Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I do before calling for service?
  • Check your thermostat setting. Make sure that you have it set in the proper mode and the temperature is set properly.
  • Check/change your air filter. A clogged filter can cause any number of problems.
  • Check your electrical panel. Make sure you know which circuit breaker(s) or fuse(s) control your heating and air conditioning equipment. Sometimes just resetting a breaker or “turning on a switch” that someone had inadvertently turned off can get your system operating.
  • Do you have a “load control” on you’re A/C unit? (Check your power bill). If yes, call the power company to see if they might have activated this system
  • When calling for service, you need to be able to describe what your system is or is not doing. Is it making any noise outside? Is there air coming out of the registers? Does the fan operate when the thermostat is set to the fan “on” position?
  • Ask the technician if a Preventative Maintenance Agreement could have prevented this problem.
2. How often should I replace / clean my filters? Where are they located?
  • Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace with the same kind and size as the original filter.
  • If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufactures instructions for cleaning.
  • Ask our technician if you feel your filtration is not adequate. We have many filtration options that greatly enhance your indoor air quality.
  • Your filter should be located in either the blower compartment, in an attached filter case, or in a return grill(s) in a wall of your home.
  • If you cannot find your air filter, contact our office to schedule a technician to help find the filter and evaluate the current state of your system.
3. What is the life expectancy of my system?
  • The average expected life of an air conditioner is approximately 15 years.
  • The average expected life of a heat pump is approximately 10-12 years, since it operates year round.
  • The average expected life of a gas furnace or air handler is approximately 18 years.
  • Units in harsh environments, neglected or are over / undersized tend to have shorter lives.
4. How often should I have my system checked or serviced?
  • Most manufactures suggest having your system checked prior to the winter heating season and again prior to the summer cooling season.
  • Periodic maintenance is required to keep the manufactures warranty intact
  • The most logical choice is to invest in a Preventative Maintenance Agreement. This helps get rid of the guesswork and keeps the system tuned and ready for the harshest winter and hottest summer months.
  • Preventative maintenance typically includes cleaning indoor and out door coils, tightening electrical connections, checking supply voltage and operating current, checking refrigerant charge, measuring temperature differential at supply and return registers, cleaning blower wheel and motors, inspecting and adjusting burners, inspecting heat exchangers, cleaning drain lines and pans, checking ductwork for leaks and insulation, and checking thermostat.
  • Having your system checked and serviced can solve many problems before they become emergencies.
  • Our Preventive Maintenance Agreements are designed to produce energy savings, improved equipment reliability, and best of all peace of mind
5. Should I cover my outdoor unit (AC) in the wintertime?
  • Covering the outdoor unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes
  • Rain actually helps keep your unit clean
  • Of course, heat pumps run all year long, and should never be covered
6. What time of year is a good time to replace my system?
  • Early spring and fall are typically good times to consider replacement of systems as temperatures are moderate and more time and consideration can be taken to select your new system
  • However, during peak summer and winter months we stay well staffed to address any replacement needs that may arise in an emergency situation
  • We advise taking a proactive approach to the replacement of your system. If you wait until it breaks to consider replacement, you may find yourself without heating or cooling in the coldest or hottest part of the season.
  • Do your research, ask neighbors for recommendations, and have a qualified contractor analyze the heating and cooling needs in your home
  • Make sure that the contractor that you choose has the proper licenses, insurance (Workman’s comp and liability), and a strong reputation to stand behind his/her work (ask for references)
  • Be certain that your replacement is being permitted by the county or local municipality (this is required by state law)
7. What brand of equipment is the best?
  • We can sell almost any brand of equipment available, however we limit our sales to just a few trusted brands that through our experience have proven reliable
  • Stick with the well known brands as they tend to have the best warranties, proven technology, and adequate -parts availability
  • Special applications may sometimes dictate the brand of equipment that we recommend as manufactures differ in specialty equipment and accessories
  • Reference consumer magazines and web sites to get a consensus to what the current consumer opinion pole may be (these are typically very accurate)
8. I’ve heard a lot about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). What is it and how does it affect my home and my family?
  • Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.
  • IAQ can be affected by microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates (smoke, pet dander), or any stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Particles like dust, smoke and bacteria are often .3 microns or less. At that size, allergens can get deep into your lungs because they aren’t filtered well by your nose and throat.
  • Indoor air is becoming an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air. Using ventilation to dilute contaminants, filtration, and source control are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality.
    • Ventilation – One approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. The rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air is described as the air exchange rate. When there is little infiltration, natural ventilation, or mechanical ventilation, the air exchange rate is low and pollutant levels can increase.
      • Infiltration – outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings, and around windows and doors.
      • Natural ventilation – air moves through open windows and doors. Air movement associated with infiltration and natural ventilation is caused by air temperature differences between indoors and outdoors and by wind.
      • Mechanical ventilation – includes outdoor-vented fans that intermittently remove air from a single room, such as bathrooms and kitchen, to air handling systems that use fans and duct work to continuously remove indoor air and distribute filtered and conditioned outdoor air to strategic points throughout the house.
    • Filtration – There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively inexpensive table-top models to sophisticated whole-house systems. Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others, including most table-top models, are much less so. The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air (expressed as a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (expressed in cubic feet per minute). A very efficient collector with a low air-circulation rate will not be effective, nor will a cleaner with a high air-circulation rate but a less efficient collector. The long-term performance of any air cleaner depends on maintaining it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
    • Source control – An effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, wood burning stoves and smoke, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. Others including pollen, dust and pet dander can be reduced by frequent cleaning and vacuuming.

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