Category Archives: AC Service

Air Conditioner: Repair vs. Replace

Are you wondering if it is time to replace your air conditioner, or if it is worth your investment to repair? Then this month’s installment of ‘The Advantage’ is a must-read for you! We are here to help weigh the options so you can make the best choice for you, your home, and your wallet.

There can be a lot to mull over with this decision. To help simplify the process, we have a great list of some of the first things you should take into consideration when deciding between repairing or replacing.

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  • Age of your unit – Energy Star recommends air conditioning units older than 10 years be replaced. So if yours is under 10, lean toward repairing. They may very well last longer than 10 years, but will lose efficiency over time, costing you more in the long run with repair costs and increased utility bills due to decreased efficiency.
  • Maintenance history – If you know the maintenance history of your unit and it has been inspected regularly over its life, it will likely last longer than one that has not, so repair is definitely a viable option.
  • Moving – Determine how long you plan to live in your current home. If you intend on moving soon, a repair will likely be a more cost-effective choice.
  • Noise – Is your unit excessively noisy or does it turn off randomly? It may be over-exerting itself and in need of a check-up. Annual or semiannual routine maintenance plans can help prevent these problems before they occur and keep your entire HVAC system running more efficiently.
  • 5000 Rule – Multiply the age of the equipment by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then you want to replace. If less, repair.

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  • Breakdown occurrence/energy bill – Has your air conditioner broken down multiple times while running over the last few years? Have you seen an increase in your monthly bill? Then it probably can’t handle your needs, and replacing may be in your best interests. Repairs can often add up and cost more than a new system altogether.
  • Changing temps – If your system is not keeping your home at a constant temp or within a few degrees of your setting, it can be caused by a number of issues. Having one of our HVAC specialists come out and inspect your system and possibly hire a qualified technician to run an energy assessment of your home is a great starting point. Ultimately, your unit may be going out and it might be time for an upgrade.
  • R-22 (refrigerant) – If your system requires additional refrigerant, you likely have a coolant leak. Topping off a system with R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon, can cost over $100 per pound, and fixing the leak along with putting in several pounds of refrigerant can wind up costing anywhere from $550 to $1,000. If your unit takes R-22 and it develops a leak, replacement is likely your best option as repairing a leak, adding refrigerant, and replacing your compressor can cost you about the same as buying a new unit. Not to mention R-22 prices have soared in recent years due to the EPA’s eventual phase-out of the chemical. HVAC manufacturers quit producing units “charged” with R-22 in 2010, and production of R-22 will end in 2020. It will be replaced with a more environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-410A.

If you are still pondering, try visiting this website to check the efficiency and potential cost savings of your equipment. Still can’t decide whether to repair or replace? Give us a call or visit our website, and we would be happy to assess your system and give our professional opinion.

Springtime Maintenance Saves You Money

Have you ever wondered if a HVAC maintenance plan is worth it? This month’s edition of ‘The Advantage’ is here to tell you why having a plan in place is a good idea for both you and your budget.

Warmer weather is well on its way, and it’s time to dust off that air conditioner and be sure it is in working order. If it’s time to repair an old HVAC system or even have a new one installed, be sure to ask our service technician about our extended HVAC service contract or maintenance plan agreement. These plans have a set fee to guarantee you get our ongoing services and routine maintenance to your HVAC system.

There are many benefits to a regular HVAC maintenance plan, such as:

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Inspections and professional cleanings to your air conditioner before summer and your heating system at the beginning of winter ensure that your HVAC system is running properly, and can also help extend the life of your equipment. A heating or cooling tune-up will test your thermostat operation, motor, wiring connections, drainage system, and more. Having one of our qualified technicians inspect your system a couple of times per year can help identify issues while they are still minor and less complicated to fix, rather than waiting until they become major issues that cause damage to your system, resulting in expensive repairs or replacement.

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A clean filter traps dust, dirt, and other allergens to keep your air clean. Of all illnesses, 50% are either caused or aggravated by polluted air, according to the American College of Allergists, meaning that nasty cold going around your household could actually be caused or worsened by filter problems. At each maintenance visit, we will be sure you have a clean filter and can even supply specialty filters if needed.

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Tune-ups provided with your HVAC maintenance plan result in savings on your monthly electric bill over time. Your gas or electric furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner might be silently costing you more than necessary, but our technicians can spot potential issues that are affecting your system’s efficiency and help to optimize its performance for more affordable utility costs.

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Some manufacturers require routine maintenance as a term of the warranty. If regular maintenance is not performed the warranty could be voided, giving them the right to deny any claims for repair work due to poor or improper maintenance. An unfortunate event such as this could leave expensive repair costs up to you as the homeowner, so be sure to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of your warranty and schedule maintenance as needed.

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We offer our emergency services with or without a routine maintenance plan. If you discover a problem with your HVAC system, simply call us. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to make any repairs or replacements you may need. You can rest assured that your equipment is being well taken care of, running efficiently, and will last you a long time. Sit back and relax, knowing that your system is running at its best and that if anything goes wrong, we’ll be here to help.

We stand behind all of our work with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, ‘The Vilandre Advantage’. A routine maintenance plan is a low-cost, effective way to protect your HVAC system. Whether you are installing new equipment or have an existing system in place, it is always a good time to call us and set up a routine maintenance plan that works best for you and your family.

Stay Cool and Save Cash

Summer is right around the corner, which means warm sunshiny weather, backyard barbeques and relaxing days on the lake. An important part of gearing up for the warmer season is to make sure your air conditioning system is prepared to beat the heat. It is vital to the health and life of your unit to have a professional technician perform annual routine maintenance checkups that include checking electrical components, refrigerant levels and motors.

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There are numerous benefits to having an expert service your system, perhaps the most appealing of which are increased efficiency and savings. Having your air conditioning system serviced at least annually helps to ensure that it’s operating at the highest level of efficiency attainable. When your unit is using the least amount of energy possible, it will help to lower your monthly utility bills.

Having a professional technician perform scheduled maintenance on your unit also greatly increases the chance that they will catch a small issue before it becomes a major problem. This not only keeps your air conditioning system in top shape, but can also save you money in the long term by decreasing the risk of having to fix a serious, more expensive problem. For example, if your unit had a small refrigerant leak, it would be much more expensive to purchase a new compressor when refrigerant levels are so low they burn out your current one than it would be to have your professional service technician repair the leak.

Our final tip to help save you some money this summer is to invest in a programmable thermostat, if your home does not already have one. This wonderful feature makes for a super-simple way to save on monthly bills. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature in your home based around your daily schedule so your home is the most comfortably cool during the times you need it most. By allowing your A/C unit a break when you’re not home or asleep, you’ll be saving some serious green on your next energy bill.

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Keep your cool this summer with these tips for savings and efficiency; your A/C system will thank you. To schedule your annual routine maintenance checkup, fill out our appointment request form today!

People’s Choice Award Winner

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We are extremely pleased to announce that we have been named the 2015 Grand Forks Herald People’s Choice Award winner for Best A/C & Heating! This award marks the fourth year in a row that we have been acknowledged in this category by our wonderful, loyal customers. At Vilandre Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, the satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. To be recognized for our hard work in this area by receiving this award multiple years in a row is an honor that everyone on our team highly values. All of us at Vilandre join in saying ‘thank you’ to those who have voted and continue to vote for us. We truly appreciate the opportunity to be awarded this title and will continue to work diligently to keep bringing you the best possible products and services for years to come.