What is HVAC?

HVAC is a shortened way to referring to systems that control Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Any time you turn on your air conditioner to cool your home, or turn up the heat during the winter, you are using an HVAC system.

HVAC systems are designed and set up to control the environment around them. The way it works is by using cooling and heating elements to control the temperature. The ventiliation part of the system also helps it to control humidity levels, and air movement and distribution. Properly maintained systems also make sure the air it distributes is clean before sending it out.


How do HVAC Systems Work?


There are three major types of HVAC systems. Each of them work differently and have specific strengths and weaknesses. The type of environment you live in will change what sort of HVAC system will work best for you.


  1. Split and Window Air Conditioning

Window AC units work by blowing air through the system coils. This makes it easy for the unit to separate hot and cold. Heat gets vented outside while cold air gets pushed into the nearby room.


Split units are useful for larger areas than window units. This type of air conditioning splits the hot and cold air apart and puts it in different parts of the system. The cold side of the unit is equipped with a cold coil and expansion valve. The cold coil is the part of the system that absorbs heat and vents it outside, while the expansion valve controls how that coil absorbs heat. These types of units are usually installed along with a furnace or another type of air handler. The handler then distributes cold air through building air ducts and into a number of connected rooms.


  1. Combined Heating and Air Conditioning

Combined units have both heating and cooling capabilities built into the way the system works. These are often installed on rooftops, in mechanical rooms, or near conditioning vents.


Everything in a combined system is connected. The air conditioning part of your system relies on your home’s electricity to cycle refrigerant, which is what allows the unit to cool your home. The heating part of the system also typically relies on electricity to warm attached heat strips and then blow air over those strips. This allows it to distribute warm air all over your home.


  1. Central Air Conditioning

Most homes rely on Central Air Conditioning to keep their environments cool. These are almost like even larger split systems. A separate unit contains a cooling fan, compressor, and condenser coil in one condensing unit. Evaporator coils come with an indoor unit that is normally installed on a furnace.

This type of system also uses electricity to power all of the relevant parts. The external unit pumps refrigerant through the system, which allows it to take heat out of the home and pump it outside. This helps to remove moisture and heat that collects indoors. The refrigerant then passes through another device that cools it and makes it possible to distribute cool air throughout the home.

Tips for Hiring HVAC Contractors

With dozens of HVAC contractors to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to go with. Here are some basic tips and tricks for you to follow, so you can be sure to hire the right contractor for your needs.


Ask Around

Your friends and family have likely already used an HVAC contractor. Ask them what their experience was like. Did they get good service, or did they have a bad interaction? Your friends and family aren’t loyal to any brands, so they will tell you exactly what they think.


Search on the Web

Google is a great way to figure out what contractors are near you. Using location data, your Google searches will be customized to the specific area of Kansas City that you live in. You can see what companies are nearby, and you can even see information like average customer rating, hours, and price.


Contact Several Contractors

Since there are so many contractors out there, you don’t have to settle on the first one you come into contact with. Take time to shop around and compare rates. If you find a contractor that you like, but find a better price elsewhere, you might be able to convince them to price match the other deal you found.


Call Customer References

If you have a couple of contractors you are considering, take the time to contact their customer references. You should be able to ask anyone you are considering hiring to provide you with a couple of references before you buy their services. This will help you get an idea of what kind of service they provide, and what sort of experience you can expect if you decide to hire them.


Find Good Deals

HVAC companies will regularly have deals going on in order to attract new customers. You can also check out deal websites like Groupon.com to see if they have any good deals for local contractors.


Learn About Licensing Requirements

HVAC contractors in Kansas City are required to meet specific licensing and insurance regulations. Take time to figure out what the local requirements are, and then find a contractor that meets those requirements. This is a great way to ensure that you avoid workers who don’t know what they are doing.


Expect a System Evaluation

If your contractor doesn’t take a lot of time inspecting your system and evaluating the needs of your home, you should not work with them. You need an HVAC system that is tailored to the specific needs of your home. These systems need to consider things like house size, insulation levels, windows, and floor plan. They should also inspect any ducts or ventilation for leaks and cleanliness, and to make sure you won’t experience any other issues later on.


Get it in Writing

Whenever you get an estimate from a contractor, make sure you get it in writing. Figure out everything that will be included in estimated. The cheapest price isn’t the best if it means you’ll have to pay more in energy costs because of an inefficient system. Along with the estimate, make sure you’re clear on how the service will help, and exactly what impact it will have on your home.

awhac heating and cooling kc

Signs You Need Air Conditioning Repair

One of the worst times for your air conditioner to break is when its sweltering outside. The heat is unbearable and you need relief, but your system isn’t working.

Of course it makes sense to contact someone in times like this. However, this isn’t the only time your air conditioner needs to be checked for repairs. There are a number of signs and symptoms that show up that can help you prevent air conditioning emergencies during times when you need the cool air the most.


  1. Lack of Cool Air

One of the most obvious signs that your air conditioner isn’t working is if your home isn’t being cooled. If you turn on your air conditioner and find that warm air is coming out, then something is definitely wrong. There could be a number of causes for this, so you’ll definitely want to turn to an expert.


  1. Poor Air Flow

If the air coming out of your system is weak, there could be a problem with the compressor in your unit. However, if some areas of your home are being cooled while others are not, this is more likely a problem with the duct work. If one part of your home is extremely cold while another is too warm, this is a sign of poor air flow. Both of these issues are highly complicated and require specialized knowledge to fix.


  1. Moisture in Certain Places

Your system should never leak. If there is moisture outside of cooling compartments or designated tubing, it needs to be repaired right away. Refrigerant leaks can be a serious safety hazard, so it’s better to get it looked at immediately. Water pools next to your cooler usually indicate a blocked or broken drain tube, which could lead to mold growth.


  1. Weird Sounds

No cooling system is completely quiet. However, if you hear squealing, grating, grinding, or banging, this is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. There are a number of moving parts in your air conditioner, so it could be a number of problems.


  1. Strange Smells

Your air conditioner should be clean and free from odor. If you notice any pungent or foul smells, you need to get it looked at right away. This could be a symptom of your wiring shorting or burning out, which can cause serious electrical hazards. Musty smells usually mean you have mold in your system, which must be taken care of right away.


Many of these issues can be avoided with proper maintenance and regular repairs. Don’t wait until your system needs to be replaced before you call in an expert. Calling an HVAC expert and getting your air conditioner repaired at the first sign of trouble is a great way to keep your system functioning at full capacity and can also end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. It’s better to pay a little bit to fix a small issue now than to wait for it to worsen and need to replace the entire unit before expected.


Furnace and Air Conditioning Experts

Regardless of the size or volume of your home, whenever you need cool, comfortable, cleaner air, or furnace repair or replacement, we’re dedicated to providing the very best investment you can make for your home and family. Call us today at 816-438-2566.

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