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Why It’s a Good Decision to Replace or Convert to Refrigerated Air in the Fall

After an incredibly hot summer in El Paso, it has been nice to turn off the cooling system and enjoy the fresh air from the outdoors. But, while your A/C system or swamp cooler may be starting into hibernation for the heating season, it’s not quite time to put it completely out of mind.

Why do we say this? Because it may be time to ask yourself these questions in consideration of replacing it:

  1. How old is my A/C unit?
  2. How well did it really keep up with summer’s heatwave?
  3. Will 2019’s refrigerated air systems be more costly than 2018’s?
  4. Does 2018 offer Federal energy rebates that I can take advantage of on my taxes to offset my investment?
  5. How available will technicians be in El Paso when I HAVE TO replace my cooling system?

 

The answers to these questions may all be reasons why it may make more sense to replace your HVAC today rather than waiting until you absolutely have to, especially if you know that a replacement in 2019 is imminent. Here’s some other consideration that may influence your decision to replace:

  1. Convenience

You are less likely to be using your A/C again until the spring. Instead of suffering without adequate cooling in El Paso’s summer heat, have it taken care of now. This also allows for more freedom to meet your schedule, as most HVAC technicians in our area aren’t as busy right now.

  1. Time

If you’re converting to refrigerated air or replacing your current air conditioning system in the summer, it’s most likely the result of an unexpected problem. You may end up making a quick decision about the unit you choose just to get out of the brutal El Paso heat. This time of year, you have much more time to do your research, make comparisons on equipment options and local contractors to make the best decision for your budget and your home. If your HVAC system is really old, you will be delighted to learn how far the innovations in heating and cooling have come and how many wonderful new features are available—greater energy efficiency, more effective humidity, air cleaning and noise reduction, programmable or Wi-Fi smart thermostats…. These are just a few of the upgrades you’ll come across when looking at all of the options available today.

  1. Money

Efficiency and programmability of HVAC equipment translates into huge savings. Equipment warranties can also affect the cost of the lifetime value of new HVAC system. These factors should influence your best buying decision. You have time today to shop around and compare features and prices…and time always translates into money savings. In addition, many contractors experiencing down time during these cooler months offer deals on off-season installation and maintenance…us included!

 

So, if now the fall season seems like a good time for you to replace that old unit or convert to refrigerated air for the first time, give Longhorn Air a call at 915-852-7334. It’s always a good time to call Longhorn, but right now we are especially anxious to help you!

It’s Time to Winterize the Swamp Coolers in El Paso

These El Paso cold nights are the first sign that winter is coming. It’s also a reminder that it is time to winterize the evaporative cooler. Winterizing the swamp cooler prevents:

  • Frozen water lines
  • Rust
  • Leaks
  • Heat loss from vents

All of which translates into money savings in the long run for you, the homeowner, if shut down and cared for properly!

Call Longhorn Air to take care of this tedious and dangerous task. In our comprehensive inspection and shut down of the swamp cooler, we’ll:

  • Disconnect the water line
  • Drain all standing water
  • Clean the cooler
  • Check all parts for damage
  • Change the pad
  • Cover the vent
  • Install the cover, if one

Call Longhorn Air at 915-852-7334 to schedule your swamp cooler winterization.

Smelly Furnace? Some of it May Be Normal. Know When to Call the Professionals at Longhorn Heating

When a furnace is turned on for the first time of the heating season, you can expect it to have a slight burning smell. But, within minutes, warm, clean and fresh smelling air should start circulating throughout your home. Eventually, you might not even notice that your furnace in running at all, as it runs quietly and efficiently.

If you get anything else, then you may have a problem.

To ensure your family’s safety, let’s talk about the most common smells a furnace makes and the causes that might be behind them:

Burning or Electrical/Metallic Smell

Some burning smells are normal when first turning on the furnace. Electrical smells and metallic smells in the furnace, however, are generally pretty distinct since they don’t occur very frequently. Burnt smells coming from your furnace often indicate certain components on the inside are getting too hot. Some burning smells are due to burning wires, old age, and general wear and tear. But, others are an indication of a bigger problem. Call Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Air to be sure you don’t have a major issue with your furnace if the burn smell does not go away.

