Ask the Expert
Ask the Expert
at
Horizon Air Conditioning of Arizona, Inc



Is central air conditioning better than window units?
This depends largely on individual circumstances - for example, how large is the area to be air conditioned, how large is the
family, what temperatures are required, how well the house is insulated, where the house is located, etc. Central systems
require duct work from the outdoor unit to indoor vents; window units take up valuable window space. Window units are
designed for single room usage. Central air conditioning can do the entire home.


Should I augment my central air conditioning system with other air conditioners or ceiling fans?
If you need to use other air conditioners with a central air conditioning system, your central system is probably undersized.
Ceiling fans are a good idea to use with the central air conditioning to help circulate air that tends to stagnate at the top of
rooms, especially those with high ceilings.


What should I do in advance to make sure that my air conditioning system will work efficiently this summer?
The main thing is to have a "Spring Service" between late March and the end of May, before the hottest temperatures of
Summer come in. Also, check your filters on a monthly basis, and change or clean washable filters as often as needed. In
addition, keep the outdoor unit clear of weeds or other debris. Horizon Air Conditioning of Arizona, Inc., recommends that you
do not plant flowers, etc., within 18" of the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit needs to breath to work efficiently.


Sh
ould I replace both my outdoor condensing unit (which includes the compressor) and the indoor coil on my central air
conditioning system at the same time?
In most instances, yes. Matching a new condensing unit with a new coil is the most reliable way to be certain you are going
to get the rated efficiency of the new equipment.


If I buy a new system, what is the best kind of thermostat?
If you want flexibility to program your temperature changes, a programmable digital thermostat will probably be best.
Whether you want to program your temperatures for different times of day or not, a digital thermostat is more accurate than a
mercury-bulb thermostat. The model carried by Horizon Air Conditioning of Arizona, Inc. is sleek in design and very easy to
use.


What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is like a conventional air conditioner except it also can  provide heat in the Winter. In the Summer, the heat
pump collects heat from the house and expels it outside. In the winter, the heat pump extracts heat from outside air and
circulates it inside the home. A heat pump uses less energy to supply the same heat compared to an electric furnace with a
resistance heating element. For Bullhead City air conditioning, a heat pump is the most reliable source of heating and
cooling.


What is the difference between a split system and package air conditioner or heat pump?
A split system has one of its heat exchangers (including the compressor) located outdoors and the other (the indoor coil)
located indoors. A package unit has both exchangers located in the same unit, typically outdoors. Horizon Air Conditioning of
Arizona, Inc., can advise you which type would better suit your needs.


Should I install a heat pump instead of a regular air conditioner if I have a gas heating system?
A heat pump can be a worthwhile consideration no matter what type of heating system is used in a home. A heat pump with
gas supplementary heat (split heat pump system) is the most economical system and offers excellent performance and
comfort. The experts at Horizon Air Conditioning of Arizona, Inc., can offer the advice you need to make the best comfort
decision to suit your needs.


How often should I change the air filter in my system?
Horizon Air Conditioning of Arizona, Inc., recommends you check your filter at least once a month. Disposable filters should
be replaced as often as needed, and washable filters should be cleaned as often as needed. Bullhead City air conditioning,
Fort Mohave air conditioning and Mohave Valley air conditioning systems tend to get very dirty from our sandy area.


Is there anything dangerous about the refrigerant in my central air conditioning or heat pump system?
The refrigerant  in residential central air conditioning and heat pump systems is nontoxic, nonflammable, odorless, and
sealed within the system. Under normal conditions,
refrigerant is harmless. However, like any other substance, it can be
abused. Some people have died from deliberately inhaling or "sniffing" pure gas. Inhaling such concentrated refrigerant
vapor can cause cardiac irregularities and cardiac arrest -- a fatal heart attack.


In hot weather, should I turn my thermostat up when I leave for work in the morning?
If your house is going to be empty for more than about 4 hours, it's a good idea to turn your thermostat up to about 82
degrees or so instead of the 78 usually recommended. Keep the house closed to minimize heat build-up. When you come
home, don't set the thermostat any lower than the temperature you actually want.  Your air conditioning system won't cool any
faster and might easily waste money by cooling your home more than needed.

In addition, each degree you increase the setting on your thermostat can decrease the cost of operating your air conditioning
system by as much as 3
%.

"How does a heat pump work?."  
In Summer, an air-to-air pump operates as a standard, electrically driven air conditioner, collecting heat from the air in your
home and expelling it outside.
In Winter, the process is reversed so that the heat pump collects from outdoor air to warm the air inside your home. The heat
pump can do this because heat exists in all air down to absolute zero (-460 Fahrenheit). Even cold winter air contains heat.  
How well does the heat pump save energy? It's the heating cycle that accounts for the significant energy savings that are
produced by air to an indoor circulation system.


What is a Package Heat Pump?
This is a system that has all components, both heating and cooling, completely contained in one unit. The system is set
outside the home.


What is a Split System Heat Pump?
This is a heat pump system with components located both inside and outside the home. Generally, the cooling portion is
outside while the heating portion (furnace or air handler) is located inside the building. This is the most common type of heat
pump installed in a home.