Tag Archives: Cooling

air conditioning repair

Is Ductless Air Conditioning Better?

Ductless air conditioning might be your best defense against inefficiency in your home’s energy usage. You don’t have to live with hot, humid indoor temperatures to save money, and you don’t have to put up with annoying window units. You can get total home cooling without paying for a traditional install: Ductless is the answer.

Cost Savings

If you have ever cringed at your electric bill after a hot summer month, you understand why cost savings are one of the top reasons a ductless system is the solution of choice for many homeowners. Paying for a window unit in every room in the home can quickly add up.

Maybe you forget to turn your window units off, or maybe you do turn them off, but it takes hours to get the place cool again when you return home. No matter how well you insulate around the unit, you’ll lose energy.

With a traditional duct-based system, you lose a large portion of cool air to ductwork — up to 25 percent. And if you need updated ductwork, that’s extra. Ductless air conditioning is much cheaper, so when a budget is a consideration, this option usually wins out.

Time Savings

Let’s say your window unit breaks down, and you need air conditioning yesterday. Your home is too hot — you just can’t stand it anymore. The time it takes to install a traditional system could be less than appealing.

Save time — install ductless air conditioning instead. You get a nearly immediate solution and most importantly, an instant cool.

Better Air Quality

A ductless air conditioning system gives you significantly more control over your indoor air quality. You can get a system with multiple levels of filtration that removes impurities in the air before you and your family inhale them. Even better, these systems are easy to keep clean.

It Operates Silently

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how you can keep your home cool without a constant whirring noise. Ductless systems operate quietly, depending on their settings, and this helps create a relaxing environment in your home.

Ready for Install?

Hire an HVAC contractor that knows their stuff: Roberts Mechanical. Ductless air conditioning is an investment in your home’s value, your health and your comfort. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll give you a price on a ductless system to fit your home and energy demands.

5 Signs Your A/C Compressor Is Failing

5 Signs Your A/C Compressor Is Failing

An A/C compressor is critical — if it fails, so does your unit. It’s responsible for pressuring the system’s refrigerant and enabling heat transfer. Basically, it’s the reason your A/C unit cools your home.

A/C compressor failure is an expensive, serious problem to repair. Be concerned if you notice any of the five signs listed below.

You Hear Noises You Haven’t Heard Before

You flip on the cool air, but then you hear terrible noises coming from outside your window — clattering, grinding, growling and screeching. It sounds like your A/C unit is about to crash. Maybe the noises start quietly and get louder over time, or maybe it happens quickly. Either way, it’s not a good sign and it means you probably have a compressor issue.

The Unit Vibrates and Shakes

If the A/C shakes and vibrates violently every time you turn it on, it is likely due to hard starting. It is usually an indication that the compressor is close to the end of its life.

It Continually Trips the Circuit Breaker

When compressors overheat, they draw additional electrical power, and this can cause the circuits to trip. It’s important to know that this isn’t normal — your circuit breaker works this way to protect your home from electrical fire. Once you’ve had to reset the breaker a few times, turn off the system and call a professional before it gets worse.

Your Home Doesn’t Get Cool

Here’s an easy symptom to spot — your home is much warmer than it should be with your system running full blast. When your A/C unit just doesn’t achieve the level of cool you’re used to, it’s probably the compressor’s fault. It may blow warm air or it may simply run all the time. Either way, if it’s not effective, it needs the attention of an HVAC professional.

There’s a Leak

Moisture around the perimeter could signal refrigerant is leaking from the compressor. Eventually, this will lead to a system shutdown.

Should You Replace the System?

Does an A/C compressor failure warrant replacement? If your system is old enough, the answer might be yes. Either way, you should have the system looked at by a professional as soon as you notice an issue. Get a thorough recommendation to find out whether it’s worth it to fix the failing A/C compressor or if you’re better off investing in a whole new unit. The team at Roberts Mechanical can help you make a smart decision.

What Goes into HVAC Installation Costs?

What Goes into HVAC Installation Costs?

HVAC installation costs vary greatly from project to project, which can make it hard for you to feel like you’re getting a straight answer from the contractors you interview for the installation. Why are some estimates so low and others high?

Below are the top questions we ask to put together the most realistic, accurate quote for HVAC installation costs.

How Big Is Your Home?

