• Gas Furnace Maintenance & Insulation Check



    Is your gas furnace ready to keep your home warm and cozy — ALL WINTER LONG? Don’t be trapped under a pile of blankets this season! Be sure your heating system and insulation are in tip-top shape.


    For season-long dependability, you may want to have your gas furnace inspected by a licensed professional heating contractor before the first cold snap. You don’t want to walk in the door to a frigid home on the coldest night of the year!

    Gas Furnace Maintenance


    Routine maintenance by a licensed, professional heating contractor may extend the life of your gas furnace and possibly prevent minor issues from turning into expensive or significant problems over time. 


    To make sure your heating system is ready for those cold winter nights, a licensed professional HVAC technician should inspect your central heating system. While there is not an industry-wide standard checklist for gas furnace maintenance, your HVAC contractor may examine the following critical gas furnace components during their annual maintenance visit:


    • Heat Exchanger: The heat exchanger is a critical part of your gas furnace. Your indoor air is circulated over the heat exchanger, warming it to be re-circulated back to your conditioned indoor living areas. Your contractor should look for any indications of unusual wear or small cracks, which could lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak into your home.
    • Blower Motor: The blower motor is designed to control the amount of heated air pushed through the air ducts to the conditioned spaces of your home. Your technician should check the blower motor and blower wheel for excessive vibration, loose electrical components, and proper electrical current. They may also clean away dirt and debris that could inhibit adequate operation.
    • Inducer Motor: The inducer motor is designed to draw a gas furnace’s exhaust gases away from inside the heat exchanger, so it’s important that it is in proper working condition. The contractor may also inspect the flue vent for any obstructions (ex: bird nest) that could restrict exhaust from escaping.
    • Burners: Proper ignition of the gas furnace burners is critical. Your contractor may clean and/or test the flame sensor for accurate operation.
    • Fault Code History: Certain gas furnace models retain an electronic fault code history within its control board. Theses codes may provide insight as to any incidents or malfunctions that may have occurred with the gas furnace components between maintenance appointments. 


    Return Air Filter Check


    Your contractor may also check the return air filter to see if it needs to be replaced. A new return air filter may minimize the accumulation of dirt and/or dust on the blower motor and other HVAC components.

    A homeowner should routinely replace the return air filter as directed by the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you cannot easily locate your return air filter for your central heating system or have questions about the specific type required, talk to your licensed professional HVAC dealer for assistance.


    Insulation Check


    You pay hard-earned money to heat your home, so be sure you get your money’s worth! Homeowners should take the appropriate measures to efficiently block out the cold from entering their home. Any opportunities to save energy over the winter season may help you save a little more on your monthly energy bill!

    When your home does not have enough insulation in the walls, crawl spaces, attic or basement, cold outdoor can leak into your home, and heated air can escape outdoors – compromising your heated, warm spaces and your indoor comfort. Ideally, your insulation should provide complete and uniform coverage.1 If you notice drafts even after you’ve closed all of the doors and windows, it’s a good time to have a professional inspect your insulation.

    However, insulation may not be enough to contain your heated indoor air. Every gap, doorway, window seam, air duct or hole in the wall has the potential to leak warm air. The Department of Energy says that the average home’s air leaks could be equivalent to a two-foot hole!2 That’s like leaving a window open 24-hours a day.2 Weather stripping and caulking may help seal those small areas where warm air can potentially escape.

    For assistance in evaluating your home’s insulation, call in an licensed professional HVAC dealer to help out!



    1 Insulation. n.d. https://energy.gov/energysaver/insulation. 2 February 2017.
    2 "A Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling." August 2009. Energy Star. https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf.

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  • Three Good Reasons to Replace a Gas Furnace

    Indoor comfort for your family

    No one gets excited about having to replace their gas furnace. However, the idea of freezing in your home isn’t too exciting either. Despite efforts to prolong its life, there may come a time when it is better to replace your furnace rather than repair it. The decision to replace your current gas furnace often depends on one, or a combination of, age, condition, and performance.1

    Continuous Repairs

    Perhaps you have been there!  You think your HVAC system is working well, only to have to call your professional licensed HVAC contractor again, and again and again for repair after repair. Even with proper maintenance and the dedicated efforts of a highly skilled HVAC contractor, an aging furnace may start to show its age.

