1. At what temperature should I keep my thermostat set?
We recommend 78 degrees on cooling. Some people are not comfortable at this setting and require it cooler. But you need to remember that for each degree below 78 degrees you will increase the energy cost for air conditioning by a significant amount.
2. Should I keep my fan running?
Normally no, but there are exceptions such as some business applications, etc. In home, this practice can increase humidity usually causing higher electric bills and increased discomfort.
3. Should I turn off my air conditioning during the day if I am not at home?
No, you can raise the setting on the thermostat a few degrees. Up to 82 to 83 degrees will use less energy and still allow for the A/C system to recover when you lower the thermostat to your desired comfort level when you get home in the evening.
4. When I go away for the summer what should I set my thermostat at?
82 degrees, but it is even better to have a programmable thermostat installed and preset to run at 76 degrees for two hours per day. This will insure proper humidity removal each day to cut down on mold, while keeping operating costs to pennies per day.
5. How often should I have my air conditioning unit or heat pump checked?
Your air conditioning unit or heat pump should be checked twice a year. You should consider a Service Agreement where we will automatically perform the maintenance service for you.
6. Can I close up vents in rooms I am not using? Does it save money?
It is not a good idea to close vents in your home. The savings are insignificant and the air balancing will be wrong, causing the relative humidity to rise in the home and become uncomfortable. It may also cause Mold problems.
7. How often should the filter be cleaned or changed?
Air filters should be changed monthly. Read our post on the different air filters available to you.
8. How long should each “off” and “on” cycle be?
This varies with each house and is difficult to answer as it depends on the outside temperature and how well your home is insulated. We at Advanced A/C & Heating can perform an energy survey on your home or business and tell you.
9. How long should it take to cool a hot house down to 80 degrees?
This depends on how hot it is outside and how long the unit has been off, as furnishings, carpet, etc., store heat. Expect at least 2 to 3 hours or longer.
10. How long should an air conditioning unit or heat pump last?
This depends on how much it is used, how well it is cleaned and maintained, and the environment. Normally you could reasonably expect a unit to last 8 to 10 years or more according to most manufacturers. With the salt air oceanfront and waterfront homes could be a little less.
11. What is meant by “high-efficiency air conditioning”?
Equipment that delivers more BTU’s of cooling relative to the electrical wattage consumed by that of standard or low efficiency equipment. This is measured by S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), the higher the S.E.E.R. number the more efficient.
12. How much could “high-efficiency air conditioning” save me?
Many times we remove older air conditioning equipment and replace it with new high-efficiency equipment, and the owner gets 30% to 50% return on investment. Most equipment installed in the 1980’s had an S.E.E.R. of between 6.0 and 9.0. Today the minimum S.E.E.R. is 13.0 and goes up to 20.0.
13. Should I turn my air conditioning off during the night?
No, but you can raise the temperature up 2 to 4 degrees. A programmable or computerized thermostat as mentioned previously can also be programmed to perform this function.
14. What should the supply air temperature be?
Approximately 16 to 20 degrees lower than the return (or rooms) temperature.
15. Where are the condensate drains?
In the indoor air handler and extend to the outside of your home. You have a primary drain for draining the water out, and a secondary drain to drain the water out if something happens to your primary drain, such as rust, leaks, algae or mold build up, foreign object, etc. Not all units have secondary drains. They must be checked, and cleaned if necessary.
16. Is my unit big enough?
One of Advanced A/C & Heating trained technicians can answer this after he performs an energy survey for you. To answer this question it requires us to perform a complete heat load calculation, then and only can you be assured your equipment is properly sized. There is NO “rule of thumb answer”.
17. Where are the breakers for my unit?
Normally you have a breaker next to your air handler and a breaker outside next to your condensing unit, as well as in your main electrical panel.