The Differences Between Part Costs and Final Costs

This blog was created to address the occasional service customer who did some online research and did not like our quoted price. This customer wanted to get a parts and labor breakdown, which we stated we would not do (for reasons discussed later).

We will discuss our cost structure for service first, and then address why we did not break down our flat rate price into parts and labor for our customer.

Our Direct Costs:

Direct Parts Costs

The part researched likely was a generic part from a website like Many times, we will choose a better Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part more suitable we buy from Carrier or other local distributors that are not available to the public and are of higher quality & more expensive.  Plus, many times there are other, ancillary components needed to properly install the part.  Finally, when you get the part from Grainger, it is caveat emptor (buyer beware) with no warranty.  If it breaks or you install it improperly, you ‘own’ the result.  And know that we will not install your provided part for you, that is a recipe for disaster and company liability.

Direct Labor Costs

First, our technicians are ‘on the clock’ the moment they leave the shop or previous customer, many customers do not consider this, and as such they are on payroll which we must bill for. Second, our top technicians have wages and benefits that exceed $100/hour.  People do not realize this, but the supply and demand for these highly skilled workers justifies that pay.  Our technicians are licensed and professional journeymen with years of experience and we believe in supporting our technicians with a fair wage for their skill.  We also want to make sure they can support their family at the end of the day.

Our Indirect Costs:

Overall Costs to Run a Contracting Company

Novak Heating & Air has between 10-15 HVAC installers, and technicians at any point in time. The overhead to keep these people working in the field is over $2 million per year, as described below.

Costs to Answer Your Phone Call

Small companies with low rates have low overhead. They also have a hard time responding and rely on voicemail and having customers wait in the cold or heat.  We have dispatchers who answer the phone, administrative people to organize, and other office and field support personnel.  This is needed to make sure you can count on us to install and warranty a new part and get you back up and running when you need us.

Costs to Dispatch the Technician

Our technicians come out to your home in trucks valued at over $50,000 each with another $35,000 in shelving and tooling to meet your needs. We also pay rent to have an office, shop, and yard to help inventory and dispatch our fleet. 


Why We Don’t Breakdown Flat-Rate Costs into Parts & Labor:

The Actual Cost Breakdown is Muddy

When you factor in the above, how do you allocate these overhead costs to parts and labor? These parts do need to be ordered by office personnel, which adds costs.  Labor is obviously the most expensive part of service when everything is factored in.

Giving an Answer Always Leads to More Questions

In the past, we have ‘knuckled under’ and sometimes made the best attempt to split these costs down. Invariably this has led to more questions about how we get to the numbers we quote.  This becomes a challenge to the office.  We keep internal formulas that allow us to recoup our overhead costs and give us a modest 10% net profit; just as many companies do.  Service work is inherently warranty-prone with fixing older equipment, so even hitting our target profit goals is difficult.

We know that there will always be customers who feel they are getting ‘ripped off’ and there is nothing we can do about it.  We attempt to be as transparent as possible while trying to run a business as smoothly as possible, and helping as many customers as we can as quickly as we can.  We love to save the day when your system goes down.

Ultimately when we give you a flat rate for service, we honor it and warrant it.  Essentially what you are doing is paying a bit extra for ‘peace of mind’ and a guaranteed solution to your problem.  Novak Heating & Air will never promise to be the cheapest.  Our honor-bound promise is to do the job right & take care of our customers.

The Benefits of Professional AC Repair in Cedar Rapids, IA

As summer heats up in Cedar Rapids, your AC unit kicks into action. It works tirelessly to keep your home cool and comfortable. While these systems are built to last 10 years or more, with constant use over our hot and humid summers, it’s natural for them to experience occasional problems. When that happens, you want your cool air back as quickly as possible.

While it may be tempting to tinker around and attempt to fix your air conditioning system yourself, this often leads to further complications. Instead, we encourage you to call the experienced team at Novak Heating and Cooling for professional AC repair in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In this blog, we’ll explain why and what you can do to cut down on costly air conditioning repairs.

Why DIY Air Conditioning Repair Is a Bad Idea

When your AC malfunctions, it’s easy to jump online and search for quick-fix solutions. Many homeowners believe they can handle repairs themselves after reading a few articles or watching instructional videos. However, air conditioners are complex machines, and diving into DIY repairs often leads to the realization that the task is much more complicated than it appears. Here’s why it’s best to leave your AC repair in Cedar Rapids, IA, to professional HVAC technicians: 

  • Complexity of Systems: AC units involve intricate components and electrical systems that require specialized knowledge and tools.
  • Risk of Additional Damage: Incorrect handling of HVAC systems can cause more harm than good, potentially leading to expensive repairs or even complete system replacement.
  • Safety Concerns: Without proper training, you risk electrical shocks or damaging your home’s wiring and infrastructure.
  • Voiding Warranty: Many central air conditioning systems come with warranties that are voided if HVAC system repairs are not carried out by certified professionals.
  • Cost Efficiency: Although it might seem cheaper at first, DIY air conditioner repairs can end up costing more due to the need for subsequent professional intervention to fix botched attempts.

It seems clear that for durability, safety, and cost-effectiveness, professional air conditioning services are the way to go.

