woman pushing buttons on wall thermostat

It might still feel like spring now, but the hot summer days are fast approaching! And while it’s always nice to soak up the sun outside, we definitely want to keep cool indoors. For that, an efficient AC unit is key. Your annual maintenance plan appointment can help make sure everything is running smoothly. But what about those older air conditioning units?

By now, you may have heard about the refrigerant phaseout for certain HVAC systems. If you’re worried about what that means for you and your home, we’ve got the answers.

 

About the R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout

Regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are now in effect for one of the most common ozone-depleting substances: HCFC-22, otherwise known as R-22 refrigerant. This phaseout means that no one in the country can manufacture R-22. It also means that this type of refrigerant is going to be harder and harder to find. And as the supply continues to dwindle, the product is only expected to get more and more expensive. An honest assessment of your current HVAC setup can help ensure you don’t end up wasting money.

 

How Will Homeowners Be Affected?

If you have a newer AC unit installed, this phaseout shouldn’t have any impact on your future repair or maintenance needs. But homeowners with older systems should definitely take note. Systems that are over 10 years old are probably still using the R-22 refrigerant. So you’ll want to be aware of the coming changes.

The good news is that you can still run your air conditioner or heat pump like normal if it uses R-22. You can even get regular AC repair services for these older units. Just know that if refrigerant is required, those repairs will likely be quite expensive. This goes back to the supply-demand dilemma. Now that production has stopped with R-22, it may not be the best idea to move forward with every repair. Some homeowners want to keep their system for as long as possible, and that’s okay! But if you have to rely on R-22 for a major repair, it might be time to look into options for a more cost-effective AC unit.

 

AC Repair vs New Unit Replacement

Although the HVAC industry technology continues to get more efficient year after year, no unit can last forever. Facts are facts. Systems that have been running for more than 10 years have a higher chance of running into problems. Regular maintenance can help extend the timeline for some equipment, but those repair costs can also add up fast. Knowing when to upgrade to a more reliable system can help keep your budget in-check.

Homeowners generally find that it doesn’t make sense to put a bunch of money into an older system that is out of warranty. If your equipment is still using R-22 refrigerant without any problems, then by all means, keep it up! But if you know your system has been struggling, it’s a good idea to start budgeting for a new system sooner rather than later.

There are actually a lot of rebates available right now to help you get a solid deal on your home’s new investment. If you’d like to start running the numbers, we’re here to help. We know that weighing the pros and cons of replacing your air conditioner can be confusing and even overwhelming at times, but the more you know, the better off you’ll be. Whether you’re looking for a second opinion or you just hoping to get through another summer with your existing unit, our team can work with you to get the repairs and professional insights you need.

two kids eating watermelon

When the heatwaves start heading in, we all want to have a cool place to retreat indoors. Of course, we’d rather not drive up our energy bills to keep things comfortable! A little common sense can help you manage your cooling costs this summer. Use these tricks to get the most out of your AC unit—especially during triple-digit days outside.

1. Adjust your ceiling fans

One way to better regulate your indoor temperature is to change how your ceiling fan blades rotate throughout the year. In the winter, we want warm air to circulate. Adjusting your fan so it pulls air up encourages cooler air to mix with the heat that rises to your ceilings, making your room feel warmer. On most ceiling fan models, this happens when the blades run clockwise.

For the summertime, though, it’s better to have air moving down and away from the fan. The angle of your blades impact which direction they should spin this time of year, but typically it’s counterclockwise. This will add a cool breeze in your room—which is a nice bonus to how your AC is already working.

To test this, all you have to do is stand beneath the ceiling fan. If you feel cool air blowing down on you, then you’ll know you’re set! Otherwise, just flip the little switch on the base of your fan. This will tell the blades to move in the opposite direction. Run your fan on high during hot days, and you’ll really put them to good use!

2. Turn on the exhaust fans

The next thing to watch for in summer is how you manage the hot air in your kitchen and bathroom. Warm showers and hot cooktops add extra heat to your home. Being able to push that air outside can help keep things cooler.

The primary function of your exhaust fan in the bathroom is to reduce your risk of growing mold and mildew in the bathroom. You can turn it on to minimize that muggy, humid feeling. This is important when you’re creating steam in the shower, but it also benefits your home’s AC. You can turn on your exhaust fan whenever the air in the room is feeling thick.

