A/C Repair – A/C Installation FAQs, Tips
Frequently Asked Questions about AC Repair, Installation & Service
The following are a few of the key reference documents for you to use to find quick answers and tips about your heating and air conditioning system from Samm’s Heating and Air, ACCA the U.S. EPA.
How much does AC repair typically cost? Repairs can typically cost $175-$450 depending on the repair issue.
There are typically two factors that will vary your AC repair cost:
- Trip Fee – Most AC companies have this fee to cover the cost of gas and paying for the trained AC technician’s time. Most companies in the Plano and surrounding areas charge from $75 – $150. Here at Samm’s we don’t charge a trip charge. We have an $85 residential diagnostic fee for unlimited time to diagnose, explain the problem, answer questions and provide the upfront repair cost for approval. If you choose the recommended repair the diagnostic is waived. We also refund up to $500 for a repair if the system is replaced within 30 days. Not needing replacement? Pass the replacement refund certificate on to a friend, co-worker, neighbor or relative and they will receive the discount you passed on if presented in the same month for a AC/heating system replacement. Our repairs carry a 1 year parts and labor repair warranty and up to 2 years parts and labor if you are a Samm’s Annual Maintenance Plan Platinum Preferred Customer.
- Actual Repair cost – This can vary dramatically based upon factors like AC age, AC parts availability, mechanical problems with hardware, and many other factors. The most common call from our customers in the Texas heat is “my house isn’t cooling or getting cold.” This can be anything from simply a dirty filter to needing to add some Freon coolant (typically runs around $200+) or more major like a failed compressor ($1,500+), or a need for an entire new AC system. Whatever the case, we will always be honest with our recommendations and give you a full explanation with a solution to what is needed. You will not feel like you been left out to dry (literally).
How much does a new AC System cost?
This too varies depending on many factors like size of home, 1 story vs 2 story, the type of system, home automation desires, and many other factors (see the next topic). We find that the average new complete system costs anywhere from $7,000 – $12,500. The fact is it is a very difficult and dangerous task to try to “ballpark” the largest investment, aside from remodeling, in your home.That is why we will recommend sending our design specialist to your home at no cost to discuss your needs, help you understand your options, provide a load calculation and answer any questions. Many times we are offering rebates. We also have special financing with approved credit options to help ease the cost burden.
Why we don’t price systems over the phone.
Many times we receive calls to give an estimate for system replacements over the phone. Sometimes the customer will even offer the model numbers of the systems they prefer. There are major flaws in pricing over the phone. Examples are: Will the system fit in the attic or closet opening? Is the wiring to the indoor and outdoor system adequate for the newer high efficiency multi-stage systems? Are the refrigerant lines too big , too small or just right for the new higher efficient system? Will the unit need relocation due to large footprints of most high efficiency outdoor units? Is the ducting system, specifically the return adequate for the new higher efficiency indoor units? Has there been efficiency/home improvements in the home since the existing units were installed? Such as windows, additions or attic insulation to name a few. There are many more and it would be a disservice to you to attemp to give an accurate proposal over the phone. Once you make a request for system replacement we will promptly schedule our design specialist to come out and provide the correct load calculations to help you determine the system that would best meet your needs based on current data at no cost to you.
How long does it take to install a new AC & Heating Complete System?
Typically our AC techs will be at your home for 12-14 hours. We are professionally dressed, driving company marked vehicles, we will wear foot covers, respect your family, home and neighbors. We will leave a courtesy note on your neighbors door with our direct mobile phone contact information should they need to contact us to move a vehicle that could be blocking their way. At completion we will always clean our work area, provide completion paperwork, and answer all questions and thank you for your business. The next day we will follow up with the work performed and schedule a quality inspection. Our quality AC technician will arrive on the scheduled day to check the installation details and answer any additional questions or concerns you may have.
How often should we “really” change our air filters?
