FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

We have listed below some of the basic heating & air conditioning questions. If you have additional questions or comments, you can send us an email. We will have one of our customer service representatives contact you to address your questions, and help you with all your heating and air conditioning needs. You can also request an appointment, or contact us for service on your existing equipment or get an estimate on a new efficient money saving system.

                At Family Air, "We Care About Your Family's Air".

Why should I purchase a new heating or air conditioning system? 
If your existing system is old, in need of repair or simply inefficient, purchasing a new unit can offer long-term benefits. Instead of paying for continuous maintenance and high heating and cooling monthly bills, you should invest in a new system today that will save you money for years to come. We can answer all your questions concerning replacing filters, energy efficiency ratings, repairs needed, and we can show you how to save on your utility bills, by replacing your unit with a more efficient one.  Please contact us to request an appointment to have a qualified, licensed and certified technician perform a preliminary diagnostic inspection and answer all your heating and cooling questions. 

How long will my System last?
If all recommended maintenance and service actions are taken, an air conditioner can last 12 to 15 years and a gas furnace 20 to 25 years. At Family Air Services, Inc. we offer money saving value maintenance agreements to help upkeep your system for maximum heating & air conditioning reliability & efficiency. Contact us at Family Air Services, Inc, and we can further discuss the benefits of a maintenance agreement for your system today.

What type and size unit will our home need?
At Family Air Services, Inc. we will consider many factors before making a recommendation. For example, the size and age of your home, your utility costs, and other factors will affect the functionality and efficiency of the system. Family Air Services, Inc. will utilize the latest technology to consider all these factors while assisting you in choosing the best system for your home.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable technicians to give you an estimate, and assist you in your selection.

What is a BTU?
, short for British Thermal Unit, is a basic measure of thermal (heat) energy. One BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.  When speaking of cooling power, the BTU also works in reverse. The air-cooling power of an air conditioning system refers to the amount of thermal energy removed from an area. Hence a 65,000 BTU heater and a 65,000 BTU air conditioner are of roughly the same capacity and size. The higher the BTU output, the more powerful the heating or cooling system

What is a SEER rating?
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, (SEER) rates air conditioning equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. The lower the SEER rating, the more energy is required to produce the desired effect. SEER is the ratio of the amount of BTU's used for cooling in normal annual use to the total amount of electrical power (measured in watts) over the same period. (Annual Cooling in BTU's/Total Watt Hours = SEER).

What does HSPF stand for?
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF rates heat pump equipment in the heating mode. This factor rates the efficient operation of the heating portion of the heat pump. As the HSPF increases, the unit functions at a more efficient level.

What does AFUE stand for?
AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the ratio of heat output by heat input. This measurement describes how well fuel; gas or oil is consumed to produce heat by a furnace. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have at least an 80% AFUE.

How often should filters be cleaned or replaced?
Typically, filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month. Some units are equipped with permanent filters. They can be cleaned according to the instructions supplied. Disposable filters should be replaced with filters of the same type and size as the original filter. Please
contact us to order your Micro Power Guard filters or disposable filters to keep your system running smoothly.

What is Freon R-22?
R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC).  R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that HCFCs contain chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent. For this reason, the United States Clean Air Act has set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC manufacturers must cease the production of products that use R-22.

What is R-410A?
R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and is being seen as the most likely replacement for R-22 by HVAC manufacturers by the beginning of 2010.

What is Energy Star? 
Energy Star is a program that was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help businesses and individuals make energy efficient purchases. This program places the ENERGY STAR label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high efficiency products.   For more information about the Energy Star program, please view their website at

What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a device used for either the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs.  A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. Schedule an
appointment today to have one of our certified and licensed technicians come to your home to give you a preliminary diagnostic of your heat pump system.

Do I need to change my indoor coil?  
n air conditioner coil is the tubing where the refrigerant can travel throughout the house. There are two main coils, the evaporator and the condenser. There is a third major air conditioning component called the compressor. The compressor, which is a pump, is responsible for keeping the refrigerant flowing through the coil.  It is generally a good idea to replace the indoor coil if you are also replacing your air conditioner or heat pump. There is a correlation between the efficiency of your heating or cooling system and the performance of the indoor coil and changing out the current indoor coil for a new one, may be critical to optimizing the performance, the efficiency and the savings potential of your new system. Schedule an
appointment today to have one of our certified and licensed technicians come to your home to give you a preliminary diagnostic of your system.

What is an air handler?
An Air Handler is the inner portion of a central air conditioning or heat pump system that is responsible for the movement of the heated or cooled air throughout the area covered with the system. An Air handler in combination with a heat pump performs the task of circulating both hot and cold air through the desired area. Clean and safe air handlers in your home ensure that you and your family can have fresh and comfortable air all the year round.
Contact us at Family Air Services, Inc, and we can have one of our knowledgeable technicians come to your home to give you a preliminary diagnostic of your systems needs.

How do I know if I need my furnace or air ducts cleaned?
There are many factors to consider if you need a cleaning service for your furnace or ducts. Some examples are: how long it has been since your last cleaning, if you have pets that shed hair & dander, family members suffering from allergies or asthma, a reduction in your systems air flow, if you have smokers in your house, or if you burn a lot of candles. Please contact us to schedule an appointment with one our qualified technicians to meet with you and determine these factors and others to determine if you need your system cleaned.


 Contact Family Air Service, Inc. to schedule an appointment for an estimate to replace your system with a money saving, efficient heating or cooling system, designed specifically for your home. Ask us about our service maintenance agreements to help offset the costly repair bills on your current system, or for continued maintenance on your new system.

At Family Air Services  - “We Care About Your Family’s Air”.





Family Air Heating & Air Conditioning Services, Inc.
Phone: 301-829-9720    
P. O. Box 380, Mount Airy, MD  21771

Family Air is your local APlus Dealer

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