DUCTMASTERS • AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTOR & INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS
Here are some of our customers most frequently asked questions.
How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
It is important to have your air ducts inspected regularly to ensure the best air quality. Depending on the number of allergen sources located inside your home, such as pets or smoke, or in the air outside your home, such as pollen from trees and plants, the specific number of years you should typically wait in between cleaning air ducts can vary. On average, National Air Duct Cleaning Corp. recommends you have your air ducts in your home or business cleaned every 3 years. If any of the members in your family suffer from severe allergies, you may decide to have your air ducts cleaned more frequently for their comfort.
How can I tell if my air ducts need to be cleaned?
The best way to determine if your air ducts are dirty is to remove the vent covers and look inside you ducts. The inside of your ductwork should be free of visible dirt or debris. For example, think of what your counters or shelves look like. You know it is time to clean when you can see a layer of dust start to build up. In addition, you can look at the blower and motor for your furnace or underneath your furnace at the return. This area should be clean and free of debris as well. This visible dust and debris is only the beginning of the pollutants and allergens that can be building up in your air ducts. Mold spores and other invisible allergens can be hidden deep within your duct work as well. DUCTMASTERS can remove even these invisible dangerous microorganisms from your air ducts.
I heard that cleaning your air ducts releases dirt from your vents to the rest of your home. Can you actually remove the dust and other particles from my home?
Yes, we use a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters, as recommended by the EPA, to trap 99% of the dust and pollutants that are removed from your air ducts with our rotating brush and high-powered vacuum system. Therefore, we keep this debris from being re-introduced into your home.
Will cleaning my air ducts make my house less dusty?
Yes! Your heating and cooling system carries and circulates dust, dirt, and other pollutants throughout your home. The removal of this dust will significantly reduce the typical amount of dust that builds up on your belongings. As a result, you entire house will be cleaner following a thorough duct work cleaning.
Can air duct cleaning help lessen my allergy symptoms?
It is very likely that cleaning your air ducts will help alleviate your indoor and outdoor allergies. Much of the debris that builds up in your heating and cooling system over time comes from common allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. DUCTMASTERS will remove these allergens from your duct work, therefore reducing the concentration of these allergens in the air inside your home. This should result in a reduction of allergy symptoms for you and your family.
Do you guarantee your work?
Yes, DUCTMASTERS is dedicated to customer satisfaction and we guarantee that upon completion of you air duct cleaning there will be no remaining visible particles in your air duct system. In addition, you will see that when your heating or cooling system is turned on, no particles should be blown out into your clean home. In addition, we are fully insured and bonded for your protection.
Why should I clean the air conditioner and furnace as well as my air ducts?
Generally, your ductwork is a closed system. Therefore, most of the dust and allergens, which exist in your duct system, enter at either the air conditioner or the furnace. If you do not clean the entire system, mold and other dangerous contaminates can be distributed throughout your clean system when the HVAC system is turned on.
Will cleaning my air ducts damage my furnace or air conditioner?
No, DUCTMASTERS uses specialized tools, such as our soft bristle rotating brush and high-powered vacuum, to remove the dirt and debris from your heating and cooling system. In fact, since air duct cleaning reduces friction and improves airflow in your duct work, will work better and run more efficiently following air duct cleaning.
Can cleaning my air ducts actually make my HVAC system more energy efficient?
Research shows that yes, when air ducts are cleaned in combination with the other components of your HVAC system, this can improve the efficiency of your entire heating and cooling system. Therefore, cleaning your air ducts, dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can result in lower energy costs to operate your heating and cooling system.
What areas do you service?
DUCTMASTERS is proud to serve South Florida. If you are interested in services, please call us at (954) 791-4111.
What is "SEER?"
"SEER" is the acronym for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio compares the amount of cooling that a heat pump or air conditioner generates per every dollar spent on electricity. A higher SEER unit will use less electricity, and save you more money. The minimum SEER permitted by Federal regulation for residential equipment is 13 as of January 2006.
How do I find the SEER of my existing unit?
You can determine the SEER of your existing unit by doing one of three things:
- E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the model numbers of your equipment. We will compare your unit numbers with manufacturer data or the ARI directory. This directory lists all models of equipment by manufacturers that certify their equipment.
