Air Conditioning FAQs
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.