Heating And Cooling FAQ

Q: How does a heat pump work?

This is one of the most common questions we get. The answer is better shown than described, so check out this excellent Youtube video to get a good grasp of how a heat pump actually works.

Q: Are air filters really that important?

A: Air filters are very important; in fact, they’re far and away the top reason we get called in for service. Dirty filters restrict the air flow through the duct work and make the system work much harder, like driving a car with one foot on the brake and one on the gas. This will not only raise your energy bill, but may also damage your unit beyond repair. We can’t count the number of heat pumps we’ve replaced because the filter didn’t get changed often enough.

You should change your air filter every ninety days – that’s just four times a year, and it could save you thousands in energy bills and costs for repair or replacement.

Q: Is there any real value in having a routine maintenance schedule?

A: Extensive studies by recognized national groups have shown that clean, maintained air conditioning systems last longer, cost less to operate, and have substantially less mechanical failures when a trained professional performs routine maintenance. We feel so strongly about preventive maintenance that we have developed our own customized and detailed plan to offer our customers. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to go over it with you personally at your convenience.

Q: If I do only one thing to save money on my home energy bills, what should that be?
A:You might expect us to say “Buy an awesome high efficiency heating and cooling system from us!” And we’d definitely sell you one – but the best answer is actually insulation. Yes, insulation is the lowest cost, highest return on investment that a homeowner can make. Heat always migrates to the cooler space. So if your home is warm in the winter, the heat wants to go outside where it’s cold. If your home is cool, the summer heat wants to come in. The better your home is insulated, the slower this transfer of heat can occur.

Heat pump thermostat operation

Your heat pump thermostat is designed by the manufacturer to run the heat pump as long as possible so that it can capture and transfer heat from the outdoor air into your home. This method is very economical under mild to moderate winter weather.

Q: Will my thermostat automatically turn on emergency heat when it gets really cold outside?
A: A heat pump thermostat will not do this automatically. When your thermostat is set on the HEAT setting it will always turn the heat pump on. When the thermostat is set 2 degrees or more above the room temperature it will turn on the electric heat in your furnace to assist the heat pump. After it has satisfied the room temperature it will turn the heat pump on alone on the next cycle.
What is the emergency heat setting for?
A: The E HEAT setting on your thermostat is recommended for us when your heat pump cannot maintain the room temperature. If you move the switch on your thermostat to E HEAT the thermostat will turn off the heat pump and turn on the back up heat (usually electric heat) inside your furnace. We recommend most customers do this if the outdoor temperature is 20 degrees f or lower. This will normally warm up your home and shut off quicker than running the heat pump. We do sell and install an additional control, called an outdoor thermostat, that will cause the system to change over automatically. Ask your service technician for details.