FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why do I notice a difference in temperature between my master bedroom and bathroom from the rest of the house?
A: There are several reasons why you may notice a temperature difference in these rooms. You may also notice the difference to be more pronounced in the winter heating season than in the summer due to the fact that the outside temperature in the winter can be 40 degrees or more colder than the temperature in the house. In the summer, the outside temperature is usually 20 to 25 degrees warmer than the inside of the house. In the winter the house experiences “heat loss” where the heat in house is lost through the walls, ceilings and floors to the colder outside temperatures. In the summer the house experiences “heat gain” where the heat from the outside is transferred through the walls and ceilings to the interior of the house. Generally the master bedroom area is a section of the house that has three exterior exposed walls with glass. The thermostat that controls the heating and air conditioning system is located at a position near the core or center of the house. In the heating mode if the thermostat is set for a hypothetical comfort temperature of 72 degrees the system will run until the temperature at the thermostat reaches set point. When set point is reached the system will shut off. When the system shuts off, this is the moment of satisfaction. At that moment if the temperature in the master bedroom is tested at a height of sixty inches from the floor (which is the standard height of most thermostats) the temperature will in most cases be within a degree or two of the thermostat set point. This demonstrates that the system will in fact bring the room to set point temperature. What happens next is where most complaints are born. With the thermostat being located in the center or core of the house and the bedroom being on the exterior of the house with three exposed walls the bedroom begins to cool off more rapidly than the core. The temperature at the thermostat will have to drop two full degrees before the heat will come back on. During the time it will take for the temperature at the thermostat that is located in the core of the home to drop the two degrees to reinitiate heat the temperature in the bedroom can drop dramatically in comparison. Depending on the temperature outdoors it is not unusual for the bedroom temperature to be five to eight degrees cooler or more than the core of the house. What this illustrates is that the temperature difference that most people complain about occurs during the off cycle. There is nothing that can be done to eliminate this occurrence short of upgrading the system to zoning for more precise area temperature control. While this upgrade option will allow for more precise temperature control in individual rooms it may not be cost effective for all homeowners. Upgrading to zoning can also cause energy cost to be greater. The same scenario is present during the cooling season but may not be as pronounce or noticeable.
Q: Should I run my system fan in the “ON” position?
A: No we do not recommend it. The reasons are as follows: In heat mode the warm air will stratify to the ceiling. Most air return grills are in the ceiling. If the fan is on during the off cycle it will suck the warm air into the duct system and move it through the ducts in the cool attic before redistributing the now cooler air back into the home. In cool mode the evaporator coil is wet with condensation that is being removed from your home. If the fan continues to run after the mechanical cooling stops it can pick up moisture from the coil and redistribute it throughout the house causing humidity levels in the home to remain higher than normal. This can cause longer system run times as well as discomfort due to higher humidity.
Q: Are ceiling fans a good idea in both the heating and cooling seasons?
A: Yes, we think it makes sense to selectively run ceiling fans in both the heat and cooling season for the following reasons: In the heating season the ceiling fan run in an extremely slow speed will help circulate warm air that has stratified to the ceiling throughout the room. This can help reduce the temperature differences noticed. In the cooling season ceiling fans create air movement that can cause evaporation on the skin thus making one feel cooler.
Q: How often should I change my air filter or filters?
A: We recommend monthly filter changes to assure clean duct systems and evaporator coils. However as long as a homeowner monitors their filter condition closely they may be able to get longer life from their filter than just one month. Do not let your filter become clogged and reduce airflow this can cause system problems that can lead to costly service repairs.
Don’t forget to look at our filters available for purchase.
Q: What should I do if my unit is leaking water?
A: The first thing you should do is to turn the unit off. This will stop the production of condensation and prevent any further leaking until the system can be serviced. You can check your filters, if they are plugged with dirt this could be the cause of the problem. You can also check your drain line for clogs. Sometimes grass clippings, leaves, dirt, or mulch can stop the drain at its termination point outside your home. It is a good idea to locate this drain termination point outside your home and keep the area clean so that the drain can flow effortlessly. If there is no obvious reason for the leaking water you should leave the system in the off position and call for service. Please note that continuing to run your system when a water leak is present can cause damage to floors, ceilings, walls and property.
Q: What should I do if I smell gas?
A: Shut off all gas appliances. Practice all safety procedures when dealing with possible gas leaks. Check with your local gas company for safety rules if you are not familiar with them. Call the gas company that supplies gas to your neighborhood. If the gas company determines that the problem is within your gas heating system then call us for service of the system.
Q: What should I do if my air conditioner or heater is not working?
