Althoff Home Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Cooling’

The Difference Between Commercial and Residential HVAC Services for your Chicago Property

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Commercialv vs Residential HVAC Services for your Chicago Property

Do you know the differences between residential HVAC and commercial HVAC? Knowing the differences can help you choose the right contractor for your routine maintenance, repairs and HVAC replacements.

Residential HVAC

Residential HVAC contractors repair, replace and maintain central air conditioning and heating units on single-family homes. These units often contain an outdoor condenser that is located near an outside wall and is responsible for dissipating heat and an indoor unit that is responsible for filtering the air and pushing the cool air through the air ducts.

Commercial HVAC

Commercial HVAC units are much larger than residential HVAC units because they are needed to cool much larger spaces, and they must be repaired, maintained and installed by commercial HVAC contractors that are familiar with large systems. These units are typically located on rooftops, and depending on the size of the building, more than one rooftop unit may be installed. Unlike the residential HVAC system, the commercial rooftop unit is an all-in-one unit that contains everything needed to heat and cool the building. The only items located inside the commercial or large multi-story building are the air ducts and the thermostats.

The Primary Differences Between Commercial and Residential HVAC Units

There are three main differences between commercial and residential HVAC units, including the size of the units, the location and the expansion options.

1. Size and Power of the Unit

Commercial HVAC units are often much larger and much more powerful than their residential counterparts. This is because they must be able to heat, cool and dehumidify the occupied spaces of the building, which could range in size from 5,000 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet. By contrast, single-family residential homes average about 2,000 square feet, and their heating and cooling functions are often separate with the cooling functions being controlled by the central air conditioner and the heating functions controlled by a furnace or heat pump.

2. Location of the HVAC Unit

Because commercial HVAC units are so large, they are often located on rooftops to keep the bulky and oftentimes unsightly equipment out of view of the public. Rooftops also offer lots of room, which means multiple rooftop units can be easily connected together to add heating and cooling power. Residential HVAC units are rarely located on roofs. Instead, the inside parts of the unit are typically located inside an HVAC closet, and the outdoor unit is typically located near an exterior wall and connected to the interior unit via copper piping and electrical wiring.

3. Expansion Options

Residential HVAC units are not typically expandable. Instead, the residential HVAC technician chooses the right sized unit by calculated the occupied square feet, number of doors and windows and ceiling heights. Once the area to be cooled is known, the right sized unit can be purchased and installed. If expansions are performed on the house and additional cooling power is needed, the unit has to be replaced with a large HVAC system.

By contrast, commercial HVAC units are designed to be expandable. If the commercial building undergoes a renovation that increases the occupied square footage, additional rooftop units can be connected to the existing units in order to provide more heating and cooling power.

Residential and Commercial HVAC Services with Althoff

We are proud to be able to provide the entire city of Chicago and the surrounding communities with residential HVAC services and commercial HVAC services. Our residential and commercial heating and cooling technicians are experienced in repairing, replacing and maintaining all types of HVAC equipment from complex rooftop units located on multi-unit multi-story buildings to central units located outside single-family homes.

To talk to one of our HVAC technicians about replacing, repairing or maintaining your residential HVAC system, call us at 815-455-7000. To have your commercial HVAC system serviced, replaced or upgraded, call us at 800-225-2443.

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HVAC Installation Day: 6 Steps our Team Takes to Ensure Success

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

HVAC installation day for your new HVAC system is an exciting time for our team at Althoff Industries. While we try to minimize any negative impact HVAC installation day may have on you and your family, we want you to know what to expect. We also hope that the day brings a certain excitement to you, knowing you will soon have a new, more efficient HVAC system providing a more comfortable indoor environment.

There are six general steps our team takes to help ensure the successful installation of your new equipment.