Trust Novak for Prompt, Professional AC System Repairs

When you choose Novak Heating and Cooling for your AC repair in Cedar Rapids, IA, you’re not just getting a repair; you’re investing in a full-service approach that guarantees your air conditioning system is carefully evaluated, correctly fixed, and finely tuned for optimal future performance. 

Here’s what our expert HVAC technicians will do during an air conditioner repair, and why it’s best to trust these critical repair services to our team:

Thorough Diagnosis

Our technicians employ state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to precisely pinpoint the root cause of your AC issues, ensuring nothing is overlooked. Beyond addressing the immediate problem, we assess your entire system to ensure all components are working properly, helping to identify and rectify potential issues before they escalate.

Quality Repair

Our team arrives equipped with the necessary tools and has access to top-tier parts designed specifically for your model, ensuring a perfect fit and lasting repairs. We stand behind our work with guarantees on all repairs, reflecting our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Efficiency and Safety

Our experienced professionals can efficiently repair all types of cooling systems thanks to their extensive training and familiarity with various AC models. We follow strict safety protocols during every air conditioner repair, protecting both your system and your household from any risks associated with electrical components and refrigerants.

Long-Term Savings

We address not only the symptoms but the underlying causes of your AC issues, helping to prevent future breakdowns and save you money on your utility bills. Proper repairs and fine-tuning by our technicians can significantly enhance the efficiency of your AC unit, reducing energy costs and extending the lifespan of your system.

Professional Advice

After completing repairs, our technicians offer personalized advice on maintaining your AC system to prevent future issues. Depending on your usage patterns and specific needs, we might also suggest system upgrades or adjustments to further improve your system’s performance and efficiency.

If you encounter an AC emergency, you can always rely on our 24-hour service in the Cedar Rapids area. We operate efficiently, keep your space clean, and often have the necessary parts for immediate repairs. If a repair isn’t the solution, we’ll discuss replacement options with you and offer honest advice. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we’re committed to delivering quality service that keeps your home comfortable and your air conditioner in top condition.

Preventative Maintenance: The Key to Fewer Repairs

Regular maintenance is key to minimizing the need for repairs. At Novak Heating and Cooling, we stress the importance of a yearly tune-up for your cooling system. During these tune-ups, our HVAC contractors thoroughly inspect your system, clean components, and make necessary adjustments to optimize performance.

We also offer Worry-Free Maintenance Contracts designed to eliminate the hassle of scheduling future appointments. These affordable contracts provide priority scheduling and reduced rates on residential service calls.

Contact Novak Today for AC Repair in Cedar Rapids, IA

Don’t wait until your AC goes out completely. Contact Novak Heating and Cooling today for AC repair in Cedar Rapids, IA. We offer a comprehensive range of heating and air conditioning services to meet all your needs throughout the year, including heating system repairs, furnace installation, indoor air quality solutions, and more.

How Often Should an Air Conditioner Require Repairs?

When you own a home appliance, it’s important to understand its lifespan and what to expect in terms of regular maintenance. Knowing what’s normal and what signals a problem can save you time, money, and discomfort. 

When it comes to your air conditioning system, you may be wondering how often should an air conditioner require repairs? That’s a great question and one that we at Novak Heating and Cooling can provide an expert answer to.

Serving homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, since 1934, we’re well-versed in all aspects of HVAC services. In this blog, we’ll talk more about the typical repair frequency for air conditioners and discuss what it might mean if your AC system needs repairs more often than that.

How Often Should an Air Conditioner Require Repairs? What’s Normal and What’s Not

Typically, a well-maintained air conditioner should not require repairs very often. Most air conditioning systems are designed to run efficiently and without major issues for several years. On average, you might expect to call for professional repairs every few years, depending on the age and usage of your unit. Generally, newer air conditioners (less than 5 years old) require minimal repairs. As your AC system ages, the frequency of repairs might increase.

If your air conditioner feels like it’s developed a friendly rapport with your local repair technician, it’s definitely a cause for concern. Here are some potential reasons why your AC unit might be a frequent flyer for repairs:

Neglected Annual Maintenance

Air conditioners require service to run properly. Professional AC maintenance is like giving your air conditioner a check-up. Just like you wouldn’t want to drive your car for thousands of miles without an oil change, skipping routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit can lead to problems down the road. 

A clogged air filter, for instance, can restrict airflow and make your AC system work harder than necessary. This extra strain can lead to premature wear and tear, increasing the likelihood of breakdowns.

Underlying Issues

Frequent repairs might be a sign of a more serious problem lurking beneath the surface. Think of it like a warning light on your car dashboard. While a single instance might not be a huge concern, it could indicate a deeper issue that needs attention. 

A qualified HVAC technician can diagnose the root cause of your air conditioning system’s woes. They’ll use their expertise to pinpoint the problem, whether it’s a failing component, refrigerant leaks, or electrical issues. Once they diagnose the culprit, they can recommend the best course of action, be it repair or replacement.

Improper Installation

Air conditioners are complex systems, and proper installation is crucial for their long-term health. Unfortunately, shoddy or incorrect installation can lead to a host of problems down the line. 

These issues can manifest in several ways, from uneven cooling throughout your home to higher energy bills, and yes, even frequent repairs. If you suspect your AC troubles might stem from a faulty installation, a qualified technician can assess the situation and recommend solutions.

