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Know What Your HVAC System Needs: An Interview with Ray Serenil of A-Plus Mechanical Services Inc.

By Ray Serenil

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

A-Plus Mechanical Services, Inc. is a family owned and operated business founded in 1994 with over 65 years' experience in the industry. We service, maintain, and install air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment in residential homes and commercial structures. It is our daily goal to provide top value with high quality personnel, equipment, installation practices, and an unsurpassed commitment to total customer satisfaction.

We strive every day to provide our customers with a level of comfort and customer service that is beyond expectations. It's all about providing options and solutions, and we take our work very seriously. We are here to give our customers the information they require to make an informed and intelligent decision based on their personal needs.

What are the most common signs that your HVAC system needs to be repaired?

There are many common signs that your HVAC system need to be inspected or repaired. Most systems have an emergency drain overflow which terminates outside. This is usually in the form of a ¾" PVC pipe located above a window. When water drips from this pipe, that is a clear indication that the main drain has developed an issue. Have a qualified technician inspect and repair before damage to the sheetrock or structure occurs.

Also in hot weather, if your system is struggling to keep up, this may indicate the system is dirty or low on refrigerant charge. Another indicator is loss of humidity control. The structure may be cool but sticky. This also should be looked at by a professional. Of course, any strange noises or electrical smells should also warrant an inspection of your system.

When would you suggest that homeowners consider replacing it instead of repairing?

When a system is around 10 years old, you should consider replacement of the system instead of repair. When a repair is going to be $300 or more on an older system, many times that money is a better spent as a down payment on a new system. Too often homeowners keep paying for repairs and end up hundreds of dollars in the hole with a system that is wasting energy, not controlling humidity, and no longer keeping up with the demand. In the long run it gets really expensive to "save" money by just doing a repair.

What is a reasonable time frame (or age) you would usually recommend replacing heating and/or cooling equipment?

On average, we expect the comfort systems we install to last around 12 years. Good maintenance can extend the life just as lack of maintenance will surely shorten the life of even the best system.

What are the basic advantages of getting a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, system?

There are many advantages to the new air-conditioning and heating systems of today. Most new equipment will offer energy savings and better humidity control than the older systems ever did. A good contractor will give you many choices and let you decide which features are important to you.

There are now multistage products which a have a low and high speed, variable speed products which only use as much energy as they need to for the given heat load, and thermostats which allow for controlling and monitoring everything from air filtration to humidity. Many of these products can now also be monitored and controlled right from your smart phone!

What advice do you give your clients who want to take care of their HVAC systems at home?

Most companies offer maintenance agreement to make sure your equipment is safe and efficient all year long. These agreements often include discounts on repairs and replacements when needed, priority service call scheduling so you're not "at the end of the list", and no overtime or after hours fees.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

A-Plus Mechanical Services, Inc. can be reached by phone at 281-970-5200, on the web at AplusAC.net or by email info@aplusac.net.

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About The Author

Ray Serenil is President and Manager at A-Plus Mechanical Services Inc.

Phone: 281-970-5200

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