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HVAC Tips from Sears Heating and Cooling

We’ve been in the HVAC business since 1950, and with that experience comes a lot of knowledge. Read our professional tips here.

How Much Is a New AC?

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How Much Does a New Air Conditioner Cost? How much can you expect to pay to have a new air conditioner installed in your home? Let's find out! High Efficiency Air Conditioners When it comes time to buy a shiny new air conditioner, many people look to replace their old unit with a higher SEER rated one to save money on energy bills. By having a high-efficiency air conditioner installed, such as the 19 SEER Bryant 189BNV,  it is possible to save up to 38% on energy costs. With this increase  in energy savings, you can expect to pay more up front to have a high-efficiency AC installed. Most high-efficiency air conditioners can be installed for between $3,500-$5,000 depending on the efficiency rating and other accessories you may want added on.  It's important to note that if you are looking to purchase a high-efficiency heat pump, you can expect to pay a bit more than you would for a regular air conditioner. This is due to the fact that a heat pump is able to both heat and cool your home, making it somewhat of an all-in-one package. You can expect to pay between $4,000-$6,500 for a new high-efficiency heat pump system and air handler on average. Standard Efficiency Air Conditioners If you are looking to go the budget friendly route and purchase a standard efficiency air conditioner, such as the Comfortmaker N4A3, prices can drop quite a bit. Standard efficiency air conditioners are around 13 SEER as opposed to the...
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How To Keep Your Air Conditioner Clean

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Importance Of Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean A clean air conditioner is a happy air conditioner! Important Of a Clean AC An air conditioner is generally one of those things you don't give a second thought to most of the time. It's job is to keep your house cool and as long as it's doing that then you have better things to think about. However, in order to keep your air conditioner happy and healthy, it is very important that it stays clean and free from debris, especially in hot weather when it's running. Did you know that the number one cause of breakdowns and a need for air conditioner repair is dirt and debris? Yep! Who knew a little dirt over time could do so much damage. Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean Air conditioners thrive on getting proper air circulation when in use. If your ac unit is covered in dirt, grass or other debris, it can literally suffocate your air conditioner over time. Think of it this way, would you want to be wearing a heavy coat of something when it's already 80+ degrees out? I think not. Here are a few ways that you can ensure your air conditioner stays happy all Summer long: Be mindful when mowing around your air conditioner. It is very easy for grass clippings to get blown up and stuck to the walls of the ac unit. If this does happen, be sure to wash it off after you finish mowing the...
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Indoor Allergy Relief

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Indoor Allergy Relief | How Your HVAC System Can Help Do you struggle with allergies? Are you looking for some indoor allergy relief? Believe it or not, your HVAC system can help as it is responsible for the quality of your air indoors. Read on to learn more! Causes of Indoor Allergies As a sufferer of allergies myself, I know how terrible it can be to have to deal with them on a daily basis. Spring time is generally when most people start to have issues, but allergies can be a year round deal as well when it comes to indoor air. Believe it or not, your HVAC system can help you in this regard through the use of advanced filters and UV lights. Some of the most common causes of indoor allergies include: Pet Dander We all love our indoor animals, but for some of us they can cause quite the problem with our allergies as well as our HVAC system. The dander from your pets fur can stay in the air for hours at a time, being blown all around your house and wreaking havoc on your allergies.  Mold Spores These babies aren't only bad for your allergies, but are bad for your health in general. Mold is prone to grow in damp, dark places such as basements or closets. Over time, the spores from any mold growth can become sucked into your HVAC system and blown all over your house. Gross. Pollen Even though most plants and...
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How Cold Should My AC Be?

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How Cold Should The Air From My Air Conditioner Be? The air from your vents feels warmer than usual. How cold should the air be anyways? When the weather gets really hot outside, you count on your air conditioner to provide a constant stream of cool air to keep you and your family comfortable. But, how cold should the air from your air conditioner actually be?  Temperature Drop The difference between the temperature of the air flowing into your vents via the return vents and the temperature of the cool air coming out is known in the HVAC world as "temperature drop". In most cases, a temperature drop of 15-20 degrees is all that most air conditioners are capable of handling today. Run your ac any cooling and you risk needing an ac repair. Therefore, if the temperature outside is 85 degrees, most air conditioners should be able to cool your home to 65-70 degrees inside under normal conditions. Granted, cooling it to these temps means it will be working hard and running for most of the day. If you are looking to cut back on your energy bills, try leaving the temp a bit higher instead. Adjusting your temperature just 1 degree can save you up to 10% on utility costs over the course of a year. 
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How To Protect Your Air Conditioner From Thieves

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Protect Your Air Conditioner From Thieves Your air conditioner holds some pretty valuable parts that many thieves would love to sell With the warm weather on its way, many people start getting their air conditioner's ready to go. But did you know your air conditioner can also be a prime target for thieves? Scrap metal is a big business and your air conditioner has many valuable parts that are worth money when sold. The most valuable being the copper lines that hold your air conditioners refrigerant. Here are some tips to keep your unit safe all year round. Security Lights Simple enough but also quite effective. Installing motion sensing security lights that illuminate the area around your air conditioner will put anyone who is trying to do something they shouldn't on full display at night.  Lock It Up There are many different cages on the market that you can buy to secure your air conditioner. The highest quality cages are made of steel and have posts that are put in the ground in concrete to secure them. They have a lock on them that can be opened with a key to make servicing your air conditioner a breeze for your service technician. These cages aren't the cheapest, but compared to a new air conditioner it may be worth the cost! In The Clear This seems obvious, but make sure your air conditioner isn't buried in bushes or other shrubbery and is out in the open where it is visible. Bushes...
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Spring Cleaning Checklist

