Frequently Asked Questions
- HVAC Maintenance
- Air Conditioning
- Energy Efficiency & Energy Costs
- Indoor Air Quality
- Anthony's Services
How often do I need to change my filter?
For optimal filtration and efficiency, your disposable filters should be replaced or washable filters cleaned at least once a month. During high usage times, you should check and replace more frequently. To have replacement filters delivered right to your door, simply visit AnthonysAirFilters.com and enter discount code AN009 to save 10%.
For a helpful how-to video, please click here.
What is causing my AC vents to get so dirty and how can I fix it?
Microbial growth is caused by condensation that forms when the temperature of the vent drops below the temperature of the room.
This condition can be caused by:
- Poor air flow in your duct work, dirty filters, or lack of proper maintenance.
- Excess indoor water vapor can also contribute to excessive condensation on vents. Always run bath and kitchen exhaust fans intermittently and use the laundry dryer in the morning or evening hours to minimize vapor.
- Have your HVAC system professionally cleaned and inspected to insure proper airflow and drainage. Anthony’s has many options to choose from—visit our Maintenance Plans page to find out which one is best for you.
How often should preventative maintenance be performed on my HVAC system?
Just like your car needs regular oil changes and its tires rotated, your HVAC system requires routine maintenance. A professionally maintained system will save you time and money and provide you with peace of mind. Clean and efficient systems experience fewer repairs and have a longer life expectancy. We recommend that you have your system professionally maintained twice a year. Please visit our Air Conditioning Maintenance page for more details!
How often should I flush my drain line?
If your system has a clean out port, you should flush it once a month. Simply pour 1 cup of white vinegar in the port. Wait 5 minutes and then follow with 2 cups of hot tap water. This will help keep your drain lines clean.
What is the life expectancy of a typical HVAC system in Florida?
There are several factors that contribute to the normal lifespan of your HVAC system. They include but are not limited to the manufacturer, the type of unit, the size of the unit, how well it’s maintained, how often it’s used, and the environment where you live. Due to the hot, humid coastal climate in Florida, most professionals estimate that the typical AC unit should last approximately 8-14 years. This number is not set in stone as we have numerous clients whose unit has well exceed this estimate. Some AC professionals believe that the key to added longevity is routine maintenance. If you currently do not have a maintenance agreement with Anthony’s, we highly recommend doing so. Please click this link for more details: Air Conditioning Maintenance
What are the warning signs of a major problem with my HVAC system?
An odd smell, a strange noise, a water leak, or a sudden change in your system’s performance are warning signs that you could have a problem. There can be a multitude of reasons why these symptoms occur, so it’s best to call Anthony’s at (941) 347-0779 and have your system professionally inspected before a small problem turns into a big repair bill.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my HVAC system?
Knowing when to buy a new HVAC system can be a difficult and daunting task, but Anthony’s is always here to help. There are three questions we ask our customers if they are aren’t sure whether to invest in a new system:
- How old is your current air conditioner? When an air conditioner gets older, it is no longer able to work as efficiently as it once did. Customers often complain that their home is not cooling the way it used to. While many air conditioners can last up to 15 years, it might not be worth expensive repairs to keep them going. If your AC is more than 10 years old, it might be time for a replacement.
- Does your air conditioner use R-22 (Freon)? In the past, most air conditioning units ran off a refrigerant called Freon. In recent years, the federal government changed regulations to phase out this substance nationwide. All air conditioners manufactured after January 2010 now use a refrigerant called R-410A. If your current unit frequently needs Freon, you may want to consider a new system.
- Do you make frequent repairs? While many people complain about the high costs to replace their HVAC system, they often forget how quickly service calls can add up. If you’re continually scheduling repairs, it’s probably time to buy a new unit. Besides being inconvenient, consistent breakdowns are usually a sign your HVAC system is on its way out. Why put more money into an old unit when you’re probably going to need a new one soon anyway?
At Anthony’s, our motto is “You Don’t Need New Until We Say You Do!” We promise to give you an honest evaluation of your system and only recommend replacement when it’s in your best interest.
What are the most common AC problems that you encounter?
- Wiring problems: Faulty wiring is a very common problem, and you will need a professional to repair. This is a problem that needs to be addressed right away because it is a dangerous safety concern.
- Lack of refrigerant: Refrigerant in AC units is responsible for cooling the air. While refrigerant needs to be added every so often, if you need it frequently you might have a leak. Call Anthony’s at (941) 347-0779 to assess your situation immediately.