The bigger the home, the larger the system needed. HVAC units are measured in tons. A ton is the measurement of a system’s ability to cool, not its weight. A 1-ton system can cool 12,000 BTUs per hour. In most cases, every ton equates to 400 square feet of space. So for a 2,000-square-foot home, you want at least a 5-ton system. Costs will go up based on the square footage of your home.

Do You Need New Ductwork?

Ductwork must be replaced in some cases. If you want to upgrade to a highly insulated ductwork system, there will be a significant added cost, mostly because of the time it takes to do this project correctly. A number of strict code regulations must be met, and working in small spaces can take extra effort and make for a longer timeline.

When you’re reviewing quotes, make sure they are comparable. If you’re looking at a price with ductwork versus without, they may be drastically different.

What Brand of Equipment Are You Buying?

As with many major purchases, brand-name manufacturers will charge a heftier price depending on their influence, reputation and quality of materials. Every price level is different, but this is a case where you can talk to your HVAC installation contractor about how to get the most for your money.

If the installer carries different brands, they can price check each system for you.

What’s the SEER Rating?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a rating that determines the overall cost of running the unit. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient it will be. But the higher the SEER rating, the costlier it will be as well.

While many argue that a high SEER rating is worth the investment because of the energy savings, you should talk to your contractor about your climate and your home and find a rating that fits your budget and your expectations.

Does Your Project Have Specific Challenges?

Will the contractor need to access hard-to-reach spaces in order to carry out the installation? Are there any specific obstacles in the way of an otherwise smooth, uneventful project? Every case is different, and you may find this influences the price quotes you receive.

Talk to Roberts Mechanical today for a comprehensive, professional quote on HVAC installation costs and take the first step toward a more efficient heating and cooling system today.

replace furnace and AC

Should You Replace Your Furnace and Air Conditioner Together?

Replacing your furnace and air conditioner is a major home update — one of the most expensive maintenance costs you’ll face as a homeowner. If only one of these systems has broken down, you’re probably hoping you can continue to keep the other working. If you only have to replace one, that would save money, right?

The answer: not always. Sometimes you can actually save money by replacing both the furnace and air conditioner at the same time. How do you know if this is the right choice for you?

How Old Are Your Systems?

The expected life span of a furnace is 20 to 30 years. Your air conditioner, not as long — 10 to 15 years. If you’re replacing your air conditioner at the 15-year mark and the furnace is almost at the 20-year mark, it might make financial sense to be proactive and replace both units.

Do You Spend Significantly on Heating and Cooling Costs?

Do you find that both your furnace and air conditioner are draining your wallet every month with rising energy costs? You might not be shocked to learn that today’s systems are drastically more energy-efficient than ones manufactured even 10 years ago. If you’re planning an upgrade, making the move early might not be a bad idea.

Are They Located in Tight Quarters?

If it’s hard to get to your HVAC system, you may save considerably on labor costs if you replace them both at once. If you wait and one needs to be replaced soon after the other, you’re paying twice for a difficult labor job.

Are You Looking to Sell Soon?

If both systems are nearing the end of their life spans and you’re getting ready to list your home for sale, it could be in your favor to invest in a new HVAC system, even if only one unit needs to be replaced right now. A new HVAC system is a major selling point and could set your home apart in a competitive real estate market.

Reduce Confusion and Increase Efficiency: Get Matching Units

A matching HVAC system is better for your home and your finances. Since both furnace and air conditioner are meant to work together, they achieve a higher level of energy efficiency than if you pair a new furnace with an old air conditioning unit, or vice versa.

Since you’ll have replaced them at the same time, they’ll likely have matching warranties, which makes it easier to keep track of how often you should service each unit.

Call Roberts Mechanical when you’re considering furnace and air conditioner replacement, and we will help you accurately assess whether it’s necessary to take care of both units right now. Get your free quote today!

HVAC odors

What’s Causing HVAC Odors?

HVAC odors could be a sign of a serious problem. While some smells are simply an annoyance, other HVAC odors could indicate a dangerous problem that’s potentially hazardous to your health.

Instead of using air freshener to cover it up, get to the bottom of it with the help of your local HVAC specialist.

Musty? It’s Probably Mold.

A constant musty smell is one of the less serious HVAC odors, but it still indicates a need for a deep-cleaning of your ductwork.

