Frequently Asked Questions – Kaminer Heating and Cooling
Q: After my air conditioner runs for awhile, ice forms on the unit outside, it stops cooling and no air is blowing out of the vents. What could be the problem?
A: More then likely it’s either low on refrigerant or low on air flow. As a Columbia homeowner, you can try replacing your filter and allowing the unit to thaw out. If the problem reoccurs, call Morris-Jenkins to schedule service on your system.
Q: How do I know when my carbon monoxide detector needs to be replaced?
A: Most store-bought CO detectors have a limited lifespan ‘ usually less than 5 years. Many people think they can just plug in their CO detector and forget about it. It’s important to understand that all detectors eventually lose their sensory capabilities and must be replaced. If your CO detector is a few years old, it’s best to replace it. You can also test the detector using a CO test kit available at many retailers.
Q: How often should I change the standard throw-away 1 filter?
A: You should change the standard 1″ filter every 6-8 weeks. Believe it or not, a filter actually becomes more efficient as it gets dirtier”up to a point. After peak efficiency is reached, the efficiency drops again. Make sure to inspect the filter and use your own judgement. Don’t let the filter get clogged as this can cut down on the efficiency and/or cause damage to the unit.
Q: What does SEER and AFUE mean?
A: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Basically, it tells you how efficiently it converts electricity to cooling comfort. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. By federal law all units must be a 13 SEER or higher.
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This rating tells you how much of your heating dollars are converted to heat energy put into your home and how much is lost up the flue pipe. Most older furnaces are 60% efficient. That means that for every dollar you spend for gas from your utility company $0.60 cents is used to heat your home and $0.40 cents goes up the chimney. Federal law mandates that all furnaces being produced today be at least 80% efficient and many of our furnaces are 90% plus in efficiency. Often times if you replace on old, energy-wasting furnace the savings on your utility bills will more than cover the cost of the new furnace.
Q: If I go away for a few days in the winter, what temperature should I set my thermostat at?
A: We recommend 65° F. It’s low enough to save you energy and money, but warm enough to protect your pipes. Also, it’s a good idea to turn your main water supply off even if you’re only going to be gone for a day. A water leak could cause serious and very costly damage to your home.
Q: How important is adding humidity to my home?
A: In the winter air is drier. This dry air can damage the woodwork and furniture you have in your home as well as zap the moisture from your skin. Dry air even makes you feel cooler because your body senses heat as a combination of temperature and humidity. Adding humidity to offset this drying process will improve your comfort as well as preserve the woodwork in your home. As an added benefit, you may actually be able to lower your thermostat a couple of degrees. You will not only feel warmer, but will actually lower your heating bill!
Q: Why is the upstairs of my house always hot?
A: If you only have one system, your system is probably either undersized or your home actually calls for two systems. Many builders install one system in a home to save money, when two systems are needed to keep the upstairs comfortable.
If your system was sized and installed correctly, you should consider installing a zone system if possible. A zone system involves putting dampers in the ductwork to redirect airflow to the part of the house that needs it the most at the time. Sometimes this addition will improve air movement and help make the upper levels more comfortable.