Frequently Asked HVAC Questions
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1. How often do I change my filter?
In most situations, you should change your filter in 3-6 month intervals. There is no set answer for this as it is determined by many factors. These factors include:
- hours of fan run time
- size of filter
- quality of filter
- traffic in the home (pets, kids, etc.)
All these factors impact the amount of airborne dust and dirt. The answer is as often as it needs it. We suggest determining the need frequency in your home and sticking to that. We can help you determine the frequency.
2. How often should I clean my ducts?
It really depends but, on average, we see that a 5-7 month interval is enough for most homes.
3. How often should I get my furnace, AC, or water heater tuned up?
We recommend annual maintenance on each piece of equipment. In the early years of a system, it is to ensure that the system is operating as it should so that you maximize the efficiency. As the system ages, the benefits include avoiding costly repairs by catching things before they are a problem. Safety and peace of mind are two big factors that maintenance keeps up.
4. What equipment in my home needs annual maintenance?
Your HVAC equipment needs regular maintenance and your plumbing system does as well. HVAC equipment is the most used appliance in the home, second only to a refrigerator. It is also the most expensive appliance in the home. Plumbing fixtures should also be inspected and checked regularly.
5. What does an Ultimate Tune-Up include?
Heating Season Ultimate Tune-Up
- Test Operation
- Replace or Clean Filter
- Test for gas leaks
- Inspect Safety Controls
- Perform carbon monoxide sampling & PPM of ductwork and flue
- Test for proper drafting of vent & inspect vent condition
- Visually inspect burners/pilot assembly
- Lubricate, adjust & tighten blower assembly to factory specifications
- Inspect condition of water heater
- Replace thermocouple if necessary
- Inspect blower wheel for cleanliness
- Clean furnace cabinet inside & out
- Check electrical connections for tightness
- Adjust & calibrate thermostat
- Record amp draw on blower motor
- Record entering & leaving air temperatures
- Check manifold pressure
- Run defrost cycle & test auxiliary heat
Cooling Season Ultimate Tune-Up
- Test Operation
- Replace or clean filter
- Shut down humidifier & damper
- Record operating pressures & temperatures
- Clean outdoor condenser coil
- Record amp draw on compressor and condenser fan motor
- Inspect & clean condensate drain
- Lubricate, adjust & tighten condenser fan to factory specifications
- Check electrical connections for tightness
- Check all electrical components capacitors, contactors, etc.)
- Check refrigerant charge
- Adjust and calibrate thermostat
6. What is a PMA?
Our Plumbing Maintenance Agreement (PMA) helps make sure that your plumbing system is kept in prime condition.
Advantages of a PMA:
- Reduce your Water Usage and save on your utility bill
- Prevent costly breakdowns
- Extended equipment life
- Discounted repairs
- Never pay overtime, EVER!
- Priority customer status
- Automatic call reminders
The PMA includes an Ultimate Plumbing Tune-Up, which includes:
- Full, comprehensive tune-up of your water heater
- Removal and cleaning faucet aerators of calcium build-up
- Inspection of toilet and tank for any leaks and proper flushing action
- Toilet float ball, overflow tube, and any linkage will be adjusted and set to the manufacturer's specifications
- Check the water pressure on the incoming water line and make any necessary adjustments to exposed regulator
- Check for slow drains in kitchen sink, all lavatories, and tub and shower drain
- Treat all drains with Bio-Clean
- Inspect plumbing system and tighten any loose faucet handles during the inspection process
- Gas connectors and exposed piping will be inspected visually
- Check under house for leakage on drains and water lines
- Inspect under all toilets, tubs, showers, washing machine, and dishwasher locations for leakage
- You will be shown where your emergency shut-off valve and the emergency gas shut off are
7. What are the benefits of an Ultimate Savings Agreement?
Our Ultimate Savings Agreement offers the following:
- Precision Ultimate Tune-Ups on your Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing Systems
- 15% discount on all repairs
- Automatic service reminders
- Hassle-free monthly payment options
- Front of the line service
- Never pay overtime charges
- Extended equipment life and smoother, quieter operation
- Lower energy bills and improved efficiency
- Peace of mind that your family is safe and secure
8. What is a SEER rating?
This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating and is a standard measurement set by the Department of Energy by region. It takes into account the efficiency that a particular AC unit will obtain on average throughout the season based on ambient conditions inside and outside the home.
9. What is a heat pump and what are the benefits?
A heat pump is a type of refrigeration equipment much like an air conditioner but with additional piping and a reversing valve that reverses the flow of refrigerant so that it is able to absorb heat energy from outdoors and move that energy indoors in the heating mode.
10. What is a mini split?
A "mini split" also known as a "ductless split" is an AC or heat pump system with no ductwork for air distribution. Usually seen with an indoor wall mounted unit with the fan and air coil concealed within the wall mounted unit and an outdoor unit much like what is seen with a typical residential ducted system. The air would blow out the bottom of the wall mounted unit and be mainly effective for cooling the room or area that it is in. They come in cooling only or heating-cooling combination.
11. What temperature should I keep my thermostat set?
The answer is whatever temperature you are comfortable with. However, you want to find that temperature and avoid constantly fiddling with it. We find with a properly calibrated thermostat most folks find the most comfort between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for heat and 70 to 75 for cooling. For comfort at night, a 3 degree offset (cooler) is generally most comfortable.
12. What does the V stand for in HVAC?
Ventilation. This could refer to exhaust going out of the space or fresh air coming into the space.
13. Should I cover my AC unit in the winter?
We don't really recommend it, however for those that want to, be sure to allow for air and moisture to get out at the bottom of the cover and make sure to disable the unit electrically. This will help you avoid it coming on while the cover is on it. We have seen units damaged if the cover is left on and the unit is trying to operate.
14. What causes an AC to freeze up?
This is most generally caused by not enough air moving across the coil for one reason or another. Common culprits are; improper fan speed, dirty filter, dirty coil, and a failed fan motor.
15. Is it bad to close my air ducts?
This depends on how the duct system is designed so we cannot give a standard answer. However, most systems can tolerate a small portion of the registers to be closed off. In Colorado, we typically recommend closing off basement registers in the summertime to help drive more air upstairs where it is needed most.
16. What is a MERV rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. It tells you, on a scale of 1-16, how effectively your filter traps the small particles. The higher the number, the smaller the particles it stops and the more restrictive to airflow it is. The typical range used in HVAC systems is 7 to 13. When choosing a higher MERV rating, it is important to have a professional determine what your system can handle by taking static pressure readings to ensure that the filter does not negatively affect the efficiency and operation of the system.
17. What is a hybrid heating system?
A hybrid heating system is a term used to describe a system with two or more sources of fuel for the heating source. It could be a combination of gas (natural or liquified petroleum), electric, or solar. Similar to a hybrid vehicle that runs on electricity whenever it can and switches to gas when necessary, a hybrid heating system does the same thing.
18. How expensive is it to replace my humidifier?
We do our best to make the price of installing a new humidifier affordable. While the price varies, you can expect to pay $750 at minimum or $3,500 at most, with $1,500 being the average cost. The price varies on your home’s personal needs and the brand of humidifier you choose. You can discuss your options with our experts.