Carolina Climate Control Blog: Archive for the ‘Central Air Conditioning’ Category

Replace or Repair? What To Do When Your Central Air Conditioning Starts To Fail In The Lowcountry

Monday, June 27th, 2022

We’re in peak summer season here in the Lowcountry, which means it’s also peak operating season for your central air conditioning system.

The combination of elevated summer heat levels and the general increase in humidity outside makes keeping your house cool & dry an uphill battle, even for the most efficient HVAC systems out there.

The battle to maintain comfort levels can be even worse (and costly) if your system is starting to breakdown or is operating less than its best efficiency.

When your system starts to fail at maintaining a specific temperature and/or humidity levels, Lowcountry homeowners are left with the choice: pay for the repairs or invest in a replacement.

Knowing which option to choose (repair or replace) can be a difficult decision so to help you identify which one you should do, here’s a brief rundown of system situations when each should be considered.

When To Repair Your Central Air Conditioning System

Generally speaking, repairing makes more sense if your A/C system is new or recently installed (within the last 5-9 years).

Newer systems have less wear-and-tear on their individual components — both mechanical and electrical — so repairing specific components that breakdown makes more sense as the other components are probably in fairly good condition.

One of the things most Charleston homeowners with newer systems do, however, is sign up for a maintenance plan with their HVAC company.

Maintenance plans often include reduced pricing for replacement components if needed, lower service call rates and helps you identify & prevent larger AC issues that could occur in long-term.

When To Replace Your Central Air Conditioning System

Even if your system age is still early in its lifespan, repeated or recurring issues may be cause for installing a new system, especially if you don’t have a comprehensive or active warranty.

Replacing your central air conditioning is almost always the best option if your system is in the 10-15 year range of active use. Replacing components becomes more frequent and the likelihood of a major breakdown increases significantly.

A major breakdown will ultimately force you to choose the replacement option, but you definitely want to initiate an A/C replacement project before that happens.

If a breakdown occurs during this heat & humidity, you could be uncomfortable for awhile if your HVAC company is booked up — which is more likely during the peak summer season.

Contact Your Local HVAC Contractor About Promos & Financing

Whichever option you choose, be sure to ask about special offers on repairs, summer promos and new installation financing offers when you call your Lowcountry HVAC company.

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Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioning: What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Whether you’re a new or seasoned homeowner, chances are you’ll repair or replace at least one heating and cooling system during your lifetime.  


Generally, homes in Charleston have either a heat pump or a traditional central air conditioning system installed. When it’s your turn to update your heating and cooling system, which one do you choose?


In today’s post, we’re breaking down the differences between heat pumps and air conditioners. Take a minute and read our brief guide so that you can decide which is suitable for your home.



Heat Pumps 101


A heat pump uses electricity to move heat from one place (the outside) to another (your home). Heat pumps can cool your home during warm months, but they also transfer warmth inside when temperatures drop below freezing.


Heat pumps make an excellent option for keeping your home comfortable during both summer and winter. Think of them as reverse-cycle heating and cooling systems that run on electricity.



How Air Conditioners Work


On the other hand, an air conditioner cools your home by removing warm indoor air so that cooler outdoor air can replace it. Air conditioning units are most effective at lowering the indoor temperature when used with insulation, which helps keep heated interior air from escaping outside.


While its primary role is cooling your house down during summer, an air conditioner has other functions too. One task is drawing out humidity levels from the rooms in your home.


The most common air conditioning system is an HVAC unit powered by gas or electricity.



Benefits of Installing a Heat Pump


A heat pump has several benefits for homeowners.


First, heat pumps remove heat in the summer, and put it back during winter, so operating costs can end up being more affordable than most traditional AC systems. Second, heat pumps usually use less electricity to cool down a house.


Most homeowners can lower their energy bills by installing this type of system. Heat pumps make an excellent option if you only need one heating and cooling system for your whole house.



Looking at the Differences


While both systems have the same end goal — keeping the temperature inside your home cool and comfortable — there are some key differences.


With a growing interest in using renewable energy sources, such as solar or geothermal energy, many homeowners find using a heat pump reduces their impact on the environment.  Since air conditioners rely on gas or electricity to operate, they don’t need renewable energy sources to function.


Using a process called heat exchange, heat pumps require an adequate intake system to move heat from outside into your home. Air conditioners don’t need a method of transferring heat from outside because they’re designed to draw in hot air and expel it back out again within their unit.


Heat pumps can also be used as an alternative heating source during winter months while air conditioners can’t perform this function.



Where Do Heat Pumps Work Best?


Many people associate heat pumps with winter because they absorb heat from the outside and distribute it inside. However, if there’s not enough insulation on your house or you don’t have an adequate intake system in place (i.e., no cold air return), then heat pumps can cause indoor temperatures to drop below freezing point.


Heat pumps function best when temperatures are between a certain temperature range. They’re not suitable for extremely cold or hot climates. The moderate climate in Charleston makes heat pumps an ideal choice for cooling and heating.



