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What You’ve Been Told vs. The TRUTH  (click below for more info)

The "SEER" Lie

WYBT – “The higher the SEER rating the more money you will save.”

The TruthWrong.

(We’re trying not to be vague.) In order for this statement to be true, it would have to read, “The higher the SEER, the lower your electric bill, as long as the unit is properly sized.”

However, if you factor in the higher initial cost, the super high efficiency equipment will more often than not cost you more money, even in the long run. In the graph below, we have converted the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) to estimated annual cooling cost and multiplied it out over 10 years. We have included the parts and labor warranty on all equipment, so repair costs are a non- factor, and included the installation cost. As you can see, the least expensive unit, even after 10 years, is the lowest efficiency. So if you’re buying equipment strictly for return on investment, the lower efficiency may be the right choice.



The Filtration Lie

WYBT – A high efficiency filter, such as a HEPA, is the most important
           factor for your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

The TruthWrong again.

Although there are a lot of companies out there making a killing by convincing you this is true. Retail stores are raking in your money by convincing you their room “HEPA” or Ionizing filters actually accomplish something substantial. Do yourself a favor. Go to and get an online subscription, and see for yourself. There are also plenty of contractors out there getting fat by selling you high efficiency filters for your heating & air conditioning system. Here is a summary of all the scientific evidence behind the claim that high efficiency filtration alone improves the health of the occupants:
“___________________________________________________.” That’s right. None. That’s not to say it doesn’t help, but that there is no proof that it does. Don’t get me wrong here. Filtration has its place. It is very important to keeping your equipment clean and operating at it’s highest efficiency; and if I had asthma or respiratory problems, I would probably do everything possible to help myself out. Having said that, filtration is not the place to start. Source control is. In fact, according to the EPA and the US Dept. Of Energy, the three issues that need addressing regarding your IAQ are: 1. Source Control 2. Ventilation and 3. Filtration. To put this simply: 1. Clean your house (not straighten, clean). 2. Bring in some fresh air. 3. Then filter the air. The EPA website has some very good information regarding this. Go to their website and search “Indoor Air Quality.”


The Duct Cleaning Lie

WYBT – You should have your ducts cleaned every 5 to 7 years.

The Truth - You really only need to have your system cleaned for 3 reasons:

A. Mold is growing in your system.
B. Dirt blows out the ducts every time you turn on your system.
C. There is sufficient dirt/dust/debris in the system to adversely affect its operation.

People with respiratory concerns or asthma may also consider having their ducts cleaned, if for no other reason than peace of mind in knowing they’ve done everything possible to alleviate their symptoms. The only way to know if conditions A or C exist is to have the system inspected. (You should be able to handle B on your own.) Someone may tell you that you have mold growing, but the truth is they have no way of knowing its actually mold without a lab test. If you really want to know, have the technician bring down a specimen on a piece of Scotch tape and send it to a lab. I would probably just save the lab fee and put it towards the cleaning. If it looks like mold, whether it actually is or not, it probably shouldn’t be there. You’re ducts can be inspected with a video inspection system. If you were told your ducts need cleaning without the ducts being inspected, that’s like being told your arteries are clogged without an angiogram. Ask for the evidence.

The Truth – If you have to have your ducts cleaned every 5 to 7 years, there are 3 possibilities: 1a) You are physically unable to ever clean your house or replace your filter and you need to hire somebody. 1b) Similar to 1a-you’re a landlord and your tenant moved out. 2) You empty your vacuum bag by removing the filter from your air conditioning system and shaking the vacuum bag into the return air. 3) You’re being sold a bill of goods.

As a side note to duct cleaning, if you feel you need to have your ducts cleaned, make sure the job gets done right. The supply air ducts are after the equipment, so if your ducts need cleaning, your equipment needs cleaning. This should only be done by a licensed air conditioning contractor. Just because somebody offers duct cleaning, doesn’t mean they know air conditioning. They may clean other parts of your house and so ventured into duct cleaning, but this in no way makes them any more qualified to assess/clean your system than does the fact that I can work a drill mean that I should be your dentist.

The equipment used to clean your ducts is also important. Some companies use nothing more than a glorified vacuum cleaner with a brush. Sometimes this is adequate. These types of cleaners,however, only move about 400 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of air. Our system is a true negative air system. This system moves 2700 cfm of air from one end of your duct system, while a cleaning brush with roughly 100 psi of air is ran through the other end. This a much more thorough way of cleaning your duct, and the best way to get as much as possible out, especially the heavier debris.


The Best Brand Lie

WYBT – “_______________” is the best brand on the market!
             (Fill in the blank with whatever brand somebody told you.)

The Truth – Please.

Does anyone really believe that one manufacturer has the one unit that is the best solution for all possible situations? Does the person building their dream home, the last home they plan to buy, have the same needs as someone who plans on selling their home within 5 years? No way. There are variables which must be considered when choosing which equipment is best for you. These include, but are not limited to: your budget, how long you plan on living in the home, your home’s cooling requirements (load), personal preference, brand loyalty, factory warranties, extended warranties, noise levels, space limitations, and others. No one unit fits all scenarios best. The best brand is the brand that meets more of your criteria than any other. Period.


In Summary

In all reality, the satisfaction you derive from your air conditioning system has less to do with the equipment than it does the contractor you choose to work with. You need somebody you both like and trust. Somebody with a proven track record. You can select the most expensive equipment on the market, but if the contractor doesn’t live up to your expectations, you’re still going to have a sour taste in your mouth. Of course, we’d prefer you choose us, but we also understand that you don’t drop $4,000, $5,000 or more without shopping around. So here’s some tips to help you along.

  1. Know what kind of buyer you are. Are you a luxury buyer or an economy buyer. If you are a luxury buyer, the higher SEER equipment has more comfort control options than does its lower SEER counterparts. These include better humidity control because of the two-speed/dual compressors, the ability to maintain a more even temperature distribution throughout the home because of a variable speed fan, and there are even comfort control centers that will handle everything that has to do with your indoor comfort and air quality. If you are an economy buyer, the lower SEER equipment will cool your home much the same way it’s cooled now. If you are fine with that, and you would rather save money (again, even in the long run), then the lower SEER is probably for you.

  2. Understand that what you are ultimately buying is peace of mind. Do your homework, but make your decision based on what you are comfortable with. After all, it is a comfort system. Let’s say you, for whatever reason, aren’t comfortable with a lower SEER system, even though saving money is your desire. If your going to spend the next 10 or 15 years second guessing yourself, then every time your system so much as hiccups, you will remind yourself of how you should have done it different. This is not peace of mind, this is not comfort. Check out the equipment, check out the contractors, and choose based on who/what will give you the most overall comfort.

We sincerely hope this helps, if you have questions that you don’t see here, please call or
email and we would be happy to assist you. Thank you.



Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating serve commercial and residential customers in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale,
Fountain Hills, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley, Arizona.

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