Keep cool, save money
Universal Air and Heat has answers to your heating and cooling questions to help you save money
Living in South Florida, it is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of a properly functioning air conditioning system. Not only is it necessary to keep you cool during the nearly year round hot temperatures, but it will keep your monthly electric bill under control.
Universal Air & Heat service professionals arrive with fully-stocked trucks with all the common parts and standard tools needed for complete coil cleaning, fan cleanings, drain-line cleanings and more.
Mike Thompson, of Universal Air and Heat, answers some questions that will help readers ensure their heating and cooling systems are running as efficiently as possible – and what to do if they’re not
Question: What are SEERS?
Answer: SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt hours during the same time frame. SEERS range from 13 (lowest) and 21 (highest). The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system is.
Question: I bought my first house and am now responsible for air-conditioning care. What is the difference between all these stage systems and compressors, and what will help me with my electric bills?
Answer: A two-stage system is a much higher-quality system than a single-stage system. Most people purchase single-stage air-conditioning units because they are less expensive than a two- stage, but aside from the price factor, most people are not properly educated on the benefits of having a two-stage system. A single stage starts up at 100% capacity while two stages start up at 60% capacity, and 15 seconds later go into 100% capacity. A two-stage system draws less amperage on start up, which helps you save money on the electrical bill. Other added benefits of the two-stage system include on demand de-humidification features. If your home reaches the desired temperature set point but the humidity level is very high in the home, the system will go into de-humidification mode that brings the humidity levels down to the requested level. This allows you to have your home set at a higher temperature set point with less humidity in the air, so you are more comfortable in your home at an even higher temperature set point because there is less humidity in the air. If you are and FPL customers can check the average cooling costs for your home here.
Question: It’s 98 degrees outside and my AC is not blowing. What do I do?
Answer: Check the breakers, and if it is not related to an electrical short, call for service. You can check to see if you have a dirty filter, as this may cause the unit to freeze up.
Question: How do I care for the filter?
Answer: Filters should be changed or cleaned once per month. You can clean them by vacuuming it off and washing it with water (if it’s a washable filter). Let it dry completely before placing it back in. Use a good quality AC filter like an electrostatic washable, which we sell and can have custom made to fit in the AC unit. If you prefer to change the filter every month, invest in an electrostatic smart filter that has a custom-made aluminum frame and a rubber seal gasket that goes along with the top of the filter. With filters removed, check the coils by shining a flashlight. If they appear to have microbial growth on the coils or appear to be clogged in any way by dog hair or dirt impacts, have a specialist come in for a coil acid cleaning. The fan blower inside the AC should also be removed and cleaned once every two to three years.
Question: How often should I clean my air ducts?
Answer: If you have a really good filter and a UV light, you should only have to clean your ducts every three to four years. If you have a standard filter and no UV light, you should probably clean your ducts every one to two years. Different air-duct cleaning packages are available, depending on how dirty the ducts are. Call our experts and we can help determine how severe the air-duct buildup is.
Question: How do I care for my AC’s drain line?
Answer: Pour a little bit of bleach down the drain line pipe every six months — that will reduce the amount of algae build up in the drain line and reduce the chance of the drain line filling up with water.
Question: How often should I have my AC tuned up?
Answer: It is recommended that you check your unit every six months. We perform a 24-point inspection, and make recommendations on anything that needs to be done. Our service professionals arrive with fully- stocked trucks with all the common parts and standard tools needed for complete coil cleaning, fan cleanings, drain-line cleanings, UV light installations, etc. We offer both Air Conditioning Check-Ups and full AC Tune Up packages. We also offer “worry free” air conditioning maintenance contracts to ensure your heating and cooling system properly maintained throughout the year.
Question: What brands do you recommend?
Answer: Rheem, Trane, Carrier, Byrant, Payne, Goodman, and American Standard. We can help you to choose the best air conditioning system to best fit your needs and budget.
Universal Air and Heats sells, services and installs all major brands of heating and air conditioning equipment. We offer free in-home replacement Air Conditioning System estimates on all air conditioning and heating systems (HVAC) we sell. You will not find a lower price or better service than Universal Air and Heat and we back it up in writing with our Quality Assurance Guarantee.
Call Universal Air and Heat for all of your air conditioning and indoor air quality needs.