How can I help my AC last longer?
As with any HVAC unit, you can extend the life of your air conditioner with routine maintenance tasks and cleaning. The leading cause of AC problems is restricted airflow, but proper maintenance and regular cleaning will help to keep your system free of any obstructions. Even a dirty air filter can affect your air conditioner’s performance. You should also have one of our qualified technicians inspect your air conditioning system at least once a year. We will give it a thorough exam to make sure there aren’t any concerns or hazards. By detecting potential problems early on, you can help maintain your AC system and make sure it lasts as long as possible.
How can I save energy?
Keeping your thermostat at reasonable temperatures is one easy way to save energy. Turning it up when you aren’t home will also help save energy and lower your utility bills. Programmable thermostats are also an affordable way to help you be more consistent with climate control within your home. You can set the thermostat to automatically turn up or down according to your schedule. Insulating and sealing your home is another way to prevent air loss, but you should also make sure you have proper ventilation. Retrofitting an older home with a new high–efficiency air conditioner can definitely help you save energy, especially if the rest of the home has been upgraded. Taking the whole home approach is the most effective way to save energy, even if you have to make minor improvements over time. Call us if you would like to know some basic home improvements you can make to help you lower your energy costs.
Is it True that Refrigerants are made with Ozone–Depleting CFCs?
Until 1995, most air conditioners were charged with refrigerants that contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Because it was discovered that CFCs can damage the ozone layer, manufacturers were required to stop using refrigerants with CFCS. Most AC manufacturers today use halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as the refrigerant; however, it is estimated that these will be completely phased out by 2030. The most common HCFC refrigerant for residential air conditioners (HCFC–22, or R–22) is expected to be removed from production by 2020. These refrigerants are to be replaced with ones that are safe for the environment and ozone layer, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). As HCFCs are phased out, HFCs and alternative refrigerants, such as ammonia, will begin to take over the market.
What types of central AC noises should I be concerned about?
Any time your air conditioning unit makes a loud or unusual noise, you should call a professional technician to check it out. However there are some noises that are normal, such as the momentary high–pitched noise the compressor makes when the AC kicks on. Other noises, such as a clanking noise, could mean there’s a loose part or a foreign object. This sound is similar to the one your dryer makes when change has fallen out of one of the garment pockets, or a metal zipper is hitting the inner walls. Vibrating or humming sounds could mean that the AC unit was installed incorrectly or it’s no longer level, or it could be a problem with the fan. Always call us if you hear an odd noise coming from your air conditioning system.
Why should I be concerned about moisture control?
Controlling the moisture and maintaining adequate ventilation in your home are critical to improving your indoor air quality. When you have excess moisture in your home, it can cause harmful mold growth, and make it more difficult to breath. Lack of ventilation can exacerbate moisture problems because there’s no air circulation, which helps to evaporate moisture in the air. This is why it is important to have your HVAC system checked once a year; many heating and air conditioning systems include some type of dehumidifying device to help maintain comfortable temperatures.
Moisture control can also improve the efficiency of your system, which will extend the life of your HVAC unit and lower your energy use. Moisture, ventilation, insulation, and proper sealing are all important factors when finding ways to improve indoor air quality. There should be a balance between all of these. Moisture control is only one part of the equation. Feel free to call us if you have further questions about moisture control or indoor air quality.
Should I install an air cleaner?
While there are many ways to improve the air quality inside your home, installing an air cleaner can greatly affect your indoor air quality. Depending on the types of pollutants you want to target, you will want to either install a mechanical or electronic air cleaner. We offer a wide selection of air cleaners and can help you choose which model is best for your needs.
Keep in mind that mechanical air cleaners are less expensive and easier to maintain but that they only filter out the more common particles. Electronic air cleaners are better at trapping smaller particles, but they tend to be more expensive upfront. You can install both for more protection, and you may want to install a UV germicidal light for the ultimate indoor air quality system. Call us any time to discuss the air cleaners and UV lights that we offer.
