Engineering & Design




Air Conditioning



What can I do to ensure my heat pump or air conditioner lasts a long time?

First, it's important to change your filters regularly to ensure that correct air flow and air quality is maintained. Secondly, invest in insulation, a radiant barrier, and a fan in your attic – far and away the most cost-effective solution a homeowner can do to lower utility bills & equipment run time. Moreover, homeowners should clean the outdoor coil at least once a month to mitigate damage from our abrasive salt environment – make sure you have a qualified technician show you how to clean the outdoor coil properly and safely. Finally, a preventative maintenance (PM) plan will ensure your system is operating efficiently by securing spring & fall startup -- very important, especially for heat pumps.

Why is PM important?

To protect from sudden breakdowns that require expensive emergency repairs -- PM services your system during spring & fall prior to the season where breakdowns mostly occur; in addition, PM systems last a lot longer – PM is cheap insurance to ensure equipment longevity. Also, if your existing equipment is in need of repair or replacement, your part will be covered or discounted on a replacement.

Since a Heat Pump runs twice as much as an Air Conditioner with electric heat, how is it more efficient?

If you're using 8KW strip heat, you're using 30 amps to operate that electric heat, which has a COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 1; conversely, a 2.5 ton heat pump will produce the same heat, but only draw 10 amps -- that's why heat pumps are approximately 3 times more efficient and have a COP of 3. Simply put, an AC system with electric heat is the worst system a homeowner can purchase.

Why is it important to choose a knowledgeable and reliable contractor?

Improper installation and maintenance procedures lead to reduced equipment life; for example, compressors have a 15 year life expectancy, but most don’t last 10 years. Moreover, ductboard with liners and flex duct systems reduce efficiency by up to 33% & 50%, respectfully, while producing inferior air quality. Most of the expensive homes, for instance, are installed with inferior air conditioning, duct distribution systems, and insulation systems that lead not only to poor performance but also to unhealthy air quality. In addition, very few homes utilize radiant barrier technology to lower utility bills for the homeowner – heat transfer occurs by convection, conduction and, more importantly, radiation – all the insulation in the world won’t stop radiant energy from infiltrating your home.
In short, properly installing & maintaining quality air conditioning, duct distribution, and insulation systems secure the homeowner’s health while saving thousands of dollars in lower utility bills.

Why should I buy a geothermal Heat Pump or air-source Heat Pump and what type should I choose?

Heat Pumps are an economical source of heat down to 0 degrees, which we never see; for example, typical air-source heat pumps have coefficient of performances of 1.5 at zero degrees, compared to electricity's 1.0 -- substantial savings.

Similarly, Geothermal Heat Pumps achieve 30 EER ratings & 6.0 COP. This is far superior to the 14 EER & 3.5 COP ratings from top air-source heat pumps -- a geothermal heat pump is the superior option.

A variable-speed Heat Pump with proper heat sequencing that is properly installed and maintained. Heat Pumps, like cars, aren’t created equal. Remember, this is a one time investment for the next 10 to 15 years, choose wisely.

When should I replace my existing Heat Pump or Air Conditioner?

The time frame to replace an existing unit would be anywhere from 12-15 years old, but many outdoor units in our coastal area last around 5 years due to improper installation and maintenance procedures. Regular maintenance and installation by a knowledgeable and qualified contractor will result in the appropriate lifespan of your equipment.

What can I do if I can’t afford a new Heat Pump or Air Conditioner?

Ask for the many different ways that you can finance this investment. There are plans that are interest free for 6 or 12 months.