Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Was This the Final Summer for Your AC? Some of the Signs

Monday, September 6th, 2021
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Saying goodbye to an old air conditioning system shouldn’t be difficult. No one forms sentimental attachments to HVAC appliances. An air conditioner is designed to do a vital job for a home—keeping it comfortable during the heat—and when it can no longer do that job effectively or without raising utility prices extremely high, then replacing is a straightforward solution. 

And yet, people still find it difficult to make the final choice to replace an air conditioner that’s on the decline. We understand: the job costs money and takes planning, and maybe the current AC isn’t that bad. It’s easy to procrastinate on this type of home service. 

We’re here to help you make the right choice for your AC at the end of the summer. You don’t want to delay getting a new air conditioner during the fall (a convenient time for the service) if your current cooling system has sent out signals this was its last summer of effective and efficient use. Below are some of those signals:

The AC is 15 or more years old

The raw age of your air conditioning system is a strong indicator of how much longer you can expect it to continue to work. Few central ACs can last much longer than 15 years—it’s the point when the strain on the system’s components catches up with it and repairs and maintenance make much less of a difference. We strongly recommend replacing an air conditioner this old. 

Rising summer electric bills

In the last one or two years of an air conditioning system’s service life, it will start to see a drop in its energy efficiency. This means you’ll see a rise in your electrical costs each summer that’s unconnected to electricity prices and how much you use the AC. This decline will only get worse and you’ll throw money away each time the air conditioner comes on. 

Dropping cooling capacity

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is how much cooling it can create. When an AC is accurately sized for a house, it will have the right cooling capacity to lower indoor temperatures to a comfortable level without wasting energy. When this cooling capacity starts to drop and you notice your house no longer gets as cool as it used to (unless you keep lowering the thermostat), it’s time for a new AC. 

Excessive and expensive repairs

Needing to repair an AC each year is too often. And twice a year is a big warning that a replacement is the better choice. Also watch out for high costs of repairs: any single repair quote that’s more than half the cost of a new AC is not worth it. 

If you need help making the choice, you have a great resource available: us! We offer air conditioning service in North Potomac, MD and provide honest opinions on repairs and replacements. 

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to exceed expectations at every turn. Schedule AC service if you think you need a new cooling system.

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A Wheezing AC: Why Its Airflow Is Low

Monday, August 23rd, 2021
room-vent

Think of the ventilation system in your house like it’s a set of lungs. It’s not a clean comparison, but it has enough similarities for us to make a point. You want the air to flow through the ventilation system with as few obstructions as possible: air from inside the house flows through the return vents, passes through a filter, then moves through the AC to receive cooling, and then branches out along the supply vents to reach the room. If this airflow drops, it means the ventilation system is “wheezing”—something is keeping the flow through the ducts, filter, or AC from moving cleanly.

When you have a wheezing AC, it can mean several problems: a drop in cooling, a rise in bills, undue strain on components. You may need to call us for AC repair in Frederick, MD to solve the problem, although sometimes a simple explanation can account for the trouble. Below we’ll look at reasons for a decline in airflow in your AC.

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How Many Years Can My Air Conditioner Last?

Monday, June 28th, 2021
ancient-ac

Nobody wants to get caught with a failed air conditioning system during the summer. When it does happen, you hope that proper repairs can get the system going again—and often this is the case. When you’re looking for repairs for your air conditioning in Bethesda, MD, the team at Tuckers is ready to help.

But some AC failures may be permanent. If an air conditioner is too aged, a breakdown may signal that the best fix is to retire the AC. We want to help you avoid getting blindsided with an AC replacement by talking about how long you can expect your cooling system to last. Knowing when your air conditioning system is in its final years will help you arrange for a replacement at a convenient time.

Average AC Life Expectancy

Most manufacturers list the service life expectancy of central air conditioning systems as 10 to 15 years. You may have heard contractors say that an AC needs to be replaced every 10 years, but this isn’t necessarily true. Air conditioners reaching 15 years without experiencing severe drops in efficiency or performance are common when the system has regular maintenance. And that brings us to an important topic… 

What Can Affect AC Life Expectancy

There are several other factors that can change how long an air conditioner lasts. The biggest is the lack of regular maintenance. We talk about routine professional HVAC maintenance often on our site, but that’s because we know that it’s a vital service that saves our customers money and helps them protect their home comfort. 

Here’s an important fact to keep in mind: the majority of repairs the average central air conditioner needs are due to lack of maintenance. Now consider those repairs are also contributing to a decline in the general health of the AC, and you’ll see why neglecting maintenance can also cause an air conditioner to fail years early. Without maintenance, an air conditioning system’s lifespan can be cut in half. So instead of enjoying an AC for 10 to 15 years, you’ll only have it for 5 to 8 years. That’s a lot of lost years of potential cooling!

