Archive for April, 2014


You often hear that maintaining your air conditioner is kind of like maintaining your car. That analogy is getting a little boring. Let’s compare it to going to the dentist instead.

Perhaps no two dentists have exactly the same recommendations—maybe yours likes Crest mouthwash and mine likes Listerine—but for the most part, I think they’d agree that you should brush twice a day, floss once a day, and have a professional cleaning twice a year.

Fortunately, your air conditioner doesn’t require nearly as much maintenance. But then again, you also don’t rely on it to chew up your sirloin.

Similar to not brushing or flossing, not maintaining your AC can have consequences. And while cavities and root canals aren’t exactly cheap, having to prematurely replace your air conditioner can be even costlier.

Without any further dental analogies, here are the most common AC problems we see that are easily preventable with proper AC maintenance.

Clogged Air Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters greatly reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency—making it work much harder to cool your home. The more stress you put on your system, the earlier it’s likely to kick the bucket.

Depending on how often you use your AC, you should change or clean the filter every one to three months.

Air Conditioner Leaks

When your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home, the problem can often be attributed to refrigerant leaks. If your system is low on refrigerant or has a refrigerant leak, it can’t properly cool the air that passes through your unit.

If your air conditioner is in good condition and has been maintained, additional refrigerant is usually not necessary. But the longer you wait to repair a leak, the more costly the repair will likely be.

AC Fan Problems

If you’re experiencing interruptions to your home’s cooling schedule and you don’t have a leak, the problem could be your AC’s fan—which propels the cool air through your ducts and into your home.

Unlikely a simple filter change, this likely isn’t a repair you can make on your own.

Schedule AC Maintenance in Frederick, MD

I think you know where this is going. If you want to prevent these common AC problems and avoid pricey repair and not risk shortening your system’s life, you should let a professional come inspect your system before cooling season begins.

If you live in Frederick, MD and  sign up for a maintenance plan with GAC, you’ll receive:

  • Priority Service – Your calls automatically move to the top of the list.
  • Seasonal Tune-ups – We will tune-up your HVAC system twice a year. This helps keep your system operating at maximum efficiency and reduces the chance of an in-season breakdown.
  • Twenty Percent Off Repairs – In the event that you do have a breakdown, you’ll receive 20 percent off on the repair.
  • Loyalty Discount – Your membership is locked in at your current rate for as long as you continue to renew.

We can also cover your humidifier and air cleaner maintenance. This includes cleaning, checking, and replacing your humidifier pads and cleaning checking, and replacing your air cleaner filters.

Contact us today to sign up for AC maintenance plan in the Frederick, MD area.

Category : Air Conditioning | Blog

When you’re researching a new cooling system for you home, you might be wondering which system reigns supreme—the central air conditioner or the heat pump? Naturally, the question depends on the climate you live in and your home’s unique cooling needs. Since we’re located here in Maryland, we’ll focus on the best cooling system for your Maryland home. Call us selfish, but we’ve been here for over 40 years, so we know the area pretty well.

And as far as your home’s unique cooling needs, we can send one our comfort specialists out to perform a home evaluation, make recommendations, and offer you a free estimate on a system replacement.

But for the sake of this blog post, we’ll just go over the general pros and cons of each system.

Central Air Conditioners

Depending on which model of central air conditioner you choose, its functions may include:

  • Air cooling
  • Air circulation
  • Air cleaning
  • Dehumidifying/humidifying

If your home has existing duct work (for example, if you use forced air heating), installing central air conditioning can be a quick and affordable project.

Heat Pumps

An air source heat pump has the parts and functions of a central air conditioner, but it also offers a heating function. In this way, you can almost think of an air conditioner as a one-way heat pump.

So a heat pump can offer:

  • Air cooling
  • Air heating
  • Air circulation
  • Air cleaning
  • Dehumidifying/humidifying

Even better, ground source heat pumps also offer the benefit of water heating.

Heat pumps, especially geothermal ones, can be expensive to install, but can often save money in the long run—not only in energy savings but also in saved maintenance costs.

And what about duct work? The good news is, if you don’t currently have duct work in your home, there are ductless heat pumps available. However, this option tends to be best for small spaces.

The Winner?

So who wins the cooling system war? While both options are great for adequately cooling your home, the heat pump has a slight edge for its additional heating function. While it might cost you more up front, you’re more likely to benefit from savings long term.

Of course the best way to determine which cooling system is best for you and your home is to call the experts at GAC. We’ll evaluate your home and help you pick the right system (and correctly sized system!) for your home.

Call us today for a free replacement estimate in the Frederick, MD area.

Category : Air Conditioning | Blog