At ARM Heating & Air, it is our responsibility to ensure that each of our clients have all the information needed when making decisions regarding their comfort standards. In doing so, we have designed this page that is complete with some of the most common questions we answer on a daily basis.

Q. Are there tax credits that can be applied toward the installation of a new system?

A. Absolutely! Tax Credits are available through the new stimulus package. The new law will allow homeowners to claim 30% of the costs (up to a $500 limit) for the installation of higher efficiency HVAC systems in the tax year 2011. “Everyone can use a tax break,” So now is the time to upgrade your heating and air conditioning system. The tax credits will help homeowners offset the upfront investment and shorten their payback period. Qualifying heating and cooling equipment under this stimulus package must meet certain efficiency ratings established by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Save up to $300 on a qualifying air conditioner, heat pump, or packaged system.
  • Save up to $150 on a qualifying furnace.
  • Save up to $50 on a qualifying product with an advanced circulator fan.

Q. What is SEER rating?

A. SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is a measure of the energy efficiency of the air conditioning system. A higher SEER rating means more efficiency, or in other words lower energy cost to cool your home. Federal restrictions currently require all new systems produced to have a 13 SEER rating or higher. If you have an air conditioner with a SEER rating lower than 13, you may want to consider replacement to improve performance and lower your energy costs.

Q. How often should my filters be cleaned or replaced?

A. Replace the throwaway filter once a month. That’s the most important thing you as a homeowner can do. A dirty and clogged filter reduces the efficiency of your system, causes erratic performance of controls and can result in damage to the motor or compressor. Inspect the filter at least once a month when the system is in constant operation.

Q. How do you properly set a thermostat?

A. Your thermostat switch should be set to either the “heat” or “cool” position. Set the thermostat control indicator to the temperature you prefer. Set the blower switch in either the “on” or “auto” position. If the blower is set to the “auto” position, the fan will cycle on and off automatically when the thermostat calls for cooling or heating. If the blower is set to the “on” position, the indoor fan will circulate air through your duct system and remains on. Under high humidity conditions, the “auto” position should be used. For ideal comfort, most people are comfortable with a “heat” setting between 68 and 70 degrees and a “cool” setting between 75 and 78 degrees.

Q. Does setting the thermostat to a lower position make the unit cool faster?

A. No, to achieve a more even temperature and humidity control, keep your thermostat set allowing the unit to operate automatically for you.

Q. How does an air conditioning system work?

A. An air conditioning system consists of two units which coordinate together to provide the maximum comfort results you receive in your home. Located outside of your home, the outdoor unit contains a liquid refrigerant that is distributed over the indoor coil and removes the heat from the air. The ending result is that the air conditioner has the ability to not only cool but dehumidify the air.

Q. Why should I replace my existing heating or air-conditioning system?

A. You may wish to consider replacing your air-conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient, or in need of repair. Today’s systems are as much as 60% more efficient than those systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. In addition, if not properly maintained, wear and tear on a system can reduce the actual or realized efficiency of the system. If you are concerned about utility bills or are faced with an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system rather than enduring another costly season or paying to replace an expensive component. The utility cost savings of a new unit may provide an attractive return on your investment.

Q. Should I change my indoor coil?

A. When replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, the answer is most likely yes. The efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on the performance as part of a matched system. If only the outdoor portion is changed, the efficiency and savings could be less than that of a matched system.

Q. What is a heat pump?

A. Heat pumps are comfort systems that use refrigerant to both cool and heat a house. When cooling, the heat pump transfers heat from the inside of the house to the outside, making the interior of the house cooler. When the outside air is cold, the heat pump reverses itself and transfers heat from the outside to the inside of the house. Heat pumps often utilize electric heat strips to supplement the transfer of heat and warm the interior of the house faster.

Q. What can I do to ensure my system is working properly season after season?

A. There are many things you can do to ensure your comfort and maximum efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Most importantly, keep it clean and free from debris. Make sure you are checking and replacing your filters regularly and keep the outdoor unit free from grass overgrowth. Most importantly, be sure that you have your system checked at least once a year. Call today to schedule a maintenance checkup.

We hope this page has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to Ask An Expert or call (707) 585-0736.