FAQ

 

General HVAC

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

What does HVAC stand for?

What does SEER mean?

What does AFUE mean?

What does BTU mean?

When should I have my heating and cooling equipment serviced?

How often should I replace my HVAC air filters?

What are the benefits of a programmable thermostat?

What is a ductless mini-split system?

How does a ductless heat pump work?

What are the benefits of HVAC zoning?

How do I know what size unit I need?

What is HSPF mean?

What does EER mean?

What is a Manual J load calculation?

Is sound coming from my heating and air conditioning an issue?

Should I have regular maintenance on my heating and air conditioning?

Do you sell air filters in bulk?

How often should I clean my air filter?

How often should I change my filter?

Why do I need to change my filter regularly?

Can you run a furnace without a filter?

What happens if I put my furnace filter in backwards?

Is no air filter better than a dirty one?

Can a dirty furnace filter cause condensation?

Where is my furnace filter?

How often should you change your furnace filter?

Can I run my furnace without a filter for one night?

Can you put two air filters together?

Can You Stack Air Filters?

Which way should airflow arrow point?

How do I know which way the air flows in my furnace?

   

Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers

Cooling

Is too much humidity a bad thing?

How much water does a humidifier use?

What is a heat pump?

How does a heat pump work?

Is my heat pump energy efficient?

What is the difference between split system and a package unit?

Should I cover my outside AC units in the winter?

   

Heat Pumps

Heating

What is a heat pump?

How does a heat pump work?

Is my heat pump energy efficient?

What is the difference between split system and a package unit?

Should I cover my outside AC units in the winter?

When should I replace my furnace?

Do I really need a furnace cleaning every year?

How fast should furnace heat up home?

Why does my furnace run then stop?

How does my furnace know when to turn on?

How often should furnace cycle in winter?

Why does my heat keep kicking on?

Is your furnace cycling on and off frequently?

Where is the furnace reset button?

What is considered short cycling for a furnace?

Why Does My Furnace Keep Tripping the Reset Button?

Can I run furnace with door off?

Can thermostat cause furnace to short cycle?

Why is the furnace blowing cold air?

What liquid is in a furnace?

What causes water under furnace?

Your condensate drain may be clogged

Where does furnace drain go?

Why do high-efficiency furnaces drain water?

Is it better to have furnace fan on auto or on?

Is it OK to leave furnace fan on all the time?

What is a furnace pressure switch?

Should I turn off my gas furnace in the summer?

Do I need to turn off furnace in summer?

When should you turn your furnace off?

What does the light switch on my furnace do?

Will my furnace catch on fire?

General HVAC Back to top

What does HVAC stand for?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

 

What does SEER mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio. Air conditioners are rated according to their SEER. The higher the SEER rating of your air conditioner, the higher the efficiency, the more you save on electricity. The U.S. DOE (Department of Energy) revised its energy conservation rules in 2006 requiring all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or higher. Manufacturers of air conditioners can offer SEER ratings of 13.0 to 21 or higher. Find out more at energy.gov

 

What does AFUE mean?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. A higher AFUE means higher efficiency. AFUE is used to measure furnace or boiler heating efficiency. AFUE ia a measure of actual heat delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel supplied to the appliance. A furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating means it converts 80% of the fuel that heats your house and the other 20% is lost going up your chimney. Manufacturer’s furnaces can offer AFUE ratings of 80% to 98.5%.

 

What does BTU mean?

British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a basic measure of energy.

 

When should I have my heating and cooling equipment serviced?

Service AC before the start of each heating and cooling season at the end of winter or beginning of spring, while your heat pump or furnace should have its regular maintenance performed at the end of summer or beginning of fall.

 

How often should I replace my HVAC air filters?

Your air filters should be replaced every one to three months depending on usage. This is vitally important to the performance of your HVAC systems and your indoor air quality.

 

What are the benefits of a programmable thermostat?

