Categories Heating & Cooling Systems, Uncategorized

Tips to save money on your new HVAC system

Buying and installing a new HVAC system is a daunting expense and investment no matter how necessary or worthy it might be. Depending on your reason for getting a new HVAC system, it may or may not be the best financial season for this big purchase. As we all know, sometimes your HVAC system must be replaced as a matter of safety. In the hottest and coldest months, you need a dependable system–often it’s simply not an option to wait it out for more affordable timing.

As an Exxel Mechanical customer, you’ll have several financing and rebate options to consider as you face replacing your HVAC system. Check out these options below: 

Financing

At Exxel Mechanical, we love to assist our customers who desire financing with a perfect option for their new HVAC system. As a partner of Foundation Finance, we can offer financing same-as-cash value up to $75,000 for a year, or a fixed rate for up to 12 years (dependent upon the buyer’s credit score). If you are interested in pre-approval for one of these options, you can follow this link to fill out an online form.  

Rebates 

Rebates are another great way to save on a new HVAC system in Maryland. As we provide service in Winfield, Maryland, Frederick, Westminster, Owings Mills, and the surrounding areas, we want our customers to be aware of the specific Maryland programs that offer rebates for energy efficient systems.

The BGE Smart Savers Program and the Potomac Edison Empower Maryland programs offer $300 rebates for electric central air conditioners with at least 16 SEER and 13 EER, and $500 rebates for electric central air conditioners with at least 18 SEER and 13 EER. 

The programs also offer rebates for heat pumps: provide $400 for electric air source heat pumps with at least 16 SEER, 13 EER, and 9 HSPF; $650 for electric air source heat pumps with at least 18 SEER, 13 EER, and 9.5 HSPF; and $1,500 for geothermal heat pumps with at least 17.1 EER and 3.6 COP. 

If these descriptions of SEER, EER, HSPF, and COP levels are like Greek to you– don’t worry. Our professionals at Exxel Mechanical can explain anything about an HVAC system that interests you. The bottom line is: if you are purchasing a new HVAC system, choosing a more energy efficient system will not only save you money on your monthly bills, but can also  provide a great opportunity to save money up front through a rebate. 

Saving you money

After securing your safety and that of your family’s, saving you money, and getting you the most value for your dollar is Exxel Mechanical’s priority. Call us today at (443) 821-1040 and ask how you can save on your new HVAC system. 

Categories Uncategorized

How to know if you may have an HVAC emergency

Emergency HVAC repairs or service during the hottest or coldest days of the year is one of those things you hope you never have to deal with. So, as they say, (and as we say!) prevention is the best medicine. Check out our article on preventing HVAC emergencies (insert hyperlink) before they make you sweat (or shiver). 

Sounds and smells are often the biggest tip-offs that you have a problem with your HVAC system needing immediate attention. And unfortunately, HVAC emergencies aren’t something you can tackle yourself. Fires, carbon monoxide leaks, or even explosions may occur. This article lists many signs of an emergency that should prompt you to call an HVAC professional right away.

This article also discusses some possible causes for HVAC issues or problems you might be seeing with your system. 

Noises: HVAC is turning on too often, or making odd sounds

Your HVAC system’s cycles–turning on and off to maintain the desired temperature in your home–should be consistent and regular. One thing you may hear is your system turning on and off more often. While cycles can shorten when it’s extremely hot or cold outside, this can also be a sign that something is wrong. Sometimes it may indicate a problem with the thermostat or the unit needing other service; or it could be that something is seriously wrong with the entire HVAC system. A thorough check by an HVAC professional can often target the source of the problem and prevent other issues from cropping up.

Odd sounds are probably the most obvious sign that your HVAC system is struggling. 

  • A rattle could mean an internal part has gotten loose and needs tightening. 
  • A grinding or higher-pitched shrill sound could mean your motor or compressor has a problem.
  • A rhythmic knocking sound could mean something is stuck to the internal fan or there is another type of blockage inside your unit. 
  • A normal but overly loud unit could mean there is a blockage in airflow. 

Of course, these sounds could also mean something else entirely. While some of these situations are more urgent than others, it’s important to make sure the noise isn’t a technical issue putting you or your family in danger or doing damage to your unit if it continues. If you hear odd noises, get it checked by an HVAC professional.

Vents: hot air, smelly air, or no air coming out 

When the AC is on, the air should be cool, not warm or hot. Some culprits for warm air are:

  • dirty filters, 
  • lack of airflow, 
  • electrical issues, 
  • a thermostat issue, 
  • evaporator coils that have frozen… among others. 

If you notice a warm air problem, you might consider checking the thermostat temperature, and turning down the thermostat to see if your HVAC system responds as it should. If the air does not cool off, you should call an HVAC professional.

Smelly air is another problem. 

  • A burning smell could indicate a motor that’s overheating, a potential fire, or a melted part inside the system. 
  • A mildew smell could indicate mold growing somewhere inside your HVAC system or inside your vents. 
  • Rancid smells could indicate a rodent or small animal has gotten inside the unit or vents and died. 

