If you are finding that your air conditioner no longer cools as well or as consistently as it used to, however, it may be time for an inspection to determine if repairs are needed or the unit is ready to be replaced.

Here are 5 common problems that occur with an older air conditioning system.

1. Slow performance

The first sign you may notice that your old air conditioner is feeling its age will likely be that it just doesn’t cool your home as quickly as it once did. As with all mechanical systems, over time wear and tear take a toll on your air conditioner’s performance. Even with regular maintenance, eventually it will break down beyond what is economically feasible to repair. When you first experience this, you may not need to replace your system right away, but you should begin looking into a replacement so you have time to consider your options, and budget for a new one.

2. Poor efficiency

Older air conditioners can begin to show damage to components that directly impact performance and efficiency such as the coil, the compressor and even the fan. This damage results in the air conditioner having to work harder to keep you comfortable and use much more energy to do so. Even without the deterioration of major components, however, an older air conditioning system (15 years old or more) will not work as efficiently as it once did, or as efficiently as a new, recently designed model. Advances in technology have greatly improved efficiency over the past decade.

3. High energy bills

As a result of poor efficiency, another sign you may begin to notice is a rise in the amount you pay for your energy bills each month. As your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, you will have to pay more to get the same performance (or perhaps even worse performance).

4. Unit requires additional refrigerant

The need to add refrigerant is a signal that there might be a coolant leak. Replacing refrigerant and repairing the leak can be costly, but the larger concern is that this indicates the compressor will soon fail.

5. Frequent repairs.

The closer your air conditioner gets to the end of its useful life (typically 10-15 years), the more likely it is that breakdowns will occur more frequently and that they will occur when you really need your AC to function properly. If this has already happened, and the cost of repairs is adding up, you may find that it is more cost-effective to simply replace the entire unit instead of continuing to repair it. Because a newer model will be significantly more efficient, you will most likely be able to offset the cost of a new air conditioner with rebates from the manufacturer and/or your municipality, as well as from lower energy bills and no longer paying for all those repairs.

What You Can Do: To gauge the condition of your existing A/C, schedule an inspection with a Rheem Pro Partner HVAC technician today!

8 Indoor Air Quality Solutions to Alleviate Spring Allergies

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Spring is a welcome reprieve from the long Colorado winters — that is, unless you suffer from spring allergies. You don’t, however, have to suffer inside your home. For starters, you and your HVAC technician can provide relief by making sure the air filter, humidifier and air ducts (all key components that contribute to your indoor air quality) are in great shape.

Here are 8 solutions to alleviate spring allergies:

1. Change air filters every 30 days during peak usage months.

Clogged air filters cause your air conditioner to work harder — increasing the risk of a breakdown, shortening its useful life, and raising your energy bills. They also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Dust and debris that is normally filtered out of your air is recirculated. Pet hair, household chemicals, paint, and even carpet and furniture can contaminate your air as well. When your air filtration system isn’t working properly, the negative effects of these irritants is compounded. Poor indoor air quality can lead to allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses that can seriously jeopardize your health. Change your filter once a month and you and your family will breathe easier.

2. Clean hard and carpeted floor surfaces often and shake out or vacuum door mats.

You can ease the burden on your HVAC system and help your air stay cleaner by eliminating some of the dirt, dust and debris that gets into your home. Regular dusting and vacuuming reduces harmful allergens, dust and mites. Look for a vacuum that uses HEPA filters.

3. Check the seals in all windows and doors, and re-seal where necessary.

As you take steps to protect your indoor air quality, this will keep dust, pollen and other pollutants from getting into your home.

4. Use a humidifier  to balance humidity levels.

Humidity (the amount of water vapor in the air) varies by location, climate and time of year. High humidity contributes to the growth of mold and bacteria. Low humidity (overly dry air) contributes to dry, itchy skin, throat and nasal passages and can make you more susceptible to colds and flu. The level of humidity in your home is largely a personal preference and can be balanced with the use of a humidifier.

