Absolute Heat & Air in Springdale, AR & Gainesville, TX is here to answer your Heating & Air conditioning questions.
Our professional team has compiled an extensive list of your heating & air conditioning questions. We’re proud to share our knowledge of Air Conditioning & Heating systems, how they operated, and little tidbits on how to maintain your system.
What is HVAC?
HVAC- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning- It is a system that provides different types of heating and cooling services to residential and commercial buildings. Its function is to provide thermal comfort, humidity control and acceptable indoor air quality.
What is Energy Star?
ENERGY STAR is a program that was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help businesses and individuals make energy efficient purchases. This program places the ENERGY STAR label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high-efficiency products.
What manufacturer makes the best air conditioners?
Air conditioning is a matured technology so most of the popular brands work well. Many of them use parts made by the same manufacturers. So, the main considerations are the price, warranty, attractiveness, noise, etc. Some manufacturers offer anywhere from a 10-12 year warranty on all parts while others offer only 1 year. Whatever you decide, the most important consideration is the contractor you use. For your protection, make sure you use a licensed contractor for your installation. A licensed contractor using best refrigerant practices and procedures can save you time and money! You may buy the best system in the world but if it is not properly installed, you will actually be buying nothing but a big headache for years to come.
What is a heat pump?
A Heat Pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round to keep you comfortable. During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses—the unit collects heat from the outdoor air and transfers it inside your home. Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there’s not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. Extremely efficient, this process produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses. However, keep in mind, if you do not use much heat and you are thinking about replacing your system, a heat pump is more expensive to purchase up front and you will only receive a return on the heating portion of your investment when the system is in the heat mode. Additional electrical requirements may also come into play when switching to a straight cool/electric heat system.
What is an Air Handler?
An air handler is usually a large metal box containing a blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to a ductwork ventilation system that distributes the conditioned air through the building and returns it to the AHU.In some instances, with a ductless mini or multi-split the air handler may NOT require a duct system at all, therefore the name, ductless.
What is BTU?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, this unit of measure is used to measure cooling or heating capacity; 1 BTU is the amount of heat required to raise (or lower) the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. There are 12,000 BTU’s in 1 Ton of Cooling.
What is SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency.
How can I tell if my HVAC System is working efficiently?
When you schedule your regular maintenance visit with a qualified heating technician, they will test your HVAC system to make sure it is running at optimal levels. But there are some ways you can determine whether or not your system is working efficiently on your own. Abnormally high bills are one of the indicators that your system is running at low efficiency levels, but keep in mind that how well your home is insulated and sealed and whether your filters are clean will also play a role in costs.
Should I repair or replace my system?
There are five main questions that need to be considered when deciding to either replace or repair your heating and cooling system: How old is your system? If your system is more than ten years old, it may be wiser to invest in new, higher efficiency equipment, which could cut your energy costs by up to 40%. What is the efficiency level of your current system? What was the efficiency when the system was new? Unfortunately, replacing parts of your old system will not improve the efficiency. If the energy savings of using a higher efficiency system will cover all or part of the cost of investing in new equipment, you should seriously consider replacement of the old system. What is the overall condition of your system? If your system is in solid condition, it could be wiser to simply repair it. But if your system breaks down often, you should consider replacing it. Consider the 50% Rule. The 50% Rule- If the cost of repair vs. replacement of your system is less than half of its value and you haven’t been suffering the financial burden of frequent service calls to keep your system up and running, repair may be easier on your checkbook . Ask your technician to calculate the efficiency and energy usage of your system to help make a determination.
Why do I blow fuses/why does my circuit breaker trip for my HVAC system?
Fuses and circuit breakers should not blow or trip. Check the breaker in your electrical service panel to identify which areas in your home/office the tripped breaker supplies service to. Check to see if the breaker feels warm to the touch. (NEVER touch wires or wire connections in your service panel. High voltage is present) Breakers should not be warm or hot to the touch. In the event the breaker is warm/hot to the touch, this could possibly be an indicator of a weak breaker. Contact a licensed electrician. Should the breaker feel ok to the touch, you could try to reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If the breaker or fuse trips/blows again, you will need to contact a licensed AC contractor like ourselves to diagnose the problem safely and correctly. There could possibly be an issue with a loose electrical wire, the unit could have shorted to ground, or the compressor could have failed. Electricity is nothing to play with- ALWAYS use a licensed electrician or AC contractor as indicated.
How often should I change my filter?
The life of your filter depends on your environment and the type of filter you have installed. To put it simply, there really is no concrete answer to this question. Certain things such as: the number of people who live in your home if there are pets in the house if there is a smoker in the house if you leave the windows open if you have pollen bearing trees or plants in the neighborhood if you live in an area with a lot of dampness if you live in an area that is dry or arid plus many others If several of these factors sound familiar, you’ll likely experience a quicker loading of particles on your filters and will consequently have to change it more often. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter every month. If you can hold the filter up to a light and not see through it, it is time to change your filter. At an absolute minimum, you should change your filter every three months. A clean air filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which could lead to expensive maintenance and utility bills. Modern central heating and air conditioning systems generally have the filter located as close to the blower unit as possible. The filter(s) can be located at the base of the air handler/furnace unit, in the cold air return duct located in your ceiling or on your wall. Remove the grill or box cover holding your filter in place. Remove the dirty filter: Dispose of the dirty filter in a bag to contain the dirt. Install: Install the new or cleaned and dried air filter with the air flow arrow pointing toward the blower. Record the date and wash or change the filter within the recommended period. If you experience higher dust levels in your home due to changes in outside air, construction or dry weather, you may need to change or wash your filter more frequently than the recommended period. For questions or concerns about the location or installation of the filter contact the HVAC manufacturer or give us a call. As a reputable HVAC contractor we can make recommendations that are right for both you and your system.
Why is regular Heating & Air conditioning maintenance important?
You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? In the same way that an automobile requires periodic maintenance for optimal performance, a home comfort system should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
What does the warranty cover?
The warranty covers parts only. For complete details, refer to the warranty sheet provided with your unit. Your Dealer may also provide a labor warranty or, possibly, an extended warranty for your new equipment.