Frequently Asked Questions
Heating & Cooling FAQs
It’s our goal at Sig Cox Heating & Air Conditioning to provide upfront and honest service. That’s why we’ve provided the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
A:Once you’ve settled into your home or office and are satisfied with your HVAC system, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your system continues to run smoothly.
Some of the best tips that we’ve come up with over the years are as follows:
- You should keep your HVAC filter fresh by changing it regularly. Depending on the type of air filter you use, you should change it every one to three months. If you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollution, you may need to change it more.
- Cleanliness is important. It’s even more important for the outdoor portion of your unit. For any component outdoors, clean away as much dirt and debris as possible, and trim everything around the unit at least two feet back.
- If you want to save energy (and money), choose a programmable thermostat. Any time you aren’t actively using your HVAC system—whether it’s because you’re sleeping or away from your home—you can allow the temperature to rise or fall depending on the season. If you allow to rise (summer) or fall (winter) by ten degrees for eight hours, you can cut energy costs by as much as 5%-15%.
- Although you can handle basic maintenance on your own, you should have your HVAC unit serviced by a licensed professional at least one time per year. They can perform more complex tasks like checking combustion in gas and ensuring there are no leaks in your system.
- If you’re thinking about installing a new HVAC system, ask your HVAC professional to perform Manual J calculations. These calculations ensure that you have the correct system installed in your home or business. If your system is too large or too small, it leads to several complications.
- Always install carbon monoxide detectors to ensure you and your family’s safety.
- If you use electricity to heat and cool your home, consider the geothermal option. While these systems cost a little bit more up front, you save money in the long run. They last longer, run more quietly, and use less energy.
A: A traditional HVAC system is typically made up of four parts: the furnace, the ventilation ductwork, the air conditioning unit, and the thermostat.
The thermostat is the element that helps you control the temperature of your home or business. When talking with a professional in the HVAC business, you want to hear them using the term “indoor air quality” (IAQ). Since a poorly installed HVAC system can cause a lot of problems, you want your professional to be concerned about the air quality to ensure the health of you and other occupants of the building.
ASHRAE, formally known as American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, considers a building to be suitable if at least 80% of its occupants don’t experience discomfort.
A: It’s important for you to have a good idea of what the different elements of an HVAC system are, what they do, and where they are located. A majority of people these days use a central HVAC system that heats and cools and their homes.
These central units are often called “split” systems. The reason for this is that the entire unit is not outside the home. Some components of the system are located inside, while others are located outside. Inside, you’ll typically find the furnace and evaporator portion of the air conditioner (usually in the basement, attic, or a closet). You’ll also find the blower indoors as well. Attached to the blower are the ducts that carry your cool or warm air throughout your home. When you look outside of your home, you’ll find the compressor and condenser for your unit. These are mounted inside a metal cabinet and feature a large fan.
One of the main alternatives to the split system is what is called a packaged system. In a packaged system, the components of your HVAC system are not split between indoors and outdoors. Instead, all of the components are packaged together into one unit that is found outside the home. These units are suitable for people who want to use as much space as possible inside their home.
A: This depends on the condition, age, and repair estimate of your existing unit. If the cost of repairing your air conditioning system is high ($500 or more) and/or the unit is over 12 years old, you may need to consider replacing it entirely. A new air conditioning unit will be more efficient and reliable, reducing your utility bills. We provide service warranties to cover future repairs.
A: Sure! You can perform the basic maintenance of your HVAC unit on your own even with some online DIY guides. However, repairing air conditioning units is a sensitive job and should only be done by professionals. Attempting to fix your air conditioning unit could lead to breaking other components.
A: Normally, your HVAC unit will maintain the temperature of your home at a set point on your thermostat. If your set point is 74 degrees, but your thermometer reading varies by +/- 3 degrees or more, the unit may be malfunctioning. Check for abnormal sounds (clicking, banging, popping, squeaking, etc.) both at the condenser and the furnace.
Even if the unit is maintaining the indoor temperature of your home, a dirty furnace fan wheel or clogged air filter causes extra-long cycle times and weak air flow which can eventually damage the system – costing you more money in your energy bill and potentially harming your health.
It’s important to shut down the system and schedule repair if you notice your HVAC unit is not working properly. Continued operation can result in costly damages, increasing the cost of repairs.
A: Installation of a central air conditioning unit varies with the brand and fluctuates some with the market, though most equipment and their installations cost between $3,000 to $7,000. Always ensure that there are no restricted air flows within your HVAC system. Three common culprits of air flow restriction are dirt, dust, and debris. It’s crucial for both outdoor and indoor units that all filters are cleaned regularly.
In addition, the coils and heat exchanges must remain clean and clear of any blockages or restrictions. It’s strongly suggested to have your system serviced by a professional twice yearly.
A: Maintenance of your air conditioning system should be done at least twice a year. During the beginning of spring and about 6 months later. This will ensure that your heating and air conditioning system is prepared to operate efficiently during the summer months. Proper care of your HVAC system will also allow you time to tend to any potential issues with your heat and cooling unit.