Another factor that can cause a rapid decline for an AC is ignoring repair needs for too long. We always urge our customers to be proactive when it comes to getting an air conditioner problem repaired: at the earliest sign something is wrong with your AC (loud noises, a drop in cooling capacity, a rise in humidity, uneven cooling, skyrocketing electric bills, tripped circuit breakers), call our technicians to investigate the problem and fix it. If a malfunction is allowed to continue, it will place stress on other components and age the system rapidly. If you end up with a burnt-out compressor, that usually means you need to replace the entire system.

Let Tuckers help you keep your AC running for as many years as possible with our repair and maintenance service. We’re also here when you’re ready to have a new system installed. 

Call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing when you need AC service. We pledge to exceed expectations at every turn.

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Why Is My AC Shutting Off Too Early?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
woman-before-fan

Is this happening to you? You set your home thermostat for the usual daytime temperature when it’s hot outside. The AC turns on, you can hear the compressor running, cooled air starts to flow from the vents. Then the compressor shuts off, but the house hasn’t gotten cool enough. You fiddle with the thermostat, and maybe the AC starts to cool again, but then shuts off early, and so on… 

This is a problem since you’ll have to go through hassles and raise your electric bills to try to stay cool. Why is this happening, and what can you do about it? We’ll look into that below.

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Icy AC? Reach Out For Repairs!

Monday, May 24th, 2021

If you’ve ever walked through a fair exhibit full of ice sculptures on a hot day, you probably know how pleasant that cool air is. With that said, ice belongs in ice sculptures, not in your air conditioner. And no, icy build-up doesn’t mean that your AC unit is working overtime.

If you’ve started to see ice on your air conditioner’s components then it is time to reach out for an AC repair in Frederick, MD. Curious how ice could be an indicator of a malfunctioning system? Let us give you the info you need to help you stay comfortable this summer.

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What Is the Difference Between Freon and Puron?

Monday, May 17th, 2021
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The words Freon and Puron cause confusion for people who aren’t in the HVAC industry. They probably know they’re refrigerants, but that’s it. They may not know which type is in their air conditioning system and if it matters which one is in there. 

For the most part, if you’re a homeowner it isn’t essential that you know the details about refrigerant types (called blends). Handling refrigerant is a job that only professionals licensed to work with air conditioning and other refrigeration equipment can do. However, there are a few facts about refrigerant (in particular, what Freon is) that are important to know if you have an older AC. 

Below, we’ll go into the difference between Freon and Puron, as well as clear up a common misunderstanding about Freon.

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3 Reasons To Get an AC Tune-Up

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Ready, set, GO! You just started out for your first marathon…and you didn’t train at ALL. How do you think you’re going to do? Without getting into the nitty-gritty of this, the short answer is likely going to be “not good.”

You need to train to race in a marathon. Similarly, your AC needs to be prepared for its own marathon: the summer heatwave. Days and sometimes weeks of nonstop cooling for your home isn’t something to scoff at and your AC needs to be properly prepared to handle the challenge well.

That is what AC maintenance in Jefferson, MD is for.

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The Thermostat and Your Air Conditioner’s Limits

Monday, May 3rd, 2021
temperature-gauge

It’s summer planning time, especially with our weather heating up to the point where we’ll need to have air conditioning systems running. Before you let your AC run too much, make sure to schedule regular maintenance service with us. It’s the best job you can have done for your air conditioning in Gaithersburg, MD. You’ll have reliable cooling at lower costs for the summer. 

Right now we want to talk about the thermostat that controls your AC and talk about something that many homeowners don’t know much about: the limits of what their ACs can do.

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Looking for a New AC Installation? A Few Things to Consider

Monday, April 19th, 2021
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Spring is the best time to replace an air conditioning system. The new AC will be ready to go before the first intense summer heat arrives, and you’ll have an easy time arranging for the installation during the mild spring temperatures. (Our team also has more open schedules at this time of the year, so convenient appointments are easy to come by.)

Getting a new AC is a big step—one you usually only need to take every 12 to 15 years if you’ve kept your current AC in good shape. Below are a few things to consider as you start to debate about upgrading your residential cooling system.

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Once Again: Time for AC Maintenance!

Monday, March 22nd, 2021
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We love it when we can tell our customers that it’s time to schedule annual maintenance for their air conditioning in Frederick, MD. Why? Because it means that warm weather is almost here! It’s also an opportunity for us to best serve our customers, because inspecting, tuning-up, and maintaining their cooling equipment is one of the most vital jobs we offer. The benefits of it are tremendous, and it means happy customers who keep cool (for less) through the summer.

No, we’re not overselling it! Maintenance is something all HVAC contractors recommend, as well as all HVAC industry organizations and the US Department of Energy. When you join our maintenance plan (Tuckers Ultimate Service Agreement), you’ll receive numerous benefits. Here are the major ones:

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