How Old is Your Air Conditioner?

How hot was your home last summer? If your AC wasn’t quite cutting it, it’s not because the weather is getting hotter but your AC unit might be getting older. If you don’t want to go through another summer simmering the days away in a hot house Pasterkamp specializes in Denver AC repair. We will look at your unit and see if we can repair it or get you new AC and keep you cool all summer long.

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-long-does-an-air-conditioner-last/?#.WRShgeUrLIUHow Long Does an Air Conditioner Last? – Bob Vila Many who belong to the current crop of homeowners weren’t alive during the days before air conditioning became commonplace. That may be why so many take the technology for granted today, regarding AC almost in the same vein as running water—as a fundamental feature of any home, modest or grand. Indeed, in some regions, homeowners consider air conditioning not as a comfort luxury, but as a bona fide necessity for daily survival. However, despite the vital role air conditioning plays in the modern home, we tend to see it as a source not only of cooling, but also of mystery and frustration. Air conditioning systems are complex, after all, leaving the average homeowner without a clear perspective on seemingly simple yet undeniably important issues of performance and longevity.

Simply put: How long does an air conditioner last? Like so many other questions in home improvement and repair, the answer depends on a host of variables. David Kenyon, a product manager with Sears Home Services, points out that different variables determine long-term performance to different degrees. Usage matters perhaps most of all. “The more often you use the system, the more wear-and-tear it withstands,” Kenyon says, noting that systems can endure for decades in a temperate region like New England, while lasting not nearly as long in the desert of the Southwest. In and of itself, heavy usage does not doom a cooling system, but if the homeowner relies on it daily, for months on end, while ignoring its maintenance, Kenyon says, “it’s only a matter of time before system fatigue sets in.”

For peak performance, now and into the future, Kenyon advises homeowners with AC to seek professional system maintenance on a regular, annual schedule. It’s the best thing you can do to prolong the life of your air conditioning, Kenyon says, while clarifying that it’s not always an elective measure, as “many manufacture warranties require it.” Note that care of a cooling system calls for not only regular maintenance, but comprehensive maintenance. To service a system properly, according to Kenyon, technicians must go well beyond “a quick, visual inspection” to address all “key components,” from the compressor-condenser to the fan and blower (and sometimes even ducts). The fact is that, like cars in the driveway, the AC system typically cannot fulfill its expected lifespan without adequate service.

A well-made, well-maintained central air-conditioning system under average demand typically lasts 12 to 17 years, Kenyon estimates. If yours was installed recently, it may be a decade before you start considering an upgrade. But if you suspect your system may be nearing failure, set aside a few minutes to monitor performance. Does the system grate, grind, rattle or whine? Does your home feel humid (or does the thermostat report a relative humidity over 50%)? Do you notice an unusually large amount of dust on household surfaces? Such warning signs “indicate the possible need for repair, if not replacement,” Kenyon says.

Of course, air conditioning systems are also vulnerable to plenty of problems that the average homeowner wouldn’t necessarily notice. For instance, most cooling systems are designed to run in a cyclical pattern, intermittently delivering conditioned air to the living spaces. If the length of those cycles are uncommonly short or long, a system component may be compromised. Depending on the issue (“and what it would cost to fix,” Kenyon adds), you may choose to forego repair in favor of an upgrade. In fact, far from being a sunk cost, a “new high-efficiency air-conditioning system can save you money in the long run,” according to Kenyon.

In recent years, with rising energy costs and mounting environmental concerns, manufacturers have launched fleets of HVAC equipment that boast superior energy efficiency. Between the latest technology and that of even 10 years ago, “there’s a night-and-day difference,” in terms of running costs, Kenyon says. In fact, for its ability to run up the monthly utility bill, Kenyon says, “often the most expensive system a homeowner can choose is the one already in the home.” Eventually, in other words, continued reliance on an older inefficient system becomes more expensive than upgrading to a new high-efficiency one.

Even while requiring less energy (and less money) to power their normal output, the best AC systems today still manage to achieve all-around better results. For one thing, “you get less obtrusive air conditioning” with more recently manufactured models, thanks to a broad push in the industry toward quieter functioning. For another, HVAC filtration has advanced by leaps and bounds over the years, helping climate control systems work not against, but in defense of indoor air quality and healthy living. Finally, there’s the fact that, with systems engineered to combat humidity more effectively, spaces air-conditioned by newer technology often feel more comfortable.

In short, there are good reasons not to dread the prospect of a breakdown in your air conditioning, but rather to embrace the opportunity. Before doing anything, though, you need to determine the status of your existing system. For an evaluation, seek out a local HVAC contractor or go online to schedule a free in-home consultation with Sears Home Services. Besides reporting on the condition of your system, Sears project consultants can discuss your options and, if desired, guide you from start to finish through the repair or replacement process. Another advantage: Sears backs up all its work with a Satisfaction Guarantee—a commitment to your project success that remains intact even after technicians leave. When it’s the comfort of your family on the line, there’s no substitute for peace of mind.

