Avoid AC Repair Horror Stories in Raleigh

There is an endless supply of repair horror stories on the internet. Just do a search, and you will find all sorts of scary tales from homeowners who have made discoveries about poor repairs, installations and additions to HVAC systems attempted by disreputable contractors. There are testimonials, blog rants, YouTube videos, and even investigative journalism pieces, on the horrific results that can arise from a bad AC repair. In Raleigh, there is the advantage of having a reliable and honest AC repair service in Carter Heating and Air, Inc.

Don’t Open Yourself Up to Shoddy AC Repair

Consumer advocates say they know when summer nears, air-conditioning complaints climb with the temperatures. When your air conditioner quits working in the middle of a heat wave, the only thing on your mind is to get it functioning again so you can be comfortable. So you call the first AC repair service you find on the internet or yellow pages, and HVAC technician comes to repair it. The technician uses words and phrases that sound foreign to you yet they fail to explain clearly it terms you can understand. You may feel helpless having to take the serviceman’s word that something requires repairing or replacing, leaving you open to being scammed out of your money. So how do you evade being scammed by an HVAC contractor? There are a few regularly used scams in the HVAC industry that are easy to catch if you look for the right phrases. Here are three of signs to look out for:

All You Need is Refrigerant

If your AC unit is low on refrigerant, then this indicates more than just a “refill”. There may be a potential leak that let the refrigerant get below the proper level. An air conditioner doesn’t consume refrigerant like a car uses gas. The refrigerant just circulates in the system. If the repairman states that all you need is refrigerant, this should raise a red flag to ask more questions. More often than not, this statement translates to “I will continue letting your air conditioner leak refrigerant so I can continue charging you for more.” If your system needs more refrigerant, ask the contractor if they will look for leaks.

Is a Free AC Tune Up a Good Thing?

According to the Better Business Bureau, some HVAC companies will trick you by offering a “free” tune-up so that they can make a high-pressure sales pitch. Minor technical issues that suddenly call for the replacement of the whole unit should set off warning bells. Some contractors will suddenly discover something wrong during the “free” tune-up and try to persuade you into expensive repairs or even replacing your entire heating and air conditioning system. Free tune-ups are fine. But if a deal appears too good to be true, it probably is.

Finding Other Parts That May ( or May Not) Need to be Replaced

Having the AC service technician state that he needs to replace one part of your system is fine. However, many times, a contractor may say he is going only to replace one component, but then inexplicably needs to replace other parts as he continues working on your unit. If you are unsure of what is going on, ask to see what parts they are referring to and why they need to be replaced. Beware if they say that the parts have already been replaced as they hand you their invoice. If this happens, ask to see the broken part that was replaced. Keep asking questions until you are satisfied. It will only benefit you.

Finding the Best AC Contractor in Raleigh

Do your homework, and search for a repair provider before you need one. Checking with the local Better Business Bureau is a great way to verify the reliability of any business. Carter Heating and Air, Inc., is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating and have been since 1998. Carter Heating and Air has an outstanding reputation in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas. There is a high level of integrity, and a strong work ethic that permeates the whole company. The company has a track record of trustworthiness, and their certified technicians are trained and ready to install, repair or perform a maintenance check-up on your HVAC system. Call us today: (919) 924-0177

Your Raleigh Air Conditioner Needs Care This Summer

The hot days of summer are here. Is your AC unit keeping you comfortable this season? If your Raleigh air conditioner is not keeping you as cool as you need, it may be time to schedule a check up with Carter Heating and Air. Don’t wait until the hottest day of the summer when your cooling system has a breakdown. If you are experiencing warning signs that your AC unit isn’t running as it should, check out these tips to take care of your air conditioning unit to prolong its life, and keep you cool this summer.

