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Frequently asked questions
At The AC Hero, our skills and expertise enable us to provide the highest quality service. We like to share our knowledge whenever possible. Our technicians and customer service staff receive common HVAC and plumbing questions from home and business owners. These are some of the inquiries we get, plus answers to help you understand important details when selecting air conditioning or plumbing systems and components.
We work on schedule. We have most parts, but if we don’t have a needed part, we will expedite it over-night and pay for it! We also have the FASTEST response time in the industry and ALWAYS offer same day service when you need it.
Typically, the lifespan of an AC unit is 10-15 years, depending on the level of maintenance required. If you want to replace your system, we’ll replace it for you. If not, we can get you on THE AC HERO preventative maintenance system for your current unit.
We get there FASTER, and figure out problems FASTER. We give you pricing FASTER, and repair issues FASTER. We also have the highest-skilled technicians and offer unmatched warranties. We are the people you can trust to serve you and your family.
System size, or cooling capacity, is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Determining the right sized HVAC system requires performing a calculation. There are different calculations but basically you want to know the size of the room in square feet, and multiply it by 25 BTU. For example, a 12- by 15-foot room requires an air conditioner of at least 4,500 BTU, but an experienced technician can perform a load calculation to get a more precise value. If you’re A/C is oversized or undersized, it may run constantly, cycle too frequently, or create uneven heating or cooling.
It is not better to install a system that has more capacity than you need. People oversize their HVAC systems all too often, which can cause humidity problems. A larger system cools the house too quickly, before it can effectively remove humidity. This can lead to indoor air quality issues. If your furnace is oversized, then your home may be filled with hot air that, even during the winter, can make it too hot in some spots and too cool in others.
Air conditioners operate via heat transfer and the compressor enables this function. This component compresses the refrigerant, raising its temperature and pressurizing it to form a liquid. It runs on the principle that heat flows from higher temperature areas to lower temperature ones and that gases flow from high to low pressure zones. As a result, excess heat is released into the cooler atmosphere. A blower fan is often used to help remove excess heat from the condenser coil. The compressor also manages the entire cycle, as hot pressurized refrigerant is pumped to the condenser and refrigerant in vapor form is pulled in from the evaporator.
Two-stage cooling allows an air conditioner or heat pump to operate at different capacities depending on environmental conditions. A single-stage unit will run, at 100% capacity, until the preset temperature is reached, and turns off; but with two-stage cooling, a system can then run at partial capacity to maintain a set temperature. It may also run at lower capacity if it is cooler outside and less energy is required, so the compressor and circulating fan may operate at a reduced speed. Benefits include energy efficiency, more consistent comfort, and dehumidification.
Variable speed air conditioners can run from 30% to 100% capacity, which is controlled by a variable speed compressor or, in the case of an air handler or gas furnace, a blower motor. The technology allows the system to run at different levels depending on how much cooling you need. It reduces energy usage during the start/stop cycle and helps maintain the desired temperature, so it doesn’t need to compensate for temperature swings. Variable speed cooling also helps improve the temperature/humidity balance and allows more time to filter circulating air.
The Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute, or AHRI, is a trade association that represents manufacturers of HVAC equipment. It oversees leading performance certification programs for indoor comfort and commercial refrigeration equipment. These include ARI Performance Certified for A/C and refrigeration equipment and components, GAMA Efficiency Rating Certified for space and water heating systems, and I-B-R for hydronic heating products. If a product is certified, it typically meets Energy Star standards. The AHRI also provides a source for education, research, workforce information, and industry shipment data.
There are many types of ventilation. Mechanical ventilation may be driven by exhaust-only systems, which use small fans to create negative pressure that removes stale air and moisture, or supply-only systems. These draw in fresh air, but stale air must escape through cracks and other points of air leakage. A balanced ventilation system controls inlet and exhaust airflow. You can ventilate your home naturally as well. While exhaust fans in a kitchen or bathroom may be necessary, opening a window can let fresh air in to cool your home, or let warm air out. Ventilation influences air quality, so remember to clean/change your air filter and install a dehumidifier if your HVAC system doesn’t completely remove moisture from your home.