The Cost of Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners


Cost is another factor homeowners need to consider when installing one vs. the other system. Generally, it’s more expensive to purchase a heat pump than a traditional AC unit.


Even so, a heat pump can save you money in the long run because it will use less energy.


If you’ve heard air conditioners are efficient, it could be the truth. If you’re talking about a newer unit. All AC units tend to lose their performance over time because of(among other things) how quickly dust can accumulate inside the unit.



Maintenance Matters


Heat pumps have fewer moving parts than air conditioning systems. That causes some homeowners to assume heat pumps don’t require a lot of maintenance or upkeep.


You must schedule heat pump maintenance regularly to keep it working at optimal levels. Even though they may not be as high maintenance as air conditioners, skipping maintenance on heat pumps may introduce multiple issues. One of those is the development of mold inside the system.


While most homeowners can handle many DIY home maintenance tasks, heat pump maintenance should be taken care of by a qualified HVAC service provider. Most people schedule service at least once a year.



Air Conditioners Need Maintenance Too


Air conditioning systems have a lot of moving parts and require more upkeep. Most HVAC service contractors recommend maintenance annually at a minimum.


Maintenance service for an AC unit should include the following checks:


  • Check filters
  • Drain lines
  • Refrigerant levels
  • Electrical components


The HVAC technician should also inspect the condensate pan. 


Depending on how much you use your air conditioner (some people use them year-round), you may need to schedule a bi-annual service.



Schedule Your Heat Pump Service Today


Understanding how a heat pump works and its unique service needs will help you ensure your heating and cooling system works properly year-round.


Suppose your heat pump works as your primary heating and cooling system. Then, it’s wise to schedule maintenance in the spring and again in the fall.


The team at Carolina Climate Control specializes in maintaining heat pumps. Contact us today to schedule your routine service.

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How To Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner Unit In Charleston

Monday, May 1st, 2017

As with most types of mechanical systems you use on a daily basis, knowing when to replace your air conditioner unit can be obvious, but sometimes it’s not.

While your A/C may still be functioning, outdated or older systems break down frequently and use significantly more energy to maintain your home’s preferred comfort levels.

So when is the right time to replace your A/C unit in your home in Charleston? Here are a few things to examine about your HVAC system before making the decision.

Age of Your Air Conditioner

The typical standard in the HVAC industry for an A/C unit lifespan is about 12 years, and even if your unit is still operational after 12 years, odds are that breakdowns will occur more frequently and energy consumption will be greater — leading to higher energy bills.

Frequent HVAC Issues

As mentioned above, if your A/C unit issues rise in frequency, this is probably a good sign for you to move forward with a new unit, rather than absorbing the costs of A/C repairs.

Also, if the issues are frequent, your hand may be forced to get a new A/C system anyway as there’s a good chance your system will give up completely — leaving you without A/C until a new unit gets into place.

Repair History

Has your system had any major repairs in the last 7-10 years? Major repairs include compressor, condenser coil, or blower motor replacements. If you’ve had 2 or more of these major repairs in that timeframe you may want to start the process of contacting us to scout out a new system for your home.

While replacing your A/C unit may seem challenging, if you take a look at the three items listed above you can be sure that moving forward with a new system is the best solution to keep you cool during the upcoming warm months in Charleston.

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HVAC Reviews: The Trane XV20i Variable Speed Air Conditioner

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Before we get into the review for this particular model of A/C unit, I’ll be straightforward with you: we love installing Trane HVAC systems so this review may seem a bit bias if you look at it on the surface.

To be honest though, our team has had experience installing every kind of make and model of HVAC system — past & present — and without a doubt, clients who have opted for Trane models have not only experienced longer lifetimes for their units, but also get the most out of their system on a month to month basis with its unparalleled efficiency.

So, why do a review on a product that we’re so obviously partial to?

To verify what we already know: Trane produces — hands down — the best systems on the market.

Here’s why.

Quick Overview of the XV20i

As Trane’s top-of-the-line residential A/C unit, what sets the XV20i apart from the rest is its precision temperature control using variable speed operation. (more on variable speed below).

This precision means less fluctuation of comfort levels throughout your home. Most of our clients with traditional systems will experience comfortable temperatures, with gradually increasing heat & humidity — which then triggers the A/C to turn on to correct the heat & humidity levels.

With the XV20i, the correction is continuous which avoid large temperature swings in your home.

Variable Speed

To continue the point made above, the variable speed feature of the XV20i essentially means your A/C unit will run continuously, correcting the temperature in your home almost instantaneously throughout the day.

Traditional A/C units operate only when the temperature rises above a preset level you choose (whatever you set the thermostat to).

Looking at the raw operation of the two models, it would seem that the traditional A/C unit would use less energy because it’s not running continuously.

However, since the continuous operation of the variable speed XV20i runs at a much lower capacity (because of the smaller temperature swings), it draws significantly less energy versus a traditional unit that will draw large amounts of energy to lower the large temperature swings in your home.