5. Install a whole-house air cleaner.

A whole-house air cleaner works with your HVAC system but goes beyond your HVAC air filters to remove contaminants from your air. Air cleaners trap particles as small as a human hair and work 24/7. They also prevent dust from building up, so you don’t have to clean as often.

6. Have your air ducts cleaned.

Dust and dirt (among other nasty things) can get trapped in your air ducts and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Have your ducts cleaned to prevent those particles from re-entering your living space.

7. Resist the urge to open doors and windows even on the nicest days!

Opening doors and windows lets in fresh air, but also allergens and dust along with it.

8. Have your home checked by an HVAC technician annually.

Your HVAC technician knows what to look for and can recommend the solutions that are right for your home.

Don’t suffer with spring allergies! Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today for indoor air quality assistance.

8 Reasons to Tune-up Your Home’s Air Conditioner in the Spring

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8 Reasons to Tune-up Your Home's Air Conditioner in the Spring

Spring is officially heading our way which means now is the perfect time to start thinking about your air conditioner. Regular air conditioner maintenance increases your system’s energy efficiency, which saves you money. Still not convinced it’s time for a tune-up? Consider these important reasons.

1. Maximize your air conditioner’s energy efficiency.

Yes, an efficient air conditioner uses less energy which saves money on utility bills. Keeping it running at peak efficiency, however, requires regular maintenance. Without it, your air conditioner could be working harder than it has to — running longer and using more energy to cool your home. Wasted energy is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet. Taking care of your system with annual tune-ups keeps it running smoothly, and the cost will be recouped in lower energy bills and fewer repairs down the road.

2. Extend the life of your air conditioner.

Even newer, high efficiency units can break down if they aren’t properly maintained. Regular maintenance will extend the life of the unit. Enjoy cool, comfortable temperatures in your home all season long, and year after year.

3. Maintain your warranty.

For a large investment, such as an air conditioner, your warranty provides some peace of mind that you won’t face a costly repair. However, many manufacturers today require regular maintenance to keep the warranty in force. Don’t take a chance. Protect your investment by scheduling a maintenance call.

4. Achieve more consistent cooling.

Comfort is the main reason to install a central air conditioner and one of the first signs of trouble is inconsistent cooling. Finding that your home doesn’t stay at the proper temperature as easily as it used to or that certain areas of your home don’t cool at all are problems that you can avoid with regular maintenance.

5. Have fewer repairs.

Your A/C professional is trained to spot and correct small problems long before they advance to costly repairs or even replacement.

6. Better air quality.

These days our homes are more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, but that means we are potentially more susceptible to indoor air pollution. Our HVAC systems are a key factor in ensuring that the air we breathe in our homes is clean and safe. During the maintenance check, your HVAC professional will replace all the air filters and make sure that your system is clean and safe.

7. Save money in the long run.

Let’s recap: Lower cooling costs each summer, fewer repairs, and keeping your warranty in full force should you need it, all add up to significant savings over the life of your air conditioner. In addition, proper maintenance will extend that life so you won’t have to replace it sooner than necessary. Tune-ups are part of the cost of owning and operating an air conditioner, but when you factor in the money you will save over time, they are actually saving you money!

8. Peace of mind.

Chances are, your life is busy enough without having to be concerned that your air conditioner is functioning properly and safely. The simplest, most economical way to have worry-free service from your air conditioner each year is to have your system professionally serviced and inspected before you are ready to use it.

Save money, protect the environment, ensure your peace of mind, and enjoy a comfortable home this summer. Contact a Rheem Pro Partner to schedule your maintenance tune-up today!

Modulating Rheem Furnace R97V Review

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R97V 80 Rheem Gas Furnace Review

The Rheem Furnace R97V offers the ultimate in comfort and maximum efficiency, as well as exceptional quality and reliability. This latest entry in the Prestige Series is an excellent choice for Colorado and Wyoming homeowners.

