new home

New Homeowner HVAC Tips

You bought a home! Congratulations! Whether this is your first time purchasing a home or fourth, it’s important to be familiar with the heating and cooling systems that control its comfort levels before they need a major repair. Doing so allows you to perform the preventive maintenance the HVAC system needs, recognize signs of trouble and avoid newbie mistakes. In turn, your HVAC system will reward you with energy savings and reliability.

HVAC Tips for New Homeowners

  • new homeKnow the HVAC system: Does your home have central air conditioning, heat pumps, mini-split systems or a gas unit? After learning exactly how your home is heated and cooled, find out what type of fuel it uses, such as electricity, oil, propane or natural gas. Other important things to learn about your HVAC system include its:
    • Age: While some HVAC systems seem last decades, most start experiencing problems after 10 or 15 years.
    • Efficiency rating: Heating and cooling systems have SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio), EER (energy efficiency ratio), AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) or HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient a unit is.
    • Warranty: In addition to learning the warranty’s term, learn what actions might accidentally void it.
    • Maintenance inspection results: If the previous homeowner took good care of the HVAC system, they hired a professional to maintain it annually. Ask for the inspection reports to learn about the types of issues the system experienced to be aware of problems that might occur.
  • Change the air filters: One of the simplest, most effective ways to keep your HVAC unit in top shape is to change its air filters once every thirty days. Some thermostats will remind you about filter changes.
  • The area around outdoor units: Maintaining the landscape does more than making your yard look beautiful, it also helps your HVAC system perform well and have proper airflow. Shrubs, trees, plants and other foliage should be about three feet away from the unit. It is also a good idea to keep garden tools, supplies, furniture and toys away from it. As leaves and pine needles fall on and around the unit, clear them away. The same goes for snow.
  • Take care with ice: It is okay if a little bit of ice forms on an HVAC unit during the winter. If larger sheets or blocks of ice form during the winter or you notice ice formations when the weather is warmer, call a professional right away. Do not pour warm water on the ice to melt it.
  • Don’t close vents: In an attempt to save money on heating and cooling costs, some homeowners close the vents in rooms they don’t use often. This action will actually increase your energy costs because your system will have to work harder to maintain the comfort levels in your home. For this reason, professionals recommend that you never block vent registers with furniture, books, blankets or other objects. If you only want to heat or cool certain areas of your home, talk to an HVAC expert about creating different zones.
  • Annual HVAC maintenance: Hire an HVAC service to perform maintenance services on your heating and cooling units at least once a year. The tune-up will keep your system in optimal condition and alert you to small problems that could become major repairs down the road. A good time of year to schedule maintenance is during the spring or fall before the weather gets too hot or too cold.
  • Mind the ductwork: Leaks in ductwork negatively affect an HVAC system’s performance and send conditioned air into spaces that you don’t use, like between the walls.
  • Find a reputable HVAC company now: Don’t wait until you need a repair to search for a company that you can trust. Searching for one in advance gives you time to research and vet different contractors. A good company is one that has served your area for several years, provides emergency services, and specializes in a variety of home comfort systems.

The HVAC system is one of the features that attracted you to your new home. Maximize its life and your energy savings by keeping it in good shape. If you ever have questions about your heating and cooling units, never hesitate to get in touch with McKeown’s Heating and Air Services. We’ve proudly served the Chester and Winnsboro areas since 1998 and can’t wait to become your trusted HVAC expert.

how a heat pump works

Heat Pump Systems

In South Carolina’s climate, a heat pump is the most energy efficient way to heat or cool your home.  Heat pumps extract heat from a source and transfer it (link to How a Heat Pump Works).  In the summer, a heat pump takes heat from inside your house and sends it outside; in winter, it takes heat from the outside air and brings it inside.  It can cost up to 50 percent less to operate a heat pump than a pure electric heating system just using electric heat strips. A heat pump is truly an all-in-one home comfort system.

We here at McKeown’s Heating and Air Services provide maintenance and repairs on heat pumps. We also install new and replacement heat pump systems for residential homes, mobile homes, and manufactured homes.

If your heat pump is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR®-rated model that has a SEER of 14 minimum. These high-efficiency units can save up to 20 percent – and sometimes much more – on heating and cooling costs.  If your current equipment needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up, it’s a sign that it’s time to replace your heat pump.  To make sure you get the best performance, make sure your new heat pump is the right size for your house.  The wrong size can reduce your new system’s efficiency by up to 30 percent, increasing your electric bill and possibly shortening your system’s lifespan.

5 Reasons Your HVAC System Needs Fall Maintenance

5 Reasons for Fall HVAC Maintenance

Today is the first day of fall! And, in our opinion, it is just as important to schedule a fall Heating Check and Maintenance as it is to pick out the perfect costume for Halloween. It’s never too early to schedule! Our schedule here at McKeown’s Heating and Air Services could fill up early. And, remember: it’s Murphy’s Law – your heating system is most likely to fail when you need it most.

Here are some reasons it’s important to schedule yearly, fall heating preventative maintenance with McKeown’s Heating and Air Services:

  • Catch things early. Of course, a clean bill of health is ideal during a fall furnace checklist. But, in case there are problems, it’s better to catch them in the fall before they could cause major problems in the winter.
  • Keep Efficiency High and Utility Bills Low. If your home is anywhere near average, heating and cooling account for nearly half of your energy expenses every year. When you schedule preventive maintenance with McKeown’s Heating and Air Services, however, you can trust that we’ll keep your HVAC system’s efficiency high while lowering your utility bills. We’ll inspect indoor and outdoor units, check fluid levels, test motors, and look for leaks to be sure that your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible.
  • Ensure clean air. In addition to checking for problems, we can also clean the system – making sure that you have proper airflow and making it easier for your filter to catch as many air pollutants as possible.
  • Long system life. Regular maintenance can help your furnace perform at peak levels for a longer period of time. It can also make sure that you get as many quality heating years as possible from your old unit. The cost of routine maintenance is going to seem minimal compared to the cost of a brand new system if the old unit were to fail.
  • Warranty protection. Many system warranties require routine maintenance in order to enjoy continued protection.

A heating malfunction during the winter can be costly, uncomfortable and, potentially, dangerous. Make sure you get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can make sure you’re ready for the winter.

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McKeown’s Heating & Air Maintenance Services

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Peace of Mind Service Plan
takes care of you ALL Year Long

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Additional Peace of Mind Provides

Every member of the McKeown’s Heating & Air Services Peace of Mind Service Plan will find new ways of saving money all year long while increasing the comfort and peace of mind with their annual membership. As a member, you will also receive a great discount on many accessories that help increase the comfort in your home.  Read More