Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the services and products that we provide.
- What is the average life expectancy of equipment?
- Should I have my furnace and air conditioner serviced every year?
- Why should I purchase a service agreement?
- How can I reduce my energy costs?
- At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
- How often should I change my air filter?
- Will a bigger sized system perform better?
- Can I just replace the outdoor unit on an older system to save money?
- My system doesn’t work well in a couple of rooms, what should I do?
- How can I reduce allergens and improve the air quality in my home?
- What is duct cleaning?
What is the average life expectancy of equipment?
Most systems have a lifetime of between 10 and 20 years. As your equipment ages, its efficiency can dramatically decrease. You may notice that it gets noisier, or that it needs repairs more often. When a unit starts to show its age, you have two choices: you can overhaul the system, or replace it. Because the technology used in heating and cooling improves over time, a system designed with newer, more energy-efficient equipment makes sense – especially if your system is 10 or more years old. We can estimate the cost of a new system, as well as show you how newer technology will pay you back through lower energy usage in the long run.
Should I have my furnace and air conditioner serviced every year?
Yes. Properly maintaining your system will lower costs for energy and repairs, prevent breakdowns, and prolong the life of your equipment. Neglecting necessary maintenance guarantees a steady decline in air conditioning performance, coupled with a steady increase in energy use. Click here for more information about our Preventative Maintenance services.
Why should I purchase a service agreement?
Without the coverage of a warranty, a breakdown can mean large expenses in parts, labor, or both. However, with one of our service agreements, you avoid these unexpected expenses. While no warranty can guard against every possible problem, our service agreements afford a broad range of protection. Check out our service agreement here.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
Upgrade to a high-efficiency air conditioner – You can cut your electricity bills by one-third by swapping your old, inefficient air conditioning system for a high-efficiency one. By consulting one of our professional technicians, you can ensure your system is the right size for your home, and that you aren’t over- or under-cooling for your space needs. Click here to see what products we have to offer.
Turn up the temperature – To save electricity during the summer, set the temperature above 77° – as every degree below this will increase your energy bill by between three to five percent.
Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow that your ceiling fans create. In the summer, the blades should operate in a counter-clockwise direction, to create a nice, gentle wind.
Have an annual maintenance performed – Having annual maintenance performed on your air conditioner by a licensed technician will help to ensure that it operates at its peak efficiency – and it will catch any potential breakdowns before they happen.
Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep both your supply and return air vents free of obstructions – like blinds, carpets or furniture – so your air conditioner can operate efficiently, and ensure evenly-distributed cool air.
Close vents in less-used rooms – By closing these vents, you won’t be spending money cooling rooms that aren’t used as much.
Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace – New high-efficiency furnaces use up to 50% less fuel than older systems. Up to 25 percent of your home-heating costs can be cut in one year of new furnace use, and within a few years, you’ll have recovered the cost of replacing/upgrading your furnace in the first place.
Have an annual maintenance performed – Having annual maintenance performed by a licensed technician on your furnace will help ensure that it operates at the peak of its efficiency, as well as catch any potential breakdowns before they happen.
Install a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat enables you to control the temperature in your home when you’re away or asleep. For seven hours per day of a 1° decrease in the temperature of your thermostat, you save one percent on your heating bill.
Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep both your supply and return air vents free of obstructions – like blinds, carpets or furniture – so your furnace can operate efficiently, and ensure evenly-distributed heat.
Close vents in less-used rooms – By closing the vents, you won’t be spending money heating rooms that you don’t use as regularly.
Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the winter, the blades should operate in a clockwise direction – this helps to push the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
Normal settings for cooling are 75 degrees – 80 degrees. Normal settings for heating are 68 degrees – 72 degrees. You should always set your thermostat to the highest possible setting that is still comfortable in the summer, and the lowest comfortable setting in the winter. This will maximize your energy savings. On average, every 1 degree of temperature change is equal to about 10% energy savings. For example, changing your thermostat setting from 75 to 76 degrees in the summer could result in about a 10% savings on cooling costs.
How often should I change my air filter?
Replace the air filter in your furnace on a regular basis. Dirty air filters reduce the amount of air flowing through a system, and make the furnace work harder to maintain temperature. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter you use, if you have pets, and the size of your equipment. A consultation with one of our licensed technicians will answer whatever questions you may have about your air filter.
Will a bigger sized system perform better?
No, you don’t want your air conditioner to be too big. Essentially, air conditioners work by cooling the air and by removing humidity. An over-sized air conditioner may cool your home faster, but it will use more energy and will not adequately remove humidity.
A unit that is too big for your home will have short run cycles. Although it may take only a short time to cool the air, the unit shuts off before enough air blows across the indoor coil (this is where moisture condenses into water and drains from your system). Too much moisture left in the air can lead to problems with mold and mildew.
These short run cycles also mean your system starts and stops more often, which uses more energy and causes lots of wear and tear. Long run cycles are much more efficient.
The same concepts hold true with heating systems. An over-sized furnace will warm the house quicker, but it uses more fuel and will cause greater temperature swings in the home.
Can I just replace the outdoor unit on an older system to save money?
No. Replacing only the outdoor unit will only lower the efficiency of the unit – up to 15% of it, in fact. Even worse, your system may fail sooner than normal, AND most manufacturers’ warranties will be voided. You should always replace the indoor cooling coil along with the outdoor unit.
My system doesn’t work well in a couple of rooms, what should I do?
There are many possible reasons for this problem; uneven solar heat load (supplied through windows), an undersized system, an improperly balanced or clogged system, or a single system serving a two-story home without zoning control. Each situation is different, usually requiring on-site analysis with problem specific recommendations. Please Contact Us for a consultation regarding the individual needs of your home.
How can I reduce allergens and improve the air quality in my home?
With a high-efficiency air cleaner, up to 99% of the pollen and spores that find their way into a home is removed. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will become cleaner and fresher, while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate.
A whole house humidifier can relieve the irritation and discomfort of dry indoor air. The humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and damage to woodwork and other furnishings. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you can be comfortable with a lower thermostat setting – which will reduce the costs of your energy bill. We offer a complete line of indoor air quality products to meet your needs, that you can see here.
What is duct cleaning?
Duct cleaning refers to the cleaning of the various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems. These include the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing. Click here to view our duct cleaning service, and why it is so beneficial to increasing the healthiness of your home.