What are the qualities of a qualified HVAC technician?

In the event that your heater stops working this winter, it’s important that you have someone you can call for fast and reliable service. In other words, you want a qualified HVAC technician.

However, with all the cooling and heating companies and contractors out there, how do you know if you’re hiring the right person? In this article, we’ll review the seven most important qualities that a great HVAC technician has, and why the technicians at our company—Ace Air Conditioning—embody those values.

The Ace Air team is here for all your cooling and heating needs in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The 7 qualities of a qualified HVAC technician

1. NATE certification

Let’s start here. We’d argue that this certification from the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program is essential for any trustworthy HVAC technician to have.

NATE is the largest and most reputable certification organization for HVAC technicians. Numerous distributors and contractors around the country partner with NATE to ensure their workers have the knowledge necessary to work on homes. It shows the technician has obtained certain knowledge in the field, and you want that expertise put to work on your home’s HVAC.

At Ace Air, our technicians are NATE-certified professionals who combine their extensive training with real-world, in-the-field experience.

2. Good company backing

Your HVAC technician should be backed by a reputable company. Here’s how you can separate out high-quality companies from the rest:

  • Go online and see what kind of reviews the business has earned on sites like Yelp and Google.
  • Talk to your friends, family members, and coworkers about companies they have worked with in the past.
  • Check out the guarantees of the different companies being considered.

3. Background-checked

The company you hire from should background-check every single employee. The technician you hire may end up working in and around your home. For your peace of mind, you want to be confident this individual does not have a serious criminal history or issues with drug or alcohol abuse.

4. Licensed, bonded & insured

In addition to having the proper licensing, the company you hire should also be fully bonded and insured. Working on any system around your house can be dangerous. If you hire a technician without insurance, then you could be liable for any injuries that occur or any damages that they do to the system or your home.

5. Organizational skills

You want someone who will be punctual and show up on time to work on your house. This is especially important for the initial house visit when the technician comes out to examine your HVAC system. When you hire technicians from a company like Ace Air Conditioning, you know you are getting someone who is passionate about the craft and will not leave you waiting for hours on end.

6. Communication skills

The HVAC technician should know what he is doing, but it is also critical for this person to explain it to you in terms you can understand. You deserve to know precisely what is going on with the system, so you can take steps to avoid it in the future. Part of good communication involves providing an accurate quote that will not be wildly off from the final price.

7. Trustworthiness

At the end of the day, you need to hire someone you feel comfortable letting into your home. This involves listening to your gut, and while it may not be scientific, there is something to be said about knowing whether you can trust someone. Part of this trustworthiness involves not tacking on any hidden fees at the end of the process, so make sure you keep an eye out for any guarantees the company makes.

Want to work with a qualified HVAC technician? Call Ace Air.

You will be incredibly uncomfortable if you have to go without your air conditioner or heater for any length of time, so make sure you hire the experts at Ace Air Conditioning. We have been in business for 60 years, so we know exactly what we are doing. We are available 24 hours a day, so if you have any questions about our services, feel free to contact us.

Why you should schedule a fall heat pump tune-up

If your home relies on a heat pump for both summer cooling and winter heating, the system hardly ever gets a break. It runs to keep your home cool in the summer, and it works hard to keep it warm in the winter. Ideally, homeowners with heat pumps should schedule two annual service appointments: one in the late spring to get the unit ready for the summer ahead and another in the fall to make sure it’s ready for cooler temperatures. In this article, we’ll make the case for scheduling a fall heat pump tune-up with our experts here at Ace Air Conditioning in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

To have one of our friendly, expert technicians out to your home to inspect and maintain your heat pump or other HVAC system, contact us today.

Call Ace Air to schedule your fall heat pump tune-up now.1. Give your heat pump system a break

There’s never really a good time once the summer heat hits to be without cooling. Likewise, you don’t want to go without winter heating when the outside temperatures drop. A heat pump tune-up can help you avoid the need for winter or summer repairs. Scheduling maintenance right before the intense summer heat or winter cold arrives is a great way to give your system a breather.

Once the system is off, our technicians can identify any parts that are wearing out and either repair or replace them with new parts. They can have your system up and running again before you really need it.

2. Increase the system’s lifespan

Most new heat pumps—and HVAC systems, in general—come with a manufacturer’s warranty. When you read the fine print of the warranty, you are likely to discover that there is a clause that requires you to schedule regular maintenance to keep the warranty intact. Failing to do so can not only void your warranty but also cause your system to need replacement before its time.

