Air Conditioning FAQ's

How often should I have my A/C equipment inspected?

Hydro Air Inc. recommends that your A/C equipment should be checked out once a year. We recommend preventative maintenance in the spring to improve the longevity of your equipment and to make sure you are ready for our hot New England summers. Contact us to schedule your appointment!

How often should filters be cleaned or replaced?

Typically, filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month. However, if you have inside pets you need to check your filter more frequently. Dirty filters lead to restricted air flow, which can ultimately reduce the amount of cooling capacity from your unit.

What do rating numbers mean?

The U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently. A high rating indicating high-efficiency.

What is a SEER?

Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit. The government now requires a SEER rating of no less than 11.

Should my thermostat be set to "auto" or "'on"?

“Auto” is the most used and the most efficient setting for your equipment. On that setting, the fan operates only when the temperature requires it.

Can an A/C coil freeze?

Absolutely. It is never normal to see ice in the summer anywhere on a central air conditioner. It is possible to ice-up the coil if the air conditioner is running in very cold weather or if the thermostat is turned down extremely low. When the coil is frozen, your air conditioner will no longer be cooling. Often you can actually see ice on the coil. Hydro Air recommends never turning the thermostat below 70 degrees. If your coil freezes turn the fan setting from “auto” to the “on” position and turn off the cooling setting. Once the coil has thawed, your system can be turned back on and should work properly. If your air conditioning system does not start cooling, there most likely is a problem and you should call for service. If air conditioning is needed during the winter, than a “low ambient kit” is required and can be installed by a service technician.

If I replace my old air conditioner with a new one, will it lower my energy bill?

Absolutely! If you have an old unit with a low SEER rating, you can replace it with a new 13 SEER unit and you can drastically cut your cooling energy bill! The indoor coil must also be replaced at the same time in order to get the advertised SEER rating of the new unit providing the rest of the system be in proper working order.

How much will it cost to install a new air conditioner?

It is impossible to quote a price without first checking conditions at your home or office. Hydro Air Inc. cannot determine what the price will be without this first step. Price will be influenced by the size, SEER rating, and location of the new unit as well as whether or not the existing furnace, electrical panel, and ducts are suitable for air conditioning or if they must be replaced. Contact us today for a free estimate.

After I have a new air conditioner installed will it require any maintenance?

Yes. Keeping the system clean is your best bet. As the coils and blower wheels begin to get dirty the efficiency of the system falls, your energy bill climbs, and your comfort level drops. Regular annual service can extend equipment life and can help to minimize mechanical break downs.

What size of air conditioner do I need for my house?

Air conditioners are rated in "tons" of cooling capacity. This phrase comes from the days when ice was used for cooling. One ton of air conditioning is equal to the amount of cooling you would get from one ton of ice melting in your home in one hour. One ton of cooling is equal to 12,000 BTU’s (British thermal units).

Determining the size of the air conditioning system is not done based on the square footage of the home, such as one ton of A/C for every 500 square feet. This formula does not allow for important variables. The proper size can only be determined from the results of a heat load calculation on your home. The calculation takes into account the area of exposed walls, the glass area and whether it's single or dual pane, the insulation levels in floors, walls, and ceilings, any exterior or interior shading, the requested indoor temperature, and the volume of the house in cubic feet.

The proper size system equals maximum comfort and savings on your energy bill. Oversized units cost more to operate and will short cycle so much that your house may become humid and uncomfortable. Undersized units run all day long and still won't cool your home.