Common HVAC Questions Answered
Q– Can I tune up my heater during the winter or should I wait until warmer weather?
A– Yes you can! It’s always a good energy saving idea to have the furnace, boiler or heat pump system checked for proper operating efficiency and safety. The manufacturer system warranty insists that the equipment be checked on a yearly basis. Your central air conditioning system, however, must be tuned up during warmer weather so that the system can be run and checked thoroughly.
Q– What can I do, on my own, to keep my heating and air conditioning systems running well?
A– If you have a furnace, change the air filter regularly. Most furnace manufacturers suggest monthly filter replacements or cleaning. If you have a gas or oil-fired hot water boiler you should make sure the water level is at the proper level and that the baseboard radiation or free-standing radiators are filled completely and void of air. With your outside heat pump or air conditioning condensing unit, you should always make sure that there is a minimum of 18 inches of unobstructed space around the unit. Make sure that leaves and broken branches are not inhibiting the fan operation.
Q– My HVAC system is over 15 years old but it seems to be running fine. Should I still consider replacing it?
A– The short answer is YES! New heating and cooling equipment are highly efficient compared to the older systems. In fact, the energy savings achieved with the new replacement system help pay for the installation cost. Think about driving that 15 or 20-year-old car and how much more gasoline it would use compared to a new model. Besides the great energy savings, the homeowner also gets more even temperatures throughout the home with the new system. As an added plus, the value of the home increases and makes it more attractive to a potential buyer.
Q– When I go away in the winter time I want to set my thermostat back to 40 to save money. Is this advisable?
A– No as 40 degrees is too close to the freezing temperature of 32. In case of an electrical outage or other problem with the heater, the home would be in danger of water damage because it would freeze up faster! It is recommended that a setting or 55 to 60 is the best. Besides the freezing danger, your wood finishes, furniture, and musical instruments don’t like the cold. If you are leaving your home for more than a few days you should turn off the cold water feed valve to the hot water heater. More on homeowner vacation tips coming in a future article.
At ServiceMark we pride ourselves on being the local heating, cooling and plumbing experts that have been providing answers and solutions to homeowners throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, and Eastern Maryland for more than 60 years. Have a question for us? Contact us & we’ll get right back to you.
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