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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 Long Do Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems Last?

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Ductless HVAC System Average Lifespan in Columbus, Ohio Assuming the ductless system is maintained by a professional HVAC company on a yearly basis, these types of systems can easily last 20 years or more in the Columbus, Ohio area. These systems are also a great way to improve the value of your home! The lifespan of a mini split ductless system is generally longer than that of a normal heating and cooling system (12-15 years). You can think about the lifespan of your ductless system in the same manner you would mileage on your car. The overall age of the system isn't nearly as important as how much it has run over it's lifetime. Why Do Ductless Systems Last Longer? This answer largely comes down to one component, the compressor. The compressor is the heart of your air conditioner. without it, the refrigerant would not cycle through your system to help remove the heat from your home. There are a couple different reasons a compressor can fail including: Hard Start Ups - It takes a good jolt of electric to start your air conditioner's compressor. When your AC starts and stops many times in day, this can begin to take a toll on the compressors lifespan. Most ductless mini split systems use a variable speed compressor that can go up and down in speed to help lengthen it's lifespan. Dirty Indoor Coil - The indoor coil of your air conditioner is what actually removes the heat from the air in...
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Questions To Ask During HVAC Estimate

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What Questions Should I Ask During An HVAC Estimate? If you've never gone through the process of receiving an HVAC estimate, it can be daunting. We are here to help you out with some important questions you should be asking! While you should technically be asking as many questions as you can when receiving an HVAC estimate for a furnace or ac replacement, here are a few that we believe are the most important and should always be asked. Is The Estimate Free? Before you even have someone out to give you an HVAC estimate, you should ask whether or not the estimate is free. Generally speaking, most companies will come out and provide you with an estimate at no charge, but there are a few companies here and there that will charge you a small fee for their time. Here at Sears Heating & Cooling, our estimates for new equipment are ALWAYS free of charge. Do You Offer Financing? It's well known that new HVAC equipment is not the cheapest thing in the world, but at the same time it makes sense as it is a large factor in your home and the overall comfort level of it. If you are not in a position to pay up front for a new furnace or air conditioner, it is always important to ask if the company offers any financing options. Most HVAC companies that offer financing do so through a third-party bank. Here at Sears, we offer third-party HVAC financing...
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HVAC Allergy Solutions | How Your System Can Help

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Your HVAC System Can Help Reduce Indoor Allergies 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. Causes of Indoor Allergies As an allergy sufferer myself, I know how terrible it can be to have to deal with during allergy season. 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 allergens. There are multiple ways you can improve your indoor air quality. Believe it or not, your HVAC system can help you in this regard through the use of advanced filters and UV lights that are able to remove small allergy particles and dust mites. 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...
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Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air?

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Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air? The weather is finally warm and you go to turn your air conditioner on and nothing but warm air comes out. There are several things that may cause your air conditioner to not blow cold air. The best course of action if your air conditioner is not blowing cold air is to call a professional HVAC professional to come diagnose the problem. Attempting to fix something yourself can lead to an additional air conditioning repair being needed. However, here are a few items that could be causing the issue.   Dirty Filters   The first thing to check would be your air filters. One of the most common causes for air conditioners not blowing cold air is a dirty air filter. If your air filter is dirty or clogged, cool air flow is restricted and your air conditioner will not be able to properly cool your home. Letting your air conditioner continue to run under this circumstance can cause ice buildup to occur on both the outdoor coil as well as the evaporator coil. Continuing to run your ac system with ice build up can cause damage to the unit. Sometimes, something as simple as changing the filter will fix this issue.   Broken Parts Sometimes, this issue may be due to a broken part or parts on your condenser unit. One of the more costly fixes could be a failed compressor or indoor coil. If your outside condenser is not...
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Pros and Cons of Ductless Heating & Cooling

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Pros and Cons of a Ductless HVAC System Is a ductless heating and cooling system right for you and your home? There are both pros and cons to using a ductless mini split system vs a standard heating and cooling system. Depending on the application, a ductless heating and cooling system could be a great addition to your home and improve its overall value. Pros of a Ductless Heating & Cooling System   1. Very Energy Efficient Ductless heating and cooling systems are extremely energy efficient compared to a standard HVAC system. Energy usage for these units is measure using a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Many of these units have a variable speed motor that can be adjusted based on need. Also, the Mitsubishi ductless system has an advanced inverter driven compressor that operates on a cruise control style setting. It ramps up only when needed then slows back down to conserve energy. With a ductless heating and cooling system, you are generally looking at 40% increase in energy efficiency compared to a standard ac unit!  Options include more than 30 energy star certified systems. 2. Flexibility in Usage One great benefit of a ductless system is their ability to "spot treat" certain areas of your home that are hard to heat and cool with your normal HVAC system. If a room is located far away from your central hvac system, the room may become hot in the summer and cold in the winter due to reduced air...
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How Do You Clean a Mini Split?

