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If you have an older air conditioner at your home or business, you need to be aware of the R-22 phaseout. Because of the phaseout, you are going to need to start thinking about new options for your air conditioner. Though this is not new news, some critical deadlines are coming up, and you need to know how it affects you and your air conditioner.

What Is the R-22 Phaseout?

R-22, the main refrigerant used in air conditioners for many years, poses a significant danger for the environment. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency started a plan to phase out R-22 between 2013 and 2020. Because there were so many units in the field that used this refrigerant, the process slowly reduced the amount of R-22 being produced until it was completely phased out. This gave homeowners and commercial property owners time to upgrade their AC systems to those that use a new, safer refrigerant. Lower production drove up prices naturally, triggering many people to switch to a different option. By 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported into the United States.

What Does the R-22 Phaseout Mean for You?

So, what does this mean for you? If you need an air conditioning repair that requires adding refrigerant, which is a common part of air conditioning, you must have R-22. But after January 1, 2020, no more R-22 will be made or imported in the United States. Once the existing supply is used up, your equipment will not be fixable. Between now and then, what R-22 is available is going to have extremely high prices. For this reason, even a minor AC repair could mean the need to replace your system with one that does not use R-22.

What Are Your Options?

If you still have a unit that uses R-22, you have three main options. The R-22 phaseout will eventually affect you, so consider these opportunities:

  • Upgrade your unit now – Most likely, you are going to have to upgrade your unit when a breakdown occurs. You can be proactive and make the change now, enjoying the greater energy efficiency of a new system and removing the risk of an R-22 problem in the future.
  • Do nothing – You don’t have to do anything right now. You just need to know that a breakdown will mean you have to replace the system after the phaseout is complete because the repairs will be extremely pricey.
  • Retrofit your system – Some systems can be retrofitted to accept newer refrigerant. You will need an HVAC professional to check your system to see if this is an option for you.

Which option is best for you? If you’re not sure, we can help. Reach out to Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to learn more about your options, so you will be prepared for the R-22 phaseout.

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Cooling or heating your home in the Kansas area can be expensive, even if the air ducts in your home are relatively efficient. However, if your air ducts aren’t sealed and insulated properly, you could be wasting up to 40 percent of your cooling and heating energy. This can increase your utility and energy bills and adds wear and tear on your HVAC system by forcing it to work harder than it needs to.

A duct system that is well-designed and properly sealed can make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safer. When your ductwork works correctly, you could benefit from:

Lower Energy Bills

As previously mentioned, as much as 40 percent of the air traveling through your ductwork system escapes through holes or leaks. This makes it harder for your ductwork to cool or heat your home properly. When your air ducts are properly sealed and insulated, your HVAC system doesn’t need to work extra hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Sealing up any leaks or holes keeps your system running efficiently, thus keeping your energy bills lower.

Cleaner Air Quality

Improperly sealed air ducts pick up pollutants like exhaust fumes, allergens, and pollen and deliver it throughout your home. This can cause severe breathing difficulties for you and your family, especially if there’s a history of asthma or allergies. Additionally, leaking ducts could allow combustion gases, like potentially deadly carbon monoxide, picked up from furnaces or stoves to enter your air duct system and be distributed to each room, possibly creating a very dangerous situation. Sealing your ducts can diminish the possibility of these harmful pollutants traveling throughout your home and improve your air quality.

Improved Comfort

If your ductwork has leaks, your system has to work harder to keep your home comfortable, but doesn’t guarantee that your whole home will be the temperature you want. With an improperly sealed duct system, rooms will be too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. To increase your chances of a comfortable home no matter what, consult the experts at Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing about how to properly seal your air ducts!

Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing—Keeping Kansas Comfortable Since 1974 Providing HVAC Services & More in the Kansas City & Johnson County, Kansas Area

Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been proudly serving the Kansas City Metro and Johnson County area since 1974. We take pride in knowing that each and every one of our customers is completely satisfied, and every job is done completely and correctly the first time. At Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we want to take all the guesswork out of hiring HVAC contractors. Not only are our HVAC technicians some of the most qualified in the industry, but they are also instilled with a sense of pride in their work and act in a professional and friendly manner.

Tell us how we can help! To schedule your service, contact us online today!

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Summer HVAC maintenance is essential to keep your cooling system running effectively and efficiently when the heat sets in. For the most part, modern air conditioning systems are “set it and forget it,” especially with smart home options or a programmable thermostat. Still, any complex machinery requires some upkeep if you care about performance and longevity.

Licensed professionals, like our team at Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, should handle most air conditioning maintenance on an annual maintenance visit. Your do-it-yourself AC maintenance simply involves changing your AC filter between our visits and calling us if you notice any problems with your cooling system. Here’s our HVAC maintenance checklist for your home in Lenexa or Kansas City.

Professional Cooling System Maintenance Checklist

Here’s how we keep your AC in great shape for decades. Expert air conditioner maintenance from Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing includes:

  • Verifying that the cooling system is working correctly and safely.
  • Examining moving and wear-and-tear parts, including condenser belts, motors, and fans.
  • Lubricating and adjusting components for best performance.
  • Recommending replacement for worn belts or other parts when needed. (We perform these repairs immediately with your permission.)
  • Checking AC refrigerant pressure. If it’s low, we look for leaks.
  • Cleaning outdoor cooling coil and condenser.
  • Cleaning the evaporator coil as needed. This may be done every three to five years as a stand-alone service.
  • Checking the condensation drain/pump for blockage, leaks, or corrosion.
  • Inspecting electrical components and tightening connections.
  • Calibrating the thermostat.
  • Verifying sufficient airflow.
  • Changing your AC air filter.
  • And more!
Why Is AC Maintenance Important?

Much like a neglected car, your hardworking AC system can break down without proper care. Complex moving parts and electrical components require specialized knowledge for effective repairs, safety, and in-depth maintenance. Lubrication and cleaning are necessary to protect the machinery from grinding to a halt. Adjustments may be needed to optimize fuel use. Moving parts need to be replaced before they fail completely and cause catastrophic damage, “totaling” your not-so-well-oiled machine. Maintenance from Top Notch service technicians keeps your AC running smoothly for years to come, no matter how hot the weather gets.

What Are the Benefits of HVAC Maintenance?

System longevity (see above) may be the number one advantage of proper and timely HVAC maintenance, but there’s more:

  • Saving money: Proper annual AC maintenance saves you money on summer utility bills.
  • Ensuring home comfort: Regular HVAC maintenance means you may never have an interruption in the cool comfort of your home, and it will always be a welcoming space for family and guests.
  • Avoiding expensive repairs: Our AC maintenance service can keep you from spending money on service calls and major repairs.
  • Preventing AC breakdowns and inconvenience: You can avoid emergency AC repair calls, disruption of your family’s schedule, and the discomfort of enduring the heat until repairs are completed.
  • Complying with manufacturer’s warranty: Most warranties prohibit major user maintenance and doing so can void the warranty.
  • Delaying AC replacement: The best way to extend the life of your home’s HVAC system is to keep it “tuned up” with professional maintenance.
Contact Us for AC Maintenance in Lenexa, KS & the Surrounding Areas

At Top Notch, we offer convenient HVAC maintenance plans with discounted parts and labor to fit your needs and budget. Our certified maintenance technicians ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency to avoid energy waste and lower your household energy costs while keeping your home completely comfortable. No one wants to buy a new AC system before it’s truly necessary, and with proper AC maintenance, you won’t have to.

If you’re due (or overdue) for AC maintenance, contact Top Notch today for a cooler tomorrow!

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