Living here in north Georgia, you have likely already felt the warm breezes that harbor the fast approach of spring. And while we all look forward to increased sunshine and being outside, we also know that rising temperatures mean that our air conditioners will be kicking in soon – and that they’ll stay on for months to come.
With that in mind, now is the time to get your air conditioning – in fact, your entire Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system – looked at by a professional. By scheduling a simple, routine maintenance check from a certified technician, you can avoid aggravating AC breakdowns and make sure that you enjoy cool, comfortable air no matter how high the temperatures soar.
But if your system has not had a service call in some time or if it is 10 years or older – or it has been experiencing any issues – you will need to tell the technician. But that’s not all you need to talk to your HVAC pro about. In fact, there is a list of questions for your HVAC technician that can be a great help to you, no matter the shape of your air conditioning and/or heating. The answers to these questions will give you the whole picture of your HVAC’s health and ensure you enjoy ultimate comfort year-round.
Those questions include:
1. Can you take pictures of/show me firsthand anything you find?
This might sound strange, but asking the technician to show you exactly what’s going on with your system – unless it receives a 100% bill of health – allows you to participate in the service process from start to finish. And if you feel like you need to get a second opinion, it will also allow you to have a record of what another professional discovered. And it will allow you to learn more about your system.
2. What are the foremost considerations I should have based on the age of my HVAC?
Asking this question relies on you knowing the exact age of your air conditioning and heating units. But after telling your technician, he should be able to use that knowledge – combined with what he finds during the inspection – to tell you what to expect from your system over the coming weeks, months, and years. If your unit is running fine, there is no need to panic, but beware that air conditioners over 10 years old and furnaces over 15 years old are more prone to breakdowns. And eventually, the repairs will not be worth the cost versus replacing the unit.
You should also ask if your older AC unit utilizes the refrigerant known as R-22. This type of refrigerant has been banned by the EPA and is no longer able to be produced or imported into the United States. Therefore, any R-22 must be recycled or recovered from other decommissioned units. This reality will increase the price of any R-22 that your unit requires.
3. How do my ducts look?
Home and business owners often get caught up thinking of HVAC as only air conditioners and heaters, but just as important are the air ducts that distribute air throughout your structure. Air ducts last much longer than AC and heating units, but they can also develop holes and wear out. They can also get clogged with dirt and other particles, so it’s important to ask your technician to check out the status of your ducts. If they are experiencing problems, even brand-new air conditioners and heaters will struggle to produce proper comfort. And there are certain HVAC contractors that can both clean ducts and repair faulty or worn-out ductwork. For instance, Conditioned Air Systems even builds and constructs its own ductwork so that it can provide custom-fit ducts guaranteed to fit any system.
4. How clean is my air?
While air temperature and circulation are two of the key basics of HVAC, there are other important aspects of total comfort – including humidity and cleanliness. And there are additions that HVAC professionals can attach to your system that will guarantee the perfect balance of each. For example, there are humidifier controls and even space-age air purifiers that can make a huge difference in the health and happiness of everyone in your home and/or business. For instance, Conditioned Air Systems offers an air purifier that utilizes o-zone and ultraviolet light to neutralize all manner of harmful particles in the air circulating through your HVAC system. New filter materials can also make a key difference in the cleanliness of the air you breathe every day.
5. What temperature should I set my thermostat?
This sounds extremely basic. However, you might be surprised by what the answer is. Your HVAC technician will not only be able to give you a recommendation that keeps your home/business comfortable, but also one that will help you to spend the least on electrical bills. Your HVAC is the single biggest user of electricity in your home/business. And, assuming it is fully functional, there is a sweet spot for your system where you can use it without having to run it constantly. You may even be able to run your fan without using the compressor to stay comfortable in the spring, for instance. A knowledgeable technician will be able to judge your system (and the area in which you live) and give you a good knowledge of what works best for your HVAC. Of course, there are also thermostats that can do a lot of that work for you.
6. (If you don’t have one) What about smart thermostats?
The latest in thermostat technology can help you avoid concerns about energy use and HVAC efficiency. That’s because “smart thermostats” constantly work with a wide range of information available to them (including indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity levels, and even when you’re home or not) to ensure not only comfort, but comfort that requires the least amount of energy usage possible. Conditioned Air Systems offers several smart thermostat options – all of which are fully compatible with HVAC systems of all ages and dimensions.
7. What’s the best method of picking a new air conditioner?
So, let’s say you get the bad news that, yes, your AC is dying or that a repair won’t be worth the money you sink into it. What next? Well, you can do plenty of research on your own. But, while you’ve got them at your residence, you should ask your technician their thoughts. That way you can see what kind of advice they offer – and see how their manner is in helping you. You can also see what brands of equipment they offer. Those companies that carry numerous industry leaders – like Carrier, York, Lennox, Trane, and Daikin – can offer systems that best fit your home/business and make the most of rebates to find you the best deal.
8. What is a SEER rating?
Short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, this number basically determines how much energy it requires to efficiently run an HVAC unit over a single year. SEER ratings are wide and varied depending upon the unit, but most air conditioners fall between 13-21 SEER. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. However, a higher SEER also costs more money upfront (which could pay off over the life of the unit in energy usage). But an experienced HVAC technician will understand what works best for the parameters of your living/working space and the best way to maintain comfort. And the best technicians should be able to explain why a certain SEER will work best for your situation.
9. What kind of service agreements do you offer?
If you’re not already on a service agreement, you should ask your HVAC technician how much their service agreements cost and what benefits it will provide you. They should tell you about how it will protect your HVAC system against catastrophic failure and how it could also save you time and money should a routine inspection discover a problem with your HVAC.
10. What are the next steps I should take?
Ideally, you should have your HVAC system serviced twice a year to keep it running at peak efficiency. So, no matter the state of your air conditioner and/or furnace, you should make sure that you ask about their next appointment availability in six months. That way you don’t have to remind yourself and (possibly) forget.
Conditioned Air Systems technicians have the answers
For almost 40 years, Conditioned Air Systems has been helping residents throughout north Georgia and metro Atlanta to experience ultimate comfort in their homes and businesses. Our commitment to customer service means that your satisfaction is our ultimate concern – that means we will be honest and open with you about all aspects of your HVAC, whether it be a new installation of a new system or maintenance or repair on a current system. And, because we are a factory-authorized dealer of some of the leading names in the HVAC industry, our NATE-certified technicians can repair any system – or replace it with one guaranteed to provide years of comfort. Please contact us today to experience the Conditioned Air Systems difference: 770-536-7509.