  1. Loading and preparation at our shop. Installation day starts with making sure we not only have your new HVAC equipment aboard our trucks but all the tools, testing equipment, and components to complete your installation properly, safely, and efficiently. This takes making sure we have everything we need loaded before we head to your NW Chicago suburb area home.
  2. Arrival and meeting of the installation team. Once our technicians arrive, they will introduce themselves and explain a bit about the installation process and what you can expect. They will determine the best place to park vehicles as to offer as little inconvenience to you as possible.
  3. Preparation for installation. Preparation for installation includes determining the easiest and simplest pathway to the installation site(s) and making sure any flooring is covered to prevent any potential damage. Once access is determined, the real work is ready to begin.
  4. Removal and disposal of old equipment. Before we can install your new equipment, we must remove the older equipment it will be replacing. This can sometimes be a relatively simple process but in some instances where very old equipment is involved, it can be a challenge. We will remove all of the old equipment and get it ready for disposal upon our departure.
  5. Installation of new equipment. Once the old equipment is removed, we will bring your new HVAC equipment into place and begin the installation process. Even after installation, our job is not done as the HVAC system must be carefully tested and checked for safe, smooth, and efficient operation. This is done through an initial start-up and thorough monitoring and testing using specific HVAC testing equipment to monitor gasses, combustion, and airflow.
  6. We’ll explain your equipment and its operation. Once our technicians are completely satisfied your new HVAC equipment has been properly and safely installed, they will explain the operation of your equipment to you and the routine maintenance you can perform to keep it running at peak efficiency.

You should begin enjoying the benefits of your new HVAC equipment quickly through better heating and cooling of your home and lower energy bills! Our goal is to leave your home as we found it, only better!

We’ve prepared a brief video of our team preparing for an install. Enjoy the show!

You can help us on HVAC installation day by removing any items that may be in the path while we take out or bring in your equipment. For the safety of any pets as well as our technicians, please keep any animals in a separate area during the installation process. If you have a cat or dog that is sensitive to noise or strangers, you may want to consider having a friend or relative take your pet during the installation period.

Keep in mind, the installation of a new HVAC system is a major project. It is likely the largest mechanical system in your home. There will be noise and technicians will be coming in and going out of your house frequently. While we do everything we can to minimize disruptions, it is an involved process.

Thanks for choosing Althoff Industries. If you ever have any questions about your new HVAC system or would like to know more about keeping your indoor air as clean and comfortable as possible, please contact us.

Heating System Repairs 24 hours NW Chicago Suburbs (1)

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Althoff HVAC Trucks: Fully Stocked to Finish Residential Service Jobs

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Those who live and work in the Crystal Lake, Northwest Chicago area, and its suburbs have likely seen our Althoff Industries service trucks on the area roadways. You may not, however, have given much thought to what all is contained in these vehicles.

It helps to understand that for our technicians, these trucks tend to serve as their offices on wheels. As such, they need to contain the parts and tools that we use most often. This better allows us to complete a repair on the first call properly. It also saves us, and you, time and money.

Of course, with so many brands, types, sizes, and configurations of heating and air conditioning equipment, this leads to quite a collection of parts and tools. Is it always pretty and well-organized in the back of our service trucks? Not very often. But through the years, however, we have become quite adept at making sure our trucks are equipped to handle the most common HVAC and plumbing related problems on an initial call. Let’s take a closer look at what you may typically find in an Althoff HVAC residential repair truck.

Hand and Power Tools

Of course, one of the most critical factors in residential HVAC repair is having the right tool for the right job. This means a variety of both common and specialized hand and power tools that range from hammers and pliers to sheet metal cutting tools and soldering equipment.

Gauges, Diagnostic and Measuring Equipment

At Althoff Industries, our primary concern is that of the safety of your family. This makes it necessary that we have a variety of gauges and measuring equipment to help us properly diagnose any potentially dangerous conditions. These devices include equipment like a combustion analyzer, draft gauge, manometer, and more. Humidity and temperature gauges also help us in determining HVAC related issues.

