Q. How often should air conditioner filters be cleaned or replaced?
A. Typically, filters should be replaced or cleaned once every three to six months depending on how many pets and people are in the building. Some units are equipped with permanent filters. These can be cleaned according to the instructions supplied by Conditioned Air. Disposal filters should be replaced with filters of like type and size as the original filter.
Q. Should I repair or replace my current system?
A. Although high quality air conditioning systems can last 8-10 years or more, our SW Florida climate puts a heavy burden on your system. Here are some red flags that suggest that replacing your system may be the smartest solution:
- Your system is 10 years old or more.
- You are having to invest in too many expensive repairs once you are out of warranty.
- Your AC system just can’t keep up with the heat and fails to keep you cool and dry.
- You are getting a number of new hot or cold spots.
- You are hearing strange vibrations or other inexplicable noise problems.
- Your electric bill is climbing because your old system is so inefficient.
Q. What do SEER rating numbers mean?
A. To help consumers make informed choices, the U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating is meant to reflect the percentage of energy used efficiently. A high rating indicates high efficiency. There are various names for the efficiency ratings of varying types of equipment. Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. Heat pump equipment is rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE.
Q. Should outdoor units be covered in winter?
A. Air conditioners that operate seasonally are built to withstand an outdoor environment. There is no advantage to covering an air conditioning unit during off seasons. In fact, rain helps to keep the unit clean.
Q. Should a thermostat be set to auto or on?
A. When the thermostat is set to auto, the fan operates only when the temperature requires it. This is the most used setting. However, there are advantages to using the on setting. First of all, the air in the house is constantly filtered through the units air filter. Secondly, the constantly circulating air results in an even temperature throughout the house. However, the “on” position will result in higher humidity since air is being blown over wet coils after the condenser shuts off. For Southwest Florida, the “auto” position will yield the driest, most comfortable home.
Q. Can shrubs and flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?
A. Yes. However, we recommend that plants be no closer than 18 inches from the unit. This allows plenty of room for air circulation in and out of the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could overheat, resulting in a premature need for service.
Q. If an outdoor air conditioning unit needs replacing, should the indoor unit be replaced, too?
A. It is a good idea to replace the entire system when an air handler or condenser needs to be replaced. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system. To gain the maximum benefit of new, highly efficient technology, the entire system should be replaced together. This ensures the system is reliable and achieving its true efficiency rating.
Q. How do you know what size system a house needs?
A. There are many variables to be considered before determining which system is best for you, such as size of the house, climate at the location, the number and type of windows, insulation of the house, number of people in the house, etc. Conditioned Air will consider all the factors in making a recommendation. The most accurate way is to perform a Manual JWe have the ability to perform these heat and cooling loads and energy calculations for any home.
Monitor Your Temperature and Humidity with MyComfortMonitor®
6 Tips for Keeping Your Home Affordably Comfortable
The Danger of Ignoring Air Conditioning Problems
Why Routine Maintenance Visits Are Important
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
How Much Could You Save On Your Cooling Bill With a High Efficiency System
Why a Load Calculation is Essential to Properly Size Your Air Conditioning Needs
Why It’s Vital to Understand the New AC Refrigerant Standards
Complimentary Residential Air Conditioning eBook
Back to Residential