Repairing vs. Replacing Your AC



Repairing vs. Replacing Your AC system

Most homeowners prefer buying things that will last for a long time in their homes. The longer the item lasts while still providing service the better. An HVAC unit is always built to last.  A typical AC unit can last from 10-15 years. However, with time, you might be faced with the dilemma of repairing or replacing it. This is usually the case when you feel that it is not providing service as expected. Given everything involved in replacing your HVAC unit, it helps to take a moment and decide whether you really want to buy a new system. Below are a number of factors from our Sacramento’s Top hvac company to consider before you make the decision of repairing vs. replacing your ac. 

Lifespan and Condition of the Unit

Chances of an AC replacement increase with time. The more you use it, the more it wears down. The system will be more likely it is to suffer from breakdowns. You might be forced to replace your AC system as the number of repairs increases with time. 

Additionally, the ENERGY STAR program by the Department of energy and the EPA recommends that AC systems that are older than 10 years be replaced. Headwaters Construction, Sacramento commercial construction company explains that this is because, with time, these systems lose their efficiency. This then leads to a rise in energy bills. 

Health and Safety Concerns

Replace your HVAC unit if your contractor says it is safer to do so. There are a number of factors that would determine whether your AC unit poses a hazard. For example, if the heat exchanger on the furnace is cracked, then it makes sense to replace the unit. A cracked heat exchanger will lead to the leakage of carbon monoxide which is highly dangerous to humans. A leaking HVAC system might also introduce humidity in the house. Humidity provides the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow within your house. 

You might also be prompted to replace the AC system if the cost of repairing to prevent potentially hazardous situations is higher than that of replacing it. 

Heating Effectiveness 

An effective HVAC unit will ensure that your home is comfortable to live in all year round. Additionally, it will guarantee that you do not waste your money. Effectiveness in an AC unit is measured by how much it is able to regulate the atmosphere in all your rooms. 

Therefore, if your AC unit is not providing enough heat for all rooms, our Sacramento HVAC company explains that it is not effective enough and might warrant an HVAC replacement. This is usually the case with older systems. This would require that you replace it with newer and more efficient systems. 

With time, also, manufacturers develop newer and more efficient systems that will reduce your energy spending. A much older system might not match up to a newer system’s efficiency. 

Recommendation by Your Contractor 

Are you still wondering whether to go for HVAC repair or replacement? How about talking to a professional? Your Sacramento HVAC contractor should be able to provide you with the right answers after examining your system. At Gilmore Heating Air Plumbing Home Services, we will offer you useful advice and provide quality ac repair, ac tune-up, and ac replacement services.

How to Inspect an AC Drain Pan



How to Inspect an AC Drain Pan

As warm air passes over the evaporator coils in your AC, water droplets form and drip into the condensate pan located beneath the evaporator coils. This condensate then flows out through the condensate drain line. However, problems can arise when the drain pan or drain line is clogged or damaged. Your AC may turn itself off, or your property may suffer water damage as condensation accumulates underneath the AC. To prevent these problems, Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, the best HVAC company in Sacramento, recommends that you inspect the AC drain pan frequently, as explained below.

Step 1: Turn On the AC

It is advisable to start your inspection exercise by turning the AC on for about half an hour. This is ample time for the system to work and generate a sufficient amount of condensate to reveal any anomalies in the condensate drainage system.

Folsom AC service techs recommend that you observe the area around the indoor unit of your air conditioner. If you don’t see any moisture, chances are the drain pan, and drain line is working as they should. All the same, you need to proceed with the next steps outlined below, just to perform a thorough inspection.

Step 2: Turn the AC Power Off and Remove the Access Panel

Experts at Gilmore Heating and Air strongly recommend that you turn the power to the HVAC system off so that you reduce the risk of electrical accidents occurring while you check the drain pan.

Once you have unplugged the AC, remove the access panel so that you can see the drain pan situated inside the air handler.

Note that air conditioners usually have two drain pans. One is permanently affixed to the air handler, and it is located higher up from the auxiliary one that is easy to remove. Residential AC company in Placerville recommend that you restrict your DIY efforts to the auxiliary drain pan and let an experienced professional remove and replace the permanent drain pan since you may make a mistake that could cause bigger problems in your AC.

Step 3: Inspect the Drain Pan and Line

Residential AC maintenance personnel suggest that you use a flashlight to take a close look at the drain pan and the drain line leading away from it. See whether you can spot any visible debris or accumulations, or even damage to the drain pan.

If water is backing up in the drain pan, there could be a blockage in the drain line. Clean out any debris that you see in the drain pan and in the opening of the drain line.

Step 4: Test the Drain Mechanism

Pour a continuous stream of water into the drain pan and observe how effectively that water drains away through the drain line. If it is sluggish or backs up, Tureks Plumbing Services, a Fox Valley Plumbing company, suggests that you may have a clog or blockage in the drain line.

Step 5: Repair Minor Damage to the Drain Pan

If you notice that the drain pan is leaking, use epoxy glue to plug that small crack responsible for the leak. However, if the leak is large, Folsom AC service professionals recommend that it is a lot better to replace that damaged drain pan.

Replacing the drain pan is best left to professionals. Contact Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing for expert help, especially if the permanent drain pan has a leak.

Step 6: Clean the Condensate Drain Line

Gilmore HVAC experts recommend that you clean the condensate drain line regularly in order to prevent dirt and debris from building up inside it.

Use a stiff brush to gently clean inside the drain line and remove any debris inside. You can then pour a cup of vinegar down the drain line so that any microbial growths (mold and algae, for example) can be killed before clogs develop.

In the summer, pour bleach down the condensate drain line as a way of keeping it clean. Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing only recommends using bleach during the summer because the constant use of the AC will generate ample quantities of condensate to wash out the bleach before it damages the drain line.

Step 7: Restore the Access Panel

Once you are satisfied with the work done in cleaning the drain line or fixing any damage to the auxiliary drain pan, restore the access panel to its position so that the air handler isn’t exposed. When everything is back in its place, residential AC maintenance personnel recommend that you power up the system and observe whether it is working well, and no condensation is accumulating beneath the air handler. If everything is as it should be, congrats!

The drain pan and drain line aren’t the only components that need regular maintenance and inspection in your HVAC system. In fact, the drain pan and drain line will have a reduced chance of developing defects if the entire HVAC system is serviced by a professional. If you haven’t had your AC system checked by a professional in a while, contact Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing for a residential ac tune-up. Our experienced technicians will conduct a thorough inspection and tune-up the system so that it is back to working reliably and efficiently. Give us a call today and learn about our Sacramento AC service plans.

The Difference Between HVAC and Air Conditioning



If your home has central air, it can be one of the most important items in your house during the summer. In the event that your air conditioner needs service, you may call an HVAC company to help. However, there is a difference between your HVAC system and your air conditioner. Let’s take a look at what that difference is.

Your Air Conditioner Is a Standalone Component in the Home

When a problem occurs with your air conditioner, it generally doesn’t interfere with your ability to heat your home or push air through ducts inside of it. An air conditioner simply cools your home but doesn’t do anything beyond that.

Therefore, if your home is having trouble getting cold, an HVAC professional from Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣ in Placerville will generally only spend time looking at this one component. At Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣, we can repair, install or maintain air conditioners as well as maintain your home’s furnace in a convenient and affordable manner.

The HVAC Refers to the Entire System

Your HVAC system includes your furnace, geothermal pump or other product used to keep your home warm. It also includes your air conditioner and the assorted parts needed to keep the home cold.

The ducts that carry air to and from your home are part of its HVAC system as well. It may be necessary to have them inspected or cleaned by a professional on a regular basis to ensure that they function properly.

In some cases, issues with an air conditioner may actually be caused by improperly installed or dirty ducts. This is why it is important to have a professional diagnose the issue as it can save you both time and money.

If you need to have an HVAC component repaired, maintained or replaced, contact our Placerville, CA, office today! In addition to standard HVAC service, we can also help with leaky faucets, broken toilets or other plumbing needs that your home may have.

Checking Your Home for Air Leaks



Air leaks in your home can have many sources, including a crack in the foundation, a hole in the attic or a door that doesn’t sit quite right against the jamb. While these leaks are certainly a kind of natural ventilation, they aren’t ideal. You probably heated or cooled that escaping air at great expense, and these leaks just make your cooling or heating system work harder.

Where Are Air Leaks in a Home Most Common?

Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣ has been helping customers throughout the Greater Sacramento area achieve proper ventilation since 1979. We’ve found that many people believe windows and doors are the main culprits when it comes to air leaks. Statistically, however, the worst culprits are floors, walls, and ceilings. The next-worst offender is the ductwork.

Ductwork and Air Leaks

Inspecting, maintaining and cleaning your air ducts is important. It helps to keep your energy efficiency high and your indoor air pollution low. Energy Star estimates that about 20 percent of the air that moves through average ductwork is lost due to leaks. Leaks can be caused by shoddy installation but can also manifest over time due to wear and tear.

How Do You Check for Air Leaks in a Home?

The best way to check for air leaks in a home is to schedule a professional home energy audit. This will include a comprehensive examination of problem areas: floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and more. If you’d like to conduct your own testing, a common way to do this is to burn incense after having shut down the heating and cooling system as well as any independent fans, exhausts and so forth. Note the spots that cause the smoke to drift.

Eliminate Air Leaks from Your Home

Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣ in Placerville would like to help make your home airtight and more energy-efficient. We can also discuss ways to achieve proper ventilation that won’t bloat your utility bill.

Our company offers a complete range of other services related to heating, air conditioning, electrical issues and plumbing. Contact us today to ask any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Is It Time for a Furnace Maintenance Service Call?



The holidays are coming up, and you know what that means! Family and friends are going to be constantly bustling in and out of your home for the next few months. But wait! Something’s not right. The vents are blowing out dust and bad-smelling air, it feels stuffy and humid, and even when you turn the thermostat all the way up, the house doesn’t warm up.

Obviously, you don’t want your guests to have to feel uncomfortable in your home. And aren’t you tired of your furnace just not working right?

What are some of the most common furnace problems that plague homeowners during the winter?

Furnace blowing cool or lukewarm air. This is usually due to the fan setting on the thermostat being set to “on” rather than “auto.” This makes the HVAC fan runs all the time, even when the furnace isn’t on. It can also be due to the pilot light being out. But it may also be a more serious issue, such as the furnace overheating due to a dirty air filter.

Poor airflow through vents. This can be caused by obstructed ducting or vents, or a filter that’s clogged full of dust and grime. If possible, check to make sure that your ductwork is clean and clear of debris, and that your air filter has been replaced.

Dust and dirt blowing through vents. This may be due to something as simple as dust buildup in your HVAC ductwork, which can be remedied with some basic cleaning. Or, it may be due to something more serious, such as a leak in the ductwork, or a dirty furnace burner.

Furnace cycles frequently. This may be due to something as minor as the thermostat not being set properly, or a clogged filter. It can also be due to inadequate insulation, which fails to retain the heat produced by your furnace, forcing it to run more frequently. In some cases, this can also be due to wiring problems, thermostat malfunctions, or improperly set fan switches.

Noisy operation. Your furnace shouldn’t squeak, rattle, rumble, or make other annoying sounds. If your furnace is keeping you up at night, then there may be a mechanical issue.

Furnace not running at all. This is the most perplexing and frustrating problem at all—when your furnace just won’t work. And unfortunately, this requires the attention of a professional to properly diagnose.

If your home heating system just isn’t working right, call the furnace repair experts at Gilmore!

We guarantee our work, so don’t risk unnecessary hassle when your guests are on the way. There’s not time to spare: Call Gilmore, and let the experts handle it!

Additional wintertime home issues we tackle include wiring issues that cause indoor and outdoor lights to malfunction, persistent and annoying electrical problems, windows that fail to keep cold air out, even when closed, and inadequate home insulation that results in costly heating bills.

We know how important it is to work fast in order to get your home warm, cozy, and comfortable before the holidays. Let Gilmore fix those pesky furnace problems with the Red Carpet Care that our thousands of customers have come to expect, so that you can focus on what’s important: Giving your loved ones the holiday season they deserve.