Homeowners are often reluctant to jump on heating replacement, but there are many reasons to consider it now. Replacing your furnace or heater sooner rather than later has numerous benefits. We’ll examine them below to help you make the most informed decision possible.
1. Ridiculously High Electric Bills
For most people, an increase in utility costs isn’t an obvious sign to replace a furnace. But as heating systems age, they become less efficient. A unit’s efficiency rating will go down, and some newer furnaces and other heating systems are designed to be over 98% efficient (compared to older ones that may range from 56% to 70% efficient). Your new heater can pay for itself over the life of the system just in the amount saved on utilities.
2. Your Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace turns on and off more frequently, the reasons can range from a dirty filter to improper thermostat settings to an incorrectly sized unit. A failing component or control issue can also cause it to short cycle, or the heat exchanger may be overheating. Short cycling can indicate multiple problems are occurring. It decreases efficiency and can further strain the unit until it breaks down.
3. The Pilot Light Doesn’t Stay Blue
If your furnace has a pilot light, it should always be blue. It means the flame is receiving enough oxygen. When the flame turns yellow, it’s burning less hot, which can also signify that carbon monoxide is present. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and can lead to flu-like symptoms and death. If an older heating system has a yellow flame, it could be a sign the heat exchanger is cracked, so strongly consider a heating replacement.
4. Your Heater Is Making Scary Noises
Heating systems should run fairly quietly. If you start to hear loud banging, squealing, or rattling noises, there’s likely a mechanical issue. A bad motor bearing, blower, or fan can cause a lot of damage. The noise can also mean the compressor is failing. Contact a professional to determine if the problem can be fixed or if your heater needs to be replaced.
5. You’ve Had Several Recent Heating Repairs
Requiring multiple repairs in a short time means you’ll probably need another one soon. As a system ages, it becomes more difficult and expensive to find replacement parts. You could spend as much on repairs as what a new unit costs. If your heater needs another part soon after the last one was replaced, assume it’s near the end of its life and replace it.
6. Your House Is Increasingly Drier and Dustier
A functional heating system keeps your home warm and controls moisture. Therefore, if it’s declining in performance, your home may become dry and uncomfortable. Dirty heater components and ducts can cause more dust to circulate in the air and settle on surfaces. This could be a sign the system is wearing out and can’t correctly distribute air.
7. You’re Always Adjusting the Thermostat
If rooms don’t get comfortable, regardless of how often you reset the thermostat, your furnace or heater may be to blame. It could be due to decreased performance or a problem with air distribution. Each room should be about the same temperature. If one room varies by several degrees from another and is too cold or too warm, consider heating replacement as the best option.
8. Your Heating System Is Old
If your heating system is well-maintained, it can last from 15 to as many as 25 years. Older systems are more likely to require major repairs or break down. Therefore, if you have an older furnace, start planning for a heating replacement. You can take the time to find the right type and correctly sized system rather than rush to find one in the dead of winter.
Schedule Heating Replacement with Tri County Air
Our licensed and trained heating specialists are professional, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. They’ll answer all your questions so you can make the best decision possible. At Tri County Air, we’re committed to helping you find an affordable heating solution. When it’s time for heating replacement in Florida, we’ll install a furnace, heat pump, or hybrid system that improves home comfort, safety, and efficiency. Call (941) 485-2222 or request your appointment online today.
Most people don’t know the best time to schedule indoor air quality (IAQ) services. That’s partly because IAQ testing isn’t recommended as regularly as HVAC maintenance. However, IAQ services can make a big difference by addressing the causes of allergies and respiratory issues. They can detect pet dander, mold, chemicals, odor sources, or radon gas. They also include installing air purification and filtration systems (more on these later).
But the question we’ll answer now is, “When should you schedule an IAQ service?”
While there are no standards on indoor air quality testing and services, here are a few answers we think can help guide you:
If Your Allergies Are Getting Worse
Consider hiring an IAQ service if you’re constantly sneezing, coughing, or wheezing at home, the symptoms are getting worse, and they abate when you leave. Pets are often the source of allergies, as can be other animals you didn’t know about. Pet dander is an allergy trigger and can host allergy- and disease-causing bacteria. An IAQ test can determine if allergens are circulating and what their source may be.
