Millie’s Remodel: HVAC Update + How to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System
This is the next update in the Millie’s Remodel series. Recently I had to decide whether I needed to replace the HVAC unit for Millie. Although it was an expensive proposition, the decision on brand was an easy one for me.
Millie’s Remodel: HVAC Update + How to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System
Thank you for your patience with the Millie’s Remodel series. Today I have the next update and this one could actually save you money and the dread of replacing your HVAC unit sooner than you want to.
Just so you know, TRANE is a Millie’s Remodel project sponsor. But, if you’ve been around my website for a while, you know I don’t promote just any brands. If I’m going to mention a brand, you can be sure I’d recommend them to my best friend or my own mother. Now that we’re past the legal disclosure stuff, read on to find out why I like TRANE so much and how to extend the life of your HVAC system!
Millie’s Remodel Inspection:
During the home inspection at Millie’s Remodel, the inspector told me the exhaust fan for the gas furnace was no longer functioning in the unit. Given the age of the HVAC, he recommended replacing it instead of fixing it. Plus, the unit was incredibly loud and sounded like a helicopter! I knew it would need to be replaced.
When TRANE contacted me about being a Millie’s Remodel sponsor, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for me to share how we decided to purchase a TRANE in the past and how long it lasted.
Back in Time:
The year was 2001 and Pretty Handsome Guy and I had just moved to Raleigh. The Dot Com bubble had burst and we were left without full-time jobs. We had just purchased our first house—needless-to-say—money was tight. We were surviving, but money was still not flowing in. Despite our financial situation, we decided to host a party for some of our new friends. Midway through the party, I looked at our friend Jaye, who was 8 months pregnant. Sweat ran off her forehead and I suddenly realized it was a bit hot in the house. I kept turning the thermostat lower, but each time I checked it, the temperature was climbing instead of going down.
After the party, I walked outside and discovered the unit was covered in ice. I knew enough to know that was not a good sign. We called a few HVAC companies and got the news that it was probably best to replace our old HVAC.
Although we were cash-strapped, we knew we didn’t want to make a poor decision on a major system for our home. After a lot of research, we decided to purchase a TRANE unit. Little did I know that this same unit would still be pumping conditioned air almost two decades later. Our rationale for choosing a TRANE was: if we chose less than stellar HVAC equipment we could be looking at replacing it within 10 years. Whereas, if we chose a TRANE, we could expect to have the same unit for 15+ years. It made sense to spend a little more money now, and hopefully, only have to replace the HVAC twice over 30 years versus paying for three systems in the same time frame? Now doesn’t it make sense to spend a little more up front to save you money in the future?
Guess what! Our rationale was correct. In case you weren’t aware, we moved in 2007 to the house across the street from our first home. Over the years we’ve watched three families move into our old house. Recently I was talking to the current owner and I asked her if she still had the TRANE unit we installed. She told me yes, she did, and it’s still working perfectly! Here it is:
Deciding what brand HVAC system to buy for Millie, is obviously an easy decision. After seeing the old TRANE we put in at our old house still pumping heat and cool air after more than 18 years, why would I choose anything else!
How to Select a New HVAC System:
Ask around. Find out from friends, family, or neighbors which system they installed and who installed it. Ask how old their system is and if they’ve had any issues with the equipment. When I mentioned I was having a TRANE installed at Millie’s Remodel I received several messages from my followers who were also happy TRANE owners:
How to Hire an HVAC contractor:
I recommend finding local TRANE contractors in your area by going to the TRANE website. Then look up the recommended contractors on Better Business Bureau and search for Google or Yelp reviews. When you call, ask for references and call the references. (Not sure what to ask? I have a great article on How to Hire Contractors with suggested questions to help you get the most information from references.)
The HVAC Installation:
Once the day arrived to install the new HVAC system at Millie’s Remodel, the contractors removed the old unit. I was not sad to see that eyesore and earsore go! (It was incredibly loud.)
Luckily the ductwork was almost brand new, so we all agreed to keep it so I could save a little money. The contractors did remove the old pad and put down a new one.
Tip: Always make sure your contractor levels the new pad. Non-level pads can put undue stress on your unit. Do not let them throw mulch or leaves (compostable materials) under the pad to level. They need dirt or gravel or other non-composting material. If you have eagle eyes, you may have noticed a piece of lumber leveling the old unit. This is not an acceptable way to level your HVAC pad.
While the guys were installing the new TRANE unit (I chose the TRANE XR14c which is not a top of the line model, but is still energy-efficient and quiet.) I asked the foreman a question after he finished installing the unit. I specifically asked him what he saw in terms of age of units when removing old HVAC equipment specifically TRANE units vs. other brands. Watch the video to hear his unscripted response:
How to Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly:
If you only do one thing to prolong the life of your HVAC unit, it would be to change the filters regularly. Whether that means monthly or up to three months will depend on your home’s dust levels (and any pets you have.) Keep an eye on your filters. If they are showing more dust and hair before three months is up, change them more regularly.
Did you know TRANE has filters specifically designed to meet the balance of reducing dust and lint while keeping your HVAC system running longer? Best of all, you can order them from Walmart and receive them the next day!
If your home is going through a renovation, it’s important to change the filters after a lot of debris has been released into the air. The day after my drywall contractors finished sanding, I replaced the filters. And immediately after the floor refinishers sanded the floors, I replaced the filter. When the renovations are complete I’ll replace them again.
Other things you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly is to keep vegetation and landscaping at least 18 inches away from the unit. There needs to be proper airflow around the unit for it to work efficiently.
Call for a maintenance tune-up and check on your system in the Spring and Fall. Don’t wait for temperature extremes to find out your system was stressed and you are now without heating or cooling.
For more maintenance tips and ways to keep your system running a lot longer, read these maintenance tips from TRANE. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this nice, quiet, and efficient new HVAC system from TRANE!
Do you have any TRANE stories? Have a system that proves the saying, “It’s hard to stop a Trane.” Please share in the comments!
Have a great holiday, I’ll be back in January with the next Millie’s Remodel update!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for TRANE. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.
Thanks so great to hear!!! Thanks for sharing.
My grandpa was a heat and air guy for years in the DFW metroplex. He always said Trane was the best!