Frequently Asked Questions about A/C Systems
What is SEER ?
- SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the greater energy efficiency the unit offers. SEER is measured as the seasonal Btu output of cooling divided by the seasonal watt-hours used.
What is the difference between R-410A and R-22?
- In accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), newly manufactured air conditioning systems will not contain R-22 refrigerant. This went into effect on January 1, 2010. R-22 will continue to be produced for use in existing units, but production will be phased out over the next several years. In accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), newly manufactured air conditioning systems will not contain R-22 refrigerant. This went into effect on January 1, 2010. R-22 will continue to be produced for use in existing units, but production will be phased out over the next several years.
R-22 is considered an HCFC and is harmful to the ozone layer. Ozone-friendly refrigerants are now used in units manufactured after January 1, 2010. R-410A is the most common replacement and is found in most new units. R-410A has several names including Puron and Genetron AZ20.
While R-410A is used in most new systems, it may not be used in existing systems designed to use R-22 refrigerant. Design specifications to handle the increased pressure and cooling capacity of R-410A are required.
When do I need to replace refrigerant in my system?
- You should never have to replace the refrigerant in your system. If you notice low refrigerant levels, it may indicate that you have a leak. Leaks should be fixed before you add more refrigerant to avoid future replacements.
Refrigerant leaks may reduce energy efficiency, freeze the evaporator coil or may cause significant damage to the compressor. The compressor is cooled by refrigerant and low levels may cause over-heating or failure. As R-22 refrigerant is considered damaging to the ozone layer, the EPA considers it harmful when released into the environment.
What is meant by "Split-System"?
- Split System air conditioners consist of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit consists of a compressor/condenser, while the indoor unit consists of an air handler/evaporator coil. This is the most common residential air conditioning system.
Matching the two units may reduce energy consumption and save on energy costs. Berkun Air's air conditioning experts will help you match indoor and outdoor units for optimal performance and energy efficiency.
Should I replace my evaporator coil with a new air conditioner?
- In most cases the answer will be yes. Technically, it may not be necessary, but keeping an old indoor evaporator coil with your new air conditioner may not provide the best energy efficiency possible.
New air conditioners advertise the efficiency rating as part of a matched system. Replacing the indoor coil with one that offers the greatest efficiency with your new system will usually save on energy costs.
A Berkun Air, air conditioning expert will help you decide if replacing your indoor coil is necessary or would be helpful, and will help you choose a replacement to go with your new air conditioner.
Will a larger air conditioner provide greater comfort?
- Not necessarily. Oversized equipment may cool your home quicker, but the thermostat will sense that the home has reached the desired temperature before humidity has been effectively removed. Humidity causes most people to feel uncomfortable even if the temperature is at an ideal level, and the added moisture in the air may lead to mold or mildew problems.
Of course, units that are too small will struggle to maintain desired temperature levels. A Berkun Air A/C specialist will make sure that the proper equipment is installed for optimal performance. Your walls, windows, doors, insulation and other factors will be considered in addition to the size of your home.
Is one brand better than the others?
- Deciding which brand is right for you will depend on several factors. You will have to consider your and your family's needs, energy efficiency, the size of your home, your current system and many other factors.
Berkun Air offers all of the top brands in the industry so that you have a wide selection when choosing a new system. Berkun Air air conditioning expert will gladly guide you through the process of choosing a new air conditioning system and will answer any questions you have along the way.
How long will a new air conditioner last?
- The life of your air conditioner largely depends on how well it is maintained. Like a car, if you take good care of your air conditioner, it may perform well for years. If the system is not properly maintained, you may end up replacing it much sooner than you would have liked.
Energy efficiency is similar. If the unit is properly maintained, it will run at optimal performance and energy efficiency for much longer. Berkun Air offers preventative maintenance agreements and will perform manufacturer recommended maintenance twice a year. The cost of regular maintenance costs far less than a breakdown and repair, without the loss of A/C in your home.
What are the benefits of Preventative Maintenance?
- Preventative Maintenance keeps your system running at optimal performance and energy efficiency. Your car requires routine oil changes and tire rotations to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and performance. Similarly, your air conditioner requires minor maintenance about twice a year to keep the system running at peak performance.
Berkun Air performs factory recommended maintenance for customers who opt for preventative maintenance agreements. We offer one, two and three year, annual and semi-annual agreements. Some of the tasks we perform include cleaning and inspecting the air filters and condensers, lubricating motors, bearings and other moving parts, check refrigerant level, check heat exchanger, adjust belts where necessary, clean and adjust safety controls, check drain pan and line and many, many more.
How often should I change my filter?
- How often you change your filter depends on the type of filter, the room conditions and how much you use your air conditioning system. Disposable filters should be replaced every month. Some washable filters should be cleaned every month depending on usage.
CleanEffects, available with most Trane units, features an innovative filtration system that requires its filters to be cleaned every three to nine months. Make sure that you keep up with filter changing and cleaning. Failing to do so may result in reduced efficiency and cooling capacity.
Can Guardian Air™ the help me with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems?
- The innovative air filtration system removes 99.98% of airborne allergens and more than 99% of the flu virus. Cleaner, healthier air is important in reducing allergic and asthmatic triggers. Common household triggers include dust, smoke, pet dander, mold and dust from pest body parts and secretions.
Guardian Air™ has been shown to remove these triggers from the air in research published by the BioMed Central Journal and was presented at the Indoor Air conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
What are the benefits of UV air filtration?
- UV filtration kills pathogens, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, (produced by smoking, building materials, cosmetics, air fresheners, fuel, oil and/or gasoline, mothballs, vehicle exhaust in the garage, etc.) and other microorganisms that your current filtration system may miss. The UV light penetrates the cell membrane of microorganisms, either killing them or preventing them from reproducing.
Filters that trap dust, dirt and other airborne particles may not be as effective in capturing pathogens, VOCs and other microorganisms. Call Berkun Air for more information about UV air filtration.
How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
- Many experts recommend having your air ducts cleaned every 2 to 3 years. If you or a family member suffers from allergies, asthma or other breathing or respiratory problems, it may be worth it to have them cleaned once per year.
Cleaning your air ducts helps to remove dust, pollen, dirt, excrement from vermin and pests, pet hair and other allergens from your duct system. Your ductwork delivers air throughout your home and it is important to keep it clean to ensure healthy air.
Also be sure to have a technician check for leaks in your ductwork, as leaks may allow conditioned air to escape. This may make your air conditioner work harder and may increase energy consumption and costs.
Do you offer financing or payment plans?
- Berkun Air offers financing options through Wells Fargo. Six or twelve month are available that are the same as cash - no interest financing plans are available.
Call for further information.
How long have you been in business?
- Jeff Berkun has been in the trade since 1979, and started serving Palm Beach County with his own company, Berkun Air, in August of 1999.
Do you employ certified technicians?
- Berkun Air is certified by North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE). NATE is the leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry and is the only organization supported by the entire industry.
Are Berkun Air technician's on a commission plan?
- No. Unlike some of the largest air conditioning firms in Palm Beach County, Berkun Air pays its technician a fair salary and does not believe in incenting its staff to sell you what you don't need. This practice is far too common and it gives the entire industry a bad name.