Home » Common Questions

Common Questions

How often should I change my filter?

For Standard 1″ Filter Owners
We tell our customers they should use a standard 1″ pleated air filter and to change it every 30 days. Expensive and dense 1″ media filters that claim you can change them every 90 days will typically clog before that time and your system will perform poorly. Buy several at once to keep handy so you never run out!

For Media Filter Owners
Large media filters (4-5″) can usually go upwards of six months before requiring a change. However, factors such as the amount of people, pets and air leakage can greatly alter your requirements.

How often should I add freon to my AC?

The quick answer is, “You should never have to add freon.”

Freon is not “used up” or need to be changed out during the course of a summer. Freon is only added if there is a leak in the system or a new unit needs to be properly charged after installation (if a unit is installed over the winter, we like to come back in the spring to accurately charge it.)

Leaks, large and small, can spring up at any time. Some leaks can be repaired like those on refrigerant lines, while other leaks are not worth it. Most leaks occur in the evaporator coil due to the expansion and contraction process from the furnace heat. If a large leak cannot be repaired it is best to replace the system piece that is leaking.

When and how often should I have my furnace or air conditioner checked?

Furnaces and air conditioners should be checked on an annual basis for safety reasons such as carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock. Most warranties require that an annual inspection be performed (clean & check) on the equipment to keep the warranty valid.

Equipment that is routinely serviced will last much longer and problems that may be discovered during the course of a clean & check can be addressed before they become costly repairs (usually they break on the hottest or coldest day of the year).

How long do air conditioners and furnaces usually last?

Ah, the famous question. We don’t have a crystal ball but equipment manufactured within the past 10 years has, on average, a total life expectancy of 12-20 years, depending on the product’s operating environment.

There are always exceptions to the rule like the grandmother who’s been using the same reliable (but very inefficient!) furnace for 47 years or the new homeowner that just learned his seven year old furnace is cracked. But, again, the average is at least 12 years or more.

Technology and the cost of a given repair will ultimately dictate whether a given unit has run the course of its “life expectancy.”

What does it mean when furnaces are rated at 80%?

Furnace ratings measure the amount of gas being wasted. That means basically 80% is being used and 20% is going out the flue, thus 90% furnaces are sending 10% out the flue. However 80% is the lowest rating that can be purchased today. Most older furnaces are currently operating at 50% to 65%. We almost always recommend a high-efficiency furnace unless installation of the flue pipes proves to be unfeasible.

What does the SEER rating mean on air conditioners?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling capacity of a continuously operating air conditioner by the electrical input. The higher the SEER rating, the less your equipment will cost to operate year after year.

My question has not been answered. Any suggestions?

Yes, call us at 636-938-9551 and we would be happy to answer all of your questions. Ask us anything about furnaces, air conditioners, home comfort, poor airflow, indoor air quality, humidifiers, installation, ductwork, room additions, boilers, geothermal, water heaters, flue liners and more.