Various Nuts, Bolts, and Small Parts

The back of one of our residential HVAC repair trucks will have a variety of nuts, bolts, screws, and small parts to help technicians complete their tasks. This will also include a variety of sealers, electrical tapes, duct tape, and PVC and sheet metal parts.

Parts that Commonly Fail

Some HVAC parts are more prone to failure than others. These include relays, transformers, circuit boards, capacitors, thermostats, thermocouples, blower motors, igniters, and more. Our trucks contain a variety of these parts including replacement hoses and valves, wiring, switches, connectors, breakers, and others.

The Most Important Part 

Our trucks contain refrigerant, refrigerant reclaim jugs, flush kits, glycol and glycol pumps, and so much more. But it is what you don’t see in the back of our HVAC contractor truck that is perhaps most important. That is the knowledge, training, and experience of our Althoff Industries technicians.

When you contact us for a service call, you likely want that call completed as efficiently and quickly as possible. A properly equipped and stocked truck can help us better accomplish that.

Keeping our trucks properly stocked and outfitted with the latest tools is part of the cost of doing business. So is properly maintaining our vehicles so they are ready to go when you need us. Whether your furnace decides to give out during the coldest day of the winter or your AC fails in the mid-summer heat, you can count on the team at Althoff Industries to be prepared. When you experience HVAC issues, we invite you to contact us, at Althoff Industries.

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A Clog Free Condensate Line Keeps Your Property Safe from Water Damage

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Next to the safety of your family, the highest priority of the team at Althoff Industries is to make sure your property is protected from damage from your HVAC system. To help ensure that, one of the routine maintenance tasks we perform on every clean and check and repair is to make sure the condensate line is clear.

What is the purpose of a condensate line or drain, how does it get clogged, and what can be the result if it does clog?

The Role of a Condensate Line

Many homeowners don’t understand that their air conditioner not only cools the air it treats but it dehumidifies it as well. On a humid day in Chicago, as much as five to 10 gallons of water can be removed from the air. This water is funneled into a drip pan and then removed through the condensate line to the outside of your house or to a drain inside the home.

How Does a Condensate Line Become Clogged?

Even if you are diligent in keeping air filters clean and even if you have a whole house air cleaner, dust and dirt can still collect in and around your HVAC system. The moisture that is removed from the air can serve as a “dust magnet”, attracting dust and dirt particles into the drip pan and eventually the condensate drain. If not cleaned, this can clog the condensate line.

What are the Potential Ramifications of a Clogged Condensate Line?

If the condensate drain is clogged, the water in the drip pan has nowhere to go and will overflow. This can cause damage to your HVAC equipment, flooring, and walls. If not promptly corrected, it can even lead to mold, which can be expensive to remediate. You are far better off having your condensate line cleaned with your annual furnace maintenance and HVAC check.

Cleaning the condensate line is a relatively simple task, yet some HVAC companies won’t perform a condensate drain cleaning unless a clog is apparent. At Althoff Industries, we understand that clogs usually don’t just occur overnight, they develop over time. By cleaning the condensate line on every visit, we are conducting proactive maintenance to prevent a potential problem in the future. We’ve created a brief video explaining condensate drain cleaning if you’d like to learn more.

If you have any questions about your HVAC equipment or would like to schedule an annual furnace maintenance clean and check, we invite you to give us a call. Next to the safety of you and your family, protecting your home is our next highest priority.

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How to Choose the Right Air Filter for Your HVAC Equipment

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

If you find yourself having to set your thermostat at unusually high or low temperatures just to stay comfortable, your problem may be poor air flow. Poor air flow may be caused by too much friction in your HVAC system or too much turbulence. One of the most significant causes of friction in an HVAC system is the air filter.

How is an Air Filter Related to the Comfort of a Home?

Even a clean HVAC air filter will offer some friction to the air flow in a furnace. If a filter is dirty or too restrictive in its design, it will not allow a sufficient airflow through your system and into the rooms it serves. This can lead to your system overworking and struggling to provide the comfort you desire. It will also increase the inefficiency of your unit. While we find that more and more homeowners understand the importance of changing filters, many still fail to remember to do it or are purchasing filters that are too restrictive for their systems to operate properly.

