Category Archives: Air conditioning

Summer End Maintenance Tips for Your Heating and Air System

Heating and air systemCertain times of year are just right for HVAC maintenance, and we’re in the middle of one now. You might have already switched to heat for taking the edge off some of the cooler nights. But the full-swing season is still ahead. It’s better to find a problem early than to wait for cold weather.

Pre-season heating checkups give you and your maintenance technician time to spot any problems that might have crept in through the last few months of system dormancy. There isn’t as much of an industry rush, not like there will be when homeowners all around Framingham and Concord switch on the system for good.

If maintenance is on your to-do list, here are some summer-end tips that you can handle on your own. For everything else, your HVAC technician is the right call. He can clean, inspect and make any repairs just in time.

Heating and air system
Trim grass and weeds from around the outdoor component and rake them away.

Change the Heating System Air Filter

No matter how many times you’ve heard it, it bears repeating: air filter replacement is the #1 thing that any homeowner can do to help preserve the life of an HVAC system. It’s inexpensive, takes only a few minutes and helps keep the system breathing freer. It also helps keep dust and other particles from making their way inside.

The general rule of thumb is to replace the filter every 60 to 90 days. But that is just a guideline. Check the filter before switching on the heating system at the end of the summer. Going forward, check it monthly and replace when it begins to look dirty. Unless your filter is washable / cleanable, resist the temptation to vacuum or wash out the debris and put it back. Although vacuuming works as a temporary fix with some filters, it can easily damage the delicate fibers.

Inspect the Ductwork Vents or Registers

With a central heating and air system, the same vents or registers that send cool air into the rooms all summer carry warm air throughout in winter. So the vents are likely clear and ready to go for the heating season. But it’s a good idea to check for obstructions, such as chairs or boxes, to be on the safe side. Open all vents, too. Closing off some of them isn’t the most efficient way to control airflow through the house. Talk with your technician about an air-control damper system inside the ductwork instead.

Ceiling vents probably don’t have debris immediately inside. But the law of gravity isn’t as kind to floor and wall vents. Remove the covers and check inside using a flashlight. If you see any dirt buildup, vacuum it out. You’ll also want to explain the issue to your technician. On top of dramatically reducing HVAC efficiency, air leaks in the ductwork can allow dirt and debris to collect inside the vents. You might benefit from duct cleaning and sealing.

DIY end of summer maintenance for your HVAC system only takes a little time, and the effort pays off in a healthier and more efficient appliance. Then for a full system check, which can really be a life-saver, Rodenhiser’s heating professionals can ensure your system is fit, working normally and ready to keep you cozy through another long winter.

If your system hasn’t had its seasonal checkup, there’s no better time than now to call Rodenhiser.

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Silent Running: Why Ductless AC Systems are So Quiet

AC systemsHave you ever noticed the impressive quiet that descends during a power outage? People are inundated with noise to varying degrees all day long, every day. And a big part of that noise comes from heating and cooling systems.

It’s so common that silence can be a bit jarring at first. With a ductless AC, you’ll find a significant reduction in ambient noise. That’s the stuff you live with every day, but rarely pay attention to unless it stops. A ductless system replaces that noise with sounds so slight you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Here’s why.

There Aren’t Any Ducts

Maybe you’re thinking, “Thank you, Captain Obvious!” But some homeowners are so accustomed to a central system that relies on ductwork, it’s hard to imagine how HVAC could function without that network. It’s simple, and part of the reason why ductless systems are so quiet.

Also called mini-split systems, ductless heating and cooling uses very small tubes, and they don’t run throughout the house. These tubes connect the wall-mount unit to the condenser outside. Air flows into the room from the wall unit, not from registers. And it’s usually much quieter than a small fan.

AC systems Ductless engineering is quiet from the start.

Noisier Equipment is Outside (and it’s Not Very Noisy)

You won’t hear heavy equipment cycling off and on all day the way that you can with some traditional systems. When they start up, most generate a bit of noise from the motors and then from the fans that force air through the ductwork. And then there’s the noise of the whooshing air, itself.

With a ductless system, those major mechanical sounds primarily happen outdoors. And because ductless condenser units are much smaller than traditional heat pumps, the sounds that they do product are quieter.

