Before You Call, Check Out The Common HVAC Questions
For efficiency and cost savings. Custom Comfort Plus realizes that buying a heating or air conditioning system is no small matter. However, if your existing system is old, needs repair or simply is inefficient, buying a new unit can offer long-term benefits. A new unit can be as much as 60 percent more efficient than a system purchased just 10 years ago. Instead of continuing to pay for ongoing maintenance and costly monthly bills, invest today in a new system that will save you money for years to come.
Get the facts from an expert. There are many heating and air-conditioning systems to choose from today. Your Custom Comfort Plus Dealer can draw on a vast degree of heating and air-conditioning knowledge and experience to help you decide on the system that best fits your specific needs. The size and age of your home, as well as the number of rooms, the climate in your region, local and regional utility costs, and utility incentive or rebate programs are all factors that will affect the functionality and therefore the selection of your system. Custom Comfort Plus dealers, using the latest technology, consider all these factors in helping you choose the best system for your home. Consumers seeking to replace an existing system often choose a new unit with efficiency ratings that are equal to or higher than those of their previous system. Replacing a unit that is 10 to 15 years old may reduce natural gas or electricity costs by 30 to 50 percent. Contact a Custom Comfort Plus dealer to help determine initial cost, warranty protection, service options, maintenance options, operating costs and proper installation.
Schedule a visit with a Custom Comfort Plus dealer. Factors affecting the size of your new system include the climate in your region, humidity levels, the number of windows in your home, total square footage of your home, the direction your home faces, the number of heat-producing appliances you have, the type of insulation in your home and the number of people who live in your home. A Custom Comfort Plus dealer can perform the proper calculations to determine the appropriate heating or cooling unit for your home and lifestyle.
It’s all about the ductwork. Putting a new system in a home that does not have central air and heat will require the installation of ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil. Beyond the system’s equipment, the most important component installed with a new system is the ductwork. Ductwork is composed of two parts − supply and return. Supply ductwork is attached to the outflow of the new system, delivering air to each zone in a home. The amount of air reaching each zone is determined by the size of supply ductwork connecting it to your system. Your dealer will help you determine the size of all the supply ductwork in your home. The second part of the ductwork, the return duct, attaches to the inlet of the new system and draws air out of the spaces to be heated or cooled. Attached to the return duct is the filter. The filter should be placed as near to the furnace or air handler as possible. Ductwork can be fiberglass or metal, and it must be properly sized to evenly distribute the proper amount of air to each room.
Start with a detailed inspection. To install the most efficient HVAC system in your home, your installation contractor should first perform a detailed inspection. At a minimum, your contractor’s inspection should include an inspection of your home’s ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.
Proper maintenance is key. Maintenance and service play an important role in the lifecycle of a heating or an air-conditioning system. If all recommended maintenance and service actions are taken, an air conditioner can last 12 to 15 years and a gas furnace 20 to 25 years.
It is generally a good idea to replace the indoor coil if you are also replacing your air conditioner or heat pump. There is a correlation between the efficiency of your heating or cooling system and the performance of the indoor coil. Changing out the current indoor coil for a new one may be critical to optimizing the performance, efficiency and savings potential of your new system.
Depending on your home’s design, the system could be in several different places. A system with an up-flow application might be in the basement, and a system with a horizontal application may be found in your attic. A self-contained, or single package unit, could be outside on a slab or on the roof. Your garage could house an up-flow, a down-flow or a horizontal application system.
Heat pumps make the air move from point A to point B. A heat pump is a device used to heat or cool a space by transferring heat and cold between two reservoirs. A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside your home to outside it, or like a heater as it transfers heat from the home’s exterior to its interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32º Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump.
It’s all about variability. Using a variable-speed furnace or air handler as part of your HVAC system can reduce humidity levels. Variable-speed units run longer at lower speeds, allowing air to constantly circulate against the cooling coil and removing more moisture. Variable-speed motors also use less electricity than regular motors, reducing your energy costs.
HVAC systems are complicated networks of machinery that should be serviced by a certified professional. However, if your HVAC system seems to be malfunctioning, you can try a few basic steps that may correct your problem before you call a service professional. If you do not feel comfortable performing any of these tasks, do not hesitate to call an HVAC contractor.
- Disconnect and reconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
- Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
- Make sure your filters are clean.
- Open supply and return vents, and make sure they are unobstructed.
- Check the settings on your thermostat.
- Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate “Cool” or “Heat” setting.
AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the amount of heat output by the amount of heat input.This measurement describes how well fuel, gas or oil is consumed by a furnace toproduce heat. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have an AFUE of at least 80 percent.
HSPF is the abbreviation for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, which is a rating of the efficiency level of the heating operation of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heating performance of a heat pump. New units in the United States have HSPF ratings of 7.0 to 9.4.
R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon, or HCFC. HVAC manufacturers have used R-22 as a refrigerant for more than 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that HCFCs contain chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent. For this reason, the U.S. Clean Air Act set a target date of Jan. 1, 2010, by which HVAC manufacturers were required to cease the production of products that use R-22.
R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon, or HFC, that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and has been the most popular replacement for R-22 by HVAC manufacturers. At the beginning of 2010, the use of alternate refrigerant was required in HVAC manufacturing.
ENERGY STAR is a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help businesses and individuals make energy-efficient purchases. This program places the ENERGY STAR label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy-efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high-efficiency products. For more information about the Energy Star program, visit its website at www.energystar.gov.