Installing a programmable thermostat in your home helps you take control of how much energy you use for heating and cooling. In practice, a programmable thermostat will you improve energy efficiency and save money on utility bills.

 

What is a ductless mini-split system?

A ductless mini-split is an HVAC system similar to a traditional cooling system and will have an indoor and outdoor unit cabinet but it will only require a small hole to be cut through an exterior wall—just big enough for a line set and power to pass through. Inside your home, the air will be conditioned and returned into the room by the same unit. Mini-split systems can come as heat pumps or air-conditioners. Heat pump models have a reversing valve configured in the equipment allowing for both heating and cooling.

 

How does a ductless heat pump work?

Many people use ductless mini-split systems for cooling, installing a heat pump systems is a wiser choice it can be used for both heating and cooling. A ductless heat pump is an efficient zonal heating and cooling system, just an outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air handling units, linked by refrigerant lines and power.

 

What are the benefits of HVAC zoning?

Zoned HVAC allows for better comfort control, decreased energy bills, and higher energy efficiency. Dampers in the ducting force/restrict airflow directing air where demanded.

 

How do I know what size unit I need?

Unit sizes vary completely by the size of your house, insulation, how many people live in the house, the number of windows, major heat producing equipment and personal preference.

 

What is HSPF mean?

HSPF stands for Heat Seasonal Performance Factor. This is what measures the heat pump and the heating efficiency.

 

What does EER mean?

EER is the Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measures the efficiently of a cooling system and how it will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a certain level.

 

What is a Manual J load calculation?

“A residential load calculation procedure, based on an accepted industry standard (approved by the American National Standards Institute) used for the proper sizing and selection of HVAC equipment in residential homes.” (AHRI)

 

Is sound coming from my heating and air conditioning an issue?

Yes. Any noise coming from either your air- conditioning or furnace indicates a problem in your HVAC equipment. Don’t let a simple fix turn into a major problem.

 

Should I have regular maintenance on my heating and air conditioning?

Yes. Air-conditioners and furnaces require seasonal maintenance. Technicians with the proper skills can service all system mechanical devices, and electrical components to ensure all are in working order.

 

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) ( Return to Top )

Do you sell air filters in bulk?

 New filters trap more pollutants, allergens, dust, and mildew circulating in your home affecting your family’s health and wellbeing. Improving and maintaining your indoor air quality is vitally important to a healthy home and family.

How often should I clean my air filter?

If your unit has a dirty disposable filter change it. If your filter is a type that can be cleaned cleaning your air filter every other month is recommended. When you start to notice a lot of buildup, we recommend you take the filter out and clean it. Almost all air filters are directional, meaning the air flows through the filter in only one direction. The arrow on the filter should point towards the fan. Look for the arrow symbol indicating the direction of the air flow. You can use a hose and spray the filter clean. Once the filter dries off you can put it back

How often should I change my filter?

How often you should change your furnace filter will depend on many factors. If the filter is dirty change it. Regularly changing the filter keeps dust from collecting on the evaporator coil fins. Keeping your filter clean also can cut energy consumption 5 percent to 15 percent. Turn off the power to the furnace before pulling the filter out. You don’t want the blower to come on while changing the filter.

Why do I need to change my filter regularly?

Clean air filter keep heating and cooling systems operating at peak levels and improves indoor air quality. If you do not change your filters you will not see your heating and cooling system properly working at 100%. Ensure proper air flow and keep your home free from dust, allergens and germs by changing the filter on a regular schedule.

Can you run a furnace without a filter?

You can temporarily run a furnace without a filter. It is best to replace the filter. The consequences of running a furnace without a filter include: Poor air quality, not having a filter in place means there is nothing to prevent dust and debris from being sucked into your furnace and circulated throughout your home.

What happens if I put my furnace filter in backwards?

When a furnace filter is placed backwards, the grate will not hold back the filter material from the force of air flow. Funneling the filter material can cause the filter to suck into the blower fan damaging the blower fan and housing creating a costly repair.