Ductless AC Systems are Designed for Quiet

Aside from the overall function of a ductless system and how it differs from an ordinary setup, ductless heating and cooling is built to be quieter than its counterparts. Each component is thoughtfully engineered to reduce noise, which makes living with them much more peaceful.

You can expect a higher level of insulating material in the components that inherently produce noise. For example, where there’s a motor, you’ll find sound-dampening technology. All air conditioners vibrate to some degree. But with ductless, you’ll find vibration dampening technology, too.

Noisy Systems Might be a Sign of Trouble

Most people grow accustomed to normal sounds that accompany a traditional HVAC system. But sometimes mechanical issues emerge and then grow so gradually that they’re unnoticed until they’re critical. Home inspectors and HVAC technicians have devoted pages and pages of educational material to the topic of identifying noises. But the bottom line is that some sounds are never normal, no matter what.

You can expect to hear a fan spinning. And when a motor kicks on, it’s not usually a silent process. But clunks, bangs, whirrs and buzzing noises are a good indicator that the unit is in distress. If your system has developed a new vocabulary of noises, it’s probably time for a checkup and it might be time for a whole new system.

Ductless AC and heating systems can surprise the savviest of homeowners. They’re ultra-efficient, so most people start saving money right away. Another big shock is the heating capability. Where a traditional heat pump isn’t designed to produce adequate heat when temperatures take a severe dip, ductless systems, which are heat pumps, can usually perform quite well. But for day-to-day living, the ambient noise reduction is an extraordinary benefit.

If you’re tired of living in a buzzing, whirring, whooshing home, maybe it’s time to consider high-efficiency ductless. All that you’ll feel is comfortable, conditioned air. And all that you’ll hear is quiet.

Rodenheiser has delighted Massachusetts clients throughout the Route 495 / 128 area for over 85 years. Talk with us about your new ductless HVAC system install and see why so many homeowners are making the switch.

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When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

Air conditioner
Fans are great, but they shouldn’t be a requirement for a comfortable home.

The sweltering summer heat has apparently settled in for a while. That means air conditioners throughout Massachusetts are really getting a workout. And for people whose systems aren’t exactly up to snuff, it can mean miserable temperatures indoors as well as out. Maybe it’s time for a new system to make you, your home and your energy bills happier.

It’s a big decision and an important one. And if you’re like most people, it’s not something to enter into lightly. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s time to replace your air conditioner, here are a few clues that can help:

You’re Approaching Retirement or Already There

If you are approaching retirement or you’re already there, replacing your air conditioner now could help you avoid the hassle and expense of installing a new system later on. And that can equal peace of mind while living on a fixed income.

The usual lifespan is related to regular maintenance and routine filter changes. There are a number of situations that might affect the life of your air conditioner.

If the one that you have now is nearing the 10-year mark, a good history of maintenance means that you can probably wait a little while longer to make the investment. But if you’ve skipped maintenance or let filters get too dirty before replacing, yours might soon enter the never-ending cycle of repairs.

Forbes agrees that the last thing retirees want to do is become saddled with a new, unexpected expense. So if your system is older, the sooner you replace the more soundly you’ll sleep.

You’ve Purchased a Home With an Older HVAC System

A new air conditioner can make a new home purchase feel a lot more comfortable. Homes come with air conditioning in most cases, but sometimes it’s difficult to know just how old the existing system is. In a brand new house, the age of the system probably isn’t a concern. But if the house is older, you might have just purchased HVAC issues.

Your home inspector probably switched on the system and reported on whether it operated the way that it was designed to. Problem is, a home inspection is not a prediction. It’s just an indicator of the condition of a home while the inspector is on site. It’s like a snapshot.

If the home is older and either has no ductwork or not enough, there’s a different type of air conditioner that’s with looking into. Ductless systems are small but powerful heat pumps that give you cool air in summer and warm air in winter. They can be installed anywhere because they don’t use ducts at all.

If the system is a heat pump, the home repair and improvement experts at This Old House say you can expect about a 16-year lifespan. If it’s a standalone air conditioner, the high end of its lifespan is probably about 15 years.

Air conditioner
If you feel like this glass looks, you have a humidity problem.

Humidity is a Problem No Matter What You Try

If the air inside your home feels clammy and damp, your air conditioner isn’t performing the way that it should. It might need a refrigerant recharge, but low refrigerant usually indicates that there’s a leak. And if there’s a leak, there’s a real problem.

