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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’s why we’re a Trane dealer

The heating and cooling system of your home is vital to your comfort. Whether it’s a hot and humid day in the Louisiana summer or when the winter winds come blasting off the gulf, you expect your HVAC unit to work appropriately. We’re your local Houma Trane dealer, and here’s why.

Trane products are built to last

Trane was founded in 1885. In the 1930s, Trane pioneered air conditioning units for cooling homes. The company owns patents on their HVAC and heating units. They’ve tested the units for reliability and durability. Many of the individual parts on a Trane AC are built to last beyond industry standards. Trane is a company that has innovated the industry.

Trane products are built to last. The company tests every heating and cooling unit beyond the extremes of residential use. That’s why their motto is, “It’s hard to stop a Trane.” Technicians have tried to break the Climatuff® compressor in 900 different ways.

Trane is also setting the standard for smart home and clean air technology. The XL18i Heat Pump has a SEER rating of 18, well above the minimum standard of 14 or 15. It offers increase efficiency to lower utility bills. Trane also has an advanced air filtration system that provides cleaner, healthier air inside your home.

Trane products are recommended by experts in the industry. Popular Mechanics awarded Trane for its innovation with the Trane ComfortLink. Harvard researchers independently evaluated several devices that improve indoor air quality and found Trane CleanEffects to the most effective air filtration system.

Here’s your checklist for buying a new HVAC unit

Before you replace your old unit, make sure you really need to upgrade:

  • How old is your system? Your furnace should last about 12 to 18 years with good maintenance, while the AC may only last 10 to 16 years.
  • Consider your energy costs and future energy needs for your home. Do research on a new unit and whether it can help lower costs.
  • Contact Trahan’s, your local Trane dealer. Discuss the unit that fits the size of your home and energy-efficiency requirements.
  • Shop for and have a new unit installed. Enjoy the comfort of your home.

Call Trahan’s, your local Trane dealer

Choose a Trane AC to keep your home cooler when the temperatures are sweltering. Call Trahan’s Heating & Air Conditioning at (985) 872-2570 or contact us online to discuss your needs.

What are heat pumps, and how do they work?

We often get questions from homeowners about heat pumps: namely, people want to know what they are, how they work, and what makes them different from air conditioners and / or furnaces.

We totally get that, and that’s why—in this blog post—we’ll break down what heat pumps are all about. Interested in cooling installation? Be sure to contact us for a free in-home estimate.

Capable of both cooling and heating your home

The most notable thing about heat pumps is that they’re able to both cool and heat your home. This versatility makes them perfect for mild winter climates like the one here in South Louisiana.

How do they work?

All air—even air that is cold—has some form of heat energy in it. A heat pump uses a compressor to move refrigerant, which in turns pulls heat energy out of the air. In the winter, this system pulls heat out of outside air and carries it inside; in summer, the system reverses and pulls heat out of indoor air and carries it outside.

The summer mode is pretty identical to how an air conditioner works. Much like an air conditioner, a heat pump has two main parts to it: an indoor air handler and an outdoor heat pump unit. As you can see in Trane heat pumps, they look very similar to air conditioners.

What are their advantages?

Heat pumps are generally more energy-efficient than standard HVAC systems. That difference is especially profound in winter, when—instead of having to burn fuel to generate heat—a heat pump just has to move heat from one location to another. That saves a lot of money.

Here’s what else can save you money: only having to purchase and maintain one system in your home. The versatility of the heat pump is what makes them popular with many homeowners.

Are there any disadvantages?

Heat pumps are better at cooling than they are at heating. This makes sense: it’s easier to remove heat from hot indoor air to make it cooler than it is to remove heat from cold outdoor air to make it warmer inside. Generally, heat pumps in colder climates need to be supplemented by a furnace.

However, as Trane notes, heat pumps are great for mild winter climates like the one here in South Louisiana. This “cold weather” disadvantage doesn’t really apply.

Call Trahan’s to learn more about heat pumps

If you’re looking to upgrade to a new cooling or heating system here in South Louisiana, you really should consider a heat pump. They’re a great fit for many homes here, and Trane manufactures reliable, energy-efficient systems.

To get started with your free in-home estimate on a new Trane, contact us today! Also, don’t forget: we offer financing with approved credit!