Don’t wait for your air conditioner to give up entirely! By being aware of these potential causes of frequent repairs, you can take proactive measures to maintain your cooling system. It’s recommended to have your air conditioner serviced at least once a year to ensure it runs efficiently and to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Regular servicing helps detect issues early, ultimately keeping your cool air flowing and ensuring your home remains comfortable.

How Novak Heating and Cooling Can Help

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we know how essential a cool, comfortable home is during the hot Cedar Rapids summers. We provide professional air conditioner repair and air conditioner maintenance services to ensure your air conditioner works perfectly throughout the season.

Our certified HVAC technicians are highly skilled at identifying and resolving any problems with your AC unit. They arrive promptly, prepared to service your air conditioner efficiently, allowing you to return to the comfort of a cool home as soon as possible. We focus on durable repairs, aiming to reduce the frequency of issues and the inconvenience they cause.

We also offer Worry-Free Maintenance Contracts, which include several benefits:

  • Priority Scheduling: Skip the wait during peak times! Our contract customers get first dibs on AC service calls, so you’re not stuck in the heat waiting for a fix.
  • Discounted Rates: Routine air conditioner maintenance extends the life and enhances the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. A twice-yearly maintenance inspection is highly recommended. Our maintenance contracts provide customers with lower prices on spring and fall maintenance, helping you catch and fix small issues before they turn into big, costly problems.
  • Peace of Mind: Enjoy the assurance that comes with regular, professional air conditioning maintenance. With our Worry-Free Maintenance Contracts, you know your system is in good hands, and you can relax in the comfort of your cool home.

Don’t let AC troubles ruin your summer. Get in touch with Novak Heating and Cooling, your reliable air conditioner repair and air conditioner maintenance team in Cedar Rapids, IA. We’re here to keep your air conditioner running smoothly throughout the cooling season.

Call Novak for All Your AC Repair and Maintenance Needs

Understanding how often an air conditioner should require repairs helps you maintain your unit properly and plan for future needs. With the right care and professional support, you can enjoy efficient cooling without unexpected breakdowns. 

If you’re in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area and need air conditioner repair or air conditioner maintenance services, you can always count on Novak Heating and Cooling. Our team ensures that your air conditioning needs are met with the highest standards of service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

When to Replace Your Air Conditioner in Cedar Rapids, IA

Struggling with rising energy bills, inconsistent cooling, or constant repairs? These could all be signs that it’s time to consider a new air conditioner. In this blog from Novak Heating and Cooling, we’ll help you navigate the decision of when to replace your air conditioner in Cedar Rapids, IA. We’ll also explain why choosing an experienced HVAC company like us for your air conditioning installation is crucial for optimal comfort and peace of mind. Don’t settle for a sweltering summer – let’s get your home cool and comfortable again!

When to Replace Your Air Conditioning System

The best time to replace your air conditioner often hinges on a few key considerations, including the unit’s age, its efficiency and performance, and the timing within the year that can offer the most benefits.

Consider the Age of Your Unit

The average lifespan of an air conditioner is around 10 to 15 years. If your unit is approaching or has surpassed this age range, it might be time to consider replacing it. Older units tend to be less efficient, more prone to breakdowns, and may use refrigerants that are less environmentally friendly.

Evaluate Efficiency and Performance

If your energy bills are consistently high during the cooling seasons or you’ve noticed a decline in the comfort level of your home, it could be due to an inefficient or failing AC unit. Modern air conditioners have higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER), making them more energy-efficient and capable of cooling your home more effectively.

Seasonal Timing for Replacement

From a practical standpoint, the best time of year to replace your air conditioner is during the off-peak seasons, such as spring and fall. During these times, HVAC technicians tend to have more availability, and you may find better deals or promotions on equipment. Replacing your unit outside of the high-demand summer months ensures your home will be prepared for the heat so you can avoid the discomfort of having a broken AC when you need it most.

Before It Breaks Down

Ideally, you want to replace your air conditioner before it completely fails. A breakdown in the middle of summer not only leaves you in discomfort but could also force you into a rushed decision on a new unit. Planning your replacement ahead of time allows you to research and choose the best model for your needs and budget.

Tax Credits and Rebates

Keep an eye out for any tax credits, rebates, or incentives for installing energy-efficient HVAC systems. Upgrading during a period when these financial incentives are available can offset some of the initial costs and make the investment more attractive.

The best time to replace your air conditioner blends practical timing with strategic planning. By considering the age and efficiency of your current unit, planning for an off-peak season replacement, and taking advantage of any available financial incentives, you can ensure a smooth transition to a more reliable, efficient, and effective cooling system for your Cedar Rapids home. 

Benefits of Modern Air Conditioners

The transition to modern air conditioning units can significantly transform the way you experience comfort in your home. With advancements in technology and design, new models come packed with benefits that extend far beyond the basic function of cooling your space. 

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: Modern air conditioning systems have high SEER ratings, leading to lower energy bills and smaller carbon footprints.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: New air conditioners use eco-friendly refrigerants with lower global-warming potential, supporting global climate change efforts.
  • Smart Thermostat Compatibility: A modern AC can be controlled from anywhere with smart home integration.
  • Programmable Settings: Upgraded air conditioners allow you to set schedules to reduce energy use when away or asleep.
  • Improved Air Quality: Modern models have advanced air filters that remove allergens, improving home air quality.
  • Quieter Operation: New models run quietly, enhancing home comfort.
  • Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal: Upgraded air conditioning systems boast sleek designs that fit modern home decor.

