Did you know that over three-quarters of brand-new homeowners faced unexpected repair costs during their first year? HVAC units are critical components of your home that keep you and your family comfortable and safe.
If you’ve searched for an ‘HVAC repair Harford County’ but come up empty-handed, we have you covered. At Rowbel Services, we specialize in thorough, timely, and efficient repairs and HVAC installations that can cut down on homeowner and business costs and keep your house or commercial building comfortable as the weather starts warming up.
Are you ready to get started? Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on HVAC types, repairs, and what it will cost you, so keep reading on for more information!
What Is an HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – it is your home’s primary system for maintaining optimal indoor temperatures. HVAC combines your heating and cooling components with better ventilation, filtration, and humidity control.
Air filters trap particles, preventing them from entering your home, while dehumidifiers help keep stable dew points by adding or removing moisture. A dehumidifier can help your HVAC system work less, saving you money and future repairs.
HVAC System Types
Knowing which kind of HVAC system you have or are installing will help you with the types of repairs you’ll need. For example, ductless systems won’t have maintenance plans for ductwork, whereas a split unit will need frequent checks indoors, outdoors, and throughout the ductwork.
The type of unit you choose depends on the size of your home and whether you need to add ducts or not. If you have vents already installed, it may be more cost-friendly to continue with a ductwork system. Here is a list of various HVAC systems to ask your technician about:
- Heat pump
Split systems use one unit outside the house or building and the other inside. You can mix and match various types, such as a furnace and air conditioner split. A heat pump is a newer HVAC system that requires ductwork.
Air-source heat pumps aren’t ideal in the colder weather seen in Maryland, but you can use a ground-source heat pump that draws energy from the soil and heats it for your home. If you have access to cheaper fuel, such as natural gas or propane, a furnace might be more worth your while for colder weather.
You could also opt for a hybrid heat pump that uses a furnace when it is too cold and a heat pump during temperate weather. This route is beneficial for many homeowners since it can help them save money.
Packaged systems are similar to split systems, but everything is installed outdoors. These units are ideal for homes that don’t have the space or if you want to cut down on noise. Lastly, ductless and ducted mini-splits are suitable for smaller rooms or garages.
Summer and winter are two seasons that put added strain on your HVAC system, and you may notice improper heating or cooling, loud sounds, and even smells. All of these are common signs you may need an HVAC repair. Here are some other problems an HVAC repair company can fix for you:
- Emergency heating and air conditioning
- Emergency heat pump
- Boiler replacements
- Water heater
- Air purifier
- Air filter
Fixing problems when they first arise can save you time, money, and decrease stress in your day. Yet, many homeowners have difficulty determining whether they need a repair job or complete replacement. A skilled technician should provide you with the cost estimate for both options and review what would work best in your home or building.
Air Conditioning Replacement vs. Repair
With summer just around the corner, you may find that your air conditioner within your HVAC unit is not functioning properly. You might notice improper cooling, short turn-off and on periods, or shutting off altogether. The first rule of thumb is checking the filter (more on that later).
Here are some common air conditioning issues in HVAC units that Rowbel Services frequently see in Maryland homes:
- Increased indoor humidity levels
- Frequent breakdowns
- Hot air
- Uneven temperatures
Humidity in Baltimore can drive many homeowners indoors when it becomes sweltering, but improperly functioning air conditioning units can raise your home’s humidity levels and make indoor temperatures uncomfortable. Frequent breakdowns and loud noises point to mechanical issues that indicate an older unit.
Leaks and burning smells are signs of more significant problems, and you should immediately call an HVAC repair company. On average, AC units last 10 to 15 years. Central air conditioners could last up to 15 to 20 years.
However, if your AC unit is only ten years old, upgrading to a newer model could save you up to 40% on energy consumption. So, if you are noticing some of these signs and have had your unit for at least a decade, it might be more worth your while to replace it. Older air conditioning and HVAC units can also have lower SEER levels.
When shopping for a new HVAC unit, the SEER level indicates its energy-efficiency ranking. Newer models should be well above a score of 20, but your old unit could be as low as ten.
Homeowner HVAC Repair
As a homeowner, you may wonder what types of repairs you can do yourself and when to leave them to professionals. Checking and replacing an air filter is one way you can help improve your HVAC’s longevity and performance. What else can clogged filters lead to?
- Increased energy bills
- Respiratory illness
- Expensive HVAC repairs
On average, air filters should be swapped out every two to three months. Although, it is dependent on the filter type, allergens, and whether you have pets at home.
Pet hair can clog filters faster, and if you have kids with susceptibility to indoor allergens, you’ll want to change it more regularly. Fiberglass filters are cheaper, but you will change them out more frequently than pleated filters. A pleated filter traps more particles, and you can push it to 90 days before swapping.
