Installing central air can be a daunting and potentially costly process. A simple mistake in choosing the right system can lead to long term problems and increased costs. Fortunately, you can alleviate this issue by being properly informed on the subject. So, here we will explore some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Does Central Air Work?

In most homes, the central air system is actually a “split system.” This type of system uses an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor furnace coil. These components are matched to work in concert. So, this means that you can use the same set of ductwork to distribute heated or cooled air throughout your home.

How Often Should I Replace the Filters?

HVAC filters are one of the most important components in the system, yet they are often overlooked. Filters not only improve your air quality, but also protect the components from grit, dirt and other debris. Changing the filters is an inexpensive form of maintenance increasing furnace efficiency and even extending the lifespan of your system. Most manufacturers recommend changing HVAC filters every two or three months, but if you have pets or smokers in your home, you may need to change them more frequently.

How Often Do I Need HVAC Maintenance?

Keeping your air conditioning operating smoothly requires proper servicing and maintenance. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your equipment inspected and serviced at least once a year. The ideal time for this is before heating or cooling season. So, you should have your air conditioning serviced in spring to prepare for the heavy use in summer.

What Size of AC Unit Should I Install?

This is always a challenging topic as if your equipment is too big it will not be efficient, but a unit that is too small will constantly run. Improperly sized equipment can be prone to short cycling, which causes increased wear and tear, compromising the lifespan of the components and system. To ensure that your system is properly sized, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced HVAC professional. The technician will take measurements of your home and calculate your requirements based on a number of factors including sun exposure, insulation levels, and home layout.

What is a SEER Rating?

If you start shopping for HVAC equipment, you’re likely to see a SEER rating on the packaging and sales material. This is an acronym for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is a measurement that can determine the equipment efficiency. It is calculated by dividing the BTU’s of cooling produced by the number of watts of electricity used. The higher the figure, the greater the efficiency. Each product will be labeled with an Energy Guide label that shows the SEER rating at a glance.

Should I Close Doors and Registers to Save Energy?

If you have areas of your home that are not used regularly, you may have wondered about closing the doors and registers to save energy. This is not a good idea as closed vents increase system pressure. If you start to close vents, you will make your ductwork more restrictive. As the pressure increases, the blower will be forced to keep the air flowing. Additionally, if you have any unsealed ducts, you will also experience more duct leakage.