One of the key functions of air conditioning is removing humidity. That helps your home feel cooler and more comfortable, even at a slightly higher temperature. When the AC doesn’t remove enough, the rooms can feel sticky and clammy, even when the thermostat says that the temperature is ideal.

A new air conditioner will remove more humidity, and that translates to increased energy savings. That’s because a 72-degree room with 45 percent humidity feels much cooler than a 72-degree room with 60 percent humidity. Drier air feels cooler in summer, so your AC won’t have to work as hard.

If the system uses Freon as a refrigerant, the best course of action is a replacement. Freon leaks are very expensive to repair and recharge. And they indicate a system that’s on its last legs. It would be a shame to spend a couple of thousand on a repair only to replace the system next year.

Your Energy Bills are Creeping Higher and Higher

Have you noticed that your energy bills are creeping up and up? That might due in part to the recent heat wave. But it might also mean that your air conditioner isn’t performing as efficiently as it once did.

When air conditioning systems get older, they work harder to cool your home. When they work harder, it takes more energy and more money to operate them. And even a perfectly maintained older system is rarely as efficient as any of the newer ones on the market.

Newer air conditioners must meet a higher standard of energy efficiency than those manufactured just a few years ago. Investing in a new system now means that you’ll pay less in energy bills to have a more comfortable home. Bonus: the U.S. Department of Energy has renewed its 2016 federal tax credits for efficient appliances. Get a new AC system, and you could qualify for a generous credit.

Your HVAC technician will examine your system to find the problem before making a recommendation. You never know. The source of higher bills might be as simple as leaks in the ductwork. Those can be repaired.

Air Conditioning Repairs Happen More Often

If your HVAC technician’s name and telephone number are in your phone’s contacts, you probably see him more often than you’d like to. Frequent repairs mean that the system is beginning to break down. Nothing lasts forever.

Sometimes frequent repairs happen because of long-term neglect. It eventually catches up. But that’s not always the case. Over time, moving parts simply wear out no matter how often they’re inspected and cleaned.

If you need air conditioning repairs more than once a season, consider that your early warning alarm. It will probably worsen because all good things really must come to an end. You’ll probably be amazed by how effective a new system is at cooling your home.

At Angie’s List, some of the pros recommend the “5,000 rule” for deciding when you’ve had enough with repairs. Multiply the age of the system by the repair cost. If it meets or exceeds 5,000, it might be time to seriously consider a new system before the old one slowly makes your bank account become anemic.

The System Cycles Frequently

One potentially fatal indicator that a system is about to fail is short cycling. If your air conditioner is running through its paces more often than it used to, a new system is probably in your near future. You might get by temporarily with repairs, but repairs can’t help every possible cause.

Just like it sounds, short cycling means that the system switches on, then off, then on, then off again in short order. This usually happens several times an hour, but sometimes it’s as often as every few minutes. It can wear out the system components quickly, and it usually impairs the system’s ability to extract humidity and cool your home.

Short cycling might be caused by low refrigerant, ice on the coil, damage to the compressor, or sometimes the problem is just a bad thermostat. And Inspectapedia says sometimes the real culprit is a system that’s too large for the home.

HVAC professionals evaluate numerous factors about your home to help find the right size AC system. Factors such as insulation, drafts and even the type of windows installed make a difference. You don’t want a too-small or too-large system. Like Goldilocks, you want one that’s just right.

A new air conditioner transforms your summertime life for many years to come. Lower humidity means you can save energy and feel more comfortable at the same time. And because your new system will have a great warranty, you can feel confident that unexpected problems won’t ruin your budget.

If your air conditioner has seen better days, there’s no better time than now to contact the professionals at Rodenhiser. For 85 years and counting, we have provided expert residential and commercial service to communities throughout the Route 495 / 128 area. Don’t suffer through the heat. Call Rodenhiser today and enjoy cooler, more comfortable air tomorrow.

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How to Find the Right Carrier Air Conditioner for Your Home

Air conditioner
Is your AC system starting to fail? A Carrier air conditioner is a great choice, and there are plenty of different models from which you can choose. Carrier has three different price-point categories, and each one works efficiently. Some units are Energy-Star rated and others aren’t. If that’s important to you, be sure to check the label.

