FAQ related to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and refrigeration

What is HVAC and how does it work?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It refers to the systems and equipment used to control the temperature, humidity, and air quality in a building or space. HVAC systems typically consist of a heater, air conditioner, and ventilation system, and they work by using air ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout the space.

What is the difference between HVAC and refrigeration?

HVAC refers to the systems and equipment used to control the temperature, humidity, and air quality in a building or space, while refrigeration refers to the process of cooling and dehumidifying air or other substances. While HVAC systems often include a refrigeration component, the two terms are not interchangeable.

How do I know if my HVAC system is working properly?

There are a few signs that may indicate that your HVAC system is not functioning properly:
The system is making unusual noises
The system is not heating or cooling the space as efficiently as it used to
The system is not maintaining a consistent temperature
The system is using more energy than usual
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to have your HVAC system inspected and serviced by a professional.

How do I maintain my HVAC system?

There are several steps you can take to maintain your HVAC system and keep it running efficiently:
Replace the air filter regularly
Clean the air ducts
Check and tighten any loose connections or bolts
Have the system inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year
By following these simple maintenance steps, you can help extend the life of your HVAC system and ensure that it is operating at its best.

How do I choose the right size HVAC system for my home or business?

The size of the HVAC system you need will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the space, the local climate, and the type of building construction. It is important to consult with a qualified HVAC professional to determine the appropriate size system for your specific needs. A system that is too small will not be able to adequately heat or cool the space, while a system that is too large will be inefficient and waste energy.

What causes the AC compressor to continue running and the freon to continue to circulate after the fan inside the house clicks off?

Possibly a stuck contactor in the outdoor unit. or your indoor fan is overheating and shutting off.

What could be wrong if your central air conditioner blows cool but not cold air and seems to be always running?

Your condenser may be dirty and the evaporator coils should be cleaned there may be inadequate air flow around the condenser. if there is a leak, your unit may be out of refrigerant you might have a leak in your duct system

Is the Freon used in your car’s AC the same type that is used in your home’s cooling system?

No. Home A/C units use R-22, and many, if not most, automobiles use R134a.

What would cause the outside part of your air conditioner to frost over?

Because of high humidity in the air, the evaporator gets cold enough to cause the extra moisture to freeze. This could happen if you are low on refrigerant or if your coils or filters are dirty. If you are low on freon, you most likely have a leak and should hire a professional to fix this.
A temporary fix is simply to turn off the unit until it warms up/thaws. Then turn it back on. But this is not a permanent solution. Clean any dirty coils or filters and if this doesn’t fix the problem, have a professional check for leaks and refrigerant levels.
If it is a heatpump you probably have a defrost problem most common problem is a faulty defrost klixon (sensor). if the system operated for a long enough time period, the system will automatically switch to the defrost cycle (air conditioning), shut down the outside fan, circulate hot gas thru the od coil to melt the ice, the auto switch back to the heat pump cycle

Is using ceiling fans and the air conditioner at the same time cost efficient or a waste of energy?

If you only use ceiling fans in the rooms that you are in, then it will save a bundle. Just remember to turn the fans off when you leave a room. You can also buy motion sensors that will turn lights or fans on automatically.

What is a programmable thermostat?

It senses the room temperature and controls the HVAC system according to a schedule established by the homeowner. This type of thermostat allows different temperature settings to automatically regulate the HVAC system at different preset times. Modern programmable thermostats use a chip to provide smart memory to these thermostats. they can then be set up for optimized start of the system. this makes it a smart thermostat. combined with outdoor sensors, indoor sensors the system has the capability to pre-cool / heat a facility to a given temp based on internal and outdoor temperature. thus handling the heat load in a building / home before it becomes active or occupied.

What is ‘SEER’?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) — A measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a central air conditioner or air conditioning heat pump. It takes into account the variations in temperature that can occur within a season and is the average number of Btu of cooling delivered for every watt-hour of electricity used by the heat pump over a cooling season.

If when the AC is running some parts of your house feel almost too cold while others aren’t cool at all what causes this?

Air flow dividing is a function of the ventilation duct layout. if it was built by a certified HVAC contractor, it was laid out properly, and was later tampered with or has developed a blockage. If you know something was done to ducting or vents, that is probably where the trouble was started. Reestablishing flow balance is not simple, it requires some knowledge and some math. call a HVAC tech, and get help there.

What certifications does an HVAC specialist need?

First and foremost, they require EPA refrigeration certification. There may also be state and local licenses and certifications that would vary from place to place. But EPA certification is on a Federal level and if you work with refrigerants, you MUST have this certification. Most technicians today have become NATE certified. NATE certified technicians have proven their worth in knowledge by passing rigid testing and recertification every 5 years. They must also have factory training and certification on an ongoing basis.

If you shut off the AC when you are gone from the house does it cost more to cool the house back to the right temperature when you return?

With air conditioning systems, the equipment runs at peak efficiency when it operates for long periods. Cooling your house back to the comfortable temperature will use less electricity than the unit would use cycling on and off for short periods to maintain the set temperature. If your house takes too long to get back to a comfortable temperature, you might investigate getting a programmable thermostat, and set it to start heating or cooling your house an hour or so before you return. You could also set the thermostat back, to a lower temperature for heating, or a higher one for cooling, while you are gone, rather than turning it off completely.