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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything I should check prior to calling All Weather Control for service?

Make sure the furnace and air conditioner have power. Check that the circuit breakers are ON or that fuses have not blown. Check your home’s airflow. Air filters should be clean and vents should be open and uncovered. Look at your thermostat to make sure the system is set on the appropriate settings. Check to see if the thermostat batteries need replaced.

 

Why is my HVAC system freezing up?

There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up; most of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician.  Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you can check or handle yourself.  Low refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

 

Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. Contact All Weather Control to correct the problem.

Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. Contact All Weather Control to correct the problem.

Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact us to correct the problem.

 

My electric and gas bills are high. Will a new furnace and air conditioner lower my bills?

YES! A new 13 SEER air conditioner or heat pump could save you as much as 50% on your operating cost of the system. 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency standard allowed by law. Depending on your current operating costs, high efficiency systems could save you even more. Newer gas furnaces are 30 - 40% more efficient than some older models. With rising energy prices, this could mean big savings.

 

What is SEER?

This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The size of an air conditioner is rated in BTU or Tons; however the efficiency is rated in SEER. This ratio is calculated as cooling output divided by the power input for the average U.S. climate. It's like MPG (miles per gallon) in a car - the higher the MPG (or SEER) the lower the gasoline (electricity) bill.

 

Is it OK to install a different brand of furnace (or air conditioner) to work with my existing air conditioner (or furnace)?

Most brands of equipment will work with others as long as the coils and blowers are the proper size. You may, however, experience some loss of efficiency and capacity.

 

How do you determine the size of furnace and air conditioner to install?

Our dedicated and knowledgeable AWC technician will measure your home and calculate the actual heating and cooling load on your home (calculation based on window size and direction, walls, ceiling, floor, appliances, insulation, etc.) This will determine the proper size of equipment that is needed. This will be compared to your current equipment and ductwork and will be adjusted based on your lifestyle, etc.

 

Some rooms in our house are too hot (or cold). Can this be fixed?

There are a variety of causes for airflow problems. Sometimes the problems are due to a dirty filter, coil, and/or blower which results in reduced air flow passing through the air handler and causing the air to die off in the outer branches of the duct system. From time to time the duct work comes loose and a minor reattachment repair can solve the problem. In a lot of cases, there are duct design issues. In these cases, a professional should be called in to troubleshoot the situation. Solutions can range from some simple air balancing to replacement of ducts to advanced climate control systems such as a zone system.

 

In terms of preventative maintenance, why can't my air conditioner and furnace be checked at the same time instead of one in the spring and one in the fall?

They should be checked and cleaned to ensure they are operating efficiently, properly, and safely. We recommend checking the air conditioner in the spring and the furnace in the fall so that we can fully operate the system to check its operation. When checking your refrigerant level in your air conditioner, we obtain a more accurate reading at higher outdoor temperatures.

 

What can I do to maintain my air conditioner or heat pump?

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your equipment and reduce repair costs. Here are some simple tasks that should be done.

  • Keep indoor filter clean

  • Keep debris, grass clippings, dirt, and leaves away from outdoor unit.

  • Turn the air conditioner breaker off, or pull the power disconnect. Then, use a hose to clear the aluminum fins from airborne debris (Be careful, the fins bend easily. Use a regular hose without a spray nozzle)

 

When should I replace my furnace?

Furnaces eventually wear out just like any piece of machinery. Your professional HVAC service technician will see certain indicators that tell them your furnace is wearing out. Some of those symptoms are:

  • Frequent pilot light outages

  • Delayed ignition

  • Yellow flame or wavering flame

  • Excessive soot or corrosion

  • Too much or too little heat

  • The smell of sulfur or burnt eggs

Frequently, equipment owners start considering replacing their units when the frequency and costs of repairs become a bigger headache than the cost of replacing the unit.

 

How can we improve the efficiency of an existing heating and cooling system without replacing the furnace or the air conditioner and without adding more insulation?

First and foremost is MAINTENANCE. The equipment needs to be cleaned and serviced by a licensed professional at least twice per year. Studies have shown that lack of proper maintenance can reduce equipment efficiency by 5 - 10%. In addition, most of today's filters need to be changed a minimum of every 90 days, and don't skimp on the filter. You should use a filter that has a high efficiency rating to help keep your air and equipment clean. After thorough cleaning of your equipment, the service technician will adjust the Freon levels in your air conditioner to the manufacturer's specifications. An over charged unit is just as bad as an under charged unit when it comes to energy consumption. On the heating side, the burners should be cleaned for maximum performance, as well as adjusting the gas pressure, and cleaning the blower wheel. Program a set back on the thermostat with 8 hour or greater blocks of time and no more than 5 degree adjustments are recommended.

 

Should I close the registers and doors to areas of the home that I do not use on a regular basis?

No. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and doors in certain rooms, you disrupt and decrease the systems’ airflow and efficiency. Your system will have to work harder to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less efficient.

 

What are possible causes of cracks in a heat exchanger?

The natural heating and cooling cycles of a furnace can lead to cracks in a heat exchanger. A furnace that is being overworked or stressed is more likely to have a premature breakdown and potential carbon monoxide leak. Dirty air filters, blocked vents, and burners that are not firing properly and disrupting the combustion process can all contribute to the detrimental stress that may lead to cracks in a heat exchanger.

 

What are the potential dangers of operating your HVAC system with a cracked heat exchanger?

If a crack in the heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide to escape into your home you may experience dizziness, light-headedness, flu-like symptoms, or even death by asphyxiation. Carbon monoxide limits the body’s ability to take in oxygen. This is an extremely dangerous situation to have in the home, because the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning may be gradual and undetected.

 

Do I need to change my humidifier water panels yearly?

Yes, it is important to replace your humidifier water panels yearly, due to the hard water deposits that collect as the water flows over the panel during the winter months. This process can break down the water panel overtime, which is why replacement is crucial. Preventative maintenance can prolong the life of the equipment.