F.A.Q.

1.

Is my HVAC unit still under warranty?

Depending on the age and brand of the unit it may have a warranty, but also may not. Warranty terms and conditions vary widely by manufacturer and the installing company. We can check the warranty status of your HVAC system from a basic system inspection. We also offer a maintenance plan for residential heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of the equipment age or manufacturer warranty status that can cover as much as 30% off repairs.

2.

Are seasonal maintenance plans worth the investment?

Before you use your system for the season it should be checked to ensure there is no safety issues, and that it is cleaned and tuned, you can save alot in energy bills by keeping your system operating at peak efficiency. You can also avoid costly breakdowns and sometimes system replacement by fixing minor problems during scheduled maintenance’s. A HVAC system is similar to a car, the more it is neglected the more likely it will break down. The longevity of your system is impacted by lack of maintenance.

3.

How often should I change my air filter?

This question varies greatly, general rule of thumb is once every few months. But really it depends on your home, how often unit is used, if you have pets, where the filter is located, and what kind of filter you are using. I change mine when it isn’t white anymore.

4.

Which filter should I buy?

The less restrictive the better, I use the inexpensive EZ flow. We check static pressure on our spring maintenance’s and would be able to tell you whats best for your system.

5.

Is it OK to close the vents on the rooms I’m not using?

Seems logical but closing the registers will decrease the systems air flow and efficiency, making the unit run longer and harder, raising static pressure and blower motor amperage. Systems are sized based on square footage of the home, changing that effects the system greatly.

6.

Is there a way to reduce energy costs?

Yes, there is always something that can be done. Performance Based Heating & Air will go over any energy concerns you have with our biannual maintenance plan.

7.

Do you need to look in my attic?

Absolutely, most duct-work is located in the attic and here in the foothills we have a large population of rodents that like to eat and make home’s in the duct work. Performance Based Heating & Air also checks your ducts for leaks, and we inspect your attic insulation levels. This is done on fall maintenance’s.

8.

My unit runs all the time, is something wrong?

There could be, if its really hot or cold out long run times are normal. But it is highly suggested to have a maintenance plan in place so the unit is inspected before the season starts. Many things can make a system run longer than necessary, a tune up can save lots on energy bills.

9.

My unit is not cooling the house down, does it need more Freon?

Very possible, a system low of Freon can still keep a house cool until it gets really hot out. But a system that is fine can still have problems keeping a house cool when its 100+ degrees. If you wait till your house is hot inside before turning on the A/C then it’s likely the system will run all day trying to pull the temp down. Try turning it on earlier in the morning at a little lower temp, it will still run most of the day but it will keep it more comfortable in your home.

10.

My unit runs alot is that bad for it?

No it is designed for long run times, the longer it runs the more its efficiency it becomes. Systems that start/stop a lot consume more energy.

11.

Can you make my system bigger than what it calls for?

Well technically yes it can be done but it’s a bad idea, units that are over sized start and stop more frequent and are less efficient. Shorter run times means less humidity removed and can lead to discomfort in the home.

12.

How are the sizing capacities of cooling and heating measured?

Heating and cooling systems sizing is based on B.T.U.H. (British Thermal Units Per Hour). Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps are also rated in tonnage. 12,000 BTU H equals one (1) ton. Residential systems can range from 1 to 5 tons.

13.

How are efficiency ratings for Air Conditioning figured?

By S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): This ratio tells you the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity. SEER ratings can range from very low (older equipment) to what we put in today between 13 and 19. Performance Based Heating & Air can check your unit for its Energy Efficient Ratio, this is done on spring maintenance. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the system will be and the less it will cost in the long run to own and operate.

14.

How are efficiency ratings for Heating figured?

By A.F.U.E. (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio): This is a measurement of the heat produced by a furnace for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the lower the fuel costs. Older furnaces can be as low 60%, newer furnaces as high as 98%. Quality Cheaper can tell you what your furnace AFUE rating is, this is done on our fall maintenance’s.

15.

What temperature should my Air Conditioner produce?

It should produce between 18* and 22* below ambient temperature at the return air filter. Performance Based Heating & Air checks this at the unit with sophisticated equipment to determine if there is a problem with the unit or refrigeration cycle. This is done on our spring maintenance.

16.

What temperature should my Heater produce?

A gas unit should be between 30* and 60* above ambient at return air filter, A heat pump between 18* and 35*. Performance Based Heating & Air checks temp rise at unit during our fall maintenance to determine if the system has any problems.

17.

What temperature should i set my thermostat?

Temperature settings depend on the time of year and your personal preferences. In the summer, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm. Remember, when leaving your house; try to avoid drastic temperature changes.

18.

Should out door units be covered in the winter time?

No they are designed to with stand the weather. Heat-pumps will operate year round.

19.

Should I set my fan to auto or on?

Preferably auto. That way the fan operates only when the temperature requires it. This is the most used and the most efficient setting. “On” has advantages as well, the house will continue to be filtered and the circulation keeps an even temperature throughout the home. Also “on” is used frequently during cooking to draw the hot air from the kitchen and disperse around the home.

20.

Is it OK to plant flowers or shrubs around the outside unit?

Yes you can but there should be adequately space for the unit to breathe, at least 18 inches. You should be aware that certain insects, leaves, pollen, can get pulled into condenser and lower your efficiency rating. Performance Based Heating & Air cleans outside units on our Spring maintenance’s.

21.

How do I know what size unit my house needs?

Performance Based Heating & Air offers free estimates to let you know what size we recommend. Factors like size of the square footage, how well the house is insulated. Body heat (how many people occupy the space) and any other heat producing equipment in the space. Also the climate of where the property is geographically located, how much sun light the home gets, how many window space, what kind of roof, Etc.

22.

What is the difference between a package unit and a split system?

A slit system uses indoor and outdoor components connected through a refrigeration line to provide a complete comfort system. A package unit or self-contained unit requires no external coils, handlers, or heating units.

23.

What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

Because they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient then the older thermostats that contain mercury. They are more comfortable, plus they allow you temperature automatically control the temperature in your home at different times of the day without ever touching your thermostat.

24.

What is 2 stage?

Two-stage heating and cooling means there is two levels of heat or cooling or both. On mild days the unit will operate on single stage and on extreme cold or hot days the unit will operate on two-stage. These units start on single stage and work up to full capacity so there is no sudden blast of air. Single stage meets household heating and cooling demands 80% of the time. Because the unit operates mostly in the lower capacity stage it uses less fuel and electricity and is much more efficient then single stage equipment.

25.

What causes a heat exchanger to crack?

The natural heating and cooling cycles of a furnace can lead to cracks in a heat exchanger. A furnace that has not been maintained, overworked or stressed is more likely to have a premature breakdown and potential carbon monoxide leak. Dirty air filters, blocked vents, plugged coils, to small duct-work, blower motor to slow, and burners not firing properly can all lead to premature heat exchanger failure. Performance Based Heating & Air inspects heat exchangers during our fall maintenance’s.

26.

What do you do when you find a cracked heat exchanger?

Disconnect power and gas until unit is fixed or replaced.

27.

Why can’t I use my unit with a cracked heat exchanger?

A crack in the heat exchanger can allow carbon monoxide to enter your home, carbon monoxide is a odorless, smokeless, colorless, tasteless gas, that can cause dizziness, lightheaded, flu-like symptoms, or even death by asphyxiation. Carbon monoxide limits the body’s ability to take in oxygen. This is extremely dangerous, and one of the reason’s why you should maintain a regular maintenance schedule. Performance Based Heating & Air inspects heat exchangers on our fall maintenance’s.