Air conditioning provides with cool, cleaned air and relief as the weather warm up across Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area.
But what happens when your HVAC system isn’t working the way it should? What should you ask a local AC company when your house is too hot, or your AC unit is making strange noises?
Don’t get caught this Florida summer without a working AC. Instead, read eight frequently asked AC questions and answers to help you prepare for the season ahead.
Common AC Questions From Our Clearwater Customers
As your researching HVAC contractors, here’s a few things you can ask yourself:
How old is my AC unit?
If you’re debating about whether or not to replace your HVAC system before summer, it’s important to know its age. (And thankfully, your AC won’t be offended by you asking.)
While all HVAC system brands, makes and models are a little different, most outdoor condenser units have a metal nameplate attached to the back of the frame. The nameplate includes several AC specs, including the serial number, model number and manufactured date—most times abbreviated MFR DATE or MFD.
If you’ve located the manufactured date on the back of your condenser, good news: you know the age of your unit! However, sometimes it’s not listed on the nameplate or indoor/outdoor unit, and that’s where we can help. Contact Air Care today for help determining the age of your HVAC system.
When should I replace my HVAC system?
The average lifespan of an HVAC system ranges 10-15 years depending when it was originally manufactured, the quality of the unit, how often it’s been maintained or serviced, and more.
For example, a new Rheem HVAC system will naturally have a longer lifespan than a 15-year-old Goodman because AC technology has improved over the years—and Rheem is a leader in technological advances in the HVAC industry.
Regular AC maintenance plays a big role in the peak performance of your HVAC system, too. If you’ve neglected HVAC service over the years, there could be more serious AC problems that need repair. And if you are getting your system repaired every few months, this will only extend it’s life for a short period of time—and a new AC system may be the more practical option for your Clearwater or Tampa Bay home.
Dated AC units also use R22 HCAC refrigerant, which production was banned in 2020 and will be completely phased out of all HVAC systems by 2030. (Read more about the R22 Phaseout.) Because of the production ban on this type of freon, R22 is expensive to refill if your AC has a refrigerant leak, and sometimes it’s most cost effective to replace your HVAC system altogether versus repair and refill it.
To determine whether AC repair or replacement is right for you, schedule a free in-home written estimate with our Air Care professionals today.
How do I know if I need AC repair?
The best way to determine if your HVAC system needs repair is to schedule regular AC maintenance, where our AC technicians can catch minor issues before they become big problems. Below are some of the most obvious signs your HVAC system might need repair:
- AC is blowing warm air
- Weak or no air circulation
- Humidity inside your home
- Musty odors coming from your air vents
- Moisture in and around the unit
- Unusual sounds coming from your indoor air handler or outdoor condenser
- Malfunctioning thermostat
- Rising utility costs
How often should I schedule AC maintenance?
Regular AC maintenance helps keep your HVAC system run efficiently and effectively. Our team at Air Care recommends Clearwater homeowners schedule an AC system tune-up twice a year—preferably once in the spring and once in the fall—as recommended by most HVAC manufacturer’s warranty certificates.
During every bi-annual maintenance appointment, you can expect the following from our trained and Florida-licensed HVAC professionals:
- Check and clean burners
- Inspect filters (clean or replace, if needed)
- Check carbon monoxide levels
- Check contactors and relays for wear
- Adjust refrigerant levels
- Inspect pressure and temperature
- Inspect safety devices and controls
- Test emergency shut offs
- Inspect ductwork
- Flush and clean drain line and trap
- Inspect heat exchanger for leaks and cracks
- Tighten electrical connections
Call Air Care to schedule an AC system tune-up/check-up today.
Can I perform AC maintenance myself?
We always recommend hiring a trained and licensed AC technician for the maintenance tasks listed above. However, there are a few AC maintenance tasks you can—and should—perform regularly on your own:
- Change the filter regularly (check at least every 30 days)
- Confirm your thermostat is working correctly (does it need new batteries?)
