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Should I Buy The Cheapest Air Conditioning Unit or Heat Pump?

What about price?

Should you go for the cheapest air conditioning or heat pump system you can get? In most cases, the answer is no. Generally… you get what you pay for. Some contractors may offer to carrier ac repairinstall air conditioning or heat pump systems at a low price, but this can come back to bite you if the air conditioning or heat pump system is installed improperly, or it is the wrong kind of air conditioning or heat pump system for your home. In the long run, you may find yourself paying more — a lot more — in operating and maintenance costs, unnecessary repairs, increased utility bills and shortened lifespan of your central air conditioning or heat pump unit.

Reputable air conditioning contractors will not sell you the cheapest air conditioning or heat pump system on the market; but they will give you the best air conditioning or heat pump system value for your home’s heating and cooling needs and for the life of your air conditioning or heat pump system.

Choosing the right air conditioning or heat pump system is only part of the equation; proper installation is perhaps the most critical determinant of how air conditioning or heat pump systems perform. The energy efficiency of air conditioning or heat pump systems depend greatly on where and how they are installed. Our professional air conditioning and heat pump installation and repair technicians can maximize the performance of air conditioning or heat pump systems with proper placement, sizing, connection, configuration and calibration. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach; every air conditioning or heat pump system installation is different. We always perform a heat load calculation to ensure you are purchasing the correct size AC unit or heat pump for your home.

Our air conditioning or heat pump system specialists take the time to make sure that your air conditioning or heat pump system is installed correctly so that it operates at maximum efficiency today and years from now.  We always obtain a city building permit to ensure all air conditioning and heat pump installations are performed correctly and comply with city building codes. And our experienced Service Technicians are always on-hand to make sure your air conditioning or heat pump system keeps on working.

Air Conditioning and Heat Pump System Types

Split systems

A split system simply means air conditioner or heat pump consists of  2 separate parts. An indoor air handling unit and an outdoor condensing unit. In many cases, a split system consists of:

  • Furnace―provides heating and the fan used year round to circulate air
  • Evaporator coil―the indoor component of your outdoor cooling unit
  • Air conditioner or heat pump―works in tandem with the evaporator coil
  • Ducts―carry the conditioned air throughout your home
  • Control or thermostat―your interface for controlling your system
  • Optional air quality accessories―clean, humidify, and freshen air before it circulates throughout your home

Some split systems consist only of an outdoor unit―such as a heat pump or air conditioner―and an inside fan coil. If that’s the case, there’s usually another heat source in the home like baseboard heat or a boiler.

Carrier-infinity-air-conditionerHybrid Heat® split systems

It’s a smarter version of your standard split system, with an energy efficient twist: In addition to gas furnace heat, this system automatically figures out how to get the best efficiency by also using an electricity-fueled heat pump to provide warmth. Bonus―the heat pump functions in the place of an air conditioner too.

In the warmer, humid climates of the south you might consider a high performance heat pump with a lower efficiency and lower up front cost furnace so you can have the furnace as backup heating on really cold nights, while taking advantage of the high-efficiency heat pump most of the year. A heat pump with a variable-speed compressor matched to a furnace with a variable-speed blower motor can do an amazing job of pulling humidity out of the air in the summer to save money.

Meanwhile, in colder climates, it’s best to pair your heat pump with a high-efficiency furnace. Despite the cold, you might be surprised by just how much mileage―not to mention cost-saving efficiency―you’ll get from a heat pump in the spring, fall and, yes, even winter months.

A Hybrid Heat system includes:

  • Heat pump―provides summer cooling and dehumidification and warmth in cooler seasons
  • Evaporator coil―the indoor component of your outdoor heat pump
  • Furnace―provides heating and the fan used year round to circulate air
  • Ducts―carry the conditioned air throughout your home
  • Control or thermostat―your interface for controlling your system
  • Optional air quality accessories―clean, humidify, and freshen air before it circulates throughout your home

Ductless air conditionerDuctless split systems

As you may have guessed from its name, a ductless split system doesn’t rely on air ducts to spread treated air in your home. Instead, this specialty system is designed to heat or cool room additions or other places that may lack ductwork, such as home theaters, exercise rooms, garages or any other area where the existing system doesn’t quite cut it. Ductless split systems include:

  • Small outdoor air conditioner or heat pump unit
  • A compact indoor wall unit
  • Refrigerant tubing and wire connections―pass through a small hole from indoor to outdoor unit to connect the system.
  • On unit or remote control―your interface for controlling your system

Packaged systemscarrier-packe-unit-heat-pump_50ZPB-120px

Some homes just don’t have space inside for a furnace or the coil needed for cooling. That doesn’t mean they can’t be filled with the same comfort and improved air quality of a split system home.

