Cooling Season is Around the Corner—What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted on March 17th, 2016 by carrolladmin

We tend to not think about our cooling equipment until we kick it on those first few warm spring days.  If you’ve been neglecting preventative maintenance and don’t have seasonal tune-ups performed, you’ll be lucky if your system works properly and efficiently as we inch closer towards cooling season!  Maybe you brush off the idea of paying for maintenance and tune-ups because your HVAC system works seemingly fine.  However, just because your home is cool and comfortable doesn’t mean there isn’t an underlying problem with your equipment, or even simple ways you could increase the energy efficiency of your system, and your entire home for that matter.

After a long winter of sitting idle while your heating system takes charge, air conditioning equipment can experience problems that aren’t easily detected by a homeowner.  This is where preventative maintenance combined with seasonal tune-ups play an important role.  If nothing else, seasonal service prior to the start of cooling season offers peace of mind that you’ve done your part to prevent costly, emergency repairs in the dead of summer.

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Related:  More on the importance of preventative maintenance

What you should know about your cooling equipment

Regardless of what maintenance and tune-ups you have performed, it’s important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with their cooling systems.  Understanding what affects lifespan and performance is the first step to being able to identify when things with your air conditioning equipment are starting to go south…

What is the average lifespan for residential cooling equipment?

  • Central air conditioning units—15-20 years
  • Heat Pumps—10-15 years
  • Forced Air Furnace with AC—15-20 years

What affects performance of cooling equipment?

Age

Whether you have an air conditioning unit, heat pump or forced air furnace, once it reaches 10 years, you can expect to see a decrease in efficiency and cooling capacity.  Age makes the equipment more susceptible to costly repairs and emergency service. Being aware of age, efficiency and cooling capacity is most important in identifying problems.  If there’s any good time to recognize these issues, it’s before cooling season!

Humidity Levels

Efficient and properly functioning air conditioning systems remove moisture out of your home.  As equipment ages, it becomes less efficient at this process which results in indoor humidity exceeding average levels.  Your home may feel sticky, muggy and you may even see condensation on ceilings, walls or window sills.  Mold, mildew, musty odors and interior damage can be an indication that your unit needs to be replaced.

Energy Bills

Does energy consumption and utility cost seem to increase season to season even though your cooling needs remain the same?  Older equipment that doesn’t meet current energy efficiency standards won’t perform at optimal efficiency.  And, although an increase in bills is normal for hot, humid summers in our service area, those that skyrocket during cooling season when your air conditioning needs haven’t changed is not normal.

Cycle Settings

On really hot days, it may appear that your air conditioning never stops running, but struggles to meet desired temperatures.  If this is the case, your system may be losing its ability to cool your home effectively.  Keep in mind that equipment will usually only cool a space to a 20° difference from outdoor temperature.  So if it’s 100° outside, your home may not feel much cooler than 80°. Equipment that struggles on a really hot day and an aging unit that never stops running are two different things.

 

Telltale signs of trouble

 Most homeowners are unsure if their system is in trouble or soon due for a replacement.  Here are 5 signs your cooling system is reaching its maximum life expectancy…

  1. Cooling equipment struggles to reach and maintain desired temperatures
  2. Repair expenses meet or exceed the cost of new equipment
  3. Inconsistencies in room temperatures
  4. Little performance and/or efficiency improvements with filter changes
  5. Equipment is nearing 12-15 years of operation

 

Related:  Why is my HVAC system noisy?

All things considered, how do you really know if there is a problem? Without routine maintenance and seasonal system tune-ups, you may not know until you’re inconvenienced with an emergency repair.


Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers seasonal system tune-ups that cover all the bases to ensure your cooling equipment is ready for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.  We are knowledgeable in every facet of HVAC, and we want you to get the most out of service calls.  Prior to your appointment, make a list of any questions or concerns to go over with your technician.  To schedule a seasonal system tune-up, or to learn more about our residential preventative maintenance packages, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

