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How does an air conditioner (AC) work?

Air conditioners perform two basic functions: heat removal and moisture removal. Lower the humidity level, the more comfortable you will feel at a given temperature. As your warm indoor air is drawn up through the filter, it passes over a very cold coil whereby the heat and moisture are removed. If you've ever noticed a PVC pipe running off your roof that drips water, that is the moisture removed from your home.

Is it more economical to operate the fan on my air-conditioning unit continuously or just turn on ceiling fans in the rooms in use?

Unless you are using an electronic air filter that requires a continuous stream of air, you're better off setting your unit's fan on "auto" and using ceiling fans in occupied rooms. 

To save on cooling costs, is it recommended to shut the air-conditioner vents in rooms that are unused and closed?

If designed correctly, the air delivery system in your house has been sized according to the flow requirements of the unit and each room. Closing off vents can create a pressure imbalance within the system that can reduce the effectiveness of your cooling system. By closing off registers, the increased pressure within the ducts can also cause increased duct leakage. 

Can I allow the upstairs to heat up even more during the day and cool the downstairs less at night?

Anytime you increase the temperature on your thermostat, you save money. When a unit first turns on, it takes seven to 10 minutes of continuous operation to reach maximum efficiency. The longer it runs after reaching peak efficiency, the better it is for the unit. When you return home at night and the unit is forced to run longer to bring the temperature down, it is running at peak efficiency. 

Is it more energy efficient for the air conditioner to come on for short bursts of cooling (running for five to seven minutes at a time) or to come on and stay on for longer periods? How about the wear and tear on the unit as well?

An air conditioner job is two-fold. Not only does it remove the heat from your home, it also must remove the moisture from the inside air in order for you to feel comfortable. When the unit first turns on, it will take about seven to 10 minutes for the unit to get to its peak efficiency and remove the moisture from your home. By allowing a unit to run five to seven minutes, you're not getting the most out of the system. The starting and stopping is also hard on the system.

Should I leave interior doors open or closed during cooling?

Because the air-conditioning systems in our homes are closed-loop system, they are designed to move a specific amount of air throughout the house. Closing bedroom doors causes the air pressure in those rooms to increase. The air-conditioning unit pushes air in but cannot get it back out, which causes the unit to force conditioned air out of the bedroom under the door and through cracks or leak around the windows, wall plates and ceiling fixtures and draw in hot attic or outside air through similar cracks and leaks in the rest of the house.

We have two units, one upstairs and one down. How do you recommend we set them up for comfort and energy savings? Should they be set on different temperatures? Do we redo the settings at night? What temperatures do you recommend?

Because heat rises and extra heat gain exists on the second floor because of the windows and attic, the upper level will require more cooling than the lower level. To maintain a constant temperature in your home, set each thermostat at the same temperature. However, to reduce energy costs, you can maintain a comfortable temperature on the floor you are occupying. If you're not using the upstairs, set the second-floor thermostat a couple of degrees higher. Reverse the process at night when you're upstairs.

Is it better to set the thermostat to a high temperature while at work all day and cool the house (two-story, approximately 3,200 square feet) when you get home to a comfortable temperature

You will save money anytime you can increase the temperature on your thermostat and cause the unit not to run. The old myth that says you will spend more energy bringing the temperature back down than you would have spent just leaving the thermostat alone is just that, a myth.

Does setting the fan switch on my thermostat to the "on" position cause air imbalances in my home?

Assuming there are no interior doors closed in the home, there should be no air imbalance caused by running the air-handler fan. However, in typical building construction, with a central air-conditioner return, you can get significant pressure imbalances when interior doors are closed. Because the door undercuts are not large enough to allow for sufficient free flow of air, it is common to create imbalances.

If all things are equal, is it better to set your thermostat at a certain temperature all the time or use a programmable thermostat in conjunction with the Time-of-Use Price Plan?

Using a programmable thermostat to control the operation of your air conditioner will provide you the greatest savings. Not only will scheduled operating schemes reduce the unit's operating time, but they also will increase the run time of the unit, and this increased run time will allow the air-conditioning unit to run more efficiently.

I am buying a new air conditioner and have the option of purchasing a system that uses R-22 or a system that uses R-410A refrigerant. Will R-22 refrigerant be available in the future?

R-22 will last well beyond the life of a new system installed today. The efficiency of the two products is similar. However, R-410A is an eco friendly refrigerant that requires lesser power consumption to cool similar area faster.

What size air conditioner should I install on my 2,000-square-foot house?

It is important that new or replacement equipment not be sized by "rule of thumb" or by the existing equipment. The only accurate way to determine the correct capacity of air-conditioning equipment for your home is to have a heat-load calculation performed on your home. This will give your dealer the heat gain and heat loss design data for your home. These figures can then be used to select the appropriately sized cooling system for your home based on equipment performance data: This will determine the correct sizing for a new air conditioner.

What is SEER and ton?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a measurement of a unit's efficiency, and ton is a measurement of a unit's size.

Could you please let me know how many tons of air conditioning you should have per square footage of home?

