Frequently Asked Questions
Is bigger better?
When it comes to air conditioning and heating; Bigger is not always Better…
The bigger the air conditioner, the better it cools. Even some contractors (the unknowledgeable ones) believe this!
Over sized air conditioners cool poorly so inefficiency and utility costs go up while comfort goes down. Repairs are more frequent and equipment life is shortened. Noise levels are higher and so is the price of the system. The fan/blower assembly is over sized thereby blowing too much air and your home is transformed into a wind tunnel.
So why do so many contractors oversize air conditioners?
- To save money… theirs, not yours!
- They “cut corners” and start by “cutting out” the engineering design data, or load calculation, thereby guessing at the size and assuming that it was sized properly in the first place by someone else, whoever that was.
- They do not know how to do the engineering (load calculations) or do not want to take the time to correctly size an air conditioner and rely on “rules of thumb.” Rules of thumb, also known as “guesstimates”. It is amazing that in this technical world we measure everything, from weight to our gasoline to our flight time, and yet are satisfied to guess at the size of an air conditioning system worth a few thousand dollars. Anyone can get lucky and guess right once in a while. The problem is , how do you know for sure if you are the lucky one? A contractor may guess right , but can never guarantee the guess. Would you?
- They are unwilling to take the time to explain to a homeowner just how important proper sizing of an air conditioning system is, and that its operating cost, efficiency and performance depends on several factors.
- It is an easy way out! Oversize to cover up problems of poor design (of the old and new system) by providing a “safety margin”. (in other words, margins for poor installation, air duct leakage, improper airflow, or incorrect refrigerant charge)
Consequences of Oversizing:
1) Insufficient Humidity Removal…air conditioners dehumidify indoor air. As the indoor coil temperature drops, moisture condenses on the coil. The moisture runs off the coil and is collected in the drain pan and removed. When oversized, air conditioners short cycle.They run for a few minutes, stop, and start again. During the first few minutes of a cycle, the coil temperature drops to the point where moisture condenses on the coil. If the cycle is prematurely halted, the moisture does not run off the coil; it evaporates, returning to the air stream.
The Result: You feel “cold and clammy.”
2) Inefficient Operation…It takes more energy to start an air conditioner than to keep it running. Air conditioners are the least efficient at the start of a cooling cycle. They take 10-15 minutes to reach their maximum efficiency rating (SEER), Because oversized air conditioners short cycle (shuts down too quickly), the overall efficiency of your air conditioner drops.
The Result: (1) You pay more to the electric utility company than you should. (2) You most likely will never get the higher efficiency (SEER), savings you pay for.
3) Greater Component Wear & Tear…Constant starting and stopping taxes your system’s compressor and fan motors, reducing component life.
The Result: (1) More repairs over time and (2) reduced equipment life.
4) Increased Cost…If reduced comfort, higher utilities, more repairs, and increased noise were not enough, larger air conditioners are more expensive to buy.
The Result: You just pay more than necessary.
5) Increased Noise…The bigger the air conditioner, the more air the outdoor and indoor unit has to move, potentially making registers whistle because their opening is “undersized” for the volume of air. Forced through smaller openings, the velocity of the air increases.
The Result: Increased noise levels and “blasts” of frigid air. Your home becomes a wind tunnel!
Repair it or replace it?
How Will I Know When I Should “Repair It or Replace It?”
Sooner or later, this question comes to every homeowner. How long does a heater and air conditioner last?
What is the reasonable , useful life expectancy? Why replace it if it still heats and cools?
Answers to these questions will vary from home to home, so here are some guidelines that will help. And remember, you can call us and we will be happy to assist you.
It may be time to replace your existing air conditioning system if,
- You are using more energy than in past years.
- The unit runs all the time and can’t keep your home comfortable .
- Your current air conditioner is more than 15 years old.
- Your heater is about 18-20 years old.
- Your equipment needs expensive repairs every year.
- The compressor has failed.
- You have to re-charge it with freon year to year.
- Your air conditioner is noisy.
- Your home seems humid, which is caused by poor system operation or leakage of the air duct system.
