How do I find a licensed contractor?
Visit www.arctick.org for a directory of licensed contractors in your area.
Which brand should I buy?
As this site is run by an impartial, not-for-profit organisation, we are not in a position to recommend any one brand or system over another.
If you follow the advice given on this site, however, you will likely find there are systems from many companies that will meet your requirements. A licensed installer will be able to give you more specific advice on the system that best suits your needs.
What are the advantages of replacing my old air conditioner with a new one?
This depends just how old your old air conditioner is.
If your existing air conditioner was installed in the past 4-5 years then, unless it has a serious fault, chances are it will still be competitive with a newer unit.
Beyond that, however, chances are a new unit will save you money on your electricity bill and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions as a result. Air conditioning technology is improving all the time and it is likely that there are models available now that are much more efficient than your previous air conditioner
Some older systems may still also be using CFC refrigerant - CFC refrigerants have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol and have been replaced with newer refrigerants. Parts and refrigerant gas may be unavailable for these systems. HCFC refrigerants are also subject to the Montreal Protocol, and are due to be phased out by 2020 - R22 is the most common HCFC used in residential air conditioners.
Consult a licensed contractor if you think your air conditioner might need replacing.
What temperature should I set my air conditioner to?
This is a fairly subjective question that will depend on a number of factors - not least of which is the preference of the user. Suffice it to say that if you need to put your jumper back on, it's probably too cold!
There is no set standard for temperatures that air conditioners should be able to achieve. If you would like your air conditioner to be able to achieve a particular temperature, discuss it with your licensed contractor before the system is installed to make sure it'll measure up.
The other thing to remember is that energy consumption increases significantly for ever degree you turn the thermostat down - it's a lot less expensive to keep a house at 26°C than it is to keep it at 22°C.
Is it a waste of energy to use my ceiling fan at the same time as my air conditioner?
No - quite the opposite, if it's done properly. Ceiling fans create air movement, which can make the house feel cooler and, as a result, allow you to raise the temperature setting on your air conditioner. Ceiling fans consume less electricity than air conditioners, so this can be a very effective option.
Who do I speak to if I've got a complaint about how my air conditioner was installed or operates?
In the first instance, you should contact your installer, outline the situation and ask them why it is happening. Make sure you retain all the documentation provided when the system was installed.
If this does not work, contact the Office of Fair Trading in your state to make a formal complaint. Unfortunately, AIRAH is not able to make arbitration calls on faulty installations.
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