Your Common HVAC Questions
Heating & Cooling FAQ
Absolute Comfort Control Services has put together a list of common questions they receive from their customers.
Will you service my equipment even if you didn't install it?
Yes, we service all makes and models of furnaces, air conditioners, boilers, ductless heat pumps, hot water tanks… all of your home’s heating and cooling equipment.
Has your company been around for a long time?
Our company has been around for over 15 years. The owner has been in the industry for over 30 years. We have over 300 5-star Google reviews online and have served thousands of customers. We are very proud of the reputation we have built.
Is your company locally owned?
Yes, we are not only locally owned we are also a family ran company! Our employees live in your community and could be one of your neighbours. We are involved in the community and unlike a “one-size-fits-all” franchise, we know the unique challenges and opportunities of owning a home in the Windsor/Essex area and that knowledge has been factored into the service we are providing you.
Will closing some registers increase my heating/cooling efficiency?
No. Your system is designed to deliver a set amount of air. Closing some registers can make that impossible and will actually shorten the life of the furnace and air conditioner.
How do I determine the size of the equipment I need for my home?
The only reliable way to determine the proper equipment size is to have a Heat Load/Heat Gain Calculation performed. This calculation takes into consideration many factors like the square footage of the home, insulation values, and the number of windows in the home that would affect what size of equipment should be installed in your home. Using any other sizing method is simply just guessing.
How do I know when my Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector needs to be replaced?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) plug-in detectors have a limited lifespan – 10 years and some are fewer than five years if you purchased your detector from somewhere else. Many people think they can just plug in their CO detector and forget it. What’s important is that all detectors eventually lose their sensory capabilities and must be replaced. If your CO detector is up there in age, it’s best to replace it. You can also test the detector using a CO test kit available at many retailers.
How often should I change my air filter?
Your air filter should be changed on a regular basis but will depend on the specific filter you have. For example, a 1″ thick filter should be changed every 1 to 2 months and a 5″ thick filter every 6 to 12 months. Other factors can change how often you change your filters like if you have pets in the home. Their hair will plug up a filter quicker than non-pet owner’s homes. Dirty filters create a restriction in your system and can cause a premature system failure. If you have a washable filter, make sure it’s completely dry before reinstalling it.
Tip: If you can still see light through a filter it is still generally good to use if you cannot see light through your filter it needs to be changed.
Will I save money by turning my furnace or heat pump down at night?
Contrary to what you might think, the correct answer is actually no! The most cost-effective way to heat your home during the winter is by keeping your thermostat set at one temperature and leaving it there. That way, your furnace doesn’t have to “work too hard” to get your temperature back up when you return home.
Why are humidifiers used more in heating than cooling?
When cool outdoor air enters a home it tends to dry out as it warms up, which increases the static electricity in the home and causes sinus problems. Adding a humidifier will help to add moisture back into the air and limit sinus problems. In the summer, even with outdoor relative humidity hovering around the single digits, the humidity in your home tends to be around 40%. The average comfort range for relative humidity in a home is from 35 – 45%.
If I go away during the winter, what temperature should I set my thermostat at?
We recommend 55 degrees. It’s low enough to save you energy and money but warm enough to protect your pipes and other vital parts of your structure. Also, it’s a good idea to turn your main water supply off even if you’re only going to be gone for a day. A water leak could cause serious and very costly damage to your home.
What is a modulating or two-stage furnace?
Modulating Furnace: Most furnaces are either off (providing no heat) or on (at full capacity) with the burner and blower operating at 100%. This causes the temperature in your house to go up and down by several degrees – affecting both your comfort and your energy bills. Furnaces are designed to keep your home warm on the coldest of days. But in most cases, those days account for only 2.5 percent of the heating season. The rest of the time, your furnace is providing more heat than is needed to satisfy your comfort requirements. Modulating furnaces solve this problem by “modulating” between different capacities (40-100%), depending on the comfort requirements of the homeowner and the temperature outside. This results in lower operating costs, quieter operation, and more even temperatures throughout the home. It’s like having a separate furnace to handle the unique heating requirements of each day – all in one unit!
Two-Stage Furnace: A two-stage furnace has the same concept in mind as a modulating furnace. The difference lies in the fact that while a modulating furnace can operate at any capacity between 40% and 100%, a two-stage furnace operates on a low-stage and a high-stage. The low and high stages have preset BTU outputs. On most days, the furnace will operate at its first stage to only provide the heat you need to stay comfortable. On those very coldest days of the year, this furnace will ramp up to its second stage and give the full BTU output of the furnace to keep satisfying the heating requirements of the home. It is basically like having two furnaces in one – one for the warmer days and one for the very coldest.
What is a variable speed furnace or air handler?
The term “variable speed” refers to the blower motor inside your furnace or air handler. The motor moves at different speeds to control the amount of air being blown through the ductwork. Variable speed has many benefits such as increased air conditioning efficiency, better air quality, dehumidification, and increased comfort.
What is a S.E.E.R. rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and what does it mean to you?
S.E.E.R. stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, the standard measurement of air conditioning efficiency. What does this mean to you? Higher S.E.E.R. ratings translate into greater energy efficiency which means lower summer cooling bills. The most important thing to remember is the higher the S.E.E.R. rating, the more money you save. If your current air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old, it could be operating at lower than 8.00 S.E.E.R. Compare the estimated annual bill of an 8.00 S.E.E.R. system to that of a higher S.E.E.R., such as a 13.00 or higher. For instance, if the annual cooling bill of an 8.00 S.E.E.R. system in a particular area is $1,000, it would cost only $730 for a 13.00 S.E.E.R. system to operate at the same capacity in the same area. This is an annual savings of 27%.
How does an air conditioning system actually work to cool the air in my home?
An air conditioning system consists of 2 parts: an outdoor unit (where liquid refrigerant is contained) and an indoor coil (where the refrigerant is pumped into). As the air moves across the air conditioning coil (usually located on top of the furnace), the refrigerant removes the heat from the air as well as the moisture by condensing it on the cold surface of the coil. In this way, an air conditioner not only cools but also dehumidifies the air. Virtually any system can have air conditioning hooked up to it provided that it is a forced-air system. In cases where there is no forced air heating or a duct system, “ductless” air conditioning systems are used to cool an entire home or small business.
Should I cover my outdoor air conditioning unit during the cold winter months?
The one thing you should do is cover the top of the condensing unit (with a piece of plywood with something to hold it down) so that no debris can get in. We recommend putting some sort of a hardcover over at least the top of the unit to also protect against damage from falling ice, etc. A specially made cover is a good idea but it is not absolutely essential. A cover will also protect the finish and guard against rodents making the unit their winter home. Any cover, however, must be removed before the start of operations the following Spring.
What can I do to keep my air conditioner in good working condition?
- Keep the outdoor unit free from debris and plants.
- Schedule annual maintenance to catch small issues before they become more costly repairs. It can also keep your air conditioner running more efficiently.
- During the winter months, we recommend you use something to cover the top of your air conditioner or you can buy a cover from us.
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