    Continuous repairs can get expensive for a homeowner. As discussed in “Eliminate Indoor Hypothermia - Furnace Repair or Furnace Replace?” you should determine your repair spending cut off point. If your repair estimate is close to your predetermined budget threshold, it may be best to start researching a new gas furnace before you experience a breakdown.

    How expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth repairing it? If key parts fail, such as the heat exchanger or control module, or repair costs are more than 50% of the cost of a new product, it may be better to replace the unit.2 However, you should always discuss repair vs replacement options with your HVAC technician to get a clearer assessment of the price tag of repairs and the predicted longevity of your existing gas furnace.

    Heating and Comfort

    The indoor comfort of your home and family is probably one of your highest priorities. Gas furnace systems can have a complicated arrangement of gas and electricity working together.  However, if one or more parts involved in delivering heat is damaged or not working as intended, your heating system has the potential to become a comfort hazard.

    According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, older furnaces that do not comply with current standard codes may pose a higher risk due to their earlier technology. “Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected, but older furnaces may not have these devices. “3

    Preventive maintenance and professional inspections are important aspects of the operation of your gas furnace.  While evaluating your gas furnace, an HVAC dealer may uncover small cracks, leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires or corroded electrical contacts that can lead to furnace failure.

    Energy Efficiency

    Energy.gov estimates that heating and cooling account for up to half of a typical home’s total energy use. As a result, a homeowner should make every effort to increase the energy efficiency of their HVAC equipment.

    To determine your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes in your area, Energystar.gov provides a simple online assessment tool. Energystar.gov suggests that a score below a five means that your home’s energy use “is above average and you're probably paying more than you need to on energy bills”.4

    While there are a variety of reasons and potential fixes that can increase your energy efficiency, a licensed professional HVAC contractor may reveal that the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of your gas furnace may be the primary cause of these excessive costs.

    An older gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 70% would mean that only 70% of its fuel is used to heat your home. The remaining 30% may escape through the chimney or exhaust. That means that up to 43% of the energy used to run your furnace may be wasted.  A high-efficiency model can offer higher AFUE ratings, potentially providing significant energy efficiency and savings on utilities.

    While every homeowner’s HVAC situation and budget is unique, SmarterHouse.org, a project of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment.



    1 Buying Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec. 05, 2016, from Smarter House: http://smarterhouse.org/heating-systems/buying-tips

    2 Gas Furnace Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved from AHRI: http://www.ahrinet.org/Homeowners/Improve-Safety/Gas-Furnace-Safety.aspx

    3 Repair or Replace. (n.d.). Retrieved from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm

    4 When is it Time to Replace? (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy Star: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers

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  • Seasonal Heating and Air Conditioning Maintenance

    Preseason HVAC maintenance

    It’s an annual rite of passage – flipping the thermostat or control system from “heat” to “cool” or “cool” to “heat!”   As the seasons change, so do your indoor heating and cooling needs. You want to be sure that your HVAC system is working properly and ready for that switch. No one likes to make that dreaded HVAC emergency call on coldest or hottest weekend of the year!

    Why Schedule Pre-Season Maintenance?

    HVAC systems strive to meet your desired indoor temperature expectations! Creating a comfortable temperature in your home is a delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and mechanics. Proper HVAC maintenance can help maintain this balance despite the system’s consistent starting and stopping, and on-demand operation.

    Seasonal preventive maintenance on your heating and cooling system may guard against many unexpected failures and could maximize the lifecycle of your heating or cooling unit.1 Preseason inspections may uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and/or corroded electrical contacts on your air conditioner or heat pump that can lead to bigger equipment failures if left untreated.

    Proper maintenance may also keep your system running at peak performance levels.  “Effective maintenance can reduce HVAC energy costs by 5 to 40 percent depending on the system or equipment involved.”2

    When do I Schedule Seasonal Maintenance?