How Do You Determine the Best Filter for You?

HVAC filters are rated based on a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). This is a 1-16 scale but most home filters fall within the 4 to 12 range. The higher the rating, the smaller the particles are that can be trapped by the filter. Higher ratings also make filters more restrictive to air flow and generally are more expensive.

Selecting the right filter for you and your family will depend on the balance you place on comfort, expense, clean indoor air quality, and furnace efficiency. Most homeowners can usually settle in the 6-8 MERV range without negatively impacting air flow. The 6-8 range filters are also still affordable.

Before You Switch to a High-Efficiency Furnace Filter

A high-efficiency HVAC air filter can remove up to 99% of particulate matter in the air. This can be terrific news if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or are sensitive to dust. A word of caution about high-efficiency filters, however. Before making the switch, contact your HVAC professional. A trained technician can help determine how disruptive the filter will be and perhaps even make adjustments to increase fan speed to make up for the reduced airflow. You’ll also want to make sure you stay on top of changing these more restrictive filters on schedule.

Keep in mind that a dirty HVAC air filter can cause more than just discomfort. They can lead to damage to the blower motor or heat exchanger. You can see the difference between a minimally restrictive fiberglass filter and a pleated filter in the below video.

If you have rooms that just don’t seem to get comfortable, check your air filters. If you are interested in switching to a higher MERV rated filter for cleaner indoor air, contact us at Althoff Industries, We’ll conduct an inexpensive clean and check and help determine the best HVAC air filter for your family. If adjustments need to be made, we can accomplish that on the same call.

Don’t settle for anything less than superior comfort when it comes to your indoor air. Contact Althoff Industries and get the indoor air quality you deserve.

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3 Essential HVAC Tools that Provide Accurate Diagnostics

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

At Althoff Industries, our priority is not only hiring and training talented technicians but equipping them with the highest quality tools to get the job done accurately. We ensure our technicians are not only well-trained and proficient in HVAC repair and installations but that they have the essential HVAC tools to assist them in the accurate diagnosis of your heating and air conditioning equipment.

While our trucks are filled with many parts, equipment, and tools, there are three HVAC technician tools that we use at every service call. They are the combustion analyzer, draft gauge, and manometer. These tools give us the ability to measure and analyze things happening with the system that cannot be seen by just visually looking at it. Our highly trained technicians understand that the proper diagnosis involves digging deeper to uncover hidden problems that impact safety, performance, and can cause breakdowns.

3 Essential HVAC Tools

1. Combustion Analyzer

A combustion analyzer is a handheld device that looks much like a multi-meter an electrician would use to check circuits. Like blood work being analyzed at the lab, the combustion analyzer gives our technicians all the components of the combustion process at once. The three main components checked are carbon monoxide levels, oxygen levels, and flue temperature. A trained technician knows that having just one of those numbers doesn’t tell you the whole story. It takes putting all the pieces together to accurately understand what’s happening. The purpose of the combustion analysis unit is to measure the percentages of oxygen and carbon dioxide along with the flue temperature. These measurements help our technicians determine whether or not the furnace is operating within the parameters that the manufacturer of the equipment has specified.

A combustion analyzer is important for three different reasons. It can help in determining and achieving optimum fuel efficiency, it is critical for the safe operation of your equipment, and it can ensure your HVAC system is operating within the guidelines of any warranty.

2. Draft Gauge

A draft gauge is a device that verifies that your chimney has proper draft pressure. Improper draft can be caused by lack of combustion air, too much combustion air, outside temperature and wind conditions, or a blocked chimney. A proper draft is critical to make sure the by products of combustion are safely disposed of outside the home. Most companies just assume this is happening correctly, at Althoff our technicians are trained to verify it. HVAC tools like a draft gauge help our technician determine if there are any problems creating these potential draft issues.

