We spend 90% of our time every day indoors. Plus, today's efficient, airtight homes are excellent at conserving energy, but that also makes them better at trapping potentially irritating particles inside the home. With the rising number of people who suffer from allergies and asthma, indoor air quality has become more and more important to our general health and well-being.
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like its "mpg" counterpart in the automotive industry, the SEER gives an indication of the performance efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. And, the more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
Humidity is a problem in many areas. The best way to control excessive humidity is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable-speed air-handling equipment along with 2 stage or variable speed air conditioners run at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than standard systems. At these low speeds, the variable-speed motor also uses much less electricity than conventional motors.
During the winter months as heaters run for longer periods of time, especially gas furnaces, the air in our homes is dried out. This can cause problems and discomfort. If this is a problem in your home, there are humidifier solutions available that can add the desired level of moisture back into the air.
Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning.
The average expected life of an air conditioner is approximately 15 years. The average expected life of a heat pump is approximately 10 to 12 years, since it operates year round. The average expected life of a gas furnace or air handler may be longer depending on run times and how often maintenance is performed.