Heating FAQ: Our HVAC Techs’ Top Questions

When you’ve been in the HVAC business for as long as we have, you get a lot of questions. You also have a lot of answers! So, if there’s an aspect of your heating or cooling system that you’ve always wondered about, chances are we can help. Here’s our technicians’ list of top questions they receive—with answers from the pros.

What does HVAC stand for?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and is a common acronym used for both residential and commercial applications.

How does air conditioning actually work?

Air conditioners have four parts: evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion device. Central air systems have both an indoor and outdoor component. Your air conditioner takes in warm air and removes its heat by running it through a compressor that condenses and circulates the refrigerant through an outdoor unit. AC units change hot gas into a liquid that is forced through the indoor cooling compartment. As the cooled liquid makes its way through the indoor compartment, the expansion device regulates the flow of liquid refrigerant into the evaporator, where it is transformed back into a gas and released back into your home through your ductwork.

When should I change my HVAC filter?

The frequency of filter replacement largely depends on the type of filter you have. You should never try to clean a disposable filter—they should always be disposed of and replaced. Some high-efficiency filters can go up to three months without cleaning or replacement, but it’s best to check your filters monthly, especially if you run your system often.

Are HVAC tune-ups worth it?

Yes. If your furnace or AC unit is not properly maintained, impurities can build up inside your system, which reduces efficiency and can have a negative impact on the quality of the air you breathe. Additionally, HVAC units that do not receive annual tune-ups are more likely to malfunction or have shorter lifespans.

How humid should my home be?

The recommended humidity level for homes is 35% relative humidity. But typically anywhere between 30% and 40% is fine.

Why is regulating humidity important?

Too much humidity in your home can cause dust mites to reproduce and agitate allergies. Many other common allergies, such as mold, also thrive in humid environments and can lead to health problems such as asthma and respiratory infections.

Too little humidity can also lead to problems such as: dry nose and skin. Excessive dryness can also damage wood and cause damage to you furniture and floors, such as shrinking and even cracking.

Yet another benefit of maintaining proper humidity levels in your home is basic comfort. Removing humidity can help you feel cooler and adding it can make you feel warm, so use that trick to improve your home’s energy efficiency during hot or cold months.

We hope that we’ve been able to answer some of your HVAC questions, but of course if you’re ever wondering about something relating to the heating or cooling in your home, feel free to reach out! Our team at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Hot Springs is always happy to provide answers and find solutions to all your HVAC needs.