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A/C and Heating FAQ

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A/C units are a lot like cars, after 10 years they start giving you problems and are not as efficient. You may run into minor repairs that can be easily done. We usually recommend replacing units that are over 10 years old, especially when they start giving you constant problems or when major repairs that may cost over $500.00 are needed.

Most air conditioning systems around the world were designed with R22 refrigerant. Since January 1st, 2010 new air conditions cannot be manufactured with R22 refrigerant. All new equipment is now being designed with R-410a refrigerant. R22 refrigerant will be phased out by 2020. R410a uses significantly higher pressures compared to R22, therefore the equipment has to be designed to resist these higher pressures. Because of these higher pressures replacing the evaporator coil is recommended when replacing the condenser.

The average life of an AC system is about 10 years. A well-maintained unit can last you about 15 years. Keeping an AC unit more than 10 years may not be ideal because with time they lose efficiency. A new more efficient system may fail for itself with the utility savings.

We recommend that you inspect your AC and heater twice a year. Inspect the AC in the spring time to avoid problems in the heat of the summer. There may be a problem with your system but you might not notice until it gets very hot. Sometimes minor problems can end up causing other major problems. For example, when running your equipment with a defective capacitor (minor problem) can end up causing a compressor to go out. This can be very costly and could be avoided if caught early.

We recommend inspecting the heater in the fall. Heaters are inspected for proper function and safety. There are many safety devices in the heater. It is good to have them checked to make sure they are working properly to protect from fires. Also, if you have a gas furnace it is important to inspect for carbon monoxide.

This is the name given to a specific protocol used to determine how much air conditioning and heating is needed for the home or business. This is often also called a heat load calculation. Every aspect of the property is taken into account; square footage, amount of insulation in the attic, single or double pane windows, air infiltration, etc. It is important to properly size the equipment for your needs. If the AC is undersized, then it will not reach the desired temperature in the heat of the summer. If it is oversized, then you will sacrifice the comfort level. The equipment will not run long enough to keep a good level of humidity.

It is very important to breathe clean fresh air in your home. UV lights help destroy mold and allergens that can be found in many AC systems. Whole house air filters can also be installed to keep dust from being blown back into the house. If someone in your home suffers from allergies this may be something to consider

An air handler is the part of the system that is usually installed in the attic or in a closet. The air handler has a blower motor that distributes the air throughout the house.

Central air conditioners use the basic principle that heat always transfer to cool. The air conditioner uses refrigerant that is cooled when it reaches the evaporator coil to about 40 degrees. When the hot air from the house goes through the cold coil, heat is absorbed from the air and comes out cold. When running, the central heater is heated through gas fire or heating elements. When the cold air travels through the unit the heat is absorbed and warm air comes out into the house.