Q: How long does it take to get an estimate on a new heating system?
A: Some estimates can be received the same day you call. Other times a site visit by our Equipment Specialist can be scheduled within a short period of time to assess the best options for your home and to discuss any questions you may have. Contact us today.
Q: Approximately how long does it take you to complete an installation of a heating system?
A: Most installations can be completed in one day.
Q: Do you offer equipment financing?
A: Yes. We know that installing a new heating or cooling system can be expensive; that’s why we have financing partners who can make your dream of increased comfort and greater energy savings a reality.
Q: I hear a lot of talk about high-efficiency heating systems. How do you determine a heating system’s efficiency?
A: There are two indicators of efficiency.
- Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). All heating equipment manufactured after 1980 is required to have a label indicating its AFUE. The AFUE ratio is a measurement of a heating system’s seasonal efficiency, taking into account how well the system performs over an entire season of starts and stops. Modern heating systems range in efficiency from 81%-98%. If your system’s AFUE is lower than this range, talk to us about your replacement options.
- Combustion efficiency. When we tune your heating system, we do a combustion efficiency test that tells us how well your burner is converting oil into heat. If your combustion efficiency is below 78, you may want to evaluate your upgrade options which could include an oil burner retrofit. A new burner will burn the fuel/air mixture in a cleaner, more controlled manner, resulting in lower heating costs and fewer combustion by-products going out of your chimney.
Q: On mild winter days my furnace runs in short blasts and my home alternates from being too hot to being too cold. How can I fix this?
A: Installing a new furnace with a variable-speed motor is a good solution. These “smart” motors automatically adjust airflow volume and speed based on your home’s temperature requirements. There will be fewer on/off cycles, smaller temperature swings, consistent even heat and lower fuel bills.
Q: Should I install a programmable thermostat?
A: Absolutely! Programmable thermostats are especially useful for people who are away from home at regular intervals. They allow for customized comfort settings around the clock, and they can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 10%!
Q: How do I know if it is more cost-efficient to repair my old heating system or replace it?
A: If you’re like many people, the frustration of an equipment breakdown can make it tempting to solve the problem with a quick fix that doesn’t cost you a lot of money, that way you can get on with your busy life in relative comfort. BUT, while a quick fix may be the least expensive solution in the short run, it may not give you the most value in the long run.
It’s a fact of life: older systems are more likely to break down. That means a bigger chance of emergency service calls and repairs – and paying for them. Worse, a breakdown could mean extensive damage to your home (no heat on a cold winter day can allow your pipes to freeze).
There’s also an ongoing cost factor. Repairing an old system can only restore it to something less than its original level of efficiency. After you’ve recovered from the repair bill and the frustration of a system breakdown, you’ll still be battling high energy bills. What’s more, even a system that doesn’t break down loses efficiency as it ages. A 15-year-old system doesn’t operate anywhere near the efficiency it did when it was new!
Plus, when compared with modern, technologically-advanced equipment, 15-year-old heating and cooling systems are considered inefficient by today’s standards. The average homeowner can save up to 40% on heating and cooling costs with new high-efficiency equipment.
Here are some rules of thumb to help you decide whether to replace or repair.
Replace your system if:
- It is more than 10 years old and only in average condition.
- It does not keep you as comfortable as you would like.
- It breaks down frequently.
- It is burning too much fuel.
- You will be living in your home for at least five more years.
Repair your system if:
- It is less than 10 years old and in good condition.
- Your heating and cooling costs have been acceptable.
- You’re pleased with your level of comfort.
- Its performance is reliable.
- You will be moving within the next five years.
- It is still under warranty.
Q: How long does a water heater typically last?
A: The average conventional water heater lasts about 10 years. A lot depends on the water quality in your area and the quality of the water heater. Hard water, with its high mineral content, can shorten the life of a unit. A tankless water heater lasts longer. Because the unit lacks a tank, the chance for corrosion is vastly reduced. The average life expectancy of a tankless water heater is 20 years.
Q: How does a tankless water heater work?
A: Tankless, or on-demand, water heaters will only heat water when you turn on your hot water faucets. In contrast, conventional water heaters continue to reheat the unused water that sits in the tank which is a waste of energy.
Q: How much can I save with a tankless water heater?
A: Compared to conventional water heaters, a tankless unit can save you as much as 40% on your annual water heating costs. Some tankless water heaters also qualify for a federal tax credit which can help you save up to 30% on the cost of the unit. Many tankless water heaters qualify for energy efficiency rebates as well!