You can save energy and reduce utility costs by purchasing energy efficient heating and cooling appliances and installing programmable or smart thermostats. These let you set your HVAC system according to when demand is higher, so less energy is used when, for example, you are at work or on vacation. Insulating your home, sealing air leaks, and installing energy efficient windows can also help you control energy costs. But not all strategies involve an investment. You can lower energy costs by replacing older lightbulbs with LEDs, or adjusting your habits by turning off electrical fixtures and appliances when not using them, hang-drying clothes, or washing dishes by hand.
If water pressure is limited by your utility company, you can install a water pressure booster (suited for copper or plastic mains that are 3/4” or larger). Or, if you have a pressure-reducing valve on the water main, you can adjust it higher than its factory setting by turning the screw on top. Contact your local utility or city hall if there are any new regulations, restrictions, or water system issues. If not, the problem is likely in your plumbing system or, if you have a private well, the well pump, so you should call a professional.
If the water pressure in your home has tested low, check the pressure regulator. It should be set to around 50 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) but not less than 40 psi. Is the water pressure low for one faucet or several? If it’s limited to one, then the problem may be with the fixture; if multiple fixtures are affected, there may be a clogged pipe or other problem. Water leaks can cause drops in pressure so check for evidence of leakage such as visible pooling of water, stains on walls or ceilings, running water sounds when faucets are off, or higher water bills.
In general, household drains need a professional cleaning only once every few years. Sewer and basement drains may need more frequent service. Also, consider more regular drain cleaning for an older plumbing system or if you know there are lots of tree roots near the main sewer line. By knowing the condition of your drains and which ones are most susceptible to problems, you can set a suitable maintenance schedule.
Hard water contains higher concentrations of minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. It can cause a film to form on your hands after washing with soap, which reacts with calcium. Spots of calcium carbonate may be left behind on glasses and silverware from the dishwasher. Mineral stains can appear on clothing as well. Soft water tends to have more concentrated levels of sodium, which may cause a slightly salty taste in drinking water. Drinking either causes no serious health problems.
There is rust in your water supply. While the presence of iron and oxygen in water systems is common, oxidized materials are generally no cause for concern. However, if sediment stays in the lines and sticks to pipe walls, it can damage the linings until a failure occurs. If your faucet or bath water is slightly yellow, it is not harmful to drink. Contact your plumber if there is an unpleasant taste.
Clogged drains are often caused by cooking grease, coffee grounds, and soap scum. By not washing these down the sink, you can prevent clogs. Hair too can clog up drains. Other preventative measures include installing a drain strainer to catch foreign material, and running hot water after using the sink in case any food or oil has gotten in. This will help keep it flowing through the pipe instead of coalescing inside. Also, avoid caustic chemical drain cleaners; they can corrode certain pipes and don’t always remove clogs. Contact your local plumber for an annual or semi-annual inspection to spot potential blockages and correct them before there’s a problem.
You can verify if your toilet is leaking by dropping a dye tablet in the tank. Food coloring works too. Then wait 15 to 20 minutes and check the bowl. If there’s colored water inside, there is a leak. Another way to check is to look in the tank. If the water level is higher than the overflow pipe, the cause may be a fill valve problem. A third test is to turn the water off overnight to the suspect toilet and check if the water level has fallen to less than an inch by morning. Also, an unused toilet that’s making a running noise or has water dripping down inside the bowl is leaking.
Checking for leaks can help lower water usage. Even a dripping faucet can waste quite a bit of water. You can also lower your water usage through changes in daily habits. Take shorter showers, use a low-flow shower head, and turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Also, don’t hand wash your dishes; fill a container to rinse of the excess and run the dishwasher only on a full load. Do the laundry only on a full load as well.
If you have a gas water heater, common reasons for no hot water include the pilot light is out, the gas supply is turned off or, in a worse-case scenario, there is a gas leak. For electric water heaters, the cause may be a tripped breaker, a faulty high-temperature cutoff switch, or a flooded compartment that caused water to damage the thermostat. Faulty heating elements can cause your hot water heater to break down. It’s also possible the unit may be leaking.
What makes us different?
THE AC HERO was built to change when it truly means to be an AC and plumbing company. We employ the highest skilled technicians with the dexterity to solve both commercial and residential problems. We are committed to serving you with the highest levels of integrity and honesty unmatched by your typical service company. With decades of experience of refining our processes, you will receive the fastest and most effective quality solutions that are backed by our 100% guarantee.
THE AC HERO wants to make air conditioning and plumbing affordable for you! That’s why we offer financing that works with you and your budget. Don’t let your finances stop you from getting the service you deserve!