Go Ductless or Traditional

Carrier air conditioning systems offer traditional units and ductless mini-splits. If your home has ductwork and you only want to replace an older system, a traditional Carrier air conditioner might be the right choice. But if you don’t have ducts or want to avoid connecting to them, a ductless system might be a better fit.

With a traditional system, you’ll have an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, and the cooled air will carry throughout your home via the ductwork. With a ductless system, you’ll have a small outdoor unit, small indoor unit, and no ducts. That means air conditioning is possible in any room of your house, even where no ducts exist.

Air conditioner Your technician will evaluate your home to help you choose the right unit for its needs.

Think about the SEER Rating

Air conditioning efficiency is determined by EER or SEER ratings. EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio shows how efficiently the unit performs at transforming electricity into cooled air. The calculation divides the electrical watts used by the cooling BTUs produced at a set temperature.

SEER is a step up from EER, and it’s a calculation that Carrier air conditioners use. Where EER gives you the unit’s efficiency under specific conditions, SEER gives you its efficiency under differing conditions. The “S” is SEER stands for “Seasonal.” And the higher the SEER number the better.

Consider the Noise Level

You’re familiar with the sound of an AC unit cycling on. There’s the mechanical sound of parts moving and a fan turning, and there’s also the hum, hopefully low, that persists through each cycle. Some air conditioners are annoyingly loud, but a Carrier system is designed to be quieter.

Different rankings of Carrier air conditioner systems have different sound levels in decibels. Some systems have a sound ranking of about 72 decibels. And some go as low as the mid-60s. Pair a great SEER rating and sound rating, and you’ll have a quiet, efficient cooling dynamo.

Consider Special Features

Not every air conditioner is the same. Some are straightforward, no bells and no whistles. And some are infinitely smarter, like the Infinity® system. Carrier’s Infinity® makes your air conditioner smart. It can automatically adjust and correct more features than you’d ever imagine, such as automatically adjusting the temperature based on outside conditions and operating different zones in your home independently.

Carrier air conditioner Greenspeed® is a heating and cooling system that uses Infinity® smart technology. The Ideal Humidity System® takes days when you could wring out the air because it’s so humid and makes it drier, which is inherently cooler at a higher temperature setting. And with the Côr™ smart thermostat, you may never have to adjust the temperature again.

The right Carrier air conditioner for your home might be a combination of a number of features. Maybe you’re especially budget conscious. All Carrier systems are efficient and meet at least the minimum SEER requirements for Massachusetts. Or maybe you want top-of-the-line efficiency with all of the latest smart technology. We’ve got that, too.

At Rodenheiser, our highly skilled technicians can evaluate the efficiency of your home and help narrow down your choices to the ones that are best suited. See our current specials to find out how we can make this summer the most comfortable one yet.

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3 Pro Tips for Running Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioner
You’ll be blown away by how comfortable your home can be with a few adjustments.

It’s officially air conditioning season, and your system might not shut down completely for a few months. During that time, it will cycle through again and again in an effort to keep you and your home cool and comfortable. While you can switch on the unit and leave it to handle itself, a little proactive care helps it work better and save energy at the same time.

Here are three tips that can keep your system running in top condition all summer long.

#1: Invest in a Whole-House Fan

If you’ve never seen a whole-house fan that’s recessed into the ceiling, you might be surprised by how effective one can be. It leaves ordinary ceiling fans and box fans in the dust. Switched on, it draws air from inside the house up through the fan and into the attic, where the heat can be released through attic vents.

What’s amazing about a whole-house fan is its ability to cool down a house in a hurry, which lets you switch off the AC and give it a break. But there’s a technique to it. Raise window sashes only about an inch or two, no more than that, then turn on the fan.

Because the appliance is so powerful, it draws in air through the window openings to create a breezy current while eliminating stuffy heat. Most homeowners use a whole-house fan when outdoor temperatures are lower, from twilight until dawn, then switch on the air conditioning once the sun is up.

Air conditioner While you’re on a tropical beach, a programmable thermostat keeps an eye on things at home.

#2: Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are the way of the future, but any programmable thermostat can help save money and improve your comfort. Consumer Reports recommends a general setting of 78 degrees, which sounds high. But with a healthy AC system that removes enough humidity, your 78-degree home will feel much cooler than a humid, 78-degree day outdoors. Then using the programmable thermostat, you can add in periods of adjustment when you don’t need as much cooling.