Basic Steps to Maintain Your AC Unit

The most basic step to take to lengthen your air conditioner’s life is to change the filter. Check it every three to six months and change as needed. A dirty filter can cause your system to work harder than it has too plus it keeps the coils dust-free as well. Check around the unit and make sure there isn’t any debris or accumulated pollen on the exterior of the condenser that will inhibit ventilation. The fan in the condenser unit draws the outside air through the refrigerant coils and vents it through the top of the unit. If the outdoor unit is restricted by bushes or debris, it will not run properly, causing your unit to overexert itself which means higher energy bills. Prune back bushes and spray the condenser with a hose to get rid of accumulated dirt and debris.

Beware of Warning Signs from your Raleigh Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner could be warning you of impending problems. Excessive noise, the outdoor fan expelling cold air, and ice visible on the copper lines, can all be indicators of a system failure around the corner. If you are seeing these signs shut-off your air conditioner, and schedule a professional check-up immediately. This is the time of year to have these things done so as to avoid a costly repair later on.

A dirty coil or refrigerant leak will cause ice or condensation at the indoor furnace or air handler. Both of these issues require a professional. Dirty coils will overtax the compressor and fan making them work harder to make up for the loss of energy transference. A refrigerant leak can be dangerous to the environment, and must be taken care of properly. Carter Heating and Air will send a certified technician to evaluate the problem and repair the leak, and then properly dispose of any refrigerant that was lost. Maintaining the refrigerant charge in the system is key to its proper operation.

Reduce Chances of a Major Breakdown

A major repair can potentially cost three times more than regular maintenance costs. Regular check-ups will have a professional checking your air conditioner for possible issues that could plague it down the road. Issues such as wire and terminal corrosion happen over time. Problems with the wiring can cause overheating, and result in blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.

A professional from Carter Heating and Air will examine the electrical system, oil the motors, and check the belts. The precision of the thermostat will also be examined to avoid erratic operation due to temperature sensor issues. All these can help avoid any problems that could shut down your air conditioner this summer. It will also have your system run the best and most efficient it can.

Regain Lost Efficiency in your Cooling System

Every year your AC runs it loses about five percent of its efficiency. You can save money by having a check-up done to help recover this lost effectiveness. A well-maintained unit can retain ninety-five percent of its original capacity, which will help to keep you cool when it is hot outside. A well-maintained air conditioner will also have a longer service life.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – Contact Carter Heating and Air to have one of their professionals make sure your air conditioner is in tip-top condition and can last the entire summer. Scheduling an appointment now by calling (919) 924-0177.

Raleigh Air Conditioning Repair or Replace: What are Your Options?

Raleigh, NC Air Conditioning Repair or Replace: What are Your Options?

Summer’s here, and that means hot days with your Raleigh air conditioning system operating more to keep your home cool and comfortable. How confident are you that your system is up to this task? Is your AC system performing as it has in the past or have you noticed fluctuations in the cooling temperature or noticed that the unit runs more than usual? These are common symptoms that a repair is needed,or you may need a replacement. There is nothing worse than having your HVAC system break down in the middle of the hottest season of the year. The second worse thing may be seeing your utility bills increase each month because your air conditioner isn’t functioning efficiently. Before the summer gets too far underway, take the time to check out your HVAC system to determine if it needs some maintenance, or if it’s time for a replacement. Here are a few things to consider when you’re thinking of repairing or replacing your AC unit.

The Cost of Repairs vs. Replacing your AC unit.

Homeowners should think about a repair rather than a replacement if the unit is correctly sized, has undergone only minor problems, and can be repaired for less than a third of a full replacement. However, if the repairs will cost more than a third of a replacement, you should probably replace the unit. It may seem more convenient or more affordable to repair your system than replacing it, however, repeated repair costs can pile up. Also, repeated repairs is an indication that your air conditioning unit may not be operating at its peak efficiency, which is costing you more money in the long run. Carter Heating and Air is a respected, experienced HVAC company servicing Raleigh and the surrounding areas with top-quality technicians who can examine your unit and advise you on the best solution for you.

