At Over The Moon, we support our customers in any way possible. We receive many inquiries throughout the day and aim to educate our clientele, so they understand what we do and can make informed decisions. These are HVAC questions we often hear, along with helpful answers.
The Most Common HVAC Questions
Why Is HVAC System Sizing So Important?
If oversized, the unit will cycle on and off too quickly, using more energy. An undersized unit will struggle to keep you comfortable on a hot day. When properly sized, temperature/humidity control, operating life, and efficiency are maximized.
What Are Other Factors to Consider When Buying a New System?
The condenser unit should be in a cool, shaded place. Look for areas around your home not in direct sunlight. To ensure proper air flow, leave four feet of clearance on top. Also, compare prices, but don’t be tempted by the lowest bid. Using cooling load calculations can pay off in the long run.
When Does My Furnace Need to Be Replaced?
If the heat exchanger or control module has failed, or the furnace is over 10 years old, we may recommend replacing it. This can save on energy costs, result in steadier heat, and provide an environmentally friendly, safer solution for your home.
Does Furnace Size Matter?
While too small a furnace won’t provide enough warmth, too big a unit will cycle too frequently. This will increase wear, generate noise, and waste energy. Temperatures around your home may vary considerably as well.
What Is the Best Furnace Fuel Source?
It depends on your existing supply and what is available. Natural gas is the most efficient and comes from your utility lines. Propane and oil are stored in tanks. An electric furnace operates off utility power, but is typically the most expensive to operate.
How Can My Heater Last Longer?
Check the air filters monthly and clean or replace them when dirty. Keep registers clear and replace them if damaged. Have dirty, damaged, or leaky ducts, as well as undersized and poorly designed ones, serviced. Installing programmable thermostats allows better control over comfort and costs. Annual maintenance can increase longevity; it lets our technicians catch and fix small problems before they get bigger.
What Does Annual Furnace Maintenance Entail?
During annual maintenance, we clean or replace filters, check the combustion chamber for soot and clean it, and inspect for holes and corrosion. We also look for cracks in the heat exchanger, test combustion, and measure the fuel and air balance. Igniter tubes are vacuumed clean, and we look for corrosion in the exhaust flue pipe, which can increase the risk of carbon monoxide.
How Often Do I Need Maintenance?
Your HVAC system should be serviced at least once a year. Regular service helps it run smoothly and efficiently; the AC and furnace may require fewer repairs and last longer. Neglecting or delaying maintenance can lead to expensive repairs and inconvenient breakdowns.
What Are the Primary AC Warning Signs?
Top warning signs include an overflowing drain pan, an AC that runs, but doesn’t cool, and increased cooling time. If the system starts and stops too frequently, it won’t stop, or makes excessive noise, call for service. Have your ductwork checked if the return vent doesn’t hold a piece of paper when the unit is running.
When Is It Time to Replace My AC?
Your air conditioner may need replacement if it uses older R-22 coolant, your energy bills are increasing, or there’s uneven cooling in your home. If your warranty has expired, consider replacement to avoid paying for expensive repairs. Replacement can also impact the sale price if selling your home within two years.
Why Does My AC Keep Freezing Up?
Impeded air flow is a common cause of freezing. It can be caused by frozen water condensation on the coil, dirty filters, or blocked or closed vents. Faulty fans and thermostats, low refrigerant, and cold weather (especially if nighttime temperatures often drop below 60℉) can lead to freezing as well.
When Should I Change an HVAC Air Filter?
We see this HVAC question often. A cheaper, disposable filter should be changed monthly. However, pleated or poly filters can last for up to 90 days without a problem. Some higher end media filters can be used even longer.
Will a Bigger AC Cool My Home Faster?
While a bigger AC will cool your home faster, it won’t do so as efficiently. It will short cycle and won’t eliminate humidity well, as it’ll turn off before enough air reaches the indoor coil to drain water. Mold and mildew growth may result.
What Is the Best Thermostat Setting?
To find a balance between comfort and energy efficiency, we suggest maintaining an indoor temperature of 68° in the winter and 78° in the summer. However, other factors, such as the condition of ductwork and filters, ceiling fans, and insulation, can impact efficiency as well.
How Long Should My HVAC System Last?
Generally about 10 to 15 years. At about 10 years, efficiency and performance may decline. A replacement can save you money, so it’s important to assess how your AC is doing. Newer units are built to be more efficient, and often have 10-year warranties, so these are some things to consider.