This works for your kitchen too. Use your exhaust fan to pull heat away and out of the room. You don’t have to run these fans for long to make a difference. And when the weather is smoldering outside, every little bit counts.

3. Watch your open doors

Another way to reduce the heat in your home is to keep that cool air in its place—inside! Going in and out of the house for chores in the backyard just gives that cold air more chances to escape. Then your AC has to work harder to make up the difference. The same can be said about your garage door. We see a lot of people leave it up when they’re at home. Again, that just creates opportunities for the hot summer weather to impact your temperature indoors. Keep that garage door down so it becomes another barrier against the heat.

Of course, if you have dramatic temperature swings throughout your home, it might be time to consider other solutions. Looking into zoning for your home can be a great way to direct how your AC and furnace work throughout the year. You divide rooms or levels into distinct zones. This gives each area its own thermostat. Then you can really have control over the temperature in your home.

Hopefully you’ve already gotten your AC unit serviced for the hot weeks ahead, but if not, you can always give our team a call at (317) 238-3961. We’d be happy to come out and get your home (or business!) squared away. After that, just follow these easy tips to keep cool this season. Your air conditioner will thank you!

kid laying on floor with fan

With warmer days ahead, you want to make sure your AC is ready to go. Sometimes the long break during winter will stop your unit from running properly when you need it to start up. A little maintenance can go a long way.

 

Prepping Your AC Unit After Winter

It’s always a good idea to clear any debris around your AC unit before turning it on. Sticks and leaves from the fall and winter can collect around your system and interfere with its air flow and overall function. After you check that area out, take a peek at your air filter. It might be time to swap your old filter out for a clean, new one. This will make it easier for your AC to run.

You’ll also want to make sure your unit has power. If the unit doesn’t kick in after you’ve adjusted your thermostat, go ahead and take a look at your circuit breaker before calling your HVAC company. The switches should be flipped to “on,” so this could be a simple fix if you’re having trouble with your AC. Otherwise, you might be looking at some different issues.

 

Common Problems Starting Your AC

Some problems that pop up after winter are relatively easy to fix, but others require professional expertise. These are some of the most common hiccups we see with units starting up in spring.

 

1. Thermostat Problems

Hearing a loud racket when you turn on your AC unit is usually a sign that something isn’t right with your blower motor or fan motor. Of course, if you aren’t hearing anything at all, then you might be having a problem with your thermostat.

The electrical wiring from your thermostat is connected to your AC. Assuming your thermostat has good batteries, you might be facing an issue with some electrical work. An HVAC professional can take a look and let you know what needs fixing.

 

2. Low Refrigerant

When your unit doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it won’t be able to cool your home. Your HVAC company will have the equipment needed to measure the levels and see if they’re low. Unfortunately, just topping off the refrigerant might not be enough. Your system could have a leak. If your HVAC technician says low refrigerant is to blame, make sure they’ve also done a leak search. You don’t want the issue to repeat itself!

 

3. Dirty Units

After the “off” season, you might also have trouble with a dirty system. The AC unit itself, also known as the condenser, may have dust and debris inside it. This can mess with the fans and block airflow, just like a dirty air filter indoors. A good cleaning can help.

In other cases, you could be facing a dirty evaporator coil. Older units and equipment that hasn’t been serviced in a while will sometimes run into this problem. Because the coil needs to be completely removed for cleaning, this isn’t something you can handle on your own. You’ll need an HVAC technician to help you out. Still, it’s a pretty quick process.

 

Plan Ahead with a Spring AC Tune-Up

Letting your unit run when it isn’t working properly can lead to a series of bigger problems. If your unit isn't working for your home, call on your HVAC company. Units that are dirty or need a leak repaired should be addressed sooner rather than later. Typically, these problems can be fixed during your annual maintenance!

Scheduling regular maintenance can keep your unit working its best. A technician can check all of your connections, clean up your unit, lubricate its moving parts, and more. Our LCS Annual Maintenance Plans are designed to help you out.

Getting routine checks with your unit before it acts up can help extend its life. Plus, it’s more convenient than waiting for service when something goes wrong. The temperatures will only continue to rise, and you don’t want to be caught without cool air. Let us know how we can help. Give our team a call at (317) 238-3961.

little girl playing with teddy bear

During the hot summer months, most homeowners don’t expect to find ice on their air conditioning unit. Unfortunately, this issue is more common than you might think, and having ice on your AC is a sure sign that something’s not right. Reviewing the likely causes can help you get your equipment back to its normal working state.