Just like an annual checkup with your doctor can prolong your life, a fall heat pump tune-up can increase the lifespan of your heating and air conditioning unit. Technicians can diagnose problems early before they become catastrophic. What begins as a loose bolt can end up frying your heat pump and making the whole system shut down. It’s in your best interest to find problems while they’re still easy to fix.

3. Avoid untimely breakdowns

A tune-up helps you avoid sudden problems. It is unusual for a breakdown to happen out of the blue. Typically, a system failure starts with something as simple as a loose bolt or a worn-out part. A fall heat pump tune-up can catch these small issues before they become colossal ones.

When the technicians from Ace Air Conditioning arrive to work on your HVAC system, they inspect all the moving parts. They look for signs of normal wear-and-tear to see if each part still has some usefulness left. If it does not, they can replace it with a new part. They may remove excess grime that has built up. Finally, they can tighten anything that’s loose so that it doesn’t rattle completely apart.

4. Cut down on your energy use

Your heat pump is designed to make your heat pump more energy efficient. It removes heat from inside your home during the summer, cooling the air. During the winter, it does the opposite, bringing warm air inside. A tune-up helps it stay efficient and helps you maintain a reasonable electric bill.

Schedule a heat pump tune-up with our team

We want to keep your heat pump working when you need it most. Contact us today to schedule a seasonal tune-up.

What are packaged systems? Here’s why one may be a fit for your home.

Even an experienced homeowner may tilt their head when they hear the phrase “packaged system.” This is a cooling and heating system that you may have never heard of before. Simply put, a packaged system—also known as a “package unit”—is an all-in-one comfort solution for your home. It has the entire system “packaged” together in a single cabinet, making it ideal for smaller homes with space limitations. These units also are a perfect fit for homes that don’t have the indoor space to fit extra parts like coils, air handlers, or a furnace.

Carrier packaged systems are an all-in-one solution to your comfort needs.

A Carrier packaged system.

With a package unit, all the parts and pieces are usually outdoors, attached to the side of the building or on the roof. Homes without a basement or crawl space are perfect candidates for packaged systems, but any home could benefit from one as well! Read on as we discuss the benefits of this type of system, how it works, and how it can help you save money each month.

For a free in-home estimate on one of our Carrier or Trane packaged systems, call Ace Air for a free in-home estimate here in Lake Charles. Our technicians can help match your home to the perfect new packaged system.

What are the pros and cons of a packaged system?

Before we jump into the benefits and disadvantages of a packaged system, let’s talk about what kind of packaged systems exist. Here are some packaged units you may recognize:

  • Packaged Gas/Electric System
  • Package Heat Pumps
  • Package Air Conditioners

A packaged unit may not be right for everyone. To figure out whether one could work in your home, we’ve compiled a list of common positive and negative aspects of each. Take these into consideration as you think about whether a packaged unit could work in your space:

ProsCons
Installation: Quick and easy installation. Installation is generally more affordable, as well. Roof Leaks: If not installed properly, a rooftop packaged unit could end up leaking into your home, just like any air conditioner placed on the roof.
Size: Great for compact spaces, doesn’t take up much room and is generally out-of-sightOutdoor Environment: A packaged unit has more of its parts and components exposed to the elements. 
Quality: All components are assembled in the same controlled factory environment, ensuring more efficiency 
Noise level: Usually, a package unit is quieter than a split-system unit, making your home more comfortable

Finding the right fit for your home

Before you make the jump into any specific type of heating or cooling unit for your home, do your research. Talk to a professional! Call the team at Ace Air. We can discuss your options and recommend certain solutions. Don’t attempt a DIY solution and don’t choose an unqualified technician to work on your home. Refer back to the pros-and-cons list above, as well as your own research, before making a final decision!

As a homeowner, you have the power to make your home comfortable. In addition to heating and cooling services, Ace Air performs indoor air quality tests, checks ductwork, and cleans out dirt, debris, or mold from your home! Why neglect the space that you use every single day? You could have contaminants in the air due to inefficient systems in your home. Get the home upkeep knowledge and services you need today from an expert at Ace Air!

Why a packaged system could work for you

If you have a smaller home or are replacing your older AC system, a packaged system could be a great fit for you. You’ll hear the unit less often, you’ll save space in your home, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of an efficient, all-in-one unit! Additionally, any service or maintenance will be a breeze, because the technician will only have to check out one unit instead of all the components of a split-system unit. With a trusted team doing the installation work, you don’t have to worry about leaks, breakdowns, or other issues, especially when you schedule regular maintenance as well. That’s the key to keeping your home running smoothly—calling your HVAC team regularly for check-ups and service!

