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How does an air conditioner cool the air in my home?

Your air conditioning system is actually made up of two parts: the outdoor unit and the indoor coil. Refrigerant ("freon" or “gas") is contained in the outdoor unit and is pumped to the indoor coil. As air passes over the coil, the refrigerant removes the heat by condensing it on the cold surface of the coil. Your air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier by removing moisture from the air as it removes the heat.

Air conditioners can be installed in any home that has a ductwork system. If there is no ductwork in your home, a ductless air conditioning system can be added to cool rooms or offices. Please speak to one of our comfort consultants for more information on our air conditioner repair in Chantilly, VA.  Contact us

What does the term SEER mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is the standard air conditioning efficiency measurement established by the Department of Energy. The higher the SEER number or rating, the more energy efficient the unit is—which means lower operating cost. The lowest SEER allowed to be manufactured as of January, 2006 is 13 SEER.

What does the term AFUE mean?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This standard established by the government tells you how efficiently your furnace converts fuel (gas, propane, oil) to heat. If your furnace has an AFUE of 80% it means that 80% of the fuel is used to heat your home, while 20% is wasted. The minimum rating today is 78%. Furnaces with a rating of 90% are considered "high efficiency."

How can I make sure my HVAC system is safe for operation?

Have your system checked by trained professionals every year. We recommend two inspections each year: one before the heating season and one before the cooling season. Tiny cracks or pinholes can occur in the heat exchanger, which allows the escape of carbon monoxide, a deadly, non-odorous gas.

Some parts of my house get more heating and cooling than others.Is there anything I can do to even it out?

The first step is to adjust the register louvers in the rooms where there is too much heating or cooling. For example, partially or fully closing the registers downstairs in the summer months will force more cooling upstairs.

Other possible solutions you can try:

  • Invest in a furnace with a variable speed blower motor. These furnaces are designed to keep the airflow even throughout the house. They also use 1/3 the electricity which can save in operating costs.
  • Install a zoning system. Through the use of multiple thermostats, you can set the temperature independently in different areas of the home.

How often does the filter in my furnace need to be changed?

You should change your standard throw- away filter in your furnace every 4 - 5 weeks. Make sure to inspect your filter periodically and don't let it become "clogged."This can restrict air flow and/or cause damage to the unit.

How efficient is my standard filter?

A standard furnace filter captures about 5 - 10% of particles that are flowing through your system. An upgraded air filtration system with a pleated media filter will remove up to 95% of airborne particles.An electronic air filtration system will remove up to 99% of airborne particles. By upgrading the filter, systems run more efficiently because the coils stay cleaner.

When replacing my media air filter, which direction is the arrow supposed to be facing?

The arrow points in the direction of the air flow—typically toward the furnace. Since the filter catches the airborne particles before they flow through the duct system, it should be placed between the return air duct and the furnace.

Why are there two settings on my thermostat for the fan?

The "auto" setting is used to control the fan by the temperature in the room (it will only run when the system runs to cool or heat the room). The "on" setting is used to keep a continuous flow of air. If you have an air cleaner, the fan should be set to “on” since the air cleaner only works when air is circulating through the furnace. (The "on" setting does not mean that the system is constantly running in heat or cool mode.)

Why can't my humidifier be installed in my attic?

Due to the unconditioned space, the possibility of freezing, and in some cases the inaccessibility to water, we do not install humidifiers in attic spaces.

What is the proper setting for my humidifier?

Because every home is different, we recommend that you start with the setting at 35%. Raise the humidity level until you see small droplets of water on your windows, then lower the setting slightly until they are gone. This will be the proper humidity level for your home. (This should take place over the course of several days.)

Do I need a new carbon monoxide detector every few years?

All carbon monoxide detectors have a limited life. At five (5) years or less they lose their "sensing" capabilities and must be replaced. You can also have the detector tested using a CO test kit. When scheduling your next inspection, ask the technician for details.

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