What Are Ductless Splits?
Ductless split air conditioning and heating systems provide optimal temperature control to one or more rooms in your home without the use of conventional air ducts. These systems utilize an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, both of which are compact and can be placed in very small or confined spaces.
The outdoor unit supplies the heating or cooling element to the indoor unit, which then takes in room air, heats or cools it, and then returns it to general circulation. Ductless split systems come in many different sizes and models, so you can easily select the right one for your particular needs.
What Are the Advantages of Ductless Split Systems?
With ductless split systems, you can enjoy the comfort of central air or heating no matter what the layout or dynamics of your home. Installing ductwork is a big job and can disrupt your life for a considerable amount of time. Ducts also take up a lot of space, so you’ll need to have that type of space to work with in all areas of your home that you want to be able to heat and cool.
Ductless systems, on the other hand, take up much less space and can be installed virtually anywhere. Both the outdoor and indoor components are compact, so you don’t need to worry about having enough space in and around your house.
These types of ductless systems are also generally more energy efficient than the traditional duct–based systems, so you’ll save on your energy costs as an added bonus. Ductless systems also have an individual thermostat for each room, so you’ll have greater control over which rooms are being heated and cooled at any given time.
How Many Rooms Can a Ductless Split System Service?
There are quite a few different sizes and types of ductless split heating and cooling systems. Depending on your needs, you can select a system that’s appropriate for one room or zone in your house, or you can opt for a larger system that will heat and cool as many as 8 rooms.
The flexibility of ductless split systems makes it easy to find exactly the right model for your particular needs. You don’t need to worry about spending too much or too little or about your system not being powerful enough to keep your home comfortable. Depending on the size, one outdoor unit can supply any number of indoor units, which means that you’ll essentially have the convenience of central heating and air without the hassle and expense.
Why are there so many different types of efficiency ratings?
Most heating systems are rated with the annual fuel utilization (AFUE), which measures the percentage of fuel that gets converted into heat. Typically, you will not find a new heating unit on the market that has less than an 80% AFUE rating. While AFUE ratings are measured in percentages, other efficiency ratings are measured by different sets of numbers. A new air conditioning unit, for instance, will have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, and a good SEER rating is at least 13 or above. Air source heat pumps are sometimes given an AFUE rating for their heating efficiency, but they are also given an HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) rating for heat, in addition to a SEER rating for their air conditioning capabilities. You may also see an EER rating when you are in the market for a new heating system, which stands for, “Energy Efficiency Ratio.” In general, the best and simplest way to shop for a high–efficiency heater is to find models with an ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR units are typically the most efficient heating systems available. You can always call us if you have further questions about efficiency ratings and saving energy.
What are some signs that I might need a heating repair?
While there are a number of ways to tell if you need a repair for your heater, one of the most obvious reasons is any kind of system malfunction or failure. There could be other minor issues as well, like a tripped fuse that may be the cause, but we’re happy to send someone over to get your heater running again. A recent and unexplained rise in your energy bills is another indication that there could be something wrong with your heating system, though you should also rule out other causes first. Loud noises, insufficient temperatures, and poor performance are other ways to tell if you might need a repair. Call us if you aren’t sure or if you would like to set up an appointment with one of our technicians.
How will I benefit from installing a new thermostat?
Traditional dial thermostats are not as precise as any newer digital model. Even if you don’t install a programmable thermostat, a digital thermostat will help to ensure that your heater maintains the proper temperature. Programmable and wireless thermostats provide even greater benefits when you consider the savings you can get by turning your heat down even a few degrees when you don’t need to heat your home. Even the most basic programmable thermostat allows you to program temperature settings according to your schedule. Wireless thermostats are ideal for zone control systems because you can create more zones with individual settings for each area. This will greatly reduce your heating costs, as well as increase the life of your system. We install some of the most advanced thermostats available, so call us if you would like to know more about these products and the installation services we offer.