During an ordinary week, the thermostat raises the indoor temperature at times when you don’t need as much air conditioning, such as while you’re at work, and lowers it when you do. And because it’s automatic, you don’t have to remember to adjust it. Remember that shutting down the system at night isn’t recommended because a hot house isn’t conducive to restful sleep.

A programmable thermostat is also perfect for when you’re away on vacation. It automates the temperature control, which is better for some families than shutting down the system altogether. House plants, fish, and other living things can suffer or die if the indoor temperature gets too high. But a setting that’s about 10 degrees higher will save money without letting the house turn into an oven.

#3: Follow a Good Maintenance Schedule

Regular maintenance is vital to the health of your air conditioning system. Check your air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. In some homes, especially those with a few pets, the filter should be replaced every 30 days. But in others, the filter will be fine for as many as 90 days. Checking it monthly ensures you won’t operate the system with a dirty filter, which impairs its ability to breathe and operate efficiently.

Check the outdoor unit frequently to prevent a buildup of grass clippings, leaves, and other debris that block the vents and delicate aluminum fins. Brush them gently with a soft-bristle brush to remove debris, and you’ll encourage better circulation and efficiency.

Keep weeds and vines away from the unit, too. And if it’s located on a side of your home that bears the brunt of the summertime sun, think about giving it some shade. You can install a screen to help block the sun or plant tall shrubs. Just be sure they’re far enough away to give shade without blocking the unit.

Air conditioning has an enormous job to do. It cycles on and off repeatedly for months on end, so it needs all of the help that it can get. It’s tempting to lower the thermostat more and more until you almost need a sweater indoors. But that leads to high electricity bills, and it also causes unnecessary wear and tear on the system. By eliminating more condensation, you can live more comfortably at a higher temperature. If your home gets cool but feels clammy, that’s a sign that the system is working too hard and isn’t removing enough moisture. It needs a checkup.

If you’re already disappointed with the performance of your air conditioning this season, it might be time to schedule an appointment. Call Rodenhiser today for maintenance, service or a whole new system.

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6 Ways to Prep Your Home for Air Conditioning Season

Air conditioning
Start the season right and you’ll get more life from your air conditioning.

The weather is a little warmer every day, and that means air conditioning season is practically here. Before it gets in full swing, do yourself and your AC system a favor and get your home ready.

You don’t have to try anything mechanical, and it’s better off if you leave that to your HVAC technician. There are plenty of other ways to prepare your home for summer, and here are 6 of them.

#1: Check Your Insulation

You probably know how insulation helps contain your heat in winter, but it can also help preserve air conditioning in the summer months. A good layer of insulation helps keep heat from infiltrating your home.

In Massachusetts, we need a minimum of R-37 in attics, R-19 in floors and R-13 in walls. If your insulation levels fall at or below those standards, adding more can help keep summer’s heat outside. Think about insulation your ductwork, too. That keeps cooled air cooler as it travels from the air handler to the registers in your home. And that means less wasted energy.

#2: Find and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks are the enemy of conditioned spaces. In winter, cold drafts filter in. And in summer, heat can do the same. Older houses can be worse than new, but any house is susceptible.

A little caulk can seal along baseboards, windows, and door trim, all of which are classic draft spots. For larger air leaks, such as openings around plumbing pipes, use a can of expanding spray foam insulation.

Air conditioning How could something so plain be so important to the health of your system?

#3: Change the AC Filter

It’s hard to imagine how something as inexpensive and easy as an air conditioning filter can make such a difference in the performance of your air conditioner. Check your filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. You’ll probably only need to change it every 60 to 90 days. But better safe than sorry.

The filter is so important because it traps small particles and keeps them from entering you air conditioner. If it’s clean, air passes through just fine. If it’s dirty, your system starves for air the same as if it was suffocating. It’s the least expensive thing that you can do for your air conditioner and it has the most dramatic effect.

#4: Clean Around the AC Unit

Air conditioners typically have two units, one inside and one outside. The air handler is inside, and it’s often found in a utility closet. But because air is drawn into the system, the closet might also have dust, pet hair and all sort of debris inside. Vacuum around the air handler to help it breathe better.