Q: What are my options in tankless water heaters?
A: We install and service both oil and gas tankless water heaters. We also install and service direct-fired and indirect-fired oil and gas water heaters.
Q: How do oil and propane water heaters compare with electric water heating units?
A: One of the biggest energy wasters in many homes today is the electric water heater, and, with electricity rates on the rise, the cost to operate this type of unit is going up. This is because the electric resistance coil that heats water is slow and extremely inefficient. Compared to a propane or oil water heater, it takes an electric unit two to three times longer to heat the water in your tank. This means you have to wait longer – and pay a lot more – for your hot water.
Q: How do I figure out how much hot water I need?
A: You can contact us to find out which of these various water heating options is the best one for your home and family. We’ll work with you to ensure that you get all of the hot water you need. Two adults may never need more than 30 gallons of hot water an hour, but a family of six may need up to 70.
Q: What does SEER stand for?
A: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it indicates the efficiency of air conditioning systems. The higher the SEER number, the more cooling you get per unit of energy. As of January 2006, only units with a SEER of 13 or higher can be sold in the United States. Today’s cooling units are up to 40% more efficient than those made as recently as 10 years ago.
Q: Is it OK to mix-and-match air conditioning components of different efficiencies? Just because my outside condenser unit is on its way out, does it mean I have to replace my indoor unit as well?
A: It’s never a good idea to mix-and-match A/C components with different SEERs. You might save money initially by replacing only your outdoor unit with a SEER of 13+ compressors and hooking it up to a less efficient system; however, it doesn’t make sense in the long run. It’s like buying a brand-new stereo set and hooking it up to your old antiquated speakers. By pairing components with different SEERS, you’re just not going to get your money’s worth in terms of comfort and efficiency. You’re better off paying a little extra upfront because you’ll be saving a lot more over time.
Q: My home has a forced-air furnace but no air conditioning. Can I add central air?
A: You bet! We can mount a cooling coil on top of the furnace and install a condensing unit outside. We can have a new central air conditioner installed within a day in homes with existing ductwork!
Q: My home does NOT have forced-air heating and there is no ductwork. Can I still get central air conditioning?
A: Absolutely! Today’s simple ductless air conditioning options make it possible to install a quiet, efficient air conditioning system in your home even if it doesn’t have ductwork. Ductless air conditioning systems consist of one or more indoor air distribution units linked by refrigeration lines to an outdoor compressor. These flexible refrigeration lines can be positioned inside your walls and ceilings with a minimum of inconvenience. Installing ductless air conditioning costs a little more than standard central air conditioning systems but much less than the cost of installing ductwork and a central air conditioner.
Q: I’ve heard that Freon is being phased out. How will this affect me when I buy my next air conditioning system?
A: For decades, R-22 (better known as Freon) has been the standard refrigerant for air conditioners and heat pumps. However, R-22 contains chlorine which has been proven to harm the earth’s ozone layer. As a result, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that as of January 1, 2010, R-22 can no longer be used in new cooling systems. A chlorine-free refrigerant, R-410A is now used in new cooling systems. Years of commercial use and testing have proven that R-410A products are superior in performance and energy efficiency to Freon.
Q: What does indoor air quality refer to, and how does it affect my home and family?
A: Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the impact, good or bad, of the contents of the air inside a structure on its occupants. Good IAQ is the quality of air which has no unwanted gasses or particles in it at concentrations that will adversely affect someone. Poor IAQ occurs when gasses or particles are present at an excessive concentration so as to affect the satisfaction or health of occupants. It is important to note that the concentration of the contaminant or contaminants is crucial. Potentially infectious, toxic, allergenic, or irritating substances are always present in the air. There is nearly always a threshold level below which no effect occurs.
Q: What are the most common contaminants?
A: Air quality is affected by the presence of various types of contaminants in the air. Some are in the form of gasses. These would be generally classified as toxic chemicals. The types of interest are combustion products (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide), volatile organic compounds (formaldehyde, solvents, perfumes and fragrances, etc.), and semi-volatile organic compounds (pesticides). Other pollutants are in the form of particles. These include bioaerosols (mold spores, pollen, viruses, bacteria, insect parts, animal dander, etc.); soot; particles from buildings, furnishings, and occupants such as fiberglass, gypsum powder, paper dust, lint from clothing, carpet fibers, etc.; dirt (sandy and earthy material); etc.