Question and Answer

Answers to All Your Frequently Asked Air Conditioner Questions

Alright, let’s get down to it! We’ve heard several questions from customers that we are here to answer.Air Conditioning FAQ

Is it Necessary to Change My AC Filter?

It’s actually critical to have your filter changed regularly (at least every 60 days, or more frequently if you suffer from asthma or allergies) to help improve indoor air quality and to ensure your air conditioner doesn’t break down. Clogged air filters can decrease the efficiency of your AC by impeding airflow and making your AC work harder to cool your air. In some cases, this can lead to a frozen evaporator coil, which means you'll have to shut off your AC and call for repairs.

Regularly changing your AC filter means you’ll also be keeping the air free from dust and debris that can aggravate allergies and respiratory conditions. If you have pets, it's especially important to change your filters so that you're not breathing in pet dander.

How Often Do Air Conditioners Need Maintenance?

Call a qualified HVAC technician for air conditioning maintenance at least once per year. We recommend making your appointment every spring. Try not to wait until it's already hot outside to schedule your service - try to take care of it in advance so your AC is ready to go when you are.

Can I Use the Fan on My AC Unit or Should I Stick with a Ceiling Fan?

Set your air conditioner’s fan to “auto” and use the ceiling fan – this can actually save you money.

Do Windows & Doors Need to Be Kept Closed When the AC is On?

All windows and doors should be closed while the air conditioner is operating for maximum efficiency. When you leave them open, the AC cannot properly distribute cool air and you're actually allowing cold air to escape outside.

What’s a SEER Rating?

SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and it represents the efficiency of your air conditioner. High-efficiency central AC units should have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. This rating is determined by dividing the ratio of cooling output by power consumption. If you're in the market for a new air conditioner, this is absolutely something that you should consider, as the more efficient your AC is, the lower your overall cost of ownership will be.

How Long Will a New Air Conditioner Last?

With regular maintenance, you should expect your air conditioner to last between 12-15 years. After 15 years, it may be more cost-effective to replace rather than repair the unit. A good rule of thumb for determining whether to repair or replace your AC is that if repairs will cost more than 50% of the unit's current value, it's more prudent to get a new one.

Is it a Big Deal if My Air Conditioner Sounds a Little Off?

Air conditioners all make some noise when operating, but never ignore something that doesn't sound right. Examples of unusual AC noises include banging, clattering, whining, squealing, or rattling. Not only do these sound interrupt a quiet night, but it could mean there are larger issues at hand like loose, deteriorating, or failing parts. Since AC noises could be due to several factors, it's important to call a technician as soon as possible to schedule an AC inspection. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could become, and the more you risk doing real damage to your AC.

What’s the Best AC Brand?

There’s a variety of air conditioner brands on the market such as Maytag, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Ruud and more. Winters Home Services sells top of the line brands and we provide AC installations.

Do I Need to Shade the Air Conditioner?

Shading the AC unit will make it run a little cooler and reduce the power bill. However, don’t put the shade within two feet of the coil as this could hurt air circulation.

Have more questions about air conditioning? Feel free to contact Winters Home Services online for more information or to schedule an AC service in the Boston area.

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