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

Filters for your unit may be made specifically for its brand. These filters may be made of different or higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. Check with your local dealer to find the appropriate filter for your air conditioner. However, keep in mind that some filters are reusable, and can be washed by hand in cold water.

What is a diagnostic fee? Why do I have to pay it?

A Diagnostic Fee is the break-even cost we have to come out and diagnose any problem you may be having with your residential or light commercial HVAC system. Carolina Comfort Air itemizes the diagnostic fee in order to be upfront and transparent about the true costs of our service, instead of hiding fees by charging more for parts and labor like other companies. Our diagnostic fee covers the time it takes to get to your home or business, gas, auto insurance, liability insurance, and a portion of time it takes to evaluate your HVAC problem.

How do heat pumps work?

A heat pump acts as a heat exchange system, moving warmth from the outside air into the home. New models employ technology that’s effective at warming the home when the outside temperature is as low as 37 degrees. During the summer, the unit dehumidifies and removes excess heat from the indoor air to cool it and push it back into the home.

The heat pump is effective by itself down to temperatures around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, either a gas furnace or an air handler with supplemental electric heat will kick in and help heat your home. Also, when temperatures outside drop very low the heat pump will automatically rely 100% on backup heat. This is to protect the compressor from the increasingly large temperature spread, which causes premature wear and tear.

If you’re used to a gas furnace, one noticeable difference from gas heat is that the air blowing through the vents usually comes out hotter with gas than with a heat pump. While the air may not initially feel as hot to the skin, the home still maintains your desired temperature by the heat pump operation.

A heat pump puts out much cooler air than a gas or oil furnace does, which many customers are used to. Furnaces tend to put out about 130 to 140-degree air. In contrast, a heat pump running by itself (with no supplemental backup heat) on a 35-degree day, might only put out 92-degree air. On a 20 degree day, it might drop to 85 degrees.

Simply put, this is lower than your body temperature, so it feels like cool air is blowing. But, it is still warmer than the indoor house temperature, so it is still putting heat into the house. Unlike a furnace that puts out a lot of heat for short periods of time, a heat pump will put out less heat for longer periods of time.

Heat pumps are tremendously efficient, even in cold weather. The efficiency does decline slightly as the temperature goes down, but even at very cold, single-digit temps, heat pumps are very efficient.

How do I maintain my heat pump?

Monthly heat pump maintenance is essentially the same as other heating and cooling methods. Keep the vents clear, check the air filters and keep yard debris away from the outdoor unit are simple things you can do on your own to help protect your system. As with other HVAC equipment, annual service checkups are the key to maintaining peak efficiency, setting the unit up for long operational life and maintaining your manufacturer’s warranty.

Our professional technicians will clean the evaporator coil, clear the drain lines, test for loose connections, clear away dust and dirt, and check the components for wear in order to help prevent failures during an inopportune time. Routine maintenance is so important for heating and cooling equipment that most manufacturers require it as part of the warranty terms.

When should I replace my old AC system?

Carolina Comfort Air offers a few symptoms your current AC system may show when its nearing time for a replacement.

  • An Aging System: If your system is over 10 years old, it is considered outdated even if it is still running properly.
  • High Utility Bills: Since older systems are less efficient than newer ones, they tend to increase your energy costs.
  • Constant Repairs: If your system continuously requires repairs, it is wise to replace your unit rather than dumping money into repairing an older, less efficient system.
Who is the lessor?


What is the SEER Rating?

The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 17.

Why is the SEER rating different on the energy guide different than what my dealer quoted?

Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating.

Why do I need regular or preventative maintenance?

Your heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions. The constant stopping, starting and general operation can wear down any machine. Proper care and maintenance help to keep these systems in optimum condition and ward off malfunction. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can maximize the life of your heating and cooling units and guard against many common equipment failures. Preventive maintenance inspections performed in spring for your AC and fall for your heater can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts. Regular maintenance will ensure maximum efficiency and prevent other problems.

What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

Programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With a programmable thermostat, you can program settings in advance so that you can control the temperature at different times of the day. You will never have to worry about remembering to adjust the settings manually. By scheduling your programmable thermostat to a higher or lower temperature based on your weekday work hours, you can save money on energy bills without sacrificing comfort. A technician will gladly walk you through how to use your programmable thermostat.

What type of filter should I use? How often should I replace it?

Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they can only do so much to improve indoor air quality. A media air cleaner does a much better job of trapping small particles. It rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal up to seven times more effectively than a standard filter. Upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimal efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, you should clean them once a month during periods of heavy use.