New System Installation
Our New System Installation Services
It’s inevitable that any heating and cooling system will at some point need to be replaced. While regular maintenance can boost a system’s efficiency and extend the usual 10-15 year lifespan, there is no magic fix to make them last forever. And that’s not always a bad thing.
Replacing your older unit with new, higher efficiency technology can dramatically increase comfort and cut energy costs. Some high efficiency new systems are tax credit qualifying, so you’ll save even more. When replacing a system, it’s also a good time to make other improvements like insulating and cleaning your ductwork for a fresh start.
Guirkin Plumbing, Heating & Cooling installs and services all makes and models of equipment, and we are an authorized Trane Dealer.
One of the most important aspects of installing new equipment is making sure that new systems are properly sized for the space. Issues like excessive humidity, rooms that never seem to reach the desired temperature, or systems that run continuously are clues that a system was improperly sized. Units that are too large are just as bad as too small. Choosing an experienced HVAC contractor is essential. Keep in mind that you will be relying on this purchase for your family’s comfort (and paying the associated energy bills) for a decade or more. Not surprisingly, units that are improperly sized also tend to wear out faster. If you're replacing a system, let us know about any issues you had with your previous equipment so we can remedy them. We may also recommend ductwork modifications, such as dampers or new returns, for increased comfort.
The new ductless systems that you may have seen mounted on walls or ceilings may be a good solution as well. These systems are extremely efficient, remote controlled, and can be mounted on walls or ceilings. They don't require ductwork, and are only used when you need them.
Most change outs & installs are completed the same day, to minimize the disruption to your schedule. We are also licensed gas fitters, so you won’t experience delays if you choose a gas furnace.
Whole House Air Conditioners
The lowered temperatures and reduced humidity afforded by central air conditioning make the hot, sticky Virginia summers bearable. For some people with health problems, A/C is essential to health, as heat stress can be deadly.
Guirkin has over forty years’ experience installing, repairing, and maintaining whole house air conditioning systems of all types. We are also authorized Trane dealers.
If your home doesn’t have an all in one heating & cooling unit like a heat pump, you most likely have a standalone air conditioning unit. These systems operate on a similar principle as a heat pump, transferring heat from one air space (inside) to another (outside) with a chemical refrigerant. They move the cooled air through ductwork with a fan, to distribute it evenly within the space.
Like heat pumps, AC units’ efficiency is rated in units called SEERS. The higher the SEER rating of a unit, the more effectively it uses electricity to cool. A higher SEER rating means lower operating costs.
It’s important to understand that most residential AC units operate at about a twenty degree “split” or difference, in temperatures between the outside and inside air. That means if it is 100 degrees out, your system won’t be able to chill your entire home to 60 degrees. That doesn’t mean that your unit is broken, it’s just at it’s maximum cooling capacity.
Not only does your air conditioner remove heat from the air, it pulls out humidity too. But that water has to go somewhere, which is why your AC has a drain pan and outputs water. Clogged drains & a full condensate pan will throw a switch in your unit that stops it’s operation to avoid damaging it, and it’s one of the top reasons for a service call. Cleaning your drain pain is simple enough, but if your drain line is clogged & your system shuts down, you should call a pro. A trained tech should check & reset your system and clear the drain blockage with compressed air.
Another extremely common cause of service calls for AC problems is dirty filters. Air conditioning systems will freeze if the flow of warm air over the coil is impeded, as the coolant has nothing to warm it back up during the cycle. Regular filter changes are essential in summer for efficiency.
Of course, the best way to ensure that your system is running properly is regular seasonal maintenance. A well maintained unit can cost 20% less to run and last twice as long as a neglected one. Schedule a cooling check up in the Spring and enjoy reliable AC all Summer.
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Ductless Mini Split Systems
Mini Split systems are a flexible way to control comfort throughout your space.
Mounted on the all or ceiling of the room they are intended to heat and cool, Mini-split systems have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit(s) (evaporator). They are easy to install- usually requiring only a hole through a wall for the power and communication cables, copper tubing, and a condensation drain line. These link the outdoor and indoor units.
Mini-split systems are similar to traditional Heat Pumps in that they transfer heat from one air space to another- they are air-to-air systems. But because they don’t use ductwork, Mini-Splits allow you to heat and cool each room independently. They are not only great solutions for whole home installations, they make good additions to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, like baseboard heat or wood stoves.
Mini-Splits are a good choice for room additions or finished space renovations where extending or installing ductwork is not feasible. Many energy efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system also utilize Mini-Split units.
