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The Basics of Air Conditioning System Repair: An Interview with Cyndi Janoski of 4 Winds AC and Heating

By Cyndi Janoski

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

4 Winds is a veteran and minority owned company. We have been learning and growing in business since 2006. We offer residential and commercial HVAC services including: new construction installation, retrofits, change outs and upgrades, heat load calculations, duct design, mini-split installations, repairs and service on all makes and models. Our company works with the understanding that we are expected to be the professionals in our field of expertise. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to our customers and strive to educate homeowners and provide options to help homeowners make and educated and informed decision on all their home comfort system needs.

What is something that most homeowners don't know about their air conditioning system and energy use that they should know?

Most homeowners don't know their system requires maintenance twice a year. A full maintenance on your system will ensure your system is in optimal running condition and able to maintain your comfort level in the peak of summer and winter. Full maintenance should include air leakage inspection in ducts, clearing of drain line, cleaning of condenser and surrounding area, elimination of ants in electrical components, filter check, refrigerant pressure test, and inspection and cleaning of internal parts on the indoor and outdoor unit.

Gas systems (checked in the fall/winter) require additional checks including: carbon monoxide leak test, combustion air quantity checks and inspection of vent pipes. Proper and full maintenance normally takes an hour to an hour and a half per system, not 20 minutes! A detailed checklist of what is included in our maintenance is posted on our website.

Lack of maintenance will stress your system and eventually lead to costly a breakdown if not tended to promptly. A properly trained and qualified technician will note and bring any potential issues to your attention. One more thing homeowner sometimes don't realize is that lack of maintenance can void a systems standard manufacture warranty or home warranty will not cover repairs if the system is not properly maintained.

What are the advantages of having to call a professional to do your air conditioning repair?

Having a licensed professional repair your air conditioning system has a multitude of advantages. First off you won't electrocute yourself and second a true professional will not only properly diagnose your system but will also offer insight to the cause of the breakdown and offer long term solution to what could be a systematic breakdown in the system. A true professional company will be properly licensed, insured, compliant with annual continuing education requirements by the state, and up to date on current code requirements.

Licensed companies generally include at least a 30 day warranty on the part and labor repairs. New installations or change outs of equipment should be registered by homeowner or the installing company to activate a standard 10 year warranty on the equipment. State law requires a two year labor warranty on new construction installation and although law doesn't require labor warranty on change outs most reputable companies will include a one year labor warranty. Professional companies will also have the option to purchase an extended labor warranty and often offer financing options as well.

What are the signs that homeowners should watch out for that their air conditioning system needs repair and how often should they be checked for maintenance purposes?

I mentioned above proper system maintenance should be done twice a year. We check the cooling side in the spring before our grueling summers begin and in the fall we check the heating side of your system. Gas furnaces (used for heating) are particularly important to check on a regular basis because leaks can develop and lead to harmful toxins in the home such as carbon monoxide which, by the way, if you have gas in your home it's a really great idea to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well.

Signs to watch for that may signal distress in your system and an upcoming repair are often described as, "the system runs all the time," "it doesn't seem to cool very well," or "it's really loud." Unusually high energy bills may also a repair may be needed.

What are the challenges do you normally encounter when on the job?

The biggest challenge we have as technicians is surviving a 3-4 hour repair in a 180 degree attic! Working conditions are all but pleasant in the summer time but it's part of the job and anyone who's ever worked with AC systems understands that. Our lead tech says safety issues are always a concern especially in homes with poor access to the system or ductwork. Multiple issues caused by an improper or poorly installed system can also be a challenge to correct.

What advice would you give to people in Texas who want to make their AC unit more energy efficient?

Again the simplest thing to do is maintenance but as the system ages it does begin to lose efficiency. The life expectancy for a properly installed system is 15-20 years. Replacing and upgrading to new equipment with advanced technology is the best way achieve maximum energy efficiency. There are great options on equipment upgrades many of which may qualify for rebates from your energy company.

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

We can be reached by phone M-F from 7am to 6pm and Sat 7am-12pm at 830-538-9988 or 210-892-2925. If you access our website at 4windsacandheat.com you can reach us by email anytime. After hours calls are received by voicemail but we do return calls promptly and provide emergency service if needed.

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About The Author

Cyndi Janoski is the contact person for 4 Winds AC and Heating.

Phone: 830-538-9988

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