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Here are the 4 benefits of a variable-speed air conditioner

Summers here in Houma and South Louisiana can be unbearable—and even dangerous—without dependable air conditioning. However, if you’re looking to install or replace an AC unit, it’s important to remember that not all units are equal. You might want to consider a variable-speed air conditioner.

The air handler in a traditional air conditioner only blows air at one speed: high. A variable-speed air conditioner, on the other hand, can run at different speeds. This small difference leads to a multitude of benefits for users of variable-speed AC units. In this blog post, we’re going to review these in greater detail.

For a free in-home estimate on a new air conditioner here in South Louisiana, contact us today.

What is a variable-speed air conditioner?

Whether you drive an automatic or stick-shift car, your vehicle needs to shift gears at different speeds to avoid energy waste and extra wear-and-tear. If you ran your car in higher gear at lower speed all the time, you’d not only waste gasoline, but you’d also put more wear on your car’s engine and transmission. The same basic concept applies to your air conditioner.

A variable-speed air conditioner like this one can change its speed to better maintain the current temperature of your home.

A variable-speed air conditioner like this one can change its speed to better maintain the current temperature of your home.

For decades, air conditioners only came in one speed: on. If the air conditioner was off, it was not moving at all. If it was on, it ran at its top speed. However, this binary isn’t always useful. Your air conditioner actually spends most of its time trying to maintain the temperature of your home, not drastically change it. When it tries to do so at full-speed, it has to constantly start, overshoot the target, turn off, and then turn back on again when your home heats back up.

All that starting and stopping, especially in quick succession, is known in our industry as “short-cycling.” Since AC units use the most energy when first starting up (much like turning the ignition in your car!), short cycling wastes energy. To continue our analogy, it’s better for the air conditioner to go into cruise control to maintain current temperatures.

That’s where variable-speed systems come into the picture. This feature allows air conditioners to, for lack of a better term, switch gears. If the AC unit just needs to keep your home at 75, it can cool the home down from 80 degrees at top speed, and then slow down to maintain the desired temperature. When paired with a smart thermostat, your AC unit can also run at lower speeds to adjust temperature ahead of time.

Not only does this result in less energy use (more on this below), but it also reduces wear and the noise generated by your air conditioner. It’s a great innovation.

What are the benefits of a variable-speed air conditioner?

1. Energy-efficiency

Because a traditional air conditioner has one speed, it turns on and off to manage the temperature. This can use a lot of energy, and can mean higher costs.

An AC unit with a variable-speed air handler has more options to manage your home’s environment. Once your home is cool, it can drop to a lower setting to keep your preferred temperature and not use as much energy.

Learn more ways to cut down your home’s summer energy bills.

2. Cooling consistency

The variety of settings also means that your home’s temperature may not fluctuate as much as with a traditional unit. A traditional unit switches on once the temperature rises, runs until the temperature drops to the set number, then stops. Then, the temperature rises again, and the cycle begins all over.

This constant change can be uncomfortable. In contrast, a variable-speed air conditioner can better maintain your preferred temperature by switching to a lower setting once the ideal temperature is reached.

3. Operating quietly

Traditional AC units kick on with a roar of air that continues throughout the cycle. This is due to their high speed, and this sound can be irritating or startling if especially loud.

In contrast, variable-speed units are much quieter because of their lower speeds—and because they turn on-and-off less frequently. This means no more annoying background hum or sudden rushes of air.

4. Air quality improvement

Longer and less frequent run cycles not only mean better energy-efficiency, better temperature control, and quieter operating noise. They also mean your home’s air quality may improve.

When the air conditioning runs, air passes through filters, which means the longer it runs, the longer the air is being filtered. This can be especially useful if you live in a dusty or high-pollution location, or have allergies.

Give Trahan’s a call for a free in-home estimate

If you’re in need of air conditioning installation, Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. Contact us to schedule your free in-home estimate on a new variable air conditioner from Trane, professionally installed by our team. We also offer financing with approved credit.

What are the major signals that you need summer AC repair?

If you see signs you need summer AC repair, don’t ignore them. Having air conditioner problems during the hottest and most humid months of the year is not only frustrating, but can actually be dangerous. That’s why Trahan’s Heating and Air Conditioning provides 24/7 AC repair services whenever you need them

Recognizing the early warning signs of AC trouble can help prevent a minor problem from becoming major. Contact us when you see any of these five signs of impending summer AC repair.

Here are 5 signs you need summer AC repair

Warm air or insufficient cooling

Probably the most obvious of summer AC repair signs is that the air coming from the AC isn’t cool, or at the very least, is not cool enough. If the air conditioner isn’t keeping the temperature comfortable, that’s a blatant warning sign that repair may be needed.

Pictured: In the dog days of summer, when you need summer AC repair, call Trahan's!

It’s the dog days of summer. If you need summer AC repair, call Trahan’s!

Excessive noise

There is no such thing as a silent air conditioner, but unusual or abnormally loud noises from your AC, such screeching or rattling, are indications of a possible problem, such as a part that has come loose. Consult a skilled technician before the loose part causes further damage to your unit.