It is important to make sure your new unit is properly sized. The best way to determine the proper size is to request an evaluation or equivalent load calculations on installations of replacement. The calculation determines the size of the air-conditioning unit required for your home.

Do high-efficiency filters harm my air-conditioning system?

The use of high-efficiency filters won't necessarily harm your air conditioner; however, they can cause the unit to pull hot attic air into the ductwork, reducing the overall efficiency of the system. By adding a high-efficiency filter to your system, you add resistance to the air moving across the filter. Because the fan in your system is rated to move a certain amount of air, it will get this air from anywhere it can. If the added resistance of the filter makes it easier to draw air into the ducts through leaks in the ductwork, then it will do so.

Aside from the added resistance of a high-efficiency filter, this scenario is exactly why it is so important to replace your filters on a regular basis. As the filter becomes dirty, the resistance increases and the unit begins to pull more and more air in through the leaks in the ductwork. If your ducts are tight and in good shape, the use of a high-efficiency filter is fine.

I have never changed my filters. Every time I check them, they look like the day I bought them. Is that good? My house is 2,400 square feet, and my electric bill is subnormal.

Never having to change your filters is unusual, especially during harmattan if you are using very inexpensive filters, they may be too loose to catch any of the fine dust. This allows the dust to accumulate on the unit's evaporator coil, which could cause problems down the road. More expensive filters may be too restrictive and could cause problems for your air conditioning unit.

How do I balance the air being supplied to each room of my house?

The only accurate way of determining how to set your supply registers is to have a contractor complete a load calculation on your house. As part of this process, the calculation software will identify how much air should be delivered to each room. Once this is known, the contractor will measure and adjust the amount of air being delivered at each register. The "do-it-yourself" approach is to experiment with different settings over the course of a couple weeks until you get an even comfort level throughout the house.

Are there advantages to shading your outside air-conditioning unit if you provide for proper air circulation?

Shading the coils of an air-conditioning unit has the potential to modestly reduce energy demand. However, improper shading techniques can result in a net increase in energy consumption by blocking proper airflow or trapping radiant heat. In many cases, a simpler approach is to plant trees strategically around a building to reduce indoor cooling loads or pursue other, more sure air-conditioning efficiency upgrades.

My landscapers built a three-sided wall around my ground air-conditioning unit in the backyard, and I am concerned that there may be restricted airflow to the unit. The wall is made of concrete block covered with stucco and painted on the outside. It

The outdoor unit must be positioned a minimum of 12 inches from any wall or surrounding shrubbery to ensure adequate airflow. A 30-inch clearance must be provided in front of the control box (access panels) and any other side requiring service access to meet National Electrical Code. The top discharge area must be unrestricted for at least 5 feet above the unit.

How can I estimate how much I'm spending on air conditioning?

To do this, take your peak winter bill, which is typically a month when you do not operate cooling equipment, and subtract it from your summer bills. After the subtraction, what is left is an estimate of how much you spend on air conditioning. You can retrieve your past bills.

What is HVAC?

HVAC is a short form for; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is most often used to depict the whole heating and cooling system consisting of the duct work, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.

How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my air conditioner or HVAC system?

Warranty terms and conditions change by manufacturer and the installing company. 

Is sound an issue for air conditioning?

Yes. Loud cooling equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your home. The sound level of an air conditioner depends on a variety of factors, such as the age and make of the unit, and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes.

Although most cooling systems manufactured today are quieter than ever before, it's a good idea to compare sound ratings when shopping for a new air conditioner, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.

What is a Service Call fee?

A Service Call fee is a bill for the expense associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect and provide expert recommendations for a home's air conditioning system by a certified professional technician.

What is a Precision Tune-up and how much does it cost?

In addition to the professional visual inspection, a Precision Tune-up includes a total maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the air conditioning equipment components. 

What's causing my duct work to pop when the unit starts or stops?

A popping disturbance is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may have to do with greater air flow than the duct work is able to manage. Have a qualified company analyze your home’s ventilation system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can cause a number of ventilation and air quality problems, including excessive noise.

When substituting the outdoor system, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

The answer is, probably so. Here's why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner outdoor units are specially fabricated to work with a matched indoor unit for ideal efficiency and performance. The consequence of this matched equipment is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner outdoor units may ”run” with indoor units other than those for which they have been specially designed; however, the effect would be a definite compromise in system performance.

Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone many design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also comprise the latest design advances.

Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling efficiency ratings that are posted for an air conditioner are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may consequence in improved efficiency compared to the old system, efficiency will be lacking from what it was designed to be, and your savings will be not as much as with a matched system.

Equipment Age: If an air conditioner is 10 years old or more and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is likely just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of degradation. Substituting both units means you won't have to substitute the indoor unit in a brief time period… you'll have more years of efficient service with both units.

New Warranty: A new set of equipment also delivers you a new product warranty. Changing the indoor unit simultaneously with the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing that the new warranty covers the entire system for the same period of time.

