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What do these terms mean?

Q: What does SEER mean?

A: SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is similar to gas mileage in a car.  The higher the number, the more efficient the system is.  If you currently have a 10 SEER system, the new efficient systems are 14 SEER.  That means your NEW system will run 40% more efficient than your old system.

This will save you 40% more NOW on your operating costs than before.

Q: My technician has told me that I need a new 5 microfarad capacitor.  What does this mean?
A: A capacitor's storage potential, or capacitance, is measure in units called farads.  A 1-farad capacitor can store one coulomb (coo-lomb) of charge at 1 volt.  A coloumb is 6.25e18 (6.25*10^18 or 6.25 billion billion) electrons.  One amp represents a rate of electron flow of 1 coulomb of electrons per second, so a 1-farad capacitor can hold 1 amp-second of electrons at 1 volt.


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Q: What is the purpose of transformers?
A:  Electrical transformers exist in our everyday life for the transformation of electricity from high voltage into low voltage.  They can also act in the opposite way to step up voltage.  The most common type of transformer is the one that is hanging on the pole or on a pad from the power company that brings electricity into your home.


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Q: I heard that I can no longer get the refrigerant for my unit.  Is this true?
A: Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the US agreed to meet certain obligations by specific dates that will affect the residential heat pump and air-conditioning industry.


Phase-out Schedule for HCFCs including R-22


January 1, 2004:  The Montreal Protocol required the U.S. to reduce its consumption by 35 percent below the baseline cap by January 1, 2004.  As of January 1, 2003, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) banned production and import of HCFC-141b, the HCFC with the highest ODP.  This action allowed the United States to meet its obligations under the Montreal Protocol.  EPA also issued baseline allowances for production of the U.S. consumption and production caps by allocating both consumption and production allowances to individual companies for HCFC-141b, HCFC-22, and HCFC-142b.


January 1, 2010:  After 2010, chemical manufacturers may still produce R-22 to service existing equipment, but not for use in new equipment.  As a result, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers will only be able to use pre-existing supplies of R-22 to produce new air conditioners and heat pumps.  These existing supplies would include R-22 recovered from existing equipment and recycled.


January 1, 2020:  Use of existing refrigerant, including refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled, will be allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.