FAQ

Filters vary in effectiveness and some, by design, will stay effective for a year. Checking your filter often (every month) will help you determine how often yours needs to be changed. It is recommended that the filter be changed at the beginning of the heating season and the beginning of the cooling season if you have central air conditioning. There's no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency of filter changes is driven by how much your heating and air conditioning system operates, which is also driven by your individual climate. Start by checking the system's filters at least once a month. Hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to a clean "spare." When light is obscured by captured dust and dirt particles, the old filter should be changed. Keep a record for one year and then replace the filter on that basis. At a minimum, it is always a good idea to change filters at the start of the heating and cooling seasons and then in between according to your need. Also, it is a good idea to have your heating and air system checked at the beginning of heating and cooling season to insure proper operation.

Look at the label on the equipment for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old, it may have a warranty, but also may not. Warranty terms and conditions vary widely by manufacturer and the installing company. Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning can determine the warranty status of your heating and air conditioning system from a basic System Inspection. We also offer an exclusive Comfort Club Service Agreement for residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of the equipment age or manufacturer warranty status.

The louder the better doesn't necessarily hold true for heating and air conditioning equipment. Heating and air conditioning equipment should offer maximum comfort with minimum noise. Fortunately, today's technology has enabled manufacturers to produce air conditioners and heat pumps that are not only highly efficient, but also exceptionally quiet. Loud heating and air conditioning equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of an air conditioning system can have a considerable effect on comfort. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors. The age of the unit and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes. Although most heating and air conditioning systems manufactured today are quieter than ever before, it's a good idea to compare sound ratings when shopping for a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms. Great differences in the sound levels of products on the market today can make all the difference in just how comfortable you can be at home.

A diagnostic fee, sometimes called a "trip charge," is a flat fee for the cost associated with the time and travel to diagnose a problem with a home's comfort system.

In addition to a System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up and Precision Clean also includes a complete cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. The cost of a tune-up varies by location, and can generally range anywhere between $60 and $89. Often, printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups, as well as other services, are available on our website.

A popping sound is a sign of undersized ducts. Have a qualified company analyze your ductwork system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can cause a number of ventilation and air quality problems. Leave it up to Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning, your duct pros also specializing in duct cleaning, sealing and sanitation.

To protect our environment, numerous changes have taken place with refrigerants used in air conditioning and heat pump systems. These changes are having and will continue to have a significant impact on the air conditioning industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants. These changes will eventually eliminate air conditioning and heat pump refrigerants containing chlorine because of the concern about depletion of the ozone layer. In response, Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning is offering consumers a choice in environmentally friendlier refrigerants. The chlorine-free refrigerant R-410A will reduce damage to the ozone. R-410A is used by all manufacturers but is often marketed under different names, such as "Puron" brought to you by Bryant. Providing products that protect the environment and providing consumers with a total home comfort solution have been and will continue to be priorities of Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning. Our products that use the environmentally friendlier R-410A refrigerant are win-win solutions for consumers wanting high-efficiency products that are less taxing on our environment. Although the government has begun phasing out a commonly used refrigerant, consumers who have cooling systems that use this product should not worry. The HCFC family of refrigerants, which include R-22, will still be available for many years. Sufficient quantities of R-22 refrigerant will continue to be produced until the year 2020. After 2020, recycled refrigerants will be available for many years.

The answer is most likely yes, and here are the reasons why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. The result of this matched system is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may "work" with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically designed; however, the result is a definite compromise in system performance.

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

Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may result in improved efficiency compared to the old system, it will not be as efficient as it was designed to be and your savings will be lower than with a matched system.

Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit is 10 years old and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of wear and tear. Replacing both units means you won't have to replace the indoor unit in a short time… you'll have years of service from both units.

New Warranty: A new unit also gives you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit at the same time as the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing the new warranty covers the entire system.

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

Like value menus at fast food restaurants, charging a flat rate for the repairs provides more value for our customers because the pricing is upfront and does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to make the repair, the flat rate price will not change. This is the reason why Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning is Muskegon's trusted home comfort service provider.

