8 Expert Approved Questions to Help You Understand More About Air Conditioning

8 Expert-Approved Questions to Help You Understand More About Air Conditioning

Date - 04/17/2023

Attentive students in college lecture room

Don’t be afraid! We truly believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you aren’t a trained HVAC professional, or you haven’t worked in the business, how would you know about this specialized equipment? It’s good to ask questions.

Because Air Therm has been in the business a very long time, we know the answers and want to make it easy for you to understand your air conditioner. It is, after all, one of the most important systems of your home here in sunny Savannah!

Here are 8 basic questions that will enhance your knowledge and understanding and give you what you really need to know.

ONE: How does an air conditioner work?

It might seem like magic, but it’s not. An air conditioner works by removing heat and moisture from the air inside a room or building and expelling it outside. It does this by pushing air over coils that are cooled by a refrigerant where the heat is extracted and then released outside in the form of moisture.

TWO: What size air conditioner do I need for my house?

Air conditioners are not a “one-size-fits-all” option. Every home is different. No space is the same.

The correct sizing of your air conditioner depends on multiple factors:

  • What kind of climate you’re in. (Here in Savannah, Georgia, it’s hot and humid much of the year.)
  • The size in square footage of your home.
  • The number of windows and doors.
  • The kind and thickness of insulation you have.

Professionals use a formula called the Manual J Load calculation to determine the appropriate size of air conditioner.

Unless you’re a mathematician or a trained HVAC professional, it’s better to call us so that we can calculate the system that will best cool and heat your home and fit your lifestyle and your budget.

It's important to note that an air conditioner that is too small for a home will struggle to keep the space cool, while an air conditioner that is too large will waste energy and result in higher utility bills.

Size matters!

Air Therm works with multiple manufacturers, styles, and types of air conditioning systems. We can find the unit that provides optimal comfort and fits in with your budget for your home.

THREE: What’s the difference between a window air conditioner and a portable air conditioner?

Because people are often looking for low-cost ways to cool their home, they often ask us about the big-box store options, and a common question we get is about the difference between a window unit and a portable air conditioner.

A window air conditioner is designed to be installed and mounted in a window. They were first patented in the 1930s but didn’t become popular until the 1950s after World War II during the housing boom. One million of them were sold in 1953, and they’ve been popular ever since.

Window air conditioners are typically more powerful and efficient than portable units although they can be noisy.

Portable air conditioners are more convenient than window air units and can be moved from location to location. They became popular in the 1980s when technology allowed them to be smaller and more efficient.

While these options offer a temporary solution, neither is as good as a mini-split or a central air system. They cool less space, require more maintenance, and don’t last as long, but they are less expensive than the more powerful, whole-house systems.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a quote about a whole-house central air system or a minisplit, ductless system for your home.

FOUR: How often should I change my air conditioner filter?

This is probably the most common question we get.

It’s also the one that even though we talk about it a lot, people ignore the most.

Our best advice is that you should change your air conditioner filter every month. If it’s on a monthly schedule, you won’t forget about doing this simple task. More importantly, you will know that your air is being filtered and that germs, dust, pet hair, and chemicals are being taken out of your air. You’ll breathe easier, and your health and productivity will improve.

Another advantage of changing your filter frequently is that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to push the air through the filter. If the filter is clogged, your system has to work much harder than if the filter is fresh and clean. The less hard your filter has to work, the less energy you use and the longer your air conditioner will last.

Filthy filters mean dirty air.

FIVE: My air conditioner is noisy. Is this normal?

An air conditioner in good working order should be very quiet and make less noise than a typical conversation. (You should never have to raise your voice to talk when the AC comes on.) The amount of noise an air conditioner makes varies depending on the model, the size, and the age of the unit.

A good central air conditioning system shouldn’t make enough noise to be noticeable, in the range of 50-60 decibels.

Mini-split or ductless systems are even quieter with some rated at 35 decibels.

In general, the newer the model, the quieter and more efficient it will be. Well-maintained units that have received twice-yearly tune-ups will be dramatically quieter than units that are not maintained.

If your air conditioner is noisy, that probably means that it’s got issues: loose or damaged parts, a dirty filter, debris in the ductwork, a faulty fan motor, or any number of other causes.

If you don’t know about Air Therm’s Comfort Club, you need to!

We offer TWO tune-ups per year on every unit in your home for just $99. In addition, Comfort Club membership provides perks. You’ll get discounts on repairs and front-of-the-line service!

Call us at 912-234-7268.

SIX: How long will my air conditioner last?

In the South, like here in the Savannah region, we use our air conditioners more than people in the North or in more temperate climates. Air conditioners in coastal communities like Savannah have a shorter lifespan than in the North. First because we use them more, and second, because the salt in the air makes them age faster. Here, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is 7-12 years. The more routine maintenance they have, the longer they’ll last, usually 10 to 12 years.

It’s been proven that regular maintenance extends the lifespan of an air conditioner by up to 40%, or approximately 4 years or more.

SEVEN: Can I do any troubleshooting if my air conditioner is not working properly?

You wouldn’t believe how many times over the past two decades someone has called us to their home to check a malfunctioning unit only to find out that it was unplugged or had kicked off because of a filthy filter.

If your air conditioner is not working properly, you should check the power source, the thermostat settings, and the air filter. Then call Air Therm! 912-234-7268.

EIGHT: How often should I have my air conditioner serviced?

You should have your air conditioner serviced twice a year, usually once before the heat sets in and once before the cooler weather comes. As we’ve mentioned, routine maintenance can help improve the performance and lifespan of your unit and cut your energy costs by keeping your system running at its most efficient.

Our Original $99 Comfort Club guarantees you two tune-ups per year on each unit in your home, plus perks of priority service and discounted repairs.

Never be afraid to ask:

We’re here to help. We NEVER laugh at questions. In fact, we welcome them!

Air Therm is here to treat each customer like our grandma and to provide the family-feeling service that other companies can’t deliver.

Call us for quotes, repairs, maintenance, air filtration systems, or Comfort Club membership.

“We treat you like our grandma!”