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I reached out to Carroll Plumbing & Heating to see what was going on with the A/C unit at my rental property. David returned my call promptly and we scheduled an appointment to investigate the issue. He was very professional, knowledgeable, and able to answer all my questions. The pricing was very fair and reasonable. The install crew was very friendly, both introducing themselves upon entering the home. The system was swapped out quickly and they made sure I understood the new system prior to leaving. I was very happy with the service provided by Carroll Plumbing & Heating. They are easy to work and I highly recommend.
Carroll Plumbing and Heating installed my new gas hot water heater. Their technicians did an exceptional job. They were professional, polite, knowledgeable, and respectful of me and my home. Dave and Zach installed the gas hot water heater. Dave made sure that he answered all of my questions and that I knew how the new hot water heater worked with my Aqua Therm furnace. It was a pleasure working with multiple technicians from Carroll Plumbing and Heating.
Super quick to come tell me that my problem wasn’t a problem. Crew was honest & chill.
I have now used Carroll Plumbing three times (2 crisis times and 1 regular fix) and each time they were knowledgeable, responsive and fit me in on emergency basis. They are wonderful. If you live in an old home, you WILL have some plumbing issue at some point and your reliance on a good plumber who will come figure it out and explain it well is crucial. They are the ONLY people in Richmond I will ever use.
Our hot water heater died and we were able to get a estimator out in the morning and the heater replaced in the afternoon. They were professional, friendly and easy to do business with. Highly recommmend!
I’ve had several occasions to use Carroll Plumbing and they have always been great. Today was no exception. I had an emergency and they were able to stay on top of their schedules to work us in. Problem quickly solved. Thanks for the fast and efficient service!
We have used Carroll’s plumbing after seeing multiple positive reviews on the NextDoor app. Truly a great group of staff. From management who helped to troubleshoot an item, to Albert who specializes in sewer-related items, to Dustin, Phillip and Jamaine. We had the whole crew it seems at one point of another to our 1940’s bungalow to assist with old house issues. Schedulers are also always pleasant and responsive. Knowledgeable employees who consistently deliver great service!
I have used Carroll for everything from installation of a ducted minisplit a/c system to repair work on an aged water boiler heating system and have found them to be excellent on every job. They are 100% transparent on billing, if a job takes less time than what was budgeted the final bill reflects time spent on the job rather than the estimate. Just wonderful folks.
Great job replacing sink faucet.
Best in Richmond by far. I am a Landlord and every single time I have had a problem they have responded immediately, this has been going on for over 10 years, I am absolutely delighted that we have such a fine provider of important community service. Keep it up! Thank you Carroll.
Carroll Plumbing & Heating came through for me in an emergency. I called for help when my home warranty company couldn't send out a plumber right away. I had a busted hot water tank in my attic and was leaking water through my ceiling. I had a real emergency and they came within 30 mins. The Techs got in my attic cut off the gas to the tank and water. Then they drained the water. It was a hard job due to the tight area in my attic. The were very professional and knowledgeable. The also wore their masks. I would recommend them to anyone. I give them an "A" plus. Thanks to them guys at Carroll.
Called over holiday weekend w leaking sewage pipe. They advised cost would be high and suggested temporary water collection. Saved us money and earned our respect for their integrity. Made repair quickly after. Get service and workmanship.
Robert and Mike are great. Arrived on time and went right to work. I had another issue and they took the time to explain what I needed. I have more work to be done and plan to ask for them specifically.
I have been a customer of Carroll Plumbing and Heating for over 30 years and would not go anywhere else.
I will never call anyone else again! They were so nice, super fast, and very efficient!!! Everyone from the receptionist to the dispatcher and the technicians. The manager even checked in on us!! Cannot say enough great things about this company!! Thank you so much!!
The guys from Carroll were prompt, professional, patient & reasonable. They diagnosed my problem, replaced the parts and were in & out within an hour. This was the first time I've use Carroll and I can guarantee there will be a second when the need arises.
Excellent Customer Service
Best plumbing, heating and cooling contractor in the metro area!
Excellent job and workmanship. We had an emergency issue that required a gas line replacement. They were on the spot, courteous, and professional. We never had to go a night without heat or hot water. I'll go back to this place for all of my heating and plumbing needs. Dustin is a great plumber and Bruce runs a tight shop -- personally making sure customers are happy.
Great service! I called them late Monday and they were at my house Tuesday morning the next day. Always have had a great experience with Carroll. Highly recommend them!
