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What You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner

Get your AC unit the attention it needs (without suffering through the heat)

Central Coast

The new buzz word is Green; Green buildings, Green products, Green lifestyles, and Greener environments. Even the Federal Government is offering every homeowner in the United States a $1,500 tax credit if you replace your old, inefficient air conditioning (AC) equipment with an approved, high efficient Green AC equipment.

Here at Wighton’s we question the idea that replacing equipment is your best solution to reduce high utility bills. Are you helping the environment if you replace your old AC box with a newer Green AC box? Why does the government push the consumer to replace their existing AC equipment instead of evaluating the system’s overall performance and performing a comprehensive maintenance prior to a replacement recommendation?

For decades, the primary focus of our industry, and government, has been to improve and sell equipment efficiency. Why? Because it’s easier for politicians (and more popular for politicians) to mandate manufacturers to increase equipment efficiencies and offer the consumer some type of monetary compensation than to properly train and hold contractors accountable for efficient system performance (equipment performance, airflow through the ductwork, and proper refrigerant charge).

All you have to do is call any heating, ventilation, & air conditioning (HVAC) contractor and have them replace your old, inefficient AC equipment, complete the paperwork and you qualify for your Green stimulus tax credit. And most contractors would have you believe it’s that simple; no additional inspections, measurements, cleaning, or operational adjustments of the remaining AC system are necessary.

Can I Save Money with a New Air Conditioner?

You will see marginal utility savings if you replace your equipment only and virtually no increase in system performance or efficiency. According to the National Balancing Council only 57.3% of the rated efficiency of the new AC equipment will be gained by the overall performance of the system. Consider this; if your football team just drafted the best quarterback in the league, how many games would you win if you still had the leagues worst receivers? So, what’s the solution? Get a total system evaluation by including a comprehensive Precision Tune-Up and measuring all real time performance parameters (temperatures, pressures, & airflow) prior to investing in a new air conditioner.

As you know, your air conditioner gets dirty, out of alignment, less efficient, and wears out with age. What you probably didn’t know is that this happens about twice as fast as it should. In fact, most air conditioners die in “middle age” and use 35% to 55% more electricity than they need to due to the lack of maintenance. Ric Schorer, President of Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning, one of the Central Coast’s largest residential and commercial air conditioning contractors, performed a study last summer on 563 service calls with broken air conditioners that wouldn’t cool. They discovered that 324 (over 6 out of 10) broke down from one of seven reasons. These “air killers” cause older units to gobble up 35% to 55% more electricity than when they were new. Next, Ric had his top North American Technicians Excellence (NATE) certified technician develop 30 comprehensive procedures that will eliminate these “air killers” through their exclusive Precision Tune-Up.

How Can I Increase the Efficiency of my A/C?

Here are the top 5 air killers that Wighton’s will address with a Precision Tune-Up.

  1. The outdoor part of your air conditioner has a coil with hundreds of very thin aluminum fins. These fins get clogged up with dirt and dust that blows around outside. Also, grass clippings, fallen leaves, and other plant debris get sucked into this coil. You and a friend could each have a fine dinner at a good restaurant every month with the money this condition adds to your electric bill. This coil should be cleaned at least twice each year.
  2. Inside your home is another air conditioning coil, with lots of fins spaced very close together. This coil gets plugged with mold, mildew, funguses, pet hair, and carpet dust as warm moist air passes through this coil during the cooling process. This is a triple whammy. Not only can this increase your electric bill a wallet squeezing 25% and increase the air pollution in your home…..it can actually cause your air conditioner to PREMATURELY FAIL! That’s right, it can destroy your compressor and that is the most expensive part of your air conditioning system. And most importantly, all the air you are breathing passes through this contamination about 3 times every hour while your air conditioner is running.
  3. Chances are, you have a $1.00 air filter trying to protect $7,000.00 worth of cooling and heating equipment. As part of our Precision Tune-Up Wighton’s will replace your filter with a new washable filter (at no charge) that’s about 300% better if your filter has not been replaced in the last 12 months.
  4. Our Certified Technicians perform a comprehensive series of tests on your system that we refer to as “COOL-MAXX” testing. These tests will evaluate how your equipment and duct system are working together and provide a number grade on its overall performance. Often times we find that we find that a few simple repairs to your duct system can improve your overall system performance 20 – 40 percent. Now that’s being “Green.” And, at the same time will save you money and increase your comfort.
  5. The blower wheel, inside your furnace (or air handler), circulates air by pushing air through your coil and ductwork and pulling it back to the furnace (or air handler). Cleaning the blower wheel is critical, and must be removed from the furnace, since a build up of dirt on the blower wheel blades will cause it to use up to 25% more electricity. Cleaning the blower wheel and indoor coil requires disassembly of your furnace (or air handler) and indoor coil housing. This procedure can only be performed by a licensed HVAC company; unlicensed “duct cleaning only” companies are not trained or licensed to perform these technical procedures. Don’t be fooled into believing they can.

These are just a few examples of Wighton’s Precision Tune-Up procedures our technicians will complete during the two hour system inspection it takes him/her to properly evaluate and rejuvenate your air conditioner.

Perhaps, before you just replace your air conditioning equipment, a better investment would be a Precision Tune-up by a competent HVAC contractor. Mr. Schorer went on to point out, “A customer should never stay with a company that doesn’t cherish their trust. We never take our customer’s trust and loyalty for granted. Wighton’s success is based on our employees’ commitment to be the most professional and solution oriented HVAC Company on the Central Coast. This is why, unlike other area companies, we offer our customers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee on everything we sell, offer 24-Hour Emergency Service and have financing available to help budgets when unexpected needs occur.”

Locally, only Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning advertises a comprehensive 30-point Precision Tune-Up. Normally, this air conditioning tune-up takes about two hours, and sells for $179.00. Wighton’s is currently offering this service for only $120.00*.

*Blower Wheel Cleaning not included, additional $31 fee.

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