Comfort & Performance

The Rheem R97V combines 3 key features for maximum benefit.

  • A modulating gas valve – Modulating operation saves energy and optimizes comfort throughout your home. Because it automatically adjusts to minimize cold spots you don’t have to worry about adjusting the temperature yourself.
  • A variable-speed ECM blower motor – Variable speed allows for incremental adjustments, so whatever the conditions are outdoors, you experience just the right amount of air flow indoors. The variable speed motor also provides better humidity control and the new patented heat exchanger design improves airflow and reduces operating sound.
  • The EcoNetTM Control Center* lets you easily adjust your comfort settings from home or away and receive important alerts and reminders about your system.

Reliability

The R97V uses the Rheem-exclusive PlusOne Ignition System, one of the most reliable ignition systems available today. In fact, this proven direct spark ignition (DSI) is not only used exclusively by Rheem in the heating and cooling industry, it is also used on other appliances such as ovens and stoves that require a reliable ignition on a daily basis.

Security

The PlusOne Water Management System automatically shuts off your furnace to prevent water spillage and potential water damage to your home when it senses a blocked drain.

Installation & Maintenance Savings

The R97V has a smart design for easy installation which means less expense to you. The PlusOne Diagnostics 7-segment LED display makes service calls quick and easy as well.

Maximum Efficiency

The R97V Rheem Prestige Series Gas Furnace is not only high-performing, it gets an ENERGY STAR® rating for maintaining comfortable temperatures while reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. With an impressive 97% AFUE rating, the R97V is not only economical to operate, it may also be more affordable to purchase with local and/or utility rebates. (A Rheem Pro Partner can help you determine what rebates you qualify for.)

Peace of Mind

All this comfort, performance, efficiency and savings also comes with one of the best warranties in the industry. That translates to fewer repair bills and worry-free operation.

*purchase separately

Find out if the Modulating Rheem Furnace R97V is right for your home. Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today for free estimate.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Furnace

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The purchase and installation of a new furnace is a big investment and a big decision. Homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming have many options, and knowing some basic information before you start shopping can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Here are the top 6 mistakes people make when purchasing a new furnace:

1. Ignoring AFUE & Energy Efficiency

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the rating that shows how energy efficient a furnace is. While the highest rated (most efficient) furnaces cost more up front, choosing one with a low AFUE rating will cost you more every month in higher utility bills. Look for a rating of 17 or higher to potentially save you 50% on your energy bills, compared to older or less efficient models.

2. Not Taking Advantage of Rebates

Rebates for high-efficiency furnaces are often available from the government and the manufacturer. These rebates can make an expensive unit affordable, and allow you to purchase a more efficient unit than you thought you could, based on your budget. Don’t miss out on these savings!

3. Only Getting One Estimate

Prices can vary greatly, even among reputable HVAC contractors. It pays to get several estimates on the purchase and the installation fees.

4. Going for the Lowest Price

A low cost furnace may seem like a good deal in the short time, but over time it will cost you much more in higher energy bills. Be sure to consider the savings you’ll enjoy over the life of your furnace with a more efficient model, even if it costs a few hundred dollars more initially.

Similarly, don’t choose your contractor solely on price. The quality of your furnace installation is critical to the long-term performance of your furnace. Spending money on a new furnace only to skimp on the installation cost, risking poor quality work, will most likely end up costing you more in the future. This could also prevent your furnace from ever working properly.

5. Buying a Furnace that is Too Big or Small

Furnaces are designed to work based on the size and layout of your home. A furnace that is too big will not be more effective, and a furnace that is too small will not be less expensive to operate. The wrong size unit is more likely to break down sooner and more often and use more energy (higher monthly bills) while not properly or consistently heating your home. Make sure your HVAC professional does a load calculation to determine the correct furnace for your home.