3. Manometer

The manometer is a device used to measure differences in pressure. We use this in a couple different ways. First, we use it to measure duct static pressure to make sure that you have proper air flow through the furnace and duct system. Another way is by measuring gas pressure to the equipment. Equipment is rated for certain gas pressures and those outside of those ranges can have very negative effects on performance, safety, longevity of the equipment

Other Trade Tools Used on Daily Basis

The three critical HVAC tools listed above are just part of what technicians need to perform their job on a daily basis. Other such tools may include:

  • A refrigerant recovery machine
  • Hand seamer
  • Swage tools
  • Leak detectors
  • Hand and power tools
  • Tin snips
  • Multimeter
  • Humidity and temperature gauges…and more!

Our technicians in the field often play the role of part technician, mechanic, sheet metal worker, detective, and chemist/scientist. It is why they are so extensively trained and outfitted with the latest equipment. It is not an inexpensive proposition but we take what we do very seriously here at Althoff Industries. After all, it is not just the efficient operation of your HVAC equipment that is at stake. It is also the safety of your family.

When you experience an issue with your furnace, trust the experts at Althoff Industries.

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How Do You Define HVAC Contractor? This Definition Is Pretty Hard To Beat

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

The Althoff Definition of a Quality HVAC Technician

You probably have seen, read or heard advertisements from HVAC contractor companies in the greater Chicago area that talk about their “quality”. They’ll boast of the quality of their equipment, the quality of their service, and even the quality of the technicians they hire. Quality has become a word that is so overused in the service industry that it often loses its meaning. When it comes to HVAC, through the years, we’ve discovered there is a big difference in what they refer to as “quality”, and what our high standards are at Althoff Industries. Our definition of a quality HVAC technician reaches beyond most HVAC companies in the Crystal Lake IL area.

Treating Problems at the Core Cause

At Althoff Industries, our technicians are trained to find the core cause of a problem. They are not on a mission to “find” problems that may or may not exist. They are not there to sell you something. From the moment an Althoff team member answers your call to the moment we arrive  at your home, we are there to resolve your HVAC problem at its root cause, keep your family safe, and restore comfort to your home. They are there to offer logical options and let you make the final choice. They are often asked, “What would you do?”. In fairness, every family has different budget restraints. Our technicians are there to provide you HVAC options that are safe. The choice is ultimately yours, the way it should be. Don’t let an HVAC contractor sell you on a solution that may be their own best interest.

Why Finding the Core Cause is Important

Our technicians are trained to find the core cause of a problem because without that knowledge, technicians often just treat the symptoms. Our Althoff technicians are there to determine WHY a part failed and WHY your HVAC system isn’t performing properly. When an HVAC contractor tells you you need a new part, they should be able to tell you WHY the part failed. If they say “normal wear and tear” and your furnace is less than ten years old, it should raise red flags. If they can’t offer a logical reason for the part failure and you simply replace it,  you may just soon experience the same failure sometime in the near future.

Technicians, Training, and Tools

Want to hear something you may already know? Some HVAC people are more interested in selling you something than helping resolve your problem. Shocker right? At Althoff, we have a client-centered focus that compels us to determine your problem at its root cause and then offer you the best options to resolve it. No hidden agendas. We do this through good people who embrace our mission. They have families and understand the challenges of dealing with unexpected issues like HVAC maintenance problems. Next, we provide our HVAC technicians with superior training and exposure to the latest available techniques and technology. That technology includes innovative digital tools that can better determine exactly what is going on with your HVAC system. These tools accurately determine the underlying cause of your problem. We are not just guessing. We use precise instrumentation to verify how your system is performing. We know you expect more than an educated guess from a “quality” HVAC company. At Althoff Industries, we deliver.

