Do you have any questions about your heating and cooling system?
Let’s face it, heating and cooling is not something that people think about daily. In fact, since HVAC equipment has a long lifespan, you may only have to think about it every 10 to 15 years! It’s no surprise that you may have a few questions when it does come time to replace your old heating and cooling equipment. Everything from system type to efficiency ratings will affect your bills and comfort.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
What is refrigerant?
If you’ve had your air conditioner or heat pump serviced before, you may have heard about refrigerant. Essentially, refrigerant is a liquid/gas component of your equipment that facilitates heat transfer.
Should I buy an air conditioner or heat pump?
The answer to this question depends on where you live, and what you use to heat your home. If you only have electricity at your disposal, a heat pump is a great solution. It can cool and heat your home using electricity. Heat pumps are also a great idea for climates that don’t see extreme winters – like the South. However, a heat pump can be used in any climate. Like an air conditioner, it can be paired with a gas furnace for powerful heating during the winter.
What is HVAC?
“HVAC” stands for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” It’s a generic term used to describe the technology and products that heat or cool your home. It some places, you may see it as “HVACR.” The “R” stands for refrigeration.
How much does an air conditioner cost?
There are so many different variables that go into the cost of an air conditioner. These variables include efficiency, size, labor costs, refrigerant costs and more! The best way to get an estimate of how much your new HVAC system is going to cost is by talking to a local contractor. However, don’t just get a quote over the phone or on the back of a business card. Make sure the contractor you get your quote from comes out to your home, inspects your current system and asks you questions about what you expect from your new cooling unit.
What is SEER?
SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration” and is a measure of cooling efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, you want to invest in the most efficiency you can afford. Although costs may be higher upfront, you may enjoy lower utility bills over the course of the systems’ life that will more than make up for the initial investment.
Am I in charge of registering my warranty?
After you buy any new HVAC system, it is important that the equipment is registered for full warranty protection. The person in charge of registering the equipment will vary. Make sure you ask your contractor whether you register your equipment, or whether they will take care of it.
Should I schedule spring HVAC maintenance?
Spring HVAC maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your air conditioner – whether it is a year old or 10 years old. This is the best way to make sure that your equipment is up for the peak cooling season.
Don’t see the answer to one of your questions? Either ask us in the comments, or talk to a local contractor. Take some time to hire a contractor today to either install your new cooling system or maintain your current one.
I need to replace my thermostat and am looking for the simplest one that will work with my system – it need not be programmable. What would you advise?
The thermostat you choose will depend on many factors – what you consider “simple,” the type of system you have, etc. Even amongst non-programmable models, there’s considerable variation. Our best advice would be to talk to your local heating and air contractor. They will hook you up with the right thermostat for your home.