A/C FAQs | Common Air Conditioning Questions

Lakeland FL area heating & cooling contractors answer questions regarding a/c replacement, air conditioning repair, heat pumps, annual service and more. Serving Polk County FL and towns like Bartow FL, Auburndale FL, Mulberry FL, and Plant City FL.

 

ac service lakeland1. What’s the difference between a Heat Pump Equipped and an Air Conditioning Only system?

The most efficient heating and cooling units today are air conditioners equipped with a heat pump.

While both a heat pump and Central Air Conditioning system rely on the same basic technology, they deploy it in different ways. A central AC system uses a closed loop system which circulates refrigerant. The refrigerant collects heat from the air inside the house and deposits it outside. Once the heat has been removed from the air, it pushes the now cooled air back into the house through the duct work.

The heat pump uses the closed loop system but operates in a different way. The heat that it collects from the air can be either deposited outside the home in the summer to keep the indoor air cool, OR it can be circulated back into the house in the cooler winter months to keep the indoor air warm. Heat pumps are much more efficient than Central AC systems, but they struggle when the weather drops below 20 degrees F. Heat pumps are perfect for a mild Florida winter climate making them the system of choice for many homeowners across the Lakeland FL area.

2. Why should I purchase a new air conditioning system?

Purchasing a brand new Air Conditioning system is no small decision as it can be a costly investment. If your current air conditioning unit is around 8 years or older, inefficient, or in need of a lot of repairs, a new unit can actually save you a lot more in the long run. Modern air conditioning systems can be as much as 60% more efficient than older models, made as little as 6 or 7 years ago. Why continue to pay for ongoing repairs, maintenance, and high utility bills when you can put that money towards a brand new AC system that will pay for itself after a few years?

3. How do I choose an AC system that’s right for my home?

There are a number of great (and efficient) air conditioning systems to choose from. Every home will require something a little different depending on the number of rooms, the age of the house, the square footage of the home, the local climate, and regional utility costs. All of these factors affect the functionality of your new AC system, so in turn can affect the choice of system you choose. Our heating & cooling experts can assist you with determining what type & size unit you will need to keep your indoor air comfortable year round. Because replacing a unit that is over 10 years old may reduce utility costs by 30-50%, it’s a good idea to give our specialists a call today to learn more about installing a new AC unit or replacing your current, worn out air conditioning system.

4. How do I determine what size & capacity A/C system I need for my home?

Residential AC units run from 1 to 5 tons. While the square footage of your house is the best indicator for the size of air conditioning system the home will need, there are still other factors to consider. The climate of your region, average humidity levels (important here in Florida), number of windows, number of rooms, the direction your home faces, as well as the number of other heat-producing appliances can all affect what size AC unit you will need to install. Contact our AC experts so we can perform the proper calculations to help determine the appropriate AC system size for your home and comfort needs.

5. How often should I have my air conditioning unit serviced?

Regular maintenance is extremely important to the proper & efficient operation of your air conditioning system. Plus, regularly serviced AC units will last longer and require less costly repairs down the road. A dirty AC system is an inefficient AC system. Dirt & debris are an HVAC system’s worst enemy, and regular cleaning and inspections can ensure optimum performance. We recommend having your AC unit serviced twice a year, in the spring and the fall.

We offer a Preventative Maintenance Program for homeowners of the Lakeland area, including the surrounding towns of Auburndale FL, Winter Haven FL, Mulberry FL, Plant City FL, and Bartow FL. Our certified techs will perform an extensive inspection, tune-up, and cleaning of your AC system to help lower your monthly utility bills, increase the longevity of your equipment, and prevent few emergency AC repairs in the future.

6. How often should I replace my air conditioner filters?

In the hot & humid Florida climates, air conditioners run often. If you want your AC unit to operate at peak levels and keep the air in your home clean & dust free, it’s a good idea to change your filters every 1-2 months. If you have washable filters, it’s best to clean them once a month. Replacing or cleaning your AC filters regularly will help ensure proper air flow, keep your home free from allergens & dust, and allow your AC system to run efficiently. If the filters become too dirty, the AC system has to work harder to compensate for the poor air flow. Contact our heating & cooling technicians today if you have questions about your AC filters or filtration system.

7. My AC unit is operating loudly. Does that indicate a problem?

If your AC unit is making strange noises, operating loudly, taking longer to cool down your home, or not running in proper cycles (running too long or too short), you are most likely experiencing an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. An AC unit that is operating loudly can indicate a problem with the compressor motor, the fan motor, the surrounding fan cage, or debris. Allowing the system to operate when you hear loud noises can cause serious damage to other components in your unit so it’s best to address the situation as soon as possible.

8. How do I increase the efficiency and useful life of my Air Conditioning system?

The best way to keep your AC unit running efficiently & effectively is to keep up with regular maintenance. Clean or replace your filters every 1-2 months and have a certified HVAC tech inspect, tune-up, and clean your system twice a year.

Some other tips that will help extend the life of your AC unit include keeping the blower in the “on” position to allow constant air movement throughout your home, letting your AC system work smarter not harder. Also, installing shades, curtains, shutters, or screens on windows that are constantly exposed to sunlight will help keep the room temperatures from rising too high.

9. How do I know whether my air conditioner needs to be replaced or simply repaired?

Regular maintenance will help keep your AC system in top shape and can extend the life of the unit by years, but there will inevitably come a time when you are questioning whether it’s better to repair or replace it. The average lifetime of an AC unit is 12-15 years. Keep in mind that the hot climate in Florida can cause your unit to run excessively, putting more wear & tear on the system. Paying for repairs to an old & inefficient system (over 8 years of age) will generally prolong the inevitable. Once a system as broken down, it’s very likely to break down again & again, which means more emergency service calls, more replacement parts, and more hassle for the homeowner.

The ongoing cost to repair an older AC unit can actually end up costing more than simply replacing the system when it begins to reach the end of its life cycle. In many cases, installing a brand new AC system can actually pay for itself with the savings you will receive on your energy bills in just a few short years!

10. What do I need to look for when choosing new heating or cooling equipment?

When it’s time to replace your HVAC or AC unit, there are a few important things to consider.

1) Go for a manufacturer that has a great reputation for quality & durability. Trane is a great example for quality, affordability, and warranties!

2) Choose a unit with a high efficiency rating. Even if it’s a little more expensive upfront, you will see much better savings on your seasonal utility bills. Plus, you’ll enjoy better comfort during the hot summer months.

3) Have a certified heating & cooling expert determine the correct size of equipment you will need to proper cool your home.

4) Don’t let price be the only determining factor for the system you choose. A lower cost up front doesn’t mean a lower cost in the long run. Do your research and find a product that gets great ratings, comes with a good warranty, and will suit the size & style of your home.

5) Always have your AC system installed by a reliable & capable AC contractor.

11. How much does a new air conditioning system cost?

The cost of each system can vary greatly and will depend on the size, efficiency rating, and capabilities you choose. A basic, two ton system can cost around $5,000 while a top of the line AC system can cost $10,000+. On average, you can expect to pay $5,000 or more for a brand new AC unit. The cost of installation can also affect the final cost of the replacement. If duct work or a new thermostat also needs to be installed, it can increase the final bill, but it’s important to remember that a new, efficient system can actually generate more cost savings through lower utility bills. That means that purchasing a new system or replacing an older unit can actually pay for itself over time. If you want a better idea of what it will cost to replace your air conditioning system, give our professional heating & cooling specialists a call today. We can help determine the size you will need and the installation requirements you will have to consider.