Your HVAC works at dehumidifying the air, so it’s no wonder that moisture buildup can lead to mold growth in the vents, in the system’s filter and throughout the home’s ductwork. First, try replacing the filter. If the smell doesn’t go away, call an HVAC specialist and schedule a duct cleaning.

Rotten Egg Smell? It’s Likely a Dead Animal.

Sometimes rodents or birds take shelter in air ducts during the cold winter months. If they die in there, it can cause a rotting smell that makes breathing unbearable. Have an exterminator remove the dead animal as soon as possible and the smell should dissipate.

Exhaust? It’s a Motor Problem.

Air conditioning systems run on electricity, not gas or oil, so a pervasive smell of exhaust is cause for concern. It’s a sign that the motor inside the unit is probably broken and leaking. You need service from a licensed professional right away.

Dirty Socks? Bacterial Buildup.

Are HVAC odors making your living room smell like a gym locker? The smell of dirty socks is a common complaint.

While this odor can also originate from mold growth, it’s likely that bacteria is contributing to the problem. Have a technician clean your unit thoroughly, especially the evaporator coils, where condensation contributes to mold and bacteria buildup.

Burning Smell? It’s an Electrical Issue.

If you smell an acrid burning odor, like your HVAC unit is overheating, call a professional right after you turn off the system. If you’re turning on your system for the first time in a while, it could be the smell of dust burning off the components.

If it comes out of nowhere, it could be a wiring issue or a problem with the motor. Diagnosing the problem without proper training could result in electrical shock, so leave this challenge to your trusted local HVAC specialist.

Roberts Mechanical is here for you when HVAC odors plague your home. We will diagnose and repair the problem quickly, so you and your family don’t have to keep holding your noses. Call us today for fast, affordable service!

Best HVAC Contractor 

5 Tips on Picking the Best HVAC Contractor 

Choosing a dependable HVAC contractor shouldn’t be hard, but once you hear about the less-than-honest “professionals” who have scammed your friends and family, you may be wary of the process.

Every industry has its top-tier service providers as well as its bad apples, and sadly, it’s up to you to determine the difference.

Thankfully, you don’t have to take on the pressure alone. Take a look below at the five helpful ways to determine if the HVAC contractor you hire will deliver on their promises and live up to your expectations.

1. See if They Are Willing to Come to Your Home to do an Assessment

An HVAC contractor that can quickly quote you a price over the phone may seem like the best option. They sound knowledgeable and seem like they know what they’re talking about.

What’s the issue? They should know the size of your home. They need to know the current make and model of your furnace or central air unit. They should also inspect your duct system for issues and check your insulation and window efficiency.

Plenty of details go into estimating the cost of a unit repair or replacement, downgrade or upgrade, and many of these specifications can’t be communicated over the phone.

The best HVAC contractors come to your home to see the facts for themselves and be sure they’re quoting you the right price.

2. Ask if They Offer a Free Written Estimate

When they offer an estimate, make sure the HVAC contractor puts it in writing. This way you can compare prices and you’ll be able to tell if they’re willing to stand by their word — only reputable contractors are open about their prices.

3. Question if They Can Easily Prove Their Certifications

What’s required for your HVAC contractor to do business in their state? When you ask about their certifications, they should easily be able to tell you about the approval process and quickly produce their license and proof of their education.

4. Check That They Know About the Latest Advanced Systems

Always be wary of a contractor who wants to replace your failing system with the exact make and model you had before. This shows they aren’t up to date on all the latest technology and they’re simply doing things the way they always have. If you want programmable thermostats, you should get them.

5. Get the Details on Your Work Contract

Make sure the HVAC contractor tells you exactly when they will start the job, how long it will take, and when you’re required to pay. If they ask for a deposit, they should offer a receipt for your payment.

All these tests are ways to tell if you’re choosing the right HVAC contractor, the company that is going to make the right repairs in the safest, most cost-effective way possible. At Roberts Mechanical, this is our priority. We pride ourselves on providing superior service, unmatched at any of our competitors. Call us today to set up your free in-home estimate!

Home AC Tuneup

Get a Home A/C Tuneup Before Summer Starts

A home A/C tuneup helps you get the most out of your cooling system. Your home should be a retreat, where you can get relief from the stifling summer heat. With temperatures rising, it’s time to proactively care for your A/C and avoid easily preventable problems this summer season

Help Your System Run Efficiently All Summer

One of the top benefits of a home A/C tuneup is improved efficiency.