    HVAC dealers can get very busy when summer temperatures spike and cold, bone-chilling weather takes hold.  It is a good idea to plan seasonal maintenance prior to these peak service call times. Many dealers offer preseason specials on inspection packages during their typical slow times of the year, usually in the spring and the fall depending on the climate.

    What Does HVAC Seasonal Maintenance Include?

    There is no industry standard for what is included in an HVAC preseason “tune-up,” so specific work may vary greatly from contractor to contractor. Preseason specials may not include all of the suggested maintenance recommend by your system’s manufacturer(s). As a result, it’s important to understand what maintenance your system will be receiving, and the total cost for the job.

    Depending on the agreement, your HVAC technician may perform a complete system check that includes inspection and necessary cleaning of HVAC equipment, parts and components. Be sure you understand what you are getting in your season maintenance package!

    Air conditioning system maintenance may include, but is not limited to:

    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspecting system controls
    • Cleaning and inspecting coils
    • Lubricating moving parts
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Cleaning or replacing filters
    • Cleaning and checking blowers and fans
    • Checking refrigerant and pressures
    • Verifying operating temperatures

    Gas furnace system maintenance may include, but is not limited to:

    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspect piping for leaks or cracks
    • Cleaning and checking blowers and fans
    • Inspect and clean gas burners
    • Examine ignition switch
    • Inspect heat exchanger
    • Inspect and clean flue
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Inspecting system controls

    Don’t Ignore Sitting Ducts

    Ducts are an important part of your entire HVAC system and shouldn’t be ignored. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a typical U.S. home loses 20%-30% of duct system air due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.3 That can sacrifice your indoor comfort and may increase your energy usage. Although it may not be included with a seasonal maintenance package, your professional licensed technician can inspect your ductwork.

    Filtration technology has made significant advances in residential air filters over the past decade, but dust may still find its way into your home's ducts. If you are concerned about indoor air quality issues, the culprit could be dirty ductwork. After a ductwork inspection, your technician may recommend duct cleaning, sealing or specialized indoor air quality accessories.


    1 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. n.d. <http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner>.
    2 Studies Show: HVAC System Maintenance Saves Energy. September 2011. http://www.buildingefficiencyinitiative.org/articles/studies-show-hvac-system-maintenance-saves-energy. February 2017.
    3 Duct Sealing - ENERGY STAR. n.d. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts. February 2017.
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  • Why DIY HVAC is a Bad Idea?

    HVAC maintenance should be done by a licensed professional


    As a do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiast, you may be able to paint a room, install a ceiling fan, or even change the oil in your car. But heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installation and repairs should be left to the professional licensed HVAC dealer!

    Creating comfortable indoor temperatures is a delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and mechanics. A qualified licensed HVAC contractor is crucial to quality installations and repairs.


    But I Watched a “HOW TO HVAC” Video…


    There are many DIY’ers that watch a YouTube video and believe that they can install or repair a product.  But for home heating and cooling systems, it takes more than “How To” videos to become a professional licensed HVAC technician. Professional experience plays a major role in safely and successfully installing and repairing your HVAC equipment. In some areas of the country, technicians are required to be licensed. DIY HVAC may not be worth the costly consequences.

    Required Qualifications and Skills

    Residential HVAC systems are complex systems with many components. Dealers often have years of training before they become experts in residential indoor comfort systems. In some locations, HVAC contractors must register for a professional HVAC license and/or pass tests for applicable certifications.

    As new products and engineered technologies are introduced into the HVAC world, licensed or professional HVAC technicians often receive additional training. This training may expand their skill set and how to align product advancements to a home’s current HVAC set up. Your home’s HVAC configurations may be unique and require specific knowledge in order to properly repair or install the advanced equipment, parts or technology that is available on the market. 


    Dealers are often offered ongoing training opportunities from HVAC manufacturers in order to keep up with the latest innovations. The unlicensed weekend DIY’er does not have the industry-specific resources, knowledge or skills that are available to HVAC professionals!

