How do I figure out the right-sized HVAC system for my home?
This is an important factor in choosing a new or replacement system, and an improperly sized system can result in poor efficiency, a decrease in lifespan for the unit, and uneven heating and cooling. Only a trained and licensed professional can accurately measure and calculate the right sized system for your home. One of our professionals will take into account the space, layout, and square footage of your home in determining the best size of system for your property.
What does the SEER rating mean on heating and cooling systems?
The S.E.E.R. (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is a way to measure the efficiency of a cooling system. It’s a calculation of the amount of cooling a system generates per dollar spent on electricity. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is. Most systems have a S.E.E.R. rating between 13-17, and higher-efficiency systems can afford even higher ratings above 20.
Are there things I can do to keep my HVAC system running more efficiently?
Yes! The best way to keep your system running at peak performance by far is with regular maintenance. This allows for a trained technician to inspect, clean, and calibrate your system as well as catch issues before they cause a decrease in performance. Additionally, ensuring that your air filters are replaced or cleaned (depending on the type of filter) at the correct intervals is paramount to efficiency. You can also keep shades, blinds, and shutters closed during the summers to keep sunlight and heat out, and make sure your weather stripping and ductwork aren’t leaking or damaged.
What is the best temperature to keep my thermostat at?
There isn’t a perfect temperature, as this is largely a matter of preference. Generally, you can enjoy a comfortable indoor climate during the summer months by setting your thermostat between 75-80 degrees. In the winter, most homes will be satisfied with between 70-75 degrees. During all seasons, closing windows and utilizing ceiling fans can allow you to enjoy the same comfort without needing to turn the thermostat up or down. For more tips on thermostat settings, you can always ask one of our friendly team members.
When should I replace my filters?
The answer greatly depends on your specific system and filter size and type. By referring to your manufacturer’s handbook for the system, you can find information about suggested filter replacement intervals. You can also call on us for assistance, or contact the manufacturer directly. Some high-efficiency furnace filters may last longer, for example, and different materials, thickness, and sized filters may need more or less regular replacements. Indoor air quality plays a role in how fast your filters get dirty as well.
How often should I schedule maintenance?
Newer systems can probably do with once-yearly maintenance to stay in shape and maintain the warranty. Older systems, depending on their condition, might need twice-yearly tune-ups for optimal performance. Other factors to consider include the age of the system, the usage the system endures, and the condition of the parts inside the system. We recommend that you have one of our expert technicians give your system a tune-up so that we can better recommend a maintenance schedule to keep things running just the way they should. As a rule of thumb, there’s no such thing as too much maintenance, but less than once a year can be costly!
What are ductless mini-split systems?
Also referred to as ductless heat pumps or simply mini-splits, ductless mini-split systems are another way to heat and cool your home as opposed to a traditional central forced-air system. Ductless systems, as their name suggests, offer heating and cooling without the use of ductwork. They employ the use of an indoor and outdoor unit to heat and cool your home, and are generally high energy efficient.
Does a heat pump replace my heater and air conditioner?
It’s true, heat pumps offer both heating and cooling! Still, there are some things to consider when contemplating a heat pump for both your heating and cooling needs. Heat pumps work best in climates without extreme heat or cold, as they rely on pulling heat from the air (to heat during the winter) and removing heat from indoors to cool (during the summer). In some cases, a heat pump is sufficient. In other cases, a heat pump can act as a great supplemental system to an existing furnace or air conditioner. If you’re thinking about a heat pump for your home, we’re more than happy to address your concerns and help you make a decision that’s right for you.
When should I replace my air conditioner or heater?
There isn’t a perfect time to replace your HVAC systems, but there are some factors that you can consider. Aside from contacting our team for a professional consultation, you’ll want to consider a few things. First, how old is the system? Most air conditioners and furnaces have expected life spans of around 10-15 years. If your system is approaching or exceeding that range, it’s probably time to start planning a replacement. Otherwise, the years of wear and tear will make repairs more likely, and you’re probably suffering from poor efficiency. Another major factor is when facing costly repairs. If the cost of the repair is more than half of the cost of a new system, it might be in your best long-term interest to simply replace the system. There are plenty of other factors to consider, and we’re always happy to answer additional questions you may have about replacing your heating or cooling systems.
Why is my air conditioner or heater making noises?
If your HVAC system is making unusual noises, it’s probably a sign of mechanical failure. Belts, bearings, and other components can become loose or broken due to wear, tear, or a lack of maintenance. If you notice your air conditioner or heater making screeching, grinding, or any other noise you don’t recognize, turn it off immediately to avoid further damage and call a licensed HVAC team like ours to assess the cause and fix the problem. Never attempt a repair on your own!
Why is my air conditioner blowing warm air?
If your AC is blowing warm or hot air, there are a few things that could be causing the issue. The first thing you’ll want to do is check your air filter. If the filter is dirty or hasn’t been replaced in a while, it might be the reason for your air not being at the right temperature. Other culprits can be low refrigerant levels or dirty evaporator coils. If your air conditioner is blowing hot air, you shouldn’t keep running it, as it can cause more damage and strain on your compressor, leading to a costly repair. One of our expert technicians can diagnose the cause and provide you with a fast solution.
Why do my drains keep clogging?
Drains clog for a number of reasons, but it all boils down to grime, sludge, and buildup occurring in your piping system. Cleaning chemicals, hair, grease, food waste, and other materials can build up over time in your pipes, making your drains either slow or completely clogged up. While some homeowners may opt for store-bought chemical treatments, these are often ineffective and can actually result in damage to your pipes. The best solution for a clogged drain is to request the assistance of an experienced plumbing team like ours for a drain cleaning.
What is the point of having a backup generator?
In the event of a power outage, there’s a lot to be concerned about. In the modern age, so much of our information and data is stored electronically, and that can all be lost in an instant if the power is suddenly cut out. Not only that, if you or someone in your home relies on electronic medical equipment, power is a necessity. During extremely hot or cold days, having the power to keep your HVAC systems running is also a safety concern. Simply put, having a backup generator to keep all of the vital systems in your home that relies on electricity running are a great investment in your health, safety, and peace of mind.
What is the difference between a traditional and tankless water heater?
Traditional water heaters heat water on an ongoing basis to keep a large storage tank filled with hot water. These systems constantly use power to keep this tank of water heated. Tankless water heaters, while typically more expensive, heat water instantly and on-demand through the use of high-powered burners and a heat exchanger. That means that when you call for hot water from any tap, you’ll get the exact amount of hot water you need; no more and no less. The energy savings for these systems often outweigh the initial investment cost in the long-run. Tankless models also usually last longer than their tanked counterparts! You can trust our team to help you weigh the pros and cons of each, and find the right water heater to meet the specific needs of your home.