In cooler climates air conditioning may be optional, but in Phoenix it is a necessity! Most people tend to ignore their heating and cooling systems until they have a problem. Then they want help in a hurry!
Preventative maintenance can lessen your air conditioning related problems, extend the life of your unit, and lower your energy usage. Air conditioning units really require relatively little maintenance. Filters should be replaced at the beginning and end of each cooling season. At this time you should also clean the unit and lubricate the motor. Keep in mind that, a dirty thermostat, clogged filter, or leaking ductwork can greatly reduce the efficiency of a unit. Maintaining a properly functioning air conditioning unit can cut energy costs by up to 25%.
If you are experiencing problems with your air conditioning unit, such as not cooling properly, call an ac contractor to check the pressure level of the refrigerant. It’s always better to arrange a service call with an ac contractor before the height of the cooling season.
The lifespan of an air conditioning unit or HVAC system is estimated to be about 15-20 years. If yours is older than this and needs repair you may want to consider replacing the unit with a new, energy efficient unit. You will begin to recoup the cost immediately in energy savings.
A new air conditioning unit is best installed by an AC contractor, as he will be up to date on the latest advances in the field. To begin your quest for an ac professional in Phoenix, ask friends and relatives for recommendations. As with any contractor, you will need to verify their liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. Furthermore, ask for references from satisfied customers, and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any unresolved complaints lodged against them.
When hiring an AC contractor, remember that choosing an appropriate size unit by matching it to the home and existing ductwork entails knowledge and experience. A poorly designed system can result in inconsistent temperatures from one area to another and will cost more to operate. In the worst case scenario, in an air tight home an improperly designed system can allow dangerous gasses to be pulled back into the home. Luckily, many AC and HVAC shops are small, and the owner is usually involved with designing and installing the system.
To further discuss your AC or HVAC system, let’s start by deciphering some of the confusing terminology. AC and HVAC, the terms you will hear the most, stand for air conditioning (AC) and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). More common terms are; SEER which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Think of it this way, the higher the SEER, the less you spend. The SEER rates how many Btu an air conditioning unit can remove for each watt of electricity used. That leads us to the term Btu, which stands for British thermal unit. Btu is a measurement that shows the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1 degree. In the world of air conditioning, Btu refers to the amount of heat the air conditioning unit is capable of removing. Air conditioners cool homes by removing heat from the home, so units with higher Btu ratings can remove more heat, allowing them to cool the home more quickly.
You may also hear the word “tonnage”. An air conditioning ton amounts to 12,000 Btu per hour. And the last acronym, AFUE, stands for the annual fuel utilization efficiency estimates, meaning, how much heat a unit will deliver for every dollar you spend on fuel.
An AC contractor should also be experienced in heat loss calculation. This is how he will estimate the Btu capacity needed to cool your home. The calculations should include; your climate, the size and location of windows and doors in your home, along with the amount of insulation in your home. This data is then entered into a software program or ap to calculate the size unit you will need. Your contractor should offer you an air conditioning unit with a SEER of at least 10-12. Federal law now mandates that AC units offer a minimum SEER of 10.
So whether you are performing routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit or up dating to a new more efficient unit, you will be saving money on energy costs and helping the environment by using less energy.
Categorized in: Phoenix