HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
Normally, refrigerant does not need to be added to Air Conditioning or Refrigeration systems. However, over time a certain percentage of systems develop refrigerant leaks. As a result, these systems may need to have refrigerant added at some point or at some frequency. The first obvious indication might be that the system seems to be running normally, but not up to capacity. A service technician would have to diagnose.
In light to normal usage once a year is OK. In a higher usage system, such as a restaurant or other commercial application, quarterly or semiannually would be appropriate.
Yes. The older mechanical thermostats are not nearly as reliable and consistent as the new solid state digital units. The older stats can actually cause your HVAC system to malfunction, especially the air conditioning function. In more severe climates, the programmable models can also save energy.
A few good ways to save are:
Fortunately the most common issues are frequently also the most easily remedied. These are electrical component failures, anything from fuses to thermostats to motors. Other common issues are dirty filters, dirty coils (inside or outside), inadequate air flow and loss of refrigerant.
Make sure that you have at least one carbon monoxide detector installed and occasionally tested. A technician can also check your system to a higher level certainty, as needed, or as a part of an annual system inspection.
The life expectancy of an air conditioning system ranges between 15 and 25 years based primarily on four key factors:
Quality of the Unit
Lower quality air conditioners will typically fail much faster due to the quality of parts installed.
Even if your system is well built, parts will eventually wear down and need replacement or repair.
Routine maintenance is the number one factor in extending the life of your air conditioning system. Maintenance includes tasks such as the changing of filters as well as having professional maintenance tune-ups including:
Amount of Use
Surprisingly, your air conditioning life span is affected most by frequent on-and-off cycles.
If the air conditioner is not properly sized for the home it will either run too much or cycle on and off too often causing it to fail sooner.
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