6. Not Verifying Your Contractor’s Reputation & Expertise

Before you settle on a contractor be sure to do your homework. Get recommendations from friends or family, read reviews, and check the company’s record of service complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Ask about the technician’s certifications and ongoing training. Be sure to get a detailed written contract that spells out all the installation details, and get all your questions answered satisfactorily before signing.

Your Rheem Pro Partner is ready to answer all your furnace and installation questions. If you are shopping for new furnace, contact us today!

How Do I Heat My Home Evenly?

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Hot or cold spots in your home during the winter are a common problem for people who have multi-level homes, especially older homes. The furnace is running, but one room or floor may be warmer than another. For places like Colorado and Wyoming that are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, achieving even temperatures throughout your home can be a year-round struggle. There are several likely reasons uneven heating (or cooling) occurs:

  • Restricted airflow from the furnace to the registers.
  • Inadequate or improperly sized and sealed ductwork.
  • A heating and cooling system that’s not sufficient for the size of the home.

Here are some things you can try to fix the problem:

Partially Close the Vents Upstairs

Two-story homes often require more warm airflow downstairs during the winter months. Partially closing the upstairs vents while making sure the downstairs vents are open and unobstructed, can force more heat to the lower levels of your home. However, keep in mind that your HVAC system is designed to work with all vents open, and partially or fully closing vents can interfere with the pressure levels, causing pressure to build up.

Add a Zoning System

Zoning allows you to control the temperature on the upper and lower floors of your home independently of one another by adding a second thermostat and a system of dampers. When the room reaches the correct temperature, the dampers close, and reopen when more heat is needed.

Switch Your Thermostat from “Auto” to “On”

Setting your fan to “On” continuously circulates the air in your home, even between floors, creating a more even temperature throughout.

Upgrade Your HVAC Equipment

A furnace equipped with a variable speed blower motor is designed to overcome airflow problems by keeping the airflow steady all over the home. These types of furnaces also use about 1/3 of the electricity of a standard furnace. Rather than being either “on” or “off,” variable speed blowers can operate at a range of speeds for more precise adjustments.

Add Additional HVAC Equipment

A second system is a pricey fix, but in some cases may be the best option for gaining more control over the temperature on each level of a two-story home.

Add a Ductless System

Ductless systems are another way to add more temperature control to your home. These are individual mounted units that can go in the rooms that need them. Air passes through these small air handlers without the need for ductwork, and the temperature can be adjusted for each room that has a unit.

Have Your Ductwork Inspected

Ducts that leak or are improperly installed can cause your home to heat inconsistently.

There is no cookie-cutter answer for why your home is not heated evenly. For the best solution, contact your HVAC professional to evaluate your particular situation. He or she will have the best advice for how to correct the problem.

Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today for all your heating needs and concerns!

Questions to ask a Furnace Repair Company

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Whether you are in need of a furnace repair company because your HVAC system is not working properly or you are looking for a company to perform an annual tune-up on your system, it’s important to remember that it’s always a good idea to ask questions before choosing a company to hire. You might be inclined to hire a company that mailed you a coupon good for an excellent discount or even free services. But before hiring a company that you know very little about, make sure to ask several questions.

Questions to ask a furnace repair company:

Question: How long have you been in business? While the length of time a furnace repair company has been in business is not necessarily an indicator of the company’s skills or professionalism, you might feel more comfortable using a company that has significant experience.

Question: What are your business hours? If you are looking for furnace repair in Denver, you have many choices. There are several furnace repair companies that are available to take your phone call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While you might not need furnace repairs on a weekend or during the night right now, you might need help at an inopportune time of day in the future. It’s a good idea to develop a professional relationship with a company that is available for emergency furnace repair services on weekends, holidays, etc.

Question: Have there been many formal complaints made against your company? This might not be a question that you feel comfortable asking the furnace repair company directly. But you can certainly review whether the company has faced any recent customer complaints on your local Better Business Bureau’s website.

Question: Are you licensed and insured? It’s important to hire a furnace repair company that is licensed and insured. Even the most experienced furnace repair technicians can get hurt accidentally.

