Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I change my furnace filter?
This is the single most important thing that needs to be done to keep your system clean and operating efficiently. If you have a standard furnace filter, we recommend replacing it monthly even if the old one still looks clean. High efficiency filtering systems, air cleaners, and ERV, may require different schedules. Pets, environment, and number of household members can all affect how often your filter needs to be replaced.
How often should I have my furnace and central air conditioning serviced?
Most people don’t realize their furnace and air conditioner run more and start and stop more than their automobile. Routine service is very important for energy efficiency and longevity of your equipment. Equipment that is not regularly serviced tends to need more repairs. We recommend having your system professionally cleaned and serviced a minimum of once per year.
Can the furnace and central air conditioner be serviced at the same time or should it be done in the spring or fall before the hot and cold seasons?
Yes, they can be serviced at the same time which could save an additional trip. The best months to do a combined service are March through October. Your central air conditioning system cannot be properly serviced in cold weather.
How much should I turn the thermostat down at night?
To save energy, you can turn the thermostat down at night or when you are not at home. (Programmable thermostats do this automatically.) The thermostat should not be set back more than five degrees. (Example: If you maintain your home at 68 degrees, you should set it no lower than 63 degrees.) If the temperature is set back more than five degrees, you may lose the benefits of energy saving because it will take much more energy to heat the home back up to temperature.
What do I do if my thermostat has problems?
Check and make sure that the batteries are good, if your thermostat requires them. An adult should try turning the thermostat to the off position and back on to reset the system. If there are still problems, call your heating and air contractor.
I don’t use part of my house. Can I shut off the registers to that part of the house to save energy?
No. Your system was designed to provide a designated amount of air throughout the home. By shutting down some registers, you can cause a lot of damage to your furnace or central air conditioner.
What should I do when my carbon monoxide (CO) detector alarms?
Verify that it is the carbon monoxide warning and not a low battery warning. Turn off all gas appliances, if possible. Open a window or door for ventilation and call your heating and air contractor.
Is Freon now obsolete in air conditioning units?
The most commonly used refrigerant in today’s air conditioners and heat pumps is R22. By 2010, all new air conditioners and heat pumps will be required to use “environmentally sound” refrigerant, such as R410A. This phase-out has been mandated in an effort to help protect the earth’s ozone layer. The phase-out of R22 refrigerant will likely cause a significant increase in the cost of R22. York’s R410A refrigerant meets the 2010 standards for ozone depleting refrigerants.
What are SEER ratings of air conditioning systems?
SEER is the acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is shown as a number, example 13. The higher the number is, the more efficient the air conditioner. For many homeowners a 13 SEER (as of January 23, 2006, the minimum standard allowed by U.S. Department of Energy) air conditioner or heat pump will represent money saved on each month’s electric bill. Exactly how much you can save will depend on the efficiency of your current system. Here is a comparison:
13 SEER efficiency -
*Delivers about 23% energy savings compared to 10 SEER models.
*Delivers about 8% energy savings compared to 12 SEER models.
Actual savings will depend on the age, efficiency, and condition of the unit being replaced.
What does the AFUE of my furnace have to do with energy efficiency?
AFUE is the acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
AFUE is shown as a percentage 92% or 93%. The higher the percentage is the more efficient the furnace.
How does a Geothermal system work?
Geothermal systems transfer heat from a building to the earth in the cooling mode, or from the earth to the building in the heating mode. Water is used as the heat transfer medium in a closed loop system. By using this stable thermal source, Geothermal heat pumps provide energy efficient comfort year round.
Why so efficient?
The extremely high levels of efficiency are possible because the Geothermal heat pump only uses electricity to move heat, not produce it.
How about the comfort level?
Geothermal heat pumps also provide higher comfort levels than traditional space conditioning equipment. By using a relatively warm source of heat such as the earth, supply air temperatures are significantly higher in the heating mode than traditional air source heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps also cycle much less often than fossil furnaces, creating a consistent indoor temperature with comfortable relative humidity.
Is Geothermal environmentally friendly?
These systems have caught the eye of government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Because it is lowest in carbon monoxide emissions, Geothermal technology provides a solution to global warming by primarily using the natural energy of the earth. Traditional space conditioning systems depend upon the exploitation and burning of fossil energy sources with the resultant greenhouse gas emissions.
Is Geothermal really worth the extra money?
Low life cycle costs are provided by the low operating and maintenance costs of Geothermal systems, even when the higher initial installation costs are considered.