Discover a Higher Definition of Quality at Althoff Industries

If you have been frustrated with an HVAC technician who “guesses” at your problem, or simply replaces a failed part without being able to tell you why it failed, contact Althoff Industries. Our service technicians are trained and have the latest tools to diagnose your HVAC problem efficiently and effectively. Best of all, they offer honest solutions that can best fit your family’s needs. Expect more and get more.

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Warm Days, Cool Nights: Seasonal AC Tips for Energy Efficiency

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

This is the time of year when those of us in the Chicago area can still experience some pretty warm daytime temperatures as our nighttime temperatures begin to get downright cool. Humidity begins to drop and the air starts to feel fresher. It can be tempting to consider turning seasonal AC on and off or to only use it as needed. We may even view it as a way to save energy. That may not exactly be the result. Here are some tips to stay comfortable in the fall, while also being energy efficient.

5 Tips for Seasonal AC Energy Efficiency

  • Let your thermostat do the work. Rather than turning AC on and off between daytime and nighttime, let your thermostat do the work and set it two or four degrees warmer. This will allow your residential AC unit to operate more energy efficiently while not having to work too hard to bring the temperature down inside your home during those warm days.
  • Use fans to circulate the air. With a higher thermostat setting, it may be a little warmer in your home during hotter early fall days. This is a great time of year to use your ceiling or oscillating fans to circulate the air. Since your AC will be operating less frequently, the fans can offer an assist in moving the air in your home.
  • Opening windows may not be the best idea. Opening your home’s windows can be tempting this time of year but if someone in your household suffers from allergies it could cause problems. It can also cause your air conditioner to work overtime if you forget to close them during warm days. An open window, even with a screen, can also be a security problem.
  • Change that filter. If you haven’t changed your air filter yet this summer, now’s the time to do so. Filters are inexpensive and easy to change and just maybe the single easiest thing you can do to keep your residential AC operating efficiently.
  • Check your outdoor unit. Fall leaves have a way of gathering around outdoor AC units. Be sure to make an occasional visual inspection of your outdoor unit making sure it stays unobstructed.

Turning AC on and off during the early fall can be tempting but it also can be hard on your equipment. By turning your thermostat up, using fans, keeping windows closed and maintaining equipment, you can get through these “tweener” months using your system efficiently.

Many times, a residential AC unit can limp into the fall, barely surviving the summer. That’s why this time of year is a good time to get an AC checkup so it will be ready to go in the spring. If you have any questions about your residential AC system or would like to schedule an HVAC checkup, please feel free to contact us at Althoff Industries. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, we’ve been keeping Chicago area families comfortable for over 50 years!

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6 Tips for End of Summer AC Maintenance

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Most people in Chicago consider air conditioning maintenance a part of their spring or summer routine. The fact is, the spring and early fall are both good times to conduct maintenance on your AC. End of summer AC maintenance, though, can ensure your system is ready to go for any “Indian Summer” days we may yet experience and is good to go in the spring. If there is a problem or potential problem, there is plenty of time to get it repaired or order any needed parts. If a residential AC maintenance check discovers serious issues, you will have time to make a repair or replace decision. End of year maintenance, along with spring maintenance can help your AC unit run more efficiently, last longer, and reduce overall maintenance costs. What type of end of summer AC maintenance should be performed and what are some air conditioning maintenance tips for this time of year?

Your End of Summer AC Maintenance Checklist

1. Replace the Air Filter

Hopefully, this is not the first time you are replacing your AC filter this summer but even if it is, now is an important time to make sure it is done. Changing air filters frequently is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to help the performance of your air conditioner.

2. Make Sure Your AC Unit Has Room to “Breathe”

Over the summer, grass and bushes may have grown up and around your outside AC unit. This can eventually keep it from getting sufficient air circulation. Clear out any brush, grass, and leaves from the area before cold weather arrives.

3. Clean the Coils and Condensate Line

Dirty coils and a blocked condensate line can cause a variety of issues with your outdoor AC unit. End of summer maintenance should include a thorough A/C coil cleaning. While many will choose to “broom off” or “hose off” AC coils, at least once a year these units should be professionally cleaned by removing the casing. This is best done by a professional.

