Local Minneapolis and St. Paul Air Conditioning Experts Answer the Top AC Questions
With the heat of summer approaching, many people are looking into their AC units to make sure they are ready to provide cool air to their homes and offices. We asked a few questions of our local Minneapolis and St. Paul air conditioning experts Alex Traver, Mick Herold, Tony Toenyan, David Boggie, and Thomas Erronis five questions on AC units, maintenance, and repair costs. These are their expert opinions.
What is the best brand for Minneapolis and St. Paul air conditioning units?
Alex: “Best brand: Carrier. They have great options from basic equipment up to the most advanced system you can think of.”
Mick: “Amana and Carrier are the best. My preferred brand would be Amana- the warranty is top-notch with the lifetime unit replacement warranty. It puts confidence in a homeowner when making a big purchase and offers a sense of security. Any brand is going to be good if it is professionally installed. That is why you hire professionals like Aquarius to do the job.”
Tony: “Amana air conditioners range from a 14 SEER to 24.5 SEER efficiency rating on 8 different models to choose from. Rated very highly for the lifetime warranty on the compressors of the 4 top units. When they must replace a compressor, they replace the whole outdoor unit and not just the components.
Lennox air conditioners range from a 13 SEER to a 26 SEER efficiency rating on 11 different models for Lennox. Lennox air conditioners and indoor coils have the quantum coil that is a strong lasting aluminum alloy used to help slow down the corrosion on the unit and lower the upfront cost.
Carrier air conditioners also have a SEER rating range from 13 to 26 but have 18 different models to choose from. The best thing about Carrier AC systems is the infinity system with its premium humidity and temperature control. It’s up to 50 percent quieter than most competitors.”
David: “Carrier has a long-standing name in our industry; they have a wide variety of models to fit any customer’s needs, great tech support, parts availability, and warranties.”
Thomas: “I prefer Carrier because of the support that they provide. Trane or American Standard has had known issues with their heat exchangers. Lennox is their distributor, so they often offer sub-par service since you cannot get their parts elsewhere. Rheem or Ruud make great water heaters but, in my experience, it can take several visits to get them to run properly. Amana or Daikin are ok units, but they are owned by an overseas company. I just do not like sending my money overseas.”
What are your top 5 tips for AC maintenance?
Alex: “Keep your outdoor unit clean, rinse off with water hose (never use a pressure washer), maintain filter changes, keep your drain lines clear, and always do annual maintenance(tune-up).”
Mick: “Numero Uno: keep a clean air filter in your system! Keep the outdoor unit clean and clear from obstructions. Trim back trees, shrubs, anything that could restrict airflow around the condenser. Clean the outdoor coil. Have your annual maintenance done by a professional like Aquarius Home Services.”
Tony: “Top 5 things a homeowner can do to keep their equipment up to snuff is:
1.) always check your air filter,
2.) make sure your outdoor unit coil is not plugged,
3.) cover the top of your AC with a sheet of plywood or something over the winter so nothing damages your fan blades,
4.) make sure your ducts are cleaned every 3 to 4 years so your air flow doesn’t get cut down by dust and dirt. That takes a toll on your equipment when it has to work harder than it should. Last but not least,
5.) make sure you get your annual inspection on your equipment. It does not matter if it’s brand new or 20 years old. Something could always have been prevented just with a little check-up.”
David: “Check and change the filters often, keep all supplies and returns open, clear all condensate drains and make sure they are draining, keep outdoor coils clean for proper performance, have annual maintenance performed to maintain proper performance and refrigerant charge within the system.”
Thomas: “Things they can do and annual tune-ups etc. Planned maintenance is key. The manufacturers all recommend a licensed professional go through the furnace and AC maintenance annually. Keep condensers (outside part of the AC) clear of dust and debris. Keep bushes and trees trimmed to maintain a 12″ clearance on all sides and free of obstruction above it.”
What causes a noisy AC?
Alex: “It could be a compressor, a fan, or other internal components. Beyond that, get a tune-up/service.”
Mick: “Dirty filters, dirty condenser coil, bad contactor, dirty fan blades.”
Tony: “Some causes of a noisy AC system could be a compressor, fan motor, contactor humming, or something out of the ordinary. There are a couple of ways we can diagnose this problem.
David: “Worn motors, parts, poorly maintained system. Visual inspection, compressor Meg, amp draws on motors, static pressure.
Thomas: “Age and lack of maintenance typically, but the causes can be numerous. If it is noisy, schedule a visit to have it checked over. Some lower-end systems are pretty noisy when they get older.”
Let’s talk about AC cost & pricing. What goes into determining the cost of a new AC? What are typical costs?
Alex: “The average AC can cost anywhere between $4,000-11,000.”
Mick: “AC costs can vary depending on the size and efficiency that you’re looking to get. If we are replacing an old AC or installing a new AC to the home, costs will be higher and more electrical circuits will be required. $4-7k. Ductless mini splits are also a great option.”
Tony: “An average price range for an AC system is around $4,500 to 10,000, which includes the indoor and outdoor units, the Line set of either replacing or flushing out existing lines for the new refrigerants, wiring, pad that outdoor unit sits on, drain for the indoor unit, refrigerant, fixing or resizing of ductwork and the time it takes to get everything installed.”
David: “The time it takes to install, the difficulty of installation, type of controls, and equipment used for the installation. $10,000- $16,000. How much does it cost? It depends on the type, size, and what they are looking to get out of the system. And that may range from $5,000 for just an AC upwards to $12,000 depending on many factors.”
Thomas: “The materials and labor, along with permits. Typically, they range from $5-10k.”
What’s the number one question people have when replacing a Minneapolis and St. Paul air conditioning unit?
Alex: “Number one question… will this cool better? Answer: Absolutely! It will work more efficiently, more quietly, and cool your home better than ever.”
Mick: “How much is it going to cost? What’s the warranty? Aquarius offers flat-rate pricing, so the price we give you is the price you will pay upon completion. The warranty will vary depending on make and model. Typically, 10 years for parts & labor.”
Tony: “The most common things people ask is ‘what is the price of a new unit and how efficient is it?’ I sit down with them and explain everything that goes into installing a new AC system, explaining the energy savings and rebates that they get back with the new unit and making sure to let them know the quality of work that they are getting from our company.”
Thomas: “How long they should last? It depends on the Installation (70%) Maintenance (26%) and then Brands (4%). The style of furnace and AC will get your overall life span based on that style. Single-speed furnace systems typically cause the whole system to have a shortened life span. Single-speed furnaces, regardless of the AC, will cause about 10-15 year overall lifespan and multi-speed furnaces will have lifespans of 15-20 years on average.”
AC maintenance is important at any time of the year, and our experts all agree it will prevent you from having some uncomfortable days.
We would like to thank our local Minneapolis and St. Paul air conditioning experts Alex Traver, Mick Herold, Tony Toenyan, David Boggie, and Thomas Erronis for their time and advice. Should you need an AC worked on in the Minneapolis, St. Paul metro area, get a hold of one of our experts!