Residential Plus Heating & Cooling

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes, there are a couple. The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The second is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout the home. However, continuous fan mode during the cooling season may not be appropriate in humid climates. If the inside of your home feels uncomfortably humid, it is recommended that the fan be used in “Auto” mode.

While a heat pump is perfectly capable of effectively heating your home, the temperature of the air coming out of the registers is heated to about 90 to 95 degrees, depending on the outdoor temperature. This temperature is approximately 20-25 degrees warmer than the indoor air temperature and will warm your house. It is, however, below body temperature (98.6 degrees) and can feel cool when someone puts their hand in the airflow.

Under normal operating conditions, the auxiliary heat is brought on automatically by the thermostat when the indoor temperature drops during heat pump operation. There are also times during cold, wet weather when the outdoor coil may ice up and your heat pump will go into a defrost cycle. This is nothing more than reversing the process back to cooling mode. Cooling mode makes the outdoor coil hot and melts any ice. The defrost cycle should only last a few minutes and then return to heating mode. During the defrost cycle, your comfort system is in cooling mode and the supply air is cool. To offset this cool air, the auxiliary heat will be energized during defrost. A mist or fog may be visible from the outdoor unit during defrost.

On average, a furnace or air conditioner will last 10 – 20 years. Sometimes it pays to replace the old system sooner because of the higher efficiency (lower gas and electric bills) provided by newer equipment. Life expectancies can vary greatly. The major factors influencing life expectancy are proper installation and regular maintenance. Maintenance is a must to maximize efficiency and protect your investment.

YES! A new 13 SEER air conditioner or heat pump could save you as much as 50% on your operating cost of the system. 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency standard allowed by law. Depending on your current operating costs, high efficiency systems could save you even more. Newer gas furnaces are 30 – 40% more efficient than some older models. With rising gas prices, this could mean big savings.

This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The size of an air conditioner is rated in BTU or Tons, however the efficiency is rated in SEER. This ratio is calculated as cooling output divided by the power input for the average U.S. climate. It’s like MPG (miles per gallon) in a car – the higher the MPG (or SEER) the lower the gasoline (electricity) bill.

Your forced-air heating system will perform more efficiently (i.e. save you money on energy bills and repair costs) if you…

  • Inspect filters once a month and replace them when they are dirty.
  • Make sure air supply and return vents in your home are not obstructed. Make sure nothing is in front of them or on top of them such as furniture, curtains, boxes, toys, etc.
  • Check chimney and venting systems once a year for secure fittings, leaks, corrosion, or damage.
  • Keep area around furnace clean and clutter free. Keep at least 3 – 4 feet totally clear all the way around your furnace.
  • Do not block the source of furnace combustion air by enclosing furnace in a small closet or by making the room it is located in too air tight. The furnace needs to pull air from its immediate surroundings.
  • If your system operates on propane gas, regularly check your propane gas percentage to make sure you do not run out.

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your equipment and reduce repair costs. Here are some simple tasks that should be done.

  • Keep debris, grass clippings, dirt, and leaves away from outdoor unit.
  • Use a hose to clear the aluminum fins from airborne debris (be careful, the fins bend easily. Use a regular hose without a spray nozzle, and a very soft brush with light to no pressure).
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