HVAC Questions and Answers

1.  What is a S.E.E.R. rating?

A S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is the rating and performance standards that have been developed by the U.S. government and equipment manufacturers to produce an energy consumption rating that is easy to understand by consumers.  

The higher the S.E.E.R. rating, the more efficient the unit is and the less energy is used during the operation of the unit.

2. How often should I change the filter in my unit?

It all depends on how often you use your air conditioner.  

It is recommended to be checked once a month during the hotter months and once every two months in the off season.  

Some filters may be washable/reusable and others are cardboard throw away.  Either way, you should always make sure to have a clean filter in your unit to help prevent any problems down the road. AC duct cleaning is also a great way to keep your air filtered and clean.

3. Why is my air conditioner leaking water?

An AC leaking water can be caused by a number of things.

Your air conditioner produces between 5-9 gallons of water per day, depending how often it is being used.  The most common reason for water leaks is that the drain line becomes clogged and overflows.

This can be from algae build up within the line, a kinked hose, or debris back up.  Another reason is that your unit is “freezing up”, which means ice is building up on the unit, can be caused by a dirty filter or from being low on refrigerant.  

The best solution is to have a float switch installed into the drain line and/or in the emergency pan under the unit (If it’s horizontal), which shuts your unit off if the water lines raises enough to cause a leak.  Also, remember to always have a clean filter installed. 

4. What is a humidistat and how do I use it?

Because thermostat wiring allows for only controlling temperature, humidistats are used to measure the humidity in the space in which it is installed.  

They are more commonly found in seasonal condos or homes where they are unoccupied for parts of the year.  They work in conjunction with the thermostat to turn on your air conditioning when the humidity drops below the desired level.  

When away from your residence for a long period of time it is best to set the thermostat to 70′ and automatic, then set your humidistat to approximately 55%.  This will keep your home at 55% relative humidity while is unoccupied.  

Upon returning, set the humidistat to “ON” and use the thermostat as normal. 

5. How do I know when I should change my A/C system?

This is more of a judgment call.  

Similar to a car, when the repairs are no longer cost-effective, it may be time to consider a new system.  For example, if you seem to be constantly having issues with your A/C not cooling properly or seeming to never stop running, it may be costing you more money in your electric bill.  

Replacing some parts on the system such as the outside compressor can sometimes be almost as expensive as replacing the entire unit.  The average system in South Florida lasts approximately 10-12 years.  Also, replacing the entire system together (condenser and air handler) will give you a more efficient energy rating and save you money in the long run.

6.  What is the recommended temperature to set my thermostat to?

The recommended temperature is 78′ for when you are home and 82′ when the home is empty.  

However, this can change on a person to person basis and is a preference. Because this varies depending on the person, an effective way of measuring the best temperature to heat or cool your house is to try raising the temperature until the people in your household begin to notice.

We recommend keeping the thermostat set at the highest temperature that feels comfortable.  As a rule, raising the thermostat setting by just 2 degrees can reduce cooling costs by 5%.

7.  What is UV Light? 

Microorganisms that travel through your indoor air can get trapped in the moist environment of your air conditioning system.

Bacteria can then breed and spread throughout your home.  Germicidal ultraviolet light (UV Light) penetrates the cell walls of micro-organisms present in your air handling system, causing cellular damage, either killing the cells or preventing them from reproducing.

8.  Why do I need to have a routine maintenance of my A/C?

Having a routine or annual maintenance on your air conditioners are essential to the long life of your system.

This maintenance is comparable to having a tune-up on your vehicle.  Maintenance checks are used to prevent any future problems before they get started.  They can help prevent getting dirty coils, clogged drain lines, faulty float switches, or even wires from coming loose.  

This will save you money and time in the long run. Contact our office for more information and to hear more about our Service Maintenance Agreements.

 9.  Why should you choose a licensed contractor?

It is important to choose a licensed contractor when considering repairs or a new install because you can feel satisfied that you are getting a highly trained contractor who is dedicated to their trade.  

There is a reason that there are so many non-licensed contractors, it’s because they were unable or unwilling to take the time to really learn and take the necessary courses to become a licensed contractor.

If you have any concerns about the contractor you are using, you can click here and search for any licensed contractor.

10.  Why do I need a coil clean?

A number of factors can contribute to a dirty evaporator or condensing coil.  

The indoor coil gets clogged from dirty filters, indoor air debris, and lack of maintenance.  The outdoor condensing coil has other factors such as dirt, sand, and leaves that can make it dirty.  A clean coil is extremely important because the air passes over the coil in which to cool it down.  If less air passes through the coil, it will reduce the air dramatically coming from the vents in your home.  

Always remember to keep your filters clean to avoid these situations.

11.  Do you offer brand names?

Yes, we offer your favorite brand names such as Aprilaire, Honeywell, Carrier, Holmes, Rheem, Hepa, Trane, and more!

HVAC Service Checklist for Preventative Maintenance

Prolong the life of your HVAC system by following a few simple steps guaranteed to keep your air conditioner running smoothly all year long.

  • Keep your A/C coils clean to prevent blockages and leaks.
  • Change your A/C filter so that your air doesn’t become stuffy.
  • Make sure ice is not building up on your unit, possibly causing it to shut down.
  • Clean your air ducts as needed to prevent build-up and to keep air filtered.
  • Call us for free estimates on equipment installations and receive free maintenance for six months after installation!

Don’t see your question? Contact 4 Season’s Techs, Inc. Today! 

For more information on HVAC maintenance and repairs, contact 4 Season’s Techs, Inc. today! We’ll answer any questions you might have and include a free no-obligation estimate on our heating and air conditioning services. To learn more, call (904) 601-0985 for residents of Orange Park and (904) 507-7361 for Jacksonville residents.