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

Roy & Amanda Talk Summer Specials

93.3 radioIt’s getting hot out there! Now is a perfect time to take advantage of our summer specials.

Hauser Air marketing director, Amanda Poling, and company founder, Roy Hauser, are hitting the airwaves again in two new radio spots on Cincinnati’s 93.3FM below.

Our sizzling summer offers include:

  • FREE service call with repairs
  • FREE second opinions
  • A “Dust Fighting Combo” to help you breathe easier
  • …and we even have a new air conditioner for as low as $89/month!

Check out our Specials page for all current offers.

We are here to help and serve everybody, so give us a call today.

Did you know? As a Tempstar Elite® dealer, we’re the only company in town that can provide a 12-year, no hassle warranty. That means that if anything happens to your equipment within 12 years, your warranty starts over. And as a partner of Duke Energy®, we can show you how to apply for up to $550 back from Duke Energy…just for becoming more energy efficient!

Check us out on Facebook and remember to use #howsyourair to give us a shout-out on social media.

Ready to be cool? Call us at 513-777-7979 to schedule your free estimate today.


65-SECOND RADIO SPOT ON 93.3FM: “2019 Summer Specials”

65-SECOND RADIO SPOT ON 93.3FM: “12 Years, No Hassle Warranty”

Question: Why should I get an A/C Tune-up?

service manager Jim Webster

Hauser Air service manager, Jim Webster, has the answer!

This month’s question: “Why should I get an air conditioning tune-up?” is answered by our service manager, Jim Webster.

Jim’s answer: It depends on your needs and concerns. I like to look at my options using a pros and cons list, so I will provide that as follows…

Pros

  1. A clean coil equals $$$ saved both on life span of the system and conserving energy.
  2. Allows a professional to see your system and provide answers for any questions.
  3. Continued tune-ups allows us to give you an idea of the life left in all the components of the system. Which can allow time to financially prepare for any issues that may arise and hopefully keep you from an outage situation.
  4. Helps maintain factory warranties to assure that all repairs are made to their specifications.
  5. Provides peace of mind for the customer that the system is prepared during peak usage.
  6. Evaluation of the coolant level to help maintain peak operating performance.

Cons

  1. Cost of maintenance, although the money saved is worth the money spent.
  2. Scheduling, although our scheduling staff can generally meet your needs.

Thanks for the helpful info, Jim! It’s the perfect time of year for an air conditioning tune-up. Go ahead and schedule yours. To book your A/C tune-up, call a friendly Hauser Air representative at 513-777-7979 or contact us today!

Effects of Excessive Snow on Heat Pumps

snow on heat pumpDue to recent snowfall and more expected, we wanted to pass along a few tips for our customers who own heat pump systems.

Tips for Heat Pumps in Snow and Icy Conditions

1. Heat pumps draw air from the areas surrounding them (all four sides of the outdoor unit). It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build up in order to allow air to freely reach the heat pump. This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the heat pump.

2. If possible, the space (air gap) between the heat pump and the plastic or concrete pad that the unit itself sits on should be cleared of snow to allow for drainage.

3. Generally speaking, most heat pumps discharge air in an upward direction from the top of the unit. It is important to make sure that this area is clear of snow and ice to allow air to easily discharge (this is the air that is being drawn from the sides of the unit.

4.  DO NOT attempt to forcefully remove ice build up from any part of the heat pump. If you cannot remove snow or ice easily with a broom or brush, do not try to pry or chisel ice from the unit. Doing so could cause severe or irreparable damage to the heat pump.

5. If your heat pump is located in an area that is subject to exposure to melting snow and ice (such as underneath an overhang or gutter that may be frozen), check the unit repeatedly to ensure that ice has not built up inside the heat pump.

6. If you cannot clear the heat pump of snow and ice for any reason, switch the system to “Emergency Heat” at the thermostat. This will turn the heat pump off and engage electric resistance heaters that are located inside in order to provide heat for your home.  This is a more expensive mode of operation for a heat pump system, so we do not advise continuing in this mode for more than a few days. If at that time, the snow and ice around the heat pump has not melted, feel free to schedule a service call with Hauser Air and a technician from our service team will be happy to assist you.

Stay safe out in the snow! We’ll be here to keep you comfortable when you return inside.