How often should I replace the filters in my heating/cooling system?
Let your experience be your guide. Look at your filters every 30 days during the heating and cooling seasons and replace when starting to fill with dust.
How can I cut down on my heating and cooling costs?
There are several ways. FIRST, KEEP YOUR FILTERS CLEAN.
Be sure your doors and windows are weather stripped to keep the conditioned air in.
Be sure your air ducts are sealed, so no heated or cooled air leaks out, and are insulated to keep heat transfer to the attic, crawl space or garage low.
Add additional insulation to your attic and floor if possible to reduce that heat loss. Turning your heating temperature down when away or asleep (if you like) will save a significant amount of energy. A programmable thermostat may be a good investment to do so automatically.
Will a programmable thermostat really save on my energy costs?
Tests prove that lowering the thermostat setting 10 degrees for 8 hours at night will save 8-10 percent on heating energy costs. If you have not been doing so, you an save by either manually lowering the setting or having a programmable thermostat do so automatically. You can save even more by lowering the setting if you are away during the day.
My furnace will not turn on. What can I do?
Be sure your thermostat is set correctly to call for heat.
Be sure the circuit breaker is on and the fuse is good.
Turn the power off for a few seconds and then back on to clear any safety lockout.
Call our office for additional suggestions that suit your situation or a technician to locate and fix the problem.
I hear about indoor air quality. What is it and should I be concerned?
The short answer is yes, you should be concerned.
Because newer houses are so well sealed to save energy, the house cannot breathe as well and the air in your home is from 4 to 10 times more polluted with health issue causing stuff than it is outside.
Examples of pollutants include: dust, lint, hair and others you can see; off gassing from carpets, furnishings, laundry & cleaning products; cooking odors and smoke; personal care products such as hair spray and deodorant.
Also you can have dust mite feces, viruses and mold spores thrown into the air by your vacuum cleaner or just by walking and stirring up the air in daily living.
This pollution can be cleaned from the air by high-density filtering, electronic air cleaning, ultraviolet lights and special catalysts that destroy the particles and filter them from the air.
All these pollutants can aggravate health issues such as asthma and allergies.
An HVAC specialist should be consulted to help determine which method will best suit your needs.
I need a furnace or air conditioner part. Can I purchase and install it myself?
The do-it-yourself person can make many simple repairs. Come by or call our shop to check out our stock. We have a large inventory of furnace and air conditioner parts as well as the expertise to help you through the repair.
What is the SEER rating for air conditioners?
SEER stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficency Ratio". It is the season long average of effiecency of an air conditioner expressed as the BTU cooling capacity divided by electrical energy required to operate in watts.
A 3 ton air conditioner producing 34,000BTU divided by the 2745 watts of power it consimes will have an EER (energy efficency ratio) of 12.4. Depending on your climate a special factor is applied to adjust for the seasonal operation to produce the SEER Rating. This example air conditioner may have a SEER rating of 14 to 15.
All manufacturers test their air conditioners with different furnaces and coils to obtain accurate EER and SEER ratings.
Does it really pay to install a higher efficiency furnace?
Depending on what you are replacing, your heating bill can decrease by 18 to 40% if the installation is of a much greater efficiency unit, properly done and the system is accurately set up. That saving can add up to quite a lot over the years and you just may save a part of the environment through less energy use.
I see ice around my heat pump during cold weather, is this normal?
During operation, a heat pump outdoor coil is quite cold and below about 45 degrees outdoor temperature a heat pump coil is cold enough to form frost, as it is absobing heat from the outdoor air.
As the heat pump continues to operate the entire outdoor coil should form a frost evenly covering the coil. At the correct point in the cycle it will go into defrost. The fan will stop, the reversing valve will switch, the hot refridgerant will melt the frost away and water will run off the coil. When defrost is complete the reversing valve goes back to the heating position, the fan starts and we are heating again.
This is normal operation.
If the coil frosts unevenly, does not defrost completely, or thick frost or ice forms - it is not normal operation. You should call for service so you can get your efficiency back and not damage the heat pump compressor and coil.
Is there a better time of year to buy a furnace or air conditioner to get a better price?
In the HVAC industry, late winter and spring is a good time since work is traditionally slow and all contractor need work to keep the installers busy. This time of year prices come down to help generate more work and you can get the best prices.
Are there still government rebates for installing a high efficiency furnace?
There are no longer any tax credits for furnaces or air conditioners. There is a tax credit for geothermal heat pumps and solar. There is an Idaho tax deduction for high efficient equipment and wood stoves replacing less efficient units. It is complicated and you should call for a comfort adviser to explain what is available for your situation.
My flue pipe above the roof looks like it is rusting, what should I do?
Over the years, most flues need part replaced above the roof. This is where condensation occurs and the pipe will disintegrate. Call a technician to check out the entire flue and repair. This may be a good time to have your furnace tuned up if you haven't.
My furnace makes too much noise, how can I make it quieter.
This depends on what is creating the noise. If there is vibration, scraping sound, banging on and off, some adjustments should solve the problem. If you are hearing actual blower noise, a sound baffle might work. Most burner sounds cannot be fixed and a new, quiet furnace may be in order.
If you get a hum or a varying "tuning fork" sound, look to your return grilles. If you can place your hand against the grille and stop the noise, you have too much air going through the grille and need to have it enlarged or have another one installed.
I have water by my furnace, what should I do?
Water by your furnace any time is a bad thing!
If you have a condensing furnace and water is present during the heating season, there is a leak in the condensate system that may be damaging the furnace. If there is water during the cooling season, the cooling coil drain is plugged. Either way the drain problem must be corrected. If you need help, please call and one of our technicians can solve the problem.
What is the scoop on the new Freon?
The R22 refrigerant we have had for as long as anyone can remember is being phased out because it may harm the environment. It will still be available for service on older equipment for the foreseeable future but will be progressively more expensive.
The new R410A refrigerant has been available for new equipment for several years and has been a requirement for all newly manufactured equipment since 2014. The refrigerants do not mix and are not to be interchanged.