Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system?

Find the label on the outer surface of the equipment for a manufacture date. Equipment less than five years old may have a warranty, but also may not depending on the manufacturer. Warranty terms and conditions change by manufacturer and the installing company. Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can verify the warranty status of your heating and cooling system via System Inspection. We also offer a Platinum PLUSTM Protection Plan for home heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of the equipment age or manufacturer warranty status.

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Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?

Yes. Noisy heating and cooling equipmentincrease sound pollution. Although no cost savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your Columbia home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a number of things, such as the equipment, and whether the compressor is insulated or not can add to the amount of noise it makes.

Although many heating and cooling systems made today are quieter than ever before, it's a safe  thought to compare sound ratings when evaluating a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.

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What is a Precision Tune-up and how much does it cost?

As well as the professional visual inspection included with our System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up also includes a total maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. Find out more here about Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning’s Precision Tune-up steps . The cost of a tune-up is seasonal, and printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups can often be found on our Coupons page.

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What's causing my duct work to pop when the furnace starts or stops?

A popping noise is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may have to do with greater air flow than the duct work is built for. Have a qualified company analyze your home's ventilation system for proper design and make necessary recommendations. Improper duct work layout can cause a variety of ventilation and air quality problems, including: 

  1. loud banging noises
  2. higher energy bills
  3. lowered lifespan of the system
  4. uneven heating & cooling throughout your home
  5. damaged compressor in hotter months
  6. overheated unit in the cooler months
In addition, if your ductwork is the wrong size you may have other concerns, such as leaky ducts and poor layout that restricts airflow. In humid climates this can cause mold growth within your ductwork.

 

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When changing the outdoor system, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

The answer is, probably so. Here's why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically fabricated to work with a matched indoor unit for optimum efficiency and performance. The outcome of this matched equipment is a harmonized, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may "work" with indoor units other than those for which they have been precisely designed; however, the result would be a definite compromise in system performance.

Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone many design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. An up-to-date outdoor unit will also incorporate the latest design advances.

Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may provide improved efficiency when compared with your old system, but it will not be as efficient as it was designed to be, and your savings will be not as much as with a matched system.

Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump is 10 years old or more and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is likely just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of constant operation over the years. Substituting both units means you won't have to change the indoor unit in a brief time period… you'll have many years of efficient service from both units.

New Warranty: A new set of equipment also delivers you a new product warranty. Substituting the indoor unit simultaneously with the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing that the new warranty covers the entire system for the same period of time.

A Bargain: At first glance, changing only the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump may appear to be a savings. But, when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it's not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system may cost more, but the result is efficiency, reliability and comfort for years into the future.

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Why don't you charge by the hour?

Similar to a value menu at many restaurants, charging a flat rate cost in place of an hourly cost makes available more value for our customers because everything is included, the pricing is up-front, and it does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or how much time it takes to finish the repairs, the price will not change. This reason is one of many why Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is the most trusted name in Columbia.

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Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

You probably wouldn't purchase a brand-new car and assume to never have to inflate the tires, change the oil and check out any atypical noises. Your home comfort system is similar to your car’s engine; it’s a mechanical device with a motor, electrical components... and even fuel. So it is essential to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a qualified technician. If not properly and routinely maintained, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could cause problems and become less 'fuel' efficient over time.

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Why is my AC system freezing up?

There are many possibilities that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up; almost all of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician. Making sure the air filter is clean or replaced and confirming the airflow is not restricted are about the only tasks a homeowner should safely identify or handle themself.

Low refrigerant: Sometimes, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. How long your system has been operating and the type and location of the leak govern the decision whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. On these occasions, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Progressively you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. You will need to contact your local Service Experts sales and service center to fix the problem.

Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be discontinuous, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. Either way, you will need to contact your local Service Experts sales and service center to correct the problem.

Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty air filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can hasten the thawing process by turning the system off and then turning on only the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Columbia to fix the problem.

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What is a Zoning System for a heating and air conditioning system?

Zoning Systems split your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that require specific temperature conditioning.

For example, a large living room with large bay windows may stay too hot in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will send more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help compensate for the heat gained or lost through the windows. A different example of areas that could benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theater or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Today's families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Perhaps you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. No matter what your needs, a zoning system can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides free estimates and a complimentary consultation on Zoning Systems, call 803-399-7208 today if you think a new Zoning System might be right for you.

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803-399-7208 today if you think a new Zoning System might be right for you.">
When should I install a Zoning System?

If you are changing your Columbia area home air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is the right time to also install a new zoning system to address hot and cold spots or special temperature preferences in the home. When your new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, your family benefits from customized temperature control in each zone.

Zoning is also a great idea for new homes since the system can be installed during construction. If you are buying a new home, check with your builder about a zoning system. It could make the difference between just enjoying your new house and being truly comfortable in it.

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Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters vary by quality and size, and some have specs that others don't. In most cases we recommend installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed unit, but you might be tempted to try some other filter type for convenience or to remove extra pollutants from your home.