 

Problems with AC Ice

Once you notice that there’s ice on your unit, you need to turn your AC off. This can help prevent the situation from getting worse. Assuming it’s warm outside, this will help get the ice to melt, too. Let your unit thaw completely, then work through these different scenarios to identify the underlying cause.

 

1. Poor Airflow

If you’re lucky, the ice on your AC is the result of a more minor issue. After the ice has thawed, the first thing to do is to check is your air filter. Sometimes ice can form on air conditioners when there is poor airflow, so replacing your old air filter with a new one might be all it takes to get your unit running smoothly again.

One of the problems with dirty filters is that they put more stress on your evaporator coil. Reducing airflow over your evaporator coil can then cause your equipment’s temperature to drop below freezing. Consequently, humidity will start to collect around your AC and turn into ice.

Hopefully a new air filter will be enough to remedy the situation. To test this, wait for the ice to melt and then turn your air conditioner on again to see if the ice returns. If it doesn’t—then you’re all set. But if the ice comes back, there might be another problem.

 

2. Dirty Evaporator Coil

 When ice forms even with a new air filter, you might be dealing with a dirty evaporator coil. This can happen with older units or AC equipment that hasn’t had regular maintenance.

In this case, you’ll want to turn the equipment off again and call on an expert to come clean the evaporator coil. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that homeowners can do on their own. The process requires a tech to fully removing the indoor coil to clean it, before re-installing.

Continuing to run your AC unit when this part isn’t working properly can cause a chain reaction of other issues. Rather than risk damage to your compressor or other AC parts, it’s best to call your local HVAC company to take a closer look. Odds are, they’ll be able to remedy the situation pretty quickly with by either cleaning your evaporator coil. Otherwise, they might have to take a look at your refrigerant levels.

 

3. Low Refrigerant

Systems that have low refrigerant aren’t able to keep the evaporator coil within the proper temperature ranges. If you have an issue with refrigerant—and not the coil itself—your AC unit probably has a leak.

Simply topping off the refrigerant isn’t usually enough to fix the issue. In fact, if you just add refrigerant without testing for a leak first, you might just be wasting money. Depending on the leak size, it could take several months of just a couple of days to have the problem come back. So, it’s a risk. (Plus, companies don’t provide a warranty on refrigerant, especially without a leak search and repair.)

For these reasons, it’s important for your HVAC technician to check for leaks whenever your refrigerant levels are low. If your tech can find the leak and repair it, you’ll be able to avoid other costly replacement parts. A detailed review of your system can help you figure out what’s wrong.

 

4. Broken Motors

The last reason you might have ice on your AC unit is if a blower motor or your fan motor is going out. These issues can also cause your system to freeze up due to restricted air flow. (Though this is different than poor air flow just from a dirty filter.) As with dirty evaporator coils and refrigerant leaks, if your motor has gone out, you’ll need an HVAC tech to come by for some repairs.

 

Time for AC Repair?

As soon as you realize that there’s ice on your AC unit, remember to turn your system off. Continuing to use your home’s air conditioning can just make matters worse. Replace your air filter as the ice thaws. That way, if the ice returns, you’ll know you need to call your local HVAC company to take a peek inside the unit.

If you’re located around the Indianapolis area, know that our team at LCS Heating and Cooling has got your back. We’re here to help you out whenever you notice issues with your AC in the summertime. Hopefully the ice on your AC is just the result of poor airflow from a dirty filter. But if the problem is more complicated, our team will make it right.

We know HVAC repairs can be annoying to deal with, but our expertise can get your home back to normal without too much downtime. For any questions about your air conditioner repairs and other function, just call LCS Heating and Cooling at (317) 238-3961. Summer is supposed to be enjoyable—we’ll help you keep it that way!

family sitting in living room

Check-ups for your kids, any pets, and the car all have their purpose. You want to make sure everything is working as it should, and your preventative HVAC maintenance isn’t much different. Scheduling regular, preventative maintenance for HVAC equipment helps homeowners stay “in the know” on their system.

