HVAC Frequently Asked Questions
Regular maintenance is necessary even for brand new A/C & Heating systems. After you have your new furnace installed, check the air filter once per month and replace it when it gets dirty (about every three months.) A professional should inspect your furnace once per year to prevent inconvenient breakdowns, keep your indoor air quality high and make sure your family stays safe and comfortable. Moreover, neglecting maintenance could shorten your HVAC system’s life.
Caliber Services LLC will help you protect your investment with regularly scheduled maintenance on your new furnace, air conditioner, geothermal heat pump or boiler.
Central heating and cooling systems are like automotive classes. Systems typically fall into ranges of: economy, mid-level and premium. However, because every homeowner is different and each new heating and cooling system is manually installed the process of pricing a heating and cooling system could be likened to choosing vehicle “options.”
Home comfort options can include size, efficiency and air quality control such as the efficiency of air cleaners and air filters. Air quality control systems are important for homeowners with children or people with climate control issues triggered by allergies or respiratory problems that may necessitate humidification controls.
Thermostat controls are also an important part of the home comfort puzzle and a big variety of mobile and Wi-Fi options now exist.
Other home comfort options include adding the necessary amount of insulation or redesigning, correcting and cleaning ductwork to ensure the system operates efficiently. All of these options need to be considered very carefully, because even the best air conditioner or furnace can’t correctly control the comfort of your home if the duct work, attic insulation or air filters are insufficient or problematic.
To get your customized estimate for new installations or repairs, call 503-206-7591 now.
The cost of a new AC, heating or air filtration system can vary greatly depending on several factors.
Because every home’s heating and cooling system is totally custom it can be tough for a quality contractor like Caliber Services LLC to offer a specific estimate over the phone without knowing all the factors an on-site estimate can provide. We will review your home layout to insure proper ventilation and insure that the unit is sized appropriately for your needs and provide you with a written estimate for your approval before any work is done.
We get asked this question all the time – should I repair my unit or replace it? Like so many things in life – it depends. As an HVAC contractor you may think our answer is always going to be “replace” so you can buy new equipment, but that’s not the case with Caliber. In some situations it makes more sense to repair a piece of equipment, even if it’s older or if the repair is costly.
First, let’s talk about when you probably should consider replacement:
- If you have a standing pilot furnace or an air conditioner that is built before 1992 it’s time to consider replacement, even if you’re not facing a repair. The reality is that your furnace is around 65% efficient and your air conditioner is 8 SEER or less. The amount you save in utilities will help pay for the cost of a new unit and it’s not a matter of if, but when you will find yourself facing a costly repair. Take the time now to research and plan for replacing your unit so you have the time to make an educated decision instead of being rushed into a purchase because you don’t have heating or cooling.
- You have an out of warranty compressor that has failed in your AC or a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace. Replacing either of those components is the equivalent of a heart transplant.
We do heart transplants for people because we love them and they have value outside of just the cost of the procedure. Machines are not people and you shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars repairing the core of an older system including lots of other components that are likely to fail or leak at any moment. While making this repair may be less costly than new equipment, it is not a decision that we would recommend, because it’s just not a good investment. Take this opportunity to get new equipment that will save you money in both utility costs and repairs – after all, new equipment comes with new warranties and higher efficiency.
The best option is to have a highly trained and qualified technician give you an honest assessment of your equipment. Some 10 year old equipment needs to be replaced due to lack of maintenance or a poor quality installation. Some 20 year old equipment looks and works like new because it’s been well maintained. A technician knows exactly what to look for in these situations.
If you live in a beautiful newer home but are still stuck with the original builder’s low quality HVAC equipment, making your home uncomfortable and your utility bills higher than they needed, it might be time to replace your equipment even if it does have some life left to it. Let us help you determine what makes the most sense for your situation.
As licensed HVAC specialists, we have seen many conditions that can prevent your heating or a/c unit from working as expected.
If you have a poorly-charged air conditioning system your unit is unable to efficiently remove heat and cool your home. Sometimes we see that the condenser fan or unit is not working to remove heat from the compressor and keep the refrigerant cool. The condenser fan can stop working due to a faulty capacitor, a bad motor bearing causing it to overheat or no power to the system. If your compressor fan is not running or spinning at full capacity this can cause your compressor to prematurely fail.
Poor duct design, kinked/damaged air ducts or an air duct leak can make your system insufficient.
If the A/C unit is not blowing cold air this can be a result of various issues, including the following:
- Dead thermostat batteries
- Lack of power to the system
- A low system charge
- Dirty air filters (Dirty air filters can cause many system malfunctions. Air filters should ideally be changed monthly.)
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