Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ's - General HVAC
Q - What are the signs that my HVAC system needs maintenance or repair?
There are several signs that your HVAC system may need maintenance or repair. Here are some common indicators:
- Poor airflow: If you notice weak or reduced airflow from your vents, it could indicate a problem with your HVAC
system. This could be due to a clogged air filter, blocked ductwork, or a malfunctioning blower motor.
- Inconsistent temperatures: If certain areas of your home are significantly warmer or cooler than others, or if you are experiencing temperature fluctuations throughout the day, it could be a sign that your HVAC system is struggling to maintain consistent temperatures.
- Unusual noises: If you hear strange or loud noises coming from your HVAC system, such as banging, squealing, or rattling sounds, it could indicate a mechanical issue that needs attention. These noises can be a result of loose or worn-out parts, debris in the system, or a malfunctioning motor.
- Strange odors: If you detect unusual or unpleasant odors coming from your vents, it could be a sign of mold growth, trapped animal remains, or other issues within your HVAC system.
- Increased energy bills: If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bills without a corresponding change in usage, it could indicate that your HVAC system is not running efficiently. This could be due to a lack of maintenance, worn-out parts, or other issues affecting its performance.
- Frequent cycling: If your HVAC system frequently turns on and off, known as short cycling, it could indicate an underlying problem. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the system, reduced energy efficiency, and potential breakdowns if not addressed.
If you notice any of these signs, we recommend calling to schedule one of our technicians to inspect and diagnose the issue. Regular maintenance visits can also help prevent these problems by identifying and addressing potential issues before they become major repairs.
Q - How often should I schedule professional HVAC maintenance?
Heating and Air Conditioning equipment, no matter what kind you have, should be inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once a year. It is best to have the heating system checked in the Fall and the air conditioning checked in the Spring. Call us to schedule your maintenance today! Ask your customer service representative how you can save with a regular maintenance program.
Q - How often should I change my air filters and why?
The frequency at which you should change your HVAC filters depends on various factors, such as the type of filter you have and the air quality in your home. Generally, it is recommended to change standard 1-inch filters every 30-60 days, while higher efficiency filters may need to be replaced every 90 days or even longer. It is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific HVAC filter and regularly inspect them to determine when they need to be replaced. Additionally, if you notice reduced airflow or increased dust accumulation in your home, it may be a sign that your filters need to be changed more frequently. Additionally, if you have pets, smoke or vape indoors, or have allergies, you may need to change your filters more frequently to maintain good indoor air quality. Regularly changing your HVAC filters is important for several reasons:
- Improved efficiency: A clean filter allows for proper airflow, which helps your HVAC system operate more
efficiently. This can lead to lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.
- Extended lifespan of equipment: When your HVAC system doesn't have to work as hard to push air through a
clean filter, it puts less strain on the equipment. This can help prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system and
potentially save you from costly repairs or replacements.
- Better indoor air quality: HVAC filters play a crucial role in removing dust, pollen, pet dander, and other
airborne particles from the air. Regularly changing the filters ensures that these pollutants are effectively
trapped and not recirculated throughout your home. This can help improve indoor air quality and reduce allergy
- Preventing system malfunctions: A clogged or dirty filter can restrict airflow, causing your HVAC system to work
harder and potentially overheat. This can result in system malfunctions and breakdowns. By regularly changing your
filters, you can prevent these issues and ensure the reliable operation of your HVAC system.
Q - Why is there a strange odor coming from my vents?
There could be several reasons for a strange odor coming from your HVAC vents. Here are a few possibilities:
- Mold or mildew: If there is excess moisture in your HVAC system, it can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, which can cause a musty odor. This can happen if the condensate drain line is clogged or if there are leaks in the system. A thorough inspection and cleaning of your HVAC system may be necessary to address this issue.
- Dirty air filters: If your air filters become dirty and clogged, it can trap dust, debris, and even organic matter, leading to unpleasant odors being circulated through your vents. Regularly changing your air filters can help prevent this.
- Dead animals: In some cases, small animals may find their way into the HVAC system and get trapped, leading to an unpleasant odor. If you suspect this may be the case, it is important to contact us to have one of our professional HVAC technicians scheduled to safely remove any trapped animals and address the odor issue.
