Q. How often should filters be cleaned or replaced?
A. Typically, filters should be replaced or cleaned once a month. Some units are equipped with permanent filters. These can be cleaned according to the instructions supplied by your manufacturer. Disposal filters should be replaced with filters of the same type and size as the original filter.
Q. What do rating numbers mean?
A. To help consumers make informed choices, the U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating is meant to reflect the percentage of energy used efficiently. A high rating indicates high efficiency. There are various names for the efficiency ratings of varying types of equipment. Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. Heat pump equipment is rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE.
Q. Can shrubs and flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?
A. Yes. However, we recommend that plants be no closer than 18 inches from the unit. This allows plenty of room for air circulation in and out of the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could overheat, resulting in a premature need for service.
Q. If an outdoor unit needs replacing, should the indoor unit be replaced, too?
A. It is a good idea to replace the entire system when a part of the system fails to operate correctly. That’s because air conditioning and heating units are designed to operate as a complete, matched system. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system. To gain the maximum benefit of new, highly efficient technology, the entire system should be replaced together. This ensures the system is reliable and efficient.
Q. How do you know what size system a house needs?
A. Which system is best for a particular application is best determined by a HVAC expert technician. There are many variables to be considered, such as size of the house, climate at the location, the number and type of windows, insulation of the house, number of people in the house, etc. A professional HVAC technician will consider all the factors in making a recommendation.
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