Apr 01 , 2020
Temperatures are going into the 80s this month and before you know it summer is here. You want to be prepared when you do turn your AC on for the first time of the season. There is nothing worse than your system blowing hot air or nothing at all.
Here are some suggestions for you to do right now:
- Change your air-filter – You are probably not changing your filter as often as you should because this task is the most often overlooked. At the very least, change them out per season. Ideally, they should be replaced once a month for maximum efficiency.
- Check the condensation lines – the pipe that carries condensation away from your air conditioner can get clogged and back up into your unit. Locate where the pipe drains and check to see if it is draining properly. If they aren’t, use an algaecide found at pool supply stores or call us to clean.
- Install a programmable thermostat – These can help you cut down your electric bill since energy is used only when you and your family are at home. These are easy to install yourself.
- Clean your AC fins – This tip will help your AC run more efficiently. Try using a soft brush to carefully run the brush across each fin. Be gentle so you don’t bend the metal.
- Check your ductwork for leaks – Leaky ducts make your AC unit work harder. Inspect your ductwork for disconnected joints, separated pieces and small holes.
If you do the above steps and your AC still isn’t working properly, call us for a checkup at 520-399-5850!
Mar 01 , 2020
If your current heating or cooling system is over ten years old, there is a good chance that it uses R22 refrigerant. R22 is an ozone-depleting substance (ODS). Your equipment may have a label that identifies the type of refrigerant type used, but it’s a good idea to ask your licensed professional AC or heat pump dealer for confirmation.
As of January 1, 2020, production and import of R22 refrigerant will be illegal in the United States. Of course, continued use of your air conditioner/heat pump system using R22 refrigerant is allowed.
The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning, R22 refrigerant AC or heat pump system. However, you may need to evaluate your options if your air conditioning or heat pump system fails or requires emergency repairs. You may have to decide between a hefty refrigerant bill and a system replacement.
The price of R22 refrigerant is in shrinking supply which makes it very expensive. As the supply becomes limited, you may end up paying more for a repair that requires R22 refrigerant than a down payment on a new heat pump or AC system. If your technician suspects a leak, they should locate and repair the refrigerant leak instead of simply “topping off” a leaking system.
If your unit is over ten years old, you need to start looking at replacing it before it quits. Take the time to evaluate energy efficiencies, products reviews and potential costs of the latest replacements available. Most likely, there are new features and benefits available today that weren’t available when your current system was installed.
If paying for a new system is a concern, Family Air can offer affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If you qualify, financing may help you fit a new HCAC system into your budget without breaking the bank.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you use a licensed professional such as Family Air to provide routine maintenance. Professional maintenance helps your heating and cooling system to operate at its designed efficiency level and alerts you to small, fixable issues before they may become expensive problems.
Feb 01 , 2020
As spring approaches in Tucson, the weather change also brings on those dreaded allergies. Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself at least while you are inside your home!
Your air conditioner can protect you from the outside elements and is a better solution than the old swamp cooler for your allergies. However, you still need to keep the unit properly maintained.
Air Filters – check your air filter at least every 30 days to see if it needs changing. Most people only check these 2-4 times a year ~ not enough. If you are not changing your air filter regularly, the filter will become overloaded with airborne particles and dust, making your air conditioning unit work less effectively. If you used reusable filers, make sure that after you wash them that they are completely dried before re-installing. Otherwise they become an ideal spot for bacteria to grow.
Air Ducts – Check your air ducts for leaks since condensation happens when the cool air meets the warm air in your ducts when using air conditioning. These should be cleaned annually to decrease the risk of mold.
Family Air can check your air ducts and air filters during an annual inspection test to keep your allergies in check. Call us today to learn how we can assist you in improving the air quality in your home.
If you are looking for other ways outside of your HVAC unit to reduce the frequency and severity of allergies, you may want to try turmeric which has numerous health benefits https://lyfebotanicals.com/health/turmeric-benefits/
Dec 03 , 2019
If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, here are some things to consider making sure your home is comfortable and cost efficient for years to come:
Before purchasing a new unit, we highly recommend that you have a professional review your current duct work to make sure it is in good condition since poorly sealed joints can cost you money and cause up to 30% energy loss in your system. The contract can fix any insulation and debris issues.
New furnaces have much high efficiency ratings, up to 98% which are achieved through improvements in the design of the air handler. There are 3 basic choices for air handler types:
Single State Air Handlers – have one speed setting and the motors run at maximum speed regardless of indoor heating requirements that results in wasted energy.
