Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Here is a most informative Q&A from the Palm Beach Post:
What are SEERS?
SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt hours during the same time frame.
SEERS range from 13 (lowest) and 21 (highest). The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system is.
I bought my first house and am now responsible for air-conditioning care. What is the difference between all these stage systems and compressors, and what will help me with my electric bills?
A two-stage system is designed to further reduce electrical consumption. Most people purchase single-stage air-conditioning units because they are less expensive than a two- stage, but aside from the price factor, most people are not properly educated on the benefits of having a two-stage system.
A single stage starts up at 100% capacity while two stages start up at 50-66% capacity, and 15 seconds later switch to 100% capacity. A two-stage system draws less amperage on start up, which helps you save money on the electrical bill. Two-stage systems also automatically switch back to 50-66% capacity when indoor and outdoor temperatures permit, therefore lowering electric use.
Other added benefits of the two-stage system include on-demand dehumidification features. If your home reaches the desired temperature set point but the humidity level is very high in the home, the system will go into de-humidification mode that brings the humidity levels down to the requested level. This allows you to have your home set at a higher temperature set point with less humidity in the air, so you are more comfortable in your home at an even higher temperature set point because there is less humidity in the air.
It’s 98 degrees outside and my AC is not blowing. What do I do?
Check the breakers, and if it is not related to an electrical short, call for service. You can check to see if you have a dirty filter, as this may cause the unit to freeze up.
How do I care for the filter?
Filters should be changed or cleaned once per month. You can clean them by vacuuming it off and washing it with water (if it’s a washable filter). Let it dry completely before placing it back in.
Use a good quality filter like an electrostatic washable, which we sell and can have custom made to fit in the AC unit. If you prefer to change the filter every month, invest in a sponge pad smart filter that has a custom-made aluminum frame and a rubber seal gasket that goes along with the top of the filter.
With filters removed, check the coils by shining a flashlight. If they appear to have microbial growth on the coils or appear to be clogged in any way by dog hair or dirt impacts, have a specialist come in for a coil cleaning.
The fan blower inside the AC should also be removed and cleaned once every two to three years.
How do I care for my AC’s drain line?
Pour a little bit of bleach down the drain line pipe every six months — that will reduce the amount of algae build up in the drain line and reduce the chance of the drain line filling up with water.
How often should I have my AC tuned up?
It is recommended that you check your unit every six months.