Q) How often should I change or clean my filters? TOP
A) Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning. If you're using a high-density filter, such as an electrostatic filter, you should clean it more often, due to the density of the filter, because it will restrict the air flow and that will cause problems.
Q) Where is my filter located? TOP
A) Your air filter should be located in either the blower compartment of the furnace, in an attached filter case, or in a return air grille in a wall of your home.
Q) What services need to be performed for preventive maintenance on my heating and air conditioning equipment, and how often should this maintenance be performed? TOP
A) Preventive maintenance varies, depending upon whether it is residential or commercial. For residential maintenance, we recommend you have preventive maintenance before the winter heating season and before the summer cooling season. We offer service agreements that may include reduced rates on labor and parts and provide priority response. Service/maintenance agreements may include cleaning indoor and outdoor coils, tightening electrical connections, checking supply voltage and operating current, checking refrigerant charge, measuring temperature differential at supply and return registers, inspecting and adjusting burner, checking heat exchangers, cleaning drain lines and pan, checking ductwork for leaks and insulation, and checking thermostat. For commercial preventive maintenance, we recommend service bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or more frequently, depending on the commercial environment. Establishments such as restaurants would require frequent maintenance because they produce more pollutants (grease, oil, etc.).
Replacing Indoor Unit
Q) I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages of replacing my whole system at the same time? TOP
A) We recommend that your replace the indoor coil or air handler when replacing the outdoor unit. Both of these components are integral to the closed refrigerant loop and together determine the capacity and efficiency of your system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, there will be no test data available for the new combination to establish the expected capacity or efficiency of your system. Also, the indoor system may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and be another opportunity for contamination. You end up paying more. If your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
Covering My Outdoor Unit
Q) Should I cover my outdoor unit in the winter? TOP
A) Covering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes. In fact, rain helps keep your unit clean. Of course, because heat pumps run all year long, they should never be covered.
Planting Shrubs or Flowers
Q) How close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers? TOP
A) Manufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need intake and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service.
Q) What are the average life expectancies for heating and air conditioning equipment? TOP
A) The average expected life of an air conditioner is approximately 15 years. The average expected life of a heat pump is approximately 10 to 12 years, since it operates year round. The average expected life of a gas furnace or air handler is approximately 15 years. Units in corrosive environments, such as, but not limited to coastal installations, will tend to have shorter lives.
Thermostat Fan Settings
Q) Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to "ON" so the fan runs constantly? TOP
A) Yes. First you get constant filtering of the air in your home. Secondbecause the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout.
Q) I've heard a lot about new refrigerants. Do I need to think about them when buying a system? TOP
A) We do not advise homeowners to choose home comfort systems based on therefrigerant they use. The Clean Air Act does not allow ANY refrigerants tobe vented into the atmosphere. They must be reclaimed, recycled and reused.Units using the current refrigerant, R-22, will always be serviced withR-22. They will not need to be changed to a different refrigerant. Thescheduled phased-out of R-22 allows for plenty of refrigerant to beavailable to service all cooling units and heat pumps that use R-22 for thelife of the equipment. We do offer limited lines of high efficiency comfortsystems using R-410A refrigerant. Our gradual introduction of these productswill allow servicers in the field the opportunity to purchase new recoveryequipment and service tools, as well as adapt to stricter installation andservice techniques, to insure that homeowners continue to receive thecomfort and value they have chosen.
As the HVAC industry gradually and confidently transitions to a newrefrigerant, we encourage homeowners to maintain their focus on purchasingenergy efficient home comfort products that best meet their comfort needs.Purchasing higher efficiency cooling and heating systems and better sealingour homes will not only improve comfort and reduce energy costs, but willalso improve our environment.
My Lights Flicker
Q) Why do my lights flicker when my air conditioner turns on? TOP
A) Light flicker associated with the starting of appliances usually does not pose any safety problems and does not damage appliances. Proper wire connections and grounding are necessary to reduce flicker. Contractors and homeowners should check with their local utility regarding the appropriate wire size and transformer servicing the home. In cases where light dimming is related to the starting of a central air conditioner, and the previously discussed steps have not resolved the situation, manufacturers offer start assist kits that can be purchased which may help reduce flicker. Please contact us for assistance.
Cool Heat Pump Air
Q) The air coming from the registers feels cool when my new heat pump is set for heating; is there a problem? TOP
A) While a heat pump is perfectly capable of effectively heating your home, the temperature of the air coming out of the registers confuses some people. The air is heated to about 90 to 95 degrees, depending on the outdoor temperature. This temperature is approximately 20 to 25 degrees warmer than the indoor air temperature and will warm your house. It is, however, below body temperature (98.6 degrees) and can feel cool when someone puts their hand in the airflow.