Common Heating and AC Repair & Installation FAQs Answered

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Heating and air conditioning can cause a headache if you don’t know all of the facts. We researched and collected some of the most common heating and AC repair & installation FAQs that are asked by homeowners like you.

Air Conditioning Questions

The best way to figure out what size air conditioner you need is to hire a professional to come take a look at your house and your duct system and give you a recommendation. Why? Because even identical houses have different cooling needs.

There are some signs that your air conditioning is not working right. Here are a few of them:

  • Warm air or little to no cool air coming from the vents
  • High humidity levels in your home
  • Strange noises like hissing, banging, or vibrating
  • Water pooling around the outdoor unit or leaking through the ceiling

If you notice any of these signs, you should call a repair service.

The answer is not always clear-cut. There are a few things to look for that may indicate it’s time to have your air conditioning system replaced.

  • The age of your air conditioner – The average life expectancy of an HVAC system is between 10-15 years. If your system is older than this, you may want to start looking into replacing it.
  • Your energy bills are climbing – If you have an old or inefficient air conditioner, it could be using more energy than necessary and costing you more money each month in utility bills. In addition to reducing your energy bill, a new air conditioner can help improve indoor air quality and reduce noise levels inside the home.
  • You’ve had several repairs – If your air conditioner has been repaired several times over the last few years, it may be time to replace it with a newer model that will be more reliable and efficient.

If you aren’t ready to buy a new unit, some things can help you maximize your current unit’s potential:

  • Make sure you change or clean the filter regularly. A dirty filter will restrict airflow, making your system work harder and consume more energy.
  • Close off rooms that are not needed to be cooled off.
  • Use ceiling fans or other means to circulate cool air throughout your home
  • Make sure your windows and doors are sealed tightly

You may find out that certain companies have better deals than others during particular times of the year, so be sure to ask if there are any seasonal promotions available to save you money.

How often you need maintenance depends on the type of AC you have, but you should be able to get away with having an HVAC pro look at your system twice every year.

The first step in choosing an HVAC service company is to do some research online. Here are some things to consider when choosing an HVAC service company:

  • Make sure they have all required licenses, certifications, and insurance.
  • Ask for references.
  • Look for a company with experience.
  • Look online for reviews of different HVAC service companies in your area.

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 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 21.

Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating.

Your heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions for your home every day. The constant stopping, starting and continual operation can wear down any machine if the proper care and maintenance are delayed. However, by performing regular maintenance, you can maximize the lifecycle of your heating or cooling unit and guard against many common equipment failures. Preventive maintenance inspections performed on a regular basis can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires, and corroded electrical contacts. You should have maintenance completed on your system regularly to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent possible problems that may occur in the near future.

Heat pumps and air conditioners require a professional tune-up twice a year; in the spring and fall. Inspections on boiler and furnace systems should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines, oil tank and every part of the actual furnace and boiler. Meanwhile, heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include inspections of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils, and refrigerant lines.

Since they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat. Because everything is automatic, you will never forget to change the setting on your own.

Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they don’t really improve indoor air quality. To do that you need a media air cleaner. The media filter rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal up to seven times that of a standard filter. However, upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimal efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month.

Heating Questions

Yes. In fact, most manufacturers recommend that you have your furnace inspected, cleaned, and tuned up each year. A well-maintained heating system will operate more safely and efficiently than one that has not been serviced, saving you money on utility bills and reducing the possibility of costly repairs down the road.

First, ensure that the circuit breaker has not tripped. Then, ensure that your thermostat’s display screen is showing an error code. If the thermostat display screen does not show an error code, turn off the furnace for 15 minutes and then turn it back on. If the furnace does not start after one hour, contact a professional HVAC technician for service.

Noise can be caused by several factors, including loose parts and ventilation problems. Your heater should be inspected by a professional at least once per year to ensure that all parts are secure and that no other issues are causing unwanted noise.

If you experience strange sounds coming from your heating unit, contact a professional HVAC technician immediately.

Your heating system has specific needs based on its type. Some systems need to be inspected yearly, while others can go longer without attention. If you’re unsure about what your system needs, give us a call! We’re happy to talk through your options and help you develop a regular maintenance routine.

Before You Leave

We hope we’ve answered your many questions. However, if you have any further questions about your Heating and Air Conditioning System, feel free to contact us or stop by our service center. We’re always happy to help!