You can estimate your equipment's SEER rating based on the average SEER units produced around the approximate time your system was installed. The first year that SEER standards were used was 1981. The average ratings were 7.78 for air conditioners and 7.51 for heat pumps. By 1987, SEER's reached 8.97 and 8.93, respectively. As of January 1, 1992, the minimum SEER allowed in the industry was 10. By 1994, SEER ratings had increased to 10.61 for air conditioners and 10.94 for heat pumps. SEER ratings have continued to rise beyond 12 SEER. If you would like a list of the SEER rating history for a specific brand, contact us.
If your unit was produced after 1989, you should be able to check the energy efficiency label on your outdoor unit. All residential central air conditioners and heat pumps are required by the Department of Energy test procedures to have labels on the outdoor units containing energy efficiency data.
How important is SEER?
Higher SEER systems are usually quieter than lower SEER systems. Also, these higher SEER systems usually offer an enhanced warranty. Therefore, SEER is a valuable tool to use when purchasing your new system. A guideline to follow: a 10 SEER unit (the lowest efficiency ratio) can still prove to be 40%-50% more efficient than a system fifteen years old. A 12 SEER unit uses 10% less electricity that the 10 SEER and the 14 SEER uses 20% less than the 10 SEER. So, as you can see, SEER is an important aspect to consider.
A unit with 13 SEER sounds good. Do all 13 SEER units perform the same?
If a unit is rated a 13 SEER, no matter what brand, it will provide the same operating costs, assuming you are comparing the same Tonnage units (like a 13 SEER 3 Ton from Brand X and a 13 SEER 3 Ton from Brand Y). What may vary is the unit's ability to remove moisture from the air. A unit must be properly sized for your home to provide adequate run time (not too long, yet not too quick) to efficiently cool your home while removing sufficient amounts of moisture. An air conditioning unit is best with slightly more run time, allowing more moisture to be removed, thus providing comfortable humidity control with lower operating costs.
What is meant by a 3 Ton air conditioner?
All units are labeled with a BTU rating. "BTU" is the acronym for BRITISH THERMAL UNIT This thermal unit is the amount of heat needed to raise or lower one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. One Ton of air conditioning provides 12,000 BTU. The size of your home as well as BTU calculating software will help you determine how many BTU's, thus how many Tons, of air conditioning you need. A need for 36,000 BTU's would require a 3 Ton air conditioning unit.
What size system do I need for my home?
There are several variables which will combine to determine the adequate size system for your home. Following is a list of some of those variables: square footage of your home that you want to cool, local climate, windows (how many you have, what type and size they are), insulation factors, direction your home faces, what and how many heat producing appliances you already have in the home, and the number of people living in your home plays a factor in determining what size unit you need for your home. System sizing is available. You may also contact us email@example.com.
What is the best type of system to meet all my indoor comfort needs?
As with system size, one must consider several variables before deciding on the best type of system. Again, family size, house location, insulation, window and structural design, utility costs, etc. Your most favorable choice may differ from other customers. View all possible options with the pros and cons relating to your needs, and then make a decision on what is right for you.
My old system still runs. How do I know it's time to replace it? Should I wait until I experience system failure or replace it sooner?
Older systems have been worked hard and will slowly begin to fade. When the repairs become numerous and not cost-effective to fix, (for example, when the compressor or other major components start making abnormal noises or require repair) you may want to consider the benefits of a new system. Depending on the age of your system, it may even save you money all around if you replace your system now, before it "wears out." As stated previously, systems are increasingly becoming more and more energy efficient. In many occurrences, owners have discovered that the reduction in utility costs quickly paid back the purchase price of their new system, sometimes years earlier than they had anticipated. Also, with a new system, your worries lessen. New parts are less likely to "break down."
What if the old indoor unit still functions properly, but the outdoor air conditioner needs to be replaced?
All manufacturers require that their equipment be installed as a "matched" system and will void the warranty if the old indoor unit is used. As we have been discussing SEER, you need to know that an old (~15 year-old) indoor unit used with a new 13 SEER air conditioner will actually operate at only 9 or 10 SEER. Therefore, you are losing efficiency and you may be increasing maintenance problems. This mismatch may shorten the life of your system.
My air conditioner does not seem to be cooling properly. What is most likely the problem?
With numerous components, it is hard to pinpoint an exact problem without the aid of a certified HVAC technician. The problem could be focused on any number of issues, including the following:
(1) Electrical problems - a fuse may need replaced, the circuit breaker may need reset, the thermostat may need reset or replaced
(2) Air filtration - if a unit runs for extended periods of time without being serviced/maintained, problems could arise, especially from dirty filters
(3) Refrigerant - the refrigerant may be low if you find the system is running, but not cooling
(4) Major component problems - irregular and unusual noises may signify a compressor or other major component malfunction
So, as you can see, problems may vary. If you would like to safely identify and repair the specific problem, contact us at DUCTMASTERS (954) 791-4111. A technician can view the equipment and perform the necessary "tests" and repairs us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can homeowners repair their own air conditioner?
