What is HSPF?

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This measures the efficiency of the heating portion of the heat pump. A higher number means the unit works more efficiently.

What is a heat pump?

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump combines cooling and heating capability in one unit. When cooling, the heat pumps operates like an air conditioner, removing the heat from indoors and transferring it outdoors. In the winter the heat pump takes heat from the outdoors and transfers it inside your home. Even at freezing temperatures, there is still heat in the outdoor air that can be used to warm a home by using a heat pump. To augment the heat pump on very cold days, electric resistance heaters are installed in the indoor section of the unit.

What is Freon/R-22?

What is Freon/R-22?

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), known as R-22, has been used as a refrigerant for more than 40 years by HVAC manufacturers. While HCFC’s are considered safe for the environment they do contain chlorine which is classed as an ozone-depleting chemical. The Clean Air Act set a target date of January 1, 2010 after which HVAC manufacturers can no longer build products that use R-22. Manufacturers of refrigerants will still be allowed to produce R-22 until January 1, 2020 after which time only recovery and recycling will provide R-22 for servicing older installed systems.

What is R-410A?

What is R-410A?

R-410A is a hydro fluorocarbon (HFC), which is an environmentally friendly refrigerant that is considered by most to be the likely replacement for R-22.

Why should I replace my existing furnace and/or air conditioning system if it is still functioning?

Why should I replace my existing furnace and/or air conditioning system if it is still functioning?

You should consider replacing your system if it is old, and therefore less efficient, or if it might need repair in the near future. Systems today can be 60% more efficient than systems built as little as 10 years ago. Normal wear and tear can reduce the efficiency of your system. If you have large utility bills or are if you are facing an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing the entire system. Going through another costly season of utility bills or paying for an expensive part failure can go a long way toward the cost of a new system.

How do I know what to buy?

How do I know what to buy?

Make sure the unit that you select is the correct size for your needs. Systems that are too large or too small can be inefficient. We would be pleased to provide an energy analysis to show you the true operating cost. We will help you understand your options. You should consider specific comfort issues in your home. If anyone has allergies, an air filtration system should be considered as part of the installation.

Some of the many variables to be considered in determining the system requirements are: square feet to be served,  area climate, humidity, number of windows in the home, insulation, which direction your home faces, what heat producing appliances are installed, including home computers, and the number of people who will be in the home.

Should I change my indoor coil?

Should I change my indoor coil?

When replacing your air conditioner or heat pump the answer is probably yes. Efficiency ratings are based on a matched system. If only the outdoor portion is changed the efficiency could be lowered and therefore your savings could be less.

How long should my unit last?

How long should my unit last?

With proper maintenance, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years (high humidity/salt air applications may be less than that) and a gas furnace should last as long as 20 or 25 years.

What is a “zoned system”

What is a “zoned system”

Zoned systems eliminate “hot and cold spots” and can help save energy. Your house is split into areas with common heating and cooling requirements, and every “zone” is under the control of its own thermostat. Each zone is heated or cooled independently of other zones. Zoning can reduce energy bills as much as 30%.

How often should I change or clean my filters?

How often should I change or clean my filters?

Dirty filters should be replaced to prevent equipment from working harder, resulting in energy waste and possibly causing damage to your unit. Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Filters should be replaced with the same kind and size as your original filter. If the filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning it. The pre-filter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner should be cleaned at least two or three times per year.

Should I cover my outdoor unit in the winter?

Should I cover my outdoor unit in the winter?

Covering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are built to withstand a wide range of climate changes. Rain even helps to keep your unit clean. Heat pumps run all year long so they should not be covered.

Should I set my thermostat fan to the “ON” position so the fan runs all the time?

Should I set my thermostat fan to the “ON” position so the fan runs all the time?

There are advantages. One is full-time filtering. Another is that you can maintain a more even temperature in your home.

How close to the outdoor unit can I plant flowers or bushes?

How close to the outdoor unit can I plant flowers or bushes?

Plants probably should not be closer than 18 or more inches. Air conditioners need air circulation to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and wear out. Also, when the unit needs normal maintenance, plantings closer than 18 inches make it difficult to service.

Should I be concerned about the possibility of having carbon monoxide in my home?

Should I be concerned about the possibility of having carbon monoxide in my home?

Yes. Carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems and possibly death.

What is carbon monoxide?

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Appliances such as your furnace, space heater, water heater, stove, charcoal grill or gas dryer can be sources of carbon mo
oxide, especially if they are not in proper working condition, or have been installed improperly. Vehicle exhaust fumes from attached garages, and improperly operating fireplaces also can be hazards. If your home has been tightly sealed for energy efficiency CO can be an even worse problem.

What are some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

What are some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning are easily overlooked because they are often like the flu. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure can cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure can lead to unconsciousness, convulsions, heart or respiratory failure, coma and even death.

How can I detect carbon monoxide in my home?

How can I detect carbon monoxide in my home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in your home. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and sounds an alarm if harmful levels are detected. We can install monitors for you.

How often should I change or clean my filters?

How often should I change or clean my filters?

Check the filter every 3 to 4 weeks. Replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable type. Reusable filters, should be completely dry before they are re-installed.

For some good tips on what to do before calling for service and for suggestions on duct-balancing along with other operating tips for your heating, cooling, and heat pump systems, please click here to download a PDF of a handy booklet that we provide to our customers.

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