Air Conditioning and Heating Frequently Asked Questions
Concerned that your air conditioner or heating elements might be in need of repair or replacement? Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about air conditioning and heating to help you better understand what is or is not “normal” operational factors about your heating and cooling system:
My air conditioner or furnace is making noises that I never heard before. What could it be?
1. Check the air filter to make sure it is clean. If needed, clean or replace it.
2. Check to make sure that the area around the indoor unit (your air handler or furnace) is free from debris and clutter.
3. Check the service records for the air conditioner. If a precision tune-up has not been performed on the A/C system within the last year, call Home Service Corp. for a precision tune-up on your furnace.
I came home from work, turned my air conditioner on and my house is still hot. Why?
In cases of extreme heat and humidity, it will take time for an air conditioning to lower the temperature inside the home. Properly sized air conditioning systems are designed to maintain temperature during the hottest days of the year, actually lowering the temperature can take time if the system has been off for an extended duration. We recommend using a programmable thermostat to raise the setting a few degrees during the day when no one is home and then having it set to the appropriate level when you get home. Also, check the filter. Air conditioning systems are far more sensitive to dirty filters than heating systems are.
My second floor is always hotter than my first floor during the summer. Why?
This is a very common complaint of homeowners. The first recommendation is to check all vents to make sure they are not covered by furniture or other items. If all vents are clear of obstruction, make sure all blinds and window treatments are kept closed during the day to reduce the effects of the sun heating the space. If the problem persists, this could be a result of an inadequate duct system and/or an improperly sized air conditioning system. Fortunately, Home Service Corp. offers zoning solutions that can allow for different areas of the home to be cooled independently of others.
I see ice forming around the interior or outdoor part of my air conditioning system. What is this?
Turn the system off at the thermostat. This is can be indicative of a problem. Call Home Service Corp. to have a technician inspect the system to determine the cause of the problem.
Should I cover my air conditioner in the winter time when I’m not using it to protect it from the elements?
Yes, although air conditioners are designed to withstand northern winters a cover will protect the finish and help prolong the life of the unit. If an unrelated circumstance is causing excessive ice build-up on your air conditioner, (for example, a clogged roof gutter spilling water), the extenuating circumstance should be addressed.
How often should I have my air conditioner or heater serviced by an HVAC company?
Manufacturer’s recommend that the heating and air conditioning system in a central heating and cooling system are each serviced once a year. If your air conditioning system has not had a precision tune up, call Home Service Corp. today.
How do I know whether my heating and cooling equipment needs replacement or just repair?
This is a difficult question to provide a “blanket” answer for. As an analogy, it is a similar process of considerations that a car owner must consider when deciding whether to replace a vehicle or not.
• The age of the current system. Our philosophy is that if the current heating system is 15 years old or older, replacement should be seriously considered.
• What is the history of the air conditioning system? Has it required frequent repairs throughout its lifespan? Is it noisy? Does it show signs of excessive wear (rust)? Has it been well maintained by an HVAC company on an annual basis?
• Are there any current rebates or tax credits available towards the purchase of a new high efficiency air conditioning system that will help offset the initial investment?
• Does the current system provide the level of comfort that you want? There is a growing difference between “builder grade” and consumer choice in what a system can offer in terms of comfort and convenience.
• How much will the repairs cost and how many more repairs will you need in the future? Is keeping an older system operational worth the time, the money and the inconvenience?
Often, replacing an old air conditioning will prove to be the less expensive option than paying for repeated repairs.
It’s been a long time since I shopped for a new HVAC system, or I’ve never purchased a new HVAC system before. What is available to me as a consumer?
If you’re deciding on a new system and have not kept up with advances in the industry, you will be amazed at the number of options that you have. Today’s comfort systems offer a surprising number of options and combinations — from individual heaters and air conditioners to integrated or “hybrid” systems. Systems can vary widely in terms of energy efficiency. The ability of systems to monitor conditions and adjust automatically has increased dramatically. And a wider variety of indoor air quality add-ons are available than ever before.
These changes make the replacement decision even more complex than ever, so you can see how important it is to find a HVAC company that will work with you to custom design a system for your home and budget. At Home Service Corp., our goal is to be a company that will partner with you to not only install a system that is appropriate for your situation, but then help you keep the system operating at peak performance.
Are some heating and cooling manufacturers or brands better than others?
Yes, we believe so. That’s why we only recommend the most reliable air conditioning systems on the market. However, the manufacturer or brand is only one part of a high performance and reliable A/C system — the air conditioning system design and the quality workmanship that are utilized are crucial to having a long lasting, reliable and trouble free A/C system that reduces your energy bills.
What should I look for when choosing a new air conditioner or heat pump?
Here are some general rules of thumb when you are ready to replace your existing equipment:
• Choose a manufacturer that has a good reputation for quality and durability.
• Choose a model with a high energy efficiency rating to bring you better comfort and lower your seasonal energy bill.
• Be sure that the system you have chosen has been properly sized for the unique needs of your home.
• Finally, choose a reliable company with excellent customer satisfaction and a track record of service after the sale. Talk to your friends and neighbors.
If I am replacing my A/C or heating unit, why would I replace my current system with a smaller or larger one?
You may or may not replace your current A/C system with a larger or smaller one. The size or capacity of your new air conditioner will be determined and recommended by your Home Service Corp. Comfort Specialist. The only accurate way to determine the proper sized air conditioning system for your home is to perform a load calculation to determine the cooling needs for your home on the hottest days of the year. It is common to find existing air conditioning systems that are oversized for the home. This results in decreased comfort, increased humidity levels in the summer, increased energy usage, increased equipment failure and shortened life span of the furnace.
Do you have more questions? Contact us