Before the seasons switch, make an appointment with your local HVAC company to make sure everything is okay with your cooling system. No one wants to wake up to a broken AC unit right when the weather starts heating up! Make sure your technician reviews the following on your system (and with you) for a job well done.

 

What’s Covered in Your Cooling Tune-Up?

Your annual maintenance process should always include a detailed review of the inside and outside components of your cooling system. It’s important to get an AC tune-up done once a year to prevent unnecessary issues. Scheduling your service during the cooling season can help you get the best benefits!

There are many different technical parts to review in your unit. Testing each of these areas takes a little time, but going through them one-by-one will help your technician identify any air conditioner problems that may occur. If you can isolate errors to a single step in your system’s process, it will be easier to keep repair costs down and extend the lifespan of your AC unit. Your cooling tune-up should always include tests for:

  1. Check operating pressures and temperatures
  2. Superheat measurements
  3. Temperature drop at return and supply air
  4. Contactor condition and operation
  5. Proper operation of controls
  6. Wiring and electrical connections
  7. Fan and inducer motor voltage and amperage
  8. Function of capacitors and relays

If all of those tests are completed in good working order, your tech would then move on and perform steps for ongoing maintenance. Because dirty units won’t be able to run properly, these items are very important for every tune-up. A few more details can help keep your system running at peak efficiency:

  1. Lubricate blower motor, condenser fan, and other moving parts (if needed)
  2. Clear the condensate drain for overflow protection
  3. Clean outdoor condenser unit for proper airflow

The final steps on the check-list relate to customer care. Your technician should always be ready to review your key concerns about your AC’s operation and be able to address the following for a full-service review:

  1. Check thermostat and adjust (if needed)
  2. Evaluate air filters, and clean or replace (if requested)
  3. Review equipment condition and answer any questions

If your HVAC technician can complete the following, you will probably be all set for annual maintenance. As the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of savings!”

 

HVAC Savings with Annual Maintenance

Scheduling annual maintenance is also smart for homeowners looking to save money. Some HVAC companies offer special discounts for their annual maintenance clients. At LCS Heating and Cooling, these HVAC discounts are included in with your LCS Gold Star Membership or LCS Platinum Star Membership. Each membership comes with a monthly payment option—and tons of great savings.

Available for both residential and commercial customers, these memberships work to give you maximum efficiency for your heating and cooling tune-ups at the minimum cost. Both Gold and Platinum Star Memberships offer 10% off repairs, 15% off indoor air quality products and services, and discounted after-hours rates. If anything does go wrong with your unit, it’s great to be a member.

Gold Star Membership automatically gives you $20 off service calls, and even waives the service call with a paid repair over $300 during regular business hours. Platinum Star Membership includes a year’s supply of filters, plus a waived service call for any paid repair during regular business hours. Platinum members also get to participate in our special loyalty program. The longer you stay on the maintenance plan, the more benefits you receive. You can even earn up to $700 towards a full system replacement!

 

Quality HVAC Service with LCS Heating and Cooling

Your HVAC preventative maintenance and other air quality upgrades help keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient. (And the savings aren’t bad, either!) If you’re ready to give your HVAC units the care they need for a great, long-term performance, give us a call at (317) 238-3961. We’d love to talk with you about our HVAC Membership benefits!

Being pro-active will help keep your systems operating smoothly for years to come. Don’t wait to face AC repairs later in the year. Preventative maintenance helps homeowners stay on the ball and plan for possible problems in advance. Contact the HVAC experts at LCS Heating and Cooling to tune-up your system and start saving today!

employment application

LCS Heating and Cooling, LLC is currently accepting resumes for a Lead Installer position. A minimum of 5 years experience installing furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps in residential settings is required. Applicants must also live in Indianapolis or immediate surrounding areas.

Job Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Accurately and efficiently install furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, humidifiers, ductwork and smart thermostats in residential settings. Light commercial experience is a plus but not required.
  • Complete invoices and collect customer payment.
  • Communicate with customer, install manager and LCS office
  • Effectively able to delegate tasks on the job to install helper
  • Keep van stocked and clean

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants must feel comfortable climbing a ladder
  • Applicants must be able to safely lift at least 75 pounds
  • Applicants must be willing and able to learn company software
  • Must be reliable and able to work some Saturdays during busy seasons
  • Applicants must have a clean driving record and background check

Applicants must want to be a part of a team! We are currently a team that works well together and can count on one another. We're looking for people who want that in a company and in their co-workers. A positive attitude, great sense of humor, interest in longevity and high levels of integrity and honesty are a must!

