Frequently Asked HVAC Questions
Here are Frequently Asked HVAC Questions that our home heating and air conditioning technicians receive the most.
WHAT IS HVAC?
HVAC- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning- It is a system that provides different types of heating and cooling services to residential and commercial buildings. Its function is to provide thermal comfort, humidity control and acceptable indoor air quality.
HOW DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER WORK?
The majority of home and smaller commercial air conditioning systems circulate a compressed gas refrigerant in a closed “split” system to cool and condition inside air. The refrigerant has to be re-cooled and condensed, and outside air is the medium most often used to accomplish this. The term “split” simply means that components are divided into inside and outside portions as opposed to being located together in a “package” unit.
The refrigerants, widely recognized by the trademark “freon” (which is a registered trademark of the DuPont company for refrigerants), helps cool and dehumidify the inside air. In a “forced air” system, an internal blower circulates the conditioned air through ducts to the rooms where the cooler air is needed. The air ducts generally run either below the ceiling and inside the rooms (conditioned air) or in the attic (unconditioned air). An outside fan pulls air across the external parts of the system to cool and condense the refrigerant.
WHAT IS ENERGY STAR?
ENERGY STAR is a program that was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help businesses and individuals make energy efficient purchases.
This program places the ENERGY STAR label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high-efficiency products.
WHAT MANUFACTURER MAKES THE BEST AIR CONDITIONERS?
Air conditioning is a matured technology so most of the popular brands work well. Many of them use parts made by the same manufacturers. So, the main considerations are the price, warranty, attractiveness, noise, etc. Some manufacturers offer anywhere from a 10-12 year warranty on all parts while others offer only 1 year.
Whatever you decide, the most important consideration is the contractor you use. For your protection, make sure you use a licensed contractor for your installation. A licensed contractor using best refrigerant practices and procedures can save you time and money! You may buy the best system in the world but if it is not properly installed, you will actually be buying nothing but a big headache for years to come.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AIR CONDITIONING?
The benefits of air conditioning are to give a comfortable environment at work or at home throughout the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
An Air Conditioning unit can have two functions – heating/cooling and humidity control. With an auto changeover switch on most new units, you set the temperature and the unit will cool or heat as required automatically.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFE OF A SYSTEM?
Most systems have a lifetime of 10 to 15 years, with gas furnaces lasting 20-25 years. As your equipment gets older, its efficiency can decrease dramatically. You may notice that it gets noisier and needs repairs more often. If you live near bodies of water or the ocean, your system’s life expectancy may be drastically shortened due to the harsh environment. If your system is over 10 years old, you should have your system checked for maintenance or replacement.