The team at Ace Air here in the Lake Charles area can help repair, maintain, or replace cooling and heating units in your home. We’ve been in service for more than half a century and have long been a trusted and experienced home service provider! The choice is clear—choose Ace Air and call us today!

Here are 6 signs you need a new furnace this winter

When it is freezing cold outside, the last thing you want is for your furnace to break down. However, most furnaces show signs of breaking down before they shut down completely. Be aware of the following signs, so you know when to get in touch with us at Ace Air. We’re your local professionals and we specialize in heating and cooling in Lake Charles.

6 signs you need a new furnace this winter

#1. Your heating bills have been on the rise

Some of the signs you need a new furnace may include your thermostat not impacting your heating like it should.Unless your rates, the weather, or your usage have drastically changed, your heating bills should be relatively level from month-to-month. However, if you’ve been seeing a substantial and consistent increase in your heating bills without a different explanation, the simple and straightforward answer is that your furnace could be operating less efficiently.

If you have an older heating system, this could be a sign that you need to replace the unit. As furnaces and heat pumps age, they become less and less efficient. Eventually, without a seasonal tune-up or regular upkeep, they’ll begin to spike your monthly energy bills.

#2. Your furnace is more than 15 years old

The average lifespan of a furnace is about 15 years or so. With regular maintenance and some luck, yours may last longer than that. But, past the 15-year mark, the risk of regular breakdowns and increased energy bills goes up pretty significantly. Some of that is due to a phenomenon known as metal fatigue: as the metal within the furnace is continually heated and then cooled for more than a decade, the metal increasingly becomes more brittle. This can lead to a number of problems.

#3. The cost of repairs is significant

Eventually, if something significant stops working in your furnace or heat pump, it may make more financial sense to replace the entire system than to replace just that one part. Even if the part replacement represents less than 50% of the cost of having Ace install a new heating system, it could be worth it: after all, a new heating system means:

  • Greater energy-efficiency and lower energy bills
  • Better reliability and fewer breakdowns
  • Improved comfort throughout your home

If you need furnace repair for an older heating system, talk to your service technician about how the repair costs compare with the cost of a new unit.

#4. The furnace makes odd noises

Your furnace should be fairly quiet. When you turn it on, pay attention to see if there are any banging, popping, or ratting sounds. Most of the time, furnaces that make strange noises are at the end of their lives or need furnace repair from a HVAC repair.

#5. Your rooms are being heated unevenly

Your furnace should work in such a way where all rooms remain at the same temperature. When furnaces age, it becomes more difficult for the system to push heat throughout the home evenly. In fact, some rooms may not be heated at all.

Call Ace Air for a free in-home estimate on a new system

If your older furnace needs to be replaced this winter, call your friends here in Lake Charles at Ace Air. We offer free in-home estimates on new furnaces, heat pumps, and ductless systems. Plus, we have financing available with approved credit.

Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate.

How to tell if a heat pump is a good fit for your home

Here in South Louisiana, where summers are hot and winters are chilly but relatively mild, a heat pump offers the best of both worlds. These versatile systems can pull double-duty by heating your home in the winter and cooling it down in the summer. Thanks to how heat pumps work, they’re an especially efficient choice for our region’s climate. A heat pump is a good fit for your South Louisiana home.

In this article, we’ll dive into exactly how heat pumps are able to do this, and why this type of system might be a good fit for your home here in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

A heat pump is a good fit for homes here in South Louisiana.

A heat pump is a good fit for homes here in South Louisiana. Call us for a free in-home estimate!

A single system that heats and cools your home

Heat pumps are essentially reversible air conditioning systems capable of switching the direction of heat flow. During the summer, the pump extracts heat from inside and forces it out. In the colder months of the year, the system reverses operation, extracting heat from the outside air and bringing it inside.

The refrigerant used in heat pumps has a very low boiling point, enabling the system to draw heat energy from outside even when it’s cold. While heat pumps don’t do well in regions that see a lot of below-zero weather, they’re an effective, energy-efficient choice for homeowners in the South, who are faced with relatively mild winters.

Heat pump cost efficiency

Using a single system to heat and cool cuts down on heat pump maintenance and repair costs while also reducing your household energy use. Unlike HVAC equipment that relies on gas, oil, or electrical resistance to generate warmth, heat pumps simply move heat energy that’s already there. That’s efficient!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an efficient unit can lower the amount of electricity used for heating by about 50 percent compared to an electric furnace or baseboard heaters. Heat pumps can also offer better dehumidification than air conditioners, making them ideal for our humid Louisiana summers.

