We get a lot of questions about home heating and cooling. Here are some frequently asked questions from Kent, WA homeowners. If you don’t see our question here, let us know and we’ll get an answer to you.
Q: How do I know which heating and cooling brand to choose?
A: What’s more important is getting the correct size of air conditioner or furnace and hiring the right contractor. The goal should be to get the properly sized equipment. Hiring a qualified contractor will help you with this.
Q: How do I choose a heating and cooling contractor?
A: Choosing the right contractor is probably the most important decision you have to make. You want to find an HVAC contractor that is knowledgeable and experienced as they will be making recommendations that affect your comfort and safety. To start with make sure that the contractor is licensed, insured and has a physical address. Make sure that you can contact their office and that it’s not just someone with a cell number. Next make sure their training and credentials are up to date. As HVAC equipment increases in efficiency and features, it gets more complex and requires better technicians.
Q: How will I know what the right size of equipment for our home?
A: This is where choosing the right contractor makes all the difference. A qualified contractor will consider 3 main areas: the amount of area you have to heat and cool, the amount of heating and cooling required for your climate, and the condition of the “envelope” or part of your home or building that interfaces with the outside air. Within each of these categories, there are many factors that affect the load and equipment size. Know that we will factor in all the above and recommend a piece of equipment that will serve you well for years to come.
Q: How do I make sense of the efficiency ratings?
A: It’s important to have some understanding of ratings. The most common ratings are SEER, AFUE, and HSPF/COP. For central air conditioners, efficiency is rated in SEER. The heating industry uses a rating called AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) to measure the efficiency of converting gas into energy for heating. Heat pump efficiency gets expressed in a couple of ways, either HSPF or COP. We’ll discuss the ratings with you and help you determine the relationship between higher up-front costs and long-term saving through lower utility bills.
Q: What is ENERGY STAR® and why is it important?
A: ENERGY STAR® is an EPA voluntary program, that helps individuals and businesses save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Many ENERGY STAR® products qualify for rebates and incentives through the utility companies.
Q: How important is it to maintain our furnace or heat pump?
A: It is extremely important to take care of your furnace or heat pump via a regularly scheduled maintenance agreement. Depending on your situation we may recommend 1 or 2 times a year. During this appointment we do a thorough examination of your system to make sure it is operating properly.
Q: Are there things a homeowner can do to help increase the energy efficiency of their heating and cooling system?
A: Yes! First, it is very important to regularly change the air filter on your heat pump or furnace. This one thing will help your equipment run at peak performance. Second, make sure you schedule a safety and performance check-up at least once a year.
Q: How often should I change or clean my air filters?
A: This depends a lot on the environment of the home. For example; a home with a lot of pets or someone with allergies will want to change their air filter more frequently than others. A good rule of thumb for average use is to change or clean your filter every 3 months, but that can increase to once a month for people with allergies and/or pets.
Q: What can I do to lower the cost of my monthly utility bill?
A: There are many things you can do to help your furnace or heat pump perform better. First, make sure that you change the filter in your heating and cooling unit on a regular basis. Some homeowners do this on a monthly basis. Also, make sure to have your heat pump, furnace, or air conditioner serviced on a regular basis. The addition of a programmable thermostat will not only allow you to determine your comfort level, but is also a big contributor to taking control of your heating costs.
Q: How important is it to maintain my gas furnace or heat pump?
A: Taking care of your home heating and cooling system is the single most important thing you can do. Properly maintaining your furnace includes regularly changing your air filters and having a yearly tune-up. This is essential to the performance of your furnace or heat pump and also extends the life of your equipment.
Q: Will a programmable thermostat add value to my gas furnace or heat pump?
A: Absolutely! A programmable thermostat helps make it easy to save by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature in both summer and winter. Your programmable thermostat will do that whether you are home or not. Ask one of our team members to help you choose the right programmable thermostat. We’ll make sure it is installed properly and show you how to use it.
For more information on Kent, Washington heating and cooling OR to get an answer to one of your questions, contact our trained experts today. We look forward to hearing from you. CALL: (253) 234-1278.