 

Air Conditioning is a “must do” for Millennials, Pasterkamp can help

At Pasterkamp we are here to help you with Denver air conditioning repair or a new installation no matter your age! If you are a Denver millennial who needs help with their heating or air conditioning give us a call.

https://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/25/denver-millennials-home-improvement-investments/Denver millennials are investing in Air Conditioning Millennials like to play it cool when it comes to the home improvement project they request more than any other from contractors in metro Denver.

Local millennials hire help for the installation of central air-conditioning units more than any other improvement, and it isn’t about them not being able to take the heat, according to a report from HomeAdvisor, a Golden company whose website links contractors with homeowners needing work done.

“That is a function of the older homes that millennials are buying,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist with HomeAdvisor.

Unable to afford new or near-new homes, millennials — the generation currently in their 20s and early 30s — are buying lower-cost properties with deferred maintenance. The average vintage of the homes they buy — 1984.

After air-conditioning units, which cost $5,250 on average to replace in metro Denver, additions represent the third most requested project by millennials. They average a pricey $40,825 and allow older and smaller homes to accommodate growing families.

Concrete driveway replacements rank fourth. At an average cost of $3,881, concrete represents a cheaper option over pavers. Drywall installation is the fifth most requested home improvement project, at an average cost of $1,639, and young homeowners in Denver are especially fond of adding closet space.

“When they buy a home, they don’t have a cash on hand to do all the projects. They take on the projects that have to get done right away,” Hunter said.

Tighter finances and uncertainty about getting a fair deal result in millennials tackling repairs and some improvements on their own, a task made easier with online instruction videos, Hunter said.

The most popular home improvement project in metro Denver among owners regardless of age are bathroom remodels. Unlike some of the “must do” projects, a remodel represents a “want to” project.

“Any kind of a room remodel is about the aesthetic you are going for. It is a whole separate category,” Hunter said. Other “want to” projects that make the top-five list of improvements, driven heavily by Baby Boomer spending, include building a deck or porch, average cost of $6,935, and installing a concrete patio, average cost of $2,443.

 

Are Your Blinds Covered With Dust?

At Pasterkamp Heating and Air Conditioning, we have done a lot of air conditioning repair in Denver and we have seen some the dust that fills the ducts. When the air blows in your house that dust goes with it.

We can help you improve the air quality in your home but some dust will always manage to find its way to the hardest to clean spots of your home, like your blinds.

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-mini-blinds/?bv=mrHow to Clean Mini Blinds – Bob Vila Available in a wide array of materials from vinyl to wood, mini blinds make an attractive feature in any interior. But the popular window treatments also act as a magnet for dust, dirt, mold, and mildew caused by everyday activities and moisture exposure. In direct sunlight, these particles can harden into stubborn grime that stains and discolors your blinds while aggravating allergies. Adding to the dismay of busy homeowners, the narrow slats of mini blinds make them more tedious to clean than Venetian blinds. Thankfully, the following cleaning ritual saves time and effort while keeping your mini blinds beautiful and blemish-free year-round. Here’s how to clean mini blinds with a few common household essentials.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS – Feather or microfiber duster – Clean cloth – Sock – Vacuum cleaner – Compressed air sprayer (optional) – Hair dryer (optional)

Whether you have vinyl, metal, wood, or fabric mini blinds, you can banish light dirt and debris accumulations by dusting the blinds on a weekly to monthly basis. The key to reaching those narrow slats is fully extending the blinds, then turning the slats closed until the convex side of the slats face you. Using a feather or microfiber duster, soft cloth, or clean sock, gently sweep in the direction of the slats, making contact with each one. Turn the blinds ninety degrees and sweep the sides of the slats. Then, turn the blinds another ninety degrees and sweep the convex side of the slats.

To combat heavier dust accumulations, enlist a vacuum cleaner with a small brush attachment to draw out the debris from your mini blinds. Adjust the vacuum suction to a low setting, and then vacuum the blinds from side to side in the direction of the slats. In lieu of a vacuum cleaner, you can also use a compressed air sprayer or a hair dryer set to the cool setting to blast away any loose particles.

When stubborn grit and grime take root in your mini blinds, a deeper clean addressing the specific type of material is necessary. Following these more thorough instructions for how to clean mini blinds on a semi-annual to annual basis will help lengthen the lifespan of your window treatments.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS – Inflatable yard pool (optional) – Liquid dish soap – Soft mop – Sponge – Non-abrasive brush – Degreaser – Hose with spray nozzle (optional) – Towel (optional)

STEP 1 After lifting the entire mini blind from the mounting hardware, rest it in an empty bathtub, shower, or inflatable yard pool, depending on the size of the blind.

Note: Lead dust can form over time on the surface of older vinyl mini blinds that contain lead. If you’re unsure if the blinds contain lead, use a lead testing kit before cleaning. Safely dispose of any blinds that contain lead.