- Your home gets dusty when you operate your air conditioner, which could also mean a problem with the air duct system and/or air filtration system.
Typically, the more energy-efficient a system is, the higher its initial cost. How quickly that cost can be recovered depends on several factors, including :
- How many hours your system runs each year.
- Shading around your home
- How long you plan to live in your home?
And, construction and energy efficient upgrades that have been performed, such as:
- Insulation (attic and wall)
- Windows (single or double pane)
- Design of your home
CALL US TODAY FOR A “Free Home Energy Evaluation”
for your existing heating and air conditioning system.
There is no obligation
How do I choose the right contractor?
You’re about to make a big decision
One that most people only make a few times in their lives. This pamphlet will help you with the process. Learn how the right contractor can make all the difference in making sure your new heating and/or air conditioning system will work even better than the old one, last a long time, save you money, and improve your comfort. Find out how to choose a contractor that will give you the knowledge to make an informed decision about the system you’ll buy.
It’s a system!
Buying a new furnace or air conditioner is not like buying a new refrigerator that you bring home, and simply plug into the wall. The equipment is only one component of a system that’s been custom designed, fabricated and installed into your home. Other components include your ductwork, registers, grilles, dampers, accessories and more. Each of these components should be evaluated together. Some contractors want to just change your box, take the money and run. NCI certified contractors take the time to evaluate the whole system so you can make a truly informed decision.
How do I decide?
Good information is critical when making any important decision. An NCI certified contractor carefully tests and evaluates your system using state of the art diagnostic instruments. Your understanding of the condition of your home’s heating and air conditioning system will increase dramatically as he shares with you the specific knowledge he acquires as he tests. By investing a little time in understanding your system you will be much more comfortable making a decision based on this knowledge.
What difference does it make?
Millions of frustrated homeowners invest thousands of dollars each year in brand new equipment, only to discover they still have high utility bills, comfort issues, poor indoor air quality – even safety concerns with their heating equipment. No contractor can assure you comfort and efficiency by simply replacing your equipment. In order to fulfill their promises, they must test, adjust, measure and balance your system. These steps are what set NCI certified contractors apart from the rest of the industry.
What’s the most important attribute I can look for in a contractor?
Trust. You can tell a lot about any contractor by how they deal with you before you “sign the contract.” Your participation in the buying process should lead you to trust them before you agree to do business together.
What kinds of things should the contractor be looking at?
Most of what you buy from a heating and air conditioning contractor is invisible. The list includes warmth, cooling, air movement, energy efficiency, safety, clean air, and most important, comfort. NCI certified contractors measure these invisibles and provide reports that assure that you get what was promised. Make sure your contractor has the ability to do this for you.
How can I get a low price?
You can always buy less. Remember, you’re the one who makes the decision about what to buy. But once you clearly see what you’re buying, you’ll often want more. Low price rarely assures long-term satisfaction– especially when buying a custom built product that you’ll have to live with for many years.
What questions should I ask my contractor?
There are the basic ones like “How much?” and “When will you be done?” and “What am I getting for my money?” But a good contractor should educate you until you are comfortable enough to make a good decision. Ask him what questions he would ask if he were you. Feel free to discuss your needs until you’re comfortable he is addressing them.
So how do I know I made a good decision?
You know you’ve made a good decision when you have selected a contractor that helped you understand that your system is more than just a piece of air conditioning or heating equipment that automatically works. When you find someone that takes the time to look at the whole system, the rest of the benefits usually follow. You can be confident the quality will be good, that he will do what he says he will, and you’ll get what you paid for. When a contractor provides measured results, you can be assured that you will get the comfort, safety and efficiency you paid for. Find someone who cares enough to measure the invisible results of his work and you’ll know you made the right decision.
What brands do you carry?
We sell and service all makes and models including these leading manufacturers:
- American Standard
- Armstrong Air
- Day & Night
- Mitsubishi Electric
- And Many More
What do these terms mean?
Air Balance –The ability to distribute air through a system to precisely match the required amount of heating or cooling which provides proper comfort.
