Our Heating and Cooling FAQ’s for Quick Reference
Here are a number of heating and cooling FAQ’s. If you have a question that is not answered here browse our articles or call us and we’ll help you with the answer or determine if you need a service visit.
Preferred customers with a Planned Service Maintenance Agreement never pay for after hour’s diagnostic fees or any overtime charges. Become a preferred customer by calling and asking about our maintenance agreement or sign up online using our request page.
A properly maintained heating and cooling system will last longer, save money through lower utility bills, and breakdown less. Air conditioning and heating equipment is mechanical machinery just like your car and requires maintenance. Your say you haven’t noticed any problems with your A/C system? If you don’t regularly change the oil in your car you won’t notice a problem either until the engine burns up! The price of an oil change is much less than a new engine. The same is true with your air conditioning system. You may not notice the small problems in the short term but they will always catch up with you in the long run and it will cost a whole lot more to wait.
Checking things like freon, electrical components, and cleaning coils are necessary to maximize equipment life, prevent excessive electrical consumption, and minimize system failures. The good news is that the cost of this service pays for itself with reduced electrical consumption and lower utility bills. You may also want to ask us about our planned service maintenance agreement that covers seasonal inspections for one low price.
The answer to this question often depends on the equipment you have, how well it was installed, and how well it has been maintained. Home builders often use lower grade “builder models” which may not last much more than 8 to 12 years, whereas premium models when properly maintained may typically last much longer. The Carolinas have extremely hot summers and air conditioning equipment is run longer and harder than almost any place in the country. Quality equipment is well worth the extra expense.
Regular maintenance is an important factor. Equipment that has been frequently serviced and maintained can last 20 years or longer. A properly designed duct system plays a critical role in terms of equipment reliability and life span. The equipment works in conjunction with the duct system to deliver the heated or cooled air into the home or building. Improperly sized duct systems do not allow the equipment to deliver the required air flow and will shorten the life span of your system. Poorly designed duct systems often cause serious equipment malfunctions before systems are even five years old.
It really depends on how much you feel comfortable with doing. These are things you can do without any specialized training or equipment.
• Change air filters monthly.
• Keep shrubbery and landscaping away from your outdoor equipment.
• Do not allow lawn sprinkling systems to continually spray water on your equipment.
• Keep debris from lawn mowing out of our condenser coil by turning your A/C off when mowing the lawn.
• If you have an electrical disconnect box on your outdoor unit, you can disconnect the power and wash the condenser coil with a water hose to remove any dirt and debris.
• Clean the coil and cabinet.
• Accessibility to evaporator coils vary. Many air conditioning systems in our area have coils located in the attic or crawl space and installed in an upflow or horizontal position. We highly recommend you call us to have this portion of your system serviced properly. The evaporator coil catches everything that the filter system does not. A clean evaporator coil is vital to the proper operation of cooling system or heat pump.
• Flush and clean drain lines.
If you want cooling, make sure the thermostat is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the COOL or AUTO position. If you want heat, make sure the thermostat is set above room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on HEAT or AUTO. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the system is calling for Heat or Cool. Then look and see what is running and what is not.
Is the outdoor equipment running? Does air come out of the supply grilles? If not check and see if the indoor fan is running by switching the fan position from AUTO to ON. Does it make any noise? If you have an attic installation, locate the power switch that feeds power to the furnace. The switch is simply a light switch mounted on a brace in the attic. Is the power switch turned on? If the switch is on and the unit is not running you should check the circuit breakers in the main electrical panel to your home. Reset any tripped breakers. If breakers continue to trip you will need to call for service.
When air is coming out of the ducts and the a/c will not cool, check to see if the unit outside is running. If not, check the circuit breakers. In cases where the circuit breaker is still on and this does not solve your problem, call us for service.
The first thing to remember is your safety. Your system is powered with electricity and natural gas which can cause injury to you and your property. The air conditioning system contains refrigerant under high pressure. Any repair work to your system should be done by a trained professional with proper training, tools, and equipment. You should not attempt to repair your equipment yourself unless it is a simple problem of re-setting a circuit breaker. Just remember, circuit breakers trip for a reason. If you continue to have a problem with circuit breakers, that can be a sign of a more serious problem. Don’t delay in calling us for service if you experience this problem.
We have spent literally thousands of hours servicing and repairing virtually every make of air conditioning and heating systems on the market. We would not be installing Trane equipment if we did not believe it to be a very reliable and dependable product line. That being said, the best air conditioning system is the one that is installed properly. Any equipment, no matter how high the sticker price, that is not installed in accordance with proven industry installation standards will prematurely fail and operate with increased electrical consumption. The question of making a quality purchase is more one of the contractor you choose to do the installation, the type of system, and the quality control over the installation.
There are several reasons for an air conditioning system to freeze up and they are for the most part a result of a lack of maintenance. In most cases freeze up is caused by a dirty blower or evaporator, a lack of refrigerant (most people still think of this as FREON) or clogged filters. Do not operate your system in this manner as it will cause serious system damage. Learn more about your unit icing up by reading our longer article on this problem.