When you have questions...
Absolute Climate Control has answers.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about heating and cooling equipment,
energy efficiency, air quality and maintenance. Check and see, we may have the answers You
are looking for.
What does HVAC stand for?
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
What regular maintenance do heating and air conditioning systems need?
The most important part of HVAC maintenance aspect is maintaining unrestricted air flows.
Dust, dirt, and debris are an HVAC system’s worst enemies. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor
unit, you must keep all filters clean and heat exchangers and coils free of restrictions.
We recommend that your heating and cooling system be checked and serviced twice a year;
ideally a spring and autumn tune-up. Also we recommend that you change your filter regularly,
depending on the type of filter you have. This alone can eliminate many of the most common
problem that need fixing can significantly reduce the likelihood of a serious breakdown. An
Absolute Climate Control Comfort Club Membership is your assurance that these maintenance
needs are met regularly and that any potential problems are promptly identified.
Why do I need to change my filter regularly?
Regular filter replacement helps your heating and cooling system operate at peak levels and
improves indoor air quality. It is important to change filters regularly to ensure proper air flow
and to keep your home free from dust, allergens and germs. Depending on the type of filter
you have, you may require weekly or monthly filter replacements. Your Absolute service or
installation technician will recommend the ideal filters and replacement schedules for your unit
How often should I replace my filters?
In general, Absolute Climate Control recommends that you replace your disposable filters at
least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month. Your
Absolute service technician will recommend a replacement schedule that delivers the optimum
efficiency and filtration for your specific system. With a Comfort Club Membership, Absolute's
technicians clean and inspect your HVAC system twice each year. Part of the service includes
changing the filters or servicing your filtering system. Unless you have special circumstances,
our service should be adequate. We recommend that you visually check filters and filtering
equipment monthly. If filters look dirty, they need to be cleaned or replaced.
In addition to changing my filters, what maintenance should I do on my heater and/or
Most maintenance should be performed only by a qualified service technician. But here are
some things that you can do to assure optimal performance:
* Keep ground mounted outdoor units clear of debris, clutter and weeds; they can reduce the
airflow to the unit.
* Use caution with weed trimmers around the unit to prevent damaging control wiring.
* Keep pets away from the unit; pet urine can cause expensive damage.
How often should I have maintenance done on my air conditioner?
You should have maintenance done on your air conditioning system twice a year – spring and
autumn being the best times. This not only ensures maximum efficiency, it enables us to
foresee any possible problems that may occur in the near future.
Is there anything I should check prior to calling for service?
Check to be sure that the air conditioner or furnace is plugged in. Check that the breakers and
the disconnects are turned on and be sure the thermostat is set correctly. Also make a note of
any strange noises or smells.
How do I know if my system is working properly?
Is it making strange noises? Is it cooling or heating all areas of your home sufficiently? Has it
been taking longer to cool down or heat up? Have your utility bills been rising for no apparent
reason? Any of these are signs that you may have a problem that needs service. In most
cases, the longer you delay, the worse any underlying problems will get. So be sure to contact
Absolute Climate Control to check out your system whenever you notice anything out of the
How are the sizing capacities of heating and cooling systems measured?
Heating and cooling systems are sized according to their tonnage. One (1) ton equals 12,000
BTU/H. Residential systems can range from 1 to 5 tons.
How important is it to get the right size of heating and cooling equipment?
Sizing HVAC equipment is very important from the standpoints of both comfort and energy
use. Heating and cooling equipment that are over-capacity will not run as frequently or as long
when it does run. In both cases, this may mean poor humidity control. It could also result in
temperature variations or noticeable cycling. Over-capacity equipment will not be as energy
efficient as properly matched capacity either. On the other hand, equipment that is under-
sized, will obviously result in loss of comfort during temperature extremes.
What size HVAC system should I have?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple rule of thumb for determining the ideal size of system for each
home. For example, depending upon the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air
conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet of home. The only way to insure
the size of the system you purchase will be large enough to heat or cool your home, but not
any larger than you need, is to have your home’s individual heating and cooling needs
evaluated by a licensed professional. An Absolute Comfort Specialist will perform a FREE
detailed In-Home Energy Analysis to determine a selection of systems that will work best for
your home’s needs and your budget.
Is a system with more capacity better?
No. A larger system with more capacity delivers less comfort and costs more to operate. An air
conditioner is at its least efficient when it is first turned on. A system with too much capacity will
run in numerous short cycles, turning on and off repeatedly, therefore causing it to be less
efficient. Also keep in mind that an air conditioner only removes humidity when it’s running, so
a system with shorter run cycles doesn’t remove humidity from the air very well.