Packaged units tend to all look alike but can do vastly different things:

  • Cool only as an air conditioner
  • Cool and heat as an electric heat pump
  • Cool and heat as a Hybrid Heat® dual fuel system of gas furnace with electric heat pump
  • Cool and heat as a gas furnace with electric air conditioner

As an all-in-one unit, the only other thing you need is a control or thermostat and, of course, ductwork to carry the conditioned air. Additionally you can add air quality accessories if you like. Packaged systems may be located on the exterior of your home, either on a flat rooftop or in the yard.

Geothermal Heat Pump Systemcarrier geothermal heat pump

Traditional heat pumps do the same thing as air conditioners but in winter, they do it in reverse, drawing their heat energy from the outside air. Geothermal heat pumps don’t have to rely on the potentially wide temperature swings of outdoor air. They tap into the relatively consistent and more moderate temperatures of the earth instead. Using your yard, pond or well water, this ingenious technology enables you to enjoy higher energy efficiency inside your home—no matter how extreme the weather gets outside.

There are geothermal systems that can serve homes with ductwork or homes with radiant heat. The radiant heat versions are referred to as hydronic systems and some of those can also provide you with all your hot water needs.

A geothermal system can be used to provide all of your heating and cooling needs or you can pair it with a furnace for a dual fuel heating solution.

Comfort is about much more than heating and cooling.


Get a customized recommendation

air conditioning or heat pump estimate

Are some air conditioners built better than others?

It’s always best to stick with the top name brands like Trane, Carrier and Rheem. All the better brand Air Conditioning trane air conditioning units copy
and Heat Pump manufacturers make high efficiency AC units up to 20 SEERS. 
The compressor is the heart of a condensing unit. On a hot day, it works long and hard. Rheem installs the highly advanced scroll compressor in every Rheem condensing unit we produce. Scroll Compressors are recognized by the industry as the leader in reliability, efficiency and quiet operation.

Other features to look for include louvered steel cabinets that protect the coils from damage and expensive repair bills.

Also, with some condensing units, the fan can be another source of bothersome noise. Rheem units have a grill design that minimizes air restriction for quieter fan operation.

Whether you are building a new home, or you are upgrading to a new, more efficient air conditioning system, we offer a wide variety of residential and commercial air conditioner, heatnest programmable ac system thermostat pump and HVAC brands that meet the capacity, efficiency rating, and price that you are looking for.  Fix Your AC Fast sells complete heating and cooling systems that include air conditioners, thermostats, heat pumps, filtersIndoor Air Quality products, accessories and AC repair services

Your air conditioning system consumes more power than any other appliance in your home or office. Today’s high efficiency systems cost much less to operate. In the past decade, the development of new technology has drastically improved the efficiency of heating and air conditioning equipment. Today’s high efficiency heating and cooling systems are so much more efficient that they can actually pay for themselves in energy savings. With Federal Tax Credits, Utility Company rebates and Air Conditioner Manufacturer Rebates it may practically pay for itself in the first year of ownership. Air Conditioning technology has improved so much that systems installed prior to 2006 could be highly inefficient by today’s standards.



AC Troubleshooting Tips

How to Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump and When To Call a Professional AC Repair Service

air conditioning repair tech checking condenserThere are times when your air conditioning and heating system really doesn’t require the service of an expert AC repair service. Here are some common troubleshooting tips to go over before you call for air conditioning or heat pump repair.

Air Conditioner Not Cooling or Blowing?

Check circuit breakers at fuse box. The outdoor air conditioner condenser unit and indoor air handler unit have their own breaker. Even if breakers appear to be in the correct position, they are often tripped. Flip circuit breaker off and back on

Indoor Air Conditioning Unit Leaking Water?