- Chemical odors: If you have recently used strong smelling cleaning products or chemicals near your HVAC system, the odors from these substances can be circulated through the vents. Ensuring proper ventilation and avoiding the use of strong-smelling chemicals near your HVAC system can help prevent this.
To prevent strange odors in the future, you can take the following steps:
- Regularly clean and maintain your HVAC system, including checking and unclogging the condensate drain line.
- Change your air filters regularly to prevent dust and debris buildup.
- Keep your home properly ventilated and avoid using strong cleaning products or chemicals near your HVAC system.
- Consider scheduling regular maintenance visits with one of our professional technicians to ensure your system is functioning properly and prevent any potential issues. Ask one of our customer service representatives today how to save by signing up for our maintenance program.
If the odor persists or if you are unsure about how to address it, it is recommended to have one of our professional HVAC technicians inspect and diagnose the source of the odor to ensure it is properly addressed.
Q - How long can I expect my HVAC system to last?
The Department of Energy recommends replacing your HVAC system after 10 years for maximum efficiency and safety. Some newer units may last up to 15 years, so be sure to check when yours was installed and ask one of our comfort specialists how long it should last.
Q - What is the recommended humidity level for indoor comfort?
It will depend mostly on the time of year, what kind of clothes you are wearing, and where you and your family are naturally comfortable. Research has shown that the ideal recommended relative humidity for your home is between 40%-60%. However, to discourage the growth and spread of mold, levels should be kept below 50%.
Q - Is it normal for my HVAC system to make noise?
It is normal for HVAC systems to make some noise during operation, but excessive or unusual noises could indicate a problem. Common noises you may hear from your HVAC system include a humming sound from the compressor, the sound of air flowing through the vents, and occasional clicking or popping noises as the system turns on and off.
There are several potential causes of excessive noise from an HVAC system. Some common causes include:
- Loose or damaged parts, such as fan blades, belts, or screws, can create vibrations and lead to excessive noise.
- A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause the system to work harder, resulting in increased noise levels.
- Motors that are worn out or in need of lubrication can generate excessive noise during operation.
- Leaky or poorly insulated ductwork can cause air to escape, leading to whistling or rattling sounds.
- Foreign objects, such as leaves or debris, can get trapped in the system and cause noise when the system is running.
- As HVAC systems age, parts may wear out and become less efficient, leading to increased noise levels.
- If the HVAC system was not installed properly, it can result in improper airflow and increased noise.
However, if you notice loud or persistent buzzing, grinding, rattling, or squealing noises, it is recommended to have one of our professional HVAC technicians inspect your system to determine the cause and address any potential issues.
Q - What are the advantages of ductless mini-split systems?
Ductless mini split systems have several advantages compared to traditional HVAC systems:
- Energy efficiency: Ductless mini-split systems are highly energy efficient because they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork. With individual air handlers in each room or zone, you can control the temperature independently and only cool or heat the areas that need it, reducing wasted energy.
- Cost savings: By eliminating the need for ductwork installation and maintenance, ductless mini-split systems can help you save on initial installation costs. Additionally, their energy efficiency can lead to lower utility bills over time.
- Flexible installation: Ductless mini-split systems are easier to install than traditional HVAC systems. They require only a small hole to connect the indoor and outdoor units, making them ideal for older homes or spaces without existing ductwork. They can also be easily installed in new construction or room additions.
- Zoning capabilities: Ductless mini-split systems allow for zoning, which means you can set different temperatures in different rooms or zones. This allows for personalized comfort and avoids wasting energy by heating or cooling unoccupied areas.
- Improved indoor air quality: Ducted HVAC systems can accumulate dust, allergens, and other contaminants in the ductwork, which can then be circulated throughout your home. Ductless systems don't have this issue, as they don't use ductwork. They typically have advanced filtration systems that can help improve indoor air quality.
- Quiet operation: Ductless systems are known for their quiet operation. The indoor units are typically very quiet, and the compressor unit is located outside, minimizing noise inside your living space.
Overall, ductless mini split systems offer increased energy efficiency, cost savings, flexibility in installation, zoning capabilities, improved indoor air quality, and quiet operation. These benefits make them a popular choice for many homeowners.
FAQ's - Air Conditioning
Q - Why is my air conditioning not blowing cold air?