Benefits:

  • Competitive Hourly Wage
  • Paid Holidays
  • PTO
  • Health Insurance
  • Retirement Plan with Company Match
  • Tool Account
  • Bonus Opportunities
  • Opportunities to learn/perform annual maintenance are available
  • Opportunity to rotate on-call with company vehicle to drive home is available
living room

No one wants to spend more money on their bills. You should only pay for what you need, right? Yet some HVAC setups don’t work that way.

Every now and then, we see homes that consistently waste energy by heating or cooling rooms that you don’t even use. And when that happens, you end up overpaying on your energy bills. If your HVAC system can be organized the right way, you only use what you need. Your home’s warm or cool air can get directed where you actually want it. That way, you won’t get overcharged for your energy usage. The setup is called zoning.

 

About HVAC Whole-Home Zoning

Homes with HVAC zoning can regulate their energy usage much more efficiently. With these setups, your system won’t automatically heat or cool areas of your home that don’t need it. And without zoning? Well, it’s kind of like having every lightbulb in your home turn on when you flip the switch on your bedside lamp. You might only need a couple rooms cooled, but your HVAC is trying to lower the temp everywhere in your home.

Unfortunately, not all homes can be zoned. It just depends on how easily you can access your ductwork (since no one really wants to tear into their walls). But if your home does happen to be a good candidate for zoning, it’s a huge win. Because zoning lets you pick and choose where your heating and cooling efforts actually go, you’ll start raking in the savings right away. The systems themselves are pretty straightforward, too.

To start, your HVAC company would need to come out to analyze your home’s layout. Based on that information and your lifestyle, they’ll be able to designated “zones” for your home. Each zoned section would get its own thermostat to control that area. So, for example, if you don’t want to adjust the temperature in your guest room, a zoning system could be a great way to bypass heating or cooling that space.

 

Good Zoning System Strategies

Questions about why your home is warmer or colder upstairs vs. downstairs are pretty common in the HVAC world. This suggests that a lot of homeowners are already thinking about getting a zoning system before they even realize there’s a name for it! The following scenarios are all good signs that your home might benefit from this kind of setup:

  • Multi-story home
  • High, cathedral ceilings
  • Finished living space in basement or attic
  • Above-garage bonus room or apartment
  • Lots of large windows, and/or sunroom

If you find a lot of temperature swings in different rooms of your home and you have one of the above home features, there’s a good chance zoning would be a smart upgrade—if your ductwork can support it. A consultation with your local HVAC company can help you know for sure.

 

Other HVAC Zoning Benefits

In addition to lower energy bills every month, whole-home zoning systems can also extend the life of your existing HVAC equipment. Lower demand results in less wear and tear on the heating and cooling elements throughout the year—all while getting a more comfortable home.

If you want an even better deal, consider connecting your zoned system with some programmable thermostats. When every aspect of your home’s heating and cooling is energy-efficient, you’ll start seeing some really significant savings. These types of upgrades make your home more desirable too, so even if you end up moving later on, you can still bank a solid ROI.

Got other questions about HVAC zoning? Homeowners in the greater Indianapolis area can always give LCS Heating & Cooling a call. We’d be happy to talk with you over the phone or in-person during an in-home consultation. Contact us today to get your appointment scheduled, and start getting the benefits of whole-home zoning for yourself!

woman on couch with dog looking at ipad

Programmable thermostats are great for busy families or homeowners who spend regular stretches of time away from home. Because these units work around your schedule, it’s basically a “set it and forget it” system. There’s no reason to constantly check the thermostat display if you want to cut back on your energy usage. The latest models do the work for you—as long as they’re programmed the right way.

 

Why Switch to a Programmable Thermostat?

Giving your HVAC system a routine to follow can dramatically cut back on your energy costs. The purpose of a programmable thermostat is to automatically limit your home’s heating and cooling efforts whenever you don’t need them as much. Typically, these settings change based on when you’re at home or away, as well as when you’re sleeping. Get your new thermostat installed right, and it’s pretty easy to live in comfort and save energy at the same time.