Increased utility bills

Not all summer AC problems are indicated by the evidence of your senses. Some are indicated by the cost of your utilities. If your electric bill is higher than it normally is during the summer months, that suggests that your air conditioner is not operating at peak efficiency and may be in need of a tune-up.

Decreased airflow

Maybe it’s not the temperature of the air that your AC is putting out but the volume. If you put your hand next to a vent when the air conditioner kicks on and the temperature feels cool but the flow is weak, that could be indicative of several potential problems involving the ductwork or the compressor.

Leaking fluid

Any sort of fluid leak in or around your AC unit is cause for concern. It could be refrigerant leaking, a potentially dangerous situation because of its toxicity. Even if the fluid is only water, that could lead to mold growth, which could have long-term effects on your family’s health. Don’t try to figure out what’s leaking yourself; call us for HVAC service immediately.

Call Trahan’s now for summer AC repair!

With Trahan’s Heating and Air Conditioning providing repair services 24-hours-a-day, there’s no need to hesitate. Contact us the moment you notice any signs of AC trouble, need an AC installed, or are just in need of a tune-up.

Increase your energy-efficiency this summer by following these tips!

This upcoming summer season, don’t forget to schedule an AC tune-up, just as you’re deciding where to go for vacation and what books to read over your break. In fact, if you’re looking for even more ways to save, you can increase your energy-efficiency by following the tips outlined in this blog.

Increase your energy-efficiency with these 5 tips

#1. Schedule regular maintenance

Over time, your air conditioner usually experiences a breakdown in performance, which is made worse when you don’t have your unit serviced by a team of professionals. This causes your unit not to perform as well as it should, which means it uses more energy than absolutely necessary, a difference you can see in your energy bills.

#2. Invest in a programmable thermostat

Something else you should be sure to do to save time and money on your summer AC efficiency goals is buy a programmable thermostat. With them, you’re able to change the setting of your thermostat when you aren’t home so that it’s always comfortable when you get back without wasting energy and money operating your unit when you aren’t home to enjoy it.

#3. Consider getting a new unit

Depending on how old your current air conditioning unit is, it could be time to get rid of it and install a new, more efficient model. Newer units are made to be as energy efficient as possible while keeping you and your family comfortable. Even better is that you can potentially increase your home’s resale value with a new unit.

#4. Remember to use your fans for cooling

To save money, you likely use your home’s ceiling fans in addition to your air conditioner to increase your energy-efficiency and stay cool. While this is an undoubtedly great idea, you have to remember that fans cool people, not rooms. That means you should only have your fans whirling when you’re in the room.

#5. Know when to use your appliances

The best time to use your oven, stove, dishwasher, and any other appliance that generates heat is early in the morning and the evening when the temperatures aren’t as high. This way, you aren’t adding to the very heat you crank your AC on to take care of, nor are you driving up your cooling costs.

Call Trahan’s for AC maintenance and more

Contact us here at Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning for even more ways to increase your energy-efficiency this summer! Or, schedule an AC tune-up from our team.

Here are 4 reasons to schedule an AC tune-up this spring

Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers professional-grade air conditioning maintenance here in South Louisiana.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not your system needs to be inspected this spring, here are 4 reasons to schedule an AC tune-up with our team.

4 reasons to schedule an AC tune-up this spring

We work with both air conditioners and heat pumps:

#1. Decrease your risk of a breakdown this summer

This is the primary reason that most homeowners schedule an AC tune-up with the Trahan’s team. Let’s put it another way: an unmaintained air conditioner is at greater risk of a breakdown on the most hot and humid days of the year. That’s because a pro inspection and tune-up can help catch the small things before they become big problems.

This goes double for an older air conditioner that has a history of breakdowns, since parts are older and more can go wrong. However, a tune-up is a good idea for any system, of any age. If not for avoiding breakdowns, you should consider it because:

#2. Boost your system’s energy-efficiency

Maintenance improves your system’s energy-efficiency, allowing it to run better and saving you money on your monthly energy bills. Over the course of an entire summer, this can mean big savings: after all, think about how much use your air conditioner sees in July and August here in South Louisiana.

#3. Extend the lifespan of your air conditioner

Any homeowner with a working air conditioner or heat pump wants to keep their system running as long as possible. That’s what makes an AC tune-up so great: by having your system inspected annually by a professional, you can actually extend your system lifespan, putting off the day when you need a new air conditioner.

In this respect, your air conditioner isn’t all that different from your car. By keeping up its maintenance record, you’re more likely to see it last.

#4. Maintain your air conditioner—and your manufacturer’s warranty

Many new air conditioners, including those manufactured by Trane, include a manufacturer’s warranty that protects your system for years after purchase. This is a great difference-maker for you and your home! There’s just one catch: you need to schedule an annual, professional tune-up to keep that warranty intact.

Since that manufacturer’s warranty protects your system against both defects and damages, keeping it intact is a good reason in itself to schedule an AC tune-up this spring. However, when added to the other reasons on this list, and you can see the compelling case for giving Trahan’s a call.

Call Trahan’s to schedule an AC tune-up here in South Louisiana

Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to be your local, trusted company for AC services here in South Louisiana. Since 1963, we’ve been known for our friendly, professional service.

To schedule your AC tune-up this spring, contact us online, or give us a call at (985) 863-4063.