Ground-source heat pumps

While most homeowners install air source heat pumps, ground-source systems are even more efficient. These units use relatively stable ground temperatures as a heat sink in the summer and as a heat source in the winter, and they can reduce overall energy use by 30 to 60 percent.

To see if a heat pump is a good fit for your home, call us for a free in-home estimate!

If you’re considering installing a new heat pump, we can help! Our experienced technicians can answer all your questions about how these efficient systems work and help you decide whether a heat pump is right for you. We also offer free in-home estimates here in the Lake Charles area.

Here are the signs something is wrong with your furnace

As temperatures begin to drop, many homeowners are ready to turn on the heat and keep the family warm and toasty. However, if you haven’t turned on your furnace since last year, you may not know if it is ready to be up-and-running. How do you know if something is wrong with your furnace?

In this blog, we’ll walk through the criteria that will help you decide if you need to talk to Ace Air Conditioning about your furnace in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

An increase in heating bills

While it’s true that your gas and electric bills will likely fluctuate from month-to-month, a sudden increase may be a sign that something is wrong. You may not want to think about the extra cost of repairing or replacing a furnace, but—over time—the difference in your heating bills could add up to more than a total overhaul would cost.

The flame is not blue

Your furnace’s flame should burn blue. If you notice that the flame is not the right color, specifically if it is yellow or it is flickering, this could mean that there is an increase in carbon monoxide gas coming from the furnace. This problem should be fixed immediately, as it can be extremely dangerous to all those residing in the home.

More dust in the air

An inefficient furnace is unable to adequately clean the air to keep dust down. If you notice a buildup of dust around your cold air returns or other vents, try changing the air filters first, then call the professionals at Ace Air for furnace repair in Lake Charles.

Strange noises

Loud banging, clanking, and clicking sounds are not normal for a furnace. If you begin hearing these strange noises, it may be time for a tune-up. Furnaces usually only last 10-15 years, so if yours is older, you are much more likely to notice noises.

Call Ace Air for furnace repair in Lake Charles

At Ace Air Conditioning, our technicians can handle your furnace repair in Lake Charles. Give us a call if you have noticed any of the above-mentioned signs.

Why you should switch to a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat gives you the freedom and flexibility to adjust the temperature in your home to fit your lifestyle. That’s why many homeowners here in Lake Charles are making the switch to programmable or “smart” thermostats. In this blog, we’ll review some of the benefits of upgrading, and why you should call Ace to have one of our certified technicians install your new thermostat.

4 reasons to switch to a programmable thermostat

#1. It works with your routine

With the ability to program your thermostat, you have the option of setting a schedule that coincides with the hours you’ll actually spend in the house. If you work weekdays from 9-5, there’s no reason to have your air conditioner blasting for eight hours attempting to keep your home cool at 74 degrees.

If you tend to get chilly in the evenings, you might also program your nighttime setting to adjust the temperature on the warmer side, so you’ll be comfortable while you sleep.

Even without considering your personal needs, you can set the temperature to adjust based on normal fluctuations throughout the day. Choose a lower temperature for the midday hours when it’s typically the warmest.

No matter what your schedule, a programmable thermostat will adjust to your personal needs. Set your preferences once, and you won’t have to touch it again unless you want to make a change.

#2. It reduces energy costs

When you no longer have to run your system at odd times, you immediately reduce the amount of energy you’re using to heat or cool your home. At Ace Air Conditioning, we install programmable thermostats that work with a wide variety of air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.

Advanced technology also lets you access your home’s temperature settings from a mobile device while you’re away. Let’s say that you have a housesitter coming over for a few days during your winter vacation. From your smartphone on the ski slopes, you can adjust the thermostat to heat up your home for them when they arrive.

#3. It prolongs your HVAC’s life

Here’s something you probably already know: using your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner less will reduce its wear-and-tear over time. A programmable thermostat helps reduce the overall use of your HVAC systems by turning them off when you’re not home and only when you need them.

Many programmable thermostats also come with neat options that alert you to problems in your system that you need to take care of, such as swapping out your air filter—a major impact on your energy-efficiency.

#4. The transition is easy

Contact Ace Air today and we’ll help you plan your new thermostat installation. Our factory-trained, experienced technicians can install your new thermostat, configure settings, and confirm that everything is working properly with your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace.

