With the cost of repairs being what they are in the Wenatchee Valley we have provided some helpful tips to keep your heating and cooling systems running properly.
As always your heat pump, furnace or air conditioner will last longer if you change the filter and have an authorized service company do annual maintenance on your equipment.
*Heat Pump systems usually have twice a year maintenance due to their year round use.
Should you still need a qualified technician to look at your heating or cooling system, all you need to do is call.
How often should I change my filter?
That depends on the environmental conditions in and around your home. It is also based on whether you have your air handler running all the time or only when it calls for heat or cold. The thickness of the filter also affects the time your filter will last. We recommend at least once a month on 1" filters and 6 months on 4" thick filters. Of course it would be best to actually look at the filter and change it if it is dirty. A dirty filter will cause your system to work harder and have a negative impact on the life of your equipment.
Why do I need to have my equipment serviced every 6 months?
We recommend an annual service unless you own a heat pump. The reason for service is to ensure you keep your units clean and running efficiently. If you don't have the service performed your unit will begin to lose efficiency due to refrigerant loss, dirty evaporator coils and/or outside condenser coils, weakened run capacitors, stuck sequencers, etc. The life of your system will be affected by it's maintenance routine.
What is the best thermostat to use?
The best thermostat depends on what you are trying to achieve with your system. If you install a heat pump and want to balance the use of the heat pump and the auxiliary heat based on outside temperature you need a thermostat that can accommodate an outdoor air sensor. If you have a vacation rental property then you would benefit from a WiFi connected thermostat so you can ensure the vacationers don't set the temperatures too high or low, overworking your system and costing you additional maintenance and repairs.
Do I need to worry about my indoor air quality?
According to the EPA, your are exposed to more pollutants indoors than outdoors. Lennox indoor air quality products handle pollutants, humidity and other issues to improve your health.
What does the air handler/ furnace actually do?
The furnace can provide the heat for your home. The furnace also circulates conditioned air produced by your heat pump or AC equipment throughout your home. In this area a furnace is usually an air handler. We refer to them as furnaces because that is the term most customers are familiar with.
Why should I replace my current system?
You may wish to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient or in need of constant and/or expensive repairs. Today's systems can be as much as 60% more efficient than systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. If your current system was not properly maintained, wear and tear could reduce the true efficiency of your system even further. If you are concerned about utility bills or you are looking at an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system rather than spending another costly year of paying to replace an expensive component and higher utility bills. The utility cost savings of a new unit might even provide an attractive return on your investment. If you plan on financing the purchase, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system not to mention that it might help offset some comfort upgrades.
Why can't I just replace the outside unit?
Although we can, in some cases, just replace the outside unit, the change from R22 refrigerant to R410a has made it necessary at the very least to change out your indoor coil also. In most cases your furnace does not have the room necessary to install the larger coils these R410a systems require. We will always offer you the option of keeping your current furnace, when possible, but we don't recommend it.
How long can I expect a new system to last?
If you have a qualified technician perform the regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, the industry average for a single stage outdoor heat pump is 10 to 13 years. The furnace should last you 15 to 18 years. Air conditioners tend to last longer because they are not run in the winter like a heat pump is. Variable speed furnaces, multi-stage and variable speed heat pumps and AC units can last you even longer depending on how you have us configure it. We always explain the different options for configuring your equipment so that your system is tailored to your needs.
My AC won't come on. Is there anything I can do?
We do not recommend trying to fix your own system and do not warrant the advice that follows. Sometimes you can solve this by cycling your AC unit and air handler by turning off the circuit breakers at the circuit breaker panel. Waiting a few minutes and then turning the AC breaker on first, then the furnace breaker. Sometimes this will solve the problem and save you a service call. If this works but your system fails again then you should still call for service.
My furnace is running but the air is not warm?
This too can sometimes be solved by cycling your system. See the above answer. If this works but your system fails again then you should still call for service.