Answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Q. What is the life expectancy of my air conditioner?
A. A normal life for an air conditioner in Arizona is 10-20 years. This can be highly dependant though on whether regular maintenance services are being performed on the unit.
Q. Should I invest in upgrading to programmable thermostats?
A. Yes. Today’s programmable thermostats are highly customizable and can be used to run on a schedule, or set manually like a traditional thermostat. When run on a schedule, your air conditioner can run less during times when you are not home to save you money.
Q.How much money could I save with a new High Efficiency Air Conditioner?
A. Depending on what the SEER rating is on your existing air conditioner. If you upgraded from an 8 SEER unit to a new 14 SEER air conditioner you could expect to see about a 40% decrease in the amount of energy used to cool your home. This would save you roughly 20-$25 on your total energy bill.
Q.What do EER, SEER, and HSPF stand for?
A. SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio; this is based on the cooling function of air conditioners and heat pumps. HSPF is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor; this is based on the cooling function of air conditioners and heat pumps. EER is the Energy Efficiency Ratio; This is a measure of how efficiently a cooling system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (95oF). For all three, the higher the number the more money you will save each year on your heating and cooling bill.
Q. I have rooms and spots in my home that seem to warm or too cool. Can this be fixed?
A. Yes. Most problems are caused by improperly sized or installed ducts. By redesigning or reinstalling the duct to that area most problems can be solved. Another solution is to install a zone controller. This supplies different areas of the house at different times depending on what temperature you would like the room to be at. A separate thermostat can be installed in any room you would like, and still be served by a single air conditioner.
Q. What’s the difference between a heat pump and a traditional air conditioner?
A. A traditional air conditioner uses your compressor and refrigerant to remove heat from your home and add cool air to the livable areas, and uses a second device such as heat strips or a gas furnace to heat the inside areas. A heat pump basically runs the refrigerant the opposite direction in heating to create heat in your air handler which in turn is blown into the home.
Q. How can I improve the indoor air quality in my home?
A. Be sure to regularly change the filters located in your home, schedule a Valley Services technician to clean the indoor coil of your air conditioner, and install a high performance electronic filter to capture and kill 99.9% of indoor contaminants.
Q. What type of filter should I use in my home?
A. In most situations the best filter to use is a standard fiberglass filter. However, If you are concerned about indoor air quality a permanent electrostatic filter is a good choice, and a high performance electronic air cleaner is the best whole house indoor air quality solution.
Q. Do the small room air purifiers really help?
A. Most room air purifiers handle between 200-300cfm(Cubic feet per minute). This is pretty inefficient compared to a whole house solution Valley Services can provide. Your central air conditioning system will move between 1200 and 2000 cfm, when you couple this with a electronic air filter, UV lights, and a fresh air exchanger; Your existing HVAC system will be the ultimate air purifier and the best solution for your needs.
Q. How often should my ducts be cleaned?
A. Depending on the area your home is located, the age of the equipment, and the type of filters used we recommend having your duct system professionally cleaned at least once every 3-5 years.
Q. How cool should the air be coming out of my vents?
A. When checking efficiency of an air conditioning system, we usually look for a 18-23 degree difference between the air going into your return duct, and the air coming out of the farthest duct from the air conditioner.
Q. When should I have my air conditioning system professionally cleaned?
A. Simply stated, when it is dirty. The best way to determine this and stay on top of keeping your system clean and your family healthy is to have a licensed contractor do a inspection and tune-up at least once per year.
Q. How long does it take to install a new central air conditioning system?
A. Usually a new unit can be installed same day or next. Call today to speak with a expert at Valley Services to discuss your options.
Q. What should I check before choosing a contractor to work on my HVAC system?
A. Check with the Registrar of Contractors to see if the company is properly licensed, the Better Business Bureau, and speak with a representative from the company to determine if you feel comfortable with that business.
Q. Is it normal to add Freon to an air conditioner yearly?
A. No. It is never normal to add refrigerant to a system. If your air conditioner is low on Freon it means the unit has a leak somewhere in the system. Speak with a technician from Valley Services to determine the best action plan for your unique circumstances.
Q. Will it harm my unit if too much Freon is added to the system?
A. Yes. An overcharged system puts stress on many system components possible leading to system failure, and almost always negatively effects your homes electric bills.
Q. How do I determine what size heat pump is suitable for my home?
A. Schedule a consultation with a Valley Services master installer to determine your homes needs. In most cases the rule is 1 ton for every 300-400 square feet.
Q. Why does Valley Services schedule my appointment in time blocks?
A. We want every customer to experience a high level of service. By scheduling customers in blocks the technician has time to do a thorough, quality job for each and every customer.
Q. I have children or other people in my home who cannot be subjected to extreme temperatures. What type of service will guarantee my air conditioner will be reliable during the harsh months?
A. Purchasing a Valley Services preventative maintenance agreement is the best way to keep your system working through the hot summer months.
Q. How does a carbon monoxide alarm work?
A. A carbon monoxide alarm works like a smoke detector to warn of deadly CO levels caused by incompletely burned fuels. They can be placed near the garage door, the fireplace, and gas appliances.
Q. Do heating and cooling systems have a lower life expectancy in Arizona?
A. Yes in some cases. The harsh heat during Arizona summers definitely takes its toll on air conditioning systems. You can extend the life of your unit by having a Valley Services technician do a inspection and tune up each year.
Q. Why do new air conditioning systems use different refrigerant?
A. Each new generation of refrigerant is less harmful to the environment. By increasing the taxes on older generations of Freon, such as R-12 & R-22, contractors and equipment manufacturers phase out older refrigerants in favor of new environmentally friendly versions. Call to find out how to replace your old unit with a Air conditioner which uses “greener” refrigerant.
Q. How are your repair rates determined?
A. Most jobs are quoted on a flat rate basis. This means customers pay the same price for the same job whether it takes the technician one hour or two. This is to keep the costs lower for our customers, and competitive amongst the industry.
Q. Should I try and fix my HVAC system my self?
A. No. There are various reasons to hire a licensed contractor to repair your equipment such as, dangerous voltages, warranty issues, and costs to repair damage done by improperly installed components.
Q. My air conditioner seems to run all day long. Is this ok?
A. No. Your air conditioner may have lost efficiency, be too small to service your home, have a problem in the duct system, have a dirty indoor coil restricting air flow, or be low on refrigerant. Call today to have a Valley Services technician look at your system.
Q. My Air conditioner has Ice on it. What does this mean?
A. It probably means the air conditioner is either low on Freon or you have a dirty or restrictive air filter installed. Try replacing the filter to solve the problem, if this does not fix the unit call 480-649-0000 to have a technician diagnose your system.
Q. Why Choose Valley Services?
A. We are the friendly, knowledgeable professionals best suited to care for you and your families HVAC needs. We are family owned and operated with over 3 decades experience exclusively in the valley.