SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HVAC
When should I replace my central air conditioner?
If you're tired of paying a lot for cooling system maintenance/repair, invest in a high-efficiency air conditioner. New models often are twice as efficient as 10-year-old models. Look for an air conditioner with a high SEER rating, a measure for efficiency.
How often should I have air conditioner/furnace maintenance?
We recommend at least twice a year: once in the early spring & late fall. Even if you don’t suspect any problems with your air conditioning unit, it’s a good idea to have it inspected, serviced and cleaned at least once a year — ideally in the spring — to ensure it operates at peak energy efficiency and is ready to cool your house during the months you need it most.As your HVAC system runs, it accumulates dust and dirt in key areas that affect its efficiency, like the condensing coils and air filters. Left unchecked, your A/C system can lose 5 percent of its operating efficiency each year because of this buildup, meaning it can’t cool your house as capably as it could if it were clean.
Some industry terminology explained.
Home heating and cooling systems are much easier to operate than ever before. They work better and need fewer repairs. The innovations that bring more comfort and convenience make system operations more complicated. For the average consumer, HVAC systems are a challenge to understand. When replacing an old HVAC system, or shopping for a new one, it makes sense to inform yourself about industry jargon. It will give you some basic knowledge and help you find the best system for your home.
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Commonly referred to as AFUE, it is a measure of heating efficiency. More efficient furnaces have a higher AFUE.
Air Handler. It usually is a furnace or blower coil, and is responsible for moving heated or cooled air through ductwork.
British Thermal Unit. A BTU is a unit of heat energy. Look for high BTUs on HVAC systems that have a greater heating capacity.
Central air conditioner. Air is handled and distributed from a central location to rooms throughout a home or building.
Compressor. This device is located in your outdoor air-conditioning unit. Its function is to compress and pump cooling refrigerant.
Ductwork. Air is distributed from the furnace or blower coil via ductwork through your home.
ENERGY STAR. A trademarked label for HVAC products that meet strict guidelines by the Environmental Protection Agency for efficiency and performance.
Heat Exchanger. It transfers heat to air that is distributed throughout the home.
Humidifier. This device sends moisture into heated air as it leaves the furnace.
Humidistat. Maintains humidity levels at adjusted levels.
MERV Rating. Not the former TV talk show host, but a rating for air filters. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Filters with smaller holes have higher MERV values and better efficiency.