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Should I Install Window Units if I Also Have Central AC?

For many homeowners, the decision to have a central air-conditioner installed is based solely on the desire to get rid of their window units. Window air-conditioners not only block a view to the outside and restrict natural light, they usually only cool a single room at a time compared to the whole house like the central AC does. Regardless, we often still get the question on if you should still install window units if you have central AC…and the answer might surprise you.

Benefits of a Window Air-Conditioner

Window AC units do have their advantages in their own right. For one, most people already have them, so using them in conjunction with a central air-conditioner doesn’t involve an extra purchase. The advantages of a window unit (with or without a central AC) include:

  • Can be used in any room – more often than not a central air-conditioner will have more than enough capability to cool every room in the house. There are situations where a window AC is the desired cooling method. For example, if you renovate and add-on to your home the central AC may not have the capacity to cool the expanded square footage. A window unit is also great for cooling a finished garage, an attic, or other places where the central air cannot reach.
  • Can be used in emergency situations – with proper maintenance and care, your central AC should operate seamlessly more often than not. Of course issues with the compressor, condenser, blower motor, etc. can arise – especially in hot weather. If your central AC does go down, it’s nice to have the option of a window unit to fall back on.
  • Will take some strain off the central AC – it’s important to understand that a window unit or central air-conditioner isn’t necessarily an either-or situation. In fact, the two can be used at the same time in partnership. Utilizing a window AC can allow you to operate the central air-conditioner at a higher temperature and thus lessen the workload.
  • Window units create zoned cooling – one zoned central air-conditioners represent a huge source of energy loss. If you want a cooler temperature in your bedroom for better sleeping at night, you’re also making the other unoccupied areas of the house (living room, kitchen) cooler for basically no reason. Utilizing a window unit can allow you to meet a specific temperature in one room without compromising the comfort or energy loss in the rest of the house.

As you can see, using a window air-conditioner in conjunction with a central air-conditioner can be beneficial in a number of different situations. The window units are more affordable than ever and they can install in minutes making them a viable temporary or seasonal solution.

 

Any Downfalls of Running a Window Unit and Central Air-Conditioner Simultaneously?

Obviously the biggest drawback of having a central air-conditioner installed as well as a window unit would be an uptick of energy bills. Compared to each other, central AC units are definitely more efficient than a window unit. When used in conjunction, however, they can use less energy than either one alone. When you compare the lower wear and tear on the more expensive central air-conditioner, a lot of the cost advantages are almost hidden. Sure it can be annoying to have to ‘manually’ turn on a window unit and adjust your central AC thermostat, but with cost savings remember you’re actually getting paid to do so (in a roundabout way).

 

Contact us today for more information or to request a quote!

ComfortPro Home Insulation

The Best Time for Pennsylvania Residents to Replace Their Home Insulation

Proper home insulation is critical for comfort and even room temperatures during Pennsylvania’s long, cold winters. Yet, a more comfortable home isn’t the only benefit of high-performance insulation. New insulation can save you money. According to ENERGY STAR estimates, updating aging insulation can reduce a home’s heating/cooling needs by 20 percent.

Is your home in need of new insulation? Properly installed insulation can last a lifetime, but there are instances when it needs to be replaced. They include:  

  • Water or mildew damage
  • Under insulation
  • Uneven room temperatures
  • Old, decayed insulation
  • Pest infestation

So what’s the best time to replace insulation in Pennsylvania? In our state, home insulation replacement can be accomplished year-round. Yet, late summer and early fall tend to offer ideal installation conditions and faster scheduling.

Why Late Summer Is Best for PA Home Insulation Replacement?  

Pennsylvania’s moderate summer and early fall temperatures create an ideal environment for updating your home’s insulation. Yet, this is just one of many reasons. During this time of year, you’ll also benefit from:

  • Faster Scheduling: In mid-to-late fall and winter, there’s a rush for home insulation replacement in Pennsylvania. Updating your home’s insulation in summer can help you avoid potential bottlenecks in scheduling that may arise.
  • Ideal Weather: During the replacement process, homeowners may experience draftiness in the home. Homeowners may have to turn up the thermostat to offset this issue and keep the home evenly heated in winter and fall.
  • Your Home Will Be Winter-Ready: By improving the insulation in summer or early fall, your home will be winterized when the heating season arrives. This ensures all potential energy savings are realized by the homeowner.

Energy Audits: Learn Potential Benefits of Insulation Replacement

Want to learn about the potential energy savings of updating your home’s insulation? An energy audit performed by a licensed HVAC specialist is the best solution.

During an energy audit, an HVAC professional determine areas of the home that are potential energy drains, i.e. an under-insulated attic. Additionally, potential insulation issues like old or decaying material or water damage can be determined. Energy audits can be done during any time of year. If you suspect your home’s insulation is under-performing, you should schedule an energy audit or insulation inspection today.

 

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

As your air conditioner gets up there in life, you should probably start preparing for the inevitable. Home and business owners that get 10-15, or even 20 years or more from their HVAC system should consider themselves extremely lucky, especially when many are only rated or warrantied for 8-12 years. Of course, as Ernest Hemingway said, “you make your own luck” and in the A/C world that comes from regular system maintenance. An air-conditioner is far from a ‘plug and play’ unit that can be turned on in the spring and put away in the fall.

Your best bet to extend the life of you’re A/C is to perform regular maintenance on the unit; these maintenance tips must be followed semi-regularly.

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Common AC Problems

Throughout the years, we’ve seen and repaired a lot of AC problems. The more complex the system, the higher the potential for problems. Knowing the symptoms and what the problems are can potentially add a few years to the life of your system as you may be saving other parts in the process. Here is a list of the most common AC problems and their symptoms.

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Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

AC Fan

Home AC units have dozens of parts that must function properly in order to efficiently cool your home. When one part goes out, the whole unit could malfunction. One common problem many residents notice is that their air conditioner blows warm air. This warm air is likely the result of a bad part or a refrigerant leak and will require an AC repairman to look at it. Here is the FULL list of problems which may cause an AC to blow warm air: Read More

When You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner

Many people put off getting a new AC longer than they should. It’s no wonder- like dental work, air conditioner replacement can be expensive and uncomfortable. But to use the dental analogy again, it’s a terrible idea to delay when all the warnings are there. It’s common knowledge that machines will always go belly up at the most inconvenient times – say a busy Fourth of July weekend or during a record-breaking high. So don’t let your old AC get the better of you. Keep an eye out for these signs – your air conditioner may be telling you it has had enough.

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How Does Geothermal Heating Work?

During the day, the Sun naturally heats up the Earth. The surface and underneath becomes heated directly from the solar heat. A geothermal system can harness the Earth’s temperature and distribute heat and air conditioning throughout your home. Geothermal heating systems have their pros and cons, but in the end becomes one of the most ideal heating systems of the lot. So how does geothermal heating work? Read More

How to Keep Your House Cool in the Summer

thermostatSpring is officially here and when the heat hits, it hits hard! In order to keep your house cool this summer, there are some steps you can take to minimize energy costs and increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Some of them are unit related, but there are also steps to keep your house cool using common household items. Here are 4 ways to keep your house cool in the summer: Read More