As you consider a new air conditioning installation for your Cedar Rapids home, remember that these improvements not only contribute to a more comfortable and sustainable living space but also add value to your property in the long run.

Is It Easy to Replace an Air Conditioning Unit?

You might think replacing an air conditioner is as straightforward as swapping out the old for the new, but the reality is far more complex. The process involves intricate steps that, if not executed correctly, can result in numerous complications. Attempting a DIY installation or an improper setup can significantly diminish your system’s efficiency, leading to an underperforming unit that fails to cool your home adequately. Worse, it could result in total system failure, leaving you in a more challenging situation than before.

Choose Novak Heating and Cooling for Expert Air Conditioning Installation and More

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we’ve been serving Cedar Rapids since 1934. Our team of certified air conditioning technicians has the expertise and experience to ensure a flawless air conditioning installation. As the only Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer in the Cedar Rapids area for 90 years, we have the in-depth knowledge to expertly install any Carrier® AC unit according to the manufacturer’s strict specifications. This ensures optimal performance, efficiency, and longevity for your new air conditioning system.

Our commitment to your comfort and satisfaction goes beyond installation. Not only can we expertly handle your air conditioning replacement, but we also offer ongoing support for all heating and cooling systems, including emergency air conditioner repair appointments and affordable HVAC maintenance plans to keep your AC running smoothly for years to come.

Schedule Your Air Conditioning Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA With Us Today

When the time comes to replace your air conditioner, trust the experts at Novak Heating and Cooling for a new air conditioning unit. With our certified technicians and commitment to quality, we ensure a hassle-free installation process and improved comfort in your home. Contact us today to learn more about our air conditioning installation in Cedar Rapids, IA, and how we can help you maintain a comfortable and efficient home.

How to Choose an Air Conditioning Installation Company in Cedar Rapids, IA

Choosing the right air conditioning installation company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is crucial for ensuring comfort in your home or office, especially during the warmest parts of the year. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide who to trust with this important task. The key lies in finding a reliable, experienced service provider that can guarantee a smooth and efficient installation process. In this blog from Novak Heating and Cooling, we’ll guide you through what to look for in an air conditioning installation company to help you make a more informed decision.

What to Look for in an Air Conditioning Installation Company

When it comes to selecting an air conditioning installation company in Cedar Rapids, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you choose the best possible service provider for your new system:

Experience and Reputation

A company with a rich history and strong presence in Cedar Rapids is likely to offer you the reliability and quality you seek. A longstanding service provider with decades of experience suggests a deep understanding of the local climate, customer needs, and specific cooling system challenges in the area, like how to improve indoor air quality. Look into online reviews, ask for customer testimonials, and seek recommendations from friends and family to gauge their reputation and the satisfaction level of their previous clients.

Certification and Training

The importance of choosing a company with certified and professionally trained heating and cooling technicians cannot be overstated. Certifications signify a technician’s expertise and their commitment to adhering to the highest standards of service quality. Professional training ensures that technicians are updated with the latest air conditioning technologies, installation methods, and safety protocols, enabling them to install your AC unit efficiently and effectively. 

Authorized Dealership and Awards

Going with a company who is an authorized dealer of well-known air conditioning brands provides assurance of authenticity and quality. It means the company meets the manufacturers’ rigorous standards for installation and service. Recognition and awards from the HVAC industry or manufacturers themselves serve as a testament to the company’s dedication to excellence, customer satisfaction, and service quality. 

Comprehensive Services

A comprehensive range of services is essential for the ongoing efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning system. Beyond installation, look for companies that offer a broad spectrum of cooling services, including routine maintenance, emergency repairs, and preventative care plans. This not only ensures your cooling systems operate at peak efficiency but also helps identify potential issues before they become major problems. A company that provides a comprehensive HVAC maintenance plan demonstrates its commitment to your comfort and the optimal performance of your system over time.

Taking these factors into account when choosing an air conditioning installation company in Cedar Rapids, IA, will lead you to a service provider that not only meets your immediate installation needs but also supports the long-term performance and maintenance of your system.

Novak Heating and Cooling: Your Trusted Air Conditioning Installation Company in Cedar Rapids

For nearly a century, Novak Heating and Cooling has solidified its reputation as the premier air conditioning installation and heating and cooling service provider in the Cedar Rapids area. Our longevity in the industry is not just a testament to our enduring commitment but also a reflection of the trust placed in us by generations of families and businesses. Here’s a closer look at what sets Novak Heating and Cooling apart as your best option for your air conditioning installation:

A Legacy of Trust and Excellence

Since our creation in 1934, Novak Heating and Cooling has been dedicated to providing the highest standard of service. Our extensive history in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities gives us a unique understanding of the specific cooling needs and challenges faced by residential and commercial properties. This deep-rooted knowledge ensures that we can offer tailored solutions that perfectly match the local climate conditions.

