Here are frequently asked questions related to heating,
ventilation, air conditioning, and maintenance.
Do you have questions about your system or HVAC in general? Listed below, are frequently asked questions related to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and maintenance.
When a filter is clogged the equipment has to work harder to get the same amount of air through the system. This can lead to premature system failure and higher energy bills, as well as poor air quality inside. So, regularly changing the filter on a heating and air conditioning system not only provides the home with cleaner air, but also saves you money.
Every home and every family have unique needs, and the best way to determine what yours are is with an in-home consultation. For example, we will measure your home’s square footage, check existing air flow, inspect rooms to ensure the correct number and placement of registers and grilles, and examine the site to determine the best placement of your new equipment. We will take into account features such as volume ceilings and large, sun-facing windows. We’ll also ask about family’s preferences – if you have allergies, living zones, energy and environmental concerns, or are interested in high-tech upgrades, we will include them in your proposal.
In an air conditioning system, refrigerant is what allows heat from inside to be moved outside, causing your house to be cooled. R22 refrigerant has been used for many years and is found in most residential systems operating in the United States. It’s currently being phased out – equipment using R22 cannot be manufactured after January 1, 2010. R410a is a new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant. It does not contain chlorine, which depletes the ozone layer.
HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, and measures the heating efficiency of a heat pump. It’s a ratio of heat produced over a season to the amount of electricity used. As with SEER and EER, a higher number indicates greater efficiency. Because heat pump units heat and cool, they’ll have both SEER and HSPF ratings.
UV lamps are installed inside the air conditioning unit, and work by killing mold and bacteria that like to grow on the inner coil. This results in an almost 100% reduction of airborne allergens, and has the added benefit of improving your system’s efficiency, both improving your health and saving you money.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and measures how well an air conditioning system is able to cool over an entire season. EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio, and measures how well an air conditioning system operates at a specific temperature (typically 95 degrees Fahrenheit) – it’s a measure of how much energy a system uses compared to how much cool air it produces. So what is a SEER rating and an EER rating? The higher the SEER & EER rating on your system, the less energy your system will use to make you comfortable.
What is indoor air quality (IAQ)? It’s the quality of the air you breathe in your home. Dust, pollens, pet dander, mold – many things can contribute to indoor air quality problems. To improve the IAQ in your home, it is important to have your ducts cleaned and filters regularly replaced. We also offer options such as whole house air cleaners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, UV lights, upgraded filters and more. You might also be interested in comfort-improving options such as multiple zones and wireless thermostats.
Just as furnaces and air conditioners have become much more efficient and environmentally friendly, they’ve also gotten quieter. Chances are, a new central air system will be quieter than your old one. And if you’re not yet ready to replace, options such as insulating sound blankets may help alleviate a noise problem on existing equipment.
This decision depends on many factors. If your system is relatively new and the repair is minor it will probably make sense to repair the equipment; if you have an older system it may make sense to replace it. Systems today are much more efficient than they were years ago, so the upfront cost of replacing a unit may be offset by long-term energy savings. A new unit will also carry a new warranty, adding to the value of your system.
The same house can contain very different central air systems. You’ll want to look at the details and see exactly what’s included in each proposal – options such as zoning, accessories such as whole house air cleaners, or upgrades such as hi-definition thermostats will change the price. Services such as duct sealing may be included by one contractor but not another. And the price of a heater or air conditioner will change by the efficiency rating. A better quality installation will generally have a higher initial price, but pay off over time.
Installation times vary depending on how much work needs to be done, but a typical installation involving a complete system change out will take 1-3 full days.
Furnace efficiency is shown as a percentage of energy converted into heat in the home. If you have an 80% furnace, out of every dollar of gas used to heat the home, 80 cents worth of heat is going into the home and 20 cents of heat is lost out of the exhaust. So the higher the percentage efficiency the furnace has, the more usable heat will be produced.
No. Unfortunately, the refrigerant in an R22 system cannot be replaced with R410a refrigerant. Components and oils that interact with R22 are incompatible with r410a.
Maybe not. A furnace and air conditioner that are too big for your home can create problems such as excessive humidity. And heating or cooling your home too quickly causes the units to run off and on too often, leading to excessive wear and a shortened system life span. We will make sure to measure your home and recommend a system sized to fit, taking into account windows, shade, local climate and how you use your rooms.
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