Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC
Who knew: air conditioners work with mysterious magic, making homes and offices bearable on hot days and keeping 75 percent of U.S. households cool all year round! Chances are you’re part of that group contributing to the whopping $29 billion Americans spend annually to regulate their temperature, so don’t forget those regular tune-ups for your HVAC systems! But, of course, those professionals know how it works, too; they use principles related to refrigeration by removing heat from rooms into outside areas while pushing cold air through ducts inside. Now doesn’t that make summer more enjoyable?
Homeowners always have questions about their heating and cooling units, but these advanced appliances work wonders! Despite running for hours a day (in sweltering heat or icy cold temps), they can easily last 15 years. That’s some severe resilience, making them almost like superheroes of your home’s climate control. So how do these trusty devices keep you comfy? Here are answers to those most commonly asked AC queries.
Call Atticman Heating, Air & Insulation
to schedule service today!
Where did the name Atticman come from?
Replace Your Air Conditioner When It Has Trouble Keeping Up
Air conditioners, like all machines, lose efficiency over time and might need to be replaced. Part of this is due to normal wear and tear, but another factor is increasing temperatures world-wide. A 3-ton air conditioner might have cut it when your old AC unit was installed, but many older houses (pre-2000) did not have adequate insulation for today’s temperatures, and by the way, electricity was a lot cheaper back then too.
Now, however, it is a bigger deal if your old air conditioner is running all the time to keep up, and it gets expensive. Is your AC always running on hot days? Do some rooms feel hot no matter what you set your thermostat to? A 4-ton air conditioner might be a more appropriate size these days (in this example), and modern air conditioners are designed to save energy by not running so often, meaning that they are often times sized differently than they used to be.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
Your HVAC system’s standard air filter is in place to block allergens from reentering your home’s air and from infiltrating the interior components of your air conditioning and forced-air heating systems. When the air filter becomes too clogged, it decreases HVAC efficiency.
To ensure proper HVAC efficiency, you should change the air filter as follows:
- 1″ Filter – every 1-2 months
- 2″ Filter – every 4 months
- 4″ Filter – every 6-8 months
- Electronic Air Cleaner – every 3 months
Repair VS Replace
Figuring out whether you should repair or replace your HVAC System can be a difficult decision to make. You’d be surprised at how often we get called out for a second opinion, only to find that the old HVAC System has plenty of life still in it and doesn’t need to be replaced, as other contractors have told them. Figuring out when to repair or replace your air conditioner can be tough. To begin with, replacing an HVAC System can be a pricy endeavor, so make sure that your old HVAC unit is on its last leg before doing so. To be clear, in most circumstances, an HVAC System can be repaired. Remember that anything can be repaired, but just like pouring money into an old car, at some point it becomes more financially prudent for you to just replace it with a new one. Here are some common reasons an HVAC system should be replaced:
If it is older than 15 years old:
An HVAC System has a typical lifespan of around 10-15 years (According to the National Association of Home Builders – “Life Expectancy of Home Components”), so if your HVAC System is acting up, and it is over 15-years-old, then it might be better to replace it. Just like the car example, we can repair any air conditioner, but is it worth it? If your system was repaired last year and is down again, this is a good sign it may be time to replace your system.
Energy bills keep rising:
When deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner, consider this: if you’ve noticed that your energy bills keep rising, but your Electrical Utility Company hasn’t raised the rates…then it might be time to replace your air conditioner. Make an appointment with one of our Technicians to determine what’s right for you!
What Is in the Air I Breathe in My Home?
The air in your home is filled with the same pollutants as the outside air. In fact, these pollutants can be found in higher concentrations within the home, and require the right combination of indoor air quality solutions to resolve.
The most common contaminants and allergens found inside Sacramento homes include:
- Particles from Household Cleaners
- Mold Spores
- Pet Dander
The particles from these pollutants degrade your indoor air quality by making the air in your home unhealthy. Fortunately, there are various products and services we provide to improve your home’s air quality. Be sure to speak to one of our Diagnostic Engineers or Installation Specialists about your options to help determine the best choice for your home.
Why Is My Thermostat Display Blank?
Homeowners rely on their thermostats to control the temperature and maintain a certain level of comfort. It can be understandably frustrating to find a thermostat with a completely blank screen, or one that seems to be registering the temperature incorrectly. There are a number of reasons this can happen.
If you’re having thermostat problems, please try the following troubleshooting tips:
- Change the Batteries – Your thermostat’s batteries should be changed at least once a year.
- Check the Circuit Breaker – If a circuit breaker was tripped, your thermostat may have lost power.
- Check the Safety Switch – When there’s a problem with your HVAC system, like excessive heat or a condensation buildup, the safety switch can get triggered. The thermostat will shut off as a result. If this occurs, please contact our technicians as an inspection is required.
Your thermostat ages just like any other component of your HVAC system. Eventually, it will fail. If you’ve tried the above troubleshooting tips to no avail, it may be time to contact our pros about a potential upgrade.
How Often Should I Add Freon to My HVAC System?
If you notice symptoms such as low cooling output or low airflow, you may have a refrigerant leak. The leak must be located and repaired by a professional, and at that point we will refill—recharge—the refrigerant level.
How Does the R-22 Phase-Out Affect Me?
What Is My System’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio?
When Does My HVAC System Need to Be Replaced?
Could My System Be Causing My High Energy Bills?
