Ostrom Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Ostrom Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
540-342-0555

Serving Roanoke & Southwest Virginia
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How Long Does a Central Air Conditioner Last?

How Long Does a Central Air Conditioner Last?As the hot, humid weather arrives in the Roanoke area and your air conditioner is running full time to keep your home comfortable you may be wondering how many more years that old air conditioner will last. The short answer is approximately 10-15 years. However, the long answer is more complicated. The answer depends on many factors, including the quality of the furnace itself – lower cost models will likely need replacement before a more expensive, higher end model does. A lower cost air conditioner in a hot climate may be ready for replacement in as little as 6-8 years.

The good news is that many of the factors that determine how long your central air conditioner will last are under your control. The most important thing you can do is have your air conditioner professionally maintained each year. This will not only make the unit last longer, it will help it operate more efficiently saving you money on your utility bill and unexpected repairs.

Because most air conditioner parts can be replaced as they wear out, it's usually a good idea to repair parts as wear out. If the cost is not too high, it can make sense to keep an older air conditioner running longer. The exception would be for air conditioners that are more than a decade old. New air conditioners operate at much higher efficiency than units made just a decade ago, so replacing the unit may be more cost effective in the long run when compared to the repair cost of keeping a 10-15 year old unit running.

Have questions about your central air conditioner? Give Ostrom a call, we're here to help.

Not Enough Water Pressure? Here Are Some Solutions

If your home's water pressure doesn't seem strong enough there are a number of possible causes. First, if the water pressure is only low in a few places, such as a shower head or faucet, it could caused by a clogged shower head or faucet aerator. Mineral deposits can build up over time and reduce the flow of water. Soaking the shower head or faucet aerator in vinegar overnight will dissolve the buildup and get the water flowing again.

Low Water Pressure

If low water pressure is a problem with all plumbing fixtures in the home, inside and outside, it's important to consider the age of the home. If the home was built in the 1960 or 1970s it may have galvanized steel pipes. The galvanization was designed to prevent corrosion of the steel pipes. However, when the galvanization wears away rust can build up over time. The result is gradually reduced water pressure. To fix the problem, the pipes will need to be replaced. If the house was built in the 1980s or later, there is likely another issue with the plumbing. Start by checking that the main water shut-off valve is fully open. If the water was turned off recently for plumbing work, it may not have been reopened completely.

Water Pressure Testing
Water pressure can be tested using a pressure gauge on an outside water spigot. Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and normal water pressure is typically between 30 and 80 PSI. If the reading is less than 40 psi, the city may be delivering water at a low pressure. If the city can't boost the pressure, consider installing a water pressure booster system.

Have questions about water pressure in your home? Give Ostrom a call. We can help with all your plumbing needs.
Buying a new central air conditioner is a major investment. When repairing your old unit is no longer an option and it's time to purchase a new air conditioner, here are some things to consider.

Roanoke Air Conditioner Installation

1. EFFICIENCY - Depending on the age of your old air conditioner, installing a new, energy efficient system could pay for itself over time. By looking at the Energy Star Label on new air conditioners you can find out how efficient the unit is, as indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. Today, the minimum SEER rating on a system is 14 and systems are available up to 25 SEER. 

2. MULTIPLE SPEED OPERATION - Multi-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and small temperature swings.

3. AIR QUALITY - If indoor air quality is a concern, you can effectively reduce indoor pollution by installing a whole house air cleaner to the AC units air handler. You'll breathe easier knowing that your new system is capturing the contaminants that can cause health problems.

Have questions about choosing the best air conditioner for your home? Call Ostrom. We can install a central air conditioner that perfectly matches your needs.
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