    The Unlicensed DIY’er


    The unlicensed DIY’er may not understand the critical components within a particular HVAC system. Installation or repair without licensed or professional HVAC technician may lead to damaged equipment, compromised system efficiency, and voided warranties.  The following are a few reasons why NOT to take on DIY HVAC:


    Experience and professional requirements: It’s important to make sure your local HVAC technician is experienced, qualified, and backs their work. Although residential HVAC licensing requirements vary by state, licensing can provide proof of professional training.  Be sure you are working with a professional or licensed HVAC contractor who is willing to provide a limited warranty for their work and products installed. Doing the job properly the first time may help eliminate the need for repeat visits, as well as ensure your system is running at peak performance. However, a license may not reflect actual installation expertise.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques. Individuals cannot buy refrigerants without the appropriate EPA 608 Certification. Unless you have this certification, do not attempt to handle air condition coolants.

    Ventilation Requirements:
    National, regional and local HVAC codes and manufacturers installation guidelines may have specific ventilation requirements for HVAC equipment. Your local licensed or professional HVAC contractor should have sufficient knowledge in HVAC safety code in your particular area.

    There can be shocking consequences when homeowners start working with their home’s electrical components. According to 2016 National Fire Protection Agency1, an estimated 48,000 home structure fires caused by electrical problems were reported to U.S. fire departments. Handling the wiring and electrical needs of HVAC equipment requires a trained electrician or skilled technician.  

    Natural gas is the most common type of home heating fuel. It provides nearly 57% of American homes with heat.2 However, it is critical that a license or professional HVAC technician properly install or repair gas heating systems per manufacturer specifications.

    It’s About the Details

    As mentioned, proper HVAC operation is the result of the delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and mechanics. Professional or licensed HVAC dealers should be trained in necessary and precise calculations such as volumes, loads, weight, flow rate, and more. If one or more variables are out of sync, the entire system’s operation and your indoor comfort may suffer.  An experienced HVAC technician has the necessary tools required to calculate the right sized unit for your home, and ensure each calculation and measurement pertains to your specific HVAC needs.


    HVAC systems are significant investments in your home. While DIY may seem like a good idea for your wallet, the long-term consequences may end up costing you for many years to come.

    Find an Independent Goodman Dealer


    1 News Releases, NFPA emphasizes importance of electrical fire safety during National Electrical Safety Month. (2016, May 3). Retrieved from National Fire Protection Association: http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/news-and-media/press-room/news-releases/2016/nfpa-emphasizes-importance-of-electrical-fire-safety-during-national-electrical-safety-month

    2 Energy saver 101: Home Heating. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.Gov: https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-heating


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  • HVAC Maintenance Service Call: What to Expect

    HVAC technician

    Now that you’ve found an HVAC contractor to conduct contracted maintenance, it’s time to prepare for the technician’s visit.

    Before The Technician Arrives

    If possible, you should locate and write down the manufacturer name and model number of the equipment from your initial bill of sale so it is immediately available to the technician upon their arrival at your home. If this information is not available from your paperwork, a homeowner should not attempt to open any equipment in order to access this information.

    During The Visit

    Your HVAC technician may perform a complete system check. This can include looking over all parts of a system, cleaning it, and performing the routine maintenance specific to your system. Depending on the equipment being evaluated, a routine HVAC maintenance service call may include the following:  
    • Inspecting main HVAC components
    • Checking for adequate air flow
    • Inspection of refrigerant lines
    • Clearing drain lines and pans
    • Inspecting exterior fan
    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspecting system controls
    • Inspecting and lubricating moving parts
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Replacing air filters
    • Checking electrical connections

    If the technician discovers that your ductwork is leaking, they may recommend duct sealing. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a typical U.S. home loses 20%-30% of duct system air due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.”  A license professional technician can seal your ductwork. According to the DOE, sealing HVAC air ducts can drastically reduce duct leakage and improve both IAQ and overall system efficiency.

