Contrary to what my friends and family all think, my job isn’t entirely ductwork and filters and coolant leaks (although, that stuff is a big part of it). There’s also a good deal of emotional support involved with what I do, especially when an HVAC system breaks down during the hot summer in a place like Davis, CA where earlier this year the high temperature was up over 100 degrees for so long that they had to issue an emergency heat advisory.
Yes, as usual, this summer has been a hot one for Davis and homeowners there have had to use their air conditioners…a lot. Like anything else, the more a homeowner uses an air conditioner, the more likely it is to break down. That’s why I’m here today with a simple message for those who find themselves in that particular sweaty situation: Keep calm and get an HVAC replacement cost estimate, Davis—as soon as possible.
The two biggest things for homeowners in hot places like Davis to remember are how to spot signs that an air conditioner may need to be replaced soon, and how to proceed (without panicking too much, of course) when the unit’s time is up.
When to Get an HVAC Replacement Estimate for Your Davis, CA Home
As with so many things, timing is everything when it comes to getting an HVAC replacement cost estimate for your home. Davis, like the rest of our region, has a Mediterranean climate made up of hot and arid summers, but cold and damp winters. Simply put, in Davis, homeowners need both a furnace and an AC. Timing matters because the most cost effective way to get your HVAC system replaced is to do both the furnace and the air conditioner at once, meaning fall or spring is often the right time of year.
With that in mind, let’s look at some heating and cooling signs that can indicate to homeowners when it may be time to get a cost estimate for an HVAC replacement.
- Poor or warm air flow: When the air coming from your vents is too weak or warm (or cold in the winter time), it’s time to get an HVAC replacement cost estimate. There are a few reasons why your AC is blowing warm air, and none of them bode well. There could be an electrical issue, a problem with the thermostat, or a failing compressor. All of these could mean that it’s best to replace, rather than repair, your HVAC unit, but a trained professional will be able to tell you for sure.
- Cycle of costly HVAC service calls: Think of your HVAC unit like your car; it almost never goes from working perfectly to a total break down. No, there’s almost always a cycle of costly service calls that foreshadows the need to have it replaced. It’s during this cycle that you should reach out to a professional technician to get a cost estimate so you can start to weigh the price of replacement against the money you’re spending on repairs.
- Strange sounds: Think of your car again. How do you know something serious is wrong? Well, one way is that the engine makes odd noises. A squealing, grating, or grinding noise from your AC means you should have an HVAC tech out for a look and also a cost estimate. A squealing noise could mean a belt is out of place, while grinding or grating is more likely to indicate a broken motor bearing. All of this is serious stuff best addressed by a trained pro.
- Age: Most homeowners, even those who don’t notice any of the signs above, should start contemplating investing in a new HVAC system after about 10 to 15 years of use. This is especially true in a place like Davis where the unit faces heavy use during both the hot summers and the cool winters. If your HVAC is getting up there in years, I’d suggest getting a cost estimate for a replacement now—before there’s a breakdown.
How to Get a Fair HVAC Replacement Cost Estimate in Davis
If part one is knowing how to tell it’s time for a replacement cost estimate, part two of my advice here today is how to keep calm during the process. You don’t need to add stress and pressure to this important decision-making process. Here are some tips I give anyone who finds themselves in need of a new HVAC system:
- Act early: The single best way to avoid freaking out while getting an HVAC replacement cost estimate is to act early. I know that for most homeowners there’s a temptation to ignore signs that you need a replacement, especially if the unit is still largely doing its job. The problem is that you can set yourself up for a breakdown that way. Basically, it’s a lot easier to make a calm choice when you don’t have a full-blown heating or cooling emergency on your hands.
- Realize, in the long run, it may be the most cost effective choice: Big expenditures are always a difficult thing to keep calm about, and, to be sure, a new HVAC system will be costly. Recent technology advancements such as smart thermostats, as well as better sealed ductwork in a new system, often means that a new unit will be much more energy efficient, though, saving you money on heating and cooling bills each month. A new unit can also add to the overall value of your house, helping you recoup some of your investment.
- Work with a trained, expert HVAC tech: It’s pretty close to impossible to install a new HVAC system yourself. You’re going to need a trained, expert professional to help you through this, and working with an experienced technician that you can trust and defer to will significantly reduce the amount of stress during this process.
So, first, take a few deep breaths. It can be stressful to get an HVAC replacement cost estimate for your Davis home, or anywhere else for that matter. But fretting isn’t going to help anything. You need to keep calm, look for those signs I described above, and take advice from a trained HVAC professional.
At this time of year in Northern California, even the TV news wants advice on how to keep your AC in good shape. So, don’t be too shy to ask for help, even if you’re freaking out. Especially if you’re freaking out. Helping people to keep calm in the heat is just another part of an HVAC tech’s job.
Get an HVAC replacement cost estimate now before it becomes a crisis. Contact the trained professionals at Bell Brothers today.
Image courtesy Unsplash user Thirsty Turf Irrigation