Top FAQs About Home HVAC Systems
Every Bay Area house owner has questions about their air conditioning system. You may not know much about these highly complex systems. However, this guide will help you understand your HVAC system a little better.
1. How Often Should an Air Conditioning System be Serviced?
An HVAC system should be services at least once every year. Depending on the system, it should be periodically inspected every 3 months. You should schedule a consultation with a licensed and certified HVAC service company. They should be able to create a service plan based on the size and usage of the system.
2. Why Do I Need to Keep Topping Up the Refrigerant?
It is highly possible that there is a leak in your air conditioning system that needs to be repaired. Leaking refrigerant causes the unit to use more energy and lose cooling capacity. It is also bad for the environment as it causes the ozone layer to deplete.
3. Can Humidity be Controlled by Air Conditioning Units?
Incorrect humidity levels can result in poor indoor air quality. It can also cause airborne illnesses to spread, increase mold growth, and cause electronics, such as computers to break down. The air conditioning system should keep humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent.
4. How to Increase the Lifespan of an Air Conditioning Unit?
You should have your air conditioning unit regularly serviced by a qualified professional for increasing its lifespan. These are a few tips for avoiding costly air conditioning repair:
Don’t allow leaves and debris to collect around the outdoor unit. This can help keep the airflow paths clear and prevent dirt from clogging the system.
Make sure the ductwork and air grills are not blocked when installing carpeting and arranging furniture
Use shades and blinds on all south and west facing windows for keeping out heat
Use programmable thermostats
5. What Does Air Conditioner Rating Mean?
You have probably run across several rating acronyms if you are considering purchasing a new air conditioning unit. These are a few of them explained:
EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a cooling output measurement that is divided by the energy usage. It is calculated under specific test conditions representing peak load. Higher EER means the unit is more efficient.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) refers to the cooling efficiency of a unit. It is calculated on seasonal average rather than specific locations. Higher SEER refers to a more energy efficient unit.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) measures the heat pump’s efficiency. Higher number represents a more efficient unit.
6. What Steps Do I Take for Reducing Energy Costs?
Your HVAC system makes up 50% of a home’s energy consumption. These are a few ways to make the system more energy efficient:
Upgrade to a better and more efficient air conditioning unit. This is particularly helpful if your current unit is older than a decade.
Choose systems that are ENERGY STAR labeled since they can help you save $3 to $4 per square foot according to the US Department of Energy.
Determine your usage needs by performing an energy audit. Install programmable thermostats for decreasing the usage when not needed.
Install economizers that measure outside air in terms of temperature and humidity for providing comfortable indoor conditions.