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Spring Cleaning Checklist 2019  Spring is almost here! The warm weather, the outside activities, and of course the annual spring cleaning checklist. Here are 5 of the top things you and your family should be looking at this spring to help keep your home in good shape all year long. Clean the Dryer Vent A years worth of laundry will begin to build up a lot of dust and particulates in your dryer vent. It is a good idea to put this on your spring cleaning checklist and clean this out to prevent overheating fires. Did you know that a clogged dryer vent can cost you up to $3.00 more per load of laundry? It is also worth noting that new clothes tend to produce more lint than older clothes. Signs that your dryer vent might be clogged include: clothes taking longer to dry, the outside of the dryer gets really hot, the vent hood flap doesn't open, and it's been more than a year since the vent was cleaned last. Vacuum and Steam Clean Carpets During the winter, it is so easy to track in a lot of dirt and salt, which then gets transferred onto your carpet and other rugs. Professional carpet cleaning (hot water extraction) will help your carpets return to looking new and also vastly extend the life of them. Also, did you know that your carpets are the largest air filter in your home? Dust and dirt in the air will fall on the carpet and...
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How Does a Furnace Gas Valve Work?

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How Does My Furnace's Gas Valve Work? The gas valve on your furnace is one of the most important parts! Without it, your house would be quite cold! The gas valve on your furnace is one of the most important parts. It is ultimately responsible for delivering an adjusting the flow of gas pressure to your furnace to keep it lit when running. A gas valve replacement is a common furnace repair in older furnaces. Let's take a look at the different kinds and how they work to keep your home warm in the winter! Types of Gas Valves Combination gas valve: This type of gas valve was introduced around the 1960s. A combination gas valve contains a handle, a thermocouple, a regulator, and a solenoid valve. In essence, it contains everything needed for the operation of a gas fired furnace.  Gas chain: These types of gas valves are quite common and require the operator to manually turn a valve to open or close the flow of gas to the furnace. Once opened by the user, the solenoid valve will only open to allow gas to flow when the furnace actually calls for heat. Otherwise, you'd have a non-stop flow of gas into your home! A safety switch will only remain open if the thermocouple is heated to a minimum temperature, verifying the furnace is actually in heating mode. How The Gas Valve Works The furnace's gas valve is operated by electromagnets. There are two different valve's that work in...
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Room Color and Energy Efficiency

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Can Room Color Affect Energy Efficiency? Looking to keep your house cooler in the summer while using less energy? Choose the right colors! Believe it or not, the colors you choose for your home can play a role in it's overall energy efficiency. As expected, darker colors tend to maintain heat and lighter colors help deflect it.  Exterior Wall Colors If you live in a hotter southern climate, choosing a light exterior color is your best bet. A light beige, gray or other neutral color give great curb appeal as well as help deflect the suns heat. According to the Department of Energy, dark colors can actually absorb 70-90% of the suns heat which can then be transferred inside of your home. Who knew small details such as exterior paint color can really help your air conditioner out during those summer heat waves and prevent any costly air conditioner repairs. Light colors are reflective and will help cut your cooling costs. Roof Colors When it comes to your roof, the material that it's made of plays an important role. There are actually roof tiles available that are made of a reflective type of paint that can reflect the suns heat. Standard roof tiles can reach temperatures as high at 150 degrees in the summer. Cooler roofs with the reflective material can stay up to 50 degrees cooler, saving you energy during those hot months.  Interior Walls Interior wall colors don't matter quite as much as the exterior. When it comes...
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Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

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How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts? Over time, air ducts can be come packed full of dirt and dust that affects both you and your HVAC system. Dirty Air Ducts = Dirty Air It goes without saying that if your air ducts are dirty, the air the passes through them will also become dirty. Overtime, dust, skin cells and other particulates from both people and outdoors make their way into your HVAC system. Left untouched over time, your air ducts can become a breeding ground for some pretty nasty stuff and cause both sickness and allergy flare ups. However, just how dirty should they be before you have your air ducts cleaned?  Visual Inspection A good way to get an idea of what may be hiding in your duct work is to look at the return vents in your home. Carefully remove the register and take a look inside. Can you see or feel a good amount of dirt or dust build up? If so, don't be alarmed. Air ducts are bound to get dirty over time and will require cleaning. It's important to note that everyone's home is different. If you have many pets, your air ducts will become dirty faster due to hair and dander build up.  Time For A Cleaning! Signs it may be time for an air duct cleaning include: Visual signs of mold or dirt build up in return vents or other components of your HVAC system. You notice foul smells coming from...
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Winterize Your Home

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It's Time To Winterize Your Home! With the cold weather finally starting to set in, now is the best time to winterize you home! It's that time of year again to get your home ready for the cold winter ahead! Here are a list of a few things you can do to make sure your home is all set for the upcoming cold months. Change Your Furnace Filter The number one cause of HVAC breakdowns is dirt. By changing your furnace filter on a regular basis, you are saving yourself from needing a costly furnace repair. Standard one inch filters should generally be changed every 30 days. If you have a thicker media filter, they can usually last 6-12 months. Filter lifespans depend on the home however. If you have several pets, you will find yourself needing to change the filter more often. Check Your Thermostat Check your thermostat to ensure proper operation. If your thermostat takes batteries, it may be worth putting a fresh set in now to save yourself from a dead thermostat. Verify the furnace kicks on in heating mode as well so you're not surprised if it doesn't work when you need it.  Check & Replace Weather Stripping Make sure your furnace doesn't need to work harder than it needs to by checking any weather stripping in your home. This can usually be found on doors and windows to help keep the cold air out when they are closed. If you find cracked or wearing weather...
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