Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of common questions that our clients ask us. If you need more information don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Most systems will last 10-20 years if they are properly installed and adequately maintained. Most homeowners under-estimate the value and importance of having their systems cleaned and checked annually. This will shorten the useful life of the equipment and increase operating costs.
There are a number of factors to consider, including the following:
- age of equipment. If it's over 10 years old, consider replacement
- cost of current repair
- repair history
- energy efficiency
- equipment performance
- are you planning to move soon?
- reliability of your current system
- new equipment warranty. Some manufacturers now offer 10 year parts warranties.
- tax credits from state and federal government
- rebates from utility companies
Probably not. Proper cooling is a function of many items including ductwork sizing, system run times, and proper humidity control. A larger unit may cool your home faster, but shorter run times will not permit proper dehumidification to occur. Sizing a system for a limited number of extremely hot days will adversely affect it's ability to perform properly when it is running the majority of the time. Wider temperature swings and lowered overall comfort will be observed when a system is improperly sized. Increased energy usage and higher utility costs are other reasons to not "oversize" a system.
Installing a larger size furnace will cause the same issues noted above with the additional danger of overheating and/or the unit cycling on limit.
Probably not. Federally mandated efficiency standards have forced manufacturers to increase the size of condensing units to lower their energy usage. The indoor coil (evaporator) must be properly sized for the outdoor unit it is connected to for proper cooling to occur. Some manufacturer's warranties may be voided by not replacing the indoor coil at the same time the condenser is replaced.
It depends on the type of air filter your system has: 1" wide disposable air filters should be checked and/or replaced monthly. Media type air filters should be checked/replaced every 6 months. EAC (Electronic Air Cleaners) should be cleaned every 3 months.
Consider the following:
- Annual maintenance. Having your system checked yearly by a qualified contractor is critical. A system that is even "just a little low" on refrigerant will have it's cooling capacity severely diminished. A dirty coil on the condensing unit will force the system to operate longer at higher temperatures with reduced cooling capacity. A weak capacitor or a bad electrical connection can cause a compressor to fail prematurely.
- Check attic ventilation and insulation. Install a temperature controlled attic ventilation fan. This will significantly lower your cooling costs if it's not already properly ventilated.
- Upgrade your furnace and air conditioner to a higher efficiency. AC systems are available up to 20 seer now and furnaces to 95%. If your system is over 10 years old, you should consider replacing it to increase it's operating efficiency.
R-22 is being gradually phased out and manufacturers are now prohibited from manufacturing new equipment with R-22 in it. R410a is the current "new" freon that most manufacturers are now using. As supplies of R-22 become more scarce, it's cost is sure to keep increasing. If your system has a slow leak and you have to keep having it "topped off" every year, it would be wise to consider replacement and convert your system to R410a.
YES. Every home should have a CO detector installed on each floor. Hundreds of deaths could be prevented each year by having a working CO detector installed. Thousands more are injured from non-lethal doses of carbon monoxide poisoning. Check the batteries on your CO detector today!
The proper installation and maintenance of equipment is more important than a specific brand. A poorly installed name brand unit probably won't last much longer than an off-brand unit that is properly installed.