- Broken Fan: This is a serious problem. Your outside fan is responsible for getting air that the AC unit uses to transform into cool air. If there is no proper heat transfer happening, the AC compressor can overheat and damage your compressor.
- Frozen Coil: If you have frozen coils, this will create problems with the airflow. Frozen coils could also be a symptom of a low refrigerant issue. Dirty filters restrict proper airflow which will block the return air ductwork and freeze the coil.
Even handy homeowners are not AC experts and will have problems diagnosing an issue. The ultimate reason why homeowners are advised to have regular, professional preventative maintenance is so that these problems can be minimized or detected and repaired right away.
What can cause an AC to not work correctly?
- Dirty air filters- Your AC needs clear air flow to function properly. Dirty filters can obstruct this flow. If air is not circulating around the coils, the coils get too cold and will freeze up.
- Broken fans- Your AC fan needs to push air through the system. If your fan motor is broken or even just dirty, this can cause a lack of air flow that could lead to frozen AC coils.
- Blocked condensate lines- Condensate lines are the part of your HVAC system that drains away the excess moisture from humidity. This moisture, condensed into water, travels through pipes which carry it outside of the building. If the water is stuck in one place because of a clog, it can freeze. This is especially true if the obstruction happens near the evaporator coil which is the coldest part of the unit.
- Malfunctioning thermostats- Your thermostat works with your AC by regularly checking the temperature and controlling how hard the AC is working to keep your set temperature. If a faulty thermostat senses the wrong temperature or controls the AC improperly, it could cause the system to run too long and wear it out. An overworked AC can develop frozen coils.
- Refrigerant leaks- Refrigerant is the chemical that runs through your AC coil, changing pressure and temperature to absorb heat. If there is a leak, the lack of pressure will make it absorb too much heat. This will cause the refrigerant lines and then the coils to freeze.
A refrigerant leak is not only bad for the environment, but in some areas, it can be illegal to not make the necessary repairs. These multiple service calls can also add up over time. That’s why a professional should fix the leak or replace the coil right away rather than just refilling refrigerant.
How can I tell if my system has frozen coils?
The first symptom of any HVAC problem you are going to notice is heat. If your AC doesn’t feel like it’s cooling, there are a few things you can inspect to get more info on the problem. First, check the air flowing through the supply registers. If it’s warm or the air is stopped altogether, frozen coils could be the problem. Frozen coils can lead to a buildup of moisture which could cause condensation or water leaks at your property.
What should I do if I have frozen AC coils?
Shut off your unit and call Anthony’s at (941) 347-0779 immediately. This is critical to prevent compressor failure. While you are waiting for our prompt arrival, clean up any water leaks caused by the melting ice to prevent damage to your home.
My outside AC unit stopped working and I checked to find ice on it. I hosed it off to melt the ice and waited a couple of hours. When I turned it back on, the outside unit turned on, but I am getting no response from the inside unit. Is there a reset switch?
There are two things that can cause this. You could be low on refrigerant or your system has poor airflow. Unfortunately, there is no reset switch. The system needs to be professional diagnosed to pinpoint the cause. Call Anthony’s immediately at (941) 347-0779 for assistance. Do not try to check the system yourself because that could cause even more problems. Simply turn off the system to prevent it from freezing up again and wait for our prompt arrival.
Energy Efficiency & Energy Costs
What is a SEER rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It lets you know how efficient your system is. This rating ranges from 13 to 21. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.
Will a ceiling fan help reduce my air conditioning costs?
According to FPL, ceiling fans can help reduce your utility costs by allowing you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature and still feel comfortable. The fan’s breeze increases the evaporation of your skin’s moisture which makes you feel cooler, but there is a trade-off. Ceiling fans cool individuals, but they do not decrease the room’s temperature. So, if you leave them on when no one is in the room, they will actually cost you more. This same principle applies to portable fans as well. Turning a fan off when you leave the room can help you save $3-$7 per month. Even though there is a little extra electricity costs involved when turning a fan on, the amount is minimal. So best practice is to turn fans off when you leave the room.
What can I do to save on summer energy costs?
Florida Power and Light recommends the following to reduce utility costs:
- Set your thermostat to 78°F or warmer with the fan in the “auto” position. For additional savings, raise the temperature to 82°F when you’re away.
- Use a fan so you can raise your thermostat temperature and still feel comfortable, but don’t forget to turn if off when you leave the room.
- Keep your shades, blinds, and curtains closed to keep out sunlight.
- Grill or cook outside instead of using your stove or oven. This will help reduce the temperature in your kitchen.
- Keep interior doors and vents open to maintain proper airflow in your home.
