Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner? - Elmers Home Services

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Home Service Tips
Unexpected issues with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can be stressful and costly. However, a few simple maintenance steps can save you from an HVAC emergency. And you can avoid untimely breakdowns and costly repairs with some primary care and attention. In this article, we’ll share how you can prevent HVAC emergencies. Keep reading.

How to prevent HVAC Emergencies

Schedule Regular Maintenance

The best way to avoid HVAC emergencies is to have your system inspected and serviced at least once a year. During a maintenance visit, a professional technician will check components for signs of wear and tear. They address minor problems before they turn into big, expensive repairs. For example, they may find loose connections that could cause a short circuit. Or they might notice a dirty air filter that is reducing airflow. Replacing these parts now prevents system failure down the road.

Watch for Warning Signs

Be alert for any changes in the performance of your HVAC system. Subtle changes often indicate underlying issues. For instance, if your system is suddenly louder or you notice odd smells, have it checked right away. Other warning signs include increased energy bills, uneven heating or cooling, or failure to maintain desired temperatures. Don’t ignore these red flags. Addressing minor issues promptly reduces the likelihood of complete system failure.

Change Filters Regularly

A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder, causing premature wear and tear. Experts recommend changing filters every one to three months. Mark your calendar as a reminder. Pay attention to filter notifications from smart thermostats as well. Take five minutes to swap in a clean filter when reminded. Clean filters ensure proper airflow and system efficiency.

Clear Debris Outside

Take a walk around your home and inspect the external HVAC components. Look for dirt, leaves, nests, and other debris hindering performance. Carefully clean the area around your condenser unit. Also, check that nothing is obstructing airflow from vents on the outside of your home. Blockages force air back into the system, increasing strain.

Monitor Insulation

Proper insulation helps your HVAC system maintain comfortable temperatures efficiently. Check for gaps or cracks that allow cooled or heated air to escape. Adding weather stripping and sealing ducts can improve efficiency. Also, inspect insulation in attics and crawl spaces. Improvements like blown-in insulation can make HVAC systems work less to heat and cool your home.

Utilize Smart Features

Today’s high-tech thermostats and HVAC controls offer preventative maintenance features. Take advantage of automatic filter change alerts and regular maintenance reminders. Monitoring systems can notify you of unusual activity indicating a problem. Advanced controls can spot issues and adjust settings to avoid system failure.

Call the Professionals

Partnering with skilled San Antonio emergency HVAC experts provides extra protection. Let the experts handle seasonal maintenance and inspection. Trained professionals know how to spot issues and make recommendations. Investing in preventative HVAC maintenance saves money and headaches down the road. So, following these tips will help avoid emergency repairs and keep your system running smoothly all year. 

Call Elmer’s Home Services in San Antonio for Expert HVAC Maintenance

Elmer’s experienced technicians specialize in preventative maintenance to keep your system operating efficiently. Trust your HVAC equipment with the knowledgeable professionals at Elmer’s Home Services. Contact us today at (210) 503-0210 to schedule a maintenance appointment. Invest in prevention now to avoid emergencies later!
Surviving the sweltering San Antonio summers means relying on your trusty air conditioner. But all that runtime means your AC filter gets dirtier faster, clogging up with dust and debris. Replacing that filter is crucial for your unit’s performance and indoor air quality. But how often should you be swapping out those filters? The recommended timeframes vary based on filter type, usage patterns, and overall home conditions. In this article, we’ll explore how air conditioner filters function and what factors determine ideal replacement intervals. 

The Purpose of AC Filters

Air conditioner filters have an important job. As air circulates through the system, the filter captures dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and other particles. Over time, the filter becomes clogged with debris, making it harder for air to pass through. A dirty filter forces your AC system to work harder to push air through. Filters protect the sensitive internal components of your air conditioning unit. Dirty air can coat the cooling coils with a thick layer of dust. Clogged filters also mean less refreshed air circulating through your ductwork and registers. So, replacing a dirty filter helps your AC run more efficiently and keeps indoor air cleaner.

How Often Should You Change AC Filters?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing air conditioner filters every 30-90 days. But the ideal replacement interval depends on several factors:

Filter Type

  • Disposable filters – Change every 30 days
  • Pleated filters – Replace every 90 days
  • HEPA filters – Swap out every 90-120 days
  • Electrostatic filters – Replace every six months
The denser the filter media, the less often it needs replacement. Disposable fiberglass filters trap fewer particles and become clogged faster than pleated media or HEPA filters.

Home Characteristics

Do you have pets or indoor smokers? Is your home near a busy highway or construction zone? Homes with more indoor pollutants need filter changes more frequently. Air conditioner run time also impacts filter lifespan. Units running 24/7 get dirtier faster than systems used only on hot afternoons.

Filter Appearance

Check your filter each month and replace it if it looks overly dirty. You should not wait for the recommended timeframe if the filter already appears clogged with dust and debris. A simple visual inspection each month ensures your filter gets changed when needed.