    Follow Up

    Making sure your HVAC equipment is routinely serviced by a professional HVAC technician is as important as taking your car to a mechanic for its required oil changes and maintenance. If an extended service contract or agreement is not already in place, technicians may often offer to set up a maintenance agreement wherein the customer agrees to pay a set fee for standardized scheduled system maintenance. Routine maintenance may extend the life of your HVAC equipment and possibly prevent minor issues from turning into expensive major problems over time.


    By Jen (Anesi) Roby, former Legislative Editor at ACHR NEWS magazine and current Chief Editor for Plumbing & Mechanical. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) NEWS is the HVACR contractor’s weekly newsmagazine and is the industry’s most trusted and utilized direct communications link to the HVACR buyer.
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  • Will the Phase Out of R22 Refrigerant Affect You?

    If you rely on a heating or cooling system that uses R22 refrigerant, an ozone-depleting substance (ODS), you may be in for a surprise during your next service visit. As of January 1, 2020, production and import of R22 refrigerant will be illegal in the United States. Of course, continued use of your air conditioner (AC) or heat pump system using R22 refrigerant is allowed. However, it does mean that if your AC or heat pump system needs a repair that involves refrigerant, you may have to decide between a hefty refrigerant bill and a system replacement.

    What Refrigerant Is In My Cooling System?

    On January 1, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a ban on the production and import of R22, except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment.1 The EPA also banned the manufacture and installation of new R22 AC or heat pump systems.2 As a result, manufacturers of AC and heat pump equipment redesigned their systems to accommodate R410A, a chlorine-free refrigerant.
    If your AC or heat pump was built and installed before January 1, 2010, there’s a good chance that it uses R22 refrigerant. Your equipment may have a label that identifies the type of refrigerant type used, but it’s a good idea to ask your licensed professional AC or heat pump dealer for confirmation.

    What Is Refrigerant, Anyway?

    The refrigerant in your AC or heat pump is the fluid that flows inside the coils in your equipment. With the help of your system’s compressor, condenser and evaporator, various pressures are imposed on the refrigerant causing it to transform physically between liquid and gas states. This physical change makes the substance either hot or cold. As its pressure changes, it readily absorbs or gives off heat to the air passing over the coils, changing the temperature of that air. Eventually, this comfortable air makes its way to the rooms in your home.

    What If My AC or Heat Pump Uses R22?

    The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning, R22 refrigerant AC or heat pump system. However, as the January 1, 2020 ban date approaches, you may need to evaluate your options if your air conditioning or heat pump system fails or requires emergency repairs. So...what are my options?
    Even though OPTION 1 may sound like an easy fix, the price of R22 refrigerant is subject to shrinking supply. This may make R22 very expensive. “While R-22 remains available for servicing equipment made before 2010, it is important to know that supplies of R-22 will become more limited and the price of this refrigerant may increase,” says the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.3
    As the supply becomes limited, you may end up paying more for a repair that requires R22 refrigerant than a down payment on a new heat pump or AC system. Just remember that ACs and heat pumps are not designed to consume refrigerant. Refrigerant simply flows through a continuous series of coils. If your technician suspects a leak, they should locate and repair the refrigerant leak instead of simply "topping off" a leaking system.
    Are you hoping that your AC or heat pump can get through “just one more” season without having to replace it? If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider OPTION 2 instead of putting money into your existing equipment. 
    At some point, you will need to replace your broken AC or heat pump. OPTION 2 allows you to purchase a new heating and cooling system on your schedule, without the urgency of living in a hot or cold house. It also gives you the time to evaluate energy efficiencies, products reviews and potential costs of the latest replacements available. Most likely, there are new features and benefits available today that weren’t available when your current system was installed.
    If paying for a new system is a concern, many professional AC or heat pump dealers offer affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If you qualify, financing may help you fit a new comfort system into your budget without breaking the bank.
    Whether you choose OPTION 1 or OPTION 2, you should use the expertise of a licensed AC or heat pump dealer to provide routine maintenance. Professional maintenance helps your heating and cooling system to operate at its designed efficiency level and alerts you to small, fixable issues before they may become expensive problems.

