Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve been at this a long time here in Central Illinois and we get a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical equipment and services.
What is the SEER Rating?
The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 20.
Why is the SEER rating on the energy guide different than what my dealer quoted?
S.E.E.R. stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which tells you the cooling efficiency of your unit. The SEER rating on an energy guide tells you the “up to” SEER rating potential of an air conditioner or heat pump. The higher the rating, the more energy savings you will experience. The actual SEER rating of a system is based on the pairing of that AC/heat pump unit with its associated refrigerant coil and furnace blower motor. Together, they act as a “team” to produce conditioned air as efficiently as possible based on their combined maximum ability and functionality. An HVAC professional is trained to maximize this pairing by suggesting units that will match your desire for equipment economy vs. energy efficiency. The more efficient systems tend to cost more initially, but the homeowner or business owner will recoup that money in energy savings over time. You will actually spend less in the long run by purchasing a more expensive, higher efficiency system, as it can significantly reduce your energy consumption, and in turn lower the power bill.
Why do I need regular (or preventative) HVAC maintenance?
Investing in regular preventative maintenance on your equipment provides you with three crucial things: 1) peace of mind that a trained professional will identify issues and repair your system, potentially preventing a major breakdown before it arises, 2) increased energy efficiency, and 3) the protection of your equipment’s warranty. Preventative maintenance from a trained HVAC professional allows you to pinpoint and address issues with your system, which can increase the overall life expectancy of your equipment. It also ensures your equipment is running as effectively as possible, increasing your overall energy efficiency and saving you money on your utility bills over time. In addition, regular equipment maintenance by a trained HVAC professional is often a requirement to protect your equipment’s warranty from the manufacturer. Neglecting or skipping regular equipment maintenance– even just once– can void a manufacturer’s warranty on your equipment.
I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.
When an issue arises with your system, our HVAC professionals go through a systematic and detailed process to determine not only the obvious issue, but other periphery (but connected) items that might be the root cause of your current breakdown. While repairing the equipment, the technician will dig deeper into your system to uncover potential items that may not have manifested themselves as problems yet, but have a high likelihood for problems in the future.
What are the advantages of a programable thermostat?
A programmable thermostat allows you to customize the timing of the temperature change in your home or business to match your lifestyle. You will increase your comfort while saving energy dollars in the process, getting the heating and cooling to the right temperature at the right time as efficiently as possible. Programmable thermostats are also recommended if you have a zoned HVAC system, where your comfort demands vary in different areas of your space.
What type of filter should I use? How often should I replace it?
The answer to this question varies widely depending upon your family’s comfort/health needs (allergies, asthma, etc.) as well as the internal and external environment of your home (pets, surrounding farm fields, pollen generating plants/trees, etc.). A general rule of thumb is to change your filter every 60-90 days, but if you notice a build-up on the filter at this interval, you may want to replace the filter once each month. The inexpensive filters that can be purchased at your local store are designed to be “rock catchers” — they just keep larger particulate matter from damaging your HVAC equipment. These filters are not designed to “clean the air”. Partnering with an HVAC professional for equipment maintenance and filter replacements can help you ensure that you are utilizing the best filter for the health and comfort needs of your family.
Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store?
The proper equipment for your home is highly dependent upon a number of variables. As a result, picking an HVAC system out for yourself at a big box store could leave you with undersized and under-functioning equipment. An HVAC professional will help you to calculate the heating and cooling BTU needs of your home, which is determined through a mathematical heat load and cooling demand calculation comprised of the square footage of your home, the insulation r-value, the orientation of the home directionally and the condition of the ductwork system. We recommend utilizing an HVAC professional to calculate your home’s true needs and find the right equipment for you.
What size HVAC equipment is right for my home?
The answer to this question is 100% dependent upon conducting a proper heat load calculation. This calculation will determine the BTUs of heat necessary to be able to deliver a 70 degree temperature on a 0 degree day in winter, and enough cooling to overcome the BTUs of heat load on a home to give a 75 degree temperature on a 95 degree day in the summer. This calculation is dependent upon a number of variables in your home, including the square footage of your home, orientation of the home directionally and the condition of the ductwork system. Our trained comfort consultants will meet with you to help you determine the right equipment to fit your home.
What is the life of the expectancy of my unit?
The life expectancy of a typical HVAC system will vary depending upon the environment it is working in, along with how professionally it was installed and maintained. That is why it is crucial to utilize the highest trained HVAC installation team and to invest in regular equipment maintenance. Professional installation and maintenance can help your equipment last an average of 12-18 years.
Didn’t ﬁnd the answer you were looking for?
Contact us at (217) 425-3527 and we’ll be happy to help!