AC And Heating FAQ Page

AC And Heating FAQ Page

Frequently Asked Questions These are questions we are asked on a regular basis.


    • What is the SEER Rating?

    Every Air Conditioning unit is required to have a "SEER Rating" or "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating" this is a way to measure how efficient your unit is.  In simple terms the higher the SEER rating the less it will cost to run the unit.  20 years ago a 10 SEER unit was the standard, now a 14 SEER unit is the bare minimum.  We are seeing SEER ratings as high or even higher then 20 SEER, however the upfront costs on these units are so high it might take many years to make back the difference in upfront costs.  So what SEER is the best?  That is like saying what car is the best, it all depends on your goals. 

    • Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?

    I bet you are looking on the Energy guide of your condenser, the outdoor section of your A/C system.  That is only one part of your total system, and depending on what Air Handler (the indoor or section in the attic) your condenser is matched with will determine the SEER of your system.  A unit might say 14 SEER, but match it with a variable speed Air Handler and you could get an overall rating of 15 SEER.

    • Why should I have regular (or preventative) maintenance, and how often should I have it performed?   .

    Preventative maintenance is done for two major reasons.  

    1st to make sure your unit is performing at its best.  Even if you have a top of the line system, if it is low on refrigerant or has dirty coils it will not perform the way it should.  A 16 SEER system that is 1/2 lb low on refrigerant could really be running like it's only a 6 or 8 SEER which would be the same as throwing money out the window.  Or a unit with a dirty outdoor coil could be making the compressor work much harder then it was designed, shortening it's life and causing irreversible damage.  Even a Porsche can't run right with without the proper amount of oil.

    2nd, while we can't predict when or if a unit will break down, their are signs and individual parts we can test and look for that can be adjusted or replaced before they break and leave you with no air at a very inconvenient time.  Every year we get bombarded with calls halfway through a holiday weekend, or just before an important party.  We would all rather schedule a repair, rather then scramble when we really need it done.

    How often should it be done?  Typically once a year is sufficient.  If you have a new system you should have it serviced after the first year, and if there are no issues you could make it 2 years before the next service but as a system ages it becomes more important to stay on top of it.

    • What equipment requires regular (or preventative) maintenance?

    All Residential and Commercial Air Conditioning systems require regular maintenance to keep them performing at their best.  If a A/C system is not properly charged with refrigerant it runs much longer then it should costing you money on your power bills and causing damage to the compressor.  

    • I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment; what do I do?  

    Give us a call we are happy to help, this is what we do.

    • What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

    A programmable thermostat can save $$ on your power bills yet still keep you comfortable when you are at home.  With a programmable thermostat you can program what temperature you want and when.   So if you leave your house everyday at 9:00 in the morning for work and come home at 4:00 in the afternoon.  You can set the thermostat to raise the temperature a few degrees saving you money while you are gone.  Then an hour before you get home to can have it automatically adjust back to the temperature you are comfortable with.  You would never even know it warmed up in your house while were gone.  Programmable thermostats have even gone further in recent years.  Now you can buy wifi thermostats like the next, or the pro-0ne 855I that come with an an app that not only makes it easy to program but you can also adjust it anywhere you have wifi access.  These apps also keep track of how often your a/c units are on helping you to fine tune your programs and evaluate what your A/C is costing you.

    • What type of filter should I use, and how often should I replace it?

    That would depend on what your system was designed for.  Most systems are designed for the cheap throw away filters.  If that is how your system was designed then that is what you should use and you should change them every month.  Your system will run just fine like this.  

    There are many great options on the market for better filtration with in your A/C system.  Most defiantly higher quality filters will work better, they will filter more of the particles in the air then cheap filters will.  They also restrict the air flowing through them more then cheap filters will.  The problem with this is that your A/C system needs to move a certain amount of air across the coils to function properly.  Higher quality filters could slow the air down too much causing problems with the way your system works.

    We have been out to many houses over the years, for service calls, only to find that a salesman sold someone a very nice $200 filter that won't move enough air for their system to work.

    If you would like to use higher quality filters we would be happy to come evaluate your systems and if needs be install a larger filter frame or maybe a second filter return to make sure that you have the proper surface area for the filter and system size.      

    • Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store for my Brand Name Equipment?

    There are dozens of filter sizes on the market, it is not possible for a home improvement store to carry them all.  We try to design our systems using the most common filter sizes so our customers don't have a problem locating their filter replacements.  However sometimes an engineer designs a system and specifies a certain product, or sometimes local home improvement stores change the sizes they stock.  There are a number of reasons you can't seem to find the correct size.  Give us a call we can order any size filter available.  Some of our customers just buy a box or two every year from us so they always have them on hand.  We can even set it up to bring out the filters when we do your service every year. 

    • Which equipment will best fit my home?

    That would depend on a lot of factors.  We would be happy to come out and evaluate your particular situation and recommend a few options.

    • What is the life expectancy of my unit?

    There have been many tests done to figure this out nationally and the number most people agree on is that the lifespan of an average A/C unit is 15-20 years.  However this is a national average, obviously units in the The Greater Phoenix area here in the valley will run a little longer then the majority of our great country.  In our experience would would say this number in the valley is more like 10-15 years.  All though we do see units well over 20 years old running strong, many don't last very long past the warranty period which standard right now is 10 years.

    There are a lot of factors that play into the life expectancy of your unit.  

    First and foremost is the filters.  Replace them often!  Most need to be replaced monthly.  You would not believe how often we go to service calls just to find a dirty filter.  This will restrict the air flowing through your A/C unit.  Not only will you not get the air you need to cool your house, but if there isn't enough air blowing across the coils your coils will freeze up.  When that happens it could cause irreparable damage to your compressor.

    Next is proper maintenance.  Like a vehicle there are a lot of moving parts in an A/C system.  Regular maintenance can keep the pressures where they need to be, coils clean, and often times catch small problems before they become big ones.  You wouldn't run your vehicle for a year without having a professional look at it and perform maintenance, your A/C system should be in the same category.

    The other factors would be proper sizing, proper installation, the type of unit you have, and how cold you keep your house.

    • What does my warranty cover?
    There are several types of warranties.  When we finish a new house everything will be covered for the first year, that is all parts and the labor to install them.  Most units now days have a minimum of a 5 year parts warranty and a 10 year compressor warranty, they typically go up from there.  That means after the first year the labor would not be covered but all of the parts would be covered for 5 more years, the compressor for 10. 

    Many gas furnaces have longer (some even lifetime) warranties on their heat exchangers as well.  As warranties vary greatly its important to look at your warranty options when purchasing a new system.

    Things typically not covered by a warranty:

    Refrigerant-Manufacturers do not cover refrigerant, so when that trim carpenter hits the refrigerant lines with a nail while he is putting in your crown molding the refrigerant most likely will not be covered.

    Problems caused by neglect, a manufacture will not cover replacing a coil that was hit by your father-in-law with his tractor, or your teenage with her car.  

  • Category
    Commercial Plumbing Service and Repair Companies
  • Created
    Thursday, 06 September 2018
  • Group admin
    Wheeler AC Repair And Plumbing

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