Frequently Asked Questions: HVAC Service

Answers from Birmingham Cooling & Heating Experts

What is a SEER rating?

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and it is a measurement for how efficient your heating and cooling system runs. A SEER calculation determines the amount of cooling a system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity. A higher SEER rating dictates a more efficient system. To get a SEER rating, manufacturers take the cooling output of an air conditioner over a cooling season and divide it by the energy is uses. Modern air conditioners start with a rating of 13 to 14 and can be as high as 25. Alabama’s minimum SEER rating requirement for new air conditioners is 13.

Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?

Every split system cooling unit has a SEER rating which could be affected by combining it with other components. So, a SEER rating of a system depends on which equipment is installed in a home. Outdoor equipment and indoor equipment significantly affect a system’s SEER rating.

Do my HVAC systems need preventative maintenance?

Absolutely. Your HVAC systems are made up of various components which work daily to heat or cool your home. These machines are constantly starting and stopping, and wear is a natural result. If proper care and maintenance are applied, the impact of wear on an HVAC system is minimized. This keeps your air conditioner or heater running more efficiently for a longer period of time.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning offers a Club Membership membership which ensures that someone is inspecting your HVAC system regularly. Our preventative maintenance inspections locate leaks, rust, soot, rot, frayed wires, corroded electrical contents, and other common maintenance issues in HVAC systems. Regular maintenance also helps ensure that your system is running as safely and efficiently as possible. No one likes to have their HVAC system suddenly stop working, so check on the condition of yours by calling us at (205) 690-4145.

What equipment requires regular (or preventative) maintenance?

We recommend that air conditioners and heat pumps receive maintenance at least twice a year.

Heat pumps and air conditioner components which need maintenance include the following:

  • Fans
  • Compressors
  • Indoor coils
  • Outdoor coils
  • Refrigerant lines

Boiler and furnace components which need maintenance include the following:

  • Ductwork
  • Pipes
  • Dampers
  • Valves
  • Chimney
  • Registers
  • Radiators
  • Pumps
  • Blowers
  • Fuel lines
  • Oil tank

How long do HVAC units last?

The life expectancy for every unit is different. However, the products we carry are some of the longest-lasting heating and cooling products available. If you have questions about your system, call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about variables which affect life expectancy. As mentioned above, routine maintenance is a crucial step to extending the life of your AC or heater.

Does One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Birmingham troubleshoot equipment?

Absolutely. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Birmingham specializes in troubleshooting issues with all types of HVAC systems. Our Field Service Managers are always ready to lend additional support to our technicians if needed.

Why should I get an electronic thermostats?

There are several benefits that electronic thermostats have over traditional mercury ones. First, they are more accurate and, as a result, are also more efficient. Users of electronic thermostats can also enjoy the money-saving benefits of programming their electronic thermostat to run their system on when needed.

How often should I replace my air filter & which one should i use?

Standard air filters are crucial HVAC components because they keep your system and duct work clean. Contrary to popular belief, air filters do not significantly improve indoor air quality. For indoor air quality, you should install a media air filter. Media air filters sit between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. They remove up to seven times more particulates than a standard air filter! To remove even more dust, airborne viruses, and other particulates, we suggest using a pleated media air filter.

All types of air filters need replacement at least once a month. If your system has washable filters, these should be cleaned once a month.

Why can’t I find the correct furnace filter at my local home improvement store?

Our filters are made from high-quality materials and differ significantly from the typical disposable filters in retail stores. So, replacement filters can only be found from reputable dealers. Do not forget that many filters are reusable and can be washed by hand in cold water. If are not sure if your air filter is reusable, call us to ask.

Where can I find parts for my HVAC system?

One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Birmingham carries all the parts you need for your system as a reputable dealer. We are equipped to identify and supply the correct and most current parts for your system.

What HVAC system is best for my home?

Many factors influence which HVAC equipment a person needs for their home. These factors include square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, your home’s location, duct sizing and arrangement, and more. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Birmingham has the experience needed to perform an in-home load analysis so you can pick the perfect equipment for your home. That way, you can be certain that you are not buying over-powered or under-powered components.

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