These are just some of the smells you may notice, but if there is a bad smell in your home, take a sniff of your vents. If you think there’s a possibility the odor is coming from your HVAC system, your next step should be a call to an HVAC professional. It’s also best to turn off your system if it’s not too hot or cold outside. However, if it’s a burning smell, turn off the system immediately and get a professional in quickly, so you can get to the bottom of the issue before more damage is done.

No air or lack of airflow coming from your air vents is another sign to watch for. This could be: 

  • a clogged fan or loose fan belt, 
  • motor issues, 
  • or a clogged air filter. 

Regardless of the cause, reduced airflow is another sign that requires immediate attention. You might also notice that certain areas of the house are not cooled or warmed– another indicator of a problem with airflow. It is possible that you’re just noticing how poorly your HVAC system and vents’ airflow is, which is not necessarily an emergency but something that an HVAC professional can assess. 

Ice or water where it shouldn’t be

A visibly frozen HVAC unit, or a unit with leaking and pooling water, can be indicators of:

  • dirty air filters or coils, 
  • refrigerant leaks, 
  • or blocked airflow. 

Your best course of action if you notice ice or water where it shouldn’t be is to call an HVAC professional, and if possible, turn off your HVAC system. If your system has frozen over, continuing to run it can cause bigger problems– like breaking the most expensive parts of the unit and needing an entire HVAC unit replacement. While leaking or even freezing aren’t uncommon, they are issues that need immediate attention to avoid further damage.

Is it an emergency or not?

Smells, sounds, leaks, freezes… these are indicators that something has gone wrong. Is it an emergency? Wiill your entire system be compromised or will your house burn down if you don’t get someone in ASAP to check it out? Because it’s not possible to answer these questions or diagnose the issues without a professional assessing your HVAC unit, it’s best to err on the side of caution. 

If your HVAC system shuts down or you smell burning or otherwise unbearable odors, paired with temperatures outside that require heating or cooling, this certainly would be considered an HVAC emergency. If you can, turn off your HVAC unit and make the call to a professional right away.

Call us 

Exxel Mechanical serves a 30-mile radius of Winfield, Maryland, serving Westminster, Owings Mills, and Frederick. Our reputation in this area precedes us, as we pride ourselves on placing our customer as our highest priority. This means we not only care about saving you money, but we also care about your safety. If you think you have an HVAC emergency, call us immediately and we will send someone out to check on your HVAC system! 
Call (443) 821-1040 or email bob@exxelmechanical.com

Categories Uncategorized

3 Tips to Prevent an Emergency HVAC Repair

HVAC systems are like romantic partners: a little attention goes a long way. If you want to avoid drama, as in emergency HVAC repairs, taking a little time to maintain your HVAC system can help prevent issues that might otherwise arise. 

1. Be attentive to the sounds, monthly costs, and general condition of your HVAC system

Awareness of what your HVAC system should be doing is one of the best ways to take care of it. This includes knowing what sounds your HVAC system typically makes when operating, how much it typically costs to run per month, and generally knowing what is normal and what isn’t. That way, if you hear abnormal noises or the bill shoots up for no good reason, you will be alerted to these abnormal occurrences and will know to call a professional to check out your unit immediately.  

Some other examples of attentiveness include monitoring the way your HVAC system drains the water that it collects from the air inside your home as well as knowing what a clean air filter looks like. Checking on these conditions can help to prevent emergency HVAC repair and extend the life of your HVAC system.

2. Get your HVAC system checked and serviced bi-annually  

This is advice you will find on any website or article concerning HVAC systems. Like getting an oil change and tune up to keep a car running, servicing your HVAC system regularly– at least twice a year– can keep you from needing serious HVAC service and repair or perhaps prevent an emergency HVAC system issue. 

The HVAC professional will check that all systems are working and will clean inside your unit, making sure it is working as efficiently as possible and preventing a possible system failure. Evaporator coils, drain pan and drainage system, refrigerant levels…these terms might mean nothing to you, but an HVAC expert will inspect these parts and more to ensure your HVAC unit is in tip-top shape.

3. Keep it clean & treat it nicely

Cleaning the drainpipe and the fan atop the condensing unit; keeping the area around your HVAC unit free of debris; and clearing vents inside your home are great do-it-yourself strategies for ensuring an efficient and healthy HVAC system. While your unit will most likely not stay shiny and new looking, maintaining key parts can help ensure that it is able to do its job. 

All this attention and cleaning you are doing for your HVAC system might tempt you to feel free to adjust the thermostat depending on your preferences, such as turning it up or down a few degrees when you leave the house. However, leaving it alone is often the better option. Remember: Every time you adjust the temperature, the HVAC system has to work a bit harder. 

If you follow these three tips, your HVAC system should stay healthy and last a long time. Contact us to set up an HVAC service plan today!