Three Signs It Might Be Time for AC Replacement

How To Tell When It’s Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner

Spring is here, which means it’s time to crank up the AC to try and beat the heat (not to mention that ever-present South Carolina humidity). But if the home’s AC is ancient, struggling, and ready to quit at any minute, homeowners may find themselves sweating it out on a hot and muggy day while they wait for the repair technician to arrive - only to be told that the unit is done for.

Fortunately, one can usually avoid that unpleasant scenario with a little awareness and vigilance. In most cases, an air conditioner on its way out will exhibit some key symptoms. By knowing what to look for, homeowners can spot trouble early and decide to replace that old clunker on their terms. So keep reading for a few telltale signs that it may be time to replace the AC!

Strange Sounds & Odd Odors

smell

If the AC unit is making strange noises or the home fills with unusual odors when the AC is on, it may signify a doomed unit. Clanging, squealing, rattling, or grinding sounds coming from the unit could be caused by multiple issues, some of which only require basic repairs. But they could also indicate a failing compressor, burnt-out motor, or other major issues that require expensive repairs or necessitate replacing the entire component (as is the case with a faulty compressor).

A burning smell or smoke coming from the vents most likely indicates an exposed wire or fire inside the unit. Homeowners should immediately turn the system off and call for emergency repair if this happens. A musty odor may point to a mold infestation, either in the ductwork or the unit itself. If the unit is contaminated with mold, getting it out can be difficult. Depending on the age of the unit and the cost of fixing the problem, it may be better to install a new AC.

Unusually High Energy Bills

bill

If the electricity bill has gone up recently - or has steadily been going up for the last few years - for no apparent reason, it may be the mark of an aging air conditioner. After years of wear and tear, an older unit simply won’t be able to perform as efficiently as it once did. And thanks to constant advancements in HVAC technology, many of today’s air conditioners are substantially more efficient than older models anyway.

Spikes in energy usage could also be due to leaky air ducts, a lack of maintenance, or other smaller issues. Homeowners should consult with an HVAC expert or professional energy auditor to determine the root cause before pulling the trigger on a new energy-efficient AC.

More Signs the Unit Is Failing

The age, performance, and condition of the AC unit can also give hints as to whether or not a full AC replacement is necessary. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is around 12 years, so if the unit was installed 10-15 years ago, it may be close to quitting. However, if it’s well maintained and still seems to be functioning just fine, it could last several more years.

On the other hand, if it constantly needs repairing or its performance is suffering, it’s probably not worth keeping around. Eventually, the cost of frequent repairs and replacement parts will eclipse the cost of an AC replacement! Many older units use R-22 refrigerant (aka Freon), which has been slowly phased out in favor of a more eco-friendly alternative, R-410A. Older units designed only for R-22 will grow more difficult and expensive to maintain and repair, so upgrading may make more sense. 

When in doubt, homeowners should always ask their trusted HVAC service provider to assess the state of their AC system and layout all the options to find the one that works best for the home!

About Carney & Son 72 Degrees

Carney & Son 72 Degrees has been proudly serving the Charleston community since 1984. As a family-owned local business, their commitment to safety, honesty, and outstanding service has earned them a fast-growing collection of awards, 5-star reviews, and satisfied customers. They offer free estimates, membership perks, 24/7 emergency service, and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee - so there’s no one better to call for AC installation in Charleston, SC!

Why You Should Not Attempt DIY Heater Repair

DIY Heater Repair and Maintenance Is Dangerous 

HVAC experts are dedicated to the safety and health of their community. This blog post gives an overview of the dangers of DIY heater repair and maintenance and why one should avoid it. Homeowners may be tempted to try DIY heater repair to save money, but in the long run may spend more when the problem is misdiagnosed, the repair is done improperly, or there is an accident that results in personal injury or property damage.

Professional heating technicians go through years of rigorous training to become licensed and certified in heater repair. Because of the high temperatures and dangerous gases contained within heating systems, it is never recommended for an uncertified technician to attempt DIY home heater repair. Professional heating technicians are equipped with top-of-the-line safety equipment and are protected by insurance in the case of an accident. 

Problem Gets Misdiagnosed 

One of the reasons why it is recommended to trust a professional with heating repairs and maintenance is that they are specially trained in what to look for. During regular heating inspections and heater maintenance appointments, the heating contractor will have a chance to identify small problems before they get out of hand. It takes many years of training to become a heating technician, and one must pass multiple tests to obtain a license. 

The first step to fixing a problem with a heating system is diagnosing the source of the problem. When the homeowner misdiagnoses the problem, they risk wasting time and resources on fixing the wrong part of the system. It is best to leave it up to the professionals to quickly and accurately find the source of the problem and fix it. 

Furnace Repair Takes Longertools

What could be a very quick and simple fix for a trained technician may, on the other hand, take a home DIYer twice as long to complete. Instead of wasting time on shoddy at-home repairs, hiring a professional to get the job done promptly is recommended. 