Because they heat and cool a single space, Mini-Split units can save you money. You aren’t conditioning the whole house, just the rooms you use most, when you need it.
If you have questions about whether a Mini-Split is the right solution for your needs, give us a call, We’d be glad to discuss these new systems with you.
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Gas Furnace Systems
Gas furnaces are an extremely popular choice for energy efficient heating in Virginia.
A natural gas furnace converts gas to heat through combustion.
The furnace transfers this heat to a heat exchanger, and when the temperature reaches a set point, a blower is activated that circulates the warmed air through your ductwork. Furnaces require proper ventilation to exhaust waste and a supply of fresh air for combustion. High efficiency 90% furnaces have a by-product of water vapor. This water vapor returns to the furnace through the exhaust PVC and is then drained.
Gas furnaces are the most popular choice for the majority of modern homes with central heating and air conditioning. You can only use a gas furnace if you have a gas line hooked up to your home. If that is an option, heating with gas can be inexpensive compared to electricity- and gas furnaces provide a “warm” feeling heat compared to a more diffuse heating from a heat pump.
Like a heat pump, your furnace should be properly sized for your home, and utilizes ductwork to transport warmed air between rooms. Gas furnaces are installed inside your home in a utility space, closet or crawl.
While modern equipment has more safety features than ever before, you should still plan to have regular seasonal maintenance on your furnace-to clean burners and nozzles, check pressures and inspect blower parts and electrical connections. A carbon monoxide detector is also very important whenever you heat with any type of combustion.
Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, which is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. Like the miles per gallon rating on your automobile, the higher the AFUE rating, the lower your fuel costs.
All furnaces manufactured today must meet at least 80 percent AFUE. If your furnace is 10 to 15 years old, it very well may fall below the current furnace minimum and waste energy, so replacing it could save you money.
If you have questions about your furnace, give Guirkin a call. We’re happy to help! Contact us for A Quote Download Brochure
What You Need to Know About Your Heat Pump
In technical terms, a heat pump is a mechanical refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool an enclosed space.
Installation for this type of system typically consists of two parts: an indoor unit (called an air handler) and an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioner, but referred to as a heat pump. A compressor circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units in copper piping called a line set.
A heat pump is essentially a heat exchanger. It is constantly moving warm air from one place to another, to where its needed or not needed, depending on the season. Even in air that seems very cold, heat energy is present. When it’s cold outside a heat pump extracts this outside heat and transfers it inside. When it’s warm outside, it reverses directions and removes heat from the air inside your home, disposing of it outside.
The efficiency of how a heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat between inside and outside, is measured in units called SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient a heat pump is. A higher SEER rating means a lower power bill.
Higher efficiency systems can also be tax credit qualifying. Sizing a Heat Pump for the load of conditioning a given space is as much an art as a science. A bigger system is not always better. Systems that are too large or too small will not efficiently condition your space, adequately remove humidity, or provide consistent comfort.
Like your auto, your Heat Pump is a mechanical system with many moving parts, motors, belts, fans, pressurized lines & electrical components. Also like your car this delicate system operates under stressful weather conditions at all hours, protecting your family. So it stands to reason that your Heat Pump also requires regular maintenance- just like your car. If you don’t change your oil, how long will your engine last? Your Heat Pump is the same.
Keeping your coil clean, ensuring adequate voltages and pressures, and correcting small issues before they become big expensive problems is what seasonal maintenance on your system is for. Regular maintenance can double the life of your equipment, while lowering your power bills up to 20% over a comparable, but unmaintained system. Heat Pumps today can be configured with many features. Smart Home controls can automate your system’s operation; you can add a UV air cleaner or a whole house humidifier; or even control your system remotely with an app on your phone!
If you are considering a new Heat Pump, you have more options now than ever before. We have over 40 years’ experience installing Richmond’s comfort systems. Call us and learn why Guirkin should install your new Heat Pump.
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Trane has an excellent reputation for quality & innovation, and some of the best warranty coverage available. If you're installing new heating and cooling equipment, Trane offers some extremely high efficiency units- up to 22SEER. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficiently the system uses energy. That translates to lower power bills.
In addition to saving money on your energy bills by upgrading to a high efficiency unit, the new Energy Star rated systems of 15SEER or higher qualify for a $300 tax credit. The Commonwealth of Virginia offers a nominal credit for qualifying systems as well.
Through our partnerships with Trane and Wells Fargo, we may be able to help you secure financing for your new system. Talk to your salesperson for details.