FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is the Average life expectancy of equipment?
Most systems have a lifetime of 12 years or less. As your equipment gets older, its efficiency can decrease dramatically and your utility bills will start to get higher as does the cost of operating the equipment. You may notice that the air conditioner gets noisier and needs repairs more often. If your system is over five years old, you should call Air Tech of Houston to check out your system for maintenance or replacement.
Can I do my own troubleshooting before calling a service technician?
YES! A few simple things to make sure to check before having to go through the expense of a service call:
- Check disconnect switches (indoor and outdoor if you have a split system).
- Make sure the circuit breakers are ON and not tripped; must turn all the way off to reset.
- Check for sufficient airflow; make sure that all air filters are clean and the return-air grills are open and free of any obstruction.
What is the best temperature setting my thermostat for cooling and heating?
The BEST cost efficient setting is between 76°-78°. We recommend adjusting the temperature to a comfortable setting for your individual preference.
How do I flush out my drain system?
If your air conditioning drain line has a tee installed, remove the cap and pour 1 gallon of hot water down the drain slowly so water will not backup into the overflow shut off. Following the hot water flush, a cup of hydrogen-peroxide may be added to inhibit future buildup in the drain line.
My air conditioner does not seem to be cooling; so, I turned the thermostat down. Shouldn't the A/C cool faster when it’s set to a lower temperature?
No, turning the temperature down further will not make it cool any faster or better and it may only cause more problems. If your air conditioner does not seem to be cooling, there may be a problem with its operation and a service technician should be called to check the system.
What does SEER mean to me?
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling processes of air conditioners are rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, which translates into greater energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new models to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. Most major manufacturers offer a line of air conditioners that range from 13.0 SEER to 20.0 SEER, or even higher.
What do rating numbers mean?
The U.S. Government requires an efficiency rating (SEER) on all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently, with a high rating indicating higher efficiency.
What does Energy Star® mean?
ENERGY STAR® stands for high-efficiency and energy savings according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. ENERGY STAR® heating and cooling products are a good investment. Owners of such equipment realize returns in the form of lower utility bills.
What does AFUE stand for?
There are special names for the efficiency ratings of various types of equipment. Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit.
What does EER mean?
EER, or Energy-Efficiency Rating, measures the air conditioner’s energy consumption and efficiency. A high EERrating means less energy is being consumed.
Should outdoor units be covered in winter?
NO! If it’s a heat pump, they operate year-round and should never be covered. Similarly, air conditioners that operate seasonally are built to withstand an outdoor environment and should not be covered.
Should a thermostat be set to “auto” or “on”?
The preferable setting is “auto”. That way, the fan will only operate when the temperature requires it. This is the most used and the most efficient setting. The advantages to using the “on” setting is that air is constantly filtered through the unit’s air filter and the constantly circulating air results in an even temperature throughout the house.
Can shrubs or flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?
YES! However, we recommend that plants be no closer than 18 inches to the unit. This allows for 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 compressor failure.
If an outdoor unit needs replacing, should the indoor unit be replaced too?
YES! Air conditioning and heating units are designed to operate as complete, matched systems. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system. At minimum, replacing the condenser and coil ensures that the cooling system will be more reliable and efficient than just an outside unit by itself.
How will you determine what size unit our house needs?
There are many factors we will consider before making a recommendation. Factors like size of the house, climate, the number and type of windows installed, insulation, and even the number of people living in the house will help us determine the type of equipment that suits your needs the best.
What is the difference between a split system and a package unit?
A split system uses indoor and outdoor components to provide a complete home comfort system. A package unit or self-contained unit requires no external coils, air handlers, or heating units.
Can I just replace the outdoor unit on an older system to save money?
NO! By just replacing the outdoor unit you will loose effieciency due to a possible mismatched coil on the inside, which will ultimately cause you to not get the actual SEER rating of the unit you just purchased.
Can an uninsulated attic can raise my heating and cooling costs?
Yes! Installing insulation in your attic could reduce the amount of energy you use by up to 30%.
Who do I contact for air conditioning products and service?
For questions concerning new products, energy efficiency ratings, or repair or replacement services, simply call Air Tech of Houston at (713) 699-0623 – we can answer all of your heating and cooling questions.