The technician will be able to very quickly find the source of the problem and then repair it, but they also have all the tools available to them to get the job done. Heating technicians use various specialized tools that homeowners will not usually have lying around their garage. 

After adding up the time and money it would take to do a DIY repair, hiring a qualified heating contractor makes a lot more sense to get the job done quickly, safely, and affordably. 

insurance

 

Furnace Safety: Licensing & Insurance

The number one reason why a heating technician will never recommend that a homeowner attempts at-home DIY heater repair is that it is a huge safety risk. Heating contractors need to use various protective equipment while on the job. Homeowners may not be aware of the risks of DIY heater repair or may not have the appropriate safety equipment to get the job done safely. 

Heating contractors will bring the appropriate clothing such as overalls, gloves, non-slip shoes, and masks to protect themselves during the repair. They may also need goggles and ear protection while using power tools. Heating technicians are rigorously trained in safety protocols for the repair to go smoothly. In the rare case of an accident, all licensed HVAC contractors must have business insurance that protects them and the homeowner financially from bodily injury or property damage. 

About Carney & Son 72 Degrees 

Carney & Son 72 Degrees is proud to serve its neighbors in Charleston, SC, and the surrounding communities with outstanding heating and cooling services from experienced heating contractors. They are fully licensed and insured, always on time, and provide award-winning service. Give Carney & Son 72 Degrees a call today to schedule an appointment with a professional heating technician

How to Make the Home's Temperature Just Right

Homeowners Can Perfect Their Residences' Temperatures with Three Easy Steps 

Perfecting the home's temperature is more than closing the windows and turning down the AC; it's about checking for drafts, installing Energy Star-certified windows, and contacting a central heating service member. 

A heater that doesn't work does more than create a chilly house; it can result in expensive utility bills and, eventually, expensive repairs. That doesn't even touch on the wasted energy factor. This season, homeowners can ensure that their heaters are working properly by considering the following measures. 

Check for Drafts 

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that eliminating drafts can save homeowners 10 percent to 20 percent on their monthly energy bills. But what exactly is a draft? Well, warm air rises, and cold air stays low. An example of a draft could be uneven room temperatures, cold pockets, and unusually warm areas. 

One can check for drafts by: 

  • Checking the windows: If a window isn't closed all the way, this could let cold air in and warm air out. Sometimes, a window may seem closed, but it may be poorly sealed.
  • Checking doorways: Sometimes, cold air can creep into a room from under the door. In this situation, homeowners might consider installing a door sweep, which will insulate the room. 
  • Checking cold spots around walls: Insulation broken down behind a wall can cause a room to feel hotter or colder than usual. 

If one can't find the reason for their home's draft, they should contact a heating contractor. They could fix the problem by caulking any openings, re-installing drywall, and checking the heater's efficiency. 

Install Energy Star-Grade Windows windows

It's true; not all windows are created equal. That's certainly the case for Energy Star's windows. These products are specially designed to limit how much energy a home uses while maintaining consistent indoor temperatures. 

It's worth noting that Energy Star isn't just another window manufacturing company. The U.S. government oversees it and abides by higher standards than most store-bought windows. 

Some benefits of Energy Star windows include: 

  • They're made with fiberglass frames, making them both durable and easy to clean.
  • Energy Star understands that each home comes with its own needs. So, it offers windows for different climates. Windows vary in clarity, thickness, and fillers. 
  • They meet the guideline implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meaning they optimize home heating and cooling. 

Installing an Energy Star window is best left to a professional. Parties interested in these windows should consider calling a heating company service professional.

Scheduling Annual Maintenance Visits contractor

A homeowner can maximize their home's heating and cooling efficiency by scheduling a visit with a certified HVAC professional. When looking for a reputable heating professional, a homeowner should look out for: 

  • Positive reviews
  • Experience
  • Suite of services
  • Scheduling options

As one can see, there are plenty of things homeowners can do to maximize their home's heating efficiency. However, there are times when matters are best left to a professional. 

About Carney & Son 72 Degrees 

Carney & Son 72 Degrees has served its community since 1984. These professionals offer same-day service, upfront pricing, and a full suite of home improvement services. Interested parties in Charleston can call this team today to learn more about heating service

It Is Time for Cleaner Air This New Year

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality in 2022

Air quality in a home is important as it surrounds homeowners. When a home's air quality is poor, it can affect its allergies and skincare. It is important to maintain air quality by making a few changes and enacting preventative techniques in homes.

Change Air Filters At Least Every 1-3 Monthsair filter

Air filters need to be changed every 1-3 months. Although some homeowners don't know this, dirty air filters fill the air with dust and debris. If a heater maintenance technician does not change the air filter frequently, it will only drag the dust and dirt into the air. Usually, homeowners change air filters once every three months.

However, it is important to know that some factors can weigh in and change the number of times homeowners should change an air filter a year. For instance, homes with furry pets need an air filter change once a month or more. This is especially true about homes that have dogs that shed frequently.

