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Heating Cooling Refrigeratin
Frequently Asked Questions 
  • Q. How do you properly set a thermostat?
    A. Set your thermostat switch to either the "heat" or "cool" position. Set the blower switch in either the "on" or "auto" position. If the blower is switched to the "auto" position, the fan will cycle on and off automatically when the thermostat calls for heating or cooling. If the "on" position is selected, the indoor fan will circulate air through your duct system and remains on. UNDER HIGH HUMIDITY CONDITIONS THE "AUTO" POSITION SHOULD BE USED. Set the thermostat control indicator to the temperature you prefer. Most people find 77 to 80 degrees an ideal comfort level.

  • Q. Does setting the thermostat to a lower position make the unit cool faster?
    A. No, to achieve a more even temperature and humidity control, keep your thermostat set allowing the unit to operate automatically for you.

  • Q. On a very cold, moist day does your heat pump automatically go into a defrost mode?
    A. Yes. This mode melts off any ice that may have formed on the outdoor coil. As a defrost cycle is initiated, the reversing valve switches, inducing heat to the outdoor coil. You may hear a switching sound when this occurs. During this period of time DO NOT TURN THE SYSTEM OFF, AS THIS IS A NORMAL FUNCTION OF THE HEAT PUMP. After the ice has melted off of the outdoor coil, the heat pump will automatically return to the normal heating mode.

  • Q. How do we achieve comfort without spending a fortune on the electric bill?
    Avoid frequent thermostat resetting. Set it at the desired temperature and leave it there. Don't set your thermostat too low. As a general rule, a thermostat setting of 77 to 80 degrees will provide comfortable room temperature and will give the best economy. When entertaining a large group, lower the thermostat 2 to 4 degrees a few hours before your guests arrive. Don't turn off the system just because you'll be away for the day or more. Heat and moisture will build up in the house. It takes quite a while to restore comfort, but it costs relatively little to maintain it. Keeping windows and doors closed will not only keep out hot, humid, outside air, it will also keep out dust, dirt and street noise. Don't open windows after dark. Night air may seem cool but it is also moisture-laden. This increases the work your system must do the next day. Use filters. CHANGE YOUR FILTER EVERY MONTH. Keep the sun from adding unnecessary heat to your home by shading the exposed windows. Draw shades and drapery on the east windows in the morning and on the west windows in the afternoon. The less heat and moisture there is to overcome, the lower your operating costs become.

  • Q. During the peak summer afternoon hours will the unit run most of the time?
    A. Yes. Your heating and air conditioning system has been designed and sized for your particular home. As temperatures rise outdoors, expect your air conditioner to run for longer periods of time. This is normal operation

  • Q. How will I know if my unit needs service?
    A. Before you call for service, please check the following list of conditions and follow suggestions to prevent costly charges for a service call, which are not due to a malfunction of your equipment. If you don't see your answer here, then phone our service department at 800-773-6-773 Be sure that the main electric power to the equipment is turned on. Check breakers in your electrical panel box to make sure they are in the "ON" position. Make sure that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and in the proper positions. Make sure your filter is clean and not blocking any airflow. IMPORTANT: DO NOT TURN YOUR UNIT TO THE "OFF", "COOL", OR "HEAT" POSITIONS IN RAPID SUCCESSION, AS THIS WILL TRIP THE SAFETY ON THE COMPRESSOR AND IT MUST BE MANUALLY RESET ON SOME MODELS. IMPORTANT: DO NOT OPERATE THE AIR HANDLER, FURNACE OR AIR CONDITIONER WITH THE BLOWER DOOR REMOVED OR THE FILTER ACCESS DOOR OFF.

  • Q. What if my living area is not cool or warm enough?
    Check controls and make sure they are set at your desired temperature. Check filters and replace if dirty. Make sure shrubbery or other objects are at least a foot away from the outside condensing unit, allowing the unit to have proper exhaust. Doors and windows are open or are opened too frequently. Temperature dial is being changed too often. Allow sufficient time for the unit to reach capacity. Do not constantly change thermostat temperature setting. It is best to find your comfort level and leave it. When cooking or drying clothing use your exhaust fan if available.

