Frequently Asked Questions
About Your A/C System......

 

----- Please click on the question below that best fits your problem. -----

 

  1. How often should I change my air filter?
    1. Most people live by the electric bill rule. This rule says that every time you get your electric bill you should change your air filter. Following this rule can greatly extend the life of your system as well as help to keep those electric bills under control.
  2. Why is it that when I turn my thermostat down, the air coming from the vent doesn't get colder?
    1. The simple explanation is that this is not how an air conditioning system is designed. The air coming from the vents should always be the same temperature, changing only if you are switching between hot and cold.
    2. Simply put, the colder you turn your thermostat, the longer it will take the system to get your home to the desired temperature.
  3. Will buying an efficient air conditioning system automatically reduce my utility bill?
    1. Yes, to some extent. As long as your equipment is sized for you home and is installed properly.
    2. Make sure that you attic is sufficiently insulated and your windows are properly sealed to assure maximum air efficiency.
    3. Also, the age of your system could also affect your air efficiency. Most units that are 7 to 8 years old are 10 seer or worse. Florida mandates contractors to only install a 13 seer system or better.
  4. Should I turn my system off when no one is home?
    1. Quite simply, no. The energy required to cool you home back down outweighs the energy to keep to house relatively cool. Mainly this is due to the high humidity in Florida. Your best bet in conserving energy is to set the temperature to a degree so that the unit doesn't run as much. Such as, if you like to keep your house at 76°, try turning your system up to 78° when no one is home.
  5. Is it important to have a service maintenance agreement for a residential home system?
    1. Well, that all depends on how long you want to get out of your system. Yearly maintenance on your air conditioning system is just as important as the maintenance on your car. How far would you go past 3,000 miles before changing the oil in your car? Yearly preventive maintenance is the best way to find and diagnose small problems before they have a chance to cause any lasting damage.
    2. By signing up for our once-a-year Service Agreement, we offer service on weekends when most companies charge overtime. For more information see our Preventive Maintenance section. (coming soon)
  6. Shouldn't I buy the biggest A/C system that I can afford?
    1. No not at all. Often times, salesmen like to promote this misconception in order to up sale a system. Biggest doesn't always mean best. By over sizing your system you may increase your energy consumption. It is best to size your unit according to the square feet of space you are trying to heat or cool.
  7. How do I add Freon® to my air conditioning system?
    1. Well, first off, in order to purchase the refrigerant needed to cool your system, you must be an EPA certified technician. This requirement ensures that the refrigerant is handled safely and according to EPA standards.
    2. You should never have a need to add more refrigerant to an existing system. If your system is not blowing the same temperature as it once was, then your system may need service. The lines that the refrigerant runs through is a closed system, so the only way for the refrigerant to be low is if you have a leak. This can be checked by having a technician do a pressure test on the lines.
    3. If your system is leaking refrigerant, it is very important that it gets fixed as soon as possible. The chemicals that are used to cool the system can be very harmful to the environment. Even refrigerants such as Puron™ can incur fines from the EPA as high as $25,000.
  8. What is a SEER rating?
    1. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
    2. It is the measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump. Basically, the higher the SEER rating the more efficient the unit will be.
  9. Why is my Heat Pump Iced Up?
    1. In The Winter... Heat pumps are supposed to freeze up in the winter once the temperature drops below a certain degree. Shortly after a complete frost on your coil, the unit will go into defrost mode. This is intended to defrost the unit and prevent any damage from occurring. If your unit is not going into defrost mode, your defrost board is more than likely bad. This would require a service call to assess the cost of repair.
    2. In The Summer... Several problems can make your heat pump freeze up in the summer. The leading cause is a dirty air filter. This is an easy fix that you can do yourself. Simply shut the system off for 7 to 8 hours. This allows the system to become completely defrosted. During this time locate and replace your dirty air filter.
    3. If your filter is clean or is less than a month old, you could be low on Freon® or your indoor blower motor may not be working. In both of these cases a service call would be required to fix the issue.
  10. Why is my Heat Pump not reaching my desired temperature?
    1. This could be for a number of problems...
    2. First, you should check your filter.
    3. Then you should check all of your breakers.
    4. Make sure both the inside and outside units are running.
    5. Is your thermostat set to a reasonable temp? 76º - 77º is normal summer temperature. If your temperature is set below 75º your equipment will run 90% of the day. This can greatly reduce the lifetime of the unit. Your equipment needs down time in order to run most efficiently.
    6. If you are still experiencing a problem... You could be either low on Freon or have a dirty evaporator coil.
    7. Your duct work should also be checked to make sure it isn't falling apart in the attic.
    8. If unable to figure out the problem please call for a service on your system as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
  11. Why does my Heat Pump only blow cold air?
    1. If your unit is constantly blowing cold air, its probably your thermostat. If your desired temperature is not being met, or dropping below your set temperature, you should call for service. Some homeowners try to change out their own thermostat, but one mistake and you won't be able to return it.
  12. Why is my system constantly running?
    1. First, shut your thermostat off.
    2. Then, make sure your fan is in the Auto position.
    3. If the unit keeps running it's either your thermostat or your fan relay.
    4. Call for service to determine which of these is the problem.
  13. Why is my outside unit not running?
    1. First, check your breakers. Sometimes breakers may not appear to be tripped and you may need to reset them just to be sure.
    2. Next, check the batteries in your thermostat if it has them.
    3. If you still cannot get the unit to turn on, you should call for service as soon as possible as it could be a severe problem.
