Furnaces & Air Conditioning
Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Why do you pull permits on all furnace and air conditioning installations?
Mechanical permits are mandatory for all alterations or installations of gas furnace and heating and ventilation to your home. Pulling a permit ensures that all current safety standards as outlined by the current Safety Codes act are followed and the installation is certified by a Safety Codes Officer. This due diligence is required by every mechanical contractor installing natural gas furnaces and air conditioning and ensures complete and safe installations.
2. Should I run my furnace fan all the time? Isn’t this hard on the motor?
If your furnace is high efficiency or has a variable speed motor it is highly beneficial to run your fan continuously to ensure more uniform temperatures in your home and energy efficiency. Most homeowners would think that running a fan continuously would wear the fan motor out faster, but the exact opposite is the case! Just like a car, stopping and starting all of the time is hard on your furnace. A furnace fan that can run continuously without using extra energy to stop and start the motor will be more energy efficienct and experience less wear and tear over time.
Running the fan continuously will feel different at first as cooler air will blow through the vents when the furnace burners are not creating heat. However, the continuous air flow will keep temperatures more consistent and result in your furnace requiring less running time to heat your home to the temperature you are calling for.
3. How long will it take to install a new furnace or air conditioner?
Furnace or air conditioning installations are full day appointments. Our installation crew will arrive in the morning around 9:30 am and then be there most of the day to complete the installation in its entirety. Once the installation is complete, our serviceman will go over the installation with you and answer any questions you may have. All homes are unique and each job is different but most installations finish up in the afternoon or early evening unless unforeseen circumstances arise. Our crews will complete the installation in the same day even when jobs are tough. We have a motto at Four Seasons, “hard jobs take hours, impossible jobs take a little longer.”
4. Why should I complete annual maintenance on my furnace?
With technological advances and more complicated parts, furnaces now require annual maintenance in order to receive the full performance and efficiency of the appliance. High efficiency furnaces are also notorious for breaking down when not maintained as they are more susceptible to excessive dust or debris causing mechanical failures. We know it may seem expensive initially when you are not used to a regular maintenance schedule, but at least you will know what your system costs to maintain rather than finding out what it costs to repair it when you are not expecting it. When it comes to furnaces, just like cars, repairs are always more expensive than maintenance! After reading this list of benefits, it’s hard to imagine why all homeowner’s don’t complete yearly maintenance on their furnace:
- Increased life expectancy of the furnace.
- Improved energy efficiency – it will actually perform the way it should.
- Reduced pollutants in the air your furnace moves – improved indoor air quality.
- Maintain warranty agreements – all agreements today require annual maintenance.
- Recoup your investment – your furnace will only perform the way it should when it is maintained.
5. What is the difference between a limited warranty and an extended warranty on a furnace or air conditioning?
A limited warranty is issued with all furnaces and air conditioners sold by manufacturers automatically with purchase. As your installer we can extend limited warranties to ten years by registering them as your servicer. All limited warranty agreements only cover parts for the length of the agreement. All labor and service call out fees are the responsibility of the homeowner when there is a mechanical failure. Regular maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner and is dependent on coverage at the discretion of the servicer.
An extended warranty can be purchased for a piece of equipment in addition to the standard issued limited warranty. The extended warranty covers a period of ten years and will cover parts and all labor for all mechanical failures. Regular maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner and is required annually in order to maintain coverage by the servicer. Manufacturers require copies of maintenance invoices in order to process any claims on the warranty.
6. What do you need to know about R-22 refrigerant and installing your A/C?
All air conditioners remove the heat from indoor air by using refrigerant, a liquid cooling agent that dehumidifies the air. R-22 refrigerant was the most commonly used refrigerant in residential air conditioners up until 2010 when manufacturing of R-22 equipment was banned in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the earth’s ozone layer. R-22 refrigerant contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), substances that deplete the ozone layer. Today’s air conditioning units are manufactured with R410-A refrigerant which is considered ozone friendly by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
If you currently have an existing R-22 refrigerant air conditioner your best recourse for this change in environmental standards is to completely replace the unit. Despite what some retailers claim, R-22 units cannot be converted into R410-A units. Retrofitting attempts are harmful to the environment, will most likely damage the existing equipment, and create serious safety hazards for homeowners. As manufacturing of R-22 supplies was banned in 2010, the availability of R-22 refrigerant and supplies for maintenance and repair is limited and soon will not be available at all. Any available repairs and maintenance costs for your existing unit would be best spent on a new R410-A refrigerant system.
7. How do I know what size my furnace or air conditioning should be?
Furnaces and air conditioners are sized to a home based on a heat and cooling load calculation as well as your current set up at a free in-home estimate conducted by one of our estimators. Most homes today have oversized units for the heating and cooling needs required. When a furnace or air conditioner is not properly sized to the home, many operating issues can arise. Temperatures will be uneven, humiditity and ventilation issues can result, and you will experience more maintenance issues over time. When a unit is oversized you are essentially wasting your money, paying to heat or cool and area that doesn’t exist as your space is smaller than what is being output.
8. What does Energy Star mean?
Energy Star is a voluntary labelling program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy-efficient products. Any appliance with an Energy Star label is backed by the government labelling program as it helps save money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. These products have been evaluated with specific identifying factors and have superior energy efficiency in their market or products.
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