There is nothing more uncomfortable than walking in the door to your home on a hot July evening to hear your air conditioner on, but it feels more like a sauna in your living room. You hold your breath and hope that your spouse or child simply changed the thermostat only to see it set to 68, but the thermometer reads 80. What do you do?
This situation recently happened to Farnen and Dermer COO Zach Dermer. This was what he had to say:
“Last Wednesday I noticed my unit running but not able to maintain temperature. I had my thermostat set to 68 degrees, and it was running but not getting below 74 degrees.”
Check the air filter and thermostat
When an air filter on an air conditioner is clean, it can trap dirt, dust, and allergens and help your unit run more efficiently. However, few homeowners change their air filters as regularly as they should. While some filters have a recommended use of three months, others should be changed once a month. Air filters range in price from $10 to $50 and can be found at your local home improvement store. In Zach’s case, the filter was clean.
Another simple fix for your air conditioner problem may be found in the thermostat. A faulty thermostat can either keep your air conditioner from turning on at all or keep your air conditioner running regardless of the temperature in the room. If either of these conditions describes your AC unit, the thermostat may be miscalibrated or may be wearing out. Even if your thermostat is more than five years old, you may want to consider upgrading it to a “smart” model that is WiFi enabled and can be controlled via your smartphone. Not only do these models allow you to control when your air conditioner is turned but on, but they can also alert you to times when your AC unit is not functioning the way it should.
How old is your AC unit?
Zach continues, “I checked the air filter, and it was clean. My furnace was original to the house built in 1999. The AC system was a freon system installed about 12 years ago (not by Farnen & Dermer). I had one of our technicians come out on Thursday to troubleshoot the system and see what needed to be done. He determined the system had a leak and was almost completely out of R-22 refrigerant (freon).”
If properly maintained, an air conditioner can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years. Even if your unit is only ten years old, new models can be expected to increase efficiency and reduce your cooling costs by 20 to 40 percent. As of January 1, 2015, new standards for efficiency were put into effect by the US Department of Energy resulting in the phasing out of the liquid used in air conditioners to cool air, called Freon. In its place, chlorine-free coolant is being used in new air conditioners to reduce the impact on the environment and increase efficiency.
Zach’s comments on Freon: “Freon is being out-phased by the government because of its harmful ozone-depleting properties. Since there was a leak, it did not make sense to try to fix it. The cost of R-22 is exorbitant and adding refrigerant is just a temporary fix.”
Request a quote for repair or replacement of your AC unit
Because Zach had an older unit, a repair would only delay the inevitable replacement. He instead, chose to have the technician create a plan for a new air conditioning system.
He said, “Our technician measured up the existing system and ductwork and recommended a system sized properly for the house. He also took into consideration the utility rebates that are available. We stock equipment in our warehouse, so we were able to schedule installation for the following day.”
Not only does Farnen and Dermer provide free in-home replacement estimates, but they also design your system to cool your home using less energy. With available federal tax credits and utility rebates, your new air conditioner may cost less than you think. Your Farnen and Dermer specialist can not only give you a quote for a new system but can also walk you through the process of applying for tax credits and rebates step by step.
Not all air conditioners that are experiencing problems will need to be replaced. If your AC unit is in great shape, is meeting the needs of your home and is already energy efficient, Farnen and Dermer’s friendly, highly-trained technicians can diagnose and repair your air conditioner, often in the same day. We even offer emergency repairs after regular business hours. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we can help you keep your home and family cool.
While you wait…
Even though our technicians are available 24 hours a day, it may take a few minutes to have a technician in your home. While you wait, be sure to keep your windows closed and your curtains drawn during the day. This will keep the sun’s rays from further heating your home. Likewise, keep large overhead lights that may give off heat turned off. Instead, use smaller lights or lamps if necessary. Even though it won’t technically lower your room’s temperature, a fan can keep air circulating making your home feel a few degrees cooler. Finally, be sure to remain hydrated. Heat and humidity will sap not only your energy but your body’s water content making you feel even warmer than you already do.
Schedule your installation (if applicable)
Zach concludes, “Our installation team arrived Friday morning about 8 AM. They laid down drop cloths to protect the work surfaces. They removed the old equipment and began to prepare the area for the new system. The new equipment was installed in about 6-8 hours. The installation included a new high-efficiency gas furnace with ECM motor, 18 SEER AC system, refrigeration linesets, Aprilaire air cleaner, Activetek Air Scrubber, Wi-Fi thermostat, and duct modification. The techs tested the equipment to make sure it was working according to manufacturer specifications. Once the proper readings were collected, they began cleaning up the work area. I set my thermostat back to 68 degrees, and it cooled like a champ!”
For more than five generations, Farnen and Dermer have been installing heating and air conditioning systems throughout the Baltimore area. Our technicians work hard to ensure the homes we serve are left as clean as they were before we arrived. From booties to drop clothes, our professionals work hard to install your new air conditioner as quickly and cleanly as possible. We employ highly trained technicians to service and install Luxaire and Trane systems with financing available on approved credit with any newly installed air conditioner. Also, every new HVAC system comes with an optional 5-year labor warranty that includes regular servicing on your new investment keeping your new AC unit running as efficiently as possible and extending the life of your air conditioner.
Our promise to our customers has not changed in more than 100 years of being in the heating, air conditioning and plumbing businesses. Farnen and Dermer proudly offer the most sophisticated solutions to keep your home and family comfortable. All the while we strive to help you lower your electric bill and help you avoid costly repairs. From regular maintenance to repairs to replacement of your whole home heating and cooling system, our experts can provide you with high-quality repairs, right when you need them. For more information on what Farnen and Dermer can do to keep your family cool this summer, or to schedule an in-home consultation, contact us today!