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(A) Yes! Dirt restrictions are the main contributors to not only having higher electric bills but a shortened life expectancy of your system as well. We always suggest that you change your air filter when you pay your electric bill. Linking those two together is one of the least expensive and best things you can do. You’d be surprised how commonly it is overlooked.
(A) It depends on how high you are talking. No one would jump into their car and the second the engine comes to life, floor it till they get to a 100 miles per hour. But that’s what some folks do when they set their thermostat up really high and then try to drop the indoor temperature by 6-10 degrees all at once. Any amount you may potentially save on your electric bill could easily be offset by more frequent and more costly breakdowns. There’s nothing wrong with setting your thermostat up a modest 3 or 4 degrees while you are gone during the day. Just keep in mind that overall, there is far less wear and tear on the system, to simply maintain a specific indoor temperature within 2 degrees and let it cycle normally. My advise: Set it and forget it.
(A) Air conditioning systems (especially those utilizing the more ozone friendly 410A refrigerant) are designed to accommodate up to a 20 degree differential between inside and outside air temperatures. Depending upon the humidity, it might be more, it might be less. On a 100 degree day, with little humidity, you should be able to maintain about 80 degrees inside. If not, there can be any number of issues as to why not. At that point, it’s best to have the system professionally serviced.
(A) Generally speaking, the average is right around 10 years. Just like a car, regular preventative service and routine cleanings inside and out, can extend the life of your system significantly.
(A) Sooner or later, every homeowner is faced with the repair versus replacement dilemma. We utilize an outside company that specializes in statistical analysis to help determine what that tipping point is, predicated upon the cost of the repair and the age of the equipment. Many technicians will automatically recommend replacement due to just the age of the equipment alone, with the justification of better efficiency as a selling point. In good faith, we provide you with all the information we possibly can so you can make whatever decision is right for you.