  • Q. How can I keep my unit as good as new?
    A. Proper care and service will keep your system operating like new for many years. Lack of care may damage the unit and cause you unnecessary expense. Much effort has been put into installing your system and the choice of quality materials. By taking proper care of your investment, it should give you many years of energy-efficient performance.

  • Q. How often should I replace the filter?
    A. Replace the throwaway filter once a month. That's the most important thing you as a homeowner can do. A dirty and clogged filter reduces the efficiency of your system, causes erratic performance of controls and can result in damage to the motor or compressor. Inspect the filter at least once a month when the system is in constant operation.

  • Q. Do you have a Referral Program?
    A. Yes. If you should know of any friends, neighbors, associates, or relatives in need of a replacement air conditioning and heating system, A/C-Care will treat you to a dinner for two! A/C-Care will mail you a gift certificate to one of many fine restaurants in the LA areas.

  • Q. Do you guarantee your service?
    A. We at A/C-Care are glad that you chose us as your air conditioning and heating contractor and will put forth 100% in assuring your complete satisfaction. Should your system still not operate properly, turn the unit to the "OFF" position and call our service department at 800-773-6-773. Please refer to your warranty information contained with this packet for the specifics as to what your warranty covers.

A Glossary of HVAC Terms

Confused by the many terms and acronyms surrounding your indoor comfort system? Don't be! This handy glossary of terms will tell you what you need to know when discussing your HVAC system with a professional contractor.

This is the new minimum efficiency standard (effective January 2006) for an air conditioner or heat pump. All new units must now meet this standard. Previously manufactured equipment may be used, sold, and installed. SEER is defined later.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America, a national trade association that represents heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration contractors.

Equipment with a heating element and/or cooling coil and other components in a cabinet or casing.

Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, a non-profit, voluntary organization composed of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers. ARI publishes standards for testing and rating heat pumps and air conditioners.

Adjusting an air conditioning system so that the right amount of air is delivered to the right places in your home in order to achieve the right heating or cooling effect.

British Thermal Unit, the measurement of heating and air conditioning capacity. A BTU is the amount of heat that must be added to one pound of water to raise its temperature one degree Fahrenheit.

Chlorofluorocarbons, used as a refrigerant in air conditioners and heat pumps, linked to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Coefficient of performance, an efficiency ratio that compares the amount of heat delivered to the amount of energy used. As with MPG on a car, the higher the score the more energy efficient the equipment is.

A heating or cooling element made of pipe or tubing, usually with plates or fins.

The final step in installing a heating or air conditioning system. Every component is checked and tested for compliance with codes, ACCA manuals, manufacturer requirements, and occupant needs. After commissioning, the technician will: provide documentation of testing, provide all equipment manuals, and show the homeowner how to operate the system.

The outside unit of a heating or air conditioning system. Here the refrigerant condenses from a gas to a liquid and hot or cold air from the building is released to the outside.

A device that removes excess moisture from the air.

The U.S. Department of Energy, the federal agency that sets industry efficiency standards.

Conduits used to carry air. They can be round or rectangular, sheet metal or fiberglass or vinyl tubes. In air conditioning systems they carry air from the home to the air conditioning system or furnace and back to the home.

Energy Recovery Ventilator, a machine that draws fresh air into the home and exhausts stale air from the home. It uses a process to preheat or pre-cool (depending on the season) to reduce energy costs associated with conditioning the air.

A government supported branding used to identify energy efficient products. The branding was developed by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


A self-contained heating unit that is designed to deliver heated air to a home.

Gas Appliance Manufacturing Association is a national trade association serving the interests of manufacturers of gas, oil, and electric appliances and equipment, components and related products used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, used as a refrigerant in a/c systems and heat pumps. HCFCs were thought to contribute to the depletion of the earth's ozone layer.