When the unit’s coils are cleaned, air filter is replaced and all fluid levels topped off, your air conditioning is ready to face the extreme temperatures of the Utah summer. You will pay less in energy bills because your A/C won’t have to work hard to achieve subpar results. Your home will stay cooler with less effort on the part of your system.

Avoid More Expensive Repairs

A home A/C tuneup is an expense, but it’s not expensive — not when you compare it to the cost of replacing major components or the entire system!

A home A/C tuneup involves a wiring check, ductwork inspection and the lubrication of all mechanical moving parts. Qualified technicians can make all the small repairs necessary to keep the system running at full power, and you’ll avoid small issues that can turn into major problems.

Save cash for a summer vacation by investing in maintenance.

Maintain Warranty Protection

Many home A/C units come with warranties, but those warranties are only good if you follow the requirements. Most warranties require homeowners to regularly maintain their cooling system. If you never make repairs and never schedule tuneups, you are much less likely to have any protection to fall back on if a serious problem arises.

Enjoy Better Air Quality

Think about it — your cooling system controls the air quality in your home all summer long! What are you breathing in?

If you don’t maintain your system, dust particles and mold spores could be making their way into your interior air ducts. Cleaning out the cooling system resolves bad odors and improves overall air quality. This is especially important if you have household members with asthma and respiratory issues.

Make Your Unit Last

The home A/C units that last the longest are the ones that are maintained the best. Regular inspections and cleanings help you get the most out of your investment.

Get Peace of Mind

When you have a professional technician check your unit before the summer heat kicks into high gear, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can to prevent a breakdown. Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your A/C is up to the task of keeping you cool and comfortable all summer. Schedule your home A/C tuneup with Roberts Mechanical today.

HVAC system

How Long Should Your HVAC System Last?

Your HVAC system is what makes your home livable and comfortable in the extreme cold and stifling heat. It’s essential. You don’t have time for mechanical breakdowns, so planning ahead is key.

While it’s a common question from homeowners, it’s hard for even the most experienced technician to give a straight answer when asked about the life span of an HVAC system. So many variables play a part.

Maintenance Is the Key Factor

Above all else, the way you maintain your HVAC system will determine how long it lasts. If you never change the filters and ignore manufacturer-recommended tuneups, you could see it fail in as little as eight years. If you abide by a strict maintenance schedule, it may last as long as 30 years.

This takes an investment on your part, in the form of both time and money.

You can take care of some of the maintenance tasks on your own, such as changing the filters on a regular basis. But for other parts of system servicing, such as replacing refrigerant, you may need to hire a technician.

When you look at the big picture, the minor cost of regular service fees is a smart investment. Maintenance checks extend the life of your unit, so you spend less on major repairs and expensive system replacements over time.

How Often Does it Run?

If you run your HVAC system for most of the year, it’s going to last fewer years. Also, if you have your thermostat cranked up high in the winter and as low as possible in the summer, the system will have to work harder when it’s on. This will shorten its life span as well.

If you want to protect your HVAC system from an early breakdown, try to keep your thermostat at a reasonable level and take other steps to prevent energy loss, such as investing in energy-efficient windows.

Does it Fit the Home?

If the original HVAC system wasn’t sized correctly, it may be forced to run overtime to heat or cool your entire home. If you added square footage to your home since the installation, you may be overtaxing the system as well.

When installing a new system, it’s important to trust a trained expert who knows how to accurately fit your HVAC to the size of your home.

What’s the Tipping Point?

In general, the average life span of most well-maintained systems is 20 years. Most experts say that once your HVAC is 75 percent into its useful life and requires repairs that cost more than 25 percent of the cost to replace the entire system, it’s probably time to invest in a new one.

Consider Energy Efficiency

Besides avoiding spending money on repairs to your expiring system, HVAC replacement can pay off by lowering your energy bills. New systems function more efficiently, saving you money every month.

Debating whether it’s time to repair or replace your HVAC system? Roberts Mechanical can provide a complete system inspection and a free quote for a new one — call us today.

air conditioner blowing hot

Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Is No Joke

April 1 might be a day for jokes, but an air conditioner blowing hot air is no laughing matter, especially as the weather starts to warm up in Utah.