Air Duct Distribution System – See duct work
Air Handler –The mechanical fan portion of your heating and cooling system that forces air through your home’s air duct distribution system.
Blower – The same as an air handler. It is the fan that pushes air through the air ducting in the home or building.
BTU –British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match. In a home, it represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating and the measure of heat extracted from the home for cooling purposes.
Capacity –The capability of the mechanical equipment to heat or cool. Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.
Carbon Monoxide – A colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced when carbon or carbonaceous (oil and natural gas) fuels are incorrectly burnt. Often called the “Senseless Killer” because as humans, we can not sense it with our five senses.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) –A unit of measurement critical to the overall performance of a heating cooling system. Design is 400 CFM per ton of cooling. (Varies with heating) A typical 4 ton air conditioning system requires approximately 1600 CFM to deliver the required cooling requirements. Only a system that has been designed, installed and verified through proper testing and measuring after installation can truly have its true efficiency confirmed. Several studies show that more that half of air conditioners do not attain their performance capability.
Compressor –The heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient quantities in order to meet the cooling requirements of the system.
Condenser Coil or Outdoor Coil –Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid.
Condenser Fan– A fan used to move air through air-cooled condenser coil of the outdoor unit.
Condensing unit– The outdoor portion of a heat pump or air conditioning unit which includes the condenser coil, compressor, condenser fan motor and so forth. It is a refrigerating mechanism which pumps vaporized refrigerant from the evaporator, compresses it, liquefies it in the condenser, and returns it to the metering device.
Damper– Found in ductwork, this movable (manual or automatic) plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used to effectively regulate airflow to certain rooms, thus giving a more even temperature throughout the home or building. Automatic dampers are used by zoning systems.
Dehumidify– the process of removing moisture from the air to provide proper comfort.
Downflow Furnace– A furnace that pulls in return air from the top and expels warm air at the bottom
Duct Work– Pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home or office. Can be made of several types of material. Many homes and buildings approved before 1978 contained asbestos ducting, insulation and insulators.
Effective Efficiency– The actual performance of a system compared to its potential or design, given as a percentage. A typical 3 ton air conditioning system rated at 36,000 Btu’s (of cooling) performing at 25,200 Btu’s has an effective efficiency of 70%. In other words, it is performing at a 70% efficiency level. What does that mean to its S.E.E.R.? Basically, a 13 S.E.E.R. system (what its efficiency can be) performing at a 70% effective efficiency would only have a true SEER of 9.1
Evaporator Coil – The coil that is inside your house in a split system. In the evaporator, refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from air passed over the coil
Expansion Valve – Is one type of metering device in refrigerating system, which reduces the pressure from the high side to the low side and is operated by pressure
Heat Exchanger– A device for the transfer of heat energy from the source to the conveying medium. The most common here in California is in gas furances.
Horizontal Furnace– A furnace that lies on its side, pulling in return air from one side and expelling warm air from the other.
Humidifier– A device that injects water vapor into heated air as the air is expelled from the furnace. Humidifiers help provide comfort to our homes or businesses by keeping indoor air relative humidity at 40-50%. This prevents our skin and household furnishings from drying out and cracking. It also reduces static electricty.
Humidity– The amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove excess moisture for added comfort.
HVAC– Means heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Packaged System– A piece of air conditioning and heating equipment in which all components are located in one cabinet. Used occasionally in residential applications, the packaged unit is installed either beside or on top of the home. Very common in light commercial buildings.
Refrigerant– A substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or vaporizing. Refrigerant 22 (Freon) and Refrigerant 410 (Puron) are the two most common. Government regulations will start phasing out the use of R-22 in 2010.
Refrigerant Lines– Set of two copper lines connecting the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.
SEER– Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a rating that measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. Similiar to MPG ratings for cars.
Split System– Refers to a comfort system configuration consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner (the outdoor unit), and an indoor unit, such as a furnace and coil.
Reversing Valve– A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating.
Thermostat– A temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside homes. It consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. Programmable thermostats allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day.
Ton– A unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.
