Whether you already have a central air system or want to invest in one, knowing enough about it is crucial. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about these units to help you make informed decisions.
Is Switching to Central Air Conditioning Viable If You Don’t Have Ductwork?
You can switch to central AC with or without ductwork. You have two options for your home — adding ductwork or choosing an alternative, like a ductless mini split air system. Either way, you can set up central AC by adding the right components to your house.
With that said, ductless central air is not usually as efficient as a traditional split unit. You can ask an HVAC technician to discuss the best option for your home and budget.
Does Switching to Central AC Increase My Home’s Value?
Switching to a central AC system can increase your home’s value and appeal to buyers. The amount your house’s value can increase will vary, but many people see a few thousand dollars more when selling. We recommend only installing this AC type if you don’t plan to sell your home immediately to maximize your investment.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Central Air Conditioner?
A central air conditioner can last between 10 and 20 years if you maintain it properly and replace parts as necessary.
How Do You Maintain Your Central Air After Installation?
You should schedule maintenance on your central AC system at least once a year, preferably in the spring. Check and clean parts of your AC between professional visits to keep it in good shape and replace the filters every 90 days.
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Central AC?
Here are some of the most common signs that indicate it’s time to replace your AC system:
The unit no longer meets your needs.
Your system is over 10 to 20 years old.
You refill the refrigerant more often than before.
Your energy costs to run it are much higher.
Repair costs are higher than the price of a new unit.
Start Upgrading Your Central Air Unit With Bruni & Campisi
Whether you want to install a central air conditioner for the first time or need to replace your existing one, Bruni & Campisi is here to help. We offer flat-fee pricing with no hidden costs, a one-year labor warranty and 24/7 emergency support. You can trust our licensed and insured technicians to help you when needed.
With record-setting temperatures reaching the triple digits across the Northeast coastline, New York and Connecticut residents depend on reliable air conditioning to escape the extreme heat.
Learn how to choose the best AC setting in summer to keep you cool all season long. Discover tips to help you run your air conditioner efficiently, remove unexpected in-home heat sources and make it through the heat waves with a well-maintained, adequately set AC unit.
What Is the Best Temperature for the Air Conditioner in Summer?
If you’ve ever played “AC settings tag” with your family, you understand that people can have very different ideas about the best temperature setting for AC in summer. Educate your household and determine your home’s ideal AC settings based on the following preferences:
Money savings: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) encourages setting the AC temperature at 85 degrees for eight hours per day when you leave the house to save 5-15% on your cooling bills.
A good night’s sleep: If you can comfortably sleep in a warm room, Energy Star suggests an overnight AC setting of 82 degrees, but that may be too warm for most sleepers. Studies show that the optimal sleep temperature is much lower — approximately 65 degrees — because our bodies are programmed to experience a core temperature dip at night. In the Northeast, you can sleep well and save costs by using bedroom fans and opening your windows whenever it’s cooler overnight.
Concerned you may forget to manually change these settings every morning, afternoon and night? Don’t sweat it! Use a programmable thermostat to adjust settings automatically throughout the day.
What Is the Best AC Setting During a Heat Wave?
It may not be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk this summer, but it certainly feels like it. In recent years, the heat wave season has risen to a whopping 47 days longer than it was fifty years ago, and June 2021 was America’s hottest June ever in 127 years of records.
Even if you have the world’s greatest air conditioner, you can expect your unit to cool your home about 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature during a heat wave. Follow DOE temperature settings and implement the following tips.
7 Tips to Cool Your Home During Hot Days and Heat Waves
Stay hydrated and indoors during a heat wave. Here’s how you can lower your home’s interior temperature and preserve your AC unit:
Switch the fan position from “auto” to “on”: To help with temperature differences between levels and rooms, turn the fan setting to “on” to circulate the air consistently 24/7.
Set the thermostat to a higher temperature: It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a good idea to set your thermostat to 75 degrees or higher to prevent overworking your AC unit on sweltering days.
Only cool the used rooms: Close air vents in unused rooms and keep those doors shut to conserve energy.
Block the sun: Close every shade and draw your curtains in every room.
Avoid appliance use: When it’s already roasting, the last thing you want to do is add more heat. Avoid using the oven, washer and dryer until the weather cools.
Use ceiling fans: While fans technically cannot reduce the air temperature in a room, they circulate the air and dry perspiration on your skin, making you feel cooler.
An average AC unit runs in cycles, turning on for 15 to 20 minutes to reach your desired temperature setting, turning off to rest until the house temperature reaches your setting again, repeating the process every day. When temperatures consistently surpass degrees in the high 80s or 90s, your air conditioning may run more than usual or never turn off. In some cases, running constant AC is fine, and a number of energy-efficient systems are designed to run 24/7.
