- Posted by admin
- On April 17, 2019
- HAMCO, HVAC Hamilton, HVAC maintenance, HVAC Tips
Andrew Vasilak is an HVAC expert. He works at his family’s business that specializes in installing, repairing and servicing home comfort systems in the Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville area. He’s been in the business for over 15 years and has picked up some great advice for homeowners. He shares some of his best-kept tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
Q: How important are yearly air conditioner inspections/tune-ups and can I skip a year?
A: Yearly maintenance is always important. Some clients that don’t use their AC on a yearly basis can opt to skip a year, but it’s not recommended. Most air conditioners we service tend to be very dirty and low on refrigerant. These are two key factors which will impact the unit’s performance and efficiency. These are also two key items that we check during a yearly inspection. The benefit of yearly AC maintenance is ensuring your unit is running as it should and the piece of mind knowing the condition of your unit.
Q: How do I make the decision whether I should repair or replace my air conditioner?
A: The age of the unit, the refrigerant that the unit is running on and the potential cost of repair.
If the unit is over 20 years old, my advice is put any potential repair costs towards a new machine. If the unit is using R22 refrigerant, I would also advise to replace it, as this refrigerant hasn’t been used in the production of new machines since 2007 and we’re not able to recharge them if you have a leak. If you’re able to repair your old air conditioner for under $200—then it’s an option—but if the repair is over $750 and the unit is 10 plus years old, my advice is to lean towards air conditioner replacement. Our service technician will discuss both options with homeowners and provide the best advice based on the specific situation.
Q: What questions should I be asking when considering upgrading? How much does brand matter?
A: You should find out where the unit is made. Most of the production is done in the US, but Mexico and China have become big secondary manufacturing markets. The US built units are typically better quality. Canada provides some component manufacturing but is a minor player in the field.
The functions and benefits of the units such as operations costs, noise levels and appearance are all important when considering upgrading. Based on your lifestyle and frequency of use, higher efficiency units make sense for some clients, the noise is important based on the location of the unit and the quality of paint used will ensure the unit looks as good as it did on day one. Long-term home ownership also warrants looking a higher efficiency product. If you were selling your home in under five years, then the purchase of an entry-level or standard efficiency unit may make more sense.
Brand does matter because not all units are created equal. The better brands use better components, have a higher build quality and have better warranties. Ensure you are comparing an apple to an apple when looking at prices. The other factor that is just as important—or more important—than the brand is the installation of the unit. A great unit that’s poorly installed will not be as good as a standard unit that’s installed properly. I would recommend finding out who is doing the installation of the equipment. Typically, most companies that use sub-contractors will result in a poor- or low-quality installation.
Q: As we head into spring and summer, what’s the best filter to use to keep dust down or help those with allergies?
A: The best type of filter will vary based on the system you have. It may be a one-inch or five-inch disposable or permanent Electronic Air Cleaner. The best thing to do is change your filters or clean them once a month—it’s the most cost-effective solution to long term operation. If you have a five-inch filter (some last up to six months) please ensure you are checking it every two to three months. Based on the environment (smoking, pets or lots of people living in the home) some filters will not last as long. If you are having issues, you could always change the filter more frequently.
Q: What’s the single best piece of advice you could give to homeowners about their home comfort systems?
A: Turn on your air conditioning unit in April if possible, prior to the start of the season, this ensures you have peace of mind that the unit works and if it doesn’t you can get it fixed or replaced prior to the heat starting. We find too many people wait till the hottest day of the year to test their unit and as a result, have to wait for service because of the increased demand.
Q: What sets HAMCO Heating & Cooling Ltd. apart from other HVAC companies in the area?
A: We are a family business first and we treat all customers like they are part of our family. Some of our employees have been with the company for decades and we have others who have retired after 40 years—that’s what sets us apart. We install and service all of our products and are technicians are fully licensed. We ensure they are committed to upgrading their skills and continue to maintain our high company standards.
We produce our own customer sheet metal fittings, answer our phones with live answering and provide service and installation to our all products. In addition to heating & air conditioning products from YORK and DAIKIN, we also offer a wide array of home comfort control solutions from humidifiers, air cleaners, air purifiers to whole house heat recovery ventilators, tankless water heaters and thermostats to solve all your indoor air quality needs.
We strive to provide our customers with reliability, experience and quality service. These are the qualities HAMCO Heating & Cooling Ltd.’s reputation was built on.
If you have any questions that weren’t answered by Andrew,
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HAMCO Heating & Cooling Ltd. has been serving Hamilton and the surrounding area for over 70 years. We’re fully committed to providing the best quality service for all our customers on every service call and installation.