Service FAQ

Service FAQ

Q? How often should I change my air filter?

A.

The only real answer is “whenever it gets dirty”. The truth is there are many different types of air filters and many different levels of particles in the air depending upon air intake location and owners lifestyle. As a general rule your air filter should at least be checked monthly, but there are some cases in which filters must be replaced every other week. Homes where the air intake (return) is near the front door, homes with animals etc… are all cases in which an air filter may need to be replaced more often.

Q? What Is SEER?

A.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and it is a standardized rating that measures the efficiency of an air conditioning system over an entire cooling season. The higher the number the more efficient the air conditioner. Up until 2006 the government mandated minimum standard was 10 SEER, nowadays the minimum is 13 but it is very common to see SEER ratings of 16+.

Q? How is SEER different from EER?

A.

SEER is a measurement of the average watt input to BTU output over an entire cooling season. EER is a simple measurement of watt input to BTU output at a given point in time at given parameters. In effect SEER is a more real world measurement and EER is more scientific and rigid.

Q? Why should my A/C be maintained by a professional?

A.

There are several benefits to having your A/C system regularly maintained –

  1. Cleaning will reduce power consumption and improve reliability
  2. Anti-microbial treatment will improve indoor air quality
  3. Checking the refrigerant and testing mechanical systems will reduce costly breakdowns
  4. Observing the operation of the A/C system over time will help catch negative operational trends and will improve the possibility of catching small issues before they become major.

Q? What should I put down my condensate drain?

A.

Make sure to ask us exactly where the right place to access your drain is on your specific unit when we are there. Once you know where to put it, use about 1/2 cup of white vinegar every couple of months to reduce the buildup of sludge in the drain line. We do not recommend chlorine bleach as it is corrosive and may damage the coils or copper lines over time.

Q?

I thought Freon was already done away with?

A.

The name “Freon” is a trademark of the Dupont corporation and represents several different refrigerants most commonly R-12 and R-22. R-12 was commonly used in automobiles and was phased out of production in 1996 due to its high Ozone depletion factor. R-22 is commonly used in home comfort systems and is currently being phased out of production. As of 1/1/2010 new A/C systems can no longer be manufactured using R-22.

Q?

What is Puron?

A.

Puron is the new environmentally friendly refrigerant used in Carrier A/C products. Puron has a zero Ozone depletion factor and will be available for years to come with no phase out in sight.

Q?

What is EPA certification?

A.

EPA certification is required by Federal law for anyone who handles refrigerant. All Kalos Services technicians are Universally certified by the EPA, this means we can legally work on all types of A/C systems.

Q? Why are some rooms in my home / office warmer than others?

A.

There are many factors that can effect comfort levels in your home or office. These include sunlight heat gains, indoor heat gains from computers and pets as well as other thermal gains such as attic heat. The most common solution is to make adjustments to the duct (air distribution) system by adjusting duct sizing and design. Industry standard is that no more than a 3 degree difference should exist between rooms during normal operating conditions.

Q? Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?

A.

There are many considerations involved in the decision to repair or replace your A/C or heat pump system. The biggest consideration is the age of the system. Most systems have some sort of major breakdown between 9 and 14 years of operation, this is usually when a replacement makes sense to consider. You should look carefully at the energy savings as well as more reliable and comfortable operation of a new system balanced against the cost of replacement.

Q?

What is a Heat Pump?

A.

A heat pump is a style of A/C system that can use the compression refrigeration cycle to heat the air as well as cool the air indoors. In other words it can act like an A/C in reverse and transfer heat from outdoors in heat mode as well as indoors out in cool mode.

Q?

How long does an A/C system usually last?

A.

It varies depending upon the type of system but on average they will run 9 to 14 years before experiencing major component failure. The way the system was initially installed is the greatest contributing factor to how long the system will last.

Q? Is there an easy way to tell how old my A/C system is?

A.

The easiest way to tell is when the original installing contractor denotes the installed date on the air handler (inside unit). Many manufacturers including Trane print the manufacture date on the outdoor unit data tag. Some manufacturers put the manufacture date into the serial number. Carrier shows the manufacture date in the first four digits of the serial number with the first two digits being the week and the second two being the year. An example of this would be a serial number beginning with 1205 this would denote that the system was produced in the 12th week of 2005.

Q? How can I tell the tonnage (capacity) of my air conditioning system?

A.

A/C systems are rated in BTUs (British Thermal Unit) with 12,000 BTUs per hour being called 1 ton. Most A/C systems will have the BTU rating hidden in the unit model numbers with numbers divisible by 6 with each multiple of 6 representing 1/2 ton. For Example 024 = 2 tons 030 = 2.5 tons 042 = 3.5 tons and so on.

Q? What causes an A/C unit to freeze up?

A.

The simple answer is anything that causes the evaporator coil surface temperature to drop below 32 degrees will cause a freeze up. The most common causes are:

  • Setting the system down to a temperature below 70 degrees for an extended period of time.
  • Allowing the air filter to get dirty or having more than one air filter in line at a time.
  • Other types of air flow restrictions such as a dirty evaporator, dirty blower wheel or collapsed duct work.
  • Insufficient refrigerant (Freon / Puron) charge.
  • Faulty refrigerant metering device or other refrigerant circuit restriction.

Once a system has frozen it must be completely defrosted inside and out before attempting to run the system again.

Q?

Do I need to replace the indoor and outdoor units? Can’t I just replace the one that is broken?

A.

As of January, 21st 2006 all new A/C systems manufactured must be at least 13 SEER whereas the previous standard was 10 SEER. As of January 1st 2010 no new systems will be able to be legally produced that use Freon R-22 and experts project supply shortages of R-22 as soon as 2015. The truth is that while it may be technically possible to replace one portion of the A/C without replacing both , it is most often not a financially viable long term decision. We usually recommend installing a new Puron based system so that you will be ready for the changes in Federal law.