During Building Construction or a Major Renovation
Any construction work in your home should be accompanied by indoor air quality testing. At the very least, it can give you peace of mind, especially if your home predates modern building codes. Some hazards include lead paint and asbestos. During a project, make sure construction areas are blocked off from living and working spaces and perform painting, carpet installation, floor re-surfacing, and other minor renovations when no one is home or during off-business hours.
When You Move Into a New House
Moving is a good time to schedule IAQ services. A new home can have many IAQ issues that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Indoor air quality testing should be performed as part of a pre-purchase inspection. Therefore, you’ll know about and can take action to remedy issues like mold and other indoor allergens before moving in.
You Can’t Track Down the Source of a Strange Odor
Numerous types of odors can emerge in a home. A persistent, unusual odor can have a source that can be harmful if left untreated. For example, musty odors often point to mold (however, not all IAQ concerns can be smelled; some, including carbon monoxide, radon gas, and some molds, are odorless). However thorough testing can identify odor-producing organic materials, volatile organic compounds, chemicals, and issues with your HVAC system.
There Are Signs of an Air Quality Problem
Even if an IAQ problem isn’t evident, periodically walk through your home or building to identify potential issues using your senses. A lack of cleanliness may be a sign it’s time to hire an IAQ professional. Other reasons it may be time to schedule service include:
Carpeting is unclean, damp, or affected by persistent moisture or flooding.
Chemical products are being stored near ventilation equipment.
Air intakes and exhaust vents are too close together, or intakes are near sources of waste or vehicle exhaust.
Land around the building slopes toward it, causing water to pool near the foundation.
Walls, ceilings, or vents are discolored or have unusual spots or stains around them.
It’s Time to Make IAQ Improvements
There are many types of IAQ testing. Usually, performing all of them at once isn’t necessary or practical. A professional can evaluate your home to determine what IAQ services you need. They can recommend certain tests and the types of solutions to consider. Some of these include:
Whole-House Filtration Systems: These use a series of filters through which air is pulled to catch a wide range of pollutants and very small airborne particles. Tri-County Air installs high MERV-rated filters within air handlers to capture particles as small as 1 micron. We also install in-duct HEPA filters.
Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers: High humidity, or a lack thereof, can be an IAQ problem. Depending on your situation, a humidifier or dehumidifier can maintain recommended indoor humidity levels (30% to 50%) so the environment becomes unsuited for some pollutants.
UV Light Air Purifiers: A contractor can install UV light technology that damages bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and other organic materials on a molecular level. It can reduce odors, clean the air, and purify surfaces throughout your home.
Schedule IAQ Services With Tri County Air
Our team specializes in the latest high-efficiency air filtration and purification products. If you suspect a problem or have never installed such a system, Tri County Air can evaluate your needs, make recommendations, and provide long-term solutions. Call (941) 485-2222 to schedule IAQ services in your Charlotte, Manatee, or Sarasota County home.
Duct replacement doesn’t have to be a part of HVAC installation. Leaving your existing ducts in place is an option if they’re in good condition. If not, then inadequate ductwork can affect the performance and efficiency of your new system. This is not ideal since HVAC installation is an investment and damaged or faulty ducts can affect your comfort, safety, and indoor air quality.
We’ll now explore whetherduct replacement should be a part of your next HVAC installation project.
New Ductwork Is Often Recommended
When planning to install a new heating and cooling system, a contractor will often suggest installing new ductwork. Having matching equipment can reduce the frequency of repairs and eliminate issues such as dust, allergies, and odors. Plus, ductwork that’s 10+ years older than your AC or heater may not match its operating requirements.
Signs Your Ducts and HVAC System Should Be Replaced Together
Before replacing your HVAC system, a contractor performs an in-home evaluation to determine whether your ductwork should also be replaced. It’s not always an easy decision to make. But here are some signs the investment in duct replacement may be worthwhile:
Improperly Sized Ductwork: Air ducts come in different sizes and the dimensions must match the requirements of your air conditioner. The unit won’t work effectively if your ductwork isn’t properly sized. It must be carefully designed to ensure the heating and cooling needs of your entire home are met.
Damaged Air Ducts: If there are dents, punctures, holes, cracks, and loose connections in your ductwork, conditioned air will escape into unconditioned spaces like the attic or crawl space. Your new system will work much harder to distribute air, but duct replacement can ensure it runs smoothly.