Here are the benefits of scheduling a heat pump tune-up this fall

You’ve made it through another sweltering summer, and now it’s time to think about heating your home during the winter. Luckily, if you have a heat pump, you have a system that can both cool and heat your home. However, all that wear-and-tear throughout the entire year means that you need to keep your unit in working order. That’s where we come in. Ace Air offers heat pump tune-up services here in Lake Charles.

In this blog, we’ll run through the top 5 reasons to schedule a heating tune-up this autumn.

Here’s why you should schedule a heat pump tune-up

#1. Compliance with your warranty

Heating and cooling systems are expensive, which is why manufacturers provide customers with warranties to protect the system from defects and problems for years after purchase. However, these warranties often have a very specific catch: you have to have your system inspected regularly by a certified technician from a trusted HVAC company.

This actually makes sense: since a heat pump tune-up can help you avoid the need for repairs by minimizing the risk of a breakdown, the manufacturer sees them as a way to ensure that the system is running at its best for the life of the warranty.

#2. Boost energy-efficiency

Since you’re using electricity to heat your home, you’ll want to get maximum value out of every kilowatt, and a fall heat pump tune-up can help you boost efficiency. It’s easy for components to rattle loose over the course of a year, and our technicians will make sure everything is secure in its place. Plus, the buildup of dirt and grime within the heat pump can cause minor inefficiencies that lead to big costs over the course of the winter.

#3. Help your system recover

Heat pumps work differently than other HVAC systems because they use the same equipment for both heating and cooling. Since your pump works on a year-round basis, it’s a good idea to schedule service whenever the weather transitions from hot to cold.

#4. Increase your system’s lifespan

Like any other piece of machinery, a furnace’s components experience wear-and-tear through normal operation, and an annual service can help identify failing parts. If you put this important maintenance off, you’ll potentially shorten the serviceable life of your heating system.

#5. Find problems before it’s too late

When you turn your furnace on for the winter, you expect it to heat your home. By getting a fall tune-up for your heat pump, you can ensure the system is ready to go. You’ll also avoid the long wait for a repair appointment if it fails on a cold day.

Call Ace to schedule your heat pump tune-up this fall

If these benefits sound good to you, turn to the experienced professionals at Ace Air Conditioning for service on your HVAC system this fall. Why void your warranty or risk premature equipment failure? To schedule a heat pump tune-up, or to learn more about our other available services, contact us online today.

Is a ductless HVAC system right for your Lake Charles home?

If you’re due for a new air conditioner soon, have you thought about getting a ductless HVAC system? You might not have heard of this type of air conditioner, but it’s perfect for many homes and situations, and offers several advantages over traditional cooling and heating systems.

For a free in-home estimate on a new ductless system here in Lake Charles, contact our team today.

AC EfficiencyWhy have a ductless HVAC system installed in your home?

#1. Save money

One great thing about ductless systems is the fact that you can save a lot of money with them during the hottest months of the year. This is because a ductless system doesn’t use as much energy as a traditional system, which means you aren’t spending as much money to stay cool and comfortable in your own home. Don’t be surprised if you save as much as 30 percent on your monthly cooling bills.

#2. Boost your comfort

With a traditional air conditioning unit, you have to think about where you can place the vents throughout your home, which can limit your possibilities. You have much more freedom with ductless cooling, though.

This means you don’t have to worry about cooling down rooms that are already cool. That, and everyone in your home is comfortable; no one is complaining about it being too cold or too hot, which can make it nearly impossible to find a temperature where everyone is satisfied.

#3. Quiet operation

Ductless air conditioners are also noted for their quiet operation, meaning you can get comfortable without enduring the droning of a working air conditioner. If you work from home, are trying to enjoy the peace and quiet, or you’re sleeping, you’ll definitely want an air conditioner that’s whisper-quiet.

This silent operation is contributed to the fact that most of the moving parts of a ductless air conditioner are placed outside your home rather than inside.

#4. Good for a variety of residences

If you have an older home, it might not be well-suited for ductwork, or ductwork installation might be far too pricey to even be taken into consideration. Your property might also have rooms and areas that never seem to cool down no matter how much you adjust the thermostat. In either case, going ductless is a great option.

Call Ace to learn more about a ductless HVAC system

Interested in learning more about a ductless HVAC unit, and whether this setup is right for your home? For a free in-home estimate here in Lake Charles, Louisiana, contact us here at Ace Air Conditioning today.