Air conditioner equipment power in the U.S. is often described in terms of "tons of refrigeration", with each approximately equal to the cooling power of one short ton (2000 pounds or 907 kilograms) of ice melting in a 24-hour period. The value is defined as 12,000 BTU per hour, or 3517 watts. Residential central air systems are usually from 1 to 5 tons (3.5 to 18 kW) in capacity.
Your HVAC professional can perform a yearly tune-up of your system for around $80-$100. This yearly maintenance can go far toward heading off major repairs to your system, and provide you with peace of mind and considerable savings in the long term. Additionally, regular servicing of your AC unit can help a home inspector to certify that your unit is working properly in the event you decide to sell your home.
If you happen to live in a hot and humid area of the country, drainage problems can occur with your unit since moisture can trap itself inside the system. Routine maintenance can cut down on drainage issues by cleaning out any mold or algae from blocking the drain. If you notice moldy smells whenever you turn the thermostat down, check on your system.
Many HVAC maintenance companies offer annual servicing contracts for preventative maintenance. Such contracts cost anywhere from $100-$150 per year, and cover annual visits in which standard maintenance tasks are performed. Some companies will allow you to make monthly payments for your maintenance contract, and will provide you with discounts around 15% if you hire them when you need your unit repaired.
Although HVAC is executed in individual buildings or other enclosed spaces (like NORAD's underground headquarters), the equipment involved is in some cases an extension of a larger district heating (DH) or district cooling (DC) network, or a combined DHC network. In such cases, the operating and maintenance aspects are simplified and metering becomes necessary to bill for the energy that is consumed, and in some cases energy that is returned to the larger system. For example, at a given time one building may be utilizing chilled water for air conditioning and the warm water it returns may be used in another building for heating, or for the overall heating-portion of the DHC network (likely with energy added to boost the temperature).
You haven’t had a ductwork inspection in years: According to PG&E, the average home’s ductwork leaks up to 30 percent of its air before it actually reaches your living space. That means you’re still paying for the energy used to cool the air—without getting the relief of a cool home. Hire a technician to come take a look at your system; they can perform what’s called a duct-leakage test, which measures how much air is escaping the system. If it turns out your ducts are faulty or have significant gaps, a technician should be able to seal them up or replace your pipes—meaning you might not need a complete system overhaul. However, keep in mind that modern HVAC units are almost always more efficient thanks to technology advancements. In the end, you have to weigh your options: will you need to perform repairs each month?
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.
BIG THANK YOU for being honest, and advising us that for some reason the fuse/switch was in the reverse position so the AC unit would not properly turn on. The unit turned back on immediately, and began cooling the house. And then providing advice that the AC/Heating system needed some TLC, and giving us options to save money by purchasing a maintenance plan that included the filters plus cleaning services since we were already being charged for the service today.
Feel perfectly comfortable at home with our innovative Lennox Residential heating, cooling and air quality systems. Lennox manufactures high-efficiency HVAC systems including furnaces and air conditioners designed to conserve energy and save money. Our complementing air filtration systems, humidifiers and dehumidifiers help keep indoor air quality healthy and clean.
Explore HVAC.com for all your heating and air conditioning questions to find reliable answers and resources. We provide informational resources for improving your indoor air quality, finding the best HVAC provider for your home, understanding common heating and cooling terms, and more. Our expert tips help you save energy with your heating and cooling system so you can reduce your energy bills year-round.
Ground source, or geothermal, heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but instead of transferring heat to or from outside air, they rely on the stable, even temperature of the earth to provide heating and air conditioning. Many regions experience seasonal temperature extremes, which would require large-capacity heating and cooling equipment to heat or cool buildings. For example, a conventional heat pump system used to heat a building in Montana's −70 °F (−57 °C) low temperature or cool a building in the highest temperature ever recorded in the US—134 °F (57 °C) in Death Valley, California, in 1913 would require a large amount of energy due to the extreme difference between inside and outside air temperatures. A few feet below the earth's surface, however, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Utilizing this large source of relatively moderate temperature earth, a heating or cooling system's capacity can often be significantly reduced. Although ground temperatures vary according to latitude, at 6 feet (1.8 m) underground, temperatures generally only range from 45 to 75 °F (7 to 24 °C).
Replacing a capacitor is easy. Just take a photo of the wires before disconnecting anything (you may need a reference later on). Then discharge the stored energy in the old capacitor (Photo 4). Use needle-nose pliers to pluck one wire at a time from the old capacitor and snap it onto the corresponding tab of the new capacitor. The female crimp connectors should snap tightly onto the capacitor tabs. Wiggle each connector to see if it’s tight. If it’s not, remove the connector and bend the rounded edges of it so it makes a tighter fit on the tab. When you’ve swapped all the wires, secure the new capacitor (Photo 5).