Question: Can you provide me with a written price quote for parts and services? Most reputable furnace repair companies offer their customers price quotes in writing. It’s always a good idea to get a price quote in writing so you don’t find yourself paying too much for products or labor.

Question: If I purchase a new furnace through your company, do you offer any financing options? If you need a complete replacement of your HVAC system, you might be looking at spending quite a bit of money. If you do not have that amount of money on hand, you may have to put the cost on a credit card or consider using an alternative financing method. If you need a financing option, it makes sense to work with a furnace repair company that either accepts credit cards or offers another type of financing.

Question: Do you offer a free estimate? If you have a serious issue with your furnace or air conditioning system and you know the repair (or replacement) will be relatively expensive, it’s a good idea to get a free price quote from more than one company.

 

Commercial HVAC Heating Tips

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One of the most important commercial HVAC heating tips is to have maintenance performed on your building’s system on a regular schedule. When you own or manage a commercial building, you HVAC system must be reliable and dependable. If the heat in your building is not working on a very cold day, there is little possibility that the people who are supposed to work in your building on that day will be able to stay for an extended period of time. This can lead to a steep financial loss to the business(es) that utilize your building.

Purchasing and installing a new commercial HVAC heating system can be costly. However, it might be necessary if your building’s current system is too antiquated to function well and do its job effectively. A commercial HVAC heating system that cannot maintain a comfortable indoor temperature might use an excessive amount of energy as it runs, which can result in an unreasonably high energy bill. Many times, it make sense to opt for a new commercial HVAC heating system when the existing system is inefficient and breaks down regularly.

No matter if you are considering the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system for your commercial building or if you are committed to keeping your current system running for the next several years, there are many commercial HVAC heating tips to consider. HVAC tips are meant to help commercial building managers or commercial building owners run their HVAC system in the most efficient manner possible.

Commercial HVAC Heating Tips:

Always have your commercial HVAC heating system serviced during the down season. In most geographic areas, there is a period of time in between summer and winter in which the air conditioning system does not run as frequently and the heating system is not yet needed. This is a good time to schedule a maintenance tune-up.

Avoid the need for emergency HVAC repair. It’s never a good situation when a commercial building has to close because the HVAC system is not working. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to warning signs that signal something is amiss. A commercial HVAC heating company should be called as soon as a problem is suspected.

Consider replacing an old commercial HVAC system. If your commercial building is being heated, cooled and ventilated by an older system, it’s time to start thinking about an HVAC replacement. You might be able to stick with the old system for another few years, but it doesn’t hurt to start your research and think about the specific replacement system you will eventually want to have installed.

Understand how to use your building’s thermostat(s). Depending on the size of your commercial building, you may have one thermostat or many thermostats to manage. Using a zoning system in a large building makes sense. It also allows you to control which parts of the building are kept at a comfortable temperature all day long, and which areas can be kept hotter or cooler depending on when those areas are typically in use. Keeping the temperature set correctly is important, and can lead to significant energy savings.

Make sure to schedule an appointment with your commercial HVAC heating company to discuss the abovementioned tips, as well as others, so your commercial building’s HVAC system is always running as efficiently as possible.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Fall

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Fall is the perfect time of year to pull out your HVAC maintenance checklist and make sure your heating system is ready for the cold weather that will undoubtedly be here in month or so. Unless an unusual heat wave or cold front hits your area in late September or early October, this is typically the time of year when the weather is seasonable and pleasant – and there’s little need for either central air conditioning or your heating system.

An HVAC checklist can be a handy tool that can be used as a HVAC preventive maintenance reminder. HVAC maintenance is important in the fall because you want your system to be in excellent condition heading into winter. It’s never a good idea to wait until the outdoor air is uncomfortably cold before checking to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly.

