Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Often Should I Service My HVAC System?
A: You should have your HVAC system serviced twice a year. Think of it as your routine oil changes for your car. Everything mechanical requires service or maintenance. Routine HVAC maintenance keeps your system running at peak efficiency, helps prevent untimely breakdowns, and keeps you in compliance with manufacturers’ warranties. It is customary to have one heating inspection and one cooling inspection done per year. At Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality, we find it best to serve both the heating and the cooling at each of your semi-annual visits. That way your routine maintenance appointments aren’t so “seasonal” and that allows for more flexibility in scheduling. Maintenance is maintenance, no matter when it is performed and checking the entire system at each visit ensures that your equipment is always at the ready, regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way. Call Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality today and ask about our Gold Star Preventive Maintenance Program and learn how to get the most out of your HVAC system.
Q: Is Refrigerant (Freon) R-22 really banned by the Federal Government?
A: That is true. However, it does not mean that you cannot get Refrigerant (Freon) R-22 anymore. What it means is that new, virgin R-22 can no longer be manufactured or imported into the United States as of January 1st, 2020. That being said, there is, and likely will be for quite some time, plenty of refrigerant R-22 to be had. The cost of refrigerant R-22 has been pretty volatile over the last couple of years but seems to have stabilized quite a bit recently. Whatever you do, don’t fall for scare tactics like someone telling you that you have to replace your system, just because it has refrigerant R-22. That’s simply not the case.
Q: Is It Okay To Use an Alternative or Drop-in Refrigerant in My R-22 System?
A: The short answer is NO. There are no manufacturer-approved substitutes for refrigerant R-22 in residential systems that were designed and engineered to use R-22. Sure, you can fill a Coca-Cola bottle with Pepsi. They’re both colas after all, but you know and I know they’re not the same. There are over a dozen different “imposter” refrigerants that are out there and gaining in popularity, mostly because they are cheaper. Cheaper is not better in this case. While these refrigerants may have similar properties to R-22, most of them will lead to capacity loss of up to 15% and some of them are even mildly flammable. Our expert opinion is that you only put R-22 in an R-22 system. Call Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality with your R-22 questions. We have plenty of real R-22 in stock and we offer it at a fair price. We also offer system sealant that can effectively fix minor leaks in your system.
Q: What’s the Warranty on a New HVAC System?
A: At Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality, most of our new HVAC systems come with a standard 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you can rely on your new system for many years to come. New system warranties can vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer and many of them require timely registration to get an enhanced warranty from the manufacturer. Most of those enhanced warranties are only honored to the original owner of the equipment. Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality is well versed in all the ins and outs of HVAC manufacturers’ warranties and we’re here to help you out.
Q: Which HVAC System Is Right for My Home?
A: There are HVAC systems available to meet all your individual comfort needs and/or budgetary considerations. Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality offers a no-cost, no-obligation site survey and comfort consultation to help you find the right system for your home. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of equipment combinations that can be arranged for any given home. Our goal is to educate and inform you, answer all of your questions, and custom tailor an HVAC system that meets all of your indoor comfort needs, your health & safety needs, your energy efficiency needs, and of course your budget.
Q: Can I Buy My Own HVAC Equipment for an Online Seller?
A: Of course you can. If you choose to buy HVAC equipment online, read the fine print and read it very carefully. Some manufacturers will void 100% of their warranty on equipment purchased online. Some manufacturers will honor their normal warranty, provided the equipment is installed by a licensed HVAC contractor. Now on the flip side, it can get a little sketchy. What about finding a licensed contractor to install it for you? Many contractors will flat-out refuse to install equipment that you purchase yourself online. Other contractors will install your equipment, usually at a premium labor rate, but more importantly, “with conditions”. Contractors lean heavily on their manufacturers’ local dealer networks to reliably provide the equipment, as well as the support for the equipment. If you buy the HVAC equipment online, that chain is effectively broken. Now put yourself in the HVAC contractor’s shoes for a minute. If a professional licensed HVAC contractor installs HVAC equipment that they purchase themselves and provide for your job, you can and should expect 100% support from the contractor on the equipment. If that same contractor installs equipment that you provided, that did not come from their own reliable dealer network, should you expect them to support that equipment the same? Absolutely not. If the equipment you purchased online should, by chance, arrive in DOA, it might be impossible to know the unit is not functional until it is actually physically installed (excluding obvious physical damage, of course). You could end up with a perfectly installed, defective piece of equipment. You’ll still be on the hook to pay for the installation, but now it’s your problem to deal with an online seller. It can happen and it can be a real nightmare. Think long and hard before you make such a big decision. Weigh all of your options and by all means, consult a professional. Literally, any job, HVAC or otherwise, can always be done cheaper, but at what cost? Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality is here to help you with all your HVAC needs and we stand behind everything we sell 100%.
