Do you have HVAC FAQs that are burning a hole in your brain? Let the Dobbs Heating and Air Expert Technicians Answer your Frequently Asked Questions about all your HVAC needs. Go ahead! Ask away!
Q. How do I know if I need a new heating and cooling system?
A. Every home or business is different. Every ventilation system is different. We can gladly send an experienced Dobbs Comfort Specialist to your home for a FREE consultation to examine your home inside and out to determine the right system for your needs. Many homeowners assume that a new HVAC system will solve their problems, and sometimes that is the case, but frequently there are underlying issues that need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve the kinds of efficiencies possible with a new unit.
Q. How can I reduce my energy costs for home heat and air?
A. There are several short-term and long-term solutions to reducing your energy costs. Here are a few:
1) Control the Climate with non-emotional temperature adjustment- Georgia Power recommends keeping your winter and summer thermostat temps on the 8s to save money and keep your performance consistent. That means 68 for wintertime and 78 for summertime. Personally, I like to keep it within a couple degrees of 72 in all four seasons, but that’s just me. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! If you have to choose between feeding the kids and feeding the thermostat, please make the wise choice!
2) Upgrade your system to a higher-efficiency system- Swapping your old, rickety AC unit for a high-efficiency unit can cut electricity bills by up to one-third, all while keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter! Win-Win! Schedule a FREE In-Home Consultation with a Dobbs representative today and receive a free estimate that shows how much you can save by upgrading to a high efficiency system.
4) Don't block the vents in well-used rooms - For instance, in your living room you should keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like cats, rugs, blinds, carpet, tables, lamps, chair or couches so your heat and AC can operate efficiently and evenly throughout the entire room.
5) Have your local HVAC service technician install a programmable thermostat - An electronic, programmable thermostat from Dobbs will allow you to control your home or business's temperature, even when you're at work, on vacation, or asleep. Hot when you go to sleep, cold when you wake? Set your thermostat to adjust for that! Make the best use of your heating and air conditioning resources! If you lower your thermostat 1° for at least seven hours a day, you can save at least 1% on your heating bill. The same principle applies (inversely proportional) to saving on your cooling costs.
Q. So I want the biggest HVAC unit you have. I always live by the “Go big or Go home” philosophy. But my neighbor says a huge unit can actually give me worse performance. What do you think?
A. LOL! I applaud your enthusiasm. And if you have enough square footage and a well-constructed ventilation system, a giant system can be phenomenal. But if you aren’t living at the Biltmore Estates, your neighbor may have a point. You don't really want your HVAC Unit to be a great deal larger than your needs. Domestic A/C systems control the comfort level in your home both by cooling the air around you, and by removing unnecessary humidity. This causes both short-term and long-term relief from the heat on your skin. An oversized air conditioner can cool your home faster, but it will use more energy and will not remove humidity adequately, thereby reducing the actual comfort of those in your home. Additionally, your ventilation system may not be able to support the massive airflow of a giant system.
There are also long-term, accumulative problems with a giant unit for a smaller space. A unit that is too big for your home will have shorter, abbreviated run cycles. It can take a relatively short amount time to cool the air, but a bigger unit will shut off before an adequate amount of air blows across the indoor coil. The indoor coil is the place where moisture condenses into water, and eventually drains from your system. If you have too much moisture in your air, it can lead to mold and mildew problems in your home. What a nightmare! Short-run cycles can also mean your system starts and stops more often. And just like a car that starts and stops multiple times, this uses more energy and can cause additional wear and tear on the entire HVAC unit. Just like florescent lights, an AC unit operates more efficiently during longer run cycles.
Q. How long should I expect my HVAC unit to last at my home?
A. Great question! According to our sources, experience, and track record, most of the systems that we install have an operational lifetime, on average, of 10-15 years. When your unit ages, the operational efficiency goes way down. Sleek, slick units that really hum can become noisy and rickety. When big appliances get rickety, things tend to rattle loose, come apart, and break down. You will have poorer performance, and your unit will need repairs quite often. Either that, or you will adjust to terrible heating and cooling parameters inside your home. When this starts happening, and you become aware of it, you really have two options for improving your home heating and air scenario:
- Full-system overhaul
- Full-system replacement
Because technology in the heating and cooling world can change quickly and swiftly, Full-System replacement will usually garner more bang for your buck. Having the most energy-efficient equipment makes sense in the long-run. This is especially true if your unit is a decade or more old, or is out of manufacturer’s warranty. Dobbs Heating and Air would be glad to have one of our highly-trained Comfort Specialists come to your home and give you a FREE in-home Quote for an overhaul, or a brand-new system. Call today!
Q. Can you give me a price without an in-home consultation?
A. We can’t really give a firm or reliable quote for HVAC repair, replacement, or installation without an in-home or in-business consultation. The reason for our policy on this matter is simple; we find that pricing varies based on your needs, and the unique conditions in your home or business. Our representatives will do several things on their visit that we could not possibly do over the phone, or via email.
For instance, a detailed load calculation, based on many factors like square footage, air flow, and voltage parameters, among other things, must be performed in order to properly size your system. Improperly installing a system that is too big or too small may result in terrible performance, higher utility bills, wasted money, and unhappy, miserable employees or family members. This isn’t in anyone’s best interest. Therefore, an in-home consultation is totally worth your time, and our efforts. Plus, it’s free!