Frequently Asked Questions
HVAC Expertise Central Valley is THE heating and air conditioning authority in the Central Valley. Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about heating and cooling equipment, energy efficiency, air quality and maintenance below.
- High-Efficiency UnitsQuestion: I’ve lived in this house since it was built new 18 years ago. The last HVAC tech, who came in, said the system would soon need replacement. So I’ve looked into the matter. From what I can tell, it’s significantly more expensive to buy a system that is a lot more energy-efficient in heating and cooling than the standard systems. Why on earth should I consider spending substantially more for the high-efficiency units?
Answer: The difference in energy savings between a 10 SEER air conditioner—the lowest efficiency available—and a 13 SEER is 30 percent. Typically, the installer or the local serving utility can calculate your annual energy savings and you can then make a purchase decision based on, if desired, the simple savings you will realize for as long as you plan to be in the home.
You may also want to consider the environmental benefits inherent in energy efficient equipment or the fact that some manufacturers of higher efficiency equipment provide other incentives, such as a more comprehensive warranty, quieter operation, better humidity control, and other features, or that some utilities provide rebates for the installation of certain higher efficiency equipment.
Don’t too quickly overlook all the benefits of energy efficiency by focusing only on the system’s first cost—think long term or life cycle, as they say in the building trade.
- Why should I replace my existing heating or air conditioning system?
You may wish to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient or in need of repair. Today’s systems are as much as 60% more efficient than those systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. In addition, if not properly maintained, wear and tear on a system can reduce the actual or realized efficiency of the system. If you are concerned about utility bills or are faced with an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system rather than enduring another costly season or paying to replace an expensive component. The utility cost savings of a new unit may provide an attractive return on your investment. If you plan on financing the purchase, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system. The offsetting savings may permit you to purchase a more efficient system.
- How do I select the right heating/cooling system?
First, make sure the unit is properly sized. We will provide a load calculation for your home. Also ask our technician to provide an energy analysis to determine operating cost. Next, consider any comfort issues in the home. Some products can reduce air stratification and uneven temperatures from room to room. If you have allergies, an indoor unit with an ECM motor will allow you to circulate the air in your home continuously while filtering the air for about the same cost as operating a standard light bulb. Finally, know your budget parameters and the efficiency of the system being proposed. Does the system offer a payback? In other words, will the monthly savings over time offset the cost of the new unit or efficiency option being considered?
- Should I get my air ducts cleaned?
Cleaning your air ducts may be beneficial in improving your indoor air quality. A premium whole house duct cleaning will help decrease the spread of contaminates in your home. If your home was recently built cleaning the ductwork can get rid of drywall dust, sawdust and other debris from the construction process.
- How important is an air filter in my heating and cooling system?
It’s a fact: the trapped air we breathe in our homes can be loaded with dust, pollen, plant spores, and other pollutant particles. In many cases, it’s worse than the air outside.
- Should I schedule an annual maintenance inspection for my heating and cooling system
One of the reasons to have bi-annual maintenance inspections (Spring & Fall) for your heating and cooling system is to insure that it is performing at maximum efficiency, which directly affects your monthly utility bills. You also want to make sure your equipment is functioning correctly and catch any problems before they become major expenses.
Regular maintenance will pay for itself in lower repair costs. Lastly, you want to make sure that your heating and cooling system is functioning properly to avoid any problems that could lead to danger to your home or family, i.e. loose electrical connections or holes in your system’s heat exchanger that could leak carbon monoxide.
- How expensive are air conditioning and heat pump systems?
Many factors affect the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, the type and condition of the ductwork installed and accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs, including your financial ones! We are happy to assist you in finding the right system to meet not only your comfort needs but also your household budget.
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