New AC Unit

When Should You Buy a New AC Unit?

With fluctuating weather coming over the last few days of spring, making sure your air conditioning unit is up to par is important. Considering that you may not have cranked your AC in a while, there’s a possibility that you may be overdue for a new one. If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering where to start. No need to worry; we have a checklist that will make sure you know when you need to replace your AC, as well as what to look for when you do.

#1: When Should You Replace Your AC Unit?

    • If your AC unit is more than 12 years old. These units may have older technology that is costlier for you in the long run, such as Freon refrigerant, which is much less efficient and causes high repair costs.
    • If there are problems with your blower motor, compressor, and condenser. These are typically less than 50% of your entire unit’s cost, so they’re worth replacing.
    • If your unit is less than a 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) rating. AC units can have up to a 20 SEER rating, and the better your unit will run, the less it’ll cost you down the line.
    • If you’ve had three or more prior repairs to the unit.
    • If your unit is over-sized or under-sized. Incorrectly-sized units can cause lack of humidity control or unit failure.

#2: What Should You Consider When Replacing Your AC Unit?

Green Options
Green options, like SEER ratings, are important factors in saving you money. Look for greener heat pumps, ductless systems, and systems using geothermal energy.

To get a properly sized AC unit, have your unit sized according to the guidelines from Manual J of the Air Conditioner Contractors of America. Then, have it sized based on the latent and sensible cooling load.

Easy Maintenance

Ensure the parts that need cleaning, such as the inside coil and air filter, are easily accessible on the unit. Cleaning the unit every summer, or when it’s dirty, will help you avoid repairs or having to replace it frequently.


Make sure the unit can be placed in areas away from the sun, but not completely covered in shade, such as the north or east side of your home. This will ensure the unit has plenty of air circulating through it.

Our highly educated and skilled contractors will ensure that you have the right installation to save you time and maintenance on your new AC unit. There’s a $200 rebate in it for you, too. Contact us to get your AC installed today.


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How To Prep Your HVAC System For Cooler Weather

It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are slowly starting to cool, with the daylight hours quickly getting shorter. As another Chicago summer comes to a close, now is the perfect time to transition your HVAC system to effectively heat your home during the cold weather months.

These simply guidelines from the professionals at I Want Smart will have you resting warm and cozy inside your home this winter.

Schedule System Maintenance
It’s vital to have an HVAC technician run a full maintenance checkup on your furnace to ensure it’s running smoothly, checking that no repairs or replacements are needed before the temperatures drop. Autumn and spring are the most effective times of the year to have maintenance done. The reason is that these months put the least amount of pressure of your systems because temperatures don’t hit extreme highs or lows.

Change Air Filters
A simply solution to staying toasty this winter is changing your air filter. A dirty, poorly maintained air filter can wreak havoc on your furnace because it is forced to work harder for the same heat output. Not routinely changing your filters will also increase your electricity costs. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on more expensive heating, take the family ice skating in Millennium Park or spend a weekend skiing at a cozy lodge in the Upper Peninsula.

Perform Repairs & Replacements
Imagine heating that spits out cool air on a chilly fall day, or worse a furnace that completely breaks down on an icy winter night. Making necessary repairs to your HVAC system or replacing a piece of equipment that is no longer running at optimal levels is the best way to save money over the long term. One easy way to keep the heat in this winter is to seal up any leaks from cracks in the doors and windows caused by age and weathering.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
Another measure to keeping your house comfortable while saving money is a programmable thermostat. This provides the option of automating the temperature to when you are home, programming the thermostat to output heat when you return from work and then lowering it while you sleep.

Let I Want Smart help your home stay toasty this fall and winter, while saving big on your HVAC maintenance and preventive services. Take advantage of three exclusive rebates currently being offered to I Want Smart customers for furnace/AC replacements and a comprehensive systems checkup.

Claim your rebate today! Contact an I Want Smart technician near you to schedule your next annual maintenance or system replacement.

