Tag Archives: Holly Springs Heating repair

Which AC Brand is Best?

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So you are in the process of deciding on a new AC or Heating system. You’ve done your homework and received multiple quotes. Now you are asking yourself, which quote and which brand is better?

Lets begin this discussion by talking about the offers before we get into the Brands. Take a look at the offers. Is the company making the offer reputable? What are their reviews on such sites as Angie’s List or Google? I don’t recommend Yelp. The reason is that you have to take into account that Yelp tends to be a place for disgruntled people to slam any business they want to without the business being able to dispute the issue. The reviewer is hidden behind only a first name and is at times difficult to identify by the business who may want to reach out and try to rectify the problem. Google and Angie’s List make it easier for the company to discuss solutions with the customer and the reviews are more reliable because the review is identified. This make it hard for fake reviews which are very common on Yelp.

So you’ve narrowed your selection down to a few good companies. This is important. And the reason you want a good company is because your new system will be warrantied the first year through the installer, not the brand. You don’t want to risk a problem with the installation on someone who might not return your phone calls the day after he installed your unit. Second reason is what if the installer has some sort of problem and cannot continue to work? Maybe a workman’s compensation claim, and accident, a legal violation or some other health issue prevents them from doing any further work? What if they move out of your local area? Established companies are far less likely to have any of these issues affect their ability to provide warranty work.

Now you might be down to 2 or 3 companies. All with excellent reviews and a well established presence in your community or geographic area. The offers look very similar, the prices are close with a few differences. These differences may be due to different company policies or overhead costs. Some companies go the extra distance and replace components that other companies my leave behind. Others put in a few extra safety features or upgrade thermostats, just to name a few differences. It is now time to look at the Brands.

We look at the brands last because the installation problems are 80% due to the installation and 20% on the equipment. Most of the equipment goes through rigorous quality testing at the factories and there is less variability in equipment quality from one unit to the next. The installer has less consistency and their reliability is less easier to measure. With that said, lets look at brands.

Some brands are designed, manufactured and assembled in the US. Others are completely designed and assembled in another country and shipped to the US. But no brand is 100% designed, manufactured and assembled in the US. There are small components that are common to many brands that may be manufactured and shipped to the assembly plant. Here in lies the true quality of the Brands. Most brands share the same compressor manufacture, such as Bristol or Copeland. And all those manufacturers make is the compressors. There are electrical components that are purchased as well, such as circuit boards, relays, gas valves, contactors, and capacitors. The Brands typically keep in-house the coils, heat exchangers, and cabinet designs. In essence they are all almost equal. There is a variety of quality in the components and that can make a huge difference in the system quality. There are brands that will be cheaper due to using lower quality components. There are what I consider the “off-brand” products. I would stay away from those if you plan to stay in your home for any period of time. They may be a good option for a builder or a person selling their home or a landlord. These owners typically are not worried about the maintenance costs.

Of the big name brands, Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, Trane, York, the quality is comparable to each other. Not much help? Then lets look at the warranties. Many of these companies farm out their labor warranties to a third

party warranty company. I hope you are asking why they would do that? I know I do. Most companies force the first year labor warranty back on to the installer. Yes I brought that back. And for a reason. Remember I said 80% of the first year issues is due to the installation and not the equipment. Now that starts to make since. But why do they farm out the extended labor warranty? I always wondered if this meant that they don’t have faith in their own equipment.

Warning, here’s where I pitch the brand I carry. York is the only brand that is designed, manufactured, quality tested and assembled in the USA that the extended 10 year labor warranty is backed by the manufacturer and not through a third part. I truly believe this is because they have faith in their product and are willing to stand behind it for 10 years. I know of no other brand that does that.

Call us today. We are your award winning Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical contractor servicing Raleigh-Durham area since 2012.

919-886-4822

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Common Air Conditioner Capacitor Failure Symptoms

Capacitor Failure Symptoms

are sometime harder to identify without the right tools and expertise. the most common symptom of a bad capacitor is that the motors do not run. This is especially true for the compressor. Fan motors can sometimes run even with a bad capacitor but hidden damage is still happening to the fan motor. Fan motors can also run intermittently with a weak or bad capacitor. There are not always visible signs that a capacitor is bad. But there are times when you will see either a balloon shape on the capacitor or a split and leak. But this is not always visible when a capacitor is bad. It’s best to have an expert check the capacitor. There is a high risk of severe electric shock if a capacitor mishandled. This is not a DIY repair.

