Heating and Air Conditioning Information
In a conventional HVAC system, two separate units carry out the heating and cooling functions: a furnace and an air conditioner. A heat pump combines these functions into one piece of equipment and works by absorbing heat in one area and releasing it into another. Heat pumps offer several advantages over a conventional system, including a longer lifespan, lower electricity use, improved heat transfer and no use of fossil fuels. Heat pumps fall into two main categories: air and geothermal.
Air heat pumps use the outside air temperature as the heat exchange medium. Geothermal systems, also called ground-source heat pumps or earth-coupled heat pumps, use the earth’s temperature as the exchange medium. Although they are more costly to install than air heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps are quieter and last longer. The life of the indoor components is more than 25 years; the lifespan of the outdoor components is more than 50 years. For more information on geothermal and other kinds of heat pumps, contact us today.
Common Air Conditioning Problems
Because mechanical parts make up HVAC systems, it is inevitable problems will arise from time to time. The most common air conditioning problems involve one of four areas:
- Electrical. Make sure you have not simply blown a circuit breaker; if the unit continues to blow a fuse, a professional HVAC contractor can determine the underlying problem.
- Filters. Inspect filters once a month and clean and replace them as needed. If you have pets, you may want to check them more often.
- Air ducts. Make sure registers are open and not blocked, and make sure dampers in your ductwork are open, too. Upper floors should have a return air duct system.
- Refrigerant. Low refrigerant is one of the main reasons an air conditioner can lose the ability to provide efficient cooling. Have the unit inspected by a professional HVAC company to ensure there are no leaks before refrigerant is added.
Here are some helpful tips to improve your indoor comfort:
- Close your curtains to block out the summer sun. By blocking the sun, you can lower the room temperature by as much as 20 degrees.
- A ceiling fan can make a room feel up to eight degrees cooler.
- Because our bodies generate heat, lower the thermostat a few degrees in the winter when expecting a large number of guests.