Most people know how to fix a flat tire or repair a small hole in the wall. They can “figure it out” when some home appliance goes on the fritz if it comes to it. But, what in the WORLD do you do in North Texas when your home A/C goes out?!
Whether it be in the dead of winter or in the insufferable heat of summer, you’re going to need someone to fix it…and fix it FAST! If you’re in or around Keller, Texas, you’re going to need Danny Kidwell.
Danny is local, dependable, and recently took a small break during his busy day to chat with us about the surprisingly complex heating and cooling industry. He even gave us a few tips and tricks for your home units!
So…just how long have you been in the heating and cooling industry?
Since 1996—22 years, about two decades.
On an average day, about how many calls do you receive?
Right now I average about 10, some days as many as 15 different homes. I do my best to get everyone in as quickly as possible.
What’s the problem most homeowners are having?
Unfortunately, a blown capacitor is the frequent culprit.
Can you elaborate on what that is?
The capacitor is the main piece of a central air condition system, the link between the power source and the fan. Without it, the air conditioner fan doesn’t run. The unit will overheat and the whole system could break down. In the summer, this is a HUGE issue.
What should homeowners do to make sure they have A/C in this awful summer heat?
Make sure to keep the outside unit as clean as possible. Replace the air filter as recommended, and make sure to have your unit serviced every spring.
Is there a specific way you should clean the unit?
It’s as simple as washing it out with a water hose. You don’t need a high-powered nozzle, just the use the hose to wash out the coils. Try to do this every spring at least.
What should you do when your A/C is running, but it’s all hot air coming from the vents?
Turn the unit off, immediately and every time. Once it’s off, get someone to look at it as soon as possible!
I’ve heard that turning the A/C off during the day, when most people aren’t home anyway, is better. But then, when I get back it takes FOREVER to cool off. Is this the right way to go about saving power?
Actually, no! Don’t turn your AC off completely, but do turn it up three or four degrees. If you turn it up too high it can cause the house to get too warm and humid, and then the unit actually has to work harder to re-cool it back down.
What about replacing the ducts in my attic? My home is over 20 years old and they’ve never been replaced.
It really depends on if ducts are leaking out air because of thin insulation. Usually, insulation thins out in the winter. If it’s got an “R” value of three or less it should be replaced.
What about all the hype over the government doing away with freon? What does that mean for me and my unit?
After January 1st, 2020 R22 freon will no longer be manufactured. We’re still allowed to sell what we have, but considering the prices for freon right now will only increase…it’s not looking like such a bright future for the material. Large companies are charging double what I do now.
What happens after 2020 when your A/C unit still needs it?
You’re going to need a whole new unit at that time, so plan accordingly for it.
What does SEER mean? I’ve heard 12, 14, 16, etc.. When does it make sense for me financially to get a better system?
The higher the SEER rating, the more you save on your electric bill. But this also means the cost of the unit increases as well. In most cases, the cost difference between a 14 and a 16 is about $3,000 and the difference in your monthly electric bill may only be about $100/year. It depends on the size of the unit and your home to consider the savings and the cost.
How long does an HVAC system typically last?
It should last 15-20 years. Yearly service is the key to help it last longer. Right now, I’m in the middle of replacing a unit for someone that I actually installed in 2011. They never had it serviced. There was brush and all kinds of things growing around and inside of it because they didn’t make sure to keep it clean.
If my inside unit doesn’t work, does that mean I have to replace the outside one, too?
No. You can make it work depending on the freon requirement. If the outside unit goes out, though, you usually have to replace the inside unit. It all depends on the quality and age of the unit. You can’t pair an older outside unit with a newer inside unit.
Clearly, Danny Kidwell has an AMAZING amount of knowledge that only a local and trustworthy industry expert can provide. We’ve been working with him on home projects and on our own home for years! We’re proud to do business with him.
Danny is always up for tackling a problem or answering questions! Do you have any heating or cooling questions that you’d like to ask him? Give Danny a call right away at 817-279-2929 OR drop us a message on our Facebook page. We LOVE hearing from you and are ready to help with any of your home needs!