Certified Expertise in Cooling Solutions

Our team is made up of certified HVAC technicians who specialize in air conditioning installation in Cedar Rapids, IA, and the surrounding area. These technicians have not only achieved the necessary industry certifications but also undergo continuous training to stay informed on the latest developments in air conditioning technology and installation techniques. Their expertise guarantees that your air conditioner installation is executed flawlessly, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

Exclusive Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer

As the sole Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer in the Cedar Rapids area for over 90 years, Novak Heating and Cooling represents a brand synonymous with quality and innovation in the HVAC industry. This exclusive partnership means we are able to offer the latest energy efficient Carrier® air conditioning systems. Being a recipient of the Carrier® President’s Award further emphasizes our excellence in customer service, expertise, and business practices and distinguishes us as a leader in the field.

Comprehensive Cooling Services

Our commitment to your comfort extends beyond the installation of air conditioners. We provide a comprehensive suite of cooling services, including timely repair, meticulous maintenance, and proactive preventative HVAC maintenance plans. These services are designed to ensure your air conditioning system remains in peak condition, offering you comfort and peace of mind year-round.

Affordability and Value

Understanding the importance of affordability, Novak Heating and Cooling offers special deals and rebates on our services and products. This commitment to providing value without compromising on quality or service ensures that our customers can enjoy the benefits of a premium cooling system that fits within their budget.

Trust Our Team for a Hassle-Free Air Conditioning Installation

Don’t let the Cedar Rapids heat compromise your comfort! If you’re in need of a new air conditioner, Novak Heating and Cooling is here to provide a professional installation and exceptional service. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can keep your home or office comfortably cool. Trust in our expertise and long-standing dedication to the Cedar Rapids community for your air conditioning needs.

Air Conditioner Maintenance and Care Tips

Taking good care of your air conditioner is a lot like maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your home. Just as regular exercise and a balanced diet contribute to our well-being, regular maintenance and care can ensure your air conditioning system runs efficiently, keeping your home comfortable and your energy bills in check. 

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we understand the importance of a well-maintained AC system. In this blog post, we’ll dive into why it’s crucial, what you can handle yourself, and when it’s time to call in the professionals.

Why Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance is a Must

Imagine your air conditioner as a loyal companion that keeps you cool during the scorching summer months. Now, think about how much you rely on it to perform without a hitch when you need it most. When that doesn’t happen, more often than not it’s due to a lack of maintenance.

Regular maintenance is essential to prevent unexpected breakdowns, extend the lifespan of your unit, and improve energy efficiency, which translates to lower energy bills. By keeping your system in top shape, you also ensure the air quality in your home remains high, making your living space a healthier environment for you and your family.

DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

While some tasks require a professional touch, there are several things you can do on your own to keep your cooling system in top shape. Here are some easy DIY maintenance tips to help you get started:

Regularly Clean or Replace Air Filters

One of the simplest yet most impactful tasks you can do to boost your system’s efficiency is to regularly check, clean, or replace your air conditioner filters. Over time, filters can become clogged with dust, pet hair, and other particles, which can significantly reduce airflow and force your system to work harder. 

Dirty filters not only decrease efficiency but also affect your indoor air quality. Aim to check your air filter each month, especially during high-use seasons, and replace or clean them as needed.

Clear the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit

The outdoor component of your central air conditioner, known as the condenser unit, needs ample space to “breathe” and function correctly. Ensure the area around it is free from leaves, dirt, debris, and overgrown vegetation. These can obstruct airflow and reduce the unit’s ability to expel heat from your home. Keeping at least a 2-foot clearance around the unit can make a significant difference in its efficiency and longevity.

Straighten and Clean the Coil Fins

The aluminum fins on the evaporator coil and condenser coil are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Over time, these fins can collect dust, dirt, and debris, further reducing your system’s efficiency. 

Gently cleaning these fins and straightening any bent ones can significantly improve airflow and the overall performance of your air conditioner. A fin comb, specifically designed for this task, can be used to carefully straighten bent fins. Remember to turn off the power to the unit before attempting any cleaning or maintenance on the coil fins to ensure your safety.

Check Your Thermostat Settings

Your thermostat plays a crucial role in maintaining comfort while optimizing energy use. Take a moment to assess your settings. Are you cooling your home efficiently? Programmable or smart thermostats can offer significant savings by adjusting the temperature when you’re asleep or away from home. Setting your thermostat to a comfortable yet energy-efficient temperature can prevent unnecessary strain on your air conditioner, extending its service life and reducing your energy bills.

A bit of effort can significantly impact the performance and efficiency of your air conditioning system. However, if you come across any issues that seem beyond simple DIY tasks, don’t hesitate to reach out to Novak Heating and Cooling for air conditioner maintenance. Our team is ready to tackle more complex problems and ensure your AC unit runs smoothly and efficiently.

When to Call the Professionals

While there are several maintenance tasks you can do on your own, certain aspects of air conditioner care require the expertise of a professional. 

An HVAC technician will inspect the entire system, clean components that you can’t reach, check refrigerant levels, and ensure everything is running safely and efficiently. Aim to schedule your annual tune-up in the spring before the cooling season arrives.

Note that if your AC isn’t blowing cool air properly, makes strange noises, or leaks water, it may need a repair. Early intervention can prevent small problems from turning into major (and expensive) breakdowns.

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we offer expert air conditioner maintenance and repair services that keep your air conditioner running at its best. It shouldn’t take a breakdown for you to think about maintenance. Give us a call, and let’s schedule a tune-up today.