1. The part of a furnace that transfers heat from burning fuel to the air used to heat your home. Also, from a boiler to water for hydronic heating.
2. A device, such as a condenser or evaporator, in which heat is added or removed in order to heat or cool your home.

A single refrigeration system designed to provide both heating and cooling. Compare to a furnace and an air conditioner, separate units that only heat or cool.

Heat Recovery Venilator, a machine that brings fresh air into a home through a process that preheats the air so it has less impact on your utility bill.

Hydroflorocarbon, used as a refrigerant in air conditioners and heat pumps. It has little or no effect on the ozone layer.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, an equipment efficiency rating. As with MPG on a car, the higher the rating the more fuel efficient the equipment is.

A device that adds moisture to warm air for your home.

Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning

Heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration

Air that enters your home through holes, gaps, and cracks, (e.g., plumbing or electrical holes, the heating and air conditioning system, doors, and windows).

Indoor air quality

The energy that suspends moisture vapor in the air.

A mathematical determination of how much cooling and heating (BTUs) an HVAC system must deliver for occupant safety and comfort. It is based on a variety of factors: square footage, building orientation, number of occupants, size and placement of rooms, number and size of windows and doors, amount of insulation, number of floors, and climate.

An ACCA procedure covering the proper design, installation, maintenance, and repair of ductwork.

An ACCA procedure covering the method for calculating heating and cooling requirements (load calculation) for single-family detached homes and mobile homes.

An ACCA publication covering the design, installation, and commissioning of a residential HVAC system.

An air conditioner or heat pump system composed of equipment that has been certified by ARI to work together to deliver the specified heating and cooling capacity at the stated efficiency rating.

A natural byproduct of the fungi family that thrives when organic substances and water combine under certain circumstances. Mold reproduces via spores that can remain dormant, yet viable, for years. Many molds are beneficial. For example, they are the "blue" in blue cheese, and we use them to make wine, penicillin, and antibiotics. However, some molds can cause health problems.

North American Technician Excellence, the nonprofit organization that tests and certifies HVACR technicians.

Planned maintenance agreement, which provides regular maintenance of your HVACR system. Most ACCA member contractors offer PMAs, although they may use different names for them, such as Maintenance Inspection Agreement, Planned Service Agreement, Energy Service Plan, etc.

A refrigerant containing chlorine used in air conditioning systems. The EPA has mandated that R-22 cannot be manufactured after 2010 because it has been linked to the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. Most commonly referred to by its trademarked name, Freon.

The refrigerant that replaces R-22. It does not contain chlorine and is not hazardous to the environment.

A fluid that absorbs heat at low temperatures and rejects heat at higher temperatures.

REFRIGERANT CHARGE (or, "charging the refrigerant")
The procedure an HVACR technician performs to ensure that the system has enough of the right kind refrigerant for peak operating performance.

The percent of moisture actually in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at that temperature.

The path the air takes to get to an air-handling unit or furnace so it can be cooled or heated. It is the "return" path. The return side should be "balanced" with the supply side to ensure proper air flow and comfort.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, an equipment efficiency rating that measures how much energy it takes to cool the air. As with MPG on a car, the higher the number the more efficient the unit.

The temperature of the air. This type of heat is measured with a thermometer.

A two-component heating and cooling (heat pump) or cooling only (air conditioner) system. The condensing unit is installed outside, the air handling unit is installed inside (preferably in conditioned space). Refrigerant lines and wiring connect them together.

The part of an HVAC system that takes (supplies) the conditioned air from the air-handling unit or furnace to your home. The supply side should be "balanced" with the return side to ensure proper air flow and comfort.

A single HVAC system that can meet different heating and cooling needs in different areas (zones). Each zone of a home has its own thermostat with which it can regulate the temperature and humidity in its area. One "zoned air conditioner" could be set for a high temperature in one zone and for a lower temperature in the other zone. Zone systems have two or more zones.

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A/C-Care 10404 De Soto Ave. Chatsworth, CA91311 Phone: 800-773-6-773 OR 818-407-1900


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