Types of Capacitors

Capacitors can be found in several different sizes and shapes. There may be one or multiple capacitors included in your ac with regards to the design. While the most popular capacitors are the types found on circuit boards, the ones most associated with air conditioning will be the bigger capacitors that assist start and run your motors. There are several motors present in an conditioner and heater systems:

  1. Compressor Motor Run Capacitor: Here is the most popular capacitor that fails. Most of the time these are duel capacitors, which means that there are 2 capacitors built into one. A duel capacitor will have three terminals on the top where a single capacitor will simply have two terminals on top.
  2. Outside Fan Motor Run Capacitor: That is the smaller capacitor found with or part of the Compressor Motor Capacitor. It helps start and run the outside fan that blows air through the outside coils.
  3. Indoor Blower Motor Run Capacitor: Similar to the outdoor fan motor capacitor, it is a small, single (two terminals) capacitor that will help start and run the indoor blower motor.
  4. Start Capacitor: Some models include an auxiliary start capacitor that helps jump start the motors. Most are found on the compressor. These are less common.

Why do capacitors go bad

When capacitors go south, they either go out entirely or they decline in strength. The decline is measured in the “capacitance” units called micro farads. When the capacitors are produced, they are labeled with their specifications capacitance and a range +/- from the design capacitance. This range is the allowable operating range, usually labeled in a percentage range, for the capacitor. If the capacitor starts to fail, the capacitance measured will be outside of the labeled range. Sometimes these are difficult to find any symptoms unless you have the proper tools. Warning, there is a risk of severe shock, so do not try this at home.

Diagnosing a bad capacitor

If a capacitor goes out completely, or is severely out of its operating range, it may prevent the motor affiliated with it from running completely. If the compressor motor is not working, then the air conditioner will not cool. If the outside fan is not working the compressor may cause problems and will short cycle or cease working. If the indoor fan stops, you’ll find that there is no air blowing through the vents.

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Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning

1-919-886-HVAC (4822)

Raleigh Air Conditioner Repair

Holly Springs Air Conditioner Repair

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Are You at Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

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  • Have an older home?
  • Is your furnace over 20 years old?
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

Don’t be like one of our recent clients!!

After installing a carbon monoxide detector, it went off immediately that night. The gas company came and read 4 times the allowable limit in the house. That is a significant risk to life. All due to a hole in the furnace heat exchanger. This deadly situation was avoided when we replaced their 25 year old furnace, saving the family from a high probability of carbon monoxide poisoning or even death.

Don’t risk your family’s life.

Call Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning today for a furnace check up. We will inspect your heat exchanger and make sure it is safe for you and your family.

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My Furnace Stopped Working!

Furnace Problems?

You wake up in the middle of the night shivering cold. Throwing the blankets aside you rush to the thermostat only to find the set temperature is 70 but your house is now below 60! The

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furnace is either not running or blowing cold air.

But before you go call an HVAC company and spend hundreds of dollars for emergency hours fees, how about taking a minute to figure out what might be wrong with the furnace?

Here’s a little article I wrote today about some furnace diagnostics. It may help you know if the HVAC person who comes to your house actually knows what he is doing. this can save you a lot of time and money.

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Zone cooling in place of whole home cooling

The problem with the typical central home AC is you have to cool the entire home it’s like having just one switch that turns on all the lights.

This was ok 20 years ago when we were paying like $0.004 per Kilowatthr…But now in Fresno Ca Pacific Gas And Electric is charging over $1 per peak KWH!!

Mini split AC systems and so called Ductless units are being promoted but they cost 3 to 4 times as much as a cenrtal system per ton.

It is way better to use smaller packaged air conditioners AKA window ACs but to mount them outside of a window so you do not see or hear them.

Using soud damping material in flexable ducts or ridgid ducting will allow these not to be heard from inside a room…this is perfect to cool a bedroom on hot summer nights to a cool 75F for about $1 a night

When so mounted there is a clear advatage as you just turn on the zone you are in. Window ACs can be bought from discount Ebay seller for a low as $200 per ton of cooling…or 12,000 BTU

The best part of using this approach is:

1- You never have to replace your old central AC for over $10,000 as is a typical high SEER AC system upgrade

2- If a single smaller zone AC unit fails it can be replaced for about $200 and you do not to hire a HVAC contractor to put the new on in.

3- On those rare super hot day ( like we just had at 112F in Tucson) you can turn on the old central AC until the smaller zone units can take on the cooling load.

4- If you have a typical solar power system it should be able to power 3 to 4 smaller zone ACs . The typical home solar power system is not able to run a 4 ton central AC unit

ANSWER:

You can solve that problem with zone damper system by Honeywell. installing dampers at the air handler for each zone then running a thermostat to each zone will improve the dynamic cooling requirements of each zone and is a lot less expensive than buying and retrofitting all those window units. Visit us at www.raleighheatingandairservice.com/articles to learn more.

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Interesting DIY Air Conditioners