Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning.
Will anything help control the humidity in my house?
Humidity is a problem in many areas. The best way to control excessive humidity is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable speed air handling equipment runs at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than conventional systems. At these low speeds, the variable speed motor uses much less electricity than conventional motors.
Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to "ON" so the fan runs constantly?
There are a couple of advantages plus one disadvantage. One advantage is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The other is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout. The disadvantage is that the system will dehumidify less with the fan on "ON" and the outside condenser off. Any water left on the coil when the outside unit shut off will will be evaporated and redistributed within the home.
I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages of replacing my whole system at the same time?
Air conditioners are designed as matched systems, with an efficiency rating given for the whole system. If you replace only one part, you do not get the advantage of many technology changes that make the system work efficiently to ensure comfort. Also, the indoor system contains a cooling coil which may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency. Further, if your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
What size system do I need for my home?
There are many things which will determine the size (capacity) system your home requires. Some of these are: square feet to be cooled, climate, humidity, number of windows, insulation factors, which direction your home faces, heat producing appliances, and even the number of people who will be in the home. Surgi's can perform a free energy analysis on your home and help you decide what your particular needs are for your lifestyle.
How do zoning systems work?
In the same way that a single thermostat controls WHEN the temperatures in your home change, an zoning system controls WHERE they change.
With zoning and programmable thermostats, you can actually divide your home into two, three or four separate "zones" with similar comfort needs. Then, a system of electronic thermostats and electronically controlled dampers automatically adjusts the level of comfort in each of those zones.
A zoning system gives you the same kind of flexibility in controlling heating and cooling that you have with the light switches in your home. It doesn't make sense to waste energy to light a room no one's using, so you turn off the light switch, right? With zoning you can basically do the same thing with heating and cooling -- increasing your comfort tremendously and enjoying huge savings on your energy bills.
Zoning is especially beneficial if you have certain rooms or areas that are always warmer or cooler than the rest of the home. You can direct your system to automatically provide more heating or cooling to that area without wasting energy to heat or cool your entire home.
In many cases, proper zoning can result in operating cost savings of as much as 30%. While zoning does not actually increase the efficiency of your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, it does increase the overall efficiency of your system by directing heating or cooling only where you need it. Plus, since you don't need extra capacity to heat or cool areas you're not using, zoning may allow you to install a smaller unit. Smaller-capacity equipment costs less to install and to operate. That translates into even more savings!
Surgi's is an expert in zoned systems including zoning by Trane, Carrier and EWC. To find out how zoning could make you more comfortable and reduce your energy costs, contact us.
What simple maintenance and troubleshooting can I do myself?
With the proper maintenance and care, your equipment will operate economically and dependably. There are a few simple, routine maintenance operations you can do to help ensure the best performance and comfort from your system.
Before you perform any kind of maintenance, consider these important safety precautions:
Disconnect all electrical power to the unit before removing access panels to perform maintenance.
Please note that there may be more than one power connection switch.
Although manufacturers takes special care to prevent sharp edges in the construction of their equipment, it's best to be very careful when you handle parts or reach into the units.
A dirty filter will cause excessive strain on your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable type. (If you have a reusable filter, make sure it's completely dry before you reinstall it.) The pre-filter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner should be cleaned at least two or three times per year.
CLEAN DUST OFF OF YOUR INDOOR COIL.
With a vacuum cleaner and soft-brush attachment, you can remove any dust from the top and underside of the coil. Make sure you only do this when the coil is dry. If you can't get the coil clean this way, call Surgi's for service.
KEEP YOUR OUTDOOR CONDENSING UNIT FREE OF DEBRIS.
If you keep grass clippings, leaves, shrubbery and debris away from your outdoor unit, it should only require minimal care to operate properly. Check the base pan (under the unit) occasionally and remove debris, to help the unit drain correctly.
If the outdoor coil becomes dirty, use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to clean the surface. To clean dirt that is deep in the coil, contact your dealer.
TAKE SPECIAL CARE OF OUTDOOR CONDENSING UNITS NEAR GULF ENVIRONMENTS.
If your unit is located near salt water, you can help preserve its optimal condition with a little extra care. Gulf or Lake Pontchartrain mist and breezes carry salt, which is corrosive to most metals. Although new air conditioning units are made of galvanized metal and are protected by paint, you can add life to your unit by washing all exposed surfaces and the coil approximately every three months.
MAKE SURE YOUR OUTDOOR UNIT STAYS IN A LEVEL POSITION.
If the support for your split-system outdoor unit shifts or settles and the unit is no longer level, re-level it promptly to make sure most moisture drains properly out of the unit. If you notice that water collects beneath the unit, arrange for it to be drained away from the equipment.
Before You Request A "Service Call":
- Check disconnect switches (indoor and outdoor if you have a split system). Make sure that the circuit breakers are ON or that the fuses have not blown.
- Check for sufficient airflow. Make sure filters are clean and that supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
- Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want cooling, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the COOL and AUTO position. If you want to heat, make sure the temperature control selector is set above room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is at HEAT and AUTO. The fan switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.
In addition to the routine maintenance you perform, your home comfort system should be inspected at least once a year by a properly trained service technician. Surgi's will make sure your system operates safely and gives you the best performance at the lowest cost. You may also want to ask Surgi's about our Peak Performance service contract that covers seasonal inspections for a flat fee, same day service and discounts on repairs.