5 Benefits of an Annual AC Inspection

By and large, people hate spending money on insurance, even though insurance comes in many different forms.  The problem with the traditional kind, however – take auto insurance, for example – is that you can’t touch, see or feel it, but it still costs an arm and a leg.  And the only time it does you any good?  Right: when something goes wrong.

Then there are other kinds of insurance, such as preventative maintenance for your central air conditioning system.  At its core, its purpose is to prevent costly repair problems.  But unlike an extended warranty or traditional insurance policy, AC preventative maintenance is a process undertaken inside and outside your home by the skilled, experienced, and licensed HVAC technicians here at Absolute Air.

In addition to preventing repair problems, our preventative maintenance service can deliver these key benefits:

  • Longer system lifespan
  • Cleaner indoor air
  • Reduced indoor humidity
  • Added safety for your family

That’s a lot of value for a very affordable service. Come to think of it, we see it as the most value-rich AC service we offer.

Still not convinced?  Well, let’s say you recently purchased a new AC system, one that’s still under warranty.  Failure to have preventative maintenance performed by a qualified HVAC technician could nullify that warranty, an important type of insurance in its own right.

So, for all the right reasons, we invite you to contact Absolute Air today to schedule our AC preventative maintenance service.  It’s the best you to – you guessed it – ensure a summer’s worth of cool, comfortable indoor conditions.

How to Stay Cool During a Power Outage

blogWhen you think about the prospect of a summer outage and how to prepare should one occur, one can easily get overwhelmed with thoughts of how long will it last?  Should we pack up and find a place to stay or tough it out at home?  What about the food – will it spoil and how long does that take?  And on and on it goes.

Well, another byproduct of a summer power outage is losing our air conditioning.  How long it might last is anyone’s guess.  But isn’t better to prepare in advance for an extended power outage than no power outage at all?

So, from your friends at Absolute Air, here are some effective ways to keep cool should you lose your AC – however temporarily – for any reason at all, including a system breakdown:

Sleeping: If you are without power, simply hang your sheets and blankets in the coolest part of the house until bedtime. Allowing air to circulate around the sheets will keep them cool, so hang them up in the basement, a closet, or even in the shade of a tree until bedtime.

Stay hydrated: Drinking a glass of water can keep your body cool for up to an hour. Be sure to drink even if you aren’t thirsty, and remember that the body loses a lot of water through sweating. Other ways to cool off are with a sprinkler, misting fan, or putting your feet in cold water.

Change your diet: Eat spicy food when the AC is off – are we crazy?  Not at all.  Because doing wo will make you perspire, and perspiration helps you cool off.  In times of no AC, you’ll also want to load up on fruits and vegetables which are natural sources of water and electrolytes.

Cool the house: Keep the house cool by keeping the shades closed, lights off, and cook on the grill, with a crockpot, or enjoy take out. Anything to keep from adding heat to your home!

Circulate the air: Let’s say your AC is down because of a repair issue, and not a power outage.  What other means do you have of cooling your house?  How about a cold air return system which pulls the air from the cool basement into the house? An attic fan also can quickly pull the hot air up through the house, pulling in cooler air behind it. If the electricity is temporarily out you can still move air the old fashion way. No, not by having the kids fan you! Hot air rises, so opening the top half of the windows can vent out the warm air forcing the cool air from other parts of the house to replace it.

Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?  Well, while we certainly hope you’re never without central air, sooner or later it’s bound to happen.  And when it does for reasons other than a power outage, you can count on Absolute Air to restore your cool, comfortable air promptly and reliably.  Just like always.

How to Reduce Stress on Your AC System

At least in one very important way, you and your AC system are a lot alike:  the less stress you’re under, the better and more productively you’re likely to perform.