Rotten Eggs Smell is BAD!

If you have a gas-powered furnace that smells like rotten eggs (or sulfur), you may have a gas leak. ALWAYS HAVE A WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR IN YOUR HOME. Due to the risks involved, you should call in a professional and exit your home if it all of a sudden smells like rotten eggs and/or the CO detector alarms. Do not reenter until you know the area is safe again.

That Wet, Sweaty Athlete Smell

You might never expect that this smell could ever come from your furnace but it is quite common. Dirty sock or locker room smells from your furnace means that bacteria has built up on your heating system coils. You’ll need to have the coils cleaned to get rid of it.

Dusty or Musty Smell

When you haven’t used your furnace for a while, your furnace might smell like a damp, dusty, or musty basement.  The odor may smell particularly strong for the first few uses of the season, but it should fade gradually. If it persists, you may have a dirty furnace filter. Try changing the air filter to rid of that musty smell.

Pay attention to smells and use this guide to know when you have a problem with your furnace that needs attention. If you suspect you have a smell that is not normal, first shut down the furnace and unplug it. Next, call Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Cooling for an inspection and repair. We’ll diagnose and make repairs as needed to ensure your peace of mind.

The nose knows so call us in El Paso, Horizon City and surrounding areas, at 915-852-7334 at your first sign of unusual smells coming for your furnace.

 

It’s Cold in El Paso Today! Is Your Furnace Ready for Heating Season?

The cold spell coming through El Paso today reminds all of us to get our furnace checked for heating season to make sure it’s ready when we need it.

Heating system maintenance and inspections are important for the continued safe operation and efficiency of your furnace. Preventive maintenance checks for harmful leaks, clogged filters, built up dirt/dust/harmful particles and finds problems before they become major repairs. And, continued maintenance on a regular basis keeps utility bills in check!

Call for an immediate appointment for furnace repairs, replacements or maintenance. Call Longhorn Maintenance Heating & Cooling at 915-852-7334.

For pre-approval on financing for a new furnace, visit us at http://longhornairep.com/financing/.

 

Early Bird Fall Furnace Maintenance Special: $80*

Summer is gone and in the not-so-distant-future, we’ll be using our heating system in El Paso and the surrounding areas. NOW is the time to make sure it is operating safely, cleanly, and efficiently!

Read here why it’s so important to schedule fall HVAC system maintenance:

  1. Longhorn Air checks for leaks and other hazards that could potentially be harmful to you, your family and your home such as carbon monoxide and blocked air vents.
  2. Early fall furnace maintenance finds problems before they become bigger issues.
  3. Cleaner air. Filter changes and other cleanings of the system mean you’ll enjoy better indoor air quality.
  4. Routine maintenance means your system continues to run at peak and generally at its highest efficiency.
  5. Beat the Rush! Trying to schedule a maintenance check when a contractor is at the height of heating season can be tough. Mark this off your list early and enjoy discounts and immediate availability with Longhorn Air.

 

Don’t wait. Call to schedule your early bird fall furnace check up today with Longhorn Air at 915-852-7334.

 

*first system. Enjoy discounts on additional systems.

Convert to Refrigerated Air

You want refrigerated air. That’s not the issue. But, converting costs you more than you imagined. We hear it a lot.

You can’t base your information on what the competitor’s commercials say. Yes, you can convert for $3,800 but that doesn’t include electrical updates, duct work reconstruction and other upgrades necessary to make the conversion work. You should be a bit suspicious about those contractors who base their commercials and advertising merely on the cost of the system. Because we will ALWAYS be transparent, here is what you need to know about converting to refrigerated air that will affect your cost:

  • Ductwork– During an estimate, Longhorn Air will evaluate your existing ductwork to see if it can handle the demand of a refrigerated air conditioning system vs. a swamp cooler. And, Longhorn Air ONLY installs high quality sheet metal ductwork. We NEVER use duct board. Duct board deteriorates over time and puts the fiberglass particles from which it is constructed right back into your airflow. It’s dangerous and harmful especially if you have respiratory issues!
  • Electrical– Often times when adding refrigerated air conditioning your home’s electrical system will need to be upgraded to support the electrical load needed for the air conditioner to run properly. Electrical panels need space. Electricity from the utility pole outside of your home to your house have to be amply supplied.
  • Heating System– Even though you are just considering converting to refrigerated air, your existing furnace or heating system needs to be included in the upgrade.  In most cases your furnace and new refrigerated air conditioning system is a package deal, as they are designed to work together for highest efficiency.  Often times the existing furnace will not be compatible with your new refrigerated air conditioner.  Unless your furnace is less than 5 years old, we will recommend upgrading both systems at the same time. (Ask us about a buy-back of your existing newer furnace if you want to convert to a complete new HVAC system, including furnace).
  • SEER Ratings– SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings and dictates the efficiency of your new refrigerated air conditioning systems.  SEER ratings have continued to improve over the years.  While 14 SEER is the minimum for our area, you can go much higher than that to get the most energy efficient system available. It does affect upfront costs, but in the long run, continuous savings on your utility billings will add up to bigger savings with a higher SEER rated refrigerated air system.

Longhorn Air prides itself on fair and accurate assessments and estimates on converting to refrigerated air.

For a free estimate on converting to refrigerated air, call the transparent, honest and high integrity guys of Longhorn Air.

 

The Importance of Fall Furnace Maintenance in El Paso

From clogged filters to minor repairs to catastrophic failure, the prevention that fall furnace maintenance provides is very important to the continued problem-free operation of your heating system. But not only prevention, fall furnace maintenance has benefits lower energy costs. How? Check-ups and cleaning of the HVAC is the most proactive approach to keep your system operating at its highest efficiency.

Safety, though, is the primary reason most smart homeowners schedule fall maintenance. It doesn’t matter if your system is 20 years old or 2 years old, the safe, smart thing to do for your family before turning on your furnace for heating season is to have it checked out for CO, leaks, clogs or other issues that could affect the operation and air quality in your home.

Fewer repairs and longer life of system are two more great reasons to schedule fall furnace maintenance.

A good preventive maintenance program is your best plan for long life of your heating system. Minimize the risk of emergency furnace repairs or premature failure by scheduling your preventive maintenance today! Call Longhorn Air at 915-852-7334.

Their Upgrade is Our Standard!

Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Air installs ONLY sheet metal duct work for new HVAC systems when new air ducts are needed. It’s our standard–one of excellence–in HVAC installations!

We NEVER use fiberglass duct board. Here’s why:

  1. Fiberglass duct board is inferior to sheet metal duct work because it breaks down over time.Sheet metal duct work is built to last the lifetime of your new heating and cooling system…and beyond. Within 10 years, duct board can completely deteriorate, create duct leakage and waste energy. When this occurs, you will be again tasked with a large installation expense of new duct work. Fiberglass duct board simply lacks integrity. High performance homes and equipment must have sheet metal duct work to meet the high efficiency standards sold with new HVAC equipment.
  2. Fiberglass duct board can emit fiberglass particles into the air flow.The most disturbing problem with duct board is that over time, it is forcing microscopic pieces fiberglass into the airflow of your home. As it breaks down, the pieces get smaller and smaller. You are breathing that into your lungs. But, because many of these particles are nearly invisible, you don’t know that your health is being compromised by the airflow coming through fiberglass duct board. Common sense tells us that if dust enters and settles in the duct work so will the deteriorating elements of fiberglass duct board. Those will eventually make it into your living spaces.
  3. Finally, fiberglass duct board is not resistant to moisture.Have you ever seen wet card board? Well, that is what your duct board is going to look like when moving heavy wet and/or humid air through it over time. Wet duct board promotes mold growth and can make your living spaces smell like mildew.

Today, several states are moving to ban duct board as a solution. Longhorn Air supports that movement. We never use duct board in our heating and cooling installations. For us, quality is number one. And, a tight, high performance home must have sheet metal duct work to meet efficiency standards promised with new HVAC equipment over time…not just at the time of installation.

