Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions

This page is dedicated to the ambitious owner of heating and air conditioning systems. We try to answer typical questions about operation and maintenance and what is encouraged as do-it-yourself (DIY) measures.

How often should I change my disposable filter?

Can I troubleshoot before placing a service call to Carolina Heating Service, Inc.?

Is there an advantage to setting my thermostat to “on” so my fan runs constantly?

Question:             How often should I change my disposable filter?
Answer:
Filters should be replaced every month when the system is running.  Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter.  If the external static pressure exceeds the design criteria of your system, it can negatively impact the performance and life of your equipment.

Cannot find your size VAC filter in stores near you? Call us at 864-232-5684
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Question:             Can I troubleshoot before placing a service call to Carolina Heating Service, Inc.?
Answer:
“Yes.” Here are some simple procedures you can perform before going to the expense of a service call:

  • Check the disconnect switches, indoor and outdoor if you have a split system. Make sure that circuit breakers are ON or that fuses have not blown.
  • Check for sufficient airflow. Make sure air filters are clean and that supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want cooling, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the COOL or AUTO position. If you want heat, make sure the temperature control selector is set above room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is at HEAT or AUTO. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.

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Question:             Is there an advantage to setting my thermostat to “on” so my fan runs constantly?
Answer:
Yes, there are advantages. The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The second is that, because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout.
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Question:             How close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers?
Answer:
Manufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need intake and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service.
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Question:             Should I cover my unit in the winter?
Answer:
Covering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes. In fact, rain helps keep your unit clean. Of course, because heat pumps run all year long, they should never be covered.
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Question:             I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages
of replacing my whole system at the same time?
Answer:
We recommend that your replace the indoor coil or air handler when replacing the outdoor unit. Both components are integral to the closed refrigerant loop and together determine the capacity and efficiency of your system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, there will be no test/comparison data available for the new combination to establish a design capacity  and proof the efficiency of your system. Also, the indoor system may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and be another opportunity for contamination. You may end up paying more. If your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
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Question:             Why does my heat pump run more frequently in the winter?
Answer:
When it is cold outside the heat pump works longer to extract heat from the outdoor air.  During this time the heat pump also runs through defrost cycles.
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Question:             I see “smoke” coming from my unit, is something wrong?
Answer:
Your heat pump has an automatic defrost cycle.  The clouds of white “smoke” is water vapor and can be observed on cold days when the system is cycling through defrost.  If the smoke continues to persist turn the unit off and call Carolina Heating Service to have your system inspected.
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Question:             My unit is covered with ice/frost, is something wrong?
Answer:
It depends; in the wintertime frost of the unit is normal.  Especially during snowy and icing weather conditions a thin layer of ice may be observed.  As long as the indoor temperature remains at a comfortable level there should be no problems.   However if ice build-up occurs during other times of the year, you should have the unit checked out.  Please be sure to cut the unit off before calling Carolina Heating Service, Inc.  Our technicians cannot service units that are “frozen”.  Scraping or cleaning the frost/ice off of your outdoor unit is not recommended.
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Question:             How do I clean my Electrostatic Air Filter?
Answer:Cleanning electrostatic filters
Use a garden hose with good water pressure. The filter should have an arrow indicating airflow direction. First spray off the filter from the opposite side of the arrow. Then from the other side.You can repeat this process several times if needed. If the filter is very dirty, spray it with a detergent first and let soak for a few minutes. Then thoroughly spray off with water.
Just be careful not to use too much water pressure or damage could be done to the filter media. When the water runs clear and the filter is clean, simply shake off excess water and return to system.

Note:
Water pressure from a sink or bathtub is usually not sufficient for cleaning. A vacuum cleaner with attachment can also be used to clean the filter if there is no access to a garden hose.
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