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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Residential HVAC Systems

Don’t see your question listed below? Contact the experts at SM Air by calling (512) 212-4777 for all your questions about HVAC systems in San Marcos, TX. We’re happy to give you the answers and advice you need to make the best decision for your comfort!

Is it better to have a heat pump or an air conditioner and a furnace in Texas?

Both are good options and will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, if you’re looking to save money and save energy, a heat pump can be a better long-term investment. Air-source, gas-fired, and mini-split heat pumps are cost-effective options that can deliver significant comfort and energy savings. However, while you can choose a geothermal heat pump, these tend to be cost-prohibitive for most homeowners and businesses due to the high installation costs.

How critical is annual maintenance?

Annual maintenance is essential for your residential HVAC systems. Your furnace, air conditioner, indoor air quality systems, etc., require cleaning, tune-ups, and inspections for proper operation. Moreover, if you ignore annual maintenance, you will likely void any warranty coverage on the unit.

Should I invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier?

Absolutely! May is hot and humid, while March can be bone dry. Installing a humidifier and dehumidifier can help you maintain a stable climate within your home. It can also help control mold/mildew growth and will do wonders towards improving your indoor air quality. Because of the relatively high humidity in the area, most people install dehumidifiers to help keep their homes between 30% to 40% relative humidity.

Will my furnace work without electricity?

If you have a gas furnace, it will not function when the power grid fails. While it is rare for the temperature in the region to drop below freezing, if it does and the power goes out, you’ll need a backup generator to keep your furnace operational.

Are smart thermostats worth the investment?

A smart thermostat is a worthwhile investment if you want a fast way to trim your utility bills down to size. Many of our clients save upwards of $200 per year by installing one in their homes. In addition, smart thermostats make it possible for you to optimize your comfort and minimize your energy usage throughout the year.

My AC unit (or heat pump) relies on R-22 refrigerant. Should I replace it?

Since 2015, the amount of R-22 produced in the U.S. has dropped to nearly zero. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find and expensive to purchase. If you have a system that’s 10 years old or older, it may be best to replace your system rather than keep your existing system operational.

How do I size my home’s HVAC systems?

Sizing is critical, and it requires calculating the cubic footage of your home, the number of windows, type of insulation, tree cover, window facing, and more. It’s a complex equation that our HVAC specialists are happy to perform for our clients. It’s crucial to get it right. Otherwise, your system won’t have the appropriate BTU to keep you comfortable and deliver the cost-effective operation you desire.

Can I repair my AC unit or furnace myself?

The internet era has made it possible to find and purchase parts with ease. YouTube provides valuable ideas and information. But, knowing what’s a good part and the proper installation procedures takes training, experience, and expertise. We strongly advise against “do it yourself” HVAC repairs. Not only can it cause personal injuries, but it is also very easy to create a fire hazard or damage the system beyond repair.