How often do I need to change my freon?
The short answer to this question is never. A properly sealed and maintained cooling system should not lose any refrigerant, nor does it wear out through normal use. If contaminants get in through leaks, poor service techniques or compressor failures the old gas can be recycled and replaced. Otherwise it should last for the life of your equipment.
How often should I change my air filter?
This depends on a number of factors including how much your fan runs, how clean your ducts are and the presence of pets or long hair in the home. KDB HVAC recommends changing your filter a minimum of 3 times a year – once during your heating startup, once during your cooling startup and once in the middle of summer. This is because air conditioning is much more particular about proper airflow than a heating system. Regardless, check your filter frequently and change it as often as necessary to keep your air clean and your mechanical system running their best.
Where is my air filter and can I change it myself?
It is usually located in one side of your furnace behind a small panel. The panels usually open by either lifting straight up or by loosening off a small thumb screw. Most home owners should be capable of changing a filter with ease, just make sure to check the arrow on the filter to ensure it is put in the right way. Always point the arrow at the furnace and you will be fine. Ask your KDB heating and cooling pro for help during your PM service if you are unsure.
Why is the second floor always warmer than the first floor and basement?
This is mostly due to the fact that hot air rises and cold air falls, causing the coolest air to settle in the lowest part of the house and the warmest air to remain in the highest parts. There are some steps to improve this. Ensure all vents are open and free of furniture and other debris. Don't forget to check the return air vents as well. Keep windows closed and use blinds in the summer to keep unwanted heat out. Running the fan more will help move air around and blend the cool areas with warmer ones to make for a more even temperature.
What does HVAC mean?
What is a S.E.E.R. Rating?
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and is a calculated number to give an idea of the efficiency of one unit against another. 13 SEER units are very basic, but still utilize many newer technologies including scroll compressors and and aluminum coils. Higher SEER equipment has larger coils, variable speed fans and multi-stage compressors to reduce the electrical use to the minimum required for your needs.
Do I need a high efficiency furnace?
All furnaces available today are considered high efficiency. A simple check is to look at the vent pipe going outside of your current unit. If it is a steel pipe going up through the roof you probably have an older mid-efficient furnace. While there are many of these still working great when the time to replace it comes around you will have to upgrade to more modern equipment. If the vent is plastic and going through the side wall (or occasionally plastic and through the roof) you most likely already have a high efficient model. Furnaces are being made with many more options than ever before, including two-stage gas valves, high efficient ECM fan motors, communicating circuit boards and heat pump interlocks. When it is time for a new furnace we will work with you one on one to go over the options and choose the best equipment to suit your needs.
What is a heat exchanger and why does it need to be checked?
A heat exchanger is a series of tubes and fins that separates the flames and exhaust from the air circulated through our homes. Even a small crack will allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas into the air we breath. Regular maintenance and inspections can find these problems while they are small and relatively harmless. Left unchecked CO can cause great harm.
What temperature should the thermostat be set at?
This is a tricky one based on time of year and personal comfort. Summertime most people are comfortable between 71 and 75F (21.5-24C) In the winter we usually bundle up a little and can set it a bit cooler 68-73 (20-23.5)C but it is mainly a question of comfort. At any point your cooling setpoint should never be below 68F (20C) to prevent unnecessary freeze ups and loss of cooling.
How often should I have my furnace and air conditioner serviced?
Most manufacturers recommend (and often base warranties on) having each piece of equipment serviced once a year. KDB HVAC offers Spring and Fall maintenance packages to ensure your heating and cooling equipment is clean, safe and running at it's best.