Common HVAC Questions

At DTC, HVAC is our expertise. We want our customers in Georgetown, TX and surrounding areas to be informed about how their air conditioning system works. We have compiled some frequently asked questions about heating and air conditioning, with answers from our expert team at DTC.


How does a thermostat work?

Your thermostat’s job is to tell your air conditioning and heating to turn on or off. The thermostat contains a temperature sensor and usually gives the user an option to select a temperature setpoint. If the temperature sensor detects that a space is warmer than the desired setpoint, the thermostat tells the air conditioner to turn on. When the temperature detects that the space has reached a temperature below the setpoint, the thermostat tells the air conditioner to turn off.

Should I change the temperature of my HVAC system when I leave my home?

Your HVAC system is likely the most energy-consuming device in your home! So if you can use your air conditioning and heating less, you will use less energy and save money on your utility bills. Changing the temperature set-point on your thermostat by 2-3 degrees when you leave your home can result in big savings if done consistently. You can adjust your temperature by as much as 5-8 degrees if you will be leaving your home for a longer duration, like for a vacation.

Just remember that when you return, your air conditioning system will need to put in some extra work to return your home to your desired level of comfort. The more you adjust your system, the longer it will take to return your home to a comfortable temperature.

How is a programmable thermostat different than a normal thermostat?

A programmable thermostat allows the user to set schedules, that will change the temperature set-point automatically. For example, during our hot Texas summers you may like your home to be cooler while you sleep. With a normal thermostat, you will need to adjust the temperature to be cooler before you head to bed, and then adjust the temperature again when you rise in the morning. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your system to automatically change the temperature setpoint in the evening and in the morning, without you having to touch your thermostat at all!

Can a programmable thermostat save me money?

Yes! When used correctly, programmable thermostats are a handy tool for reducing your energy bills. A programmable controller can be set to automatically change your homes temperature for times when you know you’ll be away, like when you are at work. Having your HVAC system automatically adjust your temperature setpoint by 2-3 degrees is a way to save you money without you having to think about it!

What is the best type of programmable thermostat?

There are many types of programmable thermostats on the market today with lots of bells and whistles. A simple programmable thermostat that offers a 5-day schedule and a 2-day weekend schedule will suit most homeowners. More sophisticated thermostats are available for homeowners that want more features. Contact us for a personalized recommendation at 512-887-5091!

Air Conditioning

How do I know what size of air conditioning system I need?

Having the right size of HVAC system is very important. If your system is too small, it won’t keep your home comfortable. If it’s too large, your system will regularly cycle on and off, which will result in an uncomfortable home and a high energy bill. To ensure you have the right size of HVAC, contact a professional at DTC!

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a system that offers cooling and heating from the same device, using electricity to power the unit. A heat pump is a space-saving solution, because it replaces both your air-conditioner and your furnace. DTC Air Conditioning & Heating is experienced in installing heat pumps in Georgetown and surrounding areas.

When will I know it’s time to replace my air conditioner?

If you have been properly maintaining your air conditioning system, then your AC can last you as long as 15 years. If your air conditioning has been requiring lots of repairs, or your energy bills are higher than normal, it may be time to consider replacing. Our team can help you make an informed decision about whether to repair or replace – contact us today for a personalized recommendation at 512-887-5091.

Why do I need a maintenance agreement?

Your HVAC is a major investment! Just like your car, it’s important to have your HVAC regularly serviced and maintained to ensure optimum performance. With regular maintenance, your HVAC system will run more efficiently and will last longer.

My upstairs is warmer than my downstairs, how can I make both areas comfortable?

In any conditioned space, warm air rises, so it is no surprise your upstairs is hotter than your downstairs area. One option is to have your balancing dampers and air vanes checked by a professional, to ensure that air is flowing properly throughout your home. Another option is to consider a zoned heating and cooling system for your upstairs and downstairs space. We can help service your AC system in Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, and Round Rock and everywhere in-between.