If the AC unit is leaking water one of three possible things has occurredair conditioner leaking water water w 2 inch flood 11-19-12
1. Drain line is plugged. Check to see if your air conditioner’s drain line is draining properly. If it is not you can clear it by attaching a shop vac to the drain line opening in your home and /or outside drain line where it drains into the ground.
2. AC Evaporator coil is dirty. Dirt, mold, and algae are growing on your coil causing it to drip. Evaporator coil cleaning is something that should be done by an air conditioning repair professional. Air conditioner evaporator coils are very costly to replace and the fins are VERY easily bent.
3. Coil is frozen with ice. Air flow is restricted to your coil. Check your air conditioner filter to make sure it is not dirty. Change your air filter of it. In the meantime, turn off your air conditioning unit and let it run on fan only to let it defrost. It could also be caused by your air conditioner being low on freon. If that is the case you should call an air conditioning repair professional to perform a leak test. You will need to turn off the AC unit and call for AC repair service.

Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

When your air conditioner evaporator coils freeze up it is indicative of restricted air flow and/or your system is low on freon. Restricted air flow is caused by a dirty air conditioning filter or a  dirty evaporator coil.

If your system is low on freon it means you have a freon leak. Air conditioning systems do not get low on freon as a natural occurrence of time and use and can cause serious damage if not addressed.

It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired.

Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, can freeze the evaporator coil, and many other problems. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well. The laws on CFC’s do not allow an air conditioning contractor to add Freon to a leaky commercial system if the leak is within 30% of the units capacity. They are required to fix the leak in the system. Violation of this law may cause contractors to loose their license.

Freon leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.

Air Conditioner Fan Runs Continuously?

Make sure your  air conditioner thermostat is set to the “Auto” position.

AC Unit Runs But Does Not Cool Below 78 degrees

1. Your AC Unit is possibly low on freon
2. Your ductwork in the attic is leaking
3. Your air conditioner or heat pump is old and inefficient and can not keep up with the heat load
4. Your air conditioner is under sized for the heat load demand

nest air conditioner and heat pump thermostat Thermostat Not Registering Correct Temperature?

A temperature reading of within three (3) degrees up or down is considered normal. New digital thermostats are more accurate.

Are Some Rooms Warmer than Others?

In the warmer room, make sure the air conditioner vent is open or open it further. If this does not resolve the problem, the situation is the result of one of the following three conditions.
1. The ductwork was not sized properly
2. The air conditioning system needs to be balanced by adjusting the air flow dampers in the grills
3. The ductwork has come apart and is leaking cool air into the attic.
Call for Air Conditioning Repair Service.

Musty or Mildew Odor?

1. Your ductwork got wet and is giving off a musty odor or it’s possibly growing mold.microbial growth-bacterial-fungus-mold-on -ac-coil
2. No AC air filters were used and the ductwork is dirty and growing mold.
3. No filters or wrong filters were used and evaporator coil is plugged up with algae, microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria.
4. Drain pan is full of algae, fungus, mold and bacteria.
Schedule air conditioning repair service for an AC Tune up and Air Duct Cleaning and Duct Sanitizing. Our air conditioning professionals will suggest the best options for your situation.

When Do AC Filters Need Cleaning?

AC filters should be kept clean or replaced monthly. You should be using filters with a minimum MERV rating of 8 or higher. Please visit our section on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

coil_dirt_cleanDirty Coil?

As dirt, debris, pollen and spores accumulate on your air conditioner evaporator coil over time it will produce microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria. This build-up will restrict your air flow and cause you to have less cooling throughout your house and, at the same time, increase your electric bill. The bacteria and mold spores will circulate through your entire home and possibly affect your allergies and your health. The only way to fix this problem is to have the coil professionally cleaned.

Why Should I Choose a Programmable Thermostat?TR_ComfortLink II_Smart Control - Medium

Most programmable thermostats are capable of four different time and temperature settings. A programmable air conditioner thermostat will reduce your power bill by fluctuating temperature settings while you are at work, away or asleep. We highly recommend this product.

Is a yearly Tune-Up necessary?

All AC units should be maintained at least once per year.

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