One of the easiest maintenance tasks consumers can do themselves is maintaining the filters. Air filters should be inspected and cleaned once a month. This allows for regular monitoring to eventually determine when the filter needs to be replaced. Most filters can be changed every three months if no other problems exist. Maintaining clean and regularly changed filters will not only produce better air quality, but appliances will function more efficiently, which can save on heating and cooling costs.
Modern refrigerants have been developed to be more environmentally safe than many of the early chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants used in the early- and mid-twentieth century. These include HCFCs (R-22, as used in most U.S. homes before 2011) and HFCs (R-134a, used in most cars) have replaced most CFC use. HCFCs, in turn, are supposed to have been in the process of being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and replaced by HFCs such as R-410A, which lack chlorine. HFCs, however, contribute to climate change problems. Moreover, policy and political influence by corporate executives resisted change. Corporations insisted that no alternatives to HFCs existed. The environmental organization Greenpeace provided funding to a former East German refrigerator company to research an alternative ozone- and climate-safe refrigerant in 1992. The company developed a hydrocarbon mix of isopentane and isobutane, but as a condition of the contract with Greenpeace could not patent the technology, which led to its widespread adoption by other firms. Their activist marketing first in Germany led to companies like Whirlpool, Bosch, and later LG and others to incorporate the technology throughout Europe, then Asia, although the corporate executives resisted in Latin America, so that it arrived in Argentina produced by a domestic firm in 2003, and then finally with giant Bosch's production in Brazil by 2004.
5) Adjust your thermostat. If you are away for large stretches of time every day, adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature for the time you are away. This will lessen the amount of time your unit has to work each day, and will lengthen its life cycle. An additional benefit will be a lower utility bill each month. Some newer thermostats allow you to pre-program your thermostat to match your schedule so that your home will still be cool when you arrive. Optimizing your system’s usage will maximize its life in the long term.
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The manufacture and use of CFCs has been banned or severely restricted due to concerns about ozone depletion (see also Montreal Protocol). In light of these environmental concerns, beginning on November 14, 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has restricted the sale, possession and use of refrigerant to only licensed technicians, per rules under sections 608 and 609 of the Clean Air Act.
5) Check certifications. Many HVAC professionals belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). Both sites provide listings of HVAC contractors by area. Look for contractors whose technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and partnered with ENERGY STAR.
To be honest, an HVAC technician’s work goes beyond more than installation, maintenance and repair. Most people are increasingly spending more time inside the home, so indoor air quality, home energy savings and total comfort have become even more important. There are several choices and solutions when it comes to HVAC systems, and our experts will consult with you every step of the way and work with you to achieve your goals.