Two-Stage Air Handlers – have two speed settings (high and low) Usually the low setting is adequate to maintain desired heat.
Variable Speed Air Handlers – Multiple varying speeds allow for greater energy efficiency since you can choose the desired speed needed. You will need to calculate the size of the heating system that your house needs to ensure optimal and efficient operations.
Air Conditioner Units
You want to choose the correct SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Rating for your home. A higher number indicates higher energy efficiency. We recommend you purchase air conditioners with variable-speed scroll compressors, these models produce less noise. An all-aluminum evaporator coil is less susceptible to leaks and corrosion compared to the copper and steel evaporator coils of older units.
If you are looking for an all-in-one heating and cooling system, consider buying a heat pump. These are the most efficient electrical heating systems currently available on the market. Heat pumps work just like air conditioners – when in cooling mode, it uses a refrigerant to remove heat from the inside of your home. In heating mode, the reverse valve changes the direction in which the refrigerant flows allowing the heat pump to heat your home by picking warmth from the outside and bringing it inside the house.
Call us to determine the best choices for your home today!
Nov 01 , 2019
If you are considering a HVAC replacement for your home and confused about SEER options, you are not alone! Family Air offers professional HVAC installation and can help you make sense of it all so you can make the right decision.
Types of SEER Ratings
The federal minimum is a 14 SEER with the highest being 25. The prices escalate based on the higher SEER ratings.
What does a SEER Rating Mean?
SEER Rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is an efficiency rating taken into account the typical cooling output divided by the total electric energy input. The higher an air conditioner unit’s SEER rating, the more efficient it is.
However, there a few factors you need to consider when determining whether to replace your current air conditioner with a higher SEER rated unit.
What SEER rating is right for my home?
There are a lot of determining factors to consider when making this decision. Typically, a 14 SEER can be used to replace your 8 to 10 SEER air conditioner. Keep in mind larger is not always better. Purchasing a higher SEER AC unit will cost 50% more and will not always deliver the energy savings to make it cost effective.
A 14SEER AC unit will keep your home at the same temperature as a higher rated unit, such as a 16 SEER AC unit. It is the thermal rating on you home that can play a much bigger part in lowering utility consumption.
While a higher SEER AC Unit will save you money over years, doing the math is often the best way to determine which is best for your situation.
How long do you plan on living in your current home?
If it is less than 5 years, getting a return on your investment in a higher SEER air conditioner may not likely.
Do the math. Take the BTUs divided by the SEER and then divide that by 1000 to see how many Kwh consumed each hour. Then multiply that by hours of operation annually and finally by cost of Kwh for that unit.
Therefore, while the higher SEER units are more efficient and deliver energy savings, determine the right SEER AC unit for your situation simply comes down to determining how long before you see the savings versus the initial cost.
If you need help determining which SEER air conditioner replacement is right for your home, call Family Air. We offer full-service installation and replacement to keep you comfortable!
Oct 03 , 2019
If your HVAC unit is over 10 years old and starting to have problems, it’s time to shop for a replacement. A new unit will offer you save energy, lower electric bills and provide you with continuous comfort. Here is a check list of how to start:
If your current unit is not performing, contact us to conduct an inspection to learn if a simple repair is in order or if a new system is needed. Most HVAC systems can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years but get less efficient with time.
We can help you choose which unit would be best for your home by considering the size of your house and family. A larger HVAC won’t save you money if your home is small. There are a lot of different brands to choose from. You want to make sure that they endorsed by your HVAC specialist. Family Air has experience with a lot of different brand models and has easy access to the parts and accessories for those brands. You should consider BTU output, energy efficiency, the size of the HVAC, available warranties and finally the cost of the system.
Since a new HVAC unit can be expensive, Family Air has financing options to help you pay for the system. Contact them for all available options.
We hope you find this checklist helpful. If you need more information on choosing a new HVAC system, please contact us at 520-399-5850 today!
Sep 03 , 2019
Family Air Heating and Cooling is a licensed and insured HVAC contractor. Sometimes our technicians are called to homes were the previous HVAC work was done by an unlicensed worker and their equipment failed. As a result, the homeowner is unable to locate the unlicensed worker whom they have already paid and has unresolved repair work. Our technicians address customer questions and concerns to ensure they feel comfortable with our work before starting any service and our work is guaranteed.