The industry standard of the HVAC industry for efficiency rating is what’s known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.

To put it simply, the SEER is the amount of cooling output in a cooling season (summer), divided by the amount of electrical input during the same season. Essentially Output divided by Input.

So, given two systems, the one that gives more Output using the same Input will be more efficient and will have a higher SEER rating.

SEER ratings are represented by a numerical value, which ranges from 13 to 22, typically.

Trane’s XV20i, as you might have guessed, has a SEER rating of 22; one of the highest in the HVAC industry today.

This SEER rating essentially means you’re getting more “bang for your buck”; more cooling output per electrical input.

The Bottom Line

Continuing the efficiency idea above, getting more output out of the energy you consume means you’ll end up using LESS energy with an XV20i to maintain comfort levels during the stifling summer season of the Lowcountry.

Less efficient models require more energy (raising energy bills) to maintain the same level of comfort.

What Customers Say About the XV20i

We are one of the most committed HVAC companies in Charleston when it comes to feedback, as evident by the number of reviews we receive, so we can say, with a fair amount of certainty, that the XV20i dramatically reduces energy bills across the board.

Whether it’s large homes or small homes, the XV20i will help keep more money in your pocket each month by lowering your energy bills.

Here at Carolina Climate Control, we strive to give our customers the most value out of their HVAC system possible. Value can mean many things, but in the HVAC world value means high quality service and products for lower cost. We stand by the products we recommend and install for this reason.

That’s why we know that you’ll be more than happy when you choose the XV20i for your home this summer.

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3 Extreme Examples of Why You Should Consider A Trane For Your Next Air Conditioning Unit In Charleston

Friday, March 10th, 2017

“It’s Hard To Stop A Trane”.

If you’ve watched enough T.V. or have been researching air conditioner companies in Charleston, odds are good you’ve read or seen Trane’s slogan, “It’s Hard To Stop A Trane” in a commercial or other kinds of hvac promotions.

The reason they chose that phrase for their slogan, is because they put their hvac products through some of the industry’s most rigourous product testing, ensuring your system will stand the test of time, no matter what the weather may bring here in the Lowcountry.

It’s easy to talk the talk, but after watching the videos below, you can definitely see why “It’s Hard To Stop A Trane”:


1. Underwater Operation

A Trane Unit Operating During A Flood


2. Backhoe’d

Hit By A Backhoe, Still Running


3. Crushed

Wall Falls On Trane. Trane Keeps Going


As one of the leading air conditioning installation companies here in Charleston, you can see why we recommend Trane air conditioners in the Lowcountry: It’s REALLY Hard To Stop A Trane.

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HVAC Explained: Air Conditioning vs Heat Pump HVAC Systems

Monday, February 13th, 2017

If you find your HVAC system in need of replacement in Charleston, you may be doing a bit of research online to see what air conditioning & heating options are available for your home.

Most likely, you’ll come across people who have reviewed and posted about who have had air conditioning units or heat pumps in their homes. We often get questions about what the differences are between these two units and which is best for homes in Charleston.

To help you out with your research, below is a quick review of heat pumps and air conditioning units, the differences between the two types of HVAC systems, and what you should think about before moving forward with each.

A/C Units & Heat Pumps Are Similar…

When it comes to keeping your house cool during the warmer seasons, air conditioners and heat pumps function exactly the same. They both pull heat from inside of the home and push it outside, giving you the cool, comfortable air you need during those summer months.

Both systems use a compressor to compress refrigerant contained in the system. When gas is compressed in the compressor, its temperature rises significantly and the gas flows through a condensing coil where most of the heat is removed by the condenser fan.

The gas (which is now liquid) travels to the evaporator coil, which is located in the house, it expands and rapidly drops in temperature and cools the evaporator coil.

Again with both systems, an air handler is used to bring the warm air in your home through the cooled evaporator coil and provide the newly “conditioned” air all throughout your home.

…But Different.

While both air conditioners and heat pumps pull the warm air from your home to cool it, a heat pump can reverse the process to help keep you warm during the colder temperature months by moving warm air outside into your home. Essentially with a heat pump you have one unit that can do twice the work.

With a conventional air conditioning unit, you’ll have to have a separate heating system, like an electric or gas furnace.

What’s Best For Your Home In Charleston

Heat pumps are especially great for places that have more mild climates, where temperatures don’t dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit very often. They’re able to simply transfer the heat, rather than generating it, keeping your energy bills down in the process. If temperatures do dip below 40, heat pumps are equipped with an emergency heating source that makes sure that you stay warm.

Many Lowcountry homeowners still prefer having a traditional a/c & furnace setup, but since much of the year here in Charleston stays relatively mild, heat pumps are a great way to keep your annual energy savings down and are becoming more popular here in Charleston, Summerville, Mt Pleasant and other areas in the Lowcountry.

Whichever option you choose to go with, be sure to fully review the system with an HVAC professional as they’ll help you find the best, most affordable option to keep you comfortable all year round.

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