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 time clock installed and preset to run at 72 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. Should I have a timer or humidistat? If you are out of your home for three to six months a year, you would benefit greatly by investing in either. Both the timer and humidistat can decrease energy costs. As the humidity is always higher here in Central Florida, the humidistat will cause the unit to run more than the timer. However, both can do an excellent job of keeping your Air Conditioning costs down while you are away.
6. What should I set my humidistat at when leaving? 65 degrees relative humidity.
7. How often should I have my air conditioning unit or heat pump checked? Twice a year. You should consider a Service Agreement whereby we will automatically perform the maintenance service for you. The benefits of a service agreement more than pay for the small investment. You get semi-annual maintenance and many other benefits. If interested, contact us at (407) 859-1940.
8. 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 raise the in home and become uncomfortable. It may also cause Mold problems.
9. How often should the filter be cleaned or changed? When it is dirty. Depending on the application, it ranges from once a month to twice a year.
10. 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. Cool Zone A/C can perform an energy survey on your home or business and tell you.
11. 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.
12. 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. Waterfront homes could be a little less.
13. How often should I have to add gas? Never, refrigerant does not dissipate. Loss is only through a refrigerant leak somewhere in the refrigerant system. Today refrigerants are becoming very expensive, if you have a leak you should have it repaired. As of July 1, 1992 it is a Federal offense to vent refrigerant into the atmosphere. We will be happy to send you a brochure.
14. Should I turn my air conditioning off during an electrical storm? Yes, even though they are internally protected, it is a good idea.
15. 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.
16. How much could “high-efficiency air conditioning” save me? Considerable! 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. 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.
17. 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.
18. What should the supply air temperature be? Approximately 16 to 20 degrees lower than the return (or rooms) temperature.
19. 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.
20. Is my unit big enough? One of Cool Zone A/C trained technicians can answer this after he performs an energy survey for you. To answer this question it requires we perform a complete heat load calculation, then and only then can you be assured your equipment is properly sized. There is NO “rule of thumb answer”.
21. 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.
22. Which is the best unit? We elected York as our favored line of equipment because we have found York to be of high quality and requiring much lower repair expense. The equipment is very efficient, and they have an excellent parts and labor warranty.
23. Does freon have an odor? No! “Freon” or refrigerant is odorless and colorless.
24. How long does freon last? Forever! We are a Florida friendly, environmentally safe service company. We are equipped to recover your refrigerant, keeping your refrigerant from going into the atmosphere. We abide by the law.
25. How much should my unit cycle? It varies with each home. As mentioned earlier it depends on the construction of your home, insulation and whether it has been sized correctly. 26. Where do I find my filters? Normally in the return air grille or in the air handler.
27. How often should I clean my electric filters? Normally every 6 months, this can vary from house to house. Regular cleaning is very important.
28. How do I know if my unit is not working properly? Typically in Central Florida when the temperature is 92 degrees outside your A/C system should be able to maintain 78 degrees indoors and cycle on and off a couple of times per hour. Or when in your opinion it is not cooling or heating properly. Or, if the unit is making peculiar noise.
29. Can the problem be a circuit breaker if my inside fan still runs? Yes, always check all disconnect breakers and your main panel breakers prior to calling for service.
30. How often do you oil motors? Today most motors can not be oiled because they are sealed, if they are not sealed one or two times per year. 31. Should my freon be checked annually? Yes, leaks can develop that greatly increase operating costs.
32. Why do my electric heat strips smell like wires burning? Heat strips are made just like toasters and they give off a burning smell particularly when first used, because of dust that settles on them when not in use.
33. Do I have a heat pump or electric strip? Call us with the model and serial number of the outdoor unit and we can tell you.
34. How do I bleach the condensate drains and pan? We do not recommend bleach, we vacuum and clean out the drains and then flush with water. We recommend a service agreement. We will clean your drain pans semi-annually and install algaecide tablets to eliminate algae growth.
35. I have a “high efficiency unit” but my electric bill is higher than last year. Why? Get last year’s bills and this year’s bills (month for month) and compare kilowatt usage. Your usage is probably going down while the rates are going up.
36. Why should I cover myself with a service agreement for the first year when the warranty is good for the first year? The warranty only covers operating parts, not maintenance, clogged drain lines or dirty filters.
37. Why are parts only guaranteed for a certain period? Because that is the warranty that we get from the parts manufacturer and we simply pass it on to you. Typically, the motor warranties are 1 year and the compressor warranties are 1 year. Our York equipment have excellent warranties on parts and labor, including compressors!
38. Will a five minute time delay prevent lightning damage to my unit? No, however, they will help extend the life of your compressor by protection against power losses or blowouts.
39. Should I cover my condensing unit with a roof structure to keep off rain and the sun? No, they are made to be outside in the elements. However, a Kool-Kap is recommended for units that set under the eaves of the house where gravel and leaves from the roof can face or blow into the condensing unit, requiring cleaning.
40. How often should I hose out and clean the condenser coils? We recommend twice a year cleaning, by a trained maintenance professionals. If you get water in the wrong place you could create serious damage to your equipment, you could even experience electrical shock if you are not careful.
41. What do I do when I smell “freon” leaking into my house? (“Freon” is a brand name). Refrigerant does not have an odor. Mold and Mildew does have an odor however.
Call us at (407) 859-1940 for more free advice!