The temperature in the house is fine, but the indoor fan runs all the time. What’s wrong?
Sometimes homeowners turn the fan switch to “on” versus “auto,” which causes your indoor fan to run continuously. Turn the switch to “auto” and your fan should stop running continuously.
Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to “on” so the fan runs constantly?
Yes, there are a couple. The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The second is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout the home. However, continuous fan mode during the cooling season may not be appropriate in humid climates. If the inside of your home feels uncomfortably humid, it is recommended that your fan be used in “auto” mode.
Why is a matched system important?
A matched system is important for a variety of reasons. One is comfort. When all our components are properly sized to your home, you can control exactly how much heating or cooling you need so you can relax.
Also, a properly-sized matched system enables every component to perform as designed, meaning proper cycle times are maintained, humidity is controlled, and system sound is minimized.
Another reason matched systems are important is efficiency. Most people buy systems that are too large for their homes, meaning they pay to heat and cool space that isn’t even there.
A matched system outlined by a dealer who has completed a load calculation for your home provides just the right amount of heating and cooling you need so you get the most value for your utility dollar.
The air coming from the registers feels cool when my new heat pump is set for heating. Is there a problem?
While a heat pump is perfectly capable of effectively heating your home, the temperature of the air coming out of the registers is heated to about 90 to 95 degrees, depending on the outdoor temperature.
This temperature is approximately 20 – 25 degrees warmer than the indoor air temperature and will warm your house. It is, however, below body temperature (98.6 degrees) and can feel cool when someone puts their hand in the airflow.
What is the purpose of auxiliary heat?
Under normal operating conditions, auxiliary heat is brought on automatically by the thermostat when the indoor temperature drops during heat pump operation. There are also times during cold, wet weather when the outdoor coil may ice up and your heat pump will go into a defrost cycle.
This is nothing more than reversing the process back to cooling mode. Cooling mode makes the outdoor coil hot and melts any ice. The defrost cycle should only last a few minutes and then return to heating mode.
During the defrost cycle, your comfort system is in cooling mode and the supply air is cool. To offset this cool air, the auxiliary heat will be energized during defrost. A mist or fog may be visible from the outdoor unit during defrost.
How long does a typical furnace and air conditioner last?
On average, a furnace or air conditioner will last 10 – 20 years. Sometimes it pays to replace the old system sooner because of the higher efficiency (lower gas and electric bills) provided by newer equipment.
Life expectancies can vary greatly. The major factors influencing life expectancy are proper installation and regular maintenance. Maintenance is a must to maximize efficiency and protect your investment.
My electric and gas bills are high. Will a new furnace and air conditioner lower my bills?
Yes! A new 14 SEER air conditioner or heat pump could save you as much as 50% on your operating cost of the system. 14 SEER is the minimum efficiency standard allowed by law.
Depending on your current operating costs, high-efficiency systems could save you even more. Newer gas furnaces are 30 – 40% more efficient than some older models. With rising gas prices, this could mean big savings.
- What is SEER?
- SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The size of an air conditioner is rated in BTU or tons, however the efficiency is rated in SEER.
This ratio is calculated as cooling output divided by the power input for the average U.S. climate. It’s like MPG (miles per gallon) in a car – the higher the MPG (or SEER) the lower the gasoline (electricity) bill.
What is a heat pump? Is it better than an air conditioner?
A heat pump is an electric powered piece of equipment that both heats and cools your home. In the summer, a heat pump is no different than an air conditioner. In the winter, a heat pump operates in reverse and heats the indoors.
Heat pumps need auxiliary heat (electric heat or gas furnace) to help them when it is very cold (i.e. below 42 degrees) or when the thermostat is moved more than 2 – 3 degrees at a time.
The initial investment for a heat pump is higher than for an air conditioner, and the ductwork must be exactly right for proper operation. One common complaint of a heat pump is that the air coming out of the registers is not hot enough (compared to a gas furnace).
With all their drawbacks, heat pumps will reduce the winter heating bills. However, the savings compared to heating with gas is dramatic, and you will probably want to stay with a heat pump.
How do I choose the right dealer?
- Check to see if the dealer possesses all of the appropriate licensing for installing HVAC equipment in your state and local area.
- Ask how long they have been in business; if they offer 24/7 service, financing, or accept credit cards.
- Ask the steps they will take to install your equipment. A proper installation will follow the 3-part process on previous page.
- A dealer coming into your home should do more than just inspect your existing system. Follow them around to see if they are checking air flow, inspecting the duct system, making note of the windows and the direction your home faces, etc.
- Be wary of anyone who shoots you an estimate on the back of a business card after being in your home for a few minutes, or even over the phone.
- A knowledgeable dealer that has your best interest in mind will ask about your experiences in the home; how long you have lived there, how long you plan to stay, if you have pets, allergies, smokers, hot and cold spots, noise, etc.
- A dealer with the tools to address these problems will offer viable solutions such as air cleaners, zoning equipment, programmable thermostats, humidifiers, variable speed and two-stage technology, etc. If they do not offer these solutions, they may not be the right dealer for you!
- It takes more time to complete an installation when done correctly. Expect to pay more for comprehensive service, but much less in the long run for your system’s performance and maintenance.
- Typically, manufacturer warranties cover the replacement of faulty components for a limited time. Failure due to poor installation is typically not warranted by manufacturers. Choose a dealer who will do a good job the first time and be around to assist you as needed.