- Clean in and around your outdoor condenser unit (remove shrubs, weeds, leaves and branches that are too close to your unit)
- Check your condensate drain line for clogs (you can prevent clogs easily—learn more)
Read more about 4 Easy DIY AC Maintenance and Repairs for Your Florida Home on our blog.
How much does a service appointment cost?
Although many Clearwater AC companies offer “bait and switch” coupons for AC service calls, Air Care does not engage in these sales tactics to attract new customers. Instead, we offer coupons and special offers to existing AC customers in preparation for the cooling and heat season each year.
For example, this season’s AC specials for existing customers include:
- $55 per system tune-up/check-up if done by April 15, 2022
- $60 per system tune-up/check-up if done by May 13, 2022
- $10 off indoor coil cleaning in place
- $50 off a new UV light kit
Even without AC repair coupons, our service prices and discounts are reasonable for our level of detail, professionalism and experience our customers receive. Currently, our Air Care list price for a system tune-up is $69.50 per unit, making your annual investment for preventative AC maintenance service $139.00 per HVAC unit. (Please note: Some larger homes in the Tampa Bay metro area have two or more HVAC systems, so service prices will differ.)
If you’re a current AC customer, remember that we regularly mail postcards to your home with special offers on future HVAC tune ups, preventative AC maintenance service, and more. If you’d like to qualify for future customer specials or coupon, call Air Care to become a customer today!
Learn more about Why It’s Important to Service Your AC System Twice a Year on our blog.
What HVAC system do you recommend?
Over the course of three decades, our team had consistently recommended Rheem heating and cooling products for new HVAC installations across Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area.
That’s because aside from being a top AC manufacturer in North America, Rheem builds quality into everything they make to ensure it’s tough enough to deliver the ultimate performance our Florida customers can count on day after day, year after year.
Rheem offers some of the finest air conditioners in the business—all backed by quality parts, processes, warranties and support. This includes Rheem three HVAC product levels: the entry-level Classic Series, the upscale Class Plus series and the top-of-the-line Prestige series. Visit the Air Conditioning page on Rheem.com for more details on models, units and specifications.
One of Rheem’s key differentiators from other AC systems is in its testing, which goes beyond industry requirements to create extreme scenarios for products to perform under, including:
- Thousands of hours of extreme environmental testing, including salt spray, rain, snow, freezing rain and temperatures between -20°F and 130°F
- Third-party testing, which allows Rheem to mimic five years of the harshest weather conditions in just 16 weeks
- Extensive field testing from Alaska to Florida, that not only ensures optimal performance, but also provides ongoing research for more innovative solutions
- Vibration testing to ensure AC systems are protected during transportation and shipping
Watch the Rheem video below to learn more.
Air Care is also recognized as a Rheem Pro Partner, which means our team is thoroughly trained, evaluated and kept accountable on Rheem HVAC products, installations, repairs and service maintenance.
Who should I hired to install, repair or service my HVAC system?
Finding a good HVAC contractor can seem like an intimidating task, whether you’re a new homeowner or a resident of the Tampa Bay area for many years. But it’s important to find the best HVAC company in Clearwater to help you beat the heat and humidity this summer.
Air Care heating and cooling has been trusted by Floridians since 1988—proudly serving homeowners throughout Pinellas County, southern Pasco County, and western Hillsborough County.
In addition to Rheem, our trusted technicians can repair all HVAC systems, including Carrier, Trane, Goodman, Bryant, York, and Lenox. We would be more than happy to assist you and get your AC system running efficiently this summer. Contact us at 727-449-2699 to get started.
“I’m new to Clearwater, FL, and when my A/C died, a neighbor recommended Air Care, and I’m so pleased to have found them. I retired from building custom homes, so I know first-hand what to expect from a professional company. I was not disappointed with the service reps or the company. I now tell everyone who asks for my recommendation to call Air Care.” — Air Care review from Clearwater customer