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Frequently Asked Questions

What is two-stage cooling?

Two-stage cooling means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and produces more even temperatures. Longer cooling cycles also translate to quieter, more efficient operation and enhanced humidity control. Compared to a single-stage unit, a two-stage air conditioner or heat pump can remove twice as much moisture from the air. This is important because when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems. top

What is variable speed technology?

"Variable speed" refers to the fan motor inside the furnace or air handler blower motor that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home. Unlike conventional single-speed motors, a variable speed motor runs at a wide range of speeds to precisely control of heated and cooled air throughout the home. Variable speed motors can actually save you money on your energy bills, as they consume less electricity than standard motors, you will gain air conditioning efficiency, can also help clean the air in your home. When the fan is in constant operation (indicated by the “Fan” setting on your thermostat), the motor will continue to slowly circulate air, allowing filters to capture more contaminants. top

What do all those air conditioner and heat pump ratings mean?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a system for rating the efficiency of cooling equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the less your unit will cost to operate.

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is a measurement similar to SEER, but it measures the efficiency of the heating portion of a heat pump top

Can I use my chimney with my new furnace?

There are several reasons for this furnace-chimney incompatibility. First, the size of the chimney can be an issue. Modern, higher-efficiency furnaces transfer more heat into your home and less heat up the chimney than older, less-efficient units. While this means more efficiency for your energy dollar, it also means that the existing chimney might be too large for the new furnace. The result could be improper ventilation of flue products, which can cause condensation problems inside the chimney. Other considerations include chimney height and location, proper lining and condition of the chimney. Building codes must also be kept in mind to ensure proper draft in the chimney for adequate ventilation. top

What does AFUE stand for?

Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit. Like the miles-per-gallon rating on your automobile, the higher the AFUE rating, the lower your fuel costs. top

How do I know what size unit our house needs?

He will consider many factors before making a recommendation. Factors like … size of the house, climate, the number and type of windows installed, insulation, and even the number of people living in the house. top

Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? In the same way that an automobile requires periodic maintenance for optimal performance, a home comfort system should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician. top

What should I know about changes in refrigerants?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants. These changes will eventually eliminate air conditioning and heat pump refrigerants containing chlorine, due to growing concern about ozone depletion.

In response, manufactures have developed cooling products that use the new, chlorine-free R410A refrigerant, instead of the standard R22 refrigerant (Freon) currently in use. Because R410A contains no chlorine, it’s ozone- and climate-responsible. Plus, R410 allows higher efficiencies than R22, so it not only makes sense environmentally—it also makes sense from an economic standpoint. top

Should outdoor units be covered in winter?

Halfway. Similarly, air conditioners that operate seasonally are built to withstand an outdoor environment, but if you do cover it, cover only half way so moisture doesn’t corrode the insides. top

When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

The answer is YES; all outdoor cooling units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. Air conditioner and heat pumps may “work” with other indoor units, but the result is a definite compromise in overall system performance. At first, replacing only an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit may appear to be a bargain. That is, until you consider the lower efficiency, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership associated with single-unit replacement. It may cost more to replace an entire system, but this gives you more efficiency, reliability and comfort. top

What are the benefits of clean air?

Allergies and asthma are two health problems that can be helped with clean indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even healthy people who have never suffered from allergies can benefit from clean air. Dust, smoke and other particles float around in the air, causing your drapes and furniture to gather dust. By removing airborne dust particles, you reduce the amount of exposure your respiratory system has to them. top

Are all air filters created equal?

The efficiency of the air filter should be a top consideration. Efficiency is based on the size of the particles captured by an air filter. The higher the efficiency, the more effective it will be. Look for the filter’s MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) number, a new industry standard for rating filters based on their performance. Residential filters typically have an MERV range of one to 12. Higher ratings indicate more efficient filters. Higher filter efficiency not helps clear the air, but it also improves airflow. Generally, the more efficient a filter is, the less airflow reduction there will be. top

Why is ventilation important for proper indoor air quality?

At one time, it was possible to achieve natural ventilation in our homes by merely opening a window. However, with the concern for energy efficiency in recent years, we have been busy making homes “tighter” from an energy standpoint. Unfortunately, that means contaminants have no way to escape. Pollutants in your home’s air can cause poor indoor air quality, which in turn may cause dizziness and headaches, plus aggravate allergies and asthma. Ventilation systems that help remove contaminants by exchanging stale, recirculated indoor air with fresh, filtered outside air. top

When should I change the media air cleaner filter?

The media will typically last one year; but if in the presence of high concentration of particulate, or if the furnace fan is on continuously, it may be necessary to change the media more frequently. In any application, the life of the media is dependant upon the total volume of air being moved through it as well as the amount of particulate it is filtering. top

I have more dust now than before my air cleaner was installed, why?

Many times an air cleaner is installed with a new furnace capable of moving more air than the previous one. This causes the air to pick up particulate sitting in the supply ductwork and carry it into the living area. However, the furnace blower may not be strong enough to bring the particles back to the air cleaner and so particulate appears on furniture, tables and other home furnishings. The best way to reduce this is to run your blower continuously and bring as much air back to the air cleaner as possible. top

What are the primary benefits of a zone control system?

Comfort, convenience, and energy savings. The system maintains various desired temperatures throughout your home, thereby eliminating the need for constantly resetting your thermostat. Energy savings are accomplished by reducing the energy requirements to seldom used areas of the home; a zone system ensures that only the necessary amount of energy is used throughout the home. top

Why do you offer an automatic and a manual control?

As the #1 manufacturer of humidifiers in the country, we feel it is important to offer a control option for all applications. The automatic humidifier control is the top of the line when is comes to technology. The automatic humidifier control takes a reading of the outdoor temperature and adjusts the humidity level in the home based on the outdoor temperature. This is achieved by placing a sensor outside that reads the outdoor temperature over 86,000 times per day. However, we realize that there are some applications where it is impractical or impossible to run an outdoor temperature sensor to the outside. That is why we provide a high quality manual control for such applications. Having these two options gives total flexibility to meet every customer’s humidification needs.top

How often should I replace the water panel?

For the best performance we recommend the water panel on most of our humidifiers be replaced once a year, either prior to the start of or at the end of the heating season. (Model 400 should be changed twice during the heating season.) top

What are the benefits of installing a whole-house humidifier?

With central heating, people are confined indoors with unnaturally dry air for many months each year. Humidifiers help to keep comfortable levels of moisture in the air, which is essential for your respiratory health.

Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers: They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe. And whole-house humidifiers use water mists instead of hot steam, which keeps the entire house at the desired humidity level—no more carrying a humidifier from room to room in the winter. top

Can lack of humidity cause respiratory ailments?

Lack of humidity in a home can be the cause of numerous respiratory ailments. Improper moisture levels can cause dryness in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. Respiratory infections, repeated attacks of winter colds and airborne infections can also stem from inadequate humidity. top

Why is my throat so dry?

Dry air in your home can make your throat feel dry and cause or aggravate respiratory ailments.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that you maintain a household humidity level between 30 and 60 percent. During extremely cold weather, your home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. A humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes.

One of the major causes of respiratory infections is inadequate humidity during cold weather. The start of the heating season each fall causes many people to begin having repeated attacks of winter colds. Winter weather is blamed for these problems, but the actual cause may be dryness, which develops in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. top

 

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