When should I change my air filters?

Air filters should be changed on at least a quarterly basis to ensure the best air quality in your home and that your HVAC system isn’t being overworked.

Air Quality

Should I be concerned with the air quality in my home?

Air quality is important to your family’s health. Poor air quality can result in exacerbation of allergies, and can make for an uncomfortable living environment for those with asthma or other respiratory challenges. We add a lot of pollutants to our home: from burning candles to sweating in home gyms, there’s a lot floating around in our house. Having great air quality is an important way to ensure your house in the Georgetown area stays healthy.

What can I do to protect my family from carbon monoxide?

A simple carbon monoxide detection device is important to have in any home. These devices are affordable and can be found at any home improvement store. Regular preventative maintenance for your furnace is also an important step in protecting against carbon monoxide!

What is the benefit of a having UV lamp in my HVAC system?

Ultraviolet or UV lamps can offer an extra layer of filtration to your air conditioning system. Traditional air filters can catch small particles like dust and must be replaced regularly. UV lamps, on the other hand, work on the microscopic level, destroying airborne bacteria and germs that a filter would not catch. UV lamps are an excellent choice for families that desire superior air quality in their home.


Why does it smell like it’s burning when I turn my furnace on?

Don’t panic! When you turn on your furnace for the first time after several months, you may sense a burning smell. Your furnace is in fact burning off dust that may have accumulated in the system while it has been dormant. This is normal, and the smell will disappear after a few minutes of operation. If you do have concerns about system, call DTC for heating service for your Georgetown area residence.

Why is my home so dry in the winter?

Air has two major properties: heat (warm or cold) and humidity (wet or dry). Cold air does not have the capacity to be very moist. Any moisture in cold air generally freezes — resulting in snow! If you find the dry air to be uncomfortable, consider adding a humidifier to your home. Once the air has been warmed by your heating system, it will have the ability to absorb the water and make your home more comfortable.

Do I really need to have my heating system serviced regularly for a tune up?

Even in Texas, it’s definitely important to have your heating system regularly maintained. By having your system serviced ahead of the heating season, you can ensure any potential issues will be identified early (and not on a cold winter’s night!). Your system will perform better and use less energy when preventative maintenance is performed.

When do I need to replace my furnace?

If you have had your furnace professionally maintained, your furnace can last as long as 20 years. If your furnace has been requiring a lot of repairs, it’s probably time to think about replacement. Finally, take a look at your heating bills over the last couple of years. Has your average bill been increasing? If so, then your furnace may not be performing as efficiently as it once was. We can help determine whether repairing or replacing is the best choice for your home.


What is the expected life of a commercial HVAC system?

Most commercial HVAC systems in Texas should last about 10-15 years. Owners can extend the life of their HVAC by ensuring they are having the unit properly serviced and maintained per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is it worth it to purchase a more efficient commercial HVAC system?

Your HVAC system is going to be the biggest portion of your energy bill. Given the high prices of energy, choosing a commercial HVAC system for your building that is highly-efficient could have a big impact over the course of several years.

How do I know if my HVAC system is the right size? What if it’s the wrong size?

Having a correctly-sized HVAC system is important to both the comfort and operation of your commercial building. If your system is sized too small, your building will not be comfortable for occupants, and your system will be running 24/7! If your system is too big, your HVAC will be cycling on and off rapidly, which can result in spikes on your energy bill. An HVAC professional can help you determine the correct size for your building.

What kind of thermostat should I buy for my commercial building?

As a commercial building, you have unique needs for your HVAC system. Consider what’s most important to you. Many commercial thermostats offer features such as lockouts- so that customers or employees cannot change settings – or limitations – so that they can change the settings within a predetermined range. A thermostat that offers schedules should be and important consideration for all business owners, as a programmable thermostat can offer great energy savings. Owners should also consider if they will need a centralized controller to see many systems or zones all together, or if individual zone controls will suffice.