Are All Air Filters the Same?
HVAC air filters come in many forms. Some meet just minimal requirements. High-efficiency MERV-rated and HEPA filters can remove extremely small particles. Pleated filters increase the surface area to improve filtration. Other options include electronic air cleaners and UV germicidal lights.
Why Should I Worry About Indoor Air Quality?
This is one of the most important HVAC questions. Indoor air pollution isn’t only about allergens and germs. Indoor air can contain high concentrations of gases and volatile organic chemicals from cleaning products, paints and solvents, carpeting, upholstered furniture, and not to mention gas appliances. Cigarette smoke, pesticides, and fumes from garages don’t help.
Air pollution in your home can lead to respiratory impairments and diseases, heart disease, and cancer. More immediate effects can include eye/nose/throat irritation, headache, dizziness, and fatigue, which can impact your comfort and well-being.
How Do I Improve the Air Quality in My Home?
Cleaning and vacuuming your home, washing bed linens, and using fume-producing products only when necessary can eliminate/reduce contamination. Improving ventilation can help a great deal. High-efficiency air filters, germicidal lights, and air purification systems are also effective.
Why Is Duct Cleaning Important?
The team at Over the Moon provides cleaning services for air ducts, registers, grilles, and diffusers, where dust, dander, pollen, mold, and other irritants and pathogens can build up. We’ll even clean coils, heat exchangers, fan motors, etc. Professional duct cleaning can improve indoor air quality, reduce the strain on your HVAC system, and improve comfort and efficiency.
What Are the Best Ways to Improve Efficiency?
Installing a newer, more efficient HVAC unit, setting your thermostat higher in summer/cooler in winter, and not closing/blocking vents improves efficiency. Ceiling fans maintain comfort even if you raise the thermostat setting a few degrees (by reversing them in winter, they can help heat your home). Annual maintenance keeps your system running efficiently as well.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
A heat pump moves heat from outside (even if it’s relatively chilly) into your home, rather than create it (which requires a lot more energy). It can also transport heat away from your home. If the unit doesn’t achieve the desired temperature level, it can be combined with a gas furnace or electric heater.
What Is a Variable-Speed Fan?
A single-speed fan only allows your HVAC to turn on and off. With a variable-speed fan, it can run at lower or higher speeds when necessary, depending on temperature and humidity levels. Variable speed systems provide more reliable comfort, even temperature distribution, and quiet performance.
Is a Dual-Fuel System More Efficient?
A dual-fuel system uses a heat pump, indoor coil, and gas furnace that’s used only as a backup when temperatures fall too low for the heat pump to be effective. Depending on your home, this can save a lot of energy.
How Do I Protect My AC in the Winter?
Covering an outdoor compressor or heat pump with a short cover can protect it from debris. Be cautious as covering the entire unit can trap moisture and restrict airflow.
Why Should I Consider Zoning My Home?
Zoning lets you separate areas of your home and the condition more heavily used spaces. When properly designed, it improves comfort, efficiency, and control. Your HVAC system may perform more quietly as well.
How Does a Humidifier Work?
A humidifier adds moisture to the air, making it more comfortable and easier to breathe, reducing static electricity, and preventing wood damage. This is especially useful in the winter. A whole-house humidifier provides adequate moisture for every room, so a portable device isn’t needed.
How Do I Improve Home Ventilation?
Turning on ceiling fans and opening windows can help, but may waste energy and introduce allergens. Other options include an energy-recovery ventilation system that moves stale air outside. Creating an additional source of ventilation can improve efficiency. We can evaluate your home and help decide on the best solution.
What Can I Do About Odors in My House?
Air fresheners and candles only mask odors. To completely eliminate them, improve ventilation, install an air purification system, and use germicidal UV lights. Carbon canisters for HEPA systems work as well.
Why Should I Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Carbon monoxide (CO) prevents red blood cells from transporting oxygen throughout the body. It can cause flu-like symptoms, unconsciousness, and death. A carbon monoxide detector alerts you of a problem, like a smoke detector does, so you can get to safety and take action. High CO levels can be due to a furnace or other equipment problem.
Contact Over the Moon
We hope these HVAC questions and answers have helped. If you have additional HVAC questions, suspect an AC or heating issue, or want to schedule maintenance, reach out to us online or call 262-218-2860 today.