    Are There “Alternative” Options?

    A licensed, professional HVAC dealer may offer to retrofit your current R22 refrigerant system to work with another refrigerant. This is commonly referred to as a “drop-in” replacement. But keep in mind that your licensed professional AC or heat pump dealer can’t simply replace R22 with any other refrigerant without additional modifications. It is not acceptable to substitute R410A, which operates at different pressure levels than that of an R22, without major changes and engineering analysis. And, safe disposal of refrigerants regulated by the EPA is mandatory.4
    A proper retrofit requires extensive experience and expertise. Be aware that if an AC or heat pump dealer performs a faulty retrofit, there is a chance that your system’s warranty may not cover the damages, and you should consult your product manufacturer’s warranty to see if it would remain in effect. Additionally, using any other refrigerant than what is listed on the unit nameplate voids the safety certification of the system. Unfortunately, a bad retrofit and system modification could potentially cost you more than installing a new R410A refrigerant HVAC system.

    3 AHRI. (n.d.). Refrigerants and Your Air Conditioning System. Retrieved from Phase Out Facts: http://www.phaseoutfacts.org/App_Content/PhaseOutFacts/files/equipmentOwners/RefrigerantsAndYourAC_System.pdf
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  • The Urgent AC Repair Service Call

    Urgent AC repair service call

    Have you ever walked through the door to your home and realized it’s very hot and humid on the inside? It may be time to make that dreaded HVAC urgent service call to your local professional or licensed dealer.


    Before making the urgent service call, a homeowner needs to do some simple detective work. It’s helpful if the technician understands your air conditioning issue when they arrive at your home. The three most common calls related to air conditioners are:1

    • AC unit turns on but isn’t cooling properly
    • AC unit isn’t turning on
    • Air flow velocity is reduced

    Common Air Conditioning Problems


    Maintaining a comfortable and consistent temperature in your home is a delicate balancing act between the air conditioning equipment, air flow, and mechanics. If one or more components are not functioning as designed, the entire system may be affected. In order to understand the air conditioning language used by your technician, it may be helpful to learn "How an Central AC System Works", and a few key parts of your cooling system.


    The Department of Energy (DOE)2 highlights a few of the most common air conditioning problems that your HVAC technician may discover. If cool air isn’t flowing or you AC won’t turn on, your technician may inspect one of more of the following:

    1. Refrigerant: Low or leaking refrigerant will minimize the cooling capacity or your air conditioner. If there is an issue with the refrigerant, your technician may attempt to identify and repair the leak and recharge the system
    2. Thermostat or Control System: Dead batteries in a thermostat or control system may prevent your unit from turning on. If the unit turns on but isn’t cooling properly, your technician may perform a test to ensure it is set properly and that it is reading the correct temperatures.
    3. Electric and Electronic Controls: If the unit is not operating, the compressor, fan controls or capacitor could be worn out or electric connections may have been affected by the system’s consistent starting and stopping, and on-demand operation.
    4. Condensate Drainage: If the unit isn’t cooling properly, the technician may check condensate drains to be sure they are not clogged.
    5. Air Filters: Clogged air filters can restrict airflow and decrease your air conditioner’s ability to remove humidity from the indoor air effectively.
    6. Ductwork: Leaking, constricted or clogged ductwork can interfere or even cut off conditioned air from getting to your indoor living spaces. 


    Your HVAC technician may suggest replacing your air conditioner rather than repairing it if they discover a costly issue on an aging and inefficient unit. While there are a lot of variables in determining whether an AC should be repaired or replaced, your contractor can provide the best guidance because they understand the details associated with your particular system.

    Before the HVAC Technician Arrives


    If possible, you should locate and write down the manufacturer name and model number of the equipment from your initial bill of sale so it is immediately available to the technician upon their arrival at your home. If this information is not available from your paperwork, a homeowner should not attempt to open any equipment in order to access this information. If your air conditioning system is covered by a limited warranty, be certain to tell your HVAC technician.