Filters have MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV means "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating means fewer particles pass through, and it blocks finer particulates. This seems obviously good, and it can be, but a filter that catches finer dust and allergens will also build up faster, and pressure on your unit will increase. If your system has not been designed to operate with this kind of filter, it can decrease your airflow around your house, putting the hurt on your comfort and energy costs. So what should you know before you buy? Unless you live in a hospital, you simply don't need a MERV rating above 13. Fun fact, most residential systems are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and most often you will discover that more expensive systems have been made to function with a MERV rating of 8 or 11. All filters with a MERV rating of 5 should block most of the common nuisances people care about such as pollen, pet dander, and lint. While some filters claim to be able to capture mold spores, we recommend removing any mold from your house you find, instead of trying to delay the issue with a finer filter.

Frequently the packaging shows how often your filter ought to be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. You also have filters that are one flat piece, and you have some that are ridged with supporting wire. In our experience, the accordian style filters weather better, and are worth the extra pennies.

You may also consider washable filters, also called reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, as they don't add to a dump, and others believe it's more convenient to simply yank out the filter and hose it off rather than making a run to the local hardware store for a filter of the proper size. These filters are often created to work several years and will save you cold cash over the long run, though they cost more initially. However, washable filters have to be dried out all the way before inserting it back to prevent mold growth in your ducts. In addition, most washable filters typically have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, and they lose their efficiency over a period of time. Some washable filters have been built with new technology, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to effectively improve the MERV rating.

Finally, filters are made of different materials. Fiberglass filters are what is bought most often, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters normally catch more debris, but also reduce the airflow in your residence. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or you might recognize the acronym HEPA. While you might be tempted to put in a HEPA filter, just consider that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's highly unlikely that your equipment was constructed to handle that kind of resistance.

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Can indoor air be hazardous to your health?

No doubt about it. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) important for homeowners to know about. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints and personal care products. The tight construction of today's homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a buildup of contaminants within the home.

Poor IAQ can be a direct or indirect cause of several health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation. As well, two existing health problems that can be helped by improving indoor air quality are allergies and asthma. By removing airborne dust particles, the amount of exposure the respiratory system has to them is reduced. Proper ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality, helping to reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home.

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How can I know that I have carbon monoxide in my home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in a central location. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and emits an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have one detector adjacent to every living area, centrally located, or on each floor in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are most effective when used in combination with a maintenance plan. Call 803-399-7208 for a complimentary consultation about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

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803-399-7208 for a complimentary consultation about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.">
How can I eliminate indoor odors?

You may have tried to eliminate indoor odors by spraying air fresheners or lighting candles. Unfortunately, these tactics only mask the odors, they don't get rid of them. These remedies may in fact negatively affect indoor air quality from chemicals that cause allergic reactions or eye irritation for homeowners.

Bacteria, dust mites, animal dander, cat saliva and mold may also be roots of your home's odor problem. One method to purify the air is integrating germicidal (UV) lights in your home, which helps kill odors and inhibit the growth of biological contaminants, sterilizing surfaces in the HVAC system. They also purify the air, preventing the growth of contaminants. The UV lights are installed to work with your home comfort system.

Sometimes poor ventilation contributes to unpleasant odors. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stagnate air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Midland Air Service Experts technician can inspect your home comfort system to determine if this is indeed the problem. The technician can also inform you how you could increase the ventilation system’s ability to correctly circulate and ventilate indoor air.

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How do I choose the right humidifier?

A great way to choose the correct humidifier is by having a home health report performed by Midland Air Service Experts. Every house is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a couple factors to evaluate when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Midland Air Service Experts can help you understand and consider these criteria.

Consider size. A humidifier's capacity, or the amount of moisture it can dispense in a given time, should match your particular household's needs. The capacity is measured as gallons per day of operation. One method that is used to determine the correct-sized humidifier for your home is by multiplying the total floor area in by the ceiling height. We can provide you with this information and additional ways you can determine which type of humidifier will best suit you and your family’s comfort needs.

Consider cost. Consider not only the basic cost of the humidifier, but also operating and maintenance costs. Some brands consume more energy than others, so choosing a model that is right for your home and budget is extremely important.

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How do I know which indoor air quality product is right for me?

Every person and every home entails a different comfort need. The threshold of irritancy and triggers that affect people’s health and comfort combine to determine the proper solutions. High threshold levels may require simple solutions like a better air filter. Low threshold levels may require an air purification system for the reduction of triggers and irritants. With a Home Health Report Card, Midland Air Service Experts can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you.

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How healthy is my indoor air?

According to studies commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to air pollutants indoors can be 100 times higher than outdoors. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dust and dust mites present in your home. However, not all airborne particles can be eliminated. Filtration devices can help eliminate particles that are too small to be caught by a vacuum. Some filtration devices include UV light units, air filters, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and electronic air cleaners. A Home Health Report Card from Midland Air Service Experts will provide the information about which indoor air improvement products are right for you. To receive a Home Health Report Card and personal air quality consultation Midland Air Service Experts at 803-399-7208.

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How much water does a humidifier use?

Depending on the type you choose and the size of your house, a humidifier may use from 1.5 to 12 gallons per day when the furnace is operating. The amount of water used is enough to raise the humidity to the proper level, but not enough to notice a difference on your water bill.

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