HVAC Contractor

Three Ways to Ensure Better AC Filtration

HVAC systems are challenging and can lead to unforeseen and frustrating disasters if not properly serviced. Perhaps the most important piece of equipment to keep well-maintained is an air conditioning filter. AC filters are essential to the proper running of your home’s cooling system, helping increase air flow and improving indoor air quality.

SMART has put together a guide to monitoring for better filtration and improving your home’s air quality and cooling.

Replacement Rate

HVAC experts advise examining your air conditioner’s filter once a month to determine if it’s running effectively, having a trained technician clean or replace the filter every 1-3 months. The frequency at which you should change you filter is determinant on a number of specific factors. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, and if you have pets or family members who smoke in the house.

MERV Rating

All filters have an efficiency rating to determine its effectiveness at cooling. A Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV rating) is a standard to rate the overall effectiveness of air filters. Filters are given a MERV rating on a scale of 1 to 16 for efficiency, with higher values equating to filtration that prevents more dust particles and airborne contaminants from getting through.

Variations in Efficiency

It’s important to know that there are a variety of AC filter types and efficiencies to choose from. Some filters’ efficiency ratings are too high for particular units and can actually have a negative effect on its performance. A filter that is too large or small for your system will block the flow of air. If necessary, consult your local HVAC technician to inquire about installing a separate filtration system for better air quality.

Improve the AC efficiency in your home. Contact a SMART technician today to schedule service of your HVAC system and ensure the AC filtration is running smoothly during the summer months.

Air conditioner

Five AC Techniques for Staying Cool This Summer

Summertime heat is nearing its peak, with close to triple-digit temperatures threatening some serious overtime on your AC unit. These simple cooling tips are sure to save you money and extend the life of your air conditioner.

Professional tune-up
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, AC units function at a higher efficiency when provided with annual tune-ups. A simple tune-up in many cases can save up to five percent on your electric bill, offsetting the cost of the service.

Regular cleaning
Yep, that’s right your AC unit necessitates regular cleaning both inside and outside. Expect to change the filters about once a month, but be sure not to let it go more than 60 days. Take time to maintain the outside of your unit as well; examples include hosing off your condenser and sweeping around and under it to keep it free from dirt. Keeping your unit in a shaded area helps to reduce the intensity at which the unit has to work to continue cooling.

Programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a great investment for automating your home temperature throughout the day, while allowing for savings on the power bill. Replace your system when you start to discover system degrade—don’t end up stranded on a triple-digit heat wave to replace or repair your system.

Check for leaks
Ensure unit is working effectively by checking hoses for any leakage on the outside of your house. If vents are leaking, make sure you seal to allow cool air to travel to your home properly.

Alternative cooling ideas
Using different methods to cool your home when temperatures are less intense is a great way to give your AC a break. Look to install ceiling fans and heavy drapes to keep rooms at a more comfortable temperature. Finally, its summer, so time to fire up the grill and leave the oven until temperatures cool. By avoiding the oven in the summer, it keeps your kitchen cooler.

Hopefully these tips are beneficial for enjoying this summer weather in the comforts of perfect room temperatures, all season long. Call I Want Smart today, and let professional and passionate HVAC experts bring you the best-in-market air conditioning.

HVAC contractor

Preventive HVAC Maintenance is a Cost-effective Investment

Summers in Chicago can reach 100+ degrees and sweltering humidity. Now imagine that you’re returning home from a 10-hour day and greeted by an AC outage—the kids are complaining and the unit is unrepairable. Investing in proper preventive HVAC maintenance could have avoided this untimely and costly emergency repair.

Perhaps you own commercial real estate, and you are trying to lease an office space that lacks proper ventilation and air circulation. No one is going to want to work in that space, let alone lease it. Employing a predictive HVAC maintenance program is essential for not only preventing emergency repairs, but also extending your equipment’s lifespan, reducing utility bills, and improving the building’s overall air quality.

