General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system?
Look at the label on the equipment for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old, it may have a warranty, but also may not. Warranty terms and conditions vary widely by manufacturer and the installing company. Calverley can determine the warranty status of your heating and cooling system from a basic system inspection.
Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?
The louder the better doesn't necessarily hold true for heating and A/C equipment. Heating and cooling equipment should offer maximum comfort with minimum noise. Fortunately, today's technology has enabled manufacturers to produce air conditioners and heat pumps that are not only highly efficient, but also exceptionally quiet.
Loud heating and cooling equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors. The age of the unit and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes.
Although most heating and cooling systems manufactured today are quieter than ever before, it's a good idea to compare sound ratings when shopping for a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms. Great differences in the sound levels of products on the market today can make all the difference in just how comfortable you can be at home.
What is a Diagnostic fee?
A Diagnostic fee is a flat fee for the cost associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect and provide expert recommendations for a home's heating or air conditioning system.
What is a System Tune-up?
In addition to a system inspection, a System Tune-up also includes a complete cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components.
What's causing my duct work to pop when the furnace starts or stops?
A popping sound is a sign of undersized ducts. Have Calverley analyze your ductwork system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can cause a number of ventilation and air quality problems.
What should I know about changes in refrigerants?
To protect our environment, numerous changes have taken place with refrigerants used in air conditioning and heat pump systems. These changes are having and will continue to have a significant impact on the air conditioning industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants. These changes will eventually eliminate air conditioning and heat pump refrigerants containing chlorine because of the concern about depletion of the ozone layer.
Providing products that protect the environment and providing consumers with a total home comfort solution have been and will continue to be our priority. Products that use the environmentally friendlier R410A refrigerant are win-win solutions for consumers wanting high-efficiency products that are less taxing on our environment.
Although the government has begun phasing out a commonly used refrigerant, consumers who have cooling systems that use this product should not worry. The HCFC family of refrigerants, which include R22, will still be available for many years. Sufficient quantities of R22 refrigerant will continue to be produced until the year 2020. After 2020, recycled refrigerants should be available for many more years.
When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
The answer is most likely yes, here's why.
Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. The result of this matched system is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may "work" with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically designed; however, the result is a definite compromise in system performance.
Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone numerous design advances, especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also include the latest design advances.
Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may result in improved efficiency compared to the old system, it will not be as efficient as it was designed to be and your savings will be lower than with a matched system.
Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit is 10 years old and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of wear and tear. Replacing both units means you won't have to replace the indoor unit in a short time...you'll have years of service from both units.
New Warranty: A new unit also gives you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit at the same time as the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing the new warranty covers the entire system.
A Bargain: At first glance, replacing only an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit may appear to be a bargain. But when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it's not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system costs more, but you get more efficiency, reliability and comfort.
Why don't you charge by the hour?
Similar to value menus at fast food restaurants, charging a flat rate for the repairs provides more value for our customers because the pricing is up-front and does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to make the repair, the flat rate price will not change.
Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?
You probably wouldn't buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises. Likewise, it is important to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a Calverley technician. If not maintained properly and routinely, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could cause problems and become less 'fuel' efficient.
Why is my HVAC system freezing up?
There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up, most of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician.
Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you can check or handle yourself.
Low refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced.
Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. You will need to contact Calverley to correct the problem.
Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you will need to contact Calverley to correct the problem.
Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact us to correct the problem.
What is a Zoning System for HVAC?
Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas and makes your comfort equipment cool or heat only areas that need conditioning. For example, a living room with large windows may stay too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. A zoning system will send more conditioned air to the living room to make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows.
Why zone? Today's families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Maybe you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, zoning can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.
When should I install zoning? If you are replacing your HVAC system, it is an excellent time to install a zoning system. When you new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, you will have precise control in each zone. Houses that had been nearly impossible to keep comfortable are a thing of the past. Zoning is also excellent for new homes since it is installed during construction. If you are buying a new home, check with your builder about a zoning system. It could make the difference between just enjoying your new house and being truly comfortable in it.Q: I've always had an electric furnace, but I'm considering replacing it with a new gas furnace. Are they safe? Are they efficient?
If I smell gas, what should I do?
If a gas odor is noted inside the home, the following steps are recommended: NOTE: All phone calls should be made from outside the home. Do not use the phone inside the home or turn any power or light switches off or on during this time. Then contact 1) the local Fire department (911). 2) Your Gas Company or the local gas supplier. 3) a local heating contractor.
I've had a gas furnace for multiple years. It is running fine, but now I have headaches after being in my home for short periods of time. What should I do?
Contact one of the 3 agencies listed above. A service call may reveal a furnace problem needing correction. The single biggest concern is possible carbon monoxide exposure. Fire departments, gas suppliers, and heating contractors should all be able to use testing instruments to verify this problem. Provide an opening (crack open a window or door) to provide fresh air inside the home while waiting for this testing to be done.
How does the furnace type affect the 'feel' of the air blowing from the vents?
All fossil fuel-type furnaces (i.e. gas, oil, coal) produce the warmest air coming out of the registers. Fossil fuel furnaces are more comfortable than heat pumps.
Which fuel type is the least expensive to operate?
This is something that is constantly changing. Propane and Oil fuel pricing are not regulated by the government so they fluctuate by market supply and demands. Electricity and Natural Gas are regulated by the Public Utility Commission, so those prices are more stable. A dual-fuel system (i.e. natural gas and a heat pump, oil and a heat pump, propane and a heat pump) is recommended so you are not dependent upon one fuel source establishing your cost of operation.
What fuel type is the least comfortable?
A heat pump is the least comfortable due to the tepid temperature of the air. The temperature of the air changes about 20 degrees coming out of the registers. If you have your thermostat set at 73 F, in the winter the air coming out of the registers will be about 93 F. Since your body temperature is about 98 F, this air will feel cool. A home heated with a heat pump will often need a humidifier to feel warm in the winter.
What are the benefits to installing a humidifier?
Winter brings very dry air into our homes that may cause discomfort for you and your family, including dry skin, watery eyes and itchy throats. Worse, dry air will irritate the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat and nasal passages. This can lead to nose bleeds, an increase in colds, and other respiratory infections. It also will cause your wood floors, furniture, plaster and paint to dry out, crack and peel.
A home humidifier will greatly improve the comfort of a home during the winter months and will reduce health problems. The extra moisture will make the house feel warmer so the thermostat can be lowered, which will save on heating bills. A good humidifier will pay for itself with increased comfort, lower energy bills and fewer illnesses.
How does an air conditioner work?
Air conditioning systems cool your home by moving excessive indoor heat to outside your home where it is dispersed into the air. Air condition will also lower home humidity to further improve your comfort.
Household air is drawn down the return-air ducts to your furnace where it passes over a cold evaporator coil. The heat from the household air naturally moves to the cold coil and is then transported in refrigerant lines to the condenser unit outside. The fan in that unit pulls air through the hot condenser coil to dissipate the excess heat into the outdoor air.