And while you may be looking for some tips on personal stress relief, that’s a blog for another time.  Today, we’d like to offer you several useful and effective tips for reducing stress on your AC system so it will last longer and serve you better with fewer repair problems along the way:

  • blogKeep your home as dark as possible and practical during AC system operation. By doing so, you’re lessening the amount of heat it has to disperse.
  • The less you use your stove and oven during the summer months, the less stress on your AC system.
  • Shore up any gaps in your insulation, caulking and weather stripping so cool air isn’t allowed to escape, and hot outdoor air isn’t allowed to enter.
  • When running your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, always run a full load. That reduces the amount of time you’ll use these appliances, and that means less internal heat.
  • If you’ve been thinking about painting or siding the outside of your home, think “light colors”. Darker colors attract more sun and heat.
  • Install one or more ceiling fans to push the cool air back down, thus enabling you to stay cool at higher thermostat settings.
  • Invest in one or more programmable thermostats, especially if your house is empty for long periods of time during the day. That way your home will be nice and cool when you return without wasting gobs of energy while you’re away.

Another great way to minimize the stress on your AC system is with annual preventative maintenance, a specialty of the house here at Absolute Air.  At your request, we’ll come out and perform our multi-point tune-up and inspection to ensure its more effective operation while also helping you enjoy reduced electricity bills and a safer home environment.

Properly Sizing Your New AC System

blogToday’s high-efficiency air conditioners use about 30% to 50% less energy than made about two decades ago. As such, you could cut your energy costs by up to 40% by replacing your older system now.

Still, the efficiency of the “box” itself is just part of the energy saving story.  To save all you can, your system needs to be properly sized.  One measure of system size is the amount British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat a system can remove per hour. Another common rating term for air conditioning size is “ton,” with one ton equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour.

Before Absolute Air recommends the right size for your new or replacement AC system, we first take into account:

  • The size of your home and the number of windows.
  • The amount of shade that falls on your home’s windows, walls, and roof
  • The amount and placement of insulation.
  • How much air is leaking in or out of your home, and from where.
  • How much heat is generated by the occupants and other appliances on a normal day.

Why is it so important to recommend and install exactly the right size system?  Because anything smaller or larger than “right” will incur needless added wear and tear and not provide you with the maximum return on your investment.

To learn more or request a free in-home consultation and new AC system proposal, contact Absolute Air today.  We’re here to make sure you get your money’s worth, and then some.

Why You Should Clean Your AC Filter.

blogDo you turn the thermostat up to 76 or even higher during those summer days when no one’s going to be home?  Lots of people do to cut down on their air conditioning energy costs.  But the second you get home, especially on a hot, humid day, chances are you make a mad dash to the thermostat to cool things off for a nice relaxing evening.

But what happens when a thermostat setting no longer delivers an indoor temperature of the same number?  Do you just shrug your shoulders and lower the thermostat a little more?  If so, we’d like to suggest doing one other thing so perhaps you won’t have to adjust the thermostat and incur more energy expense.  And that is:  check and be prepared to clean your AC filter.  begun.

The dirtier it gets, the harder your AC system has to work to reach the desired temperature.  Not only does that cause your energy bill to spike, it also means greater system wear and tear and, if left unattended for lengthy periods of time, a shorter system lifespan.  Plus, at least some of the dirt, bacteria, and other pollutants attached to your filter get blown by the system’s fan into your ductwork and eventually your living spaces and lungs.  And these are the airborne pollutants known to cause and/or aggravate allergies, asthma, and other upper respiratory problems.

At Absolute Air, we recommend following the instructions on your filter’s package for how and how frequently to check and clean your filter.  If you don’t have such a package handy and you’re committed to proper AC system maintenance, then plan to start checking the filter every 60 days and then clean or replace it as you deem appropriate.

For even greater airflow distribution along with cleaner air and more energy efficient system operation, be sure to have your heating and cooling systems professionally cleaned and inspected once a year each by the home comfort professionals at Absolute Air.  In the process, we do much more than check and clean or replace your filters.  We follow a multi-step process that leads to overall improved system performance plus greater safety for your home and family.