STEP 2 Fill the tub or other vessel of choice with water, and add enough liquid dish soap to create suds when swishing the water. Let the blinds soak in the solution for five minutes to loosen up grit and grime.

STEP 3 Gently but firmly glide a soft mop, sponge, or non-abrasive brush saturated in the dish soap solution, wiping the top and bottom of each slat from side to side. Spread the blinds to work the solution between the narrow slats.

For particularly dirty mini blinds, like those in the kitchen that have been exposed to cooking fumes, skip the soap and instead apply a degreaser (like 409 or Simple Green) directly to the slats. Let the blinds soak in the degreaser for a few minutes before wiping them down.Read more…

 

How to Keep your Home Cooler for Less Money

Spring came early this year in Colorado and we have already had our fair share of warm days. As we push closer to summer those long days are going to only get warmer. The hot weather is something that most of us like about summer just as long as we can keep our homes cool.

It’s no secret that you need air conditioning in Denver to get through the summer, and Pasterkamp has you covered. But there are some things you can do in your home to reduce the amount of money you spend to keep your home cool.

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/7-simple-ways-to-cut-your-home-cooling-costs-47816?#.WO5oDYgrK00Home Cooling Costs – 7 Simple Money-Saving Strategies – Bob Vila Is the heat getting to you? Everyone knows that air conditioning can get expensive. But not everyone knows about these simple, budget-minded ways to keep your cool. Read on for beat-the-heat suggestions to help you stay sane through the dog days of summer.

The advent of air conditioning has led many homeowners to disregard the low-tech coping strategies that worked decently well for people even in the recent past. Surround your home with shade-creating elements, such as landscaping, awnings, or trelliswork, to reduce the amount of solar heat gain within spaces indoors.

Operating the oven or stovetop inevitably generates heat in the kitchen, the heart of any home. Of course, the answer is not to forego dinner. Instead, opt for lighter meals that can be prepared with little or no cooking time. And if possible, do your more serious cooking over the grill outdoors on your deck, patio, or lawn.

Pursue what’s known as the stack effect. To achieve it, open the windows on both the upper and lower floors, and as warm air exits the upper level, cooler air will come in at ground level (where you might consider sleeping). During the day—though it may seem counterintuitive—close the windows to maintain cooler indoor temperatures.

Evaporative coolers are making a comeback of sorts, particularly in dry climates, where these simple machines can lower the air temperature by five degrees or more (by blowing air through wetted pads). No, evaporative coolers are no substitute for air conditioning on a sweltering day, but they are cheaper to operate when the heat is not extreme.

Some days, air conditioning is a must—that’s unavoidable. What you can avoid, however, is paying more than is strictly necessary to run your AC. Efficiency begins with a unit that’s properly sized for the space. An oversized unit may cool the room quickly, but if it switches off before lowering the humidity, you’re still going to feel clammy and uncomfortable.

Leaks in ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your central air conditioning system by as much as 40 percent. Calling in a HVAC professional may not seem like a good way to save money, but if your electric bills seem exorbitant, it’s worth looking into. In the long run, you’re likely to save more in operating costs than you would have to pay the pro. Read more…

 

 

Stay Cool This Summer and Hide Your New Air Conditioner Safely

You made it through last summer without AC and we have to commend you, that was uh, brave. Don’t make the same mistake this summer. Your home should be a comfortable place to be all year long. At Pasterkamp Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help you have a nice cool home all summer long.

Check out these ideas below on how to keep your home cool this summer and hide the AC box. If you have questions about where you could put your new AC unit give us a call!

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/29385453/list/5-ways-to-hide-that-big-air-conditioner-in-your-yard5 Ways to Hide That Big Air Conditioner in Your Yard If you live in a hot climate, your air conditioner is probably your favorite major appliance. However, it can quickly become a major party crasher in the middle of your backyard summer barbecue. That same hulking, boxy piece of machinery that cools your house can be an eyesore in your garden. But don’t sweat it. There are plenty of ways you can hide, mask, conceal and block your air conditioning unit so you won’t even know it’s there. Here’s how to keep your cool.

First keep in mind how your air conditioner works and what keeps it happy and efficient. An A/C unit needs space to breathe. Because it works so hard to make the inside of your house cool, it needs to vent a bunch of generated heat. The reason that the metal casings of air conditioning units are perforated is to do just that. Keep this in mind when adding any sort of cover or obstruction near your machine. To be safe, check the manufacturer’s recommended distances for any sort of enclosure.

When designing your new house or retrofitting for a new system, remember that a happy air conditioner is one that doesn’t have to work so hard. One way to ensure this is to use energy-efficient methods of home design that can reduce your reliance on air conditioning and keep as much cool air inside your home as possible.

Another way to design an efficient system is to make sure that your unit has a cool, shady spot in which to work. Place it on the side of the house with the most protection from the sun, so that it doesn’t heat up too much. This will keep it running more efficiently (which is great for the wallet) and can help avoid noises and malfunctioning associated with overheating.

Now on to the tips for minimizing visual impact. Read more…