Q & A
How do I save on HVAC energy cost?
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
- During the heating season, set the temperature at 68° when home and 50° when not home.
- During the cooling season, set the temperature to 78° when not home and to your comfort level when home.
- Turn off heat/air in unoccupied areas (close the register/vent cover dampers).
- Enroll in your energy company’s budget plan (a monthly averaging plan that sets a constant monthly rate).
- Install thermostats on interior walls away from heating or cooling vents and other sources of heat or drafts.
- Have the heating/cooling system inspected, cleaned and tuned before each heating and cooling season.
- Seal any drafts in the windows with approved shrink plastic kits.
- Install an energy star rated furnace and central air. Most older furnaces and central airs are inefficient and do not meet current energy efficiency standards (Minimum 80% AFUE for furnaces and 13 Seer for central airs).
- Clean the ductwork as recommended by your heating and cooling technician and change your filter regularly. Check your filter monthly no matter what. The above can reduce the efficiency of your equipment because you do not have proper air circulation due to restriction in the ductwork and filter.
What is the average lifespan of a central air conditioner?
The average lifespan of a central air conditioning system is 10-15 years.
What does the term “SEER rating” refer to?
The efficiency of central air conditioners is rated according to their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period. The higher the SEER rating of a unit, the more energy efficient it is. Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. The minimum SEER allowed today is 13. Installing a system with a high SEER rating will save you money and reduce your energy usage.
What is R-410A or Puron?
R-410A/Puron is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. R-410A/Puron 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 will be required in HVAC manufacturing.
What if I own an air conditioner that needs R-22 added after 2010?
You may continue to have your equipment containing R-22 serviced after 2010, although only a limited amount of new R-22 will be manufactured (to meet the servicing needs of equipment manufactured on or before December 31, 2009). After 2020, production of R-22 will be prohibited and only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available for servicing existing equipment. So, in the future, R-22 supplies will be more limited and costs may rise.
Why is bigger not necessarily better?
If your air conditioner is not properly sized to fit your home, your comfort will suffer. A unit that is too large will fail to de-humidify the air. A unit that is too small will not be able to cool your home to the desired level. It is important to find the right system for your space. Our Representative can help you determine your perfect fit.
What happens to my old air conditioner?
The refrigerant in the old system will be reclaimed and the old air conditioner will be removed.
Will my new air conditioner control the humidity in my home in the summer?
The only way to control humidity is to have a properly sized air conditioner. A Representative from Air Conditioning Services will make sure the system is sized correctly to control both humidity and temperature.
How often do I have to service my air conditioner?
We recommend you have your air conditioner serviced at least once every year to ensure optimal energy efficiency and smooth operation. Our ESA Maintenance agreement customers enjoy service twice a year to maximize efficiency and to minimize breakdowns that lead to additional costs.
Should I have my cooling or heating system inspected before I use it for the first time?
Yes. Your air conditioning and heating system should be serviced before use. It’s important that you make sure your system is mechanically sound and that the safety controls are functioning properly. We respectfully recommend they be performed just prior to the heating or cooling season. Air Conditioning Services ESA Maintenance agreement customers enjoy a worry free system because we take care of the necessary inspections for them twice a year to ensure the system is running properly.
Should I have my duct system cleaned? How important is the type of filter I have?
The beginning of the cooling season is a good time to have your ducts cleaned. Most duct systems have only a minimum amount of filtering. About 80-85% of the debris that comes in contact with your filter will pass through it and settle on your fan, cooling and in your air duct system. It is in this dark, dirty and sometimes damp environment that mold and mildew could grow. Having a quality duct cleaning every seven to ten years can prevent the build-up of these potential problems. Installing a high efficiency filtering system can eliminate the need for duct cleaning, is important to the health of your family, and can extend the life and efficiency of your HVAC system. Contact ACS today to discuss pure air solutions for your family.
Does Freon need to be added to my system every year?
No. The Freon in your cooling system is circulated through the copper refrigeration lines to remove heat from your home. If your system ever needs Freon, you have a leak and it is costing you money in higher utility bills through poor system performance. It can also damage the compressor, the heart of the air conditioning system. We recommend repairing the system for reliable and efficient operation. An ACS technician can help you determine your system needs.
Why does the air from my heat pump feel “cool” during the winter?
Why does the air from my heat pump feel “cool” during the winter? The air that is produced by a heat pump during the winter is in the 90° to 100° Fahrenheit range. Because the temperature of the your skin is in this same range, the air coming out of the vents feels “cool”. If your house were 90° Fahrenheit, you would most likely be uncomfortably warm!
A heating and cooling system should be sized based on several factors and not just square footage! The size of your home, the amount and condition of the insulation in your home, configuration of the space within your home and direction and type of windows are just a few of the factors. A system that is oversized will cost more to buy, more to operate, and it will shut off before it removes sufficient humidity from your home. This will cause the system to cut on and off quickly, which is known as “short cycling”. It is recommended to have a “load calculation” performed that considers all factors for best results. An ACS Representative will help determine the size of your new system to ensure its proper function, maintenance and your overall satisfaction.
Is “High Efficiency” really worth it?
By Federal law, the minimum efficiencies that can be sold are a 14 S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for residential cooling products and 80% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for gas heating products. SEERS can range as high as 18 and AFUES can go as high as 96%. These translate into operating savings of about 43% on cooling and 17% on heating. Payback of the initial cost difference can be realized in 3 to 5 years depending on how often you use them.
What About Energy Star Products?
Energy Star Equipment is the most efficient product you can purchase. They are the best overall value and are 15-20% more efficient than the minimum federal standards.