Your HVAC maintenance checklist for fall should include the following HVAC preventive maintenance items:

Make sure your HVAC system’s air filter is new. Your HVAC system’s air filter should be changed on a monthly basis. If you have not changed or cleaned your air filter in quite some time, now is the time to take care of it.

Have your air ducts cleaned. Many homeowner’s elect to have their air ducts professionally cleaned once a year. Fall is an excellent time to schedule an air duct cleaning appointment.

Adjust your ceiling fans so they spin in the correct direction. During the summer, your home’s ceiling fans should be set to spin in the forward direction. During the winter, the fans should be set to spin in the reverse direction.

Schedule an appointment with your HVAC company for an inspection and tune-up. An HVAC inspection and tune-up is a good way to help prevent the need for emergency HVAC repair on the coldest day of the year.

Look into purchasing an extended service agreement for your HVAC system. An extended service agreement is designed to help cover the cost of parts and labor if your HVAC system ever requires a repair.

Fall is a good time of year to evaluate your current heating and air conditioning system and decide whether it’s time to replace it with a new, more efficient system. If you think you might want to have a new system installed before winter, now is a good time to start shopping for a replacement.

An HVAC maintenance checklist can help you stay on track with HVAC preventive maintenance. It can be difficult to remember everything that should be completed prior to the beginning of the cold weather season. Besides the abovementioned items, make sure to add the following to your HVAC maintenance checklist: reset your thermostat, make sure all of your home’s air vents are open and not blocked by furniture or other items, and make sure your windows, doors and attic are properly insulated.

For more information about what should be included on your HVAC maintenance checklist, give your local HVAC company a call. Scheduling a seasonal inspection and tune-up for your HVAC system is one of the best things you can do for your home’s heating, ventilation and cooling system at this time of year.

Stop Paying for Preventable Air Conditioner Repair!

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If you have a pile of extra money laying around that you would like to spend on air conditioner repairs… that is your choice! But if you don’t want to spend your savings on home air conditioner repair, there are things you can do to try and prevent it. While there are certainly Denver air conditioner repair companies that are willing to repair your central air conditioning system when it is not functioning properly, your goal should be to spend as little as possible on ac repairs each year. This is a possibility by following a few simple guidelines.

Here are tips on how to stop paying for preventable air conditioner repairs:

Always call a Top Contractor. If you are in need of air conditioner repairs, call Rheem Pro Partner. All of our HVAC technicians are Top Contractors. Our group of Top Contractors are known as elite. Every independently owned HVAC contractor in this group is highly trained and completely professional. It is the goal of Rheem Pro Partner to provide 100% satisfaction to all customers. When you have your home air conditioner repair completed by a member of Rheem Pro Partner, you can rest assured that the repair is completed correctly. This can help prevent future problems – and can ultimately save you money.

Follow the advice of your HVAC technician. One of the best ways to learn more about your home’s central air conditioning system is to ask questions and listen to your HVAC technician. During your next routine HVAC system maintenance appointment, make sure to ask questions about the most effective method for taking care of your air conditioner. Find out as much as you can about you system, so you know how to avoid preventable air conditioner problems.

Have ac repairs completed as soon as they are detected. It’s always best to repair ac problems as soon as they are discovered instead of waiting weeks or months to call a Denver air conditioner repair company. When problems are left unfixed, they can lead to further damage to your HVAC system.

Always have your air conditioner maintained and tuned-up at least once a year. One of the most effective ways to prevent air conditioner problems is to have your system checked and tuned-up by a professional home air conditioner repair person at least once a year. During the maintenance appointment, the system can be checked for impending problems, and problems can be repaired before they become more significant and more expensive to fix.

It’s absolutely possible to prevent certain air conditioner problems. For additional advice on how to keep your central air conditioning system in tip-top shape, give Rheem Pro Partner a call. We are happy to give homeowners advice, tips and guidance on all issues related to their HVAC system. If you ever need air conditioner repairs, we always provide quick, reliable and dependable HVAC service to homeowners located anywhere in the Denver metro area.