We understand that your heating and air conditioning systems are vital to your comfort and your health. So we’ve collected some of the questions that are asked most frequently of us. We hope you’ll find this section of our website helpful. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, please give us a call at 330-655-2933. We will be glad to help you with any questions you have.
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While many of the “costs” associated with your current comfort system may be intangible (reliability problems, uneven temperatures, excessive noise, lack of comfort, etc.), some homeowners may focus more on the hard costs associated with repair vs. replacement. Here are some often overlooked items to consider:
Furnaces lose approximately 1% of their efficiency for every year of operation. So, if your 15-year-old furnace was 80% efficient when it was installed, it may only be 65% efficient now. Furnaces 15-20 years old or more were typically only 65%-75% efficient when they were installed.
Most air conditioners and heat pumps installed before January 2006 cost up to 20% more to operate than today’s LOWEST efficiency models. Purchasing a higher efficiency model can generate even greater energy savings.
The cost of repair today may not be your only repair cost in the near future. Often, as comfort systems age, you will find yourself making multiple repairs in a short period of time to address component failures. When deciding whether to repair or replace, use the cost to FULLY RESTORE your comfort system in addition to likely future repairs as your basis for comparison, not just the cost of today’s required repair.
According to leading consumer and trade magazines and the U.S. Department of Energy, the heating and cooling contractor you choose does make a difference. The same equipment can be installed in the same home by two different contractors, and there can be a difference in comfort, equipment efficiency, and overall life.
Look for contractors who are N.A.T.E. certified as well as factory trained and certified. They should do a “Manual J” heat load analysis to properly size any new equipment. Make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured, and ask for proof of this licensing. Be sure they obtain a permit for all applicable work. Check their record with the state Attorney General’s office, Better Business Bureau, and referral services such as “Angie’s List.” Finally, be sure to seek referrals from friends, family, and neighbors with similar values and needs. If they’ve been happy, odds are that you will be happy too.
Yes. Not only are they required by law, but a permit also allows for third-party inspection of your new system. This ensures that your system meets all local code requirements and will operate safely.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy and industry standards, the only way to properly size a home heating or cooling system is to complete a “Manual J” heat load analysis. This takes into account many factors, such as the size and structure of the house, climate, air infiltration, the number and type of windows installed, insulation, appliances, and even the number of people living in the house.
The U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently, with higher ratings indicating higher efficiency.
Gas heating appliances are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency; the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 90 AFUE. The highest efficiency furnaces will exceed 95 AFUE.
Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER; the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 14 SEER. The highest efficiency air conditioners can meet or exceed 20 SEER.
Heat pump equipment in the heating mode is rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF; the higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 8.2 HSPF. The highest efficiency heat pumps will meet or exceed 9 HSPF.
If set to “auto” the fan operates only when the temperature requires it. This is the most efficient setting. However, there are advantages to using the “on” setting. Air is constantly filtered through the unit’s filter, and the constantly circulating air results in a more even temperature throughout the house.