Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions (Air Conditioner FAQ)

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What is the best Air Conditioner?

The best air conditioning system that will provide optimal comfort levels in your home, while saving you money on your electric bill is a high efficiency system. There are many different brands of A/C units and not all brands are built the same. The number one fact to take into consideration before you pick a brand is the Company. The Air Conditioning and Heating system in your home is only as good as the installation. The installation determines how well the unit will operate and how long it will last. We hear this all the time, “We spent thousands on the top of the line unit and have breakdowns every year.” This is because most companies want there installers to spend as little time as possible at your home so they can rush to the next home. Our promise to you is every installation receives professional craftsmen taking there time offering you the best installation possible. Please call us at 9861070609 to receive more information on specific unit brands.

What is the average life of an air conditioner?

Many air conditioners can last 15 to 20 years, if maintained properly. You may need a few repairs along the way, but your Gross Heating technician can usually catch and fix small problems during your annual Clean & Check.

Can any home have central air?

Almost any home can include central air conditioning, if you’re willing to invest in duct work and make design allowances for it. But before you make that decision, schedule an in-home consultation with an HVAC expert like Gross Heating—we can give you a better idea of what would be involved and also explain alternative cooling options, like ductless split or geothermal systems.

How do I know what size air conditioning unit my house needs?

A licensed and insured HVAC specialist like those at Sahara Cooling should be consulted before you add or replace a cooling system. We’ll do a proper calculation that factors in the layout and square footage of your house, average climate, the number and type of windows, insulation, and even the number of people living in the home. Without these considerations, you could end up with a unit that is not big enough, meaning it will likely not keep up with your cooling needs or last as long as expected—or a system that is so big that it constantly cycles on and off and wastes energy.

When running my AC, should the thermostat fan switch be set to "auto" or "on"?

If you’re interested in keeping your cooling costs down, use the auto setting so the fan only runs when needed to maintain the set temperature. However, if you prefer a more consistent temperature, use the on setting for uninterrupted airflow. This option may also be beneficial if you have allergies or asthma because air will constantly be filtered as it flows through the system.

My AC isn’t working—what should I check before calling Sahara Cooling?

Before you call us, check the basics: test the batteries in your thermostat, check for a tripped breaker or blown fuse, change your air filter, make sure the system is set to cool, and that the setting is at least three degrees below current room temperature. If one of these five simple problems are not to blame, call us for a complete cooling system checkup.

Why my air conditioner runs for a while but freezes up?

There are lots of reasons for this, and almost all of them will require help from a professional technician. Start by making sure your air filter is clean and that airflow is not restricted. If the filter was at fault, speed up the thawing process by turning your system off, then turning on the fan only—just make sure you switch the system settings back to normal after. Other possible causes are low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil, or a defective blower motor or relay.

Why should I replace my existing heating or air conditioning system?

You may wish to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient or in need of repair. Today’s systems are as much as 60% more efficient than those systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. In addition, if not properly maintained, wear and tear on a system can reduce its efficiency. If you are concerned about utility bills or are faced with an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system rather than enduring another costly season or paying to replace an expensive component. The utility cost savings of a new unit may provide an attractive return on your investment. If you plan on financing the purchase, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system. The offsetting savings may permit you to purchase a more efficient system.

How expensive are air conditioning and heat pump systems?

Many factors affect the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, the type and condition of the duct work installed and accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs, including your financial ones!

How do I select the right heating/cooling system?

First, make sure the unit is properly sized. We will provide a load calculation for your home and an energy analysis to determine operating cost. Next, consider any comfort issues in the home. Some products can reduce air stratification and uneven temperatures from room to room. If you have allergies, an indoor unit with an ECM motor will allow you to circulate the air in your home continuously while filtering the air for about the same cost as operating a standard light bulb. Finally, know your budget parameters and the efficiency of the system being proposed. Does the system offer a payback? In other words, will the monthly savings over time offset the cost of the new unit or efficiency option being considered?

What is involved in replacing an old system?

Aside from the placement of the new equipment, we will inspect several items and make a determination of whether or not these items need to be supplied or replaced. Some of the items include: duct work, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.

What is involved in installing a new system?

If a system is being added to the home for the first time, most of the items noted in the previous question and answer may be required to install the new system. Besides the equipment, the most significant component is duct work. The duct work can be either metal or fiberglass duct work. The duct work needs to be properly sized to deliver the right amount of air to each room. The duct work consists of supply and return duct work. The supply duct is attached to the outlet of the air handler and delivers air to individual zones in your home. We will help you determine the size of the duct work going into a space by the amount of air that needs to be delivered to the space.

How long can I expect a new system to last?

If you have a qualified technician perform regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 15 years.

What are some preventative maintenance things I should be aware of?

With the proper attention, heating and cooling systems can keep you comfortable year-round. Air conditioning and heat pumps need a yearly professional tune-up. A close inspection will uncover leaks, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires. A check of the heat pump should include an inspection of the compressor, fan, indoor and outdoor coils and refrigerant lines. Indoor and outdoor coils should be cleaned, and the Freon pressures should be checked.

Should I change my indoor coil?

When replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, the answer is most likely yes. The efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on the performance as part of a matched system. If only the outdoor portion is changed, the efficiency and savings could be less than that of a matched system.

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