The HVAC system is the building’s nerve center, its lifeblood. Without efficient heating, cooling and ventilation, a building would be uninhabitable. A well-maintained HVAC system removes stale gases from a building and provides a steady stream of fresh, oxygen-rich air. While the owner’s manual can help solve very basic tasks, it’s important to note that the HVAC system is extremely complex. A sloppy HVAC installation can result in faulty ductwork…among other things. Avoid costly and potentially hazardous mistakes, and receive the expert care you deserve from the professionals at I WANT SMART.

Regain the comfort and ease of a properly functioning HVAC system, while saving money on preventive maintenance and cleaning. Take advantage of I WANT SMART’s network of qualified contractors and technicians with a limited time $50 rebate offer. But don’t delay—the rebate offer is only available until June 30th!

So make the smart investment in preventive HVAC maintenance today. Simply fill out our short rebate form found HERE and receive a $50 rebate check in the mail.

5 Easy HVAC Spring Cleaning Steps That Will Reduce Your Summer Energy Bill

HVAC Spring Cleaning Steps:

It might not feel like it yet, but spring is just around the corner, and that means summer will be hot on its heels. So when it’s time for spring cleaning, if you are just paying attention to the parts of the house that you can see, you are only doing half of the job. When you maintain large appliances, like your HVAC unit, each spring, your entire house will be clean and dust free. Additionally, by taking some time to work on your air conditioning unit, you will ensure that it is ready to go when the first hot summer day arrives. Here are five tips for getting your HVAC unit ready for another season of service.

1.     Filters

Filters are the first step in keeping dirt and grime off the moving parts of your air conditioning unit. You may want to buy a case of filters and stash them in the closet since they need to be changed monthly when the HVAC unit is in regular use. Dirty filters will affect the energy efficiency of your unit, and they can also make the air conditioner freeze up. Additionally, keeping the filter clean will reduce the dust and allergens in your indoor air.

2.     The Outdoor Unit

Check around the outdoor part of your unit (known as the condenser). Trim back any shrubbery and plants at least one foot away from the unit or you can check the manufacturer’s recommendations, and remove any miscellaneous items from around the unit to make sure that the air can flow through the screens unimpeded. You may want to take a leaf blower and blow out any dirt or leaves from the inside of the cage or vacuum them out. Either way a clean unit runs more efficient.

3.     Ductwork

If you are able, you should crawl under the house, go into the attic, or head into the basement and examine your ductwork. Any holes mean that you are wasting money by allowing conditioned air to escape to the outdoors. Patch these holes with duct tape or caulk. This will improve the air flow in your ducts, which will increase the efficiency of your HVAC unit.

4.       Install a programmable thermostat

If everything above is working properly, then there’s one more easy way to help you save money. Programmable thermostats are an easy way to eliminate the money-sink of heating or cooling your house when nobody is home. These adjust temperature at pre-set intervals, allowing you to save on energy costs during the day, and to set the perfect temperature for sleeping. Many newer models even come with phone or tablet applications. Some new systems can automatically detect when you’re at home and when you’re not, thereby eliminating the need for programming. These systems are more expensive, but can pay for themselves in a few years. Traditional programmable thermostats don’t offer the same level of convenience, but will often pay for themselves in a much smaller amount of time.(If you’re not quite sure if you can tackle a thermostat change call a professional for help).

5.    Test Your Unit

Before the temperatures get too hot, you may want to switch on the unit for a few hours to make sure that it is working properly. If you don’t find out that there is a problem until the first hot day of summer, you may have to sweat for a while until a technician can make it to your home.

Schedule Your Maintenance Appointment

While you can do these basic things to help maintain your system, you should call a professional each spring to check your unit and make sure that it is working properly. This appointment will lengthen the life of your unit and improve the unit’s efficiency. You may want to sign up for a maintenance plan. If you do find that something that needs attention, or if you need assistance with any of the above, call a SMART contractor today. We’ll be happy to get you ready for the warm weather ahead!