Is no air filter better than a dirty one?

Running your air conditioner without a filter is worse than running it with a dirty one. Instead, order replacement filters as soon as possible and have spares filters on hand. Without a filter, your air conditioner is at risk for severe and expensive problems.

Can a dirty furnace filter cause condensation?

When your air filter isn't allowing enough cool air to pass through moist air can get trapped on the filter itself and crystallize. Over time, the ice melts leaks in your ducting and cabinet.

Where is my furnace filter?

Furnace filters are usually located beside or inside of the blower compartment, where the return air enters the blower compartment. Most cabinets have built-in filter racks. The large metal furnace compartment contains a filter and blower.

How often should you change your furnace filter?

The guidance for changing furnace filters frequency: 1- to 2-inch filters, replace every 1 to 3 months: 3- to 4-inch filters, replace every 6 to 9 months: 5- to 6-inch filters, replace every 9 to 12 months.

Can I run my furnace without a filter for one night?

You may be able to run a furnace without a filter for one night; it might not damage your HVAC system. Know that the longer you run without an air filter, the more dust and other contaminants are accumulating inside your ducts and furnace. The fan will be running faster as it is calibrated to move air through a filter. Not the best idea. The better plan is to buy spare filters. Be ready for that inevitable next filter change.

Can you put two air filters together?

Can You Stack Air Filters?

It is not smart to stack smaller air filters together to make a homemade thicker filter. Installing multiple 1” air filters in a 2” slot may, can cause a filter to suck into the blower fan and damage to your AC unit. Engineers design residential furnaces at specific tolerances of airflow restriction. Altering the design is not wise.

Which way should airflow arrow point?

The arrow must face toward the blower fan and away from the return duct. Many HVAC technicians draw an airflow direction arrow on the furnace or ductwork with a permanent marker to eliminate any confusion on proper installation of the furnace/air handler filter.

How do I know which way the air flows in my furnace?

Air flows into the blower fan pushing air through the heat exchanger/condenser coil out into the living area of your home. Face the grate of the filter toward the fan to support the filter material against the draft pressure.

Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers

Is too much humidity a bad thing?

When you have too much humidity in your house, condensation will occur on windows forming a breeding ground for mold. Molds can lead to allergies and respiratory problems.

How much water does a humidifier use?

Consumption depends on the size of your unit and the square footage of your home. On average humidifiers may use anywhere from 1.5 to 12 gallons per day when the furnace is running. While this does seem like a high number, it is just enough water to raise the humidity to the proper level, but not so much water that you will see a dramatic increase in your water bill in winter.

Cooling

How do I know when it’s time for an AC replacement?

Having a difficult time deciding whether to keep pouring money into their aging air conditioning system for costly repairs or to upgrade to a new, more efficient AC, if the unit is R-22 and having problems replace it.

What’s wrong with my noisy air conditioner? Can I fix it myself?

Home owners shouldn’t attempt to fix an air conditioner unless the owner has the proper knowledge of HVAC systems and the proper tools to test, diagnose and repair AC failures. Air conditioner repair can present a significant risk for harm when carelessly attempted.

What is the best thermostat setting for summer?

Really depends on the comfort level you want to achieve. Thermostat set to 72 degrees (at the lowest) with the fan set to AUTO rather than ON is a standard for many households and businesses. At most you save 15% raising or lowering the temperature based on hours of occupancy.

Why is R-22 being phased out?

HCFC-22, commonly called R-22, has been the standard for refrigerant used in heat pumps and air conditioners for the past 40 years. The release of R-22 from manufacturing, leaks, misuse and decommissioning have all contributed to ozone depletion that contributes to global warming. New refrigerant are now available and as of January 2020 R-22 is no longer to be produce.

Heat Pumps

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is an all-in-one cooling and heating system. A heat pump is different because it is using a reversing valve to remove or deliver heat to or from the living space of your home.