The Value of a Novak Heating and Cooling Tune-Up

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we understand the importance of keeping your AC running smoothly. Our certified technicians are highly trained and experienced in all makes and models of air conditioners. During a Novak tune-up, we’ll perform a thorough inspection, cleaning, and adjustment of your HVAC system to ensure optimal performance.

Save Money and Stay Cool with Worry-Free Maintenance

Life can get busy, and remembering to schedule maintenance tasks can be easy to forget.  That’s why Novak Heating and Cooling offers affordable maintenance contracts. These plans offer benefits like:

  • Priority Scheduling: Beat the rush and get your AC serviced when you need it most.
  • Reduced Rates: Enjoy exclusive discounts on spring and fall maintenance calls for your AC and furnace.
  • Peace of Mind: Rest assured that your AC unit is in good hands with regular professional tune ups.

While not all problems can be prevented, you sure can avoid a lot of them with regular maintenance. Schedule your annual tune-up today and keep your cool all summer long! Call Novak Heating and Cooling at (319) 364-4626 to discuss our AC maintenance plans and keep your home comfort system running smoothly for years to come.

Why Choose Novak Heating and Cooling

Since 1934, Novak Heating and Cooling has been a trusted provider of heating, air conditioning, and duct cleaning services for countless homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids, IA. Our certified technicians are available day and night, ensuring your heating and cooling systems operate efficiently and effectively.

Choosing Novak means working with a team with a long-standing reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction. We are committed to providing high-quality services that meet your specific needs.

If you’re looking for professional air conditioner maintenance in the Cedar Rapids area, look no further than Novak Heating and Cooling. Contact us online or call (319) 364-4626 to schedule a service appointment and see the difference we can make in your system and your energy costs.

How Dirt and Debris Affect Your Air Conditioner

There are several reasons why your air conditioner might be acting up, but you’d be surprised to find out how often the problem is just dirt and debris. Yep, that’s right – something as simple as not keeping it clean can cause it to malfunction, or worse, stop working altogether. It’s like trying to breathe with a stuffy nose; it just doesn’t work as well. 

In this blog post from Novak Heating and Cooling, we’ll explore how dirt affects your air conditioner and what you can do to stop damage from occurring. 

The Impact of Dirt and Debris on Your Air Conditioner

Understanding the impact of dirt buildup, dust particles, and other debris on your air conditioner is key to ensuring it operates at its best. Dust accumulates in your air conditioner from various sources, turning it into a hotspot for not just outdoor debris like pollen and leaves, but also indoor pollutants. 

Everyday activities contribute to this buildup, including the simple act of moving around your home, which can stir up dust mites and shed dead skin cells into the air. Pets add to the mix by shedding hair and dander, while nearby construction work can introduce sawdust and other fine particles.

When dust and dirt accumulate, they force your air conditioner to work harder than necessary. This not only leads to increased energy consumption and higher bills but can also significantly reduce the system’s overall efficiency and shorten its lifespan.

Dust and dirt affect several of your air conditioner’s components:

  • Filters: This is the first line of defense against dust and debris. A dirty or clogged air filter restricts your system’s airflow, making your AC work harder to push cool air through your home’s air ducts. This leads to increased wear on the system and potentially higher energy costs.
  • Coils: The coils play a crucial role in heat exchange. When you have a dirty evaporator or condenser coil, its ability to absorb and release heat is compromised, causing your system to run longer cycles to cool your home and, as a result, decrease its efficiency.
  • Drainage System: A clear drainage path is needed to remove condensation produced during the cooling process. Dust accumulation can lead to water backing up and potentially damaging your home or the AC unit itself.

Just like any overworked machine, a dirty AC, especially one with a clogged filter, can wear down faster. This can lead to costly repairs or even a premature replacement. Dust and debris trapped in your air conditioning system can also get circulated back into your home, resulting in poor indoor air quality. This can be especially problematic for people with allergies or respiratory issues.

Taking Control: Fighting Back Against Dirt and Debris

Keeping your air conditioner free from dust and dirt doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Simple steps like having clean air filters and keeping the area around your outdoor unit and indoor unit clear can make a huge difference for your AC system. For those harder-to-reach areas or more technical components, professional maintenance from Novak Heating and Cooling can ensure every part of your system is thoroughly inspected and free of dust and dirt particles.

On top of keeping things clean with routine maintenance each spring, it’s super important to stay on top of repairs to keep your AC in tip-top shape. Ignoring small issues can lead to bigger, more expensive problems down the road. 

But how do you know when to give your air conditioner a little TLC? Keep an eye out for warning signs like weird noises, warm air when you have it set to cool, or if it starts giving off some funky smells. These could all be hints that accumulated dust or dirt has done more than just dirty up the place; it might have caused some damage.

That’s where our Novak Heating and Cooling technicians come in. They’re like detectives for your air conditioners, spotting the little clues that tell them exactly what needs fixing. Whether it’s a deep clean or replacing parts that have seen better days, they’ll make sure your air conditioner is back up and running as soon as possible.

Novak Heating and Cooling: Your Partners in Cool Comfort

Don’t let a clogged AC system steal your summer comfort! At Novak Heating and Cooling, we understand that a properly functioning air conditioning unit is essential for maintaining a cool and comfortable home, especially during the hottest months of the year. That’s why we offer comprehensive air conditioning maintenance and air conditioning system repairs to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently.