Make sure you entrust a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your system and repair any issues, so that it will work at its peak performance. You may also consider an upgrade to a more energy efficient model to keep your energy costs down. Consider too the installation of a home automation system, including a WiFi/Smart thermostat, to regulate temperature when you are away.
What Can Be Done about Hot and Cold Spots in My House?
There are a few factors that cause this type of uneven heating and cooling throughout your home.
Uneven temperatures can be caused by:
- Improper HVAC Unit Size for Your Home
- Poor Ductwork Insulation
- Poor Attic Insulation
If you experience uneven temperatures in your home, be sure to have one of our experts check your system and insulation to determine the root of the problem. We’ll help you make an educated decision on how to proceed from there.
How do I heat and cool my home efficiently?
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to heat and cool your home efficiently is by using an energy-efficient HVAC system. This system saves you money on monthly utility bills and helps keep your home comfortable all year round. Plus, it reduces your environmental footprint by reducing carbon emissions from fuel-burning activities.
When selecting an HVAC system, it’s important to consider the size of your home and the energy efficiency levels of various models. For example, a larger home may require a more powerful system for efficient cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. It would be best if you also looked for an Energy Star-rated unit, which will be more energy efficient than others on the market.
For additional energy savings, consider using an air source heat pump, which uses the surrounding air to generate heat or cool your home. A ductless heat pump is more efficient than a traditional HVAC system and can provide heating and cooling with just one unit. Plus, they don’t use any fuel or create emissions.
In addition to using an energy-efficient HVAC system, there are some additional tips for heating and cooling your home efficiently:
- Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed to keep cool air from escaping in the summer and warm air from escaping in the winter.
- Install window blinds or shades to help reduce the amount of direct sunlight that enters your home and warms it up.
- Clean air filters regularly to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system.
- Use space heaters and fans judiciously, as they can add significantly to the cost of heating or cooling your home.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure your home is heated and cooled efficiently while reducing energy consumption and saving money. Investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system is a great first step toward making your home more comfortable and cost-effective.
Why is indoor air quality important?
Indoor air quality is one of the most essential components of a healthy home. Poor indoor air quality can lead to a variety of health problems and can even cause respiratory illnesses such as allergies and asthma. It can also cause fatigue, headaches, and other respiratory ailments.
Fortunately, some steps can be taken to ensure your home’s indoor air quality is kept at its highest level possible. For starters, it’s essential to keep the air in your home clean by regularly vacuuming and dusting surfaces to remove any allergens or pollutants from the air. Additionally, investing in an air purifier for your home will help trap airborne particles like pollen and pet dander, thus preventing them from being breathed in.
It is also important to ensure your home has adequate ventilation, as this will help keep the air circulating and prevent pollutants from lingering in one place for too long. If you have an older home that does not have good ventilation systems, such as a single window or poor insulation, it may be worth investing in better ventilation solutions. Installing fans throughout your home can also increase airflow and reduce indoor air pollution.
Finally, avoiding using aerosol products or other chemicals inside your home, if possible, is essential. These products can contain potentially harmful toxins, adversely affecting indoor air quality.
When should I replace my furnace?
When your furnace starts acting up, it’s likely time to consider a replacement. But how do you know when that time is?
The best way to determine when to replace your furnace is by assessing its current condition and energy efficiency. Look for signs that tell you the furnace is no longer operating at an optimal level. This could include:
- Strange noises coming from the unit
- Your monthly energy bills are increasing
- The system has been running for 15 years or more
- You constantly have to call in repairs
- The pilot light won’t stay lit
- Your home isn’t staying warm enough during colder months
These are all indications that you should consider a new furnace. If the unit is too old, it’s likely not energy-efficient and could be costing you more money in utility bills than necessary. Additionally, older furnaces have outdated technology and are less reliable since they’re prone to breaking down.
How often should my HVAC system be serviced?
When it comes to your heating and cooling system, regular maintenance is key! It will keep your unit running at its peak efficiency and performance and save you money in the long run. But how often should your heating and air conditioning system be serviced?
Most experts recommend having an annual service check-up on your air conditioner and heating system. During this appointment, a professional technician will inspect and clean all of the components of the system to ensure that everything is in working order. They may even replace any worn parts or perform minor repairs if necessary. It’s important to remember that these check-ups are preventative measures to help avoid costly future repairs.
In addition to the annual service check-up, it’s essential to regularly check the air filters in your system. Dirty and clogged filters can restrict airflow, causing your HVAC system to run inefficiently and use more energy than usual. Depending on the type of filter you have, they should be changed every 30-90 days.
By adhering to these service guidelines, you can keep your HVAC system running smoothly all year round! Regular maintenance will not only help extend the life of your unit — it will reduce monthly energy costs. So make sure to contact a professional technician for an annual service check-up and inspect your air filters at least once a month for optimal performance.
Call Atticman Heating & Air Conditioning, Insulation Today!
Stop worrying, and join the Atticman family! Take advantage of our top-of-the-line HVAC services to keep your home comfortable in any season. Reach out for help today: over 1000 satisfied Sacramento customers can vouch that we offer unbeatable value with premium craftsmanship and HVAC equipment — no need to break into a sweat about it! With specialists ready for repairs, replacements, or attic insulation, you’ll be able to enjoy all life throws at you from warm summers through chilly winters — let us handle everything else.