For other units, running all day long isn’t ideal because:
It overworks the unit.
It increases cooling costs.
It may indicate a deeper problem.
Why Is the House so Hot Even With the AC On?
Does your house seem unusually hot even with your air conditioner on? Even with your AC blowing cool air, your rooms may feel warm due to the sun, poor air circulation, maintenance and other factors that have nothing to do with your unit.
10 Reasons Why Your AC May Be Working at Limited Potential
Check your air conditioner settings for summer and follow these home preparation tips to maximize your unit’s ability to create a cooler interior environment.
Incorrect thermostat settings: Inefficient temperature settings can overwork your unit. Adjust your settings to Energy Star and DOE recommendations for maximum energy efficiency.
Clogged air filter: A dirty air filter disrupts airflow and forces your unit to work harder. Replace filters every 90 days or more frequently at 30-60 days if you have allergies or pets.
Incorrect unit size: An older or undersized unit may cool the air but won’t reduce humidity properly.
Corroded coils: Salt in the air can impact AC units, so homeowners near the shore should check their coils frequently. If you notice powdery white or flaking coils, your unit may require maintenance.
Dirty or damaged ductwork: Leaky ductwork allows cool air to escape before it reaches all rooms of the house. If your ductwork is too small or grimy, it won’t adequately handle the airflow. Check for damage and dirt — your ductwork may need cleaning or patching.
Refrigerant leak: A slow refrigerant leak may escape your notice without proper inspection. Minor leaks are a common AC issue that may require a filter replacement or additional maintenance to correct.
Blocked condensing unit: Check your outdoor AC condenser to make sure it’s clear on all sides. Remove any landscaping overgrowth so it can exhaust heat safely.
Competing heat sources: Remove extra heat from the equation to prevent an overworked unit. Block sunlight, close doors to unused rooms and avoid appliance use.
Poor insulation: Improper home insulation around doors and windows allows hot, humid air to seep into your home. Draft-proof your home with weatherstripping, insulated curtains, new door sweeps or door snakes.
Lack of air circulation: Improper air ventilation and circulation in the home can affect air distribution. Check your vents and turn on fans to improve airflow.
If you’re still sweltering even after implementing recommended adjustments — or if your AC unit shows signs of damage and continued inefficiency — then it’s time to schedule professional maintenance.
Contact Bruni and Campisi for Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance
For air conditioning repairs, maintenance and upgrades to beat the heat this summer, look no further than Bruni and Campisi. For more than 40 years, our full-service, NYSERDA Home Energy Performance–participating HVAC contractors have been helping homeowners in New York and Connecticut increase energy efficiency, lower utility bills and keep their units running smoothly. Quick and efficient, we provide the expertise, quality and customer-first professionalism you and your home deserve. And with our one-year labor warranty on all work performed, you have peace of mind that your investment is protected.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your air conditioning service, upgrade or maintenance plan today. We look forward to working with you.
When it comes to HVAC, most property owners know that their homes or business need a) a furnace and b) an air conditioner. Of course to find the right unit for your needs you need to evaluate the size, brand, and budget to name a few. What many home and business owners might not be aware of is that the standard furnace or the traditional AC system are not your only options. Aside from equipment such as a boiler or a geothermal heat pump one of the most popular forms of alternative cooling is the ductless AC system.
A ductless AC very much resembles the central air conditioner that most people might be familiar with. On the exterior of your property is the compressor and condenser which processes the warm air that is removed from a room. Also, on the interior is an air handling unit (evaporator and fan) where the cool air is created and delivered. What’s really different is the path that the air takes to get from one place to another. Conventional AC units have a duct system that has many flaws. In the ductless version, a conduit houses the power cable, condenser drain, refrigerant, and suction tubing and travels to each room in a much less invasive manner.
Benefit #1 – No Ducts!
If you’ve got a whole house or commercial property that needs to be cooled, ducts do their job to get that air delivered to where it needs to go. That being said there are numerous opportunities for ducts to lose heat as connections and seams become loose or crack and holes develop in the sheet metal. The ductwork is also very loud as air is forced through it. Finally, ducts can harbor dirt and debris that gets kicked up and distributed throughout the home every time the AC turns on.
With a ductless system, the processed air comes directly from the indoor air handler unit. Everything that is needed to communicate between the outdoor compressor and the indoor evaporator is transported via the conduit that is just 3” in diameter. This creates a quieter, more efficient, AC system that distributes less dirt. Plus you don’t want all the bulky duct work taking up space.