How do I know if my A/C unit is big enough?
Bigger is not always better; it’s performance and efficiency that count. Before purchasing a
replacement system you should always make sure your system is sized properly to match your
needs and budget. Your Abolute Comfort Specialist will thoroughly assess your home and
comfort requirements to determine the proper size and make the appropriate recommendation.
How is the efficiency of heating and cooling equipment measured?
When purchasing a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, ALWAYS ask about its Efficiency
Ratings. They will tell you will tell you how efficiently the unit uses fuel (gas, oil or electricity).
The most-frequently used efficiency ratings are:
* SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): This ratio tells you the amount of cooling your
system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity The SEER rating of any unit can range
anywhere from 13 to 17. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be and the
less it will cost in the long run to own and operate.
* HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor): Similar to SEER,it is a measurement of
efficiency of the heating portion of a heat pump. HSPF ratings range from 6.8 to 10; high-
efficiency units have efficiencies of 7.5 HSPF or above.
* AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio): A measurement of the percent of heat
produced by a furnace for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the
lower the fuel costs. All furnaces manufactured today must meet at least 78%. Older furnaces
(10 – 15 years or older) may fall below this minimum. Furnaces with AFUE ratings from 78% to
80% are considered mid-efficiency; ones with AFUE ratings above 90% are considered high-
* MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value): A filter rating system relating to the size of
the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller
the holes and the higher the efficiency in capturing contaminants. MERV rating range from a
low of 1 to a high of 16.
* ENERGY STAR: An Environmental Protection Agency designation attached to HVAC
products that meet or exceed guidelines for high-efficiency performance above the standard
How can I increase the efficiency and life of my home’s heating and cooling systems?
A few quick tips:
* Clean and replace your filters frequently.
* Your system will heat and cool more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The
blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration.
* Install shades, drapes, shutters, or screens on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight
to keep room temperatures at moderate levels.
Should I close the registers and doors to areas of the home that I do not use on a
No. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and
doors in certain rooms, you disrupt and decrease the systems’ airflow and efficiency. Your
system will have to work harder to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less
How long should my air conditioning system run in a cycle?
There is no exact answer for how long your system should run during each cycle. The average
air conditioner is sized to remove the heat from your home as fast as it comes in, on a 110°
day. Therefore, ideally, on a 110° day the system should be able to keep up with the incoming
heat, but not gain on it and be able to turn off. The cooler it is below 110°, the more the
system will cycle on and off.
Should I try to keep my air conditioning system from running too much?
Generally speaking, a unit that is either on or off is less expensive than one that keeps cycling
on and off repeatedly. Every time your system starts up, it will use a lot of electricity and not
produce much cooling. That’s why a smaller system is often more economical to operate: even
though it runs nonstop and may deliver less comfort, it will usually consume less power than a
larger system that cycles on and off.
What air temperature should my air conditioner produce?
The air temperature produced by your system depends on the temperature of the air going
into it. Generally, the air produced should be 18°-20° below what enters the system. So if the
entering air is 80°, the exiting air should be about 60°-62°. However, that only works on a
system that has been running at least 15 minutes on a warm, dry day with a home that is about
80° inside. On a milder day, with an indoor temperature in the low 70′s, the air coming out may
only be 15°-17° cooler than what enters.
At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
Temperature settings depend on the time of year and your personal preferences. In the
summer, the average temperature setting is 78°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm.
Remember, when leaving your house, try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set
your temperature back more than 5°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the
desired temperature setting.
What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?
Because they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than
thermostats that contain mercury. Plus, they allow you to automatically control the temperature
in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat.
Is variable speed equipment superior and/or necessary?
Variable speed refers to a furnace’s or air handler’s indoor blower motor. Different speeds
control the flow of air throughout your home. Variable speed blowers automatically change
speeds to meet the different airflow needs of the heating and cooling cycles. Variable speed
motors can save energy and are excellent for customizing comfort levels in different zones of
your home. A variable speed motor can also help clean the air and control the humidity.
What is two-stage heating?
Two-stage heating means a furnace has two levels of heat output: high for cold winter days
and low for milder days. Two-stage furnaces start in the first stage, instead of reaching full
capacity all at once. That means there is no sudden blast of air. The low setting meets
household heating demands 80% of the time, allowing a two-stage unit to run for longer
periods and provide more even distribution of heated air. Because the furnace operates
mostly in its lower-capacity first stage, it burns less fuel than a furnace that always runs at full
capacity and then has to shut off when the heating demand has been met.
