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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I just replace the outdoor unit on an older system to save money?

No. Replacing only the outdoor unit will sacrifice your comfort and lower the efficiency of the unit. In fact, you can lose up to 15% of the unit's efficiency! Even worse, your system may fail sooner than normal and most manufacturers' warranties will be voided. You should seriously consider buying a complete heat pump system.

Where can I get information about financing programs?

Wichita-Snider has several financing programs available to fit most budgets. For more information, please call (580) 536-5820.

What is the average life expectancy of equipment?

Most systems have a lifetime of 12 years or less. As your equipment gets older, its efficiency can decrease dramatically. You may notice that it gets noisier and needs repairs more often. If your system is over five years old, you should have a heating and cooling contractor check your system for maintenance or replacement. Preventative maintenance can prolong the life of the equipment.

Should I have my ducts cleaned?

Yes. Mold, mildew, pet hair, skin flakes, smoke film, dander, dust mites, dirt, pollen, and even bacteria take up residence in your air ducts. With each breath you take you inhale these contaminants. Dirty air ducts can not only make you sick or raise your utility bills, but they can also reduce your air flow and cause premature failure of your expensive heating and cooling system.

Why should I purchase a service agreement?

Proper care of your equipment can save you real dollars on your utility bills. Some air conditioning and heating problems can double operating costs without reducing comfort. Just 100th of an inch of dirt or film on an evaporator coil can reduce cooling and heating efficiency by 5%. All leading manufacturers recommend regular maintenance to maintain peak performance. A service agreement will give you the piece of mind that your system is operating at optimum efficiency and performance.

Should I replace or repair my equipment?

There are five main questions that need to be considered when deciding to either replace or repair your heating and cooling system:

How old is your system? If your system is more than ten years old, it may be wiser to invest in new, higher efficiency equipment, which could cut your energy costs by up to 40%.

What is the efficiency level of your current indoor weather system? Unfortunately, replacing parts of your old system will not improve the efficiency. If the energy savings of using a higher efficiency system will cover all or part of the cost of investing in new equipment, you should seriously consider replacement of the old system.

What is the overall condition of your system? If your system is in solid condition, it could be wiser to simply repair it. But if your system breaks down often, you should consider replacing it.

How often is your system operating? If your system has been used extensively, it may be time to replace it. Systems exposed to extreme weather normally do not last as long as those in mild conditions.

Are you planning to move soon? If you are moving in the next year or two and believe investing in a new indoor weather system will improve the value of your home, you should consider making the investment. If you plan to live in your current residence for many more years, it may also be wise to go ahead and invest in your future comfort.

For more information, please call us at (580) 536-5820. We will be happy to discuss it with you.

How can I reduce allergens and increase humidity in my home?

With a high efficiency air cleaner, you can remove up to 99% of the pollen and spores that find their way into the home. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will become cleaner and fresher while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate throughout the house. With a whole house humidifier, you can relieve the irritating discomfort of dry indoor air. The humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and damage to your furnishings and woodwork. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you do not have to set the thermostat as high to feel the comfort you want. A lower thermostat setting will reduce the costs of your energy bill. A humidifier adds moisture and improves your comfort while increasing the energy efficiency of your indoor weather system. On the other hand, a central dehumidifier removes excess moisture and helps control the humidity inside your home.

What does SEER and HSPF mean to me?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, which translates into greater energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new models to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. Most major manufacturers offer a line of air conditioners and heat pumps that range from 13.0 SEER to 16.0 SEER.

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. Again, the higher the number, the greater the efficiency. Today's models are required to have a minimum 6.8 HSPF. Most major manufactures offer heat pumps with HSPF ratings ranging from 6.8 to 9.4.

How will the new environment friendly refrigerant affect me?

The 1990 Clean Air Act and the internationally binding Montreal Protocol calls for an international phase out of future manufacturing of the refrigerant R-22, which is currently used in most air conditioning and heat pump systems. Historically, when a refrigerant has been phased out, the cost of that refrigerant has risen dramatically. Also, the costs for servicing products using a phased out refrigerant have risen as well. According to current government regulations, the production of R-22 will be reduced by nearly one-fourth by 2004. By the year 2012, the production of R-22 will be reduced by nearly one-half of the current production. That means all R-22 products will eventually need to be replaced by products utilizing the new chlorine-free refrigerant.

Should I be concerned about Carbon Monoxide in my home?

Yes. Each year, carbon monoxide kills more than 300 Americans and sends nearly 5,000 more to emergency rooms for treatment, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Where does it come from? When carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene or wood burn, they produce gases. When fuel combustion or burning isn't complete, carbon monoxide enters the air. The CPSC advises that carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to alert yourself to the presence of toxic gas in your home. If you wake in the night with a headache -- and especially if another member of the family complains of a headache or is difficult to arouse -- get out of the house fast and seek medical help. Wichita-Snider recommends carbon monoxide detectors be installed in your home!

How can I reduce my energy costs in the Winter?

Limit the loss of expensive heated air to the outside. Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans sparingly.

Keep fireplace dampers tightly closed until you prepare to light a fire.

When using your fireplace, limit the amount of heated air drawn from the rest of the house. Open dampers in the bottom of the firebox if provided, or open the closest window about 1 inch and close any doors leading into the room.

Draft-proof windows, doors, and other air leaks. Caulking and weather stripping are reasonably easy, so you may be able to save money by doing the job yourself.

Lower your thermostat to about 65 degrees F during the day and 60 degrees F at night. For each degree you turn down your thermostat, you'll save about 3 percent on your heating bills. Consider the comfort and convenience of an automatic clock thermostat to do this for you.

Avoid heating unused areas by closing off unoccupied rooms and shutting off heating vents. Note: this does not apply if you have a heat pump system. Leave it alone, as shutting vents could harm a heat pump.

Keep your heating equipment operating efficiently. Clean or replace the filter in your forced air heating system each month, and check the duct work that is readily accessible for air leaks about once a year. Be sure that heating ducts in unheated areas are insulated. Keep the heating system well tuned with periodic maintenance by a professional service.

Insulate your attic floor or top floor ceiling to reduce winter heat loss.

Consider installing storm windows and doors.

If you have an attached garage, keep your garage door closed. This will prevent cold winds from infiltrating the connecting door and other areas between the house and garage.

If you're ready to make your home more efficient, contact us and ask about our energy audit program to identify areas where homes waste energy and money. For more information, please call us at (580) 536-5820.

What does Energy Star mean?

Energy Star stands for high-efficiency and energy savings according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Energy Star heating and cooling products are a good investment. Owners of such equipment realize returns in the form of lower utility bills.

We serve a 50 mile radius around Lawton, Oklahoma, including these cities:
Altus, Apache, Anadarko, Chickasha, Duncan, Marlow

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