Here are the reasons why it is important for you to always hire a licensed contractor:
- Warranties and System Safety
Manufacturer warranties are only reimbursed if work is performed by a licensed contractor. Find out how long the contractor or the business they work for has been licensed and is certified to perform warranty work. We guarantee our work and the warranty on the equipment we install.
- Personal safety
Make sure the contractor has a proper identification badge and uniform. Unlicensed contractors have been linked to crimes. You can pre-check if a worker you hired is licensed by going to https://roc.az.gov/before-hire
- Worker safety
Ask if the worker is covered under an insurance policy or worker’s compensation. If not, you could be responsible if the worker injures themselves on your property.
Unlicensed contractors do not have to abide by any laws, they are not actively pursued by the law because they are difficult to locate, and they don’t pay worker’s compensation or insurance to their workers. They may provide you with a bid that is cheaper, but it is far from better. For your personal peace of mind and a better investment, always use a licensed contractor.
Aug 05 , 2019
Our summers in Tucson can create surges in your utility bills. Cooling costs can account for about 50% of your home energy budget. Figuring out the best way to ventilate your home can result in serious savings. Here are some tips that require minimal effort on your part to help lower those bills.
- Adjust the temperature of your AC when you leave your house. For every degree the thermostat is raised, 4%-8% can be saved on your cooling costs. A programmable thermostat can be a huge help and has can lower electricity bills by 20%!
- Switch to Energy Star appliances which meet rigorous energy efficiency guidelines set by the US government in order to decrease greenhouse emissions. An air conditioner that has been certified with an Energy Star rating uses approximately 15% less energy or more than non-certified models.
- Check your home insulation for air leakage from outside your windows and doors. Caulking and weather stripping are a very simple solution to this problem. Use caulking to fill in cracks and openings around doors and window frames.
- Make sure your air conditioning vents and units are clean. Replace air filters regularly and save yourself 5%-15% in energy consumption.
- Use your ceiling fans to circulate air and help cool the room by 4 degrees.
- Block the sun into your home with blinds and drapes. Keep them pulled down or closed over windows that have a lot of sun exposure. Blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45% and drapes by 33%.
Jul 01 , 2019
The triple digit temperatures are upon us. How are you going to survive another summer of blazing heat? Your home has lots of items that create heat and contribute to slowing down the cooling process. Wherever possible, eliminate these heat sources:
- Appliances: Your fridge and freezer need to be on 24/7, but try not to use the dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer during the hottest part of the day. These are big heat makers!
- Cooking: Using the oven or range can increase your room temperature by several degrees. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy salads and sandwiches and your outdoor BBQ!
- Computers and Screens:Keeping your computer on all the time may be convenient, but it adds heat to the room. Make sure you shut them down when you’re done working to help keep your room cool and you’ll lower your electric bill at the same time!
- Light Bulbs:All sources of light give off some heat, so shut the ones off when not in the room. Switch your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs if you haven’t already done so for more energy savings.
- Sunlight: Sun shining in your windows really heats things up during the day. This is especially true of south and west facing windows. Consider using insulated curtains or blinds to add a layer of protection against the sun’s rays.
Jun 01 , 2019
If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, you probably need to start shopping for a new cooling system. Here are the benefits to replacing your outdated unit with an energy efficient newer one:
Lower Utility Bills
Newer AC models offer reduced energy consumption which in turn means you will have lower utility bills. The savings is usually found on the yellow Energy Guide label of the unit you are looking at and estimates the average electricity the unit will use over the course of a year.
Multiply that savings of the average life of the system and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you’ll be saving.
Family Air recommends Energy Star certified units. Models that have Energy Star certification must meet strict efficiency standards which can substantially reduce your household energy consumption.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
In addition to cooling your home, air conditioners are responsible for controlling the quality of your indoor air by keeping it clean. The newest air conditioners offer superior air purification, humidity control and even ventilation.
As air conditioners age, they don’t always keep you quite as cool and can become noisy. New units enable the air conditioner to vary its operating speed by tiny increments for consistent air temperature. They also come with a compressor sound insulator, so you won’t even know it’s working hard to keep your family cool.
Older air conditioners are not always compatible with high-tech features or add-ons, but most new cooling systems have a long list of options. For instance, if you’ve been waiting to invest in zoning systems or switch to a smart thermostat, you can finally do both with a new air conditioner. From custom cooling options to energy-efficient features, high-tech air conditioners have it all.
Thinking about investing in a new air conditioner? Call Family Air LLC Cooling and Heating today at 520-399-5850. We can determine the best choice for you and your home.