The AC condenser unit is outdoors. Keep weeds trimmed or pulled and mow the grass to help the system get plenty of airflow. If there are leaves or other debris around the unit, remove them. Use caution around the fins on the condenser unit. They’re soft and flexible, which means they’re easy to dent. If yours are already dented, your HVAC technician can probably repair them with a special straightening comb tool.

#5: Call for Seasonal Maintenance

Maintenance is vital to a healthy air conditioning system. If you haven’t called for your appointment yet, you should do so as soon as possible. The most important function of regular maintenance is spotting problems before they have a chance to grow. Your technician will clean inside the units, check wiring connections, replace the air filter, and look for issues that need further attention.

Putting off maintenance is like waiting to visit the dentist until you have a toothache. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And when it comes to your AC system, the difference could be an inexpensive checkup versus a full air conditioning system replacement because a problem was left unchecked.

#6: Block the Sun

The sun can undo the hard work of your air conditioning in no time. When heat from outdoors comes through the windows, the temperature inside goes up, the air conditioner switches on again, and the cycle repeats itself over and over. But there’s no reason for it when you can cover the window with UV-blocking drapes or blinds.

You don’t have to keep windows covered all day. Just block the glass when the sun shines straight through. And if you can’t bear to cover your windows, look into low-emissivity glass. It’s crystal clear, you’ll never know it’s there, but reflects UV rays away from the windows more effectively than the old fashioned high-mirror tint once did.

The key to anything is good preparation, and the key to a cool and comfortable summer is no different. The more you prepare your home for the coming months, the more you’ll support the health of your AC system.

If you haven’t called Rodenhiser for your seasonal maintenance yet, there’s no better time than now. Contact us today and we’ll ensure everything is in good working order so you can relax and enjoy the season.

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4 Signs Your Air Conditioner Might Fail This Summer

Air conditioner
There’s a point when even the best maintenance schedule and timely repairs can’t save an old air conditioner.

Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that there’s nothing wrong with your trusty old air conditioner. Sure it has its quirks, but it still operates, at least most of the time. Problem is, air conditioners shouldn’t have quirks. They either perform like they should, or there’s something wrong.

If you’re wondering about whether it’s time to consider a new system, chances are pretty good that it’s past time. Here are some key indicators that this summer will be the last one that you spend with your current AC system.

#1: Your Air Conditioner is More Than 10 Years Old

By no means is 10 years the magic lifespan of all air conditioners. Some of them survive much longer, and some break much sooner. However, a system that’s 10 years old has seen a tremendous amount of use. Parts begin to break, and sometimes repair parts are increasingly difficult to find.

If your AC system has served you for 10 years, give or take, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. You might get another season or two from it, or even more. But if it does give up the ghost at the decade mark, that’s about average for more residential air conditioning systems.

You can keep turning it down, but that might not be enough.

#2: Your Home Doesn’t Get Cool Enough

Do you adjust the thermostat lower and lower in a losing battle to cool your home? It’s never a good sign. But it’s worse if your AC system used to perform well and has only recently started struggling to keep up with demand. If humidity is also a problem, the system is probably in worse shape than you suspect.

Some air conditioners are just not powerful enough to cool certain homes. But you’d have known that long before now unless your system is brand new. If it seems to grow weaker all the time, it’s beginning to fail. And if you can’t bring the humidity level down indoors, that’s a possible indicator of a much bigger problem.

#3: You Need More Repairs Every Year

Every air conditioner needs seasonal maintenance, and the occasional repair is to be expected. Parts break and nothing lasts forever, especially with an appliance that gets so much use. But there comes a point where repairs happen more and more frequently. And that’s a point where the system is probably approaching its expiration.

Increasingly frequent repairs mean everything is giving out. One issue can trigger another, and if the parts are older they might begin to break down in rapid succession. It’s not unlike an old vehicle. It’s possible to keep it on the road. But it won’t perform well, and you’ll pay a lot more in repairs and energy for weaker performance every year.

#4: It Works Until it Doesn’t

At some point near the end of its lifespan, your air conditioner might only work intermittently. Maybe you wake in the morning to a stuffy house and a system that’s silent. But if you turn it off and then try again later, it might revive and work again, at least for a while.

A healthy air conditioner doesn’t need a nap in order to perform well. If yours only cycles on intermittently, that’s one of the most classic indicators that a new air conditioner is in your future.

