WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY EXISTING HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM?
We use a general rule of thumb that if a unit is ten years or older and you need a major repair such as a compressor, motor, or heat exchanger then you should consider upgrading to a new unit. Today’s minimum efficiency rating for a new system is 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Older units were 10 SEER when new and some were just 8 SEER. Just going from a 10 SEER to a 13 SEER unit can save you 25-35 % on your electricity consumption during the cooling season alone! Some new units have two-stage gas heating which reduces your gas consumption during the heating season. Plus there are some tax credits of $ 1,500 for certain units for a limited time. Typically we can remove your old system and upgrade you to a new high efficiency system within 24 hours.
No, if you want to do all the maintenance yourself and have the time, knowledge, tools, and spare parts to do the job right. Yes, if you don't want to worry about your system failing. A heating and air conditioning unit is just a big heat transfer unit. It will transfer your inside air from warm to cool or from cool to warm depending on the season. The unit cannot transfer or work properly if the unit is dirty and not tuned properly. On a hot summer day a lot of the service calls we run are due to the unit is dirty. Dirt makes the unit run longer using a lot more electricity and costing you money. Another side effect of a dirty unit is the unit runs a lot hotter and at a lot higher pressure. This can cause a system to fail or prematurely shorten a unit’s life. In the winter months a maintenance agreement pays dividends again by insuring you have a well-tuned and safe system. If you have a gas system we want to make sure the burning of the gas is efficient and clean. Plus we want to make sure that the safeties work and the unit is in overall good condition. If the unit is a heat pump system we want to make sure the refrigerant charge is efficient and the heat is working properly. There are over twenty different items we check or do on each maintenance service for the heating or cooling system. Additional benefits of a maintenance agreement include discounts on service repairs, priority status when service is needed, no overtime labor charges, discounts on new units and discounts on accessories such as air cleaners.
You should inspect your filter every month and change it when it is dirty. Some months like July or January the unit will run a lot and the filters will get dirty faster. Some months like April or September the unit does not run much and you may not need to change the filter. Use good quality filters to protect your evaporator coil from getting dirty. The dirt could restrict airflow and heat transfer. Plus a good quality filter will keep the indoor air that you breathe cleaner. Cheap low quality filters catch very few particles and that defeats the purpose of a filter.
Bill Richards, Service Manager, together with a Honeywell representative discuss the changes in the technology of the thermostat.
What is the purpose of the thermostat? Basically the thermostat is going to be your main control that operates your heating and cooling system. The technology of the thermostat has gone from bimetal to mercury type to digital to touch screen and now to wireless.
(Clip from Honeywell used with permission). It used to be pretty simple, on or off, hot or cold, then came programmable set-back thermostats which helped cut energy costs but they weren’t always easy to program. Honeywell’s Prestige Comfort System changes all that. Its high definition color display is easy to read. It’s all touch screen, no hidden doors or complex buttons, best of all Prestige is easy to program. Its setup screens ask you questions and then programs its self based on your answers. If you have a question the on board user’s manual can help you with anything. Prestige can display the outdoor temperature and humidity on the screen. You can always be ready for anything happening outside. And Honeywell’s portable comfort control lets you bring the thermostat with you to any room in the house. It senses temperature where ever it goes and lets you control the heating and cooling system from anywhere.
Technology has gone a long way in the last 20 years with the capabilities of the thermostat.