It will cost more upfront, but a quality air filter is a gamechanger with how your HVAC functions. Changing your air filter is easy once you have located the correct size. You can find this on the old filter or HVAC manual. Some filters are secured with screws or latches, so ensure you remove the grill beforehand.
It is also a good idea to shut off your HVAC unit for safety. Once you’ve removed the old filter, you can toss it and install the new one. Most air filters come equipped with arrows that show you which direction it needs to be installed.
Troubleshooting Thermostat Issues
Another common HVAC problem that you can fix yourself is checking your thermostat. If your thermostat is not monitoring the temperature correctly, your HVAC unit will shut off and on frequently, leading to high energy costs and overuse. You should check your batteries, especially if the screen won’t turn on or you can’t change any settings.
If it doesn’t remember programmed settings after changing the battery or is reading inaccurate temperatures, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. In some instances, you can change this out yourself without messing too much with new wiring.
Remember that smart thermostats can cost a few hundred dollars, but they will save you money by preventing your HVAC unit from short-circuiting.
Checking Circuit Breakers
Power outages and surges could also cause some problems for your HVAC unit. If it is not powering on, you can always check your electrical panel. If the circuit was tripped, simply try flipping it back and restarting your unit.
If you continue having problems, you should leave any further investigation to a professional HVAC technician since poor wiring and electrical issues can create hazards and health risks.
Homeowner HVAC Installation Guide
Rather than installing new HVAC units yourself, which is dangerous and can void warranties and break local building codes, you should use HVAC companies in Baltimore. When searching ‘HVAC companies Maryland,’ you want a local, highly-skilled, reliable HVAC repair company that can install a new HVAC unit that fits your home’s needs.
Contrary to popular belief, a bigger HVAC unit is not necessarily more energy-efficient. It will shut on and off frequently since it takes less time to cool or heat your building or home, which adds more strain to your system and further wear and tear. HVAC companies in Baltimore can help you decide on the type of HVAC you need, but here are a few key points to consider:
When summer hits, systems that dehumidify and control filtration will be more energy efficient in Baltimore homes or businesses. Ventilation has become more highlighted during these past couple of years with concerns over the spread of airborne viruses. New buildings require mechanical ventilation that exchanges air every four hours.
Ventilation helps prevent allergens, pathogens, and other harmful viruses from accruing in your commercial or residential home. Timers are another technological upgrade with newer HVAC units to help regulate indoor temperatures when you aren’t home or leave town.
How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost?
Depending on the HVAC unit you purchase, you may have a split system or an entire unit. Often, replacing the whole unit will be more cost-friendly, especially if your furnace is around the same age. If you want a simple AC repair in time for summer, you are looking at approximately $175 to $550 on average.
Some repairs may be well over $1,000, which is when you should look at a new AC unit. Installation and labor fees will range between $50 to $100 in Maryland. The AC unit can range from $4,000 to over $8,000 in most homes. The model, size, and difficulty will affect the final cost.
Choosing Preventative Maintenance Plans
Preventative HVAC maintenance plans can prolong your unit’s life expectancy and eliminate costly emergency repairs. Spotting repairs early on can reduce time and expenses on more severe issues. Here are some things that an HVAC technician will check:
- Condenser coils
- Condensor pumps
- Motor bearings
- Refrigerant levels
- Checking electrical components
A professional should perform many of these checks since it involves fluid levels, bearings, and electrical components. Regular HVAC maintenance plans also help keep your indoor temperatures more comfortable and can prevent electrical concerns and fire hazards.
Finding ‘HVAC Repair Harford County’
If you live in Harford County, you may wonder how you can narrow down your search for the best HVAC companies in Maryland. Here are a few ideas on how you can find the right HVAC company for you:
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Check out online reviews
- Check licensure and accreditation
- Ask about additional certifications
- Cost estimate
Qualified companies should have a good reputation, appropriate licensure, and experience working with various units. If you have a particular HVAC unit in mind, ask the company beforehand if they can install it. Choosing an HVAC repair company that will provide upfront cost estimates and carry repair parts on hand will give you more peace of mind.
Non-certified HVAC companies may offer lower prices, but you risk voided warranties and improper installation. Both of these can lead to complications and high costs.
Schedule Your Next HVAC Repair
Have you searched for an ‘HVAC repair Harford County?’ Whether you have a split system, hybrid heat pump, or ductless, you want a company familiar with various types of HVAC systems that can accommodate your schedule.
Emergencies happen, and often repairs are needed at a moment’s notice. At Rowbel Services, we offer 24/7 emergency HVAC repairs and have years of experience working on different residential and commercial HVAC units.
Whether you need a tune-up, maintenance plan, or new HVAC installation, contact us today for more information!