A Bargain: At first glance, replacing only the outdoor air conditioner may appear to be a bargain. But, when you consider the lower cooling efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it's not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system may cost more, but you get much more efficiency, reliability and comfort for years into the future.

Why don't you charge by the hour?

Similar to a value menu at a local restaurant, charging a flat rate cost instead of an hourly cost provides more value for our customers because everything is included, the pricing is up-front, and it does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to make the repairs, the price will not change. 

Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home air condition system?

You probably wouldn't get a brand-new car and assume to never have to inflate the tires, change the oil and examine any atypical noises. Your home air conditioner system is similar to your car’s engine, it’s a mechanical device with a motor, electrical components... and even gas. So it is essential to have routine maintenance of your home air condition system by a qualified technician. If not maintained properly and routinely, even the best air conditioning equipment could experience complications and become less efficient over time.

Why is my AC system freezing up?

There are an abundance of possibilities that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up; almost all of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician. Determining the air filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only tasks a homeowner should safely identify or handle themselves.

Low refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is initiated by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The length of time your system has been installed and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. On these occasions, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. You will need to contact a qualified technician to remedy the problem.

Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor running at an improper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be sporadic, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you will need to contact a qualified technician to correct the problem.

Should you discover that your system was freezing due to a dirty air filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can hasten the thawing process by turning the system off and then turning on only the fan. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact a qualified technician to solve the problem.

What is a Zoning System for an air conditioning system?

Zoning Systems separate your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that require specific temperature conditioning.

For example, a cathedral-style room with large bay windows may retain too much heat in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A zoning system will deliver more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help compensate for the heat gained or lost through the windows. A different example of areas that might benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theatre or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Contemporary families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. You could have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, a zoning system can maintain each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

 

When should I install a Zoning System?

If you are modifying your city area home air conditioner, it is the right time to also install a new zoning system to address hot and cold spots or special temperature preferences in the home. When your new comfort equipment is coordinated by a zoning system, your family benefits from customized temperature control in each zone.

Zoning is also excellent for new homes since the system can be installed during construction. If you are investing in a new home, check with your builder about a zoning system. It could make the difference between just enjoying your new house and being truly comfortable in it.

Are all HVAC air filters the same?

Daikin has more than a hundred years of experience manufacturing some of the finest air conditioning systems available. Your Grandma and Grandpa likely had Daikin equipment in their home—and in some cases they may still have the same system!

If you have Daikin equipment maintaining your home comfort, you can trust us to deliver factory-authorized professional service and repair.

We are a licensed, highly qualified, certified air conditioning company, with the skills and knowledge to keep your Daikin HVAC equipment rumnning in top condition. And with utility costs that help your bank account.

Contact us today for a Precision Tune-Up. That’s what we call our routine maintenance service to help assure reliable, energy-efficient operation of your Daikin AC system.

Or, if your cooling equipment ever need service give us a call anytime, we’re always available.

Can indoor air be hazardous to your health?

Absolutely! Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) important for homeowners to know about. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints and personal care products. The tight construction of today's homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a build up of contaminants within the home.

Poor IAQ can be a direct or indirect cause of several health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation. As well, two existing health problems that can be helped by improving indoor air quality are allergies and asthma. By removing airborne dust particles, the amount of exposure the respiratory system has to them is reduced. Proper ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality, helping to reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home.

How can I find carbon monoxide in my home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in a central location. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and emits an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have at least one detector adjacent to every living area, centrally located, or on each floor in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are best when used in combination with a maintenance plan

How can I eliminate indoor odours?

You may have tried to cover up indoor odours by spraying air fresheners or lighting candles. Unfortunately, these tactics only mask the odours; they don't get rid of them. These remedies may in fact negatively affect indoor air quality from chemicals that cause allergic reactions or eye irritation for homeowners.

Bacteria, dust mites, animal dander, cat saliva and mold may also be roots of your home's odour problem. One method to purify the air is integrating germicidal (UV) lights in your home, which helps kill odours and inhibit the growth of biological contaminants, sterilizing surfaces in the HVAC system. They also purify the air, preventing the growth of contaminants. The UV lights are installed to work with your home comfort system.

Sometimes poor ventilation contributes to unpleasant odours. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stagnate air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Service Experts technician can inspect your home comfort system to determine if this is an issue that should be addressed. The technician can also inform you how to solve the ventilation system’s ability to correctly circulate and ventilate indoor air.

How do I know which indoor air quality product is right for me?

Every person and every home entails a different comfort need. The threshold of irritancy and triggers that affect people’s health and comfort combine to determine the proper solutions. High threshold levels may require simple solutions like a better air filter. Low threshold levels may require an air purification system for the reduction of triggers and irritants. 

How healthy is my indoor air?

According to studies created by the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to air pollutants indoors can be 100 times higher than outdoors. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dust and dust mites present in your home. However, not all airborne particles can be eliminated. Filtration devices can help eliminate particles that are too small to be caught by a vacuum. Some filtration devices include UV light units, air filters, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and electronic air cleaners. 

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