- At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
Thermostat settings are a personal preference. During the summer, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm. When leaving your house; try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set your temperature back more than 5°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the desired temperature setting.
- During the heating season, my heat pump makes a “whooshing” sound and I feel cool air coming from the supply registers. Is that normal?
This is normal. During the cold weather months, frost can accumulate on the outdoor coil of a heat pump, which causes the pump to go into a defrost cycle anywhere from 1-10 minutes, depending on the amount of ice on the coil. This is temporary; the system will return to the heating mode once the ice is gone.
- During the winter, should my heat pump deliver warm air, but not hot air, for long periods of time?
Yes, a heat pump generally produces air that is around 80° and provides even comfortable, heating around the house – not a blast of intense heat.
- How are the sizing capacities of heating and cooling systems measured?
Capacity is the ability of a heating or cooling system to perform in a given amount of space. For both heating and cooling systems, size is based on B.T.U.H. (British Thermal Units Per Hour). Air conditioning and heat pumps are also rated in tonnage. 12,000 BTUH equals one (1) ton.
- How can I minimize carbon monoxide risk in my home?
Hot2Cold recommends the following to minimize carbon monoxide risk:
- Periodically open windows in winter to let in fresh air
- Keep furnaces, chimneys and vents free of restrictions.
- If you use an older gas stove or heater, look at the color of the pilot light. The flame should be mostly blue. If the flame is mostly yellow, it could be producing carbon monoxide, so have the unit checked by a professional immediately. Be sure to tune up your gas system at least once a year.
- Keep cooling and heating system equipment maintained by licensed professionals.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector, available at any home supply store.
- How do I know if my heating or cooling system is big enough?
It’s not necessarily size that matters, but rather performance and efficiency. Before purchasing a replacement system you should always make sure your system is sized properly to match your needs and budget.
- How do I know if my system is working properly?
Your heating or cooling system may be making strange noises, not performing sufficiently in all areas of the house, or causing higher utility bills. In most cases, there is something not working properly with the unit, and a service call is necessary. Contact Hot2Cold to check the systems whenever you notice anything out of the ordinary.
- How important is it to get the right size of heating and cooling equipment?
Sizing heating and cooling system is important to efficient operation, comfort and energy use. The most common mistake is oversizing, which will force inefficient operation, break down more often and cost more to operate. Oversizing often creates uncomfortable and large temperature swings in the house, and don’t run long enough to dehumidify the air causing poor humidity control and unhealthy mold growth.
- How is the efficiency of heating and cooling equipment measured and why is it important?
When purchasing a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, be certain to inquire of the Efficiency Ratings. They will tell you will tell you how efficiently the unit uses fuel (gas, oil or electricity). The most-frequently used efficiency ratings are:
- ENERGY STAR: An Environmental Protection Agency designation attached to HVAC products that meet or exceed guidelines for high-efficiency performance above the standard government minimums.
- SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): This ratio is defined by the air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration institute in its 2008 standard AHRI 210/240, performance rating of unitary air conditioning and air-source heat pump equipment.
- MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value): A standard that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters. Higher MERV rating equates to finer filtration, fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants
- HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor): Similar to SEER, it is a ratio of BTU heat output over the heating season to watt-hours of electricity used. It has units of BTU/watt-hr. Depending on the system, an HSPF greater than or equal to 8 can be considered high efficiency and worthy of US Energy Tax Credit.
- AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio): A measurement of the percent of heat produced by a furnace for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the lower the fuel costs. Furnaces with AFUE ratings above 90% are considered high-efficiency.
- How often is maintenance required on my air conditioner?
You should have maintenance performed on your air conditioning system at least once a year – spring to early summer being the best times.
- How will I know when it’s time to replace my air conditioner?
When repair costs are 50% of the value of the system or your unit is 12 years or older.Here are some rough lifespan guidelines to help you decide whether fixing or replacing is the right decision:
- Average Lifetime of an Air Conditioner: 12-15 yrs.
- Average Lifetime of a Furnace: 15-20 yrs.
- Average Lifetime of a Boiler: 15-20 yrs.
When replacing a heater or air conditioner, it is usually best to replace both units at the same time. This way, you’ll save on installation costs and both units can be serviced on the same maintenance schedule and have the same approximate lifespan.
- In addition to changing my filters, what maintenance should I do on my heating and cooling systems?
Hot2Cold recommends most maintenance should be performed by a qualified service technician. However, there are some tips to follow that you can implement to help the performance of your systems:
Keep ground mounted outdoor units clear of debris, clutter and weeds; they can reduce the airflow to the unit.
Use caution with weed trimmers around the unit to prevent damaging control wiring.
Keep pets away from the unit; pet urine can cause expensive damage.
- What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?
Programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. They allow you to automatically control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat.
- What are the potential dangers of operating my HVAC system with a cracked heat exchanger?
If a crack in the heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide to escape into your home, it is an extremely dangerous situation to have in the home.
- What certifications should professional HVAC company technicians hold?
Industry-standard certifications include NATE, EPA and HVAC licenses.
- Certifications: North American Technician Excellence (NATE) , Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HVAC License
- Product Lines: Trane
- What does HVAC stand for?
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
- What is a heat exchanger?
A heat exchanger is a devise used to transfer heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more fluids.
- What regular maintenance do heating and air conditioning systems need?
Unrestricted air flow is the most important part of heating and air conditioner maintenance. Dust, dirt, and debris are an HVAC system’s worst enemies. Hot2Cold focuses on keeping filters clean and heat exchangers and coils free of restrictions.
Hot2Cold has a maintenance agreement for your heating and cooling system to be checked and serviced twice a year. Of course, changing your filter regularly can eliminate common problems that need fixing and can reduce the likelihood of a bigger issuing developing.
- What should I look for when choosing a new heater, heat pump or air conditioning unit?
Here are some general rules of thumb when you are ready to replace your existing equipment:
- Choose a manufacturer that has a good reputation for quality and durability.
- Choose a model that with a high efficiency rating
- Choose the correct equipment size and system for your home.
- What size HVAC system should I have?
Depending upon the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet of home. Have a licensed professional from Hot2Cold assess your needs, and make recommendations based on what will work best for your home and your budget. All consultations are FREE.
- Why do I need to change my filter regularly?
Your heating and cooling system cannot operate at peak performance and efficiency without regular filter maintenance. Replacing the filters assures the air quality to be free from dust, allergens and germs. Ask about the Hot2Cold maintenance agreement for ideal filters and replacement schedules on your unit(s).
- Why does my heat pump system sometimes freeze up?
Heat pumps freezing up can be caused by restriction in the air flow when running the cooling mode. Thaw the system out by turning off the cooling and running the fan. Also, try turning the system to the heat mode until the ice has melted.
If the problem recurs after checking for air restrictions and thawing your system thawed, contact your Hot2Cold representative. Our service technicians will check the refrigerant level. They may also have to clean the evaporator coil, check the blower speed and check for any intermittency in blower operation.