    Follow Up


    Routine maintenance can be a big part of maximizing the longevity and efficiency of your air conditioner. It is as important as taking your car to a mechanic for oil changes! If an extended service agreement is not already in place, technicians may often offer to set up a maintenance plan wherein the customer agrees to pay a set fee for standardized scheduled system maintenance. Routine maintenance may extend the life of your HVAC equipment and possibly prevent minor issues from turning into expensive major problems over time.3

    Find an independent Goodman dealer

    1, 2 Energy Saver 101: Home Cooling. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-cooling

    3 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner

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  • Simple Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips that Can S ...

    AC money-saving maintenance tips

    U.S. homeowners spend about $29 billion a year on energy costs associated with central air conditioning.1  That’s a lot of money to keep cool! But when AC systems aren’t running at peak performance, the cost can go up even higher - meaning larger utility bills. But with regular maintenance, you can potentially reduce your air conditioner’s cooling emergencies and help extend the life of your system.

    Just like changing the oil on your car, your central air conditioning system requires regular maintenance to run at peak performance year after year. Some routine maintenance can be handled by homeowners. However, there are other jobs that should only be performed by a professional licensed HVAC technician.  

    Below are maintenance tips to keep in mind as you look to get the best performance possible from your air conditioner.2

    DIY AC Maintenance

    Filters – According to Energy.gov, replacing a clogged filter with a clean one can help lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by up to 15%. Dirty filters block airflow and can reduce a system's efficiency and performance significantly. On average, filters should be replaced every 90 days depending on where you live and how often your air conditioner operates. However, your HVAC contractor can provide the proper filter replacement schedule for your particular air conditioning unit.2

    If the air condition portion of your energy bill equals $100, you may save an average of up to $15 per month just by replacing the dirty filters with clean ones!  But the real savings comes with minimizing the possible service calls for air conditioning emergencies and extending the life of your equipment!

    Exterior AC Unit - Cut back foliage and remove any debris left by nearby dryer vents, falling leaves and grass trimmings.  Anything that reduces ideal airflow can make your air condition system work harder, reduce its performance and can cost you money.2

    Fins - The fins on your evaporator or condenser coils should not be bent – this can reduce or even block airflow. To fix bent fins, contact your local HVAC professional contractor or technician. Bent fins can reduce the ability of the unit to deliver the energy efficiency you expect and might lead to premature coil failure.2

    Condensate Drains - Check the condensate drain from your central air conditioning system. The drain line should be located near the outside unit, leading from your AC unit’s indoor evaporator coil commonly located inside your home. The drain is typically a small PVC pipe; however, some drain lines may be copper.2

    Most likely, if you see a consistent drip on a hot day, the condensate drain is working properly. When condensate drains are clogged, the unit may not be able to properly reduce indoor humidity which can cause poor performance and loss of energy efficiency.

    Thermostat Batteries - Homeowners should replace batteries on their thermostat as necessary. If your particular model does not have a “low battery” signal or alert, your thermostat batteries should be replaced annually, or at the same time as the fire/CO2 detector batteries are changed.2

    Homeowners should always consult with their professional or licensed HVAC contractor to determine equipment-specific, DIY maintenance efforts that can help you keep your air conditioning system operating at peak performance levels and help reduce energy costs.

    Contractor AC Maintenance

    Trained licensed HVAC professionals are better equipped to identify any airflow problems, system leaks, coil issues or potential failure concerns. To keep your central cooling system at peak performance, homeowners should hire an HVAC contractor to perform a more detailed check-up. The ideal time for profession HVAC maintenance is during pre-season, before you need to operate your central air conditioning system.  

    While each contractor has their own air conditioning maintenance process, professional maintenance services may likely include the following actions:
    • Check for adequate air flow
    • Look over condenser and evaporator coils
    • Check refrigerant lines and inspect for leaks
    • Clear drain lines and pans
    • Check electrical connections
    • Check operation of blower components
    • Lubricate motors, bearings and other moving parts
    • Inspect Exterior Fan


    1 Air Conditioning. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-conditioning
    2 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner

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  • Three Good Reasons to Replace Your Air Conditioner

    Choose a high-efficiency air conditioner

    The moment an air conditioner fails is typically when you need it the most! So if your AC is not cooling your home, it's time to call your air conditioner contractor.