As stated previously, it is very hard to locate and repair specific problems without the proper training and equipment. Most repairs require certified technician attention to act in accordance with federal regulations. For example, if your system requires refrigerant, the Clean Air Act prohibits releasing refrigerants into the atmosphere and thus requires an EPA-certified technician, supplied with the equipment and training, to make the repair. Thus, it is safer and recommended that a certified contractor be contacted at the first sign of trouble.
How often should the equipment filters be cleaned or changed?
Allowing a filter to become dirty and clogged can actually lower the efficiency of your equipment and raise the operating costs of the system. Doing so will also cause damage to the compressor. To avoid this dilemma, clean/replace filters once a month. Some air filters may have a longer "useful" life, but it doesn't hurt to check them once a month. Dirty filters = bad indoor air quality + dirty air ducts.
I want to buy a new air conditioner. What is my "Best buy?"
Your best buy is just that - what works best for you. This question can be answered differently for each individual based on his/her needs and means. If you are looking for a higher return on your investment, the higher efficiency unit will save you money on your monthly utility bills, and thus you will eventually get your return, and save money. However, if you are looking to buy within your means and save money now, you must look for the unit that will efficiently cool your home without going over your budget. Your "return" may happen more rapidly, however, your efficiency will not be as high. As stated, what's best for you is based solely on what you want.
What is the difference between a manufacturer's limited warranty and an extended parts and labor warranty?
The manufacturer's limited warranty is just that - limited. The detailed language of the warranty describes exactly what it covers - usually specific parts like the compressor, coil, electronics, etc. Often, a contractor may offer an extended parts and labor warranty for a cost above that of the equipment and limited warranty. The extended warranty will cover all parts and may include the labor for the service call. Please be advised, however, that the extended warranty often has specific guidelines and/or exceptions. Most labor warranties do not include labor for diagnostics, maintenance, shipping costs, or parts not provided by the manufacturer.
Is a heat pump less efficient in the summer than a regular air conditioner?
No. There are no differences between the two during the cooling months. A 13 SEER heat pump and a 13 SEER air conditioner would cost the same to operate during the cooling season.
How does an air conditioner work?
An air conditioner works by removing the hot air from the indoor air, thus making it "cool." The air conditioner transfers heat from the inside of the home to the outside. The refrigerant that is in the system absorbs the excess heat and is pumped through a closed system of "refrigerant piping" to the outside unit. A fan blows outside air over the hot coil, transferring the heat from the refrigerant to the outdoor air. Thus, since the "heat" from the inside air has been removed and transferred to the outside air, the indoor air is cooled.
Should a thermostat be set to "auto" or "on?"
If you set the thermostat to "auto," the fan will operate only when the temperature requires (when the heating or cooling unit is running). If you set the thermostat to "on," the fan operates all of the time. For optimum air filtering, run the fan all of the time.
So, when it is time to replace your inefficient air conditioning system; you have many things to consider
- What contractor should I use?
- What type of unit is the best unit?
- What unit is the most efficient and cost effective to operate?
- How long will it take to put in?
- What will it cost?
DUCTMASTERS is dedicated to providing you with the answers to these questions as well as providing total Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems solutions where you, our customer, come first.
Remember, we have the KEYS [Knowledge, Equipment, and Your best interest at heart in helping you Save money]. DUCTMASTERS is committed to selling quality products. Over the past 19 years DUCTMASTERS has aligned itself with manufacturers on the leading edge of the industry’s technological advances such as Trane, Amana and Lennox. These manufactures are world leaders in the manufacture of HVAC equipment in the residential, commercial, and industrial markets and continue to bring the most energy efficient products to the marketplace.
DUCTMASTERS specializes in offering you the finest quality heating and air conditioning services for all residential and commercial applications. We offer quality sales, expert repair services with some of the most experienced technicians in the industry.
So whether you are remodeling, replacing your central air conditioner or building a new home, DUCTMASTERS will provide you the most energy efficient, reliable and durable products for your home or business.
We are also an Florida Power & Light Company Participating Independent Contractor for both Air-Conditioning and Duct Repair programs, so we will get the qualifying FPL A/C rebates.