Poor Indoor Air Quality: Air quality issues can range from allergies and asthma symptoms to increased dust and musty odors caused by mold. If mold is present in ducts, spores, and toxins can spread throughout your home. Poor humidity control can contribute to the problem. Therefore, damaged, deteriorated, or corroded ductwork must be replaced.
Noisy Ducts: If you hear high-pitched sounds coming from your ductwork, an airflow issue may be the reason. Excess pressure can cause rattling sounds while whistling noises can indicate there’s a blockage in a duct or your ductwork has structural damage. These issues won’t go away without significant repairs or replacing your HVAC ductwork.
High Utility Bills: No matter how efficient your new HVAC unit is, aging or damaged ductwork will offset any efficiency improvements. Consider duct replacement if your energy bills have been surging. Trapped debris, damage, or poor insulation may be causing this. Only by replacing your HVAC system and ductwork together will you get your utility bills under control.
Uneven Heating or Cooling: More gaps and holes in your ductwork can lead to consistent temperatures. If some parts of your home are too hot and others too cold, the reason may be in your air ducts. When it can’t distribute air evenly, ductwork should be replaced during the HVAC installation process.
Insect and Rodent Infestations: Holes and spaces in ductwork provide room for small pests to get inside. Aside from leaving behind waste that can contain bacteria and other pathogens, pests can cause blockages and extensive structural damage to air ducts. Infested ducts should be replaced as soon as possible.
Is Duct Replacement Enough?
At Tri County Air, we help our customers save money over time. Replacing ductwork during HVAC installation can have long-term cost benefits. We also often recommend attic insulation improvements, as this is where much of the conditioned air can be lost.
An attic can be treated with spray foam insulation. It is a liquid that’s sprayed into a space and expands into a foam (open-cell foam seals cracks and spaces to prevent air leakage, while closed-cell foam is an effective air, vapor, and water barrier). Blown-in insulation protects against moisture, mold, pests, and fires, depending on the type. Consult with your HVAC contractor about the best options for your home.
A radiant barrier is another insulation option that can make your HVAC system and ductwork more efficient. It reflects sunlight and is often used with other insulating materials. Some radiant heat barrier coatings can be sprayed, making this process even easier.
Contact Tri County Air
Updating your entire HVAC system is the best solution for improving comfort, efficiency, and indoor air quality. Customers in Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties rely on us for duct replacement services that include sizing, sealing, and insulating your air ducts. We’ll ensure you get the most out of your new HVAC unit. To schedule an inspection of your ductwork and ventilation system, request an appointment online or call (941) 485-2222.
Last year, Tri County Air launched a new Christmas-season initiative called Comfort and Joy. Though we set out to give away one new air conditioning and heating system to a family in need, our Owner Billy Swanson ultimately decided to give away new air conditioning and heating systems to three families instead saying “Hurricane Ian created so much devastation and we wanted to do as much as we could to help. For us, that meant giving away three A/C systems instead of one. The spirit of Comfort and Joy is to ‘do for one what you wish you could do for all’ and we were blessed to be able to do for three what we wish we could have done for everyone last year.”
The name Comfort and Joy came from the idea that we want to bring comfort to a family by providing them with a new air conditioning and heating system, but it also comes from our mission: “To comfort all in such a way that they are compelled to tell others about their experience, and it honors the Great Comforter, Jesus Christ.” We hope to bring comfort to one family with a new A/C and to also make it an experience that is filled with joy for everyone involved.
Last year, we came alongside the winning families in as many ways as possible, beyond simply installing new air conditioning systems. Our Comfort and Joy team brought breakfast, lunch, gifts, and more, truly creating an atmosphere of joy. As Marketing Director, Victoria May, recalls, “We built gingerbread houses with the kids, did yard work, and even fixed a washing machine. It was so much fun because the families were already overjoyed to be receiving a free A/C and they didn’t expect it to be more than that. They were so grateful, but we were the ones who were truly blessed.” It was a fun time to remember, and we hope to replicate that experience again for the family who wins this year. Take a look at the video below to watch the recap of last year’s Comfort and Joy.
If you or someone you know could use some “Comfort and Joy” this holiday season, please submit your nominations beginning September 29, 2023 and ending October 22, 2023. There are only a few qualifications: nominees must reside in and own their home; they must reside in the Tri County Air service area of Manatee, Sarasota, or Charlotte County in Florida; and they must be open to sharing their story publicly. Nominations will be analyzed by a committee October 23-30th and public voting on the 10 families chosen by committee members will take place from October 31 – November 9. The winning family will be announced on November 10th.