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump transfers heat energy from one source to another. In the winter when the heat pump is a heating system, it extracts heat energy from the outdoor air and moves it into the interior of your home. In summer switch to cool mode and a reversing valve changes the circuit. Heat is directed to the exterior.

Is my heat pump energy efficient?

Heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient HVAC systems available on the market. An electric driven compressor pressurizes refrigerant creating a carefully designed high efficiency heating and cooling system, a closed systems that requires less maintenance, repairs, and replacements.

What is the difference between split system and a package unit?

A split unit uses both indoor and outdoor components. A package unit doesn’t require external heating units, coils, or air handlers.

Should I cover my outside AC units in the winter?

All external HVAC equipment is made to withstand harsh weather conditions and varying temperature extremes. By covering your outside unit you may be creating a shelter for rodents and other insects that may cause real damage to your unit.

Heating

When should I replace my furnace?

There are a number of factors that contribute furnace replacement. Age is the main factor. The useful life of HVAC equipment is 10–15 years. Another factor is how often it requires repair. Still, another, what is the cost to heat your home.

Do I really need a furnace cleaning every year?

Furnace cleaning improves the performance and efficiency of your system and most manufacturer warranties require annual service to maintain the warranty.

How fast should furnace heat up home?

The average run time for a furnace is 10-15 minutes per cycle. Your furnace may need to run two to three times an hour to maintain your desired temperature if your home has average insulation.

Why does my furnace run then stop?

The most common issues that can cause your furnace to stop and start again are is restricted airflow. Your furnace draws in air from your home and then cycles the warm air back into your home. If your intake vents and exhaust vents are blocked or airflow is restricted, then you could experience short cycling.

How does my furnace know when to turn on?

Your furnace starts when it receives a signal from the thermostat that tells it to turn on. Depending on the temperature you set, when the thermostat detects the air temperature dropping below that number, it activates the furnace.

How often should furnace cycle in winter?

Winter is the time while a furnace has to work the most. The average single-stage furnace should cycle 6-8 times in an hour. The cooler the temperature is, the more this cycling frequency will be.

Why does my heat keep kicking on?

Your thermostat controls your entire heating system. If your furnace keeps turning off and on too quickly, your thermostat might be malfunctioning or broken. The wiring could be old and need replacing, it might need new batteries, or it could be the location of your thermostat.

Is your furnace cycling on and off frequently?

The easiest way to fix a furnace that is short cycling is to remove the flame sensor to clean it. Use a worn scotch bright pad or a dollar bill to remove the dirt from the sensor. After the part is clean, follow the manufacturer's instructions to insert the flame sensor into the furnace.

Where is the furnace reset button?

Locate the reset button on the furnace and press it to reset the furnace. It is usually located inside the blower compartment on the side of the blower motor. Be cautious as the housing may be hot. If the button is popped up, press it down.

What is considered short cycling for a furnace?

A furnace short cycles when it turns off before reaching the desired temperature. This means that if your thermostat is set to 72 degrees, the furnace may shut down at 65 or 68 degrees, but will never reach 72 degrees. Short cycling is also be used to describe a furnace that turns on and off too often.

Why Does My Furnace Keep Tripping the Reset Button?

Search for: Where is the furnace reset button?

Can I run furnace with door off?

Never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place. Doing so may create the risk of CO poisoning. Most forced-air furnaces have a safety switch that prevents furnace operation when the door or panel to the blower compartment is not in place.

Can thermostat cause furnace to short cycle?

A faulty thermostat can cause short cycling. Check to be sure the season setting is correct.

Check the filter and replace it if it’s clogged with dust and debris. When the exchanger heats up to the maximum temperature, the furnace shuts off after a few minutes it may be caused by restricted air flow. The furnace is designed to pull filtered air into the blower, if the filter clogges with dust, pet hair or other debris the system strains to perform this critical function. Open all of air supply vents to the systems they are designed to circulate the total air mass for all areas, a closed vent is considered a restriction in the system.

Why is the furnace blowing cold air?

