General HVAC

We like to put it this way: you wouldn’t drive 100,000 miles without changing the oil in your car. Therefore, we don’t recommend putting your HVAC system through hundreds or even thousands of hours of work without a proper tune-up. We recommend an annual tune up for your air conditioner in the springtime and then for your furnace in the fall so that your system is ready to go when you need it.

A heat pump is a machine that collects ambient thermal energy from the air outside, condenses it, and then carries it indoors where it can be used to heat your home. In warmer weather climates like Southern California, these systems have been shown in numerous studies to save homeowners a significant amount of energy while also completely doing away with carbon-based emissions that come from burning fuel.

Heat pumps are incredibly energy-efficient and effective at heating homes. In warm-weather climates like ours here in Southern California, this makes them a great alternative to gas fueled or electric powered furnaces. We recommend considering a heat pump the next time you have to replace your heater—they can be easily retrofitted into almost any home with a central heating system already installed.
Not all air conditioners are built equal, and not all air conditioners operate in the same conditions or with the same care regimen as others. However, you can generally expect your air conditioner to last around 20 to 25 years before it will need replacement. Well-kept air conditioners will often last as much as 30 years, while poorly-maintained systems may need replacement in as little as 15 years.
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward or easy answer to this question because every air conditioner in every home is going to be different. Some air conditioners can be reasonably repaired and continue to operate without issue. Other air conditioners aren’t worth repairing either due to the nature of the repair or the age of the air conditioner. We recommend having your system professionally inspected for a more definitive answer.
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the systems that move air between indoor and outdoor areas and provide heating and cooling in both residential and commercial buildings. These systems also filter and clean indoor air to keep you healthy and maintain ideal humidity levels for optimal comfort.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or “Rating” and is the ratio of an HVAC system’s cooling output over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy the AC and heat pump consume in Watt-Hours. The higher the SEER ratio, the more energy efficient the system is. The minimum SEER rating usually stands at 13, while a rating above 16 is considered high efficiency. SEER ratings can range anywhere from 13 to 21.

Bigger is always better, right? Well, not necessarily. Buying an air conditioner that is the right size for your home is essential. If you buy one that’s too big, it might cool your home faster, but it will also be less efficient and won’t offer as much comfort because it won’t be able to eliminate humidity well enough. Contact us today if you need help selecting an AC for your home.

To calculate the size of the AC you need for the best results in comfort, performance, and energy efficiency, start by calculating the square footage of your home. Once you have the square footage of your home, multiply it by 25 BTU to get ample cooling for your home. The number you get is a good ballpark figure for what capacity air conditioner you should buy.

A reputable HVAC professional like Hilo Aire will correctly calculate and explain how some of the existing variables, like climate, home exterior, sun exposure, and existing ductwork, may impact the calculations.

The most effective way to improve your home’s indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions by making sure there is enough ventilation, controlling the sources of pollution such as keeping your home smoke-free, and using an air purifier.

You should check your air conditioner and furnace filters at least once a month. You need to clean or replace them if they are dirty. A dirty filter reduces the airflow to your HVAC system, causing it to use more energy, which costs you more money. It also might be unable to keep your home at the proper temperature, making it run for extended periods, which strains and might eventually damage it.

Generally, most HVAC companies and air filter manufacturers recommend changing your AC air filter every 90 days or three months under normal circumstances. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you should consider changing your filter every 60 days or two months. If a family member has allergies or respiratory conditions, Hilo Aire recommends that you change your filter every 20-45 days.

As the name suggests, duct cleaning is the process of cleaning the air ducts that circulate conditioned air around your home. A professional duct cleaning service can, however, also do the cleaning of other HVAC components, such as the furnace fan, coils, heat exchangers, and more!

It may come as a surprise that duct cleaning is not part of regular HVAC maintenance. If your ductwork is properly sealed and you regularly change filters, you don’t need to clean your air ducts routinely. Hilo Aire recommends cleaning your air ducts every two to three years. You should have them cleaned more frequently if your home has pets or people suffering from allergies.

Does my air conditioning system need servicing even with no noticeable defects? Yes.

Hilo Aire recommends that you service your home air conditioning and heating systems at least once yearly.

You can maximize savings on cooling by maintaining your air conditioner system regularly and following these usage guidelines:

  • Ensure that your AC is correctly installed
  • Seal A/C ducts
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Close all the doors and windows
  • Insulate your home
  • Check and change your HVAC filters
  • Refrain from heat-producing activities