Frequently Asked Question's

1. What is SEER and what does it mean?
2.
During the out summer months, will I save money on my utility bill if I turn my air conditioner off while I'm at work?
3. I want my house to stay cool this summer. Can I have a larger air conditioner installed?
4. Can I save money by running my swamp cooler in the morning and then switching to the central air conditioner when it gets hot in the afternoon?
5. Can a power outage affect my air conditioner when running?
6. When should I replace my existing heating and cooling unit(s)?
7. What is the regular maintenance needed for my heating or cooling unit(s)?
8. Why is it important to have a Maintenance Contract?
9. What is NATE?
10. Why is it important to have NATE Certified Technician servicing your home?
11. Why is it important to choose a reliable company?
12. Why do I need to change my filter regularly?
13. Does my disposable air filter keep my indoor air in my house clean?
14. What should I look for when choosing a new Heater, Heat Pump or A/C unit?
15. What do I do if I canít afford a new HVAC system?
16. What is the difference between my old thermostat and a new one?
17.
I have been told that heat pumps donít work very well for heating?
18.
My fire alarm inside my house went off when I turned my furnace on, is there anything I need to do?

 

 


What is SEER and what does it mean?

SEER, stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio". The higher the number the more efficient the air conditioner is. For example: a 13 SEER air conditioner is now a standard efficient unit, therefore a 16 SEER is higher efficient than a 13 SEER.

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During the out summer months, will I save money on my utility bill if I turn my air conditioner off while I'm at work?

No!  If you let the inside of your home get overheated, it will take many hours for your air conditioner to recuperate to a comfortable temperature. Walls and furniture absorb the temperature and once the temperature you desire is reached it is easier on your air conditioner to maintain it. Using a digital programmable thermostat is the most efficient way to help maintain the temperature in your home.

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I want my house to stay cool this summer. Can I have a larger air conditioner installed?

It is not that simple. Larger is not always better! To have an energy efficient system with good indoor air quality a home should have a load calculation done for a properly sized high efficient air conditioner. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office anytime.

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Can I save money by running my swamp cooler in the morning and then switching to the central air conditioner when it gets hot in the afternoon?

No! An evaporative cooler will only cool the outside air down 10 to 12 degrees below the ambient temperature. So if it is 110 degrees outside the cooler will below in 100 degree air with at least 80% humidity. When you turn on your central air conditioner it will have to work harder to remove the humidity before it can even start cooling. An air conditioner and a evaporative cooler are not designed to work together. An evaporative cooler produces humidity and a central air conditioner removes humidity.

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Can a power outage affect my air conditioner when running?

Yes! If a power outage occurs in a way that the power quickly turns off then back on again your compressor will try and start under an extreme load. Breakers and Overload components are supposed to protect your air conditioner but sometimes it is not enough and your compressor can be damaged internally beyond repair. To protect your air conditioner from a power outage, River Valley Air Conditioning can install a power outage surge protector to monitor incoming power to cycle your air conditioner as needed so you don't have to worry about it.

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When should I replace my existing heating and cooling unit(s)?

The time frame to replace an existing unit would be anywhere from 12-15 years old. A few units last longer than that but regular maintenance and replacement of parts can be the result that the lifespan of your existing equipment lasted a longer period of time. Also, when replacing a unit (heater or air conditioner), replace both units and select the same manufacturer as well. This can extend the lifespan of your new units.

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What is the regular maintenance needed for my heating or cooling unit(s)?

We recommend that your heating and cooling system be checked and serviced twice a year; a Spring & Fall Tune-Up. Also we recommend that you change your filter regularly, depending on the type of filter you have. This will eliminate the many problems that can occur when proper maintenance isnít followed.

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Why is it important to have a Maintenance Contract?

This is one way of protecting you from sudden breakdowns in equipment and a reminder regular maintenance as needed. By having a contract, depending on the level you choose, you will be reminded of your fall and spring tune-ups, changing of filters, and new information regarding coupons and rewards. Also, if your existing equipment is in need of repair or replacement, then your part will be covered or a discount on a replacing the new equipment.

