Keeping your home cool and comfortable throughout the summer months is extremely important to you, and contractors at Heights Plumbing Heating and Cooling can help. Our expert air conditioning service specialists are always ready and eager to provide you with any repairs or maintenance you might need for your home’s cooling system. We’ll help you ensure that your air conditioner is totally effective and as efficient as possible throughout the year.
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Frequently Asked Questions
HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is most often used to depict the whole heating and cooling system consisting of the ductwork, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.
If your HVAC system requires constant repairs, is 15 years or older, or can’t heat or cool your home properly, we recommend you replace it. When an HVAC system ages, it doesn’t operate as efficiently and could actually end up costing you more money than it should.
To keep your HVAC system running in tip-top shape, we recommend a maintenance appointment twice a year (once for heat, once for air conditioning). This way, an our technician can check your filters, coils, wiring, housing, motor, and more to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system.
The portion of the Clean Air Act that applies to the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry encourages the development of ozone-friendly substitutes for chemicals that contain ozone destroying chlorine, which are called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The chemical refrigerant of choice for more than four decades, referred to as R-22, is in the HCFC category. R-22 is widely used in heat pumps and AC condensing units to heat and cool homes. Today, a refrigerant called R-410A is used because of its ozone-friendly properties.
With energy costs climbing, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the expenses of heating and cooling your home. HVAC equipment usually uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. This inevitably shows up every month on utility costs each month, but it’s important to remember that energy costs can be controlled in several ways.
Maintenance: One method to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance to help be sure that your furnace and an air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and may even damage the unit.
High Efficiency: If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider investing in a high-efficiency system. They are designed to help reduce your energy costs, as well as help, conserve natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the efficiency and savings.
Zoning: Zoning can dramatically lower your heating costs. Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas, which are heated or cooled based on the occupancy of the rooms. That means a zoning system allows each room in your home to potentially have its own temperature setting. With a zoning system, you no longer pay to heat or cool the space of your home that are rarely used, and you can have the exact temperature you want in highly occupied rooms.
Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can make a big difference in energy consumption. Since you can proactively set a schedule for the days and times that the home is occupied, these thermostats are able to deliver exact comfort, efficiency and energy savings. For example, if you’re going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house and conserving energy in the process.
Zoning Systems separate your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that require specific temperature conditioning.
For example, a cathedral-style room with large bay windows may retain too much heat in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will deliver more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help compensate for the heat gained or lost through the windows. A different example of areas that might benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theater or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Contemporary families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. You could have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, a zoning system can maintain each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.
No, HVAC air filters vary due to quality and size, and some have specs that others don’t. In most cases, we recommend installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed system, though you might be tempted to try some other filter type for convenience or to remove additional debris from your residence.
All filters have MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value”. A higher MERV rating means fewer particles pass through, and it catches finer particulates. This sounds fantastic, and it can be, but a filter that stops finer dust and dirt will also clog up quicker, and pressure on your unit will increase. If your system has not been crafted to operate with this kind of filter, it can reduce your airflow around your residence, putting the hurt on your comfort and energy costs. So what should you do? Unless you live in a hospital, you probably don’t need a MERV rating above 13. In fact, most residential HVAC systems are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and frequently you will find that quality systems have been made to work with a MERV rating of 8 or 11. All filters with a MERV rating of five should catch most of the everyday nuisances people care about such as pollen, pet dander, and dust. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend having a professional remove any mold from your residence you find, instead of trying to hide the issue with a finer filter.
Often the packaging indicates how often your filter should be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. Additionally, we have filters that are two dimensional, flat screens, and you have some that are built accordion style with supporting wire. In our experience, the accordion style filters hold up better and are worth the extra pennies.
You might also consider washable filters, also known as reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, since they don’t pile onto a dump, and others think it more convenient to quickly slide out the filter and clean it off rather than making a special trip to the local hardware store for a filter of the right size. These filters are often created to endure several years and will save you money over those years, though they are pricier initially. However, washable filters should be dried out thoroughly before returning it back to eliminate mold growth in your ductwork. In addition, most washable filters reportedly have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, and they lose their efficiency over the years. Some washable filters have been built with new tech, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to basically improve the MERV rating.
Last, filters are composed from different materials. Fiberglass filters are what we see most often, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters are known to catch more debris, but also reduce the airflow in your residence. And there are high-efficiency particulate arrestance filters or HEPA for short. While you could be tempted to use a HEPA filter, keep in mind that’s like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it’s very unlikely that your unit was made to handle that kind of resistance.
Absolutely. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) important for homeowners to know about. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints and personal care products. The tight construction of today’s homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a buildup of contaminants within the home.
Poor IAQ can be a direct or indirect cause of several health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation. As well, two existing health problems that can be helped by improving indoor air quality are allergies and asthma. By removing airborne dust particles, the amount of exposure the respiratory system has to them is reduced. Proper ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality, helping to reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home.
An excellent way to choose the correct humidifier is by having a home health report performed by Service Experts. Every house is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a couple factors to evaluate when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Service Experts can help you understand and consider these issues.
Consider size. A humidifier’s capacity, or the amount of moisture it can dispense in a given time, should match your particular household’s needs. The capacity is measured as gallons per day of operation. One method that is used to determine the correct-sized humidifier for your home is by multiplying the total floor area in by the ceiling height. We can provide you with this information and additional suggestions for knowing which type of humidifier will best suit you and your family’s comfort needs.
Consider cost. Consider not only the basic cost of the humidifier, but also operating and maintenance costs. Some brands consume more energy than others, so choosing a model that is right for your home and budget is extremely important.
Yes. Heating and cooling that make a lot of noise increase sound pollution. Although no cost savings are tied to less sound in your home, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a serious effect on the comfort and enjoyment of your North America home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a number of things, such as the unit, and the degree to which the compressor is insulated can increase the amount of noise it makes.
Although most heating and cooling systems manufactured today are quieter than ever before, it’s a safe idea to compare sound ratings when assessing a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.