Everything fails eventually, even the best air conditioners. Sooner or later, they all break beyond repair. Yours might offer a few more months or even years of service. But if the problems are snowballing and you call your HVAC technician more than twice a season, it’s the outlook isn’t positive.

But there is good news. At Rodenhiser, we’re experts in residential cooling. We have a wide range of air conditioning systems that can make your home comfortable again. Contact us for an HVAC new system install and find out how many new, highly efficient options that you have.

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Why Now is the Perfect Time for an Air Conditioning Tune-Up

Air conditioning
A little maintenance now is good insurance against big problems later.

The best time to ensure the performance of your air conditioning is before you need it. Regular maintenance keeps this important home system operating at top performance. Every summer, it gets a real workout. And after resting through the winter months, it might need a little TLC. Now is the perfect time to protect your investment and secure a spot on your Rodenhiser HVAC technician’s schedule.

Identify Problems Before Cooling Becomes Mission Critical

Warmer air is breaking winter’s hold on Massachusetts, but there’s still a while before summer is really in full swing. If you wait for service until you need air conditioning, you might find yourself in a bind.

Issues of all sorts can plague air conditioners, especially after a season of sitting idle. If yours has a lurking mechanical or electrical problem, the cooling season in your home might be delayed by days or even weeks while waiting for a repair part to arrive. Do yourself a favor, and call for maintenance before summer settles in. If you need repair, you won’t have to wither away in a hot home while waiting for delivery of a part to put your system back in order.

Air conditioning
Regular maintenance calls save you money on energy consumption and future repairs.

Save Money and Enjoy Better Efficiency

Maybe your air conditioner runs, but it’s not in peak condition. If you switch on the appliance when the weather gets warm, you might get cool air and higher electric utility bills. Maintenance ensures your air conditioner operates as efficiently as it can. Without it, you could spend a lot more and waste a lot of energy.

The longer you wait for regular maintenance with an inefficient air conditioner, the more energy and hard-earned cash you’ll waste. And you might not even realize that there’s a problem until the first bill arrives. Schedule a tune-up today, and you’ll be ready to shift into the new season.

Get an Appointment on Your Technician’s Schedule

There are two times of year when HVAC technicians rarely have a moment to sit and relax. The coldest part of winter and the dog days of summer find service people with calendars so full they can barely see any light at the end of the tunnel. Why are they so busy? Because once temperature extremes hit, homeowners with defective appliances have real emergencies.

Early spring is ideal for air conditioner maintenance because few people have a genuine heating or cooling emergency when the weather is moderate. Your HVAC technician is much more likely to have a spot available for you in his schedule, and you’re less likely to wait several weeks for an appointment.

Seasonal HVAC maintenance is what keeps your cooling and heating systems in good working order, and it helps preserve the life of your investment. Small problems creep up, and they can turn into major ones if left undetected. Even minor issues with efficiency can cost you money because your energy consumption grows.

Now is the perfect time for air conditioning maintenance. Your Rodenheiser professional will clean the system, check it for obvious and not-so-obvious problems, and make any repairs necessary before temperatures climb.
Set up an appointment online today, and beat the summertime air conditioner maintenance rush.

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Is Your Central Air Conditioner Ready for Summer ’16?

Central air conditioning
It’s that time of year again, time for seasonal AC maintenance and repair.

Central air conditioner units tend to operate safely and problem free for many years, especially if they’re treated to regular preventive maintenance. But with summer 2016 coming up soon, you’ll want to find any potential problems and nip them in the bud.

Some problems are minor annoyances, and your HVAC technician can set them right again with relative ease. But some need quick action to prevent injury or further damage to the system. Here are 4 issues to watch out for that mean your system needs a little help.

Lower Airflow from Registers

If you can’t feel any air coming from the registers, or it seems to be rather weak, you might have a problem with the fan or an issue with your ductwork. Another possible problem might be your air filter. The filter is easy for you to check. If it’s dirty, replace it. That can restrict airflow. If you’ve recently replaced it with a high-filtration model, check with the unit manufacturer or your HVAC technician to find out whether it’s compatible. Some HEPA filters restrict airflow and aren’t recommended for certain units.

For everything else, you’ll probably want to make a service call. A broken or damaged fan, damaged ductwork and other possible issues that can restrict airflow need the diagnosis and repair of a professional.