Signs Your AC Filter Needs Replacement

Don’t just rely on guesstimated timeframes. Watch for these signs that indicate it’s time to swap out your AC filter:
  • Increased energy bills from working harder
  • Reduced airflow at registers
  • Unusual smells emanating from vents
  • Visible dirt accumulation on the filter
  • Decreased system performance
A dirty AC filter makes your system work less efficiently. Check filters monthly and replace them at the first sign of dirt buildup to keep your HVAC system running at peak performance.

DIY or Leave it to the Experts?

Changing your air conditioner filter is generally a quick DIY project. Be sure to turn off the power to your HVAC unit before accessing the filter. Review manufacturer instructions to ensure proper filter size and orientation. Take care not to bend or damage the filter when installing. Some high-efficiency electrostatic filters require professional cleaning rather than replacement. Call the experts at Elmer’s Home Services for complex ductwork or tricky filter access. Our NATE-certified technicians can inspect your overall system health while changing difficult-to-reach filters. Proper maintenance keeps your AC operating efficiently all summer long. Contact Elmer’s Home Services in San Antonio for all your cooling needs, from filter changes to new system installations. Keep your home comfortable and energy bills affordable with routine AC filter replacements.

#1 San Antonio HVAC Expert

Ready to change your air filter? Contact us today at (210) 503-0813 for all your AC maintenance needs. Our team serves the greater San Antonio area with fast, friendly, affordable HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance.
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day out in the Texas heat, eagerly anticipating the cool air from your HVAC system, only to find it’s not working. Or waking up shivering because your heater didn’t kick on during the night. As a San Antonio homeowner, a non-functioning cooling or heating system is bad news. But how do you know if your HVAC issues require calling for emergency repairs right away versus waiting a few days to schedule a service appointment? Certain problems just can’t wait. Ignoring seemingly minor issues now frequently leads to pricey solutions later. Don’t play guessing games trying to self-diagnose strange. Read on to discover which HVAC alarms warrant ringing up the local emergency line.

 Signs You Need San Antonio Emergency HVAC Repair

Strange Noises Coming From the Unit

If you hear odd noises like banging, screeching, or buzzing from your HVAC unit, that likely signals a problem. Most issues that cause strange noises won’t fix themselves and often indicate failing parts. The unusual sounds mean your system isn’t running smoothly. Don’t ignore the noises, hoping they go away. Call an HVAC company for immediate repairs. The sooner you can pinpoint the cause of the noises and fix it, the less likely you’ll need expensive replacements.

Limited or No Air Flow in Specific Rooms

Proper air circulation is key for an efficiently running HVAC system. If you notice certain rooms in your home aren’t getting cooled or heated like they should, limited air flow could be the culprit. Things like dirty air filters or a stuck damper can restrict airflow. But this problem might also indicate failing parts like a broken blower motor or faulty ductwork. Restricted airflow strains your HVAC system. Call for emergency repairs if air isn’t flowing to restore proper circulation.

Strange Odors From the Unit

Odd smells wafting from your HVAC unit also deserve prompt attention from professionals. Unusual odors often mean something is overheating or burning inside the system. At best, the stench could just be built-up dirt and debris burning off. But it also might signal failing electrical parts or a problem like a cracked heat exchanger leaking dangerous fumes. Don’t take chances breathing in strange HVAC odors. Call for emergency repairs to identify the cause and fix it.

Evidence of Leaks or Water Damage

Finding pools of water or signs of moisture damage around your HVAC unit requires urgent repairs. Leaks signify several possible issues, like refrigerant leaks, drain line clogs, failing coils, or a cracked evaporator. Left unfixed, leaks create additional damage as water ruins insulation and corrode parts. Moisture also promotes mold growth in ductwork, leading to poor indoor air quality. Don’t wait on leak repairs—the problem will only worsen. Call for emergency service at the first sign of water around your HVAC equipment.

No Cooling or Heating At All

If your HVAC unit isn’t blowing any cool or warm air, you obviously can’t go without climate control fixes for long. Summer in Texas brings stifling temperatures you can’t endure for days without AC. And systems improperly functioning during San Antonio’s brief winter season still leave homes uncomfortably chilly. If your unit stops providing heating or cooling entirely, technicians need to diagnose the problem right away. Severe issues like refrigerant leaks, electrical failures, or motor breakdowns could be the culprit. Don’t wait on total losses of heating or cooling. Call for urgent repairs to get your system running again ASAP.

Call Elmer’s for Emergency HVAC Repairs in San Antonio

Don’t mess around with HVAC problems. Strange noises, limited airflow, odd smells, leaks, and total failures all require immediate repairs you can’t put off. Contact Elmer’s Home Services at (210) 503-0813 for emergency HVAC help anytime in the San Antonio metro region. Our skilled technicians are available 24/7 to diagnose issues and make urgent repairs. Trust the cooling and heating experts at Elmer’s for quality emergency services you can rely on!