Why Should I Replace My System?
You don't have to replace that old heating or cooling system, but should you? The cost of replacing your system may be expensive and we know that you want to get every last ounce of useful life out of your system. And that is ok, until you think about things in perspective.
We do not blame you for wanting to hold off. "If it's not broken, don't fix it."
Using other factors and taking other variables into consideration, we will steer you in the right directions weather to stick with your old system, or to replace it with one of today's high efficiency, low operating costs units. A quick way for the consumer to see where we are coming from is to takes the repair vs. replace quiz below:
Equipment repair or replace quiz
What is the age of the equipment?
0 to 5 years - 0 points
5 to 8 years - 1 point
8 to 10 years - 2 points
10 to 15 years - 4 points
15 to 20 years - 6 points
Ove 20 years - 8 points
What is the estimated cost for today's repair?
Under $100 - 1 point
$100 to $300 - 2 points
$300 to $600 - 4 points
$600 to $1,000 - 6 points
Over $1,000 - 8 points
When new, were you comfortable with the system?
Yes - 0 points
No - 4 points
(For A/C or Heat Pump) What was the original SEER of the equipment?
Over 16 SEER - 0 points
13 to 16 SEER - 1 point
11 to 13 SEER - 2 points
8 to 11 SEER - 4 points
Less than 8 SEER - 6 points
(For furnaces [gas, oil, and propane]) What was the original efficiency?
Over 90% AFUE - 0 points
80 to 90% AFUE - 1 point
70 to 80% AFUE - 3 points
Under 79% AFUE - 6 points
What are your current electric rates?
Greater than $.11 per kwh - 4 points
$.09 to $.11 per kwh - 2 points
Less than $.09 per kwh - 0 points
If the total points is 8 or greater, then you should definitely consider replacing the equipment.
If the total points are 5 to 7, then it may be worthwhile reviewing the options, including many of the low-cost items, such as programmable thermostats, IAQ.etc.
If the total points are 4 or less, then repairing the equipment is a viable option.
If you now see where we are coming from, consider the following:
- Let William N Harris, Inc. give you a free estimate on your new system. We can find ways to save you some energy dollars, we'll show you how.
- Calculate the efficiency of your heating and cooling system now and how much a new one could save you.
Would you rather find out now while your system is operating, or wait until the hottest day of the year when you will pay anybody anything to get some no-name brand in as soon as possible.
What Can I Do For My System?
Change or Clean your filter every 2 months . More often if you reside in a high dust area, or you have extreme allergies or asthma. All the air in your home goes through your duct system, so remember every time you open a door or window you are bringing in unfiltered air into your home and lives. So routine filter maintenance is necessary.
Do not block your return grilles! Try to keep at least 12" of clearance around the large return grilles. Restrictions to airflow can create fatal and expensive problems to your system. Some customers complain about noise coming from their return grille, so they try to muffle that noise by placing a sofa or bookshelf in front of it. Do not do this! If noise is an issue, please contact us and we will determine some alternative solutions.
During Spring and Summer months, hose down the outside condensing unit. Pollen and dirt can clog the airflow necessary for efficient operation of the outdoor unit. It is built for the elements so spraying water around the sides of the system to rinse off any residue will not hurt anything. We recommend this be done at least once a month. We run numerous calls during these times for compressors that have overheated because of lack of airflow on the outside coil. A simple rinsing of the coils can save you the inconvenience of down time as well as the price for a service call. Or think of it this way, your filter on the inside unit, is to keep your indoor coil clear of dirt and debris. However, the outside coil does not have the luxury of a filter so take a few minutes every now and then and wash off the coil.
Do not burn too many candles at once! Candles emit soot when burning. This soot, albeit in small amounts, overtime will be pulled into your ductwork and can aide in the decline of your indoor air quality.
Do not put anything in or in front the registers! We know this may seem like a "no-brainer", but you wouldn't believe some of the things we have found behind the grilles. If you are cold in one area, do not block the diffuser! Let us determine a solution to fix your discomfort. Anything in or behind your grilles can block airflow and create potential damage to the system.
Get routine maintenance! The #1 cause of heating and cooling system failure is dirt! Over 50% of all illnesses are related to unhealthy air ( American College of Allergists) . Your home's indoor air can be up to 12 times more polluted than the outside air (EPA) . A system tune-up can remove allergens, pollutants, and help clean the very air you breathe in your home. An un-tuned heating and cooling system could steal up to 22% of your energy dollars in totally wasted efficiency ( EPA ). Do yourself a real favor and get on a maintenance agreement plan. You pay less per visit and you get more coverage. Even new systems a year old will develop dirt, and the #1 cause for premature system failure is dirt!
There Are So Many Contractors Out There Selling So Many Brands, How Do I Know Who To ChooseTo Install My New Unit?
Consumers must purchase from the contractor they trust the most. Installing heating and cooling systems properly requires significant expertise. The contractor who provides the best solution, proves that their staff is capable and has a track record of responding after the sale, is the one you should select to install your new system. Because the manufacturer of the equipment transfers system responsibility to the dealer after it leaves the factory, your contractor is your only advocate and will be directly answerable for your satisfaction. In summary, choose the contractor in whom you believe and who is able to prove to you that they have the capabilities to cement a long-term relationship with you, the customer.
Why Do Prices Differ From Contractor To Contractor On The Same Unit?
When consumers decide to buy toaster ovens, televisions and electronics, the process is typically to go out, check prices and buy the product with the best price. Price shopping makes the purchase easy . . . the price tells us who to buy from. But, when it comes to buying a heating and cooling system, price may get you into deep trouble. Many consumers ask the question: "How can the price be different . . . all three contractors are quoting the same unit?" The answer is easy and difficult at the same time. Heating and cooling systems are not toaster ovens. They do not just come out of the box, plug in and operate. When a contractor estimates a system, the equipment itself is only 40% to 50% of the price. The balance is in design, labor, parts, materials, warranty, wiring, controls and other components. So, when the consumer is presented with the price, they must know that a significant portion of the total bill is for things other than equipment. It's a fact that, when there is a difference in price on heating and cooling systems, there is always a difference in the scope of the job. Consumers must take great care in educating themselves on the contractor and his sales representative, because bottom line, you are NOT buying a heating and cooling system, you are buying a contractor. Always buy from the contractor in whom you have the most confidence. Period. Be sure that your contractor gets to know you and takes the time to discover how you live, your comfort problems and your plans for your home. All of this information will help him or her in the process of designing the system that is just right for you.
What About Commercial Buildings?
We specialize in commercial service work. Many of the contractors in today's market focus on smaller residential jobs and install commercial systems where they get a shot. Their strategy is simple; give the owners a low price, using low quality parts to get the job, and when it breaks, they can't fix the problem! Our strategy is simple; Install your system at a competitive price using high quality parts, no adapter curbs, highest quality and dependable subcontractors (when needed), and service your system for the life of the unit.
We are Commercial Replacement Specialists, and can provide building owners with incredible amounts of information and knowledge before the sale. Using some of today's cutting edge technology in the HVAC field, we are able to actually calculate the energy savings. Using variables like your existing equipment, square footage, proposed equipment and current kwh electrical rates, we can actually provide you with a dollar amount of how much you will save, and how long the payback period on your new unit will be. We will provide references from many of our extremely satisfied customers who utilized this new technology. If you are interested in saving on your utility bills, we can show how much you can save up front, for free.