Are you planning for AC replacement in Bradenton, FL, this year? Data from Angi suggests you can expect to pay around $3,900 to $7,900; nationally, the average cost is $5,894.1 But you may spend less or more depending on the type of system, its size, the cost of materials, and a variety of other factors. We’ll look at what affects the cost of AC replacement so you can budget accordingly.
Why Are Air Conditioners So Expensive?
Air conditioning units are notoriously expensive. However, their cost is largely determined by the type of unit or system you install. A small portable unit can cost $100 to $500 and a window AC can cost $150 to $800. However, a central AC averages up to $4,000 (not including labor, ductwork, electrical upgrades, permits, and other extra costs). And a ductless split system can cost as much as $20,000 (or, as little as $600).1
Some of the reasons for such high costs include:
Air conditioners are complex machines
They require trained specialists to install
New technologies must meet the latest regulations
The costs of raw materials continue to increase
Installation can require additional services
What Determines the Price of AC Replacement in Bradenton?
The size of an air conditioning unit (its capacity) is one of the most influential cost factors. Air conditioner sizes are measured in tons; a 1-ton AC uses 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy to remove heat from a room. But it’s only suited for a space of up to 500 square feet. A 3-ton AC equals 36,000 BTUs and can cool a 2,500-square-foot home.1 The larger your home, the more cooling power you’ll need; the larger the system, the more it costs.
The cost of AC replacement is also determined by:
AC Brand: The quality and reputation of the brand influence the price of equipment and services. Some of the most recognized AC brands include Lennox, American Standard, Frigidaire, Amana, and Coleman. Investing in quality upfront can yield savings in terms of efficiency, fewer repairs, and longevity. But Trane, Rheem, and Carrier are well-known yet tend to offer lower prices. Do your research when comparing quality vs. price so you know what you’re getting.
AC Installer: Every AC company sets a different installation rate. Labor is typically charged by the hour and it can take a few days to install a large central AC system. Get a feel for the installer’s quality of service and if the company is licensed and insured, includes a satisfaction guarantee, and offers other perks.
Energy Efficiency: The higher an AC unit’s efficiency rating, the more expensive it is. Air conditioner efficiency is measured using its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This is its total seasonal output (in BTUs) divided by the amount of electricity it uses over the season. In Florida and other southern states, an AC must be at least 14 SEER. A higher efficiency unit can have a SEER in the mid to high 20s.
Age of Your Home: Installing an AC system in a new construction home generally costs less than retrofitting an older home. If you have a house that’s several decades old, you may need new ductwork and to replace the insulation. Additional materials and labor charges may be factored in if walls need to be broken down or electrical upgrades are required. And since central AC systems require drain lines, the cost of plumbing can be a factor.
Zoning: If your home has multiple floors or you want to cool different rooms separately, zoning an AC system is an option. However, it can require installing additional equipment, which is a significant cost consideration.
Equipment Removal: In most cases, an AC company will remove and dispose of your old air conditioner. This service may or may not be included in the total quote. If you have to pay extra (or hire someone else), it can cost up to $200 depending on size and ease of access.1
Extended Warranty: An extended warranty can cost a few hundred dollars but covers the unit longer than a standard manufacturer’s warranty.
Permits: Most cities and municipalities require a licensed professional to install an AC system. Obtaining a permit ensures local and federal regulations are followed and that the system is properly inspected. Fees vary from one locale to another.
How to Make AC Replacement More Affordable
Planning can help budget for a new AC unit. It allows you to do research and can avoid replacing the system in a hurry if it breaks down in the summer. Tax credits may be available to cover part of the installation, especially if it’s a high-efficiency unit. Financing options from your AC company can also help make your purchase more affordable with monthly payments and low interest rates.
Contact Tri County Air for AC Replacement in Bradenton
If you’re looking to replace your air conditioner this year, Tri County Air can help select and install a high-efficiency system. We work with reputable manufacturers that have stood the test of time. Our technicians are fully licensed and can be depended upon for quality installation, while we also offer financing, specials, and memberships to ensure you receive the required maintenance. To learn more or schedule an AC replacement, request your appointment online or call (941) 485-2222 today.