Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Systems
When it comes to HVAC systems, there are a ton of questions clients have but often find answers difficult to come by. To arm you with the most accurate information available, the experts at Thermokline Mechanical have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about HVAC systems.
1. What size HVAC system should I have?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no rule of thumb for sizing a system to a home. Depending upon the construction of your home, one ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet of home. The only way to ensure the size of the system you purchase will be large enough to cool your home, but not any larger than you need, is to have your home’s individual heating and cooling needs evaluated by a licensed professional.
2. How often should I replace my filters?
For optimum efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month.
3. How often should I have maintenance done on my HVAC system?
You should have maintenance done on your system at least four times a year. This not only ensures maximum efficiency, it enables us to foresee any possible problems that may occur in the near future. Our Comfort Assurance Program (CAP) plan is specifically designed to keep your air conditioning system running at its peak efficiency all year-round.
4. What is the difference between R22 and R410A refrigerants?
R410A differs from R22 in several ways. R22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, is one of the last ozone-depleting substances still commonly used. R410A is not a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, and it is much better at absorbing and releasing heat. As a result, it is much more efficient.
Here are a few of the biggest reasons why the changeover from R22 to R410A is such a good idea:
a. Reduced ozone damage: R22 causes ozone depletion when it leaks. As a result, it is a danger to the continued health of our planet.
b. Reduced cost: With the phase-out of R22, it will be difficult to find. This will drive up costs and make repairs extremely costly. If your service technician cannot get hold of R22, they will not be able to make the necessary repairs, leading to dramatically reduced efficiency.
c. Improved efficiency: R410A can absorb and release heat better than R22, making it more energy efficient. Plus, as it is more fluid in temperature changing abilities, it does a better job at heating or cooling your house quickly.
d. Improved performance: R22 has a harder time letting go of heat, which means it is more likely to cause a compressor burnout than the more flexible R410A.
5. Should I repair or replace my old HVAC system?
Every repair-replace scenario is unique to the unit and the expectations of the homeowner. A professional, licensed HVAC technician can provide you with a customized estimate of repair cost, as well as supply equipment-specific reasons to consider a replacement unit.
Below are a few factors that may help you to determine if it’s time to replace your old heating or cooling system:
a. Years in operation: Discuss the typical lifespan of your heating or cooling equipment with your HVAC technician. Lifespan depends on many variables including usage, maintenance, installation, and system set-up.
b. Continuous or costly repairs: Here, you’ll need to consider how expensive an air conditioner repair needs to be before it’s worth it to upgrade to a new system.
c. Lackluster energy efficiency and increasing utility bills: If your aging unit has a low-efficiency rating, it may be cost-effective to replace it with a more energy-efficient model. The long-term utility bill savings of purchasing a higher efficiency system may outweigh the price of a series of costly repairs.
d. Compromised indoor comfort: Advanced features, such as improved motor and compressor technologies, as well as smart home automation and communication may provide homeowners with more precise temperature control, noise reduction and energy efficiency when compared to their current model.
e. Length of home ownership: You should evaluate how long you plan to live in your current home. Typically, the longer you plan to live in your house, the longer you have to recover the cost of a new high-efficiency heating or cooling system unit.
6. How can I save money on my utility bills?
The more electricity or fuel your household uses, the higher your utility bill will be. So, to cut utility bills, you have to reduce the amount of energy that your home uses. The energy efficiency rating of specific heating and cooling systems will help you determine which models are right for you. Here is a breakdown of energy-efficiency ratings:
a. Gas furnace: A gas furnace can offer an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) as high as 98.5%, meaning nearly all the energy purchased is used for heating your home. The minimum efficiency standard for furnaces using natural gas is currently 80% AFUE.
b. Heat pump (heating mode): Some heat pumps offer Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) of nine or higher, which may provide significant energy efficiency and savings on monthly heating bills when compared to a lower HSPF model operating under the same conditions. The minimum efficiency standard for split system heat pumps is currently 8.2 HSPF.
c. Air conditioner or heat pump (cooling mode): It’s increasingly common to see residential HVAC cooling equipment being installed with up to 18 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The minimum efficiency standard for split system air conditioners is currently 13 SEER in northern states and 14 SEER in southern states. The minimum efficiency standard for split system heat pumps is 14 SEER.
High-efficient HVAC equipment with innovative technology is only one piece of the puzzle. If other key energy-efficient solutions are ignored, your energy bills may still be higher than you would like.
7. Should I close the registers and doors to areas of the home that I do not use on a regular basis?
No. Closing the registers will decrease the systems’ airflow and efficiency. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and doors in certain rooms, you disrupt the airflow and cause your air conditioning system to work harder to distribute air to other areas of your home. Your system will work harder, to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less efficient.
8. How can I increase the efficiency and life of my home’s heating and cooling systems?
The most important thing you can do is clean and replace your filters frequently. Also, a system heats and cools more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home and allows for better filtration. Finally, shades, drapes, shutters, or screens should be installed on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight.
If you have any more questions about HVAC systems, get in touch with the experts at Thermokline Mechanical. We provide you top of the line commercial HVAC solutions in Mississauga and Brampton. All of our technicians are well trained to meet the broad range of commercial and industrial HVAC services. Our service and product quality in this industry are unmatched as we assess the situation efficiently and carry out services with ease and efficiency. We also minimize your downtime so that your production and productivity isn’t affected.