  14. Why is my outside unit making a loud or strange noise?
    1. If you notice any unusual noise coming from your outside unit, you should shut the breaker off to it as soon as possible.
    2. AFTER shutting off the breaker, check to make sure there is nothing hanging down into the unit such as a lizard or a branch.
    3. Check to see if the unit has been vibrating. Sometimes the screws come loose and the panels will rattle.
    4. Also, if you have a heat pump, you may hear the reversing valve switching which is normal.
    5. If you do not see anything, you should call for service to determine what the problem is.
  15. Why is my outside unit producing steam?
    1. The only time your unit should produce steam is in the winter time when the unit is in defrost mode. Any other time you see steam coming from your unit, you should call for service.
  16. Why is my inside unit making a loud or strange noise?
    1. If your abnormal noise is in your inside unit, shut the breaker off to it as soon as possible.
    2. Check all of your filters as a dirty filter could be putting a strain on you motor.
    3. If the filters are clean then your blower wheel is probably coming apart which will cause major damage to your unit.
    4. Call for service as soon as possible.
  17. Why is the fan in my inside unit constantly running?
    1. Turn your thermostat to the off position and make sure your fan is in the auto position.
    2. If your unit still runs in this position, it's either a problem with your thermostat or your fan relay.
    3. You should call for service to determine the problem.
  18. Why is my inside unit leaking water?
    1. Most commonly, a leak in the inside unit is actually a stopped up drain line. You should check your drain line to make sure there are no clogs.
    2. First locate you drain line. It is a PVC pipe that should come out of the grounds near you outside unit.
    3. Hook a wet dry vacuum up to the drain line. That should clear a light restriction in the line.
    4. With the vacuum hooked up, go back to your inside unit, and locate the drain line access cap. It should be an offshoot of PVC from your drain line that has a cap on it.
    5. Remove the cap an run some fresh water through the line. The wet dry vacuum should clear the line completely at this point.
    6. If you are still experiencing any water leakage than your drain pan could be rusted out or your inside coil is plugged. In either case you should call for service.
  19. Why does the temperature never reach what I set my thermostat to?
    1. This could be a number of problems... First, make sure both of your units are running.
    2. Next, check your filter. Dirty filters can restrict air flow to the unit causing it to work harder to cool your building down.
    3. If your filter is clean, your could have a plugged evaporator coil. The coil is usually right above the filter. If it becomes plugged, the unit won't be able to reach a set point.
    4. Your unit could also be low on Freon, or your unit may be overheating due to a dirty outside coil.
    5. You may also want to check that your duct work has not fallen apart.
    6. If you are unable to find any of these things a problem, please call for service.
  20. Why is there a drastic temperature difference between my rooms?
    1. Industry Standard for an acceptable temperature difference is 4º between rooms. If you have a room or rooms that exceed 4º difference, you should first check for humidity problems in the room.
    2. Things such as direct sunlight or excessive electronic equipment (e.g. Televisions, Computers, etc...) can also increase the temperature of a specific room.
    3. You may also want to check the duct work leading to the problem area. All your cold air could be leaking into your attic.
    4. If you find that none of these thing are affecting the temperature of the problem area, your blower motor is likely to be the issue. You should call for service to have it looked at.
  21. Why is the airflow so weak throughout my home?
    1. A dirty air filter can greatly reduce the strength of your airflow. You should change your filter at least once a month.
    2. Also your evaporator coil could be plugged. This is located just above your filter. If it is clean you should then check your duct work.
    3. If you are unable to find out what is causing the problem please call for service.
  22. What is causing that strong smell that is coming from my system?
    1. It smells Electrical... Immediately shut off the breakers for both units.
    2. Recommend calling for service to reduce possible injury or any further damage to equipment.
    3. Homeowners should not go into service panel. Do not turn breakers back on until the units have been inspected by a technician.
    4. It smells like something is burning... The only time you should have a burning smell is the first time you turn on your heat. This is the dust burning off the heat strips and it should only last about five minutes.
    5. If you continue to smell something burning you should shut the units off and call for service.
    6. If you smell burning at any other time, shut the unit off and call for service.
    7. It smells like Gas... You may have a gas smell when you first turn on your gas heat. It should only last for around five minutes. You may even need to open a few windows until it dissipates.
    8. If the smell continues, you should shut the unit off and call for service.
    9. Every house with any type of gas appliances should have carbon monoxide detectors for your safety.
    10. It smells like Oil... Oil should only be smelled when an oil furnace first turns your heat on. It should go away within five minutes. If you smell oil but do not have an oil furnace or if the smell lasts for more that five minutes, you should call for service.
    11. It smells very musty... Could be what is called "Dirty Sock Syndrome" Your duct may need cleaning. Could also be a dirty coil or even a very dirty inside unit We have treatment for your inside unit, or you can try air fresheners from your local hardware store.
  23. Why do my breakers keep tripping?
    1. Could be several problems. It may be a bad breaker or the compressor may be grounded.
    2. It could also be a short in the system. In any case you should leave the breaker off until the system is properly serviced.
  24. Why isn't my unit cooling?
    1. You should check your filter first. A dirty filter can cause your system to freeze up and shut down.
    2. Check that both units are running.
    3. Check your breakers (including shutting them off and back on again).
    4. Call for service as the unit is probably low on Freon® or there a more than one problem.
  25. Why are my air vents so noisy?
    1. Your house may need an air balance, there may not be enough return air for the house making static pressure make grills whistle.
    2. Check air grill to be sure it is secured and safe from falling or coming lose.

Freon® is a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.