A/C AND HEATING FAQS
From residential to full commercial air-conditioning and heating services. We’ve go you covered.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What does HVAC mean?
This acronym stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Sometimes you might see it referred to as HVAC-R. The “R” stands for refrigeration.
How important is my indoor air quality?
The short answer? So important! Your indoor air quality can be as much as 100 times worse than the outdoor air. That means pollutants, allergens, dust, and mildew can be circulating in your home affecting your family’s health and wellbeing. Improving and maintaining your indoor air quality is vitally important to your home and family.
How long do A/C and heating units typically last?
HVAC systems can last a long time if regularly maintained. They can last 12-20 years. A couple of units I have been servicing are approaching 30 years old, though that is rarer. Learn what you should know before replacing an air conditioner or heater.
What does SEER mean and why does it matter?
SEER, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures an air conditioning unit’s efficiency. Higher numbers mean units use less power. Selecting the correct amount of air conditioning and installing the system properly can affect the true SEER of an HVAC system. SEER is roughly equivalent to how we use a car’s reported fuel economy. In certain conditions 30 MPH is possible, but not during rush hour sitting creeping along the interstate, for example.
What is included in air conditioning and heating tune-ups?
We recommend servicing HVAC systems in the milder fall and spring seasons before the heat of summer or the blast of winter. Find out what heater performance tune-ups and air conditioner tune-ups involve. Regular maintenance also preserves the manufacturer’s warranty on your air conditioner and heater.
Why do I need to change my air filter regularly?
Regular filter replacement helps your heating and cooling system operate at peak levels and improves indoor air quality. It is important to change filters regularly to ensure proper airflow and to keep your home free from dust, allergens and germs. Your service technician can recommend filtering and purification options and a replacement schedule for your unit.
What are the advantages of high-efficiency air filters?
Proper air filtration is crucial to the health of both your HVAC system and your family. Air filters prevent dust and dirt from building up in your system to keep it performing at its best. High-efficiency filters do a better job of this and remove dust, dirt, mold, and more from the air. This is especially useful if you have allergies or respiratory issues. High-efficiency filters are better, but not 100% necessary. Whether or not you choose to use them, remember to change your filters regularly.
How often should I replace my filters?
In general, it is recommended that you replace your disposable filters at the very least once each season. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month. Your Daigle’s AC & Heating technician will recommend a replacement schedule that delivers the optimum efficiency and filtration for your specific system. We can help you maintain your system by scheduling a maintenance check. We recommend cleaning and inspecting your HVAC system twice each year. This includes changing the filters or servicing your filtering system. Unless you have special circumstances, our service should be adequate. We recommend that you visually check filters and filtering equipment monthly. If filters look dirty, they need to be cleaned or replaced.
What does MERV mean?
MERV is an acronym that stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. MERV is measurement scale (1-16) created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to rate the effectiveness of air filters. The higher the MERV, the more efficient the air filter is and the harder it is for your system to draw air through the system. We generally recommend between 7-11 MERV filters for most circumstances.
What are some of the most common problems about why people call for air conditioning service?
We often hear that they return home from a full day to a hot home. This is the worst especially over a weekend or if you’re expecting company. Contact us to schedule a call. If it is an emergency, we recommend calling. Emergency service is sometimes available. Our phones are answered during regular business hours.
- Rooms not cooling
- House is hot
- A/C Blowing warm air
- Thermostat broken
- Freon leaks
- Duct leaks
- Drain pan leaking
- Electric or gas bills too high
- Noisy equipment
What are some of the most common problems about why people call for heating service?
Though it doesn’t stay cold in our area for long, no one wants to suffer a winter chill! We can perform routine maintenance checks before the weather turns chilly so any small issues can be spotted before they become serious. The following are other complaints we often hear in the cooler months.
- Need help lighting pilot light
- House or rooms are too cold
- Furnace not firing
- Heater not keeping up with the cold
- Heat pump not working
- Thermostat broken
- Hot air not blowing
- Weird smell when furnace starts up
- Vents not blowing warm air
- Utility bills too expensive
Do bigger air conditioning units perform better?
Not necessarily. It is important to purchase an air conditioner that is the right size for your home. If you buy an AC unit that’s too big, it will cool your home faster, but it will also be less efficient and will not eliminate humidity well enough. It will have short-run cycles. While it will cool the air quickly, it will shut off before it blows enough air across the indoor coil to drain water from your system. This will leave too much moisture in the air, which can lead to mold and mildew in your home.
Your system starting and stopping more often , may cause it to use more energy and wear down faster. Longer run cycles are more efficient.
If I have an older system, can I save money by just replacing the outdoor unit?
Probably not. Older systems use Freon R-22, which has been phased out and replaced with Freon R-410A, also known as Puron. Puron is more environmentally friendly and more efficient. In addition, the minimum SEER rating or efficiency that we can use today is 13 SEER (older systems are 10 SEER and below). The refrigerant and efficiency rating of your indoor coil and outdoor unit must be the same, so you have to replace the whole system at once.
Why do I need a system with matched components?
Matched systems ensure maximum performance, maximum efficiency, and maximum comfort.
A matched system will maintain proper cycle times and manage humidity properly for your home. In addition, a matched system will prevent you from paying too much for your energy bills. Your system will run at peak efficiency, with no energy wasted due to improper size.
What is duct cleaning?
Duct cleaning includes cleaning the various components of HVAC forced air systems, including the air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers, coils, fan motor, fan housing, and the air handling unit housing. Dust, pollen, and other debris may build up in these components if they are not properly maintained.
Is R-22 refrigerant being discontinued?
Yes. R-22 is no longer allowed in new equipment due to environmental regulations. Since many existing residential air conditioning units still use it, R-22 is still produced. However, it is gradually being phased out. By January 1, 2020, the production of R-22 will be reduced by 99.5%. It will become expensive and difficult to find. Therefore, if your system uses R-22 refrigerant, you may want to consider switching to a newer system.
What can I do if my system doesn’t work well in certain rooms?
A little variation in temperature between rooms is normal, especially if you only have one thermostat. However, it can also be a sign of poorly designed ducts or air filtration issues. Schedule a free consultation so we can identify the problem and offer solutions to fix it.
When should I replace my existing AC unit?
Ideally, you should do it before your current system fails and leaves you rushed to make a replacement decision. Fortunately, there are a few signs that indicate it’s time to start looking at your options: your unit is more than 10 years old, it’s not keeping up with your needs, you notice a big increase in your cost to run it, or it needs regular refrigerant refills. In some cases, a simple repair may be all that’s needed, but if it’s no longer safe or practical to put more money into your AC, we’ll explain that, too, and make recommendations for the most appropriate replacement.
Is there anything I can do to make my air conditioner more energy-efficient?
Here are a few easy ways to minimize your summer energy use and cooling costs:
- Make sure all air vents are open and unrestricted.
- Get a programmable thermostat so your AC doesn’t run continually when you’re gone.
- Do regular maintenance and filter changes.
- Use ceiling fans so you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees and still feel comfortable.
What are the benefits of attic ventilation?
Did you know that when the summer heat beats down on your roof the attic can reach up to 150 degrees? Having attic ventilation can help control moisture, keep cooling costs down, and prevent the accumulation of mold and mildew.