    But despite your best efforts, there may come a time when you should replace your air conditioner rather than repair it. Age, condition, and performance expectations are often three good factors to consider when deciding if you should replace your current AC unit.1

    Repairs, Repairs, Repairs

    Air conditioning repairs can be inconvenient, but continuous repairs can become expensive! Even with the help of a highly skilled HVAC contractor, an air conditioner may start to show its age.  To keep unexpected costs under control, you may want to establish a repair cost cutoff point - meaning that you will replace your air conditioner if repairs cost more than your set amount.  At that point, you may want to start researching new an energy-efficient air conditioner.

    How expensive does an air conditioner repair need to be before it’s not worth repairing it? If a major piece of AC equipment fails or the repair cost is close to 1/2 the price a new air conditioner, it may be better to replace the system.2 Yet, you should always discuss repair vs. replacement options with your HVAC technician to get a better idea of repair costs and the predicted lifespan of your current unit.

    Energy Efficiency

    Most people want to save money on their monthly energy bills. According to EnergyStar, your heating and cooling system may be responsible for up to half of your energy bill.  There could be many reasons for your high energy bills, but your air conditioning unit SEER rating, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, may a contributing factor. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy the unit will use. Your professional, licensed HVAC dealer should be able to let you know if a higher SEER unit is right for you.

    SmarterHouse.org states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, you may save up to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.3

    Energystar.gov’s online assessment tool can be used to compare your home's annual energy use to similar homes in your area. The site suggests that if your home scores below a five, “you're probably paying more than you need to on energy bills.”4

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sets regional minimum energy efficiency standards for air conditioners. Currently, the minimum SEER rating for central air conditioners is 14 in the South and Southwest regions of the U.S. and 13 in the North.  

    The Right Size for Cool Comfort

    People often believe that “bigger is better.” But, when talking about your air conditioner, “bigger” can be bad. An air conditioner shouldn’t be too big or too small; it has to be just the right size to cool your home efficiently.

    When sized and installed properly, an air condition unit typically reaches maximum energy efficiency within a few minutes after starting up.  But if cycle times are shortened, and the unit continuously turns on and off, it may not hit peak efficiency.  Oversized air conditioner units can create bursts of cold air, tricking thermostats or control systems into shutting off the system before the entire house is cool. This can end up causing excess wear and tear on the unit, affect your indoor comfort level, and influence your overall energy costs.

    Your home’s layout, ventilation system, and building materials play a major role in determining the proper tonnage needed to cool your home. An air condition unit is measured in tonnage, but it’s not based on the actual weight of the equipment. A ton measures your air conditioner’s ability to cool. In case you really want to know:

    One ton = the ability to cool 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit) in an hour

    It sounds strange, but your AC’s tonnage may be different from your neighbor’s home with the same square footage. Your home’s details should be evaluated by your licensed or professional technician at when sizing your air conditioner.   “A right-sized air conditioner is an important part of an energy-efficient home and will result in improved comfort, durability, and lower utility bills.”5

    If your current aging air conditioner is the wrong size, the SEER rating is low, and it requires multiple or high-dollar repairs, you may want to consider replacing your system! To find out if your current central cooling system should be replaced, contact a local, independent HVAC contractor.


    1 Buying Tips. (2015). Retrieved from Smarterhouse: http://smarterhouse.org/cooling-systems/buying-tips
    2 Repair or Replace. (n.d.). Retrieved from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm
    3 Air Conditioning. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-conditioning
    4 When is it Time to Replace? n.d. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers
    5 EnergyStar. "RIGHT-SIZED AIR CONDITIONERS ." n.d. EnergyStar.gov. https://www.energystar.gov/ia/home_improvement/home_sealing/RightSized_AirCondFS_2005.pdf
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