For a standard of excellence in HVAC installations and air duct renovation, call Longhorn Air at 915-852-7334.

Price vs. Value…Know the Difference When Considering Converting to Refrigerated Air

“Price is only an issue when there in the absence of value.” –CEO Unknown

Occasionally, one of our competitors may advertise impossible rates for converting to refrigerated air or provide you with a lower quote for doing so. The problem with that is something has to give to do the job at the price quoted, whether they’ll be providing you with an inferior system, poor warranty or cutting corners by installing duct board where sheet metal duct work would be a better solution.

There is a big difference when you buy low price vs. more value when converting to refrigerated air.

Here at Longhorn Air, we provide our customers with most competitive pricing for the highest quality heating and cooling system installations. We provide the lengthiest warranties to protect your investment in a new refrigerated air system. AND, we never install duct board in the process! Every air duct reconstruction is done with SHEET METAL DUCT WORK. So, you can buy price when planning to convert or you can buy VALUE! In the long run, value is going to pay you more with your heating and cooling system.

Still, we understand that affordability has to be part of the decision when choosing your HVAC contractor and your new refrigerated air system. If one of our competitors offers you a rate lower than ours, we encourage you to contact our office to speak with our estimator to ensure you are getting the best value for the products they plan to install. Call to ensure that they aren’t skipping steps that SHOULD be part of your installation. And, call to make sure the warranty is included on workmanship and equipment (at least 10 years on parts; 20 on heat exchanger). The warranties on the premium Rheem equipment that Longhorn Air installs are the best in El Paso!

While we may not always be able to beat the lowest price, we can compete as a best choice for value when installing high quality HVAC equipment, including sheet metal duct reconstruction.

Choose Longhorn Air for quality, excellence and value when you choose to convert to refrigerated air or replace your existing HVAC system. Please contact our office at 915-852-7334 for a free new heating and cooling system estimate.

Is Your House Making You Sick? You May Want to Convert to Refrigerated Air

Sick Home Syndrome is a real thing. Convert to refrigerated air to make it well.

Sick Home Syndrome is a real thing. Convert to refrigerated air to make it well.

It’s true…your house may be making you and/or your family sick.

Studies have shown 30% of homes or buildings are sick, meaning they are hazardous to the health as a result of indoor air and allergens/pollutants.

Source:  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/sick_building_factsheet.pdf
“Sick Building Syndrome,” or SBS, is a term used to describe homes or buildings whereby “the occupants experience acute health and comfort issues that appear to be linked to the time they spend there, but no specific illness or cause can be identified,” as defined by the EPA.

Reports show that most sick homes or buildings are that way because of the type of, or flaws in, the heating and cooling system. This is especially true of those choosing to cool with evaporative coolers. Bad duct work can create a sick home, too!

Issues causing SBS that can be traced to the HVAC include:

  • Bad ventilation or inadequate air distribution through the duct work
  • Contaminants such as mold, mildew, airborne particles and pollens
  • Chemical contaminants from indoor sources: VOCs from carpeting or dust in the upholstery
  • Outdoor sources like car exhaust and lawn motor vapors

Bacteria, mold, pollen, and viruses are types of biological contaminants. These contaminants can breed in stagnant water from evaporative coolers, ducts, humidifiers and drain pans, or where ever water collects. Biological contaminants caused by these can show up on vents, ceiling tiles, carpeting and/or in insulation. These harmful contaminants are especially seen in homes with swamp or evaporative coolers.

Increasing ventilation rates and air distribution often can be remedied with a conversion to refrigerated air or a replacement of an existing HVAC system with a newer one that meets today’s acceptable specifications. Proper duct work design and replacement will help tremendously, too.

If you suspect that you have a sick house, you should convert to refrigerated air to provide you and your family with a remedy. A better assessment and correction to your duct work may be needed, as well. Call Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Cooling for a sick home evaluation and proposed solution at 915-852-7334. Do it for the health of your home AND FAMILY!