How efficient are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are very effective for homes in our area. They are a good choice whether you rely
on electricity or natural gas for your energy needs.
A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round for
comfort. During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. In colder
weather, a heat pump collects heat from the outdoor air and transfers it inside the home. Even
when outside air feels cold, there is still heat in that air. On very cold days when there’s not
enough heat in the outside air to meet the the thermostat setting, an electric heater
supplements the outdoor air to warm a home. This process is quite efficient as it produces two
to three times more heat than the energy it uses.
A heat pump can also be an effective add-on option to use in conjunction with an existing gas
furnace. With this dual-fuel option, the two systems share the heating load, but never function
at the same time. Each system operates when it is most cost effective.
During the winter, my heat pump delivers warm air, but not hot air, and will operate
for long periods of time. Is that normal?
Yes, this is normal. A heat pump generally produces air that is around 80° and provides even
comfortable, heating around the house – not a blast of intense heat. However, 80° may feel
cool to your hand, which is usually closer to 90°.
During the heating season, my heat pump makes a “whooshing” sound and I feel cool air
coming from the supply registers. Is that normal?
Totally normal. During the cold weather months, frost can accumulate on the outdoor coil. This
can cause the heat pump to go into a defrost cycle anywhere from 1-10 minutes, depending
on the amount of ice on the coil. This is temporary; the system will return to the heating mode
once the ice is gone.
Why does my heat pump system sometimes freeze up?
Several factors that can cause system freezing. First, check your filters; restrictions in air flow
can lead to freezing. Next, thaw the system out by turning off the cooling and running the fan.
Also, try turning the system to the heat mode until the ice has melted.
If the problem recurs after checking for air restrictions and thawing your system, schedule a
service call with Absolute Climate Control. Our service technicians will check the refrigerant
level. They may also have to clean the evaporator coil, check the blower speed and check for
any intermittency in blower operation. A service technician can also evaluate other conditions
that may make your system prone to freezing and recommend the best course of action.
What is I.A.Q.?
I.A.Q. stands for Indoor Air Quality. Today, various products are available as add-ons to your
existing heating and cooling system to improve the quality and healthiness of the air inside
your home. These items include
* Electronic- or Media-Type Air Filters: Filtering the air within your home will help eliminate
smoke, pollen, odor, dust mites and allergens. This will allow you to breathe easier, sleep
better and enjoy your home more.
* Whole-House Humidifiers: Whole-house humidifiers provide consistent humidity levels
throughout the home, and some models even adjust the humidity level automatically. The
average heated home has a humidity level of less than 20%. The recommended humidity level
in the winter should be between 35% and 45%.
* Air-to-Air Heat-Recovery Ventilators: These ventilator systems remove stale air from
inside the home, while bringing in fresh air from the outside that is warmed during the transfer
How important is air quality and what factors need to be considered?
An air quality system can greatly improve both your comfort and your health. The areas of air
quality to consider are (1) purification, (2) filtration, (3) humidity control, and (4) ventilation. A
wide number of air quality features come standard with many new heating and air conditioning
systems; others can easily be added to existing systems. Contact Absolute Climate Control to
discuss your air quality options.
Do electronic air cleaners really work?
Electronic air cleaners can greatly improve home air quality and comfort levels. If you suffer
from allergies or have pets, they’re a must. Some electronic air cleaners can even remove dust
particles and pollen as small as .10 micron. Absolute Climate Control offers a variety of air
filtration devices. Talk to your Absolute Comfort Specialist to discuss your options.
Should I be concerned about carbon monoxide in my home?
Very concerned. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced during the combustion of fuels. It’s
colorless, odorless, tasteless…and lethal. Even trace amounts can impair your brain function
and impact your health. Cracks, leaks, obstructions and other malfunctions in your heating
system can cause carbon monoxide to develop and accumulate.
Short-term exposure to carbon monoxide usually results in flu-like symptoms: nausea,
headaches, dizziness, fatigue. Long-term exposure can eventually lead to unconsciousness or
Absolute Climate Control recommends the following to minimize carbon monoxide
* Keep heating equipment in good repair by scheduling regular inspection and maintenance.
* Keep furnaces, chimneys and vents free of obstruction. Watch out for birds, squirrels and
other animals who sometimes build nests in these areas.
