Pre-Season maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment makes sure that it is ready for the upcoming season, and also gets ahead of problems before you need to use your system. For this homeowner in the Llanerck section of Havertown, PA, pre-season maintenance meant getting ahead of the problem.
We received a call from a Havertown homeowner that was looking to have the system serviced in their Cape Cod style home before the summer started. They noticed some leaking and were hoping a little maintenance would do the trick.
We went out to perform routine maintenance on the system, and when we looked at this installation one of the first things we noticed was that the system had terrible ductwork. The main issue was a refrigerant leak from the system that started a few years back and really came to a head last summer. They had a 2001 chimney vented Rudd heating and air condition system in their house. During this maintenance check, we found that their system was out of freon. Freon is the gas that your system uses to cool the air. When your system is out of it, there is no way to cool anything. Freon is also being phased out in the U.S. due to the emissions. Most systems are switching to alternatives, and the price of freon is only going up due to the decreased supply in the U.S.
After discovering this issue, we recommended a new system for this home. Their current system was over 15 years old, and it wasn’t even doing that great of a job anymore. We installed a matching chimney vented, brand new Carrier heating and cooling system. This system is efficient and can do a MUCH better job than the Rudd system they currently had.
This example right here is exactly why maintenance is so important for any HVAC system. It helps identify problems before they become an issue. We did the check in middle May and we were able to install a new system right after Memorial Day weekend. If this homeowner would have waited until they needed the system, they would have found it out of order, and had to wait until a tech could come out to install a new one. This would have happened during one of the busier times of the year for HVAC companies too, so it would not have been as quick of a response time. Instead they found the issue before they needed to cool the house off, and got ahead of it.
Besides looking at the AC replacement, we were also able to find out that there was a 7-10 degree temperature difference between the 1st and 2nd floor. This is a very common problem with homes that haven’t recently had a new system installed. Since this is a Cape Cod style house, which are notoriously known to have a big temperature difference between the floors, we suggested adding a high return to the 2nd floor. However, since Capes all essentially all roof on the 2nd floor, we did not promise that it would make a big difference. We figured that might be able to get the difference between 3-5 degrees. This would improve the comfort of the home, while taking a little strain off of the system to compensate for the temperature difference.
When doing the installation, we discovered that the ductwork was worse than we originally thought. We knew it was a problem, but we didn’t realize to what extent. Considering that the price we quoted is the price we promise to keep, unless something major happens, we decided to replace the majority of the ductwork around the system. We knew that if this didn’t happen they’d still run into problems, even with a new Carrier system. It was the right way to do the job, and the right thing to do for the homeowner.
We also did something that we have never done before. We decided to add a spacer between the furnace and the AC coil. This is an area that we have noticed appears very congested with metal and copper piping and appears to restrict airflow. By manufactures recommendation, this doesn’t matter. However, we decided to add the 6″ spacer as a trial to see if it would increase air flow to the upstairs and help the house heat and cool better.
We were astonished by the results. The homeowner said that whatever we did improved the comfort in the house so dramatically, that the temperatures between the floors are virtually even. The bedrooms upstairs are cooling and heating better than ever, and their utility bill has come down as well, as they didn’t have to crank up the AC anymore to help cool the house upstairs. This is better than even we expected when making the adjustments to their ductwork and installing the new system. We hoped to improve the temperature difference, but completely fixing it!? We were ALL very happy with this result.
Even though we know our craft very very well, we try to experiment with ductwork to help improve our final product. Even though many houses have similarities, there are little differences that can really alter how a system performs. This is why we like to try these new innovative ideas out. This spacer between the furnace and AC coil is one of the things that we have integrated into every single installation since last summer and have had phenomenal results.
We also added a humidifier to help increase the humidity level in the home during the winter months. This is important for a few reasons. If the humidity is too low in the winter it can lead to dry and cracked skin, and it makes it easier to get sick. The low humidity allows for more bacteria and airborne pathogens to circulate throughout your home. Having proper humidity will help you breath better, have better skin, and keep you healthier. It’s also good for furniture. Low humidity dries out wooden furniture and can warp flooring and wallpaper.
In the end, the customer decided to finance the new system, instead of paying for the whole thing up front. They have an estimated payment of $223/month, for 36 months at 0% interest. This 0% interest is huge, because they don’t have to pay any extra due to financing, which is usually the case. They even dropped a little money off of their energy bills as well. This was a great value for them overall, and in 3 years the system will be completely paid off.
Now they have a brand new system that should be operating perfectly for years to come, and since they will be receiving routine maintenance from here out, there shouldn’t be any problems like a built-up leak like they had that led us to here in the first place. This is just another great example of why pre-season maintenance for your HVAC equipment is so important!
Heater Repair In Havertown, PA
Whether you need a tune-up to keep your system running great, or you’re noticing a problem with your HVAC, call John Cipollone, Inc! We’ve provided expert, reliable heater repair in Havertown, PA and across the Main Line since 1953.