High efficiency furnaces have condensate lines that transport water away from the unit. But when there's a clog, the furnace won't even ignite. This leads to cold air being pushed through your vents. You may also have issues with the condensate drain lines, which could also be why your furnace is blowing cold air.

What liquid is in a furnace?

What causes water under furnace?

Your condensate drain may be clogged

A common reason for water under a furnace is a clogged condensation drain. Condensate is the name given to the moisture that has been condensed out of the air in your home when the air conditioner is running.

This can be the result of clogged condensation tubing, breaks in the condensation line or other possible issues with the pump. Humidifier issues are also a possible cause of furnace leaks. A clogged filter or drain in the humidifier can easily cause any furnace to produce unwanted moisture.

High-efficiency furnaces create condensation through the heat exchange process. When operating normally, this condensation is drained safely out and away from your furnace through the condensate line and drain trap. If there's a leak or a clog in the condensate lines, you'll quickly find a puddle around your furnace.

Where does furnace drain go?

All condensate drains go into a condensate trap. The condensate trap is absolutely mandatory for a high-efficiency gas furnace. Since the drain taps into the exhaust system, leaving it open to the air would allow exhaust gas to leak into the living space.

Why do high-efficiency furnaces drain water?

High-efficiency furnaces create water because they have two heat exchangers, one more than a conventional furnace. The two heat exchangers absorb so much heat that the exhaust gas changes from a gas state to a liquid state. Condensation forms and then drains out through the condensate line.

Is it better to have furnace fan on auto or on?

Although furnace fans are designed for constant operation, keeping your fan on AUTO is the efficient option. When the fan only runs when the system is on and not continuously, moisture will have a chance condense out, not circulating back into your home as your AC works remove heat and extra moisture from the air.

Is it OK to leave furnace fan on all the time?

Furnace fans are designed for constant operation. Much of a furnace fan's wear and tear comes from the starts and stops of the motor; keeping it running can eliminate this type of stress. It is however unnecessary normal operation of a furnace does not require it and the efficiency of a system is affected detrimentally by the added electric usage of continual operation of the motor.

What is a furnace pressure switch?

A furnace pressure switch is a diaphragm switch which makes electric contact once the induced draft blower achieves the determined pressure for positive exhaust. If negative pressure is present at the draft inducer motor gas flow will not be called in the electric circuit. Without this safety check combustion could occur before a positive draft is achieved.

Should I turn off my gas furnace in the summer?

Do I need to turn off furnace in summer?

Most modern mid to high efficiency gas furnaces will not have a pilot light. Modern equipment will have instead a hot surface igniter, flame sensor and control board arrangement. These gas valve controls do not need to continuously burn gas to keep a pilot light lit, making it unnecessary to turn off your furnace gas valve for the summer.

When should you turn your furnace off?

In general only furnaces with a standing pilot gas valve will ever need shut off for summer. Generally this is not done to prevent the air-conditioner from performing optimally but to conserve the gas wasted by having the pilot on standby for the summer months. When shutting down the gas valve shut off both the valve and the gas shutoff to relieve the pressure on the closed valve

What does the light switch on my furnace do?

Most furnaces are installed with a single pole switch mounted on the side of the furnace or a wall nearby in a metal box and cover. This allows you or your HVAC technician to shut off the electricity to the furnace without having to use the main electrical panel to switch on/off the power.

Will my furnace catch on fire?

A broken furnace can catch fire. If your furnace's gas pressure is too high explosive ignition can occur. If there is a crack in your furnace's heat exchanger explosive ignition can occur. If you find any abnormal condition, these include high pitched noise, grinding, rumbling, popping, squealing, or banging noises you should repair the cause of the condition without hesitation. Shut down and find the problem. The condition could be the result of small issues like loose components within the system, more serious issues or an easy repair if ignored causing a costly repair or catastrophic failure of the system. Either way, you should attend to the repair promptly or call a professional to look into the issue.