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What to Know About Your Heating and Cooling Systems: An Interview with Christy Hicks of Hicks HVAC

By Christy Hicks

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Hicks Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration was founded in 1971 by Larry Hicks. Since that time it has grown from a small one man shop to a successful company providing service to the entire Oklahoma City metro area.

What are a few signs that my AC system needs repair?

Reduced cooling, reduced airflow from the vents, long run times, frost or ice on the copper lines at the air conditioner, high ​utility bill​s​, all these symptoms can indicate a problem with your air conditioner.

What is the main benefit of using tankless water heating systems compared to other options?

Tankless water heaters use substantially less gas to provide your family's hot water needs​,​ compared to conventional tank water heaters. A tankless also frees the homeowner from the annoying scheduling that has to be done in the average household. No more pushing off laundry because someone just ran the dishwasher. No more having to split your family's showers between morning and evening due to not having enough hot water. Extended family staying for the holidays? No problem, everyone can shower one after the other if desired.

Because a tankless ONLY operates while you are actually using hot water, you are not ​wasting fuel merely maintaining the temperature of a tank full of water.

Please briefly explain how heating systems and cooling systems work. (ie. how much fuel is used, electricity used, where the air is coming from)

A central air conditioner uses refrigerant (freon) to provide cooling. The compressor pumps high pressure liquid refrigerant to a small orifice in the evaporator coil inside the house. The orifice turns the high pressure liquid refrigerant into a fine mist that then evaporates as it travels through the evaporator coil. The evaporating refrigerant pulls heat from the air that is passing through the fins of the coil, cooling it. The resulting fully evaporated gas returns back to the compressor in the air conditioner. The compressor then compresses the gas back into a liquid, passes it through the outside coil where the outside fan removes the heat that the refrigerant gained from the house, and back to the inside coil, continuing the cycle.

So basically, we are extracting heat from the air inside the home, and rejecting it outside.​

Heaters merely pass air over an electric heater coil, or a sealed combustion chamber where a natural gas or LP burner is heating. Heat Pump systems operate the same way as air conditioners, except in reverse. They swap the functionality of inside and outside coils,so that we extract heat out of the outside air and reject it into the inside coil. Even though outside air feels awful cool to us, there is still plenty of heat contained in that air to heat a home efficiently, especially in temperatures over 40 degrees​ .

Heat pumps are limited in the amount of heat they can extract from extremely cold air, so in much of the country, we couple them with backup heat. Often, we couple heat pumps with a gas furnace backup to give homeowners the ultimate control of their heating costs.​

What a few benefits of using a ductless heating and cooling system?

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Ductless systems are great solutions for living space that does not have the room or access to install a standard split system ​hvac system, such as bonus rooms, converted porches, etc.

These are much quieter and attractive than window or motel units, and they can also be fairly efficient, depending on the model.

What are 3 ways to save energy with my heating and cooling systems?

  • Change your inside air filter(s) at least quarterly​
  • Maintain your heating and air conditioning system with regular service, keeping the outside unit clean​
  • Replace outdated equipment with current, higher efficiency equipment.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

​Our main phone number is ​(405) 376-5280 ​, fax is 877-376-0180​

You can also reach us at ​office@hickshvac.com ​or visit us at ​ www.hickshvac.​com

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