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What Is the Best Way to Clean a Mini Split? Just like a normal air conditioner and furnace, mini splits require routine maintenance. Keeping your mini split ductless system clean is vital to its lifespan as it works all year round to heat and cool your home. Regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to guard against expensive repairs that could arise when the system is not maintained. The frequency of cleaning required largely depends on how often you use the system and what kind it is (single zone, multi-zone, ceiling, wall-mounted etc.) Also, the overall efficiency of your system largely depends on how clean the unit is as well. A ductless system covered in dirt and other debris will not operate as efficiently and cost more in energy as opposed to a clean unit. There really is no substitute for having your mini split cleaned and inspected by a professional HVAC contractor, but here is a basic step-by-step process of how you can clean the unit yourself. 1. Make Sure the System Is Turned Off The most logical place to start the cleaning process is to make sure your mini split is turned off. For safety purposes, you will want to verify the power is off to the unit at the circuit breaker panel as well. Be sure to unplug any power cables that may be running from the unit as well. 2. Cleaning Materials Needed Having the right materials will making cleaning your ductless system much easier. Most...
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Why Is My Furnace Short Cycling?

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My Furnace Keeps Short Cycling. What Is Going On? A furnace that is short cycling can be a frustrating issue when you are trying to keep warm. Does your furnace keep turning on and back off in a short period of time? This is what is called short cycling. A short cycling furnace can be a frustrating issue to have. Unfortunately, after not being used all spring and summer, some furnaces have some issues when it comes to firing up for the first time in the fall. Let's take a look at some common issues that could be causing your furnace to short cycle. Dirty Furnace Filters Dirty air filters are one of the top causes of furnace and air conditioner break downs. If your filter hasn't been changed in a while, go ahead and take a look at it. Keep in a mind a brand new filter should be white in color. If you have a clogged air filter, not much air will be able to pass through it and it can cause your furnace to overheat, tripping the limit switch which is a safety feature built into your furnace to prevent a fire from occurring. This is a simple fix that could prevent a future furnace repair. Furnace Is Oversized This type of issue is unfortunately only fixed by having your current furnace removed and the correctly sized furnace installed. If you have an oversized furnace for your home, it will end up using much more energy than...
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Will My Heat Pump Work In Cold Weather?

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How Cold Is Too Cold For My Heat Pump? Heat Pumps are highly efficient units but they do come with some drawbacks when the weather gets really cold. Heat Pump systems are highly efficient units but they do come with some drawbacks when it comes to cold temperatures. Will My Heat Pump Work When It’s Cold Out? This is a somewhat 2 part answer. The short answer would be yes, it will heat your home in cold weather. The tricky part is exactly how cold does it have to be before your heat pump just cant keep up? Let’s take a look. Heat Absorption Your heat pump heats your home by absorbing the heat in the outside air and transferring this heat indoors. It is basically working as an air conditioner in reverse through the use of refrigerant. This is great during heating season when there is some heat in the air for it to transfer, but when temps drop below freezing, the efficiency of your heat pump begins to suffer. This is why you have what is called “auxiliary heat” or “emergency heat” when you have a heat pump. This emergency heat comes in the form of a furnace inside your home (electric or gas) and it takes over for your system when it just can’t keep up anymore. Emergency Heat Source When the temps outside begin to drop below freezing, your thermostat should automatically switch from your heat pump to your auxiliary heat due to the loss of efficiency in it...
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Why Does My Furnace Filter Get Dirty So Fast?

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Why Is My Furnace Filter Getting Dirty So Quickly? Furnace filters can become dirty quite quickly depending on your home and living conditions. Your furnace filter is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. Allowing your filter to become too dirty can result in your furnace short cycling or your AC to freeze up. Not only does the furnace filter help cut down on dust in the air, but it also helps protect all of the important parts of your furnace and air conditioner. Depending on your home and living conditions, you may ending up changing your furnace filter more or less frequently than others. If your furnace filter is getting dirty faster than usual, here are some things to check: Dust In Your Home Cleaning and dusting your home on a regular basis is a good way to extend the life of your furnace filters. It's advised to dust and vacuum your home at least once per week to cut down on the overall dust level of your home. Having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once per year is recommended as well as they are able to clean much deeper than a regular vacuum. Did you know that your carpets are the biggest filters in your home? Fan Is Set To "On" Instead Of " Auto" This setting is found on your thermostat. If you have the fan in your furnace set to "on", this means that the fan will run continuously until you turn...
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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. Adding these lights is also a simple way to increase the value of your home.  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. Be sure to take care of the refrigerant lines when installing the cage as cutting the lines could result in an expensive air conditioner repair. 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...
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