A: Check thermostat settings to make sure the system is on. Check circuit breakers to make sure they have not tripped or been accidentally turned off. Service calls due to tripped breakers, disconnects or breakers that are in the off position, incorrect thermostat settings or any other condition that is beyond our control can result in service charges.
Q: How do I operate my thermostat?
A: Most of the thermostats used today are electronic digital thermostats. Some are programmable some are not. A user guide is left attached to the thermostat at start up. This user guide will instruct the homeowner as to the use and functions of the particular thermostat. We recommend that the user guide or instructions be reviewed in detail by the homeowner to familiarize themselves with the settings and functions of the thermostat. In the event that the instruction booklet to your thermostat is missing you can contact our office for a copy of the instructions to be mailed, e-mail, or faxed to you. Service calls for the purpose of adjusting or setting thermostats is not covered under warranty provisions and can result in service charges to the homeowner.
Q: Should I have maintenance performed on my system?
A: Yes, absolutely. Preventative maintenance is very important and is recommended by the equipment manufacturer in their warranty statement. Failure to perform proper and recommended maintenance can result in mechanical problems, performance problems and possible loss of warranty issues. An important part of maintenance is the regular changing of filters. In addition to filter maintenance coils should be kept clean, electrical connections should be checked periodically for tightness or pitting, refrigerant charge should be checked and visual inspection for refrigerant leaks should be performed, drain lines should be cleaned etc. Filters link to filter page should be changed monthly but the other items noted above should be done at least once per year to ensure a well maintained system. We can provide annual maintenance on most residential systems for $89.95 per system through an annual maintenance agreement. Please contact our office for enrollment details.
Q: Are there things that my warranty does not cover?
A: Yes there are services and items that your first and second year warranties do not cover. Here are some examples of services that are not covered: Water leaks due to lack of maintenance or conditions out of our control, after hours, weekend or overtime service rates, adjustments of thermostats or on site training on the operation of thermostats, air flow adjustments beyond the primary air flow adjustment that is performed at the start up of the system, service calls resulting from electrical problems, tripped breakers, switches left in the off position, power failures, incorrect thermostat settings. Your second year extended warranty is a limited warranty on the equipment only. It does not cover any of the peripheral items and does not cover after hours labor costs, weekend labor costs or overtime rates of any kind.
Q: I have a heat pump system and there is ice or frost forming on my outside unit in the winter season and I see steam coming from the unit on occasion, is this normal?
A: Yes it is normal for these things to happen. The ice or frost forms during the heating function of the system, the steam forms when the system goes into a defrost cycle that will automatically clear the frost or ice from the unit. This is all normal operation and is nothing to be concerned about.
Q: My heat pump is making a “whoosh” sound at times from the outside unit. Do I have a problem with my system?
A: No, you do not have a problem with the system. The whoosh sound is being caused by the reversing valve in the unit and is a normal function and sound.
Q: When I make a thermostat adjustment my unit does not always come on right away. Is there something wrong with my system or my thermostat?
A: No, most thermostats and units have a built in time delay feature that will not allow the unit to come on right away depending on several criteria. This function is normal and as long as the unit does come on in five to ten minutes there is most likely no problem to be concerned about.
Q: My thermostat flashes a message reminding me to change my filter. What should I do?
A: This message is there as a reminder for you to change your filter. This function is not available on all thermostats. If you have this function you can simply reset the reminder by pushing a button or series of buttons on your thermostat. The function has no bearing on the operation of your system. It is simply a pop up reminder note about your filter. If you need specific instructions on how to reset the reminder refer to your thermostat instructions, refer to your manual.
Q: If I need service what do I need to do and what can I expect?
A: If you think you have a problem that requires service we suggest that you read all the information above to see if any of this information may apply to your specific situation before calling, this information may save you the cost of a service call. In the event you do need to schedule a service call we will prioritize the calls using three primary guidelines, urgency of the call, and date and time the call was received and warranty status. Dispatch will make every effort to accommodate your request. You will be offered the first available call opening on our schedule. We do not guarantee specific arrival times but will give you an estimated window of arrival. Generally, service calls received after 12:00 Noon on any given day may not be able to be done that day. Overtime rates may apply to in-warranty calls performed after 8:00 PM, Sunday’s, and holiday’s. Overtime rates may apply to non-warranty calls performed after 5:00 PM weekdays, weekends, and holidays. We ask that you please be patient. We understand that your loss of heat during periods of extremely cold weather can be an urgent condition, we also understand that your loss of air conditioning can be very uncomfortable and a big inconvenience. We will do everything we can to get your system up and running as soon as possible.