Frequently Asked Questions About Your Heating & Cooling System
How often should I replace my filter?
Check it at least every month during peak use, and replace it when it looks dirty enough to impair the air flow through it. Some filters, such as media filters or electronic air cleaners, are washable; others are disposable and must be replaced.
For a washable filter, use 409 detergent to clean, and let it dry thoroughly before re-installing.
What is a SEER?
SEER is a standard of measurement of seasonal cooling efficiency under an average number of weather changes over a season.
SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio”.
How does SEER rating effect my power usage?
The higher the SEER number, the more energy efficient the unit. Higher SEER rating air conditioners and heat pumps can pay for their cost many times over because they consume less electricity. And the savings continue year after year.
Do programmable thermostats really make a difference in my air conditioner usage?
Yes. According to Energy Star, an average household saves $180 a year on their energy bill by using a programmable thermostat. New programmable thermostats allow you to adjust heating and cooling to fit the time of day and even your vacation schedule. Should you replace your thermostats? Call us and ask.
How should I use a programmable thermostat?
A programmable thermostat allows you to set the desired temperature based on the time of day or your daily activities. As an example, if you are at work from 8 AM to 5 PM, you could set thermostat to 84 degrees during those hours. If you want the house cooled down by the time you get home, program thermostat to cool the house to 78 degrees approximately one hour before you usually arrive home. Remember, a programmable thermostat may cost a little more than a standard thermostat but it can save you money in all seasons.
How much does a new system cost?
That depends. There are many factors that must be considered. These include, but are not limited to: the efficiency of the equipment, the size of your home, the condition of your ductwork, what kind of accessories you might need, such as a UV light or a de-humidifier. In most cases, replacing your whole system, including both indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, longer-lasting system. For an accurate estimate, an HVAC contractor should always set up an appointment to inspect your home and discuss your concerns. This will ensure that all necessary equipment and components will be selected for the installation of a new system. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs, including your financial ones.
How long should my air conditioner or heat pump last?
If you have a system that has been properly sized for your home and you keep it properly maintained, it should last as many as 15 years with minimum problems. But if the size is incorrect or the unit is maintained only when it breaks, the lifetime can easily be reduced by five or more years.
Is R-22 being phased out?
R-22, along with several other chemicals, have been shown to deplete the ozone layer, which protects us from harmful UV radiation. In 1990, the United States worked with the global community to protect the environment by phasing out the supply and the use of these ozone depleting compounds. The federal law schedule gas R-22 to be phased out as follows:
- Year 2004 = 35% Reduction in production
- Year 2010 = No longer used in equipment
- Year 2015 = 75% Reduction in production
- Year 2020 = No longer produced
As the HVAC industry transitions to a new refrigerant, we encourage you to maintain your focus on purchasing energy efficient home comfort products that best meet your comfort needs.
What Is R-410A?
R-410A is an azeotropic mixture of R-32 and R-125 and is 5% more efficient than R-22.
What is a MERV rating?
MERV stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and is a measure of a filter’s worst-case efficiency performance. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter.
What is a UV light for and why do I need one?
UV is the abbreviation for ultraviolet. Located in the return air ductwork and by the indoor cooling coil, the ultraviolet air treatment system continuously emits high – intensity ultraviolet (UV) energy. The energy eliminates (kills) a very high percentage of airborne bacteria and germs passing over the UV light field inside the ductwork. The UV light mounted next to the indoor cooling coil will help eliminate the growth of mold, mildew and other contaminates from the drain pan and coil surface.
Can my air conditioning help control my humidity problems?
Yes, an air conditioner not only cools the air but also removes humidity in the air. However, an air conditioning system cannot be responsible for removing all of the required humidity, as it does not run all of the time. Variable speed indoor motors and variable air conditioners remove several more times the humidity as regular single speed units but a whole house dehumidifier may be required for extreme humidity problems.
My air conditioner is new, do I really need to have it cleaned?
Yes!! Even though your system is new, it still needs to have annual maintenance performed. Keeping your system maintained will give you assurance that it is operating at peak efficiency and safety. Much effort has been put into installing your system and the choice of quality materials. By taking proper care of your investment, it should give you many years of energy-efficient performance. Also most equipment manufacturer’s state in the terms of their warranty that annual maintenance must be performed or the warranty is void.
What Size heating and Air Conditioning System Do I Need?
A system that is too large will cool or heat your house quickly, but you may not feel comfortable. That’s because it will satisfy thermostat before it can adequately remove sufficient moisture from the air during the cooling mode, leaving you feeling sticky and humid. This could even lead to moisture and mold problems. And, the stress of short-cycling (too many starts and stops) will shorten the life of your equipment and increase your heating and cooling bills. On the other hand, a system that is too small just cannot get the job done, especially in extreme weather conditions. The air conditioner will run constantly in the summer and the furnace will do the same in winter. But a correctly sized system isn’t just based on the size of the structure. Many factors go into determining the size of the system; including the type of house and walls, type and size of windows, insulation, basement and attic conditions, house orientation, and so on.