* Install a carbon monoxide detector, available at any home supply store.
* Periodically open windows in winter to let in fresh oxygen-rich air inside and let out any
potential carbon monoxide.
* If you use a gas stove or heater, look at the color of the pilot light. The flame should be at
least 80 percent blue. If the flame is mostly yellow, it could be producing carbon monoxide, so
have the unit checked by a professional immediately. Be sure to tune up your gas system at
least once a year.
Today’s modern heating systems burn cleaner than older systems, minimizing or eliminating
your risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Contact Absolute Climate Control for more information.
How important is it to have a quiet heating and air conditioning system?
Extremely important. Sound intensity is measured in units called decibels (dB). A normal
conversation is about 60-70 dB. A telephone dial tone produces 80 dB; a lawn mower
produces 107 dB or more. Sustained exposure to sound levels of 90-95 dB may lead to
hearing loss, so it’s important to own the quietest heating and cooling system you possibly can.
What is the ideal indoor humidity level?
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
recommends a household humidity level between 30 and 60 percent.
Why are humidifiers used more in heating than cooling?
The average comfort range for relative humidity in a home is from 35 to 45%. When cool
outdoor air enters your home, it tends to dry out as it warms up, which can cause static
electricity build-up and sinus problems. A humidifier will add moisture back into the air and
minimize these problems during the winter months.
Are there any air conditioning systems that are safe for the environment?
Yes. Several manufactures have developed new systems that contain environmentally-friendly
refrigerants such as R-410A (also known as Puron). Puron is a chlorine-free coolant that is
safe for the Earth’s ozone-layer and delivers superior cooling than traditional refrigerants. In
fact, by 2010, systems that use Freon and other refrigerants will be phased out and replaced
with Puron-based systems. And by 2020, no more Freon can be manufactured.
How do I know whether my heating and cooling equipment needs replacement or
Not an easy question to answer, but here are some factors to consider:
1. The age of the current system. Today, any system that is more than ten years old is
probably behind the times in terms of efficiency.
2. Does the current system provide the level of comfort that you want? There is a growing
difference between “builder grade” and consumer choice in what a system can offer in terms of
comfort and convenience.
3. How much will the repairs cost…and how many more repairs will you need in the future? Is
keeping an older system operational worth the time, the money and the inconvenience?
Sometimes you need to know when to cut bait and say goodbye to your old heater or air
At Absolute Climate Control, we can work with you to prepare a side-by-side cost-benefit
analysis so that you can compare whether it is more advantageous for you to keep your
current system or replace with a newer one.
It’s been years since I shopped for a new heating and cooling system. What changes
in technology and equipment do I need to know about?
If you’re deciding on a new system and have not kept up with advances in the industry, you will
be amazed at the number of choices that you have to make. Today’s comfort systems offer a
surprising number of options and combinations – from individual heaters and air conditioners
to integrated or “hybrid” systems. Systems can vary widely in terms of energy efficiency. The
ability of systems to monitor conditions and adjust automatically has increased dramatically.
And a wider variety of air quality add-ons are available than ever before.
These changes make the replacement decision even more complex than ever, so you can see
how important it is to find a HVAC company that will work with you to develop a system for your
situation and budget. At Absolute Climate Control, our goal is to be a company that will
partner with you to not only install a system that is appropriate for your situation, but then help
you keep the system operating at peak performance.
When should I replace my existing heating and/or air conditioning unit system?
All systems and units are different. Here are some rough lifespan guidelines to help you decide
whether fixing or replacing is the right decision:
* Average Lifetime of an Air Conditioner: 12-15 yrs
* Average Lifetime of a Furnace: 15-20 yrs
* Average Lifetime of a Boiler: 15-20 yrs
Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. Some units last longer than that with regular
maintenance and replacement of parts. But if a unit has been repaired repeatedly, or has
been run excessively, it might make more sense to replace it even sooner. Paying for repairs
to an old or inefficient system often simply prolongs the inevitable. An older system that breaks
down once is likely to break down again…and again. That means more emergency service
calls or, worse yet, the risk of damage to your home or to other components of your heating
and cooling system.
There’s also an ongoing cost factor to consider. Restoring your old system will only bring it
back to its current level of energy efficiency. After you’ve recovered from the repair bills and
the frustration of system breakdowns, you still won’t save on your energy bills.
Some replacement systems can cost less than the cost of repeated repairs. And in many
cases, installing a new heating and cooling system can actually pay for itself in energy savings
within a relatively short time.
