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FAQs

We know when you are looking for HVAC, Air Conditioning, Heating and/or Refrigeration Equipment in Houston, Spring, Tomball, Montgomery, Conroe, Cypress and surrounding areas, it can be difficult to navigate choices. We also know you may have questions. Here is a list of commonly asked questions. If you need any further assistance, please feel free to give us a call directly at (936) 520-2765.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

How often should I replace my HVAC air filters?

Your air filters should be replaced every one to three months depending on usage and the type filter you have in your home. This is vitally important to the performance of your HVAC systems and your indoor air quality.

How important is my indoor air quality?

The short answer? So important! Your indoor air quality can be as much as 100 times worse than the outdoor air. That means pollutants, allergens, dust, and mildew can be circulating in your home affecting your family’s health and wellbeing. Improving and maintaining your indoor air quality is vitally important to your home and family.

 

Why is R-22 being phased out?

HCFC-22, commonly called R-22, has been a common refrigerant used in residential heat pumps and air conditioners for more than 40 years. But releases of R-22, such as those from leaks, contribute to ozone depletion, and the making of R-22 results in a byproduct that contributes to global warming. This refrigerant is now being phased out by the EPA. Chemical manufacturers are no longer able to produce R-22 which has made the cost continue to rise.

Can any home have central air?

Almost any home can include central air conditioning, if you’re willing to invest in ductwork and make design allowances for it. But before you make that decision, schedule an in-home consultation with an HVAC expert like Gross Heating—we can give you a better idea of what would be involved and also explain alternative cooling options, like ductless split systems.

When should I replace my existing AC unit?

Ideally, you should do it before your current system fails and leaves you rushed to make a replacement decision. Fortunately, there are a few signs that indicate it’s time to start looking at your options: your unit is more than 10 years old, it’s not keeping up with your needs, you notice a big increase in your cost to run it, or it needs regular refrigerant refills. In some cases, a simple repair may be all that’s needed, but if it’s no longer safe or practical to put more money into your AC, we’ll explain that, too, and make recommendations for the most appropriate replacement.  

How do I know what size air conditioning unit my house needs?

A licensed and insured HVAC specialist like those at Gross Heating should be consulted before you add or replace a cooling system. We’ll do a proper calculation that factors in the layout and square footage of your house, average climate, the number and type of windows, insulation, and even the number of people living in the home. Without these considerations, you could end up with a unit that is not big enough, meaning it will likely not keep up with your cooling needs or last as long as expected—or a system that is so big that it constantly cycles on and off and wastes energy.

What is SEER?

All air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The higher that number is, the more efficient your unit is. The current industry minimum for new air conditioners is 13, but state-of-the-art equipment can reach a SEER as high as 21. While the initial cost of the latter may be higher, the lower monthly operating costs will actually save you money over the life of the system.

When running my AC, should the thermostat fan switch be set to "auto" or "on"?

If you’re interested in keeping your cooling costs down, use the auto setting so the fan only runs when needed to maintain the set temperature. However, if you prefer a more consistent temperature, use the on setting for uninterrupted airflow. This option may also be beneficial if you have allergies or asthma because air will constantly be filtered as it flows through the system.

My AC isn’t working—what should I check before calling?

Before you call us, check the basics: test the batteries in your thermostat, check for a tripped breaker or blown fuse, change your air filter, make sure the system is set to cool, and that the setting is at least three degrees below current room temperature. If one of these five simple problems are not to blame, call us for a complete cooling system checkup.

My air conditioner runs for a while but freezes up—why?

There are lots of reasons for this, and almost all of them will require help from a professional technician. Start by making sure your air filter is clean and that airflow is not restricted. If the filter was at fault, speed up the thawing process by turning your system off, then turning on the fan only—just make sure you switch the system settings back to normal after. Other possible causes are low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil, or a defective blower motor or relay.

Is there anything I can do to make my air conditioner more energy-efficient?

Here are a few easy ways to minimize your summer energy use and cooling costs:

  • Make sure all air vents are open and unrestricted.

  • Get a programmable thermostat so your AC doesn’t run continually when you’re gone.

  • Do regular maintenance and filter changes.

  • Use ceiling fans so you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees and still feel comfortable.

  • If you want the ultimate efficiency, ask us about higher SEER systems and special attic insulation.

How often does my AC need maintenance?

We recommend twice a year, once in the spring to check your cooling system and again just before winter to check your heating system.  Though Texans may not use their heating system as much, we still recommend a furnace check to improve the performance and to meet certain manufacturer requirements to maintain their warranty.  While regular preventive service can extend the life of your unit, there’s a certain point when repairing your AC is no longer cost-effective. When this time comes, we can walk you through the steps of comparing and choosing the best new system for your home and budget.  

 

Do you service window air conditioners?

In most cases, it’s not practical to repair a window air conditioner. But before you replace it, consider a better option: a ductless mini split system. It allows you to cool a room without ductwork or one that is often too hot in spite of central air, but it’s more efficient, much quieter, and safer because you can lock your windows and run lines through just a three-inch hole in the wall.