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How long does a typical gas furnace or air conditioner last?

The average life of a gas furnace is 15 years. The average life of an air conditioner is 12 years. Regular maintenance helps prolong the life of heating and air conditioning systems.

My allergies seem to bother me a lot at home. What can I do?

At least, change your air filters. You might also consider having your evaporator coil checked for cleanliness. Much of the dust, mites and other debris that build up on the coils are circulated into the air of your home.

What are the benefits of an air filtration system?

An Air Filtration system removes dust, pollen, spores and smoke. It can also reduce the cost of Furnace and Air Conditioner maintenance.

Why should I replace my working furnace or air conditioner?

Although your present furnace or air conditioner may be working, if it is close to 10 years old or more you should consider replacing it with a new high efficiency system. A new heating and air conditioning system could save up to 50 percent on energy costs. While these products save you money on your utility bills, they also offer a better degree of comfort within your home.

How do I know what size air conditioner to get?

To exactly size an A/C unit for a specific area requires a heat load calculation which is a bit complicated and is usually made by a licensed HVAC contractor who is experienced and qualified to make these calculations. A quick and easy rule of thumb to use for sizing an air conditioner for a room or house is the square foot method. This formula is used only for a quick approximate and is based on certain guidelines regarding insulation R values, shading, ceiling height, construction materials, windows, doors, purpose of use and occupancy. In layman’s terms 1 ton of cooling capacity is equal to 12,000BTU of cooling capacity and 600 square feet of residential living space requires 1 ton of cooling capacity based on adequate insulation, 8′ ceiling height and tight windows and doors. To calculate your requirement using this method get the total square footage of living space and divide that number by 600. The answer is the number in tons of air conditioning capacity required. To convert tonnage to BTU’s simply multiply by 12,000. This general rule of thumb method can be used for approximate sizing of both central and room air conditioning equipment.

Why is my unit icing-up? Why am I getting such little air flow from my registers?

There are several things that can cause frost on your coil and/or reduced air flow. First clean or replace you air filter, ensure return register (the largest one in your home) is not blocked or this will cause frost. Basically, anything that restricts the airflow through the inside unit will cause frost. As the frost builds up on the coil, the airflow becomes more and more restricted making the condition worse. When the frost is also on the outside pipes next to the compressor, you have a situation where damage to the compressor can occur. If you see this, turn off the unit and call for service.

The system is running but the air is not very cold, what's wrong?

If some cooling is taking place but not enough, then the chances are that the system is low on Freon. The only reason a system would need Freon is because the Freon leaked out. If the leak is not sealed before recharging with Freon, the Freon will eventually leak out again. Leak repairs are expensive so if it’s a small leak it may be more cost effective to recharge the system every two or three years. Freon recharging is not a do-it-yourself job. As per federal law (EPA), only people certified to handle refrigerant (Freon) are allowed to recharge an air conditioning system.

Inside unit is running but the outside unit is not, what's up?

A/C breaker: Check this first. Find the breaker for the air conditioner or Heat Pump (there will be a separate breaker for the indoor and outdoor units). Turn it completely “off” even if it appears to be “off”, then turn it back on again. If it trips again, leave it alone and call for service.

If some cooling is taking place but not enough, then the chances are that the system is low on Freon. The only reason a system would need Freon is because the Freon leaked out. If the leak is not sealed before recharging with Freon, the Freon will eventually leak out again. Leak repairs are expensive so if it’s a small leak it may be more cost effective to recharge the system every two or three years. Freon recharging is not a do-it-yourself job. As per federal law (EPA), only people certified to handle refrigerant (Freon) are allowed to recharge an air conditioning system.

How often should we replace the HVAC system filter?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency of filter changes is driven by how much your HVAC system operates, which is driven by the severity of the seasons. The best reminder is when you pay your electric bill (monthly). A clogged filter can drastically increase your bill. In some locations (like Central Florida) the cooling system might be in use more than four months of the year – to keep heat and humidity under control. If your house is in such a hot and humid location, you should pay a lot more attention to your filter than in an area where the air conditioning is seldom used. The same logic applies to heating. If the heat is used only on especially cold days during the three or so months of winter, then filters would be checked less often. Start by checking the HVAC system’s filters at least once a month. Hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to a clean “spare.” When light is obscured by captured dust and dirt particles, the old filter should be changed. Keep a record for one year and then replace the filter on that basis. At a minimum, it is always a good idea to change filters at the start of the heating and cooling seasons and then in between according to observed need.