Upflow Furnace– A furnace that pulls return air in from the bottom and expels warm air from the top.
Zoning– A method of dividing a home or office into zones, which enables you to control the amount of comfort provided to each. A zone could be a room, the upstairs or downstairs area. Zonning is very popular and will increase system efficiency, more even temperature and comfort.
Honeywell FocusPro 5000 Series Thermostat
Honeywell PRO 6000
Honeywell Vison Pro TH8000 Series Thermostat
Freedom FP700 Thermostat
Honeywell Wifi 9000 Thermostat
Do you have an Maintenance Service Agreement?
Yes we do! You can go here to learn more or call us at (714) 529-9600 if you have more questions.
What are your guarantees?
Total Satisfaction Guarantees
Central Air Conditioning and Heating Systems
100% Total Satisfaction Guarantee
The FisherAir 100% Total Satisfaction guarantees that your new home comfort system installed by us will work as designed and promised. If you are not 100% satisfied with your new central home comfort system, we will make the necessary modifications, repairs or replacements at no charge. If you are still not satisfied, we will have the manufacturer inspect the system for design or equipment flaws. If after the manufacturers corrections are made and your system is still not performing as promised, we will remove the system within 30 days of your written request and cheerfully refund the entire amount of your investment, or refund whatever portion of the investment you think is fair and reasonable. This Guarantee is honored for 365 days from the date of installation.
FisherAir Services guarantees that if you are not 100% satisfied with any repair or service we perform, or our people who perform it, we will make any necessary repairs at no charge to you for a period of up to 1 year. If you are still not satisfied, and the system does not perform as promised, we will return 100% of your investment for the repair or service, or refund whatever portion of the repair you think is fair and reasonable.
Installation Workmanship Guarantee
Our installation technicians are the best in skill, attitude and workmanship. They’ll care for your home and complete the job with speed and precision. They wear floor savers and use floor covers, clean up when they are finished, and take personal responsibility for your satisfaction. They will not smoke or swear in your home, or drink on or before the job. They will be polite and courteous. If, when they have finished they have not performed in accordance with these high standards, we’ll refund whatever amount of the purchase price you think is fair and reasonable.
Best Value – Lowest Amount Guarantee
Anyone can make something cheaper by cutting corners and quoting it for less. So, it’s important to know what is and is not included in any heating and cooling system you choose for your home. Our Best Value – Lowest Amount Guarantee is our promise to you, that you cannot find a comparable installation for less… or we’ll pay you $250.00 over the difference. All we ask is that the comparison be “apples to apples.”
Exclusive “No Lemons”
We recognize that not every manufactured piece of heating and cooling equipment is 100% perfect, 100% of the time. Since our customers should expect to receive 100% of the heating and cooling value they have invested in, we offer a “No Lemons” guarantee on our “Risk Free” systems. Simply stated, should the compressor, exchanger or coil in your air conditioner fail during the first five years of ownership, or should the heat exchanger in your furnace fail during the first ten years of ownership, we will remove the “lemon” and install a completely new one at no additional charge. If you have ever bought a “lemon” before, you will truly appreciate our commitment to your long-term satisfaction.
No Surprise Pricing – No Compromise Promise
Our word is our bond and so is our quote. We will complete the project for the amount we quoted and agreed to with no compromises to quality, workmanship, materials, installation or system performance because of our oversight. Once the work starts, the agreed amount is the agreed amount, even if the job entails more work than originally estimated (unless otherwise stated in the agreement). This does not include additional items added to the project that are requested by you and agreed to in writing.
Property Protection Guarantee
We take great care to be careful in your home and treat it with respect. All property such as lawns, shrubbery, carpeting, floors, walls, furniture and door frames are protected. Sometimes accidents happen. In the unlikely event damage to your property should occur, we will promptly see that it is repaired or replaced to your satisfaction. Protective shoe covers and hall runners will be used on all work and traffic areas.
With FisherAir Heating and Air Conditioning Services, “You Just Can’t Lose!“
What are your hours?
We are open:
Saturday: Appointments Available
Sunday: Emergency Only
Emergency Service Available