It’s recommended to service your AC unit once a year if the air handler is located in a closet on the 1st floor, and twice a year for attic installations, multifamily homes, and condos.
The average life expectancy of a new AC is 10-12 years. Performing regular maintenance is very important to the life of the AC. Maintaining your AC regularly will keep it running at optimal performance and efficiency.
Two-stage cooling utilizes a multi-, or two-speed compressor. A high-stage demand from the thermostat will cause the compressor and circulating fan to operate at 100% cooling capacity and the indoor fan to operate at the high-speed setting.. A low-stage demand from the thermostat will result in a speed reduction at both the compressor and indoor unit circulating fan. Two-stage cooling generally results in extend operation at low speed removing more moisture from the structure, providing more comfort and using less electricity than single-stage systems.
Preventative maintenance keeps your AC system running at peak performance and energy efficiency. It also allows us to catch any issues with the AC ahead of time to make sure to avoid any down time of the air conditioning system during the hotter months of the year.
It’s recommended to check the filter monthly and replace every 1 to 3 months. The filter type, location, and condition of the space will have a significant impact on how often it needs to be changed.
An AC can freeze due to a variety of reasons, the most common being a dirty filter, dirty coil, or low refrigerant. The thing to check is your air filter. A dirty air filter will restrict air moving across the evaporator coil and cause ice to form. Ice forming on the air conditioning unit puts high stress on the blower motor, compressor, and other parts of the unit. If this condition is not addressed immediately the result can lead to motor failure, compressor failure, damage to home, refrigerant leaks, and/or bigger refrigerant leaks. If the air filter is clean, a qualified technician will have to troubleshoot the system.
The recommended temperature setting when the space is occupied is between 74 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If the space will remain empty for an extended period of time it’s recommended to set the thermostat to 80* and run the AC at least 2 hours per day to control humidity.
SEER ratings vary greatly between manufacturers, models, etc. These value also decreases as the AC unit ages and becomes less efficient. The average SEER of a 12 years old AC unit is less than 11.00 SEER. Minimum required SEER for new installations in South Florida is 14.00 SEER.
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment. AHRI is an internationally recognized advocate for the industry, and develops standards for and certifies the performance of many products. For more information AHRI, visit www.ahrinet.org.
Over-sizing an AC is not recommended as it’s not usually the solution to the cooling issues and can create additional problems. When an AC is too big for the space it will tend to short cycle which results in high energy consumption, poor humidity control, big temperature swings and poor comfort levels.
The EPA has specified that newly manufactured air conditioning systems will not contain R-22 refrigerant. R22 is damaging to the ozone layer and Ozone-friendly refrigerants are now used in units manufactured after January 1, 2010. R-410A is the most common replacement and is found in most new units. While R-410A is used in most new systems, it may not be used in existing systems designed to use R-22 refrigerant. Design specifications to handle the increased pressure and cooling capacity of R-410A are required.