The Clean Air Act of 1990 mandated a gradual phase out of the R-22 refrigerant used in many cooling and heat pump systems. Testing deemed the R-410A refrigerant as a superior replacement for industry standards because of performance and energy efficiency.
Beginning January 1, 2010 the EPA required R-410A refrigerant in air conditioning and heat pump systems. This means that all new air conditioning and heat pump equipment produced in or imported to the U.S must use R-410A. Production of R-22 has a complete phaseout plan of 2020. Conversion of units is possible, but both indoor cooler coils and outdoor condensers must be replaced when switching the units over. Manufacturers of air conditioning units that formerly used R-22 have been updating product lines since 2004 to accommodate the new refrigerant.
Air conditioner and heat pumps that used R-22 can still be serviced and repaired and R-22 will be available in decreasing quantities (and increasing cost) for use in equipment that was manufactured prior to January 1. 2010.
When a replacement system is necessary, a system can be replaced with R-22 equipment if it is available. However due to the phaseout of R-22 refrigerant, the price of parts and supplies for R-22 equipment continues to rise as availability declines.
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like it’s “mpg” counterpart in the automotive industry, the SEER gives an indication of the performance efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. And, the more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
By purchasing a system with a high SEER, you’ll use less energy to cool your house, resulting in lower electric bills. In many cases, these savings are enough to partially or fully offset the cost of the new equipment within a few years.
The federal government requires all air conditioning and heating equipment to be rated for efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the model.
Gas furnaces are rated for AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). This defines the amount of heat used to warm your home from the burned fuel. A 90% furnace will use 90% of the available heat to heat your home. 10% of the heat is vented outdoors. Many older gas furnaces are only 60% efficient. The other 40% is vented outdoors. A new high efficiency furnace requires much less fuel to heat your home.
For air conditioning, the rating is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This rating is based on general design criteria such as the compressor and outdoor coil. SEER ratings are for comparison purposes only, so that homeowners will know how they can compare different brands of products with similar efficiency ratings. The actual efficiency ratings for a specific system will depend on the combination of the outdoor unit and the indoor coil. A variable-speed indoor blower unit will increase the efficiency rating of the system, as well.
Heat Pumps are rated by SEER for cooling efficiency and by HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heating efficiency. As with other ratings, the higher the HSPF, the less energy it will take to warm your home.
It is recommended that you replace the indoor coil or air handler at the same time as the outdoor unit. Both of these are integral components to the closed refrigerant loop and determine the capacity and efficiency of the system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, it may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and you end up paying more. If the entire system is replaced, you are less likely to need service in the near future.
That depends. There are many factors that need to be considered. These include:
In most cases, replacing the entire system, including both indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, longer-lasting system but will also cost a little more.
Humidity is a problem in Georgia. 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 also uses much less electricity than conventional motors.
Nail Heating & Air Conditioning is the best source for identifying and supplying the correct parts for your system, as well as pricing and availability.
The filters that ship with your unit is made from higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. For that reason, replacement filters can only be purchased through a dealer. Nail Heating & Air Conditioning stocks most sizes and styles of filters for your equipment or can have them within a few days.
Every thirty days for standard throw-away filters. Special high-efficiency air cleaners may require changing less frequently. Call us for more details.
Absolutely not! If your system has required freon each year, you have a leak that should be found and repaired.
There are many factors involved in sizing a system. How many square feet, windows, appliances, number of people, and even the direction your house faces all play a roll in determining the size of your unit. While your system may be properly sized, many new houses are designed for a government mandated peak temperature day of 92°. That means that if the temperature is 99° outside, your system may be undersized for that particular day.
Most manufacturers have complete information on their websites with downloadable manuals and guides.
Under the standard factory warranty, labor is covered for the first year and the manufacturer covers the equipment for 1-10 years. Labor is not covered after the first year.
All manufacturers generally agree that shrubs should not be closer than 18 inches at maturity. Outdoor units require to intake and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air gets trapped inside a shrub border, the unit can build up heat and require service.
We have compiled a list of seasonal heating and cooling tips. Click here to read the tips.