Consider the Condition of Your Air Conditioning System

The second factor to consider when thinking about whether to replace your air conditioner is its current condition. Some indications that your system may be failing: if the equipment needs frequent repairs, your energy bills are increasing, your home has humidity problems or has excessive dust, or the heating and cooling system is noisy. Another factor to consider is the SEER rating of your current system. The SEER rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency. The higher the number rating, the more efficient the system is. If your unit’s SEER rating is under 13, it is time to discuss an upgrade to a more efficient system that will save you money on your utility bills and provide healthier, more comfortable cooling.

Age is a Factor 

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, residential air conditioning systems last an average of 10-15 years. When your unit reaches ten years of age, there are many advantages to at least looking into the idea of replacement if a major repair presents itself. Replacing an old unit will not only improve your home comfort, but a properly installed high-efficiency HVAC system will save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Carter Heating and Air have certified and trusted technicians that are ready to install, repair or perform a maintenance checkup on your HVAC system. We can guide you and provide the best options for your AC unit so that you can rest easy and stay cool all summer long. Call us today at 919-772-4456.


Is it time to repair or replace my air conditioner?, Angie’s List

Repair or Replace: That’s the Question, Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News 

Air Conditioning Repair in Raleigh, NC: Problems Best Left to Experts

Homeowners spend around $11 billion every year to power their air conditioners, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. With summer in full swing, energy usage for air conditioners escalates to counteract the rise of temperatures outdoors.  However, enjoying a cooler air inside the home shouldn’t have to require spending more money. Installing a high-efficiency air conditioning system will reduce 20 to 50% of your energy expenses. When you are in the middle of a heat wave, the last thing you want to deal with is a broken cooling system, or waste time trying to figure out the problem. Routine maintenance on your AC unit will keep it operating at top efficiency, however, when things go wrong, the following repairs can be handled by an HVAC specialist like Carter Heating and Air.

An air conditioner has five parts, which work as follows:

  • Refrigerant—substance used in the cooling process that is produced by the compressor
  • Compressor—the heart of the AC that pumps the refrigerant vapor
  • Condenser—where the hot refrigerant vapor becomes liquid
  • Expansion valve—where the hot liquid is cooled down and moved to the coil
  • Evaporator coil—a winding component that transfers heat from inside to the outdoor space, leaving the cooled liquid to release cold air into your home

Common HVAC Problems That You May Experience

Central Air Conditioners have the condenser unit outside the home. Even in its exterior location, the condenser still requires attention to make sure there is enough clearance around the unit so nothing can obstruct ventilation. If your air conditioning unit is not cooling, one reason may be that the condenser or the evaporator needs cleaning. Check to see if any weeds, grass clippings or debris are blocking the condenser.  If this doesn’t seem to fix the problem, it may indicate issues with your compressor or low refrigerant levels.

If your compressor is defective, contact Carter Heating and Air to examine the problem.  Whether the refrigerant is low in your unit or it is leaking, this is another  problem that should be left to a professional who is certified and trained to work with refrigerant.

Motor problems

An air conditioning unit has a motor, just like an automobile. And, just like a car engine, your AC’s motor is complicated.  Since there could be many reasons why the motor may be malfunctioning, the diagnosis and repair should be performed by a skilled technician.  You may be able to replace one part of the motor rather than replace the entire thing which will save yourself money in the long run.

It is always a good idea to leave repairs to a licensed professional like Carter Heating and Air.  Plus, you may end up spending more money on new parts you might not have needed.

To increase the efficiency of your cooling system, make sure to clean the filters and remove anything blocking the outdoor condenser.  This may help correct certain issues. Scheduling regular maintenance from Carter Heating and Air is another way to keep your AC unit working in top condition.  Save yourself time and money and call a trained and certified HVAC technician from Carter Heating and Air when your cooling system needs a repair.



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