Had an extremely poor experience with another plumbing company in Richmond and was sick of dealing with trying to get in contact with their "managers." My roommate found Carroll online and I called for an appointment. The receptionist that answered was very nice and seemed to know exactly who to send me to for immediate assistance, rather than have me play phone tag with multiple departments.A kind man named Bruce was over to diagnose the issue, walk me through the repair and how our aged heating system worked, and think of a creative solution that saved me over $500 off the total bill with a fair invoice that detailed the work demands and parts used--all in the same day. They may be a little pricey, but I was incredibly impressed with their speed, customer service, and attentiveness to the intricacies of aged baseboard radiators. I've never worked with any other home service companies who were willing to quote a new and innovative solution for a typically expensive repair. Keep up the great work!
Best plumbing company around :)
I called this company due to an emergency that I had. My pipes burst and I had no heat or hot water and it was 14 degrees outside. Bruce was extremely helpful, kind and quick to solve the problem. They came out quickly, gave a reasonable estimate and stayed until they were assured the problem was fixed. Dave was a great help, along with the other gentleman who helped him. I will definitely use this company in the future and will recommend them to anyone with heating and plumbing needs! They are knowledgeable, have excellent customer service, and helped me out tremendously when I needed them. A+ job!
Carroll is the best HVAC & Plumbing company in town! Two years ago, I had 5 different plumbers take a look at a new water heater where the pilot was not remaining lit. All 5 incompetent plumbers (several whom has fancy commercials that air today) could not figure out the problem. The last plumber actually referred me to Carroll and I so glad he didn't allow pride to keep him from sending me to someone who knew what they were doing. A week before X-mas, Carroll came out, figured out the entire WH needed to be replaced (through warranty), and though they didn't install the old WH they handled the entire warranty process that included removing the old WH and installing the new one. The entire process was completed in 2 days. About 3 days after they installed it, there was slight condensation buildup on one of the pipes that concerned me and after calling, Carroll immediately came out and stopped it. Today, after turning the heat on for the 1st time since last winter, I noticed cooler air blowing. I called Carroll this morning and within a few hours the dispatcher had Jacob come by. Within a few minutes Jacob quickly diagnosed the problem (which was a closed valve that was mistakenly left off when they came out last time). Jacob was a peach and the dispatcher was very kind.
Carroll Plumbing was fantastic! They were able to get me an appointment the very next day after I first called and the technician (Kenny) that they sent out was efficient, friendly and explained everything thoroughly. We will definitely use Carroll for any future plumbing needs! I HIGHLY recommend them!
Carroll Plumbing came to our house within 24 hours of our initial call. Our technician, Dustin, was incredible. He was on time, polite, courteous and friendly. He fixed our shower, installed a new sink in our basement and replaced the main shutoff valve for our water. He was fantastic and we will ask for Dustin by name in the future. We have used Carroll Plumbing for over 15 years and were saddened when our former plumber retired. Fortunately, Dustin is absolutely top notch.
Carroll is always on pointe. They came today to fix a leaky and sticking shower. They had to take off 3 valve controllers to get to the problem and were very careful to keep all the trim and insides in great condition. I was worried about working on our expensive shower fixtures, but perfect job. They have done several fixes for me over the years - all great quality - so I figured it was time to give them the review they deserve.
I manage a business located down the street from Carroll Plumbing. We were having our internet upgraded and the contractor doing the work hit our water line. We were without water to our building at 3PM in the afternoon and were facing the possibility of having to close our business. I called Carroll Plumbing and they were over assessing the issue within 10-15 minutes. By 4:30PM our line was fixed and we were back up and running. I cannot thank Carroll Plumbing enough for turning what could have been a disaster into a tiny bump in our day.
Very thorough and personable, I've used their service for years on my HVAC units and recently had them replace my system, install new thermostats, and expand the ductwork. They are timely, clean up after themselves, always answer all of my questions and are never in a hurry. I will continue to use their services in the future.
Had a problem with a dripping faucet. Aragon from Carroll came out on a Sunday, quickly diagnosed the problem, fixed it, tested it and explained to me clearly what had happened. He was very friendly, on time, worked quickly, and used his boot covers while in the house. It was a great experience.
Great company to deal with if you need plumbing work. This most recent need for Carroll was to replace my 16 year old hot water heater. They called me to let me know they were running behind and then called me to tell me the plumber was on his way. After the hot water heater was installed, the plumber reviewed it operation with me. I will use Carroll again.
We came home from work in early spring to find our furnace not working. Carroll came out the next day to look it over. They performed a quick fix until the part that was needed came in. They were back the very next day (on a weekend), working hard to get it working. Everyone from the folks in the office to the technician who did the work were professional and very helpful.I highly recommend Carroll Plumbing and will surely call them first when I need any heating or plumbing work.
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