What size air filter do I need and what kind should I buy?

HVAC systems have air filters to help keep them clean and air flowing properly. Filter sizes are determined by the size of the system and duct work. Commonly, air filters are 1” thick, then the filter is measured length by width. When choosing a filter to purchase, don’t get caught up in marketing ploys by filter manufacturers. Too dense of a filter will starve your system for return air. Stick with throw-away filters with a MERV rating of 8 or lower.

Should I Repair or Replace my R-22 heat pump or air conditioner?

Manufacturing of residential cooling systems using freon or R-22 stopped in 2010 and the production of the refrigerant ended in 2020. This began in the 90’s because of the negative impacts of R-22 to our ozone. Being at least 10-years old most R-22 air conditioners or heat pumps are nearing or have already exceeded their average lifespan of 12-14 years. A diminishing supply of R-22 has also resulted in a dramatic price increase for freon refrigerant. As a result, making a major repair on an R-22 system is often not the best course of action.

How Do I Keep My Basement Dry? Why Does My Basement Smell Musty?

The musty smell in a basement is usually from mold or mildew growth because of higher humidity levels. Adding return air from an HVAC system is a good way to lower the humidity in the basement but ultimately a whole-house dehumidifier or dedicated system, like a ductless mini-split is the best way to keep your basement dry.

Is Duct Cleaning Messy?

The short answer – no, it shouldn’t be. Our duct cleanings consist of sealing each individual supply and return grille throughout the house. Then air-washing each line one at a time back to a commercial-grade, HEPA vacuum installed near the air handler or furnace. Finally sweeping the entire supply and return trunks to make certain all dirt and debris have been removed from the system. In a basic duct system, this process can easily take an entire day.

Why is my Air Conditioner Frozen?

If you find your air conditioner frozen in a block of ice, it’s best to immediately turn the system off and let it completely thaw before any additional damage occurs. There can be several reasons as to why this happens.
First, check that the system is collecting warm air from the house by confirming that return vents are clear and the air filter in the system is not clogged. Bigger issues include low refrigerant or an issue with the systems fan. Regardless, this is a clear indication of a problem and should be diagnosed by a professional right away.

Why is my Second Floor Hot?

This is a very common occurrence during the cooling season. Of course, heat naturally rises, but that’s not the primary culprit. A major contributing factor is the amount of heat that a second floor is gaining from the attic, many attics can reach 150° or higher in the summer. If an attic is under-insulated, this heat has no problem affecting the comfort of the second floor.
Second floors can also suffer from a lack of return air, while the system in the house pulls most of the warm air through the path of least resistance, i.e. the first floor, this results in hot air becoming trapped upstairs. Duct design and thermostat location also play major roles in temperature differences. Adjusting balance dampers can be a way to force more cool air to the second floor.

Why Is My Heat Pump Smoking?

A heat pump may look like it is smoking during the heating season but really it is steam as the system goes into a defrost-mode to remove frost from the coils. As long as you are not smelling smoke, this is normal operation for a heat pump in the winter.

What Is A Good SEER Rating?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER, is a way to measure an air conditioner or heat pumps performance during the cooling season. The minimum SEER in Pennsylvania is 13 for A/C and 14 for heat pumps. When considering replacing either, the SEER is only part of the equation, even those minimums will be an improvement on many systems over 10 years old. So, don’t get overly hung-up on a SEER rating, consider all of the other features and benefits and how a system will perform for you and your home.

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

An accurately sized air conditioner is critical to the performance of your system and the comfort of your home. A load calculation should be performed by a professional to determine the exact heating and cooling needs of your home. There is no real rule-of-thumb as it encompasses much more than just the square footage of the home.

When Should I Open My Top/Bottom Wall Return Vents?

In the summer or cooling season, the upper vents should be open to return the rising hot air and keep cool air from falling. Conversely, in the winter the bottom vents should be open to pull hot air down and the cold air off of the floor.