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 the 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 the 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 type of house and walls, type and size of windows, insulation, basement and attic conditions, house orientation, and so on. A Salesman must visit the house and take detailed measurements and notes while conducting the survey.
Absolutely. An air conditioner that’s just 10 years old may be as much as 60 percent less efficient than a brand new baseline unit. Today’s energy efficient models do a lot more cooling with a lot less electricity, keeping operating costs low.
Heating and Air Conditioning equipment, no matter what kind you have, should be inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once a year. The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the Fall and the air conditioning checked in the Spring. Annual servicing includes cleaning the system, checking for any problems or potential problems and adjusting for PEAK efficiency.
We suggest checking filters monthly. If you have a disposable type filter, (these usually have a cardboard edge), and if it is dirty, just replace it. Don’t attempt to clean it. Some higher efficiency 1″ pleated air filters can go up to three months before needing replacement. But in the higher-use seasons, it’s better to check more often.
Different systems have different filter locations. If you don’t know where your filter is located, now would be a good time to learn! Usually, there is a removable filter access door in the return air duct next to the furnace or indoor unit. This can be in a basement, crawl-space, utility closet, garage, or attic.
Sometimes, especially with older systems, the filter is located inside the furnace itself, next to the blower motor. And some systems have a central filter grille installed in a wall or ceiling. The grille swings open, revealing the air filter.
Keep in mind, many air filters are directional – the air is meant to flow through the filter in one direction only. Look for an arrow or airflow symbol indicating direction. The arrow should point towards the furnace or air handler. If your filter does not have any arrows, see if one side of the filter looks rougher than the other side; that would be the side to collect the dust, so the other side would face the equipment.
Step 1 – With the thermostat in the off position, locate and remove your air filter.
Step 2 – Using a garden hose with good water pressure, spray off the filter – from both sides. You can repeat this process several times if the filter is very dirty. Just be careful not to use too much pressure or damage could be done to the filter media. When the water runs clear and the filter is clean you are ready for the next step.
Step 3 – Shake off the excess water. It is a good idea to let the filter sit out and completely dry before reinstalling it. But if it is still a little damp, you can go ahead and re-install it.
Step 4 – Slide the air filter back into the rack, noting proper airflow direction, and you are done. Now you can turn your thermostat back on and remember to do this again next month.
The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 14, or 16. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 14-18.
Good air conditioners can last as long as 15 years if they’re properly maintained, but average air conditioners are expected to develop problems after seven to ten years if they’re neglected. If you want to get the most out of your new system, check your filters monthly and replace them as needed, keep your outdoor unit clean and free of debris, and shade the unit during the hottest parts of the day. By performing a little easy maintenance, you can greatly extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it working at its best.
Before you call us, check that the furnace filter isn’t clogged and that the air conditioner is on and set to a temperature that will cause it to cycle. Check if the thermostat is operational, it may be possible that the batteries are simply bad. If you know where the disconnects are located, check those as well, and note if anything smells, looks, or sounds unusual.
The temperature that your air conditioner blows at will depend on the temperature of the air entering the return. Typically, room air should blow out at a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees cooler than when it went in, but if there’s excess humidity in the air, this range may vary slightly. Allow your unit to run at least 15 minutes before you compare the return air temperature to the blowing air temperature.
Usually, an air conditioner that has frozen is suffering from restricted air flow. Turn the unit off as soon as you notice a problem and check the filter. If it’s pristine, you may have accidentally blocked the air return or have a refrigerant leak. Check your vents before you call a professional out to hunt down a leak.