Also, when replacing a heater or air conditioner, it is usually best to replace both units at the
same time. This way, you’ll save on installation costs and both units can be serviced on the
same maintenance schedule and have the same approximate lifespan.
What should I look for when choosing a new heater, heat pump or air conditioning
Here are some general rules of thumb when you are ready to replace your existing equipment:
* Choose a manufacturer that has a good reputation for quality and durability.
* Choose a model that with a high efficiency rating to bring you better comfort and lower your
seasonal energy bill.
* Choose the correct equipment size and system for your home.
* Don’t just buy a unit just because it is on sale and seems like a great deal at the time; do
some research on the product or ask the installation representative for more product
* Finally, choose a reliable company with excellent customer satisfaction and a track record of
service after the sale. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Check out contractor ratings and
reviews online from organizations like the Better Business Bureau. Chances are, you’ll get
plenty of recommendations for Absolute Climate Control!
If energy prices continue to escalate, what would be most effective in controlling
home comfort costs?
Here’s checklist of options:
1. Make sure that your home’s current HVAC system is properly maintained and adjusted.
2. Change attitude and habits. Rethink your clothing, your appliances and your activities in
your home – anything that can produce lower temperature settings in winter and higher
temperature settings in summer can help control energy use.
3. Explore energy-saving add-ons for your current system: thermostats, humidifiers, and
4. Plant trees and landscape for summer shade and winter sun.
5. Add insulation, install weather stripping and plug air leaks throughout your home.
If your current system is in need of replacement, your efficiency options are expanded and the
potential for savings compared to your existing system can be quite dramatic. Absolute
Climate Control can provide the consultation and information about all options and system
combinations that might be right for your situation.
How much does a new replacement system cost?
Due to the many different makes, models and customer needs, price is an issue that can only
be solved by doing a thorough evaluation of your home and existing equipment. At Absolute
Climate Control, there is no charge for an in-house replacement proposal or Energy Survey.
What do I do if I can’t afford a new HVAC system?
Absolute Climate Control offers several financing options through American General Financial
Services. We will help get you connected and help recommend the financing plan that’s best
for your needs.
Why is it important to be apart of The Comfort Club?
An Absolute Climate Control Comfort Club Membership is a great way of protecting you in the
event of sudden breakdowns in equipment and is your guarantee that you’ll receive regularly
scheduled maintenance. With a Comfort Club Membership, you will receive priority service
(routine or emergency), a 15% discount on all repairs, and a lifetime warranty on most repairs.
And you’ll pay no additional charge for overtime or emergency calls. What’s more we’ll make
sure that regularly scheduled tune-ups and filter replacements are done on time to keep your
system working at peak performance.
Why is it important to have N.A.T.E. certified technician servicing your home?
One of the biggest problems in the heating and air conditioning industry is the lack of trained
professional technicians. Poorly trained service technicians and shoddy installation are the two
primary reasons that consumers need to keep having a repairman come to their home. North
American Technician Excellence, Inc. (N.A.T.E.) is the leading independent certification body
for technicians in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry. They establish
the industry’s standards for excellence and administer the training, testing and validation
procedures for meeting those standards. Not only are Horizon’s service and installation
technicians N.A.T.E. certified, we are also the only HVAC company to have its own N.A.T.E.-
certified in-house trainer and training facility. That means that our skills, knowledge and
commitment to service are growing continuously.
Why is it important to choose a reliable company?
Many companies in the HVAC industry don’t express the need to be there for their customers
after installation or service of heating and cooling systems. But a solid, good reliable company,
such as Absolute Climate Control, will stand behind its work. One way is through our Comfort
Club which guarantee our workmanship and provide you with priority service and Club
benefits. Another is our 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee: if you’re not completely
satisfied with our service we’ll do whatever it takes to make it right. And don’t forget our On-
Time Service Guarantee that gives you a FREE Service call even if we are one-minute late!
Remember, you are spending a lot of money on repairs or replacement of equipment and the
last thing you have to worry about is if it was done right! We encourage consumers to
research a company’s background, ask a friend or neighbor, or see recent work that they have
Got More Questions? We’re Always Here To Help You!
Contact Absolute Climate Control By Phone, Fax or Email 24/7!
All rights reserved. Absolute Climate Control, 2010
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Absolute Climate Control is North East Georgia's leading heating and air conditioning company, ready to meet all of your needs for
service, repair, maintenance, installation, and replacement. We proudly serve the following communities in Georgia:
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