 

Setting Your Programmable Thermostat for Summer

The Department of Energy suggests that you keep indoor temps at 78°F when you’re at home in the summertime. Then the “away temperature” can jump up 7 degrees while you’re away. It’s a good goal to aim for if you really want to keep your energy costs down, but we’ve found that it can be somewhat unrealistic for families around Indianapolis.

Oftentimes, a 7-degree temperature spike can be too extreme for your system to make up—which means you might save a few bucks while you're away, but your home won't feel good when you get back. We typically recommend a 3- to 5-degree difference when it's really hot outside (like 90 degrees or more) so your indoor climate actually stays comfortable. So instead of having your home temp at 78°F, you’ll probably want to consider a comfortable base temp that’s 75°F or less.

Once you decide what your home’s “comfort temp” is, your thermostat will be able to adjust to your schedule throughout the day. Programmable thermostats often divide your time into four parts: Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep. It usually looks something like this:

Wake

The wake setting should be programmed at your family’s comfort level, or slightly above it. Ideally, it will turn on about 30 minutes before you get up in the morning. Let your wake setting stay on for as long as you’re at home. On the weekend, this might be all day. But if you’re consistently out the door by 7:00 on Monday-Friday, you’ll want to let your system know.

Leave

When you’re out of the house in the summer, let your system kick up the temperature about 3 to 5 degrees higher. For the best savings, your leave setting should be programmed to start about 20 or 30 minutes before you head out. This lets your AC get a break when you don’t need it, like if you’re running errands or at the pool.

Return

The return setting tends to be programmed to the same temperature you have for your wake setting. You’ll want your return setting to kick on about 20 to 30 minutes before you get back. That gives your AC system enough time to cool down your home so it’ll be exactly how you like it when you walk through the door.

Sleep

Evening modes in summer should be set about 4 degrees higher than normal settings, but you can always let the temperature go up a few more degrees if you’d like. Just try to program this temperature shift to happen about an hour before bedtime. That will give you the best results before the cycle repeats the next day.

Professional Thermostat Installation

It can take a few weeks to get in sync with your programmable thermostat, so stay with it! Most people have to make a few tweaks along the way, but it’s all worth it once you find the settings and routine that works for you.

If you have any questions about your existing programmable thermostat—or you’re ready to make the switch to an upgraded unit—please contact LCS Heating & Cooling. We’ll give you the scoop on all the latest thermostat models and help you get the perfect system for your home. After your install, we’ll even walk you through all the steps for programming your new thermostat. Working with the experts makes setup a breeze. Call us today to get started!

frozen grapes hanging from a tree

When the forecast calls for freezing temperatures and snow, we get a lot of homeowners in the Indianapolis area wondering if they need to winterize their outdoor AC units. The quick answer is this: You really don’t.

Top 3 Myths for AC Winterization

Most people think they need to winterize their AC unit, but you’re actually better off just doing a quick check around their unit. Remove those piles of leaves, check for any obvious damage, and you’re pretty much good to go until spring.

Tip 1: It’s okay to leave the AC power on.

There are lots of AC winterization tips online that talk about turning the unit’s power off. Usually this isn’t even necessary. You might want to take this step if you already know how to disconnect the power—but don’t worry about it if you’re unsure. The only thing it does is keep your unit from kicking on during those unexpected warm days in winter. For the average homeowner, it’s totally fine to keep the AC power on in winter.

Tip 2: You don’t have to clear the snow around your AC unit.

Sometimes cleaning up your AC unit’s area is more trouble than it’s worth. Too many well-meaning homeowners have actually damaged their unit while trying to protect it. This tends to happen when clearing off snow or ice with a shovel, which can accidentally break wires. The same thing happens when weedeaters get too close to the AC unit in the warmer months.

Of course, it’s important to take this winterization tip with a grain of salt. You obviously don’t want a bush growing right into your AC unit. If plants are crowding your unit, take care when you trim them back. Clearing leaves and smaller twigs is also a smart move. Winter winds can blow them into your unit, and the freezing temperatures, snow, and slush can end up trapping the debris. You want to make sure your unit is free from any materials when you turn it back on in the spring. A quick sweep around the AC unit should be all you need before the big snowfalls hit.

Tip 3: There’s no reason to have an AC cover—unless you like the look.

