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Clearing Up The Mystery That is Air Conditioning and Heating

? Why should I replace my older heating and air conditioning unit?

A  Most contemporary systems run far more efficiently which translates to less run cost and lower maintenance charges. There are many factors that contribute to your decision to replace your existing and older unit which are detailed in our "Why You Should Replace Your Old Home Unit" blog post.

? How do I know the correct size replacement air conditioning and heating unit?

A  When contemplating the purchase of a new HVAC system, it can be a waste of money if you buy a system that is either too small or too large to suit your needs. Calling your local TemperaturePro® heating and air conditioning specialist is a great first step towards not wasting time and money. There are many factors when determining new system size including: space to be conditioned, number of heat generating appliances, insulation and other factors. Your local TemperaturePro® heating and air conditioning specialist will perform a thorough load analysis to exactly calculate your new system size requirements. 

? How are AC systems efficiency rated?

A Unfortunately, up to half of the energy used in your home or office is consumed by your heating and cooling system. This is due to the system's design and the occupants desire to be comfortable. When shopping for a new heating and air conditioning system, pick one that is Energy Star rated. This will ensure that you use as little energy as possible to keep your home or office comfortable. If you want to learn more about AC Energy Star ratings, read this pdf.

? What is the SEER rating?

SEER CalculationA  Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER, is the measurement of the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season. The formula for this rating is: BTU divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the AC unit expressed in watts. A free SEER calculator is available from Lennox and is available here.

? What are BTUs?

A  BTUs or British Thermal Units are the units of measurement for energy. One BTU is equal to the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

? How do I calculate my energy rating?

A Energy efficiency begins with knowing how much energy is currently being used within your home or office. There are free tools available from Energy.gov that will allow you to calculate energy use and savings. These calculators are available here. You can also read TemperaturePro®'s Home Energy Audit or Business Energy Audit pages.

? Is heating and air conditioning system maintenance really needed ?

A  Even though today's air conditioning and heating systems require less maintenance than those made years ago, they still need periodic servicing. As the units have moving parts which require cleaning and inspecting, a regular maintenance program should be completed at least twice each year. Your local TemperaturePro® offers a Total Comfort Plan to keep your air conditioning and heating system running at its peak performance.

? What are the advantages of the newer programmable thermostats?

A  Without a doubt newer thermostats are much more energy efficient and offer greater control over the home or office environment. Newer designs allow users to program times in which the system is active and a temperature range to be used within that time frame. With the increased popularity of cellular phone apps, there are even options available that will allow you to remotely control their thermostat from anywhere that has cell or internet service.

? How often should I replace my heating and air conditioning filter?

A  The quick answer is that manufactures recommend that filters be changed bi-monthly. However, this recommendation can change depending upon: the type of filter the AC system requires , the air quality of your city, if you own pets, the number of occupants, localized construction and many other factors. In general change your filter when you see system reduced air flow.

? filtersI've seen that there are many HVAC filters to choose from, but which one is right for me?

A  There are three basic types of filters in HVAC systems: mechanical, pleated and electronic. The mechanical filter comes in two thicknesses: 1 inch and 2 inch. Their basic function is to remove airborne particles using synthetic fibers to prevent the particles from being distributed throughout the structure. The pleated design basically contain 35-40% more fibers and are a much more efficient and cost effective alternative to mechanical filters. Electronic air filters are more expensive, but are far more efficient and can trap much smaller particulars such as smoke. Regardless of which option you select, air conditioner filters are classified by categories through their MERV ratings which determine the efficiency of the filter. The higher the MERV rating the better the filter.