Not warm enough yet to be using your air conditioner? April is also prime time to get it checked and maintained before the summer heat arrives. You don’t want to find out it’s blowing hot air when you’re already overheated!

An air conditioner blowing warm air can be caused by numerous issues, but there are three common perpetrators professionals check first.

The most common problem isn’t really a problem at all. Is your thermostat set to “heat”? The air conditioner might be working fine, but if you forgot to turn your thermostat or fan off, you won’t get cool air. If your thermostat is set to “fan on,” the fan blows constantly, which optimizes air quality, but also circulates warm air.

Kind of like making sure an appliance is plugged in, checking your thermostat is a common oversight. When you call to schedule A/C repair, you’ll often be asked to check your thermostat before they’ll schedule an appointment. Always set your thermostat to “cool,” and choose the “auto” setting.

Clog Causes

Air conditioners have two primary pieces, one inside the home and one outside. They work in tandem to get heat out of your house. This requires a clear airway within the condenser coil, which is in the outside part of the A/C unit.

If that coil gets clogged with leaves, soil or anything else, it can prevent your air conditioner from properly cooling your home. Try sweeping any obvious debris away from your unit, and keep your landscape nearby neatly trimmed.

Another common problem is losing power to the outside unit. It’s possible that the inside unit maintains power while the outside one goes without. Power can be lost at the circuit breaker, or the emergency shutoff switch might have been tripped. Check the breaker first, then the off switch, which is usually on the outside wall of the home close to the unit.

Working Up a Sweat

While these three problems are the most common causes of warm air coming out of your A/C, they aren’t the only possibility. If your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, is low on Freon, has an evaporator coil that’s damaged or dirty, or if a return duct is damaged, you might be getting blasted with warm air. However, these are issues that only a professional should tackle.

Always check your air conditioning functionality in the spring to make sure your unit is safe and in top working condition to keep you comfortable in the summer. An air conditioner that’s blowing hot or is otherwise not at peak performance can lead to high energy bills at best and a fire hazard at worst.

Call Roberts Mechanical for a maintenance check or any necessary repairs.

air conditioners

Air Conditioner Basics ​

Air conditioners and refrigerators work in similar ways. Chemicals in the systems are converted from gas to liquid and back to gas. This process moves the heat from inside a room or home to the outdoors.

An air conditioner has three major parts: The compressor, condenser and evaporator. Usually, the compressor and condenser are situated on the outside of the system. The evaporator is on the interiorn and sometimes is part of a furnace.

Fluid goes into the compressor as a high-pressure, hot gas. Next, it moves into the condenser (the part that looks like metal fins on the outdoor portion of your A/C unit). Similar to radiator fins on a car, they help encourage heat to leave quickly.

Once fluid leaves the condenser, it’s at a much colder temperature and has turned from gas to liquid, thanks to the pressure. However, when it enters the evaporator, the pressure drops and the material starts to turn back into a gas.

Temperature Swaps

When turning back into a gas, the liquid starts to evaporate. As it does so, it takes heat from the air nearby. Heat is necessary to separate the molecules, resulting in the final liquid-to-gas transformation.

You’ll also find metal fins on the evaporator, which help with thermal energy exchange. When the fluid exits the evaporator, it’s a low-pressure gas that’s cool and refreshing. However, the job isn’t over yet. Working fluid goes back to the compressor and starts the process again.

Evaporators have a fan connected to them to help circulate interior air. This process helps blow air over the evaporator fins to access the hotter air that rises. Vents on A/C units suck air into the system and down the ducts. Air cools the evaporator gases. While the heat is taken from the air, it’s cooled and directed into the house via ducts around the home.

The Never-Ending Cycle

A relatively simple cycle, it’s repeated over and over. If the home has a set cooling temperature, or a smart thermostat, the system will stall once the ideal setting is reached. Thermostats sense interior temperatures and automatically turn off newer A/C systems. When the room starts to get warmer, thermostats tell the A/C to turn on again.

Although air conditioners seem easy to use, one small glitch can shut down or slow the entire system. Having air conditioners checked in the spring before they’re in high demand should be part of every Utahn’s spring cleaning checklist. Regular maintenance checks ensure systems and all parts are in good working order for the impending summer months.

Call Roberts Mechanical and make sure your air conditioner is ready for summer.