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Air Conditioning Questions

Why do Heat Pumps defrost? 
As a normal function of all heat pumps, the unit will automatically and periodically defrost the outdoor coil. The unit's sound will change and the unit will also circulate cooler air during this cycle. On average, the defrost cycle should last approximately three to five minutes.

Does not turn the unit off during defrost, as this only prolongs the cycle?
​(If the unit's thermostat has been set back or turned off, the unit may not defrost within a normal time period.)What should I expect to see if my heat pump is defrosting?During the defrost cycle it is normal for defrost moisture to drain from the cabinet of your unit and run onto the roof. You may also see steam coming from the outdoor coil as it defrosts. (This condition is most noticeable during high humidity and cooler times of the day.) This moisture is pure water, much like rainwater, which does not damage the roof. All new high efficiency heat pumps drain moisture in this manner.
Is my old air conditioner costing me money? Today's air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps are more energy-efficient and less costly to run than ever. Give us a call and we'll show you ways to make them even more efficient.What is a SEER? SEER is a standard of measurement of seasonal cooling efficiency under an average number of weather changes over a season.SEER stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio".

How does SEER rating affect my power usage? The higher the SEER number, the more energy efficient the unit. Higher SEER rating air conditioners and heat pumps can pay for their cost many times over because they consume less electricity. And the savings continue year after year.

If I buy a more efficient unit, can I buy a smaller one? Probably not. A more efficient unit does not mean it will have more capacity. It only means that the new unit will operate more efficiently and with less energy cost when compared to the old unit.

What are the benefits of zone controllers? Not all areas in your home need to be maintained at the same temperature. You can save money and get more control over your family's comfort by having a zone control system installed. Ask us about them.

​ Do programmable thermostats really make a difference in my air conditioner usage? New programmable thermostats allow you to adjust heating and cooling to fit the time of day and even your vacation schedule.

Should you replace your thermostats? Call us and ask.

How should I use a programmable thermostat? It is most efficient to find the temperature setting that feels most comfortable to you and leave the thermostat set there. Although, a programmable thermostat allows you to set the desired temperature based on the time of day or your daily activities. As an example, if you are at work from 8 AM to 5 PM, you could set the thermostat to 84 degrees during those hours. If you want the house cooled down by the time you get home, program the thermostat to cool the house approximately one hour before you usually arrive home. Remember, a programmable thermostat may cost a little more than a standard thermostat but it can save you money in all seasons.

How do I know if I have adequate insulation? We'll inspect your home to determine if more attic insulation could cut your monthly energy bills.

How is an air conditioning or heat pump system sized to a house? The standard practice for sizing air conditioning and heat pump systems is to do what is called a heat load calculation on the structure. To do this, a manual called Manual J is used. Manual J will help the air conditioning company size the air conditioning equipment based on the outdoor design temperatures, attic and Wall insulation, window types and locations, elevation of the home, and other structural and environmental factors.With the help of Manual J, the air conditioning contractor will look at the capacity at (or near) the design temperature, not the nominal rating.Ratings are at 95 degrees F.Central Florida design temperature is 95 degrees F.That is why an air conditioning contractor who just uses square footage to design a system, or suggests that you need a larger unit because of square footage alone, may not have his or her customer’s best interest at heart.

​How likely is it that my unit is sized correctly?
There have been studies done that show that as many as 53% of home air conditioners are oversized by as much as a ton or more compared to Manual J. Units are often 60% to 80% larger than they need to be because someone thought they needed a larger unit. A larger unit will not only cost more during installation but also during normal operation.

How long should my air conditioner or heat pump last? 
If you have a system that has been properly sized for your home and you keep it properly maintained, it should last as many as 15 years with minimum problems. But if the size is incorrect or the unit is maintained only when it breaks, the lifetime can easily be reduced by five or more years.

Are new air conditioning and heat pump units environmentally safe?
The refrigerant in your air conditioner or heat pump system is a chemical known as HCFC-22 (Hydro chlorofluorocarbon). It contains hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon.CFC's (Chlorofluorocarbons) contain chlorine, fluorine and carbon. CFC's are used as refrigerants in small appliances and automobiles. CFC's are very stable and do not break down in the lower atmosphere. They can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years or more. Because HCFC's contain hydrogen, they can break up quickly and have a short life span.The government called for a phase out of CFC's by 1996. Under the federal Clean Air Act, HCFC's will be phased out by 2030. Because the new units use HCFC's, they will be available until 2030.

Can you explain what a heat pump is? 
​Unlike a furnace, a heat pump doesn't burn fuel to make heat. It simply uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. A heat pump is an energy-efficient way to cool your home in the summer and heat it in the winter. Today's heat pumps are required to have a HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) of 6.8 and a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of at least 10.00.Why do Heat Pumps defrost? As a normal function of all heat pumps, the unit will automatically and periodically defrost the outdoor coil. The unit's sound will change and the unit will also circulate cooler air during this cycle. On average, the defrost cycle should last approximately three to five minutes.