FAQ’s

What is the best temperature to keep my thermostat set at?

The only correct temperature for your thermostat is the one you are most comfortable with. Just remember that every degree cooler you have it set could raise your energy bill about 3%.

What is the best type of thermostat?

This is also an answer that is based on personal preference. The three major types of thermostats are mercury based, digital non programmable, and digital programmable. The first type is a mercury based thermostat, typically round or square where you have to move an arm or dial to set it. I recommend replacing it with a digital. Which type of digital depends on you, a programmable thermostat will allow you to set the system to turn on or off at certain times of the day. It works the same way as a mercury based thermostat, yet is very accurate.

What is a SEER rating?

Cooling efficiency for air conditioners is indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity; the higher the number, the greater the efficiency. The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established the minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. Then again in 2006 established for 13 SEER. High-efficiency units have a SEER of at least 13.0; the maximum available is about 20.0 SEER.

Why is it necessary to clean my condensing coil?

Your condensing coil is like the lungs of an air conditioning system. The more air flowing through the coil, the better your system will work. Every piece of dust or debris can prevent air from flowing through the coil. An air conditioner works by transferring heat from the inside of your house to the outside. That’s the condenser’s job. In the summer the air blowing out of the condensing unit feels hot. These are the heat molecules from inside your house.

What is Freon R-22?

R-22 is the common name from hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that HCFC’s contain chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent. For this reason, the United States Clean Air Act set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC manufacturers had to cease the production of products that use R-22.

What is R-410A?

R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and is being seen as the most likely replacement for R-22 by HVAC manufacturers. At the beginning of 2010, the use of alternate refrigerant was required in HVAC manufacturing.

What is Energy Star?

Energy Star is a program that was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help businesses and individuals make energy efficient purchases. This program places the Energy Star label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high efficiency products.

What can I do to control the humidity levels in my home?

Humidity levels can be reduced by operating a variable speed air handling system in your home. Variable speed units run longer, at lower speeds, allowing air to constantly circulate against the cooling coil and remove more moisture. Variable speed motors also use less electricity than regular motors, reducing your energy costs.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a device used for either the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs. A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32° Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump.

What is AFUE?

AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the ratio of heat output by heat input. This measurement describes how well fuel, gas or oil is consumed to produce heat by a furnace. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have at least an 80% AFUE.

How long will my system last?

Maintenance and service play a key role in the lifecycle of a heating or air conditioning system. If all recommended maintenance and service actions are taken, it is believed that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years, and a gas furnace should last from 20 to 25 years.

What happens when I replace my old system?

To install the most efficient HVAC system in your household, a detailed inspection should first be performed by your installation contractor. The inspection should include, as a minimum, the inspection of your home’s ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, slabs, filters, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.

How do I determine the size or capacity of my HVAC system?

Factors affecting the size of your new system include the climate in your region, humidity levels, the number and kind of windows in your dwelling, total square footage of your home, the direction your home faces, the number of heat producing appliances in your home, the type of insulation you have and the number of people that live in your residence.

What goes into installing a new system?

If you install a new system, most of the items from the “What happens when I replace my old system?” will need to be installed as well. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system is the ductwork.

Ductwork: The amount of air reaching each zone is determined by the size of supply ductwork connecting it to your system. The second part of the ductwork, the return duct, attaches to the inlet of the new system and draws air out of the spaces to be heated or cooled. Attached to the return duct is the filter. The filter should be placed as near to the furnace or air handler as possible. Ductwork can be either fiberglass or metal and must be properly sized in order to evenly distribute the proper amount of air to each room.

Central Air Conditioning: Central air conditioning helps keep your home cool and reduces humidity levels. By transferring heat from air located inside your home to the outside, conditioned and cooled air is left to be re-circulated. Using electricity as its power source the compressor inside an air conditioning unit pumps coolant, or refrigerant, back and forth to gather heat and moisture from indoors. Warm air from inside is blown over the cooling coil, which is connected to the compressor, and then pumped back into your home.

Do I need air conditioning in my home wine cellar?

Air conditioning is actually a term used to describe conditioning of the air for human comfort. Wine cellars must be refrigerated due to the much lower temperatures needed (typically 55ºF) to preserve and properly age your wine inventory. Wine cellars are also slightly more humid than air conditioned rooms. Air conditioners also provide heated air in your home during winter months which would be detrimental to the storing and aging of fine wines. We can help you in selecting the proper cooling equipment for your wine storage needs.