There could be several reasons why your air conditioning is not blowing cold air. It may be due to low refrigerant levels, a malfunctioning compressor, a clogged condenser, or a problem with the electrical components. You can start by checking if the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and if the air filters are clean. Next, check to see if the coil on the outside unit is clean and free of any debris and is not frozen. Additionally, you can ensure that the circuit breaker for the air conditioning unit is not tripped. If these steps do not resolve the issue, it would be best to have one of our professional HVAC technicians inspect and diagnose the issue for an accurate solution.
Q – Why is my air conditioning blowing cool air, but the air flow is restricted?
If your air conditioning is blowing cold air but barely any air is coming out, it may be due to a restricted airflow. This can be caused by a clogged or dirty air filter, blocked vents or ducts, or a malfunctioning blower motor. It is recommended to check and clean the air filter, ensure that all vents are open and unobstructed and inspect the blower motor for any issues. If the problem persists, it would be best to give us a call so we can schedule one of our highly skilled, professional HVAC technicians to come out and diagnose the problem for you.
Q – Why is my AC unit outside not running, but making a weird buzzing noise?
If your Air Conditioner unit outside is not running but making a weird buzzing noise, there could be a few possible reasons for this issue:
- Capacitor issue: The buzzing noise could be coming from a faulty capacitor, which is a component that provides electrical energy to start the motor. If the capacitor is defective, it may not be able to start the motor properly, resulting in the buzzing noise and lack of operation.
- Compressor problem: The compressor is responsible for pumping refrigerant through the AC system. If the compressor is not functioning correctly, it may cause the AC unit to make strange buzzing noises and fail to operate.
- Electrical issue: There might be an electrical problem, such as a loose or damaged wire, that is causing the buzzing noise. This can disrupt the power supply to the AC unit and prevent it from running.
Either way, you should turn off the AC unit and avoid any further attempts to run it, as it could potentially cause more damage. Contact us today so we can schedule one of our knowledgeable technicians to determine the exact cause of the buzzing noise and provide the appropriate solution to fix it.
Q – What is the average lifespan of an air conditioning system?
The average lifespan of an air conditioner is typically around 10 to 15 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, usage, and the quality of the air conditioner itself. Regular maintenance and timely repairs have proven to help extend the lifespan of an air conditioner.
Remember, if you have any specific questions or concerns about your HVAC system, it is always best to consult with our professional HVAC technicians for accurate information and guidance.
FAQ's - Heating
Q – Why does my heating system produce a burning smell when first turned on?
There are several reasons why a heating system smells like burning. Some of these problems are simple fixes, while others require professional assistance. Knowing what to do in these situations can save you a lot of headaches and repair costs.
Some houses have furnaces, and some have other heating set-ups, like heat pumps or space heaters. A burning smell from any of these heat sources demands immediate attention to avoid further issues. If your heater is giving off a burning smell, consider these issues:
- Dust in the Heater: The most common cause of a burning smell in a heater is dust. If you turn off your furnace or heating unit during the warmer months, it will collect dust. When this dust builds up on components, like the heat exchanger or burners, your heater will emit a burning smell when you turn it on again. If dust is the culprit of your burning smell, it is usually nothing to worry about. Dust that collects on your heater during extended shut-off periods will burn off when you reactivate your heater. That smell then flows through your air vents until the dust burns away. If you experience a burning smell after not using your heater for a while, let the heater operate for ten minutes or so. If the burning smell disappears or decreases significantly, there is no need for concern. If the odor persists, you should contact us to schedule a service call to properly diagnose the issue. You can avoid dust-burning smells by having our professional HVAC technicians cleaning your heater before turning it on for the season.
- Old Furnace Filter/Dirty Vents: If you do not replace the filters in your heating system regularly, they can clog up and create a burning smell. Old air filters can also cause mold and mildew to grow inside your ductwork, causing a musty odor. Regularly replacing your filters will prevent burning odors related to build-up on older filters. Change the air filters in your heating system every one to three months to maximize performance. If you are experiencing a musty odor, check your furnace or heater for mold and mildew. Turn the heater off, clean it thoroughly, and replace the filter. If the musty smell remains, there may be mold or mildew in your home’s ductwork. Leave ductwork cleaning to properly trained HVAC professionals. Doing so ensures the use of the right chemicals and tools by technicians with experience. You may also need a professional to check the rest of your home for mold to eliminate health risks.