- Clean or replace your AC Filter and flush your drain line every month to help keep your system running efficiently. We have many helpful videos on our YouTube Channel.
- Install a smart thermostat. You could save approximately 3% or about $50 a year on your total utility costs. Anthony’s has several options to choose from.
- If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, needs frequent repairs, or isn’t cooling your home to your desired comfort, install a new high-efficiency unit.
What are the benefits of insulating my attic?
Your attic does a lot more for your home than just store your treasures. It’s designed to provide a protective barrier from cold, heat, and humidity. For your attic to do its job efficiently, it must be properly insulated. According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, 90% of US single-family homes are under insulated.
Benefits of Properly Insulating your Attic:
- Lower utility bills -The cooling and heating of your home accounts for 50-70% of your total energy use. And if your home is not properly insulated, you’ll spend extra money trying to maintain a comfortable temperature. According to the EPA, you can save an average of 11% on total energy costs by properly sealing and insulating your home.
- Safer home structure -Insulating your attic can prevent damage to your home caused by heat and moisture. It prevents water vapor from seeping in and creating condensation inside your home. It also slows down heat buildup in your attic which can cause the shingles on your roof to swell and crack.
- Better indoor air quality -Outdoor pollutants can enter your home through air leaks caused by poor insulation. The accumulation of these airborne toxins can affect your home’s air quality. Maintaining your attic insulation can prevent these pollutants from spreading throughout your home, allowing your family to breathe easier, and enjoy a cleaner living environment. Anthony’s can take care of all your air quality needs too!
- Better indoor comfort -Heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler places. Under insulated homes can experience severe temperature fluctuations when the outdoor temperature changes. A temperature difference of 10-15° between floors in your home is a sign that your home has too little insulation.
- Less HVAC wear and tear -Poor insulation can cause your HVAC system to work overtime to maintain an even temperature. Temperature swings can become even more drastic in homes where ductwork runs through the attic.
Will closing the AC vents in unoccupied rooms save on my utility bill?
According to Florida Power & Light, closing AC vents will NOT lower your electric costs. In fact, the opposite can occur. That’s because closing vents restricts the air flow in your home which means your AC system will need to run longer to maintain your desired temperature. This could end up actually costing you more. It may seem counterintuitive. But think of it like this: closing an AC vent has the same effect as a dirty air filter. If your filter is dirty, it restricts air flow which reduces the efficiency of your system. In fact, the same holds true for doors too. You should leave the doors to unoccupied rooms at least partially open to allow free air flow throughout your home.
To save on your energy costs, FPL suggests you keep vents and doors open and cool your home at 78°or warmer. For additional savings, raise the thermostat to 82°or warmer when you are away.
Indoor Air Quality
How do I set my humidistat?
If your system is equipped with a humidistat, when in residence, set your humidistat to the “ON” position and select your desired temperature. When you leave your home for an extended period, set the humidistat to 55%, the system to “COOL”, and the temperature to 80°.
For a helpful how-to video, please click here.
Are there any HVAC services that help allergy sufferers?
In most cases, yes. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, or you just want to reduce the amount of dust in your air, Anthony’s can help. We offer indoor air quality testing which will gauge what services will work best for your situation. We offer duct cleaning services as well as equipment options that will help improve the cleanliness of your home’s air.
What are the benefits of having a smart or programmable thermostat?
Smart and programmable thermostats give you total control of your HVAC system. You can save on energy costs by automatically adjusting the temperature setting in your home based on your occupancy and activities. The added benefit of a smart thermostat is that you can adjust your settings when you are either home or away.
Can I control other devices with a smart thermostat?
Yes. With an American Standard Home Intelligence system professional installed by Anthony’s, you can not only control your thermostat, but also your door locks, security cameras, lighting, and even small appliances. Please visit our Smart Home Automation page for more information.
What temperature should I set my thermostat on?
On average, you will see 2% energy savings for each degree. Florida Power & Light recommends cooling your home to 78° or warmer with the thermostat fan set to "AUTO", Not “FAN”. For additional savings, when you are away from home raise your thermostat to 82°.
Why is my thermostat blank?
First, check the thermostat’s power source. Does it run on batteries or is it hard wired? Change the battery if needed or check the circuit breaker. If the break is tripped, reset it. If that doesn’t work, please call us at (941) 347-0779 for immediate assistance.
I am a winter resident of Florida. How should I set my thermostat when I’m not here?
Florida Power & Light recommends the following:
- If you have a manual thermostat, set your air conditioning to 80° for single family homes or townhouses and 77° for apartments and condos.
