Frequently Asked Questions

What is a high SEER Rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This rating measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. A unit with a higher SEER rating means that it is more efficient at cooling your home. Which translates to lower energy usage and lower utility bills. View Special offers for High SEER A/C Units.

How often should I change the air filter in my home's air conditioner or heating furnace?
It should be replaced once a month. This is done to keep dust out of the unit and the air. A dirty filter will restrict air flow. Read One Simple Thing You Can Do To Help Efficiently Cool and Heat Your Home to learn more.

What can I do to optimize functionality of my a/c unit?
Check and replace your air filter once a month especially during the summer and winter, make sure the outdoor air unit is free of debris, keep the outdoor air unit in a level position, and schedule routine seasonal and cooling maintenance. Learn more about The Importance of Routine Maintenance on Your Household A/C and Heating System.

Why should I replace both units (outside and inside) when only one is broken?
Air conditioners are a matched system. If you choose to only replace one unit, you will lose technology changes that ensure the system functions efficiently. Learn more about our Central A/C & Heating or Ductless Split A/C & Heating installation services.

What does BTU mean in terms of air conditioning and heating?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent to the amount of heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match. For your air unit and heating furnance, it is a measurement that represents the amount of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating or the amount of heat that is extracted from your home for cooling.

What does AFUE mean in terms of heating my home?
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a rating that reflects the efficiency of a gas furnace in converting fuel to energy. A rating of 80 means that approximately 80 percent of the fuel is utilized to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 10 percent escapes as exhaust. A higher AFUE means higher efficiency heating furnance. Upgrading to a high efficiency furnace is an effective way to save money on home heating costs. If you are experiencing increased energy usage during the winter months, when you use your heating furnace the most, contact Authentic Air LLC at 504.421.2647 to discuss options for replacing your old furnace. Learn more about our Central A/C & Heating Installation Services.

What does CFM mean in terms of air conditioning?
CFM stands for Cubic feet per minute, a standard measurement of airflow. A typical system produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.

What does the term Capacity mean for cooling and heating my home?
The output or producing capability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment. Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs. As it relates to cooling capacity of an air conditioner (measured in BTU/H), Capacity indicates the quantity of heat a room air conditioner can remove in one hour.

What is the Compressor in my home's air unit?
The compressor is like the heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient quantities in order to meet the cooling requirements of the system.

What is the Condenser Coil or Outdoor Coil in my home's air unit?
Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid.

What is the air damper in my home's air ducts?
Found in ductwork, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to certain rooms.

How does a Downflow Furnace work?
In downflow furnaces, cool air enters the top of the unit, where it is heated, then it exits the furnace at the bottom. The warm air then enters the home through floor heating vents, where it rises to fill the rooms with warmth. The choice of one heating furnace configuration over another is dictated by which type will operate most efficiently in a particular installation.

Should I replace my Ductwork?
Air ducts are the pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home. Your ducts should deliver the air evenly, quietly and with enough velocity to mix the air in your living space. Properly installed air ducts should help to maximize the efficiency of the equipment used for cooling and heating your home. If you are replacing an air conditioning unit you should consider replacing your air ducts as well. Learn more about our Air Duct System Replacement services.

What is the Evaporator Coil in my home's air unit?
The coil that is inside your house in a split system. In the evaporator, refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from air passed over the coil.

What is the Heat Exchanger in my home's heating furnace?
A device for the transfer of heat energy from the source to the conveying medium. Basically, it is just a series of metal tubes or cells that are designed to remove the heat from the burned gas or oil in your furnace and transfer that heat into your home.

What is a Horizontal Furnace?
A furnace that lies on its side, pulling in return air from one side and expelling warm air from the other. The choice of one heating furnace configuration over another is dictated by which type will operate most efficiently in a particular installation.

Why do I need a Humidifier?
A humidifier is a device that injects water vapor into heated air as the air is expelled from the furnace. A dry indoor climate due to low humidity causes a variety of discomforts such as decreased resistance to colds and flu to dry skin. Inside your home, low humidity levels can cause static electricity, cracks in furniture, or peeling paint. Humidifiers that are installed in your a/c and heating system are designed to add moisture back into the air by releasing water vapor throughout your home to increase the humidity levels in your living space.

I hear about Humidity all the time, but what does it mean really?
Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Our bodies sweat to keep cool and maintain its current temperature. Our skin relies on air to get rid of moisture. The higher the relative humidity levels the harder it is for our sweat to evaporate into the air because of the increased moisture levels in the air. When relative humidity is high, we feel much warmer than the actual temperature. When humidity levels are low, we feel much cooler than the actual temperature. In your home, air conditioners remove moisture for added comfort.

What is a HSPF rating?
HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This is a measure of the overall heating efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps over an entire heating season. It is determined by the average number of BTU's of heat delivered for every watt-hour of electricity used. A unit with a higher HSPF rating means that it is more efficient at heating your home. Which translates to lower energy usage and lower utility bills.

What does HVAC mean?
Simply put, it means Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It consists of equipment that forms an entire system whose main purpose is to cool and heat a residential home or commercial building.

What is an Integrally Controlled Motor (ICM)?
A specially engineered, variable-speed motor used in top-of-the-line indoor units. ICM motors are more than 90 percent efficient versus 60 percent efficiency for conventional motors. Continuous comfort, quiet operation and ultimate system efficiency are the benefits of the indoor products graced with the ICM motor.

What is a Packaged System?
A piece of air conditioning and heating equipment in which all components are located in one cabinet. Used occasionally in residential applications, the packaged unit is installed either beside or on top of the home.

What is Refrigerant?
A substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or vaporizing.

What are Refrigerant Lines?
Set of two copper lines connecting the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.

What is a Split System?
A split system refers to a comfort system configuration consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner, and an indoor unit, such as a furnace and coil.

What is the Switchover Valve in my heat pump?
A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating. Also called a reversing valve or four-way valve.

How do Thermostats work?
A central air conditioning and heating thermostat is a temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside the home. It consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor the temperature in the air and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. Programmable thermostats allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day.

What does Ton mean in terms of cooling my home?
Ton is a unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.

What is an Upflow Furnace?
A furnace that pulls return air in from the bottom and expels warm air from the top. The choice of one heating furnace configuration over another is dictated by which type will operate most efficiently in a particular installation.

What is Zoning?
A method of dividing a home into zones, which enables you to control the amount of comfort provided to each.