Below are some of the most common questions homeowners ask about heating and air conditioning systems. Just click on the question that interests you to go directly to the answer:
Q. Why should I replace my existing heating or air conditioning system?
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. If you plan on financing the purchase, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system. The offsetting savings may permit you to purchase a more efficient system.
Q. How expensive are air conditioning and heat pump systems?
Many factors affect the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, the type and condition of the duct work installed and accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs, including your financial ones!
Contact us in finding the right system to meet not only your comfort needs but also your household budget.
Q. What is involved in replacing an old system?
Aside from the placement of the new equipment, your American Standard dealer will inspect several items and make a determination of whether or not these items need to be supplied or replaced.
Some of the items include: duct work, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.
Q. How do I select the right heating/cooling system?
First, make sure the unit is properly sized. Your American Standard dealer will provide a load calculation for your home. Also ask the dealer to provide an energy analysis to determine operating cost. Next, consider any comfort issues in the home. Some products can reduce air stratification and uneven temperatures from room to room. If you have allergies, an indoor unit with an ECM motor will allow you to circulate the air in your home continuously while filtering the air for about the same cost as operating a standard light bulb.
Finally, know your budget parameters and the efficiency of the system being proposed. Does the system offer a payback? In other words, will the monthly savings over time offset the cost of the new unit or efficiency option being considered?
Q. What is involved in installing a new system?
If a system is being added to the home for the first time, most of the items noted in the previous question and answer may be required to install the new system. Besides the equipment, the most significant component is duct work.
The duct work can be either metal or fiberglass duct work. The duct work needs to be properly sized to deliver the right amount of air to each room. The duct work consists of supply and return duct work.
The supply duct is attached to the outlet of the furnace or air handler and delivers air to individual zones in your home. Your American Standard dealer will determine the size of the duct work going into a space by the amount of air that needs to be delivered to the space.
Q. How long can I expect a new system to last?
If you have a qualified technician perform regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years (sea coast applications may be less) and a gas furnace should last as many as 20-25 years.
Q. What are some preventative maintenance things I should be aware of?
With the proper attention, heating and cooling systems can keep you comfortable year-round. Heat pumps and oil-fired furnaces and boilers need a yearly professional tune-up. Gas-fired equipment, on the other hand, burns cleaner and can be serviced every other year. A close inspection will uncover leaks, soot, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires. In furnace (forced-air) and boiler (hot-water) systems, the inspection should also cover the chimney, duct work or pipes, dampers or valves, blower or pump, registers or radiators, the fuel line and the gas meter or oil tank — as well as every part of the furnace or boiler itself.
Next, the system should be run through a full heating cycle to ensure that it has plenty of combustion air and chimney draft. Finally, cleaning the burner and heat exchanger to remove soot and other gunk will prevent such buildup from impeding smooth operation. For the burner, efficiency hinges on adjusting the flame to the right size and color, adjusting the flow of gas or changing the fuel filter in an oil-fired system.
A check of the heat pump should include an inspection of the compressor, fan, indoor and outdoor coils and refrigerant lines. Indoor and outdoor coils should be cleaned, and the refrigerant pressure should be checked.
Q. Should I change my indoor coil?
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 covered in my warranty?
All American Standard products come with a written limited warranty on parts. This warranty states that a replacement part will be furnished for any part of the product that fails in normal use and service during the applicable warranty period specified in accordance with the warranty’s terms.
Your authorized American Standard dealer can review with you the warranty periods for the products you select.