For homeowners that use their systems frequently, it may be necessary to change the air filter at least once a month. The more energy the system takes to cool or warm homes, the more dust and debris trapped in the filter.

air purifierUtilize an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are also convenient options for people looking into improving their overall air quality. All air purifiers work virtually in the same way. These purifiers use light waves and magnets to remove toxins and mold from the 'dirty' air. There are larger devices that homeowners can place and install in a central area. If homeowners want something to travel with, there are portable devices. These devices can use batteries to power on.

Whole-home air scrubbers are growing in popularity! Instead of being a separate device that homeowners can install throughout their home, the air scrubbers are inside of the AC unit. It runs air through various cycles to filter out any dust, dirt, and debris.

Don't Forget Routine Cleaning

The more that homeowners keep their homes clean, the less accumulation of dust and dirt. The indoor air quality cannot improve if the inside is not clean and free from dust and mold. Although there is nothing wrong with a little bit of dust in the morning, it should not affect someone's life and cover surfaces.

Once this occurs, the dust and dirt are also in the air. Homeowners can breathe in toxins, mold, and dust. Although there are many tools you can use to keep your home clean, it is good to regularly use a broom or vacuum. If homeowners have pets and are concerned about the air quality because of their pet fur and dander, they can purchase a large, easy-to-use vacuum with extra strength. The same goes for any job that brings in dirt and dust.

About Carney & Son 72 Degrees

In business and family-owned since 1984, the Carney & Son 72 Degrees offer various HVAC services in their community. This company offers affordable pricing, maintenance services, and emergency care online. Call them today for air quality services in Charleston, SC.

Give the Gift of a Smart Home Thermostat This Holiday Season

Add a Smart Home Thermostat to the Family Wishlist 

Thermostats have come a long way since their invention in 1906. The original model was simply a dial that allowed the home's HVAC system to communicate with its various parts. However, it wasn't for 30 years that the thermostat would transform into the device homeowners recognize today. 

Honeywell, Nest, and ecobee have taken the device one step further in recent years. Many devices on today's market come with Wi-Fi features, LED screens, and much, much more. Furthermore, a decently-rated thermostat costs under $200 and can save hundreds in energy bills. This holiday season, homeowners should consider switching to Wi-Fi-enabled smart home thermostatIs. 

When Is It Time to Install a New Thermostat?thermostat 

On average, thermostats generally last about 10 years. Homeowners should consider replacing their thermostats when: 

  • Their homes can't maintain a constant temperature. 
  • The thermostat's digital display isn't working properly––despite new batteries. 
  • Many in-home appliances are already smart home enabled. 
  • The temperature inside the home does not reflect what's on the screen. 
  • The energy bill is higher than usual, with no marked difference in usage or the home's temperature. 

While 10 years of ownership is a pretty generous lifespan, with wear and tear, thermostats can last less even than that. 

The Three Main Benefits of Smart Home Thermostat Installation thermostats

The U.S. Department of Energy stresses the importance of well-functioning thermostats. It notes that the three main benefits of smart home thermostats include: 
  • Energy efficiency: Especially during the winter months, homeowners may find themselves spending hundreds to heat their homes. Smart home thermostats ensure that no energy goes unaccounted for. Many even come with apps that track the home's energy usage in a single month, so homeowners can plan accordingly. 
  • Communication: Sometimes, homeowners realize their home's issues lay elsewhere after installing a smart home thermostat. For instance, a smart home thermostat may diagnose a problem with the heating unit using error codes or other information. 
  • Savings: An ineffective thermostat doesn't communicate with the heating unit properly. This may cause the heater to stay on longer than it needs to or overexert itself, causing increased wear and tear. Using artificial intelligence and sensors, smart home thermostats counter any money-wasting. Homeowners may even find themselves saving money after installing one of these devices. 

What's the Best Smart Home Thermostat on Today's Market? 

Many homeowners swear by Nest thermostats. Nest released its first smart home thermostat in 2011 and, in that time, has made quite a name for itself. Basic models on Amazon start at around $100. However, Nest has a thermostat that recognizes temperature changes and acts accordingly for a bit more. For instance, it'll crank up the heat during cold winter mornings but may lower the temperature at high noon when the sun's out. 

Other models on today's market include: 

  • Honeywell: Its founder, Mark Honeywell, spearheaded the company in the early 1900s. Smart home models come with apps and around-the-clock customer support. 
  • ecobee: While it's one of the newest players in the smart home thermostat arena, new models come with voice commands and other features. 

About Carney & Son 72 Degrees

Switching from a "dumb" thermostat to a new "smart" home thermostat may feel like a daunting experience. But with Carney & Son 72 Degrees, it doesn't have to be. These professionals specialize in a host of thermostat services, including thermostat replacement. Interested parties in Charleston can connect with this family-owned company today for thermostat service!