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Regular heating and air conditioning service: the key to year-round comfort

There’s more to climate control in your home than temperature and humidity. The stabilization of your home’s climate is something that keeps everyone comfortable with no unwelcome changes. To maintain an optimum level, a properly functioning heating and air conditioning system keeps everything within reasonable bounds. Your HVAC equipment needs to be up to the task at all times. Proper maintenance can give you continuous service and avoid problems that many times crop up at the worst possible moment.

Care and Maintenance
First and foremost, it helps if you keep an eye out for things you can do to minimize problems before they occur. The following is a list of maintenance recommendations for the homeowner:

1. Check the outside unit to remove debris like rocks, sticks and leaves.
2. Clean the outside unit of mud, snow and bird droppings.
3. Vacuum the reachable ducts behind the wall filter.
4. Vacuum the coil behind the blower assembly.
5. Vacuum under the inside unit, inside the enclosure.
6. Change the wall filter if you think it might have fouled prematurely.

This is basic but could ward off intermittent problems. Nevertheless, the system is too complicated for anything more, and regular service by a qualified technician is recommended. Most maintenance tasks performed by a technician are done twice a year and include:

1. Replace filters.
2. Clean evaporator and condenser coils.
3. Treat coils with an antimicrobial agent to ward off mold.
4. Check space around air ducts.
5. Inspect fan, bearings and belts.
On an annual basis, leaks in cabinets and the supply duct need to be checked along with dampers. All air ducts should be cleaned at least every two years.

Rewards of Keeping up Regular Service
Proper heating and air conditioning service can have a positive effect on your family’s health. When the filters and ducts are clean, allergens and unwanted dust are kept out. Dirt buildup in an HVAC system is a culprit in many respiratory diseases. Also of critical importance is energy efficiency. A poorly maintained HVAC system works harder to move hot or cold air and costs more. Clogged filters can pass contaminated mold-inducing air. Emergency cleaning causes a drain on your budget.

Another energy-wasting practice is improper control of your home’s temperature. Waiting until everyone is shivering or sweating before turning on the system makes it work harder in heating or cooling as it attempts to match the temperature you’ve set. Even playing with the settings can cause the machinery to turn on and off unnecessarily. Your best bet is to set a comfortable temperature and let the system make minute adjustments to maintain a high level of comfort.

The Average Cost of a New HVAC Unit Installation

There are very few places on earth where people are comfortable living without heating and air conditioning, and the United States is not usually considered one of them. Weather you live in a state with hot and sticky summers, or freezing cold, snowy winters, you are going to want an efficient HVAC unit. But how much will it cost?

The price of residential HVAC depends on the size of the house, the quality and brand of the unit, the region in which it’s being built, and the type of fuel it will use. Initial installation cost is one thing, but it’s important to consider the cost of fuel in the long run as well. High-efficiency systems can be more expensive to install, but will pay off over time. Maintenance costs are also something to consider. A complete overhaul or entirely new system with new ducts will cost more.

Installing an air conditioning system in your home can range from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on the situation of the home and the duct work. For a 1,900 square foot home, an new unit may cost around $3,500-$4,500, not counting the cost of installation.

The region in which you live will play a big factor in your final cost. If you live in the Midwest, the South, or the country, you will pay less than if you live in the Northeast or West Coast regions. In Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, a reasonable estimate would be somewhere around $3,800-$4,200 for changing a 2-ton system. This price would be a bargain if you lived in Maryland or New York, where prices are on average closer to $10,000 or more. Estimates can range closer to $20,000 for a complete HVAC overhaul on a large house. Every project is different, so it is difficult to say exactly what the cost will be. As a nationwide average, homeowners should expect to pay somewhere around $5,000 on new heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, then factor in the labor.

The cost of your project will also depend greatly on which contractor you choose. Estimates for the same project can differ by thousands of dollars, so it is definitely to your advantage to obtain several before choosing between HVAC contractors. When reviewing an estimate, make sure you understand exactly what it includes and what it does not include. It always helps to get as much information as possible from your perspective contractors.

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Average Cost of a HVAC (Heating and A/C) Installation

Good heating and cooling systems are essential to the comfort level of any indoor space. No one wants to roast in the summer or freeze in the winter. The indoors should be a refuge from unpleasant weather. But how much does and HVAC installation cost?

The average cost of an HVAC installation depends mostly on the size of your house. The bigger your house is, the more it’s going to cost. If you’re starting fresh with a completely brand new system, it will be more expensive that if you’re reusing some old parts. HVAC installations can involve replacing air conditioning units, heating units, ducts, or even switching to a new type of system. Also, like most things, where you live affects the cost as well. Getting HVAC installed will cost more on the east and west coasts than it will in less expensive areas.

In general, an HVAC installation in a 1,300 square foot house should cost somewhere between $3,500 to $5,000. The best thing to do is to shop around and get estimates from local contractors. Once you have 4 to 5 estimates you’ll be able to get a better idea of the fair market price in your region. Usually, somewhere around $4,000 is generally a reasonable price for an HVAC installation in a medium sized home.

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