Friday, June 11, 2021

When is a ductless mini-split air conditioner a good option for heating and cooling?

Clients are becoming more interested in learning about mini-split air conditioners. While there are pros and cons to both traditional HVAC units and mini-split systems, mini-splits do have some specific applications where they may be a better option for some than going with a ducted HVAC system. We wanted to share some insight to help you decide.  We will start with why a ductless system can be better than a traditional HVAC system.  We will explain some of the disadvantages of going ductless, and let you know what applications are ideal for the use of a mini-split system.  

Energy efficient.

Because the conditioned air is going directly into the room rather than going through ducts, mini-splits are more energy efficient.  Duct work can account for up to 30% more energy use for the same space, especially if the ductwork goes through an attic or crawlspace that is not conditioned.

Cleaner.

Ductless systems can be cleaner for the same reason.  You don’t have dust and allergens collecting in the ductwork and affecting all of the air going through them.  You do still have to clean the filter monthly, but you will never have ductwork to clean.

Overall cost savings.

While mini-splits can sometimes cost more initially than a traditional system, they can actually save you money in the long run.  This is not only because they are more efficient without ducts, but they also allow you to create zones in your house rather than heating or cooling the entire house equally. Instead, you can just heat or cool the rooms you use while you are using them.  Mini-splits also have compressors that adjust their speed to heating and cooling needs rather than shutting off entirely and kicking back on regularly, as a lot of energy is used each time the compressor goes on.  You may also qualify for tax credits and utility incentives with an Energy Star ductless system.

Easier installation.

Installing ductwork throughout a home can be a big project and take much more time that installing a mini-split.  Depending on the number of rooms, you could be up and running in one day with mini-splits versus weeks with a ducted system.  Another advantage is that you don’t have to give up square footage for ductwork or build walls or internal wall space to hide it.  

On the other hand, there are a few ways in which a ductless system is not as appealing.  First, as mentioned, you could have a greater upfront cost with mini-splits.  Where you locate your ductless system is more critical to it’s ability to control the whole house’s temperature.  Also, many people are worried about the aesthetics of the mini-splits compared to the built in look of traditional AC.  However, once installed, most people say they really don’t notice it.  But if you live in areas where it is commonly below zero degrees, mini-splits may not be enough to keep up in extreme cold and may require supplement.

Overall, here are examples of situations when a mini-split can definitely be the best option.  Anytime you need more zone control in a home where you already have traditional HVAC, mini-splits can help.  Rather than closing the vents in rooms you don’t use (which can cause pressure imbalances and lead to unnecessary wear) you can boost the rooms you need help in by adding a mini-split.  An example is if you have a living room that is always hotter than the rest of the house because of large windows, or if you are downsizing in a large home and don’t want to heat and cool the entire home.  If you are doing an addition or turning the detached garage into a man cave and just need to add heating and cooling to one room, going ductless is perfect.  Or it can be a great solution if you are wanting to add heating and cooling to a house without existing ductwork.  Although mini-splits may be more expensive up front, they can be cheaper than installing ductwork throughout an entire house.

Overall, having an HVAC specialist at the Lake of the Ozarks look at your space and walk you through your options is the best bet when trying to decide whether a ductless system is for you.  Not all heating and cooling companies at the Lake of the Ozarks work with mini-splits and one may recommend a traditional system even when it may not be the best option.  Also, as mentioned, location and installation is critical, so you will want to have that done by a trustworthy HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have any questions about ductless systems, we are happy to help.  Because at Royal Heating and Air, we are proud to be the king of comfort!


Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com


CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313


Friday, June 4, 2021

Why is My AC Not Working? – 7 Troubleshooting Tips

When your AC is not working, it can be hard to know when to try to trouble shoot it yourself, and when it is time to call a professional.  We thought we would share some tips to help you answer that question and give you some guidance on where to start.

1) Thermostat.

First things first, check your thermostat settings.  Make sure it is set to cool, otherwise you are just running the fan (or the heat).  Make sure the temperature on the thermostat is set below the current temperature.  If you don’t see anything displayed on your thermostat, don’t fret.  It is most likely just dead batteries which you can replace yourself.  

2) Circuit Breaker, Fuse or Transformer.

You may have just tripped a breaker.  Check your breaker box and reset it if it has tripped.  If it continues to trip, something is overloading the circuit.  Turn off appliances or other power loads on that circuit, and if it keeps tripping, call an HVAC professional at Lake of the Ozarks for a diagnosis.  There is also a fuse between your thermostat and your AC, if it is blown, we recommend having that fixed by a professional as well. Same thing with a blown transformer.  Blown transformers can be caused by a bad contractor in the outdoor unit, and wiring issues, so it is a good idea to have a professional take a look at it to rule out or fix those underlying issues.

3) Disconnect Switches.

You may not realize it, but you have disconnect switches to your indoor and outdoor units.  On the outside, it will be a service box mounted to the wall near your condenser unit.  Inside it is usually on the side of the furnace or mounted on a wall nearby.  Sometimes the fix is as simple as making sure the disconnect switch is not off.

4) Starting Components.

Most HVAC systems have a start capacitor and a run capacitor that enable your AC to turn on and remain on.  If the capacitors in your HVAC system have stopped working or reach the end of life, you will want to contact an HVAC technician at Lake of the Ozarks to have them replaced.

5) Dirty Coils.

Your HVAC system has two sets of coils that are critical to its proper functioning, one in the inside unit and the other outside.  When dirt collects on those coils it will hinder their ability to remove heat and cool the air as it blows over them.  When you have your system inspected regularly, your HVAC professional at Lake of the Ozarks will make sure they are clean and working at optimum performance.

6) Dirty Filter.

As always, checking your air filter is one of the best things you can do to troubleshoot and maintain your air conditioners efficiency.  A clogged filter will restrict air flow and make it impossible to cool the air.  It can even cause your system to freeze up and lead to other issues.  If your system is freezing up even with a clean filter, there may be a problem with the refrigerant charge or leaks.  Then it is worth calling a professional to take a look.

7) Damage.

Sometimes an air conditioner is not working because of damage or because something has gone bad.  Most of the time, it is possible to identify aging parts before they become an issue, and preventative maintenance is usually cheaper than letting something become a bigger problem.

With our HVAC inspections and maintenance plans in the Lake of the Ozarks area, we aim to make sure you never have to suffer without air conditioning.  We also strive to help our clients achieve maximum efficiency and life span with their HVAC units, and believe that prevention and maintenance are key.  If you want the peace of mind of knowing everything in your HVAC system is in good shape and able to function at peak performance, sign up for a maintenance plan to ensure trouble-free comfort all year round.   Call or sign up online today with Royal Heating and Air, the king of comfort!   


Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com


CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313