FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system?
Look at the label on the equipment for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old, it may have a warranty, but also may not. Warranty terms and conditions vary widely by manufacturer and the installing company. We can determine the warranty status of your heating and cooling system from a basic service maintenance inspection.
2What are SEER ratings of air conditioning systems?
SEER is the acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is shown as a number, example 13. The higher the number is, the more efficient the air conditioner. For many homeowners a 13 SEER (as of January 23, 2006, the minimum standard allowed by U.S. Department of Energy) air conditioner or heat pump will represent money saved on each month’s electric bill. Exactly how much you can save will depend on the efficiency of your current system. Here is a comparison: 13 SEER efficiency:
- Delivers about 23% energy savings compared to 10 SEER models.
- Delivers about 8% energy savings compared to 12 SEER models. Actual savings will depend on the age, efficiency, and condition of the unit being replaced.
3Is Freon now obsolete in air conditioning units?
The most commonly used refrigerant in today’s air conditioners and heat pumps is R22. By 2010, all new air conditioners and heat pumps will be required to use “environmentally sound” refrigerant, such as R410A. This phase-out has been mandated in an effort to help protect the earth’s ozone layer. The phase-out of R22 refrigerant will likely cause a significant increase in the cost of R22.
4What should I do when my carbon monoxide (CO) detector alarms?
Verify that it is the carbon monoxide warning and not a low battery warning. Turn off all gas appliances, if possible. Open a window or door for ventilation and call your heating and air contractor.
5I don’t use part of my house. Can I shut off the registers to that part of the house to save energy?
No. Your system was designed to provide a designated amount of air throughout the home. By shutting down some registers, you can cause a lot of damage to your furnace or central air conditioner.
6What do I do if my thermostat has problems?
Check and make sure that the batteries are good, if your thermostat requires them. An adult should try turning the thermostat to the off position and back on to reset the system. If there are still problems, call your heating and air contractor.
7How much should I turn the thermostat down at night?
To save energy, you can turn the thermostat down at night or when you are not at home. (Programmable thermostats do this automatically.) The thermostat should not be set back more than five degrees. (Example: If you maintain your home at 68 degrees, you should set it no lower than 63 degrees.) If the temperature is set back more than five degrees, you may lose the benefits of energy saving because it will take much more energy to heat the home back up to temperature.
8Can the furnace and central air conditioner be serviced at the same time or should it be done in the spring or fall before the hot and cold seasons?
Yes, they can be serviced at the same time which could save an additional trip. The best months to do a combined service are March through October. Your central air conditioning system cannot be properly serviced in cold weather.
9How often should I have my furnace and central air conditioning serviced?
Most people don’t realize their furnace and air conditioner run more and start and stop more than their automobile. Routine service is very important for energy efficiency and longevity of your equipment. Equipment that is not regularly serviced tends to need more repairs. We recommend having your system professionally cleaned and serviced a minimum of once per year.
10How often should I change my furnace filter?
This is the single most important thing that needs to be done to keep your system clean and operating efficiently. If you have a standard furnace filter, we recommend replacing it monthly even if the old one still looks clean. High efficiency filtering systems, air cleaners, and ERV, may require different schedules. Pets, environment, and number of household members can all affect how often your filter needs to be replaced.
11Why is my HVAC system freezing up?
There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up, most of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician. Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you can check or handle yourself. Low refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced. Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. problem. Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you will need to have our service expert’s repair or replace the defective parts Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact us to correct the problem.
12Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?
It is important to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a Service Experts. If not maintained properly and routinely, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could cause problems and become less ‘fuel’ efficient.
13Why don’t you charge by the hour?
Charging a flat rate for the repairs provides more value for our customers because the pricing is up-front and does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to make the repair, the flat rate price will not change.
14When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
The answer is most likely yes, here’s why. Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. The result of this matched system is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may “work” with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically designed; however, the result is a definite compromise in system performance. Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone numerous design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also include the latest design advances. Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may result in improved efficiency compared to the old system, it will not be as efficient as it was designed to be and your savings will be lower than with a matched system. Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit is 10 years old and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of wear and tear. Replacing both units means you won’t have to replace the indoor unit in a short time…you’ll have years of service from both units. New Warranty: A new unit also gives you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit at the same time as the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing the new warranty covers the entire system. A Bargain: At first glance, replacing only an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit may appear to be a bargain. But when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it’s not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system costs more, but you get more efficiency, reliability and comfort.
15What should I know about changes in refrigerants?
To protect our environment, numerous changes have taken place with refrigerants used in air conditioning and heat pump systems. These changes are having and will continue to have a significant impact on the air conditioning industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants. These changes will eventually eliminate air conditioning and heat pump refrigerants containing chlorine because of the concern about depletion of the ozone layer. In response, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is offering consumers a choice in environmentally friendlier refrigerants. The chlorine-free refrigerant R410A will reduce damage to the ozone. R410A is used by all manufacturers but is often marketed under different names. Providing products that protect the environment and providing consumers with a total home comfort solution have been and will continue to be our priority. Products that use the environmentally friendlier R410A refrigerant are win-win solutions for consumers wanting high-efficiency products that are less taxing on our environment. Although the government has begun phasing out a commonly used refrigerant, consumers who have cooling systems that use this product should not worry. The HCFC family of refrigerants, which include R22, will still be available for many years. Sufficient quantities of R22 refrigerant will continue to be produced until the year 2020. After 2020, recycled refrigerants should be available for many more years.
16What is a Precision Tune-up, how much does it cost?
In addition to a System Inspection, a Tune-up also includes a complete cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. The cost of a tune-up varies by location, and can generally range between $69 and $149.
17What is a Service Call fee?
A Service Call fee is a flat fee for the cost associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect and provide expert recommendations for a home’s heating or air conditioning system.
18Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?
Today’s technology has enabled manufacturers to produce air conditioners and heat pumps that are not only highly efficient, but also exceptionally quiet. Loud heating and cooling equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors. The age of the unit and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes. Although most heating and cooling systems manufactured today are quieter than ever before, it’s a good idea to compare sound ratings when shopping for a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms. Great differences in the sound levels of products on the market today can make all the difference in just how comfortable you can be at home.
19What does the AFUE of my furnace have to do with energy efficiency?
AFUE is the acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is shown as a percentage 92% or 93%. The higher the percentage is the more efficient the furnace.