Our team of certified technicians is highly trained and experienced in servicing all makes and models of AC units. They can diagnose any issues quickly and accurately, ensuring your system gets the care it needs to perform optimally.

So, now that you know how dirt affects your air conditioner, it’s time to do something about it! Do your best to take care of your cooling system at home and give the team at Novak Heating and Cooling a call for repairs or to establish a maintenance schedule for your Cedar Rapids, IA, home. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Do I Know If My Furnace Blower Motor Is Bad?

The chilly winter months require a reliable furnace to provide nice, even heating across your home. Blower motors are important parts of your furnace, but how can you know if it’s going bad, or if it’s working properly?

Read the latest blog post from Novak Heating and Cooling to learn more about blower motors and how to know if one is going bad.

What Does a Blower Motor Do?

The blower motor plays a pivotal role in distributing heated air from your furnace to various rooms in your house through the ductwork.

It essentially powers the fan that pushes air through the system, ensuring consistent and efficient heating. Without a properly functioning blower motor, your furnace won’t be able to deliver warmth effectively. This can lead to comfort issues, higher heating bills, overheating, and a variety of other possible problems.

How to Know if Your Blower Motor is Going Out

There are several indicators that your blower motor may be failing:

  1. Weak Airflow: If you notice a significant decrease in airflow, or a complete lack of air coming from your vents, it could be due to a failing blower motor.
  2. Unusual Sounds: Unusual noises such as grinding, squealing, or rattling coming from your furnace may signal a problem with the blower motor.
  3. Inconsistent Heating: Rooms in your home may not reach the desired temperature or there may be uneven heating, indicating an issue with the blower motor’s ability to distribute warm air effectively.
  4. Frequent Cycling: If your furnace is turning on and off more frequently than usual, it could be struggling due to a faulty blower motor.

While all of these issues can be the first signs of a blower motor going out, they can also be caused by other issues. Have a professional come inspect your unit to pinpoint the exact issue and provide you with the proper solution.

What to Do About a Bad Blower Motor

If you suspect that your blower motor is failing, having it addressed as quickly as possible is important to avoid further damage to your furnace and ensure your comfort. Your furnace depends on its blower motor to keep your home warm, so addressing any issues as soon as possible can restore comfort and safety to your home.

Here’s what you can do about a bad furnace blower motor:

  1. Schedule a Professional Inspection: Contact a qualified HVAC technician, like the ones at Novak Heating and Cooling, to inspect your furnace and diagnose the problem accurately.
  2. Repair or Replace: Depending on the severity of the issue, your technician will recommend either repairing the blower motor or replacing it with a new one.
  3. Regular Maintenance: To prevent future problems, schedule regular maintenance for your furnace, including inspections of the blower motor and other components.

Choose Novak for Furnace Services Throughout the Cedar Rapids Area

When it comes to reliable furnace services in the Cedar Rapids area, choose Novak. Our team of experienced technicians is dedicated to providing top-notch HVAC system solutions, including blower motor repair and replacement. We prioritize customer satisfaction and strive to keep your home comfortable year-round.

Contact us today for all your furnace service needs.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Furnace Heat Exchanger?

An important part of your home’s heating system, heat exchangers help your home stay at comfortable temperatures on even the chilliest winter nights. But if your furnace’s heat exchanger suddenly stops working, you’ll likely need to replace it in order to restore comfort to your home. 

So how much does it cost to replace a bad or cracked heat exchanger? Keep reading the latest blog post from Novak Heating and Cooling to learn more.

What Are Heat Exchangers?

Heat exchangers are responsible for transferring heat from one fluid to another. In a typical furnace, the heat exchanger absorbs heat generated by burning fuel and then transfers it to the air that is distributed throughout the house via ductwork.

This process is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature during colder months. Without a reliable heat exchanger in place, your furnace wouldn’t be able to efficiently heat your home, causing uncomfortable and potentially even unsafe days and nights.

How Long Do Heat Exchangers Last?

The lifespan of a heat exchanger can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the unit, how well it’s maintained, and the frequency of use. On average, a well-maintained heat exchanger can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. However, factors such as corrosion, thermal stress, and improper installation can significantly reduce its lifespan.

To improve the lifespan of your furnace’s heat exchanger, be sure to schedule regular furnace maintenance. By investing in routine maintenance and addressing any issues promptly, you can maximize the lifespan of your furnace’s heat exchanger and ensure efficient heating performance for years to come.

The Cost to Replace a Heat Exchanger

How much it costs to replace a bad heat exchanger can vary depending on factors like the make and model of your furnace, the availability of replacement parts, and the complexity of the installation process. Additionally, labor costs in your area and the level of experience of the HVAC technician performing the replacement can impact the overall cost.

As a general estimate, the heat exchanger replacement cost can range from $500 to $2,000. While this can seem like an expensive investment, it’s important to remember that a well-functioning heat exchanger is essential for the safety and efficiency of your heating system. For an exact estimate, be sure to contact a qualified furnace service company.

If you reside within the Cedar Rapids, IA area, the experts at Novak Heating and Cooling would be happy to serve you.

Novak Can Help; Schedule Services in Cedar Rapids, IA

Whether your home uses an electric or gas furnace, all furnaces contain a heat exchanger that works to provide your home with even, reliable heating.