You wouldn't buy a brand new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? Well, in the same way, it is important to have regular inspections of your home comfort system by a Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning technician. If not maintained properly, even the best equipment could cause problems.

There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up. Most need to be corrected by your local Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning service technician. Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you can check or handle yourself.

Low Refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is caused 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 age of the system, 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. When this happens, 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 your local Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning service technician to correct the problem.

Defective Blower Motor or Relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, 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 your local Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning service technician to correct the problem.

Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact your local Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning service technician to correct the problem.

Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas and makes your comfort equipment cool or heat only areas that need conditioning. For example, a living room with large windows may stay too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. A zoning system will send more conditioned air to the living room to make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows.

Why zone? Today's families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Maybe you 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, zoning can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

If you are replacing your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is an excellent time to install a zoning system. When your new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, you will have precise control in each zone. Houses that had been nearly impossible to keep comfortable are a thing of the past. Zoning is also excellent for new homes since it is installed during construction. If you are buying 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.

HVAC (pronounced h-vack or spelled out) stands for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. The three functions of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning are closely interrelated. All seek to provide thermal comfort, acceptable indoor air quality, and reasonable installation, operation, and maintenance costs. HVAC systems can provide ventilation, reduce air infiltration, and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. Your heating and air technician goes by the name of HVAC contractor, and can provide heating repair expertise.

A fan draws indoor air in through vents called return grills located throughout your home. The air travels through ducts that run to your systems' air handler, where it is returned into the conditioned space through supply vents or registers in your wall, ceilings or floors.

Although your present furnace or air conditioner may be working, if it is more than 15 years old you should consider replacing it with a new high efficiency system. A new heating and air conditioning system could save up to 50% on energy costs, and save you money in the long run on heating repairs. While these products save you money on your utility bills, they also offer a better degree of comfort within your home.

Since January 2006, all residential air conditioners sold in the United States must have at least a 13 SEER. SEER is the abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is a U.S. government standard energy rating and reflects the overall system efficiency of your cooling system. An EER is short for Energy Efficiency Ratio and doesn't take into consideration the time of year, but rather the system's energy efficiency at the peak operating use.

Replacing your system is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. The reason for this is that the life expectancy of a system is around 15 years. When choosing a contractor, pick a company to install the unit based on quality and customer service, not solely on price. The name brand of the equipment is not as important as the installing contractor. Another thing to keep in mind when replacing a system is that the duct system you are connecting to is sealed tight with the proper amount of return air. With the new higher efficiency units, you also have to be careful that you replace your system with the proper sized unit so you don't end up with a house that is cool but has high humidity. Do some homework, pick quality contractors, and find someone you trust and you will have a successful installation that will bring you years of comfort and the least amount of overall cost.

Confusingly, the unit has little to do with weight, as used in everyday language. One ton of refrigeration is the term used to refer to 12,000 BTUs/hour (British Thermal Units/Hour) of cooling effect. Thus, a condensing unit with a cooling capacity of 60,000 BTUs/hour is said to have a capacity of 5 tons.

Since July 1, 1992, it is illegal to release refrigerants into the atmosphere, either intentional or accidental, because they can cause severe damage to the ozone layer. When refrigerants such as Chlorofluorocarbon's (CFCs) are removed, they should be recycled to clean out any contaminants and returned to a usable condition.

The portion of the Clean Air Act that applies to the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry encourages the development of ozone-friendly substitutes for chemicals that contain ozone destroying chlorine, which are called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The chemical refrigerant of choice for more than four decades, referred to as R-22, is in the HCFC category. R-22 is widely used in heat pumps and AC condensing units to heat and cool homes. Today, a refrigerant called R-410A is used because of its ozone-friendly properties.

Radon is an invisible, radioactive atomic gas that results from the radioactive decay of radium, which may be found in rock formations beneath buildings or in certain building materials themselves. Radon is probably the most pervasive serious hazard for indoor air quality in the United States and probably responsible for thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year. Proper testing can be done for the presence of radon and measures taken to minimize it affects, contact your local Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning service technician to diagnose and correct the problem.