Strange Noises Inside or Out

Every air conditioner makes noises that are normal for its operation. But some noises are never normal. Air will typically swoosh, at least a bit, from the registers. That’s normal. And Most units have a distinct hum, and you can probably hear the fan cycling sometimes. That’s normal, too. What’s not normal are sounds that bang, clank, and buzz.

Even if you can’t detect what’s wrong, it’s sometimes easy to know when a sound isn’t normal. Bangs and knocks, growls and buzzing could each indicate a serious problem with your air conditioner. Turn off the unit, and give your technician a call.

Cycling on and off Frequently

Some air conditioners seem to switch on, and then off, and then back on again within the span of a few minutes. That’s called short cycling, and it’s could have a few different causes. The unit might be the wrong size for your home, or it might be damaged. Or you might only have a defective thermostat.

Short cycling overworks your air conditioner, and it drives up your cooling bills. What’s worse is that your home doesn’t get as cool as it should, and humidity levels and to increase. If your AC is short cycling, do yourself a favor and make that call.

Central air conditioner
Electrical problems need attention right away.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

If you have a new AC unit that trips your circuit breakers, you probably need an electrician to examine the wiring and circuit breaker to be sure that they’re up to code. But if the air conditioner that you’ve had for a while suddenly starts tripping its breaker, you might have a more serious problem.

When an existing air conditioner that once operated just fine begins to trip its breaker, that means a new problem has emerged at the unit or in the wiring. More important, it indicates a safety hazard. Turn off the unit and call a technician as soon as possible.

With summer 2016 just around the corner, an air conditioner that operates smoothly and efficiently will soon be a top priority. But you can get the jump on the season with Rodenhiser and have any problems repaired before a failing system interferes with your family’s comfort.

Contact us today to discuss the issues you’re having and schedule a service call. With over 85 years serving Massachusetts homeowners, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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Turn Me on Early: 3 Reasons Why You Should Start Your AC Now

Start your AC now
It’s not too early, it’s just the right time.

The first day of summer isn’t far away. After a long and cold winter, that’s a real relief. But if summer’s first surge of heat finds your air conditioning in need of attention, you might be in trouble.

Whether or not it’s warm enough to need air conditioning right now, it will be warm enough soon. Here are 3 reasons why it’s better to turn on your system and get ahead of the game instead of waiting until the last minute.

Detect AC Problems Before the Heat Sets In

When temperatures soar, the most delightful thing in the world is switching on the AC and getting that nice, cool breeze from the registers throughout your home. But what if you move from heat to air conditioning and all that you get is slightly warm air or worse, none at all?

Turning on your system now to put it through its paces helps you detect problems sooner rather than later. Your system might be low on refrigerant, which means it can’t remove heat from your home as effectively as it should. Or you might have a mechanical problem that’s lurking. There are many things that can go wrong with an air conditioning unit, even through the winter when it’s not in use. Test it early, and you won’t be caught off guard.

Start your AC now
Soon, your HVAC technician won’t have any free time at all.

Get on Your Technician’s Schedule Sooner

Once warm weather is in full swing, everyone in town will have their air conditioning running. And where more systems are running, more problems are emerging and more systems are breaking down. It’s a busy time of year for HVAC technicians, and their schedules show it.

Do yourself and your technician a favor and test your air conditioning system as soon as you can. That way, you’ll beat the summer rush and stand a better chance of getting a service appointment in a quicker timeframe. The longer you wait to call, the longer you might have to wait for an appointment.

Perhaps Get Better Repair Rates

If you turn on your air conditioning during the first hot day of summer, you might get cool air in return. Then again, you might hear a rattle or a clank, and then a whole lot of silence. That’s when most homeowners make an emergency service call. And emergencies tend to cost extra.

If you test out your air conditioning unit early, any problems that you might find won’t need immediate repair to keep you from living in a miserably hot home. You’ll have time to wait for parts to arrive, and your technician can fit you into his regular schedule instead of coming out after hours.

It’s probably been months since you thought about your air conditioning system at all. Once it’s shut off for the cooler season, homeowners tend to think about heat instead of AC, and with good reason. But with spring here and summer just weeks way, now is the time to let Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning get your air conditioning in good working order.

You might not need cool air today, but you will need it soon. A quick call for AC maintenance or repair can ensure that your home is ready for summer long before the thermometer starts to soar. Set up an appointment online today.

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