Frequently Asked Questions

What does HVAC stand for?

HVAC (pronounced "H-vac”) is an acronym that stands for the closely related functions of "Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning"- the technology of indoor environmental comfort. HVAC systems control the ambient environment, including temperature, humidity, air flow, and air filtering.

How often should a filter be changed or replaced?

Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer).  If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it.  We can easily show you how to do this.

At a maximum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

Do furnaces and air conditioners have to be serviced and cleaned?

Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.  Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having annual pre-season check-ups.

Summer and winter are busy months, so it's best to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall. To remember, you might plan the check-ups around the time changes in the spring and fall.

Are programmable thermostats better than the mercury mechanical thermostats?

A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

How long do furnaces usually last?

Furnaces that have a 20 year heat exchanger warranty last about 18-25 years before needing to replace them.  If your furnace is a builder grade and has a 10 year heat exchanger warranty, you can typically get 10-15 years on the furnace before needing to replace it.

Can furnaces last more than 20 years?

Yes, they can.  There are still furnaces in homes today that are 30-50 years old.  However, with the rising cost of natural gas, there is no benefit to having a 30-50 year old furnace -- not to mention the rust and corrosion on a really old appliance that can, and probably will, leak carbon monoxide into the home.  Furnace manufacturers only warranty their appliances around 20 years.

How often should I replace my heating or air conditioning systems?

If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, we can evaluate it. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $200. But before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed the big air leaks in your house and the duct system. Sometimes, these are the real sources of problems rather than your HVAC equipment.

Should I have a carbon monoxide detector in my home?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, carbon monoxide can be fatal before you are aware it is in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are a warning device that detects the presence of the CO gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.