4. Listen to Your AC Unit and Give It a Visual Inspection

Look for any frayed wires, rust or animal activity. Listen for any unusual sounds or rattling. Look for any outward signs of wear or damage that may have occurred during the summer, especially from mowers and string trimmers.

5. Combine Your End of Summer AC Maintenance with a Furnace Tune-Up

More and more families are discovering the value of having their residential furnace tuned up for the fall at the same time they perform end of summer AC maintenance. This gives them peace of mind in knowing their entire HVAC system is cleaned, maintained, and ready for the seasons ahead. Things can get very busy quickly in the fall, and these are two projects that can be handled early and easily.

6. Call Althoff Industries

Althoff Industries can help you get the most out of your HVAC system with thorough maintenance and tune-up services. We’ve been serving the Northwest Chicago area with heating and cooling services for over 50 years. We were founded as a family business and have never wavered in our commitment to offer the best and most complete service available in the heating and air conditioning industry.

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Repair or Replace? Average Life of an Air Conditioning Unit

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get at Althoff Industries are related to the repair, replacement, and lifespan of HVAC equipment. This time of year in Chicago, questions about the average life of an air conditioner unit and whether the repair or replacement of a central air conditioner is better are common. It is not an easy answer because personal situations and equipment quality vary so widely but we can add some perspective.

What Is the Average Life of an Air Conditioning Unit?

Quite frankly, we have seen AC units that need to be replaced after as little as 10 years and have seen them still operating after 30 years. Both are extremes, of course, but generally speaking, it is safe to use 20 years as an average life-expectancy of an air conditioner. If your’s lasts longer, there are reasons to be grateful.

What Affects an Air Conditioner’s Life Expectancy?

There are three significant factors that will affect the average life of an air conditioner unit.

  1. The quality of the equipment. When it comes to mechanical equipment, quality will always be a major factor in determining the length of service. It is common sense that an air conditioner that is engineered and constructed better will last longer.
  2. Proper sizing and installation. If errors are made in an initial installation of a unit, it can dramatically affect how long a central air conditioner will last. It is one of the benefits of using a trusted, professional HVAC company for the installation of your AC unit. Proper sizing is critical, so don’t fall for “bigger is better” sales pitch. It has been shown that over-sized units tend to fail faster than those that are properly sized.
  3. Maintenance and service. A third significant factor impacting the life of your central air conditioner is how well it is maintained and serviced. Have filters and coils been kept clean? Has vegetation been kept clear from the outside unit? Have fan motors been properly lubricated? It is the reason a professional inspection and tune-up in the spring and fall are so valuable. When it does need service, any replacement parts shouldn’t be appropriately installed. It can be of value to you to have the same company maintain your unit annually, that is if you are satisfied with their service, of course.

Simply put, to maximize the lifespan of a central air conditioner, select quality equipment and have it installed, serviced, and maintained by a trusted professional. We, of course, hope you will consider the team at Althoff Industries.

Repair Or Replace?

Things get trickier when it comes to the decision to repair or replace. The EPA suggests that if the equipment is 10 years or older you should replace it. This is because of increasingly higher SEER ratings that are available in newer units and due to the fact that your unit is likely destined for complete failure in the next five to ten years anyway. Budgets and life situations may make repair the better choice, even if it is a temporary situation. At Althoff Industries, we will guide you through your options and the benefits and risks of each. The option to repair or replace, however, is always yours.

If your central air conditioner is 15 years or older, contact us for an inspection and tune up. It is possible your air conditioner may not be cooling your home properly or efficiently, costing you money every time you pay your electric bill.  We hear from many of our customers who had an AC failure and replaced their older unit. Afterwards, they said if they would have known how much they would have been saving, they would have made a proactive decision to replace years ago! Call Althoff Industries today!

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