Author: Georgia Havens

Home during sunset for possible new homeowners needing AC checklist

AC Checklist for New Homeowners

Buying a new home is an exciting, yet stressful process for homeowners. Whether you are building a home or purchasing an existing home, your air conditioning system is an important part. Along with many other home appliances, being knowledgeable and familiar with your whole house HVAC system is helpful for the future. In this blog, we have created an AC checklist for new homeowners to refer to regarding their air conditioning unit.

🗹 Learn Your HVAC System.

As we have stated, it is important to be familiar with your HVAC system. There are a few questions to ask before sealing the deal. If you have already purchased a home without asking these questions and are unable to find out this information, your Quality Contracting technician can evaluate and help answer some of the questions below.

  1. What type of system does the home have? Understanding the type of HVAC system your home has will help determine the type of maintenance needed.
  2. What is the power source? Depending on the power source, there may be additional costs and maintenance upkeep. Knowing the power source is also beneficial to estimate and monitor utility costs.
  3. How old is the system? This is a very important question regarding the efficiency of your unit. Units 10 years or older are more likely to experience breakdowns and frequent repairs. Knowing the age of the unit can help you prepare for when the unit will need to be replaced entirely.
  4. What is the maintenance history of the system? Regular maintenance helps preserve the life of your HVAC system. The history can help determine when to service your system next and if it has an updated service history.
  5. What are the average heating and cooling costs each month? Not only does knowing the average heating and cooling costs help plan for expenses each month, but also beneficial to monitor if costs remain the same. A rise in utility costs can indicate a broken part or less efficiency, which is an important detail to pay attention to.
  6. Is there a warranty still in place? Determine if there is a warranty for your HVAC system and what the warranty covers.
  7. How efficient is the system? Asking this question will help determine how well the system actually works.

🗹 Check Your Air Filters.

Maintaining clean air filters is imperative for efficiency, air quality, comfort, and overall health of your unit. Your air filter may be a different size than your previous home, so be sure to check the sizing before purchasing new filters.

🗹 Clean Up The Outdoor Unit.

Start fresh with a clean air conditioner by cleaning up the surrounding area. Debris may be stuck from the previous owners and interfering with the system’s efficiency. Make sure the unit is free of leaves, grass clippings, branches, and other debris as you move into your new home.

🗹 Inspect Duct Work.

If you move into a home with ducts, examine them for air leaks and cleanliness. Air leaks can raise your utility bill and settled dust and allergens can harm your air quality. We recommend calling a professional to inspect your duct work.

🗹 Open The Air Vents.

Make sure all the air vents in your new home are open and clear. Contrary to popular belief, closing air vents does not save on energy costs and can actually harm your system. Closed air vents can increase the workload of your system and cause air leaks to form.

🗹 Seal Air Leaks.

Air can escape through your windows and doors and cause your system to work harder and your energy bills to rise. As you move into your new home, add caulking and weather stripping to your home improvement list. This will benefit your system and savings in the long run for both summer and winter months.

🗹 Check The Drain Line.

Your drain line removes excess moisture from your home and can sometimes get clogged. Clogged drain lines can result in mold, mildew, and flooding. You can locate your drain line outside near your outdoor unit, and it is likely a white PVC or copper pipe. You will be able to see visible debris, but for deeper clogs call your Quality Contracting technician.

🗹 Choose A Trusted HVAC Company.

It is important to choose an honest and professional HVAC contractor who will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Many companies have Google reviews homeowners can refer to for real customer opinions and experiences. Here at Quality Contracting, we have been providing quality service to homeowners since 2011. Our website details everything you need to know about the timely, accurate repairs we provide. Visit our website to meet our team, view our services, and read our reviews.

The HVAC system is an important component of purchasing a home. Be sure to mark off items on this checklist to ensure your HVAC unit is the last of your new homeowner worries. If you remain or are new in the Chesapeake area, we hope you choose Quality Contracting for air conditioning repairs, maintenance and installation in the future.

Portable Air Conditioners vs. Ductless Mini Splits

We are officially in the stage of needing air conditioning during the day and heat at night. Many ask the question, “Is it bad for my system to switch between heat and AC?” If done properly, your system and energy bill will not suffer. But for things such as seasonal weather changes, a portable air conditioner or ductless mini split may be something to consider. 

What exactly is the difference between a portable air conditioner and a ductless mini split?

If you are in the market for a new air conditioning unit, there are a few options to consider. A portable air conditioner provides one room cooling. This unit requires a hose to feed out of a window to vent out hot air. Much like a portable air conditioner, a ductless mini split cools individual rooms or spaces. This unit is typically installed on the wall in a room you would like cooled. Both improve energy efficiency due to the option of cooling a designated space rather than an entire house. 

Advantages/Disadvantages of a Portable Air Conditioner

  • Lower Cost: A portable air conditioner is an inexpensive air conditioning option. There is little labor involved, therefore, a large portion is the expense of the unit itself. 
  • Easy Installation: As a result of the low cost, the installation process is relatively easy. The only things required are a window and an electrical outlet. 
  • More Maintenance: A portable air conditioner resembles an AC unit, just smaller.This means you must clean the hose and air filter much more often for it to continue working properly. Keeping the unit clean will also increase energy efficiency by not overworking the unit. 

Advantages/Disadvantages of a Ductless Mini Split

  • Versatile: A ductless mini split can double as both a heating and cooling unit. Depending on the model, there can be other features such as timers and wireless remotes for your convenience.
  • Appearance: Depending on your preference, a ductless mini split can be more visually appealing than a portable air conditioner. The mini split can sit up high on a wall where you choose, while the portable must sit in front of a window and require a visible hose. Mini splits also do not block your window view. 
  • Higher Cost: Ductless mini splits are more of an investment than a portable air conditioner. They are pricier, but also have more features. 

We recommend considering these options when deciding if a portable air conditioner or ductless mini split is the best option for you. Give Quality Contracting a call at (757) 752-7077 to evaluate your space and get you cooled before the heat wave!

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