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FAQS

Q: What is the average life span of a water heater?

A: Of course it depends on the water heater but the average life span is 8-14 years.

Q: Why does my water heater not work as well in the winter?

A: When its really cold out the water that enters your home is much colder. This causes the hot water in your tank to lose a lot more heat when it mixes with the incoming cold water. Also you may have a build up of sediment in your tank that’s inhibiting you water heaters performance.

Q: How hot should my hot water be?

A: Set at minimum of 120 degrees F but keep in mind scolding 125 degrees F 1 ½ to 2 mins 130 degrees F 30 seconds 135 degrees F10 seconds 140 degrees F less than 5 seconds 145 degrees F less than 3 seconds 150 degrees F 1.5 seconds 155 degrees F ½ second

Q: What is the average life expectancy of a system?

A: Most systems have a lifetime of 10 to 20 years. As your equipment gets older, its efficiency can decrease dramatically. You may notice that it gets noisier and needs repairs more often. When a unit begins to show its age, you have two choices -- You can overhaul the system or replace it. Because heating and cooling technologies improve over time, a new system designed with newer, more energy-efficient equipment makes sense, especially if your system is 7 or more years old.

Q: How can I reduce my energy costs?

A: Here are some suggestions that can help you reduce your energy costs:
  • Upgrade to a high-efficiency system - Swapping your old, inefficient air conditioning system for a high-efficiency one can cut electricity bills by up to one-third. Schedule a FREE in-home consultation with one of our HVAC specialists to receive an estimate showing how much you can save by upgrading to a high efficiency system.
  • Adjust the temperature - Typically, adjusting temperatures 5–8 degrees (down in winter, up in summer) can help save energy if you're going to be away from home for several hours.
  • Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the summer, the blades should operate in a counter-clockwise direction. In the winter, the blades should operate in a clockwise direction helping to push the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
  • Have annual maintenance performed – Tuning up your cooling system each spring and your heating system each fall will help ensure each operates at peak efficiency and can help you identify and resolve any potential issues before a breakdown occurs.
  • Don't block vents in well-used rooms – Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your air conditioner can operate efficiently and there is even, cool air distribution.
  • Close vents in less-used rooms – By closing the vents, you won't be spending money cooling rooms that are used less.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat enables you to control your home's temperature when you're away or asleep. For every 1° you lower your thermostat for seven hours per day, you can save approximately one percent on your heating bill.

Q: Will a bigger system perform better?

A: No, you don't want your air conditioner to be too large. Air conditioners control the comfort level in your home by cooling the air and by removing humidity. An oversized air conditioner can cool your home faster, but it will use more energy and will not remove humidity adequately. In addition, your existing ductwork may not be able to support the airflow of a larger system. A unit that is too big for your home will have short run cycles. It can take only a short time to cool the air, but the unit shuts off before enough air blows across the indoor coil where moisture condenses into water and drains from your system. Too much moisture left in the air can lead to mold and mildew problems. These short run cycles also mean your system starts and stops more often which uses more energy and causes a lot of wear and tear. An air conditioner operates more efficiently during long run cycles. The same holds true with heating systems. An oversized furnace can warm the house quicker, but it uses more fuel and causes greater temperature swings in the home.

Q: What determines if I need to replace rather than repair my unit?

A: If your unit is 7 years old or older, requires frequent repairs or stops working, fails to heat or cool areas of your home, runs excessively or constantly turns on and off, or produces high utility bills, it can be more economical to replace your existing system.

Q: How do I know if I need a new heating and cooling system?

A: We can send a home comfort specialist to your home for a FREE consultation to examine your home inside and out to determine the right system for your needs. Many homeowners assume that a new HVAC system will solve their problems, and sometimes that is the case, but frequently there are underlying issues that need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve the kinds of efficiencies possible with a new unit.

Q: Can you give me a price without an in-home consultation?

A: No, we cannot provide a quote over the phone, as pricing varies based on your needs and the unique conditions in your home. In order to properly size your system, a detailed load calculation must be performed by a qualified technician. Installing an oversized or undersized unit may result in higher utility bills and your system may not heat or cool at capacity.

Q: Can I just replace the outdoor unit on an older air conditioning system to save money?

A: While it may cost less initially to replace the outdoor unit on an older system, over time utility expenses will add up and may even cost you more. Replacing only the outdoor unit will lower the efficiency of the unit. Even worse, your system may fail sooner than normal and most manufacturers' warranties will be voided. You should always replace the indoor cooling coil with the outdoor unit.

Q: Do I need to have my ductwork replaced?

A: Industry experts estimate that as many as 70% of all homes with central air have poorly installed ductwork. Ducts that are not properly sealed or insulated fail to get the hot or cool air where you want it efficiently, therefore costing you money. Before you invest in a new system, make sure an HVAC expert checks your ducts and includes specific recommendations in their proposal to you. This can normally be done for FREE as part of your in-home estimate. Don’t spend the money on a new, super-efficient system unless you are sure those efficiency gains won't be lost by poor ductwork.

Q: Will I need a Permit?

A: YES

Q: What are advantages of equipment with variable speed fans?

A: Variable speed fans operate on a simple principle: they are able to spin at different speeds depending on the heating and cooling needs of your home. Usually, they operate at lower speeds, delivering a steady, reliable stream of warm or cool air to your home. When conditions become more extreme, the fan speed increases so that the system can meet increased demand, guaranteeing that on even the hottest days or coldest nights, your comfort needs will be met. Older systems simply switch on or off. Newer, variable speed systems lower your utility bills by only using the energy needed to heat or cool your home at any given time.

HVAC MAINTENANCE

Q: What is a tune-up?

A: A tune-up is when an HVAC system professional checks the key components of your system and makes adjustments to the system to keep it operating efficiently.

Q: When do I need to have my unit serviced?

A: You should have a regular tune-up twice a year -- typically at the beginning of each heating and cooling season -- to ensure that your system is working efficiently before the weather gets too hot or cold. However, tune-ups may be scheduled at any time.

Q: Are seasonal maintenance plans worth the investment?

A: Each spring and each fall before you start using your cooling or heating system, you should get a tune-up to ensure your HVAC system is ready for the season. By spending a little twice a year, you can save a lot in energy bills by keeping your system operating at peak efficiency. You also can avoid costly repairs by identifying and fixing minor problems before they turn into big ones. Plus, many homeowners don’t realize that their manufacturer warranties may be considered invalid if they aren’t getting their unit serviced twice a year.

Q: What brands or equipment do you service?

A: We offer tune-ups for all brands of central heating and cooling equipment. Equipment serviced includes central air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and air quality systems such as whole-home humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air cleaners. Tune-up service is also available for ductless mini-splits and boilers in many markets.

Q: Do I really have to change my air filter often?

A: Yes. Changing your air filter at least once every six months will not only help you save on your monthly bills but also will help extend the life of your system. Changing your filter every three months is even better.

Q: Would installing a programmable thermostat really save me money?

A: It’s a fact that a programmable thermostat will save you money. Programmable thermostats adjust the temperature automatically throughout the day, saving you as much as 33% on heating costs and up to 15-to-25% on cooling. Keep in mind that where you place your programmable thermostat is also critical for it to work efficiently. If your thermostat is placed in an area that is subject to direct sunlight, heat from a bathroom or kitchen, a drafty area, etc. it can cause you to over (or under) use your HVAC system. Try to place your thermostat in a central location where the temperature is relatively consistent with the rest of the home.

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