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Is It Time to Install a New A/C System in Portland, OR?

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s certainly true of air conditioning systems.  A/C units are built to run for years, but with so many moving parts, they will wear out sooner or later. Eventually, you’ll start having more and more problems and having to call for A/C unit repair more often. 

air conditioning and heat pump unit system fan cooling pump

So, is it time to bite the bullet and start looking into a new air conditioning installation to replace your old unit?  Here are some red flags that it’s no longer worth trying to keep your old A/C unit running.

Seven Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your A/C Rather Than Repairing It

1 – It’s older than twenty years

Twenty years is the maximum lifespan you can typically expect from even a well-installed and well-maintained air conditioning system. If your A/C sees a lot of use, that could be as low as 10-15 years. Plus, HVAC technology is always advancing and becoming more energy-efficient, so older models are also wasting electricity.

Past a point, trying to maintain an older A/C just isn’t worth it, and installing a new model will bring lower electric bills to help offset the cost.

2 – You don’t have a heat pump

To expand on that point about better efficiency, it’s worth highlighting the virtues of heat pumps. Heat pumps are now becoming the standard HVAC system in houses because these systems have vastly reduced electrical needs, while also providing both heating and cooling in a single unit. A typical heat pump can be 300% more efficient, or even more, compared to older technologies.

Even if your A/C isn’t that old, upgrading to a heat pump can vastly reduce your climate control energy costs and quickly pay for the upgrade via ongoing savings. Plus, in many cases, you can qualify for rebates or tax breaks for installing one, which further reduces the costs.

3 – Your A/C runs on freon

For decades, freon was the standard coolant for HVAC systems, but freon has been found to be very bad for the environment, with every freon leak adding to climate change problems. As such, freon use was phased out during 2010-20, and its use was legally ended in 2020, with a full ban on manufacture and importation.

So beyond environmental concerns, freon-based A/C units are going to become increasingly expensive to maintain as freon becomes rarer and more expensive. This will drive up maintenance costs on older units going forward. Soon, refilling the freon in US air conditioners will become nearly impossible.

4 – You’re spending too much on A/C unit repairs

It’s a good idea to call in an A/C maintenance specialist once a year to do a check-up on your system and fix any minor issues – but you really shouldn’t have to call for repairs more often than that. If you find yourself having to call for A/C maintenance every few months, that’s an unnecessary cost – and it’s likely to just keep becoming more costly over time. 

Eventually, older HVAC systems will just become a money pit.

5 – Your indoor and outdoor units are mismatched

Often, if a homeowner is looking to save money, they might replace either their indoor or outdoor unit, but not at once. While this does work, it results in an inherently inefficient system. The older unit will always have worse performance than the newer appliance.

Also, manufacturers typically design their indoor and outdoor units to work together for the best efficiency. Mixing and matching manufacturers, which is common when only replacing one unit, will also waste energy and money.

6 – You want to upgrade to smart climate control systems

Modern “smart” thermostats are great for giving you more control over your home’s climate and give you even more options to reduce energy waste. However, they may not work well with older units.  Upgrading your HVAC system, then giving it a smart thermostat to match, can have excellent results.

7 – You plan to keep living in your house for several more years

We know, people are moving around a lot. If you’re going to move in the next year or two, it might not be worth the extra cost of a new HVAC system, since even high-efficiency models will need a few years to pay for themselves. However, if you are settled and know you’ll be around for a while, it’s not worth the hassle of putting up with an old or poorly maintained HVAC. You’ll be happier if you upgrade. Melton’s Heating & Air Conditioning are your Portland, OR, specialists for HVAC systems of all types. If your current system is too old, broken, or inefficient, contact us for a free consultation on your upgrade options!

Is A Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump Right for My Home?

If you’re looking for the most energy-efficient way to heat and cool your Salem, OR, home, there’s no better option than heat pumps. Heat pumps are genuinely excellent devices and far more efficient than any other Heating and Cooling system in nearly all situations, so it’s little wonder they’re becoming the new standard in home climate control.

Mini Split Heat Pump
Mini Split Heat Pump

There are two basic types of heat pumps: traditional ducted units and smaller “mini-split” heat pumps, which are gaining popularity. In this article, we wanted to discuss ductless mini split heat pumps and why they might be right for you.

What Is a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump?

Fundamentally, a mini-split works just like any other heat pump. It’s a reversible two-way air conditioner that can pump hot air out of your house in the summer or pull warmer air inside during the winter. (Effectively, it’s cooling the outdoors when working as a heater.)

The difference is that mini-splits are single-room indoor units connected to a smaller outdoor unit rather than having a single central appliance. This brings several significant benefits compared to other heat pumps and other HVAC options in general:

1 – Total temperature control 

When each room has its independent heating/cooling unit, there’s no more arguing over thermostat settings. Each room’s temperature can be tuned to the preference of its occupant. This is also great if you have rooms with special heating needs, such as plants or animals, with unique temperature concerns.

2 – Reduced energy costs

Since you have so much control over each room’s internal climate, you can also shut down the A/C or heat in spaces that don’t need it. This lowers your bills even further!

3 – No need for ducts

If your house doesn’t have central ductwork, there truly is no better option than mini split heat pumps. Retrofitting a house with ducts is incredibly expensive, and ductless units let you avoid that while still enjoying modern A/C.

The biggest drawback to mini-split systems is just the upfront cost. More in-room units mean more hardware to purchase. However, it’s still not that expensive compared to other potential new systems and will pay for itself over time.  

Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump & More Is it time for your Salem, OR, home to get a new HVAC system? Melton’s Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help! We’re your Salem experts for heat pumps, and we’ll be glad to talk you through your options. Just click here to contact us!

When Should You Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance?

A sound air conditioning system isn’t a luxury. In most parts of the country, including here in Salem, OR, it’s necessary to stay safe and comfortable during the hot months. However, an A/C can’t run indefinitely. It needs regular care and maintenance from a professional air conditioning services company to run its best, and to ensure you don’t waste too much electricity.

Schedule Air Conditioning Services

So, let’s talk about the best times to get air conditioning service, maintenance, and repairs!

What Are the Best Times To Schedule Air Conditioning Services?

In terms of seasons, from best to worst, it’s: Spring, Autumn, Summer, and Winter.

Spring is the best time for air conditioner maintenance because it hasn’t gotten too hot yet. So, if your A/C is having problems, or something happened to it over the winter, you’ve got plenty of time for AC unit repair or to get a replacement before you need the cool air.

Autumn is second-best because, again, it’s not so hot and time isn’t a major pressure. However, with winter coming up, there’s a chance something could go wrong with the A/C during the offseason and lead to more repairs in the Spring.

Summer isn’t a great time because it’s the busiest time of the year for air conditioning services companies. With summer’s demands, you may have a long wait for an appointment, and prices may also be higher.

Winter is worst because you simply should not run your A/C in the winter. The oils used to lubricate the system don’t work well in cold weather and could even cause damage if it’s sufficiently cold.

When Should I Install a New Air Conditioner?

If you need a new A/C, the rules are the same as above. However, purchases can be done at any time except in the winter. And why would you need a new air conditioner in the winter?

How Long Do A/C Maintenance Services Take?

A basic A/C checkup typically only takes an hour or two, so it shouldn’t take too much time out of your schedule. Of course, if there are more extensive problems, which can add to the time, it takes to fix your A/C.

Melton’s Heating & Air Conditioning are your Salem, OR, specialists for HVAC systems of all types. If your A/C system is giving you trouble, click here to contact us or schedule a service appointment!

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