- Something Is in Your Heating System: If your heating system produces a plastic- or rubber-burning smell, something that should not be there is probably lodged in your vents or ducts. Kids’ toys, pet toys, or other small household items often wind up in the HVAC system. When you turn the heater back on after the warm season ends, these items create an unpleasant plastic-burning smell in the ventilation system. The first thing to do if you notice a plastic- or rubber-burning odor is to try locating it. Check each room of your home and see whether you can find where the odor is strongest. If there is a room where the smell is notably stronger, open the vent and try to locate and remove any items that do not belong. Plastic and rubber items can emit toxic fumes when they burn. If you cannot find and remove the item causing the smell, turn off your HVAC system immediately and call us.
- Electrical Issues: If it smells like something electrical is burning in your heating system, it could be a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Wear and tear installation can damage the wires in your HVAC system. These issues can also cause the heater’s blower motor to overheat. Many heating systems will shut down once they begin to overheat for safety reasons. However, faulty wiring can cause the heating system to malfunction and continue to overheat. This is a dangerous situation that you should take seriously. Burning electrical components are dangerous. Faulty wiring can cause several components of the heater to overheat and catch fire. Turn off your HVAC system immediately if your system is emitting an electrical burning smell. Talk to one of our customer service representatives to schedule one of our professional HVAC technicians to safely handle and repair the system.
Routine maintenance is the best way to keep your heating system from creating burning smells.
If your heater smells like burning and these simple solutions are not working, give us a call today to schedule a time for one of our professional HVAC technicians come out and diagnose the situation.
Q – Why isn’t it getting warm in my home/office when my furnace is on?
If your furnace is on but not producing heat, there may be a few potential causes. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try:
- Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat is set to "heat" mode and that the temperature setting is higher than the current room temperature.
- Check the air filter: A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow and prevent efficient heating. Check and replace the air filter if needed.
- Check the circuit breaker: Ensure that the circuit breaker for the furnace is not tripped. If it is, reset it and see if the furnace starts producing heat.
- Check the pilot light or ignition system: If you have a gas furnace, make sure the pilot light is lit. If it is an electronic ignition system, check if there is a power supply issue.
- Check the gas supply: Ensure that the gas supply to the furnace is turned on and that the gas valve is in the open position.
If these troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, give us a call to schedule one of our professional HVAC technicians to diagnose and repair the problem.
Q – What are the warning signs that my heating system is nearing the end of its lifespan?
There are several warning signs that your heating system may be nearing the end of its lifespan:
- Age: Heating systems typically last around 15-20 years. If your system is approaching or exceeding this age range, it may be time to start considering a replacement.
- Frequent breakdowns: If your heating system requires frequent repairs and seems to be breaking down more often, this can be a sign that it's reaching the end of its lifespan.
- Rising energy bills: As heating systems get older, they can become less efficient, leading to higher energy bills. If you have noticed a steady increase in your heating costs despite regular maintenance, it may be time to consider a replacement.
- Uneven heating: If certain rooms in your home are consistently colder than others, or if you are experiencing uneven heating throughout your space, it could be a sign that your heating system is struggling to distribute heat properly.
- Strange noises: Unusual noises such as banging, rattling, or squealing coming from your heating system can indicate that there are mechanical issues or worn-out components that need attention.
- Increased dust or poor air quality: If you have noticed an increase in dust accumulation or if your indoor air quality has declined, it could be a sign that your heating system is no longer effectively filtering and circulating air.
If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, it is important to have one of our professional HVAC technicians to assess your system. They can help determine if your heating system can be repaired or if it is time for a replacement. If it is time for a replacement, we will have one of our comfort specialists meet with you to discuss the best options for your heating and cooling needs.
Q – What is the average lifespan of a heating system?
The average lifespan of a furnace is typically around 15 to 20 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, usage, and the quality of the furnace itself. Regular maintenance and timely repairs have proven to help extend the lifespan of a furnace.
Remember, if you have any specific questions or concerns about your HVAC system, it is always best to consult with our professional HVAC technicians for accurate information and guidance.