Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of our commonly asked questions:
Every recommendation is always based on your needs and your budget.
Our crew provides outstanding services in air conditioning/heat pump installation and repair, duct cleaning and attic insulation.
Our services extend beyond finding the right air conditioning unit and installing it properly. All of our products feature a warranty on parts* and we will extend that warranty to labor and other costs. Franks’ unique C.A.R.E. Maintenance Plan offers complete maintenance to keep your air cooling or heating system running at peak performance. C.A.R.E. members benefit from savings on energy costs, fewer breakdowns and repairs, and extended useful life of their units. View our Comprehensive Maintenance Plan here
- What are your business hours
- How do I schedule a service call
- How do you get set up in a Maintenance Plan
- How much for Refrigerant
- Venting and Leaks
- Should I clean my ducts
- Do we deduct the service call from the repair
The office is open:
Monday through Friday 8 to 5.
Just call the office. (407) 278-1981
How do I Schedule a service call?
You call us 407-278-1981 and ask to schedule a service call or send us a request on line. You can go to the contact us page to do this. The customer service representative will set up a time for your visit. The service call cost 79.00 depending on your zip code. When we are approaching the scheduled time the service tech will call you when they are ready to come to your house. They will start coming your way when you have answered the Technicians phone call. If you don’t answer after a couple of tries then they will move on to the next call. Once the Technician has arrived to your home he will do a diagnostic of your system. This diagnostic should tell us what the immediate problem is and the problems that are developing. Then the Technician will give you a price of the items that need corrected. You then will have the option to approve or disapprove those items. After you have approved them we will do our repairs then collect payment. Payment is expected at time of service. We do accept all types of credit cards, local checks and of course cash.
How do you get set up in a maintenance plan?
You can call in and just get a maintenance for that day for 79.00 depending on your zip code. But if you wanted to get some benefits like, priority same day service, no overtime fees, warranty work done anytime, repairs have 1 year labor instead of 90 days, warranty on drain line repairs, 15% discount on repairs, 5% discount on equipment, then you could pay in advance for your next maintenance and we would give you a reminder call when it is time to have it done. In order to receive these benefits you will always need to have a future maintenance paid for. So if you decided to become a CARE customer the same day you did your first ever maintenance you would pay 79 for today and 79 for the future.
How much for R-22 refrigerant?
R22 refrigerant costs are sky rocketing and changing every day. This refrigerant is being phased out. The big question is why are you out of R-22? You have a leak. You don’t want to be leaking R-22. The leak should be found and fixed. This process comes in 3 stages. Electronic, Dye, Isolation, and each one of these is a progression. Hopefully it can be found with the electronic. However if it is a very small 410a leak it might be hard to find and require a isolation. Another problem that is occurring is children will huff your R-22 to get high. I would suggest putting locking R-22 caps on your system if you suspect this.
Venting and leaks?
The Prohibition on Venting
Effective July 1, 1992, Section 608 of the Act prohibits individuals from intentionally venting ozone-depleting substances used as refrigerants (generally CFCs and HCFCs) into the atmosphere while maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment (appliances). Only four types of releases are permitted under the prohibition:
- “De minimis” quantities of refrigerant released in the course of making good faith attempts to recapture and recycle or safely dispose of refrigerant.
- Refrigerants emitted in the course of normal operation of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment (as opposed to during the maintenance, servicing, repair, or disposal of this equipment) such as from mechanical purging and leaks. However, EPA requires the repair of leaks above a certain size in large equipment (see Refrigerant Leaks).
- Releases of CFCs or HCFCs that are not used as refrigerants. For instance, mixtures of nitrogen and R-22 that are used as holding charges or as leak test gases may be released.
- Small releases of refrigerant that result from purging hoses or from connecting or disconnecting hoses to charge or service appliances will not be considered violations of the prohibition on venting. However, recovery and recycling equipment manufactured after November 15, 1993, must be equipped with low-loss fittings.
Owners or operators of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with refrigerant charges greater than 50 pounds are required to repair leaks within 30 days when those leaks result in the loss of more than a certain percentage of the equipment’s refrigerant charge over a year. For the commercial (e.g. grocery stores and warehouses) and industrial process refrigeration sectors, leaks must be repaired within 30 days when the equipment leaks at a rate that would release 35 percent or more of the charge over a year. For all other sectors, including comfort cooling (such as building chillers), leaks must be repaired when the appliance leaks at a rate that would release 15 percent or more of the charge over a year.
The trigger for repair requirements is the current leak rate projected over a consecutive 12-month period rather than the total quantity of refrigerant lost. For instance, owners or operators of a commercial refrigeration system containing 100 pounds of charge must repair leaks if they find that the system has lost 10 pounds of charge over the past month; although 10 pounds represents only 10 percent of the system charge in this case, a leak rate of 10 pounds per month would result in the release of over 100 percent of the charge over the year. To track leak rates, owners or operators of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment with more than 50 pounds of charge must keep records of the quantity of refrigerant added to their equipment during servicing and maintenance procedures.
Owners or operators are required to repair leaks within 30 days of discovery. This requirement is waived if, within 30 days of discovery, owners develop a one-year retrofit or retirement plan for the leaking equipment. Owners of industrial process refrigeration equipment may qualify for additional time under certain circumstances. For example, if an industrial process shutdown is required to repair a leak, owners have 120 days to repair the leak. Owners of industrial process refrigeration equipment should reference the Compliance Assistance Guidance Document for Industrial Process Refrigeration Leak Repair for additional information concerning time extensions and pertinent record keeping and reporting requirements.
The leak repair regulations do not apply to refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with refrigerant charge sizes less than 50 pounds (such as residential split air-conditioning systems). However, smaller equipment is not exempt from the refrigerant venting prohibition. EPA regulations prohibit the intentional release of all refrigerants during the maintenance, service, repair, or disposal of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
Should i clean my ducts?
A indicator that your ducts are dirty would be black streaks around your vents. You could pull the vent off and take a picture to see if there is dirt build up inside the duct. We have a duct clean machine that can get a lot of this build up out. The best solution is to have good filtration so that the duct won’t get dirty. The National Duct Cleaner Association says that the average cleaning is 3 to 5 years. However EPA does not make this claim. Some people say instead of cleaning you just need to replace it because cleaning doesn’t do any good. Our experience says that we can make it much cleaner. Also some people think by cleaning the ducts the house will have less dust. This is not true. The duct is dirty because dust is infiltrating the house. It would be best to stop the dust and then clean the duct.
This video might help, http://youtu.be/ur0gkj5IfdY.
Do we deduct the service call from the repair?
Franks does not do this because other companies will inflate the price of the repair to make it look like they are not charging you. We keep the service call and repair price separate so that you can always know what you are paying for. We also use industry standard flat rate pricing for our repairs. This is to protect you from a technician that might take longer to do the repair while another could do it faster. Everyone works at a different pace and this gives us the ability to keep a standard price for the repair.
- Should I replace my equipment or just repair it?
- Why do I need a maintenance agreement when I have a 10 year parts and labor warranty?
- What is the difference between a warranty and a maintenance agreement?
- Should I do the repair on my equipment or replace the equipment
- Should I just replace the outside unit or just replace the inside unit
- Do you fix water heaters
- Do you fix duct work
- Do you sell parts for equipment
Should I replace my equipment or just repair it?
If you take the age of the equipment times the price of the repair and it equals more than the cost to replace. Then you should replace.
Why do i need a maintenance when I have a 10 year parts and labor warranty?
- Damage caused by unreasonable use of the equipment.
- Damage from failure to properly maintain the equipment as set forth in the use and care manual.
- Damage that is not considered a manufacturing defect, such as acts of god, malfunctions or failures resulting from fire, water, storms, lightning, earthquake, theft, riot, misuse or abuse, increased utility usage costs.
- performance problem due to improper selection of equipment match, installation or application.
These are tasks that must be done annually in order to maintain your system so it will not be considered neglected.
- Clean filter at least every 30 days. Make sure arrows are pointing the right direction.
- Make sure your outdoor unit is dept clear at all times.
- Inspect and clean blower wheel and housing and motor as required.
- inspect indoor and outdoor coils for cleaning.
- inspect the indoor coil drain pan plus the primary and secondary drain lines. The auxiliary drain pan and line should be inspected and cleaned if applicable.
- Check all electrical wiring and connections where possible.
- check for secure physical connections of individual components within the units.
- Operation check of the outdoor unit to determine actual working condition.
What is the difference between a warranty and a maintenance?
The factory warranty protects you against poor craftsmanship from the factory. It does not cover anything that the factory did not provide. More and more warranty companies are wanting to see documentation that you have maintained your system. It is a good idea to keep all receipts in case this happens. We keep a history of everything we do at your home and we can provide that to the factory. However if we are not there doing the work then we don’t know what has been done to maintain the system.
The maintenance is to discover and fix those outside influences a factory has not control over before they break a factory part. If outside influences causes your factory part to break then that is called neglect. The factory will not warranty a part that has broken because of neglect. The maintenance is not free with our warranty. It does cost money to maintain your system.
Should I do the repair on my equipment or replace the equipment?
A good rule of thumb is take the age of the equipment and multiply it to the cost of the repair. If the sum is equal to or greater than the cost to replace the equipment you should replace it. With the price of R22 refrigerant sky rocketing it is always better to get out of it. Also new equipment is more efficient and you could see instant savings on your electric bill. Also I am asked should I wait until it breaks? If you have the money it is always better to replace now and start saving rather than waiting. If you don’t have the money now then you could always finance. If you can’t finance then you need to wait.
Should I just replace the outside unit or just replace the inside unit?
Yes you can. However the building department requires me to get a permit to replace any equipment at your house. In order to get that permit I have to tell them how efficient your equipment will be once we make the change. It will need to be a minimum of 14 SEER. I will need to hire a Florida State Certified Engineer to come in and run a analysis on your equipment to certify what SEER rating it is. This is very costly to do this. You would be better off spending that money on all new equipment. This new equipment has already been certified by the AHRI. I can get that certification on line for free. If you only change half of your equipment then half will be old and half will be new. So about every 4 or 5 years you will need to change one or the other. Also by only changing half the equipment these 2 pieces were never made to run with each other. They will prematurely fail, and be inefficient. It is always better to get new matched equipment all at the same time to enjoy the energy savings and dependability.
Do you fix water heaters?
We can fix pool heaters and heat pump water heaters. Fixing a regular electric or gas tank water heater is usually not cost effective. The problem with them is the heating element has failed and that has been caused by sediment building up in the bottom of the tank and destroying it. Trying to get the sediment out is very hard and time consuming to do. It is one of those things that you should just replace it. Believe it or not you are suppose to drain the sediment from you tank water heater at least once a year. In order to replace it you will need the help of a plumber. However Electric Heat Pump pool heaters we can fix but gas ones we don’t like to fix. They tend to be very quirky and hard to find parts for.
Do you fix duct work?
Yes we do. We can patch it, design it, replace it and even have it tested for tightness.
Do you sell parts for equipment?
No we don’t sell parts. We can get the parts and install it for you. However we are not set up to just sell the part to you at this time.
FAQs – Home Air Conditioning Information
- What is the SEER Rating?
- Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?
- Why do I need regular (or preventive) HVAC maintenance?
- Which equipment requires regular (or preventive) maintenance?
- I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.
- What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?
- What type of filter should I use? And how often should I replace it?
- Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store?
- What size HVAC equipment is right for my home?
- What is the life expectancy of my unit?
What is the SEER Rating?
The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 17.
Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?
Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating.
Why do I need regular (or preventive) HVAC maintenance?
Your heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions. The constant stopping, starting and general operation can wear down any machine. Proper care and maintenance help to keep these systems in optimum condition and ward off malfunction. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can maximize the life of your heating and cooling units and guard against many common equipment failures. Preventive maintenance inspections performed in spring for your AC and fall for your heater can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts. Regular maintenance will ensure maximum efficiency and prevent other problems.
Which equipment requires regular (or preventive) maintenance?
All heating and cooling equipment require annual professional tuneup. Inspections on boilers and furnaces should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines and the oil tank. Heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include an examination of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils, and refrigerant lines.
I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.
The professionals at iHome Services are your troubleshooting experts, and we are glad to help you with any problem you may experience with your HVAC system. We provide informative blogs and articles on our website that address many common HVAC concerns. You may also call our office during normal business hours for more information. If you experience an HVAC crisis after hours, you can contact one of our on-call technicians for 24-7 emergency service.
What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?
Programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With a programmable thermostat, you can program settings in advance so that you can control the temperature at different times of the day. You will never have to worry about remembering to adjust the settings manually. By scheduling your programmable thermostat to a higher or lower temperature based on your weekday work hours, you can save money on energy bills without sacrificing comfort. An iHome Services technician will gladly walk you through how to use your programmable thermostat.
What type of filter should I use? And how often should I replace it?
Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they can only do so much to improve indoor air quality. A media air cleaner does a much better job of trapping small particles. It rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal up to seven times more effectively than a standard filter. Upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimal efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, you should clean them once a month during periods of heavy use.
Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store?
Filters for your unit may be made specifically for its brand. These filters may be made of different or higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. Check with your local dealer to find the appropriate filter for your air conditioner. However, keep in mind that some filters are reusable, and can be washed by hand in cold water.
What size HVAC equipment is right for my home?
Many factors affect the sizing and specifications of your system, including square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, and duct sizing and arrangement. A technician from iHome Services can perform an in-home load analysis to determine which equipment combinations will perfectly suit your home and your family’s needs. Depending on the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet. You can ensure that the system you purchase is the right size and not smaller or larger than you require, by having your heating and cooling needs evaluated by a licensed professional.
What is the life expectancy of my unit?
HVAC systems last an average of 10 years. However, for your equipment, it may differ. Variables that affect life expectancy include the type of system, climate and the regularity of routine maintenance.
We Stand By Our Guarantees So You’re 100% Satisfied
Our new installations have a 3-year labor and 10-year parts warranty. Standard repairs are guaranteed for 1 year on parts and 90 days on labor, while our C.A.R.E. customers receive a 1-year warranty on labor and parts.