Question: When should I replace my air conditioning system rather than repair it?
Answer: In most cases, an air conditioning unit can be repaired, whether it's the indoor unit or the outdoor unit. However, in some cases, it may be wiser and less expensive to replace the system. A good system will easily last ten years, but a ten year old system will have lost some of its efficiency. Losing its efficiency will cause your electric bill to rise. If you're constantly repairing an older unit, or your system is running too long trying to keep up in warm weather, it's time to replace it. The service technicians at Jones Air Conditioning will never condemn a system if it's still worth repairing.
Question: What does SEER mean?
Answer: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit is. The higher the efficiency, the less electricity is required to operate the system. In many cases, buying a higher SEER system is the financially wiser thing to do, because it will pay for itself before the warranty expires, saving you money in the long run.
Question: How does a humidistat work?
Answer: When used in conjunction with an air conditioning system, a humidistat will cycle the air conditioner on and off in response to internal humidity level instead of responding to internal temperature levels. In South Florida, the recommended setting for a humidistat is 50 percent. When the relative indoor humidity reaches 50 percent or above, the air conditioner will cycle on, even if the thermostat setting does not call for cooling.
Question: Is it ok to build a pump house over the condensing unit?
Answer: No. In fact, it may be harmful. The outdoor unit requires ventilation. Not only should it not be covered in any way, it should also have plenty of clearance on all sides of the unit. Twenty inches is the ideal amount of space that should be clear from the unit, but no less than sixteen inches. Plants are ideal for keeping the condensing unit out of site because they aren't solid like a wall structure.
Question: When should filters be cleaned or replaced?
Answer: It can vary depending on conditions. In most cases, disposable filters should be changed every one to three months. Disposable filters must be replaced with the proper size filter to prevent the evaporator coil from becoming damaged or requiring higher maintenance than normal. Electrostatic and other permanent filters should be cleaned no less than every three months. Jones Air Conditioning can order any size filter needed.
Question: Should the thermostat be set on auto or on?
Answer: When the fan is set on auto, the air handler will only run when the outdoor unit is running. However, in the on position it will run constantly. When the fan runs constantly, it will likely cause higher humidity because the air will be blown over damp coils. In South Florida, it's recommended to set the thermostat on the auto position.
Question: When replacing one piece of equipment, it is necessary to replace the other piece as well?
Answer: Yes. As of March 1, 2009 it become part of the Florida Building Code that both the condenser and air handler be replaced when replacing one or the other. It's also required to properly match both units.
Question: What is a MERV?
Answer: A Merv or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a number from 1 to 16 that is relative to an air filter’s efficiency. The higher the MERV, the more efficient the air filter is at removing particles. At the lower end of the efficiency spectrum a fiberglass panel filter may have a MERV of 4 or 5. In a practical use a MERV 14 filter is typically the filter of choice for critical areas of a hospital (to prevent transfer of bacteria and infectious diseases). Higher MERV filters are also capable of removing higher quantities of extremely small contaminants. A higher MERV creates more resistance to airflow because the filter media becomes denser as efficiency increases. For the cleanest air, a user should select the highest MERV filter that their unit is capable of forcing air through based on the limit of the unit’s fan power.
If you have a question that wasn't answered here, please contact us and we'll be happy to assist you.