Q: When should I replace my air conditioner?
The life expectancy of an air conditioner varies from climate to climate, the average age at replacement is 13 years. Your personal threshold for discomfort in sticky weather may cause you to replace your system every 10 years, or even when a major repair is needed. Medical conditions, empty or uncomfortable areas or your home, and a few other factors cause many home owners to add a supplemental ductless heating and cooling system and see how many years they can get out of their central cooling system.
Q: Why is my AC system leaking water?
The primary function of an air conditioner is to remove sticky water from the air and put it into a drain. When sized correctly, the cooling affect is often secondary or incidental. Many times, the drain can become obstructed from dirt, especially if the air filtration system is poor.
The other reason an ac leaking can be more serious- ice! When refrigerant levels are low and/or airflow is restricted the AC coil by your furnace or air handler freezes. When this happens, water collects & turns to ice and grows larger than the drain system, then defrosts. This water can infiltrate dark places and grow mildew, or even affect electronic components, damaging your hvac system. Inspect carefully with the power off and good a flashlight to see where the water is starting from. Many times, a hand from a hvac pro can save you lots of frustration.
Q: Is it necessary to service my AC every year?
Servicing the AC every year is the best way to stay ahead of any problems or major repairs. A malfunctioning system in extremely hot temperatures is not only uncomfortable but it is also unsafe. An annual tune up by a professional & licensed hvac contractor ensures your system is clean & is operating both efficiently & safely.
Q: How often should AC coils be cleaned?
AC coils should be cleaned every year during the spring/summer months to prevent any pricy repairs or problems. During an AC Cleaning a licensed hvac technician will check the coil for cleanliness, leaks & refrigerant levels. All gas & electrical components are inspected for safety & performance. Your technician will inspect & change your filters, but it is also important to regularly change your filter every month in between seasonal tune ups of your hvac system.
Q: What is the best time to buy an air conditioner?
It’s probably time to consider replacing your air conditioner if you are investing a lot of money into repairing it. It’s best to replace your air conditioner before the extreme temperatures arrive to ensure continued comfort & safety.
Q: How can I save money on my AC?
If you are purchasing a new AC be sure to request a few estimates from professionally licensed contractors. When comparing quotes take into consideration the following: 1. Research the HVAC Contractors reputation, skill & background 2. Study the reviews & quality of the manufacturer who makes the Equipment 3.Compare pricing & find the best balance between a qualified contractor & quality equipment. It’s not every day that you purchase an AC so think of the what you are actually receiving when making this investment. Don’t try to save money by doing it yourself or hiring a handyman or anything but a licensed professional hvac contractor, this will only cost you more money and will void your manufacturer warranty. Hiring a professional will save you money on your AC & will be sure to keep you cool & comfortable all summer long.
Q: Do air conditioners need to be serviced?
For optimal performance air conditioners need to be serviced every year to ensure proper operation & efficiency. An AC tune up will include cleaning condenser coils, testing the refrigerant levels, inspecting the indoor blower motor & wheel & checking for leaks & debris. Neglecting annual maintenance could result in decreased performance & efficiency & can also lead to pricey repairs.
Q: Do split system air conditioners need servicing?
Yes, annual maintenance is strongly recommended for split system air conditioning systems. It’s important to keep the outside unit clean & clear of any debris. Changing the filters, cleaning the coil & condenser as well as checking all electrical components & refrigerant lines will ensure your system is operating at peak performance.
Q: What are split system air conditioners?
Split system air conditioners, or ductless systems allows you to create a comfortable indoor environment in spaces where adding ductwork might be impractical, inefficient or too expensive. High-quality, low cost wall-mounted units provide zoned comfort solutions. Split systems are the perfect solution for sun rooms, hot or cold rooms, media rooms, lofts, garages, basements, bonus rooms, offices, additions & any older homes without existing ductwork. Ductless heat pump systems pump cooled or heated refrigerant directly to air-handling units through small pipes. Each living space has its own air handling unit, and each unit has it’s own wireless electronic temperature controller.
Q: What AC unit is best for my home?
It’s important to receive a quote from a professional, licensed HVAC Contractor to ensure proper & accurate measurements can be used to calculate the proper size AC Unit to install. It’s also best to consider how long you will be staying in your home. If you have no plans on moving in the near future you should make the initial investment on a high efficient AC unit so that you will benefit from the energy savings on a monthly basis. If you do not plan on staying in your home, or are trying to sell your house in the near future, you may want to go the less expensive route & go with a basic model since you will not be receiving the benefits of the initial investment of energy savings on a monthly basis.
