Cooling Season Tips

Air Conditioning season is upon us! As the Service Manager of Hauser Air, I would like to provide you with some tips to make sure your cooling system stays functional and efficient, while answering some common questions.

Here are some quick tips to help your cooling system perform at its best this season:

    • Have a set date for checking and changing your air filter. A dirty filter can cause a multitude of damages both to the system and your home. To learn more about changing your filter, please check out our short video: Why Change Your Furnace Filter?.
    • Schedule regular maintenance. This will ensure you maintain your manufacturer supplied warranty as well as keep the unit running efficiently. According to Energystar.gov, cooling your home accounts for 13% of the energy used by your household. Air Conditioning and Heat pump units have fine fins and coils that need to be cleaned yearly, preferably before the cooling season. Cleaning your cooling unit allows it to run more efficiently, in turn saving your family money this summer.

energy-bill-breakdown

  • Have an understanding of the type of system you have, so you can understand the most effective way to manage your thermostat to keep you comfortable and save money. An example of this is if you have a geothermal heat pump. The most effective and efficient way to set your thermostat is to “set it and forget it”. Programming it with an away setting to ‘save you money’ on a geothermal unit, will cost you more in the long run. The amount of energy it takes to recuperate the few degrees you set it back while you were away, will most often cost you more than just leaving it. If you are not sure what type of system you have, give your local contractor a call so they can help.

Here are common questions we hear from our customers during cooling season:

Q: My second floor is hot in the summer no matter what I set the thermostat to?

A: We see this issue quite a bit! Heat rises, and the second floor is always hotter than the first. Having a professional look at the duct work (if it is visible and not behind drywall) can be helpful. Most often we use technology to solve this issue. Some of these solutions include: zoning systems, multi stage Air Conditioners, mini splits, humidification control and whole home dehumidifiers. There are a variety of solutions we could find for this issue. The best solution is to have your heating and cooling contractor out to properly assess your issue and give you the options for your home.

Q: Should I get my air ducts cleaned?

A: Duct cleaning can really improve airflow and indoor air quality. We do recommend cleaning your duct work every few years, or as needed.

Q: What is the average lifespan of an Air Conditioner?

A: This could vary greatly depending on equipment installation quality, maintenance and brand. The Department of Energy states the average lifespan of an Air Conditioner is 15-20 years. At Hauser Air, we look at the lifespan of your cooling unit in terms of hours used, and try to equate that runtime to something people understand, like vehicle mileage. We often hear, “my unit is only 10 years old” or “I just bought my AC unit 8 years ago”, and this calculation helps show our customers how hard their air conditioners or heat pump has worked for them over its lifetime.

Here’s how we figure it:

  • The average cooling hours in Cincinnati, OH are 600 hrs/year
  • The average speed you drive your automobile is 40 miles per hour
  • If you take the age of your Air conditioner or heat pump and multiply it by the cooling hours, then multiply that number by your average speed, you will get the average miles your unit has “driven”

Here’s the equation for a 10 year old Air conditioner:
10 yrs x 600 hrs = 6,000 hrs of run time
6,000 x 40 mph = 240,000 miles “driven”

As you can see from this equation, that is A LOT of run time on your cooling equipment. If this was a vehicle with 240,000 miles on it, I’m sure you would have traded it in by now. Air conditioners are very durable and work extremely hard over their lifetime.

At the end of the day

Your HVAC technician is a valuable resource, so take advantage of their visit to ask all your A/C questions.

Sincerely,
Jim Webster
Hauser Air Service Manager

What Does the R-22 (Refrigerant) Phase-Out Mean for Your HVAC System?

freon phaseout

HCFC-22, commonly known as R-22 freon, has long been used as an efficient, non-flammable, and non-toxic refrigerant. In recent years, this popular refrigerant has been identified as an ozone-depleting substance (ODS) and subject to legislation. Due to its ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP), all HCFCs have been designated “Class II” ODS and subject to phase out per the Montreal Protocol and U.S. Clean Air Act.

The process of ending the U.S. use of R-22 freon refrigerant began in the 1980s. Legislators recognized that R-22 could not be eliminated overnight without severe economic impacts to the private and public sectors. The process is now nearing its completion in 2020. As of January 1, 2020, the production, importation, and installments of all R-22 will be illegal throughout the U.S. Homeowners who have an older AC unit need to be aware of what this means for them.

As a homeowner, whether or not this change will affect you depends on the age of your home’s AC system. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put increasing pressure on manufacturers to reduce the production and importation of R-22, with a goal of reaching a 99.5% reduction rate by 2020. If your unit was replaced or installed within the last 5 to 10 years, you are likely to have a system that uses R-410A, which is a newer acceptable type of refrigerant.

In the case of AC systems installed before 2010, it is likely that these units use R-22 refrigerant to operate. In most cases, you can determine the age of your unit by looking at the serial number. Usually the first four digits of the serial number indicate the date of manufacture. If you are unsure of how to determine the age of you unit, Hauser Air will be happy to help.

If you do have an older R-22 AC unit, now is the time to plan your home’s transition to a new compliant system. While freon will be available for some time even after the ban is imposed, the supply will be limited and likely to become very expensive. In some cases, the installation of an R-410A converter will be an option. This retrofit could solve the problem for some specific units, but not all.

While you may continue to use an R-22 AC unit even after the ban, be aware that it will inevitably need service or repair at some point in the future. Though maximizing the service life of your current unit may seem sensible, taking a proactive approach to replacement could spare you the headache and expensive of an emergency down the road.

Hauser Air is highly knowledgeable and ready to assist you with determining the best options for your AC system and home comfort needs. Contact us today!

Cookies with Santa and Howie

‘Tis the season to grab the family and enjoy cookies with two holiday pals: Santa Claus and Howie the Bear! All are welcome to this timeless annual tradition held at our West Chester offices on the evening of December 12. Please feel free to call us at 513-777-7979 with any questions about this festive Christmas event.

Big Winners at the Annual Cardboard Regatta

cardboard boat regattaWe had a great time at The Little Miami Cardboard Boat Regatta again this year!

Congratulations to our team on 3 awards:

  • 1st place in the adult race
  • the Peoples Choice award
  • …and the Most Creative boat award

Most of all, we had a great time! Thank you for everyone who built and raced our cardboard boat, and joined us for this special event. We love making a splash in the local community.

Below are photos of our winning team!

hauser regatta winners