Has it been a year or longer since your last AC or furnace inspection?  If so, contact Absolute Air today to get the quality of service every family deserves.

How to Reduce High Indoor Humidity

If high outdoor humidity seems to be following you indoors, then something is definitely wrong with your AC system. If so, here are two distinct possibilities.

  • You have an over-sized system. Let’s say, for example, that you have a 4 ton AC unit when a 3 ton unit would have been more than adequate. An oversized system will cool your home faster, but also shut itself off faster than a correctly sized system. That, in turn, means longer periods of time without the AC on, and thus higher than comfortable indoor relative humidity.

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  • Frozen evaporator coil. When a home AC system is operating efficiently, its evaporator coil – located inside the indoor half of the system – is doing its job by literally cooling off your indoor air. At the same time, it’s removing humidity from your indoor spaces, but that functionality is lost as soon as a coil freezes up.

If you have an older AC system and unbearable indoor humidity, you have a great reason to replace yours with a correctly sized system from Absolute Air. But what if your system is still relatively new and has a bunch of years left in it? Fear not: we have a very workable solution for you, too: a whole-house de-humidifier that we can install to work in conjunction with your AC system to cool and dehumidify your home at the same time. Plus, you can set the unit to generate the relative humidity level at which you feel most comfortable. For most people, that’s between 40% – 50%.

For more information on how to remove excess humidity from your home or any other AC problem at all, contact Absolute Air today.

Should I Repair or Replace My AC System in Kaufman ?

June is a time for many things: graduations, weddings, family vacations, and air conditioning problems!

We’re at full tilt right now, doing whatever is necessary to help keep customers cool, comfortable, and happy. And yet, the right course of action is not always as clear cut as you might think, especially when an older AC system either shuts down completely or just isn’t operating up to par.

It’s at times like that when we’re most often asked: “Should we repair or replace our system”? Ah, if only we could hand out a rule book that make each such decision easy as pie. But not such book or set of rules exists.

What we can do, however, is offer you some general advice on when the “replace” option usually makes more sense:

  • How old is your system? – If it’s been on active duty for at least 15 straight years then, according to the law of averages, it doesn’t have very much left in the tank. The average lifespan of a central AC system is 15-20 years. That’s the point when it’s a good idea to start thinking about replacing your system even with any repair problems. That way, you get to dictate replacement system timing, and not your aging current system.
  • Does your heart skip a beat when you open your electricity bill? – Don’t you just hate that? Well, here’s something to help cool you off: today’s replacement AC systems are so energy efficient, that the money you’ll save on your electricity bill can pay for the new system in just a few years.
  • How much was that? – Another potentially shocking moment is when you receive an AC system repair estimate. Maybe, for example, you’re thinking $500 or so, tops! But then you look, and look again, and you see it’s about 4 times that amount. Is an old, wearing-down AC system really worth that kind of money? Most of our customers don’t think so.

If you’re at the “repair or replace” threshold, and just aren’t sure which way to step, contact Absolute Air today and we’ll give you our absolute best advice for your home, family, and budget.

 

Replacement Air Conditioning System in Rockwall and Terrell

Okay, so this is year you take the big step, and replace your aging AC system that barely wheezed and sputtered its way through last year’s intense heat.

And yet, it’s been roughly 15 years since you bought the last one, and now you feel a little out of touch and aren’t quite sure where to begin.

First and foremost, you want to team up with a professional AC company you feel absolutely comfortable with and one that brings at least this much to the table:

  • blogProven experience and capabilities
  • A history of customer satisfaction
  • Design and installation capabilities
  • Offers you multiple new system options so you can compare features, benefits, and costs
  • Services and repairs what they sell
  • Has all the requisite licenses and insurance coverages
  • Provides service where you live

That’s 90% of the battle right there. Still, by doing a little advance homework, you’re bound to ask better questions and make better decisions, and here’s a good starting point:

  • You don’t want an over-sized or under-sized system, which is why pre-installation design prowess and experience are so important. A right-sized system will last longer and help keep your energy costs to a minimum.
  • You should also ask your contractor about upgrading to a variable speed system to save even more money on your energy bills.       A system with a variable speed fan runs continuously, thus eliminating frequent and costly on-and-off cycling that you probably experience now with your single-speed system.
  • If you or any family members suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory ailments, your contractor needs to know that so they can recommend more or more clean air add-ons to your system, including a whole-house air purifier and a whole-house humidity control system.
  • This may seem like a small point, but you can’t believe how big and important it can potentially be: ideally, you want a system with a “check filter” light to remind you that it’s time to clean or replace your filter. If you follow your system’s advice, you’ll be doing good things for the quality of your indoor air, the overall health of your AC system and, once again, helping to keep your AC-related energy costs to a minimum.

Here in Rockwall, Terrell, and throughout the East Dallas area, Absolute Air is a contractor more and more home owners rely on for great advice, great service, and straight answers to all their questions. Starting today, you can do the same, and all you have to do is call to get the process started.

Mid-Season AC Cleaning & Inspection in Kaufman & Forney, TX

blogIt’s funny the way people think sometimes, especially when it’s straight inside the box.

Remember that very funny scene from Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, the one where the gang of bad guys sends one of their own back for a whole “messload” of dimes, even though they easily could of sidestepped the toll booth – you know, the one the good guys placed in their path to slow them down?

That’s the kind of “in the box” thinking we’re talking about.

Well, it’s the same kind of thinking we encounter sometimes in our business. As in, for instance, when a homeowner misses their spring air conditioning cleaning and inspection, and decides that there’s no point in re-scheduling until the following spring.

Well, for starters, who in the wide, wide world of sports ever said spring was the ONLY time for AC cleanings and inspections? Certainly not us!

The fact is, any time’s a good time for preventative maintenance during the AC season. You see, by making sure professional service is provided every year without fail, you can look forward to:

  • Fewer & less costly repairs
  • Longer system lifespan
  • Lower utility costs
  • Cleaner indoor air
  • Quieter operation

So if spring got by you without professional AC service, now’s a great time to call Absolute Air. Our licensed and trained technicians can help make the rest of your summer that much more enjoyable and worry free.

Choose a Ductless Air System for your Terrell or Forney, TX Home

abThere is a time and a place for everything.

Well, maybe not everything, but certainly ductless air systems.  Here at Absolute Air, we can’t speak to the time, as that’s pretty much to you.  But we can tell you this much:  ductless air systems are great to have all year long, so pretty much any time is a good time to install them.

What we can speak to with some authority, however, is the place for ductless air systems.  That’s because there are several:

  • Any home that doesn’t have or can’t have ductwork installed, in either all or part of the home
  • New room additions
  • Attic make-overs
  • Or any other place in your home where you would like added indoor comfort without having to overtax you’re already over-taxed home heating and/or cooling systems

Even though they took a little longer to catch on here, ductless air systems first started catching on in Japan and Europe in the 1980s.  In the U.S., they were first used to compliment an existing whole-house comfort system.  More and more, ductless air systems themselves are being installed to provide whole-house heating and cooling.

Here’s why:

  • No ductwork needed.  Instead, outside condensing units are connected to wall-mounted blowers that efficiently distribute the air in your home.
  • Highly energy efficient.  Ductless systems are often more energy efficient than traditional central AC systems, especially since there’s no ductwork that can spring a leak, for example, and cause cooled air to escape into the attic.
  • Easier to maintain.  Ductless air systems have fewer working parts, thus cutting down on system maintenance time.
  • Flexibility of use.  They can be used in both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Design flexibility, too.  Remember, you can have a ductless air system designed for one room, your whole house, or any amount of space in between.

Is ductless air right for you?  Contact Absolute Air today, and we’ll be glad to help you decide on the best way to heat and cool your home.  In the process, we’ll tell you more about how ductless air works, and how it might just work best for you.