Using a cover for your AC unit isn’t necessary for winterization, but some people still prefer to use it. At LCS, we’re happy to install covers for customers who request them. Some people just like how the cover looks. Others like to use covers because they help keep leaves and debris out. Just note: Heat pumps should never be covered. Because those types of units work year-round, homes with heat pumps usually keep them running throughout the colder months.

What’s more important is that you just check all around your unit to make sure you don’t see any visible damage. Any cracks and breaks in the unit can worsen when temperatures drop. Fixing those issues now can help ensure that your unit will be in good working order when you’re ready to use it again. That way, you’ll be all set for every season!

If you happen to need any HVAC repairs in the Indianapolis area, the LCS Heating & Cooling experts are here to help! Just call (317) 238-3961 for year-round assistance on all your HVAC repairs, installs, and questions.

wrench

It can be hard to figure out the best course of action when your HVAC unit starts acting up because there are so many factors to consider. The size, age, financing options, and repair costs on an HVAC system all contribute to making the “right” decision on whether to repair or replace.

As a general rule, it’s usually a good idea to replace a product when its repairs are climbing over 50% of a new item cost, but a real cost comparison is often more involved. Sure, a repair bill of $300 isn’t nice to look at, but it still looks cheaper than an entire system upgrade. On the other hand, the lower cost isn’t always the smartest move. Say your equipment is 15 years old and you’ve already made a $500 repair earlier in the year…well, then the math may not be so easy. Trying to predict what else might go wrong with your unit in a couple years (or even the next 6 months) is a tricky gamble. That’s why we recommend looking at some concrete facts.

Reasons to Repair

1. Is the broken part under warranty?

When a part is covered under warranty, it’s usually best to get the repair and move on. You might still want to consider the cost of the labor (if there is any), but warranties usually make the repair vs. replace conundrum pretty clear-cut. If nothing else is wrong, why pay for a new air conditioner or furnace?

2. Is your system less than 10 years old?

Your HVAC equipment might have different life expectancies, but heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces are said to last 12 to 15 years on average. If your unit is 10 years old or less, your chances of having frequent problems are a lot lower, so making the quick repair tends to be more appealing than full replacement.

3. Are you planning to move in the next year or two?

When your odds of moving are high, confirm that your unit isn’t at the end of its projected lifespan before opting for the repair. Replacing or upgrading your HVAC unit could help your house stand out to potential buyers; but if the unit is in relatively good condition or still under warranty, you might be better off sticking with the easy fix.

4. Is the unit right for your home?

This question can be a little trickier to answer on your own, but a good HVAC tech will tell it to you straight. Some furnaces and air conditioners are actually too big for their home they are installed in and end up wasting energy and money. Proper installation goes a long way with your unit’s efficiency too, so if you trust that your unit is in the right location, sized right, and has the right efficiency rating, you’ll likely feel good about getting the repairs.

Reasons to Replace

1. Has your unit needed costly repairs in the last two years?

Older HVAC systems are more likely to have frequent repair issues. When your unit has passed the warranty coverage date and repair costs only seem to escalate, you’re probably toeing the line for replacement.

2. Has the system been under-performing in other ways?

Maybe you’re constantly adjusting the thermostat to get comfortable, or the air indoors feels stuffy, damp, or just “off.” Is your furnace or air conditioner starting to sound louder than ever before? Some of these annoyances could be fixed with quick repairs, but if not—it might be time for new equipment.

3. How much could you save with a more efficient unit?

Check out the energy savings calculator to estimate the money you can pocket each month from a system upgrade. The latest technology can cut energy costs by as much as 40% and still run quieter than models made 10 years ago. If you’ve made other efficiency updates to your home—like new windows or insulation—an HVAC system with a good ENERGY STAR rating might be what you’re missing to really kick those saving into high gear.

4. Are good financing options available?

If your HVAC company can help you identify cost-effective financing strategies, a system replacement might be worth your while. When considering replacement options, knowing about seasonal specials, manufacturer rebates, or 0% financing opportunities with a local bank can make you feel a lot better about going with a new air conditioner or furnace.

 

Now that you’ve weighed the possibilities, tally up your Yes and No answers from each category. Answering “Yes” to 2 or more questions is a good indication that you’ll want to consider that side’s solution. Consult with your local HVAC tech if you’re still on the fence. They can help walk you through the different scenarios for your current system and home setup so that whether you choose to repair or replace, you can feel confident that it’s the right decision for you and your home!