Benefit #2 – Convenience
If you were to run a traditional AC into any additional rooms in the house, it would involve tapping into the existing ductwork and creating another path. This simply isn’t feasible because your air conditioner is sized for the specific square footage of your home. Adding more space to cool will have a central air conditioner cycling nearly non-stop thus driving up utility bills and lowering lifespan.
This is the main reason why ductless ACs are so popular. If customers want to add on to their home or finish a garage or basement they can do so without disrupting the existing HVAC system. You can also use a ductless AC as a secondary cooling device to ease the pressure of your current air conditioner during peak times. Running the conduit of a ductless system to a living room or kitchen where most of the family time is spent allows you to turn down your ‘main’ air conditioner’s thermostat.
Benefit #3 – Energy Efficiency and Multi-Zone Cooling
Ductless systems are energy efficient almost because of all their benefits. Not having ducts, for example, prevents energy loss through leaks. The reason you can run a ductless AC in your living room and turn down the thermostat on your ‘whole house’ unit is because of multi-zone cooling. Basically what this means is that up to four different air handlers can run off each outdoor condenser. Each of these air handlers is in a separate room and they all have individual separate temperature controls. Therefore if you’re not in a room, you can turn off the air handler to that area. With most conventional central air systems, one thermostat controls the temperature for the entire home whether rooms are occupied or not.
This is just scratching the surface of a ductless AC systems benefits and potential. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more information about these wonderful home appliances.
Modern AC units are being built to last longer while running more efficient. That being said, manufacturers can only do so much – same for the installers. Home and business owners have a responsibility when they have a new air conditioner installed and that requires scheduled maintenance.
To be honest there’s really no reason not to have your AC maintained on an annual basis. Sure it is an overhead, but at the same time, you recoup that investment in lower utility bills, a more comfortable home, and a longer last HVAC system. Here is what can happen – and why – when you slack on maintaining your AC unit:
#1 You May Lose Your Warranty
Maintaining an air conditioner isn’t just recommended for premium performance, many manufacturers actually require it as part of their warranty agreement. It makes sense, why should manufacturers be liable for problems that occur prior within a warranty period if the unit is allowed to build up dust, operate with chewed belts, function with a condensing drain not being cleaned, etc.? An air conditioner warranty is a two-fold agreement – 1) the manufacturer will supply quality parts and stand by their workmanship if 2) the homeowner agrees to regularly have the unit cleaned, air filters changed, and so on.
#2 You’ll Pay Higher Energy Bills
If you think that lack of AC maintenance driving up utility bills is hyperbole, just look at the process. Air travels through a clean filter much easier than one caked in debris, right? The air conditioner will also continually try to meet the demands of the thermostat regardless of the condition of the filter. If your blower has to work harder to force air through a clogged filter, it’s going to cycle longer which will obviously increase your utility costs. This is true for components besides the filter, too as maintenance includes cleaning ducts and airways as well as inspecting the air flow of blowers and blades.
#3 Your Repair Costs Will Go Up and Your AC Will Die Off Faster
One of the most important aspects of air conditioning maintenance is a thorough inspection and lubrication of all the system’s moving parts. When belts are allowed to operate while worn or debris builds up in the bearings of the fan blade, it means other components must overcompensate and start to wear down faster themselves. In this manner, maintenance is a preventative measure that catches ‘issues’ before they become ‘catastrophes.’ Even more along those lines, blocked up drain plugs and condensation lines can lead to water damage or at the very least mold growth and a musty smelling utility room.
#4 Your House Won’t Be As Comfortable
You WANT your AC to be working on optimum levels not just to avoid financial repercussion, but so that your home is comfortable. Most people are aware that an AC that has failed to be maintained will not cool a property as good as it should. More than that though, the unit’s job is to condition the air in your home or business. A full and complete AC cycle works to remove the moisture and humidity from the air. If your AC isn’t working properly it either short cycles which leaves you with an uncomfortably humid house or it long cycles which drives up utility bills.
When it comes to contracting AC maintenance, failure to do so could cost you dollars at a time or it could cost you hundreds (or thousands) if you need repairs but your warranty is voided. We tell our clients that the other option of a comfortable home, lower utility bills, and much longer lasting system are the more desirable route to take.
The utility bills rise during the summer because of constant air conditioner use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and air conditioning your home take up 43% of the utility bill. By following some tips, you can reduce your air conditioning bills in summer.
Tips to reduce air conditioning bills:
Set your thermostat as high as possible in summer.
Use ceiling fans for additional cooling and air circulation.
Minimize the number of times doors leading outside are opened and closed.
Close window coverings during daytime to avoid heat.
Ensure your air conditioners are working well by getting annual cleanings and check-ups.
Change the filters monthly.
Choose the right size air conditioner for your room, as large systems result in high electric bills.
Air Conditioning Repair Services in Westchester County, NY