A: Changing your air filters regularly is the number one way you can maintain your HVAC system. The air filter is responsible for filtering out dust, pollen, and other particles to maintain high air quality inside the home. Also, when your filter is clogged the blower motor has to work harder to draw the air from your home. A system that’s straining to cool the house means higher energy costs for the homeowner and more wear and tear on the system. This will eventually lead to thousands of dollars in preventable repairs or an early system replacement.
A: If your system utilizes disposable filters, it’s best to replace them each month. Washable filters also require cleaning each month. These monthly maintenance checks will ensure that your system operates at maximum efficiency. We recommend our AC maintenance service plan where our techs inspect and clean your system twice a year. Part of this service includes servicing the filters. These routine maintenance checks will keep your HVAC system operating smoothly year-round.
A: Installation of a central air conditioning unit varies with the brand and fluctuates some with the market, though most equipment and their installations cost between $3,000 and $7,000.
A: Homeowners have many options for air conditioning equipment. The most common type of equipment is a central air system, but some homes require other types of HVAC equipment like ductless mini-split systems or window units.
A: We do not recommend you attempt to install an HVAC unit yourself. To conduct an installation safely, special tools, training and education are necessary. A professional installer will guarantee the quality of the job. If you’re not careful, you can damage the equipment and injure yourself.
A: A standard installation can usually take between 4 and 10 hours. The complete air conditioner and furnace system installation project ranges from 8 to 14 hours. We aim to complete entire installations in one day.
A: You should have maintenance inspections scheduled, from which your service provider may recommend a replacement. If you notice any strange noises, smells, or the unit simply doesn’t heat or cool as efficiently as it used to, these may be red flags that you need a replacement unit. If your system is over 12 years old, it’s usually time to think about a replacement.
A: The process begins with your furnace, which creates combustion gas. From there, this gas is funneled into a heat exchanger. The unit then takes the air from your home into the exchanger and warms it using the combustion gas. Finally, the air is expelled from the unit to warm your home or office.
A: Heating is vital to ensure the comfort of your family, employees, co-workers, or anyone else. A working, well-maintained heating unit will also help prevent unhealthy mold buildup caused by winter moisture. Especially with children, excessive exposure to cold temperatures can lead to an unnaturally high blood pressure and heart rate, which could cause many health problems.
A: When your heating unit is operating, be sure to check that all of your windows, doors are closed. Especially your fireplace vent. You can always try lowering the temperature on your thermostat by a degree or two. The slight drop won’t be too noticeable, and it will benefit your wallet in the long run. If you plan to go on vacation for more than a few days, you could even shut the heater off completely. You’ll also want to make sure the vents are clear of any dust buildup that might prevent heat from blowing out.
A: If you’re in the market for a new heating system, it’s important to get one that correlates directly with the size of your home or office. If your unit is too small, it will strain itself trying to heat the whole building. If it’s too large, its cycles will be shorter and more frequent, raising your heating bills. Let us help you choose the right unit today.
A: Many heating unit dilemmas are the result of dirty filters. Over time, these filters become clogged, which lead to airflow issues throughout the home. Change your filter every 1-3 months. Sometimes dust particles get trapped deep inside the HVAC system; having routine unit maintenance should include deep cleaning of the vents and furnace coils. Another issue is the common wear and tear of the heating system over time. A typical unit will last 10-20 years. If your device is nearing that range, you may need to consider a replacement model.
A: Although the answer is up to each person’s preferences, a good range to go by is 65-70 degrees in the winter. However, this is only for when you are inside of your home or office. When nobody’s around, lower the temperature by 10-15 degrees. It won’t impact anyone, and it’ll reduce your heating bill. When you get back, it (hopefully) won’t take too long to get back up to 70 degrees.
Commercial HVAC FAQs
A: The cost varies depending on your requirements. Call us today to discuss your HVAC problems and we will be able to give you a quote and schedule a visit.
A: Businesses all over the world are increasingly turning to energy management systems to reduce the cost of heating and cooling their workplace. According to some estimates, over 35% of all US buildings with a surface area bigger than 100,000 square feet use energy management systems. This helps them save a tremendous amount of money on heating and cooling expenses. Even relatively smaller businesses operating from a medium-sized building can benefit from energy management systems. Simply put, an energy management system allows you to centralize all your energy-related decisions. Centralized timers and sensors are used to better control all heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. A typical energy management system has one terminal to tell you how much energy is being consumed at any point of time and where you could avoid wasting energy. The best part – you can access all these info from any computer using a secure web login.
A: A commercial HVAC system requires hefty investment sizing up to several thousands of dollars. Once you spend that kind of money, you can definitely expect your equipment to last as long as possible. The lifespan of a commercial HVAC varies depending on the brand and specs of the layout. However, on average, a well-maintained commercial A/C unit can last up to 10-15 years with the furnace, heat pump, boiler, etc. lasting anywhere between 15 and 20 years.
A: If your HVAC unit is more than 5-7 years old and needed excessive repairs in the past couple of years, but with little or no improvement to show for, you should consider replacing it. Even if you could somehow manage with the older unit by fixing the wear and tear from time to time, we don’t recommend it. Because, the older an HVAC system, the lesser its energy efficiency. Rather than spending on unnecessary expenses, such as higher-than-normal utility bills and repair charges, it is in the best interest of your company to put that money into a new system.
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