When it comes to air conditioning, it seems everyone knows someone who is “an expert.” There are several common misunderstandings that come up often in the industry. Understanding some simple HVAC basics will allow a homeowner or business owner to make better choices, ensuring satisfaction with their system. Let’s look at some of these misconceptions.
1. Bigger is always better!
This is a myth that causes HVAC companies massive headaches. People want their air conditioning system to operate like a refrigeration unit. They would like to set the thermostat to 50 degrees and feel the temperature in their home drop to 50 degrees in 15 minutes or less. There are many factors that go into sizing an air conditioner. The contractor takes the following things into consideration:
- The square footage of the house
- The number of windows in the house
- The height of the ceilings
- The type and degree of insulation in the house
- The average number of people who will be in the house
- Is the home exposed to direct sunlight?
Once the contractor has this information, he can responsibly choose the size of the HVAC equipment required. If he puts in an air conditioner that is extremely oversized, it will cause the air conditioner to “short-circuit.” This means it turns on and off continually. This can lead to coil freezing and disrupts the climate control in the home. It will dramatically shorten the life of the system.
2. All you need to do is change the filter.
Changing the filter of your air conditioner is very important. It is often neglected or worse. There are actually people who think it is okay to sweep the filter off or vacuum it and it is ready to go. Removing the top layer of dust from your air conditioning filter is not the same thing as changing your filter. For the air conditioner to operate correctly, it must have adequate airflow. As important as changing your filter is, it does not replace bi-annual coil cleaning. The condensing unit needs cleaning, it needs to be checked for leaks, and refrigerant levels need to be checked every spring. It is necessary to check the components (such as the fan motor) for wear and for signs of loose nuts and bolts.
3. You can do it yourself.
There are many reasons why maintenance of your air conditioner requires a professional.
- Untrained people risk cuts, burns, and electrical shocks when attempting to access their system.
- Allowing an unlicensed dealer to work on the HVAC system will usually void any current manufacturer’s warranty on the system. Many compressors carry a very long warranty and losing that coverage is costly if the system suffers a compressor failure.
- The cost of repairing a system due to mistakes of a layman is usually more expensive than the original repairs would have cost.
We’re here to answer questions about the maintenance and operation of your system. Give the experts at J.R. Perkins a call today at (480) 946-5083!