If you’re in need of furnace services in Cedar Rapids, IA, including heat exchanger solutions, Novak is here to help. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians can assess your furnace’s condition, provide expert recommendations, and perform timely repairs or replacements to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience reliable heating services you can trust.

What Size Furnace Do I Need?

Choosing the right size furnace for your home isn’t just about comfort; it’s about efficiency, cost, and longevity. Oversized heaters or undersized furnaces can lead to a range of issues, from increased energy bills to inadequate heating. At Novak Heating and Cooling, we understand the importance of making an informed decision, and we’re here to guide you through the process.

If you’re in the market for a new heater and find yourself wondering, “What size furnace do I need?”, keep reading to find out the answer. Then, when you’re ready, reach out to Novak Heating and Cooling for expert service and furnace installation!

Understanding Furnace Size and Its Importance

When it comes to heating your home, one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is selecting the right size furnace. The size of a furnace is typically measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which indicates the amount of heat it can produce per hour. Understanding British Thermal Units and choosing the appropriate size is crucial for several reasons, chief among them being efficiency and effectiveness in heating your home.

Why Furnace Size Matters

  • Efficient Heating: A correctly sized gas furnace operates in cycles, avoiding the pitfalls of short-cycling (frequent on and off) which occurs in oversized furnaces. This efficient operation not only maintains a consistent temperature in your home but also reduces wear and tear on the components, extending your furnace’s lifespan.
  • Energy Cost Savings: An appropriately sized furnace uses energy more effectively. An oversized furnace, while it may heat the house quickly, results in higher energy bills. Conversely, an undersized furnace has to work harder and longer to reach the desired temperature, also leading to increased energy use.
  • Comfortable Indoor Environment: The primary purpose of a furnace is to keep your home comfortable during colder months. A furnace that’s the right size for your home can maintain a consistent and even temperature, eliminating cold spots and uneven heating, which are common issues with incorrectly sized furnaces.

The Impact of BTUs

The number of BTUs required to heat a home effectively varies based on several factors, including the home’s square footage, the climate, and the home’s insulation. As a general rule, a typical home requires between 30 to 60 BTUs per square foot. However, this is a guideline, not a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, a home in a colder climate would need more BTUs per square foot than one in a milder climate.

While the BTU rating is a measure of a furnace’s capacity to produce heat, it’s also essential to consider the furnace’s efficiency. Furnaces come with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, which indicates how well they convert energy into heat. A higher AFUE rating means more furnace efficiency, which can compensate for the high BTU requirements in colder climates.

At Novak Heating and Cooling, we specialize in helping homeowners find this balance, ensuring your home is warm, your energy bills are reasonable, and your furnace lasts for years to come.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Furnace Size

Many homeowners wonder, “What size furnace do I need?” The reality is, several factors influence the ideal furnace size for your home:

  • Home Size and Layout: The square footage of your home is the starting point. Larger homes require more heating, but the layout, including ceiling height and room configuration, also plays a part.
  • Climate and Location: Homes in colder climates demand higher BTU furnaces. Novak Heating and Cooling, with our deep understanding of local weather patterns and your climate zone heating factor, can help determine the right size based on your location.
  • Insulation Quality: Good insulation means better heat retention, reducing the furnace’s workload. We assess insulation levels to recommend a furnace that complements your home’s insulation.
  • Windows and Doors: The quantity and quality of windows and doors affect heat loss. We consider these factors to ensure your furnace isn’t overburdened.
  • Personal Heating Preferences: Everyone’s comfort level is different. We listen to your preferences to find a furnace that meets your personal comfort needs.

Calculating the right furnace size involves complex formulas and considerations. At Novak Heating and Cooling, we use our expertise and advanced tools, including a furnace size calculator, to accurately determine the perfect furnace size for your home. This calculation considers all the factors mentioned above to ensure a customized solution.

Novak’s Furnace Services

If you’re planning to install a furnace in a new build or looking to replace an existing unit, Novak Heating and Cooling is your go-to HVAC service provider in Eastern Iowa. Serving the Cedar Rapids, IA, area for nearly 90 years, every single HVAC professional we have on staff possesses extensive knowledge about these systems and offers a wide range of furnace services to meet all your heating needs.

Professional Assessment and Installation

The key to perfect furnace sizing is a professional assessment. Novak Heating and Cooling’s team of experts conducts thorough evaluations of your home to recommend the ideal furnace size. Our installation process is meticulous, guaranteeing your new gas furnaces operate at peak efficiency from day one. 

Reliable Repairs to Reduce Costly Breakdowns

Our commitment to your home’s heating doesn’t end at installation. Novak Heating and Cooling provides top-notch furnace repair services for all brands and models. Our technicians are trained to diagnose and fix any issue, ensuring your new furnace runs smoothly throughout its lifespan. From emergency repairs to routine appointments, we’re here to make sure your furnace remains a reliable source of warmth for your home.

Maintenance and Upkeep for Optimal Performance

A well-maintained furnace has more energy efficiency and lasts longer. Regular maintenance checks, which we offer, can identify and fix small issues before they become big problems. Our comprehensive service plans cover everything from routine inspections to filter changes, ensuring your furnace remains in top condition.

Upgrade to a more Efficient Furnace Today

Ready to find the perfect furnace for your home? Contact Novak Heating and Cooling today for a professional consultation. We’d love to tell you more about how we can help keep your home comfortable year-round with the right-size furnace for your space.