What is the one major cause of most air conditioning service calls?
Lack of regular programmed maintenance; more specifically water leaks — clogged drains, dirty evaporator coil/freeze up.
What is the most common air conditioning system design flaw?
Not enough return air capacity in the system.
What should I look for the most when purchasing a new replacement of my air conditioning system?
How well it’s designed, how well it’s installed, how well it’s maintained.
Here in Florida, is a bigger (higher cooling capacity) air conditioning system always better?
No, because of the excessively high humidity levels, over-sizing your air conditioning unit could lead to fungal (mold) contamination in your home.
There are other energy saving measures you can take to enhance your comfort and lower your utility costs.
I have some “mold” in my air handler or duct system; do I need to replace my air handler or duct work?
First of all, it is not uncommon to have fungal acceleration in your air conditioning air handler and to some extent, in your ductwork, especially if it is old and un-maintained. Air conditioning systems generate moisture. Moisture is a primary necessity for mold growth. Therefore, maintenance and programmed cleaning of your system is your best hedge against irreversible damage. Each fungal exposure is an individual situation; consult a professional with your concern, especially if you feel health issues are in play.
What can I do to verify the credibility of my new air conditioning contractor?
First of all make sure you’re dealing with a licensed contractor. Check with consumer agencies, i.e. Better Business Bureau and trade associations. For equipment and system replacements, make sure certain permit is issued for the work and is inspected to protect your interests.
What is the average usable life of my central air conditioning system?
Ten to fourteen years, depending upon cleaning and preventative maintenance.
In general, is there a correlation between a system’s efficiency and quality. In other words, does higher efficiency mean a better system?
No, not in general. As a matter of fact, as air conditioning equipment becomes more efficient it also becomes more sophisticated which may lead to greater opportunity for component failure.
What is R-410A?
R-410A is the new chlorine-free alternative refrigerant formula mandated to replace R-22, the current formula that does contain chlorine, harmful to the earth’s ozone level. January 1, 2010 the manufacturing of all air conditioning equipment using R-22 will be terminated by federal mandate.
What is the Federal Tax Credit plan as it applies to my air conditioning system’s replacement?
As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), homeowners are eligible for a federal tax credit up to $1500.00 for certain high-efficiency cooling and heating equipment. This credit expires 12/31/2010. Be certain to verify that your new system qualifies for the intended tax credit.
what do all these abbreviations mean like SEER, EER, HSPF and AFUE mean?
SEER = The efficiency of central air conditioning systems is rated by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). In general, the higher the SEER, the less electricity the system needs to do its job. SEER is a mathematically determined ratio of the total cooling capacity during normal periods of operation (not to exceed 12 months) divided by the total electric input during the same time period.
EER = EER is an abbreviation for Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating measures steady-state efficiency – that is, the efficiency of the air conditioner once it is up and running.
HSPF = The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the heating efficiency rating for heat pumps. The higher the rating, the ore efficient the heat pump will operate.
AFUE = Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a measure of your furnace’s heating efficiency. Specifically, it is the ratio of annual output energy compared to annual input energy. As the AFUE number increases, the more efficient the furnace. The minimum percentage established for furnaces is 78%.