You've got questions and the experts at GS Heating & Air Conditioning have the answers. Below you'll find a collection of previous questions and the expert answers.
How long should my existing system last?
There are longevity differences depending on the geography you live in, but most systems have a useful life of between 12 and 20 years. The quality of the original installation has a big impact on that longevity. As your equipment ages, it would be normal for the energy efficiency to degrade. In many cases, you will notice that your system does not heat or cool as it did the previously. It can get expensive to keep and older system running, especially when you factor in the energy cost of running an inefficient system that. When that happens, you are faced with the decision to keep a poorly performing system, or upgrade to a new energy efficient system. At GS Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer free in-home estimates that can help you with the decision concerning upgrading or not, and how the energy savings of a new system can impact that decision.
What is SEER?
This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. While the size of an air conditioner is rated in BTU's or Tons, the energy efficiency of the system is rated in SEER. The ration measures how efficient the air conditioner is, much like the Miles Per Gallon on an automobile. The Higher the SEER rating, the lower your electricity bill for running your system.
Heat pumps are a great solution for your home comfort system because they work to provide both heating and cooling. Heat pumps have SEER ratings like air conditioners and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for measuring heating efficiency. Higher SEER and HSPF ratings mean greater energy savings.
What is a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps are a very efficient alternative to electric heat. A heat pump works the same as an air conditioner in the summer, but it runs in reverse in the winter to heat your home. The system will be matched with a backup heating source, most often electric heat for those extremely cold days of winter.
Does it make sense to close off the air registers to rooms in my house that are used infrequently?
Probably not. If it was properly designed originally, the air ducts in your home were sized to deliver the proper amount of air to each room. Shutting down an air register can increase static pressure, and create problems that can reduce the effectiveness of your system.
How can I reduce allergens and improve the air quality in my home?
With a high efficiency air cleaner, you can remove up to 99% of the pollen and spores that find their way into the home. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will become cleaner and fresher while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate throughout the house. With a whole house humidifier, you can relieve the irritating discomfort of dry indoor air. The humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and damage to your furnishings and woodwork. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you do not have to set the thermostat as high to feel the comfort you want. A lower thermostat setting will reduce the costs of your energy bill.
How often should i change my air filter?
At the risk of telling you something you're tired of hearing, replace the air filter in your furnace on a regular basis. Dirty air filters reduce the amount of air flowing through a system and make the furnace work harder to maintain the temperature. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter you use, if you have pets, and the size of your equipment. Please give us a call and we can give you proper guidance.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
During the warm weather, it is generally recommended that you set your home's cooling system to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home. If you will be out of the house for four or more hours, consider raising the setting so the cooling system only comes on if the temperature tops 88 degrees Fahrenheit. It is estimated that for every degree higher you set your thermostat over 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, you could save approximately six to eight percent off your home energy bill, per degree. So, keeping your home's temperature slightly higher and using the best settings for spring and summer can ultimately help save you money.