- If you have a programmable thermostat, program your air conditioning to run for two hours at 72° before sunrise and then 82° for the rest of the day.
Another HVAC company told me that I need to replace my system, but I would like another opinion. Can Anthony’s give me a second opinion?
At Anthony’s, our motto is… You Don’t Need New, Until We Say Do! It’s not just a slogan. These are the words we live by, so you can trust our FREE second opinion. We pride ourselves on giving all of our customers a trustworthy diagnosis the first time. Our technicians DO NOT work on commission, so we will never sell you something that you don’t need. Click this link to schedule your appointment today.
Do you perform warranty work on equipment that was not installed by Anthony’s?
We service all HVAC makes and models at both residential and commercial properties. If your system is still under manufacturer’s warranty, we can make the repairs and process the equipment claim for you.
How do I chose a trustworthy HVAC company?
Some HVAC companies take advantage of people whose systems are not working. They either make a quick, band-aid fix or try to sell you something that you don’t need. Their technicians are paid on commission and are more motivated to make themselves money rather than repair your system. Since you are desperate to restore comfort to your home quickly, you agree to whatever they say. At Anthony’s, our technicians do not work on commission, so you can always trust what we recommend.
Other companies try to lure customers in with deals that are “too good to be true”. Be careful because these low prices are just a ploy to get their technician into your home. Once they are in, they can charge by the hour to diagnosis your problem or have hidden costs in their repair bill. At Anthony’s, we have honest, straightforward pricing. With our flat rate service fee, you will know exactly what you are paying up front whether your system takes 30 minutes or 3+ hours to diagnosis.
What are some red flags that I am dealing with a subpar HVAC contractor?
- Red Flag #1: If the deal is too good to be true, then it is. AC repairs are not cheap. If a company is offering heavily discounted services, there’s a reason. They either don’t have enough business because of poor quality & service or they will overcharge you in some other area (i.e. parts, equipment, labor rates, etc.). If you want high quality, dependable service, it’s better to pay now to avoid bigger, more expensive issues later.
- Red Flag #2: If they give you a quote over the phone or without inspecting your system, hire someone else! A professional HVAC company will not give speculative quotes. They must personally visit your home to assess your specific situation (layout, duct work, comfort level, type of windows, insulation, etc.) to give you an accurate quote. A professional quote should come as a written invoice/proposal. If they give you a verbal quote or just jot something down on the back of their card or slip of paper, say goodbye and call us at (941) 347-0779!
- Red Flag #3: If there are few or no online reviews/ratings about the company, think twice about using them. A contractor that provides good service will have a great online reputation. We are proud to say that we have earned a 4.9 Google rating from our coolest customers. Please read our most recent reviews here!
- Red Flag #4: If the HVAC technician is not certified or licensed, bonded, & insured, find another company. Having certification means your repairman has gone through professional training and passed the necessary tests to become a professional technician. So, you can trust them to provide quality work.
Next time you are looking for a HVAC contractor, keep these four things in mind and remember: “Good isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t good!”
What do you charge for your services? I just need a ballpark.
We get this question a lot and we do understand that cost is important. However, after decades of servicing customers, we have learned that nearly every homeowner’s situation and home is different which makes it impossible to give an accurate quote over the phone. When we come out to your home, we can evaluate the problem relative to your equipment, the configuration of your HVAC system, and then provide you with an accurate written estimate, so there are no surprises.
Why should I hire a licensed HVAC company? The other contractors are less expensive.
- Insurance and Workman’s Compensation - If a business owner doesn’t get a license for their company, there’s a good chance he or she won’t have insurance either. In the unfortunate event something is damaged while work is being done on your property, a licensed company will have insurance to protect them and you. Did you know that if an uninsured AC technician is injured in your home, they can sue for damages? Licensed companies will also have workman’s compensation insurance to protect their employees.
- Education, Knowledge, and Experience -When you work with a licensed AC technician, they will have knowledge about current systems and equipment. This allows them to find ideal product options for your home and ensure you’re getting top-notch service every time. A certified HVAC specialist will also have up-to-date information on building codes, rules, and regulations.
- Cost Savings -Since many homeowners choose unlicensed repairmen to “save money”, it might seem surprising that a licensed AC technician will actually be more cost-effective.
Given their knowledge and experience, certified HVAC companies will be able to provide more quick, reliable service and repairs. Thus, their billable hours will be less and there is a lower chance for reoccurring breakdowns. Licensed AC companies will also provide warranties on their equipment. These will all result in less money being spent in the long run!
Have more questions not answered here? Feel free to contact us online or call us at (941) 347-0779.
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