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What is NATE?

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. To receive a NATE certification an air conditioning technician must pass an extensive series of tests regarding Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Customer Care. River Valley Air Conditioning, Inc. employ's NATE certified technicians.

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Why is it important to have NATE Certified Technician servicing your home?

NATE, North American Technical Excellence, is known for training the HVAC technicians to meet the highest learning standards of the HVAC industry. We allow our technicians the hands on training and trouble shooting classes to ensure that every angle is looked at when your equipment is running properly and improperly. One of the biggest flaws in the HVAC industry is the lack of trained professional technicians, resulting in more problems than expected.

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Why is it important to choose a reliable company?

Most companies in the HVAC industry donít express the need to be there for their customers after installation or service of heating and cooling systems. Research a companyís background, ask a friend or neighbor, or see recent work that they have done. A good reliable company, like us, will back every part of our work, whether it is through our maintenance contracts or excellent customer service. Remember, you are spending a lot of money or repairs or replacement of equipment and the last thing you have to worry about is if it was done right!

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Why do I need to change my filter regularly?

Depending on the type of filter you have, it might require weekly or monthly replacement. It is important to change regularly to ensure the correct air flow is not being blocked, that the dirty germs or contents are not recycling into your home, and prevents the unit from sudden breakdowns and repairs. Call to ask how often it is to replace your filter and what else you can do to eliminate these contents better.

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Does my disposable air filter keep my indoor air in my house clean?

A disposable air filter basically just keeps your air conditioner from plugging up with debris. According to the world health organization the number one killer on earth is upper respiratory infections. The average person spends 90% of the time indoors; and your indoor air is, on the average seven times more polluted that the air outdoors per the US environmental protection agency. A single cubic foot of hot air can contain millions of bacteria, mold and virus micro organisms-none of which we can see. Ultraviolet air purifiers and electrostatic filters are the only way to eliminate threatening micro organisms, common indoor pollutants and neutralize odors in your home.

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What should I look for when choosing a new Heater, Heat Pump or A/C unit?

When you are ready to replace your existing equipment, it is good to keep 3 things in mind. First, choose a manufacturer that has a good reputation of repairs and maintenance. Also, choose a model that with high efficiency equipment to bring you better comfort and lower your seasonal energy bill. A High Efficient Variable Speed Heat Pump is one great way. Second, choose the correct equipment size and system for your home. Donít just buy one that is on sale and seems like a great deal, do some research on it or ask the installation representative for more product information. Finally, choose a reliable company with excellent customer satisfactions. One way is to ask to see previous comments of customer reports. Remember, this is a one time investment for the next 15 years, choose wisely!

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What do I do if I canít afford a new HVAC system?

Ask for the many different ways that you can finance this investment. Financing can be available interest free up to 12 months OAC.

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What is the difference between my old thermostat and a new one?

Most older thermostats have mercury in them and now have been banned by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). A new digital thermostat is safer for the environment and keeps a more accurate temperature so it can save on your bill.

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I have been told that heat pumps donít work very well for heating?

The climate in our Tri-State area is perfect for high efficient heat pumps if installed and operated properly. Heat pumps when in the heating cycle basically operate like an air conditioner in reverse. Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature and let it operate. Heat pumps have a defrost cycle that will de-ice your out door coil if ice builds up. This cycle is automatic and will take no longer than just a couple of minutes. Just leave it alone and let the system cycle and it will maintain an even temperature. If you have any questions regarding a heat pump operation please feel free to call anytime.

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My fire alarm inside my house went off when I turned my furnace on, is there anything I need to do?

The smoke that set your fire alarm off is caused from the lent and dust on your furnace heat exchanger. This actually could become a fire hazard. A fall preseason service & cleaning is recommended to help prevent this. In the fall preseason a service points of interest would be regular filter changes and proper fit, return air duct properly sealed and a clean blower.  

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River Valley A/C, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 24, 2011.
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