HVAC Replacement Heating & Cooling Contractor - Palmyra, VA

Replacements of Heat Pumps, Air Conditioners, Gas Furnaces
Heating & Air Conditioning Background
As recently as 1993, only 68% of all occupied housing units had AC. The latest results from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that 87 percent of U.S. households are now equipped with AC. - Source US EIA

Today's best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. http://www.energy.gov

Seventy percent (70%) of all electricity worldwide is generated using fossil fuels and HVAC systems are the largest consumer of electricity. Older heating and air conditioning systems are less efficient due to age and use more electricity to produce the heating and cooling of your home.  

Is your heating & air conditioning system outdated? Has it had numerous repairs in the past or current potential problems? Will it last one more summer? Will it breakdown on the hottest day of the year? Most heating/air conditioning systems usually fail during the heaviest usage (the coldest months in the winter and hottest months in the summer).

A Common Sense Approach When Purchasing New Systems

An important thing a homeowner can do for the environment is to purchase a highly energy-efficient system. Energy-efficient systems result in cost savings for the homeowner. Today's best air conditioners use much less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save significantly on your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Products with EPA's Energy Star® label can save homeowners 10% to 40% on their heating and cooling bills every year. These products are made by most major manufacturers and have the same features as standard products but also incorporate energy saving technology. Both R-22 and R-410A systems may have the Energy Star® label. Equipment that displays the Energy Star® label must have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER specification, the more efficient the equipment. You should consider energy efficiency, along with performance, reliability, and cost, in making your decision. Source: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/22phaseout.html#purchasing 

Reasons to Replace your Existing HVAC System
Save on your energy bill. Newer systems are higher in efficiency.
Increases the value of your home.
If your system is leaking refrigerant. Since the cost of R22 refrigerant has increased, it would be more cost effect to replace the system than keep paying the higher cost of R22.
If your system has had numerous repairs.  The cost of a new system would be more cost-effective than to keep repairing an old one.
Replace “worry” with “relief”. If you are always worried if your old system will last for one more summer/winter or break down on the hottest/coldest day of the year, relieve your worries (and your family’s worries) and replace your old system before it breaks down.
What is S.E.E.R.?

  What is S.E.E.R?  - S.E.E.R. is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of your current air conditioning unit. SEER indicates the level of efficient cooling your unit provides relative to the amount of energy it consumes (similar to rating gas mileage [MPG] for vehicles; the higher the MPG the more gas efficient the vehicle); the higher the SEER, the more efficient your air conditioning. If your system is more than ten years old, it can have a SEER as low as 10 or below. Your air conditioning unit is utilizing more electricity to cool your home, resulting in a higher electric bill.


S.E.E.R. Rating Over The Years: 
1974 – 6 SEER  
1980 – 8 SEER  
1992 – 10 SEER (first federally mandated minimum efficiency-prior to 1992 individual states were free to establish their own minimum efficiency)  
2006 – 13 SEER 
2015 - 14 SEER (minimum efficiency was raised) Today’s air conditioners are required to carry a minimum SEER of 14 (14,15,16 SEER are most common), which means an upgrade could improve your energy efficiency by as much as 30 percent annually, a significant savings over the long term.  

What is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is similar to anti-freeze used in your car. Anti-Freeze is placed in the radiator and circulates through your engine to keep it cool and prevent it from overheating. Refrigerant is a gas that changes to a liquid in the indoor unit and circulates to keep your HVAC system cool and prevent it from overheating.

Refrigerant - R22 vs 410A

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that manufacturer’s begin using R410a refrigerant in the manufacture of new heating and air conditioning systems. This EPA mandate started voluntarily until January 1, 2010 when all newly manufactured systems were required to utilize the “new” refrigerant (commonly known as "Puron").

What caused the change to the “new” refrigerant?
The new refrigerant, "410A" is more environmentally friendly than the “old” refrigerant, "R22", (commonly known as "Freon"). The “new” refrigerant, R410A, is a non-ozone depleting substitute refrigerant. Part of the EPA mandate included a “phase-out” of the manufacture of R22 refrigerant, allowing diminishing quantities of R22 to be produced in future years. As of 1/23/2012 R22 refrigerant cost has doubled  

In 1990, the Clean Air Act established a new mandate that would affect nearly every homeowner with an air conditioner or heat pump. R22, the longtime industry standard refrigerant, would be gradually phased out until its production is completely outlawed in 2020.

R22 refrigerant is being phased out because of the damaging effects its use and production have on the environment. When R22 is released into the atmosphere, which commonly happens when cooling systems develop refrigerant leaks, the chlorine it contains contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer.

When R22 is manufactured, it also releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere that significantly contribute to global warming.
The phase out of R22 refrigerant has already begun, but recently the government has proposed an accelerated phase out that has resulted in an over 400 percent (400%) cost increase of the refrigerant.

In 2010, the use of R22 refrigerant in newly installed cooling systems was outlawed. By 2020, the production of all new R22 refrigerant will have completely stopped. That means that from now until 2020, newly manufactured R22 will only be used for existing systems. The price for new R22 refrigerant will be increasingly high. Due to the increase in price and the fact that suppliers have restricted the amount of R22 refrigerant that can be purchased at one time, homeowners with systems that require R22 will still be able to have their units serviced and repaired, albeit at a higher price. As of Jan. 1, 2010, R22 air conditioners will no longer be manufactured or imported here in the US. The stocks of virgin R22 (new-unused) are already dwindling, which means that servicing your R22 air conditioner will get more and more expensive, and finally your R22 air conditioner will be obsolete. 