Well… “Really” you should change them every month, but that is just the old air conditioner veteran inside of me wishing for the best. You should seriously check them monthly and change as needed. Why? Because all of that dirt, hair, and other debris will build up inside of your unit and eventually cost you money to replace or cause an unnecessary service call. Take care of it in the first place and save your money and time.
Should I clean the AC Drain? Am I supposed to or is it okay to pour bleach down the drain?
We do not recommend bleach for various reasons, bleach odor through system, a weak PVC joint may become leaky but I always recommend clearing it annually. No sense being in the attic when it will be hot, right? Let us take care of your drain. Our annual maintenance plans include a drain clean/clear every AC season with compressed air as a preventative. It doesn’t guarantee a season of no blockages but is sure reduces the possibility.
How often should I have my freon level checked?
Every AC season or if you “feel” like the house isn’t cooling like it used to call for a service call. Eventually all systems will leak that is why an annual check is recommended. Low freon can cause a multitude of issues. Frozen coils, water leaks, high utility bills, low humidity removal, long run times and overheated compressors to name a few. Remember we check you freon on every AC Precision Tune-Up and Maintenance visit and your technician will advise you if freon is needed and why.
How often should freon be replaced?
Freon is not meant to be replaced. Your system is sealed so the freon should never need “changing/replacing.” There are exceptions; major component replacement or major repairs may require this but not as a preventive service. Adding freon to get a system back up and coooling is a temporary repair. As a mater of fact, if you a regularly adding freon, you more than likely have a leak. Leaks are problematic. You will continue to add freon periodically and more frequently until the source of the leak is found. This can become costly for repairs and as the freon is leaking the system will run longer which will shorten the overall life of the system and raise utility costs. Plus the unknown of wondering how long will a temporary repair of adding freon last? We recommend that if you are needing freon highly consider your technicians advice and invest in a freon leak test.
What is Home Automation?
Home Automation gives you complete control of your AC system, comfort level, security cameras, locks, lights and everything YOU want from your phone or computer. This is really slick technology.
- I have it at my house and my wife loves it, I can program certain lock codes to allow people, like my pet sitter, to access the house during only approved hours and days and will automatically turn on the lights and security cameras if desired as well. Make sure every light is off and every door is locked with the push of a button on your phone while sitting in your bed wondering if you had checked them all or automatically.
- I can receive alerts if a door is opened, who entered a lock code and when they left the home also. If you have a scheduled call with a contractor, maid or pet sitter you can set a temporary code for certain day, time and length you want the code to be active.
- My wife can adjust the temperature before she gets home so the house it at the right comfort level or I can freeze the house out before I get home if it is a typical hot Texas day!
What is your policy on recalls or possible mistakes?
I know that mistakes may happen from time to time. Even though we take time training our professionals regularly we are not perfect and there may be an occasion when there is a mistake. When there is we will always be honest, upfront and apologetic if this occurs. If it is our error we will never charge you for the return visit. If something was damaged or scratched in your home the technician will immediately notify you first then the office at the time of the error and we will do everything to make it right. We will not take the easy way out. We will always side with you our customer when we have made an error. This has always been and will always be our actions regardless of the cost. Your satisfaction, business and relationship is important to us. It is what we expect everytime and you deserve.
Do you offer and AC Repair Coupons, New AC System deals, financing or special offers?
Yes, we frequently run specials and due to our relationship with Trane; are able to provide discounts that other AC companies can’t. You can always check our AC Repair / Systems specials page for the latest coupons and special offers.
Why is the Price of R-22 Freon So High?
Since January 2012 the price of R-22 refrigerant, which is used in many air conditioning systems, has risen as much as 400%—and we don’t know how high it might go. These are direct costs that we have to pay and we have no choice but to pass those costs along, which is why your refrigerant may cost more now than during previous service calls.
Why we Install Locking Caps
Your air conditioner or heat pump has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by copper refrigerant lines.The refrigerant within these lines is the working fluid that enables the cooling and/or heating of your home. Unfortunately, it was also a contributor to the tragic loss of a young life, which led to recent changes in the model building codes.
The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.
Maintenance on Your Furnace and Air Conditioning System
“Tune-up” your heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Even a new air conditioning and heating system like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. A contract automatically ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. You save energy and money, and your system may last years longer with minimal costs yearly maintenance fees.
A duct system that is well-designed and properly sealed can make your home more comfortable, more energy efficient, and safer.
A Guide to Energy-Efficient Cooling and Heating
Looking for ways to keep your home comfortable year-round and contribute to a cleaner environment? Use this guide to determine when it’s time to replace your old cooling and heating equipment with more energy-efficient equipment and get recommendations on increasing the performance of your new or existing equipment.
Consumer Tips for Choosing a Heating and Cooling Contractor
Since savings, satisfaction, and home comfort are greatly influenced by the service and advice of your contractor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers the following tips to help you make an educated decision and receive quality services.
What is the SEER Rating?
The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) measures the efficiency of your air conditioner or air-source heat pump. The SEER is the cooling output over a particular season divided by the total energy used in that same period. The higher the SEER, the greater the efficiency level of that cooling system.
Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different from what my dealer quoted?
Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating.
Why do I need regular (or preventive) HVAC maintenance?
Your heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions. The constant stopping, starting and general operation can wear down any machine. Proper care and maintenance help to keep these systems in optimum condition and ward off malfunction. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can maximize the life of your heating and cooling units and guard against many common equipment failures. Preventive maintenance inspections performed in spring for your AC and fall for your heater can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts. Regular maintenance will ensure maximum efficiency and prevent other problems.
Which equipment requires regular (or preventative) maintenance?
All heating and cooling equipment require annual professional tuneup. Inspections on boilers and furnaces should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines and the oil tank. Heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include an examination of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils, and refrigerant lines.
I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.
As your local Trane dealer, Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning is your troubleshooting expert, and we are glad to help you with any problem you may experience with your HVAC system. In addition, Trane also provides a network of troubleshooting technicians at Trane distribution centers across the country which Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning will utilize to solve your concern. Should we encounter a situation that requires additional factory help, we will contact our factory supported service manager(s) for assistance.
What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?
Programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With a programmable thermostat, you can program settings in advance so that you can control the temperature at different times of the day. You will never have to worry about remembering to adjust the settings manually.
What type of filter should I use? And how often should I replace it?
Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they can only do so much to improve indoor air quality. A media air cleaner does a much better job of trapping small particles. It rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal up to seven times more effectively than a standard filter. Upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimal efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, you should clean them once a month during periods of heavy use.
Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store for my Trane Brand Equipment?
Filters for your Trane unit are made from different and higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. For that reason, replacement Trane filters can only be purchased through a Trane dealer. However, keep in mind that some Trane filters are reusable, and can be washed by hand in cold water.
Where can I get parts for my Trane equipment?
As a Trane dealer, we are the best resource for the correct, current parts for your system, as well as availability and competitive pricing.
Which Trane equipment will best fit my home?
Many factors affect the sizing and specifications of your system, including square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, and duct sizing and arrangement. Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning can perform an in-home load analysis to determine which equipment combinations will perfectly suit your home and your family’s needs. Depending on the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet. You can ensure that the system you purchase is the right size and not smaller or larger than you require, by having your heating and cooling needs evaluated by a licensed professional.
What does my warranty cover?
Under the standard factory warranty, Trane covers parts that fail during the warranty period due to a defect in the part. The warranty does not cover labor. A warranty certificate was included with your homeowner information packet, and is specific to the model numbers, serial numbers and installation dates of your products. All Trane equipment that we install is registered with Trane Corporation to ensure your 10-year parts warranty. If you cannot find your warranty certificate, Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning will also be able to provide you with that information. With a Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning Total Comfort Plan, you’ll have a lifetime warranty on our workmanship.
What is the life expectancy of my unit?
Dependable Trane products are among the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your equipment, many variables affect life expectancy, including, of course, the regularity of routine maintenance.