Make sure to purchase a quality name brand like Trane products to allow peace & comfort knowing your AC has undergone rigorous testing & guarantees high quality performance & reliability. Installing a high end brand ensures you will not experience your unit breaking down or requiring expensive repairs in the near future. Going with a higher end brand also comes with great warranties from the manufacturer so in the event your unit does require a repair, your manufacturer will cover the parts warranty.
Q: How long do AC units last?
On average an AC unit that is properly maintained will last 10-15 years. Neglecting to perform annual, routine maintenance tune-ups by a certified HVAC Contractor will significantly decrease the lifespan of the unit. Similar to getting regular maintenance & oil changes on a car, if you do not properly attend to it you will be sure to experiences the equipment will break down frequently which leads to expensive repairs.
Q: Should I cover the outdoor unit of my system during the fall and winter?
When covering the ac, it is important to do it with a breathable cover. All we are really looking to protect is the fan and the blades from ice and snow buildup.
Q: How do I clean my air conditioner filter?
Depending on the type of air filter you currently have you may need to change it every month or 3 months – some filters only require a clean/replacement every 6 months. The best way to find out the method to clean your air conditioner is to contact a professional HVAC contractor so they can perform a thorough cleaning & properly maintain your air conditioner.
Q: How does air conditioning actually work to cool my home?
With a traditional central heating & cooling system your air conditioner cools the air in your home through the ductwork & provides a process drawing out the warm inside air, removing the heat. The outdoor unit, otherwise known as the condensing unit, then turns the refrigerant vapor back into a liquid removing any heat & filling the room with cool air.
Q: Do I need an indoor or outdoor AC unit?
You need both the indoor unit & the outdoor unit in order to successfully operate & promote the cooling benefits of your air conditioning system.
Q: Where is the best place to install an AC unit for maximum coolness in the most rooms of a house?
Every home is different; therefore, each home has it’s own unique “best place” to install an AC unit for maximum coolness… It’s best to have a professional, experienced comfort specialist come to your home to provide you with an estimate for your replacement system that best suits your home’s specific needs. Our Comfort Specialist will properly test, assess & provide recommendations based on a Manual J Load Calculation. This calculation incorporates things like the square footage of the home, the year your home was built, the materials your house was built with, the draft coming from your windows & doors, the direction your walls face, along with many other items that will be used to determine the very best heating & cooling equipment to fit your specific home’s capacity & needs.
Q: How long does it take to install an AC unit?
On average, a direct replacement & installation of an air conditioning unit takes around 4 – 6 hours. Additional time may be required depending on factors such as if the installation team is replacing the coil, disconnect, lineset, flushing the lines, replacing the ac pad, setting the ac on brackets, etc. along with any other variables that may have been included in the agreement for the AC installation.
Q: If I am having an emergency HVAC issue, how fast can you come to my home? What if it’s the middle of the night?
Home HVAC issues can sometimes be unavoidable. For that reason, we’re here for you 24/7 and will work with you if your equipment needs service or replacement. If you are experiencing an emergency and you find yourself without heating or cooling, we will have a technician out in most cases the same day you request service. If you need assistance outside our standard business hours our on-call technician will be able to assist you after hours & provide you with service to resolve your heating & cooling needs.
Q: How can I keep my HVAC system running smoothly while I’m at home?
Keeping your air filters clean, and replace them if necessary. Maintain good ventilation by installing fans in your home. Open a window or two to improve air flow, if possible. Be sure to contact a professional contractor to perform regular maintenance twice a year by completing a proper tune up on your AC & furnace. These small steps will ensure your are keeping your HVAC system working as efficiently as possible.
Q: What does it mean to be NATE-certified?
NATE is an independent organization that certifies installation or service technicians with a knowledge-based test. Organizations that are part of the NATE coalition include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers. A NATE-Certified HVAC technician is a high-level standard in the heating & cooling industry. Having a NATE Certification means more extensive training, higher education, and experience on all heating & cooling makes & models.
Q: Do you have any maintenance tips for homes with pets?
The best tips to promote the healthiest air quality for a homeowner who has pets is to have a proper air cleaner, change your filters regularly & be sure to occasionally open the windows & let fresh air flow through the home. Another tip is to get a high quality air purification system or a Trane Clean Effects with a media filter replacement. Filters only need to be changed twice a year with these types of filtration systems. Another product we highly recommend is the Apco UV System, which also mounts directly to your supply vent.