Purchasing HVAC Equipment Online Voids Warranty

If you are considering purchasing HVAC equipment online, you may be unknowing voiding the warranty on the equipment. Below are just a few legal statements from HVAC manufacturers websites:

Trane/American Standard: EXCLUSIONS: The following are not covered by this limited warranty: Products purchased direct including, but not limited to, Internet or auction purchases and purchases made on an uninstalled basis. https://www.americanstandardair.com/content/dam/americanstandarair/16-1000-32_08062013.pdf

Rheem: Question: Does Rheem approve any online resellers of HVAC equipment? Answer: Rheem does not endorse, approve, or certify any online sale of its products through auction websites, online retailers or any other method of online sales direct to consumers without an in-person site visit, inspection, and installation by a qualified, trained HVAC professional).

Q: What happens if I purchase Rheem equipment from an online sales company? Answer: Rheem published warranties are not applicable for any equipment manufactured by Rheem that has been sold direct to the consumer via the internet or auction websites without an in-person site visit, inspection, and installation by a qualified, trained HVAC professional. http://www.rheem.com/products/heating_and_cooling/consumer_protection/

Goodman Manufacturing: GOODMAN POLICY CONCERNING ONLINE SALES TO CONSUMERS Homeowners using the internet, telephone, or other electronic means to locate information regarding residential heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems may discover several ways of making a direct-to-homeowner purchases. HVAC systems and components are designed to be installed by qualified HVAC technicians. The installation of HVAC systems includes electrical, gas, and refrigerant connections, and is generally regulated by multiple sets of laws, codes and guidelines, at the federal, state and local levels. Further, the failure to properly install HVAC equipment can raise personal safety and performance concerns. Internet Sales Policy

No warranty is offered on Goodman brand equipment purchased by consumers over the Internet, including web-based auctions, telephone or other electronic means, unless the unit is installed by a dealer adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local codes, policies, and licensing requirements.

This policy is necessary to ensure that Goodman® equipment is installed properly, in compliance with applicable laws, rules and codes, and in a manner that addresses safety concerns and the proper performance of that equipment.

As outlined below, the failure to comply with this policy could lead to violations of applicable law that are punishable by fines.

Licensing and Permitting Requirements It is common that an HVAC installer must be licensed by the state or municipality in which the HVAC equipment is to be installed. Some jurisdictions may, in addition, have permitting requirements. (Consult your local laws and rules to determine the requirements imposed by your jurisdiction.) Further, local building codes often require that specific types of HVAC connections be made by licensed professionals. For example, licensed plumbers may be required to make any gas or water connections necessary in the installation of an HVAC system; and licensed electricians may be required to make all electrical connections to the HVAC system.

Refrigerant Rules All HVAC cooling equipment and systems require the use of a refrigerant gas that is compressed and liquefied during the cooling cycle. The two most common refrigerants in the HVAC industry are identified as R-22 and R-410A. Federal, state, and local laws and guidelines are applicable to the introduction, reclamation, and recycling of these refrigerants. Violation of such laws may result in fines to any non-licensed or non-certified HVAC installer. Consult your local laws and guidelines for full details.

Consumer Protection Laws Websites or auction listings claiming that the Goodman® equipment being sold is covered by Goodman® consumer warranties are erroneous and deceptive, and therefore violate Federal and, in some cases, state, consumer protection laws. http://www.goodmanmfg.com/WarrantyOverview/ElectronicPurchases.aspx

Misubishi Electric: Company Statement Regarding Internet Sales of Mitsubishi Electric Ductless Products Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating is committed to providing reliable and innovative mechanical cooling and heating solutions. To support this effort we do not authorize online retail sales of our Mitsubishi Electric ductless air-conditioning and heat pump products for many reasons we will identify here.

Mitsubishi Electric ductless products come in various sizes and need to be configured to the spaces they are to condition. Many factors, in addition to room size, will determine if you are comfortable in your home or office after you have a new comfort conditioning appliance installed. While buying many types of products over the Internet is now common practice, we maintain that Mitsubishi Electric ductless products must be matched to their intended function by trained HVAC professionals. http://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/internet-sales


How to Prevent HVAC Manufacturers Voiding Warranties

Most brand new HVAC systems come with a Manufacturers Warranty, but it is easy to lose that warranty. Avoid losing the warranty on your new HVAC System:

1. Unlicensed Professional Installation: Manufacturers require that qualified technicians must install new HVAC equipment. Hiring a certified contractor to install your new system is a safe bet not to have the warranty voided.

2. Failure to Register the Warranty: Most manufacturers require registration within a specific time period (online or a mail-in card). If you do not register your new HVAC equipment, the warranty may become void or reduced.

3. Avoiding Annual Maintenance: The purposed of seasonal maintenance check-ups is not to drive revenue for HVAC contractors. It is because most problems start as minor ones and can be addressed and fixed inexpensively early-on rather wait till the system doesn't work and become major more expensive repair. Regular seasonal maintenance checks not only ensures performance, but many manufacturers assume that an HVAC system that doesn't receive seasonal maintenance check-ups are neglected.

4. Proof of Maintenance Check-ups: Do not discard maintenance check-up invoices. It may lead to voiding the manufacturer’s warranty if you do not have proof.

Example: Trane/American Standard Base Limited Warranty Agreement Eligibility Requirements: "The Products must be properly installed, operated, and maintained by a Licensed HVAC service provider in accordance with the Product specification or installation, operation, and maintenance instructions provided by Company with each Product. Failure to conform to such specification and/or instructions shall void this limited warranty. Company may request written documentation showing the proper preventative maintenance."