Q: How Do I Know If I Need a New HVAC System?
A: If your HVAC system requires constant repairs, is 10 years old or older, or can’t heat or cool your home properly, you should probably consider upgrading to a new system. As HVAC systems age, they don’t operate as efficiently as when they were new, and it could end up being more costly for you to keep an older machine going than to just simply replace it. In many such cases, we see that homeowners are paying for a new HVAC system, whether they buy one or not. They’re just overpaying the utility company. At least there’s a breakeven point with a new, more efficient HVAC system. If this describes you, feel free to contact Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality and we can arrange an in-home visit to discuss your replacement options.
Q: What Kind of Air Filter Do I Need For My HVAC System?
A: This may sound a bit silly, but a “clean” air filter is the best kind of air filter for your HVAC system. Check and change your air filter(s) frequently. In over 60 years of HVAC service in Collin County, Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality has never seen an air filter that was too clean. Don’t be fooled by the slick marketing on the expensive air filter from the big box store that says “last up to 3 months”. It’s a ploy to make you more comfortable with paying more for a “premium” air filter. Let’s face it, the air filter can last up to 50 years if you never turned the system on. It’s all relative. How much does the unit run? How much traffic do you have inside your home? Do you have any pets? How tight is your home? All of these factors directly affect the useful life of your HVAC air filter. In North Texas, a good rule of thumb is that a 1” air filter will typically last about 30 days, a 2” air filter will last about 60 days, and a 5” high capacity air filter will usually last for six months or more. Every house is different and peoples’ usage habits vary too, so your individual results will vary. When you proactively check the cleanliness of your filter and there’s any doubt, go ahead and change it out. It literally cannot be too clean. The air filter’s primary function in the HVAC system is to protect the HVAC equipment. Not keeping the filter clean enough will lead to untimely breakdowns and an overall increase in energy consumption. There are many different grades (MERV ratings) of air filters that can provide enhanced protection for the equipment and also have the added benefit of improving the living air inside the home. See our FAQ about Air Filter MERV Ratings to learn more.
Q: What Does the MERV Rating On an Air Filter Mean?
A: MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating takes into account both the size of the particle that an air filter can capture and more importantly, the amount of resistance to the airflow that’s going through the air filter. It’s somewhat of a balancing act. Air filters with lower MERV ratings will let larger particles pass through, but don’t resist airflow as much, which is easier on the HVAC equipment. Air filters with higher MERV ratings capture finer particles but work the equipment a bit harder. As a rule, typical air filters will range from a minimum MERV 1 rating, all the way up to a maximum MERV 20 rating. Home HVAC filters are generally only available in a range of MERV 5 to MERV 16. Simply put, the higher the MERV rating on an air filter, the smaller the particle that filter can capture. At Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality we recommend a minimum filter rating of MERV 11. That is the best bang for your buck for protecting your equipment and filter the living air inside your home. If you suffer from allergies and/or other respiratory issues, you would fare well to invest in a higher-rated filter, like a MERV 13 or MERV 16. They come at a higher cost, but sometimes the health benefits can be priceless. Learn more about your air filter in our FAQ What Kind of Air Filter Do I Need?
Q: How Do I Choose a Good HVAC Service Company?
A: When looking for the perfect HVAC Company, ask your friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Then do some research. Get online and read their reviews, with a focus on the negative reviews. Even the very best companies earn a solid one-star review from time to time. How did they handle it? Did they take ownership and offer a reasonable retort? Do the positive reviews appear legitimate or do they appear to be canned or bogus? Real people that are inspired to post a review for any company or business, either positive or negative, will usually share some details about the experience. You can learn a lot about any company by digging into their good and bad reviews. Once you’re comfortable with the reliable feedback that you’ve found, you need to make sure that the company has all the required state and/or local licenses and proper insurance for your protection. Hiring an unlicensed and/or underinsured HVAC company can have very serious consequences. Here’s an example: A contractor, or any hired help for that matter, that gets injured on your property that doesn’t have Workers Comp insurance, could potentially come after your insurance for any injury-related costs. Just make certain that you’re getting the protection you need from whomever you choose to have in your home. Any reputable HVAC contractor will have their license number published wherever they promote their company and they will also be very candid about the protections they afford to you. Finally and maybe most importantly, how long have they been in business? Longevity means a lot in the HVAC business. Unfortunately, the HVAC industry has some of the highest failure rates among all businesses. Up to 70% of HVAC company startups fail in the very first year. Here’s a link to see for yourself. Add to that, upwards of 70% of the remaining HVAC companies will fail within ten years of business. Find a company that offers you the security of knowing they’ll be there when you need them and that knows how to survive during even the most challenging times. Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality has been in business in Collin County since 1958 and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. We’ll be here when you need us.
Q: Do I Need To Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?
A: In North Texas, flexible ductwork is most commonly found in our homes, so that’s what we’re going to address. Flexible ductwork is very difficult to clean well and they are physically impossible to get 100% clean, even using the most advanced methods. Additionally, some cleaning procedures have been known to actually damage the inner wall of the flex ducts themselves, exposing fibrous insulation to the airstream therein. Please bear in mind that some duct cleaning methods are better than others and some duct cleaning professionals are better than others. Individual results definitely will vary and you may see a benefit from cleaning the ducts. In over 60 years of running HVAC service in Collin County, Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality usually only sees the aftermath of a duct cleaning gone wrong. In our professional opinion, having flexible ductwork cleaned is generally not a good idea. Let’s dig a little deeper. There must be a reason that you’re even reading this. Is there dirt around your vents? Are you not breathing easily inside your own home? Dirty ducts may not be the issue at all. If you’ve ever done just a fairly decent job of keeping up with your HVAC system’s air filters, then your ducts should never get dirty enough to ever warrant a cleaning. If your flexible ducts are indeed dirty enough that cleaning really needs to be considered, that is usually a symptom of a much bigger problem. Your HVAC system would have to have been severely neglected and/or your system is ill-equipped with proper filtration. To remedy your problem, you’d be far better off to replace the affected ducts and make certain that any maintenance and/or design problems that got you to this point are corrected. You will end up with a 100% clean flex duct and hopefully a permanent solution to the real problem. If you’re in Collin County, Texas, Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality is here and ready to help you. We have affordable solutions to anything and everything that can help you breathe a little easier inside your home.
Q: What Brand of HVAC Equipment Is the Best?
A: There aren’t really any “good” brands or “bad” brands of HVAC equipment, in terms of functionality. Usually, there are only good and bad installations of HVAC equipment by contractors. The perceived “best” brand of HVAC equipment installed poorly will not perform as well as the perceived “bad” brand of HVAC equipment that is installed very well. It’s just that simple. There are certainly some advantages to purchasing well-known name brand HVAC equipment, such as Lennox, Carrier/Bryant, Trane, Rheem, or Goodman. The larger manufacturers typically have a significantly higher capacity to warehouse more equipment and factory parts, which leads to more timely service for you. They also typically offer far better support for their HVAC dealers and contractors in their network, which yields better support for you as well. The most important thing to consider is the licensed professional HVAC contractor that you choose to install your HVAC equipment. There are literally dozens of HVAC brands to choose from, and every HVAC contractor has at least one brand that they’re affiliated with. Beware of any HVAC contractor that says one brand is “bad” and their brand is “good”. That could be a warning sign. Of course, a company is going to favor their brand of choice, because that’s what they’re trying to sell you. A really good HVAC contractor will usually spend far more time telling you how their installation practices are better or how their company can better support you and your new HVAC system. That’s what really matters. Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality offers several different, well-known HVAC brands and our goal is to educate and inform our customers and find the right equipment to meet your indoor comfort needs, your health & safety needs, your energy efficiency needs, and of course your budget.
Q: How Much Does an HVAC Service Call Cost?
A: At Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality, our normal Service Call, or what we call our Diagnostic Fee, is only $129.00. That pays for the trip to your home by one of our factory-trained, state-certified, fully insured technicians, and up to 30 minutes of troubleshooting time, which is normally ample time to get to the root of your problem. There are no extra charges if you need a Diagnostic Fee after hours, or on weekends or holidays. Be sure to ask about our Gold Star Preventive Maintenance Program. Our Gold Star clients only pay $79.00 for the same Diagnostic Fee and they suffer far fewer breakdowns since their equipment is proactively maintained. There are many other benefits to our Gold Star Preventive Maintenance Program, such as discounts on repairs, priority scheduling, and energy savings from their professionally maintained HVAC